Sunday, December 12, 2010

DCCC: Democrats Can't Comprehend Columbus

The Democrats just don't get it. Only slightly more than a month since taking an electoral thumping of historic proportions the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has gone negative with their first attack (of the 2012 election, that is) against Congressman-Elect Steve Stivers. The attack itself is neither noteworthy nor memorable as it's just more of the same "former bank lobbyist" rubbish that resonated so poorly in the 2010 campaign (the Democrats are fond of repeating failed strategies). This time the old attack is aimed at Congressman-Elect Stivers's assignment to the House Financial Services Committee.

Stivers's assignment to the Financial Services Committee is one of the most logical and intelligent committee assignments that could be made in the 112th Congress. The only thing the Democrats demonstrate by attacking it is how out of touch and totally disconnected from reality they remain.

Stivers has an MBA (that's Master of Business Administration for any Democrat readers), worked as a Vice President for Bank One, worked for the civic-minded investment firm The Ohio Company, and served in the Ohio Senate as Chair of the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee and Vice Chair of the Finance and Financial Institutions Committee. His professional background is a veritable checklist of desired qualifications for a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Congressman-Elect Stivers

Where leftist ideologues see a "former bank lobbyist" the American people see someone who understands banking. The Columbus Dispatch explained this very clearly in their endorsement of Stivers: "Kilroy has vilified Stivers for his work in the banking industry, but this background ensures that Stivers understands something that Kilroy does not: that ledgers must balance and that red ink is destructive."

The Democrats don't understand the intelligence of the American people; we're not simple rubes who fall for sound bytes and cynical narratives about all bankers being evil incarnate. If we were, then maybe Stivers wouldn't have dominated incumbent Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy by 13 percentage points and nearly 30,000 votes--actually at that margin, rubes or not rubes, Kilroy was toast!

We voted for Stivers because he understands us. He promised he would view legislation through the lens of our number one issue: jobs. In this district you can't talk about jobs without talking about bank jobs.

The OH-15 is home to almost 60,000 financial and insurance industry jobs. Huntington Bancshares Inc. is headquartered in the district, as are Nationwide Insurance, Grange Insurance, Motorists Insurance, Safe Auto Insurance, and State Auto Insurance. J.P Morgan Chase & Co., which acquired Stivers's former employer Bank One, also maintains a major presence in the district, as do PNC Bank, KeyBank, U.S. Bank, Citigroup, and Fifth Third Bank.

The Ohio 15th District is a major banking and insurance hub, and it is only fitting that our representative should sit on the House Financial Services Committee. Historically, this has been the case with Congressman-Elect Stivers's three most immediate predecessors serving on the Financial Services Committee or its ancestor, the House Banking Committee. That the Democrats would seek to deny us this representation only further demonstrates that they don't understand our needs or share our values.

Of course, after they voted Nancy Pelosi back in as their leader was there really any doubt as to if they shared our values?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reasserting Our Sovereignty

Today "We the People" will reassert our sovereignty. It's about time too, because we've been ignored for far too long.

Our number one issue has always been jobs. Not so for Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy and the other Democrats in Congress! Their number one issue has always been whatever House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat, told them it was.

Around this time last year we were all crying out "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" and because our Congresswoman was under the spell of the San Francisco Democrat the topic being debated was Obamacare not jobs. Namely, if the individual mandate is a tax (by the way, now the Administration admits it is). We were desperate for an economic fix, Washington was enraptured by debating the finer points of legislation we didn't ask for--or want.

Over half a wasted year later in March we all were still crying out "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" and the Democrats were still focused on Obamacare. Congresswoman Kilroy refused to hear us. She was too busy listening to Nancy Pelosi.

For his part, Steve Stivers voiced our opposition to the bill. He stated our anger, "It targets taxpayers with new costs in the middle of a terrible recession and it targets the fast-growing Ohio industry of medical-device manufacturing with a new tax that will surely kill jobs."

Speaker Pelosi and Congresswoman Kilroy passed the bill. (They had to so we could find out what was in it, of course.) President Obama signed it into law.

We wanted job creation. We got saddled with new debt.

Obamacare was egregious. What's worse is that it's been just one in a seemingly never-ending series of times we've been ignored:


The $787 Billion Stimulus.

The Dodd-Frank fiasco.

Raising the national debt limit. Twice.

Congresswoman Kilroy and her ilk haven't listened. Today, we will elect someone who will. 

