Thursday, December 29, 2011

Old Guard GOP May Hand Ohio to Obama

As brutal election results reflected, the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) was a scandal-plagued outfit circa 2006. I don’t relish the current ORP leadership fight, but if we don’t want second terms for President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown we must avoid repeating our mistakes. Party chairman Kevin DeWine’s old-guard ways – combined with his public betrayal of Governor Kasich – make it hard to believe ORP can be effective with DeWine in charge.

Quick hits: this fall, a consultant with ties to Chairman DeWine produced $179,000 in advertising for one of the Big Labor fronts smearing Kasich’s union reform bill. A glance at last year’s ORP campaign expenditures reveals -
  • $753,680 spent in the incredibly close Kasich-Strickland race
  • $1.3 million spent in the secretary of state race, for DeWine ally Jon Husted – including $375,245 in the GOP primary
  • $1.5 million spent in the attorney general race, for Kevin DeWine’s cousin Mike DeWine
If those figures don’t raise your eyebrows, there’s more. In the early aughts, Brett Buerck was a recognized name in Ohio Republican circles. Then, suddenly, he was known more widely… and not for a good reason.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is Ohio Less Democratic Than Russia?

Last week The Columbus Dispatch reported on what has been a recurring theme all year: Ohio conservatives are evil extremists!
Richard Gunther today called the new congressional map signed into law last week by Gov. John Kasich “stunning” for its representational unfairness, saying it is twice as unfair as the next-worst democratic systems in the world.

“This is a very, very bad map,” said Gunther, a scholar of world democracies. “This is extremely unfair to the citizens of Ohio.”
Emphasis mine. Humorous background: in 2009 Secretary of State Husted, then a member of the state senate, proposed a plan to replace Ohio’s partisan redistricting process… and Democrats killed it.

The Dispatch story doesn’t provide this context, nor does it mention that world democracies scholar Richard Gunther is a registered Democrat who has given $950 to Democrat candidates and causes since 2005.

Based on Gunther’s unbiased calculations, the elected Republicans who drew districts according to the standards of the Ohio Constitution are turning us into Russia!
Even the Duma, the lower house of parliament in Russia – a questionable democracy – earns a score of 7 against Ohio’s 24 on the scale. [Higher numbers are worse]

Gunther said any fair congressional district map should include three principles: competitiveness, compactness and keeping intact communities of interest.

“This map brutally violates all three of those principles,” Gunther said.
Gunther is clearly exercised that Republicans haven’t drawn a map beneficial to Democrats. Let’s hear a competing opinion:
Referring to Ohio’s new congressional districts, Tokaji said, “This is the worst example of elected officials serving their own craven partisan interests of anywhere in the country.”
The Dispatch fails to note that election law professor Daniel Tokaji is a registered Democrat who has contributed $350 to Democrats since 2005. Leftist college faculty hate it when Republicans win elections? Stop the presses! Here’s a snapshot of the new map:
No, wait – that’s Chicago, the most democratic place on earth! Compare this to Ohio’s new map and see which looks more Russian (consider also Maryland districts 2, 3, and 4).

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sherrod Brown Hates Current and Future Seniors

Early this month, conservative House member Paul Ryan (WI), and liberal Senator Ron Wyden (OR) unveiled a Medicare reform plan. Ryan and Wyden point out that:
The plan would strengthen traditional Medicare by permanently maintaining it as a guaranteed and viable option for all of our Nations retirees. At the same time, the plan would expand choice for seniors by allowing the private sector to compete with Medicare in an effort to offer seniors better quality and more affordable health choices.
Ryan goes on to point out that:
Americans over the age of 55 would see no changes to the Medicare system. For future retirees, starting in 2022, the plan would introduce a "premium support" that would empower Medicare beneficiaries to choose either a traditional Medicare, or a Medicare approved private plan. The healthcare plans that participate in the Medicare exchange would be required to offer benefits that are at least as comprehensive as those covered by traditional Medicare. Participating plans would be forbidden to charge discriminatory premiums, and would be required to cover everyone regardless of age, gender or health status.
This plan should make providing Medicare more efficient and potentially less costly. Of course, Sherrod Brown (OH),the most liberal Senator in Congress was quick to call that this plan is "Lipstick on a pig." Clearly, Brown does not support the notion that seniors are able to choose between traditional Medicare and a private Healthcare plan. In fact, he may be worried that tax paying retirees would prefer a private medical plan over a government plan. It seems that the only choice Brown supports is the dismembering of unborn humans. America and Ohio need leadership who will tackle the entitlement crisis. Like the President and the democratic members of Congress, Brown wants to ignore the looming crisis, while adding to it by passing Obamacare which cuts $500b from Medicare. This $500b in cuts was used to create the illusion that Obamacare would cut the deficit. That lie has been exposed. If Brown really cared for seniors, he would be an enthusiastic proponent of entitlement reform.

