I went to the state party Women’s Caucus meeting in Cleveland yesterday. Jennifer Brunner was there, and I finally broke down and purchased an actual camera last week, so I took her picture:
She was very excited for me, that I had a new camera. I think you can see that in her face.
The women in the county where I live were really taken with Brunner in 2006, and she came out to the boonies several times to meet with us. She was elected Secretary of State in Ohio in 2006 and almost immediately became the favored target of the media personalities at Fox News:examples here, here and here. As you may know, GRETA VAN SUSTEREN is the Fox employee who is tasked with misrepresenting US election law and process to Fox viewers, so she was the lead on the coordinated Brunner smear.
Brunner said yesterday that she had intended to take a hiatus from political battles for a while, but then Ohio Republicans passed a voter suppression law so she’s back out explaining actual U.S. election process, or, the unglamorous and dull mechanics of voter registration and voting.
Brunner was a Common Pleas judge in Ohio before she was Secretary of State, and to me she still sounds like a judge. Her speech was very lawyerly and restrained. She simply outlined the changes in voting process that Ohio Republicans have instituted, and listed the problems for voters that she anticipates as a result of those changes. The crazed ACORN warrior that Fox News anchors invented has absolutely no connection to the reality of Jennifer Brunner, so there’s a shocker for you, out of Cleveland.
Cecile Richards was there (obviously, I didn’t take this photo) h/t Jezebel
Cecile Richards is the daughter of Ann Richards, the former Governor of Texas.
A 2004 Texas Monthly profile described her as ” a striking six-footer and longtime labor organizer with a bright, explosive laugh who can stop a room when she walks into it just as her mother can.”
I agree with that description completely.
I had never heard Richards speak before, and she was very good. She described the Republican and media assault on Planned Parenthood in great detail; how and why it “spontaneously” arose and was everywhere, all at once. She said the GOP assault on Planned Parenthood at both the state and federal level was “like dropping a match on dry tinder”, and that she believes the crazed rush to destroy Planned Parenthood led directly to half a million new members for Planned Parenthood since the midterm elections. I don’t know how many new members Planned Parenthood ordinarily gets in any year, but a half million new members certainly sounds like a lot, so thanks for that, conservatives.
Good turn-out, and the women didn’t seem to me to be any more fractious, combative or disarrayed than any other large (or small) group of Democratic Party activists I’ve encountered. The biggest applause line of the day was the call to re-elect Obama and Sherrod Brown.
Ohio Sec of State seems like a kind of small-time position for Fox to aim the national big guns at, but I guess when the last guy in the position was their buddy Ken Blackwell, they almost have paint his successor as corrupt and incompetent. Rovian tactics and such as.
I had the striking good luck to meet Ann Richards at an ATLA meeting in the late 80’s (maybe 88, 89?) She was the most amazing person I think I have ever encountered. She was able to take your hand, look you in the eye and make you believe, sincerely, that she only cared for you in that moment. When she spoke later in the evening, she repeated her line about GHW Bush being born with a silver foot in his mouth and the audience collapsed in laughter. Texas would have been a far, far better place if monkey boy had not defeated her as governor.
I think I’d do GBH for Cecile Richards’ haircut. How’s that for girly?
FWIW, I was one of those new PP members.
Thanks for the report, Kay.
The (Democratic) Ohio Secretary of State is a natural target for FOX. I wasn’t surprised at all. We all felt very protective of her here, but (of course) she did just fine under their laser-like questioning :)
That transcripts are funny. The FOX News anchor makes some damning, declarative statement in the form of a question and Brunner responds with process, process, process.
Kay, you are awesome.
That is all.
Throughout my life, I’ve known only two types of Texans.
Those I can’t abide, and those I deem the salt of the earth. I don’t doubt she is falls into the salt column.
I’d also be willing to bet that she has a formidable mouth on her (in an apples not falling far from the tree sense).
For no good reason, this post reminds me of these lyrics:
Probably not how Kay got there, but it’s possible. Just sayin.
She was in an extremely friendly room, so we didn’t get any of that. But, looking at the linked Jezebel piece, I think you’re right, re: her opponents.
At least there is pushback on the voter suppression laws in Ohio. Haven’t heard much from the other states, though we don’t have such an excellent on-the-ground person as Kay in other places
For anyone who missed it, this NPR report on the new laws is decent. The Republican from Kansas at the end sounds pretty ridiculous defending the laws on the basis of there being 7 convictions for voter fraud in the past 13 years.
The tide is turning on the laws. For a long time in Ohio, it was almost a “boutique” issue. No one paid any attention, outside of a small group of people who care passionately about voter access, and advocates for minority voters. The general attitude was “I have ID, what’s the big deal?”. Of course, that meant conservatives were free to make the laws more and more restrictive, and they did. I think Republicans over-reached, and it’s now getting national, serious attention. It was painful to watch, though, if your hair was on fire. SLOW as mollasses.
James E. Powell
Wow, good news from my beloved home town. That doesn’t happen very often. How’s the Issue 2 campaign going?
I have to admit, I would sexistly assume that they would be LESS so. But the majority of my specifically political activism was throughout the 80s. Maybe things have changed (I hope so!).
I love these reports. You’re the FP’er I take most seriously here, Kay, because you are out there doing this stuff!
Does the Kodak Easyshare C143 do anything the camera on your phone won’t?
