Friday, March 31, 2006


Republican congressman calls Gold Star Mother, Cindy Sheehan a 'nutcase.' Raw Story has the scoop. Here is an excerpt:

.....In today's CongressDailyAM (full story after the jump due to subscription), Sue Davis reports that Congressman Kingston got into a "discussion" yesterday in a closed-door meeting with two liberal Democrats regarding anti-war beatnik, Cindy Sheehan.

A closed hearing of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee turned contentious Thursday as Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., Subcommittee ranking member Jack Murtha, D-Pa., and others sparred over the meaning of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, heroes and military service.

According to one Democratic source present at the hearing, Kingston commented that Sheehan was "a nutcase" and lamented that too many of the human interest stories coming out of the war in Iraq center on anti-war activists like Sheehan and filmmaker Michael Moore and do not give proper service to heroic tales of U.S. soldiers....

Read the rest of the article. Raw Story has provided an e-mail address for Kingston:

Cautiously Optimistic

A story in The Other Paper, has the results of a recent poll on OH-15. According to the article, which quotes an article in Roll Call, a recent poll shows Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy within three points of Republican incumbent, Deborah Pryce. The Other Paper article is not available online. For those in Columbus Ohio, the article is on page 9 of the March 30th-April 5th edition of The Other Paper.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Aides to U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce have blamed an incorrectly addressed letter for delays in federal help to cover the costly response to central Ohio’s 2004 highway shootings.

But someone in her office knew Franklin County made a request as early as May 2004 for Justice Department grants to cover about $700,000 in sheriff’s department overtime, county e-mails show....

...County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, who is challenging Pryce in the Nov. 7 election, said the seven-term Republican fumbled a chance to deliver for her district...

"It’s the taxpayers here who are paying for it," said Kilroy, a Democrat. "Franklin County taxpayers are picking up expenses that could have been reim- bursed and should have been reimbursed."

The arrest of Charles A. McCoy Jr. in March 2004 ended a string of shootings along central Ohio highways. McCoy is now serving 27 years in prison...

Why can't Pryce help her district? It appears that Pryce just can't deliver anything for her district: no reimbursement, no jobs, no new industries ---absolutely nothing.

FYI: I am NOT a paid blogger for anyone opposing Pryce. I pay for my own internet service. I am just an ordinary, life long Democrat who lives in OH-15.

...............................................................This just in.......

Found at MyDD
Matt Stoller has the following information:
According to Zogby, Sherrod Brown has taken the lead.

U.S. Senate - Ohio
Sherrod Brown 45.9% (41.3%)
Mike DeWine 37% (37%)

This contrasts with February's Rasmussen poll, where Dewine was up 46-37. It also doesn't square with Dewine's SUSA uptick over the past month

(We need to think positive about this, folks. Thanks, Matt.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

For the Record

According to an article this morning at Raw Story, Rep. Nancy Pelosi introduced a resolution for an investigation of Congress and its ties to Jack Abramoff. The Republicans voted to table the resolution. There will be NO investigation in the House on the Abramoff scandal thanks to Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce and a large majority of the Republicans. Here is the Washington Post link to the recorded vote (Thanks, Jim). The Republicans voted "YES" to table the resolution. Deborah Pryce can talk about reform, but she follows the orders of DeLay, Hastert, Boehner, Ney, and the rest of the Republican Do Nothings.

Pryce Blames Democrats for Her Party's Failures

The Hotline has some news about Ohio politics. The most important information was about Democratic candidate for OH-15, Mary Jo Kilroy. Here is an excerpt:
Franklin Co. Commis. Mary Jo Kilroy (D): "A rock-star," she's running against Rep. Deborah Pryce (R) in OH 15. After being "recruited heavily" by the DCCC, she's raising good money.

Way to go, Mary Jo!!!

From News Hounds, a quote from Pryce: Deborah Pryce (Clip):
We know that they're the party that has decimated our intelligence and our military. They're the party that voted against the Patriot Act.

Now wait a minute!

How did Democrats decimate our intelligence and military? Wasn't it the current administration that fired some translators because they were gay? Isn't that why the government has stacks and stacks of materials that haven't been translated even though they're relevant to the 'global war on terror?' Except for Bosnia, the Clinton administration enjoyed peace. When Clinton was in the White House, it was unnecessary to build the military industrial complex with unbid contracts like those given to Halliburton and KBR during this administration.

9/11 happened during the BUSH ADMINISTRATION!!!!! Remember the PDB's that warned that Bin Laden was determined to attack the U.S.? Those PDB warnings were given to George W. Bush, but he remained on vacation. Don't blame the Democrats for the lack of progress made by President Bush and the Republican Congress. Republicans control what legislation makes it to the floor for votes. Republicans are more interested in hanging out/traveling/partying with lobbyists, having a registered lobbyist work in her office (like Pryce), and/or having former employees go to lobbying firms (Pryce). Republicans are not interested in getting Americans back to work or rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

Immigration and Talking Points

>Where does Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce stand on immigration reform? Pryce has been known to make strong statements and then follow the party line on legislation. The Washington Times has this quote from Pryce: "The American people see it as a clear imperative," said House Republican ConferenceChairman Deborah Pryce of Ohio. "They're demanding that action be taken, and I don't think we have any choice but to get a bill to the president's desk."

