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Holocaust Memorial Raises Policy Issues Within Ohio Statehouse Walls

The Columbus Dispatch Thursday May 5, 2011
Kasich proceeded to call for a Holocaust memorial to be constructed inside the Statehouse, so legislators and visitors can “understand not just the history of a time when people wouldn’t stand, but the fact that it’s today we must stand against evil.”
“Let’s put a program together, let’s construct something in this Rotunda that can teach people about man’s inhumanity to man – best exemplified by what happened in the Holocaust,” Kasich said during his remarks for the 31st Governor’s Holocaust Commemoration ceremony.
Dick Weiland, president of Ohio Jewish Communities, accepted a resolution from the governor and said his organization would participate in putting together a Holocaust memorial.
The event was attended by members of the General Assembly, several of the Republican Kasich’s staff and cabinet members, and members of Ohio’s Jewish community, among others.

Holocaust Memorial Raises Policy Issues

Within Statehouse Walls  April 4, 2012

Last year, at a holocaust memorial gathering at the Ohio Statehouse, Gov. John Kasich raised the idea of creating a memorial inside the building.
“I’d call on the Jewish community as well as our brothers in faith to develop some sort of a memorial that members of our legislature and members of the public, as they pass through this great rotunda, will be able to understand, not just the history of a time when people wouldn’t stand but the fact that it’s today that was must stand against evil,” Kasich said.
After that comment was made, former Senate President Richard Finan said he had a brief visit with a representative from the Governor’s office who offered no specific suggestions about a holocaust memorial.
Finan, who heads the board that operates the Statehouse and its grounds, says his group, by law, must approve memorials and any changes on Capitol Square. He says he was blindsided to learn last week that the legislature was set to approve, as part of another bill, a holocaust memorial on the Statehouse grounds
“We were totally in the dark and it was a total circumvention of the rules that were established in 1992,” Finan said.
Finan emphasizes he’s not against a memorial for the holocaust in principle. But he said he is against the way the Governor and legislature cut the statehouse board out of the process of determining if, when and where such a memorial would go.
Finan says during the 15 minutes before the vote on the legislation, he was able to get the Capitol Square board’s involvement written into the measure. But he says just having the board involved is not enough. Finan says at least 10 different groups have been clamoring for memorials for different causes on the Statehouse grounds.
“This now opens the door to proliferation of statues on the Statehouse grounds or anything else,” Finan said. “All one has to do now is go to the Governor and say ‘I want a statue of Donald Duck on the Statehouse grounds’ and if he gets convinced of it, boom, it goes and we have nothing to say about it.” more from WOSU News


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