Friday, October 13, 2006 

Media Pundit

Media Pundit.

Monday, June 05, 2006 

June 17th Free Campaign Training

Via Email:

Join The America Votes Coalition, Reform Ohio Now, and allies on Saturday, June 17th as activists and organizations train, recruit, and prepare for the November elections. The training will be free to all activists, and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

At the event, you will learn what is at stake in 2006 and hear from the "Raise the Wage" campaign--the initiative to increase Ohio's minimum wage. In the afternoon, there will be breakout sessions that will train activists on important skills that will help mobilize voters this fall, like voter contact, communications and fundraising.

We've recruited professionals to conduct these sessions-so it is a great opportunity to learn from the pros! The training details are:

Date: Saturday, June 17th from 10 am until 4 pm (Sign in and breakfast begin at 9:30 am-the program will begin at 10 am)

Where: UFCW Hall, 913 Lebanon St., Monroe, OH 45050 Parking: Free on Site

Sign up today for the training!

If you have an organization affiliation, please note it when you sign up.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 

Mid-Day Election Debacle Roundup

The Strickland campaign is on top of things, asking people to register their voting experiences on the website.
If you or anyone you know experiences a voting irregularity today, please register it here.

The safety and sanctity of our elections depends on us holding those who run them accountable.

Brian Flannery has issued a request to Ken Blackwell:
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Bryan E. Flannery this morning made a request to Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to extend voting hours to 8:15pm this evening in response to numerous reports of voters being turned away at polling locations in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties. “Voters of this state deserve every opportunity to cast their ballots.” Flannery said. “Turning away voters because of defective machines or inexperienced poll workers is inexcusable. We must do everything possible to ensure fair, safe, and honest elections. Extending poll hours and giving those turned away this morning an additional opportunity to cast their ballot is the right thing to do.

NewsChannel5 reported that about 200 election workers will not work the polls because they were confused over the new voting machine.

In Columbus:
High-tech voting got off to a slow start this morning in dozens of Franklin County precincts as poll workers struggled to produce start-of-the-day printouts from new touch-screen machines.

About 50 people who showed up to cast ballots at 6:30 a.m. left their polling places without voting, county elections officials said. About 20 percent of precincts -- more than 160 -- opened as late as 7 a.m., they said.

Voters reported scattered problems with the machines, being used in today's primary election for the first time across Franklin County.

One Republican voter said his vote for U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce registered on the screen for U.S. Sen. Michael DeWine. Pollworkers shut down the machine because of a calibration problem.

At Beck School on the South Side, two of five machines weren't working this morning. Damschroder said paper tapes became loose during transport so the machines incorrectly indicated they had no paper.

In Westerville and Worthington, some voters said their ballots didn't include school levies. White said poll workers loaded the wrong ballots for those voters.

At late-opening precincts, Damschroder said, poll workers mistakenly thought they couldn't let people vote until they printed out reports from each machine to show they had no votes registered before 6:30 a.m.

Cuyahoga County had some problems as well:
BOE Spokeswoman Jane Platten was on WEWS in place of Michael Vu. She apologized that voters were turned away in some places where the machines weren't working this morning, said that the BOE should have been able to provide a paper optical scan ballot if you couldn't vote with the touch screen machines, that didn't happen, she hopes the voters who were turned away will come back. BOE doesn't know if the polls will be extended this evening, case ongoing.

More Cleveland issues:
One voter came out of the polling place early in the morning (when the time it took to vote was very long) and said, "Call your candidate. None of the machines are working, everyone has to vote on paper. It's very chaotic in there. I wouldn't trust it as to security." I made the call. I also called the Plain Dealer.

Later, another voter came up to me and said "I couldn't vote for your guy [Rogers] because I had to vote a Republican ballot in order to vote against [Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken] Blackwell. But the big irony is, none of his machines are working."

Cleveland again:
This is the first Election Day for electronic voting in Cuyahoga County, the largest county in the nation to so far switch over to touch-screen voting. Callers to WTAM 1100 right after the polls opened at 6:30 a.m. reported problems at scattered polling places where the computerized voting systems were not up and running. Some voters were turned away and told to come back later in the day to vote on optical-scan ballots, while other voters say the same locations had no problems to report as little as a half hour later.

I'll have more as the information from around the state continues to come in.

Monday, May 01, 2006 

Brown Campaign Internal Poll

Via email:

Now, generally speaking, do you think things in this country are going in the right direction, or do you feel things are pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction 22 percent
Wrong track 68 percent
Don't know 10 percent

How would you rate the job being done by George W Bush as President -- excellent, good, just fair or poor?

Excellent 8 percent
Good 21 percent
Just Fair 21 percent
Poor 50 percent
Don't know 0

How would you rate the job being done by Mike DeWine as United States Senator -- excellent, good, just fair or poor?

