Friday, October 29, 2004


No registration fraud in Summit County? Why aren't we stunned?

Another pile of Republican bullshit was vaporized in yesterday's Summit County hearing to review the GOP initiated voter registration challenges. From Lisa Abraham at the Beacon Journal (this is an absolute, must read, don't-do-anything-else-first type of article):
After hearing some of the protests, the board voted unanimously to dismiss all 976 challenges.

The move, ironically, came from Republican board member Joseph Hutchinson and was seconded by Republican Alex Arshinkoff after they determined that the four local Republicans who made the challenges had no evidence to back up their claims. [emphasis added]


$100 "reward" - rules update

Yesterday, we announced our offer to give a reward of $100 to the first Ohio reporter who can document that "massive and systematic voter fraud" has been conducted by pro-Kerry forces in this campaign.

Clearly, we don't think there's been any and that our money is safe. We just want the reporters to quit falling for the Republican spin (and realize that the Republicans seem to be the ones behind the criminal voting activities.

Anyway, we've made one addition to our rules. If no reporter collects the reward by Nov.2, 2005, we will give the reward to the first reporter that documents systematic fraud by pro-Bush forces. The first nominee for that appears to be Lisa A. Abraham of the Beacon Journal who reports on the blockbuster challenged voter hearing held yesterday in Summit County.


We smell some Republican criminal charges

Again, there are so many incredible moments reported on in the Beacon Journal's story on the Summit Co. voter challenges hearing, it's hard to pick and choose which ones to highlight. But, this is the one that we should be pushing out to the media everywhere:
The challengers, all older longtime Republicans - Barbara Miller, Howard Calhoun, Madge Doerler and Louis Wray - were subpoenaed by the elections board and were present at the hearings. Akron attorney Jack Morrison, a Republican, volunteered to represent the four.

Democratic [Summit Co. Board of Elections] member Russ Pry suggested that the four could be subject to criminal prosecution for essentially making false claims on the challenge forms. The form states that making a false claim is subject to prosecution as a fifth-degree felony.

On Morrison's advice, Miller then refused to take part in any hearings after Herold's, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Wray filed a challenge against 25-year-old Barbara Jean DeWilde of Stow, but testified that he had no personal knowledge that DeWilde didn't live at her Stow address, other than information he received from Summit County Republican Party headquarters.


Holy smokes! 830,000 new voters and counting

The PD today has the scoop on new voters:
. . . half of new voters registered in Ohio at last count - about 475,000 of about 830,000 - hail from just eight urban counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Summit, Lucas, Lorain and Stark. They make up nearly 6 percent of the entire 7.8 million-plus statewide electorate, at a time when the latest polls show President Bush and Democrat John Kerry running neck-and-neck.

New registrations are still being counted, and everyone cautions that votes - not registrations - will decide the election. But signs of a heavy surge of new urban voters could add up to immense pull for Democrat-leaning central cities on Election Day. . .

Franklin County, which went to Gore by a nose in 2000, is perhaps the most sought-after county. . . As of Thursday, new registrations were running 2.5 times higher in the six Franklin County precincts that most heavily favored Gore in 2000 than in the six that most heavily favored Bush. The Democrat precincts saw an average of 203 registrations each, to 85 registrations each in the Republican precincts.

Don't celebrate yet. The GOTV battle will still be the determining factor:
John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, agreed the Election Day wild card will be who actually votes. He said if just 13 percent of the 2.3 million registered voters who didn't vote in 2000 came out for Bush, it could offset gains in new voters that Democrats believe they've achieved.

"The state has always been fairly well balanced in terms of partisanship, and swing voters are a small percentage," he said. "The true test will be to what extent can they get them to the polls."


Kerry and Bruce at Ohio State

I don't know if there were 30,000 or 50,000 in Columbus, but there were people as far as the eye could see. You couldn't fit any more in. The crowd stayed despite a one-hour power outage.

Springsteen: "I've been writing about America for 30 years. We are who we stand for. I believe Sen. Kerry honors those ideals. He's lived that history for 50 years."

