Cold feet re: impeachment of Dann?

Get on with it already!!!!! My blood is boiling!!!!

After all the expression of outrage by our Ohio politicians, I can’t believe there are some allowing disgraced Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann some wiggle room.

Statewide Democrat leaders promised to introduce an impeachment resolution in the Ohio House of Representatives if Marc Dann did not resign. In order to be credible they MUST follow through or else face the wrath of the voters. 2006 should teach them that the voters are capable of expressing wrath.

Keep in mind that the House of Representatives decides whether these misdeeds are impeachable, as there is no requirement to adhere to criminal statutes. There should be a FULL VOTE OF THE OHIO HOUSE to decide whether to refer the matter to the Ohio Senate. Right now, it appears that there are a few key legislators who are trying to circumvent impeachment, and denying the right of the ENTIRE House chamber from weighing in on the matter. Speaker Jon Husted designated Rep. William Batchelder to co-ordinate the impeachment actions against Dann. Batchelder is quickly losing my respect by opining that Dann’s offenses don’t meet his own standards for impeachment, signaling that the drive toward impeachment might be going nowhere. I want to see 98 state reps (Matt Barrett hasn’t been replaced yet) vote on this matter, not just Batchelder.

Speaker Husted is suggesting an independent investigation of Dann to see if something can be discovered that’s more worthy of proceeding with impeachment, implying that what we currently know is insufficient for proceeding. Oh yeah? Let 98 state reps decide the matter. Introduce the measure, and then let’s have a vote. After all, the House, alone, gets to decide what’s impeachable in this instance and what’s not impeachable. No criminal statute applies, so stop raising the bar. Stop moving the goalposts. Since what constitutes impeachment is solely a matter of discretion, and since it applies only to the current set of circumstances, it is utter nonsense to suggest that a precedent is being set that would apply to potential future impeachment cases. There is no such thing as case law on this matter. Also, there is no such thing as double jeopardy in an impeachment case like there is in a criminal court. So if the House decides right now that the misdeeds of Dann aren’t impeachable after a FULL VOTE OF THE HOUSE, that doesn’t mean that the matter can’t be revisited when the independent investigation reveals its findings at a later date. Dann can face impeachment multiple times. Let’s be clear on that. I reiterate, this is not a criminal trial, nor is this a proceeding that must mirror the proceedings of impeachments in the U.S. Congress, so PLEASE toss those notions aside. You have a blank slate in front of you. Be unfettered when you decide this matter. The next time impeachment comes before the General Assembly, the slate will be blank once more, and a decision can be rendered specific to that circumstance without encumbering the ability of starting with a blank slate once more when yet another future impeachment case comes before the General Assembly. Got it?

Oh, gosh! Can impeachment be decided by political whim? YES!!!!!!!

Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chair Kevin DeWine promised to make opinions on the removal of Dann an issue in every election race in Ohio this year. I think voters are prepared to do that very thing anyway, even without DeWine’s say-so. Unfortunately, the standard DeWine was setting for Democrats might now be applied to key Republicans as well.

Get your act together, Republicans! Dragging this thing out is not politically expedient. There is no political gain to be realized by prolonging this. Voters want Dann removed now, not later. Slowdowns in handling the impeachment matter will only reaffirm voter’s beliefs that our state legislature: 1) might be as corrupt as Dann (and they would be if they let Dann remain); 2) is hypocritical; 3) is grossly inefficient even on matters that should be expedited; and 4) defies the will of the voters of Ohio.

Do the Republicans want to impress voters? Then impress them with the speed and efficiency by which this matter reaches its conclusion and Dann is removed from office. Then the voters may feel they have a Republican-General Assembly that earns their keep rather than a Republican-led General Assembly whose ranks are filled with bungling, fickle, brain-dead sloths.

