Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Strickland Attacks Wheelchair-Making-Ohio-Based Company

"The company is very disappointed that its home-state governor would attack it in a campaign commercial," Invacare said.

How Not to Win Re-Election Lesson 6,254: When you've lost over 400,000 jobs on your watch already, don't piss off a major Ohio based company. You just look like you've completely lost it and certainly are not attracting new business to the state.

In case you missed the latest blunder from the Strickland campaign, they decided to attack an Ohio company, based out of Elyria, for having Kasich sit on one of its board. The ad, an incredibly stupid attempt to hit Kasich for outsourcing, drew immediate condemnation from the company itself – who just so happen to employ over 1,300 folks… making custom wheelchairs in Ohio.

Which major Ohio company will the Strickland campaign unleash on next? Battelle? Owens Corning? Procter and Gamble? Maybe the Cleveland Clinic?

As they flounder around, swinging wildly at NAFTA and outsourcing, it's really anybody's guess at this point.

Guest Posted by Jed Eckert.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Early Christmas for Jim Graham? UPDATE: He's in

Guest posted by Bytor

Don't look now, but the worst rug ever is back. After weeks of appeals, battles with multiple election boards, and even a little help from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Jim Traficant appears ready to appear on the November ballot for his old seat, running as an independent.

The Youngstown Democrat was expelled from Congress in 2002 and convicted of racketeering, bribery and tax evasion. He served 7 years in prison and was released last year. He began talking about running for his old seat in the 17th district, which he had held for 17 years, almost immediately after getting out of the pokey.

The district is currently represented by Tim Ryan (D) who usually wins reelection with over 75% of the vote. However, Traficant is sure to pull some votes away from him, splitting the Democrat vote. These are the same people who kept electing him for so long, after all. It isn't like his corruption was unknown before his conviction, and he was repeatedly reelected anyway.

Now, in a normal year, you wouldn't think that he would pull enough votes from Ryan to propel Republican Jim Graham to victory. But the GOP leads the Gallup Generic Congressional ballot by 10 points, 5 points higher than 1994. In a wave election like this year, anything could happen. This may now be another Ohio race to watch on election night. Stay tuned...
Without comment or fanfare, the Trumbull County Board of Elections made it official Wednesday, approving Jim Traficant for the ballot in November in the race against incumbent Democrat Tim Ryan of Niles for Traficant’s old 17th District Congress seat.

Linda Kovachik, a Traficant committee member, said “This is ridiculous to put anyone through this.”

Indeed, Linda.

Oh my.

Guest posted by Jed Eckert.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fighting Obamacare in Ohio

The following is a guest post while DJ Tablesauce is away due to his wedding.

If not repealed, Obamacare will be a disaster for our economy and our health care system, and will surely push our current budget-busting deficits even higher. One of the most offensive parts of the bill, though, is the mandate that every American must purchase health insurance. Never before has Congress dared to require Americans to purchase a product.

Some states are fighting back, and several Attorneys General have already filed lawsuits against the law for its unconstitutional mandate. But not here in Ohio. Richard Cordray is a Democrat, and refuses to do so. That's where Ohio citizens have picked up the ball.

Meet The Ohio Project. It is a true grassroots effort to get an amendment to the Ohio Constitution on the ballot for voters to decide on. The amendment would basically say that no Ohioan can be forced to buy health insurance, nor be penalized if they don't.

Getting an amendment on the ballot is no small task. You need hard signatures from 10% of the voters. That's around 450,000 signatures. It's too late to get this on this year's ballot, but we can still get it on the ballot in November 2011. A lot of signatures have been collected, but tens of thousands more are still needed. Most folks are happy to sign. They just aren't aware of the campaign. The problem is that the group has no money. It is literally a true grassroots citizens movement of all volunteers. And they're still looking for more Ohioans to collect and turn in signatures.

Recently in Missouri, a similar ballot measure passed by a huge margin. When given their own chance to make a choice, voters reject Obamacare. With a little more time and help, Ohio voters will get their chance next year, too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kasich: I'll kill the slow-speed 3C choo-choo

The following is a guest post while DJ Tablesauce is away due to his wedding.

As most of us know, Governor Ted Strickland has been promoting a high-speed rail system to connect Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. He says it will create jobs and much of it would be paid for with money from Porkulus... er, I mean the Obama Stimulus bill from last year. So where does John Kasich come down on the 3C? Thankfully, on the right side:

“The 39 mph high-speed train is dead when I become governor,” he said, adding later, “We don’t have the money to operate it, we don’t have the money long-term to fund it ... (and) I’m still trying to find somebody in Ohio that wants to get on that train. No, no, we have to shut it down before it gets too far.”

Kasich is right. Who is going to ride this thing? I actually travel from NE Ohio to the Columbus area several times a year, so I'm probably the target market for this train, right? Let's compare my current method, to the new choice Strickland and other Democrats think I need.

Current method
I get in my car, and drive directly to my destination in 2 hours at a cost of about $12 in gas.

Using the 3C
I get in my car and drive to the train station. 15 minutes.
I park my car and wait for the train. 30 minutes or more.
I board the train and ride it to the train station in Columbus. 4 hours.
Rent a car. 15 minutes and mucho bucks.
Drive to my final destination. 15 minutes.

So let's see. 2 hours and $12 versus around 5 hours and a lot more money for a train ticket and rental car. Gee, which one will I choose? Yes, I know I don't need the rental car if I have someone to pick me up. I'm sure my family will really appreciate driving me back and forth.

Even by the administration's own rosy projections, the system would have a $17 million dollar shortfall every year to be picked up by us taxpayers. And DJ Tablesauce has already covered how these "high speed" passenger trains could ruin our rail freight system, which is the best in the world.

If there was a profitable market for this service, someone in the private sector would be operating one by now. There isn't. This unbelievably stupid proposal would be one of the largest public boondoggles in Ohio's history. John Kasich knows that, and I hope he makes it an issue as the campaign progresses.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm getting married.


That's my big day.

I get to marry the love of my life. Pretty awesome, eh?

As you may have noticed, posting has slowed down a bit the past few days as I've been getting ready for the big day. And this will be my last post until next Monday.

But don't worry, I've lined up a couple great guys who will keep this blog updated while I'm gone. A special thanks to those two who will make sure the dedicated readers of 3BP don't go without.

See you all on September 6th!

Return of the Faux Factory Worker

Ted is out with his latest ad. And guess what....it's an attack ad. Shocker, right?

At least this time he finally had the guts to show his face.

Here's a screenshot:

Wait a second.

Who's that behind Ted?

Ho. lee. Crap.


You'll remember Meghan from complaining about losing her factory job back during the 2008 presidential race, and then the repeat of the ad to boost Ted back in his first flop of an ad back in May.

She may need to apply for her SAG card if she keeps up this facade of pretending to be a factory worker instead of her real job as a nurse.

