The Daily Dann, 5/13/08

When the Wall Street Journal has an entry titled, “What’s Going on With Marc Dann? Here’s What We Know,” you know it can’t be good. The most disturbing line: “Another staffer at the AG’s office says concern is building in the office that lawyers working for Mr. Dann could defect if he stays much longer.”

I just know my bloggy buddy John Michael Spinelli is having too much fun with his headlines at ePluribus Media: “Dann Death Delayed.” His piece is also an excellent round-up of all the gyrations of today (figurative, figurative, sillies).

The Associated Press has its take, and it’s got most of the bits that were in this afternoon’s local stories.

How are the locals feeling?

The morning started out with new e-mails being revealed by the media.

But by this evening, the Dayton Daily News is reporting on Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signing into law the bill that allows the Inspector General to conduct an investigation into the AG’s office and report back to the Ohio legislature.

Buckeye State Blog wants unconditional surrender.

Glass City Jungle on the bipolar nature of the day (my word, not Lisa Renee’s).

I’m afraid to listen to what Annie of the Chief Source and the call, “Marc Dann’s Party Pad Song.”

Mansfield News Journal this evening

WKYC offers specifics on the impeachment moves today

Ohio Daily Blog wrote about recall prospects but that was before all the impeachment and resign/not resigning news

And the Plain Dealer had this God-awful editorial. I swear, most of the papers’ editorial boards sound so out of touch with Ohioans, I just do not get it. I know they talk to us. Where is their sense?

And, in case you missed my earlier post about the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and sexual harassment, here’s a quick overview of employment law in Ohio.

More good primers:

Rules on impeachment

The FBI may investigate, and we learn that Dann withheld information from his closest aides about recusing himself from a situation related to that possible inquiry.

17 thoughts on “The Daily Dann, 5/13/08

  1. Modern,

    Calling me a liar is pretty strong stuff. I must say that you have got to be the most binary thinking person I have ever met.

    Lemme spell it out for you:

    What is Dann’s crime? How is asking that question defending him? Isn’t it a fair question? I have yet to hear it articulated properly. Shouldn’t you make damn sure what the charge is before you try to impeach? That isn’t defending Dann, it’s saying that you’re putting your cart before your horse. It’s all well to yell and scream about how much the AG sucks, but remember that you are trying to take down the Attorney General of the State of Ohio. Get your damn facts straight, and you’d better be damned sure that they stick. Being a sexist womanizing pig that hires cronies isn’t exactly a barn burner of a case when talking about an American politician. Make sure that you have a clear shot because it isn’t like you are pushing out some Strickland appointment. This is a powerful, independent position. Its going to take a little more than hubrist laced will to power to remove the man. I’m all for impeachment AFTER an investigation IF they find criminal wrong doing.

    I don’t want a resignation, I want a perp walk. How is that defending Dann? The ODP jumped the gun on demanding impeachment and by doing so they make a weaker case for why he should be removed from office.

    The ODP has a conflict in interest in this case. I don’t want to hear from them because of that. No deals, no mass press conferences. Facilitate the investigation and let it take its course. Strickland has made the investigation possible, for which I applaud. The big question is how much damage has been done to the investigation because of the drama?

    By saying that Strickland over played his had, that is a critique, not an “attack.” Because of it we have the current drama.

    As for a petition, I think that Dann has more than made the case for removal by such a means.

    This is all well moot at this point.

  2. Pingback: The Volokh Conspiracy

  3. Chris, I had tremendous respect for you. You are part of the reason I got addicted to blogging. But you’re completely lying now.

    “Modern, just because I am critical of how this is being handled doesn’t mean that I am defending Dann.”

    Really? a href=””>Didn’t you write this?
    “As of yet nobody has been able to explain exactly what Marc Dann’s crime was besides pissing off Ted Strickland.”

    And then there was your glowing reflection of meeting Marc Dann.

    Yeah, you haven’t been defending Marc Dann at all.

    You criticize Strickland and the Democrats for a rush to judgment in calling for impeachment when you have said you’d support a recall effort. Aren’t people making a judgment in signing a petition to recall a government official? Aren’t they making the same judgment as say someone introducing articles of impeachment.

    There’s no such thing as a non-politicized impeachment. Impeachment, by its very nature, is a politicized process.

    Again, their controlling the process because the Republicans wanted to politicize Dann by keeping him on political life support. The only reason there is an independent investigation by the IG today is because Strickland forced the General Assembly to do their role.

    You aren’t defending Dann yet you write glowing posts about how its absurd to say he rode Strickland’s coattails (even though he relied on money Strickland raised and Strickland had nearly half a million more votes than Dann. I made this comment over at ODB, but it mysteriously disappeared with no process.)

    You’re spinning like a wheel, but you can’t escape what you’ve already said. Today the Governor is letting the IG do his job. It’s supposedly what you wanted. So why are you still complaining unless you just want to criticize the Governor just for the sake of doing it?

