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The majority, not officials, rule in America

I get frustrated with elected officials who think they know better than the voters, often somehow managing to forget it was those same voters who put them in office.

They often imply, for instance, those voters didn’t REALLY mean to check “no” for a tax levy or the box for their political opponents.

Consider how many times public bodies return a failed tax levy to the next election ballot, as if

to see if voters really meant it.

Then there are incumbents who refuse to accept defeat.

Former Trumbull County Commissioner Dan Polivka seems to be having a hard time acknowledging he was defeated by challenger Niki Frenchko last year. Polivka apparently believes the voters were mistaken when they voted for his Republican opponent.

Polivka has decided it’s his job to save voters from their clear misunderstanding. For the second time in five months, he’s taking his fight to the Ohio Supreme Court. This month Polivka asked the state Supreme Court to disqualify Frenchko, ignore the will of the voters and instead declare him the winner. He believes she doesn’t live in Trumbull County.

Polivka lost a similar argument to void the election when the high court refused in April to overturn the Nov. 3 election results. Instead, the court dismissed Polivka’s appeal seeking for the courts to allow him to continue as commissioner and to hold another election.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention former President Donald Trump’s argument against his defeat. That one is different only because Trump is not trying to say the voters were wrong or mistaken in voting for his opponent. No, he flat out believes he’s the victor, claiming the election and its results were rigged.

According to media reports, Trump has been floating questions to advisers and stating he expects to be reinstated to the White House by August. I’m not sure what he’s basing that on, but once again, this former elected official thinks he knows better than Americans who cast more than 81 million votes for Joe Biden.

Then, there’s today’s hot topic of whether Ohio legislators were correct in expelling indicted former Ohio House Speaker Rep. Larry Householder.

My first inclination is absolutely, but then I start reasoning and suddenly I’m not so sure.

It’s pretty clear Householder, a Republican, still was pulling strings in Columbus. But let’s remember voters put him there to do just that. Even after he was indicted nearly a year ago and his colleagues had unanimously voted last July to remove him as speaker, voters re-elected him to his House seat in November 2020.

However, the House overruled that vote, passing a resolution 75-21 on June 16 to remove him, saying the indictment made him unsuitable for office.

Householder fought the expulsion, claiming innocence and predicting his acquittal on accusations he orchestrated a $60 million bribery scheme meant to approve legislation to prop up two nuclear power plants.

The $1 billion rescue bill would have added a new fee to every electricity bill in Ohio and directed more than $150 million a year through 2026 to Ohio’s two nuclear plants. Yes, it’s outrageous, and this newspaper stringently opposed the measure’s passage, even before we knew about the bribery allegations.

But like it or not, Householder remains innocent until he’s proven guilty. That’s how it works in America.

In Washington, even former Valley Congressman Jim Traficant, under indictment and facing trial on numerous federal charges, remained in office as a voting member of Congress while preparing for his 2002 criminal trial. Traficant’s colleagues expelled him from elected post only after he was convicted on 10 federal counts, including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion.

Traficant went to prison for seven years, and after his release, he ran again for office. This time, the voters spoke against him.

If Householder is convicted, he could face 20 years in prison.

Would I have voted to return Householder to office in November? Absolutely not. But the majority spoke, and that’s how it works in America.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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