The Rage Against Women Goes On and On and On

Listen, if you can stomach it, to this pompous, sanctimonious little group of men from "PersonhoodOhio" holding a "press conference" to announce that they're going to replay their efforts to put "personhood" on the Ohio ballot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkF9xqYTbz8&feature=em-upload_owner

Jennie Brody, whose post over at Innovation Ohio provided the link to this nauseous video, asks "Could Personhood Be on the Ballot in 2014?"

http://innovationohio.org/2013/05/14/could-personhood-be-on-the-ballot-i...

Brody points out that their drive to put it on the 2012 ballot netted them only 20,000 of the needed 350,000 signatures. And there can't be more than a dozen adults at this big press conference, hardly enough to collect all the signatures they need.

They won't succeed, but I wish they would. Then we can have an open discussion about the rampant hatred for women that drives this little segment of the far right.

And as with the marriage equality issue, the landscape has changed since the mid 2000s when these were reliable issues that motivated conservative voters more than those on the other side. After two years of relentless, mean-spirited attacks on women — their health-care choices, access to contraception, equal pay, opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, making light of rape — "personhood" is likely to be most galvanizing for its opponents.

Are They Slow Learners or Just Shameless?

I'm voting for both. And by "they" I am referring to the Ohio GOP.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/politics/2013/04/30/local-rep-to-introduce-o...

So some GOP legislators have introduced a "right to work" (for less) bill into the general assemble. Right to work is essentially SB 5 on steroids. Right to work states are poorer, have lower wages, suffer more on-the-job injuries, have worse health care coverage etc etc because workers have NO power at all.

Republicans love to talk about "union thugs," the reality is that the power balance is off by at least a 10-1 ratio in favor of management. We're ruled by "corporate thugs," not "union thugs."

So ... why are the Republicans introducing SB 5 v. 2 now? Sure, they have the votes to pass it, so they COULD do this. But the consequences would be enormous.

Another repeal campaign is virtually certain — and lopping two or three weeks off the referendum process as they've done isn't going to stop it. People are likely going to be MORE pissed off that they didn't listen when voters said by a 60-40 margin that they didn't want this legislation. Do they seriously think people would throw up their hands and not bother a second time around?

And it's awfully close to the 2014 elections to be doing this. Maybe they truly believe that somehow this is going to energize their base, even though they'd have to be delusional to think that. it's way more likely to energize the other side.

I think they're playing a dangerous game. We'll see how it shapes up in coming weeks. But "right to work" is something that no prosperous state — or state that wants to be prosperous — should even be thinking about.

So of course, the Ohio GOP is doing so.

Not Good News for Rob Portman

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/04/more-backlash-against-se...

Too bad he's not running next year. But I'm not one of those cynics running around going "People have short memories." People can be reminded — the purpose of campaign ads — and people clearly feel their representatives in Congress aren't listening when it comes to sane gun control laws, specifically universal background checks.

PPP polled five Senators who voted against background checks — something that might have been viewed as self-protection in gun-friendly states. PPP found it was a politically self-destructive move, even in Alaska.

But oh, poor Rob Portman. He has paid dearly for being an NRA tool:

-We saw serious improvement in Rob Portman's poll numbers in the second half of 2012 following his consideration as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, but he's taken a nose dive in 2013. Portman's approval has dropped a net 18 points over the last 6 months from +10 (35/25) in October to now -8 (26/34) in April.

36% of voters in the state say they're less likely to support Portman in a future election because of this vote to only 19% who consider it to be a reason to support him.

The NRA had one of the worst elections last November of any issue group, electing only a tiny percentage of the candidates it supported and defeating only a tiny percentage of those it opposed. This polling demonstrates even more that the NRA is a paper tiger, and that supporting its extremist agenda not only doesn't give an officeholder cover, it strips him (or her) of support.

It's another issue where the terrain has changed radically since having NRA support was a plus for Ted Strickland in 2006.

No One Squanders Money Quite Like a Republican

I read this this evening, and I'm steaming:

http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/news/state-regional/proposed-tax-c...

It's about our governor's proposed income tax cut in his current "budget," how teensy that cut will be for most of us under the changes the House made, and how they're all proposing to pay for it on wishes and dreams — money that doesn't exist.

This paragraph in the Dayton Daily News article linked above should be bold-faced and shouted everywhere:

The cuts would save Ohioans $1.5 billion in taxes over the next two years, and would be paid for with a combination of money left over in Ohio’s rainy day fund and projected future growth in state tax receipts.

In other words, the money we're saving for emergencies would be thrown out to give most Ohioans the equivalent of a cheap little toy and a handful of rich people a nice pocketful of money — and leave nothing for an emergency, or to restore the cuts in local government and school funding that are wreaking havoc on Ohio. And "projected future growth" might as well be "win the lottery" for all the solid economic planning it indicates.

Given that these are Republicans, they are relying on a theory that has been entirely discredited over the last several decades: that tax cuts equate to economic growth. That $51 most Ohioans will get isn't going to have an impact on anything, especially if, like me, they've seen their property taxes go up five times that amount thanks to Kasich's shameless gutting of public education.

How many times do these guys need to be told or shown that that is untrue? Or more likely, they just don't care. Maybe they known perfectly well this is nothing but siphoning money from Ohio's working people and inserting the business end of the hose into rich people's bank accounts.

Tax Evader/Cheat Elected to Head Ohio GOP

But we know that only counts when you're a Democrat, right?

So the Ohio Republican Party went ahead and elected Kasich crony Matt Borges as chair to replace acting chair Bob Bennett who stepped in when Kasich deposed Kevin DeWine, even though DeWine helped him get elected because .... oh heck! Let's just say the Ohio GOP is a cesspool of intrigue, backstabbing, and in-fighting.

I know. You're saying, "But haven't seen any headlines in the Cleveland Plain Dealer or Columbus Dispatch saying 'Republicans in Disarray.'"

You're right. Because our so-called "liberal media" only applies that narrative to Democrats. Just let one Democratic leader shake another's hand a few seconds too briefly and it becomes a major crisis. The GOP has a major crisis, and ... oh, it's nothing. It only counts when you're a Democrat.

The always-volatile Tea Party, which has GOP nuts in a vise down in the legislature fielded its own candidate, who was only able to garner seven votes from a GOP central committee packed with Kasich loyalists.

Now, if the Democrats has elected someone convicted of influence-peddling who owed hundreds of thousands in back taxes, it would be on the front page of every state newspaper tomorrow, with cluck-clucking editorials about what a liability this would be for the party going into next year's elections.

I'm betting you don't hear much from them about Borges' election. Owing hundreds f thousands of dollars — or a few hundred — only counts when you're a Democrat. Remember the stink Republicans made (lookin' at YOU, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel and Mike DeWine) about Sherrod Brown being a little late on a couple of thousand in taxes, a tiny fraction of the back taxes Borges is paying off?

Uh-huh. See what I mean?

Ed's In.

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Early this afternoon, Cuyahoga County Commissioner Ed FitzGerald made it official: he's going to take on Taxin' John Kasich for the governor's office.

He spoke to a packed ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland before heading off to similar stops in Columbus and CIncinnati, accompanied by his wife and four teenage children.

He was introduced by former longtime congressman Louis Stokes, nearly double his age. Stokes' lengthy introduction ran through all the points of Ed's career, getting that out of the way so Ed could focus on the issues.

Ed made it clear that if he wins the governor's race, the focus of that office will shift dramatically from attacks on working people and women and devious ways of shifting tax dollars to cronies to education and creating meaningful jobs in the state. He got his biggest ovation for promising to protect women's health-care choices.

With numerous union members in the house, he emphasized the wrong-headedness Kasich's beloved union-busting SB 5 and how Democrats successfully fought back against it. He blew up Kasich's bluster about his brilliant budgeting by pointing out — too seldom mentioned — that Kasich's last budget was the largest Ohio has ever seen and that he paid for it by robbing public schools and local governments.

He talked about Kasich's tax plan: to cut taxes for the wealthiest Ohioans while making the sales tax much broader and moving the burden to ordinary Ohioans.

Another Democratic Candidate for State House Steps Up

This one won't flip a seat, but it's nice to know we have a good candidate stepping up to run for minority leader Armond Budish's seat in Ohio's 8th house district. Budish is term limited and is said to be considering a run for Cuyahoga County executive "if" (cough cough) county exec Ed FitzGerald announces tomorrow he's running for governor.

Kent Smith, a Democratic activist from Euclid on Cuyahoga's northeast side, is stepping into the ring. He briefly considered a 2012 run, but the new maps didn't make that possible.

Kent is currently the Democratic city leader in Euclid and a member of the Euclid school board. Much of his work has been in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer.

He also co-authored a book with Cleveland-based artist Derek Hess called "Please God Save Us." Released in 2008, it ripped the entire GOP worldview to shreds in Kent's powerful prose and Derek's compelling drawings.

Still available and highly recommended: www.strhesspress.com

Kent posted on Facebook today,

Tonight I am happy to announce that I will be a candidate for the 8th House District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014. This will be a grassroots campaign and I will need everyone’s help. My campaign kickoff event will be Wednesday May 29th. Details forthcoming. Thank you for everyone’s support to help to make this next campaign possible. We Can Win!

His website is up now so you can check it out.

http://www.kentsmith.org/

A "Big Announcement" From Ed FitzGerald

This email arrived a little while ago from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald titled "Big Announcement."

Gosh. I wonder what it could be?

Anastasia,

As you know, I have been traveling to every corner of this state listening to hard-working people like you talk about what we need to do to make Ohio great again.

At the same time, I’ve been exploring a run for governor because the people I’ve met have said time and again that we need new leadership in Columbus.

We need a governor who will stand up for middle class families, for women’s rights, and for good paying jobs. Ohioans want an end to pay to play politics, rampant cronyism and wasteful spending of our tax dollars on corporate donors and political perks. As a former FBI agent I’ve seen first-hand how, with the right leadership, we can turn our communities around and reclaim our state.

So I’m asking you to join me next Wednesday, April 24 when I will make an announcement about Ohio’s future at events in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Please click here to find out more information.

In Cleveland, doors will open at 11:45 a.m. and I’ll be speaking at 12:30 at the Cleveland Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, 1100 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland, 44115.

Then we will travel to Columbus to speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Columbus State Community College Conference Center, 315 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, 43215.

And I will finish the day in Cincinnati, speaking at 7 p.m. at the Laborers’ Local Union Hall, 3457 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, 45207.

I would love to see you at any of these three stops.

Please join me in Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati and find out more information by clicking here.

We are better together.

Sincerely,

Ed Fitzgerald

House Passes Budget Bill, Sends it On to the Senate

Late this evening, the state House passed the budget bill by a vote of 61-35. You can tell we're a looooong way from the days when Governor Strickland worked with the legislature to pass a budget everyone could live with.

There's good news and bad news — lots of bad news actually. But let's just focusing on this ragingly misogynistic legislature's attacks on women.

They removed the bizarre provision — unrelated to any budgetary matter — that would have required that no sex education other than abstinence-only take place in Ohio's schools and that no "gateway" sexual activity be condoned, with a possible $5,000 fine.

They did however retain the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which provides basic healthcare to many uninsured women — the same pool of people who would have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid they also killed.

Coming on the heels of the news that infant mortality rates in some areas of Cleveland are higher than in Haiti or Somalia, this is immoral, disgusting and cruel. Among other thing, Planned Parenthood provides prenatal care to women who could not otherwise afford it, helping to ensure that they have health babies.

But we all know by now this isn't about babies - born or unborn. If the Tea Party ordered them to, some of these clowns would grill babies on the Statehouse lawn. It really is about their contempt for women.

The budget now moves to the Senate for debate. Unless the Senate agrees to everything in the House bill — unlikely — it then goes to conference to reconcile the differences before passing and going to the governor's desk.

I'm getting a lot of emails urging people to call the governor. It may be a little early for that because anything could happen with the buffoons and extremists we have in the legislature. Keep a close watch.

It's On!

EdFitzGeraldDavidPepper175
*Ed FitzGerald & David Pepper at Cuyahoga County Democratic Dinner Sunday Night*

Since officially announcing his run Monday for attorney general, David Pepper has really been ramping up his campaign.

