Saturday, July 30, 2005


Slime-o-the-day: DeWine tries end-run on RON amendments


Kevin DeWine - and other GOP incumbents - is frothing in fear over the thought that the RON amendments might prevent them from rigging their re-elections. From the Dispatch:
The Ohio House appears ready to put a much debated bond-issue package on the November statewide ballot and will push a last-minute constitutional amendment ensuring that legislative districts can’t be redrawn until 2011.

Majority Republicans are moving quickly to counter a coalition called Reform Ohio Now that says it will get enough signatures for an amendment that would require a new, independent board to draw state and federal districts.

A House committee is scheduled to vote on a GOP-crafted amendment Monday night that Republicans hope would stop the coalition from redrawing districts for the 2008 election.

Rep. Kevin DeWine, a Fairborn Republican sponsoring the proposal, said, "We don’t want to change everybody in 2007 (for the 2008 election) and then do it again in 2011. If you do it in 2007, you’re using 8-year-old census data."

Ohio has traditionally redrawn districts every 10 years, based on new census figures.

Reform Ohio Now supporters say it’s better to act sooner than later to fix Ohio’s system, in which the party in power gets to draw a slew of districts that heavily favor its members.

Herb Asher, an emeritus Ohio State University political science professor and one of the principal backers of Reform Ohio Now, said it’s amazing how fast legislators can act "when they see themselves as protecting their own interests.

"But when it comes to remedying problems, they seem incapable of action."

Republicans are just trying to keep a flawed system in place for four more years, Asher said.

House Minority Leader Chris Redfern agreed. He dismissed concerns about old census numbers, noting Ohio is barely gaining population.

But before the Catawba Island Democrat even spoke about the issue yesterday, Republicans already had issued a press release lifting quotes from an August 2003 story in which Redfern criticized Texas for redrawing districts early, calling it the "height of political arrogance."

Redfern said there’s a big difference between redrawing districts based on a vote of the people and redrawing them because of Congressman Tom Delay’s influence.

If both amendments pass in November, the one gathering the most votes would decide whether districts are redrawn in 2007 or 2011. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on its proposal, which needs a threefifths majority. If approved, the Senate could vote Wednesday.


Blackwell and major new Diebold problems

Just when we thought Ohio's Secretary of State Kenny Blackwell couldn't look any more incompetent (leaving aside the pending pay-to-play accusations investigation), we get this new gem.

Today we learn that Blackwell's money-greased love affair with Diebold Systems's voting machines has an even more fundamental problem: the machines don't work!

From the Oakland Tribune (tip-of-our-hat to Crooks & Liars):
After possibly the most extensive testing ever on a voting system, California has rejected Diebold's flagship electronic voting machine because of printer jams and screen freezes, sending local elections officials scrambling for other means of voting.

"There was a failure rate of about 10 percent, and that's not good enough for the voters of California and not good enough for me," Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said.

If the machines had been used in an election, the result could have been frustration for poll workers and long lines for thousands of voters, elections officials and voter advocates said Thursday.

"We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters," McPherson said.

Rejection of the TSx [Ed. note - the Diebold machine is officially called AccuVote TSx, a named that was apparently not earned] by California, the nation's largest voting-system market, could influence local elections officials from Utah, Mississippi and Ohio, home of Diebold corporate headquarters, where dozens of counties are poised to purchase the latest Diebold touch screens.State elections officials in Ohio say they still have confidence in the machines.

[. . .]

For eight hours July 20, four dozen local elections officials and contractors stood at tables and tapped votes into the machines to replicate a California primary, one of the most complex elections in the nation. State officials watched as paper jams cropped up 10 times, and several machines froze up, requiring a full reboot for voting to continue.
The HAVA act requires states to have modernized voting equipment including handicapped-accessible machines, and many states like Ohio have added other requirments.

