by Bob Fitrakis

The Big Chill may be over in Columbus. Things are thawing out and some progressive seeds are being planted. Can the revolution be far behind? Well, if it’s the Hemp Revolution, it’s on this weekend at the Wexner Center from the same people who brought us the provocative Panama Deception. Since both President Bill and Speaker Newt are admitted former partisans of the hemp plant flower, it would be the perfect bipartisan family outing. The many uses of the hemp plant and the demonization of marijuana are well documented in the film. It’s enough to invoke vague and hazy memories of Jack Ford–son of the Republican President Gerald Ford–on the cover of Rolling Stone claiming that the White House was the best place to smoke dope. 

The war by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s against hemp–that led to such absurdities as the Smithsonian changing displays to avoid mentioning sacred American documents were printed on hemp paper –was little more than a political ploy to disenfranchise New Left activists from the late ’60s and early ’70s. But who would’ve thunk that hemp seeds would be sprouting here in the capital city with The Ohio Industrial Hemp & Medical Use Coalition?

Started by a couple of local college students, the coalition is already in the process of collecting signatures to legalize the industrial and medical use of hemp. If you want to check out this new breed of hempster, stop by their table at the Wexner Center after you participate in the Hemp Revolution experience.

It’s the Green Revolution that’s driving the hemp revolt. Eventually, there’ll be an eruption in local Columbus politics. The recent Central Committee elections in the Franklin County Democratic Party provided a few minor tremors. Two members of the Westerville Social Action group won seats on the party’s endorsement body. And there was a virtual war in Clintonville’s 18th ward.

The grassroots-oriented and liberal-leaning Clintonville-Beechwold candidate prevailed over an even more progressive Steve Kanner with the Party’s candidate coming in a distant third. And the ever-affable and unrepentant liberal Tom Erney won in the 19th ward. There’s already talk of forming an official Progressive Caucus (slogan: “We’re PC”) in the County Party.

Such a coalition could force the Dems to go on record on issues like the Hemp Initiative, the nuke dump, recycling, and human rights issues–slave labor in Burma, or political prisoners in China or sweatshops in the maquilladoras in Mexico. Not that the latter will matter much politically unless the caucus can tie it to concerns in Franklin County. Well, it could get interesting. I always say politics doesn’t have to be boring or cheesy.

Speaking of non-boring, Bill “a rolling stone gathers no” Moss, running as an Independent for the U.S. Congress 12th District, could ignite a populist spark. And as those Maoists used to say, “One spark can start a prairie fire.” Moss’s peculiar mix of pro-second amendment rhetoric, environmentalism, and anti-NAFTA and GATT sentiments will draw considerable media attention in a district that’s nearly a quarter African-American.

Some suggest that this is Bill’s version of “The Big Payback” to Cynthia Ruccia, the Democratic candidate for the 12th District, who dropped out as fund-raiser for Bill’s mayoral campaign last year. Word had it that Franklin County AFL-CIO leader Bill Dobbins leaned on her to quit the campaign. Dobbins is best known for complaining that “blacks are trying to take over the party here.”

Which reminds me of the story of the local machinist leader who told me when I was running for Congress in 1992 that the biggest problem facing his workers was that they had lost their right “to call a queer a faggot.” Ain’t a gay conspiracy moving your jobs overseas, brothers and sisters. And unless labor in Franklin County gets a lot more progressive, they’ll be losing elections for another 50 years: “Son, don’t tell me how to run elections. I been losin’ Democratic elections in Franklin County since 1943.”
Republished http://www.fraudbusterbob.com/
Bob Fitrakis was elected as a Democratic Central Committee member in the 55th ward.

by Bob Fitrakis

Did you ever notice that if you look at Mayor Lashutka quickly from the side he looks a lot like former Soviet premier Brezhnev? When Greg speaks, it’s Leonid without the charisma. More importantly, the mayor’s policies are that same drab, debilitating 1970s Soviet gray. Hyperbole, you say?

Communism is known for its vehement disdain for free speech; recently so is the Lashutka administration. Last week, Maureen Conley, director of Columbus’ Department of Administrative Services, was quoted as saying that “the original intent [of public access TV] doesn’t matter.” She concedes that the original intent was the exercising of free speech. Maureen, and we presume the mayor, wish to go “forward” into a brave new world where the public’s voice is controlled. This wasn’t always the case. Just a few short years ago, the mayor made a public service announcement for ACTV, Columbus’ public access channel: “…In today’s democracy, the television camera is as important as the quill pen was to the founding fathers. ACTV is your TV, it’s your soapbox, your stage, your talk show. Make freedom of speech part of your daily life….”

