Picture links to the Hamilton
County Democratic Party Website
One Citizen's View
Did I ever tell you my story about 9/11 and The War in Iraq and the other War on Terror and how those events changed the world forever because I decided to take more of an interest in the political process and how several years later a couple of bloggers inspired me to start my own blog and then I volunteered to work on a political candidates campaign?
Well, one day, I'll tell you that story. Just know that all of that somehow led to me attending the Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting last night. I learned that a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet because as impressive as that august title sounds, it's just a bunch of folks getting together, making speeches and deciding a few things about the Democratic Party. Nearly anybody, everybody and their grandpa who's a Democrat in Ohio that you've heard about or read about in the news and some you haven't attended this meeting. Following is my humble my point of view on the whole thing.
Folks I recognized when I walked in the door or as they came in:
Roscoe Fultz - I know Roscoe from way back. It seems everybody in Cincinnati knows Roscoe. Everybody from State Representative Catherine Barrett to Alicia Reese to Dale Mallory to unknown crowd members such as myself gave Roscoe a wave at one time or another. Roscoe wanted to speak but the rest of the Executive Committee would not let him. They allowed another man named Charlie (incidentally, white) to constantly interrupt the meeting and speak but they would not allow Roscoe to speak. Although Charlie had a lot of good things to say and even brought the entire place to applause at one point (I was clapping as well), the fact that Roscoe was not allowed to say his peace pissed me off to no end.
Alicia Reese was there, grinning and politically unemployed. She looked very pretty and that's all I've got to say about that.
Mark Mallory - looks better in person, great suit, fade was pimp-tight as usual.
However Mark Mallory is a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I started to say Mark Mallory is a punk, but I'm not sure that's exactly the word I want to use as it's insulting and doesn't really make my point. What would you call someone who suddenly endorses the very person who dogged them publicly for nearly an entire year and embraces that same person, a thief and liar like David Pepper?
Mark Mallory passed up two opportunities to publicly endorse Dumas instead of Pepper but he didn't. I now question everything I thought about Mallory: Not because he won't endorse Stephanie Dumas but because he specifically endorses David Pepper who is only out to make his life hell. If Mallory is too stupid to see that, then he doesn't deserve to be Mayor. He had the choice not to endorse either which would have left me with respect for him.
I stopped to speak with Mayor Mallory, introduced myself since I'd never met him before, and told him specifically that there is at least one person who is disappointed that he would endorse Pepper over Dumas especially after last year's dirty election. He mumbled something about "not wanting to discuss this, not the time or place" (seemed to me the perfect time and place and he just hung around talking to folks after he ditched me so it was specifically this issue he did not want to address). His big brother Dale quickly got him away from me although I was excruciatingly polite, yet very pointed.
David Pepper - Peter Deane is smoking some serious crack this morning
David Pepper did not walk anywhere near Stephanie Dumas and shake her hand that I saw. I may have blinked but I was standing directly behind Stephanie, I had a view of the ENTIRE room and I did not see this happen. David Pepper in no way got a standing ovation. There was only one Standing O all night and I will tell you about that later.
Having never ever seen David in public before, I must say I was not impressed. What I got out of his speech: Phil Heimlich is bad, wasteful, and so are the rest of the Republicans on a local, state and national level (well duh). David is going to be the one to change that (more like pimp us even harder, but ok). The rest of his speech was Heimlich bashing and he even had the audacity to include a low-brow joke about "how well Mark [Mallory] and I got to know each other last year." If I were Mallory I would not have been chuckling over that crap.
David called Mayor Mallory everything but the "N-word" in last year's election and despite that being "the way of politics" Mallory is not paying attention to the knife that is inching ever closer to his back. Keep your enemies closer does not apply in this case and Mallory needs to distance himself from Pepper as soon as possible. If Mallory thinks he can keep Pepper on some kind of leash of promises or goodwill then Mallory is a fool and again does not deserve to be Mayor. No one should be this stupid, politics or no. How can someone who has done so much good in just over 100 days get played? We're about to find out.
My final open comment to Mark Mallory: I don't give a damn if you're the Mayor or the Player President; if you're wrong, brother man, you are wrong. And in this case, Mayor Mallory, you are wrong.
Stephanie Dumas. Stephanie was the first to make her speech. She did not deride anyone else to make herself look good. Dumas spoke about her experience, her prior nomination for this office and changes she feels needs to be made on the city, county and state level. Her vision for the county is one of accountability, open government, fiscal responsibility, and building relationships.
All other Democratic endorsements where the candidate ran opposed in the Democratic Primary were left OPEN. The Executive Committee did not endorse any other specific candidate other than David Pepper. It surprised me that they do this by an "ayes" have it type of deal whereas if you shout loud enough, that's how they determine whether the motion carries or not. And the "ayes" always have it. Only once that night did someone insist on a show of hands. They simply count by pointing at the hands raised and do a very bad job at that. It's very haphazard for something so serious and I was exceedingly astonished and ashamed.
Towards the end of the meeting, Stephanie Dumas was very brave and serious. She got up from her seat and demanded that someone on the Executive Committee move that the motion for the endorsement of David Pepper be amended to be left open since every other opposed office opposed office was not left open and no specific candidate was endorsed. Stephanie wanted to know why she was singled out when the miscommunication of the Nominating Committee was the only reason she had not appeared before them. She did not blame them, but even I could see why she did not want to be singled out.
