Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
As a consequence of the 2008 election, Ohio Republicans cut early voting back for the upcoming election from 35 days to 11 days, with the three days right before the election eliminated. Now, they've gone even further. [more inside]
Depending on who you ask, Ohio's C3 Railroad project is either a) a conventional railroad project that's going to restore slow rail service between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati or; b) it's a visionary initiative of President Obama and Transportation secretary, Roy LaHood, that has the intention of rebooting Ohio's entire infrastructure. [more inside]
Whooops! While making a required filing to the state ethics commission, Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell finds Diebold shares in his stock portfolio that he now claims to have bought "accidentally." Yes, that Diebold -- the e-voting company whose chairman promised to "deliver the vote" to George Bush. And yes, that Blackwell, whose state helped deliver the White House to the GOP. Blackwell insists that the humble amount of Diebold stock was in one of those "blind trust" type of arrangements that worked out so rewardingly for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. [newsfilter via RawStory.]
Invest $50 million of a workers comp trust fund in rare coins and collectibles. Lose some of the coins in the mail. Havoc ensues. Prominent Ohio Republican fundraiser and Bush-Cheney 'pioneer' Thomas Noe is under state scrutiny for $10-12 million in missing funds and subject of a federal probe for potential illegal Bush campaign contributions. Oh, and did I mention his wife Bernadette was chair of the Lucas County Board of Elections during the 2004 election? Suddenly the once-popular donor finds himself a political pariah as heads begin to roll - could this be the tip of an iceberg that will unravel the red state infrastructure? Follow the Toledo Blade's stellar investigative journalism as this story unfolds. Maybe the national media can watch and learn.
Who Lost Ohio? As more evidence comes in disproving voting fraud in the 2004 Presidential election, perhaps the real lessons for Democrats can be gleaned from this NYT (Reg required, of course) feature on ACT, a Democratic 527. Lavishly funded by George Soros and unions, this high tech organization turned out a record number (2.66 million) of Democratic voters in Ohio, but were out-organized and beaten by a grass-roots Republican effort operating below their radar. [MI]
Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.