Husted Rules In Favor Of Allowing Canton Mayor Candidate On Ballot, Despite Absurd Residency Claim

CANDIDATE CLAIMED RESIDENCE IN VACANT PROPERTY ON VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced his decision to allow Stark County Commissioner Thomas Bernabei to remain on the ballot for Canton Mayor — despite evidence clearly showing that Bernabei did not reside in the city when he filed his voter registration and candidate papers.

“Today’s decision by Secretary Husted is one of the most nakedly partisan actions I’ve ever seen — and for someone whom courts have found violated the constitution numerous times, that’s saying something,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper. “Given years of rhetoric about voter fraud, it’s astounding that Husted and the Ohio GOP now support would-be candidates and voters submitting paperwork to run and vote in communities where they don’t actually live.”

Prior to today’s ruling, Husted has faced questions about his own residency. In his opinion, Husted relies on the fact that Bernabei had “an intent to reside in the city of Canton.” Husted made the same claims of “intent” when he was defending charges that he did not actually live at his voting address.

Husted’s opinion conveniently ignores Bernabei’s timeline of events:

  • April 30 — Bernabei signs a one-month lease for a vacant rental property in the city of Canton, departs for Florida

  • May 3 day — Bernabei returns to Ohio, files change of address form for vacant rental property where he has never slept; Stark County Republican officials begin circulating Bernabei’s nominating petitions

  • May 3 evening — Bernabei spends first night on cot at vacant rental property; wife and pet remain in Hills and Dales

  • May 4 — Bernabei files nominating petitions

  • May 7 — Bernabei moves to another Canton property

“With today’s decision Husted has shown he doesn’t actually care about enforcing election law when doing so would undermine his own party’s interests,” said Pepper. “If Ohio Republicans actually wanted to crack down on an election fraud, perhaps they should look within their own house.”

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Medicare’s 50th Birthday Reminds Ohio Seniors That GOP Field Can’t Wait To End Vital Program

COLUMBUS — Exactly one week from today, the Republican presidential field — or at least the top 10 candidates — will take to the debate stage in Cleveland… and hope no one mentions the words “Medicare,” “Ryan budget” or “voucher.”

For the past 50 years, Medicare and Medicaid have lifted countless Americans out of poverty and given millions of seniors and families the peace of mind that comes with affordable health coverage. The Affordable Care Act built on this legacy by strengthening the Medicare trust fund, keeping it solvent until 2030.

If we want Medicare and Medicaid to be around for another 50 years, we need to protect these programs from GOP presidential candidates who want to destroy them. Here’s where they stand:

  • Jeb Bush said he wanted to “phase out” the Medicare program.

  • Chris Christie supported the Ryan budget which would turn Medicare into a voucher system, a move that would have cost seniors an average of $6,000 in extra out-of-pocket costs every year.

  • Ted Cruz supports the Ryan plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system.

  • Rand Paul proposed raising the retirement age for Medicare coverage and means-testing the program.

“The GOP field is so out of touch with everyday Americans — they can’t wait to ‘phase out’ or voucherize a program that 77 percent of Americans consider to be ‘very important.’ Here in Ohio nearly 4 million seniors or soon-to-be seniors would be hurt by Republican attempts to end Medicare as we know it. On this 50th anniversary of Medicare, we should celebrate the program’s successes — and also fight back against GOP attacks on this vital program.” — David Pepper, Chairman, Ohio Democratic Party

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Portman Shielding Wall Street From Scrutiny at Public’s Expense

Under Portman Leadership, Panel Ends Decade of Bipartisan Investigations into Wall Street Wrongdoing

COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman announced yesterday he is shifting the focus of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which he now chairs, ending a decade of bipartisan efforts to protect the public from wrongdoing by corporations and financial institutions.

“Senator Portman is ending a decade of bipartisan investigations into abuses by too-big-to-fail banks and Wall Street billionaires that has resulted in laws being passed, criminals being indicted and victims being compensated. Portman’s move to protect Wall Street at the expense of the rest of us shows loud an clear who he works for, and it isn’t the people of Ohio,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue.

