by German Lopez
Pillich to run for treasurer, medical marijuana language approved, Medicaid rally today
State Rep. Connie Pillich announced today that she will run for state treasurer,
putting the Greater Cincinnati Democrat on a collision course with
current Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican who ran for U.S. Senate
last year. Before becoming state representative, Pillich was in the Air
Force, a lawyer and a small business owner. “Whether as a captain in
the Air Force, a lawyer and owner of a small business, or a
representative in the legislature, I’ve dedicated my career to listening
to concerns, creating a plan of action, and working hard to deliver
real results,” she said in a statement.
Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the ballot language
for an amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Ohio, opening the
possibility that the issue will be on the ballot in 2013 or 2014. CityBeat wrote more about the amendment and the group behind it here.
Supporters of the Medicaid expansion are hosting a
public meeting and presentation today at 10 a.m. at the Red Cross
headquarters at 2111 Dana Ave. CityBeat previously covered the
Medicaid expansion, which supporters claim will save the state money
and insure half a million Ohioans in the next decade, here.
Ohio is one of many states preparing to adopt Common Core
standards and other reforms in schools, but a recent survey by the
Thomas B. Fordham Institute of the state’s superintendents declared that
the state is not ready
for all the changes being proposed. Terry Ryan of the Thomas B. Fordham
Institute says Ohio should consider slowing down to give legislators
and educators more time to work through the new requirements.
A new Ohio bill would require only one license plate per vehicle,
potentially saving the state $1 million a year. But critics say the
bill would limit the amount of tools available to law enforcement to
fight and prevent crime.
Nearly two-thirds more suburban residents live below the poverty line in comparison to 2000, according to “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America,” a book by two Brookings Institution fellows. The book uses U.S. Census Bureau data to form a clearer picture on U.S. poverty trends. Previous analyses have correlated the U.S. rise in poverty with welfare reform, which former President Bill Clinton signed in 1996.
Ohio and U.S. gas prices are spiking this week.
It’s going to be hot today.
A study found a correlation between fiscal conservatives and big biceps.
The first American mission to sample an asteroid is moving forward.
by Andy Brownfield
Ohio Dems wear carnations in solidarity with Michigan workers
In light of Michigan’s progress in passing a so-called
“right-to-work” law, Ohioans are both worried about and pushing for a
similar law allowing workers to opt-out of paying union dues at
businesses where workers are represented by a union.
Tea party activists are working to gather the 380,000
signatures needed to get the Ohio Workplace Freedom Act on the ballot.
They have until July 3.
The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday passed
the first of two right-to-work bills, both of which were passed by the
state Senate last week. Gov. Rick Snyder has told multiple media outlets
that he could sign the bills as early as Wednesday.
Michigan would be the 24th right-to-work state in the
nation and the second in the Midwest. Indiana passed a similar law
earlier this year.
Members of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus wore red
carnations — Ohio’s state flower and a symbol of the labor movement — at
the Statehouse Tuesday to show support for Michigan workers.
“Put simply, so called ‘right to work’ is wrong.
Statistics show states with this anti-working family legislation have
lower wages and higher poverty rates,” Ohio state Rep. Connie Pillich,
D-Montgomery, wrote in an emailed statement.
“We will continue to stand together and fight against these unfair attacks on workers in Ohio, Michigan and across the country.”
Despite the effort to put a right-to-work law on the
ballot next year — a similar effort was unsuccessful in 2012 — it
doesn’t seem like Ohio is in any rush to join Michigan and Indiana.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has higher priorities than passing a right-to-work law. The newspaper reports that Ohio added 127,000 jobs in the
past two years and ranks fourth nationally and first in the Midwest in
terms of job creation.
Kasich said the agenda for the last two years of his first
term include tax cuts, an education overhaul and infrastructure
improvement to keep the state competitive.
“I have an agenda that I think is going to benefit the
state of Ohio,” Kasich told the newspaper. “We’re doing very well
vis-a-vis the rest of the country now, and I think if we continue to
pursue the agenda I have and the legislature has, I think we’ll continue
to be successful.”FUN FACT: Michigan's right-to-work bill will be signed into law in the Romney Building. George Romney, former Michigan governor and father of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was an opponent of right-to-work laws.
by German Lopez
Connie Pillich, a Cincinnati Democrat, is asking the University of
Cincinnati Board of Trustees to explain former UC President Greg
Williams’ $1.3 million severance package. Williams abruptly left UC on
Aug. 21, citing personal reasons. Pillich writes in her letter, “I was
disappointed to learn that the University agreed to continue paying
former President Greg Williams a sum of $1.3 million over the next two
years, considering the former president abruptly resigned six days
before classes were to start this fall. It is disheartening to see such
a great deal of public money spent in a manner that is inconsistent
with the financial realities many colleges, students, and families face
in the current economy. … The University’s tuition increase of 3.5
percent this year means students and families must incur a greater
financial burden at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.
Certainly Mr. Williams’ payday will weigh on the minds of these
students and parents, leaving them to wonder, ‘Does this kind of
decision result in tuition and fee increases?’”The Cincinnati Enquirer
gave some insight into what happened with Williams and the UC Board of
Trustees the day before Williams’ resignation. Apparently, there was no
sign of conflict in the correspondence and emails revealed under the
Ohio Open Records Act, but anonymous sources told The Enquirer that the relationship between Williams and the UC Board of Trustees was breaking down prior to Williams’ resignation. The Enquirer
could not get information from Margaret Buchanan, the publisher and president
of the newspaper that is also on the UC Board of Trustees; instead,
Buchanan referred reporters to Francis Barrett, another trustee.In-person early voting in Ohio begins Tuesday. Get ready to vote.A
nonprofit group says Mitt Romney’s health care proposals are more
expensive for Ohio than Obamacare. Families USA, a left-leaning group
that lobbies on health issues, says Romney’s plan would make families
pay about $10,100 a year on health care — almost twice the $5,100 paid
under Obamacare. The
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced it will not
be privatizing more prisons. The announcement came less than a week
after CityBeat’s in-depth story on private prisons and the many issues
state’s efforts to drive down prison recidivism rates saw some positive
news. In total, the state’s recidivism rate fell by 21 percent from
2003 to 2008. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Josh Mandel, state treasurer and the Republican candidate for this year's senate race, is only doing as well as he is in polling due to $20 million in pro-Mandel spending coming from out-of-state sources. But the money doesn't seem to be helping much; Mandel is currently down by 7.5 points in aggregate polling.To
celebrate Mandel’s birthday, Ohio Democrats gave him a new pair of
pants. Democrats said Mandel, who is Ohio’s treasurer and Republican
candidate for the U.S. Senate, will need the pants after earning “more
‘Pants on Fire’ ratings from Politifact Ohio than any politician in
state history.” Cincinnati
is working on rainwater harvesting codes. A task force has made
progress on the issue in the past year, but Cincinnati has only had one
rainwater harvesting system installed since 2009. A new manufacturer could be bringing 60 jobs to Northern Kentucky.Bill
Ackman, an activist investor, has a few bad things to say about Procter
& Gamble. The problem? The public doesn’t know what those
criticisms are. Ohio’s
exotic pet owners are acting slowly in registering their pets, putting
themselves at risk for jail time if they don’t register before Nov. 5.In an interview with Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, President Barack Obama said he will go after China's unfair trading practices, but the United States will not “go out of our way to embarrass” China. Obama said the lighter approach typically produces better results. The Cincinnati Reds rode their great home season to a 6 percent attendance gain.Science says traveling into the future is technically possible, but traveling to the past “can only exist in the movies.”Speaking of the past and science, Popular Science
posted an old article published in 1961 with predictions for the future’s
family cars. The article predicted invisible, self-driving cars that
could travel at 1,500 mph.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sometimes the system works. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Winkler rejected a request filed by Cincinnati Tea Party leader Mike Wilson, who barely lost to State Rep. Connie Pillich, to question the validity of 589 provisional ballots from Lincoln Heights, Forest Park and Woodlawn — all in predominantly black neighborhoods.
Groups register ex-felons to vote, become productive
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Rejoining society once you have a felony conviction on your record can be a smothering burden. From diminished job opportunities to housing problems and other legal entanglements, it can be a disheartening struggle, one that can lead to disenfranchisement and apathy. With one group of ex-felons taking the lead, though, that's changing locally.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A favorite political tactic of some Republicans is to try to paint Democrats as weak on national security issues. The ploy mostly has gained popularity since the national Democratic Party publicly tore itself apart in spectacular fashion over disagreements about the Vietnam War in 1968. To counter the strategy, Democrats like to endorse candidates with military experience when they can, and finding such a candidate usually scares the crap out of Republicans.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 10, 2010
WINNER: Through good old-fashioned reporting, Enquirer statehouse reporter Jon Craig helped uncover the identity of the conduit for a shadowy contributor who funded the campaign trying to force a vote on Gov. Ted Strickland's plan to place slot machines at seven Ohio horse tracks.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I’ve been covering City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz as a reporter and columnist since her first council campaign back in 2005. On a personal level, she can be funny and intelligent and prone to uttering newsworthy quotes. Like every public official I've covered, sometimes I agree with her, sometimes I don't. During this campaign season, unfortunately, Ghiz presented herself as a much harder-edged, angry and occasionally rude candidate.