To the statewide Democrat leaders: I thought the impeachment articles would be introduced days ago by Minority Caucus Leader Joyce Beatty. What’s going on? I’m still waiting. Are you worried there’s not enough support even within the Democrat caucus to proceed? Are you worried that there are more people like Rep. Joe Koziura of the 56th District (Vote Stipe in November!) who think Dann’s actions are merely stupid, ignoring Dann’s selfishness, ignoring the damage done to the lives of Dann’s employees, ignoring the office and condo hijinks that impaired the operations of the AG’s office, ignoring the ties Gutierrez claimed to have with the mafia, ignoring the pimping of women in subordinate positions (and the misogyny behind it), ignoring a workplace environment so unethical and fraught with harassment that it would not be tolerated in any other workplace (let alone a government office, which is why it’s especially heinous in the office of an Attorney General–an office charged with policing workplace harassment), and ignoring the waning morale and confidence of the employees that remain at work in the AG office? If Koziura thinks that this mess can only be attributed to Dann’s stupidity, then he needs to think the whole thing through. The point is, you, the Democrat leaders promised. Who do you want the ax to fall on? The statewide Democrat leadership, or Democrat state reps who just don’t get it? What’s more important in the 2010 elections that will decide the reapportionment process–the jobs of Strickland and Brunner? Or the job of Rep. Koziura, who can’t even run in 2010 if he manages to get elected this year? Save your own credibility and let the stragglers fend for themselves. Remove Dann pronto, or Kevin DeWine’s promise will bludgeon you.

I can’t see how stalling this process helps ANY foot-dragging incumbent get re-elected. Impeach! Now!

Should I be worried?

LOL! RINO’s are being hunted! Should I duck for cover?

The Wall Street Journal has an op/ed piece by Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth PAC titled, “In Defense of RINO Hunting.” Michelle Malkin read it, and added her two cents.

And I’m the Buckeye RINO.

If you can’t tell from reading the right-hand sidebar, I don’t think of myself as RINO. I think of myself as Republican.

I think I’m actually more conservative than many pro-business PAC’s. I think some of those pro-business PAC’s are blind to some of their own liberal tendencies.

In Ohio, one of the pro-business PAC’s is the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. They send a questionnaire each even-numbered election year to all the state legislative candidates. I never got their endorsement in my two campaigns for state rep.

Some of the positions they advocated for would have reduced accountability and transparency, and I’m not talking about reduced accountability and transparency in government, I’m talking about reduced accountability and transparency in business. Business has a double standard . . . expecting increased governmental accountability and transparency, but letting themselves off the hook. Being conservative, I want accountability and transparency in government AND business.

Another double standard is that businesses want government to cut its spending, yet they line their own businesses up like swine at the trough eager to land government contracts. They’ll even ask questions to determine whether, as a legislator, you’d support appropriating money for such-and-such. As a conservative, I want to cut government spending, and that includes cutting outsourcing to the private sector.

Yet one more double standard is that businesses plead for deregulation, saying that it’s dragging down their costs. Nevertheless, lobbyists of certain industries push for legislation that directly benefits them, creating a playing field that is not level, thus creating a marketplace that is not truly competitive. As a conservative, I don’t want to place an unnecessarily heavy regulatory burden on business, but I wouldn’t give certain businesses special treatment that favors them over competitors in the marketplace either. I despise pay-to-play legislation, which some PAC’s have resorted to for securing an advantage for themselves, but overall, has ruined the economy of the state.

I’m not suggesting that the Club for Growth PAC is as warped in their rationale as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce PAC. I’m just pointing out that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, so be vigilant.

The RINO moniker that I have adopted is an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor, poking fun at the way the term “RINO” is bandied about so freely, often by those who have no business calling someone else a RINO.

So I’m not worried about Pat Toomey or Michelle Malkin. I’m not the real RINO they’re hunting for.

Sub-prime lender as tax evader

Someone I know very well sold a house as it was being foreclosed upon. The sale price of the house nearly equaled what was owed on the mortgage. The predatory mortgage lender who’d been charging sub-prime rates agreed to accept the sale price as payment-in-full for the mortgage. That was 2006.

Now it’s 2008. The seller of the home gets a notice from the IRS asking for several thousand dollars more in taxes for calendar year 2006. The seller only had W-2 income that year, so had filed form 1040-EZ. The IRS says that the seller’s income didn’t match the records on file. What the IRS had on file is a form W-2 . . . AND . . . a form 1099.

