News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Cleveland Councilwoman says Clear Channel may provide free billboards to counteract signs warning of voter fraud
Protesters still say signs are to intimidate black voters and should come down
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Protesters under a billboard on Cleveland's east side warning of harsh penalties for voter fraud. The signs are considered by many to be an attempt to suppress the black vote.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A compromise may be in the works following outrage over billboards erected in predominately black neighborhoods in Cleveland and other cities. The billboards warn that “voter fraud is a felony,” and list criminal penalties, which people like Cleveland councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland says is an attempt to intimidate black voters. After protests this week, Cleveland says the company that owns the billboards is considering providing free billboards with a different message. And WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports that's just one of the many reactions to the message.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:41)


(Click image for larger view.)

One of the 10 billboards, featuring an ominous gavel, appeared last week at the corner of East 35th and Community College Avenue on Cleveland’s eastside.  Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland immediately protested.  But she says the signs also have led to a stepped-up effort to educate residents, including telling them they can vote even if they’ve been convicted of a felony. And during a rally under the billboard, she said she’s also talked with Clear Channel, the company that owns the signs.

Free “positive message” billboards offered                                              

“I have had some opening conversations with Clear Channel, and they’re offering free billboards to put a more positive message or antidote. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said the answer to bad speech is good speech, so we’re going to explore that opportunity. And let people know voting is a right not a crime.”

Protesters still want original signs torn down

Cleveland gave no details, but says the company has told her the billboards could be up as early as next week. Clear Channel officials have not answered to questions about the free billboard offer. But it has said a private family foundation contracted for the original billboards, and, contrary to its usual practice, the contract included a guarantee of anonymity for the group. Meanwhile, protesters under the sign are considering other actions.

“We want that sign taken down, you will not win this election with an unconstitutional gesture designed to disenfranchise poor people, black people, and if you don’t take it down we’ll take it down for you.”

State Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland attended the rally. Even if there is an offer of free billboards, she says the voter-fraud signs should still come down. Turner says the billboards are part of the tenor of this election.

“In the state of Ohio ex-offenders have the right to vote, but what they’re doing is trying to confuse voters. So between signs like this and a Secretary of State who’s trying to erode early voting we get this kind of stuff. We know that most African Americans, especially in Cuyahoga County, participate in early in person voting. The types of policies coming from the Republican Party has created this type of environment and made people like this believe it’s okay to prey on black and poor and Hispanic communities.”

Same billboards popping up in other cities

The same billboards have also gone up in Cincinnati and Milwaukee. This week, the Washington-based voting advocacy group, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, sent a letter to Clear Channel calling for the signs to be removed.                                                                                                    
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Ohio Supreme Court invalidates local fracking bans
If Ohio has their way, Fracking Wells will be planted in the courtyard of every town. That is if the State of Ohio can profit by it...for more on how the court ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University