0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
THURSDAY SEPT. 13: Amanda Bynes, once named one of Teen People’s
“25 Hottest Stars Under 25” got herself into hot water today after
paparazzi filmed her driving around for hours while hitting a marijuana
pipe that looks like a car lighter.
by German Lopez
Democratic council members call for extended early voting
In a letter to the Hamilton
County Board of Elections, City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld today asked the
Board to extend in-person early voting hours in the county. Council members
Roxanne Qualls, Chris Seelbach, Cecil Thomas,
Laure Quinlivan, Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young also signed the letter.
Council members Christopher Smitherman, an Independent, and Charlie Winburn, a Republican, were notified
of the letter Thursday, but they did not agree to sign.
voting will begin on Oct. 2 and run until Nov. 2. If hours are not
extended, polls in Hamilton County will only be open on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If the Board agrees to Sittenfeld's recommendations,
early voting will be extended to 8 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday
The letter brings home a political controversy that has recently gained
national attention. In recent weeks, Democrats have accused state Republicans of extending in-person early voting in
predominantly Republican counties and keeping shorter in-person early
voting hours in predominantly Democratic counties.
Democrats typically point to Warren County and Butler
County — two predominantly Republican counties with extended in-person
early voting — and the recent actions of Ohio Secretary of State Jon
Husted. In the predominantly Democratic counties of Lucas, Cuyahoga,
Summit and Franklin, Husted had to break ties in Boards of Election
on the issue of in-person early voting hours. In every case, Husted
voted against extending in-person early voting hours.
Jerid Kurtz, spokesperson for Ohio Democratic Party, says
the move follows a clear Republican trend: "Every opportunity that
presents itself, Republicans take away the right to vote."
referring to Republicans' initial push to end
in-person early voting in Ohio. In 2011, Republicans passed two laws —
H.B. 194 and H.B. 224 — that ended in-person early voting in the state. After
Democrats managed to get enough petition signatures to put the early
on the November ballot, Republicans repealed H.B. 194. However, by not
repealing H.B. 224, Republicans have made it so all non-military voters
are still disallowed to vote the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before
Election Day. Democrats
and President Barack Obama have filed a lawsuit to restore those early
voting days for all voters, including military personnel and families.Democrats
like Kurtz argue that in-person early voting is necessary to
maintain reliable, efficient elections. In 2004, Ohio did not have
in-person early voting in place, and the state drew national attention
when its long voting lines forced some people to wait as long as 10 hours
to vote. After the debacle, a Republican-controlled legislature and
Gov. Bob Taft, also a Republican, passed laws allowing in-person early voting.But
now Republicans seem skeptical of their own laws.
Republicans say the measures are meant to cut costs and stop voter
fraud, but Democrats say the measures are all about suppressing the vote. In
a moment of honesty, former Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer told
MSNBC that the measures are about disenfranchising demographics that typically side with Democrats. Even Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has stepped in to criticize Republicans for what he sees as disenfranchisement.Husted told reporters at Cleveland's The Plain Dealer that he is considering establishing uniform rules. With such rules,
every county would have the same in-person early voting hours.But Kurtz says the talk about a uniform rule is "pure
silliness." He says counties have differences, so they need
different voting times. Instead of worrying about uniformity or what
counties can afford, Kurtz says Husted should worry managing elections
and "empowering people to vote."
The calls for extended early voting come a time when
Hamilton County is facing budget issues. With a $20 million budget
shortfall projected for next year, affording more early voting hours might
be difficult. No official estimate has been released on how much the
extended hours would cost.The Hamilton County Board of Elections will meet Thursday at 9 a.m. to discuss extending in-person early voting hours.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
For the last few months, my oldest daughter has been
debating current events with her best friend. My wife and I have been witnesses to her burgeoning political and cultural
awareness, and it has taken me back to my own
Obama campaign targets LGBT voters in Ohio
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Barack Obama is the first sitting
American president to express his support for gay marriage, and he’s
hoping to cash in on that political capital come November.
3 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Among friends, family and even the most
bearable of coworkers, politics is a dangerous conversation. Once
broached, you’re liable to offend people you thought were like-minded
comrades or reveal the dark underbelly of your beliefs. After a few
spoiled relationships and one too many awkward elevator rides at the
office, we ought to learn our lesson.
3 Comments · Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Many people think the mention of religion, politics or sex
are the topics that are most likely to cause frowns, anxious looks or
angry stares if they’re brought up during conversation in mixed company. I humbly submit, however, that they’re wrong.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
WVXU’s decision to hire retiring Enquirer politics reporter Howard Wilkinson is the rare bright spot in the increasingly constricted world of local news gathering. Adding him to WVXU’s reporting staff
scored a twofer for news director Maryanne Zeleznik. In addition to his
sense of local and state politics, Howard is as passionate and
knowledgable about the Reds.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The first of four public hearings on proposals to extend the terms of Cincinnati City Council members will be held March 21. City Council has drafted two proposals
for consideration. Under one proposal, all nine council members would
run at the same time, while in the other, terms would be staggered so
some members would run every two years.
Smitherman makes return to council
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 7, 2012
For some people, City Councilman
Christopher Smitherman is Cincinnati’s wakeup call for change.
Smitherman’s election to council in November proved not only that
independent candidates can get elected, but that city residents wanted
someone who is outspoken and didn’t pull his punches at City Hall.