Posts Tagged ‘Ted Strickland’

Favored Nation Status for China Hypocrisy

August 20th, 2010 Matt View Comments

If we stop trading with China, do you know how many products and services we would have to give up? And what we receive in the form of cheaper goods, China has a rapidly growing middle class. Trade, by definition, is mutually beneficial for all parties involved and makes both countries better off.

Gov. Strickland’s comments are populist and soft racism… and he is a hypocrite for voting for favored nation status.

Ted Strickland’s Fall Gal: Nadeane Howard

August 11th, 2010 Matt View Comments

She moved from Toledo under Lee Fisher’s leadership to become a high-ranking assistant director at the DOD… but now that the state embarrassingly outsourced the work for the cash for clunker fridges program (even though it  saved the state money) she had to fall on the sword to protect her superiors:

The director of the Ohio Energy Resources Division has resigned after an internal review revealed that she knew at least a month before Ohio’s $11 million Appliance Rebate Program began on March 26 that the Texas company processing the rebates was going to use offshore workers.

The review, requested by Gov. Ted Strickland, found that the director, Nadeane Howard, got an e-mail before the state finalized its $357,300 contract with Parago Inc. “that explicitly raised a question about Parago’s potential outsourcing of jobs.”

That Feb. 25 e-mail, from a Minnesota competitor that didn’t win the state contract, warned that “Parago is known throughout the rebate industry as providing some of their services through offshore channels. . .

“Customer mail is delivered to a processing facility in El Paso, Texas, where is it immediately put on a truck and shipped to Mexico for scanning then data entry in other parts of the world, wherever the lowest cost labor is at the time,” wrote Dave White, vice president of sales for Helgeson Enterprises Inc. of White Bear Lake, Minn., in an e-mail.

PD to Strickland: FIRE Richard Murray

August 10th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From their editorial:

Political expediency is the closest thing to the Golden Rule in the Statehouse, especially during an election year.

That’s why odds are good that Gov. Ted Strickland — despite his protestations late last week to the contrary — will jettison Richard Murray, executive director of the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Murray’s continued presence just invites attack ads from Strickland’s Republican challenger, John Kasich.

n Ohio inspector general’s report released last week found that Murray used his position to induce school districts around the state to hire union workers and that he greenlighted a project that benefited three labor organizations with which he has been affiliated.

The report is a troubling window on yet another self-serving agenda by public officials greased by tax dollars. But Murray isn’t the only figure in this investigation whose neutrality is questionable.

This is the second politically charged investigation in which Inspector General Thomas Charles has found fault with the Strickland administration. The first involved an aborted Ohio State Highway Patrol sting. Charles is a retired patrol officer whose wife was passed over by the Strickland administration last year to head the Highway Patrol. He needs to acknowledge his conflict when judging this administration and step aside.

If you don’t want unions to have excessive influence in state politics like this, all the firings in the world won’t matter if Gov. Strickland remains in office.

Ted Strickland’s Sticks to his Racial Protectionism

August 10th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From The Politico:

GOV RACE EXCLUSIVE I — AMERICA FIRST: Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s campaign will begin blanketing rural radio stations with a new ad campaign targeting former Rep. John Kasich’s record on trade, in the Democrat’s latest effort to dislodge conservative-leaning constituencies from the Republican nominee. The debut commercial features the voice of Pat Spayde, who’s introduced as a former auto worker from Milan, Ohio. “We were doing good work here in Ohio and then I lost my job to outsourcing,” Spayde says in the ad. “When I heard that congressman John Kasich voted for all those trade deals that sent Ohio jobs overseas – I couldn’t believe it. Back in Washington, Kasich voted for NAFTA … And then Kasich moved to Wall Street and made millions working for Lehman Brothers – and they financed corporations that ship more American jobs overseas. Now Kasich wants to be Governor?” The commercial is aimed at non-traditional Democratic voters — particularly independent men — and a Strickland strategist characterized the scale of the effort as “unprecedented.” Listen to it here.

Fourteen years before NAFTA, 2.7 million manufacturing jobs were lost… which is a trend that has been going on since 1944. And what unaccomplished prison psychologist huckleberries don’t understand is that, as the Dayton Daily News’ Jack Torry pointed out, advancements in technology and improvement  are the real causes of job losses in the manufacturing sector:

Strauss ticked off one statistic after another that shows the U.S. remains a manufacturing powerhouse. The nation’s factories, he testified, are just more efficient.

He said that between 1950 and 2007, manufacturing output in the U.S. increased by 600 percent. Yet the nation today has only 14 million manufacturing jobs, roughly the same number as 1950.

How can this be?

Strauss pointed to automation and increased worker productivity, telling the subcommittee that 184 workers in 2009 produced as much as 1,000 workers did in 1950.

He explained that worker productivity is the main reason why manufacturing’s share of gross domestic product has declined by pointing out that “the greater efficiency of the manufacturing sector afforded either a slower increase or an outright decline in the prices of this sector’s goods.”

