As GOP Split Deepens, Mike DeWine Sees His Power Slipping Away

In Case You Missed It, a Cleveland.com analysis of the Ohio House budget outlines the ways in which Gov. Mike DeWine is losing his grip on power in Columbus as he continues to cede ground to an extreme group of Republicans in the legislature. As GOP factions deepen, DeWine is losing the ability to get anything done and becomes vulnerable to the same kind of messy primary Ohio is seeing play out in the Republican Senate primary.

“Before Ohio House Republicans put the final touches on their version of the state budget approved this week, they stripped out many of Gov. Mike DeWine’s top priorities. It was just the latest example of the legislature’s lack of deference to DeWine, who’s ostensibly the leader of the state party and heading into what could be a tough re-election campaign year in 2022,” writes Andrew Tobias of Cleveland.com.

In their budget, far-right House Republicans rejected a number of DeWine’s priorities, including even the most modest of gun violence prevention measures, and forced the administration to pay back fines issued to bars and restaurants who violated COVID-19 safety measures. This comes on the heels of statehouse Republicans overriding DeWine’s veto of legislation that limited the Governor’s power in a public health emergency.

And as the GOP continues to attack each other, Ohio voters are left out to dry as legislating and governing takes a backseat to political posturing.

Read more from Cleveland.com HERE and below:

  • Before Ohio House Republicans put the final touches on their version of the state budget approved this week, they stripped out many of Gov. Mike DeWine’s top priorities.

  • It was just the latest example of the legislature’s lack of deference to DeWine, who’s ostensibly the leader of the state party and heading into what could be a tough re-election campaign year in 2022.

  • In a slap at the governor’s coronavirus safety orders, the House budget bill also would force the DeWine administration to refund fines issued against bars and other restaurants for COVID-19 safety violations, and also would reinstate liquor licenses for bars that lost them for the same reason.

  • Besides rejecting DeWine’s priorities in the operating budget, they also removed a DeWine-backed proposal from the state transportation budget in March that would have strengthened penalties for people convicted of distracted driving. And weeks later, they took the extraordinary step of overriding a DeWine veto of a bill that limited the governor’s power to issue health orders.

  • While DeWine didn’t ask for it, the operating budget bill includes a 2% income-tax cut that will cost the state $380 million over two years, while saving a taxpayer who makes a $60,000 salary only $29 a year.

  • Republicans in general have tended to dismiss the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic or criticize the government response as overblown. At several campaign events for then-President Donald Trump last year, DeWine and his Lt. Gov. Jon Husted were criticized or booed when their names came up. DeWine has implored Ohioans to wear masks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, but many lawmakers have refused to wear them.

  • DeWine’s challenges with the legislature show no sign of easing up heading into the 2022 election campaign. From the right, former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, a possible Republican challenger, praised the legislature for taking DeWine’s gun reforms out.

 

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