Victory in Iraq.

When the President gives his speech on our "end of combat operations" in Iraq next week, it will be important to keep in mind the words we heard from then Senator Obama and other Democratic leaders about the strategy that helped ensure that victory.

To help us do that, the John Boehner team put together this youtube:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boccieri may be toast.

A new contributor to 3BP gives his reasons as to why Rep. John Boccieri has a lot to fear in November. Take it away, Bytor:

I used to live in Ohio's 16th Congressional District until a couple years ago, so I've been keeping a pretty close eye on this race. The seat is currently held by Democrat John Boccieri, who rode the Obama wave of HopeyChange into a seat which had been held by the GOP since 1951.

How red is this district? Well, with a Cook PVI of +4, there are certainly redder ones, even in Ohio. However, Republican Ralph Regula served 18 consecutive terms. He routinely won reelection with 2-1 margins or greater. Even in 2006, a horrible year for the GOP, when they lost the House, he still beat his Democratic opponent by 17 points. His retirement was the perfect opportunity for the Democrats to claim the seat during the 2008 election.

Enter former state Senator John Boccieri. As a freshman Congressman, Boccieri quickly became a rubber stamp for the Obama/Pelosi agenda. He voted for the failed, pork-laden "Stimulus" bill and he voted for the Cap and Trade bill. Then, he apparently got a pass from Pelosi, and was allowed to vote against the the first iteration of the House Obamacare bill. Having already cast unpopular votes in a red district, he must have been feeling the heat and Nancy let him vote no to attempt to save his hide for November 2010.

Ah, but then things changed for John. The election of Senator Scott Brown meant that the House would have to pass the Senate Obamacare bill, as is. Nancy lost votes due to the bill's increased toxicity and lack of a public option. She withdrew her "get of jail free" card, and John was forced to change his vote to "Yes."

This was probably the nail in John Boccieri's coffin. His opponent, Wadsworth businessman Jim Renacci, has been drawing constant attention to Boccieri's voting record, and many have called this race a "tossup". I've been convinced since his cap and trade vote that this was no close race, and that Boccieri would lose soundly.

And now there is proof. An August 23rd AAF poll shows Renacci leading Boccieri 49-35. That's no tossup, folks.

Not. Even. Close.

On top of that, Boccieri's flip-flop on Obamacare is his "greatest tested weakness." That won't help as the heat on his vote is turned up.

Americans are rejecting the Obama/Pelosi extreme agenda. And they're really rejecting it in red midwestern districts like Ohio's 16th. I think it's pretty safe to say that John Boccieri is now Ohio's most endangered Democrat.

Who will win Jimmy?

As we said yesterday in discussing Kasich's new business regulation initiative, results matter.

With that in mind, who is going to win voters like this one?

[Jimmy] Barousis is the third generation in his family to run the donut shop, Buckeye Donuts, ONN's Jim Heath reported on Wednesday.

He said in the last 10 years dealing with regulators has gotten worse.

"Even if it's a mistake on their end, we still have to jump through a couple hoops because it's hard to get a hold of somebody right away," Barousis said. "There's not just a number you can call, you have to stay on the phone awhile."

The complaints about various regulations can be heard in about every small business across Ohio. Now candidates are seizing that message.

"If the attitude is 'We're in charge and do it our way' and there's no flexibility; you kill the business," said Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Kasich.

And what's Strickland's response?

'I already fixed the regulations!'

Anyone think Jimmy will buy that as he ponders over each candidate? Didn't think so.

Mitch is running for President.

In politician-speak, this language could not scream "I'm running!" more than this:
“This is nothing I have started, encouraged,” said Daniels, a Republican in his second term. “People have asked, ‘Please don’t absolutely close your mind’ and I have said I’ll think about it.”


“It’s nothing I’m going to do anything about,” Daniels said. “If it’s still an interesting subject in a few months, ask me then.”

However, Daniels said that he remains worried “about the condition and direction of the country and I’m a lot more worried even than I was a year and a half ago.”

He said Republicans need to offer voters a clear alternative and a positive agenda in this fall’s campaigns and the 2012 race.
Good, good news.

What you missed in Hamilton County....

The Kasich/Taylor team had one helluva good looking rally this past Saturday in Hamilton County.

Here's what you missed:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kasich teaches Strickland that you can't govern by press release

Today, John Kasich came out with his 2nd major policy proposal, The Common Sense Initiative.
Despite previous reform attempts, Ohio is beset by duplicative, outdated and excessive rules and regulations from state agencies that hinder economic growth and job creation. John Kasich and Mary Taylor will tear down the barriers to growth created by regulations and reduce compliance costs to the lowest level consistent with public health and safety and legislative intent.
Strickland's campaign team has come out with an awfully strange way to combat Kasich's proposal.

They've said Ted has already done it.

In other words, they are defending the status quo.

They look to the executive order signed by Strickland back in February of 2008 and say Kasich is simply copying his idea.

Make no mistake, folks on both sides should be looking to simplify regulations and make them more transparent. The problem? Strickland's supposed reforms failed to make any significant improvements.

Want proof?

A bipartisan panel of Ohio legislators created a task force that looked at regulations in Ohio and had a few things to say about the Governor's executive order:
This Task Force agrees wholeheartedly with the goals outlined in the Executive Order, but finds, based on testimony from citizens, organizations, businesses and economic development professionals from around the state, some regulatory agencies have made progress, but many have not yet fully implemented these efforts, and in some areas, legislative action can and should be taken.
Why would Republicans and Democrats alike recommend legislative action? Because the Governor had failed to implement the reforms he proposed.

Governor Strickland needs to learn you can't govern by press release. Don't get me wrong. It's nice that an executive order was signed or that he called for this change or that change. But Ohioans need results, not rhetoric.

The Governor had his chance. And he failed.

And it goes beyond the legislative task force.

You may remember when 3BP discussed the 2010 CNBC ranking of the best states for business.

They ranked states in a number of categories. One of them was "business friendliness". CNBC described the category this way:
"Regulation and litigation are the bane of business. Sure, some of each is inevitable. But we graded the states on the perceived “friendliness” of their legal and regulatory frameworks to business."
Guess where Ohio ranked this year.

Last in the Midwest and 38th overall.

That's this year. That's the result of Ted's regulation reform.

Dead. Last.

Think that makes a difference when companies are trying to determine where to build in the Midwest? Absolutely.

Governor Strickland, you claim to be proud of your executive order proposing regulation reform back in 2008. But are you sure you want to brag about these kinds of results?

Dead last in the Midwest?

Politically speaking, it's also an incredibly strange tactic. With your job approval in the dumps and the vast plurality of Ohioans unhappy with the direction of the state, is it really smart politics to say that the status quo is satisfactory?

Ohioans need a Governor that can live up to his promises.

You haven't.

