Don’t miss these two Free Press films

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on November 19th, 2014
Free Press free fourth Tuesday Movie: Racing to Zero, In Pursuit of Zero Waste Tuesday, Nov 25, 7:30pm Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St. Racing To Zero (59 min) is a quick-moving, up-beat documentary that presents new solutions to the global problem of waste. Although waste may create garbage, garbage is in itself a resource, and that is the key. Our film follows the trail of trash and recycling with our guide, Robert Haley, Zero Waste Manager for the City of San Francisco as we travel the city from high to low and look behind-the-scenes at how zero waste can be achieved. Co-sponsored by Simply Living, the Columbus Free Press, and the Columbus Film Council. 614-354-6172 or Chuck.Lynd@gmail.com or simplyliving.org 614-253-2517 or colsfreepress@ gmail.comThe Columbus International Film + Video Festival and LGBTFEST Stonewall Columbus present: City of the Damned 15 minutes Mor Albalak, Shaneika Lai, Stephanie Lee. Matthew Rogers, Nate Skeen, Stephanie Lincoln Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda Free Press film festival winner 78 minutes Michael Lucas Friday, November 21 Reception at 6:00pm, films at 7:30pm Canzani Center at the Columbus College Of Art & Design 60 Cleveland Ave. Columbus, Ohio (Just south of the giant ART with free parking in CCAD lots) City of the Damned City of the Damned focuses on LGBT rights in the face of the brutal anti-homosexuality bill before the Ugandan Parliament. Although the death penalty has been withdrawn from the bill due heavily to international pressure, punishments are harsh and public opinion remains the biggest threat to the Ugandan LGBT community. The daring non-governmental organization Youth on Rock Foundation is fighting against this stigma by promoting economic empowerment among its members. Najib, YRF’s treasurer, sells clothes in Uganda’s largest market. He wants to prove that his sexuality does not define him; it’s his respect for life, his determination for equality, and his aspirations to become a lawyer and self-respecting Ugandan citizen. Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda As most of the world moves forward toward gay equality, Russia is seemingly heading backward. Antigay sentiment and legislation are spreading rapidly throughout the country. In 2013, the Russian parliament passed a ban on so-called ‘gay propaganda’ that effectively makes nearly any public discussion of gay equality a crime. Q&A with filmmakers Michael Lucas and Stephanie Lincoln following the films. Admission is $8 or FREE for 2014 CFC/CIF+VF Members, CCAD students and staff.

