Paper: Petro showing leadership where Montgomery failed to

In a (Columbus) ThisWeek op ed, staff writer Michael Maurer offers praise to recently-elected Attorney General Jim Petro for standing on his principles regarding a court matter unrelated to concealed carry reform.

But in the process of praising Petro's leadership, Maurer needed a little contrast.

He chose none other than the person who used to hold his office, now-State Auditor and governor-wanna-be Betty Montgomery, and gave as example her dealings with the Hamilton County CCW-ban constitutionality case, of which OFCC is a funding co-plaintiff.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for the full story, and commentary.

Petro's stand displays leadership
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Michael Maurer

"It seems Jim Petro gets it.

Most elected officials are P-word politicians. They're always "pleased" and "proud," always "partnering" and, of course, they wouldn't be caught dead failing to be "proactive."

What they rarely do is lead. In a world where we are always pleased and proud to be partnering proactively, it turns out we are never making any decisions. Every answer is a "yes" and every question doesn't matter, so long as it doesn't raise too much controversy.

Petro has done something extraordinary: He stood up for our constitutional system of government and he has done so in an environment where it would have been much easier not to do so.

In other words, Petro has risen above the P-word politicians.

Consider for a moment [another] issue as handled by Petro's predecessor as attorney general, Betty Montgomery, now state auditor.

Take concealed carry. Two state trial courts have held that Ohio's law banning concealed carry violates a fundamental right to own and use a gun without undue government regulation. One court of appeals upheld the argument, and in April, the Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments before putting its own imprimatur on the matter.

What did the Republican Montgomery do? She filed briefs supporting an existing state policy, which again happens to be one that conservatives believe to be unconstitutional.

Now, if Montgomery believes in her soul that gun rights are not important constitutional rights, she did the right thing. It perhaps marks her as more of a liberal or a Democrat than she would hold herself out to be, but if it is what she believes, she fulfilled her constitutional role.

More likely, though, come time for collecting votes for the governor's office, she'll be wearing camouflage and telling the hunters that she's one of them.

The conclusion is nearly inescapable: Montgomery is a P-word politician, always seeking the happy compromise, never wanting to say "no."

Not so Petro."

OFCC PAC Commentary
Petro has yet to "take a stand" on the Hamilton County case, and since Montgomery took it this far, there may be little or nothing he can do about it.

Montgomery's claim during the election season was that she was bound by her job requirements to defend the Constitution on the CCW matter. We're not sure which part she was defending - it certainly wasn't Article 1, Section 4. She also told OFCC PAC's Vice Chairman that she opposes CCW personally, and has refused requests from OFCC PAC for an official position statement in the early days of her 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

Click here to read the full story in ThisWeek.

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