Bob Fitrakis Prosecutor campaign candidate forums

All addresses are links to Google maps.

Saturday, October 29

Listen and call in when Bob is on the radio tomorrow!

Straight Talk with Khari Enaharo on 95.5FM radio –
I will talk about my campaign on radio tomorrow morning – Saturday, October 29 from 6-8am. Call-in 614-291-0955.
I will be on WVKO 1580AM radio tomorrow at 12noon when there will be a radio candidate’s forum at 614-824-2550.
I will be at the Early Voting site, Franklin County Board of Elections, 1700 Morse Road in from about 8:30-11:30am and 2-4pm to hand out flyers.

Tuesday, November 1

Ohio Dominican University Candidates Forum

1216 Sunbury Rd, Columbus, OH 43219

Griffin Student Center Rooms 258-260



Sunday, November 6

COYAP Meet The Candidates

Sunday, November 6 at 3 PM – 5 PM



Graphic of state of Ohio with a flower growing in the middle

At the same time Green Party candidate for county prosecutor Bob Fitrakis was debating Democratic candidate Zach Klein, a Columbus police officer with a history of questionable shootings killed Tyre King, a 13-year-old African American. King’s shooting occurred less than a block away from Fitrakis’s Near East home.

In a sad and tragic way, the timing was fatefully surreal. The two candidates were sparring over what’s the best way to end police shootings of African-American men and children.

But it wasn’t fate at all. Bob Fitrakis has been fighting back against questionable police shootings of African-Americans for much of his working life, and if Columbus and the rest of the nation, for that matter, would have listened to Fitrakis a long, long time ago, Tyre King may be alive today.

On the other hand, career politician and current city council president Zach Klein, who’s jumped back and forth from Democrat to Republican so to further his ascension, has no record of denouncing questionable police shootings.

Fitrakis of course is also editor of The Columbus Free Press. During the debate Fitrakis argued what needs to be established so to investigate and hopefully end these needless deaths.

“I have no problem with an independent prosecutor,” Fitrakis told the crowd during a candidate’s forum at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. “I just don’t think it goes far enough. I believe that there needs to be an independent civilian review board, with subpoena power, that is elected from the area commissions, and that is responsible in these shooting cases.

“Part of the problem is the tremendous hold the FOP has on elected officials,” Fitrakis said. “That has to stop. We need not only an independent prosecutor, we need a civilian review board with an auditor. We need real citizens from the high-crime neighborhoods. We should be able to elect people from those communities, because they’re the victims.”

As for his opponent that fateful night, it was more of the same, which is making some progressives seethe. Zach Klein not only opposes a civilian review board with subpoena power, but also an independent prosecutor to investigate fatal police shootings.

The left’s discontent with the Democratic Party has been building for some time and now hitting a boiling point with this election cycle. And it’s not just because of where candidates stand on issues; the Green Party isn’t backed by Super PACs or billionaires, and the mainstream media, either. Even aligning yourself with Democrats is making progressives go Green.

“We have been hit by this storm, this whirlwind of support that basically started on the day that Bernie endorsed Hillary,” Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said at the party’s national convention. “Suddenly, the floodgates opened in our fundraising. Unsolicited money just started pouring in. So, in the last three weeks, we’ve actually raised as much money as we have in the entire year-and-a-half of the campaign until then. So it’s a whole new ball game.”

The Green Party storm is reverberating nationally and spreading locally.

Constance Gadell-Newton is the Green Party candidate for the Ohio House of State Representative 18th District race, which encompasses Columbus, Grandview Heights, German Village, Franklinton and the Near East. She’s a Near East resident and also Fitrakis’s law partner. When she decided to run she considered it an “experiment.” But after Bernie lost the nomination, it became much more than a chance to test the waters.

“Strangers were taking out their phones and donating on the spot,” says the 36-year-old Gadell-Newton. “I know how much $100 is in a personal budget. That could be coming right out of their grocery bill. As a candidate when someone gives me that amount of money I have to take this seriously and respect the people who are supporting me.”

Gadell-Newton says one of the biggest revelations during her candidacy was how easy it was to get on the ballot. Now when she’s out campaigning she’s telling as many people as she can that running as a Green Party candidate is “totally doable, especially in local small races.”

“That’s one thing I am surprised about,” she said. “I only needed 25 signatures. Major party candidates need 50 signatures. For people who are interested in change, running for office takes a lot less energy than passing a ballot issue, for instance, which takes thousands of signatures.”

She says victory this election cycle may be elusive, so she’s positioning herself for 2018 and 2020. But for now, running as a Green Party candidate during this election cycle of chaos is having serious influence on the overall debate.

“Even though we may not win, Green Party candidates are able to influence the political dialogue and that’s something I’ve seen with Bob’s (Fitrakis) prosecutor race. He’s very outspoken about the issues he cares about and he’s pushing the other candidates to the side of Black Lives Matter, for instance.”

