Ohioan shares tales from cam­paign trails

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state - By Joe Hal­lett True Tales from The Cam­paign Trail: Sto­ries Only Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­tants Can Tell. Mr. Chair­man: The Life and Times of Ray C. Bliss. Ohio in Pho­to­graphs: A Por­trait of The Buck­eye State. Joe Hal­lett is re­tired Dis­patch se­nior edi­tor.

Ev­ery dime Jerry Austin col­lected for the prospec­tive pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Sen. Ed­ward “Ted” Kennedy at the 1968 Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in Chicago ended up go­ing for bail.

Un­til then, Austin had suf­fered through a nom­i­nee iden­tity cri­sis, first supporting Min­nesota Sen. Eu­gene McCarthy, then be­com­ing a driver for South Dakota Sen. Ge­orge McGovern’s cam­paign, and fi­nally be­ing per­suaded by his friend Richard F. Ce­leste to sup­port Kennedy.

In short order at the con­ven­tion, Austin raised $10,000 for Kennedy, who abruptly pulled out, leav­ing Austin and Ce­leste lit­er­ally with a garbage can full of money. Their re­course: con­trib­ute it to a bail fund for thou­sands of jailed pro­test­ers.

Austin re­counts this ad­ven­ture and oth­ers in his new book,

Pub­lished by the Univer­sity of Akron Press, it fea­tures 86 chap­ters writ­ten by 30 na­tional po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tants.

Austin will sign copies of the book at the State­house Mu­seum Shop on Wed­nes­day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The “Taste of Ohio” event also will fea­ture for­mer State­house re­porter Wil­liam Her­shey and Univer­sity of Akron po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist John Green sign­ing their new book,

Also at the book-sign­ing event will be Ian Adams and Ran­dall Lee Schieber with their book,

Austin is best known for help­ing Ce­leste twice win elec­tion as Ohio’s gov­er­nor and for man­ag­ing Jesse Jack­son’s 1988 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

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