Kerry joked that when Bush heard that he was appearing in Columbus with "The Boss", he thought they were talking about Cheney.

"I've been writing about America for 30 years. We are who we stand for," Springsteen said as he softly strummed his guitar. "I believe Sen. Kerry honors those ideals. He's lived that history for 50 years."

Thursday, October 28, 2004


More Kerry and Springsteen


$100 reward to any Ohio reporter that can document pro-Kerry organized fraud

We are getting impatient about the lack of proof of the "massive and systematic voter fraud" that the Bob Bennett and the Ohio Republican Party have so regularly claimed in the past two weeks. More importantly, we are getting impatient with the large number of political reporters who unquestioningly repeat this claim in their articles without demanding any proof or pointing out that no evidence of organized fraud has been produced by the ORP or anyone else.

So here's the deal. We are very cash-strapped because of making a lot of election-related donations, but we are willing to put up a reward of $100 to the first Ohio reporter who can document that "massive and systematic voter fraud" has been conducted by pro-Kerry forces in this campaign. Yeah, we know $100 bucks isn't much, but that's a lot a lot of dough to us right now because we ain't no fortunate son. If we lose, we're going to have to put it on the ole credit card. But we are also very sure that our money is safe.

Furthermore, we are hoping that maybe some other bloggers might be willing to also pony up some reward money so we can get these guys to put up or shut up. Any $5 or $10 pledge will do. Pledgers, please leave a comment or write to us at

Here are the rules:
  1. You must be a full or part time journalist/reporter with a daily circulation or listenship greater than 25,000 (or the equivalent for weeklies).
  2. There must be substantial evidence that it was initiated in Ohio
  3. There must be substantial evidence that it occurred in Ohio
  4. This is about "massive fraud," not the work of some deranged loner. A few anecdotes won't make the cut.
  5. This is about "systematic" fraud - that means it is rooted in a known organization and evidence exists that some one in a paid position of significant authority in the organization was aware of it. This excludes the work of front line volunteers and temps. In other words, you can't collect the reward by reporting on the isolated work of a few idiots (read "Defiance crack heads").
  6. This is about fraud for political gain, not the schemes of con men who worm their way into a job with some campaign or 527 or PAC for personal gain.
  7. You must report on the evidence and claims in your publication or on your show.
  8. The reward will be paid via a $100 gift certificate to Trader Joes.
  9. Any disputes will be settled by the Chair of the Journalism Department of the Ohio State University (whoever he or she maybe - we haven't a clue.)
  10. Deadline for submitting a claim for the reward is midnight Nov. 2, 2005
  11. If the reward is not collected by deadline, the reward will go to the first reporter that documents systematic voter suppression in Ohio by pro-Bush forces.
So, ladies and gentlemen of the press, let's see what ya' got.


Zogby regional numbers

Courtesy of RandyMI at Daily Kos, we have some regional numbers from Zogby's Oct. 25 poll which is not to be confused with his Oct. 27 poll that show even better numbers for Kerry.

Ohio by Region
  • Kerry 74%
  • Bush 18%
  • Kerry 37%
  • Bush 55%

  • Kerry 58%
  • Bush 36%


Great Ohio news from LA Times, Zogby

Two more polls confirm that Kerry is either edging into the lead in Ohio or on a trend to take the lead. First, the LA Times Oct. 26 poll of 585 Likely Voters in Ohio. The comparison to the LA Times Aug. 23 poll is in parentheses. Hold on to your hat!

Kerry - 50% (44)
Bush - 44% (49.3)
Undecided/Unknown - 6% (6.7)
MoE - 4%

Yes, that's a 6 point margin with an MoE of 4. In professional terms, that's called a LEAD. And that's a 11.3 point shift in their relative positions. But, we have a nagging suspicion that this is probably overly optimistic, a statistical outlier. Polling over the next few days should confirm or refute this.

Other key LA Times indicators:
Bush's job performance: Disapprove - 51% (ouch)
Bush's performance on the economy: Disapprove - 54% (ouch)
Country is moving in on: The right track - 36% The the wrong track - 36 (double ouch)
Kerry leads by about 20 percentage points when Ohio voters are asked which man is better suited to strengthen the economy, create jobs or handle healthcare. By nearly 2 to 1, Ohio voters say Bush's policies have hurt, rather than helped, the economy.

[. . .]While Bush leads Kerry in both states on handling terrorism, a narrow plurality of Ohio voters say Kerry is more likely to develop a plan for success in Iraq and is more qualified to serve as commander in chief.

And while a 49% to 44% plurality in Florida say the situation in Iraq "was worth going to war over," a 50% to 44% majority in Ohio say the opposite.
Meanwhile, Zogby's Oct. 27 Ohio poll shows a positive trend:

Kerry - 46.3%
Bush - 44.7%
Other/Unknown - 10%
MoE - 4.1%

So, Kerry's margin is within the MoE, but look at the trend from Zogby:

-------Oct. 18---Oct 24---Oct 27
Kerry 47.8% ---42.2% ---46.3%
Bush 50.7% ----47.2% ---44.7%

As in other polls, Kerry is bouncing around. But, Bush's numbers are on a clear downward trend, and if nothing else, they appear to confirm his inability to climb above 47%.

Expect to see more analysis on this at Donkey Rising and Swing State Project.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Find your polling place here


Ohio Dems gain TRO against GOP voter challenges

Regarding the hearings the various Ohio county boards of elections were being forced to hold because of the Republican's bogus challenges to voter registration, WBNS-TV reports:
The US District Court has issued a temporary restraining order, which will result in the calling off of several hearings that were slated to begin Thursday on the subject.

In Franklin County, 2,400 people, 35,000 overall, received notices that there was a problem with their voter registration forms.

Republicans say that they are trying to prevent voter fraud with the challenge, but Democrats say Republicans are trying to suppress the vote.

Some local board of elections officials say they are happy with the decision.

Matt Damschroder with the Franklin County Board of Elections says, "My preference would be to let this thing completely go away and allow individuals to vote on Election Day. It allows for a smoother administration of elections."

The decision could be appealed by Republicans to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. That appeal would have to be made by Wednesday night.

This may be a short-term victory because the GOP will probably appeal, and they have already stated that they will still make these challenges at the poll sites on election day.


Dispatch fails, Suburban News Publication hails Kerry

The Columbus Ohio Suburban News Publications chain today announced their endorsement of John Kerry. This is a chain of weekly newspapers that cover nearly every part of the greater Columbus area.

We have a relative that works as a reporter for the chain and she indicates that the paper's editors and publishers were so upset at the failure of the Dispatch that they decided to break tradition (they have never endorse a presidential candidate before) and go for Kerry/Edwards. The endorsement has just been published at their web site.

If you're thinking, "So what?" - don't knock the SNP papers. Together they have a combined circulation of 287,051!!! That's greater than the Dispatch on each Wednesday when the SNP editions come out.

I am sure they would like some emails of support. They also jeopardize there advertising base when they take this step!

Right now, the calls are 4-1 in opposition to the endorsement, so contact them now. Ohioans can call their offices at 614-785-1212. Or email to


Blogspot blues?

Slow post day because our host has been down for a long time. We'll try to catch up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Survey USA shows Kerry expanding edge

On the heels of the ARG survey, Survey USA results show the following trend: "3 weeks ago, Kerry led by 1 point, 1 week ago by 2 points, and today Kerry leads by 3.
WCPO-TV Cincinnati and WKYC-TV Cleveland have had SUSA doing their polls for Ohio. Like ARG, it was conducted Oct. 23-25.

Here are the numbers:
Kerry - 50%
Bush - 47%
Unknown/Other - 3
MoE - 3.5

Again, Bush is cemented at the 47% level.

SUSA also reports Bush leads by 9 among the 35-49 age group, but Kerry is ahead in all others including a 12 point leader in the key 18-35 group. Kerry is also up by 18 points for those making less than $40,000 per year.


