Ben Suarez, the head of Canton's Suarez Industries, is a great friend Ohio Republicans, as we've learned in the past.
He's the guy who pressured his employees to make EXTREMELY generous donations to Congressman Jim Renacci and state treasurer Josh Mandel, apparently with the promise to repay them — which is illegal. Suarez has been indicted and that case is in the courts now.
We've already mentioned how Mandel's office, in return for these EXTREMELY generous donations, intervened with the California attorney general's office in a case involving Suarez Industries.
Now it turns out Mandel isn't the only one. Kasich's office did same thing after receiving a generous donation from Suarez.
In this case, there's no suggestion of using illegal pass-throughs. However,inserting your office in proceedings in another state after receiving a generous donation is just sort of ... sleazy. It's a quid pro quo that's not really all that different from the things former Cuyahoga County commissioner Jimmy Dimora did that had the media screaming like it was the end of the world.
Now Suarez's attorneys have subpoenaed Kasich to testify, which Kasich is resisting.
According to Cincinnati.com,
Suarez's attorneys want Kasich to testify that it's OK for constituents to seek the help of elected officials, said the motion filed with federal court. The motion said defense attorneys believe Kasich's testimony would be persuasive to a jury.
I wonder how persuasive it would be to voters to say it's OK for constituents who have made EXTREMELY generous donations to seek and RECEIVE the help of elected officials that most of us can't get for far more routine and legitimate matters. Sure, elected officials are supposed to help constituents, but in this case, there was a price tag.
This is disgusting - - The Ohio GOP stole a shot from an Ohio Capital Blog video (www.twitter.com/ohiocapitalblog) to create an image that makes it looks like Ed FitzGerald is trying to dodge a question. Except he's not. He answers the question that was asked him and there was no dodging as the GOP tries to make it look. See the following tweet from ODP's Lauren Hitt, and video from Marc Kovac, Ohio Capital Blog...
That about sums up how well that Hitt went pic.twitter.com/8tMdKn7Wgt
— Lauren Hitt (@LaurHitt) June 18, 2014
Seriously, why would any sane rational person ever want to elect people who do this kind of stuff to anything? Is this not wrong? Someone, please try to tell me it isn't.
This tweet from Chris Redfern...
— Chris Redfern (@ODPChairman) June 17, 2014
What did Henry Gomez write about the Ohio Republican Party's state dinner? As far as I can tell: nothing.
So, in Henry Gomez's mind, the fair and just thing to do is write negative article after negative article about the Ohio Democratic Party's state dinner. That's balance for you.
I actually expect the next article from Henry to be about how his chair was too uncomfortable. Or that there were too many Democrats at the ODP state dinner.
Henry Gomez and Joe Vardon have hit new lows. They spent Friday night, the night of the Ohio Democratic Party's major fund raising dinner, mocking, ripping and making fun of the event. This by-far was NOT their jobs. One of their main points of criticism was aimed at the event's featured speaker former President Bill Clinton. They mocked him for not knowing the Ohio Democratic Party's statewide ticket that well. Why would he? Be realistic about this. The guy travels the globe.
They mocked him for reading bios of the candidates. If these two weren't such incredible assholes, they'd know that this happens a lot at political fund raising dinners. It's not that unusual.
Bill Clinton was the headline speaker for two reasons. The first was to help sell tickets. Which he did. If Henry and Joe weren't so off the charts biased they'd would have reported that last night's dinner had one of the largest attendances in years. But they didn't.
The second reason President Clinton was the headliner was to rally the troops. Which, judging by the reactions he got, he did just that.
When I covered a couple events as a volunteer writer for a small internet news source, I was told to try to capture the atmosphere of the event - - try to give someone who wasn't at the event a feel for what it was like. How were things lit, decorated, the energy in the room. I'm sure as "reporters" (as unprofessional as Henry and Joe are), I'm sure they've heard the words "capture the mood" of the event. And as far as the speeches, what was I was told was the speakers are trying to convey a point and my job was to accurately report it - - without bias. It was made clear to me what I, or anyone else doing this stuff was absolutely not supposed to do was insert my, or their own opinion into things. You are not suppose to write things like "I didn't like this." Or "I thought this was stupid." This is essentially what Henry and Joe did with tweets like this...
