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.

Defeats Don't Dim Jon Husted's Zeal to Block Voting

*Unlike Jon Husted, Nina Turner is passionate about helping EVERYONE vote, whether they line up with her politically or not*

It seems like nothing will deter Ohio's Secretary of voter suppres...I mean STATE...Jon Husted from his crusade to throw obstacles in the way of Ohio voters, a crusade fueled with tax dollars from the very people he's trying to disenfranchise.

Yesterday Husted was handed yet another court defeat in his attempt to strip Ohioans of opportunities to vote when a three-judge appeals court panel upheld by a 3-0 vote Judge Peter Economus' ruling that Husted could not curtail early voting hours or take away the so-called "Golden Week" when voters can register and vote at the same time. If you're keeping score, he's now 0-6.

But does this send Husted the hint that it's time to stop squandering our tax dollars on his attempts to sabotage democracy and rig Ohio's elections via laws and directives that impose burdens on certain voters more likely to vote Democrat?

What do you think?

Attorneys for the state of Ohio have formally asked the full federal appeals court to review a lawsuit affecting the swing state's early voting schedule. Ohio's attorneys said in a Wednesday court filing that immediate action is needed to reverse a judge's order that allows early ballots to be cast next week.

Uh .... say WHAT, Mary Taylor?

This quote has been making the email rounds today, as Ohio Democrats have jumped on Mary Taylor's fumble-tongued misspeak at an event yesterday. It's clear she's been hanging around with Kasich too long and absorbed his rambling, off-the-cuff, semi-coherent speaking style which some inexplicably find endearing. ("Mister, don't tax my eggs!", "I'm not going to wear that silly hat Voinovich wore.")

Democrats are saying this is an inner look into what the Republicans in office in Columbus really think, and I have no doubt that is true, even though I got what she was groping for and missed by a mile.

She said:

"“Now I’m taking the Governor’s speech. But what he’ll tell you is we need to get reelected to make sure that we, we have reestablished the culture in government, reestablished the culture in Columbus so that when we leave, their attitude is WE DON’T WORK FOR YOU, YOU WORK FOR US. No other way around. It’s a long day the governor has never said that by the way John-- you’ve never said that, by the way… See the other way around… you.. how does this go, we work for you, you don’t work for us. It’s been a long day, see, if you spend too much time in Columbus and your people down there get you convinced that it is the other way around.”

Obviously she was feeling in the dark for "You don't work for us, we work for you." And maybe the reason she couldn't find her way through the thicket of words to that was that IT ISN'T TRUE and it certainly is not how they operate or ever intend to operate.

This is an administration that does its best to conceal its true policies from voters until they slam them through the legislature with no hearings and sign them quickly during the most inconspicuous time of the week. Would someone who saw themselves as YOUR servant do that? No — they would stand up boldly in the glare of the spotlight and take YOUR questions about why they want to do that thing you hate.

This is the real John Kasich

[The following is a post I did about three years ago. It was during the height of the SB5 fight. While the current media is trying to portray John Kasich, as a kind and humble guy, the following is the real John Kasich -- anger issues galore. We shouldn't forget it.]

The following video from Marc Kovac of Ohio Capital Blog has been making its way around the internet. It features John Kasich in a tirade concerning the horrible partisanship he feels he's been facing.

In a total disconnect from reality, he acts as if it's never existed before in politics. What happened to the gentler times like the mid-nineties when people reached across the isle to find comprise, he wonders.


I'm pretty sure it was during this time that the Republicans came up with the whole idea of zero compromise.

In addition, this has to be one of the most partisan budgets ever passed. One example would be the windfall it creates for for-profit charter schools, which, is at the expense of local communities.

John Kasich's bizarre tirade shows he is not a well man.

In the video, after he starts off with his odd premise that extreme partisanship has just popped up, he states…

"What's happening in Ohio now is that if you don't win, you sue, or make a pubic records request ... slow down the process”

Slow down the process?

Nina Turner Gets Some Big Endorsements

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*Two people who will protect voting rights: Nina Turner and Cuyahoga county executive candidate Armond Budish*

There’s no question which candidate would be the better secretary of state for ALL Ohioans. And it’s not incumbent Jon Husted. Husted has turned his office into the Secretary of Voter Suppression office, repeatedly suing to shut down voting opportunities that primarily impact minorities, poor people, working people, urban residents, the elderly, and students. He’s lost every time, but continues to spend our tax dollars appealing these cases.

