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 German Lopez
Connie Pillich, a Cincinnati Democrat, is asking the University of
Cincinnati Board of Trustees to explain former UC President Greg
Williams’ $1.3 million severance package. Williams abruptly left UC on
Aug. 21, citing personal reasons. Pillich writes in her letter, “I was
disappointed to learn that the University agreed to continue paying
former President Greg Williams a sum of $1.3 million over the next two
years, considering the former president abruptly resigned six days
before classes were to start this fall. It is disheartening to see such
a great deal of public money spent in a manner that is inconsistent
with the financial realities many colleges, students, and families face
in the current economy. … The University’s tuition increase of 3.5
percent this year means students and families must incur a greater
financial burden at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.
Certainly Mr. Williams’ payday will weigh on the minds of these
students and parents, leaving them to wonder, ‘Does this kind of
decision result in tuition and fee increases?’”The Cincinnati Enquirer
gave some insight into what happened with Williams and the UC Board of
Trustees the day before Williams’ resignation. Apparently, there was no
sign of conflict in the correspondence and emails revealed under the
Ohio Open Records Act, but anonymous sources told The Enquirer that the relationship between Williams and the UC Board of Trustees was breaking down prior to Williams’ resignation. The Enquirer
could not get information from Margaret Buchanan, the publisher and president
of the newspaper that is also on the UC Board of Trustees; instead,
Buchanan referred reporters to Francis Barrett, another trustee.In-person early voting in Ohio begins Tuesday. Get ready to vote.A
nonprofit group says Mitt Romney’s health care proposals are more
expensive for Ohio than Obamacare. Families USA, a left-leaning group
that lobbies on health issues, says Romney’s plan would make families
pay about $10,100 a year on health care — almost twice the $5,100 paid
under Obamacare. The
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced it will not
be privatizing more prisons. The announcement came less than a week
after CityBeat’s in-depth story on private prisons and the many issues
state’s efforts to drive down prison recidivism rates saw some positive
news. In total, the state’s recidivism rate fell by 21 percent from
2003 to 2008. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Josh Mandel, state treasurer and the Republican candidate for this year's senate race, is only doing as well as he is in polling due to $20 million in pro-Mandel spending coming from out-of-state sources. But the money doesn't seem to be helping much; Mandel is currently down by 7.5 points in aggregate polling.To
celebrate Mandel’s birthday, Ohio Democrats gave him a new pair of
pants. Democrats said Mandel, who is Ohio’s treasurer and Republican
candidate for the U.S. Senate, will need the pants after earning “more
‘Pants on Fire’ ratings from Politifact Ohio than any politician in
state history.” Cincinnati
is working on rainwater harvesting codes. A task force has made
progress on the issue in the past year, but Cincinnati has only had one
rainwater harvesting system installed since 2009. A new manufacturer could be bringing 60 jobs to Northern Kentucky.Bill
Ackman, an activist investor, has a few bad things to say about Procter
& Gamble. The problem? The public doesn’t know what those
criticisms are. Ohio’s
exotic pet owners are acting slowly in registering their pets, putting
themselves at risk for jail time if they don’t register before Nov. 5.In an interview with Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, President Barack Obama said he will go after China's unfair trading practices, but the United States will not “go out of our way to embarrass” China. Obama said the lighter approach typically produces better results. The Cincinnati Reds rode their great home season to a 6 percent attendance gain.Science says traveling into the future is technically possible, but traveling to the past “can only exist in the movies.”Speaking of the past and science, Popular Science
posted an old article published in 1961 with predictions for the future’s
family cars. The article predicted invisible, self-driving cars that
could travel at 1,500 mph.
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.
Latest updates for this week's MidPoint Music Festival and news on The National's upcoming concert
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Get the latest updates for this week's MidPoint Music Festival and news on The National's upcoming concert at the Emery Theatre on a mini-tour for Barack Obama.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
, Barack Obama
, Mitt Romney
, President Obama
at 02:32 PM | Permalink
Compares Obama administration to replacement refs who botched end of Monday game
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan weighed
in on the controversy over replacement National Football League referees in a Tuesday town
hall-style meeting in Cincinnati, comparing the Obama administration to
the substitute officials who cost his home-state Green Bay Packers a
victory with their botched call Monday night.
“Give me a break. It is time to get the real refs,” Ryan said.