Last week, SB 310 made its way through the legislature and landed on Governor Kasich's desk. The bill places a two-year hold on Ohio's renewable energy standards, putting an anchor on energy innovation in Ohio and allowing other states that are looking to the future not the past to race ahead of us, with all the jobs and clean air that go with them.
When the bill sat on Kasich's desk without action for a week, many believed the sneaky governor was going to simply not sign it which, after a period of time, meant it automatically became law. Thus, he would be able to say his fingerprints were not on this regressive measure, even though his failure to veto it allowed it to become law.
Apparently, he got some pressure from the Kock Brothers, ALEC, Big Coal, and other opponents of moving Ohio into a clean energy future. He quickly signed it without fanfare, once again likely hoping he can get away without creating a firestorm. Let's hope he's wrong.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald, who has been monitoring the situation all week, came out with this statement:
Today, Governor Kasich ignored the voices of Ohio's working families, veterans, manufacturers, religious leaders, and business leaders. By signing SB 310 in secret, John Kasich is all but acknowledging that he has cost Ohio thousands of new jobs and millions in increased utility prices in order to appease the Koch brothers and other special interests. It is an all too fitting end to a week in which the Governor has failed to give Ohioans the answers they deserve, or take accountability for the consequences of his actions.
As Governor, I will work to make Ohio a national energy leader, rather than make headlines for becoming the first state in the country to freeze renewable energy standards.
It's too bad Jo Ingles had to write anything on the latest "story" in Ohio politics. But at least she includes facts that papers like the Columbus Dispatch unprofessionally leave out. One of the main facts being that as Ohio Republicans try to attack Ed FitzGerald on scheduling whereabouts, their own candidate does the same thing. Jo Ingles includes...
"And he says Governor John Kasich refuses to release schedule information the Democrats have requested, citing similar safety concerns."
The "he" is referring to Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern.
I'm sorry, but if it's good enough for John Kasich, then it should be good enough for Ed FitzGerald. Everything the Republicans bring up can be turned back on them.
Where's Ed FitzGerald? Where's John Kasich?
Release key card information. Ask Kasich's security detail about past travel - - get travel records and time cards, it's public information.
Ask Ed FitzGerald for his schedule, then ask John Kasich.
Some events are publicized with Ed FitzGerald, it's the same with John Kasich. I knew weeks in advance that John Kasich was coming to a Global Cleveland event. I've been invited to a chamber of commerce luncheon featuring Kasich that promoted him a month in advance. Is safety really why John Kasich won't release his schedule?
Yes, this is all silly. But at least Jo Ingles did a fair job in reporting it. The entire report can be found here:
Apparently, Matt Borges the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (and convicted criminal), is doing op-eds for the Columbus Dispatch. That's the only thing that can be deduced in reading their latest op-ed.
[..I removed the link to the op-ed, because it hooks up with the Dispatch's premium content. One way to screw over the financially challenged Dispatch is by not signing up for, or ever bother using, their premium content. They're collecting information to try to sell precisely targeted ads. Again, if you never use the service, or never sign in, they can't do this and it hurts their business model. Suffice it to say I did offer a pretty good summary of the op-ed in the next paragraph. Seriously. I could have written that it was kindergartner scribble and that would've been accurate.]
The op-ed continues a tired call that Ed FitzGerald should release information that John Kasich doesn't release, but it leaves that fact out. It offers zero balance and it's not even logically correct.
If I were the Ohio Democrats, I'd have Bill Clinton rip the shit out this editorial and the Columbus Dispatch tonight at their statewide dinner. If possible, I'd also have him pen a response calling them on their bias.
The Wolfe school of journalism in full effect ensuring the pubic will never know anything.
— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) June 12, 2014
If I saw these guys on the street I'd feel pretty bad for them. I'd also wonder what they did wrong to be treated treated that way.
Is this the new marketing campaign for the Young Republicans? Join the YRs, we have plenty of opportunities for you to humiliate yourself.
Brian Bull a reporter for Ideastream in northeast Ohio was recently recognized for an excellent series he did on the working poor. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for his work - - certainly well deserved.
The series was broadcast on WCPN an NPR affiliate in the Cleveland area. It can be found here: http://www.ideastream.org/news/workingpoor. It's not too long and well worth the listen. To give a taste, here's an excerpt where Bull is interviewing David K. Shipler, author of "The Working Poor: Invisible in America."
"Bull: It seems that among some politicians, and parts of society too, that there is almost a judgment against the poor, even sort of a backlash to the point where programs that support the poor are cut, or heavily criticized. Is there perhaps a sense that such people need to be punished, that they’re perceived as lazy, inept, or dishonest?
Shipler: “I’ve seen a resentment of the larger society toward the poor, and it’s a feature of the United States that may be unique in the world. I haven’t studied this in other places, but because of the American dream - or the American myth - which says that everyone who works hard can prosper, and because work is considered a moral virtue in the United States, there’s another side to that American myth, another side to the coin which says, ‘Well, if you don’t prosper, then you must not be working hard.’
“And therefore you must be somehow lacking morality and willing to benefit from the larger society without doing your share.
“I remember asking a woman in Cleveland, who was getting up at 3 or 4 in the morning to go to work on a bakery assembly line, how it was that she found herself in poverty.
“And her answer was one word: ‘Lazy,’ she said. ‘I’m lazy.’
Jon Husted, after losing a federal court case today concerning a policy he created to restrict early voting hours issued a statement that said he was pleased with it. Essentially what he did was say his policy was wrong and then thanked the federal court for straightening him out. The entire statement is re-posted below.
"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Statement From Secretary of State Jon Husted
Columbus – Regarding today’s federal court decision in Obama v. Husted, all of the following may be attributed to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
“I am pleased that the federal court has affirmed what I have long advocated -- that all voters, no matter where they live, should have the same opportunity to vote. Thankfully, uniformity and equality won the day.
“When it comes to voting days and hours, I have urged uniformity, bipartisanship and certainty – so that all Ohioans can know the rules for voting well in advance of the election.
“Absent legislative action to set hours, I had adopted by directive the only bipartisan schedule that has been offered. Now that the court has ruled, I will follow the decision.”
Columbus Dispatch prints article that seems to advocate John Kasich should release his daily schedule...Submitted by Derek K on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 11:38am.
John Kasich does not release his daily schedule. Ted Strickland his predecessor did. John Kasich has been so secretive about his schedule that a lawsuit was filed to try to obtain more information. The Columbus Dispatch has condoned this behavior, but in a hypocritical way, has published an article about citizens' rights to public records. Randy Ludlow of the Dispatch writes...
"Government at all levels merely is the custodian of the people’s records — not the owner. The law states that the records belong to all Ohioans."
You're absolutely right Randy, so John Kasich should get to releasing his daily schedule. Mary Taylor, too. And how about Josh Mandel? And I can't wait for the op-ed from the Columbus Dispatch that takes these public servants to task for hiding this information. Oh wait, that's not going to happen, because the Dispatch doesn't want citizens to ask questions about what Republicans are doing. They specifically direct people to look into things like local school districts. Don't mind the statewide offices that are denying people the right to vote or changing laws that could potentially allow some fracking company to dump their waste in your backyard. Fucking propaganda.
Link to the propaganda can be found here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/06/11/public-records-...
Wow - Joseph at Plunderbund definitely has the scoop into the developing scandal in the Lt. Governor's and Governor's office. He actually looked further into the "hostile working environment" quote and found...
"Brandt cited an “unhealthy hostile work environment” as her reason for leaving. Which certainly may explain the high turnover rate for Taylor staffers – especially those who followed Taylor from the Ohio Auditor’s Office where she served prior to taking over at Lieutenant Governor."
Link to complete story: http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/06/10/is-high-turnover-in-lt-governors-o...
If it was up to Henry and Joe, Ohioans would know none of this. It's really getting to the point where Henry and Joe are starting to look like the bloggers and Plunderbund is looking like the real news source.
Sunday evening, David Pepper and NIna Turner, "your voter protection team," spoke to a packed room at Zanzibar on Shaker Square in Cleveland at an event sponsored by the Shaker Heights Dems.
Most active Democrats are familiar with the sad story of how Ohio's Republican officeholder have chipped away at voting opportunities, taking away those we once had. And whatever arguments you might make about how we still have sufficient voting opportunities, that's just the wrong direction.
But David Pepper said something else that ALL Democrats should be thinking about — especially those who are not "excited" or "motivated" or are even still grumbling about our candidates for this or that little picayune reason.
He pointed out that when Kasich was first elected, voters were voting on his promises — but this time, they are voting on his record. And if he wins, he will say he has a mandate to double down — and he would.
As Pepper said, re-electing Kasich would send a message to him and everyone else that Ohioans LIKE what he has done in the last four years.
They were fine with SB 5 in the long run and won't mind future attacks on labor.
They're fine with the restriction of women's reproductive freedom, with erecting obstacles to voting primarily for urban voters, with slashing local government and public school funding and giant local tax increases to make up the difference. They're OK with his attacks on public education and teachers in general.
They think it's peachy that Ohio shamefully repeals its clean energy standards and faces environmental degradation and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs just to please wealthy GOP donors in the coal and gas industries.
I appreciate your response on Twitter to my story...
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) June 9, 2014
But as much you "agree with call for more reporting", you know what's not happening - more reporting.
Here's Joe Vardon's "more reporting"...
Taylor's got a replacement for her COS who resigned over time sheet flap...at $50k cheaper, too http://t.co/6JoqjAUUnE
How do you know when reporters are biased? When they can write things like the following in their stories and not bother to ask any follow up questions.
"Heather Brandt, 30, executive assistant to Johnson, also resigned, citing an “unhealthy hostile work environment” in her resignation letter."
For background: the quote is from a story Joe Vardon did on the resignation of two staffers to Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. The other person referenced in the quote was the Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff.
I did not major in journalism and mass communications, but I did take a couple of classes while I was in college. Just based on the entry level classes I took, a quote like "citing an unhealthy hostile work environment” would probably tip you to ask some follow-up questions. Both Joe and Henry have included in the quote in stories they wrote. But they don't seem interested in finding out any more. I don't know where Joe went to school. I do know Henry attended Youngstown State. These must be pretty crappy schools of journalism based on some of the crappy work these two do. Do they offer courses like "Biased Journalism 101"? Apparently so.
This is the kind of story that would be intolerable if these people were Democrats. Their pictures would be on the front page of both the Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch. There'd be no excuse for Mary Taylor not to know where her chief of staff was.
If Mary Taylor's chief of staff wasn't in the office and neither was the assistant to the chief of staff, how on earth could Mary Taylor have known what was really going on in that office? Does this go on in the Department of Insurance? What other offices are managed this way? These are question you'd think a person with a journalism degree would ask. But when you've graduated from Youngstown State and wherever Joe Vardon "graduated" from - - apparently you don't.
Henry Gomez, a "reporter" employed by the Plain Dealer (or NEOMG), but an obvious campaigner for the Republican ticket of John Kasich/Mary Taylor for governor, has already begun counter-spinning the negative press they received late Friday. The negative news concerned the resignation of Mary Taylor's chief of staff and an administrative assistant for fudging time records. The story was not released by any major news outlet, but by a left-leaning blog, Plunderbund.com. (link: www.plunderbund.com) Within hours Henry Gomez set out to soften the blow of the story. Let's have a look at Henry's spin shall we...
Henry starts his article off with this...
"CLEVELAND, Ohio – It's an election year, so the resignation of Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor's chief of staff – announced Friday afternoon in a time slot often reserved for the dumping of less-than-favorable news – will stir political consequences."
Translation: let's not get too worked up about this people. It's an election year and these things happen. If Henry wasn't biased, he'd be able to understand that it is a bit odd the chief of staff to the Lt. Governor had to resign for fudging time sheets. It doesn't happen that often. I'm sure if this was a Democrat Henry would write that the person was "stealing the public's money", or something like that.
Henry then writes...
"Republicans will argue that Taylor acted decisively and transparently. She discovered irregularities between Laura Johnson's time sheets and parking records as Taylor's office was gathering documents in response to a public-records request from the left-leaning blog Plunderbund."
Once again two of Ohio's most prominent political "reporters" fail to break another story. The reason why they failed? Because the story involved Republicans, and they love Republicans.
The story involved the resignations of Ohio Lt. Governor's chief of staff and an administrative assistant. It was broken by Plunderbund. (www.plunderbund.com). The reason for the resignations was because the two were billing state time while working on the Lt. Governor/Governor's re-election campaign. The complete story can be found here: http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/06/06/plunderbund-record-request-results...
There have been whispers for years that staff members of the Kasich/Taylor administration campaign while on state time. When Kasich overthrew the Ohio GOP chairmanship by getting state committee people loyal to him elected. there were several complaints that his staff campaigned on state time. Was that ever investigated? Nope.
Gomez and Vardon will no doubt take this story to not look further into Republicans, but to attack Democrats. You can mark those words. So we'll never really know how wide-spread this is in the administration. It's another story that won't get reported, because there is a fix in by the Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch to get Kasich/Taylor re-elected. And those two couldn't be happier that Gomez and Vardon are at the helm for reporting.
That's a message that many on the right just haven't gotten yet — you know, the ones that want "their" country "back," meaning the one that belonged to straight, white, affluent males and not much of anyone else.
Unfortunately, in some ways we still ARE that country, and in the ways that we are, we are weaker. While Republicans have grasped onto the latest fake "scandal" like someone dying of thirst in a desert — seriously, can you believe that these "worship the military" types have decided to destroy the reputation of a POW just to hurt Obama? They really do not care about this country — the desperate needs of working people, especially women, are going unheard or worse, scoffed at by them.
That's why Nancy Pelosi and some other Democratic congresswomen are doing their "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds" bus tour, which hit Cleveland Tuesday. A stage was set up in the back parking lot of the SEIU building downtown where about 200 women (and some men) of all ages waited for the bus to arrive, carrying minority leader Pelosi, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and Columbus Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. Cuyahoga County's two congresswomen, Marcia Fudge and Marcy Kaptur, were waiting to great them (Marcia even led a little line dancing to keep the group entertained).
To block shit like this:
Ohio might make it illegal for insurance to cover abortions, even in cases of rape, incest and when pregnancy threatens a mother’s life.
The first hearing for House Bill 351 was held yesterday.
The only exception allowed in the bill, which would affect all insurance policies that cover Ohioans, is in cases of ectopic, or tubal, pregnancies.
Sponsored by a loathsome sociopath out of suburban Cincinnati (Clermont County, of COURSE) named John Becker, this bill would prohibit Ohio women from spending their OWN money to purchase insurance coverage for a LEGAL medical procedure that in many cases is necessary to save their lives and in almost all cases is essential for them to maintain any decent quality of life. Way to get government out of people’s lives!
The naked hatred of women in this legislature is off the charts. There’s no way they can credibly punt to “preborn babies” anymore, because this same crew has done everything it can to destroy quality of life for Ohio’s children.
And while Becker included a provision stating that the bill doesn’t ban birth control pills, he is VERY clear that it bans IUDs because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg which he thinks is equivalent to abortion.
“This is just a personal view. I’m not a medical doctor,” Becker said.
Isn’t it nice to have women’s medical choices decided by the “personal view” of a raging misogynist without a medical background who pretends to have such deep reverence for a fertilized egg (we’re not even talking about a FETUS here) while abandoning too many of Ohio’s actual born children to a life of poverty and hopelessness?
While the obnoxious cheerleading goes on from the Plain Dealer and Henry Gomez to host the RNC in Cleveland, it's leading to some pretty ridiculous quotes. Take the following from an example...
