OU alumna seeks to remain on high court

An Ohio University alumna who is the first African-American woman to serve on Ohio’s highest court has announced she is seeking election to the position to which she was appointed.

Yvette McGee Brown, a 1982 OU graduate and former member of the OU Board of Trustees, is running for justice of the Ohio Supreme Court — a position she was appointed to by former Gov. Ted Strickland. McGee Brown, a Democrat, is running opposite Republican Sharon L. Kennedy. McGee Brown was selected to fill a vacancy on the court created by the election of Justice Maureen O’Connor as chief justice in 2010.

McGee Brown was also Strickland’s running mate during the 2010 gubernatorial election.

In her prepared remarks announcing her candidacy, McGee Brown said she is seeking to be a justice because she felt she had an impact in the position.

“I believe that I have had a real impact, by bringing a life experience and a perspective to the high court that might not otherwise be represented,” she said. “Our courts need to be the place where the scales of justice are balanced, where individual citizens have the same rights as the biggest corporations. “

McGee Brown graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism/public relations. She received a law degree from Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law in 1985.

OU President Roderick McDavis said he was excited to hear of McGee Brown’s candidacy.

“I am proud of her and all of her accomplishments in her career as they relate to being an advocate for families and children,” he said, adding she “did a magnificent job for Ohio University” in the nearly two years she served on the university’s board of trustees.

“I am excited about having this opportunity to have an alumnus serve on the Ohio Supreme Court,” McDavis added. “I’m very excited about it and very pleased for her.”

McGee Brown was first elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas’ Domestic Relations and Juvenile Division in 1992, where she led in the creation of the Family Drug Court and the SMART Program, a truancy and educational neglect intervention program. She served on the Common Pleas Court until she retired from the bench in 2002 to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The center is a multi-disciplinary child abuse and family violence program. She served as founding president until 2010, when she became a candidate for lieutenant governor of Ohio.

McGee Brown has served on the board of Ohio University, Ohio State University Medical Center, the National Council of the OSU Moritz College of Law, M/I Homes Inc. and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She is the former chairwoman of United Way of Central Ohio, the Ohio State University Alumni Association and the YWCA Columbus Board of Directors. McGee Brown was inducted into the Oho Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008. She has received the Champion of Children Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement Award and several honors from Ohio University and Ohio State University.

Program Retrains Workers

After unsuccessfully knocking on doors for two years looking for a job, single mom Wendy Terwilliger says she now wakes up every day excited about her life.

Since August, the West Chester woman has been working in the manufacturing area of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s $700 million diabetes drug manufacturing plant in West Chester, which expects FDA approval of its drug Bydureon later this month.

Terwilliger, who lost her job at an insurance company, was retrained to work in Ohio’s growing bioscience manufacturing industry with the help of a $5 million Department of Labor program.

Sen. Brown, who urged the Department of Labor to approve the program in 2009, said it’s the kind of effort needed to put more Ohioans back to work. He’s touting the program as part of his effort to pass legislation that would tailor workforce development to the needs of regional high-growth industry sectors.

Stow Fire Department Receives Federal Grant for $128,439

The Stow Fire Department has received a federal grant for $128,439 for operations and safety, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Office.

“Our first responders put their lives on the line every day across Ohio,” Brown said. “These funds ensure that firefighters in Summit County have the resources they need to perform their jobs safely.”

Chinese Currency Manipulation Undercuts Ohio Jobs, Sen. Brown Says

MORAINE — During a visit to HARCO hydraulic brake manufacturing plant Wednesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Chinese currency manipulation undercuts Ohio products by an estimated 25 to 40 percent, killing manufacturing jobs.

Brown called on the House of Representatives to pass legislation that would allow penalties on currency manipulating nations to combat the loss of jobs.

Brown cited an Economic Policy Institute and the Alliance for American Manufacturing report that said the trade deficit with China cost the U.S. more than 2.8 million jobs since 2001, including more than 1.9 million manufacturing jobs. EPI said ending Chinese currency manipulation could create 2.25 million American jobs.

Sherrod Brown’s Reelection Campaign Under Attack

Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s senior senator, is up for reelection in 2012 after being elected in the first democratic wave year in 2006. Big money republican groups are very aware of the seat and plan on making Sherrod Brown their top priority.

Brown’s political background in the State is well documented; he served in the Ohio Statehouse in the late ‘70s into the ‘80s, he was a house representative for more than a decade, and he defeated incumbent Senator Mike DeWine in 2006, riding a wave of anti-Bush sentiment. Brown has fairly been given a reputation for being one of the more progressive members of the Senate, championing government programs such as Medicare and social security.

REMARKS: Chairman Redfern Highlights Flaws In Mitt Romney’s Record As Exposed During New Hampshire Primary

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern held a press conference call to discuss the New Hampshire primary results and how they shape the presidential race as it moves toward Ohio.

Download audio of the press conference call here.

Chairman Redfern's remarks follow:

“While Mitt Romney may have won last night's contest in New Hampshire, in a state where he has campaigned for the last five years, where he once led by nearly 30 points and where he owns a home, candidate Romney comes out of the New Hampshire campaign wounded because that campaign exposed many aspects of his record.

“Mitt Romney has staked his campaign on his background in the corporate world. While he claims to be a job creator, he has actually spent his corporate career as a job cremator, and a proud one at that. Voters are beginning to see just how shameful his record is and just how misleading he is when he talks about that record.

“He claims that he created 100,000 jobs in the private sector – but his numbers do not include the countless jobs that were lost under his watch. One media outlet after another has debunked his ridiculous claim. Because rather than creating jobs as CEO of Bain Capital, Romney put profits over people and repeatedly laid off workers so he could line his own pockets.

“Governor Romney's approach as CEO of Bain Capital reminds us of his position on the American auto industry. When GM and Chrysler were struggling – and jobs across Ohio were on the line – Governor Romney said that we should let the auto industry go bankrupt. His disregard for Ohio autoworkers is exactly like his disregard for workers during his years at Bain Capital. If Mitt Romney were president, we would not have an Ohio auto industry as we know it today. We would not see Chrysler increasing Jeep production and adding jobs in Northwest Ohio, as was reported by the Toledo Blade today.

“Governor Romney said he feared getting a “pink slip” during his time in the corporate world, but he actually made a deal to never put his job or personal fortune at risk while he was CEO of Bain Capital. Mitt Romney simply cannot relate to the struggles of middle-class Ohio families who worry every day about losing their jobs, their retirement savings and their health insurance. He never had to worry about getting a pink slip. “Instead, he profited by issuing pink slip after pink slip to hardworking, middle-class Americans.

“Governor Romney's approach in the corporate world may best be summed up in his own words: Quote. “I like being able to fire people.” End quote. This sentence sums up his work in the corporate world. Don't ask us – just ask his Republican rivals.

“Last night, Governor Romney suggested that those who question his record are attacking "free enterprise." Mitt Romney's idea of free enterprise is to allow Wall Street to write its own rules and return to the abuses that led us to the greatest recession in a generation. That's why he opposes the appointment of Ohio's own Rich Cordray to be America's top consumer watchdog.

“Mitt Romney's idea of free enterprise is to allow Ohio's auto industry to go bankrupt and abandon our autoworkers when they need leadership the most.

“And Mitt Romney's approach to free enterprise, demonstrated throughout his career, is to outsource jobs, lay off workers and bankrupt companies for profit.

Josh Mandel Not “Too Busy” for Interview in Florida with NewsMax

Last month Josh Mandel claimed he was he was “too busy” to speak to local voters and press at the Akron Press Club despite the fact that they offered to let him pick his own date and gave him the opportunity to have a forum all to himself.

On Friday, January 6th, 2012 Senator Sherrod Brown had accepted the request to speak the Akron Press Club. And while he was talking to Ohioans and answering their questions, Mandel, who said he was “too busy” to talk to the Press Club, was – Surprise! – in Florida doing an interview with the ultra-right wing “news” organization NewsMax and likely doing some fundraising in nearby Palm Beach.

According to this tweet from NewsMax reporter John Bachman, Mandel was filming an interview at the organization’s headquarters in Palm Beach Florida on January 6th.

OU grad announces re-election campaign

A noted Ohio University alumna is hoping to keep her position in Ohio’s legal system.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown, a 1982 Ohio University graduate, announced Monday that she intends to run for re-election to the Supreme Court later this year.

She will run against Butler County Domestic Relations Judge Sharon L. Kennedy, a Republican, according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch.

When former Gov. Ted Strickland appointed McGee Brown in December 2010, she became the Ohio Supreme Court’s first black female justice. She took office Jan. 1, 2011.

“I believe that I have had a real impact, by bringing a life experience and a perspective to the high court that might not otherwise be represented,” McGee Brown said.

McGee Brown is the only one of the seven justices on the Supreme Court who is a Democrat. She obtained her juris doctorate from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1985.

A former OU Trustee, McGee Brown served on the board from June 2009 until she left to become an Ohio Supreme Court justice. Janetta King replaced McGee Brown on the OU Board of Trustees.

“She did an outstanding job as a university trustee,” OU President Roderick McDavis. “She was involved, engaged in meetings, never shy about offering her opinions.”

McDavis said he admired and respected McGee Brown and her work with families and children. She was the founding director of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy in Columbus.

The center, which specializes in child-abuse cases, provides teams of specialists to work with victims, offers prevention services, and enables cooperation between police, prosecutors and advocates to streamline investigations.

“For the thousands of children and families caught up in these crimes, I know we have made a difference,” McGee Brown said.

McGee Brown said she brings an important diversity to the court that not only provides a different perspective but also has affected decisions.

“Whether having to do with worker’s compensation, family law or child welfare, I bring experience and perspective that my judicial colleagues can benefit from,” she said.

In September 2011, McGee Brown visited OU with former Sen. George Voinovich and Ohio House Speaker JoAnn Davidson to speak with students about the importance of experience and integrity in public service.

“I think Ohio University has a good tradition, both among Board of Trustees members and other leaders in the state of Ohio, of placing people in places where they can be successful, and she’s certainly a good example of that,” said C. Robert Kidder, chairman of the OU Board of Trustees.

McGee Brown was elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile division, in 1992 and served for 10 years.

In 2010, McGee Brown ran for elected office as Strickland’s running mate, but Republican Gov. John Kasich and his running mate Mary Taylor defeated them.

McGee Brown seeking full term as justice

Ohio needs high-court diversity, appointed Democrat says

One of Justice Yvette McGee Brown’s major pitches for staying on the Ohio Supreme Court is the need for diversity.

She is not only the first black female justice in the court’s history, but now also the only Democrat.

Courts come closest to upholding the ideal that all are created equal and stand equally before the law, McGee Brown said yesterday in formally announcing her candidacy at the Downtown YWCA.

“That’s why it’s important to have diversity among our judges — not just diversity in terms of race or gender or political party, but diversity in terms of life experience,” she told about 50 supporters, family members and reporters in attendance.

The 51-year-old from Gahanna was appointed to the high court in December 2010 by Gov. Ted Strickland to serve out the term of Maureen O’Connor, who had been elected chief justice.

McGee Brown was Strickland’s lieutenant governor running mate last year.

Born in Columbus to a single mother who worked two jobs to support her three children, McGee Brown graduated from Ohio University and earned a law degree at Ohio State University.

She worked in the attorney general’s office and later became chief counsel for two state departments. In 1992, she became the first black woman elected to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and, a decade later, left to run the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“I believe that I’ve had a real impact, by bringing a life experience and a perspective to the high court that might not otherwise be represented,” McGee Brown said.

She is trying to become the first Democrat elected to the Supreme Court since 2000. Her Republican opponent in November will be Sharon L. Kennedy, a Cincinnati-area domestic-relations judge and former police officer.

Kennedy, 49, spent last year seeking and ultimately winning the endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party over Franklin County Court of Appeals Judge Judith L. French.

In a phone interview yesterday, she, too, cited her diverse background as a selling point.

If elected, Kennedy said she would become the first former police officer on the court and the first justice from south of I-70 in years. She described herself as a “working-class kid” who put herself through college and law school.

“That model is something other people can emulate,” she said.

Negative blasts at Sherrod Brown are just a taste of what's to come: Joe Frolik

Saw Sherrod Brown speak in Akron on Friday, and you'll be happy to hear that Ohio's senior senator must have gotten a razor for Christmas, because he looked nothing like the squirrelly, ill-shaven character who took up residence on your television screen late last year.

An estimated $3 million was spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative "super PACs" in hopes of weakening Democrat Brown's re-election hopes. Most of the ads focused on his "job-killing" votes for taxes or environmental regulations, and in the style of these attacks — regardless of which party is launching them — they featured the least flattering pictures imaginable.

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.