Thursday, November 13, 2014

Silver Lining Department: Ohio Democrat Party Chairman Chris Redfern Slinks Off Into The Night


Last Tuesday was pretty ugly for Democrats almost everywhere. But it was worse in Ohio. Republican Gov. John Kasich, who was once considered a one-term sitting duck, won a landslide victory, 1,922,436 (63.8%) to 989,201 (32.9%). Ohio has 88 counties; Kasich won 86, all but Athens and Monroe. Obama had won Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) with 69% and Sherrod Brown won it with the same margin. Obama and Brown both won Lucas County (Toledo) with 64%. Both won Franklin County (Columbus), with 60%. Similar results for Summit County (Akron), 57% each. Both even won Hamilton County (Cincinnati), Obama with 52% and Brown with 53%. Kasich won them all. Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine was reelected with 61.66% of the vote. Secretary of State John Husted beat progressive fave Nina Turner 60.04 to 35.32%. Republicans also took the state Auditor and state Treasurer jobs-- a Republican sweep of all the statewide offices. Taking a cue from the DCCC, the Ohio Democratic Party didn't seriously a single House seat. It was a wipeout for the state party.

We've written about Chris Redfern here before. He's been to the Ohio Democratic Party what Steve Israel's been to the DCCC or Debbie Wasserman Schultz to the DNC-- a cancer on the organization he was entrusted to lead. But instead of screwing working people for only a few years like Israel and Schultz, this piece of shit hick from the sticks has spent nine years running the Ohio Democratic Party into the ground, destroying it's infrastructure, picking uninspiring loser New Democrats and Blue Dogs over real progressives who could win, running Ohio's most talented elected officials out of office and enriching himself and his Republican corporate lobbyist wife.

Let's take a look at how this corrupt, imbecile of a "clown who helped ruin the state Democratic Party," this "pipsqueak from a county [Ed Note: Catawba Island, pop. 3,157 in in Ottawa County] with 12 people and a highway" as former Ohio State Senate President and Democratic Party Chair Harry Mishel referred to Redfern, rose to power:
Fast-forward to December 2005, when Democrats gathered in Columbus to select a new party chairman. With the backing of [then Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted] Strickland, Malone and other labor leaders, the job went to State Rep. Chris Redfern-- but not before their thugs in the room hurled some vile insults in the direction of U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin, two powerful black women who opposed Redfern’s election.

Tubbs Jones always believed there was a significant amount of racism in the room that night.
Once in power, Redfern's one criteria for recruiting Democrats to run for statewide office was their loyalty to him. Not their beliefs or ability to win. During his tenure, save one race he had nothing to do with, the Ohio Democratic Party lost every single race for the State Supreme Court, which is elected in that state. He undercut progressive Paul Hackett's primary run for the U.S. Senate in 2006, one of the reasons the principled and charismatic Hackett walked away from politics. Interviewed over the past few days, the netroots and grassroots supported Hackett called Redfern "unethical" and said he was made aware Redfern suppressed his campaign by refusing to hand out his campaign literature. He did the same to progressive Attorney General candidate Subodh Chandra. Chandra that same year, and he spoke on the record about it in a just released documentary
In John Wellington Ennis' documentary "Pay 2 Play," Chandra alleges Redfern went so far as to destroy about $10,000 worth of the candidate's campaign literature, intended for distribution to constituents at political events.

The 90-minute documentary uses the board game "Monopoly" to illustrate politics in the Buckeye State. It briefly touches on Chandra's 2006 campaign and notes how he faced opposition within the Democratic Party, namely because of his unconventional name.

Chandra, now a practicing attorney in Cleveland, said he's unsure why he quickly became one of Redfern's political enemies, but it was quite clear to him Redfern had an ax to grind.

"Chris Redfern is one of the most mean-spirited and small-minded people that I have ever met in over 30 years of political involvement," Chandra said in an interview with the Register. "He would actively and gratuitously hurt people he perceived to be his enemies for no apparent rational reason. And that drove many Democrats who are interested in public service for the right reasons from being involved in the party."

Redfern's alleged strategy in dealing with Chandra's political aspirations: Stop handing out his literature.

People such as former Northwest Ohio coordinator Steve Chaffin were ordered to stop spreading Chandra's messages, according to both Chaffin and Chandra.

"(Democrats) were excited about (Chandra's) campaign," Chaffin said. "He seemed to appeal to a lot of young people. Shortly after, Redfern decided he was going to decide who the candidates were going to be. He told me and others we were not to pass out any literature from (Chandra)."

