Friday, October 30, 2009
Is it K-12 education, higher ed, public welfare, public safety, etc. etc. etc....
Well, one of the options was Government Administration.
In other words...we can find out what concentration of its budget does each state spend on paying for bureaucracy.
And don't you know it, Ohio scored worst among all its most competitive neighbors - PA, KY, MI, MN, WI, IA, and IN. Only lowly WV spends more.
Waste. Waste. Waste.
And we wonder why Ohio's in the mess it's in.
It's time to cut back, Governor.
Then we found out her campaign office, as identified on her FEC report, isn't in the 12th congressional district.
And now we find out this.
If you google "Paula Brooks Ohio", you get the following:
Yet another address for Paula Brooks' campaign.
And guess what....everyone say it with me....it's not in the 12th congressional district.
Her campaign has barely started, and she's already a joke.
Nice start, Commissioner.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
And if you follow Ohio politics, this article couldn't help but capture your attention:
Some of my favorite nuggets:
[S]outheast Ohio shows as Kasich's third stongest region at 54-43 for Kasich. The southeast is Strickland's home base. It's where he grew up and held a congressional seat for eons. It's also the state's biggest swing region. If Strickland is losing the southeast at all, not to mention by 11 points, he's dead meat.Holy. Frickin'. Crap.
The Ohio Poll confirms what I see and hear on the ground. The folks who know Ted Strickland, who grew up with him, who are related to him, have turned against him with a vengeance. And the vengeance is growing.
Strickland has been pure disaster for southern Ohio. His deals with the timber companies have deforested our counties. His deals with the coal companies have resulted in plans for new filthy coal plants. His deals with the nuclear companies have resulted in a string of failed projects at the Piketon nuclear reservation. Lies. Lies. Lies. That is the Strickland legacy on his home turf.
For those looking in from outside, Ohio is shaping up to be a real disaster for Democrats in 2010. But for those of us here, it won't be such a disaster. Because the only way to remove a corrupt machine is to have it swept from office.
I retain hope that Strickland will follow his own internal polling, withdraw from the race, allow Lee Fisher to run for governor, and leave Jennifer Brunner a clear shot at Rob Portman in the Senate race.
And I thought I was tough on the Governor.
With friends like these....
Clearly, it's a strategic maneuver designed to divert attention away from the Ohio job crisis and budget debacle.
The following statement from a Strickland fundraising letter this past May highlights what I believe will be, for now at least, the Governor's re-election campaign theme:
I'm convinced that the key to growing our economy is making sure we have the best educated workforce in the nation.This statement enables Strickland to do two things:
- Make education the focus.
- Infer he is addressing the job crisis.
Clearly, that's not the case. If anything, Ohio's 4th worst in the nation business climate ranking is far more detrimental to Ohio's flailing economy than anything that is going on in Mrs. Frank's 4th grade math class.
In addition, Ohio's education system is far from in crisis, as highlighted here.
Now to point one...making education the focus.
Considering your record, is that really a good idea, Governor?
Let's look at how you've funded education in the most recent budget:
- Early education: the bedrock of your Turnaround Ohio plan
Think we'll see that one much in campaign commercials? 'Nuff said.
- Adult Education: If education is the key to saving Ohio's economy, naturally adult education and training would be essential to get unemployed Ohioans back into the workforce.
-Testing to get your GED is cut 29.5%.
-Adult literacy funding is zeroed out completely.
-Post-secondary adult-career technical education is cut 100%.
-Career-Technical Education Enhancements lose $742,000 in funding.
-Adult Basic Education has gone from being funded at $17,000,000 in 2008....to zero.
Obviously, adult education isn't a priority.
- Overall Education Funding: Where the rubber meets the road.
He cut it by 9.2%.
This is Ted Strickland's record. It's fact. It's impossible to argue.
And yet, the Governor wants it to be the message of his entire campaign.
Now, the point of this post isn't to say this budget cut or that budget cut wasn't essential. It's merely to point out the strange situation Ted Strickland has placed himself in for his upcoming re-election campaign. By making education his number one issue, he has positioned himself to be judged on a record that can be easily exploited.
And that's not a good idea.
For the White House, it’s a crucial symbolic prize. With Democrat Creigh Deeds running far behind his Republican rival in Virginia, the New Jersey race – once believed to be hopeless for Corzine – is now seen as the White House’s best bet to make the 2009 election cycle a political wash and to calm the nerves of congressional Democrats approaching the crucial 2010 midterm elections.As we've been discussing for months here on 3BP, New Jersey is a solid blue state, Virginia has been trending blue, and the 2009 elections for both will be seen as a reflection of the national mood.
So my problem with the above exerpt is with the final statement: "to calm the nerves of congressional Democrats approaching the crucial 2010 midterm elections."
Congressional Democrats, I have a message for you. New Jersey is a blue state. Since the 2004 elections, Democrats have won each statewide election by an average of nearly 11 points.
And yet, the incumbent Democrat of this overtly blue state sits at a meager 40.8% on the RCP poll average.
Congressional Democrats, even if Corzine somehow pulls this out against the two candidates that the majority clearly prefer, your nerves should not be calm.
A victory for Corzine won't make this a wash. It's not that simple.
What should make you comfortable? A win Democrats in New Jersey are used to. Obama won by 15. Corzine won by 10 in '05. Senate in '06 was decided by 8.
Less than that is a failure. And a message.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
You likely won't see this poll result elsewhere, so I thought I'd highlight it here. This is a Pew Political IQ test conducted over the phone with 1,002 adults from Oct. 1-4. They were asked 12 questions, and answered an average of 5.3 questions correctly, according to Pew.
The impending massive budget deficit. How massive? More than eight times the size of the current mess. From this past May's Crain's Cleveland Business:
The warning came from Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor, who recently estimated that the state could face an $8 billion deficit when it tackles a 2012-2013 budget that wouldn’t be supplemented by the $6 billion in one-time state and federal money the governor is using to balance the 2010-2011 budget, which begins July 1.Without question, this will be the greatest challenge for whomever wins the Governor's race next November.
Ms. Taylor is a Republican, and the GOP’s sole statewide officeholder. Gov. Strickland attempts to dismiss Ms. Taylor’s analysis as a politically motivated potshot at his budget. But just because Ms. Taylor isn’t of the same party as the governor doesn’t make her analysis invalid.
