OH-05: Photos - Strickland (D) and Weirauch (D) in Tiffin & Norwalk

Here are photographs from Saturday's campaign events in Tiffin and Norwalk (click image to see a larger version):

I drove from Bucyrus to Tiffin with the governor of Ohio right behind me in a big black SUV the last part of the way. By the time I found parking and made my way to the parade route, the parade was already underway and I had missed State Rep. Bob Latta, who reportedly walked behind a float with Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer on it. Weirauch and Strickland walked with members of Local 7-A of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union, who had just learned on Tuesday that the company expects to close its plant in the area. The mood of these workers is grim, as reported in the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune here and here. Strickland and Weirauch met with union members after the parade and talked about how current trade deals put domestic companies at a disadvantage. Strickland commented that he has visited a factory in Mexico where workers take home $38 per week. Weirauch said the the U.S. must pursue fair trade policies that protect jobs and don't favor moving plants out of the country.

OH-05: Field Report - Strickland (D) Stumps for Weirauch (D) in Bucyrus

At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday in Bucyrus Central Square it was freezing cold. About sixty people gathered to hear Gov. Strickland and Robin Weirauch, to be followed by door-to-door canvassing. There were quite a few big home-made signs like this one:


While waiting for the candidate and the governor to arrive, I enjoyed meeting blogger and City Councilman Frank Szollosi (D-Toledo), who was collecting signatures for the paid sick leave initiative. Weirauch and Strickland each arrived to applause and walked through the crowd greeting and shaking hands before speaking. Here is the audio of the entire presentation (9:43):

Ted&Robin.mp3

I also shot video of part of Strickland's comments and all of Weirauch's (8:08) which can be viewed on the sidebar today or at YouTube thereafter. The following is a recap of Weirauch's remarks.

Weirauch started by mentioning that she talked to a mother in the district whose son has served four rotations in Iraq, and said that "it's absolutely time to bring our troops home safe, honorably and soon." We can "really shake things up in Washington on December 11th," she said, because "business as usual is not going to lead us to a better future." She said that she learned from her mother who raised Weirauch and two brothers by herself that "change takes courage" and "there is always a better way, but you have to be open to change." She said that there are "enough career politicians in Washington already," and identified herself instead as an advocate, "someone who has a history of fighting for what matters most to you and me."

OH-05: Strickland's Campaign Stops for Weirauch (D) Reported in Area Media

Gov. Ted Strickland (D) made five campaign appearances with 5th Congressional District candidate Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) on Saturday, the first three of which I attended. The early morning rally in Bucyrus is nicely covered by
Kimberly Gasuras in the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, the candidates marching with supporters in the mid-morning Tiffin Christmas parade is reported by Joshua Boak in the Toledo Blade, and the early-afternoon walk along Main Street in Norwalk is described by Mary Lisa Boose in the Norwalk Reflector.

The Toledo Blade also reports on a televised appearance by Weirauch and State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) yesterday in which they engaged in a "cordial" debate. Reporter Joe Vardon writes that they "took similar stances on immigration and energy policies, differed on the war in Iraq, and did not say who they support for president in 2008." Weirauch called for U.S. troops to be brought home from Iraq honorably, safely, and soon, a consistent campaign theme:

"The military has done everything that's been asked of them and they've done it extremely well," she said. "Their work is completed, essentially, because now the diplomacy and the political solutions and the strat-egies for the region have to be brought in."

Latta, on the other hand, said that "President Bush's troop surge is working," and that lawmakers in Washington must "listen to the generals."

OH-05: DCCC Pours Cash Into Race

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has pulled out all the stops on the 5th Ohio Congressional District race, pouring over $150,000 into a TV ad attacking State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green). Meanwhile, contributions to Robin Weirauch (D-Bowling Green) are continuing at a very strong pace, with FEC filings showing $29,100 contributed today (including $5,000 each from the SEIU and the New Jersey-based Shore PAC), $15,100 contributed yesterday (including $5,000 from the United Steelworkers and $2,000 from Rep Barney Frank (D-MA)), and $13,300 contributed last Wednesday.

The Latta campaign reported receiving $69,500 last Friday but nothing since. Believe me, the DCCC and other contributers are making a real race out of the 5th Congressional District special. It's a sprint to the finish, and Weirauch has plenty of cash to carry her across the finish line.

Update from Earl 6:42 AM: Both campaigns have their new ads running during the local news on Toledo TV this morning.

