Terry McAuliffe in Dayton and Bowling Green for Clinton 2/19

The Hillary Clinton campaign is sending campaign chairman and former DNC chief Terry "The Macker" McAuliffe into Ohio tomorrow. He will help open Clinton’s Dayton campaign office at 3854 Wilmington Pike at 6 p.m. (open to the public doors open at 5:30 p.m.), and he will be the featured speaker for the Bowling Green State University Democrats at 9 p.m. in Room 205, Olscamp Hall.

OH-10: Air Wars Commence; Debate Tomorrow

The incumbent and the lead challenger have commenced television broadsides as the stage is set for the debate tomorrow at noon at the Crowne Plaza in Cleveland, sponsored by the City Club of Cleveland. The debate will be broadcast on local channels Channels WKYC 3, WEWS 5, and WJW 8. The ads for Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) feature testimonials by citizens on the street, of which this version is typical:


Kucinich's best-funded opponent, Cleveland city council member Joe Cimperman (D-Cleveland), has this new ad up and running:

Cimperman is banking on his impressive name recognition and positive reputation in the Cleveland area while pounding Kucinich on the missing votes/futile presidential campaign theme. Having bagged his presidential campaign, Kucinich is trying to revive the residual good will among his long-time loyal constituents. It's a matter of pure speculation as to who has the advantage in this equation, but if pressed I'd have to guess that Kucinich has the upper hand, thanks largely to the splitting of the anti-Kucinich vote among Cimperman and the other challengers, Barbara Ane Ferris, Rosemary Palmer, and Thomas O'Grady.

Pakistan: Breath A Big Sigh of Relief

Whew!

Bush's mini-me is on the way out:

Pakistanis dealt a crushing defeat to President Pervez Musharraf in parliamentary elections on Monday, in what government and opposition politicians said was a firm rejection of his policies since 2001 and those of his close ally, the United States.

Some scattered violence, but no big massacre on election day:

Fears of vote rigging and violence have proved largely unfounded while international observers have so far endorsed the vote.

However, fears of bomb attacks have kept the turnout low.

The likely outcome appears to be a forced coalition of the Punjab-centered Pakistan Muslim League-N party of Nawaz Sharif and the pan-Pakistan populist party of the late Benazir Bhutto, now led by spouse Asif Ali Zardari and (nominally) son Bilawal Bhutto, which is probably the best that could have been hoped for:

In a fair verdict, the PPP-PML-N combine are widely expected to win a majority in 268 of the 272 national assembly seats that went to polls on Monday.

Claimed Ohio Endorsement of Clinton By Toledo Mayor Not Correct

LisaRenee notes this story in the Toledo Blade, reporting that Mayor of Toledo Carty Finkbeiner has NOT endorsed in the presidential race, despite having been named in a list of 100 Ohio supporters issued by the Clinton campaign last week:

[Carty] said his appointment to a statewide leadership group in support of Mrs. Clinton "was a surprise to me."

"I have not officially endorsed anybody in the presidential race. I have talked to both the Clinton and Obama campaigns," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

Questions have also been raised about the authenticity of the endorsement by another mayor on the list, Jamey Healy of Canton.

OH-14: Love This Radio Spot for O'Neill (D)

Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell) is an unusual candidate and he has a radio spot that conveys his uniqueness. Called "Out of the Ordinary," it emphasizes his devotion to helping others as exemplified by his second career in pediatric nursing and his Bronze Star from his military service in Vietnam. You can help him get this ad on the air by donating $25, or even sponsor an entire ad for about four times that much and pick where it plays!

Listen to the ad here.

OH House-16: Why We Should All Support Jennifer Brady and Eat Fried Fish

Picking up seats held by Republicans is only one dimension to the Ohio Democratic Party's drive to take control of the Ohio House of Representatives. Another is holding onto seats that are targeted by the GOP, and that is just as important.

ORP Chair Bob Bennett has said that first-term State Rep. Jennifer Brady (D-Westlake) is his party's number one target in November. Brady won a very close race against former congressional candidate Ed Herman (R-Rocky River) in 2006, taking 50.95% of the vote. This suburban district has a Republican lean, and the former representative Sally Kilbane Conway (R-Rocky River) won with 61.74% of the vote in 2004. It is not a district to be taken for granted by any means.

Fortunately for the Democrats, Brady is a great candidate with strong community roots. She worked extremely hard in her first campaign and had the support of lots of volunteers, including folks associated with the West Side Democrats organization that Brady had helped to get going several years before. However, the ORP is going to throw a lot of money into the campaign of Brady's opponent, city council member Nan Baker (R-Westlake), so Brady needs a good campaign war chest to go with her other resources.

This is where all of us come in, and we can have a great time while helping out. Jennifer Brady is having a fish fry on Friday, March 7th, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion Post #738, at 19311 Lorain Road in Fairview Park. The cost is only $25 per person, or $40 for a couple and $5 per child. This is guaranteed to be a fun family-style party with great people, so come on out and help not only the cause of re-electing a great state representative but helping to hold onto a key seat and boost the Democrats' chances of taking charge of the House.

The Real Significance of Richard Cordray's Endorsement of Obama

Last night the Obama for America campaign distributed an email announcing the endorsement of Ohio Treasurer Rich Cordray (D-Grove City). He is the first statewide officeholder to break from Gov. Strickland, so his endorsement is highly significant for that reason. However, I see it as having even more significance on another front.

The crux of Clinton's criticism of Obama is that he lacks substance, whether that is expressed by calling his campaign a "fairy tale" or "fluff" or even a "cult." Inherent in this line of attack is the notion that voters are being bamboozled.

The real significance of Cordray's endorsement is that he is a thinking person's politician. This endorsement comes with a pedigree of intellectual prowess.

Cordray was Order of the Coif and Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review at The University of Chicago Law School, and has a masters degree with honors in philosophy, politics & economics from Oxford University. He argued six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, was Ohio's first Solicitor General, and taught for 15 years at Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. His terms as Franklin County Treasurer and now as Ohio Treasurer have been marked by brilliant innovations and new programs. He was even a champion on Jeopardy.

In short, Cordray is not a person to be bedazzled by rhetoric or to make an endorsement based on mere emotion. If he supports Obama, it is a based on a rational appraisal of Obama's merits, and Cordray is not one to be fooled.

Canton Repository Endorses Obama

Interesting to get word of this newspaper endorsement now, in light of yesterday's endorsement news about Stark County officeholders Jamey Healy and Todd Bosley:

When Stark County Democrats choose a presidential candidate March 4, they can look to the past or to the future. They should look ahead — eight months ahead as well as four or eight years. ...

On many issues ... Obama and Hillary Clinton have similar if not identical views that contrast sharply with McCain's. But Obama, not Clinton, represents the stronger contrast to McCain's position on the foreign-policy issue that most concerns Americans. As senators, both Clinton and McCain voted for the resolution that President Bush used as authority to invade Iraq. Obama has said he opposed the war from the beginning, and he has a more specific plan for withdrawing U.S. troops than Clinton does. ...

... Voters have been exposed to the ideas of a wealth of smart, articulate candidates from both parties in dozens of debates. But no candidate of either party has brought the sense of excitement and hope to the process of choosing a president that Obama has. This isn't a frivolous or trivial matter. Obama's appeal to voters black and white, young and old, male and female, is a reassuring sign that ordinary citizens are saying they want politics and governance to look and sound and feel different than they have for too long. ...

Stark County Commissioner Bosley Endorses Obama; Pressure on Canton Mayor Healy Reported

Today County Commissioner Todd Bosley (D) became the first countywide elected official in the key electoral battleground of Stark County to publicly endorse Sen. Barack Obama.

Bosley won this seat in an important election in 2006, defeating incumbent Richard Regula (R) and thereby perhaps derailing that legislator's hopes of succeeding his father Rep. Ralph Regula (R) in the 16th Ohio Congressional District. As I wrote on my blog during the race, an important part of Bosley's campaign was Regula's resistance to upgrading the county's 911 emergency response system, thus threatening the safety of county residents.