“This allowed manufactured goods to be less costly to consumers and led to the manufacturing sector’s declining share of GDP,” Strauss testified.

He made clear that as manufacturing jobs continue to decline in number, younger Americans will need a better education to compete for new high-tech jobs, saying “education is the big key to continued advancement.”

Also, as the Wall Street Journal has noted, Ohio’s most crippling handicap is the fact that our state is highly unionized, which makes other states that are right-to-work, MUCH more attractive to the manufacturing jobs still remaining in Ohio. But then companies like Honda, which is a Japanese automaker that first opened a plant in Ohio in 1979 and is not unionized, now has four plants and is one of the state’s top employers, paying competitive wages and benefits while never laying off Ohio employees.

NAFTA, in terms of total figures, was a very small impact on exports and imports. But it did help Ohio more than most states, as approximately 55% of Ohio’s exports go to Canada and Mexico (NAFTA TRADING PARTNERS)… which is more than 20% higher than the national average.

But never mind any of this… Ted Strickland has an election to win, and will shove gladly kick a beaner or a slanty-eyed Chinaman to do so.

Ohio deserves better.

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Parties Defend Campaign Trackers

August 10th, 2010 Matt View Comments

I have been mocking trackers for more than a year… now old Man Joe Hallett catched up with them and asks the parties to comment:

The Dispatch attempted to interview a number of trackers from both parties, but all declined to give their names or talk for the record.

Trackers have become ubiquitous and indispensible campaign weapons for both major parties and now can be found at virtually every public event – and some private ones – featuring Strickland, Kasich and other statewide and congressional candidates.

“It’s a reality of every campaign moving forward,” Nichols said.

“We may send multiple people to track one event if it’s a big one,” said Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

The upshot for candidates is that there almost always is a camera present, even where they might not expect to find one. Strickland said he understands that trackers assigned to him have a job to do, and he tries to be friendly and treat them with respect. But he also is cognizant that everything he says and does is being recorded with the intent to use it against him.

“I try not to say anything I’m ashamed of or would regret,” the governor said. “I kind of take some delight in all this. It’s a part of democracy.”

Nichols said Kasich, by dint of his years as an on-air personality for Fox News, is used to being on camera and “doesn’t get distracted by much of anything,” including trackers. Still, Nichols said he believes “there is an inherent effort to intimidate (by) edging in, trying to get close to the candidate. The constant presence, stepping out of a car with a camera in your face – who in any profession would want to spend their days with that?”

At the state fair on Friday, a state patrolman twice warned young men tracking Kasich and Rob Portman, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, to keep their distance from the candidates or he would eject them.

Redfern said his party’s trackers are given these instructions: “Leave if asked. Be polite. Say thank you. Pay, never sneak in. If they ask who you are, tell them who you are – ‘I am an employee of the Ohio Democratic Party and I’m here to track.’”

Republican trackers receive similar instructions. Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine called tracking “a logical extension of oppo-research,” useful well beyond recording the rare gaffe.

“For every gotcha moment you get, you end up with hours and hours and hours of your opponent speaking to a crowd and you begin to see patterns,” DeWine said. “You hear the candidate’s message, you see where he or she is comfortable and where he or she isn’t, what questions throw them off, how they act, their body language, how their message may differ in a union hall versus a Rotary Club. It can be very instructive.”

Actually, trackers aren’t told to act so gently… I know because I was one. But in today’s era of almost everyone having a video camera on their cellphone, candidates are always on the record. No longer do the Joe Hallett’s of the world control what people think of candidates, because if they say something stupid it will go viral months before elderly Joe may even get around to write a flaccid Sunday column about it.

Gubernatorial Master Debaters

August 5th, 2010 Matt View Comments

And the debates are planned… ready, set, don’t tune in!:

The major-party candidates for governor have agreed to two televised debates hosted by the Ohio Newspaper Organization, an association of the state’s eight largest newspapers.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and Republican challenger John Kasich will face off Sept. 14 in Columbus and Oct. 7 in Toledo. The one-hour debates will be televised by the local TV partners of The Dispatch and The Blade of Toledo, as well as by ONN, the statewide cable news network.

A panel of four newspaper reporters will pose questions at each debate, and each debate will be moderated by a staff member from WBNS-TV (Channel 10) in Columbus and WTOL-TV (Channel 11) in Toledo. The candidates will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The exact locations of the evening debates have yet to be determined.

Although the gubernatorial candidates will appear jointly at other events and venues during the campaign, their campaigns agreed on only two statewide television debates. In 2006, Strickland and his Republican opponent, J. Kenneth Blackwell, participated in four head-to-head debates.

Kasich was represented in debate negotiations by former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson of Reynoldsburg. Strickland was represented by David Wilhelm of Bexley, who managed President Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign.[...]

Herb Asher, an Ohio State University political scientist and expert on Ohio politics, said that with the election expected to be close, the two debates “could be consequential for the outcome.”

