Saturday, May 28, 2005

Ohio GOP to take Ethics 101 course

I wish I was making this up. Not even "The Daily Show" could write something this ridiculous.

In response to 'Coingate' scandal that has not only implicated Governor Taft's Administration, but Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Auditor Betty Montgomery and Attorney General Jim Petro (all of whom are receipants of campaign contributions of Noe and, yet, also insisting that they can be trusted to adequately investigate him), Ohio GOP Party Chairman Bob Bennett has come up with a plan to protect the GOP's majority during the next statewide elections in 2006. Indeed, after witnesses every Republican on the Ohio Supreme Court recuse themselves from a case involving Noe (given that he served as campaign manager for one of the justices and donated to the others), leaving only the sole Democratic justice to handle the case and appoint stand-in justices, Bennett has decided that bold, decisive party leadership is needed.

That's why he's going to require all GOP candidates undergo ethics training.

So the next time a Republican claims that they are the party of "values," remind them that, in Ohio, Democrats have values; Republicans have to learn them.

The Ohio GOP's "Third-Rate Burglary"

When the kingmaker commits a crime against the State, can the King be trusted to deliver justice? That's the morality tale currently playing out here in one-party rule Ohio in the ethical debacle of a coin collector named Thomas Noe. Of course, Mr. Noe was no ordinary coin collector, it was his profession in the Toledo area, and he made quite a name for himself collecting and trading rare coins and other collectibles. Living the Golden Rule, Mr. Noe amassed a political fortune along with his economic fortune. For decades, he and his wife have served as the chair of the Lucas County Republican party and been trusted associates of both Governors Voinovich and Taft.

As a means to diversify investments, Mr. Noe approached the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation to offer to invest a portion of the state's money in the rare coin market, something that, so far, no other state has been known to do. So, in 1998, the OBWC agreed to let Mr. Noe invest $25 million in rare coins on behalf of the State. When Gov. Taft was elected, Mr. Noe again approached the OBWC who agreed to allow him to invest another $25 million in rare coin funds. (The head of OBWC is appointed by the Governor.)

Despite the fact the Mr. Noe was a county party chairman who had contributed thousands of dollars to Taft when he ran both for Secretary of State and Governor, some Republican state legislators still insist that there is no evidence that there was any evidence of GOP favoritism in choosing Mr. Noe to manage this investment. But, Noe was only one of four private managers of BWC funds to receive as much as $25 million to invest in 1998. When OBWC gave another $25 million for Noe to invest, he become one of only three private managers to hold the maximum amount of capital to invest under the program. And, ironically, when the Executive Director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission resigned in 2002 after an Inspector General's report found he and other high-level employees had improperly accepted gifts, free meals, golf outings, and sports tickets with contracts doing business with the agency, Gov. Taft nominated, that's right, Noe to serve as the new Executive Director. Therefore, it's not surprising that given the value of the contract (under Noe's contract, his firm was able to keep 20% of the profits), that by sheer coincidence all of the private managers became significant contributors to the state GOP. Indeed, Mr. Noe's own political contributions to the GOP increased nearly tenfold after being awarded the coin investment contract.

Until recently, the State has been able to defend this practice given the significant and consistent positive returns on Noe's investments. Indeed, over the years, the information Noe supplied the state showed quite a hefty return (as much as 11% some years). But, then someone in the OBWC must have seen "Jerry McGuire" cause it all went to hell the second someone there asked "show me the money."

First, it was revealed that two coins worth a total of $300,000 were "lost in the mail" in 2003. Then, the Toledo Blade, which has done a thorough and determined investigation to bring this matter to light, revealed that as early as 1999, a BWC auditor questioned some of the practices of Noe such as: writing off $850k in a failed business relationship, the inadequacy of real estate collateral for loans Noe made with state money to other businesses to develop property, the practice of Noe and his partner to personally buy and sell coins to and from the funds while managing the funds, and the payment of advances to Noe and his partner of profits of coin deals that had yet to occur.

Now it appears that over 120 of the coins are "missing." Personally, I would look under Noe's couch cushions or his car seats, I find a fortune every time, and I bet they've been there all along. This week, Noe's own attorney disclosed that as much as one quarter of the $50 million investment cannot be accounted. The head of the BWC has resigned in disgrace. The Ohio Inspector General has opened an investigation of Governor Taft's office as to whether high-level aides (including Taft's former chief-of-staff) improperly received gifts such as free or highly discounted stays at Noe's Florida vacation home. AND THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING A BUSH/CHENEY FUNDRAISER IN COLUMBUS TO SEE IF MR. NOE CIRCUMVENTED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS BY USING "PROXY" DONORS. After all, Noe was also one of Bush's "Pioneers," responsible for "raising" over $100,000 to the President's re-election efforts.

