CityBeat Blogs - Green Party <![CDATA[Early Voting Ends Friday]]>

Anyone hoping to avoid long lines at the polls on Election Day next week has a little more time to cast their ballots before the March 6 primary.

Early voting — both at the Board of Elections and via mail-in ballot — is still underway. The deadline for mail-in ballots is Saturday, March 3, at noon. Early in-office voting ends on Friday, March 2, at 6 p.m.

Early in-office voting is available 8 a.m.-6 p.m. each day this week, through Friday. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is located at 824 Broadway, downtown.

For more information, call the board’s offices at 513-632-7039, 513-632 7040 or 513-632-7044 or visit the board’s website.

<![CDATA[Morning News and Stuff]]>

Perhaps sensing they were losing the public perception battle, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday agreed to extend the payroll tax cut for another 10 months without getting offsetting reductions elsewhere in the budget. The action is a victory for President Obama, who opposed the GOP’s attempts to force pay cuts for federal workers and require them to contribute more to their pensions.---

After a string of victories over the weekend, Rick Santorum’s profile among Republicans nationwide is rising. A New York Times/CBS News poll released this morning found 30 percent of Republican primary voters say they support Santorum, compared with 27 percent for Romney — a statistical dead heat. Recent polls by Gallup, Pew and Public Policy Polling produced similar results.

Jill Stein is seeking the Green Party’s nomination for presidential candidate. A former physician, 61, she is a Harvard Medical School graduate and serves on the board of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. The New York Times today asks Stein five questions about her positions on issues, while regularly giving people like Newt Gingrich thousands of inches to espouse his views. (Maybe Stein should propose a moon base and start using racially inflammatory language.)

It looks like U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are going to defy their party leaders and support the new federal rule that requires most insurers to offer free birth control to women. It shouldn’t be surprising: Snowe and Collins — along with their GOP brethren Lincoln Chafee, Gordon Smith, John Warner and Arlen Specter — proposed a bill in 2001 that would’ve mandated the same thing. Wow, they must really hate Catholics. Right, Mitt?

If you hear a rhythmic beating in the distance, it could be the sound of war drums. A U.S. aircraft carrier has been sent to the Strait of Hormuz, near the coast of Iran, for the second time in two weeks. Iranian officials recently threatened to close the channel, through which 20 percent of the world's oil exports pass, in a dispute about oil trade embargoes.

No one is immune to crime. While vacationing in the West Indies, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and his wife were robbed by a masked, machete-wielding man. No one was injured in the incident at the Breyers’ vacation home, but the intruder left with about $1,000. (Maybe there are a lot of Danny Trejo fans down there?)

In a bizarre accident near Tampa, Fla., a pastor’s daughter was accidentally shot in the head while attending church Sunday. As a church member was showing a 9mm handgun to two young men in a closet, it discharged and a bullet traveled through a wall, striking 20-year-old Hannah Kelley. She remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Locally, phase two of construction at The Banks riverfront district is about to begin. It will include a new pedestrian bridge from Pete Rose Way, security cameras, emergency call stations and other public safety projects.

A judge will allow a 20-year-old Northern Kentucky man to keep driving until he stands trial for killing a couple after allegedly running a red light. Judge Martin Sheehan ruled Monday that Richard Michael Beers could keep his license despite facing two charges of reckless homicide. Since getting his learner’s permit, Beers has been pulled over 13 times, cited for speeding three times, as well as for not having his license with him, running a stop sign, improper passing, careless driving and reckless driving. But he’s suburban and white, so — you know.

Ex-Clermont County Commissioner Archie Wilson pleaded not guilty this morning to charges of soliciting a prostitute and trafficking a controlled substance. Wilson, formerly a darling of area Tea Party groups, was busted in a police sting in Kenton County.

<![CDATA[Early Voting Begins Next Week]]>

Some important dates involving Ohio’s March 6 primary election are fast approaching.

