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Columbus Police on the Attack Again: Disabled demonstrators arrested


Policeman throwing a woman out of her wheelchair, still from video by Atticus Garden.

by Bob Fitrakis
JULY 7, 2017

Policeman throwing a woman out of her wheelchair

What appears to be a phony 911 emergency medical call was used as a pretense for Columbus Police to forcibly evict and arrest wheelchair-bound Medicaid recipients in a building that houses Senator Rob Portman’s office.

July 6 was a national day of action to sit in at Senate home offices across the country to protest cuts to Medicaid as the U.S. Senate seeks to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Five activists peacefully occupied Portman’s Senate office at 37 West Broad, where they remained overnight. The next day activists from ADAPT, a disability rights organization, joined members of local groups Junto Unsilenced, Socialist Alternative, and Yes We Can.

Kelly Weber, who organized the sit-in along with John Shade and Bilal El-Yousseph and with support from UltraViolet and Planned Parenthood, said the original demands were for Senator Portman to vote no on the bill to repeal the ACA and to hold a town hall meeting in the district.

The Free Press witnessed one of the largest displays of police vehicles storming the building in history. One onlooker wondered if there had been a terrorist attack.

Video recorded by a demonstrator shows a wheelchair-bound woman being tossed from her chair by the police. One witness stated that police were dragging people out of wheelchairs. Three witnesses told the Free Press that they saw and videotaped people being pushed out of wheelchairs and of a hearing-impaired person being arrested.

The Columbus Police claimed 15 people were arrested. Weber put the number higher at 23, including 20 women, with all the arrestees being from the group ADAPT. ADAPT had negotiated their action with the Police and were stunned by the violent nature of the arrests.

What prompted the police violence was a curious appearance by Columbus Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel in the building at 3:10pm, claiming they were looking for a man having a heart attack. ADAPT demonstrators were blocking three of the four elevators, but one was available for EMS to get a gurney into the building.

Those arrested were charged with obstructing medical personnel during an emergency, though a police officer, in cruiser 121, confirmed to the Free Press that no one was found having a heart attack at the site.

At the same time the EMS personnel appeared, Portman’s staff was having the occupiers removed from the office by simply asking them to leave, which they did.

In another bizarre event witnessed by the Free Press, a woman in a wheelchair who had complied with police officers and had moved to the sidewalk outside was asked to produce identification. When the officer saw that her I.D. indicated she was from Pennsylvania, she was immediately arrested. This could be a violation of the disabled woman’s First Amendment right to demonstrate, associate and travel.

The police escorted a spokesperson for the Huntington Plaza building over to the demonstrators on the sidewalk. The spokesperson informed the demonstrators that if they ever stepped on the property again, they would be arrested. While he made this pronouncement, the police were shooting video of the demonstrators. Many of the demonstrators pointed out that they would then be blocked from visiting the office of their Senator. The spokesperson for the building did not respond.

On June 29, disabled ADAPT activists in Denver, Colorado were forcibly removed from Senator Cory Gardner’s office and arrested. The Denver Post reported that one officer told them to “Stop fighting” but the demonstrators replied that they weren’t fighting. The Denver Post article stated that, “Police picked up some protesters, restrained them, forced them into their wheelchairs and wheeled them out of the office.” Those arrested in Denver were released on personal recognizance on July 1.

Weber noted that there will be a town hall meeting at 6:30pm on Tuesday, July 11 at the Statehouse grounds, whether Portman attends or not.

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Bob Fitrakis On WVKO Radio Columbus Series Audio 2012 Archive, Youtube Bonus at end

Fight Back Podcast Nov. 11, 2012
Bill Baker talking about Charter passing against fracking in MANSFIELD, OH 1.03 BILL OF RIGHTS ARTICLE 1

Fight Back Podcast November 24, 2012
Naked Short Selling, Brown Saddle Films, Christina Copeland
The Wall Street Conspiracy – Trailer The Naked Truth: Investing in` the Stock Play of a Lifetime Hardcover – February 15, 2008 by Mark Faulk (Author)

Fight Back WVKO Podcast November 17, 2012
Bill Baker Charter amendment in Mansfield Against Article 1 sec. 1.03 Bill Of Rights Anti-Fracking activist. Home Rule by Existing Ohio Law

Fight Back WVKO Podcast November 10, 2012
Karl Rove Melt Down, Election Summary, Jim Hettle
and Mary Beth Bryan Working on documentary incl. Romney

Fight Back WVKO Podcast November 03, 2012
Jill Stein Green Party Presidential candidate, Command Central
Voting Intricacies

Fight Back WVKO Podcast, October 27, 2012 Romney Family investments in voting machines

