Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Tuesday, September 19

Statewide Races: News and Notes

Items of interest in statewide races:

Governor: The candidates debate tomorrow at noon on the topic of education at the WEWS Studios, 30th St. & Euclid, Cleveland, Ohio. There will be a Strickland rally before the debate at 10:30, and supporters can watch the debate at Strickland campaign offices.

Summit County Executive James McCarthy, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic,and Akron City Council President Marco Sommerville announced their endorsement of Strickland yesterday, writing in a joint letter:
We believe that a Strickland administration will put the interests of the people of Ohio first. Implementation of your vision for our state, Turnaround Ohio, is the best chance that we have to accomplish the two things for the state that we have cared most about in our community: providing jobs for our people and educating our youth--proven to be the number one asset in attracting new jobs.
Strickland will address the Ohio Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs tonight at 7:00 pm at the Goodyear Hunting and Fishing Club, 1221 Wingfoot Lake Road, Mogadore, OH 44260.

Attorney General: State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) has filed a complaint against opponent Betty Montgomery (R) charging that Tom Noe and former Noe employee Sue Metzger violated Ohio's campaign finance laws when the employee made a contribution to Betty Montgomery's campaign using money she was given by Noe. Metzger also funneled money to George Bush's campaign in a scheme for which Noe was convicted and sentenced to 27 months in federal prison. Dann will hold a press conference to discuss his complaint today at 2:00 pm at the Cleveland House of Blues, 303 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

This item in the PD political blog Openers about Montgomery's new sexual predator-focused TV commercial mentions that internal polls show Dann within six points in the Ohio attorney general's race. Whose internal polls, his or hers? Or both?

Auditor: Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) has dropped her Ohio Elections Commission complaint against opponent Rep. Mary Taylor (R-Green) over a question used in a Taylor push poll. Sykes said the poll stated that Sykes was required to repay the City of Akron $500 for improperly charged babysitting fees 20 years ago. Taylor's campaign said Sykes was wrong about the question, but Sykes's campaign said she dropped the complaint because the judge in her federal civil rights lawsuit (involving the same push poll) ordered Taylor to provide Sykes with the text of the questions used, so Sykes can now get to the bottom of it.

Taylor continues to push for four debates between the candidates, but Sykes is holding the line at one, to be held on October 13 in Akron.

Secretary of State: Late last week Jennifer Brunner blasted both current Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) and opponent Greg Hartmann (R-Cincinnati) over unauthorized disclosure of social security numbers over the internet. Brunner noted that WBNS 10-TV in Columbus reported Wednesday that Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) still hasn't removed all social security numbers from the official Secretary of State web site. Blackwell had agreed as part of the settlement of a federal class action filed in March that he would remove them. “People want to trust the word of their public officials, especially when they admit a mistake and pledge to make it right,” said Brunner. “The security of Ohioans’ private information is one of the most important responsibilities of the Ohio Secretary of State."

As to Hartmann, Brunner said that he was sued in 2004 over identity theft that occurred because personal information was taken from a traffic citation posted on the web site he maintains as Hamilton County Clerk. Hartmann removed all traffic tickets from the web site the day after the class action suit was filed, although he called the lawsuit frivolous. In February 2006 identity thieves were indicted for using the same site to steal data for hundreds of Ohio residents, and in July 2006 Hartmann again limited access to the website due to identity theft concerns. “As a judge, I punished people for identity theft,” Brunner said. “I understand the extreme difficulties identity theft creates for its victims. I will safeguard Ohioans’ rights to privacy and protect their private information.”

Treasurer: Republicans are flocking to support Franklin County Treasurer Richard Cordray (D-Grove City) over his extreme right-wing opponent, County Auditor Sandra O'Brien (R-Ashtabula), including banking titans John McCoy, the former CEO of Bank One, and Tom Hoaglin, the current head of Huntington Bank. Other Republicans supporting Cordray are former Columbus Mayor Buck Rinehart, former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas, and ex-Ohio Department of Aging director Joan Lawrence.

Supreme Court: Interesting joint interview of Justice Terrence O'Donnell (R-Rocky River) and challenger Appellate Judge William O'Neill (D-South Russell) in the Mansfield News Journal last Friday. O'Neill explains his position that "a judge shouldn't accept millions of dollars because he may later have to preside over a donor's case," which he equates to buying a seat on the bench. "Outrageous," spluttered O'Donnell. Judges must run for office, he said, and "it's a major media effort. Unless you engage in that, you can't get your message out." But, what about the interview itself? As to the school funding crisis, O'Neill said that the Supreme Court "blew it" because it should have held the General Assembly in contempt of court for failing to implement the Court's rulings.

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