Thursday, October 30, 2008

Face time with Joe the Plumber

My wife submitted a "Joe the Plumber" story to the McCain campaign awhile back (read it at Last night, we received a call from the campaign, inviting us to their rally in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow afternoon. We have been given seats in the VIP section, and the call indicated that we will be seated with Joe Wurzelbacher and possibly have an opportunity to meet him, as well as Senator McCain, Governor Schwarzenegger, and possibly some of the other dignitaries in attendance.

I'm new to the world of campaign events, so I don't know if we will get much time at all with Joe and/or anyone else in attendance. However, we're intending to show up early and spend time there, so I suspect we will get a chance to do more than the typical "grip 'n grin".

So, assuming we get the opportunity to ask, what would you like to ask Joe the Plumber? (I have dibs on "For how much are you planning on suing the State of Ohio and Helen Jones-Kelley, and can I help?" 8^)

FWIW, I will be Twittering as much as I can from the event from my BlackBerry ( We may even attempt to get video with our camera if the opportunity presents itself. I'll be blogging afterwards and posting pictures here.

Update: Joe wasn't there, but it was still worthwhile to be in the "Joe the Plumber" line, which was a lot shorter ... 8^)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pataskala income tax FUD

(That's Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt -- a term of art in the computer software industry, often pertaining to established vendors' attitude toward new technology. The established vendor will attempt to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about the new technology in an attempt to maintain their established customers.)

Today's FUD is $500K-plus in cuts ready if Pataskala's income-tax issue fails, by the aptly-named Lori Wince. Our leaders have already determined what muscle will be cut if they don't get their income tax the seventh time around:
  • No parks and recreation department;
  • Personnel cuts in planning and zoning; public-service; and street departments;
  • Suspending road resurfacing;
  • No capital improvements unless funded by other grants.
Already cut:
  • Snow removal, except on major streets;
  • Streetlight repair
(The article doesn't state whether we'll get those last two back if we knuckle under to the income tax. I suspect not, but I'm not going to look it up right now -- it's a moot point if the tax issue fails anyway.)

The timing of this issue is unfortunate, due to increases in overall property taxes (about 10%) in 2008, plus the financial panic and drop in the stock market that has reduced our 401(k) and retirement balances. Now, Pataskala wants another 1-2% of our paycheck, without repudiating their ability to also collect municipal property taxes. Anybody else besides me thinking that it's a really bad idea?