Ohio Lawmaker Ponders “Secession” From Columbus After Protests

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Some state leaders are angry over damage at the Ohio Statehouse after protests in Columbus – and one has suggested the state consider a form of secession from the capital city.

And it took days to remove hand prints on the west columns and stairs left in red paint on June 18. Protestors had said that paint was washable, but it was more stubborn to remove than expected.

Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) has said he’s considered withholding Columbus’ state funding to cover the cost of repairs. This week he said in a statement that he’s looking into what can be done further: “We’re researching it currently. If Columbus isn’t interested in protecting state property we need to consider removing Cap Square from the City.”

“I don’t know if that’s possible or not,” said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina).

But on “The Sound of Ideas” on WCPN/ideastream on Friday, Obhof said he’s talked to his fellow Republican leader about this.

“I think the more important issue, the underlying issue is that – I think he and I agree – that we need to do more to protect the Statehouse from vandalism,” Obhof said.

Obhof said he’s been assured by Democratic Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein that those who’ve committed vandalism will be prosecuted. State troopers are now visible at several points on Statehouse grounds.