Fight Back WVKO Podcast, October 06, 2012
Special Guest Ass’t Professor Of Economics, Dr. Fadel Kaboub from Denison University

Fight Back WVKO Podcast, September 29, 2012
Brian Clash live. Terri Jameson Domestic Relations Juvenile court candidate.40:45> Gerry Bello Sept. 27, 2012 Free Press Article, “Vote counting company tied to Romney”

Fight Back WVKO Podcast, October 13, 2012
Cheri Honkala, VP Candidate For The U.S. Green Party 2012

Fight Back WVKO Podcast October 20, 2012
Kelly Nyks, “Split, A Deeper Divide“, Gerry Bello, Political analysis (31:37), John Wellington Innis, Edited Version, “Free For All” (34:25), Disussion of Michael Connell, (52:04), ‘Point Of Sale’ (POS) attack. Romney and voting machines.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast Sept. 15, 2012
Michael Alwood standing in for Peter Navarro Film Producer, official site “Death By China” Free on youtubeKnow Drones 47:58 Nick Mottern.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast Setp. 8, 2012 Bob talks to Senior Editor of the Columbus Free Press, Harvey Wasserman about Husted, Ohio SOS, bans Sunday voting and voter suppression.

Fight Back, WVKO Podcast Sept. 1, 2012 (Starts 11:12) Tom Over, live at the republican convention.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast Aug. 18, 2012 (Starts 8:20) Elections and Voting, Wisconsin Guests (Dennis Kern, John Washburn) Ohio Dem. Dennis Liberman removed from office (by Jon Husted Ohio SOS) for promoting weekend voting.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast Aug 11, 2012 Fighting The War Party, Richard Ehrbar III (L) – Candidate for Congress, Ohio District 3, Bob’s Opposition candidate.

FightBack WVKO Podcast August 4, 2012 (starts at 6:25)
Columbus City Council Mis-Representation, Reflex, Carpet Baggers, Hiroshima, Nagasaki memorial 62nd, No Drones, 51:47: Dave agin’ Obama and dems, Obama agenda, Workers and voting rights.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast July 14, 2012 (Starts 9:30) (Starts 9:43) Re-examining Lucasville, OH longest prison uprising in U.S. Ben Turk Redbird prison abolition. Live call from prison, Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders) | Justice for Lucasville Lucasville Five.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast July 21, 2012 (Starts 7:43) Prison Industrial Complex Derrick Jones and Natural, movie “The Great Incarcerator”

Fight Back WVKO Podcast July 28 2012 (starts 7:20) Dell Perry, local Musician, Producer, Then (38.50)  R.P Ericksen author “The Left Has Always Been Right”.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast May 19, 2012 Front Street with host Charles Traylor,

Fight Back WVKO Podcast May 26, 2012 Rob Kall, Chief editor OpedNews.com, (21:12) NATO Summit, Chicago coverage from Freepress Photographer, Christopher Coston.  COINTELPRO worldwide campaign fighting U.S. policy opposition. Trayvon Martin discussion caller. Bob Bennett, Wally O’Dell (Diebold) mention. Infoshop Event.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast June 6, 2012 Sean Gilbow, 1851 centerDonald Goldmacher, Bay Area Activist “Heist, The Movie” Public Employees, School Districts for profit.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast June 9, 2012 Dr. Bob and Cliff Arnebeck, Richard Charnin, Scott Walker Recall (WI), Pattern: Exit Polls adjusted to match “outcome”. Harvey Wasserman calls in. Barbara With, Sheila Parks.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast June 23, 2012 Dr. Bob, Michael Alwood and Cliff Arnebeck, Campaign For America’s Future, Van Jones about Obama’s knowledge of election rigging. Judith, Texas Strike Force, WI robocalls, Michael Connell deposition, death (42:20). After Conf. Posse to Crossroads, 43:30. Letter from Bob Bauer, Jill Simpson and Don Seigelman, Max Cleland, Georgia election corruption. Rove fired from Whitehouse, 2007.

Fight Back WVKO Podcast May 12, 2012 Fascism, Corporatism, Socialism, Trotsky, Michael Alwood, Steve

Fight Back WVKO Podcast May 5, 2012 Bill Baker, Frack Free Ohio, Preferred Fluids, TX, President Speaking in Columbus

Fight Back WVKO Podcast July 7, 2012 Bob, Michael Alwood, AEP, Global Warming, Weather Mods, Full Spectrum Dominance, Nick Mottern: KnowDrones

 

BONUS:

 

 

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Bob Fitrakis Events

Bob Fitrakis Prosecutor campaign candidate forums

All addresses are links to Google maps.

