Quotable political briefs


Staff Reports



Portman Vows Vote For DeVos Despite Her Org Still Owing Ohio More Than $5 Million for Illegal Activities

WASHINGTON – DNC spokesperson Denise Horn issued the following statement in response to the fact that Betsy DeVos’ organization still owes the state of Ohio more than $5 million in fines for illegal activities.

“Betsy DeVos not only promises to devastate the Ohio public education system but also believes she is above the law. DeVos’ organization has not paid the state of Ohio more than $5 million in fines for illegal activities. Ohio Senator Rob Portman should put his home state first by withholding his support until her organization has paid his home state $5 million for its illegal activities.”

DeVos’ Organization Still Owes The State Of Ohio $5.3 Million For Illegally Funneling Money To Support Pro-Voucher Politicians

DeVos Founded “All Children Matter” And Has Served As Its Director

Betsy DeVos And Her Husband Founded All Children Matter In 2003. “All Children Matter, which terminated its PAC registration in Ohio early this year, was founded by DeVos and her husband, billionaire Amway heir Richard DeVos, in Michigan in 2003.” [Columbus Dispatch, 11/23/16]

DeVos Was The Director Of All Children Matter For Over Ten Years, Until She Was Nominated For Education Secretary. “DeVos was not personally named in the case, but she was director of the group for more than a decade, until November when President Donald Trump tapped her to lead the Education Department.” [Politico, 1/24/17]

DeVos’ Organization Illegally Funneled Money To An Unregistered Associate PAC To Support Pro-Voucher Politicians

Pro-Voucher All Children Matter Illegally Channeled $870,000 In Contributions To Affiliated, Unregistered PAC, To Support Pro-Voucher Politicians. “The Ohio Elections Commission unanimously ruled that All Children Matter violated state law by illegally channeling $870,000 in contributions from its Virginia PAC to its then-unregistered Ohio PAC, violating a state law that restricts political action committees to accepting no more than $10,000 from a single source. The Ohio PAC donated in 2006 to legislative and statewide candidates who supported school choice and tax-paid vouchers for private schools.” [Columbus Dispatch, 11/23/16]

The PACs That Received DeVos’ Contributions Were Each Fined $2.6 Million

2008: The Ohio Elections Commission Fined Each PAC $2.6 Million, The Largest Fine Ever Issued By The Commission. “Their support goes beyond their sizable checkbooks, as Dick and Betsy DeVos have been the public face of the voucher movement in Michigan and, in many ways, nationally. The couple chaired the failed 2000 voucher initiative in Michigan. The bipartisan Ohio Elections Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to fine each of the two PACs $2.6 million, or three times the amount of the contribution. It’s easily the largest fine the Ohio commission has levied.” [Grand Rapid Press, 4/5/08]

· 2013: The Ohio Attorney General’s Office Went To Court In A Bid To Collect The Fine, Judged At $5.2 Million, In Addition To A $25 Dollar A Day Fine Until It Was Paid. “Hogan also ordered All Children Matter Inc. and its Virginia PAC to pay a fine of $25 a day from Oct. 26, 2006, until the judgment was paid. The add-on fine now totals $92,050.” [Columbus Dispatch, 11/23/16]

DeVos’ Group Still Owes The State Of Ohio More Than $5 Million

HEADLINE: “Group Once Led By Trump Education Secretary Nominee Owes $5.3 Million To Ohio.” [Columbus Dispatch, 11/23/16]

· Columbus Dispatch On All Children Matter’s Fine In November 2016: “Court Records Show The Fines Still Not Have Been Paid. An Elections Commission Spokesman Confirmed Today They Have Not Been Received.” [Columbus Dispatch, 11/23/16]

HEADLINE: “DeVos Paid Legal Fees, But Not Election Fine, For Ohio School Choice Group.” [Politico, 1/24/17]

While All Children Matter And Its PACs Haven’t Paid Their Fine, DeVos And The Group Paid The $28,500 In Legal Fees. “All Children Matter and its PACs haven’t paid the elections fine, which includes a $25-per-day late fee dating back to when the fine was first levied, in 2008. But with DeVos’ help, the group paid $28,500 to an Indiana law firm after a judge found the group liable in 2013. The Indiana attorney assisting the group was Jim Bopp — the attorney who spearheaded the landmark Citizens United case.” [Politico, 1/24/17]

Portman’s constituents held service

COLUMBUS – Ohioans gathered in Columbus to hold a memorial service March 5 for the loss of their representative voice in the U.S. Senate at the UU Church in Clintonville.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who once freely expressed opinions on a multitude of issues and participated in the quintessential lynchpin of democracy, the town hall meeting, tragically lost his independence on Jan. 20, 2017. Since then, Sen. Portman has been unable to speak out on issues on which he once held public positions. And, due to the traumatic experiences of congressional colleagues who have faced questions from anxious and dissatisfied voters, he has become too frightened to meet with his own constituents in a public forum.

Sadly, the loss of Sen. Portman’s courage coincided with the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, who has taken several actions counter to the positions Sen. Portman once held. Examples include:

· Although Sen. Portman once said he believed in climate change, voted to support a federal fund to respond to climate threats and championed energy efficiency in facilities, he has been silent about President Trump’s efforts to gut environmental protection. In fact, Portman voted to support Scott Pruitt, a denier of climate change, as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

· Although Sen. Portman once was a champion of LGBT rights and spoke out against laws that discriminate against transgender people, he has been silent about President Trump’s executive order to rescind protections for transgender students. In fact, Portman voted to support Jeff Sessions, a lifelong opponent of equality who advocated for the executive order, for attorney general.

· Although Sen. Portman in October spoke in favor of a “path to legalization for undocumented immigrants,” he has remained silent about President Trump’s mass deportation initiative launched in February.

Because Sen. Portman no longer will participate in a public meeting with those who are not registered Republicans, or even respond to countless requests for one-on-one conversations, constituents have been denied the opportunity to help Sen. Portman find the strength to stand up for his principles and uphold his congressional obligation to check and balance the president.

Mourners will pay their respects to the tragic loss of their democratically elected representative democracy at 7 p.m. this Sunday at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus with the Rev. Eric Meter presiding and choral music performed by Vocal Resistance. Speakers will present eulogies to highlight the impact of this loss, sharing the concerns they would have shared with Sen. Portman, if only he were willing to hear them.

OVCA Issues Statement on USDA Removal of Animal Welfare Information from Website

On February 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) abruptly discontinued a search tool that made inspection records and violations at animal facilities publicly accessible.

For more than a decade, animal advocates and journalists relied on this public database to check government regulation of how animals are treated at circuses, zoos, and scientific labs. The records were also available to pet stores and members of the public, allowing them to research dog breeders before buying.

In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a “comprehensive review” that took place over the past year. It said the removed documents, which also included records of enforcement actions against violators of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, would now be accessible only via Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA).

In response to the USDA’s recent announcement, OVCA Steering Committee member Mary O’Connor-Shaver issued the following statement:

“The latest action by the USDA is a total reversal of the progress that has been made in recent years to crack down on animal abuse. We firmly believe a lack of online public access to inspection records of USDA-licensed facilities – many of which have long histories of violations that have caused terrible suffering – will make it significantly more difficult and costly for groups through FOIA Requests to monitor the treatment of animals. We fear violations and abuse will run rampant at these facilities without the transparency to keep a careful eye on them. OVCA in partnership with many grassroots animal welfare groups across the country will be exploring every legal remedy possible to reverse this shameful attempt to keep the public from knowing when and which laws and regulations have been violated.”

LaRose Introduces Congressional Redistricting Reform Proposal

COLUMBUS—State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 3, designed to infuse greater balance and transparency into the redistricting process. This legislation ensures that congressional districts are drawn in a bipartisan manner by applying safeguards and processes established for state legislative redistricting to the current method used to draw congressional district lines.

SJR 3 ensures that the state legislature maintains its ability to craft our congressional districts, so long as the district plans pass each chamber through special supermajority voting requirements and meet the same guidelines established for state legislative redistricting.

“My goal is to establish a redistricting process that does not favor the interests of one political party or another but that works for all Ohioans,” said LaRose. “While I believe that the plan I have put forward accomplishes this, I recognize that it could always be improved. I welcome the input of my colleagues and I look forward to hearing their ideas on how we can improve and build on this proposal.”

Currently, the state legislature redraws the U.S. congressional districts every ten years by a simple majority vote.

