by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
, Barack Obama
, Mitt Romney
, President Obama
at 02:32 PM | Permalink
Compares Obama administration to replacement refs who botched end of Monday game
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan weighed
in on the controversy over replacement National Football League referees in a Tuesday town
hall-style meeting in Cincinnati, comparing the Obama administration to
the substitute officials who cost his home-state Green Bay Packers a
victory with their botched call Monday night.
“Give me a break. It is time to get the real refs,” Ryan said.
“And you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and
the economy — if you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out. I half
think that these refs work part time for the Obama administration in the
Ryan was referencing a play that should have been called an interception for the Packers but instead allowed the Seattle Seahawks to score a game-winning touchdown on Monday Night Foodball. Replacement referees — some of
whom may have been fired by the Lingerie Football League for
incompetence — are filling in for unionized officials who are locked
The vice presidential candidate spoke inside a Byer
Steel warehouse surrounded by piles of I-beams and rebar. A
self-proclaimed Southern gospel rock band played before the event,
occasionally pausing to talk up GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s
Much of Ryan’s prepared speech, as well as questions from
participants in the town hall, focused on the economy, the deficit and
the need for changes to entitlement programs.
Asked by an audience member how he would limit government
and eliminate programs, Ryan said he and Romney would spur economic
growth by lessening the tax burdens on small businesses, cut
discretionary spending on government agencies and overhaul entitlement
programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Outside before the rally, protesters called for Ryan —
whose House-passed budget made deeps cuts to many welfare and safety-net
programs — to have more compassion for the poor.
Meanwhile an airplane sponsored by MoveOn.org carried a
banner reading, “Romney: Believe in 55% of America?” referencing
comments revealed in a recent video where Romney claimed 47 percent of
Americans didn’t pay any income tax and viewed themselves as victims
reliant on government so it wasn’t his job to worry about their votes.
“We’re here with several messages, including the
immorality of the Ryan budget and how it will impact the vast majority
of Americans negatively," said David Little with the liberal advocacy
group ProgressOhio. “When a budget protects those with the most and
negatively impacts those with the least, I would suggest that is
Bentley Davis with the Alliance for Retired Americans said
she was concerned about what Romney and Ryan’s plans for Medicare and
Social Security would do to retirement security.
Ryan had proposed to keep Medicare the same for anybody
already 55 and over, but give younger Americans the choice to get money
to spend toward private insurance or stay in a Medicare-like program.
Inside the warehouse was a digital sign that ticked up the national debt, which was at $16 trillion and rising.
“Here is what our government, our Congressional Budget
Office, is telling us our debt is in the future if we stay on the path
that President Obama has kept us on, has put us on … the debt goes as
high as two and a half times the size of our economy by the time my
three kids are my age,” Ryan said.
The Obama campaign fired back in an email response, saying
Ryan used misleading rhetoric to hide his own record and Republican
plans to raise taxes on the middle class to fund tax cuts for wealthier
“The Romney-Ryan ticket has plenty
of questions to answer about a failed record on manufacturing and job
creation and their support for policies that will devastate middle class
families by raising their taxes and shipping jobs overseas,” Obama for
America – Ohio Press Secretary Jessica Kershaw wrote.
“These policies would take the growing manufacturing industry backward, not forward.”For some in the audience, the economy was also on the forefront.Steve Teal, 56, of West Chester, said he doesn't like the direction the country is going in."Just get the country back to work," Teal said. "I don't trust him (Obama). He doesn't stand up for America. He doesn't stand up for Americans."CityBeat writer Stefane Kremer contributed to this report.
Ryan went from Cincinnati to an event with Romney in Dayton later on Tuesday.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
MONDAY SEPT. 24: That loud sound you heard late Monday night was a gigantic moan from
fans of the Green Bay Packers, whose team (literally — they own it) was
robbed on a last-second, desperation heave from the Seattle Seahawks
which resulted in the game-winning touchdown.
by Andy Brownfield
Obama campaign's Women's Summit appeals to Ohio women to vote, volunteer
Actress and acclaimed rapper Natalie Portman played up her
Cincinnati ties in a Wednesday appearance at the Obama campaign-sponsored
Women’s Summit at Union Terminal.
