WE need Green Party Activists to attend this public meeting. The Green Party needs to be backed up by a Green Movement. Davis Besse is considered by many to be the most dangerous nuclear power plant operating in the United States Today and it threatens our entire Great Lakes Basin. The Green Party around the world has been at the forefront of confronting the dangers of Nuclear Power. We need to pack this hearing. Come One Come ALL!!! And make your voices heard.
Public Meeting with the NRC on the Cracks at Davis Besse
Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 6:00pm at camp perry
To see the facebook page copy and paste the link below or click on the link under "Our Friends"
GREENS SUBMIT SIGNATURES FOR U.S. SENATE
Greens from all over the State pulled together to gather 622 signatures to put a candidate for U.S. Senate on the ballot in the March 6th primary. The Secretary of State's office has estimated that it will be mid-January before the signatures are processed. If more than 500 signatures pass muster, then Joseph R. DeMare, a machinist from Bowling Green, will be the Green Party's candidate for Senate in 2012.
"I want to thank everyone who helped gather signatures," said Mr. DeMare. "We ended up with signatures from more than thirty counties. Getting on the ballot for the March primary means that we can finally register new Green Party members and grow the Party state-wide. Also, people who registered as Greens by voting in the last state-wide primary in 2010 will be able to keep their status by voting Green again in 2012."
Locations to sign the Presidential and Senatorial Petitions:
Mahoning County Green Party Headquarters 26 N. Phelps St. Youngstown, 44503. Call 330-747-6932 to make arrangements to pick up/sign a petition. The office will be open 9-4 Saturday; call for an appointment to come in on Sunday.
In Franklin County the office of Bob Fitrakis at 1021 E. Broad St., Columbus, 43205 will be open 5:30-6:30 for a “Signing Party”, or call Bob at 614-374-2380 to make arrangements.
In Lucas County the headquarters of the Rios for Toledo campaign at 137 N. Michigan St. will be open from noon-2 and from 8-9 p.m. on Wednesday. Call Anita Rios at 419-902-6618.
In the northeast corner of Ohio, Call Elaine Mastromatteo at 440-639-8439 to make arrangements to meet up.
Dennis Lambert will be at the AMVETS post in Ironton (315 S. 4th Street) with petitions Thursday from 10AM-2PM.
From David Berenson in Cleveland:
I'd like to suggest another time and place for people to meet up to sign petitions and gather as Greens: This Saturday, Dec. 3rd.: The annual Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice (WSOPJ) Peace Bazaar, taking place at Pilgrim Church (on W. 14th Street in Tremont). The Bazaar is a great event, with lots of cool, peace and justice activists and groups, as well as artists, craftspeople and great food as fundraiser for WSOPJ. I'd like to suggest that anyone who would like to get together with other Greens informally and/or to sign petitions should try to get there early afternoon and just look around and ask around for other Green Party folks. I'm going to try to be there with my newest Green, (my 9-month old baby girl, Zarah Rose Berenson)
We need registered Greens, Unaffiliated (Independent) voters who have not voted in a partisan primary in the last two years, and newly registered voters. We can get you registered if you haven’t already. Please don’t delay; there is a very limited window of opportunity.
Election Protection Report 2011
Nov. 14, 2011
The CICJ, in conjunction with the Green Party, observed the 11/8/11 general election. We assigned 40 observers into various polling places throughout the state, and were strongly represented in Cuyahoga (2) , Franklin (24) , Hamilton (3) , Montgomery (2) and Lucas (8) counties (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo). In addition to the major metropolitan areas, we had observers in 14 outlying counties.
Franklin County (Columbus) was the site of a major meltdown, which would have serious repercussions in a close election. Throughout the county, poll workers were unable to run the end of day print-out reports from the voting machines. This report is to be posted at the precinct, so that the voter can record the results and compare those to the reported results. At end of day, pollworkers use a master PEB (personal electronic ballot) to place the compiled precinct results on each machine. At this point, a separate printer in plugged in, and two copies of the precinct results are printed. One copy is posted, the other is included in the sealed package with the master PEB.
Without this data recorded at the end of day, the vote could be corrupted simply by replacing the actual master PEB with another PEB containing preloaded totals.
Clearly, the programming of the master PEB was not tested prior to the election. Of 800 precincts, not one master PEB was properly tested.
Free Press article: http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2011/1910
Observers across the state asked precinct judges about problem machines. In a few locations, pollworkers were unable to boot up machines at opening of polls. It was reported that technicians employed by the Board of Elections, rather than outside vendors, were called in to resolve the problem.
Observers also checked on provisional voters. The number of provisional voters throughout the day was not unexpectedly high, and the reasons were generally acceptable.
A Week of Actions & Education Events
Jobs and Human Rights Action Week
December 2-10, 2011
Submitted by Logan Martinez on Nov. 10, 2011
December 2nd is a First Friday and the Labor Department’s employment report is due to be announced. Saturday, December 10th is International Human Rights Day and during this period the deficit committee report will be debated. Congress will be making crucial decisions on Social Security, Medicare, and other essential programs. The deficit deal will result in a massive loss of jobs.
With more people unemployed than during the Great Depression, 28 million unemployed and under-employed workers and their families will be facing another very bleak new year. Under the deficit deal there is an across the board 900 billion dollar cut to all government programs and agencies over the next ten years and the deficit reduction Committee will be making recommendations demanding cuts of an additional 1.3 trillion by Nov. 24. The Congress must vote on those cuts by December 23rd. There will be at least a 15% cut to most areas, maybe more and complete elimination of some key programs or there will be a 15% cut across the board including the defense budget. Most programs and agencies from community block grants to Head Start do not know their current budgets for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. These cuts will be the largest cuts in modern times and represent a huge assault on the New Deal legacy.
