OH-02: Schmidt Takes Her Reckless Disregard for the Truth to the House Floor

Amazing. Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland) is on an absolute tear of outrageous fabrications, and the latest one is on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

We all know Schmidt's history of playing fast and loose with the truth -- for example, lying about meeting Tom Noe, lying on her resume, claiming endorsements she didn't have, and plagiarizing an op-ed piece from a colleague's letter to constituents. Recently Schmidt sent out a fund-raising letter falsely asserting that Dr. Victoria Wulsin "participated in grotesque medical experiments," although her press person later tried to lie away the lie by saying that she "wasn't suggesting Wulsin participated in the experiments."

Here comes another big one. On June 5th, the truth-challenged Schmidt took her misspeaking skills to the floor of the House, denouncing federal limitations on drilling for oil by declaring that China is currently drilling off the Florida coast (video here, about 1:52 in):

This very day there is indeed drilling activity off of our country's coast. Not by our U.S. companies. That would be illegal. Instead, the Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida with their new energy partner, Cuba.

The only problem with Schmidt's unequivocal assertion is that -- you guessed it --- it is false. As the McClatchy News Service reported yesterday:

"China is not drilling in Cuba's Gulf of Mexico waters, period," said Jorge Pinon, an energy fellow with the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami and an expert in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. ...

China's Sinopec oil company does have an agreement with the Cuban government, but it's to develop onshore resources west of Havana, Pinon said. The Chinese have done some seismic testing, he said, but no drilling, and nothing offshore.

Western diplomats in Havana tell McClatchy that to the best of their knowledge, there is no Chinese drilling in or around Cuba.

Schmidt might want to ponder the words of Sir Walter Scott:

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

Pretty hard to run for re-election with one's feet caught in that tangled web.

UPDATE: Here's the video of Schmidt's floor speech:

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races

Bulletins from the battlefields:

OH-01 & 02 - Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Loveland) and "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland) showed their skittishness about their re-election chances by breaking ranks to vote for the extension of unemployment insurance benefits yesterday. Over the long term, these two have been reliable votes for the White House and GOP House leadership.

OH-02 - Rep. Schmidt's lurid and knowingly false portrayal of challenger Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) as a "grotesque" mad scientist, based the debunked "malariotherapy" smear, was picked up by the national blog/news site Talking Points Memo. *** The "5 Bucks for Vic" ActBlue page set up by a 17-year-old named Craig to support Wulsin has collected $245 from 25 donors as of 9:45 this morning.

OH-03 - Challenger Jane Mitakides (D-Washington Twp) has circulated an interesting chart showing how Democratic voter affiliation in OH-03 leapfrogged ahead of Republican voter affiliation in the 2008 primary:

Mitakides argues that the dramatic shift "wip[es] out any advantage gained by the 2002 redistricting." She also makes the interesting point that the increase can't be attributed to Republicans voting Democratic in order to influence the primary because the GOP numbers "were not depleted by any matching amount" (in fact, the number of GOP voters went up slightly), while nonpartisan voter registration decreased by about 11%.

OH-06 - The NRCC issued a press release yesterday blasting Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-St. Clairsville) for not endorsing Obama - two days after he did exactly that. An NRCC spokesman apologized but said they "mistakenly took him to be a man of his word" -- trying to portray Wilson's earlier comment that he wouldn't endorse either candidate (on June 5th, because at that time Clinton had not yet conceded) as a "promise" that Wilson then broke. Unbelievable.

OH-09 - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) supported and praised the $14.9 billion passenger-rail authorization bill that passed the House yesterday, which designates the Cleveland-Toledo-Chicago corridor as eligible for much-needed capital grants, but she missed the vote because she was out of the Capitol building meeting with visiting high school students. It passed by a veto-proof 311-104 margin.

OH-13 - House passage of the bill introduced by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley Twp) to help schools buy heart defibrillators netted her good national press coverage at CNN. *** Sutton announced yesterday that she will participate in the House field hearing on the mortgage foreclosure mess in Cleveland on Monday (6/16). "The American Dream isn't just a distant fantasy. And it should never be a nightmare,” said Rep Sutton in the presser. “But too many people in my home state of Ohio - and all across this nation - have seen their dreams shatter as predatory lenders stalk unwary buyers and the mortgage market buckles. We have a responsibility to all Americans to ensure that owning a home won't leave families at the mercy of a broken system."

