Ohio Democratic Party Thanks NAACP, ACLU, League of Women Voters For Hard Work in Protecting Voting Rights

COLUMBUS- Today, following years of a hard-fought lawsuit filed by the NAACP against Secretary of State Jon Husted, a settlement agreement was reached that guarantees evening and weekend early voting hours through the end of 2018.

In response to the agreement, Ohio Democratic Party Chair of Engagement Nina Turner released the following statement:

“The Ohio Democratic Party thanks the NAACP, the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, Bethel AME Church, and everyone else who worked so hard for this very important victory in protecting voting rights. It is a shame that over and over again, it takes lawsuits and groups going to court to defend Ohio voters from these relentless attacks on our constitutional rights. We are glad progress was made today and those harmful cuts to voting access were overturned.”

Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215


Kasich’s ‘Ohio Story’ Rings Hollow in South Carolina

SOUTH CAROLINA — Today, Ohio Governor John Kasich will travel to South Carolina to tell his ‘Ohio story’, attending luncheons, roundtables, and speaking to GOP conventions and gatherings. The appearance is part of a continued effort to establish his conservative bona fides as he contemplates a presidential campaign.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released the following statement:

“Since Kasich hasn’t been spending much time in Ohio recently, he might not have seen the latest report today on Ohio’s economy still lagging the rest of the nation in recovery. Kasich’s policies have kept Ohio’s job growth below the national average for years. He has raised taxes on working families, and raided local government and school funds year after year, resulting in lay-offs of teachers, firefighters and emergency services around the state, while forcing hikes in local taxes.

“His prescription is the same trickle-down approach that have consistently failed nationwide. If John Kasich ran the nation the way he does Ohio, everyday Americans would pay more so the one percent can pay much less. It hasn’t worked in Ohio, and it won’t work for the country.”

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison noted the ‘Ohio story’ rings particularly hollow in South Carolina:

“South Carolinians are focused on investing in transportation– something that Governor Kasich has adamantly opposed in his own state. It’s also ironic that Governor Kasich is speaking at Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research after opposing the auto rescue that saved nearly 800,000 auto industry jobs in Ohio alone.”

“Kasich should’ve checked the facts before coming to here to tout his ‘Ohio story’ of putting special interests first while making middle class families pay the price,” said Harrison. “Those policies that hurt working families have no place here in South Carolina.”

Jaime Harrison has served as the South Carolina Democratic Party Chair since 2013, and previously served as the Director of Floor Operations and Counsel for former House Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Executive Director of the House Democratic Caucus.

David Pepper was elected Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party in December of 2014 and was a two time statewide candidate in Ohio, served on the Cincinnati, Ohio, City Council, and was President of the Hamilton County Commission.


BATTLEGROUND VOICES: Support Equal Pay for Women

Every Woman Matters.

Every Dollar Matters.

The Wage Gap Matters.

 I write today to remind Ohioans about the important issue of not just fair wages, but equal wages.  The pay gap is one of THE MOST important issues facing women and families today.

So what IS the pay gap and WHY is it so important?  The pay gap is the disparity in pay based on a side-by side comparison of median wages of men and women’s typical earnings.  The hard truth is that Ohio women workers earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  Which means it would also take the average woman an additional 100 days of work just to come out on equal financial footing as her male counterpart. Clearly, 77 cents is a shameful statistic when you consider that women make up half the total work force.  The pay gap only gets more dramatic if you are a minority woman – nationally, African American women earn 64 cents and Latinas only 56 for every dollar.

The pay gap is real and pervasive, and it affects all women.  Today is Equal Pay Day, Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 – is a symbolic date of action that points out the inequity that exists in our workforce.  And it won’t change unless we DO something about it.

equal pay badge

Many critics of the pay gap speak about choices women make that may have a direct effect on their earnings like working part-time, leaving the workforce to have children, or even their choice of college majors – these choices may account for some of the salary differences, but they aren’t the whole picture.  It is important to note that earnings do increase with advanced education, but it does not eliminate the pay gap.  Just think about how this gap in earnings short changes families.  The pay gap translates into $10,876 less annually which could mean a five month supply of groceries, three months of childcare, four months of student loan payments, or even all of these things combined.

Legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay act are so important.  The Paycheck Fairness Act would expand equal pay by requiring employers to prove that wage gaps between men and women exist, it would allow for wage comparisons between employees to determine fair wages and prohibit employer retaliation against workers who inquire about wage practices or disclose their own wages. AND 84% of voters supported a law that would provide women more tools to receive fair pay in the workplace.  Let’s get this done –Contact your member of Congress, or better yet, contact Congressional Leadership and tell them how important Fair Pay is to you.

We can make a difference by speaking up, and raising awareness.  Please take a moment to stand with Democrats in support of Equal Pay – share this badge on social media.  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper (a sample letter can be found here).

Show your solidarity with women across the country by wearing red – a symbol of how far women are ‘in the red’ with their pay. 

You can also join the Fair Pay Campaign led by the American Association of University Women in conjunction with NOW, National Women’s Law Center and over 250 plus organizations.  There is no expiration date on your actions in support of Equal Pay, but if we don’t act now, at the rate of recent progress the pay gap won’t close for another 124 years, until 2139!  Demand change – urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Kathy DiCristofaro is Chair of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus

Most Recent Polling Shows Rob Portman Down By 9 Points

COLUMBUS — Today, Quinnipiac University released a poll of registered voters in Ohio, showing that if the election were held today, Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman would lose his job…by a whopping 9 points!  Additionally, Portman’s favorability rating is remarkably low at 38 percent.  Head-to-head, Portman is losing badly with Independents (50-32), and loses both men and women voters.
In response to Portman’s very weak poll results today, Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Meredith Tucker released the following statement:
“The national media is finally waking up to what we’ve known in Ohio for years: Rob Portman is in deep trouble in Ohio, and that’s why he is raising and spending gobs of money on cynical attacks. As a Washington insider for decades, Portman’s priorities are with his special interest friends, not his Ohio constituents–which is why he is so unknown back at home.” 
“Senator Portman will struggle to change these numbers, given that his track record completely opposes the kind of job-creating leadership Ohioans are looking for,” Tucker added.
Rob Portman’s real record—opposing the auto industry rescue, calling NAFTA “a proven success”, exploding the deficit during the George W. Bush administration—is spelled out at NoJobsRob.com.

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Kasich’s Veto of Student Voting Provision

COLUMBUS — In response to Governor Kasich’s line-item veto of the transportation budget amendment that would require residents to obtain an Ohio driver’s license in order to vote, Ohio Democratic Party leaders released the following statements:

“Because of the many voices that came together to protect the right to vote, we were able to push back what would have been a very detrimental law for student voters. Access to the ballot box is the sacred building block of democracy,” said Chair of Party Engagement and former State Senator Nina Turner. “We at the Ohio Democratic Party and my Democratic colleagues currently serving in the General Assembly will remain vigilant against any and all attempts to suppress the vote.”

ODP Chairman David Pepper added, “I applaud the many student leaders across the State—Democrat, Republican and independent—who spoke out over the past week and succeeded in bringing common sense to Columbus today. Tying any fee to voting is a poll tax, and poll taxes belong in the dustbin of history. I’m glad this one, at least, will remain there. My hope is that today’s veto provides a clear lesson from Ohio’s students to legislators who should know better. And we at the Ohio Democratic Party will stand united against future assaults on fundamental rights.

“Given the confusion that has been caused by these proposed changes to voting, we call upon Gov. Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted to precisely explain to Ohio students from other states how they will be affected by this 30 day requirement.”

Taylor Myers, President of College Democrats of Ohio weighed in, saying, “Barely one-fifth of young people voted last fall. Ohio can and should strive for better, and making it more difficult and more expensive to vote is exactly the wrong thing to do. It would have hurt Ohio. I thank Governor Kasich for vetoing this amendment.”


Ohio Democrats Gather Tonight for Annual Legacy Dinner

COLUMBUS – Tonight, the Ohio Democratic Party will host its annual Legacy Dinner at the Columbus Athenaeum.

Showing incredible energy from Ohio Democrats who are ready to get to work electing progressive leaders up and down the ballot, the dinner sold out weeks in advance. Over 800 Democrats from across the state will unite for an evening of fun and inspiration.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released the following statement:

“Democrats know that Ohio will determine the next President of the United States, and will be the state that helps Democrats take back the Senate, so we’re excited to talk about those incredible opportunities at tonight’s dinner.

“Having this event sell-out weeks in advance shows how invested our leaders, activists, and volunteers are, and we look forward to hosting them in Columbus tonight.”


Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Latest GOP Voter Suppression Effort

COLUMBUS-   In response to the passage of an amendment to the Senate version of the Transportation budget that would require residents to obtain an Ohio driver’s license in order to practice their right to vote, Ohio Democratic Party leaders released the following statements:

“This is yet another appalling assault on voting rights in the state of Ohio,” said Chair of Party Engagement and former State Senator Nina Turner. “Year after year, the Republicans in our state legislature have abused their power – power bestowed upon them by the voters of Ohio – to pass one bill after another stripping away access to the ballot box.

“The only way to stop this madness is to awaken the sleeping giants in Ohio and across the nation, and join forces to protect the greatest equalizer so many of our ancestors fought and died to exercise. I echo the call of Leader Schiavoni and my colleagues in the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus for Governor Kasich to line-item veto this amendment, if it remains in the budget.” 

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper added, “Sadly, it’s become an annual tradition in Ohio for Jon Husted and Mike DeWine to get hauled into federal court, losing again and again because Ohio leaders don’t seem to be able to follow basic Constitutional law.  Hopefully House leaders and Governor Kasich come to their senses and avoid another costly, losing lawsuit.”

Ohio Senate Democrats were successful in eliminating other egregious amendments to the transportation budget, such as removing provisions that would have hurt local jobs and unfairly singled out non-citizens on their driver’s licenses. Upon passage of the amendment to the state transportation budget, Senate Democrats sent Governor Kasich a letter calling on him to line-item veto this voting provision if it remains included when it reaches his desk.

Student organizations from across the state have weighed in against the proposal, including from the following schools: Kenyon, Wright State, Columbus State, Capital University, University of Toledo, Ohio University, Youngstown State, Akron, The Ohio State University, Marietta College, Miami University, Oberlin, and the University of Dayton.

This issue has received national attention, and Nina Turner will appear on MSNBC’s The Ed Show tonight to discuss this critical issue affecting voting in Ohio.


Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Six Week Ban

COLUMBUS – Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed the Six Week Abortion ban 55 to 40. The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.

“With the passage of HB69, Ohio Republicans have shown they’ll stop at nothing in their quest to deny women their rights, no matter how dangerous their efforts may be,” said Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Kathy DiCristofaro. “This bill is not only unconstitutional, it is a gross affront to Ohio women’s abilities to make their own health care decisions.”

“This is a very sad day for women and families in Ohio. After trying to pass this dangerous bill for several years, Ohio Republicans were finally successful today in their goal of stripping away the rights of Ohio women to make deeply personal decisions about their body, their health, and their family. Instead of focusing on issues that would improve lives, like raising the wage or creating good-paying jobs, Republicans remain obsessed with pushing their extreme, radical beliefs onto the citizens of our state.”

“If it reaches his desk, Governor Kasich should abide by his oath to uphold the Constitution and veto this dangerous and unnecessary bill. If not, we and others will call upon the courts to strike it down, which they will no doubt do.”


