From the monthly archives: March 2012

Two reporters from today’s Dayton Daily News allege that cheating on standardized tests is rampant in Ohio and the Ohio Department of Education is willfully ignoring the evidence.  That evidence being an unscientific model that they were given by reporters from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who are on a quest to prove that the massive scandal in Atlanta wasn’t an isolated case.

Instead, they have embroiled schools nationwide in another witch hunt using methods reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials where the guilty can never prove their innocence.

Such as the following method used to convict “warlock” George Burroughs in 1692:

[...]

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Last week, the Kasich administration quietly introduced a five-fold tax increase on the disposal of chemical-laced fracking wastewater from other states. Disposal of Ohio brine will cost ten times less. Such a move clearly violates the US Constitution’s restrictions on Interstate commerce, something Kasich has in the past acknowledged.

Let’s recap: ODNR recently confirmed that injection of chemical-laced wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) was responsible for a series of earthquakes near Youngstown:

“a number of coincidental circumstances appear to make a compelling argument for the recent Youngstown-area seismic events to have been induced.” – Ohio Department of Natural Resources, [...]

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Regardless of how you feel about the Tea Party and their ballot initiatives in Ohio, you have to give them credit for persistence and, at least last year, their success.

I wrote extensively about last year’s “Healthcare Freedom” amendment (aka Issue 3) – the anti-“Obamacare” amendment that Chris Littleton and the Ohio Liberty Council not only got on the ballot, but succeeded in passing. I honestly never thought they’d get enough signatures to get it on the ballot. And when they did, I never thought they’d get the votes to get it passed. I was wrong in both cases.

I [...]

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On Thursday, Governor Kasich introduced the education version of his “budget reform” bill via Senator Peggy Lehner.  As had been anticipated, Kasich is rolling out his mid-biennium budget revisions in multiple bills in the hopes that by dividing the legislation across different committees he has a chance of getting them passed by the General Assembly before Memorial Day when it is expected that the House of Representatives will adjourn in order to campaign for the November election.

The full text is 521 pages long, though as with the other sweeping legislation a great deal of the pages are taken up [...]

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We reported earlier today about a number of new legal and ethical problems coming to light in the battle pitting Governor Kasich and his allies and staff against Kevin DeWine and the resources of the Ohio Republican Party.

We’ve discussed the battle in excessive detail already. But this recent influx of complaints and stories about Kasich’s behavior during this intra-party battle is difficult to ignore.

Below is the full text of the ethics complaint about Kasich and his staff that was sent to the Ohio Ethics Commission last week. It’s long – but definitely worth reading…

Paul [...]

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A growing cadre of Republicans are asking law enforcement and state ethics organizations to look into allegations that allies of Gov. John Kasich are implementing a conspiracy to win control of the Ohio Republican Party Central Committee by dangling the promise of lucrative state appointments, threatening to remove members from existing state boards and even threatening to get a private company to fire people who refuse to help Kasich topple the party chair.

A prime example of Kasich’s strategy to reward supporters involves his recent pick for head of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

Given Gov. Kasich’s pledge for [...]

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Yesterday, over 200 Ohioans stormed the Statehouse as a part of the 2012 Freedom of Choice Lobby Day. The purpose of the event was to push back against the war on women, and the bill we were asking our representatives to table was “The Heartbeat Bill” or as it can be more accurately described, “The Heartless Bill.” We call it The Heartless Bill because you’d have to heartless to vote for it. The heartless bill is similar in intent to the numerous other anti-choice, anti-women, anti-family bills that the rightwing has been pushing recently. However, it is the most egregious anti-choice bill [...]

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We wrote yesterday about the Request For Proposal put out by Sycamore Township, near Cincinnati Ohio, for private companies to take over their fire and EMS services.

According to a video (see end of post) released by Township Trustee Tom Weidman at the beginning of the process, the Township’s financial problems can be tied directly to Kasich’s budget. Local officials were shocked and amazed when Kasich and the legislature “abruptly ended” the “important source of income” from the Local Government Fund, the Tangible Personal Property Tax and the Estate Tax.

Numbers presented by Mr. Weidman show that Sycamore Township [...]

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Think Progress reports that Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom believes Mitt should be given a “reset button” allowing him to change his positions again as he transitions from the primary to the general election.

Romeny has already had to alter many of his positions in order to appeal to the Republican Party base. And Rick Santorum’s recent primary successes, and his increasingly crazy positions, have forced Romney to deliver a more and more extremist conservative message on everything from the health care reform act (despite the similarities to his own health care reforms in Massachusetts) to contraception and issues [...]

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We have previously documented how Kasich’s budget has put the squeeze on local government – and especially on public safety and law enforcement.

Sycamore Township in Southwest Ohio has come up with a novel idea – privatize public safety.

Township trustees are considering the unique step of using a private firm to provide fire and EMS services.  According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, this is directly due to a $3.6 million decrease in funding from the local government fund.

We especially liked this quote from the news reports:  “‘This fire department has saved my father’s life twice,’ said Greg [...]

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For a Governor and political party that professes to want a smaller government, Ohio’s Republicans sure seem to like laws that impose greater government control over our personal lives.

One latest example that doesn’t involve a uterus is Governor Kasich’s proposal to implement a “guarantee” that all children are proficient readers before being allowed to move on to the 4th grade.  His explanation is that students who aren’t able to pass the third grade reading test are less likely to graduate from high school and should therefore be held back for (at least) a year.

In fact, Kasich [...]

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