Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Memorial Weeeeekend.

First and foremost, remember what this weekend is about - the sacrifices made by our armed forces at the altar of freedom.

Want to know what I'm talking about? Go watch the second to last episode of "The Pacific" and try not to need a kleenex.

If you have a chance, make sure you thank a veteran this weekend.

In the meantime, a couple interesting links to start your weekend off right.

First, a friend of mine is getting a little attention for the amazing efforts he's gone to help his baby hear. Here's a video from back in 2007 of the first time Baby Drew heard a sound...

Very cool stuff. If you want to learn more, check out this link.

I also was able to get a hold of one of the alternate endings of LOST. I'm sure this would have pleased everyone.


Finally, I'm heading out to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland with some friends for a well deserved weekend of irresponsibility.

Have a safe and fun weekend, everyone.

Breaking it Down: The 5/28 Ohio Poll

The latest poll from Quinnipiac had John Kasich winning Independents by 5 points. Independents accounted for 33% of the vote.

The latest poll from Rasmussen had Kasich winning Independents by 4 points.

The PPP poll from March had Kasich winning Independents by 24.

In the 2008 CNN Exit Poll, 30% of Ohio's electorate was made up of Independents.

Why do all these points matter?

In the latest Ohio Poll showing John Kasich behind by five, Ted Strickland is up 14 points among Independents in a sample of Independents that is, at best, 12% of the total test size.

In other words, the Party ID make-up for the poll is an outlier from all other public polls. Could it be that the Ohio Poll is right and Independents only make up 12% of Ohio's population? I guess. But I doubt it.

But back to the overall numbers.

First of all, the Ohio Poll was taken well after the first Strickland attack ad had enjoyed serious play in the field and before the RGA's response ad. That means it was testing a population that had only seen Strickland's ad blasting Kasich.

The result? It seemed to be somewhat successful. Strickland helped shore up his base and improved his approval rating.

And yet, with a 49-44 lead, he still isn't at 50%.

Additionally, with the number one issue in voters minds, the economy, Strickland still sits at an incredibly vulnerable 46-46.

What's it all mean? Yes, Strickland improved his numbers. But Ted supporters can't get too enthusiastic just yet. We've yet to see any numbers that include a substantive blast against Strickland. The RGA's ad was solid, but it was only a $250k buy - barely half of what Strickland spent on his attack ad - and it wasn't seen until after this poll was completed. And Ted's numbers on the economy and inability to hit 50% shows Strickland's vulnerability.

All in all, it should have been worse than five points.

Now what about Fisher/Portman?

That's even more amazing.

Fisher, despite running in a high profile race and spending well over one million dollars on paid media, is only up one point against a guy who hasn't run one ad.

In Northeast Ohio, Fisher's base and where much effort was focused in the primary, the Democrat is only up three. How is that possible?

In addition, Fisher having run statewide approximately 47 times should have given him the serious advantage over Portman.

But it didn't.

Fisher is tied when he has every reason to be ahead.

That says a lot for the quiet effectiveness with which Portman is running his campaign. He's doing what he needs to do and he's doing it well. Like Kasich, once he starts spending some of his cash, look for Portman to take a lead.

One last point on the poll itself. I was surprised they didn't include questions on Kasich and Portman's own approval numbers to gauge their own situation and determine just how low their name ID was at this point. Increased name ID means votes. As Portman and Kasich's increases, which it exponentially will over the next five months, it will have an effect on their numbers.

Another round of Rasmussen and Quinnipiac is due soon. I'll keep you posted!

The tingle is gone.

Poor Chris Matthews.

You can almost see the pain in his eyes as he faces the reality of the man he helped promote to power.

Have a webcam? Sick and tired of Ted Strickland?

Well, the RGA wants you.

And for those that don't have access to youtube:
We’re asking Ohioans to submit videos explaining how Ted Strickland’s broken promises have affected their lives.

The Republican Governors Association has already noted in a television ad that Gov. Ted Strickland is worried and has no choice but to attack John Kasich because the governor has nothing good to say about his own record in office. In a subsequent video, the RGA highlighted Strickland’s habit of shifting blame to cover up his own broken promises.

Today, the RGA released a video on its Facebook page asking people to submit their own video descriptions of how Strickland’s broken promises and failed policies affect their own lives.

We’re asking all Ohioans to fire up their web cams and tell their own stories to their friends and neighbors.

Democrats aren't very confident.

Over half of the 37 Democratic Congressmen and Senators that responded to a National Journal survey believe they are going to lose 20-29 seats in the House of Representatives.

84% think they are going to lose between 3-6 seats in the Senate.

Those may not be majorities, but they would send a very serious message about the Democratic agenda.

But think how depressing it must be to be a Democratic member of Congress? Here you are answering a survey about how much power your caucus will lose. Yeesh.

The Republicans surveyed were quite a bit more optimistic of their chances.

Over half believe the GOP will regain the majority and win more than 40 seats.

And 74% believe Republicans will win 7 or more seats in the Senate.

We'll see who's the better predictor in five short months.

Oh, and by the way...

I'd be remiss if I didn't point something out to Governor Strickland regarding the latest fiasco at the mansion.

Inspector General Thomas Charles and State Senator David Goodman were right.

Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into....

The latest video from the NRSC. They put out some good stuff over there.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BREAKING: Inmate at Gov's residence found boozing. Today!

Didn't the Governor just implement new rules?

Didn't the Governor go out of his way to overule his staff and force the program to continue?

And now this?

And to think, this guy was once in charge of counseling inmates.

Apparently, he wasn't very good at it.

The stimulus is not working. Unless you're in the 43215 zip code.

With the release of a recent report on the Stimulus by the Congressional Budget Office, Democrats are howling with pride over what they deem to be the successes of the massive spending program.

Among other things, the report states the stimulus has created between 1.8 million and 4.1 million jobs.

It also states that the unemployment rate has dropped between 0.7 and 1.5%.

Houston, we have a problem.

As we all know by now, the unemployment rate has not dropped by any amount. In fact, it has increased by 1.7% since the stimulus was enacted.

But let's refocus on those job numbers Democrats are crowing about.

They're inaccurate.
Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, has stated plainly that his team's estimates do not measure real-world outputs (just inputs), that they do not serve as an independent check on its success or failure, and that if the stimulus had not created jobs, the CBO's figures would not reflect that fact. So no, sorry, try again: The CBO's updates do not actually confirm whether or not the stimulus is creating jobs.
In other words, the CBO did not look at any real jobs data. They merely calculated the amount spent and used a formula to determine how many jobs that money would create.

Previously, Elmendorf has been very clear about whether these CBO reports should be used as confirmation that the stimulus is creating jobs.
Following up, the questioner asks for clarification: "If the stimulus bill did not do what it was originally forecast to do, then that would not have been detected by the subsequent analysis, right?" Elmendorf's response? "That's right. That's right."
So that begs the question, what has the stimulus done for Ohio?

That's where comes in handy.

While Ohio has been awarded $7.6 billion, it has only received $1.7 billion.

Sidenote - It feels weird using the word "only" when discussing numbers this big.

