Here's a nice report on the joint appearance by Bruce Springsteen and Bill Clinton on behalf of President Obama today at Tri-C West outside Cleveland.
After paying tribute to Obama for the auto industry’s recovery (“I’m thankful GM is still making cars. What else would I write about? I’d have no job without that”), the rock star said he feared Romney would widen the disparity between the rich and “everyday citizens.” Many would end up as “just the scenery in another man’s play,” he said, quoting from his song “Jackson Cage.”
Exactly. Anyone who believes Romney would be "better on the economy" needs look at his track record and ask themselves seriously "For whom?"
Here's some video:
Are you scratching your head trying to figure out if Mitt Romney's tax plan makes any sense, numbers-wise? Find out! This is brilliant:
Angela Zimmann, running for Congress in Ohio's 5th congressional district against incumbent Bob "Who?" Latta, and congresswoman Betty Sutton, pitted against fellow incumbent Teabaggin' Jim Renacci in the 16th district, have landed endorsements from major newspapers in their districts.
Sutton was endorsed by the Akron Beacon Journal, which covers a portion of this gerrymandered district.
Among other things, the endorsement said,
In many ways, the measure of lawmakers the past six years involves their response to the severe recession and its sluggish aftermath. Sutton has been among those who have grasped firmly the crucial role of government in cushioning the blow and preventing something worse. She embraced the auto rescue and the stimulus package, and each proved effective. More, the Copley Township Democrat played a key role in launching “cash for clunkers,” a temporary and successful measure to give automakers a needed boost, an episode in which she showed a capacity for compromise and strategic deal-making.
To temper its praise, the paper trots out that old newspaper standby about "her tendency to seize on villains, whether China or outsourcing." This same argument keeps getting lobbed at Senator Sherrod Brown too. Those in fact ARE enemies of Ohio workers. But it goes on to say, "She understands the changing economic landscape and the essential role of investing in people, from health-care reform to Pell Grants."
Meanwhile, the Toledo Blade, the major daily in the 5th district, has endorsed Zimmann.
A notorious zombie-eyed granny-starver showed up at the St. Vincent de Paul Society's dining hall in Youngstown Saturday and posed for pictures washing clean pots and pans, clearly hoping such photos would provide him with the veneer of someone who actually cares about those in need and make people forget he's a disciple of Ayn Rand selfishness.
The president of Mahoning County’s St. Vincent de Paul Society is “shocked” and “angry” that Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan used the soup kitchen for a “publicity stunt.”
Brian J. Antal, who runs the society, said the campaign “ramrodded themselves in there” without getting proper permission for the visit Saturday that followed Ryan’s town-hall meeting at Youngstown State University.
Fancy that. Antol also told the Washington Post, "We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donation."
(The Post pointlessly adds that Antal has voted in Democratic primaries for the last 17 years.)
From the Post:
Ryan had stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to the airport after his Saturday morning town hall in Youngstown. By the time he arrived, the food had already been served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned.
Upon entering the soup kitchen, Ryan, his wife and three young children greeted and thanked several volunteers, then donned white aprons and offered to clean some dishes. Photographers snapped photos and TV cameras shot footage of Ryan and his family washing pots and pans that did not appear to be dirty.
A lot of Dennis Kucinich's actions are headscratchers, and this is no exception.
A few months ago, Dennis Kucinich announced his post-Congress plans. He launched his Kucinich Action with the goal of supporting candidates his followers believed shared their progressive ideals. We wrote about it in July:
Now, FINALLY, with weeks to go before the election, he has announced the first three candidates Kucinich Action will support, who he's dubbed "Champions for Change." If you follow progressive narratives at all, there are no surprises here. They are Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, and Florida congressional candidate (and former congressman) Alan Grayson.
Kucinich's email to his followers says,
They are the leaders we need to stand up for us when no one else will. They are the advocates for economic justice who represent the fundamental fairness and decency of the American middle class. They are true champions for change and with less than three weeks until election day, we need to do everything we can to support them.
That the Kucinich faithful picked these three is not what's perplexing — just that Dennis waited until the election is less than three weeks away to announce the choices.
They are all worthy of support, for sure, especially Sherrod. If you'd like to support them AND Kucinich action, here's the link:
As you may have heard, Bruce Springsteen will be at Tri-C West tomorrow morning with President Bill Clinton to campaign for President Obama's re-election. (Also, I cannot be there).
