December 29, 2005

Election Law Complaint Filed Against Bob McEwen

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:27 pm

In the late 1970s, a rock group named Jefferson Starship, progeny of the pioneering 1960s band Jefferson Airplane, released an album that a Rolling Stone Magazine reviewer trashed mercilessly.

In the next issue of the magazine, there was a two-sentence letter to the editor from Starship leader Paul (“If you can remember anything about the sixties, you weren’t really there“) Kantner:

We do what we want.
Bleeeeeeeeeep you.

(of course, Rolling Stone published the actual word for “bleep”)

It seemed a “clever” response and otherwise unimportant at the time, but the incident has grown on me. It’s a microcosm of the difference between The Greatest Generation and The Baby Boom Generation that followed it. The former grew up in The Depression, won World War II, saved most of Korea, and in its final act won The Cold War. Their theme, summed up in a few words, was (and for those who are still with us, remains) a polite “We Do What We Must.” Unfortunately, the Baby Boomers’ theme is largely Mr. Kantner’s “We Do What We Want” (often accompanied by expletives if somone raises the smallest objection).

“We Do What We Want” has insinuated itself into the Baby Boom Generation on both sides of the political divide. Perhaps it’s more obvious on the left, from the collective temper tantrum that lost Vietnam through today’s middle-aged ANSWER men and women, but you’d have to be in wholesale denial to claim that it is absent on the right. After all, Ohio’s sitting “Republican” governor has been convicted of ethics violations, has refused to resign, and in the process has received full immunity from any violations discovered in the future. A congress controlled by “conservatives” has wasted money on what they Want (pork) while dithering on matters they Must address (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) if we are to remain a financially viable nation.

On the scale of the two issues mentioned in the previous paragraph, the topic of this post may not be as compelling or significant, but especially in Ohio, it should be important: A Baby Boomer who hasn’t been in Congress since January of 1993 “does what he Wants,” and presents himself in a manner that might make people think he is still there.

During Ohio’s Second District congressional primary in Spring 2005, candidate Bob McEwen referred to himself in campaign literature, and had others refer to him in radio and print ads, as “Congressman.” Such a reference is clearly against the rules of etiquette. Big deal, right? Boomers and their successors have long since discarded manners.

But I believe it’s also against the law. Ohio Revised Code Section 3517.21 says the following, in part (bolds are mine, and form a complete sentence that describes the violation):

(B) No person, during the course of any campaign for nomination or election to public office or office of a political party, by means of campaign materials, including sample ballots, an advertisement on radio or television or in a newspaper or periodical, a public speech, press release, or otherwise, shall knowingly and with intent to affect the outcome of such campaign do any of the following:
(1) Use the title of an office not currently held by a candidate in a manner that implies that the candidate does currently hold that office or use the term “re-elect” when the candidate has never been elected at a primary, general, or special election to the office for which he or she is a candidate …..

It is clear to me that Bob McEwen violated this provision of Ohio Election Law frequently and continuously during last spring’s primary.

The June 1 report by Cincinnati’s WLW-T Channel 5 on Bob McEwen’s use of “Congressman” to describe himself gave me the impression, especially in the portion of the report where Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke was interviewed, that an opposing candidate could raise a complaint to The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) on this matter, while an ordinary citizen could not.

Earlier this month, I called The OEC to see if any candidate had filed an after-the-fact complaint, as there had been no announced complaint before the election. To my surprise, I learned that a complaint was actually filed before the election, and by an “ordinary citizen.” It was filed on June 9, and a probable cause hearing took place on Primary Election Day, June 14, at 4:30 PM.

I obtained the June complaint from the OEC earlier this month, and after reviewing it, spoke with the person who filed it. He informed me that he withdrew the complaint on the date of the hearing after presenting his initial testimony, when the former congressman’s attorney promised during a requested recess that former congressman McEwen would henceforth comply with the law. Documentation available from OEC indeed shows that the matter was withdrawn, and that no on-the-record resolution took place. As far as the OEC is concerned, no complaint relating to this matter has ever been fully adjudicated.