Saturday, October 29

Listen and call in when Bob is on the radio tomorrow!

Straight Talk with Khari Enaharo on 95.5FM radio –
I will talk about my campaign on radio tomorrow morning – Saturday, October 29 from 6-8am. Call-in 614-291-0955. http://mycolumbusmagic.hellobeautiful.com/
AND
I will be on WVKO 1580AM radio tomorrow at 12noon when there will be a radio candidate’s forum at 614-824-2550. http://1580thepraise.com/
AND
I will be at the Early Voting site, Franklin County Board of Elections, 1700 Morse Road in from about 8:30-11:30am and 2-4pm to hand out flyers.
 

Tuesday, November 1

Ohio Dominican University Candidates Forum

1216 Sunbury Rd, Columbus, OH 43219

Griffin Student Center Rooms 258-260

6-8pm

 

Sunday, November 6

COYAP Meet The Candidates

Sunday, November 6 at 3 PM – 5 PM

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/309092249474304/

 

promoFitFCpros

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Report On Bob’s Debate And OH 18th Dist. Green, Connie Gadell-Newton

Graphic of state of Ohio with a flower growing in the middle

At the same time Green Party candidate for county prosecutor Bob Fitrakis was debating Democratic candidate Zach Klein, a Columbus police officer with a history of questionable shootings killed Tyre King, a 13-year-old African American. King’s shooting occurred less than a block away from Fitrakis’s Near East home.

In a sad and tragic way, the timing was fatefully surreal. The two candidates were sparring over what’s the best way to end police shootings of African-American men and children.

But it wasn’t fate at all. Bob Fitrakis has been fighting back against questionable police shootings of African-Americans for much of his working life, and if Columbus and the rest of the nation, for that matter, would have listened to Fitrakis a long, long time ago, Tyre King may be alive today.

On the other hand, career politician and current city council president Zach Klein, who’s jumped back and forth from Democrat to Republican so to further his ascension, has no record of denouncing questionable police shootings.

Fitrakis of course is also editor of The Columbus Free Press. During the debate Fitrakis argued what needs to be established so to investigate and hopefully end these needless deaths.

“I have no problem with an independent prosecutor,” Fitrakis told the crowd during a candidate’s forum at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. “I just don’t think it goes far enough. I believe that there needs to be an independent civilian review board, with subpoena power, that is elected from the area commissions, and that is responsible in these shooting cases.

“Part of the problem is the tremendous hold the FOP has on elected officials,” Fitrakis said. “That has to stop. We need not only an independent prosecutor, we need a civilian review board with an auditor. We need real citizens from the high-crime neighborhoods. We should be able to elect people from those communities, because they’re the victims.”

As for his opponent that fateful night, it was more of the same, which is making some progressives seethe. Zach Klein not only opposes a civilian review board with subpoena power, but also an independent prosecutor to investigate fatal police shootings.

The left’s discontent with the Democratic Party has been building for some time and now hitting a boiling point with this election cycle. And it’s not just because of where candidates stand on issues; the Green Party isn’t backed by Super PACs or billionaires, and the mainstream media, either. Even aligning yourself with Democrats is making progressives go Green.

“We have been hit by this storm, this whirlwind of support that basically started on the day that Bernie endorsed Hillary,” Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said at the party’s national convention. “Suddenly, the floodgates opened in our fundraising. Unsolicited money just started pouring in. So, in the last three weeks, we’ve actually raised as much money as we have in the entire year-and-a-half of the campaign until then. So it’s a whole new ball game.”

The Green Party storm is reverberating nationally and spreading locally.

Constance Gadell-Newton is the Green Party candidate for the Ohio House of State Representative 18th District race, which encompasses Columbus, Grandview Heights, German Village, Franklinton and the Near East. She’s a Near East resident and also Fitrakis’s law partner. When she decided to run she considered it an “experiment.” But after Bernie lost the nomination, it became much more than a chance to test the waters.

“Strangers were taking out their phones and donating on the spot,” says the 36-year-old Gadell-Newton. “I know how much $100 is in a personal budget. That could be coming right out of their grocery bill. As a candidate when someone gives me that amount of money I have to take this seriously and respect the people who are supporting me.”

Gadell-Newton says one of the biggest revelations during her candidacy was how easy it was to get on the ballot. Now when she’s out campaigning she’s telling as many people as she can that running as a Green Party candidate is “totally doable, especially in local small races.”

“That’s one thing I am surprised about,” she said. “I only needed 25 signatures. Major party candidates need 50 signatures. For people who are interested in change, running for office takes a lot less energy than passing a ballot issue, for instance, which takes thousands of signatures.”

