John Kasich

John Kasich Kicks Off Presidential Bid By Addressing Religious Right Gathering

The Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Religious Right group led by disgraced right-wing lobbyist Ralph Reed, is holding its annual “Road to Majority” conference next week. Nearly every Republican presidential candidate has signed up for the event, and today, the FFC announced that Ohio Gov. John Kasich will be addressing the conservative summit.

Kasich recently made waves by tapping John Weaver and Fred Davis, two veterans of John McCain’s 2008 campaign, to work for his increasingly likely campaign for president.

The conference is cosponsored by radical right-wing groups such as Concerned Women for America, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family & Property and the World Congress of Families, and will feature speeches from Religious Right favorites such as Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, Christian Broadcasting Network “reporter” David Brody, pastor Jim Garlow, rabbi Daniel Lapin and activists like Phyllis Schlafly, Lila Rose and Gary Bauer.

Clearly, no right-wing activist is too radical or corrupt for Republican presidential candidates to embrace, which is why Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina have no qualms about attending this event organized by someone like Reed.

Reed is best known for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal, where he organized a Christian Coalition anti-gambling campaign in Alabama with the help of secretive funding from Mississippi tribes that owned casinos – who just so happened to be Abramoff’s clients that didn’t want business competition from the neighboring state. Reed denied knowing the source of the funding, even though investigators uncovered emails from Abramoff asking Reed to send invoices for approval from a Mississippi tribe which controlled major gaming interests. Abramoff later said that Reed “didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money,” adding that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.”

Pat Robertson: Hillary Clinton Suffered Secret 'Minor Strokes,' Would Lose To Bush-Kasich 'Dream Ticket'

On “The 700 Club” today, Pat Robertson discussed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s announcement that he is exploring a presidential run, speculating that a “dream ticket” of Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich would defeat Hillary Clinton “in a walk” because he’d read something about Clinton having health problems including “little minor strokes.”

Robertson brought up Clinton’s admission that she hasn’t driven a car since 1996, when she was first lady. Although this isn’t surprising for someone who’s been under Secret Service protection for decades, Robertson speculated that it was because of an “ischemic things where she’s had little minor strokes.”

“I was reading that the reason she doesn’t drive, she hasn’t driven in maybe a decade or so, that she has some kind of ischemic things where she’s had little minor strokes, I don’t know if they’ve released the medical thing on her, but I think Hillary’s yesterday’s news,” Robertson said, perhaps a reference to Dr. Karl Rove’s diagnosis of the former secretary of state.

“Sometimes time goes by and you miss your chance, and coming back a second time, it may not play,” he said.

Robertson, who said in 2008 that God had told him who would win the presidential election, but refused to say at the time who it was, said today that he "thought for sure” that Clinton “was going to be the next president.” In what is perhaps bad news for Bush and Kasich, this was not the first time that God has provided Robertson with the wrong election prediction: He also told Robertson that Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama in 2012.

How 2014's Elections Will Influence 2016's Voting Rights

Voters across the country trying to cast votes in Tuesday’s elections ran into hurdles erected by Republican legislatures, governors and secretaries of state. Along with mechanical glitches and human error — which occurred in states with leaders on both sides of the political spectrum — voters faced new laws and policies that made it harder to vote.

In Alabama, a last-minute decision by the attorney general barred people from using public housing IDs to vote. Voter ID laws in North Carolina and Texas sowed confusion. Georgia lost 40,000 voter registrations, mostly from minorities. In all, the group Election Protection reported receiving 18,000 calls on Election Day, many of them having to do with voter ID laws. The group noted that the flurry of calls represented “a nearly 40 percent increase from 13,000 calls received in 2010.”

In the presidential election year of 2016, it looks unlikely that those problems will subside — especially if Congress fails to restore the Voting Rights Act. The two states that had the closest vote tallies in the last presidential election — Florida and Ohio — will go into the presidential election year with Republicans controlling the offices of governor and secretary of state and holding majorities in their state legislatures.

In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who won reelection yesterday, will be able to appoint a secretary of state and will enjoy the support of a veto-proof Republican majority in the state House.

In Ohio, controversial Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted won reelection on Tuesday, along with Gov. John Kasich. They’ll be able to work with a strengthened GOP majority in the state legislature.

In North Carolina, where a Republican legislature and governor have cracked down on voting rights, the GOP held onto its majority. Republican secretary of state candidates in the swing states of Colorado, Iowa and Nevada also won elections yesterday.

Two influential elections for voting rights also took place in states unlikely to be presidential swing states. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a national ringleader for advocates of restrictive voting laws, won reelection. In Arizona, which has been working with Kansas to defend their states' respective tough voting requirements, Republican candidate Michele Reagan also won her contest.

One exception to the trend is Pennsylvania, where Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who backed a harsh voter ID law that has since been struck down in the courts, lost to voting rights supporter Tom Wolf. Although Wolf will contend with a Republican majority in the state legislature, he will be able to appoint a secretary of the commonwealth.

Ohio Law Meant to Force Abortion Providers 'Out of Business,' Anti-Choice Leader Admits

On Sunday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law some of the most restrictive anti-choice measures in the country, including requiring that women seeking an abortion undergo costly and medically unnecessary ultrasounds, mandating that physicians give a pre-written anti-choice speech to women seeking abortions, preventing rape crisis centers from counseling women on abortion options, and dramatically cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and redirecting some of that money to anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers,” and even redefining pregnancy.

The bill also includes a requirement that all abortion providers have formal “transfer agreements” with local hospitals…but bans public hospitals from signing these agreements. This transfer agreement provision is a classic TRAP (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) law, meant to place such unnecessary and burdensome requirements on abortion providers that they are forced to shut their doors.

Generally, anti-choice activists defend TRAP laws by claiming that they are merely looking out for women’s health and safety. But in an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins yesterday, Ohio Religious Right activist Phil Burress admitted that the goal of Ohio’s new law is in fact to force abortion clinics “out of business.”

Perkins, recognizing that Burress had strayed from the anti-choice movement’s talking points, tried to get things back on track by insisting that “these agreements are generally good health practices.”

Burress: Not only did we pass pro-life legislation, but in Ohio $1.4 million in federal money that will be diverted from Planned Parenthood to many of the crisis pregnancy centers.

Perkins: That means President Obama’s going to have to go out and do another fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.

Burress: Exactly. They’re reeling, aren’t they, they’re really hurting for money. But, you know, $1.4 million is a lot of money, but in terms of the amount of money that Planned Parenthood spends, it’s a drop in the bucket. It’s a statement. And we praise Gov. Kasich and the Republicans that put this through. And they also have passed legislation called a transfer agreement, that every abortion clinic has to have a transfer agreement with a hospital, but they are prohibited from signing one with a public hospital. So we can put pressure on hospitals to not sign agreements, and we may see some abortion clinics go out of business.

Perkins: Yeah, and these agreements are basically good health practices.

The Right to Vote Under Attack, 2012 Update

Here we detail, as of October 6, 2012, except where otherwise noted, the latest efforts across the country to suppress the vote, as well as some encouraging successes in expanding the franchise.

African American Ministers Leadership Council Applauds Restoration of Early Voting Rights in Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio – Ohio members of the African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) applauded a federal court’s decision today to restore early voting rights for all Ohioans in the three days before November’s election.

In 2008, 93,000 Ohioans cast their votes in the three days before the election. Last year, the Ohio legislature and Gov. John Kasich passed a law eliminating early voting during those three days. The Obama campaign sued to reinstate it. Last Sunday, AAMLC member Rev. Dr. Tony Minor wrote an op-ed in the Plain Dealer criticizing attempts to limit early voting in Ohio.

“This is a victory for our democracy, and a victory for every Ohio voter,” said Rev. Dr. Tony Minor of Cleveland, Ohio coordinator of the African American Ministers Leadership Council. “Early voting helped make it easier for many working Ohioans to vote four years ago. It was a success story for civic participation and for civil rights. Our elected officials’ cynical attempts to make it harder for Ohioans to cast our ballots went against both the spirit of our democracy and the letter of our law.”

The African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation founded in 1997, works nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls  through the non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.

 

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