Friday, February 29, 2008

FACT CHECK: The new Lazarus ad

Click here to see our FACT CHECK for the latest ad from John's opponent.

FACT: Lazarus has not been a judge since 2005.

FACT: According to the Franklin County Board of Elections, Lazarus is not a registered Democrat. She did not vote for Ted Strickland in the 2006 Democratic primary.

FACT: As an Appeals Court judge, Lazarus used a template for virtually all of her court opinions. She sided with businesses over labor unions in over 70% of her cases.

FACT: Lazarus has only been endorsed or supported by one of her former colleagues.

FACT: John O’Grady is the only candidate with proven county executive experience.

FACT: Cindy Lazarus quit her elected terms to City Council and Court of Appeals early.

FACT: It is impossible for Cindy Lazarus to have the endorsement of “the people.”

O’Grady’s opponent continues negative campaign for commission

Today, John O’Grady’s opponent, Cindy Lazarus, released the latest negative theme in her campaign for the Franklin County Commissioner. O’Grady, the endorsed Democrat, has focused his campaign on a Five Point Plan for Franklin County.

“First Cindy Lazarus called the hard-working neighborhood leaders of our local Democratic Party a ‘small group of politicians,’ a ‘party machine,’ and ‘party bosses.’ Now Mrs. Lazarus is turning her negative campaign towards John O’Grady,” stated Bryan Clark, Communications Director for John O’Grady.

In her latest television commercial, Mrs. Lazarus attacks John O’Grady’s public service.

Previously, Mrs. Lazarus has issued campaign direct mail that referred to the volunteer neighborhood Democratic leaders who unanimously endorsed John O’Grady as a “small group of politicians” and a “party machine.”

Her negative attacks against the local Democratic Party also included publicly condemning their endorsement of O’Grady after Mrs. Lazarus spent months attempting to secure the same endorsement for her campaign.

John has set the record straight with two new ads.

Mary Funk, Harrison West community leader, endorses John O'Grady

Here is Mary's video!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"I endorse my Daddy"

Patrick O'Grady is John's youngest son (until his fourth child is born in just a few weeks!). Here is Patrick's video endorsement for his Daddy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Communicator News endorses John

The Communicator News, one of Ohio's most distinguished African-American newspapers, has endorsed John O'Grady for Franklin County Commissioner!

We appreciate the strong support John has received from Central Ohio's African-American community. We especially appreciate The Communicator News' endorsement because it is a testament to John's civil rights dedication.

Ohio's oldest, largest Latino paper endorses O'Grady

La Prensa, the largest and oldest Latino newspaper in Ohio, has endorsed John O'Grady for Franklin County Commissioner!

This wonderful news shows just how strong and diverse John's support is with real people across Franklin County.

Thanks to La Prensa for making John O'Grady la eleccion de la gente.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Even Republicans say, "Put politics aside and support O'Grady"

As you know, John O'Grady just completed his business degree at Ohio Dominican. Here is a letter to the editor from one of John's fellow students.

I met John O'Grady, clerk of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and a candidate for county commissioner, two years ago at Ohio Dominican University. We are finishing our degrees to fulfill 25-year-old promises to our parents. We occupy opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Now that we are graduating, I will miss him the most. He and I had spirited debates that made us both better people and even greater friends. Although O'Grady, a Democrat, and I may not share identical views, our conversations reassure me that he leads his professional life with the best for Franklin County residents as his only concern.

Leadership and experience are not abundant qualities in political leaders today, and it is unlikely that O'Grady and I will back the same candidates this fall. However, political alliances should yield to voting for who is best equipped to serve.

I urge my fellow Republicans to vote for [John O'Grady] the person with a track record of serving Franklin County with evenhandedness and dignity.


Thanks, William! Here's what John has to say about his decision to go back to college --

"Sometimes life gets in the way. I left OSU to take a dream job serving Ohioans with Ohio's Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow. Twenty years later, I had an amazing wife and family, had served my state in the Treasurer's office for nine years, had owned my own business, and had been elected to serve Franklin County as Clerk of Courts.

But I had to keep my promise and finish the work I started."

