Saturday, February 27, 2010

Strickland's "TrooperGate"

Strickland is in trouble. And not just in November.

Those who follow politics close enough to read this blog already likely have a general understanding of the situation where Strickland now finds himself.

In summary:
A former official with the State Highway Patrol says the governor’s office tried to stop an investigation into a company accused of hiring illegal immigrants.

Former Lt. Col. William Costas, who retired this month, tells The Columbus Dispatch that
Gov. Ted Strickland’s top legal advisers questioned the patrol’s authority and tried intimidation.
As Kevin at Ohio Politics Online puts it, this story means Strickland is one of two things: Incompetent or Corrupt.

But what may be scariest to Lis Smith and the rest of Strickland's campaign team is this:

Why is that bad? Because of where it appeared.

On the front page of the Columbus Dispatch.

And justly so. This kind of influence peddling and intimidation from the very top of the Governor's office makes fmr. Gov. Bob Taft's "Coingate" look like child's play.

Coverage has also reached TV news stations and other newspapers around the state.

The Governor's office issued two press releases yesterday. Neither of which made the front page.

TrooperGate did.

And it's distracting from whatever message the Strickland campaign is hoping to communicate, whether it be LEHMAN BROTHERS!!!! or I Hope Rahm Gives Us More Stimulus Money.

In campaigns, each and every day is a competition. You either win or lose.

Today, Strickland lost. The question now becomes, how many more days will TrooperGate force Strickland to surrender?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shannon Jones takes the first shot.

Ohio State Senator Shannon Jones has put out the first piece of official campaign literature hitting Governor Ted Strickland for his 3-C Slow Speed Choo Choo project.

And it's brilliant.
While I wish these kind of hits started back when 3BP was the among the first to knock the Governor on this issue, I have to give Jones credit for taking advantage of what surely will be a positive campaign issue for Republicans come the Fall.

As I've mentioned previously, it almost assuredly will benefit the GOP.

Keep up the good work, Senator.

The funniest thing you'll see today.

Wait for it.

The White House created a monster...

...and his name is Paul Ryan.

Now, I've been a fan of Ryan for awhile now, and on this blog it goes back to last July when he absolutely schooled Katrina vanden Heuvel on MSNBC. He also recently received more conservative kudos from George Will with his fantastic ideas on entitlement reform.

But yesterday's obnoxiously high profile Health Care Summit provided Ryan with the kind of opportunity that statesmen can usually only dream of and the amazingly positive reviews from political analysts that can launch a guy into a trajectory for higher office.

Intellectual. Telegenic. Midwestern. That's a dangerously attractive combination.

Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl is up in 2012. Maybe that's Ryan's opportunity.

In addition to Ryan, the shockingly glowing coverage of the Republican performance at yesterday's Summit simply cannot be ignored.

Many presumed it was a bad idea for the GOP to accept the President's invitation. Instead, it turned into an astounding victory for advocates of market-based solutions to health care reform.

The NRSC did a solid job of collecting quotes from the media:

CNN’s WOLF BLITZER: “It looks like the Republicans certainly showed up ready to play.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

  • BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. … But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
  • BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

  • GERGEN: “He doesn’t have a strong Democratic team behind him.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform. I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

Love it.

OH-15? Never heard of it.

Yesterday, Politico had an article asking former NRCC Chairmen Tom Reynolds and Tom Cole, former NRCC communications director Carl Forti, former DCCC Chairman Martin Frost and former DCCC executive director Brian Wolff, GOP Rep. and NRCC recruitment czar Kevin McCarthy, former DCCC Chairman Vic Fazio, and former DCCC executive director Karin Johanson to "offer their takes on the midterm landscape".

All were asked: Which congressional district are you going to be watching most closely, as a bellwether for the 2010 campaign?

While the answers were interesting, it's what wasn't said that particularly interested me.

While all Republicans, sans Forti, mentioned Stivers' race in OH-15 as their "bellwether", none of the Democrats even made a mention of it.

Now, remember these folks know their answers will be read by thousands. They want to highlight the races they can win, not ones they fear losing.

With nary a Democrat mentioning Mary Jo Kilroy or OH-15, it's safe to say the DCCC may already be running for the hills and focusing their finite resources on races they can actually win.

I can't say I blame 'em.

About that Quinnipiac Guv poll....

It seems the experts have the same kind of frustration as I did regarding the way Strickland's lead in the latest Quinnipiac was framed in the media.

Their focus happens to be on the importance of the incumbent's number. Seeing as Kasich's name ID among registered voters was as low as it was, this makes quite a bit of sense.

From Robert Moran of
While the Quinnipiac poll may show Strickland ahead of Kasich 44%-39%, that is in NO WAY the headline. The headline is actually that (a) Strickland is way below 50% and (b) incumbents under 50% in a two way race have a very poor track record in November. Why? Because voters already have had time to get to know the incumbent. The incumbent has had their term to close the sale with a majority of voters. If he/she can't close the deal now with voters, then it is very unlikely that they will when the contrast ads get started.

Further, the November, 2009 data showing the two "deadlocked" is in no way a deadlock. An incumbent at 40% is a clear signal to his political team that they need to start requesting cash up front and immediate payment terms. Years ago we used to refer to these clients as "wire jobs", because we knew they were going to lose and therefore were very keen for them to wire payment before their loss and the inevitable vendor scramble for payment.
In other words, and as I said earlier this week, the Quinnipiac Poll is good news for John Kasich.
Barring some massive exogenous event, the next Governor of Ohio will be John Kasich. Strickland is a Governor in a swing, center-right state polling WAY under 50% with an economy that will not come back before November.
Sounds familiar, eh?

Returning to the general problem for a moment, this misreporting is a constant source of frustration for those in political polling. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that didn't at least roll their eyes this morning upon reading it. Unfortunately, this is a symptom of a constant problem in reporting polling data relative to an incumbent. In a two way race, political professionals don't even bother to look at the spread between the incumbent and the challenger, they only focus on the incumbent's support relative to 50%. Incumbents tend to get trace elements of the undecideds at the end of a campaign. Sure, there is the occasional exception, but this rule is fairly ironclad in my experience.
Nate Silver of, a well-respected and left-leaning political statistics blog, did extensive research into the "under 50%" rule.

He looked at 63 elections for Senate and Governor since 2006 in which there were polls conducted between January and June and where the two major party candidates ultimately won at least 90% of the combined vote.

He discovered that when the incumbent's percentage fell under 45%, the probability of winning re-election was highly unlikely with only 5 of 15 incumbents ultimately winning.

So, what is Strickland's current average percentage? 40.5%. That's well below the 45% threshold of Silver's analysis highlighting incumbents winning only 1/3 of their races.

I say it again.

