Ohio Republicans continue their ill-conceived war on sex education, women’s rights and health care for the poor
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Progressives often argue that society has made great strides, but looking at the budget proposal passed by the
Republican-controlled Ohio House, there
seems to be a strong reluctance by conservatives in power to accept the
scientific and social progress made in the past few decades.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
“When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what
do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool
like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at
Gov. John Kasich says his new budget offers a fairer tax system and more money for schools, but it’s really just more of the same
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 20, 2013
In the big public push for his 2014-2015
budget proposal, Republican Gov. John Kasich has often sounded
progressive. But deeper analyses of Kasich’s budget found that the
governor was likely off with some of his claims.
While state legislators overhaul Ohio’s energy industry, questions about the sustainability and safety of fracking go unanswered
2 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Ohio's rush to embrace fracking has raised questions about the
sustainability and safety of the process during a time when legislators are
moving full-speed ahead with legislation that will regulate the
industry for the next 20 years — if it lasts that long.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 19, 2012
On Dec. 14, the United States was hit by
another mass shooting. This time, a gunman forced himself into an
elementary school and killed 20 children and six adults.
Are Ohioans ready to recognize my gay marriage?
4 Comments · Wednesday, November 28, 2012
In 2004, while most Democrats around me
reeled from the defeat of John Kerry, I had other post-election
problems: Gay marriage and same-sex
civil unions had been officially banned in Ohio. I was devastated. I was 14 back then. If I had been 14 in 2013, it’s
increasingly looking like my story of that age would have been very
by German Lopez
U.S. Senate candidates argue over records, economy, social policy
In the first of three debates for Ohio’s seat in the U.S.
Senate, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh
Mandel agreed on little and clashed on a lot. Each candidate mostly focused on the opposing candidate's record, but the debate today did move to substantial differences in policy at some
points.The debate started with opening statements from a
noticeably feisty Brown, who criticized Mandel for calling his vote for the
auto bailout “un-American.” On the other side of the aisle, Mandel began his
opening statement with a joke about shaving before he turns 36. The joke was
the last time either of the men spoke with a light heart.
The candidates blasted each other mostly for their
records. Mandel touted Ohio's and the nation’s higher unemployment rate since Brown
took office in 2006, energy prices and the U.S. debt. He also said the Senate had
not passed a budget in three years, although Congress has actually passed
budget resolutions in that time.
Brown fired back with claims Mandel had filled the state treasurer’s office
with cronies. He also criticized Mandel for running for four different
political offices in seven years. In his closing statement, Brown said Mandel
is “too concerned about running for his next job” to be trusted.
On substance, Brown and Mandel criticized just about
everything about each other. Brown claimed Mandel signed away his “right to
think” by agreeing to lobbyist Grover Norquist’s pledge to not raise taxes
while in office. He said the pledge makes it so if Mandel does take office, he’ll
never be able to close tax loopholes for big corporations.
Mandel defended the pledge by saying, “I’m proud to stand
for lower taxes in our state and lower taxes in our country.” He added, “I will
do everything I can to advocate for lower taxes across the board for the middle
class and job creators as well.”
The term “job creators” is typically used in politics to reference wealthy Americans, who Republicans claim create jobs through the theory
of trickle-down economics. The economic theory states that wealthy Americans
will hire more lower-class Americans if they have more money and freedom, essentially
creating a trickle-down effect on wealth from the rich to the poor. Although
Republicans still tout the theory, some economists, including Nobel Prize
winner Paul Krugman, say the financial crisis of 2008 and the deregulation that
led to it prove trickle-down economics do not work.
The candidates also debated their positions on the
auto bailout. Mandel said he would not
have voted for the auto bailout if he was in the Senate in 2009. In his defense, he cited the experience of Delphi workers, who lost part of their pensions as part of the deal auto companies made with workers after the federal bailout. Mandel then said, “I’m
not a bailout senator. He’s the bailout senator.”
Brown responded by saying, “These are real jobs and real
people.” He then cited examples of people helped by the growing auto industry.
Brown’s arguments are backed by economic data, which has repeatedly credited
the growing auto industry for the nation’s growing economy. In the first
quarter of 2012, the auto industry was credited for half of the nation’s
When he was asked about higher education, Brown established the key
difference between the candidates in terms of economic policy. Brown said his policies in favor of government investment in higher
education are about supporting the middle class to create growth that
starts in the middle and spreads out, while Mandel supports tax cuts that emphasize a
trickle-down approach. Mandel did not deny the claims, and instead blamed Brown’s
policies for the high unemployment rate and debt issues.
The men continued to show similar contrasts on the
budget, taxes and economy throughout the entire debate, but there seemed to be
some common ground regarding energy independence. When the topic came to hydraulic fracturing —
or “fracking” — Brown said becoming energy independent would have to involve
all possible energy sources. In substance, Mandel agreed, although he also
praised fracking regulations recently passed by the Ohio legislature and Gov.
As far as energy issues go, the agreement stopped there.
When Brown was asked about President Barack Obama's alleged “war on coal,” Brown said there was no war
on coal and claimed there are more coal jobs and coal produced in
Ohio than there were five years ago. Mandel disagreed and claimed there is a war on coal. He added if
Obama is the general in the war on coal, Brown is Obama's “lieutenant.” Brown previously supported federal regulations on mercury that some in the coal industry, including the Ohio Coal Association, claim will force coal-fired power plants to shut down. The regulations go into effect in 2015.
