June 21, 2007

Strickland-CAIR Update: Reported Strickland Staffer Response (UPDATE: With Source’s Follow-up Call)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:24 pm

10:30 p.m. — See UPDATE below.

The following came in an e-mail from a trusted source. I cannot verify its accuracy, but my source vouches for it.

With that qualifier, here goes, with no additional commentary on the letter’s content (with very minor editing to include hyperlink; bold is mine; e-mail me if you have further corroboration or other examples of administration response):

A concerned friend of mine called Strickland’s office yesterday to express his dismay at Strickland’s appearance with CAIR, his arrogant presumption to speak for all Ohioans in praising CAIR, and to alert him to this recent article at FrontPage.

He spoke with someone named Charles in Strickland’s office, and he said that Charles vigorously defended CAIR, and made this rather astonishing statement. Quoting my friend…

“Charles of his staff stated that he did a lot of research on CAIR and they were an organization that does a lot of good and no more terrorist than the Jewish Defense Fund or Dr. James Dobson.”

This came to me in an email, so I called my friend to make sure this was an accurate quote from Strickland’s staffer (spokesman?), and I was assured that it was. My friend tried to make sure “Charles” knew of the fact that Sen. Schumer, among others, has renounced CAIR, and he then called Schumer’s office to ask that Schumer personally speak with Strickland on this matter.

My friend had pointedly asked Charles if what he was saying was that the Jewish Defense Fund was a terrorist organization. The reply. “Some people think so”.

He also reminded Charles that Hamas too, presumably “does a lot of good”, and that this makes them no less a terrorist organization. No coherent answer was forthcoming to that one from Charles.

Not that this necessarily proves or disproves anything, but Strickland’s January staff announcement doesn’t have a “Charles” listed. “Charles” could be a newer hire or lower-level staffer, or could have been a higher-up answering the phone pseudonymously (if that’s a word; it is).

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UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: Well, my source got to talk to Charles, so he’s real. Here is what my source reported about the conversation –

I did get to speak with Charles this afternoon, and spent about 10 minutes on the phone with him, plus another 10 minutes or so with his supervisor after that.

Without disclosing to him that I was personally acquainted with his earlier caller, I just registered my own “not in my name” sentiment, and asked him to clarify what he said about Dobson and the JDF.

He was backtracking a bit, and claiming that what he had said had been misinterpreted. He said that no matter what group or organization the Governor spoke to, they would get calls from people claiming that this or that person or group was “extremist” and offering web resources to back up their claims.

When pressed that one caller’s claims about the dangers to the republic of say, Dr. Dobson, might not be given equal weight as the documented history of CAIR founders and officers being indicted, convicted, deported, etc. for actual, not perceived, “dangers”, he didn’t really have a response.

He decided instead to pass me along to his superior, who defended the appearance at the CAIR function as just one of many groups that the Governor is required to attend to “be nice”, and that his appearance there in no way means that the Governor advocates the positions taken by the organization. He also denied vehemently that the appearance had anything at all to do with the contributions the group had made to the campaign.

Sure.

He also said they had consulted in advance of the appearance with the Dept. of Homeland Security, (I guess with a concern only for assuring that the Governor’s personal security wouldn’t be threatened by such an appearance??) He also tried to argue that since this was just an appearance at the Ohio Chapter of CAIR, it wasn’t as significant as an appearance at some national function might be. I suggested he substitute the KKK for CAIR in that argument, and asked him if he thought his argument would still hold water.

In fact, I offered to provide him with web resources specifically linking members of the Ohio Chapter to terrorist activities and groups, he suggested (obviously not “getting it”) that I provide such information to DHS authorities. Both he and Charles declined to provide me with email addresses where I might direct more information that their “research” into CAIR had apparently not turned up. If he gave out that information, he said, they would be “inundated” with emails so that their Inboxes would never be emptied again. Oh, the humanity!

He obviously wasn’t interested in learning more about CAIR, saying only that he would “register” my disapproval with the Governor. Yawn.

But I got it off my chest.

That “only Ohio CAIR” argument also doesn’t fly because CAIR’s national Chairman of the Board was present at the event. CAIR’s press release made a point of letting us know that.

UPDATE 2: The Columbus Dispatch’s blog goes for the trivial while ignoring the big picture.

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Previous Posts:
- June 21 — Strickland-CAIR Followup: Not in Our Name, Guv (Not in Our Old Media Coverage, Either)
- June 19 — Ted Strickland’s CAIR Appearance, and Ohio’s Snoozing Press

Strickland-CAIR Followup: Not in Our Name, Guv (Not in Our Old Media Coverage, Either)

BREAKING: Strickland-CAIR Update: Reported Strickland Staffer Response

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From Patrick Poole at FrontPage, on Ted Strickland’s appearance and speech at Sunday’s CAIR banquet in Columbus:

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was merely repaying his political debt to his friends when he spoke over the weekend at the annual banquet for the Ohio chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization that helped him get elected back in November by raising significant amounts of campaign cash and mobilizing election workers on his behalf.