The seller never received any 1099. No 1099 ever arrived in the mail. The seller never had any knowledge of the 1099.

The 1099 was sent to the IRS from the mortgage lender. The mortgage lender is telling the IRS that they charged off HALF THE BALANCE OF THE MORTGAGE!!!!!

When creditors charge off bad debts, they are permitted to write it off on their taxes and report the amount written off as income imputed to the debtor. But, in this case, when the sale on the house closed, the mortgage lender acknowledged that the debt was paid in full, and the lender was not taking a loss.

Had the seller received a 1099 in January of 2007, the seller would have taken immediate action to dispute the information appearing on the 1099, and probably could have resolved the issue without needing to consult a lawyer or accountant. The seller is undertaking the dispute now, but is much more inconvenienced as the seller has to dig through papers to gather relevant documentation, and will most likely need to consult with both a lawyer and an accountant, costing perhaps hundreds, but it’s cheaper than paying the thousands that the IRS wants.

What would you think if half the amount of your mortgage were added to your income? Think about the tax bracket it would put you in, and then ask yourself, would you be able to cough up the taxes owed? In the seller’s case, even with the tax bill broken down into monthly installments that the IRS will permit, the 2006 tax payments would become the largest single expenditure in the seller’s monthly budget.

The IRS has notified state and local tax agencies of the income discrepancy, so guess who else will come calling with their hands out?

After looking through the seller’s documentation, I have to wonder, how widespread is this practice of creditors claiming losses that don’t exist simply to reduce their own tax burden?

And while these greedy sub-prime lenders have contributed to bursting the bubble of housing markets which is leaving the nation’s economy teetering on the edge of collapse, this particular sub-prime lender is also back-stabbing the nation by evading payment of their full share of taxes by fraudulently imputing the income to someone else. And even if the debtors pay the tax that’s been deceitfully shifted on to them, the IRS is still getting less, because the lender is probably in a much higher tax bracket than the debtors.

That whole industry sector of predatory lenders are now quaking in fear that legislation being contemplated now will alter their business practices so much that it may not be lucrative enough to keep the doors to their businesses open. My response is: You had your day in the sun. Count your blessings that you were able to get away with what you got away with. Now that it’s raining on your parade, I’m not shedding any tears.

Rev. Wright might say: Your chickens are coming home to roost.

****The sequel with more details****

McCain Veepstakes

DJW, the Buckeye RINO, offers analysis of which persons can help McCain gain electoral traction as VP candidates, and which ones won’t.

It has to be someone within the party. Lieberman won’t do.

McCain has already indicated that it won’t be a pro-choice candidate. And that’s wise.

Forget choosing Ohioans. I’ve heard Rob Portman and John Kasich mentioned as those possibly on the list. Neither will help him get elected. For both men, they are obscure on a national level. Portman could be too easily linked to Bush, and Obama has already replaced McCain’s first name, John, with a new first name, Bush. You’ll be hearing a lot about Obama’s opponent, Bush McCain, heading into the November elections. Few who served in the Bush Administration will be able to show enough distance from Bush to avoid making the marriage of the Bush name to the McCain name worse. Furthermore, it is doubtful that even naming an Ohioan will make any difference in carrying Ohio. Ohio voters are distrustful of current and past Republican leadership. They are eager for a Republican who is an ethics crusader. John McCain would do well to highlight his ethics crusade every time he makes a campaign stop here. Perhaps the only Republican Ohioan that can help pull off an election is Mary Taylor, as many see her as eager to do the right thing. But it wouldn’t be possible to make a case that Mary Taylor is ready to be a heartbeat away from being U.S. President. No Ohioans.

