Like a Good Authoritarian, Trump Calls for Probe of Rival; Don Jr. Colludes with WikiLeaks
In a clear attempt to deflect attention from the Donald Trump presidential campaign’s interactions with Russia, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he is considering appointing a second special counsel to investigate a variety of Republican concerns — including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation.
Donald Trump Jr. admitted that he had direct communication with WikiLeaks prior to the 2016 presidential election. Many say this is evidence of a link between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.
After Mounting Pressure, Josh Mandel Breaks His Silence on Roy Moore, Child Groper #NoMoore
For more than a week, as Senators and other political leaders across the country denounced Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore after learning he groped teenagers – one as young as 14 – U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Mandel remained silent.
On Monday, after repeated calls and texts from The Associated Press, Mandel’s campaign spokeswoman responded by saying, “You can say we didn’t respond.”
We heard nothing but crickets from the Mandel team – even after accusers #5 and #6 came forward and police and mall security guards noted that Moore’s creepy conduct had him banned from the local mall.
Another ‘Pro-Family’ GOP Lawmaker Resigns for Sex in State Office
State Rep. Wes Goodman, a Republican from Cardington, is the latest Ohio legislator to resign after allegations of “inappropriate behavior” in his official office. While scant on details, Goodman allegedly had a sexual encounter with another man in his office.
The proud “Caveman Caucus” member regularly touted his “pro-family’’ ideals and anti-LGBTQ positions and supported what he calls “natural marriage.”
Goodman joins a growing cadre of conservative men who have used their public offices to crusade against gay rights but are attracted to men. Remember Larry “wide stance” Craig and former Congressman Mark Foley and his fancy for sexting male pages?
Earlier this week, Senate Democratic Chief of Staff Mike Premo resigned after allegations of inappropriate behavior toward female staff. No further details have been reported.
And earlier this month, State Sen. Cliff Hite, a northwest Ohio Republican, resigned after a woman from the state’s bill-drafting agency filed a formal complaint that detailed a series of troubling harassment.
The parade of bad boys prompted former congresswoman and state lawmaker Betty Sutton, who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for governor, to announce a plan to create a Sexual Harassment and Assault Office to address the problem.
The office would oversee harassment allegations in the executive branch, including establishing a confidential reporting phone line and web portal. The state would also mandate routine sexual assault and harassment training and audit state agencies’ reporting procedures, reports The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.
Environmentalists File Lawsuit to Stop Gas Pipeline in Ohio and Michigan
The Sierra Club is asking a federal appeals court to order a review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of construction on the NEXUS pipeline, according to U.S. News.
“FERC is rubber stamping pipeline permits without sufficiently examining the impacts to communities, our climate or showing that they are actually needed,” said Shelly Corbin, of the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club.
On Thursday, TransCanada reported a leak of 210,000 gallons of oil from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota.
Ohio Protests Mnuchin as GOP Tries to Repeal Obamacare in Bill to Cut Taxes for Millionaires
As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin traveled to Columbus promoting the #TrumpTaxScam, dozens of Ohioans gathered outside Chase Bank headquarters to highlight the different ways that the tax plan hurts the middle class while benefiting wealthy corporations. Watch coverage of the event here.
Looking a bit like Bond villains, Mnuchin and his wife posed with sheets of cash fresh off the press this week.
A recent report from Policy Matters Ohio highlights the devastating impact the Trump tax plan would have on Ohioans, including a 20 percent cut in health care funding that would endanger the three million covered by Medicaid and the 200,000 enrolled in coverage in the marketplace.
That didn’t stop the U.S. House from passing the plan on a party-line vote – a plan projected to boost the federal deficit by $1.5 TRILLION. Soon after, the Senate Finance Committee voted to send the measure to the full Senate where a vote is expected after Thanksgiving.
“The last time Congress added 10-figures worth of tax cuts to the debt in 2001, it blew a hole in the budget and helped erase our surpluses — despite claims that economic growth would cover the cost,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington organization that champions lower deficits.
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty of Columbus explained her “no” vote this way:
“Seniors, the sick and people with disabilities would no longer be able to deduct their medical expenses, while a business that moves overseas would be allowed to deduct its moving costs… The super wealthy would receive a $500 billion tax cut. Finally, the bill would increase taxes on 36 million Americans—and double tax many working families—while the 4,000 wealthiest American families would not pay a penny in estate taxes.’’
Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and other Democrats attacked the bill for providing temporary tax cuts for individuals but permanent cuts for corporations while arguing that repealing the individual mandate would result in millions fewer people having health insurance. They also criticized the process of considering the legislation as rushed.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, supports the measure.
Bill Aims to Stop Suspensions of Kids in 3rd Grade or Younger
A recent report showed that Ohio schools suspended approximately 34,000 children from pre-kindergarten through third grade last year. With this shocking news, a bipartisan group of legislators is proposing a bill that would end all out-of-school suspensions for students in third grade or younger, unless the behavior involves threats or violence, drugs or real weapons, in the next four years, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Amid Growing GOP Opposition to Pedophiles, Ohio Republicans Step Up Assault on Repro Rights
As many Republicans pat themselves on the backs for coming out against Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore following reports that he likes to grope unwilling girls, the GOP’s assault on women continues.
The Ohio Senate passed a bill banning abortions for patients who received a diagnosis of Downs syndrome. Under the bill, physicians who performs such an abortion could lose their medical license and be charged with a fourth-degree felony, according to the Associated Press.
Earlier in the month, the Ohio House passed its version of the legislation, which means the ban will soon head to Gov. John Kasich for his expected signature.
The Senate vote followed a committee hearing that included emotional testimony from people who have relatives with Down syndrome.
Anne Chasser from Cincinnati told of the joy that her brother, Christopher, brings to her family and said she is grateful that her parents had the resources to care for him. She testified against the bill:
My main concern about this legislation is the impact it would have on women – especially women who do not have the capacity, ability, family support, community network, or other resources to provide a productive, happy life for a child with Down syndrome. It is the mother who likely will have the primary responsibility to provide for the child. The mother, in consultation with her doctor, needs to make the choice of having the baby or not. Even in my family, which had financial and other means, it was often difficult to navigate the complexities of the state bureaucracy and non-profit agencies that assist those with Down syndrome and other disabilities. If the mother does not have access to the necessary services, who will care for her child?
Her full testimony is here.
The measure is expected to face a constitutional challenge, and courts have tossed out a similar ban in Indiana.
Looking Ahead to 2018
GOP Congressional Primary Gets Smaller, Stivers Spotted with Roy Moore, Cordray Resignation Signals Race for Governor
Citing family health issues, State Rep. Tom Patton dropped out of the hotly contested congressional race to replace Republican Jim Renacci in Ohio’s 16th congressional district. Patton will run for re-election to the Ohio House, leaving former Ohio State University football player and veteran Anthony Gonzalez, who was just named one of the GOP “Young Guns,” to face-off with state Rep. Christina Hagan of Alliance and veteran Kit Seryak in the GOP primary. Read more here.
Congressman Steve Stivers was spotted attending an event in support of accused pedophile Roy Moore. You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.
In other news, Richard Cordray announced he will resign from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by the end of the month, a likely sign he will join the race for Ohio governor. Republicans have been so afraid of Cordray that they’ve been using dark money for a smear campaign. His resignation prompted the first attacks from (most) fellow Democratic candidates for governor; you can read them here.
Progressive Action Calendar Alerts
November 18: Climate Legacy Time Capsule: Columbus
November 18: Senator Portman, Are You Against The Dream Act? Rally
November 18: Portman’s Talking Taxes & We’re Talking Back!