Biker rally draws thousands to DC on Sept. 11

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 @ 9:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 @ 9:00 PM

Thousands of bikers rode through the streets of Washington, D.C. Wednesday to honor victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and protest a Muslim march that had been planned.

The noon rally sponsored by the American muslim Political Action Committee drew only a few dozen demonstrators, with keynote speakers calling for peace. A moment of silence for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks was disrupted by motorcycles, organizers said.

Democrats select Tom Perez as DNC chair

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 10:41 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 3:24 PM


            Democrats select Tom Perez as DNC chair

UPDATE: After two ballots, the Democratic National Committee has selected former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez as the party's new leader.

Read the original report below.

The uneasy clash between grass-roots activists and establishment figures at the Democratic National Committee meeting in Atlanta isn’t hard to spot. It’s on display at caucus meetings, panel discussions and the maneuvering behind Saturday’s vote to elect a new party leader.

And for a party struggling to find a balance between the liberal wave of outrage at Donald Trump and its leaders trying to corral that energy into electoral action, the attempts to strike a tentative truce will define their fight against the president.

It won’t be easy. Democrats of all stripes have united in a Trump “resistance” movement, but even the most outspoken elected officials struggle to match the ferocity of the Trump opposition that’s filled the streets with protesters and town hall meetings with newly energized activists.

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And the same divisions that cleaved the party during last year’s election — namely, the progressive bloc led by Bernie Sanders supporters pitted against more mainstream party factions that supported Hillary Clinton — continues to dog Democratic leaders who desperately want to put the 2016 election behind them.

“We didn’t win, but the revolution is very much in this room,” said Winnie Wong, who co-founded the People for Bernie group and helped create the #FeeltheBern hashtag. “And you folks need to pick up the mantle. We can’t stop now, we have to do everything that we can in this party to be a part of this political revolution.”

The groundswell of frustration undercuts the other dominant theme of the three-day conference that started Thursday — a constant drumbeat of calls to unify behind a common opponent. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made a personal plea to Democrats to stay focused on Trump — and not their own internal fissures.

“This is going to end up being unity weekend in the city of Atlanta and unity weekend in the state of Georgia and unity weekend in the Democratic Party,” Reed said. “It’s going to be the end of that presidency of Donald Trump.”

The party has a long way to go. Republicans control the White House, both chambers of Congress and almost three dozen governor’s mansions. In Georgia, the party faces an even more daunting climb: Republicans control every statewide office and hold commanding majorities in the state Legislature.

Democratic leaders are intent on turning the explosive protests into votes, but they also risk the same wave of primary challenges and infighting that the tea party movement triggered in the GOP after Barack Obama’s 2008 election as president.

“There are people who feel like the Democratic Party has stopped listening to young people. Especially us young people,” Nelini Stamp said. “We have ideas and we’ve changed the country in the last six years. We need to work together and we need to push each other better.”

Stamp is a founder of the Resist Trump Tuesdays movement, and her organization is one of a surge of new groups that have sprung up after the November election.

Strikingly, though, one of the first targets of the group’s protest was a Democrat: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Thousands of protesters wound up on the doorstep of his Brooklyn office, urging him to defy Trump at all costs.

Rita Bosworth has also not endeared herself to party leaders. After starting Sister District Project, which matches donors in deep blue districts to help candidates run in more conservative areas, she said a California Democratic official pressed her on whether she was secretly coordinating with Libertarians.

“We are trying to reconnect with the people,” said Christine Pelosi, another California activist. “People do not trust us to fight for them. They do not trust us to put their interests first. That’s what every single listening tour that all of us have gone on shows us.”

That fight is spilling over into the fight to pick the party’s next chairman. Sanders and other leaders in the party’s progressive wing are backing U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid for DNC chairman, while former U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has support from allies of Clinton’s and Obama’s.

The odds seem to favor Perez — his supporters whisper he is nearing the votes needed to win outright — but Ellison boasts an impressive network. And a dark horse contender could emerge. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., hopes a late charge could make him the party’s next face.

The winner will try to bridge the divide between veteran operatives more accustomed to the halting progress of politics and newfound activists who demand immediate action and results. Xavier Becerra, California’s new attorney general, urged Democratic veterans to act more like the grass-roots demonstrators.