Here is a chart that exposes the size of the entitlement crisis:
Instead, Brown is focused on banning NFL "blackouts," and banning flavored cigars. It's nice to know that Brown is focused on the most serious issues facing America and Ohio. It's time to give Brown the boot!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all...

The more time passes, the more people realize Kasich was right to kill Strickland's train

This is old news to us here at 3BP. We cheered the death of the ridiculous boondoggle known as the 3C rail project. Governor Kasich promised to cancel it, and he did. Governors in Florida and Wisconsin did the same. One of the reasons was that we believed that the cost estimates were sure to skyrocket, and that Ohio taxpayers would get stuck paying the bill for a train that was slower than driving.

Today, the Plain Dealer looks at that decision almost a year later, and what has happened with other rail projects that didn't get cancelled.
U.S. taxpayers have contributed $3.5 billion in federal stimulus to the initial, 178-mile leg of California's 800-mile, high-speed rail project. And while not an inch of track has been laid, the cost overruns are already staggering.

A state report issued last month estimated the cost of the project at $98 billion -- nearly triple the original estimate of $33 billion. That's more than $122 million a mile. The completion date has been moved from 2020 to 2033. So gigantic are the overruns that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has held two hearings to examine how a project could go so wrong so soon.
And three weeks ago, California's legislative budget office said the overruns are now so great that it is "highly uncertain" the project will ever be built.

With a couple of exceptions, newspaper editorial boards in the state have turned against the rail plan, as have some Democratic legislators who were once among its loudest cheerleaders. In November, a Washington Post editorial begged, "Somebody please stop this train."
They also highlight other criticisms we had all along. The rail project promoted by Ted Strickland here in Ohio was a bad joke, and Governor Kasich was absolutely right to get rid of it.
Of all the rail projects awarded stimulus money, Ohio's was by far the worst.

Ken Orski is a former administrator for the federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration who for more than 22 years has published what the National Journal describes as "an influential and widely read transportation newsletter." Orski told me the plan advocated by former Gov. Ted Strickland gave high-speed rail a bad name.

"The Ohio idea was really just marginal improvement in Amtrak service," he said. "There has to be a place in the transportation spectrum for high-speed rail, but the Ohio project was one of the poster children for how not to do this."
Money quote:
Kasich was right to kill Ohio's snail-speed rail project. It's too bad the $400 million wasn't returned to the Treasury. Instead, it's being wasted 2,500 miles to the west.

Thank you, Governor.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tiberi calls on Kevin DeWine to stop the public attacks

Earlier this week, we weighed in on the recent attacks by ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine.
Kasich's request to DeWine was made in private. He didn't publicly call out DeWine or criticize him to the press. DeWine can't seem to portray the same professionalism, and it is DeWine who is damaging the Republican Party in the process. When he makes public, erroneous and negative criticisms about the governor in public like he did to the central committee earlier this month, he is doing ODP Chairman Chris Redfern's and Plunderbund's job for them.

Mr. DeWine, it is time for you to step down as chairman. If you refuse to do so, the very least you could do is to behave honorably and stop the public attacks on the governor.
The fact there has been a behind the scenes power struggle between DeWine and Kasich is what it is. But our problem with DeWine is that he has taken to attacking the governor and other Republicans in public and to the press.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our guys vs. their guys

A look at December in Ohio.

What our guys did:

Governor Kasich helped businesses create more new high-paying jobs.

Steris creating 75 new manufacturing and engineering jobs.
Philips Healthcare adding 100 jobs averaging $115,000/yr.
Clermont County getting 575 new jobs at TQL.
Ford moves truck production from Mexico to Ohio.
Wendy's moves 170 jobs from Georgia to Ohio.

What they did:

Wrote a poem making fun of Governor Kasich for not bringing Sears to Ohio...after saying that Governor Kasich's efforts to bring Sears to Ohio were insane.

What our guys did:

Treasurer Josh Mandel's management of Ohio's bonds upgraded to the highest possible credit rating by Fitch.
Amidst yesterday's news of Fitch downgrading the United States' outlook from stable to negative, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is announcing Fitch giving the highest possible short term rating of F1+ for Ohio's general obligation (GO) bonds. Fitch credited the Ohio Treasurer's conservative investment strategy and careful financial management as key factors in making this decision.

