Thanks to Redhorse for these:
* Clinton watch party -- Scorcher's in the Valley, Merriman Road, Akron, 8pm.
* Obama watch party -- The Alpha Center, 663 Wolf Ledges, Akron, 6-11pm.
* General watch party -- Student Union Ballroom C, U. of Akron, 8-11pm.
Some recent news reports regarding contests for county offices:
Ashtabula - There is only one Democratic primary for county office in Ashtabula County. Geneva-on-the-Lake Village Administrator and former Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency director Ed Somppi (D-Conneaut) faces 16-year township trustee Peggy Carlo (D-Saybrook) for the commissioner seat being vacated by Deborah Newcomb (D-Conneaut) to run for state representative, with Thomas Cassidy (R-Rome) and Pat O'Brien (R-Rome), the spouse of 2006 Ohio Treasurer candidate and
current former County Auditor Sandy O'Brien (R-Rome), facing off on the GOP side. Somppi's supporters are rankled that Carlo, who lost a poorly-run challenge to O'Brien for Auditor in 2004 (Carlo was tagged with an ethics violation by the Ohio Elections Commission), joined the primary late and without consulting the county party executive committee. All six candidates (in both commissioner races) spoke to area realtors in January about a $40 million county debt incurred in connection with the recently opened Geneva Lodge & Conference Center, a likely campaign issue in the fall. GOP candidates O'Brien and Charlie Frye (R-Dorest) call the lodge debt a "crisis" and propose closing the lodge down in an effort to compel the state to help with the financing. Somppi defends the lodge as an important element of efforts to spur jobs and development in the county, and he and Carlo both oppose the idea of shuttering it.
Cuyahoga - The Democratic primaries for sheriff, treasurer, and recorder got some coverage in the Plain Dealer on Saturday. Joe Guillen reports that Bratenahl police chief Paul Falzone (D) is calling himself a "modern day Eliot Ness" devoted to crime-busting, as compared to the claim of administrative competence by long-time incumbent Gerald McFaul (D). Well-respected Treasurer Jim Rokakis (D) says that the election petitions submitted by former Cleveland police officer Daniel Flanagan (D-Cleveland) are "very suspect" because he says the candidate didn't witness dozens of signatures collected at the county administration building the day that petitions were due to be filed. However, Rokakis is not filing a complaint against the under-qualified Flanagan, who is banking on the nationality of his surname to boost his chances: "It's never bad to have an Irish last name in Cuyahoga County if you're running." The bitterest primary is between former city council member Nelson Cintron (D) and Recorder Pat O'Malley (D), with each accusing the other of disreputable motivations. Cintron says that O'Malley tried to carry out a secret deal to replace himself with council president Martin Sweeney (who filed for the office and then withdrew); O'Malley says Cintron is only running to punish O'Malley for opposing a recall effort against Cintron's successor on the council. Interestingly, Cintron says that if elected he would like to eliminate the office of recorder altogether, merging it into the auditor's office.
Franklin - The Columbus Dispatch reported Saturday that county commissioner candidate John O'Grady (D) is outraising opponent Cindy Lazarus (D) by a 2-to-1 margin, with cash-on-hand reported last week standing at $158,772 for O'Grady to $51,611 for Lazarus. Flexing his cash advantage, O'Grady began airing a TV ad on cable and broadcast stations last Friday:
However, Lazarus is fighting back against O'Grady's long list of official endorsements and superior campaign resources with a people-powered tactic, i.e., "endorsements" by ordinary voters and small business owners on YouTube. Here is an example:
Hamilton - On Sunday the Enquirer published a story about the tremendous windfall received by friends and campaign supporters of Sheriff Simon Leis (R) in the form of lucrative contracts to perform appraisals of foreclosed homes to be sold at auction. It isn't taxpayer money (the fees come out of the sale proceeds) but it reeks of cronyism, and realtor Ed Rothenberg (R) plans to make a big issue of it in his general election campaign against Commissioner Todd Portune (D), claiming that the commissioners should correct the problem and call the sheriff on the carpet. In other words, a Republican candidate using GOP cronyism to attack a Democrat. Oh, the irony.
Reflecting Barack Obama's appeal to the young and his message of generational change, a wave of YouTube-hosted amateur music videos are singing his praises. Here is a totally dance-worthy hip-hoppy effort called "Representin Obama," which explicitly reacts to the conventional thinking that young people don't vote:
This one is a smooth jazzy groove accompanied by still shots from the campaign trail:
Less original, but still fun, are a Rocky-themed effort, a scratchy DJ remix of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, and a folky acoustic ode called "You Rock Obama." There are many others.