Someone on the Executive Committee did rise and make a motion to this effect! However, it was lost in the general scramble (people were rising to leave because the main part was done). However many stopped to listen. The motion was raised, it was introduced and then ignored as another man rose and went on to other business.
I tried to stop Roscoe Fultz and Mayor Mallory to get them to support the person who made the motion on Stephanie’s behalf. Roscoe already had on his coat and seemed tired and miffed about not being allowed to speak and was ready to go. Mayor Mallory simply walked away to chat up other people.
It was not pretty and only shows me that racism is not the only cause of apathy and ignorance. Sometimes people have their minds made up or just won’t fight. David Pepper is not a good candidate and doesn't have to be as long as his daddy has more money than Jesus and a lot of folks in his back pocket or dirty laundry basket.
The big shocker of the night:
I asked the nice lady standing next to me, “Am I smoking something or have I seen that lady on CNN?”
She smiled and said, "Yes, you probably have. That's Representative Catherine Barrett."
While the candidates are up making speeches, there's a guy given the job of holding up a sign to tell them when they have one minute left and another to STOP when their three minutes are up. While Catherine Barrett was speaking, he held up the sign. Tyrone Yates, politely but hastily motioned for him to put the sign down.
Gentle reader, Catherine Barrett announced last night that she will not be seeking re-election for her district. It was a very solemn moment. A moment with shocked gasps and hushed murmuring. Some of her supporters were in tears and several had to leave the room until they composed themselves. One lady only lifted her red and white Barrett sign higher on her lap and her eyes watered but she lifted her chin proudly and refused to cry.
Catherine Barrett was given all the time she needed to make this public announcement and when she finished, she left us with smile and her recommendation that we throw our support behind Eric Kearny.
And Representative Barrett was given a standing ovation.
Folks who I'd never heard of before (or heard much about) who made an impression on me:
Running for State Senator, District 9
Eric Kearny - If it weren't Nate's Blog I wouldn't have even known who the heck he was. When he finally mentioned being the former editor of the Cincinnati Herald I was like "OH, that guy." His speech was earnest and serious as befitting a senator but it didn't rouse me anywhere. I take that back, he was all for some agenda item that makes it easier for families to adopt and something else I can't quite recall. He seems to be good if solemn guy. I happen to think this is a good thing. I want a guy who wants to do his job, not run around doing stupid things. If you want a serious, dedicated candidate, this guy seems to be a good choice.
The man I mentioned earlier, Charlie, got up and gave a pretty good harangue about Eric Kearney. Charlie didn't feel Kearny was a "real democrat" since he had previously run as a republican candidate. Charlie was pissed and wanted to know if Kearney will be promoting Democratic or Republican values. Charlie asked that a motion be amended that Kearney not be endorsed but to run on his own merits. This was the only vote, as mentioned earlier that came to a show of hands instead of "ayes" and "nays". Even the hand vote ended up with Kearney being endorsed since he was the only guy left running after Representative Barrett bowed out.
Running for US Representative, 2nd District. There are five folks running and these two are the only ones whose dog and pony show registered with me.
Jim Parker - Mr. Parker had a bunch of magic beans given to him by Jack Murtha. I wish I'd gotten a chance to talk to him in person. He emailed me personally once about some blog comment I made and I wanted to get his views on a couple of things.
Victoria Wuslin - Don't know much about her but damn she's got personality and a brain! She is the anti-Schmidt in all her glory. I liked her but I want to know more about her. Hell I used to like Mallory too.
Eve Bolton - Interesting speech, main focus is education because she's a former schoolteacher. At least she has a focus but it would have been nice to know what she felt about other stuff.
Gaby Downey - Her speech was about being the only candidate who could beat Jean Schmidt and how she IS the Second District. She presented herself to me as the Democratic version of Mean Jean and I was not impressed. I know, I know: strong women are bitches and strong men are authoritative. Well I thought Wuslin and Bolton were just as strong without giving an aura of meanness.
Hamilton County Auditor - Was Dusty Rhodes in the house? I know his name got mentioned but it's hard to remember everything. Anyway, Nate and I had some pointed words for him the other day. He's the only Democrat running for his office but for the life of me I can't figure out why.
Other folks that were running unopposed as Democrats just got a name mention and they waved but didn’t address the crowd. I probably should know who they all are and I don’t, but I WILL before the May 2 primary.
These are the impressions of an ordinary every day mom who starts a blog and decides to take a more active role in her community and the world and how she ended up an observer at the Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting. Some of my opinions or thoughts may seem half formed or based solely on impressions or appearances. They are. I do not claim to be an expert on politics or the Democratic Party based on blogging and reading the news and other folks' blogs.
What I will say is that I have more of an awareness of who these folks are and how their actions affect you and me. Our homes. Our lives. Our world.
I wish I had gotten involved sooner and I sure wish more people would get involved because this meeting was too important for things to be decided by ambiguous ayes and nays; or to be held in a small room in a community center. Meetings like this should fill both our taxpayer funded stadiums or at least one of the larger rooms in our expanded convention center.
One thing is certain: I will never take any of this for granted again.