2020 Democrats building ties to power brokers in key states
By STEVE PEOPLES, KEN THOMAS and JUANA SUMMERS
Tuesday, October 16
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Before he cut the $100,000 checks, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti brought the Democratic Party chairmen from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada backstage to meet late night television host Jimmy Kimmel and superstar hip-hop producer DJ Khaled.
Garcetti may not be the best-known 2020 presidential prospect, but he will not be forgotten by those who lead Democratic politics in the states most responsible for picking the party’s next presidential nominee.
After the star-studded California fundraiser late last month that featured 10 state-party chairmen, followed by a private dinner, Garcetti issued $100,000 checks to each of their state parties. It was the money, more than the celebrity, that impressed New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.
“Obviously, to those who are helpful, we are extraordinarily grateful,” Buckley told The Associated Press. “So many of our states are battling epic elections.”
Many of the Democratic Party’s most ambitious have begun building relationships on the ground in the states most responsible for picking the next presidential nominee, although few are doing it as brazenly as the Los Angeles mayor. Most are more quietly endearing themselves to local candidates with phone calls, emails and donations up and down the ballot across Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the states expected to host the first four presidential primary contests in roughly 15 months.
The early-state relationships require a delicate balance for those who want to stand out in a crowded field next year without neglecting the high-stakes midterm elections this fall. Control of Congress and state houses across the nation is up for grabs in just three weeks.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has raised more than $7 million and campaigned across 21 states for other Democratic candidates this midterm season, according to an aide. He also attended a family reunion with extended relatives in Iowa last week before and after stumping for dozens of down-ballot candidates for offices like secretary of agriculture and state auditor.
Booker, who is openly contemplating a 2020 bid, campaigns for South Carolina Democrats on Thursday.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is in the midst of her own re-election campaign, as well as a midterm blitz to help other Democrats nationwide win their races. While she has not yet campaigned for Democrats in neighboring New Hampshire, she was among the first elected officials to call gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly on the night of her primary election victory.
Warren has also designated staff to help candidates in the early states, including former staffers now working for state parties in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
In Iowa, congressional candidates J.D. Scholten and Cindy Axne got a campaign boost from former Housing Secretary Julian Castro last weekend; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is expected to rally supporters behind Scholten later this month.
Iowa Democrat Deidre DeJear, the party’s nominee for secretary of state, has attracted support from several presidential prospects, none more helpful than California Sen. Kamala Harris. They met in Los Angeles at an April event sponsored by The Links, a service organization dedicated to black professional women.
Their bond has grown since.
On the day of her June primary, DeJear got a phone call of encouragement from Harris before narrowly winning her race, becoming Iowa’s first black nominee for statewide office from a major political party. The California senator attended a fundraiser for DeJear in Washington and later this month plans to make her first trip to Iowa to rally young voters on DeJear’s behalf.
“Having big names in Iowa really can drive people to early vote, drive people to volunteer — it’s just an extra level of excitement,” said Cynthia Sebian-Lander, DeJear’s campaign manager. “What we need to do is use these visits as a way to talk about our down-ballot candidates and the importance of voting in every single race.”
Beyond Iowa, Harris has raised more than $1 million over the first 15 days of October to help Democratic candidates, according to an aide. She has traveled to 10 states and plans to travel to South Carolina late this week.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who has spent much of the year working to help elect female candidates across the country, has sent out nine emails to raise money for Nevada Senate candidate Jacky Rosen. Gillibrand took 20 minutes during the recent Supreme Court debate to address Nevada Democrats, via teleconference.
“What you’re doing in this campaign could flip the Senate,” the New York Democrat said in a video projected on the wall. “I think that Jacky’s seat is one of the most important, if not the most important seat.”
While it may seem early, political veterans note that off-year elections can be critical in the multistage process of running for president. While President Donald Trump ignored laying such groundwork and found success, relationships in the early states are expected to matter — particularly in a field that could attract as many as two dozen candidates.