Despite this close call, Bob McEwen’s conduct since his June loss up to the present day has convinced me that, should he decide to run for office again, he intends to “Do What He Wants” (continue to call himself a “Congressman”) and not what I believe he Must (follow Ohio Election Law and refer to himself as a former congressman).

There are four indications that I am aware of that support my belief about his intent:

  • The first is McEwen’s bio page at his lobbying firm’s web site. Though its heading at the top refers to “former congressmen,” it still refers to McEwen himself as “Congressman McEwen” in its detail no fewer than eight times.
  • The second is the November 16 press release announcing McEwen’s appearance as a speaker at the Guidance Software-sponsored Computer Enterprise and Investigations Conference (CEIC) on May 3-6, 2006 in Las Vegas. The release’s headline, “Former Member of House Select Committee on Intelligence to Address CEIC,” avoids reference to him as a congressman. But the release’s subheadline does refer to him as “Congressman,” as does the detailed text of the release three other times.
  • Thirdly, Guidance’s December 13 press release, entitled “Congressman Bob McEwen Joins Guidance Software Advisory Committee,” refers to him as “congressman” five separate times in its text.
  • Finally, McEwen’s own revived campaign web site links to that December 13 press release with a post dated December 15, the very same date as his exploratory committee announcement!

If Bob McEwen was planning to comply with Ohio Election Law in an upcoming campaign, don’t you think he would want to get some practice at doing so? Instead, he appears to be brazenly (“We do what we Want”) going in the opposite direction. Based on what I have detailed, it seems that Mr. McEwen has learned nothing about how he is allowed to describe himself from last spring’s primary campaign, and that he does not intend to change his conduct in any upcoming campaign. I believe Mr. McEwen violated Ohio Election Law last spring, and I intend to prevent future violations of the law by Mr. McEwen from occurring. The only way I know of to achieve that outcome is to once again place his previous actions in front of The OEC, and this time bring the matter to a conclusion.

Accordingly, I have filed a complaint with The OEC relating to Bob McEwen’s conduct during the 2005 Second District primary campaign. It was received today (Thursday) at The OEC. PDF files of the Complaint (without signature) and of the Affidavit (without signature, notarization, and exhibits) can be downloaded or viewed, depending on your browser’s capabilities, here and here, respectively. I have been told that the next scheduled probable cause hearing date is January 11, 2006; I will receive formal notification from The OEC through the mail in the next few days informing me if my filing was in order (I believe it was), and assuming that is so, when the complaint will be heard.

I hope to achieve the following results from this complaint:

  1. I want it officially, and legally, on the record that Bob McEwen, his campaign officials, and the campaign itself violated Ohio election laws in this past spring’s Second District Congressional primary.
  2. I expect McEwen, his campaign officials, and the McEwen campaign itself, to suffer whatever punishment should ordinarly be meted out under Ohio law for violating Ohio election laws in the manner indicated (go to Item C at the bottom of this page for a vague description of the possibilities).
  3. I want to spare the voters of The Second Congressional District, or the State of Ohio, should McEwen run for any statewide office, three or four months of hearing a candidate who has not held elective office for 13 years present himself as if he still does. Former congressman McEwen, the Second District already has a congressperson, and her name is Jean Schmidt. She is known as “the incumbent” (this is a statement of fact, and not an endorsement–Ed.). Mr. McEwen, you, and all other potential challengers, are not.
  4. I want anyone who is still stewing over McEwen’s loss this past spring to understand that Paul Hackett, anyone associated with him, or for that matter any one of the millions of adults in Ohio, could, and likely would, have filed an election law complaint against McEwen, as I now have, if McEwen had won the primary, once they learned that the June 9 complaint was withdrawn before being acted on. Anyone who thinks that the fallout from such a complaint, combined with Hackett’s clever (but dishonest) campaign strategy, would not have defeated Bob McEwen, and badly, has a heavy burden of proof that in my opinion cannot be met.