“And you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and
the economy — if you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out. I half
think that these refs work part time for the Obama administration in the
Ryan was referencing a play that should have been called an interception for the Packers but instead allowed the Seattle Seahawks to score a game-winning touchdown on Monday Night Foodball. Replacement referees — some of
whom may have been fired by the Lingerie Football League for
incompetence — are filling in for unionized officials who are locked
The vice presidential candidate spoke inside a Byer
Steel warehouse surrounded by piles of I-beams and rebar. A
self-proclaimed Southern gospel rock band played before the event,
occasionally pausing to talk up GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s
Much of Ryan’s prepared speech, as well as questions from
participants in the town hall, focused on the economy, the deficit and
the need for changes to entitlement programs.
Asked by an audience member how he would limit government
and eliminate programs, Ryan said he and Romney would spur economic
growth by lessening the tax burdens on small businesses, cut
discretionary spending on government agencies and overhaul entitlement
programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Outside before the rally, protesters called for Ryan —
whose House-passed budget made deeps cuts to many welfare and safety-net
programs — to have more compassion for the poor.
Meanwhile an airplane sponsored by MoveOn.org carried a
banner reading, “Romney: Believe in 55% of America?” referencing
comments revealed in a recent video where Romney claimed 47 percent of
Americans didn’t pay any income tax and viewed themselves as victims
reliant on government so it wasn’t his job to worry about their votes.
“We’re here with several messages, including the
immorality of the Ryan budget and how it will impact the vast majority
of Americans negatively," said David Little with the liberal advocacy
group ProgressOhio. “When a budget protects those with the most and
negatively impacts those with the least, I would suggest that is
Bentley Davis with the Alliance for Retired Americans said
she was concerned about what Romney and Ryan’s plans for Medicare and
Social Security would do to retirement security.
Ryan had proposed to keep Medicare the same for anybody
already 55 and over, but give younger Americans the choice to get money
to spend toward private insurance or stay in a Medicare-like program.
Inside the warehouse was a digital sign that ticked up the national debt, which was at $16 trillion and rising.
“Here is what our government, our Congressional Budget
Office, is telling us our debt is in the future if we stay on the path
that President Obama has kept us on, has put us on … the debt goes as
high as two and a half times the size of our economy by the time my
three kids are my age,” Ryan said.
The Obama campaign fired back in an email response, saying
Ryan used misleading rhetoric to hide his own record and Republican
plans to raise taxes on the middle class to fund tax cuts for wealthier
“The Romney-Ryan ticket has plenty
of questions to answer about a failed record on manufacturing and job
creation and their support for policies that will devastate middle class
families by raising their taxes and shipping jobs overseas,” Obama for
America – Ohio Press Secretary Jessica Kershaw wrote.
“These policies would take the growing manufacturing industry backward, not forward.”For some in the audience, the economy was also on the forefront.Steve Teal, 56, of West Chester, said he doesn't like the direction the country is going in."Just get the country back to work," Teal said. "I don't trust him (Obama). He doesn't stand up for America. He doesn't stand up for Americans."CityBeat writer Stefane Kremer contributed to this report.
Ryan went from Cincinnati to an event with Romney in Dayton later on Tuesday.
by German Lopez
City Council approved a $29 million plan that will shift $15 million
from the Blue Ash airport deal to
move utility lines and pipes in order to accommodate for streetcar
tracks. The money will be reimbursed if a conflict with Duke Energy is settled in the city’s favor. The city is currently trying to resolve the conflict over who has to pay for moving utility lines
and pipes. If the city wins out, Duke will have to pay up, and the money
from the Blue Ash airport deal will be put back
where it belongs. If Duke wins out, that money could be lost forever — a
worry Chris Smitherman voiced in the public City Council session.
Smitherman, Charlie Winburn and P.G. Sittenfeld voted against the plan,
and Roxanne Qualls, Laure Quinlivan, Yvette Simpson, Cecil Thomas,
Wendell Young and Chris Seelbach voted for it.CORRECTION: This blog originally said the entire $29 million plan will be reimbursed by
Duke. Only the $15 million from the Blue Ash airport deal will be
reimbursed if the city wins in the dispute.Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted received a failing grade from Voters First Ohio and the Ohio Unity Coalition for the way he's handled the 2012 election. The left-leaning groups criticized Husted for taking away in-person early voting hours that were available in 2008 and issues regarding provisional ballots, wrongful terminations and misleading language on the November ballot.Stan Heffner, former state superintendent of public
instruction, won’t face criminal charges. Heffner stepped down after an
investigation found he improperly lobbied legislators in favor of
legislation that benefited a private company Heffner was employed under.
