Bad, Bad, Bad Reviews for Kasich's New Budget from Mainstream Media

Folks, it looks like our state media isn't all that smitten with our governor Taxin' John Kasich's budgetary magic.

Imagine that!

Newspaper after newspaper is coming out and condemning its gratuitous assaults on women, its penchant for greater government secrecy, and its across-the-board tax increases on ordinary working people.

The Toledo Blade says "State house gang throws Ohio in reverse: The new state budget is equally regressive as economic and social policy."

http://www.toledoblade.com/DavidKushma/2013/07/07/Statehouse-gang-throws...

The paper's editor David Kushma says,

Gov. John Kasich and the Republican-controlled General Assembly couldn’t be any clearer about where they and their party are taking this state. Ohioans who don’t want to be dragged along for the ride — folks who aren’t rich, women, and anyone else who would rather move forward than backward — need to insist on a different route.

He points out,

The two-year, $62 billion state budget continues the relentless Republican drive to redistribute income to the wealthiest Ohioans from middle-class, working-class, and poor families.

He goes on to roast Republicans for enacting the more extreme and repressive abortion provisions in the country — without any debate, as well as the provision that permits local governmental bodies to make spending decisions behind closed and locked doors.

I do disagree with him on his pessimistic assessment of the Democrats' chances next year when he says,

The Ohio Democratic Party will require every moment until November, 2014, to prove to voters that it is still a force in state politics — if it can, and if it is.

Taxin' John Kasich Exposes His Tax-and-Spend Ways in New "Budget"

Alright. It's past time for me to roll up my sleeves and tackle the just passed and just signed 2014-2015 state "budget," if that's what you want to call it.

I've already outlined the extreme attacks on women's freedom that were stuffed into the budget, many at the last minute with no hearings or public discussion. Some of the provisions seem to me to cross the line of imposing a set of fringe religious beliefs on the whole state. I understand talks about lawsuits are going on. I'm sure we'll be hearing more.

But there is a ton of other bad stuff in this "budget," stuff that's bound to hurt the state and hurt working people. He's raised property taxes and sales taxes, which hit ordinary people the hardest, and offered a tiny state income tax cut that amounts to pocket change for most Ohioans and feels like window dressing for campaign ads.

Republicans love to talk about "tax and spend Democrats." But Kasich has raised taxes much more than he's cut them, and he's raised them primarily on poor, working and middle class people. The wealthy will cut a nice little present.

What about spending?

This really needs to get more attention.

This new "budget" is $62 billion.

Kasich's last budget, for 2012-2013, was nearly $56 billion.

Governor Ted Strickland's last bidget, for 2010-2011, was for $50.5 billion

Look at those numbers again. WHO is guilty of "tax and spend"?

Remember the alleged $8 billion deficit Kasich claimed Strickland had left behind, which he claimed he fixed with his wise and frugal ways?

How did he do this by INCREASING state spending? And why did the media give him a pass? If it were my job to report o the state budget, I would look at those figures and scratch my head. Actually, I am scratching my head right now at how Kasich thinks he can get away with this "Up is down/Down is up" stuff.

Statement From Jim Petro on Marriage Equality

This morning, former attorney general, Republican Jim Petro, release the following statement on marriage equality in Ohio.

“Last year, my daughter Corbin married Jessica Gelman in Massachusetts, where same-gender marriages are legal. They are expecting a child soon, and deserve the same protections guaranteed to other families. Seeing their happiness, and realizing all the rights they would be denied here in Ohio has proven to me the importance of equal marriage in our state.

“I’m thoroughly convinced that bringing marriage equality to Ohio is the right thing to do. This amendment is rooted in a central conservative value, namely, freedom – the freedom to love, the freedom of religion, and the freedom from big government. I am proud to endorse this amendment.”

https://freedomohio.com/press/?id=41

It's time. I wish the "big guys" among the LGBT groups would stop gnawing their fingernails and waiting for the exact perfect time.

While the disturbing recent assaults on women's rights in Ohio have occasionally made it hard to think about marriage equality, I believe there will be gains across the board if FreedomOhio's marriage amendment is on the ballot next year.

Some of the nervous nellies insist that such an amendment will energize the anti-gay GOP base. But that group is a rapidly shrinking band of dead enders, who could be offset by motivated LGBT voters and an increasing number of Ohioans who think that rights should be shared by everybody.

This issue could, in fact, increase turnout among progressive-minded voters and help us eject Taxin' John Kasich and his cronies from office. And that would be a beautiful thing.

The "Budget"

Unfortunately, this site was down on Sunday when, late in the evening, our governor Taxin' John Kasich, and six other middle-aged white men proudly and smugly signed away women's rights in Ohio.

This photo by Karen Kasler of the Statehouse News Bureau has become an icon of the movement that will sweep Taxin' John from office next November.

SigningAwayWomensRights

She should win a Pulitzer Prize.

The stunning thing is that our governor, the legislators, and the state officials in this photo are so brazen and arrogant about their destruction of women's freedom that they couldn't even be bothered to put some window dressing in the photo for plausible deniability. Generally, you try to put lipstick on a pig like this. You call Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor and tell her to rush on over to pose.

These guys just don't care. They've created one of the most extreme sets of antiabortion measures in the country (although other states, like Wisconsin and North Carolina are rapidly following suit) and they did so on the sly, with no hearings, no public discussion. They obviously think they can get away with this. And we are going to stand up and tell them no!

What have they done?

They've changed the standards for awarding family planning money so that agencies are no longer rated on services they deliver and cost — standards by which Planned Parenthood is always at the top of the pack — and they have defunded PP, the only healthcare provider in many parts of the state, especially poorer parts.

Jim Petro on board with marriage equality?

Freedom Ohio, the group working to get marriage equality on the 2014 ballot, says it has a new ally that it will make official Monday: former Ohio attorney general Jim Petro.

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/07/05/columbus-former-ag-jim-pe...

You may dimly recall Petro from the distant hazy past when Republicans were not all batshit crazy. After serving as a county commissioner in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) — despite the heavy Democratic tilt of the county, he is sane — he became state auditor and then attorney general.

His last stand in running for office was his 2006 bid for governor. Although he was supported by a vast swath of the Ohio GOP establishment, his defeat in the primary by state treasurer Ken Blackwell was an earlier indicator that the party was going to go off the rails. Blackwell turned out the batshit crazy vote in the primary, then lost the general election to Ted Strickland by 22 points. If Petro had been the candidate, the margin would have been in the single digits.

Petro has gone on to do some good things, confirming for the batshit crazy element, I guess, that their fear he was a closet "liberal" were justified. For instance, he worked on the Innocence Project to use DNA testing to exonerate people who were wrongly convicted.

Now this. Anyone remember what the issue was that Blackwell made the centerpiece of his campaign? Right! The evils of gay marriage!

Remember this?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&add...

"Blackwell and Rod Parsley Compare Gay Couples to Farm Animals"

Times have changed, Blackwell is gone, Pastor Parsley hasn't been heard from lately (probably too busy marketing Jesus swords or something), and Petro is coming down on the right side of history.

Happy July 4th!

from the Fourth of July Fairy Princess!

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NIna Running. Heads Explode in Surprise. Not.

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First of all, I apologize to our readers for our site being down at one of the worst times imaginable — between Sunday afternoon and this morning, thanks to problems with our server. That happened while the governor and his six white male cohorts were signing a "budget" bill that strips women of control of their lives and their bodies. Gee, thanks, gov!

SigningAwayWomensRights
*Feast your unbelieving eyes on THIS!*

We were also down the day (yesterday) Nina Turner finally announced that yes, she IS running for secretary of state, hoping to make Ohio's elections "the gold standard" and to assure that all Ohio's citizens have unimpeded access to the ballot.

DSC_0144

With a raft of officials and supporters in the packed room at the Harvard Community Services Center in Cleveland's Ward 1 where she grew up, and flanked by her husband and son, Turner assured the crowd that if she is elected, people across the country won't know the Ohio SoS's name because of headlines about his attempts to shut down voting (That they will know her name because she is outspoken and a favorite guest of national political shows is another thing).

Nina Turner to Make "Special Announcement" in Dayton & Toledo

rnrmail

Because she's so meek and self-effacing (HA!), state senator Nina Turner will be traveling around the state early next week making her mysterious "special announcement." See banner above, which was created by Nina herself, hint hint.

She'll be starting Monday morning at 9am at the Harvard Community Services Center in Cleveland, as we mentioned previously.

Then she'll hop in her car and head for Toledo, where she'll repeat her "special announcement" at 12:30 pm at Teamsters Local 20 at 435 S. Hawley Street.

The following day, Tuesday July 2, she'll be heading down to Dayton to make the same (presumably) announcement ay 9am at the Northwest Recreation Center where she'll be joined by former Dayton mayor Rhine McLin, state rep. Fred Strayhorn, and former Montgomery County board of elections member Tom Ritchie. (If you go, please ask them what they are going to do about Montgomery County's dismal election turnout, and also why idiots down there keep voting for Mike "Who?" Turner).

More info here: https://www.facebook.com/NinaTurner.OH

Look. All joking about her transparent ambitions aside, we really need to elect her secretary of state. Currently Jon Husted is trying to gin up phony "voter fraud" cases against voters who followed the law, attacking innocent citizens to try to make him look like some kind of elections warrior, preventing people from gaming the system — never mind that they weren't doing so. This is outrageous.

But the Supreme Court's decision this week weakening the Voting Rights Act means we can no longer afford Republican secretaries of state if we want to have any hopes of free, fair elections in the future.

Please "like" and follow Nina on Facebook.

Thanks.

Nina Turner Attacks Horrible Budget Bill

rnrmail

Not enough can be said about how bad the latest "budget" bill is. Luckily, our Democratic statewide candidates for next year are saying a LOT about it. We need to take their messages and spread the word. For instance, Nina Turner sent out the following email today that is dead on and deserves to be widely disseminated.

OK, I know you're saying "But she hasn't said she'll run!" Look at the above banner that topped her email and tell me you don't think her "special announcement" Monday morning is that she's running for secretary of state. Come on.

The ideologues have taken over and together we must stop them.

Ohio is not a blue state or a red state. We are a purple state full of well-meaning, hard working people with a strong sense of decency and compassion.

Your state legislature and most state leaders are out of touch with Ohio, and the state's two-year budget is proof.

The budget is supposed to be about jobs, good government and fair taxes so we can invest in education and vital public services.

Instead, this budget is an attack on working and middle class families, and women in particular.

The budget gives tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of all of us, and does not create the good paying jobs we need so you can raise your family with a sense of financial security.
Lawmakers had a chance to provide vital healthcare services to 275,000 Ohioans by bringing our tax dollars that go to Washington D.C. back to the state for Medicaid, and they turned this great deal for us down.

Ed FitzGerald Attacks Horrible Budget Bill

This morning in Columbus, Cuyahoga County executive and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald held a press conference and had a few things to say about the new Ohio budget, passed by the general assembly yesterday and now awaiting Governor Taxin' John Kasich's signature.

http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/news/2013/plain-dealer-ed-fitzgerald-...

The budget is bloated beyond belief, filled with tax increases that hit primarily ordinary working people, yet manages to cut funding for some of the state's most crucial needs, including education.

Ed said,

“This budget is just a train wreck for the middle class. What you’re seeing happen is you’re seeing income tax cuts for the very wealthiest people in the state being paid for overall by really increasing overall the tax burden on the middle class and the poor.

Pretty much. There's tax increase after tax increase, both direct and through the back door.

There is one tax cut you'll hear Kasich try to brag about and you'll be wondering why it's so meaningless to you. It's a phased-in 10% income tax cut, which is piddling to anyone who isn't making a health six figures.

But there's a sales tax increase.

There's a property tax increase since it eliminated the 12.5% portion of a levy the state has been paying — this on top of the wave of new levies because of the money the state took away from local governments and schools in the last budget to fuel the governor's crony-rewarding schemes.

There's also the elimination of a property tax cut that former Governor Ted Strickland gave to seniors, exempting a portion of their homes from property taxes. And while some objected to the fact that this exemption was extended to all seniors regardless of need, Kasich's budget now eliminates it for any senior making more than $30,000 a year.

Gabby Giffords in Cincinnati on July 4

Two and a half years ago, Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was one of 19 people shot (six fatally) at a "meet the congresswoman" event at a supermarket in her district.

Her head wound was so serious that she resigned her congressional seat a year later. Since then, she and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly have been campaigning vigorously for sane gun laws, the kind a huge majority of Americans support — but not the NRA, whose only goal is to sell more guns to anyone who wants to buy them, no matter how unbalanced.

As part of their national Rights and Responsibilities tour, Giffords and Kelly will be in Cincinnati on Independence Day. And they'll be part of the Norhside Fourth o July parade.

Big news today. Former Congress member Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly are coming to Cincinnati for the Fourth of July.

The Hamilton County Democratic Party sent out an email saying,

A few volunteers are sought to march in the parade in support of her stand. If you are wiling to help, please call [513] 421-0495 or reply to this e-mail. [mailroom@hamiltoncountydems.org]

The Northside parade happens at noon on the Fourth and runs down Hamilton Avenue in the heart of Northside. It's always a spectacle, but this year should one to remember.

New Mexico Governor Martinez to Visit Ohio Friday

Because one terrible GOP governor isn't enough, we'll briefly have a second one in state Friday when Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico comes to Ohio to be the main speaker at the Ohio Republican Party's annual dinner.

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/05/new_mexico_gov_susana_ma...

Martinez is being touted as a rising star in the GOP, which of course she would not be except for the fact that Republicans are desperate to appeal to women and Hispanics but don't want to change policies that hurt them.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico is putting us on alert, asking "Is Governor Martinez the most cold-hearted governor in America?"

Well, now. I feel your pain, New Mexico, but there is some serious competition for that title. Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Scott (Florida), Rick Snyder (Michigan) and of course, our very own Taxin' John Kasich, who is preparing to crush small homeowners with onerous property tax increases to shovel into the pockets of Ohio's wealthiest citizens and strip women of control of their lives.

But the DPNM does provide some impressive ammo to make the case for Martinez..

A new report, just issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, found New Mexico 50th,for the first time and in last place among all states for the well-being of children. In each of the measured categories: economic well-being, health, education, family and community support of children, New Mexico came in at number 49 and when all categories were totaled—last place.

According to the DPNM press release, Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, has called her a "job creator."

Hmmmm ... what about this, Matt?

http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2012/12/21/New-Mexico-report...

"New Mexico Loses More Jobs" (December 21, 2012)

Or this:

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/business/nm-shed-jobs-as-most-states-grew

Call the Governor.

614-728-7576.

His office is apparently trying to claim they're getting no feedback on the egregious abortion provisions stuffed into the budget bill. That's bunk. The first number passed around for his office has a full mailbox. The number above is a second number. Call it.

Saying there's no feedback is a way of discouraging people, making them feel like they're the only one that cares so why bother.

Demand that he veto these provisions. Tell him they have no place in a budget bill and that government has no place dictating medical treatment.

Alas, this is only one part of a horrible budget bill that hurts school, raises taxes, and increases government secrecy, among other things. But it's probably the most outrageous part.

So call.

"A Festering Turd"

That's what state representative John Patrick Carney, who is gearing up to run for state auditor, called the "budget" bill that passed the legislature today, speaking to a meeting of the Shaker Heights Democrats tonight.

If anything, his description was a little too kind.

This bill is a travesty from beginning to end, an extremist document that heaps insult after injury on the people of Ohio — loading them up with new taxes, stripping their control over their lives, slashing the funding for the most crucial needs that make a state livable, decreasing government accountability and increasing secrecy.

Here's the Columbus Dispatch — the Dispatch!

Ohioans effectively will be slammed with a property-tax increase of about $34 million in 2015 and $96 million in 2016 to pay for school levies as part of the state budget expected to pass both branches of the legislature today.

“Levies are going to be a harder sell because voters will have to pay more,” said Damon Asbury, legislative director for the Ohio School Boards Association. “The most disturbing thing about this is the late word. This came out (last) Thursday. There is no time to intelligently discuss the pros and cons.”

Again, those are the words not of some progressive blog but the right-wing Columbus Dispatch! "Slammed with a property tax increase." Don't politicians lose their jobs over things like that?

And of course one of the most insulting things is that these provisions are being stuffed in at the last minute so there is less time for public awareness and response. All of sudden, the abortion provisions appeared on Tuesday. According to Carney, some of his right-wing colleagues who pushed for them then voted AGAINST the budget because they did not get the entirety of the grotesquely misogynist HB 200 into the budget.

Cinci Inquirer Slams "Budget" Bill

Even our state's conservative dailies are calling out our legislature's "budet" antics.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130626/EDIT01/306260137/EDITORIAL-B....

In an editorial titled "Ohio budget bill loaded with controversy," the Inquirer enumerates not just the attacks on women's reproductive freedom, but the ban on expanding Medicaid, the allowing of local governments to discuss economic issues behind closed doors in secrecy, and its terrible tax changes that put the burden of funding state government on less affluent citizens.

The paper says,

The budget process also spotlighted the one-party system that Ohio has turned into. With solid majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans were able to exclude Democrats from any serious budget negotiations.

Legislators should keep the budget bill for budget matters so Ohioans can have the benefit of full, open debate on how their dollars are spent.

One more example of how extreme gerrymandering has silenced the voices of the state's citizens. This legislature is to the right of probably 90% of Ohioans, and it has absolutely no checks on the damage it can do.

More National Attention for Ohio's Woman-Hating "Budget"

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/06/27/2221641/ohio-lawmakers-budget...

This week, Ohio's unprincipled, dishonest and virulently misogynist legislature decided to play more nasty tricks with the "budget" bill and assaults on women's health and freedom.

We've been hearing for weeks about how the "budget" defunds Planned Parenthood, redirects the money to non-helth providing religious propagandist organizations (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) and imposes hospital transfer requirements on abortion clinics that are impossible to obtain, thus shutting the clinics.

We've also heard about the even more outrageous and extreme HB 200, a package of assaults on the ability of a woman and doctor to make decisions appropriate to her situation. It seemed likely that bill would generate more heat than action and possibly be tabled for a while because it is so radical.

Nope. This week the GOP sociopaths in our legislature pulled a quick trick — they have dumped some of the provisions of HB 200 into the "budget" bill. They include dictating scripts full of lies that doctors have to recite to their patients, with the clear goal of propagandizing them into not choosing abortion, and actually redefining pregnancy so that under Ohio law, it's something different than what science says. Talk about dragging a state back into the dark ages.

National progressive blog ThinkProgress is shining some light on this travesty this morning:

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/06/27/2221641/ohio-lawmakers-budget...

It says, correctly, that this band of religious radicals has "hijacked" the budget to attack women.

Isn't it ironic that these same people fantasize that Planned Parenthood — which in fact provides women with a plethora of choices — tries to push women into having an abortion when they in fact support groups that try to impose another choice that may not be what the woman wants or needs?

Two Viewpoints on LGBT Equality & Today's Supreme Court Decision

When the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act was announced this morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald released the following statement:

Today is simply and unequivocally a great day for our country. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act shows the immense progress we've made in the fight towards equality for our LGBT friends and family. This decision is long overdue, and I’m proud that my friend Senator Sherrod Brown had the courage to vote against it in Congress so many years ago.

Thankfully, the Court also dismissed Proposition 8, allowing same-sex couples to marry in California. I’m excited to see such significant change taking place and to see the LGBT rights movement move forward, yet humbled by the amount of work that needs to be done in order to have equal rights for all Ohioans. Until full equality is achieved, our work must continue.

Our governor, Taxin' John Kasich, responded to the decision thus:

I support traditional marriage.

Thanks for that pearl of wisdom, deep thinker.

Can You Come to Columbus Tomorrow?

Maybe you were among the hundreds of thousands of people up well after midnight last night following the travesty in the Texas legislature.

There a state senator named Wendy Davis mounted a 13-hour filibuster against an onerous anti-choice bill ironically called SB 5.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/26/wendy-davis-texas-a...

It threw the Texas senate into chaos as its woman-despising "leaders" tried to shut her down while a packed gallery shouted their support for Davis.

Texas isn't the only state mounting egregious attacks on women's freedom to control their own private lives. Ohio is right up there.

Right now, our legislature, rushing to finish up the "budget" bill by the end of the week, is packing that bill with inappropriate abortion provisions even requiring doctors to lie to patients.

Tomorrow if you can, come to Columbus and show the Ohio legislature what we think about its unrelenting attacks on women.

https://www.facebook.com/events/325653417565511/

Inspired by Texan Women, please wear RED for Ohio and join us to show Ohio's Legislature & Governor Kasich that we Stand With Ohio Women beginning at 10 AM Thursday with a Press Conference! We'll then pack the Gallery for what could a long day! (wear comfy shoes!). Spread the word - this is a non-partisan event for ALL of us who believe that Ohio's Budget should not be the "Abortion Budget". Demand a VETO on abortion amendments!

Amen. I wish I could be there. If you can, they need you. It's beyond a travesty that a "budget" that slashes money for public education and women's health care makes a big show of protecting fetuses.

Let's do what we can to persuade our legislature and our governor, Taxin' John Kasich. that becoming Texas North is not a good thing.

DOMA overturned by U.S. Supreme Court

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57591089/supreme-court-strikes-down-...

A tiny little glimmer of light in the darkness.

Alas, it hardly makes up for the Supreme Court weakening of the Voting Rights Act yesterday because if everyone had equal access to the ballot box with equal ease, things like DOMA would be dying quickly and we would not be seeing the types of attacks on women we saw last night in the Texas legislature and we're seeing now as the Ohio legislature debates the "budget" bill.

Congress: Where justice goes to die

I think the Supreme Court's ruling today on the Voting Rights Act and the believed implications it will have is a clear testament to how sad this country has become.

Quick summary for those who might not be aware: The Supreme Court ruled today that preclearance - the part of the Voting Rights Act that requires certain communities to have their voting laws checked by the federal government - was valid. But the court said the current maps that designated which communities those were was not valid. By process, the court will leave it up to Congress to create new maps, and that is where the utter ridiculousness of this country comes in. Because no one believes Congress will create new maps.

I mean, really think about that. What kind of country are we? To think that after a ruling like this, it is accepted, and acceptable, that our elected representatives will do nothing? To think that they'll continue to collect paychecks, appear on talk shows and meander comfortably along while others work on surgically cutting millions of voters out of the process? ... Fuck that. And fuck them. This country is so backwards, screwed, and I'm sorry, but I'd really like someone to try to explain to me how anyone who doesn't at least call on their member of Congress to do the just thing and create new maps, how are they not culpable for its sad state?

Nina Turner to Make "Special Announcement" Next Monday. Hmmmmm ....

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Got this email this morning from the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.

Join Senator Nina Turner for a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Monday, July 1st 2013
9:00am - 10:00am
Harvard Community Services Center
18240 Harvard Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44128-1743
Everyone is welcome to attend!

Gosh, I wonder what she's going to announce.

I guess no one will be TOO surprised if she announces she's running for Secretary of State.

And in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's just-issued decision, which weakens the Voting Rights Act, it will be IMPERATIVE that we elect her.

In fact, we now need to prioritize electing Democratic secretaries of state across the country to protect everyone's access to the ballot box. While I wouldn't use the word "gutted" the way so many melodramatically inclined progressives are today, the decision has certainly opened the door for suppression-included Republicans to do still more mischief in depriving people of their voting rights.

Turner, not exactly a shrinking violet, had this to say today about the decision:

“I am deeply distressed by today’s ruling that, in effect, nullifies the preclearance requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. These locations have a troubling history of suppressing the right to vote, and the scrutiny of preclearance certainly helps increase ballot access in the affected areas. The very existence of our democracy hinges upon free and fair elections. Congress understood this in 1965 and it is no less true today.

63 of Ohio's 88 Democratic County Chairs Endorse Ed FitzGerald

Today Cuyahoga County Executive ed FitzGerald's gubernatorial campaign announced that he had received the endorsements of 63 of Ohio's 88 county chairs, an overwhelming number.

http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/news/2013/plain-dealer-ed-fitzgerald-...

Among the supporting county chairs are those from nine of the 10 most populous counties. Party chairs from Cuyahoga County and four of the six surrounding counties — Geauga, Lorain, Medina and Summit — were among those endorsing.

There is a small band who are holding out onto their dream that former attorney general Rich Cordray will run, and they have a "Draft Rich Cordray" Facebook page. But it's getting late in the day for that.

Cordray, being no dummy, surely knows that and hasn't made a move because he's not planning to run this time around (I hold out hope that Cordray, currently in D.C. running the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau while Republicans sulk and try to block his permanent confirmation, will come back to Ohio and run for the Senate against Rob Portman in 2016).

I am not entirely clear on why a handful of people think FitzGerald isn't a good candidate. I have even heard a few people announce that he "cannot" or "will not" win, which is ludicrous given the length of time until the election and the egregious blundering of Governor Kasich. The ever-changing budget's latest permutation raises taxes on the most struggling Ohioans while claiming to have a "surplus" to "give back" to taxpayers — meaning the richest taxpayers. That is going to be hard t o spin.

Ed CAN win, and he's snapping up more and more of the available endorsements. It's really time we all got on board and helped him win this sucker because another four years of Kasich would be a disaster for Ohio's working people.

63 of Ohio's 88 Democratic County Chairs Endorse Ed FitzGerald

Today Cuyahoga County Executive ed FitzGerald's gubernatorial campaign announced that he had received the endorsements of 63 of Ohio's 88 county chairs, an overwhelming number.

http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/news/2013/plain-dealer-ed-fitzgerald-...

Among the supporting county chairs are those from nine of the 10 most populous counties. Party chairs from Cuyahoga County and four of the six surrounding counties — Geauga, Lorain, Medina and Summit — were among those endorsing.

There is a small band who are holding out onto their dream that former attorney general Rich Cordray will run, and they have a "Draft Rich Cordray" Facebook page. But it's getting late in the day for that.

Cordray, being no dummy, surely knows that and hasn't made a move because he's not planning to run this time around (I hold out hope that Cordray, currently in D.C. running the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau while Republicans sulk and try to block his permanent confirmation, will come back to Ohio and run for the Senate against Rob Portman in 2016).

I am not entirely clear on why a handful of people think FitzGerald isn't a good candidate. I have even heard a few people announce that he "cannot" or "will not" win, which is ludicrous given the length of time until the election and the egregious blundering of Governor Kasich. The ever-changing budget's latest permutation raises taxes on the most struggling Ohioans while claiming to have a "surplus" to "give back" to taxpayers — meaning the richest taxpayers. That is going to be hard t o spin.

Ed CAN win, and he's snapping up more and more of the available endorsements. It's really time we all got on board and helped him win this sucker because another four years of Kasich would be a disaster for Ohio's working people.

Ohio: The Radioactive Waste Capitol of the U.S.?

Doesn't that just have the greatest ring to it? Well, maybe not to you but to John Kasich and to our treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, both water carriers for Big Gas, it does.

http://ecowatch.com/2013/ohio-remains-nations-radioactive-fracking-waste...

Today, grassroots leaders in Ohio called out state leaders for failing to protect Ohioans from solid radioactive waste from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). According to local citizens groups, Gov. Kasich’s budget bill will provide inadequate protection from low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), and therefore constitutes a handout to the oil and gas industry.

Handout to the oil and gas industry? Gee — who would have thought?

As other states tighten up on how and where radioactive fracking waste can be dumped, they're sending it to Ohio. And while Kasich has made some feeble noises about protecting the state, Mandel has been a full-throated advocate for tossing the regulations and letting the radioactive waste pour in.

http://www.cantonrep.com/topstories/x1213259294/Mandel-Don-t-tax-drillin...

Hey Josh, how about your backyard in Beachwood?

OK, no, because someone was telling me they know some of Josh's neighbors, who are less than impressed with him, and they don't deserve that.

Seriously, though, I wonder how some of these politicians would feel if their homes were near a landfill that was accepting radioactive fracking waste.

Of course, these concerned groups are the ones that the arrogant Mandel so blithely dismissed as "fringe" groups — fringe apparently because because they care about the health and well-being of someone besides his billionaire sponsors.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) "Evolves" on Marriage Equality

Well, this is good news to hear on a Wednesday morning! Lisa "The Anti-Palin" Murkowski of Alaska has become the third sitting U.S. Senator to endorse marriage equality.

http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=OpEds&ContentRecord_i...

She follows Ohio's Rob Portman whose evolution involved his college-age son's coming out, and Illinois' Mark Kirk, whose evolution involved representing one of the most reliably blue states in the nation where a batshit insane bigot stands little change of statewide re-election (demographics: Illinois population about 12 million, greater Chicago, eight million).

Murkowski's evolution is due to the fact that she's NOT batshit insane, which led to some trouble for her in the last election. She actually LOST the Republican primary to someone who WAS batshit insane and ran as an independent write-in candidate — and won. (The batshit insane candidate, embracing typical GOP voter suppression tactics, went to court to try to have any vote that didn't spell her name exactly right tossed out).

She opens her official statement (link above) with this story:

Not too long ago, I had the honor of nominating an Alaskan family as “Angels in Adoption,” a celebration of the selflessness shown by foster care families and those who adopt children. They arrived in Washington, DC, a military family who had opened their doors to not one child but four siblings to make sure that these sisters and brother had the simplest gift you can give a child: a home together. We had lunch together, and they shared their stories with me. All the while, the children politely ate lunch and giggled as content youngsters do. ...

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