The following is from a New York Times article written in 2011. It starts...
"WASHINGTON — Though the withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan will save the nation billions of dollars a year, another cost of war is projected to continue rising for decades to come: caring for the veterans."
It covered the Republican's nutty cries of "cut spending! cut spending! cut spending!!!"
"Though there is currently strong bipartisan support for veterans programs, some budget proposals, including from Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, and Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, have called for trimming benefits for veterans and military retirees.
“Those proposals have been batted back so far,” said David Autry of the Disabled American Veterans. “But we’ve got more vigorous budget hawks today. If they are willing to bring the nation to the brink of insolvency, who knows what else they might do?”
In contrast there was this quote from Senator Patty Murray...
"No one is thinking about the lifetime costs this country is responsible for,” said Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat who is chairwoman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee."
Yes, we really do need to think about what war means in the long-term for our country. About a year ago, I read a statistic that almost half of those who served in Iraq will need some kind of treatment. It's possible the percentage could go up.
Republicans seem so eager to start wars, but seem to lose interest when managing the details gets too complex.
What exactly do you call those kinds of people?
The entire article can be found here:
"Earth is rapidly approaching a tipping point. Human impacts are causing alarming levels of harm to our planet. As scientists who study the interaction of people with the rest of the biosphere using a wide range of approaches, we agree that the evidence that humans are damaging their ecological life-support systems is overwhelming.
We further agree that, based on the best scientific information available, human quality of life will suffer substantial degradation by the year 2050 if we continue on our current path.
Science unequivocally demonstrates the human impacts of key concern:
Climate disruption—more, faster climate change than since humans first became a species.
Extinctions—not since the dinosaurs went extinct have so many species and populations died out so fast, both on land and in the oceans.
Wholesale loss of diverse ecosystems—we have plowed, paved, or otherwise transformed more than 40% of Earth’s ice-free land, and no place on land or in the sea is free of our direct or indirect influences.
Pollution—environmental contaminants in the air, water and land are at record levels and increasing, seriously harming people and wildlife in unforeseen ways.
Human population growth and consumption patterns—seven billion people alive today will likely grow to 9.5 billion by 2050, and the pressures of heavy material consumption among the middle class and wealthy may well intensify.
By the time today’s children reach middle age, it is extremely likely that Earth’s life-support systems, critical for human prosperity and existence, will be irretrievably damaged by the magnitude, global extent, and combination of these human-caused environmental stressors, unless we take concrete, immediate actions to ensure a sustainable, high-quality future.
John Kasich has a serious problem with pay-to-play politics. Here at Ohio Daily Blog we're going to start writing about it (or re-writing about it), because it's important in understanding his character and how he is governing Ohio. For our first installment we'll go back and look at Mark Kvamme.
Mark Kvamme, was John Kasich's first chief to head up development in Ohio. It's still a mystery as to how he got such a critical post. He had no experience. During his tenure he did nothing besides get a divorce, start dating someone 16 years his junior, knocked himself out while dirk bike riding, stalled programs like the Ohio Third Frontier project and then left the state.
What Mark Kvamme, did do prior to his appointment was donate a ton of money to John Kasich and the Ohio Republicans. As we wrote in 2011 base on information reported by MedCityNews...
"It’s reported that Mark Kvamme met John Kasich, while Kasich was in D.C. Later, they worked together when Kasich was at Lehman Brothers. According to MedCityNews Kvamme contributed over $44,000 to John Kasich’s gubernatorial run. He donated another $24,000 to the Ohio Republican Campaign Committee. Mark Kvamme by his own admission has no public policy experience. This is all brand new to him. So a BA in French Economics and Literature, a somewhat murky past where he emerged as a partner at one of the largest venture capital firms in the world, no public policy experience, no real time spent in Ohio; but he donated over $68,000 in campaign contributions. This apparently is the background that made him the best and most qualified person to head up economic development in the State of Ohio."
Seriously, if you take out all the money that Mark Kvamme donated, would he come across anyone's radar to be the top economic development official for a state?
Well it figures, as education declines in America, the answer seems to be to run from bad to worse.
It's being reported that in Springboro, Ohio, the school board is debating to allow creationism to be taught in schools.
What's wrong with these people? Why are they so adamant about teaching religious beliefs in public schools? Why do they believe it's the only venue for these beliefs to be taught? Haven't these people ever heard of... Sunday School?
For years that's the way these beliefs were taught. People, ya know, went to church. They took their kids where they could be educated in religious beliefs if that's what the parents wanted. I know, because this is how I grew up. Don't these new wacky White Jesus "Christians" go to church? Why are they so desperate to use the public sphere to teach their nutty views?
The more you study what these people believe, the clearer it becomes how wrong they are. Their interpretations of the Bible are abysmal, and their reliance on mysticism is sad.
There are amazing discoveries with understanding the natural world. There are unbelievable cures found, incredible feats of engineering, and overall progress that have benefited all people. If these indoctrinated Christians are so weak in their beliefs that a little bit of science destroys it, then maybe they should question what they are really following.
Article about the Springboro board can be found here:
This information comes to us via Hillbilly Report, which is a blog in Kentucky.
"James and Trina Vetato knew about the freedom riders from history books.
Next month, the Paducah, Ky., couple expects to join a civil rights movement-style protest by OUR Walmart, an employees group, against the world's largest retailer."
"Called the “Ride for Respect,” the demonstration at Walmart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., will be modeled on civil rights volunteers who rode buses into the South in the 1960s to protest Jim Crow racial injustice, James Vetato said.
Busloads of OUR Walmart members will converge on Bentonville from across the country. They will be in town for the annual shareholders’ meeting, which is June 7.
Vetato said he expects 300 or more OUR Walmart members to begin arriving the week before the meeting. Most of the protestors -- including Trina Vetato -- will be on an unfair labor practice strike, her husband said.
The Vetatos are activists in Organization United for Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart for short.
"The protest will go on the whole week before the meeting,” he said. “We especially want to draw national attention to Walmart management's threats and retaliation against workers who speak up for better pay, more hours and respect on the job."
I wonder if anyone from Ohio is going?
The entire report can be found here:
You can learn more about the OUR Wal Mart movement Here:
Via Huffington Post Dr. Jill Biden writes...
"From a big initiative to a small gesture, Memorial Day is the perfect time to offer a simple act of kindness to our veterans and military families. You can send a message of thanks to our troops or a military family. Or pledge hours of service. Or even start your own volunteer project. And afterwards, please share your story -- we want to hear about it!"
The entire op-ed can be found here:
The Republicans have another sure fire conspiracy to investigate. In the state of Washington a bridge collapsed and the fact that it did surely leads back to the Obama Administration.
Ohio Daily Blog heard from Republican Hill staffers who said the connections were clear. In the past President Obama has said the words aging infrastructure and bridges, so it's clear, he knew this bride was going to collapse and did nothing.
Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has promised a full investigation. He is sure to find links to Benghazi and the fact that there were US military personal somewhere nearby who could have been dispatched for... something.
Mitch McConnell stated the bridge collapse is worse than Benghazi, which of course, is worse than Watergate.
Michele Bachmann blamed gay marriage and sex, and the fact that human beings are born with genitals, which just makes them evil and gross. She of course has none.
The Plain Dealer's Politifact rated this all as "True" not based on any facts, but because someone somewhere might believe it all to be true, so that's enough for them.
Article about bridge can be found here:
Back in February Innovation Ohio (a Columbus based think tank) released as study that showed Charter Schools costing taxpayers twice as much as traditional schools. What's even worse is that the Charter Schools perform worse in terms of educating students than traditional schools. Just check out some of these highlights Innovation Ohio found...
"◾In FY 2012, charter schools received $7,141 per pupil in state money — more than twice the $3,399 traditional public schools received from the state after charter deductions;
◾Charter school funding is based on the cost of educating kids in a traditional school, despite the fact that charters have far lower actual costs. Charters pay teachers less, have no student transportation expenses, and are exempt from some 270 legal and regulatory requirements with which traditional schools must comply.
◾The resulting overpayment to charters comes at the expense of traditional school students. In FY 2012, for example, the $774 million transferred to charters gave traditional school children, on average, 6.5% less funding than the state said they needed.
◾Although proponents of “school choice” often cast charter schools as superior to traditional schools, 85% of those who transferred in the 2011-12 school year left districts with better state performance results than the charters to which they went."
