Trump’s Tragic Flaw May Finally Send Him Down In Flames

Donald Trump is being brought down to earth by his most powerful enemy.

Source: HuffPost

Author: Howard Fineman

Emphasis Mine

Donald Trump has defied the laws of political physics from the moment he rode down that gold-toned elevator in his own Manhattan tower to announce his candidacy last spring.

Time and again he’s proved every pundit and all of his fellow Republican candidates wrong, and he remains the only GOP contender with a plausible chance to collect a majority of delegates before the Cleveland convention in July.

But after a year of hovering above the skyline like a giant dirigible, Trump is being brought down to earth by his most powerful enemy: his own need to demonstrate his masculine “strength” by disparaging others, particularly women.

It has taken a year for relevant, campaign-related examples to accumulate, but they reached critical mass just in time for a pivotal primary in Wisconsin next week that could see the start of a slow, steady decline in his chances.

He is simply so unpopular with female voters — who make up at least 54 percent of the turnout in presidential general elections — that a victory by him this fall seems all but impossible. In a new NBC News poll, Trump is viewed favorably by only 1 in 5 female voters.

To be sure, his ratings among men aren’t dramatically better, and his main GOP rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is almost as poorly regarded by women. Still, 1 in 5 doesn’t work.

“He can’t win, and women are a main reason why,” said Charlie Black, a Republican consultant advising Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Trump critics also note that, despite his vow to ferociously attack Hillary Clinton in a general election, his salvos could be countered by Democrats as just another example of his corrosive attitude toward women.

There are plenty of examples already: his long-running firefight with Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, which included a veiled reference to menstruation; his high-school-level disparagement of Carly Fiorina’s looks; his vow to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi; and Trump’s full-throated defense of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who was arrested this week in Florida and charged with using unwanted physical force to yank a female reporter away from his boss.

Trump’s own family and close advisers have been worried about Lewandowski’s short fuse and aggressive behavior for months, but Trump is sticking by him in the din.

Then, on Tuesday, Trump struck a match to the whole pile, telling MSNBC host Chris Matthews that women who get “illegal” abortions (and Trump wants to make them all illegal) should face “some form of punishment” — details unspecified.

In the hourlong face-to-face interview — no phone-ins this time — Matthews pressed Trump on whether he thought abortion should be illegal. The answer was “yes.” So if it is, should women be punished in some way? After hesitating several times, Trump answered “yes.”

After meandering around on the issue for years, Trump in the campaign has run as somewhat of a hard-liner: in favor of repealing Roe v. Wade and of banning so-called partial-birth abortions, but not endorsing a human life amendment or a ban on abortions even in cases of rape or incest.

But the comments to Matthews took him much further to the right, and away from the mainstream of female voters, 55 percent of whom think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Minutes after the taping of the show, and the airing of that key excerpt, the Trump campaign tried to walk the comments back, but it was too late. Democrats, liberals and leaders of women’s rights groups attacked with gusto.

So did Cruz, though his complaint came from the opposite political direction: that Trump was masquerading as a totalitarian foe of abortion, a role that rightly belongs to the Texan.

We’ll know soon enough whether Trump is on trouble, let alone going up in flames, when Wisconsin primary voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

The most recent poll, out on Wednesday and taken during the days that the Lewandowski story dominated the political news, showed Trump falling behind Cruz by 10 points.

Look out below.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.



John Kasich Was Against Poor People Before He Was for Them

The GOP hopeful’s campaign promises sure don’t line up with his Ohio tax policies.

Source: Mother Jones

Author: Hanna Levintova

Emphasis Mine

In the crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has earned a reputation as a moderate conservative on fiscal issues. He often brings up his empathy for the economic problems facing regular Americans, from burdensome health care costs to ballooning student debt and unemployment. Last year, at a biannual retreat for donors organized by conservative megadonors the Koch brothers, an attendee confronted Kasich about his decision to expand Medicaid in Ohio. “When I get to the pearly gates,” Kasich fired back, “I’m going to have an answer for what I’ve done for the poor.”

