Friday, April 30, 2010


Tonight I'm heading to see Weezer AND Ben Folds in concert....together.

Yeah, it pretty much doesn't get much better than that. For me, at least.

Here's a clip of Ben Folds from a recent concert.

The last time I saw him live he did the same thing with this song, teaching the audience a harmonization that's key to the song working. That part starts about 25 seconds in. Very cool stuff.

If you ever get a chance to see Ben Folds live. Do it.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

With Gov. Strickland, self-interest trumps virtue.

The Strickland campaign is currently rolling out their worn out media strategy of asking local politicians across the state to attack John Kasich. This time it's about his tax returns.

Lest we forget, yesterday we learned the person Ted Strickland appointed to be in charge of the public safety of the entire state was found to be lying to the Inspector General in a cover-up of a scandal that is making statewide news.

And the Governor says no punishment is warranted. No stern words were issued. Everything's just fine.

But that John Kasich guy?!? We should have the right to find out how successful he was by looking at his tax returns.

To quote Will Ferrell in Zoolander, "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"

Fortunately, it seems the Ohio media understands where the real story lies.

And as we all know, coverage is everything.

Here are the screencaps of articles appearing on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Daily News, Toledo Blade, and Cincinnati Enquirer.

On top of that, Matt over at Right Ohio embedded some of the TV coverage that knocked the snot out of the Governor and his staff.

Strickland's defense of these aides that lied under oath is nothing but Nixonian. The media must demand why these kinds of gross violations should go unchallenged. What are these officials hiding that Strickland can't risk throwing them under the bus?

Despite all the other broken promises of the Strickland Administration, this may be the straw that broke the camels back. As voters learn more about this scandal, they'll come to lose trust in the Governor for abandoning the principles he promised to uphold.

We all know the right thing to do is to fire Cathy Collins-Taylor. But Governor Strickland is letting his own self-interest trump virtue.

Ohioans: "No seriously, we don't want the 3-C."

WCMH in Ohio took a closer look at the latest round of taxpayer dollars being spent to do another study of 3-C rail and found some interesting well as some fed up Ohioans...

The DOT representative isn't being totally honest.

As detailed in this post, the $25 million won't even pay for HALF of the design work he mentions.

Additionally, NBC4 found out some interesting info via a new poll:
In an NBC 4 news poll conducted by Survey USA, 53 percent of respondents said they would almost never use a train line connecting Cleveland Columbus and Cincinnati.
Nearly half said they would only be willing to pay $10 for a one-way ticket.
As we all know, tickets would cost much more than $10.

Can you say boondoggle?

All 88.

One thing is for certain, the Kasich campaign is a well-oiled machine and they are working their tails off.

One Wednesday, Kasich visited Clark County. That makes all 88 counties in Ohio visited by Kasich.

Check out the video:

First Blood

Not a few hours had passed and the Troopergate IG report already has its first victim.
Thomas Hunter, a deputy director and communications director at the Ohio Department of Public Safety, submitted his resignation today.

Hunter, who has worked for the department since 2007, said he is accepting a private-sector job in West Virginia, where he formerly served as press secretary to Gov. Joe Manchin III.

Now clearly Hunter already had a gig lined up, so it's apparent that the IG report wasn't necessarily responsible for his leaving. But it does make one wonder if Hunter, as a communications guru, had grown frustrated with DPS and wanted to make a big splash when he left. If he wanted his exit to make the news, he knew how to do it, and picking yesterday as the day to resign could not have been a coincidence.

So that begs the question, are things so bad at DPS that higher ups are jumping ship?

No one wants to be known as the person that went down with Cathy Collins-Taylor.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Strickland must fire Cathy Collins-Taylor

This morning the Ohio Inspector General released his report on Troopergate.

One thing is clear - Governor Strickland must fire Department of Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor.

But he won't. And why? Because Cathy Collins-Taylor is the wife of Mike Taylor, a major power player in the Fraternal Order of Police. And if Strickland throws Collins-Taylor under the bus, Taylor will surely do whatever it takes to make sure Strickland doesn't get the FOP endorsement he so desperately wants.

That said, pressure must be exerted on Strickland to fire Collins-Taylor.

As you'll see if you read the entire report, and in several lowlights below, Collins-Taylor was responsible for a "cover-up" and is guilty of lying to the Inspector General. Additionally, she went against the spirit of the law in failing to cooperate with the Inspector General.

Pages 21 & 22
Collins-Taylor would not even concede that the phrase “embarrassment to the boss” referred to Governor Strickland. She insisted that she was referring to “the embarrassment to the administration in general – to the Patrol, to DRC, to DAS. The fact somebody could throw something over the fence at the Governor's office [sic], that's all . . . an embarrassment to the administration, to all of us.” In her view, Collins-Taylor told us, “I look at the administration and the Governor are [sic] the same thing.”

These statements are absurd. Use of the past tense describes actions that have occurred, and “the boss” is a person, not a collective noun.

Page 32
Political considerations unquestionably factored into the decision to cancel the original conveyance operation. Had Collins-Taylor, Dicken, Mannion and others simply admitted this from the beginning – that conducting a minor drug interdiction outside the fence of the Governor‟s Residence might be politically embarrassing to the First Family and might reflect poorly on an inmate program to which they were deeply committed – our office would not have “wasted” all of the time and money that Mannion decries. Instead, Mannion, Collins-Taylor, Dicken and others participated in a cover-up that has tarnished their reputations and the reputations of DPS and the Patrol.

In the course of this investigation, we issued four subpoenas to Collins-Taylor. In its response to these subpoenas, DPS' Legal Department went to extraordinary lengths to impede our ability to obtain records and to intentionally deliver thousands of pages of non-responsive records to this office.

Ohio law requires state agencies and employees to “cooperate with, and provide assistance to, the inspector general and any deputy inspector general in the performance of any investigation. The law further requires each state agency to “make its premises, equipment, personnel, books, records, and papers readily available to the inspector general or a deputy inspector general” and permits those agents to “enter upon the premises of any state agency at any time, without prior announcement, if necessary to the successful completion of an investigation.”

Nevertheless, throughout this investigation, our office was treated by DPS officials as a hostile civil litigant.

And while the IG did not find any evidence that Markus was guilty, there are a plenty of interesting statements in the report that definitely imply Markus was heavily involved in making the politically motivated decision to interfere...

Page 23
Although Collins-Taylor and Dicken insisted that it was Dicken who made the decision to cancel the conveyance operation, documents and interviews demonstrate that the decision was made following high-level discussions between Collins-Taylor, Mannion, Collins, McCann, Markus, and John Haseley, the Governor‟s Chief of Staff...

