Politics

Aidan Hubbell-Staeble responds to GOP mailer about old Facebook posts

Aidan Hubbell-Staeble, candidate for Ohio House District 3, released the following statement Tuesday, Oct. 9, after his opponent, Theresa Gavarone, publicized old social media posts addressing the issue of community police relations in Ohio: “A couple of years ago, I took to Facebook to describe the shooting of two individuals, Alton Sterling and Daniel Shaver, as unacceptable. Although the original post was incendiary and insensitive, the feelings that led to the post came from a meaningful place of anger and frustration. Time and time again, we are presented with videos and reports of unarmed or nonthreatening men and women losing their lives due to the actions of the very people who have vowed to protect them. It is very easy to get caught up in the hostile nature of social media and the hundreds of videos that look not too different from these. “The resurgence of these now-deleted posts has allowed me to reflect on my feelings from that time and revisit both videos shared in the posts. Both videos depict the death of these young men, not too far in age from myself, and still invoke some of those original feelings.  “However, instead of anger, I now feel passion. Instead of frustration, I now feel a responsibility to act. We are raised to believe that if we see an injustice, if we want a change, we need to take action to address it. That is why I’m running for public office. I want to be part of the change we need in Columbus. “I’m not your typical candidate. I don’t resemble many of the people you currently see in the State House; and that’s precisely the point. I’m running to amplify the voice of my neighbors, my friends, and my family. Police officers are important to our community and vital to our safety. When bad police officers are not held accountable for their actions, it erodes trust in the judicial system and makes it harder for good police officers to do their jobs. Our police risk their lives every day to protect us, and they too are taken for granted. We have seen Republican politicians attack police officers’ collective bargaining rights in the past, and will likely see more of the same in the future. This is not how any workers, especially those who are so dedicated to defending the State of Ohio, should be treated. I’m proud to keep fighting for all everyday Ohioans.”

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Earth Week speaker: People favor protections, but not if labeled ‘job-killing regulations’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Lana Pollack got her first taste of government regulation, or protection as she prefers to call it, when she was a girl watching beef being butchered. As the Lamb Peace lecturer, Pollack, who chairs the U.S. section, International Joint Commission, kicked off Earth Week at Bowling Green State University posing the question: “If protections are good, why are regulations bad?” Certainly her father who ran a grocery store and butcher shop in rural western Michigan didn’t appreciate the state inspector who stood by while he and his help processed a beef carcass. Her father, Pollack said, was the kind of person who fed a lot of people whether they could pay their bills or not. Once a week he’d go to the cattle auction and buy a couple steers, which he’d bring back. Pollack said she went along, and watched the processing. “I know where my meat comes from.” She could see her father was “aggravated” by the inspector and his seemingly petty demands. In his later years, his daughter asked him if the state regulations made his ground beef or hot dogs any better. No, he said. “But it kept the guy down the road from adding sawdust to his hot dogs.” The consumer wasn’t protected from an ethical business like the one her father ran, but from the unethical ‘guy down the road.” That holds true for the environment as well, including the Great Lakes. That’s why the EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency, not the Environmental Regulatory Agency. People like “protection,” she said. They think far less of regulations, especially when they are so constantly referred to as “job-killing regulations.” That phrase is tossed around so much that it almost becomes one word. It’s a favorite of conservative lobbying efforts like the American Legislative Exchange Council. “Words matter,” Pollack said. It’s not like businesses, including agribusiness, are opposed to government action, she said. They’re fine with it as long as it benefits them. While agribusiness may fight rules aimed at controlling the run-off of phosphorus from fields that causes toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, farm interests back federal government support for ethanol production, Pollack said. Now 40 percent of corn on 7 million acres of heavily fertilized cropland is grown for fuel. Taking action to combat pollution of the Great Lakes is a complex issue that involves understanding the science, as well as the cultural and political context. Pollack, who served in the Michigan State Senate from 1984 to 1993, describes herself as “a recovering politician.” At her lecture she showed two photos of the Cuyahoga River on fire, one from 1952 and the other from 1969. No action was taken in 1952 in the years of complacency after World War II. But the 1960s was a “time of social revolution” and “progressive change.” The burning river caught the public’s attention. Action was taken. Citizens agitated for environmental protections That action had beneficial effects. It dramatically reduced the amount of PCPs going into the Great Lakes. And it reduced the amount of phosphorus going into the lakes. That came by the removal of phosphorus, which promote algae growth, from washing detergents and commercial lawn care products. And it came from billions being invested into water treatment systems – which are…


Speaker encourages conservatives to extol the virtues of the free market

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In a building tucked away in the Wood County Fairgrounds, area conservatives gathered to hear a message they feel has too long been hidden. The topic of the evening’s talk, hosted by the Wood County Young Republicans, was the moral case for capitalism. Set aside talk about greed is good, they’d rather talk about self- free markets have resulted in lifting the economic fortunes of people around the world. That was the message of Jeb Morris, a senior trainer with the Grassroots Leadership Academy, an affiliate of Americans for Prosperity. He had a willing audience of about 15 people. In the ice-breaker before his talk he asked them to name someone, living or dead, whom they would like to dine with. Several attendees said their spouses, and Jesus had been put off limits. The others mentioned Lincoln and Washington, economist Milton Friedman, writers J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, basketball coach Bobby Knight, conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza and radio host Rush Limbaugh. Despite the blandishments of the left, which for Morris includes Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and most of all Bernie Sanders, the way to lift people out of poverty is free enterprise. With charts and graphs and quotations flashing on the screen, he maintained that as economic freedom has expanded world poverty has plummeted. “Economic freedom has lifted more people out of poverty” than any other system, he said. This means improvements in quality of life for people around the globe. Morris traced this process starting with women’s underwear. Sam Walton founded his business on finding products, such as women’s underwear, that he could purchase wholesale for the cheapest price, allowing him to pass that onto his customers. He didn’t do this, Morris said, “to be altruistic.” Walton did it because it was in his self-interest, just as it is in the self-interest of his customers to purchase his low cost goods. At the root of this, Morris said, is the notion that the value of goods is not intrinsic but subjective. He then showed a slide with a quotation from Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises: “Value is not intrinsic, it is not in things. It is within us; it is the way in which man reacts to the conditions of his environment.” Capitalism is a system, Morris said, that is based on mutually beneficial agreements made freely that protect and respect individual rights. “No coercion is possible,” he said. The United States, he said, is the most capitalistic country, though it is not a fully free market economy. It is a mixed economy where there is a great deal of economic freedom, but still allows for government interference in economic activities. According to Morris, government interference only leads to stagnation. Morris said the Affordable Care Act was an example of government coercion, forcing young healthy people to buy a product they think they don’t need and can’t afford. He cited the Great Famine after Mao’s Great Leap Forward that killed about 40 million people as an example of the failure of central government. He also cited, China as an example of a country that has gotten more prosperous as it embraced more free market ideas. Though “China still has problems,” he said. He traced these back to Xioagang’s Capitalist Revolt when a group…


Redistricting makes May ballot – thanks to compromise

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It looked as if Ohio’s redistricting reform might be doomed to failure – with opposing sides of the issue not budging. But on Monday, a compromise was reached that satisfied both political parties plus the League of Women Voters and other citizen groups which had been pushing hard for reform. Ohio Senate Majority Leader Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, called the unanimous Senate passage of Ohio Congressional Redistricting Reform “pretty remarkable.” The compromise, he said, should help restore public confidence that state legislators can tackle controversial issues in a bipartisan way. “This historic, bipartisan vote is yet another example how state legislators in Columbus find ways to work together,” Gardner said. This afternoon, the Ohio House voted to support the bill. The compromise was reached just in time, since the deadline to get an issue on the primary election ballot is this Wednesday at 4 p.m. The proposed plan keeps the legislature in charge of drawing congressional district maps, but adds additional steps requiring minority party support to put a map in place for 10 years. Ohio’s current process allows the majority party to dissect counties and cities to create districts that favor the party in power. Under the current map, drawn by Republicans in 2011, the GOP holds 12 of Ohio’s 16 seats while only winning 56 percent of the votes. The plan establishes, for the first time, criteria for limiting the number of times counties, cities, villages and townships can be divided into multiple districts. Monday night the Senate voted 31-0 for a Senate resolution that would place the proposed constitutional amendment on the May primary ballot.  Gardner referred to the effort as a “major breakthrough.” Joan Callecod, a member of the Bowling Green League of Women Voters, was excited to hear about the compromise in the Senate. “It looks promising,” she said. “It’s a positive thing, anytime there is compromise.” The Bowling Green League of Women Voters has been advocating redistricting reform. Local members have been collecting petition signatures for a project called “Fair Districts = Fair Elections,” a non-partisan effort to place a redistricting amendment on the November 2018 ballot across the state. The ultimate goal was to get congressional district lines drawn so that the elections aren’t decided before the votes are cast. “The way it is right now, it just intensifies the divisiveness,” Callecod said last year as she and other league members collected signatures at the county library. “Under gerrymandering, instead of the voters choosing the legislators, the legislators chose their voters.” Callecod said Tuesday that she suspects the push by citizen advocacy groups helped convince the legislature to reach a compromise. “The legislature would not have responded the way they have without that,” she said. The League of Women Voters had wanted the district lines drawn by a commission rather than legislators. But at least the Senate proposal offers a second step that would involve a commission if the legislature could not agree on district lines, she said. Plus, the process will be conducted in the open, Callecod said. “There will be open hearings. It won’t be done behind closed doors like in the past,” she said. Senate Joint Resolution 5 requires minority party support for redrawing congressional district boundaries, including a set of new…


Daniel Gordon announces run for state representative

Submitted by DANIEL GORDON Bowling Green City Councilman Daniel Gordon has announced he is filing petitions this week to run for State Representative in Ohio House District 3, comprising Wood County. “Serving on City Council for the better part of a decade has given me a front row seat to see that decisions made by the state legislature have made our lives worse here in Wood County, and I refuse to sit by and watch that continue,” Gordon said. “We deserve better, and I’m going to offer all of us a real choice and a new path.” Gordon singled out the state legislature’s decision to cut millions of dollars from the Local Government Fund — which is vital to ensuring Ohio cities, towns, and villages have the money needed to maintain services — to close a state budget shortfall. Cuts to the fund have forced local communities in turn to cut needed services and raise fees or taxes to protect schools, fire, police, and social and mental health services. Despite state politicians’ promises that these cuts would make the state healthier, Ohio has consistently lagged behind other states in job creation and economic security, and risks another recession. And Gordon says he knows why. “The legislature has been fiscally irresponsible,” Gordon asserted. They can’t fix the roof by knocking out the foundation. They couldn’t pay off the money they lost spending on pet projects and rewarding their corporate friends, so they took our taxpayers’ money instead. And they have nothing to show for it. We got ripped off, and the worst part is they keep doing it. Not on my watch.” “I’m going to get our money back,” Gordon promised. Gordon sees the state government’s funding cuts as a pattern of assault on local communities. “These folks go to Columbus and preach about “small government,” but then go and pass bills to give themselves more power and restrict ours at the local level,” he said, referring to so-called “preemption bills” which demand new restrictions on what mayors and city councils can do in Ohio. “I believe in local control. If I’m elected, we’re going to take back our municipal authority. That power belongs to us, at the local level, where we know best how to run our communities.” Economic policy is Gordon’s chief focus. “People are working harder than ever, but wages aren’t keeping up with our productivity. They’re stagnating. Every hardworking Ohioan deserves a job that pays a living wage. We don’t treat working people right. It’s why people can’t afford to pay their medical bills. It’s why young people are leaving Ohio in droves. I want all of us to have the freedom to live our lives without having to worry about how we’re going to make ends meet.” Gordon notes that these problems do not come out of nowhere. “Budgeting is about priorities. What you fund well is what you care about. So why does Ohio rank last among all 50 states in funding programs to fight against abuse of children and the elderly? Why does the legislature continually fail to support higher education, or fix the unconstitutional funding mechanism for our public schools? Why do they continually fail to raise enough money to fight the opioid epidemic?” “It doesn’t have to be this way. These problems…


DeWine serves up campaign for governor at Campus Pollyeyes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As Mike DeWine worked the tables at Campus Pollyeyes, he had one question. “What’s the best thing to eat here?” He got one response from his fellow Republicans waiting to greet the gubernatorial candidate. “The breadsticks.” DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, is shifting into high gear for the governor’s race to be decided next fall. Tuesday morning he started with breakfast in Mayfield Heights, followed by pie in Amherst, then showed up for pizza in Bowling Green. Early campaigning can probably be forgiven, since there are already three other Republicans in the governor’s race, including Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, and Rep. Jim Renacci. Even before DeWine’s arrival at Pollyeyes, some of those present had already picked him as their top choice. “I like the fact that he has a plan on the opioid epidemic, and he’s ready to go,” David Jenkins said as he dug into a calzone. Jenkins, who is treasurer of the BGSU College Republicans, is part of the voting population that needs to get excited about the next election, said George Nicholson, whose son runs Campus Pollyeyes. “I think it’s wonderful he’s coming here,” Nicholson said about DeWine. “It’s a good thing for us and a good thing for the College Republicans.” David Kuebeck, co-chair of DeWine’s campaign in Wood County, is already sold on the attorney general. “He’s the most experienced candidate by far,” Kuebeck said, listing off DeWine’s past roles as U.S. senator, U.S. representative, lieutenant governor, state representative and now state attorney general. “Nobody’s got a resume like that.” Unlike the other GOP candidates, DeWine has 90 percent name recognition. As for the age difference between DeWine and his younger competitors, Kuebeck shrugged that off. “I don’t buy into that argument too much.” And unlike his competition, DeWine has taken on the opioid crisis – and has put money behind the fight, including a grant recently awarded to Wood County. “He is tackling the most difficult public issue of our time,” Kuebeck said. DeWine is also credited with helping to keep the BCII crime lab in Bowling Green. When the lab outgrew its building in Bowling Green, several other locations in the state were considered. But a new expanded lab was built on the BGSU campus. DeWine also has the largest war chest, and has raised more money than the other GOP candidates for governor. “That’s a good thing, because somebody’s got to pay for all this pizza and breadsticks,” Kuebeck said, smiling. The candidate’s wife, Fran DeWine, talked about knowing her husband since first grade. She told of his first race for an elected seat decades ago, when the two of them knocked on 18,000 doors in Greene County. Fran DeWine decided after that campaign that the next time she went door-to-door, she would pass out more than candidate brochures. She is still doing that, and on Tuesday, she handed out booklets of family favorite recipes, complete with illustrations by the DeWines’ children and grandchildren. There are recipes for German apple pancakes, Amish barn soup, Aunt Mickey’s green bean casserole, and “Mike’s Favorite” sausage and gravy biscuits. After shaking all the hands in Pollyeyes, DeWine talked about his signature program. Ohio, he said, is losing 15 people a day to opiate…


Battle of the sexes – do men really know more than women about politics?

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The battle of the sexes has many combat zones – with political knowledge being one of the battlefields. For decades women have scored lower than their male counterparts on political knowledge surveys. That trend irked Bowling Green State University political science professor Dr. Melissa Miller enough that she decided to study that “pesky gender gap.” Miller shared her thoughts on the political battle of the sexes recently during at talk at BGSU. Since 1960, national surveys ranking political knowledge asked basically the same questions: Which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives? Who is the vice president? Which branch rules on the Constitutionality of an issue? What majority is required to override a presidential veto? Which is the more conservative political party? “Men on average are more likely to get the answer right,” Miller said. “This is troubling.” For years, the gender gap was blamed on women spending more time at home, being less likely to discuss the topic at work, and being less interested in politics than men. However, those trends just no longer hold true, Miller said. Women in the U.S. are currently more educated, spend less time at home on housekeeping, are more likely to share child-rearing chores, and are much more likely to have jobs outside the home. “So why hasn’t the gender gap disappeared?” she asked. Miller has some ideas. “Maybe it’s the way we measure political knowledge,” she said. Upon looking closer at the way the surveys were conducted, Miller noticed that the political surveys included multiple choice answers – with one of those answers being “I don’t know.” And whether conducted by phone or in person, those taking the surveys were always advised that many people don’t know the correct answer, so they can pick “I don’t know.” Seems insignificant? Not so, Miller said. Women are far more likely to take the bait and say “I don’t know.” Men are more likely to risk a wrong answer, and less likely to say they don’t know. Miller used BGSU mascots Freddie and Frieda Falcon to explain. “Frieda is more likely to say ‘I don’t know.’ Freddie has a higher propensity to guess,” she said. “A lot of men have a higher propensity to guess. A lot of women have a decreased propensity to guess.” So Miller suspected the “don’t know” option was inflating men’s scores while deflating women’s scores. To see if her suspicions were accurate, Miller conducted a campus political knowledge study in 2006, in which she sampled more than 900 undergraduates. Randomly, half of the students got surveys with the “don’t know” response option, while the other half did not have that option. The “don’t know” surveys showed the same gap between men’s and women’s political knowledge. But when that option didn’t exist, the gender gap was gone, Miller said. Miller’s suspicions were further confirmed when she placed a fictitious name on the survey and asked the students to identify the political office held by “Neal Nardone” – which happened to be a name created by combining the names of Miller’s husband and the husband of Shannon Orr, another member of the faculty working on the survey. “The men insisted on trying to guess,” the office held by Neal Nardone. Some felt he was…