Saturday, September 23, 2006


Rural voters

Via Taegarden, an interesting new "bipartisan" poll looks at rural voters in areas having competitive U.S Senate and congressional races. Among those tracked are the Senate race in Ohio plus the OH-2 , OH-6 and OH-6 contests. The metrics are fascinating but - but like a lot of "bi-partisan polls" the conclusions are faulty and a pained patchwork:
Democrats and Republicans are splitting rural voters evenly.

This year, the war in Iraq, the economy and the war on terrorism dominate the issue landscape in rural America. Nearly three-quarters of rural voters know someone serving or who has served in Iraq and a majority rural voters favor a plan to pull out of Iraq in the next year. They also, by a significant margin, believe the country economy is improving mainly for the wealthy. Democrats edge out Republicans among the voters most concerned about Iraq and economy.

At the same time, while President Bush’s approval ratings continue to be low among Americans as a whole, his standing among rural voters is somewhat better. Republicans are strongly advantaged among voters who are most concerned about the war on terrorism, one of the three dominant issues in rural areas. Just as rural voters shifted late in the election cycle towards Bush, away from Kerry, it is still possible that Republicans can regain their traditional advantage among rural voters.
The comment that Republicans have a strong advantage on the terrorism issue is unsubstantiated, and the part of the poll overview on terrorism questions is the least detailed. We suspect that they realized they a a bogey in their methodology in this block of questions and are trying to cobble some sort of conclusions together that sound possible. But, the authors are even forced to hedge their bets.
It is likely that the Republican edge here balances rural voters’ concerns about the war in Iraq and may preclude broad electoral gains.
Aside from that, the poll shows that rural voters are pretty much like other voters. The ranked their concerns in this order:
It's also worth reading the data (versus the authors pained explanation) on "moral values" versus the economy.


Mr. Black vote

The Blade's Rose Russell weighs in:
I'm hardly alone in my passionate embrace of my voting rights. A lawsuit reportedly was to be filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland saying Mr. Blackwell didn't enforce the national motor-voter law. He has been accused by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now as well as two recipients of public assistance in the northeast corner of the state of not giving thousands of low-income Ohioans the chance to register to vote.

I am not making this up. Read the report yourself. Blacks didn't obtain the right to vote without hindrances easily. We're not going to relinquish that right, regardless of who's purposely or seemingly leading the charge.

I fully recognize that Mr. Blackwell could become Ohio's first black governor. But I also get the distinct impression that none of these observations matter much to Mr. Blackwell. He hasn't exactly refuted the facts or the perceptions, you know.

Friday, September 22, 2006


What she said

Pathetic. The sadder thing is that Pryce, in her conception of being House Republican chair, has long thought that it is perfectly spiffy to send out sample "columns", "constituent letters" etc. for her congressional colleagues to use. Re-typing is so much easier than, you know, thinking.

Also a big tip o' the hat to Jesse Lee (nee Pandagon) and the Stakeholder.


Hum job

We realize that the "new" GOP strategy is to get the attention off Iraq and instead move the debate to jobs and the economy, so this is not unexpected. Maybe that will work in other states but we don't think that dog is going to hunt here. As a result this confirms that Pollyanna is still clueless.
Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Columbus) hailed yesterday’s news that the unemployment rate in central Ohio dropped to 4.8% for the month of August, citing it as additional evidence that the economic policies she has supported are creating jobs and opportunities for the American people.

“Central Ohio’s economy continues to hum,” said Pryce. “Under our tax relief policies, jobs are being created, unemployment is low, and the economy continues to expand at a remarkable rate.
At the macro level, this is just plain cherry picking. Although the statewide unemployment is down incrementally (5.8% to 5.7%), employment also decreased from 5,458,300 in July, to 5,457,800 in August.

At the county level, the Pryce's use of the numbers even more manipulative. First, county statistics, unlike statewide stats, are NOT seasonally adjusted. Big difference.

Second, the number she uses is faulty because it is for a 7-county "central Ohio." We realize Deb is pretty clueless about most things, but you'd think she know that her district does not include Delaware, Licking, Fairfield or Pickaway counties.

Third, as the graph (below) of the unemployment rates in Frankin, Madison and Union counties indicate, the latest numbers give no support to her claim that things are now hummingly good in her district.

Picture 2

Lastly, we turn to evidence that explains more fully why Deb is full of shit.

As the good people at Policy Matters Ohio explain each month, Ohio has a long, long way to go before it returns to pre-Bush levels. Ohio (using July numbers - used in PMO's latest report), still needs total jobs to increase by 2.4% to break even with 2001 levels (and/or 18.4% more manufacturing jobs).

More precisely, Deb is also hoping OH-15 District voters forget that the unemployment rate in Jan. '01 for all of Franklin, Madison and Union counties was 3.3%.