Prosecutors claim Heffner acted inappropriately, not criminally.The Controlling Board unanimously approved $4 million Monday to conduct a study to determine possible funding for the Brent Spence Bridge. The study will look at tolls and the viability of various public-private partnerships to see how the bridge will be paid for.Jungle Jim's is opening an Eastgate location today, and people are apparently really excited for it.The state launched a new website to connect Ohio job seekers and
opportunities in the energy industry. The website presents opportunities in
advanced energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency and gas and oil.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be in southwest Ohio today,
and Obama will be in other parts of the state. The state is typically
considered a must-win for Romney and Ryan, but aggregate polling has looked worse lately for the Republican duo.
Speaking of Romney, he indirectly admitted he’ll have to raise
taxes on what he considers middle income. Remember when Republicans ran
on tax cuts?Another problem with global warming: Hotter days make people less productive, which greatly hurts economic output.
A Cincinnati research team found NFL players die
often to Alzheimer’s disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. The two
diseases kill NFL players four times more often than the average U.S. population, and
other neurodegenerative diseases kill them twice as often as the norm.Having sex once a week instead of once a month is the
“happiness equivalent” of making an extra $50,000 a year. Do not try
that line at home.
by Andy Brownfield
Obama campaign's Women's Summit appeals to Ohio women to vote, volunteer
Actress and acclaimed rapper Natalie Portman played up her
Cincinnati ties in a Wednesday appearance at the Obama campaign-sponsored
Women’s Summit at Union Terminal.
The Academy Award-winner said her mother graduated from
Walnut Hills High School and her grandfather — Art Stevens — grew Champion
Windows in Cincinnati after starting as a door-to-door salesman.
“Because of that, I see President Obama’s support of small
businesses as so crucial to our economy,” Portman said, adding that Obama has
cut taxes for small businesses 82 times since taking office.
Portman said the Republican Party and their presidential
ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did not have the best interests of women at
heart. She pointed to attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s mandates that
insurers provide birth control to women and ensure preventative care such as
mammogram screenings for breast cancer is covered, as well a bill sponsored by
Ryan and embattled congressional candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) that would
eliminate all abortion funding except for cases of “forcible rape.”
“We need to stand up for ourselves,” Portman told the packed
auditorium that was crowded with an audience of mostly women. “Our mothers and
our grandmothers made giant steps for us. We can’t go backwards. We need to go
Portman was joined by Obama Campaign National Women’s Vote
Director Kate Chapek, former Ohio first lady Frances Strickland, Ohio Rep.
Alicia Reece and Obama campaign volunteer Mary Shelton.
An Ohio Romney rep said the campaign did not have a comment
on the Women’s Summit, but is hosting a “Women for Mitt” call night featuring
former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao in Kenwood on Thursday.
“Ohio women believe in the Romney-Ryan
path for America that will result in lower taxes, less spending, less
government and more economic growth,” said a release from Romney’s campaign.
The Obama event on Wednesday catered to
women, with Chapek telling the audience she knew how difficult it was for women
to get there with jobs and the challenge of getting their kids to school. She
framed women’s role in the election as a conversation.
“The conversation starts like this:
women, turns out, we’re not a constituency,” Chapek said. “Who knew? Apparently
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, because they don’t realize that women are actually a
majority in this country.”
She told the women gathered to have conversations with their
neighbors and friends and encourage them to volunteer at phone banks or
knocking on doors.
Strickland talked about the need to reconcile qualities
traditionally seen as masculine — like power — with those seen as feminine —
She also took the opportunity to riff on a statement made by
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said political wives were heroes because while they’re
husbands were on stage in the limelight, they were at home doing things like
“I even did the laundry last night so I could come here
today,” Strickland said. “Even (former Gov.) Ted does the laundry.”
Summit attendee Ray Boston, a 67-year-old retired writer for
AT&T, said Natalie Portman’s presence caught his eye.
“I’m a celebrity photo enthusiast,” he said. “Nothing’s
official until I’ve taken a picture of it.”
Boston said he didn’t vote in 2008, but felt the upcoming
November election was too important to sit out. He said he was leaning toward
voting for Obama and liked his health care overhaul, but was opposed to the
president’s views on gay marriage for religious reasons.
Gwen McFarlin, who works in health care administration, said
she was there to support President Obama. She supports his health care overhaul,
but thinks it’s a first step to further changes.
She said she was encouraged by the diversity of the women in
“For me, I’m sure the women who are here represent all
the world, not one issue,” she said. “We’re here as a group of women working to
empower all the U.S. and the world.”
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.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
President Barack Obama announced a new
trade action against China during a Cincinnati campaign stop in Eden
Park Sept. 17, where he also took the opportunity to attack Republican
challenger Mitt Romney.
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
It makes me nervous knowing the re-election of President
Barack Obama rests partially in the hands of Ohio voters and in the
trustworthiness of the shaky Ohio electoral process.