In the middle of the day (can't recall if it was before or after noon) I got a robocall from Carly Fiorina, who told me with barely concealed excitement that I was invited to join in a John McCain telephone town hall meeting happening right now. She went on to explain that they were reaching out to independent voters and Democrats today.
I stayed on the line and sure enough, I was soon listening in to one of McCain's trademark town hall spiels. I couldn't speak (or ask questions, obviously) but I could listen and the audio was pretty good. I could practically hear him as he paused to swing back to the podium to glance at his notes and then say, "Oh, I could give you a few specifics, but the point is ..." and move on.
I didn't stick around very long. He seemed to be saying that health care was no longer a big issue on people's minds (understandable that he wants that to be the case!) because of those gosh-darn high oil prices, and if only the Democrat-controlled Congress would let us drill for oil underneath the hooves of the last great herds of caribou, etc., etc.
Was this robocalling widespread? Only in Ohio, outside of Ohio as well?
The technique didn't especially work on me, but it seemed pretty innovative and I can imagine that a lot of people would tune in and listen. If this is some new strategic device it's worth paying attention to it.
It's easy to respond to the polling that shows 10% of Americans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim (16% among white evangelicals, 19% among rural residents) as a problem for Obama, but in another sense it's an opportunity. Those voters can be persuaded otherwise, if the Obama campaign and his supporters spread the word. The fact is, Obama is every bit as much a born-again, regular church-goer as George Bush or Jimmy Carter. He speaks openly and without hesitation about his faith, unlike (for example) John Kerry.
It's just a matter of getting the truth out there.
This is partial roundup in the course of a general catching-up on these races, much more to follow:
OH Sen-10 - Clark County Commissioner Roger Tackett (D-South Charleston) has a new, professionally designed campaign site up, a major upgrade from the MySpace page that had been his only online presence. The Vietnam veteran (Marines, Purple Heart) and native of Gobbler's Knob, Ohio has been campaigning hard in the district.
OH Sen-16 - Columbus attorney Danielle Blue (D-Upper Arlington) will be the beneficiary of a fund-raiser on August 13th featuring First Lady Frances Strickland, hosted by the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus.
OH Sen-26 - From the new campaign site for Mayor Tom Kruse Kruse (D-Marysville) we learn a bit of background:
Kruse has served in the U.S. Army Security Agency, worked for nearly a decade at Cincinnati Bell Telephone, and as a Deputy Director of Industrial Relations for the State of Ohio. In 1975, Kruse started a full service building services company, employing 300 full-time associates when he sold it to his son in 2000. ... Kruse was appointed to the Governor's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped and to the Interagency Committee for Child Development. His community service continued as he has served on the board of the Union, Madison, and Delaware Community Action Agency, on the ADAMH board in Union County, and has been a board member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Recently, Mayor Kruse was appointed to the board of the Union County Family YMCA.
OH House-01 - A few weeks ago police officer Sharmian Daub (R-Lisbon) dropped out of this race and was replaced by nursing home owner/operator Caroline Hergenrother (R-Salem). Hergenrother appears to be a more serious candidate than Daub but first-term State Rep. Linda Bolon (D-East Palestine) is still a big favorite to keep her seat.
OH House-02 - Jan Lanier (D-Westerville) will be at the Council for Older Adults Summer Festival at the Delaware Fair Fairgrounds on Friday, June 20th, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., and will march in the Westerville 4th of July Parade starting at about 1:30 p.m. *** The Ohio Nurses Democratic Caucus will hold a fundraiser for Lanier in Cleveland on July 17th, for details contact ONDC Chair Carol Roe carol-at-ohiodemnurses-dot-org. *** Opponent Kris Jordan (R-Dublin) is facing allegations that he and the other Delaware County commissioners violated the open-meetings law by engaging in pre-arranged, back-to-back individual meetings with a consultant, at which they reportedly agreed on one of two proposed designs for the new courthouse.
OH House-19 & 20 - The Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus will host a fundraisers for Marian Harris (D-Columbus) and Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) featuring Ohio First Lady France Strickland. The Harris event will be on Monday, June 30th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1656 Oxbow Drive in Blacklick, Ohio, and the Garland event will be on July 15th. Both candidates have also been endorsed by Progressive Majority-Ohio.
