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.”

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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.]

Ohio Democratic Candidates Endorse Ohio Voters Bill of Rights

COLUMBUS – Today, the Ohio Ballot Board decided that the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights will be submitted as one issue to Ohio voters this November.  In reaction to today’s decision, the Ohio statewide Democratic candidates issued the following statements in support of the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights:

Gubernatorial Candidate Ed FitzGerald:

“The Ohio Voter Bill of Rights is an important step in allowing Ohioans to exercise their constitutional right to vote. While it’s unfortunate that we have to resort to such a step, it’s clear Governor Kasich and Secretary Husted cannot be trusted to keep the best interest of all Ohioans in mind.”

Secretary of State Candidate Nina Turner:

“Throughout our nation’s history, there has been one universal truth: all other freedoms and liberties we enjoy in our country stem from the right to vote and the exercise of that right. The Ohio Voting Bill of Rights, if ratified, would be a step in protecting the right of the voters and preventing the gamesmanship of political parties.”

Ohio Attorney General Candidate David Pepper:

“Rather than having rules that change every year, the Voters Bill of Rights will lock in real protections for voting rights and help end the cycle of costly Federal lawsuits that plague Ohio year after year. For that reason, I enthusiastically support it.”

State Auditor Candidate John Patrick Carney:

“This petition certification marks a crucial step towards enacting policy that will protect Ohioans’ fundamental right to vote. Equal access to the ballot is a pillar of a successful democracy and we must continue to fight to protect that right for all Ohioans. Representative Reece, Senator Turner, and the OLBC deserve all the credit for leading this important effort on behalf of all Ohio voters.”

State Treasurer Candidate Connie Pillich:

“When I was stationed overseas in the Air Force, I saw firsthand what happens when people are not given equal opportunity to have their voices heard. Ohio should be expanding, not constraining, the ability for the citizens of our great state to vote. I am proud to support the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights to protect voting as a fundamental right in our State.”

Jon Husted Fails Ohio Voters

Republican Secretary of State has turned the office into a partisan lapdog, not a watchdog for voters’ rights

COLUMBUS – In response to Secretary of State Jon Husted failure to speak out publicly today against SB 205 or SB 238 as they passed the Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“After the 2004 elections, there was a bipartisan agreement that Ohio’s election laws needed reform.  Since then, Republicans have worked nonstop to roll back those reforms to prevent people who don’t support Republicans from voting.  As Secretary of State, Jon Husted took an oath to protect Ohio voter’s right to vote, but has clearly failed to lead.  Instead, Husted yet again chose to be a lapdog for his own party.”

BACKGROUND

Three major Ohio editorials have recently made it clear that these bills were being passed for no other reason than deny likely Democratic voters the vote before the 2014 election.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial today said that the measures “aim to limit voting by Ohioans who might vote for Democrats” and called passage of the bills “an affront to democracy” that allowed politicians to “pick their own voters.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (2/19/2014), “Ohio House Republicans should walk away from bills aimed at decreasing the ease of voting in Ohio”]

The Toledo Blade editorial said the bills “would make it harder to vote among citizens whom GOP politicians would rather keep away from the polls.” On the GOP argument that the bills were need to fight “voter fraud,” the Blade noted “[t]hat argument would be more credible if those who make it could point to specific examples of fraud in Ohio voting that their measures would prevent. But they can’t offer evidence of systematic fraud, because it doesn’t exist.  These bad measures aren’t as blatant as the poll taxes and literacy tests that Southern elections officials used during the civil rights era a half-century ago to keep African-Americans from voting. But their effect is largely, and intolerably, the same, and their approval would seem to invite court challenges under federal voting rights law.” [Source: Toledo Blade (2/19/14), “Don’t suppress the vote”]

The Akron Beacon Journal editorial noted that the Republicans decided that “[r]ather than work in a bipartisan way on a comprehensive overhaul of election laws, the Republican-run legislature has proceeded on its own unfortunate course. This week, the Ohio House is working on bills that push aside important priorities and contain flaws that would make voting more difficult.” [Source: Akron Beacon Journal (2/18/2014), “Election partisans”]

Jon Husted supports cutting early voting days by a week.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Secretary of State Husted recommends that “early voting would instead start 29 days before the election” but it end during the afternoon “the Sunday before the general election.”  Currently, Ohio law permits early voting for thirty-five days before the general election.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch, (10/24/2013), “Husted promotes limits on early voting.”

