0 Comments · Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The year 2012 bears the burden of
apocalyptic Mayan calendar predictions and a curious onscreen
fascination with speculative science fiction dramas but, apparently seeking to top things off, writer Dinesh D’Souza
teams up with John Sullivan to speculate about the true intentions of
President Barack Obama in 2016: Obama’s America.
by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.
State Rep. Alicia Reece, a Democrat, is not happy with
what she sees as another attempt at voter suppression. Reece claims a
new billboard, which reads “Voter Fraud is a Felony,” is meant to
intimidate voters — particularly voters in low-income and black
neighborhoods. The company hosting the billboards says there are 30
billboards like it in Greater Cincinnati and the sponsor of the
billboards, who chose to remain anonymous, did not ask to target any
The second presidential debate is tonight at 9 p.m. All
eyes are on President Barack Obama to deliver a better performance than
he did in the last debate against Mitt Romney. The media was quick to
jump on the post-debate bounce in polls Romney experienced a mere week
after the debate, but political scientists say debates typically don’t have much political significance
in the long term. Still, the debate will be a good opportunity for
Obama and Romney to flesh out their positions and show their abilities to reach out to the public. The full schedule of the remaining debates
can be found here. The agreed-upon rules to the debates were leaked
yesterday. One notable rule says the candidates may not ask each other
any direct questions during any of the debates. Both the Romney and Obama campaigns made a fuss about tonight's debate moderator possibly asking follow-up questions.
But the debate isn’t the only important presidential test
this week. While in Youngstown, Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential
nominee, tried to show he can pass the dish washing test, but little did
he know that savvy media outlets were ready to call him out on his
dishonesty. Brian Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De
Paul Society, said Ryan was only at the group’s soup kitchen for the
picture and didn’t do much work. The visit apparently angered Antal, who
said his charity group is supposed to be nonpartisan. The race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat saw its first of
three debates yesterday. At the debate, Democratic incumbent Sherrod
Brown and Republican challenger Josh Mandel agreed on very little, and
they did not have many kind words for each other. Mandel criticized
Brown for the auto bailout, liberal economic policies and inability to
get a budget through the Senate. Brown criticized Mandel for alleged
cronyism in the state treasurer’s office, dishonesty on the campaign
trail and support for trickle-down economics. The next debate is in
Columbus on Thursday, and the two men will face off one last time in
Cincinnati on Oct. 25.Ohio is still weighing options regarding a Medicaid
expansion. Critics of the expansion are worried the expansion would cost
the state too much money. However, previous research shows Medicaid
expansions can actually save states money by lowering the amount of
uncompensated care. Medicaid expansions in other states also notably
One analyst says Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble will see stronger growth in the future.
A controversial ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court is
sparking some local debate. The ruling said juveniles are not entitled
to an attorney during police interrogations preceding a charge or
initial appearance at juvenile court. Under state law, juveniles are
allowed to have attorneys during “proceedings,” and the Ohio Supreme
Court interpreted “proceedings” to mean “court proceedings.”
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced 6,665
new entities filed to do business in Ohio in September. The number is up
from September 2011, when 6,143 new entities filed to do business; but
it’s down from August 2012, when 7,341 entities asked to do business in
Ohio. The numbers show a steady economic recovery.
The Ohio Turnpike may get a few changes soon. A new Ohio
Department of Transportation (ODOT) study shows a few options for Gov.
John Kasich’s administration: lease the turnpike, give it over to ODOT
or leave it alone. If the turnpike is leased or handed over to ODOT,
tolls will likely rise to keep up with inflation and two maintenance facilities will shut down. However, the revenue generated could be used
for new transportation projects — a goal for the Kasich administration.
Kasich is set to make his decision in about a month.
In other Ohio Turnpike news, Turnpike Director Rick Hodges
announced turnpike tow truck companies will soon be paid less but
allowed to charge customers more.
Scientists want to measure human consciousness. The technology could gauge whether vegetative patients retain any awareness.
by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.
The first of three debates for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat is
today. Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh
Mandel will meet for the first time to prove who has the better vision
for the state. Democrats have repeatedly criticized Mandel for
dishonesty and dodging questions. Republicans have criticized Brown for
supporting President Barack Obama’s policies, including the auto bailout
and Obamacare. A more substantive analysis of the candidates’
differences can be found here. In aggregate polling, Brown currently
leads by five points. The debate will be at 12:30 p.m. on C-SPAN.
Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president,
will be in Cincinnati today. Ryan’s event will take place at Lunken
Airport at noon. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, was
in Lebanon Saturday. With the second presidential debate between
President Barack Obama and Romney tomorrow, both campaigns are turning
up the events in Ohio, a state that is widely considered a must-win for both candidates. According
to aggregate polling, Obama still holds Ohio by 2.2 points despite a
nationwide post-debate bounce in the polls for Romney. Bicyclists rejoiced Saturday as McMillan Street was
converted back into a two-way street. William Howard Taft Road will
undergo a similar transition Oct. 20. The conversion of both roads came
thanks to the approval of Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, who pushed the
motion in order to revitalize the business sector in the neighborhood.
The rest of Ohio’s school report card data will be
released Wednesday. The report card data grades schools to see how
school districts are doing in a variety of categories. The release for
the data was initially delayed due to an ongoing investigation by the
state auditor that’s looking into accusations of attendance reporting
fraud at some school districts. Previously, the state auditor released
preliminary findings criticizing some school districts and the Ohio
Department of Education for some findings regarding attendance fraud.
A new report found Cincinnati still has a lot of work to
do. The city ranked No. 10 out of 12 similar cities. Cincinnati excelled
in job creation and housing opportunities, but it did poorly in
categories regarding migration and age.
Bob Taft, former Republican governor of Ohio, is going
green. The Ohio Environmental Council is rewarding Taft for
standing up for the environment during his gubernatorial term.
Ohio’s stricter laws for exotic animals convinced one pet owner to move her two tigers to Indiana.
Some guy broke the sound barrier with his body yesterday.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
, Barack Obama
, LGBT Issues
, President Obama
, Mitt Romney
at 02:52 PM | Permalink
On National Coming Out Day, Obama campaign releases new ad featuring LGBT activist
On National Coming Out Day, Cincinnati’s only openly gay
city councilman told CityBeat that equality for America’s Lesbian Gay
Bisexual and Transgendered people would take a hit under a President
“On day one (of his presidency) he (Romney) could hurt gay
families by reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and hurt security for our
country,” Seelbach said. “We need as many people serving as possible.”
Councilman Chris Seelbach spoke to CityBeat as he waited to vote early outside of the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
Proponents of the measure that prevented openly gay
service members from serving in the military have said repealing Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell would damage the country’s combat-readiness.
A study published by the Williams Institute at University of California Los Angeles Law School in September found that there has been no overall negative impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale.
Seelbach said there would be a stark contrast for LGBT
people under President Barack Obama and his GOP rival. He pointed to the
Obama administration’s refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in
court; his vocal approval of same-sex marriage; anti-discrimination
measures signed by the president that, among other things, give same-sex
partners the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital and make
He said the next president would also likely have the
opportunity to appoint new justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court
will likely decide the fate of California’s Proposition 8, which
outlawed gay marriage."If you care about equality, you've got to vote," Seelbach said. "The easiest way to vote is to vote early."
The Obama campaign in Ohio plans to release a new online ad touting the president’s accomplishments for LGBT people.
The ad, made available to CityBeat, features Zach Wahls, a
gay-rights activist born to a lesbian couple via artificial
insemination. Wahls is known for his testimony before the Iowa House
Judiciary Committee against a constitutional amendment that would ban
gay marriage in that state.
In the ad, Wahls touts the president’s accomplishments and exhorts Ohioans to reelect Obama.
“We want to make sure that we’re all doing everything we
can this fall to get out, register voters, canvass, knock on doors, get
our family members and friends out to the polls so that we can re-elect
the best president this country has ever seen on LGBT rights,” Wahls
by Andy Brownfield
"Nuns on the Bus" tour to encourage voters to pick candidates that will provide for poor
A group of Catholic nuns kicked off a 1,000-mile, six-day
tour across Ohio on Wednesday, during which they plan on telling voters to
elect candidates who will do the most for the state’s poor.
“In democracy, the role of government is to represent all
of us and show us how we work together,” said Sister Simone Campbell, a
Catholic nun and executive director of Catholic lobbying group NETWORK.
