by Kevin Osborne
Some allege candidate almost made racial slur at campaign event
Some critics of Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum
said video footage of a speech at a campaign event shows him starting to utter
a racial slur while referring to President Obama, then cutting himself off
While speaking to a group of supporters in Wisconsin on Tuesday,
Santorum said, “We know what the candidate, Barack Obama, was like. The
anti-war, government nig--, uh…” before stopping abruptly, then adding, “America
was, uh, a source for division around the world. And that what we were doing
was wrong. We needed to pull out and we needed to pull back.”
Although the uncompleted word sure sounds like it began with “nig”
and what Santorum said next in the sentence didn’t flow naturally with the
other words, a campaign spokesman today denied that the uncompleted word was “nigger.”
In January Santorum told a crowd of supporters in Iowa that he didn’t “want to make black people’s lives
better by giving them other people’s money.”
Here is the clip of Tuesday’s
speech. The remark causing controversy is spoken around the 34:30 mark. You can
decide for yourself.
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: Human Rights
at 01:39 PM | Permalink
Gov. Kasich gives task force 90 days to measure ability to identify victims
“Can you tell me how a 13-year-old kid can be snatched, blackmailed, drugged, raped, in our state? In our country?”That’s the question Ohio Gov. John Kasich asked audiences Thursday before signing an executive order to create the Human Trafficking Task Force, which is intended to combat human trafficking across the state and help victims recover. “I don’t think I can think of a greater evil than what we know as the human slave trade,” said Kasich, before signing the order. A 2010 study conducted by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission revealed that about 1,000 American-born children are forced into sex trade in Ohio every year, while about 800 immigrants fall victim to human trafficking, either through sexual exploitation or manipulation into hard labor. Kasich’s executive order will give the task force 90 days to examine Ohio’s current ability to identify victims. The board of the task force will be comprised of representatives from youth prisons, public safety departments, state health and human services and the state Cosmetology Board (some trafficking is suspected in nail salons, which the Cosmetology Board oversees). “They’ll tell me where the holes are, but we have lot
more work to do,” Kasich said. “We need everybody in America to step in on
this.” Ohio is suspected to be a major player in the U.S. human trafficking industry because of its large immigrant population, proximity to Canada and growing demand for cheap labor in light of difficult economic times, according to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons report. There’s currently no state funding set aside for the task force; the task will work hand-in-hand with Attorney General Mike DeWine's Human Trafficking Commission to buffer already existing efforts.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Rush Limbaugh Show, the most listened to talk
show in America, is suffering from an exodus of advertisers, including
AOL Inc., after Limbaugh called a law student a “slut” and a
“prostitute” for her views on contraception.
by Hannah McCartney
Says it will add to state budges, hurt public safety and lead to unnecessary incarcerations
There are certain institutions in the U.S. that we don't like to think of as strictly profit-seeking endeavors. It can be difficult to swallow that (supposedly) do-good establishments like retirement homes, textbook companies and hospitals exist to bring in revenue rather than serve the needs of a community without waiver. In Ohio, one state prison is already that — a business — and others could soon follow suit. In September of 2011, Ohio became the first state in the nation to sell a state prison facility to a private prison company when the Lake Erie Correctional Institute in Ashtabula County was sold to the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest prison operator, for $72.7 million. The idea to privatize Ohio prisons was concocted by Gov. John Kasich in an attempt to fill an $8 billion hole in Ohio's budget. The sale brought in an extra $50 million to use in balancing Ohio's prison budget.Kasich's budget strategy included an overhaul of Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which means that private prison facility owners would actually benefit from more incarcerations. Now, CCA has made an offerto 48 U.S. states to buy and privatize state prisons. The offer, the Corrections Investment Initiative, outlines CCA's plan to spend up to $250 million on state, local and federal entities and then manage the facilities. According to the CCA's statement from Harley Lappin, Chief Corrections
Officer at CCA, they're only interested in buying facilities that are willing to sign over rights of ownership to the CCA for a minimum of 20 years, and states must agree to keep the facilities at least 90 percent full. With six million Americans in the corrections system, the U.S. already has the highest rates of incarceration in the world — including per capita and in absolute terms — surpassing countries like Iran, China and Russia. CCA'S website glorifies its mission as noble; a video on the home page shows a patriotic, proudly waving flag. Text touts its strategies as forward-thinking and altruistic, noting that they are "protecting public safety, employing the best people in solid careers,
rehabilitating inmates, giving back to communities, and bringing
innovative security to government corrections."The ACLU of Ohio has issued a statement strongly opposing the change; it argues that privatizing state prisons will add debt to state budges, hurt public safety and lead to more unnecessary incarcerations. According to "Prisons for Profit: A Look at Prison Privatization," a report published by ACLU-Ohio, privately-run prisons only offer a short-term infusion of cash, not long-term savings. "Cost savings in privately run facilities [like those run by CCA] are achieved by cutting the pay of workers," says Mike Bricker, ACLU Director of Communications and Public Policy. Corrections officers in private facilities make significantly less and receive far less benefits than those in public facilities. This difference, he says, results in an astronomically higher turnover rate in private facilities. "When something bad happens, they leave," he says.The high turnover rate makes for a consistently less experienced staff, which means officers aren't as well-prepared when a bad situation does arise. He cites an example when cutting corners came at a high price: A CCA-run Youngstown facility that opened in 1997 brought in 1,700 violent inmates from Washington, D.C. at what was supposed to be a medium-security prison. Over the course of a year, there were 16 stabbings, two murders and six escapes; the situation became such a concern to the community that Youngstown sued CCA in 1998 and the facility was shut down. According to Brickner, the smallest incident is enough to negate the short-term revenue from privatizing prisons; when the main objective is profit, privatized prisons want to book non-violent offenders who won't be in facilities for a long period of time. That means cells become overcrowded when minor offenders could be in rehabilitation, and extremely violent detainees tend to be managed improperly. "It is inherently wrong to allow private businesses to make a profit off
the incarceration of others," said Brickner in an ACLU press release. “Our state’s
prison system is bloated, and private corporations have a vested financial
interest to ensure our prisons remain full. If state officials have any hope of
shrinking our prison population, we must implement transformative criminal
justice reform policies and reject interests that grow our prison system.” Brickner suggests that concerned citizens contact their elected representatives to express their opposition to privatizing prisons. Read the ACLU's full report on privatizing prisons here.