Thank you, Dr. Asher for the brilliant commentary. I also would like to tattoo on old man Joe Hallett’s head that Asher is actually a Democrat operative who wrote the failed pro-Democrat 2005 Reform Ohio Now redistricting ballot issue… But I suppose Joe couldn’t see it in the mirror anyway due to serious eye sight problems in addition to dementia.

The debate will include opening and closing statements with general questions going to candidates on a rotating basis. I would love to know the rest of the debate agreements, as in 2006 both gubernatorial campaigns agreed to the strictest of rules… As a staff member of the Blackwell campaign, we were not allowed to record video and chop it into clips for instant fact check. Why campaigns would agree to such rules is beyond my comprehension.

And it’s very unnerving that the representative was Jo Ann Davidson, as it’s a sign that a liberal, baby-killing, Third Frontier-lover will have serious influence in a Kasich administration and in Ohio Republican politics in general. She really needs to go on vacation on an island with Betty Montgomery and stay there permanently.

I will post videos of Strickland’s old debate videos once I digitize them… After studying them closely, it’s clear that Strickland isn’t a lightweight debater. He is older and is known to become quite shaky on television when the pressure is on, but his ability to obfuscate issues- such as taking credit for a homestead tax credit paid for by tobacco settlement dollars or for an income tax cut which his only involvement in was reducing the size of- is absolutely breathtaking to watch. He embraced his big government liberalism and that got him tossed out of office in 1994 by Frank Cremeans… and has since learned the lessons taught by Gov. Rhodes that it’s OK to raise taxes and grow government at the margins, just don’t be so damn obvious about it.

Strickland never had a serious debating opponent. Ken Blackwell, who at times can be a fantastic public speaker, stumbled often and made ridicious faces throughout their three debates in 2006… and this was after weeks of serious preparation.

And the most striking issue I noticed is that in almost every final debate with the candidate who Strickland is about to soundly defeat, they ALWAYS bring up the issue that Ted Strickland voted “present” for psychological study which said consenting sex between adults and children is OK. This issue was compounded as Strickland’s former chief of staff Bryan Spect, (who Plunderbund’s Brian Hester worked for) exposed himself to two 12 year old girls in a public park and masturbated in front of them. (These records were expunged, but I have them.) Later, Strickland used campaign dollars to charter a private jet for a vacation in Italy with Bryan, while Mrs. Strickland stayed home in Kentucky.

If this issue ever comes up, the race is over. It’s a stupid attempt to depress voter turnout and became the low point of Ken Blackwell’s career. And I suppose the same could be said if Team Strickland starts pushing the rumors that John Kasich, who was reportedly quite the ladies man in his youth, is a homosexual.

John Kasich’s biggest challenge will be to meet his own expectations. He was a Fox News contributor and is quite a gifted public speaker. But this isn’t the O’Reilly Factor where he was allowed to brilliantly rip off Naomi Wolf’s head… and Kasich in his “I Worked at Lehman Brother’s Ad” is literally shouting at us. I think he needs to take it down a notch, especially since there is no question that Strickland, who is in the political fight of his life, will try to throw him off early in the debates. Kasich’s talent for soaring rhetoric is so high that the post-debate spin will most certainly be that he was a disappointment, as a formal debate setting takes him out of his element.

Also, the best questions in 2006 came from scrappy reporters in Youngstown. The questions from the Columbus media will be gentle and ratings will be low, so it will be up to candidates to draw enough blood to make these debates matter.

Ted Strickland’s San Francisco Values

August 3rd, 2010 Matt View Comments

Mayor Newsom Simulating Fellatio on a Mic

California, with a state economy collapsing under the weight of unsustainable public pensions and a public sector, is truly Ohio’s ghost of state budgets future.

And as CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby reported, Gov. Ted Strickland is being supported in a fundraising appeal by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in hopes of bringing in left-coast dollars from the radical homosexual activists.

Notice how he uses the only thing that gets Democrat voters excited about Strickland… That this election will have a major impact on the 2012 presidential race:

From Mayor Gavin Newsom:

I’m writing to tell you about a good friend of mine, Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio.

Every four years, Ohio is a pivotal swing state in deciding who will be president. Keeping Ohio blue in 2010 is critical to winning in 2012. This year, Ted is facing a tough fight for re-election – and he needs all of our help.

Like California, the Midwest has been hit hard by this global financial crisis. But Ted has been doing an exceptional job of laying the foundation for recovery. This year, Ohio has been among the states with the highest job growth in the country and last year was a national leader in advanced energy jobs created.

Ted has also been a pioneering governor for education: he reformed the public school system with the biggest overhaul Ohio has seen in eighty years and kept the state’s tuition increases to the lowest in the nation. And Ted supported employment non-discrimination for all Ohioans regardless of sexual orientation.

Please click here to help Ted keep Ohio blue with a donation of $25, $50 or $100 – whatever you can afford.

