Friday, October 06, 2006

Really, Really, Really Funny Shamansky ad

The Ned Lamont "Wang Chung" ad was funny.
The John Cranley "Chabby" ad is amusing.

The new Bob Shamansky "Anvil" ad just made me choke on my soup and ignore the Blue Jackets game long enough to post it ASAP.

Yes, Yes, Yes.

Quick hits for Friday

  • I'd like to welcome the folks from far-flung places who have come here as a result of reading about my voting experience. As you'll see, that's not really a focus, but look around. Perhaps you'll become inspired to blog local races. I understand if you're too busy to help out your local candidates, but perhaps you could make it up by helping out one of mine.

  • The SS-3 race has been consuming a lot of time and resources here, so the OH-12 has been in the background a bit. I'm going to try and be better about that, but for now it appears that the Shamansky campaign certainly can speak for itself.

  • And finally, I think I've figured out why such a high percentage of David Goodman's contributions come from PACs, and so few from individuals:

The Kreider-Goodman debate wrap-up post

Now that I have time to sit down and report, I find there is little left to say. My first impression at the debate was that Emily appeared nervous, inexperienced, but sincere. Goodman, on the other hand, seemed confident and experienced, comfortable in the role of politician. The debate itself wasn't that contentious, with the candidates in basic agreement on issues like homestead exemptions (good) and the TEL amendment (bad).

Slowly, however, both candidates started showing more confidence. Mrs. Kreider could have still used some polish, but she was getting more comfortable on stage. Goodman's confidence, on the other hand, was slowly morphing into that kind of smirking frat-boy smugness of the young Republican. That plays okay with some folks, witness W, so my aversion couldn't be taken as a reliable sign of debate weakness. By the end of the scripted questions, however, it was obviously a pro-Emily audience, and Goodman's repeated statements to the effect that the legislature was doing a great job running Ohio were falling flat (eventually culminating in the "cynical laughter" reported by the Dispatch), while Emily's stance that Ohio hasn't had a working legislature in a decade resonated.

It was in the audience questions, however, where Emily started really scoring points. {The following are paraphrases. They are as close to direct quotes as I can recall} For instance, on abortion:

Emily -- I drafted a plan, called the 95-10 plan, to make abortion in Ohio rare. ... We can do this without criminalizing abortion.
Goodman -- I am a pro-life Republican. I don't approve of abortion as birth control. But I'm, I've, I know that this is a topic where there are ... ... I've got an open mind.
Emily -- I. Cannot. Believe. You just accused women of using abortion as birth control. I don't know which thing you say to believe... Many people believe that you were pro-choice until recently, and that your pro-life stance is -
Goodman -- I never said I was pro-choice. I have always been -
Emily -- Mr. Goodman, why would so many people believe -
Goodman -- People make a lot of assumptions. I never said that.
Emily -- You never said that you were pro-choice?
Goodman -- People assume a lot of things. Maybe because I'm Jewish and lots of Jewish people are pro-choice, I don't know.

See, what happened here is that every bit of slimy politician started to ooze out of Goodman's pores at this point. He looked mean-spirited (abortion as birth-control), unprincipled (flip-flops on moral issue), opportunistic (flip-flopped because pro-life Republicans win district races in the suburbs), insincere (I've got an open mind), dishonest (I never said that. For some reason people just jumped to that conclusion) and pandering (the district, especially here in Bexley and the surrounding area, has a much higher Jewish population than the typical Ohio District).

The same thing happened when asked about his attack ad. He puffed up and explained that he thought it was perfectly reasonable that missing a local election should disqualify a person from ever holding public office.

When the fireworks started, I think the audience was prepared to cut him some slack, as the whole thing came off like an ambush. The Dispatch reported that he "remained calm." Well, sort of. He kept smirking, but his face was tighter. He went out of his way to state that a man named Mr. Habib had practiced law in the office next door, but was not a law partner of his. No one had made this assertion, at least that I heard, and I have no idea why it would be relevant.

When the 'Justice For Kids' activist was shouting at him, he could have been expected to get angry. It wouldn't have neccesarily been inappropriate. As soon as it became apparent, however, that the crowd thought the man had had ample opportunity to air his grievance, Goodman started his "my door is always open" bit. Ummm, the one thing the shouting guy had going for him was a list of phone calls and a stack of printed emails to back up a claim that they had been making a real effort to get a meeting. Maybe the guy is crazy. Maybe his cause is against Goodman's principles or outside the purview of a State Senator. Maybe Goodman only takes meetings with residents of the district. I don't know. Any of those could potentially explain why Goodman hadn't yet had a meeting with these folks. That would be okay. But "my door is always open?" that's the one thing we can surmise wasn't true, or Goodman would have mentioned their prior meeting(s).

