It's been a busy week for Secretary of State Jon Husted. While he was attending to his re-election campaign, he also had to rule on a Summit County Board of Elections matter and then suffer a setback by a Federal judge on his controversial election reforms.
To no one's surprise, he informed the county board that he would step aside from a request from Democrats that he investigate a board worker's use of her cellphone to post many times on Facebook as a sort of personal phone bank while she was on the job - a big-time no-no.
Husted called upon the board to settle the issue in a "bipartisan fashion". He said what?
Bipartisan? It is beyond acceptable naivete to use that standard of civilized behavior for a gathering of board officials with English-speaking accents. Six years ago, former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, even unceremoniously removed board member Alex Arshinkoff, the county Republican chairman, from his hallowed chair for being disruptive. (He has since returned under Husted.)
There's more. Husted's decision to cut and run had a deeper context: the worker in question is Cecilia Robart, the wife of former Cuyahoga Falls mayor Don Robart, the fellow who had a brief stay on Husted's office payroll as a liaison in northern Ohio - brief because of the stuff that later was found on his office computer after he left office. Yep, pornography. That damned Internet can be a career killer.
In that instance, Husted acted promptly in an election year by removing Don Robart from his ranks.
When you connect the dots, you can't make these things up.
Arshinkoff's solution to the latest hometown guyser was to call for a probe of everybody's cellphones, which , of course, eliminated any further thoughts of bipartisanship.
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We assume the alarm button in Husted's office ran overtime when U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus in Columbus declared Husted's restictrive voter plan was unconstitutional and ordered him to restore all of the cuts in voting hours.
The secretary's deal was gilded with Republican repeatedly expressed concerns that voters were cheating like hell when they went to the polls. Voter fraud? All subsequent studies revealed no such thing and merely raised serious concerns that minorities were being targeted, which indeed they were.