Steve Stivers for U.S. Congress. Vote TODAY.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Union County Believes in Steve

Steve Stivers is building unstoppable momentum. This week the Marysville Journal-Tribune made the historic decision to endorse him in the race for the Ohio 15th Congressional District seat. I call this decision historic because the Journal-Tribune has never before endorsed a candidate for public office. In its endorsement the paper cited Steve Stivers's lengthy record of dedicated public service and incumbent Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy's unacceptable record of completely ignoring the people of Union County. Said the tribune, "[Kilroy] has done absolutely nothing for the citizens of Union County."

That the Marysville Journal-Tribune has broken with precedent and endorsed a candidate highlights the dire situation our country is in. The move is extraordinary. However, the explanations given for why the Journal-Tribune endorsed Lt. Colonel Stivers over Congresswoman Kilroy are anything but surprising.

The endorsement condemns, "For the past two years, the district's representative, Mary Jo Kilroy, has ignored her constituents." This is painfully obvious in Kilroy's voting record. The Congresswoman has voted in lockstep with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time--a voting record that may pleasure the denizens of left coast San Francisco, but it doesn't work for the good folks of the Ohio 15.

She is supposed to represent us faithfully and vote our beliefs and values in Congress. Instead she has shown nothing but disdain and disrespect--and, as evidenced by the Journal-Tribune's rebuke, Kilroy's contempt is directed especially at the more Republican-leaning Union and Madison Counties. It's as though Congresswoman Kilroy shares President Obama's sentiments that we are mere hillbilly bumpkins who cling to our guns or religion or xenophobia and can't comprehend the grand liberal vision.

An examination of Kilroy's constituent outreach initiatives (to call what she's done "constituent outreach" is to expand the term quite liberally) reveals a systemic disregard for the people of this District--and especially for those outside of the Congresswoman's home county, where Kilroy maintains her only district office. By Congresswoman Kilroy's own numbers she visited Union County a meager six times during her first year in office despite a promise to keep a high profile in both Union and Madison Counties.

The Congresswoman's staff has been woefully unavailable to constituents outside of Franklin County. In a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to appear more available to her more geographically distant constituents Kilroy's staff has held "mobile office hours" sessions. Of the two best publicized sessions, the first was a fleeting three hours long and was held a brisk 5.4 miles to the southeast of the Congresswoman's district office (and thus further away from Madison and Union Counties). For the second session Congresswoman Kilroy got bold and ventured as far to the West as Upper Arlington; however, she abbreviated her staff's availability to only two paltry hours--but hey, at least it brought her staff closer to Union and Madison Counties for an ephemeral moment... even if it was only 3.7 miles closer (after all, it's the last two minutes of the 54 minute trek from Richwood that tire a person out).

Congresswoman Kilroy has also demonstrated great disinterest in reaching the citizens of Union County through local media. When the Journal-Tribune, Union County's only daily newspaper, contacted her office for an interview they went through a morass of astounding proportions which resulted in a complete snub of the paper by Kilroy.

It's as though Congresswoman Kilroy has forgotten that the people of this District earn the dollars that pay her $174,000 salary (and, of course, for the $403,981 worth of taxpayer-funded campaign mailings she's franked us with).

It's no small wonder the Marysville Journal-Tribune joined The Columbus Dispatch in endorsing Steve Stivers. As the Journal-Tribune noted Stivers is an "honest and forthright person" who will listen to all the people of the District and be their "true representative". 

Positive change is coming.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mary Jo Kilroy and the Heights of Hypocrisy

Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy would have you believe that she's the King Richard of anti-Wall Street crusaders. You may have noticed this when she mailed you--at your expense--a brochure titled "Cleaning Up Wall Street's Mess". The reality, however, is (as it always is with Ms. Kilroy) very different. A recent National Review Online article exposes her as "a profiteer from predatory lending and Wall Street speculation". Shocking!

As it turns out, Congresswoman Kilroy's portfolio included shares in Washington Mutual, the largest bank to fail in the crisis and in U.S. history. Luckily for her she sold her shares in 2008 as part of a series of transactions that brought her between $285,000 and $1,050,000 in personal wealth. The Congresswoman's financial disclosure form is mysteriously incomplete (notice the awkward blanks on page 15) leaving it impossible to tell exactly how much the Congresswoman profiteered from the bank her Democratic colleague Senator Carl Levin accuses of building "a conveyor belt that dumped toxic mortgage assets into the markets like a polluter dumping poison into a river."

Kilroy's WaMu involvement in the face of her public Wall Street hate-fest is but one of many instances in which the Congresswoman's rhetoric fails to meet with reality. In a recently produced C-SPAN profile of the Ohio 15th District, Kilroy decries the "poisonous atmosphere of the attack ads". From her statement one might think she is above such tactics. However, the reality is that Congresswoman Kilroy is one of the worst offenders when it comes to creating negatives ads. NBC4 recently slammed Kilroy for running an untrue negative ad that disgracefully alleged that her opponent, a decorated war veteran, is "for sale".

Kilroy has also reached the heights of hypocrisy in accusing Lt. Colonel Stivers of red-baiting in an ad that the Ohio Elections Commission has since found to have accurately portrayed her record of failure. While accusing Stivers of anti-Chinese fear-mongering Congresswoman Kilroy was herself running an ad inciting the same fears. Notice the Chinese characters in the screen capture below:

Kilroy's Red-Baiting Ad

However, while Kilroy has voted for legislation that used our tax dollars to create jobs in China Steve Stivers has not. Kilroy bases her claim that Stivers is pro-corporate tax loopholes and pro-shipping jobs and factories to China on the Americans for Tax Reform pledge below:
I, Steve Stivers, pledge to the taxpayers of the 15th district of the state of Ohio, and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
What magical thinking led Congresswoman Kilroy to read "shipping jobs... and factories to China" out of that is anyone's guess. Congresswoman Kilroy doesn't understand that the people of this district are smart enough to see through her lies. We're not objects to be manipulated.

One more week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kilroy Denies Stimulus Shanghai (Another Lie)

Congresswoman Kilroy seems to be preparing for her post-electoral defeat transition back to trial lawyering (though as a multi-millionaire she may just retire and enjoy her wealth). The Kilroy for Congress campaign has filed a frivolous complaint against Steve Stivers for producing and disseminating an ad that accurately portrays Congresswoman Kilroy's record of supporting the failed stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which created jobs in China.

This is just one more pathetic gasp for attention by Congresswoman Kilroy's desperate campaign. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has walked away from her because they've lost faith that she can win. The people of the OH-15 have long since lost faith in her (the majority of us never had any faith in her to begin with--she won her seat with a mere plurality of the vote). Congresswoman Kilroy knows without a major game-changer her career will end with this election. This complaint is a meritless and cynical stunt to attempt to conjure that game-changer out of thin air, and Kilroy is hoping we'll all be dumb enough to fall for it.

The reality is that Lt. Colonel Stivers's ad contains only true statements. The entirety of Kilroy's complaint hinges on the falsehood that no jobs were created in China as a result of the stimulus. Unfortunately for Kilroy, the stimulus did create jobs in China. It's been widely reported. See the ABC News coverage below:

As reported in The Washington Times last month:
"The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 [stimulus] jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States."
Now I may not be a fancy trial lawyer like Ms. Kilroy, but stimulus money going to "foreign firms" that employ workers "primarily in countries including China... rather than the United States" reads a heck of a lot like stimulus money creating jobs in China. Congresswoman Kilroy may like to ignore this inconvenient truth, but as economist Samuel Sherraden of the progressive think tank New America Foundation said, "We have to recognize that we are funding job-creation programs in Germany, Spain, Japan, and China."

While Kilroy turned a blind eye, other Democratic legislators recognized the problem and were outraged. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ohio's own Sherrod Brown sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Geithner asking him to put a moratorium on the section 1603 grant program responsible for using stimulus money to create jobs in China. In their press release the senators highlighted a project anticipated to create 3,000 jobs in Shenyang, China. The same project's estimated impact in the United States was roughly one tenth the Chinese impact with most U.S. jobs created being only temporary positions.

That's like for every dollar spent we get a dime.

The Treasury Department responded to the senators that it did not have authority to halt the program. Subsequently, Schumer introduced legislation to amend the program to include a "Buy American" requirement. The legislation has not been enacted and thus stimulus funds are still free to flow overseas.

What are we to think when rather than fight to correct legislation that is widely known to benefit China Congresswoman Kilroy turns a blind eye and pretends all is well? Mary Jo Kilroy has been a militant socialist, defended an IRA terrorist on domestic abuse charges, and has received campaign funding from a known front group for HAMAS. Now, she's been exposed as voting in favor of legislation with giveaways for China and is trying to squash the truth about her record by filing a frivolous OEC complaint. Stivers's ad is right to ask, "Whose side is Kilroy on?"

Friday, October 22, 2010

Saving Private Kilroy? Fat Chance!

I wonder what Lt. Colonel Steve Stivers must think looking over to the opposing camp where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee late last week canceled millions of dollars of advertising and, essentially, cut Congresswoman Kilroy loose to her own devices. In effect, what the Democratic leadership has done is left a comrade behind--something, as a soldier, Stivers has been trained never to do. All four hundred of the troops and contractors he lead during Operation Iraqi Freedom returned home safely.

