At least three Republicans have publicly called for Taft's resignation: state Rep. Jim Trakas of Independence, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann and state Sen. Jay Hottinger of Newark. Trakas and Hartmann have shown an interest in running for secretary of state next year.I just found that quote from the Ohio Democratic Party funny. You can tell they are enjoying this moment of political relevance.
No Democrats have publicly sought Taft's resignation. The issue was discussed in party circles and most thought it was a bad idea, said Gabrielle Williamson, spokeswoman for the Ohio Democratic Party.
"It's our feeling that it should be up to Taft and his own conscience," Williamson said. "The other reason is there are enough Republicans demanding his resignation."
Of course, State Rep. Trakes, as a member of the House, could introduce a resolution for the impeachment of the Governor. It seems the fair question is: If Taft declines to resign, would State Rep. Trakas seek his impeachment? It doesn't seem consistent to say yes to resignation, but no to impeachment.
For those of us involved in observing statewide politics for the last ten years, it's amazing to see the unbreakable party discipline created by Bob Bennett (who, despite being a Republican, is an unquestionably talented state party chair) crumbling.
We haven't really heard anything from the GOP Gubernatorial candidates on what the party should do regarding Taft. I'm amazed they haven't been pressed on the issue more. But then again, it's only been two days since the criminal charges have been made.
Will they simply say, "Gov. Taft made a mistake, which he has acknowledged and taken full responsibility for, and has 'paid his debt to society?'" Or will they sing, "Hit the Road, Taft?"
While it may look like the Governor will be able to weather this political storm, it could be premature to diagnosis the body politic of the Governor as fully recovered. If, as is expected, more members of the Governor's inner circle are charged and more revelations emerge from the BWC investments, Taft's now admitted transgressions could lay the groundwork for his premature outster.