Harvey Graff

Chairwoman Walters:

The rump (as in Trump) of the unDemocratic Party of Ohio acted anti-democratically in endorsing Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate with no input from the party membership.

You underscore your contradictory, hypocritical, and anti-democratic actions by not endorsing candidates among the party faithful in the Governors and State Supreme Court races, and only in the Morgan Harper vs. Tim Ryan primary contest. This accompanies your underpublicized decision to conduct joint-fund-raising with Ryan and not Harper, with no voice for the Party “faithful,” for whom you have no respect.

No reason, principles, fairness, or respect for the Party or any others stops a small unelected cabal from acting against a black, female, progressive, young candidate who is more intelligent, better informed, and more articulate than your "old boy" choice of Tim Ryan.

How is the local and national public, from Party members to others including the media, to interpret “principled” non-endorsement in all other primary races but undemocratic endorsement, following undemocratic joint fundraising, with only one candidate, despite formal and informal requests for you not to take this course of action, You ignore principles, ethics, politics, and important public appearances. The right-wingers will have a field day with “undemocratic Democrats.”

This is racist, sexist, and ageist. To re-emphasize, it is undemocratic and bad politics in advance of the May primary (if the courts and legislature allow that to occur). All in support of a candidate who still refuses to commit formally to a public debate. Of what is your “old boy” afraid? Why won’t he present himself before an audience? Why does he temporize and hide behind a non-serious third candidate? He is afraid of facing Harper in front of cameras. What is he telling us?

Illegal gerrymandering is not the only obstacle to Democrats in Ohio. The silent, anti-democratic Party is itself a greater obstacle. Why is the Party, unlike Democrats in other states, not “party” to the so-far winning law suits against unconstitutional Republican power-grabs? Why are you not shoulder-to-shoulder with the League of Women Voters, ACLU, CommonCause, and others?

I have been a Democrat since my first presidential election in 1972 when I voted in the US Consulate in Toronto against Richard Nixon—literally under his  portrait. I cut my political teeth four years by "getting clean for Gene McCarthy" in 1968 and in the streets of  Chicago. I was the only 7-year old in my third grade class mock presidential election to vote for Adlai Stevenson against Eisenhower in 1956.

I am also a professional historian.

I would leave the Ohio Democratic Party and urge all I know to join me except in undemocratic Ohio, Independents are not permitted to vote in primary elections. Otherwise, I would reregister. Do you know this, or care? It hurts the real Democrats.

You disgrace the Party's 20th century traditions and the citizens of the state of Ohio.

But you don't care, do you? I challenge you to respond. You refuse to answer my emails or my public challenges in multiple Ohio newspapers. Neither Ryan’s nor Whaley’s campaigns responded to my reaching out shortly after they declared their candidacies. All of you remain isolated with your rump, happy together… and losing statewide elections for decades.