“Gang of Twenty-Two”
January 3rd, 2023, will go down in history, as a very sad day for the people of the State of Ohio. It was on this day that the “Gang of Twenty-Two” Republican Ohio House members violated the trust of the people of Ohio. LINK
These twenty-two Republicans gave new meaning to the term “reaching across the aisle” to gain the support of House Democrats to elect Jason Stephens as the Ohio House speaker. On the surface, one would question: why is it not good government to work with Democrats? In this case, knowing the rest of the story is extremely important.
On November 16th, after the general election, the 67 Ohio House Republicans met to elect the next House speaker. After two votes, State Representative Derek Merrin was elected to serve in the position of speaker. But wait, the “Gang of Twenty-Two” was not happy with this outcome. Ohio Value Voters learned on December 6th, after being contacted by a supporter of Derek Merrin, that plans had begun by these renegade Republican house members to remove Derek Merrin as the Republicans’ speaker.
President of Ohio Value Voters, John Stover contacted two Republican House members supporting Derek Merrin to let them know of this political “coup” by the “Gang of Twenty-Two” renegade members. Both supporters of Derek Merrin found it hard to believe this would happen by a minority group of Republicans. After all, House Republicans agreed on November 16th, their vote was final and Derek Merrin would be the next speaker of the Ohio House.
The only way to make Jason Stephens the next speaker was to contact Democrat minority leader Allison Russo for votes. Gaining the support of the House Democrats would require concessions. Democrats’ votes would come with a price. What deals did the “Gang of Twenty-Two” make with the Democrats?
Other pro-life, and Christian organizations throughout the state have also expressed concerns. LINK
This is a dangerous precedent set by the “Gang of Twenty-Two.”
If this action would have taken place in Washington D.C. with the twenty Republican US House members reaching “across the aisle” for Democrat votes, Republicans in America would have been seriously outraged. Fortunately, this did not occur and Kevin McCarthy was elected by the House Republicans as speaker.
After Jason Stephens was sworn into office (with Democrat Minority Leader Allison Russo standing with him and holding the Bible as he was sworn in) he received the gavel from the former speaker and spoke of “unity.”
It is troubling and difficult to understand how one can speak of unity after he and twenty-one other House Republicans stabbed their colleagues (and the voters) in the back. Ohioans did not vote for a Democrat agenda!
In 1858, President Abraham Lincoln stated in reference to the conflict between the states, “a house divided cannot stand.” This was a quote directly from Matthew 12:25, when Jesus said, “every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Based upon the actions of twenty-two Republicans, Ohioans have a divided Ohio Republican House.
On January 6th, the Republican State Central Committee voted to censure the “Gang of Twenty-Two.” Ohio Value Voters urges all county and local Republican organizations to censure these House members:
Brett Hudson Hillyer
Monica Robb Blasdel
Thank you for your prayers and support.
John Stover, President
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