Mary Jo Kilroy
- 1 Early Life
- 2 National Lawyers Guild
- 3 The Free Press
- 4 Socialist support in School Board campaign
- 5 Democratic Socialists of America member
- 6 Center for Democratic Values conference
- 7 Working with Jobs with Justice
- 8 DSA support 2006
- 9 Voter fraud allegations
- 10 DSA support 2008
- 11 J Sreet endorsement
- 12 Abortion
- 13 Homeland Security
- 14 Supported by Council for a Livable World
- 15 Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban
- 16 Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
- 17 Kilroy on Obama
- 18 Mideast Congressional Mission
- 19 21st Century Democrats support
- 20 2012 run
- 21 Staff
- 22 External links
- 23 References
Mary Jo Kilroy is an attorney and socialist affiliated Democratic former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 15th district of Ohio. Kilroy served eight years on the Columbus Board of Education and the last six years as a Franklin County Commissioner. She is married to labor union lawyer Robert Handelman.
The daughter of a pipe-fitter and World War II veteran, Mary Jo attended Cleveland State University for her Bachelors Degree, and then The Ohio State University for her JD. Mary Jo married Robert Handelman and settled in Columbus, Ohio with their two daughters, Julia and Rosa. She spent a number of years working in the private sector as a partner at the Handelman and Kilroy Law Firm, until she left to run for County Commissioner.
National Lawyers Guild
The Free Press
- Editor Mary Jo Kilroy had the keenest sense of a good news story. While she was editor, the Free Press won the Jack T. McKowan award from the OSU school of journalism for a string of news breaking stories that appeared in the Free Press. These included publishing the police report that documented Buck Reinhardt’s molestation of his babysitter; the expose’ on the true, but undisclosed, drop-out rates in Columbus schools; and the lawn poisoning practices of the Chemlawn Corporation.
Mary Jo Kilroy was also a financial supporter of The Free Press. Advertisers who supported the paper through hard times included attorneys Jim McNamara, Gordon Hobson, John Marshall, Robert Handelman and Mary Jo Kilroy plus State Rep. Mike Stinziano.
During Kilroy's time with The Free Press, many of the paper's staff and volunteers were (and still are) members of the Democratic Socialists of America. the video at right shows an interview by French/US radical Noel Burch with The Free Press staffers Mary Jo Kilroy and DSA leader Robert Fitrakis sometime in the 1990s. The video reveals that The Free Press shares an office with the American Indian Movement and Democratic Socialists of America.
Kilroy makes it clear that she is promoting leftist views and is working for "real change".
Fitrakis has claimed that Kilroy was too moderate;
In fact, Kilroy was too cautious for his liking, which reportedly led to their falling out and her departure from the paper in 1995, when she was serving on the Columbus Board of Education.
Socialist support in School Board campaign
Democratic Socialists of America member
Attended high level DSA meeting
Mary Jo Kilroy was also named as a Democratic Socialists of America member in Democratic Left, July/August 1992, page 11, as part of a report on a D.S.A. National board meeting in Washington D.C.
The text indicates that Kilroy actually attended this high level D.S.A. meeting, which involved discussions on electoral organizing, strategies and tactics. Other attendees included Bob Fitrakis, a "DSAer" and Democratic Party Congressional candidate in Ohio, Paul Pinsky, a representative of the New Party and Howard Croft from the D.S.A. National Political Committee.
Center for Democratic Values conference
The Center for Democratic Values, the think-tank project of Democratic Socialists of America, held its first national conference, "Arguing with the Right," November 6-7 1997 at the Clarion Hotel Columbus Ohio, in conjunction with the DSA national convention.
The conference will include historical and analytical sessions, plus skills workshops for contesting the Right's current dominance of American political discussion.
1:30 Issue Workshops: The Right's Key Ideas and the Left's Responses
Working with Jobs with Justice
On Friday, May 16, 2003, Columbus Jobs with Justice participated in one of Columbus' first workers' rights delegations. A group of local labor, religious and community members (including County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, representatives from JwJ, the Central Labor Council, the Catholic Diocese, and a number of labor organizations) visited the corporate offices of the Kroger Corporation to ask for a visit with the president and to present a large signed poster demonstrating community support for truck drivers of Teamsters Local 413, who are in danger of losing their jobs. Kroger, a union shop where cashiers and others are represented by the UFCW, is considering giving the trucking contract to a non-unionized, low-paid owner-operator trucking firm in Texas.
DSA support 2006
- Former Representative, now Senator Sherrod Brown is the most visible symbol of this change...A longtime critic of “free trade” agreements, frequently characterized as far left and out ofthe mainstream, Brown handily defeated the relatively moderate but free-trade proponent Mike DeWine.
- Trade was also an issue in the narrow loss of Mary Jo Kilroy to Deborah Pryce. Local DSAers worked in both the Brown and Kilroy campaigns.
