There was a bit of a flap in the news yesterday after Armond Budish, the Ohio Speaker of the House, refused to allow a teenager be recognized on the House floor for winning an oratory contest sponsored by National Right to Life.
The Beachwood Democrat pulled the plug on the plan to honor Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler on Feb. 3 after becoming uncomfortable with the “politically sensitive” nature of the group sponsoring the contest, Budish spokesman Keary McCarthy said.
“You want to save these occasions for times when the House can jointly celebrate their constituents’ achievements without the undertone of politics,” McCarthy said.
“The Ohio House chamber is a monument to the importance of oratory and persuasion on the great issues facing our state,” said Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Mike Gonidakis. “Silencing someone because you disagree is a terrible lesson to teach teens. The Speaker should reconsider his unfortunately petty decision.”
But McCarthy said “the Speaker is not going to permit politically sensitive groups to use the House floor as a platform, whether it’s a gay-rights advocacy group or a right to life organization,” he said.
Nevermind that the child wasn’t going to be speaking, but was only to be recognized by Members of the House for her achievement.
Now while I didn’t take the time to go through the 43 resolutions to see who else had been recognized, a brief scouring of the House journal found that last October Speaker Budish had no problem recognizing supporters of a specific political agenda – environmental activists.