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.

The PD Continues Its Nakedly Partisan Campaign for Kasich's Reelection

Every day you think the Plain Dealer coverage of this year’s gubernatorial election cannot get more ludicrous, more biased and more detached from anything that really matters to the future of the state. You think “reporter” Henry Gomez cannot move further away from the decent journalist he once was into being a dutiful stenographer for the Ohio Republican Party.

But each day Gomez and the PD manage to dig up yet another angle on just how badly Ed FitzGerald and the entire Democratic Party suck and how NOBODY supports them. So you shouldn’t either is the underlying message. They manage to find fringe characters in the Democratic Party with axes to grind to stab the party in the back.

Yesterday it was Shirley Smith who I am ashamed to say is my state senator but luckily won’t be for long. She ran for county executive in the Democratic primary, losing to Armond Budish. Now in an act that can only be attributed to bitterness and sour grapes, she endorsed Republican Jack Schron, a right-wing extremist who is wildly out of touch with the county and whose election would pretty much mean the end of the Democratic Party in Ohio. That’s probably exactly what the PD hopes to accomplish and Smith was willing to be their patsy. (That former Sheriff Bob Reid, another “Democratic” county executive candidate, did so wasn’t a big surprise after he came out against marriage equality and women’s reproductive rights and in favor of Republican voter suppression efforts).

Amen, Congresswoman Fudge

From my congresswoman, Marcia Fudge (D-11) about the appalling decision today in the U.S. Supreme Court to award the ethically bankrupt voter suppression team of Mike DeWine and Jon Husted their long-sought chance to put the kibosh on previously available early voting opportunities:

By ordering a last minute halt to the start of early voting in Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken away an important opportunity many Ohioans count on to cast a ballot. This decision injects unnecessary confusion into the electoral process. Our government works best when all voices are included. Limiting access to the ballot box in a manner that disproportionately discourages senior, minority, and disabled citizens, among others, from participating in the electoral process diminishes our democracy, and disenfranchises many Ohioans. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said more than 50 years ago: 'Justice delayed is justice denied.' The same is true of the Supreme Court's ruling today.

Worse and Worse ....

This email just arrived from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Less than sixteen hours before polling stations were scheduled to open in Ohio, early voting in the state has been blocked by the Supreme Court at the request of Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted and Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine.

This week was supposed to be the “Golden Week” during which voters could both register to vote and vote on the same day. In 2012, 59,000 Ohioans cast their ballots during this period. However, this late change is likely to confuse voters, the media, and even election administrators and has happened because Republicans like John Kasich, Jon Husted and Mike DeWine have fought against Golden Week every step of the way.

This fight is an example of the GOP’s hypocrisy on voting rights, made even worse by the fact that the decision came down as Ohio Governor John Kasich held a rally claiming to encourage his supporters to vote early – alongside Chris Christie, who vetoed early vote legislation in New Jersey.

Yup, you read that right. Our arrogant, cowardly governor is pumping early voting while his fellow Republicans are trying to shut it down, once again masquerading as the "nice" Republican while secretly supporting everything they do. Appropriate that he should be standing with Christie because if Kasich is reelected, he's likely to be engulfed in scandal in a year or two — just like his buddy and fellow former presidential hopeful.

Mike DeWine MUST Resign

Determined to make a mockery of the democratic process in Ohio and show how much contempt he has for the taxpayers footing the bill for his ideological crusades, attorney general Mike DeWine decided last week not to even wait for a decision in the appeal he and his henchman, secretary of voter suppression Jon Husted, had filed with a federal appeals court after they'd been smacked down repeatedly in their attempts to limit early voting in Ohio.

He went straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask them to bring to a halt the readiness of Ohio board of election to begin voting tomorrow. And today, what a victory — for those who with no respect or love for this country, our Constitution or the democracy! DeWine managed to finally eke out what he wanted and got the start of early voting delayed.

No, there was no case to be made that there was any conceivable valid reason for doing this — especially after he and Husted repeatedly lost. There is no gain to Ohio voters or its election process on any level. The only gain is for the Republican Party which, by limiting, discourages and turns away those most likely to have voting challenges and who are more likely to vote Democratic. They have placed loyalty to the party above ALL other values — including patriotism and faith. (Jesus would NOT approve, DeWine). There seems to be nothing and no one DeWine doesn't have contempt for — women, LGBT people, voters, the law, his church, his state, his country — if it interferes with his party's zeal to maintain power.

"I'm David Pepper and I promise if you elect me attorney general, I won't use a penny of your money trying to stop people from voting."