Monday, February 25, 2008

John continues positive, forward-looking campaign with new ad

John O’Grady continued his positive, forward-looking campaign for Franklin County Commissioner with a new campaign ad today. The ad, titled “A New Generation of Leadership,” features strong endorsements from Mayor Coleman and current Commissioners Paula Brooks, Marilyn Brown, and Mary Jo Kilroy.

The ad echoes the comprehensive O’Grady Five Point Plan for Franklin County released last week. The O’Grady plan offers a blueprint for creating jobs and fighting foreclosures in Franklin County.

The ad will begin airing Monday, February 22nd, on broadcast and cable stations in Franklin County. It is also available on the web at

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tom Tootle discusses John's support for the LGBT community

In this week's edition of Outlook Weekly, LGBT community leader Tom Tootle discusses his support for John.
O’Grady’s support in the GLBT community is voiced by Tom Tootle, who told Outlook, “John O’Grady has talked to me about groups like Kaleidoscope, Stonewall, and BRAVO. He recognizes the critical importance of these organizations. He is a good friend who has earned the vote of the gay community on March 4th.”

As always, John was refreshingly honest about his support for the LGBT community and full, fair, equal rights for all.
When asked directly about his involvement in the GLBT community vs Lazarus’ involvement, O’Grady said, “I applaud Cindy for her longstanding service to the GLBT community. On the issue of civil rights, it quite frankly pisses me off that we even have to have this conversation. Civil and equal rights should be obvious and complete. Of course Franklin County should be open to the GLBT community and actively seek its talents and involvement. I am supportive of all County policies being totally GLBT inclusive, and my staff has always been inclusive, starting with my hiring of Kate Anderson as the first openly-GLBT staffmember at the Clerk’s office.”
Be sure to check out John's ad on the back cover. It includes testimonials from Mary Jo Kilroy, Russ Goodwin, and Rhonda Johnson in support of John!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another union member for John O'Grady

John has received every single union endorsement in the Democratic primary for County Commissioner. Here are two members of the local Teamsters union who've volunteered on John's campaign and want to share their thoughts on the race.

Thanks, guys!

Council member Hearcel Craig supports John O'Grady

Dispatch weighs in on the CMC debate

The Columbus Dispatch weighed in on the CMC debate today. As the Dispatch reports, John focused on the issues that Franklin County faces.

Once again, a debate report hones in on the divisive politics John's opponent brought to the debate.
Lazarus said, "We should have more primaries and not be punishing and bullying people because they dare to offer themselves to the public."

O'Grady shot back: "It's a little bit of a stretch for my opponent to play the victim. This is a fight between Cindy and the party."
As political insiders know, Mrs. Lazarus was for the party's endorsement before she was against it. Here's a note from FCDP regarding the issue.

The weekend before the 2007 elections for the Mayor and City Council, Mrs. Lazarus called and mailed our Central and Executive Committee members seeking their endorsement. When she learned that the party's volunteer leaders supported John O'Grady, Mrs. Lazarus began attacking the party and calling for no endorsement.

While John focused on his Five Point Plan for Franklin County, his opponent once again displayed the divisive status quo of the past.

On Tuesday, March 4th, vote for hope and opportunity. Vote for John O'Grady!

Friday, February 22, 2008

WOSU reviews debate

WOSU has a straight-up review of the CMC debate on Friday. The story kicks off with John's 5-point plan roll-out.

Franklin County clerk of courts John O'Grady said the first issue he would address as commissioner is the foreclosure crisis.

"Fighting foreclosures is key to everything we want to do as a county," he said. "This crisis undermines job creation, threatens regional development and robs those most in need of vital social services."

The story also highlights John's support for the Mayor's streetcars proposal (a proposal his opponent has opposed).

WOSU also hints at an emerging issue in the race -- who will focus full-time as Franklin County's next Commissioner? If you guessed "John O'Grady," you'd be right!

O’Grady wins debate with substance, vision

In a Columbus Metropolitan Club debate today, John O’Grady offered a clear, compelling vision for the future of Franklin County. O’Grady focused on his Five Point Plan for Franklin County, the only comprehensive plan issued in this primary election.