Federal courts already ruled that Husted’s attempts to cut general election early voting days are illegal.  In 2012, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio ruled that Ohio could not cut off early voting the Friday before the general election.  Republicans attempted to reduce the number of days of early voting, but the Ohio General Assembly reversed them after HB 194 was threatened with a referendum campaign.  [Source: Reuters (8/31/12), “Court overturns Ohio early voting restrictions in win for Democrats.”]

The decision to declare Republicans’ attempt to cut off early voting before Election Day was upheld by federal appellate courts.  The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision declaring the restriction “unconstitutional.”  “The court acknowledged an argument that ‘low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by elimination’ of the three days of polling for many voters and said ‘there is no definitive evidence… that elections boards would be tremendously burdened’ by returning poll access to the standard before recent changes to the state’s laws.” [Source: CNN (10/5/2012), “Federal court upholds Ohio early voting ruling.”]

According to official records maintained by Jon Husted’s own office, more than 600,000 Ohioans used Early Voting in 2012. [Source: Ohio Secretary of State’s website, 2012 “Absentee Ballot Report.”]

DeWine Continues to Bungle Controversial Program

As DeWine’s Pay-to-Play Unfolds, OHLEG Task Force

Facial Recognition Program Safeguards Largely Ignored

COLUMBUS – In response to today’s Cincinnati Enquirer story about Attorney General Mike DeWine’s OHLEG panel looking at his controversial facial recognition program, Ohio Democratic Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“Mike DeWine apparently is too busy raising campaign money in his pay-to-play schemes to safeguard Ohioans from having their personal records abused.  David Pepper’s plan to fix this was largely endorsed by DeWine’s hand-picked panel, but it’s been four months with virtually zero progress.  Ohio needs an Attorney General that will protect Ohioans’ private records from abuse.”

BACKGROUND

After published reports that the facial recognition program was launched months ago, without any public notice or Attorney General Mike DeWine’s knowledge, DeWine publicly claimed that there were adequate safeguards in place.  In response to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s initial report that the facial recognition program was launched in June without any public notice or even Mike DeWine’s own knowledge, DeWine told the paper that he believed there were already adequate safeguards in place to prevent abuse.  Internal e-mails of his staff suggested otherwise. [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (8/26/2013), “WATCHDOG: Ohioans not told how license photos used.”]

Then, DeWine announced he would appoint a task force to review the safeguards in OHLEG and report back to him in 60 days.  While still maintaining publicly that adequate safeguards were in place, DeWine announced he would appoint a panel to review OHLEG and the facial recognition program and report back to him with any recommendations in sixty days.  [Source: Toledo Blade (8/26/2013), “Ohio A.G. DeWine defends facial recognition program.”]

DeWine’s panel recommended that DeWine remove the facial recognition from the standard OHLEG search engine, just as David Pepper already recommended.  According to today’s Cincinnati Enquirer, the panel would like DeWine’s office to separate “facial recognition from the standard OHLEG search engine so that its access can be restricted.”  [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (10/25/2013), “Face-check access goes beyond Ohio.”]

David Pepper made the same recommendation when he announced his own plan weeks earlier.  [Source: David Pepper for Attorney General Campaign Blog (10/8/2013), “Facial Recognition Plan.”]