The Academy Award-winner said her mother graduated from
Walnut Hills High School and her grandfather — Art Stevens — grew Champion
Windows in Cincinnati after starting as a door-to-door salesman.
“Because of that, I see President Obama’s support of small
businesses as so crucial to our economy,” Portman said, adding that Obama has
cut taxes for small businesses 82 times since taking office.
Portman said the Republican Party and their presidential
ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did not have the best interests of women at
heart. She pointed to attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s mandates that
insurers provide birth control to women and ensure preventative care such as
mammogram screenings for breast cancer is covered, as well a bill sponsored by
Ryan and embattled congressional candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) that would
eliminate all abortion funding except for cases of “forcible rape.”
“We need to stand up for ourselves,” Portman told the packed
auditorium that was crowded with an audience of mostly women. “Our mothers and
our grandmothers made giant steps for us. We can’t go backwards. We need to go
Portman was joined by Obama Campaign National Women’s Vote
Director Kate Chapek, former Ohio first lady Frances Strickland, Ohio Rep.
Alicia Reece and Obama campaign volunteer Mary Shelton.
An Ohio Romney rep said the campaign did not have a comment
on the Women’s Summit, but is hosting a “Women for Mitt” call night featuring
former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao in Kenwood on Thursday.
“Ohio women believe in the Romney-Ryan
path for America that will result in lower taxes, less spending, less
government and more economic growth,” said a release from Romney’s campaign.
The Obama event on Wednesday catered to
women, with Chapek telling the audience she knew how difficult it was for women
to get there with jobs and the challenge of getting their kids to school. She
framed women’s role in the election as a conversation.
“The conversation starts like this:
women, turns out, we’re not a constituency,” Chapek said. “Who knew? Apparently
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, because they don’t realize that women are actually a
majority in this country.”
She told the women gathered to have conversations with their
neighbors and friends and encourage them to volunteer at phone banks or
knocking on doors.
Strickland talked about the need to reconcile qualities
traditionally seen as masculine — like power — with those seen as feminine —
She also took the opportunity to riff on a statement made by
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said political wives were heroes because while they’re
husbands were on stage in the limelight, they were at home doing things like
“I even did the laundry last night so I could come here
today,” Strickland said. “Even (former Gov.) Ted does the laundry.”
Summit attendee Ray Boston, a 67-year-old retired writer for
AT&T, said Natalie Portman’s presence caught his eye.
“I’m a celebrity photo enthusiast,” he said. “Nothing’s
official until I’ve taken a picture of it.”
Boston said he didn’t vote in 2008, but felt the upcoming
November election was too important to sit out. He said he was leaning toward
voting for Obama and liked his health care overhaul, but was opposed to the
president’s views on gay marriage for religious reasons.
Gwen McFarlin, who works in health care administration, said
she was there to support President Obama. She supports his health care overhaul,
but thinks it’s a first step to further changes.
She said she was encouraged by the diversity of the women in
“For me, I’m sure the women who are here represent all
the world, not one issue,” she said. “We’re here as a group of women working to
empower all the U.S. and the world.”
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
We’ve all been there. You’re just minding your own
business, killing time on the Internet, when you see “4 friends like
this” beneath Mitt Romney’s shining visage. First comes the feeling of
anger. Before you shed a single tear and click “Hide all updates from this
user” or — gasp! — “Unfriend,” stop what you’re doing.
by Andy Brownfield
Vows to bring to justice killers of U.S. Ambassador to Libya
DAYTON – Vice President Joe Biden took time at the beginning of his
Wednesday campaign stop in Dayton to condemn an overnight attack that killed the
U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, while praising the work and
courage of American diplomats and promising to bring to justice those who
carried out the attack.
“(This) brave — and it’s not hyperbole to say brave –— ambassador
was in Benghazi while the war was going on. Our ambassador risked his life
repeatedly while the war in Libya to get rid of that dictator was going on,”
“These men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors.”
The Tuesday attack took place during a protest against an amateur
short film made in the United States that protesters say insulted the Prophet
Muhammad. U.S Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members
“Let me be clear — we are resolved to bring to justice their
killers,” Biden said.
The vice president made no mention of Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration’s response from
the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which he characterized as “akin to an apology” and a
“severe miscalculation,” but the vice president quickly segued into politics, alluding
to Romney’s relative lack of experience in foreign policy.
“The task of a president is not only to defend our interests and
causes and the cause of freedom abroad, it is also to build a nation here at
home, to which the entire world can look and aspire to be like,” Biden said. “Whether
we do that and how we do that, that is literally the essence of the choice we
face in this presidential election. It really is that basic, and foreign policy
is not some sideline to all of this.”
The Romney campaign in Ohio was quick to respond, calling Biden’s
remarks “hypocritical” in an emailed statement.
“Vice President Biden’s appearance in Dayton only served further
damage to his credibility as he reprised hypocritical and widely debunked
attacks against Mitt Romney. Not only did the Vice President mislead Ohioans,
but he attacked Mitt Romney for supporting the same tax policy the Obama
Administration supported just last year,” Romney Ohio spokesman Christopher
“With today’s Census report showing nearly 1 in 6 Americans
living in poverty and incomes continuing to decline, it appears that misleading
attacks are all the Obama campaign has left to offer 400,000 Ohioans looking
Maloney’s email also fact-checked a claim made by Biden during
his speech. Biden said that he opposed the so-called “territorial tax,” which
he said would allow American companies that invested abroad to avoid paying
taxes in the United States.
The email included links to an Associated Press fact checking
article that concludes that Romney’s proposal was aimed at encouraging
investment in the U.S. rather than overseas.
Biden spoke to a packed house at Wright State University in
Dayton, with overflow crowds estimated in the hundreds viewing in separate
rooms in the Student Union.
The vice president reiterated many of his usual stump speech
points — the Romney tax plan’s negative effects on the middle class, the
benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s commitment to
manufacturing — but much of Biden’s speech focused on education. He said a president
Romney would cut funding for Pell Grants, meaning many students in the audience
would have to leave school. He also lauded President Barack Obama’s
administration’s enactment of a tax break of $2,500 for every family that sends
a child to college.
The usually bombastic Biden wasn’t without his gaffes. Twice he
referred to Wright State as “Wayne State,” which is in Detroit, despite a large
Wright State University banner displayed in the conference room where he gave
The crowd was quick to correct him after the second time he misspoke.
“Wright State, which also includes Wayne State,” Biden said after
he was corrected, eliciting laughs from the audience.
2 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This election-era talk about lifting, taxing or not taxing America’s middle class doesn’t land or resonate with me. When I hear numbers like the possibility of $250,000 tax breaks for the
wealthy, it’s drowned out by the white noise poverty thrums through my
head or the rumbling hunger makes in my gut. It’s official: I am distracted by my own poverty.
by Andy Brownfield
Romney campaign, Murray Energy dispute who made call to close mine for event
by German Lopez
Update: This blog incorrectly said Doug Preisse is the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party. He is the chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party.“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the
voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American —
voter-turnout machine,” Doug Preisse, chairman of the Franklin
County Republican Party, told The Columbus Dispatch
in an email over the weekend. The admission to outright racism came at
the height of a controversy regarding weekend voting in Montgomery
County. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is trying to enforce uniform
in-person early voting hours with no weekend voting across the state to
avoid any discrepancies that caused a previous controversy, but county
Democrats in Dayton wanted to have weekend voting anyway. When county
Democrats refused to back down in a Board of Elections meeting, Husted,
the state official who is supposed to empower voters as much as
possible, suspended them from the Board. The move sparked
criticism from state Democrats, which eventually led to Preisse’s admission to playing racial politics.
The Ohio Board of Education is meeting today and is
expected to discuss its search for a new superintendent of public
instruction. Former Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan
Heffner had to leave after an investigation found he had been misusing
state resources and encouraging legislation that benefited an employer.Taxpayers could be paying $300,000 so county officials can
avoid a tough decision. The move would preserve the property tax
rollback and let the county hold off on making a payment on the stadiums
this fiscal year. Two out of three county commissioners told the Enquirer they like the idea.Schools in the Greater Cincinnati area seem to be using
different grading scales. The disparity could put some students in a
worse spot when applying to college.Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing a Cincinnati man over a Craigslist scam.The Greater Cincinnati area could soon host more film, television and video game production thanks to new tax incentives.Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland could be making an
appearance at the Democratic national convention. The convention is a
time for parties to show off their new candidates and party platforms.Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akin of Missouri told KTVI-TV,
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape]
is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to
try to shut that whole thing down.” The extremely offensive, factually
incorrect comment was quickly picked up by media outlets, and the
senatorial candidate is now saying he “misspoke.” But misspeaking typically means
messing up one or two words. Misspeaking does not mean making a clearly
spoken argument with a very clear point.Lack of funding could be hurting national parks.Here is a spider with claws.
by German Lopez
New details regarding the Blue Ash Airport deal have found that
Blue Ash will gain $2.25 million from the deal. The new details
means both Blue Ash and Cincinnati benefit from the deal by having
extra funds, potentially benefiting budgets without having to make cuts
or running to taxpayers for more money. The number also puts a damper on
COAST’s campaign to stop the new deal, which is spurred by their
extreme disapproval of all things streetcar.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted yesterday directed county
boards of election to set uniform in-person early voting hours. Before the decision, Democrats were accusing state
Republicans of extending early voting hours in predominantly Republican
districts and keeping early voting hours shorter in predominantly
Democratic districts. However, Democrats are still not pleased by the
new directive because they claim it’s limiting voting hours.Supporters of redistricting reform now have a ballot issue to get
behind: Issue 2. Issue 2 is the redistricting amendment supported by
Voters First. If voters accept Issue 2, the redistricting process will
be placed in the hands of an independent citizens commission that will
be void of lobbyists and politicians. If voters reject Issue 2, the
process will continue being placed in the hands of politicians, who have
abused the system in a process known as “gerrymandering” to redraw
districts in politically beneficial ways. In the latest redistricting
process, the Republican-controlled committee redrew Cincinnati’s
district to include Warren County, giving Republicans more voters in the
district. CityBeat previously covered the redistricting issue at length here.Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) are adjusting to new,
tougher academic standards. CPS Superintendent Mary Ronan says schools
will have to develop new methods of teaching and learning to comply with
the academic standards. Democrats and Republicans clashed in court yesterday as
they argued over Ohio’s early voting rules. The debate focused on the
Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day. Under current law, only
military personnel and their families are allowed to vote on those
days. The Democrats and President Barack Obama want everyone to be
allowed to vote on those days, and Republicans do not. The judge said he
will hold off on a decision.Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, was at
Miami University yesterday. During his speech, Ryan did not shy away
from bringing up the Medicare issue, and he claimed Obamacare will cut
$716 billion. However, Ryan included the same cuts in his own budget plan,
and they’re actually savings, not cuts. The architect of Obamacare also
said recently that repealing Obamacare, which Romney and Ryan advocate,
would cut benefits to seniors.Two Hamilton County commissioners are running unopposed in
what some suspect was part of a deal between Republicans and Democrats. Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Tim Burke says there was no deal.U.S. House Republicans are freaking out over the Ryan pick. Apparently, they’re worried Democrats will bring
up the fact Ryan’s budget plan tried to end Medicare as most
Americans know it. House Speaker John Boehner tried to calm Republicans.Scientists have discovered a galaxy that gives birth to more stars in a day than our galaxy does in a year.
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.