Friday, May 02, 2008

Dumping Dann: What Comes Next

Dann must go, and the sooner the better. Not
only must he go, he must go soon. The citizens of Ohio deserve an Attorney General who will restore confidence in the office.

And Dann's party deserves a legitimate chance to hold on to the office. If Dann leaves anytime between now and late September, the person appointed will have to run for the unexpired term. The Ohio Constitution provides:

    § 3.18 What vacancies governor to fill

    Should the office of Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, Secretary of State, or Attorney General become vacant, for any of the causes specified in the fifteenth section of this article, the Governor shall fill the vacancy until the disability is removed, or a successor elected and qualified. Such successor shall be elected for the unexpired term of the vacant office at the first general election in an even numbered year that occurs more than forty days after the vacancy has occurred; provided, that when the unexpired term ends within one year immediately following the date of such general election, an election to fill such unexpired term shall not be held and the appointment shall be for such unexpired term. [Emphasis added.]
More from this AG opinion (written in the Montgomery era, but archived on the current AG site.)

Forty days prior to the November election is September 25. It seems unlikely that Dann will resign after digging in for that long. So if the chorus is to be successful in showing Dann the door, it needs to be sooner rather than later. I would note that this offers another argument in favor of Subodh Chandra as replacement since Subodh already has some experience running a statewide campaign.

It also puts the kibosh on my favorite replacement scenario -- the double switch. A few weeks ago I suggested the following, then later that day heard it back as "the rumor around town." Here it is: Appoint Treasurer Richard Cordray to AG, and some high-level Deputy Treasurer (or assistant, I'm not sure what their terminology is) to be Treasurer. The theory being that Cordray has been shining and can get both himself and his chosen successor elected. Problem is, the party won't want two special elections this Fall. One is bad enough.


Anonymous said...

Do you think that rumors may be true that the ODP is trying to be strategic about vacating this office? Do you think Chris Redfern is watching the calendar and wanting Marc Dann to stay put until after the special election window closes?

Anonymous said...

The overriding public policy risk for Ohioans in this fiasco is the loss of momentum (litigation and otherwise) on the foreclosure crisis. New York has already experienced, this to a large extent, thanks to Spitzer's meltdown. Like it or not, Dann is a leader on this issue, and there aren't a lot of possible replacements who can (or would) maintain that leadership while assembling and running a statewide campaign.

This is the strongest argument for letting Dann stay until October.

Otherwise (from the critical policy perspective alone) the right move is Cordray to AG and Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis to state treasurer. Both national leaders on foreclosure strategy, both strong electorally.

Unfortunately, both also white guys.

Ben said...

There is no way he would stay until his replacement can be appointed then just resign. Either he will resign or he wont - soon.