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Govt & Politics

OP: Irresponsible City Council. Drop academics from NCAA.




 [su_testimonial photo=””]By Steve Croyle[/su_testimonial]

Irresponsible City Council

TOPIC: Allocating funds to legal aid for immigrants0

$185,000 is, in terms of the city budget, “Chump Change”. Unfortunately, “Chump Change” can add up pretty quickly, and when you take into account the City’s logic with regard to tax abatements, and the passage of certain levies, it would appear that the local taxpayer dies a death by a thousands cuts. By the time everything is said and done, we’re on the hook for a lot of money.

So when Columbus City Council approved to allocate $185,000 to legal aid for immigrants facing deportation, it was cause for concern. Even though this is a relatively small amount of money, it is an overreach by local officials who seem to be funneling money to progressive charities.

Now, this could be, at least in part, a ploy to assist incumbent Council Members facing a serious challenge from the Yes We Can coalition. By allocating these funds ahead of the upcoming election, it could help quietly mobilize people in the immigrant community to support status quo.

That’s all well and good, but where’s the public referendum? Investing this amount of money to organizations that are most certainly going to skim some of that money for their “administrative” costs isn’t even serving the best interests of the immigrant community. City Council hasn’t provided any evidence of its vetting of these organizations, nor has it made public any conditional requirements for this money. Once it’s in the hands of these charitable groups, it could be spent on landscaping outside their offices, for all we know. Oh, they’ll say it was used for “outreach”, but where you say you spent money and where it actually went are two different things. Ask any husband who has had lunch at a strip club.

Funding for this sort of thing should be raised through private enterprises. If City Council wants to set aside an endowment to help aid Columbus residents directly, that’s acceptable. Drawing funds as needed from an endowment is both cost effective and verifiable. You can predetermine specifically what those funds are being used for, and distribute them directly to the legal team representing the individual in question. You could even disburse funds to charities for specific needs.

There’s little question that had this issue been brought to a public vote it would have been flatly rejected. A significant percentage of this city’s residents are xenophobic bigots who would just as soon ship anybody not white out of town on the first flight.

And perhaps that would be Council’s first line of defense. Those of us who have some trepidation over Columbus allocating chunks of money to pet causes of the individuals serving at the public’s pleasure don’t want to be lumped in with them. So a fiscally conservative Democrat risks being lumped in with Trump supporters if they complain.

But this is not to be taken lightly. This is another example of just how little our elected officials respect the public. They don’t care about our tax burden, they see the money that pours into the City’s coffers as theirs to spend. We have a City Council that meets in closed sessions to make decisions that affect us all. This whimsical expenditure was 200 grand, the next one might be 100, then another 300 grand after that. The next thing you know, Columbus has spent a million dollars with nothing to show for it. Where does it end?

The answer to that is actually quite simple: It ends when you vote for candidate who care about the voters. Even if you approve of the allocation of funds, you can’t support the process. What if this had been a Republican Council funneling money to an anti-immigration group in the same manner? The ends does not justify the means.

This money is gone. Getting angry is fine, but this is what you get when voter turnout for Council Elections is less than 20%. These people are not accountable to the majority of voters, they are accountable to groups that can raise money, and get a handful of people to show up on election day.

Elizabeth Brown took the lead on this scheme, so it will be interesting to see what sort of move she’s making in the 2018 election. Will she take a stab at Pat Tiberi’s vacated seat? If so, how much money will she get from the charities Columbus just pumped 185,000 into? Did we just watch City Council effectively donate money to a member’s future political aspirations?

Some of us will be watching.



Reconsidering NCAA Football

Topic: Ohio State Football

The Ohio State Buckeyes have washed the stink of a home loss to Oklahoma off with an exciting come-from-behind win over Penn State. According to the polls, Penn State was the #2 team in the country. According to anybody with sense, Penn State was another overrated team who hadn’t really played anybody.

That’s not to say that the game itself wasn’t one for the ages, but exciting barn burners like this are usually the result of some sloppy football, and that’s definitely the case here. Ohio State seems a long way from achieving the level of consistent excellence expected of a team worthy of the National Championship.

There’s a lot of work to be done, and the teams remaining on the schedule are not exactly the kind of opponents who bring out your best. This sort of thing is why Ohio State was clobbered by Clemson last year. The players on this team are just too self-absorbed to realize that they’re beating up creampuffs.

This is why the NCAA needs to create another division. This new division would be revenue based, and eliminate recruiting restrictions and academic requirements. Just eliminate the need for cheating, and let the best teams play minor league football amongst themselves. No more pretending it’s about student athletes. No more false sense of security coming from playing Indiana, Rutgers, and Maryland.


Image-conscious NFL sits on hands

Topic: Kneeling during anthem saga continues

Roger Goodell is a PR nightmare. His kneejerk reactions to public consternation has made the NFL look terrible, while overstepping his bounds.   

The NFL doesn’t have a problem with domestic violence, or sexual assault. Instances among NFL players are actually much lower than the national average, but NFL players are more famous and they play a brutal sport.

NFL players are doing nothing wrong, or even disrespectful when they take a knee during the anthem, but Roger Goodell is scrambling to put an end to this sort of thing.  

PR is everything to this guy.  At least until Texans’ Owner Bob McNair butchered an expression and inadvertently compared NFL players to prison inmates when he said we (the nfl) can’t have “inmates running the prison.”

Whether he meant something racist or not doesn’t matter. This is about image, and the lack of action demonstrated here makes the NFL look hypocritical.  Bob McNair’s comment upset his players, and many fans. Normally when fans are upset, Goodell falls all over himself trying to fix it. Apparently that’s not the case when the majority of the fans are black.

These are opinions, dude!
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of 614Now, 614 Mediagroup or its employees. Take a deep breath… it’s just one man’s opinion. If you want your voice heard beyond the comments section, we invite you to send us your thoughts HERE.
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Govt & Politics

DeWine urges background checks, mental health programs following Dayton shooting




Following the heartbreaking mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, Gov. Mike DeWine stepped up to the statehouse podium to lay out at least 17 proposals for gun law reform.

Among the initiatives were the Red Flag Law, expanded background checks, and mental health programs.

Watch the full address below

According to NBC4i, DeWine spent a great deal of time proposing increased penalties for felons who possess a gun illegal, or use a gun in the commission of a crime, or for when a gun is used in the commission of a felony in general, or for when someone makes a straw man purchase for someone else, or for when an adult sells a gun to a minor, to name a few. 

He also urged lawmaker to get better help for people suffering from a mental illness. DeWine also believes people inside psychiatric hospitals who are waiting to be deemed competent to stand trial for a crime would benefit from going through that process elsewhere.

WOSU reports DeWine recommended that the legislature pass laws requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales. Additionally, he thinks courts should restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats, also referred to as the Red Flag Law.

Ohio’s GOP-led state legislature has given little consideration to gun-safety measures introduced by Democrats this session, according to WOSU.

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Govt & Politics

Op-Ed: We won battle with Heartbeat Bill block, war continues

Caitlin Horwatt



Ohio’s controversial “Heartbeat Bill” has been ​blocked by a federal court​, just days before it was slated to go into enforcement on July 11. The ruling is a temporary win for pro-reproductive rights activists and Planned Parenthood, ensuring that abortion clinics in the state of Ohio can stay open. But, the war over a woman’s right to her bodily autonomy is only ramping up.

The law would have banned abortions in the state of Ohio after six weeks, the earliest time in a pregnancy when a fetal heartbeat may be detected and well before many women know they are pregnant. There were to be no exceptions for rape or incest, although there would be exceptions when the life of the mother was in danger. The law would have classified violations as fifth-degree felonies, carrying up to one year in jail time and up to $2,500 in fines as a sentence.

The ​halt was ordered ​by Judge Michael Barrett of the Southern District of Ohio U.S. District Court. Barrett pointed out that the bill placed an “undue burden” on a woman seeking to terminate a pre-viability pregnancy. The law was on its face unconstitutional, a blatant attempt to overturn the federal government’s long standing decision to give women the right to the decisions regarding their bodies. Conservatives have tried to limit bodily autonomy well before women had the right to abortions; however, they fail to attack problems like infant poverty and child hunger with the same veracity.

The bill was part of a larger strategy that’s occurred nationwide at the hands of Republican lawmakers. The right to an abortion will stand nationally as long as Supreme Court rulings, including ​Roe v. Wade,​ remain in effect. By hammering out heartbeat bills nationwide, conservatives increase their chances of getting a ruling appealed up to the Supreme Court and from there the conservative-leaning court overturning ​Roe​.

Abortions are not only justified in the case of rape or incest, which has been a clickbait-inducing theme around this controversy. Abortion is a part of reproductive healthcare, a procedure nearly one in four women​ have before the age of 45. If lawmakers are so concerned about decreasing abortion rates, presumably because of a concern for the lives of the fetuses, they should fund comprehensize sex education ​and support for impoverished children already in this country.

The right to an abortion goes further than an outright ban. Strict regulations are a backdoor way to limit abortions, claiming to regulate the abortion providers for safety purposes. The state of Missouri​ famously has just one embattled abortion clinic ​still open and providing procedures, with the fight to keep the clinic licensed and running regularly boiling down to the wire in the past several months.

It is easy to move on from this debate when a new shocking headline runs about the state of politics or the crisis at the border. Wins like this, though important, cannot be accepted as permanent. As long as conservative lawmakers are proposing bills and regulations that limit abortion care, there is a battle to be fought, because we won’t go back.

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Govt & Politics

OP-ED: Heartbeat Bill will likely affect 11yo Ohio rape victim

Caitlin Horwatt



The passage of Ohio’s recent “heartbeat bill,” signed by Governor DeWine, marks a massive and distressing win in the conservative quest to outright ban abortion. All parties supporting the bill—from DeWine to legislators and lobbyists—are well aware that the action will be blocked by courts as they uphold Roe v. Wade, which protects the right to abortion until 24 weeks gestation. We should be frightened as we explore whether their big picture goal is to get Roe v. Wade overturned by the decidedly conservative Court.

By banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected, the law prohibits abortion as early as eight weeks, well before many women know they are pregnant. Add in the already mandatory twenty-four hour waiting period between first appointment and procedure, and the likelihood of legal abortion for even a pregnancy detected early seems slim. The law is an blatant attempt to ban women’s right to choose.

The Guttmacher Institute found that ​1 in 4 women​ has had an abortion before age 45. The Pew Research Center found that ​58% of Americans support legal abortion ​in all or most cases, with polarizing views against abortion coming mostly from Republican and religious Americans. These statistics fail to depict, though, how traumatic the impact can be for women forced to carry a child to term when she does not have the means or support to do so. The law is meant to protect the fetus at a term that is far earlier than the 22 to 24 weeks at which it is viable, all at the cost of the mother.

The bill notably does not give exceptions for cases of rape and incest, only allowing exceptions for medical necessity to save the mother’s life. This means an ​11 year-old rape victim from Massillon​ will likely have to carry her rapist’s baby to term.

Heartbeat bills do not ban abortion; they ban legal abortion. I think of a sign I saw during the 2017 Women’s March: a metal coat hanger with the words “WE WON’T GO BACK” scrawled below. The passage of this recent law achingly raises questions of whether or not we will go back.

Women who now find themselves pregnant could have their lives forever changed. Even if they choose to surrender the baby after birth, the cost of a pregnancy is astronomical and healthcare is far from a certainty in this country. If the pregnancy was caused by rape, the potential for trauma only escalates. Women will have few places to turn, with the most vulnerable unable to seek safe healthcare and the potential high for maternal deaths as part of botched abortions.

The ACLU and other organizations are already moving to challenge the ban in court. I can’t shake the looming feeling that these challenges will only play into the hands of those anti-abortion supporters, and that we may be entering the most important fight of our generation in this fight for a woman’s right to choose.

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