DeWine’s panel recommended to restrict access to law enforcement, similar to David Pepper’s Plan.  According to the Enquirer, the panel is in agreement to recommend that “[l]aw enforcement officers, no matter how small their department, should keep access to facial recognition.  But the board has favored cutting off court employees’ access.”  [Source: Ohio Attorney General Website (10/25/2013), “OHLEG Advisory Group Report of Recommendations.”]

David Pepper made a similar recommendation when he announced his own plan, but his plan would have limited access to a select number of law enforcement officers as most states have done.  [Source: David Pepper for Attorney General Campaign Blog (10/8/2013), “Facial Recognition Plan.”]

The panel also supports Pepper’s plan to implement random audits of use. The Enquirer  also reported that “members want to see random audits, likely performed by police chiefs who could look over recent OHLEG or facial recognition searches.” [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (10/25/2013), “Face-check access goes beyond Ohio.”]

Again, David Pepper has advocated that the technology’s use should be subject to outside audits.  [Source: David Pepper for Attorney General Campaign Blog (10/8/2013), “Facial Recognition Plan.”]

The panel requested a permanent panel be created, just as David Pepper has recommended.  The panel asked DeWine to create a permanent advisory committee.  [Source: Ohio Attorney General Website (10/25/2013), “OHLEG Advisory Group Report of Recommendations.”]

Again, David Pepper has advocated that the technology’s use be overseen by an independent, transparent, and public oversight panel.  [Source: David Pepper for Attorney General Campaign Blog (10/8/2013), “Facial Recognition Plan.”]

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Rep. Antonio Condemns DeWine For Arguing Employers Can Interfere With Women’s Healthcare Choices

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) condemned Attorney General Mike DeWine for filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Conestoga v. Wood, a case involving a Pennsylvania company.

DeWine’s brief, which allows for employers at for-profit corporations to deny a female employee access to birth control under her own health insurance, is part of his nationwide campaign against women’s healthcare.

“It’s an embarrassment to Ohio families that our Attorney General believes that anyone other than a woman and her doctor should be in control of private medical decisions.   I am astonished that the Attorney General can argue that an employer has more rights to dictate a patient’s medical choices than the patient,” Antonio said.

Since taking office in 2011, DeWine has led a national campaign to deny women the right to birth control under their employer-provided health insurance.

DeWine has been involved in at least five cases nationally, most of which do not even involve Ohio residents. He has filed briefs or been a plaintiff in cases in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Illinois.

“Mike DeWine should be using his office to focus on the critical issues facing Ohioans, not as a platform to push his dangerous and extreme personal agenda.”

State Rep. Antonio is the Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus. She is also the Ranking Member of the House Health and Aging Committee and serves on the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. Rep. Antonio is serving her second term representing the 13th Ohio House District.

BACKGROUND:

Mike DeWine endorsed Rick Santorum for President.  In 2012, Mike DeWine switched his endorsement from Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum before the Ohio GOP primary. [Source: Columbus Dispatch (2/18/2012), “In a shift, DeWine backs Santorum.”]

DeWine attempted to inject his office in a contraception case in Nebraska.  The week following his endorsement of Santorum, DeWine filed an amicus brief on behalf of seven Republican state Ohio Attorney Generals seeking to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s provisions mandating contraceptive 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.]

DeWine filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Conestago Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius challenging the contraception provision in a Pennsylvania case.  Earlier this year, the Third Circuit held that a for-profit corporation’s challenge of the conception coverage provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act in Pennsylvania failed as for-profit corporations cannot engage in religious exercise.  Yesterday, DeWine joined in an amicus brief challenging that ruling after filing an initial amicus with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  [Source: U.S. Third District Court Opinion, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius (7/26/2013), Case No. 13-1144.  As found: http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/131144p.pdf.]

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Chris Christie’s Open Ohio Invitation?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2013
Contact: Jerid Kurtz, 216-392-8198
jkurtz@ohiodems.org

Chris Christie’s Open Ohio Invitation?

Today, attention turns to Republican Governors Association (RGA) Chairman and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a scandal embroils him and his top political lieutenants.

