Ohio Attorney General candidate needs grassroots support
by Renee in Ohio, Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:35:51 AM EST
I'm posting today to share a message to the grassroots from Subodh Chandra, one of the Democratic candidates for Attorney General in the state of Ohio.
But before I post what Subodh has to say, I think it's important to give a little background. I was only vaguely aware of Subodh's name, and the fact that a number of people seemed to have good things to say about him after hearing him speak, until the day after Paul Hackett dropped out of the race for Senate. That day, Hackett did an in-depth interview with Ohio 2nd blog, in which one of the things discussed was the fact that other candidates perceived as "outsiders" were not being supported by the Ohio Democratic Party, and he gave Subodh Chandra as an example.
Now we can certainly question the wisdom of the DSCC and DCCC anointing whomever they want to run for these seats, but the better approach would be for us to be so mobilized that we can fund and support whomever we want to run for these seats regardless of what the DSCC or DCCC want. I promise you that if Hackett would have had $3 million on hand that he would have told the DSCC where to go and how to get there, but with only $250k raised he was working from a position of weakness. The truth of the matter is that I don't blame the DC crowd for trying to thin the primary field - that's what they do - I blame us, beginning with myself, for not sufficiently backing Hackett so that he could tell them to pound sand. We cannot find ourselves in a position where our interests are dependant upon the good behavior of others - we have to put ourselves in such a position that if anyone threatens our interests we can put foot to hindquarters.
I am still now sure how we do that, especially when the big name blogs often actively support the "insider" candidates--or at least don't as actively support the "outsiders" as they had in the past. I tried to start some brainstorming about this and similar issues in Uniting for Impact.
Bottom line, here is a candidate who is still in the race, in spite of a lack of party support (although he has been racking up endorsements since then from local party organizations) and it's an opportunity to put into practice what Oscar described in his post. When SusanD went to hear Subodh Chandra speak on Monday, she passed along an invitation from me to write a front page guest blog for Howard-Empowered People, which people would be free to crosspost to help spread the word. This is what he sent:
Ask the right question and the answer is "Chandra"
The other day, I am embarrassed to report that with my wife out of the house, I lost one of my triplet two-year olds in our own home. He disappeared. I couldn't find him anywhere. With the other two corralled in another room, I wandered about the house calling out his name and he wouldn't respond. I started to worry. "What if he fell down the laundry chute? What if he climbed into the dryer?" I kept calling out his name, "Chethan! (it rhymes with Nathan) Where are you?" He didn't respond. "What am I going to tell my wife?" I thought.
Finally, in case he was hiding, I had an idea to trick him into responding. Instead of yelling for him, I simply asked, "Chethan...?" And sure enough, he responded from the distance, "...Chandra." I repeated the question and started honing in as he responded. Finally, I had him. (He actually looked startled when he got found, caught, and kissed. I'm sure he was wondering, "How did Daddy catch me?")
One of the things that struck me as I began running for Ohio Attorney General last year was how few Ohioans - even those who pay close attention to politics - seemed to respond when I tried to call on them to care about the Attorney General's office. They all seemed to be hiding. Nonlawyers figured it's just an office that lawyers should care about. Lawyers figured it's just an office that lawyers who profit from the A.G.'s office should care about.
Why do Ohioans have such limited expectations and imagination about the office? Because for so long they've had Attorneys General who have done so little. Few Ohioans can name any major accomplishments of the Attorney General over the last 12 years. Yet many have heard of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and his accomplishments.
Whether it's in New York or Ohio, though, the attorney general's job is to be the "People's Lawyer" and run the "People's Law Firm" by holding other officeholders, businesses, and individuals accountable. If the governor's job is to lead us to prosperity (and heaven knows we need a new governor to bring us some prosperity), the attorney general is supposed to protect Ohioans from harm and from loss. Recent attorneys general have failed in this mission.
Read the rest here.