What should I be doing instead of this?
 
 
by Steve Beynon 04.08.2016 47 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Rumble for Democratic Nomination (Mostly) a Clean Fight

Until recently, the most heated the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination got consisted of disagreements with campaign finance and fighting over the word “progressive.” For the past year, Democrats have prided themselves with debating issues and not mangling each other like the Republicans. However, the battle over the April 19 New York primaries have added a new layer of tension to the campaigns. The Empire State is Clinton territory — serving as one of the state’s senators from 2001 - 2009. But the Sanders campaign has launched a full assault, gathering an army of mostly young volunteers and holding massive rallies in Clinton’s backyard — aiming for a major upset. Clinton still leads the insurgent campaign, according to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, but nowhere near the 40 points she was leading by in the same poll conducted in June. The Democratic frontrunner’s New York support has been bleeding for months. While a loss in New York would not spell doom for the former secretary of state, it would be a massive moral loss. The delegate gain and upset would likely propel Sanders unlike any of his other victories in this election. The Vermont senator needs 56 percent of the remaining delegates to topple Clinton. However, that does not take superdelegates into account  — which Clinton has a virtual monopoly on. Clinton lashed out against Sanders’ qualifications for the presidency, suggesting he may not be ready for the Oval Office while echoing some of her rhetoric in the past, labeling the Vermont senator as a one-issue candidate. “He’s been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hasn't studied or understood,” Clinton said in an interview on Morning Joe. “What he has been saying about the core issue in his whole campaign doesn’t seem to be rooted in an understanding of either the law or the practical ways you get something done.” While addressing supporters in Philadelphia, Sanders came back swinging in an unprecedented move. “We have won seven out of eight of the recent primaries and caucuses, and she has been saying lately that I may be ‘not qualified’ to be president. Well, let me just say in response to secretary Clinton. I don’t believe she is qualified if she is through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest funds,” Sanders said. This is the first time either Democratic candidate has suggested their challenger is “unqualified,” a phrase that caught a lot of media attention and folks questioning if Sanders is keeping true to his original promise of not being negative. “I don’t think you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street with your super PAC. I don’t think you're qualified if you voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you supported virtually every disastrous free trade agreement that have cost us millions of decent paying jobs.” Sanders added. Clinton expressed her puzzlement over Sanders’ statement, saying, “I don’t know why he’s saying that, but I will take Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz anytime." Ask virtually any Bernie Sanders supporter and one of the most respectful qualities they see in the Vermont senator is he has never ran a negative ad over the course of three decades in the political arena — despite losing about half-a-dozen elections over the years. On the flipside, there’s undoubtedly a lot of frustration in the Sanders camp that the campaign largely holds back munitions it has against Clinton. For base liberals, Hillary Clinton is standing in the way of what they see as a real future for progressive politics. To a lot of his supporters, Sanders is a once-in-a-generation dream candidate, similar to the energy behind President Barack Obama when he first sought the presidency. This has bubbled into a real desire that Sanders will finally take the gloves off and lash out against the Democratic frontrunner. However, if Sanders would attempt any knockout attack, it would be antithetical of the campaign’s values. It’s a rarity Sanders even names Hillary Clinton. In most speeches he refers to her as “my opponent” or indirectly jabs at her with his populist rhetoric. Clinton’s campaign is likely equally frustrated. Lashing out against Sanders would risk further alienating his liberal followers, and Clinton’s mission this summer has to be uniting the party and courting Sanders supporters to combat the Republican nominee. There’s a movement called “Bernie or Bust,” where Sanders supporters are refusing to turn out to the polls in November if he isn’t the Democratic nominee. With bulk of the electorate under 30 siding with Sanders, some of which very passionately, Clinton has had to be careful not to bruise up the Vermont senator. Also, any attack she lays out leads to the massive donations for the Sanders camp. When Sanders said Clinton was “unqualified” at the Philadelphia rally, the crowd went wild. He finally fed that desire to throw a direct punch. It was the kind of red meat the Republican base has been spoiled with in the form of “Lyin’ Ted” and “Little Marco.” It is not unthinkable that supporters for any candidate on either side of the aisle craves some level of red meat — Democrats rarely get that service in any election. In an election where the frontrunner for the opposing party defends the size of his genitalia on a debate stage, it is hard to imagine any realistic scenario in which either Democratic candidate goes too far. After some blasted Sanders for his heated rhetoric, he ceased fire on the “unqualified” remarks. In a town hall Friday, Sanders said “of course” his Democratic rival is fit for the presidency. “On her worst day she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates,” Sanders said.
 