On abortion, Mandel proudly claimed he was
pro-life, while Brown said, “Unlike Josh Mandel, I trust Ohio women to make
their own health care decisions.” Brown also criticized Mandel for not
establishing exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother in his anti-abortion stance.
Many more issues, from term limits to Middle Eastern
culture, were covered in the debate. The candidates drew sharp contrasts in all
these areas with Brown typically holding the liberal position and Mandel
typically holding the conservative position. But despite the feisty language
and deep policy contrasts, when the debate ended, the candidates smiled, shook
hands and patted each other on the back. They will meet again in Columbus on
Thursday and Cincinnati on Oct. 25.
DNC executive director discusses Ohio’s importance in 2012 and beyond
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, sat down with CityBeat for an exclusive interview during which he
previewed his remarks to Ohio steelworkers and talked about Hamilton County’s importance
to the presidential race.
by German Lopez
Posted In: Governor
at 10:34 AM | Permalink
Governor makes offensive remark when GOP trails among women voters
At a Romney-Ryan rally near Cincinnati yesterday, Gov.
John Kasich made some remarks women voters might find offensive. When
describing what his wife and the wives of Mitt Romney, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rob Portman are
doing as the men attend political rallies, Kasich told Romney supporters the women are “at
home doing the laundry.”
The full quote: “It’s not easy to be a spouse of an
elected official. You know, they’re at home doing the laundry and doing
so many things while we’re up here on the stage getting a little bit of
applause, right? They don’t often share in it.”
The comments were quickly picked up by liberal blog Plunderbund, which criticized Kasich's history with women.While the comment may be true (CityBeat could not
confirm if Karen Kasich was doing laundry while Kasich was speaking), it
does little for a political party already struggling with women voters.
In the latest poll from Public Policy Polling, Romney was down 10
points to Obama among women voters in Ohio. This is often attributed to
what Democrats labeled a “war on women” by Republicans to diminish
contraceptive and abortion rights. CityBeat previously covered the local and national political issues regarding women here.Kasich had problems with public speaking in the past. In his 2012 State of the State speech, which The Hill
labeled “bizarre,” Kasich repeatedly mentioned his “hot wife,” imitated
a Parkinson’s patient and referred to Californians as “wackadoodles.”
In a previous statement, Kasich said he would run over opponents with a
bus. “If you’re not on the bus, we will run over you with the bus,” he
told lobbyists. “And I’m not kidding.”Kasich's latest comment can be found on YouTube:
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
at 01:00 PM | Permalink
Amusements and things that didn't make it into our story
There are a lot of things that don’t make it into any given news
story. When you attend an event as a reporter, such as Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney’s visit to Union Terminal last Saturday (as I did), you
wait in line for about an hour, then wait inside for another hour while
security checks every visitor.
During that time, you’re talking to people who are attending,
taking notes to provide color for the story (things such as what songs are
playing, slogans on shirts or signs, the general mood or atmosphere) and
getting information from the event staff, such as how many tickets were given
out, how many people are estimated to attend, etc.
Then there are the speakers — about an hour of politicians
talking. After that, there’s the counter press conference with local Democratic
officials. Then you make phone calls to fill in any gaps.
With all of that material and the average reader attention span
on 800 words, a lot of information gets left out of any given piece. So here
are some things I found interesting from Romney’s visit that didn’t make it
into my story that day.
The most popular attire seemed to be Reds items. Many
event-goers wore Reds T-shirts or caps, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who spoke at
the event, wore a Reds ballcap and opened his speech with “So Cincinnati, how
about these Redlegs?” and talked about Jay Bruce’s homer the previous night.U.S. House Speaker John Boehner attended the rally. I remember
seeing him on TV at the Republican National Convention and commenting that he
didn’t look as tan anymore. Must have been the cameras. In person, he was at
least five shades darker than the pasty Portman.U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot also spoke at the rally. While most speakers
stuck to short speeches meant to pump up attendees and introduce Romney, Chabot
got local. He encouraged attendees to vote against Issue 2, a ballot measure
appearing in November that would change the way redistricting is done in Ohio.
Currently congressional redistricting is done by the Legislature, which can
give one party an advantage if they control both houses and the governor’s
mansion. Chabot said Issue 2, which would set up an independent commission to
redraw congressional districts, would allow special interest groups to take
voters out of the equation and have the lines drawn by “unelected,
unaccountable” people. (CityBeat covered this year's redistricting issue here and here.)As politicians do, speakers from both Republican and Democratic
camps tried to spin the message. Portman told rally attendees that we were in
the midst of the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, a
statement independent fact checkers determined to be false. UPDATE 9/5/12: According to Republicans in the Joint Economic Committee and a report by The Associated Press economic growth and consumer spending have recovered more slowly from this recession than any time since The Great Depression. A PolitiFact check of Romney's claim that it was the slowest jobs recovery was deemed to be false.Meanwhile, in their
press conference after the rally, Democrats had maybe a dozen local
Cincinnatians in a small public area near Music Hall. Obama’s campaign provided
signs and had them all crowd behind a podium where local politicians spoke. For
the TV cameras, it probably looked like a sizeable crowd, which is an old