Saturday, October 14, 2006

 

Sloppy seconds

Infotainment! (Can't find a link for this yet):
TV-Election Coverage: A study released Thursday showed that television stations in a handful of Midwestern markets dedicated an average of 36 seconds of their 30-minute news programs to election coverage.

Studying coverage provided in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Lansing, Madison, Milwaukee, Min-neapolis and Springfield, the University of Wisconsin’s NewsLab found stations devoted little time to cam-paign news during the month that follows the traditional Labor Day election season kick-off.

Of the election stories airing on Cleveland network affiliates, 62% focused on strategy and the “horserace,” while 21% focused on issues. Nearly one-third of the Cleveland stories centered on the governor’s race.

Stories aired on Columbus affiliates focused on strategy 60% of the time and 21% were dedicated to issues. The Columbus market saw more focus on U.S. House races than any other campaign.
We'll do the math for you. 21% of 36 seconds equals 7.56 seconds for "issues."

That darn liberal media.

 

Silly

More ankle biting. From the PD:
And what is this false statement that the Dems have been circulating? Bennett says it's a mailing that asks voters to vote for the Democratic ticket by absentee ballot. The mailing -- headlined "Vote by mail. Vote for change. Vote the Democratic ticket" -- includes photographs of each of the candidates with the name of the office they are seeking underneath. Example: "Ted Strickland, Governor."

Friday, October 13, 2006

 

Pryce: Hey, we'll get around to this in a coupla' weeks

Joint Statement from Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader John Boehner Majority Whip Roy Blunt, & Conference Chairman Deborah Pryce on Bob Ney
Bob Ney must be punished for the criminal actions he has acknowledged. He betrayed his oath of office and violated the trust of those he represented in the House. There is no place for him in this Congress.

If he chooses not to resign his office, we will move to expel him immediately as our first
We know of a cat that is being treated "mega-colon" [true!] because it also takes too long to expel something. Maybe that also explains the purple swollen face Pryce developed towards the end of the debate last night.

 

Poetry to our ears

Michael Charney, husband of State Sen. C. J. Prentiss, has been helping organizing young voter support for the Minimum Wage initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot, and is now spreading the word thru poetry events:
The poetry slam in Cleveland entitled "Rage for the Wage" will be held Oct. 20th at Trinity Cathedral at East 22nd and Euclid Ave. at 6:30 p.m. He needs your support and others to attend this event. We want a large crowd to encourage these young people. Send out this email to your list informing them of this event. It would be great if you could come.
We currently don't have a good link or this, but you can find contacts for Charney and the "Minimum Wage and the Youth Vote" effort here.

 

"World of trouble"

The week just keeps getting worse for Pryce. Cillizza, via BSB:
But, Republican insiders argue that Pryce was in a world of trouble long before Foley resigned from the House. Pryce seemed to be caught by surprise by the seriousness of Kilroy's challenge and has never found her footing.

 

Ney confirms he is staying for now

TPMmuckraker. . .
Having now appeared in court, I need to close up my congressional office. I want to make sure that my staff members are okay and that any open constituent matters and obligations are taken care of. Once I have done these things, I will be resigning from Congress. This will be done in the next few weeks.
. . . and somebody might want to tell Joy Padgett that GOP House leaders indicate that he can stay through Nov. 7:
House Republican leaders vowed Friday to expel convicted Rep. Bob Ney"as our first order of business"after the elections unless he resigns.
Oh, the humanity!

 

Ney 'guilty,' but doesn't resign

Looks like we'll still have Bob Ney to kick around for a while longer.
Inside the courtroom, Huvelle spent nearly a half-hour asking the sandy-haired, red-faced congressman a series of questions about whether he understood the charges and agreed that he had taken money, gifts and favors in return for official actions on behalf of Abramoff and his clients.

At the end she asked him how he pleaded to the conspiracy count, he replied, "I plead guilty your honor."

Asked how he pleaded to the count of false statements, he replied, "I plead guilty, your honor."

