John Legend at Ohio Democrat Event: ‘Government We Have Does Not Reflect Will of the People’

Singer/Songwriter John Legend speaks onstage during the 4th Annual Town & Country Philanthropy Summit at Hearst Tower on May 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Town & Country)
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Town & Country

Singer and frequent President Donald Trump critic John Legend ripped Republicans on the issue of voter suppression before Ohio Democrats Sunday, urging voters to support Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would soften penalties for drug-related crimes.

The Hollywood Reporter writes Legend delivered a full-throated endorsement of the measure, while serving up his usual criticism of the Trump administration at a get-out-the-vote event in Cincinnati.

“The government we have today does not reflect the will of the people,” Legend told attendees. “It does not reflect our values. In fact, it is run by a party that is afraid of democracy. The Republican Party is afraid of democracy.”

Closing out his speech, Legend sang his Oscar-winning song “Glory.” With a slight lyrical tweak, the singer crooned, “One day… Tuesday… when the glory comes, it will be ours, it will be ours. Oh, glory.”

The Oscar-winner also took to social media to reaffirm support for Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, tweeting: “Great to be back in my home state of Ohio supporting amazing Democrats running for office this year. If you live in Ohio, be sure to vote @SherrodBrown for Senate, @RichCordray for Gov, yes on Issue 1 and Dem up and down the ticket!”

Appearing alongside Legend was Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez and Ohio 1st congressional Democrat candidate Aftab Pureval, whose campaign remains under investigation for violating campaign finance regulations.

“Do you remember what you’re doing 10 years ago today?” Perez asked the crowd after taking the podium. “Well, I’ll tell you what you were doing if you don’t remember. You were voting to elect Barack Obama president of the United States …Ten years ago we put hope on the ballot.”

The Republican National Committee released a statement following the event, criticizing Pureval for “trying to distract voters by bringing in the cavalry to rally support for his failing campaign.”

“[I]t’s going to take more than an ineffective party boss in Tom Perez or a celebrity endorsement in John Legend to convince Southwest Ohioans that Aftab Pureval deserves their vote,” RNC spokesperson Mandi Merritt said in a statement. “Aftab betrayed Ohioans’ trust long ago, and no amount of free entertainment can change that.”

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