She says victory this election cycle may be elusive, so she’s positioning herself for 2018 and 2020. But for now, running as a Green Party candidate during this election cycle of chaos is having serious influence on the overall debate.

“Even though we may not win, Green Party candidates are able to influence the political dialogue and that’s something I’ve seen with Bob’s (Fitrakis) prosecutor race. He’s very outspoken about the issues he cares about and he’s pushing the other candidates to the side of Black Lives Matter, for instance.”

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Joe Demare, Bob Fitrakis, Connie, Kirk at WBNS 10 “Let Joe Debate” Protest

Joe Demare, Bob Fitrakis, Constance Gadell-Newton, Kirk Bampton speak out against Joseph Demares (Green Party candidate for US senate in Ohio) exclusion from debates at WBNS TV Oct. 17. Next Stop Cleveland City Club! Call and demand equity/free speech! If you can show up for protest, the world will appreciate it. Address: IDEA Center at PlayhouseSquare 1375 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 Thursday at 6 PM – 8:30 PM October 20th

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Breaking News: Our David v. Goliath battle begins in Ohio!

The Latest Update on Our California exit polls September 28, 2016

boblori

I am writing to inform you of an amazing opportunity available to you to possibly effect a major change in our system of reporting vote counts in the United States. For years, as we have reported to you. Edison Media Research has refused to release the raw data they gather during their exit polls. Raw data from exit polls is adjusted to fit the vote totals that come in from our vote tabulators across the country. The Media Consortium which hires Edison Media Research (EMR) uses the vote totals coming in from the tabulators as the real vote count. Normally, in other countries, exit poll data is supposed to show you what the real vote totals are. If the exit polls differ significantly from the computerized vote totals, the winning politician may be winning from electronic vote manipulation as opposed to the vote of the people.

As you may know, there was a highly significant, unexplainable difference reported in the exit polls in the Democratic primary for twelve states this year between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Although Bernie appeared to be winning more votes than Hillary, based on the voters leaving the polls, at the end of the day there was a huge discrepancy in 12 states between the exit poll data and the official vote awarded Clinton. When attorney Cliff Arnebeck, an associate of attorney Robert Fitrakis requested that EMR release its raw data on the Democratic primary,EMR not only refused to release the raw data but canceled all further exit polls for the remaining primary elections. An emergency exit poll that TrustVote.org sponsored in three counties in California, Alameda county, Santa Clara county and Contra Costa County revealed thatBernie Sanders won over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary by 7.9% rather than 3.1% as shown in the California Secretary of State’s website. It appears that the votes in these counties were electronically manipulated.

Robert Fitrakis together with the support of many small donors associated with TrustVote.org was able to file a lawsuit against EMR.  Please click on the PDF links below to read a copy of our original lawsuit. Baker & Hostetler LLP, the law firm connected with Edison Media Research reports a company income of $650 million dollars a year. They have responded to our lawsuit with a motion to dismiss it.

The donation totals of TrustVote.org are only a tiny fraction of this amount. Battling Baker and Hostetler and Edison Media Research will be truly a David v.Goliath battle! If we win in this lawsuit, Bob Fitrakis has been willing to fight Baker and Hostetler’s motion to dismiss the TrustVote.org lawsuit for very little. Nonetheless, Bob estimates that still we will need at least $20,000 more to pursue this lawsuit against Edison Media Research all the way to the end.

If we prevail in this lawsuit, we will be able to see the raw data collected by EMR during the last primary. Bernie Sanders will be able to see the more accurate percentages of votes that he really received before the exit polls were edited. And both the USA and the rest of the world, will become aware of the editing of American exit polls  that happens routinely in the higher office elections in the US on a regular basis.

$4500 was already raised by TrustVote.org donors to start this lawsuit and maintain it up to this point. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all of your donations thus far!! Can we count on you to contribute more to help us win this lawsuit? Many TrustVote.org donors have donated small amounts towards these very important issues. Whatever you can give, large or small will be DEEPLY appreciated! With many people donating $10 and $20 dollars, the total contribution amount begins to mount up. And, just yesterday, a TrustVote.org donor has agreed to match any of your donations dollar for dollar!

So the battle has really begun! Come help us transform elections in our country, have a voting system we can count on and  create a true democracy here in our country!

Very Sincerely,

Lori Grace

 

Here is what Robert Fitrakis writes about the lawsuit against Edison Media Research.

In the case of Johnson v. Edison Media Research (EMR), plaintiff, Pete Johnson and his counsel, Robert Fitrakis filed a motion on September 20, 2016 to keep the case from being dismissed.

