Husted Blames Republican Legislature For His Policies

Husted dodges responsibility for his policies and dodges 2010 campaign pledge

COLUMBUS – This morning, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd regarding the ACLU/League of Women Voters/NAACP’s lawsuit against him for cutting early voting hours in Ohio.  In that interview, Jon Husted claimed that it was the legislature, not he, who shortened early voting and that he “had clashed with the legislature.”  When asked if the Secretary of State should cease to be an elected partisan officeholder, something that was the centerpiece of his 2010 campaign, Husted dodged the issue entirely. In response, Ohio Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester issued the following statement:

“After supporting cutting a week from early voting and unilaterally ending evening and Sunday early voting, Jon Husted blamed his fellow Republicans in the legislature for the voting rights rollbacks he publicly urged them to make.  With his broken promises from his 2010 campaign and his refusal to take responsibility for his own policies, Ohioans are quickly realizing they can’t trust Tea Party value Republicans like Jon Husted.”

BACKGROUND:

The legislature eliminated a week of early voting at Jon Husted’s urging, not opposition.  The Republican legislature reduced early voting by a week by eliminating the “Golden Week”after receiving a public letter from Secretary of State Jon Husted urging them to do so.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch (10/25/2013), “Husted asks legislators to trim early voting.”]

Not satisfied with the early voting cuts made by the legislature, Husted then unilaterally issued a directive that reduced early voting hours by eliminating most evening and weekend hours.  On February 25, 2014, Jon Husted issued Directive 2014-06, (included the ACLU’s lawsuit against Secretary of Husted), in which Husted unilaterally ended Sunday early voting the final two weeks before the election, most evening and weekend early voting hours in Ohio. In a press release from his office, Husted said he decided to take unilateral action because the legislature “has neither . . . introduced nor adopted” these reduced early voting hours he had advocated.  [Source: Ohio Secretary Of State’s Office Press Release (2/25/2014).]

Husted’s repeated claim that he sends all Ohio voters an absentee ballot is misleading, at best.  While Husted mentions that he is mailing absentee ballots in the general election as his office agreed to do in 2011 in a settlement with Ed FitzGerald he fails to mention that S.B. 205,will prevent the Secretary of State’s Office from doing so in the future unless the General Assembly specifically appropriates money to allow the Secretary to do so.  He also did not mail out unsolicited absentee ballots in the 2014 primary election which turnout was substantially lower than in 2010 or 2006.

When Husted was asked if Ohio should move away from having the Secretary of State be chosen in a partisan election, Husted demurred and avoided his 2010 campaign pledge to do just that.  In announcing his 2010 candidacy for Secretary of State, Jon Husted said, “I’m going to be the first person to run for office with a plan to eliminate the need for it,” claiming that he would move “oversight of the election system to include a bipartisan decision-making process.”  [Source: Dayton Daily News (4/2/2009), “Husted begins bid for office.”]

In 2010, Jon Husted campaigned as a Republican with “Tea Party values.”  During the 2010 Republican primary, Jon Husted’s campaign literature promoted him as a candidate with “Tea Party values.” [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (4/18/2010), “Husted’s appeal to Tea Party draws loud rebuff.”]

RGA Gets The Facts Wrong… Again

COLUMBUS – Today, the Republican Governor’s Association launched an ad that gets several facts about Governor Kasich’s record wrong, trying again to mislead voters in Ohio.

“The notion that Ohio’s economy was in a ‘free fall’ before John Kasich took office is laughable and simply untrue. Ohio’s economy was recovering nearly a full year before Kasich took office, but it has sputtered under his watch.  By trying to take credit for things that took place before Kasich was in office, the RGA just proves that John Kasich’s policies aren’t working for middle class Ohioans,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.

As usual, the RGA should have used a little more fact checkers, and less recycling of partisan editorials from three years ago.

RGA CLAIM:  “Four years ago, Ohio was in free fall.”

