Over half a million people are without usable water in the Toledo area. Caring about them and wanting to find solutions so this doesn't happen again is not wrong. What would be wrong is to remain silent and let the problem get even worse.
What happened in Toledo is a complete failure of conservative polices. Privatization - no regulation - denial of climate change - hatred of the EPA and other environmental advocates - all of these kooky thoughts and polices has made part of one of the largest bodies of fresh water unusable.
Other than David Pepper, who has been a rock star in responding to the crisis, the overall response by Ohio Democrats has been abysmal. Are they afraid about getting criticized for caring that half a million people are without water? Are they so meek they couldn't defend themselves? In reality, who would be so low as to criticize someone for wanting to help in this situation? To scream "politicising" would be the cries of a chicken.
And why shouldn't Democrats talk about the policies behind this crisis? What's wrong with Democrats informing people about how they've fighting for policies that would help prevent crisis like these? Isn't that the heart of an election?
Did John Kasich avoid talking about economic issues, because it was crisis? No. He used it to highlight specific policy differences. Why shouldn't John Kasich and the Republicans be held responsible for what they've done? What happened to accountability? John Kasich and the Republicans dominate state government and they've done nothing to address this issue. In actuality, they've passed polices that would exacerbate the situation.
Tepid cowerdice Democrats... Why can't they understand, facts are facts? The truth is the truth. If they can't figure out how to run on that, then they shouldn't run.
One of the most bizarre tacks taken by some "Right to Life" groups is campaigns in usually poor African-American neighborhoods, trying to tell women that their right to choose to have an abortion is equivalent to "genocide" or suggesting that a woman being able to make her own choice about when and whether to have a child is somehow aligned to women under slavery NOT being allowed to make that choice. Ohio Right to Life is currently running a billboard campaign in black neighborhoods, attempting to shame black women out of having an abortion if they feel it's the right choice for them.
Such campaigns, of course, insult black women's right to make choices for their own lives. And the overwhelmingly white, mostly male, right to life movement trying to tell black women what to do with their bodies has an unpleasant historical resonance.
There are a lot of levels of weird to such a billboard campaign. For one thing, some of the same right wingers who campaign against abortion also fret about the U.S.'s inexorable trend to becoming a minority country. Some have talked about the need to have more white babies to make up for the number of black and Hispanic babies being born. But you don't see them erecting billboards in affluent white parts of the state urging women not to have abortions. Yet those are the women who will always be able to get them, even if they're banned, and they will do so if they feel it improves quality of life for themselves and their families. In many cases, black women, especially working class and poor ones (as well as poor and working class white women) are already banned from having this "choice" by the unnecessary obstacles erected by the state to have this safe, legal procedure.
As of this post, it doesn't look like a single Ohio Republican staff member or an active party supporter has tweeted a thing about Toledo's water crisis. Ohio chairman Matt Borges has tweeted nothing. There's nothing from the spokesman. Affiliate groups like the Young Republicans and college Republicans have tweeted nothing. General bloggers and other active commentators have written nothing. They are still entertaining one another about Ed FitzGerald.
I'm sure they're doing all of this, because they're so: Pro-life. Speaking of which, has Michael Gonidakis, the head of Ohio's pro-life group tweeted anything? Nope. Here's his last tweet...
PREDICTION, w/less than 100 days til election, FitzGerald will spend the rest of his time "explaining" his 4:30 am driving habits. #fail
— Michael Gonidakis (@MGonidakis) August 1, 2014
Sanctity of Life!
Children and the elderly are most vulnerable to the toxins from toxic algae blooms. There's a higher chance they could die from ingesting the toxins. Republicans care... yeah, sure they do.
While the Plain Dealer peddles gutter politics, they're slow to report 400,000 people in Toledo have no water...Submitted by Derek K on Sat, 08/02/2014 - 2:51pm.
This is pathetic - - while the Plain Dealer decided to peddle what is looking like a hit on Ed FitzGerald and his campaign for governor, they practically miss a critical developing story. The story being that toxic algae blooms have become so bad in the Toledo area, the city has had to issue a ban on the drinking water. Toxic algae blooms are caused mainly by chemical runoff from farms. Their toxins can cause liver damage in people.
