November 2, 2006

Corniest (and Most Accurate) Line of the Night

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 pm

I think I’m first with this, and luckily people can’t throw tomatoes through their computers (yet) –

Between Victoria Wulsin’s “nuke dump” deception relating to the Piketon plant, John Cranley getting suckered into joining Wulsin’s hypocritical complaints about the non-problem, and Cranley’s insistence on having his opponent sign a pledge that primarily relates to a measure (The Voting Rights Act) that Congress just extended this summer for 25 years …..

I would say that after today, the 1st and 2nd District Democrat campaigns are both in full …..

MELTDOWN.

Cranley Jumps the Shark on His ‘Voting Rights Pledge’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:36 pm

Holy moly — from the “Issues” section of John Cranley’s web site (2nd Item) — you can’t make this stuff up:

JOHN CRANLEY’S VOTING RIGHTS PLEDGE
Whereas, the right to vote is a hallmark of American freedom; and

Whereas, the right to vote has not always been readily available to all Americans; and

Whereas, recent elections and actions by Congress have revealed that there are still forces within our country who will go to considerable lengths to make it more difficult for some Americans to exercise the right to vote; and

Whereas, every branch of government, and especially the United States Congress, should take whatever steps necessary to ensure that no American will ever be unfairly denied the right to cast a vote, and whereas Congress should take steps to prevent anyone from being discouraged from voting;

Therefore, I hereby proclaim that as an elected official, I will continue to work to uphold the precious right to vote and remove any and all barriers intended to discourage Americans from exercising that right; and

Further proclaim that, upon election to the United States House of Representatives, I will always vote to uphold the Voting Rights Act and support efforts to make it easier for Americans to take full advantage of the right to vote.

Proclaimed today, on the Seventh Day of July, 2006 by:
John Cranley, Candidate for Congress
First Congressional District, Ohio

My, I’m impressed.

I could be patient with this, but the challenger is bent out of shape that his opponent, incumbent Steve Chabot, won’t sign Cranley’s pledge.

John, for God’s sake, chill — The link at the mostly-asleep Politics Extra Blog notes that Chabot worked hard on the Voting Rights Act.

But that’s not the clincher — The Voting Rights Act extension was passed by both chambers and signed by the President on July 27 of this year, 20 days after Cranley’s Pledge was posted.

But even THAT’S not the clincher — The clincher is that with the President’s signature, the Voting Rights Act was extended (get this; click “more” for the answer if you are on the home page):

(more…)

Wulsin’s ‘Nuke Waste Dump’ Claim Is Made Up (Updated for Cunningham Call and More Detail)

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:03 pm

This post is being continually updated, and will stay at or near the top for the rest of the afternoon evening.

WELCOME Bill Cunningham listeners, and thanks to Willie for having me on. Here is the Blackwell announcement about the Zogby poll that Ohio’s newspapers “somehow” aren’t covering much, if at all. The poll shows Blackwell down by 7.5% (oops, I said 7.3% on the radio — I apologize for the slight error), which is well within the margin of error of previous Ohio polls compared to real election results.

Now, on to Wulsin.

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INITIAL QUICK POST:

Here’s Whiskey Tango’s post, with links to smoking-gun docs (that’s pieces of paper, not deceptive doctors like the one running against Jean Schmidt).

There is NO thought of a nuclear waste “dump” or “disposal site” in Piketon, and the docs prove it. AND VIC WULSIN KNOWS IT. Wulsin attempts to inject the issue into one of the docs; the union calls her on the BS in the other.

I’m trying to decide if this is worse than Paul Hackett’s pretend-Republican/Bush loyalist videos/campaign ads in the August 2005 Special Election. Based on proximity to Election Day and the outrageousness/”cleverness” of the lie, I’d say it is.

I will have more on this later when I have a moment, and I’ll probably just carry this post forward.

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MAIN POST:

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

What Vic Wulsin has done consitutes BizzyBlog Wulsin Dealbreaker 3 — Here are quick links to Dealbreaker 1 (unethical involvement in malariotherapy) and Dealbreaker 2 (hiding the names of big money radical feminist organizations).

I certainly don’t want to steal thunder from Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot’s great post on this, so be sure to go there.

