Ohio now has a real governor, Ted Strickland, who cares about citizens' rights and public health

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 01/09/2007 - 13:43.

What a great rebirth for Ohio. Sunday night, Ohio swore in our new Governor, Ted Strickland, and within 24 hours he vetoed the corporate and lobbyist planted, corrupt, anti-consumer, anti-American substitute bill 117, which was made to order for scam businesses to harm citizens. As Strickland states, " I will not allow this legislation in its current form, which drastically undermines current consumer protections, to go into effect during my administration." A Plain Dealer article on the veto reports " Strickland also said the curb on suits against manufacturers "prevents cities from being able to seek justice on behalf of their citizens."" "Our new Attorney General Marc Dann, who, like Strickland, is a Democrat, said he would "vigorously" defend the governor's veto." The PD article highlights the fact that the Republican lawmakers who were responsible for the corrupt SB117 are acting as lawyers and judges now, and that they plan to waste Ohio taxpayer money fighting our Governor... " State Sen. Tim Grendell, a Chester Township Republican who voted for the bill, also said the veto is void because the governor acted outside his authority. He said members of the legislature and trade groups were likely to sue over the veto." Go for it... concerned citizens are certain to defend Governor Strcikland, and those legislators who think they can keep acting corruptly under our new leadership will quickly be eliminated from office, as suggested in a previous article on SB117 by Plain Dealer columnist Sheryl Harris, which provides "a list of the Northeast Ohio legislators who voted to curtail your consumer rights". In the new Ohio, such corruption will not be tolerated. Read more about the veto below.

News out of Ohio pasted below...puts to rest the loop about lead paint damage
awards being squashed

Stuart Katzenberg
Head Organizer
Maryland ACORN

Monday, January 08, 2007

Strickland vetoes consumer law change
4:50 p.m. (updated 5:01 p.m.)

Gov. Ted Strickland today vetoed a bill that would have limited the
damages consumers could collect from businesses that defraud them -- the
same bill that outgoing Gov. Bob Taft said he would allow to go into law
without a signature.

The same bill contained limits on the ability of cities and others to
sue manufacturers, a provision that particularly affected lead-paint
lawsuits filed against Sherwin-Williams Co. of Cleveland and other paint

Because Taft didn't either sign or veto, the 10-day clock continued to
tick on the bill. Strickland stepped in and issued the veto Monday, on
his first day in office. (Link: Governor's Web site)

As The Plain Dealer reported last week:

By declining to pick up his pen, Gov. Bob Taft has ushered into law
limits on the damages that consumers can collect from businesses that
defraud them.

The same legislation prevents cities and others from using
public-nuisance statutes to sue manufacturers whose products pose health
hazards. Six Ohio cities have used those statutes to sue makers of lead
pigments for paints.

Taft said Friday that he favored narrowing the legal tactics that
cities can use against manufacturers but that he could not sign
Substitute Senate Bill 117 because of the "unjustifiably low" cap on
damages available to consumers wronged by predatory lenders and others.

The Plain Dealer's Sheryl Harris has written extensively about the
proposed changes in her consumer column, as in this entry Dec. 24:

In a single vote, [the Ohio legislature] dulled the impact of the
state's predatory lending law before it even went into effect.

They arbitrarily limited awards for noneconomic damages to $5,000.

Simply put, they voted to protect businesses that cheat consumers
from having to pay the price in court.

Spurred on by the car dealer lobby, these legislators acted without
holding a single hearing.

Without asking for testimony.

Without allowing even one consumer to speak out.

From the governor's veto message:

Amended Substitute Senate Bill 117 greatly weakens current
protections provided to consumers in the State of Ohio. This effort to
amend the Consumer Sales Practices Act and arbitrarily limit awards to
victims for noneconomic damages to only $5,000 does not allow consumers
defrauded by companies to seek appropriate justice.

While weakening protections for consumers, at the same time the
bill strengthens protections for companies that may have been
responsible for products that have harmed and even continue to harm
children and others in Ohio. This prevents cities from being able to
seek justice on behalf of their citizens.

I will not allow this legislation in its current form, which
drastically undermines current consumer protections, to go into effect
during my administration.

Attorney General Marc Dann issued this statement:

"Among the last things I did as state senator was, first, to vote
against SB117, and then to join with then-Attorney General Jim Petro and
local elected leaders, as well as housing advocates from across Ohio in
urging Bob Taft to veto the bill," Dann said. "We asked the former
governor to do so because Senate Bill 117 threatened to disarm us in the
fight against predatory lenders.

"I commend Gov. Strickland for taking this action on behalf of the
people of the state of Ohio, and my office is prepared to vigorously
defend his veto in court if necessary. At the same time, I've advised
Senate President Bill Harris and House Speaker Jon Husted that I will
provide them with legal counsel if they choose to challenge Gov.
Strickland's veto."

Senate Bill 17 was sent to Gov. Taft on Dec. 27, 2006. Pursuant to
Article II, Section 16, of the Ohio Constitution, the governor has 10
days, Sundays excepted, to either approve of disapprove legislation
passed by the General Assembly. Jan. 8 is the 10th day for
consideration. Since the former governor neither signed nor vetoed the
bill, but sent it to the secretary of state's office unsigned, Attorney
General Dann advised Gov. Strickland that he, as the new chief
executive, had one day to decide the fate of the legislation.

