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: http://www.ohio.com/news/local/renacci-mandel-could-be-called-to-testify...

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 www.plunderbund.com 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:


Or most hilariously, this:


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.

Sherrod Brown Endorses Jill Miller Zimon in state house District 12


This is pretty big.

Senator Sherrod Brown has endorsed Jill MIller Zimon for state rep. in District 12 in Cleveland's southeast suburbs.

He said,

Jill is a strong leader with the intelligence and experience to make a difference in Columbus. She is one of the hardest working people I know and will be a strong advocate for women, children, workers, and seniors. She is the fighter that the people of House District 12 need and deserve.

No kidding.

Jill is running in the primary against an incumbent Democrat John Barnes, who is pretty much invisible, which is bad enough. Worse, he has sided with Republicans on key issues. With Republicans holding a commanding and unrepresentative 2/3rds majority in the legislature, the last thing we need is to fill our handful of seats with people who don't speak out strongly for OUR values.

Jill's racked up a whole list of endorsements from Democratic and progressive constituencies and organizations including Planned Parenthood, the AFL-CIO, the Stonewall Democrats of Greater Cleveland, Emily's List, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Cleveland Teachers Union, the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus, and many others which you can read here:


Meanwhile, Barnes got the endorsement from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which seems to feel that despite a partisan lean in the legislature so far to the right it's probably to the right of 95% of Ohioans, what we really need is more Democrats who act like Republicans, in effect making their unbalanced majority even larger. But the PD's endorsements this primary cycle have been even more erratic and bizarre than usual, so it's hard to take them seriously.

Read This And Bug Off, Doomsters



What is wrong with some of you people? I saw more of you online today, shredding every aspect of what our candidates and our party are doing here in Ohio, with the conclusion of course that Kasich has the election in the bag.

Hell NO he does not have the election in the bag.


This week the latest PPP poll showed Ed FitzGerald tied with Kasich.

A few weeks ago, the latest Quinnipiac poll showed Ed rapidly closing a gap they’d found last year.

In other words, this race is winnable — if you doomsters don’t lose it for us.

I hate to sound like a broken record but just quit with the fault-finding and the yearning for some flawless white-knight candidate to come riding up and save us all.

No, we don’t have a problem with our “message” and if you think we do, clean out your ears and pay attention.

Ed has honed in on what is a critical issue for MOST Ohioans: that our current officeholders in Columbus are only interested in policies that benefit the very wealthy and not in those that benefit ordinary working people. No amount of warm and fuzzy “my dad was a postman” ads are going to erase Kasich’s groveling to Las Vegas-based casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his offering Adelson that state of Ohio on a silver platter.


And we have to — for women, for working people, for teachers, for police and firefighters, to overburdened taxpayers being asked to shoulder the load so the rich don’t have to.

While you doomsters are moping, others are out knocking on doors. While you doomsters are posting on Facebook that Democrats never turn out in off years so why get our hopes up, others are out registering voters. While you doomsters are laughably insisting Kasich will skate to reelection, others are talking to their friends about what a disaster that would be.

And once again, I will remind you that Ed FitzGerald will not get big bucks from the likes of Adelson and the Koch Brothers because he's not interested in serving their interests. He has promised to serve ours. So we need to support him.


P.S. PPP also found Nina Turner leading Husted by a point, showing this one is also tied and winnable. Quit yer bellyachin'.

The Republican War on Voting Rights, Edition 44,581,837,666 (Approximately)

More and more, Ohio Republicans are revealing the ugly face behind their attempts to change the rules on voting in Ohio.

Since the issues that led to the disastrous 2004 election in Ohio were fixed, there haven’t been any significant voting issues requiring a flood of new legislation. The fixes were primarily executed by secretary of state Jennifer Brunner, who took office in January 2007, without benefit of any new legislation.

Recently however, the Republicans have passed legislation that cuts earlier voting opportunities, eliminates the “golden week” where voters could register and vote at the same time, increases the potential for errors to disqualify ballots, and plays games with absentee ballot mailings. There are rumblings that tampering with the required I.D. to vote is next.

They’ve virtually given up trying to make a case that any of these measures are intended to prevent “voter fraud,” which is virtually nonexistent anyway. What little there is isn’t addressed by these measures. They seems designed primarily to cause voters confusion and put obstacles in the path of voters — especially certain types of voters such as the poor, seniors, urban minorities, working women, and young people. People, in other words, who tend not to vote Republican.

A drive has been launched to put a “Voter Bill of Rights” into the state constitution by ballot initiative. The language has been approved and circulators are working on collecting the required 385,000 signatures right now. Among other things, it would make registration easier including an online option, maintain the current voter I.D. requirements which have proved more than adequate, and guaranteed the current in-person early voting period including Saturdays and Sundays.

Kicking Women Out of the Big Tent: Why Kenny Yuko MUST Win


When state Senator Nina Turner announced she was stepping aside to run for secretary of state instead of reelection to the Senate, that opened the door for other prominent local political figures to step up to run for her seat in the Democratic primary. (The district is heavily Democratic and whoever wins the primary May 6 will most likely win the seat).

And two did: former state reps. Kenny Yuko and Ed Jerse. Both had some serious credentials as far as doing productive things for job and economic growth. Yuko is a former labor union organizer. Until he stepped down to run, Jerse was in county executive Ed FitzGerald’s cabinet working on regionalism issues.


While Kenny was probably better known and better liked in Democratic and community circles, both men appeared qualified — and then a couple of weeks ago, Jerse got the kiss of death. He was endorsed by Ohio Right of Life.

When he appeared this past Monday at the endorsement meeting of the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, obviously he was going to be asked about this. Come on — Lana Moresky was sitting on the aisle seat in the front row. He couldn’t escape.

**Lana at We Won't Go Back rally in Columbus last October, displaying photo of Governor Kasich and six other middle-aged white men signing away women's rights.**

The Anniversary of SB 5 Becoming Law: Whose Interests Is Kasich Serving?


Look at this. This is Governor Kasich signing SB 5 into law. (Notice once again he's surrounded entirely by old white guys). Now, we know that didn't last long, but if Ohioans know what is good for them, its memory will linger.

Now that Kasich is in campaign mode, of course, he's trying to erase the entire thing. "It's in the past," "it's over," words to that effect. And as his Democratic opponent Ed FitzGerald pointed out at a press conference in Cleveland today, he won't respond to questions about whether he supports right to work (he does) by saying things like "I'm not thinking about the future." He's a "right now" kind of guy.

So what is he up to "right now," like, say, this weekend?

Kasich was one of a small select cadre of potential Republican presidential candidates who was invited out to Las Vegas by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson so he could decide if any of them were worth purchasing ... I mean supporting.

Kasich apparently did some world-class groveling, telling Adelson how welcome his presence in Ohio would be.

Well, maybe to Kasich, but his involvement in Ohio politics would be nothing but bad news for Ohioans. And Kasich's eagerness to suck up to him should tell Ohioans everything they need to know about whose interests Kasich really has at heart.

One of Ed FitzGerald's major campaign themes is that Kasich is interested only in serving a handful of his wealthy friends, not the vast swath of Ohioans just trying to make ends meet, pay their bills, and raise their families. He couldn't be more on target. This is precisely what it boils down to.

Jon Husted's Continued Facebook Fail

*Jon Husted — riding to your rescue to protect you from evil health care*

So our secretary of voter suppress … I mean STATE … Jon Husted is continuing to flush his money “boosting” his ads on Facebook. And he’s still targeting all the wrong people, such as me — and a bunch of other people.

His latest ad weirdly tells us that he wants to “protect families against Obamacare.”

Outside of the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with the office he’s trying to retain — he’s clearly pandering to racist, Obama-hating teabaggers — the concept of “protecting” people from being able to see a doctor without going bankrupt is just bizarre.

And his message isn’t going over well with most of the people responding. Here are some of the messages they are leaving:

“have an alternate career choice.....you are going to need one.”

“Lets talk about womens rights and voting rights you are out and Nina Turner is in.”

“Late to the dance? Kasich/Husted? Now that Ohio's expanded Medicaid with the governor's blessing they're scrambling to oppose national healthcare? Na, I think late to the dance.”

“This is all pure crap! Stop spreading lies to make people afraid so that you can further your right wing agenda!!!!!”

“Mr. Husted - Please explain the details of your alternate program.”

“Yeah, protect Ohio families by taking access to insurance away from them, reinstitute caps and kick people off insurance just when they need it most. Where are YOUR solutions to these problems?....I'm waiting.....................still waiting.....................”

“Mr. Husted, You need to go to confession, get out of politics, and hope God forgives you for your transgressions. You are a phoney.”

“Why don't you concentrate on what you do best in your job--preventing Ohio citizens from voting.”

“Please get off my newsfeed with your negative propaganda and lies!”

Who thinks Jon Husted needs to rethink how he spends his money?

Who thinks we need Nina Turner running the secretary of state's office?

Can I see a show of hands? Or is everyone over on Jon Husted's Facebook page taunting him?


Liar, Liar, DeWine's Pants Are on Fire

In the last two or three years, the anti-choice movement’s crocodile tears about “unborn” or “preborn” “babies” have been thoroughly exposed as cynical, manipulative and misogynistic.

How? That’s when they began the assault on women’s access to contraception, the single most effective way to decrease abortions and assure that every child is born into a loving home with a family ready, willing, and able to care for it.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case of Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, deciding whether a private corporation not affiliated in any way with a religious organization can call on its “religious beliefs” to be excused from the mandate to provide contraception in its health insurance plans. And DeWine has spent your money and mine and all the taxpayers of Ohio’s arguing that they should be allowed to do so.


Of course, DeWine would undoubtedly cite Catholic dogma to justify why what he is doing is right, which is a key reason it’s wrong. But he’s full of it anyway. In a church where something like 98% of sexually active Catholics use contraception, most of his fellow churchgoers have already made the decision: they get that using birth control, which prevents unplanned and often unwanted pregnancies, is better than getting an abortion. They don’t buy that “sex is strictly for procreation” crap that some Republican, including apparently DeWine, are trying to peddle.

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