Sex abuse and midterm elections -- Part II

by Dennis Coday

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More reader input on Nov. 2 election campaigns in which sex abuse by clergy figures as an issue.

Kris Ward of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, a sex abuse survivors group, told me that her group is urging Ohio voters to look at the record of Jon Husted, the Republican candidate for Ohio's Secretary of State.

This is an important race, the tells us, because "it's redistricting time. The next secretary of state will be one of five people who will help draw legislative districts in 2011, which will carry considerable influence over which party controls each chamber of the Ohio General Assembly."

Husted is running against Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, a Democrat, and Charles R. Earl, a Libertarian.

Ward sent me a statement from her coalition that says that in 2005, when Husted was Ohio's Speaker of the House, he reneged on a pledge to support passage of a bill that would have greatly extended the statute of limitation for the sexual abuse of minors and would have provide a "window" that would have allowed those for whom the statute had passed to have their day in court.

I could not find a news source that shows that this is an issue in the Ohio race for Secretary of State, but Ward's group would like it to be an issue.

According the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, in 2005 when the statute of limitations legislation was being considered, its Dayton affiliate hand delivered 100 personal letters to then-Speaker Husted supporting the bill. "Upon receipt of the letters, Mr. Husted unequivocally pledged his support" the statement says.

The bill passed the Ohio Senate unanimously "– a feat nearly unheard of in legislation battles," the coalition statement says. The bill was strenuously opposed by the Ohio Catholic Conference.

When the bill arrived in the house, the coalition statement says, Husted failed to "use his considerable influence as Speaker of the House to shepherd legislation … [and] the bill was gutted."

The full statement from the National Survivor Advocates Coalition is on the groups Web site:

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