With the resignation of Bob Sommers last week it appeared that some of the friction between the Governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Education would begin to dissipate. You may recall that Sommers had his heart set on the role of State Superintendent, but had to withdraw from consideration after lawyers informed him that “state ethics laws would keep him from having contact with the governor’s office for a year.” At that point, Stan Heffner was plucked from the millions of Ohioans who had also not applied for the job (after backing out of his Educational Testing Service [...]Full Story... →
Rob Nichols has the hardest job in Columbus. He has to make John Kasich’s ideas seem sane. Sometimes, that requires Nichols to say things that are just patently absurd. Like this defense in the Columbus Dispatch’s of Kasich’s decision to give the State of the State address in a public high school in Steubenville as opposed to the Ohio House chambers:
“Part of the reason Ohio lost 400,000 jobs over the previous four years was because people were unwilling to make the necessary changes to get Ohio back on track, and now we have people unwilling to do [...]Full Story... →
In the midst of all the Issue 2 (SB 5) referendum, it got lost that at the same time that there was another referendum effort already underway to repeal HB 194, the Republican’s bill that gutted early voting, prohibited school districts from providing transportation to students to cast legal ballots, eliminates the requirement that poll workers direct voters to their correct precinct, permits the challenge of an early ballot if the identification envelope statement of voter is not entirely completed (except you cannot challenge if that ballot was cast overseas or alleged by a voter in [...]Full Story... →
Roughly a year ago, I decided for my birthday that I would go before the Ohio House Finance Committee to testify against the initial bill to create JobsOhio (a.k.a. “RobsOhio.)
My opponent testimony featured these points:
History and objective studies show that a private company running a State’s economic development efforts works no better than public ones. These entities have a documented history of ethical problems that require strict, robust, and comprehensive ethical requirements that trump the right to secrecy. The plan to have JobsOhio acquire an equitable stake in the companies it assists is unethical [...]Full Story... →
With a degree in Broadcast Journalism and experience as a television news anchor, ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner would seem like an unlikely candidate for a career in politics.
But after leaving television and spending a few years as a poorly-paid legislative aide in the Ohio House, Faulkner seems to have caught Mary Taylor’s eye, earning himself a position as her Deputy Press Secretary at the Auditor’s office, where he made about $46K a year.
When Taylor rode the 2010 Republican wave into the Lieutenant Governor’s office, she brought many of her trusted people with her. Faulkner made the cut [...]Full Story... →
Governor Kasich’s new budget law, HB153, implemented a new required evaluation process for all Ohio teachers (Ohio Revised Code 3319.111). The new law requires that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation include student growth measures. I’ve been wondering for a while whether the state also included a definition of “teacher” in the evaluation and finally looked it up after being sparked by a post by our friends over at Join the Future. Stunningly, Ohio Revised Code (ORC) does contain the definition of a teacher. And not surprisingly, following the trail of codes reveals that some educators appear [...]Full Story... →
When Kasich announced Randy Meyer would be the next Inspector General he made it clear that Meyer was “not going to be a traffic cop hiding in the bushes.” And based on the small number of investigatory reports issued by Meyer’s office in the first year (only 12 – the fewest since 2007), it seems like the Governor may have had some amazing foresight.
Meyer claims the shortage of reports has more to do with needing time to transition and less to do with pissing off the Governor, but I have my doubts.
For starters, the Ohio inspector [...]Full Story... →
After attending many legislative hearings in person and watching even more full sessions on the Ohio Channel this year, I am convinced that the addition of teachers to the mix of elected officials can have a dramatic positive effect on the productivity of the Ohio House of Representatives. Among all of the various traits of teachers, two key attributes stand out.
Number one, a teacher’s knowledge doesn’t exist in the mastery of a narrowly defined area of expertise such as banking or law, but is instead required to be spread out across a wide array of topics and the way [...]Full Story... →
This morning the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released the Ohio jobs data for December. Again, Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped significantly from 8.5% to 8.1%, but that’s not good news once you, again, look at why Ohio’s unemployment rate is dropping. In fact, it suggests that Ohio’s recovery is stalling.
In November, the unemployment rate dropped .5% as Ohio made a modest gain of 6,000 new jobs, but the drop was largely due to the fact that 22,000 unemployed Ohioans dropped out of the labor market altogether. In other words, they gave up even looking for [...]Full Story... →
(P.S.- You still have a day job, and it’s not being a candidate for the U.S. Senate).
According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce alone spent $2.8 million in Ohio in attack ads in Ohio targeting Sherrod Brown alone. On top that, the Karl Rove-led American Crossroads SuperPAC spent nearly a million in ads attacking Brown last fall, as did 60 Plus and the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee. How much did Sherrod Brown or third party groups spend in his defense in response? Zero.
The Chamber’s attack [...]Full Story... →