Shortly after the governor unveiled his budget in early February, we noted that his reliance on billions of dollars of federal stimulus money to tide over the state’s finances until better times return was fraught with danger. The question we posed then, and ask again now, is how bad off will Ohio’s finances be at the end of the 2010-2011 budget cycle...
Unfortunately, and smartly played from a political perspective, Governor Strickland has failed to acknowledge the issue or presented any options for paying for it.
He has kicked the can down the road.
Perhaps he could learn a little something from our neighbor next door, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana:
Mr. Daniels continues to play Cassandra with his warnings about the continuing financial crunch states will face in coming years. As he recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "We're facing a near permanent reduction in state revenues that will require us to reduce the size and scope of our state governments."Because of the massive shortfall Ohio will face, the state won't have a choice but to shrink and become more efficient.
Mr. Daniels says sales-tax revenues will not increase nearly as fast as in previous recoveries and that states will not be able to count on huge revenue increases from high-income earners to finance ever-higher government expenditures. Always the reformer, though, he notes, "This gives us another opportunity to show Americans the virtues of smaller, more effective government."
So why not get the ball rolling now, right? That would be the responsible thing to do.
Ohio Rep. John Adams of Ohio has done just that.
By introducing legislation earlier this year to restructure state government, he has forced the debate into the open. While details are sparse on the current plan, it has provided an opportunity for the state to begin studying what specifically can be reorganized. And with hearings in the State Senate this past week, we're well on our way...
As the largest state employee union blasted his plan to consolidate state government from 24 agencies to 11, Sen. Timothy J. Grendell even drew praise from some Democrats for saying yesterday that he is willing to move forward with a study commission instead.
With the state budget headed for a potential multibillion-dollar shortfall in two years because of the use of billions in one-time federal money to balance the current budget, the Chesterland Republican says there is no better time to look at ways to make state government more efficient.
Yes, a "study commission" being initiated isn't the action many like to see from the legislators, but it is a major step in the right direction. Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly must find a way over the next few months to keep this commission under scrutiny and in the public eye.
Come November 2nd, 2010, Ohioans will be given a choice to choose who they want to implement reorganization and manage the massive budget deficit left unaddressed by the current Governor.
Do they choose the man who sacrificed his principles and flip-flopped on an inevitably doomed gamble on slots, just to keep up with the massive spending increase he proposed....
...or do they choose the man most responsible for crafting the first balanced budget the United States has seen since man walked on the moon?
One of the more interesting aspects of Senator Harry Reid's plan to allow states to opt out of government run health care was that it, for the first time, really pushed state leaders to speak out on the plan.
And Ted Strickland took the bait.
Gov. Ted Strickland says he'd rather let Ohioans participate in the government-run health insurance program being planned by congressional Democrats, despite the option to let the state say no.Now, this statement is particularly interesting when you look at the timing of some research found in today's Wall Street Journal.
How will ObamaCare affect insurance premiums in the private health-care markets? Despite indignant Democratic denials, the near-certainty is that their plan will cause costs to rise across the board.In short, Ted Strickland would force Ohio to opt-in to government run health care, despite studies that show small businesses would see their premiums climb by 86%.
...a 40-year-old husband and wife with two kids would see their premiums jump by 122%—to $737 from $332—while a small business with eight employees in Franklin County would see premiums climb by 86%. It's true that the family or the individual might qualify for subsidies if their incomes are low enough, but the business wouldn't qualify under the Senate Finance bill...
Like our side really needed more ammo for comparative commercials next fall.
But what option did Strickland really have? He needs Obama on his good side, and considering his initial support for Hillary, Strickland needs to do what he can to kiss some presidential butt.
But considering the opt-out clause is all but dead thanks to Joe Lieberman, one has to wonder if it was worth saying anything at all.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The newest sections of U.S. Route 24 will be revealed Thursday with the help of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris and community representatives.Ted, considering the massive brain drain Ohio is suffering, shouldn't you be building a giant wall instead of...say, an escape route?
The three sections that will open are from Indiana 101 to the Ohio line in Indiana, from the Ohio line to U.S. 127, and from U.S. 127 to Defiance in Ohio.
Mitch Daniels was seen smiling and uttering to himself, "suckerrrr."
Somehow, this article slipped through the cracks here at 3BP when it was published late last week in the Toledo Blade:
Ohio's housing market softened in September while home resales nationwide saw their largest monthly increase in 26 years.Once again, Ohio bucks the trend and instead goes ever downward while the country goes the opposite direction.
The National Association of Realtors says U.S. sales of existing homes reached their strongest pace in two years, jumping 9.4 percent from August to September.
In Ohio, 9,740 existing and new homes sold last month. The Ohio Association of Realtors says sales were down 1.7 percent from August and down 6.3 percent from the September 2008 level.
So why would Ohio go in such a drastically opposite direction than the rest of the country when it comes to home purchases?
Here's a hint. It rhymes with Prain Main.
Yep, the brain drain phenomena that is shaking Ohio rears its ugly head once again - this time in the housing market. The labor force is running for the border, and taking their mortgage applications with them.
Buckeyes, you have a year and a week before you can show Ted Strickland what you really think of his job as Governor.
If there will be any of you left.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds voters almost evenly divided in their views of the plan: 33% say it has helped the economy, while 31% think it has hurt. Twenty-nine percent (29%) believe the plan has had no economic impact.This means during the 2010 elections, 62% of Americans will be vulnerable to paid media from Republicans highlighting the ginormous amount of waste that has been the $787 billion stimulus signature policy "achievement" of the Obama/Pelosi Administration. You may remember from back in February when I said how important it was that House Republicans came through with zero Republicans supporting the bill in the House. Well, thanks to Boehner and Cantor, GOP House candidates will all be able to say, "told ya so" to 62% of Americans.
This will be a winning issue in 2010.
UPDATE: It's worse than I thought. Thanks to Matt at WMD, we learned a bit more about the crosstabs of this poll.
Some interesting numbers...
- 51% of 18-29 year olds say the stimulus has hurt or had no impact on the economy.
- 69% of Independents.
- 36% of Democrats!
- 51% of moderates.
- 64% of those making between $20k-$40k.
That's a 17 point turnaround from the last big statewide election in Virginia.
