by Steve Beynon
121 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election
at 01:37 PM | Permalink
Don’t think your vote counts? The first office Sanders held
was mayor of Burlington, Vt., and he won the election by 10 votes in 1981. That
small margin of victory led this Jewish politician on a course to the Senate
and the race for the presidency.
with the campaign?
Bernie Sanders is one of two Independent senators serving in
Congress. However, he caucuses with Democrats and is largely considered the most liberal member of
the Senate. The Vermont senator is running a
populist campaign and focuses on domestic economics, often pointing to the
growing wealth of America’s elite while the middle-class shrinks as a “moral
The self-described Democratic Socialist fills
convention centers with crowds and is very
popular amongst the college crowd and to those on the left that are frustrated
with the Democratic party’s move to the center over the last couple of decades.
Some criticize Sanders’ major proposals such as single-payer
health care, free public college, a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure
and social security expansion as “radical.” Even the 74-year-old senator admitted
that taxes would have to raised on people beyond America’s wealthiest one
percent. Critics point to the failed
initiative in Vermont to establish a “Medicare for all” plan mostly
because the effort would have eaten the state’s entire budget.
While Sanders sometimes beats Hillary Clinton in New
Hampshire polls, he has been behind her for almost the entire campaign.
However, he has raised more
money than the Republicans. The Sanders
campaign also recently announced he has more donations
from females than Clinton and more than two
million contributions, a fundraising
record for American politics.
One of the campaign’s flagship ideals is not taking big
donations, or funds from corporations. The maximum legal contribution is
$2,700. Sanders hasn’t sought money
from wealthy liberals, despite support.
the college crowd being saddled with an average $28,000 of debt and working for
Ohio’s $8.10 minimum wage only to live in their parent’s basement, it’s easy to
understand why they’ve been taken by Sanders’ rhetoric of a fair economy.
has been serving in government since 1980, which arguably gives him the most
padded resume of the bunch.
like a winner, and this senator has gathered
the largest crowds in the primaries. The Washington Post reported 27,500
people came to see him speak in Los Angeles. He has gathered similar sized
crowds in Boston, Cleveland and Little Rock, Ark.
term “socialist” still scares people. Sanders has been pushing hard to
communicate his definition of “Democratic Socialism,” often invoking
FDR and Eisenhower.
anti-gun advocates say the Independent from Vermont is weak on guns due to a
vote allowing firearms in checked bags on AMTRAK. He also voted against making
gun manufacturers legally accountable for crimes committed with their
Sanders campaign has been fighting against Hillary Clinton’s “inevitability.”
His proposals are popular on the left, but drive the
right crazy. He is often framed as “the cool
guy who won’t win anyway.”
policy proposal: The College for
all Act of 2015 was proposed to committee May
19, 2015 and aims to make four-year public universities tuition-free. His plan outlines a 0.5-percent tax
increase on stock trades, 0.1 percent on bonds and 0.005 percent on derivatives
to pay for it.
voted against the war in Iraq but is very vocal about the Islamic State being a
major threat. He wants to maintain President Obama’s aggressive air campaign
and Special Operations’ ground missions.
However, Sen. Sanders wants bordering Muslim countries to
lead the fight and opposes utilizing
conventional U.S. ground troops,
saying, “It is worth remembering that Saudi Arabia, for example, is a nation
controlled by one of the wealthiest families in the world and has the fourth
largest military budget of any nation. This is a war for the soul of Islam and
the Muslim nations must become more heavily engaged.”
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
129 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election
at 02:47 PM | Permalink
Everything you need to know about the primaries
What are the
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
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.
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.
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
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
What are the
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.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
In Ohio, presidential candidates have beefed up on
everyone’s favorite kind of television commercial: political ads.
Between April and September 2008, Ohio political ads totaled 43,827;
during that same period in 2012, that number has more than doubled:
114,840. CINCINNATI -1
by German Lopez
Cincinnati plans to avoid a streetcar delay. Despite what the city told CityBeat Monday, it seems the delay was due to the ongoing conflict with Duke
Energy, and the city wants to put an end to it. City officials
are seeking to set aside $15 million from the recent sale of the Blue
Ash Airport to ensure the streetcar stays on track by initially paying
for moving utility lines and pipes to accommodate for the streetcar. The
money is expected to be recovered once issues with Duke Energy are
settled. Expect more details on this story from CityBeat this afternoon. CityBeat previously covered the connections between the Blue Ash Airport sale and streetcar here.
