Friday, October 06, 2006

 

More ballot problems

Geez, what is it with Cuyahoga County and voting problems?
More than 1,500 absentee ballots sent to voters in several Cuyahoga County communities listed the wrong party affiliations for two candidates in the race for Ohio House District 7.

Democratic incumbent Kenny Yuko was incorrectly listed as a Republican, while challenger Beverly Valencic was mislabeled as a Democrat.

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Michael Vu said that more than 4,300 voters requested absentee ballots in the district, which includes Euclid, South Euclid, Richmond Heights and the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland.

Vu said the ballots were proofread three to five times before they were printed.

"Normally we have one Democrat and one Republican proofread the ballot in sections until there are no errors to be found," Vu said. "Apparently in this case, there was one found by the candidate."

 

"It's very serious work."

Or not. The story of DeWine's AWOL status at SIC meetings is getting worse:
The issue was fueled Thursday by a telephone news conference held by the Brown campaign. Among those on the call was Rand Beers, a counterterrorism expert who served on the National Security Council under Presidents Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes. Once described by the Washington Post as unassuming and a lifelong bureaucrat, Beers resigned five days before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Within two months he became an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Beers said that in his talks with committee staff members, he was told that DeWine's attendance record at classified meetings was about the same as at its public hearings. He said the staff members told him that DeWine "is not particularly an active member."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

 

Rasmussen: Strickland up

We understand that the new Rasmussen poll:
- has Strickland with a double-digit lead and looking great

- has a plurality of Ohioans wanted the troops back within a year

- has a plurality of Ohioans in favor of voting (if they had the chance) to give the U.S. Senate to the Democrats (as we noted yesterday, the poll also apparently shows Brown with a good lead over DeWine, with Brown detering on crossing the 50% threshold).

 

Josh asks for help

Got some extra time on Friday? Where does Ohio's GOP congressional folk stand on voting on Hastert next year? TPM wants to know.

 

Those liberal Ohio newspapers - Pt II

The lineup for the Dispatch's op-ed page today:
Sheller, in case readers don't recognize the name is a conservative of the Buckeye Institute ilk. Hardcore. And not very bright. Oh, and by the way, Sheller is also the editorial page editor (protected by the Wolfes) of the Dispatch. So guess who gets to pick the op-eds each day?

 

Those liberal Ohio newspapers - Pt I

The Plain Dealer's deputy editorial director has been asleep for the past 5 years.
Without a doubt, a Democratic Congress would weaken the nation in the very categories in which it can least afford weakness - defense and anti-terrorism policy. A Congress that hasn't been productive enough in those areas would become a Congress bent on being counterproductive. That would be dangerous.
The shocker is that Kevin rationalized shoehorning the above graf into a column about - you guessed it - Foley!

 

Pryce's word games and guilt

The dodge is clearly on. This failure of leadership story is about when GOP bosses knew that Foley had a problem with pages and underage males, not just the most recent IMs.

It's clear that Foley was being openly gay-baited and pedophile-baited during his aborted 2003 Senate campaign, and that pages were being warned to steer clear of him as far back as 1995. As one of Foley's personal confidants, it is not credible for her to claim that she was unaware of the 2003 accusations.

Yet Pryce is trying to create a loophole for herself by making the IMs the focal point:
Pryce, who said she learned late last week of e-mails between Foley and former pages, said yesterday that House GOP leaders "deferred to the Louisiana parents and should not have done that. And they didn’t include enough people, for instance, no Democrat."

. . .

[A]nyone who was aware of these instant messages needs to take responsibility. Anybody who had knowledge of that needs to step down."
Needless to say, as House GOP Conference Chair, she is one of those GOP leaders.

Apparently her conscience has been eating at her for some time because Deb hinted at this turn of events over a year ago:
"The political situation for Republicans both in Washington and especially Ohio is just dreadful," she said. "In my short political life I’ve never seen it so dire."

The Upper Arlington Republican said the unexpectedly close race in Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District this week — a Democratic challenger came within 4 percentage points of winning the heavily GOP area — is a harbinger of the difficulty Republicans at all levels will face at the polls.

"It’s gonna get a lot worse," she said. "It’s not just about golf outings." [emphasis added]

 

Denny's, uh, got a scheduling conflict

The humor story that was writing itself today:
Hastert canceled the trip, citing schedule conflicts, and Padgett’s campaign substituted Ohio Sen. George V. Voinovich.

The switch had nothing to do with the Foley scandal, a Padgett representative said.

Padgett’s Democratic opponent, Dover law director Zack Space, called on Hastert to step down and urged Padgett to do the same.

"The people of the district are already sour from the Bob Ney scandal and crave change," Space said in a written statement.

 

Flat out nuts!

Enquirer:
Strickland, for his part, went straight after Blackwell's tax plan, which would move the state's tax structure to a 3.5 percent flat tax within four or five years.

"My opponent's latest tax proposal is a nutty idea; we need stability and predictability in our tax codes," Strickland told the audience at the University of Cincinnati's Patricia Corbett theater.

