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DAILY NEWS, BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY
MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012 - PAGE
Is millionaires’ poll cited
by Obama by the numbers?
By GLENN KESSLER
The Washington Post
“This was an idea that was
supported by a strong majority of
the American people – including
nearly half of Republicans. The
majority of millionaires supported it. And Senate Republicans
– President Barack Obama,
Lorain County (Ohio) Community College, April 18
Many surveys, by pollsters such
as Gallup and Washington PostABC News, show strong public
support for Obama’s proposal –
killed in the Senate last week – to
impose a tax surcharge on people
with adjusted gross income of
more than $1 million, known as the
But we were struck by the president’s assertion that even a majority of millionaires support such a
tax. The claim that two-thirds of
millionaires back the plan is also
promoted on the Obama campaign
website, under the headline: “Millionaires stand in support of the
How does Obama know this?
The White House directed us to
an article that appeared in the Wall
Street Journal, which was headlined “Millionaires Support Warren Buffett’s Tax on Rich.” The
article cited a study by the Spectrem Group, which claimed that
“68 percent of millionaires (those
with investments of $1 million or
more) support raising taxes on
those with $1 million or more in
First, note that the article
referred to people with investments
(i.e., net worth) of $1 million or
more, which is different from people with $1 million in income. People with net worth of $1 million
includes many people who make
less than $1 million a year, so at
least some, if not many, of the people who supported higher taxes
actually would not be affected by
the Buffett Rule.
So Obama – and the Wall Street
Journal – are mixing up two differ-
ent types of millionaires.
The other problem is that the
article gave no detail on how the
survey was conducted, the sample
size and so forth. We found a brief
online description on the Spectrem
website and we spoke to George
Walper, Spectrem’s president.
Walper said the questions were
asked once in the fall as part of a
regular sample of high-net-worth
individuals via an online survey.
He said about 500 people in the
survey have a net worth of
$100,000 to $1 million, 333 have a
net worth of $1 million to $5 million and 165 have a net worth of $5
million to $25 million. The statistics cited by the Journal were just
from the last two categories, and he
said the margin of error was plus or
minus 4 percent.
The Washington Post has strict
standards about the types of polls
that we quote. We are especially
wary of online polls, and a standard
practice before quoting a poll in a
news story is to make sure it is vetted by The Post’s polling unit. So
we asked The Post pollsters to
assess the Spectrem survey.
Here is what Polling Analyst
Scott Clement reported:
“George Walper had me talk to
Tom Wynn, director of affluent
research for Spectrem Group. He
says the survey results are from an
opt-in online panel. That’s a big
weakness as far as polling is concerned. We don’t report these surveys per our methodology standards at The Post, and the American
Association for Public Opinion
Research’s 2010 task force cautions
researchers to avoid such panels
when trying to estimate population
values – i.e., what percentage of
millionaires support the Buffett
Rule. Wynn also refused to supply
the topline results of the survey, a
standard item of survey disclosure
for publicly released polls.”
The phrase “topline results”
refers to basic detail about question
wording and the responses.
Do such details really make a
difference? Well, another Spectrem
poll, from a month earlier, has been
cited by CNN Money as evidence
that millionaires do not support the
Buffett Rule. That survey found
that only 24 percent of millionaires
said that higher taxes on higher
income was the fairest tax system.
A White House official countered that The Post, from time to
time, has cited Spectrem’s research,
including even The Fact Checker in
1999, for an article on 401(k)
investments. Not everyone at The
Post gets the message to be careful
with polls, but the eight articles
cited by the White House did not
mention the poll in question.
“We’re not suggesting a blanket
dismissal of the group’s work, only
that this poll doesn’t merit publication,” Post Polling Director Jon
Cohen said. “Some of the [articles
noted by the White House] is market info – who knows where from.
Some is survey data, but none of it
vetted by us.”
Walper said he was “very confident” that his poll was representative of all millionaires.
“In his speech, the president
cited a survey that has been cited
by, among others, the Wall Street
Journal and Time magazine,”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “The survey itself was
done by an organization whose
work The Washington Post has
deemed credible in many of its own
The explosion of polls has made
it essential to be careful about
understanding how they are conducted and what they really mean.
Obama has on occasion cited “a
survey” as reporting this claim
about millionaires and we suppose
he could have been even more specific by citing a “survey reported by
the Wall Street Journal.” But this
week, and on his campaign website, all caveats were dropped and
the assertion was stated as fact.
Reputable surveys already show
the Buffett Rule is broadly popular,
so there is little reason to hype the
claims even more by citing a survey
with questionable provenance. You
can’t just accept any poll, no matter
how much it fits with your convictions. The president, in particular,
should have higher standards than
Mrs. Marjorie S.
Mrs. Marjorie S. Riggs, 92, of
Bowling Green, died at 12:30
p.m. Saturday, April 21, 2012, at
Colonial Manor Nursing Home.
The Greenville native was a
homemaker and of the Methodist
death by her
MARJORIE S. RIGGS Riggs; a son,
Thomas Harrison Riggs; a daughter, Cheryl
Marie Hayes; a brother, Lyndal
Sweeney; and a sister, Inez
Survivors include her grandson, David S. Hayes (Lisa) and
granddaughter Teresa Marie Curtis (Jeff), all of Bowling Green;
great-grandson Levi Caleb Curtis
and great-granddaughter Sally
Marie Curtis; a sister, Delta
(Cooky) Stovall of Greenville;
two brothers, Frank D. Sweeney
of Greensboro, N.C., and Gayle
Sweeney of Princeton; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at JohnsonVaughn-Phelps Funeral Home,
901 Fairview Ave., Bowling
Green, on Tuesday from 10 a.m.
to 1 p.m. Graveside service is at
1 p.m. Tuesday at Fairview
Thomas M. Shemwell, 80, of
Horse Cave, died at 11:31 p.m.
April 21, 2012, at Caverna
Memorial Hospital in Horse
Funeral is at 1 p.m. Wednesday
at Brooks Funeral Home, with
burial in Horse Cave Cemetery.
Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
today, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday and begins at 9 a.m.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks April 11 during a visit to the Newark Senior Center in Newark, Del.
Gingrich racks up more debt
as his unlikely bid continues
By DAN EGGEN
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich, whose
quixotic presidential bid has been dogged by financial problems, racked up nearly $3 million in new
debt for private jet flights, security consultants and
travel costs in March even as his campaign teetered
on the edge of collapse, according to new disclosures.
The former House speaker entered April with $4.3
million in total debt, up from $1.5 million the month
before, according to reports filed late Friday with the
Federal Election Commission. He raised $1.6 million, spent $2 million and reported having $1.2 million cash on hand.
The Gingrich campaign’s top debts for March
include $1.1 million to Moby Dick Airways, a private air charter broker; $450,000 to Patriot Group, a
Warrenton, Va.-based security firm; and $178,000 to
Event Strategies of Alexandria, Va., for “event production.” Gingrich is listed as being owed $271,775
for travel costs, and numerous other employees and
consultants claim similar travel debts, the records
The disclosures outline what has become a typical
scenario for Gingrich in his topsy-turvy, year-long
campaign for the White House, which nearly
imploded last summer amid runaway spending and
staff defections. Financial problems also have swallowed the private consulting empire he built after
leaving the House in the late 1990s, including a pri-
vate health care think tank that filed for bankruptcy
earlier this month.
Gingrich rose in the polls and began to claw his
way out of debt during a series of strong Republican
candidates’ debate performances last fall, but his
prospects have plummeted since his surprise win in
the South Carolina primary in January. The main
thing keeping Gingrich alive for much of the primary season was Winning Our Future, a super PAC that
was funded almost exclusively by Las Vegas casino
magnate Sheldon Adelson and his relatives. Adelson’s wife, Miriam, gave the group an additional $5
million in March, bringing the Adelson family total
to $21 million, according to new disclosures.
Gingrich has steadfastly refused to leave the race
despite having no reasonable prospect of defeating
Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, while
continuing to solicit money and support as he campaigns across the country.
“Please take a moment to get involved with my
campaign and make calls to voters,” Gingrich wrote
in a Twitter message Thursday.
Gingrich has had a particular penchant for racking
up travel-related expenses with vendors such as
Moby Dick, which arranges charter jet travel for
Republicans and has done millions of dollars in business with Gingrich over the years. One defunct Gingrich group called American Solutions for Winning
the Future paid Moby Dick $6.6 million over a period of four years, records show.
Rose M. Oller
BROWNSVILLE — Rose
Mary Oller, 73, of Bowling
Green, died at 3:06 p.m. April 21,
2012, at The Medical Center at
Funeral is at 2 p.m. Wednesday
at Cherry Springs United Baptist
Church, with burial in the church
cemetery. Visitation is from 2
p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 9
a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at
Gravil Funeral Home.
Christine Hurt Powell
Christine Hurt Powell, 89, died
Sunday, April 22, 2012, at the Cal
Turner Extended Care in
The Allen County native was
the daughter of the late Sellus and
Lottie Stone Hurt and was preceded in death by her daughter, Suzie
Cummings; a granddaughter,
Kristina Towe; and a brother,
She is survived by her two
sons, Rogers Powell and his wife,
Patsy, of Bowling Green, and
Jerry Powell and his wife, Sue, of
Scottsville, two brothers, James
Hurt and Billie Hurt of
Scottsville; two sisters, Libby
Flowers of Glasgow and Anna
Cooksey of Bowling Green; five
grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-greatgrandchildren.
Visitation begins at 5 p.m.
today at T.W. Crow and Son
Funeral services will be at 1
p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home,
with burial in Crescent Hill
Condolences online may be left
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Thomas M. Shemwell
Richard J. Sujat Sr.
Joseph Sujat Sr., 69, of Glasgow,
died April 21, 2012, at T.J. Samson Community Hospital.
Funeral is at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hatcher & Saddler Funeral
Home, with burial in Glasgow
Municipal Cemetery. Visitation
begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the
Ruth Mears Taylor
December 24, 1916 – April 21,
Ruth Mears Taylor passed
peacefully from this world at the
Meadowcreek Care Center in San
Angelo, Texas, at 12:50 p.m. on
Saturday, April 21, 2012. Ruth
was born Dec. 24, 1916, in Cass
County, Texas, to Edwin Lloyd
Katie Cleveland Mears.
She was preceded
death by her
Robert Taylor; a sister
Ora Amick; RUTH MEARS
and brothers TAYLOR
Guy, Pat, Frank and George
Ruth married Robert P. Taylor
on Dec. 7, 1935, in Queen City,
Texas. The first years of their
marriage were spent living in
Bivins, Texas; Meridian, Mississippi; Demopolis, Alabama;
Oklahoma City; and Brooklyn,
New York. They grew tired of the
nomadic life and happily moved
to San Angelo in 1945.
Ruth was a homemaker who
was very involved in the activities
of her children. When they were
no longer in school, she began a
career at Baptist Memorial Geriatric Center. As admissions officer, she found a great deal of satisfaction in helping families
adjust to the transition of loved
ones to custodial care.
She was a dedicated member of
First Baptist Church for over 60
years, serving as Sunday school
teacher for much of that time. She
Please Come to Our
April 22 – 27
Sunday: 9:00 & 10:00a.m.,
& 3:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday: 7:00 p.m.
BIBLE PREACHING BY:
Chris Kramer ---------------Sunday
John Madrigal --------------Monday
Justin Monts ---------------Tuesday
Curtis Pope -----------------Thursday
Gary Henry -----------------Friday
was a person of strong faith
whose life was an outstanding
example of Christian service. She
enjoyed reading and playing
bridge, especially with close
friends Fay and J.W. Mackey.
A cruel disease robbed Ruth of
her memory and thought processes in the past several years but it
couldn’t suppress her sweet spirit
and loving heart. She was a devoted wife and mother; and a loyal,
caring friend who will be missed
by all who knew her.
She is survived by her son,
Robert P. Taylor Jr. and his wife,
Sarasue, of Dallas; her daughter,
Patsy Sloan and her husband, Jay,
of Bowling Green; and her granddaughter, Perri Lynne Taylor of
The family wishes to express
special thanks to the staff at
Meadowcreek Care Center for
their exemplary concern for
Ruth’s well-being, and to Buddy
and Sylvia Peel, whose love and
friendship enriched the last years
of her life. In addition, both Ruth
and Robert received loving care
from Kay Mixon, Dorothy
McCormick and June Waddell
during the last years spent in their
A funeral service will be held
in the sanctuary of First Baptist
Church at 11 a.m. Wednesday,
with the Rev. Dr. Mark Bumpus
officiating. Interment will follow
in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. Johnson’s Funeral Home is
in charge of arrangements.
Family and friends may sign
the online register book at
Susan M. Whobrey
BROWNSVILLE — Susan
Michelle Whobrey, 43, of
Louisville, died at 2:35 p.m. April
20, 2012, at Norton Hospital in
Graveside service is at 2 p.m.
today at South Union Cemetery.
Visitation is in progress until 1
p.m. today at Gravil Funeral
“The Finest in Flowers Since 1902”
901 Lehman Ave., Bowling Green, KY
by Steve Sheldon, R.Ph.
We hope that the series of articles on drug induced
nutritional deficiencies has been informative. Some of the
classes of medications that were discussed included
cholesterol medications, hormone replacement therapy, oral
contraceptives, antacids, ulcer medications, and antibiotics.
There are many other classes of medications that can cause
nutritional deficiencies such as anti-diabetic, anti-anxiety,
anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and some cardiovascular
and blood pressure medications. It is these nutritional
deficiencies that often cause known side effects from
medications. The goal of this series was not to discourage
the use of these medications, because they definitely have
their role in modern medicine, but to inform you of their
potential long-term effect, how to recognize the symptoms of
nutritional deficiencies, and how to correct the deficiencies. If
you are taking any of these medications and are concerned
about their potential long-term effect on your overall nutrition
please feel free to contact us for our recommendations and,
if necessary, what vitamins, supplements or minerals you
may need to address these deficiencies.
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Southside Church of Christ,
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BOWLING GREEN, KY
4777 Plano Road;
We are located 3.6 miles South of the
William Natcher Parkway. Phone (270) 843-4307.
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