 
by Steve Beynon 02.08.2016 107 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Primary Cheat Sheet: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton (Democratic)Fun Fact:Then-Senator Hillary Clinton had a vodka-drinking contest against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ.) when the two were touring Estonia in 2004, possibly the most legendary drinking story in modern politics. “We agreed to withdraw, in honorable fashion, having, I think, reached the limits that either of us should have had,” the Democratic frontrunner said in a campaign video. There are unconfirmed reports of Clinton besting Sen. McCain with four shots of vodka, however the former first lady called the game a tie.  What’s up with the campaign? Until her virtual tie in the Iowa caucus, Clinton’s campaign has been virtually in cruise control. While the former secretary of state may have had to move to the left a bit on some issues with the surprise threat of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), her rhetoric has mostly stayed in the center. Aside from New Hampshire, Clinton has stayed on top of the polls, raised more money than any other candidate on either side of the aisle and seemingly has the backing of the entire establishment. Voters might like: ●      Clinton has one of the thickest resumes of any presidential candidate in history. Being a first lady is not usually a political job, but she was the first wife of a president to create an office in the West Wing. She led the way for subsidized health care in the ’90s with the Health Security Act, informally called “Hillarycare.” ●      She went on to serve as senator of New York from 2001-2009. After losing her bid for the presidency to Barack Obama, she was appointed to secretary of state — giving her a huge advantage on foreign policy over Sanders. ●      Some consider Clinton’s centrist policies as a weakness. However, her consistently not falling into liberalism will likely be the key to winning the general election if she earns the Democratic nomination. Clinton is not calling for free college education, a high minimum wage or universal healthcare — considering how far to the right Congress is at this point might lead to her being a successful president in the early years of her first term. ...but what out for ●      Clinton spent more than a decade opposing gay rights. The former secretary of state did not support gay marriage until 2013. “I take umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those of us who worry about amending the Constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or to the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman,” Clinton said in 2004. ●      Most Americans are weary of getting into another war, and the Iraq War is largely considered one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in American history. Clinton was a part of the 58 percent of senate Democrats who voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution, which authorized President George W. Bush’s invasion. ●      On both sides of the aisle, career politicians and the establishment have become toxic. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the country that is more establishment or embodies political privilege more than Clinton. The $600,000 she received in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs and millions in corporate donations have raised a lot of eyebrows in this new political climate that is increasingly skeptical of big-money interests. Biggest policy proposal: The United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that does not have guaranteed paid family leave. A lot of career jobs offer paid time off, however it is not guaranteed by law — this mostly affects those in low-income jobs. Clinton says she aims to guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave with two-thirds of wages. The campaign claims this will also be accomplished without a mandate on the employer or an increase in payroll tax. War: Clinton does not support conventional ground troops conducting combat operations in Iraq or Syria. However, she is in favor of continuing Obama’s air campaign and using Special Operations forces. 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 01.28.2016 118 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 01.05.2016
Posted In: 2016 election at 05:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Primary Cheat Sheet: Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (Republican) Fun fact: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a practicing ophthalmologist that specializes in corneal transplants, cataract and glaucoma surgeries and LASIK procedures. The 52-year-old constitutional conservative has spent time during every senate recess performing pro-bono eye surgeries for low income Kentuckians and citizens of poor countries like Haiti. Even if he wins the presidency, Paul claims he will continue his practice and joked about turning the Lincoln room into a surgical suite. It’s probably safe crown Paul as having one of the greatest political ads in a long time, courtesy of America’s Liberty PAC.  