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Newer, Stranger Details Show ECOT Can’t Keep Kids in Class
According to a review by the Columbus Dispatch, nearly 70% of students enrolled at ECOT miss so many days that they would be declared truant under state law. Under Ohio law, students cannot miss more than 15 days of school. No worries for the truant, Republican legislators aren’t planning any action soon (certainly not this close to an election. After all, ECOT CEO Bill Lager has historically been among the GOP’s most reliable donors).
We previously learned from the New York Times that ECOT has America’s WORST four-year graduation rate.
Most Under-Reported Campaign Story: Federal Lawsuit Accusing Trump of Raping 13-year-old
In one of the most troubling accusations to date against Donald Trump, a woman has come forward and filed a complaint in federal court alleging that he raped her when she was 13 years old. In her affidavit, which can be read here, she describes the brutal attack as she was tied to a bed. The case includes affidavits from two anonymous witnesses.
The survivor planned to break her silence this week, then cancelled the press conference, saying she received death threats.
In case you haven’t kept up with the parade of sexual assault accusations against Trump, NPR compiled a list of victims here.
ELECTION 2016 DOWN TO THE WIRE! Kasich for McCain, KKK For Trump, Fear at Polling Places
Only in 2016 would you have the GOP Governor of Ohio publicly share that he didn’t support the GOP candidate for President and instead wrote in Sen. John McCain (who, to be clear, is not certified as a write-in candidate); and the Klu Klux Klan endorsing Donald Trump. Yes, that really happened.
Meanwhile, election-related violence continues to tick up, prompting some schools to decide they will no longer serve as polling places. Under Ohio law, election sites must be accessible to the public as long as polls are open. This has increased concerns of Election Day violence at some Ohio schools, including ones in southwest Ohio. Read more from the Dayton Daily News here.
Speaking of fear at polling places, writer Connie Schultz shared stories of Trump supporters in a recent column. Here is what she has to say about Trump supporter Steve Webb from Fairfield, Ohio:
“Trump said to watch your precincts. I’m going to go, for sure, I’ll look for … well, it’s called racial profiling — Mexicans, Syrians, people who can’t speak American. I’m going to go right up behind them. I’ll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”
Meanwhile, early voting totals across Ohio show that Democrat are struggling in some urban centers.
US Supreme Court Rejects Final Challenge To Ohio Voting Law
Minor technical errors on ballots will likely result in some votes not being counted after the nation’s highest court declined to hear a lawsuit brought by housing and voting rights advocates. In 2014, 1,712 ballots were rejected for technical deficiencies in birthdates or addresses, resulting in those votes not being counted. More absentee and provisional ballots are expected this year because of the increased turnout in presidential elections. Secretary of State Jon Husted was separately ordered to offer provisional ballots to Ohioans who he improperly purged from the list of eligible voters, adding even more potential provisional ballots in 2016. Read more from the Columbus Dispatch here.
Portman Not the Moderate He Claims He Is
A Dayton Daily News story about Sen. Portman’s insistence that he is an “independent voice’’ included critics like ProgressOhio’s own Sandy Theis explaining that he’s no independent. Sen. Portman will vote the way his GOP funders want him to, Theis said, reminding us that Portman signed a letter warning that the Iran Treaty could be undone by the Senate, was one of the Republicans to oppose hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and voted to defund Planned Parenthood. (Portman’s mom, who is now deceased, was a long-time Planned Parenthood supporter.)
“He does whatever the Republican leadership wants him to do and expects him to do,” Theis said. “and I expect him to continue that if he’s re-elected.”
The Price of an Ohio Medical Marijuana Grow License: Up to $200,000
Want to legally grow weed? You’ll need to be one of 18 allowed applicants and have up to $200,000 to get started. Advocates of previous campaigns argued for fewer licenses (10) and higher fees. Ohio has until May of 2017 to set rules and guidelines on licensing marijuana in state. Read more about possible regulations here.
Congressional Redistricting Reform Backers Seek Input on Draft Proposal
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition released a draft constitutional amendment on Monday, seeking input on the language that would be used to put a congressional redistricting reform amendment before voters. The proposal is based on the state legislative redistricting reform that was overwhelmingly approved by voters last year. Voter advocates don’t want to wait until 2030, as Republican legislative leaders have suggested, and are prepared to move forward with a ballot measure in early 2017 if Ohio lawmakers continue to do nothing.
A Case for Mike DeWine Holding Title of ‘Worst Attorney General, Ever’
It isn’t unusual for newspapers to ask questions of elected officials about relevant current events. After all, taxpayers pay their salaries, benefits and staff. Specifically, the Attorney General is frequently asked about the status of major crimes or incidents that his office is investigating. Lately, when asked for an update about unsolved homicides around the state, which may or may not be tied to the current opioid crisis, DeWine is falling back on “no comment.” The media, and the public deserve answers; absent any answers, we can only surmise that perhaps DeWine has none to give. Read about Heather Bogle and the Sandusky Register’s quest for answers here.
PROTECT OUR MOTHER
Wind-Power Restrictions Hurt Economy; Ohio Enters ND Pipeline Protest
The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an opinion piece from Doug Herr, vice president for sales and marketing of AeroTorque, a wind-product manufacturer and engineering firm based in Sharon Center, Ohio, and John Colm, president and executive director of Cleveland-based WIRE-Net, a nonprofit economic development organization focused on improving the community through manufacturing jobs and innovation. Both men shared their opinions that, here in Ohio, we now have the nation’s most stringent wind-power setback restrictions, effectively imposing a moratorium on in-state development and virtually ensuring that any future wind purchases will come from projects in other states.
The Ohio legislature needs to act by the end of December on changes to renewable energy laws.
When interviewed by cleveland.com, Senator Keith Faber expressed no sympathy for wind developers who claim legislation he supported has made it impossible to develop future wind-farm sites.
Far away in North Dakota, Ohioans are working to quiet the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Governor Kasich sent Ohio State Troopers to North Dakota, where Native Americans have been protesting the pipeline because it destroys part of their sacred land and has the potential to contaminate drinking water. Peaceful protestors have been pepper sprayed, arrested and detained in deplorable conditions and even monitored digitally by law enforcement, and now there is a change.org petition asking the governor to return the troopers. It’s received more than 40,000 signatures. Members of Cincinnati City Council also issued a written statement, along with State Representative Nickie Antonio, asking Kasich to return the Troopers to deal with more pressing issues in Ohio, such as the current opioid crisis.
Faith Leaders Hold Press Conference to Demand That Trump Repent
In more uplifting news, this week Faith leaders from around the state hosted by Progress Ohio and organized by Faith in Public Life believe Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump should repent for his misogynistic behavior and violent speech toward women.
Kate Shaner, a pastor at First Community Church in Columbus explains that, because Trump says he’s a Christian, he should re-evaluate the words he uses when he talks about women. “Speaking in those terms, alienating 50% of God’s people and God’s creation is not what Jesus taught us,” said Shaner.