 

More squirming in Joysville

Zack Space:
Congressional candidate Joy Padgett has announced that she will be bringing in Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to the 18th District for a campaign fundraiser on October 9th. Cost to attend the reception totals $250 per couple or $500 for couples who wish to have a photo taken with Hastert.

"The fundraiser with Hastert is another example that Padgett continues to align herself with the wrong agenda in Washington. Congress should be protecting children, not their political allies. We must protect America’s children from sexual predators through internet safety legislation that blocks children's access to sexually explicit and inappropriate websites. I renew my call on Padgett to join me in asking Hastert to step down from Congressional leadership," said Space.
Actually, we're hoping that Hastert might stop in for photo ops with all of the GOP's Ohio delegation.

 

Absent voter ballot problems in Summit Co.

This is just one of several stories this weeks about problems with ballot applications, the ballots themselves and the equipment and systems that will be used to count these ballots. We are starting to get nervous:
But those looking for absentee ballots to arrive in the mail will have to keep waiting -- possibly for two weeks or more.

. . .

Ballots for those who walk into the board office to vote are expected to be available by this afternoon, but the bulk of absentee ballots are requested by mail.

To date, the board has received more than 10,000 requests for a mailed absentee ballot -- a number that is growing by nearly 1,000 every day.

Those voters will have to wait as long as two weeks for official ballots to be printed.

Marijean Donofrio, deputy director of the board, said the completed ballot layout is expected to be sent to the printer by the end of the week. But it could take three to 10 days or more for the ballots to be printed and sent back to the board. At that point, the board will begin mailing them out.

Voters will still have about two weeks to vote and mail back their ballots before the Nov. 7 election.

. . .

Cuyahoga Falls resident Mary Nichols-Rhodes said she was frustrated by her inability to vote on Tuesday.

"I'm very upset about this and I think it's just the beginning of the shenanigans that we're going to experience. I feel my right to vote has been hampered because I was not able to vote like I should have,'' she said.

Nichols-Rhodes, 46, a Democrat, said she had intended to go to the board with her 18-year-old niece, who was going to register for the first time.

``I wanted to vote at the board just to make it simpler and to know that my vote counted,'' she said.

Nichols-Rhodes said she and her niece intended to cast absentee ballots while they were at the board, but when she called in advance, she was told that ballots were not available.

"The hassle of it, I think, discourages people from voting when they think they are going to run into problems,'' she said. ``I just feel like there are thousands of tiny little things that try to make it more difficult to exercise our right to vote.''

 

Pryce in on booze parties?

If Foley was one of Deb's top 5 friends, it's hard to believe she wasn't in on the "fun". NY Times:
For several years running, he and other members of Congress who lived in a historic row of town houses behind the House office buildings gave a boozy block party. They offered a different drink — bourbon, margaritas, martinis, and in Mr. Foley’s case, a wine tasting — for donors willing to pay $1,000 at each town house.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

 

"Here's to . . . sweepsville!"

Central Ohio Drinking Liberally: Brynes Pub in Grandview. 6:30 pm. Be there or be NAMBLA.

[UPDATE] Uh, that would be this Thursday.

 

Freefall! Zogby-Reuters give lead to Space

Bobby boy - get out the parachute. There's no joy in Joysville:
Democrats lead in races for 11 of 15 crucial Republican-held U.S. House seats a month before Nov. 7 elections, putting them within reach of seizing control of the chamber, according to Reuters/Zogby polls released Wednesday.

Republican incumbents are at particularly high risk, the polls found, with seven of nine trailing their Democratic challengers in the high-stakes battle for control of the U.S. Congress.

Democrats must pick up 15 seats to reclaim control of the House, and the polls found Republicans were also behind in four of six open seat races in districts they won in 2004.

"This is a dismal showing for Republicans," pollster John Zogby said. "Republicans ought to be very, very nervous."

. . .

The scandal and questions about how their leaders handled it have mushroomed into a political crisis for Republicans, who worried it could demoralize the party's core supporters, particularly social and religious conservatives.

"It's not just Mark Foley, but also what did the speaker know and when did he know it, and the House leadership, what did they know?" Zogby said. "This could turn into a freefall for Republicans."
The report only provided data on one Ohio congressional race, but it couldn't be better:
In the Ohio district of former Republican Rep. Bob Ney, who resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty in an influence-peddling scheme, Democrat Zack Space leads Republican Joy Padgett 45 percent to 35 percent.

 

Boyko belts Blackwell

Some days, when it rains it pours:
A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a new law that would have required naturalized citizens to show their citizenship papers if questioned by poll workers.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko blasted the new law, saying it would have treated naturalized citizens as "second-class Americans."

"This gives poll workers the uninhibited right to choose the person to challenge based on their accent, look, manners or whatever they feel like on that given day," Boyko said, while granting a permanent injunction blocking the provision. "You could have poll workers decide they want to target Arab-Americans, Asian or African-Americans on any given polling day without guidelines."
In public, Blackwell and his gang liked to talk trash about this case:
“Jesse Jackson should stop tying up our courts and stop wasting Ohio taxpayers’ dollars,’’ said James Lee, a spokesman for Blackwell.