How the GOP bought, rigged, stole and lynched the 2014 election

Posted by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman on November 19th, 2014
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by Bob Fitrakis
NOVEMBER 10, 2014
by Harvey Wasserman
First in a series Since the Bush-Cheney-Rove theft of the 2000 election in Florida, the right of millions of American citizens to vote and have that vote counted has been under constant assault. In 2014, that systematic disenfranchisement may well have delivered the US Senate to the Republican Party. If nothing significant is done about it by 2016, we can expect the GOP to take the White House and much more. The primary victims of this GOP-led purge have been young, elderly, poor and citizens of color who tend to vote Democratic. The denial of their votes has changed the face of our government, and is deepening corporate control of our lives and planet. There’s no doubt the Democrats have alienated their core constituency and given millions of their former supporters little reason to vote. Perpetual war, blank checks for mega-banks, stiffing the working poor while giving away the planet to the rich----these are all part of the malaise. Our political landscape is currently defined by corporate personhood and its gutting of the Democratic Party. Part of that is the destruction of our electoral rights, and the refusal of the Democrats to even face the issue, let alone do something about it. Our voting system is, to put it mildly, bought and rigged, further feeding the deadening sense of public futility and frustration. As the GOP moves toward total control of our governance---the media, the internet, the Supreme Court, the Congress, local government and, in 2016, the presidency---our future depends on knowing the nuts and bolts of how the destruction of our democracy proceeds, and what we can do to stop it. In this year’s takeover of the US Senate and many statehouses, barely more than a third of the eligible citizenry was credited with having voted. Official vote counts gave the GOP a consistent “bonus” of about 5% over pre-election polls. In the US Senate race in North Carolina and the Governor’s race in Florida, that margin clearly gave the Republicans their victories, and probably did the same in many other close races. The GOP’s Jim Crow disenfranchisement campaign has outright robbed millions of citizens of their right to vote. It’s deliberately created an air of confusion and doubt that’s further suppressed the turnout. Greg Palast, for example, has reported extensively on the Kansas-based “cross-check” technique, used in 28 states, where Republican secretaries of state denied voting rights based on arbitrary judgements that allowed them to eliminate several million potential Democratic voters. (Greg will discuss this on the Solartopia Show at prn.fm Tuesday, 11/11, 5pm EST; the show will be archived for later listening). Deliberate (and often illegal) disinformation campaigns, destruction of voter registration forms, outright intimidation, repressive photo ID requirements and other suppression techniques made things worse. It’s by design, not accident, that America’s voter turnout is ranked 120th among all nations. In evaluating the actual vote count, manipulation of untrackable electronic voting machines must also be accounted for. Over the years, Bev Harris, Brad Friedman, Jon Simon, Richard Charney and many others have added vital research leading to the inevitable conclusion that the 2014 election---like 2000 and 2004---was essentially bought, rigged, stolen and lynched. We do not believe the Republican Party legitimately won the US Senate or many of the statehouses they’ve been granted, any more than George W. Bush should have been handed the White House in 2000 and 2004. Unless we finally face the core issues of election protection, history could repeat itself in 2016 as both tragedy and farce. Because the dust is still settling, many of the specifics about 2014 remain hidden. In the coming weeks we’ll present as much of the evidence as we can gather. In the meantime, we welcome President Obama’s new statements supporting net neutrality. There’s no more important foundation for what shreds of democracy remain to us than the ability to freely communicate. Handing control of the internet to mega-corporations, as proposed by the current (Democratic) head of the Federal Communications Commission, would be catastrophic. As with reclaiming our elections, our future on this planet demands an open global highway for unfettered communication. We must do everything we can to preserve and expand it. We also congratulate US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for proposing that election day become a national holiday. After the 2004 debacle, we proposed a four-day election holiday to cover the first Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday in November. (The Constitution requires that voting happen the first Monday after the first Tuesday in November). This four-day stretch would help enshrine access to our election process as the sacred ritual it should be. We also propose universal automatic voter registration, universal hand-counted paper ballots, abolition of the Electoral College, and a massive reform of the role of money in politics. We hope Sen. Sanders’ initial proposal opens the door to a bottom-up remake of our electoral system. Without it, our democracy is nothing more than a hollow shell. Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore how that shell was cracked yet again in 2014. All indicators are that it could be definitively crushed in two years if we don't act now. to be continued.... ----------- Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored six books on election protection, which are at www.freepress.org, along with Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US is at www.solartopia.org, How the GOP bought, rigged, stole and lynched the 2014 election, along with his SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH

10 Ways Kasich Hurts Ohioans

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on October 24th, 2014
by Bob Fitrakis OCTOBER 22, 2014 It’s hard to believe that our twitchy governor, John Kasich, is projected to easily win re-election. Remember, this is the man who went to Cleveland and told Browns football fans that he rooted for their arch-rival, the Steelers. But his real loyalty has always been to the rich and powerful. In the era of the Kent State shooting, he was one of Nixon’s Stepford-clone youth. His new allegiance is to his media mentor, Rupert Murdoch. In 2012, the creator of right-wing agi-prop and faux news gave $1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association to get his bloviator elected in his first election. Kasich has returned the loyalty by pledging eternal fealty to “unnatural persons” called corporations. After working for Murdoch and prior to being elected, Kasich spent his time hawking junk assets for the now-defunct Lehman Brothers investment bankers. He helped sell these worthless assets to the tune of $500 million into Ohio’s public retirement system, particularly the State Teacher’s pension funds. He made untold millions, which he refused to disclose, while looting the pensions of school teachers and public employees. As soon as Kasich entered office he attacked the public employees he had just ripped off through Lehman brothers. On March 31, 2011, Kasich signed the draconian Senate Bill 5 into law. The new law required that no salary increases could be based on seniority and it drastically limited collective bargaining for the 360,000 public union workers in Ohio. Kasich told them to get on the bus, or get run over. Now, the quirky governor’s campaign commercials claim he “listened.” Indeed, the bus was hijacked by working people in the form of 1.3 million signatures to repeal the bill. On election night 2011, Issue 2 supporting Kasich’s anti-union law failed 61 percent -39 percent. Who Kasich really listens to is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). More than three decades ago, this corporate front masquerading as an advocate for “limited government” and “free markets” began plotting to make the 1 percent richer and steal the wealth of our nation’s working class. ALEC lists among its key founders Paul Weyrich, who openly advocates suppressing poor and minority voters, as well as the white supremacist, the late Senator Jesse Helms. Also on the ALEC website there’s a note stating “Among those who are involved with ALEC in the formative years were … John Kasich of Ohio.” ALEC, now primarily funded by the notorious Koch Brothers, provided Senate Bill 5 as its model legislation and its legislation is a manual for destroying worker’s rights under the guise of “saving taxpayers money.” - WORKERS Under Kasich, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Ohio stood as one of the two worst economies in the nation at the end of 2013. When he took office in January 2011, Ohio ranked 26th in private sector job growth. While Kasich is running hard as a “job creator,” the U.S. Department of Labor notes that the state is 46th nationally. From January-August 2014, the Buckeye state gained a mere 5,289 jobs. Also, while the rest of the nation has regained all of the jobs lost during the 2008 economic meltdown, Kasich still needs to create 213,000 new jobs just to return to pre-recession numbers in Ohio. The Kasich campaign keeps reiterating that “Kasich works.” The question is, for whom? If re-elected, the rumor is Kasich will turn Ohio into a “right to work” state. CHILDREN Kasich’s ALEC handbook includes the destruction of public education. Since taking office, Kasich has cut more than half a billion dollars from public education in Ohio. He also has failed to change the unconstitutional funding formula for the state’s K-12 school system. He increased charter school funding by $57 million, in particular, rewarding White Hat Management that runs many of Ohio’s charter schools and whose owner is a big Republican donor. ENVIRONMENTALISTS When Ohio Governor John Kasich first took office, he killed a train line –meant to restore passenger service between Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Kasich’s reasons may have made sense in a Tea Party world. But some $400 million had already been secured. When it died, all that money left the state, along with untold jobs and income. Hugely expensive highway projects have followed with intense environmental damage and instant obsolescence. Columbus may be the western world’s largest capital city without passenger rail service. This June, Kasich signed the controversial Senate Bill 310 that froze Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards at their present levels for two years. A report from the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy documented that between 2009 and 2013, the law Kasich overturned – the Renewable Energy Standards (RES) law – cost $456 million to implement, but saved Ohio residents $1.03 billion. Since RES was implemented, more than $1 billion had been invested in Ohio by private renewable energy companies, some who now say they will move out of the state. Six weeks prior to Kasich signing S.B. 310, oil magnate David Koch donated $12,155 to Kasich’s re-election campaign – the maximum allowed under law. On people’s right to clean water, Kasich has been a complete failure. Not only has he allowed the people of Toledo to be afflicted by toxic water, he has also permitted radioactive fracking water to be dumped in our state from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In one of the most cynical moves imaginable, when it was discovered that the fracking water being shipped into Ohio from Pennsylvania and West Virginia had high rates of radioactivity, Kasich assigned the rangers of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to solve the problem, relieving the more competent Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio Health Department of duty. These were the agencies that uncovered the radioactivity. And like his original mentor Nixon, Kasich developed a fracktivist “enemies list” targeting environmentalists for harassment. WOMEN While Kasich’s current commercials make him sound like the next best thing to feminist Betty Friedan, this June’s Cosmopolitan magazine ran an article entitled: “How Ohio Became One of the Worst States for Reproductive Rights in the Country.” It is like a time machine taking us back to the 50s: a gag order on rape crisis counselors on talking about abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, and the “heartbeat bill” banning abortions on pregnancies over 20 weeks. Because of Kasich’s and the state legislature’s new laws, abortion clinics all over the state are closing. Regarding women’s