Arbitrary and oppressive administrative fiats are now Lashutka’s style. Leonid would be impressed. Conley claims that “currently the cable access channel, according to our cable providers, is one of the lowest-viewed channels on the spectrum.” Yet, Warner Cable’s PR and marketing departments claim that no such data exist. One would think that Conley, as a former employee of Warner Cable–now charged with negotiating their contract with her current employer, the city–would know this. Or does she have a special relationship with Warner Cable that gives her access to secret information denied the public? More likely, Warner Cable’s attitude toward cable access–they could be making money off the channel–colors Conley’s opinions now that she oversees ACTV’s budget at City Hall.

Anyway, maybe it’s just Lashutka reverting back to his glory days when he chaired Citizens for Bork. You remember Bork? Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee who argued the doctrine of “original intent”–that the First Amendment only applies to the national government but not the states. And now it appears that it doesn’t apply in Lashutka’s Columbus.

And what about Lashutka’s trash policy? When Michael D. Long, director of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, demonstrates that it’s far cheaper to let the free market work and bury trash in the Franklin County landfill at $13 a ton, the mayor tells him to shut up and burn it at $32 a ton. Lashutka demands that Congress impose a costly and unwarranted “unfunded mandate” on local governments by enacting “flow control.”

Just like Soviet industry, Lashutka insists on a Brezhnev-era “command economy” measure to protect his inefficient, wasteful and polluting trash-burning power plant. And just like Soviet Communism, he’s willing to destroy the environment and poison people to promote the bankrupt and backward policies of his regime.

Now, if we can only get the Wolfe family lapdogs on the Dispatch editorial board to denounce Lashutka’s communism like they recently denounced Gus Hall, chairperson of the Communist Party USA. But both the mayor and the Dispatch editors conveniently ignore or rewrite history. Whether it’s belief in Bork one day or free speech the next, reality is twisted for political expediency.

The Dispatch editors write: “As Hall entered his golden years, a million, perhaps even three million, Cambodians were being murdered by their communist Khmer Rouge countrymen…” implying that there was a world Communist conspiracy. In reality, the U.S. was backing Cambodia’s leader Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge killers–they were Henry Kissinger’s guys–because they were Chinese Communist allies. The Soviets opposed Pol Pot and supported the Communist invasion to overthrow him. Moreover, the Dispatch turned a blind eye to Communist Chinese human rights abuses and shilled for their Son of Heaven exhibition in Columbus, even after that government ran over unarmed, peaceful and democratic students with tanks in Tianamen Square.

The Dispatch and Lashutka both understand and apologize for Chrysler’s need to build Jeeps in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the company can hire virtual slave labor for 40 cents an hour, that will surely lead to the inevitable closing of the Jeep plant in Toledo. Just last year, the Dispatch wrote glowingly of Governor Voinovich’s trade mission to Communist China where he personally negotiated sweetheart deals for major political donors, even though Amnesty International cited that country for “human organ harvesting” from political prisoners. But the authoritarian government that presides over more than a billion potential Chinese Wendy burger scarfers can’t be all bad.

The Soviet Communists rightly fell because they were undemocratic, bureaucratic and serving the interests of a small elite. Meet the new Columbus communist boss, same as the old Russian boss. Republished @ 10/24/2007 www.fraudbusterbob.com

There will be no First Friday Flicks in October. Instead the Free Press will have the Third Thursday Theater night at 7pm at the Drexel Gateway with “How Ohio Pulled it Off,” about Blackwell’s failed election attempt, and it’s free!

On the First Friday in October, please join us at Victorian’s Midnight Cafe:

Friday, October 5, 2007 – Folk the War event
Noon-midnight. Speakers, music, poetry, open mic speak out against the war. Sign a petition, get a free sign. All folk musicians invited for open mic. Sponsored by The Iraq Campaign, Victorian’s Midnight Cafe, Artists for Political Reform, Ohio Patient Network.
Noon to 4pm: All-you-can-eat soup and bread bar. 4pm-7pm: Happy Hour ($3 Vic’s burgers)

and don’t forget:
Sunday, October 7, 2007 – “Duhmocracy” Victoria Parks’ CD release party at 4pm

Both at: Victorian’s Midnight Cafe, 251 W. 5th Ave. (Fifth and Neil)

We need your donations for the Columbus and Central Ohio Community Radio Project

Any way you look at it, there’s simply not enough variety in our local
broadcast spectrum. Radio in Central Ohio is dominated by right wing
propagandists and commercial mediocrity. Columbus needs broadcast
outlets that provide uncensored news/analysis and grassroots
multicultural programming.

