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Hagan: Why not drug-test officials?

Published: Fri, September 2, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.

Senator criticizes bill targeting aid recipients

By Karl Henkel



If passing a drug test becomes a requisite for state benefits, then state Rep. Robert F. Hagan knows just the group to test.

No, not public-aid recipients.

He’d test his fellow legislators.

Hagan, of Youngstown, D-60th, proposed legislation Thursday that would require legislators, Supreme Court justices, statewide elected officials and JobsOhio board members to pay for mandatory drug tests — with their own dime.

“We have a lot of people running around and getting picked up with drugs and alcohol in their system,” Hagan told The Vindicator on Thursday. “And lately, they happen to be politicians.”

Hagan was referring to former state Rep. Robert Mecklenborg, R-30th, who resigned last month after he was pulled over April 23 in Indiana on suspicion of driving under the influence. He posted a 0.097 blood-alcohol level, higher than the Indiana legal limit of 0.08.

State Rep. Jarrod Martin, R-70th, has been implicated in three alcohol-related incidents. He has said he won’t resign.

The Ohio bill, which would have to be embraced by the GOP- controlled House and Senate, likely will end up as only a political statement against Republican attempts to require drug and alcohol testing of anyone receiving public assistance.

“A good portion of what I’m saying is tongue-in-cheek,” Hagan said. “If they think it’s OK to do that and think people aren’t going to start adding up the dollars like in Florida, then I’m fine with doing the same thing.”

Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Tim Grendell, R-18th, already have announced their intention to introduce legislation requiring Ohioans receiving state benefits to undergo drug testing.

Hagan, whose legislation has not yet been introduced, said public officials should pay for the test, which will check for those who use unprescribed pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and alcohol. The legislation is similar to one in effect in Missouri.

Consequences could include the outright removal from public office and in the case of JobsOhio board members, impeachment.

“It’s in the early stages of the drafting,” Hagan said. “I’m certainly not against treatment, but I also think that we have to have some leeway there when it comes to how we want to penalize somebody.”

Grendell said last month that his bill would require welfare applicants who fail the tests to enroll in state-approved treatment programs to continue receiving benefits.

“Hard-working taxpayers of the State of Ohio should not have to pay for the drug habits of illegal drug users,” he said in a released statement. “This assistance from the state is for those who need these funds for food and shelter, not illegal drugs.”

Hagan said he would vote for Grendell’s bill only if legislators agreed to be drug-tested themselves. Otherwise, he said, it was hypocritical to ask one segment of the population to abide by different rules.

Columbus correspondent Marc Kovac contributed to this report


1steelwagon(284 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I actually agree with Hagen on something.
Testing those crooked snakes is the best idea he's ever had.
I'll bet most of them fail.
Their sorry job performance certainly indicates their on something !!!!

And by all means test those on welfare.
Working people have to be drug tested to work and pay taxes that go to the welfare system so why shouldn't those on the public dole be tested ?

If a person on welfare is doing illegal drugs and they're caught I do favor rehab/treatment over jail and prison.
It's of far more benefit to that person and society if they can and are willing to be helped.

All jail or prison will do is cost the tax payer more and keep the offender dependent and unemployed.
Everyone loses even if the offenders benefits are cut off.

An addicted person is going to do anything necessary to get their drug(s) of choice.
An increase in crime will cost far more than treatment.

As for drug testing politicians.....
I'm 110% in favor.
In fact they should have to live under and abide by the laws they make for you and I to live under.
They should not be exempt from any law they make that the public must follow !!!

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Once again Hagan is a tit for tat Democrat vs Republican proposal. Making public assistance takers test for drugs makes good sense. Get those low life scum who are on drugs out of the system and off the public dole. Hagan proposal is more pure Hagan nonsense!

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3AtownAugie(873 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

And to think Buckwheat Bob used to worry only about a good viewing angle of belly dancers at The Lemon Grove. (Oh, that's right: getting laid out after mouthing off "got his mind right.")

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4lee(544 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

GOOD IDEA they must also pass a lie detector test

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5db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Great idea; let's start with Hagan.

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6harleydog(243 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Hagan is a moron, always has been and always will be. He will do anything to get his name in the paper. Time to go Hagan, you have been wasting tax payers money for too long.

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7piak(508 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Could Hagan pass a drug test? Or any kind of test, for that matter?

Just wonderin'.

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8AtownAugie(873 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Buckwheat Bob will be spending the weekend studying for his drug test by reading "How To Pass A Whiz Quiz For Dummies." Best of luck, Hagan!

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9lefty83(313 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

He doesn't have the gonads to take a urine test.The tongue in cheek thing isn't funny bob,the people want this.If you find it funny,your job is over.VOTE HIM OUT.

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10mrblue(1175 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Hey Hagan---do you ever have an original idea? I say we start with you. I agree that all on public assistance should be drug tested. Also, those on food stamps should have their picture on their food stamp card. Too many people use more than one or two cards and there is fraud galore. Hey Hagan----do something about that. Wait a minute, that wouldn't be your idea. In any event, it is time for you to go!

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11Grog(13 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Who is going to admnisiter this plan and pay for all these tests? Another impractical politcally motivated idea put forth by a lying politician with no real plan to see it through. Hagan at least saw it for what it was and had a humorous response to this idiotic proposition.

If we want to get the deadbeat drug users off the dole then why not terminate the free money for those convicted of any drug offense? You get busted, no more free money for x number of years, and the clock restarts with any new conviction. Anyone know if there are any restrictions on receipt of welfare now? Can a felon get welfare?

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12candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Blood test? What a throw back! Advanced sequencing tests are coming.

Booze test Grandma while her government supports methadone clinics...lol.

The question is...what is the state really interested in knowing if only 2% fail?

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13bouyantkym(30 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

i agree, but make sure you do not let them know in advance,

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14MOLOCH(21 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Drug test everyone

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15Toulouse(6 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

In regard to drug testing citizens.... here's a good article:

When The Worst Governors Get Bad Ideas, Rick Scott Edition

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) came up with an idea he considered pretty clever.

First, he told Floridians that people on welfare were more likely to be drug addicts. What did Scott base this on? Nothing in particular -- he seemed to just make it up -- but Scott was quite fond of the argument.

Second, the governor approved a policy based on his faulty assumptions: those who apply for welfare benefits will have to pass a state-mandated drug test. How's that working out? Not well.

Since the state began testing welfare applicants for drugs in July, about 2 percent have tested positive, preliminary data shows.

Ninety-six percent proved to be drug free -- leaving the state on the hook to reimburse the cost of their tests.

As part of the Scott administration policy, those applying for benefits have to pay a $30 out-of-pocket fee to pay for the drug test. If they pass, Florida reimburses them.

And while the state saves some money by not making benefits available to those 2% who fail the test, Florida is forced to reimburse everyone else, plus pay for staff and administrative costs for the drug-testing program, plus pay the legal fees associated with the likely court challenge.

This really wasn't a great idea.

I'd also note for context that Rick Scott's drug-testing policy is limited to low-income Floridians needing temporary aid. It doesn't, in other words, apply to everyone seeking public funding -- only the poor, who the governor assumes are probably drug-addicts.

And speaking of the nation's worst governor, remember the $2.4 billion Florida was set to receive for high-speed rail? The project that enjoyed bipartisan support and was going to create tens of thousands of jobs? With Scott rejecting the funding, the money has now been officially reallocated for rail upgrades in the Northeast, high-speed rail in the Midwest, and related projects in California.

Florida's unemployment rate is only 10.7%. It's not like the state needed the boost.

By Steve Benen | Sourced from Washington Monthly

Posted at August 26, 2011, 8:03 am

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16Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

A weekly drug testing fee of $100. for everyone could eliminate the national debt in short order . . ..