I propose a week of actions & education events: Jobs and Human Rights Action Week December 2-10, 2011. We would build the broadest coalition possible and reach out to groups involved with the Wall Street Occupations. Many groups and organizations are planning actions during this period.
The Emergency Labor Network is calling for actions between December 3rd and 10th to stop DEEP CUTS IN SAFETY NET PROGRAMS.
Saturday December 10th is International Human Rights Day.
Groups all across the country will be sponsoring actions.
I believe that the demand for jobs will be key but there will need to be links to other issues and an all-out struggle to stop the deficit reduction deal. I would like to suggest a theme of Save the New Deal: March for Jobs and Peace.
We need to demand a comprehensive jobs program that would create millions of jobs. These bills could be part of a possible package: Rep. John Conyers Jobs Bill (3 to 4 million jobs,) The Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (2.1 million jobs,) Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Jobs Bill (7 million jobs.)
Last year we had eleven cities plan actions for our Jobs and Human Rights Action Week: Little Rock, AR; Portland, Maine; Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, OH; Atlanta, GA; Columbia, SC; Gary, IN; Chicago, IL (with JWJ); and New York City. I think we can do better this year.
For Jobs & Peace, Logan Martinez
Outreach Coordinator / The National Jobs for All Coalition / www.njfac.org / http://www.jobscampaign.org / / Miami Valley Full Employment Council (Dayton OH) / http://www.mvfec.org / 937-723-9289 / cell # 937-260-2591 / firstname.lastname@example.org /
VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2
Editorial submitted by Elaine Mastromatteo Nov.5, 2011
On Nov. 8 Ohioans will vote on whether they want to allow Public Employees the right to collective bargaining. John Kasich and his regressive Republican-led legislature passed a bill known as SB5 which took away public employees right to collective bargaining, among other things. But the voters of Ohio quickly rose up and resoundingly demanded a referendum on the legislation. It is now known as Issue 2, and a NO vote would repeal the law.
At the heart of the issue is the right of the people to band together to use their combined numbers to negotiate a better deal. Big corporations like Wal-mart use their massive buying power to force their suppliers to keep prices ridiculously low. But working Americans have faced a continuous assault on their right to be recognized and respected as a group. Obama’s miserable health care plan specifically prevents Americans from bargaining for better prices on medications, allowing Pharmaceutical companies to charge whatever prices they want.
Occupy movements all over the country now use the sheer weight of their numbers to be noticed and heard. They’re using a form of collective bargaining to tell the world that they’re tired of the will of the powerful few being imposed against the best interests of the people.
This is what the government wants to do in the case of SB5: impose regulations that restrict people’s right to band together to protect their own best interests.
Don’t be fooled, this is not about fiscal responsibility. Public employees already pay a great share of their incomes for health insurance, and their wages are NOT more than the equivalent job in the private sector. If the Kasich administration and the Republican- led legislature in Columbus were worried about fiscal responsibility, they would have found a way to avoid the imminent double primary which will probably cost the state of Ohio in excess of $15 million.
This is about chipping away at nothing less than the Constitutional rights of the American people. If they can destroy the security of respected, essential professions like teachers and firefighters, it will be much easier when it comes down to destroying the rights of simple citizens like you and me.
Oct. 28, 2011The Green Party of Ohio
Calls for Candidates for the 2012 Elections.
The Green Party is looking for progressives to run for elected offices in 2012. Offices up for election next year include seats in the US Congress, one of Ohio’s US Senate seats, part of the Ohio State Senate and all of Ohio’s House of Representatives and other local offices.
To be competitive, candidates need to begin their campaigns early. If you or someone you know is thinking of running, please contact your local Green Party or the Candidates Committee of the Green Party of Ohio.
All across the country hundreds of Green Party candidates will be challenging the two corporate parties. This will be a great time for someone to learn the art of running for office, and a sharp, energetic person could win. We are looking for people who are under-represented in elective offices; women, African Americans, Hispanic, Asian-Americans, gays and lesbians, people with disabilities and other minorities. We are also looking for people to work with the candidates as campaign coordinators, managers and campaign volunteers.
The Green Party is a grassroots activist party working for social change. http://www.ohiogreens.org/
* The filing date of December 7, 2011 is fast approaching for US Senate, the Ohio Senate, and House of Representatives races. Candidates who want to run as a Green Party candidate will need to be ready to collect the required signatures by Dec 7th. Either Greens who voted in last year’s primary, Independents, or new voters can sign petitions. Petitions should be available right after the Nov 8th election.
The Green Party of Ohio Candidates Committee
Logan Martinez email@example.com / 937-723-9289
David Berenson / cell 216-548-0254
Joshua Krekeler firstname.lastname@example.org / 513-351-1289
Nicholas Teti email@example.com / 740-502-4772
Rios Race Pushes Green Party Politics
by Bob Fitrakis
Oct. 16, 2011
In a historical upset, Toledo Green Party City Council candidate Anita Rios bested her Republican-endorsed challenger to advance from the primary to the general election in November. Rios came in second in District 4 with 15.49% of the votes and will go on to the general election in November against Democrat Paula Hicks-Hudson.
Of the 1,065 cast in District 4, Green Party candidate Anita Rios, finished second in the council primary with 165 votes. Sean Nestor, also a Green Party candidate for Toledo City Council, finished with 147 votes, bumping him out of the race with 8.48% of the District 6 votes.
Rios serves as Co-Chair of the Ohio Green Party and was the Ohio Lieutenant Governor candidate in 2006 and 2010. Anita was active in the Ohio recount after the November 2004 election, and served as the lead plaintiff in the Rios versus Blackwell lawsuit. Rios serves on the Central Committees for the Lucas County, is president of the Toledo chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and president of the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund. She is currently employed at the Center for Choice.
If elected, Rios pledges: “As a City Council member, I will lobby to bring home our troops and our tax dollars, I will strive for universal health care, and I will express the need for every child to have a quality education.” Rios’ race is a unique opportunity for the Green Party to get our message and policies to a mainstream audience.