Battle of the Pollsters

Last night's results in Florida meant bad news for Quinnipiac and Mason-Dixon. And good news for Democratic pollster PPP.


Look at how accurate each turned out:

Feel that? It's a tectonic shift in the political landscape.

Waaaay back in February of 2009, I wrote about how winning the Governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey provided the opportunity to kickoff a tidal wave that would make the GOP difficult to stop in 2010.

Well, we all know what happened with that. And now look where we are.

Sean Trende over at Real Clear Politics has taken it a step further.
In November of 2009, a strange pattern emerged in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections. The states are quite different, politically speaking: New Jersey is blue, Virginia is reddish-purple; Virginia was a battleground state in '08, New Jersey was not. Despite these differences, if you compare the 2008 Presidential exit polls with the 2009 gubernatorial exit polls, you will find that the electorates of both states became increasingly composed of Republicans and Independents in 2009, and that they became so at similar rates. Additionally, the Democratic candidates in both states lost the support of Independents and Republicans, compared to President Obama's 2008 showing, and did so at nearly identical rates.
After New Jersey and Virginia, he then noticed that Massachusetts electorate shifted in much the same way. Once again, we know what happened there.

Now it's safe to say the political environment hasn't gotten any better since these races wrapped up. The generic congressional ballot has trended more towards the GOP and Obama's approval ratings have continued to drop.

So Trende looked at what would happen to the Senate races in Ohio and other states if we once again see the same shifts in the electorate that we saw in three other diverse states.

What did he find?

Ohio's electorate would become 43.6% Democratic versus 56.4% Republican.

That's not good news for Fisher, Strickland, or a lot of other Democrats trying to win in November.

Does this mean the shift will definitely happen? Of course not, but we do have a precedent as well as no reason to see an improvement upon that trend benefiting Democrats.

Should be fun to watch.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ohio's Attorney General may have some harsh words for Mary Jo Kilroy...

From the Dispatch:
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and counterparts from several states are demanding that the online classifieds site Craigslist remove a section that they say encourages sexual exploitation.

The attorneys general want the popular web site to take down its Adult Services section, which they say is used for sexual trafficking of children.

The state legal officers told Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark that the company cannot – or will not – adequately screen its illicit ads, so it must stop accepting them altogether and shut down the Adult Services section.

You mean this Craig Newmark? The same Craig Newmark who contributed to Mary Jo Kilroy?

I first asked Rep. Kilroy to donate her contribution from Newmark to the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition almost three weeks ago. After all, why does she want support from someone who sits back and allows his website to be used for "sexual trafficking of children"?

Now that fellow Ohio Democrat Richard Cordray has recognized the serious issues with Newmark's website, will Kilroy finally do what's right?

Let's hope so.

Worst Campaign Literature of the year?

These two schmucks are running for the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.

Dedication? Maybe to looking a little bit senile in the middle of a rain storm.

Commitment? To what? Making sure Milkovitch doesn't have to put his disclaimer on the lit piece?

Service? Come on, Frank. At least offer the guy your umbrella.

Oh, but it gets even better. Notice anything.....off....about the back of this glorious piece of lit?


Remember to vote on November 4th, fellas.

Nothing screams "competent" like two Democratic candidates for the Ohio General Assembly that believe election day is on a Thursday.

Oh, and early voting starts September 28th, geniuses.

Want candidates who know when election day is and not to take campaign portraits with your mouth hanging open in the rain? Vote Frank LaRose for State Senate and Charles Lasher for Ohio House.

Boehner springs the trap

There's been a lot of coverage so far today about Leader Boehner's major speech this morning.

The White House has already gone into full attack mode and ABC's Jake Tapper is already calling it a preview of what's to come in 2011.

But, as usual, what's of most interest to me is how the speech effects the November election.

In that respect, Andrew Malcolm of the LA Times made a fantastic point:
Boehner’s communications staff springs the trap. Having drawn their DNC opponents into helping to publicize the Republican speech, just before he speaks and in time for the morning news shows they leak the fairly dramatic news that the GOP leader’s remarks will call for the mass firing of Obama’s entire economic time for, in effect, engineering the prolonged period of unemployment. Which gets the debate back onto the economy where the GOP wants it.
No matter what the talking points that come from the Democratic opposition, any day where the focus of the media is on the economy, spending, jobs, or health care is a win for the GOP in this environment.

Score another one for Boehner.

Albert Einstein has a problem with the Strickland campaign.

Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Well, after seeing Ted's new ad, the only deduction is that Strickland is insane.

You guessed it. The Governor new advertisement is once again attacking John Kasich and Lehman Brothers.

Will it work? Of course not. How do we know? Because over $3 million in advertisements screaming the exact same message has already proven to have relatively zero effect on the race.

Let's take a look at all polling from the 6 months before the first Democratic barrage hit on May 4th, and everything since.

Despite Kasich's unfavorable rating going from 20 to 27% and his favorable rating staying firm at 36%, his overall level of support remained unchanged in the two time periods with both sitting at 44%.

And Ted? He went from 42% before the barrage to 43% after. And his job disapproval went from 43% to 51%.

What's that mean? That even a 7 point change in a challenger's unfavorable rating means virtually nothing when job approval for the incumbent is in far worse shape.

In sum, Strickland and his allies paid $3+ million for a 1-point bump.

But let's look even more closely at the month before the May 4th barrage and everything since.

What's happened?

That's right. Since initiating the attacks there has been nothing but bad news for Strickland.

I'm sure there had to be some debate within Strickland's camp about whether to go positive or double down on stupid.

As I said back in May, the only sane move for Strickland is to attempt to repair his image in the eyes of the voters. No matter what poll you look at, his job approval has never been at a level that will win him re-election. In referendum elections, the incumbent needs a certain level of approval from the electorate. And no matter how much you try to de-legitimize your opponent, if people are still ticked off at the job you've done the opposition will be inspired to turn out against you and Independents will side with the new guy. What helps your chances is to mitigate the frustration within the electorate, thereby encouraging the opposition to stay home and improving your standing among your own base.

Does that mean Strickland's allies should lay off the Kasich attacks? Of course not. It just means letting the special interests handle that dirty work.

Instead, Strickland is once again attaching his name to negative advertising.

Does that have any chance to improve his job approval rating? No.

Is it anything that voters haven't heard already? No.

Does that mean it's a waste of money? Absolutely.

Strickland is wasting valuable campaign dollars and time by repeating the same tired mistakes he made before. Remember, every dollar and every 30-second spot attacking Kasich is a dollar and 30 seconds not used more effectively.

And ultimately, I'm pretty damn impressed at how close our commercial came last night to being what Strickland put up today.

Thanks for being so predictable, Ted.

Feel the apathy!!!

Organizing for America, the President's political arm, is still working hard to stay relevant. And that means organizing protests against Leader Boehner in his major address to the Cleveland City Club this morning.

I don't think their efforts went too well.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Be quiet!!! Thiz iz topz secrettt!!!