- Frank summarized DSA PAC work around Sanders. Nine house parties raised just over $30,000, and there will be five more. Nearly a thousand people have contributed either to DSA PAC or to Sanders. David Green told about Nancy Skinner’s house race in Michigan and Simone Morgen told about Mary Jo Kilroy’s house race in Ohio. DSA members in both places are interested and involved.
Mary Jo Kilroy of Columbus will be the first Democrat to represent any part of Franklin County in Congress since 1982, and the first to represent her 15th Congressional District since the 1960s.
Voter fraud allegations
- In 2006, Kilroy barely lost to incumbent Deb Pryce as thousands of contested provisional ballots went uncounted. Under then-Secretary Blackwell, voters in Democratic precincts were routinely challenged on minor details and forced to cast provisional ballots to allegedly be counted at a later time.
- But thousands were merely pitched in the trash or otherwise negated. Some 16,000 provisionals and 93,000 machine-rejected ballots have never been counted from a 2004 election decided by an official margin of less than 119,000 votes. Independent observers believe a fair vote count would have given Kilroy her House seat in 2006. Also in that election, e-voting machines had statistically unlikely high rates of undervotes in central city polls.
DSA support 2008
- In Columbus, Ohio, DSA members campaigned for both Obama and congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy, who, after a suspenseful count of provisional ballots was declared the winner in December, raising the Democrats’ majority in the House to 257.
J Sreet endorsement
Kilroy received $5000 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.
Kilroy has been and is an EMILY's List-supported candidate.
Mary Jo Kilroy serves on the Homealand Security Committee.
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Mary Jo Kilroy in her successful 2008 House of Representatives run as candidate for Ohio. She has also been previously supported by the Council.
The Council also supported Kilroy in her 2010 Congressional election campaign.
Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban
On Dec. 22, 2009, thirty-three U.S. Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to request that the Israeli Government end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank. Mary Jo Kilroy was one of the signatories of the letter. The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Mary Jo Kilroy was one of the signatories of the letter.  The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
Kilroy on Obama
Mideast Congressional Mission
In February 2010, the first JStreet-sponsored congressional mission toured Israel, Jordan and Palestinian-controlled areas. Five members of Congress participated in the tour; Lois Capps, Bill Delahunt, Bob Filner, Mary Jo Kilroy, and Donald Payne.
It was stated that the mission "will meet with Israeli government and opposition leaders as well as key regional leaders, including Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The delegation will travel widely in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan taking a close look at the situation on the ground through the eyes of policy makers and civil society leaders."
JStreet is a Jewish organization that, according to its website, "was founded to change the dynamics of American politics and policy on Israel and the Middle East".
21st Century Democrats support
21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Democratic Socialists of America affiliates, former Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".
The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.
- In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging – those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.
Kilroy was also supported in 2008.
In 2012, Mary Jo Kilroy ran for Congress in Ohio's 3rd district.
Endorsements / Supporters included;
- Women's Campaign Fund
- Amalgamated Transit Union
- Transportation Workers Union Local 208
- Recommended by the Central Ohio AFL-CIO
- Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council
- Somali Democrats of Ohio
- Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
- Blue America
- Plumbers and Pipefitters local 189
- Sheet Metal Workers local 124
- People For the American Way
- Iron Workers Local 172
- Outlook Magazine
- J Street
- Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown
- Democracy for America
- Progressive Change Campaign Committee
- NOW - National Organization of Women
- The Humane Society Legislative Fund
The following have worked as staff members for Mary Jo Kilroy:
- Thomas Elmer Anfinson
- Susan Anfinson
- Thomas Edward Anfinson
- Babatunde S. Aremu
- Steven R. Barker
- Colleen J. Bell
- Randall S. Borntrager
- Andrea S. Clark
- Noah C. Cuttler
- Jamison Dague
- Devon Damiano
- Keith C. Dyer
- Nicholas S. Ferrara
- Kirsten R. Fraser
- Kathleen T. Greene
- Ryan L. Halterman
- Samantha Lummus Herd
- Peter F. Judge
- Jennifer A. Keaton
- Madeleine J. Lovette
- Tasha D. Manoranjan
- Colin Masters
- Douglas R. Matties
- Joshua Rosenblum
- Ashley J. Senn
- Paul J. Tencher
- Sharon H. Whitten
- Kilroy for Congress website: About Mary Jo
- Columbus Dispatch, The (OH) - Friday, March 11, 1988
- Democratic Left, November/December 1992, page 9
- J Street 2008 Annual Report
- CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
- CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
- CLW website. Meet the Candidates, accessed Dec. 31, 2010
- John Dingell's House website: Letter to Hillary Clinton, Dec. 22, 2009
- The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
- JTA website: J Street sends first Mideast congressional mission, Feb. 15, 2010
- KeyWiki: JStreet
- 21st Century Democrats website, About us]
- 21st Century Democrats 2012 bio
- kilroy campaign website, accessed May 21, 2012,
- Legistorm: Mary Jo Kilroy (accessed on Aug. 24, 2010)