Rumor Mill: “Buckwheat” Bob Hagan as ODP Chairman?

With the election a week and a half behind us, we’ve all had time to digest, and either celebrate or mourn the results. But fear not, Ohio political nuts. There is still plenty of drama to be had in the off season.

The storyline holding over from last Tuesday is all about who will replace disgraced ODP Chairman, Chris Redfern, who resigned on election night. Twitter has been trickling out rumors and theories since then, but none as laughable as today when David Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman, threw his full fledged support behind none other than State Rep Bob Hagan.

Bob Hagan even tweeted confirming his interest in the party’s top spot.

For those who don’t know David Betras, he’s a highly regarded County Chairman who was singled out by Chris Redfern, in an interview with David Skolnick, of the Vindicator, as a worthy successor. Skolnick reports that, rather smartly, Betras separated himself from Redfern’s comments by denying any interest.

Whether or not he’s interested himself, it’s clear Betras has the ears and attention of the whos-who at ODP. So his endorsement of a potential replacement means something.

In case you live under a rock, Bob Hagan is currently a State Representative from Ohio’s 60th District representing the Youngstown area. He also is the same state rep who referred to an African-American constituent as “buckwheat” on Facebook. And who can forget the “hair shirt” comment?

Hagan is cut from the same cloth as Redfern. Redfern has had his share of social media run ins with his pesky constituents, and we all saw what happened under Redfern’s leadership.

I know many respectable Democrats, well not many, but a few, and after all they’ve been through, they probably at least deserve a Chairman who isn’t a complete buffoon, or a blatant racist.

But the ODP that we’ve all come to know and love is sure, no matter who it is, to find someone who will provide plenty of fodder from now until the next election.

Connie Pillich the latest victim of Chris Redfern’s “Endless Summer”

endless-summer2Last week was the first time we saw polling numbers for the Ohio Attorney General race. The Democrats, at his request, have withheld David Pepper’s polling numbers. When different poll was released and we got a glimpse of them, it was easy to understand why.

Of course we all know about the “Wreck of Edward FitzGerald,” and recently, State Rep Connie Pillich (D – Cincinnati) became the latest Democrat to suffer an abysmal polling performance.

According to a poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies this week, and sent to supporters of incumbent Treasurer Josh Mandel,  Pillich trails by double digits, 44% – 33%, overall, and a shocking 67% in name recognition, even being behind in her own stomping grounds. You can view the full memo here.

memo

In the wake of FitzGerald and Pepper, the Democrats badly needed someone to rally support. So badly, FitzGerald began funneling his campaign cash (what little he had) back into the down ticket efforts. But the deficit Pillich is facing, particularly in basic name recognition, is so large, to overcome would require a miracle.

And the stress keeps piling on for Party Chairman Chris Redfern. It’s been a really, really bad summer him. Here’s a guy who thinks so highly of himself, he scoffs at his constituents on Facebook when asked a challenging question. Imagine how frustrating it must be to wake up every single morning, knowing the greatest obliteration of a ticket in state history could happen on your watch.

Here’s the thing. Ohio is the penultimate swing state, and has heavily influenced nearly every Presidential election in the past century. But thanks to the hard work of strong candidates, thousands of individuals, and with a little (ok, a lot) of help from Chris Redfern, every statewide office is Republican, the State Senate is 70% Republican (23-10), and the Ohio House of Representatives is 60% Republican (59-40).

The writing has been on the wall for FitzGerald and Pepper, and now, Pillich seems to have joined them. One can only wonder, in this “Endless Summer,” how much more failure can Redfern and the Democrats take?

 

Why is David Pepper hiding his poll numbers?

David PepperIn case anyone was wondering, polling numbers for the Ohio Attorney General race have finally been revealed. After months of hiding even their own internal poll numbers, it was clear David Pepper was embarrassed by what the numbers said.

His “campaign team” has tried for months to divert the attention of voters from the plain fact that they are sitting on poll numbers, from the Democrats own polling company, left-leaning PPP. The logical explanation was that the numbers were not good for Pepper. I mean, why else would you NOT share the numbers?

