Wednesday, December 16, 2015

No One Who Has Followed Mike DeWine's Career Can Be Surprised To Know He Was Lying About Planned Parenthood Landfills


Like me, I bet you were sickened to read that Planned Parenthood was throwing aborted fetuses into landfills and-- like me-- I bet you knew it was another right-wing lie. It was. Ohio's right-wing Attorney General, Mike DeWine, wants to run for governor in 2018 and he's already trying to position himself with the Tea Party crowd. A two-term U.S. Senator, DeWine was defeated for reelection by Sherrod Brown in 2006 after nearly a million of his voters from 2000 decided he hadn't done a good enough job to meet their votes again. Sherrod beat him by a much bigger margin than anyone had anticipated, 2,257,369 (56.2%) to 1,761,037 (43.8%), although DeWine's shocking 38% approval rating-- the worst (after Rick Santorum, who also lost his seat the same day) of any incumbent senator that year-- should have alerted people what was coming. That DeWine's campaign was caught and exposed for running false ads against Brown, helped seal his fate. By the end of the campaign, the NRSC had given up on him and withdrew financial support, although DeWine still outspent Brown $15,542,673 to $10,752,665.

Writing yesterday for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cliff Schecter showed that the always deceitful DeWine was up to his old tricks again.
Mike DeWine’s fundamentalism, wrapped in his latest baseless, biased and ideological attack on Planned Parenthood, is just one in a string of abuses of this power by our oleaginous attorney general. But it’s by far the most strikingly political and troubling in its corruption of our legal process. DeWine-- Ohio’s top law enforcement officer, sworn to uphold justice for all-- is behaving in a manner that is simply unacceptable for an elected official in a democratic republic.

And it must stop.

Buried in DeWine’s press conference late on Dec. 11 was the finding that after the Attorney General Office’s five-month investigation “our office has found no indication that fetal tissue is being sold” by Ohio’s Planned Parenthood organizations. Let me restate this for the cheap seats and the comment section.

DeWine’s “investigation” has produced nothing. Zilch. Nada. It has found evidence of wrongdoing in much the same way Donald Trump found New Jersey-based Muslims cheering on 9/11. DeWine’s only actual product from his ode to 1690s Salem, Massachusetts, has been enough hot air to take a zeppelin to the moon.

While this is something most already knew to be true, truth is not on DeWine’s to-do list. He ensured the investigation and ensuing press conference clearing Planned Parenthood was overwhelmed by his inflammatory diatribe-- one full of misinformation about Ohio law and the methods used by Planned Parenthood’s contractors for medical materials disposal. What DeWine conveniently failed to mention during his rant was that medical facilities all over Ohio use contractors who employ the very same methods for fetal tissue. He also left out that the Ohio Department of Health has since 1975 accepted these methods as complying with Ohio law.

Meanwhile, DeWine is certainly consistent in putting his own misplaced sense of morality before the rights of Ohio citizens. He spent $1.3 million of our tax money to try to destroy the dream of a dying Cincinnati man, John Arthur, to be legally married to the person he loved in Ohio (Obergfell v. Hodges). God only knows what he spent in staff hours and travel costs to ignore his job as Ohio’s AG and hopscotch around the country attacking women’s right to birth control through insurance in the Hobby Lobby case.

Regarding DeWine’s current jihad, one might be inclined to ask, as was posed during another witch hunt in our history: At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
He never had any sense of decency. But two incredibly decent progressive women are thinking of running, Connie Pillich and Nina Turner. Ohio never elected a woman governor; it's time. (Yes, Nancy Hollister was "governor for 11 days in 1999 when George Voinovich resigned to take a Senate seat, but that doesn't count.)

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