Friday, July 25, 2008

The element of surprise in the 20th Statehouse district

PolitickerOH has the race between Nancy Garland and Jim McGregor in the 20th district profiled among its "Top Eight Statehouse Races of 2008." With a nod to Bev Campbell's narrow miss in '06, Politicker sums up this year's race:

McGregor was supposedly caught off-guard against Campbell in 2006, but Garland cannot expect to have the advantage of surprise again: everyone knows this will be a close, critical race for control of the state house and the state's balance of power.

Of course Garland, who has already gone through a tough primary, is actively campaigning throughout the district, has institutional support, and is getting attention from media types like Politicker, won't take McGregor by surprise. On the other hand, McGregor seems to be hoping to turn the tables. I haven't heard of any campaign events, read any news stories, his website lists his endorsements... from 2006. Apparently, McGregor is planning on an October surprise - launching his re-election campaign. That'll catch everyone off-guard.

Tiberi Getting Nervous?

I was going to make a crack about how when Bush was against the housing bill, Pat was against the housing bill, then when Bush decided that the bill was better than nothing, Tiberi decided the bill was better than nothing. Easy, fits the narrative, etc. I also toyed with the idea of pointing out that the money Pat gets from the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate Sector ($358k so far this cycle) dwarfs the money he receives from any other sector, and how a bailout might be in their interests. Also easy, also true.

But the quotes in this AP article are pushing me away from the easy shots...

I'm sure that the Tiberi campaign will point at this vote as an example of breaking with the GOP when the 'interests of the district' give him reason to do so. It's the sort of vote he and his supporters would have you believe is his hallmark, when in reality it is actually pretty rare. More support comes from the public disagreement with John Boehner, Minority leader and Tiberi's mentor/bff. From the AP article:

"To ask the 94 percent of people who are paying their mortgages on time to pay additional funds so they can bail out scam artists and speculators and, frankly, banks who may have made bad loans is not fair," Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, told reporters Thursday.

"Getting our party to stand on principle is a critical part of what we have to do in order to earn our way back."

That used to be Pat's line, almost word for word. But now?

"There were a lot of things I didn't like about the bill, but this was the last train leaving the station. ... This was take it or leave it," said Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, one of 21 Republicans who originally opposed the housing measure when it was approved in May, but backed the final version on Wednesday.

Tiberi, whose district has experienced high rates of foreclosures, said he supported the measure because he thought, "The impact on the markets if we did nothing would be a far greater risk than the bad policies."

So Pat is abandoning conservative principles to support what he thinks is bad legislation, because not supporting it would not go over well in the district. That's not something one does when one is comfortable with one's chances in November.

More than the Bush-following, more than the PAC loyalty, it's the calculation and lack of confidence that are striking here.

That's my takeaway, anyway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

David Robinson hits ActBlue's "Hot Candidate" List

The Robinson campaign has been making a push to get on the ActBlue hot candidate list. It appears to have been successful, as Robinson is the 4th hottest candidate on ActBlue as of this writing. You can help. Throw five bucks at the candidate today via an ActBlue fundraising site (If I'm not mistaken, was the second ActBlue page in the country to feature Mr. Robinson. It'd be nice if you'd be so kind as to donate there. If you prefer, you can go to the Bexley for Robinson page, as recommended by former mayoral candidate Travis Irvine, who has officially endorsed Robinson...

For those who follow such things, Pat Tiberi (or PAC Tiberi, as some folks have called him in the past) is raising much more $$$ than Robinson. Robinson is getting donations at about the same rate as Bob Shamansky did in 2006. If Bob would loan this campaign $250k like he loaned $250k to his own campaign in the second quarter of '06, cash on hand would be similar too :) . Since that's not likely to happen, it's up to folks like us to pick up some slack.

Back in Blue

After two weeks away, catching up on blogging is unfortunately not at the top of the priority list. Fortunately, y'all have plenty of other stuff to be looking at right now:

Buckeye State Blog interviews Nancy Garland (and Ted Celeste).
Buckeye State Blog gives a nod to David Robinson.

Politicker posts a David Robinson interview.