An old-timey town crier

Honestly, at this point it may be a badge of honor to be attacked by the dysfunctional and chaotic Trump Administration or anybody doing its bidding.

So when we read today that Richard Cordray, Ohio’s former treasurer and attorney general who is now serving as director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we can take it as a good thing.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Firing Richard Cordray should be near the top of President Donald Trump’s agenda, a former top adviser said Sunday.

Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, said the president should move on tax reform, getting the wall on the southern U.S. border built, and removing Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I’ll spare you some word-gumbo drivel to get to the heart of why they want Cordray out:

In early July, Cordray’s agency established a rule that would allow people to sue their banks and credit card companies in class action suits, instead of the “forced arbitration” many consumers face. Last week, after Trump criticized it, the House voted to roll back the new rule.

Trump would have to find legal justification for ousting the former Ohio attorney general.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a strong Cordray supporter, blasted the move.

“Wells Fargo has used fine print arbitration to cheat millions of its customers — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule will ensure banks like Wells Fargo can’t block consumers from justice in the future,” Brown said.

Do we need to know any more than this? The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is attempting to protect consumers from exploitation by banks, and the Trump Administration and U.S. House Republicans are apoplectic over it. I think it’s obvious who’s looking out for the American people and who’s doing the bidding of big money, big wig financiers.

Speaking Of Big Money Helping The Big Guy

Republican groups are planning to spend huge sums marketing what they’re referring to as the Middle Class Growth Initiative. This is the Orwellian name they’ve given to their efforts to bring about massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires that will destroy government revenues and give Republicans an excuse to eviscerate government services. Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s exactly what we’ve seen in Ohio under the Kasich Administration.

Despite 40 years of empirical evidence showing that tax cuts for the wealthy has only created the largest wealth and income gap seen since the first Gilded Age – a second Gilded Age worse than the first – they continue to push these policies. I don’t know why, except that they’re wildly selfish and don’t care about middle class folks or low-income people who’s lives get destroyed by these policies.

Anyway, here’s their game plan, from McClatchy’s Katie Glueck:

“Republican lawmakers, bruised by a failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, are now turning their focus to tax reform, and they’ll be getting a multi-million dollar boost from American Action Network, a major outside group aligned with House leadership. The organization expects to spend as much as $20 million on a pro-tax reform effort dubbed the ‘Middle Class Growth Initiative,’ AAN told McClatchy. … As part of the effort, AAN is pledging to spend $5 million in August alone, and is kicking off the initiative with a $1 million member-specific radio ad buy slated to run in 34 congressional districts … Kevin Madden … is coming on board as an adviser to the effort.”

A Prairie Home-Rule Companion

From Thomas Suddes at Cleveland.com:

The General Assembly tried to make it harder for Ohio cities to use red-light and speed cameras to police traffic. The state Supreme Court has now ruled that the legislature couldn’t do that, at least not the way it tried to in a 2014 law.

The high court’s decision was a rare gain for Ohio municipalities, whose home-rule powers have been steadily pruned by the General Assembly.

If you don’t think the legislature has been messing with local governments, check with Ohioans who have been struggling to ban fracking in their hometowns despite a 2004 law, signed by then-Gov. Bob Taft. It gave the state sole control over oil and gas production.

On roughly a half-dozen additional fronts, the General Assembly has similarly fettered municipalities – at the very time that state aid to local governments has been cut, which you’d think should make local flexibility more important than ever.

If we are to be subjected to hard-right, gerrymandered Republican rule in Ohio’s General Assembly, this home-rule fight has and will continue to be the front line for the 70 percent of the population who don’t share their reactionary zealotry.

 

 

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