In addition to the young senators, the early prospects range from former Vice President Joe Biden to attorney Michael Avenatti to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Garcetti is using his southern California connections to try to separate himself from the pack.
Already a frequent visitor to early voting states, he got the idea for a glitzy Los Angeles event after raising $100,000 for the South Carolina Democratic Party. Garcetti ultimately helped raise $1.5 million at the late-September fundraiser in Los Angeles with Kimmel and Khaled that also attracted top California moneymen such as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, sports and entertainment executive Casey Wasserman and former Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner.
Ten state parties received $100,000 checks, a group that included the early states and Midwestern battlegrounds like Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison said he’s encouraged to see the energy surrounding the early-state action.
“I think this is going to be a free for all,” he said.
Thomas and Summers reported in Washington. AP writer Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.
Rob Richardson releases first TV Ad
Democratic nominee for Ohio Treasurer Rob Richardson’s campaign premiered their first TV advertisement. The ad, called “Note to Younger Self,” can be viewed online here: https://youtu.be/G00sNyMH9eY.
The 0:30 ad is airing in the Columbus and Cleveland media markets and digitally throughout the rest of the state. It highlights Richardson’s journey from a child who was told he’d never go to college to becoming an engineer, lawyer, and board chair at the University of Cincinnati. It also touches on his plans to invest in companies that bring new jobs to Ohio and divest from those that drive down wages.
Rob Richardson is a former chairman of the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, where he established the U.C. Scholars Academy for students in the Cincinnati Public School District. He also founded the first Next Lives Here Innovation Summit and led the development of the 1819 Innovation Hub where students, faculty, and staff collaborate with entrepreneurs, startups, and others in the private sector.
Richardson has been a longtime advocate for workers as a marketing construction representative. He also serves “of counsel” with the law firm Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, where he practices in securities litigation.
Brown Responds to Disabilities Questionnaire
Sen. Sherrod Brown
Washington, D.C., Oct. 19 – Responding today to a questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown outlines his views on training and hiring the 807,700 working-age people with disabilities in Ohio, who have an unemployment rate of 64.3 percent.
According to a recent survey, 74 percent of likely voters have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. The upcoming elections and their results will have an impact on people with disabilities, so it is important to become familiar with the candidates’ thoughts on certain issues.
“Candidates for office ignore the disability community at their peril,” said former U.S. Representative and Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett. Bartlett, who was a primary author of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, is the chairman of RespectAbility.
RespectAbility reached out to Brown’s opponent, Republican challenger Jim Renacci, as well, but received no response, according to the organization’s President, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.
RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.
Brown completed nine of the ten questions posed in the questionnaire. The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Brown’s replies follows:
Question 1: What policies and actions do you support to reduce the stigmas of people with disabilities that are barriers to employment, independence and equality?
Answer: First and foremost, I am dedicated to protecting programs like SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, and other federal programs that help support individuals with disabilities. Many of these programs have come under attack in recent years and I am committed to protecting and improving these programs for individuals with disabilities. I am also supportive of efforts to increase choice and options available to individuals with disabilities. I’ve worked to increase the number of home and community based options for those individuals who choose to live and work in their community without limiting quality options for those who choose otherwise. In addition, I’m supportive of increasing support for direct service providers and home health aides, who help individuals with disabilities access greater independence.
Question 2: What is your record on improving the lives of people with disabilities, specifically in enabling people with disabilities to have jobs, careers or start their own businesses?
Answer: I am currently a cosponsor of two pieces of legislation that are focused on improving career and job opportunities for individuals with disabilities: The Disability Employment Incentive Act and the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act. Both bills would enhance tax credits that help support employers who hire individuals with disabilities and make workplaces more accessible to employees with disabilities, as well as strengthen programs designed to support employers and employees in ways individuals with disabilities can learn about their rights and facilities can become ADA-compliant.
In my office, I have a disability advisor who works closely with disability advocacy organizations in Ohio and in Washington, DC to advance policy priorities for the disability community.
Question 3: Do you have specific strategies for youth employment for people with disabilities? For example, what are your thoughts on apprenticeships for youth with disabilities?
Answer: While I have not proposed specific strategies for youth employment, I’m supportive of many programs and initiatives that employee people with disabilities, including young people, such as those I mentioned in the previous question. I am interested in learning more about programs in Ohio that provide apprenticeship opportunities for youth with disabilities and understanding the role the federal government can play in improving these types of options.
Question 4: The jobs of the future will largely require post-secondary education. However, on average only 65 percent of students with disabilities complete high school and only seven percent complete college. What policies do you support to enable students with disabilities, including those from historically marginalized communities and backgrounds, to receive the diagnosis, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and accommodations /services they need to succeed in school and be prepared for competitive employment?
Answer: I am supportive of policies to strengthen resources for kids with disabilities and ensure an IEP isn’t just a piece of paper, but that schools have the resources to provide the individualized attention and education these children deserve. I enjoy meeting with Ohio students that attend Gallaudet in Washington, D.C. to hear about their experiences and the difference that universities like Gallaudet can make in their lives – as well as ways I can help them and others complete post-secondary education.
Question 5: Today there are more than 750,000 people with disabilities behind bars in our nation. Most of them are functionally illiterate and 95 percent of them will eventually be released. What are your views to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are incarcerated gain the skills and mental health supports that will enable them to be successful when they leave incarceration?
Answer: I am supportive of ensuring individuals with disabilities who are incarcerated gain the skills and mental health supports that will enable them to be successful post-incarceration. We should be ensuring better care for our prison population and ensuring folks have the supports in place to transition back to the community upon reentry.
Question 7: How would you ensure that people with disabilities have access to healthcare and the benefits they need while enabling them with opportunities to work to the best of their capacities without losing the supports they need to live?
Answer: Our system of supports for individuals with disabilities is strong, but fragmented. There is much more we can do to ensure individuals who choose to work don’t lose access to the healthcare and financial support they need to stay healthy and independent. One action I was proud to support in recent years was the creation of the ABLE Account. There is more we can do to ensure people with disabilities retain access to healthcare and the benefits they need while enabling them with opportunities to work to the best of their capacities without losing the supports they need to live, and I am dedicated to furthering these policy goals.
Question 8: What are your thoughts on ensuring that people with disabilities have the option to live in their homes instead of institutions and still have the community attendant supports they need to live?
Answer: I am in favor of supporting the choice of every individual with a disability – if an individual wants to live in their home or community based setting they should have the capacity to do so without jumping through hoops or waiting for years on a waiting list to get an HCBS waiver. Likewise, if an individual prefers a group home or needs institutional-based care, those options should remain available for individuals based on their choice.
Question 9: How would you advance innovations (i.e., assistive technologies, devices) that can help people with disabilities become more successfully employed, productive and independent?
Answer: I am supportive of ensuring individuals have access to the newest technologies and devices that help individuals with disabilities live more independently and comfortably. I worked with colleagues several times to urge CMS, the entity in charge of making coverage determinations under Medicare and Medicaid, to ensure coverage of assistive technologies, such as complex rehab equipment and voice generating devices.
Question 10: Are your office, website and events accessible to people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
Answer: Yes, my offices are handicap-accessible and I aim to accommodate people with disabilities in a variety of ways, such as holding events in ADA complaint venues and including braille on my business cards.
RespectAbility has asked all the candidates for Senate on both sides of the aisle to complete the same questionnaire. We will share responses from additional campaigns as we receive them.
The RespectAbility Report is a nonpartisan political commentary on U.S. elections with a focus on disability issues. The RespectAbility Report first posed this down ballot questionnaire to candidates in 2016 while covering all of the 2016 Democratic and Republican candidates for president. Coverage of this and related issues can be found at http://therespectabilityreport.org.
The RespectAbility Report is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates.
2018 Ohio Veterans HOF Induction is Nov. 8
WHAT: The Ohio Department of Veterans Services (ODVS) and Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation will honor the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame 2018 Class during its annual Induction Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. at the Radiant Life Church in Dublin, Ohio. Media and the public are welcome to attend. The 20-person class will be honored with medals by ODVS Director Chip Tansill and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. Inductees will be available to the media on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin prior to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation Dinner. Interviews also can be arranged upon request.
2017 Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Thursday, November 8, 10-11 a.m.
Radiant Life Church, 7100 Post Road, Dublin, OH 43016
The complete list of 2018 Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Inductees follows:
Fredric L. Abrams, Air Force, Warren County
Ronald L. Albers, Air Force, Franklin County
Cassie B. Barlow, Air Force, Greene County
*Francis Leroy Clendenen, Army, Licking County
Dean Cooper, Army, Lawrence County
Haraz N. Ghanbari, Army & Navy, Wood County
James L. Gibson, Navy, Guernsey County
Paul D. Haller, Navy, Jackson County
Ronald J. Hartman, Army, Clermont County
Joseph A. Machado, Army, Fairfield County
Robert P. Milich, Air Force, Mahoning County
*Charles L. Murray, Army, Franklin County
Merle J. Pratt, Navy, Franklin County
Fredrick L. Pumroy, Air Force, Greene County
Clifford Riley, Army, Clermont County
Dana L. Robinson-Street, Navy, Franklin County
Ronald A. Schwachenwald, Army, Lorain County
Douglas D. Theaker, Navy, Richland County
E.J. Thomas, Air Force, Franklin County
Robert J. Wilhelm, Marines, Guernsey County
Bios for all 20 class members, additional information on the Hall of Fame and past inductees – listed by class, by county and alphabetically – can be found at OhioVets.gov.
Background: The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by former Gov. George Voinovich to recognize outstanding professional achievement, service to the community and selfless acts of veterans following their military service. Charter members of the Hall’s Class of 1992 included the six Ohio military veterans who were elected President of the United States and all Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio. Honorees include astronauts, volunteers, community leaders, safety officers, veteran advocates and former government officials.
The Class of 2018 was chosen from among 119 nominations. The inductees, which range in age from 37 to 88, span 13 different Ohio counties and four major branches of the United States Armed Forces – the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. This year’s class joins 858 Ohio veterans who have been inducted since inception and represent all eras, branches and walks of life.
Before Handing Over the Keys, Make Sure Your Teen Knows the Rules
National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21-27, 2018
COLUMBUS – National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21-27, and Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment and John Born, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), which includes the Ohio State Highway Patrol are encouraging all parents not to hand over the keys until their teens know the rules of the road.
“Education and increased awareness can help protect teens from the severe dangers and consequences of distracted driving,” Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment said. “I urge parents to have conversations with their teen drivers to establish rules that will help keep them and those around them safe while on the road.”
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States – ahead of all other types of injury, disease, and violence. In Ohio, teen drivers were involved in 135,882 traffic crashes from 2015 to 2017. An action on the part of the teen driver contributed to 15 percent of these crashes. Crashes where teen drivers were at fault resulted in 285 fatalities and 41,917 injuries.
Parents play an important role in helping ensure their teen drivers take smart steps to stay safe on the road. Ohio Department of Insurance provides the following insurance tips for teen drivers:
Parents should conduct an insurance review with an agent to secure adequate insurance for their teen driver. Having a teen driver in the house can affect the family’s auto insurance premium.
The type of vehicle a teen driver uses as well as driving violations can impact the cost of insurance.
Most insurance companies offer discounts for having more than one car on a policy or having both your auto and homeowners insurance with the same company.
Ohioans with insurance questions can call the Ohio Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526 and visit insurance.ohio.gov for information.
Additionally, NHTSA’s website, www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving, has detailed information and statistics on teen driving, and outlines the basic rules parents can use to help reduce the risks for teen drivers:
Don’t Drive Impaired. All teens are too young to legally buy, possess, or consume alcohol, but they are still at risk. Nationally, in 2016, nearly one out of five teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. But alcohol isn’t the only substance that can keep your teen from driving safely: In 2016, 6.5 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 17 were current users of marijuana. Like many other drugs, marijuana affects a driver’s ability to react to their surroundings. Driving is a complex task, and marijuana slows reaction times, affecting the driver’s ability to drive safely. Remind your teen that driving under the influence of any impairing substance – including illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs – could have deadly consequences.
Buckle Up — Every Trip, Every Time. Everyone — Front Seat and Back. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle, and it is required in all 50 States. Yet too many teens are not buckling up, and neither are their passengers. In fact, there were 569 passengers killed in passenger vehicles driven by teen drivers, and more than half (54%) of those passengers who died were NOT buckled up at the time of the fatal crash. Even more troubling, in 85 percent of cases when the teen driver was unbuckled, the passengers were also unbuckled. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what – front seat and back.
Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel. All the Time. Distractions while driving are more than just risky—they can be deadly, and are outlawed in 47 States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2016, among teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes, 10 percent were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. Remind your teen about the dangers of texting and using a phone while driving. Distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phone use; other passengers, audio and climate controls in the vehicle, and eating or drinking while driving are all examples of dangerous distractions for teen drivers.
Follow the Posted Speed Limit. Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially for teens. In 2016, almost one-third (31%) of teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash. Remind your teen to always drive within the speed limit
Passengers in a teen’s car can lead to disastrous consequences. Per data analyzed by NHTSA, teen drivers were 2.5 times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with one teenage passenger, when compared to driving alone. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behaviors triples when driving with multiple passengers.
Avoid Driving Drowsy. Teens are busier than ever – studying, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and spending time with friends are among the long list of things they do to fill their time. However, with all of these activities, teens tend to compromise something very important: sleep. Driving drowsy is a dangerous habit that can lead to drowsy driving. Make sure your teen gets a good night’s sleep; their grades, their friends, their passengers, and other drivers will thank them (and you!) because they’ll be safer on the road.
“Parents can help protect their teen drivers by talking with them about these risks, not just this week, but every week,” said ODPS Director John Born. “Remind your children, if they are distracted, they are not driving.”
Explaining the rules and any other restrictions outlined in Ohio’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) law and the deadly consequences of unsafe driving practices can help encourage teens to exhibit safe driving behaviors.
“One poor decision while driving can have a lasting impact and stay with a teen driver for the rest of their life,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “That is why responsibility, awareness and safety are so important for our youngest drivers.”
For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week and to learn safer driving tips for your teens, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving.
National School Bus Safety Week is October 22 – 26
COLUMBUS – The week of October 22 – 26 has been designated National School Bus Safety Week. This year’s theme, “My Driver – My Safety Hero,” reminds motorists, students and school bus drivers the important role they each have in ensuring children’s safety.
Prior to stopping, school buses display yellow warning lights that signify the bus is about to stop. Once a bus stops, flashing lights and a stop sign are displayed. Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from the bus while the bus is receiving or discharging students. When a road is divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop. Drivers may not resume their travels until the bus resumes traveling.
From 2015 to 2017, 4,198 drivers were convicted of failing to stop for a stopped school bus in Ohio. During the same time, 4,036 traffic crashes involving school buses occurred.
“School buses remain the safest mode of transportation for students to and from school,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Along with the watchful eyes of our school bus drivers, the cooperation of motorists, parents and children will make this a safe school year in Ohio.”
The greatest risk to children is when they are outside the school bus. Students need to wait for the bus drivers signal to cross and walk where the bus driver can see them. Troopers will be highly visible next week along school bus routes and school zones to ensure the safety of students.