Yesterday the Obama campaign distributed "Yes We Can," a much more professional-looking project. It's a black and white remix of an Obama victory speech with voice-overs and sing-overs by talented and apparently accomplished performers, with slick videographic style:
The email calls it independently-produced, but arriving over the signature of Michelle Obama it has less of a feel of spontaneous authenticity. Nevertheless, an enjoyable and stirring production.
I did some searching on YouTube.com for Hillary Clinton music videos and didn't find a parallel outpouring of music videos on her behalf, although there are some music videos left over from an early campaign effort to settle on an official Clinton campaign song.
Here's a great chance to hear the candidates in the 12th Congressional District speak and learn where they stand on the issues. I'm told that Russ Goodwin (D) and David Robinson (D) will definitely be there.
Details after the flip.
Join the fun and help get the Obama for America campaign going in Ohio! Attend a Super Tuesday-watch and Pre-Ohio-launch party for Obama supporters on February 5th at 7:30 p.m. in Cleveland.
Details after the flip.
Buzz from the battlegrounds:
OH-02: "A Nightmare of a Congressional Race" - In Roll Call today (subscription required), Stuart Rothenberg has a story that disparages candidates on both sides in this race. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) is reviled for calling Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) a coward in 2005, for squeaking out narrow wins every time she has run, and for polls showing her "barely cracking 50 percent among GOP voters." However challenger Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) is criticized for driving a more credible challenger (Phil Heimlich) out of the race and for having a reputation as a poor fund-raiser and campaigner. And Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hills) is slammed for being "scattered in her thinking," based on a conversation with Rothenberg that apparently didn't go very well. Wulsin described her son as "a nice liberal, like his mother," and then tried to backtrack out of it by calling herself both a liberal and a conservative. "Party-switcher" Steve Black (D-Indian Hill) barely gets a mention.
Meanwhile, the campaigning between Black and Wulsin has gone decidedly negative, especially on Black's end. A sort-of blogger called "Indian.hillbillies" has posted images of recent Black and Wulsin mailers here. Among other misleading allegations, Black brings up the discredited charges against Wulsin about unethical "malariotherapy" treatments of HIV-positive patients in Africa that got right wing bloggers all excited in 2006. While it is true that Wulsin was hired in 2004 to write a report on the treatments, in which she determined that "the preponderance of evidence indicates that neither malaria nor Immunotherapy (i.e. malariotherapy) will cure HIV/AIDS," she never personally participated in the experiments. A Boston-area organization called the National Council Against Health Fraud filed a complaint with the State Medical Board of Ohio in 2006 charging that Wulsin participated in the experiments and altered her report to conceal her role in them. However, the board never acted on the spurious complaint.
OH-03: Mitakides Campaign Kickoff - Jane Mitakides (D) will have her official campaign kick-off event on Thursday, February 7th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Montgomery County Democratic Party Headquarters, 131 South Wilkinson Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402.
OH-07: Candidate Forums Scheduled; Woolever Secures Third Labor Endorsement - The Fairfield County Democratic Party will hold a forum for the six Democrats in this race on February 26th at 7 p.m. at Independence Hall, 1776 Cedar Hill Road in Lancaster. Also, the Clark County Democratic Party will hold a forum on February 28th in Springfield, to be moderated by the publisher of the Springfield News Sun. I'm working on getting the time and location for that event. UPDATE: The Clark County event will be at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28th at the City Forum Hall, NE corner of Fountain and High Streets, Springfield, Ohio.
Meanwhile, the campaign of restaurant owner Dave Woolever (D-Stoutsville) announced last week that he has been endorsed by Teamsters Local 284, joining IBEW Locals 1466 and 575 on his endorsement list. “It is with great pleasure that I inform you that Teamsters Local 284 and the entire Executive Board takes great pride in endorsing you as the next Congressman for the Seventh District,” Teamsters Local president Allen Price wrote to Woolever. “One thing this Local doesn't do is give away our endorsement easily but after careful consideration we believe David Woolever is the man for the Seventh District.”
OH-14: Yellow Journalism at the Lake County News Herald - In Sunday's Lake County News Herald, reporter David Jones penned a story called "Campaign Trail's a Trial" (no online version available) that details a stabbing incident at Ohio University last year and a resulting civil assault-and-battery lawsuit against the adopted son of Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell), which civil claim is still pending. Jones says that the incident "affects" the race between O'Neill and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Twp), but a reading of the article confirms that it doesn't affect the race at all, and the whole thing appears to be an effort to imply scandal where none exists. There were no criminal charges filed against the son, and Jones admits that no official reports or comments cast any negative light on Bill O'Neill.
