[Full disclosure: I’m a long time friend of David’s wife Lorraine and have known David for several years. I attended their wedding.]

Sometimes talk is cheap. Sometimes posts are weak.

Last week Greg wrote a piece taking David Robinson, Democratic candidate for Ohio House in the 21st District, to task for allegedly not voting in the past election to help stop Issue 2 (SB5). The post was fueled by a press release attacking Robinson for this very thing.

Let me start by saying I don’t know Donna personally or politically, but based on Greg’s earlier post highlighting educators running for office she seems like a great candidate that we should be working to get into the statehouse. Both David and Donna are endorsed by the Franklin County Dems.

That said, there are several problems I have with this line of attack and Greg’s post. It’s worth noting that Greg didn’t just pass along the O’Connor press release without checking the facts. He did a great amount of work and verified that the Franklin County BOE records don’t indicate a returned ballot for David. This raised questions that were legitimate in Greg’s view and I don’t have a problem with the post from that standpoint.

Where we differ is the relative strength of the argument and an inability to consider evidence that would counter the narrative of “talk is cheap”.

I’ve never been a fan of the BOE records style of argument in politics. So and so didn’t vote in this election. So and so pulled a Republican ballot in this election. Weak sauce.

If Greg had wanted evidence of whether talk was cheap he could have simply taken a look at Robinson’s campaign YouTube account. This video was posted on October 11th:

It would seem odd to me that someone who either didn’t care about SB5 or was just talking the talk would shoot such a video. It would also seem odd – and Greg had no way of knowing this really – that David would also canvass in support of repealing SB5.

I also find it curious that Greg would position Robinson as O’Connor’s “main challenger for the Democratic Party nomination”. David nearly defeated Mike Duffey in 2010. The two were vying for a seat left open by Kevin Bacon who ran for the Senate. Duffey won with 19,859 votes to Robinson’s 19,482. That, folks, is about as close to a tie as we get in politics. Robinson is clearly a favorite to take on Duffey having come within 377 votes out of 39,341 (less than 1%). Duffey will surely have an incumbent advantage, but his support of SB5 could be his undoing. Before it was repealed in a landslide, he said opponents would have a hard time persuading voters to overturn a law that, as he said “is a restoration of power to the taxpayers and to the voters.” My guess is the taxpayers and voters have spoken on the issue and Mike Duffey is at severe odds with them at this point.

Primaries tend to foster intra-party squabbling and the clash of the like minded. Look no further than the Democratic Presidential Nomination process of 2007. Our own ModernEsquire and I fought vigorously over our preferred candidates. It happens. I would hope, however, that such sparing would be done over legitimate issues and not envisioning mountains where molehills exist.

I have no problem with questioning something like this, but when you start going along with a campaign narrative while ignoring the facts that counter it, I think you wander a bit off the mark. David clearly took action. He clearly has the same position on workers, police, firefighters, and teachers as Donna. There is very little substantive difference on the issues between these candidates, which probably lead to these Rovian tactics being employed. Anything to differentiate.

The bigger issue here – and one I think PB should explore – is the integrity of the absentee voting by mail process. It seems really unlikely to me that someone who has run for office previously and planned to again would not vote in an important election with an issue on the ballot that motivated progressives in droves.

The question I have is not whether David is a words guy and not an action guy. He’s proven that to me – with his actions. No, the question for me is what happened in the mysterious case of Mr. Robinson’s missing ballot?

  • Maybe he was trying to commit voter fraud. We know in the voting process that it is voters acting unscrupulously that hurts elections not the BOE being negligent.

  • missskeptic

    Have you ever worked as an election official?  It is extremely difficult to commit voter fraud.  Also, you obviously don’t know David Robinson.  If you did, you would know that he is not capable of something like that.  Explain how and where he would have committed the fraud, rather than throwing out an accusation. 

  •  I think you may have missed the sarcasm.  😉

  • What? You might find that you get your point across more effectively with complete sentences.

