This carefully-selected collection brings together his columns about the major figures, seminal events, and legends from 1969 through 2005. Leonard, the man with no agenda but the truth, covers campaigns and national political conventions, including the famous Democratic primary battles between John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum in the 1970s. Fully described is the era of the four-term Governor James A. Rhodes, who controlled the Ohio Republican Party for two decades.
Among the cast of characters are colorful lobbyist, Tom Dudgeon, who described the legislative process as “The Dance of the Stomping Buzzards,” state Senator Oakley Collins, a southern Ohioan who campaigned so enthusiastically that he “could dive into the Ohio River and shake three hands before he surfaced,” and Senator Tony Calabrese, a former nightclub bouncer from Cleveland, who told a nervous lobbyist: “Don’t worry. Once I’m bought, I stay bought.”
No one—I mean no one—knows more about the inner workings of Ohio politics than Lee Leonard. With clear vision and steadfast integrity he clears the political underbrush so that his readers get a real understanding of how their tax dollars are spent—and misspent.
—U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
LEE LEONARD is that rare observer—one with a real understanding and appreciation of the very imperfect people, processes, and politics that somehow makes the system work, in Columbus and in other state capitals as well. No journalist has covered the Statehouse as long and as faithfully as Leonard. His columns provide the best of reads for reviewing almost four decades of politics in Ohio; they reflect his discerning eye and critical judgment.
—Alan Rosenthal, Professor of Public Policy, Rutgers University
For those who follow Ohio politics—either closely or casually—Lee Leonard’s delightful collection of a lifetime of columns on the topic is an invaluable addition to understanding of this fascinating topic.
—Alexander P. Lamis, Case Western Reserve University, editor of Ohio Politics
About the Author
Lee Leonard covered the Ohio Statehouse for United Press International and the Columbus Dispatch until his retirement in 2005. He also wrote pieces for Columbus Monthly magazine, Ohio Magazine, and State Legislatures Magazine.