WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Steve Beynon 01.28.2016 16 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Primary Cheat Sheet: Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican) Fun Fact: It took a book deal and 16 years for the Florida senator to pay off his student loans. In a 2012 speech, Rubio revealed he just paid back his school loans: “When I graduated from law school, I had close to $150,000 in student debt.” Rubio graduated from the University of Florida in 1993, and earned his J.D. from the University of Miami in 1996. The year prior was his first year in the Senate and he served in the Florida House from 2000-2008. What’s up with the campaign? With Scott Walker out of the race and Jeb Bush unable to gain any momentum, Rubio appears to be the most electable establishment candidate. Despite much of Rubio’s agenda, he has the appearance of a rational candidate by sharing the top of the polls with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. In a world where no other career politician in the Republican field can make any noise, the Florida senator is virtually the right-wing’s only option for a seasoned politician to capture the White House. Rubio has been slowly crawling up in the polls with debate performances ranking from middling to great. Right now, he’s a distant third behind Trump and Cruz and is only a few points above bottom-tier candidates like Chris Christie. Voters might like: ●      He’s easily the best speaker amongst the Republican candidates. Rubio isn’t going into government with obstructionism like Cruz, and he isn’t bombastic like Trump. Maybe some other establishment candidates would be better presidents, but Rubio is the establishment’s best shot at winning and not letting the Executive Branch fall to the hands of more controversial Republicans, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. ●      Rubio is a conservative’s conservative. He says he’ll cut gas taxes, increase military spending and opposes an increase to the minimum wage. There’s also the obligatory lines of regulations killing business. Rubio does not bring a lot new to the table, but this by-the-book Republican is easy for voters to wrap their head around. ●      Remember Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” attitude? Rubio brings positive energy to the Republican platform. Cruz is more of a firebrand and even on the left with Sanders, a lot of rhetoric is doom and gloom. Rubio’s youthful appearance and positive attitude could set a tone for conservative values that can potentially attract new member to the party. He also speaks Spanish and fills in a demographic gap for the GOP. ...but watch out for: ●      Rubio is seen by the far-right as a “traitor” on immigration policy. One of his immigration policy proposals is amnesty to illegal immigrants who do not have criminal records. Liberals might see this as a positive, but considering Rubio’s right-wing approach to virtually every other issue, it’s hard to imagine anyone from the left supporting him just for this issue. Latinos do lean more socially conservative, however immigration isn’t their top priority. ●      Since running for president, Rubio has missed about one-third of his senate votes. His attendance record on the senate floor is the worst among Republicans and worse than Clinton’s and Obama’s attendance when they each ran for president. He even missed the vote on the $1.8 trillion spending bill last year. Rubio has been very outspoken about being annoyed with Washington, which begs the question: Why is he running for president? ●      The Florida senator plans on increasing military spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Rand Paul and fiscal conservatives ask the legitimate question of how he can be conservative and want to increase federal spending so dramatically. The military already soaks up 53 percent of all federal spending, and Rubio hasn’t addressed how he plans to pay for the dramatic increase. Biggest policy proposal: One of Rubio’s priorities is cutting taxes for families. You can read his full plan here. However, the major cuts especially for the wealthy raises concerns on raising the debt. Marginal Tax Rate Individuals Joint Filers 15% 0 – $75,000 0 – $150,000 25% $75,001 – $150,000 $150,001 – $300,000 35% $150,001+ $300,001+ War: Marco Rubio supports a major conventional ground war against the Islamic State in Iraq. It isn’t clear on whether he wants an invasion of Syria or not. The primaries are elections in which the parties pick their strongest candidate to run for president. In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Go here for more information on primaries. CityBeat will be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in March.
 
 
by Steve Beynon 01.19.2016 25 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Primary Cheat Sheet: Donald Trump

