Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Governor Ted Strickland Urges Ohioans To Vote for Crystal Bowersox on American Idol

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Singing Hang on Sloopy, Ms. Crystal Bowersox...
  • Singing "Hang on Sloopy", Ms. Crystal Bowersox...

Crystal Bowersox, Toledo-native, has made it all the way to tonight's finale of American Idol, which makes your humble author jealous, seeing as his audition years ago didn't pan out so well. We're not bitter, though.

But good for Crystal. All of Ohio is behind her, even Governor Ted Strickland, who took time out of his busy schedule to tell his assistant to send out a press release on how he'll spend his Tuesday night in front of the television, cell phone in hand, voting for Crystal.

Here's the press release:

Columbus, OH — Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today encouraged all Ohioans to vote for Ohio’s-own Crystal Bowersox as she takes the stage in tonight’s American Idol finals.

“The entire country has been captivated by Crystal’s voice and musical talents. All Ohioans are proud of Crystal’s accomplishments and we wish her continued success,” Strickland said. “Let’s show America that Ohioans support our own. Please join me in voting for Crystal after tonight’s show ends.”

Strickland plans to text his vote(s) of support this evening.

I do like the detail on "vote(s)," as if Governor Strickland isn't going to sit in his jammies and vote until his thumbs go numb. Come on, Ted, we know you better than that. Don't even pretend. Next you're going to lie and tell us you're not going to cry during the show, too.

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'Flash Mob' Dance at Southpark Mall Just An Advertisement for Cleveland.com

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Oh you clever marketing masterminds at Cleveland.com. A flash mob at Southpark Mall in Strongsville to advertise the new Cleveland.com/Strongsville page on your site? Brilliant. Mall walkers are suckers for free entertainment.

And I know, even as I mock this, the very fact I'm writing about it and posting the video means your devious plan of dance has worked. Well played, sirs.

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Ohio Only 32nd Most Corrupt State

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Would Batman let a corrupt politician ride in the batmobile? I think not.
  • Would Batman let a corrupt politician ride in the batmobile? I think not.

According to the Daily Beast, Ohio comes in relatively low on the state corruption spectrum at only 32nd.

That can't be right, can it? With Marc Dann and Traficant and Jimmy Dimora, we have to be more corrupt than that, no? We're good at very little, if they take away corruption from us, what do we have left?

Rest easy, fellow Buckeyes. It seems the Daily Beast's methodology is flawed. We're way more corrupt than it appears. Here's how they came up with the ratings:

•Public corruption, 1998—2008: Convictions of elected and other public officials investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Department of Justice.

•Racketeering and Extortion, 1998—2008: Code for organized crime convictions, also investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

•Forgery and Counterfeiting, 1999—2008: Arrest numbers for producing or distributing fake money and goods over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

•Fraud, 1999—2008: Arrests for false statements or documents produced for personal gain over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

•Embezzlement, 1999—2008: Arrests for surreptitious theft of money over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

So while Ohio was 13th in Public Corruption, 8th in Racketeering & Extortion, 42nd in Fraud, 42nd in Forgery & Counterfeiting, and 46th in Embezzlement, the Daily Beast is only counting corrupt politicians that got caught. Everyone knows the best criminals are the ones that don't get caught, so mainly this was a ranking of the least competent state criminals, and we're just fine being low on that one.

That, and it seems the research folks at DB counted only state-level corruption. If they spread their wings and endeavored into local politics, we'd make the top ten for sure.

Their blurb about the Buckeye state after the jump.

Continue reading »

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Thomas Edison Relative Stumping For Edison Statue

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Well consider our frequent patronage of Edisons Pub our vote in this statue contest.
  • We'll consider our frequent patronage of Edison's Pub our vote in this statue contest.

Beachland Tavern set by experimental rockers Home and Garden, synthesizer/theremin player Robert Wheeler passed out a stack of ballots earmarked for the Ohio General Assembly. His candidate: inventor Thomas Edison, who created the first system of sound recording and playback. The prize: a statue at the U.S. Capitol.

Each state has two such statues, honoring a pair of distinguished native citizens. (Edison, who grew up in Michigan and did much of his work in New Jersey, was born in Milan, an hour west of Cleveland.) Ohio is currently represented by former President James Garfield and former Governor William Allen. But Allen’s pro-slavery views have made him somewhat less popular among the other statues.

A committee in the Ohio legislature postponed its actual work to create a list of 10 replacement candidates. In addition to Edison, it includes Ohio luminaries like Jesse Owens, Ulysses S. Grant, and the Wright brothers.