Paula isn't very good at this.

This weekend Paula Brooks is planning on doing some door-to-door to support her hopeless campaign against Pat Tiberi.

Perhaps in an effort to keep things close to home, one of her kickoff locations isn't exactly in the right location if she wants to win some 12th district votes.

See that address at the bottom? Huntley Road?

Well, if you input that address into the handy-dandy website for finding your Representative, you come up with the following:

Paula Brooks: Working Hard for the Wrong Votes


An update on the Chris Christie Experiment...

Way back in May I wrote the following...

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.

We're all pretty well versed in his policy victories since May, so how is it translating in the polls?

Pretty. Damn. Well.

In a poll from Quinnipiac released last week, Christie gets a 75 - 13 percent thumbs up from Republicans and a 61 - 29 percent approval from independent voters. In blue New Jersey, that's pretty remarkable. Overall, his approval sits at 51-36, or +15.

For comparison, the President's approval rating sits at 47-47, or +0. Wow.

See, it pays off to be a plain-speaking, tough and principled leader. Even if you are a hardcore fiscal conservative in liberal New Jersey.

And his style can be translated into victories this November.

From the National Journal's Hotline:

More importantly, Christie's strategy can guide the GOP this year: He won in '09 by offering principles, not a specific set of policy prescriptions. That's an interesting idea for anyone crafting the GOP's new version of the Contract with America.

The experiment is working.

Has Fisher's team nicknamed HQ "The Morgue" yet?

I can't imagine how dreary a place Fisher for Senate HQ must be these days.

We've been talking about it for months, but the MSM has finally caught on to Fisher's rapidly decreasing odds of beating Rob Portman.

Here's the latest from NBC's First Read:
And we can tell you that there is already a real debate in Democratic circles whether Fisher’s campaign is a lost cause, despite the fact that polls showed him actually leading Rob Portman (R) just a couple of months ago. Check out this tough piece from the Dayton Daily News: “[A]s Fisher campaigns across the state he is battling not just Portman but the perception that the campaign is getting away from him with the Sept. 28 start of early voting little more than a month away.” We recently wrote that Missouri could be slipping away from Democrats. But the DSCC tried to squash that talk with the announcement of a serious ad buy for the fall. But we haven't seen that yet for Fisher in Ohio. Our guess is that Democrats wish Carnahan's campaign were running with Ohio's electorate, but that's not the case.
3BP made the same point about lack of DSCC funding a few days ago.

Once again, what must be discussed is just how much of a liability Lee Fisher has become to Ohio Democratic hopes.

Remember, it's hard to get much more high profile a race than a Senate campaign. They are supposed to be drivers that effect the entire state. For every commercial Fisher can't afford to fund, that is one fewer commercial that is communicating the Democratic message and inspiring their base. For every volunteer who feels uninspired to go to a phone bank, there are fewer Democratic voters not being reminded to vote on November 2nd.

Or, as I said when I first wrote about this situation in early July...
...the question is less whether Lee can beat Rob Portman, but more about how much of a drag Lee Fisher will be on the entire Democratic Party ticket in Ohio.

After all, high profile statewide races are primary drivers for get out the vote efforts that have a trickle down effect throughout other races.

If Fisher's campaign still continues to fail to inspire volunteers to make GOTV phone calls and doesn't have the money to help shape the message on Ohio's airwaves, then there is little doubt the Lieutenant Governor has become a severe liability.
The most frustrating part of Fisher becoming a liability for the ODP is that there is no way to fix it. You can't cut him loose. There is no magic formula to compensate for what he has lost.

Pretty depressing.

Deficits scare me.

From the American Thinker:

Two of those three things -- the wars and tax cuts -- were in effect from 2003 through 2007. Do you see alarming deficits or trends from 2003 through 2007 in the above chart? No. In fact, the trend through 2007 is shrinking deficits. What you see is a significant upward tick in 2008, and then an explosion in 2009. Now, what might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009?
Democrats taking over both houses of Congress, and then the presidency, was what happened. Republicans wrote the budgets for the fiscal years through 2007. Congressional Democrats wrote the budgets for FY 2008 and on. When the Democrats also took over the White House, they immediately passed an $814-billion "stimulus." (The $814 billion figure is from the same CBO report as the Iraq War costs. See sources at end of article.)

h/t: Kevin

Can Ted sell Solar?

Ted Strickland needs to sell success stories.

With a desperately bad record to reflect upon, those opportunities are few and far between.

But a look back at the Governor's State of the State speech and a recent statement from President Obama provide us a clue of where the Governor's campaign will look as they start recording footage for campaign commercials.

Cue Toledo, Ohio.

With its new solar power plant, it's a perfect example of what the Governor would like to expand upon throughout Ohio.

But is Toledo really the model the Governor will likely portray it to be?
Moving past the semantics debate, it's worth delving into the issue of Toledo's place as a "leader" in the solar industry.

In March, The Blade published a three-day series of reports that showed Ohio had, despite its early success in the solar industry at UT and First Solar, lost out on thousands of solar manufacturing jobs in the last few years to states offering more lucrative incentives and stronger product markets for solar companies.

Because of state government subsidies and more solar consumers, states such as California, Oregon, Arizona, and even Ohio neighbors such as Michigan and Pennsylvania have attracted dozens of solar manufacturing operations over the last few years. The soft estimate of 6,000 solar jobs in Toledo now is the same estimate from 2007 when the region was dubbed a solar "hot spot" nationally.

First Solar may now employ 1,000 people at its Perrysburg Township plant with an average starting wage of $12 per hour for its factory workers, but its headquarters are in Arizona and most of the $2 billion-a-year company's production takes place in Germany and Malaysia.


Willard & Kelsey, an aspiring panel maker in Perrysburg, has on several occasions failed to achieve its predicted employment numbers and has been sued for failure to fill a contracted order. But the company now says the issuance of a $10 million loan from the state should help it grow from 70 to 200 employees and ramp up production by year's end.
As we've talked about for months here on 3BP, Strickland is relying on "green jobs" to make his case for re-election. But in the midst of this jobs crisis, can Ohio afford to make its focus an incentive reliant industry that has shown very little evidence of durability and economic growth?

Should taxpayer dollars be spent by the millions on subsidy-funded jobs by the dozen, when we're hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hole?

This video from back in March shows what Strickland is up against. Is he willing to spend the dollars necessary to sell an industry that has been shown to the voters over and over again as not the success many thought it could be?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"We're not gonna let ya down."

The Kasich/Taylor team is back up with another TV ad. This one drives home the solid conservative principles Kasich has been running on for months and keeping the focus on what voters care about in this election - streamlining government and the economy.

This 2nd TV ad from the Kasich team does beg the question - where is Ted?

They've got plenty of cash. Polls have clearly been trending against them. What's holding them back?

They almost seem paralyzed.

