Eric Trump Diverts Money from Child Cancer Charity to Dad’s Businesses – and Comey Wins the Credibility Contest
Forbes Magazine reported this week that the Eric Trump Foundation paid the family business hundreds of thousands of dollars to use Trump Organization golf courses. This was money was supposed to go to fighting kids’ cancer. Eric Trump had repeatedly said that the majority of all contributions went to children’s cancer charities because his foundation “used Trump-owned sites mostly free of charge.” Except when it didn’t. This is a new low even for the swamp.
Had Eric Trump not had competition from the Swamp-Dweller-In-Chief, this scandal would have dominated the news. (That’s why we mentioned him first. The Week in Review staff wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that one.)
The dominant news centered on fired FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony in which he called President Trump a liar and laid the foundation for obstruction of justice. According to the LA Times, in his credibility contest with Trump, Comey is the clear winner.
OEPA Wants to Boost Fine for Pipeline Company that Polluted Ohio Wetlands
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) found diesel fuel in the drilling mud from the Rover Pipeline spill in April. The discovery was made in a quarry near a well owned by Aqua Ohio, a drinking water supplier to some 40,000 consumers in Stark County.
According to the Canton Repository, the state EPA “raised the proposed penalty against Rover to $914,000 and ordered the pipeline company to monitor groundwater around the spill area and near a quarry where workers have been disposing drilling mud in pits.”
Cleveland City Council Gives Green Light to Medical Marijuana Growers
Cleveland City Council reversed the city’s moratorium on growing medical marijuana but it is keeping bans on processing marijuana into medical products and establishing dispensaries. Council reportedly made this decision after “ council president raised concerns that the city could miss out on substantial tax revenue if it banned cultivation as Ohio begins allowing and regulating it,” according to cleveland.com.
If only the city would use that “substantial tax revenue” to raise wages for Clevelanders, instead of trying to block efforts to do so.
2018 Election Watch
Renacci, Mandel & Taylor Court the Trumpsters; Sutton and Schiavoni Go After ECOT; Whaley Follows DeWine and Sues Drug Makers
Earlier this week Jim Renacci locked down the endorsements of Citizens for Trump and Bikers for Trump. Congratulations? And Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor gushed about Trump during his visit this week in Cincinnati. Both are seeking the GOP nomination for governor. In his quest for the U.S. Senate, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel won the Tea Party’s endorsement.
On the Democratic side, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who is running for re-election and seeking the Democrats’ nomination for governor, joined Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer in announcing that they are pursuing their own litigation against the opiate painkiller industry. Their announcement followed Attorney General Mike DeWine’s announcement that he’s suing them. DeWine has not announced a run for governor, but he’s expected to run.
“Cities big and small across Ohio are struggling to serve our citizens with the increasing number of accidental overdoses. It is time that the companies and distributors who started this epidemic take responsibility for the communities that have been ravaged as a result of the medications they produce,” Ritenauer told The Toledo Blade.
Democratic candidate for Governor Betty Sutton called for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, ECOT, to close. After ECOT has bilked taxpayers out of millions of dollars and has the worst 4-year graduation rate in the country, it’s about time someone lead the way to close it down for good. State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, also seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, piled on and said ECOT should no longer get tax money for teaching no-show students.
Donald Trump was greeted by over 100 protestors this week when he arrived outside of Cincinnati. This visit to Ohio was a closed event with a small, carefully selected audience.
Snowflake Combats Shyness to Help Ohio Fix Its Badly Gerrymandered Congressional Districts
Want to gather signatures to stop gerrymandering in our congressional district, but a little nervous on how to approach strangers? Our friend Stone Snowflake has some great advice.
On Thursday, former State Rep. Joan Lawrence joined State Rep. Kristin Boggs and Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio at an event Redistricting Reform a Women’s Issue. Rep. Lawrence shared her long term commitment to ending gerrymandering and collecting signatures, “Fifty years working on redistricting and I haven’t admitted defeat yet.”
Lawmakers Struggle to Balance the State Budget As Policy Matters Ohio Offers the Perfect Solution
The state budget is tight. Budget projections have been off for months, and years of tax cuts for the rich have Ohio facing an ever-growing deficit. Some suggestions on how to fix it? Why not look at the tax breaks given to business owners? One break permits owners of “pass-through” businesses such as partnerships and S Corporations to avoid paying any income tax on the first $250,000 in profits from those businesses.
According to Policy Matters Ohio, the tax break “doesn’t just go to small business owners, but to partners in big law firms and owners of much larger firms. It also means that a person being paid wages as an employee pays Ohio income taxes but someone doing the identical job who sets up a limited liability company and becomes a business owner pays nothing.”
Eliminating this tax break would generate about $580 million in one year.
Sen. Rob Portman Prepares to Undercut Medicaid; Anthem Pull Out Destined to Hike Insurance Prices
Since 2014, Medicaid Expansion has provided coverage for over 700,000 Ohioans and is a major tool in fighting the current opioid crisis. This week, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman proposed a seven-year phase-out of federal funding for the Medicaid expansion.
If Portman gets his way, he’d jeopardize the future of the program that’s helped nearly a million Ohioans, including 77,000 veterans. But the pain would not be felt until AFTER Portman’s next election.
Who wants to take away care from veterans, seniors and kids and then have to answer for it to the voters? Not Rob.
Anthem announced its exit from the Ohio marketplace this week, leaving the residents of at least 18 Ohio counties with no options on the state exchange next year. Uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is causing Anthem and others to pull out. Trump, who has been working to get rid of ACA and has caused this uncertainty, now points to Anthem’s decision as proof the ACA is not working.
ECOT Loses Court Fight That Sets up Next Week’s Showdown with the State School Board
An appeals court dealt another blow to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), clearing the way for the State School Board to accept or reject the state hearing officer’s recommendations that the school repay taxpayers $60 million for kids who didn’t attend classes. It’s now up to the State School Board to use its authority to compel ECOT to reimburse Ohio taxpayers. The Board has scheduled a Monday vote and ECOT is expected to fill the meeting with supporters. Read more here.
Last year, ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis called for ECOT to close.
Progressive Action Calendar Alerts
National Pride March in D.C.
Columbus Pride Parade