Ugh. Emily Kreider really is one of us. Maybe David Goodman was at one time, but certainly not at this juncture. David Goodman practically sneered "I've always had other sources of income. I don't need this job."

Believe me David. It showed.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kreider Goodman Debate Info from elsewhere

For folks looking for more accounts of the debate, I'm sorry I still have no time to write, but Yellow Dog Sammy at Ohio2006 summarizes the write-up in the Dispatch, merges it with the impressions of Ohio 21st (who both attended and read the write-up) and spoke with Emily Kreider today.

First hand account coming hopefully this evening.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

First touch on debate

I don't know what it is about the rain in Columbus, but it always ends up slowing traffic to a crawl. With a severe thunderstorm overhead, I barely made it to pick up the baby at day care by 6pm. Had to go home first, then drive up to Westerville. Through an extended tornado-warning- producing supercell.

We were late, and I missed the beginning. I'm still sorting out my overall impressions. Everything kind of got overwhelmed near the end when an audience member used his question-time to accuse Goodman of referring to Arabs as "scum," a charge that he denied repeatedly during a very loud exchange. As soon as this had settled down, an activist from 'Justice For Kids' confronted Goodman about blowing them, and their concerns about an incident at West High School in February, off.

Goodman's responses to these accusations, beyond simply denying them, were somewhat contradictory and bizarre, including telling the Arab-American upset over the alleged slurs that "I've been the victim of racism many times myself," apparently referring to anti-Semitism. I'm not trying to split hairs, and discrimination against Jews is still more prevalent and ugly than a lot of folks realize, but Jewish or not, white-skinned people claiming to be victims of racism look bizarre when they do so.

Tomorrow, I'll blog what I can about the issues and delivery. Tonight, the whole image of David Goodman playing the role of guest on a Springer episode is about what I can handle.

Quick Hits for Wednesday

I'm out of blogging commission for the rest of the day. In the meantime let's play catch-up:

  • Follow the silly Tiberi Campaign story. Republicans can't spell what they don't know. They don't know Eastmoor. They don't know Bexley. And apparently, they don't know ethics. Surprise, surprise.

  • Make sure you join me tonight at 7pm when Emily Kreider debates David Goodman at Otterbein College.

  • Make a note of the new blog e-mail address (bluebexley at gmail dot com). A few times people have left comments asking for my email address and I've given it out right there in the comment thread, but I think this'll work out much better. Just click 'Contact Bonobo' over there in the sidebar of the homepage.

Poopyhead Pat

So, once again, I'm slow on the uptake. Yesterday I post about how you can't get any of these negative ads the Republican candidates are using online (except, oddly enough, the ones that they say you can't get on-line) . 12 hours later, RightAngleBlogOhio creates a YouTube Account and posts their first video. It's the very lame attack ad against Bob Shamansky. Plunderbund and OH-12 and BSB and everybody and their blogging cousin has jumped on this and other overnight Shamansky/Tiberi developments already. The 'substantive' attack has to do with Shamansky having multiple addresses. What can I say? I went off half-cocked this summer about the Delaware Co. auditor's photos and descriptions of Tiberi's address being a vacant lot. That much is actually true, but it didn't hold up under further investigation.

Anyway, the non-substantive 'hook' of the ad is calling the candidate Bob "SHAM" ansky.

Did somebody's second-grader come up with that?

Mr. Tiberi, you may have taken money from predatory lenders and predatory pedophiles, pushed young Ohio soldiers into a conflict where they died in disputes over which flavor of Islam is best, failed to protect Ohio jobs, Ohio seniors, or U.S. borders, shifted some tax burden to the middle class (but the majority of it to our children), but I guess all I really have to say to you is:

Patty Berry, you're a poopyhead, so there.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The First Voting Horror Story

I've been a little lazy, and I hadn't gotten around to changing my voter registration to Bexley. I've had the new registration filled out and waiting for my next trip to the library with my daughter, but sometimes life goes by kinda quick. So now it's October and I don't want to take any chances with a delay between now and the 10th, so I decided to go the BOE and do it right there in person. When I found out that today was going to be the first day of early in-person voting, I decided to wait and try and kill two birds with one stone.