Chandra ultimately lost in a primary to Marc Dann, who won the general election but eventually resigned in 2008 over a sex scandal.
That's right, Redfern's candidate who he illegally submarined Chandra to support was none other than Marc Dann, who after taking over as Attorney General didn't make it for very long before he resigned in disgrace after he and his top lieutenants sexually harassed just about every woman in his office. When then-Treasurer Rich Cordray (current head of the Consumer Protection Bureau in Washington) moved from the Treasurer's office to the Attorney General's office, Redfern had unheralded Columbus City Councilman Kevin Boyce appointed. Boyce engaged in classic pay to play politics and was in so far over his head that he handed the running of the state's finances over to his deputy treasurer, who is currently sitting in prison in Lahore, Pakistan, after jumping bail in Ohio for a kickback-scheme conviction (he also was a deputy under Rahm in Chicago, of course!). Boyce also refused to raise money and campaign in 2010, and was trounced by another pipsqueak, Josh Mandel.

Redern, always the corporate whore, also anointed terrible New Democrat Leigh Fisher as the party's U.S. Senate candidate that same year by blocking progressive Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner from running a successful primary campaign by threatening he funders. Fisher lost by 20 points to current Senator Rob Portman. He then supported Ohio's Sarah Palin, the odious, homophobic, anti-choice, gun loving, pro-coal, Jennifer Garrison, for this seat, even though key Democratic groups warned him they would never support her. (We've often talked about her at DWT, because the just as stupid and corrupt Steve Israel recruited her so she could once again get destroyed (38.6%), this time running for a House seat in Ohio this year).

This election cycle, for the final coup de gras, Redfern supported Ed Fitzgerald for governor, blocking the potential campaigns for governor of Rich Cordray and Jennifer Brunner, two progressives who could have won. Fitzgerald, like Boyce, refused to raise money and then it came out that he had had no driver's license for 10 years, while he of course kept driving. He was trounced by 30 points, dragging the entire ticket down with him, and costing the party more state house seats.

So it was only right that Redfern, comically, ended his chairmanship by resigning in the dead of night, after losing his state house seat in an Obama district to a novice Tea Partier who is being investigated for burglary. His lobbyist wife lost her race for the Ohio Board of Education. Redfern then resigned after saying he wouldn't, shut down his social media accounts and made a run for it.

The list above if only a partial look into how this power hungry, petty, vindictive, corrupt little man, of well-below average intelligence and with the professional demeanor of Louie Gohmert, finally met his Waterloo, after destroying the Ohio Democratic Party. If they are to rebuild in this important swing state, it must be an open process. And one where progressives are given the chance to rise to the top. One such example is David Pepper, who recently was one of those dragged down by Fitzgerald in his run for Attorney General. There are also others. All should be vetted and voted upon by the party. No more Chris Redferns, the people of Ohio can't afford it!


UPDATE: Tim Russo On Redfern

Tim doesn't believe the silver spike has been driven thru Redfern's heart yet. "Redfern's core competence," he wrote, "is stitching up primaries. The reasons so many Democrats are angry with Redfern, and want him gone, are found in the rivers of blood Redfern leaves behind after shoving candidates down Democrats' throats, all over the state, in any primary Redfern can get his filthy paws on."
Word is that ODP Chairman Chris Redfern has taken leave to Florida to continue spending the paycheck he's hanging onto for dear life while he holds Ohio Democrats hostage until he actually vamooses. Redfern is making noises to various lapdog reporters that (a) he wants a role in Hillary Clinton's campaign (LOL) and (b) he wants to stay on at ODP as a consultant when a new chair is picked (LOLOL), and (c) he doesn't regret stitching up the umpteenth primary of his career for Ed FitzGerald, who he calls the best candidate he's seen since Dick Celeste (ROFLMAOLOLOL), despite knowing full well Fitz was Public Offical 14 as early as 2010. Delusional, as usual.

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At 7:08 AM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


It is the same story as around the country.

One, the Goopers cheat their asses off.

Ohio GOP Playbook: When Gerrymandering Isn’t Quite Enough

Columbus Ohio GOP chair, Doug Preis, and close adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said about limiting early voting. “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”

Two, even that wouldn't get them to where they are. It takes the corrupt Dems running things for "our" side to get that job done.

- ittdgy, typing at you from downtown Columbus, OH.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Phil Perspective said...

Maybe they're not corrupt tools, but the story played out all over. In PA, the GOP gained seats in both the state House and Senate despite Corbett getting an ass-kicking. How sad is that?

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

That's the GOP's specialty in their crazed strategy cheat, cheat & more cheat they're sick.

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Paul Hackett's primary run for the U.S. Senate in 2006"

On what planet is Hackett more progressive than Sherrod Brown?


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