The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 12, 2012

Message, not money

Ex-Geneva attorney shuns cash, elected to Supreme Court

When William O’Neill took his first swing at the Geneva-on-the-Lake Golf Course on Sunday, he did it with 52 percent of the vote for Ohio Supreme Court justice, and like Frank Sinatra sang — he did it his way.

O’Neill, who began his legal career in Geneva and is now a Geauga County resident, is proud  — and he’ll tell anyone and everyone about it — that his victory over Justice Robert Cupp, a Republican, was earned, not bought.

“This year it came down to message, not money,” he said. “There was so much money being spent this year. If Justice Cupp had made his goal of raising $1 million, it wouldn’t have made a difference. It was the year of the message and I was able to get the message out.”

The message got out, but on O’Neill’s terms. He refused to take campaign contributions. He won his judgeship on $4,000 of his own money and with the slogan “no money from nobody.”

“I saw the perfect storm coming a full year ago,” he said. “I knew what was going to happen this year. This is the first year that Citizens United unleashed an unlimited supply of money and it came raining down on the voters and nobody was happy. The voters are unhappy with the barrage of negative ads they have been subjected to, and it didn’t win anyone a spot on the Ohio Supreme Court. I’ve said it all year — money and judges don’t mix. Never have, never will.”

O’Neill said Citizen’s United’s target was painted on his forehead this year.

“I was the was the direct target of $750,000 in negative TV ads, which blew up in their face,” he said. “Those so-called ‘influence ads’ didn’t influence anyone.”

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl