Carnival of Ohio Politics #142 posted

You are in for a real treat if you head over to Carnival of Ohio PoliticsInstallment number 142 has been posted by the same blogger that writes The Boring Made Dull, which is never boring or dull.  If you are confused by all the economic turmoil, and don’t know what the best approach is to finding our way out of the economic wilderness, there is a bumper crop of blog entries from all over Ohio about getting a handle on our economy.  After perusing the economic issues from all sides, your head should have all the info it needs to come to a clear conclusion, and the way forward will open up to your vision like magic.  Either that, or you’ll end up being really, really, really confused.  The video at the beginning of the current Carnival edition really isn’t instructive, but it’s funny.  The blog articles that this week’s Carnival links to are really instructive.  The post I liked the most was from the blog titled Divided We Stand United We Fall.  If you check out that post from Monday, November 17, please make sure you watch the 10 minute video featuring Peter Schiff.  Once you are familiar with the scenario that brought our economy to its present point (and Peter Schiff saw this coming well in advance of its arrival), the path out of the wilderness is a lot more visible.

Eye of Newt

Sounds like an ingredient in a witch’s brew.

Actually, Bob Schieffer of the CBS show “Face the Nation” wanted to hear what a couple of prominent Republicans had to say about the future of the Republican party on the national level, and one of the perspectives was put forward by former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.  The other prominent Republican in the discussion with Schieffer was current Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  You can watch the video here, but be aware that the segment with Gingrich and Jindal begins halfway through the show, with bloviating over auto industry bailouts occupying the first segment.  Otherwise, you can read a print version of yesterday’s “Face the Nation” episode here.

Among the points upon which Jindal and Gingrich agree are that the GOP needs to show that it can devise solutions, not just be a party of opposition.  I agree with that, too.  Gingrich talked about the Republican governors across the nation as being the implementers of solutions that the GOP will look to, and that the media will look to.  Gingrich fancies himself as someone who dreams up lots of solutions.

Herein lies the rub.

As an onlooker, it appeared to me that Gingrich was patronizingly positioning himself as head wrangler over a stable full of Republican governors.  Gingrich is talking as though he is the person who can harness these workhorses together.  Translation: Gingrich fancies himself either as a serious GOP prez contender in 2012; or as head of the RNC (probably not, as he dissed the RNC by saying, “I think that the Republican Governors Association is probably more important than the Republican National Committee in trying to get this done”); or as a kingmaker as to which Republican Governor will get his nod for GOP prez contender in 2012 (kiss his ring, or he might have to make himself king).

Newt’s banter seemed inoccuous enough except for his telltale take on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, which is why my eyebrow is raised.  Newt said:

“The natural pattern in the news media is going to be, they know how to spell Sarah Palin’s name; they have it locked in their word processor.  She’s going to be a much bigger story in the short run. But, I think, as she goes back to being governor and as she works in Alaska, you’re going to see a group of governors emerge, not just Sarah Palin. And there are 36 governorships up in 2010.

“I think focusing on rebuilding the Republican Party from state legislature and governor to Senate and House is the right model. And I think that the Republican Governors Association is probably more important than the Republican National Committee in trying to get this done”

So Bob Schieffer senses that Palin is being downplayed by Newt Gingrich, so he asks a followup question to confirm Newt’s views once and for all.

“She’s a wonderfully, intelligent, aggressive hardworking person who got, you know, hammered very badly by the press in, I think, fairly distorted ways.

“I think that she is going to be a significant player. But she’s going to be one of 20 or 30 significant players. She’s not going to be the de facto leader.”

Again, this Newt narrative is portraying the Republican governors as all being in a stable with no real leader head and shoulders above the other, leaving room (especially by not mentioning former governors, like Huckabee and Romney) for Newt Gingrich to float to the top.

Let me just say this:  Much as we need solutions from GOP leaders, and much as we would welcome solutions from Newt Gingrich, we do not need the new face of the Republican Party to be that of Newt Gingrich.  Sarah Palin caught on with Republican conservatives like a wildfire, and Newt Gingrich is catching on with the Republican conservative writing this blog entry like a wet blanket.  Not only did Gingrich never capture the enthusiasm with Republican conservatives to the degree that Sarah Palin did, there is also the spectre of sexism that would be raised if Gingrich were to be the new face of the GOP.  Not only would Gingrich be suspect in terms of downplaying Palin, he’s also suspect in terms of his marital history, plus he’s most famously suspect for what his mother revealed to Connie Chung about what Newt thought about Hillary Clinton (a word that starts with a “b” and rhymes with a person who might throw an eye of newt into a cauldron).  While Sarah Palin did not close the gender gap, with the majority of women voting for the Obama-Biden ticket, it’s hard to see how Gingrich would improve upon that demographic.  Sarah Palin did gain a following with men that I don’t think Gingrich quite understands, let alone that Gingrich can match.

As for what we expect to see out of Republican governors in the future, many of the rank-and-file already see something we really like in the performance of Sarah Palin as governor, and that is that she took on corrupt influences entrenched in government, and tossed them out of power.  This aligns neatly with what Jindal said: ” . . . we’ve got to stop defending the kinds of corruption we would rightfully criticize in the other party.”  Jindal has this as number two on his list, but I think Ohio Republicans would put it at number one on our list, because it is too rare.  Jindal’s first item is fiscal conservatism.  Well, I can find Ohio Republicans by the droves who believe in fiscal conservatism, and who have implemented such practices in their own respective elected offices.  Jindal’s third item is the afforementioned need to solve problems.  I can find some Ohio Republicans who can generate solutions.  But that 2nd item on the Jindal list, that of rooting out corruption, who’s had the power to do that in Ohio?  Only grassroots voters.  No prominent elected Ohio Republican has the courage to do what Sarah Palin did in Alaska, and that’s why not only would rank-and-file Republicans put Jindal’s second item as number one, but they’d also look upon Sarah Palin more favorably than the other Republican governors and why they’d think of Sarah Palin as a frontrunner to be the new face of the GOP, despite how Gingrich plays down her appeal.

Will it be Palin vs. Gingrich for the GOP prez nomination in 2012?  If so, Newt might emerge KO’d with a black eye from such a tussle.

This week’s Carnival has election coverage

The able editor, Ben Keeler, has unveiled the latest installment of the Carnival of Ohio PoliticsThis installment has a bumper crop of election-related posts from all over Ohio that really attracted lots of web traffic.  Bloggers I’ve received feedback from, plus traffic here at Buckeye RINO, show that the stories from these past two weeks have been immensely popular with blog readers.  Please check out the Carnival, and you also might want to eyeball Keeler Political Report and The Point at for additional samples of Ben Keeler’s writing.

Veterans Day

I’ve got a lot of things to get done in real life this month, so my blogging may be not as prolific as it was last month.  I do, however, want to at least say a word of thanks to our veterans on Veterans Day.

To those who serve in America’s military, whether past or present, I just want to thank you for being the most important public servants, far more important than any one politician, in keeping America free.

Our nation is the lone superpower of the world. The other nations look to the United States of America to lead, to be a beacon, to be an example, to be the best.  I thank you, who wear or have worn the uniform of the armed forces of the United States of America, for your unsurpassed contribution to America’s greatness.

For those on duty now, I want you to know that I pray for you.  You have blessed America.  May God bless America also, and may He bless you.

Democrats control everything

Along the rust belt that hugs Lake Erie’s shores, Democrats have long enjoyed a near monopoly on municipal and county governments.  Incredibly, local Democrat politicians in northern Ohio have always found a Republican somewhere, no matter how distant, to pin the blame on for the area’s misfortunes, all the while turning a blind eye to their own corruptions.  The Democrats have just won the White House, have strengthened their majorities in both houses of Congress, control all but one of the statewide executive branch offices, and have even wrested control over the Ohio House of Representatives.

Eventually, as I mentioned when I endorsed Annette Butler for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, somebody has to pound the message into voters’ heads that corruption exists among northern Ohio Democrat politicians, it’s taking its toll on the region’s economy, and that re-electing those Democrats won’t solve the problem.

