by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.
The vice presidential debate is tonight. The debate will
be between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. After the last
debate, some pundits are saying Biden needs to win this one to slow down
the Romney-Ryan momentum. But keep in mind political scientists say
debates have little to no electoral impact in the long term, so it’s
possible most of the post-debate polling in favor of Mitt Romney could
indicate a temporary bounce. The debate is at 9 p.m. and will be aired on all the big networks. The full schedule of presidential debates can be found here.
Romney might campaign in Lebanon, Ohio this weekend. Ohio
is considered a must-win for the Republican presidential candidate. Even
with a post-debate bounce, Romney still looks to be the underdog in
Ohio. The latest poll from NBC, Wall Street Journal and Marist shows
Romney down six points to Obama among likely voters in the state with a
margin of error of 3.1. The poll does show the race tightening from the
eight-point gap measured on Oct. 3, but it’s apparently not enough. By
itself, the poll could be considered an outlier and too optimistic for
Obama, but it actually echoes the latest CNN poll and aggregate polling
taken after the debate. In aggregate polling, Romney is down 1.6 points
in Ohio after the NBC/WSJ/Marist poll. Before the latest poll, he was
down 0.8 points.
A new poll shows a slim majority of Ohioans now support
same-sex marriage. The poll found 52 percent of Ohioans support it,
while 37 percent want it to stay illegal. The poll gives a shot of
optimism to Freedom to Marry Ohio, an amendment that would legalize
same-sex marriage in the state. Supporters say the amendment could be on
the Ohio ballot as soon as November 2013.
State Auditor Dave Yost wants to put the attendance fraud
investigation in context. When talking with Gongwer yesterday, Yost
explained that the potential data rigging going could have cost schools additional funding for at-risk students: “I suspect we
probably have schools in Ohio that ought to be getting that extra money
for those extra services to help those schools that are most at risk,
and that money is not flowing because the data is not accurate.”
Will county budget cuts hurt public safety? As the county
commissioners try to sort out the budget without raising taxes, Hamilton County’s sheriff
department could see some cuts, according to Commissioner Greg Hartmann. He insists the cuts will not hurt public safety, however.
An Oct. 1 analysis by left-leaning Policy Matters Ohio
found the casino tax will not be enough to make up for cuts in state
aid. Even in cities hosting casinos, the extra tax revenue will only
cover about half of cuts.
Only a few weeks remain in Hamilton County’s free electronics recycling program.
A Nuns on the Bus tour is encouraging voters to support
politicians that provide for the poor. The tour will avoid being
partisan and mentioning candidates' names, but the general vibe of the tour implies
support for Democratic candidates.Josh Mandel, Ohio’s Republican candidate for the U.S.
Senate, has gotten another rating from PolitiFact Ohio. This one is
“Mostly False” for Mandel’s claim that opponent Democratic Sen. Sherrod
Brown has missed more than 350 votes in the Senate. Brown has only
missed 21 out of 1,779 votes since he joined the Senate, and he hasn’t
missed any votes this year. The Mandel campaign claims the ad was
keeping track of Brown’s entire public career, but 83 of the votes Brown
missed in that time period were in 2000, when Brown was in a car accident
in which he broke his ribs and vertebrae.
The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll also had some bad news for Mandel.
He was found to be down 11 points to Brown among likely voters.
Mandel is now down 4.2 points in aggregate polling.
The right-leaning Tax Foundation ranked Ohio No. 39 for
business tax climate. The conservative research group gave Ohio good
marks for unemployment insurance and the corporate tax rate, but it
criticized the state for its individual income tax and property tax. New
York, New Jersey and California were at the bottom of the overall
rankings, and Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada were at the top.
Jobless claims fell to 339,000 — the lowest in four and a half years.
Coupled with last week’s employment numbers, the news indicates that an
economic recovery is truly underway. However, jobless claims are
very volatile, so it’s uncertain whether the drop will stick.Science has found some stars die in style.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This is not just my response to the first presidential
debate, which truth be told wasn’t a debate at all since one of the guys
behind the podium was decidedly not in the mood to debate or discuss
much of anything that voters might have been concerned about.
by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.
The first presidential debate took place last night. Most of the
“liberal media” says Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama, but the
impact of the relatively dull debate is probably being overstated as the
media tries to sensationalize some sort of comeback narrative for Romney. Although
the debates are important for capturing a candidate’s policies and
speaking ability, they don’t matter much in political terms.
Policy-wise, it seems Romney ran to the center last night. If last night’s debate wasn’t enough debate for you, here are the three most awkward presidential debate moments in history.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus held
a conference call with Ohio reporters yesterday in response to Vice
President Joe Biden’s comments that the middle class has been “buried”
in the past four years. Priebus claimed the
Republican ground game in Ohio will “crush” Democrats. But that’s going
to require a lot of work. As it stands, Obama and Democratic Sen.
Sherrod Brown are beating their respective Republican opponents pretty
badly in aggregate polling.
PolitiFact says Republican claims that Issue 2 will create
a redistricting commission that will “have a blank check to spend our
money” are false. While there is no cap on spending designated in Issue
2, that does not mean the redistricting commission will get infinite
funding. If Issue 2 is approved by voters, redistricting will be handled
by an independent citizens commission. If Issue 2 is rejected by
voters, redistricting will continue being handled by politicians that
commonly use the system in politically advantageous ways. A Republican
majority redistricted the First Congressional District, which includes
Cincinnati, to also include Warren County. The new boundaries give
Republicans an advantage by putting more emphasis on rural voters, which
typically vote Republican, instead of urban voters, which typically vote
Democrat. CityBeat previously covered the redistricting process and Issue 2 here.
An analysis by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management
found Issue 2 would cost the state about $11-$15.2 million over eight
years. That’s about $1.4-$1.9 million a year, or about 0.005-0.007
percent of Ohio’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year.
To put the cost of Issue 2 in further context, state tax revenues were $39 million above estimates in September.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the Ohio
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and the
Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) have settled out
of court in a case involving health care in prisons. OJPC brought the
case forward with a lawsuit in 2003, arguing that inmates were not
receiving adequate health care as required by the Ohio Constitution.
Courts agreed in 2005, and they created an oversight committee to ensure
medical standards rose. Today, health care in prisons is much better. With the
settlement, OJPC and ODRC will continue watching over medical policies
and procedures for the next two years, but courts no longer have an
City Council unanimously approved six projects for historic tax credits yesterday.Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank reclaimed its top spot
for local bank deposits this year, although data released by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) shows it might never have lost the
top spot to U.S. Bank.U.S. service firms, which employ 90 percent of Americans,
grew at their fastest rate in six months. The boost was brought about
due to rising consumer demand.
Ever curious about why politicians use similar body
language in all their public appearances? The New York Times has an
explanation.A new, strange dinosaur was recently identified.
DNC executive director discusses Ohio’s importance in 2012 and beyond
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, sat down with CityBeat for an exclusive interview during which he
previewed his remarks to Ohio steelworkers and talked about Hamilton County’s importance
to the presidential race.
by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.Josh Mandel, state treasurer and Republican U.S.
senatorial candidate for Ohio, is denying he physically confronted a
campaign tracker. According to Mandel, the tracker approached and
confronted him, not the other way around. But the video of the
confrontation shows Mandel approaching and getting really close to the
tracker first. Ohio Democrats, who said Mandel’s campaign is a “campaign
of unending dishonesty,” were quick to jump on another example of
Mandel possibly being dishonest. CityBeat covered Mandel’s notorious
dishonesty here. Mandel is running against Democratic incumbent Sen.
The presidential debates are tonight at 9 p.m. A full
schedule of future debates can be found here. Whoever does better, keep
in mind debates rarely influence elections.
Michelle Obama was in town yesterday. She spoke to a crowd
of 6,800, asking them to take part in Ohio’s early voting
process and encourage friends and family to do the same.
Grocery store competition could soon be bringing lower prices to the Greater Cincinnati area, according to analysts.
JobsOhio chief Mark Kvamme is stepping down. The
high-profile venture capitalist, who was originally from California, was
originally recruited by Gov. John Kasich to lead the Ohio Department of
Development. But soon
Kvamme hopped onto JobsOhio, a nonprofit company established by Kasich
and the state legislature to bring investment into Ohio. Under Kvamme’s
leadership, JobsOhio, which is supposed to replace the Department of Development, has brought in 400 companies to invest in Ohio,
leading to $6.1 billion in capital investment, according to a press
release. But the nonprofit company has been heavily criticized by
liberal groups like Progress Ohio, which say JobsOhio is
unconstitutional. Lower courts have generally legitimized Progress
Ohio’s claims, but the Ohio Supreme Court recently turned down a case
dealing with JobsOhio. The court said a lower court would have to give a
declaratory judgment first.
William O’Neill, former judge and Democratic candidate for
the Ohio Supreme Court, is asking Republican justices Robert Cupp and
Terrence O’Donnell to “recuse or refuse.” O’Neill says the Republican
justices are sitting on cases that involve FirstEnergy, an Akron-based
energy company that has contributed to the re-election campaigns of Cupp
and O’Donnell. O’Neill says the conflict of interest diminishes faith
in the highest court of Ohio’s justice system.
A new study on Taser use in Hamilton County found local
law enforcement have some problematic policies on the books and in
practice. The study was put together by a local law firm that’s
demanding policy reform.
Americans United for Life (AUL) is celebrating a federal
court ruling against Planned Parenthood that maintains Ohio regulations on an abortion drug. The
regulations require physicians to administer the drug in a clinic or
physician’s office, and the drug may only be taken within 49 days of
gestation. AUL says health groups like Planned Parenthood want to avoid
sound health regulations, but Planned Parenthood argues the regulations
make it too difficult for women to use the drug.
Natalie Portman is in a new commercial in support of President Barack Obama. In the ad, she touts Obama’s support of women’s rights.
It seems most Americans are avoiding or can’t afford as many trips to the doctor as before.
One of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in the world is wood.It turns out the vampire squid is not a lethal ocean predator. Still, who wouldn't run away from that?
by Andy Brownfield
First lady urges Ohioans to vote early; Romney campaign launches Ohio early voting bus tour
While the presidential candidates prepared for Wednesday’s
debate, Michelle Obama urged Cincinnatians on Tuesday to take advantage
of the first day of early voting, before leading a group to the board
of elections to cast their ballots.
“I’ve got news for you: Here in Ohio it’s already
Election Day. Early voting starts today,” Obama told a crowd of 6,800 inside
the Duke Energy Convention Center. She urged everyone to reach out and
encourage their friends to vote after they had cast their own ballots.
“Twitter them. Tweet them. What do you do? It’s tweeting, right? Tweet them,” she joked to the crowd.
Earlier in the morning, the campaign of Republican
presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicked off its “Commit to Mitt Early
Vote Express” statewide bus tour in downtown Cincinnati.
The tour started in Hamilton County before moving through Butler County and is scheduled to end the day in Preble County.
The bus is scheduled to make its way through every region
of Ohio during the early voting period and will serve as a mobile
campaign headquarters, dispensing voter contact materials and featuring
Romney campaign surrogates, according to a news release.
At the convention center, Michelle Obama avoided some of
the direct attacks employed by her husband or the Romney campaign, but
used her 30-minute speech to counter some of the criticisms from the GOP
nominee, recapping some of her convention speech.
“Our families weren’t asking for much,” Michelle said of
her own and Barack’s families. “They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s
success, you know, they didn’t mind if others had much more than they
did, in fact they admired it. That’s why they pushed us to succeed.”