Ahead of that event, Springsteen has released the following statement via the Democratic Party:
A Message From Bruce
The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I’ve been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes.
This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on. Last time around, he carried with him a tremendous amount of hope and expectations. Unfortunately, due to the economic chaos the previous administration left him with, and the extraordinary intensity of the opposition, it turned into a really rough ride. But through grit, determination, and focus, the President has been able to do a great many things that many of us deeply support.
Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
In foreign affairs, that record includes following through on the removal of troops from the misguided and deceptive war in Iraq, and vigorously pursuing our real foreign enemies, especially the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.
President Obama explains why he wants to help those who don't have a father who can give them $10 million and a list of his wealthy friends to start their own business, like Tagg Romney does.
I didn't watch the debate tonight. I already had my mind made up — surprise — so I voted tonight. I sat down and opened my ballot, and my first vote was in the U.S. Senate race. Guess who I did NOT vote for. I hope all of you will also NOT vote for Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel (I hear his debate performance yesterday at the City Club of Cleveland wasn't exactly stellar either. I have not had a chance to listen to that either, but it's kind of inconceivable that he suddenly had a bunch of clearly articulated positions on issues he was willing to share).
Obviously, Democrats were a lot happier with President Obama's on-the-money performance tonight, based on the instant-feedback emails that hit my mail box.
Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern said,
Barack Obama showed up tonight - and he showed up big.
Point after point after point, President Obama dominated the debate and laid out the case for how he's looking out for Ohio by protecting our auto industry, cracking down on China's unfair trade policies, and supporting affordable education for students.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was immature, interrupting the moderator, struggling on substance, lying, and shouting down the President.
(Then he asked for money)
The campaign of Sharen Neuhardt, who is running against Congressman Mike "Who?" Turner in Ohio's new 10th district, issued this statement,
After losing his case to shut down in-person early voting the three days before the election — which were the heaviest voting days in 2008 — twice in appeals court, Ohio secretary of state Jon Husted turned to the U.S. Supreme Court to help him close off this voting opportunity.
Around noon today, word came that it had declined to do so. In refusing the case, the decision of the appeals courts stands.
The final appeals court decision threw the decision about whether to have voting hours those three days to the individual counties, which could have left us where we were during the argument for extended in-inperson early voting hours. As you may recall, Democrats were voting for them across the state, while Republicans were doing so only in predominantly Republican counties. Husted was breaking the resulting ties in predominantly Democratic counties by saying they could not extend hours. But when it was shown that voting hours across the state were consistently unequal in favor of Republicans, Husted issues a directive for consistent hours. Starting next week, for the final two weeks of early voting, Boards of Election and/or early voting locations will be open until 7 p.m.
Leaving the decision about the three-day window to the individual boards would have likely yielded the same result. And many wondered what Husted would do.
We didn't have long to wait. Shortly after the decision (or non-decision) came down from the Supreme Court, Husted issued a directive on consistent statewide hours on those days.
Ohio voters will be able to vote at their BoEs or early voting locations Saturday November 3 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; on Sunday, November 4 from 1-5 p.m.; and on Monday, November 5 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
The uncertainty is over, and hopefully we will have another big turnout on those days.
Angela Zimmann, who is running for Congress to try to unseat Bob "Who? Lattain northwest Ohio, will be casting her vote on Wednesday, October 17, at around 10:20 a.m. at the Lucas County Early Vote Center at 1500 N. Superior Street in Toledo.
After she votes, at about 10:45 a.m. she will host a press conference with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman- Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, outside the early vote center, to urge women in particular to vote.
And for women who care about their freedom to control their own bodies and their own lives, Angela is the only choice. She stands unequivocally for the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices and to be treated equally in the workplace. Latta has opposed those rights.
Noted veteran journalist Bill Moyers doesn't mention O'Neill by name, but he takes up advocacy for O'Neill's pet cause, "money and judges don't mix."
Ninety-five percent of America's legal disputes are settled in state courts. The Center for American Progress Report, authored by Billy Corriher, studied 403 cases in six states, between 1992 and 2010, in which individuals sued corporations. The states - Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan - received the most judicial campaign cash during that same period. In those cases, "courts ruled in favor of corporations 71 percent of the time."
Now there's justice you CAN'T trust.
He finds the solution to be elimination of the money nuclear-arms race in state judicial races., touting the work of bipartisan group Justice Not Politics.
"Serious campaign finance reform with full transparency and public funding would go a long way toward solving the problem," he says.
Now running for the Ohio Supreme Court for the third time, O'Neill has been adamant about staying out of that money race and pushing for a change in the way justices are elected here.
Currently, Ohio's court is 6-1 Republican, in part thanks to the big money invested in these justices to protect corporate interests and make sure they prevail over citizen interests.
We need to elect O'Neill, along with Mike Skindell, and retain Justice Yvette McGee Brown, in restore some balance and make our supreme court more just for the people of Ohio.
Angela Zimmann, who is running against Congressman Bob "Who?" Latta in Ohio's 5th district in northwest Ohio, is on the air with her first ad.
In it, she calls out Latta for supporting the privatization of Medicare, the elimination of funding for women's health, and favoring trade deals that encourage outsourcing.
See it here:
Zimmann says she's got a second ad ready to go, but of course, she needs money, as do all candidates until we get a sane system of financing elections.
I've already sent her a couple of donations.
Remember, we have four dynamic women running against awful Republicans. All four have a shot at winning, although exactly how good a shot is hard to say.
But any help you can give to Angela, or to Joyce Healy-Abrams, taking on Teabaggin' Bob Gibbs, or to Sharen Neuhardt, running against Mike "Who?" Turner in the Dayton area, would be money and/or time well-spent.
And of course, don't forget Congresswoman Betty Sutton, whose eliminated district pitted her against Teabaggin' Jim Renacci. She's a great progressive champion, and we need to keep her in Congress. We can easily live without Renacci.
Supreme Court: Bill O'Neill Lands Akron Beacon Journal Endorsement + Fundraiser for Mike Skindell in ColumbusSubmitted by Anastasia Pantsios on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 11:10pm.
Our friend Bill O'Neill has been endorsed by the Akron Beacon-Journal in his run (his third) for the Ohio Supreme Court.
Although the paper praised sitting justice Robert Cupp for his "judicial restraint," and called him "prepared and thoughtful," it felt that O'Neill "makes a larger argument that deserves support."
It's referring to his campaign theme, "Money and Judges Don't Mix," which references the appearance of favoritism that results when judges accept sizable campaign donations from parties with cases before the court. It says, "Refreshing about O’Neill has been his persistence in pressing the argument for finding a better way to elect justices."
The Beacon editorial mentions contributions made by FirestEnergy and its employees to both Cupp and fellow justice Terrence ODonnell. It says, "The contributions are perfectly legal. FirstEnergy has cases before the Supreme Court. Nothing indicates Cupp (or O’Donnell) has shown favoritism."
Well, actually, something has, at least in the case of O'Donnell (whose opponent this year is state senator Mike Skindell of Lakewood).
Yes, it's baaaaack! This is that October 2006 article from the New York Times that I've frequently linked to, which figured that O'Donnell had decided in favor of campaign contributors 91% of the time. Sure, maybe there was no connection, but if I had a case in the state supreme court against someone who had made a donation to O'Donnell, I'd be discouraged about my chances.
Anyway, as the Beacon-Journal editorial mentions, the current lineup on the state supreme court is 6-1 Republican, hardly a balanced representation of Ohio interests.
Tomorrow at 12:30, the bell tolls for Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel. At the City Club of Cleveland's U.S. Senate debate at the Renaissance Hotel on Public Square, he'll have to try to pull off Romney/Ryan-style dance around positions he doesn't want to reveal. If he tries to say again that supporting the auto industry bailout is "un-American," or something to be "ashamed" of, Sherrod Brown will be right there asking why anyone should be "ashamed" of saving tens of thousands of Ohio jobs, or why it is "un-American" to protect one of Ohio's biggest industries.
The debate is sold out, but there are ways you can be involved. You can listen to the live broadcast of course:
Or you can join the Democrats who will be gathering on Public Square across from the hotel at 9:45 to greet Sherrod when he arrives and express their support for him.
After that, from noon to 2 p.m., head over to Cuyahoga County Democratic Party headquarters at 1466 St. Clair Avenue, here there will be a watch party, with food and refreshments provided, and maybe even someone adding up the number of times Mandel tries to wiggle out of answering a question. Sherrod, please nail this weasel to the wall if — when — he tries to be evasive and gives vague, meaningless answers.
National advocacy organization Color of Change, which could roughly be described as a black MoveOn.org, is calling attention to the "Voter Fraud Is a Felony" billboards that are going up in black and Latino neighborhoods around Ohio, funded by a cowardly, democracy-hating anonymous "family foundation."
It’s one of the nastiest voter suppression schemes we’ve seen: this week, in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin, an anonymous group started running outrageous billboards which try to scare people away from voting.
They've got a petition up you can sign, asking Clear Channel to remove the billboards:
Allowing an anonymous advertiser to create an atmosphere of fear around voting just as the early voting period begins is unacceptable. I ask that you remove these billboards at once. I know that in the past, you have rejected billboard ads when leadership in your company deemed the content to be politically charged. This campaign of misinformation fits that criteria and is a dangerous disservice to the Black and Latino communities in which they are placed.
I get inundated with petitions, and pass on most of them, particularly ones that ask me to get outraged about an injustice to one individual whose case I know little about. But this is egregious, and I'm signing this one. Such billboards are a sign of desperation, and given how much confusion has been sown about voter rights, a less-than-informed voter could easily be scared into staying away from the polls. (For instance, many people released from prison think they are unable to vote. But once they have served their time, they are legal to register and vote).
The fact that this was done anonymously should merit contempt from all sides. This is one petition worth signing.
The bell tolls at 12:30 p.m. this coming Monday to mark the start of the City Club of Cleveland’s U.S. Senate debate between Senator Sherrod Brown and his Republican challenger, Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel. The event is sold out, but you can listen online.
Will that bell also be sounding the death knell of Mandel’s Senate aspirations? Let’s hope so. And this debate presents a huge dilemma for Mandel.
City Club debates are tightly formatted and closely moderated, with questions on specific issues posed to the candidates. Mandel’s standard campaign mode for two years has been to avoid taking positions when he can and to almost never offer specifics about his ideas or proposals, if indeed he has any.
My belief is that he’s so beholden to the special interests that finance him that he’s unable to reveal how much he’s merely an agent for their demands. You’d think he could just memorize a list of right-wing talking points, but given how unappealing such positions are to most Americans, if you’re not able to dance around them, you’re in trouble. And Mandel’s not a slick liar like Mitt Romney, able to espouse ten positions on any issue within a week and change his views depending on his audience. He’s not a Paul Ryan who can state unpopular positions in a misleading way to imply they’re not really as unpalatable as they sound. Mandel just isn’t that smart or glib or articulate.
If Mandel attempts to provide the vague, contentless answers he’s been using, I expect he’ll be dismantled in the question-and-answer period. If he tries to avoid being pinned down, he’ll provide a contrast to Sherrod Brown, who isn’t afraid to clearly state where he stands on any issue. That’s going to make Mandel look shifty.
In the previous post, Derek alluded to congressman Jim Renacci's insistence that he had no involvement in the redistricting that led to the elimination of congresswoman Betty Sutton's district and pitted the two incumbents against each other.
Oh – what's this:
(Heather Mann is a GOP operative who works for the Ohio House Republicans.)
Now, I'm sure there could be some perfectly innocent reason why Renacci requested information on where the pieces of Betty's old district landed. I am racking my brain, and I just can't think what it might be, though. Can anyone help me?
This is a prime example of how corrupt Ohio's current process of redistricting is, where the party who wins certain offices in the census year gets all the power to do whatever mischief they choose, and sitting congressmen have input in who they want their voters to be to make their reelection easier.
The Republicans, in their desperation to hang onto their lopsided map, have put out a bunch of lies and distortions about what Issue 2 aka Voters First Ohio — which would take redistricting power away from politicians and put it in the hands of a nonpartisan citizens commission with no political stake in the results — would do. Unfortunately, I have heard too many people say things like "We need change but Issue 2 is flawed."
That's hooey. While maybe not perfect — because no solution is — Issue 2 is an elegantly crafted solution to the fatally flawed system we have now where the interests of politicians like Renacci are put before the interests of the tens of thousands of people living in those shards of Betty Sutton's old district.
When you debate someone like Jim Renacci, you’re bound to have to listen to skewed statistics from biased reports that are geared more towards advancing a cause than trying to find the truth.
Jim Renacci, didn’t disappoint and listening to his barrage was tiring and depressing. Probably one of the biggest examples of Mr. Renacci’s skewed facts was his lie that “$741 billion was gutted from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.” The telling of this lie actually forced the moderator to stop him and remind him that the statistic had been ruled by Politifact as “false.” It didn’t stop Mr. Renacci. He just kept on his merry way and stated that, because he felt it could be skewed as true, well then, it was.