The legal filing notes that, “Edison Research is the exclusive provider of election exit polls to the National Election Pool consisting of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, MSNBC and the Associated Press….” Johnson points out, “The results of the ‘exit polls’ that EMR conducted on March 15, 2016 during the Presidential Primary Elections in the State of Ohio did not match the actual election outcomes when the votes were counted.

Johnson’s Reply Brief goes into great detail to establish the cozy relationship between the Ohio Secretary of State and the monopoly exit poll provider for the media consortium. Edison admitted that “The information is delivered through a secure web application on Election Day.”

Lori’s note: A secure web application means an information feed that is not available to the public. In other words a secret information feed.

The Brief states: “The Ohio Secretary of State regularly provides EMR with detailed records of voter demographics and actual election outcomes after the votes are counted, and allows EMR to conduct ‘exit polls’ near polling places.”

Johnson v. Edison is all about the secret collusion between a government official, a monopoly entity that adjusts election results to match the official outcome without transparency, and a giant media consortium, that could also be called a cartel. The crux of the complaint against Edison is in page four of the Brief: “After the Ohio Secretary of State provided EMR with those voter demographics and actual election outcomes, EMR adjusted the results of its ‘exit polls’ to match them.”

The Brief argues that, “The information gathered and disseminated in ‘exit polls’ goes to the heart of the democratic process, the process of obtaining the information in ‘exit polls’ requires a significant discussion between pollster and voter, and “exit polls” provide a valued source of data about voter behavior.”

Many of the same concerns about exit polling were raised by U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. in a January 20, 2005 open letter to Edison Media Research. Conyers pointed out that the adjusted exit poll numbers provided by Edison in the 2004 presidential election were “virtually impossible as a statistical matter.” Conyers issued Edison a “…request to receive the actual raw exit poll data that you obtained.” Edison refused to cooperate with the Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Johnson v. Edison is another attempt to end the non-transparency in the U.S. voting process, one that allows private for-profit companies to secretly program the voting machines and tabulators with proprietary software, but also allows Edison to secretly adjust exit polls numbers to support the statistically impossible.

Bob Fitrakis, the attorney for Johson, argues that: “Edison needs to come clean and become transparent. These Democratic primary exit polls, had they occurred in another country, would have caused at least 12 of the 26 Democratic primary elections to be invalidated.”

Below are the three PDFs of the lawsuit. The first one is the original lawsuit against Edison Media Research by Bob Fitrakis, the second PDF is Edison Media Research’s response to our lawsuit. The third one below is our response to Baker and Hostetler’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit.

Complaint Exit Poll PDF

Edison Research Motion to Dismiss PDF

Filed Memo Opposing Edison Research Motion To Dismiss PDF

 

voteThe California Election Integrity Coalition and
The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity
present

Was your vote counted? Are you frustrated with the results of the California primary? Was your group’s efforts to observe the ballot count process suppressed by your county’s election office (aka Registrar of Voters)?

Maybe your experience was great. Either way, we want you to join us for our upcoming Take Back the Vote: An Emergency Conference to Prepare for Upcoming Election(s), happening October 8th and 9th, in Richmond, California.

Among many other election related topics, we will be training poll workers and precinct monitors on irregularities to watch out for, on Election Day. Our mission is to ensure every ballot is counted as cast. Let’s do the work to create a real Democracy!

The goals of this conference are the following:
1) Build a broader base of individuals who are aware of election issues
2) Train the next generation of poll workers and monitors
3) Encourage concerned citizens to organize statewide (to do 1 & 2)
4) Educate voters about their voting rights

The focus of the conference has recently been expanded to include issues around election integrity across the country which will possibly impact the outcome of both the 2016 Presidential election and senatorial and congressional election results for both parties across the United States.

If you can’t attend, please donate to sponsor the event and/or an individual’s participation.

WHEN
Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 9:30 AM – Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 5:00 PM (PDT) –

WHERE
Grace Lutheran Church – 2369 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

COST and REGISTER
Only $25 for the weekend.

Register Here

California Election Integrity Coalition
Organizer of Take Back the Vote: An Emergency Conference to Prepare for Upcoming Election(s)

Editorial note by Lori Grace: The final solution that we all would want is paper ballots that are counted ideally by people in elections that can be fully observed and audited.We know that this will not be our option for this year. We can only put out this intention. Hopefully, the United States will one day become more like Germany, Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland.

Learn More Here
Please stay tuned to trustvote.org and our up-coming articles and events, where we will be looking at what we can do to create more reliability in our November elections!
To Support the California and Ohio Lawsuits Please Donate Today!

