Ohio Archive:

Monday, October 30, 2006

OH-02: Jean Schmidt's Self-Inflicted October Surprise

Posted by James L.

I sometimes wonder if Jean Schmidt's entire political career has been a subvert effort to leave Republicans feeling punk'd in Ohio's 2nd district. Take yesterday, for example, when I read this nugget from a Cincinnati Enquirer article:

This doesn't happen every day: An incumbent member of Congress, in the middle of a re-election battle, says that storing nuclear waste shipments from around the world in her district may be a good idea.

U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt does say that, and her support for studying the idea has become an issue in her re-election campaign, especially in rural Pike County, in the far eastern end of her sprawling Southern Ohio District, where the nuclear wastes would be stored.

"I'm not advocating for it one way or the other," Schmidt told The Enquirer. "I'm saying it is something we need to look at."

Schmidt said she sees potential to create "hundreds, maybe thousands of jobs" in an economically distressed part of the state, where double-digit unemployment rates are the norm.

Unreal. With just over a week left until election day, Schmidt drops a radioactive October surprise on herself. When was the last time that you heard a politician advocate for the possibility of bringing nuclear waste into their constituency? It's mind-boggling, especially since this district nestles the Ohio River.

Cincinnati is an expensive media market to air ads in, but if the DCCC wanted to finish a vulnerable Jean Schmidt off, this could be the silver bullet.

Posted at 03:16 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OH-02: Going for the Jugular

Posted by James L.

I think that about sums it up. On the web: Dr. Vic Wulsin for Congress

Posted at 04:53 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

OH-12: Hilarious Shamansky Ad

Posted by James L.

Here's something pretty rare: a genuinely funny campaign commercial. This one's from former Rep. Bob Shamansky, and goes right for the jugular of incumbent Rep. Pat Tiberi--only with a liberal dose of humor that made JibJab such a craze two years ago.

Awesome. Just awesome. At 78 years old, Bob Shamansky is one of the unlikeliest candidates for Congress this year. Shamansky actually originally contested this seat in 1966 (that's not a typo) unsuccessfully, but did manage to knock off 10-term incumbent Rep. Samuel Devine in 1980, before redistricting forced his defeat just two years later. Now, Bob's back to challenge Republican congressman Pat Tiberi in a district that's more favorable for Democrats since Bush edged Gore here by a 51-46% margin in 2000. Due to extensive voter registration efforts by local Democrats and changing demographics in Franklin County, Bush squeaked by with 51% to Kerry's 49% in 2004. While this is certainly not the likeliest of House Democratic pick-ups, Shamansky has put up a respectable amount of his own money into this race, and with the mood of the Ohio and national electorate turning sour for Republicans, you never know about a seat like this.

Crazier things have happened.

Posted at 12:44 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

OH-02: Jaw-dropping SUSA Poll Shows a Three Point Race

Posted by James L.

When an internal poll released by Democratic challenger Vic Wulsin in July showed a tied race, I was pleasantly surprised but still cautious. Jean Schmidt obviously hasn't done much to endear herself to voters in OH-02 since beating Paul Hackett by a slim margin over a year ago; she's spent her time either getting taunted by Saturday Night Live for a shameless assualt on the courage of Vietnam veteran John Murtha on the floor of the House, releasing racist newsletters to her constituents, and getting into hot water with the Ohio Elections Commission for beefing up her campaign biography with a degree that she apparently never earned. Still, this is a blood red district, and not even Paul Hackett could crack it, so I didn't want to get my hopes up. But get a load of this new SUSA poll (likely voters):

Victoria Wulsin (D): 42
Jean Schmidt (R): 45
MoE: ±4.5%

The crosstabs are illuminating, too: Schmidt gets 71% of Republican voters (13% for Wulsin), while Wulsin gets 86% of Democratic voters, and 48% of independent voters to Schmidt's 38%.

Jean Schmidt is drinking from a poisoned well. No wonder the DCCC added OH-02 to its Emerging Races program.

Posted at 06:31 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 14, 2006

OH-18: The Next CA-50?

Posted by James L.

In the 50th Congressional District of California, an entrenched Republican incumbent (Duke Cunningham) pled guilty to corruption charges.

In the 18th Congressional District of Ohio, it appears that another entrenched Republican incumbent is about to do the same:

Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney has agreed with the Justice Department to plead guilty to at least one criminal charge in a deal that could be announced as early as Friday, Capitol Hill sources said Thursday.

Charlie Cook ranks CA-50 as having a Partisan Voting Index of R+4.6 (that is, the district voted an average of 4.6% more Republican in the last two presidential contests than the national average).

Charlie Cook ranks OH-18 as having a PVI of R+6.1

In CA-50, Duke Cunningham's "early retirement" (ie. prison term) allowed another experienced Republican politician to assume his place on the ballot against a Democratic challenger with a thin-to-minimal political resume (Francine Busby).

In OH-18, Bob Ney's announcement that he would not seek another term allowed another experienced Republican politician (State Sen. Joy Padgett) to assume his place on the ballot against a Democratic challenger with a thin-to-minimal political resume, Dover Law Director Zack Space.

In CA-50 special election, Busby ran a campaign entirely focused against the Republican culture of corruption, and emphasized that she would take no 'gifts, trips or secret meetings' with lobbyists.

In OH-18, Space is running a campaign primarily focused on rooting out corruption, promising to accept "no gifts, meals or trips" from lobbyists. (For an example, check out this almost laughably boisterous ad.)

In the CA-50 special election, Busby fell short of Bilbray by less than 4 points (49.3-45.5).

Will Zack Space fare any better in a district that leans even more to the Republicans? At first glance, one would have to be pretty skeptical of such a scenario. But there are a number of factors that should complicate an easy victory for Republicans in this district. First off, Padgett was Ney's handpicked candidate, a line of attack that Space has already opened on her. Bilbray did not have the curse of being associated with Cunningham. Secondly, Padgett endorsed Ney's re-election bid even after his ethical "lapses" came to the fore. Thirdly, her political career has evolved from her close relationship with Gov. Bob Taft (the least popular Governor in the nation with a whopping 79% disapproval rating). If Space can consistently tie Padgett with the Bobs (Taft and Ney, that is), he may be able to succeed where Busby failed.

Posted at 10:55 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio, Scandals | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

OH-03: Dem Candidate Drops Out; Could Hackett Jump In?

Posted by DavidNYC

Stephanie Studebaker, the Democratic candidate in OH-03, has formally withdrawn from the race after being arrested on domestic violence charges. The Buckeye State Blog does an extensive roundup on who might replace her. The most intriguing name at the top of the list: One Paul Hackett.

This southwestern Ohio district is R+2.9 - in other words, far less Republican than neighboring OH-02 (R+13.1). If Hackett jumped in, he'd make the race instantly competitive. All the Hackettistas still carrying a torch for him would give him an instant cash infusion, and I think Rahm Emanuel - who wanted Hackett to challenge Jean Schmidt again - might be interested in getting involved as well.

I think this idea is a lot less crazy than it would have been earlier in the year. If you'll recall, around a month ago, Hackett finally endorsed Sherrod Brown. So maybe he's more interested in being a team player now. And if he jumped in in OH-03, he wouldn't be going back on any promises not to push other candidates out of the race, since right now there is no Democratic candidate.

Can Hackett fans convince their man to get back into the ring? We'll see.

Posted at 01:55 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 07, 2006

OH-18: Ney Takes The DeLay Way Out

Posted by RBH

Ney's leaving now, (fortunately for Ney, it appears to be a legal strategy):

Rep. Bob Ney, enmeshed in a congressional corruption scandal, abruptly abandoned his race for re-election Monday after months of prodding from Republican leaders worried about losing his seat this fall.

Ney said in a statement he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and had acted for the sake of his family. "I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal," he said.

Unfortunately for Mr. Ney, dropping out of a Congressional race does not mean that all the investigations into your corruption will disappear.

So, when it comes to replacements, which Republican did he hand the ball to?

A Republican who accused a former hostage of Hezbollah of being soft on terrorism

Padgett Accused Her Opponent of Being Soft on Terrorists. Padgett’s 2004 Senate opponent was a former foreign correspondent for The Associated Press who became famous after Shiite Hezbollah terrorists kidnapped him and held him hostage in Lebanon for almost seven years. Padgett accused him of anti-American behavior and that he is soft on terrorists. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Padgett, also “sent out campaign mailings this month showing Anderson with a Hezbollah terrorist leader. She called Anderson “part of the ‘Blame America’ crowd” that is sympathetic to Mideast thugs intent on hurting Americans.” What she failed to mention was that the terrorist pictured with Anderson was the secretary general of Hezbollah, the group that abducted him in 1985. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/30/04]

The women of the Ohio Republican Party sure are pleasant, nice, down to earth people. (Although that quote doesn't mention that Padgett also compared Anderson to the 'supreme villain' that is Dan Rather)

The Republican switcheroo doesn't appear to have a huge effect on Zack Space. The Republicans didn't nominate Mr. Clean. Also, Space will have a CoH advantage for awhile, and should be pretty well off money-wise for most of the way to election day. Since this is now an open seat, he'll benefit. As well, if Padgett lives up to her reputation from the Anderson race, Space could benefit by getting people who are sick of nasty attacks.

Either way, things just got even more heated in OH-18.

Posted at 02:01 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Culture of Corruption, Ohio | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

OH-02: Pearls of Wisdom From Jean Schmidt

Posted by James L.

Wow. Check THIS out. Ohio's greatest embarrassment, congresswoman Jean Schmidt, has just released a newsletter addressing the sensitive issue of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. I haven't read essays this juvenile or poorly written outside of a fourth grade classroom. I'm not even kidding. The Vic Wulsin for Congress Blog has the goods.

Get a load of nuggets like this one:

The Iraqi's perception is that we are all powerful. We watch them from space with technology they cannot even imagine. Surely if we wanted to turn on his electricity we could do so. He has no idea how large the problem is but he knows we can do anything. He was angry. Eventually his air conditioning began running and his anger cooled.

Um. Wow. Yes, I do believe she compared Iraqi citizens to dumbed-down 'savages' who can't tell the difference between the American armed forces and God (or Allah, in this case).

Words are just failing me right now, folks. I give up.

Posted at 02:12 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Has $17,500 For November

Posted by James L.

Heh. This is pretty funny. I got an e-mail today pointing me toward Jean Schmidt's 2Q FEC filing. Evidently, ol' Jeanny had to unload a great deal of her warchest just to get under 48% of the vote in her spring primary challenge from former Congressman Bob McEwen. McEwen fell just under 4,000 votes shy of ending Schmidt's glamorous, combat veteran-insulting half-term career in Congress. Of $1.46m raised, she's reporting $17,509 as of June 30. $17,509.

Let me repeat that, just in case your eyes glazed over: $17,509. Cash. On. Hand. (And let's not forget that $277,000 debt that her campaign has accumulated.)

A full two months after her primary campaign elapsed and she has $17,509 in the bank? Brutal.

Now, Schmidt's Democratic opponent, Dr. Victoria Wulsin, is not going to win this seat with the cash that she's got, either: $24,564. But at least she has the temporary bragging rights of holding 50% CoH advantage. (Heh.)

This could prove to be another fun race, especially when coupled with Wulsin's latest internal polling. I have no doubt that the Republican extremist base and PAC backbone will help Schmidt out again and retire her campaign debt for her, but at least she doesn't face the advantage of having a $1m+ warchest to swamp her challenger with on the airwaves this summer.

Posted at 12:56 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

OH-02: This One's Got a Pulse, Doctor

Posted by James L.

First off, if you've read my latest post on the most recent batch of internal polls from Ohio, you'd know that I'm fairly nonplussed by campaign-commissioned polls. That said, if this poll is anywhere near the truth, I think I may be able to renew my faith in humanity (likely voters):

Victoria Wulsin (D): 44
Jean Schmidt (R): 44
Undecided: 11

Who knows, maybe even a blood red district can't stomach a congresswoman who became the laughingstock of Saturday Night Live. Other pertinent details from the poll: Schmidt has a 33-53% approval/disapproval rating, and only 30% of the respondents say they will vote for her; 34% say they will definitely cast their ballots for someone else. Wulsin also leads among independents by a 52-36 margin. The maddening thing, of course, is the missing margin of error. What is it? 3? 6? 12? It's a pretty key piece of information that's missing from Wulsin's press release.

Still, I'm glad to see numbers like these for the Wulsin campaign. She may not be Paul Hackett, who was one of the most unique candidates I've ever seen in politics, but her advocacy for public health both home and abroad (where she has assisted HIV prevention initiatives for USAID in Africa), is pretty remarkable and respectable herself. I met Wulsin's former campaign manager (from her primary campaign with Hackett) last year after the dust settled on the special election, and he left me with a very good impression of Vic and her values. She would be an excellent voice in Congress, and I hope that these numbers give her campaign a lift in the months ahead.

UPDATE: Okay, I found the MoE here: ±4.9%. High, but not awful.

Posted at 01:55 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

OH-18: A Tale of Two Polls

Posted by James L.

So yesterday, we got an internal poll done by Cooper & Secrest (D) for the Zack Space campaign, that seemed just too good to be true. Space, as you may know, is taking on Jack Abramoff's snuggle buddy, Rep. Bob Ney. Here's the poll, just in case you missed it (likely voters):

Zack Space (D): 46
Bob Ney (R-Inc.): 35
Undecided: 19
MoE: ±4.4

When I saw a poll that showed Space, a guy with minimal name recognition, already taking nearly half the vote in a district that voted for Bush by 14 points, I was skeptical, to say the least. And while the poll may be off, it's turns out that it's probably not way off. Ney's commissioned an internal poll of his own by GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. The result? A slim Ney lead over Space by 45 to 41 percentage points. As the Hotline notes, that's a 15 point difference between the two polls (+11 to -4 for Space). The truth probably lies somewhere between the two, but even if it's a worst case scenario, a four point lead for Ney, a six-term incumbent in a ripe red district, isn't exactly good news, either.

Of course, if Ney is indicted and the state Republicans manage to replace him on the ballot with someone a lot ethically cleaner, this discussion is irrelevant...

Update: As Cillizza notes, Ney's poll has a trendline: the poll "marks a considerable improvement from January when Ney trailed Space 49 percent to 37 percent 'shortly after Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty and the story was all over the news,' according to a memo penned by Bolger and released this morning."

Posted at 08:21 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, July 10, 2006

OH-Sen: Hackett Endorses Brown

Posted by James L.

It's about 5 months later than I would have liked to see, but hey, at least the hatchet is buried:

U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown will finally win the endorsement today of his former Democratic rival for U.S. Senate, Mr. Brown's campaign said late yesterday.

Mr. Brown, a Democrat from Avon who faces incumbent Republican Mike DeWine this fall, is scheduled to receive the endorsement of primary election opponent Paul Hackett at a "unity rally" in Cincinnati, the Brown campaign said. Mr. Hackett could not be reached for comment.

(Hat-tip to pontificator.)

Posted at 01:23 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

OH-Sen: New SUSA Poll Shows Brown Leading By 9 Points

Posted by James L.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why the OH-Sen polling is all over the place. Just when you think DeWine has a powerful lead, another firm comes out with a poll showing Brown on top, sometimes by equally powerful margins. And vice versa. Over, and over, and over again. Stop the insanity! What, pray tell, could possibly be swinging this race back and forth so much?

Anyway, here's the latest take from SUSA (likely voters, no trendlines):

Sherrod Brown (D): 48
Mike DeWine (R): 39
(MoE: ±4.4%)

As far as I can tell, this is the first Survey USA poll on the race. Conventional wisdom says that one should disregard the wild fluctuations of these polls until a clear trend one way or the other is seen. Until then, I'm going to still consider this a tight one.

Posted at 02:09 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ohio Primary Results Wrap-Up

Posted by DavidNYC

Ohio seemed to have the most interesting batch of primaries yesterday. Some results in key races:

• OH-02 (Incumbent, Schmidt): Wow did Jean Schmidt ever eke out a narrow win - just 48-42 over Bob McEwen. I wonder if he's cursing the two also-ran candidates, considering that Schmidt didn't even crack 50%. In a way, this may be the best possible outcome for us. Though OH-02 is hardly a competitive seat, we still face the most pathetic possible candidate (Schmidt) who's been embarrassingly weakened in her primary. Our candidate will be Victoria Wulsin.

• OH-04 (Open, Oxley): Not a race really on anyone's radar, as it's R+13.6. But this is an open seat. Republican Jim Jordan won a multi-way primary with 51% of the vote. Our man is Richard Siferd, who was unopposed. And speaking of this seat, the Dem who challenged Oxley last time, up-and-comer Ben Konop, decided to run for Lucas County Commissioner (apparently a pretty powerful post). I had hoped that Ben would run for OH-04 again, but I'm glad to see he won his primary last night (and quite convicingly, too).

• OH-06 (Open, Strickland): Charlie Wilson pulled it off. Thank the maker! He did a pretty nice job, too, winning with 66% of the vote. Chris Bowers makes the argument that the write-in debacle actually strengthened Wilson's campaign by forcing him to work hard early. I buy it. I'm also pleased to see that the GOP establishment pick, Chuck Blasdel, failed to crack 50% in winning his primary.

• OH-12 (Incumbent, Tiberi): Again, not a race many people are watching. But Bob Shamansky, a one-term former Congressman from way back in the day, won the right to be the Dem nominee. However, in theory, this district ought to be competitive, because it's a mere R+0.7.

• OH-13 (Open, Brown): Betty Sutton wins, and all I can say is, I'm really glad Capri Cafaro lost. Maybe she can start sharing her fortune with candidates who can, you know, win. Meanwhile, GOP golden boy Craig Foltin won with 37%.

• OH-16 (Incumbent, Regula): Wow, I didn't even know Ralph "Malph" Regula was on the receiving end of a serious primary challenge - he eked out a 58-42 win. That's pretty shabby for a zillion-year incumbent, and it lends further credence to the notion that we can definitely pick up this seat - if not now, then when Regula retires at the end of the next term. (Recall this poll.) Pastor Tom Shaw won the Dem nod in a very narrow race (51-49), though I can't say I'm enthused about the fact that his website is still "under construction."

• OH-18 (Incumbent, Ney): Big upset. Netroots-backed Zack Space beats Fighting Dem Joe Sulzer quite handily, 39-24. What's more, Sulzer actually finished in third place, behind a candidate I'd never even heard of, Jennifer Stewart. On the GOP side, Bob Ney won 68-32. Most observers expect him to pull a DeLay and drop out post-primary so that the GOP elders can annoint his replacement.

• OH-Gov (Open, Taft): Ken Blackwell beat Jim Petro, 56-44 for the Republican nod. I seriously hope Ted Strickland whoops his ass.

• OH-Sen (Incumbent, DeWine): Not much to report here, except for the fact that Mike DeWine won his primary with a smaller percentage than Sherrod Brown did, 72 vs. 78. DeWine edged Brown in total votes, though, 544K to 538K.

Any additional thoughts on Ohio?

Posted at 10:39 AM in 2006 Elections, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Thursday, April 06, 2006

OH-02: Schmidt Lied on Resume

Posted by DavidNYC

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer's politics blog:

The Ohio Elections Commission will determine whether U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt intentionally lied on her political resume last year to help herself get elected to Congress.


At issue is Schmidt's claim that she has two academic degrees from the University of Cincinnati when in fact she only has one. Her campaign has offered various explanations for the mix-up.

A small panel of Commission members on Wednesday reviewed a complaint against Schmidt from a McEwen supporter filed just two days ago and decided there is probable cause for the full commission to consider the matter.

More details here. I expect nothing less from good ole Schmitty. (Remember this little footnote to the whole Murtha flap?) Fortunately, we'll still have Mean Jean to kick around for at least a little while to come - a new SUSA poll showed her leading primary challenger Bob McEwen by 55-30. Let's not kid ourselves: Like Katherine Harris, we're much better off having her around than not.

(Thanks to Walt for the CPD story.)

Posted at 10:59 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

OH-15: Internal (D) Poll Shows a Close Race

Posted by DavidNYC

This is nice to see. Challenger Mary Jo Kilroy just did an internall poll (sub. only) on her race against Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (likely voters, no trendlines):

Kilroy: 41
Pryce: 44
(MoE: ±4%)

What makes these super-close results even more amazing is that Pryce has far greater name recognition. She has a 53-30 favorability rating while Kilroy clocks in at 34-17 - fully a 32% edge. If Kilroy gets her name out there, this seat is definitely in play. Kilroy's raised $170K so far (and still has that much on hand), which seems decent for a challenger. (Pryce, though, has almost a million in her warchest.)

What's more, this district trended heavily Dem in 2004. Bush won 52-44 against Gore but had an even 50-50 split against Kerry. The Almanac of American Politics attributes this to a big Dem registration and GOTV drive in Columbus, which is mostly within the 15th CD. Hopefully these gains will stick.

CQ rates this seat as "Republican Favored," which makes it functionally a third-tier race. Charlie Cook, however, puts it in his "Lean Republican" category (PDF), which is his second-tier ranking. And Chuck Todd (via House Race Hotline editor Josh Kraushaar) calls it a "mid-major" race and ranks it 29th overall. But if Kilroy can show a good quarter, that - combined with this strong poll showing - might inspire a few of these gurus to bump this race up a few notches.

(Thanks to Tracy Joan.)

Posted at 10:53 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, March 20, 2006

OH-06: Trusting Republicans With Money, Revisited

Posted by DavidNYC

Where there's smoke, I suppose, there's fire. Just last Friday, we were talking about Chuck Blasdel - Republican hopefull for OH-06 - bouncing a $500 tax check. It turns out, however, that Mendacious Chuck may owe one hundred times that amount in back taxes:

The state says state Rep. Charles Blasdel, a Republican in the 6th Congressional District race, owes $20,986.23 or $54,915.87 in estimated delinquent taxes and fees on two defunct businesses he co-owned.

The issue is a huge misunderstanding, and will be cleared up, said Jessica Towhey, Blasdel's campaign spokeswoman.

The state attorney general's office on behalf of the Ohio Department of Taxation filed 13 tax judgments between Nov. 24, 1995, and Aug. 8, 2001, totaling $20,986.23 against Blasdel Cline Inc. and Executive Cigar Inc., according to records at Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.


Based on its records, Mark Anthony, an AG spokesman said the two companies owe $54,915.87 in estimated delinquent taxes and fees as of Friday.

WOW! Fifty grand in upaid taxes. I think they send people to Leavenworth for less. It looks to me like Mendacious Chuck Blasdel just wrote his political obituary. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

(Thanks to Ansatasia P for the alert.)

Posted at 03:48 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, March 17, 2006

OH-13: Capri Cafaro, Are You Kidding Me?

Posted by DavidNYC

This is unreal:

The National Rifle Association has endorsed Capri Cafaro for Congress at a time when the 28-year-old Youngstown shopping mall heiress says she is thinking about packing heat.

Cafaro, a Democrat, who says she is a dedicated defender of the Second Amendment, opposes the assault weapon ban and favors Ohio's concealed-carry law. She also plans to take a class to learn how to fire a handgun, and might carry a weapon after she completes the course.

"As a woman who comes from means, I'm in some tough neighborhoods sometimes," she says.

If you're gonna support gun rights, fine. But this is just extremely naked pandering. And that last line? What the hell is that even supposed to mean? As a woman from extremely wealthy means, you are NEVER in tough neighborhoods, Capri. Or are you saying you might get mugged walking around your district because people know you're super-wealthy? Whatever she means, it's either snobby in the extreme or totally senseless.

Cafaro, for those of you who don't know, blew $2 million of her personal fortune (she's a shopping-mall heiress) to get 37% of the vote against Steve LaTourette in neighboring OH-14 last cycle. Now she's decided to try for something a bit safer (OH-13 is Sherrod Brown's seat). Frankly, I'll doubt she'll win the hotly contested, zillion-candidate primary. I just wish she'd spend her money more wisely.

Posted at 06:34 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-06: Trusting Republicans With Money Dept.

Posted by DavidNYC

Ah, Charlie Wilson must be feeling pretty good about this. What's the only thing dumber'n not getting 50 signatures to get on the ballot? Bouncing a $500 check for your property tax bill. And that's exactly what Chuck Blasdel, the main Republican candidate in OH-06, did just recently. As the Wilson campaign put it:

"Because of this, [Blasdel] is the perfect Republican candidate for Congress — fiscally irresponsible and a deficit spender," said Jason Burke, campaign manager for state Sen. Charles Wilson, a Democratic write-in candidate for the 6th District seat. "It's no wonder Washington, D.C., Republicans recruited him."

With any luck, we may yet snatch victory from defeat's scaly jaws.

Posted at 06:27 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, February 27, 2006

OH-06: Wilson Pursuing Write-In Route

Posted by DavidNYC

CQ Politics is reporting that Charlie Wilson will try to win the Democratic primary in OH-06 as a write-in candidate. This is probably the right move for Wilson, though it's merely the best of a bad set of choices. CQ thinks that Wilson "should be able to outpoll" the other two Dems running for the nomination because they are "little-known," but needless to say, write-in candidacies are pretty tricky things to pull off. Wilson should pay a call to DC Mayor Anthony Williams to see how Tony managed it in DC a few years back.

(Thanks to reader Ohanon.)

Posted at 04:26 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

OH-06: Bad News, Sports Fans

Posted by DavidNYC

Via reader Earl:

Charles A. Wilson Jr. doesn't have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions to run in the Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District race, The Vindicator has learned.

The Columbiana County Board of Elections is left with no other choice but to disqualify Wilson's candidacy for the seat at its meeting today.

Wilson has only 48 valid signatures on his nominating petitions, according to two Democratic sources and one Republican source with knowledge of his petitions. Congressional candidates need 50 valid signatures from registered voters in their districts to get on the ballot.


1) Appeal to the Columbiana elections board, then to a court if that fails. I doubt that will work.

2) Run as a write-in. Difficult and expensive.

3) Run as an independent. Requires getting 1,886 signatures. Why am I not confident about that route?

4) Wait until after the primary, then convince the winner to step aside and let Wilson take his/her slot. This might be legally permissible, but good luck making it work in practice. And any move like this will also surely garner negative media attention.

It's looking bad all around. What a colossal screw-up.

Posted at 02:29 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, February 20, 2006

OH: 18 of 18

Posted by DavidNYC

Pending any challenges, we have candidates running in 18 of 18 Ohio congressional districts. CQ did the hard work of going around to every relevant county office to collect these filings. What a cockamamie system Ohio has! The only person without a challenger is Democrat Tim Ryan in OH-17.

North Carolina is next (filing deadline 2/28). Barry Welsh says we have three seats unfilled (5,6 & 10), but the DCCC site says that we do indeed have a candidate in NC-10.

The following day, both Mississippi and Nebraska have their deadlines. In MS, we don't have challengers to either of the two GOP-held seats. However, in NE, we have challengers in all three seats.

After that, we've got a few empty spots in PA and quite a bunch in CA. You can see the complete list of filing deadlines here.

Posted at 04:57 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, February 19, 2006

OH-06: We'll Know on Wednesday

Posted by DavidNYC

Wednesday is the day when the Columbiana County Board of Elections will (or won't) certify Charlie Wilson's petitions to get on the ballot for the 6th CD race. (Ohio has a crazy filing system whereby you have to file with the BoE of the most populous county within your CD. Of course, many counties are split into pieces, some CDs contain parts of 10 counties, etc. It's nuts.)

But here's the thing. Charlie Wilson only needed fifty signatures. It's beyond pathetic not to be able to amass that many. In New York, for example, you need 1,250. To be on the safe side, you actually go for four times that many. You assume that a bunch won't actually be registered Dems; that you won't be able to find some on the voter rolls altogether; that some won't live in the right CD; that some will fill out the forms incorrectly.

In New York, that means you want 5,000. For Ohio, that means a whopping 200. Wilson's biggest problem, apparently, is that a bunch of signers aren't residents of the 6th CD. Yeah, blame it on redistricting - but that was four years ago. We've had two congressional elections since then. There's just no excuse for this. And don't expect much love from the Ohio courts - check out this sob story brought to our attention by commenter Ohanon.

For all candidates everywhere, please just follow this one simple rule: Get your freakin' petitions done properly.

Posted at 02:08 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, February 17, 2006

OH-06: Dem Candidacy in Jeopardy

Posted by DavidNYC

A few days ago, over at MyDD, I wondered out loud if we were at any risk of losing OH-06, the seat Ted Strickland is vacating to run for governor. It's an evenly split district, which was the source of my concern. But people assured me that it would stay in our hands, not least because the Ohio GOP isn't all that popular right now.

Problem is, you gotta have a candidate in order to win. And, in some truly awful news, state Sen. Charlie Wilson may have seriously screwed up:

The only Democratic hopeful in a key U.S. House race submitted a revised petition for candidacy with more signatures Thursday in a move the Ohio secretary of state's office called "problematic."

Ohio state Sen. Charlie Wilson withdrew a batch of signatures he filed Monday because he thought he could gather more signatures and resubmit them to the county election board before Thursday's deadline, said his son and campaign manager, Jason Wilson.

But a state law changed in December 2002 states: "No petition may be withdrawn after it is filed in a public office."

A spokesman for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell suggested the maneuver could jeopardize Wilson's candidacy.

I'd expect some kind of court challenge here, but with Blackwell on the other side, I'm certainly not sanguine.

Posted at 12:06 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

OH-Sen: I Didn't Say What I Said

Posted by DavidNYC

You might have been a bit confused if you read this AP story from yesterday:

“Hackett would have probably won this seat,” [DavidNYC], one of three founders of the liberal Web site SwingStateProject.com, contended in a blog posting Tuesday. “It's much harder for me to envision the 'northeastern Ohio liberal' Sherrod Brown breaking the 49-percent barrier, particularly with DeWine moving to the center.”

As it turns out, the quote in question belongs to SSP community member & regular commenter Mark. And actually, this is not a case of a lazy reporter failing to understand the difference between posts and comments.

I contacted the author (David Hammer) and he explained what happened. I had written the comment just above Mark's, which makes it plausibly look like the text below my name belonged to me, as opposed to the text above my name. Forgiveable, and no lasting harm done. (Though Mark, I'm sorry you missed your chance to have your name in lights!)

Anyhow, for the record, I don't agree with what was attributed to me. :) I think Sherrod is the stronger candidate - but that is the subject for another post.

P.S. I'm the sole founder of the SSP - you have only me to blame for this site!

Posted at 05:33 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

OH-Sen: Hackett Out

Posted by DavidNYC

So Paul Hackett's out of the Ohio Senate race, and he's not running for OH-02, either. I agree with Adam B at DailyKos: Sherrod Brown better win this.

I also hope Hackett's supporters can get behind Sherrod, too. I was a big Dean supporter during the primaries, and when he lost, I was seriously bummed. But I took a week, got over it, and then got right behind John Kerry. Like I said in a post just below, we're all on the same team here, and we've all got to work together to beat Mike DeWine.

Posted at 12:25 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (31) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, February 13, 2006

OH-Sen: Rahm Urges Hackett to Drop Out, Run for OH-02

Posted by DavidNYC

Whoa man, this could get ugly:

National Democrats are turning up the pressure on Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, openly asking him to leave his campaign for U.S. Senate and take a second shot at a Cincinnati-area House seat that he nearly won last summer.

Democrats have privately suggested for some time that Hackett, who has a national Internet following but faces the more experienced Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in a Senate primary, would be better off running again for the House seat held by GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt. Democrats acknowledge their chances of winning a district that voted 64 percent for President Bush in 2004 are slim without Hackett.

"This isn't talking behind the scenes; I'm saying it publicly. ... I'm petitioning Paul Hackett to run for Congress," Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Sunday.

The Ohio filing deadline is just three days away, so this is a hell of a time for Rahm to start talking about this openly. Personally, I don't really think this is about getting Hackett to run for Congress. OH-02 is a total booby prize, especially if Jean Schmidt isn't the Republican nominee. I think this is Rahm trying to damage Hackett by making him look like the "undesired" candidate, the guy who lacks institutional support.

Of course, I could be wrong - it's possible that Hackett could completely switch gears over the next couple of days. (The filing requirements in Ohio are pretty minimal.) After all Jeanine Pirro did something similar in NY. Then again, Pirro had Pataki pushing her, and Rahm is not the Democratic Governor of Ohio. (Though in some ways, Rahm might be more powerful, given that he's a serious party power-broker, and Pataki is a lame-duck presidential wannabe.)

If Hackett does indeed run for OH-02, and if Schmidt is still the nominee, then we might, possibly might have a fight on our hands. However, I just want to point out two recent examples which align with this scenario. In 2004, Ben Chandler in KY and Stephanie Herseth in SD both won special elections to the House and then both faced quick rematches that November. Herseth won her special 51-49 and the rematch 53-46. Chandler was 55-43, then 59-40. In fact, Herseth's opponent was the same both times. This is a small sample size, but it is not reassuring. The power of incumbency - however brief - can be strong indeed.

(Thanks to desi.)

Posted at 01:56 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

OH-16: An Update

Posted by DavidNYC

Two items of note on OH-16:

First, I'm told that two people have been petitioning here, Kim Kendall and William Smith. I don't know anything more about these individuals, but at least it's looking like we may have a candidate.

Second, I've also received some internal polling numbers. They are very interesting:

Party Preference
Vote Dem: 46
Vote GOP: 42

Re-Elect Numbers
Re-elect Ralph Regula: 39
Consider someone else: 20
Definitely someone else: 23

Amazingly, people say they prefer a Democrat to a Republican in this district! Moreover, Regula's support is soft - just 39%. That said, I think it would be very hard to beat him even in what will be a very bad year for Ohio Republicans. His job approval (63-23) and favorability ratings (66-26) in this poll are quite high.

However, Regula is almost certain to retire after this final run (he's already 81). That means we'll have a very winnable open seat in 2008. These poll numbers demonstrate that we can't abandon this district this cycle, even if our prospects for 2006 are daunting. We need to engage in party-building activities now so that we can compete here later. And at the very least, we need to start by giving the residents of OH-16 a Dem to vote for this year.

Posted at 01:36 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, February 06, 2006

OH-07, 08 & 16: We Need Candidates

Posted by DavidNYC

Barry Welsh's Congressional race tracker site is a terrific resource. However, in some cases, it's over-inclusive, listing candidates whose names have been floated but who aren't necessarily running. For instance, I can tell you that Sharen Neuhardt is not running in OH-07. Tony Bourne, another listed potential candidate, no longer seems to have a working website. Fortunately, a knowledgeable reader tells me that a fellow named Dan Saks is planning on getting into the race. Hopefully this is in fact the case and this candidacy will pan out.

I haven't heard a peep about OH-08, the home of the new GOP Majority Leader John Boehner. We need someone to run here so that we can keep pressure up on Boehner and make sure he stays linked to the GOP's corruption scandals. Yes, this is a super-red district, but simply running against the GOP's top guy ensures you'll get at least some media coverage.

But I'm even more concerned about another district, one that is actually winnable: OH-16. It has actually gotten more Democratic recently: It went to Bush in 2000 by 11 points, but in 2004 by just 8 points. You may recall that this seat is held by Republican Ralph Regula, who demolished one-time blogosphere darling Jeff Seemann the last time out. (Regula won 67-33.)

Welsh's site lists Seemann as our candidate for this district once again, but there are a lot of problems here:

• Seemann's website isn't working.

• His Blogspot blog hasn't been updated since 2004.

• His TypePad blog hasn't been updated in over two months.

• He never filed his final FEC report in 2004. Seemann's girlfriend (apparently), posting under Seemann's name, claimed he raised $130K in 2004. However, the reports he did file only cover some $60K in expenditures. That leaves $70,000 unaccounted for.

• He has received a whopping six notices for his failure to file from the FEC, on 10/22/04, 12/17/04, 2/16/05, 5/2/05, 8/2/05 and 11/01/05.

• He was fined $9,075 by the FEC in October of 2005 for his failure to file.

In short, this is not the portrait of a responsible candidate. There is simply no way anyone will take you seriously if you're in arrears to the FEC and haven't even completed all your legally mandatory filings. Moreover, Seemann (with his $130K and broad netroots support) did only two points better than the Dem in 2002 - and that guy didn't raise any money. The bottom line is that we need someone else to run in this district.

Ohio's filing deadline is just 10 days away (Feb. 16th), and we're three candidates short. Given the toll that scandal has taken on the OH GOP, and the seemingly resurgent fortunes of the Ohio Democratic Party, it would be a tragedy if we let three Republican seats go uncontested. Hopefully we'll see some last-minute filings, because 2006 is the year to be a Dem in Ohio.

Posted at 05:57 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

OH-Gov: Montgomey (R) Dropping out of Race

Posted by DavidNYC

Republican State Auditor Betty Montgomery is dropping out of the race for Ohio governor. That leaves Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Attorney General Jim Petro to compete for the nomination. (In a recent Rasmussen poll, she performed the worst against the only Dem candidate, Rep. Ted Strickland.) Montgomery is instead going to seek the AG nomination (shades of Pirro), an office she once held but was term-limited out of in 2002.

(Thanks to Earl in Ohio.)

Posted at 12:12 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, January 20, 2006

OH-18: Ney to OH GOP: I'm Taking You Down with Me

Posted by DavidNYC

Whoa. Now THIS is something:

Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett said Thursday that he'd ask Rep. Bob Ney to resign from Congress if he were indicted on felony charges.


"No party boss tells my constituents what to do," Ney said. "They will decide this thing."


Asked if Ney planned to step down if Bennett urged him to do so, Ney said: "I would say if he asked me to step down that he'd better look in the mirror because glass houses break easily." (Emphasis added.)

Did I read that right, or did Bob Ney just accuse the entire Ohio GOP of corruption and threaten to take them down with him? Cuz that's what I think I read. Wow. This could really be explosive. I fully expect Ney to be indicted. If he is, and he carries through on his threat, we will see some serious freakin' fireworks.

(Thanks to OHDemVoter.)

UPDATE: Like cockroaches scurrying from the light! Bob Bennet has already caved in to Ney at warp speed:

Bennett backed off Thursday, saying: ``Rep. Ney has said he believes a fair and thorough investigation will help to clear his name, and I take him at his word. It's important to let that process play out and to get all the facts on the table.''

Bennett also told Fox the party would find a candidate to oppose Ney in a primary if he were indicted and refused to step down. Bennett also backpedaled on that statement Thursday.

``We are actively working toward his re-election, and I am confident that he will handle this challenge with the best interest of his constituents in mind,'' Bennett said.

Ney must have something on this guy - on all these guys - for Bennet to backpedal so quickly. What an unbelievable admission of guilt! Now, imagine if Ney gets indicted and refuses to resign. That's gonna get nas-tay!

(Thanks to RBH.)

Posted at 01:43 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio, Republicans | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

OH-02: McEwen to Challenge Schmidt

Posted by DavidNYC

Former Rep. Bob McEwen has announced that he'll challenge Rep. Jean Schmidt in a primary. McEwen lost to Schmidt in the special election primary last year. He also used to represent southern Ohio's 6th district, but lost to Democrat Ted Strickland (now running for OH-Gov) after redistricting in 1992. (He was actually a rare Republican victim of Newt Gingrich's hyping of the House check-kiting scandal.)

Anyhow, I'll bet that McEwen won't be the only one to take on Schmidt. She's incredibly vulnerable (at least in a primary), given her abysmally weak win over Paul Hackett and her atrocious performance on the floor of the House. However, win or lose, I doubt that lightning will strike twice and that we'll see another competitive race in OH-02 in November.

(Thanks to Georgia10.)

Posted at 10:40 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Politics of Billboards

Posted by DavidNYC

Back in November, GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt slandered war hero Rep. John Murtha on the floor of Congress. When we sought to take the fight straight to her back yard, Lamar Advertising refused to run the DNC's billboard, on the grounds that it constituted "negative advertising." (Nevermind this.) That really (once again) dogged my cats. Anyhow, this is what the Schmidt billboard looked like:

To kick off the new year, the Campaign for America's Future has launched a big-time ethics assault on the already-indicted Tom DeLay and the soon-to-be-indicted Bob Ney (OH-18). One feature of this campaign also includes a billboard, stating the simple truth about Bob Ney:

Clear, direct, to the point - and nothing hurts quite like good old Mr. Truth. CAF says that this billboard is already up, "located above the east bound lanes of Rte. I-70 at exit 126, one mile west of State Rte. 37 in Heath, Ohio where Rep. Bob Ney lives." So a pat on the back to CAF, but an obvious question remains: Why were they able to get their billboard up while the DNC was not? Oh CAF, share with us your secrets, so that organizations across the land may torment powerful kleptocrats for the entire election season!

Posted at 09:41 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Ohio | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, December 10, 2005

OH-Sen: Reading Past the Headlines

Posted by DavidNYC

Sometimes when I write blog post headlines, I try to be pithy. Most of the time, I just try to be descriptive. But all of the time, if you try to glean some wider meaning from just a headline - whether it's a post written by me or any blogger - you're making a serious mistake. So I gritted my teeth when I read this paragraph from a new piece in In These Times on the Ohio senate race:

Blog opinion on the race is by no means uniform. Many support Brown, but it’s a strange feature of the blogosphere that a newcomer to politics like Hackett is widely considered a known quantity, while Brown, who’s spent his entire adult life in public office, is a mystery. One skeptical blogger on the Web site Swing State Project summed up his reservations with a post titled: “Who is Sherrod Brown?” (Emphasis added.)

Christopher Hayes, the author of this story, has unfortunately revealed that he didn't bother to read past the headline of the post in question. Not only did I recant much of my original point with an update posted at the very top of the entry within a few hours of the initial posting, even during the first go-round I made it amply clear that I was discussing a single, very narrow issue:

I know that Brown has other merits, and I know that name recognition is only one piece of the puzzle. A lot of people more knowledgeable than I have said that Brown has a tremendous organization in Ohio, and has connections throughout the political strata. I haven't yet seen proof of these claims, but I will also grant that this poll does nothing to undermine them, either. It is limited to one question and one question only - namely, how well-known is Sherrod Brown amongst the general public?


Again I say, this poll does not speak to any other issues. I stress this point because I don't want this post to be misunderstood. I am making a very narrow argument here: On name recognition alone, I don't think Brown supporters can make any kind of strong claims that their guy has the edge. But again, I welcome any refutation of this argument.

The boldface in both of those paragraphs was in the original. Could it be any clearer that the headline, "Who is Sherrod Brown?" did not "sum up my reservations" at all? Next time, Mr. Hayes, please don't read so selectively.

P.S. As to the merits of this old argument, I don't think name recognition matters very much anymore in this race. Both Hackett and Brown are polling equally well against DeWine, and their name rec numbers are pretty close (Brown is 7 points ahead of Hackett).

Posted at 03:42 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, December 01, 2005

OH-02: Billboard Rejected

Posted by DavidNYC

Go read what Tim has to say about the DNC's Schmidt billboard. And be prepared to grit your teeth.

Posted at 09:22 PM in Activism, Ohio | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

RON Revisited: I Want Answers

Posted by DavidNYC

Just came across this piece in Editor & Publisher about the Columbus Dispatch mail poll which I mentioned in the post just below. A syndicated columnist for the Dispatch, Robert Koehler, took the paper to task a few days ago for, allegedly, not critically investigating the mind-boggling failure of its poll regarding the RON ballot measures. Koehler seems to believe that there was nothing wrong with the poll itself but rather everything wrong with the election. Though he doesn't use the word, he's pointing a finger at fraud.

Let me say quite clearly: Without further evidence, I disagree strongly with any such conclusion. But I'm also deeply, deeply unsatisfied with the paper's lazy explanations about why their poll was so awful. The paper's Public Affairs Editor, Darrell Rowland (who was also interviewed by Koehler), only offered this to E&P:

Koehler said the Ohio paper -- which he described as "a member in good standing of the mainstream media" -- instead blamed its inaccurate poll on "the notorious volatility of statewide referendum issues."

Rowland said that may have been one reason for the inaccuracies in the Dispatch poll, which was mailed to about 12,600 Ohioans - of which about 1,900 responded. He added that the ballot issues were "incredibly confusing," and that "a lot of last-minute money" was spent to defeat four of them. "It's easier to cause people to vote no than to vote yes," Rowland said.

Two (possible) problems: First, the Dispatch poll was largely accurate on the one non-RON ballot measure (a bond issue). The poll said 53% yes; the actual results were 54% yes. The only other "yes" vote it came close on was Issue 4 (redistricting). The nays were off by enormous margins on every single issue. (Poll | Results)

Second, according to a "voting-rights activist" cited by Koehler, the pre-election ad blitz mostly came from the RON forces, not the anti-RON side. I assume Ohioans in the audience here can either confirm or dispute this.

The Dispatch wants its poll to be taken seriously. The powers that be there are probably keeping their fingers crossed that the next one will be more accurate. If it's not, then perhaps we can conclude that the entire polling methodology is flawed and needs to be re-worked. However, if the next Dispatch mail-in poll is on target, that will raise many more questions about why this one was so skewed. And if the Dispatch wants its reporting to be taken seriously, then it better start looking for answers.

