LaRose LaStinks Senator LaRose last week went to extraordinary lengths to try and convince us (and his constituents) that he could be relied on to vote NO on SB 5.  I literally had people connected to him try three different ways to reach me and ask that we change our scorecard to show him as a No vote as opposed to going from “on the fence” to “Yes” as we had him.

Given that occurred just Thursday, it’s kind of hard to think that LaRose was LaLying to us and his constituents.  How the hell could you make the comments he made at the town hall he held in his district literally on Thursday about being against the bill, and then vote for it.

Immediately after the vote, the Senate erupted in changes of “LaRose Lied to Us” and “Shame on LaRose!”  Gilmor also received a verbal barrage during the Senate’s brief recess after the vote.

Jimmy Stewart is toast.  How bad does voting for SB 5 hurt Stewart?  So much that it’s more of a question if he’s even going to run next year at this point.  There is a candidate who has good chance of defeating Stewart, but we need to reevaluate a prior debate in the blogsphere over the Secretary of State’s race.

We aren’t going to find a pro-choice, pro-gun control Democrat to win Stewart’s Senate district.  Not gonna happen.  If you disagree, name that Democratic candidate.  Jennifer Garrison’s knock is that she’s adamantly pro-life and pro-gun.   That, for some in our party, made her not suitable for Secretary of State, even after she supported adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws. 

But let’s just put this out there.  Here’s Senate Majority Floor Leader Jimmy Stewart’s most recent campaign finance report shows his cash-on-hand versus Garrison’s:

  • Stewart: $8,524.56
  • Garrison: $228,726.71

That’s roughly a 27:1 cash-on-hand advantage for the Democrat at the start.  Garrison has a reason to get revenge on the GOP-controlled Senate.  Governor Strickland appointed her to the State Employee Relations Board (SERB), but the Senate GOP blocked her appointment in the “Christmas Week Massacre.”

Garrison has good name recognition in the district, a proven vote getter, a defendable record that sells in her district, legislative experience, and the money to get a conservative/moderate Democratic message out.

I’m willing to sacrifice ideological purity on social issues to win elections, especially after today.  Ted Strickland and Richard Cordray were pro-gun, and they had the narrowest margins of loss in 2010.  I don’t hear anyone objecting to Tim Ryan when we write about him, and he’s strongly pro-life.

Do you want to defeat Jimmy Stewart?  Then pitch me a better Democratic candidate to win that region besides Garrison.  I’ll listen.  But frankly, Garrison looks like our best candidate to take out the GOP’s Senate Majority Leader.

Incidentally, many of you quickly came here after the Senate vote to ask “What do we do now?”  Fortunately, Eric just happened to film my answer to that very question as we discussed it in our PlunderSuite (apparently while we were being visited by the Mahoning Valley minor league baseball team mascot).   I’ll tell you what we do now…

Three weeks ago, people thought I was insane to suggest that this bill would see bipartisan opposition and may pass by a one-vote margin.  The Republicans were unified and this was the bus we were told.  This was unstoppable.  We cannot even get this bill weakened; SB 5 was as good as already passed.

Remember three weeks ago, the political media in Ohio declared that passage of SB 5 in the Senate would be a cakewalk. And we nearly killed the bill today.

Not once ….. (in the Senate Insurance, Labor & Commerce Committee)

Not twice…. (Senate Rules Committee)

Not three times… (Floor Vote)

But four times today (all of the above, plus vote to recommit.)

What Senator Minority Leader Cafaro and her outgunned caucus was able to pull off today with the support of labor was nothing short of a miracle.  The Ohio Democratic Party must make financially helping the Caucus’ campaign funds so it can financial compete next year a major priority.  We need to stop treating them as our forgotten stepchildren.  We’ve got seats we can pick up, and we need to win them.

What do we do?  We keep doing what we’ve been doing.  We have fought them in the Senate committees, we fought them on their own Senate floor, and we’ll march across the Statehouse and take the fight to them in the House, and if need be, we will fight them on the streets of Ohio next November and kill this bill because God, as my witness, we will prevail.

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