FACT CHECK: A year before Kasich took office, Ohio’s unemployment rate was consistently dropping.  In 2010, a year before Kasich took office, Ohio’s unemployment rate began a year-long streak of consistenly dropping every month, a streak broken under John Kasich that hasn’t happened since.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

FACT CHECK: In 2010, Ohio created over 55,000  new jobs, more than Ohio did in 2013 under Kasich.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio created 55,100 jobs in 2010, a year before Kasich took office, while only creating 50,400 jobs last year.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)].

RGA CLAIM:  “Kasich erased the deficit without raising taxes.”

FACT CHECK: Kasich’s budget cuts to local government and schools resulted in local taxes going up.  “As a direct result of the $1.8 billion in school funding cuts approved by Gov. Kasich and the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature, local taxpayers have been asked to approve 393 school levies representing $1.34 billion in new operating money since May, 2011. Levies representing $492 million in new operating funds have passed.” [Source: Innovation Ohio, 4/25/13]

FACT CHECK: Kasich’s second budget raised the sales tax and CAT on businesses and rolled back the homestead exemption on seniors.  “The reality is, the governor is a tax shifter. He is adept at transferring the burden of taxation from one party to another while giving the appearance of reducing taxes. Shifting the load is how he can balance a state budget that grows year after year even as he beats the drum for lower individual income tax rates.” [Crain's Cleveland Business, 3/16/2014]

RGA CLAIM: “Unemployment dropped 33%.”

FACT CHECK: Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  In 2010, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by over 85,000.  In 2013, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by less than 10,000.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

FACT CHECK: Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by over 51,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 51,609 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In March 2014 alone, over 11,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market.U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

FACT CHECK: Economist: “A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank noted that recent drops in the unemployment rate “wasn’t entirely for the right reasons” noting that “[a] declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.” [Source: Youngstown Vindicator (4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

RGA CLAIM: “An $8 billion deficit left by the Strickland Administration.”

FACT CHECK: Revenues in the last Strickland budget came in “$947 million over estimates.”  The State budget ending in FY2011 (ending 6/30/2011) with revenues coming in at $947 million over estimates, allowing $247 million of the “surplus tax revenue” to be placed into the state’s “rainy day fund.” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (7/9/2011), “Surplus revenue pours into Ohio’s rainy-day fund.”]

Husted Silent on Staffer Scandal

Former SB 5 Mayor Accused of Using City Computer for Campaign, Porn 

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that former Cuyahoga County Falls Mayor Don Robart is under investigation for having campaign-related files and “mountains” of pornography on his city government computer when he left office.  Presently, Robart is employed by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.  In response to the investigation of Husted’s staffer, Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester issued the following statement:

“As the chief election official in the State of Ohio, it is irresponsible for Jon Husted to continue to have someone who is being accused of using official resources for campaign work and otherwise abuse official resources. Husted’s silence on this investigation is telling.”

BACKGROUND

Former Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart hired by Secretary of State’s Office.  As of January 2014, Don Robart has been employed by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to serve as a regional liaison and eight county Board of Elections.  [Source: Cuyahoga Falls News-Press (2/23/2014), “Former Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart is Now Working for Ohio Secretary of State.”]

Robarts defeat in 2013 was widely seen as a result of his support of Governor Kasich’s controversial attack on middle-class workers in SB 5.  Robarts had been the seven-term mayor of Cuyahoga Falls when voters decided not to re-elect him and elect Democratic Don Walters instead.  Robarts support of SB 5 was seen as factor in his defeat, including by Robarts himself.  [Source: WKSU (11/7/2013, “A seven-term mayor loses, thanks to SB 5, the tea party and a shopping center.”]

After he left office, his city computer contained numerous campaign-related files and “mountains of porn.”  A search of Robarts’ city computer uncovered “spreadsheets of voter names and party affiliations and the location of campaign signs” and what a secretary of the office described as “mountains of porn” with folders titled “Big Daddys Girl”and ““The Melons Are Ready.” [Source: Akron Beacon Journal (4/16/2014), “Cuyahoga Falls investigating discovery of porn, campaign files on former mayor’s work computer.”]

PPP Poll Shows Ohio Governor’s Race A Dead Heat

COLUMBUS –Today, Public Policy Polling, one of the most proven pollsters in America, released a poll showing gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald and Governor John Kasich tied at 44%, and Senator Nina Turner leading her opponent, Secretary of State Jon Husted 45% to 44%.

“It’s no coincidence that John Kasich’s campaign decided to go on the air yesterday—they are seeing the same results we’re seeing.  Governor Kasich has had weeks of horrible media attention on everything from his attacks on voting rights, his discriminatory views on marriage equality, and his tax shift onto the middle class.  This race is a dead heat, and Ohioans know that John Kasich doesn’t share our values, and his policies aren’t working for Ohio families,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.

You can find the polling on the race for governor here.

You can find the results on the Secretary of State’s race here.

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Federal Judge’s Ruling on Ohio’s Ban on Marriage Equality

Court rules that Ohio can no longer deny recognition of marriages from marriage equality states

COLUMBUS – Today, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black issued his ruling in Henry v. Himes, U.S. Dist. Ct. (S. Dist. Of Ohio) Case No. 1:14-cv-129, in which he ruled that Ohio’s constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other States was unconstitutional.[1]

In responding to arguments raised by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Judge Black observed “given that all practicing attorneys, as well as the vast majority of all citizens in this country, are fully aware that unconstitutional laws cannot stand, even when passed by popular vote, Defendant’s repeated appeal to the purportedly sacred nature of the will of Ohio voters is particularly specious.”

In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling by Judge Black is not only a small, but important, milestone in the fight for marriage equality, but a reminder that our State constitution was created to protect the rights of Ohio families, not deny them.  Governor Kasich has a long history of opposing same-sex marriage, and it is far past time for him and Attorney General Mike DeWine to stop their crusade on Ohio families who deserve equal and fair treatment in our state.”


[1] The Order was stayed immediately pending further briefing on the parties and appeals.

Yost Boasts Of Finding Misspending By Already Closed Charter School

Misspending Already Documented Years Ago

COLUMBUS –On Tuesday, Dave Yost released three audits regarding Elite Academy of the Arts, which was closed by the Ohio Department of Education in 2012, concerning spending from 2009 until it closed, Ohio Democratic Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“Yost should explain how the public is served when his office’s obvious backlog prevents relevant information about how tax money is being misspent from being uncovered in a timely manner.  If this is the best Yost can do, he’s proven to be a poor watchdog for Ohio taxpayers.  Because of Yost’s inability to timely release these audits, wrongdoers have years of a head start to avoid apprehension by law enforcement.”

Questions raised by Yost’s delayed release of these audits:

  1. Why was Elite Academy never audited by the State when it was open?
  2. Why did it take Yost’s office two more years to complete the audit of an already closed school over spending that occurred nearly five years ago?
  3. Why did Yost’s office not make it a priority to complete these audits once it was announced that the school was being closed due to poor academic performance?
  4. What became of Yost’s referral to the Ohio Ethics Commission in 2012 over this failed closed charter?
  5. What steps has Yost’s office taken to avoid further delays in completing audits of poor performing or closing charter schools?

BACKGROUND

The Ohio Department of Education ordered Elite Academy of the Arts closed before the State Auditor’s Office had ever audited it.  In 2011, the Ohio Department of Education ordered the Elite Academy of the Arts charter school to close in FY 2012. [Source: Ohio Department of Education.]

Prior to its closure, the Auditor’s Office apparently had never audited the charter school, but months after it closed released two audits concerning its activities in 2007-2009.  [Source: Ohio Auditor’s website.]

The first audit of the charter school Yost released in 2012 already showed the charter school had allegedly misspent money in buying alcohol on multiple occasions,  had poor support to justify cash withdraws,  and had poor financial reporting and recording safeguards.  The 2012 audits also alleged that the superintendent had an unlawful interest in the district’s contract with its operator since he was also the operator’s owner.  These are virtually the same findings Yost made in the audits he released on Tuesday.  [Source: State Auditor’s Audits for Elite Academy of the Arts released on 8/21/2012 and 4/1/2014 (five audits in total.)]

