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: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
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