Thursday, October 20, 2005

 

Bob Ney and Issue 4

One of the more interesting and apropos revelations in the recent WaPo piece on Bob Ney's troubles is this:
Shortly after Ney arrived in the House in 1994, he became a part of DeLay's Retain Our Majority Program (ROMP), a fundraising effort in which GOP colleagues donated to Republicans such as Ney in districts without a safe majority. After lines were redrawn to make Ney's district more Republican, he returned the favor, donating to other vulnerable House Republicans. That helped him earn his chairmanship in 2001, leapfrogging over a colleague with more seniority. [emphasis added]
You scratch my back with redistricting and I'll scratch yours.

 

Ney racking up the billable hours

[Fixed significant typo]

Let's see what we have here.

Say attorney Mark Touhey is charging an average of $400 per hour. That means that Bob Ney's transfer of $136,000 from his campaign chest to his legal defense has bought him about 3400 340 hours at Touhey's firm. Now, we fully understand when someone is dealing with federal prosecutors, it doesn't take long to rack up an enormous legal bill. If, on the other hand it's true that Touhey has only been working on Ney's behalf for six months, that would suggest that there is a lot more going on than preparing "just-in-case" materials.

Please, please don't waste your time reading Jack Torry's piece today in the Dispatch. Why Ben Marrison pays for Torry to live in DC to write summaries of stories written by real reporters is beyond us, but then again it's not our money.

If you want to know what's really going on, go right to the story by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt that ran in the WaPo three days ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 

Arnold to endorse Issue 4

In a move that is sure to upset the Ohio GOP's applecart, NY Times reporter Dean Murphy said that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar would actively support Reform Ohio Now's Issue 4 in a effort to bolster sagging support for a somewhat similar effort in his home state:
A campaign aide to Mr. Schwarzenegger, Darrel Ng, said Monday that the governor endorsed the Ohio measure, known on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 4, though he has not said so publicly. A top supporter of the measures in both states said Mr. Schwarzenegger would participate in a series of public events this week to signal his stance. "He has agreed to do it," said the supporter, Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause, a watchdog group that is pushing for redistricting changes in more than a dozen states, including California and Ohio. Ms. Pingree appeared Monday in San Jose with Mr. Schwarzenegger at a campaign stop on behalf of the California measure, Proposition 77. She said Mr. Schwarzenegger's willingness to break ranks with Ohio Republicans on the measure demonstrated that "this is the same issue in different states and though the political players change, incumbent politicians don't want to change the system no matter where they are."
We agree with Pingree that it's the same issue (redistricting) but the similarities pretty much end there. Substantively, the CA proprosal is a watered down reform. More importantly have been convinced by the persuasive of others that without Republicans supporting a redistricting reform in a major red state, Prop. 77 would amount to a unilateral disarmament in a blue state stronghold. In other words, the idea is right, but it should be part of a broader political set of negotiations.

And while Arnold's endorsement has got to be seen as something of an act motivated by a fear of lossing on Prop. 77, his endorsement has got to be seen as a major blow to the Ohio First folks. Although Schwarzeneggar's popularity has plummeted in California, there are very few folks outside of the west coast that are aware of his troubles. A highly visible endorsement of Issue 4 can do nothing but help the propopals prospects as well as the rest of the reforms.

And we still wonder, can Sen. John McCain be far behind?

We suspect that Arnold will be looking for a few of the Ohio Republicans who have endorsed Issues 2-5 to stump for him in California, but none will come close to having the impact that he would have here, especially in central Ohio where he is still well-known for his huge annual body-building and fitness expo that is held in Columbus.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

 

Birds of a feather: Hopcraft & Modell

Funny as hell.

As we noted a while back, the spokesperson for Ohio First, the anti-Issues 2-5 group, is David Hopcraft, pal and former spokesperson for the traitorous sleazebag Art Modell, notorious having moved the Browns to Baltimore.

According to a post by Frank Szollosi, the Reform Ohio Now campaign has made Hopcraft a fantastic offer:
The grassroots organization trying to clean up state government is offering a free airplane ticket to Baltimore to the chief spokesman for the other side. Reform Ohio Now is offering David Hopcraft a Southwest Airlines ticket to Baltimore, where the Browns will play the Ravens on Sunday.
We'll even pony up the taxi money to take him to the airport.

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