By now gentle readers should know how to vote in the upcoming election. The need of the hour is to send an unequivocal message to every part of the government that we will be clients no more but free, responsible citizens. Since one party of our two-party system has at least temporarily committed itself to the opposite notion, one can only vote against the GOP with the utmost caution in any race, no matter how far down the ticket.
But to be specific, we here offer our citizen-centered advice for all races on the ballot at the SWNIDish precinct. Those not blessed to vote at Little Flower's Parish Hall will have to transfer the counsel to their own electoral situations.
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Ohio: John Kasich and Mary Taylor
Donks have tried to play the class-warfare card on Kasich, accusing him of being a denizen of "Wall Street" as a former partner with Lehman Brothers. We say, better Wall Street than the public employees unions. Kasich earned a reputation in the House as a budget hawk with sensibilities toward business development. Both are needed presently.
Strickland, by contrast, has proved utterly overmatched by his job. Ostensibly committed to reforming Ohio, he lacks the courage to stand up to his party's entrenched special interests, most particularly the public employees labor unions. Thanks for trying, Ted, but we need someone with moxie.
Attorney General of Ohio: Mike Dewine
Many Tea Party types dislike Dewine, whom they label as a "big government" Republican. We say, no one is big government like a Democrat. Our experience of Dewine as Senator affirms that he has sound judgment and administrative skill of the kind that can start to restore confidence in the integrity of Ohio's hapless state administration.
Auditor of State of Ohio: David Yost
The argument has been made that Yost is the Weakest Link on the Ohio GOP ticket. If so, he still compares favorably to David Pepper. Pepper's rise in the Ohio Democratic Party is based on an unearned reputation as a fiscal conservative and a complete absence of accomplishments as a Cincinnati City Councilman and Hamilton County Commissioner. His distinguished father, retired as CEO of Procter & Gamble, doubtless lies awake at night wondering whether his son will find himself before he outlives his trust fund.
Secretary of State of Ohio: John Husted
Husted is an accomplished individual with potential for greater things. His opponent is part of the Strickland apparatus that has squandered four years of governance in maintaining the status quo.
Treasurer of Ohio: Josh Mandel
A Marine veteran on the rise, Mandel offers a fresh start to Ohio's dismal finances. His incumbent opponent has done nothing to suggest that another four years will be better than the previous four.
US Representative, District 1: Steve Chabot
On the left is Steve Driehaus, who owes his political life to the Democratic Party leadership. On the right is Steve Chabot, who in fourteen years in Congress earned the highest rating given by Citizens Against Government Waste. This is the easiest choice on the ballot, and arguably the most important. Driehaus is proof that the "Conservative Democrats" is a null set.
United States Senate: Rob Portman
Portman has been a principled star in every office he's held. If we're looking for responsible leadership with solid political philosophy, he's the exemplar. Lee Fisher, by contrast, has dutifully carried water for his party and is now owed a shot at something big. As a Senator, he would be a reliable vote for his party's leadership. Ohio has sent some miserable people to the Senate in the SWNIDish lifetime, but Portman is sure to be the exception.
State Representative, District 32: Eric Nebergall
Mallory may be a magic name in Cincinnati, one even capable of inducing SWNID to vote for Jackson's party. But Dale Mallory is an embarrassment, as illustrated by his recent nonappearance at a scheduled TV debate. Mallory is in politics because it's the family business and he has no marketable skills. Eric Nebergall, by contrast, is a decent, honest guy who believes in an ideal called "public service." He makes an honest living and now wants to help make Ohio an honest state. This one is important too, and hard. Mallory will get votes because of name recognition. Make it a point to turn the tide of turnout for Nebergall.
State Senator: Deborah McKinney
SWNID finds incumbent Eric Kearney a good guy. SWNID also finds him a reliable vote for the public employees unions who presently control the perspectives of the Democratic Party on state governance. McKinney is another decent citizen who wants to spend enough time in Columbus to reclaim the state budget for the state's citizens, not its employees. This one is probably hopeless, but it's certainly hopeless if we don't vote for change.
Chief Justice, Ohio Supreme Court: Maureen O'Connor
Ohio's Supreme Court has been embroiled in a misadventure on state tax policy in relation to education. Truth is, Ohio has a system that its voters want. Republican justices have in the main affirmed the responsibility of the legislature, not the judiciary, to set tax policy. Incumbent O'Connor will be pilloried as part of the Taft administration, but she had nothing to do with the nastiness then, and she's all about the solutions now.
