Posts Tagged ‘Jon Husted’

Buckeye Firearms Association Endorses Josh Mandel and Jon Husted

July 15th, 2010 Matt View Comments

And we are reminded that two Democrats on the state-wide ticket we part of Columbus’ unfortunate “assault” weapons ban.

From their endorsement of Josh Mandel:

Mandel’s opponent this fall, Kevin Boyce, supported Columbus’ so-called “assault” weapon ban when he was a city councilman. The now defunct gun ban, better known in pro-gun circles as the Mentel Ban, named after its primary sponsor, the constitutionally-challenged Mike Mentel, cost the City of Columbus an estimated $20 million of lost convention revenue when the NRA canceled plans to host its Annual Meeting in the city. In addition to all the other damage, various gun bans have cost the city at least $140,000 in legal fees after they could not defend their unconstitutional laws in court. Ohio can not afford that sort of reckless action from our State Treasurer.

And their endorsement of Jon Husted:

Husted’s opponent this fall, Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, was part of a Columbus city council that passed a so-called assault weapons ban only five days after the veto override on HB347. She clearly stands on the opposite side of the gun debate from Jon Husted and has appeared on television shows promoting anti-gun and unconstitutional laws. We should demand that all elected officials honor and obey our laws.

Gov. Ted Strickland is apparently such a staunch defender of your 2nd Amendment freedoms that it’s nice to know he will be voting for Josh and Jon in November.

Like This Strickland Ad? I hope So… You Paid for It!

May 25th, 2010 Matt View Comments

AFSCME and a dirty money group set up by the Democratic Governor’s Association called “Building a Stronger Ohio” launched this ad, which you helped pay for:

Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine explains:

The $448,000 in negative attack ads that mega-union AFSCME launched today against Ted Strickland’s opponent John Kasich will be paid for with up to $2.25 million from Ohio taxpayers that the union will start receiving later this year thanks to executive orders signed by Ted Strickland.

“This is money laundering on a level that would make a drug dealer blush,” said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine. “In letting his union friends organize self-employed workers whose customers pay them with their state benefits, Ted Strickland has done nothing more than give his political attack allies the keys to Ohio’s bank account. I suppose it looks a little better than if he used a state check to pay for the attack ads himself, but the practical effect is the same.”

On February 1, 2008 Strickland issued Executive Order 2008-02S allowing Ohio’s 7,500 self-employed private-sector child care workers, whose customers pay with state-subsidized funds, to join labor unions. AFSCME Ohio Council 8 organized these workers and Strickland signed the first collective bargaining agreement in January.

As a result of this agreement, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 can collect up to $25 per month from Ohio’s self-employed child-care workers or up to $2.25 million annually. Moreover, the State of Ohio collects AFSCME’s dues for it, withholding the dues money from the state’s payments to child care workers. The state then sends the money directly to AFSCME. With the money it receives from the State of Ohio, AFSCME then finances a variety of political activities, such as the negative attack ads it launched today against Strickland’s opponent John Kasich.

Not surprisingly, AFSCME is one of Strickland’s largest donors and the Center for Responsive Politics has named AFSCME the second largest political contributor in the nation, with $42.5 million in donations since 1990. AFSCME has given Strickland $119,000 for his campaigns for governor and the $63,000 it gave him while a congressman made it one of his top-10 largest donors.

This isn’t the first time your tax dollars have been spent on TV ads. And maybe the Ohio GOP would have more credibility on this issue if it opposed efforts such as the Third Frontier, which ran a multi-million dollar campaign essentially funded by the bond money for the handouts that companies and lobbyists receive.

Or what about charter school owners? All very true, but at some point this line of attack becomes argumentum ad absurdum… especially when evoking imagines of “drug dealers.” The real drug here is big government, and big government liberals such as Ted Strickland like to get high on their own supply. er, or something like that

But the takeaway from this should that campaign finance laws are a joke. Democrats in Ohio, which may file fundraising reports that are less than impressive, don’t include these sort of 3rd party efforts and out of state groups… many of which don’t even have to file! Donors who wish to buy influence with Gov. Strickland can always find ways to donate to third parties. Just like Jon Husted should be nervous about Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, as fundraising becomes less important when dirty groups like George Soros’ Secretaries of State Project use their limitless resources in Ohio.