Early voting — both at the Board of Elections and via mail-in ballot — begins Jan. 31. Applications for mail-in ballots are available on the board’s website or by calling the board’s offices at 513-632-7039, 513-632 7040 or 513-632-7044.---

The deadline for mail-in ballots is March 3 at noon. Early in-office voting ends on March 2 at 6 p.m.

Early in-office voting is available during all normal office hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Also, extended early in-office voting hours will be available on Feb. 6 from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Feb. 25 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., along with voting from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. throughout the week of Feb. 27 to March 2.

The deadline for voter registration, to file a change of address or a change of name is 6 p.m. Feb. 6.

The Board of Elections is located at 824 Broadway, downtown.

Primary elections are when political parties nominate their candidates for the general election, which will be held this year on Nov. 6. During the primary, voters must select a party ballot; only one party can be selected. The choices are Democratic Party, Republican Party, Green Party and Libertarian Party. Also, an issues-only ballot is available in some parts of the county.

<![CDATA[Greens Want to Join Debate]]>

If they're good enough to qualify as a minor political party in Ohio, then they're good enough to be included in the gubernatorial debate.

That's the philosophy of Ohio Green Party leaders and the decision to exclude its gubernatorial candidate, Dennis Spisak, from a debate between Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland and Republican challenger John Kasich.---

Today Strickland and Kasich agreed to appear in two televised debates, the first one held Sept. 14 in Columbus and the second on Oct. 7 in Toledo.

Because they qualified to appear on the November ballot under Ohio election laws, Spisak believes both he and Libertarian candidate Ken Matesz should be included in the debate.

As the Green Party nominee for Ohio governor, I think it's a sham that myself and the Libertarian candidate for governor are not invited to the debates,” Spisak said in a prepared statement.

The Ohio Secretary of State has certified that minor party candidates are allowed on the ballots this year, we have paid the same filing fees as Ted Strickland and John Kasich, and had supporters stomp through the winter snowstorms to gather thousands of signatures to place us on the ballot,” Spisak added. “Ohioans deserve to hear all candidates for governor speak. Ted and John will sling mud and refuse to answer specially how they will fix Ohio. I will.”

According to the Secretary of State's office, 1,315 voters cast Green Party ballots in the May primary, while 5,476 voters cast Libertarian Party ballots.

Among his platform of issues, Spisak supports creating a single-payer universal health care system in Ohio, investing in the creation of “blue-green” jobs for labor unions and changing how school districts are funded.

Spisak is a member of the Struthers City Board of Education, near Youngstown, and has 25 years experience working in the field of public education.

<![CDATA[Ohio Green Party Meets]]> The Ohio Green Party will hold its state political convention in Columbus this weekend, where it will make decisions on several important issues.

Among the business that will be conducted at the convention is changing the organization's official status from a political action committee (PAC) to that of a minor political party.---

The change involves presenting an organizational plan that must be approved by the membership and submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. By-laws will be revised and candidates and procedures will be reviewed in preparation for the first Green Party primary election ballot in May.

Also, several progressive candidates will seek the party’s endorsement at the convention. They include Youngstown resident Dennis “Spike” Spisak, who is running for Ohio governor with Anita Rios of Toledo as his running mate for lieutenant governor.  Vaughn Stull of Kent will be a candidate for State House representative in Ohio’s 61st District.

The Green Party’s coordinating committee will be expanding under the new organizational plan, and dozens of candidates will appear on the ballot for positions as party officials at the state and local levels.

More leaders are needed in all areas of the state and Ohioans who support the Green Party’s values are encouraged to run for a position, officials said.  For questions about becoming a Green Party candidate, contact Logan Martinez via e-mail at or by telephone at 740-824-3828.

The convention will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Room 100 of the Northwood Building, located at 2231 N. High St., Columbus. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the event is open to the public.

Anyone who wants to vote on the issues and decisions that will be presented to the membership must join the Green Party by 10 a.m. on Friday, 24 hours before the convention begins.

To join or ask questions about membership status, contact Secretary Tim Kettler by telephone at the number listed above or via e-mail at