Statewide Races: News and Notes
Try these newsy bits with tangy barbecue sauce:
Governor: In an odd little story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the approach that each gubernatorial candidate would take to dealing with the General Assembly is discussed. (What level of denial does it take to discuss that seriously for both candidates?) As to Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon), the plan is to move the governor's office from its perch high in an office building tower to a location in the Ohio Statehouse. (I'm not sure what good physicial proximity will do, although I understand that it is a good strategy for parents who want to discourage their children from visiting inappropriate internet sites.) For Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati), the idea was to rely on running mate Rep. Tom Raga (Mason), a three-term incumbent who has a cozy relationship with Republican leadership in the Ohio House and Senate, to act as a liason.
Attorney General: The Columbus Bar Association joins the chorus of those denouncing attack ads like the ones by state auditor Betty Montgomery (R-Perrysburg) that trash an opponent for representation of criminal defendants:
First, such attacks constitute an unprincipled and fundamentally unfair implication that the alleged misdeeds and values of a client are somehow equivalent to those of the attorney representing that client.In yesterday's debate, Montgomery tried to distinguish criticism of Dann's "insensitivity to the victims" in making comments at a sentencing hearing from tarring him for representing criminals generally, but that's hogwash. Much that a criminal defense attorney must do in zealously representing a defendant would have to be categorized as "insensitive to the victims" if you want to look at it from that perspective. In any event ,the presiding judge (a Republican) has praised how Dann handled the particular case highlighted in Montgomery's ads.
Second, the willingness of the attacking candidate to draw such connections and the tendency of some voters to accept them demonstrate a worrisome lack of understanding of the American system of justice.
From the time of its founding, the United States has chosen the adversarial model of justice. Simply put, this system is premised on the belief that if all parties to a controversy are able to have their positions presented vigorously to an impartial judge, that decision-maker will then, and only then, be in the best position to determine the truth of the matter and the appropriate remedy. This system has served us well. ...
Casting the shadows of doubt on an attorney-candidate simply because he or she has represented an unpopular client or point of view in a court of law is harmful to the court, to the election process and ultimately to the public interest.
This type of political opportunism at the expense of justice should stop, and the public should question the motives of those who resort to it.
Auditor: The conservative Cincinnati Enquirer endorsed State Rep. Mary Taylor (R-Green) today, praising her proposals for running the auditor's office such as creating "a system of agency auditors that would be independent of agency managements, reporting to an independent board outside the control of the bureaucrats." (Other newspapers have criticized that same idea as a wasteful additional layer of bureaucracy.) About State Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) the editors says only that she is "also well-qualified."
Treasurer: Plain Dealer columnist Michael McIntyre relates a few details from the Jeopardy-themed fundraiser for Rich Cordray (D-Grove City) last Thursday night in Cleveland. Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis played the role of host "Alex Trebekis," while his employee Bruce Nimrick wore prison garb to impersonate Tom Noe. Host Subodh Chandra "was in a wig as GOP boss Bob Bennett" and "deserved a Tony Award." Cordray played himself. To the clue "Taft administration theme song" the correct question was "What is 'Three Coins in a Fountain?'" For similar clues about Bennett the question was "What is 'Fools Rush In?'" and for Cordray, "What is 'I Fought the Law and the Law Won?'"
For all that it is a conservative paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer today wrote that "Richard Cordray's record as Franklin County treasurer alone is enough to win our endorsement for state treasurer." The editors recount his collecting "$55 million in delinquent taxes by auctioning off overdue accounts to banks, forewarning 6,000 other taxpayers that tax liens would be filed against their properties and letting 1,200 companies know that unpaid debts would be reported to the Better Business Bureau and creditors," among other notable achievements, stating that "Cordray is innovative, progressive and capable."