Nevada’s tempest in a teapot–Obama’s right about a few things

I picked up this story of huffing and puffing Nevada politicians at ABC’s website.

It seems that all the politicians in Nevada are expressing umbrage at the President for saying the following:

“Responsible families don’t do their budgets the way the federal government does.  When times are tough, you — you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices. It’s time your government did the same.”

Of course, the federal government should’ve tightened its belt, too, and that fact seems lost on Obama, but the rest of what he said is perfectly sensible.  I said in September of 2008 that families should prepare as best they can for the worsening economy.  The events of September 2008 are different than the events of today, but the prospects for continued and perhaps even worsening economic malaise are still staring us in the face.

But Nevada politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, are evidently irrational.  They’ve built their state’s economic foundation upon the sand (see the economics explained here and here) instead of upon a rock, and when the economic storm blew in, their economic house was pulverized.  Do they face the music of generations of bad decision-making?  Apparently not.  They are still in denial about what a prudent course of action should be.  All they’ve done so far is shoot the messenger, in this case, President Obama, when the truth of the message is plainly evident.

I might add that there was never a time when it was OK to blow a load of cash in Las Vegas casinos at the expense of a college fund, not even in the good times.

President Obama sent a letter of clarification to Senator Reid.  In the letter, the President still makes perfect sense:

“I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun.”

For the record, I like vacations.  I like to travel.  I learn many things about our world from my travel experiences.  But I wouldn’t be able to afford much traveling or vacationing if I feed those one-armed bandits called slot machines.  I certainly don’t see any educational value in making a casino my tourist destination.

Remember when Senator Reid was accused of making racist remarks?  How many politicians came to the Senator’s defense?  He made an apology to the President, and the President vouched for the Senator’s character, that the Senator was not a racist.

But, in this instance, no apology is necessary, yet Senator Reid, with lightning quickness, has thrown the President under the bus, even after the President reached out to him with a letter of clarification.  I think the President would do well to file this episode of disloyalty in repayment of his own loyalty in a place where it can be easily retrieved in the case of a future dispute.  Bad karma for Senator Reid.  Bad karma.

One of Reid’s potential opponents for his Senate re-election, Republican Danny Tarkanian, isn’t demonstrating any more intelligence on the issue than Reid is.  I won’t bother to quote any of the Nevada politicians, since their rants aren’t sensible enough to be worthy of repetition on my blog.

So, why all the nonsensical bluster?  As I posted in the run-up to Ohio’s elections on the casino issue, GAMBLING BUYS POLITICIANS.

2009 election results: 1 step forward & 2 steps backward

Some of the election races turned out the way I’d hoped, but I’m sure regular readers know that, over all, I’m displeased with Ohio’s election results, especially pertaining to Issue 3.

All counties routinely covered by Buckeye RINO, namely Erie, Huron, Seneca, Lorain, and Cuyahoga, favored the casino cartel.  Absentee votes were overwhelmingly in favor of the casinos. In a few years, Ohioans will see how the casino vote is every bit as damaging as the lottery vote a few decades ago, but it will be too late to do anything about it, just as it’s too late to do anything about the lottery.  These things can’t be undone.  Sorry, Ohio, but you’ve stepped in it.

Ohio also voted to pay out more interest by taking on more debt with passage of Issue 1.

In Erie County voting, there were some election night successes that indicate an improvement for both the Sandusky school board and the Sandusky city commission.  Voters did pick Koonce for Sandusky school board and dump Patterson.  Smart move.  Also, two Sandusky city commission incumbents who are among the good old boys, Stahl and Warner, came in dead last, while challengers Nuesse and Hamilton picked up two of the three commission seats available.  However, by favoring Issue 3, Erie County residents rewarded some bad behavior and have undercut Cedar Point and the indoor water parks as tourist destinations.

In Cuyahoga County, voters did pass Issue 6 and reject Issue 5 in an attempt to come to grips with corruption in county government.  However, in passing Issue 3, voters have greatly facilitated the operations of organized crime, so, at the same time they are trying to heal the damage, they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

In Lorain County, it seems that Gary Bennett has won election to Elyria Municipal Court, that Phil Van Treuren did secure a seat on Amherst city council, and it seems that the Lorain school board candidates endorsed at Buckeye RINO have emerged as winners. Issue 4, a county sales tax increase, was also defeated.