Latta's ad touts his pro-business stance. It's as if he was still running in a GOP primary because that message is dog that won't hunt with independent voters. It's clearly aimed squarely at the most affluent part of the GOP base.

Edwards and Richardson on Nursing Issues

Last week I had a chance to talk to Carol Roe, Chairperson of the Ohio Nurses Democratic Caucus. Her organization actively supports 5th District congressional candidate Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon), a former Emergency Medical Technician whose family includes several nurses, and 14th District candidate Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell), a Registered Nurse in the pediatric emergency room at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights.

In addition, the ONDC has sent questionnaires to the Democratic presidential candidates and has received responses from two. Former senator John Edwards (D-NC) and Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) each submitted responses that spell out their detailed visions for universal, affordable and quality driven health care, their position on federal legislation to enable states to enact comprehensive health care reform, and steps they would take to deal with the shortage of nurses and to improve working conditions for nurses. The organization is to be commended for seeking out the candidates' positions on these issues, and kudos to Edwards and Richardson for responding -- their responses are definitely worth reading.

OH-14: O'Neill (D) Demands An End To Billing Injured Veterans For Enlistment Bonuses

Congressional candidate Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell) is a former appellate court judge, retired Lieutenant Colonel, and member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam and whose son Shawn served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He is incensed at the Bush Administration and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) for permitting the U.S. Government to seek the return of enlistment bonuses from injured veterans sent home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I received word yesterday from a soldier overseas that the Department of Defense has been billing wounded soldiers – asking them to refund their enlistment bonuses if their injury prevents them from completing their full term," O'Neill said. "You don't have to have served your country to be offended by a policy like this. When a soldier is injured in the line of duty we are all wounded. To me this is an insult."

H.R. 3793, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) with 219 co-sponsors, would mandate the practice be terminated immediately. Rep. LaTourette is not among the bill's co-sponsors.

"The bottom line is we must stop abandoning our soldiers," O'Neill said. "It is an outrage to force a soldier wounded in battle to give back his enlistment bonus. Our troops have made great sacrifices for their country and we must do everything we can to honor that service. At a minimum we must keep our word.

"Why is it that Steve LaTourette will vote consistently against efforts to bring accountability to this war, but he has so far failed to cosponsor this critical bill for those serving our country?" he said. "Northeast Ohio – and the men and women serving our country – deserve better."

Ohio deserves better than Steve LaTourette. Please send Bill O'Neill a campaign donation today. O'Neill will bring dignity, principle, and common sense to the task of representing the 14th Ohio Congressional District in Congress.

Obama Campaign Looking for Petition Circulators

I have been asked to put out the word that the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is looking for volunteers to circulate signature petitions. Circulators need to be registered Ohio voters who have not voted in a different party's primary within the past two years.

The petition and an instruction sheet can be downloaded here. Please keep in mind that signatures must be legible to be counted. To that end, people may print their names in the open space to the left of their signatures.

Questions can be directed to Matthew D. Besser at mdbesser-at-vorys-dot-com.

OH-05: Phone-Banking in Cleveland

Here's a terrific opportunity for Democrats in northeast Ohio to make a difference in the special election in Ohio's 5th Congressional District. From tomorrow, Monday December 3rd, through election day, December 11th, there will be phone banking going on from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., or 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., or in the evening during the week, at the UFCW Hall, 2828 Euclid Aveue in Cleveland. Please call Andrea Miller at two-one-six, eight-eight-one, seven-two-zero-zero for more information.

This is a very tight race and any time that you can give could make the difference. There hasn't been a competitive race for Democrats in this district for nearly 70 years ... let's get in there and give it our best shot!

OH-05: Strickland (D) Campaigns for Weirauch (D) VIDEO

On Saturday I attended three campaign events in the 5th Ohio Congressional District, where Gov. Ted Strickland (D) spent the day campaigning for Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon). I plan to post a field report with photographs and audio, but in the meantime here is a video clip. The governor and the candidate marched in a parade down the main street in Tiffin, Ohio, accompanied by union workers from an American Standard manufacturing plant that is in grave danger of being closed. In this video the two of them speak briefly to supporters right after the parade ended:


Payday Loan Public Hearing with Marc Dann

12/06/2007 - 11:30am
12/06/2007 - 12:00pm

First public hearing and call to action on the issue of payday lending, organized by Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann. The event will be at Antioch Baptist Church, 8869 Cedar Avenue, Cleveland, OH (on the corner of E. 89thand Cedar).

