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BREAKING NEWS: 6th Circuit Court Says Ohio’s Voter Purge Illegal!
Absentee Ballot Requests Are On the Rise. Are You Registered to Vote?
State officials say more than 524,000 absentee ballots have been requested in Ohio this year — an increase of 40,000 compared to the same period during the 2012 presidential election, according to the Dayton Daily News. Imagine how many more that could be if Ohio Secretary of State Husted hadn’t allowed thousands of registered voters to be purged from the voting rolls this year….
According to a Cincinnati Enquirer/USA TODAY Network investigation, different county boards of elections in Ohio handled purging and record keeping quite differently:
“At best, these records reveal a lack of care by some election officials tracking voters taken off the rolls.
At worst, they point to a system of removing voters that’s far from uniform— meaning where you live could determine when, or if, your voter registration is deleted. And that could affect whose votes count, and whose don’t, in a critical battleground state that may determine the next president.”
Are you registered to vote? Verify your vote here: ohiounitycoalition.org. And be sure to register to vote by October 11th.
Your Vote is Your Voice: Rapper Pens Song to Highlight Need for Voter Education
On Thursday, members of Let Ohio Vote, including Bishop Eugene Ward of Greater Love Baptist in Cleveland, former State Senator Nina Turner, ProgressOhio and Democratic Voices, were joined by rapper Cardo Jones.
Upon learning of the GOP-backed measures to discourage African-Americans from voting, Jones channeled his frustration into a song. His message to young voters is register and vote as a way to “bring change and make your voice heard.” Click here to see the coverage from WKYC-TV’s Tom Beres and hear the song.
Wonder Why Portman Says He Cares about Opioid Addictions but Voted against More Money to Solve It? Read This:
U.S. Senator Rob Portman received the third highest amount of contributions (total of $211,865 between 2009 and mid-2015) from the Pain Care Forum. A cleveland.com analysis of data provided by The Associated Press and The Center for Public Integrity found that many of the top recipients of these campaign donations in Ohio have been increasingly vocal about the opioid crisis in the past few years. The data show that while drug deaths — the majority of which were from heroin and opioids — spiked nationwide, so did lobbying efforts and campaign contributions from the Pain Care Forum.
Who are they? A coalition of drugmakers, trade groups, and opioid-friendly nonprofits. The forum’s mission was to ensure painkillers remained easy to obtain, and they spent hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver its message (and remember over $200,000 of that went to Rob Portman).
Race Policing and Politics: Police Shooting of Black Boy Armed With BB Gun Shows Two Sides of Columbus
In the aftermath of the tragic death of 13-year-old Tyre King, community and city leaders across Columbus have gathered in separate forums to look at the very different perspectives of those living in and around the city. Many see hope and opportunity; others see their communities still not receiving the benefits of low unemployment and publicly funded programs. Read more from abc.com here.
Policy Matters Ohio Has New Plan to Shore Up Unemployment Compensation Fund
For almost two years, Republican state legislators have been attempting to “reform” the unemployment compensation fund by reducing benefits for workers – moving from 26 weeks of benefits to 12. However, their legislation didn’t get a lot of traction and stalled before lawmakers went on break, and now a joint committee is looking for public input for a plan that could pass. Policy Matters Ohio introduced a proposal that would ask employees to pay into the fund 15 cents for every $100 earned – which it says would cost a worker making $40,000 a year less than a dollar a week. WKSU has more here.
One More Reason to Fix the Congressional Map: There Are no Real Races
Ohio’s still a battleground state this year: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running neck-and-neck in Ohio’s presidential race, and the U.S. Senate race has stayed fairly close. Why, then, aren’t there any competitive races in the Buckeye State for Congress? Read more about Ohio’s badly gerrymandered districts from Jeremy Pelzer of the Plain Dealer.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Carl Weiser weighs in on the topic too with a report that shows for the first time since Ohio was divided into multiple congressional districts in 1812, all of the incumbents are expected to win re-election for the second time in a row.
Team Trump’s Family and Friends Make Headlines Once More
Kathy Miller, Donald Trump’s campaign chair in Mahoning County, has resigned after the Guardian published an article Thursday morning in which she said that racism did not exist in the United States until President Barack Obama was elected. Miller also said that black people have only themselves to blame for a lack of success since the 1960s.
According to this story from Andrew Tobias of the Plain Dealer, Miller said “We have three generations all having unwed babies, kids that don’t go through high school … I mean, when do they take responsibility for how they live? I think it’s due time, and that it’s good that Mr. Trump is pointing that out.”
The Guardian also quoted Miller as saying: “If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you.”
Miller’s replacement is Tracey Winbush, previously a Trump critic who said in a March conference call with reporters that she would never vote for him because Trump had offended her as an African-American “by some of the comments and some of the tactics that [he] was making,” according to a video of the meeting posted by Dix News’ Marc Kovac.
Even after the tragic shootings that occurred this past week, Trump’s response on reducing violence in the black community, seemed to propose the wider use of “stop and frisk” tactics by police. The practice, which some have argued has led to reductions in crime, also has been criticized as disproportionately targeting blacks and other minorities.
The Trump family embarrassed the campaign too. Donald Trump, Jr. equated Syrian refugees to ‘a bowl of skittles,’ saying, “If I had a bowl full of skittles and told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”
Skittles’ parent company, Wrigley America, distanced itself immediately by saying, “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy.”
Neither do we.
Even after the tragic shootings that occurred this past week, Trump’s response on reducing violence in the black community seemed to propose the wider use of “stop and frisk” tactics by police. The practice, which some have argued has led to reductions in crime, also has been criticized for disproportionately targeting blacks and other minorities.
JobsOhio Kicked in a Whopping $10 million for the RNC
Among the entities that donated to the Cleveland Republican National Convention Host Committee was JobsOhio, the taxpayer-funded-now-privatized department of development. Read the breakdown of who gave how much to bring Donald Trump’s nomination celebration to Ohio here.
Wasn’t JobsOhio supposed to pay for things that will bring jobs to Ohio? A big, partisan party doesn’t seem to qualify.
With Ohio Wages Already Low, AG DeWine Moves to Keep Them That Way
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper issued the following statement regarding Attorney General DeWine’s decision to challenge new federal overtime laws:
“Apparently Mike DeWine doesn’t think an honest day’s work should get a fair day’s pay because he’s attempting to stop new overtime protections that would help more than 130,000 working Ohioans, after decades when Ohioans have seen stagnant wages. It’s just the latest example of how DeWine continues to waste our tax dollars on petty partisan politics, just as he has done time and time again.”
PROTECT YOUR MOTHER
Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Drinking Water Across Ohio
Remember Erin Brockovich? A group called The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical that was featured in the movie “Erin Brockovich” starring Julia Roberts has been found in several central Ohio drinking water systems.
According to a story from NBC4, the EWG says nearly 218 million American’s water supply contained more chromium-6 than what was deemed safe. The group found chromium-6 in many drinking water systems across Ohio, including Franklin, Crawford, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Knox, Marion, Union, and Marion counties.
Ohio’s Natural Resources Department Fights Effort to Destroy Rare Wetland
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said it will fight a Franklin County judge’s order to give away a rare, state-owned wetland park, Sawmill Wetland Education Area, to a private developer. The Sawmill Wetlands was donated to the state with a requirement that it be preserved permanently.
The private developer has announced plans to destroy the wetlands in order to create a commercial building. On Tuesday, September 20, the ODNR officially announced that it will appeal the judge’s decision.
The Sierra Club is urging citizens to make sure the ODNR keeps this promise! See first-hand why these wetlands are considered a gem of Columbus! Visit the Sawmill Wetlands on Saturday, October 1 from 10:00am to Noon.
Women’s Group Call on Trump to Dump Roger Ailes as Campaign Adviser
Women leaders across Ohio demanded that the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump end its affiliation with serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes.
“It’s no surprise that a man like Trump, who unapologetically calls women ‘fat pigs’ and ‘dogs’, would seek advice from an unapologetic predator like Roger Ailes,’’ said Toledo resident and Ohio National Organization for Women (Ohio NOW) President Anita Rios. “But it is surprising that Mr. Trump has not received more condemnation for it.’’
Despite mounting evidence of Ailes’ predatory ways, Trump enlisted Ailes’ help preparing for the upcoming presidential debates, according to the New York Times. Trump and his campaign have refused to say what the former Fox News chief is doing for the campaign.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said Ailes’ vile pattern of sexual harassment should disqualify him as a presidential adviser, and that Trump’s association with Ailes should disqualify him from marketing himself as a “law and order” candidate. “With Roger Ailes on his team, Trump is the Law and Order SVU candidate,’’ she said.
You can read more here.
It’s About Time: Legislature “May” Look into E-School Attendance
Electronic Classrooms of Tomorrow (ECOT), the chain of chronically underperforming online charter schools, argues that under state law, a student could log in for as little as a minute per day to earn full state funding. But Tom Ash of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators argues that a student in a traditional school could not get away with that. Leaving after the first period would make a student truant. And truant students land in juvenile court. The legislature claims it may look into this in the fall. Read more here.