In just looking at the highlights from the report I think the phrase "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" fits well.
The entire report can be found here:
The Daily Nebraskan reports on a study that found unionized schools had higher graduation and retention rates than non-unionized schools. Their reporting states...
"Mark Cassell, an associate professor of political science at Kent State University, conducted the study, which includes more than 23 years of data and took a year to finish. He found unionized schools tend to have higher graduation and retention rates and lower budgets than non-unionized schools."
Ouch, John Kasich, with his Right-to-Work mumbo-jumbo can't like hearing that.
The entire article can be found here:
Policy Matters Ohio has been tracking job growth (or lack there of) for the last few years and their latest findings is that it's not been good. Their latest release starts off...
"Ohio added just 7,600 jobs in April, nowhere near the growth needed to fix Ohio’s slow-growth economy. The state needs 235,000 jobs just to make up for losses in the last recession. If the current job growth rate becomes Ohio’s new normal, the state is in deep trouble."
When John Kasich, ran for governor he made it sound like Ohio would be awash in jobs. But as we get a clearer picture of the results from his efforts to create jobs, it's clear he's been a failure.
The entire report from Policy Matters Ohio can be found here:
I'm sure you, like everybody, are getting hit with a wave of pleas to donate to the victims of Monday's tornado in Oklahoma. Give to the Red Cross! Give to United Way! Blah blah blah.
I hate to sound hard-hearted, but it seems like the waves of victims are coming faster and faster, and ordinary people are expected to pick up the slack left behind by the anti-government types who want to defund everything.
And at the head of the list are the two senators from Oklahoma. I know, I know — don't punish everybody, because not everyone in Oklahoma voted for them, just the vast majority. Is that majority paying attention?
You have Tom Coburn who's busy channeling that sociopath Eric Can'tor and saying there should be no federal disaster aid unless money is cut elsewhere from the budget. And you can bet he's not talking about cutting oil subsidies.
Then you have James Inhofe who voted against aid to Hurricane Sandy victims (as did Coburn) but he says Oklahoma is different somehow because they'll use it properly (unlike, he seems to be saying, those lib'rul northerners and dark-skinned people).
I'm sorry, Oklahoma, but these clowns hurt everybody and they should go.
Now let's focus on your legislature.
They were in session today. I guess they spent all that time talking about how to rebuild the storm-ravaged areas. I would imagine there's a ton to discuss.
Nope. Not at all:
"Oklahoma Senate Votes To Defund Planned Parenthood Two Days After Tornado"
Honestly, I thought this was an Onion story at first. But nope, it's for real.
It really is time to storm your statehouse and call out these assholes. Conveniently for the storm victims, the state capitol is in Oklahoma City so they don't have to go very far. If our legislature did this following a disaster in Ohio — and I wouldn't put it past them — I would be in my car heading to Columbus right now.
No Ohio political observer was particularly surprised by this morning's announcement that southwest Ohio state representative Connie Pillich is officially running for state treasurer.
This move has been rumored for quite a while, and Connie has been traveling around the state, introducing herself to the Democrats groups that provide the campaign worker bees. Last month at the Cuyahoga County Democratic Women's Caucus luncheon, she was accompanied by her finance director and made reference to her scheduler.
When asked if she was officially running , given that she was so staffed up, she said she still had a few official steps to take before she was ready to announce.
In this morning's press release, she said,
“I’m running for Treasurer because working families, small business owners, and seniors need someone who will fight for them. Ohioans deserve a Treasurer who will do the job she was elected to do and will make sure our tax dollars are protected and used wisely.
“Whether as a captain in the Air Force, a lawyer and owner of a small business, or a representative in the legislature, I’ve dedicated my career to listening to concerns, creating a plan of action, and working hard to deliver real results. I will continue to do that as Treasurer.
“And frankly, it’s about time we had a real leader in the Treasurer’s office. Ohio needs someone who actually wants to be Treasurer, someone who will show up to do the job and put qualified people to work with her.
Failing to catapult himself to higher office last year, Ohio treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel is running for reelection next year, never mind his transparent lack of interest in the office as anything but a steppingstone to something else.
