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Tag Archive: Ohio

FAIR drops multi-state TV buy against Senate immigration bill

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Last update: June 4, 6:40 p.m.

One week before the Senate is to begin debating a sweeping immigration reform bill that has bipartisan support, a leading opposition group is launching a multi-state ad buy, records in Political Ad Sleuth reveal.

UPDATE: The Federation for American Reform has spent at least $89,250 on TV buys in various markets this year, after TV stations posted more ad contracts Tuesday, according to a review of Ad Sleuth records (You can view all of the ad buys here). And in addition to the TV markets mentioned below, the group's ad ...

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OpenGov Voices: Lack of Transparency and Citizen Disenfranchisement

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the Dan Moulthropguest blog.

Dan Moulthrop is a co-founder of The Civic Commons, a social media environment group designed explicitly for civil civic dialogue and brings communities together with conversation and emerging technology based in Cleveland, Ohio He is also CEO of The City Club of Cleveland, the Citadel of Free Speech for more than 100 years.

I've long been obsessed with maps. When I was a kid on road trips, I loved tracking our journey in the road atlas. When I lived in Brooklyn in the 90s, I covered my bedroom walls with AAA state maps with my then-recent three month cross country journey traced out on them. Maps always provided me with a way to locate myself in space and a way to understand my trajectory. In the last couple of years, I've started to see them differently. The maps I'm thinking about don't locate us or help us see a trajectory of growth or journey. They trap us. Specifically, they keep us attached to elected representatives that don't often have our best interests in mind.

Residents of Cleveland, Ohio, were just subjected to a redistricting exercise. I say subjected to because very few of them participated in the exercise. The last census triggered a charter-mandated remapping of ward boundaries, and, given the population decline, city council is to be reduced by two seats. The need for this had been in front of city leaders since census results were released, but there was no comprehensive, strategic public engagement process to discuss what factors ought to be taken into account as new ward configurations were considered, no draft maps shared with the public, no clear process for providing input. Instead, Cleveland's city council president worked with consultants behind closed doors and met with his colleagues on council individually to make deals and divvy up the city's population.

It has been said that we live in a time when voters don't pick their representatives; rather representatives pick their voters. In this case, the council president appears to have picked voters for his colleagues.

The Civic Commons

I don't actually know if this map will be good for Cleveland or not. Nobody knows. Those who voted for the first version of the map have had to backstep a little when Cleveland's small but significant Hispanic community challenged the map as a possible violation of the Voting Rights Act. Now that that detail has been addressed, for all we know, this could actually be the best map we ever could have hoped for. Here's the problem: we'll never know.

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Stealthy effort fuels get out the vote effort–in Israel

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Image of ballot box with backdrop of israeli flagAn assertive bipartisan get-out-the-vote effort known as “IVoteIsrael” and aimed at Americans living in that country appears to have ties to conservative billionaire Ronald S. Lauder, a supporter of Republican causes and of the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A project of Americans for Jerusalem, a charity registered under 501(c)4 of the U.S. tax code, IVoteIsrael is not required to release information about its donors. However, corporate filings in Delaware show that the group lists the same Manhattan address as that used by the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Other intriguing connections:

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In Ohio ad wars, the Democrats are on top

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In Ohio, which is playing host to both presidential campaigns today, Democrats appear to be pulling ahead in the money race -- and in the polls -- an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation has found.

With President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, barnstorming the state Wednesday, Sunlight decided to take a look at how their campaigns, and other candidates in the critical swing state, are faring. It looks like the Democrats have the advantage so far, when ad spending by outside groups and the candidates’ campaigns are weighed together. Because the Federal Election Commission does not require groups or campaigns ...

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States of Transparency: Ohio

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Ohio
Website: www.transparency.ohio.gov

Ohio's open government site, transparency.ohio.gov, contains links to a few searchable databases; the results of one of them can even be downloaded as an Excel file. Unfortunately, the majority of the data cannot currently be downloaded.

Here's a rundown of what is and isn't available online:

Expenditures: The broad strokes -- how much each agency spent per month -- are downloadable as Excel files ...

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