Democrats are facing a candidate for governor with low name ID, and wisely attempting to define Kasich before he can define himself.

Congressman Ted Strickland who voted for the changes to the Community Reinvestment Act and supported the sort of government-underwritten securities which lead to the collapse of the superficially inflated housing market, and Lehman’s collapse is tied to investing those securities and related derivatives.

But Ted Strickland is campaigning on the same sort of hollow populism that he built a long, unimpressive political on. Screaming “Wall Street”, “greed”, “George Bush” is all they can do… and Kasich can fairly fault Gov. Strickland for 11% unemployment. But the time for Team Kasich to respond is now.

Primary Election Results Fallout- Maybe TEA Parties Should Not Endorse?

May 5th, 2010 Matt View Comments
Dave Yost checks election results with Ohio GOP’s Political Director Jonathan Gormley and Victory Field Staffer Richael Williams

The headlines I was worried about seeing today were printed.

From the Dayton Daily News:

Tea Party’s influence ‘overrated’ in Husted, Morgan primary races

Landslide Republican primary victories by state Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, and Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost on Tuesday, May 4, indicated that expectations about the Tea Party’s influence were overrated, political scientist John Green said Tuesday, May 4.

“Activism doesn’t necessarily turn into votes,” said Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.

Husted was crushing former Ashtabula County Auditor Sandra O’Brien, 68 percent to 32 percent, to win the GOP’s secretary of state nomination, while Yost was thumping state Rep. Seth Morgan, R-Huber Heights, 64 percent to 36 percent, to win the auditor’s nomination with 84 percent of precincts reporting.

And from the Plain Dealer:

Lee Fisher, Third Frontier win big in Ohio; Tea Party effect minimal and voters deny many local school taxes

And from elderly Joe Hallett in the Dispatch:

In a battle of Democratic titans for the party’s Senate nomination, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher defeated Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner but emerged relatively empty-pocketed for the fall campaign against a well-heeled Republican nominee, former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman.

With 98 percent of the statewide vote counted, Fisher was 10 points ahead of Brunner on a night that rendered the budding Tea Party’s bark louder than its bite in targeted Republican races for state auditor and secretary of state.

In the contest for auditor, the Ohio GOP-endorsed candidate, Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost, handily defeated Dayton-area state Rep. Seth Morgan, who relied on Tea Party rallies and Internet outreach to appeal to Republican voters. Yost, who benefited from state party-sponsored mailings and television ads in the campaign’s stretch run, held a 30-point lead en route to victory.

His nomination reaffirmed the power of the Ohio GOP to deliver victory for its endorsed candidates and exposed the Tea Party as a weak player. Although Morgan was endorsed by the Tea Party, Yost said he received “substantial support” from its members.

The TEA Party movement was born out of a general distrust of big government, and has grown organically through individuals organizing rallies and protests. It is a true exercise in the libertarian concept of spontaneous order, as there are truly no leaders of the TEA Party movement… and yet they collectively make things a nightmare for Congressional Democrats… With successes in rallying support to take former Senator Ted Kennedy’s Seat in Massachusetts and making such a convincing argument on healthcare that President Obama, a long-time advocate of single payer socialized healthcare, was forced to limp away from the debate only with Mitt Romney-inspired insurance mandates.

However, we see problems when supposed TEA Party groups start endorsing candidates… These 501c3s, 501c4s, and PACs are frequently run by Republican operatives who open the sails trying to elect imperfect candidates with that momentum, while making money in the process.

So the problem here is that the “TEA Party” wasn’t really in the race yesterday. Instead, Ohio had imperfect people- a wacky, unserious lady from Ashtabula and and a true movement conservative from Huber Heights- attempt to win elections based on their support for the TEA Party’s general frustrations with government. On top of that, just anyone who wasn’t an incumbent Republican county or state central committee member got to claim they truly represented the “TEA Party” and use that movement to settle personal scores and inner-party battles which existed long before Rick Santelli was a pundit on CNBC.