Recently, the speculation was confirmed.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group was able to obtain a polling memo prepared for the Republican Party, and the results are, well, laughable.

Not only is David Pepper down, big, he’s getting doubled up by incumbent Mike DeWine. DeWine is polling at 60 percent (margin of error is 3.5 percent). Most attribute it to his success and widespread approval of his performance in several offices representing Ohio voters, both here and in Washington, over several decades. David Pepper stands at a paltry 31 percent.

A near-30 point defeat would be absolutely embarrassing, even for David “Every 4 Years” Pepper. But after so many elections, voters were sooner or later going to wise up to his act, and send him a message. If this holds, it will be a strong message indeed.

Cuyahoga Dems Pile On Ed FitzGerald, Joke At His Expense

Have you ever done something so laughable that you became the butt of every joke among your friends? It isn’t fun, or at least, that’s what I’m told. Maybe I should ask Ed FitzGerald.

At this point, every voter in Ohio has heard about the Wreck of Edward FitzGerald, his late night rendezvous, his illegal driving habits, and his campaign packing it in, just months shy of the election.

It’s to the point now that Ed’s fellow Democrats in Cuyahoga County have joined the fun, and begun cracking jokes at the beleaguered candidate’s expense.

Andrew Tobias of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that during yesterday’s County Council hearing, Council President C. Ellen Connally, one of FitzGerald’s former Democratic allies, made a quip at FitzGerald’s expense. While planning for the interior design of the upcoming Hotel and Convention Center, she made a remark about the “room for the Irish Delegation,” referring to Joanne Grehan, the infamous “Woman in the car” from FitzGerald’s well publicized scandal.

Well played Ms. Connally.

Tobias goes on to retell how other members of Council even berated Councilman Pernel Jones “while joking about his poor parking job in the parking garage,” asking to see his driver’s license. That is, of course, assuming has one, an assumption not easily made these days when it comes to Democrats in office.

The woes if the FitzGerald campaign have come full circle, as even his friends back home have joined the raucous cajoling on his poor decision-making. I mean, at this point, the jokes are writing themselves. Why not join the fun, right?

Poor Ed FitzGerald has realized every candidate’s worst nightmare. His team has abandoned him, his hopes of winning all but disintegrated, and his friends back home digging into his antics. It’s enough to almost make me feel sorry for him… Almost.

 

Redfern and ODP Think Voters Are Stupid

We all know to take poll numbers with a grain of salt. Polls can be valuable in any campaign. But sometimes, instead of helping a campaign, the polls are used to manipulate voters.

In the weeks following Ed FitzGerald’s epic meltdown, the Ohio Democratic Party paid for and published a PPP poll for all the statewide races. They’ve done this before. Strangely, the polls paid for by Democrats showed their candidates in much stronger positions that other comparable polls would indicate, all the way down the ticket.

Quinnipiac University is renown and well respected for their political polling. Their latest poll indicated that FitzGerald should give up. 12 points is an impossible gap to overcome with under 90 days to go.

But a sudden surge in FitzGerald’s popularity could not only indicate him trending upward, and give more voters confidence in supporting him, but it could potentially energize the base, ensuring more strength down ticket. People like to vote for winners.

So the ODP ordered a new poll. Data was gathered last week. The first ODP/PPP poll published indicated FitzGerald was essentially tied with Kasich. This most recent poll, published after all the mess surrounding all of Ed’s scandals, still maintains FitzGerald is only 6 points back.

6. Points. Back. After all the scandal, secrets, and failed vetting…

Sheesh…

Now, I’ve never personally conducted a poll, and maybe I’m off base. But which is more reasonable? Quinnipiac and every other poll is entirely and absolutely innaccurate, or the ODP and PPP are playing with fudged numbers, or worse, rigged polls, carefully trying to manipulate voters? By pulling the wool over the voters’ eyes, ODP hopes the false numbers manipulate a few more votes, either for FitzGerald or the down ticket candidates.

And I’ll be honest with you. That’s bush league.

If I were a registered Democrat, I’d be furious and how poorly Chris Redfern and his swashbuckling crew of misfits failed to properly vet a Lt. Governor pick, who owes the government over $1 million. No one likes voting for tax dodgers.