Rios stated: “I am running for Toledo City Council as a Green Party candidate because I feel that the time has come for voters to be provided with a progressive third party alternative, and because, with a commitment to rock the boat in a positive and innovative way, I will create paid internships for students to learn about politics and become engaged in city government, seek out programs that recognize sweat equity as a way of providing housing and stabilizing our neighborhoods, propose legislation to recognize gay marriage, seek the legalization of marijuana, and seek to foster the creation of a community based and sustainable economic system.”
To get involved in the Rios campaign:
Facebook: Rios for Toledo
Rios for Toledo Campaign Headquarters
137 N. Michigan, Toledo, OH 43604
Wednesday 12-3, 5-7
Friday Sept. 30, 2011
Columbus, OH - Today representatives from Fair Elections Ohio, a coalition of state legislators, voting rights advocates, labor unions, progressive organizations, and concerned citizens across Ohio, announced reaching the 231,000 signatures required for a "citizens' veto" of HB 194. The legislation, which was passed by the Ohio legislature this summer, suppresses the vote in Ohio by drastically shortening the time period for voting early and absentee, and bans in person voting on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday.
Immediately following the press conference volunteers from the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama For America delivered 318,460 signatures to the Secretary of State's office for validation. The coalition exceeded the amount of signatures needed by the September 29 deadline, and will utilize the strength of its grassroots network by continuing to gather additional signatures throughout the validation process.
Since the passage of HB 194 the Fair Elections Ohio coalition has organized a statewide grassroots and volunteer effort that has produced hundreds of thousands of signatures to protect the vote of Ohioans by placing the issue on the fall 2012 ballot for repeal. The legislation will inevitably create longer lines at the polls and make it more difficult for the 1.7 million people in Ohio who voted early in 2008 to do it again in 2012.
Former Secretary of State and Co-Chair of Fair Elections Ohio, Jennifer Brunner said, "Today's submission represents the voice of Ohio citizens standing up and re-asserting their voting rights despite efforts by the Legislature to take us back."
Rev. Bishop Clarke, Co-Chair of Fair Elections Ohio, urged churches to continue their efforts in Phase II of the petition drive. "The faith based community has been mobilized across the state of Ohio to sign the repeal of HB 194. We will continue to urge our congregations to sign up their family and friends in the coming weeks."
Congresswoman Fudge of Ohio's 11th District said, "Voting is the most fundamental right of every American citizen. Instead of making it easier, HB 194 sets up roadblocks that make it harder to vote, and will disproportionately affect our most vulnerable citizens. If this is allowed to stand, many seniors, students, and the sick will be shut out of the process. They'll be checking the mail waiting for a ballot that will never come. I'm grateful to the many citizens throughout Ohio who signed petitions seeking to overturn this harmful suppression of voting rights."
Representative Tracy Heard said on behalf of the OLBC, ""I am proud to stand here representing my district and the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. Under the leadership of our Cuacus President, Representative Sandra Williams, members of the OLBC have worked hard to mobilize our constituencies across the State for this important effort. Only by stopping this voter suppression bill can we ensure the open and fair elections that all Ohioans deserve."
Fair Elections Ohio Campaign Director Greg Moore said that they will continue to build the Coalition across the state with a greater emphasis on securing signatures from voters who will be turning out to vote No on Issues # 2 and # 3 during the early vote period.
Sept. 17, 2011
DO YOU WANT TO HELP THE GREEN PARTY? The most important thing you can do for the Green Party in Ohio RIGHT NOW is to find a petition against HB194 and sign it. Even better would be to circulate one to get your friends and neighbors to sign.
This restrictive voting bill will take away party status for the four recognized Minor Parties. If we get enough signatures against this bill it will be voted on by the public in Nov. 2012. If the signature count falls short, this nasty bill will immediately become law on Sept. 30.
September 14, 2011
LUCAS COUNTY GREEN PARTY
Friends and family of Anita Rios and Sean Nestor excitedly waited for the results of the primaries last night at the Attic on Adams. This was one the few times that more than one Green Party candidate was on the ballot in Toledo. Nestor finished with 147 votes, bumping him out of the race with 8.48% of the District 6 votes. Rios came in second in District 4 with 15.49% of the votes and will go on to the general election in November.
"Fundamentally, I am running for the Toledo City council because I love this city which has always been my home." says Rios.
Rios continues, "Like the rest of the rust belt, we are experiencing very hard times. But we must not let that be an excuse for eroding the foundations of our community, with living wage public sector jobs being a vital part of our infrastructure. We must not allow a plea of poverty to be the excuse for privatizing those functions that we all depend on or for diminishing workers rights, nor must it be an excuse for eroding our educational system or under staffing our police and fire departments."
It is extremely challenging running as a minor party, whether here in Toledo or anywhere else in the U.S. The two main parties have been in control for so long, and so many people vote based solely on party and not on the actual candidate. Yet many other people are disenfranchised and don't vote because of this system. House bill 194, that is being challenged would put in place restrictive ballot access rules that make it harder for third parties to gain recognition by the state.
The Green Party is a values-based party and fights to protect the rights of all people, not just the wealthy, and especially the underrepresented. The Green Party believes in a Grassroots Democracy where all people have a voice in politics. Rios and Nestor decided to run for city council to broaden the spectrum of political parties and to clear a path to show that any person can run for office without a large budget or backing from a major political party.
Rios wears her politics on her sleeve and plays by the rules, a rare find. Rios looks forward to running an honest campaign about issues and ideas and to serving the people of Toledo.
Anita Rios is an unwavering union activist, feminist, and community organizer. She was formerly elected lead delegate for SEIU/1199 at the Zepf Community Mental Health Center, and was a representative to the regional labor council of the AFL-CIO. Rios serves on the Central Committees for both the Lucas County and Ohio Green Parties and is president of the Toledo chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and president of the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund. She is currently employed at the Center for Choice.