Read this from Slate.com...
"TOLEDO, OHIO — Toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie fouled the water supply of the state's fourth-largest city Saturday, forcing officials to issue warnings not to drink the water and the governor to declare a state of emergency as worried residents descended on stores, quickly clearing shelves of bottled water.
"It looked like Black Friday," said Aundrea Simmons, who stood in a line of about 50 people at a pharmacy before buying four cases of water. "I have children and elderly parents. They take their medication with water."
The city advised about 400,000 residents in Toledo, most of its suburbs and a few areas in southeastern Michigan not to brush their teeth with or boil the water because that would only increase the toxin's concentration. Showers and baths are fine, the mayor said.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/08/02/3597264/ohio-city-issues-water-warning.html#storylink=cpy
People's health is in danger and the Plain Dealer still has their slanderous article in the headline spot on Cleveland.com. That's how desperate they are to slime Ed FitzGerald's campaign.
Why hasn't the Plain Dealer done more reporting about this issue in the past? If you live in the Northeast Ohio area, the toxic algae blooms are here also.
And why hasn't John Kasich done more about this issue? It was well known and he's had years to try to address it.
[John Spinelli, had the date wrong concerning the tweet referenced below. Matt Borges tweeted his message on June 13. It's still there and I'm reposting it here.]
— Matt Borges (@ChairmanBorges) June 13, 2014
John Spinelli, has a good write-up about a new attack Ohio Republicans have unloaded on Ed FitzGerald. His write-up can be found here:
He starts his story off with a quote he says is from Ohio Republican Chairman Matt Borges's twitter feed. Spinelli states the quote was sent on June 30, from Matt Borges, and it said...
"It’s time to come clean w family, friends & taxpayers. It will be better for you in the long run."
That's some pretty ominous stuff foretelling that the Republicans were working on an attack and heading towards the gutter.
I checked Matt Borges's twitter feed and I couldn't find the tweet. If he deleted it - it was a wise thing to do. It would be interesting to know if anyone got a screenshot of the tweet or had also seen it.
I was so right. I wrote in a post on June 9, 2014 how Henry Gomez grossly down plays Republican controversy, but would, at the hint of any wrong doing with a Democrat, go nuclear, and post every tidbit of information to shame and humiliate anyone even closely involved. Here's a quote from my post...
"This is the kind of story that would be intolerable if these people were Democrats. Their pictures would be on the front page of both the Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch. There'd be no excuse for Mary Taylor not to know where her chief of staff was."
Background on this quote can be found here:
Today such a story did surface. It involved Ed FitzGerald the Ohio Democratic nominee for Governor. It was reported that he was found in a car by police at 4:30 am with a woman who was not his wife. Just as I predicted, Henry Gomez went nuts. He's apparently made phone call after phone looking for any negative sound bite he can get. And voila, just as I had written, within hours of the story breaking Henry Gomez tweeted this...
Mayo Society of Cleveland identifies woman in this photo (pictured w/FitzGerald) as Joanne Grehan. http://t.co/4OfNy817W8
When news broke that Lt. Governor Mary Taylor's chief of staff and another employee were fudging time sheets Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon did everything they could to ignore the story. A major scandal in the Kasich/Taylor administration, it's still difficult, to this day, to understand how Mary Taylor was unaware of where her chief of staff was.
Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon's lack of interest in the story was so bad, I actually had to write a post titled: Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon attempt to ignore story. That post can be found here:
In the post I wrote how if it was a Democrat, Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon would be relentless in reporting information.
Today we have undeniable proof that I was right and that there are two vastly different standards of how Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon go about reporting controversies.
Today it was reported that Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat running for Governor was found by police two years ago in a parked car at 4:30 am with a women who was not his wife. Within record time Henry Gomez, the unbelievably biased "journalist" that he is, had a complete story posted on Cleveland.com that essentially convicted Ed FitzGerald. The story can be found here...
Within hours Ed FitaGerald had to do a press conference. Where is Mary Taylor's press conference. We're all still waiting.
Ed FitzGerald, his wife, and the woman he was found with have all released statement stating there is no controversy.
Here are some photos of Family Unity in the Park in Cleveland this past Saturday. You can see how hard all our candidates were working and how much fun people were having. Connie Pillich, David Pepper, and John Patrick Carney were all there, and state representative Sandra Williams spoke for Nina Turner. Connie's presentation was especially strong. She quickly segued from talking about the treasurers office, a pretty dry subject, to talking about voter rights and people trying to keep you from voting — something that resonated with an almost all black crowd like this one. And when she mentioned Josh Mandel in passing, there was a smattering of boos in the crowd. I swear it wasn't me!
We'll start with a photo of everyone's favorite subject: cats.
*Democrat David Pepper, running to replace Mike DeWine, campaigns at Family Unity in the Park in Cleveland*
Hilarious headline in Crain’s Cleveland business.
“Mike DeWine takes a rare political misstep.”
DeWine’s entire term has been a series of political missteps. He walks into his office each morning and steps in it.
Progress Ohio has been documenting his record of overt cronyism, which only seems to matter to Ohio media when Democrats do it. (Go here to check out their “Cronygate” project.)
But this latest scandal is the most egregious — certainly worse tenfold than anything Marc Dann did that got him run out of the AG office, with everyone in Ohio acting like he was the worst elected official in Ohio history.
In soliciting bids for a company to do collections, DeWine tapped a company, formed by one of his donor/cronies a mere two days before a request of proposals was put out, over experienced companies. This brand new company didn’t have licenses to operate outside Ohio and had to turn those cases back to the AG’s office. Now it appears that their score was “adjusted” to equal that of the more experienced firms.
And, as the Dayton Daily News has outlined, DeWine routinely met with debt collection attorneys, vendors and lobbyists who had tight political ties to DeWine — and made large contributions to him or people associated with him as the selection process was going on. The paper, one of the few left in Ohio that still does valuable investigative work, lays it all out.
Oh, poor John Boehner! The beloved (?) congressman from Ohio’s eighth district and speaker of the House of Representatives is all upset. And not just because his golf game got rained out.
He is in the process of leading Congress to sue President Obama claiming he overstepped his powers. They voted to do so today.
Leaving aside the absurdity of Congress SUING the President, there’s his top reason: because of a glitch in the Affordable Care Act, the President delayed the start of a provision. Yes, this is the same Affordable Care Act that Boehner and his party did not want to take effect at ALL, the one he called “worthless” and said should be entirely repealed. And now he’s claiming to be upset because the President delayed one of its provisions taking effect. Don’t look for logic here!
Now, as I said, suing the President is a weird kind of charade. If you (meaning Boehner and Congress) really truly think the President is usurping power in an unprecedented way (he isn’t), impeach him. And there has been a drumbeat of fringe — or maybe not so fringe, considering many of them are elected congresspersons — individuals suggesting just that.
Needless to say, the Democratic Party and all its various fundraising arms have leapt on this with extravagant glee. If you are on any off their mailing lists, surely you’ve been getting the emails with the over-the-top subject headers: “Historic Vote,” “BREAKING: IMPEACHMENT,” “TRAGIC conclusion” — and yes, mostly in all caps.
A typical one said,
Apparently, the Ohio's Fraternal Order of Police doesn't think too much of a governor who called one of their brothers an "idiot" for stopping him for failing to yield to an emegency vehicle.
That little SB 5 thingie taking away their ability to freely negotiate work contracts probably didn't help either.
Today the FOP endorsed Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald for governor.
They'd better work hard to get him elected, because Kasich can be vindictive. And even though he said he's not thinking about Right to Work for Less (basically SB 5 on steroids) right now, you can bet he'll be thinking about it the day after the election.
Downticket, the FOP endorsed three of the other four Democratic challengers to the Republican incumbents. They endorsed David Pepper for attorney general, John Patrick Carney for auditor, and Connie Pillich for treasurer. But they opted to endorse Republican incumbent secretary of voter suppress .... I mean STATE ... over challenger Nina Turner.
Talk about things that make you go "hmmmm."