The story is this — 2nd District Democratic congressional candidate Vic Wulsin and her 1st District counterpart John Cranley (who has been sucked into this, and will regret allowing that to happen), have publicly gone into full hysteria mode, as noted in Malia Rulon’s final item in today’s “Local News” report at the Cincinnati Enquirer (bold is mine):

Victoria Wulsin, who is challenging Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt, said: “We should never import nuclear waste into our backyard.”

Their statements (Cranley’s quotes were excluded from the excerpt — Ed.) came after Schmidt said she supports a study looking at whether the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion plant in Piketon should be used to temporarily store and recycle spent nuclear fuel rods.

The proposal has come under fire by environmentalists and neighbors of the plant who are worried that once the waste gets to the plant, it will be stuck there forever.

Schmidt has made it clear that she’s not advocating for or against the plan, but she thinks it should be considered, especially since it could bring thousands of jobs to the economically distressed region.

Says Wulsin: “A nuclear waste dump is not the solution to our jobs problem.”

NOBODY is talking about a “waste dump” or a “waste disposal site” — except Vic Wulsin and her Democrat acolytes.

On Page 2 of a “clever” letter on Monday, October 31 to the heads of the two union locals and another official, after spending much of the letter affirming HER SUPPORT for the proposed expansion of work at Piketon, Wulsin slips in this sentence (find the green arrow at the link): “We should strive to create new job opportunities at Piketon, without establishing a nuclear waste disposal site.”

Clearly, this insertion and the hysteria Team Wulsin has created over the fictional possibility of permanently storing nuclear waste at Piketon has troubled those who have worked hard to preserve and expand the facility safely.

It was all apparently too much for the head of the United Steelworkers local, who just yesterday fired back a letter to Wilson with the following:

  • Two references (green arrows at the link) thanking Wulsin for her SUPPORT of the facility and Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), which would expand the facility.
  • Two paragraphs (in red boxes at the link) — the first, stating that there is a “fundamental misconception” about the site analysis (the “study” referred to by Rulon above); and second, a firm statement that “no elected official including your opponent Congresswoman Schmidt, union member, or community leader supports the idea of creating a waste dump at the Piketon site.”

This can be summed up in nine words: Wulsin planted the story. She’s making it all up.

Nobody with a conscience can vote for a candidate who would perpetrate such a calculated FALSE smear in the final days of an election campaign (true claims are always fair game, and are always welcome), which is why this is BizzyBlog Dealbreaker 3.

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UPDATE: Well, what have we here? I have learned of a letter (link here), dated today, from the USW to Congresswoman Schmidt, containing this choice sentence in the fourth paragraph:

I appreciate very much the fact that you have continually expressed your strong opposition to Piketon becoming a so-called “waste dump.” As you and the rest of our nation know, Yucca Mountain is where our nation will store nuclear waste.

I guess “the rest of our nation” doesn’t include Vic Wulsin.

UPDATE 2: It would be nice to think that The Cincinnati Enquirer would be embarrassed at the story Malia Rulon put up in today’s paper and get busy. An e-mail on this post and the W-T-F post was sent to several reporters ths afternoon.

UPDATE 3: I think a really interesting question is whether Vic Wulsin told the straight story to the people at Emily’s List (one of three radical organizations, along with NOW and NARAL, who have endorsed Wulsin but are not listed at the Endorsements page at the Wulsin campaign’s web site). Emily’s List and its affiliated PACs are funding the lion’s share of Wulsin’s final day radio-TV blitz. To think that she might have taken money under false pretenses from them, possibly denying a more “deserving” Democrat campaign money it could have used, makes me wish I was a fly on the wall at Emily’s List headquarters right about now. (Of course, it’s possible that the Emily’s Listers know darn well about the degree of the subterfuge and went ahead anyway.)

Apportioning Votes: Not Just Once a Decade Any More

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:47 pm

Scott Pullins mentioned this on Monday.

I also received an e-mail about it that same day, and it’s worth posting as a show-up motivator for voters of both major parties on Tuesday, especially in Southwest Ohio:

Ohio’s Apportionment Board is up for grabs. The Apportionment Board decides where/how district lines are drawn. In addition to 2 R’s & 2 D’s nominated by General Assembly leaders, it consists of the Governor, Auditor and Secretary of State.

