By completely ignoring the pleas of thousands of payday loan borrowers, putting 6000 Ohioans out of a job during a recession, and costing the Ohio economy millions of dollars, I hereby sentence the Gov. Strickland and the Ohio Legislature to Civil Disobedience Torture.

That’s right, since Ohio’s politicians decided to act in their own best interest and ignore the people who placed them in Columbus, they now must be made aware of the cost of their actions.  This call goes out to all Ohioans, because the legislators have shown total disregard and utter contempt for all of you.

Your primary targets are Governor Strickland, House Speaker John Husted, Rep. Chris Widener, and Senate President Bill Harris.  All of these men are guilty of not only ignoring incessant constituent pleas, but for lying to the faces of store owners by telling them they wouldn’t support a ban.  Your secondary targets are all legislators who voted for HB 545.

Let’s be clear that I am not advocating violence of any kind, and that some of these tactics may risk arrest.  But hey – if you don’t make their lives miserable, they won’t get the message.

Your tactics are as follows.  Find your local legislator and see if they voted for the bill. If so, you’ll first want to find their home address and phone number.   March in a tight group back and forth across their driveway, making it difficult for them to enter and exit.

Do the same at their local office, and their office at the capitol.

Call them in the middle of the night asking if they will give you a loan at 28% interest if you give them a post-dated check.   Block your caller ID by hitting *67 first.  If it were me, I’d find a way to stick a fish under their car.  But hey, that’s me.

Call their local office every day asking for a loan.  A few thousand calls should make it clear that since they took away your best option, they are responsible for finding you a better one.

Learn where your representative hangs out.  If you encounter them in, say, the local supermarket, greet them in a very loud voice and say, “Hi, Representative X, since you banned payday loans, I can’t buy groceries for my family, can you loan me some money?!  You won’t?!”  Start to cry.  Break down.  Wail loudly.   The one thing politicians don’t want is a scene involving them so they’ll probably run away.  That’s good.  Now you can tell the media that they turned their back on you – again – when you needed them at the market.

Visit their local office.  Bring friends.  Bring a really smelly lunch, like tuna or bacon or durian or Stinking Bishop cheese.  Stay there a really long time, but be sure you are conducting legal business.   Let the stink filter through the whole place.  (If it were me, I’d put a fish in the ventilation intake, but hey – that’s me).  If you see your representative while you’re there, ask him for a loan in a really loud voice.   He’ll refuse.  See supermarket example above for what to do next.

Send a pound of nuts to each politican’s office, so you can say, “You were NUTS to pass the payday loan bill”, or “NUTS to you, Senator, for turning your back on the people”, or “We are going to drive you NUTS until you repeal HB 545”.

But the real key is to make their re-election campaigns a living nightmare.  Remember, that’s what they want the most – to retain power so they can screw you over again.  The first thing you need to do is find a great candidate to run against the offending politician in your district.  There are plenty of good, honest people out there.  You may even be one of them.   Find that candidate and work for them!  District elections are small enough that real effort can produce real results.   This is the most effective thing you can do.

Disrupt the offending politician’s events.  At town hall meetings, show up in large groups.  Shout down the politician whenever he tries to talk.   His audience needs to know what he did to the little guy.  You do this one protester at a time, because each person will probably be removed after the shout-down.   But an endless supply of protesters will make it a short evening!  Of course, once things quiet down, someone can ask him allllll about why he voted to ban payday loans and challenge him on it repeatedly.

Signs, protests, disruptions – these are the hallmarks of the civil disobedient and you must use them to maximum effect during election season.  Get the message out:  your candidate will listen while the incumbent has already proven he doesn’t.

On Election Day, stand just beyond the limit where electioneering is prohibited with signs protesting the offending politician.  The more the merrier.

Most effective, however, will be your internet campaign.  The internet is great.  You can say so many wonderful things on the internet and, in most cases, do so with complete anonymity.  For example, setting up a website with the title  “John Husted is a ________”
(Be creative!) and writing anything you want about him can be loads of fun.  The more of these websites that spring up, the better.  Google can be a terrible thing when someone does a search for, say, Rep. Widener and they find the  page “Rep. Widener sleeps with _______”.

Or you could just tell the truth – that these men and women have earned the scorn of every right-thinking Ohioan for saying, “We do not care about you.  We only care about ourselves”.

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