Posts Tagged ‘Rob Portman’

Politico: “Fisher’s campaign has Dems worried”

July 28th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The campaign is imploding:

Democratic nominee Lee Fisher has always been known as a tough boss in Ohio political circles, and his Senate bid is no exception.

His campaign has a high level of senior staff turnover and it’s causing concern among Democrats eyeing a pickup of the current Republican Senate seat this cycle.

Over the course of his 16-month-long campaign, Fisher has employed three campaign managers: Geri Prado, Jay Howser and currently, Lynne Bowman. Fisher’s scheduler, a regional finance staffer, and a research director have also departed the campaign in the last couple months. Most recently, spokesman John Collins announced he was leaving the campaign Friday to work on Democratic nominee Jack Conway’s Senate race in nearby Kentucky.

Fisher and former Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are virtually tied in public polling, but Fisher’s campaign has a massive cash disadvantage compared to the Republican. With about one-sixth of Portman’s cash haul in the bank, the effectiveness of the Democrat’s campaign matters greatly.

There are actually more staffers who have left, but if you look at campaign finance reports you will see that many were listed as employees at the Ohio Democrat Party, so their departure wouldn’t be easily noticed by Politico.

And the Portman campaign is running the type of ads I wish the RGA would run against Strickland. Not mean stuff, but absolutely devastating:

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Rob Portman’s Energy Plan Nonsense

July 7th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Yesterday, when posting Rob Portman’s cap and trade TV ad, I explained just why it may not be a good idea to make CO2 emissions into an artificially scarce commodity in a state where 86% of electricity is coal generated: it raises energy prices, does not encourage economic growth, and creates a really ugly market of lobbyists buying and selling favors.

BUT, as Stephen Stromberg, a liberal pinhead from the Washington Post, correctly points out, Rob Portman’s Energy Plan leaves much to be desired:

At the end of the ad, Portman claims that he has a better way to protect the environment, and he asks the viewer to check it out on his Web site. I obliged. His plan relies on “support” — read: subsidies and other government interventions — for things that he likes — corn ethanol, nuclear power, natural gas, coal.

Some of these things might become an essential part of weaning the country off fossil fuels. Or not.[...]

On his Web site, Portman criticizes “command-and-control” regulation from Washington. He mentions refraining from choosing winners and losers in the energy debate. He says he doesn’t want Washington “to stifle the ingenuity of American enterprise and our market system through government interference.” But inefficient government interference is his plan.

Stromberg continues his blog post with a specious defense of cap-and-trade. But his general point on Portman’s hypocrisy right and worth keeping in mind.

From Portman’s website (emphasis added):

5.  Promote Ohio Bio-Fuels. Ohio is also a leading producer of bio-fuels, particularly corn-based ethanol, which is blended with regular gasoline to reduce vehicle emissions.  Research and new technologies are making home-grown bio-fuels more cost effective and should be encouraged. The federal EPA should increase the ethanol content in the standard blend from 10 percent to 15 percent for newer vehicles whose engines are equipped to handle higher ethanol concentrations. This small change would substantially raise the demand for this renewable fuel, which means more production, more jobs for ethanol producing states like Ohio, and make us less dependent on foreign oil. Ohio farmers and bio-fuel plants like the Poet Bio-refining plant Rob visited in Marion will benefit from a renewed commitment to Ohio bio-fuels.

6.  Bring Alternative-Fueled Vehicles into the Mainstream. Rob is the owner of a hybrid vehicle – a Ford Escape he purchased in 2006 – and has a strong interest in the technology.  Driven by increased consumer demand, manufacturers are now designing “plug-in” hybrid vehicles that supplement gasoline power with electric power from the grid.  Availability of these vehicles will be increasingly important as our cleaner energy production markets (solar, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear and clean coal) mature.  If we can generate electricity more cleanly, manage it efficiently through the use of smart grids, and use it to power our cars and trucks, then we will have created a sustainable, clean-energy lifecycle.  As fuel cell research in Ohio and elsewhere matures, this is another exciting, potential fuel source.  The federal government should continue to partner with the private sector to develop the battery and other technologies that make these vehicles possible, ensure manufacturers have access to capital to bring these vehicles to market, and help encourage plug-in hybrids. Along with natural gas vehicles, bio-fuels, and an increased supply of domestically-produced oil, these hybrid and electric vehicles will help lead us to energy independence.

