No Ohio political observer was particularly surprised by this morning's announcement that southwest Ohio state representative Connie Pillich is officially running for state treasurer.
This move has been rumored for quite a while, and Connie has been traveling around the state, introducing herself to the Democrats groups that provide the campaign worker bees. Last month at the Cuyahoga County Democratic Women's Caucus luncheon, she was accompanied by her finance director and made reference to her scheduler.
When asked if she was officially running , given that she was so staffed up, she said she still had a few official steps to take before she was ready to announce.
In this morning's press release, she said,
“I’m running for Treasurer because working families, small business owners, and seniors need someone who will fight for them. Ohioans deserve a Treasurer who will do the job she was elected to do and will make sure our tax dollars are protected and used wisely.
“Whether as a captain in the Air Force, a lawyer and owner of a small business, or a representative in the legislature, I’ve dedicated my career to listening to concerns, creating a plan of action, and working hard to deliver real results. I will continue to do that as Treasurer.
“And frankly, it’s about time we had a real leader in the Treasurer’s office. Ohio needs someone who actually wants to be Treasurer, someone who will show up to do the job and put qualified people to work with her.
Failing to catapult himself to higher office last year, Ohio treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel is running for reelection next year, never mind his transparent lack of interest in the office as anything but a steppingstone to something else.
Now obviously, Mandel’s best course of action would be to keep sending out those self-congratulatory emails I'm always getting about how what a great treasurer he is, because he (well, his employees actually) hasn’t done anything horrifically wrong.
As treasurer, he doesn’t need to speak out on controversial issues, and he could follow the John Kasich playbook and obfuscate his positions. Given that he has offered himself up as a plaything for billionaire donors who will pour money into his campaign, that would give him a fairly good shot at reelection.
But Mandel has decided his future lies in being Ohio’s poster boy for the far far far far far far right. A few people have even wondered if he’s looking at a primary challenge to Kasich. And now he’s done it again.
Dissatisfied with state pension reforms enacted last year that affect 1.8 million current and former government workers, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says without more changes “there will be nothing left at the end of the rainbow” when public employees retire.
These changes were enacted last year with bipartisan support.
A representative of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System said
The changes necessitate sacrifice by a majority of public workers, who will have to work longer to receive comparatively less when they retire.
And Mandel isn’t too good with numbers, kinda scary for a treasurer. The Dispatch says “The treasurer said he is particularly concerned about ‘unrealistic’ investment earnings expectations, an annual 8 percent for most systems.”
This week, USA Today ran an article about the latest attempt by Ohio Republicans in the legislature to rig elections.
Currently, college students can vote in Ohio if they apply for residency documentation issued by their schools. Now the legislature has inserted an item in the budget that says if a student gets such documents, he or she will pay in-state tuition rates, no matter where he or she is from.
Great deal for students! As a student quoted in the article says, why wouldn't every out-of-state student apply for residency documents when they can save thousands of dollars?
This would cost Ohio colleges and universities tens of millions of dollars and of course, in recent years, state support for higher education has shrunk, throwing more of the tuition cost on students.
And naturally, the Republicans proposing this haven't said a word about replacing the lost money. So it's natural to be suspicious that their hope is that schools will refuse to provide residency documentation. So far they haven't but who knows what they will do if their income shrinks dramatically?
Says USA Today,
University officials clearly are uncomfortable in the debate about voting rights. They say losing tens of millions of dollars of revenue would endanger other services and that it's inappropriate to use in-state tuition as a mechanism in a voting bill.
Yeah, it's kind of suspicious, isn't it? Anytime Ohio Republicans start talking about tinkering with voting eligibility, history tells us we should beware. Even state rep Ron Amstutz, who's pushing it say, "It puts everybody in a kind of awkward position."
So tell us again why it was even put in the budget then, Ron.
And then of course, there's John Kasich who appears to be trying to win re-election by standing for nothing and being as vague as possible about everything.
I've loved the word "pusillanimous" ever since I encountered it when I directed John Osborn's "Look Back in Anger" in college.
And it's the perfect word for Ohio's spineless, obfuscating, vacillating Republican senator, Rob Portman.
I kind of sympathize with his change of heart on gay marriage after revealing his son is gay, although others have grumbled that it exposes the problem Republicans have in dealing with any issue that doesn't impact them personally.
It's harder to sympathize with his attempt to make it sound like he supports stronger background checks for gun purchasers when he voted to expand gun ownership.
He responded to Peter Shulman, a constituent from Cleveland Heights who wrote disapprovingly of Portman's vote against expanded background checks by saying he DID support this.
Shulman, an assistant professor of history at Case Western Reserve, isn't buying it.
“He’s absolutely obfuscating his position,” Shulman told TPM by phone on Tuesday afternoon. “I think it’s completely misleading. And it seems designed to mislead.”
Gee, you think?
Although he claimed to support background checks, Portman admitted in his letter to Shulman that he opposed the main background check legislation, arguing that while it would have “expanded background checks for most private sales and private transfers of guns,” it would have “done nothing to stop the Newtown tragedy.”
So what? It could have easily prevented hundreds of other tragedies.
it sounds to me like Portman is trying to pull the old Dewine/LaTourette trick of presenting a false moderate face while maintaining a rightwing voting record, and hoping constituents don't notice.
And while the NRA is blustering about targeting senators who vote for even a modicum of sane gun legislation, Portman should take a look at their record last November. The NRA was the LEAST successful single-issue group in getting the candidates it supported elected and the ones it didn't defeated.
This just arrived from my congresswoman, Marcia Fudge (D-11), about a bill she and some of her colleagues are introducing.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate, and Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in the House, joined by the leaders of women’s advocacy organizations, unions, and business groups from across the nation, introduced critical legislation – the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – to ensure that pregnant women are not forced out of jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable job modifications that would allow them to continue working. Currently, pregnant working women around the country are being denied simple adjustments – permission to use a stool while working a cash register, or to carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated, or temporary reassignment to lighter duty tasks – that would keep them working and supporting their families while maintaining healthy pregnancies.
Gee, no fetus-loving GOP'ers wanted to co-sponsor? Oh, I guess they were just in the restroom when the call came. I'm SURE they can't want to force women to be pregnant against their will but then deny them the jobs they need to take care of their child. It just couldn't be, could it?
Her email contained a link to a letter sent by a coalition of supportive groups.
I skimmed them and noticed something odd.
I don't see any conservative groups, the very groups who claim to be SOOO concerned about the welfare of "unborn babies." I see the flaming liberals at the Unitarian Universalist Association are behind this, but I don't see the fetus-worshipping Southern Baptist Convention. Where do the think this "unborn baby" is being protected, if not inside the mother?
Listen, if you can stomach it, to this pompous, sanctimonious little group of men from "PersonhoodOhio" holding a "press conference" to announce that they're going to replay their efforts to put "personhood" on the Ohio ballot.
Jennie Brody, whose post over at Innovation Ohio provided the link to this nauseous video, asks "Could Personhood Be on the Ballot in 2014?"
Brody points out that their drive to put it on the 2012 ballot netted them only 20,000 of the needed 350,000 signatures. And there can't be more than a dozen adults at this big press conference, hardly enough to collect all the signatures they need.
They won't succeed, but I wish they would. Then we can have an open discussion about the rampant hatred for women that drives this little segment of the far right.
And as with the marriage equality issue, the landscape has changed since the mid 2000s when these were reliable issues that motivated conservative voters more than those on the other side. After two years of relentless, mean-spirited attacks on women — their health-care choices, access to contraception, equal pay, opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, making light of rape — "personhood" is likely to be most galvanizing for its opponents.
I'm voting for both. And by "they" I am referring to the Ohio GOP.
So some GOP legislators have introduced a "right to work" (for less) bill into the general assemble. Right to work is essentially SB 5 on steroids. Right to work states are poorer, have lower wages, suffer more on-the-job injuries, have worse health care coverage etc etc because workers have NO power at all.
Republicans love to talk about "union thugs," the reality is that the power balance is off by at least a 10-1 ratio in favor of management. We're ruled by "corporate thugs," not "union thugs."
So ... why are the Republicans introducing SB 5 v. 2 now? Sure, they have the votes to pass it, so they COULD do this. But the consequences would be enormous.
Another repeal campaign is virtually certain — and lopping two or three weeks off the referendum process as they've done isn't going to stop it. People are likely going to be MORE pissed off that they didn't listen when voters said by a 60-40 margin that they didn't want this legislation. Do they seriously think people would throw up their hands and not bother a second time around?
And it's awfully close to the 2014 elections to be doing this. Maybe they truly believe that somehow this is going to energize their base, even though they'd have to be delusional to think that. it's way more likely to energize the other side.