Ted Strickland has been a groundbreaking governor, and it’s important to help him win a second term. In contrast, Ted’s opponent fought to cut health care and education funding while in Washington. And he was a player at the now-collapsed Lehman Brothers, one of the firms that precipitated our economic meltdown.

Unfortunately, Kasich’s ultra-conservative ties are helping him amass funds and run a competitive race. To fight back and keep Ohio blue, Ted needs our help.

Can you help keep Ohio blue with a donation of $25, $50 or $100 to Ted’s campaign?

In 2008, Ted Strickland campaigned tirelessly for Hillary Clinton in the primary and President Obama in the general election – and both won Ohio. Helping Ted win in 2010 will go a long way to ensuring that the White House remains in Democratic hands in 2012.

Thanks for everything you’ve done.


Gavin Newsom

P.S. Even if you can’t afford to give right now, please click here to join Ted’s campaign. He’ll appreciate your support and keep you updated on the race.

Newsom is Reason Magazine’s Nanny of the month.

By education reform I suppose we’re talking about how during Gov. Strickland’s 4 years in office, state aid decreased by $465 million…. the LARGEST cut in state aid to school funding since 1975. Here is the LSC chart with the exact numbers.

Contrast that with former Republican Governors of Ohio, such as George Voinovich, increased state aid for education by $264 million in his first 4 years. More money certainly doesn’t lead to better education- Cleveland spends more per student than most school districts in the country- But cutting education spending is the only “reform” Gavin Newsom could be referring to… other than kicking Catholic school children who received a 500% larger cut in funding than other schools. But harming institutions which provide a solid education while espousing Christian principles would certainly be in line with San Fransisco values, right?

Campaign finance reports are due soon and it will be interesting to see how effective Strickland’s California fundraising efforts were.

Gov. Strickland Contemplates Monitoring Your Driving Habits

August 2nd, 2010 Matt View Comments

This is the thanks you get for buying an ugly government-produced Chevy Volt:

For decades, paying for roads has been fairly straightforward.

Motorists pay at the pump through gasoline taxes. It’s more or less fair, too: The more you drive, the more you pay.

But more and more, people involved in transportation planning and construction say that model is breaking down as many vehicles get better gas mileage or don’t use gasoline at all.

They say state and federal governments eventually should switch to a system that charges a tax based on how many miles you drive, not how many gallons you consume.

As gasoline-tax revenue stagnates, the idea is to institute a true user fee tied to miles driven.

It was a major recommendation in 2009 when a 60-member panel met to discuss Ohio’s transportation future. Gov. Ted Strickland hasn’t taken up the idea, said Scott Varner, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, but it hasn’t been dismissed, either.

“There are a lot of examples around the country about how it can be done,” Varner said. “But there are still a lot of questions about it.”

In a time when global-positioning systems can track exactly where you go, how much would the government know about where or how far you drive? Could cities demand a share for the mileage you drive on their streets? Could it cost more to drive at rush hour? Would collection be as seamless as the gasoline tax?

If it is building a 39 mph train across Ohio, forcing you to buy health insurance, offering tax credits and subsidies for ugly hybrid cars, or this… Busybody liberals like Ted Strickland want to tell you how to live, how you will travel, and monitor every aspect of your life. The real agenda here is to get people to stop driving cars all together.

If you thought census workers were annoying,  just imagine the government official knocking on your door to install a tracking device in your car! creepy

Ted Strickland is Wall Street to the Core

July 29th, 2010 Matt View Comments

If it was voting in Congress to expand credit to Democrat voters who had no ability to actually pay a mortgage or voting in 2005 to allow the Treasury to bailout Fannie/Freddie just a year before the housing market collapsed… Congressman Ted Strickland supported the heavy handed market manipulation which made some on Wall Street wealthy while causing the most serious recession since the Carter-years.

And while he plays to voters using his carefully crafted, aww shucks, Duck-Run persona, he has shameless taken money from the very same financial services workers he has besmirched.

Ted Strickland, you are a hypocrite:

Rep. Steve LaTourette Rips Ted Strickland’s “Cash for Incompetence”

July 29th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From WKYC:

U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) is renewing his call that Gov. Ted Strickland form an independent, bipartisan oversight board to monitor federal stimulus spending after a TV report that state officials used stimulus money for the “Cash for Appliances” rebate program to hire a Texas company that outsourced call center duties/jobs to Central America.

LaTourette and several other House Republicans, including Leader John Boehner (R-OH), wrote Strickland in March, 2009 and November, 2009, urging the creation of the stimulus oversight board.

Strickland told them an oversight board wasn’t necessary and that he favored a Deputy Inspector General.

LaTourette said he can’t believe stimulus funds intended to spur hiring in Ohio were used to hire a Texas company that outsourced the work to another country.

“This just reinforces the need to have better oversight over the stimulus funds,” LaTourette said.

