Bob Hart and Edward Pfau

While the Greens remain the only alternative political party with a gubernatorial candidate in Ohio, the party is running a Congressional candidate and making history by running a judicial candidate for the first time, and that candidate is openly gay. Edward Pfau becomes the first openly gay candidate to run for Domestic Relations court, which deals with legal issues such as divorce and child custody.
Also in the mix is Green Party U.S. Congressional candidate Bob Hart, running against Pat Tiberi in the 12th district. Hart, a former long-time Assistant Attorney General, is finding that people across his district have Green values. “They are upset about the influence of big money that keeps them from getting their voices heard,” Hart told
Hart stated that he thinks Greens will do well this year because voters understand that you can no longer cast “a magical vote for more Democrats and Republicans and believe that something different will happen.”
Hart’s campaign reflects the values of grassroots democracy and the Occupy movement. He stresses that he’s “representing people, not corporations.” He says that one goal, if elected, is “reigning in the surveillance state.”
In “representing the 99 percent,” Hart pledges “full employment and a living wage for all Americans. He also advocates for “single-payer universal health care” arguing that it is a “right, not a privilege.”
Green energy initiatives are a big part of the Hart campaign: “Climate science has shown that use of dirty energy fuels is imperiling our future. We need a comprehensive plan to transition to clean energy sources.”
“An educated citizenry is critical to a robust democracy,” Hart insists. He plans to reorient national budget priorities “in order to cover tuition for all college students.”
Edward Pfau (rhymes with “wow” with a silent “p”) has practiced law for 23 years at the Domestic Relations Court. In addition to dealing with divorce and custody cases, he is also well experienced in juvenile cases, child support and neglect cases, and has worked as a court-appointed guardian. “I feel like I’ve dealt with every aspect of family court here in the county,” he said. Pfau also taught criminal justice and pre-law classes at Columbus State Community College.
“The first thing I like to do is do something about the docket. Right now, you bring so many people in at 9:00 in the morning. You’ve got two sets of parents, kids, probation officers, social workers, grandparents – waiting all day,” Pfau stated, “If elected, I want to stagger the docket for cases and hold them at 8:30, 10:30 1:30, and 3:30. The court is not as active between 1:30-5pm.”
“I also want to increase the pay of court appointed attorneys who work as guardians ad litem. These people work hard and make peanuts. These people visit client’s homes, it can be very stressful, they need to be paid more,” he said. He would also like to increase the use of programs that, instead of taking kids to court who commit misdemeanor juvenile, take them to talk to counselors and keep them out of the system if possible.
Pfau’s “number one, single most important issue” is mental illness. “Not only do we have individuals with mental illnesses who end up in court because their spouses can’t handle it, but we have people experiencing mental illness because they’re going through a divorce or custody battle,” explained Pfau. He advocates for mental health services offered within the court, and not just the Domestic Relations Court. Counselors would be present to help people going through stressful situations. “This is so important. I know we could get funding to offer this, in the courts, on a consistent basis,” he said.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the status quo this fall, the Greens are offering two.


Bob Fitrakis is a candidate for Lt Governor with the Green Party.

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