In a May news release, Blackwell implied that the Diebold Systems met these requirements and functioned without problems, excluding systems by competitors ES&S and Hart:
"[A] year has passed since the General Assembly (through H.B. 262) added the requirement that all new electronic voting systems be equipped with a voter-verifiable paper audit trail. In both these instances, only Diebold has presented my office with a system that is ready to be sent to the boards of elections and placed in front of Ohio voters."

[. . .]

On Thursday, April 14, 2005, Secretary Blackwell announced that Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems is currently the only voting machine manufacturer that has met federal and state requirements. The State Board of Voting Machine Examiners’ approval of the new Diebold voting system is pending receipt of all federal accreditation information.
Unlike Blackwell, California election officials actually took seriously their responsibility to ensure that the equipment functioned as advertised.
Elections officials and voting activists said they had never heard of more extensive testing for a single voting system, outside of an actual election. Kim Alexander, president of the Davis-based California Voter Foundation, said McPherson deserves credit for ordering rigorous testing.

"It's the first ever conducted in the state and, to my knowledge, in the country that simulated a real-world experience with these machines in a voting booth," she said.

Ordinarily, states and the National Association of State Elections Directors approve voting systems after labs hired by the manufacturers perform tests on a handful of machines. The Diebold TSx managed to get through those tests — twice. But none of the testing standards addresses printers on electronic voting machines, even though more than 20 states either require a so-called paper trail or are debating such a requirement.

For years, voters have reported frozen screens and other glitches in the polling place.

"It's always been the voters' word against election officials' and the vendors'," Alexander said. "Now we have real proof right before the eyes of state elections officials."
ES&S sued Blackwell to halt his demand that counties "select" their machines by May 31. After election officials from 31 Ohio counties joined the suit, Blackwell was forced to extend the deadline until September.

So what have learned?
Hopefully everyone is out helping Paul Hackett this weekend, and we should keep our mind on winning that election for now. But, as this story illustrates, the battle in Ohio is still in it's early stages and their are many more battles ahead.

[UPDATE]: An apparently earlier version of the story in an online publication related to the Tribune indicates that Blackwell plans to hang tough on his love affair with Diebold:
State elections officials in Ohio say they still have confidence in the machines.

"Absolutely," said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State's Office.

Friday, July 29, 2005


What would Matt Maupin think?

We're campaigning so the posting will be light, but we wanted to highlight this excellent and brief post by Brian at Cincinnati Blog.


Slime-o-the-day: LaTourette sells out workers


Normally we'd save our anger for a lot of the Ohio Republicans, but it seems that one in their ranks wants all the blame.

Madison-area congressman Steve LaTourette admits he cast the decisive midnight vote that passed CAFTA after receiving a call from a business in his district who wanted less competition and "perhaps" expand. From the Dispatch:
LaTourette confirmed yesterday that he cast the final "yes" vote, saying that move freed up several other Republicans not to vote for the pact.

[. . .]

LaTourette said he decided to vote for the trade accord, despite doubts about its effects on union workers and small manufacturers, after receiving a phone call from the head of a cabinet-making company in his northeastern Ohio district.

The executive told him that without the 8 percent tariff now placed on plywood bought from Central America, he could better compete against foreign competition and perhaps expand a business that already employs more than 1,000 people.
Monkeys will migrate from our asses when this company expands.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Not quite a perp walk, but it's a start

Hicks and Carroll get slapped with ethics charge, and Taft is still letting himself be dragged behind a train that's long left the station.

[MAJOR UPDATE] The Dispatch has the same story, but of greatest importance is that the paper is also reporting that the two will plead to the first degree misdemeanors in a deal with prosecutors:
Sources said Hicks and Carrol worked out plea agreements late today. Prosecutors had threatened to charge them if they didn't enter pleas. It is unknown if prosecutors are recommending a specific sentence.
The big payoff comes even later in the story:
Prosecutors are expected to seek the cooperation of Hicks and Carroll in other investigations.