The economy in the district was so good coming out of the Clinton years that even with 9/11, the average unemployment rate in 2001 in the 3-county area was 3.4%. Kinda makes Deb's 4.8% boast look silly, doesn't it?


Organized voter suppression?

After repeated warnings, it sounds to us like Kenny decided to ignore the NVRA:
DJFS offices in ten Ohio counties (Erie, Guernsey, Jefferson, Medina, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Ross, Washington and Wyandot) did not register a single voter in the 2002-2004 reporting period.

DJFS offices in another 17 counties (Ashland, Clermont, Coshocton, Hancock, Hardin, Hocking, Jackson, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Mercer, Monroe, Perry, Pickaway, Richland, Seneca, and Union) collected fewer than ten voter registrations; and DJFS offices in 32 additional counties (Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Crawford, Fayette, Fulton, Geauga, Harrison, Henry, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Madison, Meigs, Montgomery, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Pike, Putnam, Sandusky, Scioto, Shelby, Summit, Vinton, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wood) submitted fewer than 100 registrations during the same time period.
Let's not forget about the big counties, too:
A comparison between counties is instructive as to the failure to provide voter registration services in the public assistance offices that serve the largest numbers of public assistance recipients in the state. Of the DJFS voter registrations processed in the 2002-2004 period, 1,027 were collected in Athens County (a rural county of approximately 60,000 residents in southeast Ohio ) and 1,044 were collected in Marion County (a county of approximately 65,000 residents in central Ohio ). Each of those small county DJFS offices collected more voter registration application forms than did their counterparts in such highly populated counties as Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Summit Counties, each of which has more than 500,000 residents and exceeds the statewide percentage of persons below the poverty line. Indeed, Hamilton County includes the city of Cincinnati, which the United States Census Bureau has identified as having the ninth highest poverty rate of all large cities in the country. These four highly populated counties registered a combined total of just 1,686 voters at DJFS offices. This comparison shows that if the state were complying with the NVRA, thousands more eligible citizens would be registered to vote in Ohio.
By the way, the NVRA requires that when people seek public assistance they must be asked if they want to register to vote and be provided with a registration form.


Space camp

Sounds still too optimistic to us, but Bowers moves OH-18 to "lean Dem":


Dirty bomb

Then their were 12:
Instead of working to create a clean energy future for this country, Rep. Pryce chose to be part of the problem. She has consistently sided with Big Oil interests over the best interests of her constituents. Like her colleague Rep. Tom Delay, Rep. Pryce’s record of dismal votes on environmental and energy policy solutions has earned her a spot on the Dirty Dozen,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said.

Rep. Pryce, whose lifetime LCV score is 16%, voted to give substantial tax breaks to oil companies that are already making record breaking profits. Rep. Pryce has opposed common sense solutions to America’s energy problems, such as requiring new cars to go further on a gallon of gas.


Rope-a-dope: Jon Riskind edition

And what a lazy waste Jonathan Riskind continues to be:
Tom McKell, of Chillicothe, a retired Verizon executive and a Republican, said he doesn’t think Democrats will be able to saddle Padgett with Ney’s baggage because she is well-known and respected in her own right.

"She obviously was the best candidate" to take Ney’s place, and Ney "wasn’t the only one who thought that," McKell said. "It is ridiculous to call her a ‘hand-picked’ candidate."
First, as any politically active person from Chillicothe can tell you, the McKell clan has nothing to do with Verizon. Thomas along with Robert, Phoebe, Joseph and William own Horizon Telcom, not Verizon.

Second, Tom McKell isn't just a "republican" voter. He and his family are Republican heavy hitters and major contributors. They are part of the "old" money in Chillicothe with roots in banking and trade, besides telephones. Everyone grew up knowing one McKell or another.

From a business standpint, the McKells have long made politicians in their region remember which side their bread is buttered on.

The same goes for the family's more "recreational interests." For example, the McKell Library received a $200,000 grant in 2003 from the Governor's Office of Appalachia for a new Heritage Center.

Guess who was director of the Office of Appalachia and announced the grant?

Joy Padgett! You get the drift.


Moving on, we've done a lot of political campaign work in the Cambridge-St.Clairesville region, but we've never spent a long time there. The political connections are, therefore a little more mysterious to us.

We also don't claim to know Paulette Kachilla or the Kachilla family at all, but given the quality of Riskind's reporting, we got even more curious when we read his quote from Paulette:
[Ney] came to Cambridge and shook hands and looked me right in the eye.
That sounded familiar. Hmmm . . .
Then a post by another Ohio blogger Yellow Dog Sammy stimulated that elusive memory neuron for us:
Padgett said she had no doubts about Ney’s innocence: “I looked him in the eye,” she said. “We’ve talked. If he says to me that he is going to be cleared of all of this, then I believe him.”
Probably just coincidence.

