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Grudge Match

Dems claim PD thinks they're morons.


Last week, Democratic statehouse leaders accused The Plain Dealer's editorial board of nursing a grudge against them.

In a letter to editorial chief Brent Larkin, Senators C.J. Prentiss and Teresa Fedor objected to two recent shots. One piece was ostensibly about the hypocrisy of self-styled reformers giving the vacated Senate seat of Attorney General-elect Marc Dann to shopping mall heiress Capri Cafaro. Implication: After two failed congressional runs, they had to throw her a bone to keep her money flowing.

Yet in an odd digression, the piece swerved out of its way to bash Fedor -- recently elected Senate Democratic Leader -- as "lightly regarded" by colleagues.

This wasn't the first time the donkey caucus got a Gordie Howe elbow from The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper. In a recent piece praising Senator Eric Fingerhut, The PD implied that the rest of the Dems are not particularly "bright" -- pretty much a lock bet when referring to any state official.

But Democrats are now taking umbrage to the hits, though they're having a hard time spelling it. "We don't know where it came from," says spokeswoman Amanda Conn, who adds that Fedor wants a meeting with the paper's editorial board. "We just want to open the channels of communication and let them know what we've done."

Yet Larkin makes no apologies for the characterizations. In a year when Democrats won across the land, the Ohio caucus saw only modest gains.

"Lo and behold, those geniuses in the Ohio Senate picked up one seat," Larkin says. "I rest my case."

Hooker Day
If your life -- or your genitals -- has ever been touched by a prostitute, be sure to pay your respects on December 17, the annual memorial day for hookers.

Vanessa Forro, a former call girl, organized the vigil to honor murdered prostitutes -- those who have gone down, so to speak, in the line of duty. Her demonstration is part of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, which started in 2003 after the notorious Green River killer, Gary Ridgway, was convicted of murdering enough women to fill a telephone book in Seattle.

The victims "often get forgotten because they're prostitutes," says Forro.

She's learned some lessons since the last vigil in 2004, where only six people showed up at Public Square. "Not a lot of people want to stand there and listen to talking about prostitutes dying and stuff," she says, "especially around the holiday season."

That's why Forro has moved this year's memorial to a "more appropriate" location at West 44th and Lorain. Note to all johns: The ladies won't be working that night.

File it under "lame"
Robert Holloway, former principal at St. Anthony of Padua in Lorain, has been accused of, um, kissing the feet of three students.

Holloway claims he's innocent of any sexual weirdness. He told police that he'd simply lost a bet over a student-teacher volleyball game. And being the stand-up guy he is, he paid up by kissing the students' feet 50 times and paying them each $15.

Unfortunately, his alibi became somewhat suspect when police found foot fetish material on his office computers.

A whore for the road
With a month left in the Reign of Error, statehouse Republicans are scrambling to do their final whoring.

Earlier this year, the state of Rhode Island won a landmark case against Sherwin-Williams and two other companies, who were found liable for creating a "public nuisance" with their lead paint, which ended up poisoning thousands of kids long after the companies knew it was dangerous. So they were ordered to fund a multibillion-dollar clean-up of lead-laden homes ("The Poison Kids," August 16). Now Toledo, Lancaster, and East Cleveland are suing as well.

Enter state Representative Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), the man who brought you the gay marriage ban. While Seitz worried a great deal about protecting kids from committed, loving homos, poisoning them is all right by him. He's pushing legislation that would clarify Ohio law, making it impossible to sue the paint-makers. "We're trying to be proactive," he says.

And since Sherwin-Williams CEO Chris Connor gave $15,500 to Republican candidates in this year's election, he's purchased a good chunk of proactivity.

Kent State: Barely cool
The Daily Kent Stater decided to survey students on a most pressing issue: whether or not they consider the university to be cool.

According to its very scientifical analysis, which tallied the feelings of anyone who bothered to respond, approximately 48 percent say the school's "cool," while 41 percent find it "uncool." Eleven percent are "undecided."

Pollsters say the margin of error was 163 percent.

Record-breaking drunk
It may have taken almost 30 years, but Jess Brown is on the verge of breaking Ohio's record for most DUI convictions.

It all started in 1977, when he earned his first pinch in Barberton. Brown apparently knew early on that he had a gift for driving poorly while hammered. Since then, he's knocked down 18 convictions from Akron to Parma and has had his license suspended at least 35 times.

Last week, he appeared in Barberton Municipal Court for his 19th DUI charge. The case was moved to Summit County, where he has yet another pending DUI case. If convicted of both, he'll be the first Ohioan to break the 20 threshold.

Friends expect him to celebrate by getting really hammered and weaving his car into the cereal aisle at Giant Eagle.

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