Husted dodges responsibility for his policies and dodges 2010 campaign pledge
COLUMBUS – This morning, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd regarding the ACLU/League of Women Voters/NAACP’s lawsuit against him for cutting early voting hours in Ohio. In that interview, Jon Husted claimed that it was the legislature, not he, who shortened early voting and that he “had clashed with the legislature.” When asked if the Secretary of State should cease to be an elected partisan officeholder, something that was the centerpiece of his 2010 campaign, Husted dodged the issue entirely. In response, Ohio Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester issued the following statement:
“After supporting cutting a week from early voting and unilaterally ending evening and Sunday early voting, Jon Husted blamed his fellow Republicans in the legislature for the voting rights rollbacks he publicly urged them to make. With his broken promises from his 2010 campaign and his refusal to take responsibility for his own policies, Ohioans are quickly realizing they can’t trust Tea Party value Republicans like Jon Husted.”
The legislature eliminated a week of early voting at Jon Husted’s urging, not opposition. The Republican legislature reduced early voting by a week by eliminating the “Golden Week”after receiving a public letter from Secretary of State Jon Husted urging them to do so. [Source: Columbus Dispatch (10/25/2013), “Husted asks legislators to trim early voting.”]
Not satisfied with the early voting cuts made by the legislature, Husted then unilaterally issued a directive that reduced early voting hours by eliminating most evening and weekend hours. On February 25, 2014, Jon Husted issued Directive 2014-06, (included the ACLU’s lawsuit against Secretary of Husted), in which Husted unilaterally ended Sunday early voting the final two weeks before the election, most evening and weekend early voting hours in Ohio. In a press release from his office, Husted said he decided to take unilateral action because the legislature “has neither . . . introduced nor adopted” these reduced early voting hours he had advocated. [Source: Ohio Secretary Of State’s Office Press Release (2/25/2014).]
Husted’s repeated claim that he sends all Ohio voters an absentee ballot is misleading, at best. While Husted mentions that he is mailing absentee ballots in the general election as his office agreed to do in 2011 in a settlement with Ed FitzGerald he fails to mention that S.B. 205,will prevent the Secretary of State’s Office from doing so in the future unless the General Assembly specifically appropriates money to allow the Secretary to do so. He also did not mail out unsolicited absentee ballots in the 2014 primary election which turnout was substantially lower than in 2010 or 2006.
When Husted was asked if Ohio should move away from having the Secretary of State be chosen in a partisan election, Husted demurred and avoided his 2010 campaign pledge to do just that. In announcing his 2010 candidacy for Secretary of State, Jon Husted said, “I’m going to be the first person to run for office with a plan to eliminate the need for it,” claiming that he would move “oversight of the election system to include a bipartisan decision-making process.” [Source: Dayton Daily News (4/2/2009), “Husted begins bid for office.”]
In 2010, Jon Husted campaigned as a Republican with “Tea Party values.” During the 2010 Republican primary, Jon Husted’s campaign literature promoted him as a candidate with “Tea Party values.” [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (4/18/2010), “Husted’s appeal to Tea Party draws loud rebuff.”]