Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Beginnings in Columbus

Ohioans are very excited about the new governor, Ted Strickland. Many events are planned, including celebrations and performances. According to the Dispatch -----

....Strickland, who will be officially sworn in shortly after midnight Jan. 8, will ceremonially take the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, around noon Jan. 13 on the Statehouse lawn. Lt. Gov.-elect Lee Fisher will be sworn in by his father, Stanley.

After Strickland’s inaugural address, he and Fisher and their wives will greet the public in the Statehouse Atrium. A public reception showcasing Ohio’s artistic talent will take place at 2 p.m. at the Palace Theatre.

The inaugural ball, beginning at 8 p.m. and costing $75 per person, will be held in the Lausche Building at the state fairgrounds. Ticket information can be found at

Three other incoming Democratic executive officeholders — Treasurer-elect Richard Cordray, Attorney General-elect Marc Dann and Secretary of State-elect Jennifer L. Brunner — will hold a joint inaugural celebration at the Downtown Hyatt Regency from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 12. Admission is free.

Cordray will be officially sworn in at 11 a.m. Jan. 8 in the Statehouse Atrium. Dann will take the oath of office at 10 a.m. Jan. 8 at the Trumbull County Courthouse in Warren. Brunner will be sworn in at 4 p.m. Jan. 12 at the William Green Auditorium in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation building, 30 W. Spring St....

The biggest obstacles facing Strickland will be the Republican-controlled legislature and the mess left behind by the corrupt Taft administration. Hopefully, Strickland and the Democrats will be able to do some major purging in the various state agencies and get rid of Taft's political appointees. If the GOP in the state legislature refuses to improve things in Ohio, we will throw those bums out of office at the next election!

Friday, December 29, 2006

What does Pryce think now?

If you see Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) in the district or plan to call her office, ask her for her views on Iraq. With the NY Times reporting that the President might send an additional 20,000 troops, does Pryce think it is necessary? When Pryce visited Iraq, she said she had not seen any chaos. Does she still believe there is no chaos in Iraq? How many more American service members will have to die before Pryce, the President, and the Republicans will admit their mistakes? According to Iraq Coalition Casualties, 103 Americans have been killed in the war THIS MONTH ALONE, and the month is not over yet. How many more will need to die for their war? Does sending more troops indicate that they now have an exit plan or is this just another far out idea from this administration?

>Call or e-mail your elected officials and let them know we want the troops home NOW.

Pryce's contacts:

500 S. Front St. Suite 1130
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 469-5614

Washington DC:
320 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C 20515
(202) 225-2015

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ohio Gov. Taft Given Reprimand

Ohio's Republican governor, Bob Taft, got something from the Ohio Supreme Court- a reprimand. Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:

The Ohio Supreme Court formally reprimanded Gov. Bob Taft on Wednesday for failing to report nearly $6,000 worth of golf outings and other gifts, a coda to his scandal-plagued final term in office, which ends Jan. 8.

The unanimous ruling followed the penalty recommended by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, which evaluates charges of misconduct among lawyers and judges. Mr. Taft, a Republican, was admitted to practice law in Ohio in 1976 and may return to practicing after his term ends.

Public reprimand was the minimum penalty that could have been imposed by the court, which had the discretion to suspend Mr. Taft’s law license in Ohio or to bar him permanently from practicing law in the state....

Taft and the Republicans have brought so much corruption and shame to Ohio.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pryce's Message to Troops Hypocritcal

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) has a "message" to our troops on her congressional website. I find it incredible that she says she supports our troops because she has against funding medical care and job services to our military. Here is part of Pryce's record on how she voted against our military service record (from my earlier post of June 21, 2006):

1. Pryce voted against expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to all reservist and National Guard members. The proposal would have expanded military health care to provide access to TRICARE to members of the Guard and Reserve and their families for a low fee, which would have helped 2,563 in Ohio. [HR 1815, Roll Call #221, 5/25/05; Leadership Document, “DOD Authorization Previous Question on Rule”; S. 2400, Roll Call Vote #105, 6/2/04]

2. Pryce voted against $30 Million Boost for Veterans Health Care & Benefits. In 2005, Pryce voted against an additional $30 million for veterans' health care. The amendment have would added funding for combat-related trauma care to support wounded troops once they return to their homes, medical and prosthetic research and 100 additional staff to help process claims for compensation and pension benefits. [HR 2528, Roll Call #224, 5/26/05; Leadership Document, “Medical Quality Democratic Amendment Final]

3. Pryce opposed $150 Million Increase for Military Personnel. In 2005, Pryce voted against a proposal to the budget to increase funding for military health care by $100 million and transitional job training for military personnel by $50 million.
[HR 1268, Roll Call #76, 3/16/05; vote reports]

