Editorials from around Ohio

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Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 5

Ohioans are acutely aware that it has been a bruising and nasty political season. Attack ads have been virtually unavoidable.

That's no reason, though, to restrain free speech by seeking greater restrictions on political donations. A number of proposals are being floated on both sides of the aisle in Washington, seeking to change the rules, in reaction to nasty political ads against incumbents.

But the easiest way to make donors more accountable and to discourage negative attacks is to lift the individual spending limits imposed in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Money can't be removed from politics; if donors face strict limits on how much they can give directly to a candidate, they'll simply find other, often less-transparent, places to put their money in an effort to influence particular contests....

Any "reforms" of campaign finance should not curtail speech or seek further artificial caps on giving. While being outspent makes a convenient excuse for those on the losing end of a race, it's funny how political groups tend to see this as a one-way street....

The best route is to lift campaign-donation limits and let this money flow directly to candidates and parties, while requiring full disclosure. This would make the candidates directly responsible for the ads that are run on their behalf. And voters can use campaign-finance disclosure reports to help them decide how to cast their ballots.

Online: http://bit.ly/QhxrMA

Warren Tribune Chronicle, Oct. 31

David Maya will spend as much as 25 years in prison for raping a 12-year-old Wheeling, W.Va., girl this summer. Then he will go home — to Mexico.

Maya, 24, was living in Maryland when he used the Internet to stalk the girl, then went to Wheeling to rape her in June. Last week, he pleaded guilty to the charge and Circuit Judge David Sims sentenced him to six to 25 years in prison. Let's hope he serves the full quarter-century behind bars....

His case is far from unique. Similar crimes in which illegal immigrants raped children have been in headlines throughout the United States just during the past few months....

It is a topic some researchers have investigated, with some of them worrying the statistics they find will prompt some Americans to stereotype illegal immigrants.

That would not be fair or intelligent, of course. As many as 11 million illegal immigrants live in the United States. The overwhelming majority of them break no laws except for those against their presence here.

But there is a problem, according to a study by the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta, Ga. According to a published report, researchers there found there are tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are sex offenders in the United States....

Maya and people like him should be on the registries, and federal officials should establish a database of illegal immigrants convicted of sex crimes. It should be checked every time a repeat illegal immigrant is caught — and sex offenders who come back to this country should be locked up for life.

Online: http://bit.ly/SNG0Mi

The (Toledo) Blade:

The first nine months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the United States as a whole. Toledo's first nine months were its warmest in 58 years. They were the warmest in 74 years in Cleveland, in 65 years in Columbus and Cincinnati, and in 54 years in Detroit.

Anecdotal or not, these and other records assembled by the National Climatic Data Center add to the overwhelming body of evidence that Earth's climate is warming. Some of the change is natural; some is man-made. Plenty of symptoms — from last week's superstorm Sandy to record Arctic ice melts to America's worst drought in a half-century — suggest the need for a global response.

Four years ago, Republican presidential nominee John McCain declared climate change a major concern of his campaign. This year, members of his party mock any pretense of meaningful discussion of the issue.

Still, the next Congress needs to act. The preferable course is cap-and-trade legislation that would allow industries to barter among themselves for emissions credits, and thus maintain flexibility in responding to anti-pollution mandates.

Continued indifference to the issue of climate change is a prescription for failure. More than 100 scientists and public officials implored President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney to address the threat of rising sea levels during their final debate last month, but the issue did not arise....

Both national security and price stability will require the country to develop a broader energy mix, including greater reliance on renewable sources. That in, turn, will require the next Congress to get serious about climate change.

Online: http://bit.ly/VsbxaP

The (Canton) Repository, Oct. 29

Give sheriff's departments credit for taking the road less traveled.

The conventional wisdom is that public agencies are too busy protecting their turf to figure out innovative ways to work together. It's the conventional wisdom because it's often true.

But there's another cliché with the ring of truth about it: Necessity is the mother of invention.

The sheriff's offices in Stark, Summit and Portage counties are looking at carpooling on trips to deliver prisoners to the Lorain Correctional Institution.

All of the agencies are trying to make the most efficient use of their money and manpower. The benefits of carpooling would be the same for them as commuters enjoy — lower expenses for gas and vehicle maintenance. In addition, it would free deputies to do other work.

Lt. Doug Smith of the Summit County Sheriff's Office told The Rep that he expects the sheriffs in Cuyahoga, Wayne and Medina counties to join the discussions.

The agencies are looking at other ways to collaborate, as well, from pooling resources for a multi-county drug task force to helping their respective investigators to share information via computer.

Meanwhile, Stark Sheriff Timothy Swanson told The Rep that his office and area police departments are working on a website that they can use to share equipment.

We think the public should appreciate the effort that is going into these collaborations. Despite the need to get the most use out of their resources, it's easier to conduct business as usual than to innovate. These law enforcement agencies deserve credit for taking the road less traveled.

Online: (http://bit.ly/SnpW2D)

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