Thursday, June 16, 2005

Change for Ohio

I joined fellow Ohio Democrats yesterday at a gathering of potential statewide candidates in Cincinnati. We have an obligation to renew Ohio's sputtering economy and create jobs, to restore public trust in the handling of tax dollars, and to labor towards the goal of awarding Ohio's electoral votes in 2008 to a Democrat. 2006 presents a historic opportunity.

Candidates for State Treasurer spoke first: Hugh Quill, Montgomery County Treasurer followed Richard Cordray, Franklin County Treasurer. Cordray was the first, and not the last, to hammer away at Coingate, as well as the scandals that forced GOP Treas. Joe Deters from office about two years ago. Cordray has an easy delivery and his presence, and fundraising, reflects the time he's spent on the campaign trail in two previous tries at statewide office. He's also got a good record as County Treasurer.

Quill has been a Treasurer for over ten years and has a sterling reputation. He's racked up the endorsements of roughly two dozen fellow Ohio County Treasurers. Quill has also been to Toledo this year courting elected officials, labor leader, and others lining up support. His no-nonsense approach presents a stark, welcome contrast to the financial hijinks of the Ohio GOP. He said he plans to compare his "legacy of production against their legacy of corruption."

There are two seats up on the Ohio Supreme Court, and Judge Sikora and Judge A. J. Wagner, of Cuyahoga and Montgomery Counties respectively, gave sharp remarks. Judge Sikora, alluding to the 5 GOP Justices who recused themselves from the Coingate cases for taking money from the Noes, said that he understood the GOP running government like big business, but "I wish they hadn't chose to run it like Enron and Halliburton." Judge Wagner noted he was one of 18 children, quoted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and pledged to run as a team with Sikora.

Four people spoke on the Secretary of State's panel: Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, Mahoning Valley State Rep. John Bocceri, Franklin County Municipal Judge Jennifer Brunner, and former State Rep. Brian Flannery. In a surprise move, Flannery announced he was not going to be a candidate for SoS this cycle. Judge Brunner explained it would difficult to discuss the Coingate scandal as a related $215 million class action lawsuit was just assigned to her court. She is a recognized election law expert, and a former staffer for Rep. Sherrod Brown when he was SoS back in the 1980's.

Kilroy threw a blistering shot at Pat DeWine, son of the sitting U.S. Senator from Ohio, and who lost badly in the 2nd Congressional GOP Primary this past Tuesday. "I pledge not to leave behind my pregnant wife for another woman." Ouch. Bocceri is a recent entrant into the SoS race, and just returned from Air Force duty in Iraq. Refering to the problems of SoS Ken Blackwell and Ohio elections, he noted that fighting for democracy in the Midwest is just as important as fighting for democracy in the Mideast.

Two candidates for Auditor followed. Mahoning County Auditor John Reardon, and Ohio House Democratic Leader Chris Redfern. Reardon stressed his experience as an auditor, and seemed very businesslike. He had stickers, banners and brought in a couple dozen supporters, including the excellent Mahoning County Chair Lisa Antonnini. The rationale for Redfern is that he has led the fight against the Ohio GOP machine, had success picking up 3 seats last cycle in the Ohio House, won't be caught napping like incumbent GOP Auditor Betty Montgomery, and pledges to take that fight to the Apportionment Board upon election as Auditor, further helping to break the GOP grip on the Statehouse. Very, very worthy goal. Redfern has served as Chairman of my brother's Oregon City Council campaign since 1999.

Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman gave a strong speech with a memorable ending likening Petro, Taft, Montgomery and Blackwell to an "old, cold, stale, bitter pot of coffee that needs to be thrown out." Rep. Ted Strickland was in DC voting on the Defense bill, and was ably represented by his wife, Frances.

Susan Gwinn, Athens County Chair and Chair of the Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association, organized the event and will play a key role in the success of these candidates next year.

At the outset, former Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher, 53, announced he would not be a candidate in 2006. He gave a statesman-like speech, and discussed the joys of working for families and children as CEO of a Cleveland-based agency. He and his wife Peggy Zone Fisher are class acts.


Blogger Paul said...

Any word on candidates for Attorney General? I know that Subodh Chandra ( has announced.

11:14 AM  
Blogger ProgressiveDepot said...

Anyone running against DeWine or are we simply not putting up a fight? I haven't heard of one candidate thus far.

9:01 AM  
Blogger ram said...

Whatever happened to keepign things above board and not delving into the politics of personal destruction? The personal shot about leaving one's wife is ridiculous.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Kaizen said...

Sherrod Brown, would be a hell of a pick to run against Dewine.

He would get support from all over the nation.

- a Massachusetts Democrat.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Lester Pearson said...

The term "Massachusetts Democrat" sends chills down my spine.

9:00 PM  

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