''Mum's the word'' from anti-gun writer

By Chad D. Baus

When a notorious op-ed columnist from the Toledo Blade recently took her latest swipe at OhioCCW in a piece criticizing the job Bob Taft is doing as governor, by claiming that when Taft signed House Bill 12 he "gave the state something most of its citizens never sought or desired", I decided to ask her a few questions. And just as another member of the media did recently, Marilou Johanek has proved to be more inclined to ask questions than to answer them...

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Chad D. Baus
    To: [email protected]
    Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005
    Subject: Taft, concealed carry and media credentials

    Ms. Johanek:

    I saw your latest column today, concerning Gov. Taft [...and] noted your latest jab at concealed carry.

    Tell me - how do you reconcile your continued assertion that Ohioans didn't want concealed carry with the 2004 Zogby Values Poll, which found that the nation's "voters overwhelmingly favor these self-protection laws by a margin of 79% to 18%. Right-to-Carry drew better than 70% support in every demographic group, with even non-gun owners indicating their backing by 73% to 23%"?

    If we are to judge a program by the total number of participants, I wonder if you would favor eliminating the Ohio Public Information Officers media credential program. A recent public information request done by Ohioans For Concealed Carry has found that only 1521 cards have been issued, and MANY of those to non-journalist jobs such as payroll administrators, secretaries, sales people, promotions directors, etc. etc. It appears the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety bureaucrats who dreamed up this program knuckled under to a very vocal minority.

    I notice that you are among the 1521 who have received OPIO cards (we have copies of every application, which you will probably recall contain private information such as hair and eye color, height and weight, a photograph, address, etc.) Since you are a card-holder, I wonder if you can answer a question for me:

    The ODPS has informed us that there are no background checks on OPIO applicants, no fingerprints required, and no social security number is requested. There are no training requirements, and there is no booklet from the state Attorney General on journalistic ethics. Applicants don't have to be felony-free or drug-free for their lifetime. There seems to be no concern that applicants may have ever been institutionalized for mental health. There is no policy regarding revocation. Stephen A. Hill, former WCPO (Cincinnati) reporter, is currently serving a five year sentence for crimes related to having sex with teenage boys. Our investigation shows his card
    still shows as valid, as do 99.997% of all the OPIO cards ever issued. Do you have any concerns on this in terms of security, given than these cards are accepted to allow access at sensitive/secure locations? For instance, were you aware these cards are accepted as ID for after-hours access at the Ohio Statehouse?

    Do you believe that media credentials which will allow a person off-hour access to the Statehouse and other sensitive or secure areas are necessary for payroll managers, sales persons, secretaries and interns? Does it concern you that people who have left these jobs likely still possess these cards and may in fact be using them to gain access to such places?

    I'll look forward to hearing from you.


    Chad D. Baus

That was nearly two weeks ago. Johanek has not replied.

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