“So that when some politicians want to tell us that there
is no role for government, that government is only there to let
individuals take care of their individualistic selves, I want to say,
‘that’s not democracy. That’s not our Constitution, and that’s not our
The “Nuns on the Bus” tour started Wednesday in Cincinnati
and will travel through Dayton, Lima, Columbus, Toledo, Fremont,
Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Athens and Marietta before ending back in
Cincinnati on Oct. 15.
The trip features Catholic nuns from across Ohio who will
be urging Ohio voters to examine what the Bible says about caring for
the poor. Dominican Sister of Hope Monica McGloin said voters should
choose the candidate who would best embody those teachings.
McGloin said the tour would not support any political party or candidate.
“We certainly don’t want to be partisan, because that’s
not what we’re about,” she said. “The fact is, neither candidate is
talking about the poor.”
While the bus tour kickoff was nonpartisan – speakers
avoided mentioning either candidate by name – a number of attendees had
their jackets or cars adorned with buttons or bumper stickers supporting
president Barack Obama.
McGloin said she had a list of things she’d like to see
from the next president: access to health care for all Americans, more
jobs, a focus on education and programs that help people meet their
basic needs, like housing.
This isn’t the first bus tour for Campbell, who planned on heading to work in Washington, D.C. after the first Cincinnati stop. She organized the original nine-state
“Nuns on the Bus” tour over the summer. The earlier tour was in protest
over the budget proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul
Ryan, himself a Catholic. Ryan’s budget would gut many social programs
relied on by the poor.
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 Andy Brownfield
Appears on same day Husted petitions Supreme Court to strike down in-person voting
Speaking to about 60 people at the Rockdale Baptist Church
in Avondale, the Rev. Jesse Jackson talked about the many “schemes” used to
disenfranchise voters while encouraging Cincinnatians to register to vote and
take advantage of Ohio’s early voting days. “Dealing in this state, for example, you think so much about
the painful days in the deep South — the overt schemes to deny the right to
vote,” Jackson said on Tuesday, the last day to register to vote in Ohio.
“We saw Ohio as a kind of beacon of light, the beacon of
hope once we ran across the river coming north. This year we’ve seen
Ohio and Pennsylvania take the lead in trying to purge voters and
suppress the vote to determine the outcome.”
Jackson’s comments came on the same day Ohio Secretary of
State Jon Husted appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court the Six Circuit
Court of Appeals’ decision to allow early in-person voting on the three
days before Election Day.
The three days had previously only applied to military personnel and their families.
Republicans like Husted have cited cost as the reason to
not allow in-person voting on the three days before the election. But in
an Aug. 19 email to The Columbus Dispatch, Franklin County
Republican Party chairman Doug Preisse said “I guess I really actually
feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban —
read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”
Pennsylvania, meanwhile, tried to require voters take a
photo ID with them into the polls. A state judge blocked the law from
going into effect for the 2012 election.
Jackson said restrictions as to who can vote when and where undermine the purpose of democracy.
“Open access, free, transparent voting makes democracy real,” he said.
Flanked by a tapestry portraying President Barack Obama,
Jackson touted the president’s accomplishments in his first term and
urged those assembled to give him a second.
Jackson was in Toledo Oct. 5 pushing early voting. He said
he was in Cincinnati because “Ohio matters” and he saw it as a way to
penetrate Appalachia because “poverty is not just a black problem.”
by Iain McDavid
Cincinnati, for me, has always been contradictory and
confusing. After living here for so long I’m still ambivalent as to how I feel
about it. The National certainly pushed me in the more positive direction
with their show Oct. 4 at Emery Theatre. The
Cincy-bred band summoned fans with a free show in support of
President Obama and filled the historic venue, front to back.The National’s set was evidently well thought-out, opening
with the powerful "Mistaken for Strangers," with the vocals and drums
seemingly soaring through the theater.
If you haven’t had a chance to catch a show at Emery Theatre (my first
experience was last week), you should certainly make that a priority. The theater, coupled with a band like the
National, truly makes for an unforgettable experience. The venue alone creates a sense of intimacy
between audience and act, something that is usually sacrificed to see your
favorite bands.From the very start of
the set, the audience was completely engaged with the boys on stage, bursting
into cheers and applause at the every songs beginning and end (and even during
songs at times). The only drawback for me was the fact that Matt Berninger would
simply not let me forget that the show was political. It seemed as if in
between every song some sort of Democratic rhetoric (not that the other side’s
rhetorical strategies are any better) was interjected. Something about the importance of voting, or how
privileged we are, which is somewhat obnoxious at that point. It’s highly
doubtful that anybody was suddenly converted by The National, and even more so
that anyone in attendance last night was slightest bit unsure about their vote. I suppose that’s mostly my fault, though — I should expect such from a campaign
All that aside, the audience was left in a state of bliss by
the concert's end, as The National closed out their set with an unplugged
version "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks." Earlier in the night, I had spoken to a
friend who had said the venue was acoustically pure, meaning that even without
any sort of amplification, the sound would still resonate throughout the entire
theater — and he couldn’t be more right.
