Ohio - Reform Begins Tomorrow

As some will be aware the ineffective ODP Chair Denny white resigned, and the replacement is to be voted on by the Ohio Democratic Party Central Committee (137 members) on the 19th December.

Grass roots in Ohio pressured ODP to hold regional debate forums as part of the process of selecting the new chair. This would give everyone a chance to hear what each candidate has to say, what their plan would be and to be questioned on it.

ODP decline this opportunity, so grass roots organizations set about "Democracy for Democrats"

The current candidates for ODP chair are:

  • Dennis Lieberman,

  • Ohio House Minority Leader Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island.

  • Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune.

  • Dennis Eckart, an attorney and former Cleveland-area U.S. House member.

  • Athens County Democratic Chairwoman Susan Gwinn.

  • Erie County Democratic Chairman David Geise.

  • Bill DeMora, former Ohio Democratic Party executive director.

As part of Democracy for Democrats we have organized a forum debate to take place.

Where: First Congregational Church

444 E. Broad Street (at 9th St.)

Columbus OH, 43215

When: Tuesday December 13th 2005

7:00 - 9:00 PM

Doors open at 6:00 PM

That's right, tomorrow. All but 1 candidate is confirmed to attend, along with the Ohio political press corps. The event is free and open to the public.

As background. Chris Redfern and Dennis Lieberman are the front runners, with Susan Gwinn in 3rd place - all 3 will be at the forum.

To become chair the winning candidate needs a majority, so there will possibly (likely) be run-off voting, where the lowest vote getter gets dropped, and another vote takes place.

I'll be blogging the event, it wont be live, since the church doesnt have WiFi, and I hope to see as many Ohio Dems there as possible. We have 600 seats to fill, and this is the first of many steps to reform our party, exert our grass roots influence and finally get back to winning elections in Ohio so we don't have to worry about Jim Crow laws like HB3.

For interest, Paul Hackett released this statement about this grass roots effort

Paul Hackett, veteran of the Iraq war and candidate for U.S. Senate, made the following statement today on the future of the Ohio Democratic Party.

"The selection of a new Ohio Democratic Party Chair should not be taken lightly. Day in and day out, men and women work their hearts out to help build our state party by registering new voters, going door to door and spreading our message. They are the foundation of our party and deserve not only the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates for Chair but more importantly the opportunity to let those candidates know their thoughts and concerns on the party's future. I hope that the Ohio Democratic Party will give the men and women who make up our party the opportunity to be involved in the process. Regional meetings may just be the forum we need to make that possible."

"All over this state I meet people who feel forgotten by their party... that the red pigment their town or county represents on a map serves as a stop sign to their party when resources are being handed out. If we fail to compete in every region of this state, we will continue to fail in election after election. This party needs an eighty-eight county strategy for growing our party and building a farm team of candidates. If we ever want to win an election, we must compete in every county, city, town and precinct."

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Thanks for cross-posting this Pounder
I'm looking forward to it. It sure would be nice if the Democratic Party trusted Democratic primary voters. Do you have any hunches on who the ODP is going to try and force on Ohio?
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-12 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for cross-posting this Pounder
Both of the front runners, Chris Redfern and Dennis Lieberman, are solid picks, IMO.  Redfern led the House Dems to the largest pick up in memory last year, when he gained 3 seats, and he's got a lot of respect from the folks I talk to.  He's also a pretty good speaker and fairly charismatic.  He was the first Dem leadership type to really run with the Coingate stuff, which helped get it out there.

Lieberman (no relation to Joe, ASFAIK) should have gotten it last time, but the friggin unions shoved Denny White down our throats instead.  He's had a lot of success in Montgomery County, and is well respected by county chairs, candidates, and party-watchers across the state.

Either of these two would make fine chairs, IMHO.

by ratdg1 2005-12-12 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for cross-posting this Pounder
Lieberman (no relation to Joe, ASFAIK)

I am so relieved someone finally pointed that out. I was getting worried there for a minute. He should probably change his name.

I wish the DCCC and the unions would both just butt out and let the voters decide.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-13 04:55AM | 0 recs
Redfern is clearly the most qualified candidate and better yet he has a plan to move ODP forward.  
by Ohio Activist 2005-12-13 03:50AM | 0 recs


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