GA city charging 911 domestic violence victims if there’s no follow-through

There was a song written a few decades ago called “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Depending on who you talk to, he’s still there, hanging out in Columbus, Georgia. That’s the city where women who call 911 to report incidents of domestic violence can receive a fine if they decline to prosecute their alleged abusers. The Southern Center for Human Rights has brought a lawsuit against the city and several key individuals on behalf of a number of women who say this has happened to them. The lead plaintiff is 23-year old Cleopatra Harrison, whose assault happened in June, 2016:

Harris’ boyfriend became angry June 9 over dirty dishes left in the kitchen sink and threw her to the floor, grabbed her neck and punched her, the lawsuit says. After he left, she called 911 but went to a friend’s apartment before officers arrived because she feared he would come

Continue reading “GA city charging 911 domestic violence victims if there’s no follow-through”

13 year old shot by police in Columbus; cops say he pulled a BB gun on them

Echoes of Tamir Rice in Columbus, Ohio, today: a 13-year-old boy who police said had a BB gun was shot and killed by an officer late Wednesday evening. 

Columbus police said officers responded to a report of an armed robbery involving multiple suspects and were told by the victim that a group of people had approached him and demanded money. The victim said one of them had a gun.

Down the block, officers spotted three males who matched the description of the alleged robbers, and two of them ran away when officers tried to speak with them, police said. Officers followed the pair into a nearby alley and tried to take them into custody, and one of the suspects pulled out a gun, police said. One officer fired, hitting the 13-year-old repeatedly.

That suspect, later identified as Tyree King, was taken to a children’s hospital, where he died. The

Continue reading “13 year old shot by police in Columbus; cops say he pulled a BB gun on them”

Another cop fired after Facebook comments

The human stain in Ohio—one of them, at least—that mocked the suicide of a Black Lives Matter activist last month was fired this week. Former Fairborn police officer Lee Cyr commented on the Ohio Politics Facebook page, “Love a happy ending,” regarding the story of MarShawn McCarrel II, who committed suicide on the steps of Ohio’s statehouse in Columbus on February 8. Cyr made his comment about two days after McCarrel’s death and had been on administrative leave since the post came to light.

The Fairborn police department said in a press release in part that: “This action is in violation of the department’s social media policy and does not conform to the Professional Standards & Core Values established by the organization.”

McCarrel had been involved in other community efforts prior to the formation of Black Lives Matter, including feeding the homeless and organizing against police terror. Numerous friends and fellow

Continue reading “Another cop fired after Facebook comments”

Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Morning Digest: GOP’s lament: Vitter’s winning the primary but losing the runoff

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter

A new poll gives Louisiana Republican David Vitter a 16-point deficit against his likely Democratic foe

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: On behalf of the Lake Charles station KPLC and Raycom Media, Multi-Quest International (whom we’ve seen very little from over the years) surveys both the Oct. 24 jungle primary and the likely Nov. 21 runoff between Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter. Like every other pollster who has released numbers in the last few weeks, Multi-Quest has these two men easily taking the two runoff spots: Edwards and Vitter have 24 and 21 respectively, while Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle are stuck in the high-single digits.

The runoff numbers are a lot more interesting. Edwards posts an enormous 48-32 lead against Vitter among registered voters. This margin is even larger than a recent PPP survey for an anti-Vitter group that had the Democrat up

Continue reading “Morning Digest: GOP’s lament: Vitter’s winning the primary but losing the runoff”

Morning Digest: Florida Democrats stand to gain after judge rules for plaintiffs’ House map

Florida redistricting remedial map, plaintiff coalition 1 proposal.

Court-ordered Florida congressional map

Leading Off:
FL Redistricting: Redistmas came two months early for Democrats, as the judge overseeing the end stages of Florida’s long redistricting saga just recommended one of the plaintiffs’ proposed congressional maps over competing plans from the Republican-controlled legislature. Now Judge Terry Lewis’ recommendation will head to the state Supreme Court for further review. However, the high court previously ruled against Republicans, so there’s good reason to believe the GOP won’t have much luck getting anything changed in its favor.