Her comment seemed to come in response to an attack that
the Romney campaign levied against Barack Obama after his infamous “you
didn’t build that” comment, where the GOP candidate argues that Obama
and Democrats are fostering enmity among the middle class by stoking
jealousy of rich, successful Americans like Mitt Romney.
believed also that when you work hard and have done well and finally
walk through that doorway of opportunity, you don’t slam it shut behind
you,” Michelle Obama continued.
“No, you reach back and you give other folks the same
chances that helped you succeed. You see, that’s how Barack and I and so
many of you were raised. … We learned that the truth matters – you
don’t take shortcuts, you don’t game the system, you don’t play by your
own set of rules.”
She went on to say that Americans are part of something
bigger than themselves and obligated to give back to others, counter to
the Republicans’ narrative of the individual pulled up by his or her own
Danielle Henderson, 40, a teacher’s assistant from
Cincinnati, said she was a fan of the first lady’s and joked that she
wanted to know if Michelle was running for president in 2016.
“Behind every good man is a good woman,” Henderson said. “Honestly, a woman is a backbone of the family.”
She said she thought the first family was a good model for the rest of the country.
Henderson’s mother-in-law Barbara joked that she was excited to see what the first lady was going to wear.
“I see trends she sets trickle down to other politicians’ wives,” she joked.
by German Lopez
It’s October. Tomorrow is the first day of in-person early
voting in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth at the secretary of
state’s website here.
Michelle Obama will be in Cincinnati tomorrow to support
an in-person early voting push in Ohio. The state is considered vital
for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign against President Barack Obama, but while national polling is
close, Ohio is looking very bad for Romney. The
Romney team seems to be banking on the debates to regain momentum, but,
historically, debates have little electoral impact. The first debate is
Wednesday at 9 p.m. A
full schedule of the debates can be found here.
In more good news for Democrats, a recent poll by The Columbus Dispatch
found Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is leading Josh Mandel,
state treasurer and Brown’s Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate seat, by 10 points. The last Dispatch
poll found the two candidates tied. The poll shows a long-term trend
seen in aggregate polling of Brown gaining momentum and Mandel falling
A former Republican Ohio state representative came out in support of
Issue 2. Joan Lawrence came out for the initiative as part of Women for Issue 2, claiming the current system is rigged. If Issue 2
is approved by voters this election cycle, Ohio’s redistricting will be
handled by an independent citizens committee. Currently, elected
officials manage Ohio’s redistricting process, but the process normally
leads to corruption in a process known
as “gerrymandering” in which politicians redraw district borders in
politically advantageous ways. In the First Congressional District,
which includes Cincinnati, district boundaries were redrawn by
Republicans to include less of Hamilton County’s urban population, which
tends to vote Democrat, and instead include the more rural Warren
County, which tends to vote Republican. CityBeat previously covered the issue and Republicans’ losses in court regarding Issue 2 here. Margaret Buchanan, The Cincinnati Enquirer’s
publisher and president, left the University of Cincinnati Board of
Trustees Friday to avoid a potential conflict of interest in the
newspaper’s reporting on the UC Board of Trustees. CityBeat and
other media critics mentioned the conflict of interest in the past,
particularly when former UC President Greg Williams suddenly resigned
and Buchanan refused to comment on speculation around the resignation.
Cincinnati’s economic recovery is in full swing. For the
second straight month, the area’s manufacturers expanded. The Cincinnati
Purchasing Management Index, which measures manufacturing, went up from
54.6 in August to 58.8 in September. The index must be above 50 to
signify growth; below 50 shows contraction.
Cincinnati’s women-owned businesses are doing a lot more than some may think. They are responsible for 3,500 local area jobs.
Ohio’s attorney general is devoting more money toward
solving cold case homicides. Cold cases are old cases that have not been
the subject of recent investigations but could be solved in light of
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be filmed in southern and northeast Ohio.
Nintendo’s Wii U is already looking like the top Christmas toy.
Artificially intelligent gamer bots convinced judges they’re human more often than actual humans.
by German Lopez
Connie Pillich, a Cincinnati Democrat, is asking the University of
Cincinnati Board of Trustees to explain former UC President Greg
Williams’ $1.3 million severance package. Williams abruptly left UC on
Aug. 21, citing personal reasons. Pillich writes in her letter, “I was
disappointed to learn that the University agreed to continue paying
former President Greg Williams a sum of $1.3 million over the next two
years, considering the former president abruptly resigned six days
before classes were to start this fall. It is disheartening to see such
a great deal of public money spent in a manner that is inconsistent
with the financial realities many colleges, students, and families face
in the current economy. … The University’s tuition increase of 3.5
percent this year means students and families must incur a greater
financial burden at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.
Certainly Mr. Williams’ payday will weigh on the minds of these
students and parents, leaving them to wonder, ‘Does this kind of
decision result in tuition and fee increases?’”The Cincinnati Enquirer
gave some insight into what happened with Williams and the UC Board of
Trustees the day before Williams’ resignation. Apparently, there was no
sign of conflict in the correspondence and emails revealed under the
Ohio Open Records Act, but anonymous sources told The Enquirer that the relationship between Williams and the UC Board of Trustees was breaking down prior to Williams’ resignation. The Enquirer
could not get information from Margaret Buchanan, the publisher and president
of the newspaper that is also on the UC Board of Trustees; instead,
Buchanan referred reporters to Francis Barrett, another trustee.In-person early voting in Ohio begins Tuesday. Get ready to vote.A
nonprofit group says Mitt Romney’s health care proposals are more
expensive for Ohio than Obamacare. Families USA, a left-leaning group
that lobbies on health issues, says Romney’s plan would make families
pay about $10,100 a year on health care — almost twice the $5,100 paid
under Obamacare. The
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced it will not
be privatizing more prisons. The announcement came less than a week
after CityBeat’s in-depth story on private prisons and the many issues
state’s efforts to drive down prison recidivism rates saw some positive
news. In total, the state’s recidivism rate fell by 21 percent from
2003 to 2008. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Josh Mandel, state treasurer and the Republican candidate for this year's senate race, is only doing as well as he is in polling due to $20 million in pro-Mandel spending coming from out-of-state sources. But the money doesn't seem to be helping much; Mandel is currently down by 7.5 points in aggregate polling.To
celebrate Mandel’s birthday, Ohio Democrats gave him a new pair of
pants. Democrats said Mandel, who is Ohio’s treasurer and Republican
candidate for the U.S. Senate, will need the pants after earning “more
‘Pants on Fire’ ratings from Politifact Ohio than any politician in
state history.” Cincinnati
is working on rainwater harvesting codes. A task force has made
progress on the issue in the past year, but Cincinnati has only had one
rainwater harvesting system installed since 2009. A new manufacturer could be bringing 60 jobs to Northern Kentucky.Bill
Ackman, an activist investor, has a few bad things to say about Procter
& Gamble. The problem? The public doesn’t know what those
criticisms are. Ohio’s
exotic pet owners are acting slowly in registering their pets, putting
themselves at risk for jail time if they don’t register before Nov. 5.In an interview with Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, President Barack Obama said he will go after China's unfair trading practices, but the United States will not “go out of our way to embarrass” China. Obama said the lighter approach typically produces better results. The Cincinnati Reds rode their great home season to a 6 percent attendance gain.Science says traveling into the future is technically possible, but traveling to the past “can only exist in the movies.”Speaking of the past and science, Popular Science
posted an old article published in 1961 with predictions for the future’s
family cars. The article predicted invisible, self-driving cars that
could travel at 1,500 mph.
by German Lopez
In an ad accusing Josh Mandel, a Republican, of
lying, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign team may have lied,
according to PolitiFact. The U.S. senatorial campaign for Ohio’s senate
seat has been filled with dishonesty, but it usually comes from Mandel. The dishonesty seems to be hurting Mandel more than Brown; Mandel is currently down 7.5 points in aggregate polling numbers.
