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Kasich in 2020 Update: The Fiscal Hawk Who Travels the Nation on Your Nickel
Governor John Kasich continues to rack up taxpayer costs for his never-ending campaign for President. He returned to New Hampshire, plans a keynote in Texas and Save Jersey says he’ll stop in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, for a fundraiser in support of incumbent Congressman Tom MacArthur. Meanwhile, he’s avoiding his party’s nominee for President (can you blame him?).
Did Secretary of State Jon Husted Purge You from the Voting Rolls?
More than two million Ohio voters have been purged from the rolls since 2011 and many don’t know it. Some found out when they showed up to vote in March and were turned away.
To register to vote OR find out if you are still registered, go to: ohiounitycoalition.org.
Check out a cool new app that will verify your vote -better safe than sorry.
Stanford Rapist Returns Home to Ohio After Early Release for ‘Good Behavior’
On Tuesday, Brock Turner, the ex-Stanford swimming star convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus, formally registered as a sex offender in Xenia, Ohio. Turner, now 21, served three months of a six-month sentence shortened by “good behavior” while in California’s Santa Clara County Jail. He will be registered as a sex offender for life and must serve three years’ probation.
Let’s look at another example of a young man accused of rape: Brian Banks, a promising high school football player who had committed to play at Southern Cal, was an innocent man accused of rape. Gary Meyers of The New York Daily News wrote this story earlier this summer, and with Turner’s early release this week, it seems appropriate to share:
“Banks was 16 years old when he was accused of rape and tried as an adult. He was sent to juvenile hall for a year before his case came up. He faced 41 years to life in prison and first turned down plea deals for 25, 18 and nine years. Why? He didn’t do it. He finally agreed to undergo 90 days of observation in Chico State Prison with assurances from his attorney that he would then get probation. It was a better option, he was told, than a young black kid facing an all-white jury. Instead, Banks received six years from the judge.”
The judge in the Turner case chose not to send him to state prison. Judge Aaron Persky also sentenced Turner to significantly less than the maximum 14 years he could have handed down. “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” the judge said. “I think he will not be a danger to others.”
“’I would say it’s a case of privilege’, Banks said. ‘It seems like the judge based his decision on lifestyle. He’s lived such a good life and has never experienced anything serious in his life that would prepare him for prison. He was sheltered so much he wouldn’t be able to survive prison. What about the kid who has nothing, he struggles to eat, struggles to get a fair education? What about the kid who has no choice who he is born to and has drug-addicted parents or a non-parent household? Where is the consideration for them when they commit a crime?’”
It wasn’t until 2012 when the Banks’ accuser recanted her story that he was declared an innocent man, after serving five years and two months in prison. Turner didn’t have a criminal history. He is white. Banks didn’t have a criminal history, either, didn’t even have a speeding ticket. He is black. Banks was sentenced to six years; Turner to six months. Rape is never ok, regardless of the race of the attacker, and it certainly seems like these cases present a teachable moment about privilege.
New Study Shows Portman and Trump Were Wrong to Oppose the Auto Rescue
A recent study from Innovation Ohio summarizes the auto rescue best:
“When a critical industry that supports so many Ohio workers was on the line, Rob Portman said the auto rescue was a ‘lousy deal.’ Had his opposition prevailed, tens of thousands of Ohioans would’ve lost their jobs and the collapse of Ohio’s auto industry would have reverberated across all sectors in the economy. Fortunately, instead of extreme, anti-government ideology, pragmatism and commonsense prevailed. And as a result of the auto rescue that Rob Portman opposed, nearly 30,000 Ohio jobs have been added and many more preserved.”
Since then, auto sales are up and billions of dollars have been invested in Ohio at essentially ZERO cost to taxpayers.
Pro-Hillary Super PAC Launches Modern-Day ‘Daisy’ Ad
The new spot by Priorities USA Action, titled “I Love War,” depicts images of the devastation of war, including a mushroom cloud and nuclear test blasts, juxtaposed with Trump’s own words. Trump says, “I’m really good at war, I love war, in a certain way.” Trump then claims to “know more about ISIS than the generals,” as graphic images of ISIS terrorists are played.
It ends with Trump claiming that he likes to be “unpredictable,” with the clearly intended message that he is unfit to be President
Death Penalty Opponents Call for Progress on Reforms Recommended by Supreme Court
According to the Journal Gazette, state lawmakers have only approved four of 56 recommendations made by a 2014 Ohio Supreme Court task force. Ohioans to Stop Executions says in an annual report released Tuesday that six more reforms are pending in the state legislature, but have yet to receive support in both the Ohio House and Senate. The report also says Ohio prosecutors sought the death penalty in 26 cases last year, five more than in 2014. Ohio hasn’t executed anyone in almost three years because of a lack of lethal injection drugs.
Meanwhile, separate and apart from these recommendations, Ohio might consider adding nitrogen gas as a new execution method because of problems securing lethal injection drugs, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
Still Silent on the Voting Rights Act, Portman Stands Firm for Confederate Flag
While a critical public health crisis is brewing surrounding the Zika virus, U.S. Senator Rob Portman joined his fellow GOP lawmakers and pushed to end debate on a bill to fund an appropriate response to the virus. Instead of prioritizing this issue, Republicans added provisions to the bill to block Planned Parenthood from receiving funding for preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (like Zika) and remove language to ban confederate flags at veterans’ cemeteries.
We aren’t sure how the flag connects to Zika either. Right-wing special interests know they can count on Reliable Rob when they need him to back their repeated attempts to defund women’s health organizations or ignore historic banners of racism.
Ohio Creates Mostly Low-Wage Jobs; Policy Matters Ohio Says ‘Raise the Wage’
Policy Matters Ohio released its annual report “The State of Working Ohio” which recommends raising Ohio’s minimum wage. According to Amy Hanauer, the report’s lead author and executive director of Policy Matters Ohio, “A lot of economists have looked at the studies and found that if the wage you’re suggesting is still under 60% of what the median worker earns, you’re not going to have job loss,” she told Crains Cleveland Business.
The report highlights the wage disparity that exists in Ohio. The gap in the median wage for women actually rose slightly, with women earning 81 cents for each dollar earned by men in 2015, compared with 82 cents in 2014. For African-Americans, the gap is 24 cents an hour less, or 76 cents for each dollar earned by a white worker, up by less than a penny in 2014.
More Conflicts of Interest For Gonidakis – Calls Continue for His Resignation
Mike Gonidakis, head of Ohio’s state medical board, says he won’t participate in establishing rules for certifying doctors under Ohio’s new medical marijuana law after taking on lobbying clients associated with the budding industry, according to Julie Carr Smyth from the AP. Read more about the Gonidakis pot conflict here.
Gonidakis, who also serves as president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, confirmed his recusal in an interview with the AP. “The only thing that the medical board’s doing is setting rules for doctors, and I’ll be recusing myself on that,” Gonidakis said.
But that isn’t the only conflict he’s facing… Check out this story from Plunderbund about two of the “consumer” members Gov. Kasich appointed to the Ohio State Medical Board who are involved with a business so predatory that it’s banned in many states.
These conflicts have been so significant that the Akron Beacon Journal called for him to step down from the panel and said he never should have been appointed in the first place. Pro-consumer forces are hoping that the conflict controversy has weakened Gonidakis enough that a new bill to crack down on his utility client will finally pass.
Trump Visits Failing For-Profit Charter School, Calls for More Money for Charter Schools
Unlike most other parts of Ohio, Cleveland is home to some great charter schools. But Donald Trump chose a chronically failing for-profit one to announce a proposal to spend another $20 billion on charters. Why? It’s owned by the notorious GOP gladiator Ronald Packard known for doing a magnificent job of profiting off of charter schools but a terrible job of educating our kids.
The Washington Post noted:
“The stop here marked Trump’s latest attempt to reach out to African Americans, as polls show Clinton holding a wide lead among black and other minority voters. The charter school where he spoke serves about 325 predominantly poor African American children.”
As ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis told The Post, “”Ohio’s charter schools are nationally ridiculed, and they should be. Cleveland actually has some good ones but he goes to this lousy one and uses African American kids as props.”
Mystery Solved: Gov. Kasich Demanded That Attendance Audit of ECOT
Weary of his political party’s constant thumping over trying to protect the politically potent Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Governor Kasich is the one who insisted the online charter be forced to open its books. The Columbus Dispatch has the details.
As Courts Reaffirm Right to Choose, Ohio Extremists Seek Amendment to Criminalize Abortion
As the courts affirms a woman’s right to an abortion, Ohio sees a new push to criminalize it. Language for a proposed amendment to criminalize abortion in the Ohio Constitution was submitted to Attorney General Mike DeWine this week. His office will determine if the wording of the petition, including language allowing for the charge of aggravated murder punishable by 15 years to life in prison for those in violation of the proposed law, are in “proper form.”
Speaking of Mike DeWine, he’s on a roll with women. Check out Senator Charleta Tavares’ letter to the editor discussing Ohio’s minimum wage and a number of issues DeWine has been WRONG about. They include:
- Ohio taxpayers had to shell out $45,447 to settle a lawsuit after DeWine falsely accused Planned Parenthood of improperly disposing of fetal remains after a groundless investigation.
- DeWine also put Ohio on the wrong side of history in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark case, Obergefell v. Hodges. After pleading with the court to deny LGBT Ohioans the right to marry, DeWine lost, and the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land.
- In addition, he litigated and lost two different cases challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Read the full copy of the letter to the Columbus Dispatch here.