Ohio

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

The Next Speaker Of The House IF GOP Keeps Majority: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Or Jim Jordan

If the Republican Party, somehow, holds on to majority control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, they will need to select a new Speaker of the House, as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

At this point, there are three key contenders for the Speakership in the Republican Party:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana

House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan of Ohio

All three, honestly, make outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan look better by comparison, and yet, my readers know how much I dislike, and have denounced Paul Ryan, including when he was the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, for which I was viciously attacked on several right wing websites at the time.

But seriously, Kevin McCarthy is practically the “lap dog” of Donald Trump, extremely loyal and obedient, and was seemingly aware of Russian Collusion in 2016, was talking about it at a Republican House conference meeting, until Paul Ryan told him to stop talking about it. He is a man without any principles other than the advancement of Donald Trump and his agenda, part of the Trump party, rather than the traditional Republican Party, and even more so than Paul Ryan, who has been unwilling to speak out against Trump’s disgraceful tweets and policies. McCarthy has refused to engage in Town Hall events in his Bakersfield, California district since 2010. He also promoted pursuit of Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi, Libya incident, where four diplomats were killed, gaining a reputation of promoting a “hit job” on her, when many more diplomats were killed at embassies during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Steve Scalise, thankfully, recovered from being shot at the Congressional baseball game in June 2017, but it had no effect on his views on gun control, which is no regulation at all. Beyond that, Scalise used to be a friend of Ku Klux Klan Wizard and white supremacist David Duke, although now, of course, he denies it, and tries to claim it was not so. He would, in this author’s view, be a worse choice than McCarthy. However, for those who are uncomfortable with McCarthy, and might prefer a Southerner as the next Speaker, due to the strong GOP presence in the South, he might be seen as a potential favorite, and certainly less disgraceful by comparison, to the third choice, Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jim Jordan, who is a co leader of the House Freedom Caucus, the most Far Right group in the Republican Party, has been accused of covering up abuse of athletes on the wrestling team at Ohio State University, when he was an assistant coach in the 1980s. He was one of the Republicans who promoted government shutdowns, and has done everything possible to block the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from pursuing investigation of the Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. He also pursed the Benghazi, Libya investigation of the deaths of four diplomats, targeting Hillary Clinton in a total of 11 investigations, which found no evidence of wrongdoing, and which featured 11 hours of testimony by Clinton, with no sign of weakness on her part, as compared to the performance of many others investigated by Congressional committees. Plain and simple, Jordan would be the absolute worst of the three choices being considered by the Republicans, although others might join the fray after the midterm elections.

It is indeed a very sad situation when we can look back on John Boehner as being far better than Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan.

Let us hope that one of the latter three will be the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker of the House in 2019-2020.

The Collapse Of Supreme Court Reputation And Evangelical Christian Legitimacy, But John Kasich Emerges As Rare Sane Voice In Republican Party

The Supreme Court has reached a crossroads, and will be going back a century to its most conservative nature since the Gilded Age. In the process, the concept of balance is gone, and the Court is losing its reputation as a reliable judgment on the meaning of the Constitution.

The Evangelical Christian movement is also losing its legitimacy, and is now shown for what it is, totally immoral, unethical, NOT based on the teachings and social justice of Jesus Christ, and undermining respect for an institution that is revealed as totally hypocritical, and displaying its misogyny.

We need the Supreme Court, but we do NOT need a religiously fanatical and false group, which is only interested in forcing theocracy on America, which the American people at large will NOT tolerate.

So we are entering the most dangerous period in more than 150 years, since the Civil War raged in the 1860s.

And Donald Trump is reveling in all this, as he works to undermine what is left of American democracy, and hopes to grab power and become an absolute dictator for the rest of his life.

Interestingly, in the midst of this promotion of chaos and anarchy by Donald Trump, we DO have a sane Republican, outgoing Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who on Sunday morning on CNN is emphasizing the need for unity and crossing the aisle. It is clear he will challenge Trump or Mike Pence for the Presidency in 2020, and his is one of the very few sane voices in the Republican Party, which at this point, seems “owned” by Donald Trump, but needs a strong challenge from someone like Kasich.