….. One example of CAIR-OH’s efforts to “promote justice and mutual understanding” occurred last summer when a CAIR-OH spokesman, Karen Dabdoub, began publicly indicting the entire community of non-Muslims in Xenia, Ohio of rampant Islamophobia by falsely implicating them in a series of fire-bomb attacks against a restaurant owned by Jordanian-born Muslims.

But as I noted in an article just a few weeks after the incident, (“Kafir-phobia: Americans as Violent Anti-Muslim Bigots“), at the time that Dabdoub was inflaming religious and racial tensions, the local media was already reporting that police knew that the owners themselves were behind the “bombings”, having paid a former employee to vandalize the store. The owner and his son were injured when they unintentionally caused an explosion from lighting up a cigarette while standing in a pool of gasoline they intended to use to set their store ablaze later that night. Both died weeks later from their injuries. No apology to the community or correction was ever issued by CAIR-OH for its spokesman’s false indictment.

….. When he was speaking at the CAIR-OH banquet the other night, Gov. Strickland was doing nothing more than rewarding his political allies for their loyalty. That’s politics. But invoking the authority of the people of the Great State of Ohio in support of an organization committed to inciting hatred and inflaming religious and racial tensions, was nothing short of shameful, no less than if he had praised the neo-Nazi organizations in Southern Ohio.

When you sing the praises of CAIR, Gov. Strickland, it is not in our name.

Read the whole thing.

Old Media non-coverage has entered its fourth day.

A Google News search on “Strickland CAIR” (entered without quotes) done at 5:30 Thursday morning showed only my NewsBusters cross-post from Tuesday, the FrontPage item linked above, and Hot Air’s post yesterday with 6 related articles. No Ohio or National Old Media outlet was among those related articles. The same search done directly at the Columbus Dispatch came up with — nothing:

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ColDispStricklandCAIRsearch0607

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The same search at the Cleveland Plain Dealer (cleveland.com) showed one forum comment and helpfully asked if I meant to enter “Strickland car.” The Toledo Blade: nothing. Dayton Daily News: Nothing related to the CAIR appearance. A Cincinnati Enquirer search (cincinnati.com) showed only the press-release rehash entry it posted Monday at its Politics Blog.

(added at 9:30 a.m.) With the passage of three full news cycles and plenty of blog coverage this week, it’s safe to say at this point that Ohio’s and the nation’s Old Media don’t consider it newsworthy that the sitting governor of one of the nation’s largest states broke bread with an organization that was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal terrorist-funding case just two weeks ago — an organization whose national chairman was in attendance at said event. Also, note the apparent total absence of leftosphere commentary on the Strickland appearance in that Google Blog search — though I suppose there’s no point in attempting to defend the indefensible.

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Previous Post:
- June 19 — Ted Strickland’s CAIR Appearance, and Ohio’s Snoozing Press

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UPDATE: Fred Thompson (link to audio here via Hot Air) –

….. CAIR’s spending is running about $3 million a year. They’ve opened 25 new chapters in major cities across the country even as their dues shrank to a pittance. The question is; who’s funding CAIR?

CAIR’s not saying. The New York Times earlier this year reported that the backing is from “wealthy Persian Gulf governments” including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Also see this Hot Air post about a now-not-available WashTimes article on what the paper found on CAIR’s not-for-profit tax return.

UPDATE 2: Joe C. at RAB recounts a history of ignored Ted Strickland stories that shouldn’t have been. I would add this one from just before the election last November — “Ted Strickland Channels, and Perhaps Hearts, Michael Moore,” where Ted tried to revive the long-ago-debunked claim (scroll to “Deceit Number 56″) that African-Americans and the disadvantaged are bearing a higher proportion of the country’s military burden.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (062107)

From the “Careful What You Wish For” Department — Those who think they stopped Wal-Mart from expanding its presence in the banking business by intimidating the FDIC were, as predicted, badly mistaken:

Wal-Mart on Wednesday announced that it will expand its in-store “MoneyCenters” to about 1,000 locations by 2008.

These MoneyCenters will offer customers access to low-cost services such as check cashing, money orders and money transfers.

Wal-Mart already operates 225 MoneyCenters and expects to more than double that number to cover a quarter of its stores by the end of 2008.

Underscoring its push into financial services, Wal-Mart is broadening its menu of financial products and services, beginning with the launch of the Wal-Mart MoneyCard, a reloadable prepaid Visa rolling out nationally with GE Money and Green Dot.

