by Timothy D. Smith (“timroff”)
I’m obviously a little bit nervous and very excited about the possibility of announcing tomorrow for attorney general, said Ohio State Senator Marc Dann (D-32, Liberty Township). It’s a decision I’ve come to after an awful lot of painful, soul-searching thought. If you had asked me a year ago, it’s a certainty that I wouldn’t be doing this, but after the last eight months, the revelation of the pay-to-play culture in Columbus has really changed not only the political environment in the state, but also my role in trying to move along … the investigation [and] trying to get to the bottom of some of the things that have happened.
And with that statement, Dann launched into a conference call with a group of Ohio bloggers Sunday night in a prequel to his upcoming ‘06 election candidacy announcement. Also included in the call were representatives from ePluribus Media, Democracy Guy, Ohio 2nd, The Seven Cent Nickel and the Licking County Pro-Active Citizens, among others.
Dann said that he had decided to run for attorney general to “try to change the way business is done in Ohio, from a transactional system to a more transformational form of government, [and] to help lay out the case why [the current] type of government is holding us back — why the corruption is causing us to not be able to make the critical investments we need to make as a state.”
Those investments, according to Dann, include:
- increasing the number of people enrolled in Ohio universities.
- shifting financing for K-12 educational spending from local property taxes to the state — “not only as the state’s Supreme Court has ordered, but what makes sense.”
- building the kind of infrastructure — technological as well as the physical infrastructure — to attract the jobs of the future.
Dann said these investments aren’t being made because, by the time the state’s budget is set, “the IOUs are already signed with the special interest groups — whether it’s David Brennan and his charter schools or lawyers and accountants [wanting] tax breaks — the deals are already cut, and there’s no money to make those investments at the end of the day.”
Dann reached out to the bloggers on the advice of media consultant Daren Berringer of Trippi & Associates. The senator said he hoped his campaign would be a model in using the Internet not only as a financing source but also “as an engagement tool and educational tool. There are still an awful lot of people — as much as I’m sick of talking about the $50 million investment in rare coins — who … don’t understand what happened, and who let it happen, and … the separation-of-powers failure when the attorney general’s and auditor’s offices didn’t do their due diligence because they were getting contributions from the same contributors.”
Berringer added that Dann’s blog, Coins for Change, and the new campaign site, Dann for Ohio, would act as forums for people to learn more about what the candidate is planning and to teach people about the issues involved. He also noted that Coins For Change would be changing to allow other bloggers to add to the information already there, to create a clearinghouse for Coingate-related information.
Dann was asked about another democrat seeking the AG position, former Cleveland law director Subodh Chandra. Dann said that “as opposed to dreaming about fighting corruption, I’ve being doing it for the last eight months,” in reference to a “great speech that Subodh made.” He later noted that his reply was tongue-in-cheek, that Chandra would make a great AG, and that his running will bring many interesting questions to the table.
The conference call was set up by Dann’s campaign director, Leo Jennings, and “Internet guy,” Cameron Kissel.
ePluribus Media Contributors: Sue in KY, JeninRI, kfred, Cho, Michael Cote, and standingup
Cross posted at the ePluribus Media Community site.