Saturday, October 08, 2005


Paging Sen. McCain

John McCain appears to us to have gotten himself in a bit of a pickle. Just a few days ago Kenny Blackwell announced that he had the endorsement of the Senator from Arizona.

Today, we learn that McCain has endorsed the Arnold's re-districting proposal and claims he will be campaigning for them. How long is it going to be before someone puts McCain on the spot about Issue 4 if he is so concerned about Ohioans.

By the way, it should be noted that the California redistricting initiative falls far short of Issue 4. As we understand it, it doesn't improve competitiveness and doesn't prevent gerrymandering. The main thing it apparently does is takes the district drawing out of the hands of elected politicians.


Gallows conversions

About a week ago we had the laughable spectacle of the Ohio GOP (in the form of Kevin DeWine) suddenly wanting to appear more anti-gerrymandering than anyone in the state, including even the Reform Ohio Now campaign.

Today we have another laugher with Sen. President Bill Harris suddenly finding religion about making voting easier.

Neither move passes the smell test, except for the smell of sheer terror that is increasingly surging through the body politic of the ORP. This crap couldn't be any more transparent, but it's fun to see them running to catch up with a train that left the station a long time ago.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


The suspense is killing us . . .

Tim says to watch his place this evening. We suspect a Sherrod Brown announcement.


Administration counter-attacks unions

Stung most recently by labor's highly visible efforts to defend Social Security, the Bush administration has been looking for ways to sidetrack the unions. They have apparently decided on several tactics (from the Plain Dealer):
The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board says his prime objective is reviewing Ohio and Michigan cases on card-check, labor's top strategy in recent years for adding members.

. . .

That the Republican-controlled NLRB has even agreed to evaluate card-check sent shivers through organized labor, which says that the tactic is long enshrined in the 1935 National Labor Relations Act.

With card-check, employers agree to recognize unions when a majority of employees sign cards saying they want a union. Card-check is often used with "neutrality agreements," in which employers agree to stay neutral in an organizing drive.

. . .

Other important issues that will lead the NLRB's calendar, Battista said:

Whether companies can restrict employees from going to a union Web site while at work.

Evaluations during the hiring process of alleged "salts" - paid organizers who apply for a job at a nonunion company.

Whether certain union displays of banners are free speech or are "speech plus" - involving conduct rather than mere speech, and so more subject to regulation.
Actually, we think the unions can beat this thing back if they approach it politically, hit it hard and don't rely on the courts to do the heavy lifting.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Hackett, Brown or both?

Lot's of buzz today about who's in to run against Mike DeWine. The AP has a story about Hackett deciding to run, plus some info on DeWine's position vis a vis the Miers nomination.

But several sources such as the WaPo say Sherrod Brown's back in. Jerome at MyDD is backing Brown but with appropriate props to Hackett, and the comments to his post are worth wading thru.

The OH-02 blog will be in Hackett's corner and is another good place to watch. Maybe the corollary to that blog is GrowOhio, and we are waiting for when GO maestro Tim Tagaris weighs in on the matter. He's yet to post, but there is a least one GrowOhio thread on the Hackett/Brown nominations started by others.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Dispatch poll: The good, the (sorta) bad and the ugly

The Dispatch has unveiled the results of two panels of polling questions from a survey done Sept. 22-29. We realize that several others like the UAPA folks and KTinOhio have posted on this, but we thought we put in our two-cents about the results.

First, it’s important to note that the mail poll system the paper used (designed by now-VP and associate publisher Mike Curtin) is notoriously accurate, and therefore we accept the results at face value – with a few caveats described below.

With that out of the way, let’s start with the ugly. The Dispatch had a panel of questions about Gov. Taft and the paper reports that only 15% approve of the job he is doing. That’s, of course, ugly, but not the ugly we’re talking about.

We think the premise behind this set of questions is ugly. Does Ohio need one more poll about how unpopular Bob Taft is? To us, and we think to most Ohioans, this isn’t news and is starting to sicken us in a way. Let’s be clear here – we aren’t complaining about news media “piling on” in regard to Taft’s popularity problems and we have no personal sympathies for Taft, either.

What sickens us about the Dispatch’s questions and a lot of the recent reporting around the demise of Taft support is based on the notion - and reinforces that same notion - that Taft is to blame for “what’s wrong” with Ohio.

Taft, of course, and his current and former staffers rightly deserve much of the grief . But, what about the broader Republican leadership in the Ohio Senate and House over the past 15 years? A real news story would be a poll that asks the public what grade they give these thieves and cretins for the job they have done (for starters) on issues like 1) jobs, 2) primary and secondary education, 3) higher education, 4) health care and 5) property tax relief. That’s the shit that would really get us excited about reading an Ohio paper in the morning! But please no more goddamn polls telling us that Ohioans want Taft to go away and no more polls that seem to suggest that everything will be rosy if we get rid of him.

Now, on to the other panel of questions used by the Dispatch. These had to do with the Issue 1 plus the four Reform Ohio Now amendments. The bad news is that Issue 4 – the one that would clean up the district-drawing system and arguably the most important of the four proposals – is currently losing. The good news is that it is only losing 38-26% and that a near-plurality (36%) is undecided. The other good news is that Issues 2 and 3 have enormous leads and with relatively small undecideds. Issue 5 is also winning, but we’d like to see the 20% undecideds decrease.

Maybe it’s obvious to everyone, but the timing of the poll initially seems problematic because neither the RON campaign nor Ohio First had begun to hit the airwaves with their ads. But we suspect that the Dispatch was fully aware of this. We think that what’s really going on is that the Dispatch, in fact, wanted to conduct a poll before the ad wars started in order to establish a baseline to measure the campaigns in the next five weeks. The Dispatch’s pattern in recent elections in fact has been to conduct a series of polls, one early in the campaign, one mid-way and a few days before election day.

The cross-tabs of this current poll reveal some useful information. With the Democratic vote currently split 35% for – 28% against, and a plurality of 37% undecided it will be extremely important to try to work on the democratic base.

Union members are split 28% for – 39% against and 38% undecided, but we have been told that many union are just now launching their internal education efforts.

But, all in all, the cross-tabs show that there is across-the-board an enormous number of undecideds in every demographic category. The nation’s most important election is still a toss up, and deserves every minute and dime supporters of the RON movement can spare.


Dispatch: Time to cut the federal budget

We always thought there were two options for dealing with the federal budget problems: roll back the tax cuts or reducing spending. Apparently one of the Columbus Dispatch's demi-gods, John Kasich, has spoken and settled the matter.

By the way, you can tell Jon Riskind, Jack Torry and the Dispatch editors to go fuck themselves here.


Angela puts it together for RON

Congrats to Ms. Cardwell for solving the redistricting puzzle.

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