by Andy Brownfield
"Nuns on the Bus" tour to encourage voters to pick candidates that will provide for poor
A group of Catholic nuns kicked off a 1,000-mile, six-day
tour across Ohio on Wednesday, during which they plan on telling voters to
elect candidates who will do the most for the state’s poor.
“In democracy, the role of government is to represent all
of us and show us how we work together,” said Sister Simone Campbell, a
Catholic nun and executive director of Catholic lobbying group NETWORK.
“So that when some politicians want to tell us that there
is no role for government, that government is only there to let
individuals take care of their individualistic selves, I want to say,
‘that’s not democracy. That’s not our Constitution, and that’s not our
The “Nuns on the Bus” tour started Wednesday in Cincinnati
and will travel through Dayton, Lima, Columbus, Toledo, Fremont,
Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Athens and Marietta before ending back in
Cincinnati on Oct. 15.
The trip features Catholic nuns from across Ohio who will
be urging Ohio voters to examine what the Bible says about caring for
the poor. Dominican Sister of Hope Monica McGloin said voters should
choose the candidate who would best embody those teachings.
McGloin said the tour would not support any political party or candidate.
“We certainly don’t want to be partisan, because that’s
not what we’re about,” she said. “The fact is, neither candidate is
talking about the poor.”
While the bus tour kickoff was nonpartisan – speakers
avoided mentioning either candidate by name – a number of attendees had
their jackets or cars adorned with buttons or bumper stickers supporting
president Barack Obama.
McGloin said she had a list of things she’d like to see
from the next president: access to health care for all Americans, more
jobs, a focus on education and programs that help people meet their
basic needs, like housing.
This isn’t the first bus tour for Campbell, who planned on heading to work in Washington, D.C. after the first Cincinnati stop. She organized the original nine-state
“Nuns on the Bus” tour over the summer. The earlier tour was in protest
over the budget proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul
Ryan, himself a Catholic. Ryan’s budget would gut many social programs
relied on by the poor.
by Andy Brownfield
Priebus tells Ohio reporters GOP ground game will "crush" Democrats in Ohio
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus held
a conference call with Ohio reporters Wednesday morning in response to
Tuesday comments by Democratic Vice President Joe Biden that the middle
class had been “buried” in the last four years.
“Obama and Biden have buried the middle class, and now they want to bury them some more,” Priebus told reporters.
“I mean, just imagine what Barack Obama would do. He
buried us economically in this country knowing that he would have to
face re-election. Just imagine what he would do with nothing but
daylight in front of him. Just imagine where this economy would go.”
Biden made his comments before an audience of about 1,000
in Charlotte on Tuesday. He said Republican presidential candidate Mitt
Romney’s tax cuts for millionaires would raise taxes for the middle
“How can they justify raising classes on a middle class that has been buried the last four years?” Biden said.
Biden tried to clarify that he meant they had been buried by policies supported by Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.
Republicans, however, jumped on the comment immediately,
with Romney tweeting, “the middle class has been buried the last 4
years, which is why we need a change in November.”
Priebus said despite polling showing Obama pulling ahead
of Romney in Ohio that the state would be very close. He said
Republicans have a better ground game and would “crush” Democrats.
“I think we’re going to crush the Democrats on the ground,” Priebus said.
“I just don’t think they’ve got a very good ground game. I’ve looked through it, I’ve seen it. It’s all smoke and mirrors.”
Priebus said if Romney were to lose Ohio, he was still optimistic about Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.
“We’ve got it all on the table. Ohio is, of course,
extremely important. It’s nothing new, but I also see avenues to 270
(electoral votes) opening up for Mitt Romney in places that weren’t
there in ’08.”
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: Humor
at 01:05 PM | Permalink
Senatorial candidate holds PolitiFact Ohio record for most statements rated "Pants on Fire"
Happy birthday to Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel! The
treasurer and GOP candidate for U.S. Senate turns 35 today, and the Ohio
Democratic Party celebrated the occasion by delivering a new pair of
pants to the treasurer’s office.
“If anyone needs a new pair of pants for his birthday it’s
Josh Mandel, who has earned more ‘Pants on Fire’ ratings from
Politifact Ohio than any politician in state history — hopefully he will
get some use out of these before his next lie about (Democratic U.S.
Sen.) Sherrod (Brown),” Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker
wrote in a statement.
Mandel has earned six “Pants on Fire” ratings — the
signifier given to an outright lie by the fact-checking agency run by
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, PolitiFact Ohio. Mandel holds the most
“Pants on Fire” rulings of any politician reviewed by the group.
Mandel doesn’t have a monopoly on lies: In a Wednesday
fact check, PolitiFact Ohio ruled a Brown campaign advertisement that
claimed Ohio’s investment fund has not improved under Mandel was
Zucker told CityBeat Mandel’s staff seemed
surprised by the gift (American Apparel trousers size 34) and promised
to deliver it, but said the treasurer wasn’t in the office.
The pants were folded and tied with ribbon. They contained
a note reading, “Josh — So many of your pants have caught fire from
Politifact’s ratings that we thought you could use a new pair. They’ll
look great for your next fundraising trip to the Bahamas! Happy
Birthday, The Ohio Democratic Party.”
Mandel’s press secretary has not responded to CityBeat’s call and email for comment as of this posting. This blog will be updated if we hear back.
by Andy Brownfield
Group of Democratic state lawmakers wants Ohio governor to face legislative Q&As
Some Democratic lawmakers want answers from Republican Gov. John Kasich.
A group of Democratic state representatives has put forth
a bill that would require Kasich — and every governor after him — to
come before the Ohio House of Representatives 10 times per year for
45-minute question and answer sessions where the governor would have to
take at least five questions from each side of the aisle.
Rep. Mike Foley, D-Cleveland, is the bill’s sponsor. He did not return CityBeat’s call for comment as of Wednesday afternoon.
Cincinnati Democratic Rep. Denise Driehaus is one of the
bill’s co-sponsors. She said Foley had the idea while visiting Canada,
where their parliament has a similar procedure.
“I think it’s a great idea where the governor interacts
with the legislature and we have the opportunity to question him and
really engage on some of the issues and get his opinion on things,”
She said the Legislature doesn’t currently have a whole
lot of opportunity to interact with the governor, except for the State
of the State address, but even then they can’t really engage Ohio’s
The Ohio Democratic Party has recently filed suit against
Kasich for what it says is a failure to comply with open records laws
for redacting parts of his public schedules when responding to a public
The ODP has called Kasich opaque and secretive for failing to respond or only partially responding to records requests.
However, Driehaus said the bill isn’t meant to apply only
to Kasich, but would apply to every governor after him. She said she
didn’t think it was in reaction to her party’s spat with the governor.
“This is much broader and much more forward thinking than that,” Driehaus says.
by Andy Brownfield
Suit claims governor is intentionally ignoring public records requests
The Ohio Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against Gov.
John Kasich — who they claim is improperly using his office to campaign
for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — to get the
governor to release his schedule of public events.
The ODP’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Franklin County
Court of Common Pleas, contends that Kasich’s office either ignored or
only partially fulfilled the request.
“It’s unfortunate that this Governor is so opposed to
transparency and public disclosure that we have to ask the Court to
force him to follow the law,” ODP Chairman Chris Redfern said in a
“Serious questions remain regarding whether the Governor
has improperly used his office for the benefit of Mitt Romney, and it’s
deeply disappointing Kasich is so secretive he won’t even tell the
public what he’s done or where he’s gone.”
Kasich press secretary Rob Nichols said the administration
doesn’t comment on litigation, but dismissed the Ohio Democratic
“We release public records in accordance with the law, and
in fact have already publicly released the governor’s schedule six
times, including a schedule request to the ODP,” Nichols said.
“This is predictable election year politics from the same
people who were just rebuked for using public records demands to
interfere with the Auditor of State’s investigation into possible data
manipulation in some school districts.”
Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jerid Kurtz said Kasich’s
office did respond to one of the seven requests for the schedule, but
some of the information in the records was redacted — including an
entire week that was blacked out with no explanation.
“Ohio law is very clear, and it states you have to give a specific excuse when you redact something,” Kurtz said.
According to the lawsuit and court documents, the ODP
requested on July 2 Kasich’s public schedule from that date through Aug.
According to a letter to the Ohio Democratic Party from
Mehek M. Cook — assistant chief counsel to Kasich — the information
about the governor's future plans was blacked out because that information
could put him at risk.
“The governor and his office receive threats on any given
day and the release of his whereabouts increases security issues
surrounding the governor’s safety,” Cook wrote.
Cook wrote that any information in the records used by the
Executive Protection Unit assigned to guard Kasich constitutes a
security record and was redacted.
He also wrote that some information that would reveal
confidential business meetings and trade secrets that would harm Ohio
efforts to court businesses was blacked out. Additionally, information
not relevant to the request was redacted.
Kurtz said it’s important that the public have access
those schedules because voters have a right to know what their governor
is doing on the public dime.
The schedules include where the governor is and with whom
he meets, but they also show scheduled phone calls and media interviews.
The Ohio Democratic Party worries that Kasich is
improperly campaigning for Romney while receiving a taxpayer-funded
paycheck, or using public money to have his staff do so.
The concerns stem from statements made by Kasich both in
public and on his Twitter account either praising the presumed
Republican presidential nominee or slamming President Obama.
For instance, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported that when Obama visited Ohio on Aug. 1 the governor tweeted “On
the occasion of the President's latest visit to Ohio, we have a
question for him,” with a link to a graphic asking “If the President's
policies are behind Ohio's success, why is the rest of the country
Democrats claim that Ohio’s success relative to the rest
of the country are due to efforts by President Obama, while Republicans
say Governor Kasich is behind Ohio’s faster-than-average recovery.
