Ed FitzGerald Attacks Horrible Budget Bill

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

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

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

Ed said,

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

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

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

But there's a sales tax increase.

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

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

Gabby Giffords in Cincinnati on July 4

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

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

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

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

The Hamilton County Democratic Party sent out an email saying,

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

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

New Mexico Governor Martinez to Visit Ohio Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hmmmm ... what about this, Matt?

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

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

Or this:

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

Call the Governor.

614-728-7576.

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

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

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

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

So call.

"A Festering Turd"

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

If anything, his description was a little too kind.

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

Here's the Columbus Dispatch — the Dispatch!

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

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

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

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

Cinci Inquirer Slams "Budget" Bill

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

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

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

The paper says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I support traditional marriage.

Thanks for that pearl of wisdom, deep thinker.

Can You Come to Columbus Tomorrow?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOMA overturned by U.S. Supreme Court

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

A tiny little glimmer of light in the darkness.

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

Congress: Where justice goes to die

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

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

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

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

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

Join Senator Nina Turner for a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey Josh, how about your backyard in Beachwood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kasich Wants to Bribe Voters to Re-Elect Him

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2013/06/19/Kasich-aims-to-cut-taxes-...

According to the Toledo Blade,

Lawmakers have some additional funds to play with as they enter the home-stretch of finalizing a state budget for the next two years.

“We want them to go into tax cuts,” Gov. John Kasich said. “I just don’t want to go back to the old days of taxing and spending.”

By the way, those "good old days"? That would be right now. The proposed budget, currently being batted around the legislature, tops $60 billion (the Blade says $61.7 billion).

Wild-spending Kasich's last budget was $55.8 billion, according to SunshineRview.org.

http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Ohio_state_budget

This so-called "surplus" is all sleight of hand, of course. Kasich has "balanced" his budget by robbing local governments and schools of money, necessitating levies. Those are tax increases due to Kasich's financial chicanery, no matter what he wants to call them. And I doubt he's going to give me a cut big enough to over the nearly $250 my property taxes increased thanks to his "budgeting." That's an enormous Kasich tax increase. That $25 or $30 I'd probably get back sure isn't going to buy MY vote.

And I REALLY pity the homeowners of Cleveland who were sold a bill of goods to pass a 15 mill levy with a song-and-dance about yet another "transformation plan." What was hidden from the voters was the fact that this new money basically filled the hole left by Kasich's cuts in the last budget.

In fact, "returning" this money to taxpayers is probably the most reckless form of spending Kasich could do (and make no mistake — it IS "spending"). The best form of "spending" would be to invest in Ohi's future by restoring the money that has been cut from public education since Kasich took office.

Josh Mandel, Dutiful Puppet for Big Fossil Fuel, Speaks!

And isn't this special:

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

Mandel speaks to his masters, addressing the Stark County Oil and Gas Partnership.

Please know that as treasurer of the state, as the CFO of the state, I’m doing everything I can to create a better environment, a strong environment, for oil and gas exploration, and in my mind that means getting government out of the way.

In other words, screw the environment, screw the citizens of the state and let Joshie's corporate puppet master stomp all over us.

According to the Canton Repository, Mandel spewed lies like, well, like Josh Mandel! Said the paper,

Drilling will create jobs in some of the poorest parts of the state, provide money for education and fire and police protection, ensure sound state finances and improve national security by reducing dependence on foreign energy, he said.

Of course, that's mostly hooey from beginning to end.

Mandel also said,

I personally believe this could be one of the biggest upside potentials for the state of Ohio, not just in decades, but in generations, if we approach it in a responsible way that protects the air we breath, the water we drink and the environment for our kids and grand kids.

Apparently all this responsibility will come from the good hearts of corporations who ONLY interest is maximizing profit, since Mandel wants to eliminate regulation of the industry.

Ohio Agency Up for Big National Award!

Don't get too excited. Unfortunately it's Investigative Reporters and Editors' "Golden Padlock" award "honoring a U.S. government agency for its unrelenting commitment to undermining the public's right to know."

Among the five finalists: RobsOhio!

http://www.ire.org/blog/transparency-watch/2013/06/17/finalists-announce...

IRE says,

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the state legislature are nominated for creating a non-profit economic development entity exempt from public records disclosure laws, despite its financing by state grants and bond sales backed by $100 million in profits from the state liquor store monopoly. JobsOhio was spun off from the state's Development Services Agency and staffed by former agency employees at much larger salaries. The governor and legislature designated JobsOhio as a private company exempt from state audits and financial disclosures required for state agencies, making it impossible for the state auditor, news media or citizens to monitor its finances, business investments or potential conflicts interest.

The winner will be announced at the group's national conference in San Antonio Friday. We will be waiting with bated breath to see if our governor's little scheme to steal tax money for his cronies and donors and arrange to have the books slammed shut just as the money starts to flow will beat out the other worthy contenders.

Well this is odd...

Don't really know what to write about this - - check it out...

Packed Event for Connie Pillich in Cleveland Tonight

A big crowd of local Democrats, Democratic officeholders and candidates congregated on the patio on Maxi's in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood this evening to support Connie Pillich, Democratic candidate for state treasurer. The weather was perfect, the food was plentiful and excellent, and Connie made it clear why she's the perfect choice to be our next state treasurer.

Photos!

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Ed FitzGerald Speaks Out Agains GOP Assaults on Women

I know that a few months ago there was foot-dragging about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald among some women who assumed that, as an Irish-Catholic male, he might be inclined to oppose women's reproductive rights.

As Cuyahoga County executive, it wasn't an issue on which he had needed to take a position. Issues like abortion, access to contraception, and sex education aren't issues counties are tasked to deal with.

If there's any question about which candidate for governor is the only one women — and men who care about women — should even THINK about voting for, Ed has put that to rest.

He was one of many people/organizations to release a statement today about the assaults on women's health in the "budget" bill and the ghastly limitations on women's rights that is HB 200, introduced this week. And he minced no words.

He said,

Today we saw Ohio House Republicans introduce yet another attack on women's health, and it may be their most extreme yet. I wanted to share with you my response:

I’m appalled that Ohio Republicans are continuing their litany of outrageous attacks on women’s health and livelihood. A mandatory ultrasound law is nothing but a government intrusion into private, personal decision-making, coming from the party who pretends to stand for the opposite. These discussions belong only between a woman and her doctor.

“One thing is clear: these escalating attacks on women’s health and decisions demand a response—and Governor Kasich has been silent. The longer John Kasich stands idly by as these life-threatening attacks on women continue, the more unforgiveable it becomes.

“I’m running for governor because these cruel and unnecessary attacks on Ohio women must stop. I vow to stand up for Ohio women against these types of attacks which threaten their freedom and well-being.

"Cruel and unnecessary." Well said.

Down With Tyranny Blog Writes about Jennifer Garrison

http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2013/06/not-jennifer-garrison-again-...

The out-of-state blog Down With Tyranny has picked up on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) effort to recruit anti-gay, anti-choice former state legislator Jennifer Garrison to run against Bill Johnson for Congress in Oh-06 next year.

We blogged about this recently.

http://www.ohiodailyblog.com/content/what-many-democrats-wont-give-big-n...

I think DWT is wrong about a couple of things. Garrison is NOT "Ohio's Sarah Palin." She's not dumb and stumbling and undereducated, relying on flirting to get across. She's a trained lawyer and she's smart. It's just that her positions on key issues are far out of step with practically every Democrat and most other people who aren't hardcore teabaggers.

I'm also curious what their evidence is that she's anti-union because in 2010, one of the reasons the Ohio Democratic Party gave for her being worthy of our support was that she was staunchly supported by unions. As I recall, she had a long list of union endorsements.

But most of the rest of what they say has been well-documented. I wasn't aware that just last year, she argued as an attorney against EHEA or ENDA saying basically that it was a "special right" to guarantee that LGBT people are not discriminated against in housing and jobs. That's really damning.

And for those who have forgotten, here is her April 2004 letter to the Marietta Times, supporting Ohio's 2004 DOMA ballot issue.

MARRIAGE SHOULD NOT BE DEFINED BY GOVERNMENT

Marriage is suddenly under the national microscope. Across our country, citizens are debating the question of gay marriage.

In fact, 30 people - many of them college students - recently rallied in support of gay marriage in Marietta.

To many of us, it may seem as if this debate over marriage dropped out of the sky.

Attorney General Candidate David Pepper in Cleveland Last Night

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http://www.davidpepper.com/

In light of the insanity and extremism exploding in Columbus, it was refreshing to hear Democratic candidate for attorney general David Pepper speak last night at the Clifton Martini and Wine Bar on the west side of Cleveland. The open-to-all, non-fundraising meet-and-greet was sponsored jointly by the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, and the Lakewood Democratic Club.

The first thing Pepper told the assembled group was to stop being doomsters! Anyone who has read my stuff for a while knows this is a pet peeve of mine — this attitude that Republicans are all-powerful, that everything they do will succeed, and nothing we do ever will.

Pepper said he’s tired of hearing people insist — a year and a half out from the election — that we have virtually no chance of winning any of the statewide offices next year. He told the crowd that if you start with the attitude that you are defeated, you will be.

Amen!

He reminded people of several things. In 2010 John Kasich won by two points — 49-47. He didn’t even win a majority. Democrats didn’t turn out — but if we do, we outnumber them and will always win.

Second, he said there’s a large group of people who, thanks to SB 5, will never vote for Kasich — teachers, police officers, firefighters. I know a lot of doomsters who insist they have “forgotten,” and maybe a few have. But most haven’t. And we need to keep reminding them that if Kasich and his pals are re-elected, a right to work for less bill will be at the top of their agenda.

This Is How They Destroy Women's Freedom

"Ohio abortion clinic closes its doors, foreshadowing state budget impact."

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/11/ohio_abortion_clinic_closes_its_doors_fo...

Gee, Governor Kasich, whatever happened to those "Jobs" budgets you were promising?

According to the Salon article,

The Center for Choice, an abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, shut its doors last week after failing to obtain a transfer agreement with area hospitals. The abortion services provider, which had been open since 1983, is one of two in the Toledo area; the other, Capital Care Network, is expected to close after it loses its transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center come July. University of Toledo president Lloyd Jacobs withdrew negotiations for a transfer agreement with the facility in order to stay “neutral” on a “controversial issue.”

This "transfer agreement" crap is one more way they shut abortion providers, banning abortion by the back door. They place an unneeded restriction on providers, then make that restriction impossible to comply with.

And make no mistake — sanctimonious UT president Lloyd Jacobs the polar opposite of "neutral" on this issue. He has come down completely on the far right anti-woman side of this "controversial" issue and made his university a tool in stripping women of their rights. He cannot dodge this with mealy-mouthed language.

Contact Info:
Lloyd Jacobs
Main Campus
University Hall
Room 3500
Phone: 419.530.2211
Fax: 419.530.4984
UTPresident@utoledo.edu

(Read the back-patting bio and laugh)

As a medical doctor, Jacobs should know better. So he is either a coward who puts the threats and intimidation of the far right above the lives of women, or else he is a far right Tea Party partisan himself who puts ideology about common sense.

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