The Quinnipiac Poll was good news for John Kasich.

Ohio's Statue - Who do you want?

If you've ever been to the U.S. Capitol, you've likely been mesmerized by the slew of statues that adorn the building.

Well, with Gov. William Allen vacating the premises, it's Ohio's turn to choose a new statue.

A commission has selected the following nominees to choose from. Seeing as I can't get enough of polls, here is your chance to pick who you believe is best.

For all the non-native Ohioans that visit this site, you're even allowed to vote, too.

I'm still bummed Dean Martin didn't make the list. I blame Cannonball Run II.

The Forbes Misery Index and What It Means Politically

Some hay was made recently when Forbes named FIVE Ohio cities in its top 20 most miserable cities in the nation.

They determined their misery index using the following formula:
Our Misery Measure takes into account unemployment, as well as eight other issues that cause people anguish. The metrics include taxes (both sales and income), commute times, violent crime and how its pro sports teams have fared over the past two years. We also factored in two indexes put together by Portland, Ore., researcher Bert Sperling that gauge weather and Superfund pollution sites. Lastly we considered corruption based on convictions of public officials in each area as tracked by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Here are the chosen cities, from most horribly miserable to less horribly miserable.
[click to enlarge pictures]

Now we could debate over the variables included in the study all day, but for the sake of argument let's assume Forbes is right and 1/4 of the most miserable cities in the nation are, in fact, in the northern half of Ohio.

In that case, we would then have to consider the effect of misery on a voting population.

A study reported by Taegan Goddard's well-read (and left leaning) Political Wire says the following: and large, trust in government is driven by the economy. "People trust government when times are good. They don't trust it when times are bad."

A comparison of the trust level of American voters with the change in per capita disposable income is particularly striking. "The economy explains about 75% of the variance in trust... Of course the economy is not the only important factor. But it gets far less attention than it deserves when the hand-wringing begins."
So, if "times are bad" in these five Ohio cities, as the Forbes analysis suggests, then the electorate will act accordingly and distrust the Party in power.

Now, what do all five of these cities have in common? They all vote Democrat.

So, what happens if these large cities that normally serve as a source of high numbers of Democratic votes decide to either vote against Strickland or not vote at all?

Exactly. It benefits Kasich, Portman, and the rest of the GOP ticket.

I think it's safe to say that the Democrats hope things turn around in Northern Ohio pretty damn soon.

Jon Stewart knows how to appease the pride I have in my alma mater.

While I often have my issues with Jon Stewart, I must admit he's a decent guy. I had a chance to grab a couple drinks in the hotel bar where we both stayed during the 2000 GOP convention in Philly and he couldn't have been more genuine and laid back. It was nice to see him taking the time to placate a few fellow Kenyon grads who must have been in the audience a couple nights ago on The Daily Show.

Intro - Kenyon College
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorVancouverage 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Obama Democrats are Losing the Youth Vote

And Republicans are smiling.
A study by the Pew Research Center, being released Wednesday, highlights the eroding support from 18- to 29-year- olds whose strong turnout in November 2008 was read by some demographers as the start of a new Democratic movement.


While young adults remain decidedly more liberal, the survey found the Democratic advantage among 18- to 29-year-olds has substantially narrowed, from a record 62 percent identifying as Democrat vs. 30 percent for the Republicans in 2008, down to 54 percent vs. 40 percent last December. It was the largest percentage point jump in those who identified or leaned Republican among all the voting age groups. [DJ Note: That's an 18 point swing in favor of the GOP]

Young adults' voting enthusiasm also crumbled.

During the presidential election, turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds was the highest in years, comprising roughly 20 percent of the voters in many states including Virginia and New Jersey, due in part to high participation from young blacks and Hispanics.

That percentage, however, dropped by half for the governors' races in those states last November, where Republicans celebrated wins as black groups pushed Obama to do more to soften the economic blow from mortgage foreclosures and Latinos saw little progress on immigration reform. Young adults also were the least likely of any age group to identify themselves as regular voters.
Anyone think Lee Fisher or Ted Strickland will reinvigorate the mighty youth vote in Ohio?

I didn't think so.

A perfect example of the difference between Likely vs. Registered voters

Yesterday I discussed the difference between polls that test registered vs. those that test likely voters. Well, the best way to highlight my point of how testing registered vs. likely voters affects a poll, is to do so using a single poll that asks both sets of respondents the same questions during the same period of time.

Well, the Franklin & Marshall Pennsylvania Senatorial Survey did just that.

They tested the preference of both registered and likely voters in the Senate race pitting Democrat Arlen Specter vs. Republican Pat Toomey.

Among registered voters, Specter won 33-30.

Among likely voters, Toomey won 44-34.

Quite a shift, eh?

Keep that in mind when reading a poll - testing registered vs. likely voters does make a difference, and fortunately for Republicans, testing of likely voters is much more often than not more accurate, but also highlights more Republican tendencies.

House GOP may pick up 60 seats?

If so, say goodbye to Kilroy, Driehaus, Sutton, Space, Wilson, and Boccieri.

Check out this analysis.
The generic House ballot is tilting to Republicans in ways not seen… ever. Or as Michael Barone put it, the Republican margin currently seen is “historically unprecedented”. To those unfamiliar with the generic ballot, it is the question asked on national surveys that goes something like this “If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district?” I have often (in my own head) questioned the usefulness of the generic ballot because House elections are held in districts not nationally, and surveys are only getting at most a few respondents from each district for each survey. But the fact of the matter is that vast majority of research indicates (see Charles Franklin, Matthew Shugart, and the Pew Research Center among others) that if you properly use the results from the question, you can get a pretty good idea of what is going to happen…

How will the generic ballot results from 2010 at this point translate into vote in the general election? Based off the Bafumi et al. regression (see page 6), we would expect Republicans to win the national vote by anywhere from 7.3% (all polls but Rasmussen and Republican pollsters) to 9.3% (all polls), which extends well beyond the root-mean-sqaured error. Thus, I have a hard time believing based off the polling that the Democrats will win the national party House vote…

With current polling in conjunction with Bafumi et al.’s paper predicting a Republican national vote between 53.6% and 54.7%, the Republicans could easily gain 50-60 seats from their current 178. Gains of greater than 60 seats also look quite possible. Even in the best case scenario for the Democrats, it would seem that holding the House would be very, very difficult.

Obviously, anything can happen between now and then, but you can't be anything less than happy with this trend, and the data backing it up.


We found Yvette!!!.....sorta.

Recent evidence has been unearthed that suggests Ted Strickland's LG candidate does, in fact, still exist.

This is a recent fundraising letter sent by the Strickland campaign. Note how the name of the person claiming to be the writer of the letter is that of the woman who stood at Strickland's side when he announced his LG 37 days ago.