OH House-57 - State Rep. Matt Lundy (D–Elyria) will hold a "Lundy Listens" Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 26th at 6:00 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library, 13824 W. River Road North in Columbia Station.
Former prosecutor Robert Owens (I-Delaware), the only official candidate for Ohio Attorney General at this point, has a campaign site up. This biographical information is from a press release reprinted there:
Mr. Owens was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University, Oxford University (United Kingdom) and Capital University Law School. In his legal career, he clerked for a Federal District Court Judge, worked for one of the largest law firms in Ohio, served as a Prosecutor in Sunbury, Ohio and now has a private law practice handling criminal and civil matters. Mr. Owens is a long time community leader and activist for pro-American legislation at the Federal, State and Local level. Mr. Owens and his wife Teri have been married for 10 years.
He also has a short introductory video on YouTube:
Although additional proof that the lurid claim by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) that challenger Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) displayed "contempt for the culture of life" by "participat[ing] in grotesque medical experiments" is a flat-out lie is hardly needed, Politics Extra has provided it by contacting Dr. Henry Heimlich, founder and former president of the Heimlich Institute that is actually responsible for the experiments in question:
Bob Kraft, a spokesman for Dr. Henry Heimlich, founder and former president of the Heimlich Institute, confirmed that Wulsin worked for the Institute, but he said she was hired as a consultant only for a few months and was never a full-time employee. Heimlich is now retired.
Asked if Wulsin conducted any experiments or participated in the experiments that the Institute was involved in, Kraft said: "No, she did not. She conducted a literature review of malariotherapy."
So there you have it.
Noting that challenger State Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill) had invited pro-choice House Majority Stey Hoyer (D-MD) to the district for a fundraiser, the Chabot letter then says "The Democratic leadership in Congress will stop at nothing to try to defeat me and other pro-life Republicans and replace us with liberals who share their misplaced and dangerous views [emphasis added]." That last part is a deliberate misrepresentation, since Driehaus opposes abortion.
As with Schmidt's campaign, Chabot's spokesperson offers up a lame justification ("even if Driehaus opposes abortion, he would be working with and putting in charge Democratic leaders who support abortion rights") which offers no defense to the fact that the plain and plainly intentional reading of the sentence is completely false.
Politics Extra, which reports on the letters today and has the full text available for download, quotes political experts as saying that these types of letters are "used frequently by lawmakers to frame their opponents and incite their base," giving the impression that lying in fundraising letters is somehow too common to be objectionable. Excuse me, but I'm not aware of the Democratic challengers in these districts, or Democratic congressional incumbents or challengers elsewhere around the state, using deliberate falsehoods in their fundraising materials. Lying is lying, and the liars ought to be held to account.
Paul has an important post up about WVKO (see ad on left sidebar), the only progressive talk radio station in Columbus. The station is struggling financially while it tries to grow its audience, and adding insult to injury the State of Ohio places public service ads on conservative talk radio stations while ignoring WVKO.
Democrats are a majority in Ohio and deserve to have progressive radio available to them. Here are some steps that you can take to support WVKO, suggested by Paul:
* Tell your friends about WVKO. Tell your progressive group. (And take advantage of the station’s free announcements of progressive events.)
* Listen to the station, buy from its sponsors, and thank them for supporting WVKO. (See the sponsor list on WVKO’s site.)
* Advertise your own company, or encourage other local businesses to. WVKO is the best bargain in town for ad rates right now. And you will reach loyal listeners.
* Donate at the link OMR put on the WVKO’s web site.
* If you have a talent the station can use, volunteer. (That’s how WVKO got it’s web site.)
Yesterday Gov. Ted Strickland (D) took a strong stand against social conservatives on the issue of stem cell research.
When he signed the economic stimulus package yesterday, Strickland used his line-item veto to remove a ban on using state funds for human cloning that had been introduced by ultra-conservative State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta). Strickland might have let the ban go if it were narrowly drafted, but the provision was written to proscribe funding reserach that utilizes discarded embryonic stem cells in therapeutic research.