The son and two friends tried to break up a fight near a fraternity and were assaulted by drunken students, and two students were stabbed in the ensuing brawl. "My son called me that night and told me what had happened," Bill O'Neill says of the matter. "I urged him to go to the police station immediately. Being the kind of kid he is, that's exactly what he did. I also called the Athens Police Department that night to report that my son had been in a fight." In the article, Jones mentions the party affiliations of the judge, prosecutor, and various attorneys as though they are relevant, but there is no hint of any impropriety in the proceedings. Jones admits that O'Neill's call to the police is exactly what any parent would have done. There was a police investigation and no charges were filed. "As a parent, I am saddened that this fight occurred, and further that anyone was injured. But I am proud of Brandon for being honest and for reporting to the authorities that very night."
It's despicable that a newspaper story would delve into this kind of incident and suggest that it affects the race when plainly it does not. Please join me in writing a letter to the editor to object to this innuendo-laden article: Tricia Ambrose, Executive Editor, The News-Herald, 7085 Mentor Avenue, Willoughby, Ohio 44094, or tambrose-at-news-herald.com.
OH-18: Space Claims Credit for Increased Veterans Mileage Reimbursement - In a press release, Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) says he fought for a 160% increase in mileage reimbursement to veterans (from 11 cents to 28.5 cents per mile) that took effect last Friday:
Responding to the requests of numerous veterans in his rural district where Veterans Administration (VA) facilities are often hours away, [Space’s] fight to increase the mileage reimbursement has started to pay off ...
“Veterans in my district are disproportionately disadvantaged due to the significant distances they must travel for care at a VA facility,” Space said. “I have been fighting to increase this reimbursement rate since the Joint Field Hearing I held with Senator Brown last year.
“There is no doubt that this will increase veterans’ access to VA services. This increase will make it a little easier on our heroes to get to a facility to receive the care they need and deserve.”
The increase was mandated by the FY2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
Today is a day to pause in wonder. It's a moment of perfect equilibrium before an epic battle, the ideal of classical asetheticians. And the confluence of last night's epic football clash with tomorrow's political contests compounds the drama.
Last night was the Superbowl, with the season-long front-running Patriots vanquished in the closing seconds by the once-lightly-regarded Giants. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, thought to be a decisive "national primary" and long expected to lock up the nomination for front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton. In poll results announced today, however, Sen. Barack Obama has pulled into a national tie with Clinton (CBS Poll here, Gallup here). [UPDATE: Taegen Goddard writes that a yet-to-be-released Cook Political Report/RT Strategies national poll will show Obama leading Clinton by 43% to 37%.]
Does it mean that Obama, buoyed by his momentum, will pull out a narrow but decisive victory tomorrow, like last night's 17-14 thriller? No, the analogy won't stretch that far, it will be even more dramatic than that. Whatever the official winner in the various contests, with all 22 Democratic primaries employing some form of proportional awarding of delegates we're looking at a race that will be essentially tied on Wednesday morning. In almost every race the second-place finisher will gain a substantial number of delegates, diminishing the impact of the other candidate's victory.
I asked Ian Walton, the campaign manager for U.S. House candidate State Senator (and U.S. Air Force Reserve Major) John Boccieri to let me know how their event went yesterday in Canton.
The event went VERY WELL - we had more than 50 volunteers show up from all corners of the 16th District. People from Ashland, Medina and Wayne Counties all showed up - John was very impressed and humbled by the support.
After the discussion, we put people to work. Volunteers helped assemble and distribute more than 1,000 yard signs, and we stuffed 2,000 walk sacks with literature for canvassing.
We've got people walking targeted precincts in all four 16th district counties now - the primary campaign is definitely well underway.
We even went through a few pots of coffee and five dozen donuts - it was a successful day!
Please give everyone this update and let the blogosphere know we are thankful to them for getting the word out. We will have more volunteer days in the coming weeks ahead --so stay tuned...
The Boccieri campaign has continued to raise more funds than their GOP opponents, with FEC reports showing that they have again raised over $100,000 for the most recent quarter. They presently enjoy a cash-on-hand advantage of $308,719.15 compared to Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) with $154,103.79; and Matt Miller (R-Ashland) with $53,099.51.
Considering that the national GOP congressional campaign committee is broke and the DCCC is flush, I would not want to be a Republican campaign operative in Ohio right now.
