Last November I went down to Columbus to meet some friends at Brazenhead. We ate. Had a few beers. Talked politics and life. Good times. Afterward, a buddy and I decided to hang out a bit more and shot over to Hi Beck for some pool and another beer or two. Again, good times.
This is about the time that rumors were all around Columbus about Marc Dann and his scheduler Jessica Utovich. I was hearing stuff, but not paying too much attention to it all. On our way out we see someone we knew who worked for the Shamansky campaign so we stop to say hey having both known the guy. It turns out he was also Jessica’s roommate at the time and so he asks me to talk to her – presumably to “clear her name”. She obviously had her roommate fooled given what we now know.
So I talk to Jessica for a while and at one point she tells me “you guys gotta tell the other side. you gotta get it out there that nothing is going on”. I listen because I was genuinely sympathetic at the time. I also tried to settle her. She looked nervous and a bit flustered. It ends with me telling her if there is nothing there don’t worry. Have a good night.
Immediately after they walked away (they were leaving too), I look at my buddy and we both shake our heads. The first thing out of his mouth is “wow. she’s a bad liar.” Sure enough. She wasn’t leveling with me. Now, I don’t mean to focus on her. Mainly because from what I’m also hearing she has issues and may have been swept up in actual feelings for Marc and not just doing the sleep around to get ahead routine. I think she was young and naive and responded poorly to an environment in the AG’s office that surely was not professional and most certainly was not healthy. I feel bad for her.
What angers me is that she lied to me and tried to use this blog and me to help cover for her knowing that we’d be misled in the process and end up looking like fools. I held off – for more reasons that one – giving Dann any cover. Most especially because of what she said. I also held off posting this because I figured there was a chance that it was a simple smear campaign and I didn’t know enough about it to comment on a chance conversation with Utovich.
We now know what many of our guts told us: there was something to this all along.
Marc Dann also lied to me. He campaigned on integrity and ethics. He was the Democrat standard bearer of corruption fighting and good government. When he was “Attorney General-elect” he put out press releases touting his new leadership team’s “new commitment to integrity, ethics, accountability, professionalism”.
We got some of that in the form of actual policy, lawsuits, and other actions. But we got more than enough of the opposite to completely overshadow those things. With a campaign against the culture of corruption and the levels to which it sunk, it simply wasn’t good enough to be a little bit better than that other gal. What we needed was a total model of integrity, ethics, and professionalism. Just like Dann promised.
He also promised not to let us down. Well, Marc. You did.
Marc Dann and Jessica Utovich both lied to me. I half understand why Jessica might. I don’t understand at all why Marc Dann did and I don’t accept it. I won’t move on from this until Dann is no longer our AG. The only way to bring back what Marc promised us is, ironically, to get rid of him.