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Ohio's Top Democratic Ticket Implodes, Republicans Expected to Win Big on Nov. 4

By       Message Samuel Vargo       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

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The high echelon of the Ohio Democratic Party needs a good walloping. How could things get so disjointed, so dysfunctional, so strange, even so criminal?

The two candidates they chose to run against incumbent Republican dynamos are expected to create havoc and dread at the city and county levels throughout Ohio, thanks to the trickle-down effects associated with scandal. The picks for Ohio's Governor and Attorney General have turned out to be true political trainwrecks. Ugh!

David Pepper, the Democratic pick to run against long-standing political juggernaut Mike DeWine, has forked over $9,229 in fines for 182 violations, including about a dozen for expired license plates, over a 14-year period, the Associated Press found in reviewing Hamilton County records. A practicing lawyer from the far southwestern nook of the Buckeye State, Pepper's most recent ticket was on July 3, for which he paid a $90 fine. (See: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/08/19/David-Pepper-parking-tickets.html)

Although parking and traffic citations normally fall into the misdemeanor class, except for felony DUI charges (of which, Pepper has none), racking up such a large number of tickets that they could probably fill up a filing cabinet is a major gaffe. How's that old biblical saying go about if you can't handle little things, how are you going to handle big things? For the working people of Ohio, many who are churchgoing Christians, there's a bit of judgement going on right before election day. It's only human nature, after all. . . .

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From flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/6208359954/: John Kasich started his Governorship in Ohio on some pretty rocky political soil, but he's expected to win by a landslide against a Democratic contender who's been plagued by scandals.
John Kasich started his Governorship in Ohio on some pretty rocky political soil, but he's expected to win his second term by a landslide.
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
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Meanwhile, the gubernatorial pick of Ohio's Democratic 'Good and Great," was hit by a scandal when he was discovered at 4:30 a.m. on some wild and widemouthed occasion, in a parking lot, with a woman that is not his wife. And things get even weirder: At the time of this incident, it was discovered that Democratic Golden Boy Ed Fitzgerald wasn't licensed to drive alone, and he hadn't been for years, for the simple reason that he just didn't bother to get a "permanent driver's license." It was later discovered, by the way, that Fitzgerald drove without a driver's license for around a decade. Having the entirety of his top-ranking campaign staff up and quit on him hasn't helped his image much, either. And if that doesn't sap the sap out of the Democratic tree, Fitzgerald has the misfortune of running against an incumbent who has the image of being a squeaky clean family man. And Ohio loves squeaky clean family men who are playing in the political game.

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Six days before Ohio's General Election on Nov. 4, Nailah Byrd, the Cuyahoga County inspector general, issued a 45-page report that skewers Fitzgerald, the Cuyahoga County Eexecutive, for not having a valid driver's license. Byrd ruled that FitzGerald committed a "breach of trust" and that he should be disciplined for this transgression. The hammer head of punitive consequence, though, might be the fact that Fitzgerald drove for 10 years without a proper driver's license.

The typical American voter, not only in Ohio, but in any state, actually, would think right away: If these guys can't even follow the rudimentary rules regarding travel, who are they to be handling major decisions for an entire state? And in any political way you view Ohio on the scale, it's a very significant state, too.

Innumerable reports have prognosticated that Nov. 4's election will see an abysmal turnout at the voting booths.

According to the Chillicothe Gazette: "The Nov. 4 turnout could be as low as 40 percent of registered voters -- which would be a record low for an Ohio governor's race, estimated John Green, director of the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. (See: http://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/local/2014/10/25/voter-turnout-governors-race-break-record-lows/17898663/)

People vote when a race is competitive, and this year's governor race has been anything but. The latest Quinnipiac Poll has incumbent Gov. John Kasich trouncing Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald by 57 percent to 35 percent among likely voters surveyed. (See ibid: http://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/local/2014/10/25/voter-turnout-governors-race-break-record-lows/17898663/)

In Ohio, the top billing for the title fight is for that of governor. And although in many ways, Kasich has been both a controversial and an unpopular governor in his first term, it almost looks like it will be a first-round knockout after the bell rings this coming Tuesday. And it's going to have a trickle-down effect, too. If you've got a 'D' behind your name in the upcoming general election, expect a hard-fought win, unless you're Mr. or Ms. Popularity and have been a political fixture in your little neck of the Ohio woods for a long time.

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"What at one time potentially appeared to be a close race or even a pickup opportunity for Democrats has become the largest Republican major-state opportunity of the year," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. (http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/10/ed_fitzgerald_gets_an_october.html)

"Having a potential blowout at the top of the ticket raises questions about the ability of those Democrats further down the ballot to survive," Brown said. "Who could've imagined when Senate Bill 5 went down that John Kasich would be getting a quarter of the Democratic vote in his re-election?" (See ibid: http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/10/ed_fitzgerald_gets_an_october.html)

Just as Obamacare was the President's crown jewel, Ohio Senate Bill 5 was Gov. Kasich's prized political baby. Also known as the Ohio Collective Bargaining Limit Repeal, it appeared on the Nov. 8, 2011 general election ballot as a veto referendum. And Senate Bill 5 was repealed by Ohio voters after a campaign by firefighters, police officers and teachers fought against the measure statewide, at the grassroots level. If passed, SB 5 would have limited collective bargaining for public employees. Also, if it had passed, SB 5 would have prevented unions from charging fair share dues to employees who opt out of the union ranks. This would nix the "closed shop" of union-only rank-and-file employees, in other words.

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Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)
 

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