Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tiberi sinks to a whole new low.

I'm really, really angry, but I will state the facts as calmly as possible.

Today, in 2006, our nation is debating the ethics of embryonic stem-cell research. For those who believe that life begins at conception, part of the argument depends somewhat on whether or not eventual loss of viability after years of being frozen is inherently ethically superior to potential life-saving research being actively conducted on these embryos. We continue to argue over the proper ethical standards.

In 1982, there were no standards. Potentially anything went. A conversation began. According to the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, this is what ensued:

A legislative debate gathered momentum in the United States over federal standards on fetal experimentation which allow unethical experiments in certain circumstances. Tighter standards were approved by Congress after long debate, then invalidated when President Reagan vetoed the bill which included these standards as amendments.

According to Pat Tiberi, this is what ensued:


You tell me who has crossed moral and ethical lines. Pat Tiberi does not deserve this job.

The Blue Bexley Campaign Capsule #3 - Bev Campbell v. Jim McGregor

When I started this blog, I looked for races that were on the Bexley ballot, which were competitive, and in which added attention could make a difference. When I first looked at the Campbell-McGregor race, I saw a multi-term incumbent Republican who was mayor of one of the major communities in the district for 18 years. To my embarrassment, I underestimated both Republican overconfidence and Bev Campbell's desire, and spent my energy promoting other races.

Well, as I looked elsewhere, The Dispatch was talking about how Bev was working the crowd outside of every Buckeye home game, and Yellow Dog Sammy (BTW, how in blazes does he keep abreast of every single race in the state?) was highlighting the BevCampbell videos on YouTube, short speeches from meeting with voters that outlined her positions on issues. Gradually, it dawned on me, that here was an underdog Dem running to represent Bexley, running a positive campaign and working both with grassroots and netroots to win her race. The final piece, of course, was "is the race competitive?"

The first polling data that made it out to the public showed Ms. Campbell leading Jim McGregor in the 20th District.

At that point, I took my flying leap onto the bandwagon. In response, to my admiring surprise, Bev actually joined in a number of the discussions that have gone on between myself and various anonynous folks of different political stripes in the comments. As with many things in this race, Bev has a personal passion about many things the rest of us just 'commentate' upon.

As the campaign proceeded, her Republican opponent did what many Republicans have done this cycle, and started to dig up dirt on Ms. Campbell and fling it. The general thrust of the attacks has been that Bev Lied, Cheated, and Stole from her clients when she was an East Coast Lawyer. To be honest, I was glad that Bev was showing up on the blog to defend herself, because I didn't know the facts, and I was nervous going to bat for her without them.

So I contacted Bev, and asked about the content of McGregor's charges and her response. And I got angry myself. Working backwards, her opponents campaign claims that Bev is currently under investigation for ethics charges. This is true to the extent that the Republicans are the sole complainants in a baseless charge filed against Ms. Campbell (remember this technique from the Tiberi Campaign above?). Why do they think they can get away with this? Because Ms. Campbell did have a period of her life where she experienced problems. She was in a serious car accident, with devastating injuries. In the aftermath of this accident, she did not pay adequate attention to her responsibilities to her clients. She was punished for this. She does not deny this, although it is obvious that talking about this period of her life is not easy for her.

Is this enough to disqualify her for public office, years later, and after she fought back through the injuries to restore her body and reputation? I don't think so, and apparently her opponents didn't either. She did not lie. She did not cheat. She did not steal. They claim she was charged with and reprimanded for unethical conduct. She was not. They claim she was suspended from practicing law multiple times. She was not. Bev and her supporters have filed complaints that these charges are false and levelled with knowledge of and/or reckless disregard as to their falsity.

What does it say when a multiple term incumbent who was mayor of a moderate suburb for 18 years resorts to ugly disortions of his opponents past? It says he knows he won't win a fair fight, and it also says he doesn't deserve to. Bev has earned this seat.

