Saturday, December 03, 2005

 

Boccieri to hold newser on Schmidt billboard ban

From the DNC and ODP:
Ohio State Rep. John Boccieri, a major in the Air Force Reserve and a C-130 pilot who served four tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, will join Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Brian Rothenberg for a news conference on Sunday, Dec. 4 to protest the decision by Lamar Advertising to reject two billboards purchased this week by the Democratic National Committee.

Friday, December 02, 2005

 

Investigators looking into jobs-for-favors

More Ney stuff, from the NY Times:
With a federal corruption case intensifying, prosecutors investigating Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist, are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors, people involved in the case have said.

. . .

Investigators are said to be especially interested in how Tony C. Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, and Neil G. Volz, a former chief of staff to Representative BobNey of Ohio, obtained lobbying positions with big firms on K Street.
. . .

Of particular interest, according to several people involved in the case, are how Mr. Rudy, who left Mr. DeLay's office in 2001 to join Greenberg Traurig, and Mr. Volz, who left Mr. Ney's office in 2002 for that firm, obtained their positions. Investigators believe Mr. Abramoff may have solicited help from both men and their supervisors on Capitol Hill while helping arrange for high-paying positions, people familiar with case said.

 

Lima attorney to seek Oxley's seat

The Findlay Courier says former Lima law director Richard Siferd becomes the first Democrat to launch a campaign for the 4th CD.
Siferd said during his visit in Findlay, "I'll be talking about the economy, jobs, education and health care."

Siferd is a 1962 Lima Senior High School graduate. He graduated in 1970 from Ohio State University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. He earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve School of Law in 1973.

Licensed since 1973 with the firm of Siferd & McCluskey, Siferd served as Lima's law director from 1980-1984. He is a member of the American Bar Association; Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers; Allen County Bar Association, where he is a past president; and the William Howard Taft Inns of Court, Master of the Bench.

Siferd served in the Army from 1965-1969. He received an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant in the field artillery, with combat service in Vietnam.
We don't know much about Siferd and we'd welcome any information. We find it interesting that as a Vietnam Vet, he doesn't mention anything about Iraq.

 

Hackett, Brown neck and neck with DeWine

Tim Tagaris has good news about the latest Rasmussen poll in the U.S. Senate race.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

 

Link to new Ney ads

The "Meet Ney's Friends" print ads are running today in Ohio newspapers. PDF versions of the ads are available at here from the Campaign for America's Future.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

 

Pryce and Ney - part II

In our post below we note that Deb Pryce had lent her name to tomorrow's fundraiser for Bob Ney, but has already announced that she is going to be a no-show.

Let us not forget that there are two lines of thinking about the congresswoman's connections to Abramoff. As explained by the Dispatch (with assistance from the PD) a few weeks ago, there is the "We wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole defense."
Abramoff has been "no friend of this office," Pryce said. "We think he is a creep and we hate him."
Then again, as the paper notes, there's an equally plausible proposal that Deb is pumps-deep in the Indian gaming scams.
The Plain Dealer, of Cleveland, reported yesterday that an anonymous Indian affairs committee aide said investigators think the letter from Pryce, as well as separate letters from other GOP leaders such as House Speaker Dennis Hastert, were actually authored by Abramoff and his employees.
Now keep in mind that this article was written by the hack-a-rrific Jonathan Riskind who has been the last one to the party every time there is a new development in the Ney case. Riskind lets Pryce off the hook with this gauzey explanation.
Pryce said as a GOP leader she often sends letters pushing for local issues on behalf of other lawmakers.
Oh yeah? Give us a similar example, Deb.

Based on Riskind's story, alone, one might think that the case against Pryce was interesting but perhaps a little weak. The problem is that the PD's Sabrina Eaton - a pretty crusty and hardworking reporter in our experience - suggested in a story published two days before Riskind's story that Pryce had some serious explaining to do:
On Wednesday [Nov. 2 - ed.], the Senate Indian Affairs Committee released material it obtained from Abramoff's former employer, the Greenberg Traurig lobbying firm, that included a letter Pryce wrote to Interior Secretary Gale Norton about a Louisiana casino proposal.

The Sept. 12, 2003, letter from Pryce, the No. 4 Republican in the House, insisted that approving a casino proposed by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians would "set forth a dangerous precedent" and encourage "reservation shopping" by tribes.

Republican Whip Roy Blunt signed a similar letter to Norton dated May 21, 2003. A third letter, dated June 10, 2003, was signed by Blunt, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and Republican Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor. Identical wording appears in all three letters.

An aide to Senate Indian Affairs Committee chairman John McCain said investigators believe the letters were authored by Abramoff and his employees and signed by the congressmen.

. . .

Federal Election Commission records compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine indicate that Pryce's Promoting Republicans You Can Elect political action committee got $8,000 in donations from Abramoff's Indian gambling clients from 2002 through 2004.
(emphasis added)
Wouldn't you think a serious reporter who had a chance to interview Pryce after Eaton broke her story might want to at least ask her to explain the duplicate letters and the above mentioned donations from Abramoff clients. Wouldn't you at least try to get her on the record about how she reconciles hating his creepiness but not his cash? But - hey - that's vintage Riskind for you.

With the grand jury suddenly making appointments with Ney, we suppose that Pryce may be in a little bit of a pickle with Bob. One just never knows what deals someone is liable to make when testifying without your lawyer by your side, and one must cover all her bases. Our guess is that when it came to Bob's fundraiser, she suddenly found herself in a good ole' fashion can't-live-with-him-and-can't-live-without-him situation.

 

Who will be no-shows at Ney fundraiser?

Bob Ney has a fundraiser going on Dec. 1 in Columbus. It's the typical shakedown of lobbyists and GOP loyalists.

Yes, the worker bee staffers, the gladhanders and the awe-struck will shell out for the bash. But, the real test will be what elected officials are willing to actually show up and be photographed with Ney.

The Dispatch says Deb Pryce, Pat Tiberi and Dave Hobson are "helping" put on the event. However, we all understand that there is a world of difference between lending your name and actually being there, especially when your congressional district has constituents who actually listen to the news.

Not surprisingly, Pryce already has announced she has a scheduling conflict. Look for the other two to suddenly find some cross-scheduling or airlines problems, too.

 

Who are Ney's pals?

The Campaign for America's Future wants to introduce Bob's buddies to Ohioans and to that end CAF today is unveiling a new ad campaign latter on today. We hope to provide a link latter this morning or early afternoon.

It - and more like it - are needed because Ney represents a media-scarce district where the newspapers tend to kowtow to him. As a result, there are still many, many constituents who are clueless about how serious the corruption and ethics allegations are against the congressman.

CAF also placed radio and print ads early this year about Ney.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

 

Field getting crowded . . .

. . . and we think the fact that the latest candidate and so many other folks not only want to jump on the bus but drive it, too, is a good thing. If the chairmanship had opened up after the election last year, how many hats would have been thrown into the ring? Lieberman, maybe Eckart.

Regardless of the motivations, qualifications or proxy positionings that are at behind some of these names, we think the competition is going to make whoever is picked step things up a notch or two.

 

More buzzards around Schmidt

Gloating? Accurate? Opportunist? Sore loser? All of the above? You decide about Brinkman:
Calling Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) “Mean Jean” and a “pathological liar,” a Republican former rival said yesterday she would almost certainly face a serious primary challenge next year.

“I don’t know who it will be,” state Rep. Tom Brinkman said in an interview with The Hill. “It could be me. It could be Bob McEwen. I think it’s important that she have one challenger to beat her. You don’t want two or three or four because it splits up the vote. I think she’s in serious political trouble.”

. . .

Turning to the Senate race, Brinkman said DeWine, too, could face an insurmountable challenge. “I think either of them would beat him,” Brinkman said of Hackett and Brown. He added that the senator’s opposition to some gun rights had hurt him, giving Hackett, a strong backer of Second Amendment rights, a better shot in the general election.

DeWine’s role in the bipartisan judicial-nominees pact over the summer had alienated many conservatives, Brinkman said.

And the senator’s aggressive “shakedown” of business leaders in Cincinnati for his son’s House campaign had upset many GOP fundraisers, Brinkman said. “They said that Mike DeWine should be ashamed of himself,” he said. “He was virtually threatening people if they didn’t contribute.”

 

How low can you go?

For Taft, it's unclear. John Zogby is not averse to a little hyperbole, but we gotta take his comments at face value, although we have some major doubts about online polling. Bush's 46% sounds about right for Ohio, too, as does the approval rating for the Ohio GOP and DP:
[J]ust 6.5 percent of Ohio voters view the embattled GOP governor very or somewhat favorably. Barely 3 percent rate his job performance as "good" or "excellent."

"I'm not aware of anyone who's ever sunk lower," pollster John Zogby said.

. . .

Mr. Bush, for his part, registered a 46 percent favorable rating in the poll.

Nearly 50 percent of Zogby respondents said Mr. Taft ran a "purposely corrupt" administration as governor, while 33 percent called his office the victim of "corrupt in-dividuals who scammed the state."

. . .

Ohio's results show voters, despite their anger with Mr. Taft, divided evenly over which political party they trust to run state government, with 38 percent choosing Democrats and 37 percent Republicans.

Asked which party was more "organized and effective," 52 percent said Republicans, compared to 12 percent for Democrats, who haven't won a statewide executive election in 15 years and who are currently looking for a new state party chairman. Only 30 percent - mostly self-declared Democrats - said it was time for a change in state government because no party should lead the state uninterrupted for so long.

 

How to spot a Patriot

Suppose you want to give a real Patriot for a holiday gift. No, not give a gift to a Patriot, dummy - this is about giving a Patriot as a gift to loved one.

To find a REAL one, it helps to know how they look, act and talk. Rick Horowitz tells us it's all easy stuff. For example:
A Patriot is inclusive in her comments. Rather than taking all the credit for the words she utters, she's perfectly willing to pass along something that somebody else supposedly said if it will help her achieve the desired effect.

A Patriot is subtle. She doesn't have to spell things out. She can simply imply that a decorated war veteran is a "coward," for instance, without ever quite saying the particular words in that particular order.

That way, if anybody objects to her comments, the Patriot can withdraw them, and insist that she never meant them personally.

 

Coleman to bow out [Updated 2:40 pm]

Look for Mike Coleman to announce his pulling out of the governor's race today.

We are pretty sure that all is not doom and gloom for him. He could end up being in an enviable position as the mayor of the largest city in Ohio if Strickland wins. Coleman knows that he is young enough to still have plenty of political opportunities ahead.

[Update 1] The Dispatch has posted it's story here.

[Update 2] The Blade story is here.

It's also worth a comment or two about Coleman leaving the race now. Regardless of whether we will know everything that went into the decision, it's a classy thing for Mayor Coleman to leave now, and to do it with grace. Ultimately, it is also a very good thing for the party and a good move career-wise for him.

Clearly, some things have impacted his campaign that were beyond Coleman's control. And, few parents wouldn't have been totally distracted by having a son or daughter in combat areas in Iraq. Issuewise, even in his abbreviated campaign, Mike made needed progress in highlighting the need to address poverty in Ohio.

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