Darrel Rowland The Columbus Dispatch
Aug 19, 2018 at 4:31 AM
Democrat Danny O’Connor trails Republican Troy Balderson by a little more than 1,500 votes, but perhaps 3,000 votes remain uncounted in Ohio‘s Congressional district election.
The Democratic candidate was behind in the count after Election Day. But enough uncounted ballots remained that, if the Democrat got a big enough share, he still could wind up winning.
Instead, John Kerry conceded the 2004 presidential race to George W. Bush, even though the Massachusetts senator trailed the president by fewer than 137,000 votes in decisive Ohio with as many as 155,000 provisional ballots yet to be tabulated.
Democrat Danny O’Connor faces a similar dilemma in the 12th Congressional District special election: He trails Republican Troy Balderson by a little more than 1,500 votes, but perhaps 3,000 votes remain uncounted, O’Connor’s team estimates.
O’Connor’s odds are better than Kerry’s, but the Franklin County recorder still wouldn’t win even if he took three out of every four of the untabulated ballots. As one critic pointed out, O’Connor now faces the prospect of losing on election night, losing again when the official count is released this week, and — even if he creeps within the 0.5-percent threshold for an automatic recount — likely losing a third time since recounts in the electronic voting era seldom significantly move official results.
On the other hand, keeping the prospect of a victory alive can help keep outside money flowing. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pleaded for campaign cash last weekend “to support Danny’s recount and win the House,” noting — falsely — “things are changing in Ohio by the second.” A DCCC follow-up provided a “shocking update” that “there are roughly 1,000 additional absentee ballots that we didn’t know about that need to be counted.” O‘Connor‘s own campaign couldn‘t back up that claim.
Yet another DCCC appeal claimed “we need to prepare funds for what may be a long and expensive recount.”
Automatic recounts in Ohio are done at no cost to either campaign.
ICYMI No. 1
In case you missed it, still pending before the Ohio Supreme Court is the lawsuit of Melanie Leneghan, who finished second to Balderson in the May 8 GOP primary. Lengehan is asking the justices to throw out results from several precincts in that election because of alleged fraud and declare her the rightful winner.
Privatization losing its shine?
Although the topic at hand was the hundreds of millions made by Ohio pharmacy benefit managers, more than one person at last week’s Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee cited the larger issue of privatizing portions of state government.
“In Ohio, we have seen private companies win lucrative public contracts with little oversight,” said veteran Democratic Sen. Vernon Sykes of Akron.
“Companies are pulling in record profits, while many Ohioans have to choose between food or medicine. This is not right, and I challenge my colleagues to rethink our overall approach to privatization, which often leads to the abuse of taxpayer dollars and erosion of the public trust,” Sykes said.
Republican Auditor Dave Yost, whose 26-page report provided the raison d‘etre for the legislative gathering, said “privately contracted or subcontracted services become more questionable the further we go into government‘s core functions. We would never accept a privatized police force, no matter the level of efficiency or savings.
“It is time for us to think carefully about when we should be willing to use private contracts to obtain public goals, and what safeguards are necessary to preserve transparency, assess effectiveness, and understand collateral and often unintended consequences.”
ICYMI No. 2
TV ads by Ohioans Against the Reckless Dialysis Amendment aired after Monday‘s Ohio Supreme Court decision ruling the issue off the ballot. “Station logs were closed by the time we were able to cancel,” spokesman Gene Piece explained.
ICYMI No. 3
Cincinnati Republican Congressman Steve Chabot introduced Mike Pence last week as “the greatest vice president of the United States, well, since John Adams.”