April 26, 2006

The Polls from Nowhere Are Officially NO GOOD (and Look Who’s “Using” Them)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:09 pm

The time has come to declare that the “polls from nowhere” numbers relating to Ohio’s US Senate race that I referred to on Monday afternoon, and which I reminded everyone about yesterday, are officially bogus, garbage, and rubbish.

No detailed polling with underlying support have been released to back up what was claimed.

No one has come forward with links or documents, or even named a source for the information.

So they are off the table as something worthy of discussion, or recognition, PERIOD. Spread the word.

Voters will have decide between the candidates on their merits and demerits, not on any kind of perception of who has what momentum or where each candidate stands in some mythical poll. Imagine that — that’s kind of refreshing.

But I’m not through dealing with how this disinformation is making the rounds, and how it is being mishandled. Stay tuned during the rest of the evening for more on that. You will be amazed, to say the least.
____________________________________

UPDATE, 8 PM: I will say, some of the responses to the posts on this topic have been funny.

One such person who, LIKE ALL OF US, doesn’t have access to the data, only access to an apparent rumor-spreader, had the nerve to say that “I stand behind my statement ….. that poll numbers continue to show Smith narrowing the gap with DeWine.” -A- What’s there to “stand behind” except an unsupported assertion? I can hit numbers on a dartboard, call those numbers a “poll,” and make the same claim. -B- What does “narrowing the gap” mean? From what to what? 50 points to 49?

UPDATE, 8:15 PM: Now let’s go back about 6 weeks ago to something Buckeye State Blog (BSB) reminded me of (link is to the related BSB post):

I got a similar tip back in March.

It showed Mike DeWine 41%, Bill Pierce 26%.

My source burned me on a different tip later on (that Blackwell was dropping out) so I agree these polls are bogus BS.

Bill Pierce and those following him on the campaign did the following with the 41-26 poll — absolutely nothing, because it was nothing more than a rumor from who knows where for who knows what reason. WoMD did note the existence of the BSB post but said, “there is an awful lot we don’t know about this poll or this race,” and that’s where it stopped. The candidate, as you would expect, ignored it.

UPDATE, 8:30 PM: Contrast this with how another candidate is handling the latest bogus poll info.

BizzyBlog has obtained an e-mail from someone who spoke with David Smith earlier this week about how he is doing in the polls. I am supremely confident of the authenticity of the e-mailer and what is being said. Here it is:

I was talking to David Smith and in the conversation I asked him “do you register in the polls” (I, not having a clue) he said Oh, yes, but not a public poll…. it’s a private party poll, (he replied kind of on the sly) there’s only a 10 point spread between DeWine and me.” He saw the bewildered look on my face that was saying “why is this not to be known?”

Why not indeed? If you REALLY had supportable polling information showing that you’re so close, would you not be running to The Plain Dealer, The Dispatch, The Enquirer (okay, maybe not them), and every other daily newspaper in the state screaming “we’re close, we’re close!” Of course you would. But instead, the candidate himself is attempting to play the impressionable with “inside” double-secret information in an attempt to get votes he can’t otherwise earn. Mr. Smith, put up or shut time passed 2-1/2 hours ago. Since no one has put up, you know what you get to do.

Add this to the very thick file called “Things David Smith doesn’t want you to know,” which of course includes this inconvenient “Fact Sheet,” which among other things, lists his three runs for Congress in three states in a 3-year period — the page that can only be accessed if you know the exact URL (i.e., it’s not linked from anywhere else on Mr. Smith’s site as of 8:45 this evening).

UPDATE, 9:20 PM: So do we have any idea where the bogus polling data is coming from? BSB, the person who reported the “Blackwell is dropping out” rumor based on what he thought was supposedly a reliable source two weeks after he relayed the DeWine-41, Pierce-26 rumor, says the following:

The easiest way to disprove these numbers are to look at the FEC filings of the candidates. See if anyone paid for a poll (they usually start out at about $20k or so) – if a media org did it, it would be published.

The only folks who may have done a poll and are keeping it under wraps is the RNC or Ohio GOP or NRSC and I cant imagine they would waste their money polling this race.

I can tell you that the two challengers aren’t in a position to spend even half the amount cited. I’m also not going to look through DeWine’s 761-page FEC filing (I’m not kidding), because I don’t think he’d be foolish enough to pay for a poll and leave it out there in relatively broad daylight.

And just because the various “R” groups above probably wouldn’t waste their money actually polling the race, that doesn’t mean that they can’t put effort into disrupting it by pretending that polls exist. I’d be inclined not to believe they’d care about doing that except for three things:

  1. The totally bogus Blackwell dropout rumor in late March. BSB got played, and by someone in a position to play him.
  2. Well, if one of the “R” groups would do that, why wouldn’t they mess with people’s heads about Senate polls that don’t exist? That’s relatively easy.
  3. Don’t forget the Columbus Town Hall post back in March that was up, then down, then up, then down. Remember what it was about? You know what they say about what there is when you see smoke…..

So based on all of this, I’m simply not in a position to discredit the idea that some incumbent-defending “R” group is behind all of this, and we’ll just have to leave it, effective RIGHT NOW, at the point that nobody knows for sure where the polling garbage came from (note past tense). And, because the ultimatum wasn’t met, for the next 5-1/2 days until the election where it all came from won’t matter, because it has all been officially discredited.
__________________________________

The Smithian Chronicles:

  • April 26 — Man, Is THIS Tiresome (Smith Campaign Illegal Signs Continue, and Worse)
  • April 11 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (on March 28), Then He Hides It (on April 10)
  • April 11 — Here Are Actual “Signs” That the Smith Campaign Doesn’t Understand Campaign Law — Or Highway Safety
  • April 6 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (”Deceiving From the Very Start” Edition)
  • April 6 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Fulton County Obfuscation Edition)
  • April 3 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Utah “Busted” Edition) — Smithbots Alert
  • March 30 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Utah “Busted” Edition)
  • March 30 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us
  • March 23 — David Smith and the FEC
  • March 23 — The Disappearing and Reappearing Columbus Townhall Forum Post
  • March 22 — In the Ohio GOP US Senate Primary, David Smith Hasn’t Dropped Out, and Should — SOON

Pierce-ing Posts (042606)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:53 pm

Pierce-ing Posts, daily until the election, is sampling current blog posts both in and out of the S.O.B. Alliance, going to Old Media coverage, and bringing important prior posts to the attention of late-comers to Ohio’s US Senate contest.

Don’t forget to visit Bill’s site, his blog, and his Contribute page.

Pierce Bumper
____________________________

FROM THE CURRENT BLOG CROP

Warrior or Diplomat?

NixGuy clearly delineates the difference between Bill Pierce and Ohio’s current senatorial crop:

Conservatives need candidates who understand what the stakes are and will go to Washington to do battle with these liberal ideas and their sponsors and utterly defeat them.

Ted Kennedy is a warrior and will do what it takes to advance his cause. Hillary Clinton is also a warrior. Chuck Schumer? Definitely a warrior.

Unfortunately they are all on the other side, the one with the terrible ideas that have devastating consequences. How many warriors do we have on our side?

….. let’s talk about our very own senators. Does warrior describe them? Ha! Voinovich and DeWine went to DC, not to fight, but to make deals with Democrats to divide up our taxes. DeWine votes with the Democrats on the environment, gun control and spending. And the last one is the biggest.

The problem with the GOP is too many diplomats, not enough warriors. I say we fire some diplomats and send some fighters!

DeWine has a primary challenger, Bill Pierce, who has an absolutely impressive life story and has been wronged by the federal government. I would definitely trust a guy like that to know what the stakes are and be prepared to fight.

OLD MEDIA MORSELS

Get Ready for DeWine’s Next Anti-ANWR Excuse

And finds himself in the same camp as Weird Al Gore (hold your nose if necessary as you read):

“As the evidence of global warming becomes undeniable, momentum is building to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” former Vice President Al Gore said in an e-mail. “A lot of elected officials who used to reflexively oppose action on global warming have begun to change their positions.”

In addition to (Senator) Inglis, who says he saw evidence of heat- trapping gases in the atmosphere during his trip to Antarctica that confirmed his growing concern, the list of Republicans paying more attention to global warming includes Senators Pete Domenici of New Mexico, the chairman of the chamber’s Energy Committee; Mike DeWine of Ohio; and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Representative Jim Leach of Iowa.