When elected to Toledo City Council to represent District 4, Rios will commit $2,000 annually of her council salary toward youth internships in local politics.
Republicans ban minor parties in Ohio: Battle on to repeal law
August 10, 2011
by Bob Fitrakis
Ohio Secretary of State John Husted has banned all minor political parties in Ohio from the ballot. In an August 5, 2011 letter written to the Libertarian Party of Ohio, Husted made it clear that his interpretation of the draconian Ohio House Bill 194, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature, means that all minor parties have lost their official statewide party status effective September 30, 2011.
In a bizarre twist, Husted wrote that the bill “…included laws related to the requirements minor parties will have to satisfy in order to gain ballot access.”
In Husted’s reading of HB 194, the Libertarian, Green, Socialist and Constitution Parties that have been on the ballot since the 2008 election will have to start over to gain ballot access that they already held under a federal court ruling. In a similar situation, then-Secretary of State Ted Brown left minor parties on the ballot in 1970 and 1972 rather than revoking their ballot access due to a new election law.
In 2006, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found the qualifications for minor parties too restrictive and the Ohio election law was declared unconstitutional. One provision in the bill struck down by the 6th Circuit held that minor parties had to file in November of the year before the election. HB 194 moved this petition filing deadline to early February of the election year for minor parties.
But the U.S. Supreme Court in Williams vs. Rhodes, a 1968 Ohio case, ruled that a February deadline is “unreasonably early.”
The law gives the minor parties three and a half months to collect 40,000 valid signatures to place their Party back on the ballot.
The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed a lawsuit on August 9 for “First Amendment rights and voting freedom,” seeking to overturn the short turnaround for the ballot access signatures portion of HB 194.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner spoke on Talktainment radio August 10 and was critical of Husted’s letter, arguing that it was a waste of taxpayers’ money to force the minor parties to sue to gain ballot access. “It’s an unfortunate waste of taxpayer dollars. The minor parties should prevail. But the Secretary of State’s office will have to pay the bills out of their budget,” she said.
Brunner and her CouragePAC are part of a broad coalition of forces that include Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH and ProgressOhio. They will be gathering signatures to repeal HB 194 because it restricts the right to vote for many Ohio voters, including the elderly, students, urban and poor people. The law forbids pollworkers from directing voters to the correct precinct among other anti-democratic measures.
On August 6 at the Mt. Hermon Baptist Church in Columbus, the anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery civil rights march, Rev. Jackson told Ohio activists seeking to repeal HB 194 that “Fundamental to protecting all the rights is voting rights.”
Jackson accused the Ohio Republican Party of embracing a “state’s rights ideology” left over from the Civil War. He stressed that it was no accident that the Republican Party is now engaging in the largest disenfranchising of voters since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and it is happening in 34 states across the country.
If Brunner and Jackson’s coalition is successful in gathering the signatures to place the repeal of HB 194 on Ohio’s ballot in 2012, the law will not go into effect on September 30. Rather, it will decided by voters in the 2012 November election.
Where this leaves Ohio’s minor parties may ultimately decided by the courts. Part of HB 194 retrospectively “declared void the 2009 and 2011 Secretary of State directives providing ballot access to certain minor parties,” Husted wrote to the Libertarian Party of Ohio. Those directives came as part of a consent agreement between the Secretary of State’s office and minor parties, enforced by Ohio’s federal court in the Southern District.
Husted’s letter makes it clear that he intends to enforce the partisan Republican law even if it is placed on hold by a repeal process.
It was the Libertarian and Green Parties in 2004 that demanded the recount of Ohio’s suspect presidential vote, and it was the Green Party that conducted statewide election protection operations in 2008.
If the Republicans have their way, they will not only remove the minor parties from the ballot, but also the vehicle by which election protection activists observed and reported on Ohio’s presidential elections.
Bob Fitrakis is Co-Chair of the Ohio Green Party and was the attorney who filed to secure the Green Party of Ohio’s ballot access in 2008. He was also an independent candidate for governor in Ohio endorsed by the Greens in 2006
The Green Party of Ohio
Calls for Candidates for the 2011 & 2012 Elections.
The Green Party is looking for progressives to run for elected
office in 2011 and in 2012. 2011, an off-year election, all kinds of local offices are up, from city councils to school boards to township trustees. In 2012 , seats in the US Congress, the Ohio State Senate and House of Representatives and other local offices are up for election.
To be competitive for these seats, candidates need to begin their campaigns early.If you or someone you know is thinking of running, please contact your local Green Party or the Candidates Committee of the Green Party of Ohio.
All across the country hundreds of Green Party candidates will be challenging the two corporate parties. This will be a great time for someone to learn the art of running for office, and a smart, energetic person could win. We are looking for people who are under-represented in elective office, women, African Americans, Hispanic, Asian Americans, gays and lesbians, people with disabilities and other minorities.
We are also looking for people to work with the candidates as campaign coordinators, managers and campaign volunteers.
The Green Party is a grassroots activist party working for social change.
* The filing date is fast approaching for many city council races.
Filing dates vary for municipal offices, check with your local board of elections.
The Green Party of Ohio Candidates Committee:
Logan Martinez firstname.lastname@example.org / 937-723-9289
David Berenson / cell 216-548-0254
Joshua Krekeler email@example.com / 513-351-1289
Nicholas Teti firstname.lastname@example.org / 740-502-4772
Green Party of Ohio Supports the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget
By Elaine Mastromatteo July 26, 2011
Are you fed up with:
Paying more taxes than GE?
Having your pension/Social Security/retirement in jeopardy?
No health care?
Money for bankers but no money for schools, libraries or safety forces?
Not being able to find a job?
Not being able to afford College?
