Jill Miller Zimon of the blog Writes Like She Talks first brought this to our attention. Matt Dolan wants to be Speaker of the Ohio House. He is giving money to his Republican colleagues hoping that they will elect him Speaker over State Representative Bill Batchelder of Medina County.
Okay, so we will admit to a bias here. Our position is that if a Republican has to be Speaker of the Ohio House, we would like it to be Bill Batchelder. One reason is that while he is conservative, he is very competent. Batchelder wouldn't pull a stunt like this one by Dolan.
Last spring Dolan pushed for a bill that would allow consumers to buy out-of-state wine from wineries in places like Napa Valley and Sonoma. He was pushing this bill to comply with a ruling from the United States Supreme Court. Something happened, however, in the Senate. It was changed so that only wineries that produce under 63,000 cases of wine a year can ship directly to Ohio consumers. The more than 100 Ohio wineries fall under that threshold, but big out of state wineries do not.
How did this happen? Listen to the explanation from Dolan:
"It was not supposed to apply to consumers," Rep. Matthew Dolan, a Russell Township Republican and chairman of the House Finance Committee, said Tuesday. "When it came back from the Senate, I probably didn't read it as closely as I should have." The above quote is from an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer dated September 25, 2007.
Look our point isn't that this is a bad bill from a policy standpoint or a philosophical standpoint. Our point is that if you want to be Speaker of the House, you ought to know what is going on with legislation you think is important. If you can't follow your own bills, how are you going to follow all the important pieces of legislation in the House?