Coming Out of the Closet Soon, Kenny?

*blah, blah, blah*

Everyone's favorite Ohio ex-gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has done it again.

Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell on Tuesday linked the Isla Vista mass killings to marriage equality laws, which he claimed are destroying the culture.

Speaking with FRC president Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch,” Blackwell blamed the shooting on “the crumbling of the moral foundation of the country” and “the attack on natural marriage and the family.”

According to Blackwell, people are unfairly attacking the Second Amendment (the only one that exists in GOPland) and not addressing the root cause of such shootings: the moral decay caused by gay people.

Now, we know that the Family Research Council has been declared a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, primarily for their constant spreading of lies about LGBT people in order to "prove" what a menace to society they are.

The really menace to society? People like Ken Blackwell and Tony Perkins who are so obsessed with gay people they just won't shut up about them.

And you know what that means.

Ordinary straight guys don't get this worked up. They just go on their straight-guy way, checking out the women or hanging with their girlfriend. They don't seem to pop up on TV every week going on and on and on about the EVILS of The Gay.

Robert Higgs, when did Ed FitzGerald say that?...

It's always interesting to read the Plain Dealer staff subtly try to justify their biased actions.

Robert Higgs wrote an article yesterday about Plunderbund's ( lawsuit to get a public records request filled. The suit was filed against the Kasich Administration. The lawsuit has gone all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. Robert Higgs' write up can be found here...

What I figured would happen when I first started reading the article would be a subtle transition to a public records request that the Plain Dealer made but has not been fulfilled by Ed FitzGerald's adminstration. I was not disappointed. Robert Higgs ends his article with the strange claim...

"FitzGerald's insistence on secrecy also comes as the Democrat is running for governor and frequently criticizing Kasich for the lack of transparency at JobsOhio, the state's privatized economic development agency."

Ed FitzGerald has frequently criticized Kasich for the lack of transparency at JobsOhio? When?

I've seen and heard Ed FitzGerald far more than Robert Higgs. I've never heard Ed, mention JobsOhio. I wish he would, because it's an abysmal agency that hasn't done anything it was promised it would. But I've never heard him mention it or have I read anything where he mentions it.

It's telling that Robert Higgs provides no links to any stories and no evidence to his claim. He just wants people to believe it, because it sounds about right. It's an odd twist that he seems to want people to naturally comport with. But really, is that what a "reporter" is supposed to be doing?

Henry Gomez tries to respond to post on keycard data: seriously misses the point

Henry. Henry, Henry; while I appreciated your responses on Twitter about the post on keycard data they completely miss the point. Not only that, but they seem to confirm that you're biased and looking to do a hit piece. Let's have a look shall we? Your response...

Cleveland and its area residents should rally against hosting the Republican National Convention

The people who brought Cuyahoga County Issue 7 a sin-tax renewal to maintain sports facilities in Cleveland, now want to bring them the Republican National Conventiion (RNC). That alone should give anyone living in the area pause. But perspective...

There's a calculus to where political parties hold their conventions. Surprise: they don't choose to hold their conventions in cities, because they think they're so cool. They pick the cities and areas where they don't expect to win, but want to make inroads. The cities are in states that parties feel are crucial for electoral votes. It's why the past the RNC has been held in New York City (2004), Minneapolis (2008), and Tampa Bay (2012). What they get by holding their conventions in these places is a three to four day commercial for themselves - none stop media buzz. There's always a positive spike for the party's candidate after a convention.

Seeing as to how Cuyahoga County with Cleveland has helped win the state for Democrats in the last two presidential election cycles, it's no wonder why Republicans want to hold their convention there. If they can just get a few more votes, a few more people to flip, it might be enough to finally win the state.

It's ridiculous to hear anyone in the area, especially Democrats, say they are excited about the prospects of hosting a convention. They'll cite all the money that could flow into the area as a reason for their support, but that is such a short-sighted view. And the economic benefit is grossly overrated. If Republicans actually do get one of their nutjobs into office those four days of hosting could turn into four years (or more) of total grief. Republicans, with their brilliant ideas like the Ryan Budget and wonderful comments along the lines that people in the big cities don't work, could really screw Clevelanders. You've already seen how great the Republican Party has been to cities at the state level - - starving them for cash.

