by Steve Beynon
21 days ago
The battle for Iowa and New
Hampshire kicked into high gear at Thursday’s Republican debate, featuring a
smaller cast of candidates. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz,
John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush took the stage and engaged in one of
the debate’s bloodiest battles as the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus looms.
Yes, this election starts in two
Bromance Between Trump and Cruz Is Over
Some of the debate’s most
electrifying moments are when these two went head-to-head exchanging blows to
win over the Iowa’s Republican base. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas came out on top in
this battle, towering over a seemingly desperate Donald Trump. However, polls
indicate Trump might still win the war for the early primary states.
The Texas senator’s citizenship has
been in question lately, however this is more of an attempt to resurrect the
birther movement than any real questioning of the Constitution. Let's not forget
Trump was a major player in the birther movement against President Obama.
Section 1 of Article Two of the U.S.
“No Person except a natural born Citizen,
or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this
Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any
Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of
thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United
Cruz was a Canadian citizen born to an American mother and
most interpretations would consider him “natural born.” However, there are some
arguments against Cruz’s eligibility. The Constitution does not clearly define
what natural born is.
Trump started using this against the Texas senator once he
started gaining in early states, positioning himself as a heavyweight. However,
to clear the air, the Fox Business moderators started the citizenship topic.
This virtually cleared the stage; the only thing that mattered was Trump and
“You know, back in September, my friend Donald said that
he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way, and there was no
issue there,” Cruz said referring to his Canadian birth. "There was
nothing to this birther issue … Now, since September, the Constitution hasn't
When Trump was asked by a moderator why he was bringing up
the citizenship issue now, Trump fired back with the kind of honesty we seldom
get: “Because now he's going a little bit better [in polls]. No, I didn't care.
Hey look, he never had a chance. Now, he's doing better. He's got probably a
four- or five-percent chance.”
The Texas senator continued his fire against the
real-estate giant, saying he “embodies New York values,” suggesting Iowa and New
Hampshire voters should think twice about the billionaire’s roots.
“Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan,” Sen.
Cruz said. He has also suggested Donald Trump is a New York liberal pretending to have
Trump defended his hometown, reaching for a very cringe-worthy use of 9/11.
"We took a big hit with the World Trade Center —
worst thing ever, worst attack ever in the United States, worse than Pearl
Harbor because they attacked civilians," Trump said. "They attacked
people having breakfast. And, frankly, if you would've been there, and if you would've
lived through that like I did with New York people — the way they handled that
attack was one of the most incredible things that anybody has ever seen."
While the bromance might be over going into Iowa, both
candidates suggested they might pick the other one to be their vice president
if they take the White House. Perhaps a Cruz/Trump is on the table for the
Sen. Rand Paul Goes Down Honorably
The Kentucky senator didn’t qualify for the main stage
debate. However, he was invited to the undercard debate along with Carly
Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Rand Paul refused to be seen as a
second-tier candidate and didn’t show up to the lesser debate only to share a
stage with reject candidates.
Sen. Paul hasn’t dropped out, but you might have had a
better chance of winning the Powerball than getting a President Rand Paul.
This didn’t stop Paul’s fangirls from showing up in the
chanting “WE WANT RAND!” in the
middle of the main debate.
Instead, The Daily Show was kind enough to offer the
senator his very own “Singles Night” debate. Host Trevor Noah and
Sen. Paul drank bourbon for 20 minutes and talked policy.
You can read CityBeat’s profile of Sen. Rand Paul here.
Dr. Ben Carson Is Over
When asked his first question on Thursday night, Carson
responded, "I was going to ask you to wake me up," which might have
been funny if he wasn’t the candidate known for looking like he is sleeping all
The famous neurosurgeon has been an oddity this entire
race. I covered Carson’s visit to Cincinnati last year and even had the
privilege of meeting him. However, something felt off about him.
I’m less referring to the man’s politics and more about
his mode of thinking. His arguments are typically muddled, and myself and most
others covering this election are commonly left scratching our heads wondering
what exactly Carson is talking about.
His supporters at the rally weren’t attracted to any
specific policies of Carson’s, but literally everyone I interviewed said the
same thing: They liked that he wasn’t a politician.
Wanting someone who isn’t a politician is attractive, but
sometimes you need a politician to do politician things: like make a good case
for why they should be president. Donald Trump isn’t a politician, but he is an
excellent communicator and doesn’t fall asleep during debate.
Carson’s campaign has been a disaster. He was a GOP star
for part of the summer, but his own staff says he’s difficult to work with and the brain surgeon has had issues
with senior-level staff leaving.
During the debate, Carson described an ominous string of
threats and fantasized a doomsday scenario of terrorists detonating a nuclear
bomb, eliminating our power grid, setting off dirty bombs and unleashing ground
attacks in the streets.
While that sounds like a plot to a Michael Bay movie, that
scenario is technically possible but sounds a little off-the-rails. Perhaps
doomsday scenarios should be debated in the Pentagon, not a mainstream debate.
“The fact of the matter is, [Obama] doesn't realize that we now live in
the 21st century, and that war is very different than it used to be before,”
Carson said. “Not armies, massively marching on each other and air forces, but
now we have dirty bombs and we have cyber attacks and we have people who will
be attacking our electrical grid.”
Carson might have had his 15 minutes of fame, and his
polling has been in free-fall since the Paris attacks. This candidate isn’t
just weak on foreign affairs — he is quickly losing relevance and will fade into
Where is Sen. Marco Rubio?
Marco Rubio has virtually forgotten he is a senator of Florida and debate viewers may have forgotten he
was a contender.
Rubio wasn’t talking policy and was largely overshadowed
by the boxing match between Cruz and Trump. However, the junior senator tried
to bring attention his way with attacking Obama.
“I hate to interrupt
this episode of Court TV. But I think we have to get back to what this election
has to be about. OK? Listen, this is the greatest country in the history of
mankind. But in 2008, we elected a president that didn’t want to fix America.
He wants to change America. We elected a president that doesn’t believe in the
Constitution. He undermines it. We elected a president that is weakening
America on the global stage. We elected a president that doesn’t believe in the
free enterprise system.”
the debate came to its conclusion, Rubio engaged his competition on tax plans.
As both Cruz and Rubio got lost in the weeds, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
reminded the senators the topic was about entitlements.
Rubio said he would be happy to talk about entitlements.
already had your chance Marco,” Christie responded. “You blew it.”
Florida senator had a quick rise in the fall, but has lost all of the polling
support he gained. He is almost back where he was at the end of the summer
coming in at a distant third with 12 percent average among national polling.
Poised to repeat as a coveted swing state in 2016, national political conventions target Ohio
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The 2016 election
will almost certainly be a knock-down, drag-out fight between Democrats
looking to maintain the presidency and the GOP, which now controls both
houses of Congress.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 12, 2014
President Obama now appears as a pariah, a
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Republican state officials on Feb. 21
signed off on various controversial election measures.
by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 09:44 AM | Permalink
Parking plan targets budget, GOP could restrict early voting, e-cigarette bill advances
Mayor John Cranley says his parking plan intends to
alleviate Cincinnati’s ongoing budget woes by increasing parking
revenue, but the plan will need approval from a majority of City Council
to become law. The plan wouldn’t increase parking meter
rates downtown, but it would increase neighborhood rates by 25 cents to
75 cents an hour. The plan would also increase enforcement at parking
meters, which could lead to more tickets, and extend enforcement hours
to 9 p.m. around the University of Cincinnati, Short Vine in Corryville,
Over-the-Rhine and downtown. But the plan would not give control of the city’s parking meter rates and hours to outside entities, like
the parking privatization plan did. Cranley plans to send the proposal
to the Neighborhood Committee, with a full council vote possible in two
weeks.An Ohio House committee yesterday cleared a pair of
controversial election bills that would reduce the state’s early voting
period by one week — effectively eliminating a “Golden Week” in which
voters can register and vote at the same time — and restrict counties’
abilities to mail out absentee ballot applications. The bills wouldn’t
go into effect until after the May 6 primary. Democrats say the bills
are blatant attempts at voter suppression, but Republicans, some of whom
acknowledge they politically benefit from reduced access to voting,
say the reform is necessary to eliminate voting disparities between
urban and rural counties. The bills still need approval from the
Republican-controlled Ohio House and Republican Gov. John Kasich to
become law.A bill placing age requirements on electronic cigarettes
yesterday passed an Ohio Senate committee. Critics of the bill argue it
doesn’t go far enough because it puts e-cigarettes in a different
category than tobacco, which exempts e-cigarettes from higher taxes and
stricter regulations even though they contain addictive substances and
potential health risks. Kasich and the rest of the legislature need to OK the proposal before it becomes law.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center reopened
three school-based health clinics closed after Neighborhood Health
Care’s abrupt shutdown.A poll worker in Avondale allegedly voted twice, according to the Hamilton County Board of Elections.The Ohio Department of Education plans to increase the
number of weeks schools can administer state tests to alleviate time
concerns brought on by excessive snow days.Meanwhile, the Ohio House plans to vote on a bill that would let schools take on more snow days this year.A Christian university located south of Columbus gets public dollars to teach “biblical truth,” an Akron Beacon Journal investigation found. And the school’s president and lobbyist just happen to sit on the Ohio Board of Education.NBC correspondent Tom Brokaw revealed he has cancer.RoboCop isn’t that far off from reality.Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy • News: @CityBeat_News • Music: @CityBeatMusic • German Lopez: @germanrlopezGot any news tips? Email them to email@example.com.
by German Lopez
Medical marijuana effort underway, MSD battle continues, FitzGerald challenger questioned
The Ohio Rights Group could get medical marijuana
legalization on the ballot this November, but the group first must gather enough petition signatures. Although the campaign has
medical research and polling in its favor, it’s also struggled to raise a
significant amount of cash to support a statewide campaign. At the same
time, many entrepreneurs see the legalization of medical marijuana as
inevitable; over the past weekend, Comfy Tree Cannabis Collective held a
seminar to advise potential businesses on the inner workings of selling
legalized marijuana.Commentary: “Budget Promises Spur Fears of Cuts.”Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel says the county
is willing to go to court to fight Cincinnati’s “responsible bidder”
rules for Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) projects. The county says
the rules are illegal, burden businesses and favor unions. But city officials, particularly
Councilman Chris Seelbach, says the rules help train workers and create
local jobs. The rules impose stricter job training requirements on MSD
contractors and require them to fund pre-apprenticeship programs that
would help train new workers in different crafts.Larry Ealy, a Dayton-area man, could challenge
gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald in a Democratic primary, but the
chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party cautions that Ealy
consistently fails to gather enough signatures for his election bids. In
the past, Ealy attempted to run for various offices in Dayton.City officials and the Cincinnati Public Schools Board plan to
announce a new collaboration today. The initiative intends to align and
better implement the city and school district’s shared policy goals.
“We want to establish the framework and make sure the right culture is
there,” Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who announced the collaboration,
previously told CityBeat. “Then people can do what elected officials are supposed to do: roll up your sleeves and come up with smart, viable policies.”Following the demolition of the University of Cincinnati’s
Wilson Auditorium, it’s unclear what, if anything, will replace the
building.The Ohio Supreme Court reminds state judges that the conditions for jailing people over unpaid fines are limited.As people turned up the heat to deal with the polar vortex, they also drove gas prices — and future bills — up.LED lights make cities look cooler on camera.A new mind-controlled robotic hand comes with a sense of touch.Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy • News: @CityBeat_News • Music: @CityBeatMusic • German Lopez: @germanrlopezGot any news tips? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
by German Lopez
Mayor targets joblessness, early voting might stay downtown, Kasich could veto fracking tax
Mayor John Cranley plans to address long-term unemployment
in Cincinnati with several new initiatives, some of which could get
support from the White House, he told CityBeat yesterday. According to Cranley, the idea is to end employer discrimination against the
long-term unemployed or land the long-term unemployed into jobs to end
the job-crippling gap in their resumes. Cranley’s push against long-term
unemployment comes in preparation of his visit today to the White
House, which is looking for different ways to tackle the sluggish
economy without going through a gridlocked Congress.
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said it would be “logical”
to keep an early voting location downtown even if the Hamilton County
Board of Elections moves its offices to Mount Airy. Husted’s comments
imply local Republicans are alone in their effort to move early
voting to a new Mount Airy location, where only one bus line runs.
Democrats oppose the move because it would limit voting access for
people who rely on public transportation. But local Republicans claim
free parking at the facility would outweigh the lack of bus access. As
the secretary of state, Husted could break the board’s
tie vote over the issue and make the final decision on where its
offices and early voting end up.Gov. John Kasich threatened to veto a “puny” oil and gas
tax, casting doubts on the current proposal in the Ohio legislature. The
debate has put Kasich and his fellow Republicans in the General
Assembly at odds as the state undergoes a bit of an oil and gas boom
because of fracking, a drilling technique that pumps millions of gallons
of water, sand and chemicals underground to unlock oil and gas reserves.
Kasich has been pushing to reform and increase the severance tax for
the state’s oil and gas producers. But Republican legislators have
largely resisted Kasich’s call to action, instead pushing a proposal
that increases the severance tax by much less than what the governor
proposed two years ago. In both Kasich and legislators’ proposals, the
raised revenue would be used for an income tax cut.
