SEIU Running Pro-Obama Ad in Indiana

The SEIU is making a big push for Obama across the border in Indiana as next Tuesday's primary approaches, as well as for gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson and Andre Carson in IN-07. In addition to massive phone-banking and door-to-door efforts, they are running television ads. Here is their Iraq-themed ad for Obama, which I think is pretty effective:

Press Conference and Demonstration Against McCain in Cleveland Tomorrow 5/1

05/01/2008 - 9:00am
05/01/2008 - 12:30pm

On the fifth anniversary of George Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech, Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan and North Shore Federation of Labor Executive Secretary Harriet Applegate will respond to John McCain's campaign event in Cleveland.

The press conference at 9:00 a.m. at the North Shore Federation of Labor, Laborers Local 310, 3250 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland will be followed by a demonstration outside the McCain town hall event at the InterContinental Cleveland at 9801 Carnegie Avenue at around 10 a.m.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races UPDATED

Items of interest:

UPDATE: OH-03 - The campaign of Jane Mitakides (D-Washington Twp) is circulating a graph and accompanying statistics in an effort to demonstrate that her chances as a challenger in OH-03 are as great or better than challengers Steve Driehaus in OH-01 or Victoria Wulsin in OH-02, whose races are generally ranked as more competitive:

The graph charts Democratic performance in the three districts (blue, pink, and yellow) in the 2004 congressional and presidential contests, the 2006 congressional and gubernatorial contests, and the 2008 primary, contrasted with Republican performance in OH-03 (red). The highlights are that Strickland won more votes in OH-03 (54%) than he did in OH-02 (50%) or OH-01 (47.5%), Mitakides' share of the overall primary vote in 2008 (60%) was greater than that of Wulsin (57%) or Driehaus (55%) and was up more than 22% over Mitakides' 2004 general election showing against Rep. Mike Turner (R), and Democratic turnout in the 2008 primary was up 137% over Democratic turnout in the 2004 primary. Mitakides also points out that she won her three-way primary with 54% of the vote and that she has out-raised Turner since entering the race in January.

UPDATE: OH-06 Reporter Marian Houser of the Herald Star posted this quirky anecdote on her blog about encountering Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-St. Clairsville) at a Knights of Columbus banquet last Sunday night:

Charlie Wilson, our U.S. representative, was there with his significant other, Angela Hatfield, talking about his personal feelings of awe at a Papal Mass in Washington, D.C., and his personal hopes for this area. He says it’s all about jobs, “if jobs are provided other things will come,” he said.

Charlie also recalled the days when I took obits from his dad, also Charlie, over the phone, by hand, while, U.S. Rep. Charlie said, he was under house arrest doing his home work.

He also noted he took his sister, Becky Schimmler of Toledo, with him to the Mass.

Charlie said his years growing up in the funeral home business have helped him in his work in congress. “It was wonderful training in public service. I learned personal service that is now public service.”

OH-09 - Following up on an in-person meeting she helped set up with Hillary Clinton a few weeks ago, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) and Rep. Michael H. Michaud (D-ME) arranged a conference call between Barack Obama and members of the House Trade Working Group. The call lasted over an hour and covered such topics as the Columbia Free Trade agreement (like Clinton he promised to oppose it), Chinese currency manipulation, the WTO, patent legislation, and European value-added taxes that hurt U.S. exports.

OH-10 - Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) was the featured speaker at the North Coast AFL-CIO Political Training Meeting last Friday at the Steelworkers union hall in Cleveland, where he let it all hang out against McCain:

“Everything we have been doing for years has to be funneled into the 2008 elections. Our entire way of life is under attack. ...

“Our jobs are on the line, health care is on the line, Social Security, pensions, trade agreements are on the line, peace is on the line, our kids’ future is on the line, education, housing, everything. America is on the line. ... There is no question that on the economy, he is an extension of the Bush administration. ...

“This is about economic survival. If there is another Republican president, it will be hard to rebuild the labor movement. [But the] power of the working class is tremendous and I am confident you will save the day. You are the vanguard of the effort to recreate America, to change the direction of history. ...

“Our country is run by the oil companies. That’s what caused the war in Iraq and the threat of war in Iran. It is terrible but that is why our young people are being sent to die. Bush’s entire international policy is about oil. That is why they are trying to encircle Russia. ...

“If labor is instrumental in electing the next president, labor will have major influence over our national policy. It’s not rocket science. This is what we have to do.”

OH-15 - The Daily Briefing reports that Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) has been endorsed by the Sierra Club. David Scott, vice chair of the national Sierra Club's Conservation Governance Committee and a resident of the 15th Ohio Congressional District, announced the endorsement, saying that Kilroy is "saying the things that our members want to hear" and noting that opponent State Sen. Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington) has received contributions from energy companies and the tobacco giant RJ Reynolds.

OH-18 - Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) will be presented with the ARC Legislator of the Year Award at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance at 10:30 a.m. on Friday (5/2) at the Carlisle Village Inn, 4949 Walnut Street in Walnut Creek (RSVP required). *** At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (5/3), Space will dedicate the cornerstone of the new Frazeysburg Elementary School on East 3rd Street in Frazeysburg.

Poll: Ohioans Prefer Cigarette Tax Increase to Cutting Anti-Smoking Efforts

I think that Strickland's job-creating economic stimulus package is terrific, but I've always been uncomfortable with diverting tobacco settlement money from smoking prevention programs in order to help pay for it. This was not Strickand's original plan, but switching from a massive bond issue to a combination of such budget maneuvers was the price he paid to secure Republican support for the measure. And the ensuing battle with the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation has now taken the extreme form of seeking to abolish the Foundation altogether, not merely take most of its public money and leave it to seek private contributions.

The Foundation has in fact done good work and has much more to do. Cutting down on smoking actually saves the state money in the long run, since it greatly reduces overall health care costs.

Now the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have released a poll showing that:

* 65% of Ohio voters support a $0.75 increase in the state cigarette tax to fund the economic stimulus package and fully fund Ohio's tobacco prevention efforts;

* 72% are concerned about tobacco use by young people, and 76% think Ohio's tobacco prevention and cessation programs should be funded at the level recommended by the CDC; and,

* Support for the economic stimulus plan drops from 78% to 50% when respondents are informed that it will be paid for in part by taking most of the money from tobacco prevention programs.