Throughout the debate, John O’Grady forcefully advocated for an end to the foreclosure crisis and for creating jobs and opportunity for everyone. As John said in his opening, “I am running for Franklin County Commissioner so we can bring a new generation of leadership to our county and, with it, new jobs and opportunities for the workers and families of Central Ohio.”

Unfortunately, John's opponent attempted to go negative regarding John's support from the hardworking members of the Franklin County Democratic Party. But John continued his positive campaign for a new generation of leadership, rejecting the divisive politics of the past.

In the end, John framed exactly what this primary election is all about – the hope and opportunity of a new era, or the divisive status quo of the past.

Like you, John chooses hope!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

With 816 individual supporters, O’Grady is real people’s choice

John O’Grady’s campaign for Franklin County Commissioner today announced another round of groundbreaking, people-driven fundraising with $79,260 raised since February 1, 2008. The campaign had an impressive $85,266 cash on hand. More importantly, the campaign announced over 816 individual contributions to John’s campaign for Commissioner.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve received from folks across Central Ohio,” stated John O’Grady, endorsed Democrat for Franklin County Commissioner. “The people’s choice is clearly the new generation of leadership our campaign will bring to the Franklin County Commission.”

To date, individual contributions to John O’Grady have outpaced his opponent almost 8-to-1. O’Grady also outraised his opponent 8-to-1 since February 1st. O’Grady’s average contribution was a little over $300, while his opponent’s average haul was almost $1,000.

O'Grady gets local news coverage

The latest edition of ThisWeek community news covers John's strong campaign for Franklin County Commissioner.

O'Grady said it's his experience managing budgets, both as a business owner and county clerk, that qualifies him for the county commissioner post. When O'Grady started as clerk, he said the staff included 240 people and ran on an annual budget of $12-million. Despite the increase in case load, O'Grady said the staff now counts 231 employees and runs on approximately the same budget.

As John says, this is the kind of county-level experience that matters in our Democratic primary.

John also demostrated a firm grasp of the issues that need to be focused on as a Franklin County Commissioner.

O'Grady said another key issue he would address if elected would be the foreclosure rate in Franklin County. O'Grady said 48 percent of the caseload in the county clerk's office deals with foreclosures, and he said the county has seen a 75 percent increase in foreclosures since he took office in 2000. The county government can play a role in fixing the problem by bringing the many parties involved - lenders, banks, realtors and people facing foreclosure - together to find solutions.

In this election, John is the clear choice because he understands the processes we need to create real change in Franklin County.

"Instead of working in a vacuum, we need to bring people to the table," O'Grady said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FCDP defends neighborhood Democratic leaders

The Franklin County Democratic Party has taken a stand for the 141 neighborhood Democratic leaders who voted unanimously to endorse John O'Grady for Commissioner.

As John said in remarks after the debate today, "This was never about whether or not there should be a primary. It was about who the party endorsed in this race."

The Party was prompted to respond by negative campaign mailings and campaign statements from Mrs. Lazarus' campaign. According to the FCDP, the party's hardworking volunteer leaders were referred to a "a small group of politicians," "part of the party machine," and "party bosses."

Be sure to read the entire FCDP response.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Endorsement update

In today's Columbus Dispatch, John responds to the unfortunate process and decision the newspaper used to endorse John's opponent. John's response was so powerful, we wanted to share it with you today.

Paper's endorsement a disappointment
Monday, February 18, 2008 2:58 AM

After receiving the endorsements of the mayor, all three incumbent county commissioners, every City Council member, every Democratic representative and senator in Franklin County, the state chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party and the Franklin County Democratic Party, I am disappointed I did not receive the endorsement of The Dispatch. But you can't win 'em all.

In light of this, I would like to express what I believe Dispatch readers deserve to know about me, John O'Grady, and my campaign for Franklin County commissioner.

In 2000, the voters of Franklin County elected me as the first Democratic clerk of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court in decades. We inherited an office full of political corruption, fraud and inefficiency, and I promised to clean it up. We've accomplished what I said I would do. Today, the clerk's office has excellent customer service, state-of-the-art accounting measures and a great working relationship with Democrats and Republicans in our court system.