If the state legislature is incapable of coming to an agreement on the redistricting maps, the Ohio Redistricting Commission would be required to adopt a congressional district plan through the same processes which Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved as State Issue 1 on the November 2015 ballot.

“The current winner-take all approach, used in our state for the congressional redistricting process, is unsustainable and leads to unnecessary friction and dysfunction. The citizens of Ohio demand reform,” said LaRose. “SJR 3 would require bipartisan compromise, compelling statesmen and women to work cooperatively to draw fair and straightforward congressional district maps.”

SJR 3 will soon be referred to a Senate committee for further consideration.

Bernadine Kennedy Kent issues statement on Trump’s “Muslim Ban”

WASHINGTON— State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) issued a response to President Trump’s executive order banning inbound travel from certain Muslim-majority nations:

“President Trump’s ban makes us all less safe by falsely portraying what we stand for as Americans. This anti-American act by design will nurture fear of differing ethnicities and religions here at home instead of seeking out terror where it exists abroad.

“It is my hope that – instead of passing this fear that is cultivated by ignorance rather than truth along to our children – we will expose our children to people of the Muslim faith, so that they will see most are not to be feared but embraced. With over a billion Muslim people worldwide, most want many of the same things the massive majority of us all want – to educate ourselves, to contribute to society, to love freedom and to live in peace.”

Ohioans, Local Officials Respond to Trump Immigration Bans

From Cleveland to Cincinnati and In-Between, Communities and Leaders Stand Up for Refugees and Immigrants

Cleveland – Since news of the Trump Administration’s refugee and Muslim ban broke, Ohioans have been reacting in anger and outrage. The discriminatory policy was implemented immediately over the weekend, resulting in chaos and tragedy. It led to the surprise detention and deportation of many people with valid U.S. entry permits as they arrived to U.S. borders, including elderly people and children.

Numerous refugee families who had been days away from relocating to Ohio and rebuilding their lives have been affected. Doctors and other professionals living and working in Ohio have also been blocked from coming home, despite the fact that they have valid visas and are needed here. Universities are speaking out against the ban that impacts both students and faculty.

While the refugee and Muslim ban has gotten the most attention out of all of Trump’s executive orders, other immigration-related executive orders will hurt ordinary Ohioans in many ways. Local officials across the states are responding in support of Ohio’s immigrants and refugees.

In Columbus, Mayor Ginther plans to sign his own executive order banning the inscription of local police into Trump’s Deportation Force. This policy will make it clear that the police’s job is to protect the entire community from crime, not enforce federal paperwork violations.

Also in Columbus, City Councilperson Elizabeth Brown is creating a legal defense fund for immigrants and refugees facing deportation under the new regime. This approach is a major step forward for the city, which recognizes the tremendous contributions immigrants and refugees make here every day.

The initiatives are supported by Columbus residents from all over. Hundreds gathered at a meeting last night in support of policies that keep community policing and immigration enforcement separate. The protest at John Glenn International Airport this weekend also drew hundreds.

Read more about what’s going on in Columbus here, in this Medium piece by Matt Hildreth, Columbus resident and Political Director of America’s Voice.

In Cincinnati, Mayor Cranley denounced Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and pledged his city’s support for immigrants and refugees. As reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cranley said: “We have put the whole world on notice that we intend to live up to the Statue of Liberty ideals … [being a sanctuary city] is a badge of honor.” Hundreds gathered outside city hall in support of the mayor’s position.

In Cleveland, the City Council voted to oppose Trump’s refugee and Muslim ban in front of a supportive crowd. A large protest also took place at Cleveland Hopkins Airport over the weekend and another is planned for Market Square this Friday.

A group of civic leaders in Akron—including Mayor Dan Horrigan and leaders of education, healthcare, business, and faith institutions—issued this statement of support for immigrants and refugees. The “open letter” reads, in part: “Diversity is not just an inevitable byproduct of an increasingly global civilization; diversity is an essential, treasured ingredient in any thriving and prosperous society. So, as leaders in this community, we want to make it clear: whether you are foreign-born or home-grown, there is a place for you here.”

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan on the Muslim travel ban

“Like many Americans, I was alarmed and saddened by President Trump’s Executive Order suspending immigration and refugee resettlement from seven Muslim-majority countries. You couldn’t turn on a TV this weekend without seeing separated families waiting at airports for news of detained loved ones. While I was encouraged to see spontaneous protests at the White House and airports around the country, I also saw administration officials making the case for shutting the door to Muslim immigrants and refugees.

“This is not who we are, friends. This cannot be what we stand for as Americans.

“America’s moral leadership has always come at a price. Despite our strong alliances and military superiority, we face threats to our security, both from foreign powers and international terrorist organizations like ISIS. These threats are real, but we should be vigilant against the efforts of politicians who would use these threats to sow fear and advance a political agenda. This executive order does just that.

“One of President Trump’s most important campaign promises was that he would make us safer from ISIS. With this executive order, President Trump has broken that promise. Already, ISIS is using this executive order as a recruiting tool, and I fear that law enforcement’s relationship with the Muslim-American community — a relationship essential to preventing both foreign and home-grown terrorism — may be irreparably damaged.

“But this order isn’t just bad policy, it’s a departure from the core values that make us American.

“In his farewell address, President Ronald Reagan spoke of the pilgrim’s dream of America as ‘a shining city on a hill,’ saying “…if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

“I couldn’t agree more.

“The story of our nation’s founding is intertwined with immigration and the pursuit of religious freedom. Fleeing persecution in England, a group of refugees we now call the Pilgrims boarded ships and settled New England. Later, the Quakers, the Lutherans, and other Christian communities came to America seeking a better life and the freedom to worship in peace.

“By the time Catholics like my Italian and Irish ancestors got here, they faced hostility from some who didn’t think that same freedom applied to Catholics, Jewish Americans, or other religious communities who were new to our country. Today, I’m afraid President Trump is leading us back into that fear-driven mentality, singling out Muslims and placing politics over the core American values that we all share.

“Liberty, justice, and equality can’t mean one thing for me and another thing for a Muslim. If we really believe in America and her moral leadership, we must stand up for our founding principles. I plan to do my part to oppose this executive order, and any other policies that single out a religious minority or depart from our American values.”

High Marks for Trump’s First Address

“President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress received largely positive reviews from viewers, with 57% who tuned in saying they had a very positive reaction to the speech, according to a new CNN/ORC poll of speech-watchers.”

Oscars Ratings Down

The Oscars award program’s ratings are down again. The Hollywood elites don’t seem to get it. Americans have had it with Tinseltown lectures and anti-American rhetoric — when they attack President Trump, they’re only hurting themselves!

Make-or-Break March?

“The House will be in session for five of [the next six weeks], while the Senate is scheduled only to take a short two-day break in March. By the end of that intense run, it will be clear that President Trump’s agenda is moving along swiftly — or stuck in its tracks.”

Make America Confident Again

With President Trump’s early moves to bring back good-paying jobs, reduce taxes and regulations, and restore economic opportunities, his bold commonsense plans have Americans more optimistic about the future — with the highest consumer confidence numbers since 2001.

Obama Thinks He’s Still in Charge

“President Trump said in an exclusive interview Tuesday that he believes former President Barack Obama and his top aides are behind the protests and leaks that have tormented the new administration — and he doesn’t expect it to stop anytime soon.”

They’re Getting the Message

Showing both the magnitude of the problem and the effect of President Trump’s aggressive action against illegal immigration, the number of illegals apprehended at the border in January was the highest since 2012, and yet fell by 27% on a month-to-month basis compared to December.

They’re Not

“Most voters agree that it’s bad for America and bad for the Democratic Party if Democrats continue to flat out oppose everything President Trump does. Even Democrats are conflicted about their party’s scorched earth policy.”

Trending Right

President Trump’s 2016 election was no fluke — just the latest GOP victory. In fact, since Barack Hussein Obama was elected in 2008, “nearly every state saw its presidential vote and its legislature move to the right.”

Looney-vision

“Further ramping up his open opposition to President Trump’s immigration law enforcement policies, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has let loose with an outrageous tirade that could best be described as equal parts nationalistic identity politics, racially-driven demagoguery, and yet another instance of the irresponsible conflation of legal and illegal immigration.”

— Submitted by Conservative HQ

This is the most bizarre presidency in U.S. history.

But despite all the media coverage, there’s something NO ONE has had the guts to discuss — and it’s far worse than ‘Fake News” or anything reported about the new administration.

According to a recent U.S. News & World Report, 61% of Americans think the #1 thing Trump will do is “grow the U.S. economy”.

We are a nation on the brink of ruin. The fallout will likely be much worse than 2008 and almost no one is prepared for it.

— David Stockman, pitching his book “Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… and How to Bring It Back.”

Ohio Re-Regulation/Re-Structuring = $100 Billion Utility Bailout

Campaign launches to protect consumer choice, market competition and customer savings

LORDSTOWN – A recent Ohio State University economic study concluded that an open competitive market to purchase electricity via “customer choice” saves Ohioans $3 billion/year. However, Ohio’s utilities (American Electric Power Co. (AEP) FirstEnergy and Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) have been unable to compete in this open market and are looking to Columbus for a $100 billion bailout that will kill “customer choice,” eliminate non-utility generation competition, and de-rail thousands of new construction jobs and tens-of-billions in new economic growth now underway. For example, on January 26th on American Electric Power Co. (AEP) fourth-quarter 2016 earnings call, their CEO announced the company’s plans to lobby the Ohio Legislature for re-regulation or “restructuring” of the market. “We’re having regular meetings with leaders in the Legislature.” said Nicholas Akins, CEO, AEP.

As a result of these utility actions to “re-structure” Ohio’s open electricity market, Clean Energy Future, LLC (CEF) is launching a new campaign to protect consumers from shouldering such an outrageous subsidy. The campaign’s new website – www.OhioUtilityBailout.com – shines a light on the facts as to why Ohioans on Main Street are the losers in this latest utility-backed bailout scheme.

“Since utility-proposed re-regulation takes away customer choice and burdens Ohioans with a $100 billion bailout, it’s irresponsible for elected officials – many of whom have accepted millions in campaign contributions from big utility companies – to consider this proposal when the public’s best interest is to keep Ohio’s utility market de-regulated.” said William Siderewicz, P.E., President, Clean Energy Future.

Despite utility companies increasing their lobbying efforts, recent poll data shows that Ohioans wants “customer choice” as an overwhelming margin of 5:1 support buying electricity from the open market. Ohio’s utilities know this and in order to sway the legislature to act against the will of their constituents, they will have to up the ante in their technique of “pay to play.”

Ohio’s utilities are in essence looking to turn back the clock to 1998 when only inefficient monopoly utilities were allowed to generate electricity in Ohio. The merits of this archaic system have already been litigated and rejected to make way for cost-saving deregulation that has existed for the past 18 years. Clean Energy Future, LLC agrees that destroying a perfectly functional free market system and burdening Ohio’s overall economy and hampering job growth is a ridiculous utility “ask” and should be rejected outright.

Throughout the 2017-18 legislative session, Clean Energy Future, LLC will continue to provide facts in its campaign to stop this massive bailout that Ohioans don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford. Learn more at www.OhioUtilityBailout.com.

Brown supports Ross

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Feb. 27, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted for Wilbur Ross, President Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Commerce Department, which plays a key role in overseeing enforcement of trade policy.

“I’ve worked with Wilbur Ross in the past and know he understands the importance of a strong American steel sector. I look forward to working with him in his new role as Commerce Secretary to address the urgent need to reduce China’s steel overcapacity, which has devastated the U.S. steel industry and its workers,” said Brown. “Mr. Ross will play a key role in the overhaul of U.S. trade policy President Trump has promised and I will press him and the Administration to strengthen enforcement against those who cheat our trade laws.”

Brown reached out to Trump immediately following the election to offer his assistance in retooling our nation’s trade policy.

International Business Consultant and Global Citizen Patriots author Mac Regan’s “Steps for Incentivizing Good Citizenship”:

  • By the age of 18, all citizens should be able to pass a citizenship test, similar to the one given to immigrants looking to become U.S. citizens
  • We should consider tying certain privileges to a person’s passage of this citizenship test
  • Passing the citizenship test allows people to access important government-provided benefits
  • If you fail to perform as a citizen you have your citizenship temporarily suspended
  • Tax breaks for those who consistently perform as good citizens (those who vote in every election, perform military service, community service, etc.)

Conservatives prefer what they call the “official Bible of the Pilgrims.”

When the Pilgrims arrived in America in 1620, they brought along supplies, a consuming passion to advance the Kingdom of Christ, a bright hope for the future, and the Word of God. Clearly, their most precious cargo was the Bible. Have you ever wondered what version of the Bible the Pilgrims brought to America on the Mayflower? Believe it or not, it was not the King James Version of 1611. It was actually the 1599 Geneva Bible a forgotten yet priceless treasure.

The Geneva Bible is unique among all other Bibles. It was the first Bible to use chapters and numbered verses and became the most popular version of its time because of the extensive marginal notes. These notes, written by Reformation leaders such as John Calvin, John Knox, Miles Coverdale, William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, and others, were included to explain and interpret the scriptures for the common people.

For nearly half a century these notes helped the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland understand the Bible and true liberty. King James despised the Geneva Bible because he considered the notes on key political texts to be seditious and a threat to his authority. Unlike the King James Version, the Geneva Bible was not authorized by the government. It was truly a Bible by the people and for the people.

League of Women Voters president Chris Carson on Election Night Results:

“The League of Women Voters congratulates the American people for turning out in record numbers to participate in our democracy.

“Unfortunately, in too many cases, voters had to overcome significant barriers that were erected by elected officials and other political operatives. These ongoing threats to voters’ rights are unacceptable.

“This is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. Thousands of eligible voters were purged from the rolls. Onerous voter ID laws prevented eligible voters from casting their ballots. We saw cases of misinformation and intimidation at the polls.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the 2016 presidential election:

“There is no doubt that Judicial Watch changed history with its Clinton email investigations. The election results show that corruption matters to the American people. At a minimum, President-elect Trump should commit to a transparency revolution. The Trump administration and new Congress must focus on restoring the rule of law and accountability after the eight years of a lawless Obama administration. Corruption in government is an overwhelming problem. We expect, but won’t rely on, DC politicians to do the right thing. Judicial Watch will continue its independent investigations and lawsuits in order to hold politicians of both political parties accountable to the rule of law.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States:

“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.

“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”

Black Lives Matter Leader Hawk Newsome issued the following statement in regards to the November 8th Presidential Election:

“In July, we placed a demand on Hilary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. The reason being that we felt as though the party was not addressing the issues of Black America. The party has continuously taken the Black Vote for granted. Black Lives Matter Greater New York launched an initiative called “I AIN’T VOTING UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER.” Arrogantly, the Democrats ignored our demands, and continued to allow Blacks to be executed publicly by law enforcement. How much did they expect us to take before we revolted? Now they have lost complete control of the government. We are the Black Tea Party.

“Our votes no longer belong to any one party. We are launching the Black Lives Caucus to engage and educate black people on how to vote in their best interest. We are holding all politicians accountable and will replace any elected official that betrays our trust.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said of Ohio’s 132nd General Assembly:

“Ohio Right to Life doesn’t care about women’s health. There is not a single thing in their agenda that improves women’s health. In fact, the new restrictions they are proposing will interfere with the doctor patient relationship and prevent women from accessing the care that is best for themselves and their families. The goal of Ohio Right to Life is clear: to invoke shame and stigma against women who access abortion and to punish the medical professionals that care for them.

“This dangerous agenda underscores why it is imperative that Judge Neil Gorsuch not be confirmed to serve a life-time appointment to the US Supreme Court. Access to quality reproductive health care is a fundamental right and American value that was recently reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court in the Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt case. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is unrelenting in our mission to protect Ohio women from these dangerous attacks in Columbus and Washington.”

DNC Response to Ohio’s 20-Week Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON – Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law banning abortion after 20 weeks, without any exceptions for survivors of rape or incest. In response, the DNC released the following statement:

“Let’s call this law what it really is: an attempt to take away the constitutional rights of women and make abortion illegal. But in a year when Donald Trump said that women who get an abortion should be punished, it’s little surprise that Republican leaders have been emboldened to once again insert themselves between women and their doctors. Governor Kasich already has one of the most extreme anti-choice records of any governor in the country, having signed legislation that shut down half the abortion clinics in his state. With this law, he’s standing with Trump and endangering the health of women across his state once again. Democrats believe in a woman’s right to choose, and we will always fight any efforts to impose new laws that might infringe on this constitutionally-protected right.” –DNC Spokesperson Rachel Palermo

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Staff Reports