Ohio Governor In New Hampshire To Share “Ohio Story”: Kasich Policies Have Decimated Local Communities and Attacked The Middle Class in Ohio

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Ohio Governor John Kasich arrived today in New Hampshire to share the “Ohio Story” and continue what has been a peculiar approach to a presidential campaign so far.  While in New Hampshire, Kasich is expected to tout Ohio’s recovery while attempting to show he is a bona fide conservative.

Unfortunately, the facts in Ohio don’t match up with Kasich’s political rhetoric.

The heart of Kasich’s approach in Ohio has been the same trickle-down policies that have consistently failed nationwide.

In order to give tax breaks to the wealthy, Kasich has raided local government and school funds year after year, resulting in lay-offs of teachers, firefighters and emergency services around the state, and local tax increases in the form of local municipal and school tax levies. He has also proposed tax increase after tax increase on lower income Ohioans in order to pay for his tax cuts for the wealthy.

If John Kasich ran the nation the way he does Ohio, state governments would be forced to forfeit their money to Washington where the spending would then increase.  He would force states do the hard work of cutting costs, and then take the credit,” stated Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper.

Kasich has been testing the waters of a presidential run, but in a strange way–traveling to states like Wyoming and Arizona to grandstand on his widely discredited idea for a federal balanced budget Constitutional amendment.

“John Kasich should’ve checked the facts before coming to New Hampshire to tout his ‘Ohio story’ of putting special interests first while making middle class families pay the price,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley.  

 “Under Governor Maggie Hassan’s leadership, New Hampshire’s is moving in the right direction, with an unemployment rate that’s a full point lower than Ohio’s. Not to mention that New Hampshire’s median household income in 2013 was the highest in the nation, and more than $25,000 greater than Ohio’s. If John Kasich thought that Granite Staters would be impressed by his failed ‘Ohio story,’ he’s going to be sorely disappointed,” added Buckley.    

Ohio Chairman Pepper added: “the Kasich trickle-down approach has kept Ohio’s recovery lagging behind other states’. The last thing our country needs is more of these same failed policies.”

Raymond Buckley has served as the New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair since 2007 and is currently the President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

 David Pepper was elected Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party in December of 2014 and was a two time statewide candidate in Ohio, served on the Cincinnati, Ohio, City Council, and was President of the Hamilton County Commission. 


Ohio Leaders Appalled By Latest Republican Voter Suppression Effort

COLUMBUS- Experts and leaders are calling out the news that Ohio Senate Republicans have inserted an amendment into the Senate version of the Transportation budget that would require residents to obtain an Ohio driver’s license in order to practice their right to vote. Such a measure is legally problematic because it adds a costly new obstacle to voting for, among others, many Ohio college students who happen to be from other states but are already legally permitted to vote in Ohio.

“This is textbook voter suppression from a bygone era,” said former Federal Sixth Circuit Judge Nathaniel Jones, also former general counsel of the NAACP. “A poll tax, tied to a criminal sanction, is the type of cynical obstacle to voting we fought to remove from the books decades ago. It’s a sad day when Ohio Republicans are now aiming such grotesque tactics directly at Ohio’s young voters.”

“We just commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and now our state legislature is attempting to remove a basic American right—the right to vote,” said Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, former Senior Vice President of The Ohio State University. “I hope the legislature will withdraw this unwarranted proposal that smacks in the face of 50 years of progress and could silence hundreds of thousands of student voices.”

Congressman Tim Ryan weighed in on the troubling amendment, saying, “This is a blatant, political and outrageous attempt to suppress young people from voting in Ohio.  Instead of coming up with ideas or more tolerant policies to bring young voters to their side, the Republican legislature knee caps them. So much for them being the party of Lincoln. “

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper called on those Ohio officials who have a responsibility to ensure that Ohio comport with election law to speak out. “Ohio doesn’t need any more costly, losing lawsuits because Republican legislators don’t understand basic Constitutional law. As the elections and legal leaders of Ohio, Secretary of State Husted and Attorney General DeWine should immediately speak out against this blatant and illegal voter suppression.”


Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

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.