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Trump in front of flag with red baseball cap on

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump’s demand for “monitors” at polling places to prevent a “rigged election” is an old and ugly story.

It’s obviously aimed—-KKK style—-at stopping black and Hispanic citizens from voting.  But in fact both major parties have used such terror tactics—- and updated electronic ones—-since the birth of the nation.

The cure—-we call it “the Ohio Plan”—- is scorned by both corporate parties:  universal automatic voter registration, transparent registration rolls that can be easily monitored, a national holiday for voting, and universal hand-counted paper ballots that stay in one place and are tallied (and re-tallied) in full public view.

The “rigged election” story dates back to the Constitution.  Its Electoral College gave a three-fifths “bonus” to slave owners for blacks who could not actually vote.  The race card carried through Jim Crow segregation and the KKK terror unleashed against post-Emancipation blacks who dared try to vote.  It continues through the Drug War and the tens of millions of African-American and Hispanic citizens stripped of their freedom and franchise.

Today it’s being done by computer programs that quietly eliminate millions of black and Hispanic voters from the registration rolls.

In Florida 2000 Gov. Jeb Bush stripped some 90,000 mostly black and Hispanic citizens off the registration rolls in an election decided for his brother by 537 votes.  In 2004 GOP operatives did it again to some 300,000 Ohioans in a state Bush won by 118,775.

In moves that Trump should love, between the 2004 and 2008 elections, in a state with about 5.5 million eligible voters,1.25 million Ohioans were de-registered. In 2012, the number purged was 1.1 million. So far this year, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has de-registered over a million Ohio voters, more than 600,000 clearly eligible to vote and on the rolls of their county boards of elections.

Photo ID, limited polling station access, machines that break down, provisional ballots that don’t get counted, absentee ballots that don’t get sent, elimination of days to vote, deliberate official misinformation and intimidation—-all do exactly what Trump wants.  They eliminate the “threat” of non-white voters.

In reporting on Trump’s assertions, the New York Times quotes Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Husted as the “voice of reason.”  But like other Republican Secretaries of State across the US, Husted is aggressively stripping millions of black and Hispanic voters from the registration books.  Nationwide, tens of millions of exactly the kinds of people Trump doesn’t want to vote will have been stripped off the voter rolls come November.  Much of this is explained in Greg Palast’s new film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

As Michelle Alexander has explained in her New Jim Crow, tens of millions of blacks and Hispanics have been stripped of their votes since Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971.  Alongside filling history’s biggest gulag with about 2.2 million prisoners, America’s Drug War has anchored the GOP’s Southern Strategy by stripping blacks and Hispanics from the rolls in southern states where they comprise some 40% of the potential electorate.

Neither Trump nor his mainstream critics mention mass incarceration’s “twin” means of election rigging:  electronic voting machines.   Some 80% of this year’s votes may be cast on touchscreen and other computerized devices that are absurdly easy to flip.  The courts say the corporate-owned source code is proprietary.  So there’s no meaningful accountability.  Allegedly safe Scantron paper ballots are easily manipulated with corrupted tallying machines.

Significant computer manipulations helped rig GOP presidential victories in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, and critical down-ballot elections elsewhere.  These include 2014 US Senate races in North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska that now loom large in terms of who might or might not be confirming new Supreme Court appointments.

Corporate-sponsored critics brand this “conspiracy theory”.  But neither they nor Trump can answer this most basic question:  “how, in fact, do we verify the legitimate tally of votes cast on electronic machines with no effective paper trail, i.e. the vast majority of those that will be cast this November?”

If we’re to have meaningful elections in the future, they must be conducted on paper  ballots that are held at their precincts in transparent containers that do not move.  Those ballots must be counted in public, by hand.  Voter registration should be open automatically to all citizens, with registration rolls open to the public and easily monitored.  Voting should be open to all on the basis of a signature.  And we need a national holiday for voting so working people do not have to pay with their jobs for exercising their democratic rights.

The “Ohio Plan” would also eliminate corporate money from our elections, end gerrymandering and abolish the Electoral College.

This coming election, up and down the ballot, could indeed be “rigged”.  But it will happen exactly counter to what Trump says.  Rather than eliminating millions of black and Hispanic voters, as he wants, we need to guarantee their franchise.  We must be able to verify their presence on registration rolls.  We need to make sure they have reasonable time and place to cast their ballots—-free from KKK/Trump-style thugs intimidating us all.

Above all, as they now do in Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Japan and Canada, we need to cast our votes on paper ballots that are safety stored and counted by hand, preferably by our nation’s high school and college students, and our elders.

Maybe then, Trump or otherwise,  we can begin to think of America as a country where elections really aren’t rigged or stolen, stripped or flipped.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016:  FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT has just been chosen as one of America’s most censored stories (… ).  It’s available at, along with Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES.  Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at, along with AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH, available in 2017.