Bottom line, gutting anti-smoking programs is unpopular as well as bad policy, and although the economic stimulus package is important this is not a good way to get that done.

GOP Switcheroo on Payday Lending

After blocking proposals to cap interest rates on payday lending for months, the Republican leadership of the General Assembly has made a hard pivot and introduced a bill, HB 545, that goes much further in regulating payday lenders than the leading contender, HB 333 -- interest rates capped at 28% per year instead of 36%, number of loans limited to four per year, maximum amount cut from from $800 to $500, a minimum of 31 days to pay off a loan, internet-based payday lending banned, a statewide database created.

State Rep. Chris Widener (R-Springfield), chairman of the House Financial Institutions Committee, introduced the bill. He has been squelching payday lending regulation bills since early last fall, and just a few weeks ago Widener called the 391% annual rate payday lenders get away with now "a fictitious number" and said that he has "not heard anyone say that it's not fair." He proposed a bill that repackaged the 391% interest as an "origination fee." But now Widener, the same person as a few weeks ago as far as anyone can tell, is saying the opposite. "I'm proud of where we are at with this bill, and I think we'll have the strongest law in the country," he says now. House Speaker Jon Husted (R-Kettering) is also a fresh convert to looking out for the consumer: "We need to make sure that whatever legislation we move on payday lending it ends the cycle of entrapment that has found people in circumstances they cannot find a way out of."

So what happened? It became clear that the pressure to regulate payday lending was going to be too great to resist when Gov. Strickland announced his support for capping interest rates last week, with newspaper editorial boards around the state chiming in. GOP opposition was based not on principle but on campaign contributions from the industry. When it became clear that they couldn't prevent genuine payday regulation, they decided to own it instead, attempting to defuse a powerful campaign issue in the general election. In other words, once the GOP bus stops rolling from that hard turn they made, we'll find their payday lending buddies somewhere underneath it. But Widener's credibility might be harder to find.

UPDATE: State Reps. Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown), Matt Lundy (D-Elyria), and Tyrone Yates (D-Cincinnati), each a sponsor of one of the competing payday lending bills that preceded Widener's miraculous conversion, teamed up yesterday to praise the new bill in a joint press release:

“We are pleased that real reform seems to be coming to help Ohioans dig themselves out of a dangerous cycle of debt. After the Republican-dominated House stalled on our three pieces of legislation for months, our Caucus members called for a vote on an interest rate cap on payday loans, and we’re glad the Republicans have finally responded. This bill will provide avenues for people to get financial assistance, and it will protect them from the outrageous fees and interest rates payday lenders have lived on, unchecked, for years. This will help Ohio families manage their money through financial education and avoid the debt cycle that has damaged so many people.”

News and Notes: General Assembly Races

A few quick bits:

OH House-14 - USA Today has a story about the rise in attacks on homeless people and pending legislation in three states, including Ohio, to impose harsher penalities for such assaults under hate crimes laws. State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland), sponsor of the Ohio bill, is quoted:

Attacks against homeless people increased from 142 attacks in 2006 to 160 attacks in 2007, says a report released Tuesday by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. ...

"This is about punishing people who take advantage of the most vulnerable in our society," says Ohio State Rep. Mike Foley, who introduced the state's bill. "There is too much of it going on."

In 2007, Ohio had 12 attacks against the homeless, including one that resulted in a death, according to the annual study, titled, "Hate, Violence and Death on Main Street USA 2007."

OH House-20 - Bonobo has the details on the May 8th campaign kick-off event for Nancy Garland at the Creekside Conference & Event Center in Gahanna. Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks will be the headliner.

OH House-58 - I've been told that Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch (D) isn't particularly interested in replacing Matt Barrett, which is unfortunate. It would be good to have a candidate from Norwalk because challenger Terry Boose (R) lives there, and Lesch has won a lot of fans for her performance as mayor. The other names I've heard are County Auditor Roland Tkach (D) and former state representative Dan Metelsky (D).

OH House-84 - Connie Crockett (D-Yellow Springs) has a spiffy new campaign site. From her "About" page:

Connie Crockett lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio where she won two four-year terms on Village Council and was an instrumental proponent for the Little Miami Trail, which has sparked solid economic growth in the district and throughout southwestern Ohio for the last 17 years.

Connie has served on regional planning commissions, a regional council of eight suburban governments, and conducts research on citizen public engagement for the Kettering Foundation. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Dayton.

Crockett is a good candidate in an important open seat race.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races

Duly noted:

OH-04 - Challenger Mike Caroll (D-Mansfield) has a new name for the higher prices we are all paying for things like gas, health care, and tuition:

Rep. Jordan is always talking about cutting taxes. Really? Let's look at what I call the JORDAN TAX. Because he is owned by the big business special interests and lobbyists, he doesn't dare suggest regulation of or opposition to a single price increase.

That means that the next time you go to fill up your tank - you're paying the JORDAN TAX. ... Heat your house? You're paying THE JORDAN TAX; Health Insurance? THE JORDAN TAX; Food costs soaring? THE JORDAN TAX; Tuition increases; THE JORDAN TAX; Outsourcing and manufacturing moving overseas? THE JORDAN TAX; Unions marginalized and wages cut in half in some factories, while CEO pay increases 100 fold? THE JORDAN TAX (you pay it, the CEO's don't) ...

Sure, you get a nominal decrease in some of your taxes (while the wealthy save millions), but ... WHAT'S LEFT AT THE END OF THE MONTH? When the average person now pays $40 to $60 or more for a single fill-up of gas...not much.

OH-07 - Yesterday Sharen Neuhardt (D-Yellow Springs) gained the endorsement of the Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO. "All my life I have worked with Republicans and Democrats to get things done, and I look forward to working with labor and businesses to create and grow good paying jobs for the Seventh Congressional District," said Neuhardt in a press release. "I am committed to growing good jobs and making sure children and families have access to affordable universal healthcare. If you have had enough with the direction of our country, I bring an approach that creates real change."

OH-09 - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) will give the commencement address at Owens Community College in Perrysburg Township at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 9th.

OH-13 - Today's Lorain Morning Journal has an interview with Rep. Betty Sutton (Copley Twp). She says that the top three issues facing Lorain County are "jobs, jobs, and jobs;" talks about the value of sitting on the House Rules Committee; laments that good bills pass the House and then languish in the Senate; and says that her recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton came about after reviewing the two candidates' economic positions. Surprisingly, she thinks a combined ticket with Obama and Clinton is "a distinct possibility."