….. Since the Supreme Court ruled (in June) that states no longer need to wait for census years (2008) to re-district, I can assure you that the Dems, if in control of that Board, will take a scissors to the state. They will (before 2008) massacre any district involving Clermont, Warren & Butler Counties because we are the concentrated conservative heartbeat of Ohio.

Obviously, I have preferences for Blackwell, Taylor, and Montgomery, respectively. Getting two out of those three is, in my opinion, a must.

The DeVolution of Michigan’s Gubernatorial Race

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:25 pm

Last week, I expressed surprise that Dick DeVos, Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial candidate is trailing incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm in a state with a struggling, and from all appearances still deterioriating, economy. By rights, you would think that he would be up by double digits instead of trailing.

Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation explained most of the problem in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last Thursday (subscription required), but missed one tie-together point that I really should have considered sooner:

….. 10 days before the election, Dick DeVos has lost his 15-point summer lead over Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic incumbent, and is now trailing by more than eight points in most polls. The fault is not in his stars but in himself: At a time when Michigan needs economic leadership, he has so far shown little charisma, creativity — or courage of convictions.

….. Ms. Granholm’s chief strategy for dealing with Michigan’s grim economic situation, comically enough, is to blame Mr. DeVos, even though the last — and only — time he held elected office was as a member of the State Board of Education a decade ago. ….. “I have never seen a sitting governor run so many negative attacks against an opponent,” notes Bill Ballenger, publisher of the respected non-partisan political newsletter Inside Michigan Politics. “She has few accomplishments to list so she knows that if she allows this election to become a referendum on her, she’ll lose.”

Although Mr. DeVos, who has spent $30 million of his own money on the campaign, has recovered from his initial shell-shock and become better at deflecting such attacks, he has done little to challenge her on economic fundamentals — her big vulnerability given that two-thirds of Michigan voters believe that the state has been going in the wrong economic direction under her. No one expects a candidate in a union state to win as a free trader. But Mr. DeVos has granted Ms. Granholm’s protectionist premises. He has countered her attacks against his company’s overseas operations by accusing her of not doing enough to convince Honda officials to locate in Michigan — as if it were a governor’s job to negotiate business deals. Worse, instead of staying focused on creating an attractive business climate by cutting taxes and government, his plan to make Michigan globally competitive involves opening offices in 10 countries to promote trade and tourism.

….. But for someone whose main campaign theme is that as a businessman he understands the challenges facing Michigan’s businesses, Mr. DeVos’s proposals, so far, are disappointing, to say the least.

He recently endorsed a law raising the minimum wage, disregarding that it will contribute to growing unemployment while making it harder for small businesses to remain profitable. He does insist — correctly — that lowering Michigan’s tax burden, which is much above the national average on a per capita basis, ought to be priority No. 1. But apart from calling for the repeal of an already repealed Single Business Tax that assessed businesses on their payrolls as opposed to profits, his only other suggestion so far is scrapping the Personal Property Tax. This tax discourages businesses from making capital investments by taxing new machines, equipment and furniture. But the problem is that it is one item in a laundry list of petty programs — not embedded in any consistent policy vision.

While Mr. DeVos’s failure to enunciate such a vision is likely calculated to position him as a moderate, in reality it is only making him less believable to independent voters. Meanwhile, his conservative base is dispirited because he has diluted his commitment to school choice and is opposing a ballot proposal banning the government from using racial preferences.

Now let’s cut to chase, and yeah, this is going to offend some people: The DeVos muddle painfully described in the op-ed is due to the fact that the man has never run a real business. All he has ever had to do is collect the money that bubbles up from the bottom layers of the Amway/Quixtar pyramid (oh, excuse me, “network”).

Amway/Quixtar may manufacture the products it sells, but those sales are predominantly, if not almost exclusively, to other A/Q Distributors (now euphemistically called Independent Business Owners, or IBOs). His products really don’t have to go head-to-head with Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive, Lever Brothers, or any of the others. His “business” walls itself and its IBOs off from the rest of the world in a hermetically sealed vacuum.

DeVos appears never to have been challenged in his A/Q role — hence the backtracking on the no-brainer racial-preference ban and his supposed Holy Grail of school choice when things began to get even a little uncomfortable. It always appears expedient in the short-term to waffle; it almost never is.