4. Pryce voted against Additional Job Assistance to Veterans Returning from Overseas. Pryce opposed efforts to provide extra job training assistance to veterans who are returning from overseas. Four out of 10 members of the Guard and Reserve forces lose income when they leave their civilian jobs for active duty, and many are self-employed or run small businesses. This means they face the daunting task of reestablishing their businesses after their release from active duty. [HR 27, Roll Call #47, 3/2/05; 109th Congressional Record, pg. H915, 3/2/05; 109th Congressional Record, pg. H2074, 4/14/05]

Pryce's votes against helping our military shows her lack of respect for their real contributions. Voters in the 15th district will be watching every vote that Pryce makes in the new congress because the recent election has displayed our dissatisfaction with her work.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pryce's Earmarks

According to an article in the Amherst Times, the Republican pork barrel gifts (earmarks) to their respective district did not guarantee re-election:
....A timeworn bit of political wisdom has been that larding one’s district with pork projects can act as an incumbency protection program. And the Republican leaders in Congress ardently followed that principle.

“The leadership talked all the time about how we’ve got to use earmarks to help these vulnerable members,” said Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, who has become one of Washington’s loudest opponents of earmarking. “But what this election showed was that earmarks just aren’t that important to voters....”

....Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, issued dozens of news releases over the last 18 months boasting of the projects she brought home to a district that is considered evenly divided between the two parties.

There was $2.27 million to convert a mountain of garbage into a green energy center, $1.1 million to help keep residents of a fast-growing suburb from having to pay more in user fees for a new sewage system, and the latest installment in $2.7 million in federal disbursements to “evaluate freeze-dried berries for their ability to inhibit cancer.”

In a spending bill that never passed the most recent session of Congress, Ms. Pryce’s district stood to get the largest single earmark in Ohio — $1.75 million for a health research institute. In total, the Columbus area lined up about $4.5 million in special money.

By comparison, Portland, Ore. — a similar-sized metropolitan area with no contested Congressional seats — was to receive $625,000 in earmarks.

Ms. Pryce won by barely a thousand votes....

Pryce won this time, but her "press releases" did not help her maintain the margin of victory she enjoyed in the past elections. Voters have realized that Pryce's boasting did not deliver the thousands of jobs or the economic re-vitalization she promised. The next time you read another "press release" from Pryce's congressional office, keep in mind that it is just a bunch of baloney.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Only Progressive Talk Station Going Radical Right

In today's Dispatch, it was announced that WTPG 1230 AM will no longer be a progressive talk station. Oh, ****! We will lose Stephanie Miller, the Young Turks, Ed Schultz, Al Franken, and the rest of these great liberal hosts. Who are they bringing in? Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage! Do you want to voice your opinion about the change in format? Write to Mike Eiland of WTPG at and give him a piece of your mind.

You can still listen to Stephanie Miller online from 9am-Noon eastern time and Ed Schultz from Noon-3pm.


I found this tidbit over at ----

I spent yesterday morning at a post election conference sponsored by Charlie Cook's Political Report, James Carville, Congressman Tom Davis and the Northern Virginia Community College. The conference kicked off with a panel of four very experienced campaign pollsters, two Republicans and two Democrats. They covered many subjects, and I can't possibly do them all justice here, but I do want to pass along some of what the pollsters had to say on what I typically refer to as the Incumbent Rule.....

.....Republican Dave Sackett agreed and credited the much shorter "fifteen minute" news cycle for the ability of incumbents to turn the tables on challengers late in the campaign. He noted that his client Deborah Pryce (Ohio-15) as trailing "all the way through" on internal tracking polls, which would presumably include one in the final week (he noted via email that the margin had closed to within sampling error on the final poll). However, according to Sackett, the Pryce campaign outspent Democratic challenger Mary Jo Kilroy by a two-to-one margin over the final weekend, and credits her narrow victory to that final burst of communication.....

There are lessons in this. Raise more money for the Democrats and spend it in the closing days of the election. Pryce should worry about her next election because she will certainly be defeated.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ohio GOP: Thanks for nothing!!!

No matter how much they boast, Ohio's Republicans have done little to help the regular people of the state. Elected GOP members have enjoyed golf outings and ski trips to resorts with lobbyists, while Ohioans struggle to put food on the table and find/keep jobs. From their rose-colored glasses, Ohio's Republicans will tell you that they've done a lot to help the state, but their statements are not even close to reality. Need examples?

1. Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce did her best to vote repeatedly (7 times) against raising the minimum wage. She only voted for raising it when it was tied to tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy. You can always count on Pryce to vote for her wealthy business campaign contributors. (Those people who voted for Pryce will regret it very soon when they see how powerless she is in the next congress.)

2. The Ohio legislature, which is controlled by Republicans, has yet to fix funding for Ohio's public schools, even though the state supreme court ordered them to do so years ago.

3. Even though Ohio voters supported and passed raising the minimum wage, Ohio Speaker Jon A. Husted and the Republicans in the state legislature, have set up roadblocks to prevent it from happening. Mr. Husted and his party in the state legislature will face a revolt from Ohio citizens if they continue to fight against the will of the people (besides the fact that what they did is unconstitutional).

4. Ohio's growth has been slowed to a snail's pace. We can thank Republican Gov. Bob Taft and the rest of the Republican controlled state government. The corruption, sleaze factor, and inept government, kept many companies from moving to Ohio.

In the spirit of the season, when you see member of the Ohio GOP, smile and say, "Thanks for nothing!"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Same Old Same Old

President Bush continues to follow the same old rhetoric concerning his Iraq War. New York Times:

President Bush warned Americans on Wednesday that the war in Iraq would require “difficult choices and additional sacrifices” in the coming year, but he firmly rejected the notion that the war could not be won and vowed that the United States would not be “run out of the Middle East” by extremists and radicals....

....But after a month in which he has been under pressure to change course in Iraq — from Democrats who want a gradual withdrawal of troops and from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, whose report implied that he should reframe his goals away from democracy toward mere stability — the president showed no indication that he was inclined to change goals or pull out of Iraq.

“Victory in Iraq is achievable,” Mr. Bush said, addressing reporters in the ornate Indian Treaty Room across the street from the White House, in a historic office building once used by the Navy. He added, “Our goal remains a free and democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself and is an ally in the war on terror.”

Mr. Bush also used the news conference to confirm his plans, disclosed Tuesday in an interview with The Washington Post, to propose an increase in the permanent size of both the Army and the Marines. He called the global campaign against terrorism “the calling of our generation,” and he said the military needed to be beefed up to fight it....

Did you see or hear anything different in this selection from the news conference? At the holiday season, people might not want to talk about war. However, our military continues to fight, get wounded, die, and see unspeakable horror in Iraq. Families and friends worry every minute of every single day about their family members and friends in Iraq, but Bush must go to Crawford. Is Bush working every single minute to end this war and bring our troops home? I don't think so.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Details, Details, Details

I have to finish shopping for gifts, but before I go I have a few things to say-----

1. President Bush said he has a "louder microphone" than anyone else. He may have a louder microphone, but what he says into it is just plain moronic. Who voted for him? Not me!

2. Bush still doesn't get it about the American people wanting an end to the war in Iraq. The military generals want to end the war. Why won't Bush open his ears and listen?

3. Bush said that NCLB (No Child Left Behind) has been a significant accomplishment. Really? Ask a teacher. Has it been funded yet?

4. The Franklin County Commissioners, including Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, have adopted their budget for the county. Dispatch: ...Kilroy called the budget fiscally responsible, and Brooks called it "focused and efficient
." She said it reflects three county priorities for 2007: public safety, economic development and environmental protection....

5. So far this holiday season, I have not shopped at Wal-Mart or Michael's Crafts. Wal-Mart is unfair to its employees and its suppliers. Michael's was started by the guys who funded the Swift Boat smear campaign, and they'll never get a penny from me.

6. Troy Smith has been named the AP Player of the Year, according to the Dispatch.

7. The Dispatch has a slideshow of the Buckeyes when they won the National Championship over Miami. Check it out here.

8. We are really looking forward to going to see the Buckeyes play for the national championship in Arizona. Having been to Arizona twice before to watch the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl, I can state that the people associated with the Tostitos bowl committee and the people of Arizona are great. They love Buckeye fans because we are nice and we travel to watch our Bucks. I just can't wait to do O-H-I-O in the stadium.

9. The View with Rosie is just so much fun to watch.

10. Buckeye basketball player, Greg Oden, said he plans to stay at Ohio State for four years. The Ozone:

December 18, 2006 5:45 PM

Men's Basketball : During interviews today, freshman center Greg Oden was asked about how long he intended to stay at Ohio State. Oden answered "There's a very big chance I will be here four years." When asked if he really intended to be here four years he replied "Of course. I've got to finish college. That's what my Mom told me."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ohio Republicans

The Republicans in Ohio are trying their best to set up roadblocks for the new Ohio Governor. When Democrat Ted Strickland takes office, he'll have to deal with a Republican-controlled state legislature full of spoiled brats who always get their way. Need an example? Enquirer:
...Sen. Robert F. Hagan, a Democrat from Youngstown, a state legislator since 1987, said he's never seen such sweeping policy changes spliced into so many bills during the final days of a session.