Page 24
We also examined whether members of the Governor‟s staff – principally Markus and Haseley – called the operation off or pressured Collins-Taylor to cancel it. We found no evidence that they did, although it is clear that Collins-Taylor reached her decision following several consultations with Markus and after Haseley had several discussions with Mannion and top DRC officials.

Page 25
During a conference call on January 8, 2010, between Markus, Haseley and Mannion in which Mannion told the Governor‟s representatives that he thought the operation was a bad idea, Markus said he told Mannion: “Look, we do not want to get in the middle of this conversation,” adding “obviously, if you have concerns about things, you need to communicate your concerns . . . to the people you report to, to the people that are involved in this, but we‟re not going to get in the middle of this.”

Above, Markus says it wasn't him that had concerns. But if that's the case, why did Collins-Taylor send this e-mail to Markus?...

Page 22
Shown an email (Exhibit 19) that she sent to Kent Markus, the Counselor to the Governor, at 9:42 a.m. on Saturday in which she wrote that she has had “many conversations and are scaling any planned operations back” and told Markus “your cause for concern was right on”...

Markus must have expressed some concern in a phone call to her.

Ultimately, this reeks of abuse of the office to which these people were appointed to serve.

At the very least, Strickland must demand Collins-Taylor step down.

Breaking it Down: The 4/29 Ohio Governor and Senate Quinnipiac Poll

Today's Ohio Governor and Ohio Senate poll from Quinnipiac is more of what we saw a month ago. Kasich is down 6 and Portman is down 3.

But as we've detailed before, in cooperation with Jim Geraghty from NRO, the current Quinnipiac registered voter model skews the results as it inaccurately reflects the political identification breakdown of Ohio.
...[last month's] sample was 24 percent Republican, 33 percent Democrat, and 33 percent independent or no party, and the remaining 9 percent were other or refused to answer.

In February, Quinnipiac had it at 27 percent Republican, 30 percent Democrat, and 37 percent independent, and 4 percent other or refused to answer.

That 33/24 split among Democrats and Republicans really stands out, as the 2008 exit poll put the split in Ohio at 39 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican. In other words, does Quinnipiac really think that the makeup of the electorate will be better for Democrats on Election Day 2010 than it was in 2008?
And with this latest poll, it's more of the same.

For example, in the previous poll with the skewed Party ID numbers, Kasich won Republicans 75-9 and Independents 38-34. Strickland won Democrats 80-9.

Today's poll showed differentiations of +1 for Kasich among GOPers and Independents. Strickland had a +2 bump among Democrats.

In other words, Kasich's support increased by 2 points and Ted's support increased by 2 points. And yet, Strickland's lead increased overall by one point. The only way this can happen is with yet more skewing of Party ID by Quinnipiac.

As of now, I've requested the Party ID numbers for the latest poll from Quinnipiac but have yet to obtain them.

Fortunately, if history holds, Quinnipiac should move to their likely voter model in June or so. The question is whether those likely voters will simply be determined by voting history, or also by the questioner asking about voter enthusiasm.

That all said, let's take a closer look at the numbers.

Name ID

As would be expected, Kasich, Strickland and Portman's name ID numbers haven't changed. After all, none of them is on TV or sending out any form of paid media. But what's interesting is that despite Fisher being on TV the past couple weeks, Fisher's name ID among Registered voters has only improved by one point. Compare that to the eight point bump Fisher received in yesterday's poll of Likely Democratic Primary voters and you can see how distinct the difference between the two samples can be. Interestingly enough, as Fisher's name ID improved by 8 points, so did his lead over Brunner. That's not a coincidence.

Voters simply aren't comfortable supporting someone they don't know. And that's one of the difficulties facing Kasich right now. No one knows him. In fact, Strickland's name ID is 42 points higher than Kasich. In other words, Strickland is already established in voters' minds, but Kasich is still unknown. Makes you wonder how Kasich's numbers will improve in this poll as his name ID increases, eh?

The Bad News for Strickland and Fisher
As I just mentioned, Strickland's high name ID is already established. Meanwhile, Fisher will obviously be attached at the hip to the Strickland Administration and the Jobs Crisis by Portman.

So considering the answers about some of these questions about Ohio, Strickland and Fisher are in trouble.
  • By 58-41 overall, and with Indies at 66-34, Ohioans are dissatisfied "with the way things are going in Ohio".
  • By 41-37 overall, and with Indies at 46-28, Ohioans don't believe Ted Strickland kept his campaign promises.
  • By 53-36 overall, and with Indies at 59-31, Ohioans disapprove of the way Ted Strickland has handled the economy.
  • By 48-36 overall, and with Indies at 50-31, Ohioans disapprove of the way Ted Strickland has handled the state budget.
And somehow, with Ohioans even knowing who the hell he is, Kasich barely wins questions asking who would do a better job rebuilding the economy and handling the state budget. That is amazing.

Rob Portman's Favorite Question
Quinnipiac asks, "would you like to see the next United States Senator elected from Ohio generally support Barack Obama's policies or oppose Barack Obama's policies?"

Oppose wins 48-45. Among Indepedents, oppose wins by an astounding 55-36.

Health Care
This answer has to please not just Kasich and Portman, but Republicans across the state. By 55-38 overall, and 63-28 among Independents, Ohioans disapprove of federal health care overall.

Opinion of the Parties
To no surprise, Republicans like Republicans and Democrats like Democrats. So it's more interesting to see whether Independents approve or disapprove of each Party.

Among Indies, the GOP has a -9 rating. But among the same group, Democrats sit at -15. That explains the Independent support both Kasich and Portman now appreciate.

But what I love is the opinion of the Tea Party. They are the only one of the three to have an overall positive rating, sitting at +10. But what's impressive is their +18 number among Indies. Someone remind me why Democrats keep insulting Tea Partiers, again? Morons.

As said above, this poll is more of the same.

Portman simply needs to attach Fisher at the hip to Ted Strickland. Fisher's term as Ohio's failed Job Czar should take care of that just fine.

The fact is, Ohioans are upset with the direction of the state and don't believe Strickland can do the job, but are tentative to support Kasich until they know a bit more about them. That's nothing some paid media about his sterling accomplishments in Congress can't fix.

Strickland needs to find a way to fix his own reputation while defining Kasich negatively at the same time. And that's extremely hard to do.

Especially with a double digit unemployment rate staring you in the face.

Say it with me.

Columbus is not a cow town.

Democrats blew it with Lee.

