Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, October 13

Ohio House Races: News and Notes

What all is goin' down in Ohio House races:

13th District: Rep. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) is having a fundraiser at Massimo da Milano, 1400 W. 25th Street in Cleveland, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, October 24th.

14th District: Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland), the "Good Foley," needs 10 to 15 volunteers tomorrow, October 14th, to help distribute yard signs on Saturday. Meet in the parking lot of RG Jones/Nathaniel Hawthorne school, just south of the corner of West 130th and Lorain Avenue, at 10:30 am and again at 2:00pm to help distribute signs for Foley and others on the Democratic ticket. Please email foleypol-at-yahoo-dot-com if you can make it.

20th District: Bev Campbell (D-Gahanna) wrote me a couple of days ago to comment on the mudslinging by her opponent, Rep. Jim McGregor (R-Gahanna). "This is blowing back on them pretty badly from everything I've heard," she wrote. "It certainly is an intense election year!" The mudslinging includes filing a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court claiming that Campbell practiced law without an Ohio license in 2005 when she served for eight weeks as interim staff attorney for two judges in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Eric Brown (D) and Patrick Sheeran (R). Campbell, an Ohio native, was a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey at the time. (I know from personal experience that clerks for judges routinely peform that role without a law license.) “It’s ironic that the party that claims to champion tort reform to curb frivolous lawsuits is itself abusing the system by making specious allegations they know have no merit whatsoever,” Campbell commented. “What’s especially disappointing is that Jim McGregor and I formally agreed that we’d run positive campaigns and avoid the mudslinging we see so much of today. We even shook hands on it. Doesn’t a handshake mean anything in politics today?”

Campbell continues to make great use of low-cost internet-based audiovisual to boost her campaign. She has several short web-hosted video clips on her campaign site, showing her discussing issues at campaign appearances. Here's one example:

[I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available here.]

27th District: AARP has a great Ohio Voters Guide, detailing various candidates' stances on issues of interest to older voters. Minority Leader Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) and challenger John Jufko (R-Columbus) couldn't be any further apart. Beatty supports all the policies endorsed by the AARP (including redirecting funding from nursing homes to home and community-based services, establishing a bulk purchasing program to make prescription drugs more affordable, and state government playing a role in ensuring every Ohioan has access to adequate and affordable health coverage), Jufko supports none.

46th District: Mark Dansack (D-Monclova Township) issued a press release this week announcing labor endorsements (Toledo Area UAW-CAP Council, The Ohio State Legislative Board of the United Transportation Union - Toledo Area, AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, Teamsters Ohio DRIVE, Teamsters Local 20 and Joint Council No. 44). "It is extremely gratifying to earn and receive the support of such a diverse group of organized labor, as these folks understand that the current representative and Governor Taft are more interested with assisting those folks at the top of the income brackets in Ohio while ignoring the plight of ordinary, hard working Ohioans," Dansack wrote. "I am proud and humbled to accept the support of these major labor institutions across our state, and pledge to work in the areas of education and job creation, retention and retraining for displaced workers to attempt to lift the status of Ohio's workers who have been left behind by the Taft administration." House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) has praised Dansack as a "prime example of just how energized Democrats are in 2006," adding that "in cities and small towns throughout Ohio, there's a fight going on for change, and Mark Dansack is part of that fight." Dansack will be at a candidate forum on senior issues on Wednesday, October 11th, at the Sunset House on Indian Road in Toledo, and will be in Sylvania on October 15th for the Sylvania Fall Festival from 11:00 am though 3:00 pm.

57th District: The AARP Ohio Voters Guide gives Rep. Earl "Marty" Martin (R-Avon Lake) a failing grade. Challenger Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) checked off all five questions in accordance with the organization's views, Martin checked none. As to state government playing a role in ensuring every Ohioan has access to adequate and affordable health coverage, Martin commented that he "supports creating more direct consumerism." Huh?

Lundy wrote to me yesterday to say that he has been endorsed by the Sun Newspaper for Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville. Unfortunately, I can't find the endorsement online. He has issued a press release calling on Martin to pay his property taxes on his beachfront estate, "Martin's Cove." Martin is one of 28 property owners whose deeds include rights to property known as Sunset Beach. When Lorain County billed them for unpaid taxes on this property, the majority paid but Martin did not. “Earl has decided to stick it to his neighbors by sticking them with the taxes," Lundy said. "He needs to do the right thing and pay his share of the taxes, as any good neighbor would do. It’s ironic that Earl voted for the largest tax increase in Ohio history, but won’t pay his fair share of taxes.” Aside from the tax dispute, neighbors had complained that Martin erected a fence that kept neighbors away from the property. Police were called to Martin’s lakefront home when neighbors attempted to conduct a survey. “Since Earl wasn’t able to secure the property for himself, it looks like he decided to go home and pout about it," Lundy said. "Earl is a state representative who should know that his actions are arrogant and embarrassing.”

