From the monthly archives: December 2011

March continued SB 5’s march through the legislature and [SPOILER ALERT:] repeal at the ballot box.

We began the story with confirmation that the Senate would change the legislative committee membership in order to bring SB 5 to the Senate floor.   The parliamentary maneuvers required to prevent SB 5 from a certain defeat was enough to earn the unexpected condemnation from a major Tea Party leader who actually organized pro-SB 5 rallies (that were total busts) at the Statehouse.  We discussed how Kasich’s insistence on ending binding arbitration as a means to resolve breakdowns in labor [...]

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Our top stories in February proved to be the beginning of what was easily the top political story in Ohio in 2011: Senate Bill 5 and the effort to repeal with the defeat of Issue 2.

In fact, every one of the top ten posts written that month had some connection to the Senate’s consideration of Senate Bill 5.   Senate Bill 5 was so big that our traffic nearly doubled from January, which itself was a record traffic month.  By February, we had over three times the traffic we had in either October or November 2010.

Many of our top [...]

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Are we ready for 2012?

On December 27, 2011 By

Last week I had a friend ask me if I was ready for whatever changes would be thrown at us in 2012.  Such a question prompted me to think about the tumultuous year we have had in 2011.  Was I ready for everything that happened last year?  Were we ready for the all-out assault on public sector workers that was launched by Kasich and the Ohio GOP?  A year ago, I would have had no idea how to answer that question as the notion of such an attack on workers was completely foreign to me. But now?

A line from a book [...]

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Even in what should have been a crowning moment in his political career, Governor John Kasich looked absolutely miserable.  And why not, he had what had to be one of the roughest transitions in memory for an Ohio Governor.  Kasich was plagued by questions about transparency during his transition.  By using a private corporation as his transition office, Kasich argued that those who applied for positions in his Administration was not subject to public records requests.  He eventually relented.

Then, breaking with tradition, Kasich attempted to bar the media to his actual official midnight swearing-in, which had [...]

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As we begin compiling our year-end lists here at Plunderbund, I thought I would kick it off with a review of some of my favorite videos from 2011. The videos below run the gamut from laugh-your-ass-off funny (the “You’re an Asshole” Kasich video) to depressing as hell (Kris Jordan’s domestic violence dashcam video).

I did my best to include the important ones in here, but if you think we missed one (which we likely did) then please let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added!

And please check back later tonight – and all week – for [...]

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No, not JobsOhio, it’s probably too soon for us to legitimately declare that a failure (let’s talk in a few weeks).  But we can look to the past for an example that should leave us wary of Kasich’s grandiose plans.  We can also dispel any notion that JobsOhio was an original idea from Kasich.  In 2005, Republican Governor Bob Taft rolled out a “public-private economic development group” with a rationale and features that read just like a JobsOhio pamphlet.

We mentioned the Kasich administration’s apparent lack of knowledge of the existence of the OBDC when Kasich [...]

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By now we’re all too familiar with the Kasich administration’s disgust for, and poor treatment of the press.

It started before he was even sworn in as Governor when he refused to release to the press copies of resumes submitted to his transition website. Later he banned the press from his inauguration, initially claiming it was for security reasons and finally admitting that he just didn’t want the press reporting about the drunken attendees at his inaugural bash.

Given the drunken legal problems of GOP legislators Jarrod Martin, Bob Mecklenborg and Kris Jordan that followed [...]

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote on Friday that Teach for America will receive more than $2 million to bring their corps members to Northeast Ohio schools next fall.  The funding will come from the ClevelandGeorge GundNord and Stocker foundations, along with a contribution from the Lennon Trust, and will pay for the national program to recruit and train college graduates who majored in subjects other than education and help them move to the area.

According to Teach for America vice president Mike Wang who is working to bring the program to the region, the money will help bring at [...]

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So Josh Mandel went to Harvard?

On December 21, 2011 By

According to Josh Mandel’s official biography on the Ohio Treasurer’s website:

Treasurer Mandel holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Ohio State University, a Law Degree from Case Western Reserve University, and completed the Investment Decisions & Behavioral Finance program at Harvard University.

So this program at Harvard must be pretty special for Mandel to have included it on his resume, right?

mmm… not so much.

According to their website, the program is an “intensive two-day seminar” that costs $4000 to attend.

So why would the Treasurer of the State of Ohio list a 2 day seminar on [...]

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As you know, we’ve been stressing since it came out how November’s jobs report was not good news, even though it showed the unemployment rate dipping half a percent (which is technically the steepest drop in a month in thirty years) because the drop was largely (70% of it anyways) fueled by 22,000 Ohioans simply vanishing from the labor market.

As this has become the chief criticism of something the Kasich Administration has desparately being trying to take credit as a sign it’s actually done some good for Ohio, you can imagine the pitfalls of trying to make 22,000 Ohioans [...]

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I noticed this item in today’s Columbus Dispatch article reflecting on Kasich’s first year in office listing his accomplishments:

Ohio added 45,200 jobs.

Last year, the administration of Democratic predecessor Ted Strickland produced commitments for about 14,900 jobs through the state’s job-creation tax-credit program, and Ohio added about 25,000 jobs overall.

Kasich’s spokesmen contrast Ohio’s job growth last year with the net loss of more than 400,000 jobs during Strickland’s tenure — which fell during a devastating national recession.

Now, let me begin by saying that the data itself is accurate.  Using the U.S. Department of Labor’s [...]

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