by Hannah McCartney
at 12:50 PM | Permalink
Gov. John Kasich signs substitute bill removing breed-discriminatory clause
Dog lover or not, one must admit that pit bulls suffer from a pretty abysmal reputation. Thanks to their depictions in pop culture and history as fighting dogs, pit bulls have arguably garnered the most discrimination of any dog breed; many have visions of them constantly gnashing their teeth, chomping down on everything in sight, from little children to helpless dogs. That means they're often the target of unnecessary euthanasia, abuse or neglect. Meet a socialized pit bull and you'll likely attest members of the breed can be, in a word, wimpy. Finally, however, legislation is seeming to catch up with that knowledge — the breed has come upon a much-deserved stroke of good fortune. On Tuesday, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill that no longer declares pit bulls vicious or dangerous prior to an incident or inspection. For 25 years, Ohio has been the only state in the country to automatically declare a dog vicious based solely on breed, without regard to demeanor or behavior. Pit bulls have always fallen under that category, meaning they typically have a difficult time getting adopted or following their owners to apartment complexes or other multi-family housing (Read Martin Brennan's blog about pit bull treatment in Cincinnati here). In fact, thanks to an old grandfather clause, owning a pit bull is technically illegal in Hamilton County, although that hasn't really stopping dog owners from adopting the breed.In 2011, a bill was introduced to remove pit bulls from Ohio's definition of vicious dogs. Although the bill passed in the House of Representatives, it was never voted on in the Senate. Recently, Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Lucas County) reintroduced legislation to protect pit bulls. A petition at Change.org earned nearly 19,000 signatures of those in favor of the bill's passing. The bill, Substitute House Bill 14, not only removes the breed-discriminatory clause, but tightens the reins on dangerous dog laws, meaning law enforcement can better target their time on punishing reckless owners and truly violent dogs rather than otherwise innocent family pets. The bill outlines a clear system for determining a dog "dangerous," defined by killing another dog or injuring a person without provocation. Before the amendment of HB 14, an owner with a dog declared "vicious" would be required to obtain liability insurance. According to John Dunham and Associates, an economic research firm, it cost Ohioans $17 million each year to enforce the old law. The bill is expected to go into effect in 90 days.Told you they're wimpy:
After tremors, lawmakers try to slow down ‘fracking’
1 Comment · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
of 12 unusual earthquakes in northern Ohio reached a 4.0 magnitude on
New Year’s Eve, shaking homes in Youngstown and intensifying nationwide
opposition to fracking, a controversial natural gas extraction process.
by Danny Cross
at 09:43 AM | Permalink
John Kasich reduced the charges against an Akron school teacher for using the wrong address to enroll her kids in a different school. Probably felt bad for running out of vouchers. Kasich also says to Obama, “Bro, let my dudes build a uranium plant in Ohio. Stop being a bureaucrat.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Everybody understands that historical facts can be difficult to remember — boring topics, long-lost cultures, people who thought dinosaurs were real, etc. That’s why it wasn’t a big deal when Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann incorrectly described a couple of Revolutionary War battles and confused Elvis Presley’s birthday with his death (what’s the difference — he’s in Heaven now with all the black people whose music he stole).
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Anyone who frequents the downtown business district knows that certain local celebrations guarantee a less-than-diverse collection of visitors to our fair city (try yelling “Go back to Mason!” to random people at Opening Day, Taste of Cincinnati or Oktoberfest and you’ll be surprised at how many people think you know them).
2 Comments · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
It’s a coincidence of timing that this issue of CityBeat contains a news article about a recent panel discussion on “the vanishing middle class.” People familiar with the topic probably already know one of the article’s salient points: Although worker productivity has increased significantly since the mid-1970s, wages for many workers have remained flat or even dropped in inflation-adjusted dollars. The people benefiting from the increased productivity are the wealthiest one-fifth of Americans, who saw their share of income increase. Most of us are working harder but we’re not reaping the fruits of our labor.