Steve Christopher wants to take on Mike DeWine in the Republican primary for state attorney general. He claims that he filed petitions with 2,750 signatures at the Secretary of State's office and somehow, before they could be conveyed to the county boards to be validated, that office lost some 2,000 signatures — counting only 788, of which 638 were validated. He’s threatening legal action, claiming he has the receipt for the 2,750 signatures. But candidates themselves fill in the number prior to the signatures actually being counted, so that proves nothing.

Christopher has posted five sets of files on his website — four containing photocopies of 25 petitions, one of 15. Each petition has space for 27 signatures, potentially more than 3,000 total. But a count of just one of his files shows less than 200 signatures on the 25 petitions. Several petitions have only one signature. A quick scan reveals the other files contain a large number of similar petitions with only one, two or three signatures. The petitions also have numerous crossed-out signatures. In posting these files, Christopher has definitively disproved his own case. And this guy wants to be the state’s top lawyer?

The whole thing smells like a yet another transparent attempt to smear Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for partisan gain. A group called the “Ohio Liberty Council” is spearheading the charges and appears to be supporting Traci "TJ" Johnson as well (anyone still think she might not be a Republican stalking horse?). The Ohio Liberty Council describes itself as "a statewide coalition of nonpartisan groups in Ohio including Buckeye Firearms Association, Central Ohio 9/12 Project, Cincinnati 9/12 Project, Cincinnati Tea Party, Young Americans for Liberty-OSU, Dayton Tea Party and the Ohio Freedom Alliance.”

Can’t get more nonpartisan than the Tea Party!

Meanwhile, Republican State Senator Tim Grendell, apparently not recognizing a pile of horse manure when he’s about to step in it, has called for an investigation — not of whether Christopher has any valid grounds for his claim, but into the actions of the Secretary of State’s office. Senator, may we suggest heading over to Christopher’s website and having a look at the petitions yourself? — Anastasia Pantsios

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