Kim Fuelling
Program Coordinator
CCOAL - Concerned Citizens
Organized Against Lead
fax: 440-353-1710

"Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaet Meade



This was a very cool move on the part of Strickland's team.  It doesn't look like it was Strickland's original idea, or he would have vetoed it on Sunday in the wee hours of the morning after his swearing in.  But it shows there is someone on his team that is thinking on their feet. 

The fact that the legislation was ever passed shows again that we are living in a "biznocracy", where only the non-voting lobby industry is the client and the citizen voters get the shaft.

Imagine life in an intelligent, honest world

One thing about the past year and the new beginnings in government, resulting from the November 2006 elections, that really stands out in my mind as most significant to the future of Ohio, America and the world is that corruption in government is backfiring on the corrupt. The main reason Bush has lost his support, and the Republicans have lost their control, and industry is being held accountable, is that people are sick and tired of the abuse and inefficiency of corruption. What has really enabled the fall of corruption is the Internet, which connects people together to share information and to educate and be educated - we no longer depend on newspapers and TV to inform us and we no longer allow politicians to disconnect from public dialog - the public drives public dialog. The most astounding recent example of corruption backfiring on the corrupt is with SB117, where Ohio Republican legislators attempted to do their usual corrupt dealmaking with businesses and public outcry drove the exact opposite outcomes to what the corrupt wanted. In this case, because of the corrupt SB117, three additional cities immediately filed lawsuits against the greatest beneficiary of SB117 - Sherwin-Williams - significantly worsening their position to fight lead public nuisance lawsuits in Ohio... prior to the passage of SB117, those cities had planned to try and negotiate with Sherwin-Williams. Now, Strickland has vetoed SB117, so the Legislative corruption for Sherwin-Williams failed even as the litigation challenges Sherwin-Williams remain escalated. This is beautiful justice in action, and it is my expectation all such corruption will lead to similar bad outcomes for the corrupt in the future, culminating in the extraction of the corrupt through serious public inquiry and future elections... good bye to those legislators who continue to associate themselves with corrupt dealings and practices.

Disrupt IT

Wow is this a great new era for NEO

There are so many great indicators for the future of this region resulting from the November election that brought into offices Ted Strickland as Governor and elevated his wife Frances as a major community leader, and established Marc Dunn as Attorney General, and Jennifer Brunner as Secretary of State. They are shaking up Ohio government and the NEO world in so many ways, I don't think the local powers that be have a clue how to react. The perfect demonstarion of that is how the Plain Dealer is covering SB117. They are starting to realize they are not bigger than our governor, and lawful government. I'm sure floks at the Plain Dealer know something very big has just changed about Ohio, and they had better understand and represent it right or they will be crushed.

The PD is still playing its games trying to protect Sherwin-Williams and Jones Day over litigation in Ohio, but I sense they are weighing their balances... what is more valuable to a major newspaper?... an advertiser that must advertise there no matter what, because they need access to the local markets, or the Governor, who can include the media in communications about what actually matters in the state, or not... or turn on the PD. One thing I'm sure about is the PD can't influence Sherwin-Williams, Jones Day or the Governor. In the old days, the PD "publisher" was entrenched in community leadership initiatives and politics and he used the PD to support his personal intersts. But, with his replacement by Egger, we have a supposedly rational outsider at the helm and there is no longer the same potential of power brokering by the paper in the community (even though Egger is a Republican) - The PD is again becoming a newspaper.

How are they covering the new era for NEO? So far, iffy. Regarding SB117, they give their old corrupt Republican friends a few bones with an article in the Business section on the cost and business impact of corruption, downplaying that taxpayers may need to pay the toll of corruption in defending the Republicans in their defense of big business, in article "Officials counting to 10 because of veto dispute", but PD Editors celebrate Strickland in his veto of SB117, in the editorial "Strickland takes a stand", even while continuing their defense of Sherwin-Williams with the statement: " The protection afforded paint companies in SB 117 may have merit." On this matter, the PD editors have no business offering an opinion - they are biased and conflicted by revenues and political connection on this one.

What has been most interesting are the other Strickland related reports in the PD. One I appreciate in particular is coverage of Strickland's complete shake-up of ODOT, which has been a major factor on the corruption scene in NEO for many years... , and the Governor's wife's commitment to using local fashion designers to assemble her new wardrobe for her new position of influence. Read this article, as it is most revealing of the culture created by the new first family, which is very attractive... "First lady to showcase Ohio-designed outfits". My expectation is that the core PD journalists will love Strickland and the new good government in Ohio, and their editors and publisher will soon gush, becuse he is going to do a great job and even editors and publishers are human, and will appreciate greatness.

Disrupt IT

Good analysis of SB117 Veto

In the Plain Dealer today there was a good analysis of the Strickland veto of SB117, which goes more deeply into the thinking and effort behind the decision - "Power shifts, and a fast-track bill is derailed"- excellent reporting by Sheryl Harris!

Disrupt IT