According to LaTourette, there was a televised report by WCMH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbus, where an Ohio state official defended the hiring of Texas-based Parago, Inc., since it had experience with rebate programs, but acknowledged she didn’t know the Texas company would outsource the work.

The WCMH report said the state signed a contract worth about $500,000 with Parago to run Ohio’s appliance rebate plan because it had experience with rebate programs, according to LaTourette.

“It’s no wonder only 6 percent of Americans believe that the Stimulus Bill created any jobs. To be fair, it does look like Governor Strickland used the funds to create some jobs — in Central America,” LaTourette said.

“To suggest an Ohio company couldn’t be trusted to run the appliance rebate program is insulting, and paying a Texas company nearly half a million dollars to use a call center in Central America is astounding. This is not ‘Cash for Appliances,’ it’s ‘Cash for Incompetence.’”

By definition these programs don’t create jobs… they simply take from one part of the economy and redistribute money in less productive and inefficient ways, after endless layers of bureaucracy are paid for

Instead of job creation, this is about President Obama and Gov. Ted Strickland wanting to control your life and tell you what sort of fridge to buy… while making it more expensive for the working class to buy second-hand fridges by literally destroying them.

LaTourette is right to cause a big stink about this… but I’m not sure what an oversight board would do. The goal of Republicans should be to kill such absurd programs entirely.

Ted Strickland’s Cash for Clunker Fridges Leaves Ohioans Frosted

July 28th, 2010 Matt View Comments

But at least this market-manipulating program created jobs… in Central America:

Ted Strickland Accepted $1.5 Million from the Financial Industry

July 27th, 2010 Matt View Comments

And Ohio House Republican Leader Bill Batchelder at this morning’s press conference called out Gov. Strickland for hypocrisy:

In addition it is important to note that as a Congressman, Ted Strickland voted with his fellow Democrats to change the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act and repeatedly pushed for the relaxation of credit standards, and it is that government intervention which is the source for the improperly valued derivatives which brought down Lehman Brothers and played a major role in the global financial meltdown.

This is a debate John Kasich should embrace, as Ohioans deserve a governor who doesn’t disparage the important work those in the financial industry do to help citizens build wealth and create jobs in the private sector.

Marc Kovac posted more video on his website.

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Meet New Strickland Campaign Adviser: Pete Giangreco

July 27th, 2010 Matt View Comments

I’ll have more to say about Pete later, but I think it’s interesting that Gov. Ted Strickland hired the top spinner for corrupt IL Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America has some of his greatest lines:

Democratic consultant Pete Giangreco was a top advisor and spokesman for Rod Blagojevich during his candidacies for Governor. He was an aggressive, over-the-top defender of the former congressman, who had promised Illinois residents an era of reform after the scandals and eventual imprisonment of the previous Governor, George Ryan.

In Illinois, if you are a Democratic consultant who demonstrably lies repeatedly and ridiculously to the press, you apparently lose no credibility. Giangreco continues to be quoted as a political observer in Illinois as if he had nothing to do with the most corrupt Governor in modern state history.[...]

Here are some of Giangreco’s greatest hits:

“We set the bar high. We knew there were going to be snarky articles,” Giangreco said. “We’ve done more to reform state government than the other (previous) governors combined.”

This brazen lie speaks for itself.

The night before that announcement, Blagojevich was attending a $5,000-a-person political fund-raising dinner in his honor at a Chicago restaurant. Asked what kind of message that sends, campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco said the fund-raising event was long- planned and added that the example proves there is a “firewall” between Blagojevich’s political and governmental operations.

That “firewall” language was used by Blagojevich when he was interviewed by the FBI. He is charged with lying to federal agents as the government as put on a parade of witnesses and taped conversations showing the “firewall” was tissue.

Ali Ata, appointed to a $127,000-a-year job running the new Illinois Finance Authority, said he has been a longtime supporter of the governor.

Ata, retired from a marketing job with Nalco Chemical Co. in Naperville, said he previously served as a volunteer for Blagojevich’s father-in-law.

“My relationship with the governor goes back many years,” Ata said. “My contribution in supporting him had absolutely nothing to do with whether I get appointed or not.”

Ata has donated $63,000 to Blagojevich campaigns.

Blagojevich’s kitchen cabinet includes his former congressional chief of staff John Wyma, campaign fund-raising chairman Christopher G. Kelly, major fund-raiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, campaign chairman David Wilhelm and former Deputy Governor Doug Scofield.

All are Blagojevich advisers who helped him win the governor’s race in 2002. Now, to varying degrees, they have Blagojevich’s ear. And with that influence have come perks.

Blagojevich campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco dismissed the notion that the governor’s informal advisers are benefiting. “It’d be one thing if they were getting state contracts,” Giangreco said.

As for the lobbying contracts three of the advisers have held, he said that “you’d have to talk to the companies about why they hired them. It doesn’t have anything to do with this campaign or this state.”