What they did:

Ohio Democratic Party made a cartoon making fun of Mandel for his age and for wanting to continue serving his country in the Senate after serving his country in Iraq with the Marines.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ODP's Redfern whines that fellow Dems wouldn't help him

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern

We've been talking about how Ohio Democrats refuse to accept that elections have consequences for some time now. They lost huge at the polls last year, but have engaged in overuse and abuse of the state referendum system in an attempt to still have their way. When legislation was passed that they disagreed with, they simply spent money to go out and buy signatures to put it to a referendum.

Their latest attempt was to block the new congressional maps. A few days ago, we shared with you that showed that without big labor money pouring in to go and purchase those signatures, they might fall short of the required number before time elapsed.

Obama thinks he's the 4th best president ever

This guy has no shame.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chairman DeWine's Attack on Kasich Staffers

For America to have any hope of averting fiscal collapse, the GOP presidential nominee will need to win Ohio in less than 11 months. Each day of Ohio Republican Party (ORP) infighting improves the odds for President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown, redistributionist extraordinaire.

GOP infighting
I’ve already given my two cents on the conflict between ORP chair Kevin DeWine and Governor Kasich, so I won’t belabor this point: DeWine should step down. I do not assume Kasich’s team is blameless, but the criticisms Ohio House Speaker Batchelder shared earlier this month cannot be discounted. Whoever threw the first stone, a public disagreement of this scope between a governor and a party chairman doesn’t leave many options.

Readers, we need your help.

Can you step up and donate just $20 (or more) to help our campaign to provide a well for a village that doesn't have clean water?  We're behind on our goal and need our readers to come through.

Please watch this short video to learn about the crisis, and how we are trying to help.  Also, see our previous post here for more information, and go here to donate.

Thank you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's time for Kevin DeWine to go

I've stayed neutral and silent on this squabble, but recent events have made it impossible to do so any longer.

The most recent public attacks from Ohio Republican Party (ORP) Chairman Kevin DeWine on the governor are inappropriate and uncalled for. DeWine alleged that the governor's staff is involved in unethical activities.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kasich's Ohio jobs recovery rolls on

Real leadership from Governor Kasich on Ohio's business climate continues to make a positive impact on the state. We've seen the difference from last year with all of the announcements of new jobs in the past weeks. And this morning, the results are starting to reveal themselves in the numbers. Ohio's unemployment rate took a big step in the right direction in November. Per the Plain Dealer:
Officials say Ohio's unemployment rate has taken its biggest one-month drop in nearly 30 years amid improvement in the state's job market and overall economy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Revised Ohio Congressional Map and A New Filing Deadline

Thanks to Marc Kovac & Ohio Capital Blog for being the first to upload the new map of Congressional districts.

The districts remain largely similar to the map we posted earlier, with only some small changes to the new Columbus-based district.  

Also, the new legislation will extend the filing deadline for Presidential and Congressional candidates to December 30th.  This will give the GOP candidates who did not file by the Dec. 7th deadline (Paul, Bachmann, Huntsman, Santorum) another chance to qualify.

Breaking: Ohio House reaches deal on new Ohio congressional map, single primary

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio House Republicans have reached a deal with enough Democrats to put aside the pending Democrat-initiated referendum. The GOP controls the House but needs 66 votes (out of 99) to do so.
Democratic and Republican House leaders have apparently worked out a deal today on a new congressional map and a single 2012 primary on March 6, instead of the current split primary that moves presidential and congressional races to June.

Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said the new map would contain at least two changes to an updated congressional map that Republicans offered about two months ago. He said the changes are “not major.”
A 2/3 vote is also needed in the Senate, but that is not an issue because the GOP already has a 23-10 majority.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quinnipiac: Ohio is pretty sour on Barack Obama

Last week, Quinnipiac released a poll for three states, including Ohio.  The top line of the poll has bad news for President Obama.  He would lose to either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich if the election were held today.  When you look deeper into the results, the news only gets worse for the president.  We'll also peer deeper into the poll and discuss Governor Kasich's numbers as well.

With less than a year to the election, Barack Obama looks to be in deep trouble in Ohio. His job approval numbers are a dismal 41 approve/55 disapprove (-14) among all registered voters. It gets even worse for him. With independents he is at 38/57 (-19) and nearly 2 out of 3 Ohio men, 33/64 (-31), disapprove of how Obama is doing his job as president. Just one month ago, Obama was at -6 in Ohio, so he has fallen 8 points further behind.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Plain Dealer notices that Kasich is getting the jobs done

The Plain Dealer notices that there has been a lot of good news lately when it comes to jobs for the citizens of Northern Ohio. And they also know exactly why these positive changes are taking place.
Government aid -- in the form of tax credits, loans or grants -- is also key to many of these deals. Both Ford and AmTrust will be getting significant state aid. And while this may offend ideologues on both the left and the right, it is a simple reflection of economic reality. With other states vigorously competing for investment and with credit markets still tight, Ohio has no choice but to get in the game.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ohio Dems to fall short on redistricting referendum?