    You think the Governor made a rush to judgment, but have called on over 160,000 voters to sign a petition to follow suit. You want an independent investigation that the Republicans will find credible, but chastise the Governor for being responsible for making sure it happens.

    You aren’t defending Dann except that you’ve written that he hasn’t done anything wrong to merit his removal and have yet to write that you believe he should be removed from office either voluntarily or involuntarily.

  4. > But wait, Chris – that isn’t fair.
    You’re right. I’ll cop to that to some extent. I did like how it rang.
    I do think that closure and a rush to judgment avoids a full examination of the problem. This is too serious for it to be played out politically.
    > Name one thing Ted Strickland has done to stop or interfere with there being an independent investigation!
    Calling for impeachment at the same time as an independent investigation unnecessarily interferes with the investigation by politicizing it. (See Iran Contra) The Governor is judging before investigating while being neither judge nor investigator. Meaningless drama such as stripping Dann’s ODP endorsement and affiliation is an insult to the citizen’s intelligence. Pure CYA, and I’m sorry but when a system under my watch completely fails I have ZERO tolerance for anyone trying to cover their asses.
    The structure is clear. This is a problem between the AG and the Ohio legislature. The last people who should be controlling the agenda are the people who caused this mess in the first place. (It was obvious to me that Dann was traif) They created the problem, but it’s not their job to fix it. As the Rock would say, know your role.
    My critique of the governor is mainly tactical. I think that he overextended himself. The fact that they are now retreating in their statements demonstrates this. His nature is to try to control things. I’d recommend he read Zen and the Art of Archery.
    I would much rather let Dann hang himself than to have him holed up in the AGs office because the ODP wants to control how this plays out.
    Modern, just because I am critical of how this is being handled doesn’t mean that I am defending Dann. I can’t look into the hearts of Chris Redfern or Governor Strickland. I can only point out that they have a conflict of interest which precludes them from rightly trying to control the process. This is a complete system failure. You can’t press conference away something like this. Sometimes you just have to let the system work.
    As for Redfern’s statements, I missed them. I don’t think that he’s going out of his way to publiclly take responsibility.

  5. Tx, Joseph. Phew. I take the linking thing (me trying to do it to others) pretty seriously (and restrain myself every single time I see where I’ve written something or obviously was the source and didn’t get the link – the way of the blogs, gotta just live with it).

  6. Well, Chris, the Governor said he wanted such an independent investigation during the very same press conference that the Democrats said that Dann should resign or be impeached. In fact, the Governor has been calling for that investigation ever since the sexual harassment allegations became known. Name one thing Ted Strickland has done to stop or interfere with there being an independent investigation!

    My God, he signed the IG legislation a mere two hours after it passed the Senate! Was that too long of a time for you?

    Dann has, very likely already perjured himself, or at best given highly deceptive and unbelieveable answers.

    I think Redfern has acknowledged the wrongfulness of supporting Dann last weekend. It sounds like to me you’re real grind is that you want to relive the entire primary.

    Strickland said he wanted an independent investigation and Dann to be impeached if he refused to resign. You say there should be an independent investigation, too, but criticize the Governor for “interfering” with it as he signs the legislation to make it happen. Legislation that would not have been introduced but for his and the other Democrats call for impeachment.

    You’ve expressed no problem with the injustice of Dann would resign immediately, but have critized the Governor for the very process called for in the Constitution and with his call and support for an independent investigation. This, you’ve called, an affront to process.

    The more and more you actually talk the more apparent is that, objectively, you don’t have any legitimate complaint at all. You’ve just got an ax to grind with the Governor and the ODP and want to use this opportunity to fight old battles.

    If it weren’t for Strickland, the Republicans and Dann were happy not to let anything of consequence really happen. Strickland forced their hand and forced them to make their actions match their rhetoric.

    There’s absolutely nothing “unjust” about what the Governor has done in regards to Marc Dann. You’ve got your investigation, thanks to the Governor who supported the very thing you’ve criticized him falsely for opposing.

  7. But wait, Chris – that isn’t fair. For a few reasons:

    1. Time is relative.

    2. I don’t support giving up on an external investigation or any other way in which the full brunt of the damage, and crime if it’s there, plays out, BUT I don’t see why that can’t go forward anyway. ANd I don’t see why Dann has to sit in office for that to occur – isn’t that one reason to be glad that the resignation deal didn’t go forward as Dann wanted it?

    3. How punitive are WE being? Dann needs to be held responsible for the wrongs and the consequences – but at what point are we just putting him the public square because WE want to, not because it advances anything else? We have a state full of people who need a functioning AG.

    4. Which brings me to this point: We HAVE TO find a way to have “justice” as you say without making Ohioans – that would be us, the voters who have been duped – suffer more. I do not see anyway in which “justice” REQUIRES that we suffer through Dann being in office until…whenever.

    5. Last thing – I would really like you to say more about your assertions that the ODP is controlling this thing. WE are the ODP, for better or worse – that’s why we want them to take a stand, no? But the legislature is controlled by the GOP.

