From the monthly archives: February 2014

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is standing up for the religious freedom rights of . . . wait for it . . . corporations.

Yes, according to DeWine, Mitt Romney was right: Corporations are people too.  But DeWine goes further than Mitt:  Corporations go to church, too.

DeWine’s Office wrote an amicus curiae, or “Friend of the Court Brief” for the United States Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case.  The brief was joined by Republican Attorneys General in Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, and other states.

In this case, Hobby Lobby is arguing that it is exempt [...]

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Last February John Kasich appeared at JPMorgan Chase’s Polaris Campus to announce big upcoming expansion plans for the financial company, which has strong ties to Kasich, the Ohio Republican Party and JobsOhio.   Despite a lot of hoopla, handshaking and bell ringing on behalf of Kasich and his team at JobsOhio, things, as usual, didn’t go nearly as well as they had planned.

JobsOhio and the Kasich Administration officially and proudly announced job creation tax credits for JPMorgan’s planned expansion on May 21st, 2013.  In exchange for these tax credits, JPMorgan was promising to create 500 new jobs.  A [...]

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Like Captain Renault, the fabled Prefect of Police in Casablanca, Ohio citizens were shocked, shocked to learn that several charter school sponsors gambled recently when they opened a parade of new schools that quickly failed. But unlike the character played in the classic film by Claude Rains, these sponsors have few winnings to collect. Instead, they can anticipate increased scrutiny from the Ohio Auditor as well as new skepticism from the state’s taxpayers.

For those who are all too familiar, there is no shock that comes with the latest revelations of failure in the charter school industry. Instead, here’s what those [...]

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Well, we managed to get through the governor’s State of the State speech unscathed in the comfort of our home with nary a word of parting seas. (If you missed his arrival in Medina, I can report that it was in all of the papers, just as he had planned it.)

The pageantry far exceeded the accuracy of Kasich’s assessment of the actual state of the state, which was sort of a spin-off of Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss, the rosiest soul among fictional characters. It began with  the first notice that the governor had chosen the Republican Town of Towns as [...]

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It is common for those critical of education in America to link a teacher’s contractual schedule to their actual work and claim that teaching is a part-time job.  In Ohio, the right-wing think tank Buckeye Institute has been doing this as they miscalculate the pay of teachers and post it online, and they reiterated their stance as part of their 15 Myths about Collective Bargaining Reform and Senate Bill 5 (myth #14).  Let’s spend a little time discussing the absurd notion that teachers don’t put in considerably more hours than their contract requires.

The myth as the Buckeye Institute presented it [...]

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After the Democrats had their asses handed to them in 2010, the Ohio GOP went full Monty. Monty Burns, that is. “Excellent”, echoed through the halls of power in Columbus. They saw the prize. Redistricting was about to start. And the GOP had a lock on it. Majorities in both Houses and all the statewide offices.

The GOP proceeded to redraw the electoral map of Ohio.

Secret hotel rooms that cost taxpayers nearly 10 grand. Holding the bill until the fall. Locking out Democrats from the process. All of this is straight from the Lee Atwater/Dick Cheney/Karl Rove political [...]

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With Governor Kasich heading to Medina to deliver his State of the State address tonight, it’s a good time to take a look at how his policies, specifically his state funding decisions, are affecting the Medina City School district.

The Medina City School District enrolls over 7,000 students.  The district has received a rating of either Excellent (“A”) or Excellent with Distinction (“A+”) since 2006 from the Ohio Department of Education.  Despite its top rating over the years, the district has continually lost students to charter schools – none of which is even located in Medina County.

Medina City has [...]

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It has been a week.  On a scale of one-to-ten, the Republican political class has vaporized  beyond the  vanishing point of zero in the party’s eternal quest to broaden its base.  I used to think there was some inscrutably mystical  plan to lure millions of voters to their column.  Not so.  After losing the White House twice in succession,  it is apparent that there is no plan.  This gang is just a loose  collection of inept ideological peacocks in business suits. The past  will more than suffice as a demonstration project, if you can stand the pain. In Texas, the [...]

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Thrilled by the recent success of awarding 50 lottery-produced tickets to Gov. Kasich’s  state of the state speech,  Republican insiders are said to be hopeful of applying  the same scheme  to a voter-repressed pool.

With the pending doom of the so-called Golden Week that would have permitted six additional days for same-day registration and voting (as in 2012),  GOP electoral guards  reportedly  are supporting a lottery that would hand out 100 same-day voting and registration tickets for this year’s election.

An enthusiastic aide to the governor said such a plan would not only be fail-safe but quite likely encourage the [...]

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The Ohio House of Representatives was all out of sorts over the past week at the notion of increasing the number of calamity days for school districts across the state.  What was initially thought to be a simple piece of legislation that would be fast-tracked when it was proposed the day after Governor Kasich called for it turned out to hit a wall with many House Republicans.  The initial delay of its adoption by the House was the question of cost, specifically whether it was a waste of millions of dollars to pay “teachers for days they didn’t work” (Gerald [...]

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Governor John Kasich has been fond of claiming an Ohio “miracle” of closing budget deficits while cutting taxes. Tell that to the least among us who, thanks to the Governor’s sales tax increase now have to pay more under his tax scheme, while his rich friends get another $6,083 tax cut. Add that to the decision Mr. Kasich made to increase all our future property taxes by 12.5% and you might understand why regular folks in Ohio are scratching their heads. This Governor’s plans sound less and less like a miracle and more and more like [...]

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