October 28, 2012

NewsBusted (102612)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 9:30 am

It’s a little late, but I hope the folks at NB will forgive me. Anyway, given other commitments, it will be at the top for probably the entire rest of the day, and maybe the evening too.

Here we go:

–Presidential Debates Are Over
–Women Supporting Romney
–President Obama’s Pension
–American Bank Accounts
–Human Cadavers and Stem Cells
–Michael Phelps
–Gay Americans
–Rolling Stones

Best Line: “Champion Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was named by Men’s Health Magazine as the fittest man of all time. But Michelle Obama says Phelps still needs to eat better.”

Redfern’s Candidacy Exploits ‘the Husted Loophole’ in Ohio Election Residency Law

Filed under: Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:45 am

A sad situation only voters can fix.


This item went up in somewhat revised form at Watchdog.org on Thursday. Since then, Third Base Politics has reported that since July, Chris Redfern and his wife have been trying to sell their home in the district he wishes represent while living in Columbus, and that he and the Ohio Democratic Party have scrubbed evidence of that attempted sale and Redfern’s indication that he is from Bexley on the list of Ohio delegates to September’s Democratic National Convention.

Unfortunately, though it’s important that 89th District voters learn what 3BP has found and react accordingly at the ballot box, it doesn’t change the validity of the post’s core contention. It remains the case, thanks to the Husted Loophole, that if Redfern claims that he intends to live in the 89th District after his legislative career is over, a legal challenge to his residency will, unless the Ohio Supreme Court totally changes its mind, fail in the end.


After a four-year absence from Ohio’s Legislature, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern is running for State Representative in Ohio’s 89th District. The district includes Ottawa and Erie Counties in the northern part of the Buckeye State between Toledo and Cleveland.

There are only two problems. The first is that Redfern doesn’t live in the district, and has said so. The second, thanks to the Ohio Supreme Court, is that Redfern’s demonstrated non-residence doesn’t automatically disqualify him from running. Any reasonable person would think it should.

The blogger who goes by the name “GOHPat the Third Base Politics blog has shown that:

  • Redfern and his wife Kim own two homes in Metro Columbus. One, in suburban Bexley, was purchased in 2007. The couple bought a second residence inside Columbus’s city limits early this year.
  • Redfern was listed as living in Bexley in the roster of Democratic Party delegates attending the party’s September national convention in Charlotte.
  • The Redfern Group, a campaign consulting firm headed by Kim Redfern, lists the couple’s Bexley address as its headquarters.

A person declaring candidacy for public office is required to attest that “I am a qualified elector in the precinct in which my voting residence is located.” You might think that Redfern was on very thin ice making that claim when he submitted his declaration in Ottawa County, even though the Redferns still own a home there. You would be wrong, thanks to none other than Jon Husted, Ohio’s current Secretary of State.

You see, Husted, a Republican, was caught in arguably more damning circumstances late last decade when he was a state representative and then a state senator, declaring himself a resident of Kettering, a Dayton suburb where he owned and still owns a small home, while living for several years with his second wife in a Columbus suburb.

Things came to a head in 2009, when then-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, ruled that Husted wasn’t a legal resident of Kettering. Husted went to the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn the ruling. Incredibly, he succeeded.

In a unanimous decision, the Court, in the words of the Dayton Daily News, said that Brunner “did not give enough weight to his intent to return to the Kettering home when his public service ends.” Thus, what I have now dubbed “the Husted Loophole” was born. Any candidate can declare an intent to “someday” return to reside in his or her district, regardless of whether it’s the truth, and no one can do a thing about it.

Husted’s expressed intent was and remains hardly credible. His current wife’s real estate firm was and still is in Metro Columbus. In 2009, I personally observed his Kettering “residence” from the outside and found it to be a clearly unoccupied 1,300-foot shell in which a couple of the Husteds’ means would not deign to live. By contrast, the Redferns’ Catawba Island home in Ottawa County is spacious. If pressured, Chris Redfern’s claim to want to move back there eventually would be at least have a shred of believability.

Unfortunately for “GOHP” and 89th District voters, any action attempted by Husted against Redfern would reek of hypocrisy and fail miserably on precedent. The only remaining control is in the hands of the District’s voters, who, thanks to “GOHP,” at least have a chance to learn the truth. If they believe it important that they be represented by someone who cares enough about them to live where they do and thereby stay in touch with their concerns, they will vote for a true resident of the District, meaning someone other than Chris Redfern.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102812)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Christian Bale presents award to blind pro-life activist from China

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New York City:

Oct 27, 2012 / 07:51 am

Hollywood actor Christian Bale presented a human rights award to Chinese pro-life advocate Chen Guangcheng for fighting forced abortions in China, praising him as a courageous and inspirational figure.

By exposing “a program of forced abortion and sterilization in Shandong,” Chen exemplified the “values that we teach our children every day of helping our fellow man,” Bale said.

Chen was the 2012 Human Rights Award Honoree at an Oct. 25 gala in New York City hosted by Human Rights First, an organization that challenges the United States to live up to its ideals.

Bale met the blind human rights activist for the first time at the gala. The Batman star had previously attempted to visit Chen during his time in house arrest but was roughed up and turned away by plainclothes guards.

Blinded by a serious illness when he was young, Chen is a self-taught human rights lawyer who spoke out against China’s one-child policy and the coerced abortions and sterilizations that are often used to enforce it. His work attracted the anger of Chinese authorities.

Chen spent more than four years in prison and was subsequently placed under house arrest in September 2010. He and his family were held without formal charges, and he said that they were violently assaulted and refused medical treatment.

In late April, he made international headlines by escaping from house arrest and reaching the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

He left the embassy for a hospital in Beijing on May 2, after being promised by Chinese authorities that he and his family would be secure. Shortly afterwards, however, he voiced fears for his safety and asked to come to the U.S. with his family for a period of peaceful rest.

Chen was offered a fellowship to study law and learn English at New York University’s law school and was ultimately allowed to travel to the United States with his family, arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 19.

In presenting the award, Bale emphasized the blind activist’s work on behalf of women and their unborn children who are subject to the country’s brutal one-child policy.

“A program of forced abortion means that women are being dragged from their homes against their will,” Bale said. “They are being forced to have abortions, sometimes late-term – imagine that – with some women reportedly dying in the process.”

Referring to these forced abortions as “true horror,” the actor stated that in this “insane world,” Chen stood up for the women of China, living out “simple, brave and universally-admired values.”

“For this, this man was imprisoned and beaten for over four years,” he said.

Speaking through a translator, Chen said that he was honored to receive the award.

“Just as the name Human Rights First implies, I believe if everyone throughout the world put human rights in first place, we would be living in a very different world,” he said.

“This is not just an award for me, but I feel I am representing all people who live in non-democratic countries,” he added. …

Go here for the rest of the story.