The action against them follows information that Noe and his wife, Bernadette, gave to prosecutors last Friday.

Republican sphincters just tightened from one end of Ohio to the other.


Confidential, my ass

Sen. Dann's drilling of Kate Bartter reveals:
1. Reports aren't necessarily written by Cabinet Members but sometimes by members of their staff.

2. The reports are widely circulated to more than 20 different people in the office. They are not treated as "eyes only" but dropped off to mailboxes and administrative assistants to even 3rd level staff in the Governor's Office.

3.They are kept in an unlocked file cabinet ( not to be confused with the Governor's Cabinet) in the hallway outside Kate Bartter's office. (stop and pick some out next time you visit the 30th Floor of the Riffe Center in Columbus)

4. No one told anyone, neither the writers nor the recipients of the weekly reports to expect that they are confidential.
Okay, well that about wraps that executive privilege thingy up . . .


Ohio's election systems suck: LWV and others up ante

This, along with the Reform Ohio Now amendments, should keep the heat on state officials for quite a while. If and when it gets to the depositions stage, the fun will begin. From the press release:
Seeking to redress decades-old Constitutional defects in the way Ohio conducts federal elections, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Toledo-Lucas County, and more than a dozen Ohio citizens today filed a historic, non-partisan lawsuit against the State of Ohio.

The lawsuit alleges that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, Governor Bob Taft, and their predecessors have failed to protect the fundamental rights of eligible Ohio voters to cast a meaningful ballot, as required by the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In addition, the complaint contends that Ohio has not met its obligations under the Help America Vote Act. The lawsuit does not challenge the results of any past elections, but instead seeks to bring about changes necessary to protect the rights of Ohio voters in future elections.

Filed in federal court in Toledo, the complaint chronicles deficiencies over more than three decades, including widespread problems with the voter registration system, the absentee and provisional ballot processes, the training of poll workers, the organization of polling places and precincts, and the allocation of voting machines. The lawsuit seeks to compel the state to uphold its constitutional obligation to provide for the voting-related needs of its citizens in time for the November 2006 general election. The relief sought would require the state to repair the problems at all stages of the electoral process that have disenfranchised and overly burdened Ohio voters and made the ability to vote and be counted vary widely from county to county.
The group cites several of the well-known problems with the 2004 election, but also hightlights some lesser known outrages from previous years and decades:


Attorney spin on Taft

Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson ought to know better than to listen to defense attorney Bill Meeks's sputterings. This is utter bullshit:
While Taft isn’t facing capital punishment, if it is found that he knowingly filed false financial-disclosure statements, he faces up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both for each violation. Since each admission could constitute two violations — one for failure to disclose, the other for filing a false report — misdemeanors could stack up quickly. "Knowingly" is the key word. Investigators would have to prove that the governor intentionally failed to disclose events he knew should have been reported, often a tough case to make.
C'mon. This is Meeks desperately trying to put a happy face on a cow patty.

There is only two interpretations of "knowlingly" at play here.

The first is whether Taft "knew" golf and other outings were significant gifts and had to be reported (and by the way, we keep hearing it's more than just golfing). Given the Frenette- Tongren-Fisher-Zomparelli cases, the prosecutors in their sleep could show that Taft crossed that hurdle.

The second is whether Taft "knew" he was comp'ed for the outings. Here Johnson is totally wrong because this isn't something that is prosecutors job to prove - that's soley Taft's problem to keep track of. That's why competent elected officials have executive assistants that hound them for receipts, records, etc. Saying, "I didn't know Longaberger paid for my green fees," will not help his case and Meeks knows it.


Hicks: Really, it was Noe's lawn shed . . .

And the AC sucked and there was no satellite TV either!
Noe attorney William C. Wilkinson said yesterday that contrary to reports that Hicks stayed in Noe’s $1.3 million Florida home, Hicks and his family actually stayed in a smaller, attached living quarters.