I've been wanting to post about this for awhile, but hey, why tip off all the Democrats that read this blog?

Throughout the past few months there has been a lot of discussion from analysts and Democrats alike wondering why Lee Fisher had not pulled away from Jennifer Brunner.

They figured since he had establishment support and a far superior money advantage that he should have been light years ahead of her weeks ago.

Unfortunately for Lee, those kinds of questions seem to have damaged his fundraising over the past two quarters. His most recent total was barely half of what was considered necessary to raise for a competitive general election.

But were those expectations fair?

Both candidates held statewide elective office. But it was Brunner that won it on her own and it was Brunner whose star shown brighter the past 3 and a half years.
Both candidates made seemingly similar grassroots efforts.
Both candidates focused entirely on earned media up until the final weeks.

Despite their campaigning efforts, over time name ID for both barely changed and the poll numbers barely moved.

And neither dropped enough cash to pay for the paid media necessary to affect a large number of voters.

While Brunner never held a lead in any polls of the primary, she stayed relatively close. And why wouldn't she? She wasn't doing anything much different from Lee when it comes to reaching out to the electorate.

Sure they had articles written about them here and there. Or they had posts at the Daily Kos. But that's not what truly moves numbers.

Improved name ID and the paid media that comes with it moves numbers.

For months we've known Brunner wasn't going to be able to challenge Lee on TV. Fisher was going to dominate the airwaves and communicate his message to the masses. And Brunner was going to remain silent with her 30-something name ID.

In other words, we've known Fisher had this wrapped up months ago.

And yet, Democrat contributors wavered. They balked at contributing to Fisher as long as Brunner seemed to be a viable threat.

And Lee is to blame. He should have been able to sell his overwhelming chance to win to his contributors and he failed. Was it laziness? Was it stupidity? Was it simply bad messaging? Or was there nothing they could do?

Now it's too late. Fisher is left with chump change and Rob Portman maintains a commanding cash-on-hand lead that's bound to continue to frighten off the usual Dem contributors. Meanwhile, Portman will continue raising ridiculous amounts of cash as his inevitability becomes more assured.

Thanks, Democrats.

Strickland cares about two jobs.

Ted Strickland seems to only care about two jobs. His own and John Kasich's when he was at Lehman.

If the Governor put half the energy into developing a better business environment for Ohio as he does in worrying about Kasich's time in a two-man Columbus office, maybe Ohio wouldn't be down 426,000 jobs since he took office.

Democrats are on the side of Wall Street on financial reform

Remember this the next time you read the Democrat-sponsored financial reform bill helps contain the so-called dangers of Wall Street.
Obama says this bill will end bailouts. Opponents say it will perpetuate bailouts. Then they call each other liars.

The key is that they use different definitions. Obama claims that so long as taxpayer money doesn’t go directly to a company or to its shareholders, it’s not a bailout. But he considers it okay to send billions to pay off that company’s creditors—who typically are big companies and Wall Street firms. To the rest of us, paying a company’s debts IS the bailout, as we’ve already seen happen multiple times.

Obama also pretends that it’s not government money. Bankers would be ordered by the new law to create a $50-billion fund; but since Obama won’t agree that it’s a tax, he claims it’s not taxpayer money. Of course, the banks will charge higher fees to us customers to recoup this amount.

Obama’s tough talk against Wall Street draws headlines. But when whipping boy Goldman Sachs says they like the proposed punishment, they’re not being masochists. They know that they’re getting a government guarantee that they and their friends—as creditors—won’t suffer losses when a business partner goes under. Plus anyone doing business with the Wall Street big boys knows they won’t take a loss thanks to the proposed law. They’ll get more business thanks to that assurance and protection.
But why oh why would Democrats create legislation that helps create more bailout opportunities for the financial sector? Easy!
Wall Street helped give a fundraising edge to Democratic committees and candidates. Employees in the securities and investment industry made $34.3 million in donations last year, about the same as in 2007, with 62 percent going to Democrats, the party’s largest share in a non-election year in the 20 years of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group.

One reason for the increased Democratic share is that investors aren’t unanimously opposed to proposed financial regulations making their way through Congress, said Joe Keefe, president and chief executive officer of Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Pax World Management LLC, which manages $2.4 billion.
That clears that right up.

Is today the end of Troopergate?

Not by a longshot.

Today, the Ohio Inspector General releases his report on Troopergate. 10TV covered the story last night and video is below.

We're bound to learn new information, but this isn't the end of the scandal for Gov. Strickland, Kent Markus, and Cathy Collins-Taylor. With further Ohio Senate hearings coming up next week, those three will at the very least suffer through some very uncomfortable hearings that will continue to throw the Strickland team off message.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bring it on, Lee.

Well, the 5,272nd, and final, nail in the Brunner campaign's coffin is complete.

Today, the folks at Quinnipiac unveiled their poll of 987 Ohio likely Democratic primary voters.

And it was incredibly bad news for Brunner.

Since Lee Fisher's ads went up, Brunner has seen the margin between the two candidates more than double. Going from 7 to 17 in favor of Fisher.

Let there be no confusion. The sample for this poll by Quinnipiac is far and away different from the strangely sampled general election polls of previous months.

First, and more importantly, these are likely, not registered voters. In other words, these are the people who have an actual history of voting in primaries. Second, the sample, where we had the largest problem in their general election polls, isn't skewed. These are all registered Democrats with a record of doing so.

So what numbers jumped out at me other than the topline?

Fisher crushes Brunner among women, 43-24. So much for a gender gap.

Despite just a moderate ad buy, Fisher's name ID went from 33 one month ago to 52. And with an increased name ID came an increase in Fisher's lead. Once again this shows how voters need to know a candidate in order to feel comfortable voting for him. Funny how that works, eh?

Fisher's approval rating is still sky high, sitting at 41-7. In other words, he can only go down.

One response from the sample that will really upset the Brunniacs, by 6% Fisher is seen as more liberal.

But the killer number was from the question asking who had the best chance to win in November. Fisher crushed Brunner once again, 37-18.

Now where the Brunniacs may find solace is the relatively high number of undecideds and those that say they might change their mind.

Unfortunately for their cause, that means squat.

First off, those that haven't yet decided haven't been paying attention and very likely won't even bother voting. Second, if they bother voting, their votes, at best, will be split down the middle between the two candidates. That's a very simple rule of elections. In campaigns that don't include an incumbent, undecided voters tend to split at the end. In incumbent elections, undecideds tend to split towards the challenger.

Finally, with the massive coverage this poll is already getting, Brunner's team now has to fight the perception among their faithful that they even have a shot. Many may see these numbers and not even bother to show up on Tuesday.

