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The best elected officials money can buy

August 20, 2013 - Rob Weaver
Two democrats have launched a move to bar statewide officeholders from accepting compensation other than their state salaries, plus any pension and retirement payments.

Associated Press Statehouse Correspondent Julie Carr Smyth writes: “Ohio's governor and other statewide officials would be barred from accepting outside compensation from private employers, including those seeking state funds, under a proposal introduced Tuesday by two House Democrats. “State Reps. Ron Gerberry, of Austintown, and Nick Celebrezze, of Parma, said the bill was intended to protect officeholders from undue influence or the appearance of improper business ties. The officeholders would still be allowed to collect their state salaries and any pension and retirement payments.” “The legislation comes amid concerns over job-creation tax credits that Republican Gov. John Kasich's administration has awarded to two subsidiaries of Worthington Industries over the past two years — as Kasich still was reporting deferred compensation payments from his time on the firm's board of directors.” ——— Gerberry and Celebrezze claim their proposal is not intended as an attack on Kasich or on JobsOhio. Both men are from counties where governments where corruption probes led to convictions of public officials.

I think the plan could go farther. Why not prohibit elected officials and those running for office from voting on laws and regulations affecting businesses and industries that contributed to their campaigns?

Would that be too drastic? Too cumbersome? Unrealistic? Too idealistic? Or should that be expected?

Remember the severance tax on oil and gas producers Kasich sought when he proposed a state budget? That idea died in the Statehouse.

An analysis by the Cincinnati Enquirer found “10 of the largest oil and natural gas companies and their main political action committee have pumped more than $660,000 into Ohio legislators’ campaign coffers since 2010.”

In fact, one key player received about 10 percent of his campaign cash from oil and gas companies, plus political action committees and individual donors connected to the industry.

Let me know what you think.


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