When he arrives at those pearly gates, he may have some explaining to do. The tax policies Kasich has championed and implemented since he was elected governor in 2010 left Ohio’s low-income folks worse off than they were decades ago. His economic policies have led to growing inequality in a state that should be in recovery. Median household incomes began falling in 2007 and continued to drop during Kasich’s governorship. They are currently lower than they were in 1984, even though the overall state economy has actually grown healthier.

“The real reason this growth has not translated into gains for the middle and working class is that an increasingly large share of the state’s economic gains has been directed to those at the top,” wrote researchers David Madland and Danielle Corley in a Center for American Progress report published last month.

When Kasich launched his bid for governor in 2009, the state was reeling from the recession, when Ohio lost almost 400,000 jobs. Kasich’s campaign promised to “right the ship,” using leaner budgets to boost employment and helps recovery. His big strategy: phasing out the personal income tax in Ohio, a goal that Kasich highlighted in nearly all of his campaign speeches. He argued that the tax hurt Ohio’s ability to attract businesses and new residents.

“We’ll march over time to destroy that income tax that has sucked the vitality out of this state,” Kasich said when he kicked off his bid for governor. He called getting rid of the income tax “absolutely essential” for the state, “so that we no longer are an obstacle for people to locate here and that we can create a reason for people to stay here.” He did acknowledge, however, that the state’s dire budget situation would make this difficult to do in his first term.

Nonetheless, when Kasich began his first term as governor, he sought to slash a different tax by proposing to eliminate Ohio’s income tax on capital gains, the profits that come from selling off assets like stocks or bonds. Kasich is intimately familiar with the hefty benefits the wealthy glean from this sort of tax, having worked for nearly eight years as an investment banker at Lehmann Brothers. Had he been successful, roughly three-fourths of the cut’s financial gain would have gone to the top 1 percent of Ohio’s earners, while middle-class taxpayers would have gotten an average tax cut of just $2. Kasich abandoned the extreme proposal after learning that the measure might be unconstitutional.

Still, the two-year budget that Kasich ultimately enacted was filled with tax breaks for the rich that would simultaneously hurt middle-class families. The budget either created or tweaked more than a dozen tax breaks for various industries, including energy and agriculture. Policy Matters Ohio, an economic policy research nonprofit, pointed out at the time that the lost government revenue from the budget’s tax cuts, new and old, would amount to about $7 billion a year—a big chunk came from money saved by industry and the wealthy as opposed to low- and middle-income families.

Perhaps the most debilitating cut Kasich introduced in the 2011 budget was the successful repeal of Ohio’s estate tax. This was another tax he vowed to eliminate during his bid for governor, telling audiences repeatedly that the tax was driving out successful Ohioans. He’s often joked that entrepreneurs were “moving to Florida,” which doesn’t have an estate tax.

In fact, when it still existed, the tax took just 6 or 7 percent of estates valued over $338,333—the lowest estate tax rate of any state—and affected only the wealthiest 8 percent of the state’s residents. Nearly all estate tax revenue (80 percent) went to fund local governments. The tax’s repeal meant that local governments statewide lost more than $200 million, leading to cuts in critical services, including public safety workers like police officers and firefighters, city planning, recreation, and emergency response. Cuts like this, says Wendy Patton, a senior project director at Policy Matters Ohio, tend to hit low-income communities harder.

“For example, the city of Toledo closed some pools. What is the impact on the family when the children don’t have a safe place to play for their summer recreation?” Patton says. “This is more important to a family that can’t purchase a pass to a private pool, and depends on public recreation centers. It’s an issue of greater importance when you go down the income scale.”

In the 2013 budget process, Kasich introduced still more tax cuts. His final budget package cut income tax rates by 10 percent and increased the state’s sales tax, moves that tilted the tax system to benefit wealthier families. This is because while income taxes are progressive, meaning different income brackets pay a proportional share, sales taxes are regressive: When the same percentage applies to everyone, it cuts deeper into the overall income of lower earners.

“The move to a higher sales tax and a lower income tax exacerbates inequality,” Patton says. “As the tax structure in Ohio becomes even more regressive, poor people pay a larger share of their income than wealthy people do.”

Kasich often points to his introduction of the 5 percent Earned Income Tax Credit in the state as another example of his compassionate conservatism. A version of this credit—a federal tax break for low-income working families adjusted based on income, marital status, and number of kids—is also implemented at the state level in 26 other states. Kasich has touted Ohio’s EITC, which he introduced in the 2013 budget, as an example of his commitment to helping the working poor.

In fact, the credit did little to help Ohio’s poorest families for two reasons: first, because it is nonrefundable, and then because it was introduced in the context of other tax changes that disproportionately burdened the poor. Both the federal credit and most states’ credits are refundable, which means that those who receive them often receive a greater refund at the end of the year. Not so in Ohio. Kasich’s nonrefundable credit doesn’t increase a family’s tax refund—it can only reduce the taxes already owed. This primarily hurts those who need the credit most: low-earning households that owe little to no taxes. Ohio is also the only state that caps its EITC.

Kasich’s credit was part of a budget that resulted in an overall tax increase for the bottom 40 percent of taxpayers, due to the rise in the sales tax and other tweaks. In 2015, for the third time in his tenure as governor and at the beginning of his second term, he proposed more cuts to income taxes and yet another jump in the sales tax from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent. Ultimately, the budget compromise implemented an income tax cut (though a smaller one than Kasich had suggested), an additional sales tax for cigarettes, and an increased tax cut for businesses, among other measures.

Once again, the budget brought tax savings for the wealthy, and higher taxes for those who can least afford them. An analysis of the 2015 budget by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy found that about half the benefit of the tax cuts, totaling about $1 billion, would go into the pockets of the top 1 percent of Ohioans, while the only group that would see a tax increase was the bottom 20 percent of earners.

In spite of this layering of tax cuts, Kasich the presidential candidate has repeatedly trumpeted his commitment to helping the poor. “If you pick up Psalm 41, you know what the first couple of lines are? You’ll be remembered for what you do for the poor,” Kasich said in a Fox News interview in July. “You can’t allow people to be stuck in the ditch. You’ve got to help them to get out…And that’s what we’re doing in this state.”

But the reality in Ohio isn’t so optimistic. “The tax cuts are shifting the tax system so it is more dependent on lower- and middle-income taxpayers and less dependent on those who are most able to pay,” says Zach Schiller, research director at Policy Matters Ohio. “Wages have not gone up in a meaningful way for the bulk of Ohioans, and we are taking funds needed for municipalities and giving them to people who don’t need it. It’s a shocking set of priorities.”

Hannah Levintova reports and edits in Mother Jones’ DC bureau. For more of her stories, click here


Republicans’ Deep Hatred for Teachers Cannot Be Denied

John Kasich wants to take lounges away from teachers. He is just the latest Republican to make an enemy of America’s educators.

Source: AlterNet

Author: Steven W. Thrasher

Emphasis Mine

It’s August, the heat is miserable, kids are going back to school and that means one thing for America’s conservatives: it’s the perfect time to take a cheap shot at the nation’s teachers.

John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio – who is generally considered less extreme than Texas Senator Ted Cruz, less dynastic than former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and less crazy than professional troll Donald Trump – recently said: “If I were, not president, if I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges where they sit together and worry about ‘woe is us’.” 

Kasich addressed a New Hampshire “education summit” sponsored by the 74 Million, an education “news site” which Huffington Post points out is run by failed CNN host Campbell Brown “despite having little to no training in education, and never having taught students herself.” Many other Republican presidential hopefuls, including Governors Bush, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey, addressed the gathering.

Republicans love to hate teachers and imply that all the ills of US society are the result of their laziness. If only schools could be turned over to market forces and not held back by greedy teacher unions, conservative logic goes, everything would be fine – even though charter schools perform no better than traditional schools. Trying to bust unions in general (and those of teachers in particular) turns conservatives on as much as trying to deny climate changedefend the NRAdefund Planned Parenthood or battle for a check from the Koch brothers. 

But trying to deny teachers a place to rest for a few minutes between classes, as Kasich is fantasizing about, is ludicrous. What’s wrong with having a place to eat a snack between classes or talk to other teachers about lesson plans and their common students without 30 children within ear shot?

According to Politico’s analysis of Kasich’s 45 minute conversation with Brown, the Republican hopeful wants to remove teachers’ lounges to keep educators from complaining to one another and, presumably, to keep them from colluding in greed to protect their benefits and working conditions. Imagine the possibilities. Without a place to meet, teachers – who already work alone in most classrooms – could be even more isolated. Sure, they’d be unable to exchange teaching techniques or ideas for improvement, but they’d also be working with more alienation.

Politico notes that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (which has already endorsed Hillary Clinton), asked Kasich on Twitter: “after u get rid of places teachers eat lunch, what’s next -getting rid of teachers’ chairs so they stand all day?”

But this has already happened long ago at least at one non-unionized charter school I know. Years ago, I reported about the Imagine Me Leadership Charter School in Brooklyn – a publicly funded, privately managed school housed in a church complex in Brooklyn – where teachers were not allowed to have desks in their rooms. 

As the principal told me in 2011: “We believe teachers need to be on their feet, working with the kids.” Every minute of every day. So forget the lounges: sitting has become stigmatized for teachers, even at a desk. The idea that a teacher might need to sit – say, to grade a paper, write down attendance or give their feet a moment’s rest during a long day – was recast as a potential cause for poor student performance.

Republicans have always hated teachers’ unions for obvious reasons. They reliably support the Democratic party, even though Democratsroutinely go to war against teachers as well, particularly alumni from the Obama administration. Teachers’ unions are made up of groups Republicans always love to bash: government workers with lady parts. Often, when school closure fights happen between unions and austerity politicians, it is black teachers who are the most likely to lose their jobs. 

So teacher unions and Republicans are natural enemies. Indeed, all year Republican presidential hopefuls have gleefully slashed education budgets, with Walker eroding tenure and some $250m from public colleges in Wisconsin and Jindal cutting $300m from Louisiana’s state college system.

Cutting teachers’ lounges would have the “benefit” of saving a little money – another classroom could go in that wasteful space, Kasich might argue. But more importantly, it could deplete camaraderie and morale for instructors at the same time. That’s what Republicans would call a win-win.

Still, the rhetoric about their hatred of teachers is getting more violent, heated and punitive. Christie, who has been yelling at teachers for a while, recently said teachers unions deserved a “political punch in the face” for being the “single most destructive force” in education. 

The real “most destructive force” in American education right now is not teachers. It is the fact that many of the top contenders for the country’s highest office, running in one of the nation’s two major political parties, are against science, against immigrants, against women – and against supporting the workforce which teaches our children.



Ohio Journalists On The Real John Kasich: Anti-Union, Anti-Choice, Anti-Marriage Equality

Source: Media Matters

Author: Joe Strupp

Emphasis Mine

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination this week, may appear moderate. But according to reporters who cover him regularly, the former Fox News host’s tenure in the statehouse has included efforts to reduce collective bargaining, limit abortion rights, and fight marriage equality.

Ohio reporters who have covered Kasich closely raise several areas of interest for national media that have less experience covering him.

His efforts to cut state spending and balance the budget did reduce taxes, but put more of a burden on local governments, Ohio journalists point out. They also note his off-the-cuff style can lead to wandering speeches and incidents like the revelation that he called a police officer an “idiot” during a 2008 traffic stop.

“He can be quite a character sometimes, the national press doesn’t know how to take him,” said Shane Stegmiller of Hannah News Service and president of the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association. “You never know what he’s going to say.”

Stegmiller cited the “idiot” incident, which occurred before Kasich’s 2010 election, but became public in 2011: “It blew up on him pretty big.”

Then there are his often-forgotten fights against abortion and gay rights, according to Chrissie Thompson, a Cincinnati Enquirer state government reporter since 2013.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide stemmed from the Ohio-based Obergefell vs. Hodges case, in which plaintiff Jim Obergefell sued to be listed on his spouse’s death certificate as the surviving spouse. Defendant Richard Hodges, the Ohio director of public health, is a Kasich appointee.

“The department of health was the lead defendant in Obergefell vs. Hodges in the gay marriage debate,” Thompson said. “Kasich opposed same-sex marriage and he authorized the fight to protect our gay marriage ban.”

Since he took office, Kasich has also signed restrictive abortion bills that have led to half of the state’s 16 abortion clinics closing, with the potential for more to close in the near future.

He had signed some abortion restrictions and those have resulted in the closure of some of our abortion clinics in Ohio,” Thompson said. “He does not like to talk about it a lot.”

Another issue that occurred during his first year in office was the proposal known as Senate Bill 5, Kasich’s effort to clamp down on collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Similar to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s more publicized union fight, the Kasich measure was passed and signed into law, but drew harsh criticism. It was eventually voted down overwhelmingly via a ballot referendum later that year.

“Senate Bill 5 was hugely controversial,” recalls Laura Bischoff, a 14-year statehouse reporter with the Dayton Daily News. “They wanted to really gut collective bargaining rights for public employees and it sparked huge protests at the statehouse, bigger than I’ve ever seen.”

Marc Kovac, statehouse bureau chief for Dix Newspapers and The Vindicator of Youngstown, agreed.

“Kasich was a staunch supporter of public employee collective bargaining reform, signing the former Senate Bill 5 into law and setting off a massive referendum effort that blocked that law from taking effect,” he said.

Bischoff also pointed to Kasich’s privatizing of some prisons, a move that drew corrections officer complaints about conditions and resulted in an audit that found 47 violations in one private institution.

“There is a question as to whether it saved money more than projected, the union that represents corrections officers said it was bad,” Bischoff said. “There was one audit report that was really bad about conditions the inmates were living in.”

Kasich’s economic stimulus program, JobsOhio, is another point of contention, according to reporters. The private, non-profit agency was created to help spark job growth, but in a secretive fashion that exempts it from state open public record laws and limits state audit oversight.

“People didn’t like the fact that it’s now somewhat shrouded in secrecy with public money,” said Jim Siegel, a Columbus Dispatch statehouse reporter since 1998. “There are concerns it could be used for cronyism. He believes in the private sector and letting the private sector do as much as possible on things. He’s made efforts to privatize as much as he can.”

And the job growth has been less than successful, Stegmiller says, noting the state’s job growth rate for the past 32 months is at 1.73%, below the national average of 2.09%.

“While Ohio had gained back a lot of jobs, it lags a lot of states in job recovery,” he said.

The state budget, meanwhile, is something Kasich touts as a success, journalists say. But the impact may be less positive than he lets on.

Reporters cite the claim that Kasich eliminated an $8 billion deficit and shored up the state’s “rainy day” surplus fund. But in reality, he cut funding to local governments and school districts, forcing many to increase their own taxes and fees.

“By reducing their funding, now they are having to go to voters and ask for local levies to help make that up,” said Jackie Borchardt of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. “The local government or school district is having to raise more revenue that way. In his first budget, he did slash spending for education. He cut it and local governments have said they continue to chip away at their funding.”

And the $8 billion deficit Kasich touts wasn’t really a deficit, according to the Enquirer’s Thompson: “We never actually had a deficit, he used the word deficit and it was a projected shortfall.”

Kasich supporters also brag about his big re-election victory in 2014, in which he beat Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald nearly 2 to 1. But what is often lost is that FitzGerald, then the Cuyahoga County Executive, was hit with a very public scandal after it was revealed the married candidate was found by police in a parking lot at 4:30 a.m. with another woman.

The circumstances of that incident remain unclear. But things got worse when it was found he had been driving without a license for about 10 years.

“He won 86 out of 88 counties in 2014, but he was running against a very weak opponent,” Thompson said about Kasich’s last election.



Kasich’s ‘Ohio Story’ Not a National Model, Commerce Report Shows

Source: Plunderbund


Emphasis Mine

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is out testing the presidential waters for 2016. While the governor may want people to believe he can walk on water, a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows he better take his water-wings with him because he might find himself treading water at best and submerged at worst, in light of earning reports on how the state stakes up to other states and the national average.

Ohio remains 37th in the national in job creation, as determined by the well-respected W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and has consistently failed to break even with national job creation for 27 straight months. But when it comes to personal income in Ohio for 2014, it finally matches the nation at 3.9 percent. Ohio’s annual personal income on a per capita basis was $42,571, ranking the state in the bottom half of states at 29th. Per capita personal income in the United States was $46,129. The report ranked Connecticut first at $62,467 and Mississippi last at $34,333.

Forty-five states including Ohio experienced personal income growth in 2014 over 2013. That growth ranged from 0.5 percent in Nebraska to 5.7 percent in Alaska and Oregon. The report defined personal income including wages and other earnings from investments or Social Security payments, among other criteria. Again below the national average, net earnings grew by 3.5 in Ohio between 2013 and 2014 while during the same period 4 percent was the national average. And since inflation was way low at 1.3 percent in 2014, personal income growth in Ohio and other states exceeded that figure.

It’s no secret that workers’ wages have stagnated for decades, and net earnings in 2014 even though up don’t yet prove wages are growing again. In Ohio, the report said, personal income and net earnings growth are only slight better than over the past few years. Net earnings in Ohio grew by 3.6 percent in 2012 but slumped to only 1.6 percent in 2013, not a good benchmark to point to for Ohio’s governor who thinks his work in Ohio is a good model for the nation. Analysis of the report shows the health care and social assistance segment contributed the most to personal income growth in Ohio in 2014, while construction ranked second with manufacturing of durable goods in third place. Nationally, the report notes, professional, scientific and technical services were the largest contributing sectors.

Unfortunately for the Kasich Administration, Ohio experienced a decline in earnings in theses key sectors: farming, information, military and state and local government. In the U.S., by contrast, farming and military segments were the only areas to see earning declines. When Great Lake states were compared to each other, Ohio did perform better than its regional neighbors, which were pegged at 3.2 percent compared to 3.9 in the Buckeye State.


The Plain Dealer’s John Kasich cover-up and other Election Day stories

Author: Peter Pattakos

Source: Cleveland Frowns

Emphasis Mine

The City of Cleveland hasn’t had a legitimately contested mayoral election since 2005, with incumbent Frank Jackson having run essentially unopposed in the two elections since then. Jackson will be the longest-serving Mayor in Cleveland’s 200+year history by the time his current term is up, and now folks are hearing that he’ll run for yet another four-year term in 2017. There’s less reason than ever to suggest that it’s not his if he wants it.

Case in point, this year’s Ohio gubernatorial race that incumbent Republican John Kasich is expected to win in a landslide over Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald, the current Cuyahoga County Executive. Kasich will waltz to his second term as Governor despite having won by only a two-point margin with 49% of the vote the first time around, and despite that the great majority of Ohioans are worse off than ever on his watch. According to uncontradicted research by Policy Matters Ohio: Job growth statewide is fourth worst among states since 2005, and the percentage of working Ohioans is at a 34-year low; For those who are lucky enough to be working at all, median hourly wages are down despite massive productivity gains, and 11 of the state’s 12 most common occupations “pay too little to get a family of three above 150% of the poverty line;” So, naturally, the bottom 99% of Ohioans make less than they did a generation ago while the top 1% makes 70% more. Which is to say nothing of Kasich’s decisions to sell our environment to the oil companies, our education system to venture capitalists, and our reproductive rights to his party’s lunatic fringe.

Yet there will be no real election for Governor of Ohio this time around, and Cleveland’s only “daily” newspaper would have us believe it’s because FitzGerald didn’t have a drivers license for a few years and was once spotted in a parked car with an Irish lady in Lakewood at 4 AM. Count them, 45 stories at about FitzGerald’s parking/drivers license improprieties published over the last three months, and then try to find a single piece of concise and comprehensive analysis by the Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group comparing the two candidates’ policies.

When the PD/NEOMG asked the candidates to fill out a questionnaire on policy issues, Kasich simply refused to participate. Which was only consistent with his refusal to participate in any debates with FitzGerald (“the first time since 1978 that Ohio’s major gubernatorial candidates have not debated”), and also his behavior in a joint meeting with FitzGerald and the PD/NEOMG editorial board, where Kasich “slumped in his chair, refused to acknowledge the other candidates and ignored repeated attempts by PD staff to answer even basic questions about his policies and programs.”

PD gubernatorial race coverage accurately summarized in one cartoonOf course, Kasich doesn’t answer any questions about his policies and record because he doesn’t have to. Thanks to his extraordinary willingness to rewrite policy in favor of the state’s corporate and financial elite, he had $20 million in his campaign war chest to FitzGerald’s $4.4 million at last count. Which is surely the determinative reason why the PD/NEOMG went on to endorse him despite all the above by a way of a series of conclusions unsupported by the paper’s reporting or anything else.

From there, the PD/NEOMG threatened to sue the website Plunderbund for having re-published a video — inexplicably pulled from the PD/NEOMG’s website — of Kasich refusing to answer the editorial board’s questions (edited excerpt of video available here).

And all regular people can do is keep repeating to anyone who will listen: When we let the newspapers’ advertisers buy the government, too, we lose our government and our newspapers. Giant chandeliers, green eggs and government cheese.

Here’s hoping next election day will be better.


And here’s a few related good reads:

Julie Kent at the Cleveland Leader: Cuyahoga County Exec Candidate Jack Schron lies on social media about misleading Scene cover ad;

Angie Schmitt at StreetsBlog: Ohio DOT hosts transit meeting that no one can reach via transit;

And Tim Russo from the Plunderbund archives asking why LeBron tolerates hate speech broadcast by the radio home of the Cavaliers, WTAM 1100.

Sorry I didn’t come up with a Cavs season preview but MKC pretty much covered it anyway.


Fitzgerald releases program

From  Rick Nagin

Last night before a packed house at the monthly delegates’ meeting of the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, Ed Fitzgerald, Democratic candidate for Ohio Governor calmly, simply and eloquently presented his five point working class program for our state.  Despite the vicious, massively funded campaign  of the Republicans and the scandal-mongering of some of the corporate media, Fitzgerald stood tall and steadfast as he showed what is really at stake in this election and the stark difference between his program and the the anti-labor, anti-civil rights, anti-woman, anti-local government, anti-public education policies of incumbent Gov. John Kasich.  He also showed that even after two weeks of scandal-mongering, the latest polls show the race continues to be close with Fitzgerald trailing by only six points.  The grassroots efforts of Labor 2014 and the Democratic Party have only just begun.  There are one million more registered Democrats than Republicans in Ohio.  This means that if we reach voters with Fitzgerald’s program and explain the difference between him and Kasich, Fitzgerald will win. We must do everything possible to make this happen and reject the shameful readiness of some to surrender and throw in the towel  even before the fight has begun.  Defeating Kasich will be a huge blow to right wing extremism in Ohio and nationally.  Below is Ed Fitzgerald’s program.  Please make sure  this gets into the hands of everyone you can reach.
In Solidarity,
Rick Nagin
Five major differences between Ed Fitzgerald and John Kasich
1.  Ed is for public education.  That includes restoring funding, respecting teachers, reducing standardized testing and supporting early and higher education.
     – Kasich slashed the public education budget and promotes poor-performing, scandal-ridden, for-profit charter schools.
2.  Ed is for workers’ rights, including the right to bargain and a higher minimum wage.
     – Kasich pushed for passage of SB 5 and, make no mistake, will push for passage of right-to-work legislation.
3.  Ed is for civil rights, including women’s rights, marriage equality and voting rights.
     – Kasich restricted women’s rights, opposes marriage equality and suppressed voting rights.
4.  Ed supports local communities including local government funding, public safety – and safe drinking water.
     – Kasich slashed local government funding, cut public safety, cut heroin treatment and sold out to the industry on water safety.
5.  Ed wants an economy that works for all of us, especially the middle class which is suffering under Kasich.
      – Kasich consistently supports policies that benefit the wealthy while stealing money from the middle class to pay for tax giveaways to the rich.