July 22, 2015

Ohio Democrats Are Their Own Worst Enemy

The primary process appears to be tearing Ohio Democrats apart at the seams. Instead of just letting the primary process play out, the Ohio Democratic Party is meddling with the campaign of P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati City Council member.

That’s not sitting well with some in the Party:

One of the most successful Ohio Democratic chairmen in recent history says he is “appalled” by the attempts of current Chairman David Pepper to drive Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld from the U.S. Senate race.

“Because I fully appreciate the difficulty of the job, I have rarely commented on my successors or their actions,” said Jim Ruvolo, head of the party from 1982 through 1991, in an email this morning.

“But in recent months, I’ve become concerned — and disappointed — by some of the things that have occurred under David Pepper’s leadership.  It came to a head last week when Chairman Pepper attacked City Councilman PG Sittenfeld at an editorial board meeting at the  Cincinnati Enquirer in a transparent attempt to drive him out of the U.S. Senate race.

“I was appalled. And it’s just one more reason why I’m concerned about the direction of my party and our continuing inability to get back on a winning track.”

This comes just a day after the Wall Street Journal reported on systemic flaws in the state’s Democratic Party that run deep in Ohio:

In few places are the Democrats’ troubles more apparent than in Ohio, the perennial presidential battleground state twice won by Mr. Obama. Ohio Democrats lost every statewide contest in the November midterms, allowing the GOP to build supermajorities in both legislative chambers. Democrats won just a quarter of races last year for county commissioner—the local masters of land-use rules, as well as county roads, jails and a host of other government services.

The losses in Ohio are the consequences of failing to develop a strong corps of local officeholders and the campaign machinery to support them, Democrats in the state say.

Between the disastrous results of 2014 and the primary meddling this cycle, it seems no Democrats are happy in Ohio.