"Removing members from a committee to get the votes needed is unheard of in my 20 years here," Hagan said, referring to the House Speaker Jon Husted's attempt to get Gov. Bob Taft's CORE curriculum mandate passed by placing five handpicked loyalists on the House Education Committee, including two from the Cincinnati area.

Hagan said the Republican leadership of the General Assembly "hasn't heard the voters basically want bipartisan government," based on the Nov. 7 election results. "That cry is falling on deaf ears. I don't see compromise. I don't see bipartisanship. ... I just see people running roughshod over both houses of the legislature."

In my personal opinion, Husted is one politician who should be watched. He has been trying to get his pet projects done for his district before Strickland takes over.

**Ohioans applying for workers' compensation aren't feeling any love for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Comp, according to the Toledo Blade:

People at the bureau handed out money like it was candy to their friends,” he said.

Mr. Switala has an intense personal interest in the agency, which sets rates and collects premiums from employers to pay medical bills and lost-wage benefits to more than a million injured workers in the state.

He is among the injured workers who claim that beyond the big headlines of the bureau’s scandal is a 16-year effort by two Republican governors to deny treatment and retraining to claimants so businesses can lower their costs....

... A decade after then-Gov. George Voinovich referred to the workers’ compensation system as the “silent killer of jobs,” many injured workers say their frustration about not being able to return to work is aggravated by bureaucrats and managed-care companies focused on making big bucks....

....Bureau critics say that the plight of injured workers has deepened because two Republican governors, George Voinovich and Bob Taft, have thrown the system out of balance to reward their business backers.

Mr. Taft had the opportunity to appoint his own bureau administrator-CEO when he took office in 1999, but he chose to keep James Conrad, whom Mr. Voinovich picked after persuading the GOP-controlled legislature to hand over control from an “independent” board to the governor.

“Taft did not have the sense or the backbone to get rid of Conrad,” said Henry Eckhart, a board member of Common Cause-Ohio, a watchdog group. “The claimants have suffered. That is what the employers liked, and the employers are the big contributors. They supported Voinovich and Taft. They wanted a pro-business BWC — and Conrad was it.”

Mr. Conrad, who was brought down by the rare-coin investment scandal, resigned in 2005. He did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment....

The Ohio Republicans have had a reverse Midas touch in this state. Everything they've touched has been corrupted, ruined, and destroyed.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bob Ney- Still Looking for Special Treatment

I saw this over at Think Progress and I thought it was worth discussing:

Ney’s lawyers are encouraging the former lawmaker’s friends to write letters to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, letting her know “your feelings about Bob’s character, his work for his constituents in Ohio, his work on national issues, his integrity, his dedication to public service.” Ney has pleaded guilty to “performing official acts for lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals, luxury travel and skybox sports tickets” and his sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 19...

I think it is a fabulous idea to write to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle about Bob Ney. However, my letter to the judge would include that fact that Ney's behavior has shown how he corrupted the public's trust. Ney personally gained from his access to lobbyists and was influenced by their gifts, trips, and favors. His arrogance and dishonesty will make it difficult for people to trust elected officials. Ney's punishment should serve as an example and he should be sent to prison for as long as it is possible. Don't you agree?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: You

On CNN this evening, the editors of Time Magazine revealed their choice for 'Person of the Year' and it was YOU. According to the editor of Time, YOU were chosen because of how YOU are transforming the information age. More later...

Greg Oden at Ohio State

Freshman, Greg Oden, is definitely easy to notice in a crowd. His impact on the Basketball Buckeyes is having a real impact this season. The Columbus Dispatch has an article about the nice young man:

...People don’t blink much around Greg Oden, but they whisper a lot.

They ask to put their hands against his for comparison, and inquire about his shoe size (18). Most of the time, they stare, as if hypnotized by his immense size: 7 feet and 280 pounds.

"I just want to be a regular person," Oden said. "It’s hard to be 7-foot and be around. I just can’t go anyplace and do regular things like other people. I try to be discreet when I go places and do regular things."

The Ohio State freshman basketball player has always left strangers gawking, whether as a 6-4 sixth-grader, a 6-8 eighth-grader or a highschool junior at his current height...

...He will make a triumphant return to Indianapolis today, when the Buckeyes play the University of Cincinnati for the first time in 44 years.

