Friday, May 11, 2007


I just posted a fundraising appeal. I used to hate fundraising, and really didn't trust anyone who asked for money. Of course, after watching Republicans wielding war chests and what that was capable of achieving, I gave in. I decided that there was nothing to do but to simultaneously work for campaign finance reform and join the GOP on the cash-fueled playground.

So, one of those 'at least our side doesn't...' items had fallen away. That's okay. There's plenty more. As soon as I got done posting today's appeal, however, I got an invitation from the Party to write a letter to the editor. One thing that is often obvious about Republican attempts at persuasion is that they are generated from a central set of widely distributed talking points. It's contemptible. But apparently, effective. So our side wants to play ball, too (make sure to click on the second tab).

There's no McCain-Feingold that's ever going to take a stab at removing blind mimicry from the electoral process. Sigh.

Pay Day

Over at BlueOhioan, they're throwing what they call the "Friday House Party" every week from now until Election Day '08. Look in the upper right hand corner of that blog to see how to make a small donation to an Ohio dem.

Coincidentally, there's also an ActBlue link in the upper right hand corner of this blog. Right now, it mainly has places to donate to people who aren't running yet, like the future Dem Nominee in OH-12. I'll transfer my online pushiness over there as time goes by.

If you want to donate money today to a live human being who needs it for something less than eight months away, and you know you do, you can still give it to Jerid, even though you won't get the experience I had last night of hanging out at the fundraising party. Bob Shamansky, the most recent Dem nominee in OH-12, was there. Lots of blogosphere folks as well. I finally actually met Jerid. I'm not sure what I expected, but he looks less like the guy at the end of the Appalachian Trail and more like the guy in American Pie, but that might just have been a context effect.

So anyway, rather than contributing a droplet to the presidential bucket, consider making Friday a pay day where your cash can have a real effect. And remember, if you contribute to candidates for state-level offices, you get up to $100 refunded back to you even up.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back to the Old 'Hood

A few weeks back, I went to the OSU Dems fundraiser at the South campus Gateway. Tonight I'm going to the NH Project Fundraiser at the Short North Tavern. Before I lived in Bexley, I lived a few short blocks from said tavern, so I'm comfortable finding the place.

Unfortunately, Charlotte, the cutest one-year-old in the world and a natural-born extrovert, won't be with me (much to the disappointment, I'm sure, of Councilmember Craig). This means that you should show up. Yes, you. It's tonight from 5:30pm-7:30pm. You should bring your checkbook to support citizen journalism and to keep Ohio in the Dem Primary loop. And you should start an argument with the guy in the orange shirt. He likes that sort of thing.

Last Bloggable Bit Catching Up

Everything else, from the vegan couple that will forever be used by grandparents to bully vegetarian mothers to my continued position that my support defaults to Bill Richardson until someone convinces me that it belongs elsewhere (or he earns it beyond default status)... Well it's water under the bridge now.

The last blogged bloggable bit referred to yesterday belongs to election day in the area I have been known to refer to as Wexnerville... New Albany.

I watched with interest as the New Albany Bond Issue failed as about half of school funding-related issues in local districts passed. New Albany-Plain Local has, in recent years, gotten the most bang for the buck in Franklin County. A while back, I analyzed data and concluded that increased per-pupil-revenue was associated with lower performance within the group of lower-performing districts, but associated with higher performance among higher-performing districts. My guess is that the former effect is the result of failed attempts to replicate the latter.

Anyway, NA-PL was a bit of an outlier there, with very high performance, and relatively low PPR for such a high-performing district. Because the district continues to see growth, and because much of that growth is fueled by families with school-aged children, the number of pupils appears to be rising almost as fast as the additional revenue that's being generated. This sort of tension seems bound to have one of two results: Either the District will generate additional revenue from taxpayers, bringing the district in line with similarly high-performing districts, or per-pupil funding will continue to rise at a slower rate than similar districts, and performance will likely decline to something more closely resembling the second tier of Franklin County Districts.

Of course, over-performance could continue, or school-funding reform could change the entire landscape.

The graph below shows how Dublin and New Albany have followed a different trajectory than Bexley, Grandview, Worthington, and UA. Per Pupil funding four these six districts started at a similar level, but Bexley, Grandview, UA, and Worthington have increased PPR at a higher rate than Dublin and NA-PL.

Dublin and New Albany are still experiencing growth, especially compared to the four inside-270 districts (The graph below shows estimated population change from 2000 to 2005. It understates the differences by a great amount, because the bulk of the growth in Dublin and New Albany districts has occurred outside the city/village for which the district is named. The innerbelt suburbs have districts that are much more closely matched to city borders).

Increased population coupled with a decreased willingness of the populace to vote for funding requests is not unique to New Albany, but New Albany has the potential to be a case study.

Oh, and by the way, I intentionally left Hilliard out of any and all discussions here. You'll get much better conversation over at one of Paul's blogs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Goodman Running for Franklin County Court of Appeals

Hat Tip to Paul at BSB for catching something I inexplicably missed as it was reported:

State Sen. David Goodman, a New Albany Republican who won a second four-year term last year, is planning to run for a seat on the Franklin County Court of Appeals in 2008.