Mark Touhey, Ney's lawyer, told the judge the congressman would resign from office before sentencing on Jan. 19. His term in Congress expires before then, though, at noon on Jan 3.

 

More on Blackwell's advertising plan

Yesterday, the Blade reported that Kenny was pulling ads in the Toledo area, at least until just before Election Day.

Today's Gongwer Report (sub. req'd), suggests that ads may be being pulled statewide until late October:
Responding to reports that the campaign was reeling it in for now and waiting for late October to begin spending what’s left of its war chest on TV ads, spokesman Carlo LoParo said the speculation is partially true.

“It’s not that we had time reserved and took it out,” Mr. LoParo said. In fact, he said the campaign pur-chased November TV airtime early on in anticipation of a crush of political advertisements late in the game.
Of course, part of what's driving this decision is the collapse of Kenny's campaign. But there appears to be more to this than just not being able to pay the bills, and we suspect that LoParo isn't being coy when he says "the speculation is partially true."

Bob Bennett and the GOP have long abandoned the governor's race. They are, however, trying to cut their losses. Bennett figures if the Repubs are going to be competitive in the Secretary of State and Auditor races, not to mention the slew of General Assembly races, the hard core GOP base and the conservative vote must be compelled to come out on election day.

He may be a loser, but Bennett is still going to make sure that Kenny's remaining money will be focused to this effort. Blackwell said as much earlier this week:
Mr. Blackwell, trailing Rep. Strickland by 14 percentage points in the latest independent poll (see separate story), said he would make moral values the centerpiece of the month that remains before the election.

. . .

“But I do think this is an opportunity to say something to the Ohio people. Mr. Strickland says that our taxes are right and our values are wrong. I believe just the opposite. I think that our values are right and our taxes are wrong. That’s the contrast between me and Ted Strickland,” Mr. Blackwell said.

“(We’re) going to wage a campaign for the next month based on that distinction and I think Ohioans will go with the fellow who’s willing to stand up for their values and change their economy now for the better,” he said.

“I don’t blame our state’s rich tradition of stopping abortion on demand and defining marriage as between one man and one woman as the reason folks are not investing in our state,” he said. (Gongwer Ohio Report, October 10, 2006)
There is a certain sick logic in Bennett's strategy and the doomed fogey seems to be determined to go down fighting.

 

Iraq'd

Pryce led off the debate last night by focusing on Iraq. Glad you brought it up Deb. We're pretty sure the Kilroy campaign hopes you keep up the good work. From Rasmussen:

Picture 5

 

Kilroy v. Pryce debate

We should note that we were unable to see much of the debate, but had no problem with the audio, and we think that fact - for better or worse - shades our impressions. We should also note that we are working memory and not from a transcript, so we plead for a little leniency.

First, Kilroy won hands down. We had a few doubts about Kilroy at first, as explained below, but Pryce as the incumbent, was expected to come off cool, confident and savvy. Instead, Pryce was extremely defensive, bursting into inappropriate rants at times in the last half of the debate. We're sure that Pryce's campaign paid for top shelf debate coaching team but either they didn't do their job or she bugged out in front of the cameras. We lean to the "bugged out" theory.

Pryce seldom tried to build logical arguments and she seemed unrehearsed to the point of amateurishness. Bizarrely, Pryce seemed to go waaaaaay off message at two different points when she offered replies to questions that essentially went like this: vote for me because of what "they" did to Joe Lieberman. Does Deb really think Ohioans start their day catching up on the Lieberman-Lamont race, or even know what party Joe belonged to?

Both candidates sounded surprisingly nervous during the first third of the debate. Obviously, the stakes are high, but both are fairly experienced speakers. It sounded like each one was suffering from adrenaline overload, concentrating too much on recalling talking points. As a result, Pryce spent this opening period rambling and talking way too fast and then going off message when she still had time to fill. Kilroy, on the other hand, seemed to be thinking faster than she could talk, falling into political shorthand and skipping words at times.

But, in the middle third, both seemed to calm down - for a while. But, when the reporters' questions started about her ties to DeLay, Ney, et. al. Pryce seemed to stiffen again and go downhill from there. It didn't seem to be as much flop sweat as it was anger that was barely under control. We couldn't help but feel that Kilroy's campaign has really gotten under Pryce's skin and that she couldn't hold herself back from letting the public know how pissed off that anyone would dare challenge her.

Regarding issues, here is how we'd rate some of the key rounds:

Iraq: This came up early and we'd call it a draw. This is when both candidates seem to have their worst case of the nerves. Pryce stuck to the GOP line. Kilroy, once she calmed down, was unapologetic and seemed confident about discussing her opposition to the war from its beginning. She did, however, seem a little unconvincing when it came to trying to discuss what to do now in the Middle East.

Health care: Kilroy won on this topic. This was not the last time Pryce seemed totally out of touch with voters. Kilroy hammered on the GOP for taking health care off the agenda, and Pryce seemed indignant that her Medicare Part D work is underappreciated. Kilroy noted the large donations from PhRMA that Pryce had received and that she had played a role in blocking negotiations with the drug providers under Part D.

Economy: Kilroy won on this. Is Pryce really that out of touch? We've made a cottage industry out of noting Pryce's Pollyannaish comments about the jobs and such, but we really thought her handlers would sit her down and explain reality to her. Deb seemed irritated that anyone was all that concerned still about unemployment and growth. Kilroy slammed her on job losses, foreclosures - and for her dismissive attitude about economic concerns.

Negative Advertising: Kilroy won again, and this was the beginning of the end for Pryce. Pryce initially tried to blame "her opponents" for going negative first, and without naming specific ads. The whole thing about Pryce's mother warning her not to go negative but going negative anyway was painfully lame, as was her total inability to accept any responsibility for her campaigns to smear Kilroy's remarkably good record of service as a Franklin Co. Commissioner and member of the Columbus School Board. Kilroy's retort about how Pryce should have listened to her mother was great.

Federal Budget: A draw. Kilroy hammered on the deficit and scored with her "pay as you go" philosophy. Pryce went with the party line about the "reduced deficit." Kilroy needed a stronger response to the question of where the budget could be cut.

Labels: Kilroy won. Pryce accused her of being a hardcore liberal and Kilroy didn't back down. Kilroy accused of being a rubberstamp for Bush and the GOP. The era of voters being swayed by this liberal nonsense is over and a faulty strategy - especially for central Ohio - if Pryce wants to get beyond her conservative base.

Corruption: This was the kiss-of-death question for Pryce. Tactically, we were pretty sure Pryce would try to appear to be somewhat apologetic. Instead, the best shit Deb could come up with was, "I don't pay attention to who donates to me. Why would I?" Pryce served up a softball for Kilroy and she hit it out of the park.

Closing statement: Sheesh, did Pryce even practice giving one? And compared to Kilroy's classy upbeat closing statement (one that thanked the debate sponsors, the reporters, and her opponent) Pryce seemed at the peak of her anger and ready to leap across the stage and rip Mary Jo's face off. Beyond its bitter tone, the points Deb tried to make didn't seem to fit the debate that just happened. It was largely negative, and where she tried to go positive it was in areas that like the economy, the war and health care where voters have major, major doubts. She failed to acknowledge these doubts, and her inability to leave listeners with any sense of empathy or even a basic pledge to "do better" was her final undoing in the debate - and her final undoing in this campaign.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

Sorry . . .

Blogger is not being cooperative and we have already lost a couple of posts.

 

The company Deb keeps

This photo looks pretty harmless, right?

Picture 4

Actually, it's a picture of Deb getting an award a few days ago from the Seniors Coalition.

What is the Seniors Coalition? Despite the appearance of the little-old-lady (actually "Grandma" Green, a somewhat infamous character in retirement circles), the Coalition is one of the main astro-turf groups created to lay down of smoke screens for Republicans in their effort to privatize Social Security, to evade cracking down on drug companies, to sell the problem-plagued Medicare prescription plan, etc., etc.

With multimillion dollar contributions from groups like PhRMA, the group operates by generating emails, direct mail pieces and TV ads in coordination with their GOP counterparts. If they haven't started airing already, expect to see some of the Coalition's ads in the Columbus area before election day.

In short, the Seniors Coalition is a stealth PAC that exists to add the merest veneer of credibility to those, like Pryce, who would sell out the middle class's retirement dreams in a heartbeat.

And, just to complete this story, readers may be wondering why Pryce is getting an award from the Seniors Coalition on Age-related Macular Degeneration, and what does the Coalition have to do with AMD?

We certainly don't want to minimize the seriousness of AMD. We have family members and neighbors that have some forms of the disease. Treatments via medication, especially for the most serious type of AMD (about 10% of the cases), are unfortunately very limited.

Several pharmaceutical players, however, seem to be viewing AMD as a potentially burgeoning new business as babyboomers age. (It is very important to note that there is no known prevention of AMD, but there is evidence that simple, low cost dietary and lifestyle changes can mitigate the seriousness.)

But the drug companies are thinking of new revenue streams in the billions of dollars. Regardless of their motiviation, these businesses face two hurdles: the dosage cost (as high as $2,000!) and a payment source. An important step in their business plan is to get Medicare coverage.

Short version: PhRMA pumps millions into the Seniors Coalition. PhRMA members need "consumers" to lobby in DC and gin-up concern among seniors, who will then provide the cover/leverage for Medicare to expedite approval of AMD-related drug reimbursements. Seniors Coalition puts their astro-turf machinery to work on the issue.

Remember, you heard it here first.

 

The Social Security document Pryce wants you to forget about

With the OH-15 debate only hours away, we thought it might be helpful to remind everyone of Deb's 'ancient history' and the bamboozlement playbook she put together to privatize Social Security.

Pryce's Communicationg Social Security Reform

Deb's playbook even has several "sample" speeches, constituent letters, a powerpoint presentation.

Deb doesn't want the press corps to see this handiwork of hers and hopes that they continue to let her get away with the 'ancient history' malarky and an attitude that she was just a bit player. In fact, Pryce was quarterbacking the team and, although most of the plays were being called in from the sidelines by Rove & Luntz, Deb eagerly wanted to be the one who directed the GOP team in the field to deliver the big lie about Social Security.

And like the loyal GOP team member that Deb is, she'll try to throw this bomb again if she get's the chance.

 

Tiberi spew

With limited time, we at Hypothetically Speaking have had to ration our time in regard to which races we track. One race we wish we had more time for is the OH-12 contest between Bob Shamansky and incumbent Pat Tiberi.

Yesterday, one of the central Ohio NPR stations carried separate half-hour interviews with Tiberi and Shamansky and the Tiberi's remarks are truly dizzying. It's worth listening to get a sense of the verbal gymnastics, misdirection and lying Tiberi conjures up about Iraq, taxes, immigration, etc. is classic GOP talking points 101.

We have no idea what Shamansky's chances are against Tiberi, but dammit, we hope he kicks this little scum's ass. And if Tiberi isn't defeated in this cycle, the DCCC needs archive this interview and target the OH-12 in 2008.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

 

Pryce's and Ohio's economy

Some new data proves Deb just makes her shit up:

Picture 1

Or, there is the truth, such as recent information on unemployment:
A new report from the Department of Labor said one of every 17 Ohioans is out of work, and Ohio has lost 195,000 manufacturing jobs over the last five years.
And we have this on housing:
Ohio remains in the top 10 among states with the highest foreclosure rates as the national average jumps 63 percent over last year, one market watcher reported Wednesday.

In its monthly report, RealtyTrac Inc. said Ohio went from posting the seventh-highest rate among the states to ninth with 6,794 properties entering some stage of foreclosure last month, down 9 percent from August but up 17.2 percent from a year earlier. Ohio had one property in foreclosure for every 704 households, research firm said.
Maybe this stuff should be brought up in the debate.

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