Brunner is finished. Bring on Lee.

Ted's 3-C slow-speed choo choo has a new theme song...

This is too funny. And totally appropos.

That's all ya got?

The Kilroy campaign needs to hire a new opposition researcher.

This week, their campaign pushed a story to the media that left everyone that has eyes saying, "um, no s***."

The story? That this mailer includes a doctored photo promoting Steve Stivers!

Boy, what gave it away? You mean there WASN'T a 40-foot tall billboard duct-taped to the Statehouse during the Columbus Tea Party event? I don't believe it! [/sarcasm font off]

The fact is this was simply a desperate attempt by the Kilroy campaign to deflect from the bashing her signature issue is taking in the media.

And it was the Kilroy campaign that pushed this story. Here's an e-mail from her campaign manager that went out an hour or so before the story first hit the Dispatch:

But what's amazing to me is that the Kilroy campaign takes issue with mailers that use photoshop to prove a point. Why?

Well, maybe this mailer Kilroy used against Stivers in her 2008 race will give you a hint.

It's one thing to say "Vote for Me" in your own lit. It's completely another to create an ornate forgery attacking a very guilty looking Stivers taking a lie-detector test.

Mary Jo, you're a hypocrite.

And at the end of the day, someone like Kilroy needs to use these silly attacks in the media. Why? Because she's got nothing else on Stivers. Meanwhile, Stivers has nearly two years worth of a Kilroy voting record in Congress - a voting record that matches up with Nancy Pelosi 98.5% of the time.

And it's because of your actions damaging the people of the 15th District that's going to make you lose.

Democrats are lazy.

Polls don't mean squat if voters don't actually cast their vote.

It's a pretty obvious statement, but an important one when considering the latest voter enthusiasm numbers from Gallup.

In a sample of 5,000(!) registered voters in April, this is what Gallup found:

The obvious number that jumps out is the 20 point gap between those who prefer Republicans to Democrats and are "very enthusiastic about voting."

But don't worry, Dems. You are winning something. By 46-42, those that support Democrats are "not enthusiastic about voting." Yeah, I know. You're totally shocked.

Additionally, this was written in a column by one of Gallup's analysts this past Friday...
Republicans face a difficult hurdle in picking up the 41 seats they need to take majority control of the U.S. House. However, in terms of voter enthusiasm, they appear to be in an even better position than they were in 1994, when they gained more than 50 seats.
There's little reason to believe this enthusiasm will be tempered between now and election day. The question is whether Democrats can improve their standing by inspiring their own base.

And with a guy like this leading the state Party, I can see they will be a formidable foe.

Nice timing, Governor.

Maybe @Ted_Strickland should follow @RandyLudlow, a senior reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, on Twitter.

Around 1:00pm yesterday, Mr. Ludlow posted this tweet.

And just a few minutes afterwards, Governor Strickland once again proudly proclaimed the resurgence of Ohio manufacturing:

First off, the Governor is wrong. These aren't jobs being created. They are simply 189 workers not being fired thanks to further reinvestment by, General Motors.

And nevermind the earlier story in the Dispatch highlighting the large percentage of 250 Sysco employees being dumped.

Let's see of I remember my math correctly.

1,216 > 189, right?

That's quite a manufacturing resurgence. The sad part is that there hasn't been one word uttered by the Governor in response to the massive loss of jobs in Pike County. That's despite the County already suffering from a massive 17.1% unemployment rate.

The good news for the Governor? Layoffs won't happen until early next year, meaning they won't further damage the state's already staggeringly awful unemployment rate.

And lest I forget...


Ohio House GOP knocks the 3-C from the tracks.

Back in February I used an Ohio News poll to highlight the political gains to be made by opposing the mindnumbingly stupid 3-C Slow Speed Choo Choo.
Below is a table broken down by age group. The columns include voter interest(gaugued by total percentage who said they were "extremely" or "very" interested in voting in the fall), support or opposition to the 3-C plan, and choice for Governor.

So, looking at these numbers, what do we learn?

First off, and most important, those who are most supportive of both 3-C and Ted Strickland are also the age group least likely to vote in the Fall.

All three other age groups oppose the 3-C project, two of them significantly so. And on average, these same three age groups support Kasich by a significant 9 point margin.

And most importantly, they are actually going to vote.

Now what's interesting about these numbers is that they came out before the announcement was even made and before a massive attack by newspapers and their columnists on the plan.
And it seems the Ohio House GOP has embraced the idea that the Choo Choo is a No Go and a benefit for them in November.

Here's a solid video just released from the caucus highlighting the enormous waste of taxpayer dollars, among other things.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Winning the issue that matters most.

In late March, very soon after the passage of Obamacare, I wrote a post highlighting how Republican candidates must not get distracted and pull focus away from the most important issue facing Americans right now - the Jobs Crisis and the economy.
We can't forget that the GOP already has a winning issue for November: the Stimulus.

The $862 billion stimulus, a Democrat-owned initiative that spends more than the entire Iraq War has cost since its inception, has failed.

Come the fall, with unemployment still high, there will be no doubt that the stimulus failed to do what Democrats promised it would do.

Additionally, all polls point to a public who has already bought into that perception. But by focusing all our energy on a health care repeal, we are wasting a valuable political opportunity.
Well, we just got a bit more ammo.

The article goes on to state:
In latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years -- but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.
NO impact? Zero? Zilch? And that comes from the very guys who know this stuff like the back of their hand?


And fortunately, it looks like Republicans are prioritizing how they should.

In an article yesterday by Ed Gillespie entitled, "No Deficit of Republicans Running on the Economy", he states:
Republican Matt Gaetz in Florida’s Fourth House District recently became the 51st Republican to win a state legislative special election since President Barack Obama’s election. The overwhelmingly successful campaign was centered on the economy. “As we watch Democrats preside over the massive expansion of government in Washington and the explosion of deficits and the national debt, Matt believes that the growth of government at all levels should be limited,” said the campaign. “Matt Gaetz is a fiscal conservative who understands government must live within it means.”


The bottom line is that voters are deeply concerned about out-of-control spending and job-killing tax hikes. It’s an issue that affects all levels of government. Republicans are on the same page as the voters, and winning elections now in the lead-up to November based on that shared concern.
We have them where we want them. And if we want to finally return this country to its fiscally conservative roots, we cannot relent.

Semantically twisting the argument on taxes.

The Americans for Tax Reform did a great job with a post yesterday highlighting how President Obama is preparing to go back on his word and prepping the country for higher taxes.

