Home > Day 2 of Blowback: Speaker Budish Plays Politics with Teen’s Oratory Award

Day 2 of Blowback: Speaker Budish Plays Politics with Teen’s Oratory Award

February 9, 2010 at 7:46 am Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m going through resolutions today. So far, I see at least one that is very political in nature: Erie County “environmental activists” on October 28, 2009 (pg 2).  But considering Budish’s strict rules, I could see him potentially blocking any accomplishments from an eschool/homeschool child, simply because school choice is also a political issue.

If you missed the story yesterday, a talented high school girl won a national oratory award at the National Right to Life Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina back in June, but House Speaker Budish is refusing to allow her on the floor of the house for a few minutes because the issue involved abortion.

The problem is, she qualifies under the rules of the house to receive the award on the floor of the House. Both Senate and House communications staff have noted that never before has a Speaker played politics with these feel-good awards, so I think it is a sign Budish is trying to pander to the Democrat base right before an election year.

Here is Jim Siegel in The Dispatch:

Tossing more gas on the partisan fire inside the Statehouse, a member of the House minority leadership team is criticizing the House speaker for declining to recognize a National Right to Life oratory winner on the chamber floor.

Rep. John Adams, R-Sidney, wanted to stand before the House chamber and present an honorary House resolution to a Shelby County student for her accomplishment. Although she qualified for the resolution, House Speaker Armond Budish, D-Beachwood, turned down Adams’ request for a floor presentation.

“It is an outrage that Speaker Budish has decided to politicize and deny the presentation of a proclamation honoring a national pro-life award on the House floor that was previously approved by the speaker,” Adams said in a release.

Ohio Right to Life called it “an unprecedented act of partisanship.”

“Perhaps his real message to Ohio’s teens is that excelling in public speaking isn’t worth being honored if their views are different than his,” said Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life.

And Mike Gonidakis is rightfully upset with Ohio Democrats, and sent this letter to Ohio Dem Chairman Redfern yesterday:

Dear Chairman Redfern,

As you know, ours is a non-partisan organization, and we can demonstrate strong support from both Republicans and Democrats. That is why I was optimistic that there existed a basis for communication on issues of common interest following my recent meeting with you which from my perspective went well. You correctly pointed out that Governor Strickland has been supportive of certain aspects of our agenda, and you certainly acknowledged that there are many Democrats who are sympathetic to all or part of our agenda as well.

Since then, my optimism has waned.

Your heavy hand was reported to be the major factor in forcing Jennifer Garrison, a supporter of pro-life positions, from the Democratic statewide ticket for next fall. It was hard not to interpret that action as a direct slap at the millions of Ohioans, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent who support the cause of life.

Now I am witness to one of the pettiest acts I have ever seen by a so-called political leader. Speaker Budish, as you may know, denied the request of Rep. John Adams to bring an outstanding young constituent, Elizabeth Trisler, to the House floor to receive a proclamation for her achievement in winning the National Right to Life Oratory contest. Her speech, Mr. Redfern, was a powerful and eloquent expression of her deeply held views regarding life. She is the kind of young woman we all would be intensely proud to have as a member of our family.

As you know, the recognition in the House Chamber of outstanding achievement by Ohioans has never been subjected to the kind of political litmus test applied by Speaker Budish, whose office says she was denied the recognition given thousands of other young Ohioans over the years because it was “political.” I wonder if Mr. Budish would allow recognition of a champion debate team only if he agreed with the side it advocated in the championship. Shame on Speaker Budish, with whom we will communicate separately.

You can readily see, Mr. Redfern, these two actions in just a week’s time appear to be a direct attack by your party on the pro-life constituency in Ohio.

My question of you, then, is whether you were sincere when we met. I reported our meeting to my Board, and now feel misled by you. Every appearance is that you and the party establishment are captive of pro-abortion ideologues, so much so that even the simple recognition of a student’s achievement must be rejected for fear of alienating this constituency. What can I report to our constituents concerning the position of the Ohio Democratic Party? I will share your response to this letter with our Board and membership as well.

In the spirit of non-partisanship, I would also like to invite you and your wife to be my guests on the evening of March 5 for our event featuring Sarah Palin as speaker. I am sure you agree that her commitment to life, as evidenced by the way she and her husband welcomed a developmentally challenged son into their family, is inspiring. Please let me know if you are able to attend so that I can make arrangements.

And please know that we would be equally delighted to provide a forum for a solidly pro-life Democrat of national stature. You have only to ask and we will arrange an appropriate event.

Hopefully yours,

Mike Gonidakis
Executive Director
Ohio Right to Life

Related posts:

  1. The Teen Considered too Divisive for Speaker Budish: Elizabeth Trisler
  2. Budish Panders to the Pro-Baby Killing Lobby / Is a Tough-Guy with a Teenage Girl
  3. Armond Budish, After Bullying Teen, Caves to Pressure & Lies
  4. Speaker Armond Budish Abortion Controversy & Elizabeth Trisler Update
  5. ACLU vs. Speaker Armond Budish

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