DeWine Waffles and Stonewalls on Sexual Harassment; Pepper Promises to Clean It Up


Can you conceive of a less effective, more partisan, more tepid attorney general than Mike DeWine? No, neither can I. I feel like when the Plain Dealer, incredibly, endorsed this poor excuse for a public servant they were deliberately mocking the voters by praising him for exactly what he isn’t, saying “he’s brought passion and energy to the job.” His only passion has been for using the office, and our tax dollars, to push his partisan ideology and religious beliefs.

And he can brag about tested rape kits all he wants — that should be business as usual with the office — but that doesn’t begin to make up for what we now know is not one but TWO (at least) cases of sexual harassment in his office that were stonewalled and swept under the rug. We recall once again that the disgraced Marc Dann (D) OK’d the investigation of incidents in his office and fired the perpetrators — and was forced out of office. DeWine is still brushing the incidents off like nothing happened and — crickets.

But with yesterday’s revelation at Plunderbund about how Ohio’s corrupt, ethically bankrupt newspapers colluded with the Kasich campaign to pass on illicitly acquired information to destroy an opponent that Kasich clearly felt was too competitive, we now know with certainty that they will never hold DeWine’s feet to the fire the way they did Dann’s. If we had honest media, both the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer would be rescinding their endorsements of DeWine and apologizing. Like THAT’S going to happen.

The Real FitzGerald Drivers License Scandal May Be GOP Dirty Tricks

You have to read the story at Plunderbund. Joseph Mismas there has written a story with huge implications for the governor's race and the state of Ohio. It's like Watergate on the Olentangy, seriously.

Did it occur to any of you to wonder how on earth the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer even learned that Ed FitzGerald did not have a valid drivers license? This isn't the kind of information that is easily available. Every time I hear someone whine "Why didn't the Democrats vet him better?" I point out that no candidate's most intimate personal details can be vetted to that degree. It's likely never occurred to anyone looking into a candidate's background to ask to see their drivers license. And their state BMV records are supposed to be private.

SUPPOSED to be. You may remember the minor scandal in 2008 illegally accessed Not Joe the Not a Plumber's driving records. Republicans flipped out and someone lost their job.

Go read Joseph's article.

Not only does it appear that Ed's records were illegally accessed, it also appears they may have been gifted to a servile Columbus Dispatch — oh, may I call it the Disgrace please? — on a silver platter with platinum jewels embedded by the Ohio Republican Psrty and they sucked it up like the lapdogs they are, with the Cleveland Plain Dealer elbowing in for its share of the ill-gotten goodies.

"Kasich for President" Narrative Ignores Some Inconvenient Facts

The media, always hungry for a new “horse race” political story, has decided that John Kasich for President is their shiny new toy. If Kasich wins in November by a large margin, the speculation will become a roar. Media pundits will decide Kasich’s big win was due to his popularity and accomplishments as governor, and they’ll project a similar national appeal for him.

But that would ignore how he did won and why that wouldn’t translate in a national primary race. A big victory for Kasich November 4 wouldn’t boost his presidential chances because it would have depended on a series of factors that can’t be replicated on a national level or in a multi-candidate primary.

For one, his victory would be based in large part on the deliberate destruction of his opponent Ed Fitzgerald by state newspapers. They were able to crater FitzGerald’s poll numbers, but Kasich’s haven’t improved. So he’s sort of a default choice to a guy who’s been relentlessly smeared, not someone people are enthusiastic about. Kasich could not expect the national media to destroy a series of GOP opponents for his benefit, even if somehow they unanimously settled on Kasich as the frontrunner. With so many candidates being mentioned along with Kasich, where would they even start? And why?

In addition, I believe part of the media strategy in destroying FitzGerald is increase up voter apathy among Democrats and discourage turnout and volunteering. It’s hard to see how encouraging voter apathy among Republican primary voters would benefit Kasich in particular. It’s a different voter base and again, too many potential candidates.

I Am Renewing My Call for Mike DeWine to Resign

With this latest revelation that his office stonewalled charges of sexual harassment, there's really no need to for Mike DeWine to stay in office any longer. As I mentioned previously, Democrat Marc Dann was hounded into resigning in 2008 for something similar but much less serious.