And they use his and his team's own words to prove it.

Check it out here.

Lis Smith thinks Ted Strickland has a "glass jaw".

Last night was a strange night on Twitter.

And it all started with a simple observation by yours truly.

It's true. At that point Lis Smith, the spokeswoman for Governor Ted Strickland, had tweeted four negative stories about Kasich out of her past five tweets. You'd think a spokeswoman would have something good to say about her boss, but her obsession with negativity seems to win out.

Some time after my tweet, Scott Milburn, Kasich's communications director, "retweeted" or forwarded, my tweet, along with a simple "Hmmm..." as a comment.

This apparently confused Lis Smith.

In response to Scott, she tweeted...

Well, first off Lis, those were my words, not Scott's. And second, I'm surprised you believe people who block aren't "grown men".

Why? Because going back to July of 2009, Governor Strickland had blocked me. Apparently he isn't a grown man, either. Of course, I guess his jello eating contests against 8-year olds confirmed that awhile ago.

But it didn't stop there. She kept pushing it.

Apparently, Ted Strickland has a glass jaw too since he continued to block me in October of 2009.

Ladies & gentlemen, this woman is supposed to be the voice of the Governor of Ohio. She's supposed to be the person that helps convince Ohioans that Ted Strickland is the mature voice that is capable of Turning around Ohio. Or something.

So, I continued to call Lis out on twitter for questioning the manhood of Milburn for blocking a rival campaign's spokesman on twitter, when her boss did the same thing to some lowly blogger.

And yet, despite all of her antics, at 9:31pm last night I was still blocked.

But that all ended at approximately 12:15am this morning. Apparently, Lis realized her mistake and quickly contacted whomever manages the Governor's twitter account in an effort to unblock me before I posted anything about it here on 3BP. But as you can see above, too little too late.

And now, after trying one more time early this morning, I am now able to follow Governor Strickland.

Lucky me!

Now, is any of this stuff a big deal? Is it a gamechanger in the campaign?

Of course not! But it's an example of just how strange our foe on the left can be.

Somehow, despite how unimportant this issue was, Smith, after all that she said, still thought it was a big enough deal to try to cover for her boss and pretend he never blocked me. Me. A blogger. In his pajamas.

She's paid for this, people.

Rather than focusing on developing the right message for Ohioans, she's lowering the tone of the debate and trying to prevent herself from eating her own words.

And we had fun watching her do it.

DSCC to the rescue.

Just how poor is Lee Fisher now that he's had to drop all his cash in his primary against Jennifer Brunner?

This poor:

Two sources say the DSCC has been calling around to Ohio TV stations asking for air time in advance of the May 4 primary between Sec/State Jennifer Brunner and LG Lee Fisher.

According to Brunner, who spoke with Hotline OnCall late last year, DSCC Chair Bob Menendez told her he would spend money against a primary candidate with little campaign cash. Menendez has not been shy about his support for Fisher over Brunner.

This amazes me.

Somehow, the DSCC believes Lee Fisher is such a strong candidate, and Brunner such a poor candidate, that they are willing to drop very valuable dollars on the primary.

But as we've said before, Fisher is easily the more vulnerable candidate.

And now we have the DSCC helping to make sure he's Rob Portman's opponent in November.

Thanks, fellas. You're the best!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why Crist won't quit.

Some have asked why Gov. Charlie Crist won't simply quit in his effort to represent Florida in the U.S. Senate.

After all, he's been absolutely crushed in his primary against conservative darling and a fave of mine, Marco Rubio, and most don't give him a chance in hell in a three-way race where Crist is running as an Independent.

But then I thought of a couple lines of dialogue from a favorite movie of mine. You may recognize it:
Quintus: People should know when they're conquered.
Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
A fair point.

This number matters.

As we've gone over again and again, elections that include incumbents pushing for re-election are largely a referendum on that incumbent.

If things are going well, great for the incumbent. If not, not so great for the incumbent.

And voters don't care about excuses.

That's why poll questions asking about mood of the voter and perception of the job being done by the incumbent are particularly important this far out from election day.

Gallup recently released one particular number that has to scare the livin' bejeezus out of the Party in power.

Fully 1/5 of the nation believes it's likely they won't have a job within a year - the highest number ever recorded.

This is the kind of number that very clearly highlights the lack of confidence the electorate has in the economy.

Be scared, Democrats.

I'll take "Words you're going to regret" for $500, Alex.

You'll remember last week we learned that one of the promises of Obamacare, reduced health care costs, was shown to be a fallacy by a non-partisan panel of experts sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

From USA Today:
President Obama's health care overhaul law will increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.
Many of Ohio's congressional delegation went against the will of the people and voted for the bill at least partly based on the supposed promise to reduce costs.

Well, it's about time those Members ate their words:
"This bill accomplishes much of what I have been fighting for and I’m encouraged that by passing it we’ll reduce the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years..." - Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15)

“This health care reform legislation is an historic step forward that will reduce our budget deficit by more than a trillion dollars, cut taxes for small businesses, reduce costs for middle class families..." - Steve Driehaus (OH-1)

"This bill may not be perfect but it strikes the proper balance of reducing costs, increasing consumer choices and lowering the staggering deficit from runaway health care spending." - John Boccieri (OH-16)

"I have seen the CBO score and the reconciliation changes for myself. This bill will not add a dime to the deficit." - Charlie Wilson (OH-6)
See ya in November, Congressmen.

Remember November

The RGA is out with yet another winning effort.

Remember November.

We Will Remember from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

As of last night, nearly 56,000 had already joined the movement over the weekend.

It's your turn.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Miracle of miracles. Gov. Strickland's LG candidate lives.

If Sarah Palin had been off the trail this long after her unveiling, we would have seen her sometime around November 29th or so.

Nice to see ya, Yvette.

And after this inaugural performance at Ohio University, I really mean that.

This talk is awkward enough in its speed alone. Maybe she's trying to take over for the FedEx Fast Talker Guy.

But the best part is when she goes off script. The money quotes:

“I am unemployed – that’s how much I believe in Ted Strickland.”

And make sure you aren't drinking anything before reading this one, lest it end up all over your computer...

“He is the person to take us forward – if you’re interested in having prosperity, let me tell you, you’re going to have it with Ted Strickland.”

Someone on the Strickland campaign better remind her that Ted has been Governor the past 3 and a half years. Yeesh.

I think it's safe to say that we now know why she was hidden from view for so long.

Have a great weekend, everybody...

And as usual, a kick-ass youtube...

Enjoy yourselves, folks. Get out of the house. Have some fun.