As seen in Grandview Ohio


Kerry moves up slightly in new Ohio ARG poll

The American Research Groups Oct. 23-25 poll of 600 Likely Voters show Kerry picked up a point compared to their last survey (Oct. 6 - data in parentheses), but his edge is still within the Margin of Error.

Kerry - 49% (48%)
Bush - 47& (47%)
Undecided - 4% (4&)
MoE - 4%

The poll shows Kerry has tightened up his support among Democrats and has a 51-45 lead among Independents.

Finally, one of the most significant things is that ARG (as do nearly every other poll) shows Bush frozen at 47% and going no higher.


The non-endorsement endorsement for Kerry

The controversy over the Plain Dealer's editorial board dust up about their presidential endorsement is well known by know. To recap, the overwhelming majority of the e-board (perhaps all of them) except for the publisher Alex Machaskee backed a Kerry endorsement. Machaskee tried to use veto power, but internal resistence combined with work of the dispute leaking nationally forced a stalemate. The PD missed its usual targetted date for an endorsement Sunday, and today the paper announced that it would make no endorsement:
The decision not to endorse in this race was not easily taken. A majority of the editorial board favored Kerry, but after long and difficult deliberations, it was decided that the better path would be to sit this one out. We prefer, this year, to call voters' attention to the races in which we believe our endorsements can be more helpful.
The big loser in this is Bush. This is the loss of a major endorser from 2000.

Another potential loser is Machaskee. The discussion about the controversial endorsement has received extensive coverage on the Internet, radio talk shows and nation media. Many listeners, readers and bloggers said they contact the paper to express their concern. Indeed, according to Editor & Publisher,
Since Sunday, the Plain Dealer had been deluged with e-mails, according to three sources. The e-mails, noted Brent Larkin, the Plain Dealer's editorial page editor, came not just from readers, but from all over the country. When asked whether public opinion had any bearing on the paper's decision process in choosing a candidate, Larkin responded, "Not even a little bit."

Larkin may be technically right, but the PD management and editorial staff are going to be haunted by this for some time. Now that its know that Machaskee overruled both a Kerry and a Tim Hagan endorsement, and after some of the progressive "muscle-flexing" with Sinclair, the owner has to know that the paper is starting to risk taking a hit in the bottom line.


Republican White: Fraud not being found in Dayton

Maybe John W. White, Montgomery County Republican Party chairman, isn't on the same page as Bob Bennett, or maybe he is just being honest. From the DDN:
White, a state representative from Kettering, said the party should file challenges only where there is significant evidence of voter fraud. He said fraud may well have occurred elsewhere in the state, but he does not believe it is occurring locally.


Challenges problems spread - GOP plans unclear

In the "didn't really think this one through category", now Bob Bennett and the Ohio GOP's effort to gin up proof of "massive and systematic voter registation fraud" is really starting to turn into an major embarassment.

The Dayton Daily News reports that 90% of the Republican voter registration challenges in Montgomery County are invalid, including one case involving Army master sergeant Surjo Banerjee who has been fighting in Iraq for about a hear:
Local board of elections officials believe the Republican Party challenged Banerjee's registration because board mail sent to him in Centerville was returned undelivered since he was in Iraq. Board records also include a June request from Banerjee for an absentee ballot, which last month was sent to him in Iraq.

It's still not clear exactly what all the problems are that are underlying Ohio Republican Party's bumbling effort to get these challenges to stick. There is agreement by everyone that the challenge forms used by the ORP were filled out incorrectly in many if not most cases and contain wrong information such as mixed up precincts. This still leaves open the question of whether the original mailings by the ORP were also mixed up since copies of the returns have not been shared with the boards of elections.

