Tuesday, November 03, 2009

ATHENS UPDATE: OU College Republicans Respond to Redfern

The Ohio University College Republicans applaud the statement of Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern regarding the current vote bounty controversy. Chairman Redfern stated: “The Ohio Democratic Party had no role in this stupid idea, and I urge Athens County Chairwoman Susan Gwinn to suspend the program immediately and not issue any payments that may have been planned. I call for a complete investigation and prosecution for any wrongdoing in this case.” The Ohio University College Republicans endorse Redfern’s call for embattled Athens County Chairwoman Susan Gwinn and the Ohio University College Democrats to suspend the program and conduct a full investigation into the matter.

Furthermore, in light of the recent revelations, the College Republicans are concerned about prior instances of this votes-for-cash bounty program. During the 2008 election in the 92nd Ohio House District, Republican candidate and Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson lost to the current representative Democrat Debbie Phillips by less than 600 votes. The College Republicans hope that a full investigation will reveal whether or not the College Democrats implemented a similar program during the 2008 election.

Christine Fahl, the candidate for Athens City Council 4th Ward who was to be the potential benefactor of the fraudulent votes, played a major role in Debbie Phillips’s 2008 campaign.

The Ohio University College Republicans will continue to meet, and ask for the involvement of, the university administration, local law enforcement, and state-wide election officials. In addition to the potential criminal acts, the OUCR’s believe that the College Democrats have violated the university’s Computer and Network Use policy, and will be filing charges with the judiciaries to that effect. It is the club’s hope that a thorough investigation of all these charges will help restore confidence in the sanctity of local elections.