Friday, September 15, 2006

Columbus School for Girls

Tip O'Neill is credited with the aphorism "All politics is local." What makes that kind of strange (for a partisan political blogger) is that local issues don't fall as cleanly along ideological lines as many federal issues do. The story doesn't write itself. The story is, however, often more engaging. Eighty people apparently showed up at the Bexley City Council meeting the other night to air their views on the CSG expansion plan.

If we extrapolated, that's like 4740 Columbus residents showing up at a city council meeting.

The CSG is a valued part of the Bexley Community. I have a daughter. Part of the reason I live in Bexley is because Bexley has some of the best public schools in the country. I believe in, and strongly support, public education. Even so, I've looked up the tuition and wondered if there was a way to swing it. Every dad wants the world for his little girl, and, perhaps bizarrely, that place has always struck me as a training ground for world domination.

Most of the folks showed up at the meeting to support the school's request to knock down a house that sits on school property to make room for new facilities. Some folks favor preservation, and oppose anything that would lead to more traffic. Everybody agrees that they want the CSG to stay at its current site.

So why is the CSG playing hardball? You've got to love these non-denial denials:

David Bishoff, who also lives on Columbia, addressed concerns from some council members that the school would leave Bexley if the plan is rejected.

"They’re not moving," Bishoff said. "We don’t need to be afraid of that."

Diane Cooper, the head of the school, said school officials are focused on the plan, not on the possibility of moving if things don’t work out.

"We have recently been approached to move the school to another location," Cooper said. "However, at this time, we are focused on achieving our goals here in Bexley."

So, the head Unicorn is saying that they aren't planning to move if they don't get their way. They are planning on getting their way.

That's an awfully big hammer to be swinging around.

Great Fools with Dizzying Intellects

There's a classic scene in the Princess Bride wherein a character talks through the problem of deducing which cup his rival has poisoned and wishes him to drink from.

In 2004, The Guardian invited its British readers to send mail encouraging a vote for Kerry to undeclared voters in Clark County. The plan may very well have influenced the vote. Against Kerry, and in favor of Bush.

So what to do with the recent developments? A Yahoo search for the phrase 'Tiberi latest Republican to break step with Bush' gives almost 1000 hits. Tiberi is becoming the international symbol for Republicans cutting and running from the administration. The first hit that comes up, is from FreeRepublic (aka Freeperville), the bastion of right-wing base interaction. They're saying things like :

I hope the chickenshiite loses the election. Only one thing worse than a traitorous democrat, its a cowardly republican.
Devil take all such “loyalists.”
U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi = COWARD

So, only a great fool would praise his opponent for criticizing the war, and I am not a great fool. But, Tiberi knows that Democrats will criticize him for stepping away from the President, which will only reinforce the distance narrative in the minds of busy headline-reading voters. So he expects Democrats to let this late insincere display of independence go unchallenged. So we must hammer home the message of insincere flip-flopping. Except that echoing the FreeRepublic talking points will cause the base to circle the wagons...

Is it better to go after Tiberi because he lamely supported more than 90% of Bush's destructive incompetency, or because of his cowardly disavowal of that support? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What a difference an hour makes.

In the post below, I wrote of a need to get more buzz on the race in OH-12. Then, while catching up on things I've been far too busy to pay attention to over the past 48 hours, I see:

The Delaware Gazette, smack dab in the middle of a conservative county that Tiberi MUST win to stay in office, prints a scathing opinion piece about Pa(rro)t:

Then I see that BSB has taken the exact approach I would take, if this blog had a wider scope. In a piece commenting on the over-hyped GOPGOTV machine they state:

The GOP are not going to be able to spend this kind of cash in all the congressional races in November to bail out their struggling candidates. Pryce isn't going to get 86 out of state paid ground staff, neither is Chabot or Tiberi.

Following that same breath tactic, a recent DailyKos diary listing possible pickups of Republican held seats lists Cranley, Shamansky, and Kilroy.

So it started without me. Good. There's lots of noise in the race to control the House this mid-term. It'll take a greater amount of signal than normal to get on the radar. I'm not involved with any campaigns (I haven't even had time to canvass or phone-bank yet this season), and I'm certainly no expert in campaign communication, but it seems to me that at this point in the cycle, news of Tiberi's vulnerability will go further than news of Shamansky's popularity and viability. First things first. Onward and upward.

What a difference a month makes

When I started this blog, lo those many weeks ago, I had the short term goal of upping the buzz on two candidates. One had yard signs up in front of many houses in Bexley, favorable mentions appearing in the Dispatch, and a real budget. The other was a somewhat low-profile candidate who had 'impressed' one local blogger and spent several hours with another, and had an appealing website with a coherent socially-conscious yet moderate message.