After all, there are only 72 days to go. And this line isn't going to fix itself.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Titanic is sinking and there aren't enough lifeboats

It's not smart to argue with Charlie Cook. The non-partisan political analyst is rarely wrong and has built a business off of being right.

So with that in mind, this is bad news for Democrats:
“I think Republicans are going to get the House back,” he said flatly in a conversation taped for WSJ.com’s “Big Interview” segment, which will be posted on the site Friday morning.

To be precise, Republicans need to win 39 Democratic seats to get control of the House, and Mr. Cook’s current estimate is that they are in line for a 35- to 45-seat gain. “But frankly, I think we’re being very conservative with that,” he added. “The odds of it being higher than that range are a lot better than lower.”
Obviously, the big news here is that he firmly predicts, for the first time, that Republicans will win the House.

But what caught my attention was his statement about the odds being in favor of Republicans winning more than 45 seats.

Obviously, a win under Cook's scenario means Ohio Democrats like Kilroy, Driehaus, and Boccieri are gone.

But if we start inching beyond the 45 seat expectation, as Cook expects, that brings Space, Wilson, Sutton, and Kaptur firmly into play.

The DCCC may have a lot of cash, but that doesn't mean they should be trying to save every single vulnerable seat.

The smart play is to abandon those that are doomed and give the money to those that can make some use of it. The Titanic is sinking and there simply aren't enough lifeboats.

And yet, watch as they spend more money on Paula Brooks' challenge of Pat Tiberi.


Ohio's Jobs Crisis won't win Ted any votes

Today we learned Ohio's unemployment rate is still stuck in the double digits - 10.3%.

This is the 16th straight month of where unemployment has topped 10%.

Overall, employment increased by 1,800. And, to be fair, private sector jobs seem to have increased slightly. This month by around 10,000. Only about 350,000 jobs to go, Ted!

So is that 1,800 net increase in job growth the reason Ohio's employment dropped ever so slightly?

Not so much.

When you look a little deeper into the unemployment report you find that 24,411 people completely left Ohio's workforce in July. That's the largest drop, by far, yet this year.

In fact, that's the largest drop since Ted Strickland became Governor.

Why is that significant?

These are people who have quit even looking for work. They have become economically inactive. They've become so disillusioned in trying to find a job that they've simply given up.

And when these people leave the workforce, they no longer count against the unemployment rate. It's as if they aren't even there.

Lucky Ted, eh?

Not really. While no one disputes a net gain is better than a net loss, from a political perspective these aren't numbers that are going to sway hearts and minds. Think Ted is going to hop on TV and brag about 10.3% unemployment? Didn't think so.

The other problem for Strickland is that unemployment is a very personal issue to people. No matter how much he may try to spin the realities of Ohio's jobs crisis, at the end of the day one in ten Ohioans who want a job can't find one.

These are voters' sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. And they are seeing and feeling the pain that comes with unemployment.

And that ticks them off.

So when Ted tries to tell them things are going well and to enjoy Recovery Summer, that clearly isn't going to really resonate.

And the news gets worse for Ted. These numbers aren't going anywhere for at least a month when the next report comes out. That means yet another four weeks of his opposition ripping him apart on the issue that matters most to Ohioans. And does anyone expect the next report to be significantly better? No, they don't.

If Ted thinks he still has a chance, it won't be because of Ohio jobs.

While Teddy yaps, taxpayer dollars get funnelled to unions

While College Democrats and Ted Strickland nip like an annoying chihuahua at the heels of John Kasich over the compensation he earned, and OSU defends, for teaching students at OSU, real life is creeping up on the Governor.

Yes, Ohio's facing its 16th straight month of double-digit employment, but now Strickland also has to contend with yet more problems stemming from the School Facilities fiasco.

If you'll recall, Ted Strickland appointed Richard Murray to head the OSFC specifically because of his ties to big labor. But a recent Ohio Inspector General's report said, Murray "abused his authority by repeatedly acting as a go-between for union representatives and participating in arm-twisting sessions with local school districts."

After the report came out, Murray said he's allowed to discount taxpayers' best interests and show bias in favor of unions.

And through it all, Ted Strickland said Murray has his full support.

Well, it turns out that Murray's bias almost cost taxpayers millions of dollars that didn't need to be spent.
The architecture firm that designed improvements for the state deaf and blind schools said the Ohio School Facilities Commission signed off on cost estimates four times, then decided to add a union-only construction clause that probably drove the cost of bids way past the budgeted amount.

The cost impact of the pro-union "project labor agreement" wasn't included in any of the estimates that were sent out for bids, according to a written statement from Andrew Maletz, vice president of SHP Leading Design.

The only way to know how much the PLA added to the cost would be to get rid of it, said Rachel Miller, a public-relations consultant for the firm. "It is a suggestion," she said.

State and union officials have said that the design might explain why the bids came back $11.4 million over the $28 million general-construction budget.

This is downright disgusting.

While Strickland complains about teaching gigs that were funded by private dollars, Strickland's cronies are trying to divert millions of your dollars to unions.

Why? So Unions can turnaround and give Strickland campaign donations right back.

How much have they given him? By my count, about $1,938,610.86.

Ohio, throw the bum out.

For someone who hates outsourcing, Ted has a funny way of showing it.

Strickland is trying to make a campaign issue out of his opposition of NAFTA.

Of course, that ignores the fact that he refused to support any withdrawal from the agreement just last year. Not to mention all the campaigning he made on behalf of Hillary Clinton where he defended the trade deals President Clinton signed.

But for the sake of yesterday morning's news showing the number of unemployed Americans seeking financial assistance reaching its highest level of 2010, and this morning's news showing the 16th straight month of double-digit unemployment in Ohio, I guess we can just ignore Ted's flip flop and pretend his latest stance is true - he really does oppose free trade with North America.

With that in mind, I'd like to know why this is such a bad thing.
Six months into 2010, the value of Ohio exports reached $20.2 billion, a 29 percent increase over the first half of last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division. This year, Ohio’s export surge has outpaced the nation’s 23 percent increase.


Exports are a pillar of Ohio’s economy. One in every 13 jobs in Ohio’s private sector was linked to the manufacture of exported goods in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. One of Ohio’s leading export sectors — autos and auto parts — was up 74 percent through June, after diving last year.

Other sectors seeing big jumps are electric machinery, iron and steel, and plastics, Scherer said.

As usual, the countries buying the most Ohio products are Canada, Mexico and China.

Strickland is proud of his vote against NAFTA. Sorta.

But if he had his way, there is no question Ohio would not have enjoyed this one glimmer of hope in its effort to recover.

But the funny thing is, despite all his yelling and screaming about "outsourcing", Ted Strickland sure doesn't mind wooing a company that does exactly that.

To show off a 196,000-square-foot office park in the Cincinnati suburb of Milford to executives from Tata Consultancy Services, India’s biggest tech company and a thriving part of the Tata Group conglomerate.

