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Saturday, September 29, 2007


Ohio Daily Blog will be offline for site renovation from 12:00 am on Sunday, September 30th until 9:00 am on Monday, October 1st.

Thank you for your patience!

Gingrich (R) Will Not Run; Gore (D) Still Being Mentioned

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich officially cancelled the idea of entering the presidentialrace today, after figuring out that he can't both explore a bid for president and remain as head of his tax exempt organization, American Solutions (for Winning the Future).

Gingrich was the last major candidate-in-the-wings on the GOP side. Christopher Hitchens argued in Salon this week that Al Gore still falls in that category on the Democratic side, with his final decision not to be made until the Nobel Peace Prizes are announced on October 12th.

As a candidate, Gingrich would have been somewhat hampered by his turbulent personal life and his unceremonious departure from Congress after the GOP's dismal performance in the 1998 midterm elections. After serving as the public face of the GOP-led unsuccessful impeachment of Bill Clinton, he came to be viewed as a highly divisive figure. However, conservative Ohioans still revere his role in developing the Contract with America and the groundbreaking GOP victory in the 1994 midterm elections. Since leaving Congress he has largely rehabilitated himself with the GOP base through his public activities as a commentator and advocate.

If Gore does decide to run, it will be fascinating to see whether Ohioans respond well him on the basis of his Academy Award, best-selling book and popular movie, and (if it happens) Nobel Peace Prize. Certainly an impressive and unprecedented string of accomplishments for a presidential candidates. He did win the majority of popular votes in the 2000 presidential election, and history has vindicated his strong positions about global warming and against the war in Iraq. However, it is difficult to overcome the stigma of losing a presidential election, and his performance on the campaign trail in 2000 is not highly regarded. Still, I know from personal experience that among Democratic activists in Ohio he has a strong following.

Friday, September 28, 2007

OH-5: Nine File for Special Primary Elections

Today was the final day for filing election petitions in Wood County for the November 6th special primary elections in the 5th Ohio Congressional District. Subject to verification of petition signatures, the candidate list looks like this (h/t CQ Politics):I received an email earlier today from a reliable source indicating that Sandusky County Commissioner Brad Smith (R-Fremont), who was widely regarded as a strong potential candidate from the eastern reaches of the district, decided against running at the eleventh hour. Smith was not convinced that he had a serious chance of success and is unwilling to play the spoiler or be a pawn. Reportedly he does have future political ambitions, and does not want to do anything to jeopardize his reputation as a sincere public servant.

UPDATE: Thanks to a reader and a commenter for directing me to this interview of Dr. Campbell.

New Fox Poll: Clinton & Obama Lead Three GOP Candidates

In a new national poll just out from Fox News, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has a big (and growing) lead over three major GOP contenders in head-to-head matchups (parenthetical numbers are from July):

46% (46%) Clinton (D)
39% (41%) Giuliani (R)

48% (47%) Clinton (D)
35% (38%) Thompson (R)

46% (45%) Clinton (D)
39% (42%) McCain (R)

The poll didn't test Clinton against Romney, and it didn't include former senator John Edwards (D-NC). The poll shows Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) also leading against the three GOP contenders, but not by as much as Clinton (and his leads are shrinking):

41% (45%) Obama (D)
40% (41%) Giuliani (R)

45% (48%) Obama (D)
33% (30%) Thompson (R)

40% (47%) Obama (D)
38% (37%) McCain (R)

Among other findings, the poll puts approval of Bush at 34%, down from 37% right after the testimony of Gen. Petraeus before Congress. Approval of Democratic Party is at 50%, of the Republican Party is at 44%.

Calls for GOP Condemnation of Limbaugh "Phony Soldier" Remark Growing

I've been trying to keep track as the number of Democrats calling on Republicans to condemn Rush Limbaugh's reprehensible remark on Wednesday that U.S. military personnel returned from Iraq who criticize the war are "phony soldiers." (Limbaugh also called Vietnam veteran Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) "Senator Betrayus" back in January.) Here is a scorecard:
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chair of the DCCC - "It minimizes the sacrifice our troops in Iraq and their families are making and has no place in the public discourse. Rush Limbaugh owes our military and their families an apology for his hurtful comments that minimize their service to our country."