How long will it take before Democrats run out of Republicans to blame, and start having to shoulder the blame they’ve earned, themselves?

[Update] Gov. Strickland, please help Lorain with its broken drawbridge

Lorain residents, and especially Lorain merchants, are getting a close-up look at the importance of transportation infrastructure in keeping the wheels of commerce greased.  In downtown Lorain, there is a drawbridge along U.S. Route 6 that crosses near the mouth of the Black River on the Lake Erie shore.  The name of the bridge is the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge.  The drawbridge doesn’t work.  It’s been stuck in the open position for months on end, creating detours for motorists and killing commerce along both banks of the river.  Not only is this an object lesson about the importance of infrastructure, it’s also an object lesson in red tape and the inefficiencies of state and county bureaucracies (in this case, the Ohio Department of Transportation is a prime example).  Ohio Governor Ted Strickland urged voters to support Tony Krasienko in Lorain’s mayoral race last year.  Guess what?  Krasienko won.  Now Krasienko needs Strickland’s support.  Now, Lorain needs Ohio’s executive branch to spring into action.

Governor Strickland, can you leverage some immediate relief for Lorain please?

Check out this pictorial from the Lorain County Photographer’s Blog to see the bridge with your own two eyeballs.  Then, from the same blog, hear the speeches of Lorain’s merchants and politicians while the residents gathered at the bridge to plea for assistance.

For the latest communication on the bridge matter, check out That Woman’s Weblog.  Things just aren’t happening.  Please, Governor Strickland, involve yourself in this matter long enough to get speedier results.

Of course, as noted before, I keep plugging for even more infrastructure.  The transportation grid upgrades I’ve proposed on the map below (the routes shown in red) would include at least one more bridge across the Black River, and it wouldn’t be a drawbridge.  It would also route traffic within a stone’s throw of the downtown at highway speeds of 65 m.p.h.


More details on the mapped proposals are here, here, and here, at Word of Mouth.

[UPDATE] More pics and correspondence from Lorain County Photographer’s Blog.

The election results are in

Following up on the endorsement recap of yesterday, there were a few of the Buckeye RINO-endorsed candidates that won, but many of them lost.

Issue 6 went down to defeat, and I’m very happy about that.

The expected incumbent winners among those endorsed were Bob Latta of Ohio’s 5th Congressional District, and Jeff Wagner of Ohio House District 81.

There were newcomers elected, too.

Huron County elected Larry Silcox over Sharon Ward for an open commissioner seat.

Seneca County replaced long-time incumbent treasurer Marguerite Bernard with Damon Alt.

I never predicted who would win among those I endorsed . . . with one exception.  As soon as Matt Barrett stepped down from his seat in Ohio House District 58, I announced that the GOP would win the seat back from the Democrats.  I was correct.  Terry Boose emerges as the new state rep in the 58th District.

Though most of those I endorsed did not emerge victorious, I don’t regret making any of the endorsements that I made.  God bless you all, and God bless America.

Buckeye RINO endorsement recap

Today is the last day to get out and vote.  I urge all U.S. citizens to do so.

I’ve noted that traffic to the blog has been burrowing in to old posts to dig up what Buckeye RINO has said about the various campaign races currently underway.  I guess I should have made site navigation a little easier for the readers, so let me try to help out with this post and give you links to help you find what you are looking for.

U.S. President: I’m supporting John McCain.  Foreign policy is almost always the decisive factor for me when it comes to choosing the president, since Congress really doesn’t have a handle on the foreign policy agenda.  Congress DOES have a handle on the domestic policy agenda, which is why I give that less weight when making presidential voting decisions.  McCain’s foreign policy platform is the reason why, even though I opposed the bailout bill, I wasn’t lured to one of the minor party candidates who opposed the bailout.  If Joe Biden is sure that Obama will be tested by our enemies in the first 6 months if elected, you can be sure that the minor party candidates like Barr, Baldwin, and Nader would also be given that test.  McCain’s already been tested, and he passed the test.  I did write one entry about Obama and one of his foreign policy platform planks, but most of my writing about the McCain-Obama race was on the domestic front, much of it recorded in the 13-part HOPE ON series.  Here’s the link to HOPE ON Part 13, and there you’ll find links to the other twelve installments, and you’ll find those installments riddled with links, too.

