The question of Marc Dann's resigning or being forced out is the same in Ohio as it was in New York with Eliot Spitzer. It isn't about That Woman or other miscreants. It's about whether those two had been doing a good job, Dann at being the Buckeye's state Attorney General, and Spitzer at being the Empire State's Governor.
Watchers of both seem to answer that question no. Spitzer was wrong for a leadership position that required skills of persuasion and compromise. He had fared well through the power of subpoena but didn't seem able to transition to the requirements of working with an old-line legislature. Towards the end of his term in office, it seemed to be dawning on him that he had to change or fail. We never got the chance to witness which way it was going to go.
Dann, as lead paint watchers know, seemed to be not only a bad judge of people - e.g. those he hired as well as socialized and roomed with - but also of how to invest political capital. Early in his term he made two bad bets.
One was on "117." And he did that in a high-profile way. He was the one who argued in front of the OH Supreme Court that "117" was not a law. The OH SC disagreed.
Then he took on the cause of suing 10 former lead paint companies for being a public nuisance in the state. One of those companies - Sherwin-Williams - is a major employer and innovator in the the OH economy. This cause was and has not been not looking too good for the plaintiffs.
In Wisconsin, both the public nuisance - "City of Milwaukee v NL Industries" - and the personal injury - "Thomas" - were losses for the plaintiffs. Moreover, the Supreme Courts in New Jersey and Missouri also ruled against the plaintiffs and for the defendants. Yet, Dann continued with the suit. Atlantic Richfield had the suit moved to federal court. Dann fought that. He wanted it back in the state court. We are still waiting for a ruling from the federal court.
In both situations, this weakened the perception of Dann's political astuteness. Also, it raised the issue: Is this a Don Quixote tilting at windmills, on the taxpayers' dime?
There's more. Mirroring the strategies of upward-mobile state AGs - e.g. Spitzer, Sheldon Whitehouse and, yes, Bill Clinton - Dann was a busy bee aligning with other state AGs on high-profile multi-state lawsuits and investigations. Those included high-energy beer. Wasn't there plenty which Dann could have been doing in OH? His salary and benefits, paid by the state, shouldn't be used like a default campaign fund for his higher office.
So far, his track record seems subpar. He can change. That would be a plus to the state of OH and it would occur without his resignation or being forced out. However, the powers-that-be might not give him a second shot.
Having grown up in the machine politics of Jersey City [the mayor Frank Hague declared, "I am the boss."] I know there are myriad ways of encouraging an official to leave. Those range from other officials in the loop locking arms and nothing happens in that guy's office to threats to hang out even dirtier laundry. No where have I seen any pol able to buck the machine.
The decision whether Dann stays or goes is out of his hands.