The two sides were mainly squabbling over a handful of districts in South Florida. Fortunately for Democrats, the trial court’s ruling, if it stands up on appeal, means that vulnerable freshman Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s 26th District will not become redder as the legislature intended but will instead see Obama’s margin of victory expand from 6 points to 11.5 percent. While Republicans

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Florida Democrats stand to gain after judge rules for plaintiffs’ House map”

Morning Digest: McGinty shows she’s for real with $1 million fundraising haul

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty

Leading Off:
PA-Sen: As far as fundraising goes, Katie McGinty’s gotten off to a good start: The former state cabinet official just announced that she raised $1 million in the two months since she entered the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 2016 Senate contest and has $900,000 left in the bank. Given her broad establishment backing and relatively late entry, McGinty definitely had financial expectations to meet, and this haul probably satisfies them.

McGinty’s take is also better than the best quarter her chief rival, ex-Rep. Joe Sestak, has put together ($728,000 in the April-to-June timeframe). Sestak hasn’t yet revealed his third quarter totals; instead, he launched another leg of his march across Pennsylvania, walking 18 miles from Wilkes-Barre to Scranton. The problem with activities like this is that few voters will even notice whatever positive press you might earn, and

Continue reading “Morning Digest: McGinty shows she’s for real with $1 million fundraising haul”

Morning Digest: David Vitter. Diaper. Attack ad. Click


Gumbo PAC ad attacking Republican David Vitter

Leading Off:

LA-Gov: Republican David Vitter’s foes have not been shy about invoking his 2007 prostitution scandal, but a new spot from Gumbo PAC goes where no ad has gone before. The commercial starts with the narrator decrying outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal before hitting Vitter’s record in Congress. The narrator then invokes the prostitution scandal, while the viewer hears the sound of a baby crying the whole time: We finally see the crying baby is wearing a diaper.

It’s not new for politicians to compare their opponents to babies: Georgia Republican David Perdue in particular made great use of this theme during his successful Senate race last year. But Gumbo PAC is making a very unsubtle reference to rumors that Vitter, ah, indulged in a diaper fetish while consorting with ladies of the night. While 2010 Democratic opponent Charlie Melancon

Continue reading “Morning Digest: David Vitter. Diaper. Attack ad. Click”

Dear DNC, say no to Phoenix

Singer Marc Anthony sings the national anthem during the final session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina September 6, 2012.    REUTERS/Jason Reed

Let’s have our next convention in a place that unites us all.

We have finalist cities for the 2016 Democratic National Convention: Birmingham, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.
Birmingham seems silly, and not because of the politics of Alabama. The location of a convention has little effect on the final vote tally. Problem is logistics. Last cycle’s Democratic convention in Charlotte was a bit of a clusterfuck, with hotels up to 50 miles away booked solid. And that’s a city with a population of 775,000. Birmingham has a population of 212,000. No way they have the facilities to host a major party convention. (Also, not a single unionized hotel.)

Brooklyn has everything a convention needs, and it’s convenient to the center of the US media world. Politically, it brings nothing, but like I said above, no place does. Logistically, well, it’s New York. The biggest downside would be cost, because that’s one expensive-ass city.

Cleveland is the site of the Republican National Convention. Logistically, it might be the easiest place to host the convention, because Cleveland will already be working to implement many of the security and support services the Dems will need. Some think that the RNC’s choice knocks them out of the running, but I don’t see why that should be the case. A Battle of the Bands-style convention season would be fun.

Columbus is such a low-key city that I have zero sense of their logistical capacity to host a convention this size. But it is surprisingly the largest city in Ohio with a population of over 800,000 (Cleveland is at around 400,000, Cincinnati around 300,000).

Philadelphia is in a swing state (if that matters, which it doesn’t), has the logistical capacity to handle anything, isn’t as expensive as New York, and is central to our nation’s historical heritage. Wouldn’t be a bad place to nominate our first woman president.

And then there’s Phoenix, and unless Democrats want to stir up the same raw emotions and divisiveness that Netroots Nation did with their choice for that locale, it should be avoided like the plague.

With the exception of Birmingham, which is an odd addition to the list, the other four cities would unite our party and allow us to focus on the task at hand—retaining the White House, expanding our Senate majority and taking back the House. Let’s focus on the places that unite us, not consider places that divide.

22 consecutive political ads during half-hour Columbus, Ohio, newscast

If you want to get a sense of just how saturated local television broadcasts are in battleground states, check out this compressed recording of Thursday’s noon news broadcast on the Columbus, Ohio, CBS affiliate:

You can watch the full ads (without fast-forwarding) here.

If you didn’t have the patience to watch the entire clip, I don’t blame you. Here’s what you missed:

  • Just over 10 minutes worth of political ads packed into a half-hour newscast
  • 22 consecutive political ads (including 1 voter ID PSA)
  • 5 ads attacking Obama (all from outside groups)
  • 2 ads supporting Romney (one from Romney campaign, one from Crossroads)
  • 2 ads attacking Romney (one from OFA, one from Priorities)
  • 4 ads attacking Sherrod Brown (all outside groups)
  • 1 ad supporting Sherrod Brown (from his campaign)
  • The rest of the ads were for local ballot issues or candidates

Keep in mind that local news is the absolute worst as far as being wall-to-wall political advertising is concerned. On Friday, I saw 45 consecutive political ads during the evening broadcast with a similar mix to the one posted here. With such saturation, I can’t imagine that any of the ads on local news will have any impact, at least not for the high profile races. There’s just no way to process the ads without having your eyes glaze over.

At least in other programming there’s non-political ads which allow the political ones to break through. But even then, I’ve noticed that the political ads seem to be clumped together—you might have a commercial break which is all political, then a break that has no political ads. (That’s just an impression—not a scientific assessment.)

The other thing about the ads is that almost all of them are terrible. Just really, really bad ads. So it might not be any surprise that despite the tens of millions spent advertising in Ohio, we’re pretty much back where we started. And if it turns out that political advertising isn’t the way to win the presidency, we’ll all be better off for it.

::

Please give the president a boost by donating to help him close strong in the final days of this campaign.


22 consecutive political ads during half-hour Columbus, Ohio, newscast

If you want to get a sense of just how saturated local television broadcasts are in battleground states, check out this compressed recording of Thursday’s noon news broadcast on the Columbus, Ohio, CBS affiliate:

You can watch the full ads (without fast-forwarding) here.

If you didn’t have the patience to watch the entire clip, I don’t blame you. Here’s what you missed:

  • Just over 10 minutes worth of political ads packed into a half-hour newscast
  • 22 consecutive political ads (including 1 voter ID PSA)
  • 5 ads attacking Obama (all from outside groups)
  • 2 ads supporting Romney (one from Romney campaign, one from Crossroads)
  • 2 ads attacking Romney (one from OFA, one from Priorities)
  • 4 ads attacking Sherrod Brown (all outside groups)
  • 1 ad supporting Sherrod Brown (from his campaign)
  • The rest of the ads were for local ballot issues or candidates

Keep in mind that local news is the absolute worst as far as being wall-to-wall political advertising is concerned. On Friday, I saw 45 consecutive political ads during the evening broadcast with a similar mix to the one posted here. With such saturation, I can’t imagine that any of the ads on local news will have any impact, at least not for the high profile races. There’s just no way to process the ads without having your eyes glaze over.

At least in other programming there’s non-political ads which allow the political ones to break through. But even then, I’ve noticed that the political ads seem to be clumped together—you might have a commercial break which is all political, then a break that has no political ads. (That’s just an impression—not a scientific assessment.)

The other thing about the ads is that almost all of them are terrible. Just really, really bad ads. So it might not be any surprise that despite the tens of millions spent advertising in Ohio, we’re pretty much back where we started. And if it turns out that political advertising isn’t the way to win the presidency, we’ll all be better off for it.

::

Please give the president a boost by donating to help him close strong in the final days of this campaign.