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 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 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 German Lopez
Newspapers all around the state — including The Cincinnati Enquirer, which labelled its article an “Enquirer Exclusive” (both The Toledo Blade and Columbus Dispatch ran a story with the same angle as The Enquirer)
— are really excited about a new poll that found Sen. Sherrod Brown
leads Josh Mandel in the U.S. senatorial race for Ohio’s seat by 7
percent. But the poll only confirms what aggregate polling has been
saying for a while now. Mayor Mark Mallory fired back at Commissioner Greg
Hartmann Friday. In a letter Tuesday, Hartmann accused Mallory of
failing to stick to his promises in support of a city-council committee that
would have established greater collaboration between Cincinnati and Hamilton
County governments. But in his letter, Mallory said the committee was
unnecessary and Hartmann was just playing politics by sending a letter
to media instead of calling the mayor on his cell phone.
Contrary to the claims of Mitt Romney’s campaign,
President Barack Obama does care about the work requirements in
welfare-to-work reform. In fact, Obama is disapproving of Ohio’s
program, which his administration says has not enforced work
requirements stringently enough. However, most of the blame is going to
former Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, not Gov. John Kasich, a
The University of Cincinnati received a $3.7 million grant
to increase the participation of women in science, technology,
engineering and math disciplines. The grant comes from the National
Science Foundation, a federal entity that funds science. The grant could
help current problems with science research. One recent study found
scientists prefer to hire male students over female students, pay male
students more and spend more time mentoring men over women.
Local homeless groups managed to get a hold of a $600,000
grant to aid homeless military veterans. The grant will provide
financial assistance and job training for the currently homeless and
vets at risk of becoming homeless.The Cincinnati Enquirer is raising subscription costs by 43 percent — from $210 a year to $300 a year.City Council will host a special session today to get
public feedback and work on the new deal meant to prevent further
streetcar delays. The meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. at City Council
Chambers, City Hall room 300, 801 Plum St.
Ohio is a swing state, which means we get a lot of
political ads during the campaign season. Are you tired of them? Well,
politicians don’t seem to care. In 2008, both parties ran a combined
total of 42,827 ads between April and September. In the same time period
this year, the parties have run 114,840.Citizens for Common Sense was formed to support Issue 4 on the November ballot, which changes City Council terms
from two to four years. The initiative would let political candidates
worry more about policy and less about campaigning, but some critics say
it would make it more difficult to hold council members accountable.Research shows random promotions may be better for
business. The study verifies the Peter Principle, which says many people
are eventually promoted to positions beyond their competence.
2 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Last week, packets of anti-Democrat
political literature tucked into plastic sandwich bags were tossed into
East Side driveways. It’s apparently a broadside from some bag ladies bent on kicking
President Barack Obama out of office, along with anybody who might
possibly share his views. But they might be cheating.
by Bill Sloat
Women for Liberty delivers sneak attack on Sherrod Brown
Over the past few days, packets of anti-Democrat
political literature tucked into plastic sandwich bags were tossed
into East Side driveways. Don’t assume it’s litter. Nope, it’s
apparently a broadside from some bag ladies with an Indian Hill address
who call themselves a “grassroots, conservative group.” They are new on
the scene and bent on kicking President Barack Obama out of office, along with
anybody who might possibly share his views. But they might be cheating, or
tools of someone who is flouting the law.
There are 16 political pieces in the plastic bags, including an ad for the anti-Obama movie You Don’t Know Him.
All but one are properly labeled with disclaimers that show who paid
for each piece. For example, the Mitt Romney flier says it was paid for
by the Romney campaign. The Sean Donovan for Sheriff of Hamilton County
was paid for by Donovan for Sheriff. But a piece that attacks U.S. Sen.
Sherrod Brown is a mystery — nothing identifies its source. You cannot
discover who is behind it. The flier lists 10 reasons why Ohio
voters should replace Democrat Brown with Republican candidate Josh Mandel. The
piece concludes by saying, “This November 6, Vote for New Leadership for
Ohio. Vote Josh Mandel for Senator.”
The secret source of the handbill has the earmarks of
a dirty trick. Laws and rules governing electioneering make it clear printed material seeking to influence voters must disclose where it
came from. The mandatory disclaimer is what a person endlessly hears on TV
commercials — “I’m so and so and I paid for this ad.” Print material has
the same requirement — “Paid for by Save the Seahorses” or whoever is
So whoever gave the conservative ladies the
anti-Brown handbill for their plastic bags seems to have broken the law.
Perhaps it was the coal mining industry, perhaps it was the Chinese
government, perhaps it was Ayn Rand back from the dead. Without a
disclaimer there is just no way to know who paid for the anti-Brown
attack. You are left to guess. All we know is that the writer didn’t
have the guts to stand behind the attack. They preferred shadowy and
sneaky over open and upright.
The Federal Election Commission publishes the rules campaigns must follow. It says, “On printed materials, the disclaimer notice must
appear within a printed box set apart from the other contents in the
communication. The print must be of a sufficient type-size to be
clearly readable by the recipient of the communication, and the print
must have a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background
and the printed statement.”
By the way, the group that is tossing the plastic bags
into driveways calls itself Women for Liberty. There is no website for
the group, although it appears to be an offshoot of another group with the same name that is based in a Washington, D.C. suburb and cites a libertarian philosophy.
by Andy Brownfield
Investigation finds Super PAC headed by Columbus lobbyist running ads attacking Brown
An investigation by nonprofit journalism group ProPublica
has uncovered the identity of one of the secret super PACs funding
advertisements attacking U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and promoting
his challenger, Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel.