Congress: I’ve endorsed Bob Latta in the 5th District, Bradley Leavitt in the 9th District, and Dave Potter in the 13th District.

Ohio’s ballot issues: I’m in favor of issues 1, 3, and 5, but I’m against issues 2 and 6.  I wrote an additional post about Issue 5, coupled with Issue 6.  I’ve also written extensively against issue 6, beginning with “Deep-six Issue 6,” and spelling out the economic downside of Issue 6, along with stances against Issue 6 from the viewpoints of Democrats, Libertarians, and Republicans.  I’ve linked to audio and video clips against Issue 6, I’ve urged voters to keep the zombies away and to frustrate lobbyists by voting no on 6, and I’ve expressed shocked surprise and disapproval when Issue 6 backers referred to the League of Women Voters as a “firing squad.”

General Assembly: Jeff Wagner in Ohio’s 81st House District.  I didn’t write about it, but in my own Ohio House District, the 80th, I voted for Ed Enderle for state rep.  When Matt Barrett’s problems came to light, I pointed to Terry Boose to pick up the baton for state rep in the 58th Ohio House District.  Heydinger was appointed to fill the rest of the Barrett term, but Heydinger decided to withdraw from the election because he felt the Ohio Democrat Party wanted to attach too many strings to him in exchange for financial campaign support.  Voters should think long and hard about that fact.  Terry Traster, a member of Amherst City Council that now is the Democrat standard-bearer, ideologically, doesn’t have a lot in common with the rest of the 58th District.  He’s not a good fit.  Lorain County Democrat politicians, like Traster, don’t often see eye-to-eye with the more rural and conservative voters of Huron County, southern Lorain County, and eastern Seneca County.  Terry Boose should be the pick of the 58th.

Seneca County: Damon Alt for Seneca County Treasurer.  Longtime incumbent Marguerite Bernard has to go.

Huron County: Larry Silcox for Huron County Commissioner.  Sharon Ward is not suitable.

Erie County: Mike Printy for Erie County Commissioner.

Cuyahoga County: Annette Butler for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

Lorain County: Nick Brusky and Martin O’Donnell for Lorain County Commissioner.  You can read more about the current state of affairs in Lorain County here, here, here, and here.

Indie Talk 110 has election coverage on Sirius satellite radio

For those who subscribe to Sirius satellite radio, Indie Talk 110 will be covering election results tonight.  When election results are slow coming in on the cable television news networks, do you get bored by the same talking heads repeating the same drivel over and over again?  Well, Indie Talk 110 sent me an email that indicates they have a cure for that:  During Indie Talk’s election coverage, they’ll be chatting with people from different places around the nation about election results from their neck of the woods, not a cast of characters that’s the same-old same-old that the TV networks turn to daily to get the same-old same-old redundantly predictable spin that talks about elections only on the macro level and that totally misses the local flavor of coverage.  No doubt, Indie Talk will cover the macro trends of this election, but they’ll also be sampling at the micro level, too.

I’ve participated in political discussion at Indie Talk 110 before, on their “Blog Bunker” segment, and I was impressed with the savvy and insightful listenership that calls in to the show to share their commentary.  For Sirius subscribers, I’m sure it’s well worth a listen to tune in tonight.

I voted last Monday

I voted during the early voting period last Monday, a week ago from today.

Should I thank Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for an atmosphere simultaneously conducive to both vote fraud and vote suppression?  Or, was what I witnessed solely the creation of the Erie County Board of Elections?  Rumblings from various parts of the state suggest that the integrity of Ohio’s election systems are being questioned beyond just Erie County.

Check out this Cuyahoga County story about thousands of dead voters told by the television reporters at Cleveland’s Newsnet 5.

For even more news on the topic of election fraud, I recommend a visit to Vote Fraud Squad.  They have a clearinghouse of such stories at their site.

The potential for gaming the system to allow dead people to vote during early voting in Erie County definitely crossed my mind.  The early voting in Erie County took place in a room that adjoins the Board of Elections office.  There are two doors that lead into the voting room.  One door is leading to the voting room is from the main hallway.  The other door leading to the voting room is from the adjoining BoE office.  Both doors opened into the fairly narrow rectangular room on the room’s east end.  An oblong table was situated in the center of the room with a few table-top dividers to afford a limited amount of voting privacy for voters who were able to find a chair (crowded conditions meant that not everyone had a chance of finding a seat) where the dividers were.  There were other small spaces at that table top and at other very small tables on the perimeter of the room that afforded no privacy.  Chairs were at the tables and also along the perimeter, but conditions were crowded enough that a fire marshall might have questioned whether the number of persons in the room violated the fire code.  A voter enters the northeast door from the hallway, crosses the narrow side of the room to the southeast door from the BoE office where a small table obstructs the door.  Behind the table is one election worker (there’s only room for one to stand in the doorway) who hands voters an envelope with a form to fill out.  Beyond identifying which election is being voted on, the printed name of the voter, the address of the voter, and the date that the voter is casting their ballot, the form also requires a signature and a notation of either the driver’s license/state-issued ID number, or the last four digits of the social security number.  Voters look for some space in the narrow but long room to situate themselves so that they can fill out the form.  Once the form on the envelope is completed, they make their way back to the election worker in the southeast doorway and hand the envelope to her.  The worker hands the completed envelope to a co-worker in the BoE office who is out of the line of sight of the voter (with a worker standing in the doorway with a small table blocking the doorway, the view of the BoE office is rather obstructed).  The voter then waits for a few minutes while the out-of-sight BoE worker retrieves a ballot for the voter.  I’m assuming the BoE worker is matching the name, address, and signature with the voting records in order to make sure that a ballot for the correct precinct is selected.  The worker in the doorway calls out the name of the voter on the envelope when the ballot is ready to be picked up.  The voter now has the envelope and ballot in hand and again seeks out a space within the room to fill out the ballot.  Once the optical scan ballot is filled in, the voter folds it, stuffs it into the envelope, and then returns it to the worker.

OK, now that I’ve outlined the setting and the process for the early voting at the Erie County Board of Elections, let’s break it down into the components that can compromise the system.

  • By decree of Jennifer Brunner, no elections observers were permitted during early voting.
  • Instead of having a balance of paired Republican and Democrat poll workers like we are accustomed to seeing in voting precincts on election day, there was just one worker at the interface between the voter and the BoE.
  • Jennifer Brunner has already stated that checks of the social security numbers and driver’s license/state-issued ID numbers will not be completed because such a check could crash the system.  Brunner’s allegation sounds completely PHONEY (in other words, I think she’s LYING).
  • The worker at the BoE doesn’t check or even request to check any proof of identity or address when the voter approaches.  Everyone’s on the “honor” system.
  • The form on the envelope is filled out beyond the observation of the worker, including the affixing of the voter’s signature.  On election day at the polls, signatures are witnessed as they are affixed in  the voting rolls by the poll worders.  There is no witnessing of signatures during early voting.
  • Since no ID is presented to workers, and since Brunner won’t check the numbers used for ID purposes, the only verification the workers have to go on is the validity of the signature.  It may be hard to convincingly forge a signature in the presence of poll workers, but what about forging a signature beyond the eyesight of an election worker during early voting?  This is the kind of lapse that allows dead people to vote.
  • When one is filling out the ballot during early voting, it is not being done in the privacy of the voting booth.  People are standing around waiting for their name to be called to retrieve their ballot and envelope back, glancing over your shoulder while you fill in the bubbles on the optical scan sheet, and you know that it only takes a glance of a split second to see which bubble you’re filling in.  It can be intimidating when you vote in front of an audience.  Can such conditions influence the vote?  Can they suppress the vote?  Clearly the layout of the room and the procedures in place did not instill any sense of security and privacy while voting.
  • One more note on the voter suppression issue.  If overcrowding and long lines on election day are seen as attempts at vote suppression, then someone should be raising that same concern over early voting.
  • What about the envelope system and optical scan ballot system to begin with?  Doesn’t such a system lend itself to greater risk of ballot box stuffing than other forms of voting?  I pose these questions about optical scan ballots with my observations during a recount process in mind.

