WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 11.05.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Today is the last day of in-person early voting. Find your correct polling booth here. Check out CityBeat’s endorsements here. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is under fire for alleged voter suppression once again. In response to recent court rulings on provisional ballots, Husted sent out a directive on Nov. 2 that shifts the burden of proper identification during the provisional ballot process from poll workers to voters. The directive may not even be legal, according to a lawsuit quickly filed by voters’ rights activists in response to the new rule: “Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.181(B)(6) provides that, once a voter casting a provisional ballot proffers identification, ‘the appropriate local election official shall record the type of identification provided, the social security number information, the fact that the affirmation was executed, or the fact that the individual declined to execute such an affirmation and include that information with the transmission of the ballot.’” President Barack Obama was at the University of Cincinnati yesterday to make a closing argument to Ohioans. In his speech, Obama compared his own ideas and policies to those of Bill Clinton, while comparing Mitt Romney’s ideas and policies to those of George W. Bush. With just two days of voting left, all eyes are on Ohio as it could play the decisive role in the presidential election. In aggregate polling, Obama is up 2.9 points in Ohio and 0.4 points nationally. FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times’ election forecast model, has Obama at an 86.8 percent chance to win Ohio and an 86.3 percent chance to win the election. Early voters packed polling places around the state yesterday. The line around the Hamilton County Board of Elections wrapped around the entire building for much of the day. Butler County had a lot of early voters as well. Early voting was only available to all Ohioans yesterday thanks to a lawsuit from Obama and Democrats, which opened up in-person early voting during the weekend and Monday before Election Day despite strong opposition from state Republicans. Election Day may be tomorrow, but the entire process may not be finished at the end of the day. In 2008, Ohio took weeks to count the last 490,852 ballots. Slate reenacted the entire presidential campaign, from finding the Republican nominee to today, through video games. The groundwork is already being laid out for an amendment legalizing same-sex marriage in Ohio, which could be on the ballot as soon as November 2013. Some in northeast Ohio are still without power due to Hurricane Sandy’s fallout. Most people affected are in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs. Ohio gas prices are dropping. Early results from air quality tests show no signs of pollution near shale gas drilling wells. But the results are early, and more tests are ongoing. CityBeat wrote in-depth about fracking and concerns surrounding the process here. The deadline for Ohio’s exotic animal registration is today. The new requirement came about after an Ohio man released 50 exotic animals, including some dangerous predators, shortly before committing suicide in 2011.A lonely Asian elephant learned how to speak some Korean, and scientists want to know how and why.
 