I’d be even more upset that they made a mockery of transparency by involving lawyers rather than fill a publc records request. No one likes secrets and liars.

I’d be even more upset that they failed to vet a gubernatorial candidate, so poor, that he made a national mockery of my party in my home state, ruining any chance at winning governor (despite being a longshot anyway), and never mind how that affects every other Democratic candidate. No one likes law-breakers who invite suspicion regarding their fidelity.

And the icing on the cake?

I’d consider switching parties since my party leadership this we, as voters, are SO dense and so out of touch that they would have us believe Ed FitzGerald is within 6 points of a popular incubent governor, after a month of 3-4+ scandals broke to which he has no defense.

I mean, honestly. Does Redfern think anyone is going to buy that FitzGerald is still within single digits, especially when every other reliable poll says he’s all but done, already?

It’s embarrassing enough that Redfern defended and vouched for a guy who, for ten years, felt he was above the law. It makes it worse that Redfern is so elitist that he think Ohio voters will buy his carton of baloney, and get in line to punch his party’s ticket, all thanks to some phony poll numbers.

Come November, Redfern will get his reward. And maybe, if he’s lucky, he’ll be asked to focus on his other job, as a State Rep. I have a few (small few) friends who are Democrats, and as their friend, they deserve a party chair who isn’t such a colossal failure.

Monzel and Hartmann do their job, go to bat for voters of Hamilton County

The fallout from the Icon Tax has been, well, loud. That’s really the only word for it. And in a rare moment of solidarity, Mayor John Cranley and Councilman Chris Seelbach found themselves 100% in agreement. They felt the County Commissioners screwed it up.

Seelbach, an ultra-liberal who notoriously supports frivilous spending, supported the streetcar from inception,a bike-share program, in addition to other pet projects. So naturally, Seelbach has been vocal in supporting the Icon Tax to renovate Music Hall and Union Terminal.

Seelbach supported a plan that saw the county fund $310M while the city brought $20M to the table, all through an increase in sales tax. Cranley, also has backed this plan, siding with Seelbach, and felt the county’s fair share was roughly 93%. Many others, including councilman PG Sittenfeld also supported this plan.

City Leaders supported a plan affecting 800,000+ people, despite only 296,000 living in the city. Important to remember is that city-owned buildings are the city’s responsibility, and guess who owns both buildings? That’s a pretty raw deal for over half a million people living outside the city.

COAST, local conservative groups, and others  were publicly opposed to the sales tax increase, comparing it the stadium deal that still haunts county residents. Many believed the City was shirking their responsibility and that much of the needed funds should come from both the city and patrons of the two establishments.

The board voted 2-1 on a proposal from Chris Monzel for a 5 year, quarter-cent sales tax increase, funding Union Terminal but leaving Music Hall out entirely. The proposal will appear countywide on ballots in November.

The plan was a compromise between both sides, and, it was done in good faith to best represent the constituents wishes, according Greg Hartmann. In other words, The County Commissioners Board did it’s job, and functioned exactly as designed.

But the City counted it as total loss, and the public outcry began.

John Cranley lamented the “half baked, and half cocked” plan. He declared that Hartmann and Monzel owed an explanation as to why they wanted to “raise taxes,” apparently forgetting that the reason was to spruce up Union Terminal. Cranley felt putting more than 7% of the responsibility on the city was akin to treating residents as “second-class citizens.”

Seelbach began to tweet incessantly to #FireMonzel, even turning on a fellow party-member who the voters selected in the primary, Sean Feeney. Talk about ruthless, and self serving.

With the streetcar saga still fresh in voters’ minds the city shown it doesn’t exactly have “fiscal responsibility” at the top priority. And Monzel and Hartmann sought to make rest of the county didn’t become victims of the Tax-and-Spend Wild West that the city of Cincinnati has become. Nor would they let the city dump financial responsibilities in their lap.

