Topic: Ohio Politics

The financial wizardry of Sherrod Brown

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I was just checking the latest posts over at Ace of Spades HQ and saw the following. Click it to zoom in:

Sherrod Brown advertises on conservative blog


My own senior U.S. Senator, the radically left-wing utopian Sherrod Brown, apparently thinks it's a smart move to spend campaign funds on ads at conservative blogs. This genius has already shown that he's supremely confident in his ability to spend your money better than you can, since he's delighted to grow every conceivable government program or entitlement you can dream up (except for national defense, which he'd like to gut). Is it any surprise that he's equally profligate when it comes to spreading around that sweet, sweet union cash?

Let me know when his challenger Josh Mandel starts buying ads on Democratic Underground, won't you? I'll try my best not to hold my breath while I wait.

Barack Obama and Sherrod Brown

Turnout for today's election

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According to the poll workers at my little precinct, where I'm routinely the last voter of the day, today's turnout was 675, with 176 voting absentee. That's high for an off-year election. It just keeps going up every time.

What is Ohio's Issue 3 all about?

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Here it is in a nutshell:

Do you want to keep health care decisions between patients and doctors, and not politicians and bureaucrats? Do you want the freedom to choose the care and insurance that best fits your own needs? If so, vote yes on Issue 3, the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment.

Unless Issue 3 passes, this is what your health care system will look like.


And no, you will not get to keep your private insurance, because all private insurance plans will be crowded out by the government. You will be forced to join Obamacare if Issue 3 is defeated. If Issue 3 passes, we have a chance to defeat Obamacare and preserve your control over your relationship with your doctor, your insurer, and your employer.

Why vote "yes" on Ohio's Issue 2?

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Government employee unions are inherently corrupt, and they don't care that cities across Ohio are going broke under the weight of pensions and health care expenses demanded by fat cat union bosses. Don't fall for the myths they spread about the supposed evils of Issue 2. Don't accept their dishonest scare tactics blindly and emotionally without thinking it all the way through.

Here are five good reasons to vote yes in tomorrow's election:

  1. Strengthening Communities
  2. Safer Neighborhoods
  3. Rewarding Our Best Teachers
  4. Giving Teachers a Choice
  5. Restoring Power to Taxpayers

If Issue 2 fails to pass, you're going to feel it in your wallet (an average of $6150 for each Ohioan), and you're going to see it in layoffs of police, firemen, EMS crews, and teachers (because without Issue 2, cities cannot afford to employ them all).


Here's the text of Issue 2 (which is technically a Referendum on Senate Bill 5):

Ohio's new congressional district map

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In what alternate universe does this gerrymandered monstrosity fit within the definition of "representative government?"

Ohio's gerrymandered 2011 congressional districts


I'd much prefer something objective and unbiased like this:

Ohio districts drawn with shortest splitline algorithm


Here's the text of Issue 2 (which is technically a Referendum on Senate Bill 5):

We are The Prog

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Take a gander at what I found in the sidebar over at The Communist Party of Ohio ProgressOhio (click to enlarge):

We are The Prog


These mindless, emoting drones are living parodies. The gags write themselves.

Sherrod Brown on balanced budgets

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1995:


November 1, 2006:


2011:

Sherrod Brown supports a Balanced Budget Amendment in 2011

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July 22 Update: He voted "no" on Cut, Cap & Balance. The alternate plan offered by Senator Brown and his fellow Democrats is ...

blank paper


He's home for the weekend; let him know your thoughts.

Josh Mandel, fan of ... Al Gore?

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Good catch by the Coughlin campaign. This is going to require a solid explanation.

Josh Mandel & Al Gore in 2000   Josh Mandel & Al Gore in 2000

A recent panicky fundraising e-mail from Ohio's senior U.S. Senator failed the smell test.

Mediscare

There will be more of this Mediscare nonsense. Much more.

Senator Jim DeMint's very influential PAC -- about as close to a RINO-hunting anti-GOP-establishment Tea Party presence as you're likely to see in the Senate -- just went all in with a great guy and true conservative with whom I went to law school. Please help Josh Mandel become Ohio's next U.S. Senator by clicking on the image and making a contribution.

Josh Mandel


This is the SCF's first endorsement of the 2012 season, and since they helped put Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in the Senate in 2010, incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown can't be very happy about this.

Who scares Sherrod Brown?

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This fundraising message that hit my inbox today should give you some idea.

Sherrod Brown is worried by Josh Mandel


Ohio's senior U.S. Senator sounds worried to me.

Go to the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts and look up case number CR-11-548100-A. The full name of the case is State of Ohio vs. Thomas Ganley. This is what you're looking for:

screenshot of Tom Ganley criminal case

The Ohio GOP really needs to do a better job of recruiting candidates to unseat Betty Sutton.

Make it a Black Swan Event

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Ohio Congressional Districts 2009I've never met Congresswoman Betty Sutton, my Representative here in Ohio's 13th District. Every time I hear her on the radio or see her on TV, she comes across as a mild-mannered, pleasant person. I am convinced that she truly believes she's doing what's best for America. If she and I found ourselves at the same dinner table I'm confident that we could chat easily and cheerily about the travails of the Cleveland Browns, the latest news of our respective families, and what works best for keeping rabbits and deer out of a flower bed. I have absolutely no reason to think ill of her personally, and I'll bet she's a loving wife, a sweet daughter, a good neighbor, and a responsible and caring pet owner.

Betty Sutton is also a radical leftist.

To put her views in context, first go take a look at her very close friend and trusted colleague Jan Schakowsky. No, really. Go look, and then come back here.

Republican nominees for the U.S. House Tom Ganley (OH-13) and Peter Corrigan (OH-10) will be on the Bob Frantz Show this evening, starting at 7 PM. Ganley's challenging incumbent Betty Sutton (D), and Corrigan's challenging incumbent Dennis Kucinich (D).

[[[   UPDATE: Both candidates will be taking listener questions at (216) 578-1100 or -1111   ]]]


Try catching the broadcast on the WTAM webcam, or just tune in to the station's 50,000 watt blowtorch at 1100 on your AM dial. Bob Frantz's e-mail address is bob@wtam.com, and he's on Twitter at @Frantz_WTAM.

Betty Sutton

Video: Evil Rich People

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These are the dastardly sneaky skunks who Betty Sutton and friends want to punish:


In other words, she wants to punish the people who employ three out of four small business employees. Guess what will inevitably result when those small business owners get hammered by Congress? They'll be forced to cut payrolls.

J-O-B-S, right, Betty? Way to "protect the little guy."

No wonder Lee Fisher's going to lose

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He can't answer straightforward questions:

Would domestic offshore drilling increase the supply of oil? Would building more oil refineries increase the supply of gasoline? Would drilling in ANWR increase the supply of oil?


Weasel. Those weren't difficult questions. Chime in any time, Rob Portman.

I wonder if Senator Brown's successor in the U.S. House, Betty Sutton, will take his advice and run on Obamacare, the GM bailout, the Chrysler bailout, the government takeover of the student loan industry, and the rest of the Democrat Party record? Or will she continue to flail around and dishonestly sling mud?

Click any of these memory-jogging graphics for more information on that Democrat record that Sherrod Brown's so proud of:

unemployed over 26 weeks as of June 2010

scary chart

When you can't generate grassroots volunteer support (look at the crowds!) by running on your record, you just hire people and fake it. Right, Betty?

Subject: DCCC Hiring in Summit and Lorain County
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 22:44:20 -0400
From: Cratic@DCCC.ORG
To: Cratic@DCCC.ORG


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hiring in Ohio's 13th Congressional race.

Democratic campaign hiring paid canvassers to help drive voter participation in Summit and Lorain Counties. We are seeking energetic and committed applicants with experience volunteering or working on electoral campaigns to work alongside a seasoned team of campaign professionals.

LORAIN COUNTY INTERVIEWS, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH, NOON TO 6PM.
115 Cedar Street
Elyria, OH

SUMMIT COUNTY INTERVIEWS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1AT, NOON TO 6PM.
1 Merriman Rd (Merriman and West Market)
Akron, OH

JOB HOURS:
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 3:00-7:00PM
SATURDAYS 10AM-3PM
SUNDAY 10-2PM or 2-6PM

PAY: $10.00

Past campaign volunteers encouraged to apply. Email cratic@dccc.org if interested. Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

Considering how many people in the 13th District have lost their jobs thanks to Betty's lockstep voting with Nancy Pelosi, it's awfully nice of her to offer ten bucks an hour to help her con voters into sending her back to Washington. Another two-year term should be enough time to drive America into ruin with massive spending, corporate bailouts, union payoffs, cap & trade, card check, tax increases, and more government regulations. What's not to like?

With tons of DCCC money and union-funded staff, maybe she'll have a prayer.

Another $85,000 from DCCC to Betty Sutton

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Somebody hears footsteps. Those attack ads don't pay for themselves, do they?

Betty Sutton's October Surprise(s)

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September 30th Update: Here's the first one: a civil lawsuit alleging attempted rape and sexual assault.

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What do you think the 13th District's congresscritter will do next month when she finds herself behind Tom Ganley in the polls, and without any support, contributions, or substantive ideas?


Cap & Trade is Betty Sutton's baby

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A friendly reminder to my fellow conservative, moderate, and independent voters here in Ohio's 13th District: Rep. Betty Sutton (D) did much more than just read the bill in detail before voting "yes" ... she helped write it.

If you ever actually see her, ask her to defend that economy-crippling, job-killing bill. If possible, record her response on video (use your camera phone, or maybe this or this) and contact me so I can post it on YouTube. It would be fascinating to see.

Betty Sutton is terrified

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The Representative from Ohio's 13th District finds herself caught between an unpopular President she supports, pitiful fund-raising results, an opponent with a huge war chest, her own barely-concealed radicalism, and the public's outrage at her spending spree since her first election in 2006. She squealed for help from the cavalry and got a response.

Betty Sutton's benefactors, the corrupt union bosses and the DCCC (oops, sorry for repeating myself), just sent her 21 union-paid staffers and $219,000 for advertising. With the way she burns cash to push outright lies, she needs all the help she can get.

Hey, Betty! How about running on your record instead? I'm sure your constituents would love to hear more about your votes on Cap & Trade, Obamacare, TARP, the bank bailouts, card check ...

Questions for Betty Sutton and Tom Ganley

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Vote on the existing questions, or ask your own. From the explanation on the site:

If, according to the old saying, "all politics is local," then the time has come to demonstrate that new, interactive media can invigorate local civic engagement around elections -- moving from interest to involvement, from spectacle to civil society.


Personal Democracy Forum, with support from The Knight Foundation and in partnership with Google and YouTube, has created a platform to facilitate that involvement. It's called 10Questions. Here's how it works:

  • Citizens can post text questions or video questions through YouTube for candidates in the 2010 midterm elections; each race has its own page where we aggregate questions posed for candidates in that specific race.
  • Using Google technology, visitors to that site can vote questions up and down. After a set period of public engagement, the 10 top- voted questions in each race are posed to the candidates.
  • Candidates then have the opportunity to post video responses, and voters rate those responses for completeness, directness, depth and substance -- criteria that are sometimes hard to get out of politicians in the rapid-fire context of a live debate.

I just asked Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) the following question:

Concerning your vote to raise the Federal Debt Limit ... do you believe your constituents support your position? Would you do it again? How much spending is enough?

Any bets on whether she answers at all, much less directly? Perhaps if more of her constituents asked her the same questions, she'd come out of hiding.

Betty Sutton's current schedule

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Betty Sutton as WaldoAugust 18th: Anywhere but in Columbus with Barack Obama

August 20th: $1000/plate fundraiser

August 22nd: RSVP-ONLY Volunteer Appreciation Day

August 27th: $30/plate spaghetti dinner fundraiser with union fatcats

August 32nd: Town hall meetings with constituents

September 0th: More town hall meetings

September 11th: Back to DC to stimulate the economy with more spending and pork


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8/17 9:24 AM Update: Betty Sutton's staff checks in again ... but still won't explain what she's doing tomorrow instead of being seen with President Obama.

Barack Obama is all for it. Hamas wants it. Does the Democratic Congresswoman for Ohio's 13th District have anything to say one way or the other? Speak up, Betty (and without Clintonian wriggling).

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6:00 PM Update: Hello, Sutton staffers! Is your boss too busy to schedule any town hall meetings, or is she just afraid of her constituents' inconvenient questions?

Shailagh Murray's snarky piece in Saturday's Washington Post jabs Betty Sutton's challenger for taking advantage of Sutton's signature legislation.

Republican House candidate Tom Ganley sold more than 800 cars last summer through the "Cash for Clunkers" government rebate program. But does Uncle Sam get a thank you?


"Let's talk about Cash for Clunkers," the voluble millionaire, who owns the largest auto dealership group in Ohio, told a group of voters here recently. "It created a 30-day surge in auto sales. After it ended, there was no business. It was like the faucet was shut off."

...

Most economists say the nationwide stimulus effort has generally paid off, although they differ on how much.

...

But Sutton is a top target of Republicans, in part because of her support for the program. Her opponent's 31 dealerships sold an estimated $17 million worth of cars through Clunkers rebates, but he now denounces the program as a fiscal folly.

Ganley needs to get in front of this "he's-a-hypocritical-used-car-salesman-fatcat-rich-guy" portrayal quickly, before Sutton hangs it around his neck for good. This isn't the first time we've seen this line of attack, and there are more tasks that require Ganley's attention.

Enough fund-raising and strategizing, Tom. Hit the campaign trail (Lord knows, Betty refuses to). Define yourself, define your socialist opponent, and publicize your plan to get government out of our health care, our lives, and our wallets.

Betty Sutton is one of the key supporters of Obamacare. She votes with Pete Stark 94% of the time. Stark offers the following response when challenged on his support for Obamacare:


Past evidence strongly suggests that Sutton agrees with Stark here, too. Prove me wrong, Betty. Let's hear your response to these objections in some format other than a conference call, and sooner rather than later.

Employment at a glance

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You think this chart published by the left-leaning Brookings Institution is scary?

Brookings Institution job gap chart

Hmm. Maybe a little bit. It's tough to be scared by something so unclear and wonkish. Instead, watch this ...


... and then study this:

scary chart

Unemployment under Democrat rule

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Betty Sutton must be very proud of her work.

unemployment under Betty Sutton

So, how about those events back in Ohio's 13th District? Still waiting on a schedule ...

Trade wars as election stunts

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Betty Sutton's been busy:

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) introduced H.R. 4678, the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act, to protect consumers from dangerous and defective products manufactured and produced abroad. Every year, countless Americans are injured, sometimes fatally, by dangerous products that have been manufactured abroad and imported into the U.S. Recent examples included toxic drywall, faulty infant cribs, lead paint in children's toys, and defective tires. These products not only hurt American consumers, they hurt American businesses.

...

The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act:

  • Requires manufacturers to register an "agent" in a state where the company does business to accept service of process for civil and regulatory claims.
  • Registering an agent will constitute an acceptance of personal jurisdiction of the State and Federal courts of the state in which the agent is located.
  • Covers products regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), such as children's toys; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including prescription drugs and medical devices; and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), like pesticides.

If that sounds good to you at first glance, Rick Woldenberg urges you to think again:

The purpose of this bill is to make foreign manufacturers of finished goods and parts intended to be used as components in those finished goods register for service of process in this country. In other words, foreign manufacturers must register here so our plaintiff's bar and the government can sue them with ease. The new law prohibits trade with foreign manufacturers unless they are registered, and enlists the aid of the federal government's snarling dog, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, to enforce this law.


This means that every factory we use outside the U.S. will have to register for service of process in the U.S. if we want to continue to import our products from them. The law goes even FURTHER, asking that each agency involved to study ways to force manufacturers of components to register here, too. So, for example, if you make a toy in China and your factory buys boxes from a local printer who has NO contractual relationship with you, this law asks the agencies to study the feasibility of getting such box printers to register for service of process in this country. To accomplish that lofty goal, of course, you have to know their identity. Our customers do not know our vendors' names and we aren't telling. It's none of their business. Do you think it's any different for our factories relative to us? Will they ever disclose that information to our Mother Government (to them, a foreign government)? Please - would you disclose your sources to the Chinese government? And who pays the administrative and out-of-pocket costs of this exercise? And what about the consequences of the fear factor and the costs of new litigation on markets?

...

This is an example of how I learned to HATE Congress and Democrats. These rules descend on our business in suffocating waves, adding no value but creating major distractions and feeding fear. On the other hand, perhaps I will be eating crow when Obama's recently announced master plan to reduce the deficit by two-thirds in three years through increased spending, increased entitlements, increased taxes and increased regulation works like a charm. Maybe this law is part of the implementation of that great plan.

That's how progressives like Betty Sutton work to "fix" unemployment. Do you feel encouraged yet? Check out what a well-respected lawyer has to say about the CPSIA, which Betty apparently thinks is too weak and needs strengthening with her new bill. Betty's bill could be the next Smoot-Hawley Tariff. The first one helped trigger the Great Depression. Remember that when you see Betty's TV ads touting her concern for "the little guy" and her tireless work to "create or save jobs." It's a protectionist election year gimmick that will result in serious pain later.

I e-mailed Congresswoman Sutton to request her schedule of town hall meetings this summer here in Ohio's 13th District. Her response:

Sutton letterhead
June 24, 2010

Dear Mr. Konsen,

We hope you are doing well.

Thank you for your email. We will be sure to notify you when Representative Sutton holds her next town hall meeting.

Take care,

Office of Representative Sutton

Sincerely,
Betty Sutton signature
Betty Sutton
Member of Congress

Make of it what you will.

A tax question for Betty Sutton

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I just submitted this question to my Democrat Congresswoman here in Ohio's 13th District, Betty Sutton: "If taxes go up next year (whether from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the enactment of new tax hikes, or both), will that help or hurt the economy?"

If I actually get a response, I'll post it here.

Your Reverse Midas Touch is just what Ohio's 13th District needs!

Betty Sutton and Barack Obama


With your help, Betty will experience the same Obama magic you lent to the campaigns of John Corzine, Creigh Deeds, Martha Coakley, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist.

Hopenchange 2010, baby!

Study this closely, Betty Sutton

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impact of Reagan tax cuts

Congresswoman Sutton, please offer your opinion on Arthur Laffer's explanation ... if you can. Take a look at Tax Cuts 101 if you need help visualizing this.

This sounds typical, knowing what we know about scared politicians who refuse to face their constituents:

Mike Allen's POLITICO Playbook reports: Phil Schiliro, the White House congressional liaison, has told the Senate to aim to take up an energy bill the week of July 12, after the July 4 break (and after the scheduled final passage of Wall Street reform). Kagan confirmation will follow, ahead of the summer break, scheduled to begin Aug. 9. The plan is to conference the new Senate bill with the already-passed House bill IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION AFTER THE ELECTION, so House members don't have to take another tough vote ahead of midterms.

Hey, Tom Ganley! Add item number seven to your to-do list: repeatedly challenge Betty Sutton to pledge in writing that if you defeat her, she will not pass a cap and trade bill in a lame-duck session. If she says no or ignores you, hammer her in TV ads.

NPR battleground survey

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Good news, Democrats! Maybe that anti-incumbent frenzy isn't as bad as you've heard. National Public Radio conducted a poll in 70 U.S. House Districts they identified as battlegrounds (60 Democrats and 10 Republicans). The very reliable survey of likely voters yielded the following results:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way [your incumbent House representative] is handling [his or her] job as a member of the U.S. Congress? (Skipped if open seat)


Margin of error: +/- 3.5 percentage points

NPR poll incumbents

Rejoice, Betty Sutton! Cheer up, John Boccieri! Smile, Zack Space! Whistle a happy tune, Charlie Wilson! Dance a happy jig, Mary Jo Kilroy! Hoist a tall frosty one, Steve Driehaus! Do ... whatever it is you do, Marcy Kaptur! It's good to be a Democrat Representative in 2010, baby.

I wonder what else those fine progressive folks at NPR unearthed?

Great news! President Obama wants another $50 billion bailout, this one for public sector unions.

President Obama is pressing Congress to approve emergency aid money to support economic recovery and help avoid widespread layoffs of public workers, the Washington Post reported Saturday.


Congressional leaders received a letter from the president asking for almost $50 billion for distribution to state and local governments, saying that increased spending is "urgent and unavoidable," the Post reported. The money would protect the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters.

"Because the urgency is high -- many school districts, cities and states are already being forced to make these layoffs," Obama wrote, "these provisions must be passed as quickly as possible."

Obama's plea comes despite last year's $787 billion economic stimulus package, which worked to stabilize the failing economy [Riiiiiight. -- Ed.], but did little to help the country's high unemployment rate. At 9.7 percent, unemployment is nearly the same as it was a year ago.

What could possibly go wrong? America's in the best of hands. Our Democrat Congresswoman here in Ohio's 13th District, Representative Betty Sutton, has been in charge since 2006. It's been rainbows and unicorns ever since.

Unemployment under ObamaStill, let's take a look back. Naturally, you completely forgot that $787 billion stimulus that Obama and Congress rammed through last year, didn't you? It was a spending orgy that was supposed to "create or save" gazillions of jobs. Remember that? It's the brilliant job-creating scheme that didn't actually, um, work. Who could've seen that one coming? Total shocker.