Congresswoman Kilroy has been the perfect puppet for Speaker Pelosi. In the words of The Columbus Dispatch, she has "marched in virtual lockstep" with the unpopular speaker voting in sync with her 98% of the time. Kilroy voted for Obamacare, the failed $787 billion stimulus plan "that barely made a dent in private-sector unemployment", and supported an energy tax that would have killed over 100,000 Ohio jobs. It's revolting to watch the Democrats abandon her in a bid to hang on to a slim majority after she's blindly supported each and every one of their job-killing measures. Especially after DCCC Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen promised her supporters, "I give each of you my word that I am standing with Mary Jo, and that the full strength of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is behind her."

Looks like the Democrat's word isn't worth much.

Congresswoman Kilroy wasn't pressured into wholeheartedly supporting the entirety of the Obama-Pelosi agenda. She is, after all, a Democratic Socialist ideologue and always has been. She's been a poor fit for this politically moderate district. With her votes and actions she has sold us out to special interests time and again. She should have foreseen that her liberal masters would apply a tourniquet to her career in a desperate grasp to hold on to their power. She also should have understood that had she listened to us and faithfully represented us in Washington she could have held on to her own.

But if she had sided with us what would her "old militant friends" have thought?

It's too late for an apology. She chose her side.

She may try to recast herself as an underdog to win sympathy votes. However, a woman who jets around on Air Force One, rolls around with Congress's top dogs, and gets special shout outs from the Speaker of the House of Representatives is no underdog.

Before siding with the agendas of the liberals in Washington over the interests of her constituents Kilroy should have remembered the old adage, "There's no honor among thieves." While she was once a reliable vote in the Pelosi Congress's bid to spend away our country's prosperity and future now she's just a beleaguered comrade who fell behind.

I wonder if she now wishes her Democratic ilk shared Stivers's sense of duty.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mary Jo Kilroy's Disingenous Astroturf Campaign

Watching the CBS Evening News on Tuesday night I caught incumbent Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy delivering what may be the most ironic quote of the political season. Speaking of the latest CBS News/New York Times poll Kilroy offered, "And as far as this GOP energy, I think a lot of it is 'astro-turf.' That means it's not real grassroots. It's these phony grassroots."

Yes, "It's these phony grassroots", indeed. Let's take a sentimental journey down Kilroy's faulty logic path: The poll is real. The results are real; they say more than three in four Ohio residents described themselves as either angry or dissatisfied with the federal government--with Kilroy's failed policies. So if the poll and the results are real then in order for it to be "these phony grassroots" the citizens must be fake. So she's saying more than three in four Ohio residents are fake Republican interlopers from out-of-state... What?!? That kind of lunacy is even harder to follow than Kilroy's magical thinking that spending money we don't have will lower the deficit! Kilroy's looking more like Norma Desmond every day.

Let's explore a more likely reality: the Congresswoman made a Freudian slip.

Several sources have already reported on Congresswoman Kilroy's fliers seeking $10/hour "paid volunteers" who would, ostensibly, devotedly campaign for Kilroy out of their deeply held belief in... needing cash.

This could be a cultural difference between the values of the the Ohio 15th District and the "values" of Washington, D.C. where they have to declare "Prostitution Free Zones" in order to keep pay-for-play at bay, but here in the OH-15 we don't call it love if you have to pay for it.

And looking over Federal Election Commission filings it gets worse: Kilroy's astroturfing campaign receives assistance from twenty-two additional mercenary campaigners from Working America, the independent expenditure arm of the AFL-CIO. (For the record, Working America pays better than Kilroy for Congress.) A review of the Working America astroturfers' addresses as filed with the FEC reveals nearly half of them don't even live in the 15th District.

So, in review, Kilroy's "volunteers" are:

1) Compensated for their pro-Kilroy opinion.
2) Bused in from outside the voting district.

That is the very definition of astroturf campaigning! And it's pathetic.

This is what REAL grassroots looks like:

Lt. Colonel Steve Stivers with actual volunteers

And within the ranks of Congresswoman Kilroy's astroturfer/"these phony grassroots" mercenary army there are some accompanying hypocrisies:

1) In the wake of the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling, which expanded the rights of unions and corporations to make independent expenditures in federal elections, Congresswoman Kilroy made a big show of signing a pledge opposing independent expenditures. If she were truly principled about the issue she would have refused the aid of Working America but, apparently, she was only putting on a show for media benefit. Changing her opinions based on who she thinks is watching makes Mary Jo Kilroy a sleazy flip-flopper.

2) The rental vans used to haul around Kilroy's mercenary Working America crew filled up with BP gas. Twice. One would expect that after all the Congresswoman's carping about how "BP must pay" and after she signed the petition that her campaign staff wouldn't patronize the company. As it turns out, all that rhetoric was just for show.

Mary Jo Kilroy is disingenuousness personified.