October 25, 2006

The Ted Strickland Dealbreakers — Briefly Stated

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:03 pm

Previous Post (with all evidence and background):

- The Ted Strickland BizzyBlog Dealbreakers
__________________________________

A BizzyBlog Dealbreaker is defined as “something that completely justifies a person not voting for you, regardless of your party or your stands on the issues.”

The Dealbreakers don’t relate to where Ted Strickland is trying to claim he lives NOW; they relate to where he has lived during the past three-plus years, and what he did not tell voters about where he lived during nearly all of that time.

The East Liverpool Review’s endorsement of Ken Blackwell is what sealed the Dealbreakers:

There is little evidence that Strickland, meanwhile, helped his own congressional district. It has one of the highest unemployment rates of any congressional district in the U.S.

It is clear that he announced his move to Lisbon only after the district was reshaped leaving Columbiana as the largest county. But it is clear to Lisbon residents that he spends little, if any, time there. His own income tax records indicate he resides in Columbus.

This shows that Ted Strickland, the guy who completed an absentee ballot last Friday, has, for all practical purposes, been an absentee Congressman since shortly after he began “serving” the redrawn 6th District in January 2003.

A vast bipartisan and ideological majority feels very strongly about residency and congressional representation:

SUSUQsOnResidency1006

The points leading to the Dealbreakers are these:

  • Ted Strickland closed on the purchase of his condominium in Columbus on April 2, 2003, less than three months after his first term serving the redrawn 6th Congressional District began.
  • Ted Strickland did not inform the people of the 6th District that he, in essence, moved out of the District to spend most of his non-DC time in Columbus, and, as such, became, in essence, an absentee congressman.
  • Voters in the 6th district, and for that matter the rest of Ohio, were not informed that Ted Strickland had moved to Columbus in 2003 and had been spending most of his non-DC time there, until Strickland revealed the existence of the condo sometime after the 2006 Democratic primary.
  • This means that 6th District voters in general were not aware of Ted Strickland’s condo and rare district presence (again, people, it’s documented) when they voted in the 2004 Democratic Primary, or in the 2004 general election.
  • It also means that Ohio’s 2006 Democratic voters in the May gubernatorial primary were not aware that the favored candidate had spent the previous 3-plus years living outside of his congressional district, and rarely visiting it.
  • Ted Strickland has been paying Columbus income tax (Team Strickland has said as much).
  • Ted Strickland has not been paying Lisbon Village income tax.

DEALBREAKER 1 is Voter Deception — Ted Strickland profoundly deceived the 6th District in the 2004 primary and general elections, and also deceived Democratic primary voters in 2006.

His 6th District reelection in 2004, though unopposed, is nevertheless irretrievably tainted, simply because we will never know whether opposition would have materialized during the 2004 Demcratic primary or for the general election.

Ted Strickland’s May 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary “victory” is not merely tainted, it’s illegitimate (and thus, so is his November general-election candidacy). Statewide Democratic voters who pulled the lever for him on May 2 voted for the Ted Strickland assumed to be from Lisbon and who was assumed to live in his congressional district. We know now that this person does not exist, and that Ted Strickland’s name therefore should not even have been on the ballot.

DEALBREAKER 2 is Financially Shortchanging His District — What Ted Strickland has done during the past three years has robbed the 6th District of three years, and counting, of greatly needed tax revenues.

By choosing to live in Columbus and choosing to pay income taxes there, Ted Strickland has consciously chosen to shortchange the District he represents. By not owning a residence in the district and choosing to live in an owner-occupied residence in Columbus, he can also be seen as shortchanging the district’s schools and emergency services of needed property tax revenues in favor of a much larger area with a much larger tax base.

* * * * *

Ted Strickland has failed for years to level with his constituents about his out-of-district residency. Deal — BROKEN.

Because he has chosen to live outside his district, Ted Strickland has denied the people he “represents” any tax benefit from his labors. Deal — BROKEN.

Discussion of “issues” — OVER.

Ted Strickland has broken the politician-constituent-voter contract, first with the people in his district, and now with the people of Ohio. Based on the above, all conscientious Ohio voters in November should feel compelled to choose another gubernatorial candidate, or to abstain.

The Ted Strickland BizzyBlog Dealbreakers

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:37 pm

Follow-up Post:
- The Ted Strickland Dealbreakers — Briefly Stated
__________________________________

They’re not what you think.

As I write this, it appears that the flap over Ted Strickland’s residency, voter registration, and early voting (otherwise known as “no-excuse absentee balloting,” an act by a gubernatorial candidate that is probably unprecedented in Ohio history) may be over, or at least fought to a draw until Election Day, possibly even after that. Matt at Lincoln Logs has written a “for now” post-mortem. I have some reason to believe that rumors of the issue’s death are premature. We’ll just have to see.

But it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter because there already are not just one, but two, BizzyBlog Dealbreakers with Ted Strickland. You just need to learn what they are.

A BizzyBlog Dealbreaker is defined as “something that completely justifies a person not voting for you, regardless of your party or your stands on the issues.”

Let me first make clear that while the following items that are troubling, and actually very troubling, they are, nevertheless, NOT the Dealbreakers:

  • No, it’s not this — Though the infamous 1999 “Present” vote could arguably be a dealbreaker, it is issue- and vote-related, and if you happen to be with Ted Strickland in this matter, it doesn’t break the deal.
  • Oh, and it’s not this either — Though the late-1990s hiring controversy gets awfully close, those who are either giving Strickland the benefit of the doubt on actually having documentation of his employee’s criminal record (a major stretch, given this), or who argue that an employer should somehow have given the person involved the benefit of the doubt anyway in the name of compassion (as, by the way, Ken Blackwell did with his “problem worker,” who instead of denying past offenses apparently gave some evidence, with outside corroboration, that he had been “turning his life around”), can say that it doesn’t break the deal.
  • And no-no-no, it doesn’t directly relate to the immediate news about the “early vote” Ted Strickland cast last Friday, or even yesterday’s legal maneuvers. Perhaps surprsingly, neither Dealbreaker depends for its validity on the legal minutiae of election law or tax regulations. It’s also useful that the Dealbreakers don’t require any journeys into the so-called “gutter” everyone not interested in the truth about Ted Strickland in the previous two matters has been obsessing over.

No — The BizzyBlog Dealbreakers relate to something that’s even more important than the three items that don’t qualify (though the legal results of the voting and residency matters could turn into Dealbreaker 3 very quickly). The Dealbreakers don’t relate to where Ted Strickland is trying to claim he lives NOW; they relate to where he has lived during the past three-plus years, and what he did not tell voters about where he lived during nearly all of that time.

During the past few weeks, I have obtained plenty of anecdotal evidence from at least a dozen people in a position to know, both in and out of the 6th District, that the BizzyBlog Dealbreakers are valid. But I’m funny about evidence; I like to see documentation, and haven’t had the kind of published corroboration I need to gain comfort. Now I have that documentation, and I understand there may be more.

Here, from the East Liverpool Review’s endorsement of Ken Blackwell, is what sealed the Dealbreakers:

There is little evidence that Strickland, meanwhile, helped his own congressional district. It has one of the highest unemployment rates of any congressional district in the U.S.

It is clear that he announced his move to Lisbon only after the district was reshaped leaving Columbiana as the largest county. But it is clear to Lisbon residents that he spends little, if any, time there. His own income tax records indicate he resides in Columbus.

The Warren Tribune Chronicle, apparently owned by the same publisher as the East Liverpool paper (yes, I know, it’s located outside the district, but some of its readers live in it), had identical language in its endorsement.

This documented contention by people from the area is enough, with all of the other evidence, to seal the Dealbreakers. Why? Because it shows that Ted Strickland, the guy who completed an absentee ballot last Friday, has, for all practical purposes, been an absentee Congressman since shortly after he began “serving” the redrawn 6th District in January 2003.