Indianapolis is where Oden was twice named the national highschool player of the year, and where he and teammate Mike Conley Jr. led Lawrence North to a 103-7 record and Indiana state championships in the final three of their four seasons. Oden and Conley have played together since 2000 on AAU teams, in middle school, at Lawrence North, and now at OSU.

Indianapolis is also where those who know Oden best appreciate him for who he is, not what he does....


Friday, December 15, 2006

Ethics Changes Coming to the House of Representatives?

Future Speak of the House, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, is working on bring ethics and oversight to the House of Representatives. Oh my gosh! Why didn't the Republicans think of that?
(San Francisco Chronicle)

...A package of ethics and lobbying changes will be among the first items the House votes on after Pelosi is elected speaker on Jan 4.

The package includes banning just about all gifts from lobbyists, requiring former members of the House and senior staffers to wait longer after leaving office to take lobbying jobs, requiring lobbyists to disclose more of their contacts with lawmakers and requiring lawmakers to disclose when they are negotiating for outside jobs while still in office.

Pelosi has also pledged to restore regular order in the House, meaning that all bills would only come to the floor after "a full hearing and open subcommittees and committee markups,'' or votes....

Rep. Pelosi is trying to make significant changes about the way things work and she needs our complete support.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Did you hear?

**Al Franken is currently on tour with the USO in Iraq, according to Black Anthem. Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly continues to hide out in radio stations and Faux News rather than face the young men and women in Iraq.

Here are some excerpts from Black Anthem:

Al Franken is known to many as a comedian, actor, Emmy winner and best selling author. What they may not know is Franken has done seven USO tours since 1999 and has traveled to Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait and northern Iraq to honor Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines of the United States military.
Currently, Franken is touring with the USO Sergeant Major of the Army Hope and Freedom Live Show with Leeann Tweeden, Darryl Worley, The Washington Projects, Keni Thomas, Mark Wills and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders....

This political satirist’s gentle spirit is present when he speaks about the sacrifices the troops are making for the United States of America.
“I am inspired when I see our troops. Many of them are my kids’ age and to know what they are doing for our country really affects me,” said Franken.
“I love talking to the troops,” Franken said. Franken said troops are usually frank and are well informed. “Although I have had some tell me that they do not agree with me politically, they are still happy that I am here.”
When asked, “What message do you want to leave the troops during this Christmas holiday?” He said, “Americans all over the world are thinking of you and we honor you and the sacrifices you are making for us.”

**CNN's Wolf Blitzer had David Duke on his program yesterday. Duke, former KKK member, spewed his racist anti-semitic lies from his heavily botoxed face. Shame on Blitzer for giving a forum to such disgusting pig like Duke. Raw Story has more.

**The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) has listed the new WARN list (pending layoffs in Ohio). Check out the WARN list to see if your employer is listed.

**Russia is experiencing global warning. Yahoo News has the story. Isn't it amazing that so many places are experiencing the results of global warming but Sen. Inhofe still doesn't believe in it.

Work to Turn the 15th Blue

We have less than 2 years until the next election for Ohio's 15th congressional district. In the meantime, we have to start working now to bring in more Democrats for this district. Why? Examine some of Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce's votes:

Voted No on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Link)
Voted YES on allowing school prayer in schools during the war on terror.(Link)
Voted YES on giving federal funding only to schools allowing voluntary prayer. (Link)
Voted YES on deauthorizing "critical habitat" for endangered species. (Link)
Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Link)
And, of course, Pryce voted against raising the minimum wage 7 times.

Pryce calls herself a moderate, but she has continued to march in lockstep with the right wing conservatives of her party. Also, Pryce is a puppet for big corporations, oil PACs, and other well-funded groups who have contributed millions of dollars to her campaigns. Pryce won by only 1,000 votes this time and she will be even more vulnerable in the next election.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Look At the Numbers

Even though Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) won re-election over Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, it is worth examining where each of them got their campaign money. According to Open Secrets, PACs gave Pryce 57% of her campaign money, while Kilroy received only 19% from PACs. Pryce received 37% of her campaign contributions from individuals, but Kilroy got an astounding 81% of her money from individuals. What does it show? People were more interested in Kilroy's campaign, but businesses and special interests supported Pryce.

Unfortunately, Pryce won and so did those big business PACs with deep pockets. The regular citizens of the 15th district lost this time. Pryce never really delivered anything of value to central Ohio. Now that she is out of her leadership role and in the minority, central Ohio will still be second-rate citizens.

Republican "Ethics"

The Republican leadership in the House knew about Foley but ignored it. Hmmmm.. Do you think that means Deborah Pryce knew something too? I'm just asking.
Sun Sentinel:

We now know, much to our dismay, that House leaders shirked their responsibility to protect pages and interns from the sexual predations of former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley. They looked the other way. They remained "willfully ignorant."

