COLUMBUS — Following revelations that Republican Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is facing an FBI investigation for extravagant travel with lobbyists, Rosenberger has resigned from office. But Rosenberger is hardly the only Ohio Republican behaving badly.
The scandals don’t stop there. A GOP lawmaker resigned last fall after evidence came out that he engaged in “predatory behavior towards young men…target[ing] college kids who wanted to have him as a mentor and were scared to report his sexual advances.” A second lawmaker resigned after sexual harassment complaints came to light.
Ohio Republicans are behaving recklessly with impunity. Yet amid these scandals, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has done nothing to address the out-of-control behavior in Columbus.
Instead, Mike DeWine’s call to former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is raising more questions than it does answers, and DeWine’s office has allowed sexual harassment settlements paid for by Ohio taxpayers to be covered by a shroud of secrecy. Meanwhile, DeWine continues to boast his endorsement from disgraced Rosenberger.
As The Toledo Blade’s Tom Troy wrote, “The consequences of one-party rule are showing themselves this year, at a time when they hope this year to stave off losses in what is widely expected to be a Democratic surge year…if Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is the state’s top law enforcement official, wins the Republican nomination for governor and then gets tarnished with any of the slime oozing out of the Ohio General Assembly these days, there could be a negative impact on him and all the way down the ballot.”
“As Ohio Republicans’ embarrassing and harmful behavior continues to be exposed, Ohio’s top cop Mike DeWine is nowhere to be found,” said For Ohio’s Future spokesperson Daniel van Hoogstraten. “Ohio deserves a leader in Columbus who will do the hard work to create a better future, not someone who turns a blind eye to shameful behavior.”