Saturday, April 29, 2006

Republican Primary - Governor

Well we are in the last 72 hours of the Primary battle. The phone calls are being made, literature being distributed and parties being planned for Tuesday night.

In fact I did a little GOTV telephone calls myself for the Candidate of my choice. Most of the calls were receptive to my candidate, a few were totally opposed to him and there were still a few who openly admitted that they have not made the decision yet.

That is not surprising giving the ferociousness of the media campaign for all the major guberntorial candidates, even Flannery/Stams had commercials on. People may be still trying to hash out what is true and what is contrived information from the background checks.

The race for Governor is an important one, because for the past 8 years we have had a totally ineffective Governor. This state is in need of a solid person, who will not back down from a fight either with the Lobbyists or the State House or even Washington. We are need of someone to figure ways to bring businesses back to Ohio. I am not talking about big business, I am talking about companies that create jobs of less than 1000 people and down. That is what this State needs, do any of the four Candidates have that ability -- well I can only hope!

For the sake of this entry, I am eliminating the TEL Amendment issue because I just don't know enough about to make and informed decision on it. Although, just today I saw a letter signed by all the Republican Mayors of Cuyahoga County indicating their disagreement with it. For what its worth, it was published by the Petro for Governor Committee.

At times I have been disappointed in both campaigns to point of not voting for either of them and sitting out the Governor's Primary all together.

Some of the high points of the promises that each has made:


  • Wants to reduce the numbers State agencies through elimination and consolidation, thereby saving the State up to $2 billion -- smaller government is the main plank of the GOP.
  • privatized the Economic development - making less dependent on the State budget
  • Reduce the cost of higher education; He wants to reduce tuition for Ohio Students


  • Control Government spending (this is where I believe the TEL Amendment comes into play)
  • Reducing income taxes to a simpler form (I have always considered this a flat tax ala Steve Forbes)
  • Reducing the Sales Tax
  • Privatization of the Turnpike, with the savings used to create a "JOBS FUND"
  • Education Funding - He touts the 65 cent rule for school systems (I would have talk with a School superintendent to determine if this viable)

I am not looking at the Pro-Life/Abortion and the Marriage issues because that is more a personal issue for me and should be decided by the individual voter.

Now, the Blackwell people say they are ahead in the polls by a dozen points across the state, the Petro people say that they are within the margin of error, but admit they are behind.

The way I see it Petro camp is hoping to win the Northern Ohio vote and steal from Franklin and Hamilton County enough to put them over the top; The Blackwell folks are looking at the I-71, I-75 and I-77 and I-90 race, basically win all the counties that border the major highways and they win.

I see a split in the state based on an comment by Mayor George last year. That comment was that if he had to make a choice on a down state candidate and one from NEOhio, he would take the NEOhio person because he felt that person would be more willing to help the area. I can see that logic and have used it in previous elections here in Ohio and back in my home state of New York.

Will I use it here - NO - because the way I see this race breaking down is the race will be won along the center part of the state, such as in Mansfield, Canton Steubenville, look at a map and find State Route 30. I think the rural counties will be the tipping points. The race will be tight in the big cities and counties. So look to see what the returns are in Ashland, Stark, Jefferson, Miami and all the counties along that line.

Through all the ads and rhetoric, my vote will be based on last summer and the BWC scandal and the report had come indicating that the Security and Exchange Commission had sent letters to Jim Petro regarding their concerns about the investment of funds, Petro is quoted as saying that he didn't think that those concerns warranted an investigation.

As one who works for a law firm and has been involved with clients who received similar letters from the SEC, it is usually an all out effort to appease the SEC. Here the Chief Lawyer of the State didn't think much of these letters. To me that is reprehensible and is not worthy of my willingness hire Petro for the job.

I say vote Ken Blackwell.

I believe Mr. Blackwell will stand up and fight, we may not always like it, but after 8 years of nothingness it will be a refreshing change.

What will interesting to watch will be the minority vote, will they stay true to the Democrats or will they cross over.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Primary Election - Low Hanging Fruit - Republicans & TOSS UP RACES

From the Republican Side, the easy races to predict are:


Betty Montgomery will win this race based on experience and name. However, I won't vote for her, I think Tim Grendell is a great candidate and a good lawyer who now has gotten caught in the fallout of the Governor's race. He deserves better.
I would had no problem voting for her if she had dropped in the AG race last fall, like it had been rumored since about last August, but she stuck around the Governor's race and finally when the numbers were not coming in, she bailed. Now Tim Grendell who had spent a lot of time and probably money in working the state to get his name out for the AG's job will have to wait around for 4 more years. I sure hope that if the Republicans can hold the Governor's seat that Mr. Grendell is rewarded with a high post in the administration or a Judicial appointment.
As I see it he got royally screwed by the Party and now with term limits he will be out of the Senate at the end of 2008.


Jennette Bradley will retain the seat that she was appointed to in 2005.


Mike DeWine - The only race to be had here is whether the winner will be called before the Strickland race. The DeWine war chest is full and ready to fight Sherrod Brown. The race in the fall will be a fight between the mid to far left and moderate to hard right! I will even go out on the limb now and say, that barring any unknown debacle on the part of the DeWine campaign, the GOP will hold this seat.

U S CONGRESS - 10th District

Mike Dovilla will win this race against Jason Werner. No question, Dovilla is a better campaigner and get his message across much better about his ideas for the NEOhio and the Country. Werner's heart is in the right place, but he is in the wrong race. I expect his name to come up in a lower level race sometime in the future.

All the other races on the Republican side except for the Governor's race are either toss ups or are unchallenged

Its interesting that the ballot for the Republicans is only two pages long and the Democrats have 3 pages. The Republican's and Democrat's (so I am told) goal this year was to fill out the ballot with a name in each slot. Looks like the Donks did a little better job for the Primary.




the race between Marc Dann and Subodh Chandra is one those races where people just don't know who to vote for because unless they lived in Dann's Senate seat in Trumbull County or were familiar that Chandra was the Law Director for Mayor Jane Campbell's administration they are just not that well known.

Marc Dann is in a similar situation as Tim Grendell, both Senators with term limits that will end in '08. Dann would be a good choice since he understands the way things work in Columbus, however that may not be enough.

Subodh Chandra is the better choice for the mere fact he has dealt with the law from a Federal and municipal level, because of that he would have a better ability to grasp those legal issues that face the State and its residents and be able to act on them.

Either one will face a very steep hill to climb against Montgomery. This is another seat the Republicans will retain in November.


Dennis Kucinich V. Barbara Anne Ferris

Ten days ago, this race was no match, it would have been Kucinich in walk. Then the PD threw this race into the toss up category by endorsing Ferris. Everyone knows DENNIS warts and all, Barbara has been campaigning for better part of a year. In fact I saw her at more events than some my competitors during the Lakewood City Council races last summer.

I will say, that the race is up to Kucinich, will he have the ability to muster his forces to get out the vote. A lot of people, (me included) are tired of his antics and politics, but he has always had the ability to swoop in and save the day for the Average Joe or Jane. The question is can he swoop in and save his own hide, I think not -- pick Barbara Ann Ferris in a tight one

4/29/06 UPDATE - received a call from a Volunteer from the Re-Elect Dennis Campaign, looks the forces are attempting regroup to help Dennis. The Volunteer wanted to argue with me about Dennis' record. He referred to Ferris as really a Republican. My thought is of course anybody to the right of Kucinich's politics is going to look like a Republican.

Court of Appeals - (Term 2/9/07)

This is the race that has two moves to it. If either Pat Carroll or Mary Boyle win this seat in November, the Governor will have to fill the vacancy in the former seat. I have always thought this was a two person race, Loretta Coyne is the third choice here but she is going against two sitting Judges.

Pat Carroll is the Muni Court Judge in Lakewood (and is no relation to this writer) Mary Boyle is a Common Pleas Court Judge. I don't know Judge Carroll, but based on my campaign he has either of love'em or hate'em constituency.

Judge Boyle has a Lakewood connection, her bailiff is a Lakewood resident. I have had two cases in Judge Boyle's courtroom over the past six years, in fact one of them was before the November election last fall. She is an able and capable judge who will get to the right decision.

But based on my first hand knowledge of her abilities, Mary Boyle will face off in November against Ralph Perk.

There is one other Judicial race that I will be following and the is a Common Pleas Court race between Christine, Russo, James Satola and Ann T. Mannen. Mannen is the incumbent in this race, but I am going with the upset here and pick James Satola.


There is only one race on the Republican ballot that is a truly a toss up;

Member of the State Central Committee - Women 23rd District

Colleen Wing and Ebony F. Grantonz

For me this is not a toss up, but of the rank and file Republicans they will say "WHO" and most likely skip it. Since I don't know Ebony, I will take Colleen Wing as the known quantity and hard worker that she is.

Tomorrow - My Decision on the Republican Primary for Governor

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Primary Elections - Low Hanging Fruit - Democrats

I have been looking at both the Democratic and Republican Ballots to see how everything will flesh out on May 3rd.

Speaking from experience all the candidates will know whether or not a mailing they had planned will be reaching the voters in time, but they also will know that they won't have enough time to respond to the oppositions material.
All they can do at this point is make sure materials continue to get distributed and phone calls made and respond to emails.

So lets take a look at some of the easy races:

Governor - Democrats

This is a no brainer, my 3 year old niece can pick this race - Its Strickland/Fisher
The question will be can Lakewood's own Brian Flannery garner more than 5% of the vote, not likely, he can't fund his campaign to 5% of the voters.
This race was over once Strickland showed up.
Strickland could create problems in November with Republicans because he might be able to swing the Moderate Republicans his way, especially if Petro wins the GOP Primary.

The other low hanging item for the State wide Democrats is the US Senate seat Mr. Connie Schultz should win handily to face Mike DeWine in November.

For the State House it will be Dale Miller and Mike Skindell for Lakewood

For the Judges:

Supreme Court - Peter Sikora - it will be close early, but he will spread the field state wide
the other SC race I just don't have a sense of either candidate because they just don't stand out politically or legal mind wise, the voters will go name recognition which should give Mr. O'Neill the nod

Court of Appeals:
Should be Pat Talty from start to finish on Primary night. Those on the West Side of Cleveland will give their boy Michael Dolan a boost, but I don't see the east side giving him much love.

Court of Common Pleas:
These races are decided on name only, unfortunately for the legal community, they are stuck with those judges who have a "name" but don't necessarily have the legal mind to be on the bench.

Here are couple that deserve to be back in November:

John P. O'Donnell - The only problem with him is that there is another O'Donnell running in another Common Pleas race. That could play a factor in both races. But, as I view the ballot J.P. O'Donnell race will be first to come up on the screen. Kilbane Koch would be my close second choice for this seat. This is the race that my former at-Large competitor Dan Shields is running. Unfortunately for him again a numbers game will do him in. He is a class guy and campaigner, keep trying Dan!

The other race that I can pick with ease is Shirley Strickland Saffold, she is tough but fair judge and handles her docket pretty efficiently.

Oh Yeah! The race involving the State Central committee Women 23rd District - Mary Rose Okar. I won't even comment on the Men's side of this race -- too many heavy hitters - Fitzgerald and Skindell from Lakewood, Mottl and DiPiero from Parma -- the crystal ball is very cloudy on this one.

For the County Central Committee - Lynn Farris

Tomorrow - Low Hanging Fruit Republicans and the Toss up Races

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


According to the Plain Dealer this past Monday, the Cleveland City Council gave its approval to redevelopment of the East Bank of the Flats.

As the article reads this project is a public/private partnership between the developer, the Port Authority and the City of Cleveland.

What is interesting is that Wolstein the developer needs to acquire the land to complete the project and the Port Authority, one of Wolstein's public partners, voted last Friday to use eminent domain if necessary.

Since there has been a semi-regular discussion on the Lakewood Buzz, I wonder if the Anti - Eminent Domain folks will raise some noise or will it just happen and nobody will care as long as it's a NIMBY.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Plain Dealer Got it Right!

In the Sunday edition the Editorial Board made the decision to endorse Barbara Ann Ferris for the Democratic Primary against Dennis Kucinich.

The endorsement was more an indictment of Kucinich's leadership and involvement in the issues that are important to the district. As an example they used the DFAS realignment issue that occurred last year as a prime example of his being out of touch with what was happening in the district. As a further elaboration on that very issue Mr. Kucinich was somewhat marginalized by the committee that went before the Task Force on Base Closure, during the hour long presentation in Buffalo, NY last summer, Kucinich was only allowed less than 5 minutes to speak and it was during former Mayor Campbell's allotted time.

I will admit that in the Primary of 2004, I specifically voted in the Democratic Primary so that I could vote against Kucinich, because I was ticked off at the way he was not representing this district when we so badly needed some leadership in Washington. That is the only time in 24 years that I did not vote in a Republican primary. Little did I know at that time that vote would come back to haunt me a year later in my run for City Council and being elected as a Precinct Committee person. Of course that is a story for another time.

Now if we can only get the Democratic voters to follow the Plain Dealer's advice and select Barbara Ann Ferris as their Democratic Challenger. Which would make an interesting race between her and the winner of the Jason Werner and Mike Dovilla race for the Republicans. A race I have yet to decide who to vote for next Tuesday.

Congratulations Barbara, that endorsement was huge for your campaign!

Since originally writing this I have also done a little bit of research and found that Dennis has been having a rough time of it fundraising, it seems his campaign is in deficit spending. IF he survives, I wonder if the money will come back.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Judicial Races for May 2

Looking for assistance in picking your Judicial Candidates.

Here is a website to help you along:

This is put out by the JCRC, the Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition, which is made up of The Cleveland Bar Association, The Cuyahoga County Bar Association, The Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, The Norman S. Minor Bar Association, and The Ohio Women's Bar Association.

These are the Associations that work with these Candidates on a regular basis and as in any other endorsement each individual group conducted their own interviews to select their choices.

You may not agree with their choices, but in the legal community its not really about politics, its about how each individual will interpret the law to determine the cases before them.

For those in Lakewood, you will notice on the Democratic ticket for the Court of Appeals, our very own Municipal Court Judge Pat Carroll (no relation) has been given mostly excellent ratings over Judge Mary J. Boyle. Of course the Plain Dealer endorsed him as well, so it should be interesting.

As a Disclaimer, I am partial on the Democratic ticket to James Satola running for the Common Pleas Court against Ann Mannen and Christine Russo. Mr. Satola is bright young lawyer, who I have the pleasure of working with over the past seven years. I think he would bring a solid base of knowledge and temperament to the bench.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


With the Primary on May 2nd, the use of electronic voting booth will be fully rolled out.

If you have not seen how it works, the Board of Elections has a short how-to video on its website. (

Please take the time and view it.

If you would like to see it in person, here is a excerpted list from the BOE website for various times and locations in which to view the machines in person.

Tues., April 11 1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
7910 Detroit Ave. Walz Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Tues., April 11 7:00p.m.
Westlake Public Library 27333 Center Ridge Road
Westside Democrats

Wed., April 12
Set -Up 11:30 a.m. Meeting 1:00 p.m.
17801 Detroit Ave.
The Beck Center
The City of LakewoodSouth Lakewood Woman's ClubMeeting

Wed., April 12 1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
4303 Pearl Rd.
South Brooklyn Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Wed., April 12 7-9:00 p.m.
502 Cahoon Road
Bay Village Library
City of Bay Village Democratic Ward Club Meeting

Thurs., April 13 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Louis Stokes Branch
525 Superior Ave.
Wing Lobby Area
Cleveland Public Library

Thurs., April 13 2:00p.m. - 8 p.m.Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Fri., April 14 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
11602 Lorain Ave.
Eastman Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Fri., April 142:00 - 8 p.m. Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Sat., April 159:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Louis Stokes Branch
525 Superior Ave.
Wing Lobby Area
Cleveland Public Library

Sat., April 152:00 - 8 p.m. Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Tues., April 18 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
21255 Lorain Ave.
Fairview Park
Cuyahoga County Public Library Fairview Park Branch

Tues., April 18 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
4421 West 140th St.
Rockport Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Tues., April 18 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
7 Berea Commons
Cuyahoga County Public Library Berea Branch

Wed., April 191:00 p.m.
28550 Westlake Village Dr.
Westlake Village Retirement CommunityCommunity Meeting

Wed., April 19 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
18100 Royalton Road
Strongsville Recreation Center

Fri., April 21 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
4421 West 140th St.
Rockport Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Fri., April 21 2:00 p.m. - 8 p.m. Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Sat., April 22 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
26376 John Road The Renaissance-Olmsted Township
The League of Women Voters/Monthly Meeting