I made a snide comment over there about six year terms being even better than four year terms if you want to keep running for other offices in years that you're not up for re-election. I prefaced it by saying two year terms are really bad for that, so don't expect him to go for Tiberi's seat if it opens up. That was taken a tad more seriously than I intended, but wasn't pulled entirely out of my rear-end... it reflects speculation that has been left in comments here... there's no way I'm going to stand behind that speculation (I was joking, after all), but if anybody else does, feel free to comment here or at the BSB story.

Anyway, what this actually might be is a case of having few other viable options due to term-limits for state seats but not federal. If Tiberi sticks around through the '10 election, Goodman would be left running (it seems to me, and feel free to castigate me if I'm simply just plain wrong here...) for County Commisoner (a race he's already lost) or something statewide (against an incumbent Democrat or in a higher-profile judicial race).

Also, moving on is good for the GOP, who I'm sure would like to run an incumbent in the 3rd in 2010.

Having said all of that, I think the bench plays to Mr. Goodman's strengths more than the legislature does. Maybe he just wants to be a judge. It'll be an interesting campaign to watch.

More Fun Than a Root Canal

Yesterday I had time to make a quick post in between two hours of meetings, an Operation Feed event, and an appointment to have a root canal (re)done. My laptop is out of commission, so I often take one of my office's laptops home to doo work while I'm waiting for my personal machine to get functional again, but I didn't yesterday. Yesterday I had to take actual leave time, and it was a gorgeous day, so I reasoned that I had no excuse to work at home or intentionally stay indoors, and I left the machine at the office.

So I missed out on something like twenty bloggable bits. Reacting in real time would have been more fun than the root canal, but I won't make a judgment comparing one blogging afternoon to my first bike outing of the year.

So, catching up, and speaking of sick leave... Frankie Coleman is being investigated for supposedly claiming work hours during which she did not actually do work. I feel a strange connection to Mrs. Coleman, as the last time she was really in the news it was because of an incident that took place two blocks down the street from what was to become my house. In all honesty, I am in no position to make judgments about any of the alleged work issues, as I have had at least one instance in which a superior and I had to clarify accountability standards for work done out of office or during non-regularly scheduled hours. The primary issue, and one that I strongly concurred with, was that my supervisor should always have the ability to defend the hours for which I was being paid, either by pointing to physical presence or alternate documentation of some sort. It's obvious that Mrs. Coleman and her supervisor Ms. Williamson did not have a sufficient understanding as of mid-March 2007. There are numerous reasons to be out of the office for someone employed as an administrator in the department of Workforce Development. It is easy to believe that Mrs. Coleman, a prominent member of the transition team, knew that Ms. Williamson's tenure was ending very soon, and therefore did not bother to establish a good working relationship. So it's quite plausible nothing improper happened at all. It's also quite plausible that an employee might take advantage of such a situation. I'll wait for the investigation.

Which is the part that really ticks me off about the Republican response to this. Complaints against State Workers go through the Inspector General, not the Attorney General. I hope that folks will remember that Tom and Bernadette Noe were private citizens when they weren't involved with Lucas County. I also would like to point out that Marc Dann hasn't "been all over" any Republicans as Attorney General. There's no evidence that he would have been, and given that many of the problem folk are out of government if not out of legal jeopardy, there's been no need. The potshots continue with jabs (heard on WCBE this morning, I believe Bennett was the one speaking) about Dann being to busy cleaning up corruption in his own office. As a matter of fact, when there was a problem in the A.G.'s office, the individual was fired and an investigation started. That's hardly a record of "cover-ups."

As a matter of fact, if the suspicion of a cover-up is based on the fact that the appointed employee, the agency head, and the governor are all members of the same party, and furthermore, that Republicans think that such a situation naturally leads to cover-ups... I have to wonder about how many cover-ups Bob Bennett knows about from the past 16 years that the rest of us never heard about.

One bloggable bit down, many to go. Next up, David Goodman hits the campaign trail again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Election Day

There is no voting today in Bexley, but some of our near neighbors do have elections. From the Franklin County BOE:

Elections will be held May 8th in the cities of Hilliard, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg and Whitehall. There will be tax or bond issues in Jefferson Township, Mifflin Township Road District, Truro Township, New Albany Plan (sic) Local School District, City of Upper Arlington, Pickerington School and Licking Heights Local School Districts.

Want to know what, exactly, you are voting on?

This link leads to a list of candidates in the primary elections.
This link leads to ballot issues.

I planned to post this yesterday. H/T Jill for reminding me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Full Cabinet

It doesn't appear that an official announcement has been made, so I won't step on that, but I have it on good authority that Ted Strickland has finally named a Director for the Department of Mental Health, and that this person was worth the wait.

I'll update this after it goes public.


It's been released. Sandy Stephenson is the new director at ODMH, starting June 04. A lot of people have been waiting for this apointment (Mental Health just went through the entire biennial appropriations process without a director). I've never met Ms. Stephenson, but I know several people who know her well, and among them the universal reaction to this choice is "fantastic."

I think the transition is now actually complete.

Update #2:

I guess Mark Rollenhagen at the PD liked my title. Either that or we're both just lame.
(edited to change 'Stevenson' to the actual spelling of 'Stephenson.' My apologies.)