"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.

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:
http://theroot-cafe.com/food

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.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/44528447#44528447

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.

http://www.progressohio.org/blog/2011/09/citizens-could-have-less-voice-...

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.

Alan Grayson speaks the truth about GOP sadism

One of the saddest losses last November was when Florida congressman Alan Grayson got defeated by an ignorant teabagger. Grayson was excoriated by the right and its lackeys in the "mainstream" media for saying that the Republican health-care plan was "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly."

Well, the Republicans showed that was undeniably true when they cheered the idea of an uninsured person dying at the Tea Party travesty of a "debate" on CNN (aka Conservative Nattering Nabobs) Monday.

Last night, Keith Olbermann interview Grayson who is making a bid to return to Congress. (You should sign up for his email list. His missives are powerful, inspiring, and entertaining, not simply money begs).
Go here to sign up: http://congressmanwithguts.com/

Here is a transcript of that interview. I think he says what needs to be said very clearly, dismantling the hypocrisy and pious pretense of the so-called "Christian" right. Here's video for those who would rather watch:
http://current.com/shows/countdown/videos/alan-grayson-condemns-tea-part...

Keith Olbermann: In 2009, my next guest anticipated last night's Tea Party call to let the uninsured drop dead without medical care. Alan Grayson, then a Florida congressman, got on the floor of the House and said, "The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick." To say he took a lot of criticism for that understates the case just a little bit. And as last night proved, he was right. I'm joined now by the former Florida congressman Alan Grayson. Good evening sir.

Alan Grayson: Good evening.

Olbermann: Your immediate reaction to last night?

Kucinich apparently plans to try to primary Marcy Kaptur

Dennis Kucinich sent out an email today saying "We have a district1 The race is one!" Frankly, it kind of confuses me, and he's not straight up in acknowledging which district he means and the fact that he's going to try to put a colleague out of Congress.

He says,
"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."

As a result, about 57% of registered Democrats in the new district come from my old district. With your help I clearly have a good chance to be able to continue to serve the people of Ohio and to remain a strong and outspoken voice for jobs, peace, clean water and clean air, education and civil rights."

I guess he would have to mean the new 9th district where people who have done the breakdown say that 43 percent of the voters (overall, not just Democrats) are currently in his district, while 36 percent are in Kaptur's. 20 percent are currently in Sutton's district and would presumably be up for grabs between Kucinich and Kaptur.

I have no idea what he means by "the most Republican part of my old district" being given to three Republican congressmen. I haven't actually looked at the map in depth, but have looked at other people's breakdown of where voters have been shifted. Kucinich lost about a quarter of his voters to the district currently represented by Renacci (hopefully by Betty Sutton after next year), so that accounts for one district. His next biggest bloc of voters – 12 percent — went to Marcia Fudge's district. Last time I looked she wasn't an incumbent Republican and those Cleveland voters don't tend to be Republican.

Cong. Tim Ryan at Columbus HB 194 signing event tomorrow

No, the new Republican congressional map doesn't have Youngstown's Tim Ryan representing a hunk of Columbus (How did they EVER miss that?) But the 17th district congressman will be in Columbus tomorrow night (Thursday, September 15) at an signing event to repeal voter-suppression bill HB 194.

It takes place at the Short North Tavern, 674 N. High Street from 6-8 p.m. Signatures will be gathered starting at 6, and Ryan will be there at 7 p.m. He is eager to meet and greet anyone involved in the repeal effort, even those who have already signed. So come on down and show your support for a fair, open elections process, not the one HB 194 imposes on the state.

More about the Republican Redistricting Plan (and process)

True to form, the Ohio Republicans who drew the new congressional map didn't look for consensus or accept input. They threw out a grotesquely gerrymandered map that divides communities and moves voters around willy-nilly, and they apparently plan to do what they have done with all their other extremist legislation this year: ram it through on their super-majority and tell everyone else to go to hell. The problem for them is I believe there is going to be hell to pay, thanks to this approach, which doesn't even pretend to be fair or to benefit the actual people of Ohio they purport to represent.

The legislators involved in redistricting held "hearings" around the state. I went to one at Cleveland State University at which good-government types, ranging from League of Women Voters members to map-drawing geeks, talked about drawing balanced, compact districts that kept communities of interest, towns, and counties together as much as possible. Several people I know who were there agreed with me that it felt like a pro forma charade. Much was made of a site called DrawtheMapOhio.com, where citizens (especially map geeks!) were invited to try their hand at drawing a map and submitting it according to certain guidelines. That now looks like a little playtime activity, designed to make people feel like they were participating, but they really weren't.

State House minority leader Armond Budish had made an agreement with House Republicans about the process of studying and approving the map — a process he feels the GOP violated. He now says the Democrats won't deliver the votes the Republicans wanted to move the primary from March to May.

http://www.progressohio.org/blog/2011/09/dems-leader-calls-off-primary-c...

In a letter to House Speaker Bill Batchelder, he says,

HB 194 petition signing and circulating opportunities in Cuyahoga

West Side Voter Suppression Event
Thursday, September 15
7:00- 8:00 p.m.
UAW Hall, 5615 Chevrolet Blvd, Parma

Evening with Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown
Friday, September 16
6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Solon Community Center
35000 Portz Parkway, Solon

Shaker Square petition circulating
Saturday, September 17
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Organizing for America office
13100 Shaker Square, Cleveland

Trumbull County HB 194 drive-thru tomorrow (Wednesday)

Speaking of taking partisanship out of elections, as I just was, there's an opportunity for folks in Trumbull County to sign that petition tomorrow evening from 4-6 p.m. at a drive-thru event. It's at the McMenamy’s Restaurant and Banquet Center parking lot,
325 Youngstown-Warren Rd. (Route 422) in Niles. I'm sure they'll have signs and everything so just look for them, drive up, and they'll hand you the petition.

Republicans reveal new congressional map: lots of bullshit and some good news

Last spring, I asked Betty Sutton at the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus luncheon if she would consider moving if they put her house in Tim Ryan's district. She lives in a little finger of Summit County that is currently wedged between Ryan's district on the east and Jim Renacci's district in Medina to the west. They could have gone either way, but I figured they'd be nasty and pit her against the popular Democrat Ryan.

Today many pundits are saying that by placing her in Renacci's district instead, she's a goner. I am not so sure. It's entirely possible that without the Tea Party wave that swept him to victory in 2010, Renacci could be the goner. They've given him a swath of southwest Cuyahoga that has a lot of active Democrats — and a lot of public-sector workers and union people who may be looking for Republicans to blame without Kasich on the ballot. I think they did Betty Sutton a favor.

My read is different. I think the GOPs partisan plotting in Northeast Ohio goes a lot deeper than this one or that one being out of a seat, or being safer. While I see they have conceded that Columbus is a community of interest and created a district there, they have gone 200 mph in the opposite direction in Cuyahoga. Cuyahoga currently contains two districts entirely in the county — Marcia Fudge's and Dennis Kucinich's. It also contains slivers of two others — Sutton's and Steve LaTourette's to the east. Given the population loss, there is no reason for those slivers to remain in Cuyahoga — or for the county to contain any more than two districts.

Instead, this map gives it big swaths of FOUR districts, effectively breaking up the county into small pieces and severing communities that have always worked together, shared organizations and projects, and have close-knit common interests.

Republican Party = Kill Baby Kill!!!

As fracking mania sweeps the Republican Party more information is finally coming out about the true nature of its harmful effects. Not only can fracking destroy clean drinking water it can also destroy clean air.

The mayor of a small town called Dish, Texas, literally quit his job and moved out when his children began experiencing ill effects from being exposed to fracking wells. The Huffington Post reports on the plight of former mayor Calvin Tillman:

”Dish, Texas is a town consisting of 200 residents and 60 gas wells. When Tillman's sons repeatedly woke up in the middle of the night with mysterious nosebleeds, he knew it was time to move”

The Huffington Post continues:

”Last Memorial Day was the final straw. Tillman's 5-year-old son awoke in the middle of the night with a severe nosebleed. As Tillman describes to HuffPost, "He had blood all over his hands, blood on the walls -- our house looked somewhat like a murder scene." In the weeks prior, both of Tillman's sons had experienced severe nosebleeds. At the same time, the town was surrounded by a strong odor from their natural gas facilities.”

The Huffington Post reveals a main chemical used in fracking that seeps up through the ground and into the air:

”The air over the Barnett Shale near Dish was found to contain high levels of the toxic chemical benzene, shown to cause cancer.”

In another report:

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