October 4, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Tanzania: Politics: State Government: Cleveland Plain Dealer: GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tanzania: Special Report: Ohio Governor Bob Taft, RPCV Tanzania: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: RPCV Bob Taft (Tanzania) : September 15, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Tanzania: Politics: State Government: Toledo Blade: Gov. Taft focuses on agenda, not '06 election : October 4, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Tanzania: Politics: State Government: Cleveland Plain Dealer: GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-66-59.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 12:36 pm: Edit Post

GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft

GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft

"I'm not sure he can get lower than 15 percent, so the numbers could have only one way to go." Ohio Governor Robert Taft served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania in the 1960's.

GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft

GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft
Governor's approval rating at just 15%
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Sandy Theis and Julie Carr Smyth
Plain Dealer Bureau


-- During George Voinovich's final year as governor, reporters asked whom he would prefer as a successor.

Voinovich quickly named Bob Taft as the man best equipped to hold the state's top job. An elated Taft quickly spread the word.

Today, Ohio's once-invincible GOP finds itself in a swirl of criminal investigations and ethics violations, and Republicans who want to succeed Taft are either ignoring the unpopular governor or running from him.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has the fastest feet.

"The Cincinnati Enquirer labeled me the anti-Taft," Blackwell said in an interview Monday. "I think at the time, they thought that was an albatross. Little did they know it was a life raft."

Does Auditor Betty Montgomery want Taft's endorsement in the 2006 governor's race?

"It's not something we've discussed," campaign spokesman Mark Weaver said.

"She does want the endorsement of local leaders to show her grassroots support around the state."

Attorney General Jim Petro's campaign also didn't directly answer the question.

"When Jim secures the nomination, we hope that all Republicans will support his campaign," said campaign chairman Bob Paduchik.

Taft's approval rating hit a low of 40 percent in March 2003, but has dipped to a stunning 15 percent following his conviction in August of four misdemeanors for failing to report golf and other gifts from business and political leaders.

So pervasive are Taft's troubles that their ripple effect has reached to the usually ignored lieutenant governor's office.

On Monday, half a dozen Democratic protesters brandishing placards picketed The Athletic Club in Columbus, where Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson was speaking at a Franklin County official's fund-raiser, chanting "The culture of corruption/Needs a big disruption!"

Meanwhile, the state legislature has been locked in a tug-of-war over the best way to respond to the scandal, particularly investment losses at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

Republican leaders are striving to keep the focus on big-picture policy issues -- the economy, schools, jobs -- while Democrats continue to draw debate back to the Republicans' misdeeds.

For example, state Sen. Marc Dann, a Youngstown Democrat, on Monday introduced legislation that would repeal the automatic immunity granted by special legislative investigatory committees. A provision granting immunity from prosecution to all those who testify before such a panel has been cited by Republicans as one of the roadblocks to holding legislative hearings on BWC's losses, already documented to exceed $300 million.

In addition, Democrats holding just 11 of 33 Senate seats were able to block 14 gubernatorial appointments. They are being reconsidered today.

Senate President Bill Harris, an Ashland Republican, said he thinks Taft is stung by the polls but "will govern to the best of his ability no matter what the ratings are."

House Speaker Jon Husted, a suburban Dayton Republican, said Taft's lack of popularity and the GOP's broader troubles make House Republicans more determined to move important policy proposals "to prove we can get the job done."

Political scientist John Green said the only silver lining for Republicans is that Taft's numbers have most likely bottomed out.

"We may even see the governor's approval rating rebound next year, not because of anything he does, necessarily, but because these are astoundingly low numbers," said Green, who heads the University of Akron's Bliss Institute for Applied Politics.

"I'm not sure he can get lower than 15 percent, so the numbers could have only one way to go."

When this story was posted in September 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Tanzania; Politics; State Government


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