If, as the ORP claims, it was a simple data processing error, than refiling the challenges would be simple. Or, along this same vein, the ORP could go to court to force the BOEs to ignore the "precinct" errors and continue with the challenge process. And, that's what the Dispatch reports that is what the GOP may be up to:
State GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett said last night that a name and address should be enough to determine whether the voters live where they are registered — and boards that take a different view could face court action . . .[GOP]Spokesman Jason Mauk said no decisions about legal action have been made, and that it’s not clear yet how many counties could be affected. . . The Ohio GOP has withdrawn all of the 4,219 challenges it filed in Hamilton County because of mistakes made on those forms, but Mauk said there are no plans to pull challenges elsewhere because the errors were not as bad.

But other papers have stories that greatly conflict with this. Back at the DDN, Lynn Hulsey reported:
The party has already withdrawn 4,718 challenges in Hamilton County and Mauk said the party expects to withdraw challenges elsewhere. County boards also could reject the challenges because of the error. Hearings before Election Day would be required for any challenges not rejected. Mauk said the state party will not refile the withdrawn challenges under a separate state statute that does not require hearings before Election Day."

So, are challenges being withdrawn or not. Are they being refiled or not. Is the GOP going to court or not?

We tend to believe the Dispatch's version since it was written by Niquette, and he seems to have a hotline to Bennett. On the other hand, Bennett may just be using Niquette to blow up a scare to see how the BOEs react.

Needless to say, every day there's a new twist.

Monday, October 25, 2004


The ORP's "challenges" problem just keeps getting worse

As we reported yesterday, the wheels are starting to fall off the Ohio Republican Party's irresponsible and unsubstantiated charges of massive voter fraud. From the Dispatch Monday:
Meanwhile, it appears many of the 35,427 challenges the Ohio GOP filed Friday against newly registered voters statewide will be rejected because of a glitch in the computer program used to prepare the filings.

In many cases, addresses for voters were incorrect or the challenges were filed in the wrong precinct, meaning county election boards will not have to hold hearings on those challenges.

The GOP has withdrawn all 4,718 challenges filed in Hamilton County, and [Franklin Co. Board of Elections Director Matt] Damschroder said about two-thirds of the 4,219 challenges filed in Franklin County are invalid.

He plans to send notices today to those who were properly challenged for a hearing Thursday, when the election board must decide if voters live where they are registered and can remain on the rolls.

There also reportedly are problems in Cuyahoga County, where nearly half of the challenges were filed, but officials there could not be reached.

Ohio GOP spokesman Jason Mauk said that questions remain about all of the new registrants who were challenged.

The story went on to say:
[The challenged voter registrants] were targeted because a letter or other mail sent to them was returned as undeliverable by the Postal Service. Although election officials say there are legitimate reasons why in some cases, Republicans also suspect fraud.

At this point in this story's development, wouldn't a good reporter point out that Bob Bennett and the ORP have yet to provide one bit of evidence of fraud? Oh, you say Mark Niquette wrote the article? Well, that certainly explains a lot.


Moronic reporting alert

Cincinnati blog has dead on story about an Enquirer reporter getting roped into the Republican spin on a two-bit break-in at the Bush campaign's Cincy HQ.


Provisional ballots: One step forward, one step back

Jeez, now that Blackwell found a court to his liking, we are back to the "wrong-precinct, no-ballot" games. Anyonewant to guess how long it is 'til the phony phone calls begin again?

What to do? John Edwards had it about right today in Cincinnati:
"We know that there are some voices that would stand in the way of your voices being heard — stand in the way here in Ohio of you being able to vote. We're going to make sure you get to the polls, we're going to make sure you get to vote and we're going to make sure your vote is counted and we're going to counter those forces with a record turnout."

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Where is the "massive and systematic voter registration fraud"?

I challenge one Ohio reporter to give me evidence of the Ohio Republican Party's claims about "massive and systematic voter registration fraud". There is none. Period.

There is nothing except ORP chairman Bob Bennett's smoke 'n' mirrors (read: lies), yet the Ohio political press corps is swallowing it whole.

What is Bennett's so called evidence?
1) a crack-rattled registration gatherer in Toledo
2) an anecdote about ACORN workers who got caught and WERE FIRED by ACORN
3) a handful of anecdotes about voter registrations with the same handwriting in Northeast Ohio
4) the intriguing statistic that in several counties, there seems to be more registered voters than there are voting-age adult (according to census figures), and
5) 35,000 returns from a mailing done by the Ohio GOP to 232,000 new voter registrants.