Posted at 09:01 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Gov: Coleman Drops Out of Dem Primary

Posted by DavidNYC

Michael Coleman, the mayor of Columbus, has dropped out of the running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Ohio. This means Ted Strickland, who represents OH-06, will be our nominee. I haven't been following this race too closely, so I don't have an opinion as to who would have been the stronger candidate. There wasn't much polling, either - a Columbus Dispatch poll from September showed a close primary race, but with lots of undecideds. Of course, this was the Dispatch's notorious, wildly wrong mail-in poll, so to me, those numbers mean nothing.

Of concern is the district Strickland is leaving behind. Superribbie ranks it as our fifth most-endangered Dem-held seat. And according to Dave Leip's numbers, the district went narrowly for Bush last year (by less than a percentage point). Thanks to Ohio's outrageous gerrymander, that actually makes it Ohio's sixth-most Democratic district. Our guy here is State Sen. Charlie Wilson, whom Superribbie calls an "excellent candidate." (The DCCC also lists one Diane Murphy as running for this seat, but I can't seem to find a website for her.)

Posted at 07:25 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, November 25, 2005

OH-02: Primary Challengers for Schmidt?

Posted by DavidNYC

Man. You win a much tougher-than-expected special election in a heavily Republican district and you figure, finally, I've got it made. I'm sure that was exactly the sigh of relief that Jean Schmidt breathed when she narrowly defeat Paul Hackett in August. Her seat should be safe for as long as she likes, right?

Not so fast. It's not just Democrats who are piling on Schmidt for her odious slander of Rep. John Murtha. Republicans are getting in the act, too - and some are not content to let her keep that OH-02 seat all to herself.

But one of Schmidt's fellow Republicans, state Rep. Tom Brinkman, suggested she was out of line.

"I think there is a certain decorum that people are supposed to use on the House floor, just like we do in Columbus," said Brinkman, who lost the Republican primary to Schmidt in June and is considering a rematch against her next year. (Emphasis added.)

According to Josh Marshall, a second potential challenger has been mooting a primary run as well. I think there's every chance in the world that Schmidt will lose.

But you know, I rather like having Mean Jean around. As the publisher of The Hill noted:

"We have said innumerable times that she would go to Washington and open her mouth and create an embarrassment," said Jim Schifrin, the newsletter's publisher. "She will say things that turn people off like nothing you've ever seen."

Anyone who gets Harold Ford, Jr.'s blood up is actually good for our side. No matter how burned she feels right now, and no matter how cautious Schmidt thinks she'll be in the future, I doubt she's capable of changing. I mean, she had the bad sense (or compulsion) to slander the very senior Rep. Murtha, a Marine, in barely her third month in office. I think she's gonna be the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted at 04:21 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

OH-18: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Poster

Posted by DavidNYC

If Bob Ney is the poster-boy for Abramoffian corruption in the House (and you thought it was Tom DeLay!), then, as Jesse Lee says, we're gonna need a bigger poster. All of these stories are from just the last two days:

Rep. Ney Becomes Example in Abramoff Probe [AP]

Plea Deal Ties Ney to Second Tribe [Roll Call] (sub. req.)

Ney’s Troubles Are Mounting [Roll Call] (sub. req.)

If you want to see excerpts from the two Roll Call pieces, head over to the Stakeholder. And start working on that poster.

Posted at 01:27 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 21, 2005

OH-18: And Representative #1 Is...

Posted by DavidNYC

In case you haven't seen the news yet, Tom DeLay bagman extraordinaire Mike Scanlon (I think that makes him a bagman's bagman - how sad) just copped a guilty plea with federal prosecutors over his role in fleecing Indian tribes who were trying to lobby Congress. The flipside to all this, of course, are the bribes doled out to greedy Congressman - and the fallout that's soon to ensue.

Like the Libby indictment, some key players in Scanlon's indictment go unnamed. But just like everyone knows that Libby's "Official A" is Karl Rove, "Representative #1" in the Scanlon case is none other than Rep. Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio. Ney is claiming he was an innocent dupe of Scanlon's, and also claims he's cooperating with the prosecutor. But Libby "cooperated," too, and the result was a perjury charge.

The bigger deal is that Scanlon is cooperating, and he seems like the kind of guy who'll gladly screw his superiors if it'll help his cause. (Check out the excerpts from his brazen e-mails at the link above.) My federal white collar crime prof. thinks that it's hard to get these guys to flip, because the Republican establishment fanatically worships loyalty above any other virute, and if you betray your superiors, you'll never get another GOP job. That may be true, but only up to a point. If the choice is prison time vs. no prison time, that has a way of making people talk.

And I think Scanlon's gonna squawk indeed, and I think Bob Ney is seriously screwed.

Posted at 05:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, November 17, 2005

OH-Sen: Rasmussen Polls Hackett v. DeWine

Posted by DavidNYC

Rasmussen releases a new poll on Paul Hackett vs. Mike DeWine. And it looks really bad for DeWine (likely voters, no trendlines):

Hackett: 42
DeWine: 41
Other: 5
Undecided: 12
(MoE: ±4.5%)

It had looked like Rasmussen was including the actual number of undecideds in their little data box (they did for a few recent polls), but here, I'm just inferring the d/k number.

Anyhow, I know what you're thinking - 42-41 is basically a tie. How can I say that this is bad news for DeWine? Simple: Name recognition. DeWine's favorability rating is 48-38; Hackett is just 33-29 - 38% don't know enough to form an opinion of Hackett yet, vs. just 14% who say the same about DeWine. It's not good to be tied with a guy who's unknown to a third of the state. As Hackett's name rec grows, it seems only likely that he'll put some daylight between himself and DeWine.

I find one thing a bit troubling: Hackett's unfavorables seem pretty high for a guy who's never held elective office and still isn't that widely known. I'm wondering why that should be. Could his oft-replayed remarks about Bush during the special election have engendered some deep hatred among hard-core Republicans, who heard Rush Limbaugh denigrate our armed forces by slurring Hackett as a "staff puke" on AM radio? I dunno - it's just one hypothesis.

Also, I don't know why Rasmussen didn't poll Sherrod Brown vs. DeWine, though I did send an e-mail to Scott Rasmussen asking about the omission. If I get a reply, I'll let you know.

Posted at 12:28 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

2005 Election Night Coverage

Posted by Bob Brigham

This is the last hurrah for the 2005 Swing State Project team, so we will do everything we can to provide top-notch election night coverage. DavidNYC is in Washington, DC (ready for legal deployment to Virginia if the Tim Kaine vs. Jerry Kilgore race goes into extra innings). Tim Tagaris is on the ground in Ohio, ready to follow through on all he has done to help Reform Ohio Now. And I'm in California with front row seats for Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives. In addition to the election results, check out what the local bloggers are writing in the major states. There are now two major wires services for liberal bloggers -- state by state. Keep refreshing Swing State Project, but also visit all of the bloggers on the ground by visiting the wires:

Virginia: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

New Jersey: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

Ohio: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

California: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

DISCLAIMER: I've ended up on BlogPAC's reports before, but all I'm trying to do here is direct you to the bloggers with the on the ground knowledge.

Posted at 07:24 PM in 2005 Elections, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Site News, Virginia | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

More Voting Machine Problems

Posted by Bob Brigham

First Ohio, then Virginia and now California:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up to his Brentwood neighborhood polling station today to cast his ballot in the special election — and was told he had already voted. [...]

The poll worker told the governor's staff he would have to use a "provisional" ballot that allows elections workers to verify if two votes were made by the same person. McCormack said the poll worker did the correct thing.

The governor, however, was allowed to use a regular ballot.


And some more from Ohio:

They are engineered to be fast, accurate and secure, but there was a glitch Tuesday morning with some voting machines.

Paul White, a Diebold consultant, says, "We just had to rework them a little bit and they worked just fine."

Posted at 05:19 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Monday, November 07, 2005

OH-Sen: Brown +4 on Dewine, Hackett -2 - But It's a Weird One

Posted by DavidNYC

Finally, a real (ie, non-Zogby FunTyme) poll on the Ohio senate race. Sort of. This is part of the same Columbus Dispatch mail-in poll, alleged by some to be "eerily accurate," on the Reform Ohio Now ballot measures. Well, I can tell you one thing for sure: No poll with undecideds well into the 30s is accurate about jack. Anyhow, the findings (registered voters, no trendlines):

Brown: 35

(MoE: ±2.5%)

Sigh. Just when I hoped we might be getting good data, we get this whack-ass nuttiness. Oh, also, Dem respondents to this poll (which is self-selecting) were 10% greater in number than Republicans. This may well be a sign of the times, or it could just be a sign of ballot-box stuffing. Either way, these numbers are too noisy to mean much, except perhaps one thing: For a well-known incumbent like DeWine to be facing so many undecideds and to be unable to break 32% is pretty freakin' pathetic.

(Via the DSCC.)

Posted at 12:20 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

OH-04: More on Oxley

Posted by DavidNYC

Mike Oxley, the Republican who represents Ohio's 4th CD, will be retiring. Doubtless he'll wind up with a nice sinecure. But even though his own seat was surely safe, I'll bet he read the writing on the wall and realized that there was no guarantee that he'd still be in the majority in 2007. And he won't be the last Republican incumbent with a lot of seniority to bail this election cycle.

So what's OH-04 like? Well, a bit like OH-02, at least on the raw numbers. According to the AP, John Kerry only got 34% of the vote here. However, while Rob Portman won his last election by a margin of 72-28, Oxley got a somewhat stiffer challenge from Ben Konop, winning by "only" 59-41. (Konop, you may recall, got a decent bit of attention from the blogosphere - he was a late addition to the DKos Dozen.)

I don't know whether Konop will run again, but I think he definitely should. Retirements like this are exactly why you first run longshot campaigns against entrenched incumbents. You build up name rec, enhance your reputation and then are well-positioned when the seat opens up. If Paul Hackett can close nearly 40 percent, then Ben Konop can close 20 percent in what is shaping up to be a huge Democratic year nationwide and especially in Ohio.

Posted at 03:07 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-04: Oxley to Retire

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Just as someone in the comments predicted yesterday. From the Wall St. Journal:

The House sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that imposed sweeping corporate-governance requirements on U.S. business is expected to announce today that he won't run for re-election next year.

Rep. Mike Oxley (R., Ohio) will tell political supporters that he will leave Congress when his twelfth term expires in 2006, a close associate said. His office did not return calls seeking comment.

Mr. Oxley is entering the final year of his six-year term as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, where he helped draft and enact the 2002 law that bears his name. His Senate counterpart, former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes (D., Md.), announced his retirement earlier this year.

The Fix Confirms:

Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) is planning to retire from Congress and could make an announcement to that effect as early as this week, according to four sources with close ties to House Republicans who were told of the decision by a mix of aides on Capitol Hill and members of Congress. The sources requested anonymity because they do not work for Oxley and don't want to jeopardize their relations with the congressional leadership by leaking the news.

Paging Ben Konop. Will Ben Konop please pick up the nearest courtesy phone.

Posted at 12:15 PM in Ohio | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, October 30, 2005

OH-15: DCCC Lands Big Time Dem. Challenger

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Point person for the corporatization of Social Security in the House, Republican Deborah Pryce, will face her toughest re-election campaign ever in 2006. I don't know how the DCCC did it, and they deserve a lot of credit I am sure, but Franklin County Commissioner (home of Columbus, the state capitol), Mary Joe Kilroy (no site yet) has decided to run for the seat. This isn't the freshest of news, but here's a bit of information about the district and the candidate.

Kilroy had long been rumored to be considering a run for Secretary of State in Ohio. However, Democrats already have a tremendous candidate whose campaign is running full steam ahead, Jennifer Brunner. Apparently Kilroy was convinced to abandon a bid for SoS and focus on heading to Washington as a member of Congress. The most interesting tidbit of information about Kilroy for many blog readers might be her early endorsement of Howard Dean. To the best of my knowledge, Kilroy was the first elected official in Ohio to throw her considerable political weight behind the good doctor and could be seen on the stump and at rallies for Governor Dean as early as the summer of 2003. Incidentally, the Dean for Ohio Communications Director, Dr. Stephanie Studabaker has declared her intention to run for congress in OH-3.

OH-15 was literally 50/50 between Bush and Kerry in 2004. The fifteenth district is largely urban, 91% according to The Almanac of American Politics and contains the vast majority of the state capitol, Columbus. The district also includes portions all of Madison and Union counties. Along with the support Kilroy should receive from the national party and Democracy for America, there is a terrific grassroots organization inside the district that will help tremendously on-the-ground in 2006: Upper Arlington Proressive Action.

It is also important to note that OH-15 already has one Democrat in the race, Mark Losey, who has made a commitment to reach out to both the national and Ohio blogging community. And not that it's all about money, but Losey's last quarterly report showed $2,914 cash on hand. However, he is building a solid grassroots community on-the-ground. What happens to his candidacy remains to be seen.

Posted at 04:41 PM in Ohio | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 20, 2005

OH-Gov: Greatest Campaign Poster... Ever

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I just saw this poster created by the campaign of Ohio gubernatorial candidate Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus. Click on it for a larger version.


Posted at 05:52 PM in Ohio | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland Claims Credit for Democratic Party Chaos

Posted by Bob Brigham

During the Ohio Special Election, I had the opportunity to meet Congressman Ted Strickland and he seemed like a good guy. But like too many politicians who have been in DC for too long, all he cares about is which office he gets next. Now, Representative Strickland is claiming credit for forcing the flip-flop that has added chaos to the Ohio Democratic Party. Like a typical DC politician, Strictland announced he is to blame in a DC insider publication, The Hill. Note to Strickland: it isn't all about you.

As word of this travels through Ohio, I think we can expect a backlash against yet another DC politician who thinks he is the center of the universe.

Posted at 01:27 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

OH-16: Ralph Regula Running Again...Open Seat Soon?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Given that I currently live in the 16th District and my first congressional campaign work was for Jeff Seemann against Congressman Regula, I found this interesting.

Rep. Ralph Regula, one of the longest-serving and most powerful members of Congress, plans to seek an 18th term next year, he said Friday. “That’s my present plan,” Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, said after returning from Phoenix, where he collected a Policy Leader of the Year award from the National Association of State Boards of Education.

"You know, I have great health and I have a great position on appropriations and I can do a lot of good things, not only for the 16th District but for all of Ohio.”

Normally I can muster up a good deal of distate for an opponent (ie. Bob Casey Jr.), but I had a hard time doing so with Congressman Regula. I think he is genuinely a good man that made the mistake of drifting right during his quest to chair the appropriations committee (and recently on CAFTA). There was a lot of speculation that after he was passed over for the chair, despite seniority, he would throw in the towel. He was denied the capstone on a long career, and part of me expected it as well when I heard the news. But this will undoubtedly be his last race. Regula's son, Richard, is a county commissioner in the largest county within the 16th, Stark County.

The elder Regula would have probably called it quits had his son not had a re-election campaign this time around. If Richard ran for Congress and lost, he would be out of a job. By waiting two years Richard can keep his commissioner position if he loses an election for federal office. With Ralph Regula's overwhelming approval (they literally have buildings in his honor and the man is still alive), he would have to be considered a favorite. There is also speculation that he would run and abdicate his seat soon after the election, giving Richard an even better shot at the seat because of the protracted campaign and the Regula name ID that has to be in the upper 80s at least.

The DCCC says they are going to target this seat in 2006, which remains to be seen. I know there are a few good candidates in the district, including State Representative Jamey Healy. I am personally a big fan of Jamey, and hope that he does give it a go at some point. His father was a very popular Mayor of Canton, the largest city in the district and would have to be considered among the best potential candidates to claim this seat for the Dems. I'd be hard pressed to think the elder Regula could be beat, but junior is another story. The Republicans will probably have a bitter primary as well when the seat opens. Both State Senator Kurt Schuring (who will be term-limited out) and State Rep. Scott Oeslager are probably looking at the seat on the Republican side of the aisle.

Posted at 08:41 AM in Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 13, 2005

OH-Gov: Montgomery Releases Poll Numbers

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In a memo titled, "Montgomery Still the Only One Who Can Win the General," Betty Montgomery released her latest poll commissioned by The Tarrance Group.  Notably absent are number for a potential primary, which she undoubtedly paid for as well.  I think it's safe to assume that headline might have read, "Montgomery Getting Clocked Cleaned in Three-Way Primary." Anyway, here are the numbers (.pdf):

The Tarrance Group. MoE +/- 3.5%. 801 registered voters.

Ted Strickland (D): 43%
Ken Blackwell (R): 35%
Undecided: 22%

Michael Coleman (D): 44%
Ken Blackwell (R): 36%
Undecided: 20%

Ted Strickland (D): 39%
Betty Montgomery (R): 42%
Undecided: 19%

Michael Coleman (D): 37%
Betty Montgomery (R): 44%
Undecided: 19%

Ted Strickland (D): 41%
Jim Petro (R): 38%
Undecided: 22%

Michael Coleman (D): 39%
Jim Petro (R): 23%
Undecided: 39%

She paid for the poll, so take it with a grain of salt.  With all the recent developments in Ohio, I'd expect a slew of polls to come out on all sorts of races in the very near future.  Mayor Michael Coleman also put out some numbers recently, but they are in release form as opposed to the raw data supplied by Montgomery.

Posted at 03:38 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

OH-Sen: Bob McEwen to Challenge Mike DeWine in the Primary?

Posted by Bob Brigham

There has been previous mention of former Congressman Bob McEwen challenging Ohio Republican Senator Mike DeWine in the primary. As was pointed out in the comments, there is a new website coming soon: www.BobMcEwenForSenate.com:

Welcome to the home of Bob McEwen for US Senate

This web site is currently under construction. To stay up-to-the-minute on all the latest happenings, join the McEwen for Senate mailing list by emailing us at:


Whoever bought the URL, did so today.

Posted at 08:35 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio, Republicans | Comments (4) | TrackBack (3) | Technorati

OH-02: SSP in Mother Jones' Hackett Stories

Posted by Bob Brigham

Mother Jones posted their cover story on the OH-02 Special Election:

The Ohio Insurgency: The Democrat who Fought
Major Paul Hackett came home from Iraq to launch an assault on a GOP stronghold. Can Democrats follow his lead?
By David Goodman

They have now also posted a companion piece that provides a timeline of blog support for Paul Hackett:

The Digital Insurgency
How liberal bloggers and their readers fueled Paul Hackett's rise
By Jonathan Stein

On Election Night, I mentioned this was coming. Thoughts?

Posted at 02:13 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 07, 2005

OH-Sen: Who is Sherrod Brown?

Posted by DavidNYC

UPDATE: Maybe it is time for me to eat crow and deliver that apology. Check this out. An internal DSCC poll apparently gave Sherrod Brown 77% name recognition in July. As I say in comments, I'd be curious to know what Hackett's numbers were in that Zogby Interactive poll (even though I have publicly questioned those polls), since I don't know of any other poll which would offer a basis for comparison.

On the flipside, the Ohio poll here does show that 59% of people have heard of Brown, even if a large chunk don't know enough to form an opinion. In terms of pure name recognition, well, that's still quite a spread from 77%, but it's not monstrous. I still think I goofed pretty bad on this one, and I apologize to Sherrod Brown, and to the people who (rightly) took me to task for relying on old data. I know that the damage has been done, and I cannot put the cat back in the bag with a mere apology, but I do offer it sincerely.

[Original post begins here.]

If you were to ask that question to Ohioans, I'd wager that quite a few wouldn't really be able to answer. Why do I say this? Because the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll asked about it a few years ago (sorry, no link - from a subscription-only database):

Would you say that you have a favorable opinion of Sherrod Brown, an unfavorable opinion, that you know too little about him to say, or that you have not heard of him?

Favorable: 21%
Unfavorable: 5%
Know too little: 32%
Not heard: 41%

N=941 Ohio registered voters

This poll is from 2001, but remember, Sherrod Brown had held his current office for almost a decade by that point, and had also previously held statewide office for eight years. So even by that point, fully 40% of Ohioans had never heard of him, and another third didn't know enough about him to form an opinion. These might be good numbers for your typical Congressman, but they certainly aren't great, and in terms of state-wide recognition, they strike me as pretty low.

The reason I make this observation because some people who support Brown haved touted his name recognition as one of his strengths. But, in fact, Brown doesn't appear to be all that well-known.

I can anticipate some of the objections to this poll, the main one being that it's four years old. I used it because it was actually the most recent (in fact the only) one I could find. But I also don't think things have changed all that much in the interim. Yes, Brown has recently enhanced his profile with Grow Ohio; yes, he's probably gotten a bit more visibility of late because the Ohio senate race has gotten some coverage lately; and yes, I also don't doubt that he's done his best to promote himself these past few years.

And if someone unearths a more recent poll which contradicts this one, I will gladly eat crow and apologize to Sherrod Brown. I did not post this poll willy-nilly in an attempt to ding Brown - it was a considered decision, and as I say above, I don't believe that these numbers are likely to have shifted a great deal in the past four years.

In any event, it looks like Sherrod Brown is not a Hillary Clinton-type (or even Eliot Spitzer-type) candidate - that is, someone who starts off the race with very high name recognition. Not at all, in fact.

I know that Brown has other merits, and I know that name recognition is only one piece of the puzzle. A lot of people more knowledgeable than I have said that Brown has a tremendous organization in Ohio, and has connections throughout the political strata. I haven't yet seen proof of these claims, but I will also grant that this poll does nothing to undermine them, either. It is limited to one question and one question only - namely, how well-known is Sherrod Brown amongst the general public?

And until someone demonstrates otherwise, I'm going to conclude that the answer is "Not very." At the very least, I'd have a hard time believing that Brown has any advantage in this category over Paul Hackett. I am not saying Paul Hackett is more well-known (though he might be) - just that I doubt he is materially less well-known than Brown.

Again I say, this poll does not speak to any other issues. I stress this point because I don't want this post to be misunderstood. I am making a very narrow argument here: On name recognition alone, I don't think Brown supporters can make any kind of strong claims that their guy has the edge. But again, I welcome any refutation of this argument.

Now, if you've read this far, you've rightly concluded that I'm a Hackett supporter.

But I will say one thing to my fellow travelers: I think it's time we stop complaining about Sherry Brown's belated decision to run. As I've written elsewhere, I'm not happy about it, and I wish he had made a different choice. But this is the hand we've been dealt, and I don't think that whining about it (which is what it sounds like to most people) will help us win the primary. (Remember how most of us - myself included - sneered when Joe Lieberman sobbed about Al Gore's alleged disloyalty when the latter endorsed Howard Dean?)

Paul Hackett can definitely win this primary, and if he does, it's because he's the better candidate, ran a better race, fought a better fight, and had a better-mobilized corps of supporters. It's our job to deliver on that last point. Most of us have been through this drill before, and we know what we've got to do - whether it's to volunteer, make phone calls, help spread the word, donate money. But I can assure that what will not help Paul Hackett win is complaining. So I say we do our best to put that aside, roll up our sleeves and get to work. Let's keep it clean, and let's do this thing!

Posted at 03:17 PM in Ohio | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Democrats Need to Support Major Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Paul Hackett The Democratic Party has a major problem on the issue of Iraq. The voters have decidedly turned against the war, but Democrats have been unable to capitalize upon the movement because Democrats have lacked a clear message and support for the war by Washington Establishment Democrats has created a situtation where Democrats don't have credibility on the issue.

It doesn't have to be that way. The Democratic Party has a unique opportunity in Ohio to finally have both credibility and a message on Iraq. Major Paul Hackett can single-handedly change the national dynamics around the war. But, instead of embracing this opportunity, Washington Insiders decided to frag Major Hackett. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

But before [Sherrod] Brown, 52, can talk about his own work on health care, trade, Social Security and the environment, he'll have to deal with a clumsy situation that his entrance created Thursday.

Brown announced his intentions just three days after another Democrat, Paul Hackett of suburban Cincinnati, got into the Senate race. Hackett decided to run after Brown announced in August that he would stay in the U.S. House - a decision that, Brown said two weeks ago, he didn't regret.

The Hackett camp says it feels betrayed, since Brown, of Avon, assured Hackett face-to-face that he was not running.

"Sherrod Brown told the candidate three weeks ago that he was not entering the race, so the campaign was surprised at Sherrod's indecisiveness and change of heart," said Michael Brautigam, an adviser to Hackett. "Sherrod's entry into the race is not only dishonorable, it's disloyal to the Democratic Party and to democratic ideals."

While Congressman Sherrod Brown is attempting to clean up the mess from him breaking his word, Major Hackett is drilling with his Marines. The contrast between another untrustworthy Washington politician and a true leader couldn't be clearer.

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Ohio, Scandals | Comments (42) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Some Serious Voter Education Needed

Posted by Tim Tagaris

For me, the past two months have been something special. The past two days...not so much.

Back in July, I was down in OH-2 for Paul Hackett before the busloads came. I take a tremendous amount of pride in whatever role I played in helping to build on the local narrative that spurred his national success. As a Marine myself, I have a respect for the man than most would struggle to comprehend. It's unfortunate that lost in the shuffle over the past two days has been any discussion of the tell-it-like-he-sees-it candidate that threw around the word "chickenhawk" like most politicians use the words "no litmus test." As an enormous community we ralled behind the man when backpedaling Republicans reverted to "swift-boating" Hackett. And instead of fighting for him with the same conviction the campaign represented in July/August, it breaks my heart that a fraction of the community I am proud to be a part of has turned to submarining a Congressman that has steadily been a champion for all of us in the House of Representatives.

Think about this for a second.

Congressman Sherrod Brown is the same man that literally led the fight against the Central American Free Trade Agreement in the House of Representatives just two months ago.

He is the same man that bussed seniors from Ohio to Canada so they could purchase affordable medicine.

He is the same man that voted against the authorization of force in 2002, long before it was cool to do so.

He is the same man that co-sponsored a bill that would require the Bush Administration to disclose information about the Downing Street Memo.

The same man that stood up for voter rights and protection in Ohio after the 2004 election.

He is the same man that will tell you exactly how the GOP twists the rules, and arms, consistently in the middle of a Friday night, when they want to pass nonsense legislation like CAFTA and the Medicare bill

The same man that has led against the pharmaceutical industry's efforts to restrict African countries' access to prescription drugs for HIV/AIDS.

And now some "progressives" want to attack him for what, changing his mind?

And while I can understand why there are a few people upset about the way this week went down, this isn't like changing your mind about whether or not to eat the last slice of pizza when you said your friend can have it. This is the U.S. Senate, and I think we call all agree that this country is in some serious need of real leadership out there. So talk about why the candidate you support is the best choice to get this country off the wrong track most Americans think we are heading in. If it's Hackett, great. It's Brown, terrific.

Me? I think we in Ohio have two of the best candidates in the country running for any office on the ticket. It's as if Rod Parsley & The Ohio Restoration Project have been praying for us, cause we are blessed.

(Disclaimer: These posts are my own personal thoughts and have nohting to do with the fact that I write for Congressman Brown over at Grow Ohio. If you think this anything to do with a paycheck, like some have accused Jerome of at MyDD, then I am hardly concerned with your perception anyway. Apologies to David, before tonight I had no intention of even writing about the race specifically at SSP)

Posted at 11:33 AM in Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OH-Sen: The Story So Far

Posted by DavidNYC

Way, way back at the start of the year, President Bush followed all second-term presidents in performing a time-honored rite: the cabinet reshuffle. We saw some dear old friends depart, like John Ashcroft and Colin Powell. We were introduced to some wonderful new faces, like Alberto Gonzalez. And some of our long-time buddies just couldn't bear to leave, like Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld.

Almost lost in this misty-eyed pastoral is the tremendously important post of US Trade Representative. Whoever holds this job is responsible for travelling around the world on the government's tab to convince foreign countries to buy our goods. What an awesome job. The lucky fellow who held this job in Bush's first term was one Robert Zoellick, who became a Deputy Secretary of State at the start of Bush's second term. Ah, Bob, we hardly knew ye.

To fill this crucial gap in our nation's governing apparatus, George Bush tapped Robert Portman to fill Zoellick's big shoes. Portman, you see, was a Congressman from southwest Ohio, roughly in the neighborhood of Cincinnati. His district - Ohio's second - was one of the most conservative in Ohio, if not the nation. It had reliably sent a Republican to Congress for decades, and Democrats hadn't poked their heads above a feeble 30% or so for a long, long time.

Smart play by Mr. Bush: Tap a solid insider for your cabinet, and ensure that you don't lose any ground in the House. And the plan worked, too - but you couldn't ask for a better illustration of "be careful what you wish for." So what happened along the way?

A certain blogger - me, as it happens - noticed the Portman nomination and espied the inevitable open seat and special election that would of necessity ensue. So I wrote about it over at the seminal Democratic blog DailyKos. I didn't view the race as winnable (not at the time, at least), but I did think it would give our side a great opportunity to do some political R&D - to experiment, be bold, hold nothing back. When you've got nothing to lose, you can be as aggressive as you want.

Meanwhile, things began to unfold on the ground in Ohio. The fateful primary election took place on June 14th. The Dems emerged with a man that almost no one had heard of - but he did have an interesting resume. Major Paul Hackett had just returned from serving a tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq - a war, believe it or not, he opposed. Who could speak with more authority - both intellectual and moral - on such an important subject, than someone with a background like that?

It turns out that Paul Hackett was also the sort of blunt, plain-spoken non-politician that so many Democrats had craved for so long. He was Howard Dean in fatigues. To many, Hackett's individual positions weren't nearly as important as his willingness to speak his mind. He definitely didn't vote for anything before he voted against it.

The blogosphere began to take serious interest in the race at this point - and a huge reason was Tim Tagaris, one of the editors of this humble magazine. Tim, on the ground with Grow Ohio, served as a crucial conduit between the online world and OH-02. Reports flowed in fast and furious from southwest Ohio. The Swing State Project (along with the OH-02 Blog) quickly became a hub for anyone who wanted to know more about the race or get involved.

As online activists started tuning in, volunteers began to flood the district as well. Hackett started getting real media coverage. He also had a lot of things going for him: Distrust and anger toward Republicans in the state of Ohio had been mounting since the Coingate revelations; Bush's popularity amongst Buckeyes had been steadily dropping; and he drew an opponent, Jean Schmidt, who was as corrupt (she took piles of cash from the now-indicted Tom DeLay) as she was feckless (she was reduced to defensively declaring she wouldn't be a "rubber stamp" during debates).

In the middle of the hubbub, Tim's fellow SSP editor, Bob Brigham, also decamped for the battleground of OH-02. Traffic exploded here as Bob and Tim tag-teamed the final days of the race. Back home, I kept the front page of DailyKos updated as often as I could. A certain energy crackled and infused everything about the whole campaign.

And people began to realize that this was no long just an opportunity to do some R&D - something much more was happening here. Hackett got scads of scrilla from online donations. The GOP got spooked and poured in big money of its own - in a district that Portman had won by 40 points the last time out. The establishment Dems took notice and fired back with a further cash infusion. The race was getting seriously, seriously hot.

It looked like Hackett could conceivably, possibly, just maybe win. No one knew for sure, of course - no one had done any independent, verifiable polling. But even if Hackett didn't win, lots of people - on the ground, in the professional commentariat, across the blogosphere - realized that a strong performance would send a message.

And boy did Paul Hackett send a message. Yeah, he lost - but by a margin much narrower than anyone would have dreamed. Republicans enjoyed scoffing about Hackett's loss, but there was jubilation on the Democratic side. Hackett lost by four points. The prior Dem who ran for this seat lost by ten times that margin. Anyone who refused to believe this showing didn't mean something truly had their head in the proverbial sand.

But the race did more than just send a message. A new star was born - and it wasn't Jean Schmidt. While she limped into her seat in Congress, Paul Hackett became a new Democratic Party star. His fearlessness and ability to connect with normal people (ie, everyone in America who doesn't suffer from D.C. Beltway Brain-rot) ensured that he wouldn't soon be forgotten. Just about everyone agreed he had a bright future in politics.

It turns out that his future was now. The Ohio GOP was reeling. Incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine, suffering atrocious approval ratings, was up for re-election in 2006. The Dems were looking for someone to take him on. A lot of people thought Paul Hackett would be the perfect guy to do that.

After some months of convincing, it appeared that Paul Hackett finally thought so as well, and rumors of his candidacy spread like wildfire across the Internet during the month of September. The way was clear for Hackett: Ohio Congressmen Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown both indicated that they weren't going to run against DeWine.

As October rolled around (and the third quarter ended), an official announcement from Hackett was widely expected. (No candidate for office was going to announce right in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in any event.) Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the election: Sherrod Brown, previously thought to be uninterested in the Senate race, started making noises that he would, in fact, throw his hat into the ring.

At that point, almost instantly, battle lines were drawn. Now, brother is pit against brother, more or less. Alright, so I'm making it sound like a melodramatic Civil War miniseries, only with fewer guns. But the dynamics are pretty fascinating.

Jerome Armstrong, the liberal blogfather and creator of the ur-blog MyDD, jumped on board Brown's ship. (Jerome is, in fact, working for Brown.) Jerome's greatest protege, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos, has sided with Hackett.

And over here at the Swing State Project, the situation is no less jumbled. Tim, as I mentioned above, works for Grow Ohio, which means, like Jerome, he works for Sherrod Brown. Bob, on the other hand, has just started volunteering for Hackett and, as you can see from his posts here, supports him vociferously.

Today, however, Markos seems to weigh in on Brown's side, though the bulk of his readers support Hackett. Meanwhile, Tim (rightfully) wants to focus on RON, not an internecine battle. The Hotline's Blogometer has already noted a "split" in left-blogistan, but as all this indicates, the fault lines are far from clear. Indeed, Chris Bowers, the lead author at MyDD and Jerome's fellow blogger-in-arms, hasn't yet decided whom to support.

So where does this leave me? I count myself in the Hackett camp. But I definitely don't want to see a real blogspheric civil war emerge. We just don't need another huge round of infighting, like we saw during the Democratic Presidential primaries throughout all of 2003. The tide this year is turning strongly against the Republicans. Their corruption is catching up with them. Many will lose next year - both at the ballot box and in the courtroom. It's more important than ever that we stay united to capitalize on this perfect storm.

And the Swing State Project remains committed to bringing you the best coverage possible of the race - and that means reporting on the strengths and foibles of both the guys we support and the guys we don't.

I'll be honest: I wish Brown had chosen a different course of action. But since he's apparently committed at this point, all I'm hoping for is a good clean fight. So let's do this thing!

Posted at 08:30 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown Almost Announces

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Toledo Blade:

The director of Mr. Brown’s campaign committee said last night that the congressman would offer “an announcement” in public today, but Mr. Brown did not make one. Instead, he phoned newspaper editors to discuss his plans.

The press has a word for this.

Posted at 08:17 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Fired Up About Ohio?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Then Reform It...Now.

While everyone sharpens their fonts with a laser-like focus on the U.S. Senate race, the biggest election of the year is taking place in Ohio, in one month.  If you want to do something about Ohio in the coming weeks, I would suggest volunteering for and contributing to the group known as Reform Ohio Now.  We have an opportunity to gain as many as six congressional districts, open access to vote by relaxing absentee ballot laws, decrease the influence of big money in elections, and take away the power from thugs like J. Kenneth Blackwell.  But I fear with all the hand-wringing, we are going to miss that opportunity.  What a shame that would be.

Look, I write for Sherrod Brown over at Grow Ohio.  I was down in OH-2 helping to lead the charge online for Paul Hackett.  For different reasons, I love both of them.  I would just caution everyone on the vitriol, because what most of you don't know is that Sherrod Brown is one of the few real champions we have in the House of Representatives.  He has been a leader on all things progressive since he stepped foot into the well of the Congress (for a crash course, click here).  

So please, if you want to get fired up about something in Ohio, take the next month to and get involved with Reform Ohio Now; I promise you, if there is a primary, it will still be there.

Just last week, the Columbus Dispatch released some poll results on Issues 2-5, and with one exception, the numbers are heartening. Vote by mail and limiting the maximum campaign contribution from 10k to 2k are winning in landslides.  The Sec. of State amendment is up slightly.  However, the redistricting amendment (probably the most important) is down, 26% to 38% with with 36% undecided.

You want Bob Ney gone?  Get Involved.  Steve LaTourette?  Get Involved.  Steve Chabot?  By all means, get involved.  And for those of you who subscribe to the Howard Dean model, nonpartisan redistricting would not stop at the federal level either.  Seats for the State House and State Senate both get redrawn as well.

Reform Ohio Now is on the air, right now, with two spots in a few cities across the state.  Here are the two pieces:
An introduction to RON (.mpeg)

About the Group Opposing RON (.mpeg)

If you are from Ohio and want to volunteer, here are your local organizers.  They have yard signs and a number of trainings and volunteer opportunities in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Please support Reform Ohio Now, and encourage everyone online not to let this opportunity pass.  Either way, we are going to win in 2006, but 2005 is only a month away.

Posted at 01:32 PM in Ohio | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown Runs Against Major Paul Hackett in Ohio Senate Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Unfortunately, Congressman Sherrod Brown has decided to challenge Paul Hackett for the Democratic nomination in 2006. If Sherrod Brown wanted to run for Senate, the nomination was his. We urged him to run. But he chickened out. So Paul Hackett did what he has done time and time again: stepped up when duty called. Ted Strickland wouldn't run against Senate Mike DeWine, Sherrod Brown wouldn't run against DeWine, Tim Ryan wouldn't run against DeWine -- so Major Hackett offered to serve his country once more, this time in the U.S. Senate.

And now, on the eve of Hackett's kickoff, Sherrod Brown goes back on his word and says he is going to run against Hackett? A flip-flop? WTF?

Congressman Brown is going to waste a great deal of Democratic resources, but I can't comprehend the math necessary for Brown to win the primary. It looks like the Democratic Party is going to lose one of our best leaders in congress for no reason.

But it doesn't matter, Paul Hackett will be the Democratic Party nominee. After all of the scandals in Ohio, the last thing the voters want is another politician who can't be trusted.

The Top 10 Reasons Why Paul Hackett Will Be the Democratic Party Nominee

10. Sherrod Brown is already being mocked by the press for his waffle (or Decision Consistency Agility as you glass is half full types would say)

9. Paul Hackett's straight talk is loved by the press

8. Congressman Tim Ryan encouraged Hackett to run

7. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee urged Hackett to run

6. Hackett positioned himself behind the other Democrats, but has a nation-wide base

5. The Democratic Blogosphere delivered for Hackett -- even winning the Political Play of the Week

4. Hackett has a 70% pt. lead in the netroots

3. Unlike Brown, Hackett has great timing

2. Hackett can win in rural Ohio

1. In a nation at war, a Marine Major outranks a Washington Politician -- Congress needs an Iraq War Veteran

Sherrod Brown is a waffle, Mike DeWine is toast, and Major Hackett is hungry.

Posted at 08:15 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio | Comments (12) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown Mocked by DC Press

Posted by Bob Brigham

Political Junkies know that the (subscription only) Hotline is the inside-the-beltway bible. All of this talk about Congressman Sherrod Brown running against Republican Senator Mike DeWine started in the Hotline. And now it looks like Brown has confirmed his intentions, again to the Hotline. In today's Hotline Last Call, the insider publication gets the scoop, and dishes something back towards Brown with the following:

OH Rep. Sherrod Brown has told key Dems today that he plans to challenge Sen. Mike DeWine (R) (Last Call! sources)

If you click on the link, it goes to a picture of a waffle.

Posted at 04:53 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

DCCC Incumbent Protection Message on Iraq

Posted by Bob Brigham

Two months ago today, David Sirota rightly blasted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a disconnect on Iraq:

On the issue of the Iraq War, the disconnect between the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party establishment and political reality in America is growing by the day. Case in point is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's attitude towards the tremendous special election run by Paul Hackett in the staunchly Republican Cincinnati suburbs.

Hackett, an Iraq War veteran, made headlines in the campaign for taking a strong position against the original decision to go to war in Iraq, even calling the President of the United States an SOB. And while it's true, Hackett didn't support full withdrawal from Iraq, few would deny that his position opposing the war was a key part of his campaign.

Ultimately, the anti-war position defined his candidacy, and was the clear reason he was able to do so well in such a Republican district. That should be no surprise: polls have been telling us for months that America agrees with Hackett in believing going to war in Iraq was a mistake. Meanwhile, Americans' view of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level ever.

Incredibly, however, in a memo sent to all Democratic House Members about what Democrats should learn from the Hackett race, the DCCC makes not one mention of the Iraq War and its effect on the election. Not one. It is as if the party is going out of its way to deny the importance of Democrats taking a strong position against the war, or making the war a serious issue in their campaigns.

In the two months since the infamous DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel sent this memo, more than 150 US troops have made the ultimate sacrifice and public opinion polls have moved another 5-10 points against Emanuel and Bush.

Any Democrat serious about challenging an incumbent Republican member of Congress is wise to make Iraq a defining issue in the race. Yet the DCCC has remained silent on Iraq because the message is quite different for incumbent Democrats who -- like Congressman Rahm Emanuel -- are on the wrong side of the issue. As long as the DCCC remains silent, it is clear that their message and priority is incumbent protection -- trying to minimize losses instead of winning seats.

Yesterday, Chris Bowers noted that Congressman Rahm Emanuel never mentioned "Iraq" when talking about the difference between Democrats and Republicans on Meet the Press:

This is despite the fact that recent polling has repeatedly shown that the number one difference between rank and file Democrats and rank and file Republicans is, in general, differing views on national security policy and the use of military force and, in particular, the decision to go to war in Iraq. This is despite the fact that back in May, during the first vote on withdrawal in the House, Republicans voted 98% against and over 60% of Democrats voted in favor. And that was in May.

So, it would appear that the DCCC wants to sweep the number one issue that separates Democrats from Republicans under the rug. This issue also happens to be the number one issue in the country. And oh yeah--it is an issue on which the majority Democratic position has overwhelming national support, including a near majority among Republicans.


But hey, let's not run on said issue. In fact, let's not even mention it. Let's take it off the table, because that worked really well in 2002. Let's brag, like Schumer did in 2002, that Bush was winking at us during his speech when he was stating his case for war--a war which DSCC head Schumer voted for--rather than arguing that said speech and said war was based upon lies. Let's not talk about Iraq, because we are Democrats, and we don't want to win, and we don't want to address the important issues of the day, and we don't have the guts to stand up and support what the vast majority of our caucus, our rank-and-file, and our entire nation supports.

If Iraq isn't on the Democratic agenda in 2006, we will lose. A party will never sweep to power if it holds the same minority position on the most important issue of the day as the current governing party. I am starting to wonder if Democrats in D.C. have the ability to grasp this, or if they even care.

That last line brings up an important question and the answer is the difference between Rahm Emanuel's DCCC being incompetent or just lacking an interest in anything other than protecting incumbent Democrats. Because I would hate to think it is the former, I'm going to assume it is the latter. Regardless, I think it is clear that the DCCC is not focused on winning additional seats in 2006.

A few hours later, Bower's post was linked on the most popular Democratic blog where Kos said:

The DCCC's top dog, Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, is putting together a pretty solid foundation for a "Democratic agenda". Yet he continues to avoid Iraq like the plague, ignoring the most pressing and important issue of the day.

A reminder to those blinder-wearing DC Dems -- support for the Iraq War is crashing.

Two months ago, Sirota smacked Emanuel upside the head and it played out in the papers:

"This sentiment gives Democrats an opening," he said recently. "We can now make the case that an exit strategy from Iraq will actually strengthen our national security. We have to stand up for our principles. There is strength in national-security prudence. There is weakness in national-security impulsiveness, as Bush has demonstrated. People will believe us. They have the evidence in front of their eyes every night on the evening news."

Unfortunately, he argued, the top Democrats are boxed by their own past complicity: "They were proponents of this war... . They can't speak out now with any moral authority."

Some net-roots liberals are even demanding that the pro-war Democrats show some contrition. Bob Brigham, who runs Swingstateproject.com, said: "We as a party can't run from this issue any longer. Some people need to admit being wrong about the war. And we all need to show some political courage. That's what voters respect. If you have core convictions, and aggressively demonstrate that, voters will respect you, regardless of whether they agree with you on individual issues."

Brigham and Sirota, among others, cite the results of an Ohio congressional race on Aug. 2. In a die-hard Republican district where Democrats routinely lose by 40 points, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq veteran who contended that Bush has been "incredibly stupid" on the war, lost by only two. Yet the Washington Democrats seemed not to notice; when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee analyzed Hackett's strong showing in a memo, it never cited the war as a factor.

Congressman Emanuel needs to make a major adjustment in strategy. As long as the DCCC ignores Iraq, it is not an organization worth supporting unless your goal is to waste money on incompetence or fund an effort focused on Democrats minimizing losses.

Bloggers are calling bullshit on this strategy and something tells me we are close to another round of this playing out in the press. While I'm pulling together some choice quotes for reporters, I hope Congressman Emanuel begins dealing with a subject he has avoided for far too long.

The 2006 midterm elections could be tidal for Democrats, but we need some leadership on the most important issue of the day to pull it off. The current leadership vacuum will be filled, if not by the DCCC then from the ground up with a message they can't control.