Three of the above people were indicted, another two were government witnesses against Blagojevich and the last one moved away from the state after being subpoenaed.

“To the extent that we’re focused on anything politically, it’s an ’06 re-election,” Blagojevich campaign strategist Pete Giangreco said. “I think the presidential stuff was overhyped to begin with. The fact that it’s less overhyped than before means no one in the governor’s office was focused on it. It was a creation of the media, and it just played itself out in the media.”

Trial testimony and court documents have revealed that the Blagojevich inner circle was fixated on raising money at a furious pace to pave the way for an eventual presidential bid.

Pete Giangreco , a spokesman for the governor’s political operations, said the fact that most of Blagojevich’s appointees were not contributors is proof of a disconnect. “The people who are qualified to serve in these appointments are by definition people who are active in government and active in their communities,” Giangreco said. “So it should be no surprise that they are active politically.”


“Of the remaining ones, there are people active in the business community and their own community and you’d expect them to be active politically,” Giangreco added. “The governor has ended ‘business as usual’ with appointments in this state.”

Court documents and published report conclusively show that the Blagojevich inner circle was selling board appointments for high dollar campaign contributions.

“This is a system that the Republicans put into place and the governor hopes to reform and change the system to limit the contributions with campaign finance reform.” Giangreco said.

Blagojevich, we later found out, promised his legislative ally Emil Jones he would consider him for the U.S. Senate seat if he would block campaign finance reform.

“The implication of this story is reckless and totally false,” Pete Giangreco , the governor’s campaign spokesman, said in a statement. “The facts actually prove that there is no pattern of giving and no pattern of getting business, not the other way around.”

Story after story demonstrated a pay-to-play culture in Illinois that surpassed previous administrations by a wide margin.

I guess Ted Strickland knows who to hire to say anything for a Governor in a tough position.

Ohio is the WORST State to Save for Retirement In

July 27th, 2010 Matt View Comments

From Yahoo Finance

Still, even as workers throughout the country struggle to regain their footing, it’s clear that not all states are created equal. With that in mind, U.S. News created an index to measure which states are the best for Americans who are saving for retirement. We’ve looked at each state’s housing market, unemployment rate, per capita income, and taxes to get a sense of where Americans are most likely to be able to tuck away money for their nest eggs.[...]

Ohio: Not much is going right for Ohio residents. In the near term, their home prices are expected to take a huge hit. Between 2010 and 2013, home prices there are projected to drop by 3.5 percent per year, according to Moody’s Analytics. Only in Florida, where prices are expected to fall by 5 percent, is the outlook worse. Don’t expect great tax treatment in Ohio, either. Notably, the state’s state and local tax burden, expressed in terms of taxes as a percentage of income, is 10.4 percent, the seventh highest in the country. Meanwhile, the state’s 10.5 percent unemployment rate exceeds the national average.

When Gov. Ted Strickland says he doesn’t have Wall Street values, you now see that he’s serious as a heart attack. Investors are not welcomed in Ohio.

New RGA Ad: “He Pulled a Strickland”

July 21st, 2010 Matt View Comments

The doctor said it’s important to eat plenty of fiber to pull a Strickland every morning.

It’s low key with more herky-jerky dialogue and lots speaking in code (“pulled a Strickland”, “scammed the budget”, “jobs done”). Pari Sabety’s work on the budget, especially in the latest committee hearings, have been so severe and political that Republicans should call for her resignation… So even though ads don’t seem to be moving poll numbers at all this cycle so far, I’d rather see a much tougher ad.

What do you think of it?

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The Wonders of Greece’s Rail System Coming to Ohio!

July 20th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The NY Times gives us a preview of what to look forward to with Gov. Ted Strickland’s proposed slow-speed 39MPH 3C rail, which Senator Brown has been supporting in the media this week:

Losses at Hellenic Railways, however, continue to mount — at the rate of 3 million euros, or about $3.8 million, a day. Its total debt has increased to $13 billion, or about 5 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

Now, as a condition of Greece’s financial rescue, the International Monetary Fund is demanding that a solution be found. The fund and the European Union, which also chipped in to provide the bailout, are requiring that the debt of Hellenic Railways, as well as the off-balance-sheet obligations of other state-owned enterprises, be counted toward Greece’s official debt — which Greece has agreed to do.

Analysts estimate the total to be around $33.6 billion, a sum that would add another 11 percentage points to Greece’s current debt level of about 120 percent of gross domestic product. It would also surely raise further questions in the minds of many investors about the government’s ability to repay ever-increasing amounts as the overall economy contracts.[...]

In the latest annual figures available, Hellenic Railways reported a loss of more than $1 billion in 2008, on sales of about $253 million. Of course, shaky finances are not uncommon among rail operators in Europe. Many are poor cash generators. Their prices are kept low as a matter of social policy, forcing the companies to become heavy state-backed borrowers to finance upkeep and expansion.