It was a campaign he never entirely backed off from after losing his auditor's race in 2010. He continued to send out emails, update his Facebook page, stay in touch with supporters, attend events. He told me two years ago at the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party dinner — something he certainly did not have to drive all the way from Cincinnati to attend — that he wanted to be on the 2014, although at that point he wasn't sure for which race. He's laid a lot of groundwork.

You can go here to read about how to get involved in his campaign and find links to articles about his announcement:
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/2014--Getting-started---.html?soid=11...

Go like his new campaign Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Pepper/594890560530334

Rumor is that Ed FitzGerald will be announcing next week.

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and do some work.

Next Time A GOPer Wails About the Rights of the "Unborn," Laugh in Their Face.

According to a Facebook message from the Ohio Democratic Party earlier today, "Under a Republicans budget amendment introduced today in Ohio House, discussion in a school of comprehensive sex education would be punishable by a fine of $5,000."

Add to this their repeated efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and to jump through legal hoops (Mike DeWine!) to deny contraception to as many women as possible, and it's pretty clear that ending abortion not only isn't on the top of their list, it's not on the list at all.

As along as women have unplanned pregnancies, there will be abortions, somehow someway. The GOP goal is clearly not to stop them, but to make them as difficult, stressful, dangerous and humiliating as possible. Because that bad girl should have put an aspirin between her knees!

The last year has really exposed the Republican hypocrisy on this issue, which is probably greater than on any other issue. If they really truly hated abortion and wanted to "protect" the "rights" of the "unborn," they would be volunteering to go into classrooms themselves and teach comprehensive sex education — right after they finished their shift handing out free contraceptives.

Here's more from Innovation Ohio:
http://innovationohio.org/2013/04/16/ohio-republicans-propose-restrictio...

Pepper's Announced. Who's Next?

DSC_0180
*Why is Jeff Turner (center) holding that sign if his wife isn't SURE she wants to run?*

So who will our next official candidate be?

NIna Turner, why don't you stop pretending you're not really sure if you want to run for secretary of state? I mean, last night your husband said to me that of course you want to run for a higher office and "I don't really see anything else beside secretary of state, do you?" Oh, and he was holding one of your campaign signs, and I saw that young man who follows you around and passes them out for you was there too.

And your speech at the Cuyahoga Party Democratic dinner last night? It sounded like you're just about ready to chew Jon Husted's arm off to get the job — and good for you, because he's not good for US.

And Connie Pillich? Showing up at the dinner with your financial director in tow? And when someone called her by the wrong name, she goes "No, that's our scheduler — she's not here tonight." Financial director, scheduler already on board. Not a candidate? Not likely.

Today I hear from a Facebook friend that you called her today looking for donations. I guess that is as good as an announcement. She said you told her you need to raise $4 million which is outrageous, but understandable considering who your opponent in the treasurers race is. Yours is the noblest race of all, since you're running to take out Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, a wholly owned subsidiary of big special interests.

David Pepper Is the First Official Statewide Democratic Candidate for 2014

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David Pepper announced today, to the great surprise of exactly no one, that he will be a candidate for attorney general in 2014. He'll be aiming to take out Mike DeWine, who has wasted tax dollars pursuing his personal religious beliefs and groveling to the Tea Party.

In his statement released today, Pepper said, “I have been traveling the state for years now listening to working and middle class Ohioans and it is clear they want a change, a new direction at all levels. I’m running for Ohio Attorney General because Ohioans deserve better."

Yeah, no kidding.

Unlike DeWine, we can count on Pepper not to waste his time trying to overturn Obamacare or fighting to allow secular employers to decide whether women's health care plans should cover contraception. He's unlikely to connive with Jon Husted to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to shut down early voting.

Pepper said, “With the right person in the job, the Ohio Attorney General can make a tremendous positive impact on the daily lives of all Ohioans. As the top law enforcement officer in the state, I will partner with our local police and prosecutors to keep our communities safe, fight for consumers against economic predators, and be an aggressive watchdog against corruption on behalf of taxpayers."

The "keep our communities safe" stuff is boilerplate AG campaign rhetoric. AG candidates always say things like they'll go after predators who prey on children. It's uncontroversial.

Want to Go Lobby in Columbus for Women's Rights?

As I mentioned a few days ago, the War on Women is back in the shooting phase again in our legislature. The neanderthal women-haters in our legislature are once again trying to defund Planned Parenthood, at the same time they're rejecting Governor Kasich's plan to expand Medicaid to serve more working poor — primarily women.

Ignore their crocodile tears about poor, precious little unborn babies. They don't give a rat's ass. Among other things, Planned Parenthood has programs that help poor pregnant women stay healthy and give birth to healthy babies. Never mind that the infant mortality rates in some poor parts of Ohio are shamefully third-world-like, and that Planned Parenthood is addressing that problem.

Instead of biting your nails to the quick and screaming at your TV, why don't you come down to Columbus this coming Wednesday if you can, and join Planned Parenthood in visiting legislators to talk to them about what Planned Parenthood really does to improve women's and babies' health. The group will meet at the downtown Columbus Y, and then fan out to various legislators' offices, where they've got meetings set up from 9 am to 4 pm.

You need to register by Monday so they have some idea of how many people they will have. Women and men are both welcome. You don't have to be part of a group or be anyone special. All voices are needed to push back.

Go here to register:

http://www.ppaction.org/site/R?i=yxxhU9FDuhWJ6GTqz5e84A

Ohio GOP Bigwig Has MAJOR Taxes Outstanding ... But IOKIYAR.

Anyone remember the ads Mike DeWine ran against Sherrod Brown in 2006, claiming Brown owed a couple of thousand dollars in outstanding property taxes?

When it was revealed that this had been over a decade ago, and that the outstanding taxes had also been paid over a decade ago and that the confusion resulted from a bill being sent to a wrong address, some Ohio TV stations pulled the ads.

Not so in 2012 when Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel tried a similar tactic, claiming that Brown "hadn't paid his taxes." In fact, he been a few months late in paying a couple of property tax bills — each for less than $1,000. I'm sure many of our readers have been in the same position.

However, I doubt many ODB readers have been in THIS position:

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/go...

Ohio GOP Executive Director Matt Borges, who is in line to become state party chairman later this month, owes $493,624 in federal taxes and $98,397 in state taxes, according to public documents filed in Franklin County.

Borges said he is on a payment plan for some of the back taxes but is disputing the bulk of the liens.

What a fitting successor for Bob "The Thug" Bennett.

Yeah, well, Sherrod paid up as soon as he discovered the outstanding amounts, and the Ohio Republican Party still thought it was worth running ads about.

But when it comes to Republicans, it's all about excuses. And this is the party that loves to talk about "personal responsibility" — for other people.

So i don't really care whether Borges — who pled guilty to an ethics violation in 2004 resulting from a state campaign he was involved in (ironically, for a state treasurer!) — owes that much or not. These sanctimonious Republicans have no shame when it comes to blowing minor Democratic issues out of proportion.

Anthony Is Running Again!

I took over running this blog about a year and a half ago when Anthony Fossaceca, who took it over from Jeff Coryell in late 2008, became too consumed with his campaign for the state legislature in Ohio's 6th district (southeast suburbs of Cleveland).

Alas, despite nearly two years of knocking on doors, going to meetings, marching in parades, shaking hands and so forth, he lost in this Republican leaning district.

I just learned tonight he's going to give it another go.

http://www.callmefoss.com/

You will hear from some people about an unsuccessful candidate, "Why is that loser running again?" But in reality, "that loser" is often successful on the second or third try.

First of all, candidates learn from their mistakes. They can go back and analyze why a certain message was or wasn't working, whether some activities were lower yield than expected but other activities were more productive and need to be amped up.

And second, a candidate builds name recognition by running multiple races. A good example of this is our friend, Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill. He ran for that job twice and lost. The third time was the charm. Sure, he has a nice Irish name, which helps. But he had also travelled across the state repeatedly, made a lot of friends, got himself known, got his name, his record, and his ideas out there. (Also he traded his ungrammatical slogan "No money from nobody" for the more correct "Money and judges don't mix." Same idea, better put. Maybe that relates back to my first point.)

And the War on Women Goes On and On and On and ...

So our legislature is tearing up Kasich's budget.

That's good — and that's bad.

What Kasich proposed was unbalanced and unfair, benefiting the rich, putting an anchor on small businesses and ordinary people, continuing to underfund public education etc etc.

