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Politically Speaking is WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson's column that examines the world of politics and how it shapes the world around us.

Commentary: Democrats find a detour to avoid Ohio GOP from keeping Biden off the ballot

a man in a button-up shirt and tie steps out of a jeep
Susan Walsh
President Joe Biden gets into Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, during an event on clean cars and trucks.

You thought the slim Republican majority in the U.S. House was dysfunctional?

Take a look at the supermajority Republicans in the Ohio House, who continue to stall putting the President of the United States on Ohio's November ballot.

Many of them are more interested in knocking down the straw man of "foreign money" influencing Ohio elections than ensuring that Ohio voters can chose between both major party candidates in the November election.

"The Republicans have shown time and time again that they do not want to actually solve issues, they just want to hold onto their power and take away the rights of the voters," said State Sen. Bill DeMora, a Columbus Democrat.

When Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, frustrated over the lack of action on the Biden matter, used his power to call a special session of the legislature this week, he gave them the option of passing a ban on foreign money as well.

RELATED: Ohio Gov. DeWine orders state lawmakers back to Columbus for Biden ballot fix

"What the governor can do under the [state] Constitution is call a special session for the General Assembly to address a specific issue," said Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman. "But he can't make us pass a law."

The problem with the legislation banning foreign money is two-fold:

First, it almost never happens and is probably unenforceable anyway. MAGA Republicans in the Ohio legislature got their shorts in a bunch last year when a Swiss billionaire gave money to a PAC which then funded another PAC that spent money to help pass Issue 1, the abortion rights amendment Ohio voters approved overwhelmingly last year.

Secondly, the bill containing the foreign money ban also contains language that voting rights advocates say would make it hard, if not impossible, for local residents to get their issues on local ballots.

And into this dog's breakfast of a fight comes the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which has a solution that will turn the Ohio House Republicans into irrelevant bystanders.

The problem all along is that Ohio has a deadline of 90 days before the election to certify candidates. This year, that would be Aug. 7. The bad news for Democrats is that its presidential nominating convention in Milwaukee doesn't start until 12 days later.

The DNC will end-run the recalcitrant Republicans by fixing the problems itself.

ANALYSIS: Despite Republican efforts, Biden will be on Ohio's ballot in November

"They will call convention leaders and be able to document enough members to vote for Joe Biden, to certify that he will be on the ballot and to be able to present that to our Secretary of State," Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio told Ohio Public Radio.

"Through a virtual roll call, we will ensure that Republicans can't chip away at our democracy through incompetence or partisan tricks and that Ohioans can exercise their right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice," said DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison in a written statement.

Biden and Kamala Harris were nominated by a "virtual roll call" in 2020 because the pandemic made an in-person convention impossible.

COVID was the roadblock in 2020. Some Ohio House Republicans are the roadblock now.

But when you come to a roadblock, there is almost always a detour to take.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.