Lee Fisher: Leader?

It seems Lee Fisher's style of leadership resembles a schoolyard game of follow the leader rather than that of a wanna-be Senator. Check it out:

April 21, 2010

12:12 pm Portman issues statement calling for financial reforms.

2:42 pm Portman tweets “My statement calling for financial reforms.” A Portman campaign Facebook post also went up about this time.

[later that afternoon] Fisher holds a hastily thrown-together conference call to discuss his not-so-unique ideas on financial reform.

4:47 pm Fisher posts an essay on Huffington Post, copying two of Portman’s good ideas on reforming Wall Street.

And Jessica Towhey, Portman's press secretary, let Fisher have it:

“We’re happy to let Lee Fisher borrow two of Rob Portman’s good ideas on reforming Wall Street. We’re just disappointed he doesn’t find it necessary to have comprehensive reform that includes Rob Portman’s three other objectives: stronger regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, keeping Ohio banks competitive and ensuring that credit is flowing to small businesses.”

But Lee's wanna-be style of politicking wasn't just on the 21st of April...

April 5, 2010 Brunner blogs on when she’s “taken a principled stand” while Fisher has “jumped on board right after [her] …”

Dec. 30, 2009 Brunner Campaign Manager blogs that he “works for Jennifer Brunner because she is a leader, not a follower” who has “spoke[n] up early and forcefully.”

Feb. 17, 2009 Brunner announces her candidacy for U.S. Senate in a YouTube video; Fisher holds a hastily thrown-together press conference later that afternoon announcing his candidacy, beginning what has become a long pattern of playing follow-the-leader. The Associated Press noted this schedule change:

2 top Ohio Democrats running for US Senate

By STEPHEN MAJORS, Associated Press Writer

April 18, 2009

Two of Ohio's most prominent Democrats said Tuesday they will run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. George Voinovich.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who largely beat back Republican legal challenges over the way she oversaw the presidential election in November, announced her run for the Senate seat on a campaign Web site.

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who was elected in 2006, held a news conference later Tuesday with Gov. Ted Strickland, apparently pushing up his public announcement in response to Brunner's decision. Fisher resigned Tuesday from his position as director of the Ohio Department of Development, but will serve out the remainder of his term as lieutenant governor.

Lee Fisher: Follower.

Libertarians may want to get to know Travis Irvine.

Who is Travis Irvine? Libertarian or…?

Yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch included a story about local funny man and filmmaker Travis Irvine. Travis just received word that his film about his failed 2007 Bexley Mayoral candidacy will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

There is however more to Travis Irvine than just his filmmaking. Travis also happens to be one of two Libertarian candidates vying for Ohio’s 12th Congressional seat. But who exactly is Travis Irvine? Here are a few tidbits that may be interesting to other Libertarians in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District:
  • 2007—Travis’ candidacy for Bexley, Ohio Mayoral is endorsed by the Libertarian Party and the Green Party. See link to the Green Party’s principles (including support for Cap and Trade and Universal Health Care).
  • 2008—Travis campaigns for Barack Obama as a member of OU Students for Barack Obama—the student wing of the Obama for American campaign. The purpose of the group was “organizing students to register voters, get out the vote, raise funds, and spread Barack Obama's message of hope, action, change.”
So is Travis Irvine truly a Libertarian who supports smaller, limited government, lower taxes and more personal liberty or something else?

Maybe someone will let Travis know that principles aren’t something you can just turn on and off, like the mic at his favorite comedy club.

Maybe someone will let Travis know that the Libertarian party shouldn’t be used as his platform to self-promote his latest film project.

Maybe someone will let Travis know that actions speak louder than words.


Mark McKinnon hits it out of the park in his latest piece in the Daily Beast:
News flash: President Obama hasn’t held a formal press conference in almost a year (274 days and counting) yet has golfed 32 times since he was elected—eight more times than President George W. Bush did during his entire presidency.


Does anyone really think that Obama has been hiding from the press? Obama has more press exposure than any president ever—by a long shot. He and his team have just figured out clever ways to communicate by going around the White House press corps, whose members are about as busy as the Maytag repairman these days. They’ve become glorified babysitters.

But imagine the press histrionics we would have heard if George W. Bush had gone nine months without a press conference?

Recall that Bush was loudly criticized when he didn’t hold press conferences frequently enough to satiate a badgering press, though he averaged one about every two months. Over the course of his presidency, he held 45.

Bush was also constantly ridiculed and criticized for playing golf, most memorably by Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11. In August 2003, Bush gave up the game, believing it sent the wrong message to grieving parents of soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, he was ridiculed for that as well.
McKinnon's piece, while playing off something seemingly innocent, is a perfect example of the unlevel playing field Republicans play on with a press so clearly in the tank for Democrats.

Strickland tries, and ultimately fails, to pull the wool over the eyes of the press.

When Governor Strickland issued his statement to the press about his fundraising numbers for the Pre-Primary campaign finance report, he tried to pull a fast one on Ohio's Fourth Estate.

Rather than issuing a statement about what he filed in this most recent report, he attempted to include contributions he reported in his previous report as well.

At first, the Dayton Daily News, via the AP, fell for it. They wrote:

By JULIE CARR SMYTH, The Associated Press Updated 4:09 PM Thursday, April 22, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The two leading candidates for governor have a combined $12 million in the bank as they head into what promises to be an expensive fall campaign.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, reported more than $7.12 million cash on hand after raising more than $3 million in new donations since the beginning of the year. Former U.S. Rep. John Kasich, his Republican rival, reported raising more than $2 million during the same period. He now has $5.2 million in the bank.

But it wasn't the same period. Kasich was reporting contributions from his Pre-Primary report. Strickland was reporting contributions from well before that.

In reality, John Kasich's first reported contribution for the Pre-Primary came on January 25th.
Ted Strickland's first reported contribution came on January 29th.

At the end of the Pre-Primary, Kasich had outraised Strickland by a ratio of 4:3.

Fortunately, the Dayton Daily News fixed the story. The new version, timestamped at 6:41pm, now reads:
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, reported more than $7.12 million cash on hand after raising nearly $1.5 million in new donations for the first quarter of the year.
I can't imagine the Fourth Estate takes too kindly to being messed with, Governor.

It's official: Obamacare will make health care more expensive

I guess I could say "we told ya so", but you knew all this already, didn't ya?
President Obama's health care overhaul law will increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.

A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15% of hospitals into the red and "possibly jeopardizing access" to care for seniors.

The mixed verdict for Obama's signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts.