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17cheybaby2(102 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm for It Drug/Alcohol TEST Them All. SSI, WELFARE, Food Stamps And Politicians, Judges, Police, Fire Men ALL OF THEM. I'm really sick of all these Goody Too Shoes That Preach But Cant Do The Walk, I'm also Tired Of These Drunks on The Road And All These Food Cards Being Sold for Drugs. That Food Is for Your Kids Not For Your Weak Butt's.to crack it up. Its Past Time For a Major Crack Down on All Of Them

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18ewm(1 comment)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

A psychological evaluation by a top notch professional will do the trick.
Of course it will be hard to find a non-sociopath that wants to be in politics.
However, if an individual had a substance abuse problem it would show the underlying cause.

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19Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Bob envisions himself as the savior of the oppressed . He knows what is best for them . Bob knows that street drugs nourish their souls and enhance their quality of life . How dare they try to force conservative values upon the oppressed .

HEY BOB . . ..


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20Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@ Samlam "Drug Test all workers that are paid via public monies (tax dollars). Teachers ,Police Mailmen ,elected officials, etc." - -They already are tested.
Outlaw drug testing in the private sector as it smacks of Nazi Germany." - -Thanks for having a brain and seeing the bigger picture.

For anyone who is interested in the truth about the governments real view of just saying no to drugs Google youtube interview between H Rivera and U.S. troops in Afghanistan and get your eyes opened.

Our global war-fighters as they are now called instead of U.S. soldiers are actually guarding the opium with orders not to destroy it. That is the world's largest supplier of opium to be turned into heroin and dispersed globally much of it landing right here. Interesting huh?

But they want to drug test everyone? So what this is really about has nothing to do with drugs but rather being conditioned to submit more and more until the country is filled with slaves and serfs.Make no mistake it isn't just for poor, unemployed or the scum but for all of us.Where does it end?

Additionally look at all the legal dope pushed on tv that have side effects that would make a heroin user blush .
The corporations can now save money that was once used for the class action suits by simply telling the sheep the side effects right on tv and it might kill you but take it anyway.

Lets allow our borders to remain unguarded though and give freebies to non citizens .Welcome to 1984.

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21Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh and the Post Office is not paid with by tax dollars. Where did folks ever get that idea? The fact of the matter is the Post office has been partially privatized while remaining partially government -nice huh?

So the long and short on that one is it has been dipped into just like social security and private pensions even though they are self sufficient.

I'll tell you where a lot of your tax dollars are likely going -to bail out the big international banks that screwed America again.Record profits are being made just not by the average Joe or even the above average Joe .

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22Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Much of what you say concerning the subject makes sense. The number of kids stuff is a little too Chinese for my tastes. Unfortunately we have to put up with some aggregation in order to remain free.

As for jobs the government doesn't want jobs here just look at their policies of free trade deals .All they have done has bled jobs out of the country.Look at what Gibson's CEO went through recently-oh American hands can't turn that wood into guitars and employ people.International agreements say no.

He was told if you ship the jobs overseas the Feds would back off according to him.There are not enough jobs here to employ even a fraction of unemployed who wish to work. So when politicians pose and talk about 20 jobs created its crap they have bled millions upon millions away.Forget creation for now it can't keep pace retention is where it is at.

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23Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


"Working people have to be drug tested to work and pay taxes that go to those on the dole so why shouldn't those on the public dole be tested ?"

As far as I know those on the dole have to maintain a job since the Clinton days.

Tax dollars aren't enough to keep the system going and haven't been for some time. Welfare has been privatized just like the prisons are now being privatized and virtually everything else is being privatized. So tax dollars aren't enough anymore money is flowing in from big banks and corporations not by we the people so they get to call the shots now . We were bankrupted long ago.

Education is also being privatized to some extent.Highways, turnpikes ect are being privatized.Turnpikes that were paid for with tax dollars.When corporations and governmnet get into bed do they make cute babies?

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