Ohio GOP says, maybe we'll do the right thing — someday

Could there possibly be any more cynical, hypocritical and duplicitous proposal than this:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/09/28/husted-legislat...

"As the state Apportionment Board finished up work this morning on new state legislative maps, Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that he and Republican legislative leaders have agreed to consider a constitutional amendment that could end the hyper-partisan process of drawing political districts in 2021 and beyond."

Oh, seriously, Jon? Why should anyone believe you give a rat's ass or that this isn't just something you're saying to give your appalling, anti-democratic maps a veneer of virtuousness?

The plain fact, Jon, is that if you and the Republican leaders in the legislature REALLY felt that Ohio voters deserved fair districting that served THEIR interests and not those of politicians, you could - and would - be doing it RIGHT NOW. You have all the power. What stopped you? You pretended to take public input and said you would look at maps submitted to Draw the Line Ohio by map geeks toiling to draw the fairest map. Your maps make it clear you didn't expend a second of time taking any outside input seriously.

The Columbus Dispatch quotes Husted saying,"There are plenty of partisans who will say they are for it and then figure out a way to throw marbles under the feet of the people that are trying to change this. But I think people are tired of the way government works."

Yes, they are, Jon. And if you want to find those partisans who will say they are for it and "figure out a way to throw marbles under the feet of the people trying to change this," well, how close is the nearest mirror? Because you are IT. You are saying all these nice words, but you just created maps that destroy community unity, slice up county after county, and confuse voters by throwing them randomly into new districts.

Truth about the Tea Party

The Tea Party are pawns in a billionaires’ war to create such inequalities in American society that there will be a permanent class system. The government will turn into a totalitarian one, the kind they fear the most and once they wake up to see the realities of all this; it will be impossible to do anything about it. All these people will have is their fracking jobs to return to, or other low paying wage slave jobs with no benefits, nothing to stop a company from lowering their salaries to $2 an hour, and the only way to try to create a savings will be to cobble some resources together and try to make money on an extremely volatile market. A market will continue to swing up and down no matter who is president. The sad thing is many Tea Party people don’t even know the truth of where their movement came from. Here’s a little background information from George Monbiot…

“On Sunday the Observer claimed that "the Tea Party rose out of anger over the scale of federal spending, and in particular in bailing out the banks". This is what its members claim. It's nonsense.

The movement started with Rick Santelli's call on CNBC for a tea party of city traders to dump securities in Lake Michigan, in protest at Obama's plan to "subsidize the losers". In other words, it was a demand for a financiers' mobilization against the bailout of their victims: people losing their homes. On the same day, a group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP) set up a Tea Party Facebook page and started organizing Tea Party events. The movement, whose program is still lavishly supported by AFP, took off from there.

Important! Still time to sign HB 194!!!!

I've heard from numerous sources in the past couple of days that we have well over the 231,147 signatures we need to turn in by Thursday for the HB 194 repeal to start the process of checking the validity of the signatures. Many, of course, will be invalid. But we can continue to collect signatures through the middle of October while the process is ongoing — and we need to do that as a cushion. I personally did not turn in one of my petitions with 45 signatures on it because when I checked it over, I realized I had forgotten to call one person who filled in her information but had not signed it. I imagine many other people have outstanding petitions as well, so our numbers will grow. They need to grow more!

I am finding that many people are just now learning what this awful bill is about. I learn almost every day about some new thing that's in it intended to corrupt elections and limit voter participation. And I have run into highly active and engaged Democrats at meetings tonight and yesterday evening who had had no opportunity to sign yet (Luckily, I always carry some petitions in my purse!)

If you have not signed, please — go to
http://www.fairelectionsohio.com/

or call your country Democratic party and they will probably be able to tell you where you can go to sign a petition. Do the same if you have friends you know will sign. You don't have to go out and stand on a street corner or anything like that to gather signatures in order to take a petition. You just need a basic rundown of the rules and go get people you know — 5, 10, 20 or just one or two, it doesn't matter. I had only one signature on my Stark County petition, but every signature counts!

Redfern starts day on a silly note, ends on a serious note

I admit I scratched my head this morning when I got the email about Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern going down to the statehouse to present an absent Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel (why would he be there?) with a birthday cake decorated with a copy of the Personal Financial Disclosure Report form that Mandel has refused to sign for over four months. Personally, I thought it was silly.

However, this is anything but. He writes,

"Last week, the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 319, a blatantly partisan congressional map that dilutes important Democratic constituencies and attacks the very foundation of our political process. The editorial pages of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Toledo Blade and the Mansfield News Journal criticized the GOP for partisan gerrymandering that put their own political gain ahead of the needs of Ohio voters. Even the right-leaning Columbus Dispatch, no friend of Democrats, carried a column harshly chastising Republicans for their overreach.

Yesterday, I spoke with an attorney and asked him to file suit in the Ohio Supreme Court to determine whether we can move forward with a potential referendum effort against the Republicans' gerrymander plan. Just like they did on Senate Bill 5 and on voting rights, Columbus Republicans have tried to thwart the will of the people. They used legislative gimmickry to try to stop voters from having a voice when it comes to fair and competitive elections. I am confident the Court, even though overloaded with Republicans, will rule that the GOP's backdoor legislative tactics will not stop the people of Ohio from having a voice in this matter."

Vote NO on Issue 3

Issue 3 is a disingenuous attempt by the Tea Party to have Ohio “opt-out” of the Affordable Care Act. (disrespectfully called Obamacare)

Issue 3 will appear on the ballot this November. There is a new web site out to educate people on why they should vote ’NO’ on it. The site is simply:

www.votenoissue3.com

Please check it out and forward the link on to your friends and family.

Just some quick highlights on why we should all vote ‘NO’ on this issue is that if passed it could also negativiley affect…

"• The Workers' Compensation System
• COBRA
• Child Support Enforcement Orders
• College and University Student Health Insurance Coverage Requirements
• Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Tax Levies
• Regulation of Insurance Company Practices
• School Immunizations and Disease Tracking (such as smallpox, influenza and HIV)

If Issue 3 passes, determining to what extent these programs run afoul of the new law will require years of costly litigation, with tax-payers footing the bill."

Additional information can be found here:
http://www.progressohio.org/blog/2011/09/website-launch-heralds-beginnin...

Vote ‘NO’ on Issue 3!, Vote ‘NO’ on Issue 3!, Vote ‘NO’ on Issue 3!

New legislative maps show: Republicans hate democracy

State legislatures across the country are notorious places, the wild wild west of politics. Say “Columbus” or “Albany” or “Springfield” or “Sacramento” and many people in Ohio or New York or Illinois or California have images of chicanery and horsetrading. Some have described state capitals as “summer camps” where legislators, away from home for short periods of time, cut loose like they were at a frat party. (If you'd like to know more about that, call 614-644-6020. That's state rep. Jarrod Martin's office. I'm sure he can fill you in.)

State legislatures also make legislation that has real-life impact on people, often more so than federal legislation. They make budgets that impact people’s daily lives, as we’ve seen in Ohio. As we’ve also seen too often in Ohio, they dodge looming problems (school funding, anyone?) in favor of dealing with issues many would prefer they just leave alone. Our current Republican-controlled legislature campaigned on promoting that Democrats had not created enough jobs fast enough and that they would have a “laser focus” on job creation. Instead of an actual jobs bill, we’ve seen them introduce a raft of anti-choice bills and legalize guns in bars, issues that weren’t even blips during the campaign. And we’ve seen them ram through an anti-jobs bill (SB 5 — vote NO on 2!) and job-killing budget. Good work!

This is just weird

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/content/blogs/the-daily-briefing/2011/09...

Governor Kasich appointed Jennifer Brunner to the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission. Kasich has not shown any willingness to reach out to Democrats, so I wonder if he is required to name a certain number of non-Republicans. There are geographic requirements for board members, but I can't tell if there are partisan ones.

The Dispatch piece makes a big deal out of a couple of bland, random nice remarks Brunner made about Kasich recently, but that spin seems far-fetched. This is especially weird given the Brunner is spearheading the effort to repeal HB 194, the voter suppression bill specifically crafted by the Republicans to strip Democratic voters of any real power or voice in the election process. You'd think this would piss Kasich off. So I have no idea what this is about.

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

http://heroes.democracyforamerica.com/?akid=1346.383175.bKHJap&rd=1&t=1

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).

http://heroes.democracyforamerica.com/?akid=1346.383175.bKHJap&rd=1&t=1

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:
http://www.conniepillich.com/

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.

http://thebellwetherdaily.blogspot.com/2011/09/state-treasurer-loaned-41...

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

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/09/josh_mandels_family_ties...

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

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/09/19/does-it-really-cost-this-tea-part...

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:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/09/connie_schultz_resigned_today.ht...

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.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2011/09/19/Bell-approves-nearly-1M-in-c...

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?

More:

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).

http://www.perrysburgarts.org/HarrisonRallyDay.html

"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.

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