A perfect example of what's wrong with people's thinking

The following quote appeared in Monday's Plain Dealer in an article on deteriorating sound barrier walls in Northeast Ohio.

"it looks terrible," say Donna Rivera whose Medina Township backyard rolls toward the back of a pinkish. crumbling noise wall on Interstate 71 North.

"I know they don't have the money, and I don't want my taxes to go up to fix it," Rivera Said. "But they need to do something."

Okay, Donna, why don't YOU call up the team of do-gooder magical fairies to come fix it in the middle of the night? Or maybe we'll just close your kids' school because you know, you can't have everything if you don't want your taxes to go up.

"They need to do something." But don't raise my taxes. When are people going to realize that this is what happens when all you want to do is cut, cut, cut?

SNL covers the insane party’s debate

Vote for your congressional heroes & villains at Democracy for America


This page gives you an opportunity to vote for you favorite member of the House and Senate as well as those you consider most odious.

In the former category, I urge you to vote for Sherrod Brown for Senate Hero. He is currently in fourth place, not bad, behind Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand and Barbara Boxer, and just ahead of Al Franken — all worthy contenders. Sherrod isn't always scarfing up national publicity, but he's nearly always standing up and speaking out for something positive. And we need to let people know so we don't wake up on a Wednesday morning in November next year and discover we are represented by an Empty Suit who won't talk to you for less than $5,000.

I leave the others to you. Kucinich is in first place in the House voting, and I didn't vote for him — too many other good choices. I had the opposite problem with the "villains." As I scrolled through the list of GOP Senators, I kept going, "Wow — I had forgotten about THAT mean-spirited ignorant creep." (Mitch McConnell is in first place, followed by Rand Paul. After careful deliberation I voted for Club for Growth cheerleader Pat Toomey). I would have had the same response on the House side except that I have developed a real loathing for the sneering, hard-hearted, supercilious Eric Can'tor And he's leading! I guess other people much share my opinion of this nasty little prick. (Ohio's own John Boehner is in second place).


Connie Pillich meet-and-greet Saturday September 24 in Reading

Hey, Oh-01. Tired of Steve Chabot? I don't even live down in the Cincinnati area and I know I am! State rep. Connie Pillich announced her intention this past summer to run for Congress next year, no matter whether redistricting landed her in Chabot's or (ugh) Jean "Scrunchie" Schmidt's district. She landed in Chabot's.

She's having a casual, low-cost fundraiser/meet-and-greet at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday September 24, at Foley's Irish Pub, 200 W. Benson Street, in Reading. There'll be a cash bar and food available for purchase. There'll also be a classic rock/oldie band playing at 9 if that's your thing. In the meantime, you can chat with Connie and decided for yourself if she'd be a better congressperson than Chabot.

Tickets are $20 at the door.

For more info, go to:

We MUST get HB 194 repeal on the ballot — or we're screwed!

It's not like I haven't known this all along. That's why I carry a half dozen petitions (different counties) with me everywhere I go. That is why I will post any information about signing opportunities anyone alerts me to.

But I just got home from a small gathering of the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus that really drove home how important this is. As attorney and elections specialist Dora Rose went down the list of things HB 194 would do, there were things even I didn't know about — things virtually guaranteed to disenfranchise thousands of people not fortunate enough to be born rich, white and Republican.

For instance, one that made my jaw drop as a former poll worker: in multiple-precinct polling places (which are mostly in urban areas), they now require four poll workers only at the first precinct table — all the others can have a few as two. (A BoE can opt to have more, but look for Republicans on BoEs to oppose this "to save money" and Secretary of State Jon Husted to break the tie by agreeing with them).

This is the new equivalent of shorting dense urban areas on voting machines — a move that, coupled with shrunken opportunities to vote early — will assure hours-long lines to vote in a presidential year in urban polling places. I was a poll worker in November 2007 and March 2008 — not the heaviest traffic elections. During the busiest times — morning and late afternoon — four poll workers could barely keep up. In a presidential election, they won't. And as in 2004 — an election it's virtually certain John Kerry would have won if everyone had been able to vote — thousands of voters will be forced to leave without voting. The only way a mere two poll workers would make sense is if we rescinded the requirement to show ID — more than 50 percent of what takes up time at the precinct table is checking ID. Of course, the proponents of HB 194 aren't thinking along those lines.

Ohio treasurer involved in risky business?

That is what our friend, Cincinnati reporter Bill Sloat, is wondering at his blog, The Daily Bellwether.


Sloat doesn't blog often enough to suit me, but when he does, he's raising interesting, provocative issues.

We already know that our current state treasurer, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, entered office completely without the expertise to run it. And instead of hunkering down and learning the ropes, he's been all over the country raising money for his purported U.S. Senate race next year — yet another job he's not qualified for.

So you have to wonder who is making the decisions in the treasurer's office, how qualified THEY are, and how much Mandel knows about what's going on. Is there any oversight, any checks and balances? Who knows?

Sloat points out that the state treasurer's office has invested hundreds of millions of dollars of Ohio money in European financial institutions that could be under stress.

And he reminds us of this:

"The Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation lost more than $56 million when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008."

And Ohio was lucky that's all it lost, as our current governor — then working at Lehman — was encouraging other state entities to invest in the about-to-collapse company. Oh well, at least HE got a big fat paycheck.

Check out Sloat's story. It will make you uneasy that we have a state treasurer who is both unqualified and distracted by a shiny thing in the distance. I wonder if Mandel will leave office able to say, as Rich Cordray did, that despite a financial crisis, he didn't lose a cent of Ohio's money while treasurer.

Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus luncheon in Cleveland last Saturday

Before too many more days pass, I wanted to say a few words about the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus luncheon held last Saturday at the English Oak Room in Tower City. It was the first time this luncheon has been held outside Columbus that I can recall. I sat at a table with a woman from south of Dayton, and ran into several from the Cincinnati area, including congressional candidate Connie Pillich. Thanks to all of them for making the trip!

Organized in the wake of the 2004 elections to reach out to more women, the ODWC floundered a bit before reorganizing after last year's elections, a cycle in which many Ohio Democrats had problems with the way the party handled women candidates and women's issues. So it was good to see both Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern and House minority leader Armond Budish in attendance. Hopefully, there is recognition that the party shouldn't make the same mistakes again.

The caucus' new director Lauren Harmon, who came here all the way from Arizona to take the job, introduced the program which featured several of the state's top women politicians. The rapturous standing ovation accorded to former secretary of state and former U.S. Senate candidate Jennifer Brunner, who spoke about the importance of getting the repeal of voter-suppression bill HB 194 on the ballot, was very telling. Brunner is a hero to Democratic activist women in Ohio, and the party would be foolish not to work with her.

Congresswoman Betty Sutton — who said she will be running again even though her district has been dismantled, but hasn't made a final decision as to where — also spoke and introduced the special guest speaker, president Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Committee. Given the flood of anti-choice bills in the Ohio legislature that would strip women of their ability to control their own lives and doom many to poverty, her words were very timely.

Warren County SB 5 debate Thursday!

Oboy. I wish I were down in Southwest Ohio for this one!

State rep. Connie Pillich, who is running for Congress in district 1 in the CIncinnati area against Steve Chabot, will be debating state senator Shannon Jones, the fall guy (gal?) appointed by the Republicans to be the sole sponsor of union-busting SB 5 and take the heat.

The two will square off from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, September 22, followed by a post-debate public Q &A period. It takes place at Cedar Village, 5467 Cedar Village Dr., Mason.

Signs aren't allowed, but buttons are so the Warren COunty Democratic Party will have buttons available for a small donation.

They are saying "This debate will be heavily covered by the media. Please arrive early to show our support and the get a seat. Seating is limited."

"Josh Mandel's Family Ties Make for Fascinating Politics," says the Plain Dealer


Yes, they do, don't they?

Some of Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel's wife's family, the fabulously wealthy Ratners, are wisely supporting his opponent Sherrod Brown. One relative by marriage says she thinks he should remain Ohio treasurer, the job he has had since January and promised he would serve in for four years, before he began running for Senate about a month after taking office.

What's also interesting is this:

"The matter of Ilana Shafran Mandel's financial holdings have bled into the campaign because of Mandel's delinquency in filing a personal financial disclosure report, which requires details of spousal assets.The filing was due in May. The fine for being late is $200, which Mandel says he will pay. Facing constant criticism from the Ohio Democratic Party for this violation of Senate rules for more than 120 days, Mandel publicly blamed his delinquency on the need to get more information on what must be disclosed."

"Facing constant criticism from the OHIO DEMOCRATIC PARTY"?

Whatever happened to the watchdog media holding candidates accountable? It's not like it's debatable that Mandel hasn't filed this report.

Meanwhile, he's busy accusing Brown of getting most of his donations from out of state and claiming this is because Ohioans don't have faith in Brown anymore. Which is bullshit on several levels.