OH-15 - The Birthday Reception for Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) tomorrow night at the Treehouse in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland is something of a homecoming for the Franklin County Commissioner. She was born in Cleveland and earned her bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University before going on to law school at OSU.

OH-16 - The Mahoning Valley Thunder of the Arena Football league will host State Sen. John Boccieri (D-New Middletown) at its first-ever Monday night game on May 5th, which has been dubbed "Salute the Military and Defend Youngstown" night. "I think it's great that the management of the Mahoning Valley Thunder has taken this opportunity to recognize the bravest citizens in the Mahoning Valley," said Sen. Boccieri. "Each day these men and women serve and support America in our honor. This is one of many ways we, as a valley, can say thank you." Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m. at the Chevrolet Center in Boardman.

News and Notes: General Assembly Races

What's happening:

OH Sen-10 - Plain Dealer columnist Thomas Suddes ripped state representative and Ohio Senate contender Chris Widener (R-Springfield) this weekend for his role in blocking a payday lending interest rate cap:

Springfield Republican Rep. Christopher R. Widener, chair of the Financial Institutions, Real Estate and Securities Committee, must have a tighter grasp on the issue than even the president of the United States. Widener won't let the committee vote on the 36 percent cap.

That suggests he fears the committee would approve it. Lenders don't want that. (In what must be a complete coincidence, a payday-lender PAC has donated to Widener's state Senate campaign fund.) ...

Even allowing for recent Statehouse shamelessness, the Ohio House's failure to pass a 36 percent APR cap is a new and disgusting low.

The newspaper's editorial board has pointedly suggested that this ought to be a central issue in Widener's race against Roger Tackett (D-South Charleston):

The voters of Clark, Greene and Madison counties, and [Widener's] Democratic foe for the Senate, Clark County Commissioner Roger Tackett, should be asking Widener how he can possibly defend 391 percent APRs. As the Springfield News-Sun wrote while tepidly endorsing Widener in the GOP primary, "Widener hasn't always made the best use of his [House] seat." No kidding.

OH Sen-16 - Danielle Blue (D-Columbus) will have her campaign kick-off event at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29th, at Spice Bar, 491 Park Street in Columbus, OH 43215. Suggested contribution is $50.

OH House-14 - Look for a story tomorrow in USA Today that includes an interview with State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) about his homeless hate crimes bill. It would allow prosecutors to ask for additional penalties if a person is convicted of a hate crime against a homeless person.

OH House-20 - Nancy Garland will have her campaign kickoff event from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 8th, at 700 Creekside Plaza in Gahanna.

OH House-33 - State Rep. Tyrone Yates (D-Cincinnati) is the sponsor of a bill that would cap interest rates on payday loans at 25% APR and prohibit the use of post-dated checks, but he welcomes the statement by Gov. Strickland last Friday in support of the 36% cap contained in a different bill. “I am glad to hear Gov. Strickland is joining the fight for Ohio’s consumers against what NAACP President Julian Bond referred to as ‘legalized extortion,’” said Rep. Yates. “Though my bill is a stronger one with a 25% rate cap, I welcome Gov. Strickland’s leadership in this direction.”

OH House-58 - The House Democratic Caucus will make an announcement shortly inviting persons interested in replacing the departed Matt Barrett to submit applications.

OH House-59 - State Rep. Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown) announced Friday that six school districts in Mahoning County have been awarded state grants to help provide technology training to educators, administered through the eTech Ohio Commission. The individual grants averaged a little over $2,600 per school district. “This money provides teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to use instructional technology as a powerful teaching and learning tool,” Rep. Gerberry said. “This approach will help prepare teachers to lead Ohio students into the future.”

OH House-93 - State Rep. Jennifer Garrison (D-Marietta), the ranking Democrat on the House Public Utilities and Energy Committee, has sent out a newsletter detailing the negotiations, walk out, veto threat, further negotiations, and ultimate capitulation by GOP House leadership on the energy bill. She concludes that the final bipartisan bill "provided an off-ramp to protect consumers from shouldering excessive earnings for utilities" as well as "safeguards to retain and attract jobs in this state by avoiding rate shock for businesses" and "a prudency review standard on all allowances in rates like the price of fuel and power purchased by an affiliate company so consumers are protected." As to what caused the Democratic members of the committee to storm out in the early morning hours, she writes:

My mother always said, “Nothing good ever happens after 2:00 a.m.,” and was she ever right.

Russian Roulette, Anyone? Tainted Burritos Prompt Sick Days Video

Forty-seven people became sick the weekend before last after eating burritos at a Chipotle restaurant near Kent State University, prompting this video in support of the Ohio Health Families Act, otherwise known as the paid sick days law:

The Ohio General Assembly has until May 9th to act on the Paid Sick Days bill, after which thousands in Ohio will begin gathering signatures to place issue on November ballot.

Tomorrow, MomsRising is sending Chipotle burritos to members of the Ohio General Assembly to spur them to act in the best interest of our families and our state.

Strickland to Speak at Workers Memorial Day Event in Cincinnati Tonight

04/28/2008 - 5:30pm
04/28/2008 - 8:30pm

Gov. Ted Strickland is the special guest speaker at the Worker's Memorial Day event tonight (4/28) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the UAW Local 647 Hall, 10020 Reading Road.

From the UAW site:

Seven UAW members died on the job in 2007 and three have already lost their lives this year.

These sad facts underscore the importance of Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 2008. On this day, we remember those who have died on the job and recommit to making sure every worker arrives home at their end of their shift in the same condition as when they left home to report for work.

The challenges are daunting. There are employers out there who see health and safety as an afterthought compared to profits and productivity, especially in a down economy

"As UAW members, we know nothing is more important than our health and safety," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said. "Even though membership in a union means far better focus on health and safety when compared to non-union workplaces, we must remain ever vigilant about protecting ourselves from dangerous workplaces. We owe that to ourselves, our families and our communities."

Music, food, and drinks are featured at tonight's event.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races

Items of interest:

OH-02 - James Lambert at the Swing State Project has an analysis of the "cash on hand competitiveness" quotient for the challengers in the top 75 non-open seat House races. Eight of the top ten are Democrats, and in 7th place is Ohio's own Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill). She has 132% of the campaign cash of her incumbent opponent, according to the latest campaign finance filing. Steve Driehaus in OH-01 is 29th on the list with 50%. *** Wulsin will attend the annual dinner of the Adams County Democrat Club this Saturday (5/3) starting at 5:00 at the Adams County Career Technical Center.