What Donald Trump is promoting must be bitterly opposed by mass action in the streets, and if the police refuse to honor the right of citizens under the Bill of Rights to peacefully demonstrate for redress of grievances, than a real violent reaction is likely, which Donald Trump will pay for in the annals of history!

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

Crucial House Races On Way To House Of Representatives Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

It should be easy to gain the minimum 23 seats to put Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives in the upcoming 116th Congress.

The key reality is that there are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, and California seats that seem likely to be switched.

There are suburban districts that traditionally vote Republican, but now are expected to vote Democratic, due to the outrage of women, and the fear that we will have a massive rise in prices due to the crazy tariffs Donald Trump has put upon products from China, as well as the European Union.

in the first midterm after a new President has been inaugurated, invariably the party in control of the White House loses a large number of seats, and often control of Congress.

This was true in 2010, 1946, 1994, 1974, and 1966, years when the party in power lost 63, 55, 54, 48, and 48 seats respectively, as well as losing 6, 12, 8, 4, and 4 seats in the US Senate.

Best bet is that the Democrats will gain 35-40 seats in the House, and have a shot at winning two seats from Republicans, and keeping all of their endangered Senators, particularly now with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court controversy.

With the low public opinion ratings of Donald Trump, history tells us that the average in the first midterm of a new President sees 44 House seats and 5 Senate races lost.

Also, first term midterms, not considering public opinion ratings of the new President, see an average of 29 House and 3 Senate seats lost.

So considering all these factors, it seems that Democratic control of both houses of Congress seems likely in the 116th Congress.

Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, And New Mexico: The Five Most Predictable States In Presidential Elections In American History

Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico have been the five most predictable states in Presidential elections in American history.

Ohio has participated in 54 of the 58 Presidential elections in American history since 1804.

It has often been said that Ohio is the “crucial” state in the quadrennial election process, and that is so true.

No state has had the impact of Ohio, and particularly, due to the fact that Ohio has participated in more elections than all states except the original 13 states, plus Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee, and none of those have been as “predictable” in backing the winners of the election.

Altogether, Ohio has been “correct” in backing the winner all but 9 times, a total of 45 out of 54 times, or 83.3 percent of the time.

The exceptions are the following chronologically:

1824–Henry Clay over John Quincy Adams

1836–William Henry Harrison over Martin Van Buren

1844–Henry Clay over James K. Polk

1848–Lewis Cass over Zachary Taylor

1856–John C. Fremont over James Buchanan

1884–James G. Blaine over Grover Cleveland

1892–Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland

1944–Thomas E. Dewey over Franklin D. Roosevelt

1960–Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy

Illinois is the second most predictable states, having voted since 1820 for the winner all but 9 times in 50 elections, for a percentage of 82 percent.

The exceptions chronologically are:

1824–Andrew Jackson over John Quincy Adams

1840–Martin Van Buren over William Henry Harrison

1848–Lewis Cass over Zachary Taylor

1884–James G. Blaine over Grover Cleveland

1916–Charles Evans Hughes over Woodrow Wilson

1976–Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter

2000–Al Gore over George W. Bush

2004–John Kerry over George W. Bush

2016–Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

Note that Illinois voted for the popular vote winner in 1824, 2000 and 2016.

Missouri is the third most “predictable” state, coming into the Union in time for the Presidential election of 1820, so having voted in a total of 50 of the 58 national elections, and being with the winner 37 out of 50 times, or about 74 percent of the time.

The exceptions chronologically are as follows:

1824–Henry Clay over John Quincy Adams

1840– Martin Van Buren over William Henry Harrison

1848–Lewis Cass over Zachary Taylor

1860–Stephen Douglas over Abraham Lincoln

1872–Horace Greeley over Ulysses S. Grant

1876–Samuel Tilden over Rutherford B. Hayes

1880–Winfield Scott Hancock over James A. Garfield

1888–Grover Cleveland over Benjamin Harrison

1896–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1900–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1956–Adlai Stevenson over Dwight D. Eisenhower

2008–John McCain over Barack Obama

2012–Mitt Romney over Barack Obama

Note that Missouri voted with the popular vote winner in 1888.

Two other states also have a high consistency rate of accuracy voting for the winner of Presidential elections, but have fewer times of participation in Presidential elections.

Nevada voted for the winner 31 out of 39 times since 1864, 79.5 percent of the time, with the exceptions chronologically as follows:

1880–Winfield Scott Hancock over James A. Garfield

1884–James G. Blaine over Grover Cleveland

1892–James B. Weaver over Grover Cleveland

1896–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1900–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1908–William Jennings Bryan over William Howard Taft

1976–Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter

2016–Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

Note that Nevada voted with the popular vote winner in 2016.

Finally, New Mexico, in the Union since 1912, and therefore participating in 27 elections for President, has voted with the winner all but three times, 88.8 percent of the time, the exceptions being:

1976–Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter

2000-Al Gore over George W. Bush

2016–Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

Note that Al Gore and Hillary Clinton both won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College to their opponents.

The Dozen Most “Trumpian” Members Of Congress: Traitors To Democracy And The Rule Of Law

It is well known by now that the Republican Party as a party in Congress is guilty of cooperating with a President who is moving toward authoritarianism and dictatorship with their support and endorsement, if by nothing else than collaboration and lack of spine to speak up, and even endanger their seats.

But the party cares more about the perks of office, and in enriching the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, working class, and the poor.

They have no compassion, no empathy, no concern about the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, or protection of the Bill of Rights.

They are a party condemned which deserves to be dissolved.

But there are a dozen Republican officeholders for whom any decent American should have contempt, so here is the list by word and action, or lack of action and speaking out, of the dozen most “Trumpian” members of Congress.

It is particularly disturbing that a number of these dozen names are leaders of the party, or strive to be such.

The leaders include: Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, President Pro Tempore of the Senate until January; Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who is leaving the House in January; and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, and potentially still so if the Senate remains Republican in the 116th Congress of 2019-2020.

These three, with the first two being two and three heartbeats away from the Presidency, have been a total disgrace and embarrassment to the high positions they hold.

Then, we have House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who wants to be Speaker of the House to succeed Paul Ryan, and is seen as being the close “buddy” of the President, and was recorded speaking very loud in 2016 about Russian connections of Trump and other Republicans, until Paul Ryan shushed him, but it happened, and Robert Mueller knows it, and that means McCarthy is involved in Russian collusion, and likely Paul Ryan and other Republicans as well.

Also notable is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who despite his libertarian bull, is constantly bowing to Donald Trump, and he, like his wacky father, retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul, is a disgrace and a fraud.

Then, we have the newly minted Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is already openly racist and nativist in his appeal to the voters of the third largest state in population in America.

Also, we have House Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is an extremist who wants to cut all government down to what it was decades ago, a very dangerous person who has promoted government shutdowns numerous times.

Then, we have indicted and now withdrawing from reelection Congressman Chris Collins of New York, who was the first House member to endorse Donald Trump, and now faces prosecution for “insider trading” on the stock market.

Also, we can add Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, now engaged in a scandal about sexual abuse of college wrestlers decades ago when he was an assistant coach, and wanting to compete with Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House if the Republicans keep control of the chamber. He is Vice Chairman of the reprehensible House Freedom Caucus.

The final three are the youngest Senator at present, including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who is very nasty and vicious in his personality; California Congressman Devin Nunes, who has been the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and has engaged in tactics to prevent an investigation of Trump, and to promote more “dirt” and accusations against Hillary Clinton, and is seen as a collaborator on Russian collusion; and California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has been indicted on corruption involving campaign funds being spent for personal use, and who was the second House member to endorse Donald Trump after Chris Collins.

