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Real Housewives of Orange County vs. Real Senators of Ohio

December 18, 2009

Okay, so I admit it.  I watch the Real Housewives shows.  I am particularly fond of the Atlanta gals, though I understand most people prefer the New Jersey ladies.   What do I like about the show?  It’s all about the drama, darling.  But last night I stood up my regular date with the housewives and opted for some real drama — the Ohio Senate Floor Show.  Throughout the years, I have seen some amazing floor speeches in the Ohio General Assembly.  But I just have to say, for sheer drama, the debate on HB318 (freezes taxes and saves school funding) was unparalleled.

References to country-western songs are not all that uncommon in a good floor speech.  This is, after all, Ohio.  But citations from The Simpsons, allusions to the Lord of the Rings (really, Governor Strickland cast as Frodo?), and quotes from everyone from Don Corleone of The Godfather to the seventies band Bachman Turner Overdrive are actually pretty rare.  And, after last night, I believe I have now heard every possible synonom for a tidal wave.

As fun as it was, it was also a bit troubling.  At least two of the senators took  swipes at their own caucus leadership, and not one senator wanted to add their name to the title of this bill.  Those of us who went through the hell that was the budget impasse of July, 2009 were hopeful that the highly contentious negotiation was an anomaly.  After observing the HB318 process, I’m not so sure if this bill-making-as-a-grudge-match isn’t the (tidal) wave of the future.

If you just would like to see the bare bones of  House Bill 318, go to the OAGC budget document section.  If you want to see some real drama, head over to the www.ohiochannel.org and watch the archives of last night’s Ohio Senate budget debate — Ohio Senate Session Part 3.  In particular, watch the floor speech of Senator Bill Seitz. Like most Statehouse observers, I can never figure out if Senator Seitz is crazy or brilliant.  Maybe he is brilliantly crazy?  Whatever. Watch his speech and you may dismiss the Real Housewives as a snore fest in comparison.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 18, 2009 2:48 pm

    Holy moly! I’m watching it right now. You’re not kidding about the D-R-A-M-A! The sad thing, is, it’s drama over something really serious, which makes it a little less entertaining than the TV reality shows. Many of our children’s educational futures are riding on this to at least some extent.

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