Cold feet re: impeachment of Dann?

Get on with it already!!!!! My blood is boiling!!!!

After all the expression of outrage by our Ohio politicians, I can’t believe there are some allowing disgraced Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann some wiggle room.

Statewide Democrat leaders promised to introduce an impeachment resolution in the Ohio House of Representatives if Marc Dann did not resign. In order to be credible they MUST follow through or else face the wrath of the voters. 2006 should teach them that the voters are capable of expressing wrath.

Keep in mind that the House of Representatives decides whether these misdeeds are impeachable, as there is no requirement to adhere to criminal statutes. There should be a FULL VOTE OF THE OHIO HOUSE to decide whether to refer the matter to the Ohio Senate. Right now, it appears that there are a few key legislators who are trying to circumvent impeachment, and denying the right of the ENTIRE House chamber from weighing in on the matter. Speaker Jon Husted designated Rep. William Batchelder to co-ordinate the impeachment actions against Dann. Batchelder is quickly losing my respect by opining that Dann’s offenses don’t meet his own standards for impeachment, signaling that the drive toward impeachment might be going nowhere. I want to see 98 state reps (Matt Barrett hasn’t been replaced yet) vote on this matter, not just Batchelder.

Speaker Husted is suggesting an independent investigation of Dann to see if something can be discovered that’s more worthy of proceeding with impeachment, implying that what we currently know is insufficient for proceeding. Oh yeah? Let 98 state reps decide the matter. Introduce the measure, and then let’s have a vote. After all, the House, alone, gets to decide what’s impeachable in this instance and what’s not impeachable. No criminal statute applies, so stop raising the bar. Stop moving the goalposts. Since what constitutes impeachment is solely a matter of discretion, and since it applies only to the current set of circumstances, it is utter nonsense to suggest that a precedent is being set that would apply to potential future impeachment cases. There is no such thing as case law on this matter. Also, there is no such thing as double jeopardy in an impeachment case like there is in a criminal court. So if the House decides right now that the misdeeds of Dann aren’t impeachable after a FULL VOTE OF THE HOUSE, that doesn’t mean that the matter can’t be revisited when the independent investigation reveals its findings at a later date. Dann can face impeachment multiple times. Let’s be clear on that. I reiterate, this is not a criminal trial, nor is this a proceeding that must mirror the proceedings of impeachments in the U.S. Congress, so PLEASE toss those notions aside. You have a blank slate in front of you. Be unfettered when you decide this matter. The next time impeachment comes before the General Assembly, the slate will be blank once more, and a decision can be rendered specific to that circumstance without encumbering the ability of starting with a blank slate once more when yet another future impeachment case comes before the General Assembly. Got it?

Oh, gosh! Can impeachment be decided by political whim? YES!!!!!!!

Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chair Kevin DeWine promised to make opinions on the removal of Dann an issue in every election race in Ohio this year. I think voters are prepared to do that very thing anyway, even without DeWine’s say-so. Unfortunately, the standard DeWine was setting for Democrats might now be applied to key Republicans as well.

Get your act together, Republicans! Dragging this thing out is not politically expedient. There is no political gain to be realized by prolonging this. Voters want Dann removed now, not later. Slowdowns in handling the impeachment matter will only reaffirm voter’s beliefs that our state legislature: 1) might be as corrupt as Dann (and they would be if they let Dann remain); 2) is hypocritical; 3) is grossly inefficient even on matters that should be expedited; and 4) defies the will of the voters of Ohio.

Do the Republicans want to impress voters? Then impress them with the speed and efficiency by which this matter reaches its conclusion and Dann is removed from office. Then the voters may feel they have a Republican-General Assembly that earns their keep rather than a Republican-led General Assembly whose ranks are filled with bungling, fickle, brain-dead sloths.

To the statewide Democrat leaders: I thought the impeachment articles would be introduced days ago by Minority Caucus Leader Joyce Beatty. What’s going on? I’m still waiting. Are you worried there’s not enough support even within the Democrat caucus to proceed? Are you worried that there are more people like Rep. Joe Koziura of the 56th District (Vote Stipe in November!) who think Dann’s actions are merely stupid, ignoring Dann’s selfishness, ignoring the damage done to the lives of Dann’s employees, ignoring the office and condo hijinks that impaired the operations of the AG’s office, ignoring the ties Gutierrez claimed to have with the mafia, ignoring the pimping of women in subordinate positions (and the misogyny behind it), ignoring a workplace environment so unethical and fraught with harassment that it would not be tolerated in any other workplace (let alone a government office, which is why it’s especially heinous in the office of an Attorney General–an office charged with policing workplace harassment), and ignoring the waning morale and confidence of the employees that remain at work in the AG office? If Koziura thinks that this mess can only be attributed to Dann’s stupidity, then he needs to think the whole thing through. The point is, you, the Democrat leaders promised. Who do you want the ax to fall on? The statewide Democrat leadership, or Democrat state reps who just don’t get it? What’s more important in the 2010 elections that will decide the reapportionment process–the jobs of Strickland and Brunner? Or the job of Rep. Koziura, who can’t even run in 2010 if he manages to get elected this year? Save your own credibility and let the stragglers fend for themselves. Remove Dann pronto, or Kevin DeWine’s promise will bludgeon you.

I can’t see how stalling this process helps ANY foot-dragging incumbent get re-elected. Impeach! Now!