Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro

Ohio Attorney General James Petro has had a longstanding reputation as a political enforcer for the dirty practices of the Ohio Republican Party. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Petro served as the state’s auditor. In that position, Petro established his credentials as a politician willing to punish whistle-blowers while covering up organized crime and corruption. Petro is now attempting to sanction the election protection attorneys who uncovered the fraud and irregularities during the 2004 Ohio election. Petro’s using state funds and assistant attorney generals as enforcers. Some, like the late Franklin County Sheriff Earl Smith, allege that Petro has longstanding ties to organized crime and that the Attorney General’s office in Ohio has been corrupted for decades. Smith ought to know. He served on the Governor’s Organized Crime Commission under Rhodes.

Bill Barndt

When Bill Barndt was born, there was a mass socialist and progressive movement and the nations had not yet engaged in world wars. In order to rebuild America’s progressive tradition and promote world peace in the 21st century, Bill Barndt is committed to following the example of Christ. He broke the embargo against Cuba to bring humanitarian aid and minister to the poor and downtrodden on that island. Barndt, a recipient of the Free Press/DSCO Norman Thomas award, has lived longer than the legendary socialist from Marion, Ohio. Like Thomas, Barndt is a tireless activist, traveling to Macedonia, the Phillippines, and Central America to deliver material aid. Bill turned 90 years old in February and used the birthday party to raise funds for his group, Worldwide Humanitarian Aid.


Loretta Heard

Loretta Heard announced that she will not seek re-election after 24 years on the Columbus Board of Education. While her first four terms made her a frequent target of Free Press criticism, during her last two terms she has been an outstanding and uncompromised voice in the community for fair and equitable education policy. Heard often stood side by side with Bill Moss in questioning the school board majority that seemed to be taking their marching orders directly from the Chamber of Commerce. Loretta Heard is one of the few remaining independent elected officials in Franklin County and we will miss her.


Gary Webb

Pulitzer Prize winning writer Gary Webb pulled back the curtain on the Iran-Contra scandal and revealed the role of the great and powerful Bush family and the CIA in drug trafficking into the United States. When he allegedly committed suicide at age 49, the forces that brought us Operation Mockingbird and a corrupted corporate mass media had done their best to discredit one of America’s greatest investigative reporters. Webb’s 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News and his even more important book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, will stand as a lasting monument to his personal courage and unparalleled reporting skills.

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