Davis X. Machina
Mainers got a referendum to repeal recently-passed, ALEC-crafted legislation eliminating same-day registration on the ballot, in near-record time.
(We’d had it for nearly 40 years, and had the highest, second-highest, or third-highest turnout in the country for a generation as a result.)
Polls show repeal losing, but it’s early days yet. The exact nature of the bogey-man up here isn’t clear — we’re the whitest state in the union, as far from the Rio Grande as you can go and not wind up in the Maritimes. Must be the young people — no, wait, we’re also the oldest state in the union.)
@MikeJ: Why don’t you look up the specs and figure it out yourself?
The biggest practical difference is probably the 3x optical zoom. Very few camera phones have optical zooms, and most of those are basically cameras with phones built in rather than the other way around.
This warms my heart more than it should. Too much negativity on the Internet, I guess.
@Davis X. Machina: Good news.
What’s your wackaloon governor up to these days? Has he run out of soçialist artwork to tear down?
Ohio Sec of State seems like a kind of small-time position for Fox to aim the national big guns at
Had Ms. Brunner been Ohio Secretary of State in 2004 instead of dishonest hack and honorary co-chair of the “Committee to re-elect George W. Bush”, Ken Blackwell , John Kerry might well have been elected as the 44th President of the United States.
There were shenanigans in the Ohio ballot count in 2004. Most of the press decided to pull an “It’s Chinatown, Jake” and walk away.
Were the shenanigans sufficient to have flipped the outcome?
We’ll never know for sure.
I think they were.
@Davis X. Machina:
The actual fact of being white and old doesn’t make brown and young people any less effective as a bogeyman. If anything, I think people are probably more afraid of rare and unusual things than common ones. After all, when was the last time you actually saw a bogeyman in person?
It’s interesting that our Attorney General has not inserted himself into any this voter supression legislation. Are they afraid to take it before the SCOTUS?
But the states are gearing up to protect their voters, which is a good thing for activism, also.
Davis X. Machina
@Roger Moore: Friday. I teach high school sophomores. Bogeymen pay my rent.
Kay, thank you for the organizing work you do. Local organizing is the only thing that will safe us from a full wingnut takeover of our entire political system.
I wish some FPers were like you. You are on the side of angels, Kay.
BTW, I am one of the new Planned Parenthood members. Even my 19 year old cousin joined and is now a firebrand activist at her college campus.
Cecile Richards spoke at a Planned Parenthood of Middle TN fundraiser I attended a couple years ago. She’s a fabulous speaker. I don’t understand why people like her are kept in the shadows, whereas the right wing has their most radical people speaking at their national conventions and even running for office. I guess the Democratic Party thinks abortion is icky and we don’t need Cecile Richards being quite so public or something. I don’t get it. It’s not about abortion, it’s about women’s rights. Just shift your perspective, people.
@Davis X. Machina: And Monday’s coming up fast, so bogeymen can’t be far behind!
Thanks, Kay, again, for these posts.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
Kay, you know (I hope) we appreciate all the work that you do, and that you write about it here. Say she who now works in the reddest county in OH.
Thanks for another interesting and inspiring update, kay.
@a.j.: Seconded! Or, well, fifty-sixth’d!
Kay, I don’t often comment on your threads, but for the record I am a VERY satisfied reader. Thanks for all you do, here on the blog as well as in the meatverse. :)
Just that you all know, I am visiting family in Louisville at the end of the month, and I plan to spend zero dollars in Ohio on the way down. I’ll fill up with gas in Pennsylvania, stock up on junk food, and drive non-stop from Erie to the Ohio River. F*** the Buckeye State.
@Not Sure: Well, thanks for your…..non-support, I guess?
And Kay, thanks as always for your efforts to keep these issues active. I was very happy to get to sign the anti-suppression petition yesterday.
Meanwhile on the left coast, California Republican Party discipline remains intact after a brief scare from the moderates. “Boo!”
If they can’t sell the concept of rejoining the human race here, then where?
So this Cecile Richards…is she single?
Thanks for the report, Kay.
I would have been at that women’s caucus event yesterday, but I was in Columbus for a school board workshop. Running for school board, and service on the board, is more complex than you might imagine. I learned a lot. Wish I got to see Jennifer Brunner again, though. She visited my home county during the primary for Senate, and was very impressive.
Great post, Kay … thanks! You offer an inside look and maybe even hope for Ohio, much appreciated!
My only problem with Planned Parenthood is that last year I gave them $100. Now, not a month goes by without another flyer from them begging for more money. I would rather that they spent my $100 HELPING PEOPLE.
I would imagine it’s really complex. Good for you. I helped with a school board race here and it was fun. For me. I have spoken to the winner since, though, and serving on the school board is not fun, particularly as he’s the only liberal, so his entire role is making principled objections to motions that pass w/out his support. There was this big insane (and stupid) kerfuffle over something he said at a meeting, and I wrote a letter to the editor at his request, to clarify his statement, but other than that, he’s on his own. He’s been re-elected since the first race, so he’s sticking it out, presumably.
It was interesting: the organizers of the event asked that anyone who had ever run for or held public office stand up. Half the room got up. I was very impressed. I had no idea all these people were busily running for various offices.
Paul in KY
@Southern Beale: She sure looks ‘Television Friendly’!