Tomorrow Today, Monday the 4th of February, is the deadline for voter registration for the March 4th primary election. Voter registration forms are available at Boards of Elections, libraries, Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices, high schools, and county treasurer offices. You can download the registration form from most BOE web sites, or from the Secretary of State site. MAILED APPLICATIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN TODAY.
just received an email message from the Hamilton County Democratic Party indicating that the Board of Elections office in Cincinnati will remain open late tomorrow today, and including an important reminder for people who are 17 years old now but will turn 18 before the general election:
The Board of Elections (824 Broadway downtown) will keep special hours to accommodate those who wish to register, staying open on Monday until 9:00 PM. Note that young people who will be eligible to vote in the November election (meaning they will turn 18 before November 4th, 2008) are permitted to vote in the March 4th Primary. ...
Across the nation Democrats have been sending a message loud and clear about the election coming this November. They’ve been turning out to vote in primaries in astounding, record numbers. Not true of Republicans, who are showing much less enthusiasim about their choices. Let’s make sure Ohio sends the same message in March. The next President of the United States will be a Democrat.
Are other Boards of Elections also staying open late? Please let me know by email or in the comments.
Last Thursday afternoon I participated in a panel discussion at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law/Cleveland State University on "New Media" (blogging and YouTube-based videography) and Voter Concerns in the 2008 Election. This event was staged concurrently with a visit to this country by 20 foreign journalists under the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. For my part I explained my history and purpose in blogging and some thoughts on the role of blogs and the contrasts between bloggers and journalists, projecting Ohio Daily Blog on an enormous screen to illustrate my points.
One of the visitors, Mehmet Koksal of Belgium, wrote me today to say that the group went to the office of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) later during their visit, and Koksal has published an article (in French) on his own blog, Election Reporter, about the marginalization of Kucinich during his presidential campaign ("Dennis Kucinich et la marginalisation médiatique"). Included with that post are fascinating video clips of Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich being interviewed by the visiting journalists. Dennis attributes his lack of success in the campaign to marginalization by corporations which control both the media and industry, and therefore have an interest in maintaining the status quo (including continuation of the profitable war in Iraq). He also asserts that he will not endorse anyone in the presidential race, even though he endorsed Obama for purposes of second-choice voting in the Iowa caucuses. Elizabeth talks about how voters from across the spectrum respond favorably to the authenticity and integrity of candidates who speak truthfully about their convictions, which leads her to discuss comparisons of Kucinich and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex). These are well worth watching:
No K's in evidence ... the "special guest" was Illinois Senior Senator Dick Durbin.
The crowd was huge for an event on February 2nd with perhaps 400 or more with quite a few coming in tour busses.
Tim Hagan gave a wonderful speech continuing the theme of Obama in 2008 with the Kennedy's in the 1960s. Commissioner Hagan was on the front lines of the Bobby Kennedy movement in the last 1960s.
He is a godfather of Kate Kennedy Townsend, one of Robert Kennedy's grandchildren, and was a pallbearer at the funeral of Stephen E. Smith, the late husband of Jean Kennedy Smith. He also attended the funeral of John F. Kennedy, Jr. with his wife, Kate Mulgrew (thank you Wikipedia).
Hagan's speech was different than most political speeches. He spoke simply and softly which made it all the more effective.
Also at the event were State Senator Eric Kearney who gave a rousing speech and Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman.
I didn't think to bring a camera to the event but Ryan got this picture of Senator Dick Durbin with his cell phone camera (gotta get me one of those!)
Update: - Apparently Bill Sloat was there as well. Wish I had known, but as Bill says, the place was packed.
Sponsored by Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio) Fifth Annual State Conference. Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, 4900 Sinclair Rd.,Columbus, OH 43229. Cost $30.00, includes luncheon. Keynote Speaker Quentin Young, M.D. National Coordinator, Physicians for a National Health Program. More info: (216)736-4766 or spanohio.org Workshops and public forums
Presented by Rep. Peter Ujvagi. All you care to eat, family style chicken paprikas and stuffed cabbage dinner. St. Stephen's Hall, 2018 Consaul St. (at Genesee St) in East Toledo, (across from the original Tony Packo's.) Tickets $45.00. Open bar at 5:00 PM, dinner served at 6:00. A great event, not to be missed.
Just received word that there will be a mystery guest at the big Obama campaign organizational meeting to be hosted by Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan, State Sen. Eric Kearney, and Mayor Michael Coleman in Columbus tomorrow from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (for further event details, click on the entry in the Events Calendar on the right sidebar). All Obama delegates statewide are requested to attend.
