Politics

Political science professor aims to take the mystery out of running for political office

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Local elections for public office are often wide-open fields with few candidates for voters to choose from. This is linked to many factors, but two of the most notable are the lack of information on what it takes to run and the misconception that running for local office is prohibitively expensive and complicated.  Dr. Melissa K. Miller, an associate professor of political science at Bowling Green State University, wants to tear down the assumption that there are too many obstacles to running for local office. Tuesday, March 5, rom 7 to 8:30 p.m., Miller will be conducting a nonpartisan workshop, “Gotta Run: Taking the Mystery Out of Running for Office,” at the Way Public Library in Perrysburg. Miller will explain how American elections function, dispel myths related to running for office and provide information on the process of campaigning. “Gotta Run” will also include a mini-panel with two locally elected public officials. Eric Bennington, a Republican on the Perrysburg School Board, and Sandy Rowland, a Democrat on Bowling Green City Council, will both give candid advice and share their own experiences of running for public office.  A partnership with the Bowling Green and Perrysburg chapters of the League of Women Voters, “Gotta Run” will educate the public in northwest Ohio on what it takes to run a campaign, from collecting the required signatures to get on the ballot to organizing volunteers and crafting effective campaign messages.  “‘Gotta Run’ is designed to take the mystery out of running for office and introduce folks to the basic steps involved in getting your name on the ballot and setting up a campaign,” Miller said. The workshop is offered in conjunction with Miller’s role as a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society (ICS) at BGSU. As a fellow, she is freed from her teaching and service responsibilities for a full semester to pursue an interdisciplinary research topic of her choice, and to share her research with the community. Miller’s scholarly research involves taking the first-ever deep-dive into the challenges faced by…

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GOP state auditor candidate Keith Faber wants government to work better for Bob & Betty Buckeye

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A few phrases roll quickly off the tongue of State Rep. Keith Faber, a candidate for state auditor. The Celina resident sees one of the state auditor’s duties as catching those “lying, stealing, and cheating.” And when talking about how government should run the operative phrases are “better faster cheaper” and “efficient, effective, and transparent.” “The auditor’s office is not a partisan office,” he said. “You wear the uniform of the umpire. My background shows I don’t show favor. … You elect an auditor to represent Bob and Betty Buckeye and to make sure government works for them, not itself.” That background includes 17 years in the State Legislature, first in the House, then Senate where he served as president from 2013 to 2016, and now is back in the House representing the 84th district. Faber is running against Democrat Zack Space. He includes ECOT, the private charter school now being sued by the state, in the category of those who have misused state money. He defends how his Republican predecessor Dave Yost, now a candidate for attorney general and the Republican controlled legislature, handled the controversy. Some have charged they let the problem fester too long. Faber said he has also supported effort to draw both state legislative and later congressional districts in a non-partisan way. The auditor will sit on the commissions that draw those districts. He backs the goal of keeping political subdivisions together with “a heavy emphasis keeping things compact.” He said “that should allow people to be represented by people who share their values.” Having a hand in shaping these new districts, though, is not why he’s seeking the state auditor’s office, he said. The auditor’s office, he said, is about on one hand providing “service and support to Ohio’s local governments.” One issue he’s focused on is the cost of audits. Sometimes for small commissions or townships, what’s charged by the state for audits is a disproportionately large share of their budgets, sometimes as much as half. “I’d like to empower the office to make them less expensive…


Investigation into Dawn Glanz’s murder continues

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The unsolved murder of Dawn Glanz may be closer to being cracked after the true crime TV show “Cold Justice” investigated the Bowling Green case. The episode aired last Saturday evening. The Bowling Green Police Division and Wood County Prosecutor’s Office picked up again where “Cold Justice” left off and spent the summer investigating unresolved questions. Though progress has been made, the prosecutor’s office is still not ready to press charges, according to Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson. But the investigation continues. “At this point, we haven’t made any decisions,” Dobson said Monday. Glanz, 66, was found dead in her home on Kensington Boulevard, on May 9, 2013. She had been a professor of art history at Bowling Green State University. Initially, it was believed her death was the result of natural causes, possibly a stroke. She was found on the bathroom floor. There were no signs of forced entry and nothing was stolen from her home. However, on the day Glanz’s body was to be cremated, police chief at the time Brad Conner received an anonymous phone call from a woman suggesting that Glanz’s death was not an accident. The cremation was halted. An autopsy found that Glanz had been stabbed in the scalp by an assailant using a weapon such as an ice pick or screw driver.  It was determined that the stabbing caused her to have a fatal heart attack. However, by this time much of the physical evidence of the crime scene had been cleaned up. Possible suspects were questioned, but there was not enough evidence to press charges. So five years later, Glanz’s nephew suggested a rather unorthodox attempt be made to find his aunt’s killer. Dehan Glanz said some new evidence might turn up if the show “Cold Justice” were to get involved. “The family approached us when the case stalled out,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. Kelly Siegler, a former Houston prosecutor, who leads the investigations on “Cold Justice,” was contacted. She worked with Tonya Rider, a Bowling Green State University professor…


Daniel Gordon attends national convention of young elected officials

SUBMITTED BY DANIEL GORDON This past weekend, Bowling Green City Council Member Daniel Gordon met with fellow elected officials and national leaders in Seattle at the 13th annual National Convening of People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network. At the convening, which is the largest gathering of young elected leaders in the country, Gordon participated in issue-based training sessions with nearly 100 fellow progressive elected officials from across the nation to learn best practices for community protection and improvement at the state and local level, and create proactive strategies to bring back to all 50 states. Gordon, 28, was elected to City Council in 2011, re-elected in 2013, 2015, and 2017, and has been a member of the Young Elected Officials Network since April 2015. Gordon brought his own unique perspective to the convening, sharing his experience working for social and economic justice in Bowling Green, including his advocacy for neighborhood revitalization and housing equity; enhancing transportation infrastructure, including bicycle lanes; creating more living-wage jobs, restoring local government funding, and ensuring a diversified local economy; investing in more clean and renewable energy sources; and defending local marginalized communities. “It’s remarkable how so many of our challenges in Bowling Green are shared by folks in local governments all across the country,” Gordon said. “I came back to Bowling Green re-energized to work with Mayor Edwards and my colleagues on Council to implement cutting-edge solutions to the policy problems we face here at home.” The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, a project of People For the American Way Foundation, is the first and only national initiative to provide a network of support to the newest generation of progressive leaders at every level of elected office. Over the last decade, the YEO Network has grown to more than 1,200 members in every state and at every level of office. The YEO Network is a cutting-edge program investing in the pipeline of progressive leadership and building sustained relationships with its members. It provides the resources young elected officials need to effectively impact policy, foster their own development and professional growth, and…


New justice likely to swing U.S. Supreme Court further to right

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Abortion rights and gay marriage are two issues that could hang in the balance with the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The 82-year-old justice announced his retirement on Wednesday. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, said two political scientists who teach at Bowling Green State University. Melissa Miller said that Supreme Court Justices have lifetime appointments, and they most often decide to retire when a president of the same party that appointed them is in office, she said. Niki Kalaf-Hughes said some have opined that the timing of Kennedy’s retirement, giving President Donald Trump a second chance to nominate someone for the high court, sullies his reputation. That all depends, she said, on who eventually assumes the bench and how they rule. Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, is considered the court’s swing vote. He wrote the majority decision in Obergefeld v. Hodges that found that same sex couples had right to marry. He also wrote the opinion for the conservative majority to Citizens United that said political spending was protected speech under the First Amendment. If he is replaced by a more conservative justice then some rights that had been assumed to be settled matters, including the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy and the right of same sex couples to marry, could now be in jeopardy. Some in the women’s movement have been warning, Miller said, that “we shouldn’t one shouldn’t take Roe v Wade for granted.” State legislators in conservative states continue to push bills that cut into those rights. “I don’t think that will stop in very conservative states,” she said, “because politicians are rewarded by their conservative voters for passing such laws.” Trump promised when he campaigned that he would appoint more conservative justices. And by some measures, his first appointee Neil Gorsuch is more conservative than the justice he replaced, the late Antonin Scalia, though not as conservative as Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Because of actions by Senate Republicans, who said they were reacting to changes instituted earlier by Democrats…


BGSU faculty union leader decries Supreme Court’s Janus ruling

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News David Jackson, president of the BGSU Faculty Association, said the union is still trying to figure out the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday forbidding public sector unions from charging non-members fees to cover services. The court rules 5-4 in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 that non-members cannot be forced to pay “fair share “ or “agency” fees to cover the costs of a public sector union negotiating contracts and representing individual employees in disputes with the employer. The decision, which Jackson characterized as “rotted, reprehensible, illogical,” was “not a surprise.” Jackson, who teaches political science, was speaking in his role as faculty association president, not as an unbiased analyst. “We knew five corporate justices on the court were inclined to accept this completely bogus argument and side with wealthy special interests. That’s what they’re there for. That’s why the seat was stolen in the first place.” Jackson was referring to Republican senators’ refusal to act on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Instead the GOP left it up President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy with Neil Gorsuch, who sided with the majority in the Janus case. The lead plaintiff, Illinois state employee Mark Janus, said that the fee was a violation of his First Amendment rights because it forced him to support speech he didn’t agree with. While the decision is complicated, it’s clear the faculty association cannot collect fees from non-members. Still, Jackson said, “the good work we do problem solving and representing faculty will continue.” He said the association’s attorneys are still trying “to digest the decision and figure out all the different meanings of it.” The decision written by Justice Samuel Alito possibly left open the option of charging non-members if the union represents them in personnel disputes, Jackson said. State law, Jackson said, requires the union represent all members of the bargaining unit, not just union members. They in turn could charge a fair share fee “to account for the cost of negotiating,…


Democrat Zack Space says as auditor he’d look to limit the role of money in politics

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Donald Trump got one thing right, Democrat Zack Space believes. Space, who is running for state auditor, said the president’s assertion during the campaign that the political system “was rigged” resonated with many voters. Space doesn’t agree with Trump on much but he agrees with him on that. Space is running against Republican Keith Faber. “The system has been rigged by money and political greed,” Space said during a recent campaign stop in Bowling Green. “The money manifests itself by political contributions, all of which are legal, and improper influence on policy. And political greed manifests itself through gerrymandering. Politicians drawing their own lines.” That allows politicians to select their voters, instead of voters selecting their candidates. As auditor he’ll have a say in addressing that. The auditor will have a place on the panel that will redraw state legislative districts, and possibly on the one that redraws congressional districts. Space, though, has mixed feelings about Issue 1, the constitutional amendment calling for the redrawing of congressional districts, which passed in May. While it is a step in the right direction, he said, it still will allow for gerrymandering by the Republican state legislature. All they have to do is lure a third of Democrats with “extremely safe” seats, and the status quo is maintained. “So the potential for gerrymandering still exists.” This kind of political chicanery “causes people to lose in politics and the institution of government and in democracy itself,” Space said. “When they lose faith in democracy they naturally turn to authoritarianism.” The influence of money in politics is seen in the two controversies roiling state government – for-profit charter schools and pay-day lending. The current a state auditor Republican Dave Yost, who is running for attorney general, could have brought the ECOT scandal to a head by declaring the books unauditable. Then it would be up to a judge to decide whether that was a proper use of public funds. Instead the Democrat said, the charter school company continued to received state money, costing local school district millions of dollars….