Morning News: Local pols weigh in on Clinton emails; gender bias lawsuit at UC; state gives non-union workers big raises

Who could be more qualified to weigh in on national security and state secrets than a candidate for a county commissioner post?

Jul 6, 2016 at 11:06 am

Hey hey all. Here’s what’s going on in the news today.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday released its findings in the investigation into the private email servers presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used during her time as secretary of state.

And of course, local politicians had things to say about that, because who could be more qualified to weigh in on national security and state secrets than a candidate for a county commissioner post? You can read here all the local Republican vitriol over the FBI’s statement that Clinton probably shouldn’t be charged for her use of the servers.

Critics have charged that Clinton broke the law by using the private servers, and that she may have obscured mistakes made during the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi that resulted in multiple deaths. The FBI says it found evidence that Clinton’s use of the private, less-than-secure servers constituted “recklessness,” but also said that security practices at the State Department as a whole were wanting and that Clinton’s mistakes don’t seem to amount to criminal behavior. It will be up to federal prosecutors, however, to decide whether to file charges.

• A man who once had a popular reality show and another guy named Newt will be coming to Cincinnati today. In the past, you might be forgiven for thinking this dynamic duo was on some kind of B-list political celebrity tour circuit. But in 2016, they’re in town for a presidential campaign. And not just any presidential campaign. Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and his friend, former House speaker and current alternate history novel author Newt Gingrich, could be his vice presidential pick. Trump ‘n Newt, the feel-good buddy comedy of the summer, will make its local debut at 7 p.m. at the Sharonville Convention Center. Making a cameo as well: noted immigration opponent Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, who will introduce Trump at the event.

• This week’s CityBeat news feature is about possible gender discrimination on a local college campus in Northern Kentucky. It turns out our story isn't the only one about a local lawsuit around federal Title IX statutes and alleged 14th Amendment violations. A suit against the University of Cincinnati by a 19-year-old pre med student is asking federal courts to strike down a practice at UC that separates men and women in its physics labs. The suit alleges that the female student was told not to work with males in one of her labs. UC officials have said that isn’t the official policy, but others within the physics department have defended the practice in internal emails, according to court documents. The student alleges that gender separation is still happening in the labs.

• Controversial Rowan County, Ky. County Clerk Kim Davis broke state open records laws by withholding documents from public scrutiny, the Kentucky Attorney General says. A private group representing Davis, called Liberty Counsel, failed to provide material requested by the AG after nonprofit Campaign for Accountability asked for those documents and was denied access. Liberty Counsel eventually supplied some of the contested documents about attorney-client relationships between the conservative legal group and Davis, but withheld others. The state’s AG says that violates the law. Davis is famous for refusing to issue marriage licenses following last year’s Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the country.

• While no one was looking, the state of Ohio gave big raises to many of its high-level  administrative staff, while inching up pay at a much lower level for hourly workers. About 3,000 administrative workers, who are non-union, were given raises between nine and 12 percent in the past year. Meanwhile, union workers received raises of just 2.5 percent. The state has long followed a practice that union and non-union workers get similar raises each year, though that practice has never been codified into a hard and fast rule.