UAPA Supports Payday Lending Bill

Recently the executive committee of UAPA voted to support the passage of Ohio House Bill 333. It limits the annual interest rate charged on a typical two-week loan (from payday lenders such as Check Into Cash and Always Payday) from the current 391 percent (about $15 per $100 borrowed) to 36 percent. They are called payday loans because that is the interval between paychecks at most employers.

Statewide, the number of payday lendin offices rose nearly 15-fold between 1996 and 2006 to 1,562. That is more than the combined total of restaurants operated by the McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's chains in Ohio. The industry has fought hard against a lower interest-rate cap, arguing it would put them all out of business. Industry officials say they offer a valuable service to those who can't get a loan anywhere else and are a better option than late fees or bounced checks.

Opponents say the two-week loans trap too many people in a cycle of debt, where they need a new loan to pay off the previous one.

Steve Stivers, former bank lobbyist, appointed State Senator and candidate for U.S. Representative, 15th District, weighs in with a typical Republican response by saying setting caps that low would be an overreaction to the issue and shut off credit to those who need it. "Most of these people are in the payday lending marketplace because their credit is not very good," he said. "Those people are not going to get the best interest rate." He has also said, "You can't take away people's ability to screw up their own financial situation by taking away the legal loan products, because they'll move to the illegal loans."

Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann is conducting a public hearing on the issue on Wednesday, April 9, 4:00 p.m., at Good Shepard Baptist Chrch, 1555 E. Hudson. For more information, contact Cathy Johnston at 280-1984 or cathyjohnston@cohhio.org.

The Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending has set up a web site chock full of great information.

McCain is Bad for Ohio Economy

John McCain has turned his back on working families.

Republican presidential candidate US Senator John McCain speaks ...He does not have a plan to address the issues that are affecting our state like foreclosures, trade and unprecedented job loss. Take a moment to view a short PowerPoint presentation here that reveals his dismal record of protecting American and Ohio jobs and working families.

Celeste Re-election Signs Available

State Representative Ted Celeste is running for re-election in the 24th House District. He will likely be challenged by former UA City Councilman and past-president of the UA Republican Club, Tim Rankin -- the same Tim Rankin who said of our organization in 2004, "they like to wear a bunch of t-shirts and write a bunch of letters to the editor. That doesn't mean their support is growing."

We've been proving him wrong ever since.

How to Interview a Global Warming Denier

Myron Ebell is the denier the New York Times has been quoting for years, to give their stories "balance." It takes a British journalist to properly handle Ebell's brand of ideological denial. Watch.....

UA Library Board member sponsoring creationist talk at UAHS

Charles DarwinA "young earth" creationist, intelligent design (ID) advocate and philosophy professor Paul Nelson, will be speaking at Upper Arlington High School on Feb 11th.

A UA Library Board of Trustees member, Bryce Kurfees, is listed as the contact on the event's invitiation. Mr. Kurfees owns an investment business in Dublin. Interestingly, there is a link to "Biblical Money Management" on his website (http://www.kurfeescapital.com/).

Many ID advocates are classic creationists, arguing that the geologic ages are an illusion, and the world is less than 10,000 years old. Dr. Nelson is no exception:

"It's no secret that I hold a young earth view."
---- Dr. Paul Nelson at the Skeptics Society Annual Meeting, Los Angeles (June 22, 2002)

For anyone planning to attend the event, here are some links to help you brush up on the both sides of the argument:

One Day of the Iraq War

Earn $$ as Democratic Poll Worker

There remains a critical need for Democratic poll workers in Franklin County for the March 04 Primary.

This need includes Presiding Judges (who manage the polling place and supervise the other judges) and regular Judges (who variously oversee the poll books and voter indentification and signature requirements; oversee the provisional ballot process; or oversee the operation of the voting machines).

Presiding judges are paid $160 for the work, training and transportation costs. The presiding judges are required to take a four-hour training course.

The other poll workers are paid $110—$95 for Election Day and $15 for the 2-hour training.

Even young adults can be presiding judges. Pass this on to anyone interested.

Those interested in working can register online at or call the Board of Elections at (614) 462-3100 or sign up at http://vote.franklincountyohio.gov

Judges are needed because Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, won all but 22 of Franklin County's 854 precincts last year. State law requires a presiding judge to the the same political party as the gubernatorial candidate who last won that precinct.