The Neighborhood Network is applying for a full-power radio license to
increase our broadcast opportunities.

The FCC has opened a small window for nonprofit groups to apply for
full-power radio licenses until October 19!

We need to raise $5000 to complete the filing requirements: attorney
fees, engineer fees and filing fees.

The Neighborhood Network, a non-profit media organization currently
supplies programming for the Low Power FM Community Radio Station and
is a Pacifica Radio Network affiliate. Please support our efforts to
build the community media infrastructure in Central Ohio.

   Your donation of $25, $50, $100 or more is appreciated!
   Pay through Paypal at: https://freepress.org/store.php#Radio

or send a check to:
   The Columbus and Central Ohio Community Radio Project
   1240 Bryden Rd.
   Columbus, OH 43205


When the levee broke 

Monday, August 13, 7pm 
See: When the Levees Broke Part One – An American Tragedy, A Spike Lee Film
As the world watched in horror, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Like many who watched the unfolding drama on television news, director Spike Lee was shocked not only by the scale of the disaster, but by the slow, inept and disorganized response of the emergency and recovery effort. Lee was moved to document this modern American tragedy, a morality play witnessed by people all around the world. The result is WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS. The film is structured in four acts, each dealing with a different aspect of the events that preceded and followed Katrina’s catastrophic passage through New Orleans.
Every second Monday of the month, the Central Ohio Greens show an environmental film with discussion following. 
Location:  Northside Library, 1423 N High St, Columbus, near King and High Streets. dgibson6@columbus.rr.com.

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Free Press Second Saturday Salon
6pm-midnight. Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a social justice issus. Food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or just socializing time with progressive friends. Music by Marvin the Robot.
Location:Free Press office, 1000 E. Main St., in Columbus Compact building, parking lot in rear, overflow in Salvation Army parking lot next door.
Phone:253-2571, 224-1082

6pm-midnight. Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a
meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a
social justice issue! Food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or
just socializing time with progressive friends.

Presentation topic: Women against beauty deception by Bona Oma. Madison
Avenue has generated millions by encouraging women to pursue a phantom
of perfection that most will never attain. Bona Oma is an
advocacy/support group that exposes Madison Ave.’s false depiction of
women. Please join us for this avant-garde presentation including a
slide show, displays and great conversation!

Location:Free Press office, 1000 E. Main St., old firehouse #11,
parking lot in rear, overflow in Salvation Army lot next door.
Phone:253-2571, 224-1082
Email:Free Press

Elec Car

You are invited to see the true story: “Who Killed the Electric Car?”
A documentary about the destruction of a car that would decrease our dependence on foreign oil

Monday, July 9, 2007 – 7pm
Video at 7pm and discussion following.
Electric cars began to flourish in California in the late 1990s. Then slowly, gradually, they were being picked up and disposed of in the dump. Why were these cars obliterated from the face of the Earth? Who was threatened by them? Who killed the electric car? You may have seen the article in the Sunday Dispatch about a local man who invented a “water car” that had no use of oil — who was intimidated, threatened and finally allegedly poisoned and killed. This type of suppression of any inventions that reduce the U.S. dependence on oil is rampant.Sponsored by the Central Ohio Greens.

Location: Northside Library, 1423 N. High St.
Phone: 253-2571
Email: dgibson6@columbus.rr.com
Website: www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/electric.html

Saturday, June 9, 2007Liberators-Kultur-Terror-Anti-Americanism-1944-Nazi-Propaganda-Poster.jpg


Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a social justice issue!

Every second Saturday night we hold a salon at the Free Press office. Check out the new location. We have food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or just socializing time with progressive friends.


This show was recorded 10-31-2006.

11:00 AM
Green Party candidate Bob Fitrakis. 

WOSU podcasts available @


The audio on this page has been re-mastered for low bandwidth dial-up connections.

For better audio quality go to Open Line site and look for 10-31-06 archive.



Ohio Gubernatorial Debate in Cincinatti, Ohio

The Cincinnati Beacon
1 hr 7 min 27 sec – Oct 14, 2006


See also:

Fitrakis, Live! Greens in Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Beacon
44 min 59 sec – Jul 31, 2006


And lastly

Bob Fitrakis Speaks

The Cincinnati Beacon
15 min 15 sec – Mar 5, 2006


Thanks to: