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Yet the 2006 election year turned out to be unusually trying for Regula. Matt Miller, an upstart Republican opponent, held Regula to 58 percent of the vote in the May primary. Regula went on to win an 18th term in November, but again with 58 percent over Democrat Thomas Shaw — his career low in a re-election contest and 8 percentage points off his 2004 vote share.

As a coup de grace, Regula’s party lost 30 seats and its House majority, costing him his chairmanship and demoting him to ranking Republican on the Appropriations Financial Services subcommittee.

Now, with Regula approaching his 83rd birthday Dec. 3 — he is the second-oldest member of the House of Representatives — Regula is seen by some observers as a possible target for a Democratic Party takeover bid in 2008, or as a possible congressional retiree. And while Regula has not yet announced his plans for next year, candidates in both parties already are trying to get ahead of the curve in the 2008 campaign cycle.

Democratic hopeful John Boccieri, a state senator, formally kicked off his campaign Monday after saying a few weeks ago that he would run in the 16th regardless of what Regula does.

This isn't a solidly Republican seat, just three points more Republican than the national average (Bush got 54-46 against Kerry in 2004). And Ohio has gotten a lot more Democratic as of late, given the utter collapse of the state's GOP. And Regula lucked out in 2006, with an unknown candidate who spent a mere $91K while he spent over $1 million.

A solid, well-funded candidate can flip this seat. Given our relatively poor House performance in Ohio in 2006 (while Democrats romped at the state level and in the Senate race), there's a bunch of seats we can snag. The 16th will be added to that pile.

Boccieri, a Fighting Dem, is definitely someone to watch. Local blogger Daily Left gives us the introduction:

Boccieri became the latest veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to run for United States Congress Monday when he made his long awaited announcement in in front of the Hoover Company in N Canton, Ohio, which recently announced it like many other NE companies will be closing. Alongside of Boccieri was Ohio Governor Ted Strickland  and Treasurer Richard Corday (for whom he once worked as a legislative aide). What makes Major John Boccieri different from others veterans to run is that he did his four tours in the Air Force while he was serving in the Ohio House of Representatives and now in the Senate. He is no rookie when it comes to winning elections. Last year his Republican opponent for an open Senate seat dropped out late in the game after finding himself miles behind Boccieri. Rumors were all over the Buckeye state that he was on the shortlist to be named Ted Strickland’s running mate in 2006. What I’m saying is, John is not only a brave veteran of two wars, but also a veteran of Ohio politics. And, by the way, he’s only 37 years old.

Also today, VoteVets gave their endorsement.

John Boccieri, is in his first term as a member of the Ohio State Senate. Boccieri served our country by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. He is an Air Force Reserve Major and aircraft commander aboard the C-130 aircraft, and was stationed at Youngstown Joint Air Reserve Station. He recently deployed in 4 rotations to support our troops in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Boccieri has served our nation in over 40 countries and has eleven years of service in the U.S. Military.

John Boccieri campaign website

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:23 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Regula (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brittain33, Big A, Albatross, Lobsters

    is going to be 84 next year. Since he's now facing his first real challenge since probably before disco, he should really be considering retirement.

    And if not, Boccieri can beat him anyway.

    The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:24:14 AM PDT

  •  I shall donate! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A, Albatross

    Only, my new strategy is to do it via any route which will be sure NOT to get me on mailing lists.

    I'll give a prize to the first person to institute a standard by which we can donate online AND opt-out of mailings!

    Thanks.

    •  Seriously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LNK

      One of my biggest pet peeves.

      Campaigns claim it still pays off for them. I suspect it's their direct mail consultants fleecing them.

    •  Act Blue? (0+ / 0-)

      Won't Act Blue allow you to do that?

      Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. ~Ernest Hemingway

      by Albatross on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:31:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Act Blue! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LNK, aaraujo, Albatross

        ActBlue ROCKS!

        Unfortunately, LNK & Albatross, campaign finance law requires donations be accompanied by name, address, occupation and declaration of US citizenship.

        I spent 80% of my campaign contributions through Act Blue, and every one of the campaigns got my address and sent me stuff. I don't mind most of it, because of some repeat candidates (Maffei, NY-26, Massa, NY-29, Wulsin, OH-02) and some victorious ones (Sutton, OH-13)

        But I really, really wish they would use email instead of dead-tree snail mail, and I tell them (campaigns) that every chance I get.

        Don't let it stop you! Help Turn Ohio Blue!

        (Or rather, "Bluer"!)

        -GFO

        •  How I try to get off snail mail lists (0+ / 0-)

          I never saw an opt-out button on ActBlue.

          I try to phone and/or e-mail campaign offices after I use ActBlue to tell them why I do NOT want snail mail. I've been suggesting that an occasional post card reminder when they need money or have an announcement--that would suffice.

          I also tell them I follow their news online via Daily Kos.

          The "ICK" or "EEEK" factor.
          Do you ever feel like an electric shock of "Lemme outta here"! when you open yet another red/white/blue campaign literature mailer.......I start to hate certain campaigns for the waste and the formulaic way the mailers are done.

          I do believe it is the consultants who are responsible. All we need are a higher level of consultants to feed the consultants replacement information:  mailers are counter-productive.

          BTW, I now give the bulk of my donation to charity to the Quakers because they've been the absolute best at NOT sending mailers I don't want.
          http://www.afsc.org

          •  Do you give to out (0+ / 0-)

            of state candidates? It would seem that mailing stuff all over the country to people in a non national election would be counterproductive. I've gotten emails from candidates that I knew had to come from the DNC.  The emails are okay because I can quickly delete them but I think this could be considered a waste of time. After all, one candidate in Texas sent me a bunch of emails but I couldn't vote for him so what was the point?

            I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

            by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:14:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Dems have advantage in Ohio 08 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    Taft messed it up, and as long as Hillary isn't leading the ticket the rest of our Dems get a boost.

    OH-1-Chabot.....Driehaus is facing off.
    OH-2 Jean Schmidt.......Wulsin and a rematch
    OH-15 Pryce...........Kilroy rematch
    OH-16 Open Seat (or else this is too easy)

    I dont know if we can turn 1 and 2 blue, but its a victory in itself to get the NRCC to pour so much money into those two districts.

    •  Little dig about Hillary unnecessary and wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redlief, mcfly, Lobsters
      I thik it's pure fantasy that Hillary at the top of the ticket is going to be some dead weight for Dems in Ohio. First of all, she will totally kick Mitt Romney's (almost certain to be GOP nominee) ass badly. Mitt Romney has nothing to offer Ohioans of any stripe and he won't come across well here. He certainly won't energize all those battalions of voters some people fantasize are just going to be moved to come and vote out of sheer Hillary hatred -- the same people think Mormons are the devil's cult members. And Hillary has some strong support here in Ohio and she will energize the very people we need to come out and work for these Democrats in mostly urban areas (Oh-1 and 2- Cincinnati, Oh-15- Columbus, Oh-16, Canton). The Democrats are organized and energized; the GOP is still struggling to figure out how to continue to hand the state over to big business without outraging more people as they lose jobs, homes and healthcare and how to continue to prioritize strip clubs over schools without disgusting more people. Get over that false "Hillary will make us lose Ohio" frame, because it's just not true. And I'm saying this as one who would rather not see her as nominee at all.

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 12:53:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mcfly

        My preference is for another candidate as well, but if Senator Clinton gets the nomination, it will have little effect on the local OH races. The momentum from 2006 is still here, most of the players are still amped up and ready to rumble.

        Now if there was just a way to get Boehner out, and LaTourrette with him ...

        -GFO

      •  Tie Regula to Bush and Taft (0+ / 0-)

        Hillary needs to tangle her GOP opponent endlessly in Bush, and she is skilled (and mean) enough to stay on message, something most Dems are not very good at. There's no Issue One left for the knuckledraggers, and Blackwell left for Dobsons's house. Can someone do something about Tiberi in O-12? He went 1-1 in my area, but ran 2-1 in more rural Licking and Delaware Counties in 2006. Tiberi used to be Bush Lite. He is now Bush Full Flavored and thinks Boehner is the second coming of Newt. Suntan should have so many brain cells.

      •  No Clinton deserves to even be in Ohio (0+ / 0-)

        I have only met two avid Hillary supporters, hundreds of Hillary haters, and all the Democrats I know like either Edwards or Biden (a few Obama's). But Hillary has no love as far as I see. Hillary kept her mouth shut when Bill sent NAFTA (SHAFTA) and cost Ohio 50,000 jobs. Not to mention PNTR-China. You think Hillary is going to reverse these things, especially when she said Bill would be in her cabinet (or at least an ambassador)?

        No Clinton deserves Ohio after the stunts they pulled. I think Clinton's healthcare plan is lovely, but its not exclusive to her. I can get that with any candidate.

        And I dont think "Hillary will make us lose Ohio" is false. She can probably win Florida so Ohio wouldn't matter anyways. I want to make progress after 08, I want to see more jobs. With more DLC scum in the oval office we'll never see that will we? Thats why Neo-Cons LOVE HER. A DLC candidate is a compromise, I'm not willing to compromise after 8 years of Hell.

        We will lose with a DLC candidate, the people want a Progressive not just a Republican knock off.

  •  Needs to get his "issues" page on his website (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    up and running, just so we can see exactly where he stands. But in the meantime, he sounds promising.

    Stop bitching and start a revolution!

    by Randian on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:32:33 AM PDT

  •  Good news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    I've heard positive things about Boccieri.

    And I'm ready for Kilroy to take Pryce down this time. Pryce is a nightmare.

    Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. ~Ernest Hemingway

    by Albatross on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:33:42 AM PDT

  •  Excellent (5+ / 0-)

    As long as he promises to file his FEC reports in a timely fashion, he's got a leg up on that other guy who ran there.

    Yes, I carry grudges sometimes.

    •  Dude. (0+ / 0-)

      I was not a DKos member in 2004.  Was Seemann big around here?

      I live in Ohio 16 and, after an ok start, it became obvious months out that his organization was in massive disarray and that he stood no chance at all.

      Were people here sending him money?  If so, I am sure some of his "handlers" walked off with most of it.  He was dead in the water before Sep. 2004, from a local standpoint.

      The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants. A. Camus

      by TastyCurry on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 01:27:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go Boccieri! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    Just curious...whatever happened to the now-disgraced Jeff Seemann? And who was Regula's opponent in 2006? He was never even listed as being vulnerable last time.

  •  Boccieri (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    This guy is the real deal.  This is a VERY good thing for Democrats in Ohio and across the country.

    "Whenever someone says he's going to save your soul, keep a tight grip on your wallet."

    by bergerc84 on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:39:14 AM PDT

  •  Regula - isn't that a semi-bitter salad green? (0+ / 0-)

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:40:37 AM PDT

  •  Lots more coverage of Boccieri's announcement (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A, John Boccieri

    I was at the campaign kickoff yesterday. Boccieri wasn't at his best, stumbling at some points in his ten-minute speech, but he has SO much going for him. Solid support from his friend, the very popular new governor Ted Strickland, will be huge.

    Lots of photos and more on Boccieri here and here.

  •  isn't this the seat 'our' Jeff Seaman ran for? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Progressive Moderate

    it's ringing a bell ...

    The Sopranos are dead to me.

    by PhillyGal on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 12:02:57 PM PDT

  •  This seat is for Boccieri! Weirauch in OH-5 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross

    Boccieri would be a wonderful candidate!  I am hoping that he will receive support from fellow popular democrats (eg. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Sen. Glenn, Gov. Ted Strickland).  Tenured democrats are very popular in Ohio, especially among unions a labor.

    Another seat to watch in Ohio is OH-5 Rep. Paul Gillmor.  Gillmor nolonger lives within his district.  He has just moved to his $1,000,000 mansion in Union County Ohio.  This was just reported by the Toledo Blade in the past couple of months, and has become a monkey on Gillmor's back.  

    Robin Weirauch (D) is closing the gap on Gillmor.  We are hoping she runs again and defeats Gillmor!

             Weirauch    Gillmor
    2004      32.9%      67.0%
    2006      43.0%      57.9%

    In 2004 she only received 32.9% of the vote compared to 67% for Gillmor.  In 2006, she closed the gap.  Weirauch lost, but garnered 43% of the vote compared to Gillmor's 57.9%.

    Please help to support candidates in Ohio to unseat Republican dinosaurs.  

    •  11-7 in Ohio, 9-6 in Michigan. We need to be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big A, Albatross

      taking down some Republicans in those states post-haste.

      Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

      by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 12:25:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh-14 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big A, mcfly
      This is another seat that will be competitive next year. Currently it belongs to Steve "Boff the lobbyist" LaTourette who dumped his wife and kids back home to take up with a much younger lobbyist whom he subsequently married. Judge Bill O'Neill, who ran for the state Supreme Court last year on a pledge to raise NO money and gotten beaten by one of the best-financed judge candidates ever, has already declared his candidacy and he is going to raise money this time (He doesn't like the system but feels especially strongly that judges shouldn't be bought and paid for). He resigned his appeals court judgeship this month and will officially begin his fundraising July 1 on the advice of the DCCC who suggested he do all his initial fundraising in one reporting period to make a stronger impact. He has extensively name recognition from his statewide campaign last year, he's another veteran (he's older, I think 59, so it's Vietnam in his case), has an interesting back story (not only is he a judge but a pediatric nurse and he raised four kids himself after his wife died in an auto accident) and when I heard him back in May at the Geauga County Dems dinner, his speech was to die for, focusing primarily on three things: get the hell out of Iraq as fast as possible, stop it with the free-trade deals and other corporate perks that are causing all our jobs to go away and bring on the single-payer health care.

      Last year,"NIne Commandments" LaTourette was opposed by Case law professor Lew Katz, a very nice man with great positions but a political novice who was wildly underfunded and whom even activists I knew in the district had barely heard of just before the primary.

      Since one can't do everything, I have chosen this race as my "adopted" race (my congresswoman is beyond safe in Oh-11). Proximity is part of the reason; the district's so close to me -- a mere 20 minute drive -- that I can canvass and flyer and go to events, and I have a lot of friends in the district to work with.

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 01:06:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A native of Ohio 16. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    I grew up in this district in Ohio.  When I was a child my family took a family vacation to DC, and Regula met us and gave us a personal tour of the capitol.  He also took photographs with our family and sent us autographed copies.  PR to be sure but still my family never contributed to his campaign or any campaign and weren't political in any way.  My dad just thought it would be nice for us to meet our congressman and get a tour.  It's hard to forget things like that when you go into the voting booth.  I no longer live in that district, and frankly I was worried that his rabidly right wing primary opponent would beat Regula in 2006.  Obviously, it would be better for him to retire. The area is getting bluer.  Gov. Strickland won both Ashland and Wayne Counties which were always rock solid Republican.  Wayne County is the home of the College of Wooster, a fine liberal arts college with a left-leaning student body.  Ashland County is the seat of Ashland University which is known for the right wing Ashbrooke Scholar program which is connected with Phyllis Shlafly.  Anyway...just some thoughts on the district.  Would love to see Regula retire and for the seat to go Blue.

    •  Another Ohio-16 Native (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big A

      I too am a native of Ohio-16.  My family and many friends still live there and they will all, even my life-long Republican parents, vote for whichever Dem. gets the nod against Regula.    

  •  We're off and running (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the kind words.

    We are scrambling to launch the campaign and to get the campaign website up to speed. Right now, we are operating with a VERY small crew. I'm involved because I did John's campaign site for the Ohio legislature and when I heard that he was running for Congress, I just HAD to get involved. He's that kind of guy.

    I will follow up with Actblue about opting out of mailing lists with a contribution. I can only afford to make small contributions and I hate to think that campaigns are, on balance, losing money with the cost of sending me follow up mailings.

    I can make this promise: whatever support people can afford to give to this campaign will be spent appropriately, effectively and will be accounted for to the FEC.

    Sincerely,

    Earl Britt
    Web assistant
    John Boccieri for Congress OH-16
    http://johnforcongress.com

  •  Should be interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    Look forward to seeing a race in the 16th.  I live over in Ashland County and quite honestly this seems to be the year that Regula will retire or lose.  To be perfectly honest, Regula is one of the few Republicans who hasn't been overly bad, has a good genial personality and he's done quite a bit for the district which is why he's been there since the Vietnam War.  He's also gotten a lot of Democrats to vote for him through the years, so hopefully Boccieri can bring them back home.

    2006: The year the Donkey went Rocky on the Pachyderm

    by marcvstraianvs on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 01:07:46 PM PDT

  •  It's about the people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcfly, TrueBlueCT

    More than one GOP candidate has filed paperwork with the FEC, so it may or may not be Mr. Regula who is our opponent.

    But in a very real sense, it doesn't matter.

    I completely agree with what Governor Strickland said so forcefully yesterday, ANYBODY would be proud to have  John Boccieri for their Representative.

    Even though I'm John's web slinger, I wish that every voter in the District could meet him (and his family) face to face, one on one.

    If we could do that, I'll take our chances any day.

    Earl Britt
    webmanager
    http://johnforcongress.com

    •  Have a feeling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big A

      The Republican Primary will be a war even if Regula doesn't retire.  I'm almost certain Matt Miller will run again, as well as Schuring, and wouldn't be surprised if Regula's kid jumped in too if daddy retired.  Hoepfully the Dem side will be uncontested so you guys can load up the money.

      2006: The year the Donkey went Rocky on the Pachyderm

      by marcvstraianvs on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 01:46:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  regula's kid wont get anywhere (0+ / 0-)

        i managed the campaign that beat him last year for county commissioner. My guy todd bosley was a first time candidate and was outspent and yet we still clipped him by 1700 votes.
        by the way, did anyone read the link to dailyleft.com? that is my new site and I'm looking for feedback as i put it together (other than the header not being a live link for some reason
        dailyleft.com

  •  Ralph Regula- back in the day... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big A

    I am a native of Stark Cty Ohio (Regula's stomping grounds) tho I moved to Cincinnati in 1984.
    I can't believe he's 83! That must mean I'm almost...63!
    ugh.
    Anyway- I'd love to see him booted out. Hope we get another Dem seat in Ohio.

  •  one word: reapportionment (0+ / 0-)

    When I get wonky, John tells me that I'm being too "Inside Baseball." He really is a no-nonsense guy who doesn't get bogged down in the "horse race" stuff.

    So this is strictly my personal opinion....

    Ohio has been grossly gerrymandered. One of the architects of the GOP plan has said in interviews that even if Ohioans evenly divide their ballots between the Parties, the GOP will still control the state government AND our Congressional delegation. And that's exactly how it has turned out.

    For example, in 2004, my friend Ben Konop was the ONLY Ohio Congressional challenger from either Party who broke the 40 per cent barrier and he did it by a fraction of a point. (Which lead to Oxley's retirement.)

    And the GOP redistricting scheme was reinforced by the actions of our former Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell.

    But now, a new day has dawned.

    Jennifer Brunner has already proven that she is a GREAT Sec of State. And if reapportionment was to happen today, our Party would have the majority of votes on the Apportionment board.

    And now we have a great Governor and an agressive young State Party chair.

    So the process of change is inexorably moving forward.

    But I cannot stress enough how absolutely GREAT it would be if we could pick up two or three U.S. House seats BEFORE redistricting.

    It has been mentioned, for example, that Robin Wierauch got 43% of the vote last year and I have heard that she is intending to run again next year. Steve Driehaus, Judge O'Neil and whoever emerges from the primaries in Districts 2 and 15 will all be serious contenders.

    To say that Ohio is in the midst of an incredible turn around would be a serious understatement.

  •  More Republican Than you Think (0+ / 0-)

    Have not lived in the 16th district for
    decades. I hope Boccieri can vacuum up
    as many Democratic votes as he
    can in Stark county. The western part of
    the district in Wayne and Ashland counties
    is hard-core Republican. When I read the
    on-line version of the local paper in Wooster,
    I just shake my head. When the former Gov. Taft
    was slashing/burning the state budget, you would
    not see one article of complaint from that newspaper.
    Consider the name of the paper's owner, "Wooster Republican Printing Co". I will send $$ to Boccieri next year. My district in California is hopelessly Republican and not worth an investment in campaign money, but if the Ohio 16th district is close, then count me $$in. Hi Wooster, GO Scots!

  •  Boccieri Added to Registry (0+ / 0-)

    I added Boccieri as the opposition candidate for 2008 in the Contenders Registry.

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