I think they're playing a dangerous game. We'll see how it shapes up in coming weeks. But "right to work" is something that no prosperous state — or state that wants to be prosperous — should even be thinking about.
So of course, the Ohio GOP is doing so.
Too bad he's not running next year. But I'm not one of those cynics running around going "People have short memories." People can be reminded — the purpose of campaign ads — and people clearly feel their representatives in Congress aren't listening when it comes to sane gun control laws, specifically universal background checks.
PPP polled five Senators who voted against background checks — something that might have been viewed as self-protection in gun-friendly states. PPP found it was a politically self-destructive move, even in Alaska.
But oh, poor Rob Portman. He has paid dearly for being an NRA tool:
-We saw serious improvement in Rob Portman's poll numbers in the second half of 2012 following his consideration as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, but he's taken a nose dive in 2013. Portman's approval has dropped a net 18 points over the last 6 months from +10 (35/25) in October to now -8 (26/34) in April.
36% of voters in the state say they're less likely to support Portman in a future election because of this vote to only 19% who consider it to be a reason to support him.
The NRA had one of the worst elections last November of any issue group, electing only a tiny percentage of the candidates it supported and defeating only a tiny percentage of those it opposed. This polling demonstrates even more that the NRA is a paper tiger, and that supporting its extremist agenda not only doesn't give an officeholder cover, it strips him (or her) of support.
It's another issue where the terrain has changed radically since having NRA support was a plus for Ted Strickland in 2006.
I read this this evening, and I'm steaming:
It's about our governor's proposed income tax cut in his current "budget," how teensy that cut will be for most of us under the changes the House made, and how they're all proposing to pay for it on wishes and dreams — money that doesn't exist.
This paragraph in the Dayton Daily News article linked above should be bold-faced and shouted everywhere:
The cuts would save Ohioans $1.5 billion in taxes over the next two years, and would be paid for with a combination of money left over in Ohio’s rainy day fund and projected future growth in state tax receipts.
In other words, the money we're saving for emergencies would be thrown out to give most Ohioans the equivalent of a cheap little toy and a handful of rich people a nice pocketful of money — and leave nothing for an emergency, or to restore the cuts in local government and school funding that are wreaking havoc on Ohio. And "projected future growth" might as well be "win the lottery" for all the solid economic planning it indicates.
Given that these are Republicans, they are relying on a theory that has been entirely discredited over the last several decades: that tax cuts equate to economic growth. That $51 most Ohioans will get isn't going to have an impact on anything, especially if, like me, they've seen their property taxes go up five times that amount thanks to Kasich's shameless gutting of public education.
How many times do these guys need to be told or shown that that is untrue? Or more likely, they just don't care. Maybe they known perfectly well this is nothing but siphoning money from Ohio's working people and inserting the business end of the hose into rich people's bank accounts.
But we know that only counts when you're a Democrat, right?
So the Ohio Republican Party went ahead and elected Kasich crony Matt Borges as chair to replace acting chair Bob Bennett who stepped in when Kasich deposed Kevin DeWine, even though DeWine helped him get elected because .... oh heck! Let's just say the Ohio GOP is a cesspool of intrigue, backstabbing, and in-fighting.
I know. You're saying, "But haven't seen any headlines in the Cleveland Plain Dealer or Columbus Dispatch saying 'Republicans in Disarray.'"
You're right. Because our so-called "liberal media" only applies that narrative to Democrats. Just let one Democratic leader shake another's hand a few seconds too briefly and it becomes a major crisis. The GOP has a major crisis, and ... oh, it's nothing. It only counts when you're a Democrat.
The always-volatile Tea Party, which has GOP nuts in a vise down in the legislature fielded its own candidate, who was only able to garner seven votes from a GOP central committee packed with Kasich loyalists.
Now, if the Democrats has elected someone convicted of influence-peddling who owed hundreds of thousands in back taxes, it would be on the front page of every state newspaper tomorrow, with cluck-clucking editorials about what a liability this would be for the party going into next year's elections.
I'm betting you don't hear much from them about Borges' election. Owing hundreds f thousands of dollars — or a few hundred — only counts when you're a Democrat. Remember the stink Republicans made (lookin' at YOU, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel and Mike DeWine) about Sherrod Brown being a little late on a couple of thousand in taxes, a tiny fraction of the back taxes Borges is paying off?
Uh-huh. See what I mean?
Early this afternoon, Cuyahoga County Commissioner Ed FitzGerald made it official: he's going to take on Taxin' John Kasich for the governor's office.
He spoke to a packed ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland before heading off to similar stops in Columbus and CIncinnati, accompanied by his wife and four teenage children.
He was introduced by former longtime congressman Louis Stokes, nearly double his age. Stokes' lengthy introduction ran through all the points of Ed's career, getting that out of the way so Ed could focus on the issues.
Ed made it clear that if he wins the governor's race, the focus of that office will shift dramatically from attacks on working people and women and devious ways of shifting tax dollars to cronies to education and creating meaningful jobs in the state. He got his biggest ovation for promising to protect women's health-care choices.
With numerous union members in the house, he emphasized the wrong-headedness Kasich's beloved union-busting SB 5 and how Democrats successfully fought back against it. He blew up Kasich's bluster about his brilliant budgeting by pointing out — too seldom mentioned — that Kasich's last budget was the largest Ohio has ever seen and that he paid for it by robbing public schools and local governments.
He talked about Kasich's tax plan: to cut taxes for the wealthiest Ohioans while making the sales tax much broader and moving the burden to ordinary Ohioans.
This one won't flip a seat, but it's nice to know we have a good candidate stepping up to run for minority leader Armond Budish's seat in Ohio's 8th house district. Budish is term limited and is said to be considering a run for Cuyahoga County executive "if" (cough cough) county exec Ed FitzGerald announces tomorrow he's running for governor.
Kent Smith, a Democratic activist from Euclid on Cuyahoga's northeast side, is stepping into the ring. He briefly considered a 2012 run, but the new maps didn't make that possible.
Kent is currently the Democratic city leader in Euclid and a member of the Euclid school board. Much of his work has been in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer.
He also co-authored a book with Cleveland-based artist Derek Hess called "Please God Save Us." Released in 2008, it ripped the entire GOP worldview to shreds in Kent's powerful prose and Derek's compelling drawings.
Still available and highly recommended: www.strhesspress.com
Kent posted on Facebook today,
Tonight I am happy to announce that I will be a candidate for the 8th House District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014. This will be a grassroots campaign and I will need everyone’s help. My campaign kickoff event will be Wednesday May 29th. Details forthcoming. Thank you for everyone’s support to help to make this next campaign possible. We Can Win!
His website is up now so you can check it out.
This email arrived a little while ago from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald titled "Big Announcement."
Gosh. I wonder what it could be?
As you know, I have been traveling to every corner of this state listening to hard-working people like you talk about what we need to do to make Ohio great again.
At the same time, I’ve been exploring a run for governor because the people I’ve met have said time and again that we need new leadership in Columbus.
We need a governor who will stand up for middle class families, for women’s rights, and for good paying jobs. Ohioans want an end to pay to play politics, rampant cronyism and wasteful spending of our tax dollars on corporate donors and political perks. As a former FBI agent I’ve seen first-hand how, with the right leadership, we can turn our communities around and reclaim our state.
So I’m asking you to join me next Wednesday, April 24 when I will make an announcement about Ohio’s future at events in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Please click here to find out more information.
In Cleveland, doors will open at 11:45 a.m. and I’ll be speaking at 12:30 at the Cleveland Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, 1100 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland, 44115.
Then we will travel to Columbus to speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Columbus State Community College Conference Center, 315 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, 43215.
And I will finish the day in Cincinnati, speaking at 7 p.m. at the Laborers’ Local Union Hall, 3457 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, 45207.
I would love to see you at any of these three stops.
Please join me in Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati and find out more information by clicking here.
We are better together.
Late this evening, the state House passed the budget bill by a vote of 61-35. You can tell we're a looooong way from the days when Governor Strickland worked with the legislature to pass a budget everyone could live with.
There's good news and bad news — lots of bad news actually. But let's just focusing on this ragingly misogynistic legislature's attacks on women.
They removed the bizarre provision — unrelated to any budgetary matter — that would have required that no sex education other than abstinence-only take place in Ohio's schools and that no "gateway" sexual activity be condoned, with a possible $5,000 fine.
They did however retain the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which provides basic healthcare to many uninsured women — the same pool of people who would have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid they also killed.
Coming on the heels of the news that infant mortality rates in some areas of Cleveland are higher than in Haiti or Somalia, this is immoral, disgusting and cruel. Among other thing, Planned Parenthood provides prenatal care to women who could not otherwise afford it, helping to ensure that they have health babies.
But we all know by now this isn't about babies - born or unborn. If the Tea Party ordered them to, some of these clowns would grill babies on the Statehouse lawn. It really is about their contempt for women.
The budget now moves to the Senate for debate. Unless the Senate agrees to everything in the House bill — unlikely — it then goes to conference to reconcile the differences before passing and going to the governor's desk.
I'm getting a lot of emails urging people to call the governor. It may be a little early for that because anything could happen with the buffoons and extremists we have in the legislature. Keep a close watch.
Since officially announcing his run Monday for attorney general, David Pepper has really been ramping up his campaign.
It was a campaign he never entirely backed off from after losing his auditor's race in 2010. He continued to send out emails, update his Facebook page, stay in touch with supporters, attend events. He told me two years ago at the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party dinner — something he certainly did not have to drive all the way from Cincinnati to attend — that he wanted to be on the 2014, although at that point he wasn't sure for which race. He's laid a lot of groundwork.
You can go here to read about how to get involved in his campaign and find links to articles about his announcement:
Go like his new campaign Facebook page here:
Rumor is that Ed FitzGerald will be announcing next week.
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and do some work.
According to a Facebook message from the Ohio Democratic Party earlier today, "Under a Republicans budget amendment introduced today in Ohio House, discussion in a school of comprehensive sex education would be punishable by a fine of $5,000."
Add to this their repeated efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and to jump through legal hoops (Mike DeWine!) to deny contraception to as many women as possible, and it's pretty clear that ending abortion not only isn't on the top of their list, it's not on the list at all.
As along as women have unplanned pregnancies, there will be abortions, somehow someway. The GOP goal is clearly not to stop them, but to make them as difficult, stressful, dangerous and humiliating as possible. Because that bad girl should have put an aspirin between her knees!
The last year has really exposed the Republican hypocrisy on this issue, which is probably greater than on any other issue. If they really truly hated abortion and wanted to "protect" the "rights" of the "unborn," they would be volunteering to go into classrooms themselves and teach comprehensive sex education — right after they finished their shift handing out free contraceptives.
Here's more from Innovation Ohio:
So who will our next official candidate be?
NIna Turner, why don't you stop pretending you're not really sure if you want to run for secretary of state? I mean, last night your husband said to me that of course you want to run for a higher office and "I don't really see anything else beside secretary of state, do you?" Oh, and he was holding one of your campaign signs, and I saw that young man who follows you around and passes them out for you was there too.
And your speech at the Cuyahoga Party Democratic dinner last night? It sounded like you're just about ready to chew Jon Husted's arm off to get the job — and good for you, because he's not good for US.
And Connie Pillich? Showing up at the dinner with your financial director in tow? And when someone called her by the wrong name, she goes "No, that's our scheduler — she's not here tonight." Financial director, scheduler already on board. Not a candidate? Not likely.
Today I hear from a Facebook friend that you called her today looking for donations. I guess that is as good as an announcement. She said you told her you need to raise $4 million which is outrageous, but understandable considering who your opponent in the treasurers race is. Yours is the noblest race of all, since you're running to take out Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, a wholly owned subsidiary of big special interests.
David Pepper announced today, to the great surprise of exactly no one, that he will be a candidate for attorney general in 2014. He'll be aiming to take out Mike DeWine, who has wasted tax dollars pursuing his personal religious beliefs and groveling to the Tea Party.
In his statement released today, Pepper said, “I have been traveling the state for years now listening to working and middle class Ohioans and it is clear they want a change, a new direction at all levels. I’m running for Ohio Attorney General because Ohioans deserve better."
Yeah, no kidding.
Unlike DeWine, we can count on Pepper not to waste his time trying to overturn Obamacare or fighting to allow secular employers to decide whether women's health care plans should cover contraception. He's unlikely to connive with Jon Husted to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to shut down early voting.
Pepper said, “With the right person in the job, the Ohio Attorney General can make a tremendous positive impact on the daily lives of all Ohioans. As the top law enforcement officer in the state, I will partner with our local police and prosecutors to keep our communities safe, fight for consumers against economic predators, and be an aggressive watchdog against corruption on behalf of taxpayers."
The "keep our communities safe" stuff is boilerplate AG campaign rhetoric. AG candidates always say things like they'll go after predators who prey on children. It's uncontroversial.
As I mentioned a few days ago, the War on Women is back in the shooting phase again in our legislature. The neanderthal women-haters in our legislature are once again trying to defund Planned Parenthood, at the same time they're rejecting Governor Kasich's plan to expand Medicaid to serve more working poor — primarily women.
Ignore their crocodile tears about poor, precious little unborn babies. They don't give a rat's ass. Among other things, Planned Parenthood has programs that help poor pregnant women stay healthy and give birth to healthy babies. Never mind that the infant mortality rates in some poor parts of Ohio are shamefully third-world-like, and that Planned Parenthood is addressing that problem.
Instead of biting your nails to the quick and screaming at your TV, why don't you come down to Columbus this coming Wednesday if you can, and join Planned Parenthood in visiting legislators to talk to them about what Planned Parenthood really does to improve women's and babies' health. The group will meet at the downtown Columbus Y, and then fan out to various legislators' offices, where they've got meetings set up from 9 am to 4 pm.
You need to register by Monday so they have some idea of how many people they will have. Women and men are both welcome. You don't have to be part of a group or be anyone special. All voices are needed to push back.
Go here to register:
Anyone remember the ads Mike DeWine ran against Sherrod Brown in 2006, claiming Brown owed a couple of thousand dollars in outstanding property taxes?
When it was revealed that this had been over a decade ago, and that the outstanding taxes had also been paid over a decade ago and that the confusion resulted from a bill being sent to a wrong address, some Ohio TV stations pulled the ads.
Not so in 2012 when Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel tried a similar tactic, claiming that Brown "hadn't paid his taxes." In fact, he been a few months late in paying a couple of property tax bills — each for less than $1,000. I'm sure many of our readers have been in the same position.
However, I doubt many ODB readers have been in THIS position:
Ohio GOP Executive Director Matt Borges, who is in line to become state party chairman later this month, owes $493,624 in federal taxes and $98,397 in state taxes, according to public documents filed in Franklin County.
Borges said he is on a payment plan for some of the back taxes but is disputing the bulk of the liens.
What a fitting successor for Bob "The Thug" Bennett.
Yeah, well, Sherrod paid up as soon as he discovered the outstanding amounts, and the Ohio Republican Party still thought it was worth running ads about.
But when it comes to Republicans, it's all about excuses. And this is the party that loves to talk about "personal responsibility" — for other people.
So i don't really care whether Borges — who pled guilty to an ethics violation in 2004 resulting from a state campaign he was involved in (ironically, for a state treasurer!) — owes that much or not. These sanctimonious Republicans have no shame when it comes to blowing minor Democratic issues out of proportion.
I took over running this blog about a year and a half ago when Anthony Fossaceca, who took it over from Jeff Coryell in late 2008, became too consumed with his campaign for the state legislature in Ohio's 6th district (southeast suburbs of Cleveland).
Alas, despite nearly two years of knocking on doors, going to meetings, marching in parades, shaking hands and so forth, he lost in this Republican leaning district.
I just learned tonight he's going to give it another go.
You will hear from some people about an unsuccessful candidate, "Why is that loser running again?" But in reality, "that loser" is often successful on the second or third try.
First of all, candidates learn from their mistakes. They can go back and analyze why a certain message was or wasn't working, whether some activities were lower yield than expected but other activities were more productive and need to be amped up.
And second, a candidate builds name recognition by running multiple races. A good example of this is our friend, Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill. He ran for that job twice and lost. The third time was the charm. Sure, he has a nice Irish name, which helps. But he had also travelled across the state repeatedly, made a lot of friends, got himself known, got his name, his record, and his ideas out there. (Also he traded his ungrammatical slogan "No money from nobody" for the more correct "Money and judges don't mix." Same idea, better put. Maybe that relates back to my first point.)
So our legislature is tearing up Kasich's budget.
That's good — and that's bad.
What Kasich proposed was unbalanced and unfair, benefiting the rich, putting an anchor on small businesses and ordinary people, continuing to underfund public education etc etc.
Some of it was so unpopular even the rightwing doofuses in the lege couldn't stomach it. It was hard to see how they were going to stick their necks out for a radical expansion of the sales tax, just so Kasich's rich friends could stuff thousands in their pockets in an income tax cut that would hardly benefit anyone with an income of less than six figures. Even the Chamber of Commerce opposed it, and the Chamber pretty much owns the GOP.