From Bosley's press release:

After more than seven years of divisive politics and fierce partisanship, it is my belief that what America needs now is a leader that can heal old wounds and bring us together as one nation once again. A leader who is not content with continuing along with business as usual, but instead will work to bring transformational change to a system that leaves so many millions of our fellow countryman without a voice. I strongly believe that we have such a choice in 2008, and his name is Senator Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, also in Stark County, I hear that the newly elected Mayor of Canton William J. Healy II (D) has told a number of people that he personally supports Barack Obama, as do several members of his cabinet, but he is compelled to publicly support Hillary Clinton in order to maintain a good relationship with Gov. Ted Strickland (D), a major Clinton supporter.

Healy's name appeared on the list of 100 endorsers in Ohio released by the Clinton campaign last week. Pho noted on Wednesday that Healy wanted off that list, at least for the time being, based on this story in the Akron Beacon Journal (reporting that Healy said he would not be endorsing before the primary).

What I have now been told (at second hand) is that some time ago Healy received a surprise personal call from Hillary Clinton, during which he wished her well. That general language was taken as specific support and caused his name to appear on the endorsement list. Healy later got a call from the governor (apparently after his statement to the Beacon Journal was published) during which Healy stated that he wants Obama to win, but the inevitable end result of the call was a commitment by Healy to publicly support Clinton. Strickland provided major assistance to Healy with his mayoral election, and staying on the governor's good side is of major importance to both the new mayor and the fortunes of his city.

Oback Barama

I'm not sure what heading to file this under, but the other night on MSNBC I heard former NAACP head and member of Congress Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) refer to Barack Obama as "Oback Barama." I thought it was just a slip of the tongue, but later in his comment he again misnamed him, this time as "Senator Barama."

A man who took the name Kweisi Mfume did that. And he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006, while Obama was already in it. I'm just really surprised.

I don't mean to be too critical, really, it is not the easiest name for an English speaker, but ... wow. So I Googled "Oback Barama" to see if anyone else noticed, and got about 278 hits - none of them in reaction to what Mfume said on MSNBC. Some appear to be derogatory usage on right-wing sites, many appear to be mere confusion. (One is from Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Saturday Night Live about a year ago - apparently a satirical use of the misnomer, although that is not entirely clear.) Considering that a Google search of the correct name Barack Obama gets 4,620,000 hits, I shouldn't be shocked at 278 occurrences of the incorrect name, but it's hard to resist.

UPDATE: As long as I'm engaging in silliness about candidate names, I have to add this. Although many find Obama's name difficult, one friend of mine commented that it strikes her as melodious and pleasing to the ear. She compared it to Clinton's surname, which she said sounds like dropping a heavy metal object on a concrete floor.

I laughed, but try it out. CLIN-ton. Once you get that notion in your head it won't go away.

Fundraising Reception For Bev Campbell

02/20/2008 - 6:00pm
02/20/2008 - 8:00pm

You are cordially invited to attend a fundraising reception for Bev Campbell Democrat for State Representative - HD20

Jimmy V’s
912 S. High Street Columbus, OH 43215
Suggested contribution: $250

Please make checks payable to:
Friends of Bev Campbell

For Information: 614-208-3536

The Choice is Clear!

"Bev Campbell worked hard in 2006 as our Democratic candidate, coming within 368 votes of winning another House seat."

"She has earned our support and is the right Democrat to finish the job and win for us in 2008."

More on Obama's NAFTA/"Boon" Mailer

Bill Sloat gets credit for picking up this item on a blog at Newsday, also noted by Jill, in which the newspaper expresses regret about a chart published in 2006 that including the words "boon to the economy" in summarizing Clinton's position on NAFTA. The paper says it "should have been clearer" that this was not a quote from Clinton. However, the paper also says that the word "was our characterization of how we best understood her position on NAFTA, based on a review of past stories and her public statements," and "Clinton's campaign did not contact us to question the item after it appeared in print."

The Obama mailer never explicitly claims that Clinton used the word "boon" about NAFTA directly, but putting it in quotation marks clearly gives that impression. (That's how I took it.) I believe that I was the first person to put images of the mailer on the internet -- CNN and NBC both contacted me to request high-resolution images of the mailer, and the volume of file transfers out of my site that day and the day after was through the ceiling. (A blog at the Boston Globe cited me by name; The Politico and First Read linked to this blog as their source.)

