Lawyer for Ohio Police Union Tells Republican State Senator: ‘Funny Thing About Cops, They Hold Grudges’
Posted on | March 3, 2011 | 73 Comments
Ohio’s state Senate yesterday passed S.B. 5, which would limit the power of government employee unions. Among those voting for the measure was state Sen. Frank LaRose, a 31-year-old freshman Republican from Akron. After the passage of S.B. 5, LaRose’s Facebook page filled up with comments, including one from Michael Sarge Piotrowski who — as Melissa Clouthier explains at Red State — is a lawyer representing the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police.
“Funny thing about cops, they hold grudges,” Piotroski wrote on LaRose’s page.
After being criticized by LaRose’s supporters — including College Republican activists Joe Manno, Nick Willcox and John Eakin — Piotrowski tried to walk back his comment, while simultaneously lashing out at Republicans.
“You don’t know what you are talking about,” Piotrowski wrote in a reply to Willcox. “When Republicans talk about ‘Union Thugs’ they may as well be calling people the n-word.”
Sources in Ohio say they expect LaRose to make a statement about the incident later today.
UPDATE: Linked by Dan Collins at Piece of Work in Progress. Some background from my Ohio sources: LaRose is a former sergeant in the Army Green Berets, an Iraq War veteran and “just the nicest guy in the world.” He worked closely with College Republicans at Akron University during his 2010 campaign against Democrat Frank Comunale for an open seat in District 27. LaRose won in a 57-43% landslide and perhaps this campaign ad will give you a hint why:
LaRose is obviously a very appealing young face, perhaps a rising star in the Ohio GOP, which came back strongly in last year’s midterm elections after back-to-back drubbings in the 2006 and 2008 cycles.
UPDATE II: Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection sees this as part of “a disturbing pattern in which the distinction between the police and the police unions becomes blurred.”
UPDATE III: “Why I Left Ohio.” I’m still waiting on a statement from Sen. LaRose, and have requested a statement from the Ohio FOP.
UPDATE IV: Linked by The Lonely Conservative — thanks! — and by American Power, which provides this video of angry union activists creating a disturbance in the Ohio state capitol building after the Senate voted Wednesday:
You can hear the chant of “Shame! Shame!” The vote in the state Senate was 17-16 in favor of S.B. 5, with six GOP senators voting “no.” The bill is expected to pass the state House, where Republicans hold a 54-40 majority.
Still waiting on an expected statement from Sen. LaRose’s office. No comment yet from the Ohio FOP.
UPDATE V: Sen. LaRose issues statement saying it is “intolerable and unproductive to resort to mean-spirited personal attacks and senseless threats.”