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
, a veteran of the Vietnam War - "[It is a] disgusting attack. ... [Limbaugh] is an embarrassment to his party, and I expect the Republicans who flock to his microphone will now condemn this indefensible statement.”

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), an Iraq War veteran - "Someone should tell chicken-hawk Rush Limbaugh that the only phonies are those who choose not to serve and then criticize those who do."

Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) - "I wonder if Republicans who showed so much outrage towards MoveOn.org yesterday will hold Rush Limbaugh to the same standard, and I wouldn’t hold your breath," he said.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) - "It's ironic, if not remotely surprising, that Rush Limbaugh - who makes his living shooting his mouth off - would impugn the patriotism and service of American troops simply because they have voiced their opposition to this failed policy. It's clear that he has no idea what the brave men and women of our armed forces are ostensibly fighting for."
And the number of blogs calling for Democrats in Congress to introduce a resolution condemning Limbaugh is also growing:
Think Progress
Carpetbagger Report
Down With Tyranny
Cliff Schechter
Crooks and Liars
So, where are Ohio Bloggers and Ohio Democratic legislators on this?

Brown Hails Senate Vote on SCHIP

Yesterday the Senate joined the House in approving the compromise bill to extend and expand the SCHIP program, which in 2006 helped provide health insurance for 6.6 million children nationwide and 218,000 children in Ohio. The Senate vote was by a veto-proof 68-31, while the House vote fell some two dozen votes short of that goal. Industry groups such as American's Health Insurance Plans and the Federation of American Hospitals hailed the vote.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), who sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released this statement about the legislation today:
“Soon after moving into the White House, President Bush pledged to leave no child behind. What about uninsured ones? To do well in school and thrive outside of it, children need the right care, at the right time, from the right provider – and they need our president to do the right thing. If President Bush truly wants to leave no child behind, instead of vetoing this bill he will champion it.

“I wish the president could meet the children and parents I talk to in Ohio. He wants private insurers to cover these children. So do I. But wishful thinking doesn’t cover kids, and neither does indifference. We have an opportunity to help millions of children to receive preventive care in the doctor’s office instead of acute care in the emergency room, and we should grab it.”
I searched the internet but could find not any statement from Sen. George Voinovich (R) explaining his vote against the legislation. I am waiting for a return call from his press secretary.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

OH House-30: Mecklenborg (R) To Replace Seitz (R)

A screening committee of the Ohio House Republican Caucus has approved attorney Robert Mecklenborg (R-Green Township) to replace State Rep. Bill Seitz (R) in the 30th Ohio House District. Seitz will be appointed to the Ohio Senate on October 10th to replace retiring term-limited incumbent Patricia Clancy (R-Cincinnati), so that Seitz can run for the office in 2008 as an incumbent.

OH-14: O'Neill (D) Calls "Iraq Compact" Signed by LaTourette (R) a "Political Stunt"

A few days ago Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) joined a group of 24 House members in signing a "bipartisan compact on the Iraq debate," which they call a pledge designed to reduce political infighting and promote a "bipartisan solution." Among other things, the document states that cutting funding for troops in Iraq would endanger service members, future military involvement in Iraq requires a "clearly defined and measurable mission," the Iraqi government must steer Iraq's future course, and U.S. troops must have adequate recuperation between deployments.

Challenger Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell), the former appellate judge and candidate for Ohio Supreme Court, is calling it empty hypocrisy. O'Neill earned a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam and his son served in Afghanistan and Iraq. O'Neill's press release states:
"I agree that bipartisan efforts are the only way we are going to get our troops out of harm's way. But this compact appears to be nothing more than empty words in lieu of action - an attempt to put a happy face on what has become a foreign policy disaster.

"It's hard to take Rep. LaTourette seriously when his record simply doesn't match up to his words.

"The compact requires that our troops have adequate recuperation periods between deployments. But last month Rep. LaTourette voted against a bipartisan bill that would have done just that (H.R. 3159). The compact requires a mission that is 'clearly defined and measurable' – and I applaud that goal. But Rep. LaTourette has consistently voted against measures to require accountability in Iraq.

