OH-10: Palmer (D) "Superbowl Ad" Contest

Rosemary Palmer (D-Cleveland) has posted two TV ads on her website and invites the public to choose which will be broadcast during the Superbowl ... IF the 100,000 registered Democrats in the district follow her suggestion and each contribute $25 to defray the expense. The following is my favorite. Visit her site to choose yours:


Hillary Clinton Campaign Meeting in Cleveland 2/6

02/06/2008 - 6:30pm
02/06/2008 - 8:00pm

State Rep. Eugene Miller (D-Cleveland) will host an organizational meeting for supporters of Hillary Clinton for president.
Details after the flip.

Bill Clinton - Video Highlights

Here are selected bits from Bill Clinton's speech at Cuyahoga Community College East Campus on Tuesday:


OH-02: Black (D) Radio Ad

Thanks to Politics Extra for posting this audio clip of the catchy musical radio ad for Steve Black (D-Indian Hill):

Backin' Black (mp3)

Nice riposte to the cute "Wulsin Chick" music video for Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill).

Obama's Surge

At the Bill Clinton event on Tuesday, reporter Monica Langley of the Wall Street Journal asked me how I thought the Democratic presidential race stood in Ohio. "Clinton is ahead but the ground is shifting under her feet," I replied. "Obama is gaining fast." It's not scientific, but I feel that it is true.

Look at this graphic from yesterday's report on Gallup's three-day national tracking poll:

Clinton's national lead is down to single digits, Obama's trend is steadily upward, and the effect of Edwards dropping out has not yet registered.

Time has an interesting piece about the effect on the race of the remarkable enthusiasm and turnout among young voters:

[Y]oung people are voting in numbers rarely seen since the general election of 1972 — the first in which the voting age was lowered to 18. Obama is both catalyst and beneficiary. In state after state, he has drawn more young voters than any of his competitors. For a group of voters with no memory of a time before Bushes and Clintons, Obama is a fresh face. His opponents promise to fight, but Obama promises healing. His is the language of possibility, which is the native tongue of the young. And if he happens to be light on details — well, what are details but the dull pieces of disassembled dreams? "I had a friend tell me this was impossible, quoting all these political-science statistics at me to show that it's hopeless to try to organize students," says Michelle Stein, 20, media coordinator for Obama's youth campaign in Missouri. "Now he says, 'You were right, I was wrong. Where do I sign up?'"

The idea that young people don't vote is a bedrock of conventional political thinking. But Obama is all about transcending conventional thinking. It's unclear whether this will all work, but if Obama succeeds it may mark not only a transformation of this presidential race but of the dynamics of American politics -- the kind of seismic shift that occurred with Kennedy in 1960 and Reagan in 1980. That's the elusive but tantalizing upside to his candidacy.

County Offices Candidates List Complete

I have finished plugging in candidates for county office in all 27 Ohio counties with 100,000 or more residents on my County Offices Candidates List.

If you have stories about these races or URL's for campaign webs sites, please get in touch. These races are very important, as as far as I know this is the only blog that makes an effort to cover them on a statewide basis.

Edwards Withdrawal Speech - Video

Here it is:


McCain ... McCain ... Isn't He The Guy That Endorsed Ken Blackwell?

Given up for a lost cause last summer, Sen. John McCain now seems poised to grab the Republican presidential nomination, especially after Rudy Giuliani withdraws as expected later today. It seems like a good time for Ohioans to remember exactly who McCain is, as in:

Plain Dealer (Oct. 7, 2005)

Ken Blackwell's campaign for Ohio governor picked up a major national endorsement Thursday from U.S. Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and likely presidential contender in 2008. McCain cited Secretary of State Blackwell's independence and candor among the key reasons for his support.

"Ohioans need Ken Blackwell's clear thinking, straight talk and strong leadership at the top of the ticket," McCain said in a written statement.

McCain's support has the potential to benefit both him and Blackwell.