Yet in reaching those conclusions, an investigative panel of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct recommended that no disciplinary action be taken because no rules were broken by anyone but Foley, who has since resigned.

The report smacks of a whitewash by a committee that doesn't like to find fault with fellow House members. Either that or there's a serious need to revise the rules. Or both.

According to the panel's report, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader John Boehner and Rep. Tom Reynolds all knew about Foley's sexually oriented e-mails to House pages. The report finds "some evidence that political considerations played a role in decisions that were made by persons in both parties." It also finds a disconcerting pattern of people's claiming not to remember certain conversations. No wonder Congress' public approval ratings are even lower than those of President Bush.

Most troubling is that such activities could be going on, with full knowledge of the House leadership and others, without anyone's stopping them. Yet we are told no rules were broken.......

The Houston Chronicle also has a similar article about the Republican "ethics" used in the Foley case. I guess we can just say that the Republicans do not understand the meaning of ethics. While the GOP leadership kept their silence, male pages were sexually harassed by Republican Rep. Mark Foley. Shame!

We can look forward to a new day with the Democratic majority in the House and the Senate. The Democrats have promised reform and investigations! Oh, I am so excited!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Bad News and The Good News

I have good news and bad news for you today. First, I will give you the bad news: Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) has won the recount, according to the Columbus Dispatch. As a person who voted for Democrat, Mary Jo Kilroy, I am very disappointed. However, I am also hopeful since Pryce only won by 1,062 votes. This district is turning more Democratic and next time Dems will take the district.

The good news is that I can continue to write about the Republicans, Pryce, and their activities. I'll keep checking Pryce's votes, speeches, and fundraising trips to resorts. I'll keep you informed here about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Monday, December 11, 2006

NRCC Debt Proves GOP and Pryce Out of Touch

If you can't get your loyalists to contribute to your re-election war chest, your party must be in trouble. Here is what The Hill wrote about the National Republican Congressional Committee's debt:

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is trying to retire nearly $2 million of debt in the wake of the party’s heavy loss in last month’s midterm elections, according to a fundraising letter from the group’s executive director.

The campaign committee is trying to erase its debt before the Dec. 15 Federal Election Commission filing date, so the new team, led by incoming Chairman Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), can begin its first quarter debt-free.

“In the end, we were forced to spend nearly $2 million we didn’t have to save key Republican incumbents,” NRCC Executive Director Sally Vastola wrote to supporters in an e-mail distributed Tuesday. “That expenditure saved many, many House seats – just not enough.”

Referring to “last-minute polling data,” the excess spending allowed the campaign committee to retain seats that would have been lost otherwise, Vastola wrote in her “urgent” appeal....

The NRCC and its members, like Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15), are just out of step with the American citizens. They've supported the loser policies of an unpopular president and a war that is a fiasco. However, the Republicans want you to believe that they've done a lot for this country. Don't believe it. The only groups who have benefited from the Republican majority are big business, oil companies, the rich, lobbyists, and Republican members of Congress. Ordinary, regular Americans have paid higher gas prices, lost loved ones in Bush's war, paid higher college tuition for their kids, and paid higher prescription costs.

The NRCC's debt shows that fewer people are buying the Republican propaganda.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pryce Still Rubber Stamping

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) apparently has not gotten the message from the recent election. She is still following the mantra of the Republicans and voting for bills that support their pro-business, anti-regular people. Also, it appears that Pryce has not voted in some recent votes in the House of Representatives. The Washington Post has the full rundown but here are a few key votes:

>On 12/9/06, Pryce did not vote on Vote 543: S3546 and Vote 542: S3718. Did she not vote on purpose or was she absent? If she was absent, what was more important than voting?

>On 12/5/06, Pryce voted yes on Vote 525: HR 1176, which would have protected certain groups from lawsuits. (WP) To provide immunity for nonprofit athletic organizations in lawsuits arising from claims of ordinary negligence relating to the passage, adoption, or failure to adopt rules of play for athletic competitions and practices. The passage of this bill would have made it impossible for regular people to get help because of negligence. Why does Pryce continue to vote for bills like this?

>On 12/6/06, Pryce voted yes for the very extreme right wing unborn child pain awareness act (Vote 526: HR 6099), which promotes the propaganda of the far right conservative religious groups.

