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Jen Sorenson tells it like it is in this graphic illustration explanation of what the heck is being done to reproductive rights and legal medical care for women throughout Ohio and the country. Please share it widely and often.

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:08 pm October 24th, 2013 in Ethics, Gender, Health Care, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Women | Comments Off 

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Because I have not seen enough or many women-oriented sites covering this. I’m not sure what’s up with that, and it’s absent from all along the political spectrum.

From the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN – looks like a really excellent site): SWAN on the Lackland AFB Scandal

From NPR: Military under pressure to crack down on sex abuse

From Minnesota Public Radio which seems to be covering it well: Sexual Assault in the US Military

HuffPo: Tailhook whistleblower demands Congress investigate Lackland Sexual Assaults

The Daily Beast: Lackland Rape Scandal Shines Spotlight On Military Failure

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:04 pm July 17th, 2012 in Courage, Ethics, Gender, Law, leadership, Military, Scandal, Sexism, Women | Comments Off 

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From MSNBC this morning:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Read more here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 1:58 pm March 22nd, 2012 in Ethics, Gender, Government, Health Care, Politics, Republicans, Rick Perry, Transparency, Women | Comments Off 

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I think, and I’ve heard from multiple others who also think that Rachel Dissell’s front page article today in the Plain Dealer, “Jimmy Dimora trial reveals former Cuyahoga County commissioner’s coarse talk about women,” does a very good job of putting the information revealed through Jimmy Dimora’s trials about how he and those around him treated women in both a local and a broader context.

Definitely check out the cleveland.com comment thread – be sure you’re sitting down, even if you’re used to the tone they sometimes take on.  And also browse this comment thread on Connie Schultz’s Facebook page.

Folks, we have a long, long way to go.  If this cause inspires you, please check out Name It Change It, an effort to catalogue and call out, on a non-partisan basis as you will see from the examples, just how rampant the sexism is, especially when politics is involved.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:10 pm February 2nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Ethics, Gender, Government, intolerance, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Scandal, Sexism, Social Issues, Women | Comments Off 

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Go Hoyas – he did so much better than me in undergrad ConLaw anyway; just received in the inbox. The one thing I keep noticing is how little knowledge of or respect for transparency and openness seems to be reflected in what the public records seem to show. How to protect what people didn’t want other people to know seems to have been the overriding interest in the process. Read Aaron Marshall’s piece from today’s front page above the fold Plain Dealer story for background.

State Representative
Dennis Murray

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 13, 2011
Contact: Sarah Bender, House Democratic Communications (614) 466-9036

Rep. Murray Request Joint Investigation into Waste, Abuse and Fraud
Calls for Investigation into Secretive Map Drawing Processes

COLUMBUS – State Representative and Ranking Member of the Judiciary and Ethics Committee Dennis Murray (D-Sandusky) sent a letter to Inspector General Randall Meyer and Legislative Inspector General Tony Bledsoe requesting a joint investigation into potential waste, abuse, fraud, and violations of state sunshine and public records laws. This comes after the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting released a transparency report yesterday highlighting some of the misconduct in the redistricting and re-apportionment processes.

“The information in yesterday’s report revealed is absolutely appalling.  I ask for a joint investigation today because I fear we are just beginning to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds the congressional redistricting and re-apportionment processes,” Rep. Murray said.  “My Democratic colleagues and I are deeply troubled at the wasteful spending of Ohioan’s tax dollars, and the violation of Ohio’s sunshine and public records laws.”

A copy of the letter can be seen below. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:39 pm December 13th, 2011 in Congress, conservatives, democracy, Ethics, Government, Ohio, Statehouse, Transparency | 1 Comment 

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I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next summer. I’m interested to learn what process will be used to identify the voters who should receive the applications and the timeline to be deployed to make sure that the vote by mail applications are received by the voters with more than enough time for the 88 counties to mail out the ballots and get them back. What is the agreement regarding who will pay the return postage on the application itself? You get the idea of the questions to be answered.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:   John Kohlstrand: (216) 698-2099 or jkohlstrand@cuyahogacounty.us
                                Nicole Dailey Jones: (216) 263-4602, (216)338-0863 or ndjones@cuyahogacounty.us

OHIO VOTERS WILL BENEFIT FROM AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN
ED FITZGERALD AND OHIO  SECRETARY OF STATE

All Ohio voters to receive application to vote by mail in 2012 presidential election

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced today that he has reached an agreement with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and state legislative leaders to have voters in all 88 Ohio counties sent an application to vote by mail next year.