To sweeten the deal, Strickland threw in $19 million in tax credits and invited the TCS crew to a state dinner at the governor’s mansion. “The economy is difficult,” Strickland says in the Jan. 11 issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “I will go wherever I can to find jobs.”


With the economy growing again but unemployment stuck at double-digit levels, states and municipalities across the U.S. are scrambling to woo anyone with hiring plans -- even if that means going hat in hand to the same bunch that have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs going overseas.


TCS already had to delay opening the Ohio center for almost six months during the recession in the U.S. And Wipro says its Atlanta operation isn’t yet profitable. Both say American facilities are unlikely to create huge numbers of new jobs in the U.S. soon. For several years, at least, the vast majority of work will continue to be done in India and other low-cost countries, according to Surya Kant, North America president for TCS.
Despite sending "hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas", at best Tata hopes to create 1000 jobs. And that only costs Ohio taxpayers $19 million and a posh dinner with plenty of booze at the Governor's mansion.

Governor Strickland is a big, giant hypocrite.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Obama and Ohio Dems do their best to avoid reality.

Yesterday, American taxpayers likely spent well over a million dollars for President Obama to hang out in the backyard of a middle class family and make absolutely no substantive news whatsoever.

It was, of course, an easy to put together official event so taxpayers would have to pay for the real reason for Obama's visit - to campaign for Ted Strickland.

But the Columbus Dispatch highlighted another event that actually might have been worth the resources spent to bring the President to Ohio for the 9th time since his inauguration.

A few blocks from where President Barack Obama was raising money for Gov. Ted Strickland, Dan Howard was in line with about 400 other people at a job fair Downtown.

"I wish he could come," said the 48-year-old Grove City man, who lost his job in the spring. "I would love to talk to him about what it's really like."

Instead, the President appeared in the beautifully landscaped backyard and made this statement that was big enough to get splashed on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch:

It is?

Well, once again the President may have been better served attending the job fair:

Bob Hillman, who ran the employment event for National Career Fairs, said employers across the country want to hire but are uncertain about what will happen in Washington with taxes, health care and financial regulation, and that is keeping them on the sidelines.

"They're simply scared to death," he said.

In other words, the policies enacted by Obama and the Democratic congress have been job killers.

Need proof? Look at the news that exploded this morning:

But despite this incredibly clear indication that Democrat efforts to fix the economy are failing, it still didn't stop the Ohio Democratic Party from pushing the President's message that runs clearly against reality.

Despite the hundreds of billions of your money being spent by Democrats, their ideas aren't working. Instead, they are digging us deeper. We need a change.

Vote Kasich. Vote Portman.

Nice company Kilroy keeps...

It's no secret that Democratic candidates are making a very obvious and organized push to try to divert attention to Social Security.

Stories have been documented all over the state of Democratic candidates and their allies using various tactics to go on the attack.

In fact, as this was just ramping up last week 3BP wrote a post about it.

Well, it turns out Mary Jo Kilroy and her allies pick some very odd company to represent her efforts to distract from the issues that matter most to Ohioans.

The Dispatch Daily Briefing blog named Bruce Bostick as the lone individual that was sent to Stivers headquarters in a cheap ploy to try to gin up publicity on the issue.

But who is Bruce Bostick?

Well, according to this link provided by the Dispatch, he's a communist with a history of mental problems.

We know you've had your problems in the past associating with socialists, Rep. Kilroy, so was this really the best choice to help those questions go away?

Meet Mary

Well produced video of a great candidate and capable LG...

Two more items about that Rasmussen poll...

Since I didn't get a chance to provide much of a substantive look into the Rasmussen polls that came out recently, I did want to point out two items of interest. This gets into the weeds a bit, so if poll analysis bores you, move on to the next post. Ha.

First, as I've mentioned before with Rasmussen, and also finally discussed by the Columbus Dispatch a couple weeks ago, the Rasmussen sample once again seems skewed towards Democrats.

Now, of course, this goes against everything we hear about Rasmussen, right? He's supposed to have his biases and whatnot.

But if that's the case, how do you explain this?

Kasich wins Republicans 88-7. Or +81.
Strickland wins Democrats 74-12. Or +62.
Kasich wins Independent voters 52-28. Or +24.

Massive superiority in winning his base, overwhelming victory among Indies, and yet Kasich is only up 8? That simply doesn't compute unless Democrats are heavily weighted.

Second, for the first time we get a look at what happens when leaners are included in polling. For the unititiated, normally leaners are defined as those who intially answered 'unsure' when asked for whom they plan to vote, but then are asked once again to provide an answer. These leaners tend to be the people least likely to vote and those who don't pay attention or don't make up their mind until soon before election day. Traditionally, these types of voters follow the mood of the nation/state and will break towards the challenger or incumbent based on their positive or negative perceptions.

Conventional wisdom would therefore state that leaners would break towards Kasich.

And they are.

When leaners are included, Kasich's lead is bumped up two points to 52-42, above the magic 50% plateau.

But the Party breakdowns make this increased lead even more interesting.

Among Democrats, Strickland goes from 74-12 in the original poll to 78-15 among leaners. In other words, among Democrats Strickland only won 4 for every 3 that went to Kasich.

Among Independents, Kasich went from 52-28 to 60-30. In other words, Independent leaners broke towards Kasich by a 4-1 margin.

Think any of these people have been effected by Ted's repeated attacks? Didn't think so.

Keep it up, Governor. We're loving your strategy.

Torched Earth Politics burns Strickland

As we've seen in the polls, Strickland's efforts to delegitimize Kasich in the eyes of the voters hasn't worked.

In the face of a massive jobs crisis, yelling "outsourcing", "NAFTA", "Wall Street", or "Lehman", seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Strickland's particular focus on trade as of late caught the attention of the Columbus Dispatch.

And what they unveiled once again weakens the messenger in his effort to tear down his opponent.
Although Strickland voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and against granting China permanent favored trade status in 2000, he supported retaining most-favored-nation treatment for China in House resolutions in 1993 and 1994.


Although he blames NAFTA for Ohio's job losses, Strickland last year supported President Barack Obama's decision not to reopen the agreement with Canada and Mexico, saying at the time that "we have to be very careful about any signals of protectionism."

Ohio is the seventh-largest exporter among all states. In 2009, Ohio exported more than $34 billion worth of goods and services, including nearly $2 billion to China.
Besides calling Strickland out on his hypocrisy, that last stat is an important one to note. Without NAFTA or trade with the Chinese, there is no question Ohio would be exporting fewer goods. Exporting fewer goods means lesser demand. Lesser demand means lesser production. And lesser production means fewer jobs.

But after the total and complete failure of Turnaround Ohio, does it surprise anyone that Strickland can't comprehend what's good for Ohio's economy?

Of course not.

