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OP: Irresponsible City Council. Drop academics from NCAA.

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 [su_testimonial photo=”http://614now.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/croyle-thumb1.jpg”]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.

COMMENT BELOW…


QUICK TAKE I

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.


QUICK TAKE II

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

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

Caitlin Horwatt

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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.

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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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OP-ED: ‘Red flag’ is far cry from where Ohio gun law should be

Joanne Strasser

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Last weekend, a man entered a synagogue in Poway, California armed with a rifle. The Washington Post reports that prior to him entering the place of worship, the accused shooter wrote a 7-page letter about his hatred for Jewish people. He believed killing them would “glorify God.” Below is an op-ed from one Columbus mother who believes Ohio should be taking a stronger stance against guns following of the Poway tragedy.

Even in light of this past weekend’s synagogue shooting, DeWine is still unwilling to change Ohio’s gun laws. He is, however, advocating for Ohio to pass a red flag law, which would allow law enforcement to seize guns from individuals deemed a societal risk.

This isn’t the first time the red flag law was floated in the Ohio Legislature.  In the wake of last year’s Parkland High School shooting in Florida, former Gov. Kasich backed the proposed law, which ultimately failed to gain support.

Opposition to the legislation stems from Republican lawmakers’ belief that it infringes on the constitution rights to bear arms and proper due process of law. However, 14 other states have already implemented the red flag law.

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Moms Demand Action, a national gun control organization, notes that 42% of attackers exhibit warning signs before shootings occur. And although this legislation would only be a small step in the right direction, it could help save lives.

But ultimately, statistics don’t matter to politicians, who are dependent on dollars from the gun lobby.  And until our elected officials decide that Ohioans‘ safety comes first, any measure, regardless of how small and sensible, will fail. 

Ohio Republicans need to take a long hard look at their agenda and ask themselves if it truly serves our needs. Which is more important: our children feeling safe at school or campaign contributions? 

The red flag law is a common-sense measure, and while it’s a far cry from where Ohio gun restriction needs to be, it’s certainly a start.

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Govt & Politics

Daily double: New legislation calls for huge minimum wage hike

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If new legislation passes, Ohio’s minimum wage could nearly double in the next several years. Two Democratic senators are working to increase hourly pay from $8.55 to $15.

State Senators Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) introduced the legislation Wednesday, reports 10TV.

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The new legislation stipulates a $12 minimum per hour beginning in January 2020 and a $1 yearly increase until 2023 to keep up with inflation.

“We have an obligation to make life better for the people in our state and that includes providing living wages,” said Sen. Thomas, per 10TV. “This increase to the minimum wage will help workers and their families have a better life. And when people have more money, it also benefits the local economy from increased spending in the community.”

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