Opening day with a twist

On the side

Republican dinner: Michelle Malkin, a national conservative writer and commentator, will be the keynote speaker at the Columbiana County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner at 6:30 p.m. April 19 at the Salem Community Center Gymnasium, 1098 N. Ellsworth Ave. Malkin has written four books, is a syndicated columnist, a Fox News Channel contributor and a blogger.

Tickets are $60 a person or $100 a couple. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Tara Canestraro at 330-223-1511 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Democratic dinner: The Mahoning County Democratic Party’s annual Hall of Fame dinner is at 5 p.m. April 18 at Mr. Anthony’s, 7440 South Ave., in Boardman. Tickets are $50 each. To reserve tickets, contact John Vivo at or at 330-719-3869.

Those being inducted are: Kenneth A. Carano, the party’s executive vice president and a former state representative, former county Commissioner Tom Carney, retired Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr., ex-party Treasurer Joe Gorman, and Ann Vross, a longtime party activist.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson’s campaign is on a sporting events kick lately, seeking to connect them to fundraising efforts for his re-election.

And the campaign isn’t letting those opportunities pass without injecting some partisan humor.

As I wrote three weeks ago, shortly after the NCAA basketball tournament started, Johnson’s campaign sent emails to supporters with a link to a National Republican Congressional Committee webpage in which people could vote for the worst liberal with seedings for various Democrats. No surprise, President Barack Obama was chosen the “most liberal in Washington.”

Johnson, a Republican from Marietta, requested supporters “help me score a three-pointer” by donating $3 to his campaign while writing, “The true ‘madness’ is the policy direction advocated by liberals like President Obama and his allies in Congress.”

He added: “Unfortunately, the madness in Washington is a year-round affliction. I’m fighting hard to stop the madness. We’re late in the game and the score is tied so I need your help to make sure our conservative values win out.”

Johnson was rooting for The Ohio State University team, which lost its Elite Eight game to Wichita State University.

Opening day

On Tuesday, Johnson’s campaign took advantage of baseball’s opening day, which was two days earlier, to come up with an elaborate scenario tied to a fundraising effort.

The email reads: “Opening Day got me thinking — what if President Obama and his liberal allies like [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi were the commissioners of Major League Baseball? Here’s how I think it would play out. At the start of the game, the team with the worst record would automatically get three runs [for the sake of fairness].

“Everyone on the team would be paid the same salary regardless of talent or ability. [Note from me: everyone in the U.S. House is paid the same amount, with extra money given to the speaker and the majority and minority leaders, regardless of talent or ability. OK, back to Johnson’s email.] You wouldn’t want Albert Pujols to think he deserved more than let’s say, a platoon third baseman.

“And, of course, the team that was most outstanding and won the playoffs would be forced to redistribute their players next year because it was unfair how successful they were. That wouldn’t be a very fun game to watch, and it’s not a very good way to operate a government.”

Rather than ask for $3, the email has a donation link to contribute $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or $2,600 [the most an individual can contribute to a U.S. House member campaign] with a box to give other amounts.

When asked through his congressional district press secretary, a hardcore fan of the universally despised Philadelphia Phillies, about his favorite team, Johnson replied, the “Cleveland Indians, of course.”

Baseball socialism

As an Indians fan, Johnson should support baseball socialism as the team hasn’t had a winning season since 2007.

A note to Johnson’s campaign, the NBA playoffs start April 20 and the NFL draft is April 25. Now that the bar is raised, I’m expecting something good.

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