COLUMBUS, Ohio – When Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) shows up for work in Cleveland on Tuesday at his law firm, he may find one tall, slender Bullfrog with dry, furry skin waiting among his other clients to see him on business important to the amphibian’s masters and other constituencies in Ohio, who will ask the leader of the lower chamber to return to Columbus and the statehouse to finish work they say must not be put off any longer.
This Bullfrog, unlike real ones in nature that hang around permanent water bodies, swamps, ponds, lakes and are only four inches or so in length will be part of a day of street theater orchestrated by a coalition of progressive groups who don’t want the Ohio General Assembly to squander the upcoming weeks to election year politics, when that time could be used to pass bills pending on subjects like redistricting and home foreclosures, among other topics.
Coordinated with the release of a second video titled “Come Back to Work!,” Ohio Common Cause, Ohio Citizen Action, ProgressOhio and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio will ask Budish, the first Democratic Speaker of the Ohio House since Vern Riffe left the post in 1994, to resume work on important legislative work instead of allowing legislators to spend the remaining weeks and months in their districts working on their reelection efforts.
“With only weeks left to make progress on redistricting and other key reforms, advocates, including a six-foot Bullfrog — will deliver a link to new video and hundreds of personal notes to the Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish at his law office in Cleveland,” a media release from the group read today.
The quartet of groups said the Bullfrog has been used as an icon for misplaced priorities. The day before both chambers left for a five-month vacation, Suzanne Acker of COHHIO wrote, they passed a bill making the Bullfrog the state frog of Ohio.
“A queue of unfinished business awaits, including redistricting, foreclosure, payday lending and anti-discrimination reform,” she said.
The theatrical event scheduled for 3 p.m. will take place at the Cleveland law firm of Budish, Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd., at 23240 Chagrin Boulevard, Suite 450, in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland.
Delivering “hundreds of personal requests for Ohio legislature to return to the peoples’ work, the progressives hope their whimsical lobbying effort will lure Budish to call back Ohio’s 99 House members to finish their unfinished business.
But it takes two to tango in Columbus, as it does in other statehouses, so the Bullfrog may also want to hop on down to call on Ohio Senate President Bill Harris (R-Ashland) to ribbett its chorus of concern to the smaller, upper chamber body, which must also agree on bills so they can leap to the desk of Gov. Ted Strickland.
The Bullfrog has also been named the state amphibian of Missouri and Oklahoma.
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