The only two former members of the Bush Administration that have any popularity at all that can distance themselves far enough from Bush are Christie Todd Whitman and Colin Powell. Whitman would be a choice consistent with McCain’s platform on the environment. Colin Powell is very popular. A current cabinet member that’s very popular, though she can’t distance herself from Bush, is Condoleeza Rice. From a popularity standpoint, Powell and Rice could help win as VP candidates, but if McCain is serious about a VP who isn’t pro-choice, that erases Whitman, Powell, and Rice. Rice appears at first glance to be the most conservative among the three on the abortion issue, but only Whitman has had a thorough vetting on the issue, so that comparison might not be valid. Nobody who served with Bush.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, for obvious reasons, cannot distance himself from Bush.

Senators and Representatives won’t work unless they have prior successful executive branch experience they can point to. There’ve already been criticisms that Americans have a poor choice for President with just legislators in the mix. The only exception I can think of that could have helped McCain is former U.S. Senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson. Thompson is an excellent communicator, Tennessee will be in play in the election, Thompson is not just popular, nationally, but is definitely popular in the South, where McCain needs to make sure his base is at fever pitch on his behalf in the fall, and Thompson also has a strong appeal to conservatives. Fred Thompson does not want the job and will not accept the job.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty does not have national appeal, lives in a state likely to be in the Democrat camp, anyway, and is not really viewed as conservative enough to energize the base for McCain.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford represents a state considered far from the mainstream, and he, himself, while acceptable to conservatives, is also perceived to be too far from mainstream America. It would have helped his chances if South Carolina had irrevocably disassociated itself from the Confederate flag many years ago, yet the flag is still flying.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist endorsed McCain before McCain won Florida. Though Crist is popular in Florida, and though he is viewed as conservative, he does not embody a McCain who has unified with the disaffected voters within the GOP. It would be helpful for McCain to choose someone who used to be on the other side of the rift. Plus, I’m going to make a bold prediction here, Florida will be in the GOP camp this November, even if the Democrats seat the full state delegation at their convention.  Crist will deliver Florida while remaining Governor, so he’s not needed as a VP.

Former HUD Secretary and Congressman Jack Kemp would be criticized for his age just as much as McCain, since he is older than McCain.

It needs to be someone prominent, someone conservative, someone from the other side of the rift, someone who can appeal to the mainstream, and someone who can energize Republican voters.

Prominent on the other side of the rift would include some former Presidential contenders from this year and prior years:

Alan Keyes–too far from the mainstream.

Steve Forbes–never energized voters

Ron Paul–without executive branch experience and not mainstream

Elizabeth Dole–might also be criticized about age, and is older than McCain

Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee–these are the three that can really help McCain.

Lamar Alexander is a former governor, is younger than McCain, has associated himself with populism via the plaid shirt (thus mainstream), will solidify the South for McCain, and will appeal to conservatives, so I think voters would be energized.  Downsides aren’t readily apparent, unless he’s portrayed as a Washington insider by virtue of his service in the U.S. Senate.

Mitt Romney, who I voted for in the primary, is a former governor, is younger than McCain, couldn’t have won Massachusetts without mainstream appeal, puts some Northern blue states in play, is definitely from the opposite side of the rift from McCain (so adding him to the ticket would signify that McCain is unifying the party), is perceived to know what he’s talking about on economic issues, energizes the base (dominated caucus states, probably would have been nominated if delegates were proportionally allocated, and is the only, repeat, the only, GOP candidate this year who had at least double digit support in EVERY primary contest before dropping out, and is the 2nd place finisher in the delegate count), is a Washington outsider, and adding him to the ticket would be consistent with McCain’s position of making change and cleaning house in Washington.  Romney would help solidify the ticket in the Intermountain West.  There are two downsides.  One is that there is apparently religious prejudice against Romney in the South, yet Romney was competitive (double-digit support) in every primary contest he participated in.  The other is that, in light of the fact that McCain has recently been making campaign appearances in African-American communities, perhaps thinking he may be able to attract disaffected black voters if Clinton steals the nomination, Romney, sadly, hasn’t made prominent efforts to reach out to African-Americans.  If Obama is the nominee, Romney could marginally help attract Latinos, though  McCain, himself, has more appeal to Latinos than Romney.  Romney should probably not be VP if Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