However, Lorain may have to change its name to Giardini-on-the-Lake as Democrat good old boy party boss Anthony Giardini saw all of his preferred candidates sweep the elections for Lorain city council.  It’s really hard for me to feel sorry for Giardini-on-the-Lake when voters continue to support a Democrat machine that has abused them terribly.  In the race for Law Director, Giardini-on-the-Lake voters rewarded non-compliance.

Elyria voters chose exactly the same city council candidates that were endorsed by the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.  Maybe the CT wants to do more than just report events–maybe they want to shape events.  Maybe the CT, with its endorsements, just wanted to bet on the winning horses and come out smelling like a rose.  I don’t know, but I bet the city won’t move forward as successfully as if the election results had matched Buckeye RINO’s endorsements.  Most disappointing were the Democrat sweeps in the at-Large seats.  Here’s the fly in the ointment with electing the CT slate:  The city tax issue, Issue 10, went down to defeat.  The CT endorsed Issue 10.  The city council that the CT has chosen doesn’t know how to govern without passage of Issue 10.  The Buckeye RINO-endorsed city council would have been able to move forward without passage of Issue 10.  If Elyria voters had thought this through more thoroughly, they would have realized that their opposition to Issue 10 meant that they needed to elect the Buckeye RINO slate, not the CT slate.  Just watch–Elyria will try to raise taxes again, because of who was elected to city council.  Leopards don’t change their spots.  Just look at the county commissioners with their sales tax hikes.  Voters in Lorain County chose commissioner candidates that can’t govern without hiking taxes.  Two years ago, a sales tax hike approved by county commissioners was soundly defeated.  Did voters oust the offending county commissioners?  No.  They returned them to office.  What happened?  They hiked sales taxes again.  Voters rejected that tax hike by rejecting Issue 4.  Want to stop going down the path of tax hikes?  Vote for different commissioners!  Next year, Betty Blair’s commissioner seat will be up for election.  Should you return Blair to office?  Not if you’ve voted against the tax hikes twice.  Think about it.

2009 Buckeye RINO endorsement recap megapost

Election Day is next Tuesday, November 3rd.  Don’t forget to vote.

This year, I’m weighing in on the following issues:  The statewide ballot Issues 1,2, and 3; Lorain County Issue 4; Cuyahoga County Issues 5 and 6.

Buckeye RINO’s local political coverage generally spans Lorain, Huron, Seneca, and Erie Counties.  This year, I’m endorsing local candidates in the following cities:  Amherst, Sandusky, Lorain, and Elyria.

ISSUES (Ballotpedia.org has info on state and local issues, including other viewpoints)

  • No on Issue 1.
  • Yes on Issue 2–I have mixed feelings about this issue.  This is about the living conditions of livestock.  Some special interest groups (animal rights advocates, climate change activists, vegetarian and vegan crusaders), using tactics such as those outlined in Saul Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” are waging a campaign against animal-based agriculture.  I’m not enthralled with the proposed solution offered by Issue 2, because it authorizes creation of yet another governing body (groan).  I feel caught between a rock and a hard place.  I’ll take a chance on Issue 2, but my support is far from solid.
  • NO on Issue 3.  If you read Buckeye RINO at all, you know I’m very emphatic on this point.  NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO and NO.  Got that?
  • No on Lorain County Issue 4.
  • No on Cuyahoga County Issue 5.
  • Yes on Cuyahoga County Issue 6.

AMHERST

I’ve endorsed Phil Van Treuren for Amherst City Council at-Large.  Four candidates are running for 3 at-Large seats.  I’ve taken no position on any of the other contested races in Amherst this year.

Phil Van Treuren didn’t bring up this point, so let me do so:  Phil has a lot of knowledge of what goes on in Amherst and throughout Lorain County.  You don’t knock on all the doors of Amherst without getting an earful.  Phil’s knocked on those doors.  Phil started out in Lorain County as a journalist, covering the stories that pop up all over the county.  He has an awareness of conditions and issues that supersedes that of his peers who are running for Amherst council.  This has as much to do with why I endorse Phil as any other factor.