Thankfully, Betty Sutton’s campaign sent a press release correcting this and many many other lies Jim Renacci told. Seriously, look at the following list, isn’t that just sad? This was a 60 minute debate and it looks like the only accurate thing Jim Renacci stated was his name.
”Fact Check on Congressman Renacci
FACT: Renacci sponsored a bill that called for permanent tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas to countries like China and India, even though Ohio has lost nearly one hundred thousand jobs to China since 2001. And he supports bad trade deals that send more American jobs overseas. [The Daily Record, 4/6/12; Renacci Press Release, 11/16/11; Economic Policy Institute, 3/12/10; HR 3079, Vote #782, 10/12/11; HR 3080, Vote #783, 10/12/11; HR 3078, Vote #781, 10/12/11]
FACT: Renacci wants to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and himself http://www.wksu.org/news/story/33319
FACT: How Does Renacci Cut the Budget? NPR http://www.wksu.org/news/story/33319
FACT: Renacci Voted for Sequestration http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll690.xml
You would think if there were any place in Ohio where Republicans could afford to loftily ignore the very existence of a Democratic Party, it would be Warren County. Warren is one of the 16 infamous "Blackwell Counties," the handful of counties out of 88 that majority-voted for Ken Blackwell for governor in 2006. In 2008, it voted for McCain by a better than two-thirds margin.
And most famously, in 2004, it was the county that on election evening declared that there was a "Homeland Security Alert" for Warren County and that the ballots would have to be counted behind locked doors with no observers or media. The contention was ludicrous, of course.
This is even more ludicrous — and sad:
What's that, you ask? It is a photo (courtesy of the Hamilton County Democratic Party) of a large pile of manure. What's it doing there, you ask?
Members of the Warren County Democratic Party are saying they are shocked and disappointed at finding a nasty prank Tuesday morning outside their headquarters.
Someone left a 3-foot tall by 15-foot long pile of horse manure in the parking lot of the headquarters, at 1975 N. Route 42, just north of Lebanon.
Wow, how ... mature. I try to imagine Democrats in, say, Cuyahoga Count doing this to Republican headquarters here, but honestly, we just kind of ignore them. They don't matter much.
I can't remotely imagine what these pranksters thought they would accomplish by this. It would difficult to amass more Republican votes than Warren already provides. In fact, this prank might actually peel off a few to the Democratic side.
Across the state, urban boards of election are busting records for the number of voters showing up to vote early in person.
The first day of early voting last Tuesday October 2 brought hordes to voting locations in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and other urban areas.
Yesterday the final day of registration, when voters could also vote at the same time. From Franklin County we hear than over 4,200 people showed up at their early vote center, and that by 5 p.m. they had broken their record for the most early voters in a single day. (Polls were open until 9 p.m. yesterday).
The Franklin County Democratic Party said,
Volunteers drove over 300 new registrants and voters yesterday. Shortly after 7PM the buses from the president’s event arrived and the turnout soared.
From the Hamilton County Democratic Party, we learned,
If the line at the Board of Elections last night was any indication, people are fired up and ready to vote. By 5:30, 864 people had already voted and at 8:00 the line waiting to vote extended down the stairs, out the door and at least 50 feet down the sidewalk.
And in Cuyahoga County yesterday, more than 3,700 people voted before the end of the day. The festive atmosphere there included a serenade in the early evening from the famous Shaw High School marching band, which assembled on the steps of the Euclid Avenue Church kitty-corner from the board of elections in their bright red uniforms and played for over an hour. There was food and there were judicial candidates, of course! Always judicial candidates!
Meanwhile, secretary of state Jon Husted has decided to continue his fight to shut down the in-person early voting window the three days before the election — the days which saw the heaviest traffic in 2008. After an appeals court ruled against him last week, he has now said he will take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Stay tuned.
Because it so totally captures what a weasel the worst U.S. Senate candidate in the U.S. is:
Also, don't forget the Sherrod Brown/Josh Mandel "debate" at the City Club of Cleveland next Monday at noon. It's sold out, but it will be streaming live and podcast. Check it out and see how Josh Mandel manages to spend an hour weaseling out of taking positions in a focused format that is well-moderated and formally structured unlike the abortion of a debate that Jim Lehrer pretended to be moderating between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Jim Renacci debated Betty Sutton at the City Club of Cleveland today. The two are running against one another to represent the newly drawn 16th congressional district of Ohio. The newly drawn district is an example of partisan gerrymandering at its worst. The district was drawn with a tiny loop to include Timken Company a large donor to Mr. Renacci. The topic came up when Betty Sutton detailed it, which people should know about.