Still, when is the Dispatch going to stop paying Riskind salary when he phones in crap like this. What was the last Washington news bureau to take the Ney fiasco seriously? The Dispatch's Is this continuing embarassment worth it just to keep Vic Goodman & family happy? Huh?


Plop plop

Look for even more shoes to drop soon in Ohio's MCO scandal.

You'll need a scorecard to track who is mobbed up, who scarfed up the payola, who paid the payola, and - of course - whose political fingerprints are all over this.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Ohioans support more state spending on education, health care and jobs

An as-yet unpublished poll commissioned by the independent KnowledgeWorks Foundation indicates that an overwhelming majority of Ohioans want to see government ramp up spending in key areas. From today's Gongwer Report (sub. req'd):
Nearly 80% of the respondents said the state should spend more on education, Nancy Taylor, of KnowlegeWorks Foundation, told the Partnership for Continued Learning during a preview presentation of the group’s poll.

More than 58% of those polled think funding for schools should come primarily from the state, as opposed to 20% that believe it’s mainly the responsibility of local school districts. And about two-thirds think the right to vote on all local school tax issues is important.

. . .

About 70% want the state to spend more on healthcare for the poor and elderly, and jobs and economic development. A majority wanted spending to remain the same for transportation infrastructure and the courts and prison system.
Additionally on education, the survey showed
-48.5% think state funding should be only for students who attend public schools and 41.9% think the state should provide private school vouchers.
-54.7% believe public schools put too much emphasis on standardized testing and 14.4% want more testing.
-57% don’t think standardized tests accurately indicate students’ progress and abilities and 36.6% think they do.
-58.6% strongly favor high schools where students receive both secondary and college credit.
Non college options are also a growing concern:
Over the last three years, the report found the percentage of respondents who believe Ohio should set a goal that all high school students be prepared to go to college declined from 77.5% to 54.6%.
The full survey/report is supposed to be posted next Wednesday.


Dirty money


"Working for Central Ohio" is Pollyanna's motto. Well, part of Central Ohio. It's a very small part, and New Albany's not even in her district. But money talks, right?
People are also invited to join Bush at a Sept. 28 fund-raiser in New Albany, Ohio, for Rep. Deborah Pryce, according an invitation obtained by the Associated Press.

. . .

The invitation for the Pryce event says it will be at the home of Abigail and Leslie Wexner, who is chairman and CEO of Columbus-based retailer Limited Brands Inc.
The White House confirmed that Bush will travel to Cincinnati on Monday for a private fund-raiser for Sen. Mike DeWine.

. . .

An invitation says Monday's DeWine reception at a private home costs $5,000 per person, and guests can get a photograph taken with the president in exchange for a pledge to raise $10,000 for DeWine's campaign.



Who do Ohioans trust?

We agree with one of our readers that there has not been enough attention paid to the "buried" data in the latest Rasmussen Poll, so we it below.
Which party do Ohiaons trust on handling national security?
44% Repub
47 % Democrat

Who do Ohioans trust on Iraq?
40% Repub
50% Democrat

Who do Ohioans trust on the economy?
37% Repub
55 % Democrat

Who do Ohioans trust on immigration?
36% Repub
46 % Democrat

Who do Ohioans trust on taxes?
36% Repub
51 % Democrat
They have profound, positive implications for every progressive campaign in Ohio, but they are also somewhat counter-intuitive. By counter-intuitive, we don't mean that there were no progressive candidates attempting to say some of these things, but we felt there was a still a lot of hesitancy to fully believe this stuff. Indeed we seven different people working on key campaigns to predict the results of these questions and not one guessed more than two correctly.

This needs to be permanently posted at the ODP website. Hell, if they would do that, then we could easily forgive them for their uncredited swipes from us.

People - grok this stuff! Don't give us that bullshit about how, "This is what I've been saying all along." The campaigns are still way to defensive and intent on looking "reasonable" to the media. They are still too worried about "plans." Screw the plans. Announcing new plans is transparently pandering and only a big concern to editors and reporters who are totally disoriented about how to cover the political changes going on.

The solution is to get on the offensive and stay on the offensive, and as Satchel used to say, "Don't look back!"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Ohio Poll: Strickland, Brown lead

This news is really more like a broken record, but more importantly than that, it's the last straw for Kenny's campaign, 'cause this is as conservative (in the cautious sense) in the polling world as it gets. Except for pity money from Mr. White Hat, the governor's race is over. And DeWine's got no traction.

From the University of Cincinnat's Institute for Policy Research:

The first Ohio Poll of likely voters in 2006 finds U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (D) leads
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) by 12 percentage points in the race for governor. U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) leads U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R) by four percentage points in the race for U.S. Senate.

. . .

The Poll was conducted from September 7 through September 17, 2006.

. . .

