Discussion must start before the laws are passed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 21, 2011

When it came to discussing Senate Bill 5, Ohio Gov. John Kasich sent a pretty clear message earlier this year that the legislation wasn’t up for debate.

Now, Kasich and his supporters say they are ready to discuss the law that is commonly called “union-busting legislation,” but they contend this sharp change of course has nothing to do with the fact that opponents to the law gathered the necessary signatures and have done everything needed to put the issue on the ballot in November.

And if you believe the governor and his staff on this then we have some prime real estate we would love to sell you in Florida.

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Kasich and his Republican supporters can deny it all they want, but this drastic reversal of policy is clearly tied to the fact that the referendum to overturn SB5 will be on the ballot and looks to have a strong chance of passing.

The fact they want to talk about it now, when virtually all discussion was rebuffed before, is insulting to the democratic process.

Part of the problem seems to be that Kasich may have never intended to be anything more than a one-term governor. Although this can be beneficial in some ways because it helps take politics out of the equation, the reality is it also removes much of the accountability to the citizens.

The man simply doesn’t seem to care what the citizens want.

There are lessons to be learned here and hopefully Kasich will pay attention because he will still lead the state of Ohio for more than three years.

Creating an environment of open discussion and communication — before a law is adopted — is vital for Ohio to move forward.