Okay. What does she mean? What will she do? Will she follow Hastert, DeLay, Boehner, and/or Tancredo? Will she ask her constituents? Does she realize that many immigrants are filling jobs here in central Ohio that citizens do not want to do (roofing, construction, landscaping, etc.)? Will she support humane and fair immigration policies or will she support the Tancredos of her party?

>Ken Mehlman recently received a memo from Republican pollster, Jan van Lohuizen. Here are some of the highlights (?) of the memo as reported by Hotline:
(I'm summarizing here)--Republican candidates should not distance themselves from the President. Republicans must run as a unified part to get voter turnout. and....quoting....The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans.

How many of these memo highlights will Pryce follow? Does she consider herself a 'brand W Republican'?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Falafel Boy Attacks Ohio Judge

Bill O'Reilly, pompous right-wing, sexual harasser, has been attacking an Ohio judge. O'Reilly, who wants us to forget that he wanted to use a falafel on an employee's body, is trying to oust an Ohio judge for a sentence given in Franklin County, Ohio. O'Reilly doesn't know what he is talking about with this case. The sentence was part of a plea agreement and was approved by the Republican County Prosecutor, Ron O'Brien.

The Other Paper had an article and here are some excerpts:

...But both Selva's lawyer and the prosecutor from the case agree: Judge Connor was unfairly targeted by the public and politicians...
Ron Welch, the Franklin County prosecutor who negotiated Selva's plea deal said he disagreed with Connor's ruling but feels the criticism heaped upon the judge is unwarranted...
...A common source of public outrage has been the oft-reported yet erroneous notion that Connor could have given Selva a maximum of 10 years in the pokey. Since he was a first-time offender, Selva could only have received the minimum prison term, which is just one year....

There is another article in the same paper and here are some excerpts:

...O'Reilly didn't just want to raise hell. He wanted Connor, who has been elected and re-elected to the bench, impeached.

"This guy is dangerous, this judge," O'Reilly said during Monday's broadcast. "And you get him just like Al Capone. You get him the way you can get him."

Of course, O'Reilly didn't know what he was talking about—the background of the case, the record of other judges in comparable cases, electoral democracy—but it's not his job to know what he's talking about. There's nothing wrong with celebrity entertainers like O'Reilly or Eminem or Triumph the Insult Comic Dog making ridiculous comments....

....Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, a Republican, had agreed to a plea bargain for Selva, didn't formally request a tougher sentence and didn't object to the one Connor handed down.

O'Brien is popular with the state GOP, and lawmakers knew they were going to have a tough time demonizing Connor while letting the prosecutor off the hook....

And a recent poll in the Columbus Dispatch: Here

Too Cozy for Comfort

Here we go again....
Yet another former staff member of Deborah Pryce's has landed a job with a lobbying firm. The Hill is reporting the following news:

Andrew Shore, a three-year veteran of the office of House GOP Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), has landed at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw. Shore, who spent nine months as Pryce’s chief of staff before leaving just after last month’s House leadership election, has also worked under former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer (R-Texas) and former Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill.).

This news follows the recent hiring of Rachel Robinson by Pryce. Rachel Robinson, a registered lobbyist, serves as Pryce's chief of staff. There is more information on Robinson here .

Kathryn Lehman, another former chief of staff for Pryce, left Pryce to go to a lobbying firm in May 2005 (The Hill).

How much influence do these former staff members exert over Pryce with their new found power as lobbyists?
How much influence does Rachel Robinson, registered lobbyist, have in legislation that comes out of Pryce's office? Isn't this all just a little too, too cozy? Is it reasonable to assume that Pryce's views have been swayed by her relationships with these former/current staff members? Do their invitations, requests, phone calls get answered first? I'm just asking.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Ohio Unemployment Rates Released :(

You know when Republicans say that the economy is doing well, they aren't talking about Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has just released the unemployment rates for February 2006.

Here are some highlights from the news release:
Ohio's unemployment rate for February 2006: 5.3%
U.S. unemployment for February 2006: 4.8%

Nine counties had unemployment rates above 9.0 percent during February. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe (13.9), were: Pike, 11.0; Morgan, 10.7; Meigs, 10.5; Vinton, 9.9; Adams, 9.6; Huron, 9.5; and Ottawa and Perry, 9.4 percent.

From the Table of county unemployment rates.
Franklin County (represented by Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce): 5.2% (was 5.0 in Jan.'06)
Columbus, Ohio 5.2% (was 5.0 in Jan.'06)

In my opinion, Ohioans should address Pryce, Tiberi and the rest of the Republicans by quoting an old Janet Jackson song:

What have you done for me lately

Ooh ooh ooh yeah

What have you done for me lately

Ooh ooh ooh yeah

( Sorry, I had to put in the Ooh's and yeahs!)