 
by German Lopez 11.01.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. If there’s a Democrat-led war on coal in Ohio, it’s not showing in the numbers. PolitiFact checked Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s claim that coal jobs and production have gone up in the state since five years ago, and it turns out he’s right. Brown’s remark was in response to Republican challenger Josh Mandel’s claim that Democrats are leading a war on coal. Brown and Mandel are fighting for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, which CityBeat covered in-depth here. Currently, Brown leads by 5.5 points in aggregate polling. The presidential campaigns are turning it up in Ohio. Ann Romney was in Greater Cincinnati yesterday to campaign for her husband, echoing past visits from Michelle Obama. President Barack Obama will be in Cincinnati Sunday. Mitt Romney will hold a big rally in West Chester on Friday. Ohio could be the state to decide whether Romney or Obama is the next president. Due to Ohio’s importance, lawyers from around the county will be keeping a close eye on the state. With six days of voting left, aggregate polling shows Obama up 2.3 points in Ohio and the race tied nationally. FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times’ forecasting model, says Obama has a 79.9 percent chance of winning Ohio and a 79 percent chance of winning the election. The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) is suing Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) for allegedly using city resources to campaign for Issue 42, which will renew a CPS levy from 2008. In the emails, school officials discuss voter registration drives, signing up to support the levy and contributing to the levy campaign. But in a few emails, Jens Sutmoller, campaign coordinator for Issue 42, asks for personal emails to properly respond. COAST has endorsed a “No” vote on Issue 42. CityBeat covered Issue 42 and the problems facing CPS here. CityBeat also endorsed a “Yes” vote on Issue 42 here. Dropping enrollment in urban district schools, including CPS, has caused some schools to revise building programs downward, saving the state money. In CPS in particular, the school’s project has dropped down to 50 buildings from 66 partly in response to a decline in about 10,000 students since 2002 to about 32,687 enrolled students today. The shift apparently has less to do with students moving to the suburbs and more to do with the greater availability of charter and private schools. The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority’s CEO Laura Brunner laid out the Port Authority’s strategic plan yesterday. The Port Authority seeks to fight poverty, attract residents and increase jobs by expanding inland port operations, developing land, stabilizing targeted communities, upgrading its public financing plan and transparently communicating progress, according to Brunner. A small fraction of absentee ballots might have been rejected due to a state data glitch. The glitch caused Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to deliver 33,000 updated registration records to local elections issues. Tim Burke, chairman of the county Democratic Party and county Board of Elections, expressed mixed feelings about the error: “Obviously, you hate like hell to have the secretary of state’s office, which had promised to have a very efficient election, popping something like that on us seven days out. … Having said that, I’m glad at least once they recognized that these names are out there they moved to get them to us so that we can do our best to ensure that these folks are not disenfranchised because of some administrative glitch.” In related news, Husted got the emergency stay he asked for on a recent voting ruling. Husted said he was happy with the decision in a statement: “With six days to go before Election Day, I am pleased that the Court has granted a stay in this case so that I can give the 88 county boards of elections the clear direction they need on the rules for processing provisional ballots.” There are a few teachers campaigning for office in Ohio, and NPR says the campaigns could give Democrats and Obama a boost. The surge of teachers is largely attributed to Senate Bill 5, which tried to limit collective bargaining among public employees. The teachers figure the only way to prevent another Senate Bill 5 is by holding office. There are also Ohio Board of Education candidates on this year’s ballot. StateImpact Ohio has a look into some of those candidates here. A survey found small firms are doing very little to prepare for Obamacare. Most don’t know what the national health care plan will even do for them. About 70 percent were unsure or incorrectly believed Obamacare will make them pay a tax. Ever want to play Tetris with a pumpkin? Well, apparently someone has.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.31.2012
Posted In: News, 2012 Election, Anna Louise Inn, Voting at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
jon_husted_518045c

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is asking for an emergency stay on a recent court order on voting. The order lets voters vote in any polling place as long as they’re in the correct county. In his 22-page motion, Husted expressed concerns the “unwarranted, last-minute litigation” could cause “ongoing harm and confusion.” He also stated concerns that if the ruling stands, Ohioans will soon be able to vote from anywhere in the state, regardless of assigned polling places and counties. The Anna Louise Inn and Western & Southern met in court for what could be the final time yesterday. In front of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, both sides reiterated their past arguments. The Anna Louise Inn said it should be classified as “transitional housing,” not a “special assistance shelter”; and W&S argued to the contrary. A final decision is expected in 30 to 45 days.President Barack Obama canceled today’s visit to Cincinnati to monitor Hurricane Sandy storm relief. Both Mitt Romney and Obama have been heavily campaigning in Ohio, which could play a pivotal role in the presidential election. Obama will return to the campaign trail Friday. Meanwhile, a new Romney ad running in Ohio was given a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact. The ad claimed Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs, which PolitiFact said is throwing “reality in reverse.” In aggregate polling, Obama leads Romney in Ohio by 2.4 points. Romney is up 0.8 points nationally. FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times' election forecast model, now gives Obama a 77.6 percent chance of winning Ohio and a 77.4 percent chance of winning the election. Supporters of Issue 4 held a press event yesterday. If Issue 4 passes, City Council will have four-year terms, up from two. The reform seeks to allow City Council to focus less on campaigning and more on long-term policy. Opponents say it will make council members unaccountable. An anti-Obama memo circulated by the CEO of Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp. is getting some criticism from Democrats. The memo took issue with Obamacare, possible tax hikes and “over-regulation,” but it does not specifically endorse any candidate. Caleb Faux, executive director of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, says the memo is coercive: “I think that it’s disgraceful that any employer would use the power implicit in the employer-employee relationship to coerce people while they are making their voting decisions.” Build Our New Bridge Now has already raised $2 million. The coalition will market and lobby to get a new Brent Spence Bridge built between Cincinnati and Kentucky.  A University of Cincinnati study found green roofs may require some special plants. The news could shift some ideas in the green movement, which is currently pushing green roofs as a way to improve urban water infrastructure. Cincinnati’s City Council and Metropolitan Sewer District have some plans for utilizing green infrastructure.  Xavier reversed its decision to not pay for birth control in its employee health plans. The decision comes largely due to Obamacare's requirement most employers pay for contraception without a copay. Rev. Michael Graham, Xavier's president, criticized Obamacare’s requirement in an email to Business Courier: “Religious institutions have never been asked to violate their consciences in this profound a manner.”The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will be holding a public hearing on Nov. 13 to accept comments on a draft hazardous waste permit renewal for Spring Grove Resource Recovery, a Cincinnati-based company.Josh Mandel is touting his alternative to Obamacare. His plan pushes tax benefits, transparency, tort reform, health savings accounts and allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines. However, one study by Georgetown University found insurance companies may not want to sell across state lines, and a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study found tort reform would only bring down total national health care spending by about 0.5 percent. The CBO also found repealing Obamacare would actually increase the federal deficit by $109 billion. In aggregate polling, Mandel is currently losing to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown by 5.3 points. State Republicans introduced a bill reforming Ohio’s municipal income tax code. The bill got praise from business interests, but a statewide group representing local communities doesn’t seem too happy. Ohio school leaders are asking the state to not regulate the use of seclusion rooms. The rooms are small rooms that are typically intended to restrain violent or out-of-control students, but an investigation by StateImpact Ohio and The Columbus Dispatch found the rooms were often used to punish students and for the convenience of school staff. The Ohio Department of Education announced a $13 million Early Literacy and Reading Readiness competitive grant. The program seeks to help students boost reading skills before the end of the third grade. Ohio victims of Hurricane Sandy could be eligible for reduced interest rates through the state’s Renew and Rebuild programs. If you have a disturbing lack of faith in humanity, wait until you read this next sentence: Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 announced.How to protect Earth from asteroids: paintballs.
 
 

Checks and Balances

County leaders say electronic voting machines are appropriately monitored, despite connections to Romney-supporters

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
In the late hours of this upcoming Presidential Election night, one Democrat commissioner and one Republican commissioner from the Hamilton County Board of Elections will tally the final vote to see whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the county.    

Binders Full of Bigots

4 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This is an all-out race and class war. If you’re voting for the re-election of President Barack Obama then you’re either black; an unthreatened/progressive white; or a minority who’s been offended, discounted or demonized by Gov. Mitt Romney, Republicans and/or the Tea Party.   

Cintas CEO Emails Romney Talking Points to Employees

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
It’s no secret that Cintas Corp. CEO Scott Farmer showers part of his wealth on Republican political candidates. Over the years, he has thrown money at George W. Bush, Rob Portman and Steve Chabot. This year, he has given $52,500 to the Mitt Romney campaign. His wife Mary has ponied up $22,500.   

CityBeat's 2012 Endorsements: First Half

5 Comments · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
We at CityBeat take election endorsements seriously, and you should too! Our writers spent considerable time researching 2012’s candidates and issues and what each means to the future of Cincinnati and America. (We also figured out what the Hamilton County coroner does besides chopping up bodies...) This is the first half of our endorsements — the entire collection will be available in our Election Issue Oct. 31. Read ’em and weep, voter suppressionists!  
by Andy Brownfield 10.30.2012
 
 
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Obama Cancels Cincinnati Events to Monitor Storm Relief

Romney continues campaigning, collecting storm relief supplies and money in Dayton stop

President Barack Obama has canceled scheduled Wednesday appearances in Cincinnati and Akron to coordinate recovery efforts in the wake of super storm Sandy, the White House announced Tuesday. Obama was scheduled to highlight his second-term agenda from economic growth and the middle class, according to a news release. The release promised a “concrete and specific plan for the next four years.” Both Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have been vague on details of exactly what they would do if elected next Tuesday. Vice President Joe Biden had also canceled Tuesday appearances in Wooster and Gambier, Ohio, “due to local preparations and response efforts” for the storm. Meanwhile Romney campaigned Tuesday morning near Dayton, where his campaign collected supplies and donation to be sent to storm-affected areas of New Jersey.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.29.2012
 
 
yesonissue2

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.Issue 2 is getting outraised quite badly. Protect Your Vote Ohio, the group opposing Issue 2, has raised $6.9 million, while Voters First Ohio, the group supporting Issue 2, has raised $3.6 million since July. If Issue 2 is approved by voters, it will put an independent citizens commission in charge of the redistricting process. Currently, the process is handled by elected officials, who have used the process in politically advantageous ways. Republicans redrew the First Congressional District, Cincinnati's district, to include Warren County. The move put more emphasis on rural and suburban voters, which tend to side with Republicans, and less on urbanites, which tend to side with Democrats. Not only will Ohio play a pivotal role in the presidential election, but RealClearPolitics, a website that aggregates polling, says Hamilton County is among two Ohio counties that will play the biggest role. In light of that, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be in town this week. Obama will visit Oct. 31, and Romney will be here Nov. 2. Currently, Obama leads in Ohio by 2.1 points, while Romney leads nationally by 0.9 points. A partnership between the University of Cincinnati and U.S. State Department is going to Iraq. For the third year, UC will be working with Salahaddin University in Iraq to help redesign the Iraqi school’s curriculum and establish a career center. The Ohio Board of Regents and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) may merge soon, says Board of Regent Chancellor Jim Petro. The Board of Regents is already moving to ODE's building later this year. Petro said the building move will allow the Board of Regents, which focuses on higher education, to cooperate more with ODE, which focuses on elementary, middle and high school.  The Ohio legislature could be getting a big ethics overhaul in the coming weeks. Specifics weren’t offered, but Senate President Tom Niehaus said disclosure and transparency will be priorities. Cincinnati’s United Way beat its fundraising goal of $61 million in 2012. The goal was originally seen as “a stretch.” The nationwide meningitis outbreak is forcing some Ohio officials to take a look at the state’s compounding pharmacies. Compounding is when pharmacists make custom preparations for patients under special circumstances. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has already taken action against the New England Compounding Center, whose compound was connected with starting the meningitis outbreak. The FBI will join an investigation into fraudulent attendance data reporting in Ohio schools. Previously, state Auditor Dave Yost found five school districts were scrubbing data in his first interim report, but a second interim report cleared every other district checked so far, including Cincinnati Public Schools. Romney is getting a bit of attention for offensive remarks about the LGBT community he made when he was governor. On gay parents, Romney said: "Some gays are actually having children born to them. ... It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father.'' 
 
 
by Stefanie Kremer 10.26.2012
 
 
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Romney Touts Business Acumen in Cincinnati Visit

Romney makes case for election at Jet Machine in Bond Hill

There are only a few more weeks of political commercials, ads, promises and accusations flooding the TV and radio before the Nov. 6 presidential election. While many Americans are tired of political campaigning, Ohio — the most important swing state in the United States — has been showing a great response toward the campaign as it nears its end.  On Thursday, 4,000 people lined up outside of Jet Machine in Bond Hill to hear Republican candidate Mitt Romney speak at 11 a.m.  After flying in to Lunken Airport on Wednesday night, Romney had breakfast at First Watch in downtown Cincinnati on Thursday morning before proceeding to the rally in Bond Hill.  His visit in Cincinnati was the first of a three-stop bus tour in Ohio — along with Worthington and Defiance, Ohio later that afternoon.  At the Jet Machine warehouse, Romney criticized Barack Obama's campaign, foreign policies and plans for America's future.  "The Obama campaign is slipping because he keeps talking about smaller and smaller things when America has such big problems," Romney said.  Romney cheered on small businesses and promised that his businesses experience will help turn the economy around.  In a response to the Cincinnati rally, the Obama campaign explained that Romney's visit was just another attempt to try and convince Ohio workers that he is on their side and will stand up to China, when in fact it's the opposite.  "As a corporate buyout specialist, Romney invested in companies that pioneered the practice of shipping jobs to places like China, shutting down American plants and firing workers — all while he walked away with a profit," Jessica Kershaw, Obama for America — Ohio press secretary, explained.  "These jobs are likely to come at the expense of American workers in cities like Cincinnati, and that’s why the people of Ohio will not be supporting Mitt Romney this November.”  Romney ended the rally encouraging the Buckeye state to go to the polls and vote early.  "We need to make sure Ohio is able to send a message loud and clear: We want real change. We want big change," Romney encouraged.  In an attempt to secure Ohio, President Obama is due in Cincinnati on Halloween. With just two weeks remaining before election day, a new Ohio poll from TIME.com says that Obama is winning 49 percent of Ohio, compared with Romney's 44 percent.
 
 

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