It seems like nothing will deter Ohio's Secretary of voter suppres...I mean STATE...Jon Husted from his crusade to throw obstacles in the way of Ohio voters, a crusade fueled with tax dollars from the very people he's trying to disenfranchise.
Yesterday Husted was handed yet another court defeat in his attempt to strip Ohioans of opportunities to vote when a three-judge appeals court panel upheld by a 3-0 vote Judge Peter Economus' ruling that Husted could not curtail early voting hours or take away the so-called "Golden Week" when voters can register and vote at the same time. If you're keeping score, he's now 0-6.
But does this send Husted the hint that it's time to stop squandering our tax dollars on his attempts to sabotage democracy and rig Ohio's elections via laws and directives that impose burdens on certain voters more likely to vote Democrat?
What do you think?
Attorneys for the state of Ohio have formally asked the full federal appeals court to review a lawsuit affecting the swing state's early voting schedule. Ohio's attorneys said in a Wednesday court filing that immediate action is needed to reverse a judge's order that allows early ballots to be cast next week.
This quote has been making the email rounds today, as Ohio Democrats have jumped on Mary Taylor's fumble-tongued misspeak at an event yesterday. It's clear she's been hanging around with Kasich too long and absorbed his rambling, off-the-cuff, semi-coherent speaking style which some inexplicably find endearing. ("Mister, don't tax my eggs!", "I'm not going to wear that silly hat Voinovich wore.")
Democrats are saying this is an inner look into what the Republicans in office in Columbus really think, and I have no doubt that is true, even though I got what she was groping for and missed by a mile.
"“Now I’m taking the Governor’s speech. But what he’ll tell you is we need to get reelected to make sure that we, we have reestablished the culture in government, reestablished the culture in Columbus so that when we leave, their attitude is WE DON’T WORK FOR YOU, YOU WORK FOR US. No other way around. It’s a long day the governor has never said that by the way John-- you’ve never said that, by the way… See the other way around… you.. how does this go, we work for you, you don’t work for us. It’s been a long day, see, if you spend too much time in Columbus and your people down there get you convinced that it is the other way around.”
Obviously she was feeling in the dark for "You don't work for us, we work for you." And maybe the reason she couldn't find her way through the thicket of words to that was that IT ISN'T TRUE and it certainly is not how they operate or ever intend to operate.
This is an administration that does its best to conceal its true policies from voters until they slam them through the legislature with no hearings and sign them quickly during the most inconspicuous time of the week. Would someone who saw themselves as YOUR servant do that? No — they would stand up boldly in the glare of the spotlight and take YOUR questions about why they want to do that thing you hate.
[The following is a post I did about three years ago. It was during the height of the SB5 fight. While the current media is trying to portray John Kasich, as a kind and humble guy, the following is the real John Kasich -- anger issues galore. We shouldn't forget it.]
The following video from Marc Kovac of Ohio Capital Blog has been making its way around the internet. It features John Kasich in a tirade concerning the horrible partisanship he feels he's been facing.
In a total disconnect from reality, he acts as if it's never existed before in politics. What happened to the gentler times like the mid-nineties when people reached across the isle to find comprise, he wonders.
I'm pretty sure it was during this time that the Republicans came up with the whole idea of zero compromise.
In addition, this has to be one of the most partisan budgets ever passed. One example would be the windfall it creates for for-profit charter schools, which, is at the expense of local communities.
John Kasich's bizarre tirade shows he is not a well man.
In the video, after he starts off with his odd premise that extreme partisanship has just popped up, he states…
"What's happening in Ohio now is that if you don't win, you sue, or make a pubic records request ... slow down the process”
Slow down the process?
There’s no question which candidate would be the better secretary of state for ALL Ohioans. And it’s not incumbent Jon Husted. Husted has turned his office into the Secretary of Voter Suppression office, repeatedly suing to shut down voting opportunities that primarily impact minorities, poor people, working people, urban residents, the elderly, and students. He’s lost every time, but continues to spend our tax dollars appealing these cases.
And there’s no question that who is in that office could have major national implications for 2016. If the presidential race is close, the nightmare scenario the newspapers were salivating over in 2012 (which wasn’t close) could come true: the entire presidency could hinge on a few votes in Ohio, most likely Cuyahoga County. And Husted would be doing his damnedest to make voting as difficult as possible for the residents of Cuyahoga — and Franklin (Columbus) and Hamilton (Cincinnati) and Lucas (Toledo) and Summit (Akron) and Mahoning (Youngstown) county residents
Maybe that’s why a few heavy-hitters have stepped up in recent days to issue public endorsements of Turner.