Now obviously, Mandel’s best course of action would be to keep sending out those self-congratulatory emails I'm always getting about how what a great treasurer he is, because he (well, his employees actually) hasn’t done anything horrifically wrong.
As treasurer, he doesn’t need to speak out on controversial issues, and he could follow the John Kasich playbook and obfuscate his positions. Given that he has offered himself up as a plaything for billionaire donors who will pour money into his campaign, that would give him a fairly good shot at reelection.
But Mandel has decided his future lies in being Ohio’s poster boy for the far far far far far far right. A few people have even wondered if he’s looking at a primary challenge to Kasich. And now he’s done it again.
Dissatisfied with state pension reforms enacted last year that affect 1.8 million current and former government workers, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says without more changes “there will be nothing left at the end of the rainbow” when public employees retire.
These changes were enacted last year with bipartisan support.
A representative of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System said
The changes necessitate sacrifice by a majority of public workers, who will have to work longer to receive comparatively less when they retire.
And Mandel isn’t too good with numbers, kinda scary for a treasurer. The Dispatch says “The treasurer said he is particularly concerned about ‘unrealistic’ investment earnings expectations, an annual 8 percent for most systems.”
This week, USA Today ran an article about the latest attempt by Ohio Republicans in the legislature to rig elections.
Currently, college students can vote in Ohio if they apply for residency documentation issued by their schools. Now the legislature has inserted an item in the budget that says if a student gets such documents, he or she will pay in-state tuition rates, no matter where he or she is from.
Great deal for students! As a student quoted in the article says, why wouldn't every out-of-state student apply for residency documents when they can save thousands of dollars?
This would cost Ohio colleges and universities tens of millions of dollars and of course, in recent years, state support for higher education has shrunk, throwing more of the tuition cost on students.
And naturally, the Republicans proposing this haven't said a word about replacing the lost money. So it's natural to be suspicious that their hope is that schools will refuse to provide residency documentation. So far they haven't but who knows what they will do if their income shrinks dramatically?
Says USA Today,
University officials clearly are uncomfortable in the debate about voting rights. They say losing tens of millions of dollars of revenue would endanger other services and that it's inappropriate to use in-state tuition as a mechanism in a voting bill.
Yeah, it's kind of suspicious, isn't it? Anytime Ohio Republicans start talking about tinkering with voting eligibility, history tells us we should beware. Even state rep Ron Amstutz, who's pushing it say, "It puts everybody in a kind of awkward position."
So tell us again why it was even put in the budget then, Ron.
And then of course, there's John Kasich who appears to be trying to win re-election by standing for nothing and being as vague as possible about everything.
I've loved the word "pusillanimous" ever since I encountered it when I directed John Osborn's "Look Back in Anger" in college.
And it's the perfect word for Ohio's spineless, obfuscating, vacillating Republican senator, Rob Portman.
I kind of sympathize with his change of heart on gay marriage after revealing his son is gay, although others have grumbled that it exposes the problem Republicans have in dealing with any issue that doesn't impact them personally.
It's harder to sympathize with his attempt to make it sound like he supports stronger background checks for gun purchasers when he voted to expand gun ownership.
He responded to Peter Shulman, a constituent from Cleveland Heights who wrote disapprovingly of Portman's vote against expanded background checks by saying he DID support this.
Shulman, an assistant professor of history at Case Western Reserve, isn't buying it.
“He’s absolutely obfuscating his position,” Shulman told TPM by phone on Tuesday afternoon. “I think it’s completely misleading. And it seems designed to mislead.”
Gee, you think?
Although he claimed to support background checks, Portman admitted in his letter to Shulman that he opposed the main background check legislation, arguing that while it would have “expanded background checks for most private sales and private transfers of guns,” it would have “done nothing to stop the Newtown tragedy.”
So what? It could have easily prevented hundreds of other tragedies.
it sounds to me like Portman is trying to pull the old Dewine/LaTourette trick of presenting a false moderate face while maintaining a rightwing voting record, and hoping constituents don't notice.
And while the NRA is blustering about targeting senators who vote for even a modicum of sane gun legislation, Portman should take a look at their record last November. The NRA was the LEAST successful single-issue group in getting the candidates it supported elected and the ones it didn't defeated.