Here in Ohio, unemployment is much worse than the national average ... but that's not all. There's still $381 billion of that money lying around unspent, collecting dust in Washington. Why do you suppose Congress isn't redirecting that money to this new "emergency" instead of extracting another $50 billion from your pocket?

This new plea for another "emergency" bailout demonstrates (again) that there's no reason to trust the Democrats when they talk about fiscal responsibility. They're as trustworthy as a drug addict squeezing his relatives for money: "This is the last time I'll ask. I promise. I'll check myself into rehab, first thing tomorrow, but just this once I've gotta have this fix. It's an emergency and I'll die without it. Pinky swear!" If you think this is a one time deal, then there's some lovely oceanfront property in Death Valley that's got your name on it.

Congress lives in a strange alternate universe where your money is their money. When the economy's booming, the Congressional Fantasyland response is to "invest in America" by taxing The Rich™ (people who create wealth and hire you) because they're easy targets for class warfare rhetoric and the politics of envy. When the economy's crashing, the Congressional Fantasyland response is to suck more money into Washington so they can spread it around.

Hey, wait a second. Where have we heard that idea before?



It should come as no surprise that Betty Sutton, a big fan of Barack Obama, has the same strategy for healing all that ails us.

Phase One: Throw taxpayer money at problem.


Phase Two: ?

Phase Three: Miraculous results.


Think of it as the Underpants Gnome Theory of Government:

underpants gnomes

Now here's the kicker. Not only does Betty Sutton genuinely believe that the Underpants Gnomes are worth imitating, she personally benefits from Obama's new "emergency" $50 billion bailout of public sector unions.

In an effort to help Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH) break her streak of relentless profligacy with her constituents' money (including stimulus packages for terrorists), I invite her to take a look at a Federal Trade Commission scheme to prop up failing newspapers with revenues from taxes on internet news sites, cell phone bills, iPads, Kindles, and computers.


C'mon, Betty. This one's a no-brainer. Be brave.

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11:15 Update: Welcome, Sutton staffers!

Tick tock, Betty. Do you really have no objection to President Obama's $400,000,000 stimulus package for Hamas out of taxpayer funds?

Betty Sutton as Waldo


Not even one little peep of protest?

What's so funny, Betty?

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gaffe (n.): 1) a social blunder; faux pas. 2) when a politician tells the truth.


Watch the left side of this video from May, 2008. That's Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH) sitting there, giggling. Any guesses as to why?

Look, Congresswoman Sutton, I know you're not exactly renowned for your fiscal discipline, but can you at least muster an objection to giving a $400,000,000 terrorist stimulus package to Hamas?

The United States will contribute $400 million in development aid to the Palestinian territories and work with Israel to loosen its embargo on Gaza, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.

Surely there are better things to do with taxpayer money:

Let me get this straight. Our economy has cratered. Unemployment is nearly 10 percent. The national debt is expected to exceed our gross national product by next year. And we're giving $400,000,000 to our mortal enemies in Gaza?


$400,000,000 to the Hamas-led death cult allied with Iran and Syria? $400,000,000 to the people who celebrated the destruction of the twin towers? $400,000,000 to rain thousands more rockets upon Israeli women and children?

The Right, the Left and everyone in between needs to raise hell. This. Cannot. Happen.

Consider it a throwaway gesture of self-preservation goodwill towards your bitter, gun- and Bible-clinging constituents in an election year. Your radical progressive "populist" base will forgive you for throwing a bone to those nutty right-wing kooks who hold to the quaint notion that we shouldn't fund terrorism man-caused disasters with their money.

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12:20 PM Update: Welcome, Sutton staffers! Nice to see you're awake.

Cash For Clunkers is Betty Sutton's baby. She touts the wasteful program as the crown jewel of her dubious achievements in office. Under normal circumstances Cash For Clunkers would be a big fat target for any Sutton opponent to hit, but unfortunately our nominee seems unable to pull the trigger.

Judging from his lackluster performance to date, it will take a minor miracle for car dealer Tom Ganley to erase his earlier praise for the program:

Tom Ganley, owner of the Ganley Auto Group, estimates the government owes him $3 million for the cars he's sold.


"In essence, I and other car dealers are loaning money to the federal government, interest free," Ganley said. "I feel for some of the smaller dealers across the country. They could actually sell themselves out of business."

...

And despite being owed millions, Ganley called the program an overwhelming success.

"It has certainly primed the pump and accelerated auto sales," Ganley said.

That's bad. Blatant flip-flopping for political advantage is worse, and that's exactly the accusation that the Sutton campaign will use to tar her opponent. The Ganley campaign has so far made one weak attempt to backpedal:

Ganley and Renacci both maintain the sales program was a clunker and that they only participated to meet customers' expectations. They said it sparked a temporary sales spike followed by a slowdown, and had negative long-term effects on the industry and used-car consumers who could have bought trade-ins the program destroyed.


"The program was, at its basic level, an unnecessary intrusion of government into the private business sector," says Ganley campaign manager Jeff Longstreth, contending that the government payments helped car buyers, not dealers. "It was unnecessary federal spending that is indicative of the current administration's policy of spend, spend, spend."

Least trusted professionsThe argument's right on target, but how does Ganley plan to credibly criticize a program that reportedly paid him $20 million for selling somewhere north of 800 cars? Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. If he intends to pursue the "it was a temporary spike" line of attack, he'll have to cast doubt on a Maritz Automotive Research Group report that suggests otherwise (hint, hint). Ganley's campaign site makes no mention of the Maritz report, which was released three months ago. Nor is there any mention of Cash For Clunkers. Is the Ganley campaign waiting for an engraved invitation to deal with the elephant in the room?

Tom, I'll be blunt. You're a used car salesman looking to become a politician. That means you've got more than the usual public relations handicap to overcome. Unless you stop deluding yourself that you'll win simply because you're not Betty Sutton, and do it soon, you're doomed. A lazy campaign is a losing campaign. Get off your butt and convince your potential constituents that you're worth our votes.

How much spending is enough, Betty?

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In the spirit of my Simple Questions For Progressives series, I have a question for Congresswoman Betty Sutton: how do you decide whether any given government spending proposal is too big? My best guess is that the only "bad spending" in your book is military spending; I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I'd love to hear if you have ever voted against a non-DoD spending bill since your election in 2006, and if so, why you voted "no."

Nichole Reynolds, please tell your boss I'll post the entirety of her response here, unedited. I know your office reads this blog.

Betty Sutton, is that you?

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Looks about right to me.

Betty Sutton

Intrade odds on Ohio GOP candidates

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Here's the scoop on Steve Chabot, Steve Stivers, and whoever wins the ridiculously close 18th District primary.

Betty Sutton: progressive or populist?

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Can somebody please explain to me why Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) joined the Populist Caucus instead of the Progressive Caucus? Why didn't she join the progressives? Could it be that she needs a fig leaf to hide behind?

Ohio's Third FrontierAt the risk of irritating all of you, I can't keep myself from urging you to not pour more money down ratholes like the Third Frontier Bond issue. That's Issue 1 on the May ballot.

This noble sounding idea (make investment money available so jobs can be created) is at its root no different from Washington's recent stimulus act, the "saving" of General Motors, or the billions invested in the conversion of heavy tars to fuel by past administrations.

In essence you are asked to believe that our politicians in Columbus are the best judges of how to allocate scarce investment funds and therefore our personal investment dollars should be turned over to them. Of course it is structured as a bond issue as opposed to outright taxes so the money can be borrowed from the Chinese with no pain to us. If that is the case, why do you and I need to guarantee this bond?

In 2002 we already agreed to borrow $1,600,000,000 for the original Third Frontier bond issue which, as everyone can see, was so wildly successful that Ohio now has almost no unemployment. The state tells us that in 8 years this has created 9,519 new $65,815 jobs (which have indirectly created 45,000 jobs). You may recall that the federal stimulus head count included 3 week part time jobs in their count, so I remain somewhat suspicious of how these jobs are measured. If the state "invests" $100,000 in a venture and the shareholders come up with another $200,000, who gets credit for the jobs created?

I personally have also made a habit of investing in ventures over the last 30 years, some very successful and some that have been flaming failures. When my ventures were successful I have been rewarded with very nice cash flows. When they flamed out my money was gone. All of these ventures created jobs. The failures just did so for a very short while. The successes largely funded the subsequent ventures. This makes me wonder why we need a Second Third Frontier of $700,000,000?

The answer is that our leaders in Columbus make most of these "investments" as grants. That is government speak for giving money away, which at root is what government does well. Investments, on the other hand, are supposed to increase the investor's wealth and further investing opportunities.

There is a very large venture capital industry in this country that is always looking for new opportunities, whether government is providing the funds or not. Most of these folks actually have training and education in this area and are taking risks with their own capital as well as that of others. All of them expect a return on investment.

When you think of the Third Frontier just consider Dennis Kucinich as your investment advisor.

This document is purportedly a copy of a mailer from the Medina County Republican Party. Look for the section headed by "Had enough hope & change?" and read the second bullet.

Medina County GOP mailer on Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH)

Here's the text:

  • Let's replace Pelosi's Puppet John Boccieri with a good solid conservative. Let's see -- he was against ObamaCare before he was for it!
  • Let's take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!
  • Let's fire Harry Reid from his job as Senate Majority Leader by putting Republicans in the majority!
  • Let's put Governor Strickland in the unemployment line by electing a fiscal conservative who will tear down the barriers to job creation in Ohio!

If this is a real mailer, then the people who approved it need to be tossed out on their ears. This is 2010, geniuses, not an episode of "Mad Men."

First of all, homemakers deserve honor and respect. Wise cracks about sending a woman back to the kitchen are just plain offensive. Claiming that a move from Congress to "the kitchen" is a demotion has it precisely backwards. To say that I have more respect for the average homemaker than for the average congresscritter is an understatement on a par with saying I prefer strawberry ice cream to cockroach soufflé.

Second, this is just dumb politics. Only an oblivious tool would think that the contents of a public mailer will never get into the opposition's hands. Even internal documents (especially the stupid ones) find their way to the press. This was a public mailer, you morons. Way to play right into the Democrats' stereotype of Republicans as knuckle-dragging misogynists. All they need is one juvenile and insulting wisecrack from you and they've got ammo for attack ads all summer long. Never mind that the conservative movement is home to Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Liz Cheney, Laura Ingraham, Star Parker, Anita MonCrief, Michelle Malkin, Jill Stanek, S.E. Cupp, Kathryn Jean Lopez, and millions upon millions of women just as independent and hard-working as they are. The media and the Democrats are longing to play the victim card to defend Betty Sutton's uncertain seat in the House, and now they think they have an excuse.

Way to go.

4/29/10 Update: It took him a week, but Tom Ganley finally responded to the uproar.

Instead of talking about creating jobs, Betty Sutton wants to talk about a newsletter sent out by the Medina County Republican Party. I'm sure you all have heard about the newsletter and the idiotic comment about Betty Sutton included in the newsletter. For the record, I had nothing to do with the newsletter or the comment. My campaign, along with several other candidates, paid for an advertisement in an insert included in the newsletter. No one involved in our campaign saw the comment until it appeared in a Plain Dealer article last week. This is the equivalent of buying an ad in a newspaper and then being held responsible for the editorial content the next day. Further, we have not been endorsed by the Medina County GOP or the Chairman Bill Heck, and we have made it abundantly clear to them we do not support this kind of inappropriate language.


I believe the comment was very offensive, and I do not support it. I also think it was offensive how Betty Sutton's first response was to send out a fundraising letter. I hate stereotypes, and I do not tolerate them. As I am not an elected official or a member of the Central or Executive Committees and do not have any influence over the Medina County GOP, I cannot control what they decide to do about this situation. The only thing I can control is how my campaign conducts itself, and I am very proud of the race we are running. This will serve as our last comment on this subject. We should be talking about creating jobs, not this fake outrage.

Good reply, but way late.

That's gotta sting:

Sutton received our endorsement in 2008 among a lackluster field of challengers. But her subsequent participation in the liberal Democratic train wreck now bankrupting the nation and bloating the size of the federal government must be stopped in the November election.

...

[Republican challenger Tom] Ganley hates wasting money, especially the way President Obama and Democrats in Congress including Sutton are throwing it around. Ganley foresees the high cost of Obamacare destroying small businesses.

Ganley is correct when he argues that it's time to replace lawyer lawmakers such as Sutton, who love spending other people's money, with businessmen like himself who spent their lives making money and producing jobs.

...

America needs to take Congress back from the wrecking crew there now. Our support, and endorsement, goes to Tom Ganley in the May 4 Republican primary, and we look forward to his victory in the Nov. 2 general election for Ohio's 13th Congressional District.

Are the long knives out for Betty?

It's amazing that progressive blogger and Cuyahoga County Council candidate Tim Russo, who was convicted of soliciting sex from a 13 year old boy, breezily uses the term "teabagger" as a slur. Amazing, but not surprising at all.

Mr. Wooden, how on God's green Earth can you continue as a member of the Democrat Party after its headlong dive last night into socialism, taxpayer-funded abortion, and blatant corruption?

Justin WoodenYou attend Tea Party rallies. You claim to be pro-life. You claim to be pro-free markets. You claim to be anti-corruption. You claim to be pro-military. You claim to be pro-gun rights. You claim to be anti-Obamacare, for Heaven's sake. Nevertheless, your party stands in opposition to all of your proclaimed stances. Talk about cognitive dissonance! This ain't your father's Democrat Party. Scoop Jackson's influence burned away decades ago.

If you first defeat Betty Sutton in the primary election for Ohio's 13th Congressional District, and if you then defeat your Republican opponent and become our Congressman, will you caucus with your party? Will you support its leaders, like Nancy Pelosi? What's to keep you from being the new Bart Stupak, Mary Jo Kilroy, Marcy Kaptur, or ... Betty Sutton?

If your party has decisively left you, if you are who you claim to be, then how can you reconcile that with your continued membership in the Democrat Party? Are you naïve? Are you hiding your true beliefs? Do you lack the courage to leave a socialist party bent on destroying our republic? Why are you a Democrat in 2010?

Explain it to me. Please.

----

5:00 PM Update: How about you, Dan Moadus?

Watch the clip. Click the banner. Sign the pledge. Take back your liberties.


Repeal It!

Democrat John Boccieri (OH-16) just announced he'll be voting "yes" on Obamacare. In response I just contributed $25.00 to Republican challenger Jim Renacci.

Jim Renacci for Congress

Please do the same and contribute what you can, and let's replace this craven licker of Nancy Pelosi's boots.

11:25 AM Update: The rumblings were real. Democrat Charlie Wilson, (OH-06) just caved and will vote "yes" on Obamacare.

Repeal It!

Ohio candidates and voters have signed the pledge to repeal Obamacare, but so far no elected officials have signed it. Encourage them to do so!

12:05 PM Update: More from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

4:30 PM Update: Tom Blumer has a nice collection of links and a revealing video clip, plus a suggestion to "go local" if Boccieri's DC phone is busy.

A warning to John Boccieri, Steve Driehaus, Zack Space, Charlie Wilson, Marcy Kaptur, Tim Ryan, Betty Sutton, Dennis Kucinich, Marcia Fudge, and Mary Jo Kilroy:


Any special deal, job, earmark, or payment that comes your way in return for your "yes" vote on Obamacare will be dragged to center stage and spotlighted. Bank on it.

According to The Columbus Dispatch:

Rep. Charlie Wilson is one of a number of Democrats who is officially undecided about the final health care bill - but the St. Clairsville Democrat is giving off strong signals he is headed toward a "yes" vote.

Get on it, folks!

Washington Office
ph: (202) 225-5705
fx: (202) 225-5907

Canfield, OH
ph: (330) 533-7250
fx: (330) 533-7136

Marietta, OH
ph: (740) 376-0868
fx: (740) 376-0886

Bridgeport, OH
ph: (740) 633-5705
fx: (740) 633-5727

Ironton, OH
ph: (740) 533-9423
fx: (740) 533-9359

Wellsville, OH
ph: (330) 532-3740

Unless you've spent the last four years living in a cave, this is no surprise at all. In a statement e-mailed to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Betty Sutton said:

Obama medalEvery year more than 40,000 people die because they don't have health insurance coverage, and in this great nation it should not be that way. The legislation is not perfect and indeed contains provisions that I will continue to strive to improve, but I will vote for the bill. By passing this legislation we will take the long overdue step toward ending the egregious, discriminatory practices of insurance companies that deny care based on pre-existing conditions and impose outrageous premium increases. This legislation will also strengthen the solvency of Medicare, lower drug costs for our seniors, and make health insurance more affordable and accessible for small businesses and individuals.

The bosses of the big labor unions want this bill passed, and what union bosses want, Betty Sutton delivers.

By the way, Betty, that "40,000 deaths" statistic is a complete crock of poo:

So, how did these political doctors come up with the 44,000 figure? They used data from a health survey conducted between 1988 and 1994. The questionnaires asked a sample of 9,000 participants if they were insured and how they rated their own health. The federal Centers for Disease Control tracked the deaths of people in the sample group through the year 2000. Drs. Himmelstein, Woolhandler, and company then crunched the numbers and attributed deaths to lack of health insurance for all the participants who initially self-reported that they had no insurance and then died for any reason over the 12-year tracking period.


At no time did the original researchers or the single-payer activists who piggy-backed off their data ever verify whether the supposed casualties of America's callous health care system had insurance or not.

...

To boil it all down in plain English: The single-payer scientists had no way of assessing whether the survey participants received insurance coverage between the time they answered the questionnaires and the time they died. They had no way of assessing whether the deaths could have been averted with health insurance coverage. A significant portion of those classified as "uninsured" may not have even been uninsured, based on past studies that actually did verify insurance status. But the Himmelstein team just took the rate of uninsurance from the original study (3.3 percent), applied it to census data, and voila: more than 44,000 Americans are dying from lack of insurance.

At least do your constituents the favor of using honest data when you try to support your socialist initiatives, Betty.

Since ACORN is re-branding its less-than-stellar image these days, they'll likely downplay or eliminate the name "ACORN" soon here in Ohio. Slapping a new label on a crooked organization might be easy, but selling property and changing leadership personnel is not. To make it harder for ACORN to crawl back under a rock somewhere, I'm linking to the Ohio Secretary of State's online records for ACORN's business filing information. Look for street addresses, agent names, etc.

As long as the name "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now" is in use by an existing business or non-profit organization in Ohio, the Secretary of State's office will also have that information. To run that query, just push this button.


Ain't citizen journalism grand?

11:35 update: Wow. ACORN just agreed to surrender its business license in Ohio as settlement of that RICO lawsuit by the Buckeye Institute. That's good news, but let's be wary. Keep a close eye on what happens with these properties:

379 N. 20th
Lower Level
Columbus, OH 43203

2069 East 36th Street
Cleveland, OH 44115

1025 Central Ave Ste 3
Cincinnati, OH 45202

115 E. Market St.
RM 202
Akron, OH 44308

4945 Profit Way
Dayton, OH 45414

316 North Michigan
Toledo, OH 43624

12:20 Update: Apparently The Buckeye Institute recently split off the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law as an independent organization after the lawsuit was originally filed, so it's the new group that gets the scalp for defeating ACORN.

12:35 Update: Matt Naugle cheers the victory, but cautions everyone to keep an eye open for the same ACORN crooks returning with different front groups.

A decent opening shot, but somehow I suspect my congresscritter Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) is not listening any more now than she usually does. When it comes to confronting the vast majority of Americans who don't want anything to do with Obamacare, she's been a bit, um, timid.

Any comment, Tom Ganley? Justin Wooden?

Rep. Betty Sutton just introduced a warm-and-fuzzy-sounding piece of legislation. It's called the Foreclosure Mandatory Mediation Act of 2010:

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH13) joined Ohio Reps. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH11) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH15), as well as Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Kendrick Meek (D-FL) to introduce H.R. 4635--a measure to combat foreclosures. Ohio has been particularly impacted by the foreclosure crisis and projections indicate no signs of change. In Ohio's 13th Congressional District alone, 17,555 homes are projected to be foreclosed upon over the next four years. This legislation will require lenders of Federal loans or guarantees to enter into mediation with homeowners prior to placing the property in foreclosure or a sheriff's sale.

Since anything advocated by Maxine Waters automatically gets my antennae twitching, I went to the bill's text, which contains this key nugget (the emphasis and links are mine):

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, before a qualified mortgagee may initiate a foreclosure proceeding or a sheriff sale, the qualified mortgagee shall conduct, consistent with any applicable State or local requirements, a one-time mediation with the affected mortgagor and a housing counseling agency, at the expense of the qualified mortgagee.

For purposes of this section the term 'housing counseling agency' means a housing counseling agency certified by the Secretary under section 106(e) of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 (12 U.S.C. 1701x(e)); or a neighborhood housing services program established by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation under section 606 of the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 8105);

The parties are forced into mediation (even if it's a slam-dunk case of delinquency by the borrower), and look who foots the entire bill for the mediator's fees: the lender trying to foreclose on the delinquent borrower. When the government keeps forcing a company to incur new costs, the company must eventually pass on those costs to its customers. Otherwise the company will go bankrupt.

