By Marc Levy and Christina A. Cassidy Associated Press
OCT 15, 2020 – HARRISBURG — For anxiety over voting and ballot counting in this year’s presidential election, it’s hard to top Pennsylvania.
Election officials in Philadelphia, home to one-fifth of the state’s Democratic voters, have been sued by President Donald Trump’s campaign, blasted by the president as overseeing a place “where bad things happen” and forced to explain security measures after a theft from a warehouse full of election equipment.
Add to that an investigation into military ballots that were mistakenly discarded in one swing county, partisan sniping in the state Capitol over the processing of what is expected to be an avalanche of mailed-in ballots and an 11th hour attempt by Republican lawmakers to create an election integrity commission.
One of the most hotly contested presidential battleground states is trying to conduct a pandemic election in a hyper-partisan environment where every move related to the voting process faces unrelenting scrutiny from both sides. State and local election officials say they are doing all they can to make sure Pennsylvania doesn’t end up like Florida two decades ago, when the last drawn-out presidential tally ended before the U.S. Supreme Court.
‘A really destructive scenario’: Pennsylvania could hold up outcome of presidential election
“For years, we have trusted our election officials to be reliable and nonpartisan. Why should we suddenly not trust them?” said Eileen Olmsted with the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan organization that advocates to expand access to voting. “A lot of this is based on the perception of voter fraud, which there is absolutely no evidence of.”
Trump is bragging about his jobs record in the Midwest. So why didn’t he lift a finger when 14,000 GM workers were laid off?
By Chuckie Denison Common Dreams
Sept 24, 2020 – As the election draws near, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are campaigning across Ohio, Michigan, and the rest of the Midwest, making big claims about “bringing back” jobs.
I have one question for them: Why does the Trump administration continue to turn its back on America’s workers?
In 2016, Trump won big in the Mahoning Valley, the traditionally blue stronghold in northeast Ohio where I live, helping Trump carry the state after it twice voted for Obama. Blue-collar voters believed Trump when he said he would be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
We deserve the chance to work hard and earn enough to feed our families, afford our own home, go to the doctor when we’re sick, and walk down the street without being afraid of the police.
Four years later, it’s obvious we were duped. Under Trump, we’ve lost 5 million of the 11.6 million net jobs created under Obama. That’s the worst jobs record of any modern president.
My fiancé Cheryl and I met at the General Motors plant in Lordstown. In 2014, we bought our house up the street from the plant because we believed our future with GM was bright.
Today, everything we thought was possible has been replaced by uncertainty.
When GM closed the Lordstown plant in 2019, I took a medical retirement. Cheryl moved hundreds of miles away to Tennessee to work at GM’s Spring Hill plant, leaving her daughter behind to finish high school.
This summer, GM announced they would be permanently eliminating the third shift at the Spring Hill plant, laying off 680 workers. Cheryl doesn’t know how much longer she’ll have a job.
We decided to sell the house that was our American dream. Now, we don’t know where we’re going to live. Ohio, where our community has been devastated by the plant closure and job opportunities are scarce? Or Tennessee, far from our families, where the cost of living is higher and Cheryl’s job could disappear?
GM is a billion-dollar company that was built on the backs of workers like me and Cheryl. If we had a government that stood up to companies like GM and demanded they put their workers first, our lives wouldn’t be decided by the whims of corporate greed.
Instead, we have a president who has broken promise after promise.
Trump visited the Mahoning Valley in 2017 and told workers not to sell their homes. “We’re going to fill up those factories,” he vowed.
But he didn’t lift a finger when GM laid off 14,000 workers across Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio, including me. Instead, the Trump administration let GM continue collecting $700 million in federal contracts and massive tax breaks.
All told, 1,800 factories have disappeared since Trump took office. Even before the pandemic, job growth had already plummeted in Ohio and had fallen to its lowest level in a decade next door in Michigan, the Institute for Policy Studies found recently.
America’s working people are tired of lies and broken promises. We won’t be fooled again. That’s why Our Revolution groups across the Midwest are organizing working people to spread the word about Trump’s broken promises.
America’s working men and women deserve a president that will make our government work for them. We deserve the chance to work hard and earn enough to feed our families, afford our own home, go to the doctor when we’re sick, and walk down the street without being afraid of the police.
We deserve to reclaim the American dream.
Chuckie Denison is a founding member of Our Revolution Mahoning Valley and a former GM Lordstown worker. This op-ed was adapted from a letter to the Warren Tribune-Chronicle and distributed by OtherWords.org.