****In conclusion, we need to examine what the Republicans have given us since they've taken control of the federal and state governments:
1. Ohio Republican scandals: Taft, Noe, Ney, money lost from Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, pay-to-play in state contracts, Diebold voting machines,
2. An unnecessary war in Iraq
3. 2323 American service members dead in Iraq; nearly 17,000 American wounded
4. Loss of manufacturing jobs in Ohio
5. Lack of new jobs/industries in Ohio
6. More Ohioans have lost health insurance
7. School funding still not solved by the Republican controlled state government
8. The Ohio Republican party being run by Rod Parsley and Kenneth Blackwell and the extremists in the party
9. Jean Schmidt's attack on Marines
10. The UNFUNDED federal mandate of No Child Left Behind
11. Unprecedented profits of the oil companies, Halliburton, KBR, and other corporations in a time of war
12. Bin Laden is still alive
13. John Bolton at the U.N. doing a fine job of making enemies
14. more...

You remember The Lima Company---Washington Post: A Marine Reserve company that was known as "Lucky Lima" before suffering heavy casualties in May was hit Wednesday by the deadliest roadside bombing of the Iraq war, a massive explosion that killed 14 Marines and the unit's Iraqi interpreter, according to witnesses and military spokesmen....

Now the Lima Company might be sent to Africa, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Good Democrats Need Our Help

Jean Herendeen is running as a Democrat for Ohio's 21st House District. Jean has been collecting endorsements and meeting voters. Be sure to visit her website and contribute to her campaign.

Democrat Richard Cordray is seeking to fill the office of Ohio Treasurer. Cordray is known as being a great guy and a superb leader. Stop over and pitch in to help him in his election.

Joe Sulzer is the Democrat running against Republican Bob Ney. Sulzer currently serves as the Mayor of Chillicothe, Ohio. Joe wants to bring honesty and integrity back to Ohio's 18th district. Offer him your support.

More Republican Problems????

Today's Columbus Dispatch has an article that indicates that Ohio Republicans are starting to abandon their support of the President. (My opinion---What took you so long????) One part of the article says that Republicans Pryce and Tiberi openly questioned the Dubai port deal.
BOTH PRYCE AND TIBERI VOTED AGAINST INCREASED PORT SECURITY ( Despite what Pryce and Tiberi may say to the media, when it comes down to it, they vote the way Bush, Rove, Hastert, and Boehner dictate. Don't forget that!

It appears as though the nation is getting tired of the Republican controlled Congress. TIME has the results of a new poll. Here is an excerpt:
TIME's latest poll finds American voters heading into November's election dissatisfied with the Republican-dominated status quo, but not necessarily convinced that the answer lies in voting Democratic. The poll, conducted March 22-23, finds Americans unhappy with the performance of the Republican-controlled Congress — 39% approve, versus 49% who disapprove — and gives Democrats a 9-point lead when voters are asked to state which party's candidate they would choose for a House of Representatives seat (50% answered Democrat, 41% chose Republican). Voters favor Democratic control of Congress by 49% compared with 38% for Republican control....

Looks like the nice folks at Kaiser Permanente are dumping poor elderly patients outside a shelter in L.A. There is even a videotape showing one of the events. Apparently, a large number of these poor disoriented patients have been brought to the streets outside the shelter and left there. There is more information here. (I guess this is an example of what happens to the poor with the Republicans in charge.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Trouble for Pryce?

I've been looking at Open Secrets and I've discovered something very interesting. Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce has only raised $3,300 from Worthington (43085), and $6,450 from Arlington (43220).
(Deborah Pryce lives in Arlington). This might not seem like a big deal, but it is definitely something to examine. Many of the contributions that Pryce received in 2005 were from people with big corporate ties.

Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy is running against Pryce. Kilroy has raised $6,800 from Worthington (43085) and $5,150 from Arlington (43220). Is it possible that the Progressive movement in Arlington has really moved from the grassroots to more mainstream? I've heard that the Worthington Democrats are bringing in new members all the time. Is Pryce really losing support in her district? Everyone I've spoken with has been just disgusted with the direction of the Republican controlled Congress. Will people be willing to vote for change in November?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kilroy's Plans

Mary Jo Kilroy, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress (OH-15), is getting her message out there to central Ohioans. Kilroy is running against the most powerful woman in Congress, Deborah Pryce, and Kilroy has no fear about the campaign. Mary Jo is tough and smart. She knows that Ohioans are sick of the Republican corruption and they are ready for new representation. For further news about OH-15 and Mary Jo Kilroy, see a recent article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Pryce Votes Against Increased Port Security

It is absolutely amazing! Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce VOTED AGAINST INCREASED PORT SECURITY. What was she thinking? Doesn't she care about our nation's security?