Michael Wager Airs First Ad

Democratic Congressional candidate Michael Wager has gone on the air with an ad pointing out how first-term Republican David "I'm not a moderate but I play one on TV" Joyce is not the friend of the average person he tries to give the impression he is. With this district being Ohio's only real swing district, revealing how closely his voting record adheres to the extremist views of the modern, Tea Party-dominated Republican Party wouldn't be an advantage. So Wager is helpfully pointing it out.

Don't be tricked, 14th district voters. David Joyce is NOT on your side. Is he deep down a "moderate" like he pretends? It doesn't matter because the extremists control the GOP and have frightened its potentially saner members into supporting things that damage the lives of most ordinary Americans. He's got to go.

You can watch the ad here:

You can find out more about Michael Wager and help out his campaign here:

Mike DeWine Should Resign

The cronyism in the attorney general’s office is bad. So is the misuse of our tax dollars in pursuit of personal religious and partisan agendas. But those are things you solve at the ballot box, not by calling for impeachment or resignation (not unless a Democrat does them or a Republican falsely claims they do, that is).

But Mike DeWine has stepped over the line, flouting legal ethnics and throwing gasoline on a fire of anger and mistrust. He needs to resign now, regardless of the political or electoral impact on either party.

On August 5, an African-American man named John Crawford was shot and killed at a Walmart in Beavercreek Ohio by police who claimed he was brandishing a gun and scaring customers. The “gun” turned out to be a toy rifle he’d picked up in the store.

First of all, most African-Americans and even many of us white people will immediately note the difference between the treatment of Crawford and the groups of white “open carry” activists who were charging into stores a few months ago brandishing weapons as a show of their alleged Second Amendment Rights. If you are white and you do this, you are a “patriot.” If you are black and you were to do this — although what average black man would be this suicidal? — you are a “thug.”

Video footage of the incident existed and Mike DeWine’s office had it. A public records request was made and DeWine delayed it until after a grand jury had found the officer blameless, saying he didn’t want to taint the jury. In doing so he tainted the jury. What he meant was that he didn’t want to cause the jury to be tainted AGAINST the officer rather than weighing all the evidence and then deciding. He didn’t just put his thumb on the scale of justice, he put his whole hand there and leaned on it.

As the Toledo Blade said:

DeWine & Husted Make Last-Ditch Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to Block Early Voting Times

*The voter protection team of David Pepper & NIna Turner. Needed now more than ever!*

On the campaign trail, Democrats David Pepper, running for attorney general, and Nina Turner, running for secretary of state, like to refer to themselves as "the voter protection team."

We have never needed a voter protection team more than now. The incumbents AG Mike DeWine and SoS Jon Husted apparently don't think there's ANY amount of your money that's too much to spend pointlessly appealing to the courts to shut down early voting opportunities.

We wrote yesterday about the three-panel federal appeals court's unanimous decision in favor of a judge's ruling that Husted could not ax Golden Week and weekend voting. It was his sixth straight defeat in the courts out of six tries. Then he announced he was going to appeal to the full court to see if he could get a better decision (better for him and his party, not for voters).

Now DeWine has, unbelievably, raised him in the voter suppression competition, apparently not wanting to take a back seat in the election rigging game.

He's asking the U.S. Supreme Court to set aside the appeals court's order blocking the state from shortening the early voting period which is supposed to begin next Tuesday. He's falling back on that garbage about how many other states have less voting opportunities, apparently thinking we need to reverse progress and aim toward the lowest common denominator.

Husted Pretends He's a Voting Rights Champion for Obeying Federal Law

One of the most cynical and patriotically bankrupt things that politicians do is pretend that the military is some special category of people that deserve special rights, although those same politicians are often the ones who vote against services they really need. So of course Jon Husted has gone there in his first campaign ad.

Even while he is dragging case after case into court with our tax dollars fighting for his right to make voting harder for the average Ohioan, he's boasting about all the wonderful things he's done to make voting easier for those in the military. His ad focuses on this aspect of his alleged record as secretary of state.

The problem is that all the things he's bragging about, like expanding online access and electronic tracking for active duty military, are required by federal law. Gee, I wonder if he will run an ad next about how he nobly expanded early voting hours if the court turns down his latest appeal begging not to have to do so. At least he's not suing to NOT have to follow the law on access for the military. He's probably thought about it, but decided it would be bad p.r.

Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern issued a statement saying,

Given the number of times that federal courts have ruled that Jon Husted has violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act, it is pathetic that Husted is touting an instance in which he actually followed the law as if it were an achievement, not his duty. Husted’s ad is tragically ironic given it airs the day after Husted and Mike DeWine filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to block active military voters, members of the Ohio National Guard, and our veterans from enjoying the early voting opportunities they’ve used in past elections. Ohio deserves a Secretary of State that respects the laws and the voters like State Senator Nina Turner.

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