It is what it says it is.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Emily's Dismissed

Here we go, back in the ring again. This time it is an editiorial from the Akron Beacon Journal slamming Betty in the corner for her incredibly negative campaign in the 13th district, run by the special interest group, Emily's List. See below:

From the ABJ today:

Honestly, Betty
Tom Sawyer, man of many junkets? Give us a break
John Seiberling isn't the type to thrust himself into a Democratic primary, years after leaving Congress, his exemplary legacy long ago established, from challenging the corrupt and imperial Richard Nixon to founding the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Thus, the moment deserved attention last week, the former House member registering in a phone conversation his disappointment in the negative campaign of Betty Sutton, the distortion-filled attacks against Tom Sawyer launched on her behalf by OH Women Vote!, a project of EMILY's List.
``I'm embarrassed,'' Seiberling said. He argued that Sutton ought to reject the attacks and apologize to Sawyer. Was Seiberling merely coming to the aid of his successor in the House? He actually made a point of noting that Sutton had been running a ``good campaign'' before she and her friends turned so nasty.
Many Democrats have received the direct-mail barrage, campaign literature portraying Sawyer as a representative who ``said `hello' to over 20 fabulous destinations,'' traveling on the tab of ``special interests'' as ``thousands of Ohio workers said `adios' to their jobs.'' The charge is ludicrous. For years, Sawyer has been jabbed for aloofness, for failing to rub elbows with the powerbrokers. Now he is part of the Bob Ney crowd, galivanting around the world?
Sawyer has asserted: ``I know desperation when I see it.'' Actually, the blasts smack of a cynicism that an earlier version of Betty Sutton, the one who served in the Ohio House, would have immediately found loathsome. All of this smells of a poll, or focus group, or both, identifying ``corruption'' as the most easily exploited issue, and the consultants hatching a dark plan to do no less.
The problem? The attacks have nothing to do with reality. Sutton would be on more solid ground insisting that William Hung would have been better leading the Rolling Stones than Mick Jagger.
Who are these special interests? Foundations, largely, that bring together lawmakers, experts, business leaders and others to talk about policy matters. In one instance, Sawyer was part of a group of American and European officials looking to improve access to their markets for auto sales. This wasn't golf at St. Andrews on Jack Abramoff's dime.
Team Sutton cites a news story stating that Sawyer was ``the most frequent traveler among the Ohio delegation.'' When did the counting start and end? The Toledo Blade recently pointed to 57 trips by Sherrod Brown, who created the open seat in the 13th District when he embarked on his race for the U.S. Senate. Sutton regularly seeks the glow of the Brown presence. Does that include his wish to take a fellowship in Japan while serving as Ohio secretary of state?
As John Seiberling knows well, proper travel benefits lawmakers and their constituents, especially in this global economy. That is the Sawyer record. Anyone who suggests otherwise just isn't being honest.

This reaffirms the bad taste negative campaigns leave in people's mouths. It also reaffirms the incredibly bad taste DC establishments leave in people's mouths. There is only one thing to say: Emily, you are dismissed. Goodbye.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Putting the "Fun" in Fundraiser

It was reported to us that yesterday, at a fundraiser for Dennis Will, somewhat of a semi-altercation occurred. Apparently, several candidates were there working the room as usual, passing out literature, talking the talk, and all that jazz. At one point, Betty Sutton approached a table that was described as "...a group of Senior Women activists in the Lorain Democratic Party." After a brief introduction, Ms. Sutton was then grabbed on the arm by one of these seniors and scolded for her attack ads she has been using as the centerpiece of her campaign. The women at the table apparently wanted to know who and what was behind the ads, asking for a source. The situation was noticeable from across the room as a few witnesses poked fun at the incident.

Now that would be funny. Betty and Emily taking on a group of seniors in the ring. Seniors who advocate for the Lorain Democratic Party nonetheless. Maybe it is time for Emily's Lisp to find another campaign to sabotage.

