Monday, January 23, 2006

The Ohio Governor's Race

An important election in 2006 is the election of a new governor in the state of Ohio. Due to term limits, Bob Taft (great-grandson of President William Howard Taft) is not able to run for re-election. Given the criminal charges against him for failing to disclose golf outings and other gifts paid for by lobbyists, I imagine Ohio Republicans are glad that he is not able to run again.

The frontrunner among the Republican candidates for governor at this point is J. Kenneth Blackwell, current Secretary of State, who you might remember from the 2004 election. In addition to the voting irregularities and his dual role as Secretary of State and co-chair of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, there's some scary stuff about him over at Theocracy Watch that you might want to check out. So, I think a lot of us are thinking "Anybody But Blackwell".

There are now three Democratic candidates for governor, as I first learned at the Honesty in Government event with Howard Dean last Wednesday. Chris Redfern (the new chair of the Democratic party in Ohio) was asked about somebody's remark that we don't need people from Washington to come in and tell us how to fix Ohio. Because Chris was the one with the microphone, I heard his answer, but was not able to make out the whole question, and in particular, the name of the individual who made the remark that seemed reminiscent of John Edwards during the primaries.

It was only later that I found out the remark was made by Eric Fingerhut, who recently announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination in the race for governor.

Dean's appearance didn't resonate with all Democrats. State Sen. Eric Fingerhut of Cleveland, also running for governor, said he was insulted by a Washington politician coming to Ohio to talk about corruption.

"People know what's happening in the Statehouse. They don't need Howard Dean to come and tell them that," Fingerhut said.

Seriously. Bad. Move.

What's up with that? Trying to score points with the anti-Dean faction? Here is what Chris Redfern said in response:
I've been blessed to serve with many able legislators, Eric Fingerhut among them. My friend Brian Flannery is here from Strongsville also seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of the state of Ohio and of course Ted Strickland. I'm looking forward to having more discussion about the need for reform with all our candidates, and Eric, and Ted and Brian are standing together in calling for the need to reform state government.

I really think it is absurd for someone to be "insulted" about Howard Dean coming to Ohio. As the article I excerpted above states,
Dean's visit gave a national stage to an argument Ohio Democrats have been making for months: Voters should end 12 years of Republican domination of state government because of pervasive GOP corruption.

And that's a *good thing* Eric! How could you not see that?

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