  • gregmild


    Okay, so K-12 education has been getting hammered for years and then the Board of Regents puts out a report on behalf of the colleges that criticizes K-12 even further.  In response, I laid out data that questioned the assumptions made in that thinly-researched report and questioned the colleges’ finger-pointing clearly aimed at high schools.  I posed questions and challenged the assumptions that the colleges have the ultimate knowledge and authority over learning.I hope you and your colleagues engaged in productive dialogue, questioning your own beliefs and practices and those of your employer.  Personal and professional growth is often obtained when someone challenges the practices we’ve grown content with.

    Honestly, I’ve seen little evidence that higher ed faculty and high school teachers are in the same boat in Ohio.  True, both are subject to decisions that are made outside of their pay grade, but colleges only have those students who can afford the ever-increasing tuition and those who earn scholarships.  The numbers clearly show that the number of students enrolling in college is well below the number that the high schools are working with.

    I’m not asking you to hang on my every word or to believe everything I say without question.  Just consider the information, discuss it with your colleagues and friends, and push people to come to their own informed conclusions.  

  • Demydo

    I’ve worked for an Ohio County Board of Elections.  It is not hard to commit voter fraud!  For instance, some absentee ballots are sent through the mail or they can be brought into the court house and dropped into the ballot box (which I strongly suggest).  When ballots are picked up at the post office, two board officials of different political persuasion (taken from official voting records) are to go to the post office together, pick up mail, bring back to office and sort.  In our county office this was not the practice until election day when two officials (because the public was watching) of different political persuasion would walk together to the post office when the polls closed to make sure no votes were in the POB.  I’ve picked up the mail many times by myself (during the period of voter registrations and ballots  being mailed).  Being a lifetime resident of this county; I know just about everyone in the county and their party affiliation.  The return addresses can tell a story  to the person in a small county picking up ballots and registrations.  I did not throw away any ballots or registration but whose to say it isn’t happening.  Especially in the case sited above.  I do trust most BOE officials but there are some who are unscrupulous and will do anything for their party.  There are many other actions in a BOE that are covered by law but not adhered to.  I could write a book.

  • Demydo

    Most BO Elections’ employees are negligent.  Not unscrupulous but negligent because they are human.  They do not know all of the laws (so many laws to adhere to), they trust each other especially in the smaller counties and take for granted that everyone in the office is honest and trustworthy (happens everyday in the corporate world” banks”).  I observed many wrong doings in our office, reported to the chairman of BOE, nothing was done.  Many actions in BOA are questionable like:  cleaning up signatures with an outside program like paint then copy and paste the “cleaned up” signature to the signature book.  Signatures do not need to be cleaned up.  If the person doing the cleaning with an eraser from the tools can read the signature so can the poll workers. 

    Not being adhered to in our BOE office because board  members feel it takes too long to look at and decide on every ballot cast that is in question – if a signature, address, county of residence, etc. is in question on a  ballot (at the poll or absentee), all original signatures and all back up material  of concern is to be presented to the board so many days after election day for board approval or disapproval.  Approved are counted in the official and final vote count.  In our office the only ballots cast  in question that were presented to the board members for approval or disapproval  were the ballots that office personnel felt were not okay and needed to be looked at by the board members.  Ballots that the office personnel felt were okay were automatically approved along with ballots that the board members had scrutinized and approved or disapproved.   Office workers are able to qualify or put the possible disqualifying  ballots aside when absentee ballots start arriving by mail or had been dropped into the ballot box in the court house.  Votes in question at the polls cast a provisional ballot.    If a ballot is in question, office personnel prepares for the board members; a bundle which includes unopened ballot,  signature on outside envelope, original signature card, information regarding address which may include information from other county BOAs, etc.  for their determination.  The board is to, by law, look at every ballot cast in question and make the only and final determination.  The signatures and other questionable information that passed the scrutiny of office personnel are not looked at by the board.  

    Like I said below, I could write a book and so could many BOE officials and personnel.  Don’t ever believe that there isn’t above the table (out of ignorance) and under the table stuff going on in our BOA.

  • There have been some recent letters to the editor in the Suburban News written by unhappy constituents of Mike Duffey.  Apparently, Mike Duffey is unresponsive to calls/letters to his office.  Newsletters from Duffey don’t get out to everyone in the district, but only a selected few. I’m a resident of his district, and I’ve never received one.  Duffey’s adoration of John Kasich and his obedience to the Kasich agenda just makes me ill.

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