Hypocrisy of the Day Award

Staff Reports

Ohio Weekly Fuel Update and Outlook

Ohio, OH, October 2- Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have risen 2.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.35/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.53/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices yesterday were 14.0 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 17.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 8.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 31.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on October 2 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years:

$2.21/g in 2016, $2.42/g in 2015, $3.23/g in 2014, $3.29/g in 2013 and $3.70/g in 2012.

Areas near Ohio and their current gas price climate:

Akron- $2.21/g, down 2.3 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.23/g.

Dayton- $2.35/g, up 11.8 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.23/g.

Columbus- $2.36/g, up 8.8 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.27/g.

“For a third straight week, the majority of states saw average pump prices for gasoline fall as refineries affected by Hurricane Harvey in late August continued to show signs of being on the mend,” said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “All the more remarkable when you consider that oil prices, which rose over $5 a barrel in September, did not prevent gasoline prices from declining and that momentum is likely to continue with another decrease for the week ahead.”

“Though last week witnessed pump price increases in the Great Lakes, this can be traced to the price cycling behavior of the region, which means these states will see prices fall to start the week. Nationwide, many drivers continue to express frustration that the decreases aren’t reflecting pre-Harvey pump prices. As noted last week by Patrick DeHaan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, “it will take weeks or months to see gasoline inventories recover fully, but prices will continue slowly drift lower as inventories improve.”

For LIVE fuel price averages, visit http://FuelInsights.GasBuddy.com.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy is the technology company changing the way more than 70 million consumers find, purchase, and save money on gasoline. Founded in 2000, the original GasBuddy website was a pioneer in crowd-sourced information, leveraging technology, big data, and a passionate community that now connects more than 70 million users with real-time, accurate fuel pricing information as well as reliable reviews of gas station amenities and services. The app and website have the most accurate and real-time fuel prices at over 140,000 unique stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and is the most comprehensive money-saving companion while on the road. GasBuddy is available on all mobile platforms. For more information, visit www.gasbuddy.com.

CBO Score Confirms Republican Health Care Repeal Bill is Wrong for Ohioans

Yesterday the CBO released a preliminary score of Graham-Cassidy that found the bill would result in millions of people losing health care coverage. The latest GOP health care repeal would increase costs for Ohioans, allow insurers to drop required coverage for things like substance abuse treatment or birth control, gut protections for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions, dismantle Medicaid as we know it, and eliminate tax credits and subsidies that help Ohio families access affordable health care. In addition, according to S&P Global Ratings the Graham-Cassidy bill would cost the economy about 580,000 jobs by 2027 and limit GDP growth to about 2% a year over the next decade.

“Despite the catastrophic consequences of the Graham-Cassidy bill, Senator Portman and his Republican colleagues are charging forward on their latest attempt to repeal health care that will harm Ohioans and result in devastating job losses,” said DNC spokesperson Mandy McClure. “While a majority of Americans oppose this bill and experts say this repeal effort would hurt millions of families across the country, Senator Portman is putting his partisan agenda above the needs of Ohio families.”

See below for the harmful impacts of the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill:

1. Confirmed – millions would lose coverage: The CBO released a preliminary score of Graham-Cassidy last night that found that the proposal would result in “millions” of people losing coverage.

2. Republicans refuse to go through regular order: This process is so rushed that Republicans still want to proceed with a vote even though the CBO hasn’t had time to assess just how many millions of people would be uninsured or how much their costs would go up.

3. Most Americans say no: A majority of Americans oppose the Republicans’ efforts. Following the release of the CBO score, Sen. Collins announced that she would not support Graham-Cassidy. Still, McConnell has yet to call off plans to bring the bill to the floor this week.

4. The bill absolutely guts protections for pre-existing conditions: Graham-Cassidy was updated over the weekend to buy off wavering Republican Senators. Now, the bill would make it even easier for states to allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions and older consumers, all without needing a waiver from HHS. It would also allow states to lift existing caps on out-of-pocket costs.

5. The U.S. economy would lose 580,000 jobs: S&P Global Ratings released a report finding that Graham-Cassidy would cost about 580,000 jobs by 2027 and limit GDP growth to about 2% a year over the next decade.

Over 40 years ago, in 1974, is when Sherrod Brown first began in politics.

What did America look like in 1974?

– Richard Nixon was President.

– Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record.

– Gas was 55 cents a gallon.

– Watergate and The Cold War were driving the news.

– Sherrod Brown became a politician.

The only thing on that list that hasn’t changed is Sherrod Brown.

We can’t change Washington if we keep the same people there.

Political “experts” in BOTH parties can’t stop talking about who will control the U.S. Senate. And the special interests, and tax-and-spenders are going to go all-out to defeat me next November. They’ve already begun pouring money into Sherrod’s campaign.

It’s no surprise that Sherrod has voted with limousine-liberal Elizabeth Warren 97% of the time. He’s supposed to represent Ohio but votes alongside the most liberal Senator from Massachusetts.

I’m running for U.S. Senate because it’s time to send a new generation of leaders to Washington. New leaders who actually listen to and will represent Ohioans.

That’s why it’s so critical that we work together to do just that. Will you help with your most generous contribution of $19.74, $40 or whatever you can right away?

I have made a big difference by standing unapologetically strong for accountability, for taxpayers, for jobs.

We’ve fought BOTH parties’ attempts to stop my efforts to bring true government accountability and transparency with my award-winning website Ohiocheckbook.com, and we won! Now, we can finally hold them accountable for how they spend YOUR hard earned money.

I want to do the same thing in Washington. That’s why they will come after me with everything they have this election year.

I want to put the federal government’s checkbook online and hold them accountable for their out of control spending. We did it in Ohio and can do it in Washington.

The Big Government consensus in Washington, D.C. is crumbling.

And you and I are holding the sledgehammer.

But all of this comes at a price … it’s made me and my election the number one target.

The only way I will beat them is the same way I’ve beaten them before.

With you.

So please, if at all possible, contribute $19.74, $40 or whatever you can right away to send Sherrod Brown, the career politician back into the real world and let’s continue to bring change to Washington.


Josh Mandel

Department of Justice gives Southern Ohio $2.9 million to help address opioid epidemic


By: Sarah Brookbank

September 25th, 2017 12:04PM


The Department of Justice has awarded the Southern District of Ohio $2.9 million in grant awards to strengthen drug court programs and address the opioid epidemic as part of a nationwide initiative.

The Supreme Court of Ohio will be awarded $1 million for data-driven responses to prescription drug misuse and approximately $700,000 for the family drug court reform program United States Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said.

Glassman said $400,000 will go to opioid abuse program to both Franklin County and Hamilton County. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy will receive approximately $400,000 for drug monitoring programs.

“The opioid-abuse crisis – both across the country and especially in this district – is one of the most significant public-safety and public-health issues of our lifetime,” Glassman said in a statement. “The Department of Justice recognizes that enforcement alone cannot solve the problem. Prevention and treatment are equally important in making our communities safer, and that is what this funding focuses on.”

For more information about the grants visit https://ojp.gov/.

Secretary Husted: Sherrod Brown Deserves Hypocrisy of the Day Award for Self-Serving Grandstanding & Misleading Voters

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown conveniently ignores his support of policies to remove voters for not casting a ballot as a state lawmaker and Ohio Secretary of State.

COLUMBUS – As critics of the way Ohio maintains its voter rolls continue their misinformation campaign, Secretary of State Jon Husted set the record straight regarding one of the loudest voices to come forward – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.

“Sherrod Brown has earned the hypocrisy of the day award because as Ohio’s Secretary of State he removed inactive voters from the rolls after four years, while in my administration we reach out to voters and keep them on the rolls up to six years,” Secretary Husted said. “After spending all that time in Washington he must have forgotten the facts about what he did when he was the state’s chief elections official.”

Yesterday, Brown filed an amicus brief in the case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the way Ohio keeps its voter rolls accurate and up-to-date. However, in the filing and press release that accompanied, Brown failed to acknowledge that the policies in place over the last 20 years – and across four secretaries of state from both political parties – are far more generous than those he supported and enforced in the past.

In June 1978, then State Representative Sherrod Brown voted to approve House Bill 1209 that, in part, called for the canceling of any voters who had not cast a ballot in four years. Then in December 1980, he voted to approve House Bill 1062, which modified statute to allow for the removal of a voter for not voting in four years, registering a change of address or otherwise updating their registration. Both bills became law and were enforced by Brown during his tenure as Ohio’s Secretary of State from 1983-1991.

HB 1209 read in part:

“Sec. 3503.21: At the beginning of each calendar year, the board of elections shall cancel the registration of each registered elector who has not voted at least once in the four next preceding calendar years, send to such person at his last known address a printed notice that his eligibility to vote has been cancelled by reason of his failure to vote in four calendar years and that he must reregister in order to be eligible to vote. The notice shall be in the form prescribed by the secretary of state, and shall be accompanied by a registration form and instructions for reregistration.”

HB 1062 read in part:

“Sec. 3503.21: At the beginning of each calendar year, the board of elections shall cancel the registration of each registered elector who has not voted at least once in the four next preceding calendar years, and OR HAS NOT REGISTERED A CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR OTHERWISE UPDATED HIS REGISTRATION DURING THAT PERIOD. THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE CANCELLATION, THE BOARD SHALL send to EACH such person at his last known address a printed notice that his eligibility to vote has been WILL BE cancelled by reason of his failure to vote OR TO UPDATE HIS REGISTRATION in four calendar years and that he must reregister UPDATE HIS REGISTRATION in order to be eligible to vote. The notice shall be in the form prescribed by the secretary of state, and shall be accompanied by a registration form and instructions for reregistration.”

Since taking office, Secretary Husted has made maintaining accurate voter rolls a priority in order to increase election integrity and voter confidence. These efforts have resulted in the removal of 600,000 deceased Ohioans from the rolls and the resolution of 1.7 million voters who were registered more than once.

Proper maintenance of the state’s voter rolls have resulted in fewer Ohioans having trouble casting a ballot and more ballots being counted. On average, fewer provisional ballots have been cast during Secretary Husted’s tenure than under his predecessor and a higher percentage of those cast have been counted.

In addition to his efforts to maintain accurate voter rolls, Secretary Husted has also undertaken unprecedented voter engagement efforts, including reaching out to 1.9 million registered voters to update their registrations and to 1.76 million Ohioans who are eligible, but unregistered, to encourage them to participate (more information here).

Senator Has Worked to Make Sure All Veterans Who’ve Been Exposed to Agent Orange Can Get Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – asked VA Secretary David Shulkin to expand the medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange.

In March 2016, the National Academy of Medicine recommended that the VA expand its list of medical conditions that are associated with presumed exposure to Agent Orange. The VA has yet to respond to its recommendations to include bladder cancer, hyperthyroidism and Parkinson-like conditions.

“The veterans suffering from these conditions are still in urgent need of critical health care and other benefits,” wrote Brown in a letter to Shulkin. “The care owed to our servicemembers should not be delayed and denied any longer. They fought for our country, were exposed to a toxic chemical while carrying out their daily duty, and in return, we are failing to provide medical care and disability compensation.”

Under the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the VA has been required to implement recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine within 60 days. While that law has expired, the VA has delayed its response several times over the course of the last 19 months.

Veterans who served in Vietnam are presumed to have been exposed to toxic chemicals like Agent Orange. The VA considers a number of medical conditions to have direct relation to a veteran’s presumed exposure to toxic chemicals and provides these veterans with health care and disability benefits.

Brown has long fought to make sure all those who served and been exposed to Agent Orange can access the same benefits:

· In June 2015, Brown successfully secured benefits for reservists who served on the Fairchild UC-213, an aircraft contaminated with Agent Orange.

· In January 2016, Brown called on the VA to make it easier for “Blue Water Navy” veterans to receive the same benefits as others who served on land.

· In March 2016, Brown called on the VA to expand the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Agent Orange to provide more veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) access to critical health care benefits.

· In January 2017, Brown pushed Dr. David Shulkin, then nominee for Secretary to quickly act on the VA’s Agent Orange working group’s recommendations regarding expanding the presumptive condition list.


Bill Would Apply “Buy America” to School Construction Projects, Create 1.9 Million Jobs Nationally

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Good on a news conference call to urge Congress to take action on legislation to update Ohio schools and create jobs for Ohio workers. Brown’s bill, the School Building Improvement Act of 2017, would provide direct grants and school construction bonds to update schools and create an estimated 1.9 million jobs nationally. School repair, renovation, and construction would be completed with American-made products.

“Students can’t learn in schools that are crumbling around them,” said Brown. “If we want to prepare students for 21st century jobs, we need to invest in 21st century classrooms. That investment will also support good jobs, putting Ohioans to work rebuilding schools with American-made materials.”

The School Building Improvement Act:

Provides competitive grants for school repair, renovation, and construction. These grants focus assistance on states and communities with the greatest financial need, encourage green construction practices, establish equitable access for public charter schools, contain state matching criteria, and outline permissible criteria for spending.

Provides Qualified School Infrastructure Bonds (QSIBs).

Requires the use of American-made iron, steel, and manufactured products.

Brown was joined on the call by Dr. Dan Good, Superintendent of Columbus City Schools. This week, Columbus City Schools have been forced to close early due to excessive heat and a lack of air conditioning in many of the school system’s older buildings.

“Our nearly 52,000 students here in Columbus City Schools deserve 21st century learning spaces,” said Dr. Dan Good, Superintendent/CEO. “We welcome Senator Brown’s proposed investment in public schools, putting $100 billion where it is needed and where it can have the greatest return – creating safe and welcoming learning environments for Columbus’ young people, conducive to their positive learning and growth.”

The legislation would also require the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide a report on projects funded by the legislation within two years of enactment and creates a comprehensive study of the state of public schools’ physical condition at least once every five years.

Brown’s bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), has been endorsed by Rebuild America’s Schools, American Federation of Teachers, Californians for School Facilities, Council of the Great City Schools, International Union of Operating Engineers, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association, and North America’s Building Trades Unions.

In January, Brown joined his Senate colleagues in releasing a framework for rebuilding and repairing the nation’s infrastructure while creating millions of construction jobs. As part of the plan, Brown included Buy America language to ensure American infrastructure is built by American workers, using American iron and steel.

The proposal outlines how a $1 trillion package of infrastructure investment delivered over the next decade would improve the nation’s transportation, water, housing, broadband, and community infrastructure while creating thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs in Ohio.

Brown has also introduced legislation, supported by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), that would apply Buy America rules to all federally-funded infrastructure projects. Brown is urging the President to take steps to implement his bill as part of the President’s executive order announced earlier this year.


Staff Reports