Ohio can do better than O’Neill

Ohio Democrats have a wide field of candidates from whom to choose in deciding their candidate for governor next year. One has given them an excellent reason to cross his name off their lists.

State Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill had a strange way of reacting to recent controversy over politicians and sexual harassment and/or outright abuse of women.

Last week, O’Neill, launched what he claimed was a pre-emptive strike against attention to his own past. He told The Associated Press that, “as a governor candidate, I assume I am the next target of the media frenzy.”

O’Neill used Facebook to post a claim that, during his life, he has been “sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females.” One was “a gorgeous blonde” with whom he engaged in sex in a hayloft, O’Neill wrote. Another was a “drop dead gorgeous redhead” from Cleveland.

“I figure, let’s just get it out … right here and now,” the justice said of his posting.

What annoyed some observers was not O’Neill’s egomaniacal bragging. It was that his attitude suggests he equates very active sexual activity with the harassment and abuse for which some politicians have come under fire.

To be clear, there have been no reports O’Neill engaged in such behavior.

But his attitude inflamed some people. Among them was state Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “No words can convey my shock,” she said in a statement released to the press. “This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”

Others have suggested O’Neill should step down from the state’s highest court.

Regardless of whether he resigns, however, his candidacy for governor ought to be doomed. Surely Ohioans can do better in selecting a Democratic nominee for governor.