Last weekend a plethora of superhero democrats convened in one place for the Ohio Democratic Party State Convention and Dinner. The Keynote speaker for the dinner was Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

You might have heard about Brian Schweitzer from the Rachel Maddow Show. That’s where I first heard about him. In 2004 Brian was elected as Montana’s first Democratic governor since 1988. Schweitzer is known for his unsparing use of the veto, a power he has exercised 21 times in his eight years as Governor. For instance, in April 2011, Schweitzer made news with his unconventional use of a branding iron to publicly veto several bills that he called “frivolous, unconstitutional and just bad ideas” and that he said were “in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana.”

According to Public Policy Polling- 

“Schweitzer continues to be one of the more popular Governors in the country with a 52% approval rating to 36% of voters who disapprove of him. He’s maintaining strong numbers as a Democrat in the GOP leaning state because of majority support from independents (53/34) and a decent amount of crossover approval with Republicans (24%).”

Some politicians and want-to-be politicians might take that as a sign that they should try to act more like Republicans to win and stay popular like Schweitzer. However, the secret to Schweitzer’s success is he’s a great communicator. He operates almost entirely from the purest Democratic values and policies, but he does an amazing job of showing the people of Montana how the legislation he promotes will positively impact their lives.

Listening to his speech brought tears to my eyes. He was so good at telling stories to explain the need for the legislation he’s advanced in Montana. I felt like I could see into the lives of people he’s helped. I kept thinking to myself, “Look what just one Democrat can do. Look what just one Democrat can do.” This video is a half hour long, but it’s worth watching. Much more entertaining and meaningful than a TV show…

After his speech he spontaniously auctioned off one of his veto boards for the benefit of the Ohio Democratic Party. He understands how crucial it is that we have the resources we need to make sure Democrats win in Ohio.

Here he is signing the board…

Before Governor Schweitzer took the stage Senator Sherrod Brown spoke about his record of bringing jobs to Ohio.

He is truly a man who believes that you build an economy from the middle class up, and he walks his talk. This video I made is part of his speech, and includes endorsements from other notables…

I’m a huge fan of Sherrod Brown’s amazing wife, Connie Schultz. This was my first time seeing her speak in person. I admire her for her values and her intelligence and for the political views she holds as a result of that combination. I especially adore her for understanding the importance of social media. She encouraged us to risk telling people in person, and through social media, what drives us to work so hard to get Democrats elected.

She’s also very funny. Watch this video for the “Aqua Net” moment.

The special performance by Frances Strickland was so good that I tweeted this about it…



Here it is for your listening pleasure, with an endorsement from Governor Schweitzer at the end. Be forewarned. The song will stick. in. your. head. for. days. But it’s good because then you can sing it to your friends and family and help spread the word…

The special guest of the Convention was Lilly Ledbetter. The first bill President Obama signed into law was named after her. She was unfairly underpaid because she’s a woman, and she took it to court. It went all the way to the Supreme Court and they decided that the statute of limitations had run out. In 2007 Democrats tried to pass legislation to extend the statute of limitations to make it easier for women to hold employers accountable for wage discrimination. The Republicans blocked passage of the bill. In the 2008 elections one of the issues that separated the two candidates was the Fair Pay Act. Obama supported it, he won, and he kept good on his promise and signed the 2009 version of the bill. I couldn’t videotape Lilly Ledbetter because the breakout session was closed to press. But I did get a photograph to share with you…



One of my favorite parts of the Convention was when Women’s Caucus Director, Lauren Harmon mentioned me from the stage. She used my work as an example of how women can use whatever talents or interests they have to get involved in the political process. If you’re a woman and you’re interested in getting involved, you should talk to Lauren. She’s as sweet as pie, and she will work with you to figure out how you can use your unique abilities to help advance progress. As the Women’s Caucus Director it’s her job to help people like you get empowered and active.


If you didn’t see your favorite speaker from the Convention or Dinner in this post, don’t fret. I have three more blog posts coming soon…

1) What the polls miss – Apathy, Suppression, and Citizens United – (A post about why we need to work hard to win despite what the polls say.  The post will feature the amazing Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. and his talk about voter suppression and voter apathy. His talk was so amazing that afterward, multiple people came up to the press riser to ask if they could get video copies to share.)

2) The Seven Sisters- (A post about the seven female candidates for Congress we have running in Ohio. The post will feature video of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and congressional candidates Angela Zimmann, Joyce Beatty, and Joyce-Healy Abrams.)

3) Don’t Forget Yvette- (A post about our Democratic candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, Justice Yvette McGee Brown. With Video of her introduction from Chairman Redfern and her delivery of the Gertrude Donahey Award to Congressional candidate Joyce Beatty.)

Story and video by Lauren Michelle Kinsey
Follow: @OHLMK


  • Great coverage!

  • Thanks, Eric!

  • Phil Perspective

    I hope you are right.

  • You’re so lucky to have him as your Governor! It speaks highly of the people of Montana that you would chose him!

  • Good coverage but something I noticed, about the Gov of Montana’s speech.

    All the wonderful things he did, step 1, surplus, tax cuts. He didn’t spend money he didn’t have.

    He sure sounds like a fiscal conservative to me.

  • BTW the Know Nothings were pre-civil war, not post civil war

  • 3seven77

    As a native Montanan I want to say thank you for posting the video of Brian Schweitzer and exposing him for the flim-flam man that he is.

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