This person claiming to be Yvette states that she has been traveling across the state. And yet, as far as I can tell, that's produced zero news coverage and no mention of said travels on Ted Strickland's website.

If you have seen her at any campaign event, please notify this blog immediately.

We're getting worried.

Dems abuse process to get the results they want on the Stimulus

Some Democrats, but not nearly as many as I expected, are using a recent report from the CBO on the stimulus to tout its positive results.

The information at this link might explain why they've refrained from pushing it too hard.

Kasich & The 3-C Slow Speed Choo Choo

Democrats pounced on a quote from Kasich recently where he stated he wished the Governor would find a way to use the $400M in stimulus train cash for projects that would enhance the state's infrastructure, like road construction and bridges.

First off, they stated Kasich's suggestion wasn't even possible - that the money was designated solely for slow-speed rail only. And they're partially right, as of right now it is only supposed to be used for rail. But it's either intellectually dishonesty or plain ignorance of how negotiation and dealmaking works at the federal level to think that with cooperation from both the Governor and the President, that the same dollars could not be reassigned to a project that would actually help Ohio's economy, and not require an annual state subsidy in the tens of millions.

Instead, Ted wants a choo-choo. Why? Because he thinks a choo-choo is sexy to Ohio voters.

They also claimed he was flip-flopping. Incorrect. Kasich has always said the train was a bad idea. As far as I can tell, he never was approached about what to do with the $400M if it was going to be obligated to Ohio no matter what.

And he deftly recognizes that with the stimulus funds we do receive, they shouldn’t be spent to expand government, but instead for one-time needs so as to avoid creating a dependency we can’t meet once the one-time funds disappear.

Do I wish we didn't have the stimulus at all? Of course. But we do, and if we're going to spend this money, let's do it responsibly. Fiscal hawks like Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour accepted stimulus dollars, too. There is nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong is using the money to set-up the state for an endless fiscal hole that will require state subsidies in who knows how many millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars.

Just like Ted's done.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breaking It Down - The 2/24 Quinnipiac Ohio Senate Poll

Before we get into the results of the new Quinnipiac poll on the Ohio Senate race, I wanted to provide a bit more understanding for those not that familiar with polling methodology and specifically, the difference between Registered and Likely voters, as different pollsters test one or the other, or both. In this case, Quinnipiac has tested Registered Voters.

Typically, Registered voters are the group who in response to a standard poll question say they are "registered to vote in their precinct or election district." Meanwhile, Likely voters are those who respond positively to a battery of questions about past voting, current interest in the election, and self-reported interest in voting.

In regards to their accuracy, David Moore of states:
I would argue that in general we get a more realistic view of the general sentiment of voters, if the sample has been screened fairly tightly to produce a relatively small segment of likely voters rather than a much larger group of people - the general public or even "registered voters." In mid-term elections, turnout is only about half or so of turnout in presidential elections. Thus, screening out the non-voters is much more sensitive for understanding mid-term elections than presidential elections.


I would suggest that when polls diverge, one based on likely voters is probably a better reflection of the actual electorate than a poll based on the general population or even registered voters.
With all that said, one thing is clear...

Rob Portman is ahead in Ohio.


The Topline
The registered voter model that Quinnipiac uses (they evolve into a likely voter model as election day approaches) shows Portman within the margin of error with a three point lead over Lee Fisher.

While both Fisher and Portman maintain relatively equal support among their own Party, Portman's 12 point lead among Indpendents is what carries him to the lead. It also makes me question how heavily weighted Democrats were in the survey.

The Primary
Meanwhile, and I imagine much to the chagrin of Progressives in Ohio, Jennifer Brunner is down 29-20 to Lee Fisher. And considering you can't pay for TV time with food stamps, it's looking like Brunner should start preparing to accept defeat.

Amazingly, she ties Fisher among women. And when asked who is more liberal, Fisher wins 28-26. Considering how much effort Brunner has made to be to the left of Fisher, that has to hurt.

So much for that 'innovative grassroots campaign', eh?

Name ID
No one has any. Somehow Rob Portman's name ID is only 5% lower than Fisher and Brunner. That despite Portman never running statewide as both Democrats have done.

And this is good news for Portman. As evidenced in yesterday's poll, Ohioans are unhappy with Ohio's economy and job crisis. Fisher is primed to be defined as one of the men most responsible for that predicament. Meanwhile, Fisher has to rely on the "HE WORKED FOR BUSH!" model -- a strategy that's been debunked several times before here on 3BP.

The Tea Party
This is the number that particularly struck me. In a question asking about favorability of the Tea Party and the two mainstream Parties, favorability for the Tea Party among Ohioans stands at +9. The GOP is at -9 and the Dems are at -12. Now obviously the Tea Party isn't nominating anybody to run for office and doesn't have a record to be criticized.

But as I've discussed previously, Democrats who mock and minimize the Tea Party do so at their own peril. And these numbers confirm it.

With all that being said, and in affirmation of David Moore's analysis above, it's best to take the results of yesterday and today's Quinnipiac poll's with a grain of salt. Think of it this way, polls that are currently using the Registered Voter model are testing where the race is at among those that don't really pay attention and are much less likely to vote in November. The Likely Voter model that Rasmussen uses provides more insight into where the race stands among those who have paid reasonable attention and are much more likely to get to the polls in November.

Who is more accurate? Well, first remember Quinnipiac moves into the Likely Voter model as election day approaches. Both poll differently, Rasmussen by voice recording and Quinny by live interviewer. Most recently, the automated polling style was proven to be more accurate. But ultimately, both styles have proven their worth.

As far as this poll goes, Portman has to be happy with where he stands, particularly among Independents. Additionally, he understands Fisher's lack of name ID leaves the Democrat vulnerable to being attached, and justly so, to the jobs crisis currently facing Ohio.

The big loser? Jennifer Brunner. Again.

Ted Strickland's big news misses the big picture.

Yesterday, Ted Strickland couldn't have been happier at being a part of GM's decision to bring in a 3rd shift, and with it, 1200 jobs, to its factory in Lordstown.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy Lordstown is gaining the jobs.

But Ted Strickland is missing the big picture.

According to the last employment report
, 21,891 fewer Ohioans were employed in December than were employed in November.

In the past year, there are 195,592 more unemployed Ohioans, not counting the underemployed and those that have simply given up.

Since Strickland became Governor, even the labor force has shrunk by 65,960.

And Ted thinks he can save his job by crowing about 1,200 jobs?

Ohio's problems are far bigger than what Ted seems to be willing to admit. And Ohioans know it because they live it every day.

With nearly 22k fewer employed Ohioans just in the last month, Ohio clearly is not moving in the right direction, and begging Washington for more stimulus dollars isn't going to solve that.