7. Use Ohio’s Manufacturing and Technology Advantage. Ohio’s skilled workforce is a national asset that will help move our economy closer to energy diversity and independence.  Unfortunately, Cap and Trade punishes Ohio’s manufacturers when, in fact, they are part of the answer to developing cleaner energy solutions.  Ohio’s manufacturing and technological expertise is at the forefront in energy development, research, and production in traditional energy areas and in promoting advanced alternative energy technologies.  Ohio is also home to a robust energy manufacturing sector that is at the forefront in solar cell and wind turbine production and has the capacity to be a leader in the manufacture of hybrid and electric vehicles. Government policies that incentivize innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy sector will benefit states like Ohio that have made strategic investments in human capital and advanced-manufacturing infrastructure.

8. Promote Conservation and Efficiency. The cleanest energy of all is the energy we don’t use.  Reducing our energy consumption leads to a cleaner environment, and gives rise to entire new industries, technologies, and jobs in energy auditing, insulation, lighting, HVAC, and appliance refits.   Improving energy efficiency in buildings and homes could stimulate job growth, eliminate approximately 30% of U.S. crude oil imports, and may be the best short-term opportunity to reduce energy consumption.  Conservation should also be encouraged, including supporting ongoing efforts to restore and protect natural habitats across the globe.  Deforestation is considered the second-largest source of CO2 emissions behind coal-fired electric plants. Legislation Rob authored, the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, has resulted in the protection of over 60 millions acres of forests worldwide.

I know it’s a Republican talking point, but I don’t see what the big deal is with “energy independence”… The goal should be CHEAP energy, imported from anywhere, to encourage economic growth and activity. Economies are increasingly INTERDEPENDENT, and that free flow of goods and services is responsible for the great wealth our country, despite a serious recession, still enjoys.

Rob Portman supports nuclear energy, which certainly can be a replacement for coal but is still too expensive. But what is most unnerving is his support of “incentives” for wildly inefficient forms of energy such as wind, ethanol and solar, his willingness to send pork to universities for energy research projects, and his endorsement of “command-and-control” policies which encourage the purchase of cars that consumers otherwise don’t want (and remember… Portman also supported cash for clunkers).

I understand there are many corn growers in Ohio who certainly support ethanol, but not only does the use of corn for fuel dramatically increase the cost of food, it takes more energy to produce ethanol than it creates and has been subsided to the tune of $7 BILLION DOLLARS. Portman has been in Washington long enough to know that, but he also knows where his political support and contributions come from.

And where does Rob Portman think the electricity comes for his hybrid car? COAL BURNING POWER PLANTS!

This is just one more issue that makes me uncomfortable about Rob Portman.

Rob Portman’s Cap and Trade Ad

July 6th, 2010 Matt View Comments

I think this is an important ad released from the Portman campaign today, as Lee Fisher might just be nuts enough to go after Ohio’s coal industry and all Ohio businesses with a crazy scheme which assumes carbon dioxide is pollution…. even though we’re carbon based lifeforms, we emit it while breathing, it’s needed for photosynthesis, et cetera:

Cap and Trade credits are perhaps the worst way to limit so-called “green house gasses,” as they turn energy consumption into a battle between powerful lobbyists… And instead of it being a normal tax, it is a direct transfer of wealth from consumers to energy companies. Also, companies like AEP love this plan as they would be exempt for many years AND increases the barriers of entry for competition… Something that Gov. Ted Strickland and then-Speaker Jon Husted already did for them in 2008 with an unfortunate anti-competition energy bill.

If Democrats weren’t so tied to Wall Street, special interests, and oil companies like BP (the founding member of the cap-and-trade lobby), maybe they would propose a less objectionable Pigouvian tax. Portman clearly understands this issue, while Fisher should do us all a favor and stop exhaling CO2.

Rob Portman in the Lead, Honorary Woman Lee Fisher Still Liked by Chicks

July 2nd, 2010 Matt View Comments

From Rasmussen:

The Ohio Senate race between former Republican Congressman Rob Portman and Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher remains very close.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the state’s Likely Voters shows Portman picking up 43% of the vote while Fisher earns 39%. Four percent (4%) would vote for some other candidate and 13% more are undecided.

Portman’s support has stayed within a very narrow 42% to 44% range since February. During the same period, Fisher’s support has stayed within a 39% to 43% range. The two men were in a virtual tie earlier this month and early May.