At the present time, fewer Democrats than Republicans express intent to vote for their rival party’s candidate. While 20 percent of Republicans say they will vote for Democrat Ted Strickland, just eight percent of Democrats intend to vote for Republican Ken Blackwell.

. . .

While 20 percent of Republicans say they will vote for Democrat
Sherrod Brown, 14 percent of Democrats intend to vote for Republican Mike DeWine.

. . .

Far more likely voters see things in Ohio as “off on the wrong track” (69%) than see things in Ohio as “heading in the right direction” (27%).

Among likely voters who see Ohio as “off on the wrong track,” Strickland leads Blackwell, 59 to 29 percent. Brown leads DeWine, 61 to 37 percent among likely voters in this group.

Similarly, far more likely voters see things in the country as “off on the wrong track” (61%) than see things as “heading in the right direction” (35%).

Among likely voters who see the country as “off on the wrong track,” Strickland leads Blackwell, 69 to 17 percent. Brown leads DeWine, 69 to 29 percent among likely voters in this group.
Honestly, we do hope Kenny has enough money to run a few more "Taxin' Ted" ads to help Strickland run his numbers a bit higher.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Tomorrow: the death of a campaign.

Taxin' Ted has backfired. Totally.

Coupled with the latest Rasmussen results that show when it comes to taxes, Ohioans trust Democrats more than Repubs, we think it's clear that the more Blackwell, DeWine and Pryce make an issue out of taxes, the more it benefits Strickland, Brown and Kilroy (and obviously many others). They are too dumb to realize that taxes have turned into a positive issue for the Democrats.

Anyway, on Monday it was Rasmussen delivering the first of the final strikes (54 Strickland, 35 Blackwell.

Today it was Quinnipac delivering the second of the final strikes (55 Strickland, 34 Blackwell)

Tomorrow brings another major poll that we expect will provide the third and final strike (watch this space for details) for the Blackwell for Governor folks. Bennett has pulled his money, and KB is now on his own.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Wingnut scum

Slamming reporters: no big deal

Slamming reporters and suggesting the are supporting "traitorous agenda": stupid

Slamming reporters, suggesting they support a "traitorous agenda" and linking to home address: Unspeakably unhinged.

(And we wouldn't care how public the information was, we'd be calling the cops on these fucktards.)

UPDATE I: One of our readers correctly suggests that this might be a perfect opportunity for the Statehouse Press Corps to support their colleague and ask Kenny Blackwell and Bob Bennett about whether the GOP supports the idea of publishing the home address of reporters they have a beef with.

You know, like at the debate on Sept. 20. Might be a good opportunity . . .

And anyone can suggests questions here.

UPDATE II: Russell correctly points out that this is not a new development but a extension of a conscious SOP.

Again, RAB is ass scum. And while were at it, let us not forget to say 'fuckyou' to Bob Bennett for letting these sick nazi genies out of the bottle. Bob - in case you haven't notice they are turning on you, too. They're the moles in your campaign. And they will gnaw you away. We'd gladly entertain a visit from old mister cancer before we'd ever let this pricks into our house.



Guess what Deb's hallucinating about now.
"The momentum is going in the right direction."
Is it:
a) Ohio's economy?
b) The war in Iraq?
c) Privatizing Social Security?
d) Her eyelids?
e) W's popularity?
Answer: E!

"It's great to see the president doing what he does best," said Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus. "The momentum is going in the right direction. People are learning that there's a distinct difference, that there is a choice between the parties. People need to understand what the risk is of a change here."



Who do Ohioans trust?

We had to rub our eyes for a few moments, but this is breathtaking.

The most important - by far - thing in Rasmussen's latest polls is not how well Brown and Strickland are doing. The main things is what Ohioans are saying about the parties, and this reads like a letterman top ten (the best saved for last, in our opinion):

Which party do Ohiaons trust on handling national security?
44% Repub
47 % Democrat
Who do Ohioans trust on Iraq?
40% Repub
50% Democrat
Who do Ohioans trust on the economy?
37% Repub
55 % Democrat
Who do Ohioans trust on immigration?
36% Repub
46 % Democrat
Who do Ohioans trust on taxes?
36% Repub
51 % Democrat

And Bob Bennett's retirement party, from what we hear, is quietly being planned.
Hey Bob - boo!


Rasmussen: Brown surges . . .

Sept. 13 survey - Brown: 47% DeWine: 41%

And Rasmussen reclassifies the race from "toss up" to lean Democrat.
But this latest poll confirms that the electoral winds have clearly shifted in the Ohio Senate race.
Brown has held a lead for 4 of the last 5 polls.



"I think they're making the case against themselves with these attacks," he said. "I think it's unfortunate that the message the party is sending out to Republicans is if you don't agree with these fairly radical beliefs of Ken Blackwell then you're scum."

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