A Sad Day for Ohio Democrats

A few folks have posted here and elsewhere about the dangerous, anti-gay, anti-Islam, Reformation Ohio movement that kicked off on Friday.  The newspaper reports have been all over the map re: accuracy and substance (imagine that!).  

What hasn't been told is the truth about Congressman Ted Strickland's involvement in the "controversy" over Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.  

First a chronology.  Based on public records, World Harvest Church asked the City of Columbus to issue a citation supporting the church's hurricane victim outreach.   While this was processed, someone (though we don't know who) asked Mayor Coleman's wife to personally deliver the citation at the church.  The week of the citation, the Coleman for Governor campaign says they learned they had been duped.  Parsley had the citation scheduled for delivery during a partisan, right-wing political rally for Reformation Ohio.

This is the surface story we've all heard.

Based on conversations with other Stonewall Democrats and GLBT activists, there's another story to tell.  That of Congressman Ted Strickland's involvement in stoking (and, in some cases, building) the fires of "controversy" about Michael Coleman and Reformation Ohio.

Apparently Congressman Strickland and his main media pro, Jess Goode, spent the week calling every GLBT leader in Ohio - along with national GLBT leaders - claiming that Michael Coleman was courting the radical right and abandoning the gay community.  Even worse, they called Michael Coleman a right-winger in Democrats clothing, an anti-gay rights politician, and so on.  

Then they turned their attention to the press, pitching the "controversy" story to political reporters at the Statehouse in advance of the Reformation Ohio event on the 14th.  

What happened next is the kind of response only a strong Democrat would show.  Michael Coleman ordered his office to cancel the citation and publicly condemned the divisive use of religion in politics.  He didn't mention Strickland's actions (assuming he knew about them).  

Hopefully no one will try to paint this as mudslinging - it's just the truth about what Congressman Ted Strickland was willing to do to score political points in the governor's race.  The GLBT community deserves better than Strickland's unprovoked attacks on another Democrat - especially one with a strong record of supporting equal rights for all citizens.  

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I don't think it is mudslinging, but
could you link to the information on Strickland's actions? I thought he was the front-runner for the nomination. What would be the point of attacking a fellow democrat if in all probability the nomination will be yours anyway?
by JRyan 2005-10-16 04:51PM | 0 recs
Not the Frontrunner
Strickland is neck and neck with Coleman.  In fact, after 4 months of campaigning, he's still tied with Coleman in every recent poll.  Makes perfect sense that he would do this to try to break out.  

Of course, the idea that he's the frontrunner is exactly the meme they're trying to spread.  Doesn't make it true!

by ohiopol 2005-10-16 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Not the Frontrunner
My mistake. Still, it seems a little out of character.
by JRyan 2005-10-16 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Not the Frontrunner
That's what I would have thought too.  But after reading this story about what his campaign did last week, I wouldn't put much past them.

FYI -- I think Paul Begala is one of the DC advistors on board with Strickland now.  He's the master of sleazy campaigning on the Dem side, so this might just be a sign of things to come...

by ohiopol 2005-10-16 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Not the Frontrunner
Hopefully not. Coleman seems like a decent guy, and the Ohio democrats don't need another bitterly divided race.
by JRyan 2005-10-16 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Not the Frontrunner
"Based on conversations with other Stonewall Democrats and GLBT activists, there's another story to tell..."

I'll believe it when I see substantiated sources.  

by Ann Driscoll 2005-10-16 07:20PM | 0 recs
Coleman and Strickland
If this in-fighting continues between Coleman and Strickland, I will personally take them out into the parking lot and slap them silly.  The very last thing we need is for Dems to attack each other and thereby shooting themselves in the foot.  Stop!!!!  Attack the corruption of the GOP (Taft, Noe, Ney, etc.).  Attack people like Rod Parsley (Would Jesus wear a Rolex and thousand dollar suits?) and his hate-mongering church.  The Democratic Party is an all inclusive party and we need and welcome everyone. Pleeeeeeease!
by Marie Smith 2005-10-17 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Coleman and Strickland
Strickland was given bad advise and used it. What ever happened to calling someone and communicating your concerns? Well, like Marie says, the focus needs to be the republicans' culture of corruption. About Rod, those underhanded tricks will be a net loss for his cause.  
by leftofcenter 2005-10-17 07:32AM | 0 recs
I will reiterate.  There is nothing in this diary that is substantiated.  It reeks of rumor to my humble observations.
by Ann Driscoll 2005-10-17 11:44AM | 0 recs
I had exactly the same reaction.
by Curt Matlock 2005-10-17 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: re
How could they substantiate personal phone calls?  Isn't this report the proof?  Hopefully some of the GLBT activists will come clean about what happened.
by ohiopol 2005-10-18 04:30AM | 0 recs
Strickland vs. Coleman
Duped? Or embarrassed? From reading the Plain Dealer article about the incident, it appears that once more was known about the event at which the proclamation was to be presented (by Mayor Coleman's wife), only then did the Coleman campaign backpeddle. So promises, seemingly, were made to this group - whether you agree with them or not (and I don't) - but they were soon broken. Seems like cozying to the religious right to me, but only so close as to stay under the radar. Earlier, the Coleman campaign "denied that the campaign heard complaints about Frankie Coleman's possible involvement and denied that Coleman's mayoral office ever intended to issue the proclamation." So which is it?
by Joseph Hughes 2005-10-17 04:44PM | 0 recs
Reality Check -- I am the Stonewall Activist
OK, I have to say I am a little confused by this story.  

I AM THE STONEWALL ACTIVIST who worked with Coleman's campaign to straighten out this fiasco.  At NO TIME was I contacted by the Strickland campaign in regards to Coleman's role in Reformation Ohio.  I was alerted to Coleman's lapse in judgment by another member, again not by Strickland's campaign.  

I had been working with Equality Ohio who was organizing a press conference for the morning of the Reformation Ohio rally.  I was the one who contacted Strickland's people to see if he would participate in the Equality Ohio press conference (we did not speak about Coleman's role).  Mayor Coleman also received an invitation to participate.  Strickland accepted and we are grateful, Coleman declined to respond until after the event.

The truth is an amazing thing.

by Stonewall Dem Activist 2005-10-19 04:16AM | 0 recs


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