I feel, as an Ohioan who is a female and who supports the Democratic Party with words, deeds and money, that you must make a public statement that explicitly denounces work environments and behavior that impede, demean or otherwise disrespect women, especially women who work on behalf of the Democratic Party’s values and previously supported elected officials.
Regardless of whether any one Ohio elected official who is a Democrat is found guilty (in a court of law) of actions that violate civil or criminal laws that protect women against the plethora of problems they face inside and outside the public service sector, as the newly re-elected Chair of the ODP, I expect that you would make an unequivocal statement that the Party in no way supports individuals who engage in or make it possible for such problems to arise or occur.
Chairman, on a personal level – so many women who identify with the Democratic Party, whether it’s a big “D” or a little “d,” are working to encourage other women to get into the political pipeline. You probably know about The White House Project training that will take place in Columbus in June. And of course the ODP has Liz Shirey who has organized and is organizing a variety of events intended to help women lead Ohio’s Democrats.
But these efforts are undermined unless you and the Party make clear, public statements that indicate unwavering support for creating, maintaining and ensuring that the prevailing attitude of the ODP is that women are valued, at all levels and that no candidate or elected official who wants to affiliate himself or herself with Ohio Democrats will be considered such if their behavior does not facilitate and encourage such an attitude.
These are the two primary incidents which I believe have made push come to shove and demand your public statement:
1. Last week, Marc Dann emphasized that two females filed an EEO against his “friend.” You can read more here. I’ve spoken with Jeff Coryell and confirmed his post’s observations.
My response is that these women filed an EEO complaint against someone Marc Dann approved of as a hire, who therefore is a public employee. To call such a person “friend” demonstrates the Attorney General’s inability to draw boundaries. So long as he goes out in public and calls this individual his “friend” and refuses to take responsibility for the individual as an employee, we can have no expectation of him being independent or able to understand the hostile work environment that reigns under a boss who calls a person he hired who is now under a cloud related to sexual harassment (at a minimum) his “friend.” As someone who donated to the Attorney General’s campaign, literally in the 11th hour because I thought I didn’t want Betty Montgomery, I’m irate with his approach to the current situation in his office.
2. Matthew Barrett: I do not know him. But to be a parent who places public blame on his teenage son, and to then engage with women in the way the pictures allegedly depict? There are more darts to throw at this one than I have time left.
Please, Chairman. Do the right thing. We turned Ohio blue by trusting that we would act better and create a state run by people of whom we could be proud. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, recipient of the Profiles in Courage award and Treasurer Rich Cordray are exemplary figures of individuals who contain to earn our trust.
Please, re-enforce that all Ohioans, men and women, regardless of whether they are in positions of power like Marc Dann and Matthew Barrett, shall be respected and that all elected Ohioans who call themselves Democrats will be expected to adhere to the highest standards of behavior toward all others, women included.
Thank you for your time.
Wow. Well, I must say, my off the record sentiments and exhortations definitely support these moves, but when you read them, well, they are harsh. But necessary.
The Ohio Democratic Party, which strongly backed Dann’s come-from-behind campaign in 2006, is preparing to sever its ties with Dann. Chairman Chris Redfern said he expects the party’s executive committee to rescind its 2006 endorsement of Dann when it meets Saturday, which Redfern said would make Dann an independent officeholder. Democrats also are prepared to lead the impeachment drive, Redfern said.
“Pending Saturday’s events, he’ll be holding office as an independent who was elected as a Democrat,” Redfern said. “We will distance ourselves both figuratively and literally from Marc Dann until he makes the right decision, which is to step down.”
Plunderbund writes about the removal of information about Dann from the ODP website and also has a video of Gov. Strickland in which he says that they’ll use “whatever action is necessary” to remove Dann.
Pho writes about the legal provisions related to replacing Dann.
Sigh. It is all too sad.
Thank you to a reader in the comments; see original at Vindy.com:
Below is the text of an e-mail sent today by Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann to all associates of his office.
Last night, I received a call from Governor Strickland advising me that he and the other statewide Democratic office holders along with the minority leaders of the House and Senate were planning to ask me to resign today.
