Last August, State Sen. Frank LaRose of Copley Twp., announced that he was planting seeds to introduce politicians to civility. A Republican, he would join with former State Rep. Ted Celeste, a Democrat, to pursue the noble bipartisan goal. Considering the infusion of the Tea Party into the GOP's veins and thought processes, LaRose could be commended for what would require the hand of a brilliant alchemist.
I can't say preciesely whether he has inched forward. (My guess: Not much.) But a report in Plunderbund suggests that he is still hanging out with his family of lawmakers who keep looking for ways to shrink the vote because, well, they see that as the path to the reemergence of more victories in state and federal elections.
(Or as Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, an early LaRose enthusiast, used to say, bad weather would help his side because it encourages some of the folks who supported the other side to stay home. Such logic, after all, could be a greater benefit than poll taxes.)
Back to LaRose: the Plunderbund article noted that committee hearings will begin Tuesday on three Republican anti-voting bills. One, by State Sen. Bill Coley, a hard-right freshman senator from hard-right Liberty (!) Township in hard-right Butler County, that would offer a crash landing for absentee balloting. Coley would prevent the Secretary of State from mailing absentee ballots in primary and special elections. Absentee ballots mailed for general elections? Only if the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved the funds! Wanna bet?
A second Republican bill to be heard arrives from State Sen. Joe Uecker, another winger who represents several counties down along the Ohio River. He's looking for ways to reduce the number of voting machines. As Plunderbund notes, if Coley's bill to restrict absentee voters passes , more machines would be needed.
And now, I regret to say, Sen. LaRose joins in the hunt by offering a bill to slice six more days from the early voting track.
Sorry to be so uncivil, senator, but this is partisan madness and I've already seen the game film too many times.