An OSU Student TOTALLY Gets it

An Ohio State senior writes on “Republican Ineptitude” in the OSU Lantern. I especially like the factoid he put in on the judiciary:

Examples of the ineptitude of the Senate Republicans abound. Only about 40 percent (23 of 57) of judicial nominees, and 17 percent (3 of 18) circuit court nominees have received confirmation hearings in the 109th congress. This, of course, is because of the refusal of Republicans to stand up to the minority party, and the backing down of seven Republicans and seven Democrats (including Ohio Senator Mike DeWine) to enforce congressional rules and disallow any threatened filibuster.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

“Shape Up or Shut Up”

This is an excerpt of a letter to the editor Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion wrote to a Brown County newspaper, but you could substitute the county name with dozens of other counties and probably still be accurate:

Who is Bill Pierce, you might ask. Well, you are asking with good reason. The State GOP does not want you to hear about Bill Pierce. Why? Because he is a challenger to the incumbent Mike DeWine. Unfortunately, unlike the local central committees, which still believe in principle, the State GOP only believes in winning elections, or rather, having no primaries and no choice for who they put up. In a rare move, the State GOP endorsed Mike DeWine the day after Bill Pierce signed up to challenge him. This is unprecedented. Why would a state party line up to endorse such an unpopular person?

The answer is money. Mike DeWine has lots of it. He has lots of influence and ties to special interests. However, to my fellow Republicans who will vote in the coming primary May 2nd, I must ask: what has Mike DeWine done for Brown County, for you? All I have heard as I travel around Scott Township and others is that he is VERY unpopular and VERY disliked. When was the last time he was IN Brown County? Do you realize he is taking YOUR vote for granted? I don’t believe he has been to Brown County in 10 years or more.

If elected, Bill Pierce will make it a priority to visit each county sometime during his 6 year term. He wants to stop the bureaucratic waste going on in Washington. He wants to put the bureaucrats in check by actually overseeing what they do, instead of just rubberstamping it.

____________________________

NOTE: I have endorsed Bill Pierce for Senate, and have provided nominal financial support for his campaign. BizzyBlog is a member of Blogs for Pierce.

Porkopolis Pre-Election Question of the Day for Mike DeWine (042606)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:02 pm

Back in December, some S.O.B. Alliance members, and members to be, used Mike DeWine’s vote against ANWR drilling as an opportunity to endorse. Porkopolis used it as an opportunity to unload, and did he ever.

Porkopolis did the dirty work and asked our incumbent senator six as-yet unanswered questions. I’m doing what I can to make sure appropriate attention is called to them before balloting takes place next Tuesday.

So here’s the Porkopolis Pre-Election Question of the Day:

Why are you cosponsoring a huge new government entitlement with Ted Kennedy?

Don’t wait for answers that aren’t going to come. Instead, vote for Bill Pierce on May 2, and you won’t be asking your senator questions like this six years from now.

Don’t forget to visit Bill’s site, his blog, and his Contribute page.

Pierce Bumper
____________________________

NOTE: I have endorsed Bill Pierce for Senate, and have provided nominal financial support for his campaign. BizzyBlog is a member of Blogs for Pierce.

NTU Rates Ohio’s Washington Delegation; BizzyBlog Does the Calcs on Jean Schmidt

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:01 pm

The National Taxpayers Union has a long and storied history:

NTU was established in 1969 to educate taxpayers, the media, and elected officials on a non-partisan basis on the merits of limited government and low taxes. NTU uses a variety of means to accomplish our work including direct mail, research papers, public speaking, email, advertising, the Internet, and lobbying.

Every year, NTU rates each and every member of Congress and the Senate. Here’s is how they graded Ohio’s senators and Representatives in 2005 (for the entire PDF report, click here):

NTUsenate

NTUhouse

(Added at 5PM on April 26) Here are the grading scales the NTU used for the Senate and House:

SenateKey HouseKey

(Return to original post)

A few comments before moving on to the one candidate without a rating:

  • Not even I expected Mike DeWine to be below 50%. That gave him the lowest Republican rating other than the two Mainers (Snowe had 35% and Collins 40%) and Lincoln “Chapstick” Chafee (33%). Even Arlen Specter at 50% did slightly better than DeWine.
  • As far as the NTU is concerned, Ohio’s two apparent Democrat fall standard-bearers, Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown, are simply awful.
  • The go-along, get-along nature of most of the GOP’s House delegation is very disappointing.

Jean Schmidt was not formally rated by NTU because she did not serve a full year.

But BizzyBlog has obtained from NTU the list of roll call votes they used as the basis for their 2005 ratings, their recommended positions, and the weight they gave each relevant roll call vote. I then “graded” Jean Schmidt on all 73 of her NTU-relevant roll call votes during the time she served in 2005 in the same way the NTU graded other lawmakers who were in office the entire year on their 201 NTU-relevant roll call votes.

So how did Jean Schmidt do?

If you’re on the main page, click on “more” to see what Ms. Schmidt’s score was, plus the detailed support for it:

(more…)

Column of the Day: Walter Williams on the Minimum Wage, and Oprah’s Failure to Cover It Accurately

Filed under: Economy,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:38 am

Williams tried to make it through a recent Oprah show on the topic. He couldn’t; the untruths piled up too quickly:

The show claims that 30 million Americans earn the minimum wage of $5 an hour. Actually, the federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, and 17 states mandate a higher minimum wage that approaches $7 an hour. At one point, Oprah did manage to clear up this aspect of the show’s errors.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports: “According to Current Population Survey estimates for 2004, some 73.9 million American workers were paid at hourly rates, representing 59.8 percent of all wage and salary workers. Of those paid by the hour, 520,000 were reported as earning exactly $5.15.”

Workers earning the minimum wage or less tend to be young, single workers between the ages of 16 and 25. Only about two percent of workers over 25 years of age earn minimum wages.

I don’t see why the good professor was so upset. Oprah was only off by a factor of about 60. (/sarcasm)

Continuing:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sixty-three percent of minimum wage workers receive raises within one year of employment, and only 15 percent still earn the minimum wage after three years. Furthermore, only 5.3 percent of minimum wage earners are from households below the official poverty line; forty percent of minimum wage earners live in households with incomes $60,000 and higher; and, over 82 percent of minimum wage earners do not have dependents.

The U.S. Department of Labor also reports that the “proportion of hourly-paid workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less has trended downward since 1979.”

In fact, if there’s one thing you can get economists across the political spectrum to agree on, it’s how dumb minimum-wage laws are:

Two important surveys of academic economists were reported in two issues of the American Economic Review, May 1979 and May 1992. In one survey, 90 percent, and in the other 80 percent, of economists agreed that increasing the minimum wage causes unemployment among youth and low-skilled workers.

How is it “compassionate” to keep someone unemployed, or worse, to cause additional unemployment, by raising the minimum wage?

Man, Is THIS Tiresome (Smith Campaign Illegal Signs Continue, and Worse)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:34 am

What is one to say as the Smith campaign continues to use tactics that even someone running for president of a student council would be ashamed of? (and the Smithbots send me snippy e-mails saying I need to get a life — more accurately, you people need to get a grip.)

Here’s just a small sample of the juvenile activity that is occurring (also see the “Juvenile Tendencies Update” below):

  • More illegal signs, just a different tactic — Since the Smith campaign was caught illegally placing signs ON expressways, it decided to go where not even the Reform Ohio Now campaign went last fall with illegal signage. Now there are Smith for Senate signs OVER expressways, mounted in the fencing material on bridges over expressways that prevent people from dropping things onto oncoming cars. Specifically there’s one on northbound I-71 at about the four-mile marker (either on the William Howard Taft overpass or one very near it), and on the Snider Road overpass at roughly the 19-mile marker. Mr. Smith and Smithbots, these signs are every bit as illegal as the previous ones you placed under exit signs, and the Ohio Department of Transportation HAS been notified.
  • Pierce sign removal — I can personally vouch for this, Smithbots. At a corner near the Steak n Shake by the Fields Ertel Road entrance onto southbound I-71, a Smith for Senate co-existed with two Pierce signs over much of the past weekend. I was advised Monday that the two Pierce signs were gone. I drove over to the spot, could not find one of the Pierce signs, and found the other placed about 30 yards from where it had been set back far enough from the road that virtually no passersby would see it. I moved the one remaining sign back to where it had been, right next to the Smith sign. Last night I was told the remaining Pierce sign was gone; I drove out and verified that it was no longer there. Two other signs were apparently removed from the flower beds of a personal residence on Fields Ertel a few doors down that were close enough to the road to be seen, but far enough away to be obviously legal. These Pierce signs didn’t vaporize; they were being illegally removed, and I can tell you that if I see Pierce sign removal in progress, the cops will be called and the perps will be at the tender mercies of the county prosecutor in whatever jurisdiction is involved.
  • It’s not just here — I was advised yesterday of the following by a contact in Scioto County:

    There’s one Smith for Senate sign up around here that I know of. They did have tons and tons, all put up illegally over the course of one night. The problem is they would put four or five at the same spot, giving the authorities really no choice but to snatch them.