While I would love to see 2006 be a Democratic year, the establishment Democrats lack of contrast with the Republicans means it could very well be a "throw the bums out" cycle. If Emanuel cares about keeping incumbent Democrats in congress, the quickest route is to join the American people on the most important issue and have some contrast with the GOP. This is also the quickest route to pick up seats, but I think we all realize that isn't the goal.

UPDATE: Sirota piles on.

UPDATE: Looking at the transcript, we see that Emanuel was asked about Iraq:

MR. RUSSERT: So, for example, should we withdraw troops from Iraq?

REP. EMANUEL: Well, I--let me--let's take what the general just said. Let's deal with that.

The correct answer is, "damn straight" but since Emanuel wants to sit on the fence and not offer a yes or no answer, he gets questioned again.

MR. RUSSERT: But what are the Democratic ideas?

REP. EMANUEL: I'm going to lay them out. I here to answer it. You know, what you guys have provided, Tom, is a set of old policies, even in this crisis we have with Katrina, that got us to this result, which is a failed set of policies, where, in fact, we've added up $3 trillion in the nation's debt, more people are losing health care, and poverty's going up. Democrats want to offer big ideas to change the direction of this country because we can do better.

On Iraq, we have a false choice between stay the course and get the same results and just pull up. I think Senator Levin laid out a very good agenda, which is we're going to have measurements. You can't say after two and a half years, like you asked the general before, two and a half years, nearly $400 billion, and we have one Iraqi battalion? We're going to set standards every way and measurements from the political process, economic process and also on the military and national security where Iraq has to stand up.

MR. RUSSERT: OK. So--so...

REP. EMANUEL: Let me go over--let's go...

MR. RUSSERT: No, no, wait. So if the Iraqis do not stand up, if there are not 10 battalions, 15 battalions in place, we withdraw?

REP. EMANUEL: See, Tim, that's the wrong question, in my view.

MR. RUSSERT: Well...

REP. EMANUEL: I'll tell you why, because when we...

MR. RUSSERT: But it's the question I asked.

REP. EMANUEL: But the Congress has an obligation to hold a standard. We have given the president a blank check. It's been a rubber-stamp Congress that sent troops in there without Kevlar vests, without Humvees. We have to have a standard in which Iraq and the administration measure up over the two years, and at that point we'll evaluate where we are.

There is an answer that fits nicely on a bumper sticker.

MR. RUSSERT: So was it a mistake for Democrats in the Senate and House to vote to authorize the war?

REP. EMANUEL: Given the information that we were given them, they made their decision. What has been a mistake is to let this type of administration basically run a policy of incompetence when it comes to Iraq.

The problem is that Bush is able to continue his "policy of incompetence" because of weak Democratic leaders who were on the wrong side of the vote, have been hiding from the issue, and won't give a simple answer that voters can digest.

Why Democrats don't have a message on Iraq as part of what is the difference between Democrats and Republicans is a major, major problem. Emanuel needs to get his act together.

Posted at 11:25 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Culture of Corruption, Democrats, International, Ohio, Polls, Scandals | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

OH-Sen: Harriet Miers, the Blogs, and Mike DeWine's Re-Election Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following Paul Hackett's astonishing showing in the OH-02 Special Election, there was a great deal of ink used by pundits trying to understand how Hackett's blogosphere support allowed him to outspend Jean Schmidt in a congressional district Democrats had written off for the longest time.

In fact, Campaigns and Elections Magazine currently has a cover story: Blogging Down the Money Trail on the subject. The netroots scored CNN's Political Play of the Week. The press and establishment hacks on both sides of the aisle began paying attention to the potential of online small dollar donations being deployed to crucial districts. You would think more people would have been thinking this way after Howard Dean, but then again, most of the people now paying attention are the ones who said Dean was making a mistake by not accepting matching funds. Yet Dean raised more money with his distributed model, Hackett outspent Schmidt, and now a helluva lot of serious people are wondering how this will play out in 2006.

I think we can get an idea of this dynamic by looking a Senator Mike DeWine's re-election campaign in Ohio.

The Ohio Senate race is destined to be one of the most closely watched in the nation. Ohio is a crucial swing state, and Ohio Republicans are engulfed in major corruption scandals. As Democrats move to embrace the "Culture of Corruption" meme against Republicans, polls in Ohio will give us an early glimpse of how such a message could move voters.

Ohio is also home to very expensive media markets and the winning campaign will be the one most successful at capturing the attention of voters. As a tight swing state, the potential for a close race is very real and the impact of the blogs could be enormous.

Republican Blogs and Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine is in a tricky situation as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kos says:

One last key point -- DeWine sits on the judicial committee, which will become a flash point as social conservatives gear up to oppose the Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. DeWine can't afford to lose the diehard social conservatives, already made difficult when he joined the Gang of 14 that prevented Frist from executing his "nuclear option" on judicial filibusters.

After the Gang of 14 move by Senator DeWine, conservative bloggers mounted a Not. One. Dime. boycott of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

Not. One. Dime. The next time Ken Mehlman sends you a request for money, that's the message he needs to get back. We ponied up in 2004, and in 2002, and in 2000. The GOP not only has not delivered, its current leadership won't even try. Frist and Rick Santorum claim they don't have the votes. Balderdash -- they don't have the leadership to get the votes. I'm not going to fund or support people who won't try to win, especially when the issue is so important.

Not. One. Dime. We're not in an election year, so this makes it easy for the Republicans to get this message to party leaders. No balls, no Blue Chips, boys. I don't mean just for the Senate, either. I mean for the entire Republican party. Feeding a fever may be good medicine, but feeding a failure only makes it last longer. Perhaps hunger will work where courage has so obviously failed.

Not. One. Dime. And when a vote does come, those Republicans who wind up supporting the minority's extortion over the majority in defiance of the Constitution will never see another dime from me -- but their opponents will, at every level of contest. Honestly, with Republicans like these in the Senate, we may as well have Democrats.

Now, convervative bloggers a livid over the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. The GOP is fracturing and his now on the defense in 2006 and 2008. The Harriet Miers' paper trail is on the verge of making conservative heads explode.

The smart move for DeWine would be to use his position on the Judiciary Committee to blast Miers and then vote against her, saving his conservative credentials and patching up his strained relationship with the right-wing bloggers. But it doesn't look like that is his intention:

DeWine's ability to defend his seat against suddenly competitive Democrats might depend on his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which puts him at the center of the latest Supreme Court nomination process.

DeWine and his 17 committee mates will hold confirmation hearings for White House counsel Harriet Miers, announced Monday by President Bush as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. [...]

In an interview Monday after the nomination was announced, DeWine gave Miers a strong endorsement.

That is not what the conservative bloggers want to hear. Even worse, it looks like DeWine's situation will both hurt him with his base while not yielding any position with independents:

White isn't so sure that voters will focus on the nomination process because of the investment and ethics scandals involving Ohio's Republican-controlled state government.

"At this time, (the Supreme Court) is not driving the political arena here," White said, adding DeWine could have to deal with fallout from decisions Miers and recently confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts make.

To recap, DeWine is in a situation where the voters are focusing on the "Culture of Corruption" in the Ohio Republican Party and the conservative blogs have zero interest in helping him. This was the same position (now) Congresswoman Jean Schmidt found herself in when the conservative bloggers sat out this year's Special Election.

Democratic Blogs and the Ohio Senate Race

Even with a (slim) prospect of Congressman Sherrod Brown challenging Paul Hackett for the Democratic Party nomination, the Democratic blogs are remarkably focused upon the race.

Sure, there is some internal tension with the Blogfather pushing Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett enjoying a 70 percentage point advantage in a new straw poll.

Yet either way, the Democratic Blogosphere is going to be pumped to support the Democratic nominee against Senator DeWine.

Since Hackett is the only announced candidate, let's see what he brings to the table.

The above is a map of Hackett contributors during the Special Election. Yes, that is a 50 state base that came together in two weeks. With Hackett running, we can expect a campaign of straight talk and bold action that cuts through the clutter and connects with voters of all political leanings.

When I was embedded with the Hackett campaign, I kept hearing, "I don't agree with you, but I appreciate where you're coming from." These were voters who disagreed with, but respected, Major Hackett. They voted for Hackett, because they knew he was something special.

Democratic activists also have a lot of respect for Congressman Sherrod Brown since he is the exact personification of a Representative who will makes the grassroots feel a sense of pride in supporting.


So going into 2006, it appears that Senator Mike DeWine will be lacking the newest force in politics for his re-election campaign. At the same time, the Democratic blogosphere and netroots are united to throw DeWine out of office.

The only out for DeWine is to vote against his President and vote against Harriet Miers nomination for the Supreme Court. But DeWine is too chicken and that is part of the reason the conservative base won't raise a finger for his campaign.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are embracing cutting edge campaign tactics. Paul Hackett ran the most efficient blogosphere campaign ever and Rep. Brown started Grow Ohio. No matter what happens, it is looking like the netroots are going to kick Mike DeWine's ass out of the U.S. Senate.

Posted at 08:18 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Ohio, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Hackett Crushing Brown in Straw Poll

Posted by Bob Brigham

There has been a great deal of discussion about yesterday's surprise hint of a decision change by Representative Sherrod Brown. As has been widely noted, Congressman Brown had near universal support for a potential senate bid, but decided not to run so as to clear the way for another candidate. Enter Paul Hackett, who has been working behind the scenes to put the pieces in place for a statewide run against Senator Mike DeWine (for example, yesterday Hackett was meeting with Senator Harry Reid). But also yesterday, Congressman Sherrod Brown decided to have his flack call the Hotline and hint he might flip and run after all.

We now have a DailyKos Straw Poll on the matter. While not scientific, I think there is more than enough participation to suggest where netroots support will be if there is a primary campaign between Brown and Hackett.

UPDATED: With 1328 1666 Total Votes

Congressman Sherrod Brown - 14% 13%
Major Paul Hackett - 85% 86%

A seventy point advantage?

Kos says:

And with all apologies to Brown, who is one of the greats in the House, but this isn't cool. He bows out, waits for Hackett to gear up, and then floats a trial balloon about getting back in? Brown must've known about Hackett's decision to run, hence this trial balloon is sabotage.

I'm not even sure who is the best candidate, the bullshit "who's most electable" question. That Zogby poll earlier today had Hackett kicking DeWine's ass. I assume Brown would do roughly as well. But in a primary, Brown has the instiutional state party apparatus (no matter how pathetic Ohio Dems might be). Hackett is an outsider.

Me, give me an Iraq vet over a career politician, even one with Brown's excellent pedigree.


Posted at 11:39 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 03, 2005

OH-Sen: Paul Hackett is Running for U.S. Senate

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via a dailykos diary, we learn Paul Hackett is running:

WASHINGTON -- Paul Hackett, the Iraq War veteran from Cincinnati who was hailed by national Democrats for his narrow loss this summer in a heavily Republican House district, has quickly moved up in rank to challenge Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate in 2006.

"Paul Hackett is running for U.S. Senate," said spokesman David Woodruff, who served as Hackett's campaign manager in his special election campaign for the 2nd District House seat against Rep. Jean Schmidt.

"He is planning to announce his decision officially on Oct. 24," Woodruff said Monday, adding an event would be held that day in Cincinnati, from which Hackett would begin a statewide bus tour.

And he's already winning:

Hackett (D) 44
DeWine (R) 36

Senator Mike DeWine is doomed.

Posted at 09:08 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, General, Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

OH-14: In Bed With A Lobbyist

Posted by Tim Tagaris


Two years back, Congressman Steve LaTourette informed his wife and mother of his children that he wanted a divorce...over the phone. He cited marital infidelity as the reason for the split. In fact, Congressman LaTourette was in bed with a Washington lobbyist, literally. Since then business has boomed for his new bride.

Success in marriage business has been good for Jennifer LaTourette, the lobbyist formerly known as Jennifer Laptook. She took U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette's last name after marrying the Concord Township Republican, her former boss, in February. She also has increased her billings with at least two of her clients, new federal lobbying records show. [...]

[T]he Clinic recently got $7.1 million from Congress to build a parking garage, and the Port Authority got $6 million for a ferry terminal, it may have been money well spent. Her husband says his new wife doesn't lobby him or the House transportation committee, on which he serves. Mrs. LaTourette is mum on the matter, steadfastly refusing to call back reporters inquiring about her effectiveness in obtaining taxpayer dollars for clients.

Last week, LaTourette was the beneficiary of a fundraiser from US Trade Representative Rob Portman. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but it probably came as a result of the congressman's flip-flop on CAFTA. After going on the record as a "No" vote for the trade bill that passed by a 217-215 vote in July, LaTourette switched sides in the waning moments, and the measure barely passed.

Just another log to toss on the fire in Ohio.

Posted at 02:30 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Decision Consistency Agility

Posted by Bob Brigham

It is pretty common knowledge how the senate positioning unfolded in Ohio. Congressman Sherrod Brown had the pole position, but called no joy. Congressman Tim Ryan then pulled over and waived Hackett around. Now Hackett is putting the pieces in place -- as everyone knows -- to challenge embattled Republican Senator Mike DeWine in 2006.

I'm glad Hackett got a some family time. Major Hackett went from War straight into a sprint of a Special Election. Hackett campaigns hard, and he knows he's going to have to do it for a year.

And then? From today's (subscription only) Hotline:

Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-13) spokesperson Joanna Kuebler, on Brown's previous statement he would not run: "His statement has not changed at this time. However, Congressman Brown continues to be asked by state and national supporters to run for the United States Senate in Ohio. Personal and professional obligations have changed since his initial decision. He is consulting with supporters and his family about a possible run" (Hotline reporting, 10/3).

Made me think about the map of Hackett supporters.

Posted at 01:42 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

Monday, September 26, 2005

OH-Sen: Paul Hackett to "Run Again"

Posted by Bob Brigham

A little wink-wink, nod-nod on for which office:

Former Congressional candidate Paul Hackett was also warmly received by the Democrats. Hackett announced, "I will run again." But he didn't know exactly what he will be running for – he has been rumored to be considering a run for U.S. senate.

At this point, the only question about a senate bid seems to be, "When?"

“Senator Hackett, it’s got a nice ring to it,” Hackett said in a recent interview.


Posted at 02:24 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Most Important Election of 2005 -- Get Involved Today

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Yes, Paul Hackett was big. Yes, Tim Kaine's bid for Governor of Virgina is important. And yes, John Corzine as the next Governor of New Jersey is something we can all look forward to. But if there is one race is 2005, more than any listed above, that we should all begin to rally around, today, it is the amendments put forward by the group known as Reform Ohio Now.

With less than a month to go before August 2nd, the blogosphere began to rally around Paul Hackett's campaign for U.S. Congress in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District. Whatever the reason you cared (a fighting Democrat or you as a Democrat just wanting a fight), the world took notice of our efforts while the collective blogosphere set the terms of the debate for 2006. Reform Ohio Now is the equivalent of six Paul Hacketts...And then some.

(See action items at the end of the entry")

Four amendments, Issues 2-5 on the ballot; all important, but possibly none bigger than the SIX U.S. HOUSE SEATS we gain if "State Issue Four" passes this November.

For years, the party that held at least two of three state offices -- governor, auditor and secretary of state -- controlled the way legislative and congressional districts are drawn. [...]

State Issue 4 would attempt to take the partisanship out of redrawing districts by forming a five-member state commission. Judges would name the first two members, who then would select the other three.

The GOP cannot take what they dish out in states like Texas, where we lost 4 of 5 seats they attempted to redistrict for themselves. Hear the fear.

Mr. Finan [a former Republican state senator] has said the redistricting measure, if approved, could cost Republicans in Ohio 6 of their 12 seats in Congress and would probably inspire similar Democratic-backed efforts in other states dominated by Republicans.

Six of twelve. Goodbye Steve Chabot (OH-1). Goodbye Deborah Pryce (OH-15). And see ya Bob Ney (OH-18). Ohio's map is an absolute mess; take a look below:

Take a look at Congressman Ted Strickland's district, the sixth, as it winds all the way through Southern Ohio, to the Southeast, and up the Eastern edge of the state; the 18th is almost as bad as the sixth, yet still unacceptable.  Or how Franklin County is divided into three pieces.  And how OH-1 was created to literally cut the Cincinnati area in two and given portions of Butler County to keep the seat under the control of Steve Chabot.  And that's to say nothing of CD-5 that extends from the Western edge of the state, through the center and butts into the Eastern portion of Ohio.  It doesn't get more complicated than that.  The whole state looks like a poorly created jigsaw puzzle.  Only difference being, that if a jigsaw puzzle creator developed this product, he/she would be out of a job.

But that is just one of the four amendments. Here is a synopsis of the other three presented by the Akron Beacon Journal and disected at Grow Ohio.

State Issue 2 If passed, anyone, for any reason, could vote absentee at any time beginning 35 days before an election. Currently, voters must give a reason -- like they are disabled, elderly, on military duty or going to be out of the county -- to not vote at the polls. [...]

Reform Ohio says Issue 2 would lead to more people voting. They no longer would be inconvenienced by long lines at voting booths or last-minute scheduling problems.

State Issue 3 The bottom line for Reform Ohio is that Issue 3 dramatically would reduce the amount of money individuals and PACs could give to candidates.

Currently, the contribution limit is effectively $20,000 in an election cycle, but one person -- or a PAC -- can give that amount to as many candidates, parties, PACs, etc.

The new rules would reduce the amount of money individuals would be able to contribute to $25,000 in any given year...  Individuals could give no more than $500 to a legislative candidate and $1,000 to someone running for statewide office.

State Issue 5
State Issue 5 would replace the Ohio secretary of state with a nine-member board that would function much like the 88 bipartisan county boards of elections.
Four members would be named by the governor with four more appointed by legislators from a party different than the governor's. The Ohio Supreme Court would name the final -- nonpartisan -- member.

No more Ken Blackwell cronysim. Reasonable contribution limits. And easier access to the polls by all Americans. Can you beat that? Well, the Republicans are certainly going to rally and attempt to.

I was there during Paul Hackett. I know how exciting it got on the ground and throughout the blogosphere. Living in Ohio, I also know how important these amendments are. We raised $500,000+ for one single campaign that completely transformed the political process. Now we have a chance to do the same in an attempt to completely reform the democratic process. I hope we are up to the challenge in the coming weeks. Here are your action items:

1.) Contribute to Reform Ohio Now
Believe it or not, money is an issue. The organization is having a tough time raising the funds necessary to pass these amendments. The effort on-the-ground is no different than a traditional campaign in that is needs dollars and volunteers. Which leads me to number two.

2.) Volunteer On The Ground
This is especially true if you are inside Ohio. Like I said above, this is no different than a traditional campaign. Door-knocking, phone banking, and doing the dirty work of democracy is absolutely essential if we are going to pass Issues 2-5.

3.) Visit Pounder's Diary
Grow Ohio & Daily Kos contributor, Pounder, has been out in front of the issues and provided a great mechanism for people to get involved in a meaningful way, wherever you are in the United States.

4.) Sign-up at Grow Ohio
Grow Ohio will serve as sort of an online hub for information on the progress of Reform Ohio Now. During Hackett, you never really knew where to get the best up-to-the-second information. Sometimes Bob and I wrote at Swing State Project, a Kos Diary, or MyDD. In this situation, Grow Ohio will be the flash point for information and resources; the scoop format of the blog allows individuals to contribute content directly to the site, making it perfect to encourage discussion and participation.

I'm certain that Pounder and I (among many others) will be doing a lot of work within the blogosphere to generate the support necessary to get these amendments passed. I hope that we can all join together and celebrate our successes on Election Day, just a short month and a half away.

Posted at 11:01 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Reform Ohio Now: The Most Important Election of 2005

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Starting Monday I am going to be writing a good deal about what I consider to be the most important election of 2005, bar none. Issues 2-5, better known as Reform Ohio Now, have the ability to completely transform the entire political process in Ohio, and in a positive way. There are four amendments that deal with campaign contributions, re-districting, the role of the Secretary of State in Ohio (Ken Blackwell), and absentee voting.

I'll provide a few links for those of you interested in reading more, but let me put it this way. Republicans fear that if the re-districting measure alone passes, we gain six seats in Ohio. The lines in Ohio are so messed up (look at Ted Strickland's district), that when a non-partisan panel gets its hands on them, Rob Portman (OH-1) is gone. Deborah Pryce (OH-15), gone. Bob Ney (OH-18), gone. And that is just the beginning.

Here are some links of interest:

Reform Ohio Now Website (link)
Get to Know the Amendments (link)
The Opposition and Their Tactics (link)
Ten things you can do today (link)
Add a Reform Ohio Now Button to Your Blog (link)

Posted at 02:44 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, September 18, 2005

OH-07: Dem Challenger to Enter the Race?

Posted by DavidNYC

OH Jeremy, a diarist at MyDD, informs us that Sharen Neuhardt, an attorney and, as it happens, an alum of my law school, is close to entering the Congressional race in Ohio's 7th district. I don't know much about Neuhardt, but Jeremy seems to think she'll make a strong candidate.

I do know a little bit more about the 7th CD, however. It's a very OH-02-type district - Dems were swamped by 30 points in 2004 and 41 points in 2002. That is a pretty substantial improvement, though, and I think the races are directly comparable, considering both the incumbent and the challenger were the same both times.

Neuhardt is probably hoping to capture a little bit of the Paul Hackett magic, but Maj. Hackett had a few things going for him that she does not: He's an Iraq war vet, he got tons of attention because he ran in a special election, and his opponent was terribly weak.

But that's not to say that Neuhardt won't have some things in her favor as well. Her background suggests (as Jeremy notes) that she ought to be able to fundraise pretty well. Beyond that, the bone-deep corruption in the Ohio GOP - and the huge public dissatisfaction with Ohio's Republican elected officials - means that there will be a huge opportunity for any and all Democrats.

Everyone is familiar with Gov. Bob Taft's troubles - he's the least-popular governor in the nation, with an astounding seventeen percent approval rating. But Sen. Mike DeWine, who is up for re-election next year, is in pretty wretched shape as well: He is tied for ninety-seventh out of 100 senators in terms of popularity. Yikes! If Maj. Hackett runs against DeWine, then things could get really fired up for Dems statewide.

In any event, I look forward to learning more about Sharen Neuhardt, and I wish her the best of luck.

Posted at 11:19 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (9) | Technorati

Thursday, September 08, 2005

OH-Sen: Re-Elect Ryan: 'Encouraged' Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

If Congressman Tim Ryan were to have run against Republican Senator Mike DeWine, Representative Ryan would have slapped him like a fly. But Congressman Ryan is focused on his district right now.

From an email:


In 2002, the voters of my District placed their trust and confidence in me. It was, and still remains, the greatest honor of my life. In turn, I promised them my complete dedication to bringing economic opportunity and reform to a region where economic hardship has persisted for far too long.

I'm very proud of the progress my district has made, and optimistic for its future. But to continue this progress, there is much more work still to be done. So today, after much thought and discussion with family, friends, and supporters, I am announcing my plans to run for re-election in Ohio's 17th Congressional District.

I'm deeply honored and grateful for the support I've received from so many individuals and organizations at the national, local, grassroots, and netroots levels who've urged me to run for Senate. However, my first priority is to continue the work I've begun for the people I now represent. For this reason I have decided that now is not the time for me to pursue another office.

Next year's mid-term elections present extraordinary opportunities for Democrats in Ohio and across the nation. I look forward to helping Ted Strickland become the next governor of Ohio and to working with my fellow Democrats to elect Democrats to statewide and legislative office. I am also confident that the Senate seat now held by Mike DeWine can be won by a Democrat who will champion the interests of all Ohioans rather than rubberstamp the policies of a President and Republican Congress that reflect the interests of a select few. In particular, I believe Paul Hackett is one such individual who -- should he decide to run --would serve Ohio well in the U.S. Senate. I have encouraged Mr. Hackett to run for the Senate seat and hope that I will have the opportunity to actively support his candidacy.

Tim Ryan should be wearing sunglasses on the floor of the House his future is so bright.

As for the Senate seat: RUN PAUL RUN!

Posted at 07:00 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

OH-Sen: DSCC Wants Hackett?

Posted by DavidNYC

Could it be? Seems like it might be! This could be a very exciting race if Hackett jumps in. From The Hill:

Democratic leaders in Washington are aggressively courting Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett to challenge Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) next year.

Democratic National Committee leaders were expected to meet with Hackett yesterday in Washington. So, too, was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), has called Hackett more than once in the past few weeks to sound him out about a run in 2006.

Members of Ohio's congressional delegation also have urged Hackett to run or, at least, spoken with him about the race. JoAnna Kuebler, communications director for Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who had been touted as a possible Senate contender himself, said Brown and Hackett had discussed the "incompetence and corruption" that, she said, stems from one-party rule - in Columbus, Ohio, where Republicans control the state government, and in Washington.

"Senator Hackett, it's got a nice ring to it," Hackett said in a recent interview.

It sure as hell does, Major, it sure as hell does.

Posted at 11:27 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-Ballot: Say Hello to Our New Friend RON

Posted by DavidNYC

A bit of good news out of Ohio, via MyDD:

The Ohio secretary of state announced yesterday that a series of election-related constitutional amendments had qualified for the November ballot, including one intended to strip Republican elected officials of their control over drawing legislative districts.

The amendments are sponsored by Reform Ohio Now, a coalition dominated by Democrats, unions and watchdog groups. It celebrated the announcement and said a statewide campaign to win approval in November had begun.

"It's not like we're posting yard signs yet, but we're close to that," the campaign manager of Reform Ohio Now, Scarlett Bauder, said. "Right now the time is ripe for reform."

I really think Reform Ohio Now - aka RON - has the right idea here. For more details, click over to the MyDD story and check out this page on RON's website.)

Now, of course, the actual battle over the amendments begins. Though tons of Republican money will be poured into the campaign against these ballot measures (smearing them as some kind of Democratic conspiracy, no doubt), I think they stand an excellent chance. If the amendments are framed properly as promoting "good government" and "transparency," that starts to put them in the "clean water and warm puppies" category - ie, things which no normal person opposes. Of course, I recognize that nothing is immune from the Republican Noise Machine, but like I say, I think RON's ballot measures can put up a good fight.

If you want to get involved - especially if you are an Ohioan - please click here.

Posted at 06:14 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

OH-Gov: The Fabulous Life of J. Kenneth Blackwell

Posted by Tim Tagaris

(Note from Tim: It appears as if I won't be joining Bob down in the Gulf Coast. I am pretty dissapointed, but it ain't gonna happen. Anyway, the post below is something I wrote up for Grow Ohio. If you aren't from the Buckeye State, don't feel compelled to visit, but if you are from Ohio, you should check it out, and create a username)

Ken Blackwell's campaign for Governor is understandably proud of the grassroots support they have received in the form of small to medium sized donations.  A press release linked from the front page of his campaign website boasts $1.1 million cash on hand from an average contribution of $195.  One of the hallmarks of a grassroots campaign is responsible stewardship of the donations received from hard working Americans.  Unfortunately, people like Joan Emerson, who contributed $10 to the effort, have been fleeced by Blackwell's campaign as the candidate and his staff live the high-life everywhere they go on the back of her contribution--and others like her.

How can the people of Ohio, and even future contributors, expect fiscal responsiblity from a "Governor Blackwell," when candidate Blackwell is using the people's money to live a lifestyle of the rich and famous?

Take $1,745.76 for two evenings at the lavish Ritz Carlton in Cleveland for example.

The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland combines Midwestern hospitality with a cosmopolitan elegance in an ideal setting for both business and leisure traveler.

Sounds luxurious.  Blackwell contributors should be pleased to know that their candidate does travel properly.  The Carlton is after all "the city's only luxury four-star, four-diamond rated property. And when Ken Blackwell leaves the state of Ohio, he spares no expense (and there is a TON travel; including $3600 in one shot to Ladd Air). He travels around Florida using Dolphin Transportation and their fleet of stretch limos, lincoln towncars, and other assorted extravagent automobiles. And when he rests after such a difficult day, he checks into the Registry Resort in Naples Florida for $1,099.

Each of the 395 Guestrooms and 29 Tower Suites are luxuriously appointed with Tuscan-inspired furnishings, elegant decor and roomy conversation areas. With private balconies offering spectacular vistas of the Gulf of Mexico and City of Naples, this is the perfect place to take in a legendary west coast sunset.

$239 to stay at the St. Gregory Hotel and Luxury Suites in Washington, D.C. This place is beautiful. I remember passing it the last time I was in Washington, D.C. on the way to to Adams Morgan (A spot for nightlife in the area).

$620 for an evening at the Marriot Key Bridge overlooking the nation's capitol in Arlington, Virginia.

$245 was the cost to live it up at the Renaissance Houston. Again, luxrious--just check out their website It's also instructive to note that the hotel is adjacent to the Lakewood Church, one of the largest in the world and home to Joel Osteen.

And the list goes on and on and on and on. By contrast, when I travel for Grow Ohio, I normally shack up at the Red Roof Inn.  There isn't much of a "cosmopolitan elegance," but I do get Internet access and there is normally a vending machine with Diet Pepsi down one of corridors.

Blackwell also uses his small dollar contributions to pay his dues...literally. The Club for Growth was a recipient of $895 dollars in dues, straight from the pockets of dozens of Ohioans. For those of you who don't know, that organization is the ultra-conservative organization that goes around "primarying" Republicans who aren't radical enough like when they put Pat Toomey up against current Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, Arlen Specter.

There is also more than $11,000 in expenditures to Citizens for Tax reform. That organization is very similar to the Club for Growth in that most Republicans just aren't Republican enough for them. In Paul Hackett's special election, the organization attempted nothing short of full-fledged sabotage of Jean Schmidt's effort.

And that's just a taste of what it's like to live the fabulous life of J. Kenneth Blackwell. An extravagent lifestyle afforded on the backs of hard working Ohioans who think they are contributing money that goes towards the items it takes to win a campaign--not luxury hotels, vehicles, and the payment of dues to extremist organizations like the Club for Growth.

Posted at 03:32 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

OH-SoS: Jennifer Brunner to Announce Tomorrow

Posted by Tim Tagaris

To no ones surprise, Jennifer Brunner is officially running for Ohio's Secretary of State.  The announcement will kick off a string of engagements over a six day span across Ohio.  You can check out her campaign website here.

This election is intersting for a number of reasons:

1.) We all remember 2004 and Ken Blackwell.

2.) The people of Ohio will have a number of amendments on the ballot this Novemeber. Issues 2-4, better known as "Reform Ohio Now" seeks to remove much of the Secretary of State's power by setting up a bi-parisan commission to oversee elections in the state. If the initiatives pass (and I hope it does, as do most Democrats in the state), the teeth will be largely pulled from the Secretary of State position in Ohio.

Potential Republican challengers include Hamilton County (Cincinnati area) Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann and State Representative Jim Trakas.

Posted at 11:54 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Monday, August 29, 2005

OH-Gov: New Poll on Governor Bob Taft

Posted by Bob Brigham

A new poll on embattled Ohio Governor Bob Taft suggests he is a few pitchforks and torches shy of getting run out of town. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Forty-six percent of Ohio voters surveyed say the governor should quit, while 44 percent say he should not. Ten percent of voters say they are undecided.

Taft was convicted on Aug. 18 of four misdemeanor crimes for failing to report $3,500 worth of gifts and golf outings from business and political leaders. [...]

"I feel he should resign," said survey participant and Republican Jan Moorehead of Cable, a rural town in the largely Republican Champaign County. "It wasn't so much the oversight that he has not reported stuff, but quite honestly, I think he is spending too much time with lobbyists. I think 52 golf outings with lobbyists and others -- that's a lot of golf."

You know you're in trouble when even Republicans think you're spending too much time playing golf. The midterm election will be a great time be running as a Reform Democrat in Ohio.

Posted at 09:21 AM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Ohio, Polls | Technorati

Saturday, August 27, 2005

OH-Sen: AP on Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to be using "OH-Sen" in the title of any post on Paul Hackett. He had a big story today, from the AP:

Like Rocky in the movies, Paul Hackett has gotten a big boost from almost beating a heavily favored opponent. [...]

"At a certain point, you have to accept reality, and it's an impressive reality," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at University of Virginia. "It should have been a blow-away. It wasn't just any congressional race - it was a race during Bush's summer of sorrow and it came in a state that was ground zero for '04 and possibly will be for '08."

If Hackett can beat the spread in every precinct statewide like he did in OH-02, he could get 60% of the vote. His results were very impressive. People should realize which way the wind is blowing in 2006 and follow Hackett:

Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said Hackett's showing has encouraged more Democrats, downtrodden for decades in Southwest Ohio, to consider running for office.

On Iraq (from a guy who has been there):

For national audiences, Hackett's experience as a Marine reservist who served seven months in Iraq has been called upon as a counterpoint to the president, who has been trying to shore up support for the mission in appearances this week.

While he opposed the invasion of Iraq and bluntly called Bush "a chicken hawk," Hackett said during his campaign that the United States should increase training of Iraqi security forces. In an interview this week, he said it's time to plan a withdrawal, because it's unlikely that U.S. forces in Iraq would be significantly increased.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Hackett said.

If George Bush were to call, what would he say?

If he were advising Bush, Hackett said, he would tell him: "You've freed the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator, you gave them democracy, you've assisted them with a constitution. Now it's time to say 'mission accomplished,' and go home. What they do with it is up to them."

Run, Paul, Run!

Hat tip to Real Values.

Posted at 12:15 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, August 26, 2005

OH-Sen: Decision Coming Soon

Posted by Tim Tagaris

All eyes are on Marine Corps Major Paul Hackett. Will he run against Senator Mike DeWine, or will he sit it out? I don't think I am talking out of school when I report that I have had a few discussions with two individuals who remain close to the candidate since the run, and they both say we can expect a decision in the near future. And is it any wonder he might consider running? Click on the picture below to get a glance at the breadth of nationwide support Hackett received in his bid for the House. That's what 8,716 individual contributors giving $442,248 in the month of July alone looks like up-close.

Were this Final Jeopardy and I was forced make a guess right now, I think we have our candidate for U.S. Senate. The traditional wisdom is that candidates stepping aside do so before Labor Day. And although Hackett has never operated by conventional wisdom, there are no plans to make an announcement (either way) by that time. Of course, various conversations I have had with people around the state and another uptick in the Hackett media wave fuels my speculation as well. Couple that with a tremendous decrease in Tim Ryan rumors around the state and a potential Democratic candidate for Ryan's seat about to pack in a potential run should Ryan have challenged DeWine put the icing on the cake for me.

The country needs Paul Hackett. I have a good feeling the Marine will rise to the challenge. (Hat-tip to Kombiz for creating the map)

Posted at 01:37 PM in Ohio | Comments (9) | Technorati

Friday, August 19, 2005

OH-18: DeLay's "Mini-Me" Gets Challege

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Bob Ney, often refered to as "mini-me" to Tom DeLay for his connections in the emerging Jack Abramoff scandals, officially has a second challenger--one widely considered to be more formidable than the current announced candidate Josh Wolf.

At a press conference Wednesday, Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer confirmed the rumor that had been circulating for weeks -He is a candidate for Ohio's 18th Congressional District. Sulzer will run against Republican incumbent Rep. Bob Ney, R-Heath, who has held the seat for a decade, and was re-elected in November with 66 percent of the vote. [...]

The three main themes of Sulzer's announcement were fiscal responsibility, getting U.S. troops out of Iraq and ethics in Congress.

He cited his service in Vietnam and said he was concerned the country was repeating the mistakes of the past. "As a Vietnam vet, I am very concerned about the war in Iraq," he said. "We need to start planning for withdrawal now."

I don't necessarily know that Sulzer is more formidable than Wolf, but that is the accepted wisdom around these parts in Ohio--rumors are the Wolf (an organizer for the Ohio Democratic Party in SE Ohio) will be dropping out. Wolf was seems like a good guy to me, and he posts on Grow Ohio. If that actually is what happens, I hope that he can play a large role in organizing in the area with his already well established connections.

That said, we have another Democrat with service running for U.S. Congress, and another candidate prepared to bring up the on-going ethics scandals as a constant campaign refrain.

Visit Suzler's campaign website.

Posted at 01:40 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, August 18, 2005

GOP Culture of Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

I think this post is the ideal way to kick off our new Culture of Corruption category. From Grow Ohio:

11:15 A.M. - Taft plead no contest and waived his right to a jury trial.  He was spared jail time (of course), but is forced to pay the maximum fines and court fees allowable ($1,000 x 4).  Embarassingly, Taft has to send an email to every Ohio media outlet and stateworker outlining an apology for his ethical violations.[...]

11:30 A.M. - Governor Taft steps to the podium to make a statement after the hearing. "I am here today to publicly apologize to the people of Ohio." The Republican Governor just called the events "social" -- He later called them "recreational events with friends." It will be interesting to see what State Senator Marc Dann and the press can uncover about who the outings were with and what state contracts/other benefits were potentially on-the-table with those individuals.

Ah, "recreational" corruption...

Posted at 02:42 PM in Culture of Corruption, Ohio, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (4) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

OH-Gov: Taft to Face Four Criminal Charges

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Ohio's Gov. Bob Taft is minutes away from becoming the first Governor of the state to face criminal charges in relation to undisclosed gifts. It's going to be four misdemeanors as reported by the Ohio News Network and Columbus Dispatch. There is a press conference originally scheduled for 2:45 that looks like it will actually take place closer to 3:15 P.M.

Hypothetically Speaking and Grow Ohio will have updates throughout the day.

Posted at 02:26 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

OH-15: Mark Losey Launches New Blog

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Check it out, "I Love Losey" -- The name is kind of growing on me.

Posted at 03:03 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Monday, August 15, 2005

OH-02/AG/SoS/Senate: Hackett Heading To Crawford?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I heard it was a possibility earlier today, and I read it on Who-Dey Hotel, a Southwest Ohio blog, about 30 minutes ago. I'll make the phone call tomorrow and attempt to verify the information.

(UPDATE TIM:) I just got off the phone with a member of Team Hackett that has remained behind to help out with whatever transition takes place, if any, and they confirmed that Paul is NOT traveling to Crawford, Texas. And with that, goodnight.

Posted at 11:00 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Friday, August 12, 2005

OH-2: Jean Schmidt To Lash Out At Bloggers

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Ohio-2 blog reports that Mean Jean Schmidt's first piece of legislation in Congress will be to make web-hosts criminally responsible for "lies" published on blogs.


P.S. I have gotten a lot of emails today and yesterday, but am out of town for the weekend--I'll respond Sunday night/Monday.

UPDATE: (Bob) Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Somebody should ask Mean Jean to read the Constitution before she takes an oath to uphold it. 100% Batshit Crazy.

UPDATE: (Bob) The amazing speed of the self-correcting internets. Krempasky debunks.

Posted at 02:31 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

Thursday, August 11, 2005

OH-16: DCCC Conference Call

Posted by Tim Tagaris

There was a lot of discussion on last night's conference call with the DCCC about a CD I am intimately familiar with, OH-16. Congressman Ralph Regula is in his 17th term and will attempt to hand the ball off to his son, Richard, in 2008. He'd bow out sooner, but Richard is up for re-election as Stark County Commissioner in 2006 and if he lost the race for his father's seat, he'd be out of a job. So, the Regula family will wait until 2008, and if Richard Regula loses in either a primary or general, he'll still have a job.

In short, Ralph Regula doesn't want to be in office any longer, that is clear. He was passed up in his bid for Appropriations Committee Chair and has little reason to hang on after 34 years in the House. That being the case, we will fight now where Democrats will be running against name ID alone as opposed to potentially losing the seat for another 32 years should the younger Regula prevail in 2008.

I currently live in that CD, and I know, very very well, all of the names bandied about as Democratic challengers. I wanted to take a moment to say that there are good candidates and terrible candidates being mentioned.

Posted at 10:45 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Credit Where Credit is Due

Posted by Tim Tagaris

There's been a lot of talk in the past few days about who gets the credit and who wears the collar for what happened in Ohio-2. The bottom line is that everybody that participated helped to earn each and every one-tenth of one percent on election day. I'll be the first to admit, it feels good to see your name in the paper and listen to people talk about how you contributed. But if you really want to take a look at how and where this really started, both online and offline, if you don't mention the people of Southwest Ohio, you missed the story completely.

Jerome hit on it today, and I want to expand on it. Without Chris Baker at OH-02, I don't think any of what happened online actually happens. Without the Cincinnati Blog or Drinking Liberally in Cincinnati, I don't think the DFA Email happens. And let's be honest, the DFA Email was HUGE and lent a ton of credibility to the effort. Without the efforts of Ann Driscoll reporting on the race, again, none of this happens. I would be remiss not to mention Kevin Kefgen's grassroots produced commercial as well.

With all due respect to Markos and today's piece by Elanor Clift, it's real easy to point to the largest blog out there and say, all credit goes there (note: Markos was the first person to re-direct the praise). I have come to realize that when it comes to success online, the truth is often a lot harder to uncover, and most often starts somewhere in the bowels of the blgosopehere. Just like Dean Nation and Jerome's work contributed mightily to the emergence of Howard Dean--they contributing before most of us even knew who the Governor was.

If you want more detail about what went down in SW Ohio before most of us even knew who Paul Hackett was, I wrote a piece over at Grow Ohio, the day after blogosphere day, that talks about the roots of Ohio's netroots and how they really got this thing off the ground. You can read that here.

Posted at 03:13 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

Friday, August 05, 2005

Netroots Win Political Play of the Week

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCNN:

Netroots activism. Ever hear of it?

You will. Because this week marks its arrival as a force in American politics. [...]

Like Bob Brigham. He and his partner Tim Tagaris run a Democratic blog called swingstateproject.com. Brigham is in San Francisco. Tagaris is in Ohio.

They never met until this year when they discovered a cause, or more precisely, a candidate -- Democrat Paul Hackett, running in a special election for an Ohio congressional seat that most national Democrats wrote off as hopeless.

But Hackett, a Marine who served in Iraq, showed fight.

"We have to say it loud that we are proud to fight for what this great country stands for," he said.

Damn straight. Voters respect straight talk and bold action.

The liberal blogs got organized.

"A hundred to 150 bloggers helped raise money, turned out volunteers, got people down to the district and emailed their friends in Ohio," said Bob Brigham of swingstateproject.com.

Ever hear of a blogswarm?

According to CNN blog reporter Jacki Schechner, "This was a pretty decent example of a lot of people getting behind one thing at exactly the same time." A blogswarm.

There is a slight typo in the transcript. There should be a space between 'blog' and 'swarm' when referring to the action. As a single word, it refers to an individual. But back to the award:

On the final day of the campaign they needed $30,000. "So Bob from Swing State sent out an email, made phone calls, said, 'Here is what we need, we need $30,000 in a very short period of time.'" Schechner said. "And the next day, ActBlue delivered a check for $60,000."

ActBlue is a Web site that raises money for Democrats.

ActBlue rocks on every day, use it.

"This was a success," Hackett said in his concession speech. "We should all be proud, so let's rock on."

People often compare the Internet to the Wild West. Here's an update.

"The lone gunslingers of the blogosphere could work as a posse, and that's what let us raise an army," Brigham said. And carry off the political Play of the Week.

The bloggers made their point -- on their Web site, of course: "The Republican Party is on notice. For that matter, the Democratic Party establishment is on notice; get with the program or we will leave you behind.''


Posted at 08:45 PM in Activism, Netroots, Ohio, Site News | Comments (7) | Technorati

OH-2: Election Night in the War Room (Photos/Video)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

(I know people like the behind-the-scenes, so here it is. I have one more piece about the election, and then it's back to our regularly scheduled programming for me -- Tim)

At around 6:30 P.M. Bob Brigham, Matt Debergalis, a blogger who shall remain nameless, and I arrived at Cincinnati's Millenium Hotel and checked into our two rooms. We quickly moved into Bob's room and set up shop. Amazingly, there was no wireless connection in the hotel; only the fact that Matt happened to have an ethernet cable allowed us to create a network from his computer. And so began what ended up being one of the most exciting evenings in my life.

For the days leading up to the election, we set up shop at the Goldminer Tavern down the street from Hackett HQ in what would serve as our makeshift war room--a war room that conveniently served the biggest, tastiest jumbo bacon burger I have ever seen, had a full bar, and allowed me to smoke cigarettes without leaving the office. In between blogging about Paul Hackett, discussing strategy that had nothing to do about with the campaign, and just kicking back and BSing, we decided that we needed a "war room" of our own on election night. We would have two goals in the room: 1.) Give everyone that on-the-ground perspective that was so popular during the campaign. 2.) Prepare for the possibility of an election that went into "extra innings." At that point, who knew we would be so close...

As you all know by now, as the early results poured in, many (including a blogger in the room who shall remain nameless) were skeptical they would hold up throughout the evening. Absentee ballots came in and Jean Schmidt had a lead smaller than expected. We all talked about how that a snapshot of days/weeks ago, and that numbers should have improved on Election Day because of all the positive press Paul Hackett had received and commercials the grassroots allowed him to afford.

At this point, Bob picked up his lap-top and declared he was heading down the victory party. He knew that people wanted on-site reporting and we agreed I would just feed him results for Swing State Project as they came in. That's when the night started getting interesting.

