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This Will Be on the Test

The city’s hottest political blogger, the brain behind Political Science 216, thrives on scandal and fights predatory lenders with a Blues Brothers-inspired move. We have just one question: Who is he? 
By Erick Trickey
“Political Science 216 is your official site for the Marc Dann Resignation Watch,” the anonymous blogger declared on April 6.

That day, The Columbus Dispatch had revealed the sexual harassment scandal in the Ohio attorney general’s office. “I say he’ll be out of office by May 1st,” The Professor prognosticated. Dann quit May 14.

Now, The Professor is at it again. When the FBI raided Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora’s office and home in July, The Professor posted a Dimora Resignation Watch by nightfall. Soon, he was illustrating his Dimora posts with photos of Star Wars’ Jabba the Hutt.

The Professor does what great bloggers do: He fires off quick, humorous, angry comments and predicts the implications of current events in ways careful reporters can’t. In a local blogosphere filled with activists and wonks, Political Science 216 (politicalscience216.blogspot.com) is the funniest, most entertaining and readable politics Web site in town.

But who is The Professor? We can’t ask him in person — can’t even get him on the phone. He’s the Cleveland version of Joe Klein, the Time writer who anonymously penned Primary Colors, a semifictional novel about Bill and Hillary Clinton, and kept the secret for a year and a half. A pen name means freedom, The Professor explains.

“You know who would have been the first anonymous blogger? Ben Franklin,” he e-mails. “Instead, he wrote anonymous articles for newspapers. ... He was more effective because he was anonymous. He could say whatever the hell he wanted.”

Check back Oct. 1 for the complete story


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