John Glenn, In 1974, As Un-Endorsed Candidate, Denied Admission To Montgomery County Democratic HQ

An interesting post on Buckeye State Blog, “An Open Letter To All 2010 U.S. Senate Democratic Candidates,” urges Democratic U.S. Senate candidates to demand the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) make no endorsement for that office — regardless that the ODP bylaws call for such endorsement.

Astronauts, and all candidates, should be treated fairly.

Astronauts, and all candidates, should be treated fairly.

A person identified as Bill O’Neill, wrote an extensive response to the Buckey State Blog post, supporting the post’s demand that the ODP not endorse, and said,  “History Is On Your Side. Just Ask John Glenn.”

O’Neill sited one evidence of the fact that endorsement is a dumb policy, the fact that in 1974, the ODP endorsed Howard Metzenbaum for U.S. Senate and snubbed an eminently qualified, former astronaut, John Glenn.  O’neill writes, “In April, 1974, I was on the sidewalk with John Glenn in Dayton Ohio when he, who had flown into combat and outer space for all of us, was denied entry into the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s ‘candidate’s night.’ The reason? He was not the endorsed candidate.”

I was surprised to learn last year that the Montgomery County Democratic Party wouldn’t budge in its resolve to endorse primary candidates.  I wrote about it in this post: “The Montgomery Democrats Decide to Suppress Democracy — Just Like the Republicans.” (I had previously written about the Republican primary suppression here.)

Only one House seat in Montgomery County was contested in last year’s Democratic primary — in the 40th District. The Party endorsed Roland Winburn and printed voter cards telling Democratic primary voters that Winburn was the recommended candidate of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. What an advantage! Winburn won by 56% regardless that his opponent, Victor Harris, a retired Air Force Colonel, ran a great campaign.

In my judgment, Vic Harris, a very sharp person, was a much superior choice. I wrote this post, Victor Harris: Surprised That Local Democratic Party Wanted To Suppress Primary Competition, telling about the campaign.

I have this vision, from O’Neill, of John Glenn, in 1974, standing on the sidewalk outside the Montgomery County Democratic Party HQ — denied admission to a ‘candidates night’ because he was not the officially endorsed candidate. What a defeat for democracy. O’Neill says, “For shame. As you know, Senator Glenn went on to win that primary and the general…but the DAMAGE DONE TO THE PARTY…took years to heal. Years.” I agree — Shame, shame, shame.

O’Neill writes, “Open primaries yield strong candidates.” I agree.

Just yesterday, City Commission Candidate David Esrati — who helped start DaytonOS and whose blog is syndicated here — wrote, “Montgomery County Democratic Party Still Up To Old Tricks.” David says Montgomery County Democratic Party has already endorsed incumbents Rhine McLin for Mayor and Commissioners Joey Williams and Nan Whaley. David lists all the candidates for Dayton mayor and Dayton City Commission here.  And, David lists all of the names of the Party’s Screening Committee here.

Esrati writes, “It is sad that the Democratic party is the least democratic organization that I’ve ever been involved with. It’s a good thing that in 2010 there will have to be an election for precinct chairs- and we have time to organize for change.”

In the March 2010 Democratic Primary, all 540 Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee positions will be up for election — one member may be selected from each precinct in Montgomery County — and after the election, the Party will reorganize.

This entry was posted in Special Reports. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *