Tuesday, May 10

Shall We?

Ted officially announced his candidancy yesterday. Here is just a brief snippet of what he had to say:

Strickland blamed 15 years of Republicans in the governor's office for what he called an economic tailspin in the state.

``They have governed as if they are trying to get through the next week, the next month or the next year. They have had no vision,'' Strickland said in a telephone conference with Ohio reporters.

[...]

``I'm doing this because our great state is in desperate need of change,'' Strickland said. ``I feel that I can't stand by and just let that happen.''

Instead of me preaching to you why I think Ted should be the Democratic nominee and ultimately the Governor, which I will be doing for many months, here is what an editorial had to say in the Ohio University paper, The Post:
Strickland is equipped with a diverse range of skills that would allow him to work with both parties and appeal to voters across party lines. An advocate of veterans' rights, something of a political moderate and possessing a down-home American image, Strickland has the potential to swing votes from individuals that traditionally vote the Republican ticket, all the while maintaining the support of hard-line Democrats in the state. That fact is most clearly illustrated when considering that Strickland has been elected repeatedly in his Southeastern Ohio U.S. representative district, which is a politically diverse area -Athens County, a Democratic stronghold, is surrounded by several largely Republican counties.

Coin-Gate Aftermath

It seems as though the Ohio GOP has gotten away with another huge waste of the public's money. This time, if you haven't already heard, it's through "Coin-gate," first broke by the Toledo Blade. GOPers allowed their top contributor, Tom Noe, to invest over $50 million dollars (by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation) in a very risky rare-coin fund. Noe then went on to lose some of those rare-coins. Regardless of that fact, Coin-gate shows how the OGOP is willing to use the public's money recklessly and wastefully. Not only was the rare-coin fund extremely risky but it was also headed by Noe, a Bush Pioneer who was one of the largest contributors in the state. Anyone else think there is a little conflict of interest?

OGOP has announced that they're getting out of the coin business (via the Blade):

State officials yesterday said they are halting a controversial investment in two rare-coin funds controlled by Tom Noe, a prominent Toledo-area Republican fund-raiser and coin dealer.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced that it will dissolve the $50 million investment "over a reasonable period of time sufficient to protect the state's investment."

The agency did not say how long that would take.

"We had concerns about the ability of the managers to commit the necessary time and resources to make it profitable," said Jeremy Jackson, the bureau's press secretary.

Too bad all the damage has already been done. I mean, it took them this long to determine that it may not be profitable? Shouldn't they be doing that sort of research and work before the initial investment? I guess it was fine though, because a Republican was running the show. And we all know how well Republican's handle money in this state. They must have thought it was a guaranteed investment.

Undoubtedly, this leaves open a huge opportunity for every Democratic candidate for Governor, whether it be Ted or not, to pound away at the OGOP establishment in Ohio. It also is important for other 'down-ballot' nominees. Democrats have been given a unique opportunity in this state to completely crush a fumbling and inept Republican Party. Time to seize the opportunity.

Friday, May 6

A C.L.A.S.S. Act

Ted unveiled the Comprehensive Learning Assessment for Students and Schools (CLASS) Act in a speech this week. There can be little doubt that the education crisis, or more accurately Taft's complete inability to deal with the education crisis, will be one of the biggest issue's in the 2006 election. The CLASS Act is a sort of amendment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

The CLASS Act would reward schools with lots of students in Advanced Placement classes and low dropout rates. It would also allow schools to have more leeway in the number of students taking special needs classes or alternative classes. These two changes to NCLB are much needed to say the least. In my high school, there is only two AP courses. I went to college a lot less prepared than other students. It is frustrating to see so many kids in different districts with such a better education. Also, my high school had a limited number of classes for students with learning disabilities or special needs. NCLB allows only one percent of students to have access to have an alternative means of testing other than the profinency test. There were many more students than one percent -- which would only be eight students in my high school -- that required such an alternative means.

It's good to see Ted out there so early with an education plan. No, it's not a state education plan per se, but it definitely shows he wants to change things to meet the needs and desires of actual teachers, which is something President Bush seems unwilling to do.

Ted to Run!

Back in November when I started this blog, I had the intentions of morphing it into a site in support of my Congressman, Ted Strickland, when he decided to run for governor. I interned in his office in Boardman, OH in the Summer of 2004, when he was actively traveling across the state to weigh his options for a possible gubernatorial run and I thought he would run for sure. So, I made this site in hopes of supporting his run.

In January, Strickland announced that he would not run for Governor. The move was looked at as opening the door for fellow Congressman Sherrod Brown to run with Strickland's support. Brown has since rejected the opportunity to run. That allowed Strickland to reevaluate his chances in the gubernatorial race of this great state. After careful consideration, Strickland has informed Ohio Democrats (and the rest of the world) that he will indeed run for Governor of Ohio in 2006.

This site will now and for the rest of the future be bent towards supporting Congressman Strickland's run. However, I will cover all aspects of the Ohio Gubernatorial race, as I planned to all along. 2006 is the best possible opportunity for Democrats to reclaim a position which has alluded them for sixteen years. The law of averages tells us we have to win one of these times. With the close 2004 election results and the brutal pounding GOP candidates will take in the primary against each other, Democrats are poised to reclaim the Governor's mansion. I believe that Ted Strickland offers Democrats the best possible chance to do just that.

Watch this space in the future for many more updates about the race. And, Go Ted Go!

Saturday, December 4

Unhinged Democrats

Just when it seemed that Democrats could put up a good fight in Ohio with all the intraparty warfare going on inside the Republican camp, the Democrats have now started a fight with the last group they needed to -- themselves. Ohio Democrats are calling on Denny White, ODP Chairman, to step down immediately.

Quote of the month goes to Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairman Jimmy Dimora, as he said

How many times do we need to get our brains kicked in before we make a change?
You can't help but ask that question.

Tuesday, November 30

What Have They Been Up To?

This will be a weekly segment where I run down all the gubernatorial candidates and what they've been doing for the past week, if anything noteworthy, as they begin their ride to Columbus in 2006. There is a whole lot of action on the Republican side and the Democratic side still can't decide if they want to decide if they want to run for Governor.

Jim Petro - The Attorney-General has recently filed a suit against a Columbus drug manufacturer, claiming that the company overcharged consumers for certain drugs. Now, I'm not one to speculate, but this is a sound political move for Mr. Petro. Not only will it be in the news now and whenever the case goes to court, meaning he will get some exposure and air-time, but it also sends a symbol to Ohio that he is looking out for the "little guy" against the big, bad drug companies. This is also the second suit Petro has filed this year against a drug company. No offense to him, but this is definately some posturing for a run for Governor.

Kenneth Blackwell - Mr. Recount in the state of Ohio right now. As Keith Olbermann reports, Blackwell has come out against Jesse Jackson, who demanded a recount "on behalf" of Sen. Kerry, this week. The more you read on in the article, the more you can tell that ol' Kenny-boy is just trying to do nothing wrong, not exactly do everything right. He knows if he slips up during his time of national exposure, he will have no chance of beating Petro or Montgomery. Very smart moves by Blackwell in all, but that doesn't mean I agree with them completely.

All the other "candidates" have been rather silent. Cong. Strickland has been busy introducing legislation over in Washington, but whether or not that has anything to do with running for governor is a bit unforeseen at this point. All and all, a slow week for the gubernatorial race.

Sunday, November 28

Democratic Chances

Here is an editorial written earlier this year. Among the most staggering (and most correct) claims from the author is that

All things being equal, the next governor of Ohio should be a Democrat.

...

But there's something else these Republicans also know: Things are far from equal in Ohio, because the very same Democratic powers who will spend 2006 trying to end 16 years of Republican rule are utterly clueless as to how to get the job done.
This is perhaps the most frightening fact for Ohio Democrats: they haven't won in so long that they may not remember how. Everything else seems to be in their favor, but an organization which lead to the crushing defeat of their Senate candidate, Eric Fingerhut, to a vunerable George Voinovich, certainly does not seem poised to capture the Governor's Mansion in November 2006. There needs to be a drastic restructuring of the Ohio Democratic Party in order to get in touch with a state that hasn't had a Democratic leader since the 1980s.

Saturday, November 27

(More) Election Problems

There is a very good story that was posted a few days ago about all the problems with voting in Ohio on November 2nd. Money quote:

The unavoidable conclusion is that this year's election in Ohio was deeply flawed, that thousands of Ohioans were denied their right to vote, and that the ultimate vote count is very much in doubt.

Read the rest here. Undoubtedly, no matter what happens in Ohio, there will not be near enough votes to change the results. There is just no logical, or mathematical, way that Kerry could pick up the 135,000+ votes he needs by a recount or provisional ballots. That doesn't mean we shouldn't examine what went wrong in this election, however. No matter if it changes the results or not, making sure every vote has been counted is a very worth-while and noble cause. Besides, we all know what could happen in elections these days.

Welcome

Welcome to Destination: Columbus '06. This site is being created in the aftermath of the 2004 election in order to focus on the next big election in Ohio: the Gubernatorial race in 2006. Under the leadership of Governor Bob Taft (R) over the last eight years, Ohio has seen a shaky economy, spiraling budget deficits and a general downhill trend in education. The Statehouse in Columbus has also been rocked with scandals involving the ex-Speaker of the House, Larry Householder (R).

All of these issues, and much more, will be discussed as this site rolls along. As of this moment, no Democratic candidates have officially announced their intent to run. As for the Republicans, the leading contenders are widely believed to be Jim Petro, who made a sort of de facto announcement after Nov. 2, Kenneth Blackwell, and Betty Montgomery. They have moved up a sort of "cursus honorum" in Ohio politics and they all believe it is their turn to reside in the Governor's mansion.

This site is intended to remain rather non-partisan, although I will be honest and tell you that I am a registered Democrat. I will focus on directing you to news stories and then providing some sort of running commentary to them as they develop. I will also be posting biographies about each of the candidates and what pluses/minuses each brings to the table. I hope this will be an evolving process, but always feel free to comment on this website. Thanks so much ahead of time. Let's look forward to a race that has all the potential of being very close and highly controversial.