To balance things out a bit more, on the judicial side, they also endorsed Republican Supreme Court justices Judith French and the minimally qualified Sharon Kennedy, who is a former police officer, over their challengers John McDonnell and Tom Letson.
Seriously? Jon Husted?
They must be seeing something I don't see in Husted, a snaky character who has pursued court cases trying to limit voter rights and lost every one, and who has issued directives that value "uniformity" above fairness and equal opportunities to vote. (Do you really thing the same amount of time suffices for Vinton County, with a population of 13,000 and Cuyahoga COunty, with a population of 1.3 million? Husted does!)
Or maybe they are seeing something in Nina they don't like. I wonder what it could be.
Recognizing One’s Good Fortune — or not
I was struck by a comment in this article by our former governor Ted Strickland, who attempted to live on the minimum wage for a wage, a challenge that Youngstown Congressman Tim Ryan is also taking.
Strickland admitted that, as hard as he tried to cut back, he ran out of money by Thursday.
But he said,
"I have an apartment here in Washington and a good job. I know I’ll never be able to truly walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker, but experiencing just some of the decisions this income requires on a daily basis is enough to understand that we need to do better for these hardworking families. It’s un-American that you can work and work and work and not get out of poverty."
Strickland, now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund in Washington D.C., has made it clear throughout his political career that he has never forgotten growing up at the end of that dirt road in southeastern Ohio that he always talks about and that he appreciates what he has now.
The issue of speaking up for the poor is fraught. There's a toxic narrative that holds that if you are comfortable, advocating for the poor is somehow hypocritical. This phony-baloney charge — basically an attempt to shut down advocacy for the poor — was leveled at wealthy self-made attorney John Edwards when he made the "Two Americas" the theme of his presidential campaign, becoming the only one of the Democratic candidates in 2004 to give alleviating poverty a prominent place in his stump speeches.
Tomorrow Saturday July 26 from noon-9:30PM is an annual event in the east side Cleveland community called Family Unity in the Park at Luke Easter Park.
While you can tell by the musical headliners (the O'Jays, After 7) that the event attracts an older African-American crowd, people of all ages and races are welcome. (The local musical offerings include the mostly white swing/jump/blues band Blue Lunch and the Puerto Rican Sammy DeLeon Latin Jazz Ensemble so it is diverse!).
The event also features food, of course (you can also bring a picnic or a grill and have your own), a health fair, vendors, a voter registration booth, fireworks, and oh yes — why we're writing this – candidates!
All of the downticket candidates for statewide office will be there,
It is very very very VERY important that we get these folks elected, and this is a great opportunity to hear them speak, shake their hands, and see what god folks they are.
We need Nina Turner as secretary of state to protect our right to vote, something the incumbent Jon Husted isn't too diligent about.
We need John Patrick Carney to provide the kind of oversight of the spending of our tex dollars that incumbent Dave Yost isn't too keen about, maybe because some of the people squandering our money, like for-profit charter schools, are big GOP donors.
We need Connie Pillich for state treasurer because Josh Mandel is a weasel. Also because she's proven herself to be a hard worker and a good public servant during her stint in the legislature. Also, she's not a weasel.
And we need to elect David Pepper attorney general so we'll have someone who fights FOR the citizens of Ohio and not against them like Mike DeWine, who is spending tax dollars promoting his persona ideology and religious beliefs.
Every year, DailyKos.com, the largest progressive news/commentary website, holds a conference called Netroots Nation in a different city. It's going on right now in Detroit. I'm looking at the schedule and I see that as I am writing this, Elizabeth Warren is delivery the morning keynote address.
Guess who else is speaking today? That's right — Ohio's own Nine Turner, currently running for secretary of state against voter suppression advocate Jon Husted.
She'll be speaking this afternoon at 4:30pm with a program titled "#BlackWomenLead: Harnessing Black Women’s Political Power and Leadership Potential." If you've ever heard Nina speak, you know she's going to set the place ablaze. We're expecting to gear great reports!
It's being streamed live at the Netroots Nation website so you can listen in:
Of course, the best way we can harness black women's political power and leadership in Ohio right now is to elect Nina.
So go to her website to donate, volunteer or learn more!
This year we have an unprecedented situation in our statewide races: half the candidates on the Democratic ticket are women.
This has never happened in Ohio in either party. Generally, there is a "woman's slot" on an otherwise all-male ticket. You kind of expect that from Republicans who manage to disappear the women they do elect (we were starting to think Mary Taylor had moved out of state until the campaign started up and she became a convenient photo op for Kasich). But we expect better from Democrats — and we finally got it.
We have three wonderful candidates. Dynamic defender of progressive values and working people Sharen Neuhardt is running for lieutenant governor. Nina Turner, a fierce advocate for protecting the rights of ALL voters regardless of age, race, socio-economic status, place of residence or ideology, is running for secretary of State. And state rep. Connie Pillich, an honest, dedicated, hard-working public servant, is running to replace a state treasurer who singlehandedly ups the sleaze factor in Columbus by 1000%.
All three will be at Bainbridge Town Hall (17826 Chilicothe Road) in Geauga County tomorrow evening, Thursday July 17, from 6:30-8:30, in an event sponsored by the Geauga Democratic Women's Caucus. There's a suggested donation of $15, which the campaigns will use to get their message out and combat the lies and whitewash of their GOP opponents. And there will be refreshments!
All are welcome. Bring friends and neighbors who are complaining about the way things are in Ohio right now and think there's nothing that can be done. We guarantee this evening will get them fired up.
It's crunch time. Let's get going.
John Michael Spinelli is writing for Plunderbund. (www.plunderbund.com). I don't know if this is a permanent arrangement, but it's certainly a major landing for the site.
Spinelli is an excellent reporter. A formerly credentialed statehouse journalist, he produces many well researched articles. For example, he wrote about Ohio Republican Chairman Matt Borges' criminal past...
I don't think any other Ohio news source wrote about it. It was definitely a shock to me when I read it.
Spinelli's articles were always difficult to find at his previous site: the Examiner. Writing at Plunderbund could help his reporting become more prominent. I for one hope that becomes the case.
So I went on a rant a couple days ago about how Ohio news outlets had ignored new polling information on statewide races. The polls were done by Public Policy Polling (PPP), which is a very accurate polling company. I guess I did a really stupid thing to research this - - I checked the twitter feeds of most prominent Ohio political reporters to see if they linked to any articles. When I checked the feeds, no one had linked to anything, so I assumed there were no articles. But I was wrong.
Robert Higgs posted on Cleveland.com a very good article concerning the polling. The article can be found here:
Robert Higgs is also the Columbus bureau chief for Cleveland.com. (or Northeast Ohio Media Group, or their seemingly 20 other names they go by).
I don't follow Robert Higgs for this information. I follow, I guess foolishly, Henry Gomez for this information. I follow him, because his title is Politics Reporter. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what that means.
I realize that there are a lot of stories to write. I realize that at times other reporters will have to pitch in to help out. (It is getting harder and harder though - - to figure out who is doing what at the ClevelandNEOMG.comDealer. ...Efficiency of the private sector! .or something)
What I don't get is why Henry can't at least re-tweet a heads up about a co-workers' work who is covering his, I guess, beat. Even if he is on vacation, he still found time to re-tweet this important article from Mark Naymik...
Collection Auto Group says Ferrari video and tower proposal was attempt to woo automaker but was rejected. Update http://t.co/FIBRZFIR0c
Party of "Personal Responsibility" is already edging $15 million of tax payer money for their convention...Submitted by Derek K on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:03am.
Cleveland.com is reporting that Cleveland City Council has been asked to make a rush approval of $2.5 million to help pay for the 2016 Republican National Convention.
"Cleveland City Council is meeting Wednesday to discuss awarding $2.5 million to help pay for the 2016 Republican National Convention,
According to the article Cuyahoga County has already allocated $2.5 million for the event. In addition, it's been reported that JobsOhio an entity that doles out tax-payer money with little oversight, has allocated $10 million. So that's $15 million allocated. And it's July - 2014.