In politics, perception is reality. And just like plenty of candidates unsuccessfully tried to present themselves as the living embodiment of all-things-TEA, political reporters are only going to report on which candidates are screaming “TEA” the loudest. Never mind that Dave Yost, a candidate for a state-wide office which majority of Ohioans don’t know exists, has spoken at numerous tea party rallies and is true Buckley-style conservative. Never mind that plenty of new conservatives unexpected won central committee races. Never mind that a young conservative named Nathan Larger pulled up an upset for the 24th House District. And never mind that more than 100,000 additional votes were cast for a relatively unknown gubernatorial candidate named John Kasich than the incumbent Governor of Ohio. Never mind was a former tax-raising political named Jon Husted forced to run the most conservative-sounding state-wide TV ads imaginable. Never mind Mike Wilson, the founder of the Cincinatti Tea Party won the primary for the 28th House District. Never mind that candidates who publicly declared themselves sympathetic to the active TEA Party movement won 21 of 66 Republican State Central Committee races. The TEA Party is dead, because the liberal MSM says so!

The truth is, the anti-tax smaller-government movement is far bigger than any individual personalities. Our candidates since the days of Barry Goldwater in 1964 have lost a lot of elections and government has grown exponentially. But that doesn’t mean it is time to give up. And I pity the politician who, in the era of Obama, doesn’t fear the growing distrust of central planning and obtrusive policies.

And as for the Ohio Republican Party staff, they should be congratulated. With such low turn out, they understood that absentee voting in Ohio is becoming quite common as Election Day in Ohio is quickly becoming “Election Month.” They worked hard to for their endorsed candidates and for incumbent State Central Committees and had a hell of a motivation to do so: THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL, AND IF JOHN KASICH WINS, KEVIN DEWINE WON’T BE OHIO GOP CHAIRMAN BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR. Having a strong showing was a way for the Ohio GOP staff to maintain the established order and keep their jobs.

Last night, the TEA Party didn’t win or lose- but individual candidates did. Dave Yost won, yet opponent David Pepper has more than $700k to spend. And the Ohio GOP lost, as they failed to understand the perception game of the TEA Party movement and found every conceivable way imaginable to endlessly annoy TEA party organizations. And the Ohio GOP, with a heavy emphasis on “coalition building”, is so sloppy in its messaging and strategy that they couldn’t win favor with a movement born out of opposition to liberalism and in support of the fiscal platform of the Republican Party.

In the end, Ohio remains a center-right state and activists will always matter. Candidates, both Republicans and Democrats, will continue to frame the debate in language of tax-cuts and economic growth. And TEA Party, along with wide-spread voter disillusionment, will continue to define the political landscape for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

TEA Partiers Don’t Buy Jon Husted’s Newfound Conservatism

April 15th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Chris Littleton of the Ohio Liberty Council, a major TEA Party organizing group, unloads on Secretary of State candidate Jon Husted in Lyndsey Teter’s article in The (Columbus) Other Paper:

[I]f Husted is counting on appealing to the state’s most conservative base, it isn’t working.

“It’s laughable,” said Ohio Liberty’s Littleton.

Even the least discerning Tea Party activists know Husted is not the flag-waving patriot that the 15-second ad conveys. And when it comes to Tea Party values, Husted has zero street cred, Littleton said.

When asked for specific aspects of Husted’s record that were troublesome, Littleton pointed to Husted’s recent support of the Third Frontier program that Tea Party conservatives consider to be “corporate welfare and gross redistribution of wealth,” said Littleton, who went on to more broadly paint Husted as an establishment candidate.

“It’s been said that all Republican values are Tea Party values, but I’d say that’s not true,” he said. “Taft, Voinovich and the Republicans who dominated the state in the last 20 years destroyed the Ohio economy.”

“Conservative activists are smart enough to realize that Husted was around for 10 of those years,” Littleton said.

Littleton hits on a key point there with the Third Frontier. It isn’t just Husted “recently” supported the Third Frontier, but instead it was Husted who helped conceive of the Third Frontier for fund raising purposes… and then after voters rejected it, he helped revived it by unconstitutionally tying it to a ballot issue for infrastructure improvements.

Without Husted, there would be no Third Frontier and we wouldn’t have a corporate welfare program which also violates Ohio’s 5% limitation on debt.

And it is this sort of stuff which leads conservatives like me to be skeptical about Husted. Even when he is vocal and correct on conservative issues- such as school choice- I get the feeling he’s far more interested in campaign donations from White Hat than from liberating students from the horrors of public schools.

