We received the following e-mail on May 18, 2000:
Governor Taft was not successful this week in convincing
enough legislators to approve HB602
in the House Education Committee. The will of the people
prevailed in convincing the majority to give us back our
ELECTED State Board of Education.
|Twenty people testified AGAINST
HB602 when it was up for consideration in the
Education Committee. Four testified for it. The
four who testified for it were three State School
Board members, including its president, and one
person from the governor's office. Nobody from
the public testified in support of HB602.
So, Governor Taft, House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, and
Representative Charles Brading started an intense game of
DIRTY POLITICS !! Rep. Brading introduced HB711 -- THE
EXACT SAME LANGUAGE AS HB602 -- and successfully had it
assigned to the HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE !! This issue is
NOT a fiscal issue!! It is an education issue !! But they
think they have duped enough House Republicans on the
Finance Committee to support keeping the Governor's
appointees on the State Board of Education.
What is EVEN MORE OF AN OUTRAGE is that the House Finance
Committee has no intention of taking public testimony on HB711!!
They want to ROB US of our right to elect all of our
board members and they don't want to hear our side of the
WE NEED ALL CITIZENS TO MAKE CRITICAL CALLS TO THE
LEGISLATORS BELOW. WE NEED TO CONVINCE FIVE REPUBLICANS
ON THE FINANCE COMMITTEE TO VOTE NO ON HB 711.
EVERYONE SHOULD ALSO CALL THEIR OWN STATE REPRESENTATIVE
AND STATE SENATOR. HB711 MAY GET TO THE FULL MEMBERSHIP
FOR A VOTE NEXT WEEK.
WE NEED THE PHONES OF ALL MAJOR NEWSPAPERS AND TALK RADIO
SHOWS TO RING OFF THE HOOK !! THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR
AND GOVERNOR TAFT AND KEY LEGISLATORS HAVE DECLARED WAR
ON OUR RIGHT TO HAVE TRUE REPRESENTATION ON OUR STATE
BOARD OF EDUCATION !!
PLEASE -- PLEASE ACTIVATE PHONE CHAINS AND EMAIL LISTS!
PLEASE CONSIDER THIS AN EMERGENCY !!!!!!!
THIS LEGISLATION WILL
IMPACT ALL CHILDREN !! THERE ARE MANY POLICIES IN THE
DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE OF THE STATE BOARD THAT WILL
NEGATIVELY IMPACT ALL STUDENTS, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY
The schedule for the House Finance Committee:
Monday, May 22, 7:30pm, Room 313 of the Statehouse
HB711 will have sponsor testimony
Tuesday, May 23, 9:30am; 1:30pm; 7pm
HB711 will be voted upon by committee members
[My guess is the vote will take place at the 9:30 session
so they can get it to the full membership at the 11:00
Below are phone numbers followed by suggested talking
There are 31 members of the House Finance Committee.
There is no need to call the 11 Democrats. Republican
members' numbers are listed below. Key legislators are
marked. ALL area codes are 614.
We need FIVE NO votes.
Chairman, Representative Robert Corbin - 466-6504 [Don't
Vice-Chair, Representative Priscilla Mead - 644-6005
Rep. Ron Amstutz [Wooster] 466-1474 [KEY}
Rep. Robert Netzley [Laura, Dayton area] 466-8114 [KEY]
Rep. Kerry Metzger [New Philadelphia] 466-1695 [KEY]
Rep. Jim Hoops [Napoleon, Toledo area] 466-3760 [KEY]
Rep. Gary Cates [West Chester, Cincinnati area] 466-8550
Rep. John Carey [Wellstone, southern tip of Ohio]
Rep. Rex Damschroder [Fremont] 466-1374 [MAYBE]
Rep. David Evans [Newark] 466-1482 [MAYBE]
Rep. Sally Conway Kilbane [Cleveland area] 466-0961
Rep. Kevin Coughlin [Akron area] 466-1177
Rep. David Goodman [Columbus] 644-6002
Rep. Gene Krebs [Camden, area north of Cinci on Indiana
Rep. Donald Mottley [West Carrollton, Dayton area]
Rep. Jacquelyn O'Brien [Cincinnati] 644-6886
Rep. Jon Peterson [Delaware] 644-6711
Rep. Dennis Stapleton [Washington CH, southern Ohio]
Rep. Rose Vesper [New Richmond, east of Cinci] 644-6034
Rep. Ann Womer Benjamin [Aurora, northeast of Akron]
Democrat members of the Finance Committee are: Peter
Jones, Catherine Barrett, Barbara Boyd, Daniel Metelsky,
Dale Miller, Ray Miller, William Ogg, Jeanine Perry,
Thomas Roberts, Erin Sullivan, and Charles Wilson. These
are all expected to vote NO.
SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:
1. If they say, "Most people don't know who their
State Board person is,therefore it isn't necessary to
keep the board all elected."
Most people also don't know who their state legislators
are but this does NOT mean that the Governor should
appoint the General Assembly. The more important point to
be made is that those who WANT to know and be informed as
to who they vote for have the opportunity to do so. That
is the ESSENCE of representative government. And, today
there are more and more ways to get the information
easily [i.e. voter's guides on the internet]
2. If they say, "Those elected are from special
interest groups that can afford to
"advertise/publicize" their candidate. e.g.
Elected board members are in the OEA pocket."
This is NO DIFFERENT from the General Assembly, yet we
don't want to throw out our representation there. Special
interest groups have influence over legislators but NOT
control.The State Board established "rules"
which are a part of the Ohio Administrative Code and are
just as mandatory as state statute. They serve a
"legislative function" and should be completely
under the legislative branch of government, not the
3. If they say, "The Governor can breakup a
monopoly. Hopefully the Governor elected by the people;
whose views are better known than a state board member
will be elected."
This is the worst line of reasoning...
**The Governor through his 8 appointees IS THE MONOPOLY
!! He absolutely controls the marketplace of ideas by
stripping out representative votes on REALLY CRITICAL
ISSUES. [i.e. state health curriculum, re-designed
assessment system that is WORSE than the one we have]
**Yes, the Governor is elected. But his election is on a
MUCH BROADER PLATFORM than just education. His campaign
is also driven by welfare reform issues, tax issues,
education, pro-life vs. pro-choice issues,
prison/criminal code issues. It is ludicrous to say that
education is the only issue that determines who our
Governor will be.**In addition, if someone has a specific
problem with State Board policy it is VERY EASY to pick
up the phone and call their board member at home. We DO
NOT HAVE DIRECT ACCESS TO THE GOVERNOR.
4. If they say, "Community schools will be ruined
because the elected members don't support community
This is NOT TRUE. As of 1997 we have state law that
REQUIRES the State Board to sponsor community schools.
This is a WEAK assumption. A majority of the current
elected members have voted to support community schools.
NOTHING WILL BE LOST !!!!!
Please, please don't be deceived. This is a power play
and nothing more. Citizens have been robbed of meaningful
input on board policy. Defeating HB602 and now HB711 is
the BEST WAY to RESTORE accountability of the State Board
to the citizens. A VOTE IN FAVOR OF HB711 IN THIS
ELECTION YEAR IS A VOTE AGAINST THE CITIZENS SERVED BY
THE LEGISLATURE !!!!
I also received this e-mail message from a person who
is very well-informed on this issue:
I just wanted you to know: Speaker Davidson and Gov. Taft
have bypassed the education committee in regards to H.B.
602. They have reintroduced the identical language with
H.B. 711 and have put it into the Finance Committee.
We do not have the
votes to stop it there, since the liberals are stacked in
that committee. Have your people start making calls to
the entire legislature regarding H.B. 711 since we
believe it will probably be on the house floor this
coming Tuesday! Right now it doesn't appear that we have
the votes to stop it, so we need lots of calls!