Ooo golly! Look at that temper!

Kevin over at Ohio Politics Online says it best:

"Ted Strickland encounters journalism – isn’t pleased"

Who knows how deep this goes? But with the Inspector General now getting involved, we know we'll at least be hearing a bit more about a story that is clearly a serious distraction to the Governor.

This sorta brings the phrase, 'keep your house in order', to a new level.

Meanwhile, Kasich showed his adeptness at responding to the famous Ohio media gaggle; and smartly highlights why he chose Mary Taylor as his LG:

Paula Brooks keeps some interesting company.

The recent story about State Senator Capri Cafaro's legal issues has actually created an intriguing situation for 12th Congressional District candidate Paula Brooks.

First, the situation with Cafaro:
John ''JJ'' Cafaro, former vice president of the mall and property development firm, the Cafaro Co., faces a federal charge in connection to the 2004 U.S. congressional bid of his daughter and now state Sen. Capri Cafaro.

And according to his attorney, Cafaro, who's found himself in hot water with federal authorities before, will plead guilty to the charge that was filed on Monday.

Prosecutors say Cafaro caused an official with his daughter's congressional campaign to file a misleading Federal Elections Commission report incorrectly listing a contribution of only $2,000, when, in fact, Cafaro had contributed an additional $10,000 loan to the unnamed staffer for the campaign.


[Cafaro] said that the unnamed staffer was B.J. Schuerger, who managed her campaign and whom she met at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Schuerger did not work on any other of her campaigns, she said.
B.J. Schuerger, eh? Why does that name sound familiar?

Ah, I remember.

Then there's this guy.

That name sounds familiar, too.

Ohhhhh yeahhhhh. This is why:

Strickland's appointee/pimp?!?!

So what do Robert Eric McFadden, the disgraced former Strickland administration official caught promoting a 17-year-old prostitute online and B.J. Schuerger, the political operative named in a federal election money laundering scheme, have in common?

They were both high-level operatives for Paula Brooks from Upper Arlington; in addition B.J. Schuerger was even the Senior Law Clerk at Brooks Law Firm--Brooks & Logan in Upper Arlington, Ohio.

Considering her track record, it makes you wonder what else may be out there.

Get it straight - Strickland massively increased state government

From The Daily Briefing:
Strickland has said the $5 billion in stimulus money the state used in the budget helped prevent deep cuts in funding for education, Medicaid and other services.
That's an interesting way to phrase how the stimulus dollars were used, especially when you consider over the next two years overall state spending is expanding by nearly 8%.

If the dollars simply prevented deep cuts, then why did Strickland have to expand state government at such a high rate?

My Man Mitch.

On Monday, a microstorm of news broke about IN Governor Mitch Daniels admitting an openness to running for President in 2012. Seeing as he had previously sworn off any interest, despite the buzz he creates in conservative circles, this was a seemingly big deal.

A loyal reader wrote to me this afternoon to ask me my thoughts on Daniels' strategic decision to express interest now. This was my response.
Believe it or not, Daniels is already way behind when it comes to '12 prep.

Folks like Pawlenty and Romney have already secured a good chunk of the finite number of top tier talent necessary to coordinate a Presidential election, and they are doing so far more transparently than Daniels.

Stating his intentions so publicly at least provides him a stage to increase his profile in the national media and enable him to establish positions that he has otherwise avoided(like foreign policy - I love Mitch, but I need to hear what he has to say on national security).

The timing was right for Daniels to make the move.
For those interested in learning more about Mitch's amazing success and resume, I highly recommend reading this article that appeared in the National Review last June. If you aren't already a fan, you will be.

If you've been paying attention to 3BP, I've been mentioning him as a possible contender since back in October. In two polls of 3BP's readership, he finished 2nd among all contenders back in October and 1st among the Pawlenty, Giuliani, Thune, Barbour, Daniels group in November.

I'm not necessarily endorsing him, but I'm very happy to see such a seemingly solid candidate considering running for the highest office in the land.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Breaking It Down - The 2/23 Quinnipiac Ohio Gubernatorial Poll

Let's get the least well liked number out of the way first. In the latest Quinnipiac Poll of registered Ohio voters, Gov. Ted Strickland leads John Kasich 44-39.

And at the end of the day, what the topline reads is what matters.

But this isn't the end of the day.

In fact, we're 252 days from the end of the day.

So what is most informative is how the electorate is positioned for 11.2.10. And that is virtually all good news for John Kasich.

So let's get to it...

Name ID
This is John Kasich's biggest challenge. According to Quinnipiac, 62% of Ohioans don't know enough about John Kasich to have an opinion. While this has improved from the 69% in the last Q poll in November, it still highlights the most important distinction between Quinnipiac and Rasmussen - who they are polling.

Rasmussen's polling focuses only on Likely Voters. Quinnipiac focuses on Registered Voters.

So while 62% of Q's voters don't have an opinion of Kasich, that number goes all the way down to 22% in Rasmussen - thus, the 11 point swing between polls.

But among the voters who do have an opinion, what has happened to Kasich's approval rating since the last Q poll in November? With the left wing assault on Kasich, you'd expect his disapproval numbers to have exponentially risen.

They haven't. Kasich's approval to disapproval ratio still stands at 2.5 to 1. Among Independents, his approval numbers have increased more than his disapproval numbers.

The Issues
This is the big one. With all re-election campaigns being first and foremost a referendum on the incumbent, these questions help shape how Ohioans will vote come November.

Quinnipiac asked:
In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Ohio today?
Do you think that Ted Strickland has kept his campaign promises so far or not?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling the economy?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling the state budget?

On every single question, dissatisfaction and disapproval of Governor Strickland worsened from the last Quinnipiac poll last November.

And on the number one issue on everyone's mind, who would do a better job rebuilding Ohio's economy - Ted Strickland or John Kasich - Kasich is up 6.

Who would do a better job managing Ohio's budget? Kasich is also up 6. In conjunction with Rasmussen, this is the second poll in a row that confirms the Democrat attack vs. Kasich on taxes/budget issues doesn't resonate.

With 52% of Ohioans disapproving of the President, 57% disapproving of his job on the economy, and 58% disapproving of his job on health care, one thing is clear - Obama isn't going to be helping Ted anytime soon.

One frustration I have with Quinnipiac is that there is no way to measure voter enthusiasm. For example, a candidate's "strong approval" is far different from "approval" in general. Rasmussen and the Ohio news poll highlighted an enthusiasm gap with Strickland that we don't have see measured in Quinnipiac. Voter enthusiasm = GOTV, and all signs from other polls indicate it being a major challenge for Strickland in November.