Barack Obama versus John McCain.
But other than the massive turnaround in a state that was clearly starting to trend blue, there were other aspects of the poll that I found interesting.
For one, the infamous(at least here in Virginia) McDonnell thesis that Deeds and the Washington Post obsessed over for weeks has had zero effect on the race. In fact, the thesis story, which portrayed McDonnell as an ubersocial conservative when it comes to women's issues, may have helped McDonnell. Because of the attacks, McDonnell went on to highlight the successes of the women in his family and his work as Attorney General to help women's rights. So what happened? Well, since the thesis broke over a month ago, McDonnell now enjoys a net gain of 17 points when it comes to the question of whom the voter trusts on women's issues. McDonnell is now up +7 on that one. Crazy.
Voters also found Deeds to have run the far more negative campaign. 61% said he was negative, 34% said he was positive. For McDonnell, he enjoyed 57% positive versus 37% negative. Now, this doesn't mean McDonnell didn't go negative at all. But he did focus primarily on what Deeds has done over the course of the campaign and his time as a legislator. Deeds instead went after more ambiguous attacks, such as the thesis and other less substantive issues. In other words, people felt focusing on political accomplishments and claims of the opponent was more acceptable than ambiguous attacks.
70 percent claimed that Obama had no effect on their vote. As Sherman T. Potter says, "horsehockey!" Now, I'm not going to claim he was a main motivator to go one way or another, but to believe the dominating political figure in America and the resulting mood (or "malaise" as CNN calls it) has no effect is ridiculous. In reality, when polled, voters want to come across as someone who is voting independently and intelligently. To admit that an outside variable influenced you in any way is difficult to admit. Thus, 70%.
And there you have it. Now, let's sit back and watch the mess that is New Jersey and NY-23.
Monday, October 26, 2009
We see companies expanding and creating jobs, even in the middle of a perfect storm.
- Ohio’s unemployment rate of 10.1% is the highest it’s been in 25 years (Jan 1984)
- The number of unemployed workers has increased by 190,000 in the past 12 months.
- Ohio lost 5,900 jobs in the month of September
- Ohio lost 155,000 jobs in 2008
- Ohio has lost 174,600 jobs so far in 2009
- Ohio has lost 258,100 jobs over the last 12 months.
- Ohio has lost 329,600 jobs since Ted Strickland became Governor.
- Ohio has lost 388,900 jobs since the last national recession ended in November of 2001. Twenty-two states lost jobs during this period, and only Michigan fared worse than Ohio.
- A 74% increase in unemployment.
- 236,000 Ohioans lose their jobs.
- A dramatic decrease in the labor force, not seen since the early 80s.
One of the potential candidates who has been working hard to become the default candidate of the Party is Mitt Romney. Now, many already know I'm less than a fan of Mitt. I find his knack for political opportunism to be several levels above my tolerance level. With that said, I wanted to post this youtube I found over the weekend. It's Mitt Romney speaking about his feelings on the Contract with America back in 1994.
Not only does this video highlight Mitt's complete inability to understand the electorate and what was important to them in '94...and now, it highlights his RINOism.
Mitt, winning and losing does matter in Washington. While everyone would love hugs, puppy dogs, jelly beans and bipartisanship, it doesn't always get what's best for the greater good.
In this age of Tea Parties and a conservative base that is ever more vigilant against an establishment they deem unprincipled, it disappoints me that Mitt continues to perform well in polls of Republicans and their choices for the 2012 nominee.
Now, I'll recognize that Mitt has indeed changed his spots to suit his national ambitions, and it is likely that he would govern more conservatively than he has implied in the past.
But would he do so with principle? His political history exemplifies a man without what our national leaders require....backbone. When all the chips are on the table, I'm simply not confident that Mitt would stick to the "convictions" that he now presents to the public as his belief system.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
And they have.
(I just figured it would come from the cynical Tom Suddes, not William Hershey)
When governors and lawmakers try to clean up a mess, they don’t like to say they did the spilling.Great to see reporters not buying into this mess.
Instead, they decorate the cleanup with heroic, noble language. They also try to scare people.
In this case, Strickland and his fellow Democrats who control the House called their cleanup the “Education Funding Protection Act.”
In addition, a poll commissioned by Ohio's big 7 newspapers found the following:
...an early look at the likely gubernatorial matchup next year is more sobering for the incumbent.This is the 2nd poll in a row showing the race in a deadheat, thereby confirming the trend.
Strickland is ahead of former central Ohio Congressman John Kasich, a Republican, by a single point -- 48 percent to 47 percent. That's well within the poll's margin of error.
Considering Kasich's name recognition in no way matches that of the Governor, that's bad news for Strickland. Traditionally, even if voters don't like the incumbent, they are hesitant to support his opposition if they don't know him.
An example of the importance of knowing the candidates is in the recent Florida numbers between Republicans Governor Crist and Marco Rubio, and Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek.
In the Quinnipiac poll, Crist leads Meek 51-31. Meanwhile, Rubio trails Meek 36-33. Obviously, that's quite a discrepancy. So where's the difference? Knowing the candidates.
Only 10% don't know enough about Crist to have an opinion on him.
And a whopping 64% don't know enough about Rubio.
Now Kasich's name recognition numbers in Ohio aren't as bad as Rubio's in Florida, but according to Rasmussen, his unknowns are 4.5 times those of Strickland.
I wouldn't expect these name recognition numbers to change much over the next several months; not until Kasich ramps up his campaign and starts courting voters via grassroots and paid media means.
But when they do, watch out.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Jeb Bush, adopting rhetoric more often heard from Democrats, told students at George Washington University last night that the GOP "can't be the party of no."But is this accurate? Are Republicans really the Party of No?
""We just can't be the party of no," the former Florida governor said, according to the student newspaper. "Republicans need to offer, based on their own principles, solutions to these problems."
To simply be the Party of No, the congressional GOP would have to propose zero solutions to the issue of the day (i.e., health care reform).
So, do they have any solutions?
Does this answer your question?