When I arrive, it's not the madhouse I was expecting, and an employee greets me right away and asks if she can help me. I say yes, I moved within Franklin County this summer and I need to update my address. She asks if I also want to vote today. I say yes, if I can do so without using a provisional ballot, but if I need to use a provisional ballot I'd just like an absentee application. She assures me that I can, in fact, vote today, and not just provisionally. My first stop is that man behind that desk over there.

So I fill out my registration card and the lady comes over and asks the man how long it would take for me to be set to vote. He says as soon as I finish with this person, I'll do it right away. 'This person' is wearing an OSU Votes T-Shirt, and she came down to vote on the first day. But alas, to her great embarrassment, she was unable to register in Franklin Co. because the address she gave was her permanent address in the Delaware Co. 'burbs. I felt bad for her, as she was clearly mortified with the series of events, but the man at the desk/counter was very reassuring and helpful.

So far, this was not only my best experience with election officials, it was one of my most positive impressions of any government office I've been in. When the woman in front of me left, the worker processed my registration information while I filled out an absentee ballot application. He checked both and sent me over to the absentee voting counter. At this point, the first glitch appears. It is a trivial one. Apparently someone had registered to vote at my address in the past, but in apartment Q. My single-family home does not have an Apartment A, let alone Q, but the workers make a note of it, and discuss briefly how best to fix it in the system. They agree that it is not a problem in the short term. They print out an ID sticker, put it on my application, and send me to an older gentleman who is manning the polls.

There are approximately 20 touch-screen machines set up in two rows of ten, back-to-back. None of them are in use. The man walks me to the second from the end of the row, by the rope cordon that separates the poll area from the vast expanse of office space beyond, saying that it will definitely provide privacy. He then starts going through the procedure with me, and damn if he isn't the best trained poll worker you could ever wish for. He starts out:

This is for security (places cartridge in slot). Now I have to key in "A" because this technically an absentee ballot. Please verify that it is "A" on the screen (I say yes, it's 'A'). Now I have to put in your code number. It is printed right under your name on the sticker here. Do you see the six digit number (I say yes). He hits the touch screen number pad as he says the numerals aloud - "nine eight seven", pauses, lets me see, "six five four." Can you please check that the six digit number on the screen is the same as the number on the sticker (I do. It is.) He moves to the next screen. It is a list of about twenty different ballot versions. He points to my sticker, and the code "B 003" and says B oh oh three means ballot version number three. Do you see where that is on the sticker (I do), does it say bee zero zero three (it does), I am going to push the selection for ballot version 3 on the screen. Did you see me touch version three (I did) can you verify that the screen now indicates that I have chosen version three (I can), okay now here are the instructions. They are also printed on this card right here to your left. You can refer to that at any time. You can change your vote anytime before you submit your ballot. You will be asked to review your ballot and confirm your choices before you submit your ballot. If you have not voted in one or more races, for instance some people intentionally don't vote for some of the judge races, you will also be asked to confirm that you intended not to vote in those races. Do you have any questions (I did not), then I can touch the screen here to begin, oops, it looks like I bumped it...

He had. It was not a big deal. It was merely the 'button' that brought up the ballot choices. He had gestured at it with his hand, but my ballot application was in that hand, and the corner of it had kissed the screen. He was quite embarrassed, and shaken that he could have potentially bumped the screen at an important juncture. I wasn't worried. As I said, I was in awe of how much more knowledgeable, competent, and friendly the staff at the BOE were compared to say, the poll workers at my precinct in the Short North in '04. The poll worker retreated to the front end of the row, and I began to vote. All of the big name races are on the front page. I happily pushed the boxes next to Strickland (check), Brown (check), Sykes, Cordray, Dann, Brunner, Shamansky... Next Page (2/7)

And then it happened. For some people reading this, the payoff won't be nearly worth the time it's taken to get this far, but the first choice I was given on page 2 was:

State Senate District 15
Ray Miller - Democrat
John M. Roscoe - Republican

I don't live in State Senate District 15. I live in State Senate District 3, soon to be represented by Emily Kreider. But if something didn't get fixed, she'd have to get elected without my vote, because she wasn't one of the choices I was offered. If you read this blog you'll guess that I was quite unhappy at this point.