Some of it was so unpopular even the rightwing doofuses in the lege couldn't stomach it. It was hard to see how they were going to stick their necks out for a radical expansion of the sales tax, just so Kasich's rich friends could stuff thousands in their pockets in an income tax cut that would hardly benefit anyone with an income of less than six figures. Even the Chamber of Commerce opposed it, and the Chamber pretty much owns the GOP.

Of course, the one good thing Kasich proposed — expanding Medicaid — they axed. They don't want more poor and poor working people to be able to access health care.

Especially women. Die, women, die!

Because they managed to sneak in — once again — a provision to defund Planned Parenthood. And Planned Parenthood is the healthcare provider of last resort for many uninsured women, especially in rural and inner city areas. These are the same women they want to deprive of Medicaid.

Finance committee hearings are tomorrow and Friday. If you're in Columbus or can get there, go!

https://www.facebook.com/events/106182056248060/

Oh sure, they posture about abortion. But that legal procedure is not the vast majority of what Planned Parenthood does. It provides mammograms, pap tests, affordable contraceptives, and many other basic services for women. One Planned Parenthood clinic prevents more abortions — by helping prevent unplanned pregnancies — than every Republican legislator combined.

Our First Official State Candidate for 2014

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No surprise here:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 (TONIGHT)
Coalition of Democratic and Progressive Organizations Central Ohio Meeting
State Senator Nina Turner will formally announce her candidacy for Secretary of State at this meeting
7:00 PM
Ohio Democratic Party, 340 E. Fulton Street, Columbus, OH 43215

Can she become the first African-American Democrat elected statewide? I think she can. I don't want to hear all the doomsters deciding far in advance that she can't.

Is she going to scare some Republicans because she's very dark-skinned and has a big mouth? Whatever. Those people are impervious; they aren't listening.

Nina's message is one that should resonate with anyone who IS listening: making elections fair, transparent, straightforward and equal. Any right-winger who wants to raise the specter of "voter fraud," which so far has proved virtually nonexistent, should be challenged to provide evidence, and I don't think Nina is afraid to do this. That canard needs to be blown up and exposed as a flimsy pretext for voter suppression.

In the photo above, she's doing an interview on the Ed Schultz Show as part of her sleepover in front of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to draw people's attention to the fact that early voting starts the next day. Nina Turner knows how to attract attention, and hopefully she'll be effective at attracting attention to the ways in which Republicans in Ohio have tried to silence the voice of the voters.

Hilariously Hypocritical Press Release of the Day, Week, Month and Maybe Even Year

Ladies and gentleman — your state treasurer.

The same one who fought tooth and nail against public records requests for his office's (and his own) activities.

The same one who published a list of the salaries of public employees on his website — much of it wrong — but left off top lieutenants in his own office.

Yes — the pants-on-fire empty suit who spent two years campaigning for U.S. Senate instead of doing his job.

THAT one.

Obviously, he's burnishing his tattered reputation for his next run.

Read it and laugh.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2013

Representative Roegner, Treasurer Mandel Announce Legislation to Increase Transparency of Government Bond Issues

COLUMBUS - At a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse today, State Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced legislation that will increase transparency for taxpayers as local and state issues are placed on the ballot. Rep. Roegner will introduce the bill tomorrow and it is co-sponsored by Reps. J. Adams, Blair, Duffey, Hood, Lynch, Terhar, Thompson and Wachtmann.

The bill, a collaboration between Treasurer Mandel and Rep. Roegner, would require that political subdivisions disclose information such as their total outstanding debt and debt service, the per capita obligation of that debt, and the total estimated amount of debt and per capita obligation if the issue were to pass. This information would be required on enabling legislation, ballot language, and all notices of the bond issuance.

Ohio state senator Bill Seitz thinks renewable energy is like Stalin

Another of Ohio's backward-thinking politicians has made a national laughingstock of himself. State Senator Bill Seitz said in a Wall Street Journal article that he now opposes Ohio's renewable energy standards, which he supported in 2008, because the remind him o Stalin's five-year plan.

http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ohio-senator-opposes-renewable-...

Does anyone still wonder if Republicans are racing rapidly to the far far far far extreme right? Any vestiges of rationality they may once have had are being stomped out.