"It is intellectually dishonest to suggest that defunding this war places our troops in peril. The truth is that funding without benchmarks is precisely what has placed our troops in peril over the past four years.

"This bipartisan compact is nothing more than a political stunt. And our men and women in Iraq deserve so much better."

Cordray Brings Financial Guidance to Domestic Violence Shelters

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network has learned through focus groups around that state that personal finances are the most compelling reason preventing battered women from leaving an abusive situation. Finances made it harder for 89 percent of women to leave, compared to 77 percent who indicated they were concerned for the well-being of their children, and 67 percent who said they feared for the lives of themselves or others.

This is why it is so important that Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray, the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, and Verizon Wireless today announced a plan to bring resources and information to women who are trying to escape domestic violence. “Women who must, for the sake of themselves and their children, escape an abusive situation are in critical need of help in assessing and rebuilding their personal financial situation,” said Nancy Neylon, Executive Director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, in the press release. “This initiative will lessen the struggles these survivors must endure. We’re gratified to see that Treasurer Cordray recognizes this need and is taking action to address it.”

The plan involves two-hour "Financial Freedom NOW" workshops which are coordinated by Treasurer Cordray’s office, presented in cooperation with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, and funded through a grant of over $12,000 from Verizon Wireless. Participants will receive help in assessing their financial situation, an action plan for addressing their challenges, materials for organizing financial documents and records, local resources, and instruction on financial components of legal and housing needs.

The workshops are scheduled for Columbus, Cleveland, Marion, St. Clairsville and Toledo, with more expected to be held in the coming months. Workshop presenters include Consumer Credit Counseling Service; Fifth Third Bank; Ohio State Legal Services Association; Southeastern Ohio Legal Services; Legal Aid Societies of Columbus, Cleveland, Marion, and Toledo; and the Belmont, Columbus, Cuyahoga, Lucas, and Marion Metropolitan Housing Authorities.

“Domestic violence service organizations tell us that the number of victims who say they need financial guidance is greater than the number who need vocational and child care assistance combined,” said Cordray. “The kind of information we can provide to women during this key period in their recovery will give them the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and those of their children.”

Brunner: Vote Law "Institutionalized" Vote Caging

An article published yesterday by McClatchy Newspapers' Washington Bureau says that new voting laws in Ohio and Florida could dampen Democratic voting in 2008, and the part about Ohio contains a hair-raising warning from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D).

The article starts with this description of the overall problem:
Backers of the new laws say they're aimed at curbing vote fraud. But the statutes also could facilitate a controversial Republican tactic known as "vote caging," which the GOP tried in Ohio and Florida in 2004 before public disclosures foiled the efforts, said Joseph Rich, a former Justice Department voting rights chief in the Bush administration who's now with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Caging, used in the past to target poor minorities in heavily Democratic precincts, entails sending mass mailings to certain voters and then using the undelivered letters to compile lists of voters for eligibility challenges.
Later it gets into the comments by Brunner:
In Ohio, which swung the 2004 election to Bush, new Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said in a phone interview that an election law passed last year and signed by former Republican Gov. Bob Taft effectively "institutionalized" vote caging.

The law requires that the state's 88 county election boards send non-forwardable, pre-election notices to all 7.8 million registered Ohio voters at least 60 days before the election.

Undelivered letters are public record, she said, meaning that effectively, "now the counties are paying for" the data needed to compile challenge lists.

In addition, Brunner said, the law toughened voter ID requirements and "took away rights of some voters to be heard about whether or not their registration was valid."

In the past, Ohio voters were entitled to an official notice and a hearing before an election board could declare them ineligible, but the new law says the board can make that decision without notice. A disqualified voter who shows up at the polls must demonstrate that he's fixed any eligibility problem or opt for filing a provisional ballot that may not count.

Brunner said the new law has left her feeling "like being in a sword fight with one hand behind your back."

She said she's sought, "while working within the framework of preventing fraud," to make it "as easy as possible for people who are eligible to participate."
Just having a Democratic Secretary of State isn't going to prevent GOP attempts at voter suppression, not when she's constrained by an election law that helps them out.

