One of Ohio’s most powerful Republican moderates spiked a trio of GOP-backed bills less than a month after Democratic President Barack Obama won the state for the second time.
The move by Senate President Tom Niehaus, of New Richmond, raised a question: Have Obama’s two Ohio victories empowered centrists within the increasingly conservative GOP? Or did the state just witness a Hail Mary by one of Ohio’s last Republican moderates?
The bills Niehaus blocked would have limited abortion, jeopardized Planned Parenthood funding and tightened voter-ID rules.
The University of Akron’s John Green says Niehaus’ move suggests the GOP got a wake-up call in November. Tom Sutton, who teaches political science at Baldwin Wallace University, says the concept of a moderate Republican in Ohio is “rapidly disappearing.”