OH-16 - The campaign of State Sen. John Boccieri (D-Alliance) reports in an email that it is gearing up for a four county/district wide fundraising event with Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D-Shaker Heights). Supporters are invited to meet this evening (6/12) at 5:00 p.m. at Panera Bread, 4065 Pearl Road in Medina, for door-to-door canvassing.

John Cusack: Bet You Can't Tell Them Apart

Here's the TV ad featuring John Cusack that MoveOn.org is raising money to broadcast:

Very effective ad - chip in to get it on the air!

OH-18: Call WSYX-TV on Bogus Poll

David Potts has a post up at BSB calling on readers to contact WSYX-TV in Columbus about a suspect poll they conducted, which included only 500 respondents spread over two different congressional districts and produced the unlikely result of challenger Fred Dailey (R-Mt Vernon) leading incumbent Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) by more than ten points. The poll was broadcast on local TV news and is now trumpeted on the challenger's web site, but the details haven't been published anywhere and the TV station hasn't divulged the following:

* Which counties were polled
* What the actual sample size was within the 18th district
* What questions were asked and their wording
* Who conducted the poll

Adding heavily to the suspicion about the poll, this particular TV station is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, which has a notorious history of conservative activism (it refused to air a Nightline program that paid tribute to fallen soldiers in Iraq, and preempted prime-time programming for a slanted documentary denouncing John Kerry right before the 2004 election).

So give WSYX a call at 614-481-6666 or fax them at 614-481-6624. and demand to know the details about the poll. While you're at it, contact the challenger at rdailey_1@hotmail.com and ask him on what basis he thinks this poll is reliable.

OH-02: "5 Bucks for Vic"

This is really cool - a 17-year-old supporter of Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) has started up an ActBlue page called "5 Bucks for Vic," asking for donations of just $5.00 to help send Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland) packing:

As a 17 year old located in the Second Congressional District, I know how important it is to elect a Congresswoman who puts people before politics. After three years of being represented by Jean Schmidt, a Congresswoman who fights for the corporations and lobbyists, it’s high time we sent a candidate to Washington that will bring progressive ideals to Capitol Hill. Dr. Victoria Wulsin is that candidate and will work hard to bring real change to Congress.

A five dollar donation is quick and painless - that's less than that Grande Double-Shot Latte you bought this morning, less than a bratwurst at a ballgame. But if 200 people donate $5.00, that's a thousand dollars, and all for an excellent cause.

Click the image and send Vic a five-spot:

UPDATE (2:08 p.m.) - It's up to $105 from 14 contributors already, let's keep the momentum going!

2nd UPDATE (4:38 p.m.) - Now up to $140 from 17 contributors!

3rd UPDATE (9:45 p.m.) - Now $195 from 20 donors - thanks, everyone!

4th UPDATE (6/13, 1:24 p.m.) - Now $450 from 45 donors - let's keep it going!

5th UPDATE (6/14 8:00 p.m. - Up to $480 from 47.

Unity Bump, Cont'd

From Gallup:

"... [Clinton] led McCain [among women] by 52% to 40% in her final full week as a candidate, exactly equal to the average since mid-March. By comparison, Obama held only an average 47% to 42% lead over McCain among women during the same time span. At least for now, he seems to be matching Clinton's performance among women versus McCain, given his current 13-point lead among female voters.

One of Clinton's core groups of supporters during the nomination phase of the campaign was older women. During the last few days of her active candidacy, Clinton led McCain by 51% to 41% among women aged 50 and older, while Obama trailed McCain among this group, 46% to 43%. Since Clinton suspended her campaign, older women's vote preferences have shifted toward Obama, so that he now enjoys a six-point advantage over McCain [47% to 41%]."

Obama for America Reception with Michelle Obama in Cincinnati 6/13

06/13/2008 - 5:30pm
06/13/2008 - 7:30pm

You are invited to join Michelle Obama for a reception benefiting Obama for America in Cincinnati on Friday evening - details after the flip.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races UPDATED

Items of interest:

OH-01 - Challenger State Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill), in Washington for a series of fundraisers, has proposed a joint town hall meeting in which the two candidates discuss and debate "Politics and the Catholic church." Both Driehaus and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) are Catholic, graduated from local Catholic high schools, and do not support abortion. *** The Wall Street Journal cited this race as an example in an article about how the GOP is bracing for double-digit losses in the House (subscription required). [UPDATE: Text is here.]*** Driehaus has an evening reception tomorrow night (6/12) at the Captains Watch Condos.

