Courtesy of Tyler Dillon
Communications Director

ProgressOhio has submitted a public records request to the Office of Ohio House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring requesting records of correspondence between the Office of the Speaker Pro Tempore and legislative staff or elected officials regarding the Ohio House Speaker vacancy.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, it took over a month after former speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned in disgrace for Schuring to specifically request all House members vote on their preferences for moving forward through “text, email or other method.”

While Schuring’s office announced Friday that a majority of the members voted to vote for a speaker – leading to today’s vote – he has refused to provide more information, calling the vote of publicly elected officials a “secret ballot.”

For seven weeks, the House has been in complete chaos, stalling over 160 pieces of legislation while mismanagement and personal egos have prevented legislators from doing their jobs.

Throw in the extortion accusations, and it’s obvious that Ohioans deserve to know what their lawmakers have been discussing for over seven weeks behind closed doors. While we hope today’s vote brings some sense of civility and decency back to the House, voters need to learn why this mess has taken so long to fix in the first place.

Representative Ryan Smith has claimed tactics have been used “from bullying to threats to downright extortion” and urged those with concerns to contact the authorities.

The delay has also been extended due to Schuring changing his criteria, first by sidelining the minority party and demanding the Republican caucus reach 50 votes alone. He then opened the vote up to Democrats much later in the process when it became clear the Republican civil war would prevent any candidate from reaching 50 votes.