SANDUSKY

Purge the city commission of as many incumbents as possible.  They are “good old boys.”

Vote for Richard Koonce for Sandusky Board of Education.

LORAIN

Three positions are open for Lorain school board.  Above all else, vote for Jim Smith, even if you vote for just one.  Williams and Sturgill are the others preferred by Buckeye RINO.  Bivins is campaigning as a rubber-stamp of the superintendent, which is why I favor the other 3 candidates.

Buckeye RINO endorses Mike Scherach for Law Director.  I expect lawyers to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.  The interim law director failed to meet that basic requirement.

Unfortunately, not all races for Lorain City Council are contested.  Lorain is a central city within a metropolitan area.  Lorain’s proper role is not to be a sleepy bedroom community and retirement center.  Lorain’s proper role is to be a mecca for industry and employment.  Infrastructure is the skeleton to which economic muscles attach.  Lorain’s infrastructure is 30 years overdue for an upgrade.  Anthony Giardini, Democrat party boss, is the puppetmaster for many of the members on city council.  The city’s government is fundamentally broken and entirely dysfunctional.  I favor city council candidates who will present the greatest challenges to existing authority and the powers-that-be.

  • For Lorain City Council at-Large, Buckeye RINO endorses Sean Kalin Stipe, who has correctly predicted that Lorain’s fiscal crash is being masked over until after Election Day.  I have my hunches about who the “good old boys” are trying to protect by these maneuvers.  There are 5 candidates running for 3 seats, which means it’s impossible to sweep out all the incumbents this time around.  Buckeye RINO favors Stipe and Keith Jones, the two challengers.  Of the incumbents, I’m willing to try one more term for Mitch Fallis, but I haven’t been impressed so far.  Please show Given and Molnar the door.
  • Melanie Szabo for First Ward.  She’s the only current city council member that hasn’t been a disappointment.
  • Joyce Early for Third Ward.  If Tim Howard were running for Oberlin City Council and if Timothy Haupt were running for Amherst City Council, they might make a good fit for those respective cities, which are far more functional than Lorain.  They don’t fit well for Lorain’s current situation, where the government is fundamentally broken.  Joyce Early takes the more confrontational approach that is needed in these desperate times.
  • Andy Winemiller for Fourth Ward.  This is the GOP candidate I’m most excited about in Lorain.  He clearly outshines Schuster.
  • Greg Holcomb for Sixth Ward.  Yes, he’s an incumbent, and yes, I’m disappointed so far, but his challenger is Bob Kerecz, who has served on council before.  Kerecz would represent a step backward from where Lorain is now (if that’s possible).
  • Kenneth Baughman for Seventh Ward.  Silecky makes no important contribution to council.

ELYRIA

Buckeye RINO endorses Gary Bennett for Elyria Municipal Court.  Bennett has been a Democrat, a Republican, and an independent over the course of his lifetime.  He’s held non-partisan office on the Elyria school board.  He served as an interim county prosecutor.  He pursues no partisan political agenda, and he’s remained apart from the political fray.  He just tries to do the best job he conscientiously can based on the facts at his disposal.  Grunda=partisan.

Unfortunately, not all city council races in Elyria are contested.  Like Lorain, Elyria’s proper role as a central city within a metropolitan area is to be a hub for industry and employment.  Additionally, as the county seat, it is a hub of government, as well.  For the economic vitality of the surrounding region, Elyria is not to be a museum for nostalgic retirees who yearn for Elyria’s past glory days.  The government hub is located downtown, in the heart of the community, which suffers from clogged coronary arteries.  The existing transportation infrastructure supports growth only on Elyria’s periphery.  Though LCCC is situated on the edge of Elyria, the local labor market is ill-equipped to absorb its graduates.  Mayor Bill Grace is a visionary who has the wrong vision.  Grace has Stepfordized Elyria, bringing death to Elyria’s inner soul in Grace’s pursuit of cosmetic conformity for the outer shell of Elyria that remains.  Elyria City Council is in dire need of members who can see the big picture who can provide an alternate vision to compete with Grace.  Council members must not be rooted in the past.  The infrastructure must be upgraded with a vision of the future clearly in mind.  Employee layoffs should begin with Grace’s own staff before ever proceeding to safety forces.  Unemployment and poverty rates are spiking higher in Elyria right now, signaling that the financial crunch will just get bigger if the city continues along the path that Grace is leading it.  With all that in mind, some of these council races are tough to decide, but I’m going to give it a shot.