In their continued refusal that elections have consequences, Ohio Democrats have been engaged in abuse of Ohio's referendum system all year. First, they teamed up with unions and spent tens of millions convincing Ohio voters that it was better to lay off public workers than to ask them to chip in a bit more towards their own benefits.

They have successfully mounted 2 challenges to laws passed by the representatives voters chose to represent them last year. Sounds impressive until you discover that it was only possible with the use of tons of special interest money used to pay people to go out and circulate petitions. They call themselves champions of the middle class and grassroots heroes. But in reality there was no grassroots involved at all.

Ruckus in the Ohio Republican Party

A month after an election with mixed results for the small-government cause, Ohio conservatives are suffering through a very public GOP power struggle. Governor Kasich's push to replace Ohio Republican Party (ORP) chairman Kevin DeWine has national implications: the Issue 2 campaign proved how low Democrats, Progressives, and unions (but I repeat myself) are willing to go to win the Buckeye state.

Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama would love nothing more than an Ohio divided, so let's get this over with.

Even without the laundry list of inside-baseball complaints cited by House Speaker Bill Batchelder, it makes more sense than you might expect to oust DeWine despite ORP's success riding the 2010 tea party wave.

According to Sherrod, Union Reform is Unchristian

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) isn’t merely the most extreme Progressive in the U.S. Senate, he’s also a religious scholar. Week in and week out, Sherrod preaches the Gospel of Progressivism: Greater love hath no man than he who gives generously from his neighbor’s purse.

Sherrod delivered a stirring speech on the Senate floor during the smear campaign against public union reform in Ohio:

In order to meet the week’s quota, Sherrod was obligated to say government union reform goes “against workers on behalf of the richest people in our country.” Too invested to stop at his usual class warfare, Sherrod had the audacity to attack Governor Kasich, Governor Walker, and Governor Christie for failing to meet what he claims as a Catholic standard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ted's still a flop, and the ODP gets lamer

Over a week and a half ago, national Democrats and the White House cranked up their attack machine against Mitt Romney with a new video and website they call And guess who they got to kick off the campaign, right here in Ohio? None other than former governor Ted Strickland. The Ohio Democratic Party put up a video of Ted's announcement of the attack. I actually feel a little embarrassed for Ted, because no one seems to care or want to watch him. As of today, 9 days later, after the story was carried nationally, how many views does Ted have?

35. And two of those are mine.

More on the Ford plant insourcing jobs from Mexico

Take a look at this video with more from the announcement yesterday.  Watch until the end, when a UAW union member explains how:
  1. The future of this plant was bleak
  2. They had committments in the past, but an announcement never materialized.
That is, until Governor Kasich came along, and committed his office to making Ohio business friendly again. They couldn't get a deal done in years past, until Governor Kasich came together with Ford. Right from the horse's mouth, folks.

It's a new day in Ohio.

ODP Chairman Redfern Running for Ohio House

From The Dispatch:
Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern wants to return to the Ohio House.
The former lawmaker from Catawba Island is expected to file to run in the district currently occupied by Rep. Dennis Murray, D-Sandusky, who said today he is not going to seek re-election in order to focus on his law practice.
Redfern, part of the idiot chorus trying to blame the Gabby Giffords shooting on irresponsible conservative rhetoric, is best known for calling opponents of Obamacare "tea party f*ckers" during a tirade at a 2010 union event.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kasich helps Ford move truck production out of Mexico and into Ohio

Yesterday, we talked about how the Kasich administration approved incentive for 30 new jobs projects.  Another one of the big projects included will secure the future of jobs at Ford's Avon Lake assembly plant. With the new incentives, Ford actually plans on bringing medium duty truck production out of Mexico and to Ohio. From the Lorain Morning Journal:
“Their visit will highlight the importance of the partnership with our state and local governments in moving production of the F-650 and F-750 from Mexico to our facility,” the plant advisory said. “We are also insourcing the F53 motor home chassis and F59 commercial stripped chassis production from an outside supplier.

Union Bosses Win, Ohio Workers Get Fired

One month ago Ohio voted with its heart against reforms portrayed as an attack on public workers. Ohio, DC, and New York union bosses spent more than $30 million drenching the airwaves in images of sad firefighters, sad police officers, and evil Republicans, convincing voters to overlook a broken status quo.
A month later, how are local governments celebrating the union victory on Issue 2?

