Last week, ThinkProgress reported on a highly unusual move in the Ohio state Senate in which the GOP leadership yanked Republican Sen. Bill Seitz off the Labor Committee just a half hour before a key vote on a GOP anti-union bill there. Seitz didn’t support the bill, so he was replaced with another Republican who did in order to ensure the measure passed. Today, Ohio progressive blog Plunderbund reports that Republicans in the state House have now taken a page from their Senate colleagues and are abruptly replacing a Republican on the House Labor Committee in order to game the outcome of a vote on the same anti-union bill:
According to a house source, Republicans have on the first day of hearings replaced a member of the Commerce and Labor Committee in order to ensure passage of SB5. The makeup of the committee is 9-6 Republican. There are two freshman on the committee and what they are apparently doing is letting one freshman vote no to avoid electoral fallout, but they can’t let two people vote no or SB5 will not make it out.
Ross W. McGregor (OH-72) is being replaced by William P. Coley, II (OH-55).
Indeed, the committee’s website has already been updated to show the change. “This is now the third committee that the GOP has had to rig in order to get SB5 to pass,” Plunderbund notes. “If that’s what can happen to a sitting state senator,” Seitz told ThinkProgress of his abrupt dismissal, “what’s going to happen to you if you’re a nervous firefighter, teacher, or policeman…if this bill passes?”