Judge, Ohio Supreme Court: Judith Ann Lanzinger
Lanzinger stands with the GOP on limiting the power of the judiciary to ruling on the law. Now is not the time to indulge in romanticism about reforming the world through the courts.
Judge, Ohio Court of Appeals, District 1: Sylvia Sieve Hendon
Another advocate of judicial restraint, Hendon has a strong judicial record. Her opponent boasts a record of employment in dress for success.
Judge, Ohio Court of Appeals, District 1: Pat Fischer
Opposed by William Mallory, possessor of a magic name who isn't the family's embarrassment, Fischer is nevertheless the SWNIDish pick. A near miss for Cincinnati City Council three years ago, Fischer is a knowledgeable attorney with a solid record of professional accomplishment. If the Revolution is to start now, then it has to be thorough. Mallory is a decent judge, but Fischer will be at least his equal.
Judge, Court of Common Pleas: Megan E. Shanahan
Incumbent Nadine Allen is a fixture in Hamilton County politics. Megan Shanahan has a successful record as an assistant prosecutor under Joe Deters. Twenty-four years is enough for Judge Allen. Vote Shanahan.
Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division: John M. Williams
Another prosecutor, Williams promises to bring to the bench the seriousness that the work demands. Opponent Tracie Hunter seems a decent and qualified person who lacks Williams' experience.
Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division: John Sieve
Despite being the scion of a family involved in automobile retailing, SWNID finds Sieve the superior candidate. He's got a decent record on the bench, so let's let him have this thankless job.
Member, State Board of Education, District 4: John Spohn or Mary Welsh Schlueter
Spohn is pledged to protect school choice initiatives. Little can or should be done by the state school board, an abominable political entity that simply complicates the relationship of the state legislature to local school boards. But here's one issue worth protecting through this hapless entity. Schlueter is dedicated to the kind of reform that public education needs. A near-miss on Cincinnati's School Board, she deserves a place at the table. Take your pick.
Hamilton County Commissioner: Chris Monzel
Monzel prefers not to spend other people's money. Opponent Jim Tarbell is a local legend who made his name running a psychedelic-era rock venue and an historic bar. Tarbell has never displayed anything remotely resembling a philosophy of governance. Monzel simply refuses to spend money unnecessarily. Vote Monzel, and invite Tarbell to return to the entertainment industry, where he's a natural.
Hamilton County Auditor: Tom Brinkman
This is a tough choice. Legendary County Auditor Dusty Rhodes has governed like a Republican. But lately, that's been like a corrupt, Ohio Republican. Since the revelation that skinflint Rhodes had applied for a government pension so that he could "double dip" from the public coffers, he's been backpedaling, insisting that he intended to donate the additional money to charity. Thanks for the generosity, Dusty, but we taxpayers will make our own choices about what charities to support.
Tom Brinkman, on the other hand, is that all-too-familiar archetype this election cycle: the anti-tax conservative extremist. Brinkman heads an organization that is dedicated to opposing every tax levy ever, regardless of the merits. But in the auditor's office, he can at least attempt to offer citizens fair and accurate evaluation of their property values so that they pay their fair share of taxes that they levy on themselves. And this is the year to give Dusty Rhodes a real retirement, since he seems to want one.
Supplement: Clermont County Commissioner: Robert Scott Croswell
Normally we don't provide a guide to local elections outside our own little world, but this is a big deal. We are directing all gentle readers, by the mercies of God, to defeat Archie Wilson in his bid to unseat incumbent Robert Scott Croswell as Clermont County Commissioner. Wilson has infamously accused Croswell of being part of an elaborate plot to cover up the sexual molestation and murder of the infant child of Brenda Slaby, who in fact died tragically some three years ago when accidentally left in a minivan on a hot summer day. Because Wilson's statements are utterly outrageous and without foundation, the Slabys are suing Wilson for defamation, represented in their suit by Stan Chesley with the support of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Clermont County Prosecutor Don White. Somehow, our Republican neighbors to the east endorsed the genuine nut-job Wilson over the experienced, reliable Croswell. All Americans should be embarrassed if Wilson gets a number of votes greater than the number of his relatives who are registered to vote in Clermont County.