So what has that $1.7 billion given us? 23,072 jobs in the first quarter of 2010.

That's $73,682 tax dollars spent per job.

But let's look a little closer. Where are those jobs going?

Here's the messed up part.

66% of all the stimulus jobs in Ohio have gone to one zip code. The 43215.

Think Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy has gotten a little love? Oh yeah.

84% of all of Ohio's stimulus jobs this quarter are in her congressional district!

I wonder how many votes that will buy her.

And yet, even with this overwhelming focus on one congressional district within Franklin County, the county still suffers from an unacceptably high unemployment rate of 9.3%.

You want to spend more money than has been spent in the totality of the War in Iraq to fund jobs? At least focus the spending where it's needed! What about Clinton County who's suffering from 17.7% unemployment? Or Meigs at 15%? Or Huron at 14.5%? Or Noble at 15.5%?

Maybe that explains the widespread voter pessimism about the stimulus.

The bad news for Democrats from a political perspective comes in the recently released numbers from Pew Polling.

Look at the numbers for Democrats and Independents.

42% of Democrats believe the primary spending program produced by their leaders to save jobs....hasn't worked. Think those people will be enthusiastic to vote?

And Independents? 69% don't believe the stimulus helped the job situation. Think they'll be more easily persuaded towards Republicans on the number one issue on their minds...the economy?

Ultimately, if the federal government wanted to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money to help stimulate the nation, targeted pork-ridden spending programs that ignore 1/20th of a state and only fund temporary jobs weren't the way to go.

Tax cuts across the board were the way to go. Get the money into the hands of the people. The ones that create long-term jobs and economic growth.

But Democrats went their own way. Unemployment is still sky high a year and a half later. And it will hurt them in November.

Preisse wins.

Last night the Franklin County Republican Party "decisively" re-elected Doug Preisse as Chairman.

And I couldn't be happier for him.

Like many Ohioans, I was brought up into the world of politics by Doug. And like anyone who can call him a friend knows, his dedication to the cause, loyalty, and sharp strategic mind are what won him re-election.

Props also have to be given to his challenger, Bill Todd, who called Preisse his "brother" in an effort to maintain Party unity.

Now let's go get us some liberal Democrats.

TV tests the 3C

WCMH Channel 4 in Columbus "tested" the 3C by riding what Amtrak calls the most similar rail line they have to what would be built in Ohio.

In Michigan.


That said, the review is very fair, looking at both sides of the argument.

One part of the review compared the time it takes to ride from destination to destination using both train and car. (spoiler alert: the train loses every quite a bit)

The thing is, they only compared riding from one stop to the next. If they instead looked at riding through several stops the differences between taking the car and taking the train would have been far more dramatic.

WCMH also fairly addresses the massive cost to taxpayers. Especially the ones that don't ride it.

What do you think Strickland's home base of Southeast Ohio thinks about paying for a 3-C train they'll never use?

Watch the review for yourself and make up your own mind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Governor Envy, Part 4257

It's Chris Christie. Again.

This guy is a star.
Governor Christie on Tuesday told a borough teacher to find another job if she did not feel she was compensated enough as he defended his state budget cuts and promoted a plan to cap annual growth in property tax collections.


But borough teacher Rita Wilson, a Kearny resident, argued that if she were paid $3 an hour for the 30 children in her class, she’d be earning $83,000, and she makes nothing near that.

“You’re getting more than that if you include the cost of your benefits,” Christie interrupted.

When Wilson, who has a master’s degree, said she was not being compensated for her education and experience, Christie said:

“Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it.” Some in the audience applauded.

It's amazing how strange it feels to have a public servant speak so plainly. I haven't really seen it since, to be honest, John Kasich back when he was budget chairman in the U.S. House.

But, as I believe I've mentioned before, Christie provides a great opportunity in politics - a test case for the plainspeaking public servant.

Voters always plead for a straight shooting elected official, but it always seems that those that play politics win out.

Well, here's our true test case. Can someone like Christie stay popular and win re-election in 3 and a half years?

For those that want to see more of this in politics, Chris Christie is an incredibly important politician. He needs to maintain popularity and win in order to show others with similar styles and leadership capabilities that it's possible to win - that they don't have to compromise themselves in order to be successful in politics.

A bit of advice to Governor Strickland...


You forgot last time.

Just wanted to help.

Um. You're welcome.

Ohio GOP congressional candidates storm ahead...

Two of the top congressional races in the country are in Ohio.

And now, thanks to new polling, we have an idea of where they're trending.

GOP challenger Jim Renacci is up up 13 points on Rep. John Boccieri in Ohio's 16th congressional district.

In the 1st congressional district, former Congressman Steve Chabot is up 14 points on the current incumbent, Steve Driehaus.

As of now, these are pretty overwhelming leads and they're getting national attention.

And what's particularly amazing is how these races are supposed to be going, per top political prognosticators.

For example, according to Charlie Cook, Boccieri's race is supposed to lean Democratic and Driehaus is supposed to be a toss-up.

In other words, Boccieri should be ahead and Driehaus should be even.

But they're not. Not even close.

Given, these races are sure to tighten as each candidate goes up on the air later into the campaign season. But these leads cannot be taken lightly.

The wave is coming.

AFSCME members are ticked.

Yesterday, the Ohio GOP detailed how the Governor was using Ohio taxpayer dollars to fund his latest attack ad against John Kasich.
On February 1, 2008 Strickland issued Executive Order 2008-02S allowing Ohio's 7,500 self-employed private-sector child care workers, whose customers pay with state-subsidized funds, to join labor unions. AFSCME Ohio Council 8 organized these workers and Strickland signed the first collective bargaining agreement in January.

As a result of this agreement, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 can collect up to $25 per month from Ohio's self-employed child-care workers or up to $2.25 million annually. Moreover, the State of Ohio collects AFSCME's dues for it, withholding the dues money from the state's payments to child care workers. The state then sends the money directly to AFSCME. With the money it receives from the State of Ohio, AFSCME then finances a variety of political activities, such as the negative attack ads it launched today against Strickland's opponent John Kasich.
Well, after receiving a couple e-mails from very frustrated recent AFSCME members, it's fair to say Strickland's efforts aren't appreciated.
I am one of these child care workers who was blindsided into this union. We found out that we were union on Craigslist! We were not given the opportunity to VOTE for this union. Not ONE childcare provider in Marion County voted for this union. I am not sure how legal this union is. I have been trying to find out exactly what we can do to get AFSCME out. I have a group of providers who are helping, one has talked to an attorney who is willing to take this case and has also said that John Kasich can overturn the executive order if he is elected Governor. PLEASE PLEASE forward this to John Kasich!!!!! He has my vote!!!!!!

[name redacted]


My name is [name redacted]. I am a state certified child care provider and have been for many years. Recently we have been forced to become part of AFSCME union. WE ARE SELF EMPLOYED! WE HAVE NO EMPLOYER AND NO EMPLOYEES! How can a union help us? They can't. They are taking our hard earned money and using it to smear Kasich's campaign. We do not want our money to go to something we don't support! Is there anything that Kasich can do to help us?? Is there anything that we can do to make this union go away?

[name redacted]
This is what happens when you abuse the system for your own political gain.

Strickland should be ashamed.


With yesterday's release of the Strickland team's latest attack on John Kasich, the RGA posted an online advertisement that hit the nail on the head.

You fail to Turnaround Ohio? You fail to live up to your promises? You deflect. You shift blame.

It's all you've got.

Hey Tea Party, the GOP is listening...

One of the main thrusts of the Tea Party movement was simply to be heard. For too long, representatives in government had a deaf ear to the will of the people.

Well, finally someone in Washington is listening.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“…Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiled a new social networking-type website today at that's designed to solicit legislative ideas from the public and host online debates over those ideas. … Participation on the website will be incentivized by a points system. Republicans took the opportunity to boast of online superiority over Democrats. Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said that since January 2009, the ratio of House Republicans on Facebook has grown from 37 to 79 percent, the percentage on Twitter has grown from 28 to 64 percent, and the amount on YouTube has grown from 56 to 89 percent.”
So many of us like to complain about never being heard.

Well, now you have a direct line of communication to share your frustrations and your ideas.

You want heard? Go to No more excuses.

To hear more about the project from Ohio's own John Boehner, click here.

Cathy Collins-Taylor is a zombie.

Yesterday, after failing to be confirmed by the Ohio Senate, Cathy Collins-Taylor was fired as Director of the Department of Public Safety.

The most amazing part of this is it never needed to happen. If Ted wasn't incompetent and had sent her name up for confirmation months ago, she would have been confirmed.

So the failures of the Strickland Administration cost someone else a job. Shocker.

But soon after we learned that Collins-Taylor was back from the dead. This time as a member of the parole board - once again an appointee of Governor Ted Strickland.

That may explain this sign on I-71 this morning. [courtesy Matt Bruning of 610 WTVN].

Ultimately, the chairman of the criminal justice subcommittee got right to the meat of the matter.
"The buck stops here," Grendell said. "We're talking today about somebody who wants to be at the top of the department of public safety, and a record of at least allowing politics to interfere with a criminal investigation."
What politics? Ask the Columbus Dispatch.
Clearly the operation was aborted to spare the governor political embarrassment, despite unconvincing protests that it was done for safety reasons. If Collins-Taylor, Dicken and the others had been forthcoming at the outset and admitted that the aim was to save face for the governor, this incident might have merited one or two days' worth of news.

Instead, Strickland's closest advisers and other administration officials chose to be uncooperative and secretive and to impugn Charles and his investigation.
It's very simple. Cabinet officials cannot lie. Cathy Collins-Taylor did.

The Inspector General said so.
A Senate committee said so.
The full Ohio Senate said so.

But don't worry. Strickland's ok with it. He gave her another job.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This is not a good thing.

And we keep falling deeper and deeper...
Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.


Economist David Henderson of the conservative Hoover Institution says a shift from private wages to government benefits saps the economy of dynamism. "People are paid for being rather than for producing," he says.
We need to fix this. And fast.

h/t: Dan Riehl

Fisher has a senior moment.

Lee Fisher has been more than happy to avoid appearances by the President at events in Ohio.

And he always has an excuse.

During the past visit from the President to Youngstown, Fisher gave the following excuse to reporters as to why he couldn't appear. He was visiting family in California...

Except it's 3BP's understanding that this isn't the whole story.

Word is that Fisher was actually out in California doing some fundraising.

I guess we'll see when Lee submits that FEC report, eh?

But why would he hold that back from the media? Hmmm....

Ohio Democrats are corrupt.

It's partywide.

There's no other way to look at it.

In the past four years Ohio has experienced the following...

Marc Dann.
Corrupt and criminal Strickland appointees.
Cuyahoga Democrats and the FBI investigation of Jimmy DiMora.
Athens County Dem Chairwoman Susan Gwinn bribing for votes.
Kevin Boyce's backroom deals.
And now Chief Justice Eric Brown breaking fundraising rules.

If that's not a trend, I don't know what is.

Ohio Democrats took power and dove right into the deep end of corruption, criminality, and major ethical lapses.

Sure, Democrats will respond by saying Republicans have done it, too. And to some extent in the past, they'd be right. To this level? Probably not. But yes, Ohio GOPers have been guilty in the past of ethical and criminal transgressions.

But this is the present.

These are the people voters put in charge over the past four years. And there's no reason to allow transgressions of individuals in the past distract us from what's happening now.

Across the board, they've failed to live up to the standards of which they were elected. And each and every Ohioan should be furious.

They promised they'd live up to higher standards. Instead they've only lowered them.

Another lame and false ad from the Democrats against John Kasich? Don't mind if I do!

The DGA's new ad against John Kasich has been released and it's full of the same old, tired accusations about Kasich and Lehman.

I'll keep saying it. Kasich did nothing wrong. And that's official.

Read this post for the details.

That doesn't mean these ads won't continue to damage Kasich. But to the Democrats, truth be damned, right?

Still. It won't be enough.

Kasich needs to tell his story. Explain his successes.

Once those are shared with Ohio's voters, they'll prefer the alternative to the man who failed to live up to his two promises....turning around Ohio and fixing education.

Meanwhile, new poll numbers should be coming out soon. It's expected that at that time Strickland attack ads will have quadrupled the ad buy of the RGA's single push.

Strickland should have substantively increased his lead. The question is whether they are using up their ammo too quickly. After all, we're five months away from voting.

Josh Mandel worked his butt off for nothing.

I'm not sure what GOP Ohio Treasurer candidate Josh Mandel's total mileage walked is up to now, but I imagine it's pretty ridiculous.

It turns out he may not have needed to work so hard.

Not when Kevin Boyce, the incumbent Dem Treasurer, is shooting himself in the foot.

Check out the story of the whole new Democratic Party scandal here.

Marc Dann. Troopergate. Scandalous political appointees. And now this.

The Ohio Democratic Party is on a roll.

Dropping $800k awfully early, eh Teddy?

A few weeks ago, Governor Strickland purchased a major ad buy, $500,000, to attack John Kasich.

Now it's the DGA and teacher union's turn. The two combined to spend at least $300k on a new ad that is set to begin airing this week under a puppet organization called Building a Stronger Ohio. The content is currently unknown, but I think it's safe to say it won't be puppy dogs and unicorns.

Unless those puppy dogs and unicorns are getting mutilated by John Kasich.

And that name, "Building a Stronger Ohio", is interesting, ain't it? You'd imagine a worthy incumbent Governor should be able to say "we built a stronger Ohio". Instead it's a work in progress.

Additionally, is anyone else surprised that an incumbent governor needs to spend at least $800k this far out? On top of it, there is word of another negative ad, this one coming from the state employee union, that's also set to pop this week.

Pretty amazing. After nearly four years as Governor, him and his cronies still can't find anything significantly positive that they've accomplished.

They can't say they turned around Ohio.
They can't say they fixed education.

Without question, those were the Governor's top two promises, and he failed.

So when that happens, what do you do? You go negative.

