The Columbus Dispatch reports on Northeast Ohio Republican Matt Dolan, who won't leave the sidelines for his party's latest political football toss:
Two Republicans joined all House Democrats yesterday in voting to delay Ohioans' income-tax cut, while new data show that state government is operating today with 1,500 fewer employees than just four months ago.
And in the most impassioned speech in an afternoon of debate over how to fill a looming $851 million hole in the two-year state budget, Rep. Matthew Dolan, R-Novelty, urged his colleagues to set aside partisanship and not turn the debate "into a gotcha moment."
"We are nothing more basically than a pass-through entity to counties," said Dolan, who, along with Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, broke with his caucus to support the bill. "When we beat our chest and say we need to cut more state spending, all we're saying to our counties who provide the essential services to our constituents is, 'You find the money somewhere. You go to the taxpayers.'
"All you're doing is putting the burden on property taxes and local sales taxes."
Dolan gave an impassioned speech urging fellow lawmakers to "set aside our sacred cows" and think about the big picture to work to turn around Ohio's reeling economy. He said that reliance on federal stimulus money in the current budget creates a "tidal wave" of revenue problems down the road that made it essential to delay the tax cut.
"If you want to play politics with this vote, then go ahead, but grab a life jacket because that wave is coming," Dolan said. "And make sure you grab a couple more because that wave is going to hit Ohioans hard."
It remains to be seen whether President Obama's stimulus package will turn out to be the catastrophic failure that many Republicans have predicted (often to the point of sounding eager). But we have to admire Dolan's willingness to act on his concern in a way that will make him very unpopular among his delusional peers. — Frank Lewis