George Voinovich Remembered As a Man Who Loved Cleveland, Lake Erie, Public Service
Former U.S. Senator and Ohio Governor George Voinovich is being eulogized as a good public servant who loved his state and hometown Cleveland where he served as mayor for 10 years. Voinovich was a rarity in many ways – a Republican mayor of Ohio’s most Democratic city, a GOP Senator unwilling to blindly vote for tax cuts and a passionate advocate for Head Start and other programs aimed at helping people escape from poverty. Voinovich is also being remembered as an advocate for redistricting reform.
As Sunshine is Under Attack, Supreme Court Hears Case on When Police Body Cam Videos Are Public
Donald Trump bans the Washington Post; University of Cincinnati illegally fails to notify reporters of two important public meetings; U.S. Senate candidate Rob Portman makes it nearly impossible to track his public appearances. And the Ohio Supreme Court takes up a case about when police body camera videos should be made public.
Trump’s List of Banished Reporters Grows; Should Journalists Banish Him?
The writers and editors of Week in Review have declared a Trump Free Zone, but we think the Washington Post Dana Milbank’s thoughts on Trump’s attacks on the free press need to be highlighted. Trump isn’t the first public figure to try to stop unfavorable coverage, but his antics are an odd turn for a candidate who rose to the top with help from non-stop coverage of his campaign.
Sign up to receive the Ohio Week in Review each Friday here.
Obama’s United State of Women Summit Focuses on Policies that Hold Women Back
This week there was a gathering of more than 5,000 in Washington, DC focused on the plight of women around the world. The President and First Lady attended as well as Vice President Joe Biden. The event highlighted their continued efforts on behalf of women victims of sexual violence, discrimination and low wages.
New ACLU Lawsuit Says Effort to Limit RNC Protestors Tramples Free Speech
The City of Cleveland is claiming that the restrictions it placed on demonstrators during the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC) are only about safety. The ACLU of Ohio cried foul since the rules would prohibit any protestors in the “event zone” — which incorporates 3.3 miles of downtown Cleveland.
ACLU officials also are concerned about permits and parade routes, pointing out that there is a backlog and delay in processing permits needed for public gatherings and parades. Delays in permit-processing “are already having a chilling effect on speech. The city is withholding information that organizers need to finalize plans so people can come out and be heard as the national spotlight focuses on Cleveland,’’ said the ACLU of Ohio’s Chris Link.
Pew Sends $400k to Husted to Help Re-register Voters Husted Purged
Secretary of State Jon Husted this week announced that Ohio has joined the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) that was created by Pew Charitable Trust four years ago. The system works year-round to compare voter registrations with data from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Social Security death rolls and data sets from other member states to detect voters who might have moved. Also, reported in the same story, a $400,000 grant from Pew that will help pay for contacting eligible voters.
Pew sent the money even after Husted’s office purged tens of thousands of voters from the rolls who haven’t voted since the 2008 election. Some of them probably died, moved or simply don’t care. But this “use-it-or-lose-it” approach undermines a fundamental right of Americans to vote. Infrequent voters are still voters.
In late breaking news on Friday, it was announced that Governor John Kasich vetoed state Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) modern-day poll tax, Senate Bill 296. Clearly, the criticisms of the GOP’s attacks on voting rights are getting to the Governor and he wisely vetoed this bill that would have made it very difficult to address problems on Election Day.
Rep. Alicia Reece, Who Sits on DNC Platform Committee, Hears from Advocates on Platform Improvements
ProgressOhio hosted an informational meeting for allies and state Representative Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati). The meeting gave Reece, who landed a coveted spot on the 15-member Democratic National Convention (DNC) Platform Drafting Committee, the opportunity to discuss the process and allowed progressives from around Ohio a chance to advise Reece on what they’d like to see in the Platform. Some urged more support for quality early childhood education programs and greater accessibility to affordable healthcare and education. State teachers’ associations wanted a ban on spending public money on low-performing charter schools, and others urged policies to address income inequality, campaign finance reform and bring about criminal justice reform.
After OSU Brass Cancels Brutus’ March in Columbus Pride Parade, Buckeye Nation Lobbies for Reconsideration–and Wins
Earlier this week Ohio State University administrators unleashed the wrath of Buckeye Nation by canceling plans for Brutus to march in the Columbus Pride parade this weekend. The reason given was safety concerns, but those seem to have been assuaged by Columbus Police. Not only will Brutus be participating but he’s bringing a friend Rufus, Ohio University’s Bobcat mascot.
Kasich Signs New Law to Allow Online Voter Registration – NEXT Year
Governor John Kasich this week signed Senate Bill 63 that allows Ohioans to register to vote online. Secretary of State Jon Husted noted that it was a great day. But it would be even greater if we entered the 21st century this year when Ohio will vote for a new President. Online voter registration will also come after the hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate between incumbent Republican Rob Portman and Democratic challenger Ted Strickland.
Portman Confused About Where He Stands on Allowing Folks on Terror Watch List to Buy Guns
After voting last year against legislation to ban people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, U.S. Senator Rob Portman said this week he could support the ban. His comments came after a gunman used an assault rifle during a mass shooting at an Orland nightclub.
As the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, Portman appeared to be confused about what the 2015 legislation contained and soon backed away from endorsing it.
While Orlando Heals, Ohio AG DeWine Finds New Ways to Hurt Ohio’s Transgender Kids
The tragedy of Sunday’s mass murder in Orlando has struck at the heart of the LBGTQ community, not just there but around the world. In Ohio, however, some elected officials are not helping. This week, State School Board member Sarah Fowler was carrying Attorney General Mike DeWine’s water on the effort to block federal protections for transgender students.
Pro-Charter Groups Issue Call to Close Failing E-Schools
Pro-charter school groups teamed up in a new report that details the “well-documented, disturbingly low performance by too many full-time virtual charter public schools,” particularly the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). The report calls for “authorizers to close chronically low-performing” schools. As the Columbus Dispatch concluded, “The report marked more than a distancing of the charter school movement from its e-school counterparts, reading more like an all-out attack.”
The report, “A Call to Action,” states that taxpayers should be outraged by the blatant wasting of public money and the disservice being done to kids who deserve a quality education.