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Ohio's 18th: Analyzing Rep. Ney's Reelection Fight

Rep. Bob Ney (R) won his primary fight this week in Ohio's 18th District, besting little-known financial analyst James Harris. That much we know.

But what does Ney's victory mean? Is it a sign that his base is aligning behind him, despite the fact that the lawmaker is caught up in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal? And on the Democratic side, does the semi-upset victory by attorney Zack Space in this week's primary a neutral, negative or positive development in determining Ney's political fate this November?

The rhetoric was thick on all of these topics yesterday as both sides asserted that the primary results suggest a win for their side in the fall. Let's go inside the numbers -- and inside the winning campaigns' strategies -- to cut through the spin (with apologies to Bill O'Reilly, of course.)

Past history in the 18th, which we tend to view as the best way to put the current race in perspective, does not provide much guidance.

Ney has never had a primary challenger, so it's impossible to make a direct comparison between this race and past primaries. Some observers use the last midterm election (2002) as a guide. In that race, in which he was unopposed, Ney received 33,683 votes; this week in the primary he received 34,151 votes. If you count the 15,789 votes that Harris won, the total number of Republican votes cast in the 2006 primary was a 28 percent increase from 2002.

But trying to use 2002 as a guide doesn't work for several obvious reasons. First, Ney had a primary challenge in 2006; he did not in 2002. Second, and as importantly, there was a competitive Republican gubernatorial primary at the top of the ticket on Tuesday, while four years ago Gov. Bob Taft (R) was unopposed for the party's nomination. A competitive statewide primary at the top of a party's ticket almost always has a trickle-down turnout effect on down-ballot races.

How about comparing votes cast in the Republican primary with votes cast in the Democratic primary? As we noted above, a total of 49,940 votes were cast on the GOP side compared with 46,682 cast on the Democratic side. Ney loyalists assert that the 3,300 vote disparity signals his ability to turn out his base. But observers can also make the opposite case -- that the rough parity in the votes is a warning sign for Ney since the district went strongly for President George W. Bush in 2004 (giving the president a 14-point margin over John Kerry).

With history offering little help, determining just what Ney's 68 percent win means is difficult.

On one hand, roughly 33 percent of the Republican primary electorate chose Harris, who spent no money and ran no real campaign, over Ney who is universally known in the district. Mark Riddle, who handled the media for Democrat Zach Space's campaign, said the fact that one-third of Republican voters went against Ney was the "most telling" development. "There was clearly a protest vote against Bob Ney," said Riddle. "The challenge is to get those disenfranchised voters who are Republicans to go with the Democratic candidate."

Not so, according to Ney spokesman Brian Walsh, who argued that two factors explain his boss's 68 percent showing -- attacks by Space and his primary opponent (Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer), coupled with Ney's moderate Republican credentials.

"The Democrats, both Sulzer and Space, but even more importantly a number of well funded 527 and 501(C)4's, ran a very extensive negative ad campaign against Ney," said Walsh. He said that a wide variety of groups -- ranging from Campaign for America's Future to MoveOn.org -- attacked Ney in the primary but that the congressman chose not to respond with a single radio or television ad, choosing instead to focus his resources on the general election.

And, according to Walsh, Ney traditionally underperforms among the party's most conservative voters because of his divergence on traditional GOP stances on budget measures and trade bills. Those positions, however, have won support for Ney among labor groups in the district and allowed him to win over Democrats and independents in past elections, Walsh said. As evidence he noted that Bush carried the district with 57 percent of the vote in 2004, nine points below Ney's 66 percent showing.

And what of the Democratic nominee? Republicans, Walsh included, sought to cast Space as the second-choice of national Democrats who early on had aligned behind Sulzer.

Riddle said Space entered the primary late because his wife was running for reelection as a municipal court judge, a race she won with 64 percent of the vote. Space, Riddle said, is actually a better match-up with Ney: Space is not a "career politician" and ran his primary campaign totally centered on ethics. "[Space] is a very credible messenger on ethics," Riddle said.

In a memo released Wednesday morning, Walsh took issue with the idea that Space has a clean bill of health on ethics, pointing out that Space accepted a $2,000 donation from John Cafaro, "who pleaded guilty in 2001 to bribing former Congressman James Traficant," according to the memo.

One last point of debate between the two sides -- money. Space raised just over $145,000 in the primary, a decidedly lackluster figure, and he will start the general election with almost no money in the bank. Ney, on the other hand, had $474,000 on hand as of April 12.

Space must demonstrate an ability to raise significant sums, although The Fix tends to agree with Riddle's assessment that Ney is going to be "one of the top targets -- if not the top target -- for Democrats" nationally and, as a result, the money will be there for Space.

After sorting through all the vote tallies and the spin, here's our take: The primary proves little either way. Heading into Tuesday's election, Ney was the most vulnerable incumbent in the country. Coming out of the primary, he's in the same place -- no better but certainly no worse.

To our mind, the identity of the Democratic nominee is relatively unimportant as long as Ney is on the ballot, which, by the way, Walsh insists he will be, brushing aside speculation that Ney might follow Tom DeLay's lead and resign.

The race remains a referendum on Ney. Does the smell of scandal in the Abramoff case stick to him, or do voters in Ohio's 18th pick their candidate based on more local concerns? And will Ney be indicted -- or exonerated -- before the election?

These are the questions we don't have answers to at the moment. What we do know is that this will be one of the top races in the country and one Democrats must win if they hope to make a real run at regaining a House majority in the fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 4, 2006; 6:01 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

We have a little menage of right wingers so full of it they're ready to BLOW! Keep it up guys! vivasheilanancy well ladies first, It was the LEFT that forced Pelosi to make Mollohan step down after the 'Center for Responsibilty and Ethics in Washington', one of the LEFTS favorite bi-partisan watchdog groups, documented the possible violations by Mollohan. They asked Ms. Pelosi to remove him from his position on the Ethics Committee, she at first refused, we as the LEFTs' own activists heard about it and pushed that request to fruition. We want NO crooks or liars in office. Not on our side. Not on your side. ZERO.
How many of your own have YOU gone after??

But we have a particular distaste for people who LIE to PROTECT THE LIARS.

Posted by: wanker hunter | May 4, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, I too hope that some day soon we will end this enslavement with the Democrat Party. Free at last, Free at last!"

Hey RMill I think viva has finally jumped off the deep end.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 4, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Foltin get into trouble for making rauchy phone calls to a 911 operator?

Posted by: Chuck | May 4, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Foltin have a slight problem with illicit calls to a 911 operator?

Posted by: Chuck | May 4, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hoya:
I ask myself the same thing, makes no sense why they are so wedded to such a party, especially since many blacks are so spiritual and are pro-life and pro-marriage.

Went to a MLK service at a local Black church this January. THe female pastor was decrying the enslavement of their youth with the pervasive degenerate culture affecting their youth--"rap music with filthy lyrics, pornographic movies and television, abortion, women lying down with women, men lying down with men..." Sure sounded like a Republican to me.

The growing middle class and educated classes should share many of the same values of leaders like J.C. Watts, Lynn Swann, Blackwell etc. And probably many do, yet they still blindly vote Democrat.

Some of the most conservative, prominent writers are black, Asian and Hispanic.
John McWhorter, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, Star Parker, Armstrong Williams, Linda Chavez, Michelle Malkin. I'm sure I've missed some others. Who are the comparable liberal writers of color?

Yes, I too hope that some day soon we will end this enslavement with the Democrat Party. Free at last, Free at last!

Posted by: vivabsuh04OH | May 4, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

viva

When are the Republicans and their party going to get of the line "Black Democrats and the Plantation"?

Black voters like any other voters vote their interests. I am sure that Messers Blackwell, Swann, and Steele are voting thier interests.

While I in Maryland will have the opportunity to vote mine

Posted by: a19hoya85 | May 4, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I stand by my post RMill.

Tubbs Jones and Coleman may come around with lip service for Strickland but how enthusiastic will they be?

By no means have I said that KB will get THE Black vote or even a majority of it. As we saw in 2004, Bush got 16%, an increase of about 5% from 2000. Petro would have had no chance for any Black voters. Any defection of any black voters from the Democrat plantation is a two-fer, one less for the Dems, one more for Blackwell. A 30%+ Black vote for Blackwell could be the difference in a close election.

Already Dems have seen a deterioration of the base with ethnics, Hispanics, church-goers, married housholds, Catholics and now blacks. Last Friday 41 Black leaders and friends came to Sheffield, not the 'Hood to hear Blackwell with a number pledging to support and vote for him. By no means is this the making of a titlewave but it is significant. Black voters are beginning to figure out that Dems continue to take them for granted and they do not like it. They are the most loyal Dem interest group and have little to show for it.

Your partisanship RMill is quite telling as well, suggesting that OH-18 will go Dem. Space is not the guy the DCCC wanted and he admits "he'll need an infusion of charisma in order to beat Ney." NOw IF Ney is indicted, then he must step down and maybe I'll run in his place so I can be a carpetbagger like Sutton. At least Cafaro moved into the 13th Dist.

And I'm not conceeding the 13th to the Dems either. Foltin is not your typical GOP candidate. He actually knows how to fight. He has never lost a race in Lorain or anywhere else. He knows how to reach out to the public including Dems. He knows how to raise big money and the RCCC is backing him to the hilt.

BTW, Rumor has it there may be a 3rd candidate out of Akron in this race and it's not a GOP. Check with the Summit County BOE.

Later--

Posted by: vivabsuh04OH | May 4, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mollohan needs to be taken off the ballot in order to show the Democrats are ready to take away the smell of corruption in their own party. The point has been made that when a Democrat is linked to unethical behavior, then the Democrats rally together to protect him. That is why normal people get disgusted with both parties throwing mud at each other instead of getting rid of the Democrat who is polluted by money and power. Mollohan is being investigated for funneling millions of federal dollars into non-profit groups which he started. That is the charge and the evidence will be used to prove he is a crook. That is why he stepped down from the Ethics Committee. That is why he exposed the Democrats as hypocrites.

Posted by: Nancy | May 4, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Upcoming primaries with contested races:

Alabama June 6
Arkansas May 23
California June 6 plus run off in CA 50
Iowa June 6
Kentucky May 16
Montana June 6
Nebraska May 9
New Mexico June 6
Oregon May 16
Pennsylvania May 16

Posted by: RMill | May 4, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

...attacked Ney in the primary but that the congressman chose not to respond with a single radio or television ad, choosing instead to focus his resources on the general election.

A somewhat disingenious statement from Ney spokesman Brian Walsh.

Ney reported spending just over $250,000 through 4/12/06. He may not have bought TV or radio, but he spent money. Who knows how much he spent in the time leading up to the Primary.

Posted by: RMill | May 4, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"More telling is that he got as many votes as he did with little campaigning or money spent and in the face of such a high turnout of base, conservative voters, a base that voted overwhelmingly for him."

Viva

DeWine spent over $1.4 M through April 12, 2006 on primary activities. Who knows how much in the almost month up to the Election. I would say that is significant spending.

Posted by: RMill | May 4, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Analysts are decidely down on Ney re-election chances. Sabato, Cook and Rotheberger Reports all came to the same conclusion, that the protest vote against Ney within the Republican primary makes Ney the most endangered incumbant Republican congressman in 2006.

http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=284152&originalStoryID=284153&r=

Posted by: RMill | May 4, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

vivabush,

you posted that

DeWine got 71% of the GOP vote against 2 challengers, challengers that reflected a so-called disapproval of the Senator. More telling is that he got as many votes as he did with little campaigning or money spent and in the face of such a high turnout of base, conservative voters, a base that voted overwhelmingly for him.

DeWine lost 29% of the vote to 2 NO-NAME candidates. The only reason people voted for DeWine is that he atleast stands a chance against Sherrod Brown. The other 2 candidates stood no chance at all against Brown. Why are you going to nominate someone you know is going to lose. DeWine didn't spend any money or campaign because his opponents didn't either, he didn't have to.


George, you posted

Ney's 68% is a negative? Space got 39%. That means 61% of Democratic voters didn't want him. Was that a protest vote against Space?

Ney's lost 32% of the vote to a nobody. When an incumbent loses that many votes to an average joe he's got problems. Space got 39% of the vote in a very competetive primary. No Democrat was an incumbent therefore people couldn't tell any of the candidates that they were doing a bad job. 32% of Republicans voted against Ney's job in Congress and they are so mad, they voted for someone who didn't stand a chance against the Democrats.

Posted by: Rob Millette | May 4, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Viva

You are letting it show a bit.

What was heard on Black radio stations as far as asking for the "Blackwell ballot" were paid radio advertisements.

Ohio Guy is right that the Black Legislative Caucus and CJ Prentiss did endorse Strickland a long time ago. So did Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. The dispute with Mayor's Coleman, McLinn and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones stem from a bitter battle for Ohio Dem Chair. There are white politicians who have not endorsed for the same reason. To cast in the light of a racial dispute is misleading (or wishful thinking on the part of the GOP).

And Ted Strickland has no platform or program of increasing taxes (again wishful thinking and pre-spin). Every proposal thus far is designed budget neutral. Pay for one, cut another.

The TEL amendment is causing great anxiety from both Democrats and Republicans alike. There will be stiff opposition and poll numbers show that support is dropping to the 50% mark.

Bradley lost because GOP chair Bennett cautioned her to save money because Cordray has about $1 million in the bank already. Bradley never made the late minute adjustments when she finally figured out she had a race on her hands.

Results could have been worse for the GOP on Tuesday but they are not all that encouraging.

Zach Space will provide Bob Ney a real challenge. Charlie Wilson overwhelmingly won his write-in campaign in the face of fierce and expensive GOP spending. Mayor Foltin drew the worst possible match-up for OH 13 in Betty Sutton.

Statewide races look even more encouraging for Dems, with Rich Cordray against a relatively unknown Sandra O'Brien. State Senator Dann certainly is Montgomery's strongest opponent. Match ups for Secreatry of State and Auditor are problematic as none are very well known statewide. And Strickland owns double digit lead in all polls vs. Blackwell.

The only real hint of good news for Republicans is that the anti-DeWine vote was not larger.

At thus point, my guess is that Dems retain OH 6 and OH 13 and pick up OH 18, as well as the Governor's mansion and State Treasurer. I have to give a slight edge to DeWine and Montgomery in re-election. Other state races are toss-ups right now.

Posted by: RMill | May 4, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Sheila,

Get your facts straight Mollohan stepped down from the Ethics committee two weeks ago. House Democrats made sure that Mollohan of West Virginia was not going to be a road block for using ethics as a campaign issue. It is full steam ahead with ethics and corruption as the number one campaign issue this fall. If earmarks in spending bills is going to be an ethics issue, bring it on. There are 236 Republicans in the House who are vulnerable on that issue. The more turkeys to shoot the better.

Republicans have been the experts on earmarking in spending bills for the last 10 years. If earmarking is a ethics problem then Republicans have ANOTHER MAJOR PROBLEM on their hands. And they haven't even resolved the last 99 problems on their plate.

Posted by: Adious Repub Majority | May 4, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame those dimwits in Ohio don't vote for the people we think they should. There ought to be a law!

Posted by: king of zouk | May 4, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Restore Accountability and the Ethical Environment: Rercycle Congress!!

Posted by: Lee | May 4, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Here is what the Democrats need to clean up, their own ethics are being challenged if they fail to handle this HOT Potato

Otherwise, the Democrats are hypocrites to ignore this while pointing at all Republicans with claims of corruption.


West Virginia-1: Rep. Alan Mollohan (D), the ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee, is suddenly facing major ethical problems of his own. The story of the federal investigation into Mollohan's finances is big enough to have reached the front page of both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

1) This story will not be going away, if only because of Mollohan's position. Mollohan has also worked closely with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on avoiding working with Republicans on ethics reform, instead hoping to use it as an issue against them.

2) Combined with the ethical and possibly legal problems for Democratic Representatives John Conyers (Mich.), William Jefferson (La.), and Cynthia McKinney (Ga.), Mollohan's situation could undercut Democrats' efforts to cast Republicans as the party of corruption. Mollohan received $23,000 from MZM, the same company whose lobbyist Mitchell Wade corrupted disgraced former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.). (Mollohan donated that money to charity after Cunningham's fall from grace. )

3) Mollohan began the year with half the cash on hand of his opponent, State Del. Chris Wakim (R). Normally this would not be a problem. Although Wakim is the strongest candidate Republicans have put up against Mollohan in years, that really isn't saying much. But with this added twist, Wakim can create a real race in this district, which President Bush carried in 2004 with 58 percent of the vote. Wakim has already seized the issue.

4) Mollohan, a moderate, is a powerful figure in the state's Democratic Party, widely considered the most likely to run for Sen. Robert Byrd's (D) seat when it becomes vacant. To take him out now would be a bonanza for the perennially weak state GOP.

5) There are two parts to Mollohan's problems, one related to targeted earmarking, and the other to Mollohan's reporting of his personal financial situation.

6) If Mollohan's popularity begins with his name--his father represented the district for nine terms--it continues because of his ability over the years, as an appropriator, to direct earmarked money to projects in his impoverished district. Mollohan's approach to earmarks has been unique. Unlike other members who spread the money far and wide, he has earmarked hundreds of millions in funds to a small, targeted group of non-profits run by associates and campaign contributors. One of the beneficiaries is his business partner, who is also a former staffer). Mollohan keeps a low profile in the state, showing up mainly to unveil pork projects. There is some question as to whether he benefited indirectly from the earmarks in a personal way.

7) The other issue, possibly related, pertains to Mollohan's annual personal financial disclosures--forms that every member of Congress must fill out and make public. The allegation is that Mollohan hid assets and liabilities in several official filings. One example: In 1999, Mollohan and his cousin secured a $2.3 million loan using their interest in their housing corporation as collateral. The problem is that Mollohan, in his congressional financial disclosure forms, listed his 50 percent share in the housing corporation as being worth no more than $30,000.

8) Depending on the outcome of a federal investigation, Mollohan could face both ethics charges and criminal charges for filing false financial disclosure forms. There could be deeper issues as well. Mollohan's sudden problems may explain why President Bush and Speaker Hastert have been spending time campaigning and raising money in what appears to be such a hopeless district. Mollohan was re-elected in 2004 with 68%. NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) and, more importantly, Hastert, have called for Mollohan to step down from the Ethics Committee, and the influential Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call has editorialized to the same effect.


Posted by: Sheila | May 4, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Viva -

State Senate Minority Leader C.J. Prentiss endorsed Ted Strickland a long, long time ago. Get your facts straight.

http://www.tedstrickland.com/news/129/five-state-senate-democrats-and-twenty-two-state-rep-democrats-endorse-strickland-for-governor

I find it funny how you point out the only 2 black democratic officials in the state who haven't endosed him in Mayor Coleman and Rep. Jones. You are cherry-picking your information. The black mayor of Cincinatti has strongly endorsed Strickland over Blackwell, and Blackwell used to be mayor of Cincinatti!! Also, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and Ohio Congressional Black Caucus both endorsed Strickland while Mayor Coleman was still in the race. It seems he has plenty of support form the black community.

Has the thought entered your brain yet that if some people vote for Blackwell b/c he is black that many racist republicans will NOT vote for him simply b/c he is black? I'm sure it hasn't.....you just keep sipping that kool-aid all the way until November viva....

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 4, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break Blackwell has no chance of winning Ohio Governorship. If Blackwell were to get every black person in Ohio to vote for him, he would still lose. Why ? There are not that many black people that live in Ohio. They do not make up a huge demographic like they would in say North Carolina, Georgia, or Alabama.
There was a great article in the Washington Post written about the black republican candidate Steele for Senate. It was titled somthing like "Republicans White Flight Problem". They did some polling and the conclusion was "that for every black democrat vote Steele would gain he would lose three white republican voters.That the three white republicans would then vote for a white democrat". I am not says this is right and it is clearly voters that are prejudice. But this is the cold hard reality. And not that these white republicans will ever tell you to your face that they would not vote for a black candidate ( so you can't believe what they are telling the pollers). Take a cold hard look at the Black Republican Alan Keyes run for senate in Illinois he got what 30% in the General Election. Talk about a Republican Disaster.

Posted by: Polling Fraud | May 4, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

When they refer to you as Representative A in an indictment, your days are numbered.

Posted by: nerdoff | May 4, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Re: Zach Space

Check out http://www.zackspace.org/

Compare to Sulzer's site, and you can see why Space won.

Posted by: bob | May 4, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

This is all a pointless discussion, as my Lucky 8 Ball tells me that Bob Ney will be indicted by the end of July.

No matter when Ney is indicted (and you're only fooling yourself if you don't believe he will be), the real question that The Fix should be asking is: Who will the Republicans choose to replace Ney on the ballot with?

Posted by: corbett | May 4, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Vivabush, it's increasingly obvious that you are getting paid by a GOP campaign to post on here.

Ken Blackwell is central to GOP corruption in Ohio; he is not "far-removed from Taft."

DeWine ran basically unopposed. Maybe you failed to note Chris' post about concerns for the Ney campaign for a 68% win under similar circumstances.

You said: "I talked to our local Dem state rep about the possiblity of Blackwell getting numbers of Black voters and he said, 'aw those people don't vote anyway.'"

NAME THIS PERSON OR I MUST INSIST THAT YOU ARE LYING. No Dem in Ohio would say that after Kerry-Bush '04. You are such an obviously phony GOP plant.

History suggests that even if some black Dems defect to Blackwell, they will be more than made up by white GOP voters defecting FROM him.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/13/AR2006041301776.html

"Basically, economist Ebonya Washington found that [the black GOP candidate] could lose 1 to 2 percentage points to the Democratic candidate, if that candidate were white. That could cancel out the gains [the black GOP candidate] is hoping to make among African American voters, who typically vote Democrat."

"Washington's analysis of congressional and gubernatorial voting patterns also found that turnout among black voters will increase for a black candidate, but not when the candidate is Republican."

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2006/04/steele_by_the_numbers.html

Posted by: bob | May 4, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

First, I voted for Jimmy Carter, twice. But the Democratic spin on the Ney race is hilarious. Ney's 68% is a negative? Space got 39%. That means 61% of Democratic voters didn't want him. Was that a protest vote against Space? And the chosen candidate of the Democratic party, Sulzer, finished third. Seems like the Democratic party has little influence on its voters. The Democrats are the ones who should be worried. They're fumbling the ball over and over again.

Posted by: George | May 4, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Ney Campaign:

Pot - Kettle - Black

Chris, you can hardly post the below oppo item with any seriousness. Cafaro's daughter was running in Ohio, so save the sanctimony for her if anyone deserves it. Ney is the poster-boy for the Abramoff scandal, for goodness sake!

In a memo released Wednesday morning, Walsh took issue with the idea that Space has a clean bill of health on ethics, pointing out that Space accepted a $2,000 donation from John Cafaro, "who pleaded guilty in 2001 to bribing former Congressman James Traficant," according to the memo.

Posted by: bob | May 4, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Some observations about OHio two days after.
Though some are blaming Jim Petro for losing the election by waging an inept battle, while there is some truth to this, what really happened was that the conservative base indeed decided to turnout for Ken Blackwell and other conservative candidates.

Last fall the governor polls showed KB with 33-35%, Montgomery at 18 and Petro at 17%. Montgomery WD to wisely run for AG but Petro was delusional believing he could beat KB in a head to head. At no point did any poll show him leading KB. The State chair and a majority of county chairs met with both last January and tried to convince Petro to look at the numbers and make a decision to WD to avoid a bloodbath primary. Of course he refused.

That Blackwell won so easily is more a tribute to the many Republican voters who identify with his issues and the fact that he is far-removed from Taft and thus offers the GOP the best chance to keep the governorship.

This energized and mobilized core will help the entire ticket, especially Senator Dewine. DeWine got 71% of the GOP vote against 2 challengers, challengers that reflected a so-called disapproval of the Senator. More telling is that he got as many votes as he did with little campaigning or money spent and in the face of such a high turnout of base, conservative voters, a base that voted overwhelmingly for him.

Our base also sent a message to the governor and party leadership by saying no to incumbent Treasurer Jeanette Bradley who lost to a conservative candidate Sandra O'Brien. Bradley was Taft's Lt Governor who was later moved to fill Joe Deeter's treasurer's spot when he resigned.
To be sure Bradley did little campaigning but thruthfully, she alienated conservative voters for being too liberal.

Ohio is in the mess it is in because our Republican elected officials have governed like Democrats and not conservatives. Ohioans will be wary of Ted Strickland when they hear his message of more government and higher taxes to pay for them.

Finally, Strickland should be concerned that he has yet to receive the unqualified support from Black leaders such as Rep.Stephaine Tubbs Jones, Senator C.J. Prentiss, Mayor Coleman of Columbus and countless others. We know that Blacks typically vote 90% for Democrats, though Bush did so an increase of that vote in 2004, 16% in Ohio v. 11% nationally.

In the meantime, grassroots black leaders, ministers and black voters are warming to Ken Blackwell. Over the weekend several Black radio stations in the Cleveland area were urging their listeners to "ask for the Blackwell Ballot on Tuesday." Remains to be seen whether there was any appreciable increase in blacks voting GOP. A look at the numbers in the near future will tell. Either way, I would not be surprised.

I talked to our local Dem state rep about the possiblity of Blackwell getting numbers of Black voters and he said, "aw those people don't vote anyway."

Standby.

