Representative Barbara Lee

Representative Barbara Lee of Oakland, California, the lone dissenter in the U.S. House of Representatives in a 480-1 vote in favor of President Bush’s use of force resolution. Lee said “We must not rush to judgment. Far too many innocent people have already died. Our country is in mourning. If we rush to launch a counterattack, we run too great a risk that women, children and other noncombatants will be caught in the crossfire.” She warned against allowing “outrageous acts by vicious murderers [to] inflame prejudice against all Arab Americans, Muslims, Southeast Asians, or any other people . . .” In March 1999 Lee was the sole House member to vote against the bombing of Serbia. If things spin out of control in the Middle East, and well they might if the United States overreacts, future historians will record that Lee, like the late Senator Wayne Morris who voted against the Tonkin Gulf resolution that started the Vietnam escalation, was a lone voice of sanity and decency. Read the text of her dissent in the Autumn issue section.


The Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus Dispatch has emerged – on coverage of both the death penalty and the terrorist attacks – as an example of reporting with reason and balance. In the John Byrd death penalty case, unlike the Cincinnati newspapers that seem to think their job is to act as a PR firm for the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office, the Dispatch’s even-handed approach and relentless commitment to printing all voices in the dispute is a model for big city newspapers. Also, the Dispatch broke with the majority of mainstream journalists who have all volunteered to go to war by instead publishing a balanced and thoughtful array of opinions including the few officials calling for moderation and caution. They’ve done a great job in bringing out the underlying reasons for the terrorist attack and the Freep salutes their coverage.

Kenny Schweickart and For A Better Ohio
Kenny Schweickart and his activist For A Better Ohio merry hempsters are to be congratulated for gathering enough signatures to put the issue of decriminalization of marijuana on the fall ballot in Columbus. They worked diligently day and night on the streets and believed in the democratic system signing up thousands of new voters in the process. It’s a shame that they were blatantly sabotaged by the Franklin County Board of Elections under the auspices of Guy Reese. Readers should make no mistake – election workers sandbagged the decriminalization initiative by lying to the organizers, promising to register the new voters and then deliberately failing to do their job. The conduct of the Board of Elections is outrageous. Reese should resign. The decriminalization effort will be back, and hopefully Reece and the other political hacks who destroyed this initiative will either do their jobs or admit to their incompetence, or conspiracy and step aside.


Joe Deters

Meet the new fascism – same as the old fascism. Deters is a cross between Joe McCarthy and a young Richard Nixon. He’s the new face of friendly fascism, and we don’t use this word lightly. He seems to not know the difference between the truth and a lie. Deters’ limitless capacity to make up facts during his Metropolitan Club debate over the death penalty with Ohio Public Defender David Bodiker would put Mussolini to shame. His ghoulish attempt to have John Byrd killed and figuratively drag his corpse around at every campaign stop to show he’s a law and order guy is unconscionable. Add to this his blatant exploitation of the murdered Monte Tewksbury’s widow, Sharon, for his own political gain. Makes one yearn for the good old days of Nixon’s Checkers speech. The entire Free Press editorial staff urges all independents, and for that matter thoughtful registered Dems, to cross over and register as Republicans to support Deters’ opponent Jim Petro in next year’s primary.