Hartmann told the Enquirer that he believe Cranley was “frustrated we didn’t turn Music Hall into a county liability instead of a city liability.”The commissioners made a decision based on what they felt their constituents wanted, and the stuck to it. They did their job. Such a novel concept, or at least a foreign one to a lot of elected officials.

All-in-all, the voters can be certain that Monzel and Hartmann have their best interest in mind, while understanding the lack of responsible leadership that exists in Cincinnati.

What if I told you that Cincinnati would one day be wishing it had better leaders? What if I told you the millennials that Seelbach and crew are catering to are, according to studies, likely to vote any overspenders out? Seems like that would be a pretty big wake up call indeed. One that’s badly needed.

 

Surging GOP Prepared to leave Hamilton County Dems In Their Dust

In recent weeks, it’s been easy to forget that Hamilton County has politics of their own. The county that makes up Greater Cincinnati has stayed under the radar, as Cuyahoga County and their Head Jester, Ed FitzGerald, have been occupying Twitter feeds all over the state. But this week, a story developed with some pretty heavy implications.

The County and the City of Cincinnati have been at odds over who, if anyone, should pay for upkeep and renovations for Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine, and Union Terminal on the westside, now housing the Cincinnati Museum Center. This week, two-thirds of the Hamilton County Commissioners voted down the proposal, dubbed the “Icon Tax”, countering with a mild compromise that opponents of the tax view as a win. They approved some funding for Union Terminal only.

In the wake of the Icon Tax more or less failing, its supporters have been drawn into a frenzy, foaming at the mouth and coming directly after Commissioner Chris Monzel. Sitting Cincinnati Councilman Chris Seelbach has been leading the charge on Twitter using #FireMonzel.

Conservative Monzel, being up for re-election this year in a left-leaning county, would be in trouble, one would think. But during primary season, the Hamilton County Democratic Party failed to recruit a legitimate candidate. They were left to choose between two candidates, neither of whom had ever held public office.They ended up electing Sean Feeney in May.

But now, with a new found fury against Monzel, they are charging to put up a candidate who can beat him. But if they can’t get Feeney to resign by 4pm today (August 8th), they are plum out of luck.

Seems like a dire situation for Hamilton County Democrats, but the implications are larger. It’s yet another sign of a weakened Hamilton County Democratic Party.

During the election in which John Cranley, a Democrat, won the Mayor’s seat, HCDP chose to not endorse a candidate, resulting in very low voter turnout. And without a contender from their own party, conservatives chose the “limited-spending” Cranley over Roxanne Qualls, pushing him over the top. (Thoughts from both Chairman as reported by the News Record).

Weak candidates don’t unite the base. Weak party leadership will sink the ship. Especially when your opponent is strong. GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou  is as effective a county chair as their is in the state. Not only has he managed to take back the 3 member Board of Commissioners, but he is widely thought to have been key in lining up supporters for Cranley, after Cranley promised to kill the streetcar.

The GOP is gaining steam. The fact that Monzel was viewed as unbeatable, and the Democrats couldn’t recruit a legitimate candidate in the spring, further proves it. It’s only a matter of time before the conservatives who were instrumental in getting Cranley elected have a serious candidate of their own to get behind, for Mayor and beyond.

If the GOP sweeps the statewide ticket in November, you can bet Hamilton County won’t be far behind, leaving Tim Burke and the Democratic Party behind them in a cloud of dust.

 

Witness: FitzGerald Was in the Back of the Car, May End Up Under the Bus

The Saga surrounding Ed FitzGerald’s late night escapades are getting murkier and murkier. In a surprise twist, Henry J. Gomez from the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported today that the lone witness to the incident has come forward and released a statement through his attorney.

This witness, Casey Hager, “saw the car’s occupants climb into the backseat.” According to the NEOMG, Hager issued his statement through his attorney.

Hager released more details, including seeing the couple climb from the front of the SUV to the back seat, and even mentioned back and forth motion.

Hager reported seeing a “man emerge from the backseat, along with a woman, wearing a sportcoat.”

It’s rather chivalrous to lend your dinner jacket to a woman who may be cold. But in a car, it’s much easier to just turn on the heat. Unless of course that particular woman needs to quickly regain her modesty, due to a surprise visit from two police officers.