The Washington political establishment is like a train engine disconnected from the long string of cars it was meant to tow. As they speed full steam ahead to appease the wishes of their corporate masters, the political class leaves the rest of America behind to slow, stop, and eventually begin rolling backwards.
Long ago left behind is the “logic” car. If that were still attached to the engine it would be obvious that the revenue this country needs to fund its everyday operations lies in the hands of the ultra-wealthy few and the giant mega-corporations. Watching our political class contort itself in order to remain willfully blind to this fat stack of cash is truly painful for the rest of us.
Taking care of basics first, individually and as a society, gives us the energy to devote to improvement. How can we as Americans stay economically viable and competitive with the rest of the world’s economies if we skimp on basics like schooling and retirement security and medical care?
Unlike the punishing budgets now getting press and publicity, there is a simple, compassionate, LOGICAL budget before Congress right now, sponsored by 70 members of congress and one senator. It is called the “People’s Budget” and it is sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Find the easy-to-read, 12 page budget here:
This budget cuts expenditures where they are the least fruitful: it ends emergency defense funding starting in 2012, it brings more troops home and cancels outdated overpriced weapons systems.
This budget has a plan for raising revenue from those who have the most to spare. It taxes Wall St. gaming and foreign earnings of US corporations, eliminates corporate welfare in the form of energy company subsidies, ends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in 2012 and raises tax rates on upper incomes, capital gains and dividends.
It also has a plan for investing in education, transportation and infrastructure while promoting clean energy. It doesn’t punish the already overburdened ordinary American with threats of economic disaster if cuts are not made. The revenue is there to bring our country out of the financial mess created by the financial elite themselves.
Success of a species is not determined by a few lucky individuals. In order to continue to thrive we can’t allow all the benefits of our productivity to be in the hands of a select few who overrule the needs of the many.
Take a look at this budget and urge your representative to support this sensible and logical plan, the People’s Budget.
Voting rights activists fight back against new Republican Jim Crow attack in Ohio
July 19, 2011
Another progressive coalition is seeking to repeal a new reactionary Republican election law in Ohio that targets black, elderly and poor voters.
The unions are once again the backbone of a campaign joined by various voting rights advocates to repeal Ohio House Bill 194, signed into law on July 5, 2011. The repeal coalition calls itself “Fair Election Ohio” and submitted the required 1000 signatures necessary for starting the repeal process on July 18.
Under Ohio law, approximately 232,000 valid voter signatures are needed to put a repeal issue on the ballot. A similar coalition gathered more than 800,000 valid signatures to repeal Ohio’s anti-union Senate Bill 5. The Fair Election Ohio coalition is awaiting certification of its petition language by the current secretary of state. If certified, it has until September 30, 2011 to gather the additional 231,000 signatures to put the repeal on the ballot in 2012. Valid signatures by September 30 will put the law on hold until after the 2012 presidential election, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is spearheading the drive. She argues that HB 194 “makes it harder to vote” and even when you vote, she insists it makes it “harder to have your vote counted.”
The petition targets the most egregious provisions of the law, among them:
• A provision of the bill requires that cities must have precincts with a minimum of 500 registered voters. This provision does not apply to rural areas.
• Pollworkers are prohibited from telling voters if they are in the wrong precinct.
• The bill includes a new definition of the term “corporations” in regards to political contributions. Brunner argues that the bill will weaken regulations requiring corporations to report donations in Ohio.
• The bill has several “gotcha” provisions that will allow Republicans to toss out provisional ballots that have minor problems. Provisional ballots are overwhelmingly cast in Ohio’s urban centers by poor and minority voters.
• The bill also contains measures aimed at eliminating Ohio’s minor parties.
In 2006, the Libertarian Party of Ohio won a lawsuit against then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell about the difficulties of minor parties getting on the ballot in Ohio. The new law sets the deadline to file candidate petitions for minor parties in early February. The U.S. Supreme Court had previously declared that early deadline for third parties in Ohio as “unreasonably early.”
Minor parties are awaiting the ruling by current Ohio Secretary of State John Husted on whether the existing third parties – Constitution, Green, Libertarian and Socialist – will be placed on the 2012 ballot or removed. In a similar situation in both 1970 and 1972, then Ohio Secretary of State Ted Brown grandfathered the existing minor parties onto the ballot.
State rep Ann Gonzales wrote that she “wholeheartedly supports this bill.” She alleges “The reforms will streamline the election experience, address incidences of fraud, and increases the use of technology in elections” Ironically, there was only one incident of voter fraud officially reported in recent Ohio elections, however there are have been numerous allegations of election fraud through the use of private proprietary election hardware and software.
A recent King Lincoln vs. Blackwell filing concerning the 2004 Ohio presidential election outlines shocking factual allegations about Ohio’s outsourcing of its vote count in 2004 to a private company, SmartTech, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
As Brunner points out, the new law would allow election officials to use voters’ Social Security number to purge voters from the voting rolls. Under the bill, state election officials, or the private vendors they contract with, are authorized to take driver’s license or state ID information and the last four digits of Social Security numbers and compare it to other private information databases and other private or government databases. If there are discrepancies in the data, voters may be purged from the voting rolls, even if it’s clear that more current information is correct.
One positive aspect of the bill is that it does allow voters to change their registration online.
In a victory for voting rights activists, the bill failed to include the draconian restrictions favored by the vast majority of the Republican Party. The intervention of Republican Secretary of State Husted aided in killing the most restrictive photo ID proposal in the nation.
In the aftermath of SB5, a key provision in the law limits the time allowed to gather signatures for statewide petition drives, like the one against HB 194.
For more information and to get involved in the fight against HB 194, contact ProgressOhio, 172 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215, 614-441-0144, email@example.com.
Green Party of Ohio Decries State Legislature's "Attack on Democracy." Will file lawsuit.