While Portman holds a double-digit lead among men in Ohio, Fisher holds an edge among women. Among voters in the state not affiliated with either major political party, Portman holds a double-digit edge but a large number of unaffiliated voters are committed to either candidate.

Those unwashed independents are going to vote heavily for Republicans this cycle, which is why I think it’s fair to assume that all polling in the field is underestimating this demographic.

Also of interest is that 57% of Ohioans would like to repeal ObamaCare.

Voinovich Votes NO on Making 15% Capital Gains Tax Rate Permanent

June 24th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From The Club for Growth:

Yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint offered an amendment that would make the current 15% capital gains tax rate permanent, otherwise it is scheduled to increase to 20% at the end of this year.

The amendment failed, 40-57.  “Republican” Senator George Voinovich sided with most of the Democrat to kill the proposal.  Sen. Ben Nelson was the only Democrat to make the tax rate permanent.

Thankfully, Voinovich is retiring after this year.  He will not be missed.

Rob Portman who is campaigning to replace Vonovich, according to his website, doesn’t agree:

The current tax rate for capital gains and dividend income must be renewed by Congress rather than increased. If Washington gets its way, taxes on capital gains and dividends and taxes on investments will increase significantly. Taxing investments will kill jobs when we need to add jobs.

Because taxes are always taken out on the corporate level, capital gains taxes is double taxation. In addition, the tax does not account for the risk of inflation, which unfairly punishes the elderly and low/middle class investors, as they can’t easily afford to adjust their investment decision. All of this makes for a higher effective tax rate, which encourages investors to retain assets and inhibits new investment.

Since the best way to stop an activity is to tax it, why would America go out of it’s way to discourage more investment and economic activity?

Goodbye George

The Ultimate D.C. Insider, Rob Portman

June 18th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The campaign of former Congressman and Bush Administration trade official Robert Portman has been an exceptionally uninteresting one.

And this is odd, considering there are quite a few details about Rob Portman for Republicans to be excited about. With a life-time ranking from the American Conservative Union of 87%, top-notch rankings from Citizens Against Government Waste, a champion of important free trade agreements, and taking a  stance against ObamaCare’s unconstitutional health insurance mandates (even though he is one of the few Republican Senate candidates not to sign the Club for Growth’s pledge), he doesn’t seem anything like George Voinovich. In fact, if elected, he may very well be the most conservative Ohio Senator since “Mr. Republican” Robert Taft, a conservative legend.

And while his name-ID is low, Ohio voters aren’t opposed to voting for candidates they probably have never heard of. If you don’t believe me, ask Gov. Ted Strickland.

So what’s the problem?

Click to continue reading “The Ultimate D.C. Insider, Rob Portman”

Rob Portman’s Job Ad

June 10th, 2010 Matt View Comments

That blue book can be downloaded here and it’s interesting reading.

On one hand, alarm bells go off when I read about increasing Pell grants, gimmicky proposals to repeal the payroll tax for a year, increased Federal spending on community colleges, gentle China-trade bashing, and green energy poppycock.

And if Portman’s plan is to “double Ohio’s exports” to global markets, President Obama may very well take care of this for him simply by devaluing the American dollar through inherently inflationary policies.

BUT, Portman wants to cut America’s wildly uncompetitive business tax rate to 25%, small business tax deductions, killing the “cap and trade” scheme, and a full repeal of Obamacare, he sounds far more conservative than George Voinovich and provides a stark contrast from hairy Lee Fisher.

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Jack Torry: Kasich Had Nothing to do With Lehman’s Troubles, “Drunk-Driving Greggy” Haas Chuckles

May 24th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From  Jack Torry in the Akron Beacon Urinal:

On Friday, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern launched an assault against Portman.

Pointing out that Portman served as director of the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. trade representative under Bush, Redfern charged that “Bush Trade Czar Portman supported reckless economic and trade policies that sent hundreds of thousands of Ohio jobs overseas.’’

“Wall Street Johnny’’ and “Trade Czar Portman’’ are such obvious attack lines that Greg Haas, a Democratic consultant in Columbus, joked, “I don’t know which is more effective — running against the candidate with Wall Street ties or running against the candidate with George Bush’s trade policy ties.’’