Chris Bowers reported on the first set of results:

56 of 753 precints reporting. Hackett 51-49 Schimdt. Hackett 6562-6276 Schimdt. Here we go rock and roll. Yesss!!!!

Then he gave us the second, third and fourth block of returns:

175 of 753 precints, Hackett 51-49 Schimdt. Hackett 13,513-12,802. Its holding.

195 out of 753 precincts. Hackett 52-48 Schimdt. Hackett 14,600--13,549 Schimdt.

250 of 753. Hackett 51.99-48.01 Schimdt. Hackett 18,476--17,046. The force will be with Hackett, always. It is getting close to total freak-out time.

259 of 753. Hackett increases lead. 52.18--47.81. Hackett 19053--Schimdt 17457. Watch out for the karma police.

This was by far the high point of the evening. At this point, I was calling DavidNYC, Chris Bowers, and anyone who was following this race in the slightest with more excitement than I have ever felt since I started following politics. There's something about the underdog, isn't there?

Then we got the next set that showed Jean Schmidt close that gap with more than half of the precincts reporting. At that point, my phone rang. That's when my personal excitement ratcheted up a notch.

In the Hackett Campaign "War Room," they were well aware we were making plans to control the first few hours of the debate should the race head into overtime. The person on the other end of the phone was Meghan, Paul's Finance Director. While most people there understood there was really something special going on in the blogosphere, as the finance director, she really "got it." Her message was simple, "We need you down here now! I will meet you outside." She told me the location and I packed my gear and sprinted toward the elevator.

I hopped in a cab to take me three blocks down the street. When the driver looked at me quizically, I told him, "every second counts right now." When I arrived, Meghan was waiting outside and gave me the brief run-down of what was going on. We headed up the escalator to the room, and walked in.

I plugged in my lap-top and searched for a wireless signal. Lucky for me, the hotel picked up T-Mobile and I have a wireless account with them. It was at that moment hearts began to break across the country. Jean Schmidt had captured the lead and began to pull away to a four point margin. Sighs filled the room and eyes began to well up in tears. The team had approached the rainbow's edge, but the pot of gold that was once within arms reach seemed a mile away.

The next update we received was the infamous 50% to 50% with 91 precints remaining. It was at that point the evening stood still.

Bob Brigham had arrived in the "war room" about 15 minutes before this and was all fired up and ready to go. I had been talking to Chris Bowers on and off throughout the evening, and Matt DeBergalis had long since been dispatched to Clermont County along with other campaign workers to oversee the vote count.

I put out the call to Chris and other bloggers to start looking into Clermont County. There were delays that no one had an explanation for at that point. To be sure, things were not looking good, but it was so close that we really wanted all of our bases covered. We found out the type of vote counting machines used in Clermont, and Bowers commented on MyDD that we needed all the information we could get about the county. It turned out that in the primary a number of votes were "found" for Jean Schmidt in Clermont, which happens to be her home town.

The mood began to sour in the room, and there were tears. The county had already gone for Schmidt she would probably end up distancing herself even further by the time the last 91 precincts came in. People started calculating how many votes were probably left based on voting patterns and what we would need to win or get within the 1/2 of 1% margin to trigger the automatic recount.

At the same time, bloggers were flooding my inbox with information on Clermont County. Atrios called and asked what was going on--he was very realistic, but pleased at what we had accomplished. I still held out hope.

We started talking about the amount of money needed for a recount and compared it to what the campaign had left over in the bank. I don't know why it took anyone longer than 30 seconds to figure it out, but by the end of the discussion, they knew the blogosphere would be there for the campaign.

As the research came in, people started bandying about the "f" word on the blogs--the stage was being set for something entirely too close to call. In a land far far away, another blogger was preparing a one page report based on the DNC's study of voting irregularities in Ohio's 2004 election--specifically in Clermont County. The stage was being set for us to own the first few hours.

The discussion among others in the room at the time centered around what the number was that we should demand a recount and if the candidate should make a statement; he was getting phone calls from the press at the time.

It was from the television news we found out the problem. Ballots had "stuck together" because of the humidity, and the machines were having a hard time reading them. No one knew how much longer this would take.

A reporter from "The Hill" had apparently called Paul and said they had results showing him losing 53-47 with all the precincts in. We searched online for anything that would illustrated where they got that information from, but there was nothing.

Then it all came crashing down...

One of the staffers in the room picked up his cell phone and got the final results from Clermont. It was over, Jean Schmidt had won by some 3000 votes. The phone call to Paul was made, who was waiting at home, informing him of the results--the candidate said he was making his way down to the celebration to concede.

The war room cleared out pretty quickly, the only people left behind was Bob, the nameless blogger, and myself. We talked about everything the grassroots had accomplished in this race and began to pack up our things. At that time, Jean Schmidt appeared on television to accept victory, before she even received the call from Paul. We thought it fitting that we were the last three left in the war room, considering it was the grassroots that was the first to really step up and make this race everything it turned out to be. So we posed infront of the television screen with Schmidt on in the background--you know, one of those photos where the person in the front gets their arms out far ahead and takes the photo themself.

We left the room and started the long walk over to the celebration with a number of the staff members that occupied the "war room the entire evening." The mood inside was jubilant. The most tense moment of the evening came when someone approached the representative of WLW 700 AM and told him "F*CK YOU FOR CALLING PAUL HACKETT A BABY KILLER!" He repeated it several times, calling out the radio station that served as a communications wing of the Schmidt campaign in the days leading up the election. THe guy was right. The representative looked scared sh!tless--he was undoubtedly in enemy territory.

The rest is history. Paul Hackett took the stage and the place went crazy. I'll close with some video clips from the event.

Video - Paul Hackett Takes The Stage
Video - Paul Hackett Shares a Story About Chicken(hawks)
Video - Paul Hackett Thanks His Supporters: "Rock On!"

I hope you all enjoyed the ride as much as I did, but I get the feeling that is pretty obvious.

Thanks for reading,




1.) Goldminders in Batavia Ohio - Tim (ttagaris) in hat, Bob Brigham on right, Matt DeBergelis get photographed by a reporter from Mother Jones on Election day Empty computer is the blogger who shall remain nameless.

2.) A tense war room as everyone waits for last 91 precints to arrive.

3.) The tote board in the war room that outlines county by county totals.

4.) Sadness envelopes the room as we find out it's over.

5.) Bob Brigham and Tim Tagaris (hat) with Paul Hackett at election night celebration

Posted at 02:08 AM in Ohio | Comments (8) | Technorati

Thursday, August 04, 2005

OH-Gov: Petro on Display

Posted by Tim Tagaris

On my way back from Southwest Ohio I stopped for a day at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. As I was walking around and checking out the different booths inside while taking a respite from the heat outside, I stumbled upon Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's booth. While most organizations/companies/individuals handed out free fans, gave diabeties tests (I passed), and other gadgets--Jim Petro's booth had a computer that let you look up the sex offenders in your neighborhood. He also provided an opportunity for parents to fingerprint get their kids fingerprinted. I found the whole thing kind of humorous.

In what was probably the most disturbing booth at the fair, Ohio Right to Life had a basket of "free fetuses." The lady manning the operation handed them out to children for their enjoyment. I had trouble uploading that photo. Please refrain from Rick Santorum comments.

Posted at 07:47 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Conspicuously Missing

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Amidst all the post-mortems on the Special Election in Ohio's second district, what's missing is references to the teacher in Clermont County that contributed $20 to the Hackett campaign, the student at Xavier who gave $50 dollars, and the hundreds that battled stifling heat, often in the nineties, for numerous days to walk the streets of Southwest Ohio in support of a candidate they believed in.

In the mad dash to gather up all the credit every individual organization can for the success in Ohio-2, most references to the role of the grassroots have missed the mark completely. As the Republicans attempt to paint a broad picture of a "lefty-fringe" blogosphere, it's important to note where the real power behind the effort comes from--it came from over 10,000 regular people willing to contribute their time and money to change in America, and in an oft forgotten, destined to be ignored corner of Southwest Ohio.

Posted at 11:31 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

OH-2: Election Night Video & Photos

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I thought people would like to know that I just posted video and photos from election night in Ohio's 2nd over at Grow Ohio. I urge you to read the entire entry, but if you must, scroll down a bit for video links. Until we have more tomorrow on how this all went down, here is a picture of Bob and I with Marine Corps Major Paul Hackett (I'm wearing the hat).

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Posted at 10:12 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-2: Thank You

Posted by Tim Tagaris

What a ride.

For the past two weeks, living in Batavia, Ohio and following the Hackett campaign has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my "political life." I remember the phone call Bob and I had before, "What a Difference a Day Makes" and then deciding we were going parlay that momentum and take this thing all the way on "Blogosphere Day."

Sitting in the "boiler room" with Bob Brigham and Hackett's campaign staff last night was something I have never experienced before. I can tell you that as the evening progressed, most of the Hackett staff was looking to the Netroots to carry them through in the eventuality that the count would extend into the days ahead.

I know that I speak for Bob as well when I say the future of the Democratic Party is a bright one. The future stepped up in OH-2 -- the grass/netroots and Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy should have us all excited today about 2006, 2008, and beyond. We will have more in the coming days on our take about how this all happened. I'll have photos and video in the coming hours/days on Grow Ohio.

Posted at 02:16 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-0-N

Posted by Bob Brigham

As Paul Hackett would say, "ROCK ON!"

Raise your glass to fighting in every district, in every state, every day. When the assholes in D.C. (cc) write off a district a district, my answer is FUCK THEM. Because Democrats want to fight and we'll do it ourselves. There are no roadblocks -- let's get some shit done. People are going crazy celebrating tonight, the 2006 backlash will be huge.

(From Tim Tagaris:) We are sitting in the bar right now, literally blogging this together. The mood is jubilant as we look forward to 2006. When Howard Dean was elected as DNC Chair, he made a promise to fight in every precinct, in every district, and in every state. For the past several weeks the future of the party, the grassroots, came together and fought a fight that the pundit political class said wasn't worth fighting. Consider this the opening salvo of the 2006 election cycle. I sat five feet away from Paul Hackett tonight as he talked to Jean Schmidt--he congratulated her and told him to say hello to the president for him ("the S.O.B")--This is take no prisoners now. The Republican Party is on notice. For that matter, the Democratic Party establishment is on notice; get with the program or we will leave you behind. We have a country to take back.

Posted at 01:29 AM in Ohio | Comments (18) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

OH-02: Hackett Speech

Posted by Bob Brigham

People are fired up! In 2006 Democrats are going to kick ass everywhere.

"Democracy was successful this evening"

"We raised over 400,000 online"

"We Americans have a choice, democracy is the benefactor and we gave that to them"

He sounds like a candidate who is kicking off a campaign, not ending one.

The Good the Ugly and the Bad is playing in the background.

"freedom is worth fighting for…and that's what we did over the course of the last four months, where else except for America could we put a plan together this quickly and have this much success"

"we need to stay focused and we need to stay proud and we need to say it loud"

"Realize we can take this to other regions of the country…"


UPDATE (Bob) This will be the last post of the night, Tim and I are going to do some celebrating!!!!!

Swing State Project will soon return to the regularly schedule program of following all of the races across America. Thank you Paul Hackett!

Posted at 11:27 PM in Ohio | Comments (8) | Technorati

OH-2: It's Gonna Be a Long Night

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's gonna be a long night. 91 precincts remaining out of 191 in Clermont County is all that's left. Paul is down 800 votes.

UPDATE (Tim): It's over. Paul lost by about 4000 votes--he got 48.2% of the vote at the end of the night. We didn't take the seat, but holy shit was this a win for the 50 state strategy, the netroots, and the future of the country--the grassroots of the Democratic Party.

We have sent a powerful message for 2006 tonight, and over the past several weeks. Close the book on round one, an overwhelming victory of us.

Posted at 10:25 PM in Ohio | Comments (31) | Technorati

OH-02: Election Results

Posted by Bob Brigham

RESULTS Hackett Schmidt
Absentees 1,629 1,964

UPDATE: (Bob) I'm at the Party, I'm getting results on IM.

56 precincts of 753 reporting
PAUL HACKETT 6,562 51%
JEAN SCHMIDT 6,276 49%

UPDATE (Bob) 8:40 There are about 100 volunteers and a fuckton of press at the Hackett Election Night event. The volunteers are hot and sweaty, but everyone seems really happy -- not anxious. I'm the only one in the room with results, but nobody is rushing up to ask me. People seem really satisfied with putting up a good fight, they know they did a helluva a great job.

UPDATE (Bob) 8:47 OK, now people are coming up and saying hi, but not asking for numbers. A Kossack and a great guy who was reading SSP even though he was taking the bar. Speaking of which, I'm at a table next to the bar so if you're part of netroots, come by and say hi when you get here. People seem really content after a job well done.

UPDATE (Bob) 8:51 Tim can't post, so I'm going to start posting his IMs as updates. MyDD has the county-by-county.
TIM: 175 of 753 precints, Hackett 51-49 Schimdt. Hackett 13,513-12,802

UPDATE (Bob) 9:02 Mother Jones is going to have an in-depth piece on this race next month -- keep your eyes open because they've been with us for days.

UPDATE (Bob) 9:06 from Tim
259 precincts reporting of 753 -- Paul Hackett 52.18% to 47.81%

UPDATE (Bob) 9:09 The DJ has arrived, now we're rocking down here. Tagaris is up on the 19th floor staffing the Swing State Project National Affairs desk with our rapid response team.

UPDATE (Tim) 9:13 305 precincts of 753 - 23,957 to 22,846 Hackett leads 51-49

UPDATE (Bob) 9:28 John Loyd from Philly and his buddy from the district, Mark Berghausen (whose two GOP parents voted for Hackett), say hi to ya'll. Lots of people coming by to say hi, people have come from all over. Hackett's no bullshit approach inspires.

UPDATE (Bob) 9:44 Things are turning against Hackett in the numbers, but nobody here seems to care.

UPDATE (Bob) 10:03 Great night to be Howard Dean -- the 50 state strategy is gold: fight in every district, in every state, in every state and things move. People are chanting, LET'S GO PAUL

UPDATE (Bob) 10:35 I'm hearing the "F" word from a whole lot of people. Lots of rumors of potential fraud, lots of sketchy stuff....

UPDATE (Bob) 10:46 I'm hearing all kinds of totally sketchy shit -- I need everyone who reads this to start researching, googling, posting....more to come.

UPDATE (Bob) 10:50




UPDATE (Bob) 10:56 Damn, if we can do this well here we're going to open up a can of whoop ass in 2006. The backlash is brewing, fight everywhere, everyday. Be proud to be a Democrat. And fight every single day. Good job Paul, you showed the Democratic Party the way!

Posted at 07:47 PM in Ohio | Comments (185) | Technorati

OH-02: Watching the Results

Posted by Bob Brigham

To get perspective on the numbers as they come in, check out our primary election night post.

Posted at 07:34 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Swing State Project

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tim Tagaris is driving, I'm riding shotgun -- full on Swing State Project mobile. We're setting up our Election Protection War Room. With all of the bullshit the Jean Schmidt campaign has been doing, you can never be too careful.

Tagaris is talking with the blogfather as we speak, laughing about Charlie Cook. Tonight should be quite a night, we'll keep you posted...

UPDATE: (Bob) Tagaris called the chase car and told them to flash their headlights if they get uncomfortable with our speed -- we're flying. The turnout in African American precincts is looking really good.

UPDATE: (Bob) The Swing State Project National Affairs desk has been set up on the 19th floor. Tonight, we'll have both live coverage as things come in along with information from Hackett and staff.

Jerome Armstrong has the handicap.

Polls close at 7:30, you can get results here.

Posted at 05:48 PM in Ohio | Comments (23) | Technorati

OH-02: Rush Limbaugh Slanders Paul Hackett

Posted by DavidNYC

Rush Limbaugh, on air, called Paul Hackett a "staff puke." Repeatedly.

Paul Hackett served as a civil affairs officer in Iraq. Eleven civil affairs soldiers and marines have died in the Iraqi theater. What's more, Paul Hackett led marines in combat while in Iraq. And, it goes without saying, he faced deadly violence every day he was in the country.

Rush Limbaugh avoided military service thanks to a pilonidal cyst. Paul Hackett volunteered to serve, even though no one had asked him to.

Rush Limbaugh (to no one's surprise) joins the long list of Republicans who, rather than respect those who have honorably served in our nation's military (as should be expected), instead disgracefully spit upon them. How disgusting. What is wrong with these people?

Posted at 05:08 PM in Ohio | Comments (9) | Technorati

OH-02: Volunteer Tonight

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Hackett for Congress:

Canvass or make phone calls for Paul Hackett on Election Day!

Canvass Locations:

Adams County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
1 Courthouse Square at Roy Gabbert’s Law Office

Brown County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
707 Mt. Orab Pike, Bail Bonds Office
(Cut-N-Up Barber Shop)

Clermont County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
Clermont County Democratic Party North 2nd Street, Batavia OH
(next to Hackett’s HQ)

Hamilton County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
Old Kerry Headquarters Parking Lot, 1523 Madison Rd., 45206

Pike County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
Boilermakers Hall on US 23 in Piketon, OH and parking lot of Waverly Police Dept., 202 S. Market St.

Scioto County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
New Boston Community Center, 3980 Rhodes Ave., New Boston 45662

Warren County – Tues. 7am to 8pm
6775 Park Lake Dr, Mason 45040, in Village Lakes subdivision AND 228 S. Mechanic St, Lebanon 45036

Phone Bank Locations:
• Hamilton County Democratic Party HQ, 615 Main St., Downtown Cincinnati, Tues. 9 – 7
• Hackett HQ, 27 N. Second St., Batavia, Tues 9 – 7
• Crowley HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills, Tues 9 – 7
• Warren County Democratic Party HQ. 8 East 5th St., Franklin, Tues 9 – 7
• Zimmeran CPA, 1080 Nimitzview Dr., Suite 400, Anderson, Tues 9 – 7

Posted at 04:54 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: View from the Right

Posted by Bob Brigham

From our buddy Mike Krempasky at Red State:

The only really significant things about this race are 1) online donations for Hackett have been extraordinary - somewhere north of 400K in short order, and 2) the absolute "bleh" that Schmidt inspires in her voters.


Posted at 04:33 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: Polls Close at 7:30 -- We Keep Working

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Just a reminder to everyone...

We have learned our lesson in recent elections, and when the polls close at 7:30, we can all kick back slightly for an hour or two and watch the results come in, but our work continues.

If this thing is close, we know not to put anything past the Republican Party in Ohio. Our work will continue and our armies must remain at the ready for the first 24 hours after the votes are tallied (two news cycles at least). So stand by and keep an eye on Swing State Project for updates.

Posted at 02:17 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: DailyKos on the Race

Posted by Bob Brigham

Kos (which averages more than 500,000 users a day) says that the Schmidt smear is backfiring. He links to a post asking people to call the Schmidt headquarters. Since it is on DailyKos, 50,000 people will read it an hour...

Posted at 02:09 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

Annatopia says:

oh man, apparently someone is too busy covering their ass to run a campaign today...

If you want to know why she said that, it is because she has sources...

UPDATE: (Bob) Atrios says:

Schmidt Campaign Imploding?

Word is that Spankin' Joe Braun is too obsessed with what's being said about him on the internets to actually actively manage the campaign...

Wow. Must suck to be Joe Braun. Remember Friday's Hotline? The Washington Republicans didn't write the big checks because Joe Braun was doing a good job.

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: Cook Political Report Lowers the Bar

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From the Cook Political Report:

If Schmidt's victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.
Talk about lowering the bar for Ohio's Republican Party. To say that a 6 to 9 point spread is indicative of "wind but no hurricane" is ridiculous. Anything within 10, in a district that has gone recently gone Republican by more than fifty percentage points, shows the ship has already sunk for the Ohio Republican Party--they have until Nov. 2006 to salvage whateer wreckage they can.

OH-2 Past Election Results:
2004: 72% to 28%
2002: 74% to 26%
2000: 74% to 23%
1998: 76% to 24%

Whatever happens here, the big story is how the grassroots of the Democratic Party competed, outraised, and outmanned the NRCC. We forced them to blow a ton of money in a district that should have gone red by 50 points. This race is a complete validation of Howard Dean's 50 state strategy and our ability to compete in any race, at any level, in any location across the country.

The mere fact that the GOP D.C. re-enforcements have been called in at such a high level has got to be a major dissapointment to all "yellow elephants" across the country. This race should put all Democrats and Republicans statewide on notice. Bob Ney, we are coming for you. Ralph Regula, your seat is no longer safe. Steve LaTourette, we will remember your CAFTA flip-flop. It's a brand new ball-game, and it all started in OH-2--the last place anyone thought it would.

Posted at 11:12 AM in Ohio | Comments (15) | Technorati

OH-2: We Have Questions

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Following up on the action-item Atrios posted earlier today, "blogswarm" has tips over at Daily Kos on how to ask Jean Schmidt's staff members to explain their latest, campaign sponsored, attack on Paul Hackett's military service.

Posted at 10:33 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH:02: Farking, Eh?

Posted by Bob Brigham

We're going to be calling audibles today, so be ready to roll with it. Remember, our strength is in our numbers.

Atrios calls the first play.

Posted at 08:49 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: Google Me This, Mean Jean Schmidt

Posted by Tim Tagaris


This is what everyone sees when they do a Google search of "Jean Schmidt." More to the point, this is what dozens of voters in the second congressional district have seen for days when Googling her in search of information for tomorrow's special election. It's a true testament to the teamwork of the progressive blogosphere in this race.

My favorite is, "The Left Coaster: Jean Schmidt Is A Liar"

This allows me to pivot back to Jean Schmidt's campaign manager, Joe Braun, who after getting completely blindsided by the Democratic netroots ability to mobilize, still doesn't get it.

As I told the reporter, there is no question the Internet has given Hackett a huge boost when it comes to his ability to raise funds quickly from around the nation. We all know that money is needed to get your message out.
This is why Joe Braun will probably never manage another congressional campaign again--it's akin to a pro-football coach preparing for a game and completely neglecting to cover "special teams." The NRCC has already spent his next salary ten times over, and after the ballots are cast tomorrow, he will have taken a 30 point lead and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. You would think that getting completely blown out of the water in online fundraising by Paul Hackett, he would understand there are other implications. But future employers will be able to quickly uncover his ineptitude, by simply Googling Joe Braun.

Posted at 12:51 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 01, 2005

OH-2: "The Ball" and Mean Jean Schmidt

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Atrios sums it up in three pictures, but it's always good to know that Jean Schmidt is keeping her "eye on the ball, before the ball comes back to..attack...us."

Posted at 09:43 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: Online War Room

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As I type this, I am sitting in what will serve as the Internet "war room" through the vote counting tomorrow evening. It's quite a compilation of individuals assembled here right now. I am honored to be sitting with Matt DeBergalis of ActBlue, DNC Internet Director Joe Rospars, and Bob Brigham of Swing State Project fame. We are sharing a meal, a few drinks, and talking about strategy for the next 32 hours and through the next days if need be.

As I watched this race unfold from home over the last few days, I was awestruck at the scope of what has gone down in this race over the past several weeks. Jerome talked about it earlier, but this is a prime example of the Howard Dean strategy of competing in all fifty states. At the same time, the future of the party, the grassroots (Netroots & DFA) have stepped up and sent the GOP backpedaling in a race most thought over the moment Rob Portman accepted his cushy job undermining workers rights while serving at the feet of corporate interests.

If we can win here, we can win anywhere.

Posted at 08:46 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

OH-02: Netroots Dominate Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

Earlier I said we needed to raise $30K today. We raised over $50K.

That puts the total netroots at over a half a million. The netroots outspent the NRCC.

There are a half a million new sheriffs in town...

Tim and I have a meeting, more in a little bit. Please go email all your friends.

Posted at 06:29 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Labor Stands with Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Back on the road...just left a factory gate hand shaking event at a GM plant. Paul Hackett has earned the respect of the members and they're with him. Standing on the blacktop outside the event was almost unbearable hot. The candidate was covered in sweat, but the response from the workers made good footage for the three news stations and four still cameras at the event. Good stuff.

And I just checked the ActBlue page -- everyone got the job done. THANKS!

Posted at 03:45 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-2: Back in the Saddle

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Just arrived back in Ohio-2 from my weekend home with family in Chicago (first time since 2004). Awkward time to leave, but who knew everything was going to unfold the way it did when I made arrangements to go home last weekend.

But goodness, reading Bob's updates on Swing State Project made me feel like I never left Ohio for even a second. It's last call, and with Bob and I both on the ground, SSP is certainly the place to be for up-to-the-second reporting on the race.

Posted at 02:29 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Riding Shotgun with Major Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Crazy day on Election Eve. I'm riding shotgun with the candidate, he's doing a radio show on his cell phone and I'm posting via cell card. He sounds great, he has a voice like John Wayne and his straight-talk attitude makes for great radio. He's giving a geography lesson the the district as we fly across it.

I'll have more from his next event, but check out his first blog post.

Posted at 01:42 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: Once More Unto the Breach

Posted by Bob Brigham

Here's the situation, the Paul Hackett decided to shoot the moon. Ohio's second congressional district favors Republicans by 30 pts. Running a safe campaign would result in failure.

Paul Hackett is a Fighting Democrat and he's gambling, pushing, pull out all of the stops and running like his life depends upon it (if he loses, he'll probably be sent back in Iraq).

To Get Out the Vote, we need to raise $30,000 today. Here's why.

Last week, the netroots stepped up and delivered around $40K a day. The campaign gambled and put all of that on TV (the ads are great and a Democrat is leading the Republicans in gross points in every market in every medium!!!).

It worked, and now Independents are breaking rapidly our way. And Democrats in the district are so fired up that the far more than expected are signing up for GOTV.

This has drastically increased the cost of the GOTV mobilization. The enthusiasm over the weekend was more than expected and more was spend during the huge door-to-door effort. Now the campaign needs money for tomorrow to finish the job.

The cost breaks down to around $50 a precinct with 600 precincts. The netroots best friend, Matt from ActBlue, is flying in right now to coordinate moving the money.

But we need enough to finish the job.

Your investments have made Hackett a contender. Please give one more time so we can win this in the field.

Posted at 10:27 AM in Ohio | Comments (7) | Technorati

OH-02: Weekend Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

It is a beautiful morning in the Village of Batavia in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District where I am embedded with the Paul Hackett campaign. For those of you who unplugged over the weekend, here's a quick recap to get you up to speed on what has been going on to prepare for Tuesday's vote.

Yesterday, the big story was the Noe Schmidt Scandal that blew wide open. A front page story in the Cincinnati Enquirer says:

A few hours later, Hackett was standing in front of TV cameras at the Hamilton County Courthouse downtown, refuting Schmidt's statement on Channel 12's "Newsmakers" program that she had "never met" and "wouldn't recognize" Thomas Noe, the Republican campaign contributor at the heart of the state GOP's Coingate' scandal.

Hackett produced minutes of a March 2002 Ohio Board of Regents meeting that indicates that then-state representative Schmidt had met with the regents, whose membership at the time included Noe.

"She seems to have a very selective memory," Hackett said.

When the scandal lead the evening news, Hackett was quoted as referring to Jean Schmidt as the Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption. The story was all over the blogs with around a quarter of a million people reading about it by sundown.

As the sun set, the blogosphere turned to an Editor and Publisher story:

The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, is on top of the news- paper world, thanks to its "Coingate" reports (see p. 34). But while the paper is rightly thumping its chest with each new revelation, it's also coming under some scrutiny — not for what it has printed, but for what it may not have. Rumors swirl around a veteran Blade scribe, former political reporter Fritz Wenzel. Nothing at all is proven, but it's worth recalling the dangers — even if it's just in public perception — of jumping from political campaigning to political reporting and back again.

Wenzel, a longtime GOP campaign worker in Oregon, spent 10 years on the Blade politics beat before returning to the world of political consulting in May, virtually the day after he left the paper. One of the key contacts he made along the way was the man now at the center of the Coingate accusations, Tom Noe, a major Republican fund-raiser who attended the wedding of Wenzel's son, P.J., a state GOP employee. Noe's wife, Bernadette, even praised Wenzel during a GOP Lincoln Day Dinner this spring. "It was obvious that [Wenzel] was a Republican, he never hid the fact," Dennis Lang, interim chair of the Lucas County Republican Central Committee, told me last month. "But his work stayed in neutral ground."

Not according to the Lucas County Democratic Party, which devoted a page on its Web site to blasting Wenzel for alleged inaccuracy and bias. Suspicions about partisan leanings were further fueled when Wenzel signed on as media strategist for Jean Schmidt, the GOP nominee for an open Cincinnati-area congressional seat that voters will fill in a special August election (she won a primary on June 14). Disclosure records show Wenzel received $30,000 from Schmidt's campaign on May 16, the day his last column for the paper appeared, and three days after he left the Blade. He got another $30,000 from those coffers a week later, according to records. Part of the money went to media buys.

Wenzel's career change also renewed rumors, so far unsubstantiated, that his ties to Noe and the GOP may help explain why he not only failed to uncover Coingate but also a related Noe scandal involving alleged illegal funneling of contributions to President Bush's 2004 campaign. Several Blade editors told me they'd heard rumors that Wenzel learned as early as January 2004 about a federal investigation into Noe's alleged illegal donations, none of which emerged in the press until this past spring.

The big news on Saturday was the giant Hackett mobilization which I liveblogged. Grow Ohio had much, much more. This followed the a field guy blogs post that was all over the blogs Friday afternoon.

The energy here is amazing, head over to Grow Ohio for pics.

The blogs are all over this race and the netroots fundraising is amazing.

Tim Tagaris will be arriving later in the day and we'll have all kinds of stuff going up -- so stay tuned. Or better yet, do whatever it takes to get down here and help!

Posted at 08:53 AM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Big Day, Early to Bed

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Paul Hackett campaign locked up at 1:30 tonight, which is by a long stretch the earliest since I've arrived. When I got off the red-eye at 6AM on Friday, it was clear that the HQ had been open later than the bars for some time.

This is a good thing, the Sunday night before the election is the last chance for a sound night's sleep until at least election night -- possibly longer if there is any attempts at corrupting the vote.

People will sleep well tonight, it was a great day.

The field team had a great day. The numbers were really strong and the independents are breaking against Schmidt. At this point, there is no need to do anything other than execute the plan and each member of the team is ready to focus on getting shit done.

I'm going to have a lot more on the field tomorrow, and some new stuff is going to roll out online. It is possible the magic number could be as low as 20,000 votes, meaning the August timing and lack of enthusiasm for Mean Jean could provide the rare campaign with a general election turnout lower than the primary. But I'm not making any predictions and neither should you, this is a crazy campaign under forced circumstances and anyone who says they can create a viable voter model is full of it.

Media was wonderful today. Schmidt/Noe/Taft -- every channel. Voters here have a profound sense of betrayal over the Republican culture of corruption. During the Gray Davis recall, I was proud to vote to throw the bum out of office, but the voters weren't nearly as livid as they are in Ohio.

Since the coingate scandal broke less than four months ago, each week has brought new tales of how Republican in Ohio operate. The extent of the corruption is absurd and a lot of Republicans would rather vote for a Marine than somebody at the center of the scandal.

Tomorrow's going to be a big day. Swing State Project will be in overdrive. Tim Tagaris will be back in district in the afternoon. This may surprise many regular readers, but Tim and I have actually never met. Last fall, when we were really the only two people telling the story of a congressional race on the blogs, we started talking and have had a number of coups, but never met. With both of us in the same room, we'll be posting with a fury.

While we'll have an on-the-ground perspective, look to the other blogs to keep you up-to-date on what's moving online. In case you haven't noticed, the entire left-wing of the blogosphere has been inspired by Paul Hackett.

I'm going to get some sleep...

Posted at 02:02 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Sunday, July 31, 2005

OH-02: Whippin' Boy Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

There is still no word from the Jean Schmidt campaign on whether Joe Braun will last as Campaign Manager through the election.


Posted at 11:07 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Noe Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

Everyone seems to be linking to this.

Posted at 10:55 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Open Thread

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks for everyone for joining in the conversations on Swing State Project. Any good gossip on the race?

Posted at 07:28 PM in Ohio | Comments (16) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal Leads Evening News

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hmmm, imagine that. When you lie to reporters, the scandal leads the evening news.

Jean Schmidt Corruption Scandal

Posted at 06:34 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Hot, Happy, Haste

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Paul Hackett campaign headquarters is hotter than a Laker/Celtic championship at Boston Garden. Hot and humid.

Fingers are dialing faster with each call. There is a real sense of urgency, the volunteers understand the dynamics of an August election. The local Party leaders are shocked at how fired up people are, people realize that a top-notch GOTV can put Hackett over the top.

And people are having fun, cementing friendships and working as a team. A lot is moving fast, today's press conference was one of the most successful rapid response efforts I've ever seen.

But it is all going to come down to GOTV. Get down here, you're needed. Call the HQ for more information at 513-735-4310.

Posted at 06:05 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Credibility on Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

The analysis of the the Jean Schmidt/Tom Noe scandal is pretty simple, when a politician claims never even to have heard of the man at the center of the biggest scandal in the history of Ohio, people are going to question her credibility. As Scott McClellan will be the first to tell you, the press hates it when politicians lie to the press.

Thanks to the blogosphere, this story is moving at the speed of light.

Americablog on Jean Schmidt
American Street on Jean Schmidt
Annatopia on Jean Schmidt
Atrios on Jean Schmidt
Crooks and Liars on Jean Schmidt
Daily Kos frontpage on Jean Schmidt
Left Coaster's Steve Soto on Jean Schmidt
Seeing the Forrest's Dave Johnson on Jean Schmidt
Huffington Post's Stephen Burt on Jean Schmidt
Left in the West on Jean Schmidt
Majikthise on Jean Schmidt
MyDD's Chris Bowers on Jean Schmidt
Norwegianity on Jean Schmidt
Ohio 2nd on Jean Schmidt
Political Forecast on Jean Schmidt
Sisyphus Shrugged on Jean Schmidt
Stirling Newberry on Jean Schmidt
The Broad View on Jean Schmidt
The News Blog on Jean Schmidt
The Stakeholder on Jean Schmidt

Posted at 03:11 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Come Clean Jean!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe

Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption

Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirer noted (July 31, 2005):

Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.

Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee. Tom Noe seconded and approved the minutes for this meeting, which read:

There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with [Jean Schmidt's] thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

And , additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.

When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Blade reported (July 29, 2005):

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.

It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.

Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come...

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett just referred to Jean Schmidt as the, "Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption" as he held up the documents that busted her. During the press conference, it was clear why Hackett is such a successful attorney, he did a great job of telling the story.

UPDATE: (Bob) Max Clelland remarked, "The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."

UPDATE: (Bob) Channel 19 was also there, along with the Cincinnati Enquirer. There is no way that the press can ignore this, you can't let politicians lie about their involvement in corruption.

UPDATE: (Bob) It is not too late to donate to Paul Hackett, help him FINISH THE JOB!

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, General, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (7) | Technorati

OH-02: GOP Threatens Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Washington Post:

"He called the commander in chief a son-of-a-[expletive]," said NRCC spokesman Carl Forti. "We decided to bury him."

Hackett, hoping to capitalize on the widespread disarray in the scandal-plagued Ohio GOP, remains unapologetic about his characterization of the president. "I said it. I meant it. I stand by it," he said in a phone interview. "In this district, we need more straight-talking, straight-shooting politicians."

People respect Hackett because he does tell it straight, something rare for a politician.

His campaign has drawn support from Democrats across the country. Liberal blogs have defended him from GOP attacks. Former Ohio senator John Glenn, another former Marine, sent a message to online supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asking them to pitch in financially. Democracy for America, the organization founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, says it has raised $80,000 for Hackett.

But unlike Kerry, when Hackett was Swift Boated, he fought back. Straight talk, standing proud for what he believes. No wonder so many people are inspired by Paul Hackett.

Posted at 08:42 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ever since Joe Braun was exposed and threatened to sue me, there have been quite a few jokes being made about him. The local press is following the blogs and "Spankin' Joe Braun" has become infamous online. In fact, he's so popular that General Christian sent a letter to Joe Braun. I really have a hard time seeing how anyone takes him seriously.

Posted at 08:05 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, July 30, 2005

OH-02: Hackett Inspires Blogosphere

Posted by Bob Brigham

Stunning. Thank you everyone!

Posted at 07:14 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: When You Reach the Summit

Posted by Bob Brigham

Successful politics means doing the right thing at the right time. Power is nothing without timing. When it comes to the progression of campaigns, this is peaking.

Too many losses have been explained away by people wondering, "If we'd only had another week." Inversely, look how many frontrunners have self-destructed during the home stretch.

The curve in Paul Hackett's campaign is perfect. It would have been nice if the line would have started off higher in the beginning, but losers in DC looked at the numbers in the district and took a wait and see approach.

Luckily for Paul Hackett, most Democrats aren't as scared of fighting as some of the so-called leaders who have run away from fighting and relevance. Take the netroots, instead of focusing on the past, the netroots were inspired by Paul Hackett to look to the future. The netroots knew the odds sucked, but they stepped up when others ducked.

Every day, Paul Hackett is receiving more and more support from the netroots. Because Paul Hackett is a fighter.

And fighting Democrats are rewarding his fighting spirit. This is providing perfect peaking for the campaign. You can feel the buzz in the air, people are drawing upon the energy of others which is compounding into a frenzy of activity. The Hackett campaign has an avalanche of momentum and it scheduled for a huge climax on Tuesday. Join other fighting Democrats.

Posted at 06:37 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Bird Costs Schmidt 4 Votes

Posted by Bob Brigham

The volunteers have been returning to HQ after a long day of door-knocking. As one couple was turning in their lists, they told a great story. All four voters in their home are voting against Schmidt because she flipped them off in road rage incident.

To be perfectly fair, Schmidt has a twin sister who could have been responsible. But still, four more votes for Hackett. And considering the rumors of Schmidt using her "double" to campaign as her, I have no problem relaying the story.

But I wouldn't be surprised to hear it was Jean Schmidt herself. You don't get the nickname "Mean Jean" by having respect for others. Testy, testy. Some might say she's crazy. Some have even said she's batshit crazy.

Posted at 05:38 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Paul Hackett Mobilization

Posted by Bob Brigham

Five minutes ago, a crowd of 500 to 600 fired up volunteers finished cheering the Paul Hackett at a campaign rally with John Glenn, Max Clelland -- both Democratic candidates for Governor of Ohio -- and dozens of local elected officials.

I'm sitting on a fire escape looking down upon the mobilization that followed the rally. As I write this, people are being rapidly trained and deployed for a day of door walking. They're targeting Democrats and Kerry supporters which provides a very large universe for an election that will be decided by a small pool of voters who actually turn out.

The campaign is effectively organizing the large crowd, pairing up locals with those who have travelled from all over (I caught a ride to the rally from a Kossack from Florida...another Kossack, Cory Kates, just introduced himself to me. He recognized me from Daily Kos -- he decided that if I had come from California he would drive down from Cleveland).

This is only one of many mobilizations going on right now, all across the district. The locals are smelling an upset and are doing everything they can during the final stretch to seize this opportunity.

I have video of the event, and will be hitting other events across southern Ohio today...more to come.

UPDATE: Via my cellular card, I'm now posting live from the Hackett motorcade. The candidate is leading in his hybrid and followed by a half dozen cars. There are rumors the Blogfather himself might be coming down today.

UPDATE: We've arrived in a residential area. The candidate, a couple of his marines who have come out to join the campaign, and Max Cleland are now canvessing together, followed by some press. Staffers all have cell phones to their ears and one of the marines has pulled out his digital camera to take photos of what he's participating in. At the first door, Hackett knocked and the person on the other side asked who it was. Hackett announced (loud enough for me to hear in a car across the street), "Paul Hackett, I'm running for congress." Indeed.

UPDATE: Susan Turnbull, Vice Chair of the DNC, just came over to where I've planted myself on the sidewalk. She's very passionate about this race, she worked this district right out of college. She's also a big fan of the blogs.

UPDATE: Here is today's 12:33 PM fundraising update (yesterday's numbers):

Main List: $368,425.56 from 6999 wonderful people
Eschaton: $25,006.59 from 635 great people

If you can't make it down to volunteer, consider making a donation to help the campaign take care of the volunteers and cover GOTV expenses. While Hackett has received overwhelming support from the netroots, he's getting an even better response from voters at the doors. He's far more inspiration in person than I could ever hope to convey in a post...

UPDATE: The motorcade is rolling, we're going to to grab the candidate's motorcycle!

UPDATE: I'm in the Hackett Family living room, watching the wicked witch on Hardball video from Crooks and Liars.

UPDATE: Lots of energy in the Hackett Living room. Max Clelland and John Glenn are talking with the staff, lots of cell-phone action...pulling together the last minute details. It was funny watching everyone crowded around my laptop to watch video from Crooks and Liars. People are grabbing a quick bite to eat and then hitting the trail again. Right now, over 800 volunteers are walking door-to-door. But we need more people, so come on down!

UPDATE: Max Clelland loved the live-blogging. I know a whole bunch of people would have loved to be in that living room with the first man in space John Glenn; American hero Max Clelland; Congressman Ted Strickland; DNC Vice-Chair Susie Turnbull and of course, Paul Hackett. I've much more on this later...

Posted at 11:30 AM in Ohio | Comments (9) | Technorati

OH-02: Channel 12 Online Poll

Posted by Bob Brigham

Right now, Paul Hackett is winning the online poll.

Posted at 09:11 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, July 29, 2005

OH-02: MSNBC on Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham


A special election next week in Ohio will fill the congressional seat vacated by current U.S. Trade representative Rob Portman. One Marine reservist wants to succeed him as the first Iraq War veteran in Congress.

Paul Hackett’s journey from the war zone to the political battlefield marks the first time a veteran of the Iraq war has run for Congress. This Democrat is fighting for every vote in a deeply red Ohio district, and grabbing the attention of local Republicans by placing his war record front and center in his campaign ads.

“In the military, we were taught maneuver warfare, and we make the best out of what we’re given,” says Hackett.

Again, what a great story.

Posted at 09:32 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: There's Nothing Like Being There

Posted by Bob Brigham

For the last 12 hours, I've been embedded with the Hackett for Congress Campaign during the final stretch of the special election campaign.

The staff is young and aggressive -- which compliments Hackett's go-for-broke campaign. Everyone here has been told time and time again that Hackett doesn't have a chance, but those comments aren't coming from those in the district.

The campaign really is getting by with whatever they can pull together. Since Hackett lacked early institutional support (thanks to the losers in DC), the campaign is now lacking space, phone lines, and power. The floor of HQ is a tangled web of power-strips plugged into other power-strips -- with every available outlet filled. The office is jammed packed, it is very crowded and very hot. But it isn't slowing anyone down.

Least of not the candidate. It has been fun spending time with Paul Hackett -- which is a bold statement when you're talking about a candidate.

But Hackett isn't a politician. Sure he's running for office, but he isn't a politician.

I think that is one of the reasons why Hackett is receiving so much support from Republicans. He doesn't talk like a politician. He doesn't hide behind nuance. He tells you what is on his mind and earns respect even from those who disagree with him.

Instead of following the DLC playbook and trying not to offend people, Hackett knows he can only win if he inspires people. From my one day on the ground, it appears that he inspires practically everyone he meets.

If he wins, it will be on his own terms. He's not selling-out or compromising or watering down -- he's taking bold action.

And it is working.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. Right now, the campaign is preparing for a huge mobilization. Try to make it -- it will be worth it!

Posted at 09:02 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: A Candidate for Everyone

Posted by Bob Brigham

So here I am, sitting out back at Hackett HQ with the candidate and Meghan Gaffney. An older gentleman walked across the yard to shake Hackett's hand. He announced that he was a lifelong Republican, but would be voting for Hackett. Meghan and I both smiled, knowing that he isn't alone. It is time to send an Iraq War Veteran to Congress.

Posted at 06:21 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Get Out The Vote Weekend

Posted by Bob Brigham

Email from Paul Hacket's Campaign:

GOTV Weekend is Here!

Special Volunteer Event:

What: Canvass Kick-off Rally with special guests Former US Senator John Glenn, Former US Senator Max Cleland, Congressman Ted Strickland, Mayor Michael Coleman, State Representative Tyrone Yates, and the next Congressman from the 2nd District, Paul Hackett

Where: Old Kerry HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206

When: Saturday, July 30th 10AM

Canvass or make phone calls for Paul Hackett this weekend!

Canvass Locations:

Adams County - Sat. 10am, 1 Courthouse Square at Roy Gabbert’s Law Office

Brown County - Sat. 10am, 707 Mt. Orab Pike, Bail Bonds Office (Cut-N-Up Barber Shop)

Clermont County - Sat. 10am, Sun. 2pm, Clermont County Democratic Party North 2nd Street, Batavia OH (next to Hackett’s HQ)

Hamilton County - Sat. 10am, Sun. 2pm, Old Kerry Headquarters Parking Lot, 1523 Madison Rd., 45206

Pike County - –Sat. 10am, Boilermakers Hall on US 23 in Piketon, OH and parking lot of Waverly Police Dept., 202 S. Market St.

