MollyIvans                              I haven’t blogged since the election, although there have been a few postings of articles I’ve written for the Free Press. But I break this unofficial vow of silence to mourn Molly Ivins, the longtime Free Press columnist and Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer.

I can remember the first time I met Molly a decade or so ago. She was in Columbus speaking at a private prep school, the Columbus School for Girls. My good friend and Free Press Senior Editor Harvey Wasserman insisted that Molly would want to meet me. So, we went over to the School for Girls to say Hi.

Molly not only wanted to talk to me, she insisted on shooting hoops before the event. While the crowd gathered in the auditorium, Molly, Harvey and I played a little “21.” As a recall, Molly won, and she was a mean rebounder. She was a tall woman with a quick wit and equally quick elbows, who knew her way around a basketball court.

After her speech, we met back at the Wasserman home in Bexley where Molly was eager to share the longneck beers that she was drinking. Since Harvey is a healthy Green, the task fell to me to drink the longnecks with Molly – and exchange stories. While I hate to admit it, her stories were much funnier than mine, and her charm was incomparable, like her writing.

Molly’s Texas populist perspectives always sided with the poor and the oppressed over the wealthy drunken yay-hoos of her native state. She captured Texas politics and national politics in a way that made you proud to be an American. Molly’s last column entitled “Stand up Against the Surge” was also her last campaign to stop the criminally insane war in Iraq. Many now are calling her the conscience of America. But that’s what they wrote of Michael Harrington, Norman Thomas and Eugene Debs. Molly was more than that, she was not only the conscience, she was the comedic voice that defined the follies and the foibles of the Bush dynasty. As much conscience, as a jester speaking truth shrouded in humor.

We have lost one of the great voices in American journalism. I’m just happy she let me shoot hoops with her, and publish her columns at the Free Press.

1 reply
  1. zane
    zane says:

    I’m glad I found your web site. I live in Cleveland, OH and may have been a purged registered voter in the November 2006 election.

    I voted as a registered Republican in May, 2006 at my correct polling place and precinct without incident. I voted as a Republican only to vote against Ken Blackwell in the primary. I am usually a Democratically leaning independent voter.

    I received in Oct, 2006, an official election mailing stating my correct name, address, polling place and precinct number. I showed up to vote on November 07, 2007 with this mailing in hand only to be told I wasn’t registered and needed to fill out a provisional ballot! I told the people at my precinct I had no faith that my provisional ballot would be counted and left without voting!

    I went home and made several phone calls to voter hotlines, jounalists and others who told me to go back and vote with the provisional ballot! My story was published by AP in many newspapers and on the radio! One website with this story is http:www.

    I went back to my polling place and voted with a provisional ballot!
    Several days later, I phoned the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and asked whether my provisional ballot had been counted! I was told it would take some time to determine whether my ballot had been counted or not.

    I was tired of all the run around so I went to my Congressman’s office with all the information and a photocopy of my “official voter’s guide”. A woman from Dennis Kucinich’s office told me she’d look into this matter for me.

    Later that day, I received a phone call from Congressman Kucinich’s office stating that yes, my provisional ballot had been counted but I’d need to re-register to vote!

    I was glad to hear this news until February 02, 2007 when I received a letter from the League of Woman Voters stating that ” Public records at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections indicate that you cast a provisional ballot in the General Election held on November 7, 2006. Those records also indicate that your provisonal ballot was not counted because the Cuyahoga Count Board of Elecions did not show you to be a registered voter at the time of the election.”

    Needless to say, I’m confused and upset with this news! I can’t help think that my purging from the registered to unregistered ranks was part of some greater maliciousness!! At the very least, my unregistering was clerical and administrative ineptitude but I can’t help but wonder what is going on!!

    I contacted the League of Women Voters and Congressman Kucinich’s office yesterday hoping someone can help me sort out whether it’s possible to confirm that my provisional vote was counted or not. I’d also like to know why my vote wasn’t counted if this is the case.

    Any comments or suggestions that could help me find out about my provisional ballot would be appreciated. I’d like to know whether others are having problems verifying provisional ballots in Ohio?

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my electoral frustrations. I’m glad there’s a place to go!

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