If this law passes, it will end up costing you more to get a mortgage. Care to guess which legislators will then wail and gnash their teeth about "predatory lenders screwing the poor" and "fat cat bankers jacking up fees" when those inevitable effects occur? Now, this is par for the course among politicians who have no clue how a free market works. They think the solution to every government-imposed problem is more government regulation and spending. What's unusual is that this isn't the worst part of the bill.

Charlie Rangel asleep on a beachSo, it seems Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) will step down fight the rush to remove him from his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. His fellow progressives have decided to leave Corruptocrat Charlie twisting in the wind. That's no surprise.

What does surprise me is the mild reaction from Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH), my Congresswoman. Maybe that's because Rangel gave Sutton $5000 in 2006. Heck, if it weren't for the sudden danger to her cushy job from Republican Tom Ganley, she likely wouldn't have gotten out in front of Rangel's immolation at all.

I'm sure she's grateful, Charlie, but you're just too toxic these days.

 

3/3 12:45 AM Update: Spin, Betty, spin.

Quite a lot of blinking in that segment. I guess it was seven grand Rangel gave her, which Sabrina Eaton reports is to be donated to local charities.

A sudden concern for propriety

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Rep. Betty Sutton called yesterday for Charlie Rangel to step down from his post on the Ways and Means Committee:

The House Ethics Committee has now determined that a violation of the ban on corporate funded travel did occur and is still considering other allegations against Mr. Rangel. I think that in order to preserve the public trust, which is of the highest priority, Representative Rangel should, at this point, step aside as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. Our nation is facing many challenges and we must put all our energy, without distraction or question, into meeting those challenges.

It's funny how responsive to ethical concerns a politician becomes when her seat is no longer safe.

The hard-working folks over at Recovery.gov, ever on guard for that rare instance of government inefficiency that occurs only once in a decade or so, have responded with commendable speed to news reports of erroneous/incompetent/fraudulent data in the records of stimulus money spent to save (or "create" jobs). No longer does their database report on taxpayer funds wasted invested in places like the nonexistent 99th U.S. Congressional District of Puerto Rico. No, sir. Everything's been scrubbed squeaky clean, and the original records now show each offending transaction taking place in an "unassigned congressional district."

see no evilWhat's that you say? You want to know what the original data showed? Oh, c'mon. You can trust faceless, nameless bureaucrats in Washington to behave with the most scrupulous ethical standards. They're from the government, and they're here to help you.

Pardon me? You still don't trust them? You must be one of those bitter people clinging to their Bibles and their guns out in the sticks. Besides, it's too late now. The original data's gone. Unless you know someone who scooped up some of the data before it was altered erased corrected, you're out of luck.

Hey, wait a second. Guess who snagged the original data for Ohio, put it in Excel spreadsheet format, and sorted it all by district?

Ohio's Porkulus data

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I just looked up the summary of Ohio data on Recovery.gov and here's some of what I found. Compare the numbers for jobs created/"saved" and money wasted spent for Ohio's 18 congressional districts, and the numbers for the ten nonexistent districts that turned up.

District Jobs Porkulus
1 - Dreihaus (D) 349.7 $1,063,584,388
2 - Schmidt (R) 146.6 $191,500,216
3 - Turner (R) 385.4 $186,371,562
4 - Jordan (R) 215.4 $104,248,906
5 - Latta (R) 105.7 $158,653,454
6 - Wilson (D) 224.2 $191,292,584
7 - Austria (R) 366.4 $167,834,446
8 - Boehner (R) 103.7 $98,813,378
9 - Kaptur (D) 367.5 $171,627,681
10 - Kucinich (D) 85 $80,955,117
11 - Fudge (D) 394.5 $349,743,107
12 - Tiberi (R) 140.1 $110,808,249
13 - Sutton (D) 149.5 $153,496,938
14 - LaTourette (R) 207 $78,765,929
15 - Kilroy (D) 13212 $1,366,388,033
16 - Boccieri (D) 96.3 $87,084,609
17 - Ryan (D) 229.4 $165,232,615
18 - Space (D) 306 $309,355,127
Total 17084.4 $5,035,756,339



20 0 $208,836
21 3 $1,241,652
49 0 $230,000
54 0 $100,000
56 0 $12,000
69 0 $400,000
85 0 $250,000
87 0 $336,108
99 0 $660,000
0 8 $1,865,319
Total 11 $5,303,915

Government weighs down the economy$5.3 million went to nonexistent congressional districts, creating (or maybe it's "saving") 11 jobs. That's $482,174 per job. How do I sign up for that sweet deal? Then there's the average waste stimulus per job in our actual 18 districts, which works out to $294,758 ... still not too shabby. If I can snag one of the 149.5 jobs here in the 13th District, I will have cost America's taxpayers a cool $1,026,735! Betty Sutton, call your office. I want a job.

That's "transparency" in the age of Hope and Change™ for ya. Is this incompetent accounting, dishonest accounting, or both?

Want more? Nineteen out of the top twenty Porkulus recipients in Ohio are state, county, or municipal government entities. The one that's not government owned is "a single-purpose environmental remediation Limited Liability Corporation dedicated to providing remediation services to the United States Department of Energy at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site." In other words, a government contractor.

Boy oh boy, that Porkulus sure did stimulate the free market, didn't it? Way to go, Governor Strickland ... you sure know how to allocate funds. I can't wait to experience the joys of Obamacare, Cap & Trade, and amnesty for illegals.

For more analysis, check out Ohio Watchdog.

Cash for votes in Athens?

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Darn right. Jesse Hathaway's all over this Ohio Democratic Party scandal.

Turnout in my little precinct

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We had 606 voters today. Pretty high for an off-off-year election. If memory serves, we had around 750 voters show up for the 2008 election.

Senate votes to partially de-fund ACORN

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The vote was 83-7, with 9 not voting. Incredibly, überliberal Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted with the majority. He's worried about his re-election prospects. He should be.

Now let's see which way former labor lawyer and perpetual union suck-up Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) decides to go.

Next, the Congress needs to pass a stimulus clawback of any and all funds that end up in ACORN's coffers.

Have you wondered why SEIU and the rest of Obama's union thug buddies have been pushing the House's version of Obamacare so avidly? Thanks to Warner Todd Huston's and Ed Morrissey's digging, I've cut and pasted Section 164 for you to examine. Take a look at this $10 billion payoff (look at the red text on the second page):

Those are your tax dollars being shoveled into the pockets of union bosses. You can thank people like Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) for slipping this fat bribe to the unions that have been ruining American productivity for decades. She was intimately involved in drafting this bill, and you can bet your last wrinkled dollar that her union friends will repay her richly with kickbacks campaign contributions.

Apparently, Betty's $3 billion Cash-For-Clunkers pet project wasn't enough. The previous multibillion-dollar bailouts of GM and Chrysler (with the unions getting great gobs of common stock) weren't enough. The minimum wage increase (which boosts union members' pay, according to their contracts) wasn't enough. Even this $10 billion payoff isn't enough. It's just another in a long line of juicy sops thrown to the labor lobby. Before long, she'll resume her push for card check and its stacked-deck-arbitration companion.

How long will Ohio voters in the 13th District tolerate this legalized corruption? How high must unemployment go? How many tax hikes will we tolerate?

This e-mail from Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) just landed in my inbox. She's hiding behind a telephone conference call to avoid facing her constituents in the 13th District.

Betty Sutton letterhead
August 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Konsen,

Where's Betty Sutton?Thank you for contacting my office regarding my schedule of events for the month of August concerning health care. I will be hosting a tele-town hall meeting for my constituents on August 26th at 6:30 pm to discuss the America's Affordable Health Choices Act. A tele-town hall meeting will enable me to discuss this important bill with you by telephone. The call in number and identification code is provided below. I look forward to providing you with a legislative update about the bill and hearing your thoughts and questions regarding it.

Please contact my office at 202-225-3401 with any question you might have regarding this event.

HOST: Congresswoman Betty Sutton (OH-13)
WHAT: Tele-Town hall meeting on America's Affordable Health Choices Act
WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 6:30 p.m. - p.m.
PARTICIPATE: Dial 1-877-229-8493. When prompted, enter I.D. code "15125."

Sincerely,

Betty Sutton's signature
Betty Sutton
Member of Congress

Please do not respond to this email as this is an unattended mailbox. Please return to our website to respond (http://sutton.house.gov).

Betty's chief of staff, Nichole Reynolds, assured me unequivocally that Betty would hold public meetings with her constituents. So much for keeping one's word.

Is this GOP radio ad running in OH-18?

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It's targeted at Zack Space for being a servile little toady to Nancy Pelosi.

Has anybody heard it on the air down there?

Hat tip: Campaign Spot

Courtesy of the Chronicle-Telegram:

An Elyria woman said a member of Congresswoman Betty Sutton's staff asked her to leave a public meeting held Tuesday in Lorain because the woman wanted to know if she could ask the congresswoman questions during the talk.

Nichole Reynolds, Sutton's chief of staff, said the staff member who spoke to the woman denied telling her that the meeting was private, as the woman alleges, and also denies telling her she had to go.

Jane Grimm, 58, said she had wanted to speak with her congresswoman about health care reform and called her Washington, D.C., office last week to see when Sutton would be coming to town.

...

She and her husband walked into the clinic and wanted to confirm with staff people in the front whether this was a meeting where questions could be asked. Grimm said a man wearing a name tag identifying him as a Sutton staff member approached them. This is where the stories differ.

"He said, 'I was told I'd see you here,' and 'I understand you wanted this to be a town-hall meeting,' and I told him that I wanted to ask a few questions," Grimm said.

She said the staffer told her it was not that kind of meeting.

"I said, 'All right, well, I'd still like to sit and listen to what the congresswoman has to say,'" Grimm said. "Then he said, 'No, I'm not going to allow you in because this is a private event.' "

That's our Brave Betty!

Betty Sutton, the invisible woman

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Betty Sutton on a milk cartonShe must be a secret agent. Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) does a better job of staying covert than any Representative we've ever had here in Ohio's 13th District. She's never published her schedule for this summer recess, so her constituents are forced to unearth her plans in other ways.

I've repeatedly e-mailed and called her staff to ask where and when she'll be appearing. For the first two weeks or so, they assured me that she'd publish her schedule at the beginning of the recess. After her last day in session on Friday July 31st, the staff began telling me they'd release a schedule "soon."

Over the last week or so (when they deign to answer my inquiries at all), they've offered the excuse that her schedule is so fluid that nothing can be published. When I pointed out that her constituents will have a hard time finding out where she'll be, her chief of staff insisted that everything is published in the newspapers ahead of time.

Riiiiight. Lots of public meeting notices there, alright.

Betty's afraid of her constituents. She knows they don't want Obamacare, Cap-and-Tax, stimulus spending, bailouts, and all the other statist garbage she's been pushing. She's hoping that being a "Milk Carton Politician" she can run out the clock and get back to Washington unscathed.

Betty's got 22 days of hiding to go until the House of Representatives is back in session. Will her constituents let her impose socialism on Ohio's hard working families and takje away their rights to run their own lives?

Betty Sutton's contact info:

Summit County Office
39 E Market Street
LL #1
Akron, OH 44308
Phone: (330) 865-8450
More about this office

Lorain County Office
205 West 20th Street
Room M230
Lorain, OH 44052
Phone: (440) 245-5350
More about this office

Toll-Free: (866) 317-9980

Nichole Reynolds (Chief of Staff): Nichole.Reynolds@mail.house.gov

Betty Sutton, call your office

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Unless I'm missing something obvious, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) still has not released a schedule of her public events for this month. We're 15 days into the U.S. House's summer recess, and there are 23 days left.

Where's Betty?

Where's Betty Sutton?

Her constituents in the 13th District have questions for her, and if we have to fork over $30 to get them ... so be it.

His stealth town hall was sniffed out anyway, though.

Nice work, Shelby Holliday!

--

7:57 PM update: At least one anti-Obamacare questioner got to actually ask a question.

I hope this guy didn't follow him home.

You can't hide, Sherrod.

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) is worried:

Hmmm ... Betty might be right. As a long-time labor union lawyer, she's in a position to know. I mean, just look at her contributors for the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

--

7:30 PM update: Scary constituents!

Copley Township Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton held a town hall meeting on health care last month, before concerted disruption efforts began. After outbursts at health care meetings around the country were publicized, Sutton said many constituents told her they wouldn't attend such a meeting because "they would fear for their safety."

"We are trying to figure out how we can best address concerns and questions and hear from constituents in a way that is civil and productive," said Sutton, a member of the committee that drafted the most widely publicized House health care reform bill. She says most of the people she talks to are just trying to figure out what's in the bill and how it would affect them.

"I have meetings every day," Sutton said. "I talk to people."

Rep. Betty Sutton still MIA

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The House of Representatives adjourned on July 31st. It's now day 12 of their 35-day summer recess, and my Representative has still not released any details of her schedule. Betty Sutton's staff assures me that there will be two public events at some point, somewhere. They assure me that I'll receive a schedule as soon as it's finalized.

Any day now. Yep. That's the ticket.

--

1:15 PM update: Hmmm ... what's this?

5:25 PM update: Curiouser and curiouser. Betty, why don't you publish your schedule on your web site, instead of scattering it in places like this?

11:00 PM update: A telephone town hall meeting is not a town hall meeting.

Sutton's office said she discusses health care with constituents in many forums. Her schedule is not published in advance because it's in constant flux. She'll hold a telephone town hall meeting with constituents next week and will discuss health-care legislation in an upcoming Ohio News Network appearance. Her Washington office number is 202-225-3401.

I've called and e-mailed my Congresswoman's very polite and helpful staff several times a week for a month, and so far there's still no schedule for Betty Sutton's activities during the House's August recess. I wonder why she's leaving her staff and constituents twisting in the wind?

Hen

Betty Sutton read the bill

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I had a pleasant phone conversation yesterday afternoon with Nichole Reynolds, Chief of Staff for Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH), my Congresswoman here in the 13th District. Ms. Reynolds confirmed that her boss read the entire text of the cap-and-trade bill (a.k.a. "Waxman-Markey") herself before she voted "yes" back on June 26th. Ms. Reynolds stressed that as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Betty was deeply involved in drafting the bill right from the start.

It's refreshing to find that my Congresswoman took her job seriously enough to actually read the ridiculously long bill, which is more than many of her colleagues can claim. It remains to be seen how she'll respond to questions from her constituents during the August recess. I'd bet a tidy pile of cash that she'll catch some flak, since the word's getting out that the bill will result in utter economic disaster if it becomes law.

At least I found a pony in this pile, albeit a very small one: no matter what happens, Betty Sutton can't say "oops, I didn't know that was in the bill."

RINO huntersThe Ohio Republican Party appears to be moving full steam ahead toward endorsing John Kasich for Governor. That's funny ... I thought the primary contest was still underway. When last I checked, Kevin Coughlin was still angling for a chance to take on Ted Strickland.

It's not up to the Ohio GOP to pick the party's nominee. It's up to us, the voters, to choose our nominee in the primary election. The state party ought to butt out until then.

After all, Bob Taft, "Uncle Bob" Bennett, Kevin Dewine, Ken Blackwell, Jim Petro and friends haven't exactly covered themselves in glory over the past several election cycles.

We'll pick our guy without your interference, thanks.

Rove, you magnificent bastard

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My mind boggles at the the sheer brilliance of it all. Even though he left the government on August 13, 2007, Karl Rove managed to start 2500 Department of Justice investigations into innocent community leaders from industrial states in the Great Lakes region. Everybody knows that Rove hates overweight Italian Democrats, especially when they stand in the way of his continuing attempts to suppress voter turnout among blacks eager to vote for Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama.

Why else would County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and County Auditor Frank Russo be under investigation?

No corruption here. They're as pure as the wind-driven snow! You know the fix is in when two editors from that obvious right-wing rag, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, are seen plotting over dinner with the arch-conservative "Uncle Bob" Bennett, former head of the Ohio Republican Party.

Only a brilliant intellect of Jimmy Dimora's prodigious stature could untangle the wispy tendrils of this wingnut conspiracy, a plan so incredibly subtle that it continues to unfold during the administration of its original target. Only the sinister mind of Darth Rove could manipulate the levers of power so deftly that even President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have not detected the plot. Thankfully we have Jimmy Dimora to rely upon, so that the well-meaning but clearly misguided Department of Justice can investigate its own investigation and stop itself from mindlessly marching to the Evil One's tune.

Hats off to Karl Rove, the evil criminal mastermind! Someday justice will be done, but until then he deserves our grudging admiration.

A request for Kevin Boyce

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Since I'm pulling for Josh Mandel to unseat Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce, I hereby ask the incumbent to keep blowing taxpayer money on campaign materials:

As Ohio's budget swells with red ink, state Treasurer Kevin Boyce spent $32,469 in taxpayer money on promotional items such as water bottles, grocery bags and pencils and plans to buy another $47,457 in swag plastered with his name.

Boyce defended the purchases as routine and said his marketing budget is about 30 percent less than what fellow Democrat Richard Cordray spent when he was state treasurer.

But state Rep. Josh Mandel, R-Lyndhurst, who is running against Boyce, said, "While families and small businesses are tightening their belts, it seems outrageous that the treasurer is using the hard earned dollars of Ohio families to promote himself."

And Catherine Turcer of Ohio Citizen Action, a good government watchdog, said just because other statewide officers spend budget money on promotion doesn't make it right.

Keep up the great work, Kev ... and be sure to keep that resumé updated, 'kay?

Tax cuts = jobs

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When you tax something, you get less of it. Ohio's taxes are higher than Georgia's. Guess where erstwhile Dayton-based company NCR is taking its 1,300 jobs?

Keep this in mind the next time a tax-and-spend progressive like Jon Husted, Lee Fisher, or Ted Strickland asks for your vote. The longer Ohio voters keep progressives in office, the faster Ohio's economy will circle the drain.

Jon Husted doesn't deserve support

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I echo Tom Blumer's open letter to John Kasich. Politicians like Husted aren't the solution to Ohio's woes. They're a big part of the problem.

He wants the State Treasurer job:

Let the fun and games begin, Mr. Boyce.

The effort to nail ACORN through the RICO statute continues:

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank, Friday filed objections to a federal Magistrate's conclusion that individual voters lack standing to protect their voting rights from groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Project Vote.


The Buckeye Institute's objections are the latest turn in a case seeking to designate ACORN as enterprise engaged in organized crime and revoke its license to engage in unlawful [sic] voter registration in Ohio. The objection cites to federal cases from the civil rights-era, where courts found that citizens had standing to protect their civil rights from Ku Klux Klan intimidation.

"The right to cast a vote in an election that is not perpetually threatened with dilution by unlawful votes is a fundamental right, and if Ohio voters like Ms. Miller and Ms. Grant cannot enforce that right, the right itself is eviscerated," Maurice Thompson, Director of the Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law said.

...

The Magistrate's recommendations come on the heels of the Nevada Attorney General's decision to indict ACORN for crimes similar to those alleged in the Buckeye Institute's Complaint.

Keep up the good work, Buckeye Institute!

They let Dave Stacey go.

Watching the fraudulent activities of ACORN here in Ohio has left me wondering how they've been getting away with it. It sure seemed plain to me that our Secretary of State, the über-partisan Jennifer Brunner, has a soft spot in her heart for this merry band of fraudsters. I couldn't point to any blatantly obvious connection between Brunner and ACORN (other than shameless Obama-worship), but I had a hunch there was more than meets the eye.

Thank God for Maggie Thurber:

Gillette is identified on Jennifer Brunner's 2006 campaign website as a consultant. A blog entry by Brunner's husband Rick talks about that relationship, saying: "our candidate had gone earlier in the day to have some meetings and work out of Karyn Gillette's office." He also describes Gillette as "very helpful to the campaign."


According to campaign finance reports that were filed, Gillette was paid $21,250 by Brunner's campaign. She has a longtime history of serving as a fundraising consultant to Ohio Democrats.

...

But that's not all. Gillette is not Brunner's only tie to ACORN. Members of the group's voter registration arm, Project Vote, regularly advise Brunner on election strategy, previously serving on her Voter Rights Institute and even recently issuing a news release claiming credit for Brunner's directive banning challenges to suspected fraudulent voter registrations.

So our Secretary of State shares a campaign advisor with ACORN, takes direction from ACORN's voter registration arm, and refuses to verify over 200,000 mismatched registrations while claiming there is no voter fraud going on in Ohio...and that attention to such frivolous issues distracts her from doing her job.

Let's see Brunner try to wriggle out of this.

She's a class act and a credit to the Ohio blogosphere.

The following names appear on a petition supporting William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist with numerous close ties to Barack Obama.