- House GOP Health Care Solutions Group Plan (Unveiled June 17, 2009)
- Empowering Patients First Act (Republican Study Group Health Care Reform Bill, unveiled July 30, 2009)
- Improving Health Care for All Americans Act (Shadegg Health Care Reform Bill, introduced July 14, 2009)
- Patients’ Choice Act (Ryan-Nunes Health Care Reform Bill, introduced May 20, 2009)
- Medical Rights & Reform Act (Kirk-Dent Health Care Reform Bill, introduced June 16, 2009)
- Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act (Gingrey medical liability reform bill, introduced June 6, 2009)
- Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2009 (Johnson small business health plans bill, introduced May 21, 2009)
- Promoting Health and Preventing Chronic Disease through Prevention and Wellness Programs for Employees, Communities, and Individuals Act of 2009 (Rep. Castle Wellness & Prevention Bill, introduced July 31, 2009)
- Improved Employee Access to Health Insurance Act of 2009 (Rep. Deal auto-enrollment bill, introduced October 15, 2009)
- Health Insurance Access for Young Workers and College Students Act of 2009 (Rep. Blunt bill to improve health insurance coverage of dependents, introduced October 21, 2009)
- 31 Common-Sense Changes Republicans Offered to Improve Democrats’ Health Care Bill (GOP Leader Alert, July 28, 2009)
- House Republican Leaders’ Letter to President Obama [PDF] Outlining Areas for Common Ground on Health Care Reform (May 13, 2009)
- Cleveland Plain Dealer: GOP health care reform proposals focus on medical liability reform & competition to lower costs (October 17, 2009)
Party of No? I don't think so.
Friday, October 23, 2009
That's bad enough.
But did you know her campaign office isn't even in the 12th?
Check it out for yourself on Paula's FEC report:
The listed address is in the 15th congressional district. Look for yourself.
Now, is it possible her campaign HQ is currently elsewhere not listed on her report? Sure. But it's up to Paula Brooks to confirm it.
But, if this is her office and Paula feels she can do her best GOTV and door-to-door around this campaign HQ, more power to her.
Of course, I don't think that will do her much good come next November.
Then again, not much will.
UPDATE: The only address on her website lists yet another location in the 15th District.
This is ridiculous.
Yet another car manufacturer, this one armed with a $529 million loan from the federal government, has decided to avoid Ohio and take its business to......Delaware.
People with knowledge of talks between Fisker Automotive and Delaware officials say the company plans to build vehicles at a former General Motors plant in Wilmington.So, they are using abandoned manufacturing plants. Which Ohio has.
The head of the California-based producer of electric vehicles said earlier this week that officials would soon announce a U.S. manufacturing site.
And they are "green jobs". Which Ted Strickland claims to love.
And they're going to.........Delaware.
Now, why would that possibly be? Hmmm...I can't think of a reason...
Could it beeeee.....?
So Fisker Automotive could choose between the 4th worst business tax climate, or the 8th best?
Ok, now I get it.
As Gov. Ted Strickland was calling on Ohio's embattled attorney general to step downamid sexual harassment allegations last year, another harassment scandal was brewing in one of his own state agencies.
Women employees accused John W. Francis, the newly hired deputy at the Ohio Department of Health, of patting them on the butt, calling them pet names and threatening them with violence.
This is yet another in a long line of Strickland appointees with legal or ethical issues.
Let's take a little walk down memory lane:
Henry Guzman, Sat on His Hands While “Thousands of Illegal Immigrants” Registered Their Cars Illegally in Ohio: Thousands of illegal immigrants were permitted to register vehicles in Ohio because of a moratorium on enforcement of the law that was ordered by former state Public Safety Director Henry Guzman. That is established fact, according to published reports. The question now is why Guzman, who left his position just a few days ago, took the action. Guzman became aware of a loophole in the law that allowed illegal immigrants, sometimes using U.S. citizens as paid "runners," to obtain vehicle licenses. He ordered changes in the rules to close the loophole last summer. But on July 31, 2008, Guzman ordered a moratorium on the changes. [Editorial, The Wheeling Intelligencer, 9/20/09]
Michael Dolan, Handed Out Free Lottery Tickets and Lied to the State Controlling Board: Three weeks earlier, on Aug 4, Michael Dolan, the Ohio Lottery Commission director, stepped down. Dolan had held onto his job following news stories that he handed out free lottery tickets like suckers at Halloween. He also survived revelations that he had been less than truthful when he appeared before the bipartisan State Controlling Board to get its approval to purchase $11.6 million in keno equipment. Later, under oath, Dolan contradicted previous testimony by stating he knew the equipment being purchased could not be used once the commission changed vendors. As the lottery began ramping up efforts to place up to 2,500 slot machines at horse racetracks, it finally was clear Dolan had to go. [Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 9/12/09]
Michael Shoemaker, Ousted for Not Being More Aggressive for Unions, Strickland Didn’t Even Say Goodbye: [Former Lottery Director Michael] Dolan's resignation came about a week after Strickland's chief of staff, John Haseley, without explanation, summoned Michael Shoemaker, the Ohio School Facilities Commission executive director, into his office to tell him that his services no longer were needed. Shoemaker ran afoul of unions for not being more aggressive in forcing local districts to use union contractors and insist upon prevailing wage agreements. Old friends from Appalachia, Strickland never extended the courtesy of a meeting with Shoemaker to discuss why he had to go. [Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 9/12/09]
Mark Barbash, Didn’t Pay His Taxes: In February, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher announced he no longer would wear a second hat as development director so he could concentrate on running for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Fisher's replacement was Mark Barbash, who resigned May 15, after the media learned he had not paid income taxes and owed the Internal Revenue Service about $146,000. [Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 9/12/09]
Helen Jones-Kelley, Conducted and Illegal Background Check for Political Purposes: In 2008, reports surfaced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services had conducted background checks into Joe ''the Plumber'' Wurzelbacher after his name was invoked numerous times during a debate between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Helen Jones-Kelley, the department's director, resigned after being placed on administrative leave. [Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 9/12/09]
Eric "The Pimp" McFadden, Ran a Prostitution Ring: A man once hired by Gov. Ted Strickland to head a state office because of his ties to Ohio's religious community stands accused of being involved in an online prostitution ring. Robert Eric McFadden, former director of Strickland's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, was arrested Wednesday morning in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. He has been charged with seven felonies, including pandering obscenities involving a minor, promoting prostitution and compelling prostitution, according to a Columbus Police Department spokesman. [Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Openers Blog, 1/15/09]
John Lang, Had Three DUI-Related Arrests and Got Arrested for Fighting Police Officers: The lobbyist for the Ohio Department of Public Safety resigned today after being charged with becoming intoxicated and scuffling with police officers at the Memorial Tournament. John W. Lang Jr., 33, was arrested yesterday at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin and charged with persistent disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Lang's lobbying efforts on behalf of the State Highway Patrol, Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the department's liquor-law enforcement unit included a bill to toughen drunken-driving laws. His driving record reflects three DUI-related arrests, most recently on Feb. 9 in Grandview Heights. [Columbus Dispatch, 6/5/09]
Quite a list, eh?
