News and Notes: Ohio
It's Sunday evening and I thought I'd clear out the feed reader - so here's a sampling of what's going on in the state whose name is derived from the Seneca word ohi:yo', meaning beautiful river:
County GOP Seeks Expulsion of Kucinich - As reported today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer blog Openers, the Cuyahoga County Republican Party has created a web site to support its plan to petition the Ohio General Assembly to ask the U.S. House of Representatives to expel Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland). Echoing Kucinich's primary challenger Rosemary Palmer (D-Cleveland), local GOP officials contend that Kucinich is ignoring his constituents for the sake of his long-shot presidential campaign. Of course, the chances of such an expulsion occurring are infinitely more remote than of Kucinich becoming president. Meanwhile, Kucinich will take his presidential campaign to NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno tomorrow evening. He will tout his soon-to-be-released autobiography, Courage to Survive. (I am NOT making this up.)
Sherrod Stands Up For Consumers - On the campaign trail Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) frequently promised to stand up for the middle class and the less fortunate among us, and he is doing it. Here are two recent examples: Brown and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) have introduced legislation to make companies financially responsible for defective foreign-made products and food they import (i.e., the importers would have to pay the costs of recalls and for damages caused by the defective products), and Brown has introduced a bill to limit the new requirement of either electronic prescribing or tamper-proof prescription pads for Medicaid prescriptions, set to go into effect on October 1. Under Brown's bill the requirement would only apply to Schedule II narcotics until April 2009, when it would go into effect for other drugs. The problem with the new requirement is that many doctors are not ready to follow the new procedures, so beginning October 1 pharmacies would be compelled to reject prescriptions from lots Medicaid patients, leaving them without their meds.
Subodh Chandra Defends Marc Dann - They tangled in a sometimes bitter Democratic primary for the office of Ohio Attorney General last year, but Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra (soo-BODE CHUN-druh) stepped up to defend his former rival from criticism that Dann has tried to stretch the law too far in filing aggressive lawsuits, including attempts to ban cash-paying video games under the consumer protection law and to shut down failing charter schools under charitable trust law. Chandra told a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch:
For 16 years, we had attorneys general who did the bare minimum, which is representing the state when it was sued but doing very little else to use the authority of the office. The attorney general should be acting in the public interest. That's why we have a separately elected attorney general. If the attorney general was only supposed to represent the state when it was sued, the Constitution would say so.Ohio Observes "National Employ Older Workers Week" - That's right, the proportion of the available workforce who are over 45 is increasing (it will be 40% by 2008) and worker shortages are expected. “Americans age 55 or older are a dedicated and experienced core of our workforce,” says Barbara E. Riley, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging. Employers rate older workers high on factors such as judgment, commitment to quality, attendance and punctuality. Mature workers include retired folks who want second careers, people working beyond age 65, and people wanting part-time work to supplement their retirement income. Ohio helps low-income older adults find employment through the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP). Later this fall, Governor Strickland and the Department of Aging will convene a group of business leaders and human resources professionals at the Governor’s Conference on Aging. Read more in the press release posted by Mark Kovac at Capital Blog.