  • Ray Noble for Elyria Council at-Large.  There are 9 candidates seeking 4 seats.  Noble is the wisest of the whole bunch.  Rae Lynn Brady, Christopher Best, and Diane Lesesky are the other three who are able to size up the picture quite well.  Oust the 3 incumbents, Lotko, Stewart, and Callahan.  The other Democrat, Siwierka, places too much faith in getting assistance from the state and federal governments.  Sorry, but nobody from DC or Columbus will be coming to Elyria’s rescue.  Quinn’s first reaction to the ensuing crisis is to look for more tax revenue.  Sorry, you can’t get blood from a turnip.
  • Forrest Bullocks for Elyria 2nd Ward.  This is bad news for 2nd Ward.  You aren’t well served by continuing to follow the city leadership that Bullocks supports, but Sandra Laubenthal hasn’t done enough homework to be prepared to challenge Bullocks, and would not hit the ground running if elected to council.  I hope 2nd Ward fields stronger candidates the next time around.
  • Garry Gibbs for Elyria 3rd Ward.  Thank you to all the 3rd Ward voters who’ve supported Gibbs year after year.  Gibbs is one of the few bright spots on Elyria council.  If you vote for Noble, Brady, Best, and Lesesky for the at-Large seats, Gibbs will be a capable leader on council that can serve as an effective counterbalance to Mayor Grace.  Koepp brings nothing to the table.
  • Brandon Rutherford for Elyria 4th Ward.  Among council incumbents, Mark Craig is my 2nd favorite, behind Gibbs.  Craig has been a model for communication and transparency.  If Craig were running for an at-Large seat, he probably would have picked up my endorsement.  Rutherford, however, is the more visionary.  There are several things I admire about Rutherford.  Rutherford is resourceful.  He makes lemonade out of lemons.  When faced with a setback, he usually reacts with a swear word, but after a few moments, he’ll start brainstorming  for a way to proceed.  Elyria is going to get slammed with more financial bad news in the near future, but Rutherford is one who won’t be paralyzed into inaction.  Read through Rutherford’s guest blog entry and see the stuff Rutherford can come up with that can improve a community for little to no $$$.  Also, when brainstorming, Rutherford reaches out and picks at other people’s brains across the political spectrum.  4th Ward constituents are among those prone to turn back the clock to a simpler time and less hurried way of life.  They want a cozy environment for their retirement years.  Unfortunately, they are the ones who will be clobbered with the price tag for what they desire, because the working population will have departed for elsewhere, seeking job opportunities that are missing in Elyria.  At a Rutherford fundraiser, I saw YOUNG people.  These are the people Elyria needs to attract and retain WITH JOBS in order to prevent retirees from getting crushed under a heavy tax burden.  What’s missing from the Craig platform is: the future.
  • Marcus Madison for Elyria 5th Ward.  Tom Aden seems like a very nice fellow.  Aden was instrumental in getting West by the River neighborhood designated as a historical district.  Great.  Madison is talking about infrastructure upgrades, like replacing 4-inch water lines with 8-inch water lines.  Good.  Aden=past.  Madison=future.  I’m going with Madison.
  • Dorothy Klimczak for Elyria 6th Ward.  A no-brainer, she is far and away the better choice.  Mitchell is running as a rubber-stamp for Bill Grace.
  • Jerry McHugh for Elyria 7th Ward.  This is a tough choice, but, unlike the tough choice for 2nd Ward, this is good news for the 7th Ward.  Ed Sinegar would also be a good choice.  Flip a coin over it.  The best news is that the incumbent is not in this race.  McHugh first caught my attention and raised my eyebrows during the primaries of 2007 at a candidate forum hosted by CHIP in Lorain.  After watching the event, I sent an email, comparing notes, with someone who was also at the event.  An excerpt of my email reads, “Can’t compare Jerry McHugh with no-show Burkholder, but I like the guy’s demeanor.  I’d like to see him on Elyria council.”  I guess that’s why I’m picking McHugh in this one, but whether you vote McHugh or whether you vote Sinegar, it’s bound to be an improvement over the previous occupant of the 7th Ward seat.