Even so, the Greek railway is in a category by itself. According to an analysis by Mr. Mourmouris, for Hellenic Railways to just break even, it would need to increase passenger traffic by a factor of 10, an outcome that seems unlikely. Greece has a well-developed road network, a relatively short distance separates its main cities and the railway’s shabby reputation makes it an unpopular travel option for most Greeks.

Indeed, in spite of about $3.2 billion of investment since 1997, outside of the main route between Athens and Thessaloniki, the network seems in many respects patchwork and at times chaotic.

Earlier this month, for example, a trip from Athens to Diakopto, a seaside town on the northern coast of the Peloponnese, took more than four hours. The journey required train passengers to complete a second leg by transferring to an overcrowded bus that was delayed for an hour. The result was a near riot as enraged passengers hurled abuse at overwhelmed train officials.

The same trip by car would take less than two hours.

“It is crazy,” said Nikolaos Kioutsoukis, the union chief for the railway. “It’s not surprising that people prefer to go by car.”

Even he accepts that train travel in Greece is not financially viable on many routes. He blames low prices, misguided investment and political meddling for the railway’s poor condition, and says the government should make new investments to modernize the network. He opposes privatization and says that if jobs and benefits are threatened, the union will strike.

Read the rest here. And the distance between Athens and Diakopto is less than 100 miles… much less than the proposed distance in Ohio.

But who cares about the silly financial details? Trains and JOBS JOBS JOBS are coming to Ohio! CHOOO CHOOO!!

Small Business Owners Support John Kasich, Strickland Rejects “Trickle Down Economics”

July 20th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The NFIB is one of the few reliably effective and conservative organizations in Ohio… and they represent Ohio’s most oppressed minority: small business owners.

From Bill Hershey in The Dayton Daily News:

The National Federation of Independent Business – Ohio, representing 24,000 small businesses, on Monday, July 19, endorsed Republican John Kasich for governor.

Steven M. Bowser, president of Bowser-Morner, Inc., in Huber Heights, was at the endorsement event at a Columbus truck dealership and afterward said that Kasich, a former Columbus-area U.S. House member, understands the issues facing small businesses, such as problems with the state’s workers’ compensation system, better than Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland.

“The current governor is a nice guy,” said Bowser. “I just don’t see him paying a lot of attention to those kinds of issues.” His engineering and testing company has about 150 employees, Bowser said.[...]

Strickland campaign spokeswoman Allison Kolodziej said in an e-mail that Strickland has made the kind of investments in small businesses that Kasich talks about.

“While Ted has empowered small businesses to expand and create jobs by advocating for and providing additional access to capital and cutting red tape, Congressman Kasich supports outsourcing and trickle down economic policies that would only help Wall Street, big corporations, and the very wealthy,” Kolodziej said.

The “very wealthy”, at least on paper, are often small business owners, as LLCs and sole proprietorships will show a business owner in the highest tax bracket– The ones who make more than $150,000/year which President Obama has promised to raise taxes on– but that income is often before payroll, expenses, and re-investment in the company are taken into consideration.

By “empowering small businesses”… Does Ted Strickland mean a retroactive 4.2% state income tax increase or $1.2 billion in new fees? How about the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT), where small businesses are taxed on gross receipts regardless if they make a profit… and Gov. Strickland’s administration vigorously fought to apply this job-killing tax to the sale of food, which is unconstitutional.

And by “access to capital”, Ted Strickland is talking about projects such as the Third Frontier which take money out from elsewhere in the economy, and invest that money in less efficient ways… And you’re far more likely to gain access to this money by donating to Ted Strickland’s campaign. This “additional access to capital” never takes into account the destruction that took place elsewhere in the economy to make it happen.

No economist advocated a “trickle down” theory, as it’s a pejorative. But what happens is that reducing tax rates for the wealthy increases their marginal propensity to save… and that savings becomes investment and ultimately job creation. John Kasich, as a conservative, understands this. But  who needs silly private investment when you have Lee Fisher and the brilliant central planners at the Ohio Department of Development?

Ted Strickland doesn’t believe in trickle down, supply-side economics. He believes in confiscation and redistribution…. spreading the wealth around. But with 400,000 jobs lost since Ted Strickland took office, perhaps we could refer to his policies as “evaporative economics.”

Vote for Ohio Democrats = Tax Increases

July 19th, 2010 Matt View Comments

In this article in The Dispatch, Darrel Rowland doesn’t hide his big government liberalism:

Of course, none want to raise taxes, either. But it’s hard to see how the only remaining option – $8 billion in cuts, or 16 percent of the state budget – is realistic when eliminating the entire state general-fund payroll only results in a $4 billion reduction. Privatizing the turnpike or selling state assets seem dubious as a permanent solution.

Last month, the nonprofit Center for Community Solutions called for a three-pronged approach of cuts, tax increases and eliminating tax breaks to fix the budget.