Republicans in Michigan were ill-served when Dick DeVos bought the gubernatorial nomination. He is not a real businessman (one person whose work I excerpted at this post last year argues that he is more like a Mafia boss), and appears to have almost no chance of becoming an effective politician.

If disgust with Granholm and heavy values-voter turnout miraculously propel Dick DeVos into the governor’s chair (who knows, John Kerry might yet save him), I see no reason to believe that the Great Lakes State won’t be facing a four-year period just as long, and just as cold, as if Granholm wins.

Who’s the Libertarian on the ballot?

Quote of the Day: Why Politicians Love Early Voting

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:26 pm

From Wednesday’s Cincinnati Enquirer:

There is a reason your mailbox – and your voice mail – are full of appeals from candidates and political parties urging you to take advantage of Ohio’s new, no-explanations-necessary absentee voting law.

They want you to vote before you change your mind.

Convenient for them, and maybe even for you, but a bad idea. I think it’s useful for voters to make politicians sweat until Election Day, and reserve their right to change their minds until then.

Ted Strickland Channels, and Perhaps Hearts, Michael Moore

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 10:12 am

Last night, I posted on two short audio clips I had from a radio interview Ted Strickland did where he bemoaned the “disproportionate burden” families from small-town and rural areas are supposedly bearing of the US military effort. He especially emphasized a talking point that “one or two” of Washington’s 535 House and Senate members have children in Iraq.

Today I have the audio in MP3 format. You can listen to it by clicking here.

NixGuy has shown that the claim of disproportionality and legislative privilege is not only false, even if the correct number is as low as two, but that it echoes a certain rotund moviemaker’s debunked claim (scroll down to Congressional Children in War Deceits 53-56 (SEVEN congresspersons had children in active military duty in 2003, and at least two of them were in Iraq at the time of the debunking).

If Michael Moore and his ilk are where Ted Strickland has been getting his “information” on the War on Terror, whose reports is he relying on to tell him about the economy, education, and government?

Jean Schmidt, and Vets, and the Homeland (Oh My)

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:19 am

How obviously false does a campaign ad have to be for the Cincinnati Enquirer to notice it, and critique it, in favor of a conservative?

THIS false (HT Whiskey Tango Foxtrot):

(The ad claims) that the congresswoman is indifferent to veterans and national security.

The ….. allegations in the ad – that she voted against veterans’ health benefits and to “slash” homeland security funding – are partisan spin at best. At worst, they’re misleading.

The only justification for the statement that Schmidt voted against veterans’ health benefits was her support of the $2.8 trillion federal budget. The 2007 spending plan called for an increase in veterans’ health care spending in 2007, followed by reductions after that – though such decisions are always revisited in future budgets and appropriations bills.

(I would bet lunch that “reductions” really means “reductions in planned spending increases,” not true dollar reductions — Ed.)

On security, Wulsin cites seven roll-call votes on amendments, totaling $257.8 million, to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2006.

….. But those amendments didn’t increase homeland security funding at all; in fact, they would have diverted established homeland security spending to other areas – nuclear-detection devices in ports, local disaster coordination, investigations of the handling of Hurricane Katrina and even global- warming studies and “breakfast with firefighters” programs.

One can debate her homeland security priorities, but it’s not fair to say she voted to “slash” funding.

The final bill, which passed the House 389-9, increased homeland security spending by 5 percent – $1.8 billion – in 2007.

Though having the detail is worthwhile, Enquirer reporter Greg Korte could have saved everyone a lot of time by saying, “This is so fundamentally dishonest it isn’t even in the neighborhood of the truth.”

Wulsin’s ad is no surprise, coming from a candidate who:

One suspects that this is not the last time Mr. Korte and the Enquirer will, if willing, be able to shred Wulsin campaign claims.

ACORN Nuttiness Goes Massively Criminal

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:14 am

35,000 questionable registration forms (HT Gateway Pundit va e-mailer Larwyn for original story; the link in this post is to a more detailed KC Channel story):

Four people have been indicted on charges of voter fraud in Kansas City, officials said Wednesday.

Investigators said questionable registration forms for new voters were collected by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a group that works to improve minority and low-income communities.

The four indicted — Kwaim A. Stenson, Dale D. Franklin, Stephanie L. Davis and Brian Gardner — were employed by ACORN as registration recruiters. They were each charged with two counts.