Systematic fraud is a serious charge. It shouldn't be tossed around unless you can identify the system, and identify the perp and the perp's intent. In other words, in my mind, you have to prove there was a conscious, planned and organized effort beyond the screwups of individuals. Further, you have to show who was behind it and what they hoped to accomplish. This latter requirement is key in order to be able to determine whether "A" actually planned this, or did "B" play a dirty trick in order to make it look like "A" was up to something.

So, of Bennett's "evidence", what really stands up to this test? #1 and #2 above were obviously just isolated, dumb stuff. Nothing systemic or planned there.

#3 has some possibilities, but a some of the possibilities point to an effort to smear some of the labor union efforts to gather signatures. Using duplicate handwriting, for example, in one pack of submitted registrations is an easy tip-off to election workers. So easy, it would certainly suggest that someone wanted to get caught.

#4 and #5 aren't so easy to dismiss. But let's look at each one.

#4 - more voters than adults - does seem shocking at first. But as the Dispatch points out today in study of Franklin Co. voter files,
Franklin County has more than 227,000 inactive voters — about a quarter of the county’s registered voters. Voters are labeled "inactive" once they have failed to vote in two federal-election cycles and don’t respond to confirmation cards. Almost 1.9 million of Ohio’s more than 8.5 million registered voters haven’t cast a ballot since at least 1999, the Dispatch analysis found. The inactives are a key reason the number of registered voters in at least seven Ohio counties — including Franklin, Cuyahoga and Licking — exceeds the estimated voting age population. Franklin County tops the list, with at least 30,000 more registered voters than residents who are at least 18 years old.

So, here we have a factual, logical explanation of this phenomenon. And, again, those that actually look at the problem come up with nothing that even remotely suggests "massive and systematic fraud."

#5 also indicates another potentially serious problem. But fraud? Not yet, at least. There are easily a half-dozen reasons why there were some returns from the GOP mailing (keep in mind, they were less than 5% of the total mailing). For example, indecipherable addresses and names and data input error. There is also the chanced that the GOP screwed up the data when the did the mailing. And, in fact, in Hamilton Count, it appears that it was the GOP mishandling of the data that caused the returns. The bottom line is that NOTHING has been found that remotely points to "massive and systematic voter registration fraud." Instead, this increasingly looks like a "problem" the GOP created by itself.

But there is more to this than meets the eye. The GOP knew there was never systematic fraud, and they are gambling on their ability to make the myth stick with out ever having to prove a thing. This is their MO for the rest of this campaign because it has proved successful elsewhere. As Josh Marshall points out, it's no accident that Larry Russell has been moved from South Dakota to Ohio.

You think that after being fed b.s. for so long, the Ohio press corps would be repulsed by being spoon fed this new crap. Instead, it seems like they have had the taste of shit in their mouth so long that they've kinda grown to like the taste.


Ohio GOP behind "bad" Hamilton Co. voter registrations

The wheels may be about to fall off of the Ohio Republican Party's challenge to over 35,000 voter registrations in Ohio.

A story in Enquirer indicates that the GOP mishandled the data and mailing lists of new voter registrants and that these screw ups are behind many (maybe most) of the "questionable" voter registrations.

The controversy started when the GOP sent a mailing to over 230,000 new voters in 65 counties. Allegedly, about 35,000 of these mailings could not be delivered. Ohio GOP chairman and others blamed ACORN, ACT, MoveON, the unions and others for "massive and systemic voter registration fraud" and on Friday announced that they would launch challenges against these 35,000 in each of the county Board of Election.

On Saturday, the Hamilton County Board of Election examined the over 5,000 returned mailers from that region. Lo and behold, instead of fraud, the BOE found that the GOP had mismatched the names and addresses of the recipients.