All that said, let's hope Strickland continues with his torched earth style of campaigning. I don't mind the results.

Let's hear it, Chairwoman Bucaro.

It's fun to catch your opponent when they don't dot their i's and cross their t's. It doesn't really mean much, but it's an easy dig that can get under the skin of your opponent and make their campaign account slightly smaller.

But the Butler County Democratic Party Chairwoman was a little too enthusiastic when she went to the press to call out State. Rep. Courtney Combs for omitting his disclaimer on two campaign signs.

Jocelyn Bucaro, chairwoman of the local Democratic Party, said the two yard signs along Nilles Road do not have disclaimers that identify a campaign committee, committee officer and address, which is required by the Ohio Revised Code.

“It’s ‘Campaign 101,’ ” said Bucaro. “If any of my candidates would have done this, I’d call them out on it.”

You would, would ya?

Well guess what. Here's your chance.

Here is an advertisement promoting a fundraiser earlier this year on behalf of Bruce Carter, otherwise known as Combs' opponent in November. I'm sure you've seen it, Chairwoman Bucaro. Your name is listed as the contact person for the event.

Notice anything missing?

Yep. A disclaimer.

It's Campaign 101, Madam Chairwoman. You better call yourself out.

Mary Ellen doesn't get any room to breathe.

A new PAC has formed to make sure Maryellen O'Shaughnessy never has a chance to pose a serious threat to Jon Husted in his campaign for Ohio Secretary of State.

With the creation of TAME PAC, voters have a chance to learn about O'Shaughnessy's obsession with running for a wide variety of offices and her total and complete lack of qualifications to run elections in Ohio.

Here's a brief web ad TAME PAC put together.

The high quality of the site and web ad show this isn't just a flash in the pan, but a well organized and well financed movement to ensure one apportionment seat isn't put in jeopardy. Actions like this will make high-dollar contributors think twice before taking a chance on sending a donation to Maryellen. And that's good news for the entire statewide GOP slate.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rasmussen validates what we already knew.

Last week we had Reuters/Ipsos calling showing a 9 point lead for Kasich and a 7 point lead for Portman.

This week we have Rasmussen confirming the trend for both Republicans with new polls showing an 8 point lead for both Kasich and Portman.

In polling, validation is important. When you see a number of polls showing the same thing, it's safe to say they are more likely than not to be accurate reflections of the state of the race.

And utilizing the aggregate of all polls, here's the state of each race.

No matter how you look at it, this is very bad news for Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher.

Some other bad news for both Democrats?

Despite their efforts to tie Portman to Bush and Kasich to Wall Street, it isn't substantively affecting each candidate's favorability rating.

In fact, Kasich's favorability went from 47-34 just a couple weeks ago up to 51-34 in the latest Rasmussen poll.

Portman? His favorability went from 46-27 two weeks ago to 51-23.

So all that negativity you Democrats are spewing? Please, please, please keep it up.

Annnnnd the bad news doesn't end there.

Guess how many Ohioans rate the economy as "good" or "excellent"?

6%. Seriously. That's it.

Ohio needs a change. Ohio needs Kasich and Portman.

We're well on our way, everyone.

Keep up the hard work.

Social Security is not in crisis, Mr. President?

At this morning's backyard event, President Obama was noted as saying "social security is not in a crisis".

Not in a crisis, Mr. President?

Does this not qualify as a crisis?

That New York Times article went on to say:
Analysts have long tried to predict the year when Social Security would pay out more than it took in because they view it as a tipping point — the first step of a long, slow march to insolvency, unless Congress strengthens the program’s finances.

“When the level of the trust fund gets to zero, you have to cut benefits,” Alan Greenspan, architect of the plan to rescue the Social Security program the last time it got into trouble, in the early 1980s, said on Wednesday.

All that, and yet this is not a crisis.

Where are your priorities, Mr. President?

Ted needed to give away tickets.

This e-mail was forwarded to me this morning.

It was sent to all students in the John Glenn School at Ohio State University.

Apparently that Strickland event going on this morning with the President wasn't exactly the hottest ticket. Why else do you end up having to give away two full tables and expedite security protocols?

Strickland/Obama! Feel the Enthusiasm!


The Life Blood of Ohio Democratic Politics Rejects Zack Space

From Politico:
Still smarting over Democratic Rep. Zack Space’s opposition to the health care reform bill, a coalition of Ohio labor groups is moving forward with a campaign urging voters not to support his reelection bid.

The Service Employees International Union is preparing to launch a campaign, dubbed “Skip-a-Space,” against the second-term Democrat, urging 18th District voters to withhold their support for Space — a move that threatens to imperil his competitive November bid against Republican state Sen. Bob Gibbs.

I imagine Space was thrilled when he was told by Pelosi that he could flip flop on his original yea vote on Obamacare. After all, the Dems had the votes for passage and if a few targeted seats could get out of making another politically damaging vote, they rightly should. After all, it's not like their base wouldn't understand.


As we all know by now, Big Labor is the heart and soul of Democratic politics in Ohio. While Space still is getting some support from folks like the AFL-CIO, this clearly damages the Congressman's hopes for re-election.

On top of the efforts of the SEIU, Space also learned yesterday of another third party hit from an organization called the Committee for Truth in Politics. Here's the ad going up in Ohio's 18th.

While Gibbs doesn't have quite the financial muscle to compare with Space, these third party attacks will do serious damage and weaken Space from all sides.

With Rep. Boccieri's seat moving yesterday from a Lean Dem to Toss-Up in Charlie Cook's popular race ratings, could Ohio's 18th be far behind?

The Way Too Early 3BP 2012 GOP Primary Poll Results

On Friday 3BP hosted its latest 2012 GOP Presidential primary poll.

We asked readers whom they would vote for if the primary was held today.

Obviously, while voters were only allowed to vote once, this was far from a scientific poll. Instead, it was simply an opportunity to see where readers of 3BP stand. Why does that interest me? Well, if you're reading this blog, you're very likely more interested and informed than the average GOP primary voter and have invested more time into learning about potential presidential candidates than most have at this point. With that in mind, it's a fun exercise to see where candidates stand among those that have gotten to know them already.

So with that said, who won, and who surprised?

The top six vote getters were the following:
  • Mitch Daniels - 24%
  • Chris Christie - 18%
  • Mitt Romney - 11%
  • Sarah Palin - 11%
  • Haley Barbour - 8%
  • Newt Gingrich - 8%
As I've been hoping, My Man Mitch seems to have caught on with the conservatives that read this blog. The question? Just how interested is the guy? He clearly is ramping up his profile, so one has to think he's preparing himself to make the jump. But he's been a lot less obvious than the Tim Pawlentys and Mitt Romneys.

Chris Christie's early success in New Jersey clearly has apparently inspired many of my readers. But is it too early for him to make the jump? Very likely the answer to that is yes. The guy is going to have his hands full with New Jersey for quite some time. Putting together an organization and making the jump while still in his first term would be a mighty chore, and he's also shown no interest in even trying to give it a shot.