What’s up with the campaign? Paul is probably the most libertarian candidate of the bunch. He’s all about citing the 10th Amendment, dreams of abolishing the IRS and wants to severely cut the defense budget and end the surveillance state. He’s also one of the only Republicans that seemingly has the backing of millennials. He has all the ingredients of a solid Republican candidate, a true conservative that literally takes a chainsaw to the tax code and genuinely wants to dismantle the “Washington Machine.” Even liberals can appreciate his non-interventionist foreign policy agenda and acknowledging the threat of climate change. However, the crowded GOP race hasn’t treated Paul nicely. He has struggled to make it to five percent in national polls, fighting for scraps with Carly Fiorina and Gov. Chris Christie. Some point to Paul’s troubles being that libertarianism is an extreme minority in America’s political landscape, which would also explain his father’s performance when he ran for president. In a 2014 study, Pew Research found that only 11 percent of Americans identify as Libertarians and know what it is. Conservatives say they want a smaller government, but that’s not what we see in the astonishing support for Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson who call for expanding surveillance programs and a further expansion of the government’s military footprint. Paul’s attack on Sen. Marco Rubio for being “liberal on military spending” gets roaring applause from a Republican audience; aggressive military spending, however, creates an even bigger applause line. It’s worth pointing out that if the White House doesn’t work out, he’s also running for reelection in Kentucky’s 2016 senate race. Voters might like: ●      Rand Paul is probably your best friend if you want marijuana legalization. He invokes the 10th Amendment and classic libertarian values regarding pot, saying the only victim is the individual and that the federal government shouldn’t have a role in controlling consumption. Paul wants less people in jail and shines a light on the victims of marijuana prohibition mostly being poor black males. ●      One of last year’s biggest political stories was Paul’s 10-and-a-half-hour filibuster lambasting government surveillance programs. He had the backing of 10 other senators, seven of which were Democrats. This filibuster looked like a man defending the Fourth Amendment and fighting an overreaching government, perfectly encapsulating what this politician is all about. ●      The U.S. spends more than the next 13 countries combined on its military. Paul wants to reduce the empire, bringing the troops home from not only the Middle East but Europe and the Pacific. This may be unpopular with hawks on both sides of the aisle, but this is an issue that can bring liberals and fiscal conservatives together. ...but watch out for: ●      Paul’s defense spending agenda is also kind of weird. Last spring he called for swelling the Pentagon’s budget $76.5 billion, about a 16-percent increase in fiscal year 2016. It doesn’t help that the alleged isolationist announced his presidential bid in front of an aircraft carrier. This flip-flopping hurt the Kentucky senator with libertarians and those on the left that might have not minded a President Rand Paul. He was gearing up for a presidential run and we all know politicians often go against some of their ideas to liven their base, but going against the one thing that could have jettisoned the right and the left is odd. ●      Like a lot of Republicans, Paul wants to eliminate the Department of Education. A move that’s likely impossible, and is consistent with his virtual absolutism that the federal government should play no role in your life. Considering millennial conservatives are one of Paul’s top supporters, they should be aware this is the bureaucracy that allots federal student loans and allocates federal resources to universities. The already little government support for schools is a large reason tuition is so high. ●      Last summer, Paul proposed a 14.5-percent flat tax in a column for The Wall Street Journal. Most Americans agree the tax code needs simplified. However, there is a lot of skepticism from economists that say his plan would cost the country more than $1 trillion, some estimate as high as $15 trillion over the next decade. Biggest policy proposal: Last year, Paul reintroduced the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, or the REINS Act. In a nutshell, this would give Congress final say on any federal action that would cost more than $100 million annually. This potentially takes a lot of power out of the executive branch and puts more accountability on state representatives. War: Things change when someone gets into office, but Paul might be the least likely candidate to take the U.S. into another ground war, especially in the Republican field. He is strongly against using boots on the ground, but hasn’t made any clear stances on continuing President Obama’s air campaign. During the CNN debate Paul said, “There will always be another Clinton or Bush if you want to go back into Iraq.” The primaries are elections in which the parties pick their strongest candidate to run for president. In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15. Go here for more information on primaries. CityBeat will be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in March.
 
