Are you feeling the excitement yet? The candidates, campaigns and media are flooding into Cleveland for the first Republican Presidential debate tomorrow night at Quicken Loans Arena. I had lunch with a friend today at Townhall in Ohio City and as we ate, Republicans were pouring in for an event later this afternoon with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, hosted by none other than our state treasurer Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel.
Kasich made the top ten, by the skin of his teeth, and according to Rachel Maddow, to get him in under the wire, Fox “News” had to deviate from their ground rules of using the last five major national polls and instead use the last four, skip five and use number six.
One person whose inclusion was never in doubt is Donald Trump. More polls came out this week and he sits comfortably at the top of every one — WAY at the top.
Some pundits and political observers are predicting — or maybe in the case of Republican-leaning ones, wishfully hoping — that the debate will expose Trump as a blustering empty shell, unprepared for the job he’s seeking.
I think they are wrong. I think Trump is the most media-savvy of the candidates and he has the least to lose. Unlike most of the others on that stage tomorrow, I doubt he believes he’s got a good shot at being President — and I’m not even sure that’s his goal. So he has nothing to lose, but the ones who are serious about their quest do. I predict he’ll be his good old outrageous, hate-mongering self — hey, it’s rocketed him to the top of the heap — while the other candidates fumble around trying to thread the needle between appealing to the GOP base that’s crazy about The Donald and not saying something that could lose them the general election. That’s a heck of a tiny needle eye.
You may have heard about the flap over the Planned Parenthood video, and if you haven’t or have only overheard a couple of things, this is an issue you need to know the facts about.
No, progressives, there is no “If there’s some truth to this…” This video is a lie. Flat-out. It’s a tool that was cynically fabricated to hasten the Republicans’ goal of destroying Planned Parenthood a la ACORN and severely restricting women’s reproductive health care — especially that of poor and working women. Only a minuscule amount (about 3 %) of Planned Parenthood’s work is abortions — a legal choice ALL women, not just affluent women, should have access too. No government money funds that work. What government money DOES fund is things like family planning (hence the name “Planned Parenthood — duh), contraception, cancer screenings and healthy pregnancy programs. The organization is a life-saver for many many women.
But as the ACORN flap showed, Republicans simply do not care about lives of the poor and desperate. No amount of pretty words from liars like Taxin’ John Kasich can conceal the impact of their actions.
So the usual suspects interviewed a Planned Parenthood executive on hidden camera, trying to bait her of course, and got her to talk about a program in which, with the woman’s consent, aborted fetal tissue is donated for scientific research, with a small fee to cover shipping and other expenses. It’s legal, and it’s beneficial.
Of course, they edited the tape severely to make it sound like Planned Parenthood is SELLING BABIES OR PROFIT!
This tape was grabbed by Republicans in both Congress and statehouse as an excuse for another round of attacks on Planned Parenthood. There is even some suspicion they were involved in hatching up this plot as a tool to attack women.
Our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, is out on the presidential campaign trail right now, spouting a lot of grandiose-sounding hooey about compassion and how much he cares about people struggling at the margins.
Unfortunately for him, his record as governor of Ohio refutes every word of this — and nowhere more so than his record on women’s reproductive freedom. He loves to make pompous statements about his regard for “life.” It’s almost become a cliché to say that anti-choicers like him care about life only until it is ACTUALLY “life” i.e. born, and then they lose interest. But in his case, that couldn’t be more true.
Mother Jones spotlights his appalling anti-life record in a piece titled “How Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is Making Life Hell for Women Seeking Abortions” that needs to be distributed as widely as possible.
It points out what alert Ohioans know: he pretends to be a “moderate” when it suits him. But when it comes to destroying the choices and the lives of non-affluent women and plunging them and their children into hopelessness and poverty, well he’s all for THAT.
“As governor he's signed and supported some of the most stringent anti-abortion legislation in the country,” it notes, and no, given the unequal impact that legislation has and how it cruelly affects the lives of the women struggling the most to stay afloat, he’s not moderate, not pro-life and no Christian either.
The piece quotes our friend Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro Choice Ohio. She says, "Kasich is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He's going out there trying to sell himself as a moderate, he's no moderate. He is an extremist. He is — if not the worst — among the worst of anti-choice governors in this country's history."
The Democratic National Committee helpfully provided a roundup of some of the responses to John Kasich’s presidential announcement speech yesterday, both from the media and Twitter.
Chris Cillizza for the Washington Post wrote, in a story headlined “John Kasich makes a strong case for the teleprompter in his presidential announcement speech,”
Kasich rambled through a 45-minute speech littered with stories about people he had met on the street during his life. It never seemed to coalesce into any sort of coherent takeaway or message. That's problematic for any candidate running for president but especially one who is the 16th person to enter the Republican race and who, as of today, wouldn't qualify for the first Republican debate in his home state next month.
His speech was so all over the place that it's hard to imagine undecided Republican voters will even know where to look or listen to find the central message of his candidacy. I watched the speech from beginning to end [You have a strong stomach, Chris!] and I couldn't tell you what that message is.
U.S. New and World Report’s David Catanese said:
He muffed his first impression, delivering a disjointed and meandering speech mostly off the cuff that dwelled too much on the past and lacked an overarching vision for the future. In his remarks at Ohio State University, the 63-year-old Kasich snickered that he frequently gets asked by reporters why he wants to be president. But to the casual observer watching his unfocused performance, the answer might not have been clear.
After his ramble of an announcement at The Ohio State University, Taxin' John Kasich flew to New Hampshire, where he's apparently be living for the next half year while we pay his salary and he uttered these words:
"I learned a lot about the way America works when I worked at Lehman Brothers.”
Apparently he means that he's going to take America over the cliff of bankruptcy and oblivion. Thanks, Taxin' John.
You can watch video here, if you have the stomach:
Congressman Tim Ryan of Youngstown penned an editorial which appeared in The Hill today in which he said he is "One of the Ohioans Not Excited for John Kasich."
I think many of us are among that number.
Then he totally eviscerates Kasich's much (self)-touted economic record and concern for the middle class.
He reminds us of Kasich's shameful record in "governing" Ohio:
As governor, John Kasich really let his anti-working class colors show. He first attacked public workers, taking on Ohio police, firefighters and teachers – a move that was so unpopular that the people of Ohio successfully repealed this vindictive law with over 60 percent of the vote.
After that defeat he focused on gutting funding for local governments, which put stress on small towns and resulted in increased local taxes and fees, while he signed tax cuts that benefitted the top 5 percent of earners in Ohio. Now, Ohio roads are covered with pot holes, our bridges are structurally deficient, water and sewage systems pollute clean water, and this past winter many streets never got plowed because local communities couldn't get old and run down snow plows to work. Kasich has left Ohio eroding from the inside out.
On top of this, Kasich slashed $1.8 billion from Ohio’s public schools, while funneling hundreds of millions of tax dollars to private schools. Just last week, he signed a bill that takes local control of the schools away from my constituents in Youngstown and could give an overwhelming amount of power to an appointed CEO.
Read the whole editorial here:
Ryan also sent out the following email emphasizing further the points he made in the editorial:
Here we go again. Same backward path for our country, different year.
Check it out here:
Economic miracle? Visible only to John Kasich!
DNC MEMO: Lehman Brothers Executive to Launch Presidential Campaign on 5th Anniversary of Wall Street Reform
Tuesday, July 21st marks the fifth anniversary of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act being signed into law.
The law is working.
The banking system is safer, and the law put in place important protections to prevent another financial crisis, while holding Wall Street accountable. The law created a new consumer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to prevent unfair, abusive practices that exploit consumers, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has already returned over $5 billion to more than 15 million wronged consumers. The law ends bailouts and makes sure that no bank is too big to fail. And it makes sure that taxpayers will not have to pay for Wall Street’s recklessness.
But there’s another thing happening on July 21st. John Kasich, former Lehman Brothers executive – a Wall Street firm at the epicenter of the global financial crisis – will announce his candidacy for President of the United States.
Today, five years after Wall Street Reform was signed into law, voters (by a 3:1 margin) now want to see more, not less, oversight and regulations of big banks -- but not John Kasich.
John Kasich thinks Wall Street reforms “went overboard,” and wants to let Wall Street start writing the rules again.
When asked recently if he had any regrets from his time at Lehman, whose collapse was integral to the 2008 crash that led to nearly 9 million Americans out of work, Kasich answered, “It was fantastic. Are you kidding? Regrets? I thought it was a fantastic time.”
The coverage of Kasich’s unpleasant temperament is growing.
As I’ve mentioned a number of times previously, the media and GOP operatives are pulling that old trick of trying to spin arrogance, rudeness and a complete disregard for other people as “refreshing,” “direct,” “tell it like it is” or “blunt.”
We saw this writ large in 2008 when John McCain’s infamous temper was spun as “straight talk” despite very little “straight talk” going on. He even called his campaign buses the “Straight Talk Express.” It became even more comical when he acquired Sarah Palin as his running mate. She couldn’t utter a straight-talk sentence if her life depended on it.
But the media has been paying attention to John Kasich’s generally nasty personality, which Ohioans know well. Whether it’s referring to a trooper who stopped him for not yielding to an emergency vehicle as an “idiot,” or delivering tone-deaf lectures to visitors who come in to talk to him about issues, or banning the state’s most astute political reporter from covering him because he didn’t like what he said, Kasich’s true nature is attracting attention.
It has even attracted attention from the web publication Politico, which I call PolitiFOXico for its transparent right-wing slant. (Currently, it is devoting most of its firepower to trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton, from both the right and the left).
This story appeared yesterday:
Titled “John Kasich’s Anger Management,” it claims in the sub-head that “the Ohio governor is working to control his temper.” Yeah, I’ll bet.
John Kasich has a résumé seemingly tailor-made for a serious run for the Republican nomination: blue-collar upbringing, congressional budget hawk, Fox News commentator, investment banker, successful two-term governor of Ohio.
So. In just about an hour, at 9am the big presidential campaign announcement event by Taxin’ John Kasich is due to start at THE Ohio State University. This will make Kasich the last of the 16 candidates to jump into the GOP presidential primary race unless there’s a surprise coming somewhere (hey World’s Dumbest Congressman Louie Gohmert — there’s still room for you!).
Is that too late? That’s what official Hillary Hate organ PolitiFOXico is wondering this morning in this piece “John Kasich Throws a Hail Mary.”
Of course, it quotes a bunch of Kasich friends and aides as saying he has a real place in this race despite consistently polling 11th or 12th or 13th, which could prevent him from being in the top ten who will get to participate in the first Republican debate in Cleveland on August 5.
According to POlitiFOXico, Kasich “will highlight his long career in public office and his success in turning around his state’s troubled economy.” Of course, in the latter case, he’ll be lying, and in the former case, we’re betting he won’t highlight his stint at the soon-to-be-bankrupt Lehman Brothers nor how unstellar that career in public service actually was.
We learn that he’s going to bail on his current job to camp out in New Hampshire, and we also learn that Kasich’s aides are once again trying to pull that trick of spinning rudeness, arrogance and heedlessness to other people’s feelings and opinions as “plain-spoken,” “unvarnished,” “tell it like it is,” “from the heart” and “direct.” They also compare him to John McCain — who lost!
The PolitiFOXico piece contained a piece of really good news though — for Kasich’s Republican opponents as well as Democratic Kasich observers.
While Bernie Sanders supporters appear to be living in an increasingly annoying bubble of irrational exuberance, heralding his every 2 or 3 point uptick in the polls as a sign he's on course to overtake her and WIN IT ALL, in fact, Hillary has the lead in every poll (in most cases by a very healthy margin).
And she seems to have the lead in the hearts of fellow elected Democrats as well. Over 150 Democratic members of Congress have already endorsed her, including Youngstown Congressman Tim "The Good" Ryan and Columbus Congresswoman Joyce Beatty.
Yesterday Cleveland's Marcia Fudge joined them.
I am proud to stand with Hillary! She understands that America is only as strong as its people. She has proven time and time again that she is the fighter that everyday Americans need.
We are at a point in our nation’s history when the right leadership is needed more than ever. Hillary has spent her life advocating for poor and working class families. Hillary will help build an economy for tomorrow and beyond; strengthen America’s families; defend our country and its core values; and revitalize our democracy. In other words, she gets it. Hillary understands the issues that matter to people in my district and around the country, like income equality, women’s rights and universal voter registration. Hillary is the best candidate for the job.
Also, a poll by Spanish-language media network Univision found Hillary snagging 73 percent of the Hispanic vote in the Democratic primary. It also shows Hillary leading every Republican in the Hispanic vote. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump does worst among this group he has branded "rapists," "criminals" and "drug dealers" who were "sent here by the Mexican government," earning only 7 percent of the Hispanic vote.
“With his background, why is Kasich planning a presidential run?” asked Toledo Blade columnist Marilou Johanek recently.
Kasich is planning to announce his candidacy on July 21 — one week from now — at the Ohio State University.
“Obviously, the man considers himself prime presidential timber,” writes Johanek. “He touts executive experience, congressional experience, and investment banker experience, albeit during an economic collapse. But why president? If Buckeyes can’t imagine Mr. Kasich in the Oval Office, how can the rest of America?”
Well, we’ll probably see soon that the rest of America can’t.
Johanek then goes on mention that Kasich — as we know well — is “sometimes described as prickly,” “an erratic personality wrapped in evasiveness and arrogance.” and “prone to bizarre stream-of-consciousness ramblings before bemused audiences. It’s embarrassing.”
Yes, undoubtedly some people are still trying to figure out why he wasn’t going to “wear that silly hat Voinovich wore” or why the little girl said “Mister, don’t tax my eggs.”
Then she dismantles his record, and his extravagant claims of success in the governor’s office, reminding us of things we should keep repeating whenever anyone tells us what a formidable presidential candidate Kasich would be.
She reminds us of how he pulled SB 5 out of his ass and rammed it through in his first act as governor, and how ultimately voters repealed it by a better than 60 percent margin.
She reminds us that he balanced his budget (while proclaiming his budgetary genius) “on the backs of Ohio cities, counties and public education.”
She reminds us of his rollback of Ohio’s job-creating renewable energy standards.
On Tuesday July 21, we’re told, we’ll have the chance to witness a black comedy known as Taxin’ John Kasich’s presidential campaign announcement. It’s scheduled to take place at THE Ohio State University.
Undoubtedly, he will be the 6th or 8th or 10th candidate to tell us that God is telling him to run (quite a trickster, that God!). Undoubtedly, he will make noises about his profound compassion for “people who live in the shadows” while failing to mention that the vast majority of his policies make those shadows a little deeper and darker while shining all the light on the lives of Ohio’s richest and most fortunate.
If we’re lucky, his campaign consultants will not have been able to convince him he needs a script and we’ll hear another hilarious stream-of-consciousness ramble like his first couple of State of the State addresses. Mister, don’t tax my eggs!
Now, this campaign isn’t going anywhere. While a few pundits, scouring the landscape for new angles on the presidential race, have dutifully produced “Kasich could be the one” stories, he’s mired at the very bottom of the polls with many more, um, COLORFUL candidates above him (as well as colorless pets of the rich like Scottie Walker and Jeb!ya Bush).
But still, those of you who want to express your feelings about Ohio’s most failed governor in recent history having the arrogance to believe he is qualified for president have your chance.
There is a protest being organized that you can find out about here:
They’ll be gathering across the street from the OSU Union at 13th and High Street where Kasich will be speaking starting at 9am.
We’ve talked a lot about how Ohio education has been in freefall since the advent of the Kasich administration and his compliant Republican supermajority in the legislature.
Now education policy expert Steohen Dyer shares this bit of news with us: Under Kasich Ohio has gone from 5th to 18th in national education rankings.
“In 2010, Ohio was riding high, from an education policy perspective,” writes Dyer. “The state had just tightened its charter school closure standards and created a new funding formula that promised to make the system constitutional as part of a national award winning education reform overhaul.”
Yes, and about time too. But then came the elections of 2010, a disaster for the state of Ohio. And:
“But things started changing when Gov. John Kasich took office. Most of those award-winning changes were wiped out. His own funding formula was trashed and dropped by his own party. Ohio's charter schools are now a national joke. And his efforts at local, urban reform are off to a dubious beginning.”
“Dubious” is outing it mildly.
Gee, do you think THIS could have anything to do with it:
“White Hat’s Magic Trick: Transforming Public Schools into Private Assets”
“Ohio Governor John Kasich received direct contributions totaling $45,580 from White Hat CEO Brennan and his wife, Ann, in 2010.”
Nah. Couldn't be.
Taxin’ John Kasich cares SO much about people, about kids, about those struggling with poverty. Just ask him. His faith demands that he have compassion for “the least of these.” Or at least that he talk a lot about it anyway.
Kasich cares so much that he burdens non-affluent women by making it almost impossible for them to choose not to have a child they can’t support. He just loves those little fetuses so much.
Alas, once they actually become born people, their value to him seems to rest mainly on their ability to make a campaign contribution, something poor children aren’t able to do. And apparently in Kasich’s world, dripping with lovely, compassionate words but not so much with lovely, compassionate actions, they don’t need no stinkin’ education.
We already know that he has turned a blind eye to the infestation of failing charter schools so miserable and unaccountable that they are mocked by national charter school advocates. After all, their operators DO make big campaign donations so that automatically means their needs and desires take precedence over those of any worthless now-born child.
We mentioned previously that Kasich failed to line-item veto the new abortion clinic restrictions, which he easily could have done by saying he didn’t believe they belonged in the budget bill (they don’t). But look at what he did line-item veto out of the bill:
Valerie Strauss, the education columnist for the Washington Post, today ran a letter from an Ohio teacher of at-risk children explaining that he was forced to quit his job in the Fairborn school system near Dayton by the appalling education policies Ohio has enacted.
While Ohio is in some ways one of the worst states for education (its charter schools should not just be abolished but some of the worst operators should probably be charged with child abuse), many of the policies have become commonly accepted wisdom, pushed by pundits and “experts” across the country, despite a mounting record of the failure of these policies.
Scott Ervin wrote:
The job is difficult. What makes it even more so is that no matter what my district does to improve, no matter how hard we work, the policies of the Ohio Department of Education and the dramatic cutbacks to public education have changed my job of educating at-risk kids from being “very difficult” to being “impossible.” I have loved doing a job that has been very difficult. I am not, however, willing to do a job that has become impossible.
He has nothing but praise for his former district, saying that in all the ways it could control, it stood behind him and his ability to do his job. Alas, increasingly, districts are no longer in control of so many aspects of education.
“Unfortunately,” he says, “the ‘help’ provided by policymakers in our state’s capital is killing us.”
That would be the state legislature and Governor Taxin’ John Kasich and his Department of Education: “the people who have cut our funding while asking us to jump through multiple, time consuming hoops that don’t help anyone.”
What do you hope our state legislature is working on? It's almost certain they're not doing so.
This week, my state senator and two of the three state representatives in her district held a couple of public meetings to talk about what is going on down in Columbus.
The picture that these three bright, hard-working and compassionate ladies — Senator Sandra Williams and representatives Janine Boyd and Stephanie Howse — painted was bleak. It was one of dysfunction, mean-spiritedness, non-transparency, time wasted on superfluous and unpopular initiatives while punting on important issues. And they offered a ray of hope, a proposal that could begin to change the lopsided and unrepresentative makeup of our legislature, which has led to this dysfunction.
It’s hard to know where to begin with the bad stuff. What do you want to hear about? How a measure to begin to rein in wasteful, failed charter schools and make them accountable was kicked down the road with no action? How the budget bill rips more money out of the hides of public schools and local communities, especially urban areas, while actually rewarding smaller townships where only a sliver of the state’s population (but many of its legislators) live? How little Taxin’ John Kasich’s much-touted income tax cut benefits someone with an income of $50,000 (about $20) while lavishly rewarding someone with an income four or five times that with a tax cut that could be as much as hundreds of times more? How the perilous state of Ohio’s infrastructure is one more thing this investment-averse legislature is just ignoring?
Taxin’ John Kasich is out on the campaign trail, trying to spin his rudeness and arrogance as being “direct.” He hasn’t learned that being “direct” means being open and honest about your policies and what you are doing, and has nothing to do with insulting people or being condescending. He’s confusing the two.
It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Kasich, believing he’s on a special mission from God to impose his alleged religious beliefs on others and save “babies” until they can be born and suffer from his endless cuts to education and other services, would not veto the absurd and irrelevant regulations written, inappropriately, into the budget bill.
These had nothing to do with health or safety. They were simply hoops to jump through, intended to close clinics and make choice and freedom a joke for the women suffering the most from Kasich’s miserable, backpedaling economy.
What was also a foregone conclusion, alas, was that he would not stand up and be open and honest about what he intended to do and why, even knowing how strongly his opposition felt and how many women would be badly hurt by his actions. For a man who allegedly has such strong religious beliefs, he’s a coward. A bold man of true belief would have stated publicly, “I know you disagree with me, but I feel I have t go through with this because of my beliefs.”
But Kasich is not such a man and he made a mockery of his claims that he is so “direct.” He’s indirection incarnate. I’m actually looking forward to his presidential campaign because I think it will expose him for the dishonest charlatan that he is.
If you’ve been thinking that Ohio has been refreshingly free of bluster and hot air lately, it’s not your imagination. Our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, has been out of state trying to win over Republican power players and donors to his presidential aspirations. He’s expected to announce at THE Ohio State University on July 21.
Most recently, like yesterday, Taxin’ Johnny has been in Washington D.C., meeting donors, lobbyists and congresspeople, trying to persuade them that he’s the candidate to back. While most of the people he served with during his time in the in Congress from 1983-2001 are gone now, he’s got the support of three of Ohio’s least illustrious current officeholders: slimy banking lobbyist Steve Stivers, Mr. Delaware County Pat Tiberi and Mike “Who?” Turner.
Kasich, of course, is trying to dupe people with his continued insistence that he brought the Ohio economy from the brink of disaster to boom times. Never mind that Ohio has lagged the country’s recovery for something like three years, that he hasn’t replaced all the jobs lost in the Bush recession, and that, while many of the lost jobs were middle-income, virtually all the replacement jobs are low-wage. And the income of the average Ohioan as declined. (The average income at Kasich’s brainchild, the privatized job creation engine JobsOhio, on the other hand, has shot up dramatically. And lack of transparency means the luxurious compensation there may be even higher).
Kasich also continues to push the idea that he is a “fiscal conservative” who is in favor of cutting spending. What I wouldn’t give for one bold reporter to ask him publicly why, if that’s the case, his current budget is nearly 40 percent higher than the one Ted Strickland left him with. Kasich is a spending addict in deep denial.
The legislature crammed more irrelevant anti-choice stuff into the budget bill yet again, rules for clinics that have nothing to do with health or safety but are solely intended to make it prohibitive for them to stay in business, and put abortion as a choice out of reach of women who are not affluent (and please keep in mind this is a class issue. The women for whom there would be no choice at all are primarily poor and working women).
The governor has to sign the budget by the end of the day. He can line-item veto anything, and has done so in the past, although not with anti-choice clauses. But he CAN and he should, especially if he thinks he's running for president (word is he announces on July 21).
He doesn't even have to say it's about abortion, which he opposes. He can say that such items don't belong in the budget bill — and it's true. It's just a backdoor way of stripping some of their rights. If our legislature and governor believe so strongly in this, let them put up a stand-alone bill and publicly debate it, allowing for testimony, and making their position as conspicuous as possible. Otherwise, they're nothing but misogynistic cowards.
The number to call is 614-466-3555.
Also protest at the statehouse this evening at 6:30pm if you are in Columbus::
Go here for more information: http://prochoiceohio.org
Those of you who are still on a high from the Supreme Court's Friday decision on marriage equality should read this column, written by the named plaintiff in the case, Cincinnati's Jim Obergefell. He propelled the case when he asked to be recognized on his dying partner's death certificate as the surviving spouse and our good "Christian" attorney general Mike DeWine said "uh uh."
This is a very eloquent tribute to Jm's late partner John and how their fight propelled Jim into a role he never expected to have. DeWine should read this and feel shame, although that's doubtful.
Here's just a little piece of it:
What I didn’t expect on my way to that courtroom was to discover how much our story and our fight resonated with people across the country. People stop me to say thanks, to tell me their story, to talk about a loved one, to offer condolences, or to simply hug me. One young man told me our story gave him the courage to come out. An evangelical Republican shook my hand and thanked me. A mother told me, on the day her daughter came out to her, that hearing me speak made them both cry and gave them hope. Two friends told me that my fight for the commitments I made to my husband changed their opinions on marriage equality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth thank me for helping create a world in which they feel safer, more hopeful, and more valued.
Read the rest here:
With two huge and impactful decisions coming out of the Supreme Court late last week, it was easy to miss one that slipped in right after that could have even more far-reaching effects.
The Supreme Court decided 5-4 (of course!) that citizen redistricting panels were indeed constitutional.
This was being disputed by Republicans from Arizona where a nonpartisan redistricting panel has kept the blood-red state from being even more lopsided in favor of the GOP, giving everyone a voice. They insisted the Constitution meant that only legislators — politicians — had the power to set the districts.
Now, some observers said that if the court found the other way, it would have also nullified the nonpartisan redistricting process in California, opening the door for Democrats to do some major damage to the GOP in that enormous and enormously Democratic state. That may be true, but it’s not a good way to look at it.
Drawing fair district lines is one of the cornerstones of fair elections, along with removing the money flood and making voting for difficult, especially for certain groups of people. With lopsided districts, voters essentially have no voice; the result is preordained. Incumbents are rarely threatened.
When that happens, forward movement on issues like health care and marriage equality, among other things, is infinitely more difficult. John Boehner, for instance, has vowed to continue the time- and money-wasting charade of voting MORE times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Open, fair, competitive elections are the gateway to everything else. That’s why it’s my main issue.
How else would one interpret this tweet?...
Not in 2016, but shortly after @ccmck38
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) June 28, 2015
So many, many people made today's historical decision happen. Certainly Cincinnati's Jim Obergefell, whose name will be associated with it for hundreds of years in the future, was a key player. And nothing this big happens without advocates of every stripe.
A lot of people are jumping up to take credit, but I would like to take a moment to credit a couple of Ohioans whose vision got the ball rolling in Ohio and whose work was made joyously moot by today's decision: Ian James and James Winnett who started Freedom Ohio and first got in touch with me some three and a half years ago.
They began the work on collecting signatures to get marriage equality — and the repeal of the "Defense of Marriage" amendment on the ballot. They encountered roadblocks like Mike DeWine — Ohio's Roadblock General — and skeptics who said Ohio wasn't ready, that we needed a housing/jobs nondiscrimination bill first, that polling wasn't good enough. Later they encountered the efforts of Johnny-come-latelys who .... well, whatever. It's water down the drain. But Freedom Ohio was there first, when there wasn't any money or credit or glory, when it was just determined volunteers like the amazing Gwen Andrix of Bowling Green, who was out at any event she could find in any weather ready to get that one last signature.
I am sure that none of them minds that the work they did has been rendered irrelevant but the Supreme Court — and yet it really wasn't. They knew from the beginning that there were a lot of hearts and minds that needed to be changed and so they set to work doing that. And while the threats of some Republicans to push a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality to overturn the Supreme Court decision are really so much hot air — history is a fast-moving stream in the other direction — it never hurts to have an extra layer of protection.
Good work, guys. And to all our Cleveland LGBT friends and their allies: happy Pride this weekend! What timing!
Wow - in a 5-4 decision that came down this morning the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Being the pessimist that I am, I didn't think this was possible. I actually had to check multiple news sites and then I emailed a couple of people to make sure what I was reading was correct and not some joke.
I am so happy for so many people I've met through Democratic and Republican politics. (there are gay Republicans). I know this decision means so much to them - words cannot describe. I personally am looking forward to attending several gay weddings in the near future.
I know for some this decision does not bring the elation that some of us are feeling, but I'd ask them to look a little deeper and just see the happiness - share our joy. Love is love and this decision today is what so many have been waiting for to enjoy a lifetime of happiness. Let's celebrate.