A Hamilton County judge should decide today whether a
local abortion clinic can remain open while it fights a state-ordered
shutdown.This year’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program will target
Walnut Hills and East Price Hill. The program aims to address a number
of issues, including the number of calls to police, building code
violations, vacant buildings, drug arrests, graffiti, junk cars, litter
and weeds.Cincinnati officials won an award for how the local budget
is presented and communicated, even though it’s still not structurally
balanced.The Ohio Statehouse welcomes weddings and receptions
except for gay couples, who can’t get the Ohio marriage
certificate required to hold a ceremony at the location.The Feb. 4 debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Creation
Museum Founder Ken Ham over evolution and biblical creationism will
stream live at The Cincinnati Enquirer. Evolution is taken as fact in the scientific world, but creationists deny its truth despite the clear, overwhelming evidence.A school bus driver might have saved two children by yelling at them to get out of the way during a crash.Scientists might have discovered a potential cure for peanut allergies.Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy • News: @CityBeat_News • Music: @CityBeatMusic • German Lopez: @germanrlopez
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The Republican-controlled Ohio House on Jan. 22 approved a bill
that would allow school boards to designate some school employees to
carry concealed firearms.
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The Hamilton County Board of Elections on
Jan. 27 split along party lines over whether the board should move its
offices and early voting from downtown to Mount Airy.
by German Lopez
Democrats and Republicans clash on moving elections offices to Mount Airy
The Hamilton County Board of Elections on Monday split
along party lines over whether the board should move its offices and
early voting from downtown, Cincinnati’s urban core, to Mount Airy, where only
one bus line runs.
The two Democrats on the board dispute the move. They claim the move would make voting less accessible to voters who rely on
public transportation to make it to the ballot box.
Republicans on the board argue the move would make voting
more accessible to suburban voters and provide free parking that’s
scarcely available at the current downtown offices. They call the move
“good government” because it would consolidate some county services at
Mount Airy, where county officials plan to build a crime lab as long as
the Board of Elections moves with the coroner’s office and provides the
critical mass necessary to financially justify renovations at a former
Republicans cautioned their proposed motion would keep
early voting downtown through the 2016 presidential elections. After that, the
board’s offices would move, along with early voting.
Ohio’s secretary of state — Republican Jon Husted — normally
breaks tie votes on county boards of elections. The secretary of state’s office claims Husted will remain undecided on the issue until he reviews documents from the Board of Elections explaining both sides of the tie vote. But spokesperson Matt McClellan says Husted would like to see the Board of Elections reach a compromise before he is forced to intervene.The board’s vote followed a contentious back-and-forth
between public speakers and board members regarding the looming
decision. Most speakers spoke against the move and labeled it “voter
suppression.” Some dissenters supported the move for its fiscal
Alex Triantafilou, a Republican on the Board of Elections,
accused Democrats of “playing politics” with the move. He claims
Democrats just want to keep early voting in a Democratic stronghold like
downtown.Democrats Tim Burke and Caleb Faux countered that, along the same lines, the Mount Airy facility would benefit Republicans by making early voting more accessible to Republican-leaning suburban voters and less accessible to Democrat-leaning urban voters.
State Rep. Alicia Reece, a local Democrat who spoke at the meeting, rebuked accusations of partisan politics and reiterated an argument she made to reporters on Thursday.
“The reality is the Board of Elections at its current
location has declared both Democrat and Republican winners of
elections,” Reece previously said. “I think the focus is to just make
sure that we have a facility that everyone can have access to, whether
you’re driving or whether you’re on the bus.”
Mayor John Cranley, a Democrat, on Thursday offered free
space at the Shillito’s building in an attempt to keep early voting
But Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Republican, told CityBeat
the offer is not enough to satisfy the county’s occupancy needs at Mount Airy, even if the city
moves some police services, such as SWAT operations, to the Mount Airy
facility to help fill out the 500,000 square foot building.
“Without the Board of Elections coming with the crime lab,
that’s not enough occupancy,” Hartmann said. “There would be some good
potential co-location opportunities with the city (at the Mount Airy
facility), but not enough to take up 400,000 square feet.”
County officials expect the crime lab to take up 100,000
square feet at the Mount Airy facility, and the Board of Elections would
occupy another 100,000 square feet. So the county needs to fill 300,000
square feet to fully utilize the Mount Airy facility, even if the Board
of Elections moves.This story was updated with comments from the secretary of state’s office.