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The political optics for Republicans in selecting Cleveland as the location for their 2016 convention don't align with the progressive policies being implemented there.
Cleveland Is Home To A Lot Of Policies That The GOP Disagrees With
The GOP announced today that it will hold its 2016 convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The city beat out Dallas in the final round of the selection process. Political reasons undoubtedly played a role–Republicans haven’t carried the Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes since 2004. But perhaps that is for a reason: Ohio, and Cleveland in particular, have gone against Republican policies for years. Here are five ways how, and head over to Think Progress to get a more complete run-down:
1. Cleveland benefits from the stimulus. Cleveland and the surrounding area has benefited from approximately $1.4 billion in stimulus funding following the 2008 financial collapse, which has helped support more than 1,000 projects critical to the local economy. House Republicans unanimously opposed the recovery package.
2. Cleveland is expanding health care access to low-income residents. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is one of just a few Republican governors to come out in support of Medicaid expansion, and he went around the state legislature to get it through last year. Now Cleveland residents will be key beneficiaries of the expansion, which is expected to extend health coverage to 275,000 Ohio residents who earn too much to have previously qualified for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for subsidies on the ACA marketplace. Meanwhile, the RNC’s official 2012 platform calls for repealing the entirety of Obamacare and criticizes the health reform law for “tremendously expand[ing] Medicaid without significant reform.”
3. Cleveland embraces marriage equality. Mayor Frank G. Jackson (D) is a member of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry and the city has adopted a domestic partnership registry to provide legal protections for those in same-sex relationships not yet recognized by the state of Ohio. The GOP’s 2012 national platform was unwavering in its continued opposition to LGBT equality.
4. Cleveland supports common-sense gun safety laws. While the vast majority of Congressional Republicans opposed strengthening gun laws after Sandy Hook, Cleveland’s mayor has joined with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to support legislation to expand background checks and ban assault weapons. Mayor Jackson, the city’s chief of police, the city’s public safety director, and numerous city and county officials have also pushed legislation that further would improve gun safety and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
5. Cleveland accepts climate change and is lowering its carbon emissions. Last year, Mayor Jackson, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the Climate Action Advisory Committee launched the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, a blueprint to bring greenhouse gas emissions down 80 percent from their 2010 levels by the year 2050. The congressional GOP leadership, on the other hand, denies climate science entirely and the 2012 GOP platform mocked President Obama for considering climate change to be a “severe threat.”
BOTTOM LINE: The city of Cleveland is sure to benefit economically from the GOP having its 2016 convention there, and that is a good thing for a city on hard times. But the political optics for Republicans don’t align with the progressive policies being implemented there.
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