This action is consistent with Strickland's stance during his 2006 campaign, when he said that he wants to expand embryonic stem-cell research so Ohio doesn't become a "backward, anti-science state." Still, it is reassuring when the governor takes a stand on principle in the face of stiff political opposition from conservatives.
One of the GOP's talking points this cycle is that the Democratic Party controls Congress and the public is disgusted with Congress, therefore the voters aren't happy with Democrats. A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, however, shows that their conclusion doesn't follow from their premise.
Although approval ratings for Congress are abysmal, approval numbers for the Democratic Party are very high:
Particularly striking is the declining approval of the Republican Party among Republicans themselves. Only 73% of GOP voters approve of their own party, by far the lowest number in eight years of such polling by Pew, while approval of the Democratic Party among Democrats is at 88%, tied for highest during that time period. [UPDATE: Much more on this from E.J. Dionne today: "For all the talk this year about bipartisanship, a sharp shift in partisan loyalties toward the Democrats, visible in a series of polls this week, could prove the defining fact in November."]
Items of interest:
OH-01 - Citykin, publisher of a blog aimed at promoting and retaining families in central Cincinnati, has a post up today blasting the weekly telephone town halls being conducted by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood). Although ostensibly not campaign-related (and apparently paid for out of taxpayer dollars), the calls are obviously a campaign tool aimed at firing up Chabot's base, with the incumbent harping on how drilling in ANWAR would "wean us from Middle East Oil," illegal immigrants "get benefits meant for citizens without paying for them," and Cuba is "conspiring to drill our oil on the Outer Continental Shelf," and even complaining about phone messages that say "for English press 1 for Spanish press 2." Chabot isn't fooling Citykin, who learned through Google that the estimated reserves in ANWAR would only supply a couple of years of U.S. consumption ("How does 2 years worth of oil wean us from Middle East oil?"), notes that illegal immigrants pay various taxes and don't get Social Security even though they pay into it, and calls Chabot's complaining about the use of Spanish "lame."
OH-06 - Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-St.Clairsville) is a co-sponsor of legislation introduced yesterday that would pump $1 billion into developing so-called "clean coal" technology, i.e., sequestration and underground storage of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning generation of electricity. Although the technology is heavily promoted by the coal industry and legislators from coal country, it is controversial because the process will never be as clean as alternatives such as wind and solar power and coal mining would still cause other kinds of environmental damage even if the emission of carbon dioxide is reduced.
OH-10 - Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) stood his ground against the Big Loofah over impeachment and gas prices on Fixed News the other night:
OH-11 - At the 17th Annual Luncheon for Emily's List in Washington yesterday, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) joined other women lawmakers in speaking to the group, "emphasiz[ing] teamwork among Democrats this November and stat[ing] their support for Obama, while commending Clinton on her strong campaign." Keynote speaker Madeleine Albright "announced her support for Obama, adding that one day soon, the country will have a female president."
OH-12 - Challenger David Robinson (D-Columbus) invites supporters to march with him in the Johnstown Parade tomorrow (6/14). Line-up at 12:00 noon, step-off at 1:00 p.m. at Johnstown High School (off SR 37, East of SR 62). Wear a Robinson t-shirt, or get one at the parade. Children and pets welcome!
OH-13 - Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley) has been leading the push to increase funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) Program, created in 1983 provide funding for emergency food aid and shelter to families at risk of homelessness and hunger. On Wednesday a House subcommittee marked up the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which includes a provision sought by Rep. Sutton to increase EFS funding from $153 million in FY 2008 to $200 million in FY 2009. “For many hardworking Americans, food pantries, emergency shelters and relief organizations are a critical safety net, allowing them to provide for their families during hard times,” said Rep. Sutton.
