Friday, December 4, 2009

AICUO at the Statehouse

For those visiting Columbus, I highly recommend a visit to the new Statehouse museum. The museum has been open for several months, and even though I spend a great deal of time in the Statehouse, yesterday was the first opportunity I have had to spend a few minutes to view the exhibits.

There are solid displays about the nature of our state government, how the legislative process works, and other things you would expect to see in a good state capital museum. For a political junkie like myself, I certainly enjoyed seeing the charmingly dated television commercials (Gov. Celeste on the stump), the straw hats, and other goodies from the campaign trail.

As AICUO president, however, the biggest surprise was just as I left. The museum itself is in an awkward space in the Statehouse basement. The designers used the unusual curved, overhead walls to display oversized images of campaign buttons. I hadn't noticed this until I started to walk out of the exhibits. It was then that I saw a little bit of AICUO preserved for the future.

Above is the picture of State Representative Larry Christman's campaign button. For those that don't know, Larry was a four-term state representative and former chairman of the higher education finance subcommittee. He then later served 22 years as the president of AICUO. For those who know Larry, and those who want to learn more about state government, a few minutes at the Statehouse Museum is a pleasant diversion.

—C. Todd Jones