Donald Trump (Republican) Fun Fact: This isn’t Trump’s first time running for president. The real-estate tycoon has been gunning for the presidency for 16 years. In 2000, he was seeking the nomination for the Reform Party and qualified for the Michigan and California ballot. Trump won both states. He also used to identify as a Democrat, even going as far as contributing more than $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign What’s up with the campaign? You don’t need to be a political junkie to have heard about Donald Trump. Trump has been at the top of the Republican polls for virtually the entire election. He has been unstoppable. If this election has shown anything, it’s that Americans are tired of the establishment, politically correct culture and the pre-packaged and focus-grouped candidate that says all the right things. The 69-year-old GOP behemoth hasn’t been a darling of the party. Republicans have been very open about their desperation to get rid of Trump and a brokered convention might even be possible. This frontrunner has done an incredible job encapsulating and appealing to the anger of Americans and their frustration of the political machine. Voters might like: ●      America has grown tired of political correctness on campuses and in the political arena. Constituents want their politicians to acknowledge that terrorism and human rights abuses are prevalent in Islam and there is a cultural issue within that world. Many folks also want their politicians to use specific language and not beat around the bush with talking points. Donald Trump is brash, and that is a dose of fresh air for a lot of people. We shouldn’t underestimate how attractive unguarded rhetoric is to conservatives who feel increasingly shut out of important conversations. ●      Trump is taking a page out of the Bernie Sanders book by not taking big donations, or at least from people expecting something in return. Perhaps that’s not as impressive as the Sanders campaign, considering the huge checking account, but it is still valuable to have a candidate that isn’t a slave to special interests. He also wants to go after hedge fund managers and tax the wealthy. “The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder. They’re making a tremendous amount of money — they have to pay tax,” Trump said in an interview with CNN. If campaign finance is your issue, Trump might be one of the better Republican options. Harvard Law School professor and (sorta) ex-Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig says a President Trump could be the best thing to happen in the fight against campaign finance. Lessig even said he would consider running on Trump’s ticket as a third party. ●      Trump is a winner. It has been easy to paint him as a joke candidate, but we wouldn’t be questioning the inevitability of Jeb Bush if he had a huge lead in the national polls in the lead-up to Iowa and New Hampshire. ...But watch out for: ●      The New York billionaire has a long history of courting Democrats — even financially supporting Hillary Clinton, who still might be the Democratic nominee. Trump also donated $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 cycle as opposed to only $1,000 going to the Republican Campaign Committee in the same cycle. ●      Not only has he contributed a lot of money to the left over the years, he is arguably the most liberal of the Republican candidates. He supports progressive taxation. He thinks it’s OK for Planned Parenthood to receive federal funding so long as it doesn’t go toward abortions (how it’s currently set up). And he also opposed the invasion of Iraq. Donald Trump was also originally for an assault weapons ban, but flipped-flopped on that for the campaign. It also isn’t clear on whether or not he wants universal background checks for firearms purchases. ●      Trump too often values rhetoric over reality. The whole “I’m going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” policy point is insanity. Some of the talking points are surgical applause lines and the crazy stuff is what got him to the top of the polls. He seems too addicted to crowd support and appearing strong. Voters would be wise to be weary of how Trump might handle a catastrophe such as a major attack against the United States, a plague or economic collapse. However, it is impossible to know who the real Trump is and who the entertainer is. Biggest policy proposal: The GOP frontrunner called for a ban on all Muslim immigration into the U.S. There’s been a lot of debate on whether or not this is constitutional or if the president even has the power to close American borders to a specific group. Many legal scholars have cited the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which gives the president authority to suspend the entry of any and all aliens deemed “detrimental” to U.S. interests. Others argue that the ban would violate the First Amendment with freedom of religion and the Fifth Amendment with the right to due process. However, the rebuttal is that if immigrants never get here in the first place, they aren’t entitled to those rights. The thousands of refugees coming into in Europe and the United States is a complex issue. It’s a humanitarian issue and whether the reason they’re refugees in the first place is American foreign policy is debatable. However, there’s a reality that these people are coming from a very volatile area and the background checks are virtually useless. There have been refugees arrested in the U.S. and Europe already on charges of terror. The primaries are elections in which the parties pick their strongest candidate to run for president. In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Go here for more information on primaries. CityBeat will be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in March.
 
 
by Steve Beynon 12.23.2015 52 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 02:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Primary Cheat Sheet

Everything you need to know about the primaries

What are the primaries? They are elections in which the parties pick their strongest candidate to run for president. For instance, if you are a Republican, you will pick from your field of candidates (Trump, Rubio, Carson and so on) to challenge the Democratic candidate. When are the primaries? In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The overall election starts in February with Iowa, and each state votes at a different time. Some states don’t vote until the summer. I heard about caucuses, what are those? Ohio doesn’t have a caucus. You only need to worry about that if you live in a state like Iowa. Essentially, a caucus is a gathering of a bunch of citizens in a room, and they physically stand on each side of the room and debate which candidate to pick. All the sides of the room represent support for a single candidate. The physical number of people in on the sides of the room is counted at the end to decide to victor. Who can vote? Some states have closed primaries, meaning only official members of a political party can vote. Don’t worry about this, Ohioans — you live in an open primary state, meaning anyone can vote for any candidate. At the polls, you will be asked which party you want to vote for and given a ballot with those respective options. If you are voting for a different party than you did last election, you’ll fill out a simple form declaring party affiliation. You can of course easily change this next election. Your right to vote in a primary is not guaranteed in the law. This is why these rules vary and are dictated by parties. This also put some standard voting regulation up in the air. States like Ohio allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary so long as they turn 18 on or before the general election. What are the parties? The Democratic and Republican parties have been the meat and potatoes of American politics for centuries. You can look into the Green or Constitution Party, but the U.S. has been a two-party country since day one. When do I have to be registered? Ohioans have to be registered 30 days before primaries to participate. Let's set Valentine's Day as your deadline. CityBeat will be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in March.
 
