On whether Gov. Bob Taft should be forced from office:
So while Coleman (and I) pushed our fellow Democrats to move for Taft's removal, the caucus seemed to follow Strickland's lead. But unless there is context I am missing, it appears it doesn't end there.
Strickland said he is "not prepared to call for (Taft) to step down unless something more damaging comes to light than already has been revealed- U.S. Rep. Strickland on 8/21/05 as quoted in Monday's Columbus Dispatch.
If there is evidence that Mr. Taft knew before April 3 about the rare-coin investment that Mr. Noe controlled and the governor says he didn't remember it, then "the drumbeat will grow louder and louder for the governor to take full responsibility for this scandal,'' Ohio House Minority Leader Chris Redfern said in today's Toledo Blade.
Amazingly, this is the view of some on the Republican leadership as well:
Ohio House Speaker John Husted (R): "Husted said, however, that unless new information is "brought to light, there would be no need for impeachment." Husted, in today's Dayton Daily News.
On what should be done in response to Coingate:
Coleman: There ought to be an ethics prosecutor (apparently ignoring for the moment the Office of the Inspector General).
Strickland: There ought to be a bipartisan commission with equal partisan representation and subpoena power to investigate Coingate.
Ohio House Minority Leader Redfern: "Mr. Redfern continued to push for a legislative commission - with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans - to investigate the scandals swirling around Mr. Noe, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, and the governor's office." In today's Toledo Blade.
In the same article, Senate Minority Leader C.J. Prentiss said a "Watergate-like" commission should investigate the "pay-to-play" culture in the State.
Has any Democratic member of the General Assembly endorsed, let alone, introduced Coleman's legislation?
Republican House Speaker Husted seems to be willing to consider such a commission:
"Husted said he and Redfern are discussing a new committee that would examine ways to craft legislation that would make it easier for lobbyists and legislators to comply with ethics laws." today's Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Although Coleman's campaign boasted when the Akron Beacon Journal endorsed his anti-corrupt plans, it chose Strickland's response to Taft's conviction over Coleman's when in today's editorial it said:
Michael Coleman, the Columbus mayor and a Democratic candidate for governor, has called for Taft to resign. He cited the confusion about when Taft learned that Thomas Noe (Republican bad boy) invested rare coins for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, the governor saying one thing, Noe another. U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (the second Democrat in the governor's race) noted the lack of concrete answers about what the governor knew. He rightly resisted playing the resignation card. Democrats would also be wise to dump the talk of impeachment.
It's nowhere close to the primary season, and it seems that Strickland has taken a position acceptable by both parties, showing the ability to govern. But more troubling for the Coleman campaign, it looks like the Democratic members of the Ohio General Assembly are already starting to play from the Strickland playbook.