Like my endorsements?  Don’t like my endorsements?  Feel free to sound off in the comments, below.  (Keep the language clean, though.)  Don’t forget to vote.

Criminals sponsor gambling? No way! . . . umm, YES way, hello . . . wake up, people . . .

Dan Gilbert, the Michigan resident who, if Issue 3 passes, would be allowed to own and operate Ohio casinos while Ohioans would be forbidden from doing the same, is trying to whitewash his past.  Gilbert saw to it that an illegal bookie operation during his college days was expunged from his record.  In a Plain Dealer story, he said what he did back then was “dumb,” but since then, he’s had that criminal record fixed.  No harm done, right?

Jeff Jacobs, a would-be rival who covets an opportunity to own a casino of his own, was quoted by the PD saying:

“It’s one thing if your youthful indiscretion is a barroom brawl.  It is another if you caused a college student to be so fearful that he goes to the police, who end up wearing an undercover wire just to shut your illegal bookmaking down.”

Sobering observation about Dan Gilbert’s past, don’t you think?

Left-of-center blog Plunderbund has heavily discounted the notion that any noticeable increase in crime will materialize if Issue 3 passes.  If you click over to Eric’s blog entry on the matter, be sure to scroll down to the comments section, where I’ve pointed out that it’s a matter of historical record that the gambling industry and crime have a symbiotic relationship with each other.  The opportunity to launder money via casinos greatly facilitates organized crime.  Who first conceived of the notion of operating casinos in Las Vegas?  A criminal.

Quite frankly, Issue 3 backers are already demonstrating that they can run circles around law enforcement efforts.  So far, a solitary individual in Cincinnati, as a former employee of a company formerly contracted by Issue 3 backers, has been charged in an absentee voting fraud scheme.  But while there may be closure on the horizon in that Hamilton County case, Franklin County still has to get a handle on absentee voting irregularities within its jurisdiction.  And let’s not forget the dead voters who signed Issue 3 petitions, because Erie County, among others, has yet to get a handle on that, too.  These are clear demonstrations Ohio’s communities just don’t have the means to police the casinos proposed by Issue 3, I don’t care what Ohio’s FOP says to the contrary.

The leaders of the Republican Caucus in the Ohio House of Representatives, state reps William Batchelder and Louis Blessing, Jr., on Friday, released the following statement to the press:

Background Checks Needed with Advent of Casinos

Issue 3 may open floodgates for criminals without proper regulations

COLUMBUS—House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder of Medina, today announced his commitment to safeguarding casino licenses and preventing individuals who have committed crimes in the past from obtaining a casino license, if Issue 3 is approved by voters this November.

“If Issue 3 passes, the General Assembly has an obligation to ensure that the Casino Control Commission carefully screens applicants who want to own and run the Ohio casinos and makes sure that licenses are not granted to anyone with serious gambling infractions in their past,’’ Batchelder said. “Many other states ask applicants about past gambling charges, even if they have been later expunged or overturned on appeal. This industry is highly regulated for a reason, and Ohio should not bow to pressure and adopt regulations that are lower than industry standards.’’

As per Section 3770.051 of the Ohio Revised Code, the director of the State Lottery Commission must request the criminal records of any vendor with whom the commission is considering entering into a contract, to protect the integrity of the state’s online gaming system or instant ticket system. Batchelder seeks to extend a variation of this law to apply to Ohio casinos, should the issue pass a public vote.

“It is prudent that policymakers work together to ensure there are safeguards in place such as background checks, so that anyone with a criminal record cannot apply for a license to operate casino in Ohio,” Batchelder said. “I can remember the Ohio Lottery suffering from scandal in the early 1970s caused by the lack of safeguards.   Clearly defined rules and regulations on something as vague as gambling are necessary to prevent the dismal mistakes of the past.  I urge my legislative colleagues to come together to proactively work and prevent the potential abuse that could come from Issue 3.”