Excellent 5 percent
Good 29 percent
Just fair 39 percent
Poor 14 percent
Don't know 13 percent

Overall, do you think Mike DeWine deserves reelection as United States Senator, or do you think that someone else should be given a chance?

Deserves reelection 30 percent
Someone else 48 percent
Don't know 21 percent

In the election for United States Senate, if the candidates were (READ AND ROTATE), for whom will you vote? (IF UNDECIDED) Well, if the election were held today, and you had to decide right now, toward which candidate would you lean (READ AND ROTATE)?

Democrat Sherrod Brown 45 percent
Republican Mike DeWine 44 percent
Still undecided 11 percent

These questions are from a survey of 800 likely general election voters conducted by The Feldman Group April 24-April 27 for the Sherrod Brown for U.S. Senate campaign. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Sample base is 2004 general election voters selected by the random cluster method from the Ohio voter file and screened for likely participation in the November 2006 general election.


Ohio Republican Crossword Puzzle

Learn more about the anonymous chocolatier.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 

No Clear Favorite in OH-18

From Congressional Quarterly:

A close past association with now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has put long-popular Republican Rep. Bob Ney at risk as he seeks a seventh term in Ohio’s 18th District.

The Democrats’ intent to aim squarely at Ney’s Achilles’ heel was inherent in a TV ad released Monday by Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer — which says “a culture of corruption in Washington” has rendered the government incapable of curbing rising gas prices and the outsourcing of Americans’ jobs to other countries, issues troubling many voters in the mainly working-class 18th.

With an ongoing continuing federal investigation into Abramoff’s Capitol Hill contacts clouding Ney’s re-election prospects, has moved the 18th District race into its No Clear Favorite, or tossup, category, from Leans Republican.

The fact is, the district does more than lean repubilcan, it is republican. Fortunately for democrats, Ney is unwilling to step out of the race despite the fact that he will likely be indicted before the general election. Stick in there Bob, you can do it!


Ohio Republicans Are Running Scared

Howard Wilkinson, of the Cincinnati Enquirer - "The scandals that have rocked Columbus over the past year have the Ohio GOP nervous about losing their long-lived grip on state government."

State Sen. Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond - "It's going to be a tough year for Republicans no matter who we run for governor."

Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett - "My hope is that we emerge from this primary without too much blood on the floor within the family."

A recent Washington Post article points out that "some Republicans say privately they hope that Rep. Bob Ney, mentioned in the scandal spawned by lobbyist Jack Abramoff, will withdraw after he wins his primary on May 2."

Mike Dewine - "We all run in the environment that exists. I can't change it."

Of the Gubernatorial race, Bob Bennett predicted that "It's going to be a $20 million race in an environment that is gloomy right now, but it's early yet."

James Harris, Replubican challenger to Bob Ney in the 18th district said of Ney, ""I think he’s running scared. I think he’s worried about his waiver running out and a possible indictment in April."

Meanwhile, on the National front Rumsfeld has a few reasons to be scared as well.

Have more examples? Share them in the comments.


Jean Schmidt is a Pathological Liar defines a pathological liar as "a person who lies to the point of it being considered a disease or condition, an abnormally habitual liar."

Most politicians tend to stretch the truth a bit while they are in office. Whether is is George Bush's assertion that "Iraq has WMD's" or Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." examples can be found throughout American history. The distinction lies in the last part of the definition quoted above: an abnormally habitual liar.

In the paragraphs below, I'll explain why I feel that Jean Schmidt is an abnormally habitual liar. To make my point, I've numbered several instances in which Schmidt has not only stretched the truth, but has intentionally lied to voters in an attempt to make herself look better, or her opponent look worse.

Lie #1: Denied that she knew Tom Noe

July 31st 2005, from Swing State Project:
This morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education
Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During
the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee.

Lie #2: Swift-Boated a veteran on the day of the primary

August 2nd 2005, from Cincinnati News:
The Schmidt Campaign released a press release Monday alleging that Paul Hackett has been misleading voters by "touting that he will be the first Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran to serve in Congress." According to the press release, "that is untrue."

The release goes on to explain that "Republican Congressman Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Kirk is a Naval Reserve intelligence officer who is the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

According to a USA Today Candidate Profile, Kirk "continues to serve one weekend a month in the Pentagon, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff war room during Operation Iraqi Freedom."

I went on to explain at Cincinnati News that:
I would hardly consider a politician spending "one weekend a month" in the Pentagon to be a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most definitions of veteran include the phrase "active duty status." Active duty status refers to "full-time duty in the active military service of the United States." Given these criteria, the situation becomes much more clear. Mark Steven Kirk was a politican in D.C. when the conflict began, and he was a politician in D.C. when he spent one weekend a month at the Pentagon during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The DCCC Stakeholder blog put it this way:
And yes, this is a real press release, and yes putting that out on the last day of the campaign so that nobody has a chance to blast you for it is one of the most pathetically cowardly things I've seen.