Investigators at Attorney General Mike DeWine's office last year first faulted, then exonerated DeWine's then-employment law chief over how he handled an employee who repeatedly told a legal secretary he liked to slap and punch women, records obtained by The Associated Press show.

Well, isn't that special?

DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said that the office followed all policies and that Lecklider, like any employee, has a right to due process. It was the first such finding overturned in five years, and the second internal harassment case to surface, as DeWine seeks re-election, that involved a partial departure from protocol.

But basically as Republicans, they don't care, because they think women are a lower life form, and yes, this most definitely includes Mike DeWine's boneheaded colleague John Kasich, laughably trying to promote himself in ads as a friend to women.

I noticed that this story making the rounds, and reprinted in numerous small papers, is from the AP, not the disgraceful big state newspapers that have already — incredibly! — endorsed DeWine. Their hotshot "investigative" staffs have plenty of time to flog small failings on the part of the excellent Democratic candidate for governor, Ed FitzGerald, but have no time for this. The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch owe Ohioans an apology and a retraction on their front pages for having endorsed this corrupt and ineffective clown.

David Pepper Is HIGHLY Qualified, Says Someone More Illustrious Than Mike DeWine

As a young man not long out of Yale Law School in 1999, Democratic candidate for attorney general David Pepper landed a job clerking for now retired judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit Nathaniel R. Jones. He spent some time teaching at Harvard Law School, so he's seen some great young minds.

And Judge Jones sent out this letter on behalf of Pepper:

From: Nathaniel R. Jones
Subject: A Note from Judge Nathaniel R. Jones

Dear Anastasia,

Mike DeWine has unleashed a scurrilous attack on David. The commercial, among other things, calls David inexperienced, untrustworthy and wrong for Ohio. The ad is entitled “Unqualified.” Its absurdity is apparent.

Unqualified? David Pepper is one of the most qualified people to ever run for attorney general in the history of our state. I had the honor of having him serve as my law clerk back when I was on the Federal Court of Appeals. I saw his legal mind operate close up. He and I later became colleagues at one of our nation’s most respected law firms and have taught election law together at the University of Cincinnati’s law school. In addition, he has been an outstanding public servant.

We are lucky to have someone of his intellect, experience and integrity willing to serve our state. David will bring a wave of fresh thinking and integrity to the office of attorney general.

Mike DeWine, who is in the midst of a real pay-to-play scandal, has a lot of nerve calling David untrustworthy. But what I find most appalling is his calling David “wrong for Ohio.” David and the policies he is advocating are what will be right for Ohio.

The real problem with Mike DeWine is that he has spent his time being not only wrong for Ohio, but wrong for the country. Rather than fighting for the people of Ohio, he has been fighting against the people in Ohio, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Arizona.

How Corrupt Is John Kasich? A New Report, Pay to Prey, Will Tell You

If you believe the polls, Ohioans are on the verge of blindly reelecting not only one of the most partisan and economically ruinous governors in its recent history, but also one whose administration's way of doing business offers a very high likelihood that corruption is occurring.

The nonprofit watchdog group, the Center for Media and Democracy, has a new report out today called "Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of America's Public Services."

I devour reports like this and I wish more people would, instead of basing their ideas about candidates on flimsy passing remarks and insinuations.

The report has a scathing and detailed recounting of how seven governors are squandering state resources, property and tax dollars to enrich their cronies and donors and impoverish their states. It contains sections on Florida, Maine, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — and Ohio. When it comes to putting the interests of their friends ahead of those of their constituents, these governors are among the worst of the worst. And Kasich holds his own in this bad company.

You can read the report here if you want to see how bad things are all over:

All those other states have a high likelihood of or at least a shot at getting rid of their corrupt governors. The odds are longer in Ohio, which means four years from now we may be where Kansas is today: such a smoking heap of wreckage that this blood-red state may be on the verge of electing a Democratic governor. Good luck to Paul Davis in piecing together those ruins.

Hell Has Frozen Over. Plain Dealer Endorses Nina Turner

*Nina Turner with Democratic congressional candidate Michael Wager (Oh-14), another person you should vote for if you live in his district even though the PD endorsed his opponent*

Now obviously Nina Turner is the better person for the job of secretary of state. Jon Husted has spent his four years as secretary of state looking for ways to make things more difficult and confusing for voters, bringing court case after court case trying to limit voting opportunities. From his battle with voting rights champion Ed FitzGerald in 2011 over mailing out absentee ballot applications to voters, to his attempt to shut down voting the three days before the election in 2012, the busiest early voting days, to his successful attempt this year (his first court victory in numerous tries, thanks to the rightwing, voter-hating Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court) to delay early voting and ax the so-called "golden period," Husted has been a nightmare for voting rights.

But the Plain Dealer did ludicrously endorse feckless and corrupt attorney general Mike DeWine, Husted's partner in crime in attempting to limit voting.

Nina is a warrior for voting rights. As she has often said, she will fight for your right to vote against her. She has said that as secretary of state, she will use the office in any way she can think of to promote voting everywhere and anywhere, that her goal will be to astronomically increase voter participation. Wouldn't it be great to see a headline that said "Record Ohio voter turnout" instead of "Ohio voter turnout hits another low"?

Clevelanders: Meet Connie Pillich & Help Her Raise Some Money to Beat Josh Mandel

*Connie Pillich (in turquoise jacket with her fist raised) with fellow state legislators at last year's We Won't Go Back rally for women in Columbus*

I was in the store today and saw an ad on TV for Josh Mandel. It almost made me want to drop my purchases and run out of the store. Mandel is claiming that he's been a real wizard of a state treasurer, and he'd have to have been a real wizard to do that, considering how little time and effort he's put into the job.

His Democratic opponent Connie Pillich, on the other hand, has a reputation for working hard in everything she does, like‚ you know, EARNING her paycheck.

Clevelanders have the chance to meet Connie and help her raise a little money to compete with Josh, since she, unlike him, is not owned by Big Coal, the for-profit charter school industry, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a bunch of other deep-pockets special interests.

Jill and Jeff Zimon are hosting a meet-and-greet fundraiser for Connie at their home in Pepper Pike. She's only looking for $100, more if you feel so inclined but a fraction of what Joshie's special interest buddies give him.

It's taking place Tuesday October 21 from 6-7:30 pm. If you'd like to go, RSVP to
Jordan Howard at 614-454-1089 or

I can confidently state that Connie Pillich would be a much better state treasurer than Josh Mandel.

Some Interesting Info About Kasich's Phony New "I Love Women" Ad from the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus

*Democratic Women's Caucus members stand against Kasich's assault on women's rights*

I don't have a TV, a real blessing as election season draws to a close. So I haven't seen Kasich's new ad preposterously claiming his administration has been good for women. I guess I could find it online but I don't feel like getting even more outraged than I am. Plenty of people have described it in gruesome detail.

Now some information comes from Kathy DiCrristofaro (second from the right in the photo above), the chair of the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus, about this ad and the potential conflict of interest of the woman doctor who serves as its mouthpiece.

Kathy writes,

This morning, the Kasich-Taylor campaign released an ad featuring Dr. Alice Epitropoulos, in which she claimed that the Kasich administration’s policies were favorable to women’s health, completely misleading on Kasich’s awful record on women’s issues that has received national attention throughout his first term. What the Kasich campaign did not disclose in its ad was that, regardless of the stethoscope she is wearing, Dr. Epitropoulos is not a general practitioner, nor does she practice women’s health. Instead, she is a registered Republican, a Kasich contributor, and an eye surgeon.

Really? But there's more!

Dr. Epitropoulos donated to Kasich’s campaign in 2010 after the Strickland Administration liquidated the health insurance company she was running because it was financially insolvent.

I recall that we covered this story when I was at scene and it's complex. Kathy's email explains it in basic terms and why this particular doctor might have some, shall we, issue?

How Kasich Has Worked AGAINST Women for the Last Four Years


Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio (pictured above at the We Won't Go Back rally in Columbus last October), sent this email out today regarding John Kasich's insulting and duplicitous new ad claiming "Kasich Works for Women."

She says:

In the most disingenuous move that I have ever seen in Ohio politics, John Kasich claims that he works for women. The fact is, no governor in Ohio’s history has ever done more to undermine women’s reproductive health. At every turn, Kasich has imposed his extremist beliefs on Ohio’s women and interfered with how doctors provide reproductive health care in our state.

Governor Kasich has made it clear that he intends to effectively outlaw abortion in Ohio by unjustly closing its abortion clinics. Women should not be fooled by Kasich’s slick ad campaign. Kasich does not work for women, and women should vote him out of office on November 4.

She says that Kasich has signed eleven (!!!) provisions into law that make controlling their own reproduction and their own lives much harder for Ohio women. He's what he thought it was good to do to "work for women."

1 Create a new consent process for women seeking abortion care that forces a doctor to perform medically unnecessary tests and give medically ambiguous information about the viability of the pregnancy.

2. Require that all ambulatory surgical centers have transfer agreements with hospitals and grant authority to the politically appointed, anti-choice director of the Ohio Department of Health to cherry-pick what constitutes a valid transfer agreement, or variance, for any reason.

Kasich Sets a New Record for Arrogance and Dishonesty in Ad on Women

*Governor Kasich and six other middle-aged white guys trample women's rights"

Few governors in the entire country have been more contemptuous of and condescending to women than John Kasich. Few have done as much to ruin the personal and economic stability of Ohio women's lives. If you are not a rich woman, he doesn't think you deserve any control over your life. If you are, be a nice girl and do what your husband wants. Even the patronizing way he talks about his wife publicly shows that here is a man who really, really doesn't understand women and what they need and frankly doesn't seem to care much.

Kasich had the sheer obnoxious gall to debut an ad in which he boasts about how good he's been for women. That is a bald-faced lie. There's just no other way to spin it. He's been just about the worst governor for women imaginable. I don't know whether Kasich knows this and he's just unethical scum or if truly lives in a world so insulated he has no idea that his actions during his first term made life more difficult for a lot of women who are already struggling. No one wants "big government" and "government taking over our healthcare" less than a women grappling with an unplanned pregnancy. She doesn't want government anywhere in her vicinity.

Ok, DeWine, You Started It. WHO Is "Unqualified" to be Attorney General? Look in the Mirror!

The arrogance level of the Republican statewide officeholders has gotten so off the charts (more about that in my next post as well) that I shudder to think about Ohio's future if any of them gets reelected. These unethical, self-interested hacks have shown over and over by their actions that they really aren't interested in the benefit of 99 out of 100 Ohioans.

No one on the list is worse than Mike DeWine, a hack's hack who is completely unqualified in every way to be attorney general as he's shown with his cronyism, his coverup of a sexual harassment case and his constant pursuit of partisan and ideological campaigns with our tax money that are detrimental to huge swaths of Ohioans who don't share his views.

Now he's adding lying ad hominem attacks on his Democratic opponent David Pepper to his ignominious resume, claiming that Pepper is "unqualified" to be attorney general.

DeWine, I would not normally go here, especially since there is so much in your record in office to use against you, but you started it. The fact is, David Pepper is so much your better you don't even deserve to be in a room with him — probably why you wimped out of doing any debates. You knew you'd be eaten alive.

Let's start with law school. DeWine went to a mediocre law school, Northern Ohio in Ada, which seems mostly distinguished for producing low-level Republican officeholders. Nothing against the school — I'm sure some very solid attorneys went there. But it certainly didn't produce the kind of illustrious alumni that, for instance, a more selective school like Yale Law School which has a separate Wikipedia page for notable alumni, requiring multiple categories and warning that the list may be complete.

It’s NOT OK for Democrats to vote Republican — or for Jack Schron

Apparently Jack Schron, the extreme rightwing Republican candidate for Cuyahoga County executive, thinks he smells blood in the water and is going for the heart of the county’s voters: its Democrats.

In one of the most insulting and patronizing mailers I’ve ever seen, he targets Democrats with the message, “It’s OK to vote Republican” or as he puts it “the best person for the job.” The mailer includes a bunch of vague stuff like “business leadership skills” (inappropriate to leading a government entity) and quotes the Plain Dealer editorial, which, like most of its editorials, is a hunk of hooey with a hidden agenda (“his steady, rational, non-partisan approach”? He’s by far the most partisan member of county council). There’s nothing compelling in it to make the case that he is indeed “the best person” or even a good person for the job. And there’s nothing that reveals how out of step his core beliefs are with those of county Democrats.

But if you have certain beliefs about the nature of government and whom it should serve and how, it’s not OK to vote Republican anymore. In fact, it’s a betrayal of principles so fundamental that, given how extreme the Republican Party is today, it’s difficult to see how you can reconcile this with calling yourself a Democrat.

It doesn’t even matter what Schron personally believes. He belongs to a party whose policies have become so radical that a majority of Americans don’t agree with them — which is why John Kasich has built his entire campaign on concealing his record and his agenda.

Marek Tyzskiewicz Makes Gutsy Run for Congress in Republican Oh-2

*Marek Tyszkiewicz and his wife Missy*

Democratic congressional candidate Marek Tyszkiewicz starts out his race with a major handicap: he’s got one of the world’s worst ballot names (What, was O’Malley taken?) That’s probably why his domain name is “” (I’ll bet was available though!)

Joking aside, he has an even bigger handicap. He’s running in Ohio’s 2nd district in the greater Cincinnati area. That’s the district where current congressman Brad Wenstrup (R) unseated former congresswoman Jean “Scrunchie” Schmidt (also R) in the 2012 GOP primary by running in the minuscule space to her right. It includes populous and notoriously blood-red Clermont County.

The Democrats have fielded some strong candidates who came within a hair of winning, including Paul Hackett and Dr. Vic Wulson. That was before redistricting. It’s also produced some strange candidates like the enigmatic William Smith who won the 2012 Democratic primary without campaigning and without anyone in the Democratic party in the district ever having heard from him, probably because he’s got one of those names that makes everyone think maybe they know him. He lost to Wenstrup in the general election. Some other strange shit has happened down there you could look up. Look for “David Krikorian.”

Smith appeared again out of his undisclosed location to run in a four-way primarily in May, but Tyzzz… oh hell, I have to look up that spelling again? Anyway, Smith lost this time.

Plain Dealer Endorses David Joyce While Helping Him Hide Inconvenient Information

I see the Plain Dealer has, as expected, endorsed the unimpressive incumbent, David “I’m not a moderate but I play one on TV” Joyce, for the 14th district congressional seat over the much sharper and more qualified Democrat Michael Wager. Not a surprise — the paper has practically made a religion of worshipping Steve LaTourette and Joyce is LaTourette’s protégé. I’m not going to annoy myself by reading this misguided endorsement. I pretty much know what it says. They’ve probably bought into his fake moderate stance and think he’s one of those guys who can temper the GOP. Sure, whatever, PD.

But there’s an interesting episode in Joyce’s past that never seems to have piqued the PD’s investigative curiosity. In May of 2001, Joyce was recommended by then-Senators George Voinovich and Mike DeWine for the post of U.S. attorney for Northern Ohio. The nomination was submitted by President George Bush, and the FBI did the thorough background check required. Joyce talked publicly about how excited he was about the job. Bush then withdrew the nomination “due to questions that came up about his past during an FBI background check.”

What were those questions? The Plain Dealer apparently had little interest in finding out and rumors have been flying for years. Did Joyce mishandle a major case? Were there accusations of sexual harassment against him? Was it because he had he gotten into feuds with other officials and/or a community newspaper in Geauga County where he was prosecutor for many years or been involved in conflicts of interest? We just don’t know. Our paper didn’t do the digging and isn’t doing it now.

Meeting The Congressional Candidates in District 14

*Michael Wager (r) chats with the Plain Dealer's Mark Naymik*

So on the spur of the moment I decided to go up to the Mayfield Public Library here in Cuyahoga County Tuesday for a forum with the congressional candidates in Oh-14. This district shouldn’t even BE in Cuyahoga County. Given its population loss, the county should have ONLY two districts in its borders, and not large pieces of four districts.

But thanks to gerrymandering, this is the only competitive district in the whole state, as moderator Mark Naymik of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reminded the large group that packed the meeting room as he introduced the candidates: Republican incumbent David “I’m not a moderate but I play one on TV” Joyce, Democrat Michael Wager, and Libertarian David Macko.

It was not conducted as a debate but rather as a forum where Naymik tailored the questions to each candidate. For instance, on health care, he asked Wager for two ways the Affordable Care Act could be improved and Joyce, who voted to repeal it, for two things he would keep (Macko, of course, wants government out of everything).

Joyce did not get off on the right foot by leading with a lie, a tired Republican campaign attack from 2012: that the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare “took $700 million from Medicare.” In fact, no benefits were cut as Republican imply; those were savings from streamlining on the supply side just like the Republicans are always advocating for.

Seriously? You Want To Reelect a Weasel Like Kasich?

*The one candidate who is NOT a weasel*

Come on — you really care more about Ed FitzGerald's drivers license than equal rights for Ohio's citizens? If there' any LGBT person out there still wavering, shame on you!

I know you recall his devious response when Senator Rob Portman changed his position on marriage equality. Kasich said he was still against it, but supported civil unions. A few hours later, his spokesman had to correct the bumbling governor and say that, no, he still thought gay people were unworthy of even a shred of the rights straight people have.

That's not in the past. This week, with some of the most conservative states in the country tumbling like dominoes on the issue of marriage equality, Karen Kasler of the Statehouse News Bureau asked Kasich if he would oppose a ballot issue to overturn Ohio's ban on marriage equality.

Of course, Kasich was his usual weasely, gutless self, refusing to be own the positions he ultimately backs, just as he did when he stripped women of their reproductive choice or backed taking away negotiating rights from public workers unions under SB 5. Just like he's responding now to questions about right to work — pay attention, union guys, and get everyone you know to go out on or before November 4 and vote him out of office.

His response was classic slippery Kasich He said, “Look, that’s so far down the road, and I got enough to do without having to run around trying to figure out how I’m going to fight ballot issues. Let me try to keep Ohio working and we’ll go that way.”

You Remember Why You're Not Voting for Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, Right?

*Connie Pillich*

I know we've pretty much flogged state treasurer Josh Mandel's record and his sleazy behavior to death, which is exactly what his political career deserves to be: dead.

But I got an email this morning from the campaign of Connie Pillich, who is running against him, and it so concisely summed his worthless career that I thought I would share it in case you need talking points.

*Josh hired his unqualified buddies to high-paid positions in the Treasurer's office
*He missed 14 straight months of important meetings
*He used taxpayer money for tele-town halls that "smell of self-promotion"
*He exchanged the official letterhead of the treasurer’s office for $100,000 in campaign contributions from crooked businessman, Benjamin Suarez

I feel I need to amplify a few things, although those are good if you want to keep it simple.

*Joshie filled the highest positions in his office with his campaign officials and college fraternity buddies, and even had to send one to an "investing for dummies" type course to learn what to do with OUR money because the guy had no background.

*Those 14 meetings he missed? The state board of deposit meetings where key decisions are made about how to invest our money. While state treasurers themselves do not typically go to each and everyone, Josh didn't go to a single one his first 14 months in office — until he was shamed into doing so by newspaper coverage during his 2012 Senate campaign.

Kasich and the GOP Are NOT "Pro-Life"

Why do women seek abortions? This choice usually involves endless reflection and agonizing over what is involved, emotionally and financially, in caring for another child. And yes, it’s usually ANOTHER child. Studies have shown something like two-thirds of the women seeking abortions are already mothers. So it’s very likely there’s an economic component here: these women know that they will not be able to provide quality futures for the children they already have if they have another.

Plenty of women of all social classes get this. A struggling working woman can’t take time off from work and knows another daycare fee will break her. And the affluent couple understands the costs of a good college and sports and music lessons and SAT tutoring to get their child there.

The latter woman continues to have choices — and she will get an abortion if she finds it more convenient for her and her family. Undoubtedly some of Governor Kasich’s Christian friends have done so. It’s the former whose choices are being brutally stomped out by Kasich and his allies who have zero compassion for the lives of ordinary working people. They don’t count. They don’t pay the campaign bills.