But with all these numbers siding towards Kasich, why do registered voters still prefer Ted Strickland? Simple. If voters don't know the incumbent's opponent, they feel less comfortable voicing their support. Need evidence? Look at the Rasmussen numbers that consistently show Kasich ahead in a sample that includes voters that actually know who he is.

It's also clear that the massive Democrat efforts to define Kasich first have so far failed. Additionally, Strickland and the ODP have failed at improving Strickland's reputation as a manager of Ohio's economy and its budget.

Expectedly, Kasich still has a long way to go. In order to take advantage of Ohio's nasty feelings towards its Governor, Kasich needs to improve his name ID and define himself as the viable alternative. The question then becomes, when should Kasich start spending the gobs of money necessary to communicate that message? I'm not so sure 252 days out from election day is the smartest way to spend those dollars.

Ultimately, there is little evidence that the one thing that can help Strickland's chances, a substantively improved economy, will happen over the next few months. But what can change is voter understanding of John Kasich, his record, and what he can do for Ohio.

And how that pans out will determine who wins on 11.2.10.

Meet John.

Great new vid from the Kasich guys...

Haley Barbour is a force.

One year ago when discussing the importance of winning the New Jersey/Virginia gubernatorial races I said the following:
[Winning] will inspire the RNC and State Parties nationwide to push harder and faster for quality congressional candidates and the money necessary to win those states.
Well, an example of this prognostication came in an article from yesterday's Politico:
The Republican Governors Association announced it raked in a record-shattering $13.5 million in pledges in conjunction with its annual gala in Washington Monday.

“Republicans saw the difference the RGA made in Virginia and New Jersey last year and are ready to replicate those efforts nationwide this year,” said RGA Gala chairman and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) in a statement.
At the end of 2009, the RGA already had $25 million in the bank - a full 30% more than their Democrat rivals at the DGA.

And now we learn about another record-breaking haul.

One thing is clear - RGA Chairman and MS Gov. Haley Barbour is a beast.

By dominating the money race he is putting GOP candidates in a fantastic position to dominate gubernatorial races in the Fall. If that happens, the political capital Barbour will wield will be hard to contain.

In other words, he's running away with the MVP award.

That's not a bad position to be in for someone who is considering running for President.

Strickland prepares to go Back to the Future

In a discussion with NBC's Chuck Todd, Gov. Ted Strickland was asked about the health care debate and his experience losing his seat in Congress in 1994.

The money quote:
"...the American people do not reward failure."
With that in mind, consider this:
  • Ohio has lost 184,900 jobs over the last 12 months.
  • Ohio has lost 339,900 jobs since Ted Strickland became Governor.
  • Ohio has lost 399,200 jobs since the last national recession ended in November of 2001. Twenty-three states lost jobs during this period, and only Michigan fared worse than Ohio.

The House will flip.

At least if things keep up as they have been.

Just ask Charlie Cook.

The money quote:
I've spent the last couple of days talking to some of the brightest Democrats in the party that are not in the White House. And it's very hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don't lose the House. It's very hard. Are the seats there right this second? No. But we're on a trajectory on the House turning over...

One other note on those Presidential Approval numbers...

Remember, when the President went to New Jersey and Massachusetts to rally the troops for victory over Chris Christie and Scott Brown, he had 38% and 37% "strong approval" support. Those voicing "strong approval" were the exact folks Obama needed to inspire to get to the polls.

And yet, he didn't sway the numbers one smidgen.

Yeah, I said 'smidgen'.

What are his national "strong approval" numbers now?


In other words, support among the faithful has dropped by 42%, and that makes it extremely difficult for the President be considered anything but a liability for Democrats hoping for a victory in November.

If you fail - fail, fail once again.

It's been 244 days since the primetime ABC Obamacare Infomercial aired.

Yesterday, the President finally unveiled his own plan.

Quietly. Posting it on the White House site. Without an event. Without any fanfare. Without an infomercial.


Most amusingly, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, with a Director appointed by Speaker Pelosi, said the President's plan lacked enough details to even be scored appropriately.

But ultimately, the question is whether this latest incarnation has any chance of passing.

Well, Megan McArdle has a solid post detailing the possibilities. Check it out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Massive Recruitment Fail by Ohio Dems

Jim Geraghty had an interesting observation this morning:
According to, no Democrat filed against half of the Republicans currently representing Ohio in the House: Mike Turner in the Third District, Jim Jordan in the Fourth District, Bob Latta in the Fifth District, and Steve Austria in the Seventh District.

Nine of the ten House Democrats from Ohio will face a Republican opponent, except for Marcia Fudge in the Eleventh District.

UPDATE: In 2008, Obama carried Fudge's district with 85 percent of the vote; it's rated an astounding D+32 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

By contrast, the four uncontested GOP-held districts are ones where the incumbent will have an advantage, but not an overwhelming one: McCain carried Turner's district with only 52 percent of the vote and it's rated only R+5 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. McCain's vote in the other three: 60 percent in Jordan's, 53 percent in Latta's, 54 percent in Austria's. They're rated R+15, R+9, and R+7, respectively.

This means far more than just making it easy on these four Republicans.

Jim Jordan has $743,000 cash-on-hand.
Michael Turner has $274,000 cash-on-hand.
Steve Austria has $260,000 cash-on-hand.
Bob Latta has $176,000 cash-on-hand.

That's nearly $1.5 million that won't need to be spent defending their own district.

Or if you look at it another way, it's a good chunk of change that can enhance their own profile within the caucus by contributing large amounts to campaign committees and candidates to help other GOPers win.

So, with that said, I think we all owe ODP Chairman Chris Redfern and the DCCC a great, big thank you for doing their part to make our victory that much easier come November.

Yeah, that's about right.

Swing and a miss.

From this morning's PD:

For years, no one has cared about that deal. But now that Kasich is running for Ohio governor, his 1996 purchase of land northeast of Columbus has left Ohio bloggers speculating that Kasich got a steal.

He paid a fraction of the price of neighboring parcels for a home site on 10 acres that backed up to a heron rookery, and was adjacent to a golf course. The county initially thought the land was worth $172,500. Kasich insisted it was only worth what he paid: $105,000.

Yet public records examined by The Plain Dealer suggest the story of Kasich's land deal is nuanced and complex. It appears Kasich got a good price, but anything else may be conjecture.

So Strickland's dirt digging "consultant" Sandy Theis throws some dirt on the wall - Lefty bloggers pick it up - And ta daaaa. Story!

Read the rest. Good stuff.

Now here's hoping the Plain Dealer will play fair and start looking deeper into the messes made by Jello Ted and his political cronies.

Mandel Wows CPAC

Some of you likely watched or read about the proceedings at CPAC this past week.