First of all, I want my ballot. Second of all, I want to know how many people are going to vote for a barely contested Dem in SS15 instead of the Dem in the dead heat race in SS3. First things first. I raise my hand. The poll worker is surprised that I need help, but hurries over. I point at the screen and explain that this is not my district, this shouldn't be my ballot. Shock and disbelief mingle as he says, but you saw me put everything into the machine, the ballot version, your code, everything, right?

I did. I assure him that I did.

He says I dropped your ballot in the box already. That's a locked box. I can't get it out now.
Fear starts to creep into his expression. I tell him that I had just come directly from the absentee desk. They know I live in Bexley. If they can assure me (they can't) that Bexley is in the 15th district (it isn't), I'll go ahead and vote. Seemingly relieved, he dashes off. Minutes pass.

He returns, and tells me to stand by the machine, he's working on getting someone to help me.

More minutes pass.

He returns with a higher up. I explain the problem. It is obvious that if he were a betting man that he'd put money on me living in the 15th. But he goes off to confirm both my address and my district.

Minutes pass. A reporter and cameraman from channel 10 come over and stand by the camera that's been set up next to me this entire time. They take no notice of me.

The higher up comes back with the poll worker. He explains that I live near Bexley and that districts don't follow boundaries exactly and I have the wrong ballot. I say I don't live near Bexley. I live in Bexley. It's true. I'm several blocks from the border in any direction. It's not even close. There should be absolutely no confusion to anyone looking at the district maps and my address. He is reaching. They tell me to wait and they go off.

Minutes pass.

The poll worker ducks back around a corner and tells me the big boss is working on it, they're on the computer checking things out, don't worry about a thing.

Minutes pass.

The poll worker ducks back, says the supreme boss is working on it. There's no higher authority in the building. And he's right. I see Matthew Damschroder, head of the Franklin County Board of Elections in person for the first time. I've written about and even to Mr. Damschroder on several occasions. Once in a while even coming to his defense. But not mostly.

It is obvious that they are taking this seriously. That is good. There is a serious problem on the first day of general election touch screen voting. The staff is trained, rested, ready, the machines are shiny and have that new touch screen smell, and yet, there is a serious problem. That is not so good.

Finally, the poll worker and the immediate higher-up come over, and says apparently the address change hadn't fully processed in the computer before they printed out my ID sticker.
I'm not sure if I believe him. On the other hand, that explanation provides me with so little reassurance that it I hope that he's lying, and a single human error was responsible. He puts his cartridge in, cancels my vote, the printer whirs and scrolls, he quickly goes through the steps, pausing to show me that he is choosing ballot version 17, this time, which I confirm, and we are then interrupted by the woman from channel 10:

Will he be looking over your shoulder the whole time you're voting?"
For a split second both higher up and I are confused, then I state, I'm actually the voter here, he's an employee working on setting up my new ballot"
"yes" higher up says "I'm just setting stuff up, and then I'll leave before he votes"

"Oh" laugh the 10TV duo, we thought... he was standing there and you came... he was working, oh, well, go on." they laugh and go back to talking to each other next to the tripod with the camera. Higher up leaves. I vote my straight ticket, confirm, and leave.

I hope to hell nobody reading this needs to write a novella to describe their voting experience, but I'm afraid I might end up reading more than a few.

GOP ads

I've tried to get video of the attack ads on Kreider and Shamansky, but they don't appear to have publicly available on-line versions. Other attack ads are on the web, even when they supposedly are not. Hence, my morning:

The GOP used copyrighted footage from the Ohio Channel in an attack ad on future auditor Barbara Sykes.
Then they said they had the right to use it anyway.
Then they said they were going to pull it.
Then they emailed all of their supporters with a link to the video.
Then they had apparently pulled it.
Then I read about it all in the Dispatch Ad Watch:

Yesterday, the spot had been removed from the party’s Web site, but still could be viewed through the link provided in the Republican e-mail until late afternoon.

GOP spokesman John McClelland said he had been told that staffers had pulled the spot from both sites and couldn’t explain why it was still up on

"We agreed to take it down, but we still believe we had the right to use it," McClelland said.

And then I sent this message to the Dispatch:

You recently reported that the Republican Party pulled an ad from their website that used copyrighted material without permission. As of 2 minutes ago, the following ad was available on their website:

Sunday, October 01, 2006 : Tax Hike Sykes doesn't want you to see this
Barbara Sykes, the Democratic candidate for state auditor, doesn't want you to see this video because it exposes her true record. See for yourself.

Is this the ad you were describing?

