From the monthly archives: January 2014

Five former Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) employees filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against Brown County Prosecutor Jessica Little and Former Inspector General Tom Charles.   The lawsuit stems from an IG investigation initiated by Charles, and charges brought by Little, both of which were politically motivated and eventually dismissed.

The story starts back in 2006 with wildlife officer Allan Wright helping his friend, a wildlife office from another state, get an in-state Ohio hunting license.   In the past, this type of reciprocity was common and encouraged.  The officer had asked, and received permission from his supervisor [...]

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In her  recent talk at an Akron Press Club/ Bliss Institute program,  Rep.Marcia Fudge covered the entire spectrum of  the unfinished business of combatting racism in America.  A Democrat who chairs  the Congressional Black Caucus,  she represents Ohio’s  new 11th District stretching south from Euclid to Fairlawn – graphic evidence of the liveried Republican map-drawers’ free-wheeling ability to redefine the upside of hometown politics.

A compelling speaker, Fudge surveyed  the legacy of Martin Luther’s King’s  place in today’s world that has met with no more than mixed results in a nation  that is more polarized than at  any  time in a [...]

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Below is the full prepared text of tonight’s State of the Union Address

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Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.

An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.

An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars [...]

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The state of Ohio has been hit hard this winter, resulting in schools having to cancel a higher-than-usual number of days of instruction.  Many districts (about a third according to the Toledo Blade) have already used up the state-allowed number of snow (or calamity) days and have reached the point where they will be required to make up those days at the end of the year.

To that end, Governor Kasich announced yesterday that he was going to instruct the General Assembly to enact a one-time exemption for this school year that would provide schools an extra four [...]

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Dayton Daily News reporters Laura Bischoff and Jackie Borchardt dropped a bombshell about a brewing pay-to-play scandal in Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office in yesterday’s paper.

You can read the full story here if you are a subscriber. If not, here are the bulletpoints:

Mike DeWine loaned his campaign $2 Million dollars in 2010. While many politicians forgive this type of loan, DeWine seems to insist on being paid back. His campaign has returned $1.65 million so far. Meanwhile, law firms seeking work with the AG’s office have donated $1.3 million to DeWine, the ORP and Mike DeWine’s son, Hamilton County Appellate [...]

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The Republican Party, on life support for a presidential candidate of earlier Christie vintage, has encountered another family brouhaha at the outset of its 2016 plans. No sooner did the word get out that Sin City (a.k.a. Las Vegas) was eager to host the convention than the party’s resident Tea Party morality wing complain that it ought to go somewhere more closely associated with Eden-before-the-fall. Huh!

It would seem strangely disconnected, of course, for a national party to open the program with an ascending invocation for grace in the epicenter of world class wickedness that would be happily indulged by [...]

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Wild, Wild West of Charter School Land
by Maureen Reedy

Welcome to the wild, wild, west of “charter school land” in Columbus, Ohio. Finally, it looks as though the sheriff is riding into town, thanks to the thorough investigative journalism of Greg Mild (Plunderbund ECOT series) and Dispatch reporters, Bill Bush and Jennifer Smith Richards (Dispatch, Charter Failure, January 12th).

Our schoolchildren have been victimized long enough by callous charter school operators who treat students as if they are commodities to be traded in the market place. Consider the quote regarding the record 17 charter school closings this year, [...]

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The Hamilton County Republican Party, backstopped by Secretary of State Jon Husted, continues its single-minded focus on disenfranchising African-American voters

Husted, who drew national attention for his iron-fisted approach toward making it as hard as possible for African-Americans to vote early,  will likely break an upcoming tie vote in the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Husted did the same thing in 2012 to keep the Board of Elections closed, and to prevent vote-by-mail applications from being sent. Foiled by the Voting Rights Act, Husted seems to have concocted a new [...]

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With a fresh batch of silly putty, the artisans at the Ohio Republican Headquarters gave us a quick demonstration of how you can bravely attack a major national organization without actually naming it. But it wouldn’t take a savant to know that it was referring to Planned Parenthood, which has heard it many numbing times before.

In a terrible mood after the reproductive health counseling agency endorsed some state Democratic candidates, Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges completely lost it in a press release this week, hoping to morally tower above those Democrats who received the endorsements while, on the other [...]

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The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released data today showing that Ohio’s unemployment rate is now 7.2%.  This Dispatch ran this Kasich campaign-approved headline:  “Ohio unemployment drops for second straight month”.

While technically true, it fails to capture the important context, which is that Ohio continues to seriously lag the country in job growth.

While it’s true Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped two points, from 7.4% in November to 7.2% in December, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped three points, from 7.0% to 6.7%, meaning Ohio’s unemployment rate has continued to steadily get worse compared to the national average.

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Plunderbund’s case in the Supreme Court is moving forward and an oral argument has been granted by the Court.  Because this case is a mandamus case, oral argument is not automatic as in most appeals that they accept. At this stage, the Court could have simply issued a decision.

The oral argument was granted at Public Safety’s request.  Oral arguments are only granted in mandamus cases if the movant can show that the case is of great public interest.  The issue of this case is whether Public Safety can magically turn standard incident reports into “security documents” in order to hide [...]

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