Terrible week for Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci

There's an ongoing question in politics as to if campaign contributions are actually buying influence on politicians. In the case of Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci, it's looking like the answer is yes. Multiple news sources began detailing a federal lawsuit where a campaign contributor orchestrated giving over $100,000 in return for political favors from the two. From the Akron Beacon Journal...

"Prosecutors in the upcoming federal trial of Stark County businessman Benjamin Suarez are seeking to introduce evidence that, if allowed, could lead to the issuing of subpoenas to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

In a pretrial motion filed this week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, prosecutors say the evidence will show that Suarez had access to and sought favorable treatment from two “powerful elected officials” leading up to the 2012 general election.

The government’s motion specifically names Renacci, a Republican from Wadsworth, and left no doubt that the other public official is Mandel, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate two years ago."

Link to full article:


And from

"New documents filed in federal court this week accuse North Canton businessman Ben Suarez of enlisting Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to help him end an expensive legal battle in California, and of orchestrating a cover-up of illegal campaign contributions to the U.S. Senate candidate."

Link to full article:


Both Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci are up for re-election this year. One would think the public should have this information to help them decide if they want to re-elect them or not.

Why keycard data won't accurately tell you where Ed FitzGerald is

Henry Gomez supposedly a politics "report" for the Cleveland Plain Dealer has been on a bit of a nutty rant. He's been obsessed with obtaining keycard data for Ed FitzGerald. It's presumed he wants this information, because he believes it will tell him when Ed FitzGerald is in county offices and when he is not. This presumption is not necessarily true.

When I got out of college I worked for a major company in the area. The top executives were all over the place. They travelled nationally and internationally. There were many times their cars were parked in the parking deck for two or three days straight. They were technically swiped in, but they weren't in the offices. Other times they'd get to the offices by a personal driver service so they were never swiped in.

Ed FitzGerald holds the second most powerful elected office in Ohio. It would be appropriate to believe he has to be a lot of different places. I'm sure there are many days he doesn't start by driving into the office. I'm sure there are many days John Kasich doesn't start by being driven into the governor's office by his security detail. Throwing out a hypothetical, Ed FitzGerald might drive into the county offices one day, leave them later on for meetings in another car, get picked up by campaign staff after hours for events and be dropped off at home. This happens with political officials. It's reality. Do you really think Ed FitzGerald drives himself everywhere? Do you really think Frank Jackson drives himself around? Do any of the statewide office holders drive themselves anywhere? Do any of our Federal Representatives?

It's 11:40am and Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon are still derelict in their duty of informing public

Maybe they're waiting for a thank you call from Josh Mandel for not reporting the following. Or maybe they'll get a letter. Other news sources seemed to think it is important. The following was covered in morning political talk shows. But it's not covered by Henry of Joe. It's strange, because these two have a history of breaking stories like this and staying on top of them. Oh wait, no they don't.

"Renacci, Mandel could be called to testify at federal trial of Suarez

Prosecutors in the upcoming federal trial of Stark County businessman Benjamin Suarez are seeking to introduce evidence that, if allowed, could lead to the issuing of subpoenas to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel.
In a pretrial motion filed this week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, prosecutors say the evidence will show that Suarez had access to and sought favorable treatment from two “powerful elected officials” leading up to the 2012 general election."

Click here for the complete story from the Akron Beacon Journal:

What Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon aren't telling you

While Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon were frothing at the mouth over "keycard data!" from Ed FitzGerald this little tidbit from the Akron Beacon Journal was kind of important for Ohioans to know...

"Renacci, Mandel could be called to testify at federal trial of Suarez

Prosecutors in the upcoming federal trial of Stark County businessman Benjamin Suarez are seeking to introduce evidence that, if allowed, could lead to the issuing of subpoenas to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel.
In a pretrial motion filed this week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, prosecutors say the evidence will show that Suarez had access to and sought favorable treatment from two “powerful elected officials” leading up to the 2012 general election."

Click here for the complete story from the Akron Beacon Journal:

Seriously, has Henry or Joe covered any of this? In addition why don't they froth at the mouth about Josh Mandel's whereabouts. It's pretty much a known fact he's been absent from his office ever since he got elected State Treasurer.

Honestly - why? Why are stories like these never broken by Henry Gomez or Joe Vardon? It's not because their biased is it? What is their job again? To scream about keycard data from one candidate for office?

Henry Gomez's hypocrisy on needing keycard information for Ed FitzGerald

Henry Gomez has been on a crazy tear lately. He's been demanding that he must have Ed FitzGerald's keycard information. He wants the information, because he believes it will tell him how much time Ed FitzGerald spends in county offices. (not necessarily true). The subtle implication in Henry's tear is that Ed FitzGerald is campaigning on public time. If this is where Gomez is going he's a complete hypocrite for not freaking out about the following...

Seriously, John Kasich wasn't even in the state around the time Henry Gomez was having his meltdown? John Kasich was at a Republican Governors Association (RGA) meeting in New York City instead? For what? Of course we don't know, because the meeting was closed to the press. I'm sure Gomez is concerned about the transparency issue too. John Kasich probably gave some sort of excuse for the closed door meeting, like it's a security issue. Because at an RGA meeting Kasich would have a lot to fear. And Henry Gomez is such a dishonest "reporter" he'd take this excuse and try to feed it to the public as reality. Tool.

If Henry Gomez writes an article criticizing Ed FitzGerald for being out of the office too much I'll be happy to shove this post in his face. I mean how often is Kasich at these meetings, or wooing Sheldon Adelson, or who knows where? Don't ask Henry Gomez this question. He won't tell you - he's only a politics reporter.

David Pepper said he'd vote for Obamacare and John Kasich should thank him

What are the Ohio Republicans doing? They're trying to attack David Pepper for stating he would have voted for Obamacare? Obamacare: the law that John Kasich embraced to expand Medicaid. The law that Kasich is using to try to make himself look more "compassionate." The law that Kasich is hoping by embracing will get him a few more votes in the Fall.

Can Ohio Republicans not connect these two dots? How stupid are these people?

I guess this is a case of they were for it before they were against it. Or something...

Joe Vardon, John Kasich's hitman ... Wait; he's a reporter?!

Interesting post at Plunderbund about Joe Vardon who is a politics "reporter" (or is he a banker?) for the Columbus Dispatch.

"Joe Vardon, the Columbus Dispatch’s politics and government writer, turned up at a news conference Wednesday following Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald’s luncheon speech at the Quaker Square Inn. Actually, it wasn’t so much a news conference as we have come to know them. With notebook and pencil in hand, Vardon turned it into an inquisition of the candidate regarding questions raised by the other side of the Cuyahoga County inspector general who has been accused of doing campaign work on public time."

Nice to know what an unbiased guy Joe is. Please visit for the complete article. And thanks Plunderbund for writing it. It's a sad day when the reporter becomes the story.

Does Matt Borges know what he's talking, errr, tweeting about?

This tweet from Matt Borges, Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party...

Sure, and John Kasich advocated for what with Medicaid?

Ted Strickland's last budget ended in a surplus.

The whole hiding public records is such a double standard by "reporters" it's just sad. Reporters complaining that they need to know where Ed FitzGerald is every second of the day, but giving a shrug when it comes to John Kasich is pathetic. The truth is, if the "reporters" weren't so biased they'd realize they had better information than key card swipes to know where John Kasich is, they have eye witnesses. Seriously, these "reporters" can't ask for approximations from his security detail or their supervisors as to how much time is spent on government functions and how much time is spent elsewhere? It seems like a fair question to me. But I guess for "reporters" that work for a "news" source where people can't spell or use proper grammar it's a bit of a difficult task. But it sure does make Chairman Borges happy which, I'm sure it's what it's supposed to do, but the end result are tweets from him that are just crap.

This Is What Our Senator Brown Is Up To

and why we should be proud to have him!


Brown Chaired Hearing on “Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow’s Retirees”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) chaired a hearing of the Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy. The hearing, entitled “Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow’s Retirees,” examined the retirement challenges facing the next generation of retirees and how Social Security can be expanded to meet those needs.

The hearing also examined the rapidly changing demographics within the United States, as well as the dangerously low level of retirement savings by near retirees. The lack of retirement saving by many near retirees increases the importance of Social Security as a means of retirement security. With the share of U.S. population age 65 and older projected to increase from 12.4 percent in 2000 to 19.6 percent in 2030, seniors – or individuals nearing retirement age – are increasingly becoming a larger portion of the overall population. Among households approaching retirement (age 55-64), the median balance held in a retirement account is only $12,000. In fact, nearly 50 percent of Americans will retire below or near the poverty line, living on a food budget of about five dollars per day. Because of a lack of savings and other factors, more seniors depend exclusively on Social Security upon retirement. In 2012, Social Security lifted 15 million seniors out of poverty. In fact, the bottom three quintiles of Americans depend on Social Security for at least two thirds of retirement income. For the 38 million retired workers who will receive Social Security benefits in 2014, the average annual benefit was less than $16,000.

Those testifying at the hearing include:

Noose Tightens Around Mandel Buddies

Remember this:

Or this:—-royal-screw

Or most hilariously, this:—-says-mandel-not-quotperson-very-good-characterquo

Well, the story has grown to another level.

To recap: Canton-based Suarez Corporation execs were charged following a federal investigation with laundering large campaign donations to the 2012 campaign of Congressman Jim Renacci (OH-16) and the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of state treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel.

Owner Ben Suarez has claimed Mandel solicited these illegal donations and we know that Mandel's office threatened the state of California on Suarez;s behalf.

Now we have Suarez executive Mike Giorgio pleading guilty and pointing a finger at Ben Suarez, saying he orchestrated the scheme. Uh oh.

Michael R. Giorgio, the chief financial officer of Suarez Corp. Industries, pleaded guilty Monday to seven charges of violating federal campaign finance laws.

As part of his plea deal with federal prosecutors, Giorgio agreed to testify against his longtime boss and company founder, Benjamin D. Suarez of Canton, the principal defendant in the case.

Mandel is up to his eyeballs in this. Hopefully this will help end his so-called political career. We can help hasten that process by supporting his opponent for state treasurer, Connie Pillich. It's time we had a person of integrity in that office.

Looking Backward

Our Ohio elected Republicans in Columbus are continuing their drive to pull Ohio back into the past. Virtually all of Governor Kasich's policy priorities — the things he's trotting out to make his case for reelection — would be embarrassing setbacks for the state, things that would hamper our competitiveness, compared to other states.

At the top of the list of SB 310, the repeal of Ohio's clean energy standards. This is a real "up is down" campaign coming from Republicans. Of course, they're claiming that moving into the rapidly growing future of clean energy, which is not only providing sustainable energy sources and cleaning up the environment but also creating thousands of jobs, is a job-killer. Sure, it kills specific jobs such as coal-mining, which are shrinking in number of other reasons. But it replaces them with many more jobs sustainable over the long run.

They are also claiming that somehow, clean energy standards are a drag on the economy, that they raise costs.

You know who they are a drag on? The wealth big coal and gas special interests who own the Ohio Republican Party. It's not an accident that the effort to roll back clean energy is being introduced now in multiple GOP-controlled states. It's another of those nationally coordinated ALEC promoted measures intended to benefit its obscenely wealthy funders such as the Koch Brothers.

And while Republicans are claiming that clean energy standards raise energy prices, repealing them is in fact likely to do so. Old energy interests have already slapped energy users with the bill for expensive and flawed nuclear energy plants. With no competition from the burgeoning clean energy industry, which SB 310 will kill, interests like the Kochs (whose wealth is partly based on old, dirty energy) will be free to increase your costs.

This environmental blogger has a chart where you can figure out what it might cost you to repeal clean energy standards.

He's baaaaack! Ken Blackwell resurfaces and he's still homophobic.

The Foxification of CNN continues. You'd think speculating whether the Malaysian airplane was raptured up or fell into a black hole and getting a psychic to weigh in on its whereabouts would have completely destroyed CNN's reputation as an actual "news" outlet.

But they are working on making it worse. I guess drafting an openly gay football player is a big deal because a lot of people are talking about it. So of course we have to get "both sides" — you know, the one that says let everyone live their own lives because it's none of our business and the other one that says LGBT people are horrible and we must eternally condemn them. So equal.

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell who was the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2006 and got beaten by Ted Strickland by 22 points, now works for the Family Research Council, a spinoff of James Dobson's Focus on the Family. The Family Research Council has been dubbed a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its incessant attacks on what it perceives of as "the gay lifestyle," based on untrue, made-up stuff.

And yesterday he was on CNN to speak about that gay football player, Michael Sam.

Knowing that simply spewing the usual vitriol again the gay "lifestyle" goes over less well than it did 10 years ago, Blackwell spouts a fabricated right-wing talking point on the situation: that somehow it's OK to critique this gay football player because another football player, Tim Tebow, received some flak for his sanctimonious, over-the-top public professions of his "Christianity."

Ed FitzGerald on Education

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald has announced what he's dubbed his "Six Education Principles," delivering them in a speech to the Ohio Education Association.

They sound pretty good. They don't include "Giving more money to unaccountable for-profit charter school operators like David Brennan and William Lager whose schools are mostly failing." I guess that was already taken. That's John Kasich's Principle #1.

Ed's #1 principle is "include Educators in Decision-Making and Policy Formulation at the State and Local Level. The FitzGerald administration education policies will be shaped by someone who is actually in the classroom every day. It’s long past time we stopped blaming educators, and started including them."

Well, halleluia. It's about time education policy stopped being made behind closed doors by business people, like the Cleveland School Plan of 2012, which is looking increasingly dubious. The plan was cooked up by corporate business leaders and foundation people, with no input from teachers, principals, parents, or community members. Let me know when a secret clique of teachers is tasked with coming up with an economic development plan. Yeah, like that'll ever happen.

Ed's #2 principle is "Increase State Investment. Ohio’s working families shouldn’t face higher local taxes every year because the state is funding tax breaks for the wealthy, rather than our schools. Tax cuts for the top one percent are not going to educate Ohio’s children."

Well, GLORY halleluia. In Cleveland Heights, where I live, in a period of two years we had two school levies that added almost $500 per $100,000 valuation to everyone's tax bill. Adjacent Shaker Heights has the highest property taxes in the county, and just passed another school levy the other day. I honestly don't know how anyone survives in Shaker.

Kasich The "Education Governor"? It Is To Laugh

So John Kasich is now claiming he's done SOOO much for education in Ohio — even while his administration has been a disaster for Ohio schools. He's cut funding, diverted funding to for-profit trash charter schools that never should have been allowed to open, and he and his legislature have created endless, pointless hoops for students and teachers to jump through, most of which don't improve education or have nothing to do with education.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is working on his own set of education policies, and I have some advice for him: whatever Kasich did, do the opposite.

It's sounding like that's the direction he's going to go. (More on that later).

Today his campaign sent out an email that said,

It is time to set the facts straight. Governor Kasich and his team can continue to insist that they have invested more in the education of Ohio’s children, but they are wrong and it is about time they be held accountable.

Really? You think?

Mr. Kasich’s $1.3 billion figure conveniently ignores that Mr. Kasich all but eliminated state reimbursement payments to school districts for Tangible Personal Property and Kilowatt Hour tax elimination. ... So the reimbursements went from $1.9 billion over the biennium to $819 million – a cut of more than $1 billion over the biennium – cuts that remain in place today.

Oh, that isn't good.

There's a lot more. You can read it all here:

It also points out.

If Mr. Kasich has increased state funding to education as much as he claims, why then is the state share of education at its lowest level, relative to local taxpayer funding, since 2006?

Ugh. Democratic Voters Did Us No Favors in Legislative Races

So not happy with the results of the legislative races here in northeast Ohio.