And while I’m at it, anyone who thinks that this May’s Democrat nominee in The Second District, anyone associated with him or her, or any one of the thousands of Democrat voters in the District (or millions in the state) won’t do what I have done during a 2006 general election campaign if McEwen runs and wins the primary while staying on his current course, is engaging in wishful thinking.

If Bob McEwen runs for Congress in The Second District, or for any other elective office in Ohio, he should not just do whatever he Wants, but what he Must: place the word “former” before “congressman” every time the latter word is used.

Every bleeeeeeeeeeping time.

Other notes:

  • Those who followed my posts during and just after the primary should understand that had I known that I had the ability to file a complaint with The OEC as a citizen, I would have done so shortly after Memorial Day. Of course, we’ll never know when it would have been heard, or what impact, if any, it would have had on the GOP primary results.
  • No one except family and a couple of select others knew that I was going to file this complaint, and no candidate or potential candidate influenced me in any way to file it.
  • I have done a limited inquiry concerning the person who filed the original complaint, and have no reason to believe that he is or was associated with any of the candidates who campaigned in Spring 2005′s Second District primary. Not that it affects the validity of the content of my complaint, but I’m sure someone will inform me if I am wrong.
  • I am not going to blog on or approve comments (slight change–other than trackbacks) relating in any way to Ohio politics (including in this post) until this matter is resolved (except perhaps to note when the hearing will take place, or to clarify the previous item if such a clarification should be necessary), nor will I comment on Ohio politics at other blogs until that occurs. I will read comments you submit, but will not post them; if there are too many, I will have to consider deleting them. If you want me to have a record of your comment on this post, I suggest you e-mail me directly. I will save them for possible inclusion in any post-resolution entry.


Case Progression Posts:
- Jan. 3 — Probable Cause Hearing Scheduled
- Jan. 11 — Probable Cause Hearing Held
- Jan. 17 — Probable Cause Finding Letter

UPDATE: S.O.B. Alliance member and Honorary Packrat of the Month Viking Spirit has reached into the attic of his hard drive and posted two radio ads (MP3 format) and two TV ads (RM format) from McEwen’s primary campaign.

The WSJ Totally Blows It (Yet Again) on Illegal Immigration

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal may have let the man who is probably America’s preeminent living historian speak his mind on the topic.

Today, The Journal’s editorial board, in this piece, showed that they weren’t moved in any way by his logic:

For the past two decades, border enforcement has been the main focus of immigration policy…

Horse, manure.

The bill would make it incumbent on employers to establish the immigration status of all hires and empower local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

The Journal is complaining here. These two ideas are so obviously sensible that they should be beyond debate. If I’m a local cop and find out in the course of ordinary police work that you’re here illegally, why do I need to wait for the feds to show up to arrest you?

Perhaps the bill’s most revealing feature is the one that makes it a criminal offense, rather than a civil violation, to be in the country illegally.

Anyone want to name another country, even in the free world, where being there illegally is NOT a criminal violation?

If a bill with this anti-guest-worker provision ever became law, millions of otherwise well-behaved people who have become integral parts of thousands of U.S. communities would have every incentive to stay in the shadows lest they be deported.

As if millions are not already “in the shadows.”

Read the whole thing — if you can stand it — to see the tortured “logic” The Open Borders Journal has to engage in to justify itself.

Victor Davis Hanson Nails the Illegal Immigration Issue

Filed under: Economy,Immigration,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:03 am

I wanted to find this somewhere other than The Wall Street Journal (requires subscription) because Hanson’s column is a definite “must save.” I will add a link later if I do.

The fact that this column ran at all in The WSJ is a near shocker — enough to make you wonder if the paper’s editorial board is rethinking its knee-jerk open-borders advocacy.