While the Ohio Democratic Party is suing to have Kasich
release his public schedule (Kurtz says Attorney General Mike DeWine and
Auditor Dave Yost complied with similar requests in a timely manner)
the state Republican Party has also submitted similar requests to
Democrats throughout Ohio.
Kurtz characterized the GOP requests as being sent by
Kasich’s “hand-picked lieutenants in the Ohio Republican Party,” though
Nichols told The Plain Dealer that the governor had no involvement.
Ohio GOP executive director Matt Borges told the newspaper that the requests were routine.
Still, Kurtz called Kasich’s refusal to release his own schedule “hypocritical.”
“He’s a bully and the only way you can deal with a bully is fighting back.”
by German Lopez
Posted In: Oil
at 11:10 AM | Permalink
Agency authorized 36 permits in June, up from 20 in May
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is not being slowed down by critics of hydraulic fracturing. ODNR in June authorized 36 new permits for horizontal drilling wells used for the process also known as fracking, a record for ODNR, according to Friday's Hannah Report.Carroll County was at the top of obtaining new permits with 11 total. Columbiana County followed with seven new permits, and Harrison County was third with nine. Chesapeake Energy Corporation obtained most of those permits, a total of 22.CityBeat spoke with Carroll County Commissioner Jeffrey Ohler, a Republican, in June about the impact of fracking on his county. Ohler was generally skeptical of how many domestic jobs fracking had created in the county, and he said he was cautious about the long-term economic impact the influx of fracking activity could have in the area.Critics claim fracking is too dangerous and its risks are too unclear. In a June 17 rally, environmentalist group Don’t Frack Ohio took over the Columbus statehouse asking state officials to put a stop to fracking. More than 1,000 attended the rally, according to the organization.But some state officials, including Gov. John Kasich, say the process can be safe with regulations in place. In June, Kasich signed into law S.B. 315, which added new rules and regulations to the fracking process. Following that, Kasich signed an executive order on July 12 that strengthened state regulators with the ability to stop and impose new requirements on wastewater injection wells deemed risky or dangerous.The wastewater injection wells were the most likely cause of recent earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio around New Year’s Eve. In response, Kasich placed a moratorium on deep wastewater injection wells in the area.Fracking is a process in which millions of gallons of water are pumped underground to release oil and gas from rock formations. The water is then recycled and deposited in underground facilities known as wastewater injection wells.
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Gov. John Kasich on June 27 signed into law Ohio’s Safe Harbor Act, what is being touted as one of the country’s toughest human trafficking bills. The law’s passage comes shortly after Kasich re
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: News
at 03:33 PM | Permalink
State parks, forests undergoing assessment
Imagine: You take your children to the park for a leisurely stroll beside some calm lake waters. You're looking for pure, unadulterated nature; an escape from the industrial hullabaloo that is city life. Instead, you find several areas of the park blocked off, occupied by massive machines sucking out shale and oil through the process known as "fracking." According to an investigative report from The Columbus Dispatch, that image might not be far off. Dispatch found that 18 employees from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have been working to assess the availability of Utica shale in parks and forests across the state, resources that could eventually be marketed to oil and gas drilling companies. The concentrated push has involved a widespread, coordinated effort to examine public records and assess original mineral rights on Utica shale across the state. In the past, drilling companies have offered as much as $5,000 per acre to landowners in Eastern Ohio to procure mineral rights. The undertaking potentially signifies ODNR's interest in profiting from fracking sales in the future; cataloging mineral rights means easing the process of selling land to drillers once they make initial offers. Fracking, the relatively new drilling technology that involves blasting thousands of gallons of water into the earth to fracture shale and free trapped, valuable natural oil and gas. It's been touted as a way to expose previously unavailable areas underground for drilling and has been subject of discussion on its economic value and potential.
by Hannah McCartney
House hearing voices pro-choice concerns on House Bill 298
Planned Parenthood advocates and supporters packed a hearing room in Columbus this morning to demonstrate opposition against controversial House Bill 298, a measure that, if passed, would put family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood at the back of the line for state funding, instead giving priority to health departments. The House Health Committee heard testimony from bill supporters and opponents. "If PP is defunded, we will still offer a full range of options for
care, but the working poor will have no way to pay for them," testified Beth Lonn, Chief Operating Officer of Planned Parenthood of
Central Ohio, according to a tweet from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio. Opponents of HB 298 express concern that the reprioritizing of funds would deny high-need women, particularly those of low income, access to preventive, affordable health care services. "More
than 96% of what we do is to provide essential lifesaving cancer
screenings, breast exams, birth control, sex education and counseling to
nearly 100,000 Ohio women and families, regardless of one’s ability to
pay," reads a segment on the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio website. Rep. Nicki Antonio (D-Lakewood) expressed her concern for bill supporters' motivation, noting, "The proposed defunding bill is is a move based on ideology, not on practical needs of Ohioans...There are many counties in Ohio without alternatives to PP. It's a 'Health Care Desert.'"Supporters of the bill such as Ohio Right to Life tout the measure as a way to steer funds away from the "abortion industry." The bill is now awaiting a committee vote.