The few true conservative Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives fought hard in the last days of 2014 to protect both the born and the unborn. Sadly their efforts to pass the Hearbeat Bill (HB248) and the Repeal of Common Core (HB597) were stopped by the very Party that had just successfully campaigned as the “conservative” choice in the November elections.
Both Bills had been stuck in committee awaiting the GOP leadership to bring them to the floor and allow a vote. After the November elections, in Lame Duck session, both Bills were finally ready for a vote by the full house. . . but nothing happened. The Republicans were determined to avoid both issues despite great support across Ohio to save the lives of unborn babies with a beating heart, and despite the unprecedented grass roots efforts of parents to protect their kids from the federal takeover of education known as Common Core.
But there was one hope, while we knew neither Bill could pass on its own at such a late time of year, there was a chance that if these Bills could be attached by amendment to other Bills that were going to the Governor for signature, then they could still become law in Ohio.
So I decided to try and force a Heartbeat amendment into another Bill, and Representative John Adams, a Conservative warrior in the House, would try the same maneuver with an amendment to Repeal of Common Core. We filed our amendments in the last weeks of December. We knew that the GOP leadership, which controls the Ohio House, did not want these Amendments to pass or even be voted on, but we also knew that matters of human life and education were too important to allow party politics to get in the way.
The GOP leadership wanted no part of our amendments, so in order to avoid a vote, the House Republicans took my Heartbeat amendment off the agenda by “informally passing” the Bill. When it came time for John Adams to propose his amendment to repeal Common Core they did the same to him. It was clear the GOP would use all of its parliamentary tricks to halt our efforts. . . and they needed time to figure out how to stop us.
The very next day both Amendments came up again. Sadly one of the GOP leaders known for his “pro-life” rhetoric approached me on the House Floor and let me know in no uncertain terms that he would not let the Heartbeat Amendment pass. But John Adams and I persisted. . . and then something unprecedented happened. . . when I stood to be recognized for the Heartbeat amendment the Speaker of the House REF– USED to recognize me! My microphone was shut off and instead the Speaker called for an immediate vote on the Bill. . . without my Heartbeat Amendment. That’s right…a Republican leader killed the only chance that the Heartbeat Amendment would become law. . . even going so far as to muzzle an elected Representative of the House. (Such a move by a Speaker is virtually unheard of! In a notorious case from 1983 the muzzled member was so angry he actually wore a dog muzzle in protest!)
But the deception of the GOP was not over. They knew that Conservative voters would be outraged that the GOP stopped my Heartbeat Amendment. What they needed was a “cover vote”, sometimes called a “show vote”. . . a phony vote that allows a Representative to look like they are pro-life by voting for something they know will not pass. So while they killed the Heartbeat Amendment which might actually become law. . . they decided to allow a vote on the stand alone Heartbeat Bill. . . knowing it had no chance. . . so they can claim they are pro-life. There can be no doubt. . . the GOP is responsible for killing the Heartbeat Bill in Ohio!
Here are the names of the 15 Republicans who actually voted to support the Heartbeat Amendment, call or email them your thanks. They are truly PRO-LIFE:
John Adams, John Becker, Bill Blessing, Terry Boose, Jim Butler, Margy Conditt, Doug Green, Ron Hood, Matt Lynch, Ron Maag, Wes Retherford, Tina Roegner, Lou Terhar, Andy Thompson and Ron Young
Then came the amendment of John Adams to repeal Common Core, and again the GOP leadership used parliamentary tricks. When John Adams proposed his amendment, the Speaker of the House ruled it “Out of Order”, meaning that it was not a proper amendment. Ron Hood and others immediately objected but it did not matter. . . the effort to repeal Common Core was dead. . . killed by the GOP!
Ohio Republicans won statewide victories by campaigning as “conservatives” who were both pro-life and anti-common core. . . but just weeks later they abandoned those values! Conservative voters must take a lesson from this. . . a hard lesson. . . but a necessary one. . . having an “R” or the word “conservative” next to your name means nothing. . . we must look to see how these folks vote AFTER they are elected.
If we want a different type of Republican Party, one that actually defends life, promotes liberty and constrains big government. . . then we can no longer be satisfied with the ‘lesser of two evils’ since it forces us to choose evil. . . in the future we must commit to choosing ONLY the good!