Is there a connection between caucus campaign reports and the GOP rule?

Democrats last led the State Senate 37 years ago, under the leadership of the late Harry Meshel of Youngstown as Speaker of the Senate.

It was in December 1984.

Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” topped the charts and Walter Mondale was still trying to figure out what hit him the month before. Buckeye State Republicans have since led the Ohio Senate.

Following:Suddes: lawmakers on Santa’s naughty list for failing to protect Ohioans’ wallets and checkbooks

And the Senate GOP rule, under President Matt Huffman, of Lima, is not about to change, based on the campaign fundraising reports that each Senate caucus filed.

The reports offer data on how much caucuses have accumulated pending next year’s reports.

Take for example the mid-year data filed last summer – the latest available – by the Republican Senate campaign committee. His cash balance was $ 2,415,365.

Thomas Suddes

In contrast, the Ohio Senate Democrats reported a cash balance of $ 148,071. In other words, for every $ 1 the Senate Republican caucus committee banked, the Senate Democrats got 6 cents.

Of course, individual senators have their own campaign committees, but caucus committees, such as the Republican Senate campaign committee, are critical to funding caucus victories.

When a caucus runs the State Senate or the Ohio House in Columbus, it’s hard to dislodge, and not just because of the gerrymandering.

Ohio Senate Speaker Matt Huffman, R-Lima

Whoever holds the majority has built-in leverage, as only the majority decides which bills get passed and which don’t, which means an investment in – oops, a donation to a minority General Assembly caucus is arguably a waste in purely economic terms.

The Senate Republicans’ campaign fund has attracted predictable donors, such as American Electric Power ‘s Responsible Government Committee ($ 20,000).

The irony is lost on some people.

Coincidentally, neither the Senate nor the House repealed the part of Scandal-ravaged House Bill 6 As a result, Ohio’s electricity consumers are subsidizing two coal-fired… er… coal-fired plants… in which AEP has a stake.

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The Senate Republicans’ midsummer report also reveals a few other coincidences.

The Ohio Supreme Court (4-3 Republicans) will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality – or not – of the new Ohio on Tuesday congressional districts that the State Senate and the Ohio House gerrymandered last month.

The way state lawmakers draw congressional constituencies can make it harder or easier for a member of the United States House of Representatives to retain their seat.

Ohio will have 15 seats in the US House of Representatives, starting in January 2023 and the map drawn by the General Assembly (Acting Senate Bill 258, adopted Nov. 18 and signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine) will likely give the GOP an advantage in 12 of those 15 seats, or 80% of them, which is interesting given that Ohio has twice backed Barack Obama and Bill Clinton for president, and three times supported Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Cleveland.

Granted, this was just to reward good government, but campaign committees representing some Ohio Republicans in Congress donated over $ 100,000 of the total contributions that the Republican Senate campaign committee reported in July.

Following:Suddes: lawmakers on Santa’s naughty list for failing to protect Ohioans’ wallets and checkbooks

Among them: The campaign for Representative Jim Jordan of Urbana made two donations totaling $ 40,496; campaign for Representative Brad Wenstrup of Cincinnati donated $ 12,000; campaign for Rep. Warren Davidson, of Troy, donated $ 19,939; the campaign for Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, donated $ 10,000, as did the campaign of Rep. Bob Latta of Bowling Green; and campaigns by Reps Troy Balderson of Zanesville, Bob Gibbs of Lakeville, and Dave Joyce of suburb Cleveland donated $ 5,000 each, for a total of $ 15,000.

Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and Representative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.  Sue Walsh, AP

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Only a cynic would suggest that there is a connection between these donations and the GOP-friendly congressional map that Senate Republicans helped draw.

DURING THIS TIME: Voters should prepare for 2022. It’ll be anything but boring, thanks to a hotly contested US Senate primary among Republicans and a separate quest by some Republicans fairer than you to nominate someone other than the incumbent Mike DeWine for the post of governor. It is extremely unlikely.

It’s unclear whether Ohio Republicans have ever turned down a GOP governor’s reappointment. But as one savvy Democrat recently privately observed, Democrats refused the 1938 re-appointment to Gov. Martin L. Davey, of Kent, who had feuded with Franklin D. Roosevelt and the unions. Instead, Democrats appointed Cincinnatian Charles Sawyer as governor; he lost to GOP candidate John W. Bricker.

Thomas Suddes is a former legislative reporter with The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and writes from Ohio University. [email protected]

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