RNC Leader Reince Priebus Visits Ohio

Expected to Make Another Flawed Prediction About GOP Ground Game

SALEM, OHIO- Tonight, Friday, April 4th, 2014, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will fly into Ohio to headline the Columbiana County GOP’s Lincoln Day dinner. In advance of the RNC Chairman’s speech, Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Meredith Tucker released the following statement:

“Tonight, we’re sure to hear a lot of bravado about the Republicans’ plans for a new ground game in Ohio. So while they start from scratch, we’re building on our successful, already-proven Get Out The Vote strategy. Reince was wrong on Ohio then, and he’s wrong on Ohio now.”

A few things to keep in mind as the national Republican leader comes to Ohio to talk 2014 “strategy”:

FLASHBACK: Priebus wrongly predicted in 2012, “We’re going to crush them in Ohio.”

NewYork Observer // “RNC Chairman Reince Priebus: ‘We’re Going to Crush Them in Ohio’”

That’s the one thing that I think that is a narrative out there that I just think is blatantly uninformed, which is the fact that the Democrats have this great ground game. I think we’re going to crush the Democrats on the ground,” Mr. Priebus said. “I just don’t think they’ve got a very good ground game. I’ve looked through it, I’ve seen it. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s a lot of talk, but when you go around the neighborhood and you look at who’s getting absentee ballots in the municipal clerks’ offices and you figure out who’s hitting their goals, in our case, we’ve got a sophisticated program around our GOP universe and we check that every single morning with municipal clerks’ offices that are hooked up to our system. And I just know that we’re better than them on the ground, and I think that we’re going to crush them in Ohio.”

REALITY:

The Wire // Romney’s Get Out The Vote Plan Was a Complete Disaster

“As Republicans continue to deconstruct the failure of the Romney campaign, volunteers have revealed that there were serious problems with the candidate’s whiz-bang tech solution for getting people to the polls.”

BUT, SERIOUSLY:

The Boston Globe // ORCA, Mitt Romney’s high-tech get-out-the-vote program Crashed on Election Day

“Mitt Romney’s online voter-turnout operation suffered a meltdown on Election Day, result­ing in a crucial 90-minute “buckling” of the system in Boston […]”

Ohio Democratic Candidates Remember SB 5 Anniversary

Three years ago today, Governor Kasich signed SB 5 into law

COLUMBUS – Today is the third anniversary of Governor Kasich’s signing of SB 5 into law.   As Democratic statewide candidates campaigned throughout the State as part of our “Working Families Tour” today, they issued the following statements in honor of today’s anniversary.

Gubernatorial Candidate Ed FitzGerald:

“Three years ago today, Governor Kasich began an assault on hardworking Ohioans. And while he lost that fight, it is clear that the Governor’s position on the right of workers to bargain for healthcare and a living wage remains unchanged. Just last week, he ‘scoffed’ at the impact of his cuts on firefighters and flew to Vegas to meet with one of the largest anti-union donors in the country. Ohio’s families can’t risk another four years of John Kasich.”

Ohio Attorney General Candidate David Pepper:

“Senate Bill 5 was a betrayal of the first responders, teachers, and other hardworking public employees who dedicate themselves to the people of Ohio. The Attorney General, as the state’s top legal officer, has a special duty to look out for these people and for all hardworking Ohioans. I will never stand silently by while the livelihood and safety of police, teachers, firefighters, or any Ohioans are under attack.”

Secretary of State Candidate Nina Turner:

“Three years ago, Governor Kaisch signed SB 5 into law. The grassroots campaign that followed demonstrated to the nation the power and importance of making every voter matter and every vote count.”

State Auditor Candidate John Patrick Carney:

“Public employees, like firefighters and teachers, provide critical services for all Ohioans. As public servants and pillars of our community, they each deserve fair wages and benefits to make their mortgage, put food on their table, and care for their family.”

State Treasurer Candidate Connie Pillich:

“Today is a reminder of why we must never forget the worker. I was proud to be a part of defeating SB 5 – which would have led to fewer firefighters responding to our emergencies, fewer police officers protecting our neighborhoods, and fewer resources for our schools.  As State Treasurer, I will continue to fight for working families, safeguard Ohioans’ hard earned tax dollars, and help protect and strengthen seniors’ retirement and pension security.”

###

Josh Mandel Manufactures Award To Hide His Anti-Jobs Record

Mandel using State office to help his campaign . . . again

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, Josh Mandel announced the Treasurer’s office was launching an “Ohio Strong” award to recognize Ohio manufacturing workers, just in time for a re-election campaign in which Mandel continues to support policies harmful to both Ohio manufacturers and their workers.   In response to Mandel’s election-year inspired gimmick, Ohio Democratic Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“Josh Mandel announces a new award from his office just in time for another political campaign.  Given Mandel’s failure to help the workers at Ormet, his opposition to saving Ohio’s automobile industry, and his support for SB 5 and misleading “right to work” policies, Josh Mandel’s record and positions show he’s no friend to Ohio’s manufacturing workers.”

BACKGROUND 

Mandel told local residents that working to save 1,000 manufacturing jobs at Ormet “that his office has nothing to do with that.”  As Monroe County faced the prospect of losing 1,000 aluminum manufacturing jobs from the closure of Ormet, Josh Mandel was asked at a community forum what the State could do to fight to prevent those jobs from being lost.  Mandel reportedly replied that “his office has nothing to do with that.”  [Source: WTRF ABC-7 (10/23/13)]

Mandel opposed federal involvement in rescuing the U.S. automobile industry.  In its endorsement of Sherrod Brown for U.S. Senate, the Lima News wrote that: “Mandel continues to maintain the bailout was a mistake. There are no “what if’s” here. Voters can see the results: auto-related jobs in Ohio have increased by 6.1 percent, or 11,100 jobs, since the start of the bailout initiative in 2009. The Buckeye state, which has the second-highest total automotive industry employment after Michigan, stood to lose around 200,000 auto-related jobs under a worst-case bankruptcy scenario for General Motors and Chrysler.  [Source: Lima News (10/20/2012), “Editorial: Sherrod Brown our pick for U.S. Senate”]

Mandel even dismissed reports of the jobs saved by the auto rescue.  The Lima News reported that: “At the forum, Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Technicians Local 776 President Mike Knisley asked Mandel why he opposes the auto loans. Knisley spoke about 850,000 jobs in Ohio being tied to the auto industry… That 850,000 jobs number has been tossed back and forth a great deal. Mandel places no stock in it. ’You know that number’s ridiculous. That number comes from a made up organization in Michigan that says if there’s a lady working in a diner five miles from a – ‘ Mandel said to Knisley, not finishing his sentence.

The number came from the Center for Automotive Research, a highly-regarded in-dependent industry research group in Ann Arbor, Mich.” [Source:  Lima News (10/6/2012), “Sherrod Brown vs. Josh Mandel”]

Mandel thinks Ohio should be a Right to Work state.  The Tuscarawas Times Reporter: “He thinks Ohio should become a right-to-work state such as Indiana, where there are laws against requiring employees to join or pay dues to any employee organization. He said individuals should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a union. The decision ‘should be in the hands of workers, not the government,’ Mandel said.”  [Source: Massillon Independent (6/18/13), “Mandel to governor: Get out of the way of oil, gas”]

Mandel supported SB 5 even after voters overwhelmingly rejected it.  During his failed U.S. Senate campaign, Josh Mandel continued to publicly support Senate Bill 5, even after voters overwhelmingly defeated it.  [Source: Akron Beacon Journal (3/2/12), “Treasurer of Ohio running for U.S. Senate”]

DeWine Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Make Discrimination Against Women Legal

DeWine brief argues that discriminating against
female employees’ health rights is “as American as apple pie.”