Cleveland State University: Dinah Volk

Kent State University: Richard P. Ambrose, Janice Kroeger, Teresa J. Rishel, Tricia Niesz, Walter S. Gershon, Nancy Mellin McCracken (Prof. Emerita)

Miami University: Deborah Lyons, Dennis Carlson, Kathleen Knight Abowitz, Sheri L. Leafgren

Oberlin College: Marc Blecher, Martha Collins, Stephen Crowley, Steven Volk

Ohio Center for Native American Affairs: Regina Landeros-Thomas

Ohio State University: Amy Shuman, David Bloome, Rick Voithofer , Suzanne Damarin, Amy Wolfe, Cynthia Dillard, George E. Newell, Joshua J. Kurz (PhD Student)

Ohio University: Jaylynne N. Hutchinson

University of Akron: William H. Thelin, Rebecca A. McElfresh, Sandra Spickard Prettyman

Here's the text of the petition:

We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack. Ayers is a nationally known scholar, member of the Faculty Senate at UIC, Vice President-elect of the American Educational Research Association, and sought after as a speaker and visiting scholar by other universities because of his exemplary scholarship, teaching, and service. Throughout the 20 years that he has been a valued faculty member at UIC, he has taught, advised, mentored, and supported hundreds of undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. students. He has pushed them to take seriously their responsibilities as educators in a democracy - to promote critical inquiry, dialogue, and debate; to encourage questioning and independent thinking; to value the full humanity of every person and to work for access and equity. Helping educators develop the capacity and ethical commitment to these responsibilities is at the core of what we do, and as a teacher he has always embraced debate and multiple perspectives.


All citizens, but particularly teachers and scholars, are called upon to challenge orthodoxy, dogma, and mindless complacency, to be skeptical of authoritative claims, to interrogate and trouble the given and the taken-for-granted. Without critical dialogue and dissent we would likely be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings to this day. The growth of knowledge, insight, and understanding--- the possibility of change--- depends on that kind of effort, and the inevitable clash of ideas that follows should be celebrated and nourished rather than crushed. Teachers have a heavy responsibility, a moral obligation, to organize classrooms as sites of open discussion, free of coercion or intimidation. By all accounts Professor Ayers meets this standard. His classes are fully enrolled, and students welcome the exchange of views that he encourages.

The current characterizations of Professor Ayers --- "unrepentant terrorist," "lunatic leftist" --- are unrecognizable to those who know or work with him. It's true that Professor Ayers participated passionately in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, as did hundreds of thousands of Americans. His participation in political activity 40 years ago is history; what is most relevant now is his continued engagement in progressive causes, and his exemplary contribution --- including publishing 16 books --- to the field of education. The current attacks appear as part of a pattern of "exposés" and assaults designed to intimidate free thinking and stifle critical dialogue. Like crusades against high school and elementary teachers, and faculty at UCLA, Columbia, DePaul, and the University of Colorado, the attacks on and the character assassination of Ayers threaten the university as a space of open inquiry and debate, and threaten schools as places of compassion, imagination, curiosity, and free thought. They serve as warnings that anyone who voices perspectives and advances questions that challenge orthodoxy and political power may become a target, and this, then, casts a chill over free speech and inquiry and the spirit of democracy.

We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.

It's possible that some of the names were entered by someone else, since conservative pundits Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Jean Lopez and Mark Levin appear on the list. But how likely is it that some prankster would go to the trouble of looking up the names of actual university employees? Padding a petition doesn't require that much effort. The most plausible explanation is that the names are legitimate.

Do students, their parents, and alumni want their tuition money and their donations paying the salaries of these people? Do Ohio taxpayers want their tax dollars supporting these terrorist sympathizers?

H/T: American Thinker

RICO suit filed against ACORN

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The Buckeye Institute has targeted ACORN and Project Vote in Ohio:

COLUMBUS - The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank, today filed a state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on behalf of two Warren County voters. The action filed in Warren County Court of Common Pleas alleges ACORN has engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime. It seeks ACORN's dissolution as a legal entity, the revocation of any licenses in Ohio, and an injunction against fraudulent voter registration and other illegal activities.


Plaintiffs Jennifer Miller of Mason, Ohio and Kimberly Grant of Loveland, allege that ACORN's actions deprive them of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process. They allege fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters.

"The right to cast a vote that is not diluted by fraudulent votes is a fundamental individual right," Buckeye Institute President David Hansen said.

"ACORN appears to be recklessly disregarding Ohio laws and adding thousands of fraudulent voters to the state's roles in the process," Maurice Thompson, Director of the Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law said. "Such voter fraud erodes the value of legally cast votes," he added.

In the complaint, Thompson cites an accumulation of evidence showing numerous instances of admitted fraud by ACORN employees, as well as individuals solicited by ACORN.

"In light of its hiring, training and compensation practices, ACORN should have known its conduct would cause fraud," Thompson said. "It also should know that its conduct will cause fraud in the future."

Here's a copy of the filing. What are they asking for?

(1) The dissolution of Defendant ACORN, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(C)(3).12


(2) The revocation of any license or permit that allows Defendant ACORN to carry on its business in the State of Ohio, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(C)(4).

(3) The imposition of restrictions upon Defendant ACORN's future political and elections-related activities, including restrictions that prohibit the Defendants from engaging in the same type of activity that has produced the pattern of corrupt activity articulated in this Complaint, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(C)(2).

(4) The imposition of a restriction prohibiting ACORN from circumventing such a court order through the use of third-party operations or sham organizations.

(5) The awarding of attorneys fees to Plaintiffs, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(G).

(6) The awarding such other and further relief as the court shall deem just and equitable.

Bravo! Nail their asses to the wall.

Incidentally, this recent letter from the director of Cleveland ACORN is good for a laugh.

Update 1: When you hear ACORN claim that it's a non-partisan organization, just read this e-mail from ACORN soliciting paid canvassers for Obama.

Update 2: In order to dissolve ACORN or revoke its licenses, Ohio law [O.R.C. 2923.34(C)] requires the Ohio Attorney General to intervene (legalese for "join") in the Buckeye Institute's suit:

Relief pursuant to division (B)(3), (4), or (5) of this section shall not be granted in any civil proceeding instituted by an injured person unless the attorney general intervenes in the civil action pursuant to this division.


Upon the filing of a civil proceeding for relief under division (B)(3), (4), or (5) of this section by an allegedly injured person other than a prosecuting attorney, the allegedly injured person immediately shall notify the attorney general of the filing. The attorney general, upon timely application, may intervene in any civil proceeding for relief under division (B)(3), (4), or (5) if the attorney general certifies that, in the attorney general's opinion, the proceeding is of general public interest. In any proceeding brought by an injured person under division (B)(3), (4), or (5) of this section, the attorney general is entitled to the same relief as if the attorney general instituted the proceeding.

Fortunately, Ohio's Attorney General isn't corrupt Democrat Marc Dann anymore; he was impeached and resigned in disgrace.

Unfortunately, the interim AG is Democrat Nancy Rogers, who isn't staying in the post. Since she doesn't want to keep the AG job, she has no incentive to intervene in the RICO suit. She has nothing to lose by ignoring Ohio voters' anger over ACORN.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the Ohio Attorney General to take any action against ACORN.

Update 3: What a kind thing to say!

Vote Obama or be branded a racist

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Righty blogs aren't the only ones pointing out this scuzzy meme. I hope most voting Ohioans react appropriately on Election Day.

CNN notices ACORN

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It's no longer just a news item for conservative talk radio, righty blogs, and Fox News. CNN has been forced to cover the fraudulent activities of ACORN, the group of community organizers that Barack Obama once worked for.

ACORN has been very busy in Pennsylvania lately, not to mention in Ohio. What does Obama know about ACORN's voter fraud schemes?

H/T: Hot Air

More ACORN voter fraud in Ohio

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ACORN submitted fraudulent voter registrations in Cuyahoga County? Say it ain't so:

Cuyahoga County Election Board members grilled representatives of a community group Tuesday about their links to suspicious voter registration cards.


In one case, a Cleveland resident was registered to vote three times in a single day, listing two different addresses.

The man's registration was submitted to the Board of Elections by ACORN.

The board discussed several other cases of multiple registrations at their meeting. ACORN was involved in each case, although not for all entries by the same individuals.

...

Election officials subpoenaed three voters to appear before the Board next week to explain their mulitple registrations.

The list includes a Cuyahoga County resident whose name appears on 22 registration cards submitted in six months.

I'm as surprised by ACORN's fraud as I am by each morning's sunrise. C'mon, it's what they do.

Just like clockwork, and just like the Ohio Republican Party warned would happen, the corrupt community organizers of ACORN have begun their effort to elect Barack Obama by committing massive voter registration fraud.

The full story should wake you up, if you're still asleep.

--

Update: More on ACORN fraud in Ohio here and here.

With detractors like these ...

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... I must be doing something right. Especially when it's Tim Russo.

One of the stories from Ohio’s primary yesterday that is really bothering me was a report of 21 precincts in Cuyahoga County ordered to remain open by a Federal Judge’s decree until 9:00pm due to “voting improprieties.” Specifically, the Obama campaign sued the Ohio Secretary of State about a shortage of ballots and heavy winter weather supposedly preventing voters from being able to get in line to vote before the 7:30pm deadline. Here’s why this bothers me so much. Within the documents presented, there were no witness statements or evidence collaborating the charges (normally a requirement), and more importantly the 21 precincts appear to have been “cherry picked” due to their racial demographics (i.e. mostly African-American).

I never thought this day would come

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You've probably heard of "broken glass voters." Well, I just rolled my manual wheelchair through wind-driven sleet and two inches of bat-guano-slick slush to vote in Ohio's primary election. I'm not alone in braving the crud to go vote either.

The turnout according to the poll workers had topped 630 voters as I arrived 15 minutes from poll-closing time. Typical turnout for presidential primaries here runs about 400-450 voters. More interesting yet, the sign-in desk had almost used up its allotted stack of change-your-party-affiliation forms. With ~20 pages in the stack and 5 signature blocks on each form, that means that close to 100 voters in this suburban Cleveland area district changed their party affiliation.

With John McCain having the GOP nomination all but sewn up already, I'll give you three guesses which party's members were flocking to vote for the other side's nominee ... and your first two guesses don't count.

I'll be keeping an eye out for airborne swine, because it's been that kind of day.

Nativity scenes return to state parks

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Governor Strickland got this one right. Bravo. He has my unqualified praise.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #94

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Whether you're on the left (boo!), on the right (bravo!), or in the middle (yawn), you'll find a week's worth of fresh bloggy goodness at the 94th Carnival of Ohio Politics.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #89

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If you're an Ohio politics junkie, your weekly fix is ready.

88th Carnival of Ohio Politics

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Left, right and center, the latest bloggy goodness is piping hot.

Break out your hip waders, people. Governor Strickland's first crack at re-regulating Ohio's energy industry just hit the legislature as Senate Bill 221, and the B.S. is knee-deep and rising.

Turd mealThe bill's long, jargon-packed, and hard to understand, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with government's attempts to extend its tentacles further into our lives. I know that legislation is mind-numbingly boring and makes your eyes glaze over. Believe me, I feel your pain. But if you're worried about your electricity bill going up and yet you don't want to experience the joy of rolling blackouts, you need to pay attention to this stuff.

Here's a change to Section 4928.02 of the Ohio Revised Code that jumped out at me when I skimmed the bill (deleted text is struck through, added text is in boldface type):

Sec. 4928.02. It is the policy of this state to do the following throughout this state beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service:


(A) Ensure the availability to consumers of adequate, reliable, safe, efficient, nondiscriminatory, and reasonably priced retail electric service;

(B) Ensure the availability of unbundled and comparable retail electric service that provides consumers with the supplier, price, terms, conditions, and quality options they elect to meet their respective needs;

(C) Ensure diversity of electricity supplies and suppliers, by giving consumers effective choices over the selection of those supplies and suppliers and by encouraging the development of distributed and small generation facilities;

(D) Encourage innovation and market access for cost-effective supply- and demand-side retail electric service including, but not limited to, demand-side management, time-differentiated pricing, and implementation of advanced metering infrastructure;

(E) Encourage cost-effective and efficient access to information regarding the operation of the transmission and distribution systems of electric utilities in order to promote both effective customer choice of retail electric service and the development of performance standards and targets for service quality for all consumers, including annual achievement reports written in plain language;

(F) Recognize the continuing emergence of competitive electricity markets through the development and implementation of flexible regulatory treatment;

(G) Ensure effective competition in the provision of retail electric service by avoiding anticompetitive subsidies flowing from a noncompetitive retail electric service to a competitive retail electric service or to a product or service other than retail electric service, and vice versa;

(H) Ensure retail electric service consumers just and reasonable rates and protection against unreasonable sales practices, market deficiencies, and market power;

(I) Preclude imbalances in knowledge and expertise among parties in a proceeding under this chapter to eliminate any appearance of disproportionate influence by any of those parties;

(J) Ensure that consumers and shareholders share the benefits of, as well as the responsibility for, electric utility investment in facilities supplying retail electric generation service;

(K) Provide coherent, transparent means of giving appropriate incentives to technologies that can adapt successfully to potential environmental mandates;

(L) Protect at-risk populations when considering the implementation of any new advanced energy technology;

(M) Encourage implementation of distributed generation across customer classes through regular review and updating of rules governing critical issues such as, but not limited to, interconnection standards, standby charges, and net metering;

(N) Facilitate the state's effectiveness in the global economy.

What's that warm and fuzzy bilge in part (H) about "just and reasonable rates", you ask? Why, that means government-imposed price controls of course. Price controls cause shortages. Are you ready for brownouts?

I have no idea what part (J) is supposed to do. Consumers already benefit from utility company investments in new power generation facilities: they get more power produced more efficiently. As for "sharing responsibility", consumers do that now by paying their electric bills, which helps to fund capital improvements by utility companies. So what new consumer "benefits" and "responsibilities" are we talking about here?

Parts (K) and (L) look like euphemistic ways of saying to utility companies: "We'll make it crystal clear that if you don't appease environmentalist wackos (including government officials), we'll hurt your business." Say hello to higher taxes and burdensome new environmental regulations. Such costs would normally be passed on to consumers in the form of higher rates, but with price controls that won't happen now. Instead, these government-imposed costs will eat into the utility companies' profits. If there's no way to recoup the losses by increasing the rates charged to consumers, the power companies can't provide enough power. Now throw in the other predictable effect of price controls on electricity: artificially high demand for power. What we'll get is a repeat of California's blackouts in 2001. Among sentient humans, this is commonly referred to as "a bad thing."

I don't understand the jargon in part (M). Can anybody translate it into plain English for me?

This is Ted Strickland's idea of "improving" the production of electricity in Ohio. God help us.

Is Sherrod Brown anxious to appease Iran?

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You be the judge. Sherrod Brown voted no on the Lieberman-Kyl amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Here's the text, minus the findings:

SEC. 1535. SENSE OF SENATE ON IRAN.


(a) Findings.--The Senate makes the following findings:

...

(b) Sense of Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate--

(1) that the manner in which the United States transitions and structures its military presence in Iraq will have critical long-term consequences for the future of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, in particular with regard to the capability of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to pose a threat to the security of the region, the prospects for democracy for the people of the region, and the health of the global economy;

(2) that it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from turning Shi'a militia extremists in Iraq into a Hezbollah-like force that could serve its interests inside Iraq, including by overwhelming, subverting, or co-opting institutions of the legitimate Government of Iraq;

(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies;

(5) that the United States should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, as established under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and initiated under Executive Order 13224; and

(6) that the Department of the Treasury should act with all possible expediency to complete the listing of those entities targeted under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1747 adopted unanimously on December 23, 2006 and March 24, 2007, respectively.

I wonder which part(s) Brown objected to? The amendment passed by a vote of 76-22, with Barack Obama and John McCain not voting.

Hat tip: Jill Miller Zimon at Wide Open

Today's Betty Sutton timeline

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Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH), my congresscritter, voted on several items on today's legislative calendar. Here's what she's been up to so far:

11:23 AM: Roll call vote 908 - voted yes
11:30 AM: Roll call vote 909 - voted yes
12:32 PM: Roll call vote 910 - did not vote
12:44 PM: Roll call vote 911 - did not vote
2:27 PM: Roll call vote 912 - voted no
2:49 PM: Roll call vote 913 - voted yes

What were those two items she didn't vote on? Roll call vote 911 was a continuing resolution to keep several government agencies and programs running for awhile longer until Congress gets around to passing the 2008 budget.

Roll call vote 910 was an amendment that read as follows (with my emphasis added):

Sec. 150. (a) Congress makes the following findings:

(1) General David H. Petraeus was confirmed by a unanimous vote of 81-0 in the Senate on January 26, 2007, to be the Commander of the Multi-National Forces-- Iraq ;

(2) General David H. Petraeus assumed command of the Multi-National Forces-- Iraq on February 10, 2007;

(3) General David H. Petraeus previously served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-- Iraq , as the Commander of the NATO Training Mission-- Iraq , and as Commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during the first year of combat operations in Iraq ;

(4) General David H. Petraeus has received numerous awards and distinctions during his career, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm; and

(5) The leadership of the majority party in both the House of Representatives and the Senate implored the American people and Members of Congress early in January 2007 to listen to the generals on the ground.

(b) It is the Sense of the Congress that the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the service of General David H. Petraeus, as well as all other members of the Armed Forces serving in good standing, in the defense of the United States and the personal sacrifices made by General Petraeus and his family, and other members of the Armed Forces and their families, to serve with distinction and honor;

(2) commits to judge the merits of the sworn testimony of General David H. Petraeus without prejudice or personal bias, including refraining from unwarranted personal attacks;

(3) condemns in the strongest possible terms the personal attacks made by the advocacy group MoveOn.org impugning the integrity and professionalism of General David H. Petraeus;

(4) honors all members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel serving in harm's way, as well as their families; and

(5) pledges to debate any supplemental funding request or any policy decisions regarding the war in Iraq with the solemn respect and the commitment to intellectual integrity that the sacrifices of these members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel deserve.

What was Betty Sutton doing between 11:30 AM and 2:27 PM today, and why didn't she vote? That's a heck of a long potty break.

The Morning Journal unloads on Sherrod Brown today for his refusal to condemn MoveOn.org's slimy "General Betray Us" ad:

General Betray Us adIt's a shame that Brown and the other 24 Democrats couldn't set partisanship aside to vote for the resolution and make a simple unanimous statement from the Senate that MoveOn was off base and wrong to place the damaging ad.

But then MoveOn is a mega-dollar supporter of Democratic election campaigns. Who else would know that better than Brown. His Senate campaign last year received more than $300,000 through MoveOn, and the group did other work to help get Brown elected.

Brown said, through an aide, that the $300,000 he got from MoveOn had nothing to do with his vote against the GOP resolution to condemn the group's Petraeus ad.

The average Ohioan should feel insulted that Brown thinks we would actually believe his denial.

Maybe he is counting on our ''suspension of disbelief'' as we watch this drama play out in the political theater of Congress. That would be cynical.

MoveOn and its ad assaulted the U.S. commander during war. That is wrong and damaging to our country. We are disappointed that Brown apparently lacked the strength and clarity to just drop politics and say MoveOn was wrong to attack our top soldier in Iraq.

Those who ''support our troops'' should do so vigorously, from the bottom ranks to the top, even if that means offending your political pals with the deep pockets.

Read the whole thing.

Sherrod Brown votes to tuck tail and run

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Yesterday our junior U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, voted to cut off funding for U.S. troops in Iraq. Here's the amendment he voted for (with my emphasis added):

SAFE REDEPLOYMENT OF UNITED STATES TROOPS FROM IRAQ.

(a) Transition of Mission.--The President shall promptly transition the mission of the United States Armed Forces in Iraq to the limited and temporary purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment From Iraq.--The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of members of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq who are not essential to the limited and temporary purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall be carried out in a manner that protects the safety and security of United States troops.

(c) Use of Funds.--No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after June 30, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited and Temporary Purposes.--The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the following limited and temporary purposes:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and affiliated international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States Government personnel and infrastructure.

(3) To provide training to members of the Iraqi Security Forces who have not been involved in sectarian violence or in attacks upon the United States Armed Forces, provided that such training does not involve members of the United States Armed Forces taking part in combat operations or being embedded with Iraqi forces.

(4) To provide training, equipment, or other materiel to members of the United States Armed Forces to ensure, maintain, or improve their safety and security.

Is this what Ohio's voters want from their junior senator?

Sherrod Brown flips bird to Petraeus

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Today the U.S. Senate voted 72-25 (3 abstentions) to approve an amendment to the defense spending bill. The amendment read as follows:

To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

Sherrod Brown voted "no." I'm shocked at Slippery Sherrod's silence.

Hat tip: NixGuy

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Update: Track the buzz on the Senate's MoveOn sycophants here: Technorati search

If our politicians in Columbus can find a way to enact H.B. 314, the state medical board will be able to "limit, revoke, or suspend an individual's certificate to practice, refuse to register an individual, refuse to reinstate a certificate, or reprimand or place on probation the holder of a certificate" if that individual violates this new language in the Ohio Revised Code (emphasis added by Yours Truly):

Sec. 2317.561. In addition to the requirements in section 2317.56 of the Revised Code, if an obstetric ultrasound examination is performed at any time prior to the performance or inducement of an abortion or the physician performing or inducing the abortion determines that an ultrasound examination will be performed as part of the abortion procedure, the physician shall do both of the following prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion:


    (A) Provide the pregnant woman receiving the abortion the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the embryo or fetus;

    (B) Offer to provide the pregnant woman with a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the embryo or fetus.

The requirements of division (A) of this section shall be performed at no additional charge to the pregnant woman.

4-dimensional ultrasoundI looked through the Ohio Revised Code for any other mentions of the word "ultrasound" and found nothing that requires an abortionist to perform one. I'd bet that the standards of practice for an Ohio Ob/Gyn require an ultrasound before an abortion, but I'll confirm my hunch with my sister-in-law since she's an Ob/Gyn resident.