Read the rest of Teter’s article here. It is especially fun to have Husted attempt to prove his conservative bona fides  by talking about his legislative cap on state spending, which was added to the end of tobacco legislation in 2006, which was the establishments way of tabling Ken Blackwell’s TEL Amendment. Not only is such a limitation easily ignored, but it doesn’t include anything expenditures outside of the General Revenue Fund. But considering Husted’s is a champion of the Third Frontier, legal limits on spending and debt don’t really matter to him anyway.

In the end, Husted will likely win his primary and conservatives should vote for him because of the apportionment board and he is politically savvy enough to issue directives which won’t be beneficial to Democrats. But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh hysterically at his stupid Gadsden flag ads.

Jon Husted is as Serious of a TEA Partier as he is a Resident of Kettering

April 13th, 2010 Matt Comments off

OK let’s brain storm for ideas for a new TV ad for Jon Husted…

Tax-Raising Jon Husted

Toilet-Flushing Jon Husted

CAT Tax-Creating Jon Husted

Ohio’s Taxes are Low and the Economy is Booming Thanks to Jon Husted

Larry Householder’s Handpicked Successor Jon Husted

Third Frontier Reviving Jon Husted

Pre-Obama Stimulus Loving Jon Husted

“Moderate” Jon Husted

PUCO-Loving Energy Re-Regulating Jon Husted

Delaying Tort Reform Until he Sufficiently Milked the Trial Lawyers Jon Husted

Short-Term Loans Opposing Jon Husted

Strickland-Hugging Jon Husted

Al Gore-Admiring Jon Husted

I Care So Much About Myself That I will Transfer Money from the House GOP & Lose the Majority Jon Husted

Governor Husted

No those are no good. I got it! TEA Party Jon Husted… with a Gadsden flag and God. YESSSSSS!

And this ad was playing so often on Fox News that once time it was even shown twice in a row.

I think the moderate Husted of 2006 wouldn’t like the super-charged conservative hero Husted of 2010. And I think it is an admitting that the squishy moderate Joe Hallett-approved Republicanism that he championed in the Ohio House doesn’t win elections.

Husted isn’t running against Sandy O’Brien. Jon Husted is campaigning against Jon Husted.

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Jon Husted Takes on Jennifer Brunner’s Voter Suppression

March 29th, 2010 Matt Comments off

There is so much that annoys me about Secretary of State Jon Husted. But his campaign’s press release hits on an important issue that was dropped by Secretary Brunner’s office on Friday in hopes of reducing media fallout:


Columbus, OH-State Senator Jon Husted (R-Kettering) issued the following statement today in response to a directive issued by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner late last week:

“Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has regrettably once again issued an 11th hour directive that misapplies the law, creates voter confusion and will disenfranchise thousands of Ohio voters.

“I call on Secretary Brunner to immediately rescind this directive that has no basis in law.

“With absentee voting to start on Tuesday, this last-minute directive will cost boards of elections both time and money and wrongly deny voters of both major political parties the right to have their voice heard in this primary election.

“In the case of a close election, it will no doubt serve as a basis for expensive litigation challenging the results of the election. It may unnecessarily lead to the kind of post-election chaos that undermines confidence in our elections.

“This action adds unnecessary bureaucracy and confusion to voting and undermines our local elections officials. Ohio’s Secretary of State should fight for the vote of all qualified electors and eliminate barriers to the operation of honest and fair elections.”

For the record:
According to Directive 2010-44, Ohio voters who want to switch political parties in the May 4 primary must be challenged and required to sign a form 10-Z saying they support a party’s principles. According to Brunner, these voters must complete the 10-Z form and return it in the return envelope and not the Identification Envelope or the Ballot Envelope for their vote to be counted. Under this directive, even voters who complete the form but mistakenly enclose it inside the Identification Envelope will have their votes discarded. There is nothing in state law that grants the Secretary of State this authority, nor is there any basis in law to disqualify a voter for failing to meet this arbitrary standard.

Further, the action recently taken by the Secretary of State against thousands of otherwise qualified and legitimately registered voters is contrary to her own standard established during the 2008 election.

In 2008, the Secretary of State issued the following instructions to county Boards of Elections governing challenges:

Directive 2008-100: Election Judges may not challenge an absent voter’s ballot based solely upon a SWVRS mismatch.

Directive 2008-99: Poll Workers may not challenge a voter based solely upon a SWVRS mismatch.

Advisory 2008-25: A Board of Elections cannot uphold a challenge of right to vote against a voter solely based upon being a defendant in a foreclosure action.

Summary of Key Objections:
1. Equal protection – those switching from Republican to Democrat or vice versa have a higher barrier to vote than those switching from Republican or Democrat to a minor party.

2. Abuse of discretion – the Secretary of State does not have the authority to set a higher standard for counting an absentee ballot than the standard established by state law (Directive 2010-44 instructs if the absent voter doesn’t return the challenge form or encloses the challenge form in the ID envelope the ballot may not be counted).

3. The law is clear that the determination to challenge or not lies solely with the election judges – not the Secretary of State or the county Board of Elections – and the government violates the law when it instructs election judges to challenge voters solely on the basis of previous party affiliation.

When I first saw Jennifer’s directive on Friday, my first thought was how terrible this is for my fellow Rush Limbaugh fans if they participated in “Operation Chaos” and voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Ohio primary.

But as we saw with the Steve Christopher for Attorney General campaign, Jennifer Brunner doesn’t care much for Republican voters anyway.

I guess since ACORN was booted out of Ohio for their criminal acititives, Brunner has to pick up their slack.

Maybe Republicans would have better luck registering their address as a local park bench?

Junk Requests in Ohio’s Federal Education Grant Proposal

March 3rd, 2010 Matt Comments off

Ted Strickland counted on Federal education dollars as part of his patch-work budget, but it appears Ohio has no interest in spending much of that money on students:

Buried within a 263-page application for $409 million in federal grant money, Ohio education officials detail how they want to spend $600,000 for two cultural anthropologists, $400,000 for a video, $320,000 for a communications plan and another $160,000 for “creative messaging.”

Ohio is competing against 39 other states and the District of Columbia for a chunk of $4 billion from the U.S. Department of Education’s new “Race to the Top” program.

State Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, called items in the application further evidence of why some people lose faith in government’s ability to reform education.

Ohio’s application seems to be “a way to fund the status quo and pay for things that have nothing to do with educating children in the classroom,” Husted said. “We should be embarrassed by some of the things they want to fund in this application.”

And not to mention that this is one-time money. It is nice to see Husted causing a fuss about this and the Strickland administration should be held accountable.

Maybe a 65 cent solution is in order?

Sen. Husted’s Stupid Redistricting Plan Might Still End Up on the Ballot

March 2nd, 2010 Matt Comments off

Attn: Liberal Editorial Boards- Please love me!

From William Hershey in The Dayton Daily News:

The sponsors of competing plans to change how Ohio draws state legislative districts expressed guarded optimism on Monday, March 1, that the House and Senate can agree on a compromise proposal for the November ballot.

“I’m hopeful. I really am,” said Rep. Tom Letson, D-Warren, sponsor of House Joint Resolution 15, that is pending in the Democratic- controlled House.

“I would say it’s possible,” said Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 5, already approved by the GOP-controlled Senate.

Letson and Husted said action is needed within the next two months to 10 weeks. After that, they said, either the Democrats or Republicans will have a better idea of which party is likely to control redistricting under the current system and one or the other one would be unlikely to go along with an overhaul.

Husted’s proposal would do away with the five-member Apportionment Board, made up of the governor, auditor, secretary of state and a legislator from each party. The party that controls two of the three statewide seats on the board controls redistricting. It draws legislative districts after each census.

His plan would instead set up a seven-member commission – governor, auditor, secretary of state, House speaker, Senate president and House and Senate minority leaders. A five-vote supermajority would be required to adopt a redistricting plan. Also, at least two votes would have to come from commission members not in the majority party.

The new commission also would draw U.S. House districts. The legislature now draws the U.S. House districts.

Compactness and competitiveness would be emphasized in drawing new districts under the plan.

Letson’s plan would not change how U.S. House districts are drawn. Letson said his plan “will take the politics out of the reapportionment process.”

No matter what Rep. Letson says, politics will never be taken out of politics.