PRESS RELEASE October 19, 2016

I have known Bob Fitrakis on both a professional and personal basis for over twenty-six years. The more I know about him, the deeper my respect for him becomes. He is a person of high moral and ethical standards. He is a man that has h both depth and breadth of character, of interests, of professionalism, of scholarship, of political responsibleness and of faith. He is the consummate role model: a man who leads first by example. Bob exhibits tolerance and respect for everyone without regard to their economic status, gender, race, color, national origin, age or sexual persuasion. Bob’s commitment to the African American community and equal enforcement of the U.S. Constitution has been unwavering by his action.

Bob has been recognized extensively for his commitment to the improvement of law enforcement, social welfare, voting rights, and human rights. When people were talking about disfranchised of African American voters in Ohio, Bob was filing law suits and using social media to bring this issue to the forefront throughout the United States. He has always supported the Police officers for Equal Rights. (P.O.E.R.). Since the concept of our Community Breakfast on Martin Luther King, Jr’ Holiday (1995), Bob has given financial support every year and he has been our guest speaker on several occasions. He has missed one breakfast only because he was ill. He has supported our efforts for police reform by using his newspaper, The Free Press to publish our information. Also, I have been a guest numerous times on his radio talk show.

When the POER organized a march from John Waddy’s Law Office to First AME Zion Church against police brutality, Bob marched with us When the late great Bill Moss and I marched against racial profiling by the Columbus Police Department: Bob marched with us! Bob has always been with us for justice and equal protection under the law which is the right of every citizen guaranteed by the U.S. constitution. Bob has always been in the struggle for civil rights in our community. He is not a visitor in our community because he lives in our community.

The surging murders of unarmed African American men and youth have created an atmosphere of distrust of law enforcement and our criminal justice system. We need someone in the Franklin County Justice System that we can trust. We need someone with high ethical and moral values. We need someone with track record of doing the “right thing” in the criminal justice system not the “the same white thing.” Mr. Ron O’Brien and Mr. Zach Klein have been absent in the African American Community on issues that has plagued our community: police brutality, racial profiling, and police shooting of unarmed African American citizens. They have never supported the P.O.E.R. including our Community Breakfast. We need to send a strong message to Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Klein. Let’s bring integrity and justice to the Franklin county Prosecutor Office.

           Join my friends, neighbors, the Police Officer for Equal Rights and citizens of Franklin County and vote for a NEEDED CHANGE: Vote for my friend, Bob Fitrakis of the Green Party for the office of Franklin County Prosecutor on November 8, 2016.

James E. Moss, President of Police Officers for Equal Rights

Joe Demare, Bob Fitrakis, Constance Gadell-Newton, Kirk Bampton speak out against Joseph Demares (Green Party candidate for US senate in Ohio) exclusion from debates at WBNS TV Oct. 17. Next Stop Cleveland City Club! Call and demand equity/free speech! If you can show up for protest, the world will appreciate it. Address: IDEA Center at PlayhouseSquare 1375 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 Thursday at 6 PM – 8:30 PM October 20th

Bob interviews Mark Stansbery, a friend and coach of Tyre King and they discuss the boy’s life and the tragedy of his death.

Project Censored logo and statue of liberty

Project Censored has chosen Search Engine Algorithms and Electronic Voting Machines Could Swing 2016 Election as the 4th “Most Censored Story of 2016” with contributions by Free Press writers and editors Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman.

“Because courts have ruled that source code is proprietary, private companies that own electronic voting machines are essentially immune to transparent public oversight, as Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis documented,” Project Censored wrote. “On Democracy Now! and elsewhere, Wasserman and Fitrakis have advocated universal, hand-counted paper ballots and automatic voter registration as part of their ‘Ohio Plan’ to restore electoral integrity.”

Every year for 40 years, Project Censored, located at Sonoma State University in California, has chosen the 25 most censored stories of the year.

To read about Project Censored and their top censored stories of 2016, go to:


The arena and stadium complex campaign is in full swing. Columbus Dispatch headlines touted contribution after contribution from major Columbus-based corporations the last few weeks. On Tuesday, January 28, the Dispatch juxtaposed the two following headlines on page one: “Kasich setting his sights on corporate welfare” and “Gift meets goal for complex.” A $17.5 million pledge from Nationwide Insurance, plus previous pledges of $35 million from Bank One and $5 million from Worthington Industries brought the private sector gifts for the arena/stadium project to $57.5 million. These highly hailed corporate gifts constitute only about 20 percent of the estimated project costs.
Arena and stadium complex foe Richard Sheir found this headline combination ironic, to say the least. He believes that the project’s funding represents robbing the poor and schoolchildren and ultimately giving to the rich, the wealthy sports team owners.