First Big Day

We are now counting the time until the polls close in hours instead of days. The GOP has their 72 hour plan, and they really believe that their GOTV machine can snatch victories from the jaws of defeat. This year, things are going to be different. Pardon the preachiness and cheesiness, but it's going to be different because our side is realizing that, even if it's just for 72 hours every other year, simply reading blogs and voting won't get it done.

Please consider phone banking with Bev Campbell in Gahanna (9:30am-7pm today)

Or walking door-to-door with literature for Emily Kreider in Westerville(9:30 and 1:00pm)

Or canvassing for Bob Shamansky in Columbus (10am-12 pm)

(For campaign-specific work, details are here)

Or filling whatever slot they've got at GOTVOhio

(Details here)

Or, additionally, there may be opportunities elsewhere in OH-12 for folks with a sense of adventure and a poker face. Use the contact address (

Friday, November 03, 2006

Aw, Snap! Dispatch Ad Watch Smacks Tiberi

'Aw, Snap!'

That's what us un-hip adults are supposed to think the kids are saying, right? I should be able to do better but this has left me temporarily speechless. The Dispatch Ad Watch of the latest Tiberi ad is... well just go read it. Need a tease? It ends with the line:

Tiberi says he approves of his ad, but what do his parents think?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Blue Bexley Campaign Capsule #2, Kreider v. Goodman

This is the second installment of my summary narratives of the campaigns I have blogged for the last two-and-a-half months. The idea here is that many people are just starting to gather information on races as they prepare to vote, and resources like this blog are much more useful with some context, which is hard to come by. If you're looking for background on the Ohio State Senate Race in the 3rd District, this is a place to start.

Like many Americans, Emily Kreider was drawn into politics by the issues facing the country at the time of the 2004 election. After working to get Democrats elected in that campaign cycle, people who knew her suggested that she would make a good candidate for public office herself. After an initial reaction of surprise, she got down to work researching what kind of qualifications a first term legislator typically has. Finding that her range of experiences and qualifications were actually quite in line with a typical first term legislator, she set about running for the State Senate.

By the time I was starting to put Blue Bexley together, Ms. Kreider had a full team of volunteer staff, months of voter outreach, and a simple but appealing and effective website that gave her background and platform. That platform included property tax relief for seniors, reform of the statewide school funding system, expansion of health-care access for small business owners and their employees, and the 90-10 plan to dramatically cut the number of abortions in Ohio through non-criminalization measures such as eliminating the designation of pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and providing better access to pre- and post-natal care.

It was relatively easy for me to find all of this out about Emily Kreider, but the same was not true of her opponent, David Goodman. He had a cookie-cutter Senate web page, and very little public record. He had once been from Bexley, but was now from New Albany. I began this blog by talking about what I liked from Emily's website, and by heckling David Goodman into letting voters know something, anything about himself.

Eventually, a website went up, and I began to hear things when I asked about him. The website was an absolute mess, and offered only the most vanilla of positions. I did find out that he had friends in the community, and one of the first comments on this blog was that I shouldn't pick on him, 'cause he was a good guy. The most that anyone had to say about Mr. Goodman came from Equal Rights Ohio - a group that works to promote gay and lesbian causes. To my surprise, they felt that Mr. Goodman deserved their support for fighting against the gay marriage ban. I still thought that I'd prefer Ms. Kreider to Mr. Goodman, but I was a little nervous that perhaps I could have picked more worthwhile fights.

But then the campaign started in earnest. Ms. Kreider's early work talking to the people of the district paid off with an eary lead in a poll conducted by the Ohio Dems. Mr. Goodman responded with the now infamous attack ad that tried to link Emily Kreider to the statehouse, talk about the votes that she had not cast, and offered up David Goodman as an opportunity to choose "leadership for a change." At that point my reservations melted away. If campaigning against the incumbent was good enough for David Goodman, the incumbent, it was certainly good enough for me.