What you may have missed was a fantastic opportunity by Ohio Treasurer candidate Josh Mandel to speak to the thousands of GOP activists from the podium. And he knocked it out of the park.

Take a look for yourself.

A couple of other brief notes about my time at CPAC...

First off, it was great to chat with some old friends, make some new ones, and see face to face the many folks I've only gotten to know by e-mail/gchat over the past year. All are good people and are in this business for the right reasons. Keep up the great work.

Also, don't pay one lick of attention to the results of the straw poll. The only people giving it any attention are Paulnuts and the media. Only a very small fraction of attendees made the effort to vote, and it IS a straw poll, so we all can figure how much that poll is worth.

Finally, this guy is an idiot.

The Boys in Blue are miffed at The Guy Hiding Under His Desk.

From yesterday's Columbus Dispatch:
Former State Highway Patrol superintendents say the agency's reputation for independent, nonpolitical law enforcement is being tarnished by interference from political appointees.


Secrecy surrounding the selection of a new superintendent, failure to investigate a case of "obvious fraud" by a state contractor and the scuttling of a planned sting at the Governor's Residence prompted the ex-colonels to go public with their concerns.


"I can assure you there has been no political interference in these matters from this office," Strickland said.

The former No. 1 and No. 2 patrol leaders trace problems to Strickland's 2007 appointment of Guzman and the team he assembled.

"All of a sudden, we needed to be fixed. It was a daily thing. It is a daily thing," said William Costas, who retired last month as a lieutenant colonel.
Shocked? I didn't think so.

The "lack of institutional control" that I discussed last week seems to be more and more evident. Now, with these former high-ranking officials speaking up, it's safe to say Strickland's leadership gap has continued to widen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tiberi keeps moving the 12th off the Dem radar

In addition to adding two new Democrats to his list of competitive congressional districts, this week Charlie Cook also moved Pat Tiberi's race from "Lean R" to "Likely R".
" outraising his challenger $1.1 million to $392,000 last year, Tiberi proved that he is one of the hardest-working incumbents in the country and won't be caught asleep at the wheel. Brooks's predicament is further complicated by the fact that she doesn't live in the district, has a record in elected office to defend, and is running in a very Republican year when popular former Rep. John Kasich will be on the gubernatorial ballot and turnout in Columbus's heavily African-American precincts is likely to drop significantly."
We could have told him that months ago. Oh wait, we sorta did. Last August. But better.
Now remember, Brooks' only name recognition in the 12th district is within Franklin County. Since 2000, Tiberi has consistently far outpaced opponents in Licking and Delaware Counties. That means Brooks not only is going to need to outpace how Democrats did in Franklin County in 2008, when Dem turnout was through the roof for Obama, but she is going to need to raise vast amounts of money to create any semblance of a challenge in Licking and Delaware County.
Now, we can finally say that while Brooks doesn't live in the district, she has finally decided to define her campaign HQ as IN the 12th district. Sorta.

The campaign address she listed in her latest FEC report was 222 East 11th Avenue in Columbus....literally one half block from the 15th district in which she actually resides.

In fact, here is a picture of her campaign hq via google maps.

Can you say 'sketchy'? It sorta has a Sopranos meets an abandoned church kinda feel.

But, at the end of the day, props have to go out to Tiberi who has clearly worked his butt off to make sure this district that went for Obama just over a year and a half ago is so far off the radar that the DCCC won't even want to waste their time with it.

No wonder Paula Brooks never picked out a realtor.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winning the Stimulus debate - Dems have a massive hill to climb

Upon the anniversary of the Stimulus this week, Democrats have gone on the offensive in an effort to improve the horrible reputation of the Stimulus among the voting public.

How bad?

Well, a CBS/NYT(!!!) poll from last week showed only SIX PERCENT of Americans believing the Stimulus had created jobs. For reference, that's one percent less than the number of Americans who still believed Elvis was alive a few years ago.

But that isn't stopping Speaker Pelosi from latching her wagon to the issue.

From an article in The Hill earlier this week:

Obviously, this has me smiling.

As I've been saying since very early spring last year, the Stimulus has the potential to be a huge winning issue come November. Why? Because of the reality of the situation. When voters, or their families or neighbors don't have jobs, they have a real life scenario showing them that the Stimulus didn't do what was promised.

That makes emphasizing its failures a very easy lift for Republicans. It's easy to communicate to the American public.

The Democrats promised you jobs. Where are they?

That's easy to communicate in a 30-second spot in the Fall.

But, it's even more effective in this longer youtube video produced by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

Thanks, Nancy.

Dum Dum Dummmmmm!

'Nuff said.

Where in Ohio is Yvette McGee Brown? - THE MUSIC VIDEO!!!

A friend sent this to me saying he was inspired by this post of mine from earlier this week.

And I can't stop laughing.

(be patient on this one)

And it should be noted, that despite my honest inquiry about McGee Brown's whereabouts, not one of the many Democrats that read this site provided any information.


Things get worse for Ohio's congressional Democrats...

Just 11 days ago, political prognosticator Charlie Cook had four Ohio Democrats on his list of vulnerable congressional seats.

And now, thanks to Bill Johnson and Tom Ganley, that number has increased by 50%.

As of the February 18th rankings, Reps. Charlie Wilson and Betty Sutton have a new target on their heads.

As we've discussed before, Wilson is facing a tough challenge in a district that has voted for George Bush and John McCain in the past two Presidential elections. Bill Johnson's record of service to his country and as an entrepreneur makes him the perfect candidate to provide a solid challenge.

Meanwhile, in the 13th district, Ganley brings a massive cash advantage against Sutton in a race where internal GOP polls have already shown Ganley with an edge.

With the latest generic congressional ballot from Rasmussen showing Republicans increasing their lead to 9 points, it's no wonder Ohio Republicans have been able to recruit such solid candidates. The political environment couldn't be much better.

And that shows in Larry Sabato's most recent "Crystal Ball" prediction. While the longtime political analyst only sees the GOP gaining 27 seats in the House, two of them are courtesy two Democrats from Ohio.

Mary Jo Kilroy and Steve Driehaus.

The question now becomes, when will the DCCC give up on these two races and focus their resources on defending the other four vulnerable Ohio Democrats?

Romney turns the 'Party of No' on its head.

Yesterday's reception of Mitt Romney at CPAC was pretty impressive.

Clearly, he's worked hard to develop a solid following among the activist base.

But, I'm still not a fan.

He's a retread. He fails to connect with primary voters(far different than Party activists). He has a record of flip flopping on vital issues. And then there is that whole Romneycare business.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't support him if he were the nominee, but it would be with about the same enthusiasm I had for John McCain.