On a side note, everyone should get their recycling bins ready. If you're mail is anything like mine, then you have enough campaign literature from a ton of candidates to build a fort in your backyard.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Over the years in American politics, communications have expanded by taking on innovative roles and increasing methodological approaches. We go back as far to the days of FDR when newspapers and previews in movie theaters began to showcase the developments of this American leader while spinning a message to the public. Even back then, it was evident of the sources this communication encompassed: certain entities in society with vested interest in an American Presidency funneling out his message to voters.Onward we go to the days when television ads crossed over to the experimental phase and politicans that could afford to, took a stab at a small screen debut. Each President (and those elected officials within their era) can be given a label of "the first newspaper president," "the first radio president," and "the first television President." In each of these entities respectively, individuals accountable for each candidacy provided a viable source in which developments could be traced back to discover the trend-setting strategies to influence society.

Now here we are, in 2006, when the youngest form of these communication tools has reached an ultimate peak: The Internet. Whether or not Gore created it, the use of websites in public office and campaigns, and the giant push of Dean in 2004 to revolutionize fundraising over the web, has been a landmark in American politics in the start of this decade.

More recently, readers have been introduced to a new galaxy: The Blogosphere. This creation, featured in everything to online photo albums, sports pages, to personal pages, and now political races, is a risky invention. The ability to provide a viable source at times is near impossible. No one can filter through and find a definite identity of authors on the web, a true reason behind the content, or the goal of which a message is seeking. We at Ohio 13, like many, feel we maintain a particular viability in what we post. However, we are mindful of the consequences of influence. In regards for the full respect of each voter in the 13th district, those that will ultimately have the say in this primary race, we release the endorsement from Ohio 13:


Ohio 13 is not going to pretend to trick you one way or the other. We do not hate on the candidates. We try to be fair. We have written about many things, and have considered many of yours. We are tickled by the quelms of each candidate, and the responses rendered by many of you. We are not the Cleveland Plain Dealer, we are not a radio station, we are not a labor organization, nor a public official. We encourage each of you to make your own endorsement by voting next Tuesday to get your voice heard. On the other our next post, we will provide a synopsis of our prior posts and the qualities we feel have been exemplary of each candidate. Until then, keep up the fight!

Emily's Pissed

Here we go again. In light of Pho's post the other day, I too went outside to retrieve my mail only to find another piece of literature from Emily for Congress, or, Betty Sutton to some. This time, Emily takes a break from attacking Tom Sawyer and takes a stab at Capri Cafaro. We have some tid bits on here like "Capri testified to get immunity..." and "We can't trust her."These items, already in speculation, come as no surprise from Emily.

Once again, after failing to establish a complaint with any merit whatsoever against Sawyer (since Sutton herself benefitted from the same trips when she was in the state house from special interest groups) money has been spent in a way that does not focus on Sutton's strengths. We could have seen a literature piece focusing on a plan of action, not a plan of protest.

This situation reminds me of an episode from Seinfeld that guest starred Raquel Welch. Elaine got caught up on the street in Ms. Welch's path and ended up with some heavy scratches. Emily, Betty, Capri... all in one ring. To quote the great J. Peterman on the show, "I smell the makings of a good 'ol fashioned cat fight....woof!"

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Not-So Exciting Debate Starring Big Baby Betty

From what we have heard, the Cleveland City Club debate for the 13th congressional district candidates was nothing out of the ordinary, except once again, Bill Grace was a no show. It has been reported that a family emergency came up unexpectedly. If this is the case, we wish him well and hope that all is fine.

On the other hand, the debate included the standard opening remarks, a few questions asked, and so on and yadda yadda yadda. One of the questions was aimed at Capri Cafaro to once again ask the same question about her immunity. What I don't understand, is why people would waste their time on any candidate by asking them the same question when they already know what the answer was going to be. I would have asked instead Gary Kucinich about what his plan would be to get out of Iraq, Cafaro about how she would implement her SAW plan into policy action after all of its criticsm, Tom Sawyer what he would do differently in this Congress vs. the old Congress, Betty Sutton what she stands for on, well, anything... and so on down the line.

Another highlight discussed in the news was the mildly heated exchange between Tom Sawyer and Betty Sutton. Betty Sutton refused to apologize for being the only top tier candidate playing dirty on the air in this race. We are hearing more and more of the same from Betty, and we aren't sure if this negative approach is the best way to spend her money on television. Surely, it is not selling Betty Sutton in her finest form, particularly when Mr. Sawyer can rebut her claim of his scandolous lobbying trips with similar trips she took while in the state house. Maybe this is the result of having your race run by a group in Washington, rather than fueled by the people in the 13th district as all the other candidates have done. It would be in her best interest to dry the tears now before the final weekend arrives before the primary. On that note, I am off to take my medicine and head back to bed.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hospital Memoirs, TV Land, and an Elephant Stampede

Well, I must say we at Ohio 13 were hoping that all of the excitement would hold off for a week while I made somewhat of a speedy recovery from a minor operation. To our faithful readers: Thank you for your kind support as this has been a stressful time...and what a time to have to endure it.

As the final week of campaigning approaches for all candidates throughout the state, our television sets will be flooded with messages like, "If Ken Blackwell gets elected, some mean person will run up and steal your child's blanket..." and "Capri Cafaro cannot be bought now or never!" and most recently, "If you and your colleagues are ever hijacked, don't worry, Betty Sutton will run like the wind." Speaking of Betty, during my lovely hospital visit, an Ohio13 teammember brought my mail during visiting hours, which included a few pieces of literature on behalf of her candidacy. As expected, the literature was brought to my doorstep courtesy of Emily's List. I know I have touched upon the issue before, but for someone with a supposed history of standing up to lobbyists and interest groups that now embraces a special interest group, this has some irony to it. It basically reaffirms her alliance with Washington and a pre-mature beltway mentality, introducing herself early on as someone that can be controlled by groups outside of her constituency. 2006 is supposed to be the year the Democrats don't run their races from DC, but Betty's campaign seems to be the black sheep in that flock.

As far as the other side of the aisle is concerned, we wonder what the GOP primary numbers will end up being. The democrats have been taking their own polls, and for good reason. But will Foltin remain the golden boy for the remaining 8 days? It seems that McGrew and Burtlaff have been making a final push, especially with visibility. Foltin has the cash, but obviously is not spending much. It looks like he is utilizing the Tom Sawyer method of assuming he will walk into the nomination.

Finally, the Cafaro factor. We know her ads will continue through election day, but will they be countered with attack ads? Whatever the case, the City Club debate on Wednesday promises to be the culminating event at which each candidate will have the opportunity to start making their final pitch. Ohio 13 would like to know what questions you think she be asked aside from what is already known. What issues (aside from Sawyer's back taxes and congressional trips, Cafaro's immunity, or Sutton's special interests) should be brought before the candidates that deserve more light? We want to know what you would do if you were the moderator...our eyes and ears are waiting.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wow... well, this definitely ain't boring

It's definitely exciting when the lawyers get involved... yep, Cafaro will sue anyone who misstates her immunity deal thingy. It's certainly an aggressive move, although I can't say that it's what I'd have done if I had the power and authority to make those choices. Sounds a bit harsh... but almost understandable at this point. I imagine if I were in the center of a tornado, I'd do anything I could to fight back. Of course, it also gives Gary Kucinich something that he hasn't had in quite a while... attention, which is the biggest issue I would take strategically with the move.

Yep, Brother of Dennis gets his share of coverage, since it was apparently he who got this brouhaha started. He sounds the appropriate martyr tone...

From the Morning Journal:

Kucinich is not concerned with the threat of a lawsuit from his opponent.''I will not be intimidated by someone who is a billionaire,'' he said. ''She can never cover up the truth. The question remains: Why did she ask for immunity if she didn't do anything wrong?''

Well Gary, since you keep bringing it up, let's look at it. According to her letter,she did not insist on immunity. But considering the source, we'll look deeper.

The Elyria Chronicle Reporter Steven Szucs had a similar question, it appears, and talked to a local attorney

From the ECT:

Lorain attorney Jack Bradley, who is not affiliated with Cafaro, agreed that offers of immunity are common and accepting any such offer would be a smart move. “You should still get immunity even if you didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

But even after that... I still don't know what the hell to make of all this. It is bizarre on a whole number of angles. Maybe Tom Sawyer is taking the best political strategy, in speaking to the Morning Journal:

Former Congressman Tom Sawyer, also a Democratic candidate for the 13th District seat, said yesterday he had not yet read the letter. The former Akron mayor said he has paid little attention to the issue and his campaign has no intention of pursuing it.''I have no intention of undertaking that issue,'' Sawyer said. ''That's in the past.''

