Gov. Strickland Asks Dann to Resign:

This morning Ohio Governor Ted Strickland sent a letter to embattled Ohio AG Marc Dann asking him to resign. The letter was also signed by the four other elected Democrats holding statewide office, the Democratic leadership in the Ohio legislature, and the Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party. Yet as the Columbus Dispatch reports, Dann is resisting these calls to resign, prompting speculation that he could actually be impeached and removed from office.

The fact that the state's Democratic Party leadership is united is seeking to see Dann resign is notable because if Dann were to step down now, his successor would have to stand for reelection this November. If he can hold on until October, on the other hand, his successor would finish out the balance of his term. Apparently the Democratic Party leadership believes the risk of losing the AG office this fall is outweighed by the nature of Dann's misconduct and its consequences for the AG's office as an institution. (Of course, concerns about the political consequences of keeping Dann around through this fall's elections could play a role too.) In any event, I think it's clear at this point that Dann's days are numbered.

In related news, Marc Dann had been scheduled to be the speaker at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law's commencement. He is an alum, and the law school has a tradition of featuring one of our own on that day. This morning, however, I learned that Dann had elected to "withdraw" as the commencement speaker. (ATL has more here.) Whether he did this on his own initiative or at the request of our Dean, it is all to the good. Now that he's on a roll, Dann should take the opportunity to "withdraw" from his current office as well.

*On a roll.
5.5.2008 1:41pm
anym_avey (mail):
Well, he's evidently on a role as well: the Ohio Dems' hitlist.
5.5.2008 2:42pm
Crunchy Frog:
Dann's continued presence in Ohio politics would do nothing but increase Republican turnout, insuring a McCain victory, and affecting downballot races statewide.

The Dem leadership is wise to pressure him to resign now, although the damage may have already been done.
5.5.2008 2:44pm
Anderson (mail):
I especially liked the part where Dann confessed he wasn't actually ready for ... wait for it ... his job.

You know, the job he campaigned for several months to get?
5.5.2008 3:37pm
EKGlen (mail):
Why not pull a Senator Craig? - announce that he is going to resign and then just finish out his term.
5.5.2008 4:15pm
Cornellian (mail):
Any Ohio law experts out there who know how an Ohio AG can be removed? Presumably the governor can't just fire him or that would have happened (or at least been threatened). Is it a mirror image of the federal process (impeachment in house, trial/conviction in senate by 2/3 majority) or is it some other process?

I have no opinion on the Dann situation in particular and haven't followed it at all, I'm just a bit curious about the process.
5.5.2008 4:37pm
Jonathan F.:
Not an Ohio law expert, but an Ohioan. The constitution provides:
The house of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a majority of the members elected must concur therein. Impeachments shall be tried by the senate; and the senators, when sitting for that purpose, shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators.
Ohio Const., Art. II, ยง 23.
5.5.2008 5:06pm
Brad Catlin:
I am a lawyer in Ohio, but am home and feeling lazy, so I am going to rely on my memory rather than doing any actual research.

In addition to the impeachment procedure (half of the house to impeach, 2/3ds of senate to convict), there is a second way that Mark Dann could be removed from office. If (I believe) 600,000 people sign a petition for his removal, then he could be removed without being impeached.

Since AG in Ohio is its own elected office, he does not report directly to the governor. Thus, the governo doesnot have the power to remove him himself.
5.5.2008 7:31pm
Lucius Cornelius:
Governor Strickland's letter was signed by all the leading Democratic office holders in Ohio and the Chairman of the state party. The letter warns Dann that if he does not resign, that the Democrats in the Ohio House will start impeachment proceedings against him.

I am sure that the Republicans would like Dann to stick around a few more months so that they could allow everyone to pick him apart, but I expect that they will cooperate in the Democratic party's efforts to impeach Dann.

Question one is: when will Dann finally resign? Question two is: who will Governor Strickland choose to replace Dann? Question three is: who will the Republicans choose to run against Dann in the special election this fall? Section 3.18 of the Ohio Constitution requires a special election if the office of Attorney General becomes vacant more than 40 days prior to a general election in an even numbered year that is not the normal year for electing the AG.
5.5.2008 7:47pm
Lucius Cornelius:
The online format for the Constitution I was looking at was rather odd. The proper citation is Article II Section 18, which reads as follows:

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.
5.5.2008 7:49pm
AG captive:
Dear outside world:

Make this clown resign, now. We've had enough.
5.6.2008 3:35am