And there’s no question that who is in that office could have major national implications for 2016. If the presidential race is close, the nightmare scenario the newspapers were salivating over in 2012 (which wasn’t close) could come true: the entire presidency could hinge on a few votes in Ohio, most likely Cuyahoga County. And Husted would be doing his damnedest to make voting as difficult as possible for the residents of Cuyahoga — and Franklin (Columbus) and Hamilton (Cincinnati) and Lucas (Toledo) and Summit (Akron) and Mahoning (Youngstown) county residents

Maybe that’s why a few heavy-hitters have stepped up in recent days to issue public endorsements of Turner.

Senator Sherrod Brown sent out a fundraising email on her behalf, in which he said:

In the past few years Ohio’s legislature, together with the current Secretary of State, have worked to cut early voting hours and limited access to the polls. That’s not my idea of “protecting the right to vote. When your Secretary of State starts restricting the very rights he’s supposed to protect, it’s probably [probably?] time for a new one.

Still More IOKIYAR in the Attorney General's Office

*David Pepper campaigning at Family Unity in the Park in Cleveland*

After reading yet another report about the chaos and dishonesty in attorney general Mike DeWine’s crony-servicing office involving a sexual harassment charge against one of his buddies, I was moved to go back and read what led to Marc Dann being forced from the office in 2008.

It’s astonishing how similar the stories are — except that, when told in the simplest terms and set side by side, DeWine’s seems much worse, much more deliberate and secretive. Both involved someone in the AG’s office, whom he was close to being charged with sexual harassment. Whereas the independent investigation into Dann’s buddies, which he cooperated with, led to their firing, DeWine hasn’t done anything except sweep the whole thing under the rug and say the equivalent of “Move along; there’s nothing to see.” There are signs his office mishandled the investigation to minimize the women’s claims.

Yet in Dann’s case, he was abandoned by his fellow Democrats who were pushing him to resign. The Republicans in the legislature were talking impeachment even though there were no rational grounds.

Then the roar against Dann rose to deafening level when it was revealed he was having a consensual affair with another adult, something hardly unknown in your average state capitol and something absolutely irrelevant to the discharge of the office. I think the state legislature was having Bill Clinton flashbacks or something. Sadly, even the Democrats doubled down on their demands that Dann resign, which he finally did.

Where Vetting Meets IOKIYAR

*A far superior candidate for governor and probably a far superior person than John Kasich*

So I was reading this morning about Congressman Scott Desjarlais.

“Who?” you’re saying?

Don’t feel bad. There’s no reason you should know who he is. He’s a second-term Republican from Tennessee, who is a staunch proponent of “values” — values such as cheating on your wife with multiple partners, including several patients (he’s a doctor) and pressuring both your ex-wife and one of the women you’re having an affair with to have abortions. To the hard-line Republican voters in this district, this is all fine — he’s a shoo-in for reelection. (And he’ll be back in Congress voting to limit women’s access to contraception and abortion — count on it.)

It started me thinking about comments I have heard from a few Ohio Democrats wailing, “Why didn’t we vet Ed FitzGerald better?” But the level of vetting — researching a candidate’s background for potential liabilities — that would have caught the types of trivial personal failings the Plain Dealer is now going on about on a daily basis would have required a microscopic level of deep-diving that would have disqualified ANY candidate we might have run. Don’t talk to me about Jennifer Brunner or Rich Cordray. If they were vetted to this extent, something would have turned up. Something would have turned up on 95 percent of us. And that’s a small pool left from which to choose potential candidates.

Recalling Again What's At Stake for Ohio

*THe right policies, the right guy*

Before going to the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats meeting tonight, I stopped at an open house at the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen. There someone noticed my FitzGerald/Neuhardt button and remarked that I was very brave to wear it. Nope, I said, just thinking about which candidate has the policies I support.

An hour later a block up the street, Ed FitzGerald spoke to the Stonewall Democrats and reminded me again why he is by far the right choice for governor and why he would be a hundred times better for 99 percent of Ohioans than John Kasich.

Since this was the Stonewall Democrats, he reminded us again of the weird and wobbly reaction(s) Kasich had after Rob Portman changed his stance on marriage equality when his son came out. Kasich said he approved of Portman's born-again support for marriage equality, but when asked if he now supported marriage equality himself, he said no, but he supported civil unions.

WOW! Big position change for him — or not. A few hours later his spokesman said actually he does NOT support civil unions after all. So much for that.

Kasich Being Kasich Again

We all know what the cowardly John Kasich says when he's going to do something deeply unpopular that could cause heavy blowback. He tries to say nothing or he wiggles around giving non-answers. When asked if he would line-item veto the anti-abortion measures stuffed inappropriately into the budget bill he responded only "I'm pro-choice." And he said almost nothing about unions during the 2010 campaign. You would have thought he barely noticed they existed. Then after he's sworn in— BOOM! SB 5.

Now, in his candidate interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Kasich is being all coy about right to work again. He's previously said he doesn't think about the future (bunk) to deflect questions about whether this is something he would do in his second term.

Gov. John Kasich on Monday downplayed the importance of right to work to Ohio's effort to lure new businesses, citing his lead in the polls as evidence of his improved relationship with pro-union Ohioans.

Right to work often appears on short lists of criteria businesses weigh when they're considering locations for a new factory. So some conservative Republicans have called for Kasich to push right-to-work laws in Ohio, and Democrats have warned Kasich might prioritize the anti-union legislation if he's elected to a second term. But right to work hasn't come up in a conversation with a prospective Ohio CEO in two or three years, the governor told The Enquirer.

"I don't have them say, 'Well, you know, if you only had right to work.' I just don't hear anything like that," Kasich said. "We have a pretty good labor climate here. You're not seeing a rash of strikes."

I'm sorry but "downplaying the importance" doesn't mean it's something he's not going to do. He "downplayed the importance" of SB 5 to the point of never mentioning it.

The Empty Suit Strikes Again — and Earns Well-Deserved Ridicule

Maybe you remember the story of state treasurer Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel and his good buddy Ben Suarez. In a nutshell, the narrative involves Mandel striking a deal with the CEO of the Canton-based Suarez Corporation to donate some big bucks to his failed (yay!) 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in return for using his office to lean on California officials not to pursue a legal case against Suarez, threatening to have the state of Ohio sue California to protect his good buddy. Oh, and the donations were of dubious legality. You can read that backstory at these links.—-says-mandel-not-quotperson-very-good-characterquo

This week in his Plain Dealer candidate interview, Mandel justified threatening to bring the entire weight of one state to bear against another in court to protect his friend by saying, "I think that's what constituents expect of their public officials."

(I'll pause while you laugh.)

Mandel couldn't recall whether he was personally involved in writing the threatening letters on state treasurer letterhead. Well, I'm sure any of his employees might have taken it on themselves to write threatening letters to top officials in another state on behalf of a big Mandel donor without Mandel's knowledge. Yes, that makes sense. I think I hear you still laughing.

Luckily, here in Cleveland, we have comedian Mike Polk Jr. to skewer Mandel and his assertions. Today on his Facebook page, he posted the following, which you can read there.

Arrogance & Cowardice: A Dangerous Combination

Maybe you’ve noticed something strikingly different about this state election cycle. I know I have. I always look forward to the debates and either attending or hearing what came out of them. Can we ever forget such stellar moments as Mike DeWine talking about the “marijuana-laced banana” he claimed someone had been smoking in Sherrod Brown’s former office? That moment occurred back in the 2006 Senate race during a debate at the City Club of Cleveland.

There are no debates happening this time. The City Club, which normally has all the candidates for statewide office appear, has had only one such event: the debate between auditor candidate John Patrick Carney (D), Libertarian Bob Bridges, and woeful incumbent David Yost (R, of course). That took place this past Monday and from what I heard from two attendees, Yost tried to pull the bullying asshole card on Carney.

Clearly, the Republican officeholders feel they are sitting pretty for reelection and don’t want to run the risk of having a “marijuana-laced banana” moment — a combination of arrogance and cowardice that bodes ill for the state if they are reelected.

It clearly shows contempt for the public they purport to serve. They are indicating that they do not believe they are answerable to Ohioans and that they are impervious to public opinion. That means that no matter how unpopular a policy, whether it’s imposing new voting restrictions or further limiting a woman’s right to choose or enacting right to work, they will go ahead and do it without even attempting to justify it. They are already doing this, passing consequential, controversial measures like redistricting and abortion restrictions virtually overnight with no hearings at all. They’re telling Ohioans, “You don’t mean squat to us.”

