Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Post's E.J. Dionne Lauds Ohio Guv
Ted Strickland as 'Mr. Consensus'

The always-acute and eminently sensible Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne today points to Ted Strickland as a model for the Democratic party:
'At a moment of festering polarization in national politics, Strickland is Mr. Consensus. He doesn't hide his progressive views -- he calls himself "pro-choice, pro-labor and pro-universal health care" -- and yet just about everyone thinks of this ordained Methodist minister as a moderate because he spends a lot of time in places where Democrats don't dare venture, offering soothing sentiments you're unlikely to run into on talk radio or the Internet. "If you act with respect toward the people who disagree with you," Strickland said over the telephone when we finally got around to talking, "they'll give you a break and won't cut you off."

In February, I noted and linked to a similarly admiring cover story on Strickland in the American Prospect. It would seem the minister-pol's positive word of mouth in the Beltway is steadily growing.


At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Havan said...

Very much like Voinovich, who never got the same credit...

At 3:41 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Good god, surely you must be joking. Voinovich was (and is) a thoroughly corrupt person, who gladly did business with all the most unsavory types around the state. The fact that George V. later served as chairman of the Senate Ethics committee turns it from comedy into full-blown farce.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous havan said...

no, but i'm certainly willing to investigate. any reading suggestions?

At 2:41 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Dear readers, help me out on this (and thanks for your openness to new information, havan). Anyone have any additional links to suggest of online information about the subject of Voinovich corruption?

Unfortunately, some of the best stuff isn't currently online, the many detailed investigations published by the Akron Beacon Journal in the early and mid-90s. They did a great job of connecting the dots at the time, and set the pace for everyone. The Toledo Blade has come through more recently with a lot of its own good work (basically anything related to the Tom Noe coin scandal can be laid directly at the foot of Voinovich, even though it blew up during his successor's reign). Anything in the Blade carrying the bylines James Drew and/or Steve Eder should be of interest (I've linked below to one of their more interesting pieces, but there are others).

The Plain Dealer unfortunatly did very little with this subject, owing in large part to protection by then-publisher Alex Machaskee, a close friend of George V's. I did my own long 7,000-or-so word piece (which I should post sometime soon) in about '96 on it, part of which documented how Machaskee protected Voinovich and his henchmen. There are at least two notable exceptions on this for the PD: Steve Luttner, who was beginning to peel back the onion on this story some years ago, and who (this is my theory, but I think a correct one) was subsequently banished from his political columnist post to the outlying suburban bureaus for it. He's now in P.R. And bulldog Sandy Theis, who aggressively birddogged V corruption at three Ohio newspapers (Voinovichers tried to get her sacked at all three) before giving up on newspapering last year out of frustration with staff cuts. A huge loss.

There's also an interesting fellow down in Columbus named Martin Yant, who's a college professor by day, and who's published some interesting Voinovich takes (one link below). Then of course there's the unparallelled Cleveland muckraker Roldo Bartimole, who certainly wrote much about this subject over the years. The good news: the entire archive of his Point of View newsletter will soon be online, courtesy of the Cleveland Press archives.

Anyway, here are those links to get you started:





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