    While it’s reassuring that illegally place signs are being picked up more quickly in Scioto County than they are in Greater Cincinnati, it has become more evident that illegal sign placement isn’t a series of mistakes by overzealous supporters, but is instead an apparently conscious campaign strategy by a morally bankrupt campaign and its candidate to gain undeserved name recognition it cannot earn the old-fashioned way — within the law.

With each passing day, it become more apparent that the US Senate GOP primary has two adult candidates and a third named Smith. Why anyone thinks they can trust as a senator someone whose campaign cannot and will not stay within the law on something as simple as campaign sign placement and leaving a competitor’s signs alone is beyond me.

Though none of us would even think to do it anyway, Bill Pierce has specifically advised his people not to retaliate by removing or defacing Smith signs ourselves. Even if his instructions aren’t helpful to his campaign, it’s the principled thing to do. Bill Pierce’s campaign, and the candidate himself, are all about principle and class, two things the Smith campaign, and apparently Mr. Smith himself, can’t possibly begin to comprehend.
________________________

Juvenile Tendencies Update: Just to show you how childish the Smithbots have become — here’s a portion of a comment I didn’t post:

FYI – I drive near that Steak and Shake and saw *both* the Pierce and Smith signs around 6pm today. It seems silly for either candidate to try to steal/destroy signs, hey how effective are they anyway?

Answer: Apparently effective enough for a Smithbot to move the Pierce sign (again) to a place of invisibility.

You see, I went there again tonight on the way to picking up dinner. Sure, *both* signs were there, but Pierce’s was three feet or so further back and behind greenery (i.e., invisible). It was moved sometime in the past 24 hours to the nearly invisible place. Of course I moved it back to where it belonged.

*Jerks.*
________________________

Previous Post:

  • April 11 — Here Are Actual “Signs” That the Smith Campaign Doesn’t Understand Campaign Law — Or Highway Safety

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (042606)

Free Links

  • In Your Dreams — Philips thinks it’s going to make you use a TV remote that will keep you from changing channels during commercial breaks. Doubtful: first they’ll have to convince people to use that kind of remote. Ain’t, gonna, happen.
  • Yeah, it’s Monday morning quarterbacking, but John Dvorak makes pretty good arguments when he say that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and its coupling with Windows “is perhaps the biggest, most costly gaffe ….. the company ever made.”
  • No quaking in fear has been noted in Silicon Valley as a result of this — The French want to establish a search engine as popular as Google with (of course) government venture funding.
  • As Wal-Mart tries to get permission to run a bank, it gets more obvious that the company is being singled out

    Because of a record response – 2,900 letters – to the application from consumer groups, unions and banks, the FDIC chose to hold public hearings, the first in the 73-year-old institution’s history.

    Community bankers are furious because the request challenges the “mixing” of banking and commerce, although a number of non-financial institutions, such Target Corp., already have industrial loan corporations (ILC) for the purpose of decreasing their transaction costs.

    “It’s not an argument,” said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Gail Lavielle. “Sixty other non-financial institutions do this. Opening an ILC means the company can cut its costs and sponsor its debit card transactions.”

Subscription Links — Three unpleasant pieces of info I saw in articles in Investment News (links not available without subscription, and therefore not provided):

  • “A new survey of 910 registered voters shows that 57% of Americans wanted to keep the estate tax – often dubbed the ‘death tax’ – as is rather than reform it. Just 23% said they favored repealing the tax.” People, the money has been taxed at least twice, if not more.
  • “A pair of recent studies confirmed that Americans, described as woefully overconfident and underprepared, are clueless about retirement…. The studies show that nearly half of Americans are counting on Social Security and pensions to support their retirements, but nearly one in four Americans haven’t begun to save for retirement.”
  • When it comes to retirement planning, many workers also appeared to be counting on employer-provided benefits that increasingly are unavailable. Just 40% of workers surveyed said they or their spouse had a defined benefit plan, yet nearly two-thirds (61%) said they expected to receive income from such a plan in retirement.

Positivity: Former TV Star Finds Answers in Religion

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Facts of Life indeed:

(more…)