 
by Bill Sloat 09.17.2012
 
 
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Shadowy Political Handbill on the East Side

Women for Liberty delivers sneak attack on Sherrod Brown

Over the past few days, packets of anti-Democrat political literature tucked into plastic sandwich bags were tossed into East Side driveways. Don’t assume it’s litter. Nope, it’s apparently a broadside from some bag ladies with an Indian Hill address who call themselves a “grassroots, conservative group.” They are new on the scene and bent on kicking President Barack Obama out of office, along with anybody who might possibly share his views. But they might be cheating, or tools of someone who is flouting the law. There are 16 political pieces in the plastic bags, including an ad for the anti-Obama movie You Don’t Know Him.  All but one are properly labeled with disclaimers that show who paid for each piece. For example, the Mitt Romney flier says it was paid for by the Romney campaign. The Sean Donovan for Sheriff of Hamilton County was paid for by Donovan for Sheriff. But a piece that attacks U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is a mystery — nothing identifies its source. You cannot discover who is behind it. The flier lists 10 reasons why Ohio voters should replace Democrat Brown with Republican candidate Josh Mandel. The piece concludes by saying, “This November 6, Vote for New Leadership for Ohio. Vote Josh Mandel for Senator.” The secret source of the handbill has the earmarks of a dirty trick. Laws and rules governing electioneering make it clear printed material seeking to influence voters must disclose where it came from. The mandatory disclaimer is what a person endlessly hears on TV commercials — “I’m so and so and I paid for this ad.” Print material has the same requirement — “Paid for by Save the Seahorses” or whoever is responsible. So whoever gave the conservative ladies the anti-Brown handbill for their plastic bags seems to have broken the law. Perhaps it was the coal mining industry, perhaps it was the Chinese government, perhaps it was Ayn Rand back from the dead. Without a disclaimer there is just no way to know who paid for the anti-Brown attack. You are left to guess.  All we know is that the writer didn’t have the guts to stand behind the attack. They preferred shadowy and sneaky over open and upright. The Federal Election Commission publishes the rules campaigns must follow. It says, “On printed materials, the disclaimer notice must appear within a printed box set apart from the other contents in the communication.  The print must be of a sufficient type-size to be clearly readable by the recipient of the communication, and the print must have a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement.” By the way, the group that is tossing the plastic bags into driveways calls itself Women for Liberty. There is no website for the group, although it appears to be an offshoot of another group with the same name that is based in a Washington, D.C. suburb and cites a libertarian philosophy.
 
 

Drug Test Requirement for Welfare Rejected Again

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In a move that was quickly contested by Democrats, Republicans on May 15 attempted to add another controversial policy to John Kasich’s mid-biennium budget review: drug testing for welfare recipients.   

Media Help Reveal the ‘True’ Ron Paul

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Dwelling on any presidential aspirant’s personal history, proposals and promises invites accusations of bias that mainstream news media fear most. That might explain reluctance to hammer Ron Paul for views he espouses now or previously published.    

Don't Fool Yourself, the Economic Game is Rigged

4 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The latest findings of the U.S. Census show the gap between the richest and poorest Americans is at its widest since records tracking household income have been kept, and is the highest among all industrialized Western nations. As reported by the Associated Press and others, the top 20 percent of Americans (those earning above $100,000 annually) received almost 50 percent of total income.  

Turning Blue

How Democrats are taking back Ohio

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
With Ohio’s 20 electoral votes — more than Nevada, Utah and Colorado combined — presidential candidates work hard to win over the state’s modest, workman-like and pragmatic voters. Last year both presidential campaigns spent so much time here their team could probably order at Skyline Chili without even glancing at the menu.  

City Council's Bait and Switch

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 11, 2009
It’s a sorry fact that political party leaders in Hamilton County like to undermine voters when it suits their own interests, but now some Cincinnati City Council members are jumping on that bandwagon. People who follow local politics remember the odious deal struck last year between the local Democratic and Republican parties regarding the two separate Hamilton County Commission races.  

A Look Back at the Year's Irritations, Blusters and Coincidences

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wrapping up my first full year of writing a weekly opinion and analysis column, I’ve come to appreciate the absurdity of politics in a way I couldn’t fully fathom as a news reporter. Oh, sure, I’ve always realized that politics — both locally and nationally — really represents the human drama in microcosm, with all of the assorted hopes, fears, foibles and quirks that go along with it  

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