I didn't question the authenticity of the apparent quote, but Modernesquire did in the comments. On the merits, I think that the issue of whether Clinton previously was supportive of NAFTA to some degree and has shifted her stance is a fair one to raise. However, the question of whether the apparent quotation was a fair tactic has the potential to swallow up the debate as to the merits of the claim. (For the record, Clinton has denounced the mailer in speeches as "containing falsehoods," a phrasing that could refer to being misquoted as well as the underlying contention that she supported NAFTA. However, the "Fact Hub" on her campaign site focuses on the substance of Obama's attack, not her use of the word "boon.") As I noted this morning in a comment at WLST, in a strange way this reminds me of an aspect of the Bush military service/Rathergate blow-up late in the 2004 presidential campaign.
Continued after the break.

Worthington Area Democratic Club Candidates Night 2/20

02/20/2008 - 7:00pm
02/20/2008 - 9:00pm

Zach Manifold, executive director of the Franklin County Democratic Party will lead off this meeting. Attendees will hear from 3 candidates running in the primary for the 12th Congressional district: David Robinson, Aaron Dagres and Russ Goodwin, as well as John O'Grady, who is running for Franklin County Commissioner.
Details after the break.

Clinton Campaign Meeting for Geauga, Lake, & Eastern Cuyahoga Counties Tonight 2/17

02/17/2008 - 6:30pm
02/17/2008 - 7:30pm

From Geauga County Democratic stalwart Janet Carson:

As a Hillary delegate, I'm helping to organizing Geauga, Eastern Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties and our first meeting will be Sunday, February 17th, in Mentor. This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of Hillary's campaign and get connected with Hillary's representative for our area.

Details after the break.

Obama in Youngstown 2/18 - Event Details

02/18/2008 - 2:00pm
02/18/2008 - 3:30pm

Sen. Barack Obama arrives in Ohio on Presidents Day -there's got to be some good mojo in that, right?
Details after the flip.

Rep. Schakowsky to Host Obama Canvass Kickoff in Columbus Today 2/17

02/17/2008 - 1:00pm
02/17/2008 - 2:30pm

The Obama campaign has announced that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) will host a big rally in Columbus today. She is co-chair of the Obama for America campaign, is in her fifth term in Congress, and is Chief Deputy Democratic Whip. She opposed the Iraq war resolution and was a founding member of the Out-of-Iraq Caucus, and is also a leading advocate for women's issues in Congress. Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently appointed her to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. (Her spouse, Robert Creamer, is the author of "Listen to Your Mother STAND UP STRAIGHT: How Progressives Can Win" and gave an excellent presentation at RootsCamp in January.)
Event details after the break.

Why Has Only One Ohio Democrat in Congress Endorsed?

In case you've been wondering, the Dean of the Democratic delegation, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), told Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief Jonathon Riskin that it's because they "want Clinton [and] Obama to travel the state with them – preferably together but separately if necessary – to discuss economic issues in interactive forums ... featuring ordinary Ohioans."

Since Michigan's primary was a wet firecracker, Ohio is the first big rust belt primary. Therefore, Kaptur says, the candidates should go all across the state confronting issues such as jobs outsourcing, failed trade agreements, home foreclosures. and too expensive or unobtainable health insurance. “We are united in our goal to get Ohio issues front and center,” said Kaptur. “This is a great opportunity for Ohio and we shouldn’t allow it to pass.”

So far it seems to me that the candidates are addressing precisely those issues, albeit contentiously. Is the missing element that they aren't doing it in "interactive forums" featuring "ordinary Ohioans," or just that they aren't touring around with the Democratic members of Congress? It seems like a flimsy excuse to be sitting on the fence.

Obama in Youngstown on Monday

Per the campaign:

Senator Barack Obama will hold a “Keeping America’s Promise” rally in Youngstown on Monday. The event will be free and open to the public.

More details when I get 'em.Details after the flip.