With all that said, Romney's speech included a theme that I hope Republicans take up across the nation in response to Democrats labeling the GOP as the Party of No.
And he turned the "Party of No" argument back on Dems, asking why they say "no" to things like a balanced budget, entitlement reform, tax cuts and prosecuting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal.

"We conservatives don't have a corner on saying 'No,'" Romney said. "We're just the ones who say it when that's the right thing to do."
On its face, it's a very simple retort, but not one we've really heard yet from Republicans. But it's effective because it refocuses the Dem talking point back on them - the Party in power.

My compliments to his well-paid staff who came up with it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ganley's Big Move - What it means in Ohio & the Nation

Where did you hear it first?

Yours truly.

But what does it mean for the big races in Ohio, and the nation?

Believe it or not, Ganley's move has caused a bit of a ripple effect across the political landscape.

The best way to look at this is to determine the winners and losers of the decision...


Rob Portman - Obviously, being able to avoid a potentially costly primary is a huge win for Portman. While he almost assuredly would have won against Ganley, it's quite possible he would have needed to spend much of his $6 million to ensure his victory.

John Boehner - The House Minority Leader not only clears the primary field, but gets another potential vote for Speaker if Ganley wins.

The Tea Party - Ganley had garnered a bit of support among the Tea Partiers across the state. They now have a chance to have their own candidate get full Party backing in what is sure to be a high profile race. The question is whether Ganley tries to distance himself at all from the Tea Party movement considering the political demographics of the 13th District.


Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner - Portman gets to keep all his cash and wait to spend it against Fisher or Brunner(yeah, right) as they emerge broke and damaged from the Democrat primary. This is the last thing either of the Democrats wanted to hear.

Betty Sutton - Duh. Obviously, Rep. Sutton wasn't expecting this or else she would have more than $200k cash on hand for her re-elect. Now, right off the bat she has only 1/6 the cash of Ganley, and Ganley has every motivation to drop more into the race.

DCCC - Sutton will need help. And lots of it. This means the DCCC will be forced to defend a seat they never thought they would ever have to in 2010. And that means a lot of cash that won't go to other targeted races.

Race analysis:

This is going to be an interesting one. Yes, Sutton has garnered over 60% in both of her races in 2006 and 2008, but there was a report of an internal GOP poll showing Ganley UP by 3% that was the final driver in pushing him into the race. If true, that says a lot about Ohio's political environment.

We also have the interesting scenario of a millionaire auto-dealer going up against the creator of cash-for-clunkers. While this won't be a primary theme of the race, it will be interesting to watch how it plays out.

Ultimately, this is going to be a costly race for both candidates. And that's bad news for the Democrats. Even if Sutton does win, it will pull resources, both financially and in manpower, that could have gone elsewhere.

Somewhere, Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus, Zack Space, and Charlie Wilson are kicking something.

Democrats are trying too hard.

One of the recent criticisms of Republicans of late has been of Congressmen who voted against the Stimulus going back to their districts and working to ensure their constituents get the funds obligated them.

Democrats call it hypocrisy.

Smart people laugh at that claim.

Like Greg Mankiw, professor of Economics at Harvard University:
Let me offer an analogy. Many Democratic congressmen opposed the Bush tax cuts. That was based, I presume, on their honest assessment of the policy. But once these tax cuts were passed, I bet these congressmen paid lower taxes. I bet they did not offer to hand the Treasury the extra taxes they would have owed at the previous tax rates. Would it make sense for the GOP to suggest that these Democrats were disingenuous or hypocritical? I don't think so. Many times, we as individuals benefit from policies we opposed. There is nothing wrong about that.

Moving the goalposts on the stimulus...

This was the headline in the papers on the anniversary of the stimulus yesterday:

What a load of crap.

Take a look at the President's speech on the day he signed the stimulus bill one year ago.

Here's a sample that nails what he believed would be the result of the legislation:
Now, what makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, including 60,000-plus here in Colorado. It's that we're putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done –- (applause) -- in critical areas that have been neglected for too long; work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come.
Read the rest of the speech. See anything that talks about how the stimulus will head off a depression? Didn't think so.

Megan McArdle, a brilliant writer for the Atlantic(and a supporter of the stimulus!) even calls Obama out on this outlandish claim from yesterday:
So the main reason we didn't have the Great Depression is that the Treasury intervened to prop up financial institutions, while the Federal reserve pumped money into the economy with a firehose. Special guest star credits go to the FDIC, which prevented the bank runs that crippled so much of our economy in the early 1930s. If you want to credit a government program, credit TARP, not ARRA.

Did the stimulus help? Sure. But currently has a nifty graphic showing that of ARRA's $787 billion in budget authority, the government has currently disbursed about $287 billion. You'd have to posit some really remarkable multipliers for the stimulus to think that this prevented us from sliding into the Great Depression.

For comparison's sake, in 1930, GDP fell by 8.6% in real terms. In 2009, the BEA says that it fell about 2.4%, or about $300 billion. Had it fallen by anything close to 8%, that would have meant a decline of roughly a trillion dollars.

So the administration is claiming that by spending less than $300 billion, it managed to prevent more than $700 billion in economic decline--in other words, that the multiplier for their spending was higher than two. They're saying that every dollar they spent increased GDP by more than $2.
There is plenty more in her article that details more about the point on multipliers. Check it out.

Emphysema of the soul.

WCPO's I-Team has an interesting investigative story about the $10 billion Ohio was awarded in 1998 via its settlement with tobacco companies.

As we all know by now, these dollars were initially designated to be used solely for anti-smoking programs, but Ohio's elected leadership since 1998, both Republican and Democrat, has seen fit to spend it on expanding state government.

Governor Strickland is the most recent guilty party in pushing to use these funds in ways besides their initial purpose. He claims the last 2.5% of the original award should be used for items such adult dental care and expanded health care for kids.

Of course, this is the usual trick we see from elected leaders - saying they need these funds for politically popular programs, and bumping the monies that should have funded those same programs for other forms of government expansion.

Remember, in the most recent budget overall state spending increases by an astounding 7.9%.

Don't be fooled, Ohio.


Yesterday, John Kasich filed his paperwork to officially run for Governor with 2,797 signatures from all 88 counties in Ohio.

All 88 counties.

For those that have ever been involved in a statewide campaign, you know what a gigantic task that really is, and it speaks volumes about the Kasich organization that they were able to send the message that this really is an 88 county effort.

Here's Kasich's latest youtube submission thanking his supporters now that he has officially filed.

Governor's mansion imitates USC football...

For those that have missed this mindboggingly strange story, the Governor's mansion has become a den of sorts for drug trafficking.

WBNS investigated the story a bit deeper and filed this story yesterday.

(apologies for the formatting issues and unintended white space)

If nothing else, this story screams that phrase those familiar with NCAA sports are probably familiar with - lack of institutional control.

