by Steve Beynon
85 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election
at 01:15 PM | Permalink
CNN is set to host the sixth
Democratic debate of the cycle. The Democratic National Committee scheduled the
March 6 debate in Flint, Mich.
The Flint debate came after
presidential hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns
agreed to additional debates which were motivated by a virtual tie in the Iowa
Clinton’s campaign challenged
Sanders to an unsanctioned debate on MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire,
following their photo-finish race in the Hawkeye State. The DNC officialized
the debate, propelling the first time the former secretary of state and the
Vermont senator went one-on-one.
Flint’s debate is one of two more
debates the Clinton campaign agreed to in exchange for the University of New
In the midst of Flint’s water
crisis, the town has been at the top of both of the Democratic candidates’
talking points — highlighting what is at stake in this election and what the
Democratic party can offer in terms of economic power and regulation.
Sanders went as far to call for
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation.
“And I think the governor has got to
take the responsibility and say, ‘You know what, my administration was
absolutely negligent and a result of that negligence, many children may suffer
for the rest of their lives and the right thing to do is to resign,” Sanders
said in an interview with The Detroit
Sanders further blasted the
governor's response to the water crisis during the University of New Hampshire
debate, saying, “A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power.” The Vermont
senator added that this is the first time he has ever called for the
resignation of another politician.
Flint was a stop on Clinton’s campaign trail Sunday as she
urged Congress to pass a $200 million effort to fix the ailing city’s water
infrastructure. "This has to be a national priority," Clinton
said at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church. "What happened in
Flint is immoral. The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of
any part of America."
Clinton praised Flint Mayor Karen Weaver as "someone
who is working every way she knows how to provide the help and support that all
the people of Flint deserve to have."
The Flint Water Crisis started in April 2014 after the
city changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River — the new
water source is contaminated with lead, prompting President Obama to declare a
state of emergency. The Flint River’s corrosion is caused by aged pipes that
leach lead into the water supply. The EPA estimates thousands of
residents are at risk of lead poisoning, and has recommended testing 12,000
children. The water is also possible responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires’
disease, killing 10 people.
The Michigan Army National Guard
was deployed to Flint to assist in the crisis and President Obama has allocated
$80 million in government aid.
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.