income and employment rates, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ranked the Buckeye State a mediocre 33rd out of 50 states in 2014 in economic opportunities for women. LBGTQ COMMUNITY On marriage equality, Kasich is a hater. He is fighting alongside Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine to overturn federal rulings supportive of same-sex marriage in Ohio. One would think the ambitious Kasich would at least adopt the decade-old 2004 George W. Bush strategy of being for “civil unions.” He briefly embraced the position last year, before his spokesperson stepped in to clarify things – that Kasich didn't really understand what civil unions meant, and the governor not support any recognition of any same sex relationships. In his last year in Congress in 2001, the Human Rights Campaign gave Kasich a 10 percent out of 100 percent rating for supporting equality for LGBT people. Kasich still clings to Issue 1 from 2004, telling the Columbus Dispatch that “marriage is between and man and a woman.” Even if he occasionally invites a four-way with the Koch brothers. TAXPAYERS Kasich decided to balance the state budget on the back of local governments. He not only stripped half a billion from schools, but has decreased funding intended for cities, townships and counties. One of his techniques was ending the Ohio inheritance tax. The bulk of the proceeds from the inheritance tax went to counties and municipalities. The tax was progressive in nature, falling heaviest on the 1 percent (wealthiest people in the state). Also, Kasich’s much-touted state income tax cut benefited his rich friends as well. The 21 percent decrease, to be fair, started under Governor Bob Taft, but the net effect embraced by Kasich was that very few of the tax savings were passed on to working and middle class Ohioans. If you made $40,000 a year, you paid $72.88 less in state tax under Kasich. If you made $206,250 a year, you’d pay $977.63 less. If you were one of Kasich’s millionaire donors you would have saved thousands of dollars a year. Kasich has announced that his goal is to totally eliminate Ohio’s income tax by 2016. He plans to use the money in Ohio’s nearly $2 billion “rainy day fund” for a sound bite about how he’ll eliminate the income tax in Ohio as he runs for president that year. Ohioans will be further plagued by unconstitutional schools, vicious prisons, declining public services, deteriorating roads, bridges and sewage treatment facilities – public services formerly funded by the state income tax and inheritance taxes. ELDERLY Kasich eliminated a homestead property tax exemption cutting funds to thousands of seniors and disabled Ohioans. Budget analysts predict that Kasich’s defunding of public education and his inheritance and income tax cuts will raise property taxes by 12.5 percent to continue to fund schools. Seniors on fixed incomes will be hit the hardest. WELFARE RECIPIENTS In a cynical and shocking move, Kasich rejected a federal waiver in 2013 and instead reinstated Dickensian work requirements for the poor. With a bad economy, the federal government was allowing Ohio not to require hundreds of thousands of welfare recipients to report for make-work jobs. Social welfare agencies pointed out that it would cost more to pay staff to supervise the workers than the value of their work was worth. The Columbus Dispatch quoted Marilyn J. Tomasi, Vice President of the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, as stating, “What happened is the state rejected the waiver. 134,000 Ohioans showed up at food pantries.” VOTERS In a state where the Democrats, Republicans and Independents are fairly evenly divided, Kasich and his Republican cohorts have gerrymandered the Congressional districts to give 12 out of the 16 Congressional seats to Republicans and make sure that the seats are non-competitive. The only reason Kasich has a chance of re-election in Ohio is because of our decade-long tradition of voter suppression. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) has decided that under the guise of “fairness” there will only be one early voting site in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, regardless of the county population. A county with over a million voters and a county with 10,000 voters have exactly the same number of locations to vote early – one. Under Husted’s predecessor, Franklin County, with 1.3 million people, had five early voting sites. Also, Kasich tried to eliminate the competition. Federal court records document that Kasich’s office directed the removal of the Libertarian Party from the ballot in Ohio earlier this year. On the day the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl announced his campaign and was showing 6 percent in the polls, Kasich and his Republicans partisans in the legislature set out to destroy the third party. First they outlawed the party, but a federal court blocked their attempt. Using Republican political operative Terry Casey, the governor then orchestrated a challenge to signatures on the Libertarian Party candidates’ petitions. The Libertarians sued, then Kasich had his lackey, Jon Husted, appoint well-known Republican partisan Brad Smith as the supposed neutral arbitrator in the case. Smith was the intellectual force behind the infamous “Citizens United” decision that proclaimed corporations are people and donations to candidates are the same as free speech. Kasich was successful in keeping a Libertarian opponent off the ballot and made the state even more repressive to minor parties, other points of view, and democracy. PRISONERS One of Kasich’s original budgetary plans was to further privatize Ohio’s prisons. He didn't succeed with that plan, but did save the state money by hiring Aramark for prison food service, a company that is famous for serving prisoners maggots. A recent demonstration by prison workers and unions was prompted by budget cuts to prison security staff. The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association [OCSEA] called our prisons “violently dangerous” for prison workers. Under Kasich, the prison population has risen, causing overcrowding and dangerous conditions for both prisoners and prison staff. Of course, you can't ask Kasich about any of these issues, since he refuses to debate his opponents and prefers to run 30-second propaganda commercials funded by the kleptocrats who made him governor --and want to run him for president in 2016. ------------------------- Bob Fitrakis is running as the Green Party’s Lt. Governor candidate in this year’s election. In 1992, Bob Fitrakis ran against John Kasich for the 12th Congressional district and Kasich refused to debate him then. Original article published: http://columbusfreepress.com/article/10-ways-kasich-hurts-ohioans

Reefer Blandness

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on October 2nd, 2014
By Bob Fitrakis 10-03-2014 Despite decades-old rumors that Kasich may be self-medicating, the Governor vowed that there will be no medical marijuana legislation passed in Ohio this election year! In fact, this summer, his Public Safety Department deployed undercover officers into the Community Festival. These plainclothes officers spent their time writing tickets near the Ohio Rights Group booth that was collecting signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot. Kasich came into politics as one of Richard Nixon’s freshly-scrubbed “Nixon Youth.” It would be more understandable for Kasich’s undercover cops at Comfest to secure the best dope for their boss. But instead, they were there to show that John Kasich is tough on pot. You may have missed it, but Democratic candidate for governor Ed Fitzgerald has taken the courageous stance of coming out in favor of medical marijuana. Well, it might not have been that brave. With 87% of voters in the Buckeye State in a recent poll supporting perhaps the world’s oldest medicine. And since he’s trailing incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich by 30% – why not go where the people are? - The other gubernatorial candidate on the ballot this fall is Anita Rios of the Ohio Green Party. The Green Party has long been in support of the full legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp. This sets up a wide spectrum of options for voters this year: Kasich’s Reagan-style “war on drugs,” specifically marijuana; Fitzgerald’s moderate endorsement of medical marijuana now that he’s not really campaigning; and Rios’ and the Green’s enthusiastic support for Washington/Colorado-style full legalization of marijuana and hemp. The tragedy of Fitzgerald’s position is that he was very likely forced to sample marijuana after the headaches ensued from his severely bungled gubernatorial run. Still, he is to be commended for joining the 87% of the state who already understood the need for marijuana as medicine. Kasich, the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch remain entrenched with the 13% still committed to fighting the demon weed. Although if the past provides any insight, it is likely that Kasich's, the Kochs and Murdoch – like Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich – have all self-medicated at some point in time. ___________________ Bob Fitrakis is on the board of the Ohio Rights Group and supports the legalization of medical marijuana. He is also on the ballot in Ohio as the Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor.

George Will Confirms Nixon’s Vietnam Treason

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on August 10th, 2014
Lieutenant Governor Ohio Green Party candidate, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman connect the dots with Nixon and treason: 08.10.14 by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman Nixon Richard Nixon was a traitor. The new release of extended versions of Nixon's papers now confirms this long-standing belief, usually dismissed as a "conspiracy theory" by Republican conservatives. Now it has been substantiated by none other than right-wing columnist George Will. Nixon's newly revealed records show for certain that in 1968, as a presidential candidate, he ordered Anna Chennault, his liaison to the South Vietnam government, to persuade them refuse a cease-fire being brokered by President Lyndon Johnson. Nixon's interference with these negotiations violated President John Adams's 1797 Logan Act, banning private citizens from intruding into official government negotiations with a foreign nation. Published as the 40th Anniversary of Nixon's resignation approaches, Will's column confirms that Nixon feared public disclosure of his role in sabotaging the 1968 Vietnam peace talks. Will says Nixon established a "plumbers unit" to stop potential leaks of information that might damage him, including documentation he believed was held by the Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank. The Plumbers' later break-in at the Democratic National Committee led to the Watergate scandal that brought Nixon down. Nixon's sabotage of the Vietnam peace talks was confirmed by transcripts of FBI wiretaps. On November 2, 1968, LBJ received an FBI report saying Chernnault told the South Vietnamese ambassador that "she had received a message from her boss: saying the Vietnamese should "hold on, we are gonna win." As Will confirms, Vietnamese did "hold on," the war proceeded and Nixon did win, changing forever the face of American politics----with the shadow of treason permanently embedded in its DNA. The treason came in 1968 as the Vietnam War reached a critical turning point. President Lyndon Johnson was desperate for a truce between North and South Vietnam. LBJ had an ulterior motive: his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, was in a tight presidential race against Richard Nixon. With demonstrators in the streets, Humphrey desperately needed a cease-fire to get him into the White House. Johnson had it all but wrapped it. With a combination of gentle and iron-fisted persuasion, he forced the leaders of South Vietnam into an all-but-final agreement with the North. A cease-fire was imminent, and Humphrey’s election seemed assured. But at the last minute, the South Vietnamese pulled out. LBJ suspected Nixon had intervened to stop them from signing a peace treaty. In the Price of Power (1983), Seymour Hersh revealed Henry Kissinger---then Johnson’s advisor on Vietnam peace talks---secretly alerted Nixon’s staff that a truce was imminent. According to Hersh, Nixon “was able to get a series of messages to the Thieu government [of South Vietnam] making it clear that a Nixon presidency would have different views on peace negotiations.” Johnson was livid. He even called the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Everett Dirksen, to complain that “they oughtn’t be doing this. This is treason.” “I know,” was Dirksen’s feeble reply. Johnson blasted Nixon about this on November 3, just prior to the election. As Robert Parry of consortiumnews.com has written: “when Johnson confronted Nixon with evidence of the peace-talk sabotage, Nixon insisted on his innocence but acknowledged that he knew what was at stake.” Said Nixon: “My, I would never do anything to encourage….Saigon not to come to the table….Good God, we’ve got to get them to Paris or you can’t have peace.” But South Vietnamese President General Theiu---a notorious drug and gun runner---did boycott Johnson’s Paris peace talks. With the war still raging, Nixon claimed a narrow victory over Humphrey. He then made Kissinger his own national security advisor. In the four years between the sabotage and what Kissinger termed “peace at hand” just prior to the 1972 election, more than 20,000 US troops died in Vietnam. More than 100,000 were wounded. More than a million Vietnamese were killed. But in 1973, Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the same settlement he helped sabotage in 1968. According to Parry, LBJ wanted to go public with Nixon’s treason. But Clark Clifford, an architect of the CIA and a pillar of the Washington establishment, talked Johnson out of it. LBJ’s close confidant warned that the revelation would shake the foundations of the nation. In particular, Clifford told Johnson (in a taped conversation) that “some elements of the story are so shocking in their nature that I’m wondering whether it would be good for the country to disclose the story and then possibly have [Nixon] elected. It could cast his whole administration under such doubt that I think it would be inimical to our country’s best interests.” In other words, Clifford told LBJ that the country couldn’t handle the reality that its president was a certifiable traitor, eligible for legal execution. Fittingly, Clark Clifford’s upper-crust career ended in the disgrace of his entanglement with the crooked Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI), which financed the terrorist group Al Qaeda and whose scandalous downfall tainted the Agency he helped found. Johnson lived four years after he left office, tormented by the disastrous war that destroyed his presidency and his retirement. Nixon won re-election in 1972, again with a host of dirty dealings, then became the first America president to resign in disgrace. _________________________ Bob Fitrakis is Editor-in-Chief of the Free Press and Harvey Wasserman is Senior Editor. Read more Harvey Wasserman at solartopia.org.

Toledo Water Crisis with Mike Ferner and Anita Rios

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on August 5th, 2014
Anita Rios and Bob Fitrakis talk about the Toledo water crisis, Ohio and other topics on the half hour. The first half hour is an interview with peace activist and former Toledo Mayoral candidate, Mike Ferner http://www.talktainmentradio.com/podcasts/Fight%20Back%20080414.mp3

Drinking Water Is A Human Right, Ohio Must Go Green In Agriculture

Posted by Bob Fitrakis on August 3rd, 2014
Bob Fitrakis Aug, 3, 2014 In response to the water crisis in Toledo this weekend, Ohio Green Party Lt. Governor candidate Bob Fitrakis says that Ohio must move away from petrochemical fertilizers and adopt a new green agricultural economy. "The harmful algae bloom has been going for more than decade and has gotten substantially worse under Kasich's administration" Fitrakis said. According to the Ohio Sea Grant college program, during Kasich's first year, 2011, the algae bloom was rated at its most severe -- ranking 10 on a 10 point scale. The poisonous toxins that have shut down the use of tap water in four Ohio counties and stopped the flow of water for half a million people in the Toledo area are primarily caused by commercial fertilizer runoff from factories and farmer's fields. This situation has put Lake Erie at risk, just like it was back in the 1970s. The Green Party calls for new regulations that would halt the flow of phosphorus from fertilizers into Lake Erie and incentives for Ohio farmers to adopt organic agriculture methods. Instead of spending millions of dollars to clean poisonous water we need to subsidize farmers to go green. We need to create a buffer zone to protect the Lake Erie ecosystem from those that spew chemicals without regard to people's right to drinking water. The polluters must be fined and forced to pay the cost of the cleanup. Local communities must be allowed to sue the polluters and send those to jail who are knowingly spewing these toxins. We applaud the people of Mansfield who passed a Community Bill of Rights that guarantees clean air and clean water, and support the efforts to pass a Columbus Community Bill of Rights. We are calling upon the people of Toledo to adopt the same kind of Community Bill of Rights. But, if voters want to send John Kasich a message this fall, they need to support the Green Party that will take on these polluters and put positive solutions in place. On people's right to clean water, Kasich has been a complete failure. Not only has he allowed the people of Toledo to be afflicted by toxic water, he has also permitted radioactive fracking water to be dumped in our state from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Other Side of the News July 28, 2014 – The war in Gaza

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on July 29th, 2014
Bob Fitrakis interviews Connie Hammond of the local Progressive Peace Coalition about her trip to Israel and the West Bank and they discuss the current bombing of civilians in Gaza by Israel.

Back To The Caves With Kasich

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on July 27th, 2014
07-27-14 By Bob Fitrakis, Green candidate for Lt. Governor of Ohio My good friend Harvey Wasserman calls it a “Solartopian Revolution.” In the marketplace of energy technology, solar and wind have won. One politician stands as the symbol of reaction against Ohio’s sustainable energy future. His name is John Kasich, Governor of Ohio. When he signed the infamous Senate Bill 310, freezing Ohio’s renewable energy targets and standards, he signaled his preference for the Jurassic Era. He should have changed his re-election campaign slogan to “Back to the caves with Kasich.” What’s his motivation? Kasich is addicted to Koch. That is, the Koch brothers. Six weeks prior to Kasich signing SB 310 into law, oil magnate David Koch donated $12,155 to the Kasich for Governor campaign. That is the maximum amount allowed under law. To support his first Ohio gubernatorial election, the Republican Governors Association gave Kasich a million dollars, thanks to Rupert Murdoch. Kasich showed his dedication to fossil fuels during his administration by strangling a Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati rail line and turning down $400 million from the feds. Kasich’s embracing low-tech solutions, pollution and inefficiency is politically motivated. That’s why this year, voters should send him a message and go Green. The Greens propose a state investment bank that will target green investments. We are committed to making Ohio the first state where the majority of the energy on the grid is renewable and sustainable.

Green Party endorses Columbus Community Bill of Rights

Posted by Webmaster/Moderator on July 26th, 2014
Contact: Bob Fitrakis, 614-374-2380 fcgreenparty@gmail.com Green Party endorses Columbus Community Bill of Rights At their July 8, 2014 County Central Committee meeting, the Franklin County Green Party endorsed the Columbus Community Bill of Rights. Co-Chair Bob Fitrakis called for “a return to localism where local people control their air and water and are not at the mercy of corporate polluters.” The Columbus Community Bill of Rights proposes an Amendment to the Charter of the City of Columbus. A group is collecting signatures to put a citizens’ initiative on the ballot that will give Columbus residents local control over the extraction of hydrocarbons and protect the unalienable rights for pure water, clean air, and safe soil. The Community Bill of Rights would free Columbus citizens from "toxins, carcinogens, radioactive substances, and other substances known to cause harm to health.” The Franklin County Green Party holds that human rights take precedence over corporate profit. “We do not believe corporations have the same rights of flesh and blood people, and living human beings have the right to decide what goes into their air, soil, and water,” Fitrakis stated. “The authoritarian one-party political system in Columbus, under the control of the Democrats, has refused to let the people vote on citizens’ initiatives in the past. We pledge our resources to make sure the Community Bill of Rights gets on the ballot so the people of Columbus can protect their environment – not politicians who are in the pocket of developers and big business,” Fitrakis said. “The Green Party stands firmly with those who are fighting to keep radioactive fracking water and waste out of the Columbus area. The Bill of Rights is the best approach,” Fitrakis asserted ###