Currently, there are 41 Democratic Presiding Judge slots that are uncommitted for the Primary. There are 210 Democratic regular Judge spots that are still uncommitted for the Primary.

Those interested in working can register online at or call the Board of Elections at (614) 462-3100.

A UAPA supporter, who served as a Presiding Judge for the last election and will be doing so again for the Primary would be happy to share experiences and/or assist in getting you involved as a poll worker. Sign up here if you would like to be contacted.

CoolUA nominated for 2007 UA Community Enrichment Award

On January 15th, 2008 Virginia Barney, UA's City Manager, sent CoolUA a letter stating that CoolUA had been nominated for the 2007 Community Enrichment Award.

A presentation to the final award winner will be made this Monday, January 28th at the UA Municipal Building at 6:30pm.

Congratulations to everyone at CoolUA for raising community awareness about the environment and encouraging local officials and individuals to adopt energy efficient policies!

Videos of the excellent presentations from CoolUA's 2007 Town Hall Meeting can be found here.

Not One--But Two--New Columbus Radio Stations Geared to Progressives

"Information is the lifeblood of democracy — and when viewpoints are cut off and ideas cannot find an outlet, our democracy suffers."

Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media

New to Columbus: Progressive Talk Radio

WVKO, 1580 AM

Just over a year ago, central Ohio's only progressive radio station was pulled from the AM dial leaving a tremendous void for those of us who spent a part of each day tuning in to hear thoughtful interviews, discussions and a little bit of silliness (for those Stephanie Miller fans). It's been a long road back, but Progressive Talk Radio can be heard once again at WVKO, 1580 AM. Check to see the impressive lineup of shows.

During the work week, may we suggest Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow--three insightful radio hosts who will wow you with their intellect and thoughtful commentary.

For Progressive Talk Radio to continue, listener support is essential. Please listen to 1580 AM and spread the word to your friends. And please support the station's sponsors and ALWAYS let them know where you learned of them. And if you own a business of your own, remember that this format is "loved by its listeners" (to quote Dispatch media reporter Tim Feran), and 1580 AM serves a devoted and loyal audience.

 

New to Columbus: Community Radio Station

WCRS, 98.3 FM in Columbus and UA; 102.1 FM in Westerville, Gahanna, New Albany and Bexley

WCRS is a community radio station new to central Ohio and like most community radio stations it provides music and news that is popular to local audiences but is overlooked by more powerful broadcast groups.

During evening drive time, may we suggest Democracy Now! (3:00 to 4:00 pm and again at 7:00 to 8:00 pm) and Free Speech Radio News at 5:30 pm.

The beginning of a more productive City Council?

Table 1: Progressive voters made the difference. Only 1 vote per precinct separated the 2nd and 3rd place finishers
and the 3rd and 4th place finishers.
Official City Council Results
Candidate Votes % Vote Margin Vote Margin / 34 UA Precincts
Erik Yassenoff 6,18623.3%71721.1 votes
Mary Ann Krauss 5,46920.6%
31.91 votes
Ed Seidel 5,438 20.5%
391.15 votes
Dan McCormick 5,399 20.3%
1,322 38.9 votes
Leslie Heath 4,077 15.3%

UAPA's endorsed candidates win re-election

After waiting well over a month for certified election results and taking a break for holiday merriment, we can finally announce that UAPA's best-outcome election scenario won the day in UA's City Council race! A belated thank you to the UA progressive community for realizing the importance of this City Council race and coming out to vote. Our endorsed candidates, Mary Ann Krauss and Ed Seidel, were re-elected in a race that was very close.

Election Analysis

1. The progressive vote had a race-determining impact --- only one vote per precinct separated the candidates in 2nd and 3rd place and the candidates in 3rd and 4th place. Table 1 shows the official vote tallies.

2. Kingsdale was arguably the single biggest election issue. The election of Seidel, Krauss and Yassenoff, who all share a common mixed-use vision for Kingsdale, strongly suggests that voters believe the City has a responsibility to UA citizens to negotiate for the best possible use of this scarce, commercial property in the very heart of UA.

Pages

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer