News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Former Ohio Senate President Finan quits with complaints over interference
Finan has been the only head of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and says it's lost its independence.
Story by ANDY CHOW


 
A fight over a Holocaust Memorial on the Statehouse lawn has led to the argument.
Courtesy of Capitol Square board
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A long-time state leader is resigning after repeated clashes with the governor and GOP lawmakers. The issue is the independence of the board that runs the Statehouse.

And as Statehouse Correspondent Andy Chow reports, a battle over a Statehouse Holocaust Memorial played a major role in his departure.

LISTEN:Finan leaves the Statehouse, again

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:16)


LISTEN:Finan leaves the Statehouse, again (abbreviated)

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:03)


“I feel that I have no say so in it anymore and I have no power to do anything about it and so it’s time to quit.”

That’s the message from former Republican Senate President Richard Finan, who chairs the board that manages the Statehouse. He says he’s stepping down because his group is no longer the independent body it was intended to be.

Finan is the first and only head of the Capitol Square board. He’s been leading the group since the early 1990s. But he says recent interventions by the Legislature and governor’s office have challenged the boards’ ideals and pushed him too far.

Holocaust memorial's role
“Our idea was we’d have this independent body that would make the decisions and — in the best interest of the building— I think that that has been eroded over the last year or two,” said Finan

Part of that erosion, according to Finan, started with the announcement of a Holocaust Memorial intended to stand on Statehouse grounds. That announcement, made by Gov. John Kasich, sparked a two-year debate among the leaders as to whether the memorial was appropriate for the Statehouse plaza.

That debate comes to a head Thursday when final approval of a memorial design comes to a vote before the board. Finan expects the design to pass but not with his vote.

As the board considers the proposed memorial, a Statehouse crew constructed a mock-up of what the sculpture would look like. An 18-foot structure, made up of pipes, tarps, and rope, now sits on the south plaza lawn. Finan says the inexpensive fixture was never meant to be a commentary of how he feels about the memorial.

“The idea though was to make a mock-up so people could see approximately how big it was and how thick it was going to be and where it was going to stand. It was never meant to be an expression of what the eventual memorial was going to look like,” Finan explained.

Finan adds that an associate with the artist was the one who suggested staking out the area with the materials ultimately used for the mock-up.

Religious symbolism
The memorial itself would include the Star of David carved into the sculpture. And it’s that religious symbol that is drawing concerns from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The group says it would be fine with the memorial as long as all religious symbols are removed, but  could take legal action if that doesn’t happen.

Finan says he finds it important to include the Star of David on the mock-up version of the memorial. However, by Wednesday afternoon,Statehouse grounds crew had painted over the star to avoid any disruption.

The governor’s office did not want to comment about the state of the Capital Square board’s independence but did say Kasich is confident about the future of the memorial.

A spokesperson with the Senate says Finan's current successor, Republican Senate President Keith Faber, thanks Finan for his service but did not talk about allegations of over-involvement by the Legislature.

Finan says he doubts his quitting will impact lawmakers. "I’m just tired of it. I’m just frustrated—frustrated.”

He'll officially step down at the end of October. He says his replacement must be another former Senate president.

Listener Comments:

Not All the Millions of people who died in the Holocaust were not Jewish ....Many Catholics ,Germans , Russian Atheists ,mentally ill christians and Polish people were slaughtered by Hitler ...The memorial itself is fine ,but the Religious Symbol is not appropriate on PUBLIC ,Tax payer land ....


Posted by: Ed (Penna.) on July 18, 2013 5:07AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University