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I sure hope so since I’m just about out of one arena and heading into another. You’d think it might leave me with lots of time to blog again but, well – we’ll just have to wait and see. Based on how intimidated I hear some electeds, past and present, are of The Blogger Councilwoman, I might just have to find a way to make that my new moniker. A good blog name is a terrible thing to waste.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:54 pm December 23rd, 2013 in Campaigning, leadership, Politics | Comments Off 

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I’m out. I’m just all out. I can read more, talk more, opine more. But really — how much more is there to actually say, that hasn’t already been said, about the Republican candidates remaining in the primary battle to be the party’s nominee for the 2012 general election?

Even his three wins last night, in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, have failed to seal the deal for the delegate leader, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. For more background on last night’s elections, check out the exit polls and see how moderate the voters were in those three states, especially in comparison to several already-counted primary or caucus states; watch Romney’s victory speech given in Wisconsin, and see Santorum’s “we’re still going for it speech” from Pennsylvania.

Why is this fight not over?

Read the answer at the full post here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:45 pm April 4th, 2012 in Campaigning, conservatives, Elections, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Rick Santorum, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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You’d think I’d love all the attention Ohio is getting this year because of its swing state and must-win status – I’m a Leo after all.  But there’s really only four things you need to know about the race being voted on today.  Read it here in my post at BlogHer.com.

And don’t forget locally – tons of judicial races and our County Prosecutor.

Here’s the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website where you can see a ballot before you go so you don’t choke up.

NOW GO VOTE!

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:36 am March 6th, 2012 in Campaigning, Elections, Ohio, Voting | Comments Off 

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Last time, however, it didn’t hold. Will it today?  And to be clear, we’re not talking the gap between how men versus women vote for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. We’re talking about the gap between who women prefer between the two candidates.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Citing his combative style and personal life, many women in Florida say they won’t support Newt Gingrich in the Republican primary. That gender gap has allowed Mitt Romney to open a commanding lead in Florida over the former Speaker, WSJ’s Neil Hickey reports.

This WSJ report covers why, very specifically, the women going for Newt thing in South Carolina won’t happen in Florida:

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:10 am January 31st, 2012 in Campaigning, conservatives, Gender, Government, Politics, Predictions, Social Issues, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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One of the things I loved the most about the Meet the Bloggers forums of 2005-2007 was that it let me sit next to and ask questions directly of people like Ted Strickland, Richard Cordray, Jim Petro and Sherrod Brown. Once you have a taste of that, you never want to go back to just writing a letter or placing a call, but alas MTB is no more.

However, into the fray went my colleague, Dan Moulthrop, at the Civic Commons where he is moderating a fantastic online forum with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Candidates.  This forum is a SUPERB way to interact DIRECTLY with people who want to be elected to office. They want to be your public servant, you better believe they should be engaging in the public & this forum does that.

Today is the last day so please go read & ask and comment. It’s your county and your vote.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:07 am January 26th, 2012 in Campaigning, CuyahogaCounty, Elections, Government, Ohio, Politics, Transparency | 1 Comment 

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Well, the idea that the perceived and polled gender gap that appeared to favor GOP presidential nominee candidate and former Massachusett’s governor, Mitt Romney, absolutely fizzled and flipped when it came to election day in South Carolina last week.

Yet now, here again, CNN is reporting that their polling shows a gender gap favoring  – wait for it – Romney again:

A gender gap appears to have developed as well. In South Carolina, Gingrich won among men and women, according to exit polls. But in Florida, although Gingrich has an edge among men, Romney had the advantage among women.

“Some of that may be due to recent coverage of Gingrich’s personal life, but it is almost certainly due to other factors as well. Gingrich’s favorable rating has consistently been higher among men than among women for years before he became a presidential candidate, suggesting that men may find his red-meat approach to issues more appealing than women do,” says [CNN Polling Director Keating] Holland.

Many people have anticipated that Florida is not South Carolina, and I share that opinion.  How different is the female electorate in the Sunshine State from the same segment in the Palmetto State?

We won’t know for sure until next Tuesday evening, after they vote.  I have my suspicions but I’m going to keep them to myself until election night.

What do you think?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:59 pm January 25th, 2012 in Campaigning, Elections, Gender, Mitt Romney, Politics, Voting, WH2012, White House 2012, Women | Comments Off 

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Some of us have work to do that we hope really will make a difference in people’s lives, short-term and long-term, so I’m working very hard to keep myself from being utterly distracted by the inept field of GOP primary candidates, especially after watching last night’s debate in Florida. It’s totally like watching a train wreck – you just can’t turn away.

But here’s my main observation for the day:

To Newt Gingrich: You are not Russell Crowe, the debates are not gladiator matches, NBC is not the Coliseum, but you are a relic.

And good on the local journos who asked excellent questions including one which Rick Santorum totally did not answer (address the risk posed to Florida’s tourist industry by offshore oil drilling versus the jobs it could create) and why is it okay for the candidates to court Florida voters with Spanish language materials but it’s not okay for the government to provide them with anything in their native language?

That latter question led to a disgusting attempt for the candidates to one-up themselves on supporting the assimilation of all the glorious strands of our society into one.

How on earth does that represent anything other than a denial of liberty, the value supposedly so dear to the conservatives?

We all know how much I hatez the English-only talk.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:59 am January 24th, 2012 in Campaigning, Elections, Government, Politics, Primary, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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And that is not leadership.

Whether we’re talking Herman Cain’s economic plan (9-9-9 or 9-0-9) or how he and his campaign are failing to deal with Politico’s reporting on the settlement specifics between the National Restaurant Association (when Cain was its head) and two of its former employees regarding alleged sexual harassment in the workplace, Cain seems to believe that he can reduce, minimize and make disappear whatever complexities he thinks ail others from being able to come up with solutions.

The problem is, whether it’s people who view certain behavior of his as being inappropriate and constituting sexual harassment (even if he doesn’t see it that way) or people saying that his 9-9-9 plan won’t help the poor but would in fact exacerbate their economic standing, he seeks to make the complicating factors – women and the poor – disappear from the equation altogether.

Lucky for women and sadly for the poor, there are tens of millions in both groups.  We won’t disappear and we don’t call people who would like to see that happen, “leader.”

Seriously, Herman. You can claim the leader mantle in a number of ways. Including, leader of the reductionists.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 1:50 pm November 1st, 2011 in Campaigning, democracy, Elections, Government, leadership, Politics, Transparency, WH2012, White House 2012 | 2 Comments 

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You just have to love this narrative:

IT HAPPENED AGAIN LAST NIGHT!

Now Claire’s running for office.

Julie Bowen’s character on Modern Family declared for City Council last night.

Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) has her congressional campaign in high gear on Glee.

Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation has her own campaign website here.

Lawyer Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) on The Good Wife is toying with the idea of running.

And Julia Louis-Dreyfus will join these activist characters as the VEEP next year.How about you?

Will life imitate art? Will you step up and lead?

I actually don’t watch much television – and none of these shows. But I think it’s fantastic and would LOVE for life to imitate art.  When are you going to run for office?

Not if.

BONUS: In real life, the woman scorned by NJ Governor Chris Christie is running for the New Jersey General Assembly and David Sirota’s wife is running for school board in a race in Colorado that involves more than $600,000 in total campaign contributions among candidates – for school board.

Hattip for the collection of characters going for the arena to The 2012 Project.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:24 pm October 21st, 2011 in Campaigning, Elections, Politics, Transparency, Women | Comments Off 

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Now, I haven’t double checked to be sure that it is in fact ALL the competitive mayoral races in the county (as opposed to ones in other counties that might get the PD and ones where there is no challenger), but it looks that way.

And I must say, thank you.

I can’t dredge up the post or email that I know I wrote last year, during the County Council campaigns, in which I expressed extreme distress over how the PD was rolling out it’s endorsements one at a time, and not in what seemed to be in any order, and sometimes before the mail-in start day, and sometimes well past that, but I know that I did communicate to someone there just how unhappy it made me and how easy it seemed to be to remedy.

And remedy it they did: today, in the FORUM section of the Sunday PD, the entire left-hand side page was full of the endorsements, text, photos, conclusion. Again, you can read them all online here.

Now, whether those endorsements have other issues you may find, I’m not addressing that in this post. But I think it is SUPREMELY superior to have these endorsements all come out at the same time so as not to benefit or be to the detriment of any one candidate or community.

Thank you – I noticed. And I bet a few others did too.  Hmm, maybe I will even go leave this comment on the cleveland.com comment page.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:18 pm October 2nd, 2011 in Campaigning, Cleveland+, democracy, Elections, Media, Ohio | 1 Comment 

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From Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight, with this lede from new research by Christopher Stout and Reuben Kline, both political scientists:

Looking at Senate and Gubernatorial candidates from 1989 to 2008 (more than 200 elections in over 40 states), we analyze the accuracy of pre-election polls for almost the complete universe of female candidates and a matched sample of white male cases. We demonstrate that pre-election polls consistently underestimate support for female candidates when compared to white male candidates. Furthermore, our results indicate that this phenomenon — which we dub the Richards Effect, after Ann Richards of Texas — is more common in states which exhibit traits associated with culturally conservative views of gender issues.

And Nate:

The size of the Richards Effect is larger in states with fewer women in the labor force — which suggests it stems from conservative attitudes about the place of women in politics. This leads to an interesting conclusion. Although the Bradley Effect assumes that people conceal their true opposition to the black candidate, the Richards Effect appears to work the opposite way: people conceal their true support for the female candidate, especially in areas with culturally conservative views about gender roles.

Fascinating! Now – why are the women folks polling as if they support Rick Perry up to twice as much or more than Michele Bachmann, and, when in the polls, Sarah Palin? Is that an over, an under or an accurate?

I haven’t read the research link yet but my first questions are: How ill is it that people don’t feel they can answer a poll that shows their true support for women? Or is it that they take longer to decide on a female candidate? Or, do those who are polled simply not mirror those who vote?

As Nate concludes:

To be sure, this is speculative. Female candidates actually suffer no apparent penalty at the ballot box. As the political scientists Richard Fox and Jennifer Lawless have argued, the underrepresentation of women in higher office stems more from a gender gap in ambition and recruitment, not from sexism toward women who do decide to run for office.

But reluctance among citizens to express their support for a woman candidate — even if they might vote for her in the end — certainly does little to encourage women to run.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:31 am September 22nd, 2011 in Campaigning, Elections, Gender, Research, Women | 2 Comments 

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I ask this question because when you continue to receive invitations that state someone is a candidate for U.S. Senate, and you read quotes by the candidate himself like this:

In the last fundraising quarter, Mandel raised 40 percent more than Brown and spent hundreds of thousands less to do it. “Forget fundraising,” Mandel says to the crowd. “What’s important to me is that we’re going to go next year and beat Sherrod Brown. And by beating Sherrod Brown and running strong, we’re also going to help the eventual nominee at the top of the ticket beat Barack Obama.”

you really have to hope that the candidate’s perpetuated charade of not yet being announced will not lead the media to give earned media when the candidate finally does whatever he thinks it is he is supposed to do to make it official.

The quote is from this Weekly Standard article written by a college senior who is serving a journalism internship through this program.

Frankly, the longer Mandel keeps up the manipulative approach he is using now to string along the wonky curious, the more likely it is that the media coverage of whatever it is that he does to make his run official is likely to be anticlimactic and less than flattering.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:24 am August 20th, 2011 in Campaigning, Elections, Josh Mandel, Media, Politics, senate | Comments Off 

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When I wrote about June’s New Hampshire debate, I wrote that answering the question of what I want in a candidate has two parts: first, the policy part, and second, the competency part. Neither takes precedence over the other in any absolute way, but I defined the competency piece as going “…to overall experience, dedication, integrity, sincerity, thoughtfulness, consistency and respect for all voters, not just the ones that will vote you in, once you are in office.”

Last night? During the Iowa debate with eight Repubican candidates? (Review the live-blog of the Iowa GOP debate here, the entire debate video here or the debate’s transcript here.) I can honestly say that listening to what they had to say made me feel as though former Utah governor and ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, was the only one who had a clue that being president means making decisions for hundreds of millions of people who didn’t pick you.

But wait there’s more – here at my full post on BlogHer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:36 pm August 12th, 2011 in Campaigning, Debates, Elections, Politics, Republicans, WH2012, White House 2012 | 2 Comments 

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Follow the action with me and Emily Zanotti (aka American Princess and avowed conservative) here starting at 9pm!

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:35 pm August 11th, 2011 in Campaigning, conservatives, Debates, Elections, live-blog, Media, Republicans, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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Today, U.S. Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell named Ohio’s junior senator, Rob Portman, to the “super committee.” Earlier this week, Portman endorsed U.S. Senate Republican primary candidate and newby Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.  So what?

Yesterday, the Plain Dealer published Mandel’s direct attack on votes in favor of raising the debt ceiling but he has yet to rebuke Portman.  Worse for Mandel now, though, is not that Portman voted for raising the debt ceiling but rather, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch yesterday, and by news outlets such as MSNBC this afternoon, Portman is absolutely being looked to and has indicated that, as a member of the super committee, he “…would not rule out additional revenue as a way to reduce the federal deficit.”

Opportunism can be really problematic for politicians, and not just when they’re being 100% transparent about just how opportunistic their ambitions and decisions are.

BONUS: Mainstream America wants taxes raised. They’ve indicated this over and over and over again – Americans who self-ID as Republicans included. As Stephen Benen writes,

 

This clearly isn’t what the congressional GOP had in mind. As debt-reduction talks got underway months ago, Republicans assumed they had the better hand — all they had to do, the party assumed, was say those rascally Democrats want to “raise taxes.” The public would recoil, Dems would back down, and all would be right with the world.

But it’s Democrats who are in sync with the public. Lately, it’s tough to get two-thirds of the country to agree on much, but they agree on raising taxes on the wealthy.

 

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:39 pm August 10th, 2011 in Campaigning, Josh Mandel, Politics, rob portman, senate | Comments Off 

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I was laughing and cheering at the same time Sunday morning when I saw this unfold on This Week. I could not agree more, but I also couldn’t say it as fantabulously as Arianna Huffington, not always one of my favorites but she did a great job here and even George Will says the migraine stuff is pointless.


Hattip to Mediaite for the clip.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:01 am July 26th, 2011 in Campaigning, Gender, Health Care, Media, michele bachmann, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, Voting, White House 2012, Women | Comments Off 

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So I’m sitting there eating my lunch during the Andrea Mitchell Reports hour (seriously, I work my lunch around her first 30 minutes or so if I can arrange it) and right at the beginning of the show, when it cuts to a commercial, this is what I see:

If ever a video deserved to go viral, it’s this one, don’t you think!? It is one of the most effective cause commercials I have seen in a very, very long time and it dovetails precisely with my work on behalf of the Moms Clean Air Force (an effort to highlight the incredible damage dirty air does to our kids and us, and the imperative we should all feel in supporting the EPA’s efforts on behalf of clean air).

Naturally, I wanted to know who was behind the ad.  It resides at the URL for Clean Air Saves Lives, but the final seconds of the ad and a tagline at the very bottom of that website reveal that it’s American Family Voices, a group started in 2000 by none other than Mike Lux (he currently serves as the group’s president).  From their mission statement:

American Family Voices was founded in 2000 to be a strong voice for middle and low income families on economic, health care, and consumer issues. Since our founding, we have educated the public and pushed for legislation on a number of vital issues to make American families more secure…

If that doesn’t involve clean air, nothing does, right? On their media page, you can see the other very poignant short videos they’ve used to engage, inform and activate people. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:24 pm July 25th, 2011 in Campaigning, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Media, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Science, Utilities, Women, Youth | Comments Off 

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I haven’t watched it yet so no opinion (it’s being broadcast on Ohio News Network or ONN).  What do I have in mind? Consider the questions asked – content and form.  Consider the answers provided – non-responsive or satisfying. And every time you see, watch or hear a candidate for political office this year, via their materials or those elicited by someone else (i.e., media or otherwise), start with those four points: content & form of the questions asked, non-responsive versus satisfactory quality of the answers given. Then decide how acceptable any of that is to you and what credence and weight you should give any of it.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:19 am July 10th, 2011 in Campaigning, Elections, Government, Josh Mandel, Ohio, Politics, Republicans, senate, Transparency, treasurer | Comments Off 

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UPDATE: I found one article on it with some numbers re: the prevalence of the practice (so-so). I’m surprised to read that it’s interpreted as being a Democratic thing to not want them and a Republican thing to want them.  Frankly, I would think that the kind of challenges that could go on, post-deadline, are a real pain and easily avoided when you do allow for pre-checks. I used the pre-check system when I ran in 2009 and I was grateful for it. I hope other electeds/former candidates weigh in on this. Am I missing something?

UPDATEx2: The decision about Summit County was made around April 26. The article states that Husted’s spokeperson, Matt McClellan, indicated that there was not a plan to issue a directive, but obviously that changed sometime between April 26 and June 10.  Hmm.

Original post:

Was this ever in the news? I must have missed it if it was but wow – I am really dismayed.  The main issue that come up for me, which was something that I could not ascertain with any certainty, was when someone would sign my petition, didn’t show up on the CD-Rom list of names that I had, but yet there were 50 or more people born in the year 1900 on the CD-Rom and clearly not still live, Pepper Pike voters. I.e., I knew that the list that I’d bought from the BOE definitely had problems on it – so just because a name of someone who signed my petition didn’t show up on it, that didn’t mean that the person wasn’t a registered voter in Pepper Pike.  I had the adult son of friends sign the petition. His name didn’t show up on the list, but he also wasn’t registered to vote here, even though he was living at that moment with his parents.  I learned through the pre-check that his name was not an eligible one. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:05 pm June 27th, 2011 in Campaigning, democracy, Elections, Government, Ohio, Transparency, Voting | Comments Off 

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It’s hard to know where to start, as a mother of three kids under 18, one of whom has a recurring respiratory problem whenever he gets a cold, and living in a state that gets an overall F in clean air, when it comes to how universally savage the Republican presidential hopefuls are toward the Environmental Protection Agency.

If you missed the news, here’s a breakdown of how each of seven candidates addressed environment and energy issues in this past Monday’s Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire. (Note: it’s from a blog called Energy & Capital, and you can read about the editors of it here.) U.S. Representative and presidential primary candidate Michele Bachmann, had the most choice words. Her solution to all our problems that she deems are connected to regulation? She demands that we start with changing the name of the agency from “Environmental Protection Agency” to “Job-Killing Organization of America.”

Hmm. Really? A name change? Well, I get the obsession with the image is everything thing, but I think she’s going to have to do a whole lot more research, analysis and formulating before she’s going to convince anyone that a name change is going to make a difference.

So, what information might she need to check out before she stands by this literal kiss of death policy position of hers? Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:46 pm June 17th, 2011 in Business, Campaigning, conservatives, Energy, Environment, Ethics, michele bachmann, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Republicans, WH2012, White House 2012, Women, Youth | 6 Comments 

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