UPDATED Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.: “Second chance” does not mean Dann’s a favored Vindy guy


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by Todd Franko   | 340 entries


Somebody's seeing it similarly to our controversial editorial. 

This is from a Dispatch story Tuesday night:

But most lawmakers stopped short of pledging to support an impeachment resolution, saying they need to see evidence that Dann's misdeeds rise above irresponsible behavior. “I don't know whether we should impeach somebody for being stupid,” said Rep. Joseph F. Koziura, a Lorain Democrat.

Original Tuesday blog: 

On Sunday, The Vindicator announced that it was not the proper time to call for Marc Dann to resign and that he should be allowed to stay on the job.

Many newspapers were in opposition to our stance.

How the newspapers weighed in on the Dann situation would have made news regardless. Our stance has prompted plenty of debate and headlines. Some of it is no doubt fueled by the reality that we’re Dann’s hometown newspaper and we’re a valley newspaper — you know, that valley.

I suppose we’d incur similar comments if we were the Lima Vindicator or the Mansfield Vindicator. But the react is stronger because of where we are.

Here’s the reality: Anyone looking at our Sunday editorial and saying we’re giving Dann a pass has not been reading us the past few weeks, and especially Saturday or Sunday or today when headlines included “A Dann Shame” and “Dann is toast.”

They’re also not reading our columns and blogs from me, Bertram DeSouza or David Skolnick.

Trust me that right now, there is not a lot of love for Dann in our office. And historically, there has not been a lot of love for Dann. That’s speaking largely from a personal measure of him. We know his arrogance. We know his flippancy.

That’s personal stuff. Professionally, there is respect for some of his drive, views and visions. Even a Republican buddy of mine acknowledged Dann has some sharp ideas.

Separately from the Vindicator's highs and lows on Dann historically, the other reality in our discussion has been the prominence of the job.

It is an office of the highest standard and requires someone of the best integrity. Dann has failed at that with these episodes. But it is also an office elected by the entire state of Ohio, not just a couple counties in northeast Ohio. Vacating such an office — or even asking that person to get out -- requires a bit more evaluation and measurement.

I have trust in the voters ultimately. Voters will choose who they want. Ohioans chose an obscure guy named Dann over a veteran politician like Betty Montgomery. Ohioans can also decide not to re-elect him in 2010 -- if he makes it that long.

Separate from voters, the elected Ohio leaders have the tool to impeach. They seem intent to use that tool after days of examination of the situation. 

So there are plenty of scenarios. Too many.

Another scenario is also to see if Dann truly can be a better AG than what he’s been. America is a forgiving culture. We also have this tremendous thirst for piling on. A tremendous thirst.

Too often, our forgiving stage comes well after a period of penance. Maybe that’s right. Maybe that’s wrong. President Clinton comes to mind as someone who begged forgiveness for personal stupidity while still staying on the job.

I doubt Dann will get a chance to be a better AG. The state’s top Democrats — after three days of thinking this through — decided to ask Dann to step down. He’s saying no. As I write this, impeachment is the word of the day.

Even the Democrats' action needs some measurement. Is their pursuit of impeachment due to the political interest of the party? Or is it prompted by the damage done to the taxpayers and to the office of Attorney General?

In accusing Dann of being self-serving and selfish by staying on, the party leaders can equally plead guilty to being selfish and self-serving in wanting him out. Getting Dann out of office protects their own elections and November's presidential race. 

We'll wait and watch to see how this plays out over the next 24 to 48 hours. But in splicing our words of a second chance, do not confuse those words with a Dann lovefest here at Vindicator Square.



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