WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 11.07.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, News, Voting at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Election Results 2012

Democrats, progressives make gains all around nation

A version of this article was originally published in Morning News and Stuff, but to wrap up this year's overly long election coverage, we figured it would be a good idea to republish the results as a standalone article. You're welcome!The election is finally over. All election results for Ohio can be viewed at the secretary of state's website. All results for Hamilton County can be viewed at the Hamilton County Board of Elections website. President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in what can only be called an electoral college landslide. He won every single “battleground state” on CNN’s electoral map with the current exception of Florida, although the current lead and remaining demographics to be counted will likely tilt Florida to Obama. Despite the insistence of conservatives and mainstream media pundits, models like FiveThirtyEight that predicted a big Obama win were entirely accurate. In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown also handily beat Republican challenger Josh Mandel. CityBeat covered the policy and campaign differences between the two candidates in coverage of the first, second and third debate and a cover story. For the First U.S. Congressional District, Republican incumbent Steve Chabot beat Democratic challenger Jeff Sinnard. The big takeaway from election night at a federal level: Billions of dollars spent on campaigns later, the U.S. House of Representatives remains in Republican hands, the U.S. Senate remains in Democratic hands and the White House remains in Democratic hands. In other words, billions of dollars were spent to change almost nothing. At the state level, Issue 1, which called for a constitutional convention, lost. But Issue 2, which was an attempt at redistricting reform, lost as well. CityBeat covered the rise and details of Issue 2 in a story and commentary. In the state’s legislature races, incumbents swept. Republican Bill Seitz beat Democrat Richard Luken for the eighth district of the Ohio Senate. Republican Peter Stautberg beat Democrat Nathan Wissman for the 27th district of the Ohio House. Democrat Connie Pillich beat Republican Mike Wilson for the 28th district of the Ohio House. Republican Louis Blessing beat Democrat Hubert Brown for the 29th district of the Ohio House. Republican Lou Terhar beat Democrat Steven Newsome for the 30th district of the Ohio House. Democrat Denise Driehaus beat Republican Michael Gabbard for the 31st district of the Ohio House. Democrat Dale Mallory beat Republican Ron Mosby for the 32nd district of the Ohio House. Democrat Alicia Reece beat Republican Tom Bryan for the 33rd district of the Ohio House.  For the Ohio Supreme Court, Republican Terrence O’Donnell kept his seat against Mike Skindell. But Democrat William O’Neill beat Republican incumbent Robert Cupp, and Republican Sharon Kennedy beat Democratic incumbent Yvette Brown. At the local level, Issue 4, which gives City Council four-year terms, was approved. Issue 42, which renewed a tax levy for Cincinnati Public Schools, passed. Issue 50, a tax levy for senior health services, was approved. Issue 51, a tax levy for mental health services, was approved.  In Hamilton County offices, things got a bit more blue overall. Republican incumbent Joe Deters beat Democrat Janaya Trotter for the prosecutor attorney’s office. Democrat Pam Thomas beat Republican incumbent Tracy Winkler for the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas. Democrat Jim Neil beat Republican Sean Donovan for the sheriff's office. Democratic incumbent Wayne Coates beat Republican Wayne Lippert for the county recorder's office. Republican incumbent Robert Goering barely beat Democrat Jeff Cramerding for the county treasurer's office. Democratic incumbent Lakshmi Sammarco beat Republican Pete Kambelos for the county coroner's office.In the lower courts, Republican incumbent Pat Fischer beat Democrat Martha Good and Republican Pat DeWine beat Democrat Bruce Whitman for the First District Court of Appeals. Democratic incumbent Nadine Allen and Republican Leslie Ghiz beat Democrat Stephen Black and Republican Heather Russel for the court of common pleas.In other states, gay marriage and marijuana were legalized. Minnesota voted against a same-sex marriage ban. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin also became the first openly gay candidate to win election for the U.S. Senate. Overall, the night was a big win for progressives all around the country.
 
 

Posthumous Lindner Campaign Contribution Goes Missing

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
CityBeat last week reported an August 2012 campaign contribution by the late billionaire Carl Lindner, who had died 10 months earlier.   

Jon Husted: Secretary of Suppression

1 Comment · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
By the time this article is published, the month of early voting and Election Day will have come to a close, and voters will have made their choices. But when it’s all said and done, voters will be making those choices not thanks to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, but despite him.   

Cincinnati vs. The World 11.07.2012

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Despite Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s best efforts to deter early voting across the state this election cycle, state election officials estimate that Ohio has seen a record turnout of early voters this year. CINCINNATI +2    
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 10.31.2012
Posted In: News, 2012 Election, Anna Louise Inn, Voting at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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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.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.31.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Voting, News at 04:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Officials Might Have Mistakenly Rejected Ballots

State data glitch causes late delivery of 33,000 updated registration records

An error in how voters update their address online caused updated registration records to be delivered late to Ohio’s election officials. With about a week left in Ohio’s voting process, the late delivery might have caused the Hamilton County Board of Elections to mistakenly reject some eligible voters because officials did not have the voters’ current addresses. Amy Searcy, director of elections at the board, says it’s unclear how many registered voters were affected, but 2,129 updated registration records were sent from Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s office. She says the number could end up varying since some of the records are duplicates. Across the state, an unknown number of ballots were mistakenly rejected as 33,000 registration records were sent late on Monday and Tuesday. Cleveland's The Plain Dealer reported 71 voters were mistakenly rejected in Cuyahoga County. Matt McClellan, Husted’s spokesperson, said Husted’s offices were previously unaware of the data, which is why it wasn’t requested before the glitch was detected by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).  The glitch caused the BMV to not properly send online address changes to Husted’s office, says Joe Andrews, communications director at the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which oversees the BMV. He added, “As soon as we discovered it, we fixed it. And I think that, in cooperation with the secretary of state’s office, the problem has been remedied.” In a directive detailing the delay, Husted touted the benefits of the catch. “While the timing is unfortunate, we are extremely pleased that the data from this new system can be sent electronically and will require minimal data entry,” he wrote. “Additionally, the new system has the potential to help reduce provisional ballots significantly.” Outdated registration records are one of the major reasons voters cast provisional ballots, which are ballots given to voters whose eligibility is unclear. In 2008, nearly 205,000 provisional ballots were cast and about 40,000 — about 20 percent — were rejected for varying reasons. Recently, a federal judge blocked an Ohio law that led to 14,000 of those rejections. Husted followed up that ruling with an appeal and a request for an emergency stay.Tim Burke, chairman of the county Board of Elections and county Democratic Party, expressed mixed feelings about the caught 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,” he says. “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.”He says the board will contact any mistakenly rejected voters.
 
 

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.    

Issue 2: The Facts and Attacks

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
On Nov. 6, America will be watching Ohio voters to see which presidential candidate we put over the top. But in Ohio, no issue will hold the long-term weight of Issue 2. The little-known issue seeks to reform a redistricting process that has long been dominated by politicized redistricting — also known as “gerrymandering.”   

Controversial Voter Fraud Billboards to be Removed

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A Cincinnati outdoor advertising company announced Oct. 23 that it will take down controversial billboards that opponents claim are aimed at intimidating voters.   

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