I wouldn't find this so disgusting if these people weren't the same ones who froth at the mouth in anger when you suggest tax money could be spent helping poor people eat. Or the money could be spent providing health care to the indigent. Or creating better public transportation systems that could open many more job opportunities to those that don't own a car. Or developing better energy systems that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create a cleaner environment. No, no, no, they scream to all of this. But for their convention, the Republicans will take every last tax dollar they can get.
To add a little more perspective, if the convention is supposed to cost $60 million, then we're already at 25% of it being publicly funded - - and it's July 2014.
I just don't understand why these people can't practice what they preach, show some "personal responsibility" and pay for their own damn convention.
Link to article with quote: http://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/index.ssf/2014/07/cleveland_city_counc...
Link to background info on $10 million:
It hasn't been a good season for Ohio's state treasurer, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel.
The trial of his benefactor Ben Suarez shone a light on his dubious activities. And even though Mandel was not charged with anything, and Suarez somehow skated on obvious campaign finance violations, being found guilty only on one incidental charge, there was still an unpleasant aroma around the whole thing that is undoubtedly lingering in the nostrils of Ohio voters and likely increasing Mandel's already high negatives.
It's gotten to the point where you can mention his name in any company — even among friends and acquaintances who are not politically engaged — and get a reflexive "YUCK" from everybody. An identity as the state's biggest weasel among officeholders has been indelibly attached to Mandel. Poor baby.
Then polling comes out showing that he's in the weakest position of any of the current GOP statewide officeholders, with the indefatigable Connie Pillich leading him by three points. And between now and Election Day, you know she'll be working her butt off while Mandel ... um ... sends out self-congratulatory emails for basically the fact that the worker bees in his office are doing the usual job that the state treasurer's office was doing long before Mandel arrived and haven't screwed anything up. I doubt Mandel has anything to do with that.
Watch out, Josh — you're going to break your arm patting yourself on the back.
If you want to find out what a stellar public servant Josh Mandel is (heh), read this — and laugh your butt off.
Treasurer Mandel Receives AGA Award for
"Excellence in Financial Management"
ORLANDO, FL - The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) today awarded Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel with an award for "Excellence in Financial Management" on behalf of the Ohio Treasurer's office. Treasurer Mandel was the only State Treasurer in the country to win this award.
Ohio Republicans are no doubt working away trying to get new polling information that would discredit poll results released from the firm Public Policy Polling (PPP). The PPP results revealed bad news for Republican candidates. In the race for Governor, John Kasich, is up by only a point to Ed FitzGerald. (45/44). In the race for Treasurer, Josh Mandel, is losing to Connie Pillich by three points. (43/46).
Republicans would certainly like to stop any momentum these polls give Democrats. One way they can do this is to release contrary information from another firm. So it would not be surprising that new polling information comes out showing, for example, John Kasich leading Ed FitzGerald by 8 points. And if this happens, I feel I can almost guarantee that the Ohio media will report this information, even if it's a Rassmussen poll, because the Ohio media has moved so far to the Right.
What people are looking past, is that Pubic Policy Polling is a very accurate polling firm. If one follows their results year after year they're almost perfect in predicting who will win a race. And many times the races end within the margin of error PPP predicted. In 2011 Politico wrote...
"The Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling firm takes a fair amount of partisan flack for the mounds of data it produces in races across the country.
But in 2011, it is building the best defense possible: Getting it right.
In the three campaigns it has polled thus far this cycle, PPP has been within one point in one special House election, within two points in another and within three points of calling a gubernatorial primary.
It's a record that should make it more difficult for outsiders -- in most cases, Republicans -- to take shots at the North Carolina-based pollster when it unloads numbers that don't line up with their own desired outcomes.
Today one of the nation's most accurate polling firms released their latest polls for several Ohio statewide races. The firm is Public Policy Polling (PPP). The polls showed very good news for Democrats, including showing Ed FitzGerald just one point behind John Kasich in the Governor's race.
True to their biased selves Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon reported nothing about the polls. It is unconscionable that they would do this.
