Reagan reprise

"Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? If you don't think that this course that we've been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have."

--- Ronald Reagan, 1980 Presidential Debate

Dispatch features lead op-ed pieces from UAPA members

As part of UAPA's letter writing campaign, two members' Letters to the Editor were published as lead editorials in the Opinion section of the Columbus Dispatch this week --- one on Monday and the other on Tuesday.

Deb Linville and Mike Lorz both made strong progressive arguments that caught the attention of the Dispatch editors. With the volume of editorials submitted in the weeks before an election, this is quite an accomplishment

In case you missed the editorials, Mike's is entitled 'Pro-life means more than anti-abortion' and Deb's is 'Republican Rankin can't rest on record'.

Mike is a pro-life Catholic who makes a strong case that Obama's policies and his Christian values supporting those policies "represent a culture of life, not just birth."

Many other Catholics are supporting Obama, too. Check out the 'Catholics for Obama' web site.

As a long-time Upper Arlington resident, Deb has watched Tim Rankin's divisive political tactics and far-right agenda over the years. In her LTE she calls him out on some of his most divisive wedge issues he championed during his time on City Council in UA.

UAPA has further elaborated on Deb's editorial on Tim Rankin on our web site.

Also this week, the UANews published these two LTEs from UAPA members:


GOP Agenda-Driven Journalism

The Jed Report put together this video mashup of WFTV's Barbara West, giving us a nice side-by-side contrast of her respective interviews with Joe Biden and John McCain.

As it turns out, Barbara West is a registered Republican and Barbara's husband, Wade West, is a Republican Media Consultant.


You can see the full Biden interview here and the full McCain video here. The latter is especially instructive in that we see just how far out there West is.

Matt Stoller's done a series of posts recently about issues of bias in local media, and repeated use of hand-fed GOP talking points as "research" which is worth watching closely.

With the advent of media consolidation, more and more local stations are in the hands of fewer and fewer large corporate conglomerates, and that's not good for fact-checking or diversity of opinion.

The Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote For Obama

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And McCain's refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

Rankin's past record shows where he'll go

Tim Rankin helped lead a small, vocal group of social conservatives in Upper Arlington on a series of divisive wedge issue campaigns that divided our community. These included an attempt to ban gay-oriented newspapers from the Upper Arlington Library, supporting a creationist for the UA Library Board of Trustees, and hand-picking then endorsing a far-right social conservative candidate for UA City Council.

Tim Rankin, candidate for the Ohio House 24th District, says he stands on his record. And that concerns us.

We've followed Rankin's divisive tactics, agenda and voting record as a City Councilman in Upper Arlington for several years now.

Divisive Politics

Rankin's far-right ideology made him a polarizing figure in our community --- leading to gridlock and infighting on Council.

Were he to be elected to higher office, the polarizing effects of Rankin's Bush-style divisive political tactics would be greatly amplified.

By the end of his term as a Councilman, Rankin became so unpopular with UA citizens that he held his endorsement of two City Council candidates -- even the one he had handpicked -- until the day before the election to avoid the inevitable letters-to-the-editor pinning Rankin's controversial agenda on their foreheads. With the lightning speed communication of the Internet, the endorsements still became the kiss of death, and both of Rankin's candidates lost to moderates.

Rankin is a far-right social conserative, and his beliefs do not reflect those of the mainstream voters of the 24th District. Here are three examples: library censorship, predatory lending and creationism.

Library Censorship

In Upper Arlington, there was a growing intolerance of others’ views by a small, vocal minority influenced by outgoing Council member Tim Rankin. One of the most egregious examples is the 2005 dispute about the distribution of gay publications at the Upper Arlington Public Library. A group of conservatives tried to sway the Library Board with the claim it was protecting children.

During the effort to censor library holdings, Rankin is quoted in the September 14, 2005, Upper Arlington News as declaring that “There is a lot of talk about doing what is legally right … it’s up to the board to do what is morally right … If we have to put people on this board who reflect the values of this community, we’ll do that.” (This Week, Sept. 1, 2005)

Predatory Lending

Even in the face of the credit crisis faced by so many Ohioans, Rankin is siding with the banking lobby pushing to increase interest rates on payday loans from the currrent cap of 28% to 391%! This would trap even more Ohioans in a debt trap and further erode Ohio's economy.

Unlike Rankin, Ted Celeste joins nearly every major newspaper in Ohio, the governor, the speaker, the senate president, big-city mayors and city councils, and religious, business, civic and social leaders in preserving the current 28 percent rate cap on these short term loans.


And guess who he then supported for the Library Board of Directors? Bryce Kurfees, a proponent of intelligent design.

This winter, Kurfees sponsored a presentation at the Upper Arlington High School of a “young earth” creationist who argues that the world is less than 10,000 years old. According Kurfees’ invitation, the speaker also offered “potential curriculum for public schools to use in order to better address this topic via encouraging more critical thinking in the classroom.” (Our emphasis.)