Wheeler’s support of Edison goes beyond fraternal love of a fellow sonic adventurer: He is Edison’s great-great-grandnephew, and he lives on a farm in Milan once owned by Edison’s sister. For 38 years, he’s headed the Edison Birthplace Association.

All Ohioans are eligible to vote through June 12. Ballots are available at Ohio Historical Sites and are downloadable at legacyforohio.org. The committee will make its final recommendation based on results of the popular vote.

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Whoops! Mayor Jackson, City Back Out of Chinese LED Deal After Key Figure's Conflict of Interest Emerges

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Hi, sir. Do you have any conflict of interests with Chinese LED manufacturers? Would you like to help us?
  • Hi, sir. Do you have any conflict of interests with Chinese LED manufacturers? Would you like to help us?

When last we peeked into Cleveland City Hall, Mayor Frank Jackson was jamming his proposal for a 10-year, no-bid deal with Chinese light bulb maker Sunpu-Opto through council while General Electric was counting the ways it’s getting shivved in the deal.

But another drama has been brewing over Peter Tien, the behind-the-scenes player who brokered the pact. At issue is Tien’s ever-evolving role: Shortly after the New Jersey-based consultant was credited with arranging the marriage, he revealed that he would be president of the firm’s Cleveland-based North American subsidiary.

(Note: The deal has since been nixed, probably because of this exact concern, though the city is being more vauge publicly:

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on Monday killed a controversial, no-bid contract with a Chinese LED manufacturer because he thinks he "tainted" the process when he announced the deal in March while his staff was still seeking responses from other companies.

This, to cities not hailed for their public-service crimes, is what’s known as a conflict of interest.
Tien was a no-show at the May 17 finance committee meeting where the deal was discussed. The mayor’s office said he was sick.

Continue reading »

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PD/Cleveland Orchestra Catfight: Docket Watch Edition

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

This number is entitled Hissy Fit With Baton In D-Major
  • This number is entitled "Hissy Fit With Baton In D-Major"

Three weeks ago, Scene writer Mike Gill wrote about Plain Dealer critic Donald Rosenberg’s apparent dislike of Cleveland Orchestra Conductor Franz Welser-Möst and their mutual love of making a big ugly scene out of it. Rosenberg has sued the orchestra and The PD, and is considering a suit against the lady who dusts his cubicle.

The judge has sealed all documents related to the case, but motions from all parties continue to fly — a dozen new ones in the three weeks since “The Orchestra Pit” ran in these pages.

Nobody involved is talking, and it’s hard to know exactly what’s new because all the filings are now sealed. But a May 7 submission from PD Editor Susan Goldberg accurately captures the overall spirit of bitchiness. Her motion was eloquently titled “Opposition to [Rosenberg’s] reply to [Goldberg’s] opposition to [Rosenberg’s] motion to compel [Goldberg] to make discovery with respect to [Rosenberg’s] second supplemental request for production of documents.” (References to “plaintiff” and “defendant” have been replaced with easy-to-follow names!)

The original opposition is believed to be about a slice of pizza Rosenberg helped himself to in the Severance Hall break room, though nobody’s sure anymore.

This much is certain: The orchestra board still wants Rosenberg’s head examined. Last week they filed a joint motion for permission to support their motion to compel an independent mental exam of the plaintiff. (Translation: The guy’s $%&#@ nuts.)

There might be several heads worthy of examination in this case, but don’t ask us which ones. Those documents have been sealed.

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Morning Brew: Traffic Paint Shortage, Prison Video Conferencing, Rebate Denials, and Fights at the Zoo

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM

So luxurious.
  • So luxurious.

Good morning, Cleveland. Here's some stuff to read while you ponder the luxury of wide lanes.

— Ohio will begin experimenting with video conferencing for prison inmates and their families. No word yet on what corrections officers will do when everyone tries to have video sex via Skype or who will have to clean up afterwards. (Cleveland.com)

— There's been some mix-ups with the state appliance rebate program. Namely: some people are getting postcards informing them their rebates weren't valid. Actually, 20% of them. Sounds bad until you realize the government considers the Mendoza line success. (Ohio.com)

— There's a shortage of components used to make the paint for highway stripes. Quick solution: Pull a Kramer and make extra-wide lanes instead of regular ones. (Cleveland.com)

— Bad: Kids from rival schools brawl at the zoo. Good: They refrain from throwing poop at each other. (WOIO)

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