Title Thumbnail

Plain Dealing

Ohio Politics and Journalism Viewed from the Press Gallery

Richard Zimmerman

130 pages
The Kent State University Press

A collection of political remembrances from a longtime Statehouse and Washington bureau reporter

Son of an Ohio Supreme Court Justice and longtime political reporter, Rick Zimmerman presents Ohio politics from the inside. He began learning about Ohio politics and politicians as a young boy, sitting at the dinner table presided over by his father, Judge Charles Ballard Zimmerman. The author says his “father was a Democrat of sorts, but identified with the Jeffersonian wing of the party. In short, he was a conservative and a favorable mention of Franklin Roosevelt was practically banned in our house.” Yet, in spite of these philosophical leanings, the elder Zimmerman was truly nonpartisan as far as his political tales were concerned, with an opinion about most political leaders from both parties, that were for the most part negative, a “perspective which my later critics likely would suggest I inherited,” contends Zimmerman.

In the same way his father entertained with his reminiscences, author Rick Zimmerman tells stories of and on Ohio’s politicians and their machinations, including governors (James Rhodes and Mike DiSalle), senators, and congressmen. His discussions of Watergate, his African sabbatical, and the National Press Club and reflections on the state of journalism are refreshing, witty, and insightful. Plain Dealing is an engaging memoir that doubles as an irreverent look at Ohio’s political history.

Author Bio
The late Richard G. Zimmerman was a freelance writer who lived in Washington, D.C. He was bureau chief and national correspondent in Washington, D.C., for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Ohio State-house correspondent and columnist for a chain of newspapers in Ohio. He is also the author of Call Me Mike: A Political Biography of Michael V. DiSalle (The Kent State University Press, 2003).