This just arrived from my congresswoman, Marcia Fudge (D-11), about a bill she and some of her colleagues are introducing.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate, and Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in the House, joined by the leaders of women’s advocacy organizations, unions, and business groups from across the nation, introduced critical legislation – the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – to ensure that pregnant women are not forced out of jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable job modifications that would allow them to continue working. Currently, pregnant working women around the country are being denied simple adjustments – permission to use a stool while working a cash register, or to carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated, or temporary reassignment to lighter duty tasks – that would keep them working and supporting their families while maintaining healthy pregnancies.
Gee, no fetus-loving GOP'ers wanted to co-sponsor? Oh, I guess they were just in the restroom when the call came. I'm SURE they can't want to force women to be pregnant against their will but then deny them the jobs they need to take care of their child. It just couldn't be, could it?
Her email contained a link to a letter sent by a coalition of supportive groups.
I skimmed them and noticed something odd.
I don't see any conservative groups, the very groups who claim to be SOOO concerned about the welfare of "unborn babies." I see the flaming liberals at the Unitarian Universalist Association are behind this, but I don't see the fetus-worshipping Southern Baptist Convention. Where do the think this "unborn baby" is being protected, if not inside the mother?
Listen, if you can stomach it, to this pompous, sanctimonious little group of men from "PersonhoodOhio" holding a "press conference" to announce that they're going to replay their efforts to put "personhood" on the Ohio ballot.
Jennie Brody, whose post over at Innovation Ohio provided the link to this nauseous video, asks "Could Personhood Be on the Ballot in 2014?"
Brody points out that their drive to put it on the 2012 ballot netted them only 20,000 of the needed 350,000 signatures. And there can't be more than a dozen adults at this big press conference, hardly enough to collect all the signatures they need.
They won't succeed, but I wish they would. Then we can have an open discussion about the rampant hatred for women that drives this little segment of the far right.
And as with the marriage equality issue, the landscape has changed since the mid 2000s when these were reliable issues that motivated conservative voters more than those on the other side. After two years of relentless, mean-spirited attacks on women — their health-care choices, access to contraception, equal pay, opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, making light of rape — "personhood" is likely to be most galvanizing for its opponents.
I'm voting for both. And by "they" I am referring to the Ohio GOP.
So some GOP legislators have introduced a "right to work" (for less) bill into the general assemble. Right to work is essentially SB 5 on steroids. Right to work states are poorer, have lower wages, suffer more on-the-job injuries, have worse health care coverage etc etc because workers have NO power at all.
Republicans love to talk about "union thugs," the reality is that the power balance is off by at least a 10-1 ratio in favor of management. We're ruled by "corporate thugs," not "union thugs."
So ... why are the Republicans introducing SB 5 v. 2 now? Sure, they have the votes to pass it, so they COULD do this. But the consequences would be enormous.
Another repeal campaign is virtually certain — and lopping two or three weeks off the referendum process as they've done isn't going to stop it. People are likely going to be MORE pissed off that they didn't listen when voters said by a 60-40 margin that they didn't want this legislation. Do they seriously think people would throw up their hands and not bother a second time around?
And it's awfully close to the 2014 elections to be doing this. Maybe they truly believe that somehow this is going to energize their base, even though they'd have to be delusional to think that. it's way more likely to energize the other side.
I think they're playing a dangerous game. We'll see how it shapes up in coming weeks. But "right to work" is something that no prosperous state — or state that wants to be prosperous — should even be thinking about.
So of course, the Ohio GOP is doing so.
Too bad he's not running next year. But I'm not one of those cynics running around going "People have short memories." People can be reminded — the purpose of campaign ads — and people clearly feel their representatives in Congress aren't listening when it comes to sane gun control laws, specifically universal background checks.
PPP polled five Senators who voted against background checks — something that might have been viewed as self-protection in gun-friendly states. PPP found it was a politically self-destructive move, even in Alaska.
But oh, poor Rob Portman. He has paid dearly for being an NRA tool:
-We saw serious improvement in Rob Portman's poll numbers in the second half of 2012 following his consideration as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, but he's taken a nose dive in 2013. Portman's approval has dropped a net 18 points over the last 6 months from +10 (35/25) in October to now -8 (26/34) in April.