OH-02 - PolitickerOH.com picked up the story about the fundraising letter from Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) with the outrageous lie in it, i.e., saying that Dr. Victoria Wulsion (D-Indian Hill) "participate[d] in grotesque medical experiments." Confronted by the reporter, Schmidt's press secretary Barry Bennett tried to lie his way out of the lie: he said the letter "wasn't suggesting Wulsin participated in the experiments." Ri-i-i-ght. This episode continues a string of fabrications by Schmidt, including denying she had ever met disgraced GOP power broker Tom Noe, lying on her resume about having a second degree from the University of Cincinnati, lying about endorsements from several organizations, and plagiarizing an op-ed piece from a constituent letter written by Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington).

OH-09 - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) participated in the press conference opposing military action against Iran held by the Coalition for a New American Policy on Iran (CNAPI) in Washington yesterday. Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr (L-GA) spoke at the event, calling war against Iran "unnecessary, counterproductive, costly and dangerous."

OH-10 - Blogger Joseph A. Palermo argues that the 35 articles of impeachment introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) could prove helpful in a future war crimes trial of George Bush.

OH-11 - Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) testified about racial and ethnic health care disparities during a Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing yesterday:

Racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately suffer from certain health conditions, many do not have access to a regular source of care, and they are a large number of the 47 million uninsured Americans. They are diagnosed for cancer at later stages, and as a result of a lack of access coverage, are more likely to die from preventable, treatable cancers. Diabetes rates for racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately higher. As a result, End Stage Renal Disease disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minorities.

OH-12 - The campaign of challenger David Robinson (D-Columbus) has set a goal of raising $100,000 from individual citizens by June 30, 2008. Click here to help meet the goal, and to watch a nice video clp of ordinary folks talking about the need for new leaders like Robinson in Washington. [UPDATE: Blogger Bonobo at Blue Bexley has responded to this appeal by agreeing to host a house party for Robinson. Way to go, Bonobo!

OH-16 - The "We Might Get Shot At" YouTube Moment involving State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-North Canton) is getting national play, appearing on The Hill's Blog Briefing Room and Bloggers for Change. [UPDATE: Also Cliff Schechter at The Political Carnival.] *** Roll Call published a piece yesteday suggesting that Obama's relative lack of success with white blue collar voters might be a problem for Democrats in district like OH-16, but State Sen. John Boccieri (D-Alliance) disagreed. He pointed out that Obama agrees with most of the working-class district’s voters on trade issues; said “[t]here’s no question that [Obama] could win the district, but especially with a strong voting presence from Stark County;” and confirmed that Boccieri would “absolutely” campaign with Obama.

UPDATED: OH-17 - Yesterday Jonathon Singer at MyDD talked up Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) as a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010 ("'He's gonna get better and better and be a major player here in the years ahead,' foresees Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown"), riffing off the dismal approval numbers for Sen. George Voinovich (R-Cleveland) that I wrote about yesterday.

OH-18 - Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) has joined in sponsoring a resolution to declare June "National Internet Safety Month." During this session Space has supported a number of bills aimed at protecting children from sexual predators on the internet. “The internet is a powerful tool that can bring education and entertainment into our homes. But with that ability, it can also provide unprecedented access to predators that are sadly a part of the internet culture,” Rep. Space said. “As a father, I know how important it is to make sure they have the proper habits and protections in place to keep them safe from those who would do them harm.”

Strickland Press Conference to announce AG choice

From Alex Goepfert, ODP Communications Director

"Governor Strickland to Make Announcement Regarding Ohio Attorney General's Race

WHAT: News conference with Governor Ted Strickland

WHEN: Wednesday, June 11, 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Statehouse - West Steps"

Obama to Campaign in Columbus with Strickland on Friday 6/13

No details on location or time yet, but the Obama for America campaign has announced that his current “Change that Works for You” tour, focusing on the economy, will include a stop in Columbus on Friday. The event, which will involve Sen. Obama, Michelle Obama, and Gov. Ted Strickland meeting with seniors somewhere in the Columbus area, will be by invitation only but will be open to the press.

Kucinich Web Site Apparently Hacked Following Impeachment Resolution

This morning, during a 100,000 hit-per-hour crush of visitors seeking information about the articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush, the campaign web site of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) began to suffer irregularities involving protected codes used to format information and to create links, which site administrators deemed suspicious and possibly indicative of external tampering. Within two hours the site went down completely, and it is still down now. Campaign officials say that the amount of traffic alone would not account for the breakdown.

