Look at the recent Daily Bits on the website. Studying US History in Texas, California, and everywhere else, Donald Trump is not the only one.

Political Note #264        Mike Larsen OH CD 04

2020                                  General Election

Mike Larsen https://www.ohiomike2020.com/ is taking on one of the toughest and most interesting tasks of 2020. He is running against Jim Jordan, Donald Trump’s shirtsleeved defender. Jim Jordan may be the most abrasive of Trump acolytes we see all too often.

Jim Jordan is a tough little guy. He was a wrestler in high school and college. Four time state high school champion, twice Division 1 NCAA champion at 134 pounds for Wisconsin. He lost in the semifinals to represent the US in the 1988 Olympics at 62 KG (just under 137 pounds) – still quite an accomplishment. A wrestler as successful as Jordan needs toughness and tenacity.

Despite getting a law degree, Jordan worked as an Assistant Coach for the Ohio State wrestling team. Then he put his toughness and tenacity to work in politics. He was elected as a state Rep in 1994, to the state Senate in 2000, and to the US Congress in 2006. He was at Ohio State at a time of scandal. The team physician, who committed suicide, has been accused of sexually abusing more than 50 members of the Ohio State wrestling team. Jim Jordan knows nothing. He says. He insists. Had he known something, wouldn’t he have exercised his tenacity to protect his wrestlers?

He is pugnacious in the defense of Donald Trump. He was assigned temporarily to the House Intelligence Committee so he could participate in the impeachment process. Judiciary Chair Jerold Nadler described Jordan’s tweet that he “jumps to Tom $teyer’s [impeachment] conclusion” as inane and, for the use of the dollar sign as part of the name of a Jewish man in a tweet about another Jewish man, anti-Semitic. Jordan claimed that impeachment hearing witness Lt. Col Alexander Vindman has been accused of leaking classified documents while serving as a National Security Advisor. Jordan also claimed that Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine William B Taylor’s responses during the impeach hearing were too convoluted to understand. Jessica Mendoza of the Christian Science Monitor described these false claims as wrestler’s approach to interrogation. That would be defamation of wrestlers.

Jordan described himself in a tweet as “proudly serving Ohio’s beautiful fourth district.” Beautiful if you like ducks. The district, which extends from outside of Columbus (home of Ohio State) to Lake Erie west of Cleveland, looks like a very long-billed duck. A panel of three federal judges declared this district, designed to be a rural as it could conceivably be, to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered and required that it be redrawn before the 2020 election. That is not going to happen. Not since the US Supreme Court ruled that gerrymandering that wasn’t’ explicitly for a racial purpose was none of their business.

Jordan has been able to win election to this super rural district by two to one margins. Can he do the same at this controversial time against a candidate who brings resources, past success, and his own version of toughness and tenacity to the match?

Mike Larsen is a big guy, 6’2”, and tough, in an entirely different way from Jordan. He succeeded in the toughest arena of show business – stand up comedy. He is California guy in Ohio. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University, a political science major, and was a success working crowds for fifteen years. He has been a success working crowds for much longer.

Mike Larsen snuck in some other show business work while doing stand up. He did comedy writing for television. Then producing.   He produced the Drew Carey Show for ABC. He was the executive producer or Co-Executive Produce for Two Guys & a Girl for ABC, for Sabrina the Teenage Witch for CW and then, in New York, for Whoopi on NBC.

Comic, writer, and producer. Preparation for politics? Divers ways of working crowds. Mike Larsen maintained his interest in politics. In 2008 he became the Communications director for San Francisco area Congresswoman Jackie Speier. Three years of that, then back to his old work. He wrote for Bill Maher and was Executive Producer for Disney’s Crash & Bernstein.

How does a California guy wind up in Ohio.  Mike Larsen wound up in the least Hollywood sounding city in Ohio, maybe the least Hollywood sounding city in the entire country. Plain City, Ohio. Plain City could be the name for a sit-com. Unbelievable.

Mike Larsen took time during his career to be a do-gooder as well as a Democrat. He worked with prisoners in San Quentin who wanted to write. He worked with victims of sexual abuse in the military so that they could tell their stories to Congress. He also found time to meet and marry his second wife.

Tina Gasbarra is the Ohio person. She grew up in Ohio and is a graduate of Ohio’s Wright State University, the least expensive of Ohio’s state colleges. She became an actress. Met Mike Larsen on the set of a TV show in 2001. They married and eventually made Plain City their home. Or at least their base of operations. She has had growing success as an actress, but if you look her up on Linked In, you find Tina Marie Larsen. Her job as described on Linked-In — the Executive Assistant to the Executive. If Mike Larsen hadn’t decided to run for Congress, they could be living a plain life in Plain City.

In 2018, he stuck his nose in politics again. He worked on Janet Garrett’s campaign against Jim Jordan. He got her a lot of press, a lot of news placements, and helped raise a lot of money. But they did not make a dent in Jim Jordan’s vote count.

Mike Larsen decided to do it himself. Is he too Hollywood for Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District? Maybe not. His show business skill was communicating with everyday people. He did stand up all over the country, not just on the West Coast or the East Coast. He made television shows for everyone. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is not a television show for the elite. He is comfortable talking with autoworkers, with farmers. He talks about the teachers he had when he was young, the nuns at St. Roberts. He is determined to bring blue collars back to the Ohio Democratic Party.

Help Mike Larsen https://www.ohiomike2020.com/ defeat Jim Jordan. Defeating Jim Jordan is part of defeating Donald Trump. Funnier. No matter who gets the Democratic nomination he or she will not be as funny as Mike Larsen. After all, Al Franken will not be on the ticket.

Make a donation. See if there is a way to volunteer. Expand the Democratic majority in the House. Change the world. Support Mike Larsen.

Below are Congressional seats Democrats are trying to flip from incumbent Republicans. The ones with asterisks ran in 2018*


California 50                     Ammar Campa-Hajjar* to win this now open Rep seat

Florida 16                           Margaret Good to beat incumbent Vern Buchanan

Illinois 13                            Betsy D Londrigen* to beat incumbent Rodney Davis

Indiana 05                          Christina Hale to win this open Republican seat

Iowa 04                               JD Scholten* to beat incumbent Steve King

Michigan 06                      Jon Hoadley to beat incumbent Fred Upton

Minnesota 01                   Dan Feehan* to beat incumbent Jim Hagedorn

New York 21                     Tedra Cobb* to beat incumbent Elise Stefanic

Ohio 04                             Mike Larsen to bean incumbent Jim Jordan

Pennsylvania 10               Eugene DePasquale to beat incumbent Scott Perry

Texas 23                             Gina Ortiz Jones* to win this open Republican seat

Washington 03                 Carolyn Long* to beat incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler


Starting tomorrow, if you are eligible, you can vote in an entirely different election. If you are eligible, you can vote a slate of candidates for the World Zionist Convention.

To be eligible.

  • You have to be 18 years old before January 21, 2020.
  • You have to be Jewish. That is, tou have to self-identify as Jewish.
  • You have to feel a connection to Israel, be opposed to anti-Semitism, andsupport the idea of Israel as a democratic state and as a haven for Jews.
  • You have to pay $7.50 to vote. This supports the cost of an independent agency that operates and oversees the election.

You can give Zionism a progressive voice. Vote for the slate supported by ARZA (Reform and Progressive Zionists). ARZA organized in 2015 and won nearly 40% of the voting delegates. It was the largest bloc at the World Zionist Congress.

Voting begins on January 21 and continues until Purim in March. Go to https://arza.org/. ARZA will help you vote for its slate.