I'll check the Ohio Administrative Code in a bit.

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Update 1: My search for the word "ultrasound" in the Ohio Administrative Code yielded 13 hits. Only the first five look like they're worth examining. More on this later.

Update 2: I found nothing in the Ohio Administrative Code about requiring Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (a term that includes abortion clinics) to do an ultrasound before performing an abortion. Unless you choose to interpret Administrative Rule 4731-18-01(A)(1) really really broadly:

4731-18-01 Standards for surgery.


(A) The surgeon of record in an operative case shall personally:

(1) Evaluate the patient sufficiently to formulate an appropriate preoperative diagnosis;

Too general to hang your hat on, in my opinion. Now it's on to the Ohio Medical Board Rules.

Update 3: I found nothing in the Ohio Medical Board Rules requiring an abortionist to perform a pre-abortion ultrasound. Now I'll try the National Abortion Federation's Clinical Policy Guidelines, which serve as the abortion industry's self-published minimum standards of care for abortion providers. I haven't found any comparable document published by any regulatory body or professional association in Ohio that would set the minimum standards of care for Ohio's abortionists. Unless someone can prove me wrong, I'm forced to conclude that Ohio abortionists are governed by the NAF's Clinical Policy Guidelines.

Another dodge from Senator Sherrod Brown

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Frustrated by the canned response I got last time, on Friday I again asked Ohio's junior U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, the following three questions:

  1. Will you condemn MoveOn.org's full-page ad slandering General David Petraeus as "General Betray Us" and claiming that he is "cooking the books for the White House"? See http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.html
  2. Are America and political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") at war? If so, should America seek to achieve anything more than dismantling al Qaeda and capturing/killing Osama bin Laden?
  3. Should America forcibly crush and discredit political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") while preserving individual Muslims' right to worship peacefully? If so, how? If not, what will the consequences be for America?

This hit my inbox yesterday afternoon:

Thank you for letting me know your views on the advertisement placed in The New York Times by MoveOn.org.


I do not believe that General Petraeus should be the focus of blame for Americans' frustration with the situation in Iraq. The military has accomplished every goal set before it in Iraq with honor and courage. But no longer should we ask our troops to shed blood for a political and cultural battle they cannot resolve.

We do not dishonor the military by arguing for its return from Iraq. Two of the hallmarks of our country, unlike dictatorships past and present, are the vigorous debate among our citizens over the wisdom of our foreign policy and civilian control of our military forces. Every American has a responsibility to carefully evaluate the direction our country is taking and weigh in to help determine its future.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,
Sherrod Brown

Sorry. No banana for you, Senator.

Hear no evilDoes anyone with two brain cells to rub together think that this qualifies as a response to my questions? Slippery Sherrod refused to condemn MoveOn.org's slimy ad, and completely ignored my questions about America's response to the threat from political Islam.

I know he desperately wants to squirm out from under this microscope, but he can't. I'm perfectly happy to be a gadfly when it comes to national defense. I'm going to keep asking these questions until he answers them directly. I'll even make it easy for him; I'll ask each one separately instead of all together in one message. That should make it harder to ignore the political Islam topic.

Stay tuned.

A response from Sherrod Brown

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On Monday I asked three questions of my Congresscritters, the liberal troika of Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), and Senator Sherrod Brown(D-MoveOn.org):

  1. Will you condemn MoveOn.org's full-page ad slandering General David Petraeus as "General Betray Us" and claiming that he is "cooking the books for the White House"? See http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.html
  2. Are America and political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") at war? If so, should America seek to achieve anything more than dismantling al Qaeda and capturing/killing Osama bin Laden?
  3. Should America forcibly crush and discredit political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") while preserving individual Muslims' right to worship peacefully? If so, how? If not, what will the consequences be for America?

As I predicted, Senator Sherrod Brown replied first.

Dear Mr. [omitted]:


Thank you for sharing your views on the testimony of General Petraeus and our military involvement in Iraq.

The government has lost his focus on the war on terror. I am concerned about the long term and open ended commitments proposed in the hearing, especially when our troops are in harm's way without the equipment they need. Both Republicans and Democrats posed difficult questions during the 9/10/07 and 9/11/07 hearings at which General Petraeus testified. I believe it was their solemn obligation to do so, and that General Petraeus was prepared for a candid, hard hitting and thorough inquiry.

I will continue to provide support to our troops and, work for their redeployment as soon as safely possible.

Thank you again for writing.

Sincerely,
Sherrod Brown

Can anybody make heads or tails of this? This has got to be a canned reply from some staffer. If Sherrod Brown actually wrote this, then I'm apparently being represented by an idiot. This is no reply at all, but then I'm not the only one having a hard time pinning Slippery Sherrod down.

Henry Payne has it right:

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Update: I just sent the following message to Senator Brown's office through his web site.

On Monday I asked you to answer the following three questions:



  1. Will you condemn MoveOn.org's full-page ad slandering General David Petraeus as "General Betray Us" and claiming that he is "cooking the books for the White House"? See http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.html

  2. Are America and political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") at war? If so, should America seek to achieve anything more than dismantling al Qaeda and capturing/killing Osama bin Laden?

  3. Should America forcibly crush and discredit political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") while preserving individual Muslims' right to worship peacefully? If so, how? If not, what will the consequences be for America?

You sent me this canned reply:

"The government has lost his focus on the war on terror. I am concerned about the long term and open ended commitments proposed in the hearing, especially when our troops are in harm's way without the equipment they need. Both Republicans and Democrats posed difficult questions during the 9/10/07 and 9/11/07 hearings at which General Petraeus testified. I believe it was their solemn obligation to do so, and that General Petraeus was prepared for a candid, hard hitting and thorough inquiry."

You didn't even attempt to answer my questions. I'm giving you another opportunity to do so now.

Let's see what Slippery Sherrod does.

Here are three questions I just posed to my U.S. Representative and both of my U.S. Senators:

  1. Will you condemn MoveOn.org's full-page ad slandering General David Petraeus as "General Betray Us" and claiming that he is "cooking the books for the White House"? See http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.html
  2. Are America and political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") at war? If so, should America seek to achieve anything more than dismantling al Qaeda and capturing/killing Osama bin Laden?
  3. Should America forcibly crush and discredit political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") while preserving individual Muslims' right to worship peacefully? If so, how? If not, what will the consequences be for America?

I submitted each question simultaneously to Representative Betty Sutton, Senator George Voinovich, and Senator Sherrod Brown via their web sites. It'll be interesting to read their responses ... assuming that they reply, of course. Betty Sutton's not exactly a paragon of virtue when it comes to answering questions (especially the last two). George Voinovich has a habit of ignoring uncomfortable inquiries as well.

Sherrod Brown's a different story though; for all my strong disagreements with him on practically every possible issue, he's extremely responsive. When he was my Representative his office responded promptly to every question I submitted through his web site, even though my stance was clearly conservative. My hat's off to Senator Brown and his staff, and I'm confident that he'll reply promptly this time too.

The race is on. Tune in for updates.

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Update 1: I have a hunch that Ohio's junior Senator will be reluctant to condemn today's slander, since MoveOn.org spent $25,899 to help elect Senator Brown.

Update 2: Perhaps we should ask different questions. Good point. Who is the anonymous Senator working with MoveOn.org?

Update 3: Whoa. I've been digging through MoveOn.org's finances for the 2006 election cycle, and there are some eye-popping numbers to discuss. Stay tuned for a big post.

Update 4: Here ya go. Follow the money.

Update 5: Senator Brown replied. Sort of.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #81

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Enjoy the fresh bloggy goodness.

I've been watching the utter inactivity developing race in Ohio's 13th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I haven't seen squat from the Ohio Republican Party. Democrat blogger Scott Piepho (an eminently reasonable and likable guy) wonders why the GOP is leaving Sutton unchallenged.

Hello! Earth to Bob Bennett, Alex Arshinkoff, and Kevin Coughlin! When will one of you recruit a credible challenger?

Two publicly-funded charter schools in the Columbus area, International Academy of Columbus and Westside Academy, are run by Islamic extremists tied to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), according to Patrick Poole:

Even though many of the new students are learning English as a new language, an essential tool for helping them integrate into their new community, the schools instead focuses on Arabic as part of their core curriculum. As a result, standardized test scores for the schools are well below state standards; and yet Ohio educrats continue to give the project new life, pumping millions of taxpayer dollars into each school every year to keep the schools open and renewing their contracts. One board member for both schools has even co-authored an article advocating an educational policy of "selected acculturation" and "accommodation without assimilation" to "encourage Somali youth to develop an adversarial identity that will put them at odds with mainstream society" - thus trapping the students in a cycle of perpetual cultural alienation and isolation.

The student population of both schools is overwhelmingly drawn from the Central Ohio Somali community, which itself is comprised of refugees who fled their war-torn country to escape from the warlords and clan warfare that have torn the country apart since 1991. Sadly, these refugees have arrived only to find the warlords and clan leaders in charge of the very public and private institutions here in the US intended to help them resettle and adjust to life in their new home.

One of the new educational warlords these unsuspecting Somali families are encountering is Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, who is listed as one of the incorporators of both charter schools, and who is listed as the treasurer of International Academy. Joining him on the board of both schools is Abukar Arman, the Somali terror apologist who was recently forced to resign from the Central Ohio Homeland Security oversight board following my FrontPage exposé regarding his published statements of support for terrorist organizations and individuals (see, "Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door" and "Terror Sympathizer Tossed from Homeland Security Oversight Panel"). Arman identifies himself as the board president of Westside Academy and March 2005 press release announcing his appointment to a government board lists him as "building director" of International Academy.

Students at the two schools perform badly on standardized tests. The International Academy of Columbus reports dismal scores, and the Westside Academy has no scores at all. Abysmal academic performance and shrinking enrollment aren't the only problems. Poole suggests that the CAIR members who founded these schools have skimmed profits from both operations. And how does militant Islamist proselytizing grab you?

Extremist politics, rather than education concerns, seems to be the driving factor of the schools. One of the leaders of the two schools admits to creating a program designed to keep students from integrating into the "racist" American mainstream. In a published education article, "Educating Immigrant Youth in the United States", Abukar Arman and his co-author lay out an educational plan of keeping Somali children from integrating into their new culture, and cite the experience of International Academy as the best example of their recommended "selected acculturation" educational philosophy in practice.

Another indicator of the partisan political and sectarian use of these schools is in an anti-Israel "teach-in" sponsored by CAIR-OH held at International Academy in September 2006, entitled "Palestine 101". The event was co-sponsored by a number of Marxist and extremist organizations: The Committee for Justice in Palestine, International Socialist Union, World Can't Wait-Columbus, and Not In Our Name-Columbus. CAIR national official and school treasurer Ahmad Al-Akhras served as one of the panelists.

Read the whole thing.

These aren't private schools; they're public charter schools that get bucket-loads of taxpayer funding from Ohio's educrats. And if that isn't enough to raise your hackles, Poole's article points out that the CAIR bunch just incorporated a new charter madrassa school: Eastside Academy.

To stay abreast of this mess, drop by Central Ohioans Against Terrorism, where Patrick Poole blogs (his personal blog is Existential Space). This gent deserves an invitation to join the SOB Alliance.

Also, see what the charming folks at CAIR have been up to lately in their advocacy for The Religion of Peace™.

Hat tips: Michelle Malkin for the story, and Jill Miller Zimon for the school data.

Here's the text of a message I just sent to the Ohio Republican Party: "Who (if anyone) has the Ohio GOP recruited to run against Betty Sutton in the 13th District? She's a freshman, so she's vulnerable. Please tell me you're recruiting somebody." Perhaps you could ask them the same question?

I'll bet they've recruited nobody, but hope springs eternal. In the meantime, I'll try to get Sutton to take positions on the record whenever I can (here and here, for example).

A labor question for Betty Sutton

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I just submitted the following question to my Representative, Betty Sutton (D-OH):

Should unions be allowed to make financial contributions to a politician or organization using funds from a union member's dues if he/she objects? Why or why not? For the purposes of this hypothetical, assume that no court has ruled on the issue.

We'll see how (or if) this labor lawyer responds. I suspect she'll send a canned reply with no specifics.

Bleg: conservative radio ad project

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Lefty blogger Jerid at Buckeye State Blog reports that a liberal group is putting together some radio ads attacking Senator Voinovich for his recent vote on the war effort in Iraq. The lefties are upset that the esteemed RINO Senator stuck with his party and supported the troops this time, and they're trolling for Ohio liberals to record their voices. Like so:

I'm not keen on defending Voinovich. Not one bit. Defending the troops and crushing the enemy is another matter entirely.

Why don't we in the SOB Alliance try a similar tactic and put together some radio spots of our own, and get some conservative group to fund the ad buy? We have several budding radio talk show hosts among Ohio's conservative bloggers, and we're all writers. We can draft scripts, identify some Radio Voices™, record them, and add some music and sound effects and sound bites.

Whaddaya say?

Yesterday, State Representatives Josh Mandel and Shannon Jones finally introduced a bill that would require Ohio's state pension fund managers to cut all financial ties with any company that does business with (or in) Iran. It's a good start. Here are the high points:

  1. Ohio state pension fund managers are forbidden to invest in any "forbidden entity":
    • any publicly-traded company with active business ties or operations in or with Iran;
    • any publicly-traded company that has active business ties or operations with any company domiciled in Iran;
    • any non-publicly-traded foreign company that doesn't annually provide an accurate affidavit that it doesn't own or control any property or assets located in Iran, nor does it have business ties or operations in or with Iran.
    • any mutual fund, separate account, index, index managed product, or compilation of stocks identified that can't prove it excludes all forbidden entities.
  2. All funds currently invested in forbidden entities must be at least 60% divested within six months, and 100% divested within a year;
  3. If this divestment causes a state pension fund to suffer a loss, the fund manager gets immunity from pensioners' lawsuits alleging a breach of fiduciary duty;
  4. When private asset managers are under contract to invest Ohio state pension funds, those managers must certify that they won't invest in a forbidden entity, and will divest any funds already so invested. Otherwise they suffer penalties:
    • they get their contract yanked;
    • for one year, they're forbidden from doing any business with the treasurer of state, the state board of deposit, the workers' compensation oversight commission, the administrator of workers' compensation, and the board of each of the state retirement systems (ouch!)
  5. The Ohio Attorney General must enforce the bill, and can bring an action in court to do so (count on Lincoln Logs to keep an eye on Marc Dann for us)

Did you spot what's missing from the "forbidden entity" definition?

  Foreign Domestic
Publicly-traded companies checkmark checkmark
Non-publicly-traded companies checkmark  
Funds, indexes, etc. checkmark checkmark

I don't understand why Ohio state pension fund managers are allowed to invest in domestic private companies with ties to Iran. Did Representatives Mandel and Jones forget to include them in the "forbidden entities" list? I hope this gets cleared up before the bill comes to a vote.

If you're wondering how many "forbidden entities" get Ohio state pension money, you're not alone, according to The Plain Dealer:

CSP reportCiting a 2004 study from the Center for Security Policy, Mandel said the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System had each invested in more than 100 companies with ties to Iran. The Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund had invested in 63 companies with ties to Iran while the School Employees Retirement System had invested in 48, according to the report.

...

The 2004 study found that about one in five dollars in both the public-employees and teacher pension funds in Ohio were invested in companies with ties to a handful of terrorist-sponsoring states including Iran. Many of the investments are in energy-related companies involved in oil drilling.

Neither Mandel nor Jones could say exactly how many foreign companies do business with Iran, pegging the number at 200 to 300.

It shouldn't matter if there are two or 2,000 companies affected. No state pension funds should pass through the grubby little fingers of Iranian President Ahminamoodforjihad and his mullah buddies.

Another quote from the PD article:

Jones noted that it took only weeks for fund managers to come up with mutual funds free of Sudanese investments after Illinois passed similar legislation.

"We are going to set the policy, and we are going to let Wall Street provide the product," Jones said.

Remember that this bill would only affect funds in Ohio's state pension system, and wouldn't restrict any private-sector investments. You'd be free to send your own money to Iranian companies. That's assuming that you'd want to. Which you don't. I hope.

Ahmadinejad cartoonMy only objection to the bill concerns the exemption for investments in "social development companies", defined as: (1) any company or entity that is not an agency of the government of Iran that holds a valid, current accreditation as a nongovernmental organization from the united nations department of public information; (2) a company that has been identified by an independent research provider as a company whose primary purpose in Iran is to provide to the people of Iran goods and services intended to relieve human suffering; to promote health, religious, or spiritual activities; and to provide education for humanitarian purposes; (3) a company that has been identified by an independent research provider as a company whose primary purpose in Iran is to perform journalistic activities.

This wording might offer enough wiggle room to allow a state pension fund manager to invest in a shady Islamic organization with ties to terrorists. As for nongovernmental organizations, The UN Department of Public Information probably maintains an online list of accredited NGOs, but their server's unreachable at the moment. Once they're back online I'll dig around to see if any accredited NGO is deserves scrutiny.

Nevertheless the concept is sound. Bravo, Josh and Shannon. Extra kudos to Democrat co-sponsors Matthew Barrett, Armond Budish, Timothy DeGeeter, Dan Dodd, Jay Goyal, and Dale Mallory. It takes guts these days for a Democrat to take anything resembling a tough stand in the face of our common enemies.

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Update: Jill Miller Zimon at Writes Like She Talks notes that the federal version of this bill was introduced on March 6th.

The following e-mail from Mike DeWine landed in my inbox today. The first sentence was enough to instantly seal my decision to vote against John McCain in the Ohio primary, but I can't resist a mild fisking.

Dear Friend,

You may have heard that I am heading up John McCain's Presidential campaign in Ohio. I'd like to take a few moments to tell you why.

I have known John McCain for almost 25 years. We both were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. I worked closely with him during our years together in the House and during my 12 years in the U.S. Senate. No one is more qualified to be our next President. [Ed.: Wrong. Fred Dalton Thompson is.]

While our Party is truly fortunate to have such a strong field of qualified candidates, I believe that John McCain has what it takes - the experience, knowledge, and foresight - to lead our Nation. He is decisive. He has guts. And, he leaves no room for ambiguity or uncertainty in his reasoned policy decisions. [Ed.: Yup, he's unambiguously a squish on everything but national defense.]

I don't agree with John McCain on every issue. [Ed.: That's supposed to reassure me that he's not a RINO like you?] But, I do know that when we elect a President, we elect the Commander-in-Chief. We elect someone who is going to be making life and death decisions every single day. There is only one person I want making those decisions - and that person is John McCain.

The fact is that the future and security of this country hinges on next year's election. The Presidency requires a person of sound judgment, with an extraordinary grasp of foreign and military affairs - someone who can navigate our country through very dangerous and unchartered waters. Again, that person is John McCain. [Ed.: No, it's Fred.]

Over and over, John has proven his leadership. He was right about Iraq and the need for more troops. He was also right way back in the fall of 1983. I remember John giving a courageous speech in the House against extending our military presence in Lebanon. He believed our presence would not be sufficient to keep the peace, nor were we prepared to exercise our full military capabilities. Less than one month later, 241 U.S. military personnel lost their lives in Lebanon.

John McCain, like he has so many times, stepped forward. He didn't sit back. He didn't cower. He knows both the strengths and limits of our military forces. That kind of understanding is vital if a President is to exercise measured judgment on when and where to use our military to defend and protect our country and our interests.

The bottom line is this: I've watched John McCain for years. I know him, and I'm for him. Please join me with your support. Whether it is through a financial contribution or your volunteer efforts, John needs your help. Visit www.JohnMcCain.com to join the team.

Very respectfully yours,

Mike DeWine

P.S. Click here to make a quick online contribution.

Paid for by Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate and authorized by John McCain 2008. [Ed.: DeWine still has money in his campaign war chest, and he only spends it on McCain?]

Every time I think McCain can't be any more tone deaf to the conservative GOP base, he out-does himself.

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Update: I'm not the only one wincing. Check out VikingSpirit, Nasty Brutish & Short, Return of The Conservatives, and PoliticsExtra.

Update 2: Jerid at the lefty Buckeye State Blog wonders just exactly where DeWine's disagreements with McCain lie. Good question.

Post-election pause

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I'm holding my tongue for awhile on matters of politics. I'd rather cool off and think for awhile before posting, rather than risk saying something I'll regret later. It's time for conservatives to pause and reflect on our priorities for the next two years.

This defeat of Republicanism is not a rejection of conservatism.

Election predictions

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Our side will lose seats, but I predict that the Republicans will hold both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Mike DeWine will barely beat Sherrod Brown.

The Democratic Party will descend into vicious infighting as it tries to assign blame for its failure. John Kerry will be the first and most prominent whipping boy. The left-wing blogs will scream bloody murder about "voter suppression" and "election fraud", since they cannot comprehend the possibility that the majority of voters don't share the left's beliefs.

The Dinosaur Media will breathlessly report electronic voting problems and will try to sway late voters with wildly inaccurate exit polls purporting to show Democrat victory in the offing. Once it becomes clear that the Republicans have squeaked out a win, the media will openly bemoan Democrat ineptness, finally casting aside any illusion of objectivity and impartiality. They will continue to hemorrhage what little credibility they still have, and the next round of newspaper circulation numbers and TV news ratings will show major drops across the board.

