GOP Urges Trump to Stop Attacking the Truth & the Press; Mueller Time for Bannon
“For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, Mr. President, our democracy will not last,” were the latest harsh words from Sen. Jeff Flake.
Sen. John McCain denounced President Trump’s attacks on the press and “warned of their broader implications for democracies and press freedom across the world,” according to Vox.com. Sen. McCain’s harsh words come as the president prepares to hand out “Fake News Awards” in a ceremony he made up.
In Russia news, Steve Bannon struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and will be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before the grand jury, CNN reports. Bannon is expected to cooperate with the special counsel, the sources said.
Fate of ECOT’s 12,000 Students Uncertain as Sponsor Votes to Close School
From the Columbus Dispatch:
After a unanimous vote Thursday night by its sponsor to sever ties, there is literally no tomorrow for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.
The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West board voted 3-0 to immediately suspend and eventually terminate its sponsorship, despite impassioned pleas of ECOT parents and students who made the trek to Toledo for the session. Ohio law requires charter schools to have a sponsor.
ECOT’s approximately 12,000 students already were off Friday so the 1,000 teachers could issue grades for the semester, which ended Thursday.
The vote appears to signal that one of America’s worst performing charter schools will finally close.
“Making millions of dollars on the backs of Ohio kids with no regard for the quality of their education is a disgraceful way to do business, and it’s no wonder that ECOT is going to be out of business,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “This is what happens when it’s not about the kids but the money, as ECOT founder Bill Lager once bragged. But this closure does not let ECOT or the politicians who enabled it off the hook for fleecing Ohio schoolchildren and taxpayers out of nearly $80 million.”
ECOT founder Lager has given more than $1 million in campaign contributions, the vast majority going to Republican candidates and causes.
ProgressOhio and Its Other Affiliates Urge DNC to Hold Firm In Support for Abortion Rights
ProgressOhio joined with its affiliates across the nation to urge the Democratic National Committee to boldly support abortion rights. In a letter to the DNC signed by executive directors from 18 affiliates of ProgressNow, a network of independent state-based advocacy organizations, the letter urges party leaders to not compromise on abortion policy.
The letter comes days before the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and a year since the wildly successful Women’s Marches in cities nationwide. In the letter, advocates called on progressives to support policymakers’ efforts to champion abortion access.
Senate GOP Rolls Out Redistricting Plan that Reformers Say is No Reform at All
State Sen. Matt Huffman drew a strong rebuke from good-government groups and major newspapers when he unveiled his so-called Redistricting Reform resolution this week that would do little to create actual reform. Critics argued that the plan would still allow Republicans to gerrymander districts to the point where they could control 12 of 15 congressional districts — a number that assumes Ohio is going to lose another seat after the 2020 census. The current GOP-gerrymandered map has given Republicans 12 of 16 districts. You can read more here.
The Fair Districts=Fair Elections campaign plans to move forward with its citizen-led effort to put real reform on the November ballot and issued this call to action:
It’s time to let legislators know that we oppose this bill. An army of Fair Districts volunteers have gathered signatures from nearly 200,000 voters all across this state, demanding an end to partisan gerrymandering. Don’t let the legislature ignore the will of the people! It’s not too late to lean on several key members of the legislature to stop this sham reform in its tracks. Join us in making calls today!
Sen. President Larry Obhoff 614-466-7584
Sen. Matt Huffman 614-466-7584
Talking points may include:
- Any redistricting proposal should be truly bipartisan. SJR 5 merely requires token support from the minority party
- Keeping communities together is essential for good representation. By treating large counties differently, Sen. Huffman’s plan could institutionalize gerrymandering in the Ohio Constitution.
Trump and Congress Blamed for 3.2 Million more Uninsured Americans
Under the Trump Administration, more states are requesting waivers to require work requirements for Medicaid recipients. This creates barriers that will apply to all who receive Medicaid, and have the end result of ensuring fewer people at higher costs. Read more on this developing issue here.
According to a Gallup survey released Monday, 12.2% of Americans were without health coverage in the fourth quarter, and the uninsured rate jumped 1.3 percentage points from the same quarter the year before — which translates to 3.2 million more uninsured Americans.
This is the largest increase in the uninsured rate since the survey began in 2008, which includes the period before the ACA went in to effect.
Another Day, Another Big Spill at the Rover Pipeline
Remember the Rover Pipeline? Last week, the Ohio EPA told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it is “deeply concerned” about a new spill from the Rover Pipeline, according to WOSU.
Nearly 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid were “lost down a hole” beneath the Tuscarawas River Stark County. That’s the same site where more than 2 million gallons of the fluid – mixed with diesel – leaked last April and turned up in a wetland.
Families Tell How’d They Would Suffer if CHIP Runs Out
Millions of families stand to suffer across the country with Congress’ failure to reauthorize funding for the CHIP program. Many share their heart-wrenching stories here.
Kucinich Announces for Gov, Renacci’s LG endorses DeWine, GOP Makes a Move on O’Neill
Nearly 50 years after his first run for public office, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich entered the race for Governor of Ohio. Kucinich joins Richard Cordray, Bill O’Neill, Connie Pillich and Joe Schiavoni, all vying for the Democratic nomination in May.
O’Neill faces his own separate battle, with the legislature trying to remove him from the Ohio Supreme Court.
On the GOP side, the Toledo Blade summarizes by saying “Having just lost the top of her own ticket, former Ohio lieutenant governor candidate Amy Murray on Tuesday threw her support to Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine for governor.”