The surprise? How far back Mike Huckabee finished. He only pulled in 2% of the vote.

We'll try this again down the road. Thanks for participating, everyone!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

JobsOhio will work.

This morning, Kasich offered up what's being called the "first substantive proposal of the governor's race" from either candidate when he announced his proposal to privatize the Ohio Department of Development.

This innovative idea, while new, does have some proven success of working elsewhere.

And we only had to look next door to find it.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is the State of Indiana's lead economic development agency. The IEDC was officially established in February 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce. In order to respond quickly to the needs of businesses, the IEDC operates like a business.

Led by Indiana Secretary of Commerce and IEDC Chief Executive Officer E. Mitchell Roob, Jr., the IEDC is organized as a public private partnership governed by a 12-member board. The IEDC Board of Directors is chaired by Governor Mitch Daniels and reflects the geographic and economic diversity of Indiana. The IEDC focuses its efforts on growing and retaining businesses in Indiana and attracting new business to the State.

Sounds familiar, eh? Now my understanding is that while JobsOhio will be very similar to IEDC, it won't be a carbon copy. Kasich's team wants to create a hybrid of what works from around the country.

So how is the IEDC doing? Pretty damn well if you ask the fellas that actually do the hiring....CEOs.

This year, CEO Magazine polled 651 CEOs and asked them what states were best for business.

Guess who was best in the midwest. That's right. Indiana.

This is the same poll that showed Ohio dropping 24 spots(!) since 2005. Going from 20th in 2005 to 44th in 2010.

But it's Strickland that likes the status quo. According to him, we're on the right track.

Reality states otherwise.

It's time or a change. It's time for JobsOhio.

The Ohio GOP has edited together some good footage from the announcement this morning. Check it out:

Lee Fisher's campaign is battered and bruised.

What a day for Lee Fisher.

With a new $500k tv ad buy from Karl Rove's American Crossroads organization in support of Rob Portman, the GOP is kicking Lee Fisher while he's down.

This morning, a new Rasmussen poll showed Portman extending his lead to 45-37, closely mirroring what we saw in the recent Reuters/Ipsos poll.

And on top of all that, Forbes Magazine's Real Clear Politics published an article today highlighting the superiority of the Portman campaign organization.

How much can Fisher stand? And how long until we learn of the DSCC pulling out of the race completely?

With Portman's favorability at 51-23%, it's quite clear that all the efforts to attack Portman's connection to Bush have failed miserably. And that's the only bullet in Fisher's gun.

It's ok to wave the white flag, Lee. Just keep your shirt on.

Doing something about it.

A Governor's job is to make their state's business environment more attractive than the states around them.

And not too long ago, Governor Strickland's own Council of Economic Advisors predicted that Ohio won't recover from the economic downturn as quickly as the rest of the nation.

That means the development model currently in place is not working as Ohio is not more competitive than the states surrounding it.

Today, John Kasich put forth "the first substantive proposal of the governor's race" to turn that around when he announced his plan to replace the Ohio Department of Development with a private, nonprofit corporation.
Kasich would create JobsOhio and appoint a 12-member board of directors to oversee economic development efforts by the state. The board would be comprised of current and former chief executive officers, including some from small companies. Members would come from different areas of the state and industry groups.

Two things are very clear.

  1. Whatever the current Ohio Department of Development is doing is not working.
  2. We need to do something different.

And since Lee Fisher and Ted Strickland failed to do anything to improve the ODOD, Kasich is showing some leadership with JobsOhio.

Kasich's JobsOhio plan is vastly different. It completely replaces the current bureaucratic nightmare that is the Ohio Department of Development with an incentive-based organization with far greater accountability than anything ever seen in government. If the JobsOhio staff aren't getting the job done, they get fired. If they do something wrong, they lose their job. Something that doesn't happen in the Strickland/Fisher Department of Development.

Results are required. Fancy seeing that, eh?

You can read the details here.

UPDATE: The Strickland campaign is up with their response to Kasich's plan. It focuses on more attacks of Kasich and defending the status quo. If the status quo is what Strickland wants to run on, fine. But it's not what Ohioans want. It won't turn Ohio around. And it won't win him the election in 2010.

Why President Obama is coming to Ohio.

President Obama is a liability to Democrats this cycle. Of that, there is no question.

His approval numbers are universally low, with both Gallup and Rasmussen showing his worst ratings yet.

The Washington Post is running stories about how Democrats have chosen to run from the President.
One senior Democratic consultant suggested that the distance candidates are seeking to put between themselves and Obama is reflective of the ascendance of economic issues in voters' minds. "Barack Obama's economic policy of spending our way out of recession is seen as a failure at best and harmful at worst," the source said. "That should tell candidates in competitive jurisdictions all they need to know about running with the president."
And even the RNC is jumping on the bandwagon with an amusing ad mocking all the Democrats who refuse to be seen with Obama.

But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Despite every shred of evidence showing the President to be a liability, the Strickland campaign is welcoming him in with open arms for a widely publicized campaign event tomorrow.


There can only be three possible reasons. And none of them are good for the Strickland campaign.
  1. They need money. Bad. While Strickland almost raised as much money as John Kasich last reporting period, a massive portion of it once again came from Union and Special Interest money that is now tapped out. If they are bringing in a massive political liability to raise money and risk damaging Strickland further, it must be because they have to.
  2. Strickland's numbers look awful. The latest numbers on the race showed Kasich up 9. But the real problem, as I've mentioned many times before, is that Democrats aren't supporting Strickland the way that's necessary to make victory possible. It's very possible that the Reuters poll merely reflected the massive weakness among the base that they've seen in their own internal polling.
  3. They're really, really, really stupid.
If you take Strickland's manager at his word, it seems the closest answer is #2.

From the Dispatch:

"From a strategic perspective, Democrats are enthusiastic about the president," said Aaron Pickrell, Strickland's campaign manager, who views Obama's visit as an opportunity to rekindle the excitement among the party faithful that propelled Obama to a 4.6 percentage-point victory in Ohio in 2008.

"We're reaching out to them to maintain that enthusiasm," said Pickrell, who also was Obama's Ohio campaign manager.

So here we have the Strickland campaign admitting there is an enthusiasm problem within his own base. I appreciate the honesty.

But if he wants to talk strategics, he's leaving out a very important number - Obama's approval rating among Independents.

It's true, according to Gallup, support among Democrats for Obama since his inauguration has been relatively steady. But among Independents there has been a massive drop of 35% since February of '09. With support of the President among Indies sitting at an amazingly low 39%, any benefit of inspiring the base comes paired with the significant sacrifice of losing Independents.

But the Strickland campaign is willing to risk it.

Why? Because they have to.

The Strickland campaign is in serious trouble.