My Congressional District, the 13th, will be saddled with Democrat Betty Sutton, which is a no-brainer thanks to the inept and under-funded campaign of RINO Craig Foltin.

Issue 2 (boosting the minimum wage) will pass by a close margin, Issue 3 (legalized gambling) will fail by a close margin, Issue 4 (limited smoking ban) will fail, and Issue 5 (total smoking ban) will fail by a large margin.

I grind my teeth to say it but I think Ted Strickland will be our new Governor ... yet Ken Blackwell will only lose by less than 7%. Most importantly, Blackwell will capture more than 1/3 of the black vote, which will ring alarm bells throughout the Democratic Party.

[Cross-posted at The S.O.B. Alliance]

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Update: To quote Emily Litella ... never mind.

*** Update: it's a hoax (or so they claim). Be sure to read the comments. ***

You read that headline right. Liberal bloggers Buckeye State Blog and Plunderbund have had something in the works for awhile now. The right side of the blogosphere detected the problem on FreeRepublic. Right on the Right sounded the alarm, followed by BizzyBlog and NixGuy.

Michelle Malkin is watching the story. Jonathan Adler at Volokh looks at the criminal implications, and notes that Buckeye State Blog's "Operation Infiltration" might be a hoax.

Many of you Ohio conservatives are fed up with the Republican Party at every level, and you're prepared to sit out the election or even vote for Democrats. I know you mean well and you're right to be angry. You have reached such heights of frustration that you want to "throw all the bums out" as a way to spank the GOP ... and doing it will sure feel good.

But it's incredibly unwise.

When a football team has problem players who disrupt the team's efforts, only a foolish coach would fire the whole team just before the opening kickoff. The wise coach plays the game as well as he can, and only after the last second ticks down does he start shopping for replacements.

A wise woman sent an e-mail to Tom Blumer, one of my colleagues in the S.O.B. Alliance. She explains why we all need to vote for Republicans again, no matter how galling it might be. Don't leave this page until you've read her message.

If afterward your feelings still compel you to disregard cold reason and you choose to punish all Republicans this Tuesday ... well, there's nothing more I can say that will persuade you.

But rest assured that if the Democrats take over the Congress, when the next massive attack comes I will place the blame loudly and squarely on your shoulders. I expect liberals to be childish and vote with their feelings despite all inconvenient facts.

You, on the other hand, know better.

Kerry tries to hide ties to Sherrod Brown

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Sherrod Brown came to John Kerry's defense, so Kerry's trying to provide cover for Brown. First Kerry cancelled his campaign schedule and went into hiding. Now the JohnKerry.com site has pulled down its list of Democratic candidates who've received funds and cheerleading from Senator Lurch Kerry.

Guess who got over $197,000? Click the screencap:

kerrys_pals.jpg

Here's the story.

If you're reading this blog then the odds are good that you're a conservative, with the exception of my poor deluded buddy John out in Hawaii, who still can't bring himself to pull the "R" lever. Like me, you're probably not too happy with Mike DeWine's conservative credentials. But if you're thinking of staying home to punish the Republicans, or even (God forbid) thinking of voting Democratic, allow me to remind you about what you'd be getting from a Senator Sherrod Brown.

Just drop in on BizzyBlog and Weapons of Mass Discussion and you'll see why you'd be a fool not to hold your nose and vote for Mike DeWine.

When it comes to disdain for our troops, Sherrod Brown stands with John Kerry:

Rep. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat leading in late polls in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, said Republicans are merely trying to change the subject. "The people who should apologize are George Bush and Mike DeWine for sending our troops into battle without body armor and without examining the cooked intelligence," he said.

So according to Brown, this wasn't an insult to our troops:

That's right, folks. In Sherrod Brown World, it doesn't matter what the troops fighting in Iraq heard. Those dolts misinterpreted an obvious joke about their Commander-in-Chief and thought it was an insult directed at them. Any idiot would have understood. They're either too dumb to get the joke, or they're just acting like eeeeevil Republicans when they take John Kerry at his word.

Sherrod Brown knows darn well that Kerry's insult revealed yet again his inherent disdain for the U.S. military. Brown shares that attitude, and today's quote demonstrates the point. This hair-on-fire pacifist lefty wants to have a bigger say in American national security and foreign policy. Do Ohio voters really want a small man like this representing them in the U.S. Senate?

Contribute to Mike DeWine and keep Sherrod Brown away from the reins of power.

Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt

Dave at NixGuy highlights the double standard applied to Ted Strickland when it comes to politicians and pedophiles:

The Foley standard, as we now know, is that when someone brings you allegations of sexual impropriety, you must immediately launch an investigation, AND call for full public disclosure of everything that is known. This is true if you are merely an associate of the person in question, much less the guys employer.

Anyone who fails to take these steps on the first hint of a sexual impropriety must resign their positions.

...

How does Strickland measure up against this standard? The actual hiring of a guy with an actual conviction, notified of it, handed the police reports. What does Strickland do?

No public disclosure, no firing, keeps the guy after the election, and keeps him close enough for an after campaign reward trip to Italy.

This is exactly the issue, yet the dinosaur media keeps talking about the controversy as if it's all about sex (and therefore, á la Bill Clinton, it doesn't matter). Barring any crippling lawsuits (ha!) we in the SOB Alliance will keep trying to put the focus where it belongs: on Ted Strickland's poor judgment in hiring, and on the likely statewide policy implications of a Strickland Administration's refusal to take pedophilia seriously.

Now the Democrats have two choices here. They can take a step back, look at the Foley standard, look at Strickland, and honestly admit that maybe they were a little harsh on Pryce, Boehner and the rest.

Or, they can throw Strickland under the bus.

...

You can have Strickland, or you can have the Foley standard. You can’t have both.

Exactly right.

Kirsten Powers, a Democrat who's intellectually honest, gets it too (scroll down). We'll see how many other Dems take her approach. What say you, Buckeye State Blog?

Read Dave's whole post. It's worth your consideration.

Lawsuit against SOB Alliance?

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MLM Liberal (profile here) appears to be threatening legal action against any of us in the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance who don't quit the Alliance, starting with Nathan R.C. Warden:

As the campaign nastiness gets more personal, MLM Liberal is fulfilling his promise to "Swift Boat the Swift Boaters."

Interesting. There's more:

Such comments are indicative of Ken Blackwell's base. Those of us who really do care about the future of this state, as well as our nation, are not about to cave in to people like Nathan R.C. Warden. And, as is stated in the Miranda rights, anything he says can be used against him in a court of law. Granted, we are talking civil as opposed to criminal proceedings. Nonetheless, every one of his blog entries, like mine, would be subject to court scrutiny.

Of course, I'm no lawyer. I just work with law enforcement on a daily basis.

A note to other members of the SOB Alliance who have not been a part of the continued smearing of Ted Strickland, much less getting on Scott Pullins' bandwagon: If you oppose what Scott Pullins is doing, leave the Alliance now before you get caught in the crossfire.

Oooooo, I'm terrified.

I have visited every blog in the Alliance, and a number of them haven't participated in the smear tactics or even discussed the matter at all. You should not have to suffer for the actions of others. Because once more bloggers on the left get wind of the situation, they will be speaking out in force.

It's only about to get nastier.

I wonder if MLM Liberal cares to be more specific? Since I've been covering Ted Strickland's Foley problem, am I also a target for this guy's not-so-veiled threat? On what grounds? Defamation? Intentional infliction of emotional distress? Being a mean old conservative poopy-head?

I suppose that beyond his hatred for Scott Pullins, MLM Liberal's also got a craving for revenge against my colleagues Dave at NixGuy and Tom Blumer. Who else will he sue, Sean Hannity, Bill Cunningham, Bob Frantz, and Jerome Corsi?

I wonder whos' covering MLM Liberal's legal expenses? Is he seriously hoping that some lefty lawyer's going to take his case on a contingency fee basis? Maybe he knows a lib attorney looking to do some pro bono work.

This just goes to show that the typical leftist can't win policy arguments on the merits, and can't hope to have anything useful to contribute to a discussion about moral behavior. Their motto seems to be "If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em."

I await MLM Liberal's response, but I'm not holding my breath.

--

Update: I never knew I was a member of the al Qaeda Boosters Club of Ohio.

More Strickland rumors

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The Pullins Report just posted news of two new rumors that, if true, will doom Ted Strickland's candidacy.

Scott Pullins' disclaimer:

WARNING - As I stated above, these are entirely rumors at this point with no substantiation whatsoever! We have requested records from Shawnee State University and the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility and will report if and when we obtain further information.

Keep your eyes peeled.

--

Update: Something's been bugging me awhile. I agree with Paul at Newshound that if the Blackwell campaign makes an issue of Strickland's sexual orientation (and whether his celebratory trip to Italy was a "tryst"), then it would be crossing the line into territorry marked "Here Be Scumminess." I hope Blackwell knows better.

On Wednesday, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell just before both men dropped in on a TownHall.com meeting in the Cleveland suburbs. The topics ranged from economic revitalization to Ted Strickland's "Foley problem."

Here's the audio in MP3 format.

First watch the video from Wednesday night's Hannity & Colmes ...

... then listen to the audio from Wednesday afternoon's broadcasts of The Sean Hannity Show and The Bill Cunningham Show (hour 2 and hour 3).

Once Ted Strickland's "Foley problem" gets traction, Ken Blackwell will get another chance to dispel the myth that electing Blackwell means four more years of Bob Taft's disastrous policies.

Wictory Wednesday: give to Mike DeWine

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This week Wictory Wednesday presents Senator Mike DeWine from Ohio for re-election to the US Senate. He is currently trailing Democrat challenger Sherrod Brown.

He supports the tax cuts and understands the best way to grow an economy is to bring business out from under the stifling arm of government taxation and regulation. Ultimately ever tax or regulation is paid for by the consumer.

Senator DeWine understands that affordable health care doesn't mean that the government pays for and runs the system. Even Europe is moving away from such economically naïve models. A strong health care system requires that the consumer be in control, not some bureaucrat hundreds or thousands of miles away.

National security has never been more important. While terrorists attacks continue overseas, nothing has been successful in the United States since 9/11 and the Anthrax attacks. Senator DeWine understands that it requires strong intelligence agencies, a military with the necessary tools, and law enforcement who treats the problem as warfare against the citizens of this country, not as some petty criminal gang like the Crips.

Please consider supporting Senator DeWine's re-election.

This has been a production of the Wictory Wednesday blogburst. If you would like to join Wictory Wednesday, please see this post or contact John Bambenek at jcb (dot) blog [at] gmail {dot} com. The following sites are members of the Wictory Wednesday team:

I'll be attending tonight's town hall meeting featuring Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and Ken Blackwell. If I get a chance to ask a question, what would you folks like me to bring up?

RNC abandons Ohio? Um, no.

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The rumored Republican capitulation in Ohio's Senate race turns out to be yet another example of wishful thinking by The New York Times.

Ted Strickland still silent on pedophilia

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The morning host on Cleveland's blowtorch talk radio station WTAM, Bob Frantz, wants to know where Ted Strickland stands on pedophilia. Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog has been agitating for a straight answer from Strickland too, as has NixGuy.

Maybe Mike Trivisonno will ask Ted about it on the air during the "non-debate debate" this afternoon at 3 PM. I sure hope so.

--

Update: BizzyBlog helpfully provides an index as a jumping-off point for all of his Strickland posts. Helpfully enough, NixGuy has done the same.

It looks like recent criticism of Ted Strickland's stance on pedophilia has prompted some urgent damage control by the Strickland campaign.

Don't miss NixGuy's takedown of a leftie blogger's feeble attempt to pooh-pooh the issue.

--

Update: Radio talk show host Bob Frantz joins the fray and swats down another weak defense of Strickland and his non-stance on pedophilia.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #43

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Election Day is coming, and Ohio's in the spotlight as usual. Newshound has the latest week's Buckeye State political blogging wrapped up and tied with a bow.

Ted Strickland is soft on pedophiles

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BizzyBlog's Tom Blumer has written a must-read four part series on Ted Strickland's refusal to condemn pedophilia ... and why it matters. The roll call on the vote is here.

Ted Strickland on sexual predators

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Matt Hurley has pointed questions for Ted Strickland about his stance on child predator issues (like employing a man convicted of indecently exposing himself to children, and failing to condemn adult-child sex).

DeWine vs. Brown: statistical dead heat

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Mike DeWine appears to be closing the gap on Sherrod Brown:

The Quinnipiac University poll found that 45 percent of likely Ohio voters favored Brown, while 44 percent backed DeWine and 11 percent were undecided.

The telephone poll of 876 likely voters, taken between Sept. 11-17, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

A USA Today/Gallup poll released Sept. 1 had Brown slightly ahead of DeWine, 46 percent to 40 percent.

Remember it's just a poll. The only poll that counts is the one on Election Day. Even so, this is encouraging news.

--

Update:
If you want polling analysis, go check out NixGuy. If you're really really into polling, RaceTracked gives you what you want.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #38

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It's the home stretch in the 2006 campaign season, and Newshound has collected the best of the past week's political blogging.

Watch Ted Strickland's answer. It's awfully long-winded, and it isn't a "no."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman spoke at The City Club Of Cleveland today. Here's an excerpt:

Mike DeWine and Sherrod Brown are both good men ... but they have very different philosophies.


Brown began his political career as a volunteer for George McGovern - and he doesn't seem to have changed much since then.

Mike DeWine believes that we should continue to use tools like the Patriot Act to catch terrorist sleeper cells in the United States.

Brown voted nine times against the Patriot Act.

Mike DeWine believes in giving our intelligence community every tool it needs to find the terrorists wherever they are hiding.

Sherrod Brown has voted at least five times to cut intelligence funding.

The B-2 and F-22 are vital tools in our fight, and Sherrod Brown voted against them.

North Korea is testing long-range missiles, but Sherrod Brown voted against missile defense.

There is a real difference between the candidates.

It's not about who is more patriotic or who loves our country more.

Both men want America to be safe ... but they have very different strategies for how to do that, and that difference is the choice Ohio voters face in three months.

In this particular Senate race, I am definitely a one-issue voter ... and it's the same issue that drove my vote for President in 2004 (more here).

Hat tip: Steven Kelso

Blackwell hampered by racism?

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Newshound brings up the uncomfortable topic of Ken Blackwell's race, and wonders how much of a liability it is among voters who would otherwise find themselves supporting him.

I wonder about this myself. A researcher named Ebonya Washington recently published a study called "How Black Candidates Affect Voter Turnout" ... I guess I'll be forking over the money to get myself a copy.

DeWine trails Brown by 8 points

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In a new SurveyUSA poll of likely voters, Mike DeWine trails Sherrod Brown by 8 points (41% to 49%), but there's no detail in the story or in the crosstabs about how exactly the pollsters identified which respondents were the "likely voters." The poll's margin of error is 4.5%.

A note of caution: the respondents lived in the Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Youngstown areas. That sounds to me like the results would skew towards the Democrat side. Both Cleveland and Youngstown are heavily Democratic areas. I wonder why the Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo areas were left out? [Update: I stand corrected.]

For all of your Ohio polling needs, stop by RaceTracked.com and get your fix.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #34

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Having returned from a well-earned vacation, Newshound has two weeks of Ohio political bloggy goodness. Enjoy!

Ted Strickland's residency problems

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Is Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland playing fast and loose with Ohio residency laws? Does he live in Columbiana County or Franklin County? Inquiring minds want to know. Lincoln Logs and The Pullins Report are all over the story. Just follow the links and keep scrolling.

The latest Ken Blackwell interview

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Mary Katherine Ham posts some key quotes from a recent interview with Ken Blackwell, and most were right up the red-meat conservative middle. However, Blackwell's response to a question about mainstream media distortions and his use of blogs left a lot to be desired.

David All: How are you planning to counter the liberal MSM in Ohio, and are you working with bloggers?

"Here's what they (Dems) worry about...as they sort of make the case that I gave this election, that I stole this election for Bush...when it gets exposure in the general community...Not one of them (state papers) has concluded, either on their editorial pages or in their news pages, that there was some major hijacking of this campaign," he said, adding that of 176 Democrats who serve on the Board of Elections, "not one of them has come out and said that there was anything corrupt or untoward about this election."

"Most people in Ohio understand that my choice was to take...those who believed in the rule of law and those who believe in voters without borders. I chose the rule of law," he said, adding that Ohio handled its provisional ballots the exact same way as New York, Texas and Massachusetts did.

"They see my brand of conservatism as being strange...Ohio is used to electing governors that are dull and practical."

"Nobody has ever accused me of not being able...to drive toward results...that enhance the quality of life for the people I serve. I don't govern by the editorial pages. I have an ideology that I live and die by."

That's nice, and it's true. But it doesn't answer the question about countering lefty spin. Blackwell outlines what he wants to do to, not how he plans to do it.

Hey, Matt Naugle! Tell your guy that he has support in the Ohio blogosphere, and that Hugh Hewitt is promoting him too.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #32

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Visit Newshound for a roundup of Ohio political blogging over the past week.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #31

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Newshound has all the goodies.

Is Mike DeWine missing the boat on Sherrod Brown's astrology strategy? Read the coverage and decide for yourself.

Now where did I misplace Miss Cleo's phone number? Hmmm ...

Text of Ohio's proposed abortion ban

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The Ohio House is debating a bill that would ban abortion, but rather than relying on what the media tells you is in the bill, why not read it for yourself? House Bill 228 is very long, and a lot of it deals with lawsuits. Here are the relevant chunks that would rewrite the criminal penalties related to abortion.


Sec. 2919.12

(A) No person shall do any of the following:

(1) Perform or induce an abortion;

(2) Transport another, or cause another to be transported, across the boundary of this state or of any county in this state in order to facilitate the other person having an abortion.

(B) Whoever violates division (A)(1) of this section is guilty of unlawful abortion. Whoever violates division (A)(2) of this section is guilty of facilitating an abortion. Unlawful abortion or facilitating an abortion is a felony of the second degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section, sections 2919.123, 2919.13, or 2919.14 of the Revised Code, or former sections 2919.121, 2919.151, 2919.17, or 2919.18 of the Revised Code as they existed prior to the effective date of this amendment, a felony of the first degree.

(C) Whoever violates this section is liable to the pregnant woman, to the person who was the father of the fetus or embryo that was the subject of the abortion, and, if the pregnant woman was a minor at the time of the abortion, to her parents, guardian, or custodian for civil compensatory and exemplary damages.

(D) Division (A)(1) of this section does not apply to a person who provides medical treatment to a pregnant woman to prevent the death of the pregnant woman and who, as a proximate result of the provision of that medical treatment but without intent to do so, causes the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy.


Sec. 2919.123

(A) No person shall knowingly give, sell, dispense, administer, otherwise provide, or prescribe RU-486 (mifepristone) to another for the purpose of inducing an abortion in any person or enabling the other person to induce an abortion in any person.

(B) No physician who, prior to the effective date of this amendment, provided RU-486 (mifepristone) to another for the purpose of inducing an abortion as formerly authorized under division (A) of this section as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment shall knowingly fail to comply with the applicable requirements of any federal law that pertained to follow-up examinations or care for persons to whom or for whom RU-486 (mifepristone) was provided for the purpose of inducing an abortion.

(C)

(1) The state medical board shall compile and retain all reports it receives under division (C)(1) of this section as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment. Except as otherwise provided in this division, all reports the board receives under division (C)(1) of this section as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment are public records open to inspection under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. In no case shall the board release to any person the name or any other personal identifying information regarding a person who uses RU-486 (mifepristone) for the purpose of inducing an abortion and who is the subject of a report the board receives under division (C)(1) of this section as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment.

(2) No physician who provides RU-486 (mifepristone) to another for the purpose of inducing an abortion as formerly authorized under division (A) of this section as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment shall knowingly fail to file a report required under division (C)(1) of this section.

(D) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unlawful distribution of an abortion-inducing drug. Unlawful distribution of an abortion-inducing drug is a felony of the second degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section, section 2919.12, 2919.13, or 2919.14 of the Revised Code, or former section 2929.121, 2919.151, 2919.17, or 2919.18 of the Revised Code as they existed prior to the date of this amendment, a felony of the first degree.

If the offender is a professionally licensed person, in addition to any other sanction imposed by law for the offense, the offender is subject to sanctioning as provided by law by the regulatory or licensing board or agency that has the administrative authority to suspend or revoke the offender's professional license, including the sanctioning provided in section 4731.22 of the Revised Code for offenders who have a certificate to practice or certificate of registration issued under that chapter.

(E) As used in this section:

(1) "Federal law" means any law, rule, or regulation of the United States or any drug approval letter of the food and drug administration of the United States that governs or regulates the use of RU-486 (mifepristone) for the purpose of inducing abortions.

(2) "Physician" has the same meaning as in section 2305.113 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Professionally licensed person" has the same meaning as in section 2925.01 of the Revised Code.



Sec. 2919.13

(A) No person shall purposely take the life of a child born by attempted abortion who is alive when removed from the uterus of the pregnant woman.

