Even as the Ohio House of Representatives looks to replace disgraced Speaker Larry Householder, a coalition of conservative organizations is urging lawmakers to be thoughtful in how they do so.
Householder and four others were arrested July 21 in connection with a $60 million federal bribery probe in connection with the Legislature’s 2019 bailout of FirstEnergy and its nuclear power plants.
Whomever is chosen, Citizens for Community Values urges it be someone who can restore confidence in the Ohio General Assembly. They published a suggested list of qualifications — and disqualifications — on their website, available here. They were joined in their announcement by a host of conservative organizations.
There will be many arguments made for why certain individuals would make a “better” choice than others, but often these arguments are usually focused on money and electoral success. These are poor benchmarks for choosing a leader, as has been demonstrated by the reason for the current crisis.
Citizens for Community Values and pro-life and pro-family leaders across the state of Ohio believe that a different set of attributes should be forefront in the decision on electing a new Speaker. Character matters, and an elected official’s positions on life, faith and family are very strong indicators of that character and of their positions in relation to our economic and business needs as well.
That is why we respectfully offer that the individual chosen to lead Ohio’s representative body meet the following criteria:
Pro-Life: The individual should have shown that commitment by cosponsoring and voting in favor of Ohio’s Heartbeat Law, the strongest policy commitment to life ever voted on by the Assembly.
Pro-Faith: The individual should show their commitment to upholding religious freedoms and a commitment to one-man/one-woman marriage by their opposition to House Bill 369 and its Senate companion bill Senate Bill 11.
Pro-Freedom: The individual should be strongly in favor of fully empowering parents with a complete range of choices for the education of their children, and, especially in light of the COVID-19 changes that have been forced upon our schools and families, to be a strong voice for ensuring that no educational option is pitted against another as adversarial choices. Our children’s – our state’s – future is in the balance.
The signers, including those from other organizations, are:
- Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values
- Margie Christie, Executive Director of Dayton Right to Life
- Meg DeBlase, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati
- Linda Harvey, President of Mission America
- Charles Michaelis, Vice-chair of Institute For Principled Policy
- Seth Morgan, Chairman of Conservative Republican Leadership Committee
- Janet Porter, President of Faith2Action
- Ed Sitter, Executive Director of Toledo Right to Life
- John Stover, President of Ohio Value Voters
- Lori Viars, Vice President of Warren County Right To Life
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes. The Associated Press contributed to this story.