Investigators have already found unusual transactions where Noe would pay $100k for a coin and then resell it for $1. Because federal campaign finance laws do not require reporting of individual campaign fundraising efforts, just donations, the federal government is likely going to be interviewing several key players in the Ohio BC '04 effort to see if there is evidence that Noe: 1) obtained his "Pioneer" status by giving the money to other to donate on his behalf; and 2) whether any of the presumed misappropriated state money was used in making such donations.
It's about to get REALLY interesting in Ohio!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Latin Gone Wild!

Of course, it's only after the Senate compromise could I get to these issues, which are now somewhat moot. But, I do have an excuse, I was taking finals and graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Law over the weekend! So, allow me to late-post this if you will.

I thought this post from the Confirm Them shows just how amusing it is to see conservatives tripping over themselves trying to keep a consistent poker face with the "Big Lie" that judicial fillibusters were unconstitutional. As you'll see, the post concedes that the filibuster "is constitutional, but it is well within the right of the majority party to do away with it as they see fit." But then, the post proceeds to argue that there are meritous claims that the filibuster is unconstitutional. They got it right the first time, and none of their remaining points hold water.

1) The "expressio unius" argument: Here, conservatives cling to the notion that because the Framers specifically only certain matters should receive 2/3 votes that they must have intended majority votes for others. While that may be what the Framers intended, it is not what they required under the U.S. Constitution. With the exception of requiring it to be the domain of the Senate alone, the Framers are utterly silent in the U.S. Constitution as to the intended process for the Senate to exercise its "advise and consent" powers. Instead, the Framers intentionally left that question to be resolved by the Senate's Article I powers to establish its own rules of procedure, which leads me to....

2) The "lex majoris partis" argument: This argument is based on the notion that the core principle of any legislative body is majority rule. Cute. To accept this argument, you have to believe that the filibuster rule derived from nothingness and is a restraint on the majority placed upon it by another party. Apparently, Frist and Dobson never bothered to look to who proposed and approved this nefarious, arm-tying restraint on the GOP majority. I'd advise Frist to look in the mirror to find the culprit, since it's the Majority Leader's responsibility to introduce and have the body enact the standing rules of the Senate. So there is no violation of the lex majoris partis doctrine when it was the majority that created the restraint on itself. And for the record, the rules of the Senate, including the filibuster rule, is approved by a simple majority vote. Indeed as the referenced post on Confirm Them stated, the supermajority requirement is placed only on the procedural aspect of closing debate, not on the actual approval of the nomination.

Furthermore, the actual post makes the weak argument that the fact that the Senate only has 1/3 of its membership up for vote during any election, it forces the new Senate to be bound as a continuing institution to the old rules (unlike the House). Well, the Senate has been in the majority hands for almost the entire time since 1994. Clearly, the entire Senate has been up for election once since the GOP captured the majority, thus meaning they have the ability and right to claim as a new Senate to change the rules and get rid of the filibuster. They've chosen not to. To have the Senate bound by it's prior rules is not, as the post suggests, unconstitutional, but quite the opposite. It was the clear intent of the Framers that the Senate be a slow changing institution, not easily swayed by public passion and sentiment, but a consistent, conservative institution. What Confirm Them calls unconstitutional is the expressed intent of the Framers.

3) The "Abrogated" Legislature Argument: One of the comments on the post argues that when the President fails to do his/her duty to execute passed legislation, the Constitution holds that the legislation becomes law (unless it's within the pocket veto time-frame). The commenter bemoans that there is no counterpart provision for the abrogated Senate when it "fails" to exercise its advise and consent powers. But, the constitution does provide such a remedy, it's called the executive "recess" appointment power. Bush has already used this power in the past with some of the "blocked" nominees. I believe Pickering was one.

If some of the nay-sayers are correct, and the "Filibuster Missle" Crisis has only been deferred, then maybe it's worth considering these points in the future. As I've said, if Frist is genuinely interested in getting rid of the filibuster rule. There is a procedure in the Senate rules to change them as such that he has yet to even hint at attempting (cause he lacks the votes.) Furthermore, because all but the Supreme Court are inferior courts created by statute, the Congress can pass legislation vesting the appointment power in the President alone. See, Another "Constitutional Option:" Get rid of advise and consent.

And the loser is .... Social Conservatives!

Well, I'll keep the site poll up a little bit longer just to show how in the minority I am with the readership here, but a compromise on judicial filibusters has been reached and the Senate has retreated from partisan brinkmanship. In the end, it's a net win for the Democrats and, particularly, Senate Minority Leader Reid.

I've read plenty of posts elsewhere by other liberals declaring this a sell-out, a horrible deal, blah, blah. Most of these people are living in the world where things are as they should be (like there really was a President Bartlett,) and not the world we live in. Fact is, while Reid may be from Nevada, I'm glad he didn't take the nuclear gamble, because he was two committed votes shy of where he needed to be and the number of possible converts was quickly diminishing if not already gone.

What would these liberals have said had there been no compromise and Frist had won? Wait until next November? Hardly a good rallying point given the relative little attention the American people were giving this issue.

In the end, when the majority wants to do something, has the votes, but the minority is able to prevent it anyway, then the minority has won. Some conservatives and pessimistic liberals have said that this compromise merely means the inevitable is but delayed. Hooey. By compromising and allowing the continued filibuster of the other nominees and recognizing the right to future filibusters, these moderate Republicans are on record saying that there was nothing unconstitutional about judicial filibusters. If that time comes down the road, how can they vote with Chaney and Frist, and then say it is?

Some tin-earred liberals act like the fact we are in the minority doesn't matter, and Reid should have rejected the compromise and his failure to do so is a defeat. Some will irrationally argue that it's a bad compromise because three ultra-conservative judges will now receive a floor vote where they likely will be confirmed.

I hate to be disrespectful, but I find nothing to respect in such ridiculous logic. At the end of the day, you look at what you walk away from the table with given the cards you were dealt. Reid leaves the table with the filibuster being established Senate precedent, the rule to invoke cloture firmly in place, the ability to block future nominations firmly in place, and almost all of the filibustered nominees still blocked. Plus, the American people see the Democrats more than the GOP as a responsible party and one they would like to see govern and not spoiled, out-of-touch extremists. Given that Reid didn't have the votes, that's remarkable bit of gamemanship.

On the other hand, Frist, who begin with the best hand dealt, walks away wearing nothing but a barrel. By embarking on the nuclear option, Frist has revealed himself to be a panderer of the religious conservatives and out of the mainstream. While Dobson's comment may seem to offer praise and gratitude to Frist, it's an empty gesture. Dobson's anger is probably greater with Frist than the moderates. As Majority Leader, to have a bunch of non-players, as the moderates are viewed by Dobson, to be able to do an end-run around Frist calls his leadership in question. So Frist is stuck on the far right with a crowd that cannot trust him to deliver. Frist in '08 indeed.

I've already read that perhaps the deal also included one of the un-filibustered nominees being rejected. If so, then this is even a better deal. Bush and Frist insisted that the filibuster was unconstitutional and every nominee should receive an "up-or-down" vote. They lost, despite being the governing party. No whining from defeatist liberals is going to change my mind about that.

Of course, the runner-up must go to the Whitman-moderate Republicans. By simply reminding the world that, yes, they are still at the table, they walk away victorious. Just as Jeffords was, this was another warning shot to the GOP: the moderates will not always be loyal footsoldiers to the radicial right, but will aligned themselves with Democrats to form a governing majority if they are constantly ignored by their party.

For the sake of next November, let's hope the GOP continues to NOT heed this lesson.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Goin' Nuclear: What's the Third Branch's opinion?

Of course, we'll never actually know what the U.S. Supreme Court actually thinks about Sen. Frist's attempt to trigger the nuclear option, since the matter is purely a political question not judiciable by the courts. Several blogs have already mentioned the fact that Sen. Schumer of NY had already gotten to Sen. Frist to concede on the floor that Frist himself has filibustered federal appellate nominees in the past. Also, if you're looking for a good primer on exactly what's so contraversial about what Frist and the GOP leadership is doing by pursuing the nuclear option, click here.

As I've mentioned in a prior post, the argument that the Senate is constitutionally bound to vote on all nominees and cannot use procedural devices as means of providing its advice and consent is without any serious constitutional merit.