Yesterday, an amendment put forth by Rep. Sabo for increased port security, was defeated by a narrow margin (AYES 208 NOES 210). Pryce voted against the amendment! Why? Is she afraid to vote for any amendment written by a Democrat? A majority of the people in Ohio's 15th congressional district support increased port security, but Pryce would rather blindly follow Ney, Boehner, and DeLay. Why won't Pryce listen to her constituents? No matter what she says, there is no way for Pryce to justify her vote against this important amendment. The bottom line is--DEBORAH PRYCE VOTED AGAINST INCREASED PORT SECURITY.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Problems Ahead

*Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce has become a cheerleader for Bush's senior drug plan. However, there are problems ahead. We need to watch what Pryce says when people start experiencing gaps in their coverages. USA Today has the story:
Seniors and disabled Americans enrolled in Medicare's new prescription-drug program face more coverage disruptions in two weeks, state officials, doctors and pharmacists warn.
A special 90-day transition period, set by Medicare to prevent beneficiaries from losing any drug coverage, ends April 1. Private insurance plans can then stop covering drugs they don't usually pay for. Most of the 36 states that stepped in on an emergency basis to help low-income beneficiaries also will stop paying....

*Do you need an example of the compassionate conservative in Bush? According to
President Bush rejected extending the deadline to sign up for a new Medicare prescription drug benefit, as some lawmakers want, even though the program has caused confusion among enrollees.....

**Apparently there have been some heated exchanges between Republican leadership members, Dennis Hastert and John Boehner. Looks like there are some cracks in the Republican leadership. The Hill has the story. Here are some excerpts:

During an elected-leadership meeting a few weeks ago, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) erupted at Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) because he thought the newly elected majority leader was dragging his feet on lobbying reform.

Hastert was frustrated that other members did not grasp the importance of the political problem they face on this issue after the guilty plea of former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Boehner was sitting next to Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), whom he had recently beaten to become leader. He glanced at Blunt and told the Speaker matter-of-factly that lobbying reform is one of the major reasons he was sitting in that room, according to a source who attended the meeting.

That exchange is just one incident in GOP leaders’ almost-three-month tug of war over lobbying reform...

**Bill O'Reilly and the extreme right are attacking judges again. The Columbus Dispatch has the story:

Three months after sentencing a sex offender to probation rather than prison, Franklin County Judge John A. Connor yesterday found himself in the crosshairs of Ohio politicians calling for his impeachment and a national commentator who labeled him "the worst judge in America."

Connor, a soft-spoken Democratic Common Pleas Court judge, was roundly lambasted by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, Attorney General Jim Petro, House Speaker Jon A. Husted and top-rated Fox television commentator Bill O’Reilly for sentencing a convicted sex offender to five years of probation instead of prison....

...Connor was unmoved.

"I made the best decision I could with the facts I had," he said in an interview yesterday as elected officials issued increasingly pointed statements calling for his ouster.

"I haven’t violated any laws. I haven’t violated my oath of office."

Last December, Connor sentenced 46-year-old Andrew S. Selva to five years of probation under intensive sex-offender supervision, including one year of home confinement with electronic monitoring....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pryce Ready to Do PR

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) plans to spend some time doing public relations for President Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. The plan is very unpopular with seniors and pharmacists because of its complexity and loopholes. Instead of Pryce wasting her breath talking about the plan, she and her staff should help seniors sign up for the plan. That would be more useful than her talk.

Here is some information about Pryce's plans as revealed in the Kaiser Network site: House Republican Conference Chair Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) is urging Republican lawmakers to hold events to promote the drug benefit during the two-week congressional recess in April, Roll Call reports. Later this week, the conference will hold a "best practices" seminar to discuss the most effective ways to run Medicare events and an event planning session for legislative aides. Next week, the conference will distribute enrollment data on the drug benefit, and on March 28, conference members will begin taping public service announcements to air in their districts as the May 15 enrollment deadline nears (Roll Call, 3/15).

Click on this cartoon to reveal the truth about Bush's drug plan.

Strange Ohio Politics

These Republicans don't even hide their relationships with lobbyists. From The Hill: Barbour Griffith & Rogers has scored a prize K Street catch in new vice president Shalla Ross, who comes from the policy director’s post at the House Republican Conference. Ross also served as staff director for the House Rules subcommittee of conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), as legislative director for former Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill.) and as a legislative aide in the office of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).

Republican fundraiser, Tom "coingate" Noe, has had his trial date set for July 24th. The Toledo Blade has the dirty details.

Republican candidate for governor, Kenneth Blackwell, went to northeastern Ohio to win some supporters. However, the voters in that region of Ohio have a long memory about how Blackwell screwed with their votes in the last presidential elections. News Net 5 has the story.

We all know that the President' approval rating is at 36%. Now we even know the approval rating of Republican Rep. John Boehner, the Republican House Majority Whip. From PR Newswire:
Also measured for the first time was new Republican House Majority
Leader John Boehner who starts with a job approval of 23 percent positive and 50 percent negative. (Wooo hooo!)