Public Policy Polling is one of the most accurate polling firms in the nation and there is no debate about it. Statistics students nationwide seek to get internships at the agency every year, but few ever do. It's a highly coveted internship to get. It is impossible not to take their entire body of work and not see an incredibly accurate polling company. There is nobody who can tell me I'm wrong about this and to act like the company is anything other than what I've written is to lie. Here's just a couple of articles on the firms accuracy...
There is no honest reason why Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon wouldn't report PPP's latest polls - - it's just another example of how off the charts biased they are. Following is what Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon aren't telling you...
That photo was taken a year ago, when Governor Kasich signed the budget bill — and signed away a large chunk of women's reproductive freedom in Ohio. A blowup of that photo, created by the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus, has travelled to various events, spotlighting how a group of men celebrated the stripping of women's rights.
The photo was taken by Karen Kasler, a reporter for the Statehouse News Bureau.
Thursday evening, she spoke to a gathering of the CDWC at the Chocolate Bar in downtown Cleveland. Among other things, she revealed that the photo was almost accidental. "I"m not a photographer," she confessed. And yet she had the insight and vision to realize that this was a moment that needed to be captured.
She also talked about the state of statehouse reporting, which she said isn't in good health, with the cutbacks in media everywhere and fewer people doing more jobs. She says she's watched the Statehouse press corps shrink from more than 60 members to only around 35 today. And that allows legislators, who are already prone to not want some of their actions to be noticed, to slip even more under the wire. (Many in the audience also expressed a concern that so few reporters allows the bias of some publications — the Plain Dealer and DIspatch were mentioned — to dominate coverage from a rightwing point of view).
It seems in 2014 The Cleveland Plain Dealer has dropped all impartiality and decided to go all in for the Republican Party. They have produced biased story after biased story against the Democrats. And their politics "reporter" Henry Gomez acts more like a tracker for the Republican Party than a reporter.
One of the strangest stories the paper has created - and note this is their creation - is controversy over key card data for Ed FitzGerald. We've written about it. The Plain Dealer certainly has written about it. But in summary, earlier this year the paper requested information on how often Ed FitzGerald, uses his key card to swipe into a parking garage. The underlying assumption is they can tell when he's in the office.
The strange things is, there didn't seem to be any large public concern about FitzGerald's whereabouts. Ed FitzGerald is running for Governor so it's expected he's going to be out of his office a lot. It's the same with John Kasich. Further, FitzGerald doesn't have the kind of job where he'd be expected to be in the office all day long. From the Plain Dealer's own reporting, he's the second most powerful elected official in the state. If he was in the office too much, one could criticize him about that - - that he's not out meeting with people and getting deals done.
So why would the paper pursue a story where there was seemingly no impetus? A possible answer might be, if one follows the history of the paper's reporting, it follows a rubric they use to create negative stories about politicians. If one follows this explanation though, then all they really want to do is bash him. But why? Is this what a newspaper is for? It is if the paper has sold out to one political party.
Man Clevelanders (meaning their leadership) are dumb. The Republicans did NOT choose to hold their national convention in Cleveland, because they think the city is so cool. This is the reason they chose the city...
“A Cleveland convention offers our party a great steppingstone to the White House in 2016," RNC chairman Reince Priebus
And I know people will say that Republicans don't normally win states where they hold their conventions. But these are the same people who, in their dry elitist tones, scoffed at the idea of a Republican wave in 2010. These are the same who were so sure the Tea Party would die out in a year or two.
Cleveland in itself has to be one sad pathetic city. (and yes, I live in the area - I've been travelling a lot and haven't had to be around much, thankfully) But really, has any other city gotten this loopy about landing a political convention? If you've followed any of the weird "leaders" here, you'd think the Republicans are saving the city. The question would be, from what? Is the city really in that dire straights that it needs a convention to save it? Has anyone watched a convention on TV and thought, I should really visit that city? Since when has a national political convention been part advertisement for the place it's hosted at? And as far as tax revenue, has any other city's financial fortunes changed after hosting a convention? I don't think that's ever been the case.
Face it: the amount of money the city will get is overstated. The multiple day PR blitz could broil an already heated swing state that has trended blue for Presidential campaigns. The best thing Democrats can do living in the area is just be honest and let it be known that they really would rather not have the Republican convention in Cleveland.