In fact, we're doing more with less. In 2001, the clerk of courts budget was about $12 million, with 240 staff members. Today, the clerk's budget is still about $12 million, with 231 staff members, who are handling 75 percent more foreclosure cases than seven years ago.

This is just the kind of county-level executive experience that matters in our primary.

As your Franklin County commissioner, I will apply this real-world county experience to the challenge of creating jobs and opportunity for everyone in Franklin County. This means investing in our strengths, like technology research, transportation logistics and health care. But we cannot accomplish this as a region without great working relationships with the business, union and elected leadership of Franklin County.

Voters can visit to learn more about my campaign for a new generation of leadership in the March 4 primary.

I believe voters will see that I am the endorsed Democrat for a reason -- I have the experience that matters, the priorities they share and the proven ability to work with everyone to create real change in Franklin County.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thanks, Plunderfolks

Plunderbund, a Central Ohio blog, has posted a comparison of direct mail from John O'Grady and his opponent. Even though the blogger has previously announced his support for Mrs. Lazarus, he gives John props.

"At first glance I’d say the the O’Grady direct mail campaign will probably be more effective - especially with voters who don’t really follow county-level politics i.e. most of them.

The O’Grady mail campaign is simple and focused, with one clear message: JOHN O’GRADY IS THE CANDIDATE ENDORSED BY THE PARTY."

Sure, it's not all sunshine and roses from the Plunderfolk, but we appreciate getting a pretty fair shake.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's the law

The following is a message from the Franklin County Democratic Party. It's pretty strongly worded, but gives a good overview of the election complaint against Cindy Lazarus.

It’s the law

Yesterday, the Franklin County Democratic Party filed an election complaint against Cindy Lazarus. As Executive Director Zach Manifold said, “Today, the Franklin County Democratic Party is proving our commitment to fair elections by holding Cindy Lazarus, a former judge, accountable for apparent violations of basic campaign laws.”

According to the complaint, Cindy Lazarus’ campaign has created and distributed campaign ads that do not carry basic political disclaimers. These disclaimers state, “Paid for by” and list the name of the committee, as well as a mailing address for the committee. In fact, it’s campaign 101.

This is just one example of the apparent election law violations by Cindy Lazarus according to the Buckeye State Blog.

Unfortunately Cindy Lazarus completely dismissed these serious charges. In fact, her answer was, “All I could say to that is, please.”

Does Cindy Lazarus believe voters don’t deserve to know who provided the information they receive about our elections?

Stay tuned for more information in this developing story. And be sure that the Franklin County Democratic Party will continue to fight for the highest ethical standards. The Republican Party refused to do that — look where it got them.

“Democrats say Lazarus broke campaign law”

Click here for a Columbus Dispatch article about alleged election law violations by the Cindy Lazarus campaign.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Columbus Dispatch features John this Sunday

This Sunday's Columbus Dispatch feature's a good introduction to what makes John O'Grady the best candidate for Franklin County Commissioner. From John's childhood on the westside to his small business and Clerk of Courts work, it's clear John has the experience that matters.

Read more about John's race right here.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Ohio Primary Starts Today!

On Friday, February 8th, you can start voting in the Democratic primary -- and that means you can start voting for John today!

Thanks to Ohio's early voting laws, you can visit the Franklin County Board of Elections (map) to vote in person, or request an early vote ballot (click here for the form).

John O'Grady kicked off the Ohio primary today with Mayor Coleman and a group of O'Grady supporters. You can see photos of our Get Out the Early Vote rally right here, or check out the evening news for coverage.

Support John O'Grady today by voting for the presidential candidate of your choice, then voting for John O'Grady, the endorsed Democrat for Franklin County Commissioner.

Just remember: With voting already started, we need your help now more than ever. Click here to help John reach even more voters.

Friday, February 1, 2008

"Committed to the Future" ad to air this weekend

The Franklin County Commissioner race ramped up today with the release of the first television ad from John O’Grady, the endorsed Democrat. The ad, titled “Committed to the Future,” continues to show John’s strength as a new generation of leadership for Franklin County.

The ad will begin airing this weekend on broadcast and cable stations in Franklin County. It is also available on the web at