(B) No person who performs an abortion prior to the effective date of this amendment or who, on or after the effective date of this amendment, performs or induces an abortion in violation of section 2919.12 or administers RU-486 (mifepristone) to another for the purpose of inducing an abortion in violation of section 2919.123 of the Revised Code, shall fail to take the measures required by the exercise of medical judgment in light of the attending circumstances to preserve the life of a child who is alive when removed from the uterus of the pregnant woman.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of abortion manslaughter, a felony of the first degree.


Sec. 2919.14

(A) No person shall experiment upon or sell the product of human conception which is aborted. Experiment does not include autopsies pursuant to sections 313.13 and 2108.50 of the Revised Code.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of abortion trafficking, a felony of the first degree.


Sec. 2919.24

(A) No person, including a parent, guardian, or other custodian of a child, shall do any of the following:

(1) Aid, abet, induce, cause, encourage, or contribute to a child or a ward of the juvenile court becoming an unruly child, as defined in section 2151.022 of the Revised Code, or a delinquent child, as defined in section 2152.02 of the Revised Code;

(2) Act in a way tending to cause a child or a ward of the juvenile court to become an unruly child, as defined in section 2151.022 of the Revised Code, or a delinquent child, as defined in section 2152.02 of the Revised Code;

(3) If the person is the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child who has the duties under Chapters 2152. and 2950. of the Revised Code to register, register a new residence address, and periodically verify a residence address, and, if applicable, to send a notice of intent to reside, and if the child is not emancipated fail to ensure that the child complies with those duties under Chapters 2152. and 2950. of the Revised Code.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Each day of violation of this section is a separate offense.

(C) For the purposes of this section, a child is "emancipated" if the child has married, entered the armed services of the United States, become employed and self-subsisting, or otherwise become legally independent from the care and control of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

TEL deal? What TEL deal?

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By now we've all heard about the deal between Ken Blackwell and the Republican leaders in the statehouse, in which the proposed TEL amendment is to be replaced by (supposedly) equivalent legislation. But that deal's now in some jeopardy because somebody forgot to scratch the governor's back. Bob Taft won't play ball:

Taft's fellow Republicans in the Legislature agreed earlier in the week to put limits on spending into state law so that GOP governor candidate Kenneth Blackwell can pull his unpopular Tax & Expenditure Limitation Amendment proposal from November's ballot

In exchange, Blackwell pledged to contact Citizens for Tax Reform, the committee that brought the issue, and encourage it to withdraw the proposal.

Taft's office said that's not good enough.

"We are not going to offer our feedback or have further discussions until the governor receives a letter committing to take this off the ballot, signed by every member of the petitioning committee," said Jon Allison, Taft's chief of staff.

The original deal was "legislation first, TEL withdrawal second." Now Bob Tax Taft wants that order reversed. Naturally that leaves Blackwell twisting in the wind, with no choice but to trust in the good faith of the party leaders who've spent years trying to undermine him. Would you trust those land sharks? Yeah, I thought not.

So here's the situation:

I know that many of us on the center right are very unhappy with the Republican Party, both here in Ohio and on the national level. RINO-bashing is easy partly because so many of them surtround us (God knows I enjoy it myself). But let's not get carried away by sitting out the November '06 election in an attempt to "teach the moderates a lesson."

We conservatives can't afford to sit out elections when things don't go our way every time. We have to stay engaged. Our best bet is to neutralize liberals, change moderates into conservatives, and turn conservatives into activists. Our battlegrounds include county party organizations, primary races, and the new media. We won't win every fight, but if we keep pushing and making steady gains every other year we'll reinvigorate the center right in the Republican Party.

I usually think of the typical conservative as someone who stands athwart history yelling "stop" (thank you, Mr. Buckley). But if you think about it, that means that it's not the liberals who are fighting inertia. We are! Government's default behavior is to slide toward statism and socialism. The public has inevitably learned that it can vote itself largesse from the public treasury*, so it falls to conservatives to stop the slide and drag society back toward liberty.

When we disengage as Steven Kelso is tempted to do, we allow the socialist slide to accelerate. That's not the smart way to teach moderates and liberals a lesson. We need to constantly persuade and demonstrate and illustrate so that we can recruit enough conservatives to dig in and reverse the slide. We can't win over the DeWines and the Voinoviches, but we can eventually replace them with folks like Bill Pierce. Jim Geraghty summarizes the strategy nicely here and here and here and here.

I realize that it gets tiring to fight and lose as much as we do, but if we don't fight we'll lose everything. Pause and catch your breath, conservatives, but don't quit.

Cross-posted at the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance

Goodbye, TEL

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Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has agreed to a deal with with GOP leaders in the Ohio Legislature that involves Blackwell working to remove the Tax Expenditure Limitation (TEL) amendment from November's ballot.

Want details? Go to the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance and just scroll.

FYI: TEL background here.

Is the Ohio GOP in trouble or not?

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Matt & Mark argue the point over at the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance.

Expatriated Ohioan blogger Dennis The Peasant is bullish on Blackwell:

Ohio's turning red

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This is one heckuva useful map of Ohio. It's broken down by counties, and uses the familiar red vs. blue color scheme to track votes for Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro.

Ohio in red and blue

Click on it. You'll like it.

TEL Amendment basics

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Ken Blackwell's central economic initiative is the Tax Expenditure Limitation amendment. My gut reaction is to support the TEL, but that's just tentative. While I read up on the subject, here are a few useful links for your information. I'll add to the list as I find more.

  • The text of the TEL itself.
  • Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog rounds up answers to common TEL objections.
  • The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions and the Independence Institute conducted a joint study that concluded "a well-constructed Tax and Expenditure Limitation might be the only thing that will force Ohio policymakers to hold the line on spending."
  • The American Policy Roundtable has five objections to the TEL amendment.
  • Michael New's history of the repeal of Colorado's TABOR amendment (here and here).
  • Ramesh Ponnuru on a flaw in Colorado's TABOR called the "recession ratchet."
  • The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association has several anti-TEL resources.
  • Ted Strickland doesn't have a detailed objection to TEL anywhere on his site, but he does have this blurb.

Give me a shout if you have any recommended reading that I missed.

[Note: Scroll down for newer posts.]

Republicans
Craig Foltin: 10,152 (38%)
David McGrew: 6,321 (23%)
Joe Ortega III: 5,289 (19%)
Paul S. Burtzlaff: 3,505 (13%)
C. J. DeLorean: 1,923 (7%)

Democrats
Betty Sutton: 18,688 (31%)
Capri Cafaro: 15,256 (25%)
Tom Sawyer: 13,739 (22%)
Gary Kucinich: 7,855 (13%)
Bill Grace: 3,326 (5%)
Michael Lyons: 933 (2%)
John Wolfe: 871 (1%)
Norbert Dennerll: 410 (1%)

I know that this District's going to stay blue, but at this point we can only hope that the GOP Machine wakes up.

It used to be that you could shrug off Republican losses here by blaming Sherrod Brown's war chest and name recognition. This time around, the Republican Party overwhelmingly racked up endorsements for Craig Foltin, so the name recognition excuse is gone.

Watch and see if our party really funds Foltin well in the general election race. They no longer have Sherrod Brown's war chest to complain about. If the GOP doesn't push gobs of money to Foltin's campaign, you can bet it'll be a tacit admission that their RINO candidate is destined for the business end of Betty Sutton's steamroller. If the party does help Foltin, it only means that their collision with reality has been delayed until November.

Alas, poor Capri. We hardly knew ye.

[Note: Cross-posted at the SOB Alliance]

A friend of mine told me about a phone conversation she had today, and I couldn't help but grin. My friend is a conservative Republican, but apparently one of her Democrat friends isn't aware of that. The gullible Dem called my friend and asked her in a worried voice who might be the best candidate to vote for today. Without skipping a beat, my friend sweetly said "I hear good things about Capri Cafaro." The gullible Dem brightened immediately and said "Oh! I just love her! Thanks!"

Here's to Republicans who can wait to laugh until they hang up the phone. Cheers!

Paul Burtzlaff had an hour-long question & answer session with the folks from Meet The Bloggers yesterday, and I think it went very well. The audio will be up soon, so I'll link to it when it's available. [UPDATE: Here it is.]

The other bloggers in attendance were Scott and Michele Bakalar, Tim and Gloria Ferris, George Nemeth, and Tim Russo. I was the only conservative blogger there, so it was no surprise that most of the questions came from a center-left perspective. To their credit, my friendly opponents didn't ask Paul any "gotcha" questions, and they were uniformly courteous while still asking pointed questions. This bunch is really interested in getting information out to the voters, not in pushing a liberal agenda. They do an admirable job of limiting the Meet The Bloggers forums to raw information and saving their analysis and punditry for their own blogs. I will try to do the same.

Naturally nobody on the Democratic side of the aisle is going to vote for a conservative Republican like Paul Burtzlaff, nor will I vote for a Democrat. Further, we partisans and political junkies tend to be pretty skeptical creatures when we meet an office-seeker. Nevertheless, I think Paul may have disarmed them.

Moments ago, I received the following e-mail from an anonymous source within the Paul S. Burtzlaff for Congress campaign:

Dear Brain Shavings:

We are releasing the following polling numbers in the Republican Primary for Congress,OH-13:

In a poll of 985 likely voting registered Republicans conducted between Wednesday, April 26, 2006 and Saturday, April 29, 2006:

Paul S. Burtzlaff is leading the race
for the Republican Nomination:
Paul S. Burtzlaff35%
Craig Foltin24%
David McGrew13%
Joe Ortega7%
Other1%
Undecided20%
 
Amongst male voters:
Foltin30%
Burtzlaff25%
Ortega10%
Mcgrew9%
Other1%
Undecided25%
 
Amongst female voters:
Burtzlaff47%
Mcgrew19%
Foltin15%
Ortega4%
Other1%
Undecided14%
 
Amongst identified pro-life supporters:Burtzlaff is carrying over 57% of the vote
Amongst voters aged 62 or older:Burtzlaff is the leader with over 46% of the vote
Amongst veterans:Burtzlaff is the leader with over 43% of the vote

I'm really sensing an upset now. I wonder if Foltin, McGrew, Ortega and friends have any comment? They can reach me at if they do. Incidentally, as you've probably noticed from the disclaimer at lower right, I endorse Paul Burtzlaff in this race.

Update (5/3): Boy, were these numbers ever off the mark! Either my source fed me a line, or the Burtzlaff campaign wasted their money on a pollster with an IQ below room temperature.

Paul Burtzlaff has had quite a busy day today. Besides conducting worship services like he does every Sunday, he was out pounding the pavement and working the phones to get out the vote for Tuesday's primary. Earlier this evening, he sat down for an hour with the crew from Meet The Bloggers, then headed back to the church to watch his wife sing with the choir in a concert. After that, he e-mailed me his responses to an e-mail interview I requested a short time ago. I don't know where he gets the energy for this (I'd be comatose by now)!

Anyway, without further delay, here's my interview with Paul S. Burtzlaff!

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If you could communicate one thing about yourself to the voters in Ohio's 13th District (perhaps something under-reported), what would it be?

Like the constituents I will serve in Washington, I go to work every day, I roll up my sleeves and earn a paycheck. As a former small businessman, I respect the value of a dollar. My family and I face the same struggles and challenges as the District 13 voters. I have spent my life in SERVICE -- service to my country in the United States Navy, service to families and students as a professor, teacher, and school administrator, and service to my congregation as a pastor and family life minister. Paul S. Burtzlaff stands for the common person and is committed to service

What would be your top policy priority if you were elected to the House of Representatives?

Restoring Integrity and trust in our elected leaders. Good government and trusted leadership are under scrutiny at the federal, state, and district 13 levels. IN ORDER TO EFFECT REAL CHANGE, we must first restore the public trust in our elected leaders. That trust, once earned, provides the gateway for the open and candid discussion of economic, social, and safety issues confronting the 13th Congressional District. My first policy action will be to institute an "open door policy" with District 13 constituents, business, social, and civic leaders, including regional District offices, numerous neighborhood and community meetings, and a high level of outreach by my congressional staff and me.

Under what conditions should U.S. military forces come home from Iraq and Afghanistan? Should they be immediately withdrawn as proposed by Congressman John Murtha (D-PA)? What should be Congress' role in the War on Terror?

It is crucial that our military and diplomatic forces continue to assist the Iraqi and Afghan peoples attain self-governance. A step-by-step action plan, such as the one in place, should be followed for the orderly and systematic withdrawal of forces from these nations. To withdraw our troops (and those of our participating allies) prematurely could result in heightened political instability throughout the Middle East.

Even worse, to pull out of these nations before they are effectively governing their peoples could signal a psychological victory for terrorist organizations and their supporters, thereby putting our borders at risk for future attack.

Terrorist organizations need to respect the United States and its will to protect liberty, as they did when Ronald Reagan led our great nation.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently characterized you as not fully backing President Bush's conduct of the war in Iraq, and I must note that you sounded pretty tentative in the article. This has bothered some conservative Ohio bloggers, and no doubt lots of other folks too. How do you explain your answers? Here are the quotes I'm referring to.

PD: Has President Bush been good for the 13th Congressional District?


Burtzlaff: "I don't know that he has necessarily been good for the district."

Let me explain the context for this response.

The Republican-led Congress and President Bush's administration have championed a number of wonderful things in the last five-plus years, including meaningful tax relief, a rebounding economy, a shrinking unemployment rate for the nation, prescription drug legislation for our Older Americans, and the beginning of education reform and enhancement through the "No Child Left Behind" Act.

A president focuses on the entire nation, not just on the particular needs of a specific congressional district. District 13 has a diverse work force, educational basis, a changing industrial base, and room for growth and development. The needs of the District are unique and are in some ways at odds with the national needs. This is what prompted my response.

PD: Was the United States correct to send troops to Iraq?


Burtzlaff: "I don't know. I fully support our men and women in the armed forces. You need to get them out as soon as possible."

My answer to the decision to send troops into Iraq was based on an intellectual view. We will never really know whether Saddam Hussein actually concealed and held active weapons of mass destruction immediately prior to the re-entering Iraq, though we do know he committed mass genocide and previously used the WMDs ON HIS OWN PEOPLE.. I do support the President's decision to enter Iraq, as I supported Desert Storm, based on the information he had available and based on Saddam's refusal to follow United Nations directives. Once our objectives of helping the Iraqis gain meaningful self-governance, we should withdraw our troops as expeditiously as possible.

Whether or not you support all of President Bush's policies and priorities, do you consider him to be trustworthy?

Yes I consider President Bush to be honest, sincere and straightforward. I believe he makes reasoned decisions based on the information provided to him. I believe he honestly communicates his policy decisions to the American people.

How would you define America's enemies in this war (I mean more here than just naming a list of countries)? Who or what are we fighting, exactly?

If you are alluding to the War on Terror, America is threatened by those who insist on the imposition of fear and intimidation as a means of governance, those who choose to create global instability - politically, militarily, and economically - as a means of gaining control, those who see the United States as divided and lacking the will to protect its citizens and those others who seek freedom in a democratic society.

The price of gasoline has been rising lately, and Americans have begun to complain loudly. What (if anything) should Congress do to lower the price of gas at the pump? Should it permit exploration for more sources of oil (say, by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or in the Gulf of Mexico)? Should the government reduce taxes on gasoline? Do you support President Bush's temporary halt of additions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? What about his relaxation of regional EPA standards on clean fuel? Should Congress do anything else?

We live in a free market society, so we must exercise great care to avoid exercising emotional will over small and big business. Basic economic concepts of competition and supply and demand must be encouraged. One of the biggest issues Congress has grappled with for three decades is our growing dependence on foreign oil. The demand for petroleum, steel, lumber and other raw materials by the Chinese government further strains the limited global supplies.

Our refining capacity ground to a standstill over twenty years ago [thanks to] the Democrat-controlled Congress.

We need to further expand our oil exploration (in as environmentally safe manner as possible), invest in research and development of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen and ethanol (which has been available for over a quarter century) with the ultimate goal of reducing significantly our dependence on foreign nations to supply all our needs.

What are your views on immigration? What should the federal government's policy priorities be on this issue?

I support the efforts of Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-52) from Southern California who for more than 25 years has led the charge to enforce our immigration laws through interdiction. Now, more than ever, we need to enforce the laws and secure our borders against the illegal proliferation of terrorists, drug dealers and criminals.

I am sensitive to the plight of those immigrants who fled their country due to social, economic, or political reasons. We need to balance those sensitivities against the stress illegal immigrants place on our welfare, educational, and social infrastructures. The solution in addressing those illegal immigrants should not be hasty, rather a balanced, non-partisan dialogue must be commenced.

[Ed.: Rep. Hunter's site is here.]

On your campaign web site, you say "We need to do everything possible to maintain, improve and expand our current industry and job markets while recognizing and preparing for a shift in markets." The national economy's doing well, but the common perception in Ohio is that our state is hurting badly. What's wrong with Ohio's economy, and what (if anything) should be Congress' role in fixing it?

You are correct in noting that Ohio, center of the Rust Belt, has suffered with the loss of major manufacturing, including in the steel and automotive industries. We see those impacts in Lorain County and the City of Cleveland.

The issues are complex and involve the Federal, the State, county and local governments, who must work in partnership to effect real change. Our goals must be to develop and expand our technologies in order to compete in the world marketplace. To do so, we need to encourage research and development of a whole new series of cutting edge technologies so we can regain global competitiveness. Tax credits for research, similar to President Reagan's in 1981, should be strongly considered.

On overseas outsourcing, the Medina County Gazette quoted you as saying: "I believe education is the answer. We need to pave the road for research and development and training to be able to fill those positions locally." How do you propose to implement that, specifically?

The threshold issue is that the Federal Government, the State, the local school districts and, most importantly, the family, must all make a commitment to excellence in education. Without one of these groups, excellence simply cannot occur.

Once the mutual commitment is made, all parties can engage in meaningful dialogue promoting heightened educational standards and results with a commitment to invest in R & D.

On your campaign web site, you say "It is imperative that we provide the highest quality education for our children, preparing them for professions and careers where they will thrive, enjoy their chosen vocation, contribute to society and provide for their families." What should Congress do to achieve this? Do school vouchers figure into your plan?

We are a country of liberty, freedom, and self determination. Although school funding and standards are generally a state issue, the Federal Government should encourage excellence within the states and allow for each family to decide what school system can best help their children excel and maximize his or her potential. School vouchers should be allowed so that a homeowner is not penalized because he or she felt their child could get a better education at a private versus a public school.

Please summarize your position on abortion. What (if anything) should Congress do about the issue?

The Ohio Right to Life organization has endorsed my candidacy. I am pro-life and believe life begins at conception.

I am a staunch believer in federalism, and I believe that this is generally a state issue. Nonetheless I would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion.

Please summarize your position on homosexual marriage. What (if anything) should Congress do about the issue?

I would support legislation defining marriage as the union between a man and a women (alternatively banning same sex marriage) as well as a constitutional amendment.

Should Congress do anything to permanently prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes?

This issue invokes the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution. This is a state issue under our system of federalism. The United States Supreme Court has so ruled and I support our separation of powers.

What should Congress do about the estate tax (a.k.a. the "death tax")?

There are several tax issues which merit review In 2011, the tax rate relief, new 10-percent tax bracket, death tax repeal, marriage penalty relief, small business expensing, and all the remaining tax relief enacted over the past three years will sunset, resulting in tax increases for every individual American man or woman who pays income taxes.

I believe these repeals should be made permanent.

Please contrast the Republican and Democratic parties. What should voters remember on Primary Election Day and on General Election Day?

In the last two decades both the republican and Democrat parties have gravitated "to the center" on several issues, thereby, on occasion, blurring the differences between them.

Traditionally the Democrats have been characterized by their "tax and spend" policies, social welfare programs, and demands for entitlements.

Conversely Republicans have been known for supporting a strong defense, limited government, federalism, and self determination.

District 13 voters should ask themselves two questions:

1. "Who can I trust to best represent my family and I and our interests, with integrity, in Washington?"

2. "Who is sensitive to the issues we face every day yet strong enough to stand up for us, locally, nationally, and internationally?"

As a veteran, former small businessman, educator and minister, Paul S. Burtzlaff is best equipped to represent District 13 with integrity.

The silence is deafening

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I'm not hearing anything from any Republican candidates in the 13th District except for Paul Burtzlaff (who I endorse). Is it because the other candidates have no money left? Or is their network of supporters and volunteers not up to making phone calls or sending out mailings? It looks like the other guys are riding it out until the primary on Tuesday.

Craig Foltin, the guy the Ohio GOP has anointed as their chosen moderate, did send a mailing to my parents this past week. They live in the district too, not far from me. But I'm a registered Republican, and I've seen nothing in the mail. Nor have I gotten a phone call. Ken Blackwell's campaign found my phone number easily enough. Why haven't Foltin's people called?

Absent any serious effort from Foltin, he seems to be relying on a single issue to get himself elected by the Republican base: "Newspapers and Republican bigshots have endorsed me, so vote for me!"

Meanwhile, Burtzlaff and his volunteers have been making calls and sending out mailings. Here's the introductory brochure that went out last week:

Here's the Burtzlaff vs. Foltin comparison mailing that went out yesterday and today:

It's nothing fancy; just an issue-by-issue comparison. But combine these targeted mailings with the Burtzlaff campaign's phone banks and door-to-door stumping, and you've got a classic ground campaign for a U.S. House seat.