    What are concerned about – I trust you, so I am sure that I am missing something. What is it?

  8. Working to get something over sooner rather than later isn’t justice, it’s a white wash.

    This scandal is too serious an issue to simply be managed by the ODP.

  9. Of course I’m kidding, Jill. We appreciate the links.

    Personally, I want this whole thing over.

    Another long, drawn-out investigation just gives the GOP more crap for their negative ads in November.

    For the good of the party- and for the people of Ohio- Dann should have resigned a long time ago.

  10. Chris, that is really interesting. I really haven’t seen it that way at all. But I’m open to thinking about it. Is there a lot of chatter we don’t know about (I know, stupid question).

    Control freak – how so? I’m not sure what choice the governor or the ODP has. Whether we like it or not, they are the face of the Democrats, as is Dann at the moment. While I don’t believe in tearing out our own eyes, some cosmetic surgery is definitely in order.

    I agree with your last line about how party interest got us in this situation in the first place – many of us have written about hating that.

    But here – I just don’t know. And I get the sense that a lot of the people trying to make calculations really don’t know all that much better.

    Which might be a good thing – because then our voices as voters get heard. And as a voter, Chris, I ache to have Dann step down sooner rather than later. That the Columbus network is working to do that – why should I be upset about that?

  11. Here’s what I want: an independent investigation of the office conducted by someone satisfactory to the Republican leadership in the legislature. I want the Democratic leadership to SHUT UP. I want them to stop trying to control the action. I want Strickland to stop being a control freak and let the investigation take its course.

    You can’t control everything. You can’t always win, especially when it’s your fault to begin with. Sometimes you just need to step back and let things happen.

    I have never defended Dann. I actually think that Dann would have been dumb enough to perjure himself if confronted with an independent investigation. The problem is now that he’s backed so hard into the corner that it will be hard to nail him on any slip ups.

    The ODP has a conflicting goal to the best interest of Ohio citizens. They want this scandal over quickly. I don’t. I wan’t justice. As long as the ODP tries to control the action I don’t trust what’s going on simply because of their conflict of interest.

    They already put party interest above citizen interest in nominating Dann (see comments made by the nominating committee). We are now paying for that.

  12. Chris, where I differ is the expectation that the politicians or leaders know exactly what to do that will get the exact result exactly as we want it.

    The PD’s editorials have had very chip on their shoulders attitudes, and rarely talk about the people of Ohio as just people. They may publish LTEs, but the voice of the editorials is very removed from that voice of the people who read the editorials. There’s way too much space for my taste.

    As for yesterday’s editorial, it’s as though they aren’t even on the same planet as the rest of us as they review and advise.

    On the other hand, maybe the object of editorials has changed so much that what I thought we should expect from one (evidence-supported direction for how to feel about something and what to do about it) is no longer the case.

  13. Joseph – I hattiped Plunderbund all over the place yesterday! Here, twice, AND on The Moderate Voice, as my sole source. Come on. 🙂

    Also – I retweeted the Dann resignation post from Plunderbund for you guys, I didn’t even link to my own post, which also hattipped you guys.

    I hope you are just zutzing me here!

  14. Chris, I swear I have no idea what you wanted the leadership to do. It’s not like there weren’t plenty of private, back channel efforts to convince Dann to leave before it became public last Monday.

    Just out with it. What did you want them to do? Dann privately told them that he thought he could ride this out and would not resign. Almost the entire press corp calls for Dann to resign. Dann is defiant.

    What else could the Democratic leadership do?
    You talk down impeachment, then talk up recall, now you’re defending impeachment.

    What more finese could the Democrats have done? Dann is stubborn and is just now recognizing that he is not going to survive this. It was clear that he would not resign through private pressure, so public pressure was applied. And, the editorial didn’t talk about finesse, it talked as if the impeachment talk was a bluff on the same day that articles of impeachment were introduced and the General Assembly passed a law specific to investigate the AG for impeachment purposes.

    How long should the entire party taken the hit for Dann before our “finese” would make our dedicated course of action really seem like political pandering?

    I’ve never been more mystified as I have been with your odd defense of Dann on this. First, you claimed it was about process.

    Now, you’re whining about finese. Except you conveniently ignore that it’s the very course of action you are complaining about that is the only thing that has been at all effective in getting Dann out of office.

    While it’d be nice to think that Dann would have resigned if the Democrats had just said pretty please over and over again, the fact is that Dann wasn’t persuaded by that tactic. Hardball politics is something you apparently can’t stomach, but it’s the only thing that Dann can understand. And it’s hardball politics that has gotten Dann this close to either resigning or being impeached.

    Or is that your real problem?

  15. Personally I think that the PD editorial makes some good points. A little more finesse on the Democrats part would have provided Dann with the sort of diplomatic out that would have made resignation much easier.

    However, the idea of impeachment being a waste of the tax payers money makes no sense. The whole point was to make sure that we have a solid case against Dann for such a procedure.

    You can’t say that the quotes coming out from senior Democrats over the past week and a half have been consistent or on message.

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