I'll try to let you know when one of their attacks is accurate, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Democrats are still waiting for the Obamacare bounce...

Remember when Obamacare passed?

Liberal Democrats everywhere heralded its arrival and kept shouting, "just you wait..." about polls turning around and the public coming to their side.

Well, they're gonna have to keep waiting...
Support for repeal of the new national health care plan has jumped to its highest level ever. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of U.S. voters now favor repeal of the plan passed by congressional Democrats and signed into law by President Obama in March.

Prior to today, weekly polling had shown support for repeal ranging from 54% to 58%.

Currently, just 32% oppose repeal.
A deeper look at the numbers show 72% of Independent voters over 1/3 of Democrats(!) support repeal.

Think this will be an issue in November? Thought so. The difficulty for Republicans will be keeping it in the news.

Should be fun to watch.

This is not a lesson in crisis communications.

Well, maybe it is.

It's a "whatever you do, don't do this" kinda lesson.

From the Hartford Courant:
After nearly a week of criticism following revelations that he misrepresented his military record and five days after a press conference in which he expressed regret for his misstatements, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal apologized.

“At times when I have sought to honor veterans, I have not been as clear or precise as I should have been about my service in the Marine Corps Reserves,” Blumenthal said in a statement emailed to the Courant late Sunday by his spokeswoman, Maura Downes. ”I have firmly and clearly expressed regret and taken responsibility for my words.

“I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone,” Blumenthal said. “I will always champion the cause of Connecticut’s and our nation’s veterans.”
These exact words should have been said in front of cameras the evening the New York Times story first leaked.

Candidates need to be able to recognize when they are backed into a corner, and they need to recognize it fast.

Blumenthal didn't do that, and it may cost him the Senate.

Strickland and Fisher are indian givers.

The primary lines of attack from both Strickland and Fisher are obvious by now.

Kasich is the Congressman from Wall Street that destroyed the economy.
Portman is the Bush crony that destroyed the economy.

And this weekend, Jack Torry laid it out very clearly as to whether these lines of attack were accurate.
In many ways, the Democratic attacks are an exaggeration. Kasich is not in any way responsible for the collapse of Lehman Brothers. And free-trade policies backed by Bush and Portman helped Ohio become the only state in the country to increase its exports every year from 1998 to 2008 — a fact Fisher and Strickland both have boasted about.
Well, that's that, right?

Unfortunately not. Whether it's fair or not, these lines of attack are going to have a negative effect on each Republican candidate. Enough of an effect to make Ohioans forget about the record under Democratic leadership? I'd argue no, but that's to be seen.

And they are obviously the kinds of negative attacks that repeatedly frustrate the Dispatch's Joe Hallett.

But are the critical messages on job loss heard from the Kasich and Portman campaigns just as invalid as those coming from the Democrats?

Lee Fisher himself said he and his boss, Ted Strickland made jobs their number one priority.

And just by calling his primary plan "Turnaround Ohio", Ted Strickland proudly asserted himself as able to shape Ohio's economy.

In other words, the top two elected officials in Ohio the past four years said they were in charge of bringing jobs to Ohio.

What happened? Ohio lost over 400,000 jobs.

Does that mean all those lost jobs lost were Strickland and Fisher's fault? Of course not. And Kasich and Portman have never said as much.

But it is fair to say that the policies and efforts(or lack thereof) under Strickland/Fisher led Ohio to be underprepared for the recession by failing to make the state as resilient as so many others around the country.

The evidence is clear as day. An unemployment rate higher than the national average. A business tax climate 47th in the nation. A ranking of 44th in a poll of nearly 700 CEOs asking the best states to do business. Even more damning, in that same survey of CEOs, Ohio has plummeted 24 spots from where it was just five years ago.

It's very simple. Four years ago, Strickland and Fisher happily accepted responsibility for Ohio's economy. Now, with 652,000 Ohioans unemployed, they want to pretend they never promised to Turnaround Ohio.

It didn't have to be this way.

Arizona's Governor sends a message to Mayor Coleman

I'm still waiting to hear whether Coleman's best buds, Lee Fisher and Ted Strickland, agree with him on his boycott of Arizona.

In the meantime, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer put together this fun, little commercial with people like Mayor Coleman in mind...


War is brewing in Korea.

The Obama Administration is awfully silent.


Yes, I love LOST.

Yes, I loved the finale.

No, no one cares if you've never watched it.

But so far as last night goes, I've got a few friends that seem a little confused about the ending. Let me help...

[highlight the hidden text below to view]

Everything that happened both on and off the island was real for the first five seasons. During season 6, the only thing that wasn't real was the sideways reality. After Hurley took over as protector and the plane left the island, they all went on to live their lives. Well, everyone except Jack, of course. After they all died, they created the other reality as a place to "meet up" so that they could move on together.

And it was pretty awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's the weekend.

About. Damn. Time.

Need a good laugh?

Hard to do better than Johnny from Airplane.


So what's the highlight of my weekend, you ask? A buddy is having an old-fashioned crawfish boil tomorrow. Good times will be had by all.

Have a great weekend. Be safe. Have fun.

The RGA goes up.

First off, here's the new ad from the Republican Governors Association.

The good?

  • It's a substantive $250,000 buy. People will see it.
  • It's produced by the RGA, not John Kasich. That's important for two reasons. One, Kasich is spending any of his cash for it. Two, it still allows Kasich the opportunity for his first ad to be a quality, positive introductory piece, rather than a retread, lame attack ad. :cough: TED STRICKLAND! :cough:
  • It's the first time Ohioans are hearing a repeated and clear message about the level of job loss in Ohio. They all know about it in their personal lives, but hearing the 400k number helps voters understand just how bad it is out there.
  • The RGA found a time-effective way to communicate the troubling nature of Troopergate.
  • No matter what, Ted went negative first. This ad, and surely others to come, will highlight that. One of the few good things going for Ted is his supposedly nice-guy image. This hurts him.
  • Last I heard, the RGA has nearly five times the amount of cash on hand as the DGA. Think we'll be seeing more commercials pounding Ted? Yep. Think the DGA can afford a response? Nope.
The negative?
  • This is supposed to be a Dad and his daughter, but that's never established. I spent half the time wondering why there were sitting together.
  • "Cuz he sure didn't get the jobs done." Jobs done? Really? It's just too cute by half. No one talks like that. Rather than getting the double entendre, people are going to go away wondering if he misspoke.
  • I'd have preferred seeing more frustration from the actors, rather than depression. But hey, that's just getting picky.
Overall? I give it a B. While there are a couple things wrong with it, it still does the most important thing - convey the message that the Governor has failed.

In a referendum election, which this is, that is the most important message to convey.

Now let's start hitting him on "Turnaround Ohio".

Don't worry about Toomey.

A poll from Rasmussen yesterday showed Pat Toomey down just a few points to Joe Sestak in the first post-primary poll for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

I wouldn't be too worried.

In 2008, President Obama won PA by 11 points. In the exit polls, he was winning Independents by 19.

In the latest Rasmussen poll, Toomey is winning Indies by 9.

Consider the normal GOP advantage in primaries. Combine it with the current conservative wave. Add in Sestak's extremely liberal voting record. And don't forget Toomey's massive financial advantage.

You've got yourself a very tight, but very winnable contest.

Three and a half years later, has the great turnaround begun?

Ohio's unemployment rate ticked down, from 11% to 10.9% in April.

Of course, I guess it's a little easier to climb out of a hole once you've hit bottom.

At this rate of improvement, Ohio will finally fall under 10% unemployment in February of next year.

Of course, at that same rate we'll have to wait until January of 2015 to reach 5.3% unemployment, the rate Ohio enjoyed in Ted's first month in office.

And that's the problem. As the country slowly crawls out of it's economic mess, Ohio will be stuck at the end of the pack. Why? Because of a business tax climate ranking us 47th in the nation.

Why does that matter? Ask the hundreds of CEOs that rated Ohio as the 44th best place to do business in the country.

When the state isn't attractive to the guys who create and retain jobs, then Ohio doesn't recover as quickly as it should.

Ohio needs to take drastic steps to improve its standing in the eyes of those that do business.

In the past three and a half years, Ted Strickland has refused to take even a baby step in that direction.

What makes anyone think that will change by rewarding him with four more years?

Ted celebrates future empty run-down building.

Jesse from Athens Runaway compiled some good info on Governor Strickland's latest groundbreaking effort up in Cleveland. It turns out the firm behind it have been extremely generous donors to the Governor. And they have connections to Cleveland's favorite corrupt commissioner, Jimmy DiMora. And they're known for failing to complete projects due to cash shortages.

Go read it all over on Athens Runaway.

Yeah. About those green jobs.

According to Ted Strickland, green jobs are the wave of the future.

The Dispatch's Joe Hallett agrees. His series on green jobs that appeared this week in the Big D had nary a critical perspective.

But Ohioans have been given a gift. A chance to see if it really can work.

Our friends a hemisphere away have already given a government-driven green jobs push the old college try.

And they failed.
A Spanish economics professor said attempts by his country to create a green economy would fail. Now a Spanish government report confirms his findings, blunting claims that the professor's report was biased.

The professor, Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of Juan Carlos University in Madrid, produced a 41-page study last year on the European experiment of going full bore on the conservation front. He found that "the Spanish/EU-style 'green jobs' agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs."

For every green job created by the Spanish government, Alvarez found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed elsewhere in the economy because resources were directed politically and not rationally, as in a market economy.
And yet, Strickland wants to repeat the exact same mistakes.

And why? Because of politics. Pushing for green jobs is the only way he can try to appease both those Independents focused on job creation and the liberal base he needs to inspire to vote.

Let's focus on our entire economy, Governor.

Improve the overall business environment and provide an incentive for all.

1 down. 1 to go.

Yesterday, Cathy Collins-Taylor lost round 1 in her fight to keep her job.

In a blow to the Strickland Administration, the Ohio Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 5-4 to not recommend her for confirmation.

Next week she goes to the full Senate where she needs to somehow find a bunch of Republican votes if she wants to keep her job.

It will take a miracle.

And now we have even more questionable activity going on thanks to the testimony of Earl Mack. His copious note taking led him to testify about efforts within DPS to conspire against Inspector General Thomas Charles. A proper law enforcement probe would look for communication between DPS and the Governor's office to see if DPS did this on their own or under the direction of the 30th floor. The best smoking gun of truth is that Mack notified his chain of command and an investigation. That initiated an internal investigation. That said, the person of interest within DPS, Josh Engel, still has his job and his pay. That tells you they don't want to isolate Engel. Why? Because if he turns on them, it's over. It's amazing how many times one person starts a tide that takes down a cover-up. The media will want to see the investigation files on Engel following Public Safety's investigation. I'd say it's in DPS' best interest to do a good investigation or there will be new stories and new hearings that will drip, drip, drip into the fall.

Strickland needs to pray it all wraps up fast and nothing else comes out.

If so, the only question left is how badly this scandal will damage Strickland in November.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mayor Coleman boycotts Arizona.

Yesterday, Mayor Coleman of Columbus made big news by announcing the city will no longer pay for any official trips to Arizona due to their new immigration law.

It was so big we even saw it splashed up on Drudge.

So I have three questions...

1) Is this why Columbus needed a tax hike? How many silly trips do city officials take to Arizona anyway? Can't the money be spent in better ways anyway?

2) Has he read the bill? From the National Review yesterday: "Let's be clear on what this criticism amounts to: The enforcement of existing federal law by state police, made possible by a standing DOJ policy memo, and under the well-established legal standards of reasonable suspicion, could lead to "harassment" and put police in a position to make "troublesome" judgment calls. Well, I suppose this is technically true of the Arizona law. But it's also true of most or all proactive policing measures. We pay police to make tough judgment calls that balance the imperative of public safety against the daunting civil/criminal rights lawsuit industry. This is no different."

3) This is obviously a huge news story. So where do Ohio's two most high profile state elected officials stand on it? What say you, Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher?

Can we say Troopergate is a big story, yet?

I think a massive headline splashed on the front page and above the fold of the Columbus Dispatch confirms it. Troopergate is a huge story.

At posting, it's still unclear whether Collins-Taylor will be approved out of committee.

And if she is approved, is it possible that continuing her job after this mess could actually damage Strickland more than if she was fired outright? Sure.

There is no question DPS is having major issues - from a lying director to potentially conspiring against the Inspector General. And if Strickland wants to defend the woman that leads it and proudly have her serve in his cabinet, then so be it.

It's yet another example of the poor leadership under Ted Strickland that we've seen the past 3.5 years.

And yet something else to use to take him out.

But if the committee finds that she lied, she needs to go. That's it. That's the way it is.

No matter what, this is a big story and will have an impact in November.

Governor Strickland's misplaced priorities...

I got this Google News Alert in my inbox this morning.

Looks like Ted is enjoying bagging some turkeys and singing to LeBron......WHILE OHIO'S SCHOOLS BURN TO THE GROUND!!!!

Google. You've done it again.

Mary Jo Kilroy doesn't get it.

Yesterday, Mary Jo Kilroy tweeted the following:

If I read this right, Kilroy doesn't believe taxpayers should pay for screw-ups made by private companies that mess up.

So why did she support efforts by the government to buy shares of GM in light of their self-destructive business model?

Kilroy doesn't get it.

It's not the job of hardworking taxpayers to pay for the mistakes of private industry. In a capitalist society, it's ok to let a company fail. It's good for them. If there is a demand for the type of goods they produce, someone else will pick up the slack. That's how it works.

Be consistent, Congresswoman Kilroy.

What you missed in the Ohio House while the Strickland Administration was getting smoked in the Ohio Senate...

Yesterday's confirmation hearing of Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor lived up to the promised fireworks. I'll have more on that later today.

But yesterday's events in the Ohio House included a few interesting tidbits on their own.

A friend of 3BP writes in with their eyewitness account:
Speaker Budish has been at the helm for 17 months now, receiving little if any or maybe a lot of guidance from his Democratic counterpart - Governor Strickland... However, it is ambiguous how a candidate’s financial assets will affect his ability to run the state of Ohio, but Democratic Reps. Hagan and Foley somehow find this tidbit important in a satirical crusade against Republican gubernatorial candidate, John Kasich. Important enough, in fact, that they have introduced legislation to require a candidate for statewide office to disclose the last four years of federal income taxes.

House Bill 504 neither creates jobs nor fixes the deficit; it simply creates controversy where none should be and makes hard work and personal success an object of public scrutiny. A bait-and-switch, if you will.

In this apparently no-holds-barred stratagem in the House chamber, Rep. Jarrod Martin of Beavercreek followed up with a common sense question—why not also require candidates to submit health records as well? Wouldn’t a candidate’s physical and mental ability to do his job matter more in a statewide office than how much money is in his bank account?

If the House Democrats want transparency and accountability for Ohioans, they have set their sights on the wrong target. Is John Kasich’s net worth more important to the average Joe and Jane Ohioans who are struggling through job loss and cut wages? Or do the taxpayers care more about accurate, nonpartisan revenue projections, efficiency within state agencies, and a more responsible use of their hard-earned money?

Reps. Hagan and Foley are so out of touch with their neighbors back home that they have allowed polarized politics and ulterior motives to block true transparency from being reached.

In one of the rare bipartisan efforts in the Ohio House, both Republicans and Democrats collaborated to create House Joint Resolution 9, which will increase the age of eligibility to 75 years of age for individuals to be elected or appointed to judicial office.

However, the House Democrats politicized this otherwise genuine collaboration between the two parties, proving once again that for the House majority, politics with always win out when pitted against sincere legislative efforts.

Moments before the convening of House session, it was revealed that Rep. Tracy Heard would propose an amendment that would place party affiliation with the identification of those seeking judicial office.

Because apparently, for House Democrats, party affiliation and the “R” or “D” behind a name is the only detail that matters.

Rep. Matt Huffman, a joint sponsor of this legislation, expressed his disappointment that his colleagues across the aisle would stain the bill with a partisan provision. “I had hoped that political affiliation would not enter into this effort,” he said.

But it always does, doesn’t it? From silencing dozens of job creation bills and cost-saving measures that would repair Ohio’s economy immediately and long-term, House Democrats have always—and it appears will continue to—allow partisanship to take center stage in the political circus that is the Democrat-controlled Ohio House.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quinnipiac is having issues.

After a quick review of how they did yesterday and in Ohio, Quinnipiac hasn't been performing well in testing big races.

In Ohio, Quinny's last poll of likely Democratic voters had Fisher up 20 points. Fisher won by 10.

In Pennsylvania, they had Sestak up 1. He won by 8.

This isn't good.

It brings into question their sampling of likely voters. Are they properly testing for enthusiasm or just going off of voting history? I'll see what I can find out.

I think the President is confused.

Yesterday in Youngstown, President Obama went after "The Party of No".

In a campaign stop promoting his economic efforts, Obama took swipes at what he called the "unified, determined opposition of one party." He said it is not too late for bipartisanship and appealed for it — but not until after criticizing those he said were "rooting for failure."

"If the just-say-no crowd had won out — if we had done things that way — we'd be in a deeper world of hurt," Obama said in the swing state of Ohio, where the unemployment rate is close to 11 percent, above the high nationwide average of near 10 percent.

Republicans have no ideas? All we say is "no"?

The White House does have internet access, right?

For those of you that do, you may want to check out this site:

Does that look like a Party of No?

Didn't think so.

Instead, the President may want to shake a stick at his own allies in Congress.

After all, they're the ones who won't even be producing a budget this year.

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that, for the first time since 1974, the House will not pass a budget resolution this year. Since the Budget Act of 1974, Congress has been unable to conference a budget resolution only four times: in 1998, 2002, 2004, and 2006. But in every one of these years, the House fulfilled its obligation to American taxpayers to create a budget. This year, however, this will not be the case.

Without a House budget, no final and binding budget can be enacted.
Democrats. The real Party of No.

The Hearing.

The confirmation hearing of embattled Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor begins at 10:00am this morning and can be watched live on

If you like fireworks, tune in.

Last night.

Last night had its good news and bad news.

The good news? We're done with Arlen Specter, once and for all.

It's sad. Almost. No matter his politics, the guy had a long and storied career in politics, and his last major act of switching parties for his own personal gain backfired in dramatic style. How pathetic to go out in such a way.

The bad news? We lost PA-12 by 7 points. No matter how you look at it, the win has to give Democrats some hope. If there's a silver lining, the seat is an R+1 seat and the 60th or so on the GOP target list on a PVI basis. So not necessarily a must-win for a House takeover, but still a clear target in November. Remember, this race was the only big race in Pennsylvania. The Dem Senate primary likely attracted a lot of Democrats to the polls. Republicans only had this single GOP race to inspire them. And it didn't work. Not a huge deal, but still a bummer.

Then Rand Paul crushed Grayson in the Kentucky GOP Senate primary. To be honest, I haven't followed this one too closely. From what I understand, Grayson is a clear conservative, but one backed by the establishment. Paul, while attempting to distance himself from his Dad on foreign policy/defense issues, still makes me a little nervous when it comes to those issues that make his Dad a weee bit scary. Rand will be one to keep a close eye on.

Uh oh.

Here's hoping this article in Business Insider couldn't be further from the truth...

Newsletter writers, hedge fund managers, journalists, bloggers, technicians, fundamental analysts, economists and strategists are joining the crash camp left and right. Not the bear camp...the crash camp.

I've been running around Manhattan all day taking care of business, meeting clients etc. After scanning today's articles and blog posts, I can honestly say that I've never heard more chatter about an imminent market crash, all at once, in my life. It's like the May 6th Flash Crash got everyone in the mood to talk cataclysm all of a sudden.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Unbelievable. With one paragraph, a President's visit is undermined.

Today at a factory in Ohio, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland joined President Obama in celebrating the fruits of the federal stimulus - an expansion of a manufacturing plant in Youngstown.

The president then discussed the $19 million in stimulus money that is going to the V&M expansion, saying “as a result of this investment,” the $650 million project is moving ahead.

Without the stimulus package, “the steady progress we’re beginning to see across America would not exist and neither would the plant that you’re about to build,” Obama said.

That's all well and good, except for one extremely massive detail.

The factory expansion would have happened without the massive donation of taxpayer dollars.

Joel Mastervich, V&M’s president and chief operating officer, said the stimulus money “helped propel the project forward.” But he added that “the project would have proceeded” without the money.

Also, Philippe Crouzet, chairman of the management board of Vallourec, V&M’s Paris-based parent company, said: “You don’t make such a big decision based on just a [government] subsidy.”


In other words, Americans gave away $19 million to a French-owned company in exchange for absolutely nothing at all. They were going to expand their factory anyway.

As I detailed this afternoon, the entire premise of the President celebrating the stimulus in Youngstown was so bogus as to be insulting.

Americans are sick of throwing their cash down the government toilet.

And Democrats will feel it in November.

Mr. President, this is your stimulus.

During his speech at V&M Star in Youngstown today, President Barack Obama will discuss “how efforts to rescue the economy are working, creating jobs, growing small business and keeping communities like Youngstown going,” according to a White House statement.
That's from the Youngstown Vindicator.

And considering the realities of the situation, it's absolutely amazing to me that President Obama believes the Youngstown area is a symbol of all that is right with the federal stimulus.
  • Since the stimulus was enacted, the Youngstown area has 7,800 fewer people employed and the unemployment rate has increased from 12.4% to 14.0%.
  • During the first five months of the stimulus, employment in Youngstown actually improved. But since then it has drastically shrunk. This implies that the stimulus has very clearly not helped.
  • Right now there are 235,000 people employed in the Youngstown area. That's the lowest number available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics database that goes back 20 years.
What's even more amazing is that the parent company of the business Obama is visiting today doesn't even claim the stimulus as a primary reason for their expansion.
However, when Vallourec, V&M’s French-based parent company, announced the expansion Feb. 15, little was said about the stimulus package money.

Oliver Mallet, Vallourec’s chief financial officer, said the project was helped by “very strong local business partnerships with the support of federal, state and municipal governments.”

He said the main reasons to expand in Youngstown were the success of the current facility, the local work force, and its proximity to the Marcellus Shale, a large natural-gas field under eastern Ohio and most of Pennsylvania.

During that same announcement, Didier Hornet, Vallourec’s chief operating officer of its oil and gas division, said the company was “benefiting from some stimulus package. Nonetheless, none of these incentives are specific to us. They are applicable to the industry in the region.”

In other words, "thanks for the coupon, but we were buying the product anyway."

But what about Ohio as a whole? Is Ohio really the best place to highlight successes of the stimulus? Take a look at the table below. It highlights the unemployment rates when the stimulus was enacted to the most recent data available in each Midwestern state.

As you can see, Ohio's increase of 1.9% is only topped by Illinois and Michigan.

That's terrible.

And yet you say the stimulus is working. Does this count as "rescuing the economy"?
The federal stimulus package provided $4.37 million for excavating, grading and drainage improvement to the site. That work, which created 35 construction jobs, is nearly done.
That's $125,000 per job. And on top of it, once the job is done, so go the jobs.

This is President Obama's stimulus.

Maybe he should have sat down with Ohio congressional candidate Bill Johnson to figure out some real solutions.

Someone take away Mary Jo Kilroy's credit card.

"Franking" is a privilege provided Members of Congress to send mass mailings or host tele-townhalls using taxpayer dollars.

When used responsibly, they are a means to communicate issues of importance to constituents and increase their understanding of the services their Representative can provide.

When used irresponsibly, they are used as a campaign tool to improve the chances of the incumbent to be re-elected.

Guess which is Mary Jo Kilroy.

According to an article in the Newark Advocate, Members of Congress spend a little over $100k on Franking.

Mary Jo Kilroy spent 371% of that, or $377,700.

And for what?

Campaign Lit.

Notice the similarity between her taxpayer-funded mail and campaign literature?

It's almost hard to tell which is which. Same color. Same style as campaign lit.

Now don't get me wrong. I can understand a first or second-term member sending more franked mail than most, but 371% of the average? That's amazingly over-the-top.

This isn't play money, Congresswoman Kilroy. These are taxpayer dollars given to the federal government to be spent responsibly, and that should start with you.


What a total and utter embarrassment for the Democratic Party establishment.

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's Attorney General and the presumptive Dem nominee for Senate, was caught last night in the kind of lie that destroys careers.

He lied about his military service in Vietnam.

Don't be fooled. Blumenthal wasn't just another slimy politician. He was a Democratic golden boy.

From The Atlantic:
...for almost two decades, Blumenthal has been so pure, so revered throughout Connecticut that he has seemed to exist in a realm beyond politics. That's not exaggeration. Everything about Blumenthal seemed to set him apart from the ordinary sleaze and compromise of big-time politics, especially in recent years as Joe Lieberman succumbed to narcissism and Chris Dodd's sweetheart Countrywide mortgage tarnished him beyond redemption (or at least beyond reelection). For as long as I can remember, Blumenthal has been the crusading consumer advocate, humble, modest, unprepossessing, with that guileless Brill Cream haircut that somehow made him seem even more honorable--a throwback to an earlier era.
But that all came crashing to a halt last night with the release of an in-depth article by the New York Times.

For years, Blumenthal claimed to have served IN Vietnam.

In this video, he specifically states: "We have learned something very important since the days when I served in Vietnam."

But the truth is far different.
There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard; pursue a graduate fellowship in England; serve as a special assistant to The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham; and ultimately take a job in the Nixon White House.

In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam.
Make no mistake. This isn't some story about Bush serving in the National Guard rather than Vietnam. After all, he never claimed to have served where so many honorably fought and died.

But Blumenthal did.

Politicians can fight back from torrid affairs. They can fight back from claims of alcohol abuse.

But it's another thing to so egregiously dishonor those who went to war and to expect forgiveness.

Blumenthal has already made a drastic mistake in his response to this story. He allowed it to flow into this morning without a substantive and rapid response.

To allow the stories to be written with merely a weak quote in response to defend yourself shows just how flatfooted Blumenthal was caught.

Some on the left
are already calling for a new candidate.

Who knows? Come tonight, Arlen Specter should be available.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why Paula Brooks has no chance in hell.

Paula Brooks is a symbol for the great hope for Democrats in the 2010 cycle.

She is the Democrat that's supposed to break the wave and beat an incumbent Republican.

In this race, it's Pat Tiberi in Ohio's 12th congressional district.

Well, with efforts like this, that isn't going to happen.

Not only has Paula Brooks ducked any questions regarding her position on the issues, but now it appears she's not even going to bother to show up at local events. She was definitely missing from the Founder's Day parade in New Albany this past Saturday. Maybe she got lost on her way from her home district in the 15th. Either that or she had better things to do.

By the way, Pat Tiberi had a good show of support. More than 50 people walked with him in the parade--check out the pic from his Facebook page.

That's how you win.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Not sure about the music on this one, but Jesse over at Athens Runaway put together a great video of the events at Friday's Kasich rally in Knox County.

The event had a great turnout. Not bad for a county that went for Strickland in 2006.

Hallett is wrong: Ted Strickland is responsible for job loss.

Yesterday, Joe Hallett of the Columbus Dispatch wrote yet another article complaining about the negativity of the Ohio gubernatorial race.

And he's right, it is negative.

Ted Strickland is smearing Kasich for being responsible for the demise of Lehman Brothers despite all reports saying otherwise.

And John Kasich is talking about Ted Strickland's record.

Fortunately, Hallett recognized that there isn't sufficient evidence to show Kasich having any connection to Lehman's downfall.

But in the same breath he claims Strickland isn't to blame for one of the 427,000 jobs lost under the Governor's watch.

I'm with Matt from WMD on this one.

Mr. Hallett? In the words of Colonel Sherman T. Potter: "Horsehockey!"

Let's start with the very safe assumption that a business environment better than the competition (i.e. other states and countries) provides a higher incentive for jobs to be retained or created.

The people that ultimately judge the quality of the business environment are the ones that run businesses. The CEOs.

Well, last week, CEO Magazine released their results of their survey of 651 CEOs from across the nation. They asked them to grade the best states for business. Each state was scored in three categories; taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. Each one of these categories can be directly affected by the Governor of a state.

And where did Ohio rank?


Additionally, in the past five years, Ohio has plummeted 24 spots.

It's very simple. If a state isn't attractive to those that retain and create jobs, then jobs will ultimately be lost.

Does that mean Strickland is to blame for the recession? Of course not. But he is to blame for failing to put Ohio in a position to recover faster than other states and to retain as many jobs as possible.

Four years ago, Ted Strickland said he would Turnaround Ohio. That is an admission that the Governor can have an effect on the state's economy. In reality, our position has only worsened under his watch, and that evidence can be seen in the massive survey completed by CEO magazine.

The sooner Ohio's media wakes up to this reality, the better.

But another quote also frustrated me from Hallett's column, but it came from Larry Sabato rather than Hallett.

When discussing Strickland's sole strategy of attacking Kasich, Sabato states:
"If Strickland simply sat back and made his case for a second-term, he'd lose," said Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "What he has to do is make the alternative unacceptable, and that's exactly what he's trying to do. People really don't know who John Kasich is. I think it's a very smart move, and it's the only way Strickland can win."
Now to be fair, 3BP has consistently stated that it's in Strickland's best interests to attack Kasich and define him first. But that's only if he's also able to repair his own reputation at the same time. That's the difficulty where Strickland finds himself. Finding balance.

Ultimately, elections with incumbents are referendums first and foremost.

Right now, all polls show Ohioans with very negative perceptions of the state of the state. And those perceptions will ultimately be blamed on the incumbent. Until those perceptions are repaired, Strickland is in jeopardy. And they become more difficult to fix when your first advertisements are negative. It digs you deeper.

Additionally, Kasich can already count on a national wave of conservatism as well as the natural voting trends of primaries to help with his GOTV efforts. Meanwhile, Strickland must find a way to inspire Democrats to vote. It's much easier to GOTV by encouraging people to vote for than against something. And Strickland seemingly refuses to give them a "for".

I'm not complaining.

Hippies, quit your jobs.

Of course, that assumes you had one in the first place.

That's not very safe to assume in Ohio's economy.

But Nancy Pelosi thinks it's totally ok for any of you to go ahead and quit your job if you want to pursue your dream of being on Glee. After all, you'll still get health care.

Maybe everyone should quit their job.

Then we'll see who pays for free government-run health care.

This is the woman Mary Jo Kilroy has voted with 98% of the time.

Hey Dale, John Wayne called. He wants his strut back.

In what may be the best advertisement yet of 2010, this commercial for a statewide candidate down in Alabama couldn't be more amazing.

It was just uploaded yesterday, and as of a little after midnight this morning it already had over 40,000 views. Pretty damn impressive.

I'm not sure what part is my favorite - the as subtle as a slap in the face shot of his gun, or the close-up of the horse when he asks who would support "such a dummy" when speaking of his opponent.


Friday, May 14, 2010


In all likelihood, you've seen this disaster already.

We Are LeBron Video - Watch more Funny Videos

I find it amusing that Cleveland investigative reporter Carl Monday is seen more often than Governor Strickland, but that doesn't take away from just how ridiculously awful this mess really is.

Seriously, Cleveland fans wonder why Cleveland is stuck in sports misery? It's because of stuff like this. Seriously.

And of course, now that Cleveland has relied on Ted Strickland to save a job, you can pretty much count on LeBron James being in New York next season.

One noticeable absence in the video? Cleveland's own Lee Fisher. Doesn't he care? Hmmm...

But of course, I can't leave you with that monstrosity to start your weekend... how about an 11-year old girl interviewing Justin Bieber?

(seriously, this is funny. watch it.)

It's the jobs, stupid.

John Kasich recognizes that.

Ted Strickland doesn't.

And the Cincy Enquirer took notice.

Boy, I wonder which matters more to the voters of a state with an 11% unemployment rate.

And Kasich hammers the message home in the article.
In Ohio, Kasich said, "we have to find out what are problems are along those lines and deal with it. But to tell you the truth, I am interested right now in only three things - one, creating an environment where jobs can grow; two, creating an environment where jobs can grow, and - can you guess what number three is? Creating an environment in Ohio where jobs can grow."

Speaking to the Enquirer after the event, Kasich said he is not surprised Strickland is talking more about Lehman Brothers than his own record.

"If the state has lost 427,000 jobs on your watch, you have to ask exactly what it is that you are doing,'' Kasich said. "The governor is the CEO of the state. The CEO has to accept responsibility."
Kasich is finishing up his 3-day bus tour today. Check out the update from John posted yesterday on their blog.

I hope the President's advance team knows to avoid the massive line at the welfare office...

President Obama is coming to Youngstown next week to highlight the few jobs our taxpayer dollars are funding through the ginormous stimulus bill.

The Mayor of Youngstown couldn't be more excited.
“The Mahoning Valley is redefining itself to the nation and the world,” he said. “When you talk about a place that has been a model for using federal stimulus money, a place to invest, a place that’s reinventing itself, the Mahoning Valley and Youngstown are high on that list.”
They are? Seriously?

Mahoning Valley's unemployment rate is 14.5%.

Youngstown's is 15.1%.

And the Valley has one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the state.

It's very simple. IF the stimulus was working...and IF the Mahoning Valley had become an attractive place to do business....unemployment would not be this high.

Let's not forget, the stimulus started doling out cash 15 months ago.

15% unemployment does not equal success.

The stimulus has failed. And we need a new way of doing business.

Strickland: Abandoning Appalachia

In 2006, Ted Strickland won 75% of the vote in Scioto County.

After the story published in this morning's Dispatch, I think it's safe to say that number won't be quite as high in November.
A Russian steel company is unlikely to follow through on plans to build a plant in southern Ohio, state officials are saying, marking what may be a quiet end to a project announced with fanfare three years ago.

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, known as MMK, was part of a joint venture that was going to spend $1 billion to build a steel mill that would employ 500 workers in Scioto County.

"We have not heard from MMK in some time," said Kimber Perfect, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Development.
This is something the elected representatives of Scioto County, where the mill was due to be built, have a duty to investigate.

And it starts at the top.

When this deal was announced "to fanfare" in 2007, did Strickland's Department of Development cease contact with the firm? Did they continue communication with MMK to help facilitate the process? What happened? How does a billion dollar deal just vanish into thin air?

This isn't just a political embarrassment for Governor Strickland, this is a real-life disaster for the people of Scioto County. As the Dispatch states, the county is suffering from an unemployment rate of 14.2%. That is the definition of a Jobs Crisis.

The Appalachian region is Strickland's bread and butter. And he failed them. Will they remember in November?