The Ohio School Board and the Ohio Department of Education have determined that this “critical thinking” curriculum is an unscientific philosophy not suitable for life science instruction.

Why does Rankin think Kurfees’ creationist stance reflects the values of our highly educated, well informed community? And do we want a state representative who would entertain the idea of mixing church and state?

We don’t.

Vote for Ted Celeste.

Ron Howard's Hilarious Call For Obama (with Henry Winkler and Andy Griffith)

Director and icon of wholesome television entertainment Ron Howard takes viewers on a journey back through his iconic career—and goes briefly, tastefully topless—in an effort to drum up support for Sen. Barack Obama. Co-starring old pals Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler.

Republican tax hikes on future generations

"They always talk about how the Democrats raise taxes. But the Republicans raise debt ---- which is a deferred tax hike, really. It's a cowardly tax hike. It's a tax hike on people who can't vote and speak up against it at the time."

---- Bill Maher


Opinion: Break up the one-party rule on the Ohio Supreme Court

Campaign contributions to Republican Ohio Supreme Court justices pay big dividends for the donors. The New York Times article “Campaign Cash Mirrors a High Court’s Rulings” points out a strong correlation between campaign contributions and individual Ohio Supreme Court Justice’s votes in judicial decisions in Ohio. This cartoon is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The 2002 poll commissioned by the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund found that 83% of voters believed that campaign contributions influence the decisions of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Today, all seven Ohio Supreme Court justices are Republicans with little to check the excesses of one-party rule.

Newspaper articles and studies have pointed to a correlation between campaign contributions and the votes of members of the Ohio Supreme Court. The New York Times article “Campaign Cash Mirrors a High Court’s Rulings” noted:

"An examination of the Ohio Supreme Court by The New York Times found that its justices routinely sat on cases after receiving campaign contributions from the parties involved or from groups that filed supporting briefs. On average, they voted in favor of contributors 70 percent of the time. Justice O’Donnell voted for his contributors 91 percent of the time, the highest rate of any justice on the court."

Under Ohio’s Code of Judicial Conduct (Canon 3), judges should disqualify themselves when they cannot perform their duties “impartially and diligently.” The NYTimes investigation found that Ohio Supreme Court judges almost never disqualified themselves from hearing their contributors cases:

"In the 12 years that were studied, the justices almost never disqualified themselves from hearing their contributors’ cases. In the 215 cases with the most direct potential conflicts of interest, justices recused themselves just 9 times."

2008 Judicial Candidates

UAPA does not endorse any candidates for judicial races, which are non-partisan. Below is a list of candidates. Whenever possible they are linked to their official Web sites or to information from the Ohio Board of Elections or the Columbus Dispatch.

The Ohio Board of Elections Judicial Voter Guide provides information submitted by the candidates. Not all chose to participate, but it does give details on several.

Justice of the Supreme Court (non-partisan)

Maureen O'Connor

Joseph D. Russo

Justice of the Supreme Court (non-partisan)

Peter M. Sikora

Evelyn L. Stratton

Franklin County Court of Appeals, 10th District (non-partisan)

John A. Connor

David Goodman (Columbus Dispatch bio)

Franklin County Court of Appeals, 10th District (non-partisan)

Richard D. Brown (Columbus Dispatch bio)

Lisa L. Sadler (Columbus Dispatch bio)

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, General Division (non-partisan)

Daniel T. Hogan

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas General Division (non-partisan)

David W. Fais

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, General Division (non-partisan)

Shawn Dingus

Richard S. Sheward (Ohio Board of Elections guide)

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, General Division (non-partisan)

Tim Horton

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations (non-partisan)

Dana Suzanne Preisse

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division (non-partisan)

Lawrence A. Belskis

Eric Brown


2008 County and State Candidates

UAPA is providing a list of Franklin County and Ohio races. Democratic candidates running for partisan office Nov. 4, 2008, are listed. The party of candidates for non-partisan races is not included. Candidates' official Web sites are linked wherever possible, but sometimes the only information available is a Columbus Dispatch endorsement or article.

Representative to Congress, 15th District

Mary Jo Kilroy

State Senator, 16th District

Danielle Blue

State Representative, 16th District

Ted Celeste

Franklin County Commissioner

Paula Brooks

John O’Grady

Clerk of Courts

Maryellen O'Shaughnessy

Franklin County Sheriff

Jim Karnes

Franklin County Treasurer

Edward Leonard (Columbus Dispatch endorsement)

Franklin County Coroner

Jan M. Gorniak (Columbus Dispatch bio)

State Board of Education, 16th District (non-partisan)

Kristen McKinley

James Moyer

Larry Wolpert (Columbus Dispatch bio)


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