Blackwell stands to gain from McCain's pledge to appear at public events and fund-raisers. McCain, who appeals to moderate Republicans, could bolster his standing among the GOP's right flank by endorsing Blackwell, a high-profile social conservative. ...

About six months later McCain was featured at fundraisers for Blackwell in Ohio that raised about $250,000. The Plain Dealer's Mark Naymik wrote then that McCain dismissed the notion that he was pandering to the party's conservative base, and laughed at a suggestion that Blackwell could become his possible running mate on the 2008 ticket.

Yeah, that guy. And we saw what happened to his pick for governor.

(h/t to a reader)

Ohioans for Democratic Values Presents ODP's John Hagner in Cleveland Area 2/19

02/19/2008 - 7:00pm
02/19/2008 - 8:30pm

Ohioans for Democratic Values invites all Democrats to attend a presentation by John Hagner, Targeting & Field Director for the Ohio Democratic Party, on 2/19 in Shaker Heights entitled "Winning 2008: Time to Get Going."
Details after the flip.

Democratic Presidential Straw Poll in Cleveland Area 1/31

01/31/2008 - 7:00pm
01/31/2008 - 8:30pm

Democrats, Independents, and friends are invited to a Democratic Presidential Straw Poll. Please join us to meet other voters, learn about the campaigns and volunteer opportunities, and cast your ballot for your choice for President on Thursday, January 31st.
Details after the flip.

Edwards Drops Out

In a stunning reversal, former senator John Edwards will quit the presidential race, with an announcement expected in New Orleans at 1:00 p.m. today. In his speech after the South Carolina primary he had sounded determined to stay in the race for the long haul. Adding to the drama, it was Rudy Giuliani who was widely expected to be the next candidate to drop out, probably in California some time today, so this remarkable 2008 election cycle is giving political observers another case of whiplash.

Pundits had regarded Edwards' professed determination to stay in the race as an effort to rack up as many delegates as possible, perhaps giving him clout at the convention to gain attention for his campaign issues. ABC is separately reporting that Obama met with Edwards and asked for his support. There has been much talk of a deal involving some kind of cabinet position for Edwards, particularly Attorney General, in an Obama presidency. Whether that is true or not, my sense is that this decision has everything to do with Edwards choosing Obama over Clinton, and deciding that now is the time to act.

An Edwards endorsement would help Obama, but merely dropping out appears to help Obama even without an endorsement. I expect Democrats inspired by Edwards' economic populism and concern with fighting poverty to be more drawn to Obama's message of visionary change than Clinton's message of experience and competency.

Got Health Care? Take Our Survey

Seth Michaels, Presidential Website Coordinator for the AFL/CIO, asked me to cross-post this item that also appears on the national blogs AFL-CIO Blog and Firedoglake.

Anyone can get health care in the United States. Just ask George W. Bush. Last year in Cleveland, he had this to say to the 47 million Americans without health care coverage:

I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.

With emergency rooms serving as the Bush administration's solution to the nation's health care crisis, so many people are cramming into them, patient care now is at risk, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School.

But let's be fair. Bush isn't the only Republican leader who doesn't get—or doesn't care—that while the United States pays the most for per person health care coverage than any similar nation, we have lower life expectancy than most other rich countries.
Here's what former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said in a recent debate:

The reason health care isn’t working like a market right now is you have 47 million people that are saying, “I’m not going to play. I’m just going to get free care paid for by everybody else.” That doesn’t work.

Bad-mouthing uninsured Americans as "slackers" is not what the union movement, the progressive community, or just about anybody with an ounce of compassion supports.
Continued after the flip.

OH-01: Strong Fund-Raising by Driehaus (D)

State Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill) has filed his year-end FEC report and it reveals a continued strong showing as he gears up to take out Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood). His net contributions for the third quarter were $190,054.78, raising his total for the cycle to $476,277.09. He has spent $60,431.14, leaving him with $418,662.01 cash on hand at year end.

