On Nov. 9, 1994, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, Harry Meshel, was handed a “While You Were Out” telephone message sent by an Ottawa County commissioner. Here’s what the message said:
“Ask you that you resign.”
Meshel, former long-time state legislator from Youngstown, was livid. To be sure, the Democratic Party had suffered a stunning defeat in the 1994 statewide elections, starting with the embarrassing loss of the Democratic nominee for governor, Rob Burch, to Republican incumbent, George V. Voinovich.
However, Meshel, who had served as president of the Ohio Senate, was stunned by the audacity of the political whippersnapper from Ottawa County, Chris Redfern.
Fast forward 16-plus years to Jan. 30, 2011.
A note to Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern — yes, the same former commissioner — from Harry Meshel — the same former party chairman and legislator:
“Thought you might like a reminder of your ‘warmth’ toward me after I suffered the defeats of ’94.
“You had a great Governor, a full slate of Dem officeholders, a ton of money.
“I had none of these.
“You failed miserably!
“You have earned the requirement to ‘take the pipe!’
A copy of 1994 telephone message from Redfern to Meshel was superimposed on the note.
What is it they say about payback, Chairman Redfern?