To rule that the U.S. Constitution requires an "up-or-down" vote on all judicial nominees, as Vice-President Cheney intends on ruling, and therefore, any use of the Senate's procedural rules to stop that from happening is unconstitutional, requires a radical and unheard of interpretation of the Senate's Art. II, Section 2 advice and consent powers. The Cheney interpretation is that the Senate, and only the whole Senate, may exercise the advice and consent powers. But Tom DeLay has pointed out frequently that the Senate also has the sole power to remove a sitting federal judge under its Article I, Section 3 impeachment powers which states, in part: "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments."

What is illogical about the new Cheney interpretation is that it creates an interesting dichotomy: if Frist prevails, the Senate rules cannot delegate its appointment power, but can delegate the impeachment power. In other words, it'll take less Senators to impeach than to appoint!

In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224, 113 S. Ct. 732. Nixon involved a former Chief District Court Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi who was convicted of two counts of making false statements to a grand jury. The Senate impeached, the Judge Nixon appealled up to the United States Supreme Court. Judge Nixon's main contention was that his Senate impeachment was improper because the Senate, operating under its rules, used a Senate committee, to conduct most of his trials. Nixon argued that the impeachment clause vests power solely in the whole Senate and does not permit that power to be delegated to a Senate committee.

But as then Solicitor General Kenneth Starr ('member him?) successfully argued, the Senate has the power to to set its own rules in handling impeachments and could use a fact-finding committee to as a constitutional delegation of the impeachment trial powers. "As a rule the Constitution speaks in general terms, leaving Congress to deal with subsidiary matters of detail as the public interests and changing conditions may require." Citing, Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368, 376, 41 S. Ct. 510, 512-513 (1921). For more discussion regarding the constitutional permissibility of delegation of impeachment powers to a committee under Senate rules, see Justice Stevens' concurrance. Nixon, 506 U.S. at 248-251.

Therefore, just as the Senate may delegate the impeachment power to a committee under the Senate rules that may never send the matter to the full Senate, so can the Senate do so in using its appointment powers.

The notion that the Senate must vote on every nomination and cannot use it's internal rules to obstruct or prevent that occurance is without any historical support and against the greater weight of Senate precedent and constitutional interpretation by the United States Supreme Court.

Better dead than NOT red?

According to a UK anthropological study published in the current edition of Nature, athletes who wear red are constantly more like to win. Furthermore, teams that wear red uniforms tend to perform better than when they wear something else.

So, apparently, the Cincinnati Reds would be better than their current 14-26 record, not if they actually got decent pitching, but if they wore their alternative all-red home jerseys more often (after all they are 9-10 at home, but 5-16 on the road).

Then, again, the Arizona Cardinals (6-10), San Francisco 49ers (2-14), Washington Redskins (6-10), and Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) all stunk up the NFL last year despite the red shirts. (In all fairness to the color red, three of those teams are in the NFC. Of course, the team with the best record is the one AFC team, Kansas City).

And then there's perennial Big Ten football loser Indiana that went 3-8 last year, thus tying with the not-so-fighting Illi'. Of course, in a case of the tie, the non-red team loses. So, Illi sucks. However, the Big Ten also has the Buckeyes who are more successful than IU cause, well, they're redder. Are college teams intimidated by red-shirted freshmen or seniors? Well, maybe, but that's not a literal red-shirt, so it doesn't count.

Of course, the UK study focused mainly on European soccer and the Olympics. Therefore, only the Olympic section of the study has any real sport validity in the U.S. And on that, the study may have a point. I mean Russia sucked the instant they became the United Federation of Planets, or whatever they were in the first post-Cold War Olympics. Does anyone expect to hear Al Michaels say: "Do you believe in post-Communist miracles?" Of course not.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Not-So-Classic Slip and Fall Case

In response to an incident in which an Ohio Wal-Mart shopper was expelled from a store for breastfeeding her child, State Sen. Patricia Clancy (R-Colerain Township) introduced a bill which allowed mothers to breastfeed their children in public or private areas without incident or harassment. It sailed through the State Senate.

Then, some obscure state constitutional provision required the bill to go to the State House of Representative, where things went, well, stupid. If you want to know how pro-tort reform the Ohio Legislature is, consider this story. The bill was held up in the Ohio House by an amendment by State Rep. Bill Seitz.

As was recounted by the Ohio Democratic Party's blog: "State Rep. Seitz offered an an amendment to the bill that would provide businesses with immunity from any lawsuits resulting from women breast-feeding their babies.

"Why would breast-feeding result in a lawsuit?

"'Slip-and-fall type cases,' Seitz said.