In the third quarter Driehaus raised $120,504.78 from individuals and $70,150.00 from political committees, with the latter including five $5,000 contributions from labor unions and one $5,000 contribution from the Human Rights Campaign PAC, along with smaller contributions from committees associated with a variety of legislators such as Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles), State Rep. Edna Brown (D-Toledo), State Rep. Barbara Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), State Sen. Dale Miller (D-Cleveland), State Rep. Tim DeGeeter (D-Parma), and first-term State Rep. Jay Goyal (D-Mansfield).

Despite the strong showing by Driehaus, he is still far behind the entrenched incumbent, whose FEC report shows $1,105,210 raised for the cycle and $1,002,613 cash on hand at the end of last year. He raised $323,090.32 in the third quarter.

Bill Clinton Stumps for Hillary Clinton in Cleveland

Yesterday I trekked over to the Cuyahoga Community College eastern campus in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland to hear Bill Clinton rally a large crowd to support his spouse. As expected after the negative reaction to Clinton's attacks on primary opponent Barack Obama before the South Carolina primary, he was relatively restrained and never engaged in any direct criticism. He pretty much stuck to promoting Hillary Clinton as qualified and a life-long "change maker," although toward the end he alluded to Obama indirectly by saying that being an effective president is different from being an effective campaigner. There were no questions from the audience and there was no separate encounter with the press, presumably in order to avoid more direct and ad hoc comments.


A big crowd gathers to hear the former president, including a mix of avid Clinton supporters and those merely curious.

Clinton was preceded by Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge (D) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland), who were much more energetic (and louder) in expressing their support for the candidate. Clinton's approach was more amiable and anecdotal, a style at which he is practiced and effective. Much of his talk was rather wonkish, criticizing Bush policies and promising that Hillary Clinton would change them, rather than grand themes in sweeping terms. It was almost as though Clinton looked under the hood of the nation's car and told you what parts are bad and need replacing. I think that Obama's style would be more like stepping back from the car and asking you to think beyond internal combustion.


Clinton was personable and at ease, walking about the stage with the microphone in his hand.

Here is the audio of Bill Clinton's speech (47 minutes, about 5 MB):

BillClinton.mp3

Video highlights are now posted here.

Franklin Co. Comm'r: Cordray (D) Endorses O'Grady (D)

Franklin County Clerk of Courts and county commissioner candidate John O'Grady (D) adds to his impressive list of endorsements with another biggie, this time Ohio Treasurer Rich Cordray (D-Grove City):



This is an excellent use of YouTube - other candidates should take note!

Edwards Debate Watch Party in Cincinnati 1/31

01/31/2008 - 8:48pm
01/31/2008 - 10:00pm

Via email: Vice Mayor David Crowley and Sherri Crowley invite you to Crowley's Pub to Watch John Edwards win yet another debate!
Details after the flip.

Catholic Democrats of Ohio Meeting 2/5

02/05/2008 - 7:00pm
02/05/2008 - 9:00pm

Via email: Attention, Catholic Democrats! Please join us for our 2nd meeting of the Catholic Democrats of Ohio and for a Celebration to mark Super and Fat Tuesday!* Details after the flip.

Ohio Democrats React to State of the Union

[UPDATE - post expanded and edited slightly.]
Excellent live blogging/commentary by Pho and Redhorse. Pho's best line:

Listening to Bush talk about "principles of hope and decency" is like listening to Britney Spears talk about personal responsibility.

Dave of Ohio Valley Politics also live-blogged the speech using a new technology that I had not yet seen, and reprinted four good text messages sent out by the DCCC during the speech, including these:

Bush: We share a common goal- making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.
Reality: He vetoed healthcare for 10 million kids, twice.

Bush: 116 million American taxpayers would see their taxes rise by an avg of $1,800.
Reality: Middle income Americans will receive less than half that.

Dave also publishes reactions from Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) here and Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-St. Clairsville) here. Both Blue Dog Democrats have plenty to complain about. Space slams Bush on immigration (not doing enough about enforcement) and trade. Wilson criticizes him on Iraq, SCHIP, and making tax cuts for millionaires permanent while the country is at war and in hock. Both represent Ohio's coal country and make a point of praising "clean coal" technology, about which I am deeply skeptical.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) sent out a statement, calling for investment in the middle class. Here are some excerpts:

“The president’s state of the union was more of the same. But we need change. ...

“In Ohio, [middle class Ohioans would tell Bush that] tax cuts helped the wealthiest people at the expense of the middle class. ... In Ohio, the president would hear that this country’s trade policy has shipped good-paying middle class jobs overseas. We need a moratorium on all trade agreements. ... I want trade – and more of it – but under different rules. In Ohio, the president would hear that it is time to pull the troops out of the civil war in Iraq. ...

OH-03: Mitakides (D) Opposes Telecom Immunity, Likes Her Chances in November

OhDave of Into My Own has a brief but fascinating interview with Jane Mitakides (D) up. She comes out strong against the proposed retroactive immunity for telecom companies for allowing warrantless wiretapping on a massive scale by the Bush administration, makes a detailed case for why she can win the general election if she is the nominee, and criticizes the proposed economic stimulus package as not going far enough. Go read it.

Bill Clinton In Cleveland Area 1/29

01/29/2008 - 3:15pm
01/29/2008 - 5:30pm

Bill Clinton will appear at Tri-C West East in the Cleveland area tomorrow afternoon for an event billed as “Solutions for America with President Bill Clinton & Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones." Details after the flip.

OH-16: Boccieri (D) To Hold Campaign Strategy Session Saturday

02/02/2008 - 10:00am
02/02/2008 - 11:00am

Via email: Help Elect John Boccieri to Congress! Attend a Boccieri Campaign Strategy & Planning Session.
Details after the flip.

OH-12: Robinson (D) To Hold Campaign Meeting Saturday

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

The campaign of 12th District congressional candidate David Robinson (D-Columbus) asked me to notify readers about a campaign meeting to be held this coming Saturday, February 2nd. Details after the flip.

Trumbull County Democratic Candidates Forum on 2/4

02/04/2008 - 6:00pm
02/04/2008 - 8:00pm

The Trumbull County Federated Democratic Women’s Club will hold a Meet the Candidates Night at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 4th at the Warren YMCA, 375 North Park Avenue, Warren. Ohio. Democratic candidates running in the March primary are being invited. Admission is free, and free refreshments will be served.

News and Notes: County Office Races

Some items that came up as I updated my list of candidates in county office races:

Clermont - Today the Enquirer profiles the crowded GOP primary in the race for the county commissioner seat held by Mary Walker (R), who is being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission because she voted on a $58,500 county contract for a water main replacement project with a company run by her son. Township Trustee Archie Wilson (R-Batavia Twp), Township Trustee Ed Humphrey (R-Miami Twp), and former City Councilman Melvin Dean (R-Bethel) are all challenging her on the GOP side. "I want people to vote for me because of my attributes, the good things that I do - not because of the bad things that my opponent says that may or may not be true," says Walker. Her GOP opponents say she is in denial about her wrongdoing and needs to move on. Theresa Conover (D) is the only Democratic candidate.

Cuyahoga - Michael McIntyre writes in his "Tipoff" column in the Plain Dealer today about the fireworks that occurred at the endorsement interview involving incumbent County Recorder Pat O'Malley (D) and challenger Nelson Cintron (D), whom O'Malley fired from his county job. Cintron accused O'Malley of running a political machine out of his office. O'Malley said Cintron was just upset that O'Malley and others in his office worked to defend Cleveland City Councilman Joe Santiago in a recall election that former council member Cintron pushed. Meanwhile, O'Malley was the subject of an embarrassing news report last week, revealing that the county had foreclosed on a commercial property owned by him (the old Aragon Ballroom) because O'Malley has failed to pay more than $18,000 in property taxes, penalties and interest. "I've got financial problems like anybody else," he said. "You want to condemn me for that, I don't care." O'Malley said he fell behind on tax payments during his divorce.

Franklin - In the contentious Democratic primary between John O'Grady (D) and Cindy Lazarus (D) to replace Commissioner and congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy (D), former U.S., Ohio, and county treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow (D) has endorsed O'Grady. “I’ve had the good fortune of knowing John O’Grady for over twenty years," said Withrow. "John is the kind of leader that recognizes public service is a privilege. When he takes on a job, he works in the best interest of the public and he always sees the job through. I strongly endorse John for Franklin County Commissioner because he has the proven ability to work with everyone to bring new jobs and opportunity to Franklin County.” Withrow, an icon in Ohio politics who has been inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, was the first person to serve as treasurer at all three levels of government. She was named the nation's Most Valuable State Public Official by City & State Newspaper in 1990 and has served as president of the National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers.

Mahoning - The Board of Elections ruled that ex-deputy sheriff David P. Aey (D) can stay on the ballot as a candidate for county sheriff, but the incumbent candidate Randall Wellington (D) has taken the matter to the Ohio Supreme Court. At issue is whether Aey has the required two years of supervisory experience as a peace officer at the rank of corporal or above, or service at the rank of sergeant or above in the five-year period before the filing deadline. Aey never rose above the rank of deputy during his 15 years with the sheriff’s department, but the board ruled that his time as a field supervisor for the U.S. Marshals Service’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force was equivalent to the required experience.

Medina - North Royalton Mayor Robert A. Stefanik says the city has been threatened with a lawsuit if Sgt. Dave Centner (R-Sharon Twp) continues to run as a primary challenger for Medina County Sheriff while employed in the police department. Ohio law prohibits a police officer who is in the classified service of a city from taking part in partisan political activity. The incumbent is Neil Hassinger (R). There is no Democratic candidate in the race.

Trumbull - The Trumbull Township Association, representing township trustees and fiscal officers, has endorsed Weathersfield Township police chief Joseph Consiglio (D) for county sheriff over 16-year incumbent Thomas Altiere (D). The vote was 29 to 16. Consiglio also won the Trumbull County Democratic Party endorsement over Altiere, who defeated Consiglio by 2,868 votes in 2004. Consiglio accuses Altiere of squandering county resources. In other races, the association preferred Hartford Township trustee and chief deputy county engineer Randy Smith (D) over Cafaro Co. vice president David DeChristofaro (D) for county engineer and Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk (D) over Dr. Gary Kraker for coroner.

Meanwhile, the Vindicator today calls county commissioner Paul Hetzel "a breath of fresh, fiery air" and opines that it is a good thing he reneged on his pledge to serve only one term. He is unopposed in his bid for re-election.

Pre-Primary Candidates Night on 2/19 by Blue Ash/North East Dems Club

02/19/2008 - 7:00pm
02/19/2008 - 9:00pm

Two Democratic candidates for the 2nd district U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Victoria Wulsin and Steve Black, will speak at the February meeting of the Blue Ash / North East Democratic Club. Other Democrats running in the March 4 primary will also do brief presentations.

The meeting is set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19th at the Blue Ash Golf Course, 4040 Cooper Road. “This is a chance for area residents to meet our candidates and learn more about them before voting in the March primary,” said Carol Heideman, president of the club.

Other candidates planning to attend include Wayne Coates, Hamilton County Recorder candidate; Steve Brinker, candidate for county treasurer; Norma Holt-Davis and Jerry Metz, running for two different positions as Common Pleas Court judge; Connie Pillich, candidate for Ohio House district 28; and Daniel McCarthy, running for Ohio Senate 8th district.

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