In other notes on this issue... I actually have a copy of the "newspaper" in question being distributed by Gary K. It's quite a funny read. It appears to be an ad hoc publication dedicated entirely to pimping Kucinich. Where there aren't articles praising Gary, there are Gary ads... The odd thing, is that it claims an actual masthead and a history of printing since 1967... A vanity newspaper with that long a history might be a sign of some severe narcissism.

The persons listed on the Masthead themselves are also quite interesting... it appears dominated by a Huffman family, including a Gina Huffman. This comes as really odd, as a Gina Huffman is also the Treasurer of the Northeast Ohio Voter Education Fund, which sent out a fundraising letter earlier this campaign to a number of "Democrat and Republican" voters dedicated to "keeping Capri Cafaro out of Congress." So wheels within wheels are working here.

So as usual, "everything seems to be up in the air at this time. One day soon, it will all settle down," as the boys of Camper Van Beethoven once said... It's a shame, there just so much to cover, and my personal issues keep me from it... Cafaro ads are on the air, Sutton and EMILY's List direct mail pieces are in the mailboxes, so much to discuss... What's next, Mike Lyons engaging in self-immolation to protest his lack of coverage? Tom Sawyer whitewashing a fence? Anything else we haven't seen yet?

OH 13
ohio13 at gmail dot com

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sorry, an observation, and who knows what else WITH UPDATE

First, my apologies for the absence. I had some news of a medical nature that has kind of taken the wind out of my sails. It's been a rough week, and I apologize to you all.

An observation... I love and hate the blogging process. I enjoy hearing and arguing with the readers, the ability to shape discourse, and even the writing and researching process... brngs back grad school memories... But it's rouch blogging, never knowing if the message you intended gets through, and in general, the sense of convincing or not convincing the same X people over and over again... it gets frustrating. But thems the breaks... maybe it's just the detritus of an entirely shitty week being washed up...

As for today... Openers notes that Sutton is on the offensive again against Sawyer, this time on the issue of Congressional Junkets... While it is my feeling that strategically, attacking, and attacking on such perks of incumbency is a good idea for Sutton, I am concerned about junkets not taking off as an issue. They really should, as they are in many ways a visible sign of the arrogance of too many elected officials... Notice that they are rarely if ever to Des Moines or Wichita or other less than touristy locales, these trips... It's one thing to take an argicultural junket to Dubuque, Iowa, but when politicians get free trips to Vegas and overseas to discuss things that certainly can be more reasonably and economically discussed in less exotic places.

Yet it's never taken off. Lot's of campaigns tried nationwide to make it work in 2004, and few if any got real traction on the issue. I'm hoping that what has happened with Ney is a sign it may work elsewhere, but Ney also has other significant ethical issues.

What is funny though, is that Sutton also got some attention for a trip she took in the State House... nothing quite so untoward as a "junket" apparently, but in 1997, the Plain Dealer noted that she missed the swearing in ceremony for that House session when she took an overseas trip to Singapore. The House Dem spokesman called it a planned trip, and it is not apparent from the article whether or not it was paid for by her, or an organization, but it seems noteworthy. UPDATE: The Sutton Campaign informs me this was a planned family vacation.

I bring this up not to bash Sutton, because, although I dislike the way in which certain DC entities have attempted to involve themselves in the race on her behalf, I kind of like her. It's just really indicative of the problem with negative attacks... everyone has negatives, and as campaigns devolve into who's less bad than whom, we get politicians and interest groups more adept at throwing mud than actually making or shaping policy. We have a class of people whose role in life is to tell people how to get elected, and how to destroy those who oppose them.

Also, in the ironic department, EMILY's List sent out a letter accusing the NRA of meddling in the 13th district by endorsing Capri Cafaro. While the NRA may not reflect the values of the 13th perfectly, I am damn sure that EM's list doesn't either. So, essentially, they are making an issue about the NRA meddling where they are already meddling... because they were first... Oh, in a perfect world, who knows, the people of the 13th could make up their own damned minds, and not have either group meddle?

But that won't happen, and at the end, it is kinda funny... I love this game!

ohio13 at gmail dot com