Obama supporters found guilty of voter fraud in Ohio

I investigated and followed this story along with Palestra through the Fall. You can get caught up quickly at this post. Months later, the three leaders of Vote Today Ohio were found guilty of voter fraud.
Here is the story from the Columbus Dispatch:

3 voting advocates guilty of fraud
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:33 PM
By Barbara Carmen
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Three staff members for Vote Today Ohio, an independent get-out-the-vote organization supporting Barack Obama, pleaded guilty in Franklin County this afternoon to voter fraud.
The three came to Ohio from states where Obama was likely to win in an effort to swing Ohio’s electoral college vote toward their candidate, Judge Charles A. Schneider said.
Given a year’s probation and a $1,000 fine were Daniel Hausman, 32, and Amy Little, 50, both of New York, and Yolanda Hippensteele, 30, of California. They told the court they had good intentions when they registered to vote and cast ballots the same day in early voting at Veterans Memorial.
“I was paying rent and living full-time in Ohio,” Hippensteele told the judge, “I didn’t attempt to vote in another state. … I think it’s all a misunderstanding. I have a profound respect for the voting process.”
Assistant Prosecutor Brian Simms said the three later tried to rescind their registration and cancel their votes; two were successful. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien had warned visiting campaign staff members that they shouldn’t vote here if they didn’t plan to stay after the election.
Schneider told the three that “rescinding your request is like giving back the money once you’ve been caught.”

Amy Little was fired as a campaign adviser to Rep. John Hall (D-NY) after it was revealed that she had voted in Ohio, despite a residence in NY and intentions to return to NY.
Michael Stinziano, Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, said he expects there may be more such outcomes since his office referred more allegations to the prosecutor.
Lots more on this story here.

Year in review: Top ten stories of 2008

As in year’s past, I have enjoyed reviewing the posts from the year and coming up with the top ten stories.
1. Cancelation of the American Psychiatric Association symposium – Amidst threat of protests, the APA pressed to halt a scheduled symposium dedicated to sexual identity therapy and religious affiliation. Whipped up by a factually inaccurate article in the Gay City News, gay activists persuaded the APA leadership to pressure symposium organizers to pull the program. Gay City News later ran a correction.
2. The other APA, the American Psychological Association, released a task force report on abortion and mental health consequences. Basing their conclusions on only one study, the APA surprised no one by claiming abortion had no more adverse impact on mental health than carrying a child to delivery. I revealed here that the APA had secretly formed this task force after a series of research reports in late 2005 found links between abortion and adverse mental health consequences for some women. New research confirms that concern is warranted.
3. Golden Rule Pledge – In the wake of Sally Kern saying homosexuality was a greater threat to the nation than terrorism, I initiated the Golden Rule Pledge which took place surrounding the Day of Silence and the Day of Truth. Many conservative groups were calling for Christian students to stay home. This did not strike me as an effective faith-centered response. The Golden Rule Pledge generated some controversy as well as approval by a small group of evangelicals (e.g., Bob Stith) and gay leaders (e.g., Eliza Byard). Some students taking part in the various events were positively impacted by their experience.
4. Exodus considers new direction for ministry – At a leadership training workshop early in 2008, Wendy Gritter proposed a new paradigm for sexual identity ministry. Her presentation was provocative in the sense that it generated much discussion and consideration, especially among readers here. It remains to be seen if Exodus will continue to move away from a change/reparative therapy focus to a fidelity/congruence ministry focus.
5. New research clarifies sexual orienatation causal factors – A twin study and a study of brain symmetry, both from Sweden and a large U.S. study shed some light on causal factors in sexual orientation.
6. Letter to the American Counseling Association requesting clarification of its policies concerning counseling same-sex attracted evangelicals. Co-signed by over 600 counselors (many of whom were referred by the American Association of Christian Counselors), I wrote a letter to the ACA requesting clarification regarding how counselors should work with evangelicals who do not wish to affirm homosexual behavior. The current policy is confusing and gives no guidance in such cases. Then President Brian Canfield replied affirming the clients self-determination in such cases. He referred the matter back to the ACA ethics committee. To date, that committee has not responded.
7. Paul Cameron’s work resurfaces and then is refuted – Insure.com resurrected Paul Cameron’s work in an article on their website about gay lifespans. The article was later altered to reflect more on HIV/AIDS than on homosexual orientation. Later this year, Morten Frisch produced a study which directly addressed Cameron’s methods.
8. Mankind Project unravels – This year I posted often regarding the Mankind Project and New Warriors Training Adventure. Recently, I reported that MKP is in some financial and organizational disarray.
9. Debunking of false claims about Sarah Palin’s record on support for social programs – I had lots of fun tracking down several false claims made about Sarah Palin during the election. Her opponents willfully distorted her real record to paint her as a hypocrite. I learned much more about Alaska’s state budget than I ever wanted to know but found that most claims of program cuts were actually raises in funding which not quite as much as the agencies requested. However, overall funding for such programs increased.
10. During the stretch run of the election, I became quite interested in various aspects of the race. As noted above, I spent some time examining claims surround Sarah Palin’s record. I also did a series on President-elect Obama’s record on housing, including an interview with one of Barack Obama’s former constituents.
I know, I know, number 10 is an understatement. (Exhibit A)
Happy New Year!

The Blue Cloud Lives! It's a Portsmouth, Ohio thing

Someone named Berthos just revived a thread from 2006 called “You might be from Porchmuth, if…” Porchmuth (how the natives say it) is really Portsmouth, Ohio, my home town.
Reading through the comments, I remembered at the time trying to find a pic of the memorable-yet-tacky Blue Cloud. Couldn’t find one at the time. Well, I struck Blue Cloud gold tonight.
The Blue Cloud lives!

Here is the caption from the blogger, David Reynolds, who posted this gem.

The infamous Blue Cloud modern art sculpture now resides in a fenced in yard between the new Portsmouth Elementary School playground and Kim’s house. The Blue Cloud used to be downtown in the Roy Rogers Esplanade until some woman tripped over its far left side and fell and sued the city! Tripped over a huge blue cloud in Portsmouth…. Wowsers… And sued!

Well, that is much of the story. First, the Blue Cloud was simply erected in the middle of a common area in the middle of an open area downtown. People could touch it, ponder it up close, etc. But then the accident happened and a chain fence went up around it. Some were not happy with the Blue Cloud going into captivity. A group was formed called Free the Blue Cloud. Finally it was removed. At least that’s how I remember it.
Now The Blue Cloud sits in a restful-yet-proud place as noted by Mr. Reynolds.