Assistant Republican Leader Louis Blessing Jr. of Cincinnati, who is an opponent to Issue 3, stated the following: “A review of other state standards suggests that criminals would likely be denied a casino license in other states. The cavalier attitude that individuals with similar pasts, who apply for a license here in Ohio tells me they think previous mistakes are just college pranks. This is another reason why we need to know the identity of all of the investors. If the main financial backer can’t get a license, can their partners? We have no idea because he refuses to list the other investors.’’

Other states have similar laws that serve to uphold the integrity of the state casino system. According to Blessing’s research, Pennsylvania regulators ask casino applicants to list all ‘offenses or charges,’ even if the charges were later dismissed, or downgraded.

In Indiana, applicants are asked whether they have ever been ‘arrested, detained, charged, indicted, convicted, received pro-trial diversion, pleaded guilty or nolo contendere or forfeited bail concerns any criminal offense, either felony or misdemeanor…’ In Colorado, the first question regulators ask is, “Have you ever been convicted of any gambling-related felony at any time?’’

Batchelder and Blessing have seen the polls showing that voters are favoring Issue 3, and they want to be as ready as they can be if the issue passes, but, as they’ve pointed out in an earlier press release, this criminal background screening they propose might be a moot point, as passage of Issue 3 would etch the casino proposals in stone as an amendment to Ohio’s Constitution.

Even if you favor casinos in Ohio, there is another casino proposal on the table that wouldn’t write loopholes for criminals into Ohio’s Constitution the way Issue 3 does, but for that proposal to reach voters, Issue 3 must be defeated.

I of course, remain in opposition to casinos, as they produce no wealth, they only redistribute it by plundering it from gamblers.  The numbers that Issue 3 backers throw at you, as the PD’s Thomas Suddes points out, are to dazzle you, but aren’t based in reality.  Casinos do no good for our economy.  Those that benefit, beyond the casino owners, are the criminals and the politicians.  (Is that redundant to say casino owners, criminals, and politicians in the same sentence?)

Gambling tycoons don’t ever play games that aren’t fixed.  The more closely you examine Issue 3, the more you will see that the fix is in.   Career criminals are drooling in anticipation.  Please frustrate them.  Don’t sit this election out.  Please get out to the polls and vote NO on Issue 3.

Press release from leadership of Ohio House Republican caucus concerning Issue 3

Editor’s note:  This press release was issued on October 8th.  The proponents of Issue 3 have deflected criticisms of the specific language of the proposed Constitutional amendment by giving the impression that the Ohio General Assembly has the ability to correct whatever flaws may exist in its wording.  The Ohio General Assembly has no such power to override the Constitution, as set forth in this press release.  The only check and balance against the flaws of Issue 3 is held by the people, and can only be exercised by way of voting NO.  Election Day is November 3rd, and early voting has already begun.  Please vote NO on Issue 3.

Republican Leaders Question Issue 3 Tax Analysis

COLUMBUS – Ohio House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) and Assistant Republican Leader Louis W. Blessing (R-Cincinnati) today stated in a letter to The Office of Budget and Management and The Ohio Department of Taxation their desire for a change in the tax and expenditure analysis created for Issue 3 on the November ballot.

In their letter, they outlined that the current analysis assumes legislative authority from the General Assembly and tax estimates that are not guaranteed by the language of the amendment.  Batchelder and Blessing express concern over the definitions of “Gross casino revenue,” and “Casino gaming” in regards to cash wagering. Highlights of the letter are as follows:

“Your assumption is that the General Assembly would pass a statute expanding the tax base to include cash wagering.  Whether the General Assembly would do that at all is highly speculative.  More importantly, the General Assembly has no authority whatsoever to contradict, rescind, repeal or override a provision of the Ohio Constitution…

It is well settled that the General Assembly can pass legislation which implements and complements constitutional provisions.  However, your assumption relative to the projected tax revenue is far different than that.  You are assuming that the General Assembly can substantially amend, and in fact repeal certain of the constitutional provisions as set out above.  We do not believe the General Assembly has that power…

The question is simple:  ‘Does the General Assembly have the power to revoke, contradict, repeal or override a provision of the Ohio Constitution?’…

We know that you share our interest in providing voters accurate and evidence-based projections.  It is our hope and request that you revise your analysis promptly so that all Ohioans may benefit from the accurate evaluation of the proposed amendment.”