Sincerely,

Lori Grace

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Franklin County Prosecutor candidates weigh in on police-involved shootings, diversion programs, equal protection

by Steve Palm-Houser
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

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On September 14, two candidates for Franklin County Prosecutor answered questions about how they would respond to officer-involved shootings, if elected. As the candidates’ forum at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church proceeded, only one mile away 13-year-old Tyre King was pursued and shot multiple times by Columbus police. He was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and pronounced dead a few minutes after the candidates’ forum ended.

Adrienne Hood spoke at the beginning of the forum. Her son Henry Green was killed by Columbus police on June 6. “It’s unfortunate that the person who can give me the justice that my son deserves is not here,” she said, indicating the empty chair reserved for Ron O’Brien, the incumbent County Prosecutor candidate. O’Brien has not responded to demands by Green’s family to indict the officers who shot him and appoint an independent prosecutor to oversee the case.

Diversion programs

People’s Justice Project organizer Tammy Alsaada posed the first question to Democratic candidate Zach Klein and Green Party candidate Bob Fitrakis. “Would you keep families together by expanding diversion programs for youth, for addiction, and for mental health issues in underserved and overlooked communities?” she asked. “And how would you help keep people out of the system and get the treatment they need?”

“Yes,” Zach Klein said. “I’m a firm believer that the cycle of incarceration breeds a cycle of poverty, which breeds a cycle of incarceration. I think we need to be aggressive in expanding our diversion program to ensure that there is treatment” for drug addiction and mental health issues. “We also need a diversion program that recognizes when some people turn to crime to make ends meet. It may be a small number of people, but there are people who lack opportunity. Jail is for people that we’re afraid of, not for people we don’t know what to do with.”

There is currently “no rhyme or reason or policy directive out of the prosecutor’s office for who is eligible for diversion,” Klein said. “It’s all at the whim of whether the prosecutor knows the defense attorney. That’s not fair, open, or transparent.”

Bob Fitrakis also responded “yes” to Alsaada’s question. “As prosecutor I will not arrest anyone for drug possession,” he said. “It’s a medical problem, and that’s how it will be handled.” Instead, he would go after the people involved in heavy drug trafficking. “Many of these are connected with legitimate businesses. The people who fueled the crack epidemic in this town in the 1990’s were Southern Air Transport. They were bringing heroin and other drugs into this country. Instead of going after someone with ten balloons in their stomach, let’s go after the large aircraft that are coming in by the planeload, contaminating these communities.”

Fitrakis cited the recently revealed admission by Richard Nixon’s domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman that the War on Drugs was started not to curb drug use, but to marginalize blacks and the hippies who opposed the Vietnam War. “This has been a systematic campaign against the poor community, against the black community,” he said. “We need to redefine the problem.”

Equal protection under the law

“Research shows that mass incarceration disproportionately affects low-income people, and people of color,” said Jasmine Ayres, field director for the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. “We need more information to make evidence-based decisions on policies and practices. For example, black people in Franklin County are 3.8 times more likely to be in jail than whites.

“Will you collect and share demographic data — including race, gender, and income level — on who is charged, what they are charged with, what plea is offered, and what bail is recommended? And how would you set alternative metrics to evaluate your staff?”

“Will I comply with the open records law? Yes,” Bob Fitrakis responded. “There needs to be full transparency. For many years, before the Free Press went after the judges, they were double-bonding people. The bondsmen were running the court until they were exposed.

“I’m going to remove the jump-out boys,” he said, referring to plainclothes police officers who patrol so-called “crime hot-spots,” a code word for neighborhoods with many poor, black, and Latino residents. “They post white police, walking around with money, pretending they’re on drugs, acting like bait. They should be removed or charged criminally, because they’re causing the violence. They need to get off the streets.”

Fitrakis recalled teaching police officers about the U.S. Constitution in 1980. “They weren’t really receptive to it, but we were able to work out certain things,” he said. “We should pay our police well, and we should make sure they know our fundamental principles.”

Zach Klein responded, “Yes, as someone who’s running for prosecutor, trying to get that information that you seek. It doesn’t exist. We should have an open, transparent system in the prosecutor’s office that uses the best practices and technology, that’s not only available, but easy to understand.

“In 2014, which is the last year this data was available, there were 12,000 criminal filings in Franklin County. 190 went to trial. Think about the 11,810 cases that never went to trial, that fall squarely within the programs and opportunities that you’re talking about. But outside of knowing they didn’t go to trial, we don’t know anything about the defendants, the pleas, or the cases.