61st District: The Canton Repository yesterday endorsed attorney Mark Okey (D-Carrollton) over former county auditor Brant Luther (R-Alliance), writing that Okey "would take an interesting combination of interests and expertise to the Statehouse" because he "is the managing partner of a Canton law firm and has spent his career in the city, but he lives on and manages a farm in Carrollton." The editors praise his view on "the unnecessary restrictions the Legislature has placed on lawsuits," his desire to "resolve contradictions among state agencies in the regulation of large farms," and his intention to "aggressively promote construction of plants that create fuel from crops that Ohio farmers grow." They also like his position that "education funding should be the state’s top priority."

67th District: Jeff Ruppert (D-Franklin) has received an "A" from the National Rifle Association, the highest rating awarded to any non-incumbent candidate. "I truly appreciate the NRA's recognition of my commitment to the Second Amendment and Ohio sportsmen," Ruppert said. "Support for Ohioans' individual freedoms has been a central theme of my campaign, and I want voters to know that as Warren County's next State Representative I'll stand with gun-owners and sportsmen to defend our Second Amendment rights, and fight to expand opportunities to hunt and fish in Warren County and Ohio. I was raised a sportsman, and I understand how important the outdoor life is to many families. I know my hunting dogs Lucy Long and Augusta would approve of my Grade A." Ruppert has formed a group called "Sportsmen for Ruppert." Gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) has also received an A from the NRA and Ruppert says that he has "worked closely with the Ted Strickland campaign to form 'Sportsmen for Strickland.'"

71st & 91st Districts: The Newark Advocate has a coverage today of candidate debates in these two races.

In the 61st, State Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and Thomas Holliday (D-Pataskala) differed sharply on tax abatements. Holliday said he favors TIFs, but not tax abatements, for local government. TIFs redirect tax money from new developments for infrastructure improvements related to the development. "I feel very strongly (local governments) need to have as many resources in the tool box necessary to attract business," Holliday said. "Part of what we do as leaders is lead, and I think that we have an opportunity to take a leadership approach to this. And if we decide we don't want tax abatements here, maybe others will follow our lead." Hottinger objected, saying that "to unilaterally stop tax abatements in the state of Ohio - the incredible amount of detrimental impact that will have cannot be overstated. We may as well post signs at the border that say, 'Go Away,' 'Do Not Enter,' and 'Going out of Business.' If we were to eliminate tax abatements and try to compete with the other 49 states that have them, good-bye any economic development." Holliday later said Hottinger was being an alarmist. "Overall, tax abatements may, on the surface, appear effective and work," Holliday said. "Wal-Mart's strategy is to come in and wipe out small business, and the only way they'll come in is if they get a fistful of tax abatements." Hottinger said he favors raising the wage to the federal minimal wage, but opposes putting such language in the state constitution. Holliday said increasing the wage will help Ohio stay competitive with other states.

In the 91st, Dan Dodd (D-Millersport) and William Hayes (R-Pataskala) differed on workers' compensation, the use of TIFs for counties, and the minimum-wage amendment. "I do support extending the ability to implement TIFs to townships, but I have some reservations on counties," Dodd said. "Those are awful big entities. To extend to a countywide basis, that's an awful big area." Hayes said he supports extending the use of TIFs from municipalities to townships and counties. Hayes (62) emphasized his greater experience than Dodd (28). Dodd said he gained valuable experience as an intern for former Sen. John Glenn (D). "He talks about experience, but who's walked the walk as far as fiscal responsibility?" Dodd said. "I know I've talked to people who say we need young blood to really shake things up." Hayes, like Hottinger, said he favors raising the minimum wage, but not through a constitutional amendment. Dodd said he supports the amendment. "To me, anybody that can work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year and make under $11,000, that's unconscionable," Dodd said. "In a perfect world, I would not want this in the Ohio Constitution, but I think $5.15 an hour just is not going to cut it for the working-class families in Ohio."


At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in house district 46 and the Ohio GOP has delivered two slam pieces this week claiming Mark Dansack will raise your taxes.

Of course, I went back to the source (a radio interview with U of Toledo's campus radio station) and Dansack was talking about education funding reform, reducing property taxes, and then looking for a new source of funding for public schools.

The GOP must fear that Dansack is gaining traction and they're firing up their sleaze machine. Most people I've talked with agree that the literature pieces are childish at best and reek of the desperation the GOP must be feeling in Columbus at this point.

Keep up the fight, Mark. Keep talking about the issues that have been ignored by the republicans. We may finally get an independent voice to fight for the working folks of Western Lucas County.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy, Mike! How's your bro?


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