Soon there was a debate at Otterbein. It was the first time I had seen Mr. Goodman in person. He was more comfortable with public speaking than Emily was, but what he was saying was literally unbelievable. He repeatedly claimed that the Ohio government was doing a great job, we were just too ill-informed to realize it. He made insulting comments about abortion that not only contradicted the pro-choice views he had led people to believe he once had, but canceled out the image of the social moderate that he had gained through the E.O. endorsement. And he defended his ridiculous TV ad.

I walked out of the debate thinking that David Goodman represented just about everything that was wrong with politicians. Getting him out of Columbus might even be doing him a favor. He was slick and somewhat mean. And he was incredibly well funded. The Ohio Republican Senate Caucus reserved a million dollars worth of Central Ohio TV time. As of earlier this week, they had contributed more than three quarters of a million dollars to his campaign.

David Goodman has raised more than $900,000 dollars all told for this State Senate Race so far. To put that in perspective, Zack Space and Joy Padgett are fighting a nationally watched contest to replace Bob Ney in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to, neither one of them has raised that much money.

So to summarize, Emily Kreider has a few, clear, distinct progresive goals. Reform school funding, reduce the burden that seniors feel when their taxes rise with their home value, increase access to healthcare, and work on bi-partisan measures to reduce the demand for abortions. David Goodman is an incumbent Republican who seems to want you to think that his opponent is responsible for the mess that he denies Ohio is actually in, and is willing to spend almost a million dollars to try to convince you that it's true. He accuses Emily Kreider of not having a plan to pay for reforming school funding, without offering a plan for complying with the Ohio Supreme Court's mandate to create a Constitutionally compliant method of equitably funding schools. He takes credit for supporting other peoples popular ideas and calls it leadership.

If that sounds biased, well the blog is called Blue Bexley. But the truth is that a vastly underfunded Democratic challenger in a district that is considered to be Republican has run neck and neck with an incumbent who has 9 times the resources available. If today's rumors are to be believed, the Republican Party's own polls are actually showing Emily leading with more than 50% support. I'm obviously not alone.

The Blue Bexley Campaign Capsule #1, Shamansky v. Tiberi

Traffic is increasing quite a bit as the election approaches, and much of it is coming from people using search engines to find information on one of the races I'm covering here. If you are one of those people, let me give you a quick description of what you'll find here:

This blog was created this summer to focus on legislative races in districts that include my new hometown of Bexley, Ohio. When I moved from the Short North I wanted to get up to speed on the campaigns here, and I was disappointed that there was next to none available. I figured that I was not the only person disappointed and frustrated by this, so I created a blog and started collecting information on two races that appeared under-rated in terms of competitiveness, and under-discussed as a result:

Emily Kreider vs. Republican Incumbent David Goodman in State Senate District 3

Bob Shamansky vs. Republican Incumbent Pat Tiberi in OH-12.

Later, it was brought to my attention that Bev Campbell was running exactly the type of campaign I was trying to promote in her race against Republican Jim McGregor in Ohio State House District 20 (Democrat, representing Bexley, competitive, open to using the internet to distribute campaign info, and positive).

This is a partisan blog. I want the Democrats to win all three of these races. I sincerely believe that Central Ohio would be better off with all three of these candidates in office, and I would not pretend that the information I choose to highlight here is not influenced by that. But I also aspire to a standard under which the facts I present are accurate, the assertions I present are sourced, the opinions I present are clearly recognizable as opinion, and rank speculation is explicitly labeled as such. In other words, I'm not willing to sacrifice my credibility to get my folks elected.

In general, I provide lots of links. For background on these summary posts, however, please browse my archives (links in the sidebar.)

With that out of the way, if you are looking for what I was looking for three months ago, I'll give it my best 3 shots...

