Under Kasich, Ohio Back Down to 36th in Nation for Job Growth

14,000 Ohioans Gave Up Looking For Work Last Month

COLUMBUS- Today, Arizona State University’s non-partisan W.P. Carey School of Business released its monthly state job growth rankings, showing Ohio fell to nearly the bottom fourth of the entire nation in job creation.

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

“Over the last two months, 25,000 frustrated unemployed Ohioans have given up hope finding a job in Ohio. Ohio’s economy was recovering nearly a full year before Kasich took office, but the economy has sputtered under his watch.  With nearly three-quarters of the country growing jobs faster than Ohio, it’s clear that John Kasich’s policies aren’t working for middle class families.”

BACKGROUND

For the 18th straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to today’s jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “This is the 18th consecutive month that Ohio’s job growth rate was below the national average.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/16/2014), “Ohio's unemployment rate down to 5.7% because of job gains, but also shrinking labor force.”]

Over the past two months, 25,000 unemployed Ohioans have given up looking for work. The April Jobs and Family Services Report showed 14,000 unemployed Ohioans gave up looking for work. The March JFS Report showed 11,000 Ohioans had given up looking for work. [Source: Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, April Jobs Report Press Release (5/16/2014)].

Economist says declining employment rate falling for the wrong reasons.  Mekael Teshome, economist at PNC Bank said in reviewing March’s jobs report: “That drop [in the unemployment rate] wasn’t entirely for the right reasons.  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.”]

Public Policy Polling Releases Latest Data on Ohio Governor’s Race

COLUMBUS- Today, Public Policy Polling released a new poll on the Ohio Governor’s Race. The poll found 43% of Ohio voters would support Democratic nominee Ed FitzGerald, and 47% would support Republican Governor John Kasich. More information is available HERE.

The PPP poll is in line with a poll conducted by conservative polling firm Rasmussen Reports over the last week, which found FitzGerald and Kasich separated by seven points. The Rasmussen poll is available HERE.

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

“After four years of a Kasich administration, a majority of consistent polling shows that Governor Kasich cannot break 50% with Ohio voters. No matter how many millions  the Republicans spend trying to convince us otherwise, Ohio’s middle class families know that Kasich’s policies are not working for them.”

 

 

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Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman
340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

 

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.

President Bill Clinton to Headline Ohio Democratic Party State Dinner

COLUMBUS –Today, Ohio Democratic Party officials announced the 2014 State Dinner will be headlined by President Bill Clinton. The annual dinner will be held in Columbus on Friday, June 13th, 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome back to Ohio President Clinton, a life-long fighter for working families and one of the greatest leaders of our time,” said Chris Redfern, Ohio Democratic Party Chair. “Just like President Obama, President Clinton won the state of Ohio twice, and recognizes the importance of Democrats’ success here in 2014.”

“President Clinton has always been a dedicated champion of the middle class, and we can’t wait for him to join us in Ohio again as we work to elect our statewide candidates and true defenders of working families.”

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Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman
340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Yost Threatens to Abuse His Office to Advance Republican Agenda

Yost is more interested in being partisan attack dog than State Auditor

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, Republican State Auditor Dave Yost threatened to go after public officials, personally, if they authorize mailing absentee ballot applications outside of the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.  In response, Ohio Democratic Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“Yost has long demonstrated that he’s more interested in being a partisan attack dog than State Auditor.  After dismissing millions of unsupported spending by Governor Kasich’s pet program, Yost now wants to treat providing absentee ballot applications to voters as a crime and waste of tax dollars.  Ohio deserves an Auditor, not the Ohio GOP’s sideshow act.  Ohio’s Attorney General should end Yost’s partisan grandstanding by saying he will play no role in it.”

Background

Yost was a “top Romney surrogate” in 2012.  In press accounts of Dave Yost’s speech at a Romney rally in which he questioned whether the President deserved credit for Osama bin Laden’s death, Yost was described as a “top Romney surrogate.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer (May 7, 2012), “Mitt Romney holds town hall forum in Euclid, where supporter accuses Obama of treason”]

Yost was considered a possible “self-designated” “Republican attack leader” in 2012.  One reporter in reporting on Yost’s attacks on the President as Commander-in-Chief asked: Could it be Yost, a first-term statewide Republican officeholder, former Delaware County prosecutor and ex-journalist, is the designated Republican attack leader on the president? Perhaps self-designated?” [Source: Columbus Dispatch Daily Briefing Blog (May 10, 2012), “Dave Yost: New GOP attack dog?”]

Yost Leads “We Love Romney” Chant at Rally – According to the Dayton Daily News “State Auditor of Ohio, Dave Yost leads a “We love Romney” chant at a rally outside of the Dayton International Airport Expo Center.” [Dayton Daily News, September 2012.]

Yost’s Goal in 2010 in Running for Auditor: To Make Democrats Unhappy. Responding to questions in the Delaware Gazette about his decision to switch races to appease the Republican Party, Yost said, “I am not interested in making the party happy. However, I am particularly interested in making the Democratic Party unhappy.” [Delaware Gazette, 1/26/10]

Yost Compares Obama to Ronald McDonald. According to the Columbus Dispatch “During Romney’s visit yesterday to a factory in suburban Cleveland, state Auditor Dave Yost likened the president to Ronald McDonald, and an unidentified Romney supporter said into a microphone that Obama should be ‘tried for treason.’ […]Romney was introduced to the crowd of about 800 by Yost, who said, ‘I’ve heard all this stuff over the last couple weeks about the president claiming credit for killing Osama bin Laden.’ ‘It strikes me as a little weird. That’s like giving Ronald McDonald credit for the Big Mac you had for lunch,’ Yost said. ‘Everybody knows it’s really the guy at the grill that deserves the credit, right? Not the pitchman on TV.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 5/8/12]

Yost Blasted Fitzgerald For Considering Himself Above The Law.  According to Dave Yost’s blog, “For the last several years, Cuyahoga County has mailed out an absentee ballot application to every registered voter, along with a postage-paid reply envelope. Then Secretary of State Jon Husted issued something called a directive. Because it’s important that every county has the same rules about elections, he said, there were to be no more unsolicited mass mailings of absentee voter applications. Mr. Fitzgerald announced the rule did not apply to him, since he is not a Board of Elections. He’s going to spend the public’s money to mail the applications anyway, using the budget of the Service Department instead of the BOE. But here’s the problem: whether you like Secretary Husted’s rule or not, running elections in Ohio is his job.… So I wrote a letter to Mr. Fitzgerald, and questioned his plan. I asked him for more information, and told him that if he spends money without any authority to do so, next year’s audit could include a large finding for recovery. He plans to go ahead. By his actions, Mr. Fitzgerald has declared that he is his own law […] That way lies the lawlessness that has marked the courthouse there in recent years – and a blemish on the career of a man who began 2-11 by cleaning up and trimming down Cuyahoga County government. [Dave Yost Campaign Blog, 8/30/2011]

Yost’s press conference about JobsOhio audit findings sought to minimize them.  In explaining why he was not going to review the numerous instances in which his own office found that JobsOhio failed to comply with Ohio ethics laws that were written for it, or instituted ethics policies it was statutorily obligated to implement, or follow the policies it did write, Yost said “none of this is headline making stuff.” [Source: Marc Kovac at Ohio Capital Blog (11/21/2013), “Yost on JobsOhio Audit 1 of 7” around 4:07 mark.]

Yost dismissed the lack of documentation in JobsOhio as an issue.  When specifically addressing the lack of documentation to support tax dollars JobsOhio received from DSA, Yost remarked: “Not unusual that there is some lack of documentation. We don’t live in a perfect world.” [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Chrissie Thompson on Twitter (@CThompsonENQ): “Yost @OhioAuditor on incomplete receipt records: "Not unusual that there is some lack of documentation. We don't live in a perfect world."]

Any finding of recovery by the State Auditor is only enforceable if State Attorney General seeks to collect on it.  Ultimately, under R.C. 117.28, the collection of any findings for recovery by the State Auditor is the responsibility of the Office of the Ohio Attorney General. [Source: Ohio Revised Code § 117.28.]

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Federal Judge’s Plan to Strike Down Ban on Marriage Equality in Ohio

CINCINNATI – Today, Friday, April 4, 2014, Federal Judge Timothy Black said he will soon issue a ruling striking down Ohio’s ban on gay marriage. The ruling will require the state of Ohio to recognize marriages of gay couples who have legally married in other states.

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

“Today’s statement by Judge Black to strike down the discriminatory ban on marriage in Ohio is a small but important milestone in the fight for marriage equality. 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.”

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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.