Wilkinson said he thinks Hicks paid between $300 and $500 for his stay, as has been reported, but that the value of the accommodations cannot be based on the price of the main house.


Dayton Daily endorses Hackett

Sorry we didn't post this yesterday (we were out campaigning) but this is still sweet:
Not your classic suburban liberal.

Mr. Hackett was in the thick of things in Iraq, running an entrance to Fallujah after an American assault that took control of that city from insurgents. He helped to provide water and other necessities for civilians.

Now he has strong views about Iraq. He believes the Bush administration hasn't understood the difficulty of training the Iraqi military. He would put more urgency into the effort.

As a vet, he could have a voice on this issue in Congress, even as a freshman.
Candidates often tell voters that they should send a new kind of face to Washington, not just another politician. Trouble is, such candidates seldom offer much evidence that they could contribute more than somebody who has governmental experience.

After all, Jean Schmidt would be a respectable member of Congress. She's an energetic person with some background.

However, for a voter looking for something beyond a conventional political background, Paul Hackett is a welcome alternative. In an era when partisan fervor is a national scourge, a candidate who is likely to show some independence looks especially good. And he has generally sound positions on the issues.

He is the better choice for the 2nd District.


"Stars & Stripes" profiles Paul Hackett

The online version of "the hometown newspaper for servicemembers" gets the significance of the OH-2 election.
An attorney from southeast Ohio could become the first veteran of the war on terrorism to join Congress if he wins a special election next Tuesday.

[. . .]

But the 42-year-old said he was drawn to the race because he felt Congress has too many “career politicians,” and that his experience as a businessman and Marine has given him a better perspective on how to serve the district.

[ . . .]

He arrived in Iraq in August, and took over convoy commander duties and helped organize the payroll of Ramadi-area government workers. In November, he volunteered to help secure the eastern entry into Fallujah while coalition forces swept through the city.

“I certainly did not do the heaviest of the lifting,” he said. “But on the convoy, we were ambushed on more than one occasion.”

[. . .]

Hackett said he doesn’t see the war as the main issue in the campaign, although he admits most questions he gets start there.

“The number one thing we should be talking about is economy and jobs,” he said. “But throughout the district, most people have family members or family friends who are in Iraq. So it’s difficult not to talk about.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


CAFTA and the cover of darkness

Anyone interested in CAFTA and should be following GrowOhio. They are all over this issue with good tips on pinning down your U.S. Reps.


Hammer on, Marc

From ONN:
A state senator suing to get records from Governor Taft interviewed one of the governor's top aides under oath for more than two hours today.

Democratic Senator Marc Dann says weekly reports to Taft by agency directors should be released because they might shed light on a growing investment scandal at the state insurance fund for injured workers.

Taft has released many of the documents but blacked out portions. He says releasing them all would hurt his ability to govern.

Taft wouldn't be questioned under oath but made his chief policy director available. Dann says the answers by Kate Bartter shows that the records can't be considered confidential.

Dann says Bartter was in charge of the documents but had no idea how many people read them.

Bartter declined comment.
Watch Dann's blog for his analysis of the depostion.



WLW's pond scum, Scott Sloan.
(513)749-7000 - explain to him the difference between chickenhawks and heros.


NY Times covers Hackett

The OH-2 race makes the big time this morning. Where are the big networks? Publicity like this only helps Paul:
In the Second Congressional District of Ohio, which Republicans have controlled for the last two decades, the quickest route to political oblivion could be the one chosen by Paul L. Hackett: calling President Bush a "chicken hawk" for not serving in Vietnam and harshly criticizing the decision to invade Iraq.

But Mr. Hackett, the Democratic candidate in the Aug. 2 special Congressional election, is not an ordinary politician. Until four months ago, he was serving in the Marines, commanding a civil affairs unit in Iraq.

If Mr. Hackett is elected, he will become the first member of Congress to have served in the Iraq war. That alone has helped Mr. Hackett, a 43-year-old lawyer, unexpectedly turn this potential walkover into a sharply contested race.