Summary #1 -- Shamansky v. Tiberi

Pat Tiberi's seat was considered a Republican lock by every major expert as recently as 90 days ago. I'm guessing this was based on an over-reliance on Pat's previous margins of victory over his Democratic challenger in '02 and '04. That challenger, Ed Brown, was not only outside of the Dem mainstream, but raised a total of $11,245 over those two campaigns - roughly one half of one percent of what Mr. Tiberi raised. In essence, Pat Tiberi won these races by twenty points, but more importantly, he only garnered 60% of the vote running basically unopposed. In 2004, the 12th district was nearly evenly split between Bush and Kerry, inviting local speculation that a credible candidate could give Pat Tiberi a run for his money.

The effort to field a credible candidate was enormously successful. Bob Shamansky, who held the 12th district seat for two years in the 80's, worked in counter-intelligence during the Korean War, is a very succesful real-estate investor, was born and raised in Bexley, and was willing to take an unabashed stand that one-party rule had been disastrous for everyone from our brave young men and women in Iraq to ailing seniors struggling with the ill-conceived mess of Medicare D.

Mid-Summer polling by a Dem consultant showed a substantial lead for Tiberi, but with two major bright spots: The incumbent had a job approval rating of less than 50%, widely considered to be the primary indicator of vulnerability, and when descriptions of positions were given along with the candidates names, potential voters split evenly between the candidates. This was the only poll data taken before last week that had been available to the public.

As autumn commenced, the Shamansky campaign started releasing high-impact television ads, and gradually started to create some buzz in national political circles as part of an ever increasing set of districts that were considered possible pick-ups in a Democratic "wave." In the absence of hard data, the buzz was somewhat self-fulfilling. The more people that think of a race as winnable, the more winnable it becomes, attracting time and money that hopeless campaigns just don't have access to.

Probably the most reliable piece of evidence that the race was tightening was the entry of the Republican party into a tight media market to air attack ads against Shamansky. The thrust of these ads is that Bob owns multiple homes, and that giving different addresses in different contexts amounts to "Shams" (get it? If not, the ads help you out with scare quotes: "Sham"ansky.) For those who care, the law basically says that you can only be registered to vote at one address at a time. It also says that you can only take tax credits intended for primary residences for one residence at a time. It does not say that these have to be the same address. Bob is from Bexley. He owns other houses, yes, but there's no other district Bob should be running in.

The negative ads have not kept this race from remaining competitive. Last week Majority Watch, an independent (but Dem-leaning) polling entity released the first public numbers from an automated telephone poll, including three pages of cross-tab data. Less than two weeks out, Bob was trailing by 6 percentage points among those expressing a preference, within the margin of error for the poll. Tiberi is doing extremely well with his Republican base, especially with voters outside of Franklin County. Bob is leading in Franklin County, which contains twice as many voters as the rest of the district, but only by two points. Bob is also doing extremely well with seniors, a big bonus in a mid-term election when younger people tend to turn out in smaller numbers. Only three percent of the 1000+ people surveyed indicated that they were truly undecided, although many indicated a possibility that they could switch preferences before Tuesday.

The big question here is who can get the best GOTV going. With the 12th district bookended by the Kilroy-Pryce and Space-Padgett races, party and state level resources might be expected to flow out of the district rather than in. Interestingly, from my point of view, the ground game in the very competitive Kreider-Goodman and Campbell-McGregor races might be the difference in this race, as local volunteers in the most "swing" parts of OH-12 battle for the near-east suburbs of Columbus.

New Emily Kreider Ad

As a letter in this week's Bexley News explains:

Television Ads targeting Emily Kreider, a political newcomer who is challenging incumbent David Goodman, trumpet Kreider's "voting record" over a background photo of the Ohio State House. The clear implication is that Kreider is the incumbent and Goodman the challenger. To further confuse matters, Goodman, who has been in the Ohio Legislature since 1998, is campaigning under the slogan "Leadership for a Change."


Emily Kreider's latest ad responds:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Volunteer Opportunities v1.1

I'll be happy to update this list as I get word of more opportunities.