And “competitiveness” should NEVER be the goal. That is what OSU Professor emeritus/Democrat operative Herb Asher tried to put into Ohio’s constitution with the failed Reform Ohio Now ballot issue in  2005. Since districts must include roughly the same number of people, once you take into consideration competitiveness, not only do districts still end up looking weird, but they also unfairly water down the views of local communities into one, homogeneous centrist mush.  And as pointed out in another crummy op-ed by Joe Hallett in December, that’s exactly the point:

The result has been a preponderance of can’t-lose districts, effectively taking the middle out of Ohio politics. With so few competitive districts, partisan primaries, not general elections, too often determine who represents us at the Statehouse and in Congress.

“People who vote in primaries are inclined to be more ideologically extreme, and they elect candidates who are ideologically extreme, and that is very bad for our democracy,” said Richard Gunther, an Ohio State University political science professor and expert on redistricting. “It adds to the poisoning of our political atmosphere.”

No, Gunther, you dummy- Partisanship doesn’t “poison the political atmosphere.” Instead, it allows those in politics who are most informed and involved to have a larger impact their community, represented by more liberals in liberal areas and conservatives in conservative areas.

Ohio, a swing state, has plenty of blue voters and red voters. But to assume that Ohio is best served by blending everyone together into eternal purple bliss is misguided.

When someone is promoting centrism, they really mean “let’s have more compromise with those who wish to grow government, take away more freedom, and raise taxes.” To call those who support small government “divisive” or “poisonous” to our political process is just a way to tell conservatives to shut up and get out of the way of central-planners. Instead of having debates between real Democrats and real Republicans, more policy debates will end up between Democrats and mild Democrats.

When debating redistricting, compactness should be the only goal. Forget competitiveness, please.

Husted, who will one day run for Governor, is a very smart man- So smart that he may even privately agree with me. But just like his campaign contribution transparency legislation, Husted is more than willing to push any stupid idea that liberal editorial boards will write favorably about during his campaign for Secretary of State.

Strickland Handpicks Donors Companies for Third Frontier Grants, Republicans Like Campaign Cash Too

February 2nd, 2010 Matt Comments off

Move along folks… nothing to see here:

A panel controlled by the governor has hand-picked contenders in the latest round of bidding for a pair of high-tech Third Frontier venture funds, breaking with past practice that based awards solely on merit.

The nine-member Ohio Third Frontier Commission opted for the first time to limit eligibility for its two entrepreneurial funds in response to tough economic conditions, said executive director Norm Chagnon. Grants for those funds will go only to business entities that have a track record with the venture capital program, including several tied to generous political donors.

And while are Democrats so anxious to renew the Third Frontier, while Republicans are eager go along with a slightly less porky version? Because the free flow of grants and low-interest loans from the state = campaign cash. Cha-ching!:

A review by The Associated Press found lobbyists, executives and directors for the chosen entities and their spouses have given at least $220,000 to Ohio political campaigns in recent years. They have supported both Democratic and Republican state leaders who control the future of the program.

A joint committee of the state House and Senate is scheduled Tuesday to decide how much voters should be asked to pump into the successful initiative, one of the few bright lights on Ohio’s job creation horizon.

Gov. Ted Strickland initially proposed $1 billion. That figure was pared back to $950 million by the Ohio House and to $500 million by the Ohio Senate, and the two chambers must now compromise.

Campaign filings show that House Speaker Armond Budish collected more than $13,000 from high tech representatives as the debate raged last month.

JumpStart executives, for example, have contributed nearly $23,000 to Strickland and other Democrats. JumpStart director Ken Semelsberger, a senior Eaton Corp. vice president, has given almost $26,000 to Republicans.

Jamie Ireland, a managing director at Early Stage Partners, has given at least $23,000 to Ohio political campaigns, including $9,200 to Strickland, $8,600 to state Sen. and former House Speaker Jon Husted, $3,000 to Budish, and $2,500 to Senate President Bill Harris.

The Mercurio family affiliated with the Entrepreneurs Fund has given $78,000 mostly to Republicans, including $10,000 to Husted.

One of the firms Strickland made the exemption for was for BioEnterprise, who Brian Hicks lobbies for. Hicks, a convicted criminal, was also Gov. Taft’s Chief of Staff and helped create the Third Frontier.