The text of the articles of impeachment are available for download in .pdf format at alternative locations -- here and here.

The Kucinich campaign says that the response to the articles of impeachment has been "overwhelmingly positive and powerful" with emails, phone calls, and text messages "pouring in all day from supporters." A Google News search for the terms "Kucinich" and "impeachment" just now turned up over 2,250 articles. Writer Meryl Ann Butler called Kucinich's action "possibly the most exciting moments of American Democracy in action in 200 years" on OpEdNews.com. Reaction in the traditional media has been rather more muted. However, Rep Robert Wexler (D-FL) has endorsed the measure.

Cordray Will Run For Attorney General

Per the Daily Briefing:

Gov. Ted Strickland will endorse state Treasurer Richard Cordray for attorney general at a press conference Wednesday morning ... The governor’s endorsement is intended to clear the Democratic field for Cordray ...

The selection vote will occur at a meeting of the party's governing committee on June 21st, but at this point there is no suspense as to their choice.

Speaking of lack of suspense, unless one of the higher profile GOP candidates changes course and gets into the special election on the Republican side, there is little doubt that Cordray will be the overwhelming favorite to win this race.

Sen. Brown Outpaces Sen. Voinovich on Job Approval

The May job approval ratings of U.S. Senators from SurveyUSA are out were released last week and the comparison in Ohio is stark:

Brown (D)
50% Approve
39% Disapprove
12% Not sure

Voinovich (R)
46% Approve
45% Disapprove
9% Not sure

Brown has a net favorability in double digits (+11), although his approval number isn't particularly strong. However, approval four points below 50% is a bad place to be for an incumbent intending to run for re-election, and Voinvoich's approval and disapproval numbers are statistically tied (4.1 point margin of error). That is not good news for him for 2010.

Interestingly, Voinovich wins about the same approval among voters of his own party (57%) as Brown does among Democrats (55%) -- I would have expected Brown to get better same-party approval than Voinovich. I am also puzzled that Brown has a net disapproval score among Black voters (41%/47%), about the same as Voinovich.

Brown does significantly better among Republicans (43%) than Voinovich does among Democrats (37%). However, a Voinovich problem with his base is revealed more sharply in the breakdown by ideology. Brown has a huge net approval among liberals (60%/26%), while support for Voinovich among conservatives is much softer (55%/37%). Among moderates, Brown has a net favorable rating (53%/37%) while Voinovich is in a statistical tie (47%/45%).

By far, Brown's best region is rural and largely Appalachian southeast Ohio (66%/29%), where Brown benefited in the 2006 election from his populist message and from strong support from Gov. Ted Strickland, a popular native of the area. Will we see Brown on the campaign trail in southeast Ohio for Obama?

Also in SUSA numbers released today last week, Gov. Strickland's approval rating is 56%/37% (in southeast Ohio it is 63%/30%), and Bush is at a dismal 31%/68%.

Add Jones To List of Obama VP Prospects

At political gatherings lately I've noticed that the question everybody asks is who I think will be Obama's VP pick -- and what people mean by asking is that they have their own pick that they want to talk about. And, people's picks are all over the place.

Barack Obama warned the press to ignore rumors about his selection process because his advisors would be holding their cards very close to the vest. Nevertheless, reports of new names are trickling out, supposedly based on inside information. Last Thursday Chris Bowers at OpenLeft revealed that Obama's campaign had approached Sen. Pat Murray (D-WA) about the position. Today the revelation comes from Mark Murray at First Read, who says to add Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (ret.) to the list. He is a former former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, former Chairman of the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, and former special envoy for Middle East Security, now the CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy. Talk about military cred.

Just for the record, Murray's list of other names currently being discussed is: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), former senator John Edwards (D-NC)(who says he doesn't want it), Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS), Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH)(also rules himself out), senate candidate and former governor Mark Warner (D-VA), Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), former senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), and former senator Sam Nunn (D-GA). Not many women on there. In addition to Sebelius (and Sen. Murray, if Bowers' report is correct), I was hoping that Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) might get some consideration.

OH House-18: Sen. Spada (R) Embarrassed to Run As Republican

How are Republican candidates in Ohio going to react to surging Democratic party affiliation among voters, a deeply unpopular Republican president, a Democratic governor who continues to be very popular, and polling that shows more voters continue to associate their party with corruption than Democrats despite the scandal involving Marc Dann?