"When you tell people he just got back from Iraq, they stop and listen," said Timothy Burke, the chairman of the Democratic Party in Hamilton County, one of seven southern Ohio counties in the district. "He'd not have nearly as many people paying attention to him if it weren't for that initial grabber."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Does she Hooah? Europeans now following Hackett race

Check this out. Be patient - Markus's grasp of the language is, uh, a little rough, but he is very sincere.

We especially like this part where Hackett's opponent is described (all wording presented as is):
The answer is a chic woman, low-key, dwarf leader of an inflexible anti-abortion group who is entirely pulled by George Bush's strings. The republican Jean Schmidt has recently been having troubles with resisting dear gifts provided by lobbyists, and an outraged Paul Hackett, who has his honesty in the backbone, fire out his attack by his comment:

"if she can't resist freebies here, how would she function in Washington, where the slick big-time lobbyists operate non-stop?"


(picture not fabricated with pay first than pump sign, autentic photo from Schmidt's campaign site)

She does have a "un-femal" face. Yeah, one can surely wonder. Does she Hooah?
Our blogger friend has some other wonderful near-haikus:
tongue out and rolling eyes
my girlfriend says
"Nail polish won't fight any enemy"
God stands beside Hackett
whispering. . . hope. . .
Ohio is for lovers

We hear him in Sweden and are on our knees praying for Ohio and it's people to show courage for a change and fight back Karl Rove in August.
Thanks, Markus.


Paul Hackett needs YOU

From his HQ:
Action Alert

1. Write the Cincinnati Enquirer - The Cincinnati Enquirer did not make its expected endorsement in the Second District Congressional race on Sunday the 24th. This is great news for us – we can get the paper’s endorsement if we can prove to them that Paul Hackett has the support in this district that he needs to win.

We need every Hackett supporter who lives in the District to write a Letter to the Editor of the Enquirer by Monday evening. Copies should be sent to any other local papers that you read as well, but since the Enquirer has the largest readership of any paper in the area, our efforts need to be focused there first.

The letter should be personal and from you – describe why you support Paul Hackett and why Jean Schmidt is the wrong choice for this district.

E-Mail your letter to or mail it to Letters, Enquirer Editorial Page, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Include your name, address (including community), daytime phone, and return address on the envelope.

PLEASE DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Winning the Enquirer’s endorsement would be a major victory for the campaign, and you can make this happen.

2. Work in your County - We will be going to voters’ doorsteps in each county in the District every day this week. Here is how to get involved in your county:

Adams: Contact Denise Gastesi at 614 207-5563 or email her at

Brown: Contact Steve Chaffin at 614 207-5702 or email him at

Clermont: There will be canvassing thru Friday with shifts at 10-1, 2-5, and 6-9, meeting at Hackett Headquarters. The "big push" canvass will be on Saturday at 10 a.m at Hackett HQ. Contact Courtney Foley at 202 276-5305 or email her at

Hamilton: Thru Friday - Canvassing shifts (for each shift meet at 1523 Madison Rd, Cincinnati OH 45208 -behind the old Kerry HQ) 10:00am-1:00pm, 2:00pm-5:00pmm, 6:00pm-9:00pm. Saturday July 30th- Rally and Canvass starting at 10:00am 1523 Madison Rd. Sunday July 31st- Rally and Canvass starting at 2:00pm 1523 Madison Rd. Contact Demetrius Gorham at 614 207-2598 or email him at

Pike: Phone Banking Daytime/Nighttime, Canvassing Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM. Contact Josh Wolf at 740 707-6412 or email him at

Scioto: Contact Dan Lucas at 703 863-6223 or email him at

Warren: Canvassing and Phone Banking Monday-Friday this week. Visibility activity at Warren County Commissioners meeting Monday night and Tuesday from 6-8pm. Contact Chris Gaffney at 937 704-9911 or email him at