Dateline: Columbus, Ohio
July 4, 2011
This past week, according to the Green Party of Ohio, the State Senate passed a revision of Ohio's election law that is nothing less than an attack on Democracy itself.
"It's highly ironic that on the Fourth of July, when we are supposed to be celebrating our political freedoms, the Legislature has passed a law that effectively eliminates our ability to peacefully assemble as a political party," said Dennis Spisak. Spisak was the Green's gubernatorial candidate in 2010. He established the Party's current legal standing by receiving more than 50,000 votes.
HB 194 requires Parties to receive at least 5% of the vote for either Governor or President in order to maintain their status as a political party. This means that the Greens would have to receive approximately 200,000 votes. However, since they may have lost their status before the election in 2012, they would have to do so without the ability to raise money, name candidates, hold primaries, or establish membership.
"We will definitely file a new lawsuit because the new petition deadline is in early February, and all reported decisions on the subject of petition deadlines for minor parties agree that a petition deadline that early is unconstitutional," said Green Party attorney Bob Fitrakis. It was Fitrakis's lawsuit which originally established that a Party should only have to show a "modicum of support" to maintain ballot status. Jennifer Brunner, the previous Secretary of State, interpreted that to mean 1% of the vote for Governor or President. "This Bill takes us right back to the 5% requirement that was already found to be unconstitutional," pointed out Fitrakis. He plans to work with other minor parties to reverse these measures.
"Whether the State chooses to outlaw us or not, we will continue to fight for what's right." added Anita Rios, Co-Chair of the Green Party of Ohio. "Our fights to end nuclear power, protect workers' rights, and help minorities and women are too important to let the Republicans and Democrats stop us, just because they are afraid of a little competition. That's why Sean Nestor and I have chosen to run for Toledo City Council in 2011, while we still have Party status.
Having passed both the House and Senate, the two versions will now be reconciled. Then, if Governor Kasich signs it, it will become law. The bill also eliminates the Libertarian, Socialist, and Constitution parties.
Ohio Secretary of State Won't Decide Fate of Minor Parties Until After Omnibus Election Law Bill Clears Legislature
June 27th, 2011
Starting in 2008, the Constitution, Green, Libertarian and Socialist Parties have been ballot-qualified in Ohio, not because they submitted a petition, or met the vote test, but because the old ballot access law was declared unconstitutional in 2006 and the state hadn't replaced it.
The legislature is now considering HB 194, which ostensibly cures the constitutional defects. The bill has passed both houses, but in different forms, so it must go back to the House for consideration of changes made by the Senate.
The Secretary of State's office had previously said the four minor parties would be on the ballot automatically during 2011 (there are some local partisan elections in Ohio in 2011). But the office has not said how those parties will be treated for the 2012 election, if HB 194 is signed into law.
In any event, assuming the minor party provisions of HB 194 are not changed by either house of the legislature, the minor parties are expected to file a new lawsuit, because the new petition deadline is in early February, and all reported decisions on the subject of petition deadlines for minor parties agree that a petition deadline that early is unconstitutional. The bill moves the petition deadline from November of the year before the election to February of the election year. The bill does not reduce the number of signatures (1% of the last vote cast) nor does it improve the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot (5% for the office at the top of the ballot, President or Governor).
URGENT:VOTE LIKELY ON ABORTION BAN THIS WEEK!
Join us at the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday, June 28th at 9:30 am to show your opposition to HB 125, a bill that would ban all abortions in Ohio as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. Even worse, this bill has no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, or to protect the health of the woman. Be there Tuesday to tell our legislators to TRUST WOMEN to make their own medical decisions.
We are also asking pro-choicers who can to stay at the statehouse after the rally to support women and be there for the vote in the House Gallery. The exact timing/ even date of the vote is uncertain and it could be a long day or we may need people Wednesday, but we're asking people to arrive by 9:30 AM for at least the rally on the north steps.
Press Conference and Rally against HB 125, the “Heartbeat bill”
Ohio Statehouse - North Steps - Tuesday 6/28 - 9:30 AM
Parking: There is a parking available in a garage located at the Statehouse if you arrive early enough to get a space. If this garage is full, there is another one located about a block south of the Hyatt hotel on Third Street with an interior hallway that leads to Capitol Square. There is also metered parking on the side streets. Also, every COTA bus in town ends up and Broad and High at some point - just jump on board and you don't have to worry about parking.
**PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! Post to listservs, Tweet, share the facebook event and encourage every pro-choicer you know to do the same!
May 31, 2011
Listen live and call-in to
“Fight Back with Dr. Bob Fitrakis”
Wednesday night , June 1st, 7-8:00 p.m. EDT
Bob’s guest is environmentalist Teresa Mills
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Bob’s program “Fight Back!” will be on LIVE
Call-in and join the discussion 877-932-9766
Learn the facts about Fracking, the consequences for our communities, and find out how you can get involved in the fight.
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" is a process used by oil and gas companies to extract oil or natural gas by drilling into the earth and breaking up rock formations by injecting millions of gallons of water and tens of thousands of gallons of hazardous and proprietary chemicals into the ground. Gov. Kasich has said that hydraulic fracking would be a "godsend" for Ohio. He could be farther from the truth. In reality,
fracking will benefit out of state workers and multinational corporations, create a boom and bust local economies, jeopardize the health of Ohioans, and disturb natural environments.
From up state New York to Arkansas, Fracking has polluted ground water, ruined crops, lowered property values, increased traffic, devastated small communities, and even caused earthquakes. Yet, this technique is
exempted from the Superfund Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA) and many other environmental regulations. Other states are enacting moratoriums to study the detrimental effects of Fracking and ensure that State regulations are up to the task, but Ohio government is moving full speed ahead without taking the time to get the data.
May 24, 2011
Breaking News on Ballot Access
This Just In from the Columbus Free Press :
SB 148 in the Ohio Senate will effectively kill the Green Party's
ballot access in the state.