Get ready for a lot more of this. The campaign site for term-limited State Sen. Bob Spada (R-North Royalton), running for the 18th Ohio House seat, doesn't include the word "Republican" anywhere on its eight pages, not even once, and the front page has a big photograph with Democratic Governor Ted Strickland right smack in the middle:

The real Democratic candidate in the 18th Ohio House district is Matt Patten (D), a Regional Labor-Management Field Coordinator, who is an energetic and hard-working candidate and has been doing good fundraising (he had $35,583.84 in cash-on-hand as of April's post-primary filing). He has been out knocking on doors in the district for months. His main mission will be educating voters that his career-politician veteran politician opponent actually belongs to the Republican party.

AG Candidates To Be Determined on June 21st

The Ohio Democratic Party has announced that its candidate for attorney general in this fall's special election will be selected at a meeting of the party's central and executive committees in Columbus on Saturday, June 21st, at 11:00 a.m. Potential candidates are to contact ODP Chair Chris Redfern no later than June 18th. The Ohio Republican Party had previously announced that its 26-member screening committee will interview candidates on June 17th and the GOP state central committee will make the selection on June 21st as well.

All indications are that Ohio Treasurer Rich Cordray (D-Grove City) is the likely choice for the ODP, and his prospects for winning keep getting brighter as the field of potential GOP opponents shrinks. Yesterday former senator Mike DeWine (R-Cedarville) reluctantly withdrew his name, citing his desire to focus on carrying Ohio for McCain in the presidential election, following former congressman Rob Portman (R) and former attorney general Betty Montgomery (R-Perrysburg) out the door. Also yesterday, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien pulled his hat out of the ring. Today Joe Hallett indicates that a spokesperson for retiring Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) says that her candidacy for the post is unlikely. That leaves lesser lights Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost (R), 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Susan Brown (R-Columbus), Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel (R), and perhaps State Sen. Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) as the GOP prospects still under discussion.

Why the mass exodus on the GOP side? It appears that the Democratic Party's swift and decisive steps to remove Marc Dann, and Gov. Strickland's widely praised choice of Mary Hardin Rogers as interim Attorney General, have largely deflated GOP hopes as to the impact of Danngate on the Democratic Party's prospects in the special election. In a Quinnipiac Poll released last Wednesday, 67% of Ohioans said that the Marc Dann scandal would not affect their view of the Democratic Party, and voters were more likely to associate Republicans with corruption than Democrats by 38% to 30%.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races

What's going on:

OH-10 - Defying party leaders, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) read 35 articles of impeachment against George Bush into the Congressional record last night. Here is the beginning of his statement on YouTube:

The first article concerns creating a secret propaganda campaign to manufacture a false cause for war against Iraq, which ties in neatly with the upcoming testimony by former Bush spokesman Scott McClellan. *** Predictable response from challenger Jim Trakas (R-Independence): "meaningless ... out of touch ... political game ... misplaced priorities," etc.

OH-12 - Yesterday challenger David Robinson (D-Columbus) issued a response to Clinton's endorsement of Obama, tying his election bid specifically to the Obama campaign:

"We have seen through this contest, which could easily have gone either way, that in America no matter your gender or your race, that with talent and hard-work there are no limits to what you may seek and achieve.

[My campaign] is fortunate to be a part of this historical moment, to be a part of this hunger for change ... I believe in the ability of Americans — through ingenuity, hard-work, finding of common cause, and with good leadership — to do the most extraordinary things and to solve our problems in the most unexpected of ways.

... [W]hat we face now is a contest for leadership, both at the presidential level and here in the 12th District. And as you know, John McCain is running for a third Bush term, but if that's not bad enough, my opponent is running for a fifth Tiberi term! And we're not going to let that happen..."

OH-13 - The Josh Miller HEARTS (Helping Everyone Access Responsive Treatment in Schools) Act, introduced by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley Twp), passed in the House yesterday. The bill creates a grant program through the U.S. Department of Education to help schools acquire lifesaving AEDs and AED/CPR training. Modeled after a successful program in Ohio that has already saved 13 lives, it is named for a high school football player in Rep. Suttons's hometown of Barberton who died after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game in 2000. “AEDs are the single most effective treatment for those suffering a sudden cardiac arrest," said Rep. Sutton. "By ensuring that schools have access to these lifesaving devices, we can prevent needless deaths in communities across the country.” *** Yesterday the Veterans for America applauded Rep. Sutton for introducing H.R. 6205, the Stop-loss Compensation Act, which requires that service members whose tours of duty are involuntarily extended receive special pay.