Bev Campbell's Campaign:

The Bev Campbell campaign is working the next two days to mail out remaining lit pieces. E-mail if you want to help:

Newly Added -- The "1st Annual Bev Campbell 20th House District Calling Party". We will be calling voters from Bev's house, starting at 9:30 AM on Saturday until 7:00 PM. And then repeating again on Sunday. The football game will be on and there will be food. Please RSVP for a block of time or just show up. We ask that if you have a cellphone with weekends minutes please bring it, and don't forget the charger too. But if you don't have a phone, show up anyway.

Also if you need directions to Bev's house, please let me know.

For those of you who are interested, we will be using a targeted phone list from FCDP. Names have been selected as democratic leaning independents and potential cross-over voters. This list is intended to be complementary to the parties ongoing GOTV effort.

Chris Muenzer
Event Coordinator

Emily Kreider's Campaign:

Literature Drops -- meet at Emily's house in Westerville at 9:30 a.m. We will eat a light breakfast then everyone will go out and do about a two-hour route. We will then come back to Emily's for lunch and go back out for another two-hour route after everyone is finished eating. You may come for just the morning or afternoon, or both! We will also have a lit drop on Sunday afternoon, and will meet at Emily's house at 2:00 and do one route that afternoon.

Phone Banking -- Ongoing

Visibility Events -- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

EMail to participate.

Bob Shamansky's Campaign (Franklin Co. Opportunities):

Phone Banking
Weekdays 5 PM -- 8PM
520 S. 5th St, Columbus, 43206

Weekdays 5 PM -- 7 PM, Weekends 10 AM -12 AM.

**Election Day**
In order to Get Out The Vote, we’ll need plenty of help on Election Day, Tuesday November 7th. We need phone bankers, drivers, canvassers, clerical help, and just about any other kind of help you can imagine. Please consider taking Election Day off to help Bob win.

Call Brianna at (614) 849-0260 to find out how you can help get out the vote.

Local (Bexley)

Literature Drops --
we're dropping sample ballots all over Bexley from 12-6 on Sunday

Election Day --
handing out sample ballots at the polls. It looks like we could still use a couple more people on each slot (6:30-9 a.m.; 11:30-1; 4:30-7:30 p.m.)

Email me (bonobo), and I'll put you in touch with the local volunteer organizer.

Seriously. GOTV

Every single advantage that the Republicans have had in the last two elections, from a popular president to message discipline, etc., is gone.

Except one, if you believe what the Republicans are saying. They still have a get-out-the-vote-machine that Dems haven't come close to matching. Yet.

After a massive (but IMHO inefficient) GOTV campaign in Central Ohio in '04 (I remember working for one of the America Votes member organizations that year, standing on a Weinland Park street corner, talking to the canvassers from two of the other coalition groups, discussing whether we should all walk together because people didn't like having to answer the door every ten minutes), some lessons seem to have been learned:

Historic GOTV Operation Partners Progressive Organizations Around Ohio!

Columbus - In Ohio, the America Votes Coalition has orchestrated a massive Get-Out-The-Vote campaign by working in partnership with one another, coordinating activities, collaborating on ideas, and combining resources, which will result in one of the largest GOTV efforts in the state. The campaign will officially begin on Saturday, November 4th and run through Tuesday, November 7th, Election Day.

The America Votes GOTV "Countdown to Election Day" Campaign involves more than 40 organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, United Food and Commercial Workers, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, Equality Ohio, the Sierra Club, the Ohio Education Association, ACORN, Equality Cincinnati, SEIU 1199, EMILY's List, the AFL-CIO, People for the American Way, and SEIU Local 3, along with a host of other groups from across the state.

"Two years ago the leaders of the America Votes organization made a pledge to change progressive politics forever, stated Scott Nunnery, State Director for America Votes. " We've spent two years building campaigns of shared strategies, coordinated investments and most importantly, longitudinal outlook. On November 7th, the collective impact of the America Votes Coalition will have an undisputed impact."

