Three Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives launched a bid to impeach Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday, alleging that the coronavirus restrictions he put in place violated Ohioans’ civil liberties.
The resolution, written by Reps. John Becker, Nino Vitale and Paul Zeltwanger, includes 10 articles of impeachment, Cleveland.com reported.
DeWine “has repeatedly proven his incompetence by providing wildly inaccurate forecasts and repeatedly misleading COVID-19 data,” the resolution said, adding that his restrictions were “far worse than the virus itself.”
The resolution also accused DeWine of executive overreach, arguing that his “directing, or allowing, the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders outside the scope of its authority” was “tantamount to creating new laws.”
The articles alleged that DeWine “conspired” with Republican Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to delay the state’s primary, originally scheduled for March 17, and illegally reschedule it for June 2 without legislative approval.
The state legislature passed a bill in April requiring the primary election to be conducted by mail due to the virus, Cleveland.com reported.
The lawmakers claimed that the governor’s mask mandate “promotes fear, turns neighbors against neighbors, and contracts the economy by making people fearful to leave their homes.”
The lawmakers’ resolution was rejected by the vast majority of Ohio Republican officials.
A spokesman for DeWine told Cleveland.com that the governor “is focused on saving lives during the pandemic… not this,” while the Ohio Republican Party chair called the resolution a “baseless, feeble attempt at creating attention.”
Cleveland.com reported that the impeachment effort is unlikely to be successful.
It would need to pass with a simple majority in the state House and then receive a two-thirds majority in the state Senate to remove DeWine.
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