“Get in the way — be a hitter and be authentic and be real every day,” Becerra said. “Continuously prove to every hardworking American that we have your back.”

Some of the upstart operatives are putting the political class on notice. Andrea Litman helped start Run for Something, which encourages left-leaning candidates to run for public office, after Trump’s victory made her “angry at the system” that she said benefited older, affluent white male attorneys.

Thousands of candidates have already signed up through her website to run for higher office. And she’s more than willing to encourage them to run against contenders favored by the establishment wing.

“If we have a young progressive candidate and you have someone you picked,” she said, “we’re going to go after you.”

Kasich fights for federal health care funds

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

Gov. John Kasich met today at the White House with senior administration officials to urge them to continue funneling hundreds of millions of federal dollars to the states to finance health care for millions of low-income people who have received coverage under the 2010 health law.

With congressional Republicans hoping to scrap the health law, known as Obamacare, and replacing it with a substitute, Kasich has mounted an effort to retain a key feature that expanded eligibility for Medicaid coverage, the joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to low-income people.

Kasich was one of the few Republican governors to accept the additional federal Medicaid dollars available through Obamacare, allowing 700,000 previously uninsured low-income people in Ohio to receive health coverage.

Following a meeting today at the White House with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Kasich said in a video posted on his Facebook page that he was “expressing my concerns and some of the ideas I think (that) can allow us to reform the health care system, save some money, but yet make certain that people who need coverage that they’re going to be able to receive the coverage that they need.”

“All in all a lot of work, but it’s worth it if we can have this come out in the right place,” Kasich said in the video posted by his staff. “I cannot predict the future. But we are certainly doing everything we can do.”

Kasich also joined the nation’s Republican governors at a second meeting in Washington to press for support to retain the Medicaid expansion. Kasich is one of a handful of GOP governors trying to propose a compromise to House Republicans to at least provide Medicaid coverage to families at the federal poverty line, which is $24,600 for a family of four.

A Kasich adviser would not elaborate on the meetings other than to say they were “productive.” But there was no sign today the Republican governors are ready to forge a consensus on Medicaid.

The 2010 health law extended coverage to more than 20 million Americans previously without insurance in two ways.

Middle income people who worked for companies that did not insure their employees were eligible for federal financial assistance to buy individual health plans through state and federal marketplaces, known as exchanges.

In addition, the law expanded Medicaid to allow families of four earning as much as $33,948 annually — which is 138 percent of the federal poverty level — to be eligible for health coverage. Ohio and 31 other states accepted additional federal dollars to provide for the Medicaid coverage, while 19 states did not.

But a fissure has opened between congressional Republicans and Kasich on Medicaid as well as the 2010 health law.

In a proposed bill outlined by House Republicans, GOP lawmakers want to scale back federal spending for Medicaid and eliminate federal financial assistance used by middle income people to buy private plans.

Instead, House Republicans would replace the subsidies with tax credits to allow people to buy their own plans.

In an opinion piece Friday in Forbes Magazine, Kasich suggested scaling back Medicaid coverage to families at the federal poverty line and providing federal subsidies to families of four earning between $25,000 a year to $34,000 a year so they could buy their own private plans on the federal exchanges.

Under Kasich’s plan, as many as 150,000 people in Ohio would lose their Medicaid coverage. It was unclear whether federal subsidies would allow families earning between $25,000 a year and $34,000 a year to receive the same kind of coverage that had through Medicaid.

Shooting victims reportedly show up at emergency room

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 3:12 PM

Shooting victims reportedly show up at emergency room

Police in Dayton responded to Good Samaritan Hospital after reports of one or more shooting victims arriving at the emergency room.

Police were notified around 2:15 p.m. 

The initial reports indicate there were two victims from two separate shooting incidents. 

Police were working to determine where the shootings actually happened. 

We'll update this story as more information becomes available. 

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Cause of fire at vacant apartment building under investigation

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

UPDATE @ noon

The cause of a fire that started on the second floor of a vacant apartment building in Dayton is under investigation.

No one was injured in the fire on Mumma Avenue near Riverside Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the second floor.

Dayton Power and Light was called to ensure power was off to the building.

EARLIER

Crews in Dayton encountered heavy smoke at an apartment fire at Riverside Drive and East Helena Street.

Smoke was pouring from the second floor of the apparently vacant structure at 10:20 a.m.

We’re on scene working to learn more and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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