OH-15 - The Politico profiled this race yesterday, characterizing the campaign of Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) against bank lobbyist State Sen. Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington) as "a populist fight against Big Business," noting that in 2006 Stivers "was one of only four state senators to oppose a bill making it easier for victims of predatory lending to sue" and linking Kilroy's campaign theme to broader economic conditions like $4-per-gallon gasoline and the foreclosure crisis. *** Joseph at Plunderbund pointed out on Sunday that Stivers' entry at the Wikpedia has been scrubbed clean of negative information since he got into this race, raising the suspicion that Stivers or someone allied with him has been doing the editing.

OH-16 - State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-North Canton) dismissed his YouTube Moment (saying that residents of Canton might shoot Republicans if they held a rally there) as "meant as a joke" to the effect that Canton Democrats don't much like Republicans. City Council member Thomas West (D-Canton), who ran against Schuring in 2006, was not amused:

"The remarks by Senator Schuring were very offensive, if not demeaning. These aren't the type of jokes you make about our community especially at a time when there is violence in our community."

And Schuring's opponent in this congressional race, State Sen. John Boccieri (D-Alliance), pointedly pledged to rise above such partisan politics:

"Senator Schuring's partisan comments are the type of political ideology that is dividing our nation. At the end of the day the race for this seat, shouldn't be about Democrats, Republicans or Independents, red states or blue states, conservatives or liberals, but about America.

"As for my campaign, we will have rallies, town hall meetings, and events in every corner of this district, not only where it is politically comfortable, but in every region."

Blogging u jezicima protiv H.B. 477

U samo engleski-račun sada pred Generalna skupština je beskorisno s obzirom da je navedeno cilj i smrtonosan kao da Ohio gospodarstvo i ugled.

Tzv namjeru poticati uporabu engleski jezik, zakona accomplishes ništa od značaja da je na pročelju. To zahtijeva upotrebu određenih engleski u službenom postupku, ali takvi postupci su već provedena u engleski. To je kao da prolazi jedan zakon zahtijeva opsluživanje od hot psi i baseball stadioni - što je potrebno za takav zakon?

Što je uistinu zakona o izražavanje je neprijateljstvo prema useljenicima. To je komad mesa crvene tossed by konzervativne zakonodavcima da xenophobic Ohioans. I zbog ove političke poruke, mjenica je štetan za Ohio gospodarstvo.

Činjenica je, Ohio potrebe useljenika. Mi smo drzava iz koje je rad sila je, bježeći. Ohio bi trebala učiniti sve moguće kako bi se pozdravni home to ljudi koji govore drugim jezicima. Iskustvo pokazuje da je ta osoba će nastojati poboljšati njihove engleski jezik vještine bez poticaj za engleski samo zakone. Kada prolazimo takve zakone, koji prenijeti jedan provincijski, neprijateljski odnos prema ljudima kojima engleski nije prvi jezik, naštetiti samo sebi.

Ohio već pati od loš ugled kao provincijski backwater, koji je direktno na višak s Ohio je cilj postati blistave dio globalnog tržišta. Let's poslati signal da Ohio razumije, višejezični prirodu moderne globalne zajednice by odbili ovaj nepotreban, štetan mjera spurred by straha i neznanja.

Orignial text, before Google translation into Croatian, is here.

OH-16: Welcome to the YouTube Era, Kirk Schuring

The more I think about this remark by State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-North Canton), caught on videotape at a McCain rally in Ashland last Thursday, the worse it seems (video embedded in an earlier post):

"So the other thing I know is that Ashland County has a rich history and tradition of rallying around Republicans, and I was telling people earlier where I come from we could never have a rally like this in the center of Canton. If we did we might be shot at, but not in Ashland and that's what makes you so great."

Not only is it gratuitously insulting to residents of Canton, the biggest city in the congressional district Schuring seeks to represent (and his home town), it also is insulting to the very residents of the Republican stronghold Ashland County to whom Schuring was speaking. What makes them so great is ... that they wouldn't shoot at Republicans holding a rally? That's it?

More Unity Bump

Following up on a post last week:


"Obama has consistently held a lead of five to seven percentage points each night since it was reported that Hillary Clinton intended to suspend her campaign. These represent Obama's strongest showing versus McCain to date in Gallup Poll Daily tracking of registered voters' presidential election preferences. For much of the time since Gallup began tracking general election preferences in mid-March, McCain and Obama have been in a statistical dead heat."


