Making A Difference In STATE Politics

By Jim Irvine

When asked who their State Senator, a lot of people reply with, “Mike DeWine” or “George Voinovich.” These are Ohio’s two US Senators. They work in Washington with/against President Bush. They have no more to do with running our state than Senator Kennedy (D-MA) or Senator Clinton (D-NY).

Each of us also has a Congressman, sometimes called a US Representative. They also work in Washington D.C. and have no direct involvement in Ohio legislation.

While news media, especially national networks like Fox News and CNN report more on National politics, it is local politics that have the greatest effect on your day to day life (with the likely exception of the Federal Tax Code.)

Ohio has its own government that mirrors the federal government in many ways. We have an Ohio House, Ohio Senate, and a Governor. When the Ohio legislature passes a law, it is only in effect in our state. Each state has a similar Government.

The President is the highest ranking elected position in the country, while Governor is the highest in the State. While Secretaries of State and Attorney General are appointed by the President at a national level, they are elected positions in Ohio.

No US laws forbid concealed carryin the 50 states – that is strictly a state issue. Washington D.C. is a special situation where possession of a self-defense gun is illegal (It has been the murder capital 14 of the last 15 years). Vermont has no restrictions on concealed carry, so one may carry a weapon there with no training, state licensing, media access or “plain sight.” When people talk about “passing Vermont” legislation in Ohio, what they really mean is repealing all the restrictions that have been passed. Vermont has its law because of laws it didn’t pass, not because of laws it did.

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