Sure, we got some good candidates elected. Congratulations to Kenny Yuko, who won the opportunity to run to replace state senator Nina Turner in this very Democratic district. He didn’t just beat out a strongly anti-choice candidate but that candidate finished third in a field of three. Sandra Williams won the primary to replace state senator Shirley Smith, who was running (and lost) for Cuyahoga County Executive. She’s fine; I voted for her.

In house races, we got Kent Smith, running without serious opposition; Janine Boyd, who faced a quality opponent in Sean Malone, and Stephanie Howse, who had some good opponents in a crowded field. Chances are they will be good spokespersons for progressive values and for ordinary people who aren’t wealthy.

Unfortunately, the final result of the vote here showed that we not only retained a couple of representatives who undermine our side in the legislature, but may have increased the weakness of our caucus with another unreliable Democrat. At a time when our representation isn't equal to the amount of vote we pull, thanks to gerrymandering, that's inexcusable.

Bill Patmon in district 10 and the nearly invisible John Barnes in the 12th district, both often warmer to right-wing ideas than to Democratic ideals, got re-elected and have smooth sailing in November.

His job is to "lift people"

This tweet from Lauren Hitt, a communications person for the Ohio Democratic Party...

What was that ad from John Kasich? His job is to "lift" people?

Just throwing out a random idea, but some social media guru could probably create a pretty funny hashtag with this stuff.

More Reasons to Evict John Barnes From the Ohio Legislature

There are Democrats, and there are better Democrats. And just because someone is on the ballot as a Democrat doesn’t make them a good person, an effective officeholder, or a person who represents our beliefs.

It appears that state rep. John Barnes, who currently represents a swath of communities on the southeast side of Cuyahoga County, is none of these things.

We already detailed how he’s a bought-and-paid-for water carrier for the anti-education forces that want to destroy public education in the name of “school choice” aka privatization — and how they are pouring money into his race against Jill Miller Zimon. Boo.

Barnes is also known for not being much of a fighter, a standup guy, or a guy that does much of anything. He’s one of those state legislators we need fewer of who treat their gig in the general assembly like a casual hobby they’re not that engaged with, something they’d rather forget about when they’re not actually voting. Someone point me to a single passionate, fiery speech he’s ever made, defending or advocating for anything. Oh oops, sorry — you accidentally sent me a link to a Nina Turner video.

Now it appears that Barnes isn’t even able to pass as a good person, something on which I’m generally reluctant to judge a person I don’t know (Unless of course their name is Josh Mandel and they have repeatedly demonstrated how not-good a person they are).

Our friends over at Plunderbund filed a public records request for information on Barnes’ tenure at Cleveland City Hall, first as director of community relations and then as “international affairs liaison,” both under former mayor Jane Campbell, who was in office from 2002-2006.

Out-of-State Anti-Education Money Pours Into Cleveland State Rep. Races

Two of the most unreliable “Democratic” state representatives are Bill Patmon and John Barnes, both from the Cleveland area. These two stick together to stick with the Republicans on many key issues, further weakening a Democratic delegation gerrymandered into an artificial minority.

Both have primary challenges from better Democrats — one marginally better (former Cleveland city councilman Eugene Miller, who is challenging Patmon), one light years better (former Pepper Pike councilwoman, attorney, social worker, writer, and blogger Jill Miller Zimon, taking on Barnes). The legislature would be a better place for ordinary Ohioans without Patmon and Barnes.

We learned last week that the laughably named California-based advocacy group “Students First” has raced to bolster both candidates, shoveling six figures (!) into these legislative races to retain their “school choice” representatives.

Of course, “Students First” would be more accurately named “Students Last If At All,” and “school choice” is lipstick on the pig of school privatization and destroying public schools by draining all their funding for less accountable and, in Ohio, mostly failing charter schools. In the areas Patmon and Barnes represent, there are half a dozen or more failing charter schools for every quality charter school, providing “education” on the cheap to parents without information or skills to make real choices.

“Students First” is the brainchild of former Washington D.C. superintendent Michelle Rhee who, in any rational world, would be so discredited and disgraced that all politicians would run from her and her dirty money.

Fighting Back Against GOP Attacks on Voting

In a sign of electoral desperation, Ohio Republicans have focused on making it more difficult for certain groups who tend to vote Democratic to vote — groups like minorities, urban voters, the young, the old, poor people, the working poor.

