05 May 2008

ODP Bears Responsibility for Putting Marc Dann in Office

The ODP chose Marc Dann over the better qualified Subodh Chandra in 2006 based only on Dann's party connections. To illustrate the ODP's thinking, here are excerpts from an ODP executive committee meeting I detailed in this post:

Priscilla O’Donnell: ...Of all of the candidates, I heard more excitement about [Chandra’s] candidacy than anyone else other than Strickland.

CJ Prentiss: This guy [Dann] has taken us to the dance. He has been on top of them, articulating and point out all the wrong that is done. On top of that, he has put out recommendations of what we can do right.

Pat O’Malley, Cuyahoga: I’ve got a couple of issues about this race. This is a race where we have to make a stand. I come from Cleveland, where Subodh is from, and I’ve been active for years. I’ve never seen him at a political function. I’ve never seen him help a candidate in Cuyahoga County. He’s not even known in Cuyahoga County.

Susan Gwin: I really take exception to Mr. O’Malley’s comments. The problem I have in this race is electability. How do we elect Dann, who has a reprimand from the Ohio Supreme Court in the past three years?

Varner: ...Dann is a team player and has been -- and would be even if he weren't in this race. Chandra, on the other hand, was the only candidate who wouldn't tell the screening committee on Saturday that he would support the entire ticket in the general election no matter who wins the primary. We want a team player in this race, and that is not Subodh Chandra.

And as I opined at the time:

What does Chandra bring to the table? Superior qualifications for AG.
What does Dann bring to the table? Attendance at Party events, name recognition in Cuyahoga County, vocal partisanship, and a Supreme Court reprimand.

When it decided upon an AG candidate, the ODP ignored qualifications and ignored the grassroots. And now they got burned in a most embarrassing fashion. I think it's safe to say that no one can imagine Subodh Chandra sending adolescent text messages between happy hours and hook-ups.

In addition to the matter of how the AG's office will resolve this scandal, there is also the matter of how the ODP will select its candidates in the future. Will it prioritize qualifications and the grassroots, or will it remain an insider's club?

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