Incredibly, the original press release is still hosted on Jean Schmidt's website.

Lie #3: Tried to blame shameful comments on Ohio State Rep. Danny Bubp.

November 22nd 2005, from Think Progress(emphasis added):
During Rep. Jean Schmidt’s (R-OH) shameful attack on Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) on the House Floor she said she was communicating a message from Marine Colonel Danny Bubp:
A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body – that we will see this through.

Bubp denies he said that:
Danny Bubp, a freshman state representative who is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, told The Enquirer that he never mentioned Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., by name when talking with Schmidt…”There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward,” Bubp said.

Why can't Jean Schmidt take responsibility for her own ridiculous comments? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that she has made quite a habit of lying and getting away with it.

Lie #4: Stretched her bio to include two college degrees even though she only earned one.

April 4th 2006, From added):
The freshman congresswoman is facing a complaint about the truthfulness of her education and her endorsements.

The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, or COAST, has endorsed Schmidt's opponent in the GOP primary, Bob McEwen. The group claims that some of Schmidt's claimed endorsements are bogus, and instead of two bachelor degrees as stated on various biographical material, she has one.

"If it was one incident, I might think there was some merit in letting it go," COAST's Jim Urling said. "But we've got a very troubling, disconcerting pattern of misrepresentations here."

Schmidt's chief of staff, Barry Bennett, denied any such pattern. He told News 5 that a staffer mistakenly credited Schmidt with a second degree while creating a Web site six years ago, when Schmidt was in the Ohio House. Bennett said Schmidt's official Web sites were corrected a year ago.

However, News 5 found a mid-June survey from the League of Women Voters that reflects two college degrees.

I've laid out four examples with documentation that show that Jean Schmidt is an abnormally habitual liar. If I spent the time, I could probably find several more. I think Paul Hackett said it best in a recent interview with the Cincinnati Drinking Liberally group: "She's a pathological liar and we all know it..."

Perhaps someone from Schmidt's staff or even Jean herself will rebuke my claims in the comment section, but I'm not holding my breath.


Contribute to Bob Ney's Stay Out of Jail Fund

He has already spent over $100,000 of campaign funds on lawyers this year, why stop there?


Event Review: Paul Hackett at BCDP Meeting

I initially wrote about this event here before attending.

I arrived at the new Butler County Democratic Party headquarters just before 7:00 Thursday night. When I got out of my car the first thing I saw was a smiling Paul Hackett walking toward the door. I quickly introduced myself and told Paul that it was good to see him out. He responded by saying that "it is good to be seen."

When I got into the new office (pretty nice BTW), I was disappointed by the turnout. At that point there were only 25-30 people there. Fortunately by about 7:15 another 20+ had shown up. The disappointment that stuck with me was related to the fact that I was one of the only people under the age of 35 in attendance. It would be nice to see more youthful enthusiasm for a Democratic event, especially one in which Paul Hackett was scheduled to speak.

The event finally got underway at about 7:30. BCDP Chair Dan Gattermeyer hosted the event, and began with some quick announcements. He then proceeded to introduce the first speaker, State Rep. Catherine Barrett. Barrett had a good message overall, mostly about supporting Strickland, but I wasn't really impressed with her charisma or presentation style.

Next up was Paul Hackett. Rather than standing behind the podium to address the crowd as Dan and Catherine had done, Paul chose to stand in the middle of the room so he could "move around a bit and make sure everyone heard him." Paul began by explaining that he was asked to speak at the event the day prior by Attorney General candidate Marc Dann. There was some confusion over this at the Buckeye State Blog but it seemed pretty clear to me. There was no implication that Paul was endorsing Dann, he was merely there to replace him as a keynote speaker at the event.

Paul's speech was passionate and well-prepared. He emphasized the importance of Ohio by saying that "the eyes of the nation are on Ohio in 2006." He further drove this point home by explaining that "if Ohio doesn't come through in 2006 and 2008 we will be written off for a long time." His message was mainly about the importance of supporting statewide democratic candidates such as Ted Strickland. Throughout the 15 minutes or so that he spoke, he refrained from mentioning or alluding to Sherrod Brown. The highlight for me came when Paul was talking about framing "limited government" as a democratic value. He explained that by limited government he meant that he wanted the government to stay "out of my bedroom, out of my gun safe, and out of my wife's doctor's office." At this point the crowd exploded into applause and shouts of approval. Paul then joked that he had to remind himself that he was not running for office and said "I actually believe this stuff."

After Hackett was done I quietly slipped out the back door and drove home, glad that I decided to attend.

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