More on Boehner....From the Toledo Blade: It seems that Rep. John Boehner has taken a number of trips out of his district to places which, coincidentally, have major golf courses. (Does this guy even work? Do you think he pays for his tee times?) Here is an excerpt from the article:
... Mr. Boehner, successor in the GOP leadership to ethics-challenged Texan Tom DeLay, is perhaps best known as the recipient of a golf junket to the storied St. Andrews links course in Scotland, paid for by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose corrupt exploits set off the current ethics debate.
Depending on what source you believe, Mr. Boehner did - or did not - know that he was traveling illegally on Mr. Abramoff's dime to Scotland. But the story doesn't end there.
According to a nonprofit group called Campaign for a Cleaner Congress, records show that Mr. Boehner took 180 trips to destinations outside his southwest Ohio district from 1999 to 2005. Most of them were to exclusive golf resorts, including - yes - St. Andrews, Pebble Beach in California, and Pinehurst in North Carolina...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


While Republican candidates for governor, Kenneth Blackwell and Jim Petro, throw mud at each other, the Democratic candidate is hard at work getting ready to lead Ohio. Ted Strickland, Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, has a proposal to end the digital divide Ohio. Here is an excerpt from the article in The Plain Dealer:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland proposed Monday to connect Ohio's poorest communities to the Internet by increasing use of existing high-speed fiber-optic lines that crisscross the state but remain largely "dark," or unused.

His proposal, dubbed the "Ohio NextGen Network," would increase access to the high-speed Internet network owned by Ohio's research universities, which use only a small fraction of the network's capacity to transmit information....

Ted Strickland supports steelworkers.

Ohioans have to ask themselves-- Isn't it time for change? Isn't time to get rid of the Republican culture of corruption in Ohio?

Monday, March 13, 2006


Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce was spotted at a Dave Alvin concert in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend. Instead of enjoying the music, she could have spent some time signing up seniors for the medicare prescription drug plan that she loves sooooooo much.

Speaking of the medicare prescription drug plan, there are plenty of complaints out there. Some of the complaints are showing up on the AARP message boards. A word of caution about the AARP message boards: Seeing as how this administration has paid journalists for positive stories, I think it is possible that some of the extremely positive comments are suspicious. There are indications that some seniors are already unhappy with their coverage because they feel the insurance company reps. lied to them and lawsuits are pending. There is even a blog about medicare here.

From the Columbus Dispatch today: Women in Ohio are having difficulty getting emergency contraception because of some pharmacists are letting their religious beliefs get in the way. Rep. Keith Faber, a Mercer County Republican has this crazy idea---....As written, the bill says, "No person is required to perform or participate in medical procedures or distribution of any medication which will or may result in abortion or termination of life."

Why do these Republicans feel the need to control our uteruses? Why can't pharmacists do their jobs? Pharmacists should fill the prescriptions as written or quit their jobs!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What about central Ohio?

>>The recent job numbers show that there have been some new jobs, but the jobs are in the low-paying areas that are at minimum wage (or lower for waitresses) and without health insurance (Wal-Mart). However, new jobs, new businesses, and better prospects seem to be everywhere else but central Ohio. That doesn't stop Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce from doing cartwheels about the new job numbers. Here is a quote from Pryce in the LA Times: "If there were an Oscar for the strongest economic policy, I think we'd be a contender," Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio said in a conference call of House Republican leaders with reporters.

What Pryce fails to remember is that
(1.) job growth was the highest during the Clinton administration,
(2.) 200,000 Ohioans have lost health insurance since Bush took office,
(3.) she represents central Ohio (Dublin, Worthington, Upper Arlington, and parts of the Columbus metropolitan area) and the new jobs aren't happening here.

>>Joe Sulzer, Democratic candidate for OH-18, is attracting a lot of good attention these days. It seems that people in the 18th district are getting tired of the Bob Ney scandal stories, especially those published in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. The Vanity Fair article shows that Ney, and others (Mehlman, Newt, Bush, DeLay, Armey, Burns, Norton, Hayworth, Hastert, Doolittle, etc.), liked it when Jack Abramoff was buying their Sushi, fine food, and tickets to sporting events, but now amnesia has set in. I hope all the recently discovered photos help them remember Abramoff.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Another Port Story

IF the Republicans were doing oversight, then the whole Dubai port deal stuff would not have happened. They would have known about it. However, Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) seemed to blame the White House in this quote from the News Observer: "The administration made this plan and then popped it at all of us," House Republican Conference Chairman Deborah Pryce of Ohio fumed.

I heard this on Al Franken today: The Carlisle Group was the agent for the Dubai Port deal and would have gotten $104 million dollars at the signing. (FYI: The Carlisle Group has close business ties with former Prez. George H.W. Bush). Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Once again this proves that with the Bush Family, money wins over national security.


