Making Sense of Local Judicial Elections a forum on May 7, 2019

Making Sense of Local Judicial Elections
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
7:00 – 8:30pm
Heights Library Main Branch
2345 Lee Road Cleveland Hts 44118
The flyer is here
The handout from the forum is here
The video is here

Panelists
Deborah Coleman, Esq., Chair, Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition

The Honorable C. Ellen Connally, Cleveland Municipal Court (retired)

Judge J.J. Costello, Cleveland Heights Municipal Court

Judge Robert C. McClelland, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

Moderated by Catherine LaCroix, LWV-Greater Cleveland

Did you know that far too many Ohio voters skip the judicial portion of their ballot? Some call it ballot fatigue, or the SAT effect—but the reality is that most voters don’t know who or what they’re voting for. Our panelists will explain the structure of the Ohio judicial system and the role local judges play in our everyday lives. And they’ll give you the tools you need to research judicial candidates so you can make informed choices on Election Day. Please join us on Tuesday, May 7 – and bring a friend!

Free and open to the public
Cosponsored by
Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University
League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate Ltd.

How Do We Increase Voter Turn Out? a forum on May 29, 2019

The flyer is here
The forum summary is here
The video is here

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 7:00 – 8:30pm
How Do We Increase Voter Turn Out?
(aka where are the next 50,000 Cuyahoga County voters going to come from)
Rocky River Public Library 1600 Hampton Road 44116

Panelists
Erika Anthony, Director, Cleveland Votes

Mike Brickner, Ohio State Director, All Voting is Local

Anthony W. Perlatti, Director, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

Moderated by Jen Miller, Director, League of Women Voters-Ohio

Cosponsored by Rocky River Public Library, Lakewood, Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River & Westlake Chapters

MONEY IN POLITICS:  The impact of unchecked campaign financing and what we can do about it – April 10, 2019


MONEY IN POLITICS:  The impact of unchecked campaign financing and what we can do about it
The flyer is here
The video is here

WHEN:  7-8:30pm, Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WHERE:  Olin Hall, Room 124, University of Akron, 361 Buchtel Common, Akron 44304
MODERATOR:  Bruce Winges, Retired V.P. and Editor, Akron Beacon Journal
PANELISTS:
Cyndra Miller Cole, Lecturer, Bliss Institute for Public Policy, U. of Akron

William D. Rich, Emeritus Professor, University of Akron School of Law; Chairman, Summit County Board of Elections

Catherine Turcer, Executive Director, Common Cause Ohio

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

It’s been nine years since The Supreme Court issued its Citizens United Ruling. While we know campaign financing has increased exponentially, what we don’t know is where all the money’s coming from.  Dark money, money from non-profit political action committees (PACs) that do not require source disclosures, has become more prevalent in state and local office campaigns.  What can we do, if anything, to shed light and stem the flow.

CO-SPONSORED BY:  The Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, University of Akron; The League of Women Voters of the Akron Area; The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland; Common Cause Ohio

“Plastics and Lake Erie” a forum on Tues Dec 4, 2018


Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm
“Plastics and Lake Erie”
The flyer is here
The video is here

Rocky River Library, 1600 Hampton Rd, Rocky River 44116
Moderated by Elizabeth Miller, Environmental Reporter, Ideastream
Panelists:
Jill Bartolotta, Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Crystal M.C. Davis, Policy Director, Alliance for the Great Lakes
Erin D. Huber, Executive Director and Founder, Drink Local Drink Tap


Elizabeth Miller

Co-sponsored by the Sierra Club, Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Cleveland.com, Ideastream, Rocky River High School Environmental Club and Bay Village Green Team
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate Properties, Ltd.