That letter has been sent.
I wanted to share with you what I told the Governor.
I told him that he and the other officeholders, as well as the members of the legislature, should continue to expect that we will continue to provide high-quality legal services to all of them. I told the Governor that we will continue to make our law enforcement partnerships work to protect the people of the State of Ohio.
I told him that our consumer protection and environmental protection and civil rights work will continue on behalf of the State of Ohio.
That is exactly what I am doing today. I am in the office, have rolled up my sleeves and am working on behalf of the people of State of Ohio.
I hope all of you will do the same.
I think that there is a great chance that we can continue to do great work for the people of the State.
I know that this is difficult, and I am truly sorry to have put all of you in this position.
But our work is too important to do anything but our jobs today.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:25 pm May 5th, 2008 in Announcements, Campaigning, Democrats, Elections, Gender, Government, Jennifer Brunner, Marc Dann, Ohio, Politics, Scandal, Statehouse, Ted Strickland, Voting, Women | 1 Comment
…in an email [written in response to the Ohio Democratic leaders' request for Dann to resign] sent at 11:43 a.m. to staffers in the attorney general’s office, Dann said he will will not resign.
He said he told Strickland “that he and the other officeholders, as well as the members of the legislature, should continue to expect that we will continue to provide high-quality legal services to all of them. I told the governor that we will continue to make our law enforcement partnerships work to protect the people of the state of Ohio.
“I am in the office, have rolled up my sleeves and am working on behalf of the people of the state of Ohio. I hope you will do the same.”
The letter, prepared last night, was signed by Strickland, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Treasurer Richard Cordray, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the two Democratic legislative leaders, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, and Sen. Ray Miller, D-Columbus, and Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern.
Strickland told Dann last night the letter was coming and verbally asked him to step down. Dann refused then, too.
So not pretty.
Many thanks to Ohio bloggers for assistance in providing this information.
Governor, Statewide Democrats Call on Attorney General Dann to Resign
Columbus, Ohio – Governor Ted Strickland, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Treasurer Richard Cordray, House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty, Senate Minority Leader Ray Miller and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern called for Attorney General Marc Dann’s resignation last night.
The text of a letter sent to Attorney General Marc Dann last night, Sunday, May 4, 2008, follows:
Sunday May 4, 2008
Attorney General Marc Dann
State of Ohio
Rhodes State Office Tower 30 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Attorney General Dann,
We write to you tonight to ask that you resign your position as Attorney General of the State of Ohio. We believe that your actions have irreparably harmed your ability to effectively serve the people of our great state.
The work of the Office of the Attorney General matters more, and is far more important, than any one person. In many, many cases it is all that stands between the people and the powerful. Sadly, we no longer have even the most remote hope that you can continue to effectively serve as Attorney General and that is why we are asking for your resignation.
We also want to make you aware that if you do not choose to resign, Democratic members of the Ohio House of Representatives will immediately introduce a resolution seeking your impeachment.
We sincerely hope that this action will not be necessary and that you will act in the best interest of the people of Ohio by tendering your resignation Monday morning.
Ted Strickland, Governor
Lee Fisher, Lt. Governor
Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator
Jennifer Brunner Secretary of State
Richard Cordray, Treasurer
Ray Miller, Minority Leader
Joyce Beatty, House Minority Leader
Chris Redfern, Chairman, Ohio Democratic Party
See also The Columbus Dispatch.
All statewide Democratic elected officials and legislative leaders today are asking embattled Attorney General Marc Dann to resign from office, The Dispatch has learned.
Dann will be sent a strongly worded letter that should reach him no later than 11:30 a.m. that he must, in the best interest of his office and the party, step down.
The letter comes after multiple conversations took place over the past two days among Gov. Ted Strickland, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Treasurer Richard Cordray, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and the two Democratic legislative leaders, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, and Sen. Ray Miller, D-Columbus. Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern’s name also is on the letter.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:41 am May 5th, 2008 in Announcements, Democrats, Elections, Gender, Government, Jennifer Brunner, Marc Dann, Ohio, Politics, Scandal, Statehouse, Ted Strickland, Women | 1 Comment
No – not Marc Dann’s.
Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman and State Representative Kevin DeWine, appeared on the Ohio News Network’s show, Capitol Square, yesterday. The Youngstown Vindicator quotes him as having said the following, in relation to the scandal in the Ohio Attorney General’s office of Marc Dann:
“We’ll be linking this corrupt individual to each and every [Democratic] officeholder that will be on the ballot this fall, all the way from the president’s office down to the county coroner,” state Rep. Kevin De- Wine, of Fairborn, said yesterday. DeWine, who also is deputy chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, made the remark as a guest on the “Capitol Square” program on the Ohio News Network.
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. I guess you should be glad that this incident didn’t happen during Lent, when maybe at least you would have included all or most of the the deadly sins as something you were going to give up until Easter.
But it’s no longer Lent and so, it seems, you are letting that sin of Wrath ride unbridled in the media again. I’m not sure why you think it’s appealing. I find it to be quite loathesome, but what do I know?
I mean, Kevin, don’t you realize that the people who do the best job of bringing themselves down are…the people who are bringing themselves down? God does not need your help in making them feel badly or suffer. Nor should we have you inflict upon us your wrath. You know, what goes around comes around and all that?
Look, if you don’t believe me, check out this quiz you can take to see just how full of wrath you are. Let us know your results – you can post them anonymously in the comments, or send them to me. Or let someone take the test for you – I don’t know you so I can’t begin to guess how you would answer the questions.
Let go, let joe, Kevin. Wrath is a really evil, well, sinful thing you know. Here’s more on the deadly sins from Wikipedia, if you prefer. Just remember – they aren’t called deadly for nuthin.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:52 am May 5th, 2008 in Campaigning, Crime, Culture, Democrats, Government, Law, Marc Dann, Media, Mental health, Ohio, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Scandal, Statehouse | 13 Comments
In this post, I remarked on the Akron Beacon Journal’s mention of Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education Eric Fingerhut. Not 12 hours before I’d read that ABJ piece, my SO and I had both, at almost the same moment, thought about how only someone like Fingerhut could pull out a hands-down undebatable win in a special election to replace not yet dead Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann. So I thought it was ironic and I wondered if there was some between the lines meaning.
Well, I’ve since learned that a few people who matter really do read this blog, even on Sundays, and it’s been made clear to me by no less than three different sources that Chancellor Fingerhut will not be running in such an election should there be one.
I apologize sincerely for any discomfort my suggestion may have caused, but…!
My point stands: Ohioans need and want and deserve someone of Fingerhut’s caliber. Who might be as ironclad a winner!?
Read one of WLST’s most well-liked posts and this one as well. Re-reading what I wrote, there are moments when I wince (Dann said he wanted to create a public integrity unit) and there are moments where I nod up and down, seeing dead-on the problems we should have heeded more closely (I stated at least twice my fear for Dann’s leaning on his connections). But I really like the long-form, don’t I?
Just reporting the facts. I missed this news from Friday about State Senator David Goodman’s letter sent to Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on Friday. From the Vindy:
“Marc Dann has mismanaged his office,” Goodman said. “He’s embarrassed the state, and he’s let the people of Ohio down.
And that is why, today, I’m sending this letter asking for Marc Dann to resign his office immediately.”
Goodman, who said he served several years as an assistant attorney general under Betty Montgomery, said the investigation and its aftermath likely will have repercussions that will cost Ohio taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Goodman said he thought it was too early to consider a formal legislative resolution calling for Dann’s resignation or for House members to move forward with articles of impeachment.
He added in the letter to Dann, “Today, you said you had high hopes for the friends from Youngstown whom you hired. You said that they ‘let you down.’ They paid for that let-down with their jobs. Many voters had high hopes for you. You let them down. And you must pay with your job.”
Disclosure: State Senator David Goodman and I attended law school together. I consider him and his wife to be friends, though David and I do not always agree.