Ohio Launches New Health Care Reform Web Site

The helpful blog Ohio Health Policy Review notes today that the Ohio Department of Insurance has created a new website to promote Gov. Ted Strickland's Healthcare Coverage Reform Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to provide access to affordable health insurance coverage to all uninsured Ohioans, with an initial goal of providing coverage to 500,000 more Ohioans by 2011. To that end, Strickland has asked for a bi-partisan, inclusive, transparent process to develop reforms tailored to Ohio. From the OHPR blog:
"The website brings together the different work being done under this initiative, including Ohio's participation in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation State Coverage Initiative, which allows people from the Governor's administration, Ohio General Assembly, and key stakeholders to work with leaders and experts from around the country on how to cover Ohio's uninsured residents. Another aspect of the initiative is the Governor's Healthcare Coverage Initiative Advisory Committee, an advisory group to provide guidance in developing reforms.

"According to the Health Coverage Reform Initiative website, 'stakeholder groups are currently being formed to share information that will shape plans to cover Ohio’s uninsured residents.' Anyone desiring to join one one of these stakeholder groups should go the 'Public Input' section of the website and provide their contact information and group preference."
This initiative is the larger framework into which the expansion of SCHIP to provide Medicaid coverage to uninsured children fits.

OH-13 & 18: Space (D) and Sutton (D) Promote Mortgage Crisis Legislation

Kudos to Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) and Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley Township) for continuing to take the lead on legislation to address the continuing mortgage crisis.

Yesterday the House Ways and Means Committee passed legislative language introduced by Space that would severely cut the "foreclosure tax" that occurs when mortgage debt wiped out in bankruptcy is treated as taxable income to the now homeless and bankrupt borrower. According to the press release, Committee Chairman Charles Rangel told Space that he "would like to applaud your leadership on this important issue, especially given that foreclosure rates in Ohio have risen 138% since August of 2006. Your state is just one example of the tremendous reach of the housing crisis, and its impact on working Americans."

“I am very pleased that the ideals set out in my Foreclosure Tax Relief Act are being incorporated into our legislative agenda,” Space responded. “The IRS should stop adding insult to injury when these families are obviously in financial trouble. This is great news for Ohio’s working families.”

As for Sutton, she has introduced two bills. The Foreclosure Prevention and Homeownership Protection Commission Act creates a Federal commission charged with analyzing the underlying causes of the subprime mortgage crisis and recommending legislative and regulatory actions that would help homeowners avoid foreclosure and unfair rate increases. “This issue is much more basic, more fundamental than partisan politics,” Sutton said. “We need a bipartisan commission with the expertise and authority to find the causes of the current crisis, and to offer up real solutions. Congress has already taken action to address some of the immediate causes of this crisis, but we must also find the root causes and come up with long-term solutions. There’s no reason to keep patching a broken system if we can repair the system from the inside out.”

The bipartisan commission, which would include representatives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is modeled in part on the commission created by Gov. Ted Strickland, who praised Sutton's bill. “In representing a state that has been hit particularly hard by foreclosures, Congresswoman Sutton understands first-hand the devastating effects of this crisis on our homeowners,” said Strickland. “Ohio’s Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce, created in March, has been instrumental in studying and providing solutions to an escalating foreclosure problem in our state, and I strongly support Congresswoman Sutton’s efforts to establish a commission to address these issues on a national level.”

Sutton’s second bill, the Fair Disclosure for Homeowners Act, deals with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). “Many homeowners with ARMs are being caught by surprise when their monthly mortgage payments increase sharply overnight,” said Sutton. “Mortgage rate sneak attacks are bringing a lot of suffering and hardship to American families. This bill would require creditors to send a notification, separate from their monthly mortgage statements or any other notices, to homeowners holding ARMs six months before rates are due to change.”