The deal was reached Thursday after a meeting between FitzGerald, Husted, senior staff of both leaders, and Cuyahoga County Councilman Mike Gallagher, a Strongsville Republican. It ends a standoff between the chief executive of Ohio’s largest county and the state’s chief elections officer.

“We went to bat for our constituents here in Cuyahoga County, and we ended up making voting more convenient for millions of Ohioans,” FitzGerald said today. “This is great news for anyone who believes public officials should try to keep voting simple.”

In the agreement:

n  Husted has agreed to have his office send an application to vote by mail to voters in all 88 Ohio counties in advance of next year’s presidential election.

n  In return, FitzGerald will freeze a county plan to send all active voters in Cuyahoga County an application to vote by mail this fall. The mailing will be replaced by an public outreach effort to make sure Cuyahoga County voters understand how to vote early this fall.

FitzGerald said he has spoken with House Speaker William Batchelder and Senate President Tom Niehaus. Both are publicly committing their support.

“This agreement represents one of the largest steps forward in access to the ballot in years,” FitzGerald said. “

# # #

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:26 am September 2nd, 2011 in Council, CuyahogaCounty, democracy, Elections, Ethics, Executive, Law, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Voting | 1 Comment 

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I don’t get a good feeling from this – but let’s hear from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald. Very curious to know what his calculation was in agreeing to this, if Ohio SOS Jon Husted’s statement accurately reflects Fitzgerald’s understanding of the agreement. Here it is – I’ve highlighted the pertinent part:

Secretary Of State Husted Statement On Absentee Ballot Applications And Uniformity Of Ohio Elections

9/2/2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 2, 2011

SECRETARY OF STATE HUSTED STATEMENT ON ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS AND UNIFORMITY OF OHIO ELECTIONS

COLUMBUS – The following may be attributed in whole, or in part, to Secretary of State Jon Husted regarding the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot request forms and maintaining uniformity in how elections are administered in Ohio:

“Yesterday I met with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Councilman Michael Gallagher to gain a better understanding of our mutual concerns regarding the distribution of unsolicited absentee ballot request forms.

“Through a productive exchange of ideas, we were able to develop a plan and achieve consensus to preserve the uniform standards I have sought statewide.

“Cuyahoga County officials have agreed not to send out unsolicited mailings for the 2011 General Election and the Secretary of State’s office will distribute absentee ballot request forms to voters in all 88 counties for the 2012 Presidential Election – so that each Ohio voter has uniform and equal access to their ballots.

“Leaders in the General Assembly, House Speaker William Batchelder and Senate President Tom Niehaus, have graciously agreed to support this plan and will appropriate the necessary resources from existing and available federal Help America Vote Act funds.

“I am glad we have been able to work out our differences but ultimately it will be the voters who benefit from this agreement. This will help reduce the chance of long lines at the polls during the Presidential Election and voters in smaller counties will have the same conveniences as voters in larger counties.”

-30-

For more information, please contact Matt McClellan at 614-995-2168 or mmcclellan@ohiosecretaryofstate.gov.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:54 am September 2nd, 2011 in Council, CuyahogaCounty, Elections, Ethics, Executive, Government, Law, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Transparency, Voting, WH2012, White House 2012, Whitehouse09 | Comments Off 

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I’m not in that group, but it is those who are that seem to be the most willing to ignore anything good that does derive from what seems like almost any quantity of regulation of almost anything.

Where’s this observation of mine coming from? It really became highlighted for me in a thread about clean air regulations that got consumed by the philosophical differences related to how we prioritize what is important to us. The example comes from this post at The Moderate Voice where I’ve been co-blogging for years as an example.  Just read through the comments.  (I know several of the regulars and we have acceptable online rapports that have developed over years, so you can stick to considering the content of the arguments made, as opposed to anything that might seem kind of personal.)

I don’t think that the back and forth there is atypical at all in terms of how those who are prone to see matters in a binary way apply that to the topic of government regulation.  In fact, I think it reflects that type of vision extremely well.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:30 pm June 24th, 2011 in Business, Energy, Environment, Ethics, Government, Illness, Law, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Science, Social Issues, Utilities, Youth | 3 Comments 

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It’s hard to know where to start, as a mother of three kids under 18, one of whom has a recurring respiratory problem whenever he gets a cold, and living in a state that gets an overall F in clean air, when it comes to how universally savage the Republican presidential hopefuls are toward the Environmental Protection Agency.

If you missed the news, here’s a breakdown of how each of seven candidates addressed environment and energy issues in this past Monday’s Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire. (Note: it’s from a blog called Energy & Capital, and you can read about the editors of it here.) U.S. Representative and presidential primary candidate Michele Bachmann, had the most choice words. Her solution to all our problems that she deems are connected to regulation? She demands that we start with changing the name of the agency from “Environmental Protection Agency” to “Job-Killing Organization of America.”

Hmm. Really? A name change? Well, I get the obsession with the image is everything thing, but I think she’s going to have to do a whole lot more research, analysis and formulating before she’s going to convince anyone that a name change is going to make a difference.

So, what information might she need to check out before she stands by this literal kiss of death policy position of hers? Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:46 pm June 17th, 2011 in Business, Campaigning, conservatives, Energy, Environment, Ethics, michele bachmann, Moms Clean Air Force, Politics, Republicans, WH2012, White House 2012, Women, Youth | 6 Comments 

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The media may say that they’re just reporting the news, but what signs of restraint or maturity have you seen in the coverage given to the numerous and varied “truth is stranger than fiction” tales of people married to politicians?

Not much, given the recent Newsweek cover with the title “The Good Wife 2012.”

Example of how media frames narrative about SOME political spouses especially since they are not all "she"

Example of how media frames narrative about SOME political spouses especially since they are not all "she" (do you know Michele Bachmann's husband's name without looking it up?)

Inside the issue, we find an article titled “The Real Running Mates.”

The idea that The Wife controls the decision-making of The Men Who Would Be Leaders has been particularly strong this year. I think my all-time favorite headline is this one, from Outside the Beltway: Haley Barbour’s Wife Is “Horrified” at the Thought of a Presidential Run. Take a look at the URL and note the choice of browser title for “Wives With White House Veto Power,” a post by Michelle Cottle for the Daily Beast. It reads, “Mitch Daniels’ Wife Helps Nix Run: The Rise of the Political Spouse 2012.” Where are all the articles that talk about how supportive the spouses can be?

Read  the rest of this cross-post at the original on BlogHer.com and contribute to the debate.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:14 pm June 6th, 2011 in BlogHer, Campaigning, Elections, Ethics, marriage, Media, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (or USPIRG – I love PIRGs) came out yesterday with its report, Following The Money 2011: How The 50 States Rate In Providing Online Access To Government Spending Data. Ohio barely escaped settling in with the majority of states and received a “B-” or just 82 points.  And this is based on USPIRG doing its data gathering in 2011 (see p.43 of the full report), not 2010, with a February 14, 2011 deadline for submission of information.

Where does the Ohio government fail to be transparent? You can look here and see that Ohio lost points as follows:

Downloadable – 0 out of 2

Previous fiscal year info – 3 out of 5

Information on Tax Expenditures – 0 out of 10

Expenditures from quasi-public agencies – 0 out of 2

Financial information on local government – 0 out of 2

Total deducation from possible 100 total: 18 points Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:26 am March 17th, 2011 in democracy, Ethics, Government, leadership, Tech, Transparency, treasurer | Comments Off 

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I have heard Ohio’s new Treasurer, Josh Mandel, mention that he was going to be breaking bread with former Treasurer Kevin Boyce (he mentioned it at his swearing in). Now, in an article that is part of the Washington Post’s series called The Rising, he is quoted as saying that it has in fact happened:

Mandel has stumbled a bit in his meteoric rise. He got some rare but intense negative press during the 2010 race after airing an ad that suggested his opponent was Muslim. The Toledo Blade threatened to take back its endorsement; the Columbus Dispatch said the ad’s reference to a mosque “seems to serve no purpose other than to play on some Americans’ post-9/11 fears of Middle Eastern people and religions.” His hometown paper endorsed the libertarian candidate instead.

“I made a mistake, and I learned from it and put it behind me,” says Mandel now. “I regret running the ad, and I’ve broken bread with my opponent and we’ve both put it behind us.”

I’ve stated my eye-roll reaction to most apologies in the political realm because it’s the behavior that follows the apology that matters most.  That shouldn’t be too hard to observe once Josh launches his next campaign, whatever that may be for and whenever it occurs.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:50 pm March 4th, 2011 in Campaigning, Ethics, Josh Mandel, Kevin Boyce, leadership, Ohio, treasurer | Comments Off 

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In today’s Chagrin Valley Times, columnist Barbara Christian wrote about our new statehouse representative, Marlene Anielski, a Republican and former mayor of the small (US Census 2000 says 2,400) village of Walton Hills. Christian seeks to highlight our preconceived notions related to party affiliation – the good, the bad and the as yet unknown.

In “Open mind may be hard to keep,” Christian describes a constituent event Anielski held at the Chagrin Falls library about ten days ago at which many attendees wanted to talk about SB5:

She had come to talk to constituents, one on one and face to face. She wanted to hear their concerns and maybe fix them. But while no subject was off the table, it appeared that the only one the majority of people wanted to talk about was one she was not prepared to address, Ohio Senate Bill 5. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:34 pm March 3rd, 2011 in conservatives, Courage, democracy, employment, Ethics, Government, leadership, OH17, OH24th, Politics, Social Issues, Statehouse, Transparency, Voting, Women | 4 Comments 

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I don’t care whether you are for SB5 or not. I just want you to please let our State Senator, Tom Patton, know where you stand with it. Sen. Patton is an unique member of our general assembly when it comes to SB5 because he has spoken and voted in support of unions before, he is the son of a police officer and extremely tragically, his son died in the line of duty last year.

Here is his contact information:

Phone: 614-466-8056

E-mail: SD24@senate.state.oh.us

You can read more here:

Phillip Morris’ column in today’s PD

Blog post by Ohio Daily Blog

The debate about the role of unions in general and the role they play in our economy and budget is a volatile one. Please voice your opinion.

My opinion? Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:26 am February 22nd, 2011 in democracy, Ethics, Government, Law, leadership, OH24th, Ohio, Politics, Statehouse, Transparency | 4 Comments 

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I’ve written very little about the incidents last Saturday in Tuscon, AZ that occurred at a public event hosted by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. I did however share my thoughts with the Cleveland Jewish News, and you can read them here.

My focus is on how we flood the media with stories that will encourage people to not only not hate public servants for any variety of reasons, but will in fact do the opposite and make people want to be one themselves.

Two years ago, when I met with someone who was well into her second decade of being a city council member, the first thing she told me was that some people will hate you just because you are in the government.  Those were her exact words.  People will hate you just because you are in the government. They won’t know you, they won’t care what you’ve done or not done.  If you are in the government, they will hate you.

It doesn’t help that our media is shameless when it comes to its nonstop highlighting of all things corrupt and salacious related to people in public service.  Of course the publication of those stories doesn’t make the people corrupt – its their actions, their responsibility, their behavior. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:50 am January 14th, 2011 in democracy, Ethics, Government, Media, Ohio, Politics, Social Issues, Youth | Comments Off 

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You can read it here.

The text of a press release regarding the report is after the jump.  I haven’t read it yet, but I have to believe that in such a report, there will be ideas that that every municipality should consider and possibly heed.

ONECUYAHOGA.COM
Office of Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JAN. 4, 2011

Media Contact: Keary McCarthy, (614) 425-9163

Integrity Audit Provides Starting Point for Incoming Inspector General
Findings recommend 23 ways to protect taxpayers, improve county operations

CLEVELAND – Findings from the first phase of an Integrity Audit were released today as a starting point for identifying potential weaknesses in county government and improving operations.  The audit outlines 23 recommendations that span a broad range of operational and personnel issues, many of which will be closely reviewed by the incoming inspector general.

“The Integrity Audit provides a good starting point to better protect taxpayers, improve operations and root out bad behavior in county government,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.  “I look forward to working through these findings and sharing this report with the incoming inspector general to address any potential wrongdoing.” Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:23 pm January 4th, 2011 in Council, CuyahogaCounty, democracy, Ethics, Executive, Government, Ohio, Politics, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Two sisters are released from prison but only if one will give a kidney to the other, even though neither one has been considered dangerous for how long?

A U.S. Supreme Court Justice argues against the 14th Amendment giving equal protection to women and supports the notion that discrimination can in fact be permissibly legislated against women without violating the U.S. Constitution.

The never-ending issue about the failure of women to be adequately represented in so many industries is at least positively and roundly addressed here.

Governor-elect John Kasich’s women appointees? So far – just one, and I’m not talking Mary Taylor (can you name who it is without looking it up? or at least which position she’ll take?).

Even Republican women on Capitol Hill are fearing that John Boehner will shutdown the very frequented and used lactation suites set up by Nancy Pelosi, after being told that the rumored shutdown won’t happen.

Oh – and let’s not forget that all five of the RNC’s candidates for Chair did not hesitate one nanosecond in saying that they would defund Planned Parenthood.

2011, huh?  Not so much, yet.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:47 pm January 3rd, 2011 in democracy, Ethics, Gender, John Kasich, Law, leadership, Ohio, Politics | Comments Off 

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I’m glad that this is being pursued. As Huffington Post recaps:

In early August, the Democratic campaign arm accused Fox of illegally helping to raise money on behalf of incoming Ohio Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) by running a chyron featuring his website at the same time that he was soliciting donations during an interview on Bill O’Reilly’s show.

Sam Stein speculates, however, that something much bigger is at stake:

Underpinning the legal back-and-forth between the DGA and Fox is a far more interesting political saga. There is a growing acceptance among Democratic officials to treat the television network not as a news outlet but, rather, as a functioning arm of the Republican Party. The initial complaint was filed not just to question Fox’s editorial decisions but to dissuade the network from providing a favorable platform for Kasich and to even help raise money for the DGA itself.

Frankly, I think this all just makes the case for the institution of transparency and media literacy programs.  Because do we really expect that work-arounds won’t be devised, pursued or otherwise deployed?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:29 pm December 3rd, 2010 in Ethics, Law, Media, Politics | Comments Off 

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I’ve lifted this description from Connie Schultz’s’ Facebook page primarily because it’s succinct (apologies but due linkage to Connie):

Plain Dealer reader rep, in the comments thread of his column today, wrote that “a lot of us are troubled by the obvious conflict” of my role as a columnist, married to a U.S. Senator. I was stunned. I posted a response, on Cleveland.com, copied in comment below.

I read Ted Diadiun’s column, all the comments there (as of about 11am), I left a comment myself, and read all the comments in Connie’s Facebook thread (linked to above).

My opinion: Although such an out of date, out of line, out of touch with reality column as Ted has written reads mostly like linkbait, I would urge people to leave comments at that column on Cleveland.com anyway.

The most obvious sign of not being of the times is Ted’s suggestion that only people who write for newspapers are journalists -as opposed to people who write for online outlets. In responding to a comment in the column’s online thread, Ted wrote: Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:41 pm November 14th, 2010 in Cleveland+, Ethics, Media, Politics | 7 Comments 

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Even while broadcast pundit after broadcast pundit, not to mention the owner of News Corps, the parent company of Fox, at the behest of Ohio governor-elect, John Kasich, make small and ginormous political contributions, Keith Olbermann gets an indefinite suspension from MSNBC over three.

I hope this brings Jeff Coryell out for a guest post.

Sigh. We were so ahead of our time, weren’t we? Or something.  Like Jeff Jarvis says, just disclose and forget about it.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:34 pm November 5th, 2010 in Ethics, Government, Law, Media, Politics, Scandal, Transparency, Writing | 1 Comment 

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