Latest news from OH-05, "D" Day is here!

UPDATE: I JUST made it home from the Northwood rally. A TERRIBLE ice storm has hit this area and it seems as if ODOT got caught napping. Will try to get some pics and video posted yet tonight (as soon as my hands stop shaking...)

UPDATE: The Norwalk event is wrapping up. Jeff is heading east and I'm heading for Fremont. More later. So far, so good!
UPDATE: The Governor reports that their polling data is saying that this race is "winnable."(!) We would need a GREAT GOTV effort and for the undecideds to break heavily for Wierauch.
UPDATE: There was great turnout for the parade in Tiffin (despite wind chills in the teens!). Local labor unions led by GMP Local 7A are incensed that American Standard is threatening to close a local plant and move production overseas. Robin and the Governor took the time to give an off the cuff pep talk to local workers. Robin told them "You're standing up for me, I'll stand up for you!"

UPDATE:Jeff just called me from the first campaign event in Bucyrus. And baby, it's COLD outside! Despite bone numbing cold, turnout was excellent and the Governor's speech was rousing. Ted's closing zinger; "If you REALLY want to make Bill O'Reilly cry, get out on Dec 11 and vote for Robin Weirauch!"

The DCCC is "fully engaged" in the Weirauch campaign. They have been providing staffers, money and other resources for the campaign along with the DNC, ODP, SEIU, the AFl-CIO and other labor groups. The entire staff from the midwest DCCC group has been here for some time and they're pouring everything they've got into this race. Just yesterday, another $13,300 was received from labor groups and progressive PACs. How about you?

OH-05: CQ Politics Weighs In - Special Election "Difficult to Predict"

Greg Giroux of CQ Politics sees a "sliver of uncertainty" in the 5th Ohio Congresional District special election:

The national political environment — which turned sharply against President Bush and his Republican Party in the 2006 midterm elections — remains unsettled. Additionally, the special elections held in mid-December, as most residents of the two districts are focused heavily on their holiday preparations, make the relative success of the parties’ voter turnout efforts difficult to predict. ...

Latta had $132,000 left to spend as of Nov. 21 to $68,000 for Weirauch.

Weirauch’s total fundraising for the short special election campaign already has exceeded the roughly $120,000 she raised during her entire campaign for the regularly scheduled 2006 election.

During the Oct. 18-Nov. 21 period, Latta raised $128,000 from individual donors and $118,000 from political committees, and he also loaned his campaign $50,000 from his personal resources. ...

Most of Weirauch’s contributions came from political action committees (PACs), including those associated with labor unions and campaign committees linked to House Democrats who didn’t contribute to her 2006 campaign. The fact that Democrats are giving to Weirauch is a sign that they think an upset, if unlikely, is nonetheless possible, and that an investment in her campaign is worthwhile.

OH-05: O'Neill (D) Is In - Are You?

Are you feeling it? Here's what Vietnam vet, former appellate judge, emergency room nurse, and congressional candidate Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell) had to say over at BSB:

I was sitting around in my basement with no windows this week...raising money for my own Congressional Race...when I thought: Whoa! ROBIN'S RACE IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN THIS WEEK! So I did what any out of control Democrat would do...Packed my first born daughter Katie into my BRAND NEW ELECTRIC CAR... and sent her West. Of course I stayed home to mind the store...but will join the fray on Saturday and maybe Sunday.

The question comes up: If we really believe that taking control of the Congress is our number one priority...why aren't we all up in the flatlands for the duration working for Robin...and the American way?
Robin needs us. Now. See you in Bowling Green.

Bill O'Neill

And oh yes...I sent her $100 bucks...have you all?

I'm heading west first thing in the morning. How about you? How about pitching in at ActBlue? Ten days to go ... now is the time to get on board!

OH House-45: Otterman (D) To Retire; Democratic Caucus Seeks Applicants

Term-limited State Rep. Bob Otterman (D-Akron) will step down by the end of the year, the Ohio House Democratic Caucus has announced.

State Rep. George Distel (D-Conneaut) will chair a screening committee to recommend a replacement. Anyone interested in succeeding Rep. Otterman in the 45th Ohio House District should direct their resumes to Chief of Staff Andy DiPalma by the close of business on Monday, December 10th. Resumes may be e-mailed to Mr. DiPalma at andy.dipalma-at-ohr.state.oh.us.

