From the monthly archives: October 2013

For months the Ohio Republican Party has been trying to stir up fake outrage over a $1000 campaign contribution Ed FitzGerald received in April and returned in July.

Yesterday, realizing absolutely no one cared about their non-existent scandal, and likely realizing that they were going to have their complaint dismissed for a second time, the Ohio Republican Party pulled the complaint from the election commission.

Strangely, the very next day, I received a fundraising email from ORP Communications Director Chris Schrimpf claiming Ed FitzGerald was still “remaining silent about an illegal donation he received from one of his [...]

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The PBS American Experience documentary on Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds was a strong reminder of how easily fooled many Americans were in 1938 – and apparently also  by today’s entrenched  political fantasies on the hard right.  As  witnesses to the mass hysteria that struck the dupes of the broadcast of a Martian landing in New Jersey later noted:  “I couldn’t understand how anyone would fall for this.”   But folks, countless people did, in fact, even with scattered reports of suicides. Indeed, they did.

As a reporter for the Columbus Citizen-Journal during  the Cuban missile crises, I got [...]

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Impressed by Ted Cruz’s flights of fancy as he prepares for his presidential campaign, his devout followers have quietly formed a PAC to purchase a $10 million space suit for his slick orbit over and around the American electorate.  According to one of his sponsors, “the suit will be well  ahead of the curve in protecting him not only from the nasty weather but also the lefties in the media.” (He is shown here in a computer-generated flight  as he tilts toward the red states.)

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Everyone in Ohio needs to read  Collective Bargaining and The Battle of Ohio, a wonderful new book from University of Cincinnati Professor John McNay that provides a detailed history of Senate Bill 5, John Kasich’s anti-union initiative that was overwhelmingly overturned by voters in November 2011.

Next Friday, November 8th, will be the two year anniversary of the day Ohioans came together and said “Hell no!” to Kasich and his Republican allies and their attempt to strip collective bargaining rights from Ohio’s police officers, fire fighters, teachers, college professors and other public workers.

In honor of this anniversary, we [...]

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Let us begin the week in Beautiful Ohio with a squinty look at the academic/political complex that is the pride of Gov. Kasich. While public universities genuflect to the governor and legislature in hopes of squeezing out a few more public dollars for their campuses, Ohio State University and a private venture capital fund have worked out an investment scheme – private! – that has been exposed by a couple of Plain Dealer reporters.

But only partly exposed because the major players in the deal aren’t talking – enforced silence that Kasich honed from his days with the defunct Lehman [...]

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Ohio Tea Party activists have set their sights on controlling local school boards around the state, and they are doing it through deceptive marketing campaigns, claiming to care about “students.”   Many are following the lead of Springboro’s Kelly Kohls.

Last week we reported that Kohls, the School Board President from Springboro who tried to push Creationism and Christian Nationalism into the curriculum of her public school district, was taking her show on the road, training Tea Party school board candidates in the Olentangy district.

Dr. Kohls (she has a PhD in Nutrition), has [...]

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Mike DeWine’s office has received a report on its facial recognition technology.

The report from DeWine’s hand-picked Advisory Committee was released on Friday.  The report makes a number of recommendations aimed at tightening up access to the facial recognition software.

That is good.

Unfortunately, the report does not recommend any changes to how information can be gathered, used, and maintained on a day to day basis.

That is bad.

The report acknowledges that facial recognition technology is a new tool, and that it “is important to examine the security and technology behind OHLEG to ensure the system is serving as a tool for criminal justice practitioners and not being used improperly.”

So what recommendations were made to guide the proper use of this technology?  None.

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SB 193: John Kasich’s Re-Election Protection Bill
by Dennis Spisak, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor

Ohio’s Republicans have been in a hurry to pass SB193, introduced by Republican State Senator Bill Seitz, to provide election law for so-called “minor” parties in Ohio.  The bill passed out of the Senate two weeks ago and the House is planning to hold hearings this week.    SB 193 would change Ohio election rules for minor parties nine months into a two-year election cycle—but rules for Republicans and Democrats would remain the same.

SB 193 would remove minor party access to the [...]

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Boo!

On October 26, 2013 By

Every time I hear the word “BOO!” – which is rather often now that Halloween is nearly upon us and my kids are constantly drawing and eating and wearing things shaped like ghosts – I can’t help but think of the ever-heated race for Toledo Mayor.

And no, I’m not talking about Mayor Mike Bell and his anti-union relationship with Governor Kasich.

I’m talking about the mayoral race in 2009 that sparked this amazing video…

And yes, in case you wondered, that IS the Columbus Dispatch’s own Joe Vardon, who was working as Ben’s spokesman at the time, [...]

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Talking it over with Ted Cruz

On October 26, 2013 By

As the  elephantine circus of the absurd continues to trumpet through America, there is forever the temptation to confront someone like Ted Cruz with a matter of choice.  What would you tell him?  Several of the politically offended have already demanded that he sit down and shut up.  Others fear he will emerge from his Cuckoo’s Nest to declare his spoiling candidacy for you-can-guess.

Me?  I merely would remind him that there are 6.5 billion people on this planet and that he is only one of them.  Now, I would ask him, “Can we talk?”

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Last week supporters of a so-called “right-to-work” amendment in Ohio announced that they had finally gathered over 100,000 signatures.  It seems like a lot, except when you consider that they have been gathering signatures since February 2012, nearly 20 months now.   At this rate, just to collect the over 385,000 VALID signatures needed to get on the ballot, they will need another 40 months.

In reality, they need to collect twice that many to account for duplicates and other invalid signatures. And the longer the process takes, the more likely they are to receive duplicate signatures.

At this rate, Ohioans could [...]

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