The first candidate, Bob Shamansky, seems to be on the same trajectory as when I started. The second, Emily Kreider, is taking off. When I started this blog, nobody seemed to be writing anything about the state legislature, let alone a first-time Dem challenger in a district that has repeatedly sent Republicans to Columbus. That has changed. Reports are coming in that she is up in the polls on her Republican incumbent candidate, with many undecided. Wouldn't it be great if this blog was responsible? Yeah, right. She appears to have been busting her butt on the ground game and running a smart campaign. People have seen her TV and newspaper ads and are curious about her. I can't help but think that as the name recognition goes up, she'll have every factor but incumbency working in her favor. But then again, I often can't help to think wishfully...

Anyway, the short-term goals have changed a little bit. The race in OH-12 needs more attention. It's not a problem of people hearing about Shamansky, it's that the D.C. pundits have identified 50 races that they think are more exciting than this one, including two other central Ohio races. There needs to be some engagement with this race, not just the candidates.

And for Mrs. Kreider, it's almost the opposite. Ideally, her victory will seem so inevitable that her opponent will be shopping his resume before Halloween.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kreider Camp responds to Goodman Bill

I invited the Kreider Campaign to respond to the story I put up yesterday concerning David Goodman and his introduction of a bill that looks remarkably like plank #1 on the Kreider platform.

Paul Burnam, Research Director for the Kreider Campaign, left the following response in the comments:

In the September 7 issue story, "New Legislation Proposes 'Circuit Breaker' Tax Relief," Rep. Peterson and Sen. Goodman's bills remind me of discussions of 'death bed conversions" in Sunday school. Now the Ohio Supreme Court has been telling the General Assembly since 1997 that it needed to do something about the funding of public schools. Specifically, the court indicated reform was needed in the way property taxes were used to fund the schools. A Republican member of the Ohio House of Representatives, Mr. Callender, proposed a bill to give greater property tax relief to seniors in 2004, but that bill stalled in the House. Where were Rep. Peterson and Sen. Goodman in 2004? So with 2.5 months remaining before an election where all indications are that the citizens of Ohio have had enough of Republican failed leadership, Rep. Peterson and Sen. Goodman are getting religion on the homestead exemption issue. The degree of irony in their conversion almost takes your breath of away.

What else could I possibly add? Goodman is facing a Judgment Day. The metaphor seems apt to me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Goodman does have a view. He borrowed it from Kreider. (updated)

From Emily Kreider's Campaign Website:

These problems reflect weakening communities. Emily has a plan to bring Ohio back and make our communities strong again:

  • Reduce reliance on property taxes for school funding.
    • Revise the Homestead Exemption to reduce property taxes for senior adults and disabled people. This exemption should be fully funded from the state general fund.
From the Newspaper ThisWeek:

Bill proposes 'circuit breaker' property-tax relief

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Enterprise Staff Writer

A bill introduced last month in the Ohio Legislature would give tax breaks to senior citizens and disabled Ohioans on fixed incomes -- and could benefit school districts in the process.

State Rep. Jon M. Peterson (R-Delaware) and state Sen. David Goodman (R-New Albany) introduced legislation in August that would expand the Homestead Exemption Act.

Looks like Emily is already winning the debate.

UPDATE: As near as I can tell, the story goes that Goodman sponsored a Senate Bill that was identical to the House Bill that was written by Rep. Peterson. Rep. Peterson states that the idea originated with two Westerville School Board members, Kevin Hoffman and George Tombaugh. Westerville is Kreider's home. So...

By my timeline, I can't tell if Kreider's plan came before or after the original formulation of a proposal by Hoffman and Tombaugh. It does appear, however, that one can safely say that Kreider campaigned on the issue before Goodman appears to have taken it up. If anyone wants to point me toward resources that could/would flesh out or correct this, drop me a line (

Mark Your Calendars, there's gonna be a debate

Hat Tip to OE2006, the Dispatch is reporting that there will be a debate, open to the public, between Emily Kreider and David Goodman on Oct. 4 at Riley Auditorium in the Battelle Fine Arts Center on the campus of Otterbein College. I'm excited. I've already gotten directions from Bexley, and I'd like to hear something from Mr. Goodman. There's really no information on his views on his Senate website, and he doesn't have a campaign or personal site that I could find. I was tempted to link to another David Goodman, but that's one of those things that only I would probably find amusing.