“Having an open and transparent prosecutor’s office restores the community’s faith in the criminal justice system,” Klein said. “We need to have a prosecutor’s office that is outward-facing, that is engaged in the community, that doesn’t just go home to the suburbs, that looks like the community,” Klein said. “What do I know about Ron O’Brien’s office? Four percent of his lawyers are African American. I think that’s abysmal. We need to have a more aggressive approach to recruiting African American, Latino, LGBT, and female lawyers.”

Trying juveniles as adults

“Youth should not be tried as adults. Research shows that if you send youth to adult prison, they are more likely to re-offend. They are more likely to be sexually abused,” said Candice Williams-Bethea, a grassroots educator with the People’s Justice Project. “How will you handle the practice of trying minors in adult court? And how will you use developmentally-informed decision making appropriate to youth?

“Those statistics are real, which is why any prosecutor should be careful about charging any juvenile as an adult, or as a juvenile,” Zach Klein responded. “A prosecutor’s office should be working with faith and community leaders to play quarterback on this issue and others, to give juvenile offenders a chance to pull themselves out of the cycle. A proactive prosecutor will bring the parties together with a mentor program that can give kids an opportunity to make a difference, not just treat them like a number.”

“I’m not charging any juvenile as an adult if I am prosecutor,” said Bob Fitrakis. “Social science states the obvious: the amount of lawbreaking between affluent suburban white kids and inner-city kids is about the same. The only difference is who gets charged, who gets a record, and who ends up doing time and being profiled for the rest of their lives.”

As an attorney, Fitrakis sees “more justice when I go to mayor’s court in Worthington, Grandview, and Hilliard, when youth are charged with a minor misdemeanor because they’re good boys and girls and about to go off to a private school.” For the same offense a young person in Columbus might be given a first degree misdemeanor or a felony charge, he said. “That must end in the prosecutor’s office.”

Independent prosecutor for police-involved shootings

“Recently the Supreme Court of Ohio acknowledged the bias of the grand jury process when it comes to indicting police,” said Aramis Malachi-Ture Sundiata, statewide organizing director for the People’s Justice Project. “Will you appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate all police-involved shootings in Franklin County? And if not, how will you handle police-involved shootings?”

“If you appoint an independent prosecutor, who do you hold accountable?” Zach Klein responded. “When I am prosecutor, I want you to hold me accountable for decisions I make, not only in police-involved shootings, but in any issue of crime.”

Klein cited Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who lost a re-election campaign when he failed to indict police officers in the killing of Tamir Rice. “He was held accountable and got fired,” Klein said. “If we appoint independent prosecutors, I’m afraid that we might lose the accountability. You can’t vote an independent prosecutor out of office.”

“I have no problem with an independent prosecutor,” Bob Fitrakis said. “I just don’t think it goes far enough. I believe that there needs to be an independent civilian review board, with subpoena power, that is elected from the area commissions, and that is responsible in these shooting cases.

“Part of the problem is the tremendous hold the FOP has on elected officials,” Fitrakis said. “That has to stop. We need not only an independent prosecutor; we need a civilian review board with an auditor. We need real citizens from the high-crime neighborhoods. We should be able to elect people from those communities, because they’re the victims.”

At a Columbus City Council candidates’ forum last fall, Zach Klein went on record as opposing a civilian review board with subpoena power.

Both candidates agreed to meet with the groups who held the candidates forum’ 100 days after the election.

For each of the questions posed, the audience applause was consistently louder and longer for Bob Fitrakis than for Zach Klein.

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Bob Fitrakis Speaking The Jill Stein Rally, Capital University, Columbus, OH

September 2nd. 2016


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What Really Happened at Jill Stein’s Green Party “Wrong City” Rally

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

SEPTEMBER 5, 2016

Jill Stein raising her fist at the podium

So the corporate media indulged itself with the idea that Green Party candidate Jill Stein flew to the “wrong city” for a Friday rally at Capital University in central Ohio. Her lateness was in the headline, lead and conclusion of every mainstream article about the September 2 event.

As usual, they ignored the real story.

Jill originally had a speech scheduled in Cincinnati, which was moved, although the tickets weren’t. So she was in Covington, Kentucky about a half-hour before the scheduled noon start of her talk at Capital, where Harvey is in his thirteenth year of teaching (primarily UC200: Cultural and Ethnic Diversity).

No big deal. Jill hopped into a Lyft and headed north. Estimated time of arrival: about 2:30.

Compare this to when Hillary Clinton appeared in Columbus on July 31, 2016 at Ft. Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, arrived two hours late, and a dozen people had fainted in the heat in the meantime. Although the Dispatch reported on it, the article did not emphasize her lateness in the headline or lead. Buried in the middle of the article, it read: “Several in the Ft. Hayes crowd had to be treated by paramedics as they waited on the newly-anointed Democratic nominees, who were about two hours late – in part because they stopped for Grandpa’s Cheese Barn along Interstate 71 near Ashland.”