Is all of this important? Well, of course. Let me remind you that I am not only not alone in considering the situations I will describe as Dealbreakers. Instead, I am part of a vast bipartisan and ideological majority that feels as I do:

SUSUQsOnResidency1006

Now, here is the series of points that leads to the Dealbreakers:

  • Ted Strickland closed on the purchase of his condominium in Columbus on April 2, 2003, less than three months after his first term serving the redrawn 6th Congressional District began.
  • As noted in the editorial above and corroborated extensively, Ted Strickland did not inform the people of the 6th District that he, in essence, moved out of the District to spend most of his non-DC time in Columbus, and, as such, became, in essence, an absentee congressman.
  • Voters in the 6th district, and for that matter the rest of Ohio, were not informed that Ted Strickland had moved to Columbus in 2003 and had been spending most of his non-DC time there, until Strickland revealed the existence of the condo sometime after the 2006 Democratic primary. This July 27 Columbus Dispatch article may have been the first such revelation, though it is possible that Strickland’s living situation may have been revealed elsewhere several weeks prior to that. It may also be that Strickland was forced to make the revelation because it had been discovered by someone else, but I can’t verify that.
  • This means that 6th District voters in general were not aware of Ted Strickland’s condo and rare district presence (again, people, it’s documented) when they voted in the 2004 Democratic Primary, or in the 2004 general election.
  • It also means that Ohio’s 2006 Democratic voters in the May gubernatorial primary were not aware that the favored candidate had spent the previous 3-plus years living outside of his congressional district, and rarely visiting it.
  • Ted Strickland has been paying Columbus income tax (Team Strickland has said as much).
  • Ted Strickland has not been paying Lisbon Village income tax.

So here’s DEALBREAKER 1: Election Voter Deception — Ted Strickland profoundly deceived the 6th District in the 2004 primary and general elections, and also deceived Democratic primary voters in 2006 (as a bonus, it may be that he was deceiving voters in the 2002 congressional election by planning to live outside the district while running in it, but that can’t be proven).

His 6th District reelection in 2004, though unopposed, is nevertheless irretrievably tainted, simply because we will never know whether opposition would have materialized, had District residents known the truth. Heck, since 87% of Democrats believe that a congressman should be required to live in his or her district, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Ted Strickland, who was after all a first-termer in about 65% of the district, would have had Democratic primary opposition.

Ted Strickland’s May 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary “victory” is not merely tainted, it’s illegitimate (and thus, so is his November general-election candidacy). Statewide Democratic voters who pulled the lever for him on May 2 voted for the Ted Strickland assumed to be from Lisbon and who was assumed to live in his congressional district. (Note: The next sentence was added at 9PM) We know now that this person does not exist, and that Ted Strickland’s name should therefore not even have been on the ballot.

Regardless of the weak results posted by his challenger in the May 2 primary election, it is more than a little likely, given overwhelming voter sentiment against non-resident congressmen, that 30% of Democratic primary voters, had they known (and, of course, they deserved to), would have switched sides and selected Ted Strickland’s opponent. 65% of Democrats nationally say living outside your congressional district is a dealbreaker. Less than half would have had to express that belief at the ballot box for the election to have gone to Strickland’s opponent. I would argue that Ohio Democrats are more fastidious about these things than Democrats nationwide, and that someone running in hopes of a promotion would have been held more strictly to generally accepted standards of behavior.

Now here’s DEALBREAKER 2: Financially Shortchanging His District — What Ted Strickland has done during the past three years has robbed the 6th District of three years, and counting, of greatly needed tax revenues.

By choosing to live in Columbus and choosing to pay income taxes there, Ted Strickland has consciously chosen to shortchange the District he represents. By not owning a residence in the district and choosing to live in an owner-occupied residence in Columbus, he can also be seen as shortchanging the district’s schools and emergency services of needed property tax revenues in favor of a much larger area with a much larger tax base.

As noted yesterday, the 6th District needs jobs, and has needed jobs for years. Even Ted Strickland’s would-be successor in his own party says so. One job that could have come in handy all this time is Ted Strickland’s.

* * * * *

So here we have someone who would be governor of this great state who has failed for years to level with his constituents about his out-of-district residency, when any politician worth a plugged nickel instinctively knows how much it matters to the average voter, which the Survey USA poll confirms. Deal — BROKEN.

As a result, we also have a someone who is indifferent as to whether the people he “represents” benefit in any way from the fruits of his labors. Deal — BROKEN.

Discussion of “issues” — OVER.

Ted Strickland has broken the politician-constituent-voter contract, first with the people in his district, and now with the people of Ohio. All Ohio gubernatorial voters need to choose another candidate, or choose to abstain.

__________________________________

ADDENDUM 1: I am indeed relying on the contentions of those I have spoken with and the editorial above that the text contained in the editorial excerpt is true. I believe that reliance is well placed. Any attempt to refute Dealbreaker 1 in this post will require either a formal retraction from newspapers just noted, (PLUS any other newspaper that makes similar contentions between now and Election Day), or day-by-day documented proof. Don’t bother coming to me for any kind of retraction before then without one or the other. Also, memo to Team Strickland and the water-carriers in Ohio’s 527 Media: Spin without editorial retractions is not proof. Even a slew of people who “come forward” and say that “know” differently won’t suffice — even if you gin ‘em all up with affidavits. Get the retractions, or the day-by-day docs; otherwise, there is no call to bother me. ADDENDUM 1A: And guess what? Even if you get the retractions, Dealbreaker 2 still stands, and isn’t going anywhere.

ADDENDUM 2: Oh, and please don’t waste my time or anyone else’s talking about other congressmen or politicians in an attempt to make excuses for old Ted. What he has or hasn’t done stands or falls on its own merits and demerits.

ADDENDUM 3: Don’t waste your time with the “partisan shill” card. Yes, I said with some reluctance that I would vote for Ken Blackwell after the May primary, and here is the full context –

(I have learned) that the “Christian Right” can be taken in by clever messengers who say the right things and are successful at not revealing their true selves. Yes, that goes for David Smith and Bob McEwen. Yes, that makes me hesitant to jump up and down for joy about Ken Blackwell, because I believe his close alignment with the Ohio Restoration Project is causing an ugly strain of condescension and a bit of a detachment from reality to emerge in him, and I never thought I’d say either thing (though I will vote for him, given the alternative).

I would suggest that this hardly qualifies as cheerleading.

ADDENDUM 4: In case any newer readers think that this is simply a convenient issue over someone I don’t like for partisan reasons, I should note that I have opposed four previous candidacies on residency-related grounds (though none have had the long-term deception while serving involved in Ted Strickland’s case) –

  • May-June 2005 (Ohio 2nd District Congressional Special GOP Primary) — Bob McEwen. Opposed on grounds that he had been absent from the District for 12 years, and bought his own residence in the District only about 2 months before Election Day.
  • April-May 2006 (Ohio 2nd District GOP Primary Election) — Bob McEwen. Opposed because he, his wife, and his children (when they became eligible voters) had been discovered voting illegally in Highland County from roughly 1997-2002 while the family lived in Northern Virginia. Additionally, untruthful statements would have been necessary to be able to obtain absentee ballots under the restrictive conditions in place at the time.
  • March-May 2006 (Ohio US Senate GOP Primary) — David Smith. Though his candidacy was legal and defensible with full disclosure, Mr. Smith had run for Congress three previous times in three different states in the space of three years, and consciously chose not to disclose that fact to voters who most assuredly would have been interested in knowing it. Only when it was occasionally dragged out of him would Mr. Smith acknowledge his previous runs and his Ohio residency of only about 18 months.
  • November 2006 General Election — I am currently opposing the candidacies of Democrat Tammy Duckworth in Illinois’ 6th District, and of Democrat Charlie Wilson in Ohio’s 6th District (yup, Ted Strickland’s current district), because both candidates live outside of the districts they wish to represent and have stated that they have no plans to move in.

