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Thursday, December 15, 2005

S.B. 9 Update

Senate Bill 9, the so-called Ohio "Patriot" Act, passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the General Assembly yesterday. The following senators voted in favor:

Amstutz Armbruster Austria Carey Clancy Coughlin Dann Fedor Fingerhut Gardner Goodman Grendell Hottinger Jacobson Jordan Kearney Miller Mumper Niehaus Padgett Roberts Schuler Schuring Spada Stivers Wachtmann Wilson Zurz Harris

Only Senators Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown) and C.J. Prentiss (D-Cleveland) voted against the bill.
The following representatives voted in favor:

Allen Aslanides Barrett Blessing Boccieri Book Bubp Buehrer Calvert Carano Carmichael Cassell Coley Collier Core Daniels DeGeeter DeWine Dolan Domenick Driehaus Evans C. Evans D. Faber Fende Flowers Garrison Gibbs Gilb Hagan Hartnett Harwood Hoops Hughes Latta Law Martin Mason McGregor R. Oelslager Patton T. Perry Peterson Raga Raussen Redfern Reinhard Sayre Schaffer Schlichter Schneider Seitz Setzer Smith G. Strahorn Taylor Trakas Uecker Wagner Wagoner Webster White Widener Widowfield Willamowski Williams Wolpert Woodard Husted

The following representatives voted against:

Beatty Brinkman Brown Chandler DeBose Fessler Hood Key Kilbane Koziura McGregor J. Miller Mitchell Reidelbach Seaver Skindell Smith S. Stewart D. Stewart J. Sykes Ujvagi Yates Yuko

I'm disappointed in the numerous Democrats who voted for this bill, although some of them, to their credit, including House Minority Leader Chris Redfern(D-Catawba Island), did vote for an earlier, unsuccessful motion to re-refer the bill to committee.

Back in March, when an earlier version of S.B. 9 was passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate, Senator Eric Fingerhut (D-Cleveland), a possible gubernatorial candidate, explained his vote in favor of the bill:
Now comes the part of the legislative process that is often hard to accept. There were two choices before us today: (1) if we did not support S.B. 9, the original bill, with all its dangerous elements, would have passed, but (2) if we supported S.B. 9, the much improved version would pass instead. As I have already indicated, we chose option two. One concerned constituent called me to express displeasure with my vote. He said that I had supported the “lesser of two evils” instead of the best option, which was to oppose the bill altogether. But opposing the bill altogether would have been nothing more than a “feel good” vote, because the bill was certain to pass - the only question was in what form.

I wonder what his excuse is this time. If Senator Fingerhut runs for governor next year, his primary opponent would be U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon), who voted against reauthorizing the federal "Patriot" act yesterday.

True to his word, my state representative, Rep. Dale Miller (D-Cleveland) voted against S.B. 9. Rep. Miller is running for the Ohio Senate next year. I'll certainly remember his vote against S.B. 9 when I vote in next year's primary. We need more like him in Columbus.

The ACLU of Ohio is asking members to call or write to Governor Bob Taft (R-Cincinnati) to ask him to veto S.B. 9, and provides talking points and the governor's contact information here.

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