In college sports, "institutional control comes down to what rules exist, who was making sure those rules weren’t being broken, and whether the persons in charge of monitoring those rules were doing their jobs. Whether a member school demonstrated a lack of institutional control can vary depending on the scope of failures which led to a violation, the types of rules violated, and the depth of knowledge and reaction of those in control at a member school."

Is it breaking the law? No, it doesn't seem to be, but this situation highlights a seemingly lack of institutional control within the Governor's mansion that should have Ohioans questioning what's really going on within its walls, who knows what, who hid what, and why.

Here's hoping WBNS continues to follow the story as the Ohio Senate intensifies its investigation.

h/t: Right Ohio

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More reasons why the jobs crisis isn't going anywhere...

One of yesterday's most popular posts here on 3BP was about why the Jobs Crisis currently facing Ohio and the nation isn't really going anywhere.

Well, an article featured in Bloomberg nailed that same theme once again.
The Right points to uncertainty over looming tax increases (aren’t death and taxes life’s two certainties?) and health-care mandates. The Left says the problem is banks aren’t lending.

The truth is a bit of both and something more basic. Small-business owners list “poor sales” as the numero uno problem. And the jobs tax credit for hiring new workers, proposed by President Obama and embraced by Congress, won’t do much to help. Employers aren’t about to pay a new worker $40,000 to earn a $5,000 credit unless that worker generates $35,000 of revenue, Dunkelberg explains. That’s Econ 101 (see “marginal revenue product” or “profit maximization”), a course most of our elected representatives seem to have missed.

The tax credit for hiring “has absolutely no impact on our decision-making,” says Phil Kenny, president of Trucks Unique, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, company that customizes pick-up trucks for commercial and individual purposes. “We have no tax liability to take a credit against.”

And that’s not all. A tax credit “is not going to make me hire when we don’t have work,” says Jim Henderson, president of Dynamic Sales Co., a 44-year-old construction and industrial supply company in St. Louis with seven employees. “I plan to sell my way out of recession, not wait for Washington to help me out.”
Our political leadership, both at the state and national level, are playing politics with the nation's economy by proposing policy initiatives that wither under scrutiny, but resound with the common public.

America needs principled leadership, not opportunistic cowards.

With nothing else left in their utility belt, Democrats latch onto the President...

An article in yesterday's Politico highlighted how President Obama will be adjusting his schedule in 2010 to lend a bigger hand to Democrats as they attempt to go against the political environment and bring home a victory on election day.
White House aides have said recently that the president will spend more time on the road, part of an effort to position him above the Washington fray and perhaps a signal that he intends to play a bigger role in helping candidates from his party who are facing tough contests.
Since then, the President's national Strong Approval ratings have sunk even lower - averaging out at around 25% since early February.

What's the big deal about Strong Approval? Well, in a nationalized election, as the Democrats seem to be playing it, those who strongly approve of the President are most likely to go out and vote for him/Democrats.

Now consider that the President's strong approval rating at the time of his visit in New Jersey, a strongly blue state, was 13 points higher than it is now in national polling, and 12 points higher in Taxachusetts.

To put it simply, if sending Obama didn't work in New Jersey and Massachusetts, it definitely won't work most anywhere else.

About that global warming business.

As my friends back in SnOwHIO recover from their most recent blizzard and as I wait for our 24" dusting from last week to melt so I can finally walk my fiancee's pug without her needing scuba gear to go out, all we can do is scoff at the global warming alarmists on the left.

Despite what we see before our eyes, AlGoreists shout over our questions again and again that the science is settled.

Well, one of the sources of their science is finally speaking up.
Phil Jones is the director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, a key “consensus” institution that has recently been caught up in an e-mail scandal revealing a mindset of global-warming advocacy rather than dispassionate inquiry. Asked by the BBC what it means when scientists say “the debate on climate change is over,” the keeper of the flame sounded chastened. “I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this,” Jones said. “This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the . . . past as well.”

Jones discussed the highly contentious “medieval warming period.” If global temperatures were warmer than today back in 800–1300 A.D. — about a thousand years before Henry Ford’s assembly lines began spitting out automobiles — it suggests that natural factors have a large hand in climate change, a concession that climate alarmists are loath to make. Jones said we don’t know if the warming in this period was global in extent since paleoclimatic records are sketchy. If it was, and if temperatures were higher than now, “then obviously the late-20th-century warmth would not be unprecedented.”

Jones also noted that there hasn’t been statistically significant warming since 1995, although the cooling since 2002 hasn’t been statistically significant either.
No, environuts, the science isn't settled, and that comes from one of your own demi-gods.

Now can we start focusing on the real problems facing our planet?

Ted Strickland and Chris Redfern keep finding ways to lose.

In 2006, Cuyahoga County and it's directly adjacent counties accounted for 28% of the votes Ted Strickland needed to win the Ohio Governor's race.

In other words, it's the Democratic base of Ohio.

Now take this into account:
When political hopefuls declare their candidacies this week for November's statewide elections, it will mark the first time in at least 70 years that a Democrat from Northeast Ohio will not be seeking an executive office.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern quickly dismisses the observation by saying, "the reliance on having a Northeast Ohio candidate in a statewide race, from a regional standpoint, has become less important. That's not to suggest Northeast Ohio isn't important. Obviously it is, but it is as important now as central Ohio or other parts of the state."


As we all know, if you can't get out the vote, you're not going to win. This is exponentially more important when considering your base.

How do you get out the vote? Well from a geographical standpoint, it's vital to have longstanding relationships that provide a groundswell of grassroots support.

Well, the statewide candidates on the Democratic slate don't have any of those relationships in their geographic base. And it's showing.

Nationally known Democratic strategist Jerry Austin of Cleveland said this ticket will prove what elected officials in Northeast Ohio had suspected all along from the Strickland administration.

"Politicians up here have expressed frustration about the lack of attention from this administration for a while," Austin said. "And now you turn around and there is no one on the ballot from Cuyahoga County. Well, now people think there is absolutely a disregard for Northeast Ohio going on."

Does that sound like someone who is going to work his tail off to utilize all of his contacts to get his favorite Democrats elected to office?

What about Democratic State Senator Nina Turner?
"If anyone thinks they can disregard Cuyahoga County, then they are sadly mistaken," Turner said. She added that "people are talking about this everywhere, young and old, average citizens to bigwigs."
The vitally important Democratic political activists of Northeast Ohio clearly are unhappy with the Ohio Democratic Party and their slate of statewide candidates.

This kind of frustration, if it can't be turned around quick, will make it extremely difficult for Ted Strickland & Co. to get out the vote in the all-important Democratic bastion of Northeast Ohio.

And it could cost them dearly.