Cybercriminals Targeting Local Governments, And Ohio Lawmaker Among Those Helping Party Develop Its National Platform

A new Quinnipiac swing state poll this week shows the expected presidential nominees for the major political parties are in a dead heat in Ohio. And for the second week in a row, likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Ohio. At the same time Trump was blasting Clinton through Twitter, and was meeting with a group of evangelical Christian leaders that included the head of Ohio Right to Life, Mike Gonidakis.  In only his second full veto, Gov. John Kasich has rejected a controversial election bill over a provision that would have required voters to post a cash bond if they want a court to order polling places to stay open late. The sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Bill Seitz, is not happy, but Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper is praising Kasich’s veto.

Cybercriminals have been hitting hard - 17.6 million people across the country were victims of identity theft in 2014, the most recent year for which stats are available from the US Department of Justice. Hundreds of companies have been hit by hackers, and that’s exposed the personal data of hundreds of millions of employees, vendors and customers.  And now governments are becoming the targets of online thieves, who are using both phishing – which involves e-mails and other communication that looks legitimate, but contains malware that grabs usernames, passwords and other sensitive information – and ransomware – a type of malware that targets personal data and then restricts the owner of the data from accessing it until a ransom is paid. These kinds of scams have already hit communities in Delaware, Madison, Morrow, Clinton, Warren and an unnamed county in eastern Ohio, and more are likely.  State Auditor Dave Yost has been tracking the threat of cyber crime on local governments.

And the conventions are coming – soon. The Republican National Convention starts in Cleveland in less than a month, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is the week after the RNC. And the nominees for president aren’t the only decisions that come out of those gatherings. The official party platforms will be decided at those conventions, and it’s a huge job to develop those – the 2012 party platform for the Republicans was 32,000 words, while the Democrats’ platform was a bit shorter at 26,000 words. A Democratic state lawmaker from Cincinnati is among just 15 members of the DNC’s platform drafting committee – she is Rep. Alicia Reece of Cincinnati, the chair of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

And congratulations to the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, winning the first championship for a major league professional sports team in Cleveland in 52 years.

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