May 2007 Archive

Nepotism charged in gov’s transition

Here’s Bill Todd accusing Michael Coleman of nepotism via Right Angle Blog. It’s a longish 7 and a half minutes. (Get to the point faster, please.)

Buckeye State Blog reacts with venom- I notice that they take shots at Coleman personally over there:

Ohio’s Favorite Scum Bag

Bill Todd is pathetic. He promised not to get personal in the campaign for Mayor of Columbus. Yet that’s all he’s done for the entirety of his campaign… lob personal attacks at Mayor Mike Coleman and his wife, Frankie….

The truth, of course, is far from what Bill Todd claims. The Mayor did what every transition chair does – help pick the cabinet-level leadership, then move on. He never hired – or had the authority to hire – a single person. Ipso facto, no possibility of a felonious act. Claiming Coleman’s involvement and responsibility in low level staff hires is like asserting the pope’s responsible for the window cleaners a church hires in Bexley. It’s ridiculous.

In the video, Todd preemptively challenges that assertion, saying that the laws against nepotism also prohibit delegating such hiring, otherwise we’d have “every subordinate hiring the boss’s wife.”

Here’s the press release at Todd’s site.

Split decision

More on the Split and its two proposed renovations at ThisWeek:

“Commuting patterns are a citywide issue, not just an issue specific to any particular community,” said Northland Community Council president Dave Paul. “The highway serves a lot of people, including many Northland residents who travel through there each day. They’re interested in how the alternatives would affect them.”

The Ohio Department of Transportation has scheduled two public meetings in June to discuss the future of the Interstate 70/71 split.

The meetings are set for 5 p.m. June 11 and 13 at the Columbus Health Department Auditorium, 240 Parsons Ave.

ODOT officials call the split one of the “most congested, high-crash freeway locations on the state.”

For the past six months, ODOT has been comparing two possible alternatives for the split. One would put the split at the Mound and Fulton street exit. The second option would place it at the Livingston Avenue and Fulton Street exit.

Risky business

Right Angle Blog links to this Dayton Daily News story where one of the sponsors of the Iran divestment bill (HB 151), Rep. Shannon Jones, says:

Jones says it isn’t about making a political statement. Instead, the bill is designed to protect retirees’ money since investing in Iran and Sudan is risky.

“I can’t understand why the pension funds are resisting this,” Jones said. “It’s their responsibility to be assessing this risk. They are not.”

That just sounds stupid. Those fund managers are weighing the risks to a far greater extent than state representatives are. It’s almost insulting to suggest otherwise (insulting- not to the fund managers, but to you and me for expecting us to believe that).

If the bill sponsors are going to mess around like that, I’m less inclined to believe them on other things. The purpose of the bill is to marshal American financial resources in support of our foreign policy, so that they’re not working at cross-purposes. Also:

State Sen. Jeff Jacobson, R-Butler Twp., also introduced legislation in the Senate that would force the pension systems and other government agencies to divest from companies doing business in Sudan because of the genocide in the Darfur region.

Hmm. Are those floodgates that I hear opening?

UPDATE: Here’s a thing via Jill. The bill gets a floor vote on Tuesday, June 5.

Columbus highly ranked (in disease)

Here’s something Columbus ranks really high in:

According to Columbus city health officials, Columbus has the highest rate of TB in the state — and one of the highest rates in the nation.

TB is spread from person to person through the air and usually affects the lungs.

Some patients feel like they have the flu or cough up blood. But if someone is diagnosed with TB, the city health department in the person’s area will be notified. Then, the city will monitor that person.

City officials will then notify the state health department and the Center for Disease Control.

See, that’s why I never use public transportation. Plus, it’s for jerks and lesbians.

Burbank calling

Views on Skybus’s Columbus to Burbank route from Jon at columbusING and from the Los Angeles Times. Here’s Jon:

Pros

Cheap flights - you can’t beat the price. Even with all the extras ($10 extra for priority boarding and $5/ checked bag) - the price was right.

Destinations - flying into Burbank is way better and easier than flying into LAX. Most of the other destinations utilize under-served markets and airports. That rocks.

The Plane - better than expected

Cons

The Greyhound of the Skies? I’m not sure this is a good thing. The crowd can be a little tough. On our flight from Columbus to LA there was a drunk nascar fan walking around and introducing herself to passengers. If you can’t suppress your inner-travel snob then it’s probably best not to fly on Skybus.

More at the link.

Not so bright

The AdBrite ads are gone. I had the option to set it up to review all ads before they show up here, but I didn’t want to do that. So any banner ad could conceivably show up. That was a mistake. A little while ago, when I was looking at ads already shown I found that one of them included sound turned on by default. Few things on the web infuriate me more. The AdBrite stats say that the ad was shown to two people. Sorry if you were one of those!

Illegal immigration confusion

From the Ohio 15th Blog:

Why do the Republicans hate immigrants? Instead of trying to work on a bill that provides comprehensive immigration reform, the GOP just wants to delay and confuse the issue.