Jim Renacci, in probably one of the worst responses I’ve seen in a debate, tried to act like he was also shocked and outraged at how the district was drawn. He then, pathetically, tried to absolve himself from being involved in the process by stating there is no direct connection between him and it. Like a kid who’s eaten the cookies before they could be caught with their hand in the cookie jar, Jim Renacci basically stated until there is proof I will denied it.
Well Mr. Renacci, there might not be any direct connection yet, but there are crumbs. And the crumbs point to the fact that you are probably lying. Here’s just one report on the subject from City Beat…
”Just a day before the approval of Ohio’s new district maps, Tom Whatman, a Boehner staffer, sent an email to Adam Kincaid, a staffer for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and others in charge of redistricting. In the back-and-forth, Whatman asks for a “small carve out” to include a manufacturing business in the congressional district for Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican who has received support from the business in the past. Before 13 minutes had passed, Kincaid replied to Whatman, securing the change with no questions asked.”
I'm sure everyone here is registered and rarin' to vote. But I'll bet each of us has a friend, family member, or acquaintance who may not have gotten round to it yet — or maybe not have gotten around to changing their address. This has to be done by tomorrow, Tuesday October 9, in order to vote in this November's election.
Boards of Election will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. for people to register AND vote at that same time, if they choose.
So please, call anyone you can think of who might not be registered. Especially think of everyone you know who has moved in the last couple of years. Remind them that they need to let their county BoE know their new address.
You can find all the information you need here:
Don't let anyone you know let this opportunity pass them by!
I'm sure even as I write this Ohio Republican Party chair Bob Bennett is griping about how "partisan" the accusations against Bob Murray of Murray Energy are, and that there was nothing out of line in Murray's pressuring his employees and vendors to funnel large sums of money to Republican candidates of his choice and to attend the frequent fundraisers he held for them.
I wrote about all that yesterday:
Today Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern held a telephone press conference to announce that he's requesting that these donations be investigated by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven Dettelbach and Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty. Murray is based in Cuyahoga County.
In his letter to Dettelbach, he said,
On behalf of the Ohio Democratic Party, I write to formally request a criminal investigation concerning a recent report suggesting the Murray Energy Corporation, its subsidiaries, and management (“Murray Energy”) may have engaged in a pattern of illegal activity, extorting millions in financial contributions from employees and vendors for Republican candidates running for public office.
The entire letter, along with letters and memos from Murray pushing participation in his fundraisers for a variety of candidates and a list of the donations Murray and his employees have made, is posted on the ODP's website. You can see for yourself the litany of awful candidates and officeholders Murray spends his time stumped for — all but two of them Republicans. (Redfern mentioned that former 6th district congressman Charlie Wilson, who is currently challenging Bill Johnson to take his seat back, was one of the recipients, and he has returned the money. I can't figure out who the other one is.)
It's some fun reading. You'll find it here:
The message is coming through loud and clear, as one Ohio big-city daily after another rolls out its endorsement for the re-election of Senator Sherrod Brown.
Following the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon-Journal, the Toledo Blade and the Youngstown Vindicator have now endorsed Brown.
The Blade says that Senator Brown “Based on his effective and progressive first-term performance and lack of credible opposition [heh heh], The Blade urges the re-election of Sen. SHERROD BROWN.”
The Blade used virtually the same set of reasons as the Plain Dealer’s editorial last weekend. No, I’m sure they didn’t copy; they’re both just looking at reality. That’s not unusual for the Blade, but somewhat out of character for the Plain Dealer which is famous for its fantasy endorsements like the one where it said Kasich can “cross partisan lines and get results” and “has no time for divisive hot-button tactics.”
It devotes two paragraphs to his support of the auto bailout, which saved northwest Ohio’s heavily auto-industry dependent economy. That region would have been in a sorry state without it.
It also gave him credit for his work on the agriculture committee, on revising the tax code and on campaign finance reform, saying “He supports a federal constitutional amendment that would reverse the Supreme Court’s dreadful ruling in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates to largely unlimited and unregulated political spending by opaque corporate interests.”
Of course, it has to get in a little “We don’t approve of everything he does” kicker. :ike the Plain Dealer, it chooses to imagine that his avid support of fair trade rules goes too far and can “slide into shrill China-bashing and protectionist appeals.”
Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who’ve been impacted by the outsourcing of good-paying jobs.