COAST had launched an extensive lobbying effort to educate and persuade legislators against voting for further taxpayer support for this failed and wasteful institution, including more than 500 postcards sent to each of Governor Strickland and Speaker Husted. During his eight years as Governor, Bob Taft consistently supported funding for the Freedom Center. Now, Speaker Husted, Governor Strickland and Senate President Harris have continued riding the Freedom Center’s train toward excessive spending.
COAST has documented here the excessive salaries for its executives and here how John Pepper and Freedom Center executives have greased the palms of powerful statehouse officials to gain favor for their funding.
Representative Brinkman followed through on his promise to offer an amendment to strip the funding, however Republican Speaker John Husted refused to recognize him to allow the amendment to be presented.
“Speaker Husted appears to have graduated from the Bob Taft school of governance,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “He not only ignored the will of millions of Republicans throughout Ohio to cut off this funding, he prevented his own Republican legislators from having a say on the issue. When Republicans are slaughtered in November, Speaker Husted and other Taft-like Republicans will have no one but themselves to blame.”Freedom Center executives have said they intend to seek $3 million in taxpayer funding every year in perpetuity.
Representatives and Senators voting against Freedom Center funding were: Representative Tom Brinkman.
Representatives and Senators voting to support Freedom Center funding were: Senator Gary Cates, Senator Bob Schuler, Senator Bill Seitz, Senator Eric Kearney, Senator Tom Niehaus, Representative Jim Raussen, Representative Lou Blessing, Representative Bob Mecklenborg, Representative Dale Mallory, Representative Steve Driehaus, Representative Tyrone Yates, Representative Michelle Schneider, Representative Courtney Combs, Representative Bill Coley, Representative Joseph Uecker, Representative Shannon Jones, and Representative Danny Buhp.