This Week in Rob Portman’s Forked Tongue: Guns
Following the massacre in Orlando, U.S. Senator Rob Portman voted for the NRA-preferred bill to deny a sale to a known or suspected terrorist. That bill required convincing a judge within three days that the would-be buyer was involved in terrorism. On the other hand, Portman also voted against Democrat-sponsored measures including one to close a gun show loophole on purchases.
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Cavaliers Honored With Parade and Proclamations after the Improbable NBA Championship
You don’t have to be a fan of basketball or even Cleveland to share in the excitement over the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the National Basketball Association Championship this week. Though the Cavs most loyal fans have waited decades for the moment, all Ohioans shared in the victory.
Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor recognized the momentous occasion by declaring Wednesday, June 23 Cleveland Cavaliers Day. It should be noted that the 1.3 million Cavaliers fans that showed up in Cleveland for the victory parade exceed the number of New Year’s revelers in Times Square last year.
Dark Money Group with Ties to Republicans, Coal & Voter Fraud Exposed for Smear Campaign Against Consumer Watchdog Richard Cordray
Elected officials and candidates for office these days expect hard-hitting ads with questionable claims, but dark money groups usually leave other public servants alone. Not so, if you’re doing your job and going after payday lenders and other unsavory characters like Rich Cordray is doing at the Consumer Protection Bureau. Cordray has a long-standing reputation of fighting for all Ohioans and has expanded that nationwide – essentially putting a target on his back.
American Banker did some digging and found who is behind the smear campaign against Cordray:
The ads appear to be the work of Lincoln Strategy Group, a political strategy firm based in Phoenix, which has been tied to allegations of voter fraud and accused of sending its operatives to public events featuring Cordray.
Koch Brothers Help Ohio’s U.S. Senate Race Win Top Spot for Outside Spending
There are 136 days until Election Day but already Ohio’s U.S. Senate race has garnered the top spot for the most outside money spent – $15.5 million as of June 20. The importance of Ohio in Presidential politics, GOP fretting about their nominee, and control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance put the race between U.S. Senator Portman and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in the spotlight. If you’re already sick of the ads, you might want to avoid watching TV until after November 9. The flow of money, and the political ads, won’t stop until the election is over.
Massacres Met with Indifference and Stalled Gun Legislation Prompt Congressional Democrats to Stage Sit-In
Activists, victims, families of victims and concerned citizens have been asking what will it take and how many will have to die or be wounded before we can have meaningful gun control reform. Many of us have been disheartened by lack of action by Congress. This week Democrats in Congress said enough is enough and staged a sit-in to push the GOP House leadership to hold a vote. All of Ohio’s Democratic members of the House participated in the 24-hour protest, including Representative Joyce Beatty of Central Ohio who read the names of the 41 people from Franklin County who died as the result of gun violence so far this year. Beatty’s list did not include a Clermont County gun shop owner who was killed this week during a concealed carry class.
New Report: Women Disproportionately Harmed by Payday Loans and Other Debts
A powerful report was released this week outlining how women in the United States are disproportionally harmed by payday loans and other debt. This report demonstrates how gender and racial economic vulnerability is increasingly exploited and exacerbated by the financial industry. Wall Street takes advantage of women’s precarious economic position to push them deeper into debt, in a practice now called “pinklining.” This is having a profoundly negative impact on the economic, physical and emotional well-being of low to middle income women and women of color and their families in the 21st century.
Legal Ethics Board to Decide if Attorneys Can Use Medical Marijuana, Own Weed-Related Businesses or Counsel Clients
Each week it seems that new questions arise about the uncharted territory of legalized medical marijuana. The law that was enacted last month in a flurry of last minute, pre-recess activity, prohibits disciplining professionals for working with marijuana businesses or patients. However, questions are now arising if professionals can include attorneys. The Catch-22 involves state versus federal law – marijuana is still illegal according to the feds. So it will be up to the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Professional Conduct to determine if Ohio attorneys can advise their clients when it comes to medical marijuana or whether attorneys can use medical marijuana.
Voting Rights Experts Urge Senator Portman to Shore Up The Voting Rights Act
Ohio’s leading experts in voting and civil rights urged U.S. Senator Rob Portman to shore up the Voting Rights Acts (VRA). If the needed changes are not made, this will be the first Presidential election in half a century where voters lack the full protections of the VRA.
“Election 2016 is looming and Senator Portman is just sitting on the fence. We need to update the Voting Rights Act as soon as possible,” said Gregory T. Moore, Senior Adviser to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Director of the Ohio Voter Fund.
Sandy Theis, Executive Director of ProgressOhio and leader of the Why Courts Matter Ohio Coalition, noted that Portman markets himself as a strong supporter of voting rights, even joining a gathering in Selma, Alabama, last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights struggle that helped pass the act. While in Selma, he declined to support legislation to restore VRA – a position he holds today.
“Ohio voters demand and deserve more than photo ops and platitudes from Sen. Portman,’’ Theis said. “They deserve answers on where he stands on this important issue.’’
You can read more here.
Federal Judge Says Cleveland Restrictions on RNC Protestors Unconstitutional; City Expected to Appeal
Another win for the good guys in the form of a federal judge’s ruling. This week U.S. District Judge James Gwin overturned Cleveland’s restriction on protesters at the upcoming Republican National Convention. Judge Gwin sided with the ACLU Ohio and others who claimed that the “event zone” was too large and restrictive and the parade route unconstitutionally insufficient. The City of Cleveland immediately said it would appeal but the ACLU is seeking a negotiated settlement so that all sides can make plans as the convention is less than 25 days away.
Sen. Sherrod Brown Asks Federal Officials for More Diligence over System of Awarding Money to Charter Schools
On Monday Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown sent a letter to the U.S. Education Secretary John King. Brown joined the chorus of charter school watchers asking for the closer scrutiny of how Ohio awards federal grants to charter schools. A long time champion of quality education Brown outlined his concerns in the letter and said, “Ohio’s current lack of oversight wastes taxpayer’s money and undermines the ostensible goal of charters: providing more high-quality education opportunities for children. There exists a pattern of waste, fraud and abuse that is far too common and requires extra scrutiny.’’
Appeals Court Hears Case of Catholic Hospital That Denied Proper Care to a Pregnant Woman
Tamesha Means’ water broke when she was just 18 weeks along, and she rushed to the only hospital in her community, Mercy Health Partners, which is a Catholic hospital. She was turned away twice, and only admitted when she began to deliver while being discharged.
The ACLU sued those who set a policy that prohibits the hospital and the doctors from providing the appropriate care. Instead, the hospital follow rules set by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that prohibit Catholic hospitals from providing an abortion, even if the woman’s life is at risk.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Ohio, heard the case.
Columbus City Council Gives Unanimous Support to Ordinance Protecting Clinic Staff, Patients from Harassment
Thanks to strong leadership from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and its allies, Columbus City Council unanimously passed an ordinance establishing 15-foot buffer zones at reproductive clinics, including Planned Parenthood locations.
Councilmember Elizabeth Brown led the effort to pass the Healthcare Workers and Patients Protection Ordinance. It follows a sharp spike in clinic violence across the nation, including clinics in Columbus.