Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has taken many bold steps in his first few months in office including attacking law enforcement, balking at diversity in his own administration and most notoriously, pushing through a very unpopular anti-union bill along the lines of Wisconsin’s “budget repair” measure.
What have these efforts brought the governor? For starters Kasich now has rock bottom approval ratings and faces a bill designed to let Ohioans recall elected officials, inspired by the governor himself.
The measure will be introduced by Democratic state Reps. Mike Foley and Bob Hagan who say that Ohioans deserve a chance to recall a governor who is “hurting the people in this state.”
The recall process would go as follows: a petition must be signed by 15 percent of the votes cast for that office in the last election. In Kasich’s case, that means recall supporters would need to gather more than 577,870 votes.
The bill is not likely to pass the GOP-controlled legislature, and its introduction is designed as much to start a conversation on respectful leadership and governing and what, if any, remedies citizens have when their elected officials go off the rails. The measure also places Ohio alongside Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan where voters have decided they were fed up with the radicalization of their state houses and have launched, or plan to, recall efforts targeting their governors.
Democrats may have the momentum of popular opinion on their side in this battle, but that is about it. Kasich and his supporters have shown about as much respect for the democratic process and rule of law as Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters, so there’s no reason to think such a measure will even get a hearing, let alone a vote. In the short-term that means that Democrats are going to have to do a much better job mobilizing voters and protecting the integrity of the election process if there is to be any hope of undoing some of the damage already brought by Kasich and his crew.
photo courtesy of ProgressOhio via Flickr