OH-02: Black (D) Drops $195,000 Into His Campaign

During a recent editorial board interview, Steve Black (D-Indian Hill) told Dayton Daily News editorial writer and columnist Martin Gottlieb that he wasn't going to try to buy the election. The topic came up because Gottlieb recalled that a relative of Black had secured a nomination to run for the Ohio Supreme Court (against a candidate from the Dayton area) by indicating that he would self-fund his campaign. Gottlieb therefore asked Black about putting money into his own race, and it was Gottlieb's understanding from Black's reply that Black would not be relying on substantial family money.

However, FEC records show that Black contributed $195,000 to his own congressional campaign today. His year-end filing shows that he previously contributed $18,435 to himself and loaned his campaign $58,320. That makes a total of $271,755.90 of Black's campaign resources that came from himself, or more than half of the total of $523,095 that he has raised ($386,625 at year end plus this new contribution).

(Black's opponent, Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill), has not loaned or contributed money to her campaign during this cycle. During 2007 she repaid herself a $39,000 loan dating to her 2006 campaign.)

I contacted Black's campaign manager, Dan Herkert, for comment on today's large self-contribution. He said that it is true that Black put his own money into his campaign, but characterized it as "sick" and "really sad" to make an issue of this contribution, due to the unfortunate family circumstances that Black has had to endure. "Fund-raising was not his priority while his father was sick," Herkert said. Black's father, former judge Robert Black, passed away on February 7th.

Big Organizational Meeting for Obama in Cleveland Area 2/17

02/17/2008 - 4:00pm
02/17/2008 - 5:30pm

Sunday, February 17th, at 4:00 p.m. at The Civic, 3130 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland Heights (map).

Robocall From Ted Kennedy

No mistaking that voice.

I didn't have the means to record it, but I just got a short recorded call from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) urging me to "give full consideration" to supporting Sen. Barack Obama for president. He said that Obama opposed unfair trade deals, "puts Main Street ahead of Wall Street," and has the best plan to create good paying jobs.

He also gave me a telephone number and email address (cleveland-at-barackobama-dot-com) for more information and to get involved in the campaign.

Blog Posts From The 50-State Network

Here are hand-picked posts from leading blogs around the county - continued after the break:

Texas
   Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report lays out the strategy of how Barack Obama can win Texas.

Oregon
   First recorded version of Ginsberg's HOWL was in Berkley, right? Nope--a new discovery puts it at Portland's Reed College, 52 years ago this Valentine's Day.

Second Obama Mailer Slams Clinton Health Care Plan

Today I received the second glossy 8 1/2" by 11" mailer from the Obama for America campaign attacking Hillary Clinton in Ohio, this time zeroing in on her universal health are proposal (additional images after the break):

News and Notes: General Assembly Races

I've been consumed by the presidential contest, but here are three items of interest in state legislative races that have come across my screen during the last few days:

OH House-20: Endorsements for Garland and Campbell - Attorney and Ohio Physical Therapy Ass'n director Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) has sent around a list of endorsements by area elected officials and others, including County Commissioner Paula Brooks, her cousin's spouse State Rep. Ted Celeste, and County Clerk of Courts and commissioner candidate John O’Grady. "My knowledge of her as a professional, a mother, and a community volunteer move me to enthusiastically endorse Nancy," wrote Brooks. "She is ready to serve as state representative with no learning curve and with high integrity." The campaign site of Garland's primary opponent, financial advisor Bev Campbell (D-Gahanna), lists endorsements from U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), UAW Local 969, and UFCW Local 1059. [UPDATE: A reader suggested that I call Mark Sweazy of UAW 969 to check on the status of their endorsement of Campbell. He told me that the local did endorse her in 2006 and he expected that it would do so again, but that the CAP meeting to confer that endorsement had not yet taken place. Bev Campbell has since told me that the endorsement has taken place and the CAP vote relates only to whether a contribution will be made. I have been unable to reach Mr. Sweazy yet to resolve the discrepancy.]

Details on Ted Kennedy in Ohio Tomorrow 2/16

Cleveland (10:15 AM):

Fairhill Center Auditorium
12200 Fairhill Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44120

Youngstown (1:30 PM):

Kilcawley Center, Chestnut Room
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555

Akron (3:30 PM):

Alpha Center
662 Wolf Ledges Parkway
Akron, OH 44308

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