 

A Forum on Voting Issues in Ohio Wednesday August 22, 2018

The flyer is here
Wednesday August 22, 2018
“A Forum on Voting Issues in Ohio”

7pm-8:30pm
Panelists:
Representative Kathleen Clyde (D), Ohio House District 75
Dr. David Cohen, Asst. Director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics
Senator Frank LaRose (R), Ohio Senate District 27
Moderator: Thomas Suddes, Editorial Writer, Cleveland.com

This forum will explore current voting and election issues in Ohio including early voting, voting by mail, voter registration, voter ID laws, removing voters from the rolls, gerrymandering, voting equipment and security and campaign finance laws.


Thomas Suddes, Cleveland.com

CWRU Beachwood Facility: 25700 Science Park Dr #100, Beachwood 44122
Cost: Free & Open to the Public
Cosponsors Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com. CWRU Siegel Lifelong Learning, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland.
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate LTD

Ohio Gun Laws: What are our options? a forum on July 17, 2018


The flyer is here

The post summary of forum is here

The forum video is here

Tuesday July 17, 2018
“Ohio Gun Laws: What are our options?”
Heights Public Library Main 7-8:30pm

Representatives from:
League of Women Voters of Ohio Lobby Corps
Moms Demand Action
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
Ohioans for Gun Safety

moderated by
Darrielle Snipes, Ideastream/WCPN

All open to the public. Please contact if you have questions about any of these events: teachingcleveland@earthlink.net

 

“Women in Politics: How to get more women to run for office in Ohio” a forum on May 16, 2018

Wednesday May 16, 2018 7-8:30pm
“Women in Politics: How to get more women to run for office in Ohio”
moderated by Mary Kilpatrick, Reporter, Cleveland.com

The flyer is here

The preview is here

The Cleveland.com post forum summary is here

The video is here

Women make up over 51% of the voting electorate and yet men still far outnumber women in elected office in Ohio and across the country. This forum will explore options for increasing the number of women who run and hold elected office, particularly in Ohio.

Panelists

Karen Beckwith, PhD, Flora Stone Mather Professor and Chair Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

Christina Hagan, Ohio House of Representatives, (R) 50th District

Nina Turner, President, “Our Revolution, former Ohio State Senator, Cleveland Councilperson

Cost: Free & Open to the Public
Heights Library Main Branch
2345 Lee Road 44118
7-8:30 p.m. Free & Open to the Public


Mary Kilpatrick, Cleveland.com

Please contact if you have questions: teachingcleveland@earthlink.net

Cosponsored by
Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer plus Heights, Lakewood, Shaker and Cuyahoga County Library Systems.

Corporate Sponsor: First Interstate, Ltd.

Interviews with 6 Ohio Governor Candidates. For May 8, 2018 primary

Interviews with 6 Ohio Governor Candidates. For May 8, 2018 primary
Produced by Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron. The interviewer is Tom Beres

Read about them here

Watch them here:

“The Nuts and Bolts of Ohio Campaign Finance” Thursday October 26, 2017

Thursday October 26, 2017
“The Nuts and Bolts of Ohio Campaign Finance”
Flyer here

Video here

  
Donald C. Brey                                        Donald J. McTigue

Session #1: Ohio Campaign Spending/Finance Laws
▪ Donald C. Brey, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
▪ Donald J. McTigue, McTigue and Colombo

 
Catherine Turcer                  Cyndra Miller-Cole

Session #2: Alternative Campaign Funding Models Current Used in Other States and Communities
▪ Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
▪ Cyndra Miller-Cole,  The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, The University of Akron

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Moot Court Room,
1801 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44115
9:30am-11:30am Free and Open to the Public.
CLE credit available for $30. Register for CLE here with CMBA

Program cosponsored by Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland

A brief history of the Ohio income tax by Michael F. Curtin February 15, 2017


 

A brief history of the Ohio income tax
by Michael F. Curtin

Gov. John Kasich keeps swinging his ax at Ohio’s state income tax.

When he launched his 2010 campaign, Kasich revealed a dream of abolishing the tax. He won’t accomplish that, but his fourth and final budget proposal represents his fourth consecutive whack at it.

“We’ll march over time to destroy that income tax that has sucked vitality out of this state,” Kasich declared at his 2010 campaign kickoff.