Cincinnati’s economic recovery is coming along. In August,
Greater Cincinnati home sales hit a five-year high. The 2,438 homes
sold were a nearly 16 percent increase from August 2011.Voters First is suing the Ohio Republican Party for what the organization says are false claims over Issue 2. The complaint, filed to the Ohio
Elections Commission Tuesday, points out three allegedly false
accusations about the redistricting amendment. A hearing on the complaint is today. Also, it seems Ronald Reagan, who modern Republicans claim to greatly admire, would have supported Issue 2:
Natalie Portman was in Cincinnati yesterday. She talked
about her support for President Barack Obama’s reelection and women’s
issues. She did not mention the awful Star Wars prequels that ruined childhoods. Other speakers attended as well, and they all echoed the message
of Obama being better for women voters.Kroger recalled bags of fresh spinach in 15 states,
including Ohio, yesterday. The spinach, which was supplied by NewStar
Fresh Foods LLC, may hold listeria monocytogenes, which could make a
pregnant woman or anyone with a weakened immune system very sick. The
specific product was a Kroger Fresh Selections Tender Spinach 10-ounce
bag that had a “best if used by” date of Sept. 16 and the UPC code
0001111091649.More than 450 apartments are being planned for downtown West Chester. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) is
looking for advice. Every four years, the department hosts the Child
Support Guidelines Advisory Council, which revises the state child
support program, and gets citizen feedback on how the program can
improve. The public meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Oct. 19 at the former
Lazarus Building at 50 W. Town Street in Columbus. The council will
report its findings and conclusions to the Ohio General Assembly in
March 2013.An underused plane at the could save the Ohio Department of Transportation $3 million, a new state audit found.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is reaching out to
victims of fracking. With a new program, it will provide legal and other
protections for individuals, communities and governments affected by
Despite tensions between former Obama chief of staff and
now-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama can still count on Ohio teachers for
Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are
planning an Ohio bus tour next week. The state is considered a must-win
for Romney, but recent aggregate polling puts him in a fairly grim
position with less than two months to Election Day.How do nuclear explosions affect beer? The U.S. government apparently found out.
by German Lopez
GOP mailer allegedly misrepresents redistricting amendment
Voters First Ohio is not letting Republicans get away with
any dishonesty on Issue 2. In a complaint filed to the Ohio Elections
Commission yesterday, the pro-redistricting reform group claimed a
recent mailer from Republicans contained three incorrect statements.
“In an effort to affect the outcome of the election and
defeat State Issue 2, Republicans have knowingly, or with reckless
disregard of the truth, made false statements in printed campaign
material disseminated to registered voters,” the complaint said.
If approved by voters in November, Issue 2 will place the
responsibility of redistricting in the hands of an independent citizens
commission. Currently, politicians handle the process, which they use to
redraw district boundaries in politically advantageous ways in a
process known as “gerrymandering.” Ohio’s First Congressional District,
which includes Cincinnati, was redrawn by the Republican-controlled
process to include Warren County, which contains more rural voters that
tend to vote Republican, and less of Cincinnati, which contains more
urban voters that tend to vote Democrat.
The Voters First complaint outlines three allegedly false statements
made by the Republican mailer. The first claim is “Some of the members
will be chosen in secret.” As the complaint points out, this is false.
The redistricting amendment on the November ballot will require nine of
twelve members to be chosen in public, and then those nine members will
pick the three final members. All of this has to be done in the public
eye, according to the amendment: “All meetings of the Commission shall
be open to the public.”
The second disputed claim is that
the amendment will provide a “blank check to spend our money” for the
commission. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled against that claim on Sept. 12
when it ruled against Secretary of State Jon Husted’s proposed ballot
language for Issue 2: “The actual text of the proposed amendment does
not state that the redistricting amendment would have — as the ballot
board’s language indicates — a blank check for all funds as determined
by the commission.”
The mailer also claims that, in the redistricting
amendment, “There’s no process for removing these bureaucrats, even if
they commit a felony.” But the amendment says commissioners must be
electors, and when an elector is convicted of a felony, that status is
lost. The complaint says commissioners can also be removed “by a judge
under a petition process that applies to public officials generally for
exercising power not authorized by law, refusing or neglecting to
perform a duty imposed by law, gross neglect of duty, gross immorality,
drunkenness, misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance.”
The Ohio Elections Commission will take up the complaint Thursday morning. The full complaint can be read here.
Matthew Henderson, spokesperson for the Ohio Republican
Party, called the complaint a "distraction”: “It’s a cheap shot. It’s up
to the Ohio Elections Commission, and they’ll likely throw it out. It’s
essentially a distraction from the real issues. The bottom line is that
Issue 2 is going to create a panel of unelected, unaccountable
bureaucrats, and they’ll have influence over our elections.”
He added, “Ohio voters will be able to decide for themselves this fall whether they want to pay for these commissioners or not.”
When pressed about whether or not the Ohio Republican
Party is sticking to the claims found in the mailer, he said that’s up to the
Ohio Elections Commission to decide.
It is true the independent citizens commission created by
Voters First is unelected, but that’s the entire point. The current
problem with the system, as argued by Voters First, is elected officials
are too vested in reelection to place the district boundary needs of the
public above electoral needs. That’s why districts like Ohio’s First
Congressional District are redrawn in a way that includes Cincinnati and
Warren County — two regions that are vastly different.
CityBeat previously covered the redistricting issue
when Husted’s ballot language lost in court and when We Are Ohio threw
its support behind Voters First.While current Republicans oppose redistricting reform in Ohio, some Republicans of the past advocated for it. Ronald Reagan was one such advocate:
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Ohioans will choose whether or not to
pass redistricting amendment Issue 2 in November, and the Ohio Supreme
Court says Secretary of State Jon Husted needs to make the ballot
language more clear for voters. In a bit of a surprise, the Ohio Supreme
Court on Sept. 12 ruled against Husted’s ballot language, stating that it
contained “material omissions and factual inaccuracies.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Ohio Voters First
campaign for Issue 2 has shined some
light into how Ohio’s district boundaries are redrawn. In a new graph,
the campaign revealed that getting a business added to a district
is sometimes as simple as asking for a favor.
by German Lopez
Boehner staffer got request filled in 13 minutes, no questions asked
The Ohio Voters First campaign for Issue 2 has shined some
light into how Ohio’s district boundaries are redrawn. In a new graph, the campaign revealed that getting a business added to a district
is sometimes as simple as asking for a favor.
Just a day before the approval of Ohio’s new district
maps, Tom Whatman, a Boehner staffer, sent an email to Adam Kincaid, a
staffer for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and others in charge of redistricting. In the
back-and-forth, Whatman asks for a “small carve out” to include a
manufacturing business in the congressional district for Rep. Jim
Renacci, a Republican who has received support from the business in the
past. Before 13 minutes had passed, Kincaid replied to Whatman, securing
the change with no questions asked.
“Thanks guys,” Whatman replied. “Very important to someone important to us all.”
The Voters First graph, which mocks the 13-minute exchange
with the title “Jim Renacci: The 13 Minute Man,” can be found here. The
full emails, which were released by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable
Redistricting in a Dec. 2011 report, can be seen online here.Jim Slagle, who served as manager for the Ohio Campaign
for Accountable Redistricting, says the emails are indicative of a
redistricting process that is controlled entirely by “political
insiders.” Slagle says the interests of the people come second to politics under the current system.
If Issue 2 is approved by voters this November, the
redistricting process will be placed in the hands of an independent
citizens commission. Under the current system, the state government is
tasked with redrawing district boundaries every 10 years. Republicans have controlled
the process four out of six times since 1967, which is when the process
was first enacted into law. The political party in charge typically redraws
districts in a politically favorable manner in a process known as
“gerrymandering.”On Saturday, Rep. Steve Chabot, who represents Cincinnati
in the U.S. House of Representatives, told supporters to vote against
Issue 2. Chabot is enormously benefiting off the current redistricting
process. Cincinnati’s district was redrawn to include Warren County,
which has more rural voters that typically vote Republican, and less of
Cincinnati, which has more urban voters that typically vote Democrat. The
shift to less urban voters is emphasized in this graph by MapGrapher:
by German Lopez
Voters First is suing to get the original language
restored on its redistricting amendment, which will appear on the November ballot as Issue 2. The organization succeeded in
gathering enough signatures for its ballot initiative by July 28, but
the Republican-led Ballot Board, which is chaired by Ohio Secretary of
State Jon Husted, changed the language in a way that makes the amendment
less specific and more confusing, according to Voters First. If the
amendment is approved by voters, the amendment will make it so the
redrawing of district borders is handled by an independent citizens
commission, instead of the committee of politicians that handle the
issue every 10 years under the current system. CityBeat previously
covered the issue here. In Cincinnati, redistricting placed Warren
County in the city’s district, leading to less emphasis on urban votes,
according to MapGrapher:
The Cincinnati Enquirer has some speculation as to
why University of Cincinnati President Greg Williams recently resigned.
