Outlook Ohio News: Ohio Week in Review for Feb. 11-17, 2017
Pat Tiberi, Congressman for Ohio’s 12th District, is receiving heavy criticism for some of his remarks about contraception usage. According to a Facebook post about the topic, Tiberi said, “Well why can’t you just get an IUD over the counter?” One of Tiberi’s constituent gave him some basic information and explained that “a doctor has to insert it.”
Tiberi’s lack of knowledge comes as he is quarterbacking efforts to find a replacement to the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).
Rather than address his constituents’ concerns, Tiberi has refused to hold a townhall meeting, leading District 12 residents to schedule their own.
You can find the details here.
Sen. Rob Portman to Rubber Stamp another Trumpsters with ‘Yes’ Vote for Gorsuch
Although there are compelling reasons for Sen. Portman, the self-proclaimed moderate, to oppose the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, Portman already put himself in the YES column. On Wednesday, Portman announced his support for Gorsuch, even though Gorsuch has ruled against women’s rights, workers’ rights and LGBTQ rights, and even though a growing cadre of experts want the court seat to remain vacant until Americans learn the extent of Russia’s efforts to swing the election to Trump.
Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator Democrat Sherrod Brown, joined other Senators in calling for the appointment of an independent Special Counsel to investigate possible illegal communications between retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and representatives of the Russian government, as well as efforts by Flynn and other White House officials to conceal any wrongdoing.
The letter was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and urges him to recuse himself from the investigation. You read their letter here.
Pudzer Won’t Be Labor Secretary After All, Following Charges He Abused his Ex-Wife and Lots of Workers
Hostility toward workers and charges of domestic violence from his ex-wife helped to derail Andrew Pudzer from becoming Secretary of Labor. One day after he withdrew his name from consideration, President Donald Trump nominated Alexander Acosta for the post.
Pudzer’s demise marked a victory for organized labor and its allies. Among the allies is Policy Matters Ohio, which issued a statement that says:
“A weakened Department of Labor led by a hostile secretary could have devastating consequences for Columbus workers. An outsized portion of the city’s residents hold low-paid service jobs – especially in the fast food and restaurant industry. These workers need a raise and need to be protected from unfair and unsafe employer practices.”
There was a national campaign of low-wage workers, particularly fast-food workers, to highlight the struggles the unfair treatment from Pudzer’s own companies.
Listen to more from WKSU here.
Activists take note: You never know when your calls and emails will work. March on.
Libraries, K-12 Schools and Most Vocational Schools Faces Cuts under Globe-Trotting Gov. Kasich’s Final State Budget
What do Ohio’s libraries, K-12 school districts and vocational schools have in common? They’re all likely to receive less state funding in the next state budget.
Ohio has 49 career-technical schools, and 35 would receive less state funding next year under Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2018-19 budget.
The cuts come as Ohio struggles to fill lots of advanced manufacturing jobs. Instead of trying to improve worker training and Ohio’s economy, the pending state budget calls for yet another income tax cut for millionaires.
As Ohio’s economy remains wobbly, Kasich continues his international travels as he attempts to remain relevant for a possible third run for President. The Associated Press has details of the trip, and tallies the bill taxpayers are getting to pay for his travel and security.
Kasich Calls for Teachers to Job Shadow Businesses to Qualify for License Renewal
Buried more than 1,000 pages into Kasich’s budget proposal is a requirement that, beginning in 2018, teachers complete an on-site work experience with a local business or chamber of commerce as a condition of license renewal. As if teachers don’t already have enough to do.
Kasich says he wants to involve businesses more in education and argues schools need input from businesses to help turn out students who are prepared for 21st Century careers.
Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper said Kasich’s plan should be a policy recommendation, not a state mandate.
Cropper explained to the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“We’re suggesting a kindergarten teacher get an externship at a business. Is an externship really going to add to the quality of what you’re doing in the classroom? In that case, it might be more helpful for the teacher to bring professionals into the classroom to explain their jobs to kindergartners.”
Local Resources Can’t Combat Ohio’s Growing Opioid Epidemic
While Ohio’s opioid crisis makes national news, it is clear that local governments and agencies are shouldering the financial burden of trying to combat the epidemic. Noting that addiction affects people from every walk of life, local advocates describe the complex and individualized treatment plans they are developing here.
While the epidemic worsens, Kasich’s two-year budget proposal calls for flat-funded for drug treatment.
Josh Mandel Announced His County Chairs – And Forgot To Ask One First
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is so eager to campaign for the U.S. Senate that his team forgot some very basic rules for running.
Rule No. 1: don’t publicly list someone’s support if you haven’t even contacted them. Oh and when they are very nice about your slip-up, maybe don’t announce that you’ve already replaced them anyway.
FROM THE SWAMP
Spies Keep Intelligence from Trump amid Fears It Could Be Compromised
In a jaw-dropping report, The Wall Street Journal says that U.S. intelligence officials have kept sensitive information from President Trump amid fears it could be leaked or compromised. Experts said that this underscores the depth of the mistrust that exists between the new President and the intelligence community. This report comes amid growing concern over ties between Trump and Russia.
Chaos and ‘Survival Mode’ New Normal at Trump White House
It’s been a rocky start for the Trump Administration and this week only got worse. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned after it was revealed that he lied about discussing American sanctions with the Russian Ambassador this past December.
Later, media outlets (not the FAKE news) reported that senior Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence officers during the 2016 presidential race.
Raw Story notes that all of these cascading revelations “are gaining a Watergate aura — constant, complicated revelations from intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement; White House denials; frenzied competition among the great news organizations.”
PROTECT YOUR MOTHER
Portman Backs EPA Nominee with History of Suing the EPA, And Other Troubling Signs for the Planet
Sen. Rob Portman voted to confirm Scott Pruitt as director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), despite his history of suing the agency and hostility he showed toward it.
As scientists and experts noted in a January letter to Portman, two laws enforced by the EPA—the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule—could save Ohio some $32 billion in health costs for 2017 and prevent up to 3,900 premature deaths. Pruitt has sued the EPA to block these rules.
Portman is one of three Republicans who are publicly undecided about whether to back a resolution that would nullify a new rule aimed at limiting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling on federal lands. The Obama administration updated a 30-year-old regulation to provide a more fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, tribes and states.
Don’t expect Portman to vote for the environment in the methane emissions case either. Expect him to do what he usually does: Express deep concern, then do what party leaders tell him.
PROGRESSIVE ACTION CALENDAR ALERTS
Renacci is Missing: Constituent Town Hall
District 14 Voters Townhall – Rep. Joyce