First of all, even the PD's "give Republicans every benefit of doubt" "Politifact" feature yesterday found Mandel's statement to be "false." And second, since the decisions that senators and congresspersons make impact the whole country, it's not unreasonable for people to donate to someone in a different state whose beliefs they share and whose actions they approve of — like the billionaire front groups who will undoubtedly soon be pouring money into Mandel's campaign.

Charles Percy dies; he was predeceased by Republican sanity

Over the weekend, I learned of the death of Charles Percy at age 91. He had had Alzheimer's for several years.

Percy was one of my senators when I was young, serving from 1967-1985. He was your classic Republican of another era: a wealthy businessman from Chicago's ritziest suburb, Kenilworth, Illinois. (Early this year, Forbes ranked the second most affluent neighborhood in America — median income almost $250,000.)

He came from a cultured, upper middle-class family and exceeded their comfort level, becoming president of Bell & Howell. He graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, where my grandmother thought me and my sisters should have gone to meet a better class of people than those we knew on Chicago's south side (never mind that Michelle Obama grew up five blocks from us, which of course we didn't know at the time). He earned an economics degree from the University of Chicago in 1941. That was five years before the notorious economic conservative Milton Friedman got there.

Percy was not any sort of hardline conservative or radical right-winger, but rather what was then called a "Rockefeller Republican," well-heeled, cautious, amiable men who would have blanched at the thought of ultimatums over sending the country into default and threatening the country's economy to destroy a political opponent. These types were once the backbone of local chambers of commerce and Jaycees groups, and they thrived on predictability and stability. They may have been boring, but they were sane.

Perhaps Percy sensed the coming of a new attitude when he unenthusiastically supported the GOP's 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater who himself seems a modern of well-balanced sobriety these days. Trust me, he seemed recklessly radical then.

Rich Tea Party congressman cries poor


Sometimes the selfishness and/or utter cluelessness of far-right politicians completely stops me in my tracks.

Congressman John Fleming, a Tea Party Republican from Louisiana, is whimpering like a baby about President Obama's proposed tax increases on the wealthy. In addition to his $174,000 salary as a congressman, he makes more than $6 million from various franchises he owns. (He's also a family practice physician, perhaps not currently actively practicing). He whines that out of that he has to pay employees and other expenses, leaving him with only about $600,000 to reinvest. And that leaves him only about $200,000 in addition to his congressional salary .... and how is he going to feed himself, his wife and four kids on THAT? Altogether now ...... awwwwwwwwwwww.

Here's the huge flaw in his reasoning. I can't believe a successful businessman doesn't know this so I can only believe he's a craven liar and a heartless, greedy bastard. Obama is proposing eliminating tax cuts on people whose taxable income is more than $1 million. If this man is investing everything except $200,000 (and his congressional salary) back into his business, he doesn't meet that standard and his taxes do not go up.

After bizarre episode two weeks ago, Connie Schultz quits the Plain Dealer

Cleveland Plain Dealer pinion columnist Connie Schultz — wife of Senator Sherrod Brown, as the paper insisted on revealing after every column she wrote — has resigned from the PD, putting it one step closer to fully earning the nickname I gave it, the Plainly Republican. Since people determined to disprove the paper's rightward lean — including the paper itself — always pointed to Connie as Exhibit A, I have no idea what they will do now. She'll also be leaving in the lurch an army of bottom-feeding misogynists who used her every column as an opportunity to post angry rants unloading all their issues with women. I hope the number of serial killings in the area doesn't increase as a result.

Connie had just been moved to the Metro page, where Regina Brett and her lectures about why inner-city folks don't stop acting like thugs and behave more like nice middle-class suburban people and Mark Naymik (substituting for crypto-conservative Phillip Morris who is on leave) will be rotating the space. Hopefully, Naymik will figure out the difference between reporting and opinion. (It was a loaded judgement word in a "news" article of Naymik's that launched my two-year question back in 2007-2009 to fully document the paper's slant to the right.)

You can read Connie's resignation statement, which ran in today's paper, here:


John Kasich caught in another lie

John Kasich has been caught in another lie. This one came when he was discussing Senate Bill 5 (Issue 2 on the November ballot) to a group of 200 mostly Republican supporters during a private meeting. According to Mike Shreffle, a school Superintendent who attended the meeting, John Kasich stated that public employees get free pensions and health care.

The Dayton Daily News reports:

”In a letter to 240 district employees, Southeast Local Schools Superintendent Mike Shreffler criticized Gov. John Kasich for saying public employees get free pensions and free health care coverage.

Shreffler said he attended a private meeting with Kasich and House Speaker William Batchelder, R-Medina, on Sept. 1 at a factory in northeast Ohio with about 200 mostly Republican supporters.

Shreffler said he got irritated when he heard the governor allege that Ohio’s public employees don’t pay anything toward their pensions and health care coverage.”

This is a complete lie being told by John Kasich.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise though. We should all remember that earlier in the year John Kasich told about 150 farmers and small business owners that Senate Bill 5 did not contain merit pay for teachers. He said this after he randomly gave out $2 million to Nationwide Children’s Hospital earlier in the day. The Columbus Dispatch (R-Columbus) had reported on that one:

”Speaking before about 150 farmers and small-business leaders on Republican state Rep. Bob Peterson's farm in Sabina, Kasich told the crowd that "Senate Bill 5 doesn't require merit pay" for teachers.”

Yep, another lie told by John Kasich caught on record.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio to call out legislature on misplaced priorities

Tomorrow NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio will launch its Trust Women Watch at the Statehouse in Columbus. It will continue each day the Ohio Senate is in session for the rest of the year. Rally participants will hand out literature each day from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., as legislators are arriving. They will focus tomorrow particularly on the so-called "Heartbeat Bill," which bans all but the very earliest abortions — long before many women realize they're pregnant.

The group's executive director Kelly Copeland issues a statement saying, “I find it ironic that Ohio senators and Governor Kasich are interjecting themselves into the private medical decisions of Ohio women. In a state like Ohio where the unemployment rate has continued to grow over the past three months to 9.1 percent, politicians who ran on ideas to improve the economy have shifted their focus to creating a divisive agenda that attacks a woman’s right to choose.”

In addition, robbing women of their ability to control their own reproduction is a factor in increasing poverty — why so many groups working in Africa focus on giving women the tools — information about and access to contraception — to limit their childbearing. Apparently, Ohio legislators are looking for more ways to increase poverty, while avoiding action on the very issue they ran on: creating jobs.

Does Kasich's SB 5-supporting mayor have, um, issues?

The Toledo Blade sure is wondering.


You may have heard that Toledo's Mayor Mike Bell, an "independent" (not so independent of Governor Kasich though), is being trotted out as a show pony by Building a Better Ohio, the Republican front group assembled to try to keep union-busting SB 5 in place. The former fireman has been featured in ads, basically stabbing his fellow fire fighters in the back. He was on Ed Schultz's The Ed Show last week when Schultz broadcast from Toledo, defending SB 5.

Great headline for Mr. Spokesman for the Wonderful "Tools" Provided by SB 5:

"Bell approves nearly $1M in contracts for niece's firm
She has no construction history; mayor says it's OK."

Yeah — just peachy. No wonder he is clinging to Kasich for dear life. They think alike! This is the same approach that Kasich is taking to appointing people — look for the crony, not the person who has expertise and experience. For these people, getting elected is all about enriching your friends and family, not serving the people who elected you and thinking about the greater good. And interestingly, Bell won HIS election by only 2 percent too.

From the Blade article

"The same niece, with whom the mayor is particularly close, is also accompanying him on his trip to Asia this week."

This niece, Shayla Bell, (a 2006 John Carroll grad), started the company right after her uncle took office in January 2010, according to the Blade, after she had worked in his campaign. By March, the money was flowing in.

"Ms. Bell refused to speak with The Blade for this story. Her attorney referred most questions back to her."

Well, THAT doesn't sound too promising, does it?


We need you, Warren County, to help us repeal HB 194

We need to get a quota of votes in each of 44 counties, and Warren County is southwest Ohio is one we're working on. Now, there ARE too damned many Republicans there, but there are certainly enough people of good character and patriotic spirit (maybe even some Republicans) who believe that trying to keep voters from voting and votes from counting is just wrong, right?

If so, they should please stop by Warren County Democratic Headquarters 1975 N, Route 42 in Lebanon. They'll be open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 .a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Their phone number, if you'd like to call first, is 513-228-2400.

Get going — we're only ten days from the deadline.

Harrison Rally for the Arts today- sign the HB 194 petition

Today is the Harrison Rally for the Arts in Perrysburg (Wood County).


"Harrison Rally Day is a community arts festival with an annual attendance of over 10,000 people. Co-sponsored the Perrysburg Chamber of Commerce and the Perrysburg Area Arts Council, this event offers a large selection of fine arts and crafts, parade, live musical entertainment, children’s art activities, and “Taste of Perrysburg” food vendors."

Sounds great!

You know who else is going to be there? People with petitions to repeal HB 194!!! They will be there all day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It takes place in downtown Perrysburg so look for them,

Meanwhile, I just got back from Cleveland's three-day interactive arts fest Ingenuity, taking place on the former subway level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge — an amazing space if you haven't seen it. They had a bunch of tables with vendors, businesses, and organizations — including one for the HB 194 repeal, where three young women were doing boffo business. People were piled up at the table eager to sign. Some were thanking them for being there. One of the young women said they just regretted they only had petitions for Cuyahoga, because people were coming from other counties, and they plan to have additional petitions from nearby counties tomorrow (noon-1 a.m.) and Sunday (noon-5 p.m.). The festival is technically free, although they are requesting a $5 donation at the door if you feel you can afford it. There's a ton of hands-on stuff for kids to do too. So they'll be entertained while you are signing a petition to protect their future voting rights.

Ross County (Chillicothe) HB 194 petition signing

People in the Chillicothe area can sign the voter suppression repeal petition tomorrow, Saturday September 17 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Ross County Service Center on Western Avenue in from of the Central Center shopping mall.

Hey Lake County — opportunity to sign HB 194 repeal petition

Coming right up this Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mentor Christian Church, 8751 Mentor Ave. (corner of Jackson St. and Mentor Ave.) in Mentor (naturally!)

We need you desperately, as you can see the kinds of games our politicians are playing with our votes. Please get on down there.

The congressional map is passed: time for another ballot initative

Well, the Republicans in our legislature once again ignored input from citizens and their Democratic colleagues and, in a mere 48 hours, rammed through a new congressional map that will impact and exacerbate political divisions for a decade (Are these the same people who whined constantly that the Democrats were "moving too fast" on health care, a debate that dominated the better part of a year?)

Input from citizen "hearings" they held around the state was clearly ignored; alternative maps drawn by serious students of congressional map-drawing and submitted to DrawtheLineOhio.com were clearly not even considered, if indeed they were looked at. It's fairly obvious that partisan hacks hunkered down behind closed doors and devised a map that tears counties and towns apart, throws voters into confusion, tosses together communities barely aware the others exist and with which they have few common interests, and dismantles groups who have historically worked together on projects.

The map doesn't even give Republicans much advantage over the edge they have now (which admittedly is already extremely unbalanced since they've drawn the maps for the past 20 years). It's just mischief-making being wreaked on the electorate with the likely goal of amping up confusion, ignorance and cynicism and decreasing participation in the election process. How very democratic. How very respective of our representative system.

In fact, the map and the process by which it was designed and passed were about as pure an example of mocking voters as can be found anywhere.

HB 194 petition signing in Lakewood (Cleveland)

Circulators will be at the Root Cafe, 15118 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood, from 26 p.m. this Sunday, September 18 with petitions to repeal the voter suppression bill. Plan to stay for some good fair-trade coffee and vegetarian food made from locally sourced ingredients. This place is cool: check it out:

Mary Jo Kilroy announces

Among the crimes committed by uninformed voters last year was putting good solid advocate for regular working people Mary Jo Kilroy out of Congress in the Columbus area in favor of slimy banking lobbyist Steve Stivers, no friend of those who do actual work rather than move abstract money around in the ether. Kilroy beat Stivers in 2008, but last year was a bad one. And the old 15th district is difficult territory, as it parsed up Columbus in several directions, diluting Democratic voters.

But the new map packs Columbus-area Democratic voters into one district, creating a safe Democratic seat there (Unfortunately, it turns around and does even worse damage to Cuyahoga County). Kilroy has announced that she will run for that seat:

"I have exciting news to share. I plan to seek the Democratic nomination for the new congressional seat in Franklin County, Ohio. I am running because our community needs a strong voice in Washington, who will remain focused on jobs, and will work to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from Republicans.

I have fought for working people in our community throughout my career as a school board member, county commissioner and Member of Congress. I have a track record as a Member of Congress that demonstrates that I have the right priorities to represent this district. I pushed for vital health care reform, pushed to protect us from big predatory banks and pushed for a real jobs plan to put our community back to work.

I will demand more accountability from Wall Street and better protections for consumers, like my work on the Wall Street reform bill and my votes to protect you from abusive practices of credit card companies.

I will stand up for LGBT rights and fight to end discrimination wherever it may exist. I was proud of my many votes in Congress to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and other pieces of legislation to promote equality.

Marcy Kaptur statement on redistricting

Virtually the very minute the new congressional map for Ohio was revealed and the travesty that is the new 9th district (currently based in Toledo and represented by Marcy Kaptur) became clear — extending from Toledo to Lakewood — Dennis Kucinich jumped in to claim the district, announcing it was his and that he would challenge Kaptur in the primary. Personally, I think it would have been more seemly to wait until the map passed in the legislature and he had talked with Kaptur and other Democrats – but that isn't his way.

Today Kaptur released a statement about the new district. She says,

"Representing the interests of all of the people of our district, particularly during tough economic times, is the highest privilege afforded to any citizen. I intend to keep fighting hard for them and will run to represent them in the newly-formed Ninth Congressional District.

The Republican map is all about incumbent protection. The very same Republicans who are trying to take away the rights of policemen, firefighters and teachers with State Issue 2 are turning around and giving lifetime job security to incumbent Members of Congress. How unfair.

In a state that votes 50-50, they have eliminated competition and produced three Republican members of Congress for every Democratic member. Such rigging sacrifices representative government in the cause of incumbent protection."

Contrast that to Kucinich's statement. You be the judge of who would better represent this absurd new district:

"We have a district! The race is on! In a stunning development, the redistricting gave most of the Republican part of my old district to three incumbent Republican congressmen and left most of the Democratic part of my district intact.

Ed Shultz challenges Kasich to explain war on workers

Governor John Kasich (accompanied by Curly and Moe aka Bill Batchelder and Tom Niehaus) isn't the only one who can indulge in political theater (his press conference where he invited labor to negotiate on an already-passed bill and they understandably failed to show up).

Progressive talk show host Ed Schlutz brought his MSNBC show, the Ed Show, to Ohio this week. In Toledo last night, he featured pro-issue 2, anti-SB 5 workers and politicians, as well as Kasich toadie, Toledo mayor Mike Bell. (Bell hilariously said he's not opposed to collective bargaining, yet he is a vocal supporter of SB 5, which eliminates it. Whatever, jerk). But he also challenged Kasich himself to come on and explain why he is attacking Ohio's public sector workers via SB 5. Just as Kasich did for labor, Schultz left an empty chair for Kasich. Needless to say, Kasich did not show up.


Yet Kasich managed to get himself to Sean Hannity's Fox "News" show earlier in the week. Figures. Schultz shows a clip of that appearance and Kasich comes off like a nasty, pushy, tone-deaf bully.

Toledo-based congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who will apparently be representing Cleveland's northern suburbs from Lakewood west after next year's election, spoke strongly about the need to support President Obama's American Jobs Act and to rectify the trade imbalance that has outsourced jobs.That's a pet topic of Senator Sherrod Brown, who will be Schultz's guest on the taping of his show today, along with Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern and congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has gracelessly already said he's going to try to knock Kaptur out of Congress, even before the redistricting bill that pits him against her has passed the legislature. (Schultz said he will again leave a seat for Kasich).

Ohio legislators hold press conference on new congressional map

Today in Columbus, Democratic legislators held a press conference about the new congressional map which the Republicans threw out yesterday and apparently plan to put to a vote tomorrow. They included minority leader Armond Budish from Beachwood, and reps. Kathleen Clyde of Kent, Teresa Fedor of Toledo, Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, and Matt Lundy of Elyria.


It's an ugly map, clearly designed to confuse voters, split communities and and punish those who don't generally support Republicans. All the citizen input they claimed to be interested in getting appears to have been ignored or tossed out because every principal of fair districting has been violated.

And one of the worst is the speed of the process. This is coming from a party that whined like babies about "slowing down" a health care debate that lasted for a year. Yet they want to rush through a congressional map, drawn without a real public process, which will impact the state's political makeup for a decade, in 48 hours.

""We are moving at high speed towards complete legal chaos as this map is being rammed through in less than 48 hours," said Clyde, who represented the Democrats at several of the field hearings allegedly held to consider public input. "Failure to do this right will create protracted legal battles, public confusion and uncertainty for voters and candidates across the state. ... Republicans have created chaos because they refuse to work with us."

While people are being urged to call committee chair Matt Huffman at 614-466-9624, it probably will have no impact on this group of Republicans whose standard operating procedure is to push through an ultra-extreme agenda at top speed without consulting the people it impacts. This is more of the same that gave us union-busting SB 5 and voter suppression bill HB 194.

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