They will be voting on this Tuesday, May 24th.
Under the new bill, the Green Party will be required to collect
signatures equaling one-half of one percent of the last vote cast to
qualify for the ballot.
In 2010, that would mean we would have had to gather 28,542 valid
signatures to get on the ballot as a Party.
In 2012, if we are disqualified by this law, we will be required to
gather 19,263 valid signatures to get back on the ballot. This would
have to be done 100 days before the primary.
Another provision of the bill would allow a Party that only wants to
run a presidential candidate to submit signatures equaling one-half of
one percent of the last vote count 80 days prior to the general
election. That would be sometime in August.
The Libertarian Party has put out a call to action and calls this the
greatest threat to the third parties in Ohio history.
We need to email and call Ohio senators immediately!
PACK THE HOUSE THIS WEDNESDAY!
Wednesday, May 25, 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Ohio House Chamber, Room 210, Second Floor.
View Map Here:
The Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will recommend Sub HB 133, the Drilling in State Parks bill, to the Ohio House of Representatives for a full House vote on Wednesday. Our Legislative champions in the House have asked that we pack the House gallery, and outside the chamber, to witness the vote.
CALL YOUR HOUSE MEMBER AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE SUB. HB 133
Find your Ohio legislators using your zip code here:
Sub. HB 133 makes an already bad bill (HB 133) considerably worse:
1. The Leasing Commission will now be even more industry friendly by replacing the Chief of Division of Mineral Resources Management with a member of the public with expertise in finance and real estate (i.e., LANDMAN––gasexploration and production professional). There will be 4 members on the Commission, two of whom are designated to be from the oil and gas industry and only one of which is an environmental representative. Only 3 votes are required to lease a parcel, so environmental representation is still meaningless). All commission members will be appointed by the governor.
2. Sub. Bill requires state agencies to try to remove any federal grant and private deed restrictions from state parks – these restrictions would protect the parks even if the original HB 133 had passed.
3. There is still no allowance for public participation or objection.
4. Sub. HB 133 still declares that oil and gas drilling in parks is the policy of the state – therefore, a government agency that does oppose a lease will be acting contrary to state policy.
5. Allows the industry (Oil and Gas Leasing Commission) to be the arbiter of whether oil/gas development is compatible with a state park and what the environmental impact may be.
6. Opens the door for drilling in Lake Erie, which was prohibited under the original bill. Also requires ODNR to actively lobby Congress to lift the federal ban on drilling in Lake Erie.
7. Still requires use of standard lease, totally inadequate to protect land and water from environmental impacts of deep well drilling and horizontal fracturing.
UPCOMING GASLAND SCREENINGS
Gasland Screening and Forum Tuesday, May 24 – 7:30pm
2254 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43209
Gasland Screening and Forum Thursday, May 26 – 6:30 pm
Sponsored by Rep. Antonio and Sen Skindell, No Frack Ohio, ProgressOhio.org
Lakewood Public Library
15425 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Gasland Screening and Forum Saturday, June 4 – 3:00 pm
Sponsored by Rep. Heard and Rep. Celeste, No Frack Ohio, ProgressOhio.org
Columbus Main Library
96 South Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Check our calendar for more upcoming Gasland showings:
Cynthia McKinney and Bob Fitrakis discuss Libya
Bob’s radio program “Fight Back!” will be on Wednesday nights at 7:00 to 8:00 pm. This week’s show, Wednesday, April 27, will feature a conversation between Bob and Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's candidate for president in 2008. You can get in on the action!
Here’s how to call in to Bob Fitrakis’ new radio show:
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live"
Make your voice heard! Get up, stand up for your rights!
May 4th -24 Hour Fast for Peace
Since the early 1970's, people in Ohio and around the US have sponsored events to commemorate the anniversary of the shooting of students at Kent State University on May 4th 1970 and at Jackson State in Mississippi on May 14, 1970. These shootings came in response to the escalation of the Vietnam war and the rise of the Black Consciousness/Power Movement.
We are calling on people to fast for 24 hours for peace on May 4th 2011. We are also asking people to commit to support actions and educational events to build awareness for world peace. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, two of the longest wars in our history. Now we are bombing Libya. People need to take a stand to end this madness.
For Jobs & Peace, Logan Martinez
BOYCOTT KOCH INDUSTRIES
Koch Industries has been the source of funding for numerous extreme right actions and organizations. They are reaching into the Supreme Court, State Governors' offices, and are the money behind the Tea Party. Here is a list of some of their products:
Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Vanity fair napkins
Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes
All Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products, including:
Dense Armor Drywall and Decking
ToughArmor Gypsum board
Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood
G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters)
FibreStrong Rim board
G/P Lam board
Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing
Blue Ribbon Sub-floor
DryGuard Enhanced OSB
Nautilus Wall Sheathing
Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing
Broadspan Engineered Wood Products
XJ 85 I-Joists
FireDefender Banded Cores
FireDefender Mineral Core
Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard,
Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF
Commercial Roof Fiberboard
Hushboard Sound Deadening Board
Regular Fiberboard Sheathing
Structural Fiberboard Sheathing
SOMERELLE® bedding products
TACTESSE® carpet fiber
TERATHANE® polyether glycol
POLARGUARD® fiber and
Corporate Power: The Legacy of Santa Clara
Wednesday, April 20 at Noon
Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
55 West 12th Avenue
Santa Clara and the 14th Amendment: john a. powell, Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law, and executive director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Corporate power and elections: Jennifer Brunner, attorney at Brunner Quinn and former Ohio Secretary of State
Corporate power and taxation: Wendy Patton, Senior Associate, Policy Matters Ohio
Corporate power and privatization: Stephen Menendian, Attorney/Senior Legal Research Associate, Kirwan Institute
Moderator: Greg Coleridge, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee
THE EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Sponsored by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University
The Citizens United vs FEC Supreme Court decision in 2010 was NOT the first time the high court ruled that corporations possessed the same constitutional rights (called "corporate personhood") as human persons . The court has made numerous decisions over the decades establishing and expanding corporate personhood. It began 125 years ago on May 10, 1886 in the Santa Clara vs Southern Pacific RR decision when corporations were granted 14th Amendment equal protection rights. The 14th Amendment was intended to provide equal protection and due process rights solely to freed slaves.