— Cleveland 2016 RNC (@CLErnc) June 4, 2014
No, all of Ohio would not be behind them. In a state that has gone twice for the Democratic Presidential nominee and where John Kasich barely won in 2010, it's a pretty big mis-statement to say all of Ohio is behind them or wants this convention.
It's estimated that the area has to raise about $50 to $60 million to host the convention. Of that, most of the money will come from private sources. So how much is coming from public money? If this was the Democratic National Convention the Plain Dealer would probably report it down to the penny in an article designed to create outrage.
The Rah Rah that's currently going on for the Republicans is just a small taste of what it would be like if their convention was held in Cleveland. I wrote it before and I'll re-state it, people should oppose holding this convention. Blind support of it would be oxymoronic.
Not that it's a surprise. They were hardly going to endorse Kasich. But their endorsement helps bring the race to the attention of people around the country and maybe even bring in a few donations. Getting people to donate to these winnable races is one of their major goals.
And make no mistake — this race is winnable. So cease your whining and groaning. It's not going to be an EASY win. It's going to hinge on turnout. And our Republican legislature and our secretary of voter suppress ... I mean STATE ... Jon Husted have done everything in their power to discourage voting among groups most likely to vote for Democrats.
The endorsement says of Ed,
He's good on our issues, down the line. Incumbent Republican Gov. John Kasich is not. Down the line. On abortion, on worker's rights, on marriage equality, on voter suppression, these candidates are literally polar opposites.
...It looks that way. Plunderbund has the scoop starting with...
"The Cleveland School District is in the news this week as they are working to remove teachers who have received good evaluations while simultaneously expanding their contract with Teach For America. This contract expansion will replace these experienced and qualified teachers with untested, under-trained TFA corps members (who each come with a “finders fee” paid out to Teach For America which will total $400,000 in additional spending).
At the Cleveland School District Board of Education meeting this past Tuesday, hundreds of teachers gathered to protest these changes that caught these successful teachers off-guard."
The post also has remarks from the president of the Cleveland Teachers Union - - a very important read. Please click on the link for the entire story: http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/05/29/cleveland-schools-to-fire-quality-...
...The article doesn't have a "gotcha" headline either. From Cleveland.com...
"COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A cloak of secrecy surrounding JobsOhio makes it impossible to determine how effective it really is at job creation and whether it offers Ohioans a good return on their dollar, a new report argues."
Check the article out. It's actually an informative read.
Chris Schrimpf and other Ohio Republicans are trying to create a dust-up over a misstatement Ed FitzGerald made. The misstatement was line-item vetoing parts of legislation that can't be done. Ok...
John Kasich during his first few months in office arbitrarily gave away $2 million of the people's money on a whim. While he might have been trying to do a good thing, it's far from the protocol of how you're supposed to allocate money. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported:
"Gov. John Kasich Thursday out of nowhere offered state childrens’ hospitals $2 million – money that was not in the state budget he recently signed."
Talk about an amateur hour. Did John Kasich think he got elected king and he could give away money to whoever he wanted? Ed FitzGerald, since being elected to the second most powerful post in Ohio hasn't made a screw up like that.
Everyone's favorite Ohio ex-gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has done it again.
Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell on Tuesday linked the Isla Vista mass killings to marriage equality laws, which he claimed are destroying the culture.
Speaking with FRC president Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch,” Blackwell blamed the shooting on “the crumbling of the moral foundation of the country” and “the attack on natural marriage and the family.”
According to Blackwell, people are unfairly attacking the Second Amendment (the only one that exists in GOPland) and not addressing the root cause of such shootings: the moral decay caused by gay people.
Now, we know that the Family Research Council has been declared a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, primarily for their constant spreading of lies about LGBT people in order to "prove" what a menace to society they are.
The really menace to society? People like Ken Blackwell and Tony Perkins who are so obsessed with gay people they just won't shut up about them.
And you know what that means.
Ordinary straight guys don't get this worked up. They just go on their straight-guy way, checking out the women or hanging with their girlfriend. They don't seem to pop up on TV every week going on and on and on about the EVILS of The Gay.