Saturday, March 15, 2003

Remark brings call for apology

GOP leader criticizes fellow party member

By Shelley Davis
Columbus Enquirer Bureau


COLUMBUS - The leader of the Ohio Republican Party wants a GOP state lawmaker to publicly apologize for suggesting that Cincinnati Democratic Sen. Mark Mallory is illiterate.

Party Chairman Bob Bennett singled out Rep. Timothy Grendell on Friday, saying the Chesterland Republican stepped out of bounds in a public dispute with Mallory over whether Ohio should ratify the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Bennett outlined his issues with Grendell in a letter to House Speaker Larry Householder.

"I've known Tim for a number of years and consider him a friend, but I was offended by his remarks," Bennett said. "If I, as a fellow Republican, was offended, then who knows what the rest of Ohio might think?"

The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection and due process rights for all Americans. It was rescinded by Ohio lawmakers in 1868 after they declared it "contrary to the best interests of the white race."

House lawmakers re-ratified the amendment Wednesday, but not before some conservative Republicans objected, saying it has been used to take away states' rights to decide such issues as abortion and school prayer.

A war of words began when Mallory accused Grendell of trying to keep the amendment from being passed. Grendell fired back that he didn't think Mallory fully understood his arguments, which he'd written down in a memo.

"He's the only reason I might support the OhioReads program," Grendell said about Mallory in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article, referring to Gov. Bob Taft's volunteer tutoring program.

Although Grendell later said his comments were taken out of context, Democrat leaders demanded that Householder, R-Glenford, discipline Grendell.

Mallory, who said he was "shocked and very offended" by the remark, said he was surprised to find Bennett in his corner. Bennett said Republicans who control the General Assembly should do so with decorum and respect.

"We have the responsibility as the majority party to censure any of our own who get out of line," Bennett said.

Grendell offered a personal apology to Mallory by phone on Friday.

"My intention was never to offend Mallory. I thought it was somewhat of a clever retort to his attack on my memo," Grendell said. "I'm sorry what I said was misconstrued into something that Sen. Mallory took personally."

Mallory said he appreciated Grendell's personal apology but would welcome a public apology.

"As we are about to move into the most contentious budget process we've ever had, I'm concerned that if we get to the point where personal attacks are OK, it's going to be very hard to work together," Mallory said.

Taft seeks end to tax deals with neighbors
Snow melts to pools of red
Tax change plan uses old data
Remark brings call for apology
'Vagina monologues' expands into censorship debate

Amber Alerts available in Ky. and Ohio
Residents sue to halt razing
Councilman one of two arrested on Net sex charges
Two arrested in robbery spree
Blue Ash hones its planning
Grass-roots movement launched to improve Ryan Park
Obituary: Joseph Rosen
Dr. Noble Owen Fowler, cardiologist, researcher
Soldiers' pets need care
Tristate A.M. Report

McNUTT: Neighborhoods
FAITH MATTERS: Kidney donation a lesson

Tainted soil was rototilled
Tracks, dead deer hint cougar on prowl
Bullet hits Ross man at home
She reaches kids in her books

Beef that made children ill likely produced here
Execution postponed after lawyers say man is retarded
New E-check proposal: Newer cars can skip test, fee applies
Midwife jailed over medicine use
Opposition to Ohio incinerator fades
Five-pound delivery surprises new mom
Ohio Moments

Kenton Central won't die
Gaming advocates rethink strategy
2 bids for school property fall short
Ex-NKU Foundation chief now indicted
Bush OKs financial help for Kentucky storm victims
Mom charged with murder in 2001 shooting
Inmate's death investigated
St. Pius X adding on to keep up with growth
Trial set for Erlanger man found with teen
Missing N.Ky. teens found in California
Lt. Gov. candidate attacks opponent