It’s becoming more clear why Ed’s campaign has been so secretive. If the keycards had come out, they may have lead to Ed’s driver’s license issue becoming public as well. And if that became public, it would lead directly to a dark parking lot, in October of 2012.

This incredible turn of events casts an immediate shadow of doubt over FitzGerald’s repeated denial that any hanky-panky occurred. If it were 17 year-old Ed FitzGerald in that car, getting caught by his parents with a girl, they’d never believe he wasn’t getting frisky. But Ed expects the voters of Ohio to believe him when he says nothing inappropriate happened? Sheesh…

After weeks of speculation, it looks like we know what Ed was hiding.

Redfern Fails At Humanitarian and Constituent Service

By now, most of you have heard all the details surrounding the water crisis in Toledo. A bad situation to say the least, thousands of people are still without water.

Typically, when situations like these arise in the middle of a hot campaign season, we get to see a candidate’s true colors. Some put aside their own agenda, their own campaign, and pitch in to help. Others view the scenario as a way to capitalize, politically.

Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and Representative for the 89th District to the Ohio General Assembly, Chris Redfern, showed us his colors in the wake of the water crisis.

Not one to let anyone forget how important he is, he regularly posts on social media, providing his commentary of the comings and goings of Ohio politics. It seems fitting he would give a shoutout or two to the relief efforts in Toledo, lauding a few members of the relief team.

While some were quick to second Redfern’s praise, one citizen showed her concern about Redfern’s commitment to those affected. Toledo resident Aimee Bloom asks Redfern, “Did you do anything for us?”

A very poignant question, indeed, considering Lake Erie is Redfern’s stomping ground, and simultaneously the root of the issue in Toledo.

Redfern could have actually answered the question, but that would imply he owed the people an explanation when asked. It would have also put him on record admitting he put very little, if any, effort into helping out.

Instead, in typical liberal fashion, he punts. And to top it off, announces he has unfriended Ms. Bloom, a very bold step, indeed.

“Yup, Aimee Bloom, I did. I unfriended you. Bye” – Chris Redfern

Throwing a tantrum when asked a tough question is a bad sign for someone in such a high leadership position. But what worse is that it seems Redfern has forgotten his duty as a State Representative, to represent and answer to the people. A State Rep doesn’t get to dodge the tough questions, while grandstanding in the wake of a catastrophe.

The voters of the 89th district, and the members of the Ohio Democratic Party should hold Redfern accountable to his duties, and remind him who he works for.

Richard May Is At It Again…

The internet has been a tremendous tool of innovation in politics. It provides dozens of new and innovative ways for campaigns to reach voters. And, sometimes, even a serves as a soapbox for the idiots that somehow, make it through a primary.

Third Base Politics recently introduced our readers to Richard May, GOP candidate in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, highlighting a report from the Toledo Blade in which they shed some light on his motivation for seeking office in a district that Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur (who won by 50 points in 2012). The Blade reported that May was “running primarily to keep an openly gay man off the GOP ticket.” A ticket in which no Republican could hope to win. It can be inferred that May did this, based on principle.

As if anyone needed further reason to dislike him, May recently posted a note on Facebook, where he made a few rather incendiary remarks. For reasons still unknown (it’s likely due to the crazy gene), May drew comparison between politicians and “sluts.” His exact words were:

“Remember this, do not fall in love with a politician just like one does not fall in love with a slut. Both the politician and the slut will cheat on you with some Democrat.”

Henry J. Gomez, of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reported that, not only did May post this publicly on his Facebook, but he slapped his disrespectful rhetoric all over his Twitter feed as well.

Jay Caruso, of Pocket Full of Liberty, reports that in the wake of May’s outlandish remarks, fellow Republican Tom Haren, running for Ohio State Senate in the 23rd District, has called upon May to make a public apology. The silver lining here is that an upstanding candidate like Tom Haren isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade, whether that spade is a member of his party or not. It shows his character.

It’s times like this when commentary isn’t necessary. The craziness speaks for itself, loud and clear.We can all sit back, grab some popcorn, and wait for Richard May’s next act.