OH-03 - Jane Mitakides (D-Washington Twp) will honor Workers Memorial Day on April 28th by attending the Miami Valley Health Care Conference. Workers Memorial Day has been celebrated since 1989 on the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 2007, 114 men and women were killed on the job in Ohio.

“My grandfather was a proud member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen Local 443. He was killed on the job when my father was only a few weeks old,” said Mitakides. “While significant improvements have been made, we must continue to strive for safer workplaces for those that keep the engines of our economy running. We must protect our workers, not just from dangerous equipment and factories, but from unfair trade deals that rob them of good-paying jobs, predatory loans that lead to foreclosures, and stagnant wages that don’t meet the rising cost of living.”

OH-04 - In a Dispatch article today about how the stalemate in Congress has stymied efforts at the state level in Ohio to fight hunger, expand health-care coverage to uninsured children, and boost student achievement, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) is featured as the spokesperson for GOP recalcitrance. "Any time we can keep bills from passing that increase federal spending, that is probably a good thing," he says. "We can't afford to spend more." Unless it's in Iraq.

OH-11 - Last week Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) made a notable plea for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation on the occasion of a House resolution recognizing the 60th anniversary of the founding of modern state of Israel:

H. Con. Res. 322 eloquently states the many reasons why I celebrate Israel’s accomplishments and I sincerely wish it a bright future. I only wish to add that, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many Israelis and Palestinians as well, Israel’s future will be bright only if it includes an open dialogue with Palestinians, a respect for human rights and international law, and a society built on coexistence and tolerance. Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace with justice and I encourage the United States government to help Israel achieve that so the joy of future anniversaries will be unalloyed.

OH-15 There will be a fund-raising reception for Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30th, at The Treehouse, 820 College Avenue in the Tremont neighborhood in Cleveland.

OH-17 - Rep. Tim Ryan will make an appearance with first lady Frances Strickland tonight (4/28) in Youngstown to raise awareness about the 7,000 low-income Mahoning Valley children who could have health insurance but don't, marking the first day of national Uninsured Week. Altogether, 106,000 of the 156,000 uninsured children in Ohio are eligible under the federal economic guidelines but are not enrolled. The event is at 5:30 p.m. at the Youngstown Community Health Center, 726 Wick Avenue.

OH-18 - Rep. Zack Space got good coverage in the Chillicothe Gazette this weekend of his health care jobs summit on Friday. "This is really the beginning of something," Space said. "To plan ahead two, four or even ten years so we can return this entire region to economic vibrancy. ... The health-care industry shows an enormous potential for growth inour region. We have a great example of that at Adena, which continues to expand right here in Chillicothe."

Strickland Vows to Veto Special Ed Voucher Law

The CEA Blog, written by Phillip Hayes for the Columbus Education Assocation, has an exclusive interview with Gov. Ted Strickland on education issues. Among other things, Strickand states for the first time that he will veto Senate Bill 57 (which would allow the parents of special education students to get a $20,000 voucher that they could be use for charter or private schooling) if it comes across his desk in its current form.

It is an excellent interview. Strickland calls No Child Left Behind "too restrictive" and "harmful to the education process," and predicts that there will be neither an increase in accountability for charter schools nor a reduction in school vouchers without a change in control of the General Assembly:

“It’s going to take a Republican Governor and a Republican legislature in Ohio to expand charter schools and vouchers in the state,” said Strickland. “To reverse that, it will require a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature. As long as there’s the division we have now, we will continue to end up with the status quo we’re experiencing.”

Read the whole thing.

ODP Should Publicly Affirm Its Commitment to Respecting Women

Jill has published a thoughtful letter to Ohio Democratic Chair Chris Redfern in which she calls for "a public statement that explicitly denounces work environments and behavior that impede, demean or otherwise disrespect women." I wholeheartedly agree.

The pending sexual harassment investigations in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General and the resignation yesterday of State Rep. Matthew Barrett (D-Amherst) have little in common except two things: (1) they both involve actual or alleged conduct that disrespects women, and (2) they both tend to threaten Democratic hopes of attaining the party's strategic goals for 2008 and beyond.

It's up to the party to respond to these episodes in a way that minimizes the political damage and keeps the party on course. That means getting out in front of them, both through full disclosure and transparency about what happened and through publicly reaffirming the ideals of the Democratic Party with which these scandals conflict.

I think the kind of clear pubic statement that Jill calls for is an excellent place to start.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races UPDATED

On the computer screen today:

OH-01 - Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) was one of only a handful of GOP members of the House to stick with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-West Chester) this week on voting against a bill to block the Bush administration from cutting federal spending on Medicaid health care for the poor by $13 billion over the next five years. Two-thirds of the Republicans joined every voting Democrat in the 349-62 vote to stall the changes for at least a year. The other Ohioans to join Boehner in giving the boot to sick kids were Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green).

UPDATE: OH-03 - Challenger Jane Mitakides (D-Washington Twp) will attend the Miami Valley Health Care Conference and National Workers' Day being sponsored by the Dayton- Miami Valley AFL-CIO Central Labor Council at 6:00 p.m. on Monday (4/28) at 4127 East Second Street in Dayton. For more information call the AFL-CIO at (937) 259-9814.

OH-04 - Challenger Mike Carroll (D-Mansfield) reports that he has received the endorsement of the Communication Workers of America - District 4, to go along with his endorsements from the UAW State of Ohio CAP, IBEW Local 688, United Steelworkers Local 169, and the Crawford/Richland County Central Labor Council and West Central Central Labor Council. Reporter Heather Rutz of the Lima News gives a good recap of Carroll's talk the other night:

“I’m not a politician,” Carroll said. “I’m an American worker fed up with the direction the country is going.”

Carroll is a member of United Steelworkers union and has worked for AK Steel for 24 years. He is a veteran of the Ohio Air National Guard, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3494 Men’s Auxiliary and a charter member of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.

[Rep. Jim] Jordan is out of touch with working people and their issues, Carroll said. ... “He voted against renewable energy and energy conservation. He’s against children’s health insurance, against affordable housing, against fair pay, against college cost reduction, against the minimum wage. It goes on and on and on,” Carroll said. “How do we keep electing guys like this?”

Carroll said he supports further government help with the country’s subprime mortgage trouble and favors an infrastructure rebuilding program over the government’s soon to be issued stimulus package checks.

“He says it’s not the federal government’s job to interfere in the subprime mortgage crisis. Are you kidding me? When I’m elected, it will be my job to help all citizens,” Carroll said. “Ohio is like No. 3 in the nation in foreclosures, and our congressman says it’s not his job to help?”

Carroll will speak at the Hancock County Democratic Spring Dinner at Findlay AmVets Post 21, 339 E Melrose Ave. in Findlay, on Monday, May 5th, at 6:30 p.m.

OH-07 - GOP primary candidate Lt. Col. John Mitchel (USAF-ret.) continues to hammer Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Springfield) and his hand-picked successor State Sen. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek) over a massive no-bid contract steered to campaign contributors, combined in this instance with criticism for their silence on the loss of funding for an important local facility:

[W]hen funding is lost on programs like Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare, the region’s only public psychiatric facility, Austria and Hobson scurry back to the shadows.

I am not passing judgment on cutting the budget [but] we should be demanding accountability for politicians’ budget priorities ... Take for example the contract Greene County Commissioners awarded in 2003 to the Dayton Development Coalition, a private, non-profit corporation. The deal sent $1.9 million in tax dollars to the Coalition, who in turn awarded an un-bid contract to The Greentree Group, who then noncompetitively awarded $560,000 to The PMA Group, a Washington lobbyist. Steve Austria and his mentor, Dave Hobson, were instrumental in steering taxpayer dollars to these private organizations on the pretext that they were needed to protect jobs at Wright Patterson, and then received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Greentree and PMA. The simple truth is that Wright Patt is a national treasure and as such will never be in danger of closing or downsizing, and therefore the $1.9 million Austria and Hobson money-laundered to special interests to defend the base was a total waste of taxpayer dollars.

OH-09 - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) gets kudos in an article in the current edition of The Nation about how the U.S. government and U.S.-based food conglomerates have precipitated the world food crisis by "pressuring farmers here and abroad to produce cash crops for export and alternative fuels rather than grow healthy food for local consumption and regional stability." Author John Nichols cites Rep. Kaptur as one of a handful of "visionary" members of Congress to advocate "an urgent rethink of the respective roles of markets and governments" as called for by the Institute on Agriculture and Trade Policy.

OH-10 - I missed the broadcast, but a Texas blogger reports that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) was on television yesterday restating his long-standing support for a windfall profits tax on oil companies in light of record prices and profits. His official web site describes the idea this way (from a post that is several years old):

HR 2070, The Gas Price Spike Act of 2005, ... will address the spike in the price of gasoline by placing a windfall profits tax on oil companies; giving tax credits for the purchase of ultra efficient vehicles; and provide federal grants to reduced mass transit fares. “Consumers in Northeast Ohio, and nationwide, are being gouged at the pump,” stated Kucinich. “The only thing rising faster than the price of gasoline right now is the skyrocketing profits of the oil companies.”

UPDATE: The appearance was on Fox, and here is the video:

OH-12 - Challenger David Robinson (D-Columbus) will be attending a Dublin house party at the home of Lucy and Al Gabel, located at 7190 Coffman Road at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29th. This event is open to all that wish to attend, suggested donations: Sponsors-$200, Guests-$50. Please RSVP, by e-mail to or call 614-889-8282. Please include your name and telephone number with your RSVP. *** UPDATE: Robinson's campaign site highlights this introductory video ad from his campaign kickoff a month ago:

OH-17 - Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles), a co-sponsor of a bill to divert petroleum from the strategic oil reserve to the marketplace to help bring down prices, told Don Shilling of the Youngstown Vindicator that he might support the alterative strategy of opening up environmentally-sensitive areas in Alaska and Florida to drilling:
Ryan said he is open to the idea of opening up more areas to drilling. He added, however, that it would have to be part of a comprehensive energy plan that included less reliance on oil and more development of nuclear power and alternative energy.

Blogger Dan Rowinsky of the Mahoning Valley Stonewall Democrats is displeased, calling it pandering to the public and a failure of leadership.

OH House-58: Possible Replacements for Barrett Named UPDATED

In a story for the Columbus Dispatch, reporter Jim Siegel writes that after blaming his son for the topless photograph he projected to a startled class of high school students, State Rep. Matthew Barrett (D-Amherst) "apparently admitted to Democratic leaders last night that not only were the pictures his, but he knew the woman in that photo and the women in other such photos."

Siegal also indicates that former state representative Dan Metelsky "is mentioned" as a possible replacement for Barrett. Other names floated in a conversation I had tonight are Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch (D) and Huron County Auditor John Elmlinger Roland Tkach(D).

Metelsky was a long-time city council member in Lorain before he was appointed to represent the 61st House District in 1996, a post he held until October 2001. More recently he has been Deputy Director of the Ohio Lottery.

UPDATE: My conversation last night was with reporter Brad Dicken of the Elyria Chronicle Telegram and he has now written a story on the matter, from which I learn that the Huron County Auditor is not John Elmnlinger as indicated on the NACO site but Roland Tkach.

Dicken also reports that the caucus will meet on Monday to discuss a replacement, and that they are looking for a current or former elected offical:

The decision of who will serve out the remainder of Barrett’s term rests with the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, which has scheduled a meeting Monday to figure that out.

State Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, said Thursday that Democrats likely will choose a replacement with good name recognition in Barrett’s district, which includes Huron County and portions of Lorain and Seneca counties.

“It’ll be a current or former elected official who is well-known in the district,” said Redfern, who is also the head of the state Democratic Party.

OH House-70: Conner (D) Chosen to Replace Nisenoff (D)

Don Hollister, Chair of the Greene County Democratic Party, informs me that two-time OH-07 congressional candidate Bill Conner (D-Beavercreek) was chosen last night by a 70th district caucus of the County Democratic Party Executive Committee to replace Matt Nisenoff (D-Beavercreek) on the ballot. Carol Wichman (D-Fairborn) was the other contender for the appointment.

Conner is an engineer and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. In 2006 he won 39% of the vote against Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Springfield) overall, taking 34% of the vote in Greene County. The 70th District comprises a portion of Greene County (including Beavercreek, Fairborn and Xenia) and leans Republican (PVI R+8). The GOP candidate is city council member Jarrod Martin (R-Beavercreek). Term-limited incumbent Kevin DeWine (R-Beavercreek) defeated political novice Kevin O'Brien (D-Fairborn) in 2006 by 60% to 40%.