As the coalition readies itself for this year's GOTV campaign, activists and members have been recruiting Election Day Workers, an excess of 5000 individuals, who will need to fill 17,000 shifts, over a 96 hour period. The coalition has set-up staging sites in 18 cities across Ohio, including Columbus, Cincinnati, Lorain, Akron, Youngstown, Dayton, and Toledo. In Cleveland, a 40 x 20 foot tent will be erected to house more than 500 workers. These workers will contact, by phone or in person, more than 1 million Ohio voters. "A lot is at stake this year; voters need to know how important it is to get to the polls on Election Day," Nunnery stated, "Ohio is at a crossroads and they hold the power to turn the state around and put it back on track. "

Historically, mid-term election years see a huge drop off in voter participation. In fact, voter turnout is only projected to be 52% this year compared to a 72% turnout just two years ago. The coalition has been working to target voters who have a chance of missing an off season election. "Over the past year, we have been working with our partners to educate like-minded individuals from around the state and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to mobilize voters in their community," stated Karen Gasper, State Field Director for America Votes. "Now it's time for those individuals to get to the polls and vote. "

The coalition will continue to recruit workers up to Election Day. For those who would like to volunteer to work on the GOTV campaign, they should call 1.877.VOTE.OHIO or visit the GOTV Ohio website at

You probably realize how crucial GOTV can be (for example, if Emily Kreider had a three point lead among registered voters, 51.5 to 48.5, that would be great news. But if David Goodman got 51 out of every hundred of his supporters to come out and vote, but we only manage to get 48 of every 100 of Emily's supporters to the polls, we lose). You probably have no idea how rewarding, and how fun, doing GOTV can be. I'm going to try and list specific opportunities to help out Emily Kreider, Bob Shamansky, and Bev Campbell, but if you're just looking to level the playing field and own a small piece of the landslide, please sign up to do something. Recruit a friend or loved one to tag along. No matter the outcome of any race, you'll feel better on the 8th knowing that you were part of the effort.

Who would've thought the world's cheesiest attack ad would go forth and multiply?

David Goodman isn't the only one who thinks that missing an election makes you ineligible to represent your neighbors. Joy Padgett, in the US House district next door, has begun airing ads that tell the public about elections that Zack Space, the Democrat who is polling well ahead of her, didn't vote in during a period spanning from his eighteenth birthday in the '70s to when he turned 26, almost twenty years ago. The implication is that a twenty year record of voting in every general election, every primary election, and every special election, is not good enough for a U.S. Congressman, in the opinion of Ohio Republicans.

Normally I don't talk about races that are not on the ballot in Bexley, but this has a direct link. Joy Padgett is currently working through a bankruptcy, resulting in the default of a large SBA loan, and preventing her creditors from collecting assets by transferring them to family members (possibly legally).

But as far as we know, she's been a continuous voter She considers her own spotty voting record to be superior to Mr. Space's. So she has seized the lifeline thrown to her by fellow Republican David Goodman, the idea that voting is not just a right and a privilege, but that the voting booth is like a confessional, where all of your worldly sins are forgiven and stricken from the record.

74% of registered Franklin County voters missed the 2003 election. I don't know how many Central Ohio residents have failed to pay back a Seven Hundred and Thirty Seven Thousand dollar loan from the government, but my guess is that it's less than 74% of us. I don't know how many folks in Central Ohio think that members of the state legislature should be able to take unlimited contributions, because no matter how much money they get from special interests, it never influences them. But I would guess that it's not 74% of us.

People like David Goodman and Joy Padgett don't pretend to represent most of us.

I do agree with them on the simple point that everyone should vote in this election. If we do, these two will certainly wish we hadn't.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More and more for the Dispatch Editorial Board to be ashamed of.

Over the last week, I've gotten increasingly angry with the Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board. In the guise of decrying negative campaigning, they've engaged in, abetted, and inspired muck-wallowing on a scale that can only depress turnout. This is a simultaneous direct and indirect attack against Democrats. I've already covered the inexplicably flagrant disregard for the truth in trying to pin labels like "shrill" and "smear" on the campaigns of Emily Kreider and Bob Shamansky.