[UPDATE] Coming up this month

Mark your calendars!  Oct. 12, Candidates Night in Oberlin; Oct. 14, CHIP Candidates Night in Lorain;  Oct. 21, Town Hall with State Rep Terry Boose in Norwalk; Oct. 22, Candidates Night in Huron; Oct 25, Chris Ritchey fundraiser to fight Hodgkins Lymphoma in Lorain; Oct. 29, Town Hall with State Rep Terry Boose in Kipton; Nov. 3, Election Day (early voting has already begun).

First Church in Oberlin, on Monday, October 12th, will host a candidates night for 13 Oberlin City Council candidates, and 4 Oberlin school board candidates on Monday, October 12.  Reception begins at 6:30 pm, and the forum begins at 7 pm.  First Church is located at 106 N. Main St.

Lorain’s Coalition for Hispanic Issues and Progress (CHIP) will host its 7th annual candidates night on October 14th in the Gould Auditorium within the St. Joseph’s Community Center at 20th and Broadway in Lorain.  Doors open at 6 pm, with the forum commencing about a half-hour later.  David Arredondo is the contact person for this event (440) 315-7812.  This event provides an excellent opportunity to see and hear the candidates who will be on the local ballot in Lorain.

[UPDATE:  This represents a change to the town hall schedule for Norwalk]  State Rep Terry Boose (R-58) has made a concerted effort to meet voters of his Ohio House district over the past 3 months.  Two town hall meetings remain on the schedule:  October 21st at 7:30 pm in the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center within Norwalk High School at 350 Shady Lane Dr. in Norwalk; and October 29th at 7 pm at the Kipton Village Hall, 299 State St. in Kipton.

At McCormick School in Huron, the Huron Public Library and Huron Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a candidates night that begins at 7 pm on October 22nd.  Eight city council candidates (Sam Artino, Joel Bickley, Russell Critelli, Richard Hardy, Brad Hartung, Marilyn Shearer, Nancy Thornhill, Phyllis Wassner and Richard Wennes) have been invited to participate.

A fundraiser to help Chris Ritchey fight Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is scheduled for October 25th from 1 pm to 5 pm at Rosewood Place, 4493 Oberlin Avenue in Lorain.  A spaghetti dinner will be served.  Admission is $15 per person (children under 5 years old eat free).  If you can’t make it to the event, but would like to donate to help defray Mr. Ritchey’s medical expenses, a fund has been established at First Federal Savings & Loan of Lorain, 3721 Oberlin Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44053 (make checks payable to: Friends of Chris Ritchey).  Tickets for the event can be obtained in several ways.  In person, tickets can be obtained at Jenkins and Bevans Insurance, 47375 Cooper Foster Park Road, Amherst 44001; or at Marsha Funk State Farm Insurance, 3004 Oberlin Ave., Lorain 44052.  By phone, tickets can be requested by calling Nikki (440) 282-3195 or  Rich (440) 245-8752 or (440) 989-5141.  Chris Ritchey is the son of Loraine Ritchey, blog author of That Woman’s Weblog (listed in my blogroll sidebar), and, besides her numerous blog entries about Lorain history and government, she shares information about the battle Chris has waged against Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Election Day is November 3.  Though it’s not hyped as much as a presidential election, please don’t sit out this election.  I urge votes against Issue 3 that would amend Ohio’s Constitution to allow an out-of-state casino cartel to plunder Ohio’s economy (what there is left of the economy) while throwing free market principles out the window.  Cleveland’s Plain Dealer continues to reveal Republican and Democrat insiders and entrenched politicians, who have WRECKED Ohio’s economy through their corruption and selfish pay-to-play tactics, who support Issue 3.  Gambling support from crooked politicians of both political parties should warn you that Issue 3 doesn’t pass the smell test.

Absenteeism

Please remember to vote NO on Issue 3.  We shouldn’t amend Ohio’s Constitution to give a few out-of-state people special rights that are denied to all Ohioans.

Ohio’s absentee voting has begun.  Or should I call it the early voting?  After all, any registered Ohio voter can use the absentee voting method, even if you don’t plan to be absent on Election Day, November 3, 2009.  Here’s what the Ohio Secretary of State’s website has to say about absentee voting, FYI.