OH-15 - Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) has a statement up on her campaign site "proudly supporting" Barack Obama, praising his "bold new ideas, vision and strong leadership" and saying his time in the Senate "has shown us all that he can work with both sides of the aisle to get things done." *** Independent candidate Don Elijah Eckhart (I-Galloway) has a campaign site, in which he compares political system to "a barren wilderness" and pledges to pay for his campaign out of his own money. UPDATE: Mr. Eckhart contacted me to clarify his position with respect to financing his campaign - he plans to pay for it mostly himself and isn't actively soliciting contribuions, but if offered me may accept them, at least small ones:
It is true that I am paying out of my own money, and I have paid for all of my campaign expenses to date. Further, I plan to pay as much as I can toward my campaign expenses throughout the campaign. I hope this shows the commitment I have made to this cause.
I want to make sure that it is understood that I believe individual contributions (within a reasonable dollar amount) are acceptable. I have not solicited any individual contributions and I have not hosted fundraisers where lobbyits and special interests are expected to donate. I may accept small, individual contributions if offered. The point is: I am "not for sale." If all of the politicians could truly say that, we would have a much better democracy.
OH-17 - Net-savvy Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) tweeted yesterday that he was getting ready to twitter from the floor of the U.S. House, and his tweeting soon developed into a twitter fight with Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) about drilling in ANWAR and other topics -- excerpts here.
OH-18 - Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) has issued a statement extolling passage of the bill to extend unemployment benefits and chastising Bush for threatening to veto it: “Making ends meet has become increasingly difficult due to our stagnant economy, and running out of unemployment benefits in a difficult job market can prove devastating for our families,” Rep. Space said. “We have an obligation to do everything we can to help our workers through this difficult economic period.”
Jon Craig has a piece in the Enquirer today reporting that Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel (R) has withdrawn her name from consideration as a candidate for Attorney General. He also notes that Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper (R) is out, although I must admit I didn't know
she he was under consideration. Craig also says that State Sen. Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) won't run, which I had not heard (but I had noticed that his name wasn't getting mentioned lately). The only Republican who has expressed definite interest so far as I've heard or read is Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost (R).
I have to imagine that behind the scenes former attorney general Betty Montgomery (R-Perrysburg) is under heavy pressure to change her mind about not running.
UPDATE (6/13 5:05 p.m.) Montgomery confirmed today that she is not running.
[Promoted from the Forums. - Jeff]
By Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
Now that one of the most remarkable primaries in our nation's history has concluded, attention is turning to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. In less than three months, the Mile High City and the Rocky Mountain West will host this historic event for the first time since 1908.
The Convention also coincides with Denver's 150th birthday - a century-and-a-half of progress and innovation since its birth at the height of the Colorado gold rush. A hub of opportunity for people seeking new frontiers, people come to Colorado seeking much more than gold these days. The spirit of visionary zeal and limitless possibility is as strong as ever in the New West. So it's fitting that as the Democratic Party marches toward its own new frontier, it will do so through Denver.
A message to all of you in Ohio: you don't have to be in Denver - or on the Convention floor - to get in on the action though. The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee has organized two interactive ways for people anywhere in America to get involved. We're convening a national conversation about democracy and community and invite everyone to participate.
The Cinemocracy short film competition encourages anyone and everyone to submit short films about what democracy means to them. You can submit films - as well as view and judge the entries - online at www.cinemocracy.org. The top 25 videos, as determined through public online voting, will be screened publicly during Convention week and the winning film will be featured at the 31st Starz Denver Film Festival.
America: Live and In Person is a like a multi-media open mic night, inviting people to share personal stories of what America means to them through art, dance, music, drama, writing, technology, service projects and more. Submissions will be viewable online for the public to enjoy and judge...and winning entries will be part of an exhibit at the Convention that will also travel through the Rocky Mountain West.
Both America: Live & In Person and Cinemocracy present innovative and interactive ways to participate in the Convention festivities...as a contributor or a spectator. We encourage people throughout America to contribute their voices and creativity to this national conversation.
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:
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him on what basis he thinks this poll is reliable.
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.
"... [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%]."
You are invited to join Michelle Obama for a reception benefiting Obama for America in Cincinnati on Friday evening - details after the flip.
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.
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.”
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"
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.
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 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.
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.
The May job approval ratings of U.S. Senators from SurveyUSA
are out were released last week and the comparison in Ohio is stark:
12% Not sure
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?