Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trouble in Union Paradise for Ohio Democrats?

Joe Vardon from the Dispatch had a good article yesterday morning detailing the infighting between two competing wings of the ODP.

Clearly I am not an expert on the inner workings of the ODP.  However, it doesn’t take an expert to see potential problems down the road for Ohio Democrats.

Make no mistake; this is a fight between the Cordray and Strickland camps for the future direction of the party.  It’s no secret that Redfern is a supporter of Ted Strickland and the former governor clearly prefers to have a loyalist in such an important position.   Keeping him as chairman puts Ted in a nice spot for a potential rematch with Governor Kasich. 

To be honest, I think Strickland’s plan is a very good one.  The problem is that some folks don’t appreciate their state chairman picking a candidate long before the process even starts. 

Team Cordray falls into this category and although it seems as if Cordray himself has steered clear, the anti-Redfern effort is being led by one of his closest former aides.  Cordray is also interested in a race against Governor Kasich but having a Strickland loyalist pulling the strings at the state party puts him at a disadvantage right out of the gate.

The real question is what happens if Team Cordray loses and takes the union money with them?

How does the ODP continue to fundraise when the very folks that help fund the party work against the sitting chairman?  Assuming Chris Redfern keeps his position, one would think he is going to have a tough time getting checks from the folks that openly question his leadership and abilities.  If nothing else it makes for an awkward fundraising call from Redfern to the UAW after the election.

The interesting thing about the ODP fight is that unlike the Republican Party, the real problems for the ODP could start after the election.

I doubt anybody really thinks that the Cordray people will just pack up and leave quietly should they lose tonight.  Issues like this aren’t forgotten by loyalists on both sides, they are almost certain to come up again when the primary comes around.  The same holds true for Chris Redfern if he comes up short.

I also don’t think the unions that generously give to the ODP will forget about this mess, regardless of who wins tonight.  Are supporters of Cordray really going to give money to an operation that is going to push for a Strickland-Kasich rematch?  Seems like a waste of money to me. 

The point is that it doesn’t matter who wins.  One side is going to lose and the repercussions could negatively impact the ODP’s ability to compete both this year and in 2014.

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