The sound was not hindered in any way (I was a few rows back) and it
carried through the historic site as if I was the only one there. The closer truly unified the entire show into
a ecstatic experience that I will certainly not forget. Click here for more photos from the concert.
by Stefanie Kremer
GottaVote concert drew hundreds of Obama supporters and opponents alike
Members of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Cincinnati natives The National
knew they could lose fans if their band became vocal supporters of
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama back in 2008.
“When we publicly started supporting Obama, we did have a
lot of fans that were upset about that and just thought, ‘you should
keep your political opinions to yourself,’ ” lead singer Matt Berninger
told reporters before their Thursday GottaVote concert sponsored by the
“And I actually totally understand that and in many ways
almost agree. I don’t want to be preached to by the Rock bands that I
The band drew a mixed crowd of 750 people to the intimate show at The Emery Theater on Thursday. The concert’s purpose was to encourage attendees to vote for
Obama in the Nov. 6 election and encourage Cincinnatians to take
advantage of Ohio’s early voting. While the band’s support for Obama has drawn some vitriol
(fans made comments like “fools” and “shame on you” on Facebook posts
announcing the shows in support of the president) it didn’t stop everyone
who didn’t plan on voting for Obama from coming to the concert.
Adam Kesee, 25, is not an Obama supporter. He explained that he
was at The Emery to see The National perform anyway — just as long as
they didn’t devote the whole show to politics.
"I do not think music and politics should mix," Kesee
explained. "It's OK if you play to support a candidate you like, but
don't expect everyone to share your views and do not bog down the
concert with political views."
The National plays a GottaVote concert for the Obama campaign in CincinnatiCatie Viox
[Photo gallery: The National plays in Cincinnati Oct. 4]Despite their recent outspoken support of President Obama
and their series of shows dedicated to rallying support in 2008, 2010 and 2012,
Berninger and guitarist Aaron Dessner said they never saw their band
going in such a direction.
“We didn’t want our band to be a political band … most of
our songs are love songs or songs about drinking — we don’t think of
ourselves as socially conscious songwriters or anything,” Berninger
He said that during the George W. Bush administration,
they started to feel a responsibility to get involved — even if their
band took a hit. He cited his 3-year-old daughter as the context
through which he sees politics — he’s worried about the way her world
will be shaped.
"Where our country is now is more important than our Rock
and Roll band," Berninger said. "If it hurts our band, that's OK
Although some of The National's songs seem to hold
political themes, including "Mr. November," the majority of the songs
performed were rock songs written about love and loss including the
popular "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and "Fake Empire."
An intense performer, Berninger didn’t get so enthused
about performing for Obama that he slipped "Vote Obama," into the
lyrics, or devote the majority of the performance to campaigning. Aside
from two young campaign volunteers speaking at the beginning of the
concert, the president was not even mentioned until introducing the
third song, "I'm Afraid of Everyone," written, Berninger said, about a
desperate plea for the truth.
In exchange for free tickets to see The National, attendees were expected to volunteer their time for the Obama campaign.
Many concertgoers explained that they would gladly offer
their time to support the campaign. Others said that they were strictly
in attendance to see The National and do not plan on knocking on doors
or making phone calls to support the president.
"I don't really have the time and I don't really care about politics that much," said Kedharhneth Sairam, 24.
The crowd may not have been full of Obama supporters, but
they were still supporters of The National. The band’s GottaVote tour
included a Wednesday stop in
both Columbus and Cincinnati. Along with performing for fans, the band
took to the streets with clipboards encouraging students on the campuses
of The Ohio State University, Xavier University and Berninger’s alma
mater, the University of Cincinnati, to sign up to vote.
CityBeat staff writer Andy Brownfield contributed to this report.