The notification would include the creditor’s best estimate of the homeowner’s new monthly payments, contact information for Federal and state government agencies that homeowners can contact to get help, options homeowners can pursue if they anticipate difficulty meeting their payment obligations after the rate resets. The bill also requires creditors to include the reset date on all monthly statements.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Real Struggle To End Iraq War Will Be Waged in Ohio and Florida, Not in Congress

Salon's Washington Bureau Chief Walter Shapiro has an article out that explains in straight-forward terms why Democrats in Congress can't end the war -- they don't have enough votes to override a veto, and Republicans won't join them in opposing it. Here is the end of the article, the last paragraph of which really jumped out at me:
With Congress slated to adjourn in mid-November, the clock is fast running out on legislative efforts to reshape the war. Symbolic gestures like "sense of the Senate" resolutions and toothless withdrawal plans -- even if they survive a filibuster -- are unlikely to cow the administration, especially next year when Bush has less than a year left in the Oval Office. Democrats in swing districts will be even more reluctant to engage in a scorched-earth battle with the administration over war funding as the congressional elections draw near.

But the date that is most important to keep in mind is Feb. 6, the morning after the Super-Duper Party-Pooper orgy of primaries when both parties are likely to have de facto presidential nominees. The victorious Democrat in particular will want nothing to happen in Congress that could possibly jeopardize winning back the White House. And congressional leaders (along with most back-benchers) will be shrewd enough to understand that electing a Democratic president is the only surefire route to ending this debilitating war.

That is why angry antiwar activists should realize that their targets are no longer skittish congressional Democrats and Beltway insiders who are their counselors in caution. This is not the moment for guerrilla theater and mau-mauing the moderates. For the true struggle on the home front to end the Iraq war is no longer going to be waged in the chambers of Congress. The coming battleground instead is the familiar terrain of Ohio and Florida -- and the hearts and minds of the swing voters who will decide the 2008 election.

OH-5: Grandillo (D) Out, Campbell (D) In

A reader in Wood County informs me that Tiffin University administrator Mike Grandillo (D-Tiffin) has decided against running in the special primary election. However, petitions have been filed by Dr. Earl Campbell (D-Perrysburg), and there are reports that George F. Mays (D-Norwalk) may also file, so it appears that there will be a Democratic primary.

The other Democratic candidate, Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon), has sent out a press release indicating that she filed petitions today with 150 signatures, the maximum allowed, from all across the district.

OH-5: Two New GOP Candidates Declare

There have been four or five potential Republican candidates under discussion in the comment thread to this post, but meanwhile the Toledo Blade has reported that on two new announced candidates, neither of them a familiar name. Michael J. Reynolds (R-Columbus Grove) is a retiree who misspelled the deceased Congressman's name as "Gilmore" in his campaign announcement, and Mike Smitly (R-Van Wert) is a business consultant who is actually a Libertarian.

News and Notes: Ohio

What's going on today in the state whose width (220 miles) is the same as its height (220 miles):

Ohio Farmers Support Strickland's Energy Plan - Reporter Marc Kovac at the terrific Capital Blog reprints this press release from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation announcing its unanimous endorsement:
“Our board believes the governor’s proposal is in the best interest of Ohio’s farmers, households and businesses,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, OFBF executive vice president. He added, “We appreciate Governor Strickland’s willingness to listen to our members’ ideas as he created a plan to address many of the important energy issues that face our state and nation.”

Of immediate concern to Farm Bureau is that Ohio’s electric rate stabilization plan expires at the end of 2008.

Marc notes that hearings on the plan start today.

Assurances Regarding Production at Lordstown Included in UAW/GM Deal? - I haven't been able to track down a link, but I'm certain that I heard on the radio this morning (WCPN in Cleveland) that the tentative deal between the UAW and GM includes some kind of agreement to replace the Kobalt when it goes out of production at Lordstown in a few years. Can anyone confirm this?

Senate Passes Bill to Delay Tamper-Proof Presciption Requirement
- The Columbus Dispatch blog The Daily Briefing reports that last night the U.S. Senate passed a bill cosponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Sen. George Voinovich (R) that would delay full implementation of a new reuirement that Medicaid prescriptions be handled electronically or with tamper-proof prescriptions, an anti-fraud measure with which doctors are not yet ready to comply. If the deadline is not changed, it may "make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to get prescriptions and it will force pharmacists to shoulder the costs for improperly filled prescriptions." A House version of the law introduced by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) will be voted on next.

