[UPDATED 9:34 pm – added information about O’Connor Campaign’s Press Release]

If I could nominate a phrase for this year’s campaigns in Ohio, my 2nd choice would be “Talk is cheap.”  As vocal supporters of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other organized labor unions over the past year, my friends and I felt the depth of that phrase often and on many different levels.  While I spent the majority of my time in front of a computer screen reading and writing, I know literally hundreds of people who first collected signatures, then went door-to-door to encourage Ohio residents to oppose Issue 2.

As a result of the combined efforts of thousands of Ohioans, Issue 2 was soundly defeated in the November general election as millions of Ohioans cast votes in opposition.  That story has been well-documented not only on Plunderbund, but in national media outlets.  2011 was a landmark year for organized labor in Ohio, and we will long remember those elected officials who supported us.

Teacher Donna O’Connor was one of those teachers who worked hard on the behalf of Ohioans to vote down Issue 2.  As the vice president of her local teacher’s association, Donna has exhibited the knowledge & leadership we wanted to see from our elected officials last year, and that is why she is running for the Democratic nomination for House District 21.  Again, we wrote about that already.  But unlike most of the teachers running for office this year, Donna is faced with the challenge of having to first earn the party’s nomination in a primary election this March.

David W. Robinson is the main challenger for the Democratic Party nomination for House District 21.  In the past, a businessman like Robinson with multiple campaigns under his belt might easily merit the nomination.  He has recently been a vocal supporter of working Ohioans and summarizes his position expertly on his campaign website:

That’s why I joined millions of Ohioans last year in working to overturn Senate Bill 5. I was offended by the politicians who sought to deny working Ohioans a seat at the table. The issue was one of fairness, and that’s why we worked together to defeat SB5, ensuring that our teachers, police, firefighters, and other public workers will be treated with respect and dignity.

That segues into my top choice for the 2012 campaign slogan for working Ohioans: “Actions speak louder than words.”

This morning, Donna O’Connor’s campaign manager sent out a Press Release reporting that David Robinson “did not vote to defend the rights of school teachers, firefighters, police officers and public employees last year in the 2011 general election.”  According to the Franklin County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State, David W. Robinson did not cast a ballot in the November general election.  Public records indicate that Robinson neither voted for, nor against, Issue 2 on November 8, 2011.  I can’t say that I like how that feels.

And that leaves me with some questions:

  1. In 2012, how are we supposed to back a candidate on a pro-labor platform that abstained on the most important vote in recent history?
  2. How will Robinson reply when his Republican opponent blows off any pro-worker claims by pointing out his lack of action on the day it meant the most?

I’ve heard that Robinson’s campaign is putting forth the improbable claim that his absentee ballot was erroneously credited to one of the other ten other David Robinson’s in Franklin County, only five of whom are credited with casting a ballot.  This validity of such a claim can only truly be answered by the Board of Elections or Secretary of State, but it seems implausible given the data in voter records:

  • Only one of the 16 David Robinsons in Franklin County has the middle initial W. (our candidate)
  • Only one of the 16 David Robinsons in Franklin County lives in Worthington (our candidate)
  • Only one of the 16 David Robinsons in Franklin County lives in Sharon Township (our candidate)
  • Our candidate lives in a precinct with a number that is unique from the other 15
  • The identification numbers on file with the Franklin County Board of Elections are all vastly different (see pic below)

A month from now, unless voters turn out for teacher Donna O’Connor, Robinson could be the candidate for Ohio House District 21.  And if that happens, I just want to know how the teachers, firefighters, and police officers living in Dublin and Worthington will be able to explain away Robinson’s decision not to vote on Issue last November.

As I said – I have questions.

2012: Actions speak louder than words.