Pen company hopes to ink deal with Obama

Zebra F-301President Obama got more than one $5 million offer this week.

The Zebra Pen Company, based in New Jersey, sent a letter to the president Thursday offering to donate $5 million to the charity of his choice if the president will publicly disclose what kind of pen – ballpoint, gel, rollerball, etc. – and what color ink he used in filling out his college application, with “bonus points” offered for presenting the actual pen.

“Mr. President, America needs to know these very ‘important’ details,” the pen company asserted.

But to seal the deal, the company said, the president also would have to name Zebra as the official pen of the commander-in-chief, the White House and the Obama campaign, and do all future bill and treaty signings with the company’s pens.

Why do I report on this craven, self-serving tactic to manipulate politics for publicity’s sake? Because it makes just as much sense as reporting on this week’s other craven, self-serving tactic to manipulate politics for publicity’s sake.

The only difference is that Zebra pens are actually sort of useful.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    “I’m predicting Obama will take an early lead today.

    Until all the Republicans get off work.” –Tim Tebow

  • John W

    Local political pundit Mark Curtis has Obama winning with just a thin one-state margin and barely losing in the popular vote.

    Dan Rather said this morning that his “gut” tells him Romney will have a good day.

    As for us liberal bed wetters fearing the worst, it just DEPENDS.

    Let’s face it — who knows? We’ll find out in several hours; or perhaps in several days; or perhaps in several weeks.

  • John W

    Clackamas County, Oregon election worker relieved of duty after discovery that she (allegedly) tampered with ballots by filling in straight Republican ticket on ballots where preferences were left blank by voters. Oregon DOJ investigating. The worker, Deanna Swenson, “tearfully insisted it was ONLY THE TWO ballots that had been altered.

    Hey, what’s the big deal? If people are going to the polls and not bothering to vote for some of the offices, it’s very thoughtful of Ms. Swenson to fill in the blanks for them, right?

  • John W

    Re: 51

    I’m sure Tim has been in contact with God to ensure GOP success.

  • Elwood

    @ 53

    She must be from Chicago.

  • Elwood
  • Elwood
  • Truthclubber

    @55 —

    Apparently you’ve lost the ability to read, or the ability to COMPREHEND what you read — it (the article) said that she (the election worker) tampered with those ballots to fill them in as “Republican [votes for Romney, etc.]” — so tell me again why you say “she must be from Chicago” [and by inference, working for Obama]?

    Or are the words “inference” and comprehend” too big for you?

    If so, just let me know, I can dumb it down…

  • Elwood

    News from Chicago’s 4th Ward (home of our leader, at least for a couple more months.)


  • Elwood
  • John W

    Re: 56

    Elwood, you’re a little slow on the trigger today. I was wondering how long it would take for you to pick up on that story — the one the video showing a lone, middle age NBPP dude, outside, opening the door for folks and, no doubt, intimidating the hell out of all the black voters showing up to vote.

    Not that I think the dude should be there at all. However, that’s a bit different than Tea Party “True the Vote” people going into minority precincts, challenging voters and getting in their faces when they fill out paperwork. As in Columbus, OH where it got so bad that, even with Ohio’s electorally mischievous Secretary of State, they kicked them out.

  • John W

    Re: 57

    We have bipartisan agreement that the credentials of people dressed up in gorilla suits should be checked before they are allowed to vote.

  • John W

    Re: #60

    Bet you a steak dinner, or cuisine of your choice, that this is an inaccurate story.

  • Elwood

    @ 63

    OK, John, here’s a follow up:

    “A Pennsylvania judge also issued an order Tuesday to reinstate Republican election officials across Philadelphia who allegedly were ejected or refused entry by on-site Democratic voting chief judges.

    One Republican official claimed that “just under 70” Republican election officials were blocked from Philadelphia polling sites Tuesday morning by Democrats on site. One of them, the official claimed, “was shoved out of the polling place.”

    “For this many inspectors to be ejected from polling places is rare, even for Philadelphia,” the official told FoxNews.com.

    Take your best shot at predicting the final electoral map for the 2012 Presidential Election

    Elsewhere in the city, a representative from the New Black Panther Party was also spotted outside a polling site. The New Black Panthers stirred controversy in 2008 when members appeared outside a polling site, one of them holding a billy club.

    The representative seen Tuesday, Jerry Jackson, was charged in the 2008 case along with Minister King Samir Shabazz, but later saw charges dropped by the Department of Justice. He was seen Tuesday wearing the group’s trademark black beret, combat-style uniform and heavy boots. “No comment,” Jackson said when approached by a reporter.

    Which states have Obama and Romney visited the most? Check our Candidate Tracker to find out

    The flap over the election judges, though, was widespread. Republicans claim they are obtaining a series of court orders to seat the so-called election “inspectors,” and sheriff’s deputies will be available to escort them.

    Watch the results pour in like a pro with FoxNews.com’s Election Command Center

    Despite the high number of officials who were allegedly booted, the dispute itself is not uncommon for Philadelphia. Fred Voigt, legal counsel for the city commissioners, said these kinds of face-offs happen “with regularity” in the City of Brotherly Love.

    “It happens all the time,” Voigt said. He said court-appointed Republican officials typically show up on Election Day and end up squaring off against stand-in officials at the polling sites filling in the open seats. Part of the problem, he said, is that the Republican inspectors are appointed on relatively short notice, leading to a string of confrontations on Election Day.

    “There are no cool heads here,” Voigt said.

    The on-site election officials are responsible for verifying the identity of voters, and monitoring for signs of fraud or disenfranchisement.

    FoxNews.com’s Joshua Rhett Miller, Judson Berger and Joseph Weber contributed to this report.


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    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/06/judge-issuing-order-to-reinstate-booted-philadelphia-election-officials/#ixzz2BUB5wf1j

  • Elwood

    Oh, John?

    Porterhouse medium rare, please.

  • Truthclubber

    All of this sudden inane chatter (@56, @57, @59, @60 and @64) just sounds like…


  • John W

    Re: 64 & 65

    From Roxborough-ManayunkPatch

    Linda Wolfe-Bateman, a Republican candidate for state representative in the 194th district, is also the 12th Ward Leader in Germantown. (one of the wards listed in the watchingtonexaminer.com story) She said she had to fight to seat a minority representative in one division earlier Tuesday.

    However, she attributed the problem to a miscommunication.

    “They didn’t tell the Democratic ward leaders this would happen, and a bunch of new people throughout the city came into the polls. I don’t think they knew what was going on,” she said.

    That’s from a REPUBLICAN ward leader in the city and doesn’t quite jibe with the narrative that something wicked was afoot. The judge’s order cleared up the confusion. Hope everybody’s happy.

    Porterhouse? Sounds good. I’m out the door to go have one. Will let you know how it tasted.

  • Truthclubber

    Barack Obama is going to win both the popular vote as well as the Electoral College — it appears I was not “liberal” enough in my projection as he just might take NC in addition to the other states I stated he would — for a total of 347 to 191 for Romnuts.

    Even so, the votes are not even counted yet and John Boehner has said “mandate be damned — no new taxes on the wealthy!” even though that is THE linchpin of the Obama campaign.

    Can we say “neo-fascist dictator” Boehner? Can I get an amen?

  • Truthclubber

    CNN is projecting that PA just went for the Hafrican Socialist — so much for that “last day, late minute” campaigning by Romnuts and Lyin!