Senatorial Musical Chairs; Corruption Replaces Incompetence On The Minority Side

RadarNews came out of the Ohio Senate late last week that Senate Minority Leader Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) was ousted from her post as Minority leader. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Fedor and Sen. Tom Roberts (D-Dayton), the No. 2 man in the Senate were removed by vote of the Senate Minority Caucus.

As we’ve noted in past articles (available here and here) Teresa Fedor has demonstrated that she is not exactly a clear or consistent thinker. She has also demonstrated that she is not above role playing to get something she wants. Her imitation of Capitan Louis Renault in Casablanca who was “Shocked! Shocked to find that there was gambling going on in this establishment” while poor Emil the croupier hands him a wad of bills and says “Your winnings, sir!” was classic. Indeed, Fedor was double-dealing enough and incompetent enough at it to draw attention from bloggers like us. We noticed the Teresa Fedor who was shocked to find strippers at a Democratic Party golf outing and politically savvy enough to offer a bill, weak as it was, to make an effort to stem the tide of human trafficking that is particularly bad in her district was the same Teresa Fedor who stood with and spoke at the “Dancers For Democracy” press conference at the kickoff of a petition drive to kill the Community Defense Act, that regulated adult businesses like strip clubs which are major centers for human trafficking. Sen. Fedor voted “no” on that bill.

As we noted in those earlier articles Fedor’s mock outrage was part of an effort to wrest control of the Lucas County Democratic Party away from one faction and replace it with her and Rep. Chris Redfern, a Democratic representative in the Ohio House, the Ohio Democratic Party Chairman and her ally’s, faction.

It appears to our jaundiced eye that there might be some payback with presidential election implications going on here with her replacement as minority leader by Columbus Senator Ray Miller. This looks a lot like a Clinton v. Obama internecine gang war, complete with political “hits.” It will be interesting to watch what happens to and around Chris Redfern in the next few weeks.

One of the political “hits” that took place showed that someone in the Democratic Party has some dirt on Sen. Ray Miller. It seems that, according to the Columbus Dispatch, Sen. Miller has not bothered to file several required campaign finance documents since 2002 and has not filed a completed report since 2005. The Dispatch also reports that Miller was convicted in 2005 of ethics violations, allowing state staffers to work on his private, non-profit company on state time and that he has owed the Hyatt Regency Columbus more than $26,000 since a fundraiser in 2006.

These facts were made available to the public only after Fedor and Roberts were ousted from their posts. It is interesting to note that as soon as these facts came to light, Fedor and Roberts, who were allowed to “resign” from their leadership positions by letter to the Senate President, immediately rescinded those resignations. That required that the minority caucus then officially fire them. It also demonstrates that Fedor and Roberts thought that reports of Miller’s corruption in the media might be enough to scare the caucus into taking them back as the best available, but in this they miscalculated the minority caucus’s ability to stifle their collective gag reflex. It also demonstrates that the Democratic party is willing to go with virtually ANYONE, crooked though they may be, they believe will help win Ohio for their party in 2008.

Don’t get too smug about this, Republicans. Your own incompetence has been showing since at least the Voinovich administration.