Democrats wondered why there wasn't a post-Obamacare bounce in the polls. They all counted on it. It never came.

In the most recent national poll from Quinnipiac, 55% of all individuals polled and 59% of all Independents disapproved of the way the President was handling health care.

With this unambiguous, non-partisan and expert opinion, all those fears of what Obamacare have been legitimized. Rather than believing costs will go up, we now know costs will go up. That's a big difference.

With Obamacare, Democrats took ownership of America's health care system and all that goes right or wrong with it. And they're going to regret it in November.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cordray makes you go hmmmm.....

In his campaign finance report, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray gave away about $750,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party, Summit County Democratic Party, and Franklin County Democratic Party.

Interestingly enough, the largest contributor to Ted Strickland's campaign was the Summit County Democratic Party at $35,000, the most among any contributor by $25,000.

Additionally, the only other County Party to contribute to Ted Strickland guessed it, the Franklin County Democratic Party.

Now, obviously this brings up some questions about redistribution. But it also makes one wonder how confident Cordray feels about his race if he's willing to give away this kind of cash. Does he have assurances from the Party organizations that he'll be reimbursed if necessary? What's going on here?

UPDATE: A reader also noted that Maryellen O'Shaughnessy's $293,000 take was buoyed by an $85,000 contribution from the Ohio Democratic Party. Additionally, $30,000 of Kevin Boyce's $169,000 came from the state Party organization as well. It seems Cordray is trying to float the entire statewide Democratic ticket. Hmmm....

Kasich smokes Strickland......again.

Ah, campaign finance reporting day.

Always fun to watch. Other than polls, it’s the only clear head-to-head competition we really get to enjoy until election day.

The hard numbers for this reporting period:

Kasich raised 2.0 million and has $5.2 million on hand.

Strickland raised $1.4 million and has $7.1 million on hand.

First off, it’s clear that Kasich was the winner of this reporting period. Just like he was the clear cut winner of the last reporting period.

Kasich’s first donor came on January 25th. Strickland’s on January 29th. During this period of time, Kasich outraised Strickland 4:3.

What’s even more unfortunate for Strickland is that he took at least $131,687, or nearly 1/10th of his total cash raised, from state and county Party organizations.

After a brief read through it looks like Kasich only took $25,000 from the state Party, or 1/80th of his total amount raised.

It’s amazing to me that the cash-on-hand gap is already under $2 million with more than 6 months to go ‘til election day.

Governor Strickland is just that – the Governor. He’s been in office for nearly four years and has the power of incumbency to twist arms and raise cash in one of the most heavily watched races in the nation.

And he gets outraised by $500k and is on pace to lose his fundraising advantage by the fall.

Democrats have to be worried.

Dispatch blows it on the VAT

Finally, an Ohio newspaper is acknowledging the a new value-added tax (VAT) is a very real possibility.

It only took the President, Presidential economic advisor Paul Voelker, and Speaker Pelosi saying it was an option to get the media to start paying attention.

We all know a VAT would break the President's no tax increase for those making under $250k pledge from his campaign.

We also know it would place an extra burden on the lower and middle class by increasing the cost of consumer goods.

Now, obviously Ohioans need to know where their Representatives stand on the issue. Of particular interest are those Democrats who voted for Obamacare, the new spending priority that will require massive amounts of new tax revenue. So who does the Columbus Dispatch check with on the House side?

Pat Tiberi.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm obviously a big fan of Congressman Tiberi, but we already had a pretty good idea where he stood on the issue. Additionally, he's not the one that voted for massive amounts of new spending.

Ohioans need to hear from Mary Jo Kilroy. From Steve Driehaus. From John Boccieri. From Betty Sutton.

Where do they stand on the VAT?

WCMH asked Steve Stivers about it. Come on, Mary Jo. Step up.

Paula Brooks isn't living up to expectations.

Pat Tiberi's opponent in Ohio's 12th congressional district isn't doing so hot with her fundraising.

Paula Brooks, from the 15th congressional district, was supposed to be one of the best candidates Democrats had to offer in their efforts to takeover some Republican House seats.

Instead she's barely stumbling along.

Among those in the targeted DCCC Red to Blue initiative, Brooks comes in close to dead last in cash-on-hand.

If you look deeper into your report you'll find she accepted cash from Nancy Pelosi and.....Jerry Springer. Stay classy, Paula.

Additionally, her own campaign manager ended up contributing 75$ on March 31st, the last day to report contributions. You can't meet your goal by getting your paid staff to give some money back. That's just weird.

Finally, there are very few contributions from other Members of Congress. Maybe they aren't convinced she's a safe place to send their dollars.

Considering the fact she has absolutely no chance in toppling Tiberi, I can't say I blame them.

Magic got bribed.

A 2200 page report detailing each and every ethical, moral, and legal lapse in judgement that led to the downfall of Lehman Bros didn't mention John Kasich once. Not once.

And yet, facts haven't stopped Ohio Democrats from ignoring the real issues facing Ohioans and focusing all their energies on implicating Kasich as responsible for the mess. And the press has bought right into it.

So it's lucky for those same Ohio Democrats that the only coverage of some very questionable behavior by Gov. Strickland only warranted a mention in the Dispatch's blog.

NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson today headlined a fundraiser for Gov. Ted Strickland about five weeks after meeting with a member of the governor's cabinet about landing state pension business.

The retired star for the Los Angeles Lakers stopped by the office of Hugh Quill, director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, to inquire about doing business with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, of which Quill is a board member. During the meeting, Quill said today, the prospect of Johnson headlining a fundraiser for Strickland was "never mentioned, never referenced."

Of course it wasn't. Those calls come from the campaign after the meeting and they probably went something like this:

Strickland fundraiser: I understand you want to do business with Ohio.
Magic: Yep.
Strickland fundraiser: Well in that case, let's bring you in for a fundraiser.
Magic: What?
Strickland fundraiser: You want to do business with the state, right?
Magic: Um. Yeah.
Strickland fundraiser: Good. We'll see you on April 21st.
Magic: Uhhhhh......ok.

This kind of transparent abuse of the office for political gain isn't surprising considering the way the Strickland Administration has conducted itself over the past four years.

But if we want voters to know about it, we just have to hope a lot of Ohioans read the Columbus Dispatch Daily Briefing blog.

Lee Fisher is a hypocrite.

From the Dispatch on Sunday:
After blasting Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman for raising money from political action committees in Washington, D.C., Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher will hold a fundraiser in Washington in which political action committees are expected to donate to his campaign.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, will host the fundraiser Tuesday at the Monacle, an upscale restaurant on Capitol Hill that often attracts lawmakers and lobbyists for lunch and dinner. The invitation asks that PACs contribute $2,500 to $5,000.