All I know about the special guest is that he or she is "a high-profile national surrogate who has endorsed Barack."
Hmmmm, wonder who that might be. Could the last name start with a "K," perhaps?
From the No Comment Department comes this campaign web site URL for Greene County Commissioner candidate Richard King (R-Xenia):
[h/t to a reader]
With a huge helping of thanks to Earl, here is a round-up of fund-raising reports for the fourth quarter of 2007 by Ohio's Democratic congressional candidates. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk. Candidates who have raised less than $5,000 are not required to file:
|Name||District||4Q Donations||Cash on Hand||Debts or note|
|William R. Smith||OH-02||Did not file report|
|Jane Mitakides||OH-03||Did not file report|
|David Esrati||OH-03||Did not file report|
|Mike Carroll||OH-04||Did not file report|
|George Mays||OH-05||Did not file a report|
|Dave Woolever||OH-07||$1,791.48||$305.84||Debts $12,900.00|
|Bill Conner||OH-07||$3,352.03||$5,780.17||Debts of $10,500.00|
|Sharen Neuhardt||OH-07||Did not file report|
|Richard Wyderski||OH-07||Did not file report|
|Tom Scrivens||OH-07||Did not file report|
|Jack Null||OH-07||Did not file report|
|Nick von Stein||OH-08||Did not file report|
|Marcy Kaptur*||OH-09||$29,250.00||$847,210.88||All income from PACs|
|Stephanie Tubbs Jones*||OH-11||$132,646.58||$114,704.16||$82,958.00 from PACs|
|David Robinson||OH-12||Did not file report|
|Russ Goodwin||OH-12||Did not file report|
|Aaron Dagres||OH-12||Did not file report|
|Dale Blanchard||OH-14||Did not file report|
|John Greene||OH-14||Did not file report|
|Mary Jo Kilroy||OH-15||$356,898.45||$638,086.88||$35,000|
|Mary Cirelli||OH-16||Did not file report|
|Mark Pitrone||OH-18||Did not file report|
Via email: "It's time for us to send a veteran to Congress who understands service to his country! It's time to send Russ Goodwin to Congress!" Cocktail reception at Havana Night Club on February 12th.
Details after the flip.
There is an absurd rumor circulating on the internet that 2nd Ohio Congressional District candidate Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) is not really a licensed medical doctor, buttressed by a spurious YouTube video purporting to show that she has no state license. She does in fact have a license, but it was issued under her maiden name "Wells" rather than her married name "Wulsin," as demonstrated in this independently produced counter-video:
Update-- Anyone can look up the status of a medical license in Ohio. Here is a link to Dr.(Wells) Wulsin's active status. -EB
Co-Chairs Robert Richardson, Jr., State Sen. Eric Kearney, Jan-Michele Kearney, Barbara Gould, Paul Demarco, Donald Mooney, Tom Hodges, and Charlie Luken invite you to a Super Tuesday Watch Party and Fundraiser for Obama for America on 2/5 at Sully's Sports Bar in Cincinnati.
Details after the flip.
State Sen. Eric Kearney, Mayor Mike Coleman, and County Commissioner Timothy F. Hagan invite you to attend a Special Statewide Organizational Meeting for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.
Details after the flip.
Clinton supports will gather to watch the results of Super Tuesday primaries at Crowley's Pub.
Details after the flip.
The 11th Congressional District Progressive Caucus will host a candidates night forum on Monday, February 11th, in Cleveland Heights.
Details after the flip.
I realize that this is not about Ohio, but I saw it mentioned on the Congressional Quarterly daily round up and I couldn't resist...
According to CQ:
According to the South Bend Tribune, “attorney Tony Zirkle will run for Congress this year — his second attempt at the job. Zirkle, a Republican, ran for the Republican nomination in the 2006 primary but lost to then-U.S. Rep. Chris Chocola, the incumbent.”
“Eliminating pornography and prostitution was a centerpiece of Zirkle’s 2006 campaign . . . perhaps his most memorable suggestion was bringing back the guillotine to punish child sex offenders.” (Emphasis added.)
Want to start a pool on how long until this guy gets picked up for something salacious? I used to toil (and I do mean TOIL) in the criminal justice system writing sentencing recommendations and when reactionary pols pull this pandering it makes me want to scream.
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:
State Rep. Eugene Miller (D-Cleveland) will host an organizational meeting for supporters of Hillary Clinton for president.
Details after the flip.