Scioto County -– Sat. 10am, New Boston Community Center, 3980 Rhodes Ave., New Boston 45662

Warren County -– Sat. 10am, 6775 Park Lake Dr, Mason 45040, in Village Lakes subdivision AND 228 S. Mechanic St, Lebanon 45036

Phone Bank Locations:

-Hamilton County Democratic Party HQ, 615 Main St., Downtown Cincinnati Sun. 12-8

-Hackett HQ, 27 N. Second St., Batavia Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

-Crowley HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

-Warren County Democratic Party HQ. 8 East 5th St., Franklin Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

-Zimmeran CPA, 1080 Nimitzview Dr., Suite 400, Anderson, Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

Out-of-District Volunteers

If you are interested in coming from out of town or even out of state to help with the campaign please feel free to come to any of the above events. If you need a place to stay or plan on coming Monday and/or Tuesday please send us an email at ohioinvasion@gmail.com.

Thanks for the overwhelming support,


Phone: 513-735-4310

E-mail: info@hackettforcongress.com

Website: www.hackettforcongress.com

Posted at 06:05 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Culture of Corruption Surrounds Jean Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Ann Driscoll's MyDD diary:

Accusations surfaced against Schmidt's campaign managers Brett Buerck and Kyle Sisk and Larry Householder, the disgraced former House speaker. Ignoring the preference for officeholders to remain neutral during primaries, Householder actively raised funds for Schmidt and worked in conjunction with Buerck and Sisk, who were his top aids at the time. The three Republican politicos were accused of threatening lobbyists, engaging in unscrupulous negotiations, and running baseless smear television ads through a purportedly neutral PAC during the Schmidt campaign.

Threatening Lobbyists

The allegations began when Schmidt's opponent, Tom Niehaus publicly acknowledged a call that he had received from an apologetic lobbyist. The lobbyist told Niehaus that Householder had contacted him and threatened his lobby with unfavorable legislation if he did not contribute to the Schmidt campaign. About six other lobbyists informed Niehaus of similar threats made by Householder or his chief of staff, Brett Buerck.

Kenneth Blackwell, who launched an investigation into the campaign, stated that there is "a direct correlation" between campaign contributions and legislation in the House. But Blackwell, the official that many blame for Ohio voting irregularities in the 2004 presidential election, may have motivations of his own. Around the same time, a 109-page report written by Buerck, Sisk, and Householder's spokesman David Crum surfaced that detailed a scheme to destroy Blackwell's political career.

Smear Ads

The non-profit PAC Ohio Taxpayers Association spent $120,000 running smear television commercials against Niehaus, claiming that he was "anti-tax payer" and that Schmidt was "pro-tax payer." The ads attacked Niehaus for voting "to raise sales, income, gas and cigarette taxes." But voting records show that Schmidt voted identically on those exact same taxes. The Enquirer acknowledged in their endorsement for Schmidt in the District 2 primary that the ads "distorted the two candidates' records on taxes." Scott Pullins, the head of the Ohio Taxpayers Association admitted that Householder and Sisk raised money for the group and that at least some of that money was used to produce the ads.

I'm sure some google monkeys might have fun searching on this.

Posted at 04:55 PM in Ohio, Scandals | Technorati

OH-02: BREAKING - Joe Braun Has Not Resigned in Shame

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comA quick update on Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun. All indications are that he has yet to resign in shame. Considering every Washington Republican woke up and read the Hotline piece about Braun's leadership resulting in utter failure, I kind of expected he would resign today. If not for his poor leadership, then for this.

Posted at 04:49 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: A Field Guy Blogs

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAs some of you know, I'm an old field guy. I play the blogs because that's where politics is at, but my mind is filled with lists and maps. The Paul Hackett campaign has only days to position before Election Day and I'll be here following the whole thing. I didn't check any luggage on the way to Cincinnati, but I had my full bag of tricks (laptop, video camera, microphone, and enough different cables to get your toaster talking to your VCR). I also have a cellular card for my laptop, which means I can post for anywhere. But my mind is thinking lists and maps.

This is a special election in August, who knows who will show up. Conservatives are telling Republicans not to show up. It all comes down to field, to who turns out. This ain't my first rodeo and I'll be devoting a lot of space to examining the battle in the field. If you can get down here to volunteer, do so.

I'll be posting as often as necessary and will hopefully tell the story in a way that will let everyone follow their investment in OH-02.

I'm up-beat because I know we've already won. Last year in OH-02 we let Portman coast to an easy re-election. The Democratic nominee in the second district had $16K for the entire race. We gave up and let Portman spend the year raising money for other Republicans.

This year things are different. Democrats are fighting in every district in every state. The losers in D.C. said this wasn't a competitive seat – so they gave up. Fuck them. Seriously, if you aren't fighting in a Special Election then you are irrelevant. Get out of the way.

While the DLC was busy having a stich-n-bitch about those lefty bloggers, the netroots were busy adopting Paul Hackett. He's now a contender.

Kos says:

The netroots have made this race, not the DCCC or any other Democratic Party organ. This race is giving lie to the notion that we can't compete everywhere. This is the most Republican district in Ohio, and we're competitive. And it didn't take that much money to make it competitive.

Democrats aren't judging success by whether we win or lose on Election Day, but by whether we win or lose today. If we start winning every day, the wins will come. As for me, I have a couple of days to keep you as informed as if you were sitting here next to me.

I landed early this morning and rushed a couple of quick posts from the airport. I made it to HQ around 9 AM and the phones were already buzzing. Dozens of volunteers, making asks, coordinating, pulling people together. Across the street at the GOP HQ, the sign said "Open" but nobody was home.

There are people from all over – literally all over. Strangers are bonding quickly and new friends are working like a well oiled machine.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comHackett has had media after media after media. This place looks like a tripod convention. The national press can smell this story all the way in New York and they've come to Ohio to tell the tale.

Hackett is fired up, but surprising relaxed. He seems really comfortable, he knows what needs to be done and he's doing it.

He just left for some county fairs, his schedule is effectively crammed. Things are moving fast, really fast.

Hackett has the mo' – come on down and join this.

Posted at 01:49 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Paul Hackett Receiving Support to Compete

Posted by Bob Brigham

The lede in today's Hotline (subscription only):

What's The Matter With Ohio

Believe it or not, it seems that many folks on vacation next week may actually finding themselves wondering about the OH 02 special Tuesday night between GOPer Jean Schmidt and Dem Paul Hackett.
-- As of deadline, both the NRCC and DCCC are now in with last minute six figure mail and TV buys. It's hard to imagine that a CD which voted for Bush over Kerry 64-36 is really in play. But there are a number of factors. First, the OH GOP is in shambles as we've highlighted for months with GOP Gov. Bob Taft sporting the worst approval ratings of any GOV in the country.
-- Second, Hackett's a unique candidate who has used his Iraq war veteran status to raise a decent amount of blogosphere money. The NRCC didn't want to see Schmidt caught off guard (apparently the campaign's been slow to respond to Hackett's negatives). The DCCC didn't want to go in too soon prompting an earlier entry by the NRCC. It's hard to fathom how the GOP loses. Still, it's a special in August and crazy things can happen.

NETROOT$ 96 Hours Ago 72 Hours Ago 48 Hours Ago24 Hours Ago RIGHT NOW
Investors 2,960 3,525 4,347 5,200 6,332
TOTAL $147,350.59 $175,669.59 $228,231.58 $274,688.22 $335,075.27

And Eschaton is at $21751.55 from 558 people (up from $16,451.51 from 420 people yesterday).

Posted at 12:33 PM in Netroots, Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Culture of Corruption and Jean Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

"There is a clear difference between my opponent and myself on moral issues." -Republican Jean Schmidt

Toledo Blade:

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. Ms. Schmidt is currently running for Congress against Paul Hackett, a Democrat who served in the Iraq War.

The race has attracted national attention.

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

"The documents indicate that she is lobbying the governor on behalf of Roger Ach," said her opponent, Mr. Hackett. "After doing their bidding, she takes a $1,000 donation. That is the culture of corruption - documented."

Indeed, there is a very clear difference. Paul Hackett needs your help, please volunteer and contribute. The Republican Culture of Corruption must end.

Posted at 11:27 AM in Ohio, Scandals | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Turn On Your Answering Machine

Posted by Bob Brigham

Atrios has joined Laddy in an important request.

Posted at 11:24 AM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Endorsement Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

To date, Paul Hackett has been winning the endorsement battle:

* Cincinnati Post

* Dayton Daily News

The military endorsement game has also been a blowout for Hackett -- until today. Hackett has secured endorsements from General Wesley Clark, Max Cleland, John Glenn, and Vet PAC.

But today Jean Schmidt received a major endorsement, from General J.C. Christian, Patriot:

I usually don't endorse political candidates, but Jean Schmidt's conservative credentials are just too good to pass up. It's not often that we're blessed with a congressional candidate who so fervently believes:

- in fighting a war in which only the working class is expected to make sacrifices;

- that serving in the military constitutes an abandonment of your community;

- that elected officials are duty-bound by the principles of free-market capitalism to accept gifts from lobbyists in return for legislative favors; and

- that unwatched balls are very dangerous.

My endorsement comes at a key point in this race. Iraq war vet Paul Hackett's campaign is gaining momentum. French bloggers, excited by Hackett's opposition to the Glorious Global Struggle to Resubjugate Brown People and his support for traditional Democratic economic values, have poured hundreds of thousands of Francs into his campaign. For the first time in decades, polling shows a Democrat within a few points of taking a lead away from an OH-2 Republican.

Posted at 10:50 AM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Blogosphere Surge Forces GOP Splurge

Posted by Bob Brigham

Be part of history, contribute today!

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In a sign that the 2nd Congressional District race might be tight, the National Republican Congressional Committee has dumped more than $500,000 into a TV ad campaign attacking Democrat Paul Hackett.

The ad buy was estimated at $265,000 in the Cincinnati media market, along with another $250,000 on Huntington, W.Va., stations that cover the eastern end of the seven-county district.

Jean Schmidt's campaign is being dragged down by the Culture of Corruption in the Republican Party. Schmidt was Governor Taft's rubber stamp and is campaigning to be Tom DeLay's rubber stamp.

Democrats, though, believe the TV ad blitz is the result of Hackett's success in raising his own campaign funds through online contributions.

Hackett has benefited from a surge of online support in the last week that has brought in, as of Thursday, an estimated $303,000 from more than 5,000 small campaign contributors through a Democratic group called ActBlue.com.

The online buzz for Hackett started last week when Democracy for America, the group founded by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean endorsed Hackett's campaign in an e-mail to supporters, calling on them to contribute.

Several other liberal-leaning political Web logs, called blogs, urged their readers to contribute to Hackett on July 19, in honor or Blogosphere Day. On that date in 2004, online campaign contributions for Ginny Schrader, a Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, raised $25,000.

Hackett's online contributions, which increase each minute, surpassed the money raised for Schrader in the first day and continue to grow.

"This has never been done for a congressional candidate before at this level," said Tim Tagaris, a blogger who writes for Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown's GrowOhio.org blog and, separately, SwingStateProject.com, one of the Web sites that urged online readers to support Hackett.

Hackett's on-line contributions have enabled him to spend far more money than any Democratic candidate in the historically Republican district.

Here is the worst. spin. ever.

But Braun said the help is significant. In the Huntington media market, Braun said, the $250,000 TV ad buy "is incredible. It's like one out of every three commercials that air."

Braun said the committee campaign is not an indication that Schmidt is in trouble, but "the first shot in the 2008 (presidential) battle."

No Joe, the Washington Republicans aren't buying one out of every three ads to fire people up for 2008. They're doing this because Schmidt's campaign blew a huge lead in an easy district. This buy was motivated by nothing other than The Fear.

Posted at 07:48 AM in Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: John Glenn Endorses Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Hackett might not have the endorsement of a president popular in the 2nd District, but he does have the most popular Democrat in Ohio political history helping his candidacy.

Former senator and astronaut John Glenn will appear with Hackett Saturday morning at a Cincinnati campaign event, as will former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who campaigned for Hackett in Blue Ash and Georgetown last week.

Glenn, who served four six-year terms in Senate, was a Democrat who routinely won the votes of Ohio's conservative Republican voters. Saturday, after an event with Glenn and Cleland, Hackett will depart on his Harley for a day-long motorcycle tour of the district.

Huge news!

Posted at 07:45 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Campaign Manager Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

A couple quick points on the whole ordeal of Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun going around threatening legal action:

Top prize goes to Joe Braun today. He threatened to sue bloggers (for something about this). Good work Joe, you're a full blown scandal celebrity in the blogosphere.

What Joe Braun is missing is that he has bigger problems on his hands. Instead of worrying about what the bloggers say, he should worry about what the Washington Republicans say. Because they're talking some serious shit about how Jean Schmidt went from walk-in-the-park to FUBAR under Joe Braun's leadership.

Little secret Joe, the Big Guys in D.C. aren't writing checks with that many zeros because they think you're doing a good job.

Anyway, I have a plane to catch -- I'll be in OH-02 before most of you wake up.

Posted at 01:52 AM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, July 28, 2005

OH-02: Paul Hackett National Press

Posted by Bob Brigham

Let's face it, it is a great story. An Iraq War Veteran, running for Congress against all odds. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq. But his straight talk and fresh approach have made the race a nail-biter going into the final days. From Reuters:

WEST UNION, Ohio (Reuters) - Five months after leaving the battle zones of Iraq, Democrat Paul Hackett is waging an uphill fight to make political history in a special election for the U.S. Congress next week.

Hackett, a major in the Marine reserves who served in hot spots like Ramadi and Fallujah, hopes to become the first Iraq war veteran in Congress and the first Democrat to win the heavily Republican 2nd House of Representatives District in southwestern Ohio in more than 30 years.

He is up against tough odds, however, in Tuesday's election to replace Republican Rob Portman, who resigned to become U.S. trade representative. Hackett faces a well-known former state legislator, Jean Schmidt, in a conservative district where Portman regularly rolled up more than 70 percent of the vote.

But his military experience and tough attacks on President Bush's conduct of the war have energized a short seven-week campaign that otherwise would have been a sleepwalk.

Hackett has criticized Bush's decision to invade Iraq and backs intensified training for Iraqi security forces by pairing them with U.S. troops. He condemns Bush's failure to ask Americans at home to share the burdens of war, complaining about politicians who "use the war to wrap themselves in the American flag."

"You can't fight three wars, support the troops and have a tax cut. It's irrational," he said in an interview, calling the administration's approach "patriotism light." Prolonged engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans have strained the economy and military, he said, and "the only people sacrificing are the ones over there."

Damn straight. Hackett doesn't sugar coat it, he doesn't use some lame "stand by Bush" argument, he tells it like it is...and lays out a plan of action. People are supporting this straight talk, you should too. Contribute RIGHT NOW!

Posted at 06:36 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: One Swift Boater Backs Down

Posted by Bob Brigham

After days of smearing, at least one of Jean Schmidt's Swift Boaters is backing down.

Posted at 03:36 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Solidarity Rally

Posted by Bob Brigham

From OH-02:

Steelworkers Local 14340 will be hosting a Solidarity Rally this Saturday, July 30th, at Hartwell Recreation Center from 11AM-5PM. Please bring your family members and friends.


2nd Congressional District Candidate - Paul Hackett
Former Senator - John Glenn
State Representative - Ted Strickland
Max Cleland

Hot Dogs, Brats, Mets, Hamburgers, and Soft Drinks will be provided. Volleyball, playground, horse shoes, corn hole, ball field, kiddy games, etc.

This is an event you don’t want to miss!!!

And the beat goes on!

Posted at 03:35 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Campaign in Turmoil

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: Joe Braun says he's still campaign manager.

Big news in the Special Election. The Jean Schmidt campaign has been 100% taken over by Washington Republicans hell-bent orchestrating the worst smear campaign that Ohio has ever seen (quite a bold statement).

OH-02 has two sources on this.

It appears that Campaign Manager Joe Braun -- who had vowed NOT to go negative -- was forced out after Schmidt insisted on letting the D.C. hacks do their nastiest.

There is also word that the RNC is dumping $750,000 in smear ads into the district.

If any of this is true, it shows that the Schmidt campaign is desperately trying to hold onto a slim lead. The polls are moving for Hackett, the netroots are providing the resources to compete, and all the Schmidt campaign has left are dirty tricks.

Posted at 01:51 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Republicans Boycott Tuesday Vote

Posted by Bob Brigham

Cincinnati Blog:

In a press release today we get this treat:

The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes announced today that it is launching a radio campaign urging Republicans, conservatives and advocates of limited government to stay at home on Tuesday and cautioning voters not to vote for Republican Jean Schmidt. COAST charged that Schmidt has been posing in the campaign as an advocate of limited government and lower taxes, when the truth is the exact opposite. The script for the radio spot is attached.

"During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Jean Schmidt voted in favor of every single one of Bob Taft's tax increases, and for good measure, proposed more of her own," said COAST Chairman Jim Urling. "In her recent literature she says that she supports 'limited government and lower taxes.' Indeed, her voting record decidedly shows her beliefs are in bigger government and in higher taxes. She simply is a big-government advocate. Any statement by her to the contrary is a lie."

"COAST encourages its members and all those believing in limited government and lower taxes to stay home on Tuesday, election day," implored Urling. "Another primary and general election will be held in 2006 and we will elect a good representative at that time. Please do not cast a vote for Jean Schmidt -- it will be wasted."

That has to smart a bit. They are buying radio ads with the same message.

Wow, they full on called her a liar. And they're going on the air with it?

Hat-tip to OH-02.

Posted at 01:20 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: John Glenn Calls for Hackett Volunteers to Report for Duty

Posted by Bob Brigham

From OH-02 Blog:

Decades ago, you gave me the chance, as a veteran and an astronaut, to become a citizen soldier again serving our state. I look at Paul and I see someone who wants to serve our state with every fiber of his character. I hope you’ll help give him the chance you gave me- but it won’t be easy.

In this tightly-contested special election, the Hackett campaign is relying on an all-volunteer get-out-the-vote operation to pull this extraordinary American through to victory.

We’re still short of the number of volunteers we need to fully deploy the Hackett campaign’s field organization. You can fill the gap by volunteering now.

Volunteer for Paul Hackett in the next 5 days

Please volunteer a few moments of your time to help the Hackett for Congress campaign step up its vital voter turnout efforts in these critical closing days. We don’t have a moment to lose.

I'll be there in the morning. Anyone with me?

Posted at 01:15 PM in Activism, Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: Netroots Surge for Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham
$$$72 Hours Ago48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $16,451.51 from 420 people (up from $12,294.44 from 308 people yesterday).

If you haven't yet contributed, please do so.

Posted at 12:33 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-2: The Pivot

Posted by Tim Tagaris


I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I am going home today to Chicago for the weekend (a wedding I must attend on Sunday). I will be back on Monday to take everyone down the stretch.

The good news is, Bob Brigham will be flying into SW Ohio tonight to pick up where I leave off. Swing State Project will not miss a beat on this at all. And as you all know, Bob is the best around when it comes to getting a story out there--so I am sure an even wider audience will be reading about Paul Hackett by the time I return.

Also: Contributing is great, there is a mechanism in place so the money won't get here too late to make a difference.

But what they need now is volunteers on Saturday/Tuesday (Election Day). So, if you can make it down, housing is available.


Posted at 11:11 AM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Congress Needs an Iraq Veteran

Posted by Bob Brigham

Stars and Stripes, which wrote a piece on Paul Hackett's bid to be the first Iraq War veteran to serve in congress, has a very interesting factoid:

According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 141 current members of Congress are veterans and 35 served in active war zones, most during the Vietnam War.

Yes, only 35 members have been in an active war zone and none have on-the-ground experience in Iraq.

[Hackett] said he was drawn to the race because he felt Congress has too many “career politicians,” and that his experience as a businessman and Marine has given him a better perspective on how to serve the district.

Yes, congress has exceeded its career politician quota.

“The big draw was the chance to serve my country. That’s what drew me to the Marines in the first place,” he said. “I thought the country might need my help.”

He arrived in Iraq in August, and took over convoy commander duties and helped organize the payroll of Ramadi-area government workers. In November, he volunteered to help secure the eastern entry into Fallujah while coalition forces swept through the city.

“I certainly did not do the heaviest of the lifting,” he said. “But on the convoy, we were ambushed on more than one occasion.”

Congress doesn't need another partisan hack like Jean Schmidt. Congress needs at least one voice who has experience in Iraq. Bush screwed up and is staying the course, this places more responsibility upon congress. That's why we need Paul Hackett.

In other military news, Hackett landed the VET PAC endorsement:

“We support Paul for his intelligence, courage and commitment to public service.” Said Fred Allingham, VETPAC field director. “Despite his disagreement with the Iraq war, he volunteered for activation from the Marine Corps reserve and served a dangerous tour in Iraq. Major Hackett felt that his duty as a professional demanded that he share the burden and the risks of service with his Marine Corps brethren.”

Allingham also cited Hackett’s reputation for independence and his commitment to his family and community. “We need more veterans in Congress who understand the sacrifices being made by our troops in Iraq and will fully fund veterans health care and other benefits that they and all veterans have earned by their service. Paul will honor the American values for which he fought and serve the interests of his community. He will not simply be another clone in Tom DeLay's army.”

Posted at 09:23 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-2: Look What I Found

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Literally found this in the trash, Jean Schmidt's phone-bank script:

"Hello, this is _________ and I am a local volunteer calling on behalf of Jean Schmidt for Congress. May I speak to _____________?

"There is a special election for Congress on Tuesday August 2nd and Republican Jean Schmidt needs your vote. Jean Schmidt is a conservaitve Republican who will work for a strong economy, lower taxes and safer neighborhoods. [...]

TERMINATION SCRIPT: "Thanks for your time. This call was paid for by Jean Schmidt for Congress."

Point being, her volunteer base is so weak, her campaign must resort to paying people to phone bank, hence the "paid for by," otherwise that's not necessary. It's also why I am hearing that she has contacted her primary opponents asking for their volunteer list.

UPDATE: I got an email saying this doesn't mean Schmidt is paying people to phone bank, but paying for the phone lines. It doesn't make sense to me that a phone bank would have to give a disclaimer because they are paying for the lines, but I wanted to toss it out there.

Posted at 02:31 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

OH-2: Cincinnati CBS Covers "Swift Boating"

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Here's the first television news piece on it--what do you think?


Posted at 11:00 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

OH-2: Five Points & $285,000

Posted by Tim Tagaris

2004: 72% to 28%
2002: 74% to 26%
2000: 74% to 23%
1998: 76% to 24%

In fact, only one Democrat has received more than 30% of the vote in over 20 years. With less than one week to go, this race is within 5 points. And not only is it within five points, but Jean Schmidt is tanking. And no, I am not sitting in my hotel room with a .pdf file in-front of me. Here is what I am hearing, so take it fwiw...

The NRCC conducted a poll earlier this week (there is another poll in the field, but no idea by who), that showed the poor numbers. The numbers were leaked by a Republican who is part of a group that doesn't see eye to eye with Schmidt on certain issues.

In response, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has just dumped $285,000 into an astounding 1800+ point ad buy that will start running Friday through Tuesday. This is public record.

Now Jean Schmidt is scurrying to round up to volunteers from her primary opposition in a last ditch effort to counter Paul Hackett's overwhelming advantage on-the-ground. To the shock of the GOP, Hackett is also going toe-to-toe on television as well in terms of dollars. The free press because of Paul's service has been huge as well. I overheard the campaign manager (I believe) of Schmidt's campaign say to a Hackett staffer, "I have no idea how the hell you guys are raising this much money." They are worried.

I don't know what to say, other than this is a grassroots takeover. Whatever Paul Hackett accomplishes in this race will be because of us. The work done on the blogs, the volunteer and fundraising support of DFA, and Howard Dean's pledge to fight it out in all 50 states; if MoveOn were to jump in, the future of the Democratic Party will be completely represented in overcoming the most insurmountable of odds. When the ballots were cast on November 2nd, this is the moment we all looked towards. When Howard Dean was elected DNC Chair, this was the moment we all looked towards. In the first federal election since the fiasco in 2004, the grassroots of the party banding together, taking on the most dauting of tasks, and winning. Who would have thought we had such an opportunity, so soon.

While Jean Schmidt and her allies run a slash-and-burn campaign, attempting to "Swift Boat" Paul Hackett, the message is simple, if we can win here, we can win anywhere.

Down the stretch we go.

Paul Hackett's ActBlue Page

Voluteer: volunteer@hackettforcongress.com -- they have housing available

Call Cincinnati Talk Radio All Week (LINK - Scroll Down)

UPDATE: Some guy has been walking down the street outside Hackett HQ a few hours ago, taking down everyones license plates and making phones calls while walking in and out of Republican HQ across the street.

Posted at 08:48 PM in Ohio | Comments (8) | Technorati

FLASHBACK: Friday, March 18th, 2005

Posted by Bob Brigham

In honor of Swing State Project hitting one million page views, I thought I'd remind everyone of DavidNYC's: OH-02: Let's Take This Open Seat on a Trial Run on DailyKos - Friday, March 18, 2005:

But I don't think this is only bad news, and I don't think we should write this seat off. Rather, I think an off-year special election (which will likely take place either in August or November) for a seat we have little chance of capturing is the perfect time to get creative and try out new ideas.

As Atrios is fond of observing, being in the opposition can be fun. Similarly, it can also be freeing. I'd love to see local, grassroots/netroots-type Dems get behind a candidate willing to be bold - to do things like Jeff Seemann's highly successful "Campaign Manager for a Day" and whatever daring ideas lie beyond. We can use this race to experiment - to see what works and what doesn't - in plenty of time for the midterm elections next year.

I know there is at least one relatively local DFA group based in Cincinnati, and another not too far away in Dayton. Since this race will probably not attact too many eager "big name" Dems, DFA-types (or folks belonging to any other similarly reform-minded group) might well be able to recruit and nominate one of their own. So how about it, guys?

Update [2005-3-19 0:38:3 by DavidNYC]: Again in the comments, several people have argued that our eventual candidate here should push the ethics issue hard. I agree - this is the perfect venue in which to try out the "DeLay/corruption/ethics" line of attack (which I first saw elucidated by Chris Bowers) and see if it resonates. We should also hammer on Social Security while the iron is still hot.

In the comments, Zoweee said:

But my personal reservations notwithstanding: you people have HUGE nutsack. Just enormous. The thought of trying to lone-wolf an off-season congressional seat that God knows the national party will ignore because it is so Republican... man, I am impressed. This is the kind of grass-roots awesome the democrats need. I'm not an Ohioan myself, but my checkbook is open when the time comes. Go put some piss in the race, boys.

And here is the first SSP post:

In 2004, the Democrats surrendered Portman's second congressional district (even though it was in OHIO). Charles Sanders spent $15K and -- act surprised -- Portman coasted to re-election. This left Portman free to raise money for his cohorts, which he did.

I'm sure Tim will have more.

And he did.

Posted at 08:02 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Gets No Respect

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tough day for Jean Schmidt. The morning newspaper had her denying that she is a rubber stamp followed by the "batshit crazy" video. And now this, under the headline, Handsome Former Marine Runs Against Skinny Banker's Daughter for Ohio Seat:

Still, Hackett faces stiff competition in the heavily Republican area, especially when one considers his opponent: Ms. Jean Schmidt, the daughter of a famous local banker who owned Indianapolis race car teams as a hobby. Financing much of her campaign with her own money, Schmidt just seems to ooze annoying-me-ality. She is "small, wiry and intense, she exudes seriousness and is given to long pauses before answering questions." Though skin-deep and integrity-wise, Hackett beats Schmidt in every possible and conceivable way, the marathon-running pro-lifer is not giving up. She's stated that although voters respect Hackett's military service, it will not be the issue that decides the race. Furthermore, Schmidt still has a few tricks crammed up her sleeves. The New York Times reports that at the Warren County fair, Ms. Schmidt "bought a 230-pound pig from a 9-year-old girl." That is a huge pig, folks. I hope you can appreciate how big that is, and what this means for her campaign.

Posted at 06:52 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: 5 Days and 50,000 Doors

Posted by Bob Brigham

DFA to the rescue!

Next Tuesday, roughly 40,000 Ohioans will choose the next United States Representative for Ohio's 2nd District. Though this is a predominately Republican region—we have a real chance to elect the first Iraq War veteran to Congress and send Paul Hackett to Washington.

Can you help? We need to contact every single Democratic and Independent voter in this district between now and Tuesday. Face to face contact is the best way to persuade voters and make sure that they turn out on Election Day.

This is a tremendous opportunity and a critical first step toward taking back Congress in 2006. The special election will be Tuesday, August 2. This is an election we can win, but Paul needs your help to do it:

When: Saturday, 10:00 am
            Sunday, 2:00 pm

Where: 1523 Madison Rd

            Cincinnati, OH 45208

            (Behind the old Kerry HQ)

RSVP: hackett@democracyforamerica.com

Let's seize this opportunity to score a victory. If we win, it will send shockwaves across the political landscape. A win will show that Ohio voters are tired of the corruption and failed policies of the Republican Party—and will build the momentum we need to take back Congress in 2006.

And the ball bounces along.

Posted at 05:25 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-2: Dayton Daily News Endorses Hackett

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From the paper that endorsed Mike Turner (R) in Ohio's 2004 race for Congress in the 3rd District, comes this gem in the 2nd today:

Candidates often tell voters that they should send a new kind of face to Washington, not just another politician. Trouble is, such candidates seldom offer much evidence that they could contribute more than somebody who has governmental experience.

After all, Jean Schmidt would be a respectable member of Congress. She's an energetic person with some background.

However, for a voter looking for something beyond a conventional political background, Paul Hackett is a welcome alternative. In an era when partisan fervor is a national scourge, a candidate who is likely to show some independence looks especially good. And he has generally sound positions on the issues.

He is the better choice for the 2nd District.

And the ball bounces along.

Posted at 04:14 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Cracks in Debate

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jean Schmidt After watching this video, I can think of few words that describe Jean Schmidt better than batshit crazy.

She lost her last her last election by 22 votes and it appears that the Fear has taken ahold of her. She's cracking, maybe she's already cracked. Who knows what type of crazed hallucinations have overcome her, but the Fear has taken it's toll.

It ended up in the local press and now the video is online.

Some people are good under fire, some crack up.

Posted at 02:54 PM in Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-2: Swift Boating of Hackett Into High Gear

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Eric Minameyer, an advisor to Jean Schmidt, was just the beginning of the "swift boating" of Paul Hackett in what appears to be a coordinated effort by her campaign. Upon arriving at Hackett HQ this morning to take some photos and videos, I was shocked to hear that the deplorable tactics have been taken to a new level in the past 24 hours.

1.) A local conservaitve radio host started by questioning Paul Hackett's service to country. Scott Sloan of WLW 700 AM in Cincinnati went off on some insane rant about the real level Paul's patriotism regarding the war in Iraq and claimed Hackett was using his service for "political purposes."

Over the past two days, Republicans have been calling into talk radio across the district saying things like, "Paul wasn't really a Marine Corps Major in Iraq." It's a coordinated effort, as I am hearing from people that similar lines are being repeated and repeated by radio callers in and out of the district.

2.) The "swift boating" is picking up steam, and we have to fight back. I sat no less than five feet away from a reporter from a cable news outlet that asked, "Some say that this was all a plan on your part. To go to Iraq and come back with this great story while running for congress."

Less than 30 minutes ago, a reporter from CBS asked about Eric Minameyer's question, and yes, questioned Paul's service to his country.

3.) A few days ago, an Amry Private First Class was burried in Fairfield, Ohio. Within 24 hours, a number of flags were burned and tossed into a pile infront of his mother and father-in law's home. As you can imagine, this incident has led to a lot of press and sadness for the family.

The same host above, Scott Sloan, attempted to tie Paul Hackett to the flag burning incident. He said that it was people like Paul Hackett that allow things like this to happen.

3.) Last night, a number of people in the district began receiving robo-calls talking shit (for lack of a better word) about Paul Hackett. Of course, they hit on the standard themes, choice, equal rights, and yes, Iraq.

4.) Earlier today, the police had to be called at campaign HQ as a strange individual pulled up to the office, kept the car in park, and started plugging away at a lap-top. When people walked out of HQ to investigate, the car pulled off quickly. The police have been notified.

One local said, "this really reminds me of what was happening last October. It got real ugly down here before the election.

Sound familiar...

Action Items in the extended entry:

1.) Contribute to Paul Hackett

2.) Write or Call

--We'll steal from the Ohio GOP Website on this one.

1.) Link for letters

2.) Link for Call-In

3.) Zip Code: 445202

Specific Shows:

55KRC - Cincy
Morning Show with Jerry Thomas and Craig Kopp
5am-9am 513 749 5800

700 AM (We need these flooded Now till Election Day--All Hackett, all the time)


Jim Scott - Weekdays, 5 - 9AM
Mike Mconnell - Weekdays, 9AM - Noon
Bill Cunningham - Weekdays 12:20 - 3PM
Gary Burbank - Weekdays 3:00 - 6PM
Scott Sloan - Weeknights 9PM-Midnight

Talking Points

1.) How dare Jean Schmidt's campaign and her surrogates question Paul Hackett's service to this country.

2.) Jean Schmidt is using deplorable tactics to change the subject from her close association with Gov. Bob Taft's "culture of corruption." She is, after all, the subject of an ethics investigation for accepting unreported gifts by a pharmaceutical lobbyist. Gifts she failed to report.

3.) As you all know, this area has been deeply affected by the war in Iraq, how can Jean Schmidt and her friends claim to support the troops while attacking them at the same time?

I don't have any polling numbers, but I gotta imagine they do and the race is a lot closer than they had hoped over at Schmidt HQ. Last night at the debate, it was "terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, gay marriage, gay marriage, pro-life, pro-life, pro-life," which I now regard as, "The Alamo," or last line of defense for faltering Republicans.

A large hat-tip to OH-2 Blog as well.

Posted at 02:02 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

OH-02: Netroots Investment Yielding Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project Paul Hackett Tim Tagaris and Swing State Project made CNN's Inside the Blogs yesterday. Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

The segment focused on the overwhelming momentum Paul Hackett is receiving from the netroots. Here at Swing State Project we've followed his success -- and it has been startling. Netroot Democrats want to see Hackett have the recources to compete in the face of the Swift Boat smears coming from the Schmidt campaign. Here is a netroots investment update:

$$$48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $12,294.44 from 308 people. That is a quick $55K in the last 24 hours...the beat goes on!

Go contribute!

Posted at 12:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Denies Being Rubber Stamp

Posted by Bob Brigham

Big Paul Hackett win in the debate . My favorite Jean Schmidt line, "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us." That's right, in Jean Schmidt's world we keep our eye on the ball because we are scared of the ball. In Paul Hackett's world we keep our eye on the ball so we can smack it out of the park.

Schmidt's running scared, she's bungled an easy win, and her strategy of buying the race through overwhelming resources was stopped by the massive netroots support for Paul Hackett. Hackett has the momentum and every Democratic activist in Ohio is heading to the 2nd congressional district to put him over the top in this super-low turnout, August special election.

Tagaris is going to have some video, but here's the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In their last head-to-head debate before Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District election, Democrat Paul Hackett accused his opponent, former Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt, of being a "rubber stamp" for the "failed policies" of the Taft administration, and said she can be expected to do the same for President Bush in Washington.

Schmidt insisted she will be an independent voice.

"I am not a rubber stamp," said Schmidt, who served in the Ohio House from 2001 to 2005.

Next Tuesday Paul Hackett finds out whether he is going to Congress or back to Iraq -- he's quite literally campaigning like his life depends upon it, and his message is getting through:

Nonetheless, Hackett mentioned Taft's name in the same sentence with Schmidt no fewer than 12 times, and used the term "rubber stamp" seven times.

His populist message is breaking through:

"The question is if you are better off today than you were five years ago," Hackett told the audience of a little over 100 at the school, just west of the Adams County seat of West Union. "Under the administration of Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt, Ohio lost 160,000 manufacturing jobs."

And Hackett's Iraq experience provides great contrast:

"I support the president in his mission to make sure the enemies of freedom stay on their shores and not on ours,"' Schmidt said. "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Schmidt said the Bush polices on Iraq are succeeding, saying, "The seeds of democracy have been planted. Democracy is on the march."

Hackett, who served seven months with a Marine civil affairs unit, said the reality on the ground is not what the Bush administration paints it to be.

"It's not pretty over there, it's not Hollywood, and we are not spreading democracy," Hackett said.

Candidate George W. Bush said in the 2000 presidential campaign that he would not engage America in nation-building, Hackett said.

"Guess what, folks?" he said. "We're nation-building."

Remember: "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Posted at 09:42 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

OH-02: General Wesley Clark for Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Here is the email from General Clark on Paul Hackett:

I am writing to ask you to support a tremendous public servant and fellow veteran Paul Hackett in Tuesday's special election for the 2nd Congressional District of Ohio.

Paul Hackett is exactly the kind of strong leader we need in these challenging times. He is a former Marine and a veteran of the Fallujah campaign in Iraq. He understands what it will take to fight -- and win -- the war on terror and keep America safe.

He also understands that our nation's greatest strength is found in the talent and diversity of our people. That is why Paul believes it is so important to invest in health care and in our schools, and to use our tax dollars responsibly by ending corporate welfare and supporting small businesses.

Above all, Paul offers the kind of fresh, pragmatic leadership that we desperately need in Washington. For all of their bravado, the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress seem fresh out of ideas about how to win the war in Iraq and bring our troops home. As a Civil Affairs officer in Iraq, Paul helped to rebuild Iraq and reach out to the Iraqi people. His experience and judgment are exactly what we need to finish the job we started in Iraq.

Paul Hackett is running in a special election that will take place on August 2nd. Because turnout for special elections is often low, it is absolutely critical to do everything we can to help Paul's supporters get to the polls next Tuesday.

In a close election like this one, every person can make a difference. With just one week until election day, here are two things you can do to help Paul win on Tuesday:

1. If you can get to Cincinnati, please volunteer to help Paul’s campaign by making phone calls or knocking on doors. Help his team get out the vote on August 2nd.

2. Donate to his campaign. Make sure Paul and his campaign have the resources he needs to reach out to each and every single voter.

Today, the Cincinnati Post endorsed Paul, calling him "a gust of fresh air." Clearly, momentum is on our side. We can win this race, but to do it we need your help. Paul Hackett has the experience and good judgment we need in Congress. Please do what you can to help Paul win Ohio's 2nd Congressional District next Tuesday.

Thank you.


Wes Clark

Posted at 09:00 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-2: Liveblogging INSIDE the Hackett Debate

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The marvels of modern technology. I am literally sitting in the debate room, ready to live-blog the Hackett v. Schmidt debate. Please let everyone know and check back for live updates often. I will probably be able to upload photos as we go, and will have video later tonight or tomorrow.


Opening Statements: Paul Hackett begins. "I want to serve as your next Congressman in Washington. I grew up the son of a traveling salesmen... I've been blessed, and to whom much is given, much is expected... I didn't get a call from the government, I called them. It was the best way I knew how to support the troops.

Jean Schmidt: "I am the REPUBLICAN nominee for congress... I've done a lot of walking, and more importantly a lot of listening." Urgh! She just played the London & Egypt terrorism card. "THE ENEMIES OF FREEDOM ARE STILL ON THE MARCH!!!" (Grab your duct tape.

Flat Tax! She wants a "real discussion on a flat tax." Wow. More soon....

Paul: While Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt should have been worried about... they were worried about investing money in rare coins."

I gotta be honest, I am losing connectivity by the second, so this is getting very frustrating (I will keep trying).

UPDATE 2: Education

Paul: “We need strong leaders willing to stand up to one party rule in Columbus and Washington, D.C. that got us into this place.

Schmidt: NCLB is the first step to creating an educated workplace. We have 50 states with 50 different attitudes towards education.


Schmidt: We must reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The person who uses the most foreign oil generally gets to sit down with the cartel and decide what the prices are going to be. We are about to lose that seat.

She goes on to ethanol.

Paul: "We need to spend on our money on scientific research and education, and do it wisely. He talked about China as well. "In the first 2 years when this energy bill takes effect, it will allow for $40 billion dollars worth of sugar-based ethanol will decimate the farming communities in Southern Ohio.


Health Care:

Jean - Expand the health care savings account, and look at tort reform to reduce the cost overall and look at that as a solution to reduce it.

Social Security:

The moderator asked directly if they supported privatization.

Paul: No.

1.) The government shouldn't spend Soc. Sec. money on anything else.

2.) Raise the income level. Increase the income level to $150,000. "If freedom isn't free, the wealthiest have to pay their share too."


I've repeatedly stated what I am for or against with Social Security.

I won't cut benefits, I'm opposed to raising the cap and the retirement age, and I am opposed to privatization.

"Raising the cap won't solve the problem. You only push the problem another few years out."

In other words, she literally has no solution, at all. I'd be curious to see how her stance on privatization has changed if anyone can dig that up.


She just said it, she is "for personal savings account." And she did it all drawn out like, like it was something different than privatization.


UPDATE: (Bob) We now have some debate press coverage and analysis.

Posted at 05:44 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Thanks Bloggers (Video)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I have the video over at Grow Ohio.

I had the occassion to talk with him for a few minutes today, and I really don't think I can capture the humility he felt by the outpouring of support that has transpired online in the past 3 weeks. As an added bonus, he used the words, "blogosphere day" in a sentence.

Posted at 03:27 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: LiveBlogging--Literally

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I am sitting maybe five feet away from the candidate as he prepares for and interview with MSNBC. Right now a camera man is setting up lights as the interviewer is asking the candidate questions about going to service in Iraq, not surprisingly. This is the pre-interview, I will update as the interview goes along and have video later (image from 5 minutes ago).

The Interview: Paul just said he made the decision to run with his wife while they were still at the airport upon his return from Iraq. He was "blown away that the government came to a halt during Terri Schiavo." ... "This is ridiculous, and there needs to be more citizen legislators willing to serve in politics."

"The fact I am not a professional politician is frankly a good thing. If I am not elected, next year I will probably go back to serve with my Marines in Iraq."

"I remind everybody that the last time we had a balanced budget was with a Democratic president... Barry Goldwater is spinning in his grave given the fiscal irresponsibility in Columbus and D.C."

"Government trying to make decisions for us is frankly what is unamerican."

Posted at 12:53 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Earns Cincinnati Post Endorsement

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The beat goes on. From the Cincinnati Post ENDORSEMENT of Paul Hackett:

If elected, he notes, he would be the only member of Congress with direct military experience in Iraq - which, he says, is a fight we should end as soon as possible. He wants to finish the job and get out, and he wants the United States to stop holding hands with Pakistan and to get serious about tracking down those responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

We like Hackett's candor. We're impressed with the freshness of his ideas. We believe his experience shows him to be someone who is action-oriented.

We endorse Hackett for the 2nd District seat.

Big Mo'

UPDATE (Bob) 12:33 PM Exactly 24 hours ago I reported Paul Hackett's ActBlue page stood at $147,350.59 from 2960 people. Since then, Markos chipped in $100 and he was not alone.

The current total: $175,669.59 from 3,525 members of the netroots. And Eschaton's ActBlue is at $9,244.39 from 230 members of the netroots. And Hackett's on Majority Report's ActBlue page. And the beat goes on...

UPDATE: (Bob) Tim is live-blogging with Hackett RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE (Tim): I got video of Paul Hackett thanking the netroots for "blogosphere day."

Posted at 12:05 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Calls out Chickenhawks

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From Salon:

"Schmidt commends Hackett for his service, but believes Hackett should "stand with the president" by 'supporting the Iraqi war effort and our troops that are over there,' her campaign manager Joe Braun said. (Through Braun, Schmidt declined to speak with Salon.) When asked to answer that charge, Hackett is blunt: 'The only way I know how to support the troops is by going over there.' He doesn't hesitate to criticize Schmidt's support of the war: "All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."
This is what happens when the GOP faces opposition like it hasn't seen in over 30 years.

UPDATE: (Bob): Tim Tagaris is inside tonight's debate and live-blogging

Posted at 11:18 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-2: Jean Schmidt Advisor Smears Hackett Service

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The question is, does Jean Schmidt's advisor on Iraq, Eric Minameyer, speak for the campaign in his smear campaign against Paul Hackett's service?

OH-2 Blog breaks the story early today

Kos Diary Follows Up

Atrios Breaks Out the Purple Band-Aid

Swing State Project Checks In

Kos Adds to the Debate and Contributes Himself

Hackett's ActBlue page is flying again tonight.

Democrats are proving tonight that we will support our troops while Republicans continue to slash their benefits and bash their service.

Posted at 12:27 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Monday, July 25, 2005

OH-02: Hackett on Air America While Schmidt Takes the Low Road

Posted by Bob Brigham

Paul Hackett is on Air America tonight. When asked why he was running, he replied that he believed it to be a natural extension of his service in Iraq. He also mentioned that he thought politics was going down the wrong path.

In other news, Jean Schmidt's campaign is swifting-boating Hackett's record.

Atrios captures the moment.