Well, it's a start

Two of our best state legislators, state rep. Mike Foley of Cleveland (unfortunately term limited just when we really REALLY need him) and state senator Bob Hagan of Youngstown, have made a modest and common-sense proposal that will never see the light of day in a legislature that common sense fled a long time ago.

Yesterday they held a press conference in Columbus to announce a bill that would prohibit tax-funded for-profit charter schools from using that money for lobbying and public relations.

Foley said,

As stewards of taxpayer dollars, it is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that state funding is spent in a responsible manner. The funding is sent to public schools for the purpose of educating Ohio students, not for lobbying luncheons or television commercials. While charter schools are certainly welcome to lobby legislators or organize supporters with outside funds, they should not subsidize these activities with tax dollars meant for students and teachers.

It's a start, although we really need to abolish for-profit charters and ban operators of all failing charter schools.

This comes on the heels of the recent release of the state school report card — and guess who flunked?

The Ohio Report Cards are now all out, and the news is worse for Ohio’s embattled Charter Schools than it was last year. Charter Schools received more Fs than As, Bs and Cs combined. Their percentage of Fs went up from about 41% last year to nearly 44% this year. Meanwhile, Ohio’s public school districts saw their As jump to the largest percentage and number of grades.

State Troopers — WTF?

The Ohio State Troopers Association announced this past week that it is withdrawing its endorsement of Democrat Ed FitzGerald for governor, to the undoubted glee of the Plain Dealer, which needs a daily story to hammer nails into what it has openly said it perceives as FitzGerald’s political coffin. Although a FitzGerald spokesperson says the troopers’ union knew about the overblown drivers license issue when it made its endorsement, it was clearly spooked by the trumped-up media attacks on him.

It might seem to make sense on the surface that troopers would decline to stand behind someone who failed to have a valid drivers license over a long period of time, since enforcing rules of the road is what they do, but it really doesn’t. Instead they’ve given a leg up to someone who thinks rules of the road are for the little people, not himself.

If they want to see disrespect for rules of the road, they should dig up the famous video of John Kasich referring to a police officer who stopped him for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle an “idiot” — three times. Obviously, Kasich has zero respect for officers just doing their jobs. He mocked the guy up and down for doing just that.

While the troopers say this move shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of Kasich, of course it helps his reelection bid. And his reelection would likely be a serious detriment to them.

So it will be hard to have sympathy for them a year from now if Kasich is reelected and their negotiating rights have dried up and blown away as Ohio becomes a “right to work” state, draining unions of what little power and influence they have left. It will be hard to have sympathy for them a few years down the road when their numbers have shrunk, their salaries are thousands of dollars less than they are now, and their pensions and health coverage cost a LOT more — and they have no say in the matter.

Hollowing out the Plain Dealer --

James Renner, with Scene Magazine had an interesting write up the other day. It was about the removal of three seasoned journalists from their beats at the Plain Dealer. The three reporters were covering the county courts and local justice. Renner's article starts...

"With Three Reporters Pulled From the Courts Beat, the Northeast Ohio Media Group Continues to Kill the Plain Dealer Little By Little

According to sources inside the Plain Dealer, three top union reporters were pulled from their beats covering Cuyahoga County courts and local justice Wednesday. The plan is to replace them with non-union J-school grads looking for cheap jobs and covering those beats for the Northeast Ohio Media Group in its quest to gather all the listicle-worthy news you can handle.


Why would a VP give the boot to three top reporters?

The reason bandied about the Plain Dealer newsroom in the wake of the announcements is that the stories written by Dissell, Caniglia, and McCarty were generating some of the highest traffic online. Since these three reporters still work for the union-employed Plain Dealer, NEOMG and NEOMG boss Chris Quinn could not take credit for the Internet traffic. By replacing his award-winning journos, Quinn can now claim the clicks for future court stories."

The entire article can be found here:

Of course the majority of people who won't tell you this are... journalists. I have no idea why. They'll voraciously re-tweet that Ed FitzGerald once burped really loudly, but the fact that their industry is very very sick, they'll keep that covered up.

Because The Plain Dealer/Dispatch listens to you .....