Of course, the one good thing Kasich proposed — expanding Medicaid — they axed. They don't want more poor and poor working people to be able to access health care.
Especially women. Die, women, die!
Because they managed to sneak in — once again — a provision to defund Planned Parenthood. And Planned Parenthood is the healthcare provider of last resort for many uninsured women, especially in rural and inner city areas. These are the same women they want to deprive of Medicaid.
Finance committee hearings are tomorrow and Friday. If you're in Columbus or can get there, go!
Oh sure, they posture about abortion. But that legal procedure is not the vast majority of what Planned Parenthood does. It provides mammograms, pap tests, affordable contraceptives, and many other basic services for women. One Planned Parenthood clinic prevents more abortions — by helping prevent unplanned pregnancies — than every Republican legislator combined.
No surprise here:
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 (TONIGHT)
Coalition of Democratic and Progressive Organizations Central Ohio Meeting
State Senator Nina Turner will formally announce her candidacy for Secretary of State at this meeting
Ohio Democratic Party, 340 E. Fulton Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Can she become the first African-American Democrat elected statewide? I think she can. I don't want to hear all the doomsters deciding far in advance that she can't.
Is she going to scare some Republicans because she's very dark-skinned and has a big mouth? Whatever. Those people are impervious; they aren't listening.
Nina's message is one that should resonate with anyone who IS listening: making elections fair, transparent, straightforward and equal. Any right-winger who wants to raise the specter of "voter fraud," which so far has proved virtually nonexistent, should be challenged to provide evidence, and I don't think Nina is afraid to do this. That canard needs to be blown up and exposed as a flimsy pretext for voter suppression.
In the photo above, she's doing an interview on the Ed Schultz Show as part of her sleepover in front of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to draw people's attention to the fact that early voting starts the next day. Nina Turner knows how to attract attention, and hopefully she'll be effective at attracting attention to the ways in which Republicans in Ohio have tried to silence the voice of the voters.
Ladies and gentleman — your state treasurer.
The same one who fought tooth and nail against public records requests for his office's (and his own) activities.
The same one who published a list of the salaries of public employees on his website — much of it wrong — but left off top lieutenants in his own office.
Yes — the pants-on-fire empty suit who spent two years campaigning for U.S. Senate instead of doing his job.
Obviously, he's burnishing his tattered reputation for his next run.
Read it and laugh.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2013
Representative Roegner, Treasurer Mandel Announce Legislation to Increase Transparency of Government Bond Issues
COLUMBUS - At a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse today, State Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced legislation that will increase transparency for taxpayers as local and state issues are placed on the ballot. Rep. Roegner will introduce the bill tomorrow and it is co-sponsored by Reps. J. Adams, Blair, Duffey, Hood, Lynch, Terhar, Thompson and Wachtmann.
The bill, a collaboration between Treasurer Mandel and Rep. Roegner, would require that political subdivisions disclose information such as their total outstanding debt and debt service, the per capita obligation of that debt, and the total estimated amount of debt and per capita obligation if the issue were to pass. This information would be required on enabling legislation, ballot language, and all notices of the bond issuance.
Another of Ohio's backward-thinking politicians has made a national laughingstock of himself. State Senator Bill Seitz said in a Wall Street Journal article that he now opposes Ohio's renewable energy standards, which he supported in 2008, because the remind him o Stalin's five-year plan.
Does anyone still wonder if Republicans are racing rapidly to the far far far far extreme right? Any vestiges of rationality they may once have had are being stomped out.
The press release at the link above, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, reminds us
Seitz served on the board of directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is urging states to water down or repeal their renewable energy standards. ALEC’s energy policies have been formulated in consultation with coal companies and oil refiners, such as Peabody Energy and Koch Industries.
But of course. Seitz is willing to foreclose on Ohio's future and put us behind economically by opposing something that's inevitable, and positive for both the environment and the economy. He's willing to let other states and other countries race past us while Ohio sits on the sidelines.
And since it would not, shall we say, persuasive to admit that he's carrying water for fossil fuel companies, he offers a completely bullshit non-argument. He sits there and basically yells "Commie! Commie! Commie!" like some little kids on the playground calling another kid names.
He's a perfect example of what's wrong with governance today — bought-and-paid-for politicians (especially on right) resorting to name-calling rather than providing any sort of credible rationale for their position. I mean, you could just as easily compare JobsOhio to Stalin's 5-year plan (only JobsOhio is less productive!)