Last night I read the Abramoff article in Vanity Fair. A news release details some of the information contained in the article. Abramoff reveals a lot of details about the movers and shakers of the Republican Party. Republican Rep. Bob Ney was a "fixer" for Abramoff and a "sushiholic." I wonder how Ney's constituents in St. Clairsville, New Philadelphia, Chillicothe, Jacksonson, and Zanesville feel about their sushi-eating congressman. While he is eating sushi and golfing, the people in Ney's district are trying to put food on the table and pay high energy/gasoline costs.

* There are plenty of nervous nellies in the GOP. Here is an excerpt from an article in the Frankfort Times:

...With the continued bad news from Iraq, that makes Republican lawmakers extremely nervous.
An AP-Ipsos poll conducted this week showed Bush's approval rating at 37
percent. The same poll showed approval for the GOP-led Congress at just 31 percent.
Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed said the nation was on the wrong track, a 6-point jump since last month...

By the way, if you are interested in some real propaganda, you need to visit Kenneth Blackwell's website. It is bizarro. Hasn't he been part of the Republican control of the state government for the last umpteen years? The man has been an elected official and now he is distancing himself from the Ohio government and corruption he helped to create. (After viewing the site, you may actually think he is running for some religious office.)

Consumers in the rest of the country are catching up to Ohioans with consumer confidence dropping.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Bob and John Corruption Show

*Leaky, leaky, leaky. Yep, folks, the new Vanity Fair is coming out and there have been leaks about the contents. It has an interview with Jack Abramoff and he is naming names. Besides the usual Abramoff homeboys (W, DeLay, Newt, Conrad Burns), there is a little mention of Ohio's favorite Scotland golfing congressman--Bob Ney. Here is something from MyDD---
...Today the advanced copy of the Abramoff article in the April issue of Vanity Fair was released and has since spread like wildfire.
The article states, "The most obvious target is Ney. In their heyday, he and Abramoff played golf together, traveled together, philosophized together. Ney was one of the few elected officials Abramoff invited to the Bar Mitzvah of one of his three sons..."

*Rep. John Boehner is receiving plenty of criticism for his travels. According to the Journal News:
...The Campaign for a Cleaner Congress said Boehner, R-West Chester Township, went back to the district 149 times between January 1999 and September 2005, compared with 180 trips outside his district, including to Rome; Boca Raton, Fla.; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Pebble Beach, Calif...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What will Pryce do?

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is in a tough place. Her constituents are calling her office voicing their opposition to the Dubai port deal. However, Pryce, known to be a Bush follower and good friend of Tom DeLay, will need to decide where she stands---with Bush or with her constituents. Right now she is doing a lot of posturing and she isn't giving away how she'd vote. The Hill has the details.

I'd like to suggest that everyone (Upper Arlington, Dublin, Columbus, Worthington) in the 15th district, call Pryce's local office (614) 469-5614 and give her your 2 cents on the Dubai Port and anything else on your mind.

Mean Jean Schmidt: Lies Again

*Do you remember when Republican Rep. Mean Jean Schmidt (OH-2) attacked decorated Marine and Rep. John Murtha? Schmidt has gotten creative with the truth--again.
The Hill reports: The office of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) yesterday afternoon removed a claim on her website that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) had endorsed her after Tancredo’s office said it was not true...
And this.....

Cincinnati Enquirer: Rep. Jean Schmidt's campaign Web site lists several political endorsements, including one from fellow Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood.
There's only one problem.

Chabot says he didn't endorse Schmidt, who faces a primary challenge May 2 from Republican Bob McEwen, a former congressman from southern Ohio....

******Do you get the feeling that Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Mean Jean?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Under Their Skin

I must be writing some items that are really getting under the skins of Ohio Republicans and Republican members of Congress (one in particular). Everyday I check to see who has visited this site and I always find the Ohio GOP and the U.S. House of Representatives among the list of visitors. Are they worried? I don't know. Do I care? No. I am just a baby boomer who lives in Ohio's 15th congressional district who is telling the truth about how the Republicans have created a mess in Ohio and in our nation.

Ohio's Unemployment Rate-No good news

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has finally released the unemployment rates for---January '06. Perhaps the extra week gave them a chance to tweek the numbers. Here are some noteworthy points:

Seasonally adjusted: Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in January, down from 5.9 percent in December, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio's nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 14,400 over the month, from 5,445,700 in December, to 5,431,300 in January....

Ten counties had unemployment rates at or above 9.0 percent during January. The counties with the highest rates, other than Monroe (which was 15.9%), were: Pike, 11.1; Morgan, 10.8; Meigs, 10.3; Ottawa, 10.0; Adams, 9.8; Vinton, 9.7, Huron, 9.5; Perry, 9.2; and Muskingum, 9.0 percent....