In Sheir’s analysis the arena/stadium project is “corporate welfare” in its most blatant form, and he’s using the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority’s own numbers to prove his case to the public. He argues that the 80 percent of the public funding comes from perhaps the most “regressive” form of taxation-the sales tax. According to Sheir, an individual’s gross income is $9,000 or less, an absurdly high 8.5 percent of it will be eaten up by the sales tax increase under normal spending conditions. By contrast, this translates into only 1.2 percent of the incomes of the wealthiest fifth of the population. Sheir bases his conclusions on income and expenditure figures released by the state annually.

Sheir said that the public should look at the recent “corporate gifts” as little more than a transfer of funds from local school districts to the arena/stadium project. “Let’s be honest, they’re taking from the schools and giving to the arena and stadium.” Sheir explained that the now-infamous 75 percent, 10-year tax abatement granted to Banc One by the Olentangy School District that amounts to $12 million lost to the school district over 10 years, is one of the reasons why Banc One can give $35 million over 18 years to put its name on the stadium. Banc One reported a $1.43 billion profit in its last tax statement. Sheir pointed out, “Why do they need to do this to their community? This question needs to be asked.” He also noted that Nationwide was a past recipient of a large tax break as well.

Cliff Wiltshire, the assistant managing editor of Suburban News Publications, made the same argument in a December 25 column. “By agreeing to relocate to an otherwise undesirable location at Polaris (sarcasm yellow alert) the financially struggling company (sarcasm red alert!) was granted a 75 percent tax abatement on property improvements for 10 years. Instead of shelling out an estimated $1.6 million annually-most into the Olentangy school district coffers-Banc One will pay about $400,000 per year.”

Sheir stressed that a close reading of the convention authority’s own numbers does not stand up to scrutiny. “It’s totally outrageous to have a $15 million slush fund from taxpayer’s dollars that’s going to go to some wealthy owner,” he commented. His reference to the $14,755,000 Operating Reserves projection can be found on page 118 of the Multi-purpose and Sports Facilities Work Group Report issued December 14, 1995.

“If you’re projecting over half a million dollars in profit the first year, why would you need $15 million in operating reserves?” asked Sheir. “It’s ludicrous; I suspect it’s really a hidden ‘locator fee,’ masquerading as ‘operating reserve,’ to lure some franchise.” Sheir predicted that the “revenue streams” such as concession sales and parking fees will be “stripped away just like they were at Cleveland’s Gateway Stadium” to lure some professional sports owners or league to relocate in Columbus. He contended that instead of the money from parking and concessions going back into the arena/stadium project, it’ll be diverted to the pockets of the owners. “They’re not bonding the parking garage. Why? Why not pay for it over time if there’s a steady revenue stream as they project? I’ll tell you why. Because I suspect they want it as an enticement to give to whatever franchise will locate here,” Sheir said.

Already, sports entrepreneur Lamar Hunt, Columbus businessmen Ron Pizzuti and John H. McConnell, Wolfe Enterprises, and Ameritech have formed an investment group attempting to acquire a National Hockey League expansion team for Columbus. Brian Fitzgerald, director of internal affairs for Ameritech, told the Dispatch: “Because you don’t have the building yet in Columbus, we can’t give them much, other than to say we’ll negotiate a good one,” in reference to a team lease of the proposed arena.

Sheir also suggested that two investors in potential arena/stadium land appear to have a good deal going. Colomet, Inc. and C.P.-Maple Street are apparently the big winners in the land acquisition game. Both bought the land right after the last arena proposal was turned down by voters a decade ago. A tour of the site shows that the vast majority of the land is currently being used as pay-in-advance parking lots.

Colomet was incorporated in 1962 and is a real estate subsidiary of Columbus Southern Power, according to John DiLorenzo of American Electric Power. The property is adjacent to the AEP headquarters on Front Street.

The arena and stadium are budgeted for $2.5 million apiece in “Site Development Costs.” Curiously, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, established by the Franklin County Commissioners, has given the joint arena/stadium project a bizarrely low overrun estimate, Sheir emphasized. “Their Project Contingency is only 4 percent. It’s right on page 115. Remember, they [Franklin County Commissioners] estimated the Franklin County jail at $2.2 million and they’re now at $12 million. That’s closer to 600 percent.”

Perhaps most frightening, in Sheir’s view, is the “field of dreams” nature of the project. The numbers being tossed around by arena/stadium advocates from the Deloitte & Touche Economic Impact Report are based on the following assumptions: that the fledgling Major League Soccer (MLS) will survive, and that Columbus will obtain both a Canadian Football League (CFL) franchise and a National Hockey League franchise. These are big “build it and they will come” assumptions.

And what if they don’t? Sheir has the answer. “Read their own report. They’ll be losing a million to a million four-hundred thousand dollars a year hosting high school sporting events and band competitions.”