House GOP Caucus

House Majority Leader Bill Seitz “should be immediately stripped of leadership titles and all committee assignments, shunned.”

3rd Rail Politics Editor Cyndy Rees calls it as she sees it in yesterday’s post, A Contract with the Caucus.

The GOP political blog focuses on the Ohio statehouse and displays incredible courage and tenacity in investigative journalism. But today, on the day the Ohio House GOP Caucus will try to select a new temporary speaker — after the abrupt resignation last month of Cliff Rosenberger — Ms. Rees wrote a fiery commentary that opens with these words:

“As the Republican caucus struggles to recover from the disgraceful Rosenburglar Era, its members face one fundamental question: Do they paper over the systemic, cultural rot born of their former leader’s laziness and arrogance, hoping that gerrymandered districts and a fundraising advantage will save them? Or do they actually begin the hard work of reform right now, taking the Speaker’s departure for what it is: A gift. A chance to prove to voters that the Republican Party in Ohio is still capable of responsible governance and real conservative leadership on kitchen table issues that matter to everyday Ohioans.”

Since January, readers will know that C&BP has been asking questions of House Majority Leader Bill Seitz, former House Speaker Rosenberger, and current acting Speaker Kirk Schuring, regarding the pattern of unethical behavior that seems to proliferate throughout the Ohio House GOP Caucus. And 3rd Rail has advice for the caucus and for Seitz when it calls for:

“A pledge of accountability for the degrading attitude so many men in the caucus display toward women.  For starters, Seitz… should be immediately stripped of leadership titles and all committee assignments, shunned….

“The caucus has not yet come to grips with the fact that Rosenberger’s flashy spending and the cavalier attitude Seitz showed about sexual harassment at the infamous Roast are symptoms of the same disease:  a narcissistic arrogance that “I’m untouchable” and the rules apply to everyone else but not to me.  It’s the same mentality that led Seitz to announce his intention to double dip on pension benefits days after his Roast comments.  When it comes to its attitude toward women, lip service is not enough.”

C&BP will soon ask the leadership of Ohio’s House Democratic Caucus, as well, what steps they have taken or are willing to take to address the culture of entitlement in the Ohio state legislature. While we don’t endorse candidates, we certainly endorse the hard questions 3rd Rail raises. The silence from the House GOP Caucus leadership on cleaning up its act is very loud.


Scott Peterson is executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative blog that seeks to hold government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP comes from sustainable economy philanthropies and donors.


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