Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Saturday, October 7

Statewides Races: News and Notes

There's always news about Ohio's statewide contests:

Governor: In the wake of the news that Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) outraised Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) by a 2-1 margin last month, I've heard a rumor that Blackwell's TV advertising has been curtailed and the Republican establishment is in the process of redirecting resources from Blackwell's campaign to the Senate and Congressional races. It makes sense that trying to preserve their national majority in one or both chambers of Congress would be a higher priority than Blackwell's faltering bid for the Governor's mansion.

Attorney General: I heard State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) on the Lanigan and Malone Show on FM 105.7 in Cleveland yesterday morning and I thought he did great. In particular, given a few minutes to talk about the Supreme Court reprimand that Auditor Betty Montgomery (R) keeps harping about, Dann really puts it in proper perspective. What he said is basically like this portion of an email that the Ohio Democratic Party sent out yesterday:
A number of people have also asked me to explain my bar reprimand - an issue I've dealt with a number of times. Here are the facts: I once made a mistake in my private law practice by filing the wrong pleading in a divorce case. I admitted my mistake, made sure my client was not harmed in any way, made changes in my law practice to ensure that it would never happen again, voluntarily agreed to accept a reprimand, and moved on with my life and my career. That is the whole story about that isolated incident in a legal career in which I've handled thousands of cases.
Auditor: The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that the Ohio Republican Party has decided to go ahead and flout copyright law by putting its misleading attack ad against Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) back up on the internet. The ad uses video of a General Assembly floor debate. "This is really disappointing and surprising," said Dan Shellenbarger, executive director of copyright owner Ohio Channel. "The use of this video for political purposes is strictly prohibited." After previously agreeing to pull the ad, GOP Chairman Robert Bennett said Wednesday the party is entitled to show it because it's "a political speech" and Ohio Channel "is supported (in large part) by taxpayer dollars." Also, "Shellenbarger said legislative rules set up by a bipartisan group of lawmakers prohibit the use of floor debate in campaign commercials. Bennett said the GOP is not bound by any legislative agreement." I think that trying to weasel out of the rules makes the ORP look bad, but maybe that's just me. One thing that's clear is that Ohio Channel won't hesitate to take legal steps to enforce its rights.

Secretary of State: I'm told that Greg Hartmann (R-Cincinnati) is a native of Texas who has only lived in Ohio about seven years, and that his father is an attorney who has represented Vice President Dick Cheney (R-Undisclosed Location). I don't think many people are aware of that. Jennifer Brunner (D-Columbus) is a native Ohioan without any known personal ties to national party leaders, although she has been receiving campaign donations from Democrats across the country who don't want to see another partisan Republican in charge of Ohio elections in 2008.

Treasurer: Rich Cordray (D-Grove City) received one of the most emphatic endorsements on record from the Dayton Daily News yesterday. "Do not even think about voting for Sandra O'Brien, the Republican candidate for state treasurer," the editors wrote. "The contrast between her and Democrat Richard Cordray is breathtaking." They said Cordray "is bright and knowledgeable" while Sandra O'Brien (R-Ashtabula) is "confused and in over her head." Noting of O'Brien that "there's much about public finance that she doesn't understand, notwithstanding her 12 years as Ashtabula County auditor," the editors said Cordray is "the kind of candidate Ohio needs more of." They also credited Cordray's work as Franklin County Treasurer in "squeezing overdue taxes from delinquents and for supporting innovative investment policies and strategies." Finally, they said that Cordray "also has worked in the Ohio attorney general's office and served in the Legislature" and is "known in both parties for doing the right thing."

Supreme Court: Following the front page New York Times story about Ohio Justices voting in favor of their campaign contributors most of the time, Ben Espy (D-Columbus) vowed Thursday not to accept campaign contributions from parties that have cases pending before the high court. The other Democratic candidate, Judge William O'Neill (D-South Russell), accepts no campaign contributions at all. No word from the Republican candidates.


At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Ambercat said...

The developing facts on Greg Hartmann are interesting and potentially alarming. His father, Robin P. Hartmann of the Dallas-based Haynes-Boone law firm, did indeed represent Dick Cheney in 2000 in his lawsuit attempting to establish that his residence is Wyoming and not Texas, since it's required that president and vice president not be from the same state. In addition, I've learned that Robin P. Hartmann was being touted to the media as a source to call as a reference for Harriet Miers after Bush appointed her to the Supreme Court. In other words, one can safely say that Hartmann Sr. is an ultra-insider in the Cheney-Bush administration.

Now consider Greg Hartmann, who graduated from Pepperdine law school in 1997 and worked for less than a year at a Dallas law firm, ending in March, 1998. In January, 1999 he suddenly crops up in the Hamilton County prosector's office, where he worked without particularly distinguishing himself (or worse, facts developing) until appointed County Clerk of Counts in early 2003. We all know how he didn't distinguish himself there, as his sloppy work that allowed identity theft to occur has already been well-documented.

Despite being an outsider in a heavily Republican area, with a many longtime party regulars, he became executive director of the Hamilton County Republican Party in 2002, 3-4 years after arriving in town, and was Hamilton County co-chair of the 2004 Cheney-Bush reelection campaign, an honor I'm sure many other of those longtime devoted Republicans would have liked. Obviously, strings were being pulled. Hartmann brougt power with him that didn't belong to him. Nothing in his record suggests he is outstanding in any way.

There's more to come. This suggests all kinds of potentially disastrous scenarios for Ohio, especially for future Ohio elections. This race is an absolute must-win for Brunner for the sake of the citizens of the state.


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