Posted at 07:55 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Approaching Milestone

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As of this moment, Paul Hackett has 2986 individual contributors to his ActBlue page, 14 shy of 3000. He is also on the cusp of reaching the magical $150,000 mark raised through ActBlue. This makes Hackett's ActBlue page the second highest in terms of money raised through the site ever (behind the kos dozen page).


Posted at 04:35 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Corrupted By Big Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

hackett.jpg The Culture of Corruption in the Ohio Republican Party is disgusting. The Coingate Scandal shows how Republicans stole from the people to funnel money to dirty politicians.

Jean Schmidt, the Republican candidate in the August 2nd Special Election, is funding her campaign in a manner that shows her place in the corrupt Republican Party. She's funding her campaign with PACs and dirty money from Tom DeLay. Jean Schmidt was also busted for hiding gifts from fat-cat lobbyists. And now Jean Schmidt is trying to buy the race herself?

WASHINGTON - Republican Jean Schmidt kicked another $20,000 of her own money into the 2nd Congressional District race while raising more than $300,000 from other donors in recent weeks, according to a campaign-finance report filed Thursday. [...]

Schmidt's fund raising before the 11-way GOP primary June 14 consisted mostly of loans she made to herself.

Meanwhile, Paul Hackett is raising money a little at a time from a whole lot of people. Right now, his ActBlue page stands at $147350.59 from 2960 people.

Overwhelming support from ordinary people has allowed Hackett to cancel the advantage Schmidt's dirty money could have provided (Tim has more on how it happened).

Posted at 12:33 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: Schmidt Calls on PACs to Ward Off Bloggers

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's time to ramp up the pressure on Jean Schmidt. Her latest FEC report and recent articles in the Cincinnati Enquirer paint a picture of a campaign facing a challenge that caught them completely off-guard. From Jean Schmidt's Recent FEC Reports:

Cash on Hand at Close of Reporting Period: $156,567
Debts and Obligations Owed BY the Committee: $213,150

That's a lot of debt for a candidate that has only raised about $350,000 in total as of the last major reporting period. Of course, the blogosphere nearly split that total in half for Paul Hackett in one day, shattering any expectations and catching the political pundit class completely by surprise. Jean Schmidt was left with no response other than to call on her friends at Political Action Committees across the country.

Since blogosphere day, Schmidt has raised $25,000 from a grand total of 14 PACs. By contrast the Hackett campaign's ActBlue page shows a diverse set of donors carrying the load.

Paul Hackett: 2873 contributors for $147,025.59 = $51.17 average
Jean Schmidt: 14 PAC contributions since b-day for $25,000 = $1,785 average

It's the people vs. the powerful, again. You can visit Paul Hackett's ActBlue page, or email info at hackettforcongress.com to volunteer (they have housing for all) .

Posted at 10:59 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, July 24, 2005

OH-2: Live From My Hotel Room

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Since I arrived in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District to support Paul Hackett, I have been doing a lot of writing on the race. Unfortunately, much of it has been cross-posted here, there, and many other places to get as much traffic and as many volunteers and contributions as possible directed to the Hackett campaign. In the shuffle, Swing State Project readers have been deprived of the exclusive reporting you deserve when a co-author from the site is on-the-ground. So, for you, exclusively, here is my take after two days in SW Ohio.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and had no idea of what to expect. When I walked into Hackett for Congress Campgaign HQ, I was introduced to people, most in the office knew about Swing State Project and some of the work Bob, David, and I have done for the campaign, but I am not sure they many have made the connection to the huge role "Blogosphere Day" played in mobilizing contributions to the campaign. The campaign manager and the candidate do understand, for what its worth, and asked me to thank you (SSP readers & Bloggers at large) specifically for your hard work and contributions that day.

Clermont County Democratic Headquarters and Hackett for Congress Campaign HQ are right next to eachother. It's in the mid 90's right now, but neither of the offices have air conditioning that works consistently. That has not stopped both of them from being filled on a daily basis. For 72 hours straight, the offices have been staffed, even through the night, by people from inside the district and others who have come in to help from different organizations--primarily D.C. Across the street is Republican Party Headquarters, staring each other down on a daily basis.

One of my first in-depth discussions was with the Campaign Manager, David Woodruff. The first question he asked me was, "How did blogosphere day happen? Why did it happen?" We talked for about 15 minutes about the convergence of events that played off eachother to squeeze out every ounce of support the campaign received that day. The DFA email, the grassroots produced commercial, and the work of bloggers spreading the word all worked together synergistically to provide what can be termed (for lack of a better word), "A Perfect Storm" online.

On Friday night, a few of the people from Ohio and outside the state all went out to share a meal together at around 9 P.M. Back at headquarters, walk-lists were being spit out of a printer for the next days canvass. When we were done talking about this campaign, and other many of us had worked on, we headed back to campaign headquarters. I polished off a blog entry, and left with a member of the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) to check into the hotel room we are sharing for the week. Then, we enjoyed a few hours out at a local pub while sharing stories about Ohio politics, the upcoming canvass, and the impact blogs have had on the political process and how the Internet can be used effectively by the ODP (This will Earl happy, we had a long discussion about Orchid Suites).

I shook out the cobwebs at around 7 A.M. the next morning to get ready for the canvass. As you have no doubt read by now, it was a tremendous success. People at campaign headquarters were beaming all afternoon about the success of the first full-scale, district-wide, canvass that covered all seven counties in the district. I spent much of the day getting photos uploaded onto my computer and writing the piece that I put out yesterday. I also had an opportunity to have some lunch with Chris Baker of The OH-2 blog; that's the one that really started it all as far as online knowledge distribution goes for the special election. For the rest of the day/night, I had some serious problems uploading the video from the event, but late last night at around midnight, and I finally got it to work and posted them on the web this afternoon.

In about an hour, I am going to head out into some of the smaller counties to take photos for Grow Ohio. The photo I am most excited about is an abandonded manufacturing plant with a huge sign infront of it that says, "Wal-Mart coming soon." If that doesn't say it all...

In short, I didn't know if I would be able to honestly tell the readers of Swing State Project and others around the blogosphere that this candidate actually had a shot. To be sure, it will be an uphill battle where pretty much everything must go right. Will it? I don't know. But what I do know for sure is that everything that has had to happen, is happening. If we can keep this up for another week and continue to improve upon our efforts, we just might see one of the biggest upsets in Ohio Congressional history unfold on August 2nd.

Posted at 02:21 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

OH-02: Saturday with Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

hackett.jpg Major Paul Hackett wants be the first veteran from the current Iraq War to also serve in Congress. This change of duty came a step closer yesterday when the Hackett camp had a successful day of organizing, both Tagaris and Crazy Catwoman were there, she says, "I will definitely do it again next Saturday." When she does, she'll be joined by Toledo Councilman Frank Szollosi among many others.

But today, I want to talk about the odds. From Chris Baker's OH-02:

In the closing days of the campaign you are going to hear more and more from the cynics and Beltway loser mentality liberals about how Hackett can’t win this race because it is such a solid Republican district. None of them have watched Republicans talk to Paul Hackett. None of it means anything.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game poker is what they call pot odds.

The typical Beltway Democrat will look at a race and if there isn’t a high chance of winning say forget it and save their money.[...]

What are the pot odds for the Democrats in the Ohio 2nd? The return for the Republicans is minimal. They aren’t going to win much of anything if Jean Schmidt wins. But for the Democrats the pot odds are massive. This is Bush’s home turf. This is the reddest district in the state that handed Bush the presidency. If the Democrats win here they will have punched open a breach in the heart of the Republican defenses. Suddenly all of the momentum will have shifted. Suddenly everyone will be listening to what Paul Hackett has to say and using his tactics to win other races.

Any poker player could tell you that the pot odds in this race are so good that you would be a fool not to bet on it. So in the coming days as you read more and more about what a hopeless race this is, do as Paul Hackett does and quote to them Thomas Paine: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Tim Tagaris is on the ground, he'll be posting here and on Grow Ohio.

Posted at 12:06 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Saturday, July 23, 2005

OH-2: On-the-Ground Exclusive

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As Bob noted, I am in Ohio's Second Congressional District for the special election between Paul Hackett and Jean Schmidt. I will have much more later, but I want to say two things in the interim.

1.) I met two SSP readers today, and that was quite a pleasure and completely unexpected.

2.) This is a tale of two campaigns, as the photos below illustrate. For more information, please check-in at Grow Ohio, where I will be posting more frequently.

Democratic HQ @ 2 P.M.
Republican HQ @ 2 P.M.

Posted at 02:10 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Mobilizing his Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today is a big day in the OH-02 Special Election. This is the second to last Saturday before the election and the last focused on persuading and ID'ing voters.

Tim Tagaris is somewhere in Ohio's second congressional right now. He'll have move throughout the day, but for now go check out the HQ locations.

I'm going to be up on a mountain today, but Tim's on the ground. If you haven't, go make a donation.

Posted at 11:00 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

OH-02: Tim Tagaris In-District

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tim Tagaris has arrived in Ohio's second congressional district. Of course, he has the normal toolkit of laptop, cell phone, and AV.

He'll have on the ground updates of the OH-02 Special Election.

Posted at 04:04 PM in Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: Max Cleland: Send a Marine to Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) Via Chris Bowers, Paul Hackett is doing Al Franken today. Tune in.

Democrats are fired up for Paul Hackett. The midnight scoop by Tim Tagaris (Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt, rec'd on Daily Kos) has compounded the momentum.

The coingate scandal is reminding everyone about Jean Schmidt and her deeping scandals.

While Schmidt sinks, Democrats are coming together to send a marine to Congress. Mayor Paul Hackett received a major show of support from Max Cleland. Over at MyDD, Ann Driscoll covers a Hackett Veterans' Event with Max Cleland.

Also, the DNC sent a few million netroots Democrats an email from Cleland. Full copy in the extended entry.

Marine Major and Democrat Paul Hackett could be a first for our country -- the first veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be elected to Congress. He fought in the Fallujah campaign, took part in reconstruction efforts and worked side-by-side with Iraqi military and civil personnel.

Paul Hackett knows what's really happening in Iraq. And, he's ready to take his experience to Washington. He's running in the August 2nd special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District stretching from just outside Cincinnati eastward along the Ohio River.

Paul's campaign has a tough fight against some of the most entrenched special interests in Ohio. His opponent, Jean Schmidt, is a favorite of the corrupt and ever-present Republican establishment -- one that never misses an opportunity to smear and cheat.

Take a look at a day in the life of the two candidates. On the night of October 25, 2004, Jean Schmidt had dinner at an expensive restaurant and partied at a Bengals game in Cincinnati. Her trip, sponsored by a global bio-tech lobbyist, yielded yet another ethics scandal for Ohio Republicans.

That same evening, Paul and his men were keeping insurgents' supplies from entering war-torn Falluja. They ate the standard-issue MRE and fought to defend Iraqi civilians and their fellow troops.

At the end of the day, the choice for voters couldn't be clearer. In Jean Schmidt, they have the hand-picked choice of the backslapping insiders who sell the process to the highest-bidding right-wing group or corporate interest.

In Paul Hackett, voters have someone with first-hand experience in uniform and the drive to solve problems and put us on the right track. He proudly served his country in Iraq, and he's ready to serve in Washington.

So, take a moment and read the article about Paul Hackett below. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about what's happening in Ohio's 2nd District because it's a preview of what's to come next year -- real leaders stepping up to serve at a time of abuse of power and corruption in government.


Thank you,

Senator Max Cleland

If you haven't, go donate to Hackett. The current total stands at $137,024.02 from 2,728 online Democrats.

Posted at 11:47 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-2: Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Paul Hackett just filed his most recent FEC report (pre-special) and it looks like Blogosphere Day doubled up his Cash on Hand (CoH) -- and in what was previously unthinkable, propelled him into a fundraising lead over Jean Schmidt down the stretch.

As you will read, Schmidt is responding. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pour through Schmidt's FEC reports and find as many untoward contributions from questionable characters and forward it to me. I will make sure the press in SW Ohio gets it, perpetuating the meme of another ethically challenged Republican (my email address is to the right).

Paul Hackett -- Period: 05/26/2005 Through 07/13/2005
Total Raised: 166299.69
Raised this reporting period: 154624.69
Cash on Hand: 62025.83

Total Take on & since Blogosphere Day (post-reporting period): At least $120,000 from small donors

By contrast, Jean Schmidt's proven ability to raise money hand-over-fist from lobbyists and ethically challenged Congressmen hasn't been enough to completely outdistance herself financially.

Jean Schmidt -- Period: 05/26/2005 Through 07/13/2005
Total Raised: $354648.45
Raised this reporting period: $308951.00
Cash on Hand: $156567.00

It also looks like the Schmidt Campaign is in full panic mode after Blogosphere Day. Candidates are required to report, within 48 hours, any contributions given to them, and Schmidt's big-dollar backers have countered (Report 1 & Report 2).

Since Blogosphere Day:
Report 1: $10,500
Report 2: $11,200
Total: $21,700 (14 contributors)

July 16 - 19: $32,700

Hackett has also filed a number of 48 hour reports, boosting his total and propelling him into the lead.

Schmidt total CoH (assuming she hasn't spent any): $210,967
Hackett total CoH (assuming he hasn't spent any): $230,725

Posted at 12:04 AM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, July 21, 2005

OH-2: Jean Schmidt Scandal(s) Deepen

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From the OH-2 Blog:

Public Campaign Action Fund has revealed on their blog The Daily Delay that Jean Schmidt has recently received $10,000 from Tom Delay’s ARMPAC. Tom Delay and his fundraising committees are currently being investigated in Washington and in Texas for violations of ethics and campaign finance laws.
Apparently Schmidt not only learned from The Mother of All Ethics Violators, but accepts money from him as well. On October 25, 2004 Jean Schmidt accepted gifts from a pharmaceutical company while her opponent, Paul Hackett, was flying into Fallujah as a United States Marine Corps Major. Schmidt is now the subject of an Ohio Ethics Investigation.

Posted at 04:57 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Iraq War Vet Runs for Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

My inbox has had a solid stream of good news for Major Paul Hackett's bid for Ohio's 2nd Congressional. The August 2nd Election is less than two weeks away. I'm told Hackett's satellite offices are humming with scores of phone lines. The campaign is doing a major mobilization this weekend to run up the ID'd voters list so that the large GOTV program has more targets.

Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt is bogged down in a late breaking scandal (see the ad). Schmidt's ethics scandal is invoking the "culture of corruption" meme against the Ohio Republican Party.

Last time I updated you on the ACTBlue page (38 hours ago), the total was $100,504.47. Now it is up to $129,805.92. If you haven't deployed a few bucks for this special election, please consider investing.

From the AP:

SEAMAN, Ohio - A few months ago, Paul Hackett was flushing out insurgents and avoiding ambushes in Fallujah, Ramadi and other hotspots in theIraq War. Today, the Marine is trying to round up votes in small southern Ohio towns like this one.

Hackett, a Democrat, is running in a special election Aug. 2 in a bid to become the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress.

The stakes couldn't be higher, either Hackett goes to Washington or back to Iraq.

The 43-year-old lawyer, former Milford city councilman and Marine Reserve major is hoping his battlefield experience will help him become the first Democrat to get elected in Ohio's conservative 2nd District in three decades. [...]

That Hackett is on television at all is remarkable in deep-red southwestern Ohio, which helped tilt Ohio's crucial 20 electoral votes to Bush last year. Seven-term Republican Rob Portman regularly won with more than 70 percent of the vote before leaving Congress to becoming Bush's U.S. trade representative this year.

Army Lt. Paul Worley, 23, of Peebles, said he likes the idea of a congressman veteran as he prepares for Iraq duty later this year: "You can't substitute anything for leadership by example, somebody who's been there and seen it."

We need Major Hackett in Washington. Go check out the Paul Hackett website.

UPDATE: (Bob) Here is are some action items from histopresto's Kos diary:

1. Look on our website for a link to contribute and volunteer to the Hackett campaign.  Or you can find more information about Paul Hackett on his website and contact him directly

2.  Hamilton County: We are going to have a volunteer rally and canvass kick off on Saturday the 23rd at 10 AM at 1523 Madison in Cincinnati. We need to have everyone there. Please RSVP intern@hamiltoncountydems.org <snip> Bring your comfortable shoes and a car, if possible.  We'll be meeting rain or shine - bring a cell phone (free weekends!) to phone bank if the weather isn't great. If you cannot canvass but would like to help us on our phone banks, please let us know at intern@hamiltoncountydems.org

3. (Ohio residents) Check with your local County Democratic Party to see how they will be helping the 2nd congressional race. You can find your local county party contact information at our [website www.ohiodems.org]  Many local democratic county parties statewide have committed to send volunteers down to the Second Congressional race to help with Getting Out the Vote efforts the last weekend of the election by passing out literature door to door, making phone calls and helping on Election Day August 2nd


Or you can contact the Democratic Parties in the 2nd congressional district directly from their contact information on our website.

Adams County  

Brown County

Clermont County

Eastern Hamilton County

Pike County: Harold Cooper  740-493-2402

Scioto County

Southern Warren County


4. Hamilton County: Our Get Out The Vote project will have a huge canvass push the weekend before the election, on Saturday the 30th at 10 AM at the same location.  We need you there! Please RSVP to let us know that you will be there. intern@hamiltoncountydems.org

Posted at 04:30 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

OH-02: Hackett Crosses 100K on ActBlue

Posted by Bob Brigham

Wow: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 12:00 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Happy Blogosphere Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

[EDITOR's NOTE] This will remain at the top till midnight. Scroll down for the latest on "John Roberts"

A long time ago, even though it happened one year ago today, there was an event that proved to the whole world the united blogosphere's ability to deploy resources immediately into a single congressional district. July 19th is Blogosphere Day.

As was announced in October of 2004 and covered by the National Journal last week.

Today is Blogosphere Day and it needs to happen again.

Two weeks from today, there is a special election in Ohio's second congressional district. The Republican is caught in a late-breaking scandal that has made irrelevant all assumptions about the race.

The election will be a big day for Paul Hackett. If he wins, he goes to Washington. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq.

Understandly, Hackett is campaigning as if his life depended upon it...with only two weeks to go.

Just like last year, we need the one-two punch of the blogs, email, and ActBlue. Go make a contribution and then come back and read some of the history behind blogosphere day. Then post and email and let's see how much we can raise.

I gave $50, special elections are important. All day, we'll be rolling out posts on the race.

------ Go Donate


Thanks for donating. Now let me tell you a story about Blogosphere Day -- a national holiday and show of unity by the liberal blogosphere.

It was one year ago today that it all began. I'll let Salon set the moment:

On Monday afternoon, July 19, Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos, noticed an intriguing development in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, an area to the north of Philadelphia. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was reporting that Jim Greenwood, the district's popular, moderate Republican congressman, had unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection, meaning that his House seat was now up for grabs. This is the sort of news that sets partisans like Yellin jumping for joy, and so, of course, he blogged about it.

"I would suggest that we get involved ASAP," Yellin, who goes by the handle MrLiberal on Daily Kos, wrote. Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, the Democrat running for the open seat, "supports civil unions and is against Bush's positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act," he noted approvingly. But she was woefully low on cash -- as of June 30, Schrader had only $7,000 in the bank. Yellin implored Daily Kos' politically obsessed readers to change that situation: "This is completely out of left field, folks, and it gives us another opportunity for a pickup," he wrote. "Ginny Schrader is the luckiest candidate in the nation today, but can her luck hold?"

What happened next was beyond anything that Yellin had expected. Hundreds of people began pitching in, documenting their small donations in the comments threads of Daily Kos and other blogs: "$25.01 coming from me." "$30.01 from me too." "Yeah, this liberal kicked in $20.01." (Daily Kos readers add in the extra penny as a kind of signature for the site, letting a campaign know where the money's coming from.) The tide came in for at least two full days, and when it was over, Ginny Schrader, a candidate who was recently unknown to even the most obsessive campaign watchers, found herself flush with more than $30,000. She was suddenly a political force to contend with. (emphasis mine)

Yes, it was a very magical day. Here at Swing State Project, DavidNYC wrote:

We can make a huge difference overnight if we chip in to help her out - and we can also scare off any Republicans who might consider entering this race now. Imagine the headlines tomorrow or the next day if the blogosphere rapid-response network can toss Ginny some serious coin.

Kos noted, " I just spoke with Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, and the news is spectacular. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, her campaign has raised $14K online. Some from Daily Kos, some from other sources. This is a blogosphere-wide phenomenon."

Once again, we need to leverage our numbers and quickly deploy resources – people and money – to a single congressional district. Here's what Stephen Yellin says:

Paul Hackett's a genuinely good and decent human being, and one that can make a big difference if elected. Jean Schmidt's another GOP hack in a long line of such politicians, and would be just another face in the crowd if elected. No to mention that electing a Democrat in this district would send a clarion message to the Republicans in Washington: Your days in power are numbered. This threat would not be ignored, especially if Congressman Paul Hackett is there to give it to them. The Republicans will be shell-shocked (we saw how concerned they were when Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth won specials in 2004), and we will have scored a major victory for our party, for our ideology, for America.

So, how do we make the most of our moment? Go to Paul's website, http://www.hackettforcongress.com and help them out, first off. If the Hackett campaign is going to take advantage of this GOP donnybrook, they'll need to have enough money to run a few TV ads so people know who they ought to vote for instead of "same-old, same-old." They need volunteers-if you live near the district or if you want to fly over there to help, Cincinnati is not far away at all from Hackett's HQ.

Go Donate -- a little money from a whole lot of people can make a huge difference in a low-turnout special election with a late breaking scandal. Thank you for your solidarity and...

Happy Blogosphere Day!

You can follow the success here.

UPDATE (Bob): Wow. At the end of the night: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 11:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

Happy Blogosphere Day!


UPDATESupportersTotal Raised
10:20 Central321$33,967.96
12:20 Central475$41,367.96
1:20 Central638$47,813.22
2:20 Central897$61,819.29
3:20 Central1106$70,698.14
4:20 Central1317$78,764.55
5:20 Central1397$85,244.59
6:20 Central11484$89,310.60

UPDATE (Tim): Of course, if you are from Ohio, you can volunteer for the campaign by going to Paul Hackett's volunteer page.

You can also view the grassroots produced video that draws a nice distinction between the two candidates running at Grow Ohio.

UPDATE (Bob & Tim): Atrios has a page for the Eschaton community ($740.00, $1055.01 $1651.80 $2,201.81) and Democracy for America is driving mad people to the main actblue page.

Posted at 01:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

OH-2: Grassroots Produced Commercial

Posted by Tim Tagaris

oh02 paul hackett

Earlier this week, I wrote an entry entitled "10/25/2004: What a Difference a Day Makes" over at Grow Ohio. The piece was received well across the blogs, with offers to turn it into a literature piece and television commercial.

You can imagine my excitement when I received an email last night from a video producer/editor from Las Vegas with a high-quality spot based upon the entry. Here is a link to the 30 second commercial.

So, take a look at the video, and be sure to contribute to Paul Hackett. This is the start of something special today in the Netroots. More coming soon.

Posted at 12:14 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, July 15, 2005

OH-Gov: GOP Looks to Fox for Good News

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Since Republicans have three tainted candidates running for Governor in Ohio, all vulnerable to the "pay-to-play" tactics that gave life to the "coingate" scandal, it shouldn't surprise anyone they are tuning into Fox News looking for a bit of good news lately. Many hope they have found it, and are urging anchor John Kasich to run for Governor.

Former Congressman John R. Kasich is being urged by some influential Republicans to run as a reform candidate for governor next year because he is untainted by Statehouse scandals. [...]

The source put the chances of a Kasich bid at "25 to 30 percent," adding that Kasich would have to give up lucrative private-sector jobs to run for the $131,000-a-year post.

The article shows the extreme panic that has set in at Republican HQ in Colubmus. The Dispatch reports that Kasich has told he will only run if the GOP promises to end its penchant for pay-to-play politics, and that he would have no problem running against Ken Blackwell whose fiscal proposals he views as "irresponsible."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party by their next best hope. Democrats have two solid candidates currently running for the post, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and Congressman Ted Strickland. Although, that number may dwindle down to one in the coming weeks.

Posted at 09:28 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, July 14, 2005

OH-02: Blogging the Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the new National Journal Beltway Blogroll:

Voters in Ohio's 2nd District will choose a replacement for Republican Rob Portman in an Aug. 2 special election, and The Stakeholder, the blog of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is billing it as "a campaign that could cement the blogosphere's reputation as leaders in the Democratic Party."

Portman left the seat to become U.S. trade representative, and with Portman having won 72 percent of the vote in the district last fall and President Bush netting 63 percent, GOP candidate Jean Schmidt seemed to be a sure bet for victory. But that was before the Ohio Republican Party was rocked by a scandal involving state investments in rare coins.

Now the DCCC sees an opportunity to trim the Republican House majority, and it is calling on bloggers to help the cause by supporting Democratic candidate Paul Hackett. "Can we raise $25,000 in two weeks to get Paul Hackett elected?" Stephen Yellin wrote at The Stakeholder. "We did it in 2004 with Ginny Schrader in a week, and this race is no less important. And when I threw the first pebble into Ginny's wave of money, I knew that her race mattered. So does Paul Hackett's."

By way of reminder, Schrader was dubbed "the candidate of the netroots" by Daily Kos, which also created "Blogosphere Day" (July 19, in case you're wondering) to recognize how bloggers rallied around her campaign in Pennsylvania's 8th District.

I forgot about Blogosphere Day -- set your calendars. An appropriate tribute would be to support Paul Hackett.

Posted at 06:31 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

As regular readers know, Swing State Project Senior Elections Analyst Tim Tagaris also has a day job working for Grow Ohio. Today, he's putting on a demonstration on how to turn some breaking news into a shitstorm of a scandal online.

First, he wrote a great post and then spread the word. Over at DailyKos, DavidNYC put it on the front page. At MyDD, Chris Bower put it on the front page. It's on the Stateholder. And OH-02.

This is a huge day in the Special Election for Ohio's second congressional district. Go check out the Jean Schmidt scandal.

Posted at 03:57 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

OH15 - Mark Losey For Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a Kos Diary:

My name is Mark Losey and I'm running for US Congress in Ohio's 15th District. No, that last name is not a typo and yes, I probably already heard that one. The last name is pronounced "LOW sea" and, once you get the obvious name jokes out of the way, it has good slogan potential (think "I Love Losey").

Unlike the incumbent, I'm not a career politician. Until now, I never posted to a blog or created a podcast. But I have been following blogs for awhile now, at least long enough to know that "Internet" is a singular noun. I'll begin by introducing our district.

Great intro...

The 15th district is in the heart of Central Ohio. It includes Union and Madison counties as well as the western half of Franklin County. Our district is all-American. It's an almost perfect slice of all of America, rural and urban, black and white, Asian and Latino, traditional and modern, poor and affluent, white-collar and blue-collar and everything in between. Our district faces the same challenges that Americans all over face.

This race will be a tough one. The incumbent is Deborah Pryce, the House's number four Republican and Republican Conference Chair. This race will share a piece of the national stage.

We can win this race in 2006. Despite the GOP's gerrymandering, our district refuses to go quietly. John Kerry carried our district in 2004, and Ms. Pryce's share of the vote keeps shrinking despite the lack of any serious opposition (from 67% in 2002 to 60% in 2004),

The reason we'll win is plain and simple: It's the right time for a new voice. It's true for the U.S. Congress and it's particularly true in Ohio, where over a decade of one-party rule has left decay, incompetence and corruption in its wake.

There's more in the diary, and more yet at http://www.LoseyForCongress.com

Posted at 01:18 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Friday, July 08, 2005

OH-02: Special Election Debate Tonight

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Unfortunately, the Fox News channel in Cincinnati has "exclusive rights" to the debate and decided that not only would they not show it live, but it will never see the light of day in it's entirety, not even on tape delay. What a travesty:

There is, of course, coverage on the blogs of the debate between Paul Hackett (D) and Jean Schmidt (R):

Kos Diary by RedStateWoes who was in attendance.

Coverage coming soon at the OH-02 Blog (He was there too).

Images from the debate on Flickr.

Posted at 12:26 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, July 07, 2005

OH-Sen: New Poll Shows DeWine in Trouble

Posted by Bob Brigham

Regular Swing State Project readers know that I go by the old rule of thumb when it comes to senators seeking re-election: if the re-elect number is under 40, then the incumbent is in trouble. Ohio Senator Mike DeWine's re-elect stands at 31%, which means his support is zip to nil and nil is leaning towards undecided.

This new poll is very bad news considering yesterday's launch of Congressman Sherrod Brown's state-wide effort.

Kos says:

Bottom line is that DeWine is clearly vulnerable. And if Brown enters the race, it may suddenly catapult to a top tier race. The Coingate scandal in Ohio won't do DeWine or the rest of the state's Republicans any favors, nor will the economy or the war.
If Brown ever had any thought of a promotion to the Senate, now seems to be the perfect time to do so.

Indeed. Kos also has the results (Feldman Group (D) for the DSCC. 6/27. 1,209 respondents):
If the election for United States Senate were held today and the candidates were (ROTATE) Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Mike DeWine, for whom would you vote?
Mike DeWine (R) 42
Sharrod Brown (D) 36

Overall, do you think Mike DeWine deserves reelection as United States Senator, or do you think that someone else should be given a chance?  
Deserves Reelection 31
Someone Else 42

Now, generally speaking, do you think things in this country are going in the right direction, or do you feel things are pretty seriously off on the wrong track?
Right Direction 32
Wrong Direction 57

Not only is DeWine weak, but Brown's name ID gives him room to grow:

DeWine has a 94 percent name ID, while Brown is at 77 percent.
These numbers don't bode well for DeWine, but Brown is about the only candidate left that can make a run for it. Will he run? No one knows. […]

This poll indicates that maybe he is flirting with it. Or at the very least, that the DSCC is trying to entice him into the race. More proof that he might take the plunge this time -- the recent launch (yesterday?) of the new statewide political site Grow Ohio.org where he promises to help rebuild the Ohio Democratic Party from the "ground up".
Someone interested in running for reelection in his own congressional district wouldn't exactly be launching this sort of site, would he?

Probably not.

Here's to Congressman Sherrod Brown running for U.S. Senate in 2006 – he's a great lawmaker and would make Ohio proud.

Posted at 01:50 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Technorati

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown Goes Statewide

Posted by Bob Brigham

Don't let the headline mislead you, Congressman Sherrod Brown has not (yet) announced that he'll be challenging Mike DeWine for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat. But, he has announced a new statewide effort:


The website looks great and has amazing localization tools. And Swing State Project's Tim Tagaris is involved, which means Congressman Brown can nationalize online as well as localize. Together, this dynamic could prove impressive if Sherrod Brown were to run for U.S. Senate in 2006.

When it comes to the obvious question, here's what Tim is saying:

"Does this mean that Congressman Brown is going to run for U.S. Senate? The answer I’ll be giving all day is that the site was built to help build infrastructure, both online and offline, and elect Ohio Democrats in 2005 and 2006. Everyone will just have to stay tuned when it comes to talk of the U.S. Senate run."

Pretty coy Damn professional quote.

Whatever happens with the Senate campaign, it is clear the Rep. Sherrod Brown is putting the pieces in place to lead statewide. Even his re-election website, www.SherrodBrown.com seems focused beyond the borders of Ohio's 13th Congressional District.

So go check it out: Grow Ohio.

Posted at 12:02 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, General, Ohio | Technorati

Sunday, June 19, 2005

OH: Down Ballot Statewide Run-Down

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I received an email this morning alerting me to an excellent summary of down ballot races in Ohio's 2006 elections. The piece was written by Frank Szollosi, a Toledo City Councilman. It is a first-person report from a meeting in Cincinnati of potential statewide candidates, and it is well worth the read.

Kilroy threw a blistering shot at Pat DeWine, son of the sitting U.S. Senator from Ohio, and who lost badly in the 2nd Congressional GOP Primary this past Tuesday. "I pledge not to leave behind my pregnant wife for another woman." Ouch. Bocceri is a recent entrant into the SoS race, and just returned from Air Force duty in Iraq. Refering to the problems of SoS Ken Blackwell and Ohio elections, he noted that fighting for democracy in the Midwest is just as important as fighting for democracy in the Mideast.

As an aside, I am back in Ohio right now. In 2004, some of you know that I worked Communications for Kos Dozen candidate, Jeff Seemann in OH-16. I just returned last week to work on an online/offline collaborative project I'll be writing about in a few days.

Until then, Frank's piece is a great read.

Posted at 01:20 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

OH-2: Special Election Results/Open Thread

Posted by Tim Tagaris

And they're off. Polls closed about 13 minutes ago. My sentimental favorite on the Democratic side is Victoria Wulsin, for what it's worth. - - (Updates are coming in VERY slow - Infact, the updates are terrible - Now they're coming in)

OH-2 Special Election: Hackett (D) v. Schmidt (R)

Last Update: 10:04 P.M. -- Percent Reporting: 100%

Democratic Candidates:

Paul Hackett: 33.4% - 52.1% - 53.66% - 56.19% 56.19%
JamesParker: 5.3% - 7.47% - 5.85% - 5.67% 4.85%
Charles Sanders: 18.5% - 14.12% - 11.08% - 10.34% 9.04%
Jeff Sinnard: 5.3% - 2.85% - 2.39% - 2.44% 2.05%
Victoria Wulson: 37.2% - 23.27% - 26.89% - 25.17% 27.71%

Republican Candidates:

Steve Austin: 1.4% - .75% - .55% - .70% .53%
Tom Bemmes: 1.4% - .81% - 1.08% - .97% 1.66%
Tom Brinkman: 32.0% - 18.98% - 23.67% - 21.32% 21.3%
Pat DeWine: 15.6% - 14.17% - 13.16% - 13.17% 12.45%
Peter Fossett: 2.0% - 1.08% - 1.60% - 1.40% 2.41%
Bob McEwen: 22.1% - 30.82% - 26.48% - 28.43% 26.63%
Eric Minamyer: 6.1% - 3.58% - 4.51% - 4.10% 4.79%
Douglas Mink: .55% - .36% - .33% - .26% .24%
Jeff Morgan: .49% - 1.23% - .82% - 1.20% .95%
Jean Schmidt: 17.8% - 27.16% - 26.88% - 27.53% 28.37%
David Smith: 1.4% - 1.07% - .91% - .94% .84%

For the best run-down of the candidate slate, read over the OH-2 Blog. Cincinnati Blog is also a great read.

Posted at 07:43 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

OH-02: Blogging the Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

I missed the A.P. story, but the Washington Post coverage couldn't be avoided (via Bring Ohio Home):

As the Associated Press reported, some politicians are experimenting with Weblogs to shake up districts known for predictable party-line votes.

The AP story takes place in Ohio, where liberal activist Chris Baker is trying to use blogs and other word-of-mouth techniques to muster support for a progressive candidate. The 2nd District, where Baker is working, provides the rare off-cycle opportunity to try something new after seven-term Republican Rep. Rob Portman joined the Bush administration as U.S. trade representative.

Eleven Republicans and five Democrats are jostling to fill Portman's shoes, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, creating a pool of voters who could be receptive to messages delivered in original ways that set them apart from the competition.

Baker and his Republican counterparts said they believe the GOP will hold the 2nd District, though the Cincinnati Post reported that most of those candidates will have to struggle to distinguish themselves: "Of the 11 Republican candidates, four ... are widely viewed as the presumptive frontrunners. ... The other seven, most of them first-time candidates, offer a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences. Drawn from both the district's urban centers and remote rural outposts, they include several teachers, a part-time letter carrier, a former government worker, a lawyer, a financial analyst and a professional magician. ... Their best hope -- perhaps their only hope -- is for the better-known candidates to so seriously splinter the vote that a dark horse could perhaps slip through."

The AP said that in a field like this, liberal activist Baker will use the race "as spring training for the 2006 midterm elections and 2008 presidential contest. Baker posts reports and commentary on the campaign along with appeals from the candidates for volunteers and money. In one recent post, Baker referred to Republicans' efforts to court religious conservatives as a 'truly pathetic display,' and he continually refers to some Republicans as serving the Sith lord villains of 'Star Wars' movies."

Two of the 2nd District candidates, Bob McEwen (R) and Victoria Wulsin (D) started their own campaign blogs.


Posted at 02:53 PM in Netroots, Ohio, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

OH-Gov: Beyond Coingate

Posted by DavidNYC

Pounder at Kos gives us the latest update on the nearly insane Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation scandal. Known around most parts as "Coingate," it's gone way, way beyond coins now:

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation admitted today that it lost $215 million in a high-risk fund that few people knew about.

The bureau had invested $355 million with a Pittsburgh investment firm, MDL Capital Management, beginning in 1998.

But last year, after diverting $225 million into a fund that works like a hedge fund, the fund lost $215 million. Although the bureau has known about the loss since last year, Gov. Bob Taft was notified about it today.

Wow. I think this bolsters my speculation of a few days ago, namely that it is a certainty that other similar state funds (pension, workers comp, what have you) around the country are being mismanaged if not looted. The only reasons the Ohio scandal was brought to light was because of the highly unusual investment vehicle in question (coins), and the diligent work of the Toledo Blade. (Nice to have a tiny bit of my faith in the media restored for once.) But I have no doubt that other funds need investigating, too. Local media outlets would do well to focus their energies on hometown funds - mismanagement of public money is always an attention-grabbing story.

Pounder also informs us that a Coingate protest is being organized to coincide with Bush's visit to Columbus on Thursday:

President Bush is coming to town - and refusing to give back all of Tom Noe's dirty campaign money! Help tell Ohioans that the days of 'pay-to-play' politics are over!

When: Thursday, June 9th - 9AM to 11AM
Where: 740 East 17th Avenue across from the Ohio Expo Center (If this location is blocked due to security, please go to the secondary location: The McDonald's at the corner of Clara Ave and E. 17th Ave) - Columbus, OH
Why: A counter event (protest) to President Bush's visit. There will be lots of pre-made signs to wave at the site.

Sounds like fun!

Posted at 09:53 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ohio: Reform Ohio Now

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Pounder's DailyKos Diary on a new ballot initiative in Ohio -- Reform Ohio Now:

  1. Campaign Finance Reform. In December 2004, the Ohio legislature increased the amount that large donors can give to politicians from $2,500 to $10,000 and weakened Ohio's century-old ban on corporate contributions. This initiative would lower contribution limits to $1,000 per election cycle for legislative candidates and $2,000 per cycle for statewide candidates, tighten the ban on corporate contributions, and prevent fat cats from skirting the limits by giving contributions through their children. (read the text of this measure here.)

  2. Independent Redistricting. Most elections in Ohio are not competitive because politicians conspire in drawing districts that are handpicked to ensure that either a Democrat or Republican wins in a landslide. This initiative would take the redistricting process out of the hands of partisan incumbents and put this responsibility into a non-partisan commission whose members could not be lobbyists, former politicians, or party leaders. (read the text of this measure here.)

  3. Election reform. Ohio elections are currently administered by the Secretary of State, who is elected in a partisan election. Previous Secretaries of State have Chaired the Campaigns of Presidential candidates and taken other actions that draw into question their impartiality in administering elections. This initiative would create a non-partisan elections board to adminster Ohio elections, ensuring that voters will have confidence in election outcomes. (read the text of this measure here.)

This effort needs VOLUNTEERS to collect signatures, you can sign up to volunteer right here

The corruption in Ohio is disgusting, I like the thought of citizens volunteering to collect signatures to clean up the mess.

Posted at 06:37 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, May 23, 2005

Nuclear Option: NE, PA, OH, VI Calls

Posted by Bob Brigham

If you live in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Virginia -- pick up your phone right now and help save the Senate. Details after the jump...

From NHC1978 on Daily Kos:

Arlen Specter: (Pennsylvania)
DC Office:

Philadelphia Office:

Pittsburgh Office:

John Warner: (Virginia)
DC Office:
(202) 224-2023

Richmond Office:
(804) 739-0247

Norfolk Office:
(757) 441-3079

Mike Dewine: (Ohio)
DC Office:
(202) 224-2315

Cleveland office:
(216) 522-7272

Columbus office:
(614) 469-5186

Chuck Hagel: (Nebraska)
DC Office:
(202) 224-4224

Omaha Office:
(402) 758-8981

Posted at 03:25 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Nebraska, Nuclear Option, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia | Technorati

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Under the Cover of Darkness

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Over the past few days, I have done quite a bit of reading about Democratic Congressman Sherrod Brown from Ohio's 13th District. I remember the first time I ever heard him speak live; he shared a stranger than fiction story about the passage of the Medicare privatization bill that passed at 5:55 A.M. on a Friday night in 2003. It was after hearing him speak that I came to realize he is truly a Democrat fighting for us in Congress.

So, in my readings over the past few days, I stumbled upon a full account of what happened on the floor of the House that night, written by Congressman Sherrod Brown. This will make for some great late night, very quick reading.

By 4 a.m., the bill had been defeated 216-218, with only one member, Democrat David Wu, not voting. Still, the speaker refused to gavel the vote closed. Then the assault began.

Hastert, DeLay, Republican Whip Roy Blount, Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin—all searched the floor for stray Republicans to bully.

I watched them surround Cincinnati's Steve Chabot, trying first a carrot, then a stick; but he remained defiant. Next, they aimed at retiring Michigan congressman Nick Smith, whose son is running to succeed him. They promised support if he changed his vote to yes and threatened his son's future if he refused. He stood his ground. Many of the two dozen Republicans who voted against the bill had fled the floor. One Republican hid in the Democratic cloakroom.

The piece can be read in full HERE.

Posted at 11:57 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, May 21, 2005

OH-2: Special Election & The Netroots

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Here on Swing State Project we have done quite a bit of talking about the testing of new ideas in the upcoming special election. David kicked off the discussion and Bob and I have followed up, including a few offline discussions with people who live in and around the 2nd Congressional District.

Completely independent of anything we have discussed, the first OH-2 blog popped up just the other day and has a great review of the Democratic candidates who have officially tossed their hat in the ring and met the petition requirements for the special election. Take a look at the site, cause we are going to be doing a lot of talking/work with the race in the upcoming weeks and months.


Finally, if you are from the 2nd CD and want to get involved, please email any one of us with the addresses provided in the upper right-hand column.

Posted at 01:22 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh-02: Open Seat Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ohio Second Congressional District special elecion breakdown, from a Cincinnati Enquirer acticle:

Special Primary Election: June 14
Special General Election: August 2

12 Republicans
7 Democrats
(Independents have until June 13 to submit 1,921 valid signatures)

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

OH-18: Justice Department Investigating Bob Ney Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Congressman Bob Ney (R) is in serios trouble. Via The Stakeholder, The American Prospect's Art Levine has the scoop:

Take pity on poor Bob Ney, who insists he's just another victim of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public-relations consultant Michael Scanlon. Unlike the half-dozen Indian tribes that paid about $82 million to that scamming duo, however, the U.S. representative at least got campaign donations and a lavish trip to Scotland's legendary St. Andrew's golf course out of them. Whether he got more than that is now a matter of interest to Justice Department investigators, according to a knowledgeable source who says that the probers are seeking to discover whether Ney received any illegal donations from Abramoff.

An affable, 50-year-old conservative Republican from Ohio, Ney now portrays himself as a "dupe" of Abramoff and Scanlon, the pair of rapscallions targeted by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Justice Department for their alleged defrauding of tribes seeking increased clout.

Both Abramoff and a lawyer for Scanlon have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Yet the lobbyists' operation looks like such a breathtaking scam that it stuns even veteran observers of Washington scandals. [...]

A source familiar with the Justice Department probe says that federal authorities are investigating Ney's role in the scheme and asking whether Abramoff arranged payment of any illegal contributions or gratuities to him. This confirms previously published reports by Newsweek and The New York Times, which indicated that the Justice Department is seeking to determine whether Abramoff "improperly" provided contributions and gratuities to lawmakers and staffers "in exchange for legislative favors."

Posted at 11:43 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio, Scandals | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

OH-Gov: Tom Noe Scandal -- Plot Thickens

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Toledo Blade:

EVERGREEN, Colo. - In the year since Tom Noe learned that 121 rare coins bought with Ohio money were missing and possibly stolen in Colorado, he has done several things.

  • He fired the manager suspected of the theft.
  • He asked a professional coin group to sanction the manager, which it did.
  • He dispatched a partner to Colorado to seize other coins.
  • He hired a forensic accountant to figure out how many coins were missing.

But there's one thing he hasn't done: Contacted law enforcement authorities.

And they're wondering why.

This gets sketchier every day:

"What's frustrating to me is I'm getting information from so many other people, but no legitimate victim … has ever called me with further information or further concerns," said Jennifer Gilmore, an investigator for the Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's office.

"I get information from [The Blade] that there's 119 additional coins missing, but no one has ever called us to make a report of it or to add this to it. We would be more than happy to look into that for them."

An official at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation - the agency that gave Mr. Noe $50 million to buy rare coins as investments for the state - said Friday the bureau also is concerned. A bureau spokesman said Mr. Noe took almost a year before informing them - in an audit report - of the loss of 119 of the coins.

Remember, these aren't the type of coins you have between your sofa cushions:

And, the spokesman said, the state didn't learn until being informed by Blade reporters in March that two additional gold coins also were missing, two of the most valuable rare coins purchased for the state by an employee of Mr. Noe's at a cost of $250,000. [...]