We've got two words for Ted Strickland: Background. Check.
Use them, genius.
Well, with Brunner's first fundraising effort since the new hire, we've discovered the identity of that individual.
Now, we're not sure exactly what Laney is getting paid for his efforts, but we do know he looks ridiculously depressed. Of course, you would be too if the campaign could only afford to pay you in milkbones.
Good luck, Laney. You'll need it.
Politically speaking, the question after reading that headline from yesterday afternoon is this: how many points will it cost Ted Strickland come November of next year?
Here are the gruesome details:
Ohio slashed preschool programs more than any other state in the nation, according to a new report.Awful enough on its own, eh?
The state-by-state analysis found Ohio cut the largest percentage of funding from preschool education and, as a result, will deny services to the largest number of children.
Now consider this...
The below picture is a screen capture of the google cache of Ted Strickland's now defunct campaign website from 2006.
In it, Ted Strickland highlights his primary message for his campaign: Turnaround Ohio.
Turnaround Ohio is the Strickland/Fisher strategy to make sure we start that cycle of success here in Ohio, and here are its key components:In addition, among the headlines Ted Strickland enjoyed during the 2006 campaign are the following...
1. Provide every child a fair start through access to high-quality early care and education.
Helping kids early will help Ohio later, candidate Strickland says (Cols. Dispatch)And in 2006, Ted Strickland was quoted as saying, "[Early education is] the most effective use of economic dollars."
Getting a campaign - and kids - started right (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Strickland's first plank resonates (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Without question, if Turnaround Ohio was Ted Strickland's campaign theme, early education clearly served as its bedrock.
And with Candisky's headline as stated above, that bedrock has been reduced to the very quicksand that may sink the Governor's re-election effort.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"And Ohio has the capacity to become the supplier of what the world needs. We must not, we cannot, we will not give up. We have all that it takes in Ohio to be successful if we stay committed and focused and if we continue to make education a top priority."Now, as I've said before, of course it's essential to maintain a robust school system that will educate our students and make them ready when they finally graduate college years from now and are looking for a job. An educated workforce is attractive to businesses looking to invest in Ohio.
But this educated workforce won't stick around Ohio if businesses don't find the state an attractive place to invest. And currently our 4th worst in the country business climate ranking isn't helping.
But I digress.
Now, I would imagine that Governor Strickland, if he cared about educating those that could jump quickly into the workforce, would focus much of his efforts on adult education.
But a quick look at the Governor's budget finds some interesting numbers.
- Testing to get your GED is cut 29.5%.
- Adult literacy funding is zeroed out completely.
- Post-secondary adult-career technical education is cut 100%.
- Career-Technical Education Enhancements lose $742,000 in funding.
- Adult Basic Education has gone from being funded at $17,000,000 in 2008....to zero.
Ohioans who are finding themselves phased out of the workforce clearly can't count on Ted Strickland to help retrain them as they look for ways to adapt to our faltering economy.
You've had your chance, Ted. And clearly you don't get it.
Especially when you see this.
It's not just the sharp decline in jobs lost that is so stunning, it's also the length of time that they've been falling.
In case you forget, the stimulus was passed over eight months ago. The 1980 recession almost lasted as long as the time since the stimulus was passed.
We were sold the stimulus on the promise that we would start seeing its effects "almost immediately". Now imagine if instead they told us that eight months after passage we still wouldn't see things turning around. Think it would have had a chance in hell of passing?
Didn't think so.
And it's getting worse.
The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 531,000 last week, from an upwardly revised 520,000 the previous week. Wall Street economists had expected only a slight increase, according to Thomson Reuters.And as Ed Morrissey notes:
Initial jobless claims in this stratospheric level indicate that firms are still shedding jobs, not just showing a reluctance to rehire. The number of unemployed people continue to rise, and many of them are now falling out the back end of the statistics, as the AP acknowledges:
When those [extended benefits] programs are included, the total number of recipients dropped to 8.8 million in the week ending Oct. 3, the latest data available, down about 50,000 from the previous week. That decline is likely due to recipients running out of benefits, rather than finding jobs, economists say.
What a mess.
But the post about how I was blocked seemed to spur quite a movement on Twitter. There were those that found that they themselves had been blocked, and others that were aspiring for the same. And that's how the #TedBlockedMe hashtag was born.
So remember Twitterers, when you feel a need to spout off on the next ridiculous failure from @Ted_Strickland, remember the #TedBlockedMe hashtag, and maybe you too can join the ranks of the honored souls who have thrown ole Ted into such a tizzy that he just can't stand allowing you to follow his all-too-boring tweets.
The Cool Kids
p.s. For those not into the Twitter scene, sorry to waste your time. Ha.
Obama is the one card Creigh Deeds has left to play. And considering it's only Obama's is the only voice heard in the commercial, it's clear that Deeds is laying it all in the President's hands.
So, how will it effect the race?
Conventional wisdom would say the spot will increase turnout for Deeds and strengthen his position on election day.
As of today, here is an amalgamation of several polls, via pollster.com, that show the race currently standing at a seven point advantage for McDonnell.
So, if this really is Deeds' final tactic, we now have a decent starting point to see how Obama effects the race, and how much Virginians are swayed by the not-quite-as-popular President.
We'll know soon.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Apparently the 40 out-of-state trips to raise money for his campaign just weren't enough.
With over 1 in 10 Ohioans out of work, I guess I can see why he's nervous about asking any Buckeye for a contribution.
But for someone that claims "time is of the essence" in getting the budget problem solved, you have to wonder how Ted finds the hours in the day to go all the way down.....to Texas.
Quick. Someone change the locks on the border.
Realllllll mature, fellas.
Of course, being blocked from following the Guv doesn't mean I can't read his twitter page.