Sat., April 222:00 - 8 p.m.Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Sun., April 232:00 - 8 p.m. Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Mon., April 24 1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
8216 Lorain Ave.
Lorain Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Tues., April 25 9 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Louis Stokes Branch
525 Superior Ave.
Wing Lobby Area
Cleveland Public Library

Tues., April 25 10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
11602 Lorain Ave.
Eastman Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Tues., April 25 11:00a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
7910 Detroit Ave.
Walz Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Thurs., April 27
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Louis Stokes Branch
525 Superior Ave.
Wing Lobby Area
Cleveland Public Library

Fri., April 28 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
27403 Lorain Road
North Olmsted
Cuyahoga County Public Library North Olmsted Branch

Fri., April 28 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
11602 Lorain Ave.
Eastman Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Fri., April 28 2:00 - 8 p.m. Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Sat., April 29 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Louis Stokes Branch
525 Superior Ave.
Wing Lobby Area
Cleveland Public Library

Sat., April 29 10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
11602 Lorain Ave.
Eastman Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Library
Sat., April 29 1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
4421 West 140th St.
Rockport Branch
Cleveland Public Library

Sat., April 29 2:00 - 8 p.m. Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Sun., April 30 2:00 - 8 p.m.Hrs.subject to change
IX Center
IX Indoor Amusment Park

Again, take the time to learn how to use it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Someone commented in one of my posts about the following and wondering if I had a thick skin;

The following was posted in the Lakewood Buzz;

"Whooo. I was just checking out my old City of Lakewood. Sad, very sad. Tim Carroll has a pathetic web page. Like who cares? This is the middle aged guy that let Ryan Demro run his campaign. Lakewood is so sad when it comes to its political parties. Demro is the kid running the Republican Party and Fitzgerald is the older kid running the Democratic Party. My old city appears to be giving up."

"Mr. No Bull - A Buzy Buzzer"

Well all I have to say is at least I put my oar in the water and tried to make a difference. That is all the time I can give to this individual.

He does one point that it is sad that the state of politics is as it is in Lakewood. Perhaps if more people would openly get involved and quit hiding in online forums the city would benefit from the different ideas.
But, instead we have the few people attending the Council meetings on a regular basis and then we have the friends of either the Mayor or Council sitting on the City commissions and boards.

Yes Demro, Fitzgerald and the Mayor disagree on issues but at least they are trying to make Lakewood better.

Well Mr. No Bull, I will look for your name on the ballot in 2007 for the Ward seats or in 2009 for the at-Large seats, whoever you are--But I would really doubt that he/she will get up from behind the keyboard to make an honest effort at changing things.

This kind of stuff is the reason I prefer the Observation Deck over at the Lakewood Observer site, there the everyone must identify themselves.

Perhaps after second thought I should offer Mr. No Bull some space here to espouse his theories on Lakewood politics since he seems to have all the answers.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Out of Pocket for a few days

Going to take the R on vacation. A business trip she scheduled was postponed for a couple weeks which now runs into the time frame that we were going to take ours, so we pushed our R & R up three weeks.

While your here take a read of what Former Congressman John Kasich wrote earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal.

Buckeye GOP Circles the Drain A complacent party descends into corruption. BY JOHN KASICH Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio--"There are no words to express the deep remorse that I feel over the embarrassment I have caused for my administration and the people of the state of Ohio." Thus, Gov. Bob Taft complied with a court order to apologize to the people of Ohio.
Were that the only instance of poor judgment by an Ohio Republican in recent memory, the state GOP would probably remain in relatively good shape leading up to the elections this November, despite growing indicators against the party nationally. Unfortunately, the governor's ethical lapses--he pled guilty last August to four misdemeanors related to undisclosed gifts from lobbyists--represent only a small fraction of an ever widening scandal that is drowning the Ohio Republican Party.
Over the past year and a half, the list of political operatives and government officials (both elected and appointed) implicated in corruption scandals has grown exponentially, and yet the message hasn't registered. In Buckeye politics, it's business as usual.

The biggest scam in town--but by no means the only--is the "pay for play" practices of office-holders at every level. Of course, not all public servants are guilty--most are not. However, Ohio Republicans have held every statewide office since 1994, and the governorship and secretary of state since 1990. They currently have longstanding, lopsided majorities in both houses of the general assembly. The endemic culture of money-for-influence is a testament to the corrupting consequences that inevitably follow when one party holds power for too long.

