Tuesday February 14, 2006. The day the hit was put out on one of Ohio’s most up and coming politicians – the Democrat’s brightest star. The favorite son of the machine called in his markers and called upon the family to oust the young rising star. The fix was in. The hit was on.

They got their wish and more. The visions of smoke-filled rooms and cigar chomping fat cats – once the charicature of their opposition – now defined them. The deals had been cut and the set up had been orchestrated to perfection. The field had now been cleared for one of the vetted who had paid his dues and was up next. Things must be done according to the laws of the family – the outsider had to go.

Paul Hackett was yet another victim of the terminally inept system we in Ohio call the Democrat Party. It was a day that many will remember. Establishment Dems will remember it as the day the path was cleared for their guy with the unstained liberal record. Hopeful party activists wanting to see the party change and turn Republican corruption into Democrat paydirt will remember it as The Valentine’s Day Massacre.

For me, this day will be remembered as the day I became a registered independent and issue activist and swore off the Democrat party. The party does not want my help or to help me. This was first evident to me during the fight to reform Ohio elections – dubbed Reform Ohio Now. I single handedly had to organize work in my county because a party that had been around for who knows how long was unwilling and unable to. I watched while Democrats in meeting after meeting nodded their head in eager approval of how important the reform amendments were, while never once lifting a finger to do something about it. They left me out on the streets much like Paul is today.

I listened to Dems in meetings talk about how fair and open the process of picking a state party chair had been, knowing all along how heavy handed it had been – complete with intimidation, bribes, and back room deals. The patient did not want to hear the diagnosis, much less take the medicine.

I watched in dismay as party insiders forced out the very man they once begged to run for Senate. They didn’t just force him out of a race…they forced him out out. Like me. Out of the party. Off the rolls.

So this is my stand. This is where I draw the line. I’m an independent progressive activist. I will not have anything to do with the Democrat party. I’ll vote for your candidates most likely. I’ll vote issue based and not party based any longer. But I will not lift one finger, walk one more mile, call one more person and try to get them to be an active Democrat. It would be selling them a bill of goods and I can’t do that in good conscience.

There is a reason that most of the Kerry campaigning was done by issue-oriented groups. A really, really good reason.

So so long ODP, and best of luck.

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  • Paul Minor


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  • Jerry

    i’m not voting for Brown because of what he did to Hackett.

    and i’m not voting for Strickland because he pushed Brown into the race to begin with, and he pushed the new ODP Chair who executed this hit.

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  • Eric

    Yah Paul, it’s come to that. Sorry man. I’ll get stuff put together and get it to you.

  • tadvent

    There is a line from St. Elmo’s Fire, at the end when the political guy goes to work for a republican.

    “you are going to work for a republican????”
    “yep, they pay more.”

    seriously, are you suprized at the Dem Party in Ohio. Look at what is leading the party in this area. Jimmy DiMora? Come on, your representatives are Dennis and Stephanie Tubbs. The mayor is Frank Jackson.

    With those people, how can your party be taken seriously? This city is ripe for the picking, a great dem could come in here turn things around and get national prominance. But all there is out there is Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett? The last three mayors of Cleveland are White, Cambell and Jackson. The only commissioner worth anything is Hagan.

    I think it’s time for a house cleaning.

  • Eric

    for the record – i’m in delaware, not cleveland – i just hang out with those NEO folks 😉

  • John

    I’m sure that many people in Ohio feel as you do now. Has Dean spoken out about this yet? Just wondering.

  • Anastasia

    I agree with your comments. I thought it was appalling when Dimora and the Cuyahoga County Democrats came out against Reform Ohio Now, hoping that the Democrats would seize control of the state this November and then could redistrict the Republicans out of power. That was why I supported RON: I didn’t want the system to be at the mercy of whichever group of politicians had power, replacing corrupt Republicans with corrupt Democrats. Making people feel they have no say whatsoever is no way to build a party that can get regular people involved and do good things for the state. I thought I had left this kind of manipulation back in my Chicago childhood when Mayor Daley told everyone how it was going to b in those smoke-filled rooms.

  • Thanks for hanging with us, Eric!

  • Andrew

    Bravo. I believe that Hackett made me think there was still a two party system, after this I know there is not. I too will work for independents and on issues. I’ll do what I can to hold the republicrats democans responsible but I won’t support either of their parties. Today is a sad sad day in Ohio.

  • Len

    Don’t register as an Independent, because there is such a thing as the Independent party (actually more than one), and they’re all a bunch of right wing tools.

    Go with “not affiliated.”

  • Eric

    Well, yeah, that’s what I meant of course. Thanks!

  • Gloria Ferris

    Maybe it is a day when a new party forms in Ohio.
    It would be our party. What would we want the platform to be?

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  • Paul Minor

    Gloria’s got the idea, guys. Form your own new party. One that will never let you down. One that always has candidates you love the most. Yes, what will you platform be?

    Let see, where can you go and see examples of platforms. Hey check out the Dems and Reepubs and Greens and Communists and Socialists and others and then guys start blogging together and working together and work it all out so that all of you bloggers are equally perfectly content. Then find the one perfect candidate that you all love equally and then work and blog for them as fast as your fingers can type and maybe she’ll be elected president. That will be a great day.

    Party platforms are essentially a set of ideals and values reflected in policy statements. Declaring one’s party is to allign yourself with a party platform, not the current party boss. You know the concept, we are a nation of laws not of rulers. So (some powerful) the Dems pissed you off and so you want to change parties. OK, then I guess if Dubya pisses you off, you should what, move to Canada? Find a party you like based on the ideals, then put your time and work into making it an organization whose deeds can approach the values embodied in their platform. It’s work, a helluva a lotta work! And this boys and girls is called politics.

    Hey, make your own party, and then try to work out a platform and try to get organized and try to get candidates and try to raise money and then try to get elected then try to keep ALL of your constituents happy and try to be true to your platform and yet try to appeal to the masses yet adhere to your values. Eeesh guys.

    Everytime you shun the Dem party, Karl Rove loves you more. Not that dem leaders deserve your support, obviously, often, very often, they don’t. Not the point. You’re working for your kids future, not for Redfern or whomever, get it? Reepubs win cuz Dems quit.

  • Ohio Dems Unwanted Backbone

    I’m gagging on entire ODP .. AND .. Strickland for what they did .. AND .. didn’t do for Paul Hackett and Eric Fingerhut. Also, the strong-arm intimidation tactics to put a do-nothing-preppy-puppet-wussy in as ODP chair kept the better man of Dennis Lieberman out. Country bumpkin Strickland has absolutely no clue about how to deal with inner-city Progressives and African-Americans. I’ll sit this one out because it is evident that Rod Parsley is going to kick Strickland’s “ordained minister” ass … sad but true !! Also, Sherrod Brown lost my support after I witnessed him verbally attack a 70-year-old woman at the ODP Christmas party. That was way too far from the Christmas spirt for my tastes Mr. Brown! How dare you! You acted as if you are above common courtesy and respect for your elders. Well, I for one believe you are NOT!!

  • Jerry Adkins

    Amen, ODUB. Let’s hope enough Ds stand with us to make a statement and get this house in order before 2008.

  • Todd Hoffman

    I am with you Eric. And you know where I am coming from. To hell with ODP. Redfern and Rothenberg? Are you reading this? We are serious. You lost the netroots and grassroots. Yet we will not sit still, we will continue to be the voice of Ohio that needs to be heard.

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