Ohio GOP Legislative Agenda Outlined - Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch reviews the bills that may join Strickland's energy plan and banning cash-paying video machines on the legislative agenda this fall. Some are things that Strickland opposes, such as restricting the Ohio estate tax (stupidly called the "death tax" by opponents) and special education vouchers.

Brunner to Rule Whether Summit County Independent Candidates Are GOP - As reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today, the Summit County Board of Elections deadlocked on whether six candidates for Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Court clerk can appear on the ballot, and Secretary of State will rule on the matter. The candidates are running as independents, but Republicans took care of the filing paperwork, and it appears that they may be GOP plants jumping into the race in order to take votes away from the incumbent Lisa Zeno Carano (D) in her race against term-limited State Rep. John Widowfield (R). Running as an independent while you are a member of a political party is not allowed under Ohio law.

UPDATE: Ohio Supreme Court Takes Local Gun Law Case - I just caught this story in the Toledo Blade, reporting that the high court will hear a challenge to H.B. 347, which amended the concealed carry law to prohibit local governments from enforcing gun laws any more restrictive than state law. The case involved an ordinance in Clyde, Ohio that prohibits carrying firearms in public parks. The municipality is expected to argue that the law violates the home rule provision in the Ohio constitution.

Beware, the Carnival of Politics is Watching!

The 84th Carnival of Ohio Politics is up, and Pho did a great job with the "1984" theme.

As soon as you are done with your "Two Minutes of Hate," break way from your telescreen and head on over to the Ministry of Truth!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

OH-10: Palmer Says Kucinich and Bush "Like Petulant Children"

Democratic primary challenger Rosemary Palmer (D-Cleveland) lost no time in lambasting Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) for his mystifying vote against extension and expansion of SCHIP health insurance coverage for children:
I was appalled by Congressman Kucinich’s vote against the State Children’s Health Insurance Program on the House floor tonight. This bill would have expanded an already successful program to provide health insurance to millions of children across the country. It takes some twisted logic for someone who claims to support health care coverage for all to oppose this necessary and overdue move in the right direction.

On one hand, President Bush vows to veto the bill, and on the other, Dennis Kucinich votes against it because he doesn’t think it is perfect. This is a perfect example of what is presently wrong with Washington decision-making. Polarizing positions work against functional compromise resulting in a government that cannot serve in the nation’s best interest. While fringe politicians like President Bush and Congressman Kucinich rant like petulant children, the nation remains stagnant and desperately needing effective leadership. Unfortunately, children in Northeast Ohio and around the country will pay the price for their obstinate actions.

4 of 10 Ohio GOP House Members Vote for SCHIP

The House-Senate compromise bill to extend and expand SCHIP (H.R. 976, House Vote #906) passed tonight by a broad bipartisan majority of 265-159, with 45 Republicans voting "Yes" and 8 Democrats voting "No." Unfortunately, that is 24 votes short of the 2/3 majority needed to override the threatened presidential veto.

A substantial majority of Americans, including a majority of Republican voters, support the bill, as do a broad cross-section of trade organizations representing both the health care industry and insurance companies. Nevertheless, touting exaggerated claims that consumers would be driven from private to government insurance, and patently false claims that the bill would allow illegal aliens to obtain government health benefits, the White House and GOP leaders were able to keep enough Republican House members in line to preserve the threat of a presidential veto.

This vote against America's children will help define the 2008 election cycle. Those who opposed the bill will have much to explain to their constituents. In Ohio, the House members who voted "No" include four of the ten voting Republicans (Paul Gillmor being deceased and not yet replaced), and one Democrat -- none other than presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland), who will no doubt say that the bill did not go far enough.

Here is the GOP roll call:

Mike Turner
Dave Hobson
Pat Tiberi
Steve LaTourette
Deborah Pryce
Ralph Regula

Steve Chabot
Jean Schmidt
Jim Jordan
John Boehner

Looking at the "No" votes, Jordan and Boehner are in such safe GOP districts that hey can probably ignore the will of the people with impunity, but Chabot and Schmidt are playing a dangerous game.

