Group bringing civility back to politics

WSYX/WTTE By: Ben Garbarek

The tone of the election has gotten nasty and in some cases vulgar and violent. Some Ohio lawmakers tried to do their part to improve the level of discourse Friday at the Statehouse.

The Ohio Civility Consortium organized a town meeting just a few feet away from where Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech to raise the level of discourse.

"When you go out and talk to a bunch of voters, that's what they want," said Columbus City Councilman Michael Stinziano. "They're not asking for a big partisan fight. They want good ideas to be passed."

There have been plenty of insults thrown during the campaign this year, from Donald Trump calling Governor John Kasich "a baby" to Senator Marco Rubio making fun of the size of Trump's hands.

"You may disagree about my politics and I about yours, but we're human beings," said Barbara Howard with the Ohio Civility Consortium. "We're good people. We can agree to disagree and we can still be friends. There's nothing wrong with that."

Kasich has stuck to a positive message throughout his campaign.

"I won't take the low road to the highest office in the land," has become one of Kasich's favorite lines.

Nevertheless, Kasich is now sharpening his attacks against Trump.

"To even imply there could be violence if (Trump) doesn't get his way, you know he's not running for president of the WWE, he's running for the President of the United States and this kind of language is an outrage," he said Friday.

Ohio is a critical state for any presidential candidate. The people at the Statehouse Friday hope they can be part of a calm and sober discussion as Ohio chooses the next president.

"We know it's going to be hotly contested," Howard said. "We need to be able to have that civil discourse. We really do for all of us."

Stinziano said he thought Kasich won the Ohio primary partly because he stuck to a positive message. The former state representative also said there is more bipartisan work going on at the Statehouse than most people realize.