The nexus between Ohio’s income tax and its economic fortunes is questionable. Forty-three states have income taxes. As of 2014, Ohio’s per-capita income-tax burden ranked 34th, says the conservative Tax Foundation.

In the modern era, conservatives argue the tax punishes initiative and slows economic growth. Progressives defend graduated income taxes as essential for reducing the average Joe’s overall tax burden.

This ideological fault line didn’t always exist. In the early 1900s, as the Progressive Era gained steam, federal and state leaders — Democrats and Republicans — simultaneously took interest in the idea of taxing incomes.

In September 1906, Republican Gov. Andrew L. Harris appointed a five-man tax commission “to investigate the tax laws of this state and to make recommendations for their improvement.”

In June 1909, President William Howard Taft, a Republican, proposed a constitutional amendment giving Congress the power to levy income taxes; the amendment was ratified in 1913.

The work of Ohio’s tax commission prompted delegates to the state’s 1912 constitutional convention to consider a state income tax. The question was put to Ohio voters that September. By a 52-48 vote, Ohioans authorized the General Assembly to consider income taxes, with uniform or graduated rates.

The General Assembly was not quick to use this authority. As the 20th century unfolded, the state looked elsewhere for revenues. In response to needs created by the Great Depression, in 1934 Ohio enacted a statewide sales tax of 3 percent. In 1967, it was raised to 4 percent.

However, pressures for an income-tax increased throughout the 1960s. In 1962, Tax Commissioner Stanley J. Bowers predicted Ohio would need an income tax within five years, primarily to relieve excessive burdens placed on real estate and personal property.

In 1968, a tax-study committee led by state Rep. Albert H. Sealy, R-Dayton, held 24 hearings across the state. Business interests, led by the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Contractors Association and the Ohio Hardware Association, voiced support for an income tax to offset the hated personal-property tax, which bore no relation to profitability.

In December 1971, after a half-century of buildup, Democratic Gov. John J. Gilligan and a Republican legislature adopted a state income tax, with rates ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 percent. The Republican game plan was to give Gilligan just enough votes to pass the tax, then clobber him with it in 1974.

When conservatives led by state Rep. Robert Netzley qualified a repeal for the November 1972 ballot, Ohio Republican Chairman John Andrews worked behind the scenes in opposition. The Ohio GOP platform that year remained silent on the issue. The repeal failed by more than 2 to 1. There were many reasons for Gilligan’s subsequent defeat, but the GOP tax strategy was pivotal.

The 1981-82 recession prompted Republican Gov. James Rhodes — a master of the “temporary tax” — to win approval of a 50 percent increase in the income tax. His successor, Democrat Richard Celeste, solidified it, adding another 40 percent over pre-1982 levels.

Those increases prompted another repeal effort, this time led by conservative state Sen. Thomas Van Meter. The repeal failed, 56-44.In 1984, for the first time, state income-tax collections surpassed sales-tax collections. By 2005, income-tax revenues accounted for nearly half of all state revenues, far outpacing the sales tax.Since then, the tide has run in the other direction. Under Govs. Bob Taft (1999-2007) and Kasich (2011-present), state income-tax rates have been slashed 30 percent. Sales-tax collections now far outpace income-tax revenues.

Kasich hopes to accelerate that trend, proposing a 17 percent reduction in income taxes, offset by increasing the sales tax to 6.25 percent, from 5.75 percent.

But even with Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate, Kasich might find a shortage of fellow ax wielders. Over time, the income tax comes in handy.

This piece originally ran in the Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday February 15, 2017

Columbus native Michael F. Curtin was formerly a Democratic Representative (2012-2016) from the 17th Ohio House District (west and south sides of Columbus). He had a 38-year journalism career with the Columbus Dispatch, most devoted to coverage of local and state government and politics. Mr. Curtin is author of The Ohio Politics Almanac, first and second editions (KSU Press). Finally, he is a licensed umpire, Ohio High School Athletic Association (baseball and fastpitch softball).