So we have four Senators and eight House members who are truly the “Trump Traitors”, willing to block action and take steps to undermine American democracy and the rule of law for their own selfish ends.

Crucial Senate Races On Road To Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

The US Senate will be a major battleground this coming November.

Ten “Red State” Democrats face the challenge of winning their seats, with a few of them the most endangered.

If the Senate is to go Democratic, all ten seats must be won by their Democratic veterans, but that is a tall order, and is tied to the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The most endangered regarding that issue are West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

Also possibly in trouble on that issue is Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

These four Senators are seen as moderate, rather than liberal Democrats, and all of them except McCaskill, voted for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch last year.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Montana Senator Jon Tester all seem safer in their Senate races as of now, but that could change.

The most endangered incumbent, with or without the Kavanaugh vote, is Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who has Governor Rick Scott as his opponent, and with Scott having triple the amount of funds that Nelson has been able to garner. Scott is horrific, but he won two close races for Governor in 2010 and 2014, using his own wealth.

Now there is a new threat, that New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich might have more trouble being reelected, as former Governor and Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has just entered the race as an Independent, and in a three way race, anything is possible.

The problem is that even if all of these 11 Senators are successfully reelected, the Democrats still must win two more seats, with Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas as possibilities in that order.

If the Democrats are able to win 51 seats in 2018, it would have to be considered a true miracle!

Crucial Gubernatorial Races That Could Affect The Future In Reapportionment Of Seats In Congress And State Legislatures After 2020 Census

There are a number of crucial gubernatorial races coming up in November, which could dramatically change the future of American politics, and change the reapportionment of seats that comes about after the Census of 2020.

In Florida, Gwen Graham, the daughter of well respected former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, is now leading the Democratic primary in the polls, and she could affect the beginning of the return of Democrats to influence in the state legislature and in Congress, and is far preferable to Congressman Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, the Democrats have nominated Stacey Abrams, who has been the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, and is African American, against Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who is extreme on gun rights.

In Ohio, Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and past Attorney General and State Treasurer, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, and is challenged by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, former US Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Congressman.

In Illinois, the Democratic nominee for Governor is J B Pritzker, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, competing against incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who has had a contentious relationship with the Democratic controlled state legislature.

In California, Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against Republican John Cox, a businessman, attorney and political activist backed by Donald Trump.

In Pennsylvania, sitting Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is heavily favored to win reelection, over Republican nominee and state representative Scott Wagner.

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is challenged by former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, with Abbott strongly favored to be reelected, but thought that she would be a strong challenge to Abbott.

These seven large states in population could see six out of seven victories for the Democrats, all but Texas, in all likelihood.

With Democrats having only 16 state Governors, but 36 gubernatorial elections coming up, the odds of a majority or more of state governors being Democrats in 2019 is considered a likelihood, and would allow the Democrats to have a great influence on reapportionment and gerrymandering in the next decade.

The “Red State” Democratic Senators, The Midterm Elections, And Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Ten “Red State” Democratic Senators face a moment of great challenge in November 2018.

Running for reelection in states that went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, they face the danger of defeat in their Senate races if they do not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, with a final vote expected in October.

Voting for Kavanaugh will insure the likelihood of a conservative majority on the Court for the next 20-30 years, which will affect many areas of domestic and foreign policy, and the powers of the Presidency.

But voting against Kavanaugh may retire many of them, and insure a Republican gain of seats in the US Senate, from 51 to quite a few more, allowing the Republicans to dominate into the future.

So what should these Senators do? Should they be profiles in courage and risk their seats to delay or prevent a conservative Supreme Court majority? Or should they vote for Kavanaugh and give themselves another six years to fight against Trump, without the burden of facing the voters until 2024?

It seems likely that at least the three Senators who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana—will end up voting to confirm Kavanaugh if the vote cannot be delayed until after the November mid term elections.

The other seven are seen as unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh—Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, with all seven now, except possibly Nelson, considered likely for a successful reelection to their Senate seats despite a negative vote on Kavanaugh.