I don't think that this shows any good news. Ten of Ohio's 88 counties had unemployment at or below 5.0% This means that 78 counties had unemployment rates at 5.1% or higher. Franklin County, which is in Deborah Pryce's 15th district, had an unemployment rate of 5.0% (up from 4.8% from the previous month). If there has been an improvement in jobs and the economy in other states, it isn't happening here.

People in the 15th district are also under employed. Many recent college graduates have had trouble getting jobs here. Young men and women with four year degrees are working as file clerks, cashiers, sales clerks, waitresses, and other jobs which do not require college degrees. Why?

Our corrupt Republican government can't attract businesses to Ohio and Deborah Pryce has done nothing to bring jobs to her home district. The 15th district is located just north of one of the largest colleges in the U.S. (The Ohio State University). You'd think that with such a high number of college educated people in central Ohio that companies would want to locate here. However, without real leadership, nothing gets done.

We have Republican elected officials who are more interested in filling up their campaign chests and jetting off on the private jets of lobbyists than helping their constituents get good paying jobs.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Good News and Bad News

Good News! The Ohio State Buckeyes are Big Ten Champs!!! Go Bucks! Stories from the Tolelo Blade and the Columbus Dispatch. Here is an excerpt from the Dispatch: ...The victory gives Ohio State Big Ten championships in men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football in the same school year — a conference first....

BAD NEWS: Lobbying Reform News???? No! Are you kidding? The Republicans won't make any dramatic changes to contributions made by lobbyists.

The LA Times has an article that indicates that Republican lawmakers can talk about lobbyist reforms but they have few plans for reform. Republicans have become addicted to the money from lobbyists. Here is an excerpt from the LA Times:
...Figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that studies political fundraising, illustrate the growing importance of lobbyists in producing donations.

The group found that lobbyists' contributions to 2004 congressional candidates totaled $22 million — nearly five times as much as a decade earlier. And that figure does not include the substantial amounts that lobbyists persuaded others to give.

Many lawmakers and their aides say they see nothing wrong with relying heavily on lobbyists for fundraising help, so long as contributions are disclosed.

"From the beginning of the Republic, lawmakers have interacted with people who lobby," said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), a member of the House GOP leadership. "Either you abide by the law [regulating such relationships] or you don't..."

Why does Pryce have so many fundraisers that are purely for lobbyists? Is she addicted to the money and perks provided by moneyed lobbyists? According to Open Secrets, Pryce gets only 31.5% of her contributions from individuals, and 67.3% comes from PACs.

Really Bad News-----We now know where Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) stands on the Dubai Ports question: We would call her stand a sell-out. Shame!


KILROY: “Congress must have the opportunity to vote on the Dubai port deal.
Pryce’s vote to block an up or down vote defies common sense.”

(Columbus, Ohio)- Franklin County Commissioner and Democratic Congressional Candidate Mary Jo Kilroy assailed Deborah Pryce’s vote last Thursday to block Democratic efforts to require a vote on a plan mandating a Congressional up or down vote on the sale of American port operations to Dubai Ports World following a forty-five day review.

“Congress must have the opportunity to vote on the Bush administration's plan to outsource the management of our nation’s ports to the government of Dubai,” Kilroy said. “Deborah Pryce claims she favors requiring such a vote, but the first chance she got to weigh in on guaranteeing a Congressional vote on the deal, she voted against it. Ohioans send their Congressmen and women to Washington to provide leadership and to represent their views. But when it comes to protecting our ports, Pryce doesn’t even want to require a Congressional vote, so that there is no official record of what her point of view is...”

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Additional Investigations

It seems as though every two days there is another story about the mess at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The Ohio BWC allowed Tom "coingate" Noe and others to invest state money because of their ties to the Ohio Republican Party. Sunday's article indicates that further investigations are being conducted as to the possibility of kickbacks. Here is an excerpt from the Columbus Dispatch:

A handwritten list directing that state money go to select brokers is a key element of a probe into whether top officials at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation got favors for steering agency investment business.

The list, which came from Terrence W. Gasper when he was chief financial officer for the bureau, specified how much each firm was to receive in commissions for stock trades, sources familiar with the federal grand jury investigation in Cleveland told The Dispatch.

A former bureau investment official who testified before the grand jury also suggested that Thomas W. Noe wouldn’t have received $50 million from the bureau to invest in rare coins if it weren’t "pushed from above..."

Who do you think that could have been?

Friday, March 03, 2006

No Doubt About It--Republicans Have Ruined Everything

There is no doubt about it-----the Ohio Republicans have corrupted everything they've touched. This is like a reverse of the Midas Touch. In this case, every agency, office, department touched by the Ohio Republicans has been ruined because of cronyism, mismanagement, and bribery. The Ohio GOP has control of every major state office, both parts of the state legislature, and every state agency/department.

This morning, the Toledo Blade revealed yet another investigation going on in the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Here is part of the article from today's paper:
The law-enforcement task force investigating Tom Noe is conducting a far broader probe of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, having interviewed hundreds of witnesses in what could result in a series of public corruption cases.