“Closing any loophole is difficult because each has a particular rationale and specific interest group that will rise to its defense,” the Cleveland-based group said. “Often, supporters of these exemptions justify them on the grounds of economic development and job creation. Equally often, the rationales are long on theory and short on measurable evidence.”

The center called for legislative scrutiny of the loopholes, saying they should be regularly justified, just like any other part of the state budget.

So far, the report is getting little traction in either legislative chamber or on the gubernatorial campaign trail.

Rob Nichols, spokesman for GOP candidate John Kasich, said the former congressman “opposes raising taxes to fill Ohio’s deficit because he knows it will be a damaging blow to Ohio’s already struggling economy.”

When asked specifically about the possibility of closing tax loopholes, Nichols said Kasich “is not going to do anything to increase the tax burden for Ohioans.”

Amanda Wurst, spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Strickland, said the center’s suggestion “would be carefully considered in the context of the next budget.”

“Tax credits that bring jobs to Ohio are an important part of our strategy to grow the economy,” she added. “For example, the recently passed Film Tax Credit leveraged nearly $9 million to employ more than 1,000 residents, spent $9.4 billion in Ohio wages and an estimated $24.3 million to Ohio vendors and location fees. The Job Creation Tax Credit assisted in the state’s efforts to retain 13,362 jobs and create 1,150 jobs in central Ohio at JPMorgan Chase Bank.”

Maggie Ostrowski, spokeswoman for Senate President Bill M. Harris, said the Ashland Republican “believes that with families and businesses already struggling in this economy, now is the worst time to raise taxes or drive up the cost of doing business in Ohio … He believes that the next General Assembly needs to think outside of the box and make structural changes in addition to cutting government spending.”

House Speaker Armond Budish wouldn’t take the bait, either.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate to make blanket statements about all of Ohio’s tax credits and exemptions because many can have positive impacts on creating jobs, improving our economy, making the state competitive and strengthening Ohio’s tax base,” the Beachwood Democrat said in a statement. “As we approach the next state budget, we will be turning over every stone and reviewing every aspect of the state’s finances.”

Why is shrinking payroll and privatizing assets “dubious?” Because Rowland says so? NJ Gov. Christie’s proposed budget  is hardly perfect, but he has shown what a state with massive budget deficits and job-killing taxes can do: privatize, reduce employees, and cut back on the ridiculously generous benefits public employees- especially teachers- enjoy. What Rowland says is dubious is how any state- or any business- fixes their financial situation.

Also, it’s not just a “nonprofit” Center for Community Solutions… They should be referred to as “liberal”, “left-wing”, “union supported”, or “progressive”…. just like the Buckeye Institute is always referred to as “conservative.” And I think most people don’t realize that Center for Community Solutions is also taxpayer funded… so YOUR tax dollars are being spent on behalf of government to support the growth of government. And Center for Community Solutions employs many Democrats, including well-connected former staff members from Strickland’s administration. If readers knew that, wouldn’t that make them put CCS’s report in a proper context?

And with 400,000 jobs lost on Ted Strickland’s watch, I think it’s amusing that the Wurst spokesbabe in the world’s first thought is about tax credits to smutty independent films for the arts and croissant crowd. What’s wrong with serious, across-the-board tax cuts and stop picking winners and losers by manipulating the market?

House Speaker Armond Budish doesn’t want to talk about taxes because his majority is razor thin and tax raising is in his DNA. But the truth is, if you vote for Gov. John Kasich and a Republican majority in the Ohio House, you are electing politicians who are pledging to act like serious adults and make severe cuts- some of which will be wildly unpopular- to improve Ohio’s dismal business climate. But if you would rather have double digit unemployment and taxes raised to fill a budget deficit, vote for Ted Strickland and House Democrats.

John Kasich’s First TV Ad

July 17th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Gov. Ted Strickland Worried About Democrats Lack of Enthusiasm

July 16th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Great way to fire up the troops Ted!:

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland brought his campaign for re-election to suburban Toledo Friday with a blistering attack on his opponent, Republican John Kasich.

Mr. Strickland hammered away at Mr. Kasich’s record in Congress and as an employee of the former Lehman Brothers investment firm that went bankrupt in 2008.

He accused Mr. Kasich is running as a “stealth candidate” who would not answer questions about his plans to phase out the state’s income tax.

The governor made his statements during a stop at the home of retired teachers Jeff and Laraine Bunck on Heathwyck Road in Monclova Township during what he called his Main Street Tour.

That tour was also to take him to Lima Friday.

“John Kasich will take us backward. He will support the wealthy and he will neglect the needs of working people,” Mr. Strickland said of his opponent. He appealed to local Democrats to overcome what has been called an “enthusiasm gap” between those trying to get back in power over those now in power.

“I know unemployment has doubled on my watch, but be enthusiastic, damnit!”

The folksy, huckleberry facade that Strickland built a long, unaccomplished political on has completely disappeared as his cacophonous rhetoric and exhausting class warfare is getting worse.

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