The group is the Government Integrity Fund and is headed
by Columbus lobbyist Tom Norris. Norris’ lobbying firm Cap Square
Solutions employs former Mandel aide Joe Ritter.
Ritter declined to comment to ProPublica about his role
with Norris’ lobbying firm or whether he is involved with the Government
The race between Brown and Mandel is considered vital to
Republicans who want to take control of the Senate and Democrats who
want to hold on to their majority. It has turned into Ohio’s — and the
nation’s — most expensive race.
The Associated Press reported in August that outside
groups — like the Government Integrity Fund — have spent $15 million
supporting Mandel, while similar groups have spent $3 million for Brown.
It’s unknown where the money is coming from because
federal regulations and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United case
allow the groups to spend unlimited amounts of cash on political ads
without disclosing their donors.
Such groups are classified as non-profit “social welfare”
groups, which don’t have to release donor information or register with
the Federal Election Commission. They’re supposed to be “primarily”
engaged in promoting social welfare.
Super PACs aren’t supposed to coordinate with campaigns, but it is common for them to hire politicians’ former aides.
According to ProPublica, Ritter was first hired by Mandel
as an aide when the candidate was in the Ohio Legislature. He was then
the field director for Mandel’s state treasurer campaign and then became
a constituent and executive agency liaison when Mandel won that race.
He left the treasurer’s office after six months to work for Norris’
Ritter was part of an ethics complaint filed after a
Dayton Daily News investigation into Mandel’s practice of hiring former
campaign workers for state jobs. Ritter has contested the charges.Norris' ties to the Government Integrity Fund was discovered by ProPublica through documents filed with Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT. The Federal Communication Commission requires TV stations to keep detailed records about political advertisers.
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.
by German Lopez
The Ohio Board of Regents has recommended banning tobacco
on all school campuses. The ruling is meant to curtail students picking
up smoking during college. According to the Ohio Department of Health,
40 percent of college-aged smokers began smoking or became regular
smokers after starting college.
Louise Nippert, Cincinnati philanthropist and art patron, died yesterday at the age of 100.
Secret groups have been pumping Ohio’s Senate race between
incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel with
out-of-state money in support of Mandel. Unsurprisingly, the Brown team
is not happy about it.
More Ohio adults are on Medicaid and Medicare, a new study has
found. Ohioans are also relying less on employer-provided insurance. The
numbers apparently match a nationwide movement.
Yesterday, the world got its first glimpse at the suspect in the Colorado theater massacre. He had orange hair.
A coalition of labor groups is getting together to push for a
higher minimum wage in Ohio. They want minimum wage raised to $9.80 per
hour in 2014.
Penn State is getting a heavy-handed punishment from the NCAA. It
seems like the occult hand of former coach Joe Paterno will continue
having a heavy grip on the university’s football legacy.
Apparently, earth’s resources aren’t good enough for technology.
Scientists want to use dwarf stars to improve computers in a big way.
by Danny Cross
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has returned
more than $100,000 in campaign contributions in response to an FBI
investigation into 21 donors who had no record of giving to federal
campaigns and many appearing to have low incomes. Mandel, a
Republican, is running against incombent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Mandel's campaign treasurer Kathryn Kessler sent a letter to donors
explaining that any contributions appearing to be under investigation
would be refunded.
From The Toledo Blade:
Although the campaign provided a copy of the letter to The
Blade, it would not explain the timing of the decision or how long it
has been aware of the federal probe.
The Blade revealed the unusual pattern of contributions in
The company's owner, Benjamin Suarez, and 16 of his employees
(plus some of their spouses) gave about $200,000 to Mr. Mandel and
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth) last year. Each of those donors
gave $5,000, the maximum allowable amount, to one or both candidates.
The Ohio Senate yesterday passed new
fracking regulations, and the final version caused some environmental
organizations to change their stance on the bill. The Ohio
Environmental Council and the Sierra Club had both been neutral on
the legislation until changes were made forcing anyone suing over
chemical trade secrets to show current or potential harm, according
to The Enquirer. The regulations are part of Kasich's new energy bill
and easily passed both the Senate and House and is expected to be
signed by Kasich soon.
Cincinnati Public Schools says it will
apply for the latest available federal education grants, which amount
to nearly $700 million. The grants are geared toward helping schools
proceed with reform and innovation.
According to a new poll, President
Obama leads Mitt Romney in Ohio by six percentage points. Wonder if
Obama's “cow pie of distortion” speech had anything to do with
The John Edwards trial has entered day
six of deliberations.
United Nations inspectors have
reportedly found uranium in Iran enriched beyond the highest levels
previously reported. One diplomat said the measure could actually be
a measurement error, though the reading could also mean that Iran is
closer to producing bomb-grade uranium than previously thought.
Scientists might be one step closer to
creating birth control for men after U.K. scientists found a gene
used to enable sperm to mature.
From USA Today: “Profits at big U.S.
companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs.”
Facebook's initial public offering
didn't go entirely as expected, and some investors are getting
refunds after technical problems and other issues marred the
company's first week of trading.
The Reds completed a four-game sweep of
the Atlanta Braves last night, winning their sixth in a row and
overtaking the St. Louis Cardinal for first place in the NL Central.