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Ohio GOP must end war

The feud between state lawmakers and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has got to stop somewhere; we suggest it stop with hammering out a budget agreement and helping small businesses recover from the pandemic.

The first year of the pandemic included angry denials, maskless protests and inexplicable infighting within the state’s dominant party. Renegade lawmakers supported irresponsible legislation that would have crippled the economy even more due to the pandemic. The focus was lost, and that hurt the state.

Pandemic deniers in Columbus wanted to end mask orders and other safety precautions in the first month of the pandemic. If they’d gotten their way then, many more Ohioans would have become ill and died from this disease. With conspiracists and pandemic deniers in front, and weak lawmakers to the rear and way too pliant, the majority party in the Ohio House and Senate sought to repeal public health regulations that saved lives.

Those Republican Statehouse leaders continue down the same irresponsible legislative path. It looks too much, we fear, like ignorance and a thirst for power. Stop the insanity, we say, especially to the lawmakers who know it’s wrong but are fearful to push back for political considerations. End the war within the Ohio GOP.

True leaders must be willing to negotiate in good faith, and political stunts to impeach the governor should be condemned. House and Senate majorities must work with DeWine to hammer out a recovery budget. And they should stop rushing public health reform, a topic they know too little about and are unwise to pursue in a rush.

On Monday, DeWine announced his support for $1 billion of one-time spending to help Ohio recover from the pandemic, including money targeted to help small businesses in the entertainment and hospitality industries. DeWine hopes his ideas get a favorable reception from the General Assembly. We do, as well. But more than agreement, we hope Republican lawmakers end the war with DeWine, and turn their attention and energy at developing a real strategy to help the state recover, financially, and from the poison of political deception that is all too abundant in the Statehouse.

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