One type of confusion I’d like to see end is that of some Democrats and others on the left purposefully confusing Republican opinion on legal immigrants with illegal immigrants. It’s just about a cliche by now that whenever a Republican expresses opposition to illegal immigration, a Democrat will characterize the Republican as being against immigration. And the press has largely failed here since they allow the deception to go unchallenged most of the time.

It’s a perfectly reasonable stance to support legal immigration, even in large numbers, while being opposed to any accommodation to those who are here illegally.

Having said that, however, I think it’s probably best that the current immigration reform bill be passed now and tweaked later. It’ll be a while before the opportunity for comprehensive reform arises again, and the status quo is untenable.

Divestiture rep divests

Jill at Writes Like She Talks got an email from Josh Mandel, the Republican State Representative sponsoring the Iran divestment bill HB 151. (There was an issue with the Rep owning GE stock, which I wrote about here.)

I sold my GE stock. The bill is scheduled for a committee vote today [5/30]. Feel free to ask your friends and family to contact their legislators to urge support of it, just like thousands of Christians and Jews, Democrats and Republicans, have been doing over the past couple months to get it to this point.

Jill posts:

Although I’m not comfortable supporting it, given the state pension funds’ concerns, written about numerous times in this blog, I commend Josh for his hard work and unwavering confidence in this course of action. I’m extremely pleased that he’s sold his GE stock (I haven’t verified that, per se, but I’m gonna trust him on this, thanks).

I’ve spoken with him off the record about the Middle East and am certain of his devotion to the State of Israel. I can’t disagree with that, even if I might disagree with the means to preserving something we both love.

Good to see that Mandel’s followed through on that. Of course he had to. The bill made it out of committee and is scheduled for a floor vote next week.

(And is this another instance of a blog breaking a story?)

Todd wants governor transition inquiry

Republican Columbus mayoral candidate Bill Todd’s moving on the Coleman controversy today:

Todd calls for three investigations into activities of Strickland Transition Team

Mayoral candidate questions Mike Coleman’s role in Transition Team personnel activities

(Columbus) Mayoral Candidate Bill Todd today called for separate state and local investigations into the hiring and payroll activities of the Strickland-Fisher Transition Team. His announcement is in follow-up to a public records request Todd made on May 21 of Governor Strickland, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman who served as Transition Team chairman, and John Haseley, the Governor’s current chief of staff. To date, Todd has received no response from any of the three individuals.

Todd is concerned, among other things, with the fact that Mayor Coleman apparently hired his wife, Frankie, to a position on the Transition Team. It is a felony for a Public Official, under 2921.42(A) of the Ohio Revised Code, to [either] authorize the employment of a family member [or] use the authority of his position to secure employment for any family member.

More on that from Right Angle Blog.

In other Bill Todd news, they’re upgrading the campaign website at www.votebilltodd.com. It looks like it’s based on the WordPress blogging software (as this site is) and contains all kinds of Web 2.0 goodies like links to Flickr, Google Calendar, and a blog, though there’s nothing posted there yet, and of course videos and mp3s. Looks like they’re not quite done yet.

The New Hampshire Project

I’ve been quietly following Jerid at Buckeye State Blog’s extended road trip to New Hampshire that he’s calling The New Hampshire Project. The idea is to get the Ohio angle on the NH Democratic primary, and, more dubiously, to represent Ohio there- as if there’s a single set of Ohio positions, even among Democrats.

Regardless, Jerid’s out there doing it. Now maybe it’s too early to pass judgment on his effort, but I am really unimpressed so far. He has certainly not elevated the project with this morning’s post from New Hampshire. Republican candidate Mitt Romney was quoted last week:

“I oppose discrimination against gay people,” Romney said. “I am not anti-gay. I know there are some Republicans, or some people in the country who are looking for someone who is anti-gay and that’s not me.”

Now one might think that as a good Democrat, who therefore favors something approaching gay equality, Jerid might applaud Romney’s statement as a victory for a putative Dem position, or in a more reporterly way, find out how far Romney’s non-discrimination position goes. Jobs? Housing? Marriage?

But no. In pure Gotcha! style, he focuses on Romney’s admission that there are anti-gay Republicans, or more exactly, Republicans looking for anti-gay candidates. This is news? His killer idea is to ask Romney on camera, like a cut-rate Mike Wallace, to estimate how many Republicans are anti-gay. When Romney’s “goons” come along to escort Jerid away, victory is declared. Here’s the video:

“So keep asking him.” Can I ask why?

One of the things that’s wrong with Gotcha! style journalism is that it discourages people from being forthcoming. Any candid remark or admission against interest becomes the focus of a media circus and various media stunts, and since everyone knows this, everyone ends up saying nothing of importance whatsoever. Bloggers are probably worse on this score than the MSM, by the way.

And more specifically, does Jerid really think that there are no anti-gay Democrats? Or is the story supposed to be that no Democratic candidate would ever be honest enough to say so? I guess that lack of transparency is supposed to be a good thing.

It’s good that an Ohio blogger is covering the NH primary. But it would be better with more substance and fewer stunts.

Film Ohio

The Dispatch has an AP article about the lack of an Ohio film office since 2002.

State development officials and moviemaking groups want more action when it comes to persuading filmmakers to shoot in Ohio.

The state eliminated the Ohio Film Commission in 2002 to save money. Now, the Development Department is trying to establish a state film office that would help market shooting locations from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

And a lawmaker is pushing for legislation to offer tax incentives to people who invest in major productions shot in the state, which would add Ohio to 43 other states that offer financial lures.

Louisiana apparently had some success with this:

Tres Bernhard, executive vice president of LIFT Productions, formed by the Louisiana Institute of Film Technology, said the effort has created 15,000 jobs that pay more than $25 an hour.

Tax incentives are crucial to attract film companies, he said.

“You won’t get any without them,” he said.

There are two sides to the issue:

State Sen. Patricia Clancy, a Cincinnati Republican, has proposed legislation to provide an income-tax credit for individuals who invest in movies, television shows or commercials filmed in Ohio as long as the production costs at least $300,000.

But the bill, which has not been approved in the past, faces another obstacle in Ohio Tax Commissioner Rich Levin who has promised to oppose weakening the state’s tax system with loopholes, exemptions and special treatment.

It’s always complicated.

Toledo’s cancer

There’s a mayoral recall effort in Toledo. Here’s Lisa Renee at Glass City Jungle:

I got an invitation to join the MySpace page for the Recall Carty effort, so I headed over to check out the page, after having already have seen the webpage. If you thought the website was a bit “over the top” before it was edited, then buckle your seatbelts for the MySpace version because it states, in all caps in large letters:

* MAYOR CARTY FINKBEINER IS A DANGER TO THIS CITY. LIKE CANCER, IF HE IS LEFT ALONE AND ALLOWED TO SPREAD HIS MISDIRECTED “TOLEDO PRIDE,” THE CANCER WILL TAKE IT’S NATURAL COURSE. WHEN THEY FIND CANCEROUS SUBSTANCES SPREADING THROUGH PATIENT’S BODY, DOCTORS DO NOT DEBATE WHAT WILL HAPPEN, THEY STOP THE SPREADING. WE NEED TO REMOVE THE CANCER, MAYOR CARTY FINKBEINER.

Well I’m convinced. Nothing persuades like capital letters. Also, I myself was once diagnosed with misdirected Toledo Pride, so I know how painful and embarrassing that can be.

Broad & High

Cap City Savvy has some pics and words about the Broad & High development on Broad and High Streets. In addition to studios for NBC4, it’ll have both a coffee shop and a cafe. Sweet progress.

The smoking police

Right Angle Blog has a post up on enforcement of the public smoking ban. Matt links to this AP story and asks:

So if a complaint does not prove that a violation has occurred, then why are businesses have “30 days to comply” after the complaint is filed? Maybe the AP’s description is sloppy, but it sounds like establishments are guilty until proven innocent. And how does a business prove they are in compliance, without the smoking police physically inspecting the establishment on a daily basis?

These are all good questions. Lisa Renee at Glass City Jungle is also writing about it:

First a friend of mine was told by a Toledo police officer that [the complaints] were going to be used to issue citations for those caught smoking, then I recently heard that the Lucas County Health Department was going to start having off duty officers accompany health inspectors so that people who were caught smoking could be forced to provide their contact information. From what I understand an inspector from the health department has no legal ability to demand your name and address to be able to write a citation if you are caught smoking but a police officer does. I do know according to Ohio Law if you refuse to identify yourself you can be arrested.

I think Lisa Renee has this wrong, unless Lucas County is going a different direction from everyone else. Enforcement is going to focus on business owners, not on anyone caught smoking. A call to an 800 number isn’t going to result in a smoker being cited unless the law races to the scene like an ambulance. But as Matt asks, is a call going to be treated as a conviction for the owner? I haven’t heard anyone being clear on this.

It’s fully possible that no one is being clear because no one really knows.

Strickland- man of letters

Governor Strickland has sent President Bush a letter. Buckeye State Blog has quotes and comments:

From Strickland’s certified letter to the President:

1. Will you give me your personal assurance that every Ohio Soldier, prior to deployment, is provided with the most up-to-date equipment for their mission, including individual body armor systems, M-4 rifles and other weapons systems, night vision devices, and up-armored type vehicles?

2. Will you give me your personal assurance that every Ohio Soldier, prior to deployment, receives appropriate training for their mission, utilizing the equipment they will be using when deployed

I got five bucks on Dole-y being the first rightwinger to go all frothy at the mouth. C’mon buddy, I know you can do it.

Matt Dole’s brief reply:

You. Lose.

As they say on Family Feud, “Good answer!”

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