As Bloomberg News reported yesterday, the committee is holding its first hearing under Portman’s leadership today on the corporate tax code. Witnesses picked by Portman to testify at today’s hearing consist solely of current and former corporate executives, including those who have relocated offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

More from Bloomberg:

A U.S. Senate investigative subcommittee, which has used its power for more than a decade to scrutinize corporations and financial institutions for wrongdoing, is shifting its focus to keeping tabs on the government.

. . .

That’s a departure from the subcommittee’s focus under previous Democratic and Republican leaders. Former chairman Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who led the committee to focus on Apple Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., retired last year.

Under Levin — and his Republican predecessors, Norm Coleman from Minnesota and Susan Collins from Maine — the committee probed powerful institutions, often spurring legislative changes and criminal indictments. It investigated offshore accounts sold by Credit Suisse and UBS AG, tax shelters marketed by KPMG and alleged conflicts of interest at Goldman Sachs — one of which the bank resolved in a $550 million SEC settlement. A 2013 hearing on Apple Inc. tax practices helped prompt the Irish government to change its tax laws.

“Senator Levin and the subcommittee were the driving force behind many of the U.S. and worldwide initiatives to fight financial crime,” said David Chenkin, a defense attorney at Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP in New York City, who has represented individuals and financial institutions that were the subject of the panel’s investigations. “They were responsible for the anti-money laundering portions of the Patriot Act, they helped to bring down the wall of Swiss and offshore bank secrecy and exposed the underbelly of global kleptocracy and abuse of the U.S. financial system.”

. . .

The witnesses scheduled to attend Thursday consist solely of current or former corporate executives, including officials from two companies that “inverted” outside the U.S. — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and Restaurant Brands International Inc., the parent of Burger King. In the past, the subcommittee hearings often also included outside experts such as law professors.

Although the investigations subcommittee typically provides lengthy reports with findings of apparent wrongdoing ahead of its hearings, it has made no such material available this time.

Read the full Bloomberg article here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-29/goldman-busting-senate-committee-shifts-from-wall-street-probes

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Ohioans Rally Outside Portman’s Toledo Office on Medicare Anniversary

Portman Plan Could Hurt Nearly 140, 000 Seniors in Lucas County, Nearly 4 Million Statewide

TOLEDO – Ohioans rallied outside Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s office in Toledo today to mark the 50th anniversary of Medicare.

“Senator Portman wants to sell out nearly 4 million Ohioans to line the pockets of millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue. “Senator Portman voted three times to hand Ohio seniors and soon-to-be seniors a voucher instead of the Medicare they’ve earned – and for what? Not to pay down the debt or invest back into making Medicare stronger, but to hand even more tax breaks to those at the very top.”

Portman has voted three times to end Medicare as we know it and hand seniors a voucher instead of the guaranteed benefits they’ve earned – all so he can give even more special tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns. [Vote 46, 3/21/13, Vote 98, 5/15/12, Vote 77, 5/25/11]

If Portman got his way, more than 3.7 million seniors and soon-to-be seniors in Ohio could be hurt, including 138,228 in Lucas County:

  • 1,742,000 Ohioans between the ages of 45 and 54, 57,596 in Lucas County, would be dumped into a voucher program that would force them to pay about $800 each year more for their care than traditional Medicare.
  • 1,971,260 Ohio seniors already on Medicare could end up paying $1,200 more each year for their care than under traditional Medicare, 80,632 in Lucas County.

[Census, 2010; KFF, 2012; CBO, 9/13, Census, CMS]

Find more county numbers HERE.

Portman has sold Ohio seniors out to billionaire special interests so consistently that he has a 0 percent score from the Alliance for Retired Americans for 2014 and a 3 percent lifetime score. [ARA Scorecard]

Portman’s opponent, and former Ohio Governor, Ted Strickland has earned a 100 percent lifetime score from the Alliance for Retired Americans for always standing with Ohio seniors to protect Medicare. [ARA Scorecard]

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Editor’s Note: Below is a picture from outside Sen. Rob Portman’s Toledo office — which was locked and vacant.

Portman's Toledo Office on 50th Anniversary of Medicare

 

MEDICARE BY COUNTY: How Many Ohioans Would Portman Rob in Your Community?

COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has voted three times to end Medicare as we know it and hand seniors a voucher instead of the guaranteed benefits they’ve earned – all so he can give even more special tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns. [Vote 46, 3/21/13, Vote 98, 5/15/12, Vote 77, 5/25/11]

If Portman got his way, more than 3.7 million seniors and soon-to-be seniors in Ohio could be hurt.

  • Ohioans between the ages of 45 and 54 would be dumped into a voucher program that would force them to pay about $800 more each year for their care than traditional Medicare.
  • Ohio seniors already on Medicare could end up paying $1,200 more per year for their care than under traditional Medicare.

[CBO, 9/13]

This Thursday, July 30th, marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare.

Use this county-by-county breakdown to find out how many Ohioans Portman would rob in your community:

[Census, CMS]

County Soon-to-be Seniors Medicare Aged Potentially Impacted
Adams County 3,952 6,271                                          10,223
Allen County 13,634 21,277                                          34,911
Ashland County 6,990 10,579                                          17,569
Ashtabula County 14,481 22,221                                          36,702
Athens County 6,715 9,567                                          16,282
Auglaize County 6,452 8,586                                          15,038
Belmont County 9,638 16,105                                          25,743
Brown County 6,350 9,233                                          15,583
Butler County 51,316 60,214                                       111,530
Carroll County 4,086 6,182                                          10,268
Champaign County 5,763 7,649                                          13,412
Clark County 18,585 29,660                                          48,245
Clermont County 29,862 33,488                                          63,350
Clinton County 5,782 8,149                                          13,931
Columbiana County 15,158 23,627                                          38,785
Coshocton County 4,988 7,933                                          12,921
Crawford County 5,821 10,517                                          16,338
Cuyahoga County 175,069 250,332                                       425,401
Darke County 7,335 11,290                                          18,625
Defiance County 4,972 8,091                                          13,063
Delaware County 29,063 23,244                                          52,307
Erie County 10,704 17,680                                          28,384
Fairfield County 22,281 25,442                                          47,723
Fayette County 3,983 6,087                                          10,070
Franklin County 157,497 163,293                                       320,790
Fulton County 6,003 8,106                                          14,109
Gallia County 4,121 6,797                                          10,918
Geauga County 14,536 18,091                                          32,627
Greene County 21,754 28,226                                          49,980
Guernsey County 5,564 9,181                                          14,745
Hamilton County 108,457 141,244                                       249,701
Hancock County 10,323 13,893                                          24,216
Hardin County 3,892 5,947                                            9,839
Harrison County 2,214 3,696                                            5,910
Henry County 3,822 5,620                                            9,442
Highland County 5,913 9,136                                          15,049
Hocking County 4,117 6,162                                          10,279
Holmes County 4,890 4,592                                            9,482
Huron County 8,233 11,390                                          19,623
Jackson County 4,407 7,225                                          11,632
Jefferson County 9,268 16,971                                          26,239
Knox County 8,054 11,994                                          20,048
Lake County 34,116 47,986                                          82,102
Lawrence County 8,704 14,653                                          23,357
Licking County 24,811 30,918                                          55,729
Logan County 6,443 9,185                                          15,628
Lorain County 44,100 58,305                                       102,405
Lucas County 57,596 80,632                                       138,228
Madison County 6,790 7,386                                          14,176
Mahoning County 31,641 54,616                                          86,257
Marion County 9,675 13,619                                          23,294
Medina County 27,658 30,235                                          57,893
Meigs County 3,353 5,228                                            8,581
Mercer County 5,369 7,956                                          13,325
Miami County 14,559 20,971                                          35,530
Monroe County 2,008 3,795                                            5,803
Montgomery County 71,786 106,711                                       178,497
Morgan County 2,138 3,183                                            5,321
Morrow County 5,089 6,361                                          11,450
Muskingum County 11,794 18,957                                          30,751
Noble County 1,908 2,497                                            4,405
Ottawa County 5,927 10,391                                          16,318
Paulding County 2,700 4,010                                            6,710
Perry County 5,245 7,089                                          12,334
Pickaway County 8,337 10,336                                          18,673
Pike County 4,016 6,331                                          10,347
Portage County 22,421 27,891                                          50,312
Preble County 5,927 8,528                                          14,455
Putnam County 4,806 6,148                                          10,954
Richland County 16,615 27,043                                          43,658
Ross County 11,705 15,220                                          26,925
Sandusky County 8,348 12,422                                          20,770
Scioto County 10,226 17,002                                          27,228
Seneca County 7,392 11,522                                          18,914
Shelby County 6,996 8,708                                          15,704
Stark County 52,032 79,919                                       131,951
Summit County 76,953 103,848                                       180,801
Trumbull County 28,698 48,744                                          77,442
Tuscarawas County 12,560 19,334                                          31,894
Union County 8,298 7,124                                          15,422
Van Wert County 3,848 6,274                                          10,122
Vinton County 1,931 2,571                                            4,502
Warren County 34,852 31,429                                          66,281
Washington County 8,520 14,186                                          22,706
Wayne County 15,150 21,272                                          36,422
Williams County 5,168 8,007                                          13,175
Wood County 15,687 21,065                                          36,752
Wyandot County 3,024 4,703                                            7,727