Wow. Ted sucks at this twitter thing, doesn't he?
And look at him - you'd think he'd quit napping while tweeting!
Guess that explains why he has 1/3 the number of followers as John Kasich.
And whoever writes his tweets clearly doesn't understand the point behind the social medium.
It's to interact and share ideas, no matter how brief. It's to tell people what you're thinking, not what you're doing.
"I'm visiting. I'm proud. I'm speaking. I'm visiting."
No wonder you look narcoleptic.
UPDATE: @CuyahogaGOP has informed us that they also have been blocked from following @Ted_Strickland on Twitter. And I welcome them to the club. So that brings into question - what can you do to get blocked from following the Governor? Join the club! All are welcome!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Today's stories from Politico, The Hill, the Dispatch, the Plain Dealer, and who knows how many others, highlight the serious incompetence behind the Brunner campaign.
Last Thursday, Portman and Fisher both released their fundraising numbers for the 3rd quarter. Meanwhile, Brunner's campaign responded to press inquiries by ambiguously inferring they had a poor quarter.
That was bad story #1 for Brunner.
Brunner then announced she was replacing her fundraising team. Once again, this highlighted the horribly poor quarter Brunner suffered.
Bad story #2.
And today, we finally learned what Brunner eventually had to admit - specifically how badly she did.
And bad story #3.
Three stories, all negative, highlighting the dire circumstances the Brunner campaign finds itself in.
And the only folks to blame are Brunner's campaign.
Rather than controlling the message and releasing all the information the same day as the other candidates, thereby making her issues only part of a much larger story, Brunner decided to string out the bad news.
Brunner supporters are lucky things seem so close to the end. I don't think they could have handled this kind of incompetence for another 12 months.
Stivers over Kilroy and Renacci over Boccieri.
Stivers in particular continues to maintain great press at a national level. This only will help as he continues his effort to make Kilroy the one-termer she's doomed to become.
Well, while they are busy rejoicing over how people identify themselves, we are busy winning the issues and the ballot.
First off, the issues.
Ten out of ten.
And what about the generic congressional ballot?
GOP is up by 5 points.
And among independent voters that bumps up to +17.
Now, admittedly, these numbers come from Rasmussen, not the Washington Post.
Of course, an analysis by Fordham University found Rasmussen to be the most accurate national pollster in 2008, so it may behoove you to consider their findings legit.
Oh, and the Washington Post/ABC? Well, they were 14th.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has a good blurb on the Post's mess of a sample.
The sampling comprises 33% Democrats, as opposed to only 20% Republicans. That thirteen-point spread is two points larger than their September polling, at 32%/21%. More tellingly, it’s significantly larger than their Election Day sample, which included 35% Democrats to 26% Republicans for a gap of nine points, about a third smaller than the gap in this poll. Of course, that’s when they were more concerned about accuracy over political points of view.
Remember when I wrote that poll watchers need to remember the recent Gallup poll on party affiliation? Gallup polled 5,000 adults and found that the gap between Democrats and Republicans had closed to the smallest margin since 2005, six points, and had been reduced more than half since the beginning of the year. For the WaPo/ABC poll, though, their sample gap has increased almost 50% during that time.
Unofficial Campaign Songs for Ohio Politicians.
Rob Portman is first up to bat.
Check it out here.
Can't wait to see what he does for Brunner.
Brunner raised only $147,000 for the third quarter, and spent $201,000 – well more than she brought in. That 136 percent burn rate leaves her campaign nearly bankrupt with only $111,000 cash-on-hand.Bring on Lee Fisher.
Brunner’s campaign announced last week that she replaced much of her finance staff as part of a campaign shakeup.
Brunner’s (lack of) money reflects the lack of support she's received from the state party establishment. Gov. Ted Strickland endorsed her primary opponent, lieutenant governor Lee Fisher, and leading members of Congress and labor officials have followed suit.
Brunner hasn’t even won the endorsement of EMILY's List, which helps pro-choice female Democratic candidates raise money. That's a clear sign that the group doesn't view her as being capable of pulling off the upset.
As we know by now, Virginia has been trending blue since '01, but its history requires it to be considered a purple state.
Clearly with this history, a win by more than 5 for McDonnell should be taken as a crushing blow to Obama.
In New Jersey things are much more interesting. We all know how blue a state New Jersey has been.
After seeing that history, anyone want to tell me that any Democrat shouldn't absolutely own this race?
And yet, Christie is still tied with an incumbent Democrat Governor that has utterly failed his state, leaving it with a high tax burden and extraordinary unemployment rates.
(Sound familiar, Ohio?)
Election prognosticator-extraordinaire Stu Rothenberg recently provided this analysis of the current state of the race.
Christie has started to criticize Daggett’s tax plan, and he is almost certain to argue in the coming weeks that since the Independent candidate can’t win, a vote for Daggett is, in fact, a vote for four more years of Corzine. Whether Christie is successful with that message will determine who wins, Corzine or Christie.The hope is Daggett's followers will fade as they realize their candidate doesn't stand a chance. In addition, we hope Democrats aren't enthused enough to come vote for their candidate.
Daggett is the single best thing to happen to Corzine politically. In a two-man contest against Christie, the governor would have little chance to win. But a three-way race presents a very different dynamic.
If Daggett’s number on the ballot test slides to the low double digits (10 percent to 12 percent) or below, Corzine almost certainly will lose. On the other hand, if Daggett gets at least 17 percent, the governor should win. If Daggett’s showing falls into the 13 percent to 16 percent range, either major-party candidate could emerge victorious.
Either way, the closeness of this race should already communicate a giant exclamation to Democrats nationwide. If New Jersey is this close, you all better watch your backs.
Then: "Senator McCain wants to pay for his plan by taxing your health care benefits for the first time in history."
- Barack Obama, speech in Roanoke, Virginia, October 17, 2008
Now: "This reform will charge insurance plans a fee for their most expensive policies..."
- Barack Obama, address to a joint session of Congress, September 9, 2009
Then: "You will not have to change [health insurance] plans. For those who have insurance now, nothing will change under the Obama plan-except that you will pay less."
- Obama campaign handout, "Questions and Answers on Health Care Plan"
Now: "I mean-when I say if you have your plan and you like it and your doctor has a plan, or you have a doctor and you like your doctor that you don't have to change plans, what I'm saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform."