The early voting environment in my county doesn’t lend itself to confidence in the integrity of the system that Jennifer Brunner has provided us with.  No matter how the elections turn out, there will still be questions raised about how they were conducted.  My early voting experience in Erie County was, at the least, unsettling.

HOPE ON Part 13: McCain the real deal

The State of Ohio Blogger Alliance has undertaken the task of highlighting criticisms of the Obama ticket that the in-the-tank MSM works hard to downplay or outright ignore.  The effort has been titled “Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now” (HOPE ON), and, in all, 13 installments will be rolled out for blog readers to peruse and reflect upon.

Here are my recaps for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, and Part 12.

BizzyBlog wraps up Part 13, the final installment of HOPE ON.  You can see an accompanying video at BizzyBlog, and you can see all 13 videos at  The transcript reads:

Thank you, Senator McCain. We don’t hear much about your service to our country. You don’t talk about it very often. But that’s okay. We will.

We all know to judge a man’s character not by what he says, but what he does. You haven’t just told us you love America. You have shown us. The years you spent tortured as a prisoner of war, don’t just tell us you are honorable. They show us we can trust you.

What did our Founding Fathers hope for in a president? How about a war hero who sacrificed again and again for the love of his country? How about a veteran of the Senate who has tirelessly put America first?

Senator McCain, fads come and go, but they don’t last. You are not a fad. You are the real deal, Senator. We could never question your commitment. We can’t question your experience. We can’t question your associations and your motivations.

You have always been proud of America. You have always put your country first. And for that, we say, “Thank you, Senator.”

The person who really did an excellent job of pointing out why McCain is the right person for the presidency right now is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Here’s a video clip of Schwarzenegger speaking to those assembled at a McCain rally in Columbus, Ohio, during the past week. At about the 4 minute mark into the video, Schwarzenegger extols McCain by saying, “I only play an action hero in the movies, but John McCain is a real action hero.”  At about 5 minutes and 20 seconds, Schwarzenegger recounts his own migration from the socialism of Europe to the opportunity of America.  He also points out that Europe has had to backpedal on socialism because of its pratfalls, and he points out that America should not be marching toward socialism to find solutions for our economic problems, because socialism doesn’t have the solutions.  The Schwarzenegger speech is definitely worth a listen, so I hope you check it out.

From the Buckeye RINO perspective:

I’m pleased that Senator McCain stopped by Sandusky on his whirlwind campaign tour of Ohio.  On the stump, McCain gave a rousing speech, like the one at the Republican National Convention, imbued with hope, which is a stark contrast with the stump speeches I’ve sampled from Joe Biden.  Obama, on the stump, mocks McCain, but I don’t think there’s really much to mock, even though it has worked wonders on turning Obama into the media darling while placing McCain in the media doghouse.  McCain has not been George W. Bush, despite Obama’s contrary assertions.  McCain has been transparent.  McCain has been bipartisan.  McCain has been true to America even through times of wartime torture, and he has the scars to prove it.  McCain and Palin are firmly committed to reforming Washington DC.  As I noted in Part 9, McCain and Obama should be measured by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

If you’ve been reading this HOPE ON series, then you are aware of some of the most troubling aspects of the Obama platform.

This is just a partial list, for it doesn’t touch on issues of immigration, abortion, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, China, infrastructure, consumer protection, the First Amendment (“fairness doctrine”), the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court, national defence, housing, the Federal Reserve, states rights, etc.

McCain’s reforms are aimed at increasing the integrity of our nation’s politics.  Obama’s proposed changes, especially in light of how the campaign has been conducted, raise questions about integrity.  McCain is the real reformer, the real maverick, the real change agent, the real action hero, the real deal.