The press release at the link above, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, reminds us

Seitz served on the board of directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is urging states to water down or repeal their renewable energy standards. ALEC’s energy policies have been formulated in consultation with coal companies and oil refiners, such as Peabody Energy and Koch Industries.

But of course. Seitz is willing to foreclose on Ohio's future and put us behind economically by opposing something that's inevitable, and positive for both the environment and the economy. He's willing to let other states and other countries race past us while Ohio sits on the sidelines.

And since it would not, shall we say, persuasive to admit that he's carrying water for fossil fuel companies, he offers a completely bullshit non-argument. He sits there and basically yells "Commie! Commie! Commie!" like some little kids on the playground calling another kid names.

He's a perfect example of what's wrong with governance today — bought-and-paid-for politicians (especially on right) resorting to name-calling rather than providing any sort of credible rationale for their position. I mean, you could just as easily compare JobsOhio to Stalin's 5-year plan (only JobsOhio is less productive!)

Once a Special Interest Puppet, Always a Special Interest Puppet

Well, we have been blessedly light on news about state treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel this year. He's undoubtedly been licking his wounds over the fact that an epic deluge of money and lies was not enough to steal Sherrod Brown's U.S. Senate seat, while letting the teabaggers know that he's willing to be their puppet too and position himself waaaaaaaay to the right of our far right governor.

That and probably planning his next political move. You didn't think defeat was going to put a damper on his outsized, unearned ambition, did you?

Josh Mandel is one of the first politicians in the U.S. to get money from Citizens United for the 2014 election cycle -- and it was quite a bundle for both parties.

http://dispatchpolitics.dispatch.com/content/blogs/the-daily-briefing/20...

The PAC, which lent its name to one of the most damaging things to occur to elections in the U.S. in recent years — the U.S. Supreme Court decision that led to floods of secretive corporate and billionaire money attempting to game elections in their special-interest favor — gave a full 10% of the money it gave to 2014 candidates around the country in the first quarter to Mandel.

This is clearly about more than helping Mandel keep his job as state treasurer, a job he's made it clear he could not be less interested in. But it's his stepping stone, and if he's hoping to move to higher office, he has to keep it.

Poor Josh. Unless he wants to try something really nervy, like primarying Governor Kasich or moving to another state, he's got to cool his heels until 2018, when Sherrod Brown is again up for reelection or when Ohio will not have an incumbent Republican governor (Kasich's two terms will be up if he is reelected; if not, Ohio will have a Democratic governor Mandel could challenge — if he can avoid having Jon Husted's knife plunged in his back).

But hey — maybe he can be the first person in history to jump from a state treasurer's office to the White House!

Our Governor Is an Idiot. Still.

Our governor, Taxin' John Kasich, appeared at the City Club of Cleveland today. He was asked whether he agrees with attorney general Mike DeWine's little crusade to allow private employers — not religious institutions — deprive women of access to reproductive health care in insurance provided through the employer.

Thanks to the Ohio Democratic Party for this transcript of the exchange. Ohio needs a new governor desperately.

Questioner: Last week AG Mike DeWine sent a letter to the Federal government asking for an exemption to the ACA for employers to limit health care coverage for women due to the employers personal beliefs. This would jeopardize essential health care services such as cancer screenings, vaccines and contraception for women. Do you agree with the requested exemption?

Gov. Kasich: I’ve never heard of this before so ... I don’t... I don’t know... Do you know what it is John?

Off screen: Yeah I do. The requirement under the ACA to cover those services.

Gov. Kasich: Well you know ma’am. I don’t know what this I don’t want to get into answering something until I have full knowledge of what’s being talked about, so ... One thing I have learned in this job is when I make a comment .... See ... It used to be an entire speech they criticized. Then it got down to a story. Then it got down to a Paragraph. Then it got down to a sentence. Now it is a word. So can I get back to you on that?

Questioner: I would appreciate it, but I think your spokesman commented on it so you could ask Rob Nichols.

John Kasich: OK. Well you know he not here right now and you know what I don’t always agree with my spokes people too so. In fact I find out I seldom agree them. No. No Scott Milburn is here I have to be kind to him.

What an embarrassment to the state this man is. There's video if you can stand listening to the man babble.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrQckVVFJ1A

Wall Street Journal — and Kasich — Full of It on State Income Tax Cuts.

