by German Lopez
A federal judge is ordering Secretary of State Jon Husted
to appear in court to explain why Husted is ignoring a recent ruling. The judge
ruled Friday that Husted must enact in-person early voting for all
voters on the weekend and Monday before Election Day. Husted told county
boards of elections to ignore the ruling until after an appeal process.
Republicans have consistently blocked the expansion of early voting,
citing racial politics and costs.After a merger with Progress Energy, Duke Energy will
rebrand itself. The details are sparse, but CEO Jim Rogers promised in a
letter last week that the company will be going some big changes. Even a
name change was hinted at in the letter, which promised the commission
“a rollout of the new logo and name-change occurring at the end of the
first quarter of 2013 and beginning of the second quarter.” An activist group is demanding the U.S. Department of
Labor investigate allegations that Murray Energy forced its miners in
Bealsville, Ohio to attend a campaign rally for presidential candidate
Mitt Romney. CREDO Action, the group filing the petition, wants the
Department of Labor to see if any laws were broken in the process.
Murray Energy’s CEO says workers were told the campaign rally “was
mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” But that explanation makes
no sense.Cincinnati hospitals and medical centers saw higher
expenses and revenues in the past few fiscal years. Urban hospitals and
centers in particular were more likely to see higher costs and income,
while rural hospitals and centers sometimes saw decreases.Voters First is mocking the redistricting system with a
new graph. The graph shows a real email exchange between politicians
carving out districts for personal gain. The exchange only lasts 13
minutes and has no questions asked before Republican redistricting officials agree
to redraw a district to benefit Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican. Voters First also held
a 13-minute press conference to mock the exchange further and explain
the redistricting process.I-75 will be undergoing a massive widening project starting in 2021. The project is estimated to cost $467 million.Three downtown buildings have been sold to 3CDC for $10. The company currently has no plans for the buildings.Ohio is hosting an international venture capital
conference. The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds
conference is in Cleveland between Oct. 15 and 17. The nonprofit
organization has 200 members, and 22 of them are in Ohio. Venture
capital has come under fire during the current campaign season due to
Romney’s campaign and Romney’s work as CEO of Bain Capital.The Miami University frat that was suspended is dropping
its $10 million lawsuit. The frat was suspended after a fireworks
battle led to police finding illegal substances inside the frat.Ohio farmers from all counties are now seeking disaster aid after severe storms and drought hurt crops this summer.Former Gov. Ted Strickland got “God” and “Jerusalem” put
back in the Democratic Party’s official platform. There was some booing
after the pandering addition was made. Former President Bill Clinton made a speech defending
President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention last night.
In the speech, Clinton points out that Republicans were in power when
the recession began, and Obama inherited a horrible situation from them.
But Clinton passed the largest deregulatory law in history when in 1999 he repealed the
Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, and the severe lack of regulation is
often blamed for the financial crisis that helped spur the Great
Recession.A scientist is linking global warming to the amount of exploding stars in the sky.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
at 01:00 PM | Permalink
Amusements and things that didn't make it into our story
There are a lot of things that don’t make it into any given news
story. When you attend an event as a reporter, such as Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney’s visit to Union Terminal last Saturday (as I did), you
wait in line for about an hour, then wait inside for another hour while
security checks every visitor.
During that time, you’re talking to people who are attending,
taking notes to provide color for the story (things such as what songs are
playing, slogans on shirts or signs, the general mood or atmosphere) and
getting information from the event staff, such as how many tickets were given
out, how many people are estimated to attend, etc.
Then there are the speakers — about an hour of politicians
talking. After that, there’s the counter press conference with local Democratic
officials. Then you make phone calls to fill in any gaps.
With all of that material and the average reader attention span
on 800 words, a lot of information gets left out of any given piece. So here
are some things I found interesting from Romney’s visit that didn’t make it
into my story that day.
The most popular attire seemed to be Reds items. Many
event-goers wore Reds T-shirts or caps, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who spoke at
the event, wore a Reds ballcap and opened his speech with “So Cincinnati, how
about these Redlegs?” and talked about Jay Bruce’s homer the previous night.U.S. House Speaker John Boehner attended the rally. I remember
seeing him on TV at the Republican National Convention and commenting that he
didn’t look as tan anymore. Must have been the cameras. In person, he was at
least five shades darker than the pasty Portman.U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot also spoke at the rally. While most speakers
stuck to short speeches meant to pump up attendees and introduce Romney, Chabot
got local. He encouraged attendees to vote against Issue 2, a ballot measure
appearing in November that would change the way redistricting is done in Ohio.
Currently congressional redistricting is done by the Legislature, which can
give one party an advantage if they control both houses and the governor’s
mansion. Chabot said Issue 2, which would set up an independent commission to
redraw congressional districts, would allow special interest groups to take
voters out of the equation and have the lines drawn by “unelected,
unaccountable” people. (CityBeat covered this year's redistricting issue here and here.)As politicians do, speakers from both Republican and Democratic
camps tried to spin the message. Portman told rally attendees that we were in
the midst of the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, a
statement independent fact checkers determined to be false. UPDATE 9/5/12: According to Republicans in the Joint Economic Committee and a report by The Associated Press economic growth and consumer spending have recovered more slowly from this recession than any time since The Great Depression. A PolitiFact check of Romney's claim that it was the slowest jobs recovery was deemed to be false.Meanwhile, in their
press conference after the rally, Democrats had maybe a dozen local
Cincinnatians in a small public area near Music Hall. Obama’s campaign provided
signs and had them all crowd behind a podium where local politicians spoke. For
the TV cameras, it probably looked like a sizeable crowd, which is an old
by Andy Brownfield
CREDO Action petitioning Labor Department to investigate Murray Energy
The activist branch of a liberal telecommunications company
has filed a petition asking the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate
allegations that Murray Energy forced miners in Beallsville, Ohio to
attend a rally for Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.
CREDO Action Campaign Manager Josh Nelson told CityBeat that the group emailed the petition with 4,021 signatures to the Department of Labor Wednesday morning.
The petition reads: "Requiring employees to attend a Mitt
Romney political rally without pay is totally unacceptable. I urge you
to conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether Murray Energy
violated any federal laws on August 14th, and to hold it fully
accountable if it did."
Romney appeared at the event to attack what he called
President Barack Obama’s “war on coal.” He was flanked on stage by
hundreds of miners with soot-stained faces.
Dozens of those miners told WWVA-AM West Virginia talk
show host David Blomquist that they were pulled from the mine before
their shift was over and not paid for the full day of work. The miners,
who Blomquist did not identify, said they were told that attendance at
the rally was mandatory.
Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore told
Blomquist on his radio show that managers “communicated to our workforce
that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was
forced to attend.”
He said that people who did not show up to the event,
which organizers say drew 1,500 miners and family members, were not
penalized for their absence.
“Forcing Ohio workers to participate in a political rally
is unacceptable, so we're joining our friends at SEIU in calling on the
U.S. Department of Labor to conduct an investigation to determine
whether or not any federal laws were broken,” Nelson wrote in an email
to CREDO Action’s Ohio activists on Sept. 1.
A spokeswoman for the Labor Department was not immediately
able to confirm whether the department had received the petition or
planned to launch an investigation.
This post will be updated with comment from the Labor Department when it becomes available.
by Andy Brownfield
Local Democrats say GOP nominee's plans would hurt middle class, Hamilton County
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday laid out
five steps that he said would have America “roaring back” during his first campaign stop since formally accepting the
Republican nomination.At Cincinnati's Union Terminal, Romney was joined on stage by his wife Anne, who spoke briefly, echoing her convention speech meant to humanize her husband.
He said his plan involved encouraging development in oil
and coal, implementing a trade policy that favored American companies
and not “cheaters” like China, making sure workers and students had
skills to succeed in the coming century, reducing the deficit and
encouraging small business growth.
“America is going to come roaring back,” Romney told the crowd of thousands packed inside Union Terminal.
Not everyone was so impressed with the GOP nominee’s promises.
About an hour after the Romney campaign event, Cincinnati
Democratic leaders held a news conference to rebut the Republican’s
“Much of his (Romney’s) speech was like his speech in
Tampa, which is where Romney gave Cincinnatians nothing more than vague
platitudes, false and misleading attacks without one single tangible
idea on how to move forward,” said Democratic/Charterite Cincinnati City
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson.
Simpson, along with Democratic Councilman Cecil Thomas and
Bishop Bobby Hilton, attacked the tax plan put forward by Romney and
his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. They said it would cut taxes
for the richest Americans while raising taxes on the middle class by
about $2,000 per household, citing an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax
“Mitt Romney’s plan would take Ohio and Cincinnati backwards, and we don’t have time to go backwards,” Hilton said.
Hilton credited Cincinnati’s revitalization and urban development in part on federal money obtained from Obama’s stimulus plan.
“We deserve better than this. We deserve better than Romney/Ryan,” he said.
Romney would have disagreed with Hilton’s assessment of
Cincinnati’s growth. During his speech he praised Ohio Gov. John Kasich,
crediting him with bringing jobs and businesses to the state.
Romney also took time to attack President Barack Obama’s
record in office. The GOP nominee said in preparation for his convention
speech he read many past convention speeches — including Obama’s.
“He was not one of the ones that I wanted to draw from,
except I could not resist a couple of things he said, because he made a
lot of promises,” Romney said. “And I noted that he didn't keep a lot of
Romney also criticized what he called the bitterness and
divisiveness of Obama’s campaign, saying as president he would bring the
country together. He mentioned the “patriotism and courage” of the late
Neil Armstrong, who was honored in a private service in Cincinnati on
“I will do everything in my power to bring us together,
because, united, America built the strongest economy in the history of
the earth. United, we put Neil Armstrong on the moon. United, we faced
down unspeakable darkness,” Romney said.
“United, our men and women in uniform continue to defend
freedom today. I love those people who serve our great nation. This is a
time for us to come together as a nation.”
The candidate’s remarks ignited the crowd of thousands,
many of whom wore shirts with slogans like “Mr. President, I did build
my business,” in response to a remark made by Obama about businesses being helped to grow by government contracts and
infrastructure, and “Mitt 2012: At least he never ate dog meat,” referring to a passage in Obama’s 2008 memoir during which he recalls being
fed dog meat as a boy in Indonesia.
Steve Heckman, a 62-year-old environmental consultant from
Springfield, Ohio, said he voted for Obama in 2008 but will likely
vote for Romney in this election.
He said he’d written “some pretty ugly stuff” about Romney
in the past but felt jobs was the No. 1 issue and thought the Obama
administration’s policies were sending them out of the country.
“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has, to me, become a little too almost like a fringe group, putting so much pressure
on businesses that they are moving to Canada,” Heckman said. “Things
like air permits, the EPA is taking too long to issue them. It’s not
just power plants they’re affecting, but all manufacturing.”
Heckman said he didn’t blame the president personally but thinks whoever he put in charge of the agency is being too strict.
“I grew up when the EPA was first put in place in the '70s, and they were, in my opinion, doing God’s work,” he said, citing
the cleaning up of rivers such as the Cuyahoga near Cleveland, which
famously caught fire because of pollution in 1969.
“I support the EPA, but it’s driving businesses out of here.”
Speaking ahead of Romney were U.S. House Speaker John
Boehner, Sen. Rob Portman, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio treasurer and
GOP senatorial candidate Josh Mandel and Republican U.S. House candidate
for Ohio’s 2nd District, Brad Wenstrup.
“This election is all about changing Washington,” Mandel
said. “The only way to change Washington is to change the people we send
by German Lopez
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is coming to Cincinnati
tomorrow. He will be speaking at Union Terminal at 10 a.m., with doors
opening for the event at 8 a.m. Romney is expected to need Ohio to win
the presidential election, but he is currently behind Obama in aggregate
polling by 1.4 points. Romney gave his speech at the Republican
National Convention last night with a focus on jobs and the economy. The
speech has been generally well-received by political pundits. However,
there has been some news recently that when he was in Bain Capital,
Romney looted a dying company for executive bonuses when the company
owed the government millions of dollars. The story puts a damper on
Romney’s “We Built That” mantra, which claims entrepreneurs create
businesses without any government assistance.Ohio’s texting-while-driving ban goes into effect today.
Strategies to End Homelessness is losing federal funding,
but it will still continue efforts to combat homelessness in Cincinnati.
The organization coordinates efforts between anti-homelessness groups
in the area to prevent homelessness and assist people who have already
fallen into homelessness.California-based iHerb could bring 600 jobs to Northern
Kentucky in the near future. The company, which has been in business for
16 years, is a seller for food supplements.In 2010, the University of Cincinnati spent $11.1 million
on its football program, but it came out with about $13.3 million in
revenue. In comparison, Ohio State spent $34.3 million, but it took in
$61 million.A $10.4 million affordable housing program broke ground in Florence, Ky.Ohio’s e-schools are having technical issues due to an
influx of new students. Unfortunately, statistics show that influx of
new students may be getting an inferior education.The Ohio House is getting ready to pass public pension
reform. The reform will raise premiums, lower benefits and make
eligibility more difficult. Republicans say the plan will keep pension
funds solvent at a time when budgets are tight.Republican Speakers at the Republican National Convention have avoided two words: Tea Party.Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman, says people are
only poor because they’re lazy drunks. She says people should stop being
lazy and work to become millionaires, although Rinehart inherited her
wealth.Clint Eastwood talked to an empty chair during his speech at the Republican National Convention last night.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Some Hall & Oates fans drunkenly start a Super PAC in the duo's honor; the duo quickly says they can't go for that (no can do). Plus, The Killers are one group Mitt Romney enjoys (allegedly) and Neil Armstrong's death brings up Pink Floyd's moon landing jam at the BBC and leads NBC to tell the world Neil Young is dead.
by German Lopez
The City of Cincinnati and Duke Energy are still fighting
over the streetcar. The city and company are both disputing who is
required to relocate utility lines and pipes in order to accommodate for
the streetcar. Cincinnati officials say Duke Energy is required to do
it under state law, but the company disagrees. The city is considering
legal action, so the feud might soon be heading to court.A recent campaign event might have been mandatory for
workers at a mine in Beallsville, Ohio. The miners were allegedly pulled
from work, refused pay and required to attend the event with
presidential candidate Mitt Romney and senatorial candidate Josh Mandel.
Romney, Mandel and the mine owner have all been criticized for the
move.Cincinnati Bell and StarTek plan on bringing back 200 outsourced jobs to Cincinnati. StarTek will also hire another 136 workers.President Barack Obama’s administration finalized new
regulations yesterday requiring the average gas mileage of new cars to
be at 54.5 mpg by 2025. The new standard is double today’s standard.
Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, said on Twitter the new standards will
reduce national oil consumption by two million barrels a day. The United
States currently uses about 20 million barrels a day. That reduction in
consumption could help combat climate change, which is partly blamed
for Arctic Sea ice hitting record lows this summer.A federal judge ruled Ohio boards of elections must count
defective provisional ballots if the ballots were counted defective due
to errors from poll workers. The ruling protects voters from mistakes by
poll workers. Secretary of State Jon Husted is expected to appeal the
ruling because he says it disagrees with state law.Husted ended up firing the two Democrats on the Montgomery
Board of Elections that voted for extending in-person early voting to
include weekends. Democrats say not allowing weekend voting is voter
suppression, but Republicans cite racial politics and costs as
New rules for juries stop the use of Twitter and Facebook during cases.The Republican national convention is underway in Tampa,
Fla. Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio will be there. For
coverage, check out Twitter’s Republican convention page, which tracks
all mentions of the convention.Romney apparently
agrees with Mandel that fact checkers
don’t matter. This is despite Romney’s claim that President Barack Obama
should stop running ads after fact checkers find them to be false or
misleading. Mandel previously said he will continue saying wrong
statements even after they’re declared false or misleading by fact
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland criticized Romney on his
plans for Medicare. The former governor said the Romney-Ryan budget plan
would “destroy Medicare as we know it.”
Republicans like to say that Obamacare will get employers
to drop health insurance, but a new survey has found zero out of 512
employers plan on dropping health insurance.The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter. The growth isn’t great, but it slightly beat expectations.Apparently computer grading programs are judging student essays better than teachers.And some scientists want to use HIV to fight cancer.
by Andy Brownfield
Romney campaign, Murray Energy dispute who made call to close mine for event
by Andy Brownfield
Northern Ohio senatorial candidate affects Southern drawl for western Ohio coal miners
I, for one, was comforted to hear the warm Southern drawl
put on by Ohio treasurer and senatorial candidate Josh Mandel while he
campaigned for Mitt Romney before Beallsville coal miners on Wednesday.
As someone who recently spent six months living and
working in Montgomery, Ala., it brought me back to simpler times when
summer nights were spent drinking sweet tea spiked with rum on a porch and
it was for some reason still OK to refer to a grown black man as “boy.” So when I heard Josh Mandel extoll the virtues of coal in a
drawl reminiscent of fresh butter spread on cornbread, I immediately
thought, “shucks, this guy gets me — he’s one of us.”
Wait, what’s that? Mandel hails from Lyndhurst, a
Cleveland suburb that’s the Hyde Park of Northern Ohio? He’s never even
eaten cheese grits? (Editor’s note: CityBeat could not independently
verify that Josh Mandel has in fact never eaten cheese grits.) Well now I
just feel put on.
LINK TO VIDEO Y’ALL
The Enquirer reported that Mandel had never publicly used a Southern accent before.
"As if blowing off work and hiring unqualified campaign
workers and friends at taxpayer expense wasn't evidence enough of his
blatant disregard for the people who elected him treasurer expecting
that he'd do his job, Josh Mandel has now stooped to faking his accent
as a means of earning votes," Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew
Zucker said in a statement. "It's sad, it's pathetic and unfortunately
it's concrete proof that he is just another politician who can't be
Sounding folksy or down-homey is nothing new in presidential politics.
When campaigning in Alabama, Romney famously dropped
“y’alls” into his speech and spoke of his newfound love for “cheesy
grits” and catfish (my editor in Montgomery was quick to point out to
me, another carpetbagger, that any real Southerner knows they’re cheese
grits, not cheesy grits).
If there’s one thing Southerners don’t take too kindly to, it’s Yankee pandering.
“If you’re going to pander, at least pander well, and this
isn’t pandering well,” Stephen Gordon, a Republican consultant based in
Birmingham, Ala., told the Boston Herald shortly after Romney made his
“People in the Deep South have a bit of a natural distrust
for Northerners, especially folks from the Northeast,” said Gordon, who
is not affiliated with any campaign in the Republican presidential
contest. “There are cultural differences, stemming all the way back to
the Civil War, and they affect the way people perceive Mr. Romney.”
Romney is by no means the first to affect an accent to fit in with the natives.
Both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton adopted drawls while on campaign stops in the South. Though those
two former presidents, from Texas and Arkansas respectively, had the
bona fides to pull it off.
2 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
It’s an oversimplification, but I do not like Willard
Mitt Romney and my dislike plays “Tag! You’re it!” with the smallest