For the uninitiated, the Monocle is widely known as the default location for big money fundraisers in DC. Everyone who is going to go get themselves some DC money makes sure they have an event there. It's where Ted Kennedy, John Tower, and uncountable others held court for decades as they imbibed on martinis paid for by lobbyists. It symbolizes everything that is considered by many as wrong with DC...

....and here's Lee Fisher walking into it this past Sunday.

Now don't get me wrong. Lee, just like any other politician, has the right to go raise some cash wherever he wants.

But he simply can't talk out both sides of his face by talking down Rob Portman for the very thing Lee Fisher practices himself.

How egregious is Fisher's hypocrisy? The co-host of the fundraiser was Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, the Senator from Hawaii who last year totaled up $387 million in legislative pork, the highest for any Democrat in Congress. Think that guy has some lobbyist connections? Um. Yeah.

Lee Fisher complains about politics as usual. He is politics as usual.

Brunner isn't ready for primetime.

Or even the minor leagues, apparently.

Jennifer Brunner, the U.S. Senate candidate whose day job is to make sure that Ohio elections run smoothly and lawfully, is not following a requirement of federal election law in her own campaign -- or so it appears based on a review of her campaign finance reports as well as Federal Election Commission guidelines. The Ohio secretary of state, running in the May 4 Democratic primary for Senate against Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, has consistently failed to list the identities and itemize the salaries of all her campaign staffers, as required by law.


Nowhere does the report say that this covers the salaries of campaign manager David Dettman, operations manager Mary Woods and scheduler Mallory Mitchell -- information known only because Dettman told The Plain Dealer when it asked today. Dettman volunteered to the newspaper that he is paid $6,000 a month and Woods and Mitchell each get $3,000.

The FEC says that is precisely the kind of information it wants the disclosure reports to include. The purpose of disclosure is to show the public, including donors, how the campaign spends its money and to assure regulators that campaign finance laws are being obeyed.


A last look....

You may have heard about this yesterday:
"Downfall," a German film released in 2004 about Hitler's last days, has been adopted for wildly popular YouTube parodies that have spanned mock rants about topics as varied as playing Xbox video games to Kanye West to Apple's new iPad.


On Tuesday, the clips on YouTube, many of which had been watched by hundreds of thousands, even millions, began disappearing from the site. Constantin Films, the company that owns the rights to the film, asked for them to be removed, and YouTube complied.
Ah, it's a sad day, indeed.

So here, for likely the last time, is the "Hitler isn't happy with Ted Strickland" youtube...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mary Jo Kilroy just isn't very good at being a Congresswoman.

WCMH TV in Columbus asked Congresswoman Kilroy what she thought of being so closely aligned with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

After all, Kilroy's votes have sided with Pelosi's majority 98.5% of the time.

Her response, while barely coherent, will make your jaw drop.

Um. Speaker Pelosi is a centrist?

The woman that shoved the horribly unpopular Obamacare bill is a centrist? Cap & Trade? The stimulus?!?!

Hell, even her most strident admirers find Pelosi to be a far-left liberal.

I guess Kilroy will say anything to attempt to appease the Independently minded 15th congressional district.

But one thing she won't do is make it easy to see her in person.

Note when reading it that there is a Thursday, April 22nd and there is a Monday, April 26th...but there is no Thursday, April 26th this month.

In Congressional offices, quality control is everything. As opposed to this blog where everything is virtually stream of consciousness, letters from congressmen go through a thorough process of approval - normally going from the legislative correspondent or assistant/caseworker, to the legislative director/district director, to the chief of staff, and finally to the Congressman for approval.

And no one caught this elementary-level mistake?

Who knows how many people this letter went out to in Kilroy's district....and now your taxdollars must be spent to (hopefully) send a corrected letter so constituents don't show up at the wrong time....whichever it may be.

Some people just aren't suited for Congress. And Kilroy has proven she simply can't handle the job.

You've messed with my health care, and now you're gonna mess with my food?

The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

I know the McDonald's fries over at the Route 1 store in Arlington are waaayyy oversalted, but that's no reason to go all nanny-state on me.

The amazing part is that there isn't even clear evidence that salt causes the damage the FDA claims. Check it out.


Is the 3-C destined to repeat history's mistakes?

The Big Dig is the name of the project that rerouted Boston's primary highway through the heart of the city into a 3.5 mile underground tunnel.

In 1982, the project was estimated to run $2.8 billion to complete. When it finally finished, the final cost, with interest, was $22 billion in federal and state dollars.

The project manager was Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhof.

Parsons Brinckerhof? That name sounds familiar.

It's the same Parsons Brinckerhof that was awarded $23 million this week by the state controlling board to complete a study that would produce not quite half of the final design of Ohio's 3-C Slow Speed Choo Choo.

An article from Boston in 2006 provides Ohioans a word of warning:
Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff was technically supposed to act as owner's engineer on the project. But it had several other responsibilities that directly conflicted with the mandate of an owner's engineer. Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff also drew up the preliminary designs for the entire endeavor, and then managed the overall design and construction processes. So when it came time to act as an owner's engineer, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff was, in effect, policing itself.


...who was left to mind the shop? Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, which had an enormous conflict of interest because it also designed and managed the Big Dig.

The need for independent and dedicated oversight of Massachusetts highway projects is no longer an abstraction. With the terrible loss of Del Valle, it's a matter of life and death. While lawmakers, engineers, and criminal investigators rightly sift through the wreckage to determine what went wrong with the design and construction of the ceiling that collapsed, we also need to set out a course for the future. We must rewrite Massachusetts laws to ensure that the major construction projects of tomorrow never again endanger innocent human lives through indifference or ineptitude.

To provide some context to the above, massive cost overruns weren't the only problem with the Big Dig. The lack of adequate oversight led to a loss of life due to unnecessary construction flaws.

And now it seems Ohio is repeating the same mistakes Massachusetts made. By awarding the design portion of the contract to Parsons Brinckerhof, they have provided PB the exact same incentives they had during the Big Dig.

Before taking on a massive and costly project like the 3-C, Ohioans deserve a substantive analysis of cost and projected ridership from an independent voice, not one with a financial incentive to fluff their results.

This project is more focused on being Ted Strickland's political tool than a serious development project for Ohio. And the voters deserve an honest review of the worth of the project before investing millions of taxpayer dollars.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Governor Strickland will let that happen.

Join the Derail the Ohio 3-C Rail Project facebook group and let your voice be heard.