Not that they had a lot of choice, but the GOP screw-ups are so bad that Bennett had to announce that it will drop all of their challenges in Hamilton County.

The Enquirer story also has GOP spokesman Jason Mauk saying they don't think there are problems with their challenges elsewhere. Right.

But, I think there are problems elsewhere, and not just because of the cast of characters involved. My reasoning is based on two clues. The first is that the problems were described as mismatches of the names and addresses. The second is that the Enquirer has Bennett claiming that "it was a clerical error when databases were merged".

As anyone who has done DB mergers knows, you have to be real careful with what data goes into what fields and into what records. You have it off in just one record, and it can throw off every data match after that.

There are enough other diligent BOEs around the state, so we feel fairly safe that we'll know soon if the Hamilton Co. problem showed up elsewhere.

Ohio political reporters - what is the lesson in all of this? How about now assuming that everything that comes out of Bennett and Mauk's mouth is a lie until proven otherwise? You got roped into buying into the GOP's "massive voter fraud" horse before you looked at its teeth. Time to wise up, eh?


Ohio Newspaper Endorsements Tally - Updated


Damn, we had it right back in September - Dispatch backs Bush

This is nauseating. We are ashamed to admit we were later fooled into thinking the unthinkable: That the Dispatch had actually grown up instead of it being a political lap dog.

Maybe it was the assurances from some of the top writers and department heads who said - and maybe truly believed - that Kerry had a very good chance. Maybe it was John Wolfe's critical comments about some of the worst lies of the Bush administration. And maybe it was just wishful thinking.

The thing is that back on Sept. 2, we had a post, Countdown 'til the Dispatch endorses Bush. It wasn't the typical analysis of how the Dispatch had always back Republican candidates since 1916. Instead, we just looked at how John Wolfe and Mike Curtin nearly wet their pants from the excitement of being given a free wide on Air Force One. We also examined their "interview" with the president in which Wolfe and Curtin sounded more like schoolgirls that had crushes on one of their teachers.

We took some shit, especially from some Dispatch staff for saying the endorsement question was over with the trip on Air Force One. Well, WTF do you know? We were right.

On the endorsement itself, we want to puke when we read:
A victory for Bush will signal to the world and terrorists that the United States is committed to victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Kerry victory will send an ambiguous signal that may raise doubts about American staying power.

Sadly no. A victory for Bush will signal that the terrorist can continue to have a field day while the Americans carry out a neoconservative political agenda and at the same time facilitate the transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the Administrations business allies.

When it comes to the economy, the Dispatch can't even muster a reason to back Bush. All the paper can do is argue that Kerry would be forced to betray his promise to reduce the deficit and expand programs like health care.

Finally, the inner John Wolfe jumps out when endorsement states:
The Dispatch believes Bush's appointments would more likely respect the principles of judicial restraint and separation of powers.

Yes, getting their pet brownshirts into judgeships is the conservative's wet dream.

John Wolfe, Mike Curtin, Ben Marrison - you could've had a great paper. You could have made a difference with the election and the nation. Instead you've chosen to sit at the feet of Rove & Company and wag your tail. Good boys. Good boys.


Plain Dealer internal dissent on endorsement real

Editor & Publisher confirms that there is a bitter battle over the Plain Dealer's publisher's insistence that the paper endorse Bush.
E&P has learned from several sources at the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the paper's nine-person editorial board decided earlier this week that it wanted to endorse Kerry but Publisher Alex Machaskee, who has final say, has decided on Bush. The paper backed Bush in 2000.

This has caused consternation in some quarters at the Plain Dealer, with sources telling E&P that the endorsement editorial, which was expected to run Sunday, was put off.


Looks like no Plain Dealer endorsement this week

Oddly, it looks like the Plain Dealer is not making an endorsement today, the traditional day for many Ohio newspapers.

It could be the paper's decision was affected by the controversy on many blogs Saturday night over the rumors of a the publisher overruling the rest of the editorial board and mandating a Bush endorsement.

Then again, it could be that they didn't want their endorsement overshadowed by the one expected from the Dispatch today.

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