A Stunning Level of Arrogance That Bodes Ill for Ohio — Jon Husted Edition


The current GOP statewide officeholders are among the most arrogant we've seen. We all know how all except auditor David Yost refused to debate their opponent, an unprecedented occurrence, one that may have benefited them politically but which made a mockery of democracy by depriving voters of the change to learn about and compare candidates. Message: you voters don't count.

And we have all seen how Governor John Kasich has given Ohioans the finger by refusing to explain his many controversial actions or to talk about the many more he is widely rumored to have in pipeline for his second term should he be reelected. He doesn't think us little people deserve to know his agenda.

And he's not the only one. There is, for instance, Secretary of Voter Suppress... I mean STATE ... Jon Husted.

This story has been kicking around a few weeks, but with Election Day today, it's risen to the top again. And it got coverage today on Rachel Maddow's blog.


Polling places are strictly nonpartisan. You have undoutedly seen all the signs and maybe even some candidates outside your polling place — 100 feet away from the entrance, as close as they're allowed to come. You may have even been asked to take off a campaign button or turn a candidate T-shirt inside out. Except for that sample ballot held close in your hand, even voters are not allowed to be sporting candidate names.

Except now Jon Husted has decreed the rule doesn't apply to Jon Husted. He's ordered signs with his names displayed in polling places. Longtime poll workers of both parties are outraged.

Thank you, Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz has called on WCPN to remove Chris Quinn as a commentator on their Friday news roundup show. She's absolutely right to do so.

Chris Quinn is under fire for his strange removal of an endorsement interview video that featured Ohio's three gubernatorial candidates. He's refused to say why he did it.

If Chris Quinn can't be honest about why he removed the video, what else would he be willing to be dishonest about? How exactly could he be trusted to be an honest commentator for a news roundup show?

WCPN is a publicly funded radio station. Don't they owe it to the people who donated to them to have the most forthcoming people on their news roundup?

Poor Nick Mascari - ...

Thanks again for reading Ohio Daily Blog and your twitter response.

Did you read what I wrote? Did you comprehend it? Because by your rather primary response, it doesn't seem like you did.

Can you point me to any other newsource in Ohio that repeats things ad nauseam the way NEOMG does?

Terrible candidate
What kind of candidate has to keep opponents off the ballot? Great job you all did with Charlie Earl.

Ed FitzGerald was one point behind John Kasich before NEOMG started its bizarre obsession. Apparently, some people liked what he was saying.


Do you understand math, Nick? Henry Gomez's writing is a variable. Remove it, and what happens to the equation? Do you get the same outcome? What happens if you increase the number of stories about Laura Johnson and Heather Brandt? (I mean, what were they doing, if they weren't in the office? How much time did they fudge? And who else in the Governor's office or Lt. Governor's office [which are pretty much the same] were doing what they did?) Or how about John Kasich's handling of toxic alage? Or what about his backing of terribly performing charter schools? Or what about his gag order on rape crisis counselors where they can't mention abortion? (John Kasich says he supports abortion in the case of rape). Or what if there were more stories about how he defunded food banks? I think the outcome would change. Get it, Nick? Well, I think with your peabrain, you probably don't.

Thanks again for your somewhat banal response. I'd invite you to debate me on these things, but apparently Ohio Repubicans can't do that. And that's pathetic, Dude.

A Little Election Day Blast From the Past

Yes, the Plain Dealer/NEOMG is a horrible, biased, news-free media outlet, but let's not forget how bad the Columbus Disgrace ... I mean Dispatch ... is. A few years ago the Dispatch purchased Columbus alternative newspaper the Other Paper and vaporized all its content from the web.

That included a terrific 2010 story by Lyndsey Teter called "Does Ohio Need As S.O.B. As Governor?" It told story after story of the self-absorbed, bullying arrogance of John Kasich — clearly not something the Kasich ass-kissing Dispatch wanted out there.

But every once in a while, I stumble on a piece of it and I thought you might enjoy this. It's only the tip of the iceberg. Alas, the rest is mostly gone.

As the legend goes, Brad Cody was a 16-year-old grocery store clerk at the Big Bear at the corner of Schrock Road and Cleveland Avenue when he recalls his first—and last—encounter with then-Congressman John Kasich.

“I believe the year was 1988, and he came in with a wife or a girlfriend and he bought maybe $20 or $30 worth of stuff, and he tried to pay with a check,” Cody said.

It wasn’t just any ordinary check, however. It was a “fancy check,” embellished with his name and the address of his congressional office in Washington, D.C., Cody said. Unfortunately, the Westerville store’s policy required that accepting out-of-state checks, fancy or otherwise, required two forms of identification.

Kasich only had one.

“His anger was evident,” Cody said. The congressman was already riled, Cody said, because the video store had closed at 10 p.m., and the manager had refused to open back up so he could browse the rentals. “Kasich replied, ‘Do you know who I am?’” Cody said.

Ohio is the outlier - ...

Across the nation we are seeing tight races in statewide elections. From senate battles to governorships many races are within the margin. Candidates are within striking distance of one another and it's tough to get a read on exactly what will happen. From Maine to Kentucky to Iowa to Louisiana to Alaska to Kansas - yes Kansas - all these states have senate races and governor races in play. And in Michigan and Wisconsin two states with very similar back stories to Ohio for 2014 there are very competitive races for governor in those states. But we find none of this in Ohio.

No, in Ohio, John Kasich is about to run away with the election. What's been the difference? Quite simply it's been the awful reporting by the Ohio press corps aided by a terrible Ohio Democratic Party that couldn't understand what was really going on in the election and was filled with cowards that ran (Nick Buis, Daniel McElhatton, Aaron Pickrell) at the first sign of trouble. There's been no one I've talked to, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Independent, who really believe that a race for governor should be decided on an issue concerning a driver's license. But that's what Ohio's media fixated on. Every so often one of Ohio's "journalists" tweets something about the diminishing number of reports covering the statehouse, etc, and I have to ask, would it really make a difference if none of you existed? Seriously, what more do any of you do than to sit back, wait to see what Henry Gomez and NEOMG write, and then like lemmings just follow along. Why does NEOMG dictate what you all write? Or don't, in the case the disappearing editorial board video NEOMG removed.

Ohio is the outlier. It's an anomaly in the 2014 election. And the anomaly was no accident. It was crafted. And the citizens of Ohio should be furious about it.

Henry Gomez remains terrible - ...

Henry Gomez's latest Republican cheerleading focuses on how John Kasich is looking to "run up the score"...

He's looking to run up the score, because he's so compassionate, right Henry?

In reality John Kasich, can run up the score on the Democrats, in part, because of you and Northeast Ohio Media Group's (NEOMG) awful reporting.

Their Goal Is To Discourage You. Don't Fall For It. Vote!


Will Ohio’s worst governor in decades win reelection by the huge margin the Ohio newspapers are hosanna’ing and halleluia’ing this morning in a poll that shows “bad news for Democrats” and a statewide Republican sweep?

I have no idea. That would certainly be tragic for Ohio.


One thing we have learned this cycle is that our largest newspapers—the Cleveland Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Columbus Dispatch—are no longer pretending to be impartial deliverers of news. Both are now openly mouthpieces for the Ohio Republican Party.

And I have believed, ever since they started their stupid, tabloid-style saturation coverage of Ed FitzGerald’s drivers license, that their real goal was to discourage Democratic voters, to make people apathetic and cynical, to make them throw up their hands and say “Everyone stinks so why should I vote?”


Guest Post: What Ed FitzGerald Should Have Asked Governor Kasich About Health Policy

Guest Post by Daniel Skinner

*Daniel Skinner is Assistant Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Follow him on Twitter at @danielrskinner*

It’s a shame for many reasons that Governor John Kasich rejected challenger Ed FitzGerald’s call for a series of debates leading up to the November 4 gubernatorial election. As many Ohioans have noted, refusing voters even a single chance to see the candidates engage issues directly, side-by-side on the same stage, seems downright undemocratic. Conventional wisdom is that the governor has presidential ambitions and wanted to avoid generating soundbites that might be used against him later. I don’t know if that is true. But if so, presidential ambitions have done a great disservice to Ohioans.

The stakes are particularly high for health care policy. The Ohio gubernatorial election would have been a perfect opportunity to sort through the noise that has accompanied implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), so-called “Obamacare.” Here are some questions Ohioans would have benefitted hearing the governor’s views on:

1. Medicaid. Against considerable resistance from his own party, Governor Kasich expanded Ohio’s Medicaid program. Upwards of 50,000 more Ohioans now have Medicaid coverage and health care reform advocates have applauded the governor for making this happen. But the governor also wants to be seen as an opponent of the ACA. How does he think the Medicaid expansion is working? What is the future of the program? Does Ohio plan to stick with it?