Carnival Barking (102506)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 11:36 am

Newshound’s 45th on Ohio Politics is here.
Boring Made Dull’s 18th on Economics and Social Policy is here.

Comparing Michigan’s and Ohio’s Employment Situations — and Gubernatorial Races

Michigan’s unemployment rate is 7.1%, second highest in the nation to Mississippi’s 7.2%. Ohio’s is 5.3% (seasonally adjusted; 5.0% not seasonally adjusted), which is above the national average, but far from awful.

Michigan is one of only two states with a statistically significant increase in its unemployment rate (up 0.6%) in the past year; the other one is New Jersey (up 0.8%), whose unemployment rate is still only 5.2%. Ohio’s unemployment rate has gone down 0.5% in the past year.

Michigan’s employment (not seasonally adjusted) has increased by all of 10,500 jobs in the past twelve months; the number of unemployed has increased by 34,200. Ohio’s employment (not seasonally adjusted) has increased by 59,600, which the number of unemployed has decreased by 32,600.

The gubernatorial incumbent in Michigan is still supposedly ahead of her challenger, and is favored by the media establishment.

The standard-bearer of the incumbent party in Ohio, who has renounced the first six-plus years of economic mistakes by his predecessor (followed by about 18 months of borderline acceptability), is supposedly behind, and, while gaining support (surprising to some) in many editorial rooms, is loathed by the state’s beat reporters.

His challenger in Ohio currently “represents” the redrawn (in 2002) Ohio’s Sixth Congressional district. “His” District’s economy is so bad that his would-successor in his own party is running TV ads telling voters how bad things are.

Go figure.

Sub-Headline of the Day

At today’s OpinionJournal.com index page:

The insurgents are hitting their targets–in Washington.

With CNN’s help.

Here’s the First Real User Review of IE7

Filed under: Business Moves,Consumer Outrage — Tom @ 8:08 am

Not pretty. User’s conclusion:

Just wait for Firefox 2 to be released and I’m telling you, you’ll be happier than Ted Kennedy at a wedding with an open bar.

Microsoft needs to get the hell out of the browser business.

UPDATE: The first two commenters are very supportive of IE7.

Thanks to These Guys, I Don’t Have to Work As Hard

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,News from Other Sites — Tom @ 8:03 am

When it comes to chronicling business media bias, yours truly tries to pitch in as much as practical.

But the big cahuna of media monitoring on business and the economy is the Business and Media Institute (BMI), part of Media Research Center. BMI issued a 2004 report that noted a 6-1 positive-negative ratio in media stories about business and the economy during 1996, vs. 6-1 negative-positive ratio in 2004 in an economy that was arguably performing just as well or better.

Their most recent report (HT Willisms, who is also hot on the business bias trail, and does outstanding graphics work) looks at the weighting of positive and negative stories in the twelve months ended July 31, 2006. A supporting PDF shows the specfics for NBC, CBS, and ABC. Willisms has a nice graph at his link that illustrates the 62-31 negative aggregate. Zheesh.

The fact that BMI monitors TV coverage of the economy like a hawk explains why I tend to focus on print and online media business and economy reporting. That and the fact that the health of my TV won’t be jeopardized if I’m not watching the lousy coverage.

Why the Surprise?

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:58 am

(Warning: disturbing news to those with humane sensibilities)

What do you expect them to do with dead “parasites“?

Why Would an Auditor Want to Audit?

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:53 am

I’m giving away my age here (in fact I’d like to give away part of my age to anyone who’d be willing to take it!), but at Arthur Young, one of the old Big Eight international CPA firms, I never heard an audit partner say the things Barbara Sykes, who is after all running for State Auditor, has been saying (HT RAB; also Lincoln Logs and Viking Spirit are on it):

“If the auditor is running around trying to audit….. then we’re in real big trouble …..”

Hey, I would gladly have taken the day off to go to a Businessman’s Special at Riverfront Stadium, or whatever. But auditors have real work to do in a real world, one that I am concerned that Barbara Sykes does not reside in.

Other Sykes gems:

“I think that people should work so they can pay their taxes. Because we need their money.”

“I did vote for the increase in taxes — with (wiff?) Taft?”

Oh, my.

At the risk of bragging on my profession, the decision on the State Auditor vote is an easy one. Mary Taylor is a CPA; Barbara Sykes isn’t. Mary Taylor is articulate; Barbara Sykes? Well …..

(Counting down the hours to when someone throws the R-word at me …..)

Positivity: Andes Survivor Lives Life with Gusto

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

He survived a 72-day ordeal in 1972, and during that time he was one of two who guided rescuers to save 14 others:

October 19, 2006

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay · Over and over again during his 72-day ordeal in the Andes, Nando Parrado would tell himself, “I am already dead, I am already dead.” That mantra allowed him to vanquish the fear that gripped him — and perhaps also explains why, when given a miraculous second chance at life, he has lived ever since with such gusto.

Parrado, 56, is perhaps the best-known of the 16 survivors of the crash of an Uruguayan air force plane in the Andes Mountains in October 1972, as it was carrying his rugby team to a match in Chile. He and a companion trekked through the harsh cordillera, or mountain range, with virtually no supplies or protection and eventually guided rescuers back to the crash site.

Since that deliverance, chronicled in the best-selling book Alive and a subsequent movie, Parrado has been a race car driver, television host, motivational speaker, business entrepreneur and, most recently, author of a book called Miracle in the Andes. But no matter what he does, he says, his actions are guided by the lessons he learned and the conversations about life, death, God and religion that took place during his struggle to survive.

“We were lucky, extremely lucky,” he said. “We didn’t have any food, clothes or water, and they weren’t searching for us. So how could we survive? I lost everything, my family, friends and future, but I was resurrected. I came back to life from the grave.”

Even after almost 35 years, Parrado confronts curiosity everywhere he goes. The trials of “an untested boy who had never really suffered,” who could “be studying math in my room and 48 hours later be trying to survive on a glacier, like an animal,” force people to speculate how they would behave in a similarly extreme situation.

“This is like the Titanic or the first man on the moon,” he said. “A lot of things combined to make this a great story, one that I don’t think will ever happen again, because now there are cell phones and Blackberries and GPS devices on every plane, and the rescuers would find them in one hour.”

But behind the world’s continuing fascination with the ordeal is the inescapable and grisly truth that “we broke a human taboo that was very big,” Parrado acknowledged. “We ate human flesh with complete knowledge and acceptance of what we were doing.”

Parrado’s mother and younger sister were among those who died in the Andes. His awareness that theirs “would be the last two bodies” to be consumed by the group was one of the things that drove him to climb through the mountains on a quest that many of his teammates thought was impossible.

Before he left, he gave the other survivors permission to consume the bodies of his mother and sister, preserved in the snow near the wreckage of the plane. But the idea of having to eat their flesh himself, he said, was too awful to consider.

“I didn’t want to do that,” he said. “If we reach that moment, it is the end of the line. I don’t want to face that moment, I didn’t want to die there. I will face that moment of death, but more honorably, trying to do something.”

For many years Parrado did not talk about his experiences and beliefs in public. He and the other survivors would meet periodically to reminisce, “But I was busy racing my cars and leading my life.”

But in the early 1990s a friend invited him to a conference in Mexico. And there, invited to speak, all the memories that had piled up inside came spilling out. He now travels the world addressing business and university groups on topics like leadership and creativity under stressful conditions.

That, in turn, led to him to start putting down on paper the memories that eventually became his book. He originally envisioned something modest “for my daughters and grandsons because, after three generations, nobody remembers,” but the book has become an international best seller.