ePluribusMedia OhioNews Bureau
House Assistant Democratic Leader Todd Book (D-McDermott) and Minority Whip Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill) introduced a joint resolution Friday in Columbus to amend the Ohio Constitution to end "lame duck" legislative sessions.
The resolution will forbid a legislative session following a Presidential or Gubernatorial election, unless a special session is called by the Governor or General Assembly. Their joint resolution closely follows a controversial ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court, which overturned Governor Strickland’s veto of a "lame duck" bill, the so-called "lead paint bill," that caps non-economic damages in consumer protection cases and gives new protections to lead paint makers.
BOOK, DRIEHAUS OPEN LAME DUCKING HUNTING SEASON
"I believe the passage of this resolution will eliminate the incomplete, incomprehensible and irresponsible legislation that is passed during ‘lame duck’ sessions," Rep. Book said in a media release. In the last three General Assemblies, according to information provided by their offices, 27 percent, 30 percent and 24 percent, respectively, of all bills were passed during "lame duck" sessions.
The duo, who held their session at the Ohio Statehouse, said Ohio is one of 12 states with no limit on how long legislative sessions should run, and only one of five states that still holds regular "lame duck" sessions.
Driehaus, a multi-term Ohio House member from Cincinnati who is challenging veteran Republican Congressman Steve Chabot, said, "The resolution we introduced today will increase transparency and accountability we bring to state government."
Ohio Speaker Jon Husted said in the wake of the decision by the Court that he would address the road map one Justice identified that if traveled by a devious group of legislative leaders could nullify the veto authority vested in the office of governor. Book and Driehaus said that if their resolution passes, the people of Ohio will vote on the measure in November 2008.
CINCINNATI COMMUNITY VALUES GROUP TAKES AIM AT HOTEL PORN
The Cincinnati Christian evangelical group famous for amending the Ohio Constitution to ban gay marriage in 2004, a campaign many say helped put George W. Bush in the White House for a second term and that earlier this year intimidated enough Ohio legislators to pass a bill restricting hours of operation for adult entertainment business and interactions between dancers and customers, is now taking aim at shutting down hotel porn services across the nation.
The Associated Press reports that the group, Citizens for Community Values (CCV), lead by self-described former porn addict Phil Buress now wants to purge hardcore pay-per-view movies from the nation's hotel rooms.
CCV will pressure LodgeNet, a publicly traded Sioux Falls company to stop offering pornographic titles through its in-room pay-per-view service, the AP reported, noting that the company provides television, on-demand movies and Internet access to 1.8 million rooms in 9,300 hotel properties across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
CCV’s Burress told the AP that he believes some of the movies offered by Lodgenet are prosecutable under federal law, adding, "They're selling hardcore pornography in all 50 states, in fact in most cities, in most towns across America." Burress said at a news conference that "makes their business our business." Responding in a statement, LodgeNet said that mature content is just one category of a wide array of programming, according to the AP. The company said their business is legal, which is why the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI haven't prosecuted it for offering adult content. .
Court rulings have kept the government’s ability to impose its standards of taste in private entertainment choices at bay, and LodgeNet said the constitutional system supports individual choice over government coercion. "CCV confuses its own taste with what the law allows," LodgeNet said in a statement, as reported by the AP.
CCV, Ohio's version of the Taliban that is a battle to the death with a new group, Citizens for Community Standards, (think Voldemort versus Harry Potter) which is hoping to put its own amendment on the Ohio ballot this November that would overturn the silly restrictions and penalties contained in the so-called "stripper bill," has had enough success with pressuring about 16 Ohio and Kentucky hotels to remove adult movies, that if it doesn’t get its way nationally, said it will return to badger local lawmakers to affect its agenda.
"IMPEACH BUSH" SIGN CHARGED AS LITTERING
It was 40 years ago today when Arlo Guthrie taught the world to say, that the topsy-turvy charge involving free speech with littering, which made his famous song "Alice’s Restaurant" such a milestone of its day, would likely never happen again. But his odd, iconoclastic mixing of law and laughter is here again.
As seen in this article, an Ohio Iraq war protester who put a sign saying "Impeach Bush" in a public right-of-way is now being charged by the local prosecutor for littering. Laugh until you cry, but it seems we’re coming around again on the merry go round of history.
A Kent prosecutor said he'll seek a littering charge against Kevin Egler for placing an "Impeach Bush" placard in a public garden. The report said police had originally issued a ticket him last month on a charge of unlawfully advertising in a public place, a violation that carries a $125 fine. But Kent Law Director Jim Silver moved to dismiss the case yesterday during a pretrial hearing in Kent Municipal Court, saying instead that he’ll charge Egler with littering, which carries a possible two-month jail penalty.
Ohio.com: Egler, 45, said he was disappointed that the city would press a "frivolous" litter charge. He said the sign he placed in a garden at a street intersection falls under his constitutional rights to free speech.
Egler said he and about a dozen friends and associates have placed hundreds of anti-war messages around Ohio and neighboring states over the past 10 months. He said he considers President Bush's military response after the 2001 terrorist attacks to be both illegal and immoral.
Bob Fitrakis, an attorney for Egler and long-standing paladin against voter fraud, was quoted saying that "Ohio politicians get a great deal of latitude when it comes to posting their campaign signs, and Fitrakis said he is not aware of any instance in which a mainstream politician has been prosecuted for the act." Kent Safety Director William Lillich said in the same article that candidates are contacted and told to move inappropriately placed campaign signs.