Every pick-nose reporter and columnist in Ohio will repeat the lie that the Third Frontier created 41,000 jobs, while not mentioning the fact that wealth must be confiscated and jobs destroyed to pay for this less-efficient method of allocating resources.

But what is true is that the Third Frontier is a real, genuine example of bi-partisanship in Ohio. And it’s damn expensive.

Joe Hallett on 2009′s Successful Gambling Campaign & Husted’s Transparency Bill

December 13th, 2009 Matt Comments off


From the latest column by old man Joe:

Unless they want to voluntarily disclose that information, we probably will never know if or how much Withrow, Bennett, Douglas and others were paid from the nearly $50 million spent by Michigan online-lender Dan Gilbert and Penn National Gaming of Pennsylvania, owners of the Ohio casinos.

Campaign finance reports made public Friday offered scant details. About $8 million of the Gilbert and Penn National largesse since March went to Strategic Public Partners Group, a firm headed by Tom Whatman, former executive director of the Ohio Republican Party, and millions more went to Elsass’ two media companies.

Whatman employs his former boss, [former Ohio GOP Chairman Bob] Bennett, but the report does not reveal how much Bennett was paid for his casino advocacy. The Milenthal Group’s Bob Tenenbaum was hired by Whatman as spokesman for Issue 3, but there’s no hint of how much the Milenthal firm was paid. Indeed, Whatman paid a veritable who’s who of former-officials-turned-influence-peddlers to help pass Issue 3.

Their names legally do not have to appear in the casino operators’ campaign finance reports. Unlike Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia and 21 other states, there is no requirement in Ohio law that a campaign committee disclose the names of subcontractors hired by primary consultants.

“During the casino campaign, while it was clear who was paying for things, what the money was used for and who was receiving it was not clear,” said state Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering.

Husted soon will introduce legislation to require campaigns to disclose the identities and amounts paid to so-called sub-vendors.

“We need more transparency in the process,” Husted said. “If you’re advocating for a particular position, the way in which voters perceive your advocacy might change if they knew you were being paid to do it.”

[Former Ohio Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow] Withrow said she cut the TV ads because she long has favored casinos in Ohio so the state could capture money being spent by Ohioans at border-state casinos.

As you watched her in the TV commercials, would you have felt differently about what she was saying if you knew she was getting paid to say it?

I haven’t seen a copy of legislation, but I’d rather see more transparency in state government instead of forcing transparency upon private consulting firms.  Money is speech, and soft-money and independent groups, such as 527s and 501c4s, play an essential role in getting around speech-silencing laws such as McCain-Feingold.  (Husted will learn this the hard way with trying to figure out how to fight back against George Soros’ Secretary of State Project, which spent many thousands in 2006 for Jennifer Brunner.) More disclosure of “sub-vendors” could scare people away from the political process, as they could be setting themselves up for political retribution. Or, such legislation could encourage LESS disclosure as such campaigns seem to always find new, creative ways to hide money.

And why pick on Bob Tenenbaum but not Sandy Theis? Unlike Sandy, at least Bob was open about working on behalf of a gambling interest.

Also, as you read Joe’s column, “would you have felt differently about what he was saying if you knew he was getting paid (handsomely) to [write] it” by John Wolfe’s newspaper, which has just started its campaign to keep a casino away from Wolfe’s business interests in the Arena District? Joe, were you PAID to write about this, and told to put your weekly campaign for higher taxes aside for today? huh? huh? We need disclosure, Joe!

Jon Husted Looked Up From His Computer in UA Last Night To Curse

September 22nd, 2009 Matt View Comments

Late last night, SoS Jennifer Brunner broke a tie and confirmed that Sen. Jon Husted doesn’t live in his district. The only shocking news here is that residency rules apparently matter if you’re a Republican. It wasn’t too long ago that the media was laughing off the legitimate story that then-Congressman Ted Strickland’s official residence was a tiny shack above his campaign headquarters. His defense is that he pays rent, gets mail, and has furniture Lisbon. And Husted even has a stronger case as, unlike Ted Strickland, Jon actually paid taxes in his home district.

When Professor Steven Huefner of OSU’s law school wrote a column defending Strickland’s residency, he took into account the same into the tax exemption (almost mentioned in the video above) that Brunner used to disqualify Husted.

His blog is no longer online, but when Matt Dole sent the story to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s letter to the editor email address, the unsigned response said the story was “lame.”

Also, apparently no one cares that Pat Tiberi’s challenger Paula Brooks didn’t even live in the district at the time of her announcement.

I am no defender of Jon Husted. But it will never cease to amaze me how the same Democrat party which wants to give the homeless the right to use a park bench as their voter registration address challenged Husted’s voter registration at a house he legitimately owns and maintains.

If the court didn’t force her hand, Brunner would have gladly dragged this situation out forever. But this is all good timing for the Democrats, considering the Ohio GOP just endorsed Jon Husted’s candidacy for Secretary of State last week. Maybe they should have waited?

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SoS Primary Cat Fight

August 4th, 2009 Matt View Comments

Mark Niquette has been doing the best reporting on this announcement from yesterday:

State Rep. Jennifer Garrison of Marietta formally announced yesterday that she is running for secretary of state, and she accused her expected opponent in the May Democratic primary of violating state campaign-finance rules.

Garrison noted that Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown reported accepting a $50,000 loan from her brother-in-law on July 23, even though such loans are subject to the $11,396 contribution limit for statewide candidates.

“If you aspire to be the chief elections officer, you should be upholding campaign-finance laws,” Garrison, 47, told reporters after announcing her candidacy.

The only way that candidates can accept family members’ contributions exceeding the limit is if they first file a notice that they intend to use personal funds, said J. Curtis Mayhew, campaign-finance administrator for Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

I’ve always been impressed with Garrison, as no other state legislator has been so consistent with years of excellent, no-frills email updates to her constituents which I have found useful, even though I don’t live in the 93rd District. It is fun to watch this race start off with such a serious attack. And as Kyle Sisk noted, Armond Budish is Marilyn Brown’s best friend.

And related news, someone REALLY needs to find Sandy O’Brien a job. I went to literally hundreds of campaign events in 2006 when she was running for Treasurer. And while I was thrilled to see her defeat liberal Republican Treasurer Janett Bradley in a primary, she is now an even less serious statewide candidate than Brian Flannery was in 2006. Sandy’s presentation is like a hyper 1st grade school teacher who is on antidepressant drugs.

I’m no Husted fan, and recently spent more than 15 minutes explaining to Jon himself every reservation I have with him at a Salem radio event in Cleveland. But conservatives should have some newfound respect for Jon after he stood up to the weak-kneed Ohio Senate majority over the budget compromise and Strickland’s VLTs. Jon is an intelligent and serious professional who would be a vast improvement over the ACORN-controlled Jennifer Brunner, while O’Brien is simply nuts.

That Didn’t Take Long: The Republican-Controlled Senate Caved

July 10th, 2009 Matt View Comments

Update at 3:53pm- According to Gongwer, the deal is finalized and a budget compromised has been reached.

Yesterday, Senator Jon Husted was on the ORP’s YouTube account talking about putting gambling before voters. Perhaps they shouldn’t have posted that video, as the Senate appears to be caving by allowing Strickland to go through with his gambling proposal by executive order and will pass enabling legislation to make sure he has the authority to do so.

Politically, it might be wise to box Strickland in a corner and make him own a gambling issue which is sure to fall short of hopes.

However, shouldn’t the objective be to drag on budget debates and hack away at government spending? By caving, the Senate Republicans are allowing Strickland to move past this devastating issue, then set up Ohio with a multi-billion dollar deficit for the next budget, with spending increase mandates which are tied to the current one-time-only “stimulus” expenditures, and sets Strickland up to: 1) campaign as a fiscal conservative, and 2) pass a MASSIVE tax increase if re-elected.

Senate Republicans Appear to be Standing Firm Against Strickland’s Political Maneuvering

July 9th, 2009 Matt Comments off

Or at least that is the impression I get from the Ohio GOP’s latest boring legislative update:

And speaking of Sen. Jon Husted,  the Montgomery County Board of Elections, as of last week, was split on the question of his residency and the issue has been returned to SoS Jennifer Brunner. Here is a question a friend posed to me which is worth pondering:

Isn’t it inconsistent for Democrats to be outraged that Jon Husted really lives in Upper Arlington with his wife and still pays taxes on a home in Kettering, but they have no problem with the homeless listing park benches as their official address on voter registration forms?

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