As we reported in Tuesday night primary election coverage, Ohio voters were deciding a ballot measure, Issue 1, that would overhaul Ohio’s congressional redistricting process. The proposed amendment to the state constitution would require districts to be compact, limit the number of counties split between districts and give the minority party more leverage in passing …
May 08 2018
Starting with Indiana where all the results are in for the races we are watching. The very expensive three-way GOP feud for the GOP nomination goes to wealthy businessman and former state Rep. Mike Braun who handily trounced his squabbling two opponents, Reps. Luke Messer and Tod Rokita with 42.2% of the vote to their …
May 08 2018
There are major primaries if three states, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana . Here are the more important races to watch. West Virginia: Races to watch: U.S. Senate; 3rd Congressional District; Polls close: 7:30 p.m. Eastern. We discussed this here yesterday how the fringe has become the new normal. There are three candidates for the …
May 24 2016
This morning, a court in Ohio restored early voting days The U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio ruled Tuesday that the deep cuts to Ohio’s early voting days signed into law by Gov. John Kasich (R) are “unconstitutional and…accordingly unenforceable.” Judge Michael Watson sided with the Ohio Democratic Party, which had sued the state for …
Nov 15 2014
In times of trouble federally and at the state level, the battle for equal treatment and access moves to the local level.
In recent times I have written about current attempts to move us forward in South Florida and Northeast Ohio.
Aug 30 2014
There has been a slew of stories lately on the medical front concerning treatment of transgender people by medical professionals, emanating from Ohio, Washington, Oregon, California and Massachusetts.
To quote one of the authors of the pieces I shall link to:
There has been a long history of lack of access to basic healthcare and systematic discrimination for transgender people.
–Pat Magee, MSW, for Rage Monthly
Seven stories on the other side.
May 04 2013
This really gets old. On April 17 the decomposing body of transwoman Cemia Dove, 20, was found in a pond in Olmsted Township, near Cleveland. This is the third African American transwoman found murdered since the beginning of April.
The body was found tied to a concrete block and a steel pipe. It was also naked from the waist down. She had been stabbed to death.
As is typical, but nonetheless contrary to AP Stylesheet guidelines, Cemia was identified by her birth name in early reports and continually misgendered. Additionally, an old mug shot was attached to the newspaper stories and her past misdemeanor arrests became the story in some circles…rather than the fact that she was murdered.
Oct 16 2012
The Obama/ Biden campaign sued the state of Ohio over changes in Ohio law that took away the three days of voting for most people, but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas. The 9th Circuit Cout of Appeals ruled that Ohio must make early voting available (pdf) to all Ohio voters and Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State, John Husted, made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court weighed in this afternoon declining to block early voting.
The Supreme Court is siding with Democrats in refusing to block early voting in the battleground state of Ohio.
The court on Tuesday refused a Republican request to get involved in a dispute over early voting in the state on the three days before Election Day.
This is not just a win for Democrats, it is a victory for democracy.
Oct 11 2012
As in the past, Ohio is a key state in the electoral politics of the 2012 general election and the Republican Party is doing their level best to suppress voter turnout. On Friday, 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Ohio must make early voting (pdf) during the three days before the election available to all voters if it’s available to military members and voters who live overseas. The ruling upheld a lower court decision. On Tuesday Ohio Secretary of State John Husted announced that he would appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court:
This is an unprecedented intrusion by the federal courts into how states run elections and because of its impact on all 50 states as to who and how elections will be run in America we are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections.
This ruling not only doesn’t make legal sense, it doesn’t make practical sense. The court is saying that all voters must be treated the same way under Ohio law, but also grants Ohio’s 88 elections boards the authority to establish 88 different sets of rules. That means that one county may close down voting for the final weekend while a neighboring county may remain open. How any court could consider this a remedy to an equal protection problem is stunning.
Remember that Husted’s original ruling for early voting would have allowed Republican districts to keep their voting hours open longer and for more days. And he sought to keep options for military voters open while closing them for, say, minorities in Cleveland. So his appeal to equal protection, in light of his previous decisions, is comical.
I doubt that the Supreme Court would choose to intervene here, though of course you never know. But that won’t stop Husted’s well-earned gold star as the hardest-working voter suppressor in America.
Who knows what this Supreme Court will do but here’s hoping that they let the lower court decision stand.
May 05 2012
GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-discrimination Act, a bill to add gender variance to the list of protected statuses in the New York State Human Rights Law, was approved by the Assembly for the fifth time on Monday, gaining bipartisan support.
This is an important and overdue protection of human rights. The experience of transgender individuals, and the discrimination they face, are unique, and should be specifically identified and unambiguously rejected in our State’s civil rights laws, just like discrimination based on age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, disability, or ethnicity.
This bill has been in the Senate for 11 years; it is time for New York to stand up.
–Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, sponsor of bill, A5039
Yes, five times the State Senate in New York has let the bill die. I’m not sure why we expect better this time, but we do.
In case some of the Senators don’t know what is going on, the New York Civil Liberties Union has produced a report which documents harassment of and discrimination towards transpeople in the state. The report, entitled, Advancing Transgender Civil Rights in New York: The Need for GENDA (2012), is available here.
A 2009 national survey that included 531 transgender people in New York found that 74 percent reported harassment or mistreatment on the job and 20 percent lost a job or were denied a promotion. In addition, 53 percent were verbally harassed or denied service at hotels and restaurants and 49 percent reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance. Also, 18 percent had become homeless because of their transgender status and 27 percent were either denied an apartment or were evicted. And 17 percent were refused medical care due to their gender expression, the survey said.
There have been good developments on the federal level, but we still need GENDA to make the law crystal-clear, uniform and consistent in New York.
–Melissa Goodman, the NYCLU’s senior litigation and policy counsel
Nov 13 2011
In a comment posted in response to the Open Salon version of my previous entry, Barzin Pakandam posted the following:
Hi Michael, I completely agree with your assessment. My post goes one step further:
Mr. Pakandam, with all due respect, I think you glossed over what I wrote about Obama. Yes, voters are fed up with far right, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-civil-liberties, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-torture, pro-corporate Republican policies. But they’re also fed up with far right, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-civil-liberties, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-torture, pro-corporate Democrat policies.
On the issue of health care, for example, Obama cynically bet that by ramming through what amounts to a corporate boondoggle, he could remove health care as a wedge issue going into 2012. And the best way he could do that was to pass something the Republicans had already passed at the state level.
Enter Romneycare, on which Obamacare was modeled and which bears many similarities to the Clinton plan Obama campaigned against in ’08. (And they all appear to have swiped the idea from Richard Nixon. Go figure.)
The thinking on this was painfully simple, and horrendously evil. There’s an institutional crisis in how Americans are able to gain access to decent health care. So Obama’s, Clinton’s, and Romney’s plan was to institutionalize the problem. If it’s a built-in part of the system, no more crisis in the system because it’s now a feature instead of a supposed aberration. Now we’re being forced to bail out the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries because they went too far in price gouging and were losing paying customers.
And, of course, Obamacare, as is Romneycare before it, is deliberately designed to fail. As Jon Walker and Scarecrow at FDL reported last year, the Massachusetts plan failed spectacularly the same week Obamacare became law. The state objected to proposed premium increases, which prompted insurers to back out of agreements to offer new coverage.
Why pass such a flawed plan if it’s very design guarantees failure? As I wrote above, there’s a cynical political ploy at the heart of the matter. But it runs much deeper than that. By passing a health care law at the national level that’s designed to fail, the far right-wing lackeys of Wall Street (which include Obama in their ranks) can pretend to justify their long-disproven claims that government health care or insurance doesn’t work. And also as I wrote above, they got to bail out two massive industries that had priced their goods so ridiculouly high that they were starting to worry that they’d not have enough customers.
It’s pretty insidious, but then what can be expected from a guy who, as a state senator in Illinois, and at the behest of his corporate bosses, actively and enthusiastically worked to gut a proposed bill that would have extended health insurance to impoverished children?
By the way, a year after the collapse of Romneycare in Massachusetts, it was still a miserable failure.
And that’s just on health care reform. Look at each and every one of Obama’s policies and you will find a continuation or expansion of Bush’s far right policies. He isn’t doing these things out of weakness or some misguided desire to be conciliatory. He’s doing them because he is a right-wing extremist and his policies are the same as those of the Republicans. THAT is what voters rejected in Ohio on Tuesday.
Nov 09 2011
Ohio voters last night voted overwhelmingly against both Republican and Democrat corporate-favoring policies in a referendum. Senate Bill 5, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature and signed into law by Republican governor John Kasich, was shot down by sixty-one percent, too large a margin for the GOP to rig the vote count in its favor.
By a reportedly larger margin than Issue 2, Obamacare, the law passed in spring of 2010 in a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry, was voted down at sixty-six percent of the vote, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. However, the constitutional amendment as written would make it extremely difficult to pass meaningful regulations on insurance companies, and pretty much rules out all hope of single-payer health insurance in the Buckeye State.
In Mississippi, voters shot down the anti-abortion amendment proposed by right-wing extremists. The bid to declare life as beginning at conception was defeated 58-42%.
The measure would have bestowed legal rights on fertilized eggs and cut off access to abortion by equating it with murder, making no exception for rape, incest or when a woman’s life is in danger. Medical groups warned it might have criminalized contraception and miscarriages while limiting access to treatments such as in-vitro fertilization.
The voters of Mississippi are smarter than the far right gives them credit for. Cheers to them!
What, however, does the defeat of Issue 2 and the passage of Issue 3 in Ohio mean? It is incredibly easy for Democrats and Republicans, and their spinmeisters in the corporate-owned media, to speculate as to what it means, and many are doing just that. But what it all boils down to is that voters are fed up with far right policies that benefit no one but large business interests. In Massachusetts, for example, according to Physicians for a National Health Program, Romneycare – the insurance giveaway on which Obamacare was modeled – nearly 400,000 people still find health insurance unaffordable, and those people are predominantly the working poor. Given this realization, it is no wonder voters would rather opt out.
On a broader scale, Americans are increasingly hostile to far right policies, be they industry bailouts, invasive laws designed to take away women’s reproductive rights, or attempts to restrict voting rights, We the People are starting to fight back against the wave of fascist power grabs. Only time, though, will tell if it’s not too little, too late.
Cross-posted from Progressive Independence.