Attend this important forum to learn about what happened, how it happened, the impact of the Santa Clara ruling, and current initiatives in response to expanding corporate constitutional rights.
THIS EVENT IS ONE OF SEVERAL ACROSS THE COUNTRY OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS TO MARK THE 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SANTA CLARA DECISION.
Ohio Green Party Statement on Senate Bill 5
The Green Party of Ohio stands in solidarity with the public employees of our state. We believe that it is an essential right and intrinsic element of democracy that workers be allowed to collectively bargain with their employers.
Attempts by the Republican Party of Ohio and specifically Governor John Kasich to destroy public union bargaining rights are little more than an attempt to destroy opposition to their corporate-sponsored agenda. Their assault on worker’s rights has nothing to do with saving taxpayer’s money and has everything to do with the rise of a corporate state.
When worker’s rights are under attack, the Green Party firmly supports a “fight back” and pledges active support in any referendum that will repeal this unjust and undemocratic assault on the rights of union workers and their livelihood.
Statement by Ohio Green Party Co-Chair Bob Fitrakis
It Can Happen Here
For Immediate Release 3/16/2011
Michael J. Keegan, Don't Waste Michigan, (734-770-1441), firstname.lastname@example.org
Anita Rios, Green Party of Ohio,
Joseph DeMare, Wood County Green Party,
Two weeks ago, four citizens groups were in Port Clinton, arguing before a panel appointed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that Davis-Besse should not be allowed to continue running for twenty years beyond its designed operating life. Today, in the wake of the nuclear disasters unfolding in Japan those groups had a stark warning for Ohio, Michigan and even Ontario. "It can happen here."
"It's ironic that in court, just two weeks ago, we were told repeatedly that we are not allowed to bring up the 'worst case scenario' of a plant meltdown because the NRC has decided that such a meltdown just can't happen," said Joseph DeMare member of the Wood County Green Party and long time nuclear foe. "Well, guess what? It's happened. It's important to point out that many of the people evacuated in Japan who are leaving behind their homes, clothes, even their pets, may never be able to return," said Mr. DeMare, "since some radioactive pollution, like Plutonium, stays deadly for tens of thousands of years."
"Just last week, all trains of the Davis-Besse Emergency Feedwater were knocked off line by the simple act of someone turning on a two-way radio," pointed out Michael J. Keegan of Don't Waste Michigan. Interference from a hand held radio disrupted the electronics in an incident reported to the NRC last week (Event Number 46653). The Emergency Feedwater was restored by First Energy. "But if that had happened during an emergency shut down, and those systems were needed and not available, the headlines today could be about the evacuation of Toledo, not Japan," said Mr. Keegan.
"There are many other triggers which could take a reactor into a Station Black Out (SBO) and loss of back up power such as Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG's). For example, in November of 1972, Davis-Besse was heavily flooded by a seiche event. In a seiche, strong winds cause large bodies of waters like Lake Erie to pour over their banks in a large wave. Fortunately, the plant had not yet started up. That same flood after start up could have been devastating.
"Other problems that have actually disrupted operations at local nuclear plants include:
tornadoes, which struck Davis-Besse 1998 and Fermi II in 2010;
an unexplained electrical explosion at Davis-Besse in 2010;
a stuck crane which dangled a 110 ton container full of highly radioactive waste mid-air directly over an irradiated fuel storage pool for 55 hours at Palisades nuclear plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline;
the electrical grid failure in August 2003; and
an Emergency Diesel Generator that was unavailable at Fermi for 20 years from 1986 through 2006 .
All nuclear reactors are also vulnerable to terrorist attack. On May 25, 2002, according to NORAD ( North American Aerospace Defense Command) a plane circled Fermi II and dipped close to the reactor.
There are many other examples. So, while an earthquake may be unlikely, we have already experienced a multitude of near misses which could have triggered a major nuclear disaster in the Great Lakes."
"This is my home that I'm fighting for," added Anita Rios, Co-Chair of the Ohio Green Party and resident of Toledo. "I raised my family in the shadow of that plant, and I don't want them to have to live in fear of an accident as I have. To say that 'Oh it can never happen' in light of what is happening in Japan is just plain crazy. First Energy has down played and low balled the expense required to deal with a catastrophic event, and minimized the extent of the area that would be affected. We should point out that taxpayers would bear the responsibility of paying for a catastrophic event."
Terry Lodge, a long time opponent of a Davis-Besse and the lawyer representing the groups opposing the relicensing, had this to add, "Those of us who have been watching the nuclear industry have always known that a meltdown was only a matter of time. Regardless of reactor type, with aging comes pipe cracking, defects in zirconium cladding on the fuel rods, pump and valve failures, corrosion holes, rusting electrical switches and junctions, and failing backup diesel generators. The current Generic Environmental Impact Statement for relicensing US nukes is more than 14 years old. We are about to see huge areas of Japan made off-limits to human habitation for generations to come. The economic costs of this disaster are grossly understated. We, of course, prayed that it would never happen and our hearts go out to the people of Japan. But the question for us here in Ohio is are we willing to lose Toledo, Port Clinton, Bowling Green, Sandusky, and all the surrounding communities just so that First Energy can make more money?"
"We call for a moratorium on re-licensing of aged nuclear plants, and a moratorium on licensing of additional plants," concluded Ms. Rios, "and we ask that local governments and officials join us in calling for such a moratorium."
The four groups are Beyond Nuclear, Citizens' Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio.