Friday, October 31, 2008

Ohioans Against Vote Fraud

Ohio bloggers are teaming up with Warner Todd Huston to highlight election issues from now until Tuesday ... or maybe after, depending on how the election goes.

If you'd like up-to-date information about what's going on around the state, be sure to read Ohioans Against Vote Fraud on a regular basis.

This is part of the Voter Integrity Project, a non-partisan project sponsored by the Sam Adams Alliance as part of its Sunshine on Elections effort. The purpose of the VIP project is for voters to come together to build information about vote fraud and vote suppression, in order to ensure a more fair, open, and democratic election process.

I am a contributor to this effort, as are many other bloggers in Ohio.

If you have an experience (good or bad) in voting that may fall under the category of 'vote fraud' or 'voter suppression,' please let me know.

Twitter: maggie82

Quote of the Day

(Friday FOIA will return after the election)

Columnist Thomas Sowell on the potential election of Sen. Barack Obama as president:

"Once the election is over, the glittering generalities of rhetoric and style will mean nothing."

Sowell's complete column.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brunner's ties to ACORN run long and deep

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has been fighting the verification of voter registrations and denying that vote fraud exists in Ohio.

(For a complete story of the fiascos that have plagued Ohio under her months in office, you can search this blog - link on the left - for 'Brunner.')

Throughout the various court battles and the directives and the calls for investigations of Republicans, but not of ACORN, everyone wondered just why it was she was turning a blind eye to obvious problems.

Some speculated that it was because some of these groups were part of her advisers - but now the evidence is clear.

An investigation into ACORN's alleged fraudulent election activity revealed yesterday that one of the national directors, Karyn Gillette, may have collaborated with the Obama campaign to raise funds for the group's voter registration efforts.

So what does this have to do with Brunner? Gillette is identified on Jennifer Brunner's 2006 campaign website as a consultant. A blog entry by Brunner's husband Rick talks about that relationship, saying: "our candidate had gone earlier in the day to have some meetings and work out of Karyn Gillette's office." He also describes Gillette as "very helpful to the campaign."

According to campaign finance reports that were filed, Gillette was paid $21,250 by Brunner's campaign. She has a longtime history of serving as a fundraising consultant to Ohio Democrats.

An ACORN whistle blower testified in a Pennsylvania state court that "in November 2007 Project Vote development director Karyn Gillette told her she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists." Project Vote is the voter registration arm of ACORN. (Wall Street Journal, 10/29/08)

But that's not all. Gillette is not Brunner's only tie to ACORN. Members of the group's voter registration arm, Project Vote, regularly advise Brunner on election strategy, previously serving on her Voter Rights Institute and even recently issuing a news release claiming credit for Brunner's directive banning challenges to suspected fraudulent voter registrations.

So our Secretary of State shares a campaign advisor with ACORN, takes direction from ACORN's voter registration arm, and refuses to verify over 200,000 mismatched registrations while claiming there is no voter fraud going on in Ohio...and that attention to such frivolous issues distracts her from doing her job.

And then there was more bad news for Brunner. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission announced on Wednesday that it intends to suspend SysTest Laboratories, the company hired by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to study Ohio's electronic voting system. (Read the USEAC release here.)

The commission said in a news release that the planned suspension is due to numerous non-conformities, including failure to create and validate test methods, improper documentation of testing and unqualified personnel.

Secretary Brunner spent $1.7 million to hire SysTest in September of 2007 for a comprehensive study of Ohio's electronic voting machines, which would later be called EVEREST. The Columbus Dispatch accused Brunner of "overreacting" to the report, arguing "the unfortunate consequence of the study is that conspiracy theorists will renew their claims that Ohio's elections are inherently untrustworthy. That's simply not the case." (Columbus Dispatch, "Don't rush to judgment," 12/16/2007)

Voters are already concerned about the validity of votes in Ohio. Maybe we should start worry about how to replace our Secretary of State.

Election Day Video Contest

I've written about Ballotpedia and I hope you've been able to take advantage of the Ohio Issues page and the listing of endorsements.

Their Voter Integrity Project is hosting an Election Day Contest:

Election Day is fast approaching. With 130 million voters, we can expect potential chaos—including election fraud. Political forces across the ideological spectrum have been documented committing significant vote fraud and voter suppression. These illegal activities effectively negate your vote, along with the voices of countless of other Americans.

For this reason the Sam Adams Alliance has launched a video contest to document this year's election fraud. Working together, we will raise awareness in future elections.

Please spread news about the contest through your networks. Forward this message to former interns, employees, and everyone you know that plans to cast a vote next Tuesday.

Video promo here
For details on the contest, click here.

HOPE ON - Let's never find out

I've been remiss in sharing with you the HOPE-ON posts based upon the videos.

#7 Trust: Weapons of Mass Discussion, Who can you trust? Obama and Ayers, or the Facts?

#8 Middle Class: One Oar in the Water, Middle Class

#9 Not This Time: American Experience US, Obama can rob America of its moment of greatness

#10 Taxes: Boring Made Dull, Will you be allowed to keep the change?

Previous Posts — Part 1 (Obama “Part of the Problem” on Fan and Fred); Part 2 (”Energy”); Part 3 (”Punished”); Part 4 (”Number One”); Part 5 (”Earmarks”); Part 6 (’The Chicken Button’ and the Chicken Who Pushed It).

This post is part of the HOPE ON Project (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now).

Ohio Attorney General says merger donation was illegal

The Sylvania Township Trustees requested an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General regarding donations made by the Sylvania Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to the OneSylvania merger issue.

The Trustees had two questions - what happens if one of the township representatives named on the merger committee to be created no longer resides in the township at the time the issue is voted upon, and whether or not campaign contributions from the CIC are allowed.


No. 2008-035. Requested by Sylvania Township Law Director Truman A. Greenwood. SYLLABUS:

1. If a person is named as a candidate for township representative in a petition for a merger study commission that is submitted to the electors under R.C. 709.45 and, prior to the election, the candidate ceases to be a resident of the unincorporated are of the township, the candidate lacks the residency qualification required to serve in the position of township member of the merger study commission if the creation of the commission is approved by the electors. The board of township trustees has no authority to appoint a replacement candidate prior to the election, but if the creation of a commission is approved by the electors, the election of a township candidate who does not reside in the unincorporated area of the township will automatically create a vacancy on the commission to be filled by the board of township trustees under R.C. 709.46(B).

2. A community improvement corporation that is established under R.C. Chapter 1724 and receives financial support from a municipal corporation and a township does not have authority to contribute funds or other resources to an entity established to support or oppose a ballot issue relating to the proposed merger of the municipal corporation and township.

Sylvania CIC donated $4,000 to OneSylvania in the early stages of the initiative when they were hiring an attorney to draft the petition language; an additional $10,000 in September to promote passage of the issues; and promised another $5,000 in matching funds to OneSylvania if they raised more than the initial $10,000 contribution.

The Sylvania CIC executive committee does not meet until after the election. They were provided a copy of the AG opinion which they forwarded to their attorney.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ohio vote costs woman her job

According to the Times Herald Records, Amy Little was fired by Congressman John Hall (D-Dover Plains) after he learned she is/was embroiled in voter fraud investigations in Ohio. She was one of his long-time campaign advisers.

Little is one of the Vote Today Ohio organizers identified as a potential fraudulent voter by

From the article:

Little has been a registered Democrat in New York since 1991, and Ulster County election officials said she voted in the party primary here in February.

But in October, Little registered to vote in Ohio. On her registration paperwork, she indicated she moved from her home at 142 Guilford Schoolhouse Road in New Paltz to a place at 1979 N. 4th St. in Columbus, near Ohio State University.
Franklin County Board of Elections officials said four people, including Little, registered from Vote Today Ohio’s address in October, just before the state’s deadline. Little requested an absentee ballot, which election officials said she has submitted.
Rep. Hall’s campaign isn’t waiting for a verdict. The freshman congressman, who’s running for re-election in the 19th district, heard about Little’s problems Tuesday. “The moment we heard about it, her campaign consulting contract was terminated,” said Campaign Director, Susan Spear.

Hall's campaign paid Little $11,139 in consulting and travel fees over the last nine months. The payments were sent to her New Paltz address.

H/T Warren Throckmorton

Leftist plan to suppress votes: make the lines longer

This link was sent to me by a friend who wondered just what kind of person it takes to think this way.

In summary - Larry L. Burks, a poster a Democratic Underground, is suggesting that people who've already voted go and stand in line on election day, reasoning that if the lines are long, voters won't stick around to cast their ballots. The clincher? Do this in REPUBLICAN dominated polling areas.

Don't believe me? Here's what he wrote:

"Here are the rules.

You can only vote ones. It's the law of the land.

But there is nothing in the rule book that says that you can't wait in line for a long time and you can do it as many times as you like. It's fun. Some people really like it. Some people stand in lines so that they can meet other people. And talk.

If you spread your self out. It makes the line look twice as long.

This means that if have voted early. Or you vote early on election day.

You have got your vote in.

If you go to where you know that only Republicans live there.

That there are only Republicans waiting in line to vote.

If you go to one of these polling places. The people that turn around and go home will be Republicans.

This is fair play. Flood the Republican polling places on Election Day with people waiting in line.

Jam The Republicans polling places come election day.

There are a lot more of us than there is of them.

What am I asking you to do is.

Go to the city's suburbs. This is where they live. This is where they live in those 250,000 houses, and drive Cadillac and Humvee to work ever day. You know where there at. Find out where they go to vote at. Where their poling places are at.

Vote once. Vote early.

Go to where all of the Republicans vote at and Stand in line long and often. Stand in line long and often. And stand In line long and often. Make it an all day a fair. A all day sucker.

From sun up. To sun down. Kind of like protesting for all the crooked things that they have done to us over the past eight years.

An all day protest. The type of protest that really works. The type of protest that get results. It's the only kind of protest that works.

Ever time that you get to the front of the line.

You look down at your watch. The say. " Oh My! I left a cake backing in the oven at home. And I don't want it to burn. I've got to go home now. By all."

" I've been waiting in this dam line for five hours. I've got to go to the bath room". And leave.

Walk around the block. To the end of the line. And get back in the line again.

The trick is to make the line look as if it's going to take eight hours to get to the front.

The good thing about all of this is. You don't even have to be a registered voter to stand in line.

All of you people that got kicked off the registered voters list. Illegally.

It's pay back time."

And Democrats say Republicans try to suppress the vote! Democrats and Republicans and Independents should all repudiate such suggestions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Records clerk faces discipline over running Joe the Plumber records

Just in from Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre


Michael J. Navarre, Chief of Police

Toledo Police Records Clerk, Julie McConnell, has been charged with “Gross Misconduct” for allegedly making an improper inquiry into a state database in search of information pertaining to Samuel Wurzelbacher on October 16, 2008.

The record inquiry was made for a non-law enforcement purpose, which is a violation of both department policy and state policy governing the use of the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) database.

Clerk McConnell was hired by the Toledo Police Department in April 1995. She is assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau and is a member of AFSCME Local 7.

Consistent with the bargaining agreement, a disciplinary hearing will be scheduled within the next ten days on a date and time mutually agreed upon by the City AFSCME Local 7.

No word on WHO she ran the records for...but we know it was for a member of the media.

ACORN owes millions in taxes is reporting that ACORN owes millions in taxes and has numerous liens as a result. Tell me again why this organization gets federal funds?????

"An intrepid researcher has discovered more than 200 tax liens totaling more than $3.7 million have been filed by the government against the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now for unpaid taxes since the late eighties.

A tax lien is issued when a person or organization fails to pay taxes and that tax debt is considered seriously delinquent. A lien is only issued after the government makes several unsuccessful attempts to collect the debt.

The conservative-leaning Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum found a staggering number of liens listed against ACORN’s national headquarters at 1024 Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana while conducting an exhaustive investigation of ACORN's history and current activities.

“I took that address and plugged it into Nexis and did a public records search for tax liens,” Vadum said. “At least 230 tax liens corresponded to ACORN’s address and they were all from ACORN’s shadowy network of affiliates.”

The liens filed against ACORN and their associated groups come from the Internal Revenue Service and government officials in fifteen different states.

75 of the 230 tax liens appear to have been “released,” meaning the full debt was paid or a negotiated payment was made for the debt. The rest are outstanding. "

Media made request for Joe the Plumber's records, Toledo mayor admits

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner admitted yesterday that a member of the media made the request of the Toledo Police Department for Joe 'the Plumber' Wurzelbacher's records, NewsTalk 1370 WSPD is reporting. The comments were made in response to questions during an unrelated press conference.

Finkbeiner did not say which news outlet, nor which reporter, made the request. He also did not identify the individual who ran the report.

As I've explained, accessing the LEADS computer data is a serious violation that can result in internal discipline, criminal charges and even loss of access for the law enforcement agency. Having overseen access to LEADS as the Clerk of Toledo Municipal Court, I know for a fact that Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre knows who ran the report, when and where.

The sad part about this incident is that records from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and all court records are public and can be obtained through regular public records requests, so there was no need to ask someone in the Police Department to violate rules and state law in order to get the information. The only advantage to having the LEADS report over the public records would be the speed with which it could be obtained.

But this certainly raises questions about how often this same media outlet or reporter has made similar requests in the past - and how they've used the data they obtained.

In related news: The director of the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelly, told the Columbus Dispatch that she approved a check on Wurzelbacher just after the Oct. 15 presidential debate to see whether he was current on child support payments.

She says there were no political reasons behind the decision, stating that the department often runs such checks on people - like when they win the lottery. That's a completely different matter, in which winnings can be taken to pay any back chid support that might be owed. A mention during a political debate should NOT result in a query, especially because at the time of the mention, there was nothing to indicate Joe was even married, or divorced, or had kids or even owed child support.

As for the approval not being political? According to, Helen Jones-Kelley made the maximum donation of $2,300 to the Barack Obama presidential campaign on July 31, 2008.

H/T Riehl World

Monday, October 27, 2008

Move over Joe - reporters are the new targets of the left

If you've been following the issues of voter registration verification and voter fraud in Ohio on my blog, you'll recognize the names Tiffany Wilson and Shelby Holliday as reporters for, a college broadcast news service.

They've done tremendous work investigating and exposing out-of-state campaign workers who registered and cast ballots in Ohio, even though they are not eligible to do so. As a result of their inquiries, some of the ineligible voters have withdrawn both their registrations and ballots - but not all have done so.

Since posting the proof of voter fraud, there have been numerous searches on the individual names of these potentially fraudulent voters that ended up on my blog. The Ohio Democrat Party, and its supporters, seem to find my posts on voter fraud particularly interesting, as my tracking shows that they accessed these posts from emails they've received. And they're not taking the exposure well.

According to Greta Van Susteren's blog, GretaWire, these intrepid college reporters are being threatened by one of Sen. Barack Obama's campaign lawyers.

From the post:

So what is the students’ reward for exposing crime??? An intimidating letter from the Senator Obama campaign lawyer to one of the students?? See below and then you tell me…

From: Rosenberg, Thomas
Date: Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 2:32 PM
Subject: At least in today’s blog you spelled my last name right
To: tiffany

In other words, I am going to read what you write and watch what you say. Hopefully you will be fair and impartial as you told me you would be.

Thomas L. Rosenberg
Roetzel & Andress, LPA

Columbus, OH 43215

and then there is this…a blogger on the Daily Kos I am told…investigating the student journalists???

and then there is this email below that was emailed to…WHO IS INVESTIGATING TIFFANY WILSON? and her “crime” is exposing crime???? huh??? WHO IS JOE KNAPP? PLEASE RESEARCH AND POST!

Subject: Attn: Tiffany Wilson


I’ve been looking into temporary residents registering to vote in
Ohio, and came across a _______ in _____ where four
voters are registered, one of whom Tiffany Wilson, your reporter, who
has returned an absentee ballot in Columbus. Is she a permanent
resident of Columbus?

Joe Knapp

Rather than address the fact that some people supportive of Obama have registered and voted incorrectly, these Obama campaign workers want to demonize the individuals who've exposed them. Just like Joe the Plumber who, in asking a simple question of a presidential candidate who came into his neighborhood to campaign, ended up with various government agencies running illegal background checks on him.

Joe Knapp, as indicated above, seems inclined to challenge whether or not Tiffany Wilson is properly registered to cast a ballot in Ohio, since she's a student here. But Knapp had better be careful about going that route, considering the vast number of Ohio students liberal organizations have registered. If Wilson's not a valid Ohio voter, then none of those ACORN-registered students would be either...

The scary part of this whole scenario is the penchant for those on the left to attack the individuals sharing the truth with people. Silly me - I thought that's what the media was supposed to do.

To Tiffany and Shelby: keep up the good work! You know you're getting to them when they start attacking you personally. Also remember that when logic and reason no longer can support their positions, they resort to a personal attack. You two, and the rest of the reporters, are doing a great job!

Obama's definition of 'spread the wealth'

If you've wondered just what Sen. Barack Obama meant when he used the term 'spread the wealth,' this will answer your questions.

It's a radio interview Obama did in 2001 on Chicago public radio station WBEZ FM, but it's not being covered by the main stream media - and we no longer need to speculate why.

From the article:

"Speaking of the Warren Court its interpretation of the Constitution during the Civil Rights movement, Obama said, "It wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. At least as it's been interpreted and more important interpreted in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; says what the states can't do to you, what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the state government or federal government must do on your behalf."

Actually, it does. The federal government must provide for the common defense, a military to provide and ensure National Security. The "essential constraints" placed into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers was to ensure a limited government, not a pervasive and massive federal government providing all things to all people.

Obama laments in the interview that the Warren Supreme Court failed to reinterpret the Constitution to read into it what was not there: Redistribution of wealth for "political and economic justice in this society.""

For all the criticisms from the left about the right 'jumping to conclusions' and with their contortions in trying to defend Obama and his comments, I just don't see any defense to this recording, as there is no misinterpretation of his own, extended, explanation about redistribution.

The man actually believes it's a civil right to take from people who have things and give to people who don't - and to use the force of government to do so. And he seems to believe that this is inherent in the U.S. Constitution. What's also scary, to me, is not just that he believes it and is running on such a platform for the highest office in the country, but that he teaches/taught this as a law professor and the people of this country are embracing it.

Tom at BizzyBlog provides the following transcript:

OBAMA: You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the courts, I think where it succeeded was to get formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples -- so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order, and as long as I was able to pay for it I'd be OK. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted. And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.

..... Karen (Caller): The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn't terribly radical with economic changes. My question is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place?

Host: You mean the courts?

Karen: The courts, or would it be legislation at this point?

Obama: Maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. Y'know, the institution just isn't structured that way.

You look at very rare examples where during the desegregation era where the court, for example, was willing to, for example, order changes that cost money to local school districts, and the court was very uncomfortable with it. It was hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, y'know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.

The court's just not very good at it, and politically it's very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So, I mean, I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, y'know I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts. .....

State and local ballot issues

As the election is next week, I wanted to let you know of several websites that may be of interest as you consider the issues that will appear on the 2008 ballot.

We'll start local with the issue of the proposed study committee for the merger of Sylvania Township and the City of Sylvania. Proponents have establish the OneSylvania website. Opponents have named their website StopSylvaniaMerger. The City of Sylvania council has endorsed the merger study. The Sylvania Township Trustees have opposed the measure.

For the state-wide issues, you'll find no better source that Ballotpedia, which has a hub for Ohio, and includes a page on the 2008 ballot measures. The ballot measures page includes a listing of all the measures, including those that didn't make the ballot, and the laws on how initiatives and referendums are placed on the ballot. Clicking on the title of each issue will take you to a page detailing the measure and what opponents and proponents say about it.

Additionally, there is an endorsement page listing both media, blogger and organization recommendations on the Ohio issues.

Since this is a wiki, it is open for updating by anyone, so if you'd like to add a blogger or newspaper endorsement to the list - or provide additional information on the measures, please do so.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voter Fraud: here's the evidence!

According to Tiffany Wilson at, Barack Obama campaign worker Zachary Cafritz registered to vote in Ohio on September 9, 2008 and he cast an early absentee ballot on October 4, 2008 in Franklin County.

He listed an Ohio address, but he is not the owner of that property. He does, however, own a "a nearly million dollar property within the Beltway" that he bought in February.

Wilson further documents the other Obama staffers who have not withdrawn their ballots and registrations, despite instructions from the campaign to do so.

"Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien sent a letter to each campaign reminding them that no one is entitled to register or vote in Ohio unless they are an Ohio resident. According to the Ohio Revised Code, an Ohio resident must live in the state for at least 30 days before the election and must also intend to remain in Ohio after the election.

Prompted by the letter, 13 Ohio Obama employees pulled their registration and ballots in Franklin County on Thursday. Included among the 13 were three spokespeople for the Obama campaign: Tom Reynolds, Olivia Alair and Isaac Baker. When I spoke with Tom Rosenberg, an attorney for the Obama campaign in Ohio, he said the rest of the 700 Ohio campaigners were instructed to act in accordance with Ohio law. I interpreted this to mean that all Obama employees who had registered in Ohio without the intent to live in Ohio after the election were instructed to withdraw their ballots.

This doesn't seem to be the case.

Yesterday, I found six more members of Obama's Ohio staff who registered and in some cases already voted in Franklin County. I contacted the Franklin County Board of Elections to see if they pulled their ballots. They did not. The individuals in question are Zachary Cafritz, Jay Tucker, David Muehlenkamp, Quentin James, Max Blachman and Stephanie Speirs."

Vote From Home staffers also did not withdraw their ballots.

"The three founders of Vote Today Ohio, an independent get-out-the-vote organization supporting Barack Obama, have not withdrawn their ballots either. Amy Little, Yolanda Hippensteele and Tate Hausman all registered and voted using a 1979 N. Fourth Ave., Columbus address. Hausman owns an apartment and has a wife in New York. Little is from Poughkeepsie and when I visited their address on Friday, a woman said she was out of town. Previously, a NY Post reporter called Little's Poughkeepsie address and a child answered saying Little would return "home" on Thursday. Hippsensteele recently moved from Massachusetts to East Bay, California for a job with Free Press."

Wilson also checked with the John McCain Campaign:

"No Ohio McCain campaigners have withdrawn their ballots. "We have consulted with elections officials and have written them to confirm that our staff meet all requirements of Ohio law and are legally registered to vote in the state," said Jon Seaton, McCain-Palin Regional Campaign Manager."

So we've got clear evidence of individuals who have come to Ohio on a temporary basis, have no intention of staying in the state past the election and its certification, who have homes and families in other states, who have registered and who have cast a ballot. Today, the boards of elections start separating the ballot envelope from the identification envelope, which means that after separated, these individuals can still be prosecuted for voting illegally, but there is no way to separate out their vote and not have it count.

Gov. Ted Strickland has stated that he would not support election reform legislation because he lacked evidence of fraudulent activity:

"If there are problems that can be documented and supported with evidence, I welcome those to be brought to me. But what I am aware of is a lot of talk about potential fraud or inappropriate behavior. But I really haven't seen any evidence that we should have any reason to question the reliability... of our election system." (Columbus Dispatch, 10/22/08)

"There is no evidence of voter fraud in Ohio and it offends me, quite frankly, that even some of the leaders within the Republican Party now are attempting to convey that impression in their criticism of Secretary Brunner and our voting system." (Gongwer News Service, 10/17/08)

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner previously suggested evidence of election fraud in Ohio did not exist:

"There are a number of, basically, allegations that don't have any evidence to support them. There's much more conjecture than anything else." (MSNBC, 10/9/08)

Here's your evidence, Brunner and Strickland - now what are you going to do about it?

UPDATE: H/T from Brian at

"In Ohio we can't use government computers to check the ID of voters, but we can use them to investigate the personal history of someone in Toledo who asks Obama a revealing question.

This is just a taste of our future."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who at TPD ran Joe the Plumber's records?

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that several state databases may have been accessed illegally to obtain information on 'Joe the Plumber,' including one through the Toledo Police Department.

"The State Highway Patrol, which administers the Law Enforcement Automated Data System in Ohio, asked Toledo police to explain why it pulled BMV information on Wurzelbacher within 48 hours of the debate, Hunter said.

The LEADS system also can be used to check for warrants and criminal histories, but such checks would not be reflected on the records obtained by The Dispatch.

Sgt. Tim Campbell, a Toledo police spokesman, said he could not provide any information because the department only had learned of the State Highway Patrol inquiry today."

As the former Clerk of Toledo Municipal Court I was responsible for my office and employees' access of the LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) program. I was also a certified user. I can tell you that the restrictions on when and how it is used are limited and specific - and using it in an illegal manner is not only a criminal offense, it can result in an entire agency losing access to the system.

LEADS gives users access to multiple sources of data. It's used by law enforcement, courts and prosecutors across the state to inquire on information about driving records, vehicle ownership and outstanding warrants. Through the LEADS connections to other agencies, users can review drivers license images, past criminal histories or parole status. LEADS also serves as the gateway to the National Crime Information Center, (NCIC). Through NCIC, LEADS users have access to the same information on a national and international level.

Individuals having access to LEADS have to take a periodic test - the first question of which was always about proper use of the system. From the LEADS manual:

Data accessed through LEADS, NCIC, NLETS and other intra-state systems is restricted to the use of duly authorized law enforcement and/or criminal justice agencies and is not to be sold, transmitted or disseminated to any non-law enforcement agency, non-criminal justice agency or unauthorized person. Participating agencies have assumed responsibility for system security and integrity when they execute the LEADS participation agreement (LEADS Administrative Rule 4501:2-10-13).

Audit trails of all activity through the system are maintained for six years. Those audit trails are extremely detailed and identify the agency, the actual computer terminal, the user, the date/time, and the specific activity. While checks on warrants and criminal histories were not part of the public record available to The Dispatch, such activity was captured and included in the audit - and is known to the State Highway Patrol, who oversee the system, and to the Toledo Police Department now that's they've been made aware of the query.

The identify of the person who accessed the data is known and whoever it is should be held accountable. Additionally, I expect TPD will also want to know with whom the information was shared and how any other people might have used the data, including if it was used for a political purpose.

Having worked with TPD Chief Mike Navarre, I am confident this violation will be taken seriously and any unauthorized access will be appropriately punished. I call on him to share with the public what he finds out in his internal investigation and what action, if any, he takes.

HOPE ON #6 - Chicken Button

This is the sixth part of the HOPE ON project with help from

Leadership requires the ability to make a decision.

To register a vote in the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers have a choice of three buttons on their desk. The "yes" button is green. The "no" button is red, and the "present" button is yellow, says Rich Miller, who writes and publishes The Capitol Fax, a daily newsletter and blog on Illinois politics.

"There's a saying in Springfield that there's a reason why the present button is yellow," Miller says. (source)

Chicken Button Video Transcript:

MAN: Senator Obama, you tell us you’re ready to lead America? Why didn’t you choose to lead Illinois? Do you remember the three buttons that were in front of you in the Senate? The green button for Yes, the red button for No, and the one you used one hundred and twenty nine times: the “Chicken Button”. Why, Senator, were you so consistently afraid to take a stand?

ANNOUNCER: What happens when we elect a Senator who loves the Chicken Button? Please, America, let’s never find out.

During his speech announcing his run for president, Obama said:

"What's stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics - the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions,"

That's what he said. What he did is a bit different. According to the New York Times, as an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama voted 'present' 130 times.

"An examination of Illinois records shows at least 36 times when Mr. Obama was either the only state senator to vote present or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way."

Interestingly, many of the votes were politically sensitive. At times, Obama was the only lawmaker voting "present" on bills winning near unanimous support, even on issues he supported and on one he actually sponsored.

His record shows a number of occasions when Obama avoided making hard choices - on votes that reflect the officeholder's core values.

For example, in 1997, Obama voted "present" on two bills (HB 382 and SB 230) that would have prohibited a procedure often referred to as partial birth abortion. He also voted "present" on SB 71, which lowered the first offense of carrying a concealed weapon from a felony to a misdemeanor and raised the penalty of subsequent offenses.

In 1999, Obama voted "present" on SB 759, a bill that required mandatory adult prosecution for firing a gun on or near school grounds. The bill passed the state Senate 52-1. Also in 1999, Obama voted "present" on HB 854 that protected the privacy of sex-abuse victims by allowing petitions to have the trial records sealed. He was the only member to not support the bill.

In 2001, Obama voted "present" on two parental notification abortion bills (HB 1900 and SB 562), and he voted "present" on a series of bills (SB 1093, 1094, 1095) that sought to protect a child if it survived a failed abortion. In his book, the Audacity of Hope, on page 132, Obama explained his problems with the "born alive" bills, specifically arguing that they would overturn Roe v. Wade. But he failed to mention that he only felt strongly enough to vote "present" on the bills instead of "no."

And finally in 2001, Obama voted "present" on SB 609, a bill prohibiting strip clubs and other adult establishments from being within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, and daycares.

If Obama had taken a position for or against these bills, he would have pleased some constituents and alienated others. Instead, the Illinois legislator-turned-U.S. senator and, now, Democratic presidential hopeful essentially took a pass.

Obama and his campaign defend the 'present' votes as being due to concerns about certain provisions of the bill or questions about constitutionality. But a 'no' vote would have worked just as well - except it wouldn't have given him political cover.

In the White House, there isn't a yellow button, but there is something similar. A president can decide to do nothing, but that's not leadership and such lack of decisiveness can result in disastrous consequences. This is not something I want to risk, so let's never find out.

HOPE ON #5 - Pork

With the fifth installment of the HOPE ON project ( focused on pork, it's no surprise to find Porkopolis taking on the subject of Obama on Earmarks.

Mario provides all the details and the documentation of Sen. Barack Obama's requests for spending and then highlights the hypocrisy when the candidate "conveniently called for a hiatus on earmarks during the Presidential campaign."

Haven't we had enough of presidents who say one thing during a campaign only to have them do another once they're in office? Let's never find out if we'll suffer the same fate under Obama.

Friday, October 24, 2008

UPDATED: Another filing deadline missed by Lucas County GOP

Despite their objections to deadlines being missed by their predecessors, it appears our current Lucas County Republican Party leadership has the same problem. Not only did they fail to file the proper paperwork to place Jan Scotland on the ballot, but yesterday they missed their campaign finance report deadline.

Pre-election campaign finance reports were due by 4 p.m. yesterday. However, the LCRP didn't file their report until 4:30, according to the file stamp time.

Additionally, they report only $2,000 raised from a single donor and no expenditures, though Board of Elections staff said they were planning to file an amended report listing their expenses. Kelly Bensman and Jon Stainbrook indicated that their expenses were less than $1,000 and were not required to be reported.

More to follow...

I've had a chance to go through the Ohio Revised Code regarding the rules for political parties. My question had to do with the fact that the LCRP did not file a report of their expenditures. My recollection was that either spending or receipting $1,000 prompted the requirement that a complete finance report needed to be filed.

Here's what I found:

Ohio Administrative Code 111-5-04

(2) If, from the last statement filed through the twentieth day before the election, a political action committee, political contributing entity, political party, or legislative campaign fund made any expenditures to influence the results of an election and received one thousand dollars or more in contributions or made one thousand dollars or more in expenditures, then that political action committee, political contributing entity, political party, or legislative campaign fund is required to file the preelection statement required under division (A)(1) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code.

(emphasis added)

So, if the LCRP , as a political party under Ohio law, made any expenditure to influence an election AND received $1,000 or more in contributions, they needed to file the a statement as described in ORC 3517.10.

ORC 3517.10 states:

3517.10 Statements of campaign contributions and expenditures.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every campaign committee, political action committee, legislative campaign fund, political party, and political contributing entity that made or received a contribution or made an expenditure in connection with the nomination or election of any candidate or in connection with any ballot issue or question at any election held or to be held in this state shall file, on a form prescribed under this section or by electronic means of transmission as provided in this section and section 3517.106 of the Revised Code, a full, true, and itemized statement, made under penalty of election falsification, setting forth in detail the contributions and expenditures, not later than four p.m. of the following dates:

(1) The twelfth day before the election to reflect contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the last previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the twentieth day before the election;

(emphasis added)

I'm not an election law attorney, but it seems to me that the LCRP was required to provide a listing of their expenditures, no matter how much they totaled because they've obviously expended some funds to influence and election AND they admit to receiving $2,000 in contributions.

I will check back with the BOE to see when their file their amended report and will share with you what it says.

Fall sunrises are the best

It's a Friday - time for something in a sunrise! This was the scene that greeted me this morning.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Toledo schools making robo calls in Wisconsin?


On Tuesday, I received an email from a person in La Crosse, Wisconsin, who found my post about Toledo Public School children being forced to fill out a pro-levy campaign post card. He ended up on my blog because I included information about the Committee for Schools and their treasurer, Angela Jordan.

He wrote:

"This comment is being left in hopes that Maggie Thurber will pick up on it and give the lovely (scarcasm) Angela Jordan, Treasurer, Committee for Schools a call and ask her just what the heck is going on. I live in La Crosse, WI and for the last two or three days I have had multiple msgs left on my answering machine by what sounds like a young person (hard to understand) that keeps telling me to vote for issue 7 on March 4 (WHAT YEAR?) and blah, blah, blah.......... Isn't that intelligent! Paid for by Committee for Schools, Angie Jordan, Treasurer.

While this may be a mistake, (and it appears that it may be a BIG ONE). as this message was left on my answering machine a minimum of 10 times today. It comes through as a unknown name and unknown number. While I hope to try and contact her myself to see what is up, or get her home number and call her 10 times a day too and see how she likes it.

Thanks for letting me vent and giving me a possible place to contact her."

As part of the clarification I asked for, he responded:

"Yes, I live in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and yes it has been basically non-stop robo calls for three days from the Committee for Schools, Angie Jordan, Treasurer. I have not a clue on anything, other than I found this organization and her name on the net, and in your article.

To the best of my knowledge there is nothing called an "issue 7" for us to vote on this November, but remember their message is saying vote "March 4". What year? I did just place a call to the Clerks office and was told there is nothing to vote on this November that is called issue 7.

Anything you may find out to stop these calls (if they are sponsored by her Committee) is appreciated."

I did some checking and verified that TPS did have a levy issue on our March 4 primary ballot - and it was Issue 7. So I provided the TPS phone number and email for Jordan to him and asked him to keep me posted on his efforts to get the phone calls to stop. This morning, I received this email:

"I did try and call the numbers on your web page to reach Angela, however, apparently nobody was there to answer the telephone, or wouldn't. At least I only received one message yesterday on the subject.

On my way into work this morning there was a little blip on one of our local radio stations (link below) about this matter and apparently our school board also has determined that this robo call was on an issue in Toledo, OH.

Not only was it irritating to receive the same messages multiple times (more than 10 times in one evening alone), and having no one to contact to tell them to fix their error, we do have a school board referendum to vote on here this November that may be pretty tight because one was just recently voted down and they are back at it again. People apparently were thinking that this was in support of our school referendum. This is a college town where students get to vote and are encouraged to vote yes on an issue that is directly related to our already TOO HIGH property taxes.

Anyway, I still plan on trying to call her, and hopefully will get through at some point.

If this is truly out of TPS, I hope it makes national news. BOZOs.

I thank you for your assistance and enjoy the beautiful day!"

Here is the text from the radio blurb he referenced:

October 22, 2008 by Mitch

Superintendent: Not Our Calls

Heard those automated campaign calls? Irritated a little? Some have been plenty annoyed by calls asking for a yes vote on a pro-school measure in March. Apparently some technical screw-up involving Century Tel. But also something that's led to irritated calls to La Crosse schools superintendent Jerry Kembers office. He says, the calls have nothing to do with an upcoming referendum. The calls apparently originate from Toledo, Ohio. Originally placed on behalf of a school issue in that district in advance of a ballot measure this past spring.

TPS, Committee for Schools, and anyone else who might have control over this - I hope you're not being charged for these robo calls in Wisconsin - and maybe you can get them to stop.

Blackeye State

"Welcome to Ohio - where a voter-fraud brush fire is making the Buckeye State into the Blackeye State, thanks to Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner."

That's what Peter Bronson writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer article, "Blackeye State, thanks to Brunner," and then he details why.

And if the court cases and voter registration verification problems weren't enough, our partisan Secretary of State has issued her 100th directive - and she's not even finished with her 10th month in office.

"Jennifer Brunner has every elections official in the state swimming in red tape," said Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine in a press release. "One of the major newspapers called her a micro-meddler several months ago. She's been out to prove it ever since."

Brunner's latest round of micro-management instructs election administrators on what to do with absentee ballots cast by voters whose registrations don't match up with federal and state databases.

"This is the same mismatch information Brunner has so far failed to provide to county election administrators," said DeWine. "At this point she's telling elections officials what to do with information she hasn't even provided them. Until she releases the 200,000 questionable registrations on file in her office, this directive is worthless."

By comparison, Brunner's predecessor, Ken Blackwell, had only issued 42 directives by October 25, 2004, the first presidential election with the new voting machines.

But the reason she's doing this all for the local boards of elections:

"My first concern is for the boards of elections because they are on the ground, in the trenches, doing the work with the voters, and if i have to be the lightning rod for the boards of elections so they can be left alone undisturbed, then so be it." (Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, 10/17/08)

Sadly, the only time Brunner has left Ohio's election officials alone and undisturbed is when they ask for a system of validating thousands of potentially fraudulent registrations.

In the same press release, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said:

"These board members are outraged by her attempts to keep them from doing their jobs. Secretary Brunner has done nothing but scare, intimidate and stonewall Ohio's hard-working election officials, and her record of disrespect for them and their work is well-documented."

But then our governor, Ted Strickland, weighs in on the issue and says he sees "no evidence" of election fraud here in Ohio. I guess he missed the following:

* A Democrat activist group with strong ties to Barack Obama has publicly testified that its members engage in election fraud right here in Ohio - possibly submitting thousands of fraudulent registrations. (The Plain Dealer, 10/7/08)

* The same group, ACORN, is accused of illegally giving cash and cigarettes to get an Ohio man to register to vote 72 times over an 18-month period. (New York Post, 10/11/08)

* Hamilton County election officials say at least 10,000 duplicate registrations have been submitted and possibly "thousands of fictitious ones." (Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/10/08)

* One man admitted ACORN convinced him to register multiple times and cast a bogus ballot with a fake address. (New York Post, 10/13/08)

* At least 13 college students are under investigation by the Franklin County prosecutor for violating residency requirements to cast illegal ballots. (Columbus Dispatch, 10/16/08)

* and all of the videos on Ohio and voter fraud being done by Shelby Holliday and Tiffany Wilson at

This is an embarrassing way to run an election and it does, indeed, give Ohio a black eye.

"Well, I tell you what, it helps in Ohio that we've got Democrats in charge of the machines." ~ Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama (Columbus Dispatch)

HOPE ON - He's not just the 'Messiah'; He's a Socialist

Weapons of Mass Discussion has today's post from the HOPE ON (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now) project, with help from, a project of Let Freedom Ring.

As Matt explains,

"Obama isn't just a liberal, he's to the left of the only declared socialist in the US Senate!

What shall we use as a measuring stick? How about a politician who is a declared socialist? There is one in the United States Senate and his name is Bernie Sanders. The National Journal has Sanders ranked #4 in 2007. Barack Obama was top of the class. But it might interest you to know who else was "to the left" of the socialist. Barack Obama chose him to be his running mate: Joe Biden finished third. Even George Voinovich gets this one:

"There's a guy in the senate, Bernie Sanders" said Voinovich, "who brags about being a socialist. And if you compare Barack Obama's record with Bernie Sanders' record, they're not too far apart."

Obama's response to Joe the Plumber's question about why Obama wanted to punish him if he were to achieve the American Dream and achieve success was that he wanted to "spread the wealth around." If that isn't a restatement of the socialist doctrine of redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If it walks like a duck...

Recently, many on the right side of the political spectrum have criticized Sen. Barak Obama's tax plan as 'welfare' disguised as tax credits. They correctly point out that many of the tax credits in his plan are for people who are not paying any taxes to begin with, which means they'll get even more of a 'refund' when they file.

Under Obama's plan, if the tax credit is for $2,000, but the taxpayer would otherwise only pay $300 in taxes, the government would write a check to the taxpayer for $1,700. If the taxpayer pays nothing in federal income taxes, the government would pay him the whole $2,000. When the amount you give back to a tax filer is in excess of the total they've paid, it's a handout - also known as "welfare."

Of course the campaign of Sen. John McCain jumped all over this, since it resonates with many voters.

In response to the traction the McCain campaign was getting on the issue, the Obama campaign has added a 'work requirement' to one of the components of their tax credit policy.

"They started saying this was welfare," said Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee. "So, just so they would absolutely not be able to say that, we decided that for the last two percent we'll simply add a work requirement."

So there you have it: to make our redistribution of wealth more palatable, we'll require some sort of work in order to be eligible .... never mind that other people are also working but will be expected to pay more so someone else can pay less - or get a handout. But this is not socialism....

Yeah, right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Court fights may be over for Ohio voter registration verifications

David Myhal, the individual who had filed a court case with the Ohio Supreme Court after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Ohio Republican Party had no standing, has dropped his case against Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner over the provisions of the Help America Vote Act.

He did so at the request of Ohio GOP chairman Bob Bennett, who issued the following statement:

"We didn't file this lawsuit, but I've asked that it be withdrawn in the interest of negotiating a solution out of court. The legal wrangling on this issue has gone on long enough. Two courts and ten judges have made it abundantly clear that Secretary Brunner is not in compliance with federal law and she has a legal obligation to provide an adequate system of validating questionable registrations.

Secretary Brunner indicated last week that she would comply with the district court's order to assist election administrators in that process. I have reached out to Attorney General Nancy Rogers to begin a dialogue on achieving that objective. While she understandably could not make any guarantees, we have agreed to meet on Wednesday to begin discussions in good faith. I'm hopeful that we can work together on a solution that will give Ohioans greater confidence in the integrity of this election."

This may be a positive step, and the lack of court cases may result in a positive outcome for voter confidence in Ohio's system.

However, this may not be the last word on the issue as a majority of Republican Congress members from Ohio have asked U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the Justice Department to get involved to force Brunner to make the checks on mismatched registration information.

Toledo schools force students to do levy campaign work in class

UPDATE: According to two teachers who called in to Eye On Toledo tonight (podcast to be linked as soon as it's posted), the use of children to fill out the postcards was not a system-wide or even a school-wide directive. Both teachers said that the postcards, pre-addressed to the parent/guardian of...with their student's name on them, were left in their mailboxes and that they were asked to write a note and then return them for mailing out to the parents.

One teacher admitted it was possible that some of the teachers used the postcards in class, but not all teachers did so. The other teacher said she was uncomfortable with what was being asked of her, so she just wrote a note to 'remember to vote on November 4th.'


My neighbor Ed brought a postcard to me last night because he was so irate over what it was.

At first, it appeared innocuous - addressed to the parents of ... with his son's name and address on the front. It was a "Vote for Issues 34 & 35" mailing, advocating a yes vote on Toledo Public Schools' two ballot issues, one a renewal of an existing levy and the other a new bond issue for school construction.

Then he noticed that the handwriting for the return address was in his son's. When he turned it over, he found a handwritten message from his son:

"Dear Mom or Dad,

Please vote for the levy. Issue 34 and 35 are important to TPS and our school."

Ed, of course, sat down with his son in order to understand what this was all about.

His son said this was supposed to be a 'how to write a letter' lesson, though he explained that they weren't doing anything similar in any of their previous lessons. Ed said he checked with other parents at the school and found out that every class did this little exercise, with kindergarten classes being asked to draw pictures on the post cards.

Each postcard cost $.27 to mail and was paid for by a postage meter (although since the meter was printed in red, it doesn't show up on the image below). I called the main Post Office Bulk Mail office to see who the meter number was registered to. It was the Toledo Public Schools meter number.

According to the disclaimer on the post card, it was paid for by "the Committee for Schools, Angela Jordan, Treasurer" - and was "Printed by union labor at no cost to the taxpayers."

So I called Angela Jordan, who is the assistant to TPS Superintendent John Foley, and asked her about this.

She explained that the TPS print shop creates the post card and then issues her a bill for the work. As the treasurer, she pays the bill. She couldn't answer other questions about design or usage because she's just the treasurer, which is understandable.

So here we have an internal department of TPS using TPS equipment to produce a campaign piece and distributing it to local elementary schools. Teachers then have the kids, as part of a class assignment, copy what they've written on the board about supporting the ballot issues, and then mail out the postcards using the TPS bulk mailing permit.

Whether or not the campaign committee reimburses for the costs is not the major point, although I would hope that they wouldn't be using school resources for their campaigning.

What is important is that Toledo Public Schools forced elementary school children to participate in an electioneering stunt, making it part of a classroom assignment, and shamelessly used them as a pawn in their political campaign. And, according to what my neighbor Ed reported, no parent was asked ahead of time for their permission to use their child in such a despicable manner.

Here are the contact numbers - make your opinion known!

John Foley, Superintendent - 419-671-8281
Lonny Rivera, Chief of Staff - 419-671-8362
Jan Kilbride, Chief Academic Officer - 419-671-8422
Carol Thomas, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent for Human Resources - 419-671-8231
Dan Romano, Treasurer - 419-671-8245
Main Switchboard - 419-671-8200

Below are the scanned images of the postcard - unfortunately, the pencil writing on the back of the card did not show up very well:

More voter fraud? Vote Today Ohio continues to impress me with their investigative reporting on voter fraud in Ohio.

In their latest video, they take a look at another group, Vote Today Ohio, with out-of-state volunteers who've registered to vote - and who've received absentee ballots.

This is a must-see video as it details contradictions by the lead organizer, and also documents that several of the volunteers intend to return to their permanent homes, making them 'temporary' residents of Ohio and ineligible to vote.

Can you imagine what would happen in main stream media did this kind of work?

A concise look at voter registration verification in Ohio

If you're a bit confused over the dueling court cases on Ohio's voter registration verification, this is a good explanation of what's going on and the implications.

H/T: TeamWMD

Where the candidates stand

Today's paper has an article about where the two presidential candidates stand on various employment/free trade issues.

For the most part, it's a more balanced article than what we've seen in the last few days from the paper, but I must question why claims by unions get so much attention.

"Unions claim this - unions say that..."

Everyone knows that when it comes to presidential campaigns, unions are almost the same as the Democrat Party - so why would a union claim about Sen. John McCain's position be a matter of discussion that the McCain campaign needs to respond to?

Did the paper not have any questions of their own to ask about the policies and philosophy of the candidate?

And what about claims from the business community that Obama's tax plans and spending would have a detrimental impact on jobs and the economy? What about the claims from exporters that NAFTA has actually helped them increase their businesses and hire workers? Only the claims of the unions are brought up as the basis for the discussion.

I commend the author for providing balance in the answers, but all of us should question the basic premise of the article: that Democrat-dominated union claims about Republican policies being solely to blame for the economic condition of Ohio and Toledo are somehow valid, while ignoring the Democrat-dominated local government that, despite state and national economies, always has us ranked among the worst.

Toledo's economy, regardless of political party of the president or the governor, constantly ranks among the worst in the state. We traditionally have the highest unemployment of all the urban counties in Ohio - and we have held this distinction for about 20 years. That is not the fault of the president - nor even the governor - no matter whether they are R's or D's.

That's the fault of the local decisions that are anti-business, 'not business friendly,' embrace taxation and spending, and encourage dependency on government. It's also the fault of the complaining unions (most but not all) who push for more and more from their employers (including government) regardless of the market's ability to support such things - and then who blame elected officials for not 'protecting' them from competition. And it's also the fault of the voters who think that doing the exact same thing and electing the exact same philosophies that got us into this mess will somehow result in a different outcome.

In every society, free markets (truly 'free' markets) are the catalyst for success. Even today, as many Democrat elected officials are calling for higher taxes, other nations are moving away from such stifling economic approaches and lowering their corporate tax rates. But the solution being offered by Obama is to force higher taxation upon businesses and individuals - and then redistribute those funds to individuals who are 'more deserving.'

I find it funny and rather hypocritical that the same politicians who so readily embrace and want to duplicate the socialist medical programs of other countries vigorously reject the tax policies that are proving so successful in other countries.

Side note: In their 'special report' on Sunday, our paper tried to make the case that Ohio has suffered under the last eight years of Republican leadership in the White House. They don't come right out and say it, but the message, to any paying attention, is clear - as it is in most of their agenda-driven 'news' stories.

What might have been missed was this note, explaining their sources for the date used to justify the article:

"...and Policy Matters Ohio, a nonprofit policy research organization that tracks economic policy in Ohio."

Now, just for reference, I went back through the archives to see how the Buckeye Institute was described in Blade stories. In the 15 most recent articles done by the paper (not letters to the editors), the Buckeye Institute is described as either 'conservative,' or 'free-market.'

So why didn't they identify Policy Matters Ohio as a union think tank (8 of their 13 board members is/was in a union or represented unions in their jobs)? Why don't they identify it as a liberal/progressive think tank that is focused on 'fairness' of outcome rather than equality of opportunity?

If they need to identify the philosophy of the 'conservative' or 'free-market' think tank, shouldn't they also identify the philosophy of 'liberal' or 'socialist' think tanks?

Yes, these questions are rhetorical. But you need to know they slant the stories by the descriptors they use - so you can better judge the reliability and objectivity of the information they present.

HOPE ON - Drill, drill, drill

NixGuy weighs in with Let's Never Find Out Part 2 - Drill, Baby, Drill.

In this second installment of HOPE ON, the focus is on Presidential Candidate Barack Obama's position on drilling and his idea of a 'windfall profits' tax.

Obama seems to think that oil companies need to be penalized, through taxation, for their success. Rather than understand how profits for companies are needed in order to have funds to invest in developing future supplies, Obama thinks that the profits are bad things - and that government needs those profits 'distribute' as government sees fit. This is socialism - taking from those who 'have' and giving to others that government deems are 'have nots.'

But then, we know his idea, as he told Joe the Plumber, is to 'share the wealth.'

When it comes to options for energy and fuel, I'm one of the 'all of the above' supporters. I think we have resources within our country we should be tapping to supply us with our needs, while we continue developing cost effective alternatives, including nuclear and clean coal. But that means we don't decimate our oil companies by taxing them more just to satisfy some campaign promise of a politician who doesn't understand the concept of supply and demand, or who wants to 'buy' votes by promising to take money from one in order to give it to another.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More questionable voter registrations in Ohio

For the latest on the potential voter fraud, check out's Tiffany Wilson and her latest update on GOTV groups in Ohio.

Contact information for Lucas County Republican Party

Over the last several days, there have been numerous hits on my blog from searches for the telephone number for the Lucas County Republican Party.

Since people seem to end up here when looking for that information, I thought I'd make it a bit easier.

Here is the website and contact information for the Lucas County Republican Party.

Lucas County Republican Party
10 South Superior St.
Toledo, OH 43602

Contact LCRP page

New wiki on ACORN

As you can tell from my link on the side, I'm a big fan of and the information it provides on ballot issues across the nation.

They've added a page on ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which is a must-read for anyone interested in the organization, it's background, it's connections and the impact they have on elections. This is especially timely in light of the issues we're facing with them in Ohio, including a RICO action against ACORN.

Let's Never Find Out - HOPE ON

Tom at Bizzy Blog has started a project to explain why Barack Obama is not the right person to elect as president of the United States.

As Tom explains:

Note: This is the first of what will be 13 posts on why Barack Obama is a dangerous, objectionable, and objectively unfit candidate to be president of the United States (while many of the other candidates are not).

The daily videos involved will be from, a project of Let Freedom Ring.

His first post, part of the HOPE ON (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now) project, details Obama's participation in the current financial crises, including how Obama is clearly part of the problem when it comes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

I'll link to other HOPE ON posts as they are added.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"John" the plumber making robocalls for Obama

During my radio show, Eye On Toledo, last night, (podcasts available here) a caller related a phone call received from "John" the plumber encouraging a vote for Obama.

After the show I got this email:

Hi Maggie,

I heard a caller tell you she had received a call from John The Plumber tonight on your program. When I came home tonight, I found a recorded call on my answering machine from John The Plumber. It made me very disgusted and when I called back the number that was on the caller id (877-622-6264), there is a pre-recorded voice of Obama.

Thanks for all you do!


Do they think people are dumb enough to thing "John" is our Joe the plumber? Or did they pick the name "john" as a play on words?

Who knows, but they are obviously in spin mode trying to negate the impact our Joe has had on the Obama campaign.

As we all know: in campaign, when you're defending, you're losing.

UPDATE: Nixguy has more on similar efforts in other states.

More GOP Clubs go against LCRP's levy endorsements

Immediately after the Lucas County Republican Party voted (questionably) to endorse several levies, including the third levy request for COSI, the Toledo Young Republican Club announced their opposition to the endorsements.

(Background information on the LCRP executive committee meeting and the issues that arose regarding the voting, the lack of notice to members of the committee and the lack of quorum.)

Now the Greater Toledo Republican Women's club has voted to oppose the endorsement decision. Their press release, issued late last night:

Toledo, OH - The Executive Board of the Greater Toledo Republican Women voted unanimously to speak out against the decision of the Lucas County Republican Party to endorse a variety of tax levies, including the COSI Levy. As Republicans we have no business lending our support to increase taxes for our community.

"I was shocked to hear that Mr. Stainbrook would push for the support of any type of levy." said Kay Clawson. "Had I been informed of the meeting I would certainly have been there. I hope Mr. Stainbrook will strive to adhere to our party bylaws in regards to future meetings."

And this from the Fallen Timbers Republican Club:

The Fallen Timbers Republican Club joins other area clubs denouncing the endorsement of Levies by the Party Chairman

In following the admirable lead of Jeff Simpson and The Young Republican Club, The Fallen Timbers Republican Club Executive Board Members officially oppose the endorsement of levies, including the COSI levy, by the Lucas County Republican Party. The Club was prompted to take a public stance due to extensive contacts from it's membership regarding their disenchantment with the disappointing endorsement of the levies by Jon Stainbrook, Chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party.

The endorsement of these levies mar the core beliefs of the Republican Party. The Club is strongly against tax increases and the funneling of public funds to non-profit/private entities. Our members are resolute with their opposition to levies such as COSI, which clearly violates the soul of the Republican Party and conservative principals. The Club is strongly against tax increases and the funneling of public funds to non-profit/private entities. Our members are resolute with their opposition to endorsing levies which clearly violates the soul of the Republican Party and conservative principals.

The Fallen Timbers Republican Club believes that COSI should be privately-funded and not subsidized by the already over-taxed families in Lucas County. When COSI was founded, it was intended to be self-sufficient by donations and admission fees. Furthermore, citizens have given the responsibility and their tax dollars to public schools to teach science not to non-profit/private entities such as COSI.

FTRC President and Lucas County Republican Party Executive Member Christine Seles was not notified of the Executive meeting by the LCRP and is quoted as saying: "I would have voted “no” on any motion to endorse COSI or any other levy. My position is that elected officials should not tell people how to vote, and as a republican I am unsettled at the local chairman’s position on endorsing taxes. The voter should be allowed to form their own judgments on how to spend their hard earned dollars."

Furthermore the FTRC Officers would like to express our dismay that Jon Stainbrook did not adhere to the LCRP by-laws. Chairman Stainbrook did not inform the entire executive committee of the meeting. The FTRC has been informed by an member and other attendees that the meeting was not properly conducted in compliance with Roberts Rules of Order, and that Chairman Stainbrook voted twice on the same motion to break a tie vote. We would hope that the LCRP by-laws and proper parliamentary procedure is followed at future LCRP meetings.

To be a "Maverick" is to stand up and fight for what is right when you see something is wrong. The FTRC is inspired by Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin, our true American Maverick's, as we also make our stand to protect the core principals of the republican party.

The Executive Board of the Fallen Timbers Republican Club,
Christine Seles, FTRC President
Jan Lowe, Vice President
Diane Haupricht, Treasurer
Barbara Mott, Secretary
Stephen Imes, Sgt. At Arms

Voter registration issue goes back to court - Ohio Supreme Court

As I was travelling last night, I missed getting this out earlier.

If you've been following the issue of voter registration verification in Ohio, you probably already know that an individual has filed suit in Ohio Supreme Court against Secretary of State to seek an order directing the local county boards of elections to NOT process or count absentee ballots cast by voters registered after Jan. 1, 2008, unless they are first checked for mismatches and verified to be eligible.

The Columbus Dispatch has an objective, fair article on the case.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Democrat OH Senator makes GOP argument for voter registration verification

State Senator Teresa Fedor has penned the following and submitted it to numerous outlets as an op-ed piece. I just want to thank her for making the point of the Ohio Republican Party - that voter registration verification is necessary to protect ALL of Ohio's voters.

But Maggie, you say, that's not the point she's making. Yes, but that is what any logical reading of her piece will show, despite her incorrect interpretation.

She documents some of the basic, typographical and other miscellaneous errors that can occur. She tries to make the point that the very existence of these errors will 'disenfranchise' Joe the Plumber. However, while I will agree that such mismatches can occur, I disagree that verification of the registrations will disenfranchise anyone.

If Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner sends the mismatches back to the local boards of elections, those boards will be able to check with the various individuals and make necessary corrections. Any individual who might have such errors will be able to clarify such inconsistencies and then, when they go to vote on November 4, there will be no issues at the polls. That is the outcome of verifying and sharing the information with the local boards. Individuals who can correct such information PRIOR to the election day will not have to do so on the election day.

How is this a bad thing? It's not. In fact, it's what any logical, common sense approach would indicate is the best course of action.

Fedor also incorrectly summarizes the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. She states:

"The United States Supreme Court, in a ruling which I vigorously endorse, agreed with Ohio Secretary of State Brunner and overturned rulings by the U.S. District Court and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that would have forced Brunner to harmonize its list of registered voters with other lists. The court apparently agreed with Secretary of State Brunner that such an effort, undertaken on such short notice, could have created havoc in the Ohio election process and delegitimized the ultimate result in the minds of many voters while undermining the votes of many legitimate voters."

Actually, the Court DID NOT RULE ON THE MERITS OF THE CASE. They rejected the appeal based on the technicality of 'standing,' saying that the Ohio GOP did not have the ability to bring suit on the issue. The Court did not agree with Brunner on any of the issues, as Fedor incorrectly asserts, nor did they say she did not have to verify the registrations.

Fedor should know better than to fraudulent assert an opinion of a court that was not stated.

Like Brunner, Fedor does not explain how making sure that boards of elections have accurate information on voters 'suppresses the vote' of thousands. In fact, just the opposite is true. If boards of elections have accurate information - information they have verified ahead of time - no votes will be suppressed on November 4th. And the Sixth District Court of Appeals - which DID rule on the merits of the case, agreed.

Sadly, in her effort to promote the Democrat talking points, Fedor makes the case for the Republicans, and exposes her ignorance of the the voting system and the court rulings.

Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that any media to which she submitted this 'opinion' will fact-check it or ask the questions that would expose the fallacies of her conclusions.

Here is her op-ed piece:

Protecting All of Ohio’s “Joes”
By State Senator Teresa Fedor

The man chosen by McCain handlers to become the iconic face of the 2008 national election’s debate on federal tax policies, has instead become the symbol of something else. Joe the Plumber is now spotlighting a consequence of the Ohio State Republican leaders’ promoted plan to attempt to match voter registration lists with records from other data sources.

Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher – or, in the common parlance, “Joe the Plumber” – is not the man he says he is. Well, at least he isn’t to the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Authorities that attempted initially to check if Wurzelbacher, who lives in Holland-a suburb of Toledo, Ohio, was actually registered to vote in Ohio were told that he was not. But this was inaccurate: Samuel Joe “Worzelbacher” actually was listed in the records of the Lucas County Board of Elections. He voted as a Republican in the March primary.

Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, explained that, when Wurzelbacher updated his voter registration his signature on the form looked more like an “o” than a “u,” The change from a “u” to an “o” was recorded as such when typed into the Lucas County Board of Elections system.

This example of a minor human error could affect the legitimate registration of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans if the Republicans continue their court fight! The agenda being aggressively pressed by the Ohio Republican Party in these court actions- to match the data bases of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with the various county boards of election- and flag for further examination causes the following voters to be possibly disenfranchised:

· “Joe the Plumber” updated his voter registration when he moved. This is a common and necessary process for registration. However, drivers in Ohio are not required to update the address on their license when they move. Therefore, they can legitimately be in the BMV system with one address, and in the board of elections system at a different address. In a society where many people – particularly younger people, poor people, and minorities many times move more frequently than older or more well-off individuals, this GOP agenda will have the impact of flagging thousands of these voters.

· “Joe the Plumber” has a driver’s license. But voters will be flagged if they do not have a driver’s license. Studies have shown that the elderly, particularly the minority elderly and minorities are generally more likely to not have a driver’s license than others in the community. It is perfectly legal to register for voting with a Social Security card, comparison of records with the BMV could create problems for these voters. Individuals can register with different agencies using variants of their names. For example our friend “Joe the Plumber” could be “S. Joe Wurzelbacher” to the BMV.

· “Joe the Plumber” was a victim of that simple human error when his name was put into the voter list. A single keystroke error; the misreading of an “o” for a “u”, the inadvertent dropping of a middle initial – any one of these small things could result in the flagging of a person’s ability to vote.

Of course, Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher was able to vote in March, despite the discrepancy. And Ohio Republican Party leaders Bob Bennett and Kevin DeWine would probably scream “voter suppression” if board of elections officials, noting the discrepancy in the records, had forced him to vote provisionally in March until the discrepancy were checked out.

But what about the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans – 200,000, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has estimated – who could be affected by the GOP lawsuits? They have not been the subject of Joe’s international scrutiny. News trucks have not set up on their lawns. They are the ordinary “Joes” – and “Janes” – that no one is likely to interview during this campaign. But they have just as much right to be heard – to have their votes counted – just as Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher’s vote was counted last March.

The United States Supreme Court, in a ruling which I vigorously endorse, agreed with Ohio Secretary of State Brunner and overturned rulings by the U.S. District Court and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that would have forced Brunner to harmonize its list of registered voters with other lists. The court apparently agreed with Secretary of State Brunner that such an effort, undertaken on such short notice, could have created havoc in the Ohio election process and delegitimized the ultimate result in the minds of many voters while undermining the votes of many legitimate voters.

This Republican attempt, to suppress the votes of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans in a potentially close election, may have only been temporarily suppressed because of Jennifer Brunner’s aggressive response. Don’t be surprised if there is another “trick up the Republican sleeve” to disrupt our Ohio election.

Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher will have his vote counted in November, despite the human error that could have called it into question. But thousands of others may not be so lucky. With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, we can ensure that thousands of other Ohioans, with Joe’s recent notoriety, will have their voting rights protected, as well.

And Ohio democracy will be the better for it.
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