Hanson totally “gets it,” and adds a couple of interesting insights:

The allusions to the Berlin Wall made by aggrieved Mexican politicians miss the irony: The communists tried to keep their own people in, not illegal aliens out. More embarrassing still, the comparison boomerangs on Mexico, since it, and not the U.S., most resembles East Germany in alienating its own citizens to the point that they flee at any cost. If anything might be termed stupid, underhanded or xenophobic in the illegal immigration debacle, it is the conduct of the Mexican government.

“Stupid” characterizes a government that sits atop vast mineral and petroleum reserves, enjoys a long coastline, temperate climate, rich agricultural plains — and either cannot or will not make the necessary political and economic reforms to feed and house its own people. The election of Vicente Fox, Nafta and cosmetic changes in banking and jurisprudence have not stopped the corruption or stemmed the exodus of millions of Mexicans.

….. Mexico receives between $10 and $15 billion in annual remittances from illegal aliens in the U.S., a subsidy that not only masks political failure at home, but comes at great cost to its expatriates abroad. After all, such massive transfers of capital must be made up from somewhere. Poor workers who send half their wages to kin are forced to make do in a high-priced U.S. through two exigencies — they lower their standard of living here while often depending on state and local governments for supplemental housing, education, medical and food aid.

Rarely in the great debate over illegal immigration do we frame the issue in such moral terms: If life back home is improving thanks to money wired back, first-generation Mexican enclaves in the U.S. remain chronically poor, not investing where they live and work.

Mexico senses that the longer its poor are away from Mexico, the more likely they are to grow sentimental about a homeland that they can visit but need not return to. In short, the growing Mexican expatriate community offers valuable political leverage with the U.S.

….. How did we get to this impasse — where Americans would embrace such a retrograde solution as building a fence, or Mexico would routinely slander its northern neighbor? The answer is the vast size of the illegal population — now over 10 million — and the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. government to sanction employers or deploy sufficient resources to enforce the border. Sheer numbers has evolved the debate far beyond the old, “We need labor” and “They have workers,” to something like, “Can the U.S. remain a sovereign nation with borders at all?”

….. But somewhere around the year 2000 a tipping point was reached. The dialogue changed when the number of illegals outnumbered the population of entire states. There also began a moral transformation in the controversy, with the ethical tables turned on the proponents of de facto open borders.

Employers were no longer seen as helping either the U.S. economy or poor immigrants, but rather as being party to exploitation that made a mockery of the law, ossified the real minimum wage, undermined unions and hurt poorer American citizens. The American consumer discovered that illegal immigration was a fool’s bargain — reaping the benefits of cheap labor upfront, but paying far more later on through increased subsidies for often ill-housed and poorly educated laborers who had no benefits.

Nor is the evolving debate framed so much any more as left-versus-right, but as the more privileged at odds with the middle and lower classes. On one side are the elite print media, the courts and a few politicians fronting for employer and ethnic interests; on the other are the far more numerous, and raucous, talk-radio listeners, bloggers and cable news watchers, the ballot propositions, and populist state legislators who better reflect the angry pulse of the country.

….. So the world is upside down. The once liberal notion of ignoring illegal immigration is now seen as cynically illiberal. And taking drastic steps to enforce the law — including something seemingly as absurd as a vast fence — is now seen as more ethical than the current subterfuge that undermines the legal system of the nation.

Like I said, the fact that The Journal ran this is remarkable. Next thing you know, they’ll be letting sane immigration policy advocate Michelle Malkin grace their pages again.

UPDATE: It’s nice that The Journal is allowing sane views on illegal immigration to be printed on its pages, but their editorial board’s open-borders obsession continues unabated in an piece commented on here.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (122905)

Filed under: Corporate Outrage,Privacy/ID Theft,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:00 am

Where There’s Smoking, You Get Fired

I first saw this in The Wall Street Journal, but I sat on it because I wanted to find an external link everyone could get to:

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. says employees who smoke at work or at home next year risk losing their jobs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The company has set a deadline of next fall for smokers to quit. The company tells the newspaper that it will begin testing workers in October in states with no law prohibiting employers from making employment decisions based on whether a worker smokes.

