#MeToo Movement Snares Trump and Moore; Portman’s Credibility Suffers
The #MeToo movement, which became the rallying cry for victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault, has left plenty of well-deserved casualties. Senate Democrats stood up and made clear that U.S. Sen. Al Franken had to resign after he was accused of a series of accusations.
The movement has emboldened women who have accused Trump of sexual assault. President Donald Trump responded to a call for his resignation with such vulgarity that the USA Today editorial board wrote:
“A president who’d all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes.”
A different Trump failure also took center stage this week—Trump’s failure to reject undisputed evidence that that “Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House,’’ reports the Washington Post.
Trump’s failure, the report says, have impaired America’s response to a national security threat.
Back in Ohio, a scathing editorial from Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin highlights troubles for one of Trump’s allies, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman:
“Portman’s refusal to abandon his deceitful talking points about that tax bill has all but ruined a carefully crafted reputation designed to convince voters he’s fair-minded. With their Donald Trump Friends and Family Tax Bill, Sen. Rob Portman and his GOP cohorts have gone too far, scheming to pull off the biggest scam perpetuated on the middle class.”
Another Unconstitutional Abortion Bill Heads to Kasich’s Desk – Then to Court
A bill banning abortion after a diagnosis of Down syndrome was passed by the state legislature and is now headed to Governor John Kasich’s desk. Kasich previously told cleveland.com that he “generally supported the idea but wanted to see the legislation before deciding how to act.”
The bill makes it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion knowing the fetus has been diagnosed with or is likely to have Down syndrome from a prenatal test. Doing so would be a fourth-degree felony, punishable with up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine, and has been decried by many as unconstitutional.
The medical community is divided on the topic, with most doctors opposing a measure that criminalizes them for providing the care their patients may want.
Governor Kasich has signed 18 abortion restrictions into law since 2011.
As Opposition to GOP Tax Scam Grows, Congressman David Joyce Gets Hard Sell to Vote NO
Faith leaders marched through the snow this week and held a sit-in at U.S. Rep. David Joyce’s Painesville office, demanding that he VOTE NO on the #TaxScam in the best interests of his constituents. After seven hours, Joyce’s office agreed to meet with the clergy members next week.
You can watch their march through the snow here.
Columbus Dispatch calls for ECOT Saga to End Soon
The Columbus Dispatch refers to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) saga as “Ohio’s Never-ending Story,” and for good reason. ECOT has been bilking taxpayers by over-charging the state since 2001.
In 2001, State Auditor Jim Petro calculated that ECOT received $1.7 million for students not enrolled. Yet here we are, almost 17 years later, still litigating the same issue. ECOT has continued to charge Ohio’s taxpayers for ghost students, in order to take more money from taxpayers.
It’s time for this saga to end.
In February 2016, ProgressOhio called for ECOT to close. Think of the money – and kids – who would have been saved.
Proposed Ballot Issue Seeks to Bring and Regulate Recreational Marijuana
Founders of Ohio’s 2015 failed recreational marijuana legalization measure, are now proposing a “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Amendment.” Jimmy Gould and Ian James also unsuccessfully bid for one of the state’s 12 large medical marijuana cultivator licenses.
The two claim there is no amendment yet, but expect draft language in January.
The proposal would allow for recreational marijuana production and sales to follow a structure similar to how Ohio regulates liquor and would allow people age 21 and older to grow four marijuana plants per household in areas not publicly visible.
Some Hope for Ohioans Who Want to Slay the Gerrymander
A recent article in The American Prospect gives hope to Democrats in gerrymandered districts (so practically everywhere). In Virginia, Democrats picked up all statewide offices, and won 224,000 more votes than Republicans in state legislative races. Extensive gerrymandering left the Republicans with a slim control of the House of Delegates; with fair districts, Democrats would have likely won a majority of seats.
The article also cites progress in Ohio, referencing the successful bipartisan ballot initiative in 2015 that created “a nonpartisan process and established criteria requiring competitiveness for redistricting in state legislative districts.” It further holds out hope for successful work on Congressional redistricting, whether on the ballot or through the legislature, as the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates Gill v. Whitford.
The Supreme Court has also agreed to hear a gerrymandering case filed by Republicans from Maryland. It bodes well that the highest court will see clearly that gerrymandering is a tool that can be used against any voters out of power. The Court may finally define partisan gerrymandering as unconstitutional.
#MandelTheWorm Can’t Stop Lying About U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
Ohio’s Pants-on-Fire king Josh Mandel keeps making false statements about U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. This past few weeks, Mandel has been insisting that Brown snuck a tax break for private jets into the GOP tax bill. This is blatantly false; read cleveland.com for a breakdown of the facts.
Mandel has a reputation for playing fast and loose with facts. In 2012 Mandel earned six Politifact Pants on Fire ratings. This has led to 2017 Progressive Hero Honoree Indivisible CLE referring to Josh as #MandelTheWorm.
Brown is running for re-election and #MandelTheWorm is seeking the GOP nomination to run against him.
FCC Repeals Net Neutrality, Allowing Internet Providers to Speed Up, Slow Down or Block Service
On a party line vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to end net neutrality. Led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, some states are stepping in to push back. Of course, Congress could step in to protect equal access.
Want to know which member of Congress support repealing net neutrality, effectively controlling consumer content? So do we. This article attempts to decipher the members from their signature on a statement of support letter (a typed list of names was not provided), and also lists the amount of funds they received from the telecom industry.
As GOP Statewide Slate Takes Shape, Let’s Hum to ‘Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor’’
After the announcement of the Mike DeWine, Jon Husted team for governor, Congressman Jim Renacci – who also wants to be the Republican nominee – tapped Cincinnati City Council Member Amy Murray to serve as his running mate.
She is the rare woman on the GOP slate – a slate that reminds us of the song Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Renacci described Murray as “a conservative, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment businesswoman … someone, who like me, who is not a career politician.”
Murray won election to her second four-year term on city council last month, placing eighth in the voting for nine at-large seats. So there’s that.
On the Democratic side:
Democrats’ newest addition to the Ohio primary, Richard Cordray, met with supporters in Springfield where he explained that policies enacted by the majority-Republican legislature in Columbus have harmed local communities.
Cordray recently resigned as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency he led for about six years. At the CFPB, Cordray said he led an agency that returned about $12 billion nationally to consumers who have been harmed by banks and other financial agencies. Cordray said he would continue to stand up for consumers if elected governor.
The AP reports Democratic gubernatorial candidate Connie Pillich received the endorsement of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell this week, and the two plan on hitting the campaign trail soon.
She is among three Democratic women seeking the top job. Others are former Congresswoman Betty Sutton and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Ohio State Senator Joe Schiavoni is also running for the open seat.