Apparently, Williams did not get along with the Board of Trustees.A state grant is helping out LGBT homeless youth in
Cincinnati. The grant, a total of $275,000, will go to Lighthouse Youth
Services. The organization will put the money in its Lighthouse
on Highland facility in Clifton, which provides street outreach, indoor
and overnight services.
The federal government will provide aid to 75 Southwest
Ohio medical practices. The program could bring $10 million in Medicare
funds every year to the area. With the extra money, medical practices
are expected to provide additional services.Miami University suspended two fraternities after a
fireworks battle led to the discovery of a large cache of illegal drugs.
That sounds about right for a top 10 party school.Ohio courts are conflicted on whether or not they can
divorce same-sex couples. Under current law, same-sex marriage has no
legal force in Ohio, but some judges think there’s enough room to allow
divorcing same-sex couples who got married outside the state.A new poll indicates Mitt Romney had no bounce in Ohio due to his pick of Paul Ryan as vice president, and President Barack Obama
continues to lead by six points. Meanwhile, the senate race has
slightly tightened, although Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, still leads
challenger Josh Mandel, a Republican, by seven points. Aggregate
polling has both the presidential race and senate race a bit closer,
however.The Ohio Republican Party is sending quite a few members
to the Republican Party’s national convention. National conventions are
when political parties announce presidential candidates and platforms.Mother Jones debunked six myths about the U.S. education
system. In short, the system has improved in the past few decades,
especially in elementary and middle school, but high school education
needs some help.New research shows that race does alter court sentences,
but incarceration rates vary from judge to judge. On average, black
defendants face an incarceration rate of 51 percent, while white
defendants face an incarceration rate of 38 percent. That’s a 13-point
gap, which researchers said is “substantial.”Soon, people will be able to 3-D print guns at home.
by German Lopez
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Monday that Ohio Voters First has gathered enough petitions for its redistricting amendment, and the amendment will appear on the Ohio ballot. If the amendment is approved by voters, redistricting will be taken up by an independent commission without politicians and lobbyists. If it is not successful, then state officials and politicians will continue drawing district boundaries. CityBeat has previously covered the redistricting issue and how redistricting has been abused by politicians in a process known as “gerrymandering.” Cincinnati’s district was redrawn by the Republican-controlled committee to include Warren County, giving an edge to Republicans in the district.Music Hall’s renovation is likely to see another delay. The conflict has been ongoing as Mayor Mark Mallory refuses to transfer ownership of Music Hall from the city to the nonprofit group doing the renovations.Four Greater Cincinnati colleges appeared in Forbes’s top college list. The University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University ranked toward the bottom of the list, and Miami University and Xavier University ranked closer to the top.The city of Cincinnati is considering letting Blue Ash rescind the purchase of the Blue Ash Airport to strike a new agreement. The move would free up $11 million for the streetcar and $26 million for other municipal projects. Lincoln Educational Services is closing down branches around Cincinnati. Oh well. For-profit colleges are a rip-off.A program to rebuild infrastructure at Ohio schools is about halfway done. The program started in 1997 and was originally supposed to finish in 2012, but rising construction costs, school funding problems and the bad economic climate held the project down. The program seems to be picking up again, however. Ohio Democrats are upset Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan Heffner is getting away without criminal charges after abusing his position and potentially breaking the law.Another study has found a correlation between earthquakes and wastewater injection wells, which are used to dispose of wastewater produced during fracking. The study does not draw a direct link, but study author Cliff Frohlich of the University of Texas at Austin says it’s possible the injection of water could trigger earthquakes if a nearby fault is “experiencing tectonic stress.” Earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio, around New Year’s Eve were linked to wastewater injection wells.Transgender people are now protected under Obamacare. The U.S. Department of Human Health and Services now considers discrimination based on “gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity” to be illegal, according to a memo obtained by BuzzFeed from the agency. With these new rules, companies obtaining federal funds will no longer be able to discriminate against transgender people.The U.S. government is still making money back from the bank bail-out.Apparently, those junk-mail checks can actually be worth something. For one man, one of the checks ended up being worth $95,093.35.A new solution to climate change: artificial floating islands.