Editorial roundup

The Akron Beacon Journal, Dec. 14

Ordinarily, Republicans in charge of the Ohio House would have met shortly after the November election to reach consensus on a speaker for the new legislative session. As it is, just 10 days before Christmas, they have yet to gather. The caucus has a familiar problem. Neither Ryan Smith nor Larry Householder commands the 50 Republican votes needed to ensure election in early January.

This is where Republicans stood last spring — until they conducted the necessary 11 ballots, at that point, Smith needing just a plurality rather than a majority of those lawmakers voting. The Bidwell Republican still holds that plurality. More, the past six months, he has performed well as speaker.

Thus, this should be an easy choice, Republicans avoiding a repeat of the earlier clash between Smith and Householder allies.

Of late, news accounts have noted some labor unions pressing House Democrats to provide Householder with the majority he needs to become speaker. Union leaders see Householder steering clear of right-to-work legislation. Perhaps he would — until expedience bites.

What folly for Democrats to fall for Householder’s charms. They may disagree with Ryan Smith on a range of matters, though he has shown an understanding of how poverty harms education. What distinguishes him most in this race for speaker is his integrity.


The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dec. 14

Why is City Hall continuing to muddy the waters with misstatements instead of providing basic information to the public about the October security breach at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport that involved key staffers of the Frank Jackson administration?

The silence and stonewalling have led Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley to raise the possibility of council hearings to demand “an accounting” to the public of what happened. Good. The public has the right to this information.

On Oct. 25, then-airport assistant director Fred Szabo violated federal security regulations by escorting Mayor Jackson’s chief of operations, Darnell Brown, past security so Brown could catch his plane. But beyond confirming that a security breach occurred and specifying the discipline meted out to the two officials, the city has been silent on details.

The city of Cleveland has no justification for hiding the basic details of its investigation into this airport security breach by city officials. In continuing to do so, it violates the law and its duties to the public and, by trying to slough off responsibility for its silence to federal officials, risks further inflaming concerns of the TSA about this security breach.


The Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 17

The Senate has taken an important step toward holding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MSB, accountable for the murder of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

On Thursday, it unanimously approved a resolution that assigns responsibility to the crown prince for the killing and says the regime’s “misleading statements” about the case “have undermined trust and confidence” in Saudi-U.S. relations.

The vote was a powerful repudiation of President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept, or act upon, the truth about the crown prince — and it should cause the president to reconsider.

The Senate’s action ought to make clear to Trump, as well as King Salman, that the U.S.-Saudi relationship cannot continue without change.

There must be, as the resolution puts it, “appropriate accountability for all those responsible” for Khashoggi’s murder. The war in Yemen must be brought to a swift end. And the reckless foreign adventures and crushing internal repression that have been the most prominent features of the crown prince’s rule must end.


The Sandusky Register, Dec. 14

If a CFO, a CEO or a boss of any kind in any organization was accused of sexually molesting children, everyone from top to bottom would rightfully expect the allegations to be investigated, reviewed, shown to be true or shown to be false.

Not so, apparently, when it comes to religious organizations, a place where people go for spiritual guidance and where they can be at their most vulnerable.

We are extremely disappointed about accusations that spiritual leaders molested children and others, over the years, and other church leaders took steps to protect the alleged molesters. This has happened in the Catholic church for decades, apparently. Offending priests were transferred to different parishes, foisted upon unsuspecting families whose children were victimized. The cycle repeated itself, over and over again, according to a Pennsylvania grand jury report released earlier this year. More than 1,000 victims and more than 300 priests and bishops were identified as perpetrators, according to the report.

Sexual predators who hide behind the cloak of a spiritual leader’s collar are the worst kind of predators, in our view. Victimizing families that seek spiritual guidance, taking advantage of position in this way against them and their children, is a horrendous act.