Investigators have uncovered other, previously undisclosed questionable deals with a variety of companies and people who invested money for the state agency.

Yesterday, Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates — a member of the task force — said she would not confirm any specifics of the group’s work.

“There is a wide web of possible criminal involvement that needs to be scrupulously and meticulously investigated, analyzed, and explored,” Ms. Bates said.

“Their job is far from over.”

Documents released last week in Columbus as part of the investigative reports leading to the conviction of two former aides to Gov. Bob Taft revealed allegations about Terrence Gasper, former chief financial officer of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

One of the former Taft aides, Doug Moormann, said in a sworn statement that he had been told that Mr. Gasper had vacationed at Mr. Noe’s home in the Florida Keys. Mr. Gasper made key decisions regarding the agency’s $50 million investment in Mr. Noe’s rare-coin funds and in a failed $215 million investment in an off-shore hedge fund.

Law enforcement sources confirmed they are looking into allegations that Mr. Gasper spent time at one of the waterfront homes that Mr. Noe owned in the Keys.....

We have another fascinating story out of Delaware County, Ohio. The Dispatch tells the events of how Susan Hollenbach was wrongly fired by Republican, David Yost. Here is an excerpt:

The conflict began in 2003 when Hollenbach refused to use $40,000 in federal and state grant money to pay the salaries of assistant prosecutors who no longer handled child-support cases, she said.

"She didn’t want to sign the checks," said Hollenbach’s attorney, Fred Gittes. Yost "ordered her to sign the checks."

Tensions continued even after the Child Support Enforcement Agency became free-standing under the county administrator, she said.

After a Nov. 10, 2003, private meeting with Yost, commissioners put Hollenbach on paid administrative leave. Also that week, Sheriff Al Myers opened a theft-in-office investigation at Yost’s request and a local judge appointed a special prosecutor to assist.

On Feb. 12, 2004, commissioners fired Hollenbach. At the time, they said they made the decision because of uncertainty about how long the investigation would last.

An audit by Ohio Auditor Betty D. Montgomery’s office later showed that Hollenbach managed the agency’s finances within the law....

Ann Fisher also has a commentary about how Hollenbach was mistreated and Delaware County's David Yost abused his power. Hollenbach won and settled out of court, but Delaware County is still stuck with Yost.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Pryce: Until the Job is Done

How long will we stay in Iraq?
The Napa Valley Register has some views:
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, introduced a resolution Tuesday calling for the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq....

...It's unclear how far Thompson's resolution will go in a Congress controlled by Republican officials who do not support a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.

In December, House Republican Conference Chairman Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, said, "We will stay until the job is done."

As constituents of Deborah Pryce, we should ask her when we will know when the job is done. What are the signs or indications that will be evident? How will we get our troops out? Will it take one year, two, three or more years? Is she waiting for Bush to come up with an exit strategy?

Here is a little tidbit from The Hill about the political climate in Ohio:
..It also points to problems for Republicans in Ohio, where the GOP is in a shambles, Gov. Bob Taft (R) is one of the most unpopular governors in the country and Sen. Mike DeWine (R) is fighting a tough battle for a third term...

The people of Ohio are tired of these Republican scandals, trials, and bribes. We need a change.
When will there be an investigation of the bribes and stuff going on inside the Ohio Dept. of Transportation on West Broad Street in Columbus? There are some political shenanigans going on there.
Update! This morning's Columbus Dispatch is reporting yet another ugly, unethical political move. This time Attorney General Jim Petro, a Republican candidate for Ohio governor, is in hot water on his e-mails that make colleges drop law firms that supported a previous opponent. Here is an excerpt:

....Shortly after taking office in early 2003, Petro told the University of Akron and Kent State University to stop using many lawyers who had represented the schools under Petro’s predecessor, Betty D. Montgomery, according to e-mails released Monday by the University of Akron board. The Dispatch and other media had requested the material last month.

Petro also reassigned several outside lawyers who worked for Youngstown State University...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Trying to Sell the War

Some Bush supporters are working on a public relations campaign to sell the war to Americans. I think it will be a difficult sell, but that is only my opinion. In Ohio, we have had 106 of our men and women killed in Iraq, and support for the war in Iraq is waning among Ohioans.

The Chicago Tribune has an article about the new pro-war ads. The public relations program is headed by Stuart Roy, a former aid to Tom DeLay (need I say more?????):
In an early sign of the imagery that may flood the nation's television screens as congressional elections approach this fall, a conservative political group closely aligned with the Bush administration has launched a blitz of television ads to shore up sagging public support for the war in Iraq...

On the left and right, so-called 527 groups, named after the section of the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes them, have emerged as a loosely regulated preferred alternative to channel cash into political activity. Progress for America is among the most prominent of such groups on the conservative side while is among the best known of the liberal groups.

Progress for America's activities have closely tracked the White House's political agenda. The group spent more than $35 million in support of President Bush during the 2004 campaign....

If you see any of this ads, remember the source.