Monday, December 5, 2011

AmTrust creating 800 new jobs in downtown Cleveland

Today the state Tax Credit Authority approved new incentives to 30 companies.  That's a record, folks, and it represents a major tool that the Kasich administration is using to make Ohio a more attractive place to do business in.
"It's a big day for Ohio, and it just shows that we continue to move in the right direction," said Gov. John Kasich on Monday. "And if you look at these projects, it shows that they are pretty well distributed around the state."
Photo courtesy The Plain Dealer

Sherrod Smears Big Labor's Critics as McCarthyists

Always happy to attack Big Labor’s enemies, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) did so from the Senate floor during the debate over Craig Becker’s appointment to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). After being placed during a recess, Becker has driven NLRB’s lurch to the Progressive fringe, shoring up the power of key Democratic Party donors at the expense of workers and businesses across the country.

The Progressive fringe is Sherrod Brown’s wheelhouse (he is, after all, America’s left-most senator), so here is Sherrod’s response to complaints about Becker’s work for the union bosses NLRB oversees:

December presidential poll results

Just like in most of the national polls, Newt Gingrich has surged to the lead in our 3BP readers poll. Mitt Romney is holding steady in 2nd place. Jon Huntsman has risen to third, ahead of 4th place Herman Cain. Of course, on Saturday, Cain effectively dropped out of the race.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

US Chamber of Commerce on Sherrod Brown

It's a bit telling that the biggest criticism Democrats have about this ad is the gritty photo of Sherrod Brown. The content of the ad? It's in the same spirit of our previous post. Brown talks about how he wants to create jobs for Ohioans, but his voting record is one that kills jobs. Watch the video and "like" it. Think Progress has libs incensed over the photo and is sending them to give it thumbs down.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cleveland installing biometric time clocks to ensure union workers are actually on the job

This is a quick update to our post from yesterday regarding the Cleveland Fire Department.  To prevent further abuses of employees being paid for hours they didn't didn't work, the city is moving forward with a system that will require fingerprints to be scanned when clocking in.
Mayor Frank Jackson said Friday that the city is moving quickly to install time clocks that read fingerprints in all of its fire stations in an effort to make sure that firefighters are actually on the job on the days they are paid to be.

Sherrod Brown talks jobs, but he and Obama's extreme policies are blocking them

In case you've had your head in the sand the past few months, you're aware of the vast amounts of natural gas reserves discovered in western Pennsylvania and New York and eastern Ohio. It is now estimated that the United States could be sitting on more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil.

The gas under Ohio alone is worth billions and billions of dollars. The Plain Dealer reported on a study that says that tapping into the Utica shale would produce over 200,000 jobs in Ohio. We are already seeing some job growth related to shale exploration in Ohio. The expansion at Lorain's Republic Steel will help fill the need for steel needed for gas wells. In Youngstown, Vallourec is investing hundreds of millions into new steel plants and will hire hundreds of workers to provide the miles of steel pipe that will be needed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

GOP governors' success touted on Lis Smith's DGA website

Lis Smith was the communications director for the Strickland 2010 campaign. Having done such a great job there, she now is the communications director for the Democratic Governors Association.

As director, she is in charge of the DGA website.  So you have to wonder why she is touting the virtues of Republican governors on their website.  Check out the page here.  Since I'm sure it will be scrubbed soon, here is the screen shot.

More infantile rhetoric from Chris Redfern and Ohio Democrats

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman and wannabe buccaneer Chris Redfern sent out a fund raising email yesterday. In it, he makes fun of John Kasich for saying that he doesn't read newspapers:
Will you donate $20 to buy John Kasich a one-month subscription to the Toledo Blade or the Marietta Times? Or will you make a contribution and suggest a newspaper for us to buy for John Kasich?

Cleveland Fire scandal highlights abuse of already generous work rules

For those outside of Northeast Ohio who haven't heard, the Cleveland Fire Department has found itself mired in a scandal.  It has exposed an environment of rule-breaking and corruption that has cost Cleveland taxpayers millions.  When the mayor and safety director saw the department's overtime and severance costs soaring $1.5 million over budget, they ordered an audit to find out why.  The answers they found are shocking.

The Conspiracy is Growing

Last week the folks at Plunderbund noticed a similarity between part of the new Ohio license plate design and the logo of Building a Better Ohio.  Naturally they saw it as the latest vast right-wing conspiracy from Kasich to dig at government employees by putting a map of Ohio inside the O.  Our friends at GOHP did a great job pointing out how ridiculous this idea was a few days ago.

But maybe Plunderbund was on to something, as the symbol of the conspiracy is evident in more places than we had imagined.