“If you had the luck of the Irish, you’d be sorry and wish you were dead.”
Yes, Board of Elections member and former Dem Party Chair John Irish, we know. Lennon couldn’t possibly have written those words about you. But the strange, twisted saga of the current Board of Elections speaks volumes otherwise. Consider the following.
The historic ineptitude of the Lucas County Board of Elections is not only legendary here in the friendly swampy confines. The fact that Ohio is an important swing state in national circles, and that Lucas County is an important swing county that helps determine the outcome of Ohio, means all eyes rest squarely on elections right here in the Great Black Bog.
Granted, working for the Board of Elections is a truly thankless job. It’s the rare cuss that actually plays out a full ‘n’ fruitful career in the B of E. The pressure is great and includes an impossible expectation of perfection.
Still, the pressure is the same in places like Cuyahoga County, whence lives Cleveland and its Dem-leaning suburbs, and they don’t seem to lead the league in lost votes and spittle-flying dysfunction. Nope, the reigning cham-peen in all things hoary and vote-bungling is your own LC B of E.
Glad to Noe ya
To be fair, the lovely County of Lucas has also led the League in Republican County Chairman most likely to be indicted by a Federal Grand Jury. Think Tom Noe and his money-laundering contributions to the Re-elect George Dubya campaign. And of course there’s his beautiful wife Bernadette, who was seen tossing out frivolously random voter challenges in the highest Democratic polling places back in oh four. She was the chair of the B of E at the time.
These laugh-a-minute hijinx and dirty trix set a truly high, or should we say low, bar for elections behavior down to the present day. Not to be outdone, current GOP high jester Jon Stainbrook has been the comedic foil to any semblance of elections planning by the current B of E. Both the actual Board and the day-to-day operations directors have been filing through a revolving door of in-and-out-again hacks, toadies, and ne’er-do-wells.
It got so bad that Secre-tarry of State Jon Husted has sent a parade of special masters and other itinerant observers to poke, prod and make recommendations. The twenty twelve election was overseen from Cbus. A report was issued by a bi-partisan pair just about twelve moons ago, and was duly ignored.
The May 6 Primary Election provided the final straw for the good Secre-tarry. The County of Lucas was the last county in the state to report results. And there was an odd dual track race in Toledo’s Council District Two in which most races were voted on computer but the race to fill Hizzoner Unca Dennis’ council seat was voted on paper ballots. And there was a near-physical altercation between two Board members.
Husted followed with a call of “Finis!” He has been provided with an “off with their heads” recommendation from the latest bi-partisan commission, which included past Secre-tarries and assistants and a former state party chair. Husted quickly sharpened the guillotine, recommending the offing of three of four Board members as well as both the director and deputy director. In other words, all the current leadership, is to be replaced by players to be named later.
This is a quite unpropitious time for such house cleaning, given that the final results of the May 6 election have not yet been certified. And until that happens a new set of leaders for the Dems and GOP cannot be seated. And until they are seated new Party leadership won’t be elected. And until new Party leadership is elected, new recommendations for replacement members of the B o E can’t be made by the parties. Strange days indeed
Sunday bloody Sunday
Which brings us to good soldier John Irish. Note that above we said Husted recommended pulling the plug on three of four Board members. The only fool left standing was Irish. Husted sez it’s because our Johnny actually asked that the recommendations from last year be implemented forthwith, but Irish’s motion died for lack of a second.
From afar John seems to have the luck o’ the Irish in this gallery sweeping, having survived the purge. But let’s think again. No matter who gets appointed to join him on the Board and whatever poor suckaz end up being hired to run the B of E daily operations, the scrutiny will be intense and intrusive. Shuffling the deck doesn’t change the spots on the cards. Stainbrook isn’t likely to go away and neither are the hopes and expectations for sweeping improvement. And improvement and the minions of the Stain are pretty much mutually exclusive.
Would any thinking person readily volunteer for such a gig? We highly doubt it. So about that luck o’ the Irish thing. It’s time for a quick Irish history lesson. Car bombs aren’t just a drink, in former days on the streets of Belfast, they exploded. And black and tans aren’t just beer mixes, historically they were famous for attacks on civilians and their property.
You think throwing Johnny I back into the B of E cesspool seems lucky for him? To paraphrase John Lennon, not so much.