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THIS WEEK WITH TRUMP
Trump Campaign Breaks with Ohio GOP, Longtime Kasich Crony Calls Them “Dumbest People in the World”
In the week of Debate Number 3, Donald Trump again left us scratching our heads about many of his decisions. He began by publicly rebuking Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges and severing ties with the party in Ohio (because, you know, “He Alone Can Fix This.”) Long time Kasich ally Jai Chabria responded by referring to the Trump campaign operatives as “the dumbest people in the world.”
The GOP Presidential nominee didn’t rule out a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the near future, adding that “Hillary shouldn’t be talking so tough” about Russia. Trump then capped the week with a 1-2 punch. During the debate, he blurted out that Hillary is a “nasty woman” sparking an outpouring of support for Clinton from women. And then offended nearly everyone one else by stating that he will “Accept the outcome of the election…If I Win.”
AT THE BALLOT BOX
Great Advice on How to Make Sure Your Absentee or Provisional Ballot Isn’t Tossed
In 2014, Gunther and Linda Lahm’s ballots were tossed due to what could be called clerical errors on the part of the voter. The couple’s ballots were properly filled out but they had been placed in the wrong envelopes. Gunther’s ballot had ended up in Linda’s envelope, and vice versa. Linda had realized this and — after the envelopes were sealed — wrote in the necessary changes on each envelope. She and Gunther initialed the edits and dropped their ballots in the mailbox. Done. Here’s the thing: Linda had forgotten to fill in their birthdates.
The Lahms had no idea their votes weren’t counted until receiving a call from attorney Subodh Chandra. “The Franklin County Board of Elections tossed our votes in the trash can, and that got me pretty fired up,” Gunther told the Cleveland Scene. He says the Franklin County Board of Elections never told the couple that their votes hadn’t been counted.
Read the full Cleveland Scene’s article for tips on protecting your vote.
Fake Tweet on Destroying Absentee Ballots Fooled Drudge, Limbaugh & Ohio’s Top Election Official
The question of voter fraud (which we know is miniscule) has been propagated by Ohio Secretary Jon “Easy to Vote and Hard to Cheat” Husted with his unnecessary restrictions on voting. We had to find humor this weekend when alarm bells were sounded about the fate of Republican absentee ballots in Ohio. The alarm reached a critical point when Scott Baio took to twitter to question the integrity of Ohio’s election. Read all about it here.
Bipartisan Experts Agree: Layers of Safeguards Prove the Election Can’t be Rigged
Worries about the integrity of elections reached a fevered pitch after Donald Trump shared fears about a “rigged election.” In a conference call Tuesday, hosted by Progress Ohio and For Our Future, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition, America Votes and other advocates sought to reassure Ohioans that the presidential battleground state’s voting system is secure.
Secretary of State Husted also pushed back on Trump’s fears, “I can assure him, as a fellow Republican, that it is not rigged.” Husted even hosted a Twitter Town Hall where voters could ask questions. We’re not sure it had the intended effect. #AskSOSHusted received several questions about purged voters (Update -those voters’ ballots WILL count), football strategies and a variety of other commentary.
Many tweeters expressed frustration because they were blocked by Secretary Husted, including voting rights advocate Rep. Kathleen Clyde.
PROTECT YOUR MOTHER
Federal Government to Auction off Part of Ohio’s Only National Forest Opening Door to Fracking on Public Lands
The federal government has given notice that it plans to auction oil and gas lease rights for 1,600 acres of the Wayne National Forest near Marietta. This could lead to fracking on public land. While energy companies are seeing their well-spent lobbying dollars come to fruition, environmentalists (and by that we mean anyone who cares about safe drinking water and the preservation of forest land) decried the decision as bad for the forest and bad for Ohio.
GOP Lawmaker Aspires to Keep Ohio Near the Bottom in Green Energy Production
Eight years ago, when Ted Strickland was governor, an energy bill was passed that required private energy companies to gradually increase the percentage of power created with alternative energies to 25 percent by 2025. In 2014, the Republican-dominated legislature altered the rules, lowering the percentage to 12.5 by 2027 and froze the regulations for two years; the freeze is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, and the 12.5 percent by 2027 would go into effect. The first benchmark –3.5 percent by the end of 2017 – would need to be met or a company would face fines. Read more here from the Cincinnati Enquirer about what Duke Energy wants to do, and why State Senator Bill Seitz wants to help.
Toledo Blade Slams PUCO for Allowing FirstEnergy ‘Cash Grab’
Look for consumer prices to rise for many FirstEnergy customers in the near future. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is allowing FirstEnergy to increase consumer rates an average of $3 per month, or nearly $40 per year. Especially in lower income families, this could be the difference in meals for a week. Read more from the Toledo Blade and their editorial on the subject.
Ka-Ching: Legal Cost to Hold ECOT Accountable Keeps Rising
As if being bilked by charter schools for the millions of dollars and their questionable education weren’t enough, taxpayers are footing the bill for legal fees. The State Controlling Board just approved $500,000 for legal fees to in order to hold Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) accountable. Read more from the Columbus Dispatch here.
Still Waiting For Answers to Questions about Ohio’s ‘Charter School Swamp’
One year and several controversies later, State Auditor Dave Yost is urged yet again to investigate possible fraud and corruption in Ohio’s charter schools. Read more from Plunderbund.
Teachers Grade Candidates on Education Plans After Successful Walk-In Events Statewide
Many educators spent Wednesday evening watching the third presidential debate and grading the candidates on their positions. This is part of a national effort for teachers to stand up and “walk-in” to show support for their students. The Toledo Blade reported that teachers from Toledo Public Schools met earlier this month and walked in to school as a group to bring attention to a new federal law that teachers see as a chance to eliminate some standardized testing and make other improvements to public education.
Toledo Federation of Teachers President Kevin Dalton led Walk-ins for Public Education in Toledo. This event was backed by the Ohio Federation of Teachers. Other Walk-ins occurred across the state with over 3,000 educators participating.
Is Portman Game for Four More Years of Partisan Obstruction with John McCain?
According to mediamatters.org, Newspaper editorial boards are sharply criticizing U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for promising that he and his fellow Republican senators would block any and all nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court put forth by a President Hillary Clinton. McCain’s promise upends the GOP’s stated reasons for refusing to even hold a vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has yet to indicate if he will do his job, follow the law, and give a fair hearing to subsequent court nominees in the face of precedent-setting judicial vacancies.
Catholics Welcoming Refugees; May Change Traditional Voting Patterns
Faith and Community Leaders in Youngstown are looking to bring between ten and fifteen refugee families to the city. Under a proposed initiative, the Catholic Diocese would welcome fifty refugees in the first year. The Catholic Church has already resettled 30 percent of the refugees around the world. While the majority of Syrian refugees are Muslim, one-third are Christians, according to Father David Bergner, Vicar of Social Concerns for the Diocese of Youngstown. He went on to say that almost all refugees are gainfully employed in the first ninety days of arriving, according to wfmj.com.
This follows a national trend in the Catholic Church which is moving towards positive social welfare initiatives and a renewed focus on advocating for the poor. According to the New York Times, this has created a political opening as well. In the past, the majority of white Catholics identified or aligned with the GOP on social issues. This new emphasis has created an opening this election cycle for Catholics to identify with a more progressive approach to public policy. Pope Francis has led the way by encouraging a Catholic Church more focused on poverty and inclusion as opposed to more divisive social issues. One of the candidates shared her perspective on living your faith at the recent Al Smith benefit dinner. To read more, click here.