Obama 48%
McCain 40%

"Last Tuesday, just before Obama clinched the nomination, the candidates were tied at 46%. ... Obama is supported by 81% of Democrats and now holds a very modest three-point edge over McCain among unaffiliated voters. Both those figures reflect a significant improvement over the past week. ... Obama’s bounce can be seen in his favorability ratings as well. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters now give the Illinois Senator positive reviews. Just 40% have an unfavorable opinion. Those totals include 35% with a Very Favorable opinion and 25% with a Very Unfavorable opinion. As for McCain, he is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 44%."

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races

Items of interest:

OH-04 - Challenger Mike Carroll (D-Mansfield) recently informed Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director of Ohio Citizens Action that if elected he will co-sponsor the Clean Water Protection Act, an effective ban on mountaintop coal removal. Fighting montaintop coal removal is one of the three current environmental action campaigns by OAC, along with combatting pollution at Eramet Marietta and the Mittal Steel Cleveland Works.

OH-07 - The strong polling for Sharen Neuhardt (D-Yellow Springs) last week caused James Lambert at Swing State Project to upgrade this race from "Races to Watch" to the more competitive category "Likely Republican."

OH-11 - Openers confirms that following Clinton's concession speech on Saturday, national campaign co-chair Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) has officially endorsed Obama.

OH-14 - Unpaid staffer Ben Barasky posted a moving diary on DailyKos on Friday spelling out how challenger Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell) has "the moral certitude, the unique qualifications, and the will to fight" necessary to defeat Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Twp) and give this district the kind of representative who wants only "wants to help" but is a "man who genuinely can."

OH-15 - In addition to visiting Cincinnati and campaigning in OH-01 on Saturday, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) went to Columbus and visited with Mary Jo Kilory (D-Columbus). Clyburn reportedly advised her to "be yourself, run on your message as much as you possibly can, respond to people’s dreams and aspirations and be prepared to ride the wave, because I think a wave is going to develop this time and it is a wave that I believe we can ride to the top."

OH-16 - At a rally for John McCain in Ashland last Thursday, State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-North Canton) uttered an ugly and hyper-partisan insult against the residents of Canton, his home turf and the heart of his legislative district, remarking that if he had such a rally there he "might be shot at":

OH-18 Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) announced today that the USDA has approved a $2.5 million loan guarantee that help ABC Manufacturing in Malta, Ohio, hire an additional 49 employees as well as protect 56 current jobs. Rep. Space had helped the company get state economic development funding to start up its new manufacturing facilities. “ABC Manufacturing, in its very short existence, has already proven itself to be a true Ohio success story,” Rep. Space said. “With this additional funding secured, ABC is now ready to continue its rapid expansion, creating good-paying jobs for the residents of Morgan County.”

Rumblings of War With Iran: National Call-In to Congress Tomorrow

Bill Sloat noted this morning that a surge in the price of gold last week is being interpreted by a prominent market analyst as confirmation that "the world smells war in the Middle East, specifically an attack on Iran."

Such good timing. Tomorrow is the National Call-In for Diplomacy sponsored the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran (CNAPI), and Sloat's chilling item is a excellent reminder why it is so important to participate. CNAPI will be holding an innovative “Time to Talk with Iran” event and press conference on Capitol Hill at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, at which members of Congress, celebrities, former officials, and other citizens will use a row of 60’s-era red “hotline” telephones to talk directly to ordinary Iranian citizens. Concurrently, CNAPI asks concerned Americans all over the country to call your U.S. Representative tomorrow at 1-800-788-9372 and urge them to work for direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks between the U.S. and Iran, keeping in mind that the U.S. and Iran share common interests in a stable Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, and there is no real reason to avoid talking to Iran since the U.S. pursued negotiations with brutal dictatorships in North Korea and Libya.

A reader wrote to me late last week to report that a group called Cleveland Peace Action has been lobbying northeast Ohio members of Congress and writing letters to the editor warning against a military attack on Iran. As part of this effort, Case Western Reserve University emeritus faculty member Norman Robbins put together a short memorandum that documents the saber-rattling activities of the Bush administration, the feeble case for concern about Iran, and why Congress should do something about it (including passing a resolution that would require formal Congressional authorization before attacking Iran). Prof. Robbins' disturbing report is reproduced in it's entirety after the break.