Posted by: vivabush04OH | May 4, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Ney's victory says only one thing, people don't care about integrity as long as thier side wins. Ney's support is rooted in the fact that the Republican's are in serious jeopardy of losing one of the Houses. But before your Republican radio listening loudmouths jump on me, the Democrats are just as lacking! I can't stand either party! Both parties only concern is winning!! Forget about laws, integrity, and love for country.

Posted by: SteelWheel | May 4, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The polls show that the American people are fed up with Congress, but that their own congressmen and women are doing a great job -

I think the political divide of hating your opponent is so strong right now that Republicans or Democrats just assume vote for a criminal who is one of their own then the other party.

How Sad.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

ACLU IN NEW YORK HIT WITH RICO - THEY SECRETLY PLANTED THEIR OWN ATTORNEY TO COVER-UP FOR PREVIOUS UNETHICAL CONDUCT

http://balancingtheissues.com/aclu-sorrels.htm

Sorry for this side note guys but the court documents do not lie. This is just endemic of how corrupt and BS driven both sides have become. We have to stop hating each other and focus on both sides contempt for the American People.

BObby WC

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | May 4, 2006 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Zach Space is pretty clearly the best candidate for the Democrats. Joe Sulzer, the party's preferred candidate, actually came in third in the primary. The Rothenburg Report had said Sulzer would be vulnerable to oppo research campaigning anyway (though he didn't specify what dirt there is to dig up).

Posted by: Staley | May 4, 2006 8:34 AM | Report abuse

www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info
www.wsws.org
otherside123.blogspot.com

http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/2304/1/1/

Wisconsin Bill to Ban Coerced Chip Implants
The state's legislative branch passed a bill banning anyone from implanting RFID microchips into people without their consent.

By Beth Bacheldor

May 2, 2006--Wisconsin's legislative branch cleared a bill late last week that would ban anyone from implanting RFID microchips into people without their consent. Assembly Bill 291, introduced on April 4, 2005, by State Rep. Marlin Schneider (D) will now move to the governor's office, where Gov. Jim Doyle is expected to sign it into law.

The legislation prohibits anyone, including employers or government agencies, from requiring people to have microchips implanted in them. Violators would face fines of up to $10,000.


Wisconsin State Representative Marlin Schneider

Rep. Schneider says he introduced the bill mainly to protect individual rights. "We ought not to allow employers to force this technology onto employees to track them every time they walk into a bathroom or leave a building," he says. "That is very intrusive, even more so than anything [George] Orwell ever dreamed of."

Schneider acknowledges that in certain instances, such as in some medical applications, it can be useful to embed an RFID microchip under a person's skin. In such cases, the microchip can be scanned wirelessly with an RFID interrogator to read the tag's unique ID number, then use that ID to access information about that person.

For example, VeriChip in Delray Beach, Fla., makes the VeriMed patient identification system, which is currently being tested on a small scale at several hospitals around the country (see N.J. Hospital to Accept VeriChip IDs). With VeriMed, hospital personnel can read a patient's unique ID number by waving an RFID reader over the general area of the implanted chip, then use that ID number to access a database securely containing identity and medical information.

The Wisconsin Assembly has asked Schneider and others to look into applications of the microchips "where it might be useful even without consent, such as using a chip in an Alzheimer's patient or in certain classes of criminals, such as sex predators, but you still have to protect the civil rights of these people," Schneider says.

If Gov. Doyle signs the bill into law, Wisconsin would be the first U.S. state to pass such a bill. At least one other state has eyed legislation that would ban the forced implantation of an RFID chip. In January, New Hampshire's House of Representatives passed a bill, HB-203. Among other things, this bill would have prohibited the implantation of an RFID tag into any person without their consent or that of a legal guardian (see N. H. Reps Approve Tracking Device Bill,).

In mid-April, however, New Hampshire State Senator Joseph D. Kenney (R) introduced an amended version of the bill. The sole purpose of the amended version was to establish a commission to study the use of radio frequency technology in the private and public sectors, as well as its benefits and potential privacy implications. The Senate then passed the amended bill, which has now gone to the office of New Hampshire's governorto await his signature.

Posted by: che | May 4, 2006 7:42 AM | Report abuse

With Tom DeLay's departure from the scene, Congressman Ney is the most toxic politician on the ballot in the United States. Even Chris Cilliza could beat him in a general election.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | May 4, 2006 6:19 AM | Report abuse

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