Reducing the Attorney General Race to a Food Fight

*David Pepper at the West Side Market in Cleveland*


After Governor Kasich, no current statewide officeholder—not even execrable state treasurer Josh Mandel—has accumulated such a bad record in office in the last four years as attorney general Mike DeWine.

Whether it’s rampant cronyism, turning a blind eye to sexual harassment in his office, using the Steubenville gang rape case more to showboat than work to change the climate of contempt for women, spending Ohio taxpayer money running around the country in support of other states’ attempts to put contraception out of reach for women, concealing pertinent evidence in a racially charged police shooting, or going to court to try to block a gay man, married in another state, from being legally recognized on his dying spouse’s death certificate, it’s been one violation after another of the standards of fairness and impartiality you have a right to expect from your attorney general.

Yet when his opponent David Pepper points any of this out—stuff that the Plain Dealer ITSELF should have been pointing out—the paper brands it “mudslinging.” It’s one of the most extreme reductions of an important race to he said/he said non-reporting I’ve ever seen. It’s like they just don’t think Mike DeWine’s actual actions count.

Of course, despite everything, the paper—incredibly—endorsed DeWine, ludicrously contending that this drab, intellectually mediocre career politician “brought passion and energy to the job.”

Newspapers' High-Minded Principles & the Less Noble Reality

Jill Zimon posted a good column on her blog Writes Like She Talks, exploring the discrepancy between what newspapers claim their mission and principles are and what they actually do, as demonstrated by the Plain Dealer/North East Ohio Media Group's removal of its video of the endorsement interview it did last week with the three candidates for governor and its failure to respond to inquiries about why they did so.


Jill shows us some of the American Society of News Editors "statement of principles" as well as Advance Publications' (PD/NEOMG's parent company) own "objectives" and "core values" as stated on its own website. Many will see a chasm the size of Gand Canyon between these objective and core values and what it seems like the PD/NEOMG is doing in practice.

Does it really "empower readers with serious journalism —rigorous, thorough, aggressive and fair — across all platforms"?

Many would disagree, given the plethora of serious issues the paper has barely explored and the trivial issues it has given saturation coverage to. When a candidate's personal flubs are given daily exposure but questions about how hundreds of millions of our tax dollars are being spent in Columbus are barely asked, this almost seems mocking.

The gulf between the ASNE “statement of principles” and how the PD/NEOMG has been delivering the news is even greater.

Meet Them At the Box Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the only Sunday of early voting—a day when "Souls to the Polls" has taken place since the implementation of in-person early voting in Ohio. That's when many black urban churches load their parishioners on buses after Sunday services and take them down to the board of elections to vote.

Of course, secretary of voter suppress.... I mean STATE...Jon Husted and his fellow Republicans have been doing their best to stop it. Still, this one day remains. And Democrats and black churches are making some noise about it.

Yelling the loudest is that champion for voter turnout, Nina Turner, who is challenging Husted for his job and who has promised that boosting voter turnout in EVERY community would be a priority for her.

Tomorrow from 2-4 pm Turner will be hosting "Meet Me @ the Box" at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at E. 30th and Euclid. Don't worry about the weather. Nothing will stop her. This is the woman who slept in a tent on the sidewalk outside the board of elections in 2012 on the night before the first day of early voting to get some TV coverage and assure that voters knew early voting had started.

Down in Cincinnati, state representative Alicia Reece, local pastors and other organizations are hosting Souls to the Polls at the Hamilton County Board of Elections at 824 Broadway starting at 2pm. There will be a prayer vigil for voting rights (and with Republicans in charge, that's going to take a lot of praying!), a short voting rights rally, gathering of signatures for a permanent solution to voting rights (Ohio Voter Bill of Rights Ballot Petition), and then going in to vote. They will have buses and vans at various churches around the area for people who need a ride. Call Marian Butler @ 513-314-5039 if you need more information.

Plain Dealer's Descent Into National Joke Continues

Who would have dreamed when our own Derek K wrote his prescient series of posts this summer that by this time, the Plain Dealer's reputation would be in freefall and that it would be the butt of national mockery, as it sold its soul to guard John Kasich's governorship.

Did it ever occur to them — maybe during the endorsement interview last week when Kasich turned in a performance unworthy of being elected to a minor leadership position in a Cub Scout troop — that they'd ALREADY done enough to rig the election and that tossing the last few shreds of their reputation in the toilet wasn't actually necessary? Or are the internal polls showing Kasich and FitzGerald a lot closer than they would have you believe?

