Thursday, May 15, 2008


Today should be wonderful. Dann finally did what he should have done two weeks ago, and as importantly, the Senate passed the House's payday lending bill. The weather is nicer than predicted, and my family got to celebrate last night.

Of course, Johnson and Nash have the most offensive possible lede for their Dispatch piece on the resignation:

In the end, the "culture of corruption" in state government that Marc Dann battled so fiercely to become attorney general consumed him, too.

See, the problem with the GOP circa 2006 was that they were passing laws that favored their fundraisers, and their fundraisers were engaging in illegal activity, and each time one got caught, all of the others would downplay or even mock the charges. Not even indictments gave them pause, only convictions. Bob Taft, convicted. Bob Ney, convicted. Tom Noe, Convicted. Jack Abramoff, convicted. Congressional ethics committee, eviscerated. This wasn't a problem with one guy, it was a cultural problem in GOP politics.

Dann was one guy, with some Mahoning Valley buddies. In the end, it was the culture of zero-tolerance for corruption that consumed him.

The ODP culture, if it is at all culpable, is to blame for putting this guy on the ballot against Montgomery, endorsing him in a contested primary. That smacks of the sort of back-room politicking that leads to cynicism toward politicians generally. In the end, though, if Dann himself thought he couldn't win the seat, is it credible to believe that the ODP had any faith in his ability to win? The seemingly bizarre theory that Dann was run in 2006 to get him out of the party's hair and knock him out of contention in '10 doesn't seem as bizarre under those circumstances (I've had comments regarding linking to Tim Russo. I don't know Tim. I started reading Ohio blogs in earnest almost exactly as he was leaving the 'sphere in '06. Tim's an asshole. Tim has some pretty serious personal issues. Tim wants people to simultaneously believe that he lied to himself for years and that he has figured out how to stop. That's a tough sell. Tim's a traffic whore. But Tim certainly knows more about Ohio politics than most of us blogging, and Tim is obviously an intelligent guy. So I read his blog. And when he expresses doubt even though the major print media are reporting an imminent resignation, a doubt that I couldn't help but feeling some of myself, I link to it. He was right. Dann didn't resign. My linking to a unique opinion I thought should be available to my readers was right. And now, when I attempt to understand how the same people who did everything right these last two weeks got it so wrong two years ago, I find myself hypothesizing something similar to another unique statement I happened to read elsewhere. BTW, I agreed with the majority of Dann's legal arguments made as AG. I still do, even if I wouldn't want my wife or daughter working for him.)

Bleh. Even all of the above hadn't brought me down. So I was going to title this post "Zippity Doo Dah" i.e. "My oh my what a wonderful day." As I typed it, red flags started going off in my head - was this one of those racist cultural elements that had survived unexamined, buried in my memory beneath the sediment of consciousness? It turns out that this is not an uncommon bit of introspection.

So now, zip, zippity, zip. I'll leave the Doo-Dah to parades and racetracks.

Repeat to myself: Payday lending bill passes Senate, including yes vote from David Goodman. The print media, which got just about every element of this story wrong at some point, cannot be expected to get the aftermath right without help. To their credit, without their salacious appetite for tawdry but insignificant details, the major stories would never have come to light. They do serve a role of some sort. The good and the evil that a person does are not independent of each other, but the good does not excuse the evil, nor does the evil negate the good. And finally, it is a warm spring day, on which the sun shines down on the moist earth, and everything has the opportunity for growth.

Back to your regularly scheduled Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of backroom politicking in the ODP,what's with Cynthia Ruccia?! I'm appalled.

bonobo said...

I'll be posting on that either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Anonymous said...

In 2006 backroom politicking got Dann the endorsement against an overwhelmingly qualified, effective, sincere, hardworking and honest Subodh Chandra. And in 2008 backroom politicking (including Cynthia Ruccia and others) got Garland the endorsement over another overwhelmingly qualified,
perserving, honest, motivated and effective Bev Campbell...who, btw, brought the 20th District closer than it had been in decades against all odds!

When will we ever learn?????