Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper announced Monday that he will step down at the end of the year.
Democrats now have a month to decide the future of their party and who will lead it. The assignment is a tough one: revive the party in rural Ohio, improve on victories in metropolitan counties and raise enough money to unseat Republicans who control every branch of Ohio government.
The uphill climb will start immediately. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park, and Gov. Mike DeWine are running for re-election in 2022, and they will need credible, well-funded challengers.
Pepper took over the Ohio Democratic Party in 2015 after the party lost every statewide race in 2014, including Pepper's bid against DeWine for attorney general. Former chairman Chris Redfern resigned after losing his Statehouse seat as well.
Pepper, a former Cincinnati City councilman and Hamilton County commissioner, emphasized building up the party's bench with a diverse group of local candidates. During his tenure, Democrats improved their showing in metropolitan counties, gaining control of the Hamilton County Commission and winning Statehouse seats in Columbus' Franklin County.
Between 2018 and 2020, Democrats re-elected U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and picked up three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court – a push Pepper hopes will help to fend off gerrymandered maps going forward.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Pepper's failure wasn't total and complete, in other words, but the guy presided over the absolute death of Ohio Democrats as a going concern. It's not as dire as Kentucky Democrats, who have recently elected Colmon Eldridge, the first Black man to lead the party, or Indiana Democrats, who have already buried themselves along with party chair John Zody, but it's rough being a Democrat out here in the Midwest.
Hopefully Biden will help Dems out here.
Lord knows we need it.
No big deal, just people openly calling for the extermination of Joe Biden, the Democratic party and the media like normal.
End Times conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles hopes that Donald Trump and Bill Barr will line Democrats, the news media, leftists, scientists, and professors up against a wall and shoot them "because that's what they deserve." pic.twitter.com/cTw8t5qenu— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 30, 2020
So yeah, completely normal behavior for the right.
The fun part is when Trump tweets his agreement with this sentiment, or worse, tells his followers that they need to be the ones making this happen.
Also, over the river in Ohio, state Republicans are now going after Republican Gov. Mike DeWine for terrorism charges. No, really.
After failing to impeach Gov. Mike DeWine over his COVID-19 response, Clermont County Republican Rep. John Becker tried – and shortly after failed – to charge him with a slew of criminal offenses, including terrorism, bribery and interfering with civil rights.
Becker accused DeWine of disenfranchising voters, threatening the health of Ohioans by closing hospitals to non-emergency procedures and shuttering businesses in a private citizen affidavit filed with Clermont County Municipal Court on Monday morning.
Clermont County Municipal Court Clerk Tim Rudd sent the request to prosecutor Vince Faris for review, and Faris rejected it shortly after.
"I do not find any basis for the filing of a criminal complaint pursuant to this affidavit," Faris, a Republican, told The Enquirer. Becker's quest ended just hours after it started.
The now-moot affidavit accuses DeWine of several crimes including:
- Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony
- Complicity, a second-degree felony
- Terrorism, a third-degree felony
- Making terroristic threats, a third-degree felony
- Inducing panic, third-degree felony
- Conspiracy, a third-degree felony
- Bribery, a fourth-degree felony
- Interfering with civil rights, a first-degree misdemeanor
- Coercion, a second-degree misdemeanor
- Patient abuse or neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor
Asked for comment, DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney replied: "If this were serious, I would have a comment. Because it is patently absurd, I do not."
Becker encouraged others to file their own complaints.
“The governor simply isn’t getting the message that the people’s liberties need to be respected and a governor has no right to assume imperial and dictatorial powers without regard to any alleged emergency,” Becker said in a statement.
Again, I hope Ohio state police are ready to deal with the death threats DeWine is almost certainly getting. And when Trump directs his flying monkeys to start violence, I hope America is ready to deal with what's next.
It's not going to be pretty, folks.
With both Wisconsin and Arizona both certifying Joe Biden as the winner of last month's presidential election on Monday, the Trump regime is finally coming to an end.
The chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Monday certified President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the winner in Wisconsin, formalizing his narrow victory in a state President Trump narrowly carried four years ago and undermining the quixotic efforts of Mr. Trump and his supporters to portray his decisive national loss as a matter still under dispute.
During a three-minute teleconference Monday afternoon, Ann Jacobs, the elections commission chairwoman, signed a document that declared Mr. Biden to be the winner.
“I am now signing it as the official state determination of the results of the Nov. 3, 2020, election and the canvass,” Ms. Jacobs said, before holding the document up to the camera broadcasting her online.
The Wisconsin certification came a few hours after Arizona officials formalized Mr. Biden’s even narrower victory there.
Monday’s certifications would be an afterthought in any other year. But in an environment where Mr. Trump’s false claims of massive fraud have created an alternate reality among his die-hard backers — in the West Wing and beyond — the results foreclosed his fanciful final path to victory.
Mr. Trump, buoyed by his legal team and supporters in the conservative media, has held out hope that he could somehow prevail in Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, where Republican officials on Monday firmly refused to challenge Mr. Biden’s win there.
In Arizona, Mr. Biden prevailed by over 10,000 votes, mainly because of his strength in the state’s largest county, Maricopa, which has been trending Democratic in recent elections.
The state will deliver its 11 electoral votes to Mr. Biden when the Electoral College meets next month, a ceremonial conclave that Mr. Trump hopes to flip in his favor despite state laws that forbid electors from defying the will of voters.
The certification in Wisconsin followed the conclusion of recounts, requested and subsidized with $3 million from President Trump’s campaign, in Dane and Milwaukee Counties that resulted in Mr. Biden adding 87 votes to his statewide margin.
Ms. Jacobs, a Milwaukee Democrat, said that certifying the result of the presidential election came at her discretion and that she expected the move to kickstart legal challenges from the Trump campaign.
“The power to do this is vested solely in the chair,” Ms. Jacobs said.
The six-member bipartisan commission is scheduled to meet again Tuesday morning to certify the state’s other election results.
So what does certification of the final two "disputed" states mean?
It means everything Trump and his people do from this point on is open sedition.
Yes, I still expect the Hail Mary pass to the Supreme Court. But now I'm more worried about what Trump will do when that, too, fails.