This story out of Texas, where the number of statewide abortion clinics has been slashed from 44 to eight, tells the story. It’s the story of Ohio too — only worse. At least Governor Rick Perry and his cronies in the Texas legislature had the guts to pass their misogynistic, repressive laws in public. The cowardly Kasich did not — and won’t if we are unfortunate enough that he gets a second term to do more damage to women’s lives.

“Map Shows Abortion Access In Texas Now Only For Wealthy”

Gee, who would have guessed?

Black Pastors & Armond Budish Vote at the BOE: Why You MUST Vote for Budish too


Around 60 black pastors showed up at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to vote yesterday on the first day of early voting, along with state representative Armond Budish who is running for county executive.

Their presence emphasized two things: how essential it is for African-Americans to get out and vote, and how essential it is to elect Armond Budish over his Republican, Plain Dealer-endorsed opponent Jack Schron. This race has statewide and even national implications. The stakes are sky-high, and every good Democrat should be paying attention.

Now Schron may be a decent guy, I don't know. That isn't the point. I don't even care whether his drivers license is current. But there is something exceptionally outrageous about the Plain Dealer suggesting that Ohio's largest Democratic county should be ruled over (and make no mistake: the county charter essentially established the executive as a powerful ruler) by a far right-wing Republican extremist, completely out of step policy-wise with a vast majority of the county’s mostly Democratic citizens.

There are probably dozens of examples but two major ones come to mind. Schron was the only member of the 11-member county council, on which he currently serves, to vote to support SB 5 rather than repealing it. His two fellow Republicans on the council voted for repeal. Given that Cuyahoga is one of Ohio’s only remaining bastions of union power, his election could weaken the voice of unions, whether right to work is passed in Ohio or not. At very least, he would be likely to raise the level of conflict and try to make workers bear the brunt of the cuts in the county budget sure to come in Ohio's challenged economic climate.

Dave Yost Campaign Is Push Polling


The call I got a little while ago sounded innocuous enough at first, although a bit of a head scratcher. The nice young woman wanted to know if I had a couple of minutes for an opinion poll about the state auditor race, not exactly the highest profile race on the ballot.

OK, I said, telling her in response to her question about whether I planned to vote that I already had (see above). She asked a few questions about what I had seen and heard about this campaign, and why I answered "favorable" when she asked me if what I had seen or heard made me feel favorable or unfavorable toward Carney. Then said she was going to run some statements by me.

“John Patrick Carney said that Ohio needs an independent auditor who is not beholden to special interests. If you knew that Carney had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from those special interests, would it make you more or less likely to vote for him or would it make no difference?” I chose “no difference.”

There was one more similar question I don’t remember. I again chose “No difference,” saying that I knew there were a lot of lies in these statements.

Then she said “John Patrick Carney voted to cut $140 million from education funding. If you knew that he took donations from anti-education special interests, would that make you more or less likely to vote for him?” I again chose “no difference,” adding it was the Republicans like Yost who got money from anti-education special interests like for-profit charter schools.

Time to Vote, People!


Early voting starts today — finally. You may recall that the Ohio Voter Suppression Team of Jon Husted and Mike DeWine made a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and got a decision last Monday from the most corrupt and partisan Supreme Court in my memory that early voting, scheduled to start last Tuesday, could be shut down until this week, and hours severely curtailed.

Today it's on. But Husted and DeWine still would prefer you didn't vote. So that's why you have to.

This is particularly crucial in Cuyahoga County where you can vote at the Board of Elections at E. 30th and Euclid Avenue from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, except next Monday and 8-4 Saturday October 25 and November 1. They'll also be open on Sunday November 2 from 1-5pm.

Why? Because the Cleveland Plain Dealer has joined forces with Husted and DeWine to suppress the vote. Oh, not directly. They're doing it with their relentless stream of stories about the utter worthlessness and weakness of the Democratic Party, escalating from the oversaturation coverage about Ed FitzGerald's trivial transgressions to an incessant drumbeat of stories about worsening polls for Democrats, people deserting the party, to even urging the election of far rightwing Republican extremist Jack Schron to run the largest Democratic county in Ohio and rule over a population that largely opposes everything he believes in.

LaTourette Retired From Congress But He’s Still Pulling The Strings

The inexplicably popular ex-congressman Steve LaTourette, from Ohio’s 14th district in the northeast corner of the state, retired from Congress in 2012 to become a lobbyist.

Oh sure, he did give lip service to the increasing rancor in Congress as a reason, but he seldom returned to his district any more and showed an increasing taste for the D.C. circuit and the enhanced lifestyle a lobbyist’s salary can bring. He became president/CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership, whose goal is to support “moderate” Republicans, if they can still find any.

LaTourette anointed David “I’m not a moderate but I play one on TV” Joyce as his successor, and with no real Democratic opponent on the ballot that year, Joyce easily won.

This year, Joyce has a REAL opponent in Moreland Hills attorney Michael Wager. Apparently, that’s got LaTourette concerned for his little mini-me David Joyce.

And apparently, the ads Joyce has bought attacking Wager on specious grounds such as “He’s a successful attorney and businessman” (hey — isn’t that what Republicans are always saying you should be?) aren’t working. And he sure wasn’t happy with Wager’s ad spoofing his intended-to-be-heartwarming ‘Just Dave” ad because he pulled it.

So LaTourette to the rescue! We’ve learned that Main Street's PAC is planning to dump $67,000 worth of its own ads next week, presumably to attack Wager. So glad I don’t have a TV.

What Will Be The Matter With Ohio

Interested in seeing what Ohio will be like if John Kasich wins a second term? Take a good look at Kansas, a deep red state so savaged by its Republican governor that it appears to be on the verge of replacing him with a Democrat.

This story, “Sam Brownback’s Conservative Utopia in Kansas Has Become Hell,” explains it.

[Brownback’s] administration, he declared, would be a “real live experiment” that would prove, once and for all, that the way to achieve prosperity was by eliminating government from economic life.

He was freer to do so than most extremists because Republicans had swept every state office and held huge majority in the legislature. (Hmmm …. Sound familiar?)

Brownback established an Office of the Repealer to take a scythe to regulations on business, he slashed spending on the poor by tightening welfare requirements, he rejected federal Medicaid subsidies and privatized the delivery of Medicaid, and he dissolved four state agencies and eliminated 2,000 state jobs. [Adjusted for population that would be equivalent of ore than 7,000 jobs in Ohio.] The heart of his program consisted of drastic tax cuts for the wealthy and eliminating taxes on income from profits for more than 100,000 Kansas businesses. No other state had gone this far.

Yet he wanted more, and there were some level-headed Republicans in the legislature standing in his way. So in 2012 he went on a crusade to remove them. He got plenty of help from Kansas’ favorite sons, the Koch Brothers, and he succeeded.

Latest Chapter of the PD’s Vendetta Against Ed FitzGerald Even Worse Than I Thought

I wrote yesterday about former reporter and now Ohio Republican Party operative Henry Gomez’s latest “article” in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, spinning a flimsy story out of Ed FitGerald’s alleged weakness among women voters and lack of support among women Democratic activists, quoting as exhibit A someone actual Democrats have been backing away from for a while. Whatever source makes your predetermined point, I guess.

I was in the store a little while ago and glanced at the PDs sitting unloved and unwanted in the rack (you don’t think I’d BUY this rag, do you?). And I noticed that this story was on page 1 above the fold, where it absolutely didn’t belong. This is not a news story. It represents a nadir in the media’s obsession with turning every election into nothing but poll numbers and money raised, leaving voters more and more cynical about the entire process.

Could it be any clearer that the paper’s agenda is to grind Ed into dust, run up Kasich's margin, and discourage Democrats from voting at all so that turnout is at an historic low —which after the election they will blame on the voters, while pontificating from their lofty perch?

How many page 1, above-the-fold stories have there been in the PD comparing the candidates’ positions on issues and doing an honest breakdown of John Kasich’s record in office and how much it has or has not benefited the average Ohioan? My guess is that the number is extremely low. Exposing what Kasich REALLY believes and what he has done, which he has concealed behind a campaign based on a massive lie — that he has somehow revived the economy in a state where job creation is at a national low — would cost him votes, and the PD can’t have that.

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