Meanwhile, Harvey told Jill’s crowd of about 100 (many of them his students) that she was on her way and took orders for pizza. Since the local media craves the details, here they are: seven cheese pies, seven with onions, peppers and mushrooms, and one vegan (for Harvey, Suzanne and two other takers) with tofu and no cheese. (Total price: $220, Harvey’s most memorable campaign donation).

We then opened the mic. Among others, long-time Green Party activist Anita Rios spoke. So did Bob, Ohio Green Party Co-Chair, candidate for Franklin County prosecutor, a professor at Columbus State Community College, and Editor of the Columbus Free Press/www.freepress.org. Bob and Harvey have co-authored seven books on election protection, dating back to the 2004 theft of the presidency by George W. Bush and Karl Rove.

At one o’clock we switched over to Harvey’s iPhone. One of Harvey’s students hooked us up to the PA and we played the Jill Stein campaign theme song, followed by a good long session from the Grateful Dead.

It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon on the large lawn at a lovely liberal arts college. People sat, talked and stretched out. Thanks to the modern miracles of the telephone, texting, email and social media, the crowd grew by half.

A klatch of about a dozen libertarians hovered in the background wearing Gary Johnson t-shirts. We asked them if it was true that Johnson, who advocates legalization of pot, had promised not to smoke it while in the White House. We told them that was a mistake.

When Jill arrived she was greeted by Capital’s much-loved President Beth Paul. Back in 2008, the school hosted an appearance from candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin. George H.W. Bush and other presidents, ex-presidents and candidates—-including Barack Obama—-have appeared here.

When Bob finally introduced her, we had a rested, happy crowd of enthusiastic students, locals and Green Party volunteers. Jill spoke of the Green New Deal and her plan to put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work to create a clean energy economy by 2030. She asked the student crowd how many had taken out student loans and more than half raised their hands. The crowd roared approval when she announced she would cancel all student loan debt, which affects 43 million Americans.

What should have been the lead was Stein’s call to cut the U.S. military spending in half. She pointed out that our nation has 900 military bases all over the world. Other than the U.S., all the other nations on the planet combined have only 30 military bases outside their borders.

We took questions after Jill’s speech, then a group photo, and a long selfie line. A good time was had by all.

By the time Jill hopped in Anita’s car to head to Cleveland for her next gig, this time just a half-hour late, the media had filed its story, but obviously missed an excellent rally.

The media are also misrepresenting Stein’s official ballot status:   A Dispatch article Monday, September 5, said:   “Green Party nominee Jill Stein is on track to make it in at least half [of the state ballots].” At the time the Dispatch published this AP report, Stein was already on the ballot in 41 states and likely to end up on at least 45 states, or 95 percent of the states. Only in South Dakota is she not on the ballot by name or as a write-in, and in only three states is she certified as a write-in only – Indiana, North Carolina and Georgia.

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EAC to Host Live Webcast Forum on 2016 Election Preparations in Battleground States

heyooo big chance to make some NOISE!
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United States Election Assistance Commission
REMINDER for WED JAN 6:

EAC emailhead

Discussion will be webcast and tweeted live; taking questions & comments

Contact: Bryan Whitener; 301-563-3961; bwhitener@eac.gov

Roundtable – Preparing for Election 2016 – EAC will host a panel discussion to explore how state and local officials from jurisdictions with experience in close election results and/or highly visible contests are preparing for the 2016 elections. The event will take place on Wednesday January 6 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA. Attendees will include election administrators from nine battleground states. To see the discussion questions, list of participants and live webcast, click here.

WHO: Election administrators from nine states across the U.S. (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin)

WHAT: Roundtable discussion on 2016 Election Preparations in Battleground States.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 6, (2:30 – 5:00 PM – EST)

WHERE: The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City; 1250 S. Hayes Street; The Diplomat Room; Arlington, VA 22202; Phone: (703) 415-5000.

WEBCAST: This event will be webcast live from 2:30 – 5:00 PM and available later for playback. Viewers can provide input by sending tweets, comments and questions during the roundtable. Watch the Webcast! (also available archived after event)

NOTE: Just prior to the roundtable, EAC will also hold a public meeting from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM..

EAC is an independent independent bipartisan commission created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA was passed by the U.S. Congress to make sweeping reforms to the nation’s voting process, address improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election, and to provide federal funding to states for new voting equipment. HAVA mandates that the EAC test and certify voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conduct research, and administer a national clearinghouse on elections that includes shared practices, information for voters and other resources to improve elections. More information is available at EAC.gov.