OH House-58: Barrett (D) Resigns Over Nude Image Controversy

In a shocking development, State Rep. Matthew Barrett (D-Amherst) has submitted his resignation. House Democratic Leader Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) has announced that she asked for the resignation when it "became clear that Rep. Barrett had not been forthright with me and his colleagues" regarding the nude photo incident that generated a lot of media coverage last fall.

The underlying episode occurred in October, when Barrett inadvertently projected the image of a topless woman while making a presentation to a class at Norwalk High School. At the time he told investigators that he had no idea where the image came from, and later the presence of the photo on Barrett's computer equipment was attributed to his teenage son. The details of Barrett's lack of candor about the incident have not yet been disclosed, but it raises the possibility that he made false statements to the police, which could be a criminal offense.

As I have noted previously, the 58th District was already looking like a difficult seat to defend, given a Republican tilt (PVI R+6.3), the emergence of a credible challenger in former county commissioner Terry Boose (R-Norwalk), and the prospect that first-termer Barrett would be attacked over the nude image incident. No time frame for appointing a replacement has been announced, but even if done quickly it is likely that the newcomer will be at a disadvantage in gearing up for the election.

News and Notes: Ohio Congressional Races UPDATED

A lot going on:

OH-01 - Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) failed in his effort to persuade the House Rules Committee to continue the exemption of the river steamboat Delta Queen from Coast Guard fire safety regulations. The exemption has been renewed nine times, allowing the steamboat to continue operating on overnight rips on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), chair of the House Transportation Committee, opposes the exemption because the Coast Guard regards the steamboat as a fire hazard.

OH-02 - Blogger Howie Klein praised Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) on the Huffington Post on Tuesday for her pledge not to accept Congressional health insurance coverage until health insurance is made available to all.

OH-03 - As noted by David Potts in his new gig at Buckeye State Blog yesterday, Jane Mitakides (D-Washington Twp) has been endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus. *** Mitakides campaign blogger Chris Kelly reported on Swing State Project on Tuesday that the campaign has gone carbon neutral:

By underwriting carbon offsets from, an organization that helps individuals, businesses, and organizations to eliminate their carbon footprints, the Mitakides campaign becomes one of the first congressional campaigns in the nation (and the first in Ohio) to take responsibility for their own greenhouse gas emissions.

OH-06 - Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-St.Clairsville) teamed up with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) yesterday to introduce the Emergency Neighborhood Reclamation Act, which would authorize $1 billion in federal funds for the demolition of abandoned buildings in areas that are blighted due to the mortgage foreclosure crisis. “The concern is that many foreclosed homes have been empty for a long period of time," said Rep. Wilson. "Many of them have been stripped of their copper piping and other valuable parts. To rehabilitate such homes is often more expensive than demolishing and starting new. We need to do what’s best for neighborhoods that are hurting.” *** In addition, Rep. Wilson shared in the credit for changing HR 5818, the Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008, in the House Financial Services Committee yesterday in a way that increases the share of grants and loans coming to Ohio from about $436 million to about $586 million.

OH-08 - Challenger Nick Von Stein (D-Mason) has announced his endorsement in the presidential race:

As a Democrat, I want the best candidate to go up against John McCain, and I think that that person is Barack Obama. We do not need the baggage from the Clinton Presidency to come back to haunt us in 2008. The presidency is not an office that is simply passed down from father to son, and husband to wife. We need new leadership in Washington D.C. We need someone who is able to speak to our country and the world, and let them know that the failed policies of the Bush Administration are over.

I'm giving my money and my support to Barack Obama because I want the democratic primary to be over. And the best way that we all can do this is by donating money to Barack, and not giving money to Hillary Clinton. If she doesn't have money, she can't fight any longer. We don't need someone simply repeating Republican talking points and providing fodder the election this fall.

I want to sent a clear message to the Clinton campaign. She needs to face the reality that Barack is going to be our candidate, and she needs to end her campaign and do what is best for the Democratic Party in 2008.

That's why I just made a donation to Barack's campaign, and I hope you'll join me and support our movement with a contribution of $25.

OH-09 - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) has emerged as a leader in the effort to derail the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), which is a dialogue between the presidents of Canada, the United States, and Mexico intended to seek closer integration on economic and security between the three countries. Kaptur objects to the SPP, which was the subject of further negotiations at this week's North American Summit, as altering U.S. trade policy in secret and without constitutionally mandated Congressional oversight. However, Kaptur's role as an outspoken opponent to SPP puts her into alliance with extremists on the right whose opposition is less about trade policy per se than about preserving U.S. sovereignty. They contend that the SPP is a plot to absorb the U.S. into a North American Union, similar to the European Union, a notion that is reminiscent of a long litany of conspiracy theories about threats to U.S. sovereignty.

OH-10 - Elizabeth Kucinich, lissome spouse of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland), has been retained as an unpaid roving news correspondent for the green lifestyle site G Living, and as part of the package is the subject of this videtaped organic fashion makeover. It's a fascinating clip - kind of a hip and "eco-fashionable" takeoff on How Do I Look?, including "sustainable clothing" from vendors like Ecoganik.

OH-12 - The campaign of David Robinson (D-Colubmus) asked me to publish this call for volunteers:

With less than 200 days to go until Election Day, now is the time to start telling voters about David Robinson and why he is the best choice to represent the 12th District in the U.S. Congress.

Over the next several weeks, the Robinson Campaign will be pulling together a Grassroots Team – a group of committed and energetic Robinson supporters who are willing to spend a few hours on the weekend, or a few hours during the week, reaching out to voters at the door or on the phone.

No Experience Required! "If you can walk, you can canvass. If you can talk, you can phone bank." Training will be provided.

We are going to win in November with good, old-fashioned hard work, and the Grassroots Team will be a critical part of our success. If you would like to be part of the Team, RSVP to Jed Thorp, Grassroots Coordinator at jedthorp-at-hotmail-dot-com or 617-553-0541.

For more information on David Robinson and his campaign platform, please visit

OH-13 - Yesterday the House passed three amendments to a bill to revise the Small Business Act offered by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley Twp). Her amendments improve two programs that award research and technology grants to small businesses by giving priority to companies located in areas that have lost a major source of employment and to veterans, and by accelerating the consideration of research grants that involve transportation and infratructure. *** On Monday Rep. Sutton listened to an account of the brutal killing of trade unionists in Columbia and told a crowd of about 40 workers and local officials that she would fight the Columbia Free Trade Pact "with every fiber of her being." Lorain Mayor Tony Krasienko was impressed, commenting that “Lorain, much like many manufacturing cities, has seen the pitfalls of these loosely worded trade agreements.” *** According to this CQ Politics report, Rep. Sutton was part of a group of 21 uncommitted U.S. House members (also including Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo)) who met with Hillary Clinton two weeks ago in order to question her about trade policy. The group also intends to meet with Barack Obama, but Sutton split from the group by endorsing Clinton before that second meeting took place.

OH-14 - Bret Thompson noted on yesterday that Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Twp) raised his voting grade at from "F" in '04 and '05 to "B" in '06 and '08 (to date), a sign perhaps that he is "feeling the heat back home." *** And Plain Dealer columnist Thomas Suddes had this gem of a quote from LaTourette in 2000, about two years before disgraced Youngstown pol Jim Traficant landed in federal prison:

"There isn't a finer man, there isn't a finer member of Congress, there isn't a finer human being . . . than Jim Traficant," said U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette, of Concord Township. "God bless you, Jimmy Traficant, and I hope to serve with you for many years."

OH-15 - Mary Jo Kilroy has overhauled her campaign site, which had been dormant for some time. Her new statement of policy priorities was assessed on Tuesday by the blogger Jim at Irregular Times. *** Blogger ohio06win rates this bumper sticker opposing bank lobbyist-turned-state senator Steve Stivers (D-Upper Arlington) as "Awesome!!!!!":

Buy it at CafePress for only $3.95!

OH-16 - Kyle has good coverage of the grand opening of the new campaign headquarters for State Sen. John Boccieri (D-New Middletown) in Canton last weekend. *** This week Boccieri testified before the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee in support of a bill to designate part of U.S. Route 62 as the "Lance Cpl. Daniel McVicker Memorial Highway." McVicker, a Marine, was killed in Iraq in 2005. "During the course of his young life, Daniel McVicker served his school, his community and his country with pride," Boccieri said. "Daniel was a courageous soldier, son, brother and friend whose loss is deeply felt by his family and within his community. It is only fitting that we seek to preserve the legacy of this brave hometown hero."

OH-17 - Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) is co-sponsoring H.R. 5473, a bill to immediately bring down the price of gas by forcing the President to stop diverting oil to the 95%-full Strategic Petroleum Reserve and move it to the market instead. “The price of a gallon of gas is around $3.50 a gallon — a direct result of the President’s failed energy policy. While we struggle to fill the tank, the President is diverting oil from the open market into the United State’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” said Rep. Ryan. “No President has ever so brazenly continued to fill the SPR during an oil crisis and the President’s strategy must be stopped — for the sake of families that can no longer afford to drive and for the sake of our overall economy.”

OH-18 - As noted by Dave Harding at, yesterday CQ Politics shifted this race from "Leans Democratic" to "Democrat Favored," a reflection of the strong fund-raising and high visibility of Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) and the failure of challenger Fred Dailey (R-Mt Vernon) to generate much enthusiasm or campaign cash to date. *** On Tuesday Rep. Space announced that the Newark-Heath Airport had received a $201,000 grant through the FAA Airport Improvement Program. Space is on the House Subcommittee on Aviation.

Ohio Superdelegate Reset

I know have been distracted this week and missed a lot, but I'm surprised that I failed to note that Ohio superdelegate Enid Gobeaux, a former chair of the Darke County Democratic Party, declared for Obama on Monday. That resets the list as follows, with Clinton holding a 7-5 lead:

For Clinton:
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Gov. Ted Strickland
Labor leader Patricia Moss
Labor leader Ron Malone
Labor leader William Burga
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. Betty Sutton

For Obama:
Mayor Rhine McLin
Mayor Mark Mallory
Former DNC chair David Wilhelm
Labor leader Sonny Nardi
County party chair Enid Goubeaux

Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Rep. Charlie Wilson
Rep. Zack Space
Sen. Sherrod Brown
State Rep. Joyce Beatty
State Rep. Chris Redfern
[Redfern Pick #1]
[Redfern Pick #2]

News and Notes: General Assembly Races

This is an abbreviated edition, since I am largely tied up with non-blogging matters for a day or two more:

OH House-13 - Quite a few House members sent out press releases extolling the bipartisan energy bill passed yesterday, but I think State Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) deserves style points for tying it explicitly to the fact that yesterday was Earth Day:

“It is very appropriate that, on Earth Day, we passed legislation to create jobs in Ohio’s ‘green-collar’ industries,” Rep. Skindell said. "Energy efficiency saves money, boosts investment in new and existing houses and buildings, and puts people to work designing, manufacturing, selling and installing efficiency products made in Ohio by Ohioans. Using energy more efficiently is a win-win-win for consumers, the economy and the environment.”

UPDATE: OH House-15 - The Ohio House today unanimously passed legislation co-sponsored by State Rep. Tim DeGeeter (D-Parma) that allows consumers to place a freeze on their credit reports before identity theft has taken place. “This legislation tightens the protections we have to shield consumers from thieves who prey on people through their personal information,” Rep. DeGeeter said. “The laws we had in place were well-intentioned, but reactionary because they only applied to ID theft victims after the theft took place. This is a proactive bill that helps people before they are victimized.” The bill sets a $10 fee to place the credit freeze and a $5 fee to lift or thaw the freeze, which is the same as or lower than 20 of the 34 states that have simliar laws.

OH House-19 - Marian Harris (D-Columbus) has been endorsed by the Central Labor Council, AFL/CIO. This is a significant boost for Harris and by no means a foregone conclusion -- in 2006 this group chose to endorse State Rep. Larry Flowers (R), now term-limited out, over her. *** Harris had a letter to the editor published in the Columbus Dispatch last Friday, speaking out strongly in favor of the Paid Sick Days initiative:

... How does someone staying home sick and getting paid for that day drive up the cost of business when that day's salary is already a business expense?

It seems to me that not having sick days drives up the cost of business because of decreased productivity when a worker goes to work sick or worried about a sick child. ...

OH House-22 - John Carney (D-Columbus), who has a fundraiser tomorrow night with Gov. Strickland, invites supporters to join him in volunteering on Saturday (4/26) from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. for an Adena Brook Earth Day clean-up, which includes several projects to improve the ravine and rain garden. RSVP to mark-dot-lundine-at-gmail-dot-com and meet up at Overbrook Drive and North High Street in Columbus. Wear your Carney t-shirt, or if you don't have one yet it will be provided by the campaign.

OH House-24 - State Rep. Ted Celeste (D-Grandview Hts) will have his campaign kick-off event on Saturday, May 3rd, at 10:00 a.m. at the McKinley Field Party House, 1755 Goodale Blvd. in Grandview Heights. Complimentary breakfast included. Download the flyer here.

OH House-57 - State Rep. Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) will hold a “Lundy Listens” Town Hall Meeting tomorrow (4/24) at 7:00 p.m. at the East Carlisle Building, 1959 Grafton Road in Elyria.

OH House-70 - The executive committee of the Greene County Democratic Party meets tonight to select a replacement for Matt Nisenoff (D) on the ballot. The points made by Carol Wichman in her letter requesting the nomination include that she is a past chairperson of the county party and has run many campaigns over the years; retired from public education after 32 years of service to the school children of Kansas and Ohio; has been recognized with honors including "Media Specialist of the Year for Ohio" for her work as a School Librarian in Fairborn, "Keeper of the Flame" by Sherrod Brown for activities that encourage women to participate in the election process, and induction into the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame. She has been an active union member as well as an activist for women, community issues, and children. She has served on the Greene County Library Foundation committee and currently chairs the Greene, Clark and Madison ADMAS Board (now known as the Mental Health and Recovery Board). She wrote that her "leadership skills and my diversified background are needed at state level." *** For his part, former congressional candidate William Conner (D-Beavercreek) pointed to his efforts since since the March 4th primary to "develop a common platform for progressive Democrats to use in their [congressional] races," his proposal to initiate a monthly meeting among Greene County Democrats "which would center on a different key national issue each month," and the effectiveness of the hand-delivered campaign card that he used in the congressional primary (which he points out could be deployed more comprehensively in the smaller Ohio House district). He also notes that he has strong name recognition and a core of enthusiastic supporters from his two congressional campaigns.

OH House-85 - Ray Pryor (D-Chillicothe) will be attending the RENEW Ohio-18 conference on health care jobs on Friday (4/25) starting at 9:30 a.m. at Adena Hospital in his home town. The event is hosted by Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover), with whom Pryor has developed a solid working relationship. Pryer writes on his web site that he will "address health care issues and suggest solutions." On Saturday (4/26) the candidate is having an auction and fish fry at his home, 263 Rozelle Creek Road in Chillicothe.

OH House-91 - State Rep. Dan Dodd (D-Hebron) will hold a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, April 28th, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Hocking County LIbrary in Logan.

OH House-93 - As the ranking Democrat on the House Public Utilities Committee, State Rep. Jennifer Garrison (D-Marietta) was the point person on the compromise energy bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support yesterday. She especially praised the rate-making provisions, which as a result of tough negotiating by Democrats now protects businesses and consumers by including a safeguard against excessive profits by utilities:

“Utilities should not be allowed to collect excessive earnings on the backs of consumers,” Rep. Garrison said. “Look at what happened when deregulated utilities were allowed to operate in other states. Bills in Maryland went up 72 percent. Bills in Illinois went up 55 percent. That’s the bottom line impact of market forces dictating what people pay to flip a switch. This may be the most important legislation we pass in the next five years because of the broad scope of its reach on the next generation."

We Were Wrong. Hillary Can Still Win.

Maybe you've read this strategy already and I missed it. But- this video makes it pretty clear that the Senator from New York has a solid plan to win the bid :-) ...

Even Hillary and the never ending primary can't get me down when Cleveland's skies are this blue. Hope everyone is enjoying the weather!

OH Sen-24: Rosemary Palmer (D) to Replace Cotronakis (D) on Ballot UPDATED

Word is that 10th Congressional District primary candidate Rosemary Palmer (D-Bay Village) will be replacing attorney Emanuel Cotronakis (D-Bay Village) as the candidate for the GOP-held open seat in the 24th Ohio Senate District. Term-limited State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) is the GOP contender. Cotronakis will be officially withdrawing soon, reportedly to focus on business.

I regard this as very good news. Like the previous Democratic Ohio Senate candidate to withdraw, Sylvia Washburn (D-Maumee) in the 2nd Ohio Senate District, Cotronakis was not visibly campaigning and had raised no money. Palmer proved to be an energetic and spirited campaigner in the primary. Although she finished last in the five-way contest, she gained valuable name recognition and experience, raised $50,917 in contributions from individuals, and has a host of campaign volunteers ready to go into action. I expect her to put a tremendous amount of energy and creativity into this race and make it a genuine contest.

The 24th District is composed of Cleveland suburbs around the western, southern, and eastern borders of Cuyahoga County, incorporating the 16th, 17th, and 18th Ohio House Districts. It leans somewhat Republican (PVI R+4). Incumbent State Sen. Bob Spada (R-North Royalton) is term-limited and is running for Patton's former seat in the 18th House District. Spada won re-election to his Senate seat with 62.14% of the vote in 2004.

CDWC Regional Leaders Strategy Session in Cleveland 4/24

04/24/2008 - 7:00pm
04/24/2008 - 8:45pm

The Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus will host a Regional Leaders Strategy Session on Thursday (4/24) at 7:00 at Laborers' Local 310 Union Hall, 3250 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.
Details after the break.

Rosemary Palmer to Host Move-On Press Conference on Iraq and the Economy in Cleveland 4/24

04/24/2008 - 1:00pm
04/24/2008 - 2:00pm

Anti-war activist and 10th Congressional District primary candidate Rosemary Palmer will host a press conference with MoveOn members at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday (4/24) on the sidewalk outside the Anthony Celebrezze federal building, 1240 East 9th Street in Cleveland (where Sen. George Voinovich's office is located) to release reports on groundbreaking state-by-state polling data. These reports show that voters understand that the Iraq war hurts our ability to fix the ailing economy. RSVP here.

Please Pardon the Interruption -- Light Posting Today

I will be doing little or no posting today (and perhaps tomorrow) due to unusual demands in non-blogging life.

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