Little is known about Ohio's121 rare coins missing in Colorado, except for the two gold pieces. One is a $3 gold coin minted in 1855 that was purchased for $150,000. The other is a $10 gold coin minted in 1845 that was purchased for $100,000.

Before their disappearance they were two of the rarest and most valuable U.S. coins on the rare-coin market. The $3 gold piece is one of only two known to exist. The $10 gold piece was purchased as part of a rare three-coin proof set including the $10 coin, a $5 gold coin, and a $2 1/2 quarter-eagle gold coin, all minted in 1845.

Swing State Project has examined this scandal and the connection of Governor Bob Taft here, here, and here. For some reason, my gut tells me there will be more to come.

Posted at 02:23 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, May 05, 2005

OH-Gov: Strickland is Running

Posted by Bob Brigham


COLUMBUS, Ohio - U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland will run for governor after saying in January he would not seek the Democratic nomination, two sources told The Associated Press today.

Strickland, 63, will make an announcement early next week, Democratic sources in Ohio and Washington who are familiar with his plans said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The six-term congressman would not confirm or deny a run for governor, a job held by Republicans since 1991.

"I have decided what to do in regard to my future plans," Strickland said in a brief interview in the Capitol. He said it was "highly unlikely I will run for the Senate."

Strickland's entry into the governor's race would be a blow to U.S. Senate Democrats, who have tried to recruit him to run next year against two-term Republican Sen. Mike DeWine.

Strickland would become the second Democrat in the race for governor, joining Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.

So who will be the Senate candidate?

Posted at 05:39 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Technorati

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

OH-Gov: Tom Noe Scandals Boil Over

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has examined rare coin scandal surrounding Ohio Governor Bob Taft and Tom Noe here and here. Today, the Toledo Blade reports:

COLUMBUS - A state senator tried to ask the chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents yesterday whether Tom Noe should resign, but a gavel stopped him.

At a Senate Finance Committee meeting, Sen. Dan Brady (D., Cleveland) had a question for Chancellor Rod Chu, who was testifying about the proposed higher education budget. [...]

"Chancellor, don't you believe that, for the good of the state, that Mr. Noe should resign?'' Mr. Brady asked.

The commitee's chairman, Sen. John Carey (R., Wellston), gaveled the question out of order, ruling that it wasn't on the topic of the hearing, which was the state operating budget.

Mr. Chu didn't answer Mr. Brady's question.

The Feds might answer it for him. From WTOL News 11:

TOLEDO -- News 11 has new information about a federal investigation surrounding prominent Toledo businessman and well-known republican, Tom Noe. Greg White, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio has confirmed that Noe has been under federal investigation for a couple of months.

White would not talk specifics, but he did tell us the probe involves campaign contributions made by Noe last fall. Noe and his wife, Bernadette, are both vocal supporters of President Bush, but investigators will not say if the questionable contributions by Mr. Noe were made to the Bush campaign. [...]

U.S. Attorney White stressed that no charges have been filed and this is an on-going investigation by the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney's office.

Stay tuned...

Posted at 05:49 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

OH-02: A Strange Twist

Posted by DavidNYC

The special election in Ohio's second district can't be scheduled, as I understand things, until Rep. Rob Portman actually gets confirmed as trade rep and steps down from his House seat. The committee responsible for his nomination approved him unanimously, but now there's a bit of a hold-up:

But Sen. Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, has placed a "hold" on the nomination. This could block Portman from being confirmed in time to represent the United States at a trade meeting early next week in Paris.

Bayh wants Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, to schedule a vote on a China trade bill strongly supported by U.S. manufacturers and many other lawmakers in exchange for dropping his hold.

The bill Bayh is pushing would allow the Commerce Department to put duties on Chinese imports to offset government subsidies. That could encourage U.S. companies to file a flood of cases charging China with subsidizing exports. (Emphasis added.)

This is definitely an interesting move by Bayh, and if I wanted to, I suppose I could also label this a post on the 2008 presidential election. I have to believe that the DLC - a group with which Bayh, moreso than almost any other elected Democrat today, energetically associates himself - opposes this kind of "protectionism." Maybe I'm wrong on that specific detail, but nonetheless, this strikes me as a sort of economically populist move designed to showcase Bayh's bona fides for the sake of certain parts of the Dem base.

As for Ohio's second, this procedural move by Bayh could delay the special election there - for how long, I'm not certain. I have a feeling that Portman won't be made to cool his heels for very long, but if Bayh is tenacious (and this could get him exactly the kind of press he's hoping for), then maybe the nomination will get put on hold for a while. And Frist has shown himself to be an incompetent parliamentarian - I wouldn't be surprised if Bayh could deviously outsmart him on this one.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2005 Elections, 2008 President - Democrats, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Nuclear Option: A Tangled Web in Ohio

Posted by Tim Tagaris

When the infamous middle of the night passage of the Medicare bill happened in Congress, part of the fallout was the story told by Nick Smith (R-MI) about GOP leaders strong-arming him to change his vote their way by using support for his son's election bid as the lever.

Smith stood firm and voted against the bill, which passed by five votes on Nov. 22. But shortly afterward he leveled an explosive charge: Unnamed lawmakers and business interests had promised substantial amounts of money to his son's congressional campaign if Smith voted for the bill and had threatened to support other candidates if he did not change his vote.
Fast-forward to Ohio, and the impending nuclear option. According the the Cincinnati Post, Senator Mike DeWine has not indicated which way he will move in the event that Bill Frist pushes the button. But what is interesting, is the amount of contributions his son, Pat DeWine, has received from U.S. Senators in his contested primary for the open in seat in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
What does U.S. Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi care about Hamilton County? Here's a surprise: $5,000 worth. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska cares $3,000 worth, and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah spent $1,000 on the southwest corner of Ohio.

All three Republican senators made large donations through their political action committees to the Hamilton County Commission campaign of Pat DeWine last year. So did other Washington-area individuals and groups. Campaign finance reports show DeWine collected about $50,000 from senators, PACs and individuals outside Hamilton County for his primary defeat of John Dowlin.

Trent Lott, as we all know, is right at the center of the nuclear option debate. Looking back at Republican tactics to use family members to force a member's vote a certain way on key votes, this is a question that should be investigated. After all, referring to the Nick Smith situation, even Newt Gingrich conceded:
And Republicans were mounting a defense, with former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) telling C-SPAN that Smith was "a disgruntled retiring member" who was the victim of nothing more than the usual treatment in a close vote.
Time to start asking more quesitons.

Posted at 03:06 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 16, 2005

OH-2: Open Seat Update & Testing New Ideas

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Six GOP candidates have already announced their intention of running for the soon to be open 2nd Congressional District in Ohio. The latest two to throw their hat into the ring are State Representative Tom Brinkman and former U.S. Representative Bob McEwen. So far, no Democrats have announced their intention to run for the seat. Current Representative Rob Portman (R-OH) was nominated by President Bush to become the next U.S. Trade Representative and is slated to stand before the Senate Finance Committee in a confirmation hearing next Thursday.

Swing State Project's very own DavidNYC started a discussion on DailyKos a few weeks ago about using this special election as a "trial run" to test out ideas involving grassroots/netroots type activism that might be risky to give a first go in a hotly contested seat.

I agree. When it comes to netroots activism, this would be a great opportunity to attempt the difficult process of distilling national support for a candidate down to the local level where it actually translates into votes, volunteer hours, and results on-the-ground. That means creating an online infrastructure that gets people talking to people in like-minded communities, whether those are interest or location based. As of right now, and outside of fundraising, most candidates/campaigns think the only option is to cast a "national net" and attempt to catch the pieces that fall between the cracks into their own states/districts. The "national net" might be fine for Presidential races, and it certainly has helped out quite a few statewide and congressional campaigns, but until we attempt to create the infrastructure that targets specific demographics (ie. location), we are leaving a lot of potential on the table. This would be my first priority with the OH-2 special election.

Now we just need a candidate. But as Bob is fond of saying. "Forget about the candidate, we have an election to win."

Posted at 07:54 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

OH-Gov: Sherrod to Decide Soon

Posted by Tim Tagaris

After a flurry of decisions and non-decisions, the noise coming from Ohio died down over the past month. To review, we know three things about the two major statewide seats up for grabs (Gov. & Senate):

1.) Michael Coleman, Mayor of Columbus, is running for Governor (campaign website).

2.) Ted Strickland is not running for Governor, but could still run for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Mike DeWine.

3.) Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic will not run against Michael Coleman in a primary, so he is out for Governor.

Today, a fourth piece of the puzzle has been placed on the table. Sherrod Brown is "leaning against abstaining from running for Congress again." I have no idea what that means either, but Congressman Brown added, "I’ll have an answer by the end of the month."

Nothing against Michael Coleman, but I, personally, hope the answer is a yes. Although Congressman Brown's passions lie more in the federal arena (trade notably), if he isn't going to run for U.S. Senate, then I hope he runs for Governor. As great as he is in the House, Ohio only stands to benefit with Sherrod on the stump, educating voters and speaking passionately on the issues the concern residents in "The Heart of it All."

Posted at 07:32 PM in Ohio | Comments (7) | Technorati

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ohio Governor Bob Taft and Tom Noe

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yesterday, I joined the blogswarm of outrage over Ohio's rare coin scandal. For those joining late, Ohio Governor Bob Taft gave a sweetheart deal to a major GOP donor to invest state money in "rare coins" -- which became all the more rarer when $300,000 worth were "lost in the mail" (whoops). What I didn't know is that Tom Noe was also appointed and reappointed by Governor Taft to the Ohio Board of Regents, even though he is a college dropout. From the Toledo Blade:

BLADE: You appointed him to the [Ohio] Board of Regents that oversees higher education and he doesn't have a college degree. Why did you do that?

TAFT: What's that got to do with the price of eggs in Siberia? That's ridiculous.

Ridiculous indeed.

Posted at 02:49 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Can't trust Republicans in Ohio

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via AmericaBlog and David NYC, from the Toledo Blade:

Since 1998, Ohio has invested millions of dollars in the unregulated world of rare coins, buying nickels, dimes, and pennies.

Controlling the money for the state? Prominent local Republican and coin dealer Tom Noe, whose firm made more than $1 million off the deal last year alone. [...]

And the state has maintained its stake in Capital Coin despite documented problems:

* Two coins worth roughly $300,000 were lost in the mail in 2003.

Why does the GOP insist on plundering? Your money, plundered. The GOP corruption knows no bounds. Tom DeLay would be proud.

Posted at 06:42 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, April 02, 2005

U.S. Senate "Nuclear Option" and 2006 midterm elections

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at DailyKos, Kargo X has kickstarted a conversation on the coming "Nuclear Option" -- the Republican scheme to end the filibuster and gain absolute power.

If the GOP pushes forward with this power grab, it will force a major backlash against Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. During the Schiavo usurpation, Bush dropped 10 pts in the time it took for Santorum to permanently tie himself to the issue.

If the GOP continues their quest for absolute power, the backlash will be severe. Already, Democrats have 12 Republican Senators (facing re-election in 2006) on record with their Social Security vote.

It has become conventional wisdom that Americans oppose the GOP plan to privatize Social Security. If the GOP moves for absolute control of the Senate while Bush forces privatization then the storyline gets a villian in a potent way. Add Tom DeLay as the public face of Republicans in Congress, a splintering of the conservative coalition, and a united Democratic Party. Together, this could result in a major restructuring of party perception in a nationalized 2006 midterm election cycle.

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) wants to be President so he needs to protect his record. In addition, the following Republican Senators need to worry about running for re-election in 2006:

  • Senator George Allen (R-VA)*
  • Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT)*
  • Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)*
  • Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
  • Senator John Ensign (R-NV)*
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)*
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)*
  • Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)*
  • Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)*
  • Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)*
  • Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)*
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
  • Senator Jim Talent (R-MO)*
  • Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY)*

* Social Security: on record voting in favor of "deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

In addition, such a move would allow the following Democrats a hero vote to bolster their 2006 re-elections:

  • Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
  • Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
  • Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)
  • Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nuclear Option, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

Friday, April 01, 2005

OH-02: Open Seat, Special Election 2005

Posted by Bob Brigham

Blogfather Jerome Armstrong on OH-02:

Seems pretty clear that this is a longshot, but one worth contesting with the backing of Project 90 and BlogPac. As David NYC has stated, this is where the netroots can put ideas to test, taking this Open Seat on a trial run for '06. We'll be running against DeLay in '06 in all 232 of the Republican held seats, starting with the OH 2nd this fall.

Cincinnati Enquirer:

Two Hamilton County Republicans - county Commissioner Pat DeWine and state Rep. Tom Brinkman - said Monday that they are running to replace U.S. Rep. Rob Portman.

DeWine and Brinkman are the first to commit to what's expected to be a crowded contest. Both men hustled to Pike County Monday night to introduce themselves to Republicans in the easternmost part of Portman's 2nd Congressional District, two hours east of Cincinnati. [...]

Other possible GOP candidates include former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, who splits his time between Hamilton County and Northern Virginia; former state Rep. Jean Schmidt of Clermont County; WLW talk-radio host Bill Cunningham; Cincinnati lawyer Bill Keating Jr.; and state Rep. Tom Raga of Warren County.

On the Democratic side, state Rep. Todd Book of Scioto County is thinking about running. State Rep. Tyrone Yates of Hamilton County says he would consider a run only if Book didn't.

Even though the election date has not been set, DeWine is kicking off his campaign today with a bus tour of the 2nd District. His father, U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, will be among those aboard.

Brinkman said he decided to enter the race when county Commissioner Phil Heimlich, a close ally, opted to run for lieutenant governor instead of Congress. Heimlich is joining Attorney General Jim Petro in his run for governor in 2006.

To recap:

Potential Republican Candidates:

  • State Rep. Tom Brinkman

  • WLW talk-radio host Bill Cunningham

  • County Commissioner Pat DeWine

  • lawyer Bill Keating Jr.

  • former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen

  • State Rep. Tom Raga

  • former State Rep. Jean Schmidt

Potential Democratic Candidates:

  • State Rep. Todd Book

  • past nominee Charles Sanders

  • State Rep. Tyrone Yates

Posted at 03:25 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, March 17, 2005

OH-02 - Congressman Portman's seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

Congressman Rob Portman has been tapped for Trade Envoy.

In 2004, the Democrats surrendered Portman's second congressional district (even though it was in OHIO). Charles Sanders spent $15K and -- act surprised -- Portman coasted to re-election. This left Portman free to raise money for his cohorts, which he did.

I'm sure Tim will have more.

Posted at 11:30 AM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, February 24, 2005

They write themselves (OH-14)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The jokes that is...

Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) married his longtime sweetheart, Jennifer Laptook, at the Willard Hotel on Saturday. [...]

LaTourette, 50, has been married once before. Laptook, 33, is a vice president of top D.C. lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates.

Talk about literally being in bed with a Washington Lobbyist (hat-tip you know who). Will the President let him into the White House, or is that innapropriate?

And forget the whole "family values" nonsense for cheating on his wife--this is a man who told her he wanted a divorce OVER THE PHONE!

I hope someone is able to mount a credible challenge against this clown in 2006. Capri Cafaro had the money in 2004, but it is evident that personal baggage weighed her down. There is no reason any NE Ohio CD should be red; that goes for the 14th (LaTourette) and the 16th (Regula, probably after he retires). Period.

Posted at 08:18 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ohio: Mayor Coleman to run for . . .

Posted by Tim Tagaris

. . . Governor.

That sound you hear is the air being let out of my sails. Apparently Coleman, along with every other registered Democrat in the state of Ohio, is running for governor. The Mayor of Columbus is set to make the bid official with a noon annoucement from his home.

So with depression setting in, and an increased likelihood that we will not field any credible downballot statewide candidates, let's do an unofficial Ohio 2006 Cattle Call (I wish I had the arrows like Jerome):

1.) Congressman Sherrod Brown (NO CHANGE)

The nomination for governor is still his if he wants it. The only thing Coleman's announcement changes is that Brown might now be forced into an early decision. He orginally stated that he would have liked to wait six months before declaring his intentions one way or the other.

2.) Congressman Ted Strickland (NO CHANGE)

The Senate nomination is probably his if he wants it as well. He has already made it clear he is not running for governor, swinging his endorsement to Congressman Sherrod Brown. He then crytpically told reporters that he would be running for "federal" office in 2006. Apparently people like to take their sweet time making decisions in Ohio.

With one exception...

3.) Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman (UP)

Coleman rises simply because he officially makes the decision to run. That's great, but if Sherrod runs, Coleman gets stomped. Unfortunately Congressman Brown has a history of waffling on these statewide decisions, eventually bowing out of potential runs.

If Congressman Brown keeps people waiting for his decision, and eventually decides not to run--the nomination will likely go to Coleman. My displeasure is not that I think Coleman would be a bad candidate, I just really like Sherrod, Dammit!

4.) Jerry Springer (THE WILD CARD)

Who knows what Jerry wants to run for in 2006. Many would like to see him keep raising money for candidates and keep his name off the ballot. I don't think that will be the case--Jerry is running for something.

In 2004 he seriously explored a potential bid for US Senate against George Voinovich. He eventually stepped aside for Eric Fingerhut's failed run. But the year is 2006, and all indications are that Jerry is thinking more about running for governor than he is thinking about giving the senate another go. I personally wish it was the other way around. It will take a "different" kind of candidate to beat Mike DeWine, and with Jerry's name ID and ability to self-finance the race, I think he actually has the best chance against the sitting Senator.

5.) Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic (DOWN)

This annoucenment makes it almost official, he will not be running for Governor (or US Senate). This might be the only bright spot of the Coleman decision; Plusquellic is now freed up to run for Secretary of State or Auditor (or Lt. Governor). I am not sure if that interests the Akron Mayor. Time will tell...

6.) Former Ohio Atty General Lee Fisher (POOT)

And no thank you...

Fisher has already run for governor once and lost to Bob Taft, the current (and worst ever) governor of Ohio. In fact, Mayor Michael Coleman was Fisher's Lt. Gov. on that ticket. I would think that Coleman's decision today also came after consultation with Fisher.

So, without further ado, my (ever changing) Ohio predictions:

Governor: Sherrod Brown vs. Michael Coleman

Senate: Jerry Springer runs unopposed in the primary

Ted Strickland: Runs for re-election in his congressional district

Don Plusquellic: Runs as Lt. Gov on Coleman's ticket -- if not -- runs for Sec. of State.

Fisher: Stays home

State Auditor: Democrats field no credible candidate

Sec. of State: Eric Fingerhut (big time guess here) -- If Plusquellic runs, Fingerhut stays home and watches Buckeye football with Fisher on Saturdays.

Posted at 10:58 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Update: Ohio 2006 and Sen. Reid War Room

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Two days ago I wrote about the timing of Ted Strickland bowing out of Ohio's race for governor in light of Ari Rabin-Havt joining Senator Reid's "war room." Today I got to speak with Ari for a bit and learned a great deal about his purchase of the Strickland for governor domain names. It appears that in 2002, someone purchased a Ted Strickland for Congress website and used if for nefarious purposes.

As one SSP blogger pointed out, Ari worked for Congressman Strickland in the past. It turns out that Ari snapped up potential 2006 Strickland for governor websites so the same would not happen again to a man Ari regards with the utmost respect and is, "one of the best bosses he has ever had."

That decision by a web-savvy former employee and current member of the "war room" doesn't surprise me. In fact, it is quite consistent with the discussions of post-modern politics we have had on SSP over the past few weeks.

Posted at 07:05 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Jerry Gets No Love From Plusquellic

Posted by Tim Tagaris

We still aren't any closer to figuring out who is going to run for what and against whom in Ohio, but we learned one thing today; if Jerry Springer is the Democratic nominee for governor, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic is taking his ball and going home.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said on Monday that he would not support Jerry Springer if the TV show host becomes the Democratic nominee for governor.

Springer and Plusquellic are among a handful of Ohio Democrats who are considering a run for governor in 2006. Plusquellic has spoken well of other possible Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but he had little good to say about Springer.

"It doesn't make sense for our party," Plusquellic said. "It will be a detriment to our party."

The run-down of potential candidates and where we are at with each of them is in the extended entry.

(Hat tip to the Seven Cent Nickel for forwarding me the above article)

Two seats up:

Republican Mayor Bob Taft - Term-Limited
Republican Senator Mike DeWine - Running for re-election

The Democrats:

Congressman Ted Strickland:

Will not run for Governor, but intends to run for "federal" office in 2006. Does that mean US Senate or simple seat retention in the House?

Strickland endorsed Sherrod Brown for governor in 2006.

Congressman Sherrod Brown:

Has said that he will wait six months to make his decision on whether or not to run for governor. Brown had the following to say about Jerry Springer in the same article referenced above the fold:

"I don't think Jerry is the nominee we want," Brown said in an interview. "Jerry is very smart, he's right on the issues, he's as good a speaker as there is out there, but his TV show is just too much baggage."

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman:

Probably the least visible of the all the potential candidates for governor. We know from yesterday that there is a website out there tagged for his run.

We also know that him and Plusquellic have talked and decided that they would not run against eachother in a primary.

Ohio Dem. of the Year Jerry Springer:

Maybe he can run for Senate with the crowded field for governor? Plusquellic won't support him, Brown thinks he has too much baggage because of the television show, and still no one has brought up a certain check he wishes he could have back.

I like Jerry. I have heard him speak and dammit if he isn't passionate and spot on with the issues. It will take a special/different kind of campaign to beat DeWine; why not Jerry?

Besides, he can self-finance and his original intent was to run against Voinovich for Senate in 2004. I also love the fact that Jesse Taylor from Pandagon is on his payroll right now.

I know the Senate seat will be more difficult, but I would love to see him give it a go.

Akron Mayor Done Plusquellic:

Is thinking about running for Governor -- will not run against Coleman in a primary -- and has no love for Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Quite frankly, I believe he is the least appealing of all the candidates mentioned on this list.

Posted at 03:59 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ohio 2006 & Senator Reid's War Room

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Is there a connection between Senator Reid's "war room" and the mid-term election of 2006 in Ohio?

Until last week, it looked like Congressman Ted Strickland was poised to run for governor in the state of Ohio. While researching potential candidates, I looked at obvious Ohio candidate domain names to see if they were purchased and by whom.

I started with the most obvious URL first.

Domain name: strickland2006.com

Ari Rabin-havt (email omitted)
2117 L St NW #211
Washington, DC 20027-1524
United States (phone number omitted)

Same with strickland2006.org
Same with stricklandforgovernor.com & .org
Same with stricklandforohio.com & .org

The guy hired to handle netroots outreach in Senator Reid's "war room" purchased them all. Each of them. Every last one.

One of two things are going on here.

A) Ari was primed to work for Ted Strickland in a netroots outreach/communications capacity as he did for John Kerry. It should also be no secret to anyone with political savvy that there is a boat load of money available online for whoever takes on Kenneth Blackwell for governor. Ari seems like a logical hire.


B) He is a cybersquatter who scoops up domain names and does who knows what with them.

Option 'A' seems most likely to me.

Rewind to last week...

Next thing you know, Strickland bowed out of the race and backed fellow congressman, my personal hero, Sherrod Brown. Strickland leaves his future plans in the air cryptically noting that he would run for federal office in 2006. Does that mean a Senate run or re-election to his congressional district?

Back to network solutions to search for what domain names are taken and who owns them.

www.stricklandforsenate.com -- available
www.stricklandforsenate.org -- available

In fact, every derivative I could think of that would involve a Ted Strickland senate run is available as well.

What does that mean? It could mean nothing at all.

To me, it means that Ted Strickland isn't running for anything at all and Jerry Springer is going to be the Democratic nominee for United States Senate. Springer is acting like a candidate and was named Ohio Democrat of the year last year. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! has paid his dues and Democrats will need a unique candidate to take on an admired Senator DeWine. Springer also just launched his new radio show two weeks ago. Add it up.

As for the race to become Ohio's chief executive, if it's not Sherrod Brown, it will probably be Michael Coleman, Mayor of Columbus.

And yes, colemanforohio.com is taken...

Posted at 03:04 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ohio Gov: Ted Stickland Out - Sherrod Brown In

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Yes! Yes! Yes! Possibly my favorite politician, period!

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lucasville said Tuesday he will not seek the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor in 2006.

Strickland called other potential Democratic candidates "highly qualified," but said his favored candidate would be U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown.

Among other Democrats still considering whether to run are Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, State Sen. Eric Fingerhut, former Attorney General Lee Fisher and television and radio host Jerry Springer.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Knuckle Up: It's gonna be on in OH-16

Posted by Tim Tagaris

When Congressman Ralph Regula was passed over for Chairman of House Appropriations Committee, many believed he might not even stick around to finish his 17th term. That speculation was put to rest by Regula in the Akron Beacon Journal yesterday.

However, chances are the people of Ohio's 16th District will be selecting a new Congressman when 2006 rolls around. Passed over for his career capstone, Regula will probably hang it up and advocate for the Republican of choice during the next election cycle.

Stark County, the largest in the 16th district, comprises 55% of the total vote in the CD. It also went for John Kerry in the presidential race. Due to redistricting Medina County is also part of the 16th district now; Before the gerrymander, Medina consistently elected Democrat Sherrod Brown to the House of Representatives. The other two counties are solid Republican, Ashland and Wayne. Looking at the total picture, this race will be a toss-up in every sense the word.

From what I witnessed during the 2004 election cycle, the field is going to be a crowded one as well. Get to know these names; you will be seeing them highlighted as a top tier race during the 2006 campaign season.


The Democrats have a few options. First, Stark County Democratic Party Chairman Johnnie Maier seems to be the favorite to emerge from the primary if he runs. He has had designs on the seat for some time now, patiently waiting until Regula retired.

As the party chair, his name recognition in Stark County will start out high, and his tenure in Ohio' State House should bolster his credibility and ability to fundraise.

That being said, there are quite a few people, Democrats, who would like to take Maier out in the primary. During the 2004 presidential race with a spotlight on Stark County, Maier managed to piss off almost every outside organization that came in to help the Kerry campaign. His selective support of Democratic candidates running for local office lost him future support as well.

Then there is option number 2. I know these people personally, so let me start by saying this is purely speculative...

Recently elected to a first term in the Ohio State House of Representatives, William J. Healy II would be a formidable challenge for a Democratic field and whatever Republican emerges from the other side's contest.

Healy has great name recognition in Stark County and his father was a well respected local politician. In 2004, Healy trounced his opponent Mandwell Patterson in the State House race, earning around 70% of the total vote. Healy has a great team around him as well, if and when his aspirations for the future manifest themselves.

Then there is Jeff Seemann. Seemann was the candidate who squared off against Regula in 2004. Even though he only garnered 34% of the vote at the end of the day, his campaigns use of the Internet received world-wide acclaim from L.A. to Australia.

Seemann will have to nurture the grassroots support he cultivated during his quixotic 2004 campaign if he is to be taken seriously in attempt to represent the party in 2006.

With a field of prominent Democrats beginning to jockey for position, the road ahead might be a long one for Seemann who has already declared his intention of running for the U.S. House again. In the post, Seemann recognizes the field will be a crowded one. The only way Seemann gets out of the primary is if he has the full support of an Internet community that carried his campaign as far as it went in 2004.

For the Republicans, three names appear on most people's short list.

State Senator Kurt Schuring: Schuring was chairman of the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004. He is a well respected State Senator by people on both sides of the aisle. There was a point in time where some Democrats believed he was going to switch to the "blue team," but that hasn't happened yet. At the end of the day, some pretty nasty, and still private, opposition research will doom this candidate's bid.

Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula: Richard is the son of current Congressman Ralph Regula. His last name recognition would allow him to mount a serious bid. After all, it carried him into the Commissioner post.

Regula would seem to be the anointed favorite by the Republican Party faithful. It is that belief that led many to conclude Schuring was going to switch parties and run as a Democrat for the seat in 2006.

Scott Oelslager, Ohio State House of Representatives: Oelslager is a pretty moderate Republican as well. In 2004, he broke with his party to quash major "tort reform" legislation. He is another well-liked Republican that will fare well in a labor heavy, yet socially conservative part of the Buckeye State.

At the end of the day, I would have to say this seat is lean Republican, assuming Regula does retire. The reason it wouldn't lean into the Democratic column is Chairman Johnnie Maier's fault. In 2004, Democrats had a good opportunity to condition 16th district voters to vote against Ralph Regula; Lord knows there were enough reasons to do so.

Jeff Seemann generated the seed capital necessary to make the race a competitive one, but the local party dropped the ball. They failed to support the campaign in any substantive way, and Regula was elected in an overwhelming fashion once again.

If Johnnie Maier would have the foresight to get involved with the campaign, he would have not only been earning votes for Seemann in 2004, but conditioning voters for himself, in 2006.

Posted at 09:52 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Statement from Senator Barbara Boxer

Posted by Bob Brigham



Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., signed a challenge mounted by House Democrats to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which put Bush over the top.

Asked about her historic vote to stand up for the people, the Office of US Senator Barbara Boxer may have released the following statement:

"I exercise my right to express when I feel it's time. I say to fight, you take it as I'mma whip someone's ass."

"Come along follow me as I lead through the darkness, as I provide just enough spark that we need to proceed. Carry on, give me hope, give me strength -- come with me and I won't steer you wrong."

"Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog to the light at the end of the tunnel."

"Now this is our final hour, let me be the voice in your strength and your choice. Let me simplify the rhyme just to amplify the noise. Try to amplify the times it, and multiply by six. Teen million people are equal at this high pitch."

"If we don't serve our own country, we're patronizing a hero. Look in his eyes its all lies."

Posted at 11:32 AM in 2006 Elections, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, California, Ohio | Technorati

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Lewis (R-CA) Named to Head House Appropriations Committee

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Details to follow as they become available. I just got off the phone with Congressman Regula's (R-OH) D.C. Office; the decision came down one hour ago (approx. 12:30 EsT).

Jerry Lewis (R-CA) was selected as to chair the powerful appropriations post. For more information on why this is a big decision, check this post.


Posted at 01:29 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, General, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ohio 2006

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Ohio potentially offers 2 of the most hotly contested races in the 2006 election cycle.  By virtue of the status that accompanies these seats, and the fact that they are in Ohio -- focus on these races will not be spared by media, party, and pundits alike.

So, let's take a first look?

Current Governor of Ohio: Bob Taft (Term Limited)

Current Senator up for re-election: Mike DeWine

More below the jump...

The villains

Governor Bob Taft:  He isn't running, but one thing isn't for sure; Taft is not the most popular Governor east of the Mississippi -- even within his own party.

Many of us remember the comments about Governor Taft made by Conan the Republican, Grover Norquist, shortly before the election.

We have an idiot, stupid, corrupt, dumb rotten republican Governor in that State... who has been busy looting the state, raising taxes, lying to the gun owners.

Ohio is the only state that in the nation that has lost jobs and isn't recovering because he's been beating the economy to death in the state. But he's not on the ballot, George Bush is on the state. It's not helpful, he should be taken out and horsewhipped.

This seat is prime for a pick-up; one of the names I keep hearing over and over again, ready for a Republican run is Kenneth Blackwell.  That's right, THE Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.

Corruption and enabling an unfair voting process obviously has its perks in the Republican party. 

Other potential candidates include Attorney General Jim Petro and Auditor Betty Montgomery.  An initial poll has Blackwell faring best among those candidates with 36% -- to Montgomery 21% -- to Petro at 18%.

Then there is United States Senator Mike DeWine; who kind of looks like a garden gnome to me...

Here is the chart for DeWine.  Check out his positions HERE

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

But enough of them, let's talk about the good guys.

Ted Strickland

One Democrat who seems to have his sites set on Bob Taft's seat is Congressman Ted Strickland.

I had the opportunity to meet and listen to Congressman Strickland a few times while I was working in Ohio for the 2004 election.  He seemed like he was already campaigning for a state-wide office.  He took the cycle to travel from corner to corner in the state, stumping for the President, Eric Fingerhut, and a full-slate of Democratic challengers for Congress.

He is a very bright candidate, but not the kind of guy that makes you get out of your seat and start a mosh pit at a party rally.  Besides, when I saw him speak, it was normally along side of Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown.  Those two will infect you with the "spirit" when listening to them.

You can learn more about him on the issues, HERE.  People also seem to like the chart, so here it is as well.

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Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

Yup, Jerry Springer.  Love him or think he is a hazard to the Democratic Party, he has done an immense amount of work for Democrats in and out of the state.

You can check out his blog HERE. I bet you didn't know that Kos himself along with Jesse from Pandagon, and Jerome from MyDD are contributors to Jerry's blog.  Well, they are.

Here is the thing about Jerry.  Unlike Eric Fingerhut, name recognition is not a problem. Everyone knows Jerry.  Not only that, he has access to several boatloads full of cash.  He already had over $1 million in a campaign account before he decided to pull-out of the 2004 Senatorial race.

Just to show you how popular Jerry Springer is in some circles, he was named the Democrat of the Year for 2004 in the state of Ohio.

Most assume that Jerry will run for the Senate seat, although that is in question.  He may choose to attempt a gubernatorial run.  It wouldn't be the first time either.  In 1982 Springer ran for governor, but came in 3rd in the Democratic primary.

Jerry is a very dynamic speaker, but might have a tough time putting that television show of his behind him.  There is also the small story of a check he should have never written.

Michael Coleman

Coleman is the mayor of Columbus, the state capital of Ohio.  If Coleman does decide to throw his hat into a ring, it will be in the race for Governor.

There was an article yesterday in the Canton Repository about Coleman and another candidate, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, saying they would not run against each other in the primary.

Coleman has made some headlines lately, participating in a movement to remove the Ohio State Party Chairman, Dennis White, from office.  Many believe there is a "pattern of failure" within the Ohio Democratic Party, and White needs to go.

Coleman has stopped short of calling for White's job.

Don Plusquellic

Plusquellic is the Mayor of Akron and has indicated in the past that he has no intention of running for office.  But now that, "Ohio is in such bad condition," he will consider the possibility of running for Governor.

Plusquellic has been the mayor of Akron since 1987.  He is also the president of the United States Council of Mayors.

Sherrod Brown

I cannot say enough about Sherrod Brown.  He is the best, the greatest, one-of-a-kind.

I haven't seen much about his desire to run for Senate, but gosh I wish he would. Don't get me wrong, there are rumblings within the state party establishment, but I think Democrats might move aside for Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

If you don't want to read lavish praise tossed upon a man for several paragraphs, feel free to skip to the end and comment on the upcoming races.

Here is the chart on Sherrod.

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From an entire post on Swing State Project I wrote about the Congressman.

The first time I met Congressman Sherrod Brown (Dem. OH-13), he was speaking to a relatively small group of 40 people at a barbecue in Medina, Ohio.  Of all the candidates/electeds I met while working on the Seemann campaign (OH-16), I left Ohio impressed with none more so than Sherrod Brown.

He spoke eloquently and calmly about the importance of the 2004 Presidential Election.  Then his focus shifted, his voice rose, and his passion increased as he started talking about Republicans holding the Medicare vote open until 6 A.M. to gain the votes necessary in the House to pass the prescription drug bill.

He gave us the inside baseball you rarely read in the papers or watch on the television.  Blow by blow about ranking members coercing, threatening, and strong-arming Republicans opposed to the bill until they collected enough votes for passage.  Stories like Congressman Nick Smith (Rep. MI) being offered money for his son's Congressional campaign if he would switch his vote. 

In fact, Congressman Brown has won statewide office before.  In 1982 and 1986 he was voted in as Secretary of State in Ohio.  He can win in a state-wide election.  He has before.  It is my most sincere wish that he try it again.  And soon.  Say 2006?

So, that's the run down as I see it today.  If it was Final Jeopardy, I would guess you will see Strickland and Coleman in a primary for Governor & Jerry Springer unchallenged in the race for Senate.  But who the hell knows in Ohio.

Posted at 12:23 AM in Ohio | Comments (11) | Technorati

Monday, December 06, 2004

Democrats Fighting For Us: Sherrod Brown (OH-13)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The first time I met Congressman Sherrod Brown (Dem. OH-13), he was speaking to a relatively small group of 40 people at a barbecue in Medina, Ohio.  Of all the candidates/electeds I met while working on the Seemann campaign (OH-16), I left Ohio impressed with none more so than Sherrod Brown.

He spoke eloquently and calmly about the importance of the 2004 Presidential Election.  Then his focus shifted, his voice rose, and his passion increased as he started talking about Republicans holding the Medicare vote open until 6 A.M. to gain the votes necessary in the House to pass the prescription drug bill.

He gave us the inside baseball you rarely read in the papers or watch on the television.  Blow by blow about ranking members coercing, threatening, and strong-arming Republicans opposed to the bill until they collected enough votes for passage.  Stories like Congressman Nick Smith (Rep. MI) being offered money for his son's Congressional campaign if he would switch his vote. 

He spoke about economic injustice and wondered aloud how corporations like The Timken Company could post record profits one month, and threaten to lay of 1,300 workers and close 3 plants in a city that they have operated in for over a decade.  While that message obviously plays well in Northeast Ohio, an area decimated by job loss, he stands up for his principles on the tough issues as well.

You see, even in the socially conservative areas of Ohio, Congressman Brown is an outspoken supporter of not only civil unions, but opposed to restricting marriage to just a man and woman.  If you needed to see a sense of humor from the Congressman, on his Project Vote Smart NPAT test he was asked about Instant Run-off Voting.  He took that opportunity to challenge President Bush on the 2000 election; insinuating that if there was IRV, we would have a President Gore right now.

Congressman Brown is against the Patriot Act, and always has been.  Russ Feingold gets props for voting against the act in the Senate, but Brown was one of sixty-six House Members to vote against it as well.

I can't urge you enough to check out his positions on the NPAT, in full.  For my money, he is my kind of Congressman.  Willing to cast the tough votes, and willing to speak out-loud on the tough issues -- because he believes in them.

Then I stumbled upon this piece today, which inspired me to blog about the Congressman.  The Congressman took the debate about the Montreal Expos moving to Washington, D.C. and put his own spin on it.  Brilliant...

A team's name should reflect a city's heart. Since we lost that particular organ some time ago -- right around the time Newt Gingrich took out a Contract on America -- we ought to at least find a team name that reflects our government's values. If you think about it, the choice is obvious: The Washington Lobbyists.

...Now, some of these new rules will rile the traditionalists, but again, everybody's doing it. Washington Lobbyists will change the fan experience, too. Instead of the oh-so-boring Ball Day or Bat Day, the Washington Lobbyists and their corporate partners will offer:

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blanket Day: Fans get blanket product-liability waivers.
  • Timber Industry Bat Day: Made from 100 percent old-growth forest.
  • Halliburton Gasoline Night: A tank of gas for the first 1,000 fans, at the patriotic Halliburton price of $3.95 a gallon;
  • The Enron Doubleheader: Fans get in early with promises of a big win, but then the team kicks you out and takes your pension away

I have no idea who is going to run against Mike DeWine in 2006 for Ohio's other Senate seat.  I am probably saying that because I am in a bit of denial that our nominee might be Jerry Springer.  But I can think of two names that jump to the top of my head when I consider who I want in a Democratic nominee for the seat.  One is Tim Ryan.  He is another fighter, as we all saw from his floor speech about the potential for a draft.  The other is Congressman Sherrod Brown. 

In 2004 he carried his seat with 67% of the vote.  As a matter of fact, people used to call the Seemann campaign to complain that he was running against Sherrod Brown.  Republicans attempted to make Brown's seat more competitive in re-districting, leaving portions of Medina County in our race.  The citizens didn't know this, and would actually call us to complain.

This is a popular man, a good man.  I don't know if he has any intention to run, but he is a candidate we can all be proud of should he ever throw his hat into the ring.  In fact, Congressman Brown has won statewide office before.  In 1982 and 1986 he was voted in as Secretary of State in Ohio.  He can win in a state-wide election.  He has before.  It is my most sincere wish that he try it again.  And soon.  Say 2006?

Posted at 06:27 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

On the ground in... (Ohio)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I am currently sitting at Stark County Democratic Headquarters and at 8 A.M. there are two dozen people here. In 45 minutes, mass phone banking begins. Officials here claim that in Stark County alone there will be around 1,200 volunteers in total throughout the day. That includes phone banking, driving, election protection, canvassing and everything else necessary to carry the day in Ohio.

Even the local newspaper, The Canton Repository, conceded that John Kerry would get around 53% of the vote yesterday. When I say they conceded, I mean it. They have endorsed one Democratic nominee for President in over 100 years.

What is the signifcance, besides just being in Ohio? Well, Stark County is considered to be the state's bellwether. Newsweek, Washington Post, New York Times and many others claim the same. The bellwether label is not one the local party takes lightly either. CNN is broadcasting live from Canton, Ohio and everywhere you go there are television cameras, journalists, and yes - lawyers.

During the course of the day while canvassing and answering press inquiries for Jeff Seemann, I will update this thread with Ohio information and pictures from the field.

Update 1 8:30 A.M.: The same official who told me that we would have 1,200 volunteers today just said that early numbers indicate record turnout and that "we are making history today," in terms of number of voters in Stark County.

Update #2 One P.M.: Turnout in Stark County is still high, the rain has let up. One serious instance of voter intimindation outside of a polling place. The man had Kerry/Edwards signs all over his car, parked more than 100 ft. from the polls. A Republican official approahced his car and wrote down his license plate after asking him, "what's your business here?" When he drove away to come down to HQ, he was pulled over by an officer who said he heard the man was harassing voters at the polls - you should see this man, the claim is laughable. He was then written a ticket for failing to use a turn signal and sent on his way.

Feel free to use this thread to share stories from the ground where you are at. Tell us what the scene on the ground is, how your voting experience went, if you were challenged, how long did you wait in line, etc...

Let's make history today.


Posted at 08:29 AM in Ohio | Comments (22) | Technorati

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Swing State Mom Reports in from the Field

Posted by DavidNYC

The official Swing State Project mother, author of Picking Your Battles, has picked hers. Here's her report from the field:

From the ground in Ohio! I am here with 5,000 ACT volunteers in Cleveland getting out the vote. It is heartening to be surrounded by so many commited activists. We have poured in from as far as LA and NY. We are disproving the NYTimes which today writes that these states are "watching from the bleachers." No we are not! We have come down on to the playing field and giving it our all.

After a day of canvassing in the Mayfield Heights, which included private homes and apartments, we assembled in a hotel ballroom and worked on get out to vote "door-hangers" that will be distributed to 150,000 voters on election day. Canvassing continues today through Nov. 2. ACT is very, very, well organized and we go out in teams.

The atmosphere is encouraging because the preponderence of volunteers are young - I am one of the oldest people here! We have a job to do whether Kerry wins or not. We have to follow the DEAN Prime Directive to influence not just this elecation but the future of politics. For me this means to get people into the process of progressive, liberal politics. (Yes, I���m a bleeding heart liberal, which means I have a heart!)

Time to go hit the streets again. Everyone out there reading this: PLEASE get out there even in these last hours. It can and will make a difference.

You heard the lady! Get out there and do whatever you can.

Posted at 05:48 PM in Activism, Ohio | Comments (20) | Technorati

Friday, October 29, 2004

Don't Hate Yourself in the Morning

Posted by Tim Tagaris

My name is Tim Tagaris, Communications Director for Jeff Seemann. He is the Democratic Congressional candidate for House of Representatives in Ohio���s 16th District. (Be sure to check out our last commercial of the campaign - shameless plug.)

Introduction aside, David asked me to post a few entries between now and Election Day, and I figured there was no better way to start than to ask you to stop reading his blog and take advantage of some of the volunteer opportunities in Ohio (and other swing states). Over the next few days, I will also be reporting from Stark County in Ohio. Newsweek likes to call it the nation's "political epicenter," or "the bellwether county in the election's bellwether state." The scene on the ground here is like none other, and I am proud to be right in the mix.

That being said, I have also assembled contact information for State Party HQ and ACT Contacts for the following states: Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Mexico, Iowa, and Michigan. You can find the contact information for other states in the "continue reading" section. It's not too late to get involved. These organizations need us, especially on Election Day.

Enjoy and feel free to add additional info in the comments as well.