Mike Huckabee is a former governor, is younger than McCain, is a Washington outsider, energizes his own base (which is big in the South), is a great communicator to the point that he has some mainstream appeal which he adds to with his humor, was an opponent of McCain all the way up until the nomination was clinched (so adding him to the ticket would signify McCain’s ability to unify the party).  The downsides are that many in the North and West do not think of Huckabee as really being conservative (me, included), and some are turned off by how bold he is in putting his born-again Christianity on display.  He has reached out to African-Americans and can do so again if Hillary is nominated, and he can deliver the South, including Arkansas, if Hillary Clinton is the winner, and he can put a dent in her appeal to less affluent and less educated whites.  Huckabee doesn’t really put any blue states in play, though he does prevent red states being taken away, thus a close and polarizing election would be the result.  Huckabee wouldn’t be a strong choice if Barack Obama is the Democrat nominee, but would be a great choice if Hillary Clinton is the Democrat nominee.

No matter who the Democrat nominee is and no matter who the VP is, I think there will be a distinct gender gap in November’s Presidential election.

So there you have it:  Pick Mitt Romney if Obama is the nominee.  Pick Mike Huckabee if Hillary Clinton is the nominee.  Pick Lamar Alexander if choosing the VP before the Democrats have a nominee.

I hope John McCain considers this advice.

CNN election night missing a familiar face

Amy Holmes.  I guess you could say I’m a big fan.  I really enjoy seeing her on CNN.  She is always glowing, always pleasant, always brightening the room, even when she is disagreeing with another CNN contributor.

In looking for her on the web this morning, since she was absent last night, I was struck by how similar her advice to Obama was similar to my own.  Obama’s victory speech in North Carolina last night seemed to be along that vein, as it was a clear contrast to a Rev. Wright narrative about America, as Obama shared some talking points about his love for America.

And as for last night’s results, I’d already declared that Obama had turned the page.

I assume she’ll make more appearances on CNN, as she just posted another blog entry on their site just two days ago.

Get the Dann deal done

I fail to see any headlines that articles of impeachment against Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann were introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday.  Didn’t Democrat leaders say that yesterday the gauntlet would be thrown down?  I’ll be eagerly looking to see whether it happens today.  If you’re going to deliver a credible ultimatum, then follow through with it.  Please.

Barrett’s son exploited

Perhaps I need to add a few paragraphs to an earlier post I’d written about how teens need adults to be protectors and not perps.  I really don’t like to drag family into a discussion about public figures, but former Democrat state rep Matthew Barrett’s son was used as a human shield, not for war mind you, but for deflecting criticism that belonged squarely on Barrett’s own, adult, shoulders for displaying at least one photo of a topless woman to a Norwalk High School class.  What shocked me was that Barrett’s wife and Barrett’s son were required to play along with the charade that was originally presented to law enforcement officers.

Nevertheless, I’ve already posted a blog entry that Barrett is no longer in jeopardy of having any punitive action taken against him.

This passage from this Norwalk Reflector article is what really made me wide-eyed in disbelief:

“Barrett’s son spoke to Norwalk police in the presence of his parents and said he was responsible for downloading the photos, but his father refused to let him say what Web site he had used to find the pictures.”

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram corroborates:

“During questioning, Barrett and his wife, Wendy, sat with their son as he described downloading pornography off his father’s laptop computer and putting it on a memory stick to move to another computer in the family’s home.

“In a separate interview, Barrett’s wife said she had caught her son looking at Internet pornography in the past, but when police asked the boy what kind of Web sites he had visited to get the photos found on the memory card, Barrett refused to let his son answer.

” ‘Don’t. I don’t want him to answer,” Barrett can be heard saying during the interview. “Don’t. Don’t answer, please.’ “

The women depicted in the photos were contacted by investigators who discovered their identities via the laptop computer that police confiscated from Barrett.  The women willingly co-operated with the investigation of Barrett when they learned to their own alarm that a 13-year-old son had been made a scapegoat by his parents.  It wasn’t until after police had made contact with the women and knew their stories that Barrett hired an attorney and owned up to the deception.

Wow.  Yet, frustratingly, in our society, children are often casualties of adults’ exploits.