So I get this email today inviting me to join Ed FitzGerald's rapid response team. This means they'll send you emails several times a week that you're supposed to push out on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever you hang out, tell all your friends blah blah blah. This is pretty boilerplate campaign stuff. Worth doing if you want to fight to the end:

What had me rolling on the floor laughing was this:

Social media is an incredibly important tool for our campaign. Reporters around the state and across the country rely on social media for breaking news about the campaign and public reaction to political hot topics.

When reporters see tweets and Facebook comments from folks like you, it also helps reinforce that it isn't just Ed who cares about these issues -- it's folks across Ohio. That's incredibly important because in politics, perception is reality.

I don't know if the person who wrote this was naive or was simply trying to cheer people up, but .... no.

The Plainly Republican and the Disgrace don't care what 'folks like you" think or are talking about. They take their marching orders from above — way above YOU. And they rely on the Ohio Republican Party for what to talk about and how to talk about it. Then they create the perception the people they answer to want them to.

Ed FitzGerald never had much of a campaign team --

Ed FitzGerald never had much of a campaign team. It's a sad truth. Even if certain controversies didn't materialize he still would have had tough road ahead of him given the people he had around him. As I read reports about top staff leaving the campaign, I found it almost laughable that the people leaving could be considered the "big brains" of anything. I foolishly believed that for a major race for governor that there'd be a few more people with a little more acumen than the people who left. Nick Buis, Daniel McElhatton and Aaron Pickrell these were the main "geniuses" behind the campaign.

Nick Buis

Nick Buis was Ed FitzGerald's campaign manager. I had been wanting to write about him for a longtime. I don't know how he got his job. I'm assuming the overall reason he was hired was for a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort. Ohio Democrats have made it clear they believe 2014 will come down to a massive GOTV effort. Nick Buis was the state director in Florida during the 2012 presidential election cycle. I'll guess that Nick Buis boasted massive numbers for Florida's GOTV effort. How much of that Nick, can really take credit for, could probably be debated. In the end though, GOTV work seems to be Nick Buis's only qualification for the job.

He obviously didn't have a clue about crisis communication, how to deal with crises or the press. And he certainly didn't show any understanding of how to position a candidate. He didn't seem to know how to highlight issues that a candidate could run on. He didn't seem to understand the importance of issues at all. He certainly didn't build a platform for Ed FitzGerald to run on. No, Nick Buis's main interest beyond GOTV, was football. And Peyton Manning. Even now, when you follow him on Twitter, that's pretty much all he highlights.

John Kasich - supports abortion? - @MGonidakis

The following jumped out at me from an article, Henry Gomez, wrote a few days ago...

"Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval was supposed to join Kasich but canceled because of a late scheduling conflict, said Kasich spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp.

FitzGerald's campaign on Friday sent supporters an email under the headline "A pro-choice Republican in Ohio." The missive was meant to highlight Sandoval's support for abortion rights in Nevada and Kasich's opposition to abortion (except in the cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger)".

Entire article can be found here.

John Kasich supports abortion for cases of rape, incest or when a mother's life is in danger?

I wonder if Ohio's Right to Life group knows about this. From my understanding, the group seeks to end all abortions no matter what. Conversely, if I was the Democrats, I'd pressure John Kasich on this. No matter how he answers, it's going to put him in a pretty bad spot.

The signature check - excellent protection against voter fraud -...

As debate swirls around the need for voters to have photo ids to protect against fraud in elections, one thing that is never mentioned by either Democrats or Republicans is the signature check.

Anyone who has ever worked the polls, or voted for that matter in Ohio, knows that a voter must sign their signature when they vote. The reason a voter signs their signature isn't because of some unnecessary procedure, it's because the poll workers or board of elections workers are matching the signature with an already stored signature to see if they match. If there are any descrepancies between what the voter signs and what is on file, the voter's authenticity can be questioned.

Pretty much anyone would agree that it's awfully hard to forge a signature. The idea that there is someone who could forge thousands of signatures, which you'd have to in order to effect the outcome of an election, is ridiculous. The idea that there a several someones is also ridiculous. You would need so many people, again skilled at forging signatures, to make a difference, it's just not logical. The only people I can think of who would believe such scheme is possible probably also believe 9/11 was an inside job, and the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked.

The idea that we need to have photo ids to protect against fraud is a faulty one. We already have several good protections in place that work. It would be nice if those, who know photo ids laws are aimed at reducing participation in elections, would point this out.

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