36% of voters in the state say they're less likely to support Portman in a future election because of this vote to only 19% who consider it to be a reason to support him.
The NRA had one of the worst elections last November of any issue group, electing only a tiny percentage of the candidates it supported and defeating only a tiny percentage of those it opposed. This polling demonstrates even more that the NRA is a paper tiger, and that supporting its extremist agenda not only doesn't give an officeholder cover, it strips him (or her) of support.
It's another issue where the terrain has changed radically since having NRA support was a plus for Ted Strickland in 2006.
I read this this evening, and I'm steaming:
It's about our governor's proposed income tax cut in his current "budget," how teensy that cut will be for most of us under the changes the House made, and how they're all proposing to pay for it on wishes and dreams — money that doesn't exist.
This paragraph in the Dayton Daily News article linked above should be bold-faced and shouted everywhere:
The cuts would save Ohioans $1.5 billion in taxes over the next two years, and would be paid for with a combination of money left over in Ohio’s rainy day fund and projected future growth in state tax receipts.
In other words, the money we're saving for emergencies would be thrown out to give most Ohioans the equivalent of a cheap little toy and a handful of rich people a nice pocketful of money — and leave nothing for an emergency, or to restore the cuts in local government and school funding that are wreaking havoc on Ohio. And "projected future growth" might as well be "win the lottery" for all the solid economic planning it indicates.
Given that these are Republicans, they are relying on a theory that has been entirely discredited over the last several decades: that tax cuts equate to economic growth. That $51 most Ohioans will get isn't going to have an impact on anything, especially if, like me, they've seen their property taxes go up five times that amount thanks to Kasich's shameless gutting of public education.
How many times do these guys need to be told or shown that that is untrue? Or more likely, they just don't care. Maybe they known perfectly well this is nothing but siphoning money from Ohio's working people and inserting the business end of the hose into rich people's bank accounts.
But we know that only counts when you're a Democrat, right?
So the Ohio Republican Party went ahead and elected Kasich crony Matt Borges as chair to replace acting chair Bob Bennett who stepped in when Kasich deposed Kevin DeWine, even though DeWine helped him get elected because .... oh heck! Let's just say the Ohio GOP is a cesspool of intrigue, backstabbing, and in-fighting.
I know. You're saying, "But haven't seen any headlines in the Cleveland Plain Dealer or Columbus Dispatch saying 'Republicans in Disarray.'"
You're right. Because our so-called "liberal media" only applies that narrative to Democrats. Just let one Democratic leader shake another's hand a few seconds too briefly and it becomes a major crisis. The GOP has a major crisis, and ... oh, it's nothing. It only counts when you're a Democrat.
The always-volatile Tea Party, which has GOP nuts in a vise down in the legislature fielded its own candidate, who was only able to garner seven votes from a GOP central committee packed with Kasich loyalists.
Now, if the Democrats has elected someone convicted of influence-peddling who owed hundreds of thousands in back taxes, it would be on the front page of every state newspaper tomorrow, with cluck-clucking editorials about what a liability this would be for the party going into next year's elections.
I'm betting you don't hear much from them about Borges' election. Owing hundreds f thousands of dollars — or a few hundred — only counts when you're a Democrat. Remember the stink Republicans made (lookin' at YOU, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel and Mike DeWine) about Sherrod Brown being a little late on a couple of thousand in taxes, a tiny fraction of the back taxes Borges is paying off?
Uh-huh. See what I mean?
Early this afternoon, Cuyahoga County Commissioner Ed FitzGerald made it official: he's going to take on Taxin' John Kasich for the governor's office.
He spoke to a packed ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland before heading off to similar stops in Columbus and CIncinnati, accompanied by his wife and four teenage children.
He was introduced by former longtime congressman Louis Stokes, nearly double his age. Stokes' lengthy introduction ran through all the points of Ed's career, getting that out of the way so Ed could focus on the issues.
Ed made it clear that if he wins the governor's race, the focus of that office will shift dramatically from attacks on working people and women and devious ways of shifting tax dollars to cronies to education and creating meaningful jobs in the state. He got his biggest ovation for promising to protect women's health-care choices.
With numerous union members in the house, he emphasized the wrong-headedness Kasich's beloved union-busting SB 5 and how Democrats successfully fought back against it. He blew up Kasich's bluster about his brilliant budgeting by pointing out — too seldom mentioned — that Kasich's last budget was the largest Ohio has ever seen and that he paid for it by robbing public schools and local governments.
He talked about Kasich's tax plan: to cut taxes for the wealthiest Ohioans while making the sales tax much broader and moving the burden to ordinary Ohioans.
This one won't flip a seat, but it's nice to know we have a good candidate stepping up to run for minority leader Armond Budish's seat in Ohio's 8th house district. Budish is term limited and is said to be considering a run for Cuyahoga County executive "if" (cough cough) county exec Ed FitzGerald announces tomorrow he's running for governor.
Kent Smith, a Democratic activist from Euclid on Cuyahoga's northeast side, is stepping into the ring. He briefly considered a 2012 run, but the new maps didn't make that possible.
Kent is currently the Democratic city leader in Euclid and a member of the Euclid school board. Much of his work has been in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer.
He also co-authored a book with Cleveland-based artist Derek Hess called "Please God Save Us." Released in 2008, it ripped the entire GOP worldview to shreds in Kent's powerful prose and Derek's compelling drawings.
Still available and highly recommended: www.strhesspress.com
Kent posted on Facebook today,
Tonight I am happy to announce that I will be a candidate for the 8th House District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014. This will be a grassroots campaign and I will need everyone’s help. My campaign kickoff event will be Wednesday May 29th. Details forthcoming. Thank you for everyone’s support to help to make this next campaign possible. We Can Win!
His website is up now so you can check it out.
This email arrived a little while ago from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald titled "Big Announcement."
Gosh. I wonder what it could be?
As you know, I have been traveling to every corner of this state listening to hard-working people like you talk about what we need to do to make Ohio great again.
At the same time, I’ve been exploring a run for governor because the people I’ve met have said time and again that we need new leadership in Columbus.
We need a governor who will stand up for middle class families, for women’s rights, and for good paying jobs. Ohioans want an end to pay to play politics, rampant cronyism and wasteful spending of our tax dollars on corporate donors and political perks. As a former FBI agent I’ve seen first-hand how, with the right leadership, we can turn our communities around and reclaim our state.
So I’m asking you to join me next Wednesday, April 24 when I will make an announcement about Ohio’s future at events in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Please click here to find out more information.
In Cleveland, doors will open at 11:45 a.m. and I’ll be speaking at 12:30 at the Cleveland Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, 1100 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland, 44115.
Then we will travel to Columbus to speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Columbus State Community College Conference Center, 315 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, 43215.
And I will finish the day in Cincinnati, speaking at 7 p.m. at the Laborers’ Local Union Hall, 3457 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, 45207.
I would love to see you at any of these three stops.
Please join me in Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati and find out more information by clicking here.
We are better together.
Late this evening, the state House passed the budget bill by a vote of 61-35. You can tell we're a looooong way from the days when Governor Strickland worked with the legislature to pass a budget everyone could live with.
There's good news and bad news — lots of bad news actually. But let's just focusing on this ragingly misogynistic legislature's attacks on women.
They removed the bizarre provision — unrelated to any budgetary matter — that would have required that no sex education other than abstinence-only take place in Ohio's schools and that no "gateway" sexual activity be condoned, with a possible $5,000 fine.
They did however retain the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which provides basic healthcare to many uninsured women — the same pool of people who would have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid they also killed.
Coming on the heels of the news that infant mortality rates in some areas of Cleveland are higher than in Haiti or Somalia, this is immoral, disgusting and cruel. Among other thing, Planned Parenthood provides prenatal care to women who could not otherwise afford it, helping to ensure that they have health babies.
But we all know by now this isn't about babies - born or unborn. If the Tea Party ordered them to, some of these clowns would grill babies on the Statehouse lawn. It really is about their contempt for women.
The budget now moves to the Senate for debate. Unless the Senate agrees to everything in the House bill — unlikely — it then goes to conference to reconcile the differences before passing and going to the governor's desk.
I'm getting a lot of emails urging people to call the governor. It may be a little early for that because anything could happen with the buffoons and extremists we have in the legislature. Keep a close watch.