Senator Sherrod Brown sent out a fundraising email on her behalf, in which he said:
In the past few years Ohio’s legislature, together with the current Secretary of State, have worked to cut early voting hours and limited access to the polls. That’s not my idea of “protecting the right to vote. When your Secretary of State starts restricting the very rights he’s supposed to protect, it’s probably [probably?] time for a new one.
After reading yet another report about the chaos and dishonesty in attorney general Mike DeWine’s crony-servicing office involving a sexual harassment charge against one of his buddies, I was moved to go back and read what led to Marc Dann being forced from the office in 2008.
It’s astonishing how similar the stories are — except that, when told in the simplest terms and set side by side, DeWine’s seems much worse, much more deliberate and secretive. Both involved someone in the AG’s office, whom he was close to being charged with sexual harassment. Whereas the independent investigation into Dann’s buddies, which he cooperated with, led to their firing, DeWine hasn’t done anything except sweep the whole thing under the rug and say the equivalent of “Move along; there’s nothing to see.” There are signs his office mishandled the investigation to minimize the women’s claims.
Yet in Dann’s case, he was abandoned by his fellow Democrats who were pushing him to resign. The Republicans in the legislature were talking impeachment even though there were no rational grounds.
Then the roar against Dann rose to deafening level when it was revealed he was having a consensual affair with another adult, something hardly unknown in your average state capitol and something absolutely irrelevant to the discharge of the office. I think the state legislature was having Bill Clinton flashbacks or something. Sadly, even the Democrats doubled down on their demands that Dann resign, which he finally did.
So I was reading this morning about Congressman Scott Desjarlais.
“Who?” you’re saying?
Don’t feel bad. There’s no reason you should know who he is. He’s a second-term Republican from Tennessee, who is a staunch proponent of “values” — values such as cheating on your wife with multiple partners, including several patients (he’s a doctor) and pressuring both your ex-wife and one of the women you’re having an affair with to have abortions. To the hard-line Republican voters in this district, this is all fine — he’s a shoo-in for reelection. (And he’ll be back in Congress voting to limit women’s access to contraception and abortion — count on it.)
It started me thinking about comments I have heard from a few Ohio Democrats wailing, “Why didn’t we vet Ed FitzGerald better?” But the level of vetting — researching a candidate’s background for potential liabilities — that would have caught the types of trivial personal failings the Plain Dealer is now going on about on a daily basis would have required a microscopic level of deep-diving that would have disqualified ANY candidate we might have run. Don’t talk to me about Jennifer Brunner or Rich Cordray. If they were vetted to this extent, something would have turned up. Something would have turned up on 95 percent of us. And that’s a small pool left from which to choose potential candidates.
Before going to the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats meeting tonight, I stopped at an open house at the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen. There someone noticed my FitzGerald/Neuhardt button and remarked that I was very brave to wear it. Nope, I said, just thinking about which candidate has the policies I support.
An hour later a block up the street, Ed FitzGerald spoke to the Stonewall Democrats and reminded me again why he is by far the right choice for governor and why he would be a hundred times better for 99 percent of Ohioans than John Kasich.
Since this was the Stonewall Democrats, he reminded us again of the weird and wobbly reaction(s) Kasich had after Rob Portman changed his stance on marriage equality when his son came out. Kasich said he approved of Portman's born-again support for marriage equality, but when asked if he now supported marriage equality himself, he said no, but he supported civil unions.
WOW! Big position change for him — or not. A few hours later his spokesman said actually he does NOT support civil unions after all. So much for that.
We all know what the cowardly John Kasich says when he's going to do something deeply unpopular that could cause heavy blowback. He tries to say nothing or he wiggles around giving non-answers. When asked if he would line-item veto the anti-abortion measures stuffed inappropriately into the budget bill he responded only "I'm pro-choice." And he said almost nothing about unions during the 2010 campaign. You would have thought he barely noticed they existed. Then after he's sworn in— BOOM! SB 5.
Now, in his candidate interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Kasich is being all coy about right to work again. He's previously said he doesn't think about the future (bunk) to deflect questions about whether this is something he would do in his second term.
Gov. John Kasich on Monday downplayed the importance of right to work to Ohio's effort to lure new businesses, citing his lead in the polls as evidence of his improved relationship with pro-union Ohioans.
Right to work often appears on short lists of criteria businesses weigh when they're considering locations for a new factory. So some conservative Republicans have called for Kasich to push right-to-work laws in Ohio, and Democrats have warned Kasich might prioritize the anti-union legislation if he's elected to a second term. But right to work hasn't come up in a conversation with a prospective Ohio CEO in two or three years, the governor told The Enquirer.
"I don't have them say, 'Well, you know, if you only had right to work.' I just don't hear anything like that," Kasich said. "We have a pretty good labor climate here. You're not seeing a rash of strikes."
I'm sorry but "downplaying the importance" doesn't mean it's something he's not going to do. He "downplayed the importance" of SB 5 to the point of never mentioning it.
Maybe you remember the story of state treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel and his good buddy Ben Suarez. In a nutshell, the narrative involves Mandel striking a deal with the CEO of the Canton-based Suarez Corporation to donate some big bucks to his failed (yay!) 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in return for using his office to lean on California officials not to pursue a legal case against Suarez, threatening to have the state of Ohio sue California to protect his good buddy. Oh, and the donations were of dubious legality. You can read that backstory at these links.
This week in his Plain Dealer candidate interview, Mandel justified threatening to bring the entire weight of one state to bear against another in court to protect his friend by saying, "I think that's what constituents expect of their public officials."
(I'll pause while you laugh.)
Mandel couldn't recall whether he was personally involved in writing the threatening letters on state treasurer letterhead. Well, I'm sure any of his employees might have taken it on themselves to write threatening letters to top officials in another state on behalf of a big Mandel donor without Mandel's knowledge. Yes, that makes sense. I think I hear you still laughing.
Luckily, here in Cleveland, we have comedian Mike Polk Jr. to skewer Mandel and his assertions. Today on his Facebook page, he posted the following, which you can read there.
Maybe you’ve noticed something strikingly different about this state election cycle. I know I have. I always look forward to the debates and either attending or hearing what came out of them. Can we ever forget such stellar moments as Mike DeWine talking about the “marijuana-laced banana” he claimed someone had been smoking in Sherrod Brown’s former office? That moment occurred back in the 2006 Senate race during a debate at the City Club of Cleveland.
There are no debates happening this time. The City Club, which normally has all the candidates for statewide office appear, has had only one such event: the debate between auditor candidate John Patrick Carney (D), Libertarian Bob Bridges, and woeful incumbent David Yost (R, of course). That took place this past Monday and from what I heard from two attendees, Yost tried to pull the bullying asshole card on Carney.
Clearly, the Republican officeholders feel they are sitting pretty for reelection and don’t want to run the risk of having a “marijuana-laced banana” moment — a combination of arrogance and cowardice that bodes ill for the state if they are reelected.
It clearly shows contempt for the public they purport to serve. They are indicating that they do not believe they are answerable to Ohioans and that they are impervious to public opinion. That means that no matter how unpopular a policy, whether it’s imposing new voting restrictions or further limiting a woman’s right to choose or enacting right to work, they will go ahead and do it without even attempting to justify it. They are already doing this, passing consequential, controversial measures like redistricting and abortion restrictions virtually overnight with no hearings at all. They’re telling Ohioans, “You don’t mean squat to us.”
Two of our best state legislators, state rep. Mike Foley of Cleveland (unfortunately term limited just when we really REALLY need him) and state senator Bob Hagan of Youngstown, have made a modest and common-sense proposal that will never see the light of day in a legislature that common sense fled a long time ago.
Yesterday they held a press conference in Columbus to announce a bill that would prohibit tax-funded for-profit charter schools from using that money for lobbying and public relations.
As stewards of taxpayer dollars, it is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that state funding is spent in a responsible manner. The funding is sent to public schools for the purpose of educating Ohio students, not for lobbying luncheons or television commercials. While charter schools are certainly welcome to lobby legislators or organize supporters with outside funds, they should not subsidize these activities with tax dollars meant for students and teachers.
It's a start, although we really need to abolish for-profit charters and ban operators of all failing charter schools.
This comes on the heels of the recent release of the state school report card — and guess who flunked?
The Ohio Report Cards are now all out, and the news is worse for Ohio’s embattled Charter Schools than it was last year. Charter Schools received more Fs than As, Bs and Cs combined. Their percentage of Fs went up from about 41% last year to nearly 44% this year. Meanwhile, Ohio’s public school districts saw their As jump to the largest percentage and number of grades.
The Ohio State Troopers Association announced this past week that it is withdrawing its endorsement of Democrat Ed FitzGerald for governor, to the undoubted glee of the Plain Dealer, which needs a daily story to hammer nails into what it has openly said it perceives as FitzGerald’s political coffin. Although a FitzGerald spokesperson says the troopers’ union knew about the overblown drivers license issue when it made its endorsement, it was clearly spooked by the trumped-up media attacks on him.
It might seem to make sense on the surface that troopers would decline to stand behind someone who failed to have a valid drivers license over a long period of time, since enforcing rules of the road is what they do, but it really doesn’t. Instead they’ve given a leg up to someone who thinks rules of the road are for the little people, not himself.
If they want to see disrespect for rules of the road, they should dig up the famous video of John Kasich referring to a police officer who stopped him for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle an “idiot” — three times. Obviously, Kasich has zero respect for officers just doing their jobs. He mocked the guy up and down for doing just that.
While the troopers say this move shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of Kasich, of course it helps his reelection bid. And his reelection would likely be a serious detriment to them.
So it will be hard to have sympathy for them a year from now if Kasich is reelected and their negotiating rights have dried up and blown away as Ohio becomes a “right to work” state, draining unions of what little power and influence they have left. It will be hard to have sympathy for them a few years down the road when their numbers have shrunk, their salaries are thousands of dollars less than they are now, and their pensions and health coverage cost a LOT more — and they have no say in the matter.
James Renner, with Scene Magazine had an interesting write up the other day. It was about the removal of three seasoned journalists from their beats at the Plain Dealer. The three reporters were covering the county courts and local justice. Renner's article starts...
"With Three Reporters Pulled From the Courts Beat, the Northeast Ohio Media Group Continues to Kill the Plain Dealer Little By Little
According to sources inside the Plain Dealer, three top union reporters were pulled from their beats covering Cuyahoga County courts and local justice Wednesday. The plan is to replace them with non-union J-school grads looking for cheap jobs and covering those beats for the Northeast Ohio Media Group in its quest to gather all the listicle-worthy news you can handle.
Why would a VP give the boot to three top reporters?
The reason bandied about the Plain Dealer newsroom in the wake of the announcements is that the stories written by Dissell, Caniglia, and McCarty were generating some of the highest traffic online. Since these three reporters still work for the union-employed Plain Dealer, NEOMG and NEOMG boss Chris Quinn could not take credit for the Internet traffic. By replacing his award-winning journos, Quinn can now claim the clicks for future court stories."
The entire article can be found here:
Of course the majority of people who won't tell you this are... journalists. I have no idea why. They'll voraciously re-tweet that Ed FitzGerald once burped really loudly, but the fact that their industry is very very sick, they'll keep that covered up.
So I get this email today inviting me to join Ed FitzGerald's rapid response team. This means they'll send you emails several times a week that you're supposed to push out on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever you hang out, tell all your friends blah blah blah. This is pretty boilerplate campaign stuff. Worth doing if you want to fight to the end:
What had me rolling on the floor laughing was this:
Social media is an incredibly important tool for our campaign. Reporters around the state and across the country rely on social media for breaking news about the campaign and public reaction to political hot topics.
When reporters see tweets and Facebook comments from folks like you, it also helps reinforce that it isn't just Ed who cares about these issues -- it's folks across Ohio. That's incredibly important because in politics, perception is reality.
I don't know if the person who wrote this was naive or was simply trying to cheer people up, but .... no.
The Plainly Republican and the Disgrace don't care what 'folks like you" think or are talking about. They take their marching orders from above — way above YOU. And they rely on the Ohio Republican Party for what to talk about and how to talk about it. Then they create the perception the people they answer to want them to.
Ed FitzGerald never had much of a campaign team. It's a sad truth. Even if certain controversies didn't materialize he still would have had tough road ahead of him given the people he had around him. As I read reports about top staff leaving the campaign, I found it almost laughable that the people leaving could be considered the "big brains" of anything. I foolishly believed that for a major race for governor that there'd be a few more people with a little more acumen than the people who left. Nick Buis, Daniel McElhatton and Aaron Pickrell these were the main "geniuses" behind the campaign.
Nick Buis was Ed FitzGerald's campaign manager. I had been wanting to write about him for a longtime. I don't know how he got his job. I'm assuming the overall reason he was hired was for a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort. Ohio Democrats have made it clear they believe 2014 will come down to a massive GOTV effort. Nick Buis was the state director in Florida during the 2012 presidential election cycle. I'll guess that Nick Buis boasted massive numbers for Florida's GOTV effort. How much of that Nick, can really take credit for, could probably be debated. In the end though, GOTV work seems to be Nick Buis's only qualification for the job.
He obviously didn't have a clue about crisis communication, how to deal with crises or the press. And he certainly didn't show any understanding of how to position a candidate. He didn't seem to know how to highlight issues that a candidate could run on. He didn't seem to understand the importance of issues at all. He certainly didn't build a platform for Ed FitzGerald to run on. No, Nick Buis's main interest beyond GOTV, was football. And Peyton Manning. Even now, when you follow him on Twitter, that's pretty much all he highlights. https://twitter.com/buisnick.
The following jumped out at me from an article, Henry Gomez, wrote a few days ago...
"Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval was supposed to join Kasich but canceled because of a late scheduling conflict, said Kasich spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp.
FitzGerald's campaign on Friday sent supporters an email under the headline "A pro-choice Republican in Ohio." The missive was meant to highlight Sandoval's support for abortion rights in Nevada and Kasich's opposition to abortion (except in the cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger)".
Entire article can be found here.
John Kasich supports abortion for cases of rape, incest or when a mother's life is in danger?
I wonder if Ohio's Right to Life group knows about this. From my understanding, the group seeks to end all abortions no matter what. Conversely, if I was the Democrats, I'd pressure John Kasich on this. No matter how he answers, it's going to put him in a pretty bad spot.
As debate swirls around the need for voters to have photo ids to protect against fraud in elections, one thing that is never mentioned by either Democrats or Republicans is the signature check.
Anyone who has ever worked the polls, or voted for that matter in Ohio, knows that a voter must sign their signature when they vote. The reason a voter signs their signature isn't because of some unnecessary procedure, it's because the poll workers or board of elections workers are matching the signature with an already stored signature to see if they match. If there are any descrepancies between what the voter signs and what is on file, the voter's authenticity can be questioned.
Pretty much anyone would agree that it's awfully hard to forge a signature. The idea that there is someone who could forge thousands of signatures, which you'd have to in order to effect the outcome of an election, is ridiculous. The idea that there a several someones is also ridiculous. You would need so many people, again skilled at forging signatures, to make a difference, it's just not logical. The only people I can think of who would believe such scheme is possible probably also believe 9/11 was an inside job, and the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked.
The idea that we need to have photo ids to protect against fraud is a faulty one. We already have several good protections in place that work. It would be nice if those, who know photo ids laws are aimed at reducing participation in elections, would point this out.
I mentioned the other day in passing the new study from Policy Matters Ohio called The State of Working Ohio about the jobs non-recovery in Ohio. I wanted to pull it out and call attention to it because you really should read it.
I think most of us know intuitively that there's been no "economic miracle," and that Ohio is not "on the rise," as our governor so cynically claims in his web ads. Most of us feel we are struggling; many of us have struggled to find work despite strong qualifications, education, and an excellent work record. Others are wondering if they will ever make more money or if their salary is frozen for the rest of their lives. Others are just hoping they don't lose ground.
They have good reason to fear.
Here's what Policy Matters Ohio had to say:
• The share of Ohioans that is working is at a 34-year low -- worse than in any year since we've been tracking it.
• Of Ohio's 12 most common occupations, 11 pay too little to get a family of three above 150% of the poverty line - the most common Ohio job pays just $18,300 a year!
• As a group, the bottom 99% of us now make less each year than the bottom 99% of a generation ago in Ohio. The top 1% makes 70% more.
• Median hourly wages have fallen over the past generation, while hourly productivity is up 65%!
That's a terrible record, and it's shameful that John Kasich thinks this is something to boast about. Ah but he'll fix everything with still more magic tax cuts, right?
Um, no. Policy Matters Ohio reports "Since the 2005 tax cuts, Ohio lost 2.3 percent of its jobs while the U.S. added 3.8 percent. Ohio cut more than 7 percent of local government jobs."
While the Cleveland Plain Dealer, acting as usual as an arm of the Ohio Republican Party, keeps telling us about unnamed traitor Democratics functioning as obedient errand boys for the ORP in accepting Ed FitzGerald’s defeat as a given two months before the election, some REAL Democratic who aren’t cowards are refusing to act as if Ed had cooties.
(By the way, ANY statewide candidate who fails to mention our candidate for governor when I hear him/her speak has lost my vote. Ojo.)
One of them is Kenny Yuko, a former state representative who is running for the state senate, though God only knows why, given the insanity there. At a meeting where several speakers avoided even mentioning Ed, cowering just as the GOP wants them to, Kenny told me he thinks that’s the wrong thing to do.
He said that at meetings where he speaks, he asks the audience, “How many people here have had their lives impacted by Ed FitzGerald’s failure to renew his drivers license?” Honestly, none of us can say that so, no hands.
Then he asks, “How many people here have been impacted by John Kasich’s cuts to local governments and schools?” That’s going to be a lot of people in any crowd. (OK, maybe not a Koch family reunion).
He’s cutting right to the heart of it. No one is impacted by Ed’s drivers license. But virtually every ordinary non-wealthy Ohioan is impacted by Kasich’s screwed-up economic priorities, to say nothing of his attacks on women and labor.
Another one who is getting it right is Armond Budish, running for Cuyahoga County executive to replace Ed FitzGerald, whod better be our next governor or we’re in a world of trouble. Let Armond explain why.
He brings up the fact that the rightie media and the people they’ve bullied and browbeat into submission are howling that Ed’s failure to renew his drivers license (honestly, this sounds sillier and more trivial every time I write it) shows a lack of judgment.
Maybe it does, he admits.
John Kasich can tell three!
He's running web ads (love seeing him waste them on progressive websites!) that say, "Governor Kasich may be tough but he listens and Ohio is on the rise."
Can you spot the lies?
1. "Governor Kasich may be tough"
He isn't. Anyone who makes a habit of trying to sneak through policies he knows a majority will hate isn't tough — he's a coward. He signed away women's rights late on a Sunday evening, and refused to respond to people questioning him about his stance.
We all remember how much he said about labor during the 2010 campaign — nothing. And we all remember that SB 5 was the first thing he did after getting elected. Now when asked about right to work, this coward refuses to own up to it, saying he's not thinking about the future. Of course he is.
2. "but he listens"
If Kasich is known for anything, it's talking AT people and not listening to what they have to say. I've heard this repeatedly from people who have tried to have a discussion with him. He's got the facts, he's made up his mind, and he doesn't want to hear what YOU have to say. Unless you have a large check for him, of course.
3. Ohio is on the rise
This is the biggest lie of all. Ohio is struggling to get back to its feet and keeps getting knocked back down by Kasich's policies — his cuts to local governments and public schools, his onerous tax increases that fall mostly on working people, his secretive and apparently ineffective — since Ohio has one of the worst job creation records of any state — JobsOhio. And what jobs have been created have all been low wage. Maybe Kasich got confused and meant that POVERTY was "on the rise" in Ohio.
Here are John Kasich and six other middle-aged white men blithely signing away women's rights. As usual, Kasich scrawled his signature in the most low-profile way he could — a Sunday evening, no less — and was too cowardly and dishonest to openly tell Ohioans what he was up to. This is typical Kasich — appear bland and blank in public so people think "he's not so bad," and then turn around and slam ordinary working Ohioans with policies and legislation that holds them down.
Here are some of the Ohio women who are fighting back against this attack on their lives and their ability to make their own choices. Kudos to all these great women who know what REALLY matters.
That traveling photo was taken by Karen Kasler of the Statehouse News Bureau. Good work. Karen!
We all remember attorney general Marc Dann, right? Elected in 2006 when Democrats swept all the statewide offices but one, Dann was forced out of office when it was learned that some of his closest associates in the office had turned the place into a sort of frat house and that there may have been some pressure for sexual favors. You know, sexual harassment.
Dann didn't really do anything wrong. The fact that he was having a consensual affair with an adult woman in his office is hardly the sort of thing that is rare in the summer-camp atmosphere of state capitals. But he was forced from office when even his fellow Democrats refused to get his back.
So now, Mike DeWine...
Courtesy of the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus, here's a succinct description of what has been going on in HIS office:
Reports of the case detail allegations made by an intern against a senior male staffer who was reportedly personally close to Mike DeWine. The intern reported under oath that she was touched on her shoulder and knee by the harasser and that he would position himself close to her in a “creepy” manner.
As the investigation progressed, a confidential informant came forward to DeWine’s internal investigator. Over the investigator’s objections, DeWine demanded and received the name of this informant. Shortly thereafter, the investigation was closed. In a move of apparent retaliation, the internal investigator who initially refused to give DeWine the informant’s name was threatened with felony charges by DeWine’s senior staff.
Marcia Fudge (Oh-11) sent out the following statement about today's decision by Judge Peter Econumus to reverse the restrictions on voting put in place earlier this year by the Republican Ohio legislature and Secretary of Voter Suppress ... I mean STATE ... Jon Husted.
I am ecstatic voting opportunities have been restored to the people of Ohio. By reducing early voting days and hours and eliminating Golden Week a one-week period in which voters can register and vote at the same time the Ohio Legislature made it harder for thousands of Ohioans to access the ballot box. Moreover, these changes had a disparate, negative impact on some voters but not others. No democracy should seek to reduce voter participation. By granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus has reversed the potential harm that unjust Ohio laws and regulations would have caused and restored integrity to the electoral process in time for the 2014 election.
It's really well past time that it was legally forbidden for any state to roll back voter rights that have already been granted without showing that provable circumstances (not speculation about voter fraud that MIGHT occur but in fact doesn't) demand it. And the bar should be set very high.
Look for the Ohio GOP to next pass a photo ID bill, something that is entirely unnecessary but disproportionately impacts poor people and minorities. And to the Republicans, that's a huge plus! So we might be seeing them back in court again soon.
Oh, poor Jon Husted. It seems like every time he figures out another way to limit opportunities to vote, some big mean judge smacks him down and tells him to leave voters alone.
And not just Husted, but our anti-democratic legislature too. You may remember (or maybe you are trying hard to forget) that back at the beginning of the year, the legislature voted to end the so-called "Golden Week," when voters could register and vote at the same time (no, not ONE instance of suspected "voter fraud" was ever attached to this) and also to put limitations on mailing out absentee ballot request forms. Mailing out those request forms has been shown to dramatically increase voter participation. But we don't want that, do we?
After that, Jon Husted, who knows a thing or two about voter fraud because he is rare example of it, chimed in with restrictions on early voting hours — no pesky evenings to make it convenient for working people and certainly no Sundays so African-American churches can do that "Souls to the Poll" thing. Can't have that either!
But today, alas for Husted,
A federal judge has blocked Ohio’s cuts to early voting and its elimination of same-day voter registration — a major voting rights victory in the nation’s ultimate presidential battleground state. Judge Peter Economus ruled Thursday that the cuts violated the Voting Rights Act’s ban on racial discrimination in voting, as well as the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. He issued an injunction barring them from going into effect before the November election, and directed Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to add a second Sunday of early voting.
State newspapers like the Cleveland Dealer and the Columbus Dispatch are very rightwing. I did a two-year research project documenting the PD’s slant, and no one disputes that of the Dispatch.
So why are they harping on Ed FitzGerald’s driver’s license and a most likely innocent conversation he had in his car with a woman at 4:30 instead of just complaining he isn't a corporate lackey like they do with Sherrod Brown?
It’s clear to me. They want to reelect Kasich, because that’s what their corporate overloads want. But there’s no case for doing so, based on his policies, his record of governance, and the state of the state.
It will be interesting to see their endorsement editorials. Yes, Kasich has done a few good things, such as expanding Medicare. But they’re vastly outweighed by what he’s cost ordinary Ohioans and the damage he’s done to the state.
With such a very weak case, what are they going to do? Well, they can lie, and to some degree they probably will. They will overlook a dozen things that, if Ted Strickland had done any one of them, they would have gone on and on and on about.
I mean, I try to imagine what their reaction would have been if Ted had claimed Ohio’s economy was roaring — the contention Kasich is basing his campaign on. Unlike right now, the economy WAS improving when Strickland was running for reelection — just not very fast, as Kasich kept pointing out when he promised us his “economic miracle” in 2010.
Now Ohio owns one of the worst job creation records in the country. If it was improving slowly during Ted’s last year, any growth is microscopic now.
The rest of Kasich’s record isn’t any better — slashing education, attacking labor, cutting local government funds, destroying the environment, stripping women of their rights, spending recklessly to create the most outsized budget in Ohio history, raising taxes on most ordinary working Ohioans, hints of scandals everywhere caused by his crony favoritism, weak oversight, and lack of transparency. Even the PD and Dispatch would have a hard time putting lipstick on THIS pig.