In many ways, the Democratic attacks are an exaggeration. Kasich is not in any way responsible for the collapse of Lehman Brothers. And free-trade policies backed by Bush and Portman helped Ohio become the only state in the country to increase its exports every year from 1998 to 2008 — a fact Fisher and Strickland both have boasted about.

The arguments are just the tired class warfare, anti-trade arguments the Democrats have made for many decades. They are cheap and intellectually dishonest, but are still the most effective attacks the Democrats have.

More T&A You Never wanted to see

May 11th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Good Lord:

Such modesty!

I would think Ohioans would love to return to the so-called Bush economy, where unemployment was roughly at the full rate of 5%. It was a time when taxes were cut, investment grew after a cut in capital gains, and it was an era when “swelling national debt” by billions of dollars actually sounded like a lot of money.

This tired, old mercantilist argument has to exhaust Ohio voters, and is certainly not a winning message… when it was Gov. Strickland and Job Czar Lee Fisher who saw unemployment DOUBLE on their watch, while income taxes and fees were raised on struggling Ohio families.


The far-left Wonkette blog properly mocks:

Hey, people taking off their shirts …. old people, chunky people … to make, uh, a typically dumb/strained Democrat political point, that actually makes no real sense, and is just gross. Go to a website and the Democratic Party will send, uh, a shirt to Rob Portman, because he’s some Bush slimeball who is to blame for the Global Financial Collapse, we guess?

And if you have no job, in Ohio, what you really want is for the f*cking Democratic Party to spend money on f*cking T-shirts to send to Rob Portman’s campaign office, where they’ll sit in boxes until somebody takes them to the Goodwill with all the other shirts donated by broken-up bands and failed campaigns. And then, poor people of Ohio, maybe then you can have a $4 t-shirt again. Jesus f*Fcking christ.

What has been fun to watched is a supposedly outraged Ohio media spend a week covering an ad which was never put on TV… It truly shows you the power that a viral internet video has.

Here is the Dayton Daily News’ cartoon:

And a morally OUTRAGED, “purportedly” unbiased political reporter Joe Hallett, questions Senator Cornyn’s “purportedly” religious convictions:

Politics is the new porn. And Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is a purveyor of it.

Rob Portman, Ohio Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, tacitly embraces political porn.

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Portman’s Democratic opponent, plays the innocent victim – and then cynically tries to profit from political porn.

There is no gutter deep enough for where this column is headed. If you’re already sick of the 2010 campaign in Ohio, read no further. This might make you barf.

Last week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee created an attack ad against Fisher and ensured that it went viral. The ad was stunningly crass, its sexual explicitness alarmingly vile. The NRSC took footage from Swing State, an otherwise charming documentary by Fisher’s son, Jason, and Jason’s college buddy, John Intrater, about the 2006 race for governor.

Late one night, Jason snuck into his father’s study, John following with camera, and they found Fisher shirtless and hunched over his laptop. “Out, out, out,” Fisher protested, but the filmmakers insisted on interviewing him. After he was elected lieutenant governor, Fisher asked that the bare-chested scene be edited out, but Jason persisted.

Fisher’s instincts told him the footage could end up being used to embarrass him but never fathomed that Republicans would make him the star of their porn movie. Under the guise of criticizing Fisher as “job czar” while 350,000 jobs fled Ohio during a recession, the Republicans created an ad that would make a triple-X starlet blush.

Political scientist John Green, an expert on Ohio politics, showed it to students and faculty members at the University of Akron and to a person – Democrat, Republican and Independent – they cringed, adjudging it “uncalled-for,” Green said.

Using provocative music and sexual double-entendres, the NRSC froze an image of Fisher with one hand on his bare chest and the other out of sight below his belt. NRSC applied an undulating effect to make it appear that Fisher was masturbating. Unsubtle messages flash on the screen, saying “He didn’t get the job done,” and, “He was more concerned about his job than yours.”

Mind you, this video was not the basement handiwork of a beer-bellied blogger. This was done by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the official campaign arm of Senate Republicans headed by the purportedly religious Cornyn. The eyes of Texas and the scorn of voters should be on Cornyn and every other member of the Senate GOP caucus for finding a new way to obliterate the boundaries of good taste.

Joe Hallett is an ass, who rotates between 2 column ideas: mud slinging in politics is bad and tax increases are good.

And no matter what a bunch of half-wit kids at Akron University think, negative ads work… The ad had a serious message and it certainly grabbed attention. Team Portman, which totally wussed out by denouncing an ad that they certainly had a hand in, could spend millions of dollars on television in today’s era of DVR and not get nearly as much attention.

I think the exposed nipple stuff is weird enough for it to last into November. The NRSC, which has a rather stiff and formal image, should be congratulated for taking the gloves off and getting serious about winning back the majority.

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Jennifer Brunner is “Running on Empty” & Lee Fisher is a “Loser”

April 21st, 2010 Matt Comments off

(For those of you keeping score at home, Jackson Browne was also the musician playing in the background while a shirtless Lee Fisher was working late as his son videotaped him for a stupid documentary. If you knew that, give yourself a gold star for excellence.)

From The Politico:

Brunner Running on Empty

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announced raising just $144,000 for her Senate campaign in the first three months of the year and ending the quarter with $79,000 in the bank. That compares with a $550,000 quarter and $1.8 million on hand for Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who has held a small advantage in recent Democratic primary polling. That means that the last two weeks of the primary campaign — the election is on May 4 — pit a candidate with a clear fan base and little money (Brunner) against a candidate with superior resources and a less obvious core constituency (Fisher).

However, Lee Fisher and his TV ad comb-over are still losers:

Despite his money advantage, Politico put Fisher in the “loser” category on its national list of first-quarter fundraising winners and losers, suggesting that he should have raised more, given the backing of Gov. Ted Strickland and others.

“Democratic strategists believe his weak showing could give Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who has also struggled to raise money, new life and an outside shot at winning the Democratic Senate nomination,” Politico said.

And Lee should have reason to be worried. Not only do women tend to do slightly better than men on the ballot, Democrat activists are almost all support Brunner’s staunch progressivism, since she is far more exciting than a candidate tainted with Cuyahoga County Democrat corruption.

Fisher is a known commodity and and Republicans know how to beat him- He even lost a race to former Gov. Bob Taft. Regardless of fundraising totals, I don’t think it’s any secret that Brunner, in a general election, would be a much stronger candidate.

I truly wish Brunner would respond to Fisher’s TV ad, as not only is Ohio’s Job Czar talking about job creation (unemployment DOUBLED on his watch) but he talks about his work at a non-profit… a “charity” which paid him approximately $400,000/year plus expenses. Instead of buying the Sean Hannity-sounding “Courage Express” bus, why not run an ad on MSNBC and public radio? The liberal Ohio media would certainly promote the ad for free, and then this might actually look like a REAL primary battle.

Come on Jennifer. You punch like a girl. You can do better!

Please Stop Quoting Herb Asher Just as a “Political Scientist”

April 21st, 2010 Matt Comments off

From the Wall Street Journal:

Polls suggest they have a chance, even amid a national political climate that favors Republicans. With Republican Sen. George Voinovich retiring, members of President Barack Obama’s party are hopeful that Democrats can triumph in at least one toss-up state in the midterm elections.

“Regardless of who the Democratic nominee is, the November election will be a competitive one,” says Herb Asher, a political scientist at Ohio State University.[...]

“One of the challenges is how [Portman] presents himself to the electorate,” Asher says.

Just 22% of respondents to a recent Pew Research Center survey said they can trust the government in Washington most of the time or almost always; among the lowest measures in 50 years.

Portman will be able to point to the fact that it’s Democrats like Fisher or Brunner who control Congress and the White House. He stepped down as OMB director in 2007 and he hasn’t been a congressman since 2005. And he’s hard at work painting his Democratic challengers as would-be accomplices for what he calls “Washington’s failed policies.”

“Ohio continues to fall behind, but Washington refuses to provide meaningful help,” Portman said in a statement last week, after Ohio’s unemployment rate was reported to rise to 11%. “More than 650,000 Ohioans are out of work, and yet Congress continues to pursue a job-killing tax-and-spend agenda. Both Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State [Brunner] willingly support that agenda and will be a rubber stamp for Washington’s failed policies.”

With a little more than six months to go before the general election, both the eventual Democratic nominee and Portman have plenty of time to make their cases. The jobs picture could improve, making Democrats look better. But with Democrats competitive in Ohio even with soaring unemployment, the Buckeye State may buck the trend.

Says OSU’s Asher: “Ohio might be one of those rare states where there’s a chance for a pick-up.”

