Former state senator Bill Beagle is facing a backlash from anti-abortion forces who are urging incoming state treasurer Robert Sprague to rescind Beagle’s appointment to a job in Sprague’s administration.
Beagle voted against overriding Gov. John Kasich’s veto of the heartbeat abortion ban bill.
Thirty-nine pastors, state lawmakers and other abortion opponents signed a letter to Sprague, saying Beagle is “unfit for a position in the Treasurer’s office.”
“He has walked away from conservative values on a very critical issue. We encourage you to choose someone with more character and integrity, someone who holds the same values you do and who will represent your best interests and those of our party,” the letter said.
Sprague, a Findlay Republican and former lawmaker, takes office as state treasurer on Monday. His spokeswoman declined to comment on the letter.
Beagle, a Tipp City Republican, could not be immediately reached for comment.
On Dec. 10, Sprague announced Beagle as his pick for director of policy and program administration. Beagle, who holds a finance degree and master’s in business administration, spent the past eight years in the Ohio Senate, focusing on economic development, pension and workforce issues.
On Dec. 27, the Ohio Senate fell one vote shy of the threshold needed to override Kasich’s veto of the heartbeat bill, which would have banned abortions once a heartbeat can be detected — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Beagle voted for the bill on Dec. 12 but he was one of five Senate Republicans joining Democrats in opposing the override.
In the House, Sprague voted in favor of the override.
The letter to Sprague is signed by four pastors, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and her former running mate Nathan Estruth, nine current and former state lawmakers, local Right to Life chapter officials, local elected officials and others.
The Ohio treasurer manages the state’s three investment portfolios that add up to $22.6 billion; it collects all fees, taxes and fines owed to the state; and is the custodian over $232 billion held by the state’s five public pension systems, tuition trust authority, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and other investment pools.
The words ‘abortion’ and ‘pregnancy’ don’t appear in the latest, 64-page annual report from the treasurer’s office.
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