When the Republicans that control the state recently raised Ohio’s minimum wage to match the federal rate of $5.15, there was little cause for rejoicing. The federal minimum wage has not been increased since September 1997. Five fifteen an hour comes out to $10,700 annually, to support oneself or family. There’s a statewide initiative that I support that will raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $6.85 and increase the income of one in seven Ohio workers. An estimated 297,000 workers in Ohio make less than $6.85 an hour, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Another 423,000 people would be affected by a “spillover” effect that would cause their slightly-above minimum wages, but less than living wages, to rise. In all, an estimated 730,000 workers, 58% of them women, would benefit from higher wages if the $6.85 an hour initiative goes through.

Not only should the initiative go through, but I propose if I am governor, to tie minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation. It is the poor and the working poor who are hit the hardest by the highly inflationary fuel prices. Moreover, I will instruct Ohio state agencies to only contract with companies that pay a livable wage. Even at $6.85 an hour, workers would only be paid $14,248 a year, which is still 14% below the federal poverty level. All public jobs in Ohio should be paying at least $10 an hour. When we make the state more livable for the least of our brethren, we make the state more livable for all people.

I had the privilege of having breakfast with Doris “Granny D” Haddock today. Granny D, who lives in the woods between Dublin and Peterborough, New Hampshire, came to Columbus to campaign for clean money in the state and to end the culture of corruption. Granny D is most famous for walking across the country at the age of 89 in support of campaign finance reform. The single greatest problem in our system is the fact that 1% of the population provides 90% of the money for political campaigns and political action committees (PACs). To clean up politics, you’ve got the get the dirty money out, particularly the corporate money, and get clean citizen-subsidized money into the process.

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Our great nation is at a crossroads and we the people must move quickly and creatively to avert catastrophe and defend the national security of our country. On the third anniversary of the unconscionable and illegal attack on Iraq, we must confront the president and his small circle of sycophants. The Bush regime lacks the competence, vision, wisdom and moral compass to lead America. The case is clear. Read more

As the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion approaches this weekend, I support the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.

The Iraq invasion is a stain on the integrity of the United States. It is an illegal and immoral war based on perhaps the most well-known lie in the world. That Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It is now being justified by an even more ridiculous lie that we are there to bring democracy to Iraq.

Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorist network responsible for 9/11 are arch enemies of Saddam Hussein. Osama is a pan-Islamic fundamentalist seeking to create a greater Islamic empire. Saddam is a secular pan-Arab nationalist seeking a United States of Arabia.

Now, with the publishing of the Downing Street memos, we know that Bush and Cheney deliberately lied us into war. This violates not only the UN Charter, but the principles we established at Nuremberg. If we are to regain our integrity as a nation, we must seek the impeachment of our president. Read more

Only an independent governor associated with a third party movement can root out the fraud and make the rules fair for everyone in Ohio. The wealthy own the Republican Party, and they lease the Democratic Party as needed. The Democratic Party which controlled Ohio in the 1980s did little to rein in special interests and bring clean money into the process.

The Republican Party, which has always been better at corruption than the Democrats, has allowed the state to be systematically looted for political purposes. There’s always an ongoing battle in a democracy between the people’s interests and the wealthy few. Between democracy and oligarchy.

In the case of the Ohio Republicans, the few they want to rule are the rich. The ancient Greeks called this plutocracy. But under Republican governors George Voinovich and Bob Taft, the usual evils of unleased plutocracy have transformed into open kleptocracy — rule by thieves.

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The key green slogan is: Think Globally — Act Locally. It is imperative that Ohio go green, not only for the good of our small planet but to revitalize the Buckeye State economy. As Governor, I would set an immediate goal to have 20% of all energy be green energy within my first term. This would not be difficult to do.

With research institutions like Battelle which have the capacity to produce green technology, and with our world-class universities and colleges, we could move easily away from fossil fuel to alternative energy. Last year I wrote an article concerning a local inventor who had already developed a fuel that can replace gasoline gallon for gallon.

With recent technological breakthroughs, the breezes that blow along Lake Erie are powerful enough to create commercial turbine power. The city of Bowling Green already has two utility-scale windmill turbines. A flood of inexpensive wind-driven electricity would be created under my administration. We have few alternatives. We can continue to invade oil-rich middle eastern nations under the pretense of bringing them democracy. But these last desperate fossil fuel wars will only bankrupt our nation. Read more