Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Blue Bexley Campaign Capsule #2, Kreider v. Goodman

This is the second installment of my summary narratives of the campaigns I have blogged for the last two-and-a-half months. The idea here is that many people are just starting to gather information on races as they prepare to vote, and resources like this blog are much more useful with some context, which is hard to come by. If you're looking for background on the Ohio State Senate Race in the 3rd District, this is a place to start.

Like many Americans, Emily Kreider was drawn into politics by the issues facing the country at the time of the 2004 election. After working to get Democrats elected in that campaign cycle, people who knew her suggested that she would make a good candidate for public office herself. After an initial reaction of surprise, she got down to work researching what kind of qualifications a first term legislator typically has. Finding that her range of experiences and qualifications were actually quite in line with a typical first term legislator, she set about running for the State Senate.

By the time I was starting to put Blue Bexley together, Ms. Kreider had a full team of volunteer staff, months of voter outreach, and a simple but appealing and effective website that gave her background and platform. That platform included property tax relief for seniors, reform of the statewide school funding system, expansion of health-care access for small business owners and their employees, and the 90-10 plan to dramatically cut the number of abortions in Ohio through non-criminalization measures such as eliminating the designation of pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and providing better access to pre- and post-natal care.

It was relatively easy for me to find all of this out about Emily Kreider, but the same was not true of her opponent, David Goodman. He had a cookie-cutter Senate web page, and very little public record. He had once been from Bexley, but was now from New Albany. I began this blog by talking about what I liked from Emily's website, and by heckling David Goodman into letting voters know something, anything about himself.

Eventually, a website went up, and I began to hear things when I asked about him. The website was an absolute mess, and offered only the most vanilla of positions. I did find out that he had friends in the community, and one of the first comments on this blog was that I shouldn't pick on him, 'cause he was a good guy. The most that anyone had to say about Mr. Goodman came from Equal Rights Ohio - a group that works to promote gay and lesbian causes. To my surprise, they felt that Mr. Goodman deserved their support for fighting against the gay marriage ban. I still thought that I'd prefer Ms. Kreider to Mr. Goodman, but I was a little nervous that perhaps I could have picked more worthwhile fights.

But then the campaign started in earnest. Ms. Kreider's early work talking to the people of the district paid off with an eary lead in a poll conducted by the Ohio Dems. Mr. Goodman responded with the now infamous attack ad that tried to link Emily Kreider to the statehouse, talk about the votes that she had not cast, and offered up David Goodman as an opportunity to choose "leadership for a change." At that point my reservations melted away. If campaigning against the incumbent was good enough for David Goodman, the incumbent, it was certainly good enough for me.

Soon there was a debate at Otterbein. It was the first time I had seen Mr. Goodman in person. He was more comfortable with public speaking than Emily was, but what he was saying was literally unbelievable. He repeatedly claimed that the Ohio government was doing a great job, we were just too ill-informed to realize it. He made insulting comments about abortion that not only contradicted the pro-choice views he had led people to believe he once had, but canceled out the image of the social moderate that he had gained through the E.O. endorsement. And he defended his ridiculous TV ad.

I walked out of the debate thinking that David Goodman represented just about everything that was wrong with politicians. Getting him out of Columbus might even be doing him a favor. He was slick and somewhat mean. And he was incredibly well funded. The Ohio Republican Senate Caucus reserved a million dollars worth of Central Ohio TV time. As of earlier this week, they had contributed more than three quarters of a million dollars to his campaign.

David Goodman has raised more than $900,000 dollars all told for this State Senate Race so far. To put that in perspective, Zack Space and Joy Padgett are fighting a nationally watched contest to replace Bob Ney in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to Opensecrets.org, neither one of them has raised that much money.

So to summarize, Emily Kreider has a few, clear, distinct progresive goals. Reform school funding, reduce the burden that seniors feel when their taxes rise with their home value, increase access to healthcare, and work on bi-partisan measures to reduce the demand for abortions. David Goodman is an incumbent Republican who seems to want you to think that his opponent is responsible for the mess that he denies Ohio is actually in, and is willing to spend almost a million dollars to try to convince you that it's true. He accuses Emily Kreider of not having a plan to pay for reforming school funding, without offering a plan for complying with the Ohio Supreme Court's mandate to create a Constitutionally compliant method of equitably funding schools. He takes credit for supporting other peoples popular ideas and calls it leadership.

If that sounds biased, well the blog is called Blue Bexley. But the truth is that a vastly underfunded Democratic challenger in a district that is considered to be Republican has run neck and neck with an incumbent who has 9 times the resources available. If today's rumors are to be believed, the Republican Party's own polls are actually showing Emily leading with more than 50% support. I'm obviously not alone.

3 comments:

Nick D said...

Hey...nice blog! Linking you on my blog...http://blueohio.blogspot.com

Political Outcast said...

If he were to somehow pull off this upset, she'll be a one-termer like most of the Democrats that could be elected.

Anonymous said...

Upset? hmmmmm......You know what, the only thing Goodman has going for him is Money. What we need is clean Elections.