Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Meanwhile, Kasich and his surrogates have yet to spend a cent on increasing the GOP candidate's name ID or introducing his story to the voters.
In other words, in a purple state like Ohio there is every reason in the world to believe that Strickland has pulled away.
But he isn't. In fact, an aggregation of all polls shows that Kasich has an ever so slight lead. [DJ note: Due to the recent news that Daily Kos is suing Research 2000 for fraud and faulty polling, their poll of the race was removed from the below aggregation.]
Knowing this, do you think Ted and his surrogates would trade spending that $3 million in October rather than in May and June? You're damned right they would.
But the most important question being asked of the voters right now is not which candidate they support, it's this: "do you approve or disapprove of the job Ted Strickland is doing as Governor?" Why is it so important? Because of what virtually any serious political scientist will tell you - elections that include an incumbent are first and foremost a referendum on that incumbent.
43% aggregate approval? 48% aggregate disapproval?!
Ted Strickland is deep, deep underwater. And trending deeper.
This is a referendum election. With numbers like these, Ted is going to lose that referendum.
Can anything bring it back? Sure.
- An unprecedented and rapid improvement in the unemployment rate.
- An amiable solution to the $8 billion deficit.
- A realistic education plan.
Ted is doomed.
“On the spending side, we could and should consider a higher retirement age, or one pegged to lifespan; more progressive Social Security and Medicare benefits.”After today's press conference by Ohio's Democratic delegation in the U.S. House, you'd think the above words had been uttered by Rep. John Boehner. After all, the Dems went on a vicious attack against Boehner for suggesting an increase in the retirement age for Social Security should be considered.
But there is one not-so-small problem.
The above quote comes from the Majority Leader of House Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Steny Hoyer.
Are Ohio's Democratic members such amateurs that they implicitly attack their own Majority Leader?
It takes a special kind of stupid to fail to do such a minimal amount of research before mounting a spectacle like Ohio's Dem delegation put on today.
Not that anyone is surprised.
UPDATE: Boehner's team rips Ohio Dems a new one in their response:
“Last week, in a widely reported speech, Majority Leader Hoyer endorsed raising the Social Security retirement age,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “Does Rep. Kaptur believe Hoyer is ‘callous, outrageous, and un-American’? Does Rep. Ryan object to Rep. Hoyer wearing a suit and tie? Does Rep. [Steve] Driehaus believe his majority leader is out of touch? Does Rep. Space believe that Hoyer wants the elderly to clean toilets, stock shelves, or serve French fries?”
An inmate caught consuming alcohol at the governor's residence drank so heavily he couldn't remember whether he had six beers or an entire bottle of wine or liquor, according to an investigative report obtained by The Associated Press.I'm just amazed the inmate was able to get around the procedures necessary for an inmate to obtain such beverages. Clearly, he was a genius.
The inmate, who drank the alcohol at the end of his shift, also gave a second prisoner a cup of liquor mixed with soda pop in the residence's kitchen, according to the report released Tuesday.
Hoaja had access to a refrigerator in the kitchen used for storing alcohol as well as a cabinet where alcohol is stored, the report said.Oh.
Good job there, Gov. Quite a tight ship ya run.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do my usual breakdowns, but here's the basic gist based on results from both polls.
- Portman and Fisher are tied.
- Voters still haven't tied Fisher to Strickland or Obama.
- Portman is still widely unknown.
- But so is Fisher. How is that possible after running statewide approximately 47 times?
- Obama is pulling the entire Democratic ticket down. 42% approval in PPP? Ouch.
- And nobody wants Obamacare.
Their most recent poll, released yesterday, shows John Kasich leading Ted Strickland 43%-41%, or well within the 4.5% margin of error.
Unlike most other polls that test the Ohio Governor's race, PPP is particularly transparent about whom they are testing and their Party ID.
This poll tested registered voters. As we all know, registered voters tend to be less informed and traditionally skew left.
But PPP does a solid job of ensuring their sample reflects Ohio's Party ID breakdown better than what other polls have done.
This poll's sample included questions about Party ID and for whom respondees voted for in 2008.
Party ID reflected very close to the 2008 exit polls, with 44% Dem, 38% GOP, and 18% Independent. The respondees also polled very close to the 2008 results with 50% having voted for Obama and 44% having gone for McCain.
In other words, this poll has my respect.
So let's get to the dirty details.
As we said before, Kasich is leading, though his lead has shrunk by 3 points.
Strickland's approval sits at an amazingly low 37%, up slightly from 33% three months ago. His net approval rating is a Corzine-like -11. 37% approve. 48% disapprove. That is massively bad news for Strickland.
Kasich made some changes as well. After two months of being massively outspent with attack TV ads. And with no response from the GOP that introduced Kasich to the voters, that was bound to happen. The results? Kasich's net favoribility rating went from +1 to -2. That's it. After all those hard dollars spent, Strickland saw a measly 3 point swing. A swing that is within the margin of error of the poll. Embarrassing.
This is where it gets pretty interesting. Try to keep up.
To start, Strickland's favorability showed only minor changes from March among Obama and McCain voters.
But Kasich did show some movement. Among McCain voters Kasich went to from 39-17 in March to a 50-12 favorable/unfavorable rating. That's a 16 point net improvement. Inversely, Kasich went from 13-31 among Obama voters in March to 9-47. The money spent by the Dems against Kasich worked, right?!
Despite his heightened negatives, the number of Obama voters that support Kasich more than doubled from March to June. Money well spent, eh Dems?
Strickland's approval ratings among Democrats showed a decent improvement, going from +30 to +39. But his approval rating among Republicans shrank by 5 points. I guess that NRA endorsement didn't do much, eh?
Ted's best gain came among Independents, going from -26 approval to -11 (though still at a lowly 36). Kasich's numbers among Indies barely changed, going from a +3 to a +1.
Another interesting way to look at it is to compare Indie approval relative to overall name ID. While only 17% of Independents don't know Strickland, his approval rating sits at just 36%. Meanwhile, a full 41% of Indies don't know Kasich, and he sits only 6 points back from Strickland in favorability.
So what happens when these Independents vote? They go overwhelmingly to John Kasich, 45-26. That means even Indies that don't know Kasich are still preferring to pull the lever for the challenger over the incumbent.
But did Independent support change from the last time? Yes, but only by 4 points, or within the margin of error.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Ted can't win unless he spins positively about his own record while also substantively attacking Kasich. So far he hasn't done that.
While his numbers have shown some improvement, they are light years away from where they need to be in order to make this race competitive in the fall.
Ultimately, this poll highlights that no matter how desperately you try to change the numbers of your opponent, an incumbent can't run from his record.
And Kasich hasn't even presented his case yet.
Ted, you're running out of time. It may be time to start praying for a miracle.
To be fair, late yesterday word came that the President is finally accepting some foreign assistance to help temper the spill. Of course, it happened 67 days after the first offers came in, but we can let bygones be bygones, right?
No, we can't. And why not?
Check this out.
Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.That percentage isn't a typo.
How about cleaning up the coasts. Saving some wildlife. And helping the economy down there by changing this bureaucratic nonsense and changing that purity requirement to 99% even?
The ones who think the below video of U.S. Congressman Pete Stark responding to a constituent includes an appropriate, or at least, an acceptably amusing answer.
The ones who just don't care either way.
And the ones who believe the video exhibits the worst in disrespectful and contemptuous behavior by an elected official.
Which are you?
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
- Strickland, the DGA, and Big Labor have outspent the GOP nearly 3-1 on attack ads against John Kasich.
- They didn't work.
As I said back in April, "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."
And the results of this poll affirm that Strickland is facing this exact problem.
Kasich remains at 38. No change. None. Nearly $3 million spent by the Democrats and this is what they have to show for it. Looking deeper, Kasich's standing among Republicans has actually improved from the last Quinnipiac Poll, moving up to 81-6. If Democrats want anything to crow about, it's the slight movement among Independents. Strickland holds a slight lead, but within the Margin of Error. I guess that's what $3 million buys ya.
But the most important number is owned by Ted. 43.
As Quinnipiac's Peter Brown stressed, an incumbent this far underwater is nothing but bad news for Ted Strickland.
It isn't Ted Strickland. The Governor saw his worst favorable number since November of 2009. Coming in at 42%, this puts to rest the theory that Ted Strickland is a popular guy that people may disagree with, but they still like.
Kasich is still unknown to the majority of Ohioans. One positive for the Dems has been an increase in Kasich's negatives among Independents. That said, he also increased his positives. Ultimately, his net approval over disapproval among Indies shrunk from +14 to +9. Once again, is that worth nearly $3M?
Once we see the Kasich introduction on TV, it will be interesting to watch what happens to these numbers.
When asked the question of whether they are satisfied with the way things are going in Ohio, voters are unsatisfied by a net -19 points.
Among Independents that net difference shoots up to -33 points.
And with a number that has to leave Democrats worried about voter enthusiasm, 40% of Dems are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their state. Does anyone think it's easy to motivate a base that isn't happy with the direction of the state?
44% approve of the job Ted is doing.
How bad is that?
The worst of Ted's entire term.
The Three Pillars
As we all very well know by now, elections with an incumbent are far and away referendums on the incumbent.
Quinnipiac does a good job of asking three questions that provide solid insight about where the public stands on the quality of the job the Governor has done. These answers are important because they set the stage for how the Governor can and will be portrayed in the Fall.
Question 1. Has Ted kept his promises?
Only 31% said yes. The worst of Ted's entire term. (Turnaround Ohio, anyone?)
29% of Indies said yes and 29% of Dems said no. Killer.
Question 2. How has Ted done on the economy?
54% disapprove. 33% approve. The worst of Ted's entire term. (Jobs crisis, anyone?)
Question 3. How has Ted done on the state budget?
52% disapprove. 31% approve. The worst of Ted's entire term. ($8 billion deficit, anyone?)
Who gets the job?
When asked who would be better for rebuilding Ohio's economy, the answers were split evenly, 38% for Ted, 39% for Kasich. At first glance some may think that's bad news for Kasich. But those people ignore the fact that the vast majority of Ohioans have yet to be educated about Kasich's success in Congress balancing the federal budget. After all, they have yet to see any positive commercials from Kasich yet. Additionally, remember Kasich has been getting hammered by ads from Ted, the DGA and big labor.
Some may see the top line on this poll and beg for Kasich to start dropping cash on the airwaves.
In reality, this tells us the patience from the Kasich campaign has officially paid off.
Despite the overwhelming attacks, Kasich's net negatives have only negligibly increased, and Strickland hasn't increased his lead one bit.
Rather than the RGA or Kasich's campaign dropping enough cash to even out the ad war, the GOP has saved the cash to spend it another day. One a lot closer to election day.
Remember, I stated long ago that Strickland had the unenviable task of trying to damage Kasich's reputation while improving his own. Rather than doing that, Strickland's team has foolishly ignored his own negatives and the results of that strategy are seen in the Three Pillars above.
Incumbents can't win when the voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the job he or she is doing.
And that's where Ted finds himself.
"I am responsible for the decisions I've made and am making in helping this state move through the recession."In 2006, Ted Strickland ran on a plan to Turnaround Ohio. By definition, the Governor staked his claim to be able to directly influence the Ohio economy.
In other words, this is his baby.
Now Ted also likes to say the recession isn't his fault. And it isn't.
But as he said above, he's bears responsibility for how Ohio exits the recession. If Ohio is in good position, it's fair to say they would shoot out of the gates faster than other states and Ohioans will be better off. Ohio's unemployment rate would improve faster than other states and the general well being of Ohioans would improve at a faster pace than our competitors.
Except they aren't.
And it's not even Ted's enemies saying so. It's his own Council of Economic Advisors.
Check out these two charts created by Columbus Business First magazine. They use data from the Council of Economic Advisors and compare it to projected national data.
See those two large gaps at the end of each graph? They show people across this nation finding work faster than Ohioans and seeing their personal incomes rise faster than Ohioans.
If Ohio was primed to rebound quickly, we wouldn't see those gaps continue to widen over time.
This is the work of Ted Strickland.
He's had four years to put Ohio in a better position and he's failed.
And we can look at his own Council of Economic Advisors for the proof.
If other statehouse bureau chiefs never get a straight answer from a GOP communications operative, I'm sure they'll understand.
But I'm particularly interested in welcoming to the Ohio Democratic Party that said the following about Ted Strickland after he proposed to raise taxes late last year.
Gov. Ted Strickland did not unveil a tax-neutral plan Wednesday or a temporary freeze on the income-tax reduction.Dennis Willard, new ODP operative, said Ted StricBlogger: Third Base Politics - Create Postkland raised taxes.
Strickland proposed raising income taxes, plain and simple, to generate $844 million in the next 21 months.
The vast majority of people working in Ohio this year will pay more income taxes in 2010, and again in 2011, if the state legislature goes along with Strickland.
And that is a tax increase.
Also, new ODP operative Dennis Willard thought Ted Strickland was responsible of 2 out of the 5 worst decisions in Ohio last year.
Oh, and lest I forget, new ODP operative Dennis Willard also in known to have written this:
The promise to ''Turnaround Ohio'' that Strickland made in running for office in 2006 has gone unfulfilled.It has. And apparently the Ohio Democratic Party agrees.
Monday, June 28, 2010
They aren't sexy. And if you try to lessen their benefits you will surely draw down the wrath of state employee labor organizations that have plenty of money to make sure you aren't going to win your next election.
But with such horribly frightening statistics as what appeared in the Youngstown Vindicator this weekend, whoever is the next Governor will need to take a serious stand against Big Labor.
Last year, about 1,100 State Teachers Retirement System members received on average $67,000 in pension pay while returning to work and earning $70,000 to $100,000 in their post-retirement jobs at school districts; about 32,000 state and local employees collected more than $1 billion in pension payouts last year in addition to the money they’re earning as double-dippers; the pension cost to local governments in the state is $4.1 billion a year, and the number will grow by $604 million to $768 million over the next five years.Voters must be educated on how much of their money is being wasted in this drastically unfair system that is being abused by public employees.
Enough is enough.
Well, it seems John Kasich is ready to follow the trend recently rejuvenated by NJ Gov. Chris Christie. Doing what's right.
As Publius (better known as James Madison) wrote about in Federalist Paper No. 10, elected officials in a Republic have a duty to do what's right, and not simply submit to what is supported by a majority or minority faction.
If he wins on Nov. 2, the former Westerville-area congressman appears resigned to being an unpopular governor - and if voters kick him out of office after four years, that might be fine with him.
"I just want to fix the state and get the heck out of this as soon as I can," Kasich, the 58-year-old former managing director for now-defunct Lehman Brothers, told me in October. He said he'd be happy to return to the business sector and, possibly, resume his gig as an on-air personality for Fox News.
Hence the reason a Kasich governorship is hopeful. Facing an $8billion deficit in the next two-year budget, Ohio's governor will be forced to make drastic, even cold-hearted decisions that will be unpopular. Kasich is putting himself in a position to do so free from paybacks to special interests, beholden to no one but the state's residents. Although Gov. Ted Strickland instantly would be a lame duck if he wins, it is questionable whether he would have the stomach to demand necessary systemic changes from public-employee unions, among his staunchest constituencies.
And that same standard should apply to elected state officials as well.
I'm happy to see at least one candidate in the Governor's race with a proven track record of following the direction intended by our nation's Founders.
An article appearing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in March of this year stated the upcoming deficit was "the biggest issue that we've ever faced in terms of growing our state".
And yesterday, the Dispatch ran with this headline.
The Dispatch article breaks down how both Kasich and Strickland have ambiguously responded to how they'll solve the crisis.
But the Dispatch conveniently glosses over a very important fact.
Ted Strickland was the elected Governor 439 days ago when the looming deficit first came to the public's attention. And that was thanks to Mary Taylor.
I'll never forget Strickland's response to Taylor's analysis. But for those that do, here it is:
The governor has refused to concede that spending the one-time money will create an inherent shortfall in the following two-year budget, or that a tax increase might be needed.Refusing to concede that fact is like refusing to concede the sky is blue. It's beyond obtuse. It's foolish and irresponsible.
But he went on...
"Why do you and others want me to say that I'm going to raise taxes?" Strickland said during a March interview. "We're dealing with the budget for 2010 and 2011, and the standard that I'm being held to is, 'How are you going to balance the budget in 2012 and 2013?' It's still 2009. I just don't get it.Truer words have never been spoken.
Governor, you were elected to make Ohio a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Not to simply make sure a biennial budget was balanced.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that balancing the next budget will require some very tough decisions. But by refusing to acknowledge the problem and work towards solutions, as someone charged with the public trust should, you kicked the can down the road.
You're right. You just don't get it.
Now 439 days later Ohio still had its taxes raised, and we still don't see one iota of progress, or scant an acknowledgment of solving "the biggest issue that we've ever faced in terms of growing our state".
Ohio deserves someone far better than a politician who has a proven track record of refusing to make the tough calls necessary to serve as Governor.
And now Erick Erickson of Red State is wondering what in the hell has happened to the once principled organization:
Internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members are highlighting just how far the National Rifle Association has fallen.Click here for more.
The organization recently collaborated with the left to obtain a carve out of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation designed to silence bloggers and outside interest groups like tea party activists. This was a first amendment issue and the NRA gladly took a position and campaigned for its members to take a position on the DISCLOSE Act.
One of the NRA’s chief arguments was that it needed the carve out to be effective in its advocacy of Second Amendment issues. But here’s the problem: these internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.
That’s right: the foremost gun rights lobby in the nation is prohibiting its board from testifying in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings about the second amendment.
He states if Obama's approval sits at 50%, then it will be difficult for GOP candidates to win if the tie to Obama is the candidate's primary attack. However, a Presidential approval number stuck at 45% would be very likely to increase Democratic casualties.
Well, it seems the Kasich campaign struck while the iron was hot.
An aggregation of approval polls, the fairest way to judge the current national mood, shows the following:
If that trend continues, and there's currently no reason to believe it won't, then both Ted Strickland and Democrats across the country are in serious trouble.
Kasich's internet ad is below. How long until we see a version of it on the televisions of Ohioans across the state?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Full of Bron Bron and Chickens. Oh, and that pesky jobs crisis.
The week is ending with a particularly amusing video from the Ohio Dems making charges that Kasich has been spending all his time in NYC and ignoring Ohio.
The amusing part? Kasich was in NYC for less than 24 hours. A number of the clips in their video were actually recorded in Ohio. Even Glenn Beck says "From Ohio". (nice editing there, fellas) They also claim Kasich had a book signing in NYC. Which is a lie. Of course, this comes from the same guys who claimed Kasich said he didn't want LeBron in Cleveland. Which also was a lie. And a weird one, at that. But hey, I'm sure Kasich appreciates the free publicity for his book. However, considering its already #7 on the NYT Bestseller list, maybe it's not even needed.
At the end of the day, the charge against Kasich that he's out of Ohio too much is particularly silly when you look at how many times Strickland has ran from his responsibilities. After all, a report from the Dispatch all the way back in March showed that Strickland had taken 26(!) out of state trips for fundraising purposes just in 2009 and through 3 months of 2010. Wonder what he's up to by now...
But I guess all that straining from the Dems to talk about anything but the issues that matter to Ohioans can take it's toll. But at least they're trying. As opposed to Mary Jo Kilroy who has taken to sleeping on the job.
But enough politics.
Where's the fun stuff, you ask?
Well, my 2nd favorite youtube of the week combines OK Go and the Muppets. It's hard to go wrong with that combo.
And of course we now have the USA now in the elimination rounds of the World Cup.
They play Ghana tomorrow afternoon, and of course, I'm going to miss it thanks to a poorly scheduled wedding of a friend. Is it bad form to keep checking twitter for updates when the couple is exchanging vows? Hmmm...
But I leave you with this absolutely fantastic video of reactions to Landon Donovan's dramatic goal against Algeria. They come from across the United States and around the world...and if this doesn't help you appreciate the World Cup, nothing will.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.
The Chris Christie model of governing must be closely watched. Sadly, it's a style we don't see too often on either side of the aisle.
But if he's successful, perhaps it can be a transformative moment in both governing and campaigning.
...[A]nyone on either side of the aisle who's fed up with our focus-grouped, winning-is-everything political culture should be watching Governor Bully closely. Christie's crusade is not about 2012 or 2016; he doesn't seem to mind being unpopular. Instead, it's about testing conservative principles against the hard stuff of reality. New Jersey's constitution endows the governor with more power than most of his counterparts, and so far Christie has not been shy about exercising it.
As a result, the Garden State has suddenly become a fascinating test case for GOP governance: can a conservative response ameliorate this fiscal crisis, at least on the state level?
Thanks to the big deal surrounding Obamacare, everything that happens to the health care system lies on their shoulders.
Which leads us to Ohio Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy.
Soon after the bill was signed into law, Kilroy stated that Obamacare would "strengthen Medicare for seniors."
Except reality is the opposite.
I'm not sure fewer seniors receiving medicare treatment is the equivalent to "strengthening", eh?
Now, to be fair, if the infamous "Doc Fix" had been included in the legislation, medicare rejections likely would not have seen the spike they have. But it wasn't included.
And why wasn't it included?
Just a few short months ago the doc fix was part of the president’s healthcare reform legislation but Congressional leaders removed it from the bill so the CBO could certify that the legislation was revenue neutral and did not “add one dime to the deficit” as the president intoned daily. So in a most disingenuous piece of fiscal trickery Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid separated the doc fix from the overall healthcare reform legislation and put it in a separate bill, claiming it was a totally separate issue. Voila; the CBO could now certify the ten-year cost of the healthcare legislation as not increasing the deficit but the very same costs are now to be incurred in a separate law.Mary Jo Kilroy, you promised your constituents that Medicare would be strengthened.
So there we have it; the costs of the annual fix which, if included in the healthcare reform bill, might have prevented its passage, is later acknowledged to cause an increase in the deficit by the same amount.
Instead, seniors in the 15th district are being rejected thanks to the bill you so strongly advocated for.
You have some explaining to do.
How much so? On Wednesday and Thursday the Governor's campaign spokeswoman, Lis Smith, tweeted 105 times. 87 of those tweets were in some shape or form about LeBron and Chicken Shacks.
I know. Weird, right?
But while the Governor's primary message manager is focused on the trivial, there is a real world out there.
Employees of NCR past and present gathered Thursday afternoon, June 24, at Old River Park to celebrate a company, its local legacy — and each other.This get together is a stark reminder of Ted Strickland's failure as a Governor.
“It’s just a good day to renew old acquaintances,” said Patricia Wentz, who worked for NCR for five years.
The gathering of employees was a self-organized event that didn’t involve the company. NCR has moved headquarters functions to Duluth Ga., pulling most of the 1,300 jobs it had in Dayton to the Atlanta area. On July 1, the former headquarters building and its 115 acres will be transferred to control of the University of Dayton, which bought the property for $18 million late last year.
If you'll remember, the primary reasons for NCR's departure were the following:
NCR decided to create a single innovation hub for its worldwide headquarters in Georgia after extensive analysis of potential US locations, using independent data on the available workforce, infrastructure, financial incentives and government tax structures.
While the Governor can influence all of the above factors, he has particular power over the final two. As we all know, tax structures are all relative. If other states have a more competitive tax structure, they will be more attractive for businesses. And Georgia was more attractive.
Of course, it probably also would have helped if Strickland took the time to know the identity of NCR's CEO.
Well, Governor. The buck stops with you.
And while your campaign may not want to acknowledge what really matters to voters, you may want to start.
As I mentioned last week, the Gulf oil crisis has provided Jindal an opportunity to shine and show America that he can once again be a national star for the GOP.
And that's what's happening.
From Real Clear Politics:
He is a wonder, this Jindal. He has been engaged in every facet of what's going on, as in demanding sand barriers to protect the coast and providing answers to those that questioned the idea's wisdom, in striking contrast to Obama, whose way of addressing the catastrophe has largely been political.And Andrew Breitbart's conservative and hugely popular Big Government site said this:
Alexander Hamilton once argued that “energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government.” Bobby Jindal is nothing if not energetic. He is, in fact, everything that a republican executive ought to be. Put bluntly, he is the sort of man that one would want to have next to one in a foxhole. He is smart as a whip, and he is inclined to take the initiative. If his response to President Obama’s first State of the Union Address left television viewers disappointed, we should keep in mind that, when 2012 comes around, Americans will be apt to pay more attention to demonstrated executive capacity than to eloquence in mouthing pious platitudes.Need an example of Jindal's abilities? Check out this video from the AP:
Jindal is roaring back. And he could be a player in 2012.
These days the word "socialist" is thrown around with great frequency.
So much so that the term seems to have lost its meaning.
Let's be clear. Per Merriam-Webster, one form of socialism is "a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done."
Remembering that, let's get to the meat of the matter.
Yesterday, Mark Barbash, Governor Strickland's Chief Economic Development Officer, made a post on his facebook wall.
It was text from a speech by a famous American who promoted government control of services to weather a treacherous economic time. Barbash described the words within the speech as "an important message in these tough economic times".
Among the words included in the speech were the following:
...[I]n the field of industry and business many of those whose primary solicitude is confined to the welfare of what they call capital have failed to read the lessons of the past few years and have been moved less by calm analysis of the needs of the Nation as a whole than by a blind determination to preserve their own special stakes in the economic order.Interesting words to support coming from someone who was caught last year for owing $146,313 in back taxes from 2000-2006.
But let's get to the juicy parts.
I believe that we are at the threshold of a fundamental change in our popular economic thought, that in the future we are going to think less about the producer and more about the consumer. Do what we may have to do to inject life into our ailing economic order, we cannot make it endure for long unless we can bring about a wiser, more equitable distribution of the national income.
So, if I'm reading this right, Mark Barbash is echoing a call for a "more equal distribution of income"? He also is calling for producers to be deemphasized in favor of the worker?
I know the Strickland Administration has been in the back pocket of Big Labor of late, but doesn't this radical change seem a bit extreme coming from the man in charge of economic development?
. . . [O]ur basic trouble was not an insufficiency of capital. It was an insufficient distribution of buying power coupled with an over-sufficient speculation in production. While wages rose in many of our industries, they did not as a whole rise proportionately to the reward to capital, and at the same time the purchasing power of other great groups of our population was permitted to shrink.In order to solve this perceived problem, a very clear intrusion by the government would be required in order to evenly "distribute...buying power". This hits straight to the heart of socialism.
It is well within the inventive capacity of man, who has built up this great social and economic machine capable of satisfying the wants of all, to insure that all who are willing and able to work receive from it at least the necessities of life. In such a system, the reward for a day's work will have to be greater, on the average, than it has been, and the reward to capital, especially capital which is speculative, will have to be less.This echoes directly what Karl Marx stated in his Critique of the Gotha Programme, that the method of one's compensation should be based on the amount of labor one contributes to society. It's also the most clear example of a socialist agenda.
So who first delivered the words quoted above and supported by Mark Barbash? Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his first campaign for President in 1932.
Now don't get me wrong. FDR was a magnificent President. But his economic policies, to say the least, left much to be desired.
In fact, the "experiment", as he described his ideas in 1932, turned out to be the New Deal - or the first major step into America's embrace of Keynesian economics.
And it was the New Deal that was found to have prolonged the nation's recovery by seven years, according to a well known study by economists at UCLA in 2004.
In many ways, our society has gone much further to the left of Roosevelt's initial vision.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.
"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."
But by reiterating his words from 1932, Barbash seems to support the notion that our society hasn't gone anywhere near far enough in re-imagining our economic system.
Now don't get me wrong. I have no idea if Barbash really does believe the words he quoted on his facebook page. But they are extreme to the point that someone in his position has a responsibility to clarify those words publicly.
Barbash states these are "troubled economic times". Indeed.
But do we really need a further push to the left and embrace policies that have been proven to fail?
Barbash has some explaining to do.
[a screenshot of a portion of Mark Barbash's post on facebook]
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Obama is underwater.
With poll after poll showing him under 50% approval and an aggregation showing more people disapprove than approve of his job performance, the President has become a calamity for Democrats.
And now he's about to become a weapon for Republicans.
In a way reminiscint of so many Democratic attacks on President Bush in 2006, Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich's campaign appears to be the first high profile race to make President Obama an issue.
And considering Obama's record in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts so far, that's a winning strategic play.
Check out the video:
And guess what, it's NJ Gov. Chris Christie again.
In the below video Christie is talking about having the courage to reform pensions and public sector.
He also mentions that he'll be balancing New Jersey's $11 billion deficit without a tax hike. That's interesting when you consider it's the same thing Kasich has promised to do. The difference is Ohio's upcoming deficit is $3 billion less in a state with 3 million more people. In other words, if New Jersey can do it, Ohio can do it.
And it's about the issue of highest priority to voters - the economy.
One finding on our last national poll may summarize more than anything else why 2010 is likely to be a very tough year for Democrats: only 24% of independents think the economy's better than it was a year ago. 49% think it's worse and 27% think it's about the same, and about the same isn't too good given where it was a year ago. They don't have much optimism for the future either. 24% think the economy will be better by November, 37% think it will be worse, and 39% think it will be in about the same poor position they perceive it to be in right now.I couldn't say it any better.
The way independents feel about the economy has serious implications for how they're planning to vote this year. The ones who think the economy's gotten worse in the least year are planning to vote for the GOP by a 53-6 margin. The ones who think it's about the same say they'll vote Republican 34-24. The ones who think it's gotten better say they'll vote Democratic 51-5 but of course that's the smallest group in the pot.
And once these voters are reminded via paid media that Democrats supported a bill that cost more than the entirety of the war in Iraq in order to "jumpstart" the economy, things will go from bad to worse for the Party in power.
The only thing that can fix this image would be a staggeringly fast recovery starting yesterday.
Democrats are in trouble.
The ORP is out with a new video that absolutely skewers Lee Fisher on his efforts to convince supporters of the 2nd amendment that he's with them.
Not so much.
Once again proving their superiority over embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have proven their worth with this release of groundbreaking news from the AP:
Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells — a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.Now can we please focus our research on what works, rather than what kills?
The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.
"This is a roaring success," said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the study — the longest and largest of its kind.
Amazing the lengths Democrats go to avoid talking about their record the past four years, eh?
But I digress.
If you've not been paying attention, two days ago, Strickland's LG candidate gave a speech claiming credit for the crappy state of Ohio's cites. In response, Kasich's spokesman stated, "having grown up in a chicken shack on Duck Run, [Strickland] has all but ignored our cities' economies and their workers."
Clearly, the spokesman didn't mean it as an insult to rural Ohioans, but I can see how it could be read that way, and that's why it was an incredibly poor choice of words.
Appropriately, the Kasich spokesman apologized and explained himself. Then Kasich came out and said he disapproved of the comment.
Ohhh but that didn't stop the Strickland campaign from slobbering all over themselves to play yet another round of class warfare.
To be completely honest, with a statement like that from the Kasich campaign, I honestly can't blame them.
Think about it.
If you had been rapidly losing support amongst what should be your geographical base, you'd abuse whatever rhetorical advantage you could get to win their votes back, too.
And he has lost support. Just look at the data.
1. Party Switchers
Despite a high profile Democratic Senate primary and no major contested GOP primaries in the region, 15 Southern and Southeastern Ohio counties saw a net gain of 2,845 Party switchers in the May primary. Of those 15, none saw any net gains for Democrats. And this was in Governor Strickland's geographic base. With those incentives for Democrats to come to the polls, there is no rational reason for net GOP gains in Party switchers other than Democrats losing support.
2. Primary Results
In the May primary, Kasich took more votes than Strickland in 10 of the 14 counties that Strickland represented from 1992-1994 and from 1995-2002, and in six of the 12 counties that Ted Strickland represented from 2002-2006. Remember, Kasich name recognition was amazingly low in SE Ohio in the May primary. With the Dem Senate primary incentive, Strickland still showed major weakness among his geographic base.
3. Low-dollar contributors
One of the best ways to gauge support among the grassroots is to take a look at how many low-dollar contributions you earn. A rough review of the campaign finance data from Southeast and Southern Ohio since Kasich entered the race shows Ted earned a grand total of only 308 contributions of $25 or less. As if you couldn't figure it out yourself, only 308 in over a year in your geographical base is frighteningly low. If his base wanted him, they'd at least throw $10 bucks his way, right?
4. The Polls
In the latest Ohio Poll, Strickland's job approval sits at an even 50% in the SE region, tied with Central Ohio for the lowest rating of all regions. It's even worse on the economy, with Strickland getting only 46% approval, 2nd worst only to the Central Ohio region. Remember, SE Ohio is supposed to be his geographic base. This is where he should perform strongest, and he's very clearly not getting the job done.
All this data spells out one very clear fact: Ted Strickland is losing his geographic base.
And what's his strategy to win them back? Attacking the spokesman for his opponent about a comment regarding chicken coops that the aforementioned spokesman had already apologized for and explained.
What's he up against? An entire of region of people averaging upwards of 12% unemployment.
You tell me what matters more to Southeastern Ohio.
UPDATE: Let's make this post a bit more timely. Here's Strickland's reaction to the Kasich comment, told in World Cup Soccer form...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
That's nice. Except for a few giant problems and giant questions.
First, the Strickland Administration already found it well and good to eliminate state control of assistance specifically for African-American males.
An entity with a similar, somewhat broader mission - the Commission on African American Males - was eliminated as a state agency in the budget Strickland signed in 2007. Its funding and operations were moved to the Ohio State University, where they remain.Ok, so the program remains, but we need to spend more to do something already sent to an educational institution to manage?
So what else can Yvette sink her hands into?
Also as lieutenant governor, McGee Brown said she would oversee an urban co-op and internship program funded by $25 million in revenues from planned casinos, give priority in state development grants to businesses and housing located within easy distance of public transportation, and expand the state's Save the Dream foreclosure assistance program.It seems with all these programs that Yvette is talking about creating a completely new department or office that focuses on Urban Affairs by cherry picking programs out of other departments. What will be the cost to set up this new office just for the LG? Or will she be able to interfere with specific programs in each department and overrule the director of those departments? This totally ambiguous direction is the kind of failure of leadership that has caused such a bureaucratic fiasco in Ohio's state government.
Oh, and guess what NRA, the LG candidate said gun issues are irrelevant to the Governor's race.
McGee Brown declined to comment on one major urban policy matter: gun control. Last week, Strickland touted his endorsement by the National Rifle Association at events across the state, but McGee Brown said the issue was irrelevant to the race.That should be news to gun owners across Ohio.
UPDATE: I revisted the Newark Advocate website linked at the top of this post where I originally obtained the excerpts discussed in this article. Since I originally wrote this post, Yvette's quote changed to the following:
McGee Brown declined to comment on one major urban policy matter: gun control. Last week, Strickland touted his endorsement by the National Rifle Association at events across the state, but McGee Brown said her opinion on the issue was irrelevant to the race.As you can see, the article added "her opinion" to the paragraph. I wrote Michael Shearer at the Newark Advocate about the change. He said the article was produced by the AP and resided on a subpage within their site. Apparently, when the AP updates their version of the article, it automatically updates on the Newark Advocate site as well, and that's likely what happened in this case.
Does it change the meaning of the statement? Absolutely. But it should make the statement no less worrisome for gun owners. Voters have every right to know where the Governor's nominee stands on gun issues. After all, she is next in line to be Governor. In addition, if McGee Brown doesn't support the rights of gun owners, then Strickland's support must also be questioned. After all, McGee Brown is supposed to be the person he feels could best replace him should he leave office before his term expires.
So, Yvette, where are you on the rights of gun owners?
It's because a Governor who had been in office for four years and trying to say some of the things Yvette said would very well be laughed off the stage.
Let there be no question. Strickland wants to claim credit for where Ohio's top cities now stand.
Ok, fine. Let's take a look using data organized by the ORP.
For an easier view of the data, make sure you click here.
And try not to cry.
Sure, it's no surprise that Beck is a fan of Kasich's, but having such a rousing endorsement from the founder of the 9.12 project can only help a campaign when it comes to inspiring activists to contribute time and dollars.
But John Boehner isn't going to let you get over the hangover left from Obamacare. Nor should he.
Today, on the 3-month anniversary of it being signed into law, we're getting reminded what a complete and total screw-up it really was for the American people.
What did our President and his Party promise?
[click to enlarge]
And what did we end up with?
- Making it harder to put people back to work instead of creating jobs ‘immediately’ as promised.
- Raising costs and increasing the deficit instead of lowering costs and adhering to common-sense
- fiscal discipline as promised.
- Forcing 87 million Americans off their current coverage instead of protecting access to coverage as promised.
- Failing to lift a finger to implement a critical Executive Order that purportedly protects taxpayers from being forced to fund abortions.
- Imposing massive burdens on cash-strapped states.
- Failing to win public support despite making taxpayers fund a massive PR campaign.
The Obama administration's flagship effort to help people in danger of losing their homes is falling flat.
More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who have enrolled in the $75 billion mortgage modification program have dropped out. That exceeds the number of people who have managed to have their loan payments reduced to help them keep their homes.
Last month alone,155,000 borrowers left the program -- bringing the total to 436,000 who have dropped out since it began in March 2009.
This has been an utter and complete failure of a program and reinforced just how obsessed the Obama Administration has been with kicking the can down the road and not facing problems head on.
The housing market, just like everything in a capitalist society, is about incentives, and these weren't the incentives that were going to heal what ails us. Is it really a surprise that those who couldn't keep up with their original loans were going to screw up their government subsidized loans? Of course not.
But we did it anyway.
Kasich: "I'm not singing in any chorus for LeBron James."Since then, Democrats have created an entire website dedicated to mocking Kasich and claiming he doesn't care if LeBron is in Cleveland. Of course, Kasich never said that, but when has the truth ever mattered. They also stated that LeBron was a huge "economic driver" for Ohio.
Colmes: "You're not?"Kasich: "No, I'm not. Look, he's a great basketball player, he's a great guy. There's a lot of great people in Ohio."
Kasich said it would be great if LeBron stayed, but he won't do anything extra to convince him.
"We've lost 400,000 jobs out here and the last guy I worry about is LeBron James. You know I mean, we all hope he'll stay in Cleveland. We think we've got a great guy there that can turn everything around, but we got some serious problems," Kasich said.
There are three ways to look at how massively stupid Strickland and his cronies are on this new tactic.
First, if this is really is Strickland's idea of economic development, it explains the incredibly inept way he managed to lose companies like NCR and DHL as they picked up and moved out of state.
Second, Terry Pluto, a sports columnist for the Plain Dealer and the eight time Ohio Sportswriter of the Year wrote the following in a column yesterday:
Wait a minute, didn't Forbes magazine already rate Cleveland as the "most miserable city" back in February? That was when James was in the middle of his second consecutive MVP season and the Cavs were on their way to an NBA-best 61 regular-season victories. We were already supposed to be chronically depressed, so how much worse can it get?And that's essentially what Kasich said. Maybe the Ohio Dems should toss Terry Pluto in their youtube video about Kasich.
Here's hoping James remains with the Cavs. His presence does light up the dismal winter sports landscape. As long as James is in Cleveland, fans can at least dare to dream about him bringing a title here. But if he leaves, does much really change in most of our lives?
Consider what really counts: Family, health, relationship, jobs.
Thereby disproving the "economic driver" theory.
I suggest the dear doctor look in the rearview mirror of Cleveland sport history. Check out 1995, when it was announced the Browns were moving to Baltimore a week before the Indians were heading to their first World Series in 41 years.
Guess what?Cleveland and the fans survived. Despite James' enormous popularity, it doesn't match the love this area has for the Browns. And yes, the city actually functioned in the three years the Browns were gone.
Ohio is much, much more than a basketball star. And it's pathetic that a Governor and his cronies believe otherwise.
But more apt to my points, the fact that this hub-bub has gotten so big that the massive problems facing Ohio and Cleveland have reached a sports column highlights just how stupid a move this was by the Strickland team. Now Ohio's challenges have reached a whole new audience.
Which leads to the third reason this was so stupid. This story has been in the news cycle for at least two days. The Strickland machine, who probably thought they were being cute and funny, somehow made this their primary message for two days of the campaign. They made a website. They made a youtube. The Strickland campaign spokeswoman, the Party spokesman, and Party Chairman attacked Kasich over it. Each day presents a campaign a finite number of opportunities to present your message. And for two days, the message from Democrats has been LeBrongate.
Not only is that pathetic in highlighting just how out of touch Democrats are, but it also highlighted to a number of Ohioans who actually understands the real challenges facing Ohio. And that's John Kasich.
Oh, and remember that poll in the Plain Dealer? More people took it.
The fact I feel the need to write this much about how far Ohio Democrats have gone of the rails really does annoy me. But it's nothing compared to the amount of time Democrats spent making this a story.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Well, he may want to start thinking of other ideas one of these days. Because, well, he's the Governor.
A debate is raging over whether stimulus funds are actually helping states weather the recession or simply enabling them to postpone matching a record drop in tax revenues since 2007 with badly needed spending reforms and cuts.Needless to say, the massive unpopularity of the first stimulus has made such massive spending to prop up government quite unpopular in DC. If congress is so pensive to pass this legislation now, imagine how unattractive such a bill would be come January with a slew of new Republicans in congress based on campaigns that were built around bringing fiscal responsibility to Washington.
President Obama wants to provide the states with an additional $50 billion in health and education funding, on top of $135 billion in such stopgap funding provided in last year's $862 billion stimulus bill. That amount, which the president insists is essential to prevent the layoff of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters, would plug about 40 percent of an estimated $125 billion in budget gaps the states collectively face this year.
Congress so far has balked at extending such a generous state aid package. It appears in trouble in the Senate, where legislators are increasingly concerned about the federal government's own severe budget problems.
In other words, a federal bailout is incredibly unlikely.
And whatever happened to following what we learned as children? Clean up your own mess.
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, state spending grew by nearly 60 percent to $1.5 trillion between 2000 and 2008, a period when revenues came flooding in, particularly as a result of the housing boom.And there it is. The true difference between Ted Strickland and John Kasich.
"They are artificially propping up a level of spending that can no longer be supported by the economy," Mr. Williams said. "Rather than fundamentally reshaping government to reflect declining state revenues for some time to come, they are relying on accounting gimmicks, one-time funds, and federal stimulus money to balance the budget."
The Republican understands that it's time to fundamentally reshape government.
The Democrat want to rely on gimmicks, tax increases, and federal stimulus dollars that aren't coming.
Ohioans have a choice. On November 2nd, we'll see what they prefer.
They decide whether a company expands, folds, hires, fires, moves, or stays.
Well, back in May CEO Magazine conducted a survey of 641 of the nation's CEOs and found Ohio to be the 7th worst state for business in the United States.
Even worse, in the past five years, Ohio has plummeted 24 spots in the rankings - going from the 20th best place to do business to 44th.
Well, it looks like the RGA decided to make this an issue.
Last week, 3BP celebrated it's two year anniversary, and now we've already surpassed 2000 posts.
In 2010 this blog has already averaged 125 posts a month, and we're not even to the Fall yet.
That's what I call prolific...and far much more content than I ever imagined when I first started this blog in the middle of the 2008 Presidential season.
3BP actually started at the behest of my then girlfriend, now fiancee. Maybe she wanted me to stop shouting at the TV and put my thoughts into written word. Or maybe she just wanted me to do something that I knew and loved....talking politics. Or maybe both. Either way, I thank her for helping me find a most rewarding and tiring hobby.
At the end of the day, 3BP has become far bigger than I ever imagined and I have you, my readers, to thank for it.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming of bashing Democrats.
With big labor contributing heavily to Ted Strickland and Ohio House Democrats, and big labor spending 100s of thousands of dollars on television ads for Ted Strickland, one has to wonder just how ticked off the union thugs will be at this guy...
We all know how ethical AFSCME is as a political organization....which is not very much....so this should come as no surprise.
The question is whether the bosses in AFSCME will break both of this guy's knees or just one.
After all, that's $11k in ads that can't be run to help Ted Strickland.
And not surprisingly, it appears Mr. Jones has been quite the contributor to Ohio Democrats over the years.
Well, unfortunately the same can't be said for their counterparts in the House.
The NRCC raised $5.4 million while spending $4.8 million in May. The DCCC raised $5.1 million and spent about $3.8 million. Since the start of the cycle, the DCCC has raised about $84.6 million to the NRCC’s $66.4 million.Thanks to their 75 Member advantage in the House right now, this kind of Democratic advantage is understandable. It's where they should be.
But it's still disappointing.
The NRCC believes they will be able to make up the difference later in the cycle, and considering the opportunity we have, that just may be true.
Well, at least it better be.
A political environment like this is rare. It can't be wasted with a massive fundraising shortage that makes it more difficult to get the message out.
Several days ago, John Kasich went on Alan Colmes radio show and said the following:
"I'm not singing in any chorus for LeBron James," Kasich said. Colmes: "You're not?"As you'll recall, Ted Strickland felt LeBron's return to the Cavs was so important that he traveled up to Cleveland to film a video in which several Cleveland pseudo-celebrities begged Bron Bron to stay.
Kasich: "No, I'm not. Look, he's a great basketball player, he's a great guy. There's a lot of great people in Ohio."
Kasich said it would be great if LeBron stayed, but he won't do anything extra to convince him.
"We've lost 400,000 jobs out here and the last guy I worry about is LeBron James. You know I mean, we all hope he'll stay in Cleveland. We think we've got a great guy there that can turn everything around, but we got some serious problems," Kasich said.
Now, this all seems pretty trivial. And yet, Strickland's communications director felt it was such a winner with Ohioans, that she tweeted about it:
Naturally, I responded to Lis with a tweet asking, "so I assume you disagree with Kasich's statement that the 400k out of work deserve more attention than LeBron?"
Obviously, I didn't get a response.
But it does beg the question - if Strickland's primary message manager believes Kasich's statement is a negative for his campaign, what is wrong about putting the jobs of 400k jobless Ohioans over that of one mega-rich superstar?
And it seems the entirely non-scientific poll in Plain Dealer about the issue overwhelmingly aligns with what Kasich said:
So much for Lis' instincts.