Rightwingers who espouse "coddle the rich" capitalism love the idea of state income tax cuts — just like the ones our governor is proposing.

But of course, you can't come out and say that your "philosophy," to use Governor Kasich's word for what's behind what he does, favors stuffing money in the pockets of those the best off and making those struggling to get by pay the freight for essential services.

So you fall back on that old claim that it creates jobs. Old and DEBUNKED claim.

In a Wall Street Journal editorial that Kasich is probably sending out (I haven't checked by Kasich folder yet), author Arthur Laffer (yeah, him) and Stephen Moore trot out the hackneyed idea that such cuts are bait for companies and individuals to move to states that have low or no state income taxes.

Only they don't.

http://www.offthechartsblog.org/economics-of-risky-tax-proposals-dont-ad...

Here's some analysis that refutes the governor's "philosophy." The author of this analysis says,

Taxes aren’t a primary reason why people move. People mostly move from one state to another due to job prospects, housing costs, family considerations, and climate, our analysis found. Studies that take into account the wide range of other factors show consistently that taxes have little if any impact on migration.

I'm willing to bet the sky-high property taxes in many cities, including mine (Cleveland Heights), prevent people from moving there. And the reason many cities have such high property taxes is because the state of Ohio has STILL not come up with an equitable school funding formula — just cuts in order to direct more money into the pockets of Kasich's pals who run for-profit charter schools.

Maybe the Great Philosopher of Westerville should think about for a bit.

Governor Confused. What Else Is New?

Thanks to Innovation Ohio for calling this to our attention:

http://innovationohio.org/2013/03/28/baffling-new-video-shows-kasich-con...

"Baffling new video shows Kasich confused about impact of his budget."

Not that this is any big surprise. As Kasich said last month when his allocation of education money was questioning, he's all about "philosophy," not numbers. And that "philosophy" leads to some thinking that looks fuzzy and irrational in the REAL world — you know, the one most of us live in.

Here's what Kasich said:

Interviewer: When you talk about cutting the state income tax, but then if there are cuts that go down to the local level and local communities have to start raising their taxes, isn’t that a problem?

Kasich: I don’t know what you mean by that. What does that mean?

Anyone want to step up and explain to the governor what this means? I'm guessing most grade school children could explain to him what it means?

It means people like me getting maybe $100 back in state income tax cuts and paying $250 more — or maybe $500 more if another levy passes this year — in property taxes. It mean local fee hikes. It means citizens having to pay for services that their municipalities previously provided for free but can't anymore because Kasich snatched away their money.

Personally, I think Kasich knows exactly what it means. But it's part of his "philosophy" — the part that says his wealthy friends get thousands more stuffed in their pockets, while beleaguered local governments charge ordinary people more and more and more just to maintain a decent quality of life.

The Arc Is Bending Toward Marriage Equality

There's a saying — often attributed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., although it was around well before his day — that "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."

The whining weenies on the right complaining that Senator Rob Portman is allowing himself to be led off the proper path by supporting his gay son look increasingly like a shrinking band of irrelevant tantrum-throwers. The arc is bending and they're getting left behind. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is shrinking in your rearview mirror.

Portman may be the first prominent Republican to voice his support for marriage equality. But many of the others seem to be a bit less, shall we say?, vehement than they have been in the past. As Republicans ponder how to keep their party viable in the face of increasingly unfriendly demographics, they have to face the fact that younger people don't consider marriage equality a big deal.

And here in Ohio there's this:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/03/24/poll-ohio-marri...

The far-right Columbus Dispatch polled the issue and ran the results this weekend. It found

Ohioans’ sentiments have shifted dramatically since voters overwhelmingly supported the 2004 ban on same-sex marriage.

It found 54% of Ohioans favoring marriage equality and 40% opposed — less than a decade after 62% voted in favor of the "Defense of Marriage" constitutional amendment in 2004.

While speakers from Equality Ohio and the Human Rights Campaign talked last week at a Cleveland Stonewall Democrats meeting about how your percentage of supporters needed to be at least 57% to have a good chance of passing marriage equality, I'm hearing rumors that these groups are becoming more enthusiastic about revving up the campaign in Ohio. That's good news indeed.

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