Morning News: Immigration advocates rally for DACA, local reps respond; council candidate Maney challenges incumbent Seelbach to debate

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has called for congressional action to keep those protected by DACA in the U.S.

click to enlarge U.S. Sen. Rob Portman - Gage Skidmore
Gage Skidmore
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman

Good morning Cincy. Before we get to news, a quick note — last night I was at the Mercantile Library for an incredible performance put together by arts organization Chase Public in which 14 people interpreted lines from the Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed in the base of the Statue of Liberty. (Disclosure: I was one of the performers, but that’s not why it was incredible). The poem — with its famous call to “send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me —“ couldn’t be more topical right now. Especially in the able hands of some super-talented Cincinnati artists like Napoleon Maddox and creatives from all sorts of fields. It was great, and you should check out the repeat performance Thursday in Northside.

On to news. A large group of activists, students and immigration advocates yesterday afternoon rallied outside the Cincinnati office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman to protest the Trump administration’s announcement via U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that it would phase out a program protecting undocumented youth from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an executive order issued by President Barack Obama that gives those who were brought to the U.S. as minors immigration amnesty in exchange for following certain conditions and procedures.

Trump says his administration will wind down the program over the next six months, and that during that time Congress should work on whatever solution it sees fit to address the plight of the 800,000 or so undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who came here as children. About 4,400 of those immigrants are believed to be in Ohio. Without action by Congress, they could face deportation. Portman tweeted yesterday that he hopes the Senate will act on bipartisan reform efforts that address undocumented minors in the U.S. Other area GOP politicians, including U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot and Brad Wenstrup, applauded the rollback of Obama’s 2012 mandate, which they say is unconstitutional.

• Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s response to the Trump administration’s announcement? Congress should pass a form of DACA “in six hours, not six months.” Kasich leaned on U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Republican, to lead legislators in getting a fix for the nation’s immigration policy through Congress.

• The next stop for Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young’s fight with Mayor John Cranley’s campaign and the Cincinnati Election Commission over campaign fundraising: Hamilton County courts. Young filed a lawsuit Sept. 4 challenging a 2005 CEC advisory that allows candidates to fundraise from LLCs whose owners have individually exceeded a $1,100 campaign contribution limit in the city’s charter.

• Cincinnati City Council candidate Seth Maney has challenged incumbent Councilman Chris Seelbach to a debate. Maney fired the first public shots in an ongoing feud between the two back in July in an interview in a right-leaning Cincinnati Enquirer opinion blog.

“Why does that guy deserve a seat on council when he is talking about things that are irrelevant to the quality of life of people living, working and paying taxes in our city,” Maney said.

Maney and Seelbach are both gay — but Maney says Seelbach uses “identity politics” in his pitch to voters. Seelbach counters that LGBT issues are important considerations politically but that his record — he’s a prolific legislator on Council — goes beyond those issues. Maney, however, takes issue with an ad he says Seelbach placed on Facebook in which marriage equality icon Jim Obergefell promotes the incumbent while saying Maney isn’t strong on LGBT issues. As a result, Maney has challenged Seelbach to debate him on other issues facing the city.

“In Cincinnati, our infant mortality rate, racial and income inequality rates and transit access are some of the worst in the nation," Maney wrote in a news release about his challenge. "Chris has had six years to address these issues and I would welcome the opportunity to compare and contrast our two visions for the city.”

• The Clark County Sheriff’s office says it will release body camera footage of a deputy shooting a cameraman for a local news outlet. Deputy Jake Shaw is on administrative leave after the incident, which happened Monday evening in New Carlisle, a small town north of Dayton. New Carlisle News photographer Andy Grimm was setting up his tripod after he left his vehicle to photograph a traffic stop by Shaw when Shaw fired at him. The deputy says he mistook Grimm’s tripod for a weapon.

• Finally, in national/international news, Hurricane Irma is plowing into the northeast Caribbean with winds topping 185 miles per hour. That makes it the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Residents of islands in the region are taking shelter and preparing for days without electricity as the storm began to pummel the islands of Antigua and Barbuda this morning. Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all declared emergencies ahead of the hurricane’s landfall there.

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