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Sen. Portman and the Medicare Anniversary That Nearly Never Happened

Portman Voted Three Times to End Medicare As We Know It to Increase Tax Breaks for Millionaires

COLUMBUS – This Thursday, July 30th, marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, but if Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman had his way, no one would be celebrating.

“Senator Portman wants to sell out nearly 4 million Ohioans to line the pockets of millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue. “Senator Portman voted three times to hand Ohio seniors and soon-to-be seniors a voucher instead of the Medicare they’ve earned – and for what? Not to pay down the debt or invest back into making Medicare stronger, but to hand even more tax breaks to those at the very top.”

Portman has voted three times to end Medicare as we know it and hand seniors a voucher instead of the guaranteed benefits they’ve earned – all so he can give even more special tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns. [Vote 46, 3/21/13, Vote 98, 5/15/12, Vote 77, 5/25/11]

If Portman got his way, more than 3.7 million seniors and soon-to-be seniors in Ohio could be hurt:

  • 1,742,000 Ohioans between the ages of 45 and 54 would be dumped into a voucher program that would force them to pay about $800 more for their care than traditional Medicare.

  • And 1,971,260 Ohio seniors already on Medicare could see their prices spike $1,200.

[Census, 2010; KFF, 2012; CBO, 9/13]

In fact, Portman has sold Ohio seniors out to billionaire special interests so consistently that he has a 0 percent score from the Alliance for Retired Americans for 2014 and a 3 percent lifetime score. [ARA Scorecard]

Portman’s opponent, and former Ohio Governor, Ted Strickland has earned a 100 percent lifetime score from the Alliance for Retired Americans for always standing with Ohio seniors to protect Medicare. [ARA Scorecard]

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Paula Hicks-Hudson Leads in Toledo Mayoral Race

COLUMBUS — With a little over three months from Election Day, Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson has a solid 20-point lead in the race for Toledo mayor, according to a new poll conducted July 17-21, and nearly 70 percent of those surveyed said they are satisfied with Toledo as a place to live.

“I am honored to know that residents across Toledo are confident in my leadership of the city,” said Hicks-Hudson. “I look forward to working with interested parties to continue moving our city forward. It is a top priority to make the city one of the best places to live by investing in our infrastructure including fixing our roads, tackling water quality issues and creating and retaining jobs for businesses to grow and families to prosper.”

The poll, conducted by FLS Group and Triad Research Group, surveyed 408 likely voters and found Hicks-Hudson had the support of 38 percent of those polled. Carty Finkbeiner, who has not formally announced, trailed Hicks-Hudson with 18 percent support, and Sandy Drabik Collins followed closely behind with 16 percent. More than one-quarter of voters (27 percent) were undecided.

“Community response to the work that Mayor Hicks-Hudson is doing has been phenomenal and is resonating with Toledo voters,” said campaign manager Ernie Davis. “As the campaign season begins to heat up, we will continue our discussions with residents and work to communicate the mayor’s vision for Toledo.”

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ICYMI: Portman’s Super PAC Funded by Wall Street Check That “Could Buy a Car or Condo in Ohio”

Super PAC’s Number One Backer Profited by Helping Ship Jobs to China

COLUMBUS — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s Super PAC raised $186,000 last quarter from just four donors writing checks “big enough to buy a car or small condo (in Ohio),” Cleveland.com reported Friday. The lion’s share of that haul came from just one $100,000 check (more than double what the average Ohio family earns in an entire year) written by a Wall Street investor who profited from helping ship jobs to China.

“Senator Portman has spent 25 years in Washington looking out for big money interests at Ohio’s expense, so it’s no surprise Wall Street is writing big checks to keep Portman in the Senate doing their bidding,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue.

Portman’s Super PAC was created by Barry Bennett, manager of Ben Carson’s presidential campaign. And Portman’s campaign bragged about getting the endorsement of Carson, who has said that prison turns people gay, called the VA health system problems a “gift from God,” and disagreed with the notion that domestic violence is a “terrible plague” affecting many millions of women and families. [more here]

  • Thomas E. McInerney, owner of the private equity firm Bluff Point Associates, wrote a $100,000 check to Portman’s Super PAC last quarter. [Cleveland Plain-Dealer, 7/24/15]
  • The median household income for a family in Ohio was $46,398 for 2013. [FRED]
  • McInerney’s firm, Bluff Point Associates, invested in a company called InnoVest, whose website boasts: “InnoVest tailors our outsourcing engagements to meet clients requirements, considering size and complexity. [. . .] We provide: […] Global Delivery Network – US, India, China, Germany, Japan.” [Bluff Point Associates, Accessed 7/26/15; InnoVest, Accessed 7/26/15]

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Portman Skips Highway Vote For Fishing Trip

Ohio Jobs on the Line with Highway Bill Set to Expire in One Week

COLUMBUS – While the U.S. Senate was considering whether to open debate on the Highway Bill this morning, Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman was considering where to cast his next line.

That’s right: with just a week left until the current Highway Bill expires and millions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and critical Ohio projects on the line, Portman skipped this morning’s very close (passed by only 51) vote to go fishing.

“Senator Portman’s fishing trip proves once again just how out of whack his priorities are. When Washington special interests need Senator Portman to pass their trade deals and outsource Ohio jobs, he’s there every time – but when Ohio roads, bridges and jobs are on the line, Senator Portman is gone fishing,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue.

The current Highway bill is set to expire July 31st. If Congress fails to act, come August 1st no new contracts will be issued and money for current projects will begin to slow to a halt.

  • Nearly 25 percent of Ohio’s bridges are structurally deficient.
  • 42 percent of Ohio’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
  • Poor road conditions cost Ohio drivers nearly $1.7 billion dollars a year – more than $200 per driver.

(source: http://www.transportation.gov/policy-initiatives/grow-america/road-and-bridge-data-state)

Rob Portman Fishing on July 24, 2015

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Ohio Democratic Party Releases New Video, “NOT SO PRESIDENTIAL”

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party today released a new video, “Not So Presidential,” highlighting some of Gov. John Kasich’s most controversial statements over the years.

“Governor John Kasich has spent a long time in the public eye, and he’s not always handled the spotlight very well,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “From calling a law enforcement officer an ‘idiot’ to advocating for racial profiling, Kasich doesn’t seem very presidential when you look at his inflammatory comments over the years.”

Click here to watch:

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.