Today is January 21, 2005 and I was there in front of Jim Petro, our Ohio State Attorney General's Office for about two hours.  I prepared for my day by listening to a wonderful song written and sung by Victoria Parks about an old man not allowed to vote because his name was purged off the voters lists.  (Thanks Victoria, it was perfect for mental and emotional preparation)

I was a proud, vocal, and a joyous protester.   I must have missed Evan's and Karen's arrival there by just a moment.  Thank you both for coming, I wish I had connected with you.   After spending time there speaking and showing the crowd driving on Broad Street my sign, I remembered that I didn't put money in the parking lot money collection box, so at around 12:30 with visions of parking tickets and tow trucks I went and moved the car. I talked to lots of great people in between Petro's office and the car, returned to Petro's office for awhile, and then stood at the corner of Broad and High with my sign and spoke to lots of people there.   

I began my talking with people with the question, "Do you know what our Attorney General is up to?"  One of many things I learned is that Petro seems to have lots of people that hate him. Multiple people told me that.     So lots of new people learned about our Attorney General, and that he is trying to punish the attorneys that are actually doing the investigative work that his office should be insisting on and supporting in regards to the problems with the 2004 election.  

I hope all those that I spoke with make the phone calls they promised to make to him.  There were lots of people that were thrilled I was there.  Some knew what was happening, many had no idea about any of this (nothing like a media blackout), and one fellow was very verbally mean, and said bad words to me.  I told him all we want is the truth.  He appeared petty and stupid to me.  Snickered with his fancy dressed male friends and walked on.  But, by his reaction..........  we are bothering them, they thought they would be getting away with this.   

I'd bet Petro never thought he'd get his own protest.  This is only the first. I hope he now feels important, like Blackwell.  Maybe he was jealous, and wanted to get noticed.  Lets help him get noticed a lot!  

The many smokers that hang out at the door for their cigarette break got to view me and my sign.   The theme of the day for my sign was...


many made it a point to get a view of the sign, and to get close enough to hear me talk, but not so close they might catch "Honest-itis".  An incurable condition which leads a person to talk the truth and seek out the truth.  

I hope that they all went back in the building and got the gossip mills cranking out that a protester arrived and is talking to people.  Several of the smokers did speak with me, and were pleased I was there.  So know that there are some real people, good people, in the building.  According to Evan, they were discussing me inside.  So that is good, Jim Petro will know that he has a visitor or two, including Evan.

A cop came out and told me I couldn't be under the overhang of the building...that it is state property.  I looked up and pointed out to him that I wasn't under the buildings overhang.  It looked to me that I was within a foot of being under the overhang, which meant I was on the public sidewalk.  He looked up and agreed, but told me to not go under the overhang.  So as long as I had his full attention on me, I then took the time to tell him what our Attorney General is doing.  He kept trying to excuse himself, that he couldn't listen.  I did manage to keep him there long enough to explain it.  He went from looking in control, to looking like he wanted to run back in the building and hide.  All this from a shy girl like me!

As for State Property..... now isn't state property stuff we pay for?  I think I'm right to feel that I pay for the security guard, the building, and even the area under the buildings overhang. I don't smoke, but hey, if they can hang out and pollute the air, I should be able to hang out and cause no environmental damage.   In the Democracy I thought I grew up in, those things our taxes pay for belong to all of us. 

For your information, five floors of this huge office building are for the Attorney General and his staff.  They are way up high with a beautiful view of the city.  I have been up there in the past.  They have a restaurant up there too, like Blackwell's building.  I enjoyed it in the past, but if you are a protestor, or delivering letters from our Congress members I don't recommend you use the restaurant up high, or the underground one.  Your own potential case of Honest-itis may cause a security breach, they may fear it is contagious.  What if our government workers could only speak the truth.....  Focus your attention on that, now there is something to pray for. 

Anyhow, be careful.  Know that even one person on a sidewalk with a sign and a message to tell, can effect a very tall house of cards.  I hope that many others will show up there with a sign, a story to tell, by yourself or with a group... Give the man the attention he is demanding.  Call him or visit his office at 30 East Broad Street, just to the left side of the Statehouse.

Make it a Powerful Day,
Paddy Shaffer