While no federal law protects smokers, 29 states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of smoker-protection legislation. Minnesota , for example, bars employers from discriminating against a job applicant or employee because the person uses any “lawful product,” including tobacco, away from the workplace and during nonworking hours.

The answer is obviously for the other 21 states to get off their duffs and protect smokers from this madness. That is, unless you’re okay with your company next recording where you went for lunch everyday and what you ate (have to protect against those obesity-related healthcare costs, doncha know).

(Full disclosure: I grew up in a household where my father, who lived to age 75, smoked just under a pack a day and quit in the 1980s. I had childhood asthma, but “somehow” managed to compete in track and eventually run about 20 marathons. I think the attempt to link second-hand smoke to disease is nonsense not supported by science, but support laws that protect people in public places except businesses that allow it from enduring its unpleasantness.)

In the UK, Your Private Life Is Almost Over

Tammy Bruce reminds us by linking to an article about what will happen in the UK very soon:

UK will be first to monitor every car journey

Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.

The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts.

By next March a central database installed alongside the Police National Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the details of 35 million number-plate “reads” per day. These will include time, date and precise location, with camera sites monitored by global positioning satellites.

Already there are plans to extend the database by increasing the storage period to five years and by linking thousands of additional cameras so that details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed each day into the central databank.

More is planned, eventually including facial recognition.

Bruce thinks Brits have allowed it to happen because “England, like most of the rest of Europe, is socialist or leftist. This kind pf program is the hallmark and inevitable result of leftist leadership that believes it is God and the citizen is a nuisance which must be protected from itself. And if you think it can’t happen here, it already is. Oregon and California are considering taxing people by how many miles they drive. And for some reason they would need to use a GPS system to connect with your car to be able to do that.”

She has valid points (CA and OR are probably the two most socialist-leaning states in the union), but the right is perfectly capable of engaging in tracking tactics too. I’m beginning to worry that the high-tech freight train running away with our privacy can’t be stopped.

IBD Rips Kyoto Treaty and Montreal Charade

And deservedly so:

Kyoto Hypocrites

When world leaders met in Montreal earlier this month to discuss global warming, one idea won near-universal agreement: Because it refuses to sign or live by Kyoto, the U.S. is a villain.

The reigning mythology goes like this: Europe and Canada have heroically struggled to save the planet by acting responsibly to cut greenhouse gases, while an economically rapacious U.S. does as it pleases and leaves the cleanup to others.

Turns out neither is true — a point we made at the time of the Montreal meetings, and which has been reinforced by a new report showing how out of whack global-warming rhetoric has gotten.

The study shows the U.S. is not the villain in Kyoto. It also shows that Canada and the EU appear to be guilty of massive hypocrisy. Conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research, it found that Britain and Sweden are the only European countries living up to their commitments under Kyoto. The other 13 countries in the EU are not, and neither is Canada.

Yet during the Montreal conference, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin had the nerve to accuse the U.S. of lacking a “global conscience.”

The reality is very different. Kyoto’s goal was to get rich nations by 2012 to cut their output of greenhouse gases by 8% from their levels in 1990. Yet Canada’s output has actually increased by 24%, Spain’s by 41.7%, Ireland’s by 25.6%, Austria’s by 16.5% and so on.

The U.S., by comparison, is up 13.3%.

….. Europe hopes a new scheme of tradeable pollution permits will make cutting easier. But recent research from the International Council for Capital Formation says meeting Kyoto’s goals could cost the EU from 1.5% to 4% of its GDP and kill over a million jobs.

Europe won’t incur those costs. It doesn’t have to. It’s found instead it’s far cheaper — and more effective — to bash the U.S.

This is the hypocrisy of Kyoto laid bare. Europe, Canada and their developing world allies never intended to make any of the sacrifices they routinely ask of the U.S.

But US-bashing beats the heck out of doing real work.

Positivity: Dispatcher Talks Trapped Children Through Survival in Fire

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:14 am

A dispatcher in Knoxville kept them alive until firefighters arrived (link requires registration):