3. Phone Bank - We are phone banking at the following locations every evening this week from 5 to 9 pm. To RSVP a spot please email Aryeh at

Zimmerman CPA, 1080 Nimitzview Dr., off of Five Mile, Anderson
Hamilton County Democratic Party HQ, 615 Main St., Downtown Cincinnati
Hackett HQ, 27 N. Second St., Batavia
Crowley HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills
Warren County Democratic Party HQ, 8 East 5th St., Franklin

Hackett HQ - 27 N. Second St., Cincinnati, OH 45103; Phone: 513 735-4310; Email:;


Then maybe the Prez shouldn't have called him that

We have yet to hear of what the Ohio papers intend to do on this matter. As an alternative, we suggest "ass bloom" and " 'roid whorl":
Bathroom humor isn't going over well with a number of newspapers that carry the "Doonesbury" comic strip.Installments running today and tomorrow show a caricature of President Bush referring to his top political adviser, Karl Rove, by the nickname "turd blossom."

About a dozen newspapers have complained, and some told Universal Press Syndicate that they wouldn't run the comic or were printing an edited version.

The executive editor of the Providence Journal in Rhode Island says the newspaper simply took the offensive word out of the panel. He says he doesn't think that hurt the content.Universal Press says the complaints aren't a surprise.

But, the syndicator didn't offer alternative strips to use, as it's done in the past when there's controversial content.



Regardless of the outcome of next Tuesday's election in the OH-2 congressional special election, the fact that the Cincinnati Post has endorsed Paul Hackett is an enormous victory and a clear blow to the Ohio GOP.

(Thanks for the tip from the Ohio 2nd blog.)

Prediction: If Hackett wins, Bob Bennett is gone.


Strickland MIA online

As much as we like Ted Strickland, we've been baffled for several weeks by his website that for all practical purposes has been there in name only. Aside from some brief introductory comments, there has been nothing else on his home page.

Now, as the screen shot below shows, his website is literally there "in name only." This amateurishness is baffling and inexplicable, and an inexcusable blunder by this staff. We'd like to be more optimistic and think that maybe this is just a temporary "place holder" and that a new whiz-bang site is in the offing, but the campaign seems to us to be dangerously late in getting the site functioning.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Ohio's bankruptcy rate is higher than divorce rate

We offer this as a followup post to our earlier story about Ohio breaking it's bankruptcy recored.

While doing research on that post, we found this fascinating factoid that we have never seen reported elsewhere. Its from a report from February produced by our state's progressive think tank, Policy Matters Ohio:
In Ohio, 3.5 of every 1,000 people filed for divorce while 7.7 of every 1,000 people declared bankruptcy in 2003.
PMO also tried to identify some of the causes of the high rate:
Ohio's high rates of job loss and long-term unemployment may explain the spike in bankruptcy in this state. Nationally, bankruptcy increases are correlated with low disposable income levels, lack of health insurance, and high unemployment. However, Ohio's relative ranking on these indicators is not nearly as problematic as its ranking on bankruptcy.


Ohioans to break bankruptcy record, again

With all the focus on the various political scandals and pay-to-play debacles in Ohio, it's easy to overlook a more fundamental effect that the Republican's one-party-rule in state government has had: economic stagnation.

The sorry state of Ohio's economy isn't news to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who continue to struggle to full-time, decent paying jobs. But every once in a while there is a story like this, from Columbus's Business First magazine:
Ohio is on pace to again break its dubious record of annual bankruptcy filings, largely a reflection that economic gains enjoyed elsewhere around America remain in short supply in the Buckeye State. For five consecutive years an increasing number of individuals and companies in Ohio have gone bankrupt. Last year's increase in bankruptcy filings was slight from the year before, which gave hope that the state's economic fortunes were improving. But the level of filings in Ohio over the first six months of 2005 has dashed those hopes, and experts expect the pace of filings will pick up in the last half of the year.

[. . .]

Bankruptcy filings in Ohio edged up 0.2 percent last year, from 89,659 filings in 2003 to 89,913 in 2004. In the first six months of 2005, however, 47,764 individuals and companies filed for bankruptcy. If that pace continues, 2005 would be marked by a 6.2 percent increase in bankruptcies.
In the interest of full disclosure, it's important to acknowledge that the some of the high bankruptcy numbers may be an effect from businesses and individual trying to file before the change in bankruptcy laws goes into effect this fall. But no one is willing to attribute all of the high bankruptcy numbers to these last-minute filers.

And, Ohio's rate of increase in bankruptcies is greater than elsewhere, according to Thomas Allen, a partner in the bankruptcy boutique firm Allen Kuehlne & Stovall LLP.
'While bankruptcies have been increasing across the country, Ohio is among the hardest hit of all states. According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the state's two bankruptcy courts found themselves ranked among the top 10 bankruptcy courts in the nation last year for bankruptcy filings. The Northern District bankruptcy court ranked fourth and the Southern District ranked seventh.

The report also shatters the myth that the greater Columbus area is "recession-proof":
Despite a jobless picture in Central Ohio that is brighter than in other parts of the state, U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus recorded more bankruptcy filings than any other court in Ohio over the first six months of the year.

According to preliminary reports, 9,339 individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy in Columbus, compared with 7,508 in Cleveland and 4,617 in Cincinnati - metro areas that are larger than Columbus. The Dayton office recorded 5,669 bankruptcy filings.

The Columbus region also experienced the most business bankruptcy filings in the state in the last six months with 24 Chapter 11 reorganization filings. Cleveland had 21 Chapter 11 filings and Cincinnati recorded 11. Last year, the Columbus region recorded 50 Chapter 11 filings, which allow businesses to operate while they come up with a plan to repay their debts.
And, the "no-shit Sherlock" award goes to the Columbus Chamber of Commerce:
"I think what's going on is the lack of job growth in Ohio," said Bill LaFayette, vice president of economic analysis at the Columbus Chamber. "Over the last six months, (Ohio has) only gained 25,000 jobs out of a base of 5.4 million."
Seems like this issue would be good fodder for someone's gubernatorial campaign.

[UPDATED to add Thomas Allen quote]


Scum of the earth

The slime gets slimer.

Paul Hackett should feel proud that he's forced them to Swiftboat his reputation. I think even the OH02 voters will be nauseated, and it's good to know Schmidt is starting to get desperate.


Hackett frames the debate well

Atrios and others have plugged this nice online story about Paul Hackett from TAP, but these paragraphs stands out:
On economic issues, Hackett is solidly progressive. The corporate-friendly bankruptcy bill, which passed the House with a fair number of Democratic votes, Hackett calls “garbage.” And he’s appalled that Democrats have let the GOP define the debate on the “death tax.” “We should call it the ‘anti-aristocracy tax,’” he insists.

On questions of values, Hackett’s libertarian tendencies take over. “When I elect someone to go to Washington, D.C.,” he says, “I don’t elect a spiritual leader. I get that from my minister on Sundays when I go to church. Congress isn’t invited into my personal life; they’re not invited into the decisions my wife makes with her doctor any more than they’re invited in to check out what guns I’ve got in my gun cabinet.”
Solidly progressive? Libertarian? We aren't so sure. It sounds like the writer was trying to find some preconceived molds to shoehorn Hackett into.

For us, these positions indicate that Hackett - whether he knows it or not - seems to have a good handle on George Lakoff's concept of framing, where your positions evoke an underlying moral value. That last paragraph, for us, is the most concise set of thoughts about religion, guns, abortion, privacy, morals, role of government that we have heard in a long time. Why couldn't have Kerry said the same things? If Hackett sticks with this framing, he'll go a long way sooner or later in southern Ohio.

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