But it gets worse. Less than a week after publishing the false statement that Emily Kreider had engaged in "shrill and sometimes ill-consisered attacks," her opponent is using this fabrication in- wait for it- a negative attack ad. Way to f'ing go, Dispatch.

So what happens then? BSB reports that Goodman's brother-in-law is a political reporter for the Dispatch, calling their integrity into question. Believe it or not, I'm not actually a big fan of that, and I wouldn't have gone there. The Republicans (and in the context of Elections, the Editorial Board of the Dispatch has to be included in that label) engage in plenty of concrete, documentable acts of dishonesty and sleaze. Implying sleazy acts that can't be proven probably just plays into this voter depression strategy. I am, however, sympathetic to BSB, because we've all watched Democrats go down playing nice, and on the other hand, the Dispatch climbed into the pigpen, so it's hard to have sympathy for them.

Which sort of brings up my next point, that there are plenty of examples of campaigns where the Republican has been a much dirtier campaigner than the Democrat, but very difficult (impossible?) to name a race on the ballot in Central Ohio where the opposite pattern applies. So the Editorial Board picks two races where they can make an argument for equivalence and one where they can't (but assert it anyway). That's not the story this year.

The story is up and down the ballot, stories like that of Beverly Campbell, running in the 20th OH House District:

Its Bev here again. I read both the Dispatch article and your blog concerning the outrageousness of the attack and smear ads. I'm surprised that neither seem to have seen the continuous character assassination directed at me by Jim McGregor and the Republican smear machine. In all of the direct mail pieces as well as the TV ads, they have sunk to new levels of slime. Today my campaign is filing 5 Election Commission Complaints against McGregor, ORP, Bob Bennett, OHRCC and Wm. Coley for disseminating patently false, deliberately misleading and deceptive ads directed to the voters of the 20th District in order to try and "save" McGregor's seat for the Republicans. I have also been advised by counsel to consider filing a civil action personally against all of the same defendants for defamationa and slander. I may well do that.

Yet, standing in the lobby of the Vineyard Church, Jim McGregor and I shook hands and pledged before God that our campaigns would not stoop to those levels and engage in negative campaigning and the politics of personal destruction. He ratified and repeated that pledge standing in front of me and the editorial endorsement interviewers at the Dispatch. Yet TWO DAYS LATER McGregor's smear campaign against me personally started. NOT ONCE has he or his party ever attacked my position on the issues!

Maybe Jim McGregor doesn't understand the meaning of a handshake or a pledge? Or maybe his word is not worth much. I have not "gone negative" but I do intent to get this truth out there. We will be having a press conference about this.

I can argue or whine or whatnot, but really, the defense is obvious. Negative campaigning makes people want to stay home. The only way for Republicans to win in OH-12, State Senate 3, or State House 20, is for Democrats and (especially) Dem-leaning Independents to sit this one out.

Don't let it happen. The Dem base for Shamansky is the Franklin County portion of OH-12, which happens to have considerable overlap with both OHSS-3 ond OHSH-20. Getting out the vote for the Kreider or Campbell campaign may be the very best thing you can do for the Shamansky campaign. Do something positive. Get involved this weekend.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Shamansky and Tiberi in Statistical Tie in Independent Poll

Majority Watch/Constituent Dynamics has been polling competetive House races all year, but they finally released their first poll of OH-12. Others got the news before I did (sometimes a nice dinner out with the family gets in the way of the scoop), but they seem to have missed a very major point: Although the weighted sample shows Tiberi ahead 51-46, the Margin of Error is +/- 3.09, meaning that the margin on the spread is actually 6.2, meaning that this poll puts the race within the margin of error, even with a 1000+ representative sample.

That's what they call a statistical dead heat.