-J.S., Bexley

Then the reporter for the Dispatch replied:

that's it. thanks for sharing,

Then I decided to share with the whole class.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Equal Opportunity

There's not a whole lot of action in the comments, and the original post is way down the page, so I'm going to bump this up to the front page:

Bo Shuff said...

As Political Director of the Equality Ohio Campaign Fund, I feel obligated to respond to this post, and stand proudly behind David Goodman for re-election to Ohio Senate District 3.

The criteria that you mention in your post is accurate, we endorse candidates for office who champion Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equality, and Senator Goodman has met that test. While we would all hope that more people from each of the parties would be supportive of LGBT Equality, Sen Goodman went above and beyond just voting against issue 1. On the day of the floor vote, Sen. Goodman took to the floor and implored his colleagues to vote against Issue 1. He reminded them of a history that now causes us to question how people could possibly have justified slavery, discrimination, sexism, religious intolerance and hatred. He warned the Senate that if they passed this measure in time they would be seen the same way. His remarks demonstrated true leadership, no matter what party he is from. The fact that he is a Republican makes it even more noteworthy, in not only did he stand up for us, he stood up to his friends to do it.

Our endorsement of Sen. Goodman was not made in a vacuum. We feel that Emily Kreider brings a perspective to campaigns that is needed. I can say that unlike some races where we are forced to choose between a lesser of two evils, in this case we chose the stronger of two allies. Sen. Goodman has represented the interests if the LGBT community, and we are proud to support him in the face of criticism from some of our friends.

I'm flattered that EOCF took the time to respond to this blog. And I fully understand why they would support an incumbent (incumbency is actually listed as a 'preference' in their endorsement criteria) who has voted for LGBT issues. Furthermore, the title of the prior post is only partly tongue-in-cheek.

Which brings me to the (somewhat cynical) point of that last post. I've been looking for an example of 'leadership for a change' to substantiate Mr. Goodman's campaign slogan, as he hasn't provided one during the campaign. I found one. I asked, rhetorically, why he was not using it as a centerpiece of his campaign. My guess is that if he did, Emily Kreider would win going away, and he knows it. Issue 1 passed by 1.3 million votes, including a 20,000 vote margin here in Franklin Co. I don't have the district breakdown handy, but I bet it went in favor as well. We all know which way registered Republicans went.

So Mr. Goodman is making a smart political decision by keeping his anti-discrimination views in the background during campaign season. Equality Ohio is making a smart political decision, because they will end up with an ally in the Senate either way, and although they'll eventually win their friends back, a Republican legislator might not be so forgiving.

In the spirit of political decisions, let me be a little more explicit:

Liberal Bloggers and Gay Rights Groups Love David Goodman's Position on Gay Marriage!

On the Radar

Sunday's Dispatch:

And there is another Ohio race that isn’t yet on many analysts’ lists of competitive races, but is on the radar screen as one to watch — particularly if the political climate proves even worse than expected for Republicans nationally and in Ohio. Democrat Bob Shamansky, of Bexley, thus far has sunk $1 million into his race against GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi, of Genoa Township, in a central Ohio district that Bush won with 51 percent of the vote in 2004.

But Radar is not the technology on the minds of many. The subsequent (final) graf of the piece states:

But for those expecting to stay up late on election night to find out which party will control the House, a group of experts at Ohio State University’s law school last week offered a word of caution. If the balance of power hangs on many close races, potential problems with new electronic voting machines could cause weeks of delay before voters know whether Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert has to hand over his gavel to the top House Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, of California.

So, veering off course for a moment, I had a queasy vision reading this, a vision of a time, 100 days from now, where Right-Wing operatives sieze upon the Princeton study showing the vulnerability of Diebold machines to hacking, organize several local Brooks-Brothers Riots, and then declare a Mexican-Style Parallel Government.

Thanks, Dispatch, for the cheerful start you've given my week.

Emily Kreider to 'Meet The Bloggers'

If you don't know about "Meet the Bloggers," it's a project run by several (mostly NE) Ohio bloggers (not me) that sets up interviews with political figures, and then hosts podcasts (mp3 audio files) of the recorded interviews. For instance, the interview with Bob Shamansky is available from their site (part 1, part 2, part 3).

MTB is coming to Columbus this week, though, to interview Emily Kreider at Scottie McBeans in Beechwold. So, if you can't wait for the podcast, and you simply did not get enough of Emily at the debate on Wednesday, you might want to check that out. Make sure to say 'hi' to the candidate. This blogger finally met her in person last week, and I was quite impressed.