Federal indictments allege the four turned in false voter registration applications. Prosecutors said the indictments are part of a national investigation.

….. “There is some motive behind it — this is not accidental,” said Ray James with the Kansas City Election Board.

….. ACORN officials said the four indicted have been fired.

Harris said ACORN workers check every voter registration card before sending it to the Election Board.

Last month, ACORN claimed to have processed more than 35,000 voter registration applications in Kansas City since the summer.

Add this to the evidence pile against “early voting.” If the only people allowed to vote before Election Day were true absentees (people out of town, the military, and those truly unable to get to the polls), and if a genuine ID requirement were in place, bogusly registered people would have to present fake IDs to vote in person — possible, but not on a massive scale, with each person trying it taking a considerable personal risk. The ability to play games with early voting would be very limited, and the incentive to try registration fraud on the scale attempted here would be greatly reduced.

Glenn ‘Instapundit’ Reynolds’ Column on Electoral Integrity

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:09 am

His Tuesday TCS Daily column makes some great points about the dangers to our system if citizens lose confidence in the integrity of the voting system.

Although the issues of e-voting and even of e-voting company ownership are indeed very important (I have done quite a few posts on e-voting dangers myself — do this search to find them) I wish he would have hit these points:

  • As Dr. Sanity pointed out on Tuesday (mentioned in this mini-post on Wednesday), The 527 Media’s suspect polls, in conjunction with far-left hysteria, will facilitate, without tangible evidence, false charges of fraud if Republicans win seats that were projected to go to Democrats. (“How else could it have happened?” will be the cry)
  • Unrestricted early voting (fisked here on Monday) has as much potential as any of the other issues cited to undermine voter confidence.

He is quite right, though, when he says:

This topic isn’t getting enough attention, and I’m afraid it will do damage before it does.

No Mower Regulations

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:04 am

This goes back a couple of weeks but it shouldn’t be ignored — Michael Fumento says that the EPA is targeting your lawnmower:

Nine years ago, I predicted that lawn mowers would one day fall victim to onerous and unnecessary EPA air pollution standards, despite Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner having stated in sworn testimony to Congress in 1997 that such regulations are “not about outdoor barbecues and lawn mowers.” Frank O’Donnell, then-executive director of the Clean Air Trust, called talk of regulating lawn mowers “crazed propaganda.”

Today, however, EPA openly seeks implementation of pollution standards for lawn mowers that would supposedly cut smog-causing emissions by 35 percent. As for O’Donnell, he’s now president of Clean Air Watch where he’s working hard to implement that “crazed propaganda.”

….. But the EPA’s clean air standards are based on false claims and shaky science. Lawn-mower emissions comprise perhaps 3 percent of all EPA-monitored air pollutants, according to the agency’s National Emissions Inventory. Meanwhile those overall emissions are less than half of what they were in 1970. Thirty-five percent of 3 percent of 50 percent of what we breathed a generation ago is essentially equivalent to a hair on a flea’s leg. A small flea.

This is about nanny-state intervention in something that should be left alone. Hence, there should be no mower regulations.

Has Angela Merkel Sold Out?

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:59 am

If she can’t stop this, I’d say that’s an affirmative (original report; Medienkritik blog link [for when Yahoo's goes away]; HT American Thinker via Pullins Report):

Germany’s 16 states agreed on Thursday to introduce from January 1 a licence fee of 5.52 euros (3.70 pounds) a month on computers and mobile phones that can access television and radio programmes via the Internet.

Any household or company that does not already have a licence will have to pay the new levy, which is the same as the one currently charged for radio access, state premiers agreed at a meeting in the town of Bad Pyrmont.

German households pay just over 17 euros a month to watch TV, but since more radio programmes are available over the Internet than TV, state broadcaster ARD wanted the fee for computers and phones to match that of radios.

The plan has attracted sharp criticism from industry groups that argue it would harm German firms, especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Germany’s TV licence fee is among the highest in Europe, with only Switzerland and the Nordic countries paying more. It funds four national public broadcasters, several local broadcasters and all the country’s public radio stations.

The “we want to be just like Europe” crowd is watching closely to see if this modern form of economic suicide takes hold. Wake up, Angela.