Mandel is being taken to court by liberal blog
Plunderbund. The blog claims Mandel has made it extra difficult to get
public records.Preliminary data for Ohio schools was released yesterday.
Some data is still being held back while an investigation into
fraudulent reporting from some schools is finished, but the data gives some insight into how
schools performed during the 2011-2012 school year. The data can be
found here. From a local angle, the data shows Cincinnati Public
Schools (CPS) did not meet “adequate yearly progress,” a federal standard that
measures progress in student subgroups, such as minority groups; but CPS
did meet standards for “value-added growth,” which measures the
expected progress in state testing for all students between the third
and eighth grades.
City Council approved the $29 million financing plan for
the streetcar yesterday. The plan will use $15 million from the Blue Ash
airport deal to move utility lines and pipes. The city claims the $15
million, which was originally promised to neighborhood projects, will
be reimbursed by Duke Energy once the city settles a conflict with the
energy company. Duke and the city are currently arguing over who has to
pay to move the utility lines and pipes.
An Ohio state representative is asking the federal
government to monitor the election more closely. Rep. Alicia Reece, a
Cincinnati Democrat, is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to send monitors
to the state to ensure no funny business goes on in voting booths on
Nov. 6. The request is partly in response to a recent court ruling
that forces Ohio to count provisional ballots if the ballots were
brought around by poll worker errors.
Ohio’s ability to stop political lies was upheld
yesterday. The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes
(COAST) tried to put an end to the government power, which COAST claimed
was censorship, by taking it to court, but a U.S. judge upheld the
ability. The judge, who is a former chairman of the Hamilton County
Republican Party, said COAST did not properly display that its speech was held
down by the law. Considering some of COAST’s tweets, the judge is
E.W. Scripps Co. will host a job fair in Cincinnati Oct. 10 to fill 100 digital jobs.
The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the rights of lesbian
ex-couples to set visitation times. The court said non-parents are
allowed to participate in visitations during child custody proceedings.
Ohio might expand Medicaid, but not to the extent asked
for by Obamacare. That’s what the state’s Medicaid director said
yesterday, anyway. A previous study found Medicaid expansions improved and might
have saved lives in other states, and other studies have found Medicaid
expansions may save the state money by cutting uncompensated costs.
Pundits really dug into Mitt Romney the past few days over his poor poll numbers in Ohio. The Business Courier asked if Romney has already lost Ohio. Politico said Romney’s biggest hurdle to the White House is Ohio. The New Republic ran an article with six theories as to what led to Romney’s losses in the state. The Cleveland Plain Dealer
pointed out both presidential candidates were stumping at a pivotal time in northern Ohio yesterday.
Aggregate polling paints a consistently bad picture for Romney in Ohio;
he is currently down four points.
But Romney probably isn’t helping matters. In an Ohio
rally Tuesday, he admitted President Barack Obama didn’t raise taxes in his
Gov. John Kasich signed a series of bills shoring up
Ohio’s public pension system yesterday. The laws will cut benefits
and raise eligibility requirements, but state officials insist the new
laws will mostly affect future retirees.
NASA wants samples from Mars, and it has a plan. The new plan may require a robot-to-human hand-off in space.
by Mike Breen
Give a listen to the likely songs our unlikely next president jamz out to
The PR folks working with covert comedic organization Team Coco sent over a press release this afternoon that also included "Mitt Romney's Fave Tunez," an Rdio-made, embed-ready playlist featuring the Mittster's favorite jamz. Here's a snippet from the release:During the heat of the current presidential election, you can always count on Team Coco to keep those LOLs and ROFLs alive and well. For its weekly Rdio mixtape, Team Coco has procured the perfect songs for a Mitt Romney playlist. Featuring tracks such as Money, Money, Money, Polygamy Blues, I Gotsta Get Paid and many more, this playlist is sure to get anyone’s Romney on. Enjoy! Well, most of you. Forty-seven % of you can go fuck yourselves find something productive to do for once.UPDATED: The original post included a press release that was sent out unintentionally. The post has been corrected with the proper release quote.