COLUMBUS – In response to this morning’s arguments from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in favor of allowing employers to deny female employees access to birth control through their health plans, Ohio Democratic Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled States could not prevent married couples from being counseled on birth control.  Now, DeWine and his band of Republican Attorneys General are attempting to reverse that decision by allowing for-profit corporate employers the ability to deny women access to medically prescribed birth control care.  A woman’s personal health decision belongs between her and her doctor, without the intrusion of her employer, or politicians like Mike DeWine. This is another case of Mike DeWine being wrong on the issues, and wasting Ohioans’ tax dollars to pursue his partisan, political agenda.”

A recent national poll found that 53% of Americans say employers should not be exempt from the birth control mandate, even if the employer claims it has religious objections.

BACKGROUND

The U.S. Supreme Court held it was unconstitutional for a State to ban counseling married couples regarding birth control in 1965.  The United States Supreme Court held in the 1965 case, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), that the U.S. Constitutional conferred an individual right of privacy that forbade the State from interfering with the private right of a patient to discuss medical issues, such as birth control, with a health professional.

DeWine’s amicus brief is signed by 19 other State Attorneys General—all Republicans.  The amicus brief filed in the Hobby Lobby case lists Mike DeWine’s Office as the lead counsel representing 20 States, all of whom enter the case on behalf of their Republican Attorney Generals.   DeWine has been participating in such cases even when they have not involved any Ohio law or Ohio party. [Source: Brief of Amici Curiae States of Michigan, Ohio and 18 Other States for Conestoga, Hobby Lobby, Mardel in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 13-354, 13-356.]

 

DeWine’s brief argues that allowing secular, for-profit corporations to deny female employees access through their health insurance to birth control care is as “American as apple pie.”  After equating denying health insurance coverage of birth control to a Jewish-owned deli that does not sell non-kosher foods, DeWine’s brief claimed: “The idea is as American as apple pie.” [Source: Amicus Brief at pg 3.]

DeWine’s brief largely rests on claiming that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) permits for-profit, secular companies to deny female employees access to birth control.   DeWine’s main argument is that Congress meant for the RFRA to apply to for-profit corporations when it comes to their employee health insurance benefits.  [Source: Amicus Brief at pg 5.]

Arizona and Ohio recently rejected enacting a State version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, which would have given corporations in Arizona the ability to assert religious reasons for engaging what otherwise would be considered discriminatory actions.  [Source: AZ Central (2/26/2014), “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes Senate Bill 1062.”]

In response to the controversy over Arizona’s legislation, the Ohio sponsors of HB 376, which also would have enacted a State version of the federal RFRA, withdrew the legislation from consideration by the General Assembly.  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (2/26/2014), “Bill sponsors agree to scrap Ohio version of Arizona's controversial religious freedom bill.”]

53% of Americans oppose exempting employers from the birth control mandate, even if the the employer objects for religious reasons.  The latest NBC/WSJ poll taken March 5-9 found that 53% of American adults “say employers should not be exempt from the requirement that their health plans offer birth control and other contraceptives even if they have religious objections.”  [Source: NBC News (3/19/2014), “Poll: Majority Opposes Employers Opting Out of Contraception Mandate.”]

DeWine attempted to inject his office in a contraception case in Nebraska involving no Ohio parties.  The week following his endorsement of Rick Santorum for President, DeWine filed an amicus brief on behalf of seven Republican state Attorneys General seeking to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s provisions mandating birth control coverage.  [Source: Reuters (2/24/2012), “DeWine joins lawsuit over Obama birth-control rule.”]

The Nebraska lawsuit was dismissed by a federal court judge for the parties’ lack of standing.  In July 2012, a federal judge dismissed the Nebraska lawsuit holding that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring a lawsuit to challenge the contraception provisions of the Affordable Care Act. [Source: Lincoln Journal Star (7/17/2012) “Judge tosses out contraception lawsuit filed by Nebraska, six other states.”]

In September, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected DeWine’s challenge to the same contraception provisions in a Michigan case.  In Autocam v. Sebelius (6th Cir. Case No. 12-2673, an unanimous panel ruled that the plaintiffs, like the district court did in the Nebraska case, lacked standing.  [Source: U.S. Sixth Circuit Opinion, Autocam v. Sebelius (9/17/2013), Case No. 12-2673. As found: http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/13a0278p-06.pdf.]

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