Exhibit A in this mire is Toledo coin dealer and Republican fundraiser Tom Noe. His "coingate" scandal, as it has been inelegantly termed, demonstrated a total breakdown in ethics and was a direct result of one-party domination of the political process. Mr. Noe obtained several contracts totaling some $50 million to pursue investment opportunities for the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, in this case rare coin speculation. With limited oversight of his operation, Mr. Noe allegedly began laundering campaign contributions to state and federal candidates (including President Bush). In February Mr. Noe was indicted on 53 felony counts and faces a mandatory 10-year prison term if convicted of corruption. At this point $10 million to $12 million remains unaccounted for.

Unfortunately, coingate isn't the only prominent Republican scandal. According to reports in Ohio newspapers, former Speaker of the House Larry Householder and his political fundraisers and consultants are currently under criminal investigation for various charges involving possible campaign and fundraising irregularities. An anonymous memo charging Mr. Householder and his top political aids with bribery, kickbacks and tax and mail fraud was sent to the U.S. Attorney's Office by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. While Mr. Householder emphatically denies any wrongdoing, no one seems to know for sure when and if any actual charges will be filed.

Add to these scandals regnant political infighting and widespread distrust between the different ideological wings of the GOP. This year's election, in addition to a contentious re-election campaign for Sen. Mike DeWine, features a gubernatorial primary race in the wake of Mr. Taft. Mr. Blackwell is strongly supported by social conservatives and their allies within the fundamentalist Christian movement. He is pitted against Attorney General Jim Petro, supported by more moderate elements.

This widening division has spilled over into a nasty dispute between conservative, moderate and liberal clergy. In an attempt to counter the political activities of the religious right, 31 moderate and liberal religious leaders recently sent a strongly worded letter to the IRS accusing the Rev. Rod Parsley and the Rev. Russell Johnson of using their churches and other nonprofit ministries to advance partisan causes, including the candidacy of Ken Blackwell. Rev. Parsley, Rev. Johnson and their conservative supporters deny the charges. Mr. Blackwell for his part called the 31 ministers "bullies," saying "political and social and cultural forces are trying to run God out of the public square."

Yet the debate between the moderate and conservative wings of Ohio's Republican Party goes beyond Messrs. Petro and Blackwell. Some conservatives are angry at Sen. DeWine, and are threatening to withhold support, largely because he joined forces with the "gang of 14" to end the judicial filibuster spat last spring. Ironically, two of Mr. Bush's most conservative nominees to the federal bench, Priscilla Owens and Janice Rogers Brown, would not have been confirmed without this agreement, and arguably Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito would have faced filibusters from Senate liberals opposed to their nominations. Nonetheless, his relationship with some conservatives has worsened.

With Gov. Taft's ratings running as low as 16% approval in one poll, and with charges of corruption and cronyism rampant throughout the party, Ohio Republicans face some pretty tough obstacles in this year's elections. Add to this broken campaign promises that resulted in the highest tax increase in Ohio history, an exodus of the state's young people to pursue opportunity elsewhere, the general trend against Republicans nationally, and the complete ineptness of Republican leaders to enunciate any kind of bold political initiatives--and you have the makings of a Democrat sweep this November.

The biggest advantage going for Republicans, in purely electoral terms, is the ineptness of the Democrats. They have a long tradition of turning sure things into might-have-beens. This, however, is simply not enough. Democratic incompetence has led to Republican domination, which, with no effective opposition, has untethered the GOP from its first principles. In the absence of these, corruption has reigned. The political lens might be clouded and growing darker; but Ohio Republicans need to decide whether or not they want to stand for something."

He has pretty much summed up the problems facing the Republican Party here in Ohio. The major question is can Ted Strickland and the rest of the Democratic Party take advantage of those problems and missteps to propel themselves into the Governor's Chair.

The only thing I disagree with Mr. Kasich on is that he gives Jim Petro a free pass on the issues involving the Bureau of Workers Compensation fiasco and now the "pay to play" issue with some Akron law firms.

So far, I don't think so, but we aren't even to half time yet, there is still a lot of time left on the clock.