News and Notes: Ohio

Some interesting news items from the state whose highest point is Campbell Hill, 1550 feet above sea level:

Space Hosts Conference Call on SCHIP - Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover), Bob Ney's Democratic successor, had a press conference call today to support the compromise bill to extend and expand SCHIP. I was on the call, but David Potts at the excellent blog Left of Ohio has already posted details. Space noted a study that shows that dropping S-CHIP would cost states $2,121 more per child each year due to an increase in emergency room visits. Also, at DailyKos today it is pointed out that although Bush opposes the SCHIP expansion on the ground that it threatens to drive consumers from private to government insurance, the industry trade group Healthcare Leadership Council actually supports SCHIP, as does the Catholic Health Association of America. UPDATE: Here is a excerpt from the call, sent out by Space's office:
When I came to Congress one of the things we were focusing on was trying to make life better for the people we represent. This legislation is an important opportunity for me to cast a vote that will do just that. I think that we have a moral imperative to make sure that children regardless of economic situation have the health care they need so they don’t start their lives on the wrong foot or, God forbid, they run the risk of not ever reaching adulthood.

Passage of this bill means that we’re one step closer to ensuring that, just in Ohio, the existing 145,000 children who are covered will not lose coverage at the end of this month.

One thing that should be noted is that this compromise bill contains no changes in Medicare payments, it is simply about children.

The President has announced his intentions to seemingly veto this legislation once it’s passed. I find that not just disappointing, but disgraceful. He is threatening, through his veto, to eliminate coverage that currently exists now for 6.6 million children. The President’s proposal, which is to invest 5 billion into this program, if that were enacted, would take insurance away from almost a million children that are currently covered, 800,000.

He’s turning our children into a political issue and again I find it both disgusting and unconscionable.
Dann Pressuring Facebook on Child Safety - I received an email last night from Attorney general Marc Dann (D), confirming that he has been investigating Facebook.com:
As I have made clear, those running Web sites that are marketed to children and teen-agers had better do so responsibly. If Web sites put our children at risk, I will pursue every available avenue to stop them.

For the past month, my staff has been investigating the Facebook Web site, culminating in a meeting last week with representatives of Facebook and several attorneys general’s offices [at which I] expressed serious concerns about the current availability of inappropriate material on Facebook, as well as the dangers of sexual predators seeking out children on the site. At the same time, I also expressed my hope that we could work with Facebook to seek creative solutions to protect our children."
Bill Sloat at the Daily Bellwether has more, linking Dann's efforts to those of New York Attorney Andrew General Cuomo (D). The Daily Briefing also has more, including quotes from former blogger Chris Geidner, now Dann's counsel.

Sutton Pans US-Peru FTA - Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley Township) joined five other members of the House Trade Working Group today in criticizing the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement, which follows the same model as NAFTA and CAFTA. The bill is the subject of a non-binding "mock work-up" by the House Ways and Means Committee, but has not had a formal hearing since the White House and Congress announced a deal on labor and environmental standards in May. Said Sutton:
"Everybody knows the global trading system is broken. Last November, my constituents and the American people across the country cast their ballots seeking a new direction on trade. They are counting on this new Congress to fix this broken trading system so that it no longer leaves American workers and businesses at a disadvantage. The American people are counting on this Democratic majority to provide a trade model that will truly allow for fair competition, because we know that if given a fair playing field, we'll excel in the global marketplace. Unfortunately, passing the Peru Free Trade Act is not consistent with our responsibility as a Congress and it is not consistent with the needs of the people who elected us.”
Oh, The Irony: Comparing Chabot and Schmidt Fund-Raising - Howard Wilkinson has a post up at the Cincinnati Enquirer political blog Politics Extra that compares the fund-raising situations of Cincinnati-area House members Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) and Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland). Chabot has no primary opponent and is sitting on a campaign fund of $413,932 (as of June 30th), but he is charging $1,000 per ticket for his fundraising breakfast at the Queen City Club next Monday. Schmidt is facing GOP opposition from Phil Heimlich (and perhaps others) and has only $85,169 in the bank (and $309,126 in debts, both as of June 30th), yet tickets for her Queen City Club fundraising breakfast on Friday are going for only $250.