Contact the Conference Committee on Lifting Ban on Central Vote Counting

Today the Conference Committee, composed of legislators from the Ohio Senate and House, is meeting to resolve differences between the two chambers' versions of the state capital budget bill. This is the opportunity for the conferees to add a provision that preserves the central count vote system for Cuyahoga, Mercer, and Van Wert counties. This change, supported by Gov. Strickland, will save Cuyahoga County about $5.5 million and prevent the disruption of changing our voting system yet again between now and the presidential election, expected to be the biggest-turnout election on record. If the county is forced to rent precinct-level counting equipment at this point in time, it will be compelled to use outdated equipment that was federally certified under 2002 standards, since newer and better equipment has not yet received the seal of approval. Also, that old equipment requires the use of memory cards to transport vote totals from precincts to a downtown central location, and memory cards can malfunction or get lost, as has happened in Cuyahoga County in the past.

Please contact the conferees and tell them to keep the central count vote system for November -- and while you are at it also tell them not to put back the disastrous county government "reform" plan that the House had added to the bill:

Telephone: 614/466-8156
Email: sd17@mailr.sen.state.oh.us

Sen. Tom Niehaus 14th District:
Telephone: 614/466-8082
Email: sd14@mailr.sen.state.oh.us

Sen. Capri Cafaro 32nd District:
Telephone: 614/466-7182
Email: senatorcafaro@maild.sen.state.oh.us

Rep. Jay Hottinger 71st District
Telephone: (614) 466-1482
Email Address: district71@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Shannon Jones 67th District
Telephone: (614) 644-6027
Email Address: district67@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Michael Skindell 13th District
Telephone: (614) 466-5921
Email Address: district13@ohr.state.oh.us

OH-02: Schmidt (R) Shows Fear, Embraces Debunked "Malariotherapy" Smear

On the heels of an independent poll showing Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland) at a dismal approval rating of 23% and trailing repeat challenger Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) by 5.6 points, the incumbent has sent out a fund-raising letter that telegraphs her panic by taking up the now-discredited smear campaign against Wulsin linked to so-called "malariotherapy" experiments conducted by the Heimlich Institute. The letters states:

Wulsin's contempt for the culture of life has even led her to participate in grotesque medical experiments. Wulsin was paid for her work in medical "studies" where victims of AIDS in Africa and China were, without their consent, injected with the malaria virus, all in the name of "scientific inquiry."

This is a patently false statement. Dr. Wulsin was paid by the Cincinnati-based Heimlich Institute as a consultant in 2004 to review the literature in studies conducted by others -- she did not "participate" in the studies and she was fired as a consultant when she turned in a draft report that found the procedure to have no basis in medical science.

Moreover, as reported on this blog last week, Dr. Wulsin met with the State Medical Board of Ohio in April and was informed that there was no merit to the medical ethics complaint filed against her in connection with the Heimlich Institute literature review -- a complaint long touted by right wing bloggers as indicating that there was substance to their allegations against Wulsin -- and no further action would be taken with respect to it.

Dr. Wulsin has been running a clean campaign focused on the issues and Rep. Schmidt's voting record. Schmidt is running from her record and resorting to a despicable smear. That's a pretty strong indicator of where this race really stands.

UPDATE: Sloat is excellent on this. He points out how Schmidt's characterization of Wulsin as a mad scientist is contradicted by the very medical ethics complaint that underpinned the whole smear campaign. And -- as icing on the cake -- Schmidt's statement that patients were "injected with the malaria virus" can't possibly be true because malaria isn't caused by a virus.

Demand Truth From WOIO-TV About Obama!

I was unavailable over the weekend when this story broke, but WOIO-TV 19 in the Cleveland area broadcast a report on Saturday in which a person interviewed at an outdoor event in Medina County says that Barack Obama "is not American or for American [sic]" and "won't put his hand over his heart and say the pledge to America" and "I see him more as an Arab." Video and more here, here, here, and here.

This triply-false smear reflects an ongoing campaign of slanderous emails and internet postings that the right wing hopes will undermine Obama's bid for president despite all the usual political indicia pointing to a landslide Democratic victory (unpopular war, awful economy, horribly unpopular incumbent president, rising Democratic party identification). That under-the-radar campaign is despicable enough by itself, but what is outrageous about this kind of news coverage is that the news outlet failed to correct the falsehoods in the broadcast. This is in no way a matter for presenting "both sides" and leaving it at that. These misconceptions are the result of deliberate and patently false slander, and journalistic standards require that the prejudicial falsehoods be corrected.

The News Director at WOIO is Dan Salamone, and the numbers at the station are 216-771-1943 or (800) 929-0132. Call him up and demand an apology and correction on the air!

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