Husted move could prevent 29,000 from voting in Cuyahoga County
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has announced that he intends to side with Republicans on the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to block extended early voting hours in November. Democrats are crying foul. Experts say that those who tend to vote in person at the Board of Elections are the working poor who typically show up only in presidential election years. They are the most likely to go to the wrong polling location and be forced to vote provisionally. For this and other reasons, the Plain Dealer today encouraged the board to extend the hours. A separate Plain Dealer story offers an estimate that, based on previous elections, more than 29,000 could be discouraged from voting if early voting hours are limited to the Board of Elections regular workday hours of operations.

The bottom line is this: in a systematic, nationwide effort, Republicans in Ohio hope to win elections by limiting the number of people who can vote and their opportunities to do so. Though he may try to paint himself as an open-minded moderate, Husted is no different.

Republicans hard at work to fight Voters First district-drawing overhaul
In a related story, the state GOP is busy trying to throw out petitions by the Voters First campaign to upend the state’s process for drawing legislative districts. Quick: someone name an opponent of the Voters First campaign who’s not a Republican hack. Anyone? Oh hey, where did those crickets come from?

Turning from collective bargaining to pensions, House Republicans plans thwarted by own study
The state’s five major pension systems have been looking for legislative fixes to keep the systems solvent for quite some time. Bills are pending in the Senate, but House GOP leaders, ideologically favoring gutting the systems in favor of defined contribution plans (think 401K where the only certainty is how much you put in, not how much you get back out). The House’s latest stall was to demand the findings of an outside actuarial review. Well, the results are in and the systems–if the get the tweaks contained in the Senate bills–are sound. The House Republicans’ bluff has been called and even the Dispatch will say so.

Joe the Plumber Contributors: paying his salary and buying his wardrobe
New campaign finance filings show that Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher trails Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur in fundraising this quarter, but that didn’t stop him from outspending her. Among the campaign’s expenses are the candidate’s monthly “salary” of $3,842. He also bought himself a new suit.

Sutton faces tough fight from Renacci
Two of Ohio’s incumbent members of Congress facing off in November released campaign finance numbers yesterday, and as expected, Republican Jim Renacci has outraised Democrat Betty Sutton. This is the most vulnerable seat for Ohio Democrats and the one where your help is most needed. Not surprisingly, Renacci continues to gather cash from the Timken company, a benefactor whose corporate headquarters were drawn specifically into Renacci’s district so he could continue to receive their largesse. In an interesting bit of bet-hedging, the Political Action Committee for Invacare, where Governor Kasich used to be on the Board of Directors, gave to both candidates.

And in the Oh for Fuck’s Sake department, it seems some conservative bloggers are wetting their pants in an effort to prove that a scuffle at a Romney rally was secretly staged by democrats to make Romney supporters look bad.

Storage tank at oil and gas well explodes, killing 1
Oh, and don’t mind the exploding gas tanks or anything, fracking is totally safe

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