Without further ado, OHIO:

Ohio Democratic Party: (614) 221-6563

Ohio County Democratic Party Offices
�Ģ Stark County (Canton): (330) 477-0705
�Ģ Montgomery County (Dayton): (937) 222-4007
�Ģ Franklin County (Columbus): (614) 449-0547
�Ģ Cuyahoga County (Cleveland): (216) 621-9750

ACT Ohio Offices
�Ģ Akron: (330) 374-5500 - contact Teddy Lehman
�Ģ Cincinnati: (513) 281-1500 - contact Ross Meyer
�Ģ Cleveland: (216) 321-7183 - contact Julian Rogers
�Ģ Columbus: (614) 297-0223 - contact Chris Glaros
�Ģ Dayton: (937) 222-6550 - contact Ross Meyer
�Ģ Parma: (216) 661-6223 - contact Cheryl Webb
�Ģ Toledo: (419) 243-0641 - contact Jeff Dennler
�Ģ Youngstown: (330) 759-2401


Florida Democratic Party: (850) 222-3411

ACT Florida Offices
�Ģ Central Florida: (407) 856-3600
�Ģ Jacksonville: (904) 598-1401
�Ģ Miami: (305) 576-3925
�Ģ Orlando: (407) 236-0037
�Ģ Palm Beach: (561) 276-2807
�Ģ Tampa: (813) 350-9007


Wisconsin Democratic Party: (608) 255-5712

ACT Wisconsin Offices
�Ģ Appleton: (920) 734-3572 - contact Kritsa Elliot
�Ģ Madison: (608) 250-5923 - contact Jay Els
�Ģ Milwaukee: (414) 225-9004 - contact Eric Lowenberg
�Ģ Steven's Point: (715) 295-0742 - contact Whitney Zimmerman


Iowa Democratic Party: volunteer@iowademocrats.org

ACT Iowa Offices
�Ģ Ames: (515) 598-9528 - contact Jeff Happe
�Ģ Cedar Rapids: (319) 365-1660 - contact Kim Pieper
�Ģ Council Bluffs: (712) 322-2225 - contact Liz Albright
�Ģ Davenport: (563) 323-0740 - contact Lisa Switzer
�Ģ Des Moines: (515) 244-3111 - contact Matt Unger
�Ģ Iowa City: (319) 358-6759 - contact Tammy Wilson
�Ģ Sioux City: (712) 234-1323 - contact Ric Silber
�Ģ Waterloo: (319) 226-3544 - contact Arti Panjwani


New Hampshire Democratic Party: (603) 623-2999

ACT New Hampshire Offices
�Ģ Manchester (603) 622-9000 - contact Bob Lauro
�Ģ North Country Office (603) 356-0186 - contact Neil Alpert


New Mexico Democratic Party: (505) 830-3650

ACT New Mexico
�Ģ Albuquerque: (505) 830-9250 - contact Monica Estrada
�Ģ Las Cruces: (505) 647-0072 - contact Gianina Irlando Garcia
�Ģ Santa Fe: (505) 982-4091 - contact Charlie Kelly


Pennsylvania Democratic Party: (717) 238-9381

ACT Pennsylvania Offices
�Ģ Bucks County: (215) 442-0612 - contact Mike Rabinowitz
�Ģ Central PA: (717) 232-4723 - contact Bill Bacon
�Ģ Chester County: (610) 690-0216 - contact Tom Goldkuhle
�Ģ Delaware County: (610) 690-0212 - contact Joe Shields
�Ģ Erie: (814) 898-0150 - contact Gary Horton
�Ģ Johnstown: (814) 539-9095 - contact Wanda Hobson
�Ģ Lehigh Valley: (610) 774-0912 - contact Siobhan Bennett
�Ģ Montgomery County: (610) 825-3421 - contact Joanne Grossi
�Ģ Pittsburgh: (412) 281-6085 - contact Denny Roberge


Minnesota Democratic Party ("DFL"): (651) 293-1200

ACT Minnesota Offices
�Ģ Duluth: (218) 722-3389 - contact Kari Krogseng
�Ģ Eveleth: (218) 744-1446 - contact Jerry Perpich
�Ģ Saint Paul: (651) 645-1515 - contact Michelle Vidovic


Michigan Democratic Party: (517) 371-5410

Posted at 11:57 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

U. Cincy's New Ohio Poll: Whoa!

Posted by DavidNYC

Around a month ago, the University of Cincinnati conducted a poll which showed George Dubya Bush with a whopping eleven-point lead. Yes, it was not long after the Republican convention, but the prior "Ohio Poll" (as they call it) in August had shown Kerry with a two-point lead. Well, look who's back on top (PDF) (likely voters, mid-September in parens):

Kerry: 48 (43)
Bush: 46 (54)
Other/Undecided: 6 (3)
(MoE: 3.6%)

I'm less interested in the actual horserace numbers than I am the swing - that's 13 points in our boy JFK's direction in just a month. Either September was a serious outlier (though I don't think anyone convincingly argued that at the time), or we've got some big mo'.

We've done well shoring up our base: 88% of Dems are voting for Kerry (compared with 90% of Republicans for Bush) - and the independents are firmly in our camp, by a 55-26 margin (small subset, however, so bigger MoE). Favorability was not asked.

With the exception of a couple of GOP-conducted polls, Bush has not gone above 49% in the month of October. Anyone who has come to appreciate the 50% rule knows that this is dangerous territory for Bush. In fact, it's even worse than that: Between the previous U. Cincy poll (the one I mentioned above which showed Bush at 54-43) and now, only one non-partisan poll, done by the Columbus Dispatch, had Bush at 50+%.

This is going to be a major nailbiter. And I think right now, the polling - not just this one poll, but all of them in aggregate - is slightly in Kerry's favor.

(Thanks to reader HypoSpeaks.)

Posted at 01:15 PM in Ohio | Comments (19) | Technorati

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Yesterday You Voted - Today's the Day

Posted by DavidNYC

Yesterday, over 1200 people voted to decide Jeff Seemann's schedule for today, and now you can click here to see what it looks like. Looks pretty darn good to me. (Hey, Jeff, maybe you can cut costs by using us as your campaign manager every day?) And how can you not love the fact that people voted for Jeff to tuck his daughter in at 9 o'clock? So sweet!

The campaign is already getting some good local coverage in the Canton Repository, hopefully with more to follow. And we should also expect some updates from the campaign itself. Good luck today, Jeff!

Posted at 01:07 PM in Activism, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Manage the Seemann Campaign for a Day!

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh, man, this is so awesome - this is SUCH a cool idea. I can't tell you how many times during the Dean campaign I said to myself (or whomever would listen), "I wish I could be in charge for a day!" But Jeff Seemann is letting his supporters do exactly that: We get to decide everything Jeff does for an entire day. In other words, the Seemann campaign is letting the netroots become his virtual campaign manager for a day. Totally brilliant.

So how do you get involved? Follow this link. The staff has broken up Jeff's day into various segments, and we can vote on what we think Jeff should be doing in each time block. You think Jeff is best served by doing some blogging? You can vote for that. You want Jeff to go make some noise at the Timken factory? You can vote for that, too.

If you want some background on the various issues that affect Ohio's 16th CD, you should check out Jeff's website. You can also visit the DailyKos diaries of Tim Tagaris, Jeff's communications director, and Jeff's own DKos diary. And there's also the campaign's new blog.

Anyhow, go vote! This is the ultimate in netroots wish fulfillment: your chance to truly have a seat at the table. And if you are so inspired, you should give Jeff some turkee, or if you live in his area, volunteer for him.

UPDATE: A Raw Story partner has a piece on this, with a cute headline: "Candidate Ditches Manager, Hires Internet."

ANOTHER UPDATE: Kossacks, go recommend this diary by Jeff himself - everyone should have a chance to participate in this historic event.

Posted at 03:00 PM in Activism, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

It's Close in Ohio

Posted by DavidNYC

So the headline states the obvious, but what more is there to say? SUSA has a new Ohio poll out, which shows our boy with the narrowest of leads (likely voters, early September in parens):

Kerry: 49 (47)
Bush: 48 (50)
Other/Undecided: 3 (4)
(MoE: ��3.6%)

The poll was conducted after the first presidential debate, but it was a weekend poll, so apply whatever caveats you feel are appropriate. Yeah, this lead is what they like to call "statistically insignificant," but what I think is a bit more legit is the four point swing from B+3 to K+1.

I like SUSA - I think they are fairly reliable, and I also love the PDFs they release for each poll. I only wish they'd ask more questions, particularly about favorability. They do assert in their headline that this result is due to the debate, which is nice to hear. Not that you needed me to tell you this, but the race in this state is certain to come down to the wire. I don't think future polling will tell us much - we just need to stick it out here, work the ground game hard and keep our fingers crossed on election day.

Posted at 01:44 AM in Ohio | Comments (28) | Technorati

Monday, September 27, 2004

Guest Poster: Jeff Seemann

Posted by DavidNYC

[As you may already know, Jeff Seemann is a Dean-inspired candidate for Ohio's 16th Congressional District. Jeff is backed by DFA and the DailyKos, and I'm proud to join this group in supporting him. Back in April, when political campaigns rushed to pull their ads and links to DKos, Jeff displayed that all-too-rare virtue of loyalty - what James Carville calls "Stickin'." Since Jeff stuck with us, I'm stickin' with him, and without further ado, I present his guest-post here at the Swing State Project.]

Guest-Posted by Jeff Seemann

I decided to surprise my parents and stop by their place after a long day at the office. The street was lined with cars and a few Bush/Cheney yard signs. One house stood out in particular... the home of my parents, who were hosting a Busy/Cheney house party that night.

My name is Jeff Seemann, and I���m the Democratic candidate for US House in Ohio���s 16th District. 2004 marks the first year I have ever placed my name on a ballot, but this is not my first venture into the political arena.

I founded the Stark County Peace Coalition in February of 2003 as an attempt to stop the eventual war in Iraq. While we were unsuccessful with that goal, we did manage to create an environment where progressive Democrats could feel safe to come out and express their political opinions. Growing up, that environment didn���t even exist in my own home, let alone Canton, Ohio.

You see, I grew up with Republican parents. By midway through Reagan���s first term, they had fully consumed the Republican Kool-Aid. Looking back, I can���t blame them. They both had good jobs, owned their own home, and dad was finishing up his college education with night classes. Everything Reagan told them, they could see in front of their own eyes. Things are much worse for them today, yet they remain rabid Bush supporters.

As an impressionable teenager with Republican parents, I eventually saw what was happening to the rest of the world. I began to empathize. Slowly but surely, I took off the blinders. By the time I got to college, I embraced the label of "black sheep."

It took me a long time to become politically active, but when I walked into Democratic headquarters in early 1992 to become a volunteer, I became a different person. I busted my tail for Bill Clinton in 1996 and wept tears of joy while hugging my girlfriend as he gave his victory speech. I shared that same hug with the same girl, now my wife, in 2000 when Florida was announced as a win for Al Gore. Our 2-year-old daughter, up late as a special treat, didn���t understand why her parents were so happy, but was perfectly willing to bounce around the living room with us.

And then "it" happened. The thrill was gone, and yet another Jeff Seemann was born. I became an angry, frustrated political activist. Out of that anger grew a fighter, someone who would never again accept what was forced upon me.

From the moment they took back Florida on election night, our country has been in decline. Poverty is rising, unemployment is rising, corporate profits are rising, the number of children without health insurance is rising, and the amount of lies we are told is rising. Meanwhile, the number of Representatives that understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and live extended periods of time without health insurance is shrinking.

These are some of the many reasons that I am running to become the next Representative of Ohio���s 16th District. We need real representation in Congress. I was not groomed to become a politician. It was not expected of me, but it is something I have to do. I am running because many of the negative experiences I have faced in my life are shared by too many Americans across the country. We lack that basic understanding on Capitol Hill.

I have overcome a Republican upbringing, and I will overcome a Republican government. We have no other choice.

If you want to volunteer with my campaign - especially if you are in Ohio - please contact our Field Director: megan@jeffseemannforcongress. You can also visit our website or give a little.



Posted at 03:53 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, September 17, 2004

Making a Difference in the Field

Posted by DavidNYC

I hope everyone who was celebrating Rosh Hashanah had a great holiday - I certainly did. I just wanted to quickly point your attention to this diary by Dan who went to Ohio for five days of volunteer work. He & a friend hit up several different offices, including one of ACT's and a couple of Kerry's. In addition to doing all kinds of campaign work, Dan & Amanda also managed to get Kerry HQ to take action to shore up a flagging satellite office. Nicely done. Just goes to show you can make a big difference if you spend a few days in a swing state.

Posted at 07:47 PM in Activism, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, September 10, 2004

Two SUSA Polls: OH & NC

Posted by DavidNYC

[Note: I originally had the Ohio numbers swapped. Bush is ahead 50-47.]

Survey USA has new polls out for Ohio and North Carolina.

Ohio first (PDF) (likely voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 47
Bush: 50
Other/Undecided: 4
(MoE: ��3.8%)

SUSA is one of the more prolific polling outfits, so I'm surprised that this is their first survey of Ohio. Without trendlines, it's hard to know where this poll falls on the map, but the results seem to comport with everyone's expectations. Of course, you can never really how a given firm's definition of "likely voters" can skew their results.

Kerry apparently has the base fired up here: He gets 89% of Democrats, while Bush gets 91% of Republicans. Somewhat surprising (to me, anyhow) is that Bush leads 51-41 among independents. That might make sense, though, if that group includes swing voters who might be easily swayed by all the GOP convention coverage from last week.

And North Carolina (PDF) (likely voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 46 (45)
Bush: 50 (51)
Other/Undecided: 5 (4)
(MoE: ��4.2%)

Naysayers, you're gonna have a lot of `splainin' to do. Since Edwards was tapped, no poll from any outfit that I'm aware of has shown the race wider than seven points, and most show it a lot closer. (The only exception was a Gallup poll which showed likely voters preferring Bush by a 15-point margin. As we know, though, Gallup's LV model leans heavily Republican, for whatever reason - and, not surprisingly, their RVs showed a seven-point race.)

SUSA actually once had the race out at seven points, back in late July, just before the DNC. So if we extend the trendlines back that far, the Kerry-Edwards ticket has shown gains in two successive polls. This isn't a fluke, either. Democratic Gov. Mike Easley now has a 15-point advantage in his race, up from 7 in August, and Erskine Bowles, running for Senate, saw his lead jump from 8 points to 10.

As I always caution, I don't think it's likely that we'll win NC. And I think there are better battlegrounds for us to spend (most of) our money on. But there's no denying that we're competitive here, and that barring any shocking developments, Democrats will do well in North Carolina this fall - if not at the presidential level, then certainly in the Senate and State House. I should add that the NC House of Representatives is tied - 60 Dems to 60 Repubs. A strong year for the Blue Team in this state could definitely push this branch of government our way.

Posted at 03:22 AM in North Carolina, Ohio | Comments (14) | Technorati

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Four Gallup Polls (MO, OH, PA & WA)

Posted by DavidNYC

Gallup released four new polls today, for Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Washington. All were taken after the convention, and all pushed leaners. (The questioning: "If undecided: 'As of today, do you lean more toward Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats, or Bush and Cheney, the Republicans?'") That means that a certain amount of Bush's support has to be quite soft. Polling firms like to do this because it produces "cleaner" data, but I actually think it makes the picture look murkier.

Missouri first (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 42
Bush: 53
Other/Undecided: 5
(MoE: ��4%)

Gallup also polled LVs here, who favored Bush by a 55-41 margin. In mid-July, Gallup had the race tied at 48-48 among LVs. The fact is, though, we know that Bush will not triple or quadruple his 2000 margin in Missouri this time around.

And Ohio (registered voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 47 (52)
Bush: 48 (42)
Other/Undecided: 5 (6)
(MoE: ��4%)

Similarly here, we knew that Kerry wasn't going to win Ohio by ten points, so it's hardly surprising to see this race tighten up. What is very intesting is how skewed the LV numbers are for OH. Gallup has Bush up 52-44 among LVs, but as you can see, just one point up among RVs. And again, Bush isn't going to win OH by eight points (no matter what Zogby might say), so this just seems like pretty conclusive proof that Gallup's likely voter models skew absurdly Republican.

On to Pennsylvania (registered voters, late August in parens):

Kerry: 47 (49)
Bush: 47 (44)
Other/Undecided: 6 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

Unlike OH, the LVs don't show a big jump for Bush - he's up 48-47. However, back in August, the LVs had Bush doing four points better and Kerry doing two points worse than the RV horserace that month (which was, as indicated above, 49-44 Kerry).

And finally Washington (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 51
Bush: 43
Other/Undecided: 6
(MoE: ��4%)

The other/undecided category includes two points for Nader. (The other polls didn't ask about him.) For once, LVs don't show a big difference: 52-44 Kerry.

Detailed poll results are available here.

Posted at 12:52 PM in Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 09, 2004

Is Bush Shooting Himself in the Foot in Appalachia?

Posted by DavidNYC

This NYT story about coal mining regulations has me perplexed. On the one hand, it says that Bush wooed the mining vote in West Virginia in 2000 by promising to roll back environmental restrictions - ie, the kinds of regulations which allegedly were reducing the number of available mining jobs. WV, ordinarily a solid Democratic state, went for Bush - though Al Gore's gun stance (and some speculate, Joe Lieberman's religion) had something to do with it as well.

But now it seems, at the behest of the coal companies, Bushco is determined to roll back mining safety regulations, which are a horse of a much blacker color. The miners themselves - through their unions - are apparently quite opposed to such rollbacks. These anti-regulations, for instance, would permit exposure to even higher levels of coal dust - which is responsible for the dreaded black lung disease - even while OSHA itself is arguing for lower levels.

I can understand why the Bushies want to please their corporate benefactors in the coal industry. But coal executives don't cast too many votes. In order to once again carry a place like WV, Bush will need the rank-and-file - and if he's telling these works to literally eat his dust, I can't see how that's gonna help. And it seems to me that this is now the second time Bush has struck out when trying to win votes by helping a dying smokestack industry in Appalachia - remember steel tariffs, anyone? This news just put OH, PA and WV that much further out of Bush's grasp.

P.S. Environmental regulations - the kind promulgated by, say, the EPA or OSHA - are a key reason why it's so important to have a Democratic president. These sorts of rules can often be strengthened simply by a president's (or agency administrator's) directive, without getting stymed by lobbyists in Congress. And the regulations will get enforced by the president's appointees, who, without a doubt, will be much more vigilant in a Kerry administration than in a Bush administration.

Posted at 12:59 AM in Economy, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia | Comments (28) | Technorati

Monday, July 26, 2004

Another Batch of Polls

Posted by DavidNYC

I've been quite busy the past few days. Many law schools have a wonderful process called "Early Interview Week," a hellish few days during which you interview with about 8,000 different law firms to get a job for summer 2005, and for many people, the rest of their lives. (Firms wind up giving almost every summer associate a full-time offer for after graduation.) It sucks to have to think about next summer while this one is still just in July, but there it is.

Anyhow, every students who participates in EIW bids on the firms they want to interview with. (Each firm only has so many interview slots available.) So my bid list is due in a couple of days, and assembling it has been occupying a lot of my time. Sussing out the differences between Dewey, Cheatem & Howe versus Oliver & Dunne is a little bit like trying to distinguish between Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld... and right here, in case any potential employers are reading, I'm gonna quit with the analogy. But if you have any thoughts about any of the big New York firms, let me know.

Oh, yes, there was an actual point to this thread. Kos has another battleground poll roundup. There may be some repeats, but it does include the new SUSA Nevada poll (PDF) which was mentioned in comments here that I hadn't yet posted:

Kerry: 49
Bush: 45
Other: 4
Undecided: 3
(MoE: ��3.5%)

SUSA's low undecideds have always made me a bit uncomfortable, yet despite their all-automated surveying, they apparently have a pretty good track record. All things being equal, Bush can afford to lose NV - in a way, it's sort of a neither-here-nor-there state. That is to say, if we take Nevada, it means we've held NM, but I don't think it says anything about AZ. In other words, NV is part of a very small group of states which could change hands without a single other state changing hands.

Posted at 02:42 AM in Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio | Comments (18) | Technorati

Sunday, July 25, 2004

ACLU Punch-Card Suit in OH Goes to Trial

Posted by DavidNYC

You probably remember that the CEO of the infamous Diebold, Inc. said last summer that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." So it may or may not come as good news to you that the ACLU is currently suing the Ohio Secretary of State over the fact that many poorer (often heavily minority) communities are still using punch cards. Most electronic voting machines don't leave paper trails, but on the flip-side, punch cards have a higher error rate (see: chad - hanging, pregnant, dimpled, etc.). The ACLU is saying that this constitutes an equal-protection & Voting Righs Act violation, because more minority voters are likely to be disenfranchised.

On balance, I think if the ACLU prevails, it would be a good thing. ACLU research has shown that punch-card counties have had a ballot rejection rate six times higher than touch-screen counties. And in some minority neighborhoods around Akron, the rejection rate was up to 15%.

The ACLU actually filed this class-action suit (known as Stewart v. Blackwell) back in the fall of 2002, and the trial is finally set to start Monday. It's not clear to me how long it's expected to last, but given the obvious time constraints, I'd presume that some sort of conclusion will be reached soon. The fallout could be pretty immense, though - if punch-card systems are invalidated, I have no idea how Ohio would be able to comply with the ruling on such short notice.

While I was researching this case, I happened across a blog called "Equal Vote." It's run by an OSU Law prof. named Dan Tokaji who specializes in voting rights & voting technology. He's also co-counsel for the ACLU on this case, so if you're interested in following the developments, I'll bet that Prof. Tokaji will be covering it.

Posted at 08:54 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Five Ohios

Posted by DavidNYC

Ohio. It's the mother of all swing states - and did you know that there are actually five of them? At least, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which is doing a summer-long series of articles on each region of the state. The first is on rural Appalachia, the poorest and least-educated part of Ohio.

But interestingly, despite a pedigree that might scream "Republican!" to some, Appalachia is a pretty swingy area: It delivered quite a few votes for Clinton both times around, though it mostly flipped to Bush in 2000. Economic issues are big here, given that the region mostly revolves around a dying manufacturing base, and Bush has gotten poor marks here on this front. (Only heavily Democratic Cleveland scores him worse.) The unsurprising flip-side is that the region is decidedly God-fearing, and morals are a close second to the economy here.

I think Kerry & Edwards have some good advantages over Gore-Lieberman, though. For one, John Kerry actually looks pretty comfortable holding a hunting rifle - CW says that Gore got killed on the guns issue here, much as he did in West Virginia. (And "up to 30%" of the men in the area are veterns, just like Kerry.)

Perhaps more importantly, Edwards' rural background will let him connect with voters in this region in a way that no one on the 2000 ticket could. And above all, the economy is still in the tank, and whatever signs of life it's showing are almost certainly not in evidence in Appalachia.

Is Appalachia the key to winning Ohio? I honestly don't know enough to say - but if it is, then this piece makes me think we have a fighting chance at carrying the region, and the state. I eagerly await the rest of the articles in this series. I like the style so far: Yes, there are a lot of man-on-the-street quotes, but the authors weave in useful stats, so the anecdotes actually wind up telling a meaningful story.

And because I can't resist a good map, I leave you with this big boy:

Five Ohios

(Thanks to Wes F.)

Posted at 12:42 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Ohio's Unpopular Gov. Taft

Posted by DavidNYC

The Times has a front-page (at least, front page of the website) story on Ohio. It's one of those purely anecdotal stories that I find both boring and useless: The reporter just wanders around the state in search of swing voters and gathers some quotes from people who profess to like neither Bush nor Kerry.

But there's another, much more interesting story in the Times today about Ohio, one that I hadn't yet heard about. Apparently, there's a split on the right in Ohio state politics, between the allegedly moderate Governor Bob Taft and his more conservative flank. Ohio Republicans, who dominate every level of government, are now suffering for that strangehold: GOP has only itself to blame for Ohio's problems, so now the infighting has begun. (This is similar to the position faced by the national GOP, which holds every lever of power at the federal level.)

Gov. Taft - who can't run for re-election in 2006 - has seen his approval rating drop to 47% in the most recent University of Cincinatti Ohio Poll (PDF). Admittedly, this poll was taken in February, but Taft used to be a very popular figure, regularly garnerning approval ratings in the high 60s. Evidently, people are unhappy that Taft raised taxes - which of course is the bitter fruit left to state governments as a result of Bush's tax cuts.

It remains to be seen what kind of an effect this will actually have on the election. Some very tired conventional wisdom says that the party which holds a state's governor's mansion gets a boost on election day. (I have no idea how you'd test this theory out, but like I said, it's just the CW.) I don't doubt, though, that a popular governor can help a presidential election effort, and I'm sure that guys like Bill Richardson in NM or Ed Rendell in PA will be a big help to us. But if Taft is unpopular to the point of being persona non grata on the campaign trail, that can only be a boon for our side.

P.S. I rather like the map that the Times produced showing how Ohio voted in 2000. (And good to see Dave Leip getting credit where credit is due.)

Posted at 02:19 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

Monday, June 14, 2004

Why Downticket Races Matter

Posted by DavidNYC

I stressed one point tonight in my little talk at the Kerry fundraiser mentioned below: It's not enough for us just to win the White House. If we want to be able to accomplish anything at all - whether we're talking legislation or appointing federal judges - we need to take back Congress as well. Clinton spent six years fighting off a hostile GOP House and Senate every day. To undo the damage Bush has done, we're going to need the Presidency and one if not both branches of Congress.

So what does this have to do with the Swing State Project? Well, in certain cases, we get to kill two birds with one well-aimed stone. By supporting House and Senate candidates in swing states, we increase our chances of winning the state for Kerry and recapturing Congress. On the Senate side, we've got several great candidates: Joe Hoeffel running in PA, Nancy Farmer in MO and Eric Fingerhut in OH. And once Florida, Louisiana, and Colorado sort out their primaries, we should have strong opportunities there as well.

The House side is a little more complicated, with so many more races to keep track of. But to give one example of what I mean, check out Markos' post about Ohio. Though OH is a very large state, political observers thought until recently that every member, D and R, of Ohio's House delegation was safe. Turns out now that three insurgent Democrats - Ben Konop, Jane Mitakides, and Jeff Seemann - have all made things a lot more interesting, simply by putting up a fight.

Now, I'm not saying we'll win all these races - far from it. But each of these candidates - whether a big name like Farmer or a smaller player like Seemann - is making Republicans sweat. As I've written previously, every time we fight for a seat, regardless of our odds of winning, we prevent incumbent GOPers from fundraising for their buddies and force them to defend their home turf.

And when we combine this attitude - that we'll make every election a serious battle - with a focus on swing states, we can really hit one out of the park: taking back the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill.

UPDATE: I'm very pleased to see that Markos has selected Jeff Seemann as one of the "DKos 8" - Congressional candidates to whom the Kos community is pledging their full support. Read the post, though: Jeff's district (Ohio's 16th) is home to one of the most important "swing counties" in Ohio. If we really show up in force for Jeff, we can make things a lot harder for Dubya in the Buckeye State.

Posted at 09:38 PM in General, Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, June 10, 2004

LAT Polls Three Swing States: MO, OH, WI

Posted by DavidNYC

As part of a larger national poll, the LA Times also ran polls in three swing states: Missouri, Ohio & Wisconsin.


Kerry: 37
Bush: 48
Nader: 5
Unsure: 10

Kerry: 42
Bush: 48
Unsure: 10


Kerry: 45
Bush: 42
Nader: 4
Unsure: 9

Kerry: 46
Bush: 45
Unsure: 9


Kerry: 42
Bush: 44
Nader: 4
Unsure: 10

Kerry: 44
Bush: 44
Unsure: 11
Other (vol.): 1

(MoE for all polls: ��4%)

The MO result is pretty disheartening - but of course, we don't need it to win. On the flipside, we can't afford to concede it, either. If we do that, then the Bushies can pour that money into Ohio instead.

(Thanks to mattb25.)

UPDATE: I added in the polling numbers without Nader. Kerry looks a lot better in MO - indeed, five points better - without Nader in the mix.

Posted at 01:34 AM in Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin | Comments (13) | Technorati

Monday, May 31, 2004

OH: Six-Point Bush Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

I think I might be a bit late to the party in reporting on this poll, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer offers us some bad news:

Bush: 47
Kerry: 41
Nader: 3
Undecided: 9
(MoE: ��2.6%)

One unusual thing about this poll is the very large sample size (1,500), which yields, of course, a very low MoE. Other than that, I'm not sure what to say. The most recent prior poll by ARG showed Kerry with a lead of this size, while a trio of polls taken back in March showed a much closer race.

A quick side-note: Some people have asked about alternate empirical prediction methods, to contrast with Chris's GECC. David Wissing (who invaluably compiles all the state polling information in one place, as linked above) uses a very simple method: He awards a state's EVs to the winner of the most recent poll in that state, and where polling is unavailable, he uses the 2000 results. Right now, that gives Bush 296 EVs to Kerry's 242. David, by the way, is a Bush supporter - but his methodology, of course, is purely objective.

UPDATE: Brian in the comments points us to the Ohio Democratic Party's response to this poll. It's nice to see such responsiveness on the official level. Back in November, I asked the New York State Democratic Party if they were going to start a blog. I was told to take a hike. So typical. Sigh.

Posted at 04:07 PM in Ohio | Comments (15) | Technorati

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Kerry Camp Setting Up Shop in Ohio

Posted by DavidNYC

See, they're obviously listening to me: A headline in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer reads: "Kerry's election team sets up camp in Ohio." Apparently, the Kerry campaign is opening field offices in Cleveland, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and several other cities. A Columbus office is slated to become the Ohio HQ. Of course, I'm incredibly happy to finally see this, and I'll talk a little bit more about why.

On the Dean campaign, I saw both sides: I started off in the grassroots, but when Dean opened an office in New York City, I went to work there. As important as the grassroots work we did was, there's only so much you can do without the guidance and resources of the campaign itself. In the grassroots phase, we went largely by instinct and never had much direction from above. We were able to hand out flyers at rallies and spread the word at meetups and online - all good things - but our abilities were pretty limited. And our budget (apart from people covering things out-of-pocket) was exactly $0.00.

In the campaign phase, we were able to do so much more: Charter buses full of volunteers to go up to New Hampshire, hold huge fundraisers, ensure that we got media coverage, and so forth. We were also able to give direction and advice (when needed) to independent grassroots groups. The bottom line is that it's important to have both a grassroots and an official presence. And now that we do in Ohio, I think we can really start to kick some ass.

Furthermore, the Kerry people are pledging that they'll stay in Ohio until the bitter end. A lot of people (I think rightly) blame Gore's loss in Ohio on the fact that he abandonded the state in the waning weeks of the 2000 campaign, so it's good to see Kerry making this kind of promise.

Now, about that voice-mail system.... :)

(Thanks to Cindy.)

Posted at 10:06 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

Kerry Up Big in New Ohio Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

ARG just released a new poll for Ohio. Yes, I know it's only one poll, and we are many months away from the election. But this is some good, good news:

Kerry: 49
Bush: 42
Nader: 2
Undecided: 7

Sans Nader:

Kerry: 50
Bush: 43
Undecided: 7
(MOE: ��4%)

I know I was a bit rough on the Kerry campaign in yesterday's post, though I still maintain that we need a strong Ohio presence, pronto. In fact, I think poll results like these make that argument more powerful, by showing that we can definitely win this hugely important state, and that we have a lead worth defending.

(Thanks to paperbag.)

Posted at 03:27 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

Saturday, April 24, 2004

"The Multilevel Marketing of the President"

Posted by DavidNYC

The NYT Magazine (in tomorrow's edition) has a mondo cover story on the Bush operation in Ohio. From the title alone, I'm assuming that there's a bit of an Amway-esque quality to what the GOP is doing in the Buckeye State. If I catch a few free minutes on a study break, I'll try to post some thoughts.

P.S. DemFromCT has some comments over at Kos.

Posted at 10:07 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Teixeira: Combine New and Old to Win Ohio

Posted by DavidNYC

Democratic uber-guru Ruy Teixeira has a piece in The Gadflyer describing what he calls "Newer Democrats," who, he says, "view th[e] argument between New and Old Democrats as old hat and fundamentally unproductive. Their pragmatic concern is to toughen up the party to beat George Bush and take back Congress; any tool from the Democratic toolbox that works, be it New, Old or in between should be employed toward that end." I couldn't agree more.

Teixeira then uses Ohio as an example of how we can use our various Democratic tools to bring us to victory. I ordinarily shy away from long excerpts (human nature just causes our eyes to gloss over big block quotes), but his analysis is really worth a read:

Take Ohio, perhaps the key swing state for the Democrats in 2004. Al Gore lost Ohio's 21 electoral votes by less than four percentage points in 2000, and the combined Gore-Nader vote ran only two percent behind the combined Bush-Buchanan vote.

The economic basis for overtaking the GOP should be there for Democrats in 2004. Heavily unionized Ohio (37 percent of voters are in union households, including 35 percent of white voters) has lost one-sixth of its manufacturing jobs since Bush took office, including a stunning 81,000 since November 2001, the official beginning of the current economic recovery. Can Democrats win this state without a strong populist critique of the Bush administration's economic record? I doubt it.

On the other hand, Ohio, according to a recent Pew Research Center report, is still one of the more traditional states in the country on social issues. And about half of white voters there own a gun and tend to be suspicious of Democrats' views on gun control. That means the kind of "values centrism" advocated by New Democrats also has a place in the campaign toolbox in Ohio. Sure, Democrats have to support bedrock principles like a woman's right to choose, but, in a state like Ohio, that support has to be framed in moral terms these voters can understand ("safe, legal and rare") and combined with moderate stances on issues like gun control (think "gun safety").

This pragmatic, Newer Democrat approach has the best chance of moving Ohio's independent voters ��� a volatile mix of culturally conservative white working class voters and more moderate suburban professionals ��� back into the Democratic column in 2004. Exit poll data show that in 1996 and 2000, Democratic and Republican identifiers were about equally polarized toward their respective presidential candidates. But independents swung from a seven-point advantage for the Democrats in 1996 to a 16-point disadvantage in 2000. Move that margin back toward 1996 territory (heck, even the break-even point) and Democrats have the state.

And here's the good news: The latest Ohio poll has Sen. John Kerry beating Bush by 13 points among independents. If Kerry's campaign stays the Newer Democrat course, his chances of taking that state should be excellent.

Overall, I very much agree with this take. But while I think we can definitely woo independents back to our fold, I think Teixeira may be reading a little too much into those poll numbers. I assume that he's talking about the most recent Ohio Poll (PDF), which indeed gives Kerry a 37-24 lead over Bush. However, the poll (on page 5) specifically notes that there were under 75 respondents in the "Independent" category, and that "additional caution should be taken when interpreting the findings of this subgroup." So until we have better numbers, I'm going to remain, well, cautious on this front.

Posted at 03:15 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Friday, April 02, 2004

No Kerry Organization (Yet) in Ohio & Other Observations

Posted by DavidNYC

Ohio, not so surprisingly, has become ground zero in the battle for the Presidency. With 20 EVs, it's the third-largest swing state (behind FL's 27 and just one behind PA), and polls this time around suggest once again that it is up for grabs. Every article on Ohio mentions that no Republican has ever won the White House without taking the Buckeye State. While I obviously don't believe in Hirdt's Law, it's probably true as well that this time out, the GOP can't win without Ohio.

(Democrats, by the way, have taken the White House without Ohio twice in the 20th century: Kennedy in 1960 and FDR in 1944.)

With this in mind, I highly recommend this piece (mentioned to me by a reader) in USA Today by Judy Keen, which does a good job of looking at what's going on in Ohio. There are a few things I'd like to highlight here:

�Ģ Kerry apparently has almost no operation to speak of in Ohio. This is highly distressing. Not only did Kerry have the nomination all but sewn up a month ago, but Ohio was a Super Tuesday state. Didn't he put some kind of field or media operation together there? This is one of those painful times when you just know that, whatever you think of the man, Howard Dean would have had hundreds if not thousands of volunteers already working for him across the state - or rather, continuing to work for him. Let's get a move on, and right quick, Sen. Kerry.

�Ģ One thing I like a lot about this piece is that it does a bunch of SSP-style employment number comparisons, including numbers for the best-off and worst-off counties in the state, in addition to statewide numbers. Keen doesn't mention, though, that even in the county (Holmes) with the lowest unemployment, it's still gone up considerably since Bush took office: From 2.8% to 3.9%.

�Ģ While I'm always hesitant to draw out trends from mere anecdotal evidence - and Keen is quite careful not to - two of the people quoted in the article, who are from seemingly very different backgrounds, both blame 9/11 for their economic woes. (I get the sense that Keen wouldn't have quoted both of them unless it were something she had heard on multiple occasions.) I realize Bush has pushed this line forever, but I'm still a little shocked to see that it's been so successful - and I think my shock is a very bad sign. I think, without realizing it, we let Bush get away with pushing this (dare I use the word?) meme out there, and I can't imagine how we can stuff it back into the bottle.

By the same token, another fellow says that it's his understanding that the economy went south before Bush took office - so, ya know, is it really fair to hold the President responsible? Lots of liberal blogs (at least that I read) ridiculed Bush for lying about when the recession started, but these lies seemingly had an effect. And while ordinarily, I'd agree that there isn't all that much a President can do to fix a broken economy, I know enough to know that there are short-term stimulus measures that should have been implemented but weren't. But once again, Bush has apparently sold this idea with some success.

I raise these points because I think that I - and others - have too glibly assumed that a poor economy would automatically turn voters against Bush. There's no doubt that this has happened, to some extent. And one big weakness in Keen's piece is that she managed only to interview people who still have jobs, despite harping on the employment issue and mentioning several large local layoffs. Plus, most of the people in the piece who defend Bush seem to be Republicans.

But one of the "blame it on 9/11" store-owners quoted is a registered independent. Even though her business has tanked lately, she still can't bring herself to blame Bush - but she is open to the idea of someone improving the situation. I don't know exactly how to reach out to voters like her - the ones who, we are always told, will be deciding this election - but I'd make it a priority of mine if I were the Kerry campaign. Or MoveOn. Or the Media Fund. Or... you get my point. Present a bold, positive economic plan - or something small, clever and targeted. Whatever works, kids. Just do it.

We can't rely on the idea that a bad economy will just churn out new anti-Bush voters. We have to make people believe that we are going to improve their economic lot. That's how Bill Clinton won, after all. And that's how we'll win this time around, too. (As long as we can avoid looking weak on security... but oy, that one I'm not touching.)

Posted at 03:49 AM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Bush Approval at New Low in Ohio

Posted by DavidNYC

The University of Cincinnati's new Ohio Poll (PDF) shows Bush's approval rating in the Buckeye State sinking to 49% - below my beloved Mendoza Line. An equal percentage disapproves of his performance. When we last checked in, Dubya was at 54% in Ohio, so the plunge continues.

A few observations: The poll points out that Reagan and Clinton hit similar lows before going on to capture Ohio in their re-election campaigns. However, nadirs for both Presidents 40 and 42 came around the mid-term. We're a lot closer to election day now.

Also, while Bush continues to run strong with Republicans, only 51% of independents give him the thumbs-up. Furthermore, while Bush has been in the tank on his economic approval numbers for some time (and currently has just 40% approval on that score), his "foreign affairs" standing has also dropped below 50% for the first time, to 47%. Far from being a source of strength, Bush's foreign policy might turn into a major albatross for him, as these numbers hint.

(Thanks to noah.)

Posted at 02:01 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Ohio: Additional Thoughts

Posted by DavidNYC

Not much to add on Ohio, except one commenter notes that no Republican has ever won the Presidency without carrying Ohio. This indeed has been true since the birth of the Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln's election. I'm not sure how significant this is, though: Only three Democrats since that time have ever won without carrying Ohio: Kennedy in 1960, FDR in 1944 & Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892. The bottom line is that it's simply been historically difficult to win without carrying Ohio for candidates of both parties.

All this reminds me of an amusing article on ESPN.com which said that no team whatsoever could win the Super Bowl last season because of a variety of "rules" - e.g., no team that won exactly seven games in one season has won the Super Bowl in the next, no coach whose last name begins with the letter "C" has ever taken his team to the Super Bowl, etc. Eventually, this list of rules manages to cover all 32 NFL teams, ensuring, of course, that there can be no winner.

Obviously, some of these historical rules are silly, even if others have some merit. The ultimate point is that the past isn't necessarily prologue. After all, Gore very nearly won (or did win, if you prefer) without taking Ohio, and I think we could do it again. But as I said in my original Ohio post, though, I think the rule will hold true for the Republicans: I just don't see how they can win without Ohio.

(And in case you were wondering, Tampa Bay broke Rule #7 to win Super Bowl 37.)

Posted at 07:15 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, October 30, 2003


Posted by DavidNYC

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the Buckeye State.

Electoral Votes: 20 (21 in 2000)

2000 Results:

Bush: 49.97%
Gore: 46.46%
Nader: 2.50%
Buchanan: 0.57%

Like several large states in the north-eastern quadrant of the country - such as Illinois & New York - Ohio's relative decrease in population over the last decade led to the loss of a congressional seat, and with it, an electoral vote. Nonetheless, it remains an important state. It is one of only seven states with 20 or more EVs, and after Pennsylvania and Florida, it's the third-largest swing state. And Ohio is not merely a swing state - many consider it a bellwether state. Ohio has correctly picked the winner of every presidential election from 1964 on: In other words, as goes Ohio, so goes the nation (or vice-versa). Of course, Ohio did fail to pick the winner of the popular vote last time out... but that's a whole `nother kettle of fish.

In a way, I think Ohio could be the Republicans' Pennsylvania in reverse. If they can't win Ohio, it puts them in the hole for 20 EVs, which is a huge amount for a race that everyone expects to be very close. What's more, if Ohio (a state which many say has been trending Republican) tilts to the Dems on election night, it probably signals broader electoral weakness for the GOP. I'm not saying that if the GOP loses Ohio, it'll mean there was a rout, but I will say that if they don't take it, they probably can't win the whole shebang.

So what's going on on the ground in Ohio? First and foremost, there's the employment situation. (Is there any state where this is not a major issue?) When Bush came into office, Ohio's unemployment rate was 3.9%. It's now soared to 5.8%. (Side-note: These numbers are on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This is important because it makes it possible to compare different times of the year - in many places, there are temporary bumps in summer employment, for example. Unfortunately, the county-by-country maps I pulled up for Pennsylvania were not seasonally adjusted, so I won't be using those anymore.) In a state with a population of some 11.4 million, that's a lot of out-of-work - and unhappy - people.

More specifically, we once again find ourselves looking at the steel tariffs. The analysis isn't terribly straightforward, unfortunately. While steel makers favor the tariffs, steel users naturally oppose them. Ohio, as it turns out, is home to both manufacturers and consumers of steel, and the two sides are fighting it out. (The sad fact is, though, that despite the tariffs, Ohio's steel-making industry is still suffering and will never return to its glory days.) Bush seems to be pretty screwed here: If he rescinds the tariffs, he destroys whatever goodwill he might have won among the steel-makers, and if he keeps them in place, then he'll continue to anger the steel-users. If Bush thinks he can maintain a cavalier attitude toward the steel users ("Who else are they gonna vote for? A Democrat?"), then he may indeed be in for a rude shock when these otherwise reliable Republicans defect.

Now, getting back to the political situation: Ohio indeed is pretty heavily Republican. Apparently, it's quite common to register to vote in Ohio without selecting a party affiliation. In 2000, only 32% of all registered voters actually belonged to a particular party. But of those 7.5m registered voters, 1.4m were Republicans, whereas just 1.0m were Dems. What's more, both of Ohio's Senators, 12 of 18 Congressmen and the Governor are all Republicans. And Bill Clinton never cracked 50% here - Ross Perot pulled down sizable chunks of the vote both times, letting Clinton carry the state. The anecdotal evidence also looks bad: Commenters all note that the state Democratic Party is in disarray. Considering that Jerry Springer was even remotely considered a viable Senate candidate, this claim seems bleakly accurate.

But is the situation truly that bad for Democrats? It seems that everywhere you go, Bush's approval ratings have dropped dramatically in the last half year, and Ohio is no exception. According to the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll (PDF), Bush's approve/disapprove numbers were a lofty 76/20 back in April. As of September, those numbers had plummeted to 55/43 - you can almost hear that kerplunk. Indeed, this is the lowest approval rating Bush has gotten from Ohioans during his presidency, and a majority now disapprove of his handling of the economy. Furthermore, Republican Gov. Bob Taft (PDF) has a lousy approval rating of 44%. Of course, Governors everywhere have been taking hits lately, but Taft's approval was regularly in the 60s last year, so this decline seems particularly bad. I can't interpret these trends as representing anything other than anger at incumbents. Out in California, the target of this wrath may have been a Democrat, but if my take is correct, these sentiments are going to hurt the party in power all around - and nationally speaking, that party is the GOP.

(And in case you were curious, Sen. George Voinovich is up for re-election next year. Polls show him with a sizable lead (PDF) so far, but his likely opponent, State Sen. Eric Fingerhut, only has about 50% name recognition.)

The sentiment in the comments is that the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort will be critical here for Democrats, as it often is. (Typically, for the GOP, suppressing voter turnout is advantageous.) My hope is that the amazing grassroots work currently going on in Howard Dean's name will continue through the general election season, whether or not he is the nominee. If we can sustain this kind of involvement, then we stand a fighting chance in Ohio. But I still think it remains a major uphill battle. The Democratic infrastructure is weak, and the Republicans remain the majority party by a substantial margin. Fortunately, we don't need Ohio in order to win, but I think we should definitely fight for it because we can't afford to be complacent about a single electoral vote.

Posted at 12:46 AM in Ohio | Comments (14) | Technorati

Monday, October 27, 2003

Up Next: Ohio

Posted by DavidNYC

Buckeyes, whaddya know about that swingiest of swing states, Ohio? The last time Ohio didn't vote for a winner was in the ultra-close 1960 election. (Kennedy allegedly said that the state "broke his heart".) What's going to happen this time?

Posted at 06:15 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

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