Rep. Otterman is serving his fourth term in the House. He served for 29 years on Akron City Council before that. The 45th District is in Summit County in northeast Ohio and includes Barberton and parts of Akron. It leans very strongly Democratic (PVI D+14.6). Otterman defeated Joshua Jones (R-Akron) by 77.11% to 22.99% in 2006, and got 74.12% of the vote in 2004. City Councilman John R. Otterman (D-Akron) has been mentioned as a possible candidate to run for this seat.

Afternoon News Items of Interest

These are not related to each other but all jumped out at me when I checked my RSS reader just now:

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Voided - The Supreme Court of Georgia has struck down the restrictions as an unconstitutional violation of property rights. The Ohio Supreme Court is considering a case about whether such restrictions may be retroactively applied, a somewhat different issue, although the court could ask for additional briefing. This could all wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court before very long.

Hispanics Born in America Speak English - An important fact to keep in mind regarding the persistent hysteria about immigrants and the English language: 88% of children of Hispanic immigrants (i.e., the second generation, those born in this country) report speaking English very well, and for generations after that it's 94%. And that's without amending the constitution to make it the official language or anything drastic like that.

Kiyani Shows Independence - Already there are indications that Pervez Musharraf's hand-picked successor as military chief of Pakistan is going to act independently from the newly civilian-ized president: Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani is replacing military department chiefs with his own people, AND it turns out that Kiyani wasn't Musharraf's first choice -- but the U.S. preferred Kiyani. So, what that says to me is that Musharraf is not indispensable to U.S. interests any longer, if he ever really was, and there's no valid reason for us to continue propping him up. He sacked the judiciary and suspended the constitution -- the man shouldn't get away with remaining in office. It would be fine for the U.S. and certainly better for Pakistan if he were to step down and take the residual effects of his emergency rule with him.

OH-10: The Real Dennis Kucinich (D)

Senior editor Erick Trickey of Cleveland Magazine has written a fascinating profile of Ohio "favorite son" Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) in the December issue, titled "The Missionary." Trickey provides the answer to everyone's first question ("Why is he running?"):

In summer 2006, just after the war between Israel and Hezbollah, Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth, visited a town where an American-made Israeli bomb had killed dozens of women and children. ...

“We stopped at one grave and were absolutely transfixed at this picture of this little boy, who could have only been a year old or so, who had a red sweater and a blue shirt and had a beautiful smile," [Kucinch says.] "I began to cry.” A villager reached out to comfort Kucinich, then pointed out his wife and children’s grave. Others, gathering around, shouted: “Tell the American people we love them.” “We don’t hate Israel.” “We want to live in peace.” Moved by their forgiveness, Kucinich says, he knelt at the boy’s grave.

“I said a prayer,” he says. “I promised that little boy that I was going to work to create a world where children would not perish in wars, where all over the world, children could grow up free of fear that themselves or their parents will be annihilated.”

It takes an epic leap of selfless virtue and self-important confidence to think that creating a world without war is your calling in life. For 40 years, Clevelanders have argued: Is Kucinich noble or egotistical? The answer is, he’s both. His virtues and faults are intertwined.

OH-16: Cillizza Reports GOP "Concern" About Schuring (R)

Ooh, this is interesting. Washington Post political prognosticator Chris Cillizza has posted his monthly item "The Line," in which he picks the ten U.S. House seats most likely to change parties. This week he drops OH-15 from 2nd to 7th based on the entry of relatively high-profile candidate State Sen. Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington), not a huge surprise.

What's intriguing is that Cillizza also hikes the OH-16 contest between State Sen. John Boccieri (D-New Middletown) and the winner of the GOP primary between State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Country Commissioner Matt Miller (R-Ashland) from 5th up to OH-15's former 2nd spot, revealing that Ohio Republicans have privately expressed "concern" about Schuring:

This district, which sits due south of Cleveland and includes Canton -- home of the National Football League Hall of Fame, isn't as good on paper for Democrats as the open 15th District near Columbus. But, candidates make a difference and Democrats have one of their best recruits in the country in state Sen. John Boccieri, a conservative lawmaker who has been in the race for months. Republicans privately express concern about state Sen. Kirk Schuring who appears to be their likely standard-bearer. While President Bush carried this district with 54 percent in 2004, its population center in Stark County went strongly for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in 2006.

Whatever the specific "concern" is, it is the only new element in the mix since last month's ranking by Cillizza. It must be significant indeed to persuade him to rate this contest the second most likely in the nation to change parties.

OH House-80: Murray (D) Running For Seat of Term-Limited Redfern (D)

The Port Clinton News-Herald reports that attorney Dennis Murray Jr (D-Sandusky), who has been a city commissioner for two years, announced Wednesday that he will run for the 80th Ohio House District seat of term-limited Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island). Murray says that he feels the Sandusky city commission has accomplished goals like a planned marina district and forming an energy task force "by setting differences aside and working together," and he wants to bring that approach to state government. He is endorsed by Redfern and former state representative Darrell Opfer (D-Salem Township).

Murray indicates that he will focus on school funding, health care, and alternative energy as a strategy for economic development, which are familiar themes from Democratic campaigns in 2006:

Fixing Ohio's broken system of paying for schools -- mainly through property taxes -- is a major priority for all Democrats, he said.

"That, in essence, is our seed money," he said. "If we don't continue to reinvest in our schools, we're never going to dig our way out of this."

Health care, like education, is an investment in the future, he said. Some Ohioans cannot afford medical care or have Medicaid, a plan certain doctors will not accept.

"It's outrageous that we, in this wealthy country, have so many people who are uninsured," he said. "People need preventative health care."

Murray also wants to promote and attract alternative sources of energy to the state. He recently helped form the Erie County Alternative Energy Task Force, which is looking for ways of reducing energy use and bringing alternative energy.

OH-Sen: Brown (D) Calls For More Help With Rising Heat Costs

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) made appearances in Youngstown and Columbiana County yesterday to propose steps to help residents with heating costs, which are expected to be 18% higher than last winter (a result of expected colder weather as well as higher fuel prices). The events are reported today in the Youngstown Vindicator.

Brown called for preservation of the requested FY 2008 $2.2 billion allocation for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is $400 million over President Bush’s request and was part of a spending bill vetoed by him. Next week Brown will join other Senators in introducing legislation to provide an additional $1 billion in emergency LIHEAP funding.

Also, Brown called for an increase in federal funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and restoration of funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which provides funds for community action agencies to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities.

In addition to the stops yesterday to talk about heating costs, Brown attended a round-table discussion yesterday with school officials and community leaders in Carrollton, reported today in the Dover-New Philadelphia Times-Reporter. The story has a good recap of concerns expressed by residents about No Child Left Behind, veterans' issues, the closing of a Farmers Service Agency office, infrastructure, foreclosures, and the financial crunch experienced by families caring for elderly relatives at home.

It's good to see Brown making a concerted effort to get out around the state and hear the concerns of residents and local leaders.

RootsCamp 2008!

01/13/2008 - 9:00am
01/13/2008 - 5:00pm

RootsCamp is a great opportunity for open dialogue between Ohio’s progressive activists, field organizers, leaders, techies, fundraisers, and bloggers.

Participants share innovations, failures, old wisdom, and new discoveries, with an eye toward developing skills and networking -- and building organization and sustainability in Ohio's progressive movement.

It's also a lot of fun!

The event will take place on Sunday, January 13th, 2008, at the Vern Riffe Center, 1st Floor, corner of State & High Streets in Columbus. It is free, and breakfast and lunch are provided. Sign up here.

New and Notes: Ohio

What's the buzz in the state that has about 30,000 bee colonies and ranks 25th in honey production:

Strickland Appearances in OH-05 Previewed - The Toledo Blade has a story today about Gov. Ted Strickland's schedule of campaign appearances tomorrow with Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon).

More Ohioans Who Enter Foreclosure Are Losing Their Home - The Akron Beacon Journal reports that 45% of all Ohio foreclosure filings during October were notices of bank repossessions, a significant increase.

Maternity Leave Rule Moves Ahead - Led by former state representative Barbara Sykes (D-Akron), the Ohio Civil Rights Commission narrowly voted to seek final approval for a rule requiring 12 weeks of maternity leave, despite the desire of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) and business groups to delay the change.

Slower Growth Expected - Gov. Strickland's economic advisors warned him of challenging economic conditions in Ohio due to rising energy costs and a struggling housing market, prompting him to consider spending cuts or other budget adjustments.

Muskingum County Commissioner Retiring - After 15 years in office, Dorothy Montgomery (R-Zanesville) is stepping down.

Ooops, 100 Absentee Ballots Not Counted - Human error, says the Hamilton County Board of Elections, discovered during preparations for a recount of six close races - including a school levy that passed by three votes. Seems like we keep getting more and more reasons to feel jittery about election integrity.

Redhorse on Presidential Campaign Stumbles - In fine fettle, Redhorse has a great post at Psychobilly Democrat on the YouTube/CNN GOP debate question asked by a retired general who is on Hillary Clinton's GLBT steering committee, and the bizarre evasive action undertaken to obscure public spending for a security detail relating to Rudy Giuliani's dalliances with then-mistress Judith Nathan.

OH-05: Weirauch (D) Campaign Blasts Off!

The candidates filed FEC reports for the period 10/28 to 11/21 yesterday.

Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) did very well, pulling in a remarkable $138,152.51, leaving her with $66,587.05 cash-on-hand as of 11/21. She received $38,002.51 from individuals, $1,400.00 from political party committees, and $98,750.00 from PACs. Included are $5,000 from Emily's List and $2,000 each from committees affiliated with Rep. Rahm Emmanual (D-IL), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles), and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland). She also received funds from various Congressional leadership PACs, including $5,000 from Rep. Kaptur's PAC. Weirauch also got over $34,000 from union PACs.

Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) brought in much more than Weirauch.. He reported raising $246,173.98 in contributions, and he loaned himself $50,000, leaving him with $132,488.78 in the bank. Latta received $128,367.38 in contributions from individuals and $117,806.60 from PACs. Included are $20,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee, $2,300 from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana), and $2,000 each from Rep. Deborah Schmidt (R-Upper Arlington) and Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland). Of course, we knew that the forces of wealth and power would flock to get in some "pay to play" action with Latta, and they did.

OH House-42: Audio and Photos From Moran (D) Campaign Kickoff

Yesterday I drove down to Cuyahoga Falls to attend the official campaign launch for Mike Moran (D-Hudson), a lawyer and businessman who is seeking the 42nd Ohio House District seat of Rep. John Widowfield (R-Cuyahoga Falls). Scott Piepho of Pho's Akron Pages was there and has posted a thorough report, so I will not reinvent the wheel here. Just for the record, I share Pho's impression that Moran is a top-notch candidate. Not only is he a high-energy and engaging person, with a terrific background as a lawyer, engineer, businessman, and a parent who is not only a product of public schools but has kids in public schools now, he has the strategic advantage of living in conservative Hudson. In fact, he is a member of the city council there. Since the Republican incumbent did not carry Cuyahoga Falls in the last election and failed in his bid for the Cuyahoga Falls Clerk of Courts this fall, Moran seems well positioned to do well in both areas: benefiting from the Democratic trend in Cuyahoga Falls, and capitalizing on his home field advantage in Hudson.

Here is the complete audio of the formal presentation (consisting of an introduction by House Democratic Leader Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) and brief remarks by Moran), about 12 minutes long:

MMoran.jpg

Beatty was practically giddy with excitement about introducing Moran, saying that she could not imagine a better candidate. Moran emphasized his background in law, engineering and business, and focused on solid Democratic issues of jobs, education, and health care. Here are some photos from the event:

Strickland (D) Stands Up to Pressure From Abstinence-Only Zealots

At a rally in Columbus today, the National Abstinence Education Association called on Gov. Ted Strickland (D) to restore money for abstinence education programs in Ohio, which he deleted from the state budget in June. Strickland's spokesperson responded plainly and forcefully:

"There is significant evidence that suggests those programs don't work," said Keith Dailey, the governor's press secretary. "Governor Strickland supports an approach that includes abstinence education as well as providing Ohio's youth with vital health information."

Hurray for the governor. That's a position clearly justified by research studies, and he deserves kudos for sticking to it.

Pakistan: Musharraf Says He Will End Emergency and Restore Constitution


As he took the oath of office for a new term as president today, Pervez Musharraf said that he would lift the state of emergency by December 16th and restore the Pakistani constitution before parliamentary elections now scheduled for January 8th. What he has not said he will do is (1) free from house arrest and restore to office the judges he removed from Pakistani courts, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry; (2) remove strict new regulations on independent media outlets; or (3) release the last of the lawyers, activists, and opposition party workers in detention. Public protests will continue unless and until pre-November 3rd conditions are restored. Protesting lawyers clashed with police in Lahore today.

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