Who knows. But Steve Benen at MSNBCs Rachel Maddow Blog is only the latest to put this sorry former news outlet turned Republican propaganda machine in the glare of the national spotlight.


In a post this morning titled "The Gag Rule Kasich Doesn't Want to Talk About," Benen wrote of the now-infamous endorsement interview,

The discussion, such as it was, continued for a while, with the governor repeatedly saying he’s “pro-life,” while (a) refusing to answer the question; (b) refusing to acknowledge his rivals were sitting next to him; and (c) refusing to recognize the policy he imposed on his state. Kasich, the chief executive one of the nation’s largest states, did all of this while adopting the mannerisms of a petulant child who’s been told to take a time out.

He goes on to say reveal for yet another set of readers outside Ohio exactly how the PD had pulled down the video of the only encounter this campaign season between all the candidates and how they threatened Plunderbund — twice now — for posting a clip of it.

Not Again! Ohio's Voter Suppression Team Husted/DeWine Sued — For Trying to Suppress the Vote

*The Voter Protection Team: David Pepper & Nina Turner*

This evening the Cleveland-based Chandra Law Firm set out a press release. Some may remember Subodh Chandra as Cleveland law director, or from his primary race in 2006 for attorney general against Marc Dann.

Plaintiffs in Voting-Rights Case Propose Complaint Against Ohio Secretary of State Husted and Attorney General DeWine to Rescind Restrictions Intended to Disenfranchise African-American, Latino, and Democratic Voters. Chandra: “Ohio Republicans have Resurrected Jim Crow in the Form of Red Tape.”

Uh oh. That doesn't sound good.

One of Chandra's specialties is election law, and alas, there's just too much work in that field these days. Here in Ohio alone, I've lost count of the number of lawsuits filed against Jon Husted for his disgraceful work as our secretary of voter suppress ... I mean STATE.

And, accompanied by his buddy attorney general Mike DeWine, he's gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court fighting tooth and nail for his right to limit Ohioans' opportunities to vote. Couldn't these two be doing something USEFUL for the state's residents?

Here's what this lawsuit is about:

United We Stand, Divided We Fall


No matter what happens Tuesday, I'll have a few things to say Wednesday about the attitude and behavior of some Democrats.

But for now I want to remind you that we have SIX great statewide non-judicial candidates (We also have two Supreme Court candidates, John O'Donnell and Tom Letson, that you should vote for).

There is no choice for governor but Ed FitzGerald. He stands up for everybody's rights, not just those who share his personal ideology and religious beliefs. That's why LGBT groups have endorsed him. Kasich thinks they are lesser citizens who should have fewer rights.


And as a woman, this was chilling to me:


John Kasich exudes contempt for women, hiding behind the meaningless assertion "I'm pro-life." He is the furthest thing from it. Here he and six other middle-aged white men stomped out the hopes and dreams of many poor and working women, forced to have babies they can't afford because of some moralizing, patronizing white males.

Sharen Neuhardt is about as fine a running matter as Ed could have picked, a true progressive, a tireless worker, and staunch supporter of women's rights.

New Lows for The Plain Dealer Are Daily Events Now

One of the stories abut Ed FitzGerald that the Cleveland Plain Dealer trying out early in their cycle of personal destruction was one about him being in car with a woman at 4 am — doing nothing suspicious.

When that didn't really get people outraged, they grabbed onto the drivers license thing and flogged it until they managed to make it seem like the worst thing ever done by a candidate in Ohio. (Hey PD, how about a little attention for the theft of our public school money for the benefit of unaccountable, failing for-profit charter schools or the fact that we have no idea how JobsOhio is spending OUR money —we just know it's not creating jobs).

Now they are scrapping dripping raw egg off their collective faces for making a mockery of their own endorsement process, revealing that it's nothing but a charade.

What next? Yup. They decided to dig up and run another non-story about FitzGerald in a car with a woman doing nothing particularly suspicious — years ago when he was mayor of Lakewood — and run it on the website today, somehow squeezing it in with all the Cavs/LeBron coverage. I hate basketball but I'd rather see more Cavs coverage. The PD does politics SO badly.

Gee, I wonder if the PD is trying to divert attention from the flap pulling of the endorsement interview video has caused, and the conversations around why they would endorse such a surly baby of a candidate who not only stonewalled during the interview but refused to return their questionnaire. It's attracting a lot of unfavorable attention to this former "news" paper. This is blowing up as another debacle like the 2004 failure to endorse a presidential candidate after publisher Alex Machaskee overruled his editorial board's decision to endorse John Kerry.

They're attracting plenty of the same type of mocking attention they got back then.

Here's Techdirt:com:

How The Plain Dealer Destroyed Its Brand

In October 2004, I cancelled my subscription to the Plain Dealer over their presidential endorsement.

Maybe you remember it. It was really a non-endorsement. If you don’t recall how the paper fumbled and covered itself with shame, let me refresh your memory.

The PD editorial board voted something like 7-2 to endorse John Kerry. My numbers could be wrong but it was pretty decisive. Then they were overruled by publisher Alex Machaskee (what’s that line we’re always being fed about how the publisher has no input into the editorial side?) and declared that the paper was going to endorse George Bush. Some fed-up person inside the PD leaked this to the national media, making the paper look foolish and compromised.

The editorial kept getting pushed back, and when it did, the paper endorsed — no one! You have heard so much about the candidates, it declared, that we don’t think you need US to tell you who to vote for!

Punting like that would have been fine — if they never endorsed another presidential candidate. What presidential race ISN’T a massive blitz that everyone is tired of by October?

But the PD has continued to do endorsements, endorsements that get more puzzling and out of touch with reality every year. Their howler of an endorsement for John Kasich in 2010 was a prime example, when they basically said he’s a loose cannon but he’ll bring excitement to Ohio. He sure did — the wrong kind.

I think pretty much everyone knew it was a foregone conclusion they would endorse Kasich again, even six months ago when the polls still showed a competitive race and before they were fed GOP oppo research about a few personal missteps by his opponent Ed FitzGerald.

But I don’t think anyone predicted how thoroughly the paper would disgrace itself on the road to endorsing Kasich.

The Plain Dealer Grovels to John Kasich — Yet Again

Longtime Ohio Daily Blog readers know that we have no great love for Ohio’s so-called “news” papers. I called out the Cleveland Plain Dealer back in 2009 for its coverage of the Cuyahoga County charter issue, a textbook case in how to slant coverage to favor one side.


And Derek spent much of the summer documenting the appalling “reporting” done by the Plain Dealer’s Henry Gomez and the Columbus Dispatch’s Joe Vardon on this year’s statewide elections as they acted as dutiful mouthpieces for the Ohio Republican Party.

We learned from our friends over at Plunderbund last week just how much they colluded with the ORP. Instead of covering issues that impact the lives of Ohioans they focused on an overheated campaign of personal destruction against Ed FitzGerald which Plunderbund revealed was likely a set-up in which someone inside the Bureau of Motor Vehicles worked hand-in-hand with the Kasich campaign and the Dispatch to provide the information to take down Ed, who until that point was very competitive with the hapless Kasich. That was probably the motivation.

Kasich, of course, has refused to appear at debates or forums with FitzGerald or Green candidate Anita Rios or to answer questions about some of his more contentious and hurtful policies as governor, preferring to run on an expensive media campaign of carefully crafted lies — the sort of thing that would be called out by a REAL newspaper.

Attorney General Mike DeWine: Corrupt and Hyper-Partisan


SInce Mike DeWine managed to sneak into the attorney general's office, barely beating Rich Cordray thanks to Ohio voter's apathy and inattentiveness, that office has plummeted downward faster than a Cedar Point roller coaster.

On one hand, you have rampant cronyism and a complete disregard for sexual harassment charges in his office, with zero interest in investigating and a dismissive attitude toward the women.

On the other, you have his use of this public office and taxpayer dollars not to defend Ohioans and protect their well-being, but to work virtually nonstop to push an extremist ideology and his personal religious beliefs — all over the country.

Where Rich Cordray took on deceptive mortgage brokers and predatory payday lenders, DeWine has crisscrossed the country working to deprive women of access to contraception under the fake charge of "religious freedom" and pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a heartless, anti-Christian move that would kill thousands and bankrupt many more.

Even the Columbus Dispatch — which endorsed this sorry excuse for an attorney general — has taken notice. In an article yesterday it detailed all the cases around the country in which DeWine's office filed a supporting amicus brief. This isn't an unusual practice, but the cases for which he's done it are a laundry list of extremist causes.


ONE side is responsible for government dysfunction and lack of progress on anything — ONE.

I get so sick of hearing self-proclaimed wisdom spouters i.e. political pundits and columnists, nattering on about the roots of the stalemate in Washington D.C. and how "both sides" are guilty of bringing things to a grinding halt as we bid farewell to the least productive Congress in history.

A brief moment in yesterday's U.S Senate debate in Georgia between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue rips the veil off that little lie and exposes the festering Republican intransigence behind it.

From Rachel Maddow Blog report Steve Benen:

Michelle Nunn (D), echoing her usual message, emphasized the need for compromise. "I just don't believe that it's one party or the other. I think it has to be both sides coming together," she said. "I think that we do have a very clear contrast in terms of how we see breaking through that dysfunction. I don't think it's about prosecuting the other party; I think it's about problem-solving."

At which point, David Perdue (R) dismissed this approach out of hand.
"I disagree," Perdue answered. "When you have a failed presidency, you have to prosecute it," he said.... "When we look at the direction of this country, we've got to make a hard right-hand turn."


What more needs to be side? We are already toppling off the right-hand cliff and Perdue's party thinks we need to go even further right and enact a set of policies virtually every American is against. And we have a Congress many times more "failed" than the President. MANY times. I don't think there's been a poll in years which hasn't shown Congress's approvals much lower than President Obama's.

I agree in part with Nunn: we should focus on problem-solving. But as long as you have an opposing side whose single-minded goal is not solving problems but imposing ideology whether it fits of not — hello, John Kasich! — then problems will only get worse.

Tigers Never Changes Stripes, Empty Suits Stay Empty Forever


Oh, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel! We can always count on you to never change. You will always be what you are: sleazy, unethical, lazy, unqualified for every office you have held and every office you have run for.

In a recent ad, Mandel claimed he had improved Ohio's financial ranking from 43rd to 7th in the country.

That's not true. Surprise! But Mandel is doubling down and insisting it is, despite being called out by the state's extremely rightwing newspapers, who basically serve as errand boys for the Ohio Republican Party.

The poor Plain Dealer was in a quandary back in 2010 when Mandel ran a sleazy and unethical campaign (yeah, another big surprise ...). It was clear they really really REALLY wanted to endorse the rosy-cheeked "rising star" of the Ohio GOP. But after his despicable Muslim-baiting attack on incumbent Kevin Boyce, they obviously got that it would be a bad idea. So they endorsed a totally unqualified Libertarian, claiming there was "scandal" in Boyce's office, which there wasn't.

And when Mandel ran his sleazy, unprincipled campaign (hmmm ... seems like there's a pattern here) against Sherrod Brown for the Senate in 2012, the PD found itself in the difficult situation of having to award Mandel "Pants on Fire" after "Pants on Fire" rating in its PolitiFact feature. So much so that they actually twisted around stuff Brown said to make it seem like they were "balanced."

What does the paper say about Mandel's latest claim?

Play The Game! "Where's David 'Waldo' Joyce"?

Anyone who can spot 14th district Congressman David Joyce in these photos from congressional candidate forums in the district gets a prize!




No luck? Maybe you should try looking for him at an NRA meeting! If you want a congressman you can actually find at public forums, vote for Michael Wager.


City Club Forum on Governor's Race — But Cowardly Governor Doesn't Show

*Ed FitzGerald talks about issues, Anita Rios listens, moderator Robert Higgs is probably contemplating how he's going to drag in the drivers license*

John Kasich has refused to appear at any debates this year, arrogantly presuming that because his reelection seems assured, he is no longer answerable to the citizens of Ohio. But the two other candidates — Democrat Ed FitzGerald and Green Anita Rios — appeared at a forum at the City Club of Cleveland Wednesday evening and demonstrated why both are more qualified to be governor than Kasich.

As sad as Kasich’s absence is the continued spin by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, continuing its tragic decline by deciding that people don’t need to know about the real issues in this race and mostly likely hastening the day when northeast Ohioans decide they don’t need a newspaper.

I think Rios spoke for many of us when, in response to the attempt by moderator Robert Higgs from the Plain Dealer’s digital wing, the Northeast Ohio Media Group, to drag the discussion to FitzGerald’s drivers license, she snapped, “Shame on the media for focusing on that. What Kasich did with JobsOhio should be criminal. Governor Kasich’s history on Wall Street speaks more to my conscience than Mr. FitzGerald’s drivers license.”

Job Creation Booming in Ohio! An Economic Miracle! Oops — Just Kidding

The only place in Ohio where an economic miracle exists is in John Kasich's carefully stage-managed commercials. Packed with lies about how much he's done to stimulate job creation, they paint a false picture Kasich won't offer himself to the public to be challenged on.

So we won't get to hear what he says about the latest job creation numbers for Ohio which have been anemic for the last couple of years. (Anyone remember the 2010 campaign line that, yeah yeah, Strickland was creating some jobs but not enough and not fast enough and that Kasich and his beloved "JobsOhio" would create jobs "at the speed of business"? No? Kasich doesn't either apparently).

It seems that after soaring as high as 39th in the country in job creation (never mind that Kasich said we would be leading the pack!) according to the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business rankings, the state has sunk to 45th in job creation over the last 12-month period. 45th! That means in the last year 44 states created more jobs than Ohio.


Yeah, that's what I call a "miracle."

It's true that the whole country has grown jobs, thanks to President Obama's prudent management of the national economy and measures like the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), which Republicans tried to spin as a job killer only it isn't. But Ohio's rate has remained below the national average for two years, even after Kasich managed to get JobsOhio up and running and stealing our tax dollars. And Ohio still hasn't recovered that jobs it lost during the Bush recession, something Kasich promised to remedy in short order four years ago. In fact it was about the only thing he was really clear on — and he failed.

You would reelect this man why?


Speaking of the Attorney General's Race (and Why You Should Vote for Pepper)


Here's an interesting story. There was a third candidate in the race for attorney general, along with Democrat David Pepper and Republican incumbent Mike "What Sexual Harassment" DeWine. His name is Steve Linnabary, he's a Libertarian — and he just endorsed Pepper/

No kidding.

He's got his reasons. For one, the Republicans, trying to protect that 2 or 3 percent of the vote that Libertarians, with their appeal to Tea Party members, often take from Republicans, connived to have both Linnabary and the Libertarian candidate for governor tossed from the ballot.

According to David Pepper's website,

Libertarian candidates have been repeatedly and unfairly targeted by Republican officeholders. In 2013, the GOP-controlled General Assembly changed signature requirements for Libertarians, an unconstitutional law that was later overturned by federal courts. In 2014, Secretary Husted targeted Libertarian candidates for removal from the ballot. Brad Smith, the hearing officer assigned to the case by Husted, was simultaneously serving as an attorney for Mike DeWine, a fact he failed to disclose.

Yet more stench of corruption emanating from DeWine's office. I'm sure the Plain Dealer would just call that "mudslinging" because of course their little Mikey couldn't be doing anything wrong.

Linnabary said,

Libertarians in Ohio have been targeted repeatedly by the powerful GOP machine. We’ve learned that they can’t be trusted to fairly and evenhandedly administer the law. I believe David Pepper is a man of integrity and common sense. His term in the Attorney General’s office will give all Ohio Libertarians hope that he will put rampant partisanship behind us and serve the interests of all Ohioans.

I think that hope is not misplaced.

Another Reason You Won't Miss Ohio's Biased Newspapers When They Fold


The news about the casual and dismissive treatment given to charges of sexual harassment in attorney general Mike DeWine's office is explosive. As we've mentioned a number of time, it's just like the events that drove Marc Dann out of office, only worse.

If you were his opponent in his reelection race, you would be remiss in not bringing this up. It speaks to so many things wrong with DeWine's tenure, from the disrespectful treatment of women, to the lack of accountability, to the willingness to protect his buddies. It's the sort of stuff watchdog newspapers would be chomping at the bit to get at — if Ohio had watchdog newspapers.

Instead we get this headline from the Plain Dealer, which has decided that the most important narrative about the AG race is the candidates being nasty to each other:

"David Pepper flings new attack in attorney general race seasoned by mudslinging."

"Flings new attack"?

In a world with real journalism it would be the Plain Dealer "flinging" this "attack" which isn't "mudslinging" but raising an extremely valid point about the treatment of sexual harassment in DeWine's office.

To me it's clear what the paper is doing here. By casting this race as not about the candidates' differing ideas about how to use the power of attorney general but about "mudslinging," they play up the narrative that all the candidates do is be mean, that the race has no substance and that there's no reason to vote because all the candidates suck. It's hard to get past the idea that the PD wants voters to become cynical and jaded — and too apathetic to vote.

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