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.


Anonymous said...

What political party do you connect yourself with?

THCARR said...

Anonymous said...
What political party do you connect yourself with?

I think you need to read through everything and it should be fairly obvious.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's obvious...are you sure you even know?...Also I will read through your entire website when I need some help falling asleep at night..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

THCARR said...

"Anonymous said...
I don't think it's obvious...are you sure you even know?...Also I will read through your entire website when I need some help falling asleep at night..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ"

You need a lot more help in reading comprehension then if you can't figure it out, when I plainly state the facts in a previous post.
It is amazing that you stuck around the website for over four minutes and still couldn't find it.

Perhaps you should stay over at one of the forum sites and spout your Anonymous drivel there.

Anonymous said...

So, you're a Democrat?!

THCARR said...

"Anonymous said...
So, you're a Democrat?!"

To answer your question, since you can't seem to find it;

From the Sept. 22, 2005 Post:

"Add this endorsement to the one I received earlier in the week from the Lakewood Republican Organization, of which I am truly grateful to the members who have supported me from day one! Also, it goes with the endorsement from the Cuyahoga County Republican Party, that I received back in August."


From the March 20, 2006 post

"...First, I am a Conservative Republican ..."

From the December 21, 2005 Headline:

"Tired of the Left wing Crap"

I tend to lean to the more moderate or center of the party than most.