The recount is still underway in Ohio's 15th district. Until we know the final outcome, Pryce continues to march with the right wing Republican leadership. Pryce needs to wake up and smell the coffee because her constituents do not all agree with her agenda.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Troy Smith Wins the Heisman

Congratulations, Troy Smith of The Ohio State Buckeyes! The New York Times has the details.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Big Money Spent in Ohio Elections

*If you look at Ohio's most recent elections, you'd come to the conclusion that you need plenty of money to run for office. Here are some excerpts from today's Dispatch article:

Democrat Sherrod Brown and Sen. Mike DeWine spent a combined $24.8 million in their election campaign, making it the most expensive U.S. Senate race in Ohio history.

DeWine, a two-term Republican senator, lost his bid for a third term even though he outspent Brown, a congressman from Avon. According to records filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission, DeWine spent $14.7 million during the race, compared with $10.1 million for Brown....

...U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Upper Arlington, spent more than $4.6 million in her re-election campaign against Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, who spent $2.67 million...

...During the two-year election cycle, Pryce raised $4.26 million, including about $1.5 million from individuals and $2.4 million from political-action committees and other organizations. Because she began the campaign cycle with money left over from her 2004 election, Pryce finishes with $106,413 in her treasury.

Kilroy, a Franklin County commissioner, spent $1 million during the final weeks of the campaign. She raised $2.71 million and finished with $26,000 left.

Tiberi spent $2.68 million to defeat Shamansky, according to records. He raised $2.19 million during the election cycle and, because he had money left over from his 2004 campaign, finishes with $123,024 in the bank...


*Word has it that many Republican appointees in the state government are emptying their cubicles and desks. Some appointees were fortunate enough to make big money, along with their spouse, who also enjoyed a great salary. However, the Republican gravy train is over in Ohio government. Now, these Republican job holders have to look for real jobs like real people.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Looking Ahead

Even though they are recounting the votes in Ohio's 15th congressional district, it is fair to say that we have learned a lot from the recent elections. Here is my list of what we've learned and what is ahead:

1. Even if Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce survives the recount, she would be vulnerable in the next election. With Pryce a Republican, and a Democratic majority in the House, Pryce is irrelevant and will block helpful legislation.
2. The New York Times has stated that Republican Rep. Ralph Regula (OH-16) does not have a bright future. According to the Times:

...Regula was held to 58 percent by upstart opponent Matt Miller in the May 2 Republican primary. And after winning with 67 percent of the district’s general election vote in 2004, he slipped to 59 percent in his race this year against Democrat Thomas Shaw — a challenger who raised so little money that he did not file reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Regula’s 2006 general election vote share was the smallest he has received in any re-election campaign.

The incumbent also will be facing a sharp diminution of status when he return to Washington in January for the 110th Congress....

3. Governor-Elect Ted Strickland is making a list and checking it twice. The Intelligencer and Wheeling Register is reporting the following:

...Ohio Gov.-elect Ted Strickland’s administration has asked each county to compile its wish list for development projects and submit them after the first of the year. Lt. Gov.-elect Lee Fisher is to serve the additional role of Ohio director of development....

4. When Americans want change, they vote for change. However, this administration may not necessarily be willing to change. With the Iraq Study Group's recent recommendations, Americans are waiting for change in Iraq. How will Bush respond?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Republicans in Shock in House of Representatives

In a surprising announcement, the incoming Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives has stated that it plans to work
5 DAYS PER WEEK!!!!!!!!
Oh, my! The Republicans have their panties in a 'frist' over the possibility of cutting out trips to resort golf courses, long weekends at tropical locations, and fundraising trips to ski resorts. How can we expect members of the GOP to work 5 days per week! Oh, the hardships they will face!!!!

Here are some excerpts from the MSNBC story about the longer work week:

Forget the minimum wage. Or outsourcing jobs overseas. The labor issue most on the minds of members of Congress yesterday was their own: They will have to work five days a week starting in January.

The horror.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who will become House majority leader and is writing the schedule for the next Congress, said members should expect longer hours than the brief week they have grown accustomed to.

...For lawmakers, it is awful, compared with what they have come to expect. For much of this election year, the legislative week started late Tuesday and ended by Thursday afternoon -- and that was during the relatively few weeks the House wasn't in recess.

Next year, members of the House will be expected in the Capitol for votes each week by 6:30 p.m. Monday and will finish their business about 2 p.m. Friday, Hoyer said....

...Hoyer and other Democratic leaders say they are trying to repair the image of Congress, which was so anemic this year it could not meet a basic duty: to approve spending bills that fund government. By the time the gavel comes down on the 109th Congress on Friday, members will have worked a total of 103 days. That's seven days fewer than the infamous "Do-Nothing Congress" of 1948.

Hoyer said members can bid farewell to extended holidays, the kind that awarded them six weekdays to relax around Memorial Day, when most Americans get a single day off. He didn't mention the month-long August recess, the two-week April recess or the weeks off in February, March and July.