"Specifically, Seitz is concerned that milk en route from a woman's breast to a baby's mouth could be spilled on the floor, thus creating a slippery floor."

Apparently, Seitz isn't the only Ohio legislator concerned about the dangerous lubricating properties of breast milk as the Republican Caucus of the House Health Committee discussed Seitz's amendment for several hours behind closed doors. That's right, they literally discussed the possible danger of random milk droppings everywhere. That was the most important health issue for the state at the time. Maybe term limits AREN'T such a bad thing after all.

A week later, man offers to return finger to owner

Why can't I get over this story? I guess once the national media outcry about how outrageous it was to keep someone's finger as "evidence" for your civil lawsuit instead of returning it in time to be surgically re-attached finally convinced the guy, or at least his attorney, that he wasn't likely to come across as a sympathetic victim in his future jury trial.

While as the linked story states, he was more than willing to pull it out of the freezer for the TV cameras whenever they wanted, he just now has been willing to give it to the person who lost it.

Of course, it's only on the condition that it could be surgically reattached. And of course, a week later, all of the cells are dead, making reattachment impossible.

Does anyone honestly believe this makes the guy look better? To me, it's just cruel to say, "well, I offered this week, but the guy hasn't returned my call." Maybe that's because he can't dial...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Democrat for Ohio

Before my former boss, U.S. Representative Ted Strickland, announced that he was running for the Democratic nomination for Ohio Governor in 2006, Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report recently categorized the 2006 Ohio Governor's race as Leaning Republican.

While there has been no polling data yet available, there is evidence that the Strickland candidacy announcement has already profoundly changed the national perception of the race. Larry Sabato is the Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and is a frequent guest on all of the MSM cable news political shows to offer his insight and predictions for various key elections across the nation.

In Sabato's latest prediction regarding the 2006 Ohio Governor's race, he states:

"Republicans so dominate the statewide picture in 2004's ultimate Presidential toss-up state that an analyst is tempted to call the 2006 Governor's race for the GOP right now. And that would be foolish.

"True enough, Republicans have three strong candidates in Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (an African-American), State Auditor Betty Montgomery, and state Attorney General Jim Petro. On the other side, Democratic Congressman Ted Strickland has decided to run for the gubernatorial nomination. He becomes the instant frontrunner over Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and former state Attorney General Lee Fisher.

"Strickland, a psychologist by training and an energetic, bright House member, represents a moderate, rural-suburban district that has taught him how to win swing voters. Strickland's entry is good news for the Democrats. He is exactly the kind of Democrat who might be able to win statewide. If he can do so, his victory will have clear, positive effects for national Democrats as they try to push the Buckeye State into their column for President in 2008."

I honestly don't know if the Ohio Democratic Party knows how to act when it has a real race on its hands. I've also read on the wire services that President and Sen. Clinton and DNC Chair Howard Dean all contacted Strickland to personally encourage him to run.

How broad is Strickland's electoral appeal in Ohio? Well, consider this entry on the Ohioans for Concealed Carry's website:

http://www.ohioccw.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3141

Meanwhile, the Ohio GOP is already sharpening their knives, having all but forgotten about Coleman in the rush to review Strickland's voting record:

"But Republicans are undaunted and say Strickland's record will speak for itself. Though many call him a moderate Democrat, Strickland's positions on issues such as social security and foreign policy are as far left as those of Massachusetts senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, said Jason Mauk, an Ohio Republican Party spokesman.

"'I'd be surprised if the majority of constituents in his district actually know where he stands on key issues," Mauk said. "Congressman Strickland certainly has a record that is at odds with the majority of Ohioans; we look forward to sharing that record with the voters.'"

But as the Youngstown Vindicator described Strickland's views:
"Strickland voted to ban partial-birth abortions, supports the right to bear arms and is a vocal advocate for fair trade, veterans and seniors."

Wow, what an out-of-touch lefty this guy is. Oh, and he's for balancing the budget and fiscal accountability and discipline. Yeah, we know how voters hate veterans, seniors, and fiscal conservatism. The Democrats really have no chance.

If the GOP thinks it can hold onto the Ohio Governorship by blasting Congressman Strickland's anti-privatization Social Security views, I say:

"Bring it on!"

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Neglect....(but hope for Democrats in Ohio)

Sorry that the posting has dropped off recently. Wednesday was the last day of classes and my first final is this Monday. Lucky for me, it's in the four-hour credit class that I haven't paid a bit of attention in. Apparently, in a class of 130, I'm not alone.