Wal-Mart said it expects the low-cost money services will “help meet the needs of the millions of [its] unbanked and underserved customers.”

Surely the Moneycenters’ services will expand beyond those indicated, under what is likely a less stringent regulatory framework. Maybe the company should send a thank-you note to those who stopped it at the FDIC. If it were anyone but Wal-Mart, those same activists would be sending thank-yous to the company for lowering costs to the unbanked. Instead, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re back in a couple of years accusing it of gouging.

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Shelly Lombard thinks Ford may be facing intermediate-term bankruptcy:

The only way for Ford to get there (to profitability) is through major concessions from The United Auto Workers union, Ms. Lombard wrote in a report.

“Without such changes we believe bankruptcy or some type of out-of-court restructuring may be inevitable, though not immediate of course since Ford has enough liquidity to last until 2012 or so, even at the current cash burn rate.”

Burn rate? I haven’t seen that term since the dot-com era.

I’m going to suggest that all the UAW concessions in the world may not save Ford if the company doesn’t deal with the American Family Association boycott (713,000 and counting).

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MLB can’t really stand for Major League Baseball, it has to mean Men Loony as Bats (the flying ones):

  • It’s trying to claim that watching a game you paid for on a Slingbox is illegal.
  • And MLB is still harassing fantasy leagues because they think they own the facts and other common items associated with the game, such as player names, stats, team logos, and the like (covered last year here [3rd item] and here [4th item]).

Keep it up, guys, and you’ll become the new NFL (No Fan League).

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Driving trucks no one else will drive?

An author and investigative journalist believes that, in an effort to ensure Mexican trucks will begin rolling across the U.S. on schedule, the Bush administration is pressing the Senate to not take action on a bill passed overwhelmingly in the House that essentially would block the project.

The issue is safety, or lack thereof, of the Mexican big rigs. Sorry — After the shenanigans over the simple concept of building a fence, I do not trust this administration to keep unsafe rigs off the roads.

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Peggy Noonan’s column last week on the illegal immigration situation isn’t perfect, but it had a two-paragraph compassionately conservative recommendation that should not be ignored:

We should close the border, pause, absorb what we have, and set ourselves to “patriating” the newcomers who are here. The young of AmeriCorps might help teach them English. Those reaching retirement age, who happen to be the last people in America who were taught and know American history, could help them learn the story of our country. We could, as a nation, set our minds to this.

We shouldn’t be disheartened. So much good could be done once a Great Pause begins, once the alarm is abated.

I would amend that, as I’m sure Noonan would, to allow anyone legally going through the immigration process to continue to do so. In working through the backlog, new citizenships will still take place at the rate of roughly a million a year for at least a few years. But for her idea to really work, the diversity divisiveness crowd would just have to lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way. I wish I could claim to be optimistic about that.

This Should Be Supported (Putting Repeal of Hamilton County Sales Tax Increase on the Ballot)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:04 am

I haven’t said anything yet about the sales tax increase in Hamilton County “for jail space.”

A similar sales tax effort was voted down last year, but in late May two of Hamco’s three commissioners voted one in anyway. The amount of money the sales tax will raise is about four times what is needed for jail space, but I am aware of no plans for offsetting tax relief.

COAST, (finally) doing what it’s supposed to do after almost two years in the wilderness of petty catfighting, is opposing the tax and supporting the repeal effort, as is lone dissenting commissioner Pat DeWine.

Their web site is WeDemandaVote.com. They have a vid up here. If you live in Hamco, be on the lookout for ballot petition signature-gatherers.

Even if you think the tax is a good idea, you should sign. After all, the voters rejected this tax already, and it should be up to the tax-happy commissioners to make their case to the voters as to why they (the voters) should somehow change their minds.

Positivity: ‘Miracle girl’ keeps beating the odds

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From West Nipissing, Ontario:

Three-time survivor eager for cancer fundraiser
Local News – Thursday, June 07, 2007 @ 08:00

People who think cancer research isn’t making any progress should look at Pat Giroux and the 186 people she will be walking with this weekend during the West Nipissing Relay for Life at Goulard Park.

Giroux, 60, is referred to by friends as the “miracle girl” after winning three battles against cancer. She has been beating the odds since she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 48.

“If I had to have cancer I thank God every day that he gave it to me at a time when my two boys were raised,” Giroux said from her West Nipissing home overlooking Lake Nipissing. “I’ve had a good 12 years since my first diagnosis and I’m determined to have another 12 good ones.”

Giroux, chairwoman of the survivor lap for the West Nipissing Relay for Life event and a member of the West Nipissing Red Hats, first learned she had cancer in 1995.

Go here for the rest of the story.