The crosstabs are strange, with younger women( less than 60 years old), typically a Dem constituency, going +19 for Tiberi. It's even stranger given that men in this age range are only a +11 for the Pa(rro)t (The 60+ crowd is overwhelmingly pro-Shamansky). Overall, this is a much rosier picture than the pulled-out-of-my-rear-end guess from this weekend.

This is no longer a longshot. This is going down to the wire. We can do this.

My Absentee Voter Story, Strange Epilogue #1

The piece I wrote recounting in detail my experience at the Franklin County BOE on the first day of absentee voting is by far the most read post this blog has had. I had no plans to follow it up, and I've resisted writing election integrity pieces because many others are doing that at a level I couldn't attempt to match without losing focus on the things I want to blog about this season.


I received my absentee ballot in the mail today. You may wonder why, three weeks after I cast my absentee ballot, I am receiving a ballot in the mail. I certainly am. At the moment I am more concerned, however, with the pink piece of paper that came with the ballot that says:

ATTENTION ABSENTEE VOTER: The United States District Court has enjoined the enforcement of certain provisions of Ohio law that would otherwise require qualified electors to provide proof of identity when applying to vote by absent voter's ballot or when casting their absent voter's ballot.

Please be advised that you are not required to provide proof of identify (sic) when you complete your aplication to vote by absent voter's ballot nor when you complete the absent voter's identification envelope prior to returning your voted ballot. (emphasis in original)

For those of you not keeping score at home, the US District Court put a restraining order on the Boards of election preventing them from enforcing the new voter ID law. SOS Blackwell declined to intervene, but AG Petro insisted that he had standing to appeal the order. After initially being turned down, an appeals court agreed and also agreed to lift the order for now, putting the Voter ID law back into effect, pending further appeals.

As far as I can tell, that means that if I were to follow the advice of the Franklin County Board of Elections, and not provide Identification, my ballot could actually end up being invalid, and potentially thrown out because the I.D. requirement had been reinstated.

If anyone would like to explain to me that I'm wrong about this additional wrench in the barrelful of monkeys that is the Ohio election process, I would love to have my fears allayed.

P.S. because I have already voted, I'm not sure I have standing to officially complain about this. If I'm wrong about that, I'd like to know that, too.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Dispatch Editorial Board Is Guilty of Ugly Smear Tactics in Denouncing Non-Existent Ugly Smear Tactics

I wrote a letter to the editors of the Dispatch on Friday, encouraging them to give one example, one single example, of the "shrill and ill-considered attacks" that they accused Emily Kreider of making, as a follow-up to the same challenge I posted to readers of this blog earlier this week.

I have yet to get a response.

I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt, that the Board wasn't engaging in an unsubstantiated smear campaign of their own. Perhaps they had seen something that I hadn't (highly doubtful given the focus I've had on this campaign), or perhaps I had misinterpreted a statement that we had both seen.

My doubt, and the concomitant benefit thereof, have been reduced to next to nothing. The Dispatch, in decrying smears today, called out six candidates in three races. They claim that both Kilroy and Pryce have been smeared, and give examples. They claim that Brown and Dewine have been smeared, which is a view so ingrained in the CW as to hardly be worth discussing. They then state that Pat Tiberi and Bob Shamansky have both been smeared, and should be ashamed of themselves.

Wrong. Pat Tiberi has not been smeared. The Dispatch is just plain lying. Every single ad put out by the Shamansky campaign is available for your perusal here. There is no smear. The harshest statements (by far) in those ads comes from the editorial staffs of the Delaware Gazette and Suburban News Publications, independent entities which are outside of the candidates' control.

This set of unsubstantiated lies and smears by the Dispatch Board about non-existent lies and smears by Democrats up against true mud-slinging Republicans is shameful. The Board has a whole lot more to apologize for than some of the folks they're pointing fingers at.

From the mailbox

ProgressOhio is a younger site than this one. But unlike the guy running this one, the people who run ProgressOhio actually know what they're doing. So, if you haven't taken my hints and suggestions yet, consider taking theirs:

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Brian Rothenberg,
Executive Director