Could there be an upset in the offing? Stay tuned. I'll have details from Paul Burtzlaff's Meet The Bloggers session, and some more "inside baseball" stuff in the next couple of days.

I'll be attending tomorrow's Meet The Bloggers session, where the guy in the spotlight this time is Paul Burtzlaff, Republican candidate for Ohio's 13th U.S. House District. Do any of you readers have questions you'd like me to ask him?

Liveblogging the Ohio primary election

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Are you a conservative politics junkie? Can't get enough detailed coverage of Ohio politics? Wondering how to satisfy your cravings on primary election day, this Tuesday May 2nd?

Help is on the way! Go to the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance HQ, where 22 center-right Ohioans will be liveblogging the election!

Carnival of Ohio Politics #20

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Newshound has the latest roundup of Ohio political blogging. Pull up a seat and dig in.

Where's Bill Pierce's FEC report?

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Bill Pierce is absent from the latest FEC Financial Summary Reports for the U.S. Senate race in Ohio. What's up with that?

What happened to Charles DeLorean?

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Charles DeLorean isn't listed in the latest FEC Financial Summary Reports for Ohio's 13th Congressional District. Did he neglect to file? Has he dropped out?

Capri Cafaro, Democratic candidate for Ohio's 13th District U.S. House seat, sat down for an hour on April 5th with the crew from Meet The Bloggers. Here's the podcast, and here's the transcript.

Democrats, pleasepleasePLEASE nominate her.

I apologize for missing a very effective takedown of Lorain Mayor Craig Foltin, courtesy of Scott Bakalar. I promise to pay closer attention from now on.

Ohio Political Insider wonders what might happen in the 13th District primary on May 2nd if reliable pro-life candidate Paul Burtzlaff can motivate pro-life Republicans to turn out:

With over 9,000 registered republican pro life residents, could you picture them banding together and voting their pro-life candidate into the general election?

Could you picture the look of perplexity in the Foltin camp if the the pro-life block casts their support behind Paul S. Burtzlaff, a naval veteran, and pro-life family minister and former small business owner? After all at least 1 pro-life organization has thrown its support behind Burtzlaff.

You heard it first here: DON'T BE SURPRISED IF PAUL S. BURTZLAFF FINISHES STRONG IN THE PRIMARY.

Not to nitpick, but I've been on that bandwagon awhile myself.

I wonder why Mayor Foltin (the anointed GOP establishment candidate) hasn't mentioned much about pro-life issues?

The latest campaign finance numbers are out, and here's where the competitors for Ohio's 13th congressional district stand.

Republicans
 Net receiptsNet disbursementsCashDebtThrough
Burtzlaff, Paul$7,470$5,447$2,022$004/15/2006
Foltin, Craig$214,254$28,233$186,020$004/12/2006
McGrew, David$62,149$55,071$7,077$004/12/2006
Ortega, Jose$67,102$39,508$12,137$15,00012/31/2005
 
 
Democrats
 Net receiptsNet disbursementsCashDebtThrough
Cafaro, Capri$1,952,634$1,785,376$58,729$1,452,07004/12/2006
Grace, William$42,956$29,879$13,076$004/12/2006
Kucinich, Gary$18,927$16,574$2,353$2,14304/12/2006
Sawyer, Thomas$45,397$11,589$33,807$003/31/2006
Sutton, Betty$422,910$405,488$21,533$004/12/2006
Wolfe, John$18,477$16,187$2,289$14,50003/31/2006

We're now in the home stretch and heading for the May 2nd primary. The Plain Dealer reports on these FEC filings in today's issue, too. Here's one eye-opening paragraph:

Capri Cafaro, a Democrat, showed the most money committed to the race, pumping $865,000 of her own money into her campaign. Cafaro, a shopping mall heiress from Youngstown, had less than $1,000 in contributions from other donors.

Even Ohio's Democrats aren't foolish enough to run Capri "Shopping Mall Heiress" Cafaro in the general election ... but I can still dream.

John Palmer at Cleveland Townhall looks at our fiesty Republican primary race and sees an opportunity for conservatives:

Carnival of Ohio Politics #19

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Newshound has the latest roundup of Ohio political blogging. Pull up a seat and dig in.

Courtesy of The Enquirer, I learned yesterday that a nonpartisan voter education group called Ohio Citizen Action released a report analyzing all of the fundraising by Ohio gubernatorial candidates in 2005. I read the report ...

... and found some very newsworthy nuggets of information. For starters, here are the top five contributors to Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro:

5th Amendment textThe Ohio task force on eminent domain has released its preliminary report, and it's missed the most important point of the exercise. I'm not interested in a fairer procedure for the government to use as it takes my home. I'm not interested in a clearer definition of "blight" that spells out exactly when the government can take my home. You see, I don't want the government to take my home at all. Why is that so hard to understand?

A local or state government can exercise its eminent domain powers to take private property from its owner, if the government does so for a "public use" and pays "just compensation" (see the Fifth Amendment, at right). Until very recently, the term "public use" meant what you'd expect: building a school, putting in a highway, laying railroad tracks, and other projects that the public has access to.

We used to think of private building projects as a "private use" of property, since the public doesn't have guaranteed access. But no more. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo v. New London last summer, the definition of "public use" has expanded to include the government seizing your land and giving it to another private owner for "economic development" (which means the new owner's project yields higher property taxes than you do, or creates jobs, or some similar rationalization).

Liberals and conservatives alike blew a collective gasket over the ruling, and angry voters have already pressured several state legislatures into passing laws prohibiting these takings through eminent domain.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #18

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Newshound has the latest round-up of blog posts covering Ohio politics. Well worth the read!

Tell Hugh Hewitt I did my duty. I gave a copy of this ...

Buy this book!

... to Congressional candidate Paul Burtzlaff last night.

Paul Burtzlaff photographHe's running for the open seat in Ohio's 13th Congressional District, which was vacated this year by Sherrod Brown. A conservative Republican, Burtzlaff is a former Navy chaplain who's now a Lutheran pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westlake, OH. I'm a parishioner there, so I know the man well and endorse him heartily. His honesty and integrity are beyond reproach, so you can trust him to follow through on his promises (much like somebody else we all know).

He's strong on national security, and his campaign is also emphasizing his commitment to improving education and bringing jobs to Ohio. He's never run for public office before, so he's no member of the Washington "in crowd", nor is he one of the Ohio GOP establishment elites who brought us candidates like Bob Taft and Jim Petro. Burtzlaff is refreshingly straightforward and open about his policy positions, so you'll always know what he believes and why. He doesn't flip-flop, either.

I'll be supporting Paul Burtzlaff's campaign, and hopefully before long there will be some seriously meaty information to publish about this candidate. For instance, although there's no press release yet, Burtzlaff just won the endorsement of The Ohio Right to Life Society, and he will also be the focus of a Meet The Bloggers session on Saturday the 15th if the MTB crew agrees to the date (details coming soon).

Keep your eye on Paul Burtzlaff. The results of the May 2nd Republican primary might just surprise you.

In the recent past I've advocated support for Bill Pierce, a conservative challenger to incumbent U.S. Senator Mike DeWine. Well, chalk that up to stupid idealism. Pierce is roadkill in the May 2nd Republican primary, based on the results of the latest poll by the Columbus Dispatch, which has DeWine in front with 61% to Pierce's 1%. With only 34% undecided, RINO Mike is again our standard-bearer by default. I'll vote for him only because when compared to Sherrod Brown he's the lesser of two evils. It will still chap my backside to support DeWine, a gutless member of the Gang of Fourteen, but I know better than to let Brown (my current congresscritter) get involved in judicial nominations and foreign affairs.

George Will is watching us here in Ohio, and in his latest column he predicts a tight Senate race between Brown and DeWine. I'm not so sure it'll be close. DeWine's lead over Brown grew from 5% in January to a 9% margin in a February 18th Rasmussen poll. Here's hoping that trend continues.

Two key paragraphs from Will's column:

DeWine is seeking a third term in an inhospitable environment -- the middle of the second term of an incumbent president of his own party. That is when the electorate often experiences "the six-year itch," the desire to reshuffle the political deck. ... The redistricting done for incumbent-protection after the 2000 Census may have made the House almost impervious to the itch ... so voters might vent their restlessness in Senate elections. And "restless" hardly describes Ohio's dyspeptic mood regarding its Republicans, who hold all statewide offices. Scandals and tax increases drove Gov. Bob Taft's approval rating in one poll to six. He has bounced all the way back to 16. Richard Nixon's job approval rating was 24 on the eve of his resignation.

...

DeWine, one of only four senators who supported John McCain in 2000, is a moderate conservative with an independent streak -- for example, he has repeatedly voted against drilling in ANWR. This may be enough to annoy some conservatives without being sufficient to distance him from the state Republican shambles. We shall find out late on Election Night when, as usual, the nation will be watching Ohio.

I'm so very, very tired of the Ohio GOP establishment and its candidates. They campaign as center-right conservatives but govern as liberals. The current leadership of the Ohio Republican Party foolishly thinks this state's voters can be made to march in lockstep behind any old fool as long as the candidate hangs an (R) after their surname. Well, this primary makes me feel like the proverbial critter caught in a leg trap who's forced to gnaw off a paw to survive. I'll reluctantly march to the polls this year and vote for RINO Mike, but if the Ohio GOP fields another crop of liberals in 2008 and expects me to step out smartly with two gnawed-off stumps, I'll cheerfully tell them where they can put this year's leg.

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Update (11:25 PM): Tom from BizzyBlog.com points out that the poll is unreliable, and the Dispatch itself has a sorry history of shoddy polling practices. Here's the key paragraph I missed when I scanned through the article this morning:

The mail poll of 2,894 registered Democratic voters and 2,874 registered Republicans voters from March 15 through Friday has a margin of sampling error of 2 percentage points.

Notice it was a mail-in poll; those are notoriously unreliable. Also, the respondents were registered voters, not likely voters. That makes a big difference, too. Dave at NixGuy.com has more analysis that tracks with BizzyBlog's.

I just e-mailed the gubernatorial campaigns of Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro and asked the following question:

Would [candiate name here] support Ohio legislation to permanently prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes (see Kelo v. New London)?

I realize that the Ohio legislature passed a temporary moratorium on this kind of government taking, which expires in December. I asked instead about a permanent ban.

I'll let you know how the candidates reply, if at all. My guess is that at least one (and maybe both) will duck the issue and defer to the "Legislative Task Force to Study Eminent Domain and Its Use and Application in the State", which will release its first report on April 1st.

Read this short interview in the Toledo Blade. In it, Ken Blackwell gives straightforward answers that match his stated beliefs (which haven't changed since he declared his candidacy). Want an unabashed conservative in the Governor's mansion? Here's your guy.

Love him or hate him, he's been consistent for years.

Hat tip: NixGuy.com

Any questions for Jim Petro?

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I intend to be there when the gang from Meet The Bloggers sits down with Jim Petro on Thursday. What questions would you like me to ask him?

Update: one very nasty cold put the brakes on my ambitions. Oh well.

Capri Cafaro, a Democratic candidate for Ohio's 13th Congressional District, is the butt of some truly snarky political paraphernalia at the Anybody But Capri Online Shopping Mall. The tote bag made me grin.

Hat tip: Ohio 13 votes

Meet The Bloggers (March 23rd)

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The next Meet The Bloggers get-together is scheduled for this Thursday with none other than Jim Petro, one of two Republican candidates for Ohio Governor. Catch it at Talkies Coffee in Cleveland at 2:00 PM if you can!

Where's the text of the TEL Amendment?

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Call me stupid, but I can't find a copy of Ken Blackwell's proposed Tax Expenditure Limitation (TEL) Amendment to the Ohio Constitution. Who knows where I can get a copy online?

--

Update: Here it is (just scroll to the middle of the page). My thanks to Matt Naugle, who's Ken Blackwell's blogger and also runs the TEL website.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #14

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Newshound has posted the latest Carnival of Ohio Politics.

And then there were three

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The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate have been cut to three, now that John Mitchel has dropped out. As I said before, now's the time to support Bill Pierce, who can unseat Mike DeWine and crush Sherrod Brown.

To hear Pierce unscripted, check out his recent sit-down with the Meet The Bloggers crew. And here's his blog.

Carnival of Ohio Politics

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The Carnival of Ohio Politics #11 is up at Newshound. Geez, what rock have I been hiding under to have missed the first ten?

Taft "disappointed" by Blackwell's ads

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We all knew it wouldn't be long before Governor Tax Taft spoke up about Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's new advertisements, didn't we? Sure enough, Bob Taft isn't happy:

Gov. Bob Taft said Tuesday he was disappointed by Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's attack ads in the GOP primary and worried that a negative campaign will weaken whoever wins the Republican primary.

"If it's a really negative kind of campaign in the primary, whoever would come out of the campaign would be so damaged that it would make it more difficult for them to win in the fall," Taft said.

CrybabyTaft only calls the ads "negative" because they remind voters that he's been convicted of campaign finance law violations. We voters call the ads "informative", because they state the facts. The ads are an attempt by Blackwell to distance himself from Taft, Jim Petro, Tom Noe, Bob Bennett, and the whole Ohio Republican establishment (a group now renowned for its political ineptitude and ethical laxness).

These ads won't weaken Blackwell; quite the opposite. They're essential to his survival. If Blackwell changes strategies to play nice with Taft and somehow gets past the primary election, Democratic frontrunner Ted Strickland will tar him as Taft's crooked crony and will eat him for lunch. Putting distance between oneself and a crook is smart politics.

Taft to date has declined to endorse a GOP candidate to replace him and says that hasn't changed. But he encouraged both candidates to talk about issues important to Ohioans.

Call me crazy but based on the ad and on his continuing effort to be "The Un-Taft", I'd bet that Ken Blackwell isn't exactly waiting by the phone for the Governor's call.

If Bob Taft really wants to damage Blackwell, he should endorse him.

Update: The Blackwell for Governor blog led me to Michael Meckler's piece on the ads. Meckler has no beef with the content.

George Will on Ohio politics

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George Will is watching the Ohio governor's race, and he likes what he sees in Ken Blackwell:

[Blackwell] annoys the establishment because he, unlike it, believes things. He believes that the establishment is proof of a conservative axiom: Any political group or institution that is not ideologically conservative will become, over time, liberal. That is so because, in the absence of a principled adherence to limited government, careerism -- the political idea of the unthoughtful -- will cause incumbents to use public spending to purchase job security.

...

He appeals to small-government conservatives by proposing a constitutional cap on state spending, and even leasing the Ohio Turnpike to private investors. His cultural conservatism has won him such intense support from many church leaders, some liberals are contemplating recourse to an American sacrament -- a lawsuit. It would threaten the tax-exempt status of churches deemed too supportive of Blackwell.

He appeals to blacks by being black, and because many blacks are cultural conservatives: George W. Bush won 16 percent of Ohio's black vote in 2004. In Blackwell's three statewide races, he has received between 30 percent and 40 percent of the black vote. If in November he duplicates that, he will win, and Democrats in many blue states will blanch because if their share of the black vote falls to 75 percent, their states could turn red.

...

Control of the U.S Senate in 2007 could turn on whether Mike DeWine, a second-term Republican, is re-elected. He does not thrill conservatives, so he needs Blackwell on the ballot to arouse the party's base.

Blackwell annoys the establishment, alright. More power to him.

I disagree with Will's remark about DeWine's reelection being neccessary to maintain a Republican Senate. With Paul Hackett gone from the Senate race, the Democrats are left with ultra-liberal Sherrod Brown. This lefty's only saving grace among average Ohio voters is his strong support from labor unions. Otherwise, he's far too liberal for Ohio-wide voters, and is almost certainly unelectable.

That could mean that there's a good chance that even a new Republican face could defeat Brown in the general election; DeWine isn't as essential as folks might think. I'm all for party loyalty when it's a close race, but when the Democrat is unelectable and the incumbent Republican is a RINO, it's a great opportunity to elect a more conservative Republican.

The conservative base would be wise to get behind Bill Pierce now in the primary election season, and unseat DeWine while the opportunity lasts.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell just released some hard-hitting ads that slam Governor Taft and Blackwell's primary opponent Jim Petro for their poor ethics.

Naturally, the Ohio Republican establishment isn't very happy. GOP head honcho Bob Bennett released a statement chiding Blackwell for his use of "smear tactics." Petro's campaign labeled the ads "lies and innuendo."

The statements in the ads are true and they're relevant to the campaign, so I don't care if they have creepy music and unflattering photos of Taft and Petro. Petro needs to answer the allegations convincingly instead of complaining about Blackwell's tone. Petro's best response would be to prove he didn't strongarm potential donors.

Grow up, establishment fatcats. This is what primary elections are all about. As they say in the movie Highlander: there can be only one.

Hat tip: NixGuy

Paul Hackett, the newly ex-candidate for Mike Dewine's senate seat, had quite an interesting sackful of opposition research on his fellow Democrat and opponent, Sherrod Brown. How can I be sure? Hackett's campaign dumped the information right in the lap of the Toledo Blade, which promptly published it.

The article illustrates how Brown is fundamentally weak on supporting our national intelligence efforts (which is no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention). It won't hurt him in the Democratic primary, but in the general election race he'll get hammered as being soft on terrorism. Which he is.

Excuse me while I go crack open a celebratory bottle of Carlsberg beer.

More blogging:
NixGuy, who points out that Brown has such an impossible uphill climb in the general election that conservatives now have even better reasons to support Bill Pierce over DeWine in the Republican primary.

Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt

Poor Jim Petro

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Pardon my absence

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I've been working on a little something in preparation for this year's gubernatorial and senatorial races. I'll be back to regular blogging soon.

A resident of the suburbs surrounding Columbus, Ohio wrote a letter to the Columbus Dispatch supporting a proposed citywide ban on semi-automatic weapons, but not for the reason you might think.

Did Jones violate campaign finance law?

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Federal election law requires every Congressional candidate to fully disclose the name, address, occupation and employer of every donor who gives more than $200 to their campaign. I just browsed through the campaign finance reports for Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, as tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics. As of January 4th, guess which Ohio member of Congress is the most secretive about her donors' identities?

  Degree of disclosure:
Full Incomplete None
Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D) $118,517 $550 $84,851
58% 0% 42%
Michael R. Turner (R) $394,100 $3,250 $128,001
75% 1% 24%
Steve Chabot (R) $262,337 $2,800 $29,150
89% 1% 10%
Paul E. Gillmor (R) $74,969 $500 $11,200
87% 1% 13%
Dennis J. Kucinich (D) $2,329,363 $11,100 $216,918
91% 0% 8%
Tim Ryan (D) $114,982 $4,500 $9,100
89% 3% 7%
Patrick J. Tiberi (R) $633,495 $0 $40,961
94% 0% 6%
Steven C. LaTourette (R) $998,177 $0 $48,250
95% 0% 5%
Rob Portman (R) $1,250,997 $3,400 $48,430
96% 0% 4%
Dave Hobson (R) $942,224 $0 $17,180
98% 0% 2%
Sherrod Brown (D) $425,218 $2,000 $8,450
98% 0% 2%
Ted Strickland (D) $59,632 $0 $950
98% 0% 2%
Bob Ney (R) $493,365 $6,000 $7,500
97% 1% 1%
Ralph Regula (R) $294,136 $4,000 $2,150
98% 1% 1%
John Boehner (R) $599,981 $1,600 $2,500
99% 0% 0%
Michael G. Oxley (R) $604,830 $0 $2,500
100% 0% 0%
Deborah Pryce (R) $352,085 $3,769 $800
99% 1% 0%
Marcy Kaptur (D) $135,575 $500 $0
100% 0% 0%

Stephanie Tubbs Jones ran unopposed this year, which might explain her apparent belief that nobody's going to look into her finances. Either she's hiding something or she's just unusually lax in complying with disclosure laws. Which is it?

And please, Miss Jones, don't insult our intelligence by blaming your staff for this.

Objection to Electoral Vote

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By objecting to the Electoral Vote count for Ohio, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) just made a very bad political decision. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) joined her, forcing the Electoral College vote certification to grind to a halt. Jones is up for re-election in 2006, and deserves to be tossed out of Congress on her ear. Boxer just won re-election this time around, so she's obviously hoping the voters forget this when 2010 rolls around.

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UPDATE: According to National Journal, which notably ranked John Kerry as the Senate's most liberal member, here's how Jones' voting record stacks up since 2001:

2001 2002 2003
Composite Liberal Score - 93 90
Liberal on Economic Policy 83 83 87
Liberal on Foreign Policy 94 94 92
Liberal on Social Policy 78 97 87
 
Composite Conservative Score - 7 11
Conservative on Economic Policy 15 16 9
Conservative on Foreign Policy 5 0 8
Conservative on Social Policy 23 2 12

Read Jones' profile on Project Vote Smart here.

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UPDATE 2: Here are some of Jones' favorability ratings provided by various liberal groups:

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UPDATE 3: Well, would ya look at that ...

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Correction: I misidentified the liberal Democrat Senator from California as Diane Feinstein. It was Barbara Boxer who joined Congresswoman Jones in subverting the Electoral College. After all, there's a huge difference between Boxer and Feinstein. For example, um ... gimme a minute ... I'll think of something ...

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