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
by German Lopez
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown was in Cincinnati yesterday to
launch his Small Business Owners for Sherrod group. At the event, Brown
touted his small business and job creating credentials and received
endorsements from leaders of small businesses, which Brown says are
vital to restoring the economy. A letter of endorsement from John
Pepper, retired CEO of Procter & Gamble, was read aloud at
the event. In the letter, Pepper said, “Brown brings a level of
experience and maturity to the office that it demands and that his
opponent does not possess.” Brown’s opponent — Josh Mandel — is known to
lie from time to time.A federal judge issued a final ruling yesterday banning the tiny free speech zones at the University of Cincinnati. The zones were declared to be too restricting of constitutional rights to free speech. The ruling is seen as a major victory for student rights.Ohio Democrats are pushing a bill that would require Gov.
John Kasich and every governor after him to go before the Ohio House of
Representatives for 45-minute question and answer periods 10 times a
year. Local Rep. Denise Driehaus is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.Move to Amend will host a forum on corporate personhood in
Cincinnati. Corporate personhood refers to court rulings that established constitutional rights
for corporations. Critics argue the ruling makes corporations too powerful. Move to Amend wants to pass an amendment that would overturn the rulings. The forum will take place at the Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church on Aug. 29 between 7 and 9 p.m.In response to the ongoing controversy about early voting,
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has some advice: deal with it. In a
statement yesterday, Husted said, “The rules are set and are not going
to change.” It’s doubtful the statement will actually stop criticism,
which has been recently leveled at racist remarks from Doug Preisse,
chairman to the Franklin County Republican Party and close adviser to
Gov. John Kasich.A poll from the University of Cincinnati shows both the
presidential and senatorial races are close. The poll has President
Barack Obama three points over opponent Mitt Romney with Obama at 49
percent and Romney at 46 percent, but the poll’s margin of error is 3.4
percent. The senatorial race is even closer: Brown is at 48 percent and
Mandel is at 47 percent. Aggregate polling has the presidential race
close somewhat close, but the senatorial race is much more in Brown’s favor.Home sales are up in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Median home sale prices are still below where they were a year ago, but
the news is a sign the economy could be recovering.Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing Larry Foster, a
water system seller that works in Cincinnati and Columbus under the
names Water's Edge, DC Water Solution and Water Pro, for multiple
alleged violations of consumer protection laws. The lawsuit claims
Foster did not deliver water systems or, if he did, failed to install
them properly or at all.Once again, Ohio tested above the national average in the
ACT, a test that measures high school students’ potential ability in
college. ACT officials said Ohio is one of the few states notably
pushing to improve in math and science.The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says if
Congress fails to act, the economy could plunge back into recession. The
worry is that Congress will fail to extend tax cuts and stop budget
cuts.Nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t name a single Supreme Court justice.How to keep bananas ripe: spray them with recycled shrimp shells.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 22, 2012
“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the
voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American —
voter-turnout machine.” So said Doug Preisse, chairman of the Franklin
County Republican Party, in an email to The Columbus Dispatch.
3 Comments · Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Congratulations are in order for Ohio
Treasurer Josh Mandel. As part of his U.S. senatorial campaign, Mandel, a
Republican, has earned his sixth “Pants on Fire” rating from
fact-checking website PolitiFact.
by German Lopez
Husted calls for longer hours in last two weeks of early voting
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced today he will direct Ohio’s county boards of election to adopt standardized
early voting hours.
In-person early voting begins on Oct. 2. In a directive,
Husted said he wants the first three weeks to be kept to standard voting
hours, or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. An exception is made for Oct. 9,
which will have voting hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., to make up for polls
being closed on Oct. 8 in observance of a state holiday.
For the final two weeks of early voting, Husted said he
wants hours extended to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Another exception is made for
the final day of early voting — Nov. 2 — that has voting hours last from
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. because state law requires all early voting ends at 6
p.m. on Nov. 2.
The polls will still not be open on weekends throughout the entire process, however.
The news comes amid a state issue that has gained national
attention in recent weeks. Democrats have been accusing state Republicans of
suppressing Democratic votes by extending in-person early voting hours in
predominantly Republican counties and keeping shorter hours in
predominantly Democratic counties.
Ohio Democrats are not pleased with the call to
uniform rules. Jerid Kurtz, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party,
told CityBeat yesterday that the call for uniform rules is “pure silliness.” He
said counties have differences, so they need different voting rules. He
called on Husted to stop worrying about uniformity and county budgets
and instead worry about managing elections and “empowering people to
Today, Democrats released another statement lashing out at
the uniform rules. In a statement released shortly after Husted's press
conference, Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said
the new directive was limiting voting access by eliminating weekend
voting and slashing hours.
However, the directive will actually extend early voting
hours in the predominantly Democratic counties of Lucas, Cuyahoga,
Summit and Franklin that were bound to the old hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the entire early voting process.
1 Comment · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Coalition Opposed to Additional
Spending and Taxes (COAST) has long been known locally for its
unwavering opposition to the streetcar project, but the organization
crossed the line into dishonesty on Aug. 6 with its calls to action
about the sale of the Blue Ash Airport.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
announced Aug. 9 that there is a new way for registered voters to change
their voting address: the Internet.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary’s 2012 updates
included crowning “F-bomb,” “sexting” and “man cave” official words.
’Murica! WORLD +1
by German Lopez
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:
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
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.
Ohio's fracking industry isn't, but some stuff is
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Ohio has a lot of oil and natural gas
resources accessible by fracking, but are they worth $1 trillion? Gov.
John Kasich seems to think so. Kasich has touted the number to media
outlets to support hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking” — in Ohio.