So, with this being my last semester in law school, I've been busy with the usual end-of-the-year festivities and now am neck-deep in finals. The good news is that I should be done with finals after May 16, and probably won't be doing much before graduation. You can expect more posting then.

Right now, I'm excited to hear that my former boss, Rep. Ted Strickland, is likely to announce on Monday morning that he will run for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2006. I've had the honor of working for Congressman Strickland, and I've long maintained that he's the best candidate Democrats have in winning a statewide office.

Why? Strickland was first elected in 1992 where he unseated an incumbent Republican in an southeastern Ohio district, one that was traditionally Republican. Believing the seat to be Republican, he was targeted throughout the 90s- losing in 1994, but then re-elected thereafter. The elections always drew national attention as it was high on the targeted races list for partisan and pundits everywhere. Strickland defeated the then Lt. Gov., who had been a popular mayor to one of the major cities in the district.

Eventually, Strickland's campaign became so successful that Republicans lost their interest. In a district with a distinct Republican registration advantage, Strickland was adept at keeping his base unified and peeling away sizeable numbers of independants and Republicans. When Ohio Republicans redrew congressional districts, they made Strickland's district into a safe Democratic district. It's been widely believed that the GOP did so in order to give Strickland a safe seat as a means to discourage him from running as governor in 2002.

With no offense to Columbus Mayor Coleman, Strickland's entrance into the race makes this a national race to watch. Democrats have lost in Ohio largely due to the poor showing in SE Ohio, the area where Strickland has represented with large electoral majorities for over a decade now. Strickland will be able to raise more money and campaign more effectively than Coleman who's appeal is limited to mostly urban Democrats. Strickland has the ability to unite both urban and rural Democrats while peeling away Republican and independent voters. He's a former minister who served in a children's home and was also a prison psychologist. His wife, Frances, is an educational psychologist, and has written a children's book about the first female Governor of Kentucky.

Strickland is a pro-union, fiscal conservative with moderate social policies. He's also been repeatedly endorsed by the National Rifle Association. While that may make some Democrats nervous, his pragmatic, moderate views is why he's been so successful in election after election. If Democrats are going to win in Ohio, they need to appeal to rural voters. While urban Democratic officeholders (normally) have better name recognition, they have driven the Ohio Democratic Party into an almost minor party status. Indeed, the Ohio Democratic Legislative Caucus' recent successes in reducing the Republican majority in the House (which is still very large), is due to its ability to run candidates that appeal to suburban and rural voters (Democrat and Republican alike).

Strickland is a tireless campaigner who works even harder as an advocate for his district. As a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Strickland has made significant inroads with the veteran vote, another demographic Ohio Democrats have done poorly.

Over the past twelve years, the Ohio GOP has done an effective job in playing term-limited musical chairs with statewide offices, but the music is about to run out... no less than three of the GOP's statewide officeholders are running for Governor and show no signs of backing down. The GOP primary is likely to be a bruising affair for their eventual candidate.

Strickland's primary election also has some challenges of its own. Mayor Coleman is widely seen as a popular and rising star in the party, having been a former candidate of Lt. Governor in 1998. Coleman has already announced and, therefore, is currently ahead in the organization game. Strickland will also need to show he can appeal to and energize urban Democrats, particular in northern Ohio where he has less name recognization and the bulk of the Democratic primary vote is located. Having represented the surrounding Youngstown area since 2002 gives Strickland a head start. Furthermore, no candidate has been more successful in grassroots organizing in Ohio than Strickland. If his past campaigns are any guide, he'll organize a very thorough county-by-county voluntary organization to serve as his campaign.

With the exception of the last Presidential election, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about a Democratic candidate in Ohio. I'm also glad I'll be out of law school in time to volunteer again!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Name that Cause of Action!

Click on the headline and read this story first for the background.

Of all the things that disturbed me about the story, this took the cake:

"We're told the employee is recovering, but will have to live without his finger tip, because Clarence didn't return it. Clarence is keeping the finger in his freezer, hoping to use it as evidence in his lawsuit."

Not only that, apparently, the customer returned with the finger, told they needed it to reattach, and he refused to give it to them. See, here.

Okay. Assume that finger likely could have been reattached and become useable again if it had gotten to the hospital with employee.

Name the causes of action EMPLOYEE has and against what party. I did horrible in torts, so I can't think what the cause of action should be. Somehow, I just can't put my finger on it.