I really enjoyed Professor Asher’s classes at The OSU, but it’s very unfair to not mention he is a long-time Democrat operative. He was the author of the 2005 failed “Reform Ohio Now” ballot issue to redefine how districts are drawn in Ohio, and is a staunch partisan.Too many professors are quite liberal, but Asher takes an extra step with his involvement and it deserves to always be mentioned.

Chairman Gantt Actually Was in Favor of an Endorsement, Before He Was Against It

March 13th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Yesterday, I posted a link to the latest endorsement excitement in the Republican Primary for Ohio Auditor, where Dayton Daily News reported that Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Greg Gantt had not actually endorsed Seth Morgan. After that went to print, State Senator Gary Cates sent Morgan a harshly worded letter, which Dave Yost’s campaign circulated to the media.

But in this conference call with supporters of Seth Morgan on January 14, 2010, it sure sounds like Gantt endorsed. Take a listen:

Here is the transcript (emphasis added):

Rep. Seth Morgan: Mr. Greg Gantt, uh and uh, Greg we, we turn it over to you for a few words of wisdom.

Montgomery County Republican Chairman Greg Gantt: Thank you Seth. Uhh, my words of wisdom I guess are not so much in go for it, you can do it because I think, uh, I certainly know you would make an excellent candidate and encourage you to, uh, pursue that option and, and go for it. Umm, I guess my comment is more to everybody on the call, uh, on a personal level, that uh, you have begun a great career in the House and certainly you’re poised to win reelection and to say that, uh, myself and others are gonna stand behind you, uh, and support you and encourage you to go for the Auditor’s position, that uh, we stick with you, uh, and push you as hard as we can because you’re…you’re putting yourself out there….uh…..(unintelligible)’d have an easier race in a smaller district and continue on your wonderful work at the house and, uh, shoot for state level later and we’re so appreciative and (it’s) so wonderful that you’re considering doing this and uh, just want to let everybody know the fact that you’re putting yourself out there, that I’m willing and hope that other people are willing to put themselves out as well, and uh, and really stay with you, uh, as you pursue this goal. I’m very excited, and uh, very honored to be a part of this and especially, uh, somewhat uh….uh…weird to be in a almost fatherly figure at, uh, my young age of 43 to see some of my, uh, my first two candidates as chairman to get elected and now moving up to the state level and (I’m) very excited, very thrilled and I’m behind you a hundred percent.

Rep. Seth Morgan: Well thank you Chairman, uh, very much, we appreciate you joining us, and uh, your support is important obviously because we need to build a coalition that is uh, as broad as we can…we can make it. Umm…we look forward to continuing to pick up support from the establishment, if you will, GOP along the way and we very much appreciate you being on the call and for your leadership here in Montgomery County.

To make matters worse, Gantt also said this to the Dayton Daily News:

Gantt, a member of the board of elections, said Friday that he does not endorse candidates. Gantt, who chairs the county board, said that is both personal preference and board policy. He said the county party has not decided whether to endorse Morgan, a former Huber Heights councilman, or Yost for state auditor.

But on January 26, he proudly endorsed Rob Portman for US Senate.

It looks like Gantt Cantt get his story straight, or some other factors helped him change his mind.

And stay tuned for more Republican endorsement drama in the Ohio Auditor’s race!…

NTU & CAGW Speak Fondly of Rob Portman

March 10th, 2010 Matt Comments off

Encouraging background information from David Wolfford in the print edition of the Weekly Standard:

[Rob Portman] rode the ’94 GOP wave back for a full term and won five more, typically with 70 percent of the vote. Portman was popular in Washington, too. His proudest moments in his 12 years in the House, he said, were “when we passed the balanced budget agreement and the welfare reform bill.” Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayer’s Union recalls Portman’s leadership on the IRS restructuring of 1998. “He set a professional work environment that rose above partisanship and ultimately gave taxpayers more rights.”

In 2005, George W. Bush named Portman U.S. trade representative, then later budget director. In his year at the Office of Management and Budget, Portman fought to contain spending and earned the sobriquet “Dr. No.” He also pushed for a revised line-item veto bill that would stand constitutional muster, and after consulting with taxpayer groups he established an online listing of earmarks. “He was extremely interested in engaging us and others,” said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, confirmed that Portman’s efforts “moved earmarks out of the shadows.”