“The point should not be lost that Secretary Blackwell is on the ballot this year and political operatives think they can score points against him with this political stunt.”
But, as often happens when you start calling the bluff of a federal judge, you get a sudden whiff of reality, regardless of how "nuts" you might be on occasion. And when you want to pull off a total flip-flop, why not do it in the dark of night?:
Lawyers for the Secretary of State Ken Blackwell did not oppose the request for an injunction. They filed a memo overnight stating that Blackwell is prepared to instruct poll workers that they cannot ask people for proof of citizenship when they go to vote next month.

 

Double dose of DeWine doom

Just now getting around to reading this morning's paper and . . . and . . . damn this shit pisses us off. And, doesn't this guy deserve to get his ass run out on a rail right now?
DeWine's absenteeism included most if not every one of the committee's public oversight hearings in the three years before 9/11, according to committee attendance records provided by the campaign of Rep. Sherrod Brown, the Avon Democrat opposing DeWine in November.

DeWine missed sessions where then-CIA Director George Tenet and other intelligence authorities testified, and where worldwide security threats, international terrorism, counterintelligence threats at the nation's nuclear laboratories and nominations to intelligence agencies were discussed, records show.

DeWine's campaign, promoting the Republican incumbent as strong on national security, did not dispute these assertions. [emphasis added]
If this isn't the end of the road for a politician we can't fathom what is. Except for maybe young boys. That, too! And being "Nuts". And stealing mom's Social Security. And . . . and . . . and . . .

 

Debate bounce to Brown

The Meet the Press debate results are in, and Rasmussen says they are sweet for Sherrod:
Ohio: Senator Mike DeWine's (R) position is getting weaker. Our Tuesday night poll finds him trailing Sherrod Brown (D) 49% to 41%. Data and Article Coming Later. This is the fourth consecutive poll where Brown has gained support. Earlier this month, he was ahead 47% to 41%.
Damn that hurts fundraising and puts the see-ya-later back in Cedarville.

And by the way Bob Bennett - Boo!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

 

BFF: Deb Pryce & Mark Foley

Uh-oh in Pollyannaville.

According to last month's Columbus Monthly interview of Deb Pryce, she and Foley were more than just congressional colleagues [emphasis added]:
When Congress is in session, she lives by herself in an apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue. Pryce counts among her friends fellow represenatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mark Foley of Florida, Eric Cantor of Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Dave Camp of Michigan. All are Republicans.

Pryce_CM_Interview

We suspect that there may be many more stories that link Foley and Pryce, but even this one alone makes it a little more complicated for Pryce to try to claim, at least with credibility, that she knew nothing about Foley's predilections.

It also goes a little farther in explaining how Pryce and Foley to plan their endruns on campaign finances laws to create "round trip" donations to turn non-spendable money into spendable money.

Doesn't this suggest that maybe some of the folks in the press corps might want to start getting a little ballsier and start demanding answers from Deb about about one of her top five friends?

 

Who do Ohioans trust - Pt II

We have a feeling this is going to be a breathtaking day for a number of reasons.

Two weeks ago we posted about the Rasmussen polling that showed which party Ohioans trusted on a number of major issues including the War on Terror, Iraq, Immigration, the Economy, and Taxes. In each case, according to Rasmussen, Ohioans asserted that it was the Democratic Party that they trusted more.

Today, the Univ. of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll provides added data confirming the same thing:


Poll chart

Spreads of over 20% are indeed jaw dropping, as is even a 9% spread on taxes.

And pessimism is widespread:
The latest Ohio Poll finds a large majority of Ohio likely voters rate Ohio economic conditions as “fair” or “poor” and many also see economic conditions worsening. Majorities also say Democrats will do a better job than Republicans in handling Ohio’s economy and creating jobs.

. . .

Likely voters were first asked their perception of economic conditions in Ohio. Two percent say economic conditions in Ohio are “excellent,” 17 percent say “good,” 43 percent say “fair” and 39 percent rate Ohio economic conditions as “poor.”

Large majorities of both Democrats (90%) and Republicans (73%) rate economic conditions in Ohio as “fair” or “poor”; however, Republicans are less negative about the economy overall than are Democrats.

When asked about the direction of Ohio’s economy, a large majority of likely voters also see the Ohio economy as “getting worse” (65%) as opposed to “getting better” (22%). An additional 12 percent of voters see the economy as staying about the same.

Majorities of both Democrats (75%) and Republicans (56%) see economic conditions in Ohio as “getting worse.”
Again, short of a major failure of the Ohio Dem's GOTV effort, Ohioans are going to send a very, very pointed message on Nov. 7.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

 

Pollyanna's dirty money - Pt. II

This week Deb took a heaping helpin' of liar's money.

Now we learn she took some creepy money from the NAMBLA crowd. Or, more, precisely, she engaged in some u-turn contribution hoo-ha between her PAC and Foley's PAC. Now, Deb needs every dime she can get, so there are more than a few questions about this transaction that needs to be asked.

Regardless of the reasoning, Deb handled the money (in April and May) months after everyone "in House leadership" had been briefed on Foley's "problems.

And refusing the answer the questions about when she learned about the e-mails is creating problems. There are only two explanations, and neither spell good news:

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