We take issue with the Friday Dispatch editorial “At long last, state lawmakers get back to work,” which accused House Democrats of playing partisan games by not voting for Rep. Ryan Smith to end the 11 rounds of voting that unremarkably elected him speaker. Because of ex-Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s resignation, a dark cloud of scandal hangs heavy over the Ohio House. It’s no wonder we were hesitant to endorse his handpicked successor.
Republicans publicly stated for weeks that Democratic participation in the speaker’s race was not wanted or needed. Rep. Smith never solicited Democratic support by offering a bipartisan legislative agenda or by providing information related to ongoing FBI investigations. Instead, we heard that the Heartbeat Bill, Stand Your Ground, and Right to Work — the most hyper-partisan bills — were being dangled for floor votes to Republican holdouts.
Will things be different now? We hope so. But a good first step would be for Rep. Smith to rid his caucus of tainted ECOT megabucks. In reality, bipartisanship is a two-way street that hasn’t been a part of the Republican commute. Hopefully, Smith will recognize that, with his historically low level of support, the only way to move Ohio forward is in a bipartisan way. Taxpayers deserve nothing less.
Rep. Kristin Boggs, 18th Ohio House District
Rep. David Leland, 22nd Ohio House District