 
by German Lopez 08.09.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Government, News at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Online Address Change Approved for Ohio Voters

New system will save taxpayer money and combat voter fraud

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced today that there is a new way for registered voters to change their voting address: the Internet. If the state had done this in 2008, about 130,000 provisional ballots could have been cast as regular ballots, according to Husted. Provisional ballots are ballots used to record a vote when there are questions surrounding a voter's eligibility. Provisional ballots are sometimes discounted if a person fails to prove his/her eligibility to vote. “This added convenience for voters is also a powerful tool against voter fraud as current and accurate voter rolls leave less room for abuse,” Husted said in a press release.Husted said the new system will also save tax dollars. For each registration done online instead of by mail or in-person, the state saves money. The website requires four identification keys: a last name, an Ohio driver's license number, the last four digits of a Social Security number and a date of birth. Registered voters that supply this information will be able to submit an application for an address change. Applications will be reviewed by county election boards. If the address change is accepted, the election board will send an acceptance letter by mail to the new address. The state is working heavily with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to share voter data. At this time, more than 6 million of Ohio's registered voters will be able to change their addresses online. To change an address online, voters can visit the Ohio Secretary of State page at MyOhioVote.com. Anyone who registers between now and October will also be put in a line to receive an application to vote by mail for the November elections.
 
 
by Hannah McCartney 04.04.2012
Posted In: LGBT Issues at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Language Approved for Ohio Same-Sex Marriage Amendment

2004 Constitutional amendment could go to ballot for Ohio voters

A token of good news for advocates of marriage equality in Ohio came on Tuesday when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine approved language in a new state amendment proposal that, if approved by voters, would overturn Ohio's marriage bill prohibiting marriage for same-sex couples. It's a small bit of progress, but the approval means advocates are one step closer to achieving legislative rights and tolerance for same-sex couples in Ohio wishing to wed. Advocacy group Freedom to Marry Ohio originally submitted a primary version of a proposal of a revised constitutional state amendment allowing same-sex marriage to DeWine in late March. When DeWine ruled that the proposal did not provide an adequate description of the new measure, the group revised the proposal, which was resubmitted on March 26. The proposal included the signatures of more than 2,000 electors in support of the amendment change. According to Freedom to Marry Ohio's proposal, the new amendment would repeal and replace Section 11, Article XV of the Constitution to:1. Allow two consenting adults freedom to enter into a marriage regardless of gender2. Give religious institutions freedom to determine who to marry3. Give religious institutions protection to refuse to perform marriage DeWine stated in a press release that the next step is to decide whether the amendment should be placed on the ballot as one measure or split up into two. That task will be handed off to the Ohio Ballot Board. Once that decision is made, Freedom to Marry Ohio will be responsible for garnering 385,253 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters in order to get its proposed marriage equality amendment on the Ohio ballot. According to a report from Huffington Post, Ian James, Freedom to Marry Ohio's co-founder, hopes to be ready for the November 2013 ballot. Freedom to Marry Ohio is a branch of the nationwide coalition, Freedom to Marry, which organizes campaigns to achieve marriage equality nationwide. The current amendment in place regarding Ohio marriage has been in place since 2004, when Ohio voters chose to support banning gay marriage and health benefits for public employees in domestic partnerships with a 62 percent majority.
 
 

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