Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thoughts on the Ohio '06 primaries

"When I think of what you've made of it the phrase 'pig's ear' comes irresistibly to my mind."
-Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Sadly, the same words now come irresistibly to mind when I think of the upcoming "primaries" that are to be held on May 2. Via Ohio 2nd, I found this from Openers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer weblog. It tells of an event where some people, including Hackett supporters, went to hear Sherrod Brown speak:

Greg Triosi of Cincinnati, who volunteered on rival Paul Hackett's campaign for Congress last year as well as on Hackett's recently aborted Senate campaign, stormed out of the meeting in a huff. "I can't stand to hear that guy talk," Triosi said.

He said Brown hadn't adequately addressed Hackett's complaints of rumor-mongering by the Brown campaign, and hadn't made efforts to reach out to Hackett's camp.

"Right now, I would like to be able to say that my heart is in it for Sherrod Brown, but I just don't feel that yet," Triosi said. "Maybe in the future I will get there, but right now I'm too hurt that it turned out this way."

But Brown's remarks about health care, the minimum wage and Social Security earned hearty applause from those who, unlike Triosi, stayed to hear him out.

Afterwards, Brown discounted Triosi's beef. "You can find someone for any anecdote," he said as he dined on a 3-Way (spaghetti, chili and shredded cheese) at a Skyline Chili franchise next to the union hall. "We're going to unify Democrats. I think we have already done that. These people are with me. Paul last week said 'Vote for Sherrod Brown.'

"We're going to have a very united Demoratic Party, more than we've had in years."

Anyone else tired of having your "beefs" dismissed? As I commented over at Ohio 2nd... Again with the Kerry flashbacks. Hearing it stated as fact that people are "moving on" and "uniting" and having genuine anger and feelings of betrayal "discounted". We don't exist, we're not real, we don't count. Screw that.

Lent is coming up. Let's see some repentance before the party resurrection. If we *don't" see that, Brown remains "dead to me".

Also, via BuckeyeSenate, the ODP executive committee meet tonght to vote on whether and who to endorse pre primary. The blogger makes a point I hadn't considered before regarding why endorsing in contested primaries would not be a good idea:
One of the reasons I think they are making a mistake is because we have open primaries in Ohio. Your party affiliation is determined by which ballot, if any you cast in a primary. That information is then used during a general election GOTV effort to identify people and target them to vote for your guy.

By having lackluster or empty primaries you drive down turnout, hence you dirve down the number of people you can later identify as part of a GOTV program. We could easily see 200,000 less peope vote in this primary than we might have seen if we had had exciting contested primaries.

That's 200,000 people's doors we might needlessly knock on, meaning 200,000 people's doors we don't get around to knocking on. John Kerry lost in 2004 by 100,00 votes. Do the math.

Jill at Writes Like She Talks also weighs in with Maybe no one else cares, but that's never been a good reason for me not to. See also Ohio 2nd's comments on this topic.

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