- Barack Obama, White House press conference, June 23, 2009
Then: "If they cannot afford [health insurance]...what are you going to do about it? Are you going to fine them? Are you going to garnish people's wages?"
- Barack Obama, Democratic primary debate, January 31, 2008
Now: "For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase."
- Barack Obama, trying to explain tax penalties for refusing to purchase government-forced health insurance, interview with George Stephanopoulos, September 20, 2009
Then: "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
- Barack Obama, Rally in Dover, New Hampshire, September 12, 2008
Now: "The one commitment that I've been clear about is I don't want that final one-third of the cost of health care to be completely shouldered on the backs of middle-class families who are already struggling in a difficult economy. And so if I see a proposal that is primarily funded through taxing middle-class families, I'm going to be opposed to that because I think there are better ideas to do it."
- Barack Obama, White House press conference, July 22, 2009
Then: "The Obama [health care] plan will cost between $50-65 billion a year when fully phased in."
- Obama campaign handout, "Questions and Answers on Health Care Plan"
Now: "Add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years..."
- Barack Obama, address to a joint session of Congress, September 9, 2009
The workforce is decreasing at a shockingly high rate, and young people in particular are leaving Ohio for greener pastures outside the state.
Studies show that this isn't because they don't like Ohio. In fact, they are quite proud of their state.
So, what's the problem?
An article in the Plain Dealer this spring nailed it.
So, after months of inaction, what is Governor Strickland's big plan to fix the problem?
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency announced the Grants for Grads program, it helps graduates pay for a new house.My reaction can only be properly communicated through this fun, little animation:
New borrowers will be given 2.5 percent of the house's purchase price to help pay for a down payment and closing costs.
Officials believe it will help reduce the number of students leaving Ohio after they get their degrees. Gov. Ted Strickland said keeping educated and qualified graduates will also help to attract new jobs.
In order to qualify, you need to be an Ohio high school graduate and must apply for the program within 18 months of getting a college degree.
This is it, Ted? This is the big idea we've been waiting for to solve the brain drain?
It's hard to figure out where to begin highlighting what an extremely poor policy initiative this is...
But we'll try anyway.
1. It ignores the main problem, there are no jobs.
2. It assumes 22-24 year old kids even want to buy homes.
3. Does Ted Strickland even remember what kickstarted the recession? No, it wasn't Lehman Brothers, you not-so-subtle political opportunist, it was the irresponsible financing of mortgages to those that couldn't afford them. Sound familiar?
4. What kid in his right mind would even want to use the credit? For a huge $500k home and a 30 year mortgage, that's only $12,500. In return, this kid will live in a state with a higher income tax burden than surrounding states and will end up losing money, unless the kid makes jack or squat. And of course, that kinda income will result in his home gets foreclosed upon.
5. And freezing the tax rate only encourages the perception that Ohio will be a perpetually high-tax state.
6. Aren't there other priorities where the money can be better spent? How about just cutting the budget?
7. It discriminates against those that actually pay for a house on their own. Screw the 25 year old who saved responsibly. And the kid who just moved in from Michigan.
8. And don't ya need a job before you can even buy a house?
This is just so mind-boggling stupid. It's the definition of the tail wagging the dog. The cart before the horse. It's backasswards.
The reality is this - we know two very important things about Ohio right now:
- Businesses aren't offering jobs to Ohio college graduates.
- Without jobs, young people are leaving the state.
Attempt (and most definitely fail) to increase the supply of young people looking for jobs.
Now I only took a few econ classes in college, but I know the basics of supply and demand. If demand for college graduates is static, increasing the supply of graduates will not help the situation.
Now don't get me wrong. For the most obvious of reasons the higher education of Ohio's youth is vital to the state's growth.
But, Strickland is missing a vital piece of the puzzle.
The business environment.
Rather than focusing solely on education, the state needs to make increasing the private sector's demand for college graduates a priority.
How do you do that? Well, that's easy, as we've been repeating on 3BP, Ohio absolutely must improve its business tax climate.
From the non-partisan Tax Foundation:
Ohio ranks 47th in the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property.47th.
Improve this ranking and more businesses will come to Ohio. More businesses yields more jobs. More jobs provide opportunity for college graduates. More employed graduates brings more tax revenue. More tax revenue balances this mess of a budget.
And this will never happen under Ted Strickland.
Monday, October 19, 2009
In addition, the House Dems announced plans to cut legislator pay by 5%.
The pay cut would reduce the base salary of a lawmaker from $60,584 to about $57,555, saving the state $379,000 per year. Most legislators earn more than the base through committee and caucus leadership positions.The humanity.
This pay cut, if it stays at this level for the next ten years(yeah, right) will save Ohio a grand total of $3.79 million.
For the sake of Ohio's legislators, there has to be a way to save them from this drastic pay cut.
After all, Ted Strickland's biennial budget is increasing by 7.9% from FY09. In that $4,200,000,000 in new spending there is just bound to be a way to carve out nearly $4 million.
After all, it's for the legislators.
Let's see here, hmmm....
Well, the budget for Air Quality jumps from $12 million to $78 million. Ohio is done with e-check so there has to be a way to cut 4 mill. DO IT FOR THE SPEAKER!
Or what about Jobs and Family Services? Their budget increases 11%, or $2 billion. We could cut......oh wait, after the job Jello Ted has done on Ohio's economy maybe we should keep that where it is.
Ah, I found it!
[click to enlarge]
The budget for the Treasurer of State jumps from $39.3 million to $66.1 million in just one year.
Now, I know Kevin Boyce is new and a little wet under the ears, but is a 68% jump in funding for his office really that necessary?
How about we increase it by just half that, 34%, and give the rest to our well-deserving legislators.
Congrats, Mr. Speaker. I just scored each member of Ohio's General Assembly a $100,000 bonus for all this year's hard work.
They are next in line in a series of enemies targeted by the White House.
You'll remember this gem 3BP created after Rush Limbaugh became the enemy du jour of the White House back in the early parts of the Obama Presidency:
Well, now it's the turn of Fox News. And why...?
It's simple, and said much better by the great Rich Galen than it ever could by me:
The Democratic base is disenchanted with the Obama Presidency - even Saturday Night Live has decided Obama's stature has been sufficiently diminished that they can do a skit about how he hasn't accomplished any of the major goals he ran on.As Galen points out, this really is nothing new. Another President did it, but he got in trouble for it.
The war in Afghanistan is a huge problem with the Liberal base, and Obama's apparent inability (and/or unwillingness) to hold Congressional Democrats' feet to the political fire over a public option in the health care debate is further causing head-scratching among that group.
Add to that, he hasn't paid off on "card-check" which he promised unions, and has limited his support for gay rights to speeches and dinners, and you can see why his polling numbers have settled in at just above 50 percent mark.
So, the Administration has decided to start a fight to re-energize the base. It doesn't do any good to fight with someone who is not worthy, if you want to make this strategy work you have to have the fight with someone your base already knows - and already hates.
Fox News Channel fits that bill.
His name? Richard Nixon.
Jobs Created?: Today's report says that $16 billion in federal contracts awarded from the "stimulus" have resulted in 30,383 government-supported jobs. While the White House's Chief Economist, Jared Bernstein, said that the number of jobs "exceeds our projections," it represents 1 percent of the roughly 3 million jobs that have been lost since the "stimulus" was passed in February.
Cost per Job: With $16 billion in federal contracts awarded, each job created in the past seven months cost $526,610. These federal jobs are directly paid for with taxpayer dollars and, as such, do not reflect growth in the real private-sector economy. If the cost per government job remains the same, the $787 "stimulus" could possibly produce 208,000 jobs in eight months-compared to the 263,000 jobs lost in the month of September alone.
Unemployment: In January, the president promised that the trillion dollar stimulus bill would keep unemployment below 8 percent. According the today's report, $110 billion has been paid out for contracts, grants, loans, and entitlements since February. Over that same span of time, the unemployment rate has jumped from 8.1 percent to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent.
When you're 47th, it's hard to convince any business that Ohio is the place to invest.
And now, thanks to CNN Money, we have that confirmed. Over the weekend, CNN posted their list of the Top 50 Best Places to Launch a Small Business.
Guess how many cities in Ohio are named?
That's right. Zero.
A big, fat goose egg.
Thanks again, Governor Strickland.
The sad face hates you.
h/t: Johnny Drama
Barack Obama, while running for President, promised to put a stop to it.
So where are we in accomplishing this goal?
The new U.S. policy, which will be formally unveiled Monday, calls for a campaign of “pressure and incentives” to cajole the government in Khartoum into pursuing peace in the troubled Darfur region, settling disputes with the autonomous government in southern Sudan and providing the United States greater cooperation in stemming international terrorism, according to administration officials briefed on the plan."Pressure and incentives". "Cookies" and "gold stars". After nearly nine months in office, that's the grand plan to stop a full-on genocide.
In an interview last month with The Washington Post, [U.S. special envoy Scott] Gration said he wanted to give “cookies” and “gold stars” to Khartoum, infuriating human rights advocates and congressional officials. Under the new policy, Gration will not be authorized to negotiate directly with Bashir, and Sudan will not be removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in the immediate future, officials said.
Pardon me if I'm not blown away.
How long until we start seeing this poster from the left?
Friday, October 16, 2009
Rasmussen's poll of likely Republican voters' preferences for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination provided a bit of entertainment across the blogosphere today.
Here are the results:
Not much of a surprise, really.
Huckabee seems to have gained from the some of the public's increasing negative opinion of Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, Romney has remained relatively stagnant from Rasmussen's last poll.
Pawlenty gets a little bit more love than before, but likely not what he was hoping for considering his massive PR effort this past month.
But what strikes me is the unfortunate reliance on 'retreads' for the nomination. Other than Pawlenty, there are no new names on the list.
Well, I like to consider the 3BP reader more educated than the regular voting public. After all, if you're reading this blog 13 months before a midterm election, you must really like politics.
Below you'll see that I've created a poll that includes a larger variety of potential GOP candidates for the nomination than you see in the above Rasmussen poll. I imagine most of you will have a good idea about each of these individuals, but here is a little cheat sheet on each, in alphabetical order:
Haley Barbour: Governor of Mississippi currently in his second term. Recognized for budget successes as well as solid leadership in Katrina aftermath. Former RNC Chairman during the 1994 GOP revolution. Some concern regarding age and lobbying history.
Liz Cheney: Daughter of the former Vice President. Served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State For Near Eastern Affairs during Bush Administration. Founder of KeepAmericaSafe.com. Well spoken intellectual, but with little background in governing. May not be interested in 2012, but clearly is working to build her profile.
Mitch Daniels: Governor of Indiana currently serving in his second term. Recognized for keeping Indiana in high standing during recession and putting the state on good
economic footing. Former OMB director under Bush.
Newt Gingrich: Former Speaker of the House. "Idea Man" within the Republican Party. Personal life includes potential pitfalls.
Mike Huckabee: Former Governor of Arkansas and Presidential candidate. Current host of his own show on Fox. Some concern among conservatives regarding fiscal management during tenure as Governor.
Bobby Jindal: Governor of Louisiana currently serving first term. Known as a brilliant policy man, but received bad reviews of his response to Obama's first nationally televised speech. Faces difficult campaign calendar with gubernatorial re-election campaign running into the 2012 primary season.
Sarah Palin: Former Governor of Alaska and VP nominee. You already know all you need to know.
Tim Pawlenty: Governor of Minnesota currently serving in his second term. Has already signed a number of campaign veterans for his 2012 run and set up a PAC to promote his potential candidacy. Consistently balanced state budget without raising taxes, but some concern about possible moderate tendencies such as a flip-flop on cap & trade.
Mike Pence: Current Congressman from Indiana and favorite of budget hawks. Considered a dark horse, but has shown interest in running for the nomination.
Gen. David Petraeus: Current commander of CENTCOM. The great unknown. While he has shown little to no interest in running, his name has been thrown into the hat by many political commentators.
Mitt Romney: Former Governor of Massachusetts and presidential candidate. A favorite of many fiscal conservatives. Some concern regarding flip flops on social issues and creation of Romneycare, his health care reform effort from his time as Governor.
John Thune: Current Senator from South Dakota. Ousted Tom Daschle in 2004. A well-spoke conservative, but not well known and has shown little indication of creating any organization to advance his candidacy in 2012.
Alright, there you have it. Feel free to add other options in the comments. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.