Considering this scandal, Governor Kasich has yet to state whether he will still take Christie up on his offer to “come to Ohio for John as frequently as he wants me to, and as frequently as I can” as RGA chairman in support of his re-election campaign.

 

‘I love John Kasich,’ Chris Christie says
Columbus Dispatch // by Joe Vardon

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – John Kasich and Chris Christie are officially bros. 

“I love John Kasich,” Christie said today at the Republican Governors Association conference at the picturesque Phoenician resort.

The New Jersey governor’s comments came a day after Kasich, Ohio’s governor, said of Christie: “Chris and I are friends. He texts me, we laugh, we bust each other’s chops.

“He’s like a big teddy bear, he’s just, I like him,” Kasich said here.

All of the public, mutual admiration in the desert this week between the two governors has been brought on by a few factors, primarily Christie’s skyrocketing status as a national power for Republicans and an early frontrunner for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination (should he run).

Kasich, by contrast, is also mentioned as a possible entrant into the party’s nomination fight, but in the meantime he was kind of a magnet in Scottsdale for national reporters looking for insight.

There’s also something else that binds them: Christie today became the RGA’s chairman, making him chiefly responsible to raise money and help Republican governors win election next year. Kasich, of course, is up for re-election.

“I’ll come to Ohio for John as frequently as he wants me to, and as frequently as I can, given the balance” required of helping other GOP governors and running his own state, Christie said.

Kasich predicted great success for Christie in his new role.

“Christie is going to do great out there. Are you kidding?” Kasich said. “Christie, he is like a force now. People want to be around him. He came out to Ohio during my last campaign, people just loved him. He said if you don’t elect this guy I am coming back here New Jersey style. They liked it.”

Kasich also said Christie “has one other thing going for him — it’s called celebrity.

“In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s a big darn deal in America today.”

To reporters, Kasich said “you all can’t get enough of him.”

Christie said he Kasich “get along very well because we have very similar approaches to governing.

“We’re both very direct, we say what we believe, and we do so enthusiastically,” Christie said.

Chairman Redfern Announces Liz Walters As Executive Director of the Ohio Democratic Party

COLUMBUS, OHIO –Today, following a national search, Chairman Chris Redfern announced that effective January 21st, Liz Walters will begin as the newly hired Executive Director for the Ohio Democratic Party.

“As a Congressional staffer, deputy field director in the fight against Senate Bill 5, and political director for the Ohio Democratic Party, Liz has shown time and again that she has both the experience and background to lead the largest state party in the nation,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. “Without a doubt, Liz will serve as an aggressive advocate for the middle class, seniors, and women throughout our state as we work to hold Governor John Kasich and the rest of the Republican ticket accountable in 2014.”

Walters hails from Silver Lake, Ohio and is a graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, earning her BA in History from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. In 2008, Liz completed a Masters in Public Administration at Cleveland State University.

After years of volunteering on political campaigns, Liz joined Obama’s Campaign for Change in Ohio as a field organizer. Following the 2008 cycle, she went to work for her hometown Congresswoman, Betty Sutton, eventually serving as District Director for the 13th Congressional District. She took a break from the Congresswoman’s office during the 2010 cycle, serving as a regional GOTV Lead for the Ohio Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign.

Liz joined the Ohio Democratic Party as Political Director in November of 2011 after six years of legislative and political work in Northeast Ohio. Prior to joining ODP, she served as the Deputy Field Director for Northeast Ohio for the We Are Ohio campaign that defeated Senate Bill 5 – Issue 2 – by a more than twenty percent margin. In 2012, Liz was a crucial part of the team that helped secure Senator Sherrod Brown’s re-election, and Democratic wins up and down the ballot.

“Liz brings outstanding energy and experience to this role, and our campaign is excited to continue to be able to work so closely with what is hands down the strongest state party in the country, holding Governor Kasich accountable and building a foundation to win in November,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

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.