Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Thursday, October 12

Statewide Races: News and Notes

The latest scoop in those critical Ohio statewide contests:

Governor: The new SurveyUSA poll gives Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) a 28 point lead over Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati), an increase of 7 points from last month:

60 % Strickland (D)
32 % Blackwell (R)

Among moderates, Strickland leads by a staggering 66 points, an increase of 29 points from the last poll. Hat-tip BSB.

Attorney General: Nice endorsement for State Sen. Marc Dann (Liberty Township) in the Athens News. "His strong focus on rooting out corruption and making sure state offices and office holders operate above board will be a refreshing change from the too-cozy relations among the all-GOP, all-the-time state offices of recent years."

Auditor: The only candidate debate in this contest will occur tomorrow, October 13th, at The University of Akron Martin Center, 105 Fir Hill. The luncheon debate is co-sponsored by the Akron Press Club and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. The luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m., followed by the debate from 12:10 – 1:10 p.m. Abe Zaidan, Vice Presdient of the Akron Press Club, and Dr. Stephen C. Brooks, acting director of the Bliss Institute, will be co-moderators. For reservations or more information, please contact Bob Burford, president of the Akron Press Club, at 330-672-9154 or by email at burford-at-wksu-dot-org. Time Warner Cable will broadcast the debate locally (tape-delayed) and make the broadcast available Free on Demand through Time Warner Digital Cable. The debate will also be live-streamed over the Internet by the Bliss Institute, tentatively set for this link.

Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) received the endorsement of the Athens News, which praised her management experience and approach to the question of keeping open the work papers of private companies doing public audits. The editors did not like Taylor's proposal to add a level of bureaucracy to the auditing process to make sure internal audits are free from meddling or neglect by the audited agencies, writing "this is unnecessary if the state auditor's office is doing its job of keeping close contact with internal auditors."

Secretary of State: Greg Hartmann (R-Cincinnati) blasted Jennifer Brunner (D-Columbus) as "too partisan" based on a decision she rendered as a Court of Common Pleas Judge in 2002, as reported in the Toledo Blade. She ruled that the Ohio School Facilities Commission erred in disqualifying a contractor from from bidding on a building project. By attacking Gov. Bob Taft's pet school-construction program, Hartmann theorizes, Brunner was attempting to undermine the governor's bid for re-election (which Taft won by a large margin). "This was clearly a political decision from a very partisan judge," he said. "She used it as a political platform to get involved in the governor's race and to attempt some payback."

Brunner is calling it "yet another attempt to hide the real issues in the race for Ohio Secretary of State" and an example of Hartmann "defend[ing] the history of corruption and unethical behavior of the Taft administration." Brunner says she ruled in that case that the practices of the Ohio School Facilities Commission violated Ohio law because nearly $2 billion dollars in school construction contracts had been unilaterally approved by it’s director without commission approval. After her ruling, Taft ordered all school contracts to be ratified by the OSFC after the fact. Later the OSFC’s director was found to have violated Ohio ethics laws in not reporting golf games paid for by school construction contractor personnel and resigned. (Taft pleaded guilty to a similar crime but did not resign.) “Greg Hartmann has now become this year’s defender of unethical and illegal activity by a corrupt Taft administration,” said Brunner. “He supports looking the other way when corrupt activity occurs. We’ve had too much of that from Republican office holders lately.”

Treasurer: Rich Cordray (D-Grove City) has two ads up on YouTube. There are both good. The thirty second one can be viewed here, and this is the fifteen second one:

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

Supreme Court: The Dayton Daily News has endorsed the two Democratic candidates, former state senator Ben Espy (D-Columbus) and appellate judge William O'Neill (D-South Russell). The editors emphasized the need for balance on the court, writing that "the court badly needs a mix of minds to ensure its credibility and to act as a check on the other branches of government, where Republicans have had total control. Ohio's Supreme Court shouldn't be a conservative Republican bastion. Courts are like all other institutions — they're more likely to make good decisions if there's diversity of thought represented around the table."

1 Comments:

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