The Midwest Report – Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Midwest Report is a daily news-roundup dedicated exclusively to the American Midwest.


1)   Ohio

Ohio leaders focus on ‘selling our state’ to keep, lure the young and educated,” written by Ken McCall and Meagan Pant for the Dayton Daily News, and published on 06/17/13.

“A brightening economy and better job prospects may be helping Ohio and the Dayton region stem the loss of young adults, and the much-dreaded brain drain.

The state and region have finally seen the end of a decades-long trend of losing young adults, and for the first time, beginning in 2010, the area saw gains in its population of 20 to 34 year olds, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of new Census population estimates for 2012…

Ohio, however, still faces challenges: The more educated its young residents, the more likely they are to leave. And those who do find work here face lower starting salaries and higher student loan debt on average than their peers from previous graduating classes.”

2)   Indiana

BMV seeks clarity on judge’s ruling on Indiana Youth Group license plates,” written by Michael Boren for the Indy Star, and published on 06/17/13.

“The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has issued an order of remand on a judge’s ruling that the Indiana Youth Group, an organization that advocates for gay and lesbian youth, can start selling its specialty license plate again, The Indianapolis Star has learned.

That essentially means the BMV is requesting the judge provide more clarity on her decision, but not that the BMV is fully appealing it.

‘This does not shut the door at all on IYG getting their plates back,’ BMV spokesman Josh Gillespie said. ‘We’re just looking at some further clarity on some issues that we felt were a little ambiguous.’”

3)   Michigan

One year after ‘vaginagate,’ Michigan’s GOP leadership still squelches open government,” written by Barb Byrum for MLive, and published on 06/17/13.

“This week marks the one-year anniversary of the day when women’s voices were silenced on the Michigan House floor for trying to speak about reproductive rights. Both myself and then-Representative Lisa Brown were banned from speaking on the House floor for using two “V” words: vagina and vasectomy.

Republicans who control the Legislature proved that they considered it wise to pass legislation restricting reproductive rights for Michigan’s women, but were not mature enough to discuss or debate the legislation. It showed that our state’s Republican leadership – elected officials sent to represent every constituent – were too cowardly to talk about legislation that affects every family in our state.

This same cowardice still thrives under the leadership of House Speaker Jase Bolger and Governor Rick Snyder. The contempt created by this administration for every Michigan voter is staggering. Snyder and Bolger might hope that by doing business behind closed doors and keeping voters out of the process, the citizens of our state will not notice their reckless, harmful policies.”

4)   Illinois

Illinois Gov. Signs Tough Fracking Regulations Law,” written for the Associated Press, and published on 06/18/13.

“Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation giving the state the nation’s strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling.

In a news release, Quinn’s office says the governor signed the bill Monday. Quinn says the law will “unlock the potential” for thousands of jobs in southern Illinois while protecting the environment…

The process called ‘fracking’ probably won’t begin in earnest in the state until next year because the Department of Natural Resources must adopt rules to mirror the regulations and hire dozens of new engineers, inspectors and regulators.”

5)   Wisconsin & Minnesota

Redistricting key to Wisconsin’s red policies, Minnesota’s blue path,” written by Jessica VanEgeren for The Cap Times, and published on 06/17/13.

“Searching for proof of the power of redistricting to affect government policy? Look no further than the contrast between neighboring states Minnesota and Wisconsin.

There has been no shortage lately of media comparisons of the right-wing policies coming out of Wisconsin and the left-leaning policies coming out of Minnesota.”

6)   Kansas – Story One

Kansas official ready to use ’2nd Amendment’ against ‘illegal alien’ rally,” written by David Edwards, and published on 06/17/13.

“Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he was prepared to use deadly force over the weekend after hundreds of ‘illegal aliens’ paid a visit to his home to rally for immigration reform.

According to Sunflower Community Action, about 300 activists traveled to Kobach’s home after holding a prayer vigil and and a town hall in Kansas City on the Saturday before Father’s Day… Within five minutes, the protesters had made their point and left the property…

‘If we had been in the home and not been armed, I would have felt very afraid – because it took the police 15 minutes to show up,’ [Kobach] explained. ‘It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.’

‘The Second Amendment is the private property owner’s last resort.’…Fox News radio host Todd Starnes reported the rally by encouraging his followers on Twitter to “Lock and Load, America.”

7)   Kansas – Story Two

Kansas should drop onerous ‘proof of citizenship’ law,” written for the Kansas City Star, and published on 06/17/13.

“Kansas began requiring proof of citizenship documents for voter registration in January. Monday’s court ruling makes a court challenge to the 2011 law highly likely.

Both Kobach and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt wrote briefs supporting Arizona’s case before the Supreme Court. Both framed the case as a states rights vs. federal power issue.

It is not. The right to vote is constitutionally protected for all Americans. The Supreme Court has now said states cannot dilute that right with onerous restrictions. The Kansas Legislature should do the right thing and rescind its unfair law, which will inevitably disenfranchise U.S. citizens.”

8)   South Dakota

South Dakota Board of Geographic Names seeks public’s help in renaming offensive names,” written for KSFY-TV, and published on 06/17/13.

“The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names (SDBGN) is seeking public comment on whether the word “Negro” is offensive in names of geographic features.

Current legislation directs the SDBGN to rename any features with the word “Negro” in the name. A number of comments that have already been received indicate that the individuals and organization representatives do not find the word offensive. Based on those public comments, SDBGN is seeking additional input from the public regarding the use of the word “Negro” as a part of a name for geographic features in the State.

Please share any comments regarding whether the word “Negro” is offensive as a part of a name for a geographic feature. Please also submit any historical, ethnic or cultural information regarding this issue.”

Compiled by Corey McLaughlin for Common Culture and The Big Slice.


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Author: The Blue Route

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