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Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

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The US government is possibly the most corrupt among the major industrialized nations, and probably more corrupt than many third world nations. This is because there is little difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, and the rich people who manipulate them like puppets. So, quite naturally, one can be suspicious of US election results at just about any level of government. And yet the leaders of both parties want us to believe such corruption does not dirty our elections. They’re wrong.

So now Donald Trump must go through the agony of recounts in three states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. This recount effort is spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but the Clinton camp has decided to help ensure the accuracy of the recounts.

Exit polls showed Clinton winning all three states. Clinton, by the way, may not have defeated Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary without the use of electoral fraud; her wins in Arizona and New York come readily to mind.

Donald Trump, who told us of such election fraud, is not happy about these recounts. No Republican has become US president without a high degree of electoral fraud during the last 28 years. George W. Bush became president in 2000 with the use of voter suppression, and a number of other dubious tricks. His win over challenger John Kerry in 2004 was filled with corruption.

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The reports of corruption in 2004 were especially dramatic in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush’s victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged 190.000 Democratic voters from the rolls between the primary and the general election and didn’t notify any of the voters.

Ohio officials also failed to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency.

A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.

There were serious problems throughout the nation on November 2, 2004. What is most glaring about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush.

So bring on the recount. Besides, what does Donald Trump have to fear?

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The Eaton Corporation has decided to shut down its Berea Ohio factory where it manufacturers quick-connect couplings for hydraulic lines. More than 100 will lose their jobs.

The first layoffs will begin in April 2017 and the plant will be closed by December.

Eaton plans to buy the couplings from another manufacturer and ship them to a plant it owns in Mexico where workers will assemble them. Shares in Eaton peaked in 2014 at about $80. On Friday it closed just above $60 a share. The company will redistribute the wages of its soon to be former employees to rich shareholders in order to jack up share prices. Eaton management has been doing this since 2014.

Eaton cut some 2,500 jobs in 2015, closing eight factories in an effort to boost its declining share price. It is likely many of these jobs were exported to Mexico.

Eaton describes itself as a diversified industrial manufacturer of power management technologies, including electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. Eaton’s products are used in mining, oil, solar, wind, other electrical systems, agricultural equipment and large trucks.

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After one too many sell-outs by the local Democratic Party, the Lorain County central labor council decided to draw “a line in the sand” and run their own city council candidates on an Independent Labor Party ticket. Two dozen won seats—including union teacher Joshua Thornsberry, shown canvassing with his young son, who beat the head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Joshua Thornsberry. – See more at: http://labornotes.org/2013/12/ohioans-elect-two-dozen-city-councilors-independent-labor-ticket#sthash.6oC92b4j.dpuf

Check out the complete story below.

Two Dozen City Councilors elected on independent labor ticket in Ohio

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Obama could win the popular vote in Ohio, a pivotal state in this year’s presidential race, and still lose via electoral fraud. Check out the story below.

Hackable Machines Could Spell Doom for Obama in Ohio, Even if He Wins More Votes than Romney

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Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are posed to send Wall Street Mitt Romney into the ashheap of history. They’re ahead in the latest polls in Michigan, Mitt’s home state. And oh yes, the conservative folks of Ohio also think Mitt is on the wrong side of the auto bailout issue.

click here for the rest of the story

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Labor unions can only hope next year’s main event goes as well as Tuesday’s dress rehearsal in Ohio.

The landslide defeat via referendum of a state law spearheaded by Republican Gov. John Kasich that curbed collective-bargaining rights of public employees instills hope in unions and their Democratic allies that they have found a template to defeat the GOP in 2012. Labor leaders say they will apply the lessons learned in the Buckeye State, a key political battleground, to a bevy of swing states that could determine the balance of power in Washington.

“Our work is just beginning this morning,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, told reporters on Wednesday. “Already, we’re moving into the next phase, where working people are mobilizing in Ohio and nationwide.”

Labor’s takeaways from last night’s larger-than-expected 22-point victory: Voters were disappointed Kasich and his Republican allies committed ideological overreach instead of focusing on job creation. They also liked and trusted the men and women targeted by the reforms—public employees like teachers and police officers—more than the politicians who did the targeting.

In an exit poll of Ohio voters conducted by Democratic pollster Guy Molyneux, only 25 percent of the state’s electorate said the collective-bargaining law “was the change Ohio was voting for.”

“This was very much a sense of overreach and it was inconsistent of what voters had been asking for,” Molyneux said.

Democrats can make Republican overreach a theme of next year’s election, labor officials said, with Democrats pointing not just to Ohio’s example but to governors in battleground states like Wisconsin and Florida. They also can highlight the Republican agenda in the U.S. House.

“What happened in Ohio in last night matters everywhere,” Trumka said.

Molyneux’s firm surveyed 1,015 early and Election Day voters by telephone for the AFL-CIO. One finding in particular might have the most far-reaching consequence for next year: The poll reported that 61 percent of white non-college voters opposed the new law.

That demographic has confounded Democrats of late, and has always been a weak spot for President Obama. Last year, 63 percent of non-college whites supported Republican House candidates, according to exit polls. In Ohio, 54 percent of them backed Kasich as he narrowly unseated the incumbent, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

That means that in exactly one year, blue-collar whites had a 36-point swing against an initiative backed by a governor they helped to put in office. If Democrats and Obama can come close to replicating that shift next year, they would easily triumph in a state that is a key to every presidential election. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

Labor unions are vowing to harness Tuesday’s momentum. Earlier this year, Trumka announced plans to build a robust political organization to operate in an array of important states, and Ohio was the first test case of his new agenda. The organization built this year will stay in place through 2012 and beyond, a significant difference from years past.

“A year ago, just like three and five years ago, everyone was packing up and going home,” said one labor official.

Even as Democrats gloated about the victory, Republicans—publicly at least—claimed to be unperturbed. The Ohio race was a more important fight for liberals than conservatives, GOP strategists said, and the amount of resources that unions invested into the battle was far greater than what they can manage in a national election.

“There was no single touchstone to motivate Republicans to raise money, spend money, and win,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist. “I think you’re going to see in the general election picture the opportunity to defeat Barack Obama is important.”

Wilson added that white non-college voters might have swung against the collective-bargaining bill, but that doesn’t mean they’ll support Obama.

“That demographic hates Obama with a burning passion,” he said.

Republicans also point to the success the party had in Wisconsin, where Democrats tried to make an election issue of another contentious bill to limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights, but the GOP turned back a recall effort to reclaim the state Senate and won a symbolic state Supreme Court race. Next year’s presidential battle will hinge on Obama’s handling of the economy and other national initiatives he’s pushed, like the health care law, said Greg Mueller, a GOP strategist.

“I think election is going to be more about ‘Obamacare’ and size and role of government … than the issue of collective bargaining,” he said.

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In the wake of a significant electoral victory in Ohio Tuesday, unions and their supporters are energized and eager to flex their newly honed political muscles. But the path to greater electoral clout in 2012 could lie in a partnership with young voters and followers of the Occupy movement.

It may seem like an odd pairing: Grizzled and battle-scarred union members, many of whom have voted Republican in the past and are more socially conservative, and free-spirited Millennials more comfortable texting than organizing.

But the two groups have a lot in common, chiefly concerns about their own economic futures and income inequality in this country, which are also the central themes of the Occupy movement.

“The basic message that Occupy Wall Street has — that people are fed up with the top one percent getting everything — it resonates with union members and young people,” says AFL-CIO Political Director, Mike Podhorzer, in an interview from Ohio on election night.

Both groups have been victims of globalization, outsourcing, downsizing and the recession and are reeling from the nation’s tough economic conditions, as are millions of other Americans.

Young people between the ages of 18-24 have unemployment rates above 17 percent — among the highest levels of unemployment of any demographic group in the country.

And unions have seen their already thinned ranks shrink even more recently. In 2010, union membership was down to just under 12 percent of all workers in the U.S., its lowest level in 70 years. In the mid-1950’s, the unionization rate was 35 percent of all workers.

But what if labor unions and young people joined together on issues beyond repealing Senate Bill 5, the law to restrict union rights in Ohio? Such an alliance has the potential to create a powerful political force. Unions have the experience, organization, money and political know how. Young people have the numbers and the passion.

“The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs and that’s something that young people can’t find these days,” says Podhorzer.

Polls have shown a majority of Americans are sympathetic to the central message of the Occupy protests — that Wall Street brokers and big banks don’t do what is best for the rest of America. But they are also somewhat skeptical of the protestors, who seem a bit scruffy and unfocused.

Pew Research Center polls show most Americans agree with the statement that “this is a country in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” And a growing number of people have begun to see the U.S. as a nation divided into two groups: the “haves” and the “have nots.”

Our financial system and tax code serve those at the top but penalize the middle class and have increased the income gap between rich and middle-class wage earners to the largest disparity in 40 years. Last year, CEO pay at Fortune 500 companies was up an astronomical 24 percent and corporate profits were up 81 percent. But most Americans — the 99 percent — aren’t feeling the benefits of this economic success.

That lack of fairness is at the heart of the Occupy movement and may also have been the driving factor in the repeal of the anti-union law in Ohio, through no votes on Issue 2 Tuesday. It’s clear by the overwhelming 61-39 percent vote that many voters felt what was being done to the unions wasn’t fair.

There was also a sense that the Ohio law, which would have severely restricted collective bargaining rights for the state’s 360,000 public employees, went too far. Unions raised more than $30 million to repeal SB 5, passed by the Republican legislature earlier this year without a single Democratic vote.

State Senator Bill Seitz, who was one of six Senate Republicans to vote against SB 5, likened the fight to “The Battle of Little Big Horn” and the passion of the union opponents to the Native American tribes who annihilated General George Custer and his U.S. Cavalry troops in 1876 while attempting to defend their way of life.

Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Republicans said SB 5 was needed so local and state governments facing huge deficits could renegotiate public employee contracts and make the cuts necessary to balance their budgets. But the law went much further in an obvious attempt to weaken unions by making it harder for them to collect dues and organize.

Columbus police sergeant Jerry Cupp is a former Republican who voted for Kasich last fall. “Now we’re all kicking ourselves in the ass because of what these guys have done to us…” he says. “To try to put the debt of the state of Ohio on the backs of the police and firefighters and teachers…It’s not about the budget at all, and we know that. It’s about payback time.”

Because Republicans see both unions and young people as important Democratic constituencies, they have tried to weaken their influence since activists and union members took over statehouses around the country last fall. Another thing that unites the two groups: this pushback.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that more than 700 bills targeting unions were introduced in 2011. Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, New Jersey and other states controlled by Republicans have sought to curb the power of unions with legislation. But those efforts have drawn a backlash. In Wisconsin, recall efforts succeeded in removing two state senators who voted for the anti-union legislation and a recall effort has been launched against Gov. Scott Walker.

Heather Smith, the president of Rock the Vote, which helps register and organize young voters, says she believes the massive protests in Wisconsin earlier this year gave birth to the Occupy movement.

“Occupy supporters have talked about Wisconsin as an inspiration. This has been building for a while. This coalition of young people and labor is an organically developing movement,” she says.

In attempt to limit young voter and minority participation, more than 40 pieces of legislation are pending in state legislatures according to Smith.

Seven states have passed photo ID laws for voting and at least a dozen others have introduced bills to limit voter registration and reduce early voting opportunities.

However, Maine voters on Tuesday rejected an effort by the Republican legislature and governor to do away with same day voter registration which the state has had for decades. The most egregious example of trying to infringe on voting rights was in New Hampshire where Republicans attempted to prevent college students from voting in the state. The Supreme Court has already decided this issue and ruled that college students are entitled to the same presumption of residency as any other citizen. But the GOP bill would have required them to vote in their home states by absentee ballot, even if they lived in New Hampshire twelve months a year. The legislation would also have eliminated the state’s same-day voter registration. House Speaker William O’Brien said college students were guilty of, gasp, “voting liberal.” But the legislation was voted down by the New Hampshire legislature.

Thanks to a new Texas law, you can only vote in that state if you have a Texas issued driver’s license, a concealed gun permit or a passport — no student IDs even from state schools count.

The question now is whether unions will employ the same level of ferocity to campaign for Barack Obama and other Democrats in 2012 as they used against SB 5 and if young people and Occupy supporters will join them.

Generations X and Y turned out in force to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 but have become disillusioned with his inability to bring about the fundamental change he promised and have faded back into the woodwork, not voting in large numbers in 2010.

“There’s increased cynicism about politics — it’s dirty, it’s frustrating… They see their voices being trumped by corporate interests. Young people are not feeling like they’re being heard or valued in the political process,” says Smith.

Ken Weber is a senior at the University of Colorado in Boulder who supported Barack Obama in 2008. He does not think his friends are as engaged or interested as they were in 2008, something that is supported by Pew Center findings.

The share of Millennials who say that they personally care a good deal about who wins the 2012 presidential election is down more than 10 points from four years ago, according Pew.

Millennials, who are 18 to 30, have voted more Democratic than older voters in the last four national elections. But they are also more disillusioned than older voters. Shortly after the 2008 election, 81 percent of Millennials said Obama made them feel hopeful, while 80 percent felt proud. Today, only about half of Millennials say Obama makes them feel hopeful or proud, according to Pew.

Four years ago, when Weber was a freshman, he says, “We were talking every day about the election and Obama. There was a lot of excitement and passion… He came in with such high expectations — and he hasn’t lived up to all of those.”

Weber says he often hears from his friends that “they don’t vote because the political system is corrupt and they think it’s a waste of time.”

As a result of this feeling of disappointment, Smith has a big concern that youth turnout next year will not match 2008 levels. “I do believe it’s a harder environment but for that reason it feels even more important.”

Union members have a good record of voting, but in recent years it has often been for Republicans. In 2010, Democrats suffered huge losses among white blue-collar voters who voted Republican by an almost two to one margin.

Jon Harvey, a firefighter in Middletown in southwestern Ohio, estimates that 70 percent of the firefighters he knows voted Republican in 2010 but he thinks there’s been a sea change thanks to Republican anti-union efforts. “What I’m hearing now is I’ll never do it again,” he says.

Scott Clinger, a Columbus policed officer, told me the day after the Ohio election, “I bet Obama is just laughing at John Kasich saying ‘You did the best thing you could ever do for me.'”

Clinger predicts the coalition that defeated SB 5 will hold. “It’s going to be a force in the future…It’s not going to just die off. I never saw all of these groups band together like they did here.”

The AFL-CIO’s Podhorzer called the Ohio vote “the first test for whether or not there can be a coalition of young people, workers and people of color for 2012.”

This marriage could provide the answer to the question — what is the future of Occupy Wall Street?

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