One of the things they’ve gleefully rubbed their hands over since 2012 is cutting the in-person early voting period, especially shutting down non-business hours and the three-day window immediately before the election, heavily used by African-American voters. They tried in 2012 and were slapped down by the courts.

But secretary of voter suppress … I mean STATE … Jon Husted wasn’t going to give up that easily. And for this year’s election — his own reelection bid — he issued a directive, sanctimoniously claiming he was setting “uniform” hours for fairness {{{eyeball roll please}}} axing Sunday voting, allowing only one Saturday, and once again, shutting down most of the popular three-day window before Election Day.

Luckily, there’s some fighting back going on — and hopefully the result will be the same as it was in 2012 — a slap-down for Husted.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today, asking a federal court to restore voting opportunities the Ohio’s Republican legislature and Husted have taken away.

The ACLU and the ACLU of Ohio brought the complaint on behalf of the Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the League of Women Voters of Ohio and several African-American churches.

"Ohio has again taken center stage in the battle over voting rights," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "Politicians who tamper with people's fundamental right to vote are being put on notice that they are not going to get away with it.”

Why John Kasich's "lift" ad is so bad

John Kasich is airing campaign ads already. The reason why he's doing it: because he's in trouble. Unless you're some kind of brainwashed zealot, it's pretty easy to understand why, it's because he's an unlikable guy. I guess this is why his first ad is called "lift" and in it he's trying to convince people he's a nice guy. But the ad is filled with such disconnected bullshit that it's actually helping to galvanize his opposition.

Seriously, there are so many teachers, fire fighters, police officers, women, minorities and many others who have watched the ad with pure dismay. After 3 1/2 years of an oppressive and suppressvie agenda on voting rights, reproductive rights and union rights, it's unbelievable to hear him say he thinks his job it to "lift people." The scoffing I've heard from SB5 people has been palpable.

The way SB5 was defeated was word of mouth. John Kasich's ad has gotten those people talking once again. Nobody who lived through the crap that John Kasich forced them to live through is going to sit by and let anyone believe that he "lifts" people.

In the end, I guess his campaign ad is accurately titled. What the ad is doing is helping to lift his opposition to get him out of office. So keep up with the ads governor - - it's just adding fuel to their fire.

Kasich's ad - watch and be disgusted...

Newsflash Josh Mandel: the vast majority of welders don't make anywhere near $150,000

Good gravy Josh Mandel will never stop lying. He has been tweeting out lately that welders make $150,000/yr. It seems to be in-line with the Republican idea of filling people's heads with false dreams and promises. Seriously, has Josh Mandel bothered to look at any job listings for welders? Well, for his edification here are a few...

"We are looking for a skilled welder to join our team. We are located in the Cleveland area and are looking for welders to join our team and advance their skills while helping our company grow. We are one of the top rated manufacturing companies in the area and constantly promote from within. Below are the requirements for the welding position. If you fit the welding qualifications and are interested please submit your resume below.

Base Pay $14.00 - $18.00 /Hour"

That's a little less than what Josh Mandel stated.

"Fitters and Welders - $13.25 up to $18 per hour (DOE)
Employ Ease - Mentor, OH
We are seeking Mig/Tig Welders & Fitters
Must have at least 2-3 years production,
must be able to read blueprints. Must have
experience with Mig/Tig welding and/or Fitting.
Position is available for all shifts with potential OT,
Pay rate will be based on experience. Our openings on 1st and 2nd shifts.
Fitters will make a higher pay rate.
Position is temp to possible permanent positions.
Must have 2-3 years stable recent welding experience,
clean background and be able to pass drug test."

That's not $150,000/yr.

"Nesco Resource is seeking experienced welders for the North West side of Columbus.
Must be able to read Blueprints, use Vernier calipers and micrometers.
Welding training/education required
MIG/TIG a must
Experience with stainless and aluminum a plus
Must be able to analyze and interpret weld symbols
Strong attention to detail
Team player

Salary: $ 13.00 - $ 16.00"

Missed again.

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