Conservative lawmaker says Ohio governor should be impeached

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine should be impeached over his handling of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, a conservative GOP House lawmaker said Monday as he announced a long-shot effort to unseat one of the state’s most well-known politicians.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 5:38 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine should be impeached over his handling of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, a conservative GOP House lawmaker said Monday as he announced a long-shot effort to unseat one of the state’s most well-known politicians.

Cincinnati Rep. John Becker said he has drafted 10 articles of impeachment against the first-term governor in an effort currently backed by two other conservative House lawmakers.

Becker accused DeWine of improperly shutting down the March presidential primary, arbitrarily ordering some businesses closed while allowing others to remain open, failing to anticipate record unemployment claims, and instituting an unpopular statewide mask mandate.

“With deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 flattened, the Governor continues to press his boot on the throat of Ohio’s economy,” Becker said.

Daily new cases of the coronavirus have fallen below a seven-day average of 1,000, down from much higher tallies earlier in the summer.

In an interview, Becker acknowledged his move was likely “political suicide” but also said as a term-limited lawmaker not on the ballot for another position, his political future was already uncertain. His goal was trying to help the people whose jobs have been lost, wedding plans ruined, and graduations cancelled, he said.

“They’re telling me the cure is far worse than the disease. Everybody I talk to, they take the disease seriously, they know it’s real,” Becker said. “But there’s an appropriate reaction to it that people want to take and the governor’s reaction is way over the top.”

An impeachment website lists Rep. Nino Vitale, a Republican from Urbana and a frequent critic of DeWine and the mask mandate, and Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, a Republican from Mason in southwestern Ohio, as the only other backers of the movement.

While DeWine’s approach has plenty of critics, he also has broad support from major business groups and the Ohio medical establishment, and actual impeachment seems unlikely. DeWine has also served as a state senator, congressman, lieutenant governor, U.S. senator and attorney general.

A DeWine spokesman said the governor is focused on saving lives during the pandemic, helping the economy and getting Ohioans back to work.

“That is what he is focused on. Not this,” said DeWine press secretary Dan Tierney.

The threat was the latest in a barrage of criticism aimed at DeWine by conservative lawmakers over the governor’s response to the pandemic. Much of their anger was previously directed at former Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, who resigned in June after a torrent of conservative criticism, which included armed protesters picketing her home in suburban Columbus.

The speaker of the Ohio House would not say directly whether he supports impeachment, but acknowledged dissatisfaction with many of DeWine’s public health orders.

“The Speaker shares the concerns of many members of the caucus regarding executive branch overreach, in particular with respect to some of the health orders that have been issued, and he has voiced those concerns directly to the governor,” said Taylor Jach, spokeswoman for House Speaker Bob Cupp, a Lima Republican.

Majority Republicans in the Senate don’t have a position on what is entirely a House process, Senate President Larry Obhof, a Medina Republican, said Monday.

“I don’t think we’re going to spend a whole lot of effort or time on something unless and until the House actually votes to impeach and sends it to us,” Obhof said.

Democrats slammed the proposal, as did Jane Timken, the head of the Ohio Republican Party. Timken praised DeWine’s efforts during the pandemic and said in an election year that Republicans should be united in re-electing President Donald Trump.

She called it “despicable” for anyone considering themselves to be conservative to try to impeach DeWine.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 725353

Reported Deaths: 13373
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion990831737
Lake53265963
Allen40302675
Hamilton35392408
St. Joseph35350550
Elkhart28304438
Tippecanoe22315217
Vanderburgh22252396
Porter18596306
Johnson17856376
Hendricks17121313
Clark12908191
Madison12549339
Vigo12400244
Monroe11827168
LaPorte11736210
Delaware10595185
Howard9837215
Kosciusko9358117
Hancock8225140
Bartholomew8038155
Warrick7761155
Floyd7636177
Wayne7007199
Grant7003174
Boone6660101
Morgan6543139
Dubois6143117
Marshall5973111
Dearborn577977
Cass5777105
Henry5675102
Noble556583
Jackson500172
Shelby488596
Lawrence4482120
Gibson434191
Harrison433071
Clinton426653
DeKalb424184
Montgomery423188
Whitley393739
Huntington386980
Steuben381857
Miami379766
Knox371190
Jasper362147
Putnam358260
Wabash352578
Adams340554
Ripley338670
Jefferson328881
White312554
Daviess295499
Wells290481
Decatur283392
Fayette278462
Greene276285
Posey270733
Scott264553
LaGrange264270
Clay258645
Randolph239781
Washington239332
Spencer230831
Jennings229048
Starke213852
Fountain211846
Sullivan210942
Owen196356
Fulton194240
Jay190930
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange182154
Rush172725
Vermillion167843
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145616
Blackford134332
Pike132834
Pulaski116045
Newton107034
Brown101441
Crawford99114
Benton98114
Martin87515
Warren80915
Switzerland7828
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1078734

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1253471392
Cuyahoga1113202107
Hamilton797471200
Montgomery512091012
Summit46916933
Lucas41890782
Butler38250580
Stark32150907
Lorain24874480
Warren24236297
Mahoning21439586
Lake20548368
Clermont19719238
Delaware18478131
Licking16384210
Fairfield16116199
Trumbull15974466
Medina15213262
Greene15013244
Clark13942297
Wood13038188
Portage12792201
Allen11590231
Richland11300198
Miami10656215
Muskingum8787132
Wayne8760210
Columbiana8743229
Pickaway8540121
Marion8502135
Tuscarawas8461243
Erie7840154
Hancock6884126
Ross6830152
Ashtabula6765169
Geauga6664148
Scioto6393101
Belmont5837167
Union569647
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5487151
Huron5419119
Darke5342122
Sandusky5322120
Seneca5258121
Athens518158
Washington5138109
Auglaize487884
Mercer479785
Shelby467693
Knox4477110
Madison435061
Putnam4263100
Ashland420989
Fulton420469
Defiance417797
Crawford3960106
Brown392457
Logan380976
Preble378498
Clinton369961
Ottawa366179
Highland353161
Williams337275
Champaign329658
Guernsey315353
Jackson311851
Perry294550
Morrow283739
Fayette281049
Hardin270164
Henry267966
Coshocton263958
Holmes2591101
Van Wert242663
Pike237333
Adams236552
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking214862
Carroll191047
Paulding171740
Meigs144339
Noble133437
Monroe131242
Morgan108323
Harrison107437
Vinton82115
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 57° Lo: 38°
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Angola
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 53°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 51°
Van Wert
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Shower and thunderstorm chances increase Thursday afternoon.
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