He said members need to spend more time in the Capitol to pass laws and oversee federal agencies. "We are going to meet sufficient times, so the committees can do their jobs on behalf of the American people," he said...

In my opinion, those Republican members of Congress who find the 5 day work week a hardship should resign immediately. The American people demand their elected officials get something done!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rodriguez vs. Bonilla

There is a runoff next week in Texas. Democrat Ciro Rodriguez is opposing Republican Rep. and Bush lapdog, Henry Bonilla. Bonilla has voted against the troops and American workers.

Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX-23) has received over $475,992 from oil and gas industries, according to the GOP Auction House. Here are even more facts from the site:
  • Rep. Bonilla voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.
  • Rep. Bonilla voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries.
  • Rep. Bonilla voted to strip overtime protection from millions of workers.
  • Rep. Bonilla voted to allow federal loans to American companies that have escaped paying U.S. taxes by moving offshore.
  • Bonilla has taken:
  • $22,942 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.
With all of these ties to the DeLay mess, is it any surprise that Bonilla has:
  • Voted to weaken House ethics rules when DeLay proposed doing so as GOP Majority Leader.
  • Voted to allow the GOP House Leader to continue to serve after an indictment, an apparent tactic to protect DeLay.
  • Voted with Tom DeLay 93% of the time (through 3/31/2006)
  • Rep. Bonilla opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.
  • Rep. Bonilla voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Recount Problems and Suspicions for Ohio's 15th District Recount

The recount of votes for the Kilroy-Pryce battle for Ohio's 15th district will happen. However, questions remain as to whether all the votes were counted in the first place. OpEd News has a column which indicates that there may have been some votes stolen. Here are some excerpts:

• A total of 17,766 absentee ballots that were delivered to the Franklin County Board of Elections during the last two days of voting were included in the November 27 official count. A whistleblower contacted the Free Press and stated he saw tens of thousands of ballots stored in a post office warehouse in Columbus the weekend prior to the election. The ballots only had one stamp on them instead of the two required. This information was passed along to national Democratic Party officials. This may explain why there was a massive infusion of absentees uncounted in the 15th district. By tradition, virtually all of them are counted and posted first on Election night.

• The Free Press witnessed voters being unlawfully sent home for identification and unable to vote – in violation of a federal court order that entitled them to vote a provisional ballot with the last four digits of their Social Security number. In a race this close, this widespread practice may have resulted in the narrow margin of victory.

• An estimated 1,800 votes from more than 13 electronic machines that weren't shut down properly by poll workers were also added in to the November 27 total. The problem remains as to the chain of custody regarding these machines and why so many failed to be handled correctly on Election Day.

• The Dispatch reported that nine Franklin County pollworkers "accidentally" took cartridges home that had to be later retrieved by deputy sheriffs.

We may never know the true count, but we will have to deal with whatever Ken Blackwell decides. For the next election, we will have a Democratic Secretary of State who will make things honest and fair. Thank goodness!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Taft Offers Buyouts to BWC

Outgoing Ohio Republican Governor, Bob Taft, has offered buyouts to employees at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Why? There have been many scandals in the BWC (Coingate and Tom Noe, MDL investment scandal) and there are quite a number of people who know a lot of secrets. This is Taft's way of trying to prevent any further damage to his legacy and the Ohio Republican Party. How many will take the hush money, I mean buyouts? We will have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Governor-Elect Ted Strickland is working on getting rid of the $49/hr. Republican political appointees in the state government. (Yes, $49/hr. to play solitaire on the computer most of the day.) Word has it that the best and the brightest in Ohio are lining up for the plum jobs in the government.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Pryce's Staff Making Good Money

There is a site for finding the salaries for the congressional staffs for all the members of Congress. LegiStorm has a search function that provides a lot of information on the staff members. For example, let us examine Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce's staff lists. Although the lists may not be complete, as in the case of the 4/1/06 to 5/30/06 group, we can still examine the names and amounts paid. Pryce's staff is huge, but she may lose some of them with the loss of her leadership role in the House. Even so, it appears that working for Deborah Pryce is more financially rewarding than living in her district, where jobs have been stagnant. By the way, the posted salaries are for a three month period.

Staff salaries: 1/1/06-3/1/06
Staff salaries: 10/1/05-12/31/05
Staff salaries: 7/1/05-9/30/05

A few weeks ago, there was a news article that mentioned that many Republican staff members will be out of jobs with the Democrats now in the majority. These Republican staff members have enjoyed the gravy train, travel, dinners, and special favors for a long time. Now they'll be able to work as greeters at Walmart. Welcome to the real world!