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Ohio Democratic Officials Step Down Over Strippers’ Ass Flashing at Golf Outing

PORT CLINTON, Ohio [The Toledo Blade] — Intentions to resign by Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman John Irish and Dominic Montalto, the county party’s executive director, were announced last week following a strategy session in a Fremont restaurant.

The meeting was held to discuss fall-out from attendance and actions by strippers at a recent golf fund-raiser for the party.

Chris Redfern, the state Democratic Party chairman, said Mr. Irish tendered his resignation even before they sat down in the Bob Evans restaurant on State Rt. 53, chosen as the meeting point to be convenient for Mr. Redfern, who works in Columbus and lives in Port Clinton.

While Mr. Irish had resisted calls for his resignation for several days, saying as recently as Wednesday that he would not step down immediately, Mr. Redfern credited Mr. Irish with making the right decision today.

“It showed leadership on the chairman’s part to recognize that the buck stops with him as chairman of the Lucas County party, and it was time to move on and let new blood come into the party and lead the party forward,” Mr. Redfern said.

Mr. Redfern said he was not aware during the meeting that Mr. Montalto had also agreed to step down, but was assured by Mr. Irish that it would occur, and said it was essential that he do so.

Dennis Duffey, chairman of the county party’s central committee, becomes chairman of the county party when Mr. Irish’s resignation takes effect.

Employees of several area strip clubs worked as hostesses in the June 29 fund-raiser at Spuyten Duyval golf course, and one of them was reported to have exposed her breasts, and then her buttocks, to golfers on the course’s seventh tee.

Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, who was the first to disclose details of the strippers’ presence at the golf outing, said: “It’s time for the party to look forward and not backward. It’s time to unite and heal, and this is a step in the right direction.”

“Their decision to have strippers at a Democratic Party fund-raiser is what led to them stepping down,” he said. “It was never about me, and it was never about A-team versus B-team politics. It was about their decision to have strippers at a party function.”

Mr. Redfern said he hoped the resignations would help the Lucas County party put the golf-outing imbroglio behind it — with the state party’s assistance. He announced that the state organization will establish a Toledo office immediately, instead of waiting until January when it would ordinarily do so in preparation for the 2008 presidential election.

“Effective immediately, the state party is instituting an assessment and evaluation of the Lucas County Democratic party — past, present, and future,” Mr. Redfern said. The regional office, he said, “will provide a good presence both literally and figuratively, of the state party.”

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