TEA Party Organizers Not Pleased with Rob Portman

March 7th, 2010 Matt Comments off

From The Hill:

For years, Rep. Roy Blunt and former Rep. Rob Portman touted their positions of influence in Republican leadership circles in Washington, D.C.

But now both are running for Senate seats and discovering their Washington résumés to be something of a liability at a time when the Tea Party and disaffected fiscal conservatives have new political power.

Blunt, who is running in a GOP primary in Missouri, and Portman, who is running in Ohio, have taken different approaches to explaining their years in Washington.

While Blunt has reached out to Tea Party activists, Portman has kept them at arm’s length so far.[...]

Portman has been more aloof, according to Tea Party organizers in Ohio.

“He has not reached out to our group,” said Rob Scott, founder and president of the Dayton Tea Party.

The Dayton Tea Party has invited Portman to a candidate forum scheduled for March 27 but still has not received confirmation from his campaign.

“They’ve put us off,” said Scott, who added that he will likely support Portman’s candidacy.

Charles Dyer, chairman of the Central Ohio Tea Party Patriots, said he has also found Portman less than enthusiastic to embrace Tea Party activists and voters.

“We’ve had the same experience in central Ohio,” Dyer said. “He doesn’t have any strong challengers on the conservative side so he might not see that as a necessity at this time.”

Portman’s campaign disputes this.[...]

Ohio Tea Party organizers note that before Ganley dropped his bid, he did significantly more than Portman to reach out to them.[...]

Scott, of the Dayton Tea Party, said Portman was “in Congress when Republicans were spending — not as much as the current Congress — but were spending beyond the means of the country.

“Portman was Bush’s OMB director, he was in charge of the budget and he’s going to have to explain that,” Scott added.

Strong words, but I think Scott- who I know well from Ken Blackwell’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign and is now Seth Morgan’s campaign spokesman- is right to raise questions. Just during this campaign cycle, it was rather unnerving when Portman endorsed the Cash for Clunkers program, since opposition to this type of creepy-crawly statist policy is part of what defines “conservatism.”

But The Hill is just making a big fuss out of something that is rather obvious. This is lazy reporting.

And regardless, Rob Portman will still be Ohio’s most right-of-center Senator since conservative icon Robert Taft left office in 1953. I think that’s worth mentioning.

Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine’s warning is an important one:

Conservatism wins elections. Good policy. Good politics.

Rob Portman’s Campaign is Busy!

March 6th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From Jennifer Brunner’s Twitter page:

Doesn’t Jennifer know it’s not good to leave your dogs in a car for any extended period of time?

And why would Jenny-Benny, an anti-gun God-less liberal, be invited to the National Wild Turkey Federation dinner in Coshocton County, where she gave the dinner prayer? Can you even imagine Jennifer holding a gun?!

The folks who go to this type of event are sportsmen, usually with plenty of disposable income to spend on silent auction items (guns, knives, prints of wildlife scenes, and hunting gear). In other words, not a big turnout of Democrats who vote in primaries.

And I have confirmation that the Pink Pistols were not there. So is Jennifer already in General Election mode?

Rob Portman is A NAZI OR SOMETHING!!

March 3rd, 2010 Matt Comments off

Kevin Holtsberry has the details here.

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NEWSFLASH from Jen Brunner: COAST is not a fan of Rep. John Murtha

February 12th, 2010 Matt Comments off

If Jennifer Brunner is trying to smear Rob Portman as badly as Murtha smeared US troops in Haditha, she will have to try harder than this.

Saturday: “Ohio Taxed to the Max Rally” in Columbus, 2pm

January 27th, 2010 Matt Comments off

From Americans for Prosperity:

Please join Americans for Prosperity, OH (AFP-OH), the Columbus Tea Party, Ohio Freedom Alliance, Citizens United to End Ohio’s Estate Tax, Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, and Ohio Citizens Accounting Standards Board at a rally demanding that Ohio’s legislature get spending under control and stop treating taxpayers like an ATM every time they run out of cash. The rally will be held in front of a 15-foot-tall inflatable ATM machine to drive the point home that Ohio’s citizens are “Already Taxed to the Max.”

Date: Saturday, January 30th, 2pm

Location: Hyatt on Capitol Square in Columbus.

I’ve heard that Auditor candidate Seth Morgan and Senate candidate Rob Portman have confirmed that they will attend. Are you going or know of other candidates who will be there? Then please leave a comment. Thank you

Ohio Right to Life Polls Show Kasich/Portman With Strong Leads

January 20th, 2010 Matt Comments off

They commissioned Fritz Wenzel for the survey:

Gubernatorial Race
Kasich 42.5
Strickland 32.6
Other 7.8
Not Sure 17.2

Governor Strickland’s Job Approval Rating
Excellent 6.3
Good 24.6
Fair 38.2
Poor 27
Not Sure 4

U.S. Senate Race
Portman 36.9
Fisher 30.7
Other 8.8
Not Sure 23.7

Portman 40.4
Brunner 34.5
Other 6.4
Not Sure 18.8

“The results in these Ohio races reflect a significant change from just a few months ago, which mirrors the dramatic change in the political landscape this year,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel. “National issues have dominated, and the Democrats have seen a steep decline in the popularity of their leaders and their proposals. Democrats Strickland, Fisher and Brunner have the added difficulty of presiding over a state that has languished through a very tough economic time.”

The poll questions were asked in conjunction with the Ohio Cultural Index. These results are available in their entirety at The Index will be released on January 25. The survey was conducted January 8-12, 2010, and included 1001 Ohio registered voters contacted by phone. The poll carries a 95% confidence interval and a margin of error of +/- 3.07 percentage points.

More details and the crosstabs are available here.

Rob Portman’s Plan for a 12-Month Payroll Tax Holiday is a Joke

December 5th, 2009 Matt Comments off

What Kevin Holtsberry calls “bold,” I call cheap, gimmicky Keynesianism, and reminiscent of President Bush’s 2008 tax rebate which was part of his “stimulus” package and had no effect on household spending.

From WCPN:

U.S. Senate hopeful Rob Portman says the economy needs an additional stimulus, besides what the federal government is already providing. So he’s advocating a temporary reprieve of some of the taxes that are taken from workers’ paychecks.

The Cincinnati Republican spoke in Cleveland Friday afternoon. Among his proposals was one that he maintains would jump-start both hiring, and spending.

Portman said “to spur immediate investment by employers and encourage consumption by employees; I support a one year payroll tax holiday. Beginning immediately…. for workers and employers on the first $50,000 of income.”

Workers would still pay state income and Medicare taxes.

The Heritage Foundation explains why such tax holidays don’t work:

There are several factors behind the failure of temporary tax holidays to stimulate economic recovery. One reason is that even if the key to future growth was to increase household spending, a tax holiday will not prompt the necessary splurge. That is because Americans adjust their spending according to what economists call the “wealth effect.” When the value of their stocks or housing is going up, as it did for many years, Americans tend to save less and spend more. But when their housing values and stock portfolios have plummeted, as [they did in 2009], the first thing Americans tend to do with unexpected cash is to try to replenish their wealth by increasing savings or paying down their credit card debt.[...]

Another reason tax holidays fail to prompt economic renewal–and this reason is related to the wealth effect–is that a family considering a significant increase in spending, or an investor contemplating a new business venture or expansion, thinks about the long term, not the next few months. Consequently, such individuals are motivated by the likely future patterns of after-tax family income and the after-tax return on an investment when compared with the risk of that investment. That is why American families will not go out and buy a new car just because they get a short-term tax rebate or tax holiday and why Americans with large-scale resources to invest will not break ground on a new factory if they are merely relieved of taxes for a couple of months.

The only way fiscal policy can change this spending or investing inertia is to improve the prospects for future after-tax income from earnings or from capital investment.

Conservatives should agree with Milton Friedman, who once said, “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.” However, this sort tax rebate take off the table discussions of actual tax cuts and long-term tax reforms.

Instead, perhaps Portman could propose  to stop the torturing of American businesses with an absorbent 35% corporate tax rate (39.3% if you also include average state taxes), which is one of the world’s highest rates. Or perhaps a permanent repeal of the estate tax (a tax which Congressional Democrats are about to renew) or a multi-year reduction in income tax rates so families could predict their after-tax income.

And in the era of Obama the Messiah, cutting spending would be pretty swell, too.

To Rob Portman’s credit, he has pointed himself in a direction of lower taxes… which is much more than we would ever be able to say about a US Senator Fisher or Brunner.  But as President Bush’s former OMB Director, Portman should be more acutely aware of how bad this holiday proposal is than anyone.

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