Search results for "widener"

A man who helped gerrymander Ohio in 2011 with “last minute ‘tweaks’” to absurd Republican-drawn maps that rigged elections in favor of the GOP is now asking Ohio voters to put him in an office where he would have the opportunity to do it again.

State Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, has spent the last 17 years in the Ohio Statehouse wielding influence as a state representative, then a state senator, then Ohio Senate President, and now a state representative again. He is as establishment as they come in an era where Ohioans’ wages have stagnated and drug addiction […]

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[NOTE: It’s an election year, and we are witnessing a more charged atmosphere this quadrennial cycle as we go through the process of selecting a new president. In the meantime, amidst inflammatory charges by the presidential candidates about terrorism, Planned Parenthood, immigration and Islam, our country has even more pressing issues to deal with that undermine our system of self-government. Sadly, our venerable Constitution, the basis for our republic, is in need of major repair. In that spirit, this five-part series is written in order to provide a wake-up call about some dangers to our democratic system and some ways […]

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Up with this we must not put, dear Ohioans. One-party rule in the Buckeye State is despoiling public education with profit-driven cronyism, fraud, abuse, and corruption. Whistleblowers are falling victim to intimidation and retribution. All avenues of redress are being systematically sabotaged.

Where to begin?

Plunderbund broke a story this week showing that a charter school operation owned by one of Ohio’s biggest Republican donors has been failing standards and retaliating against would-be whistleblowers while Hoovering up $100 million in state government contracts, according to a study out of Ohio State University.

Even worse, the study was conducted as […]

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Documents obtained by Plunderbund show that a company owned by one of Ohio’s largest charter school operators is failing to deliver on a major contract with the state.   The documents also indicate that former employees of the company, now supervising the project for the state, likely retaliated against public employees who questioned the company’s failures.  The company’s owner, William Lager, is one of the biggest Republican political donors in Ohio.

According to an investigation report from the Ohio State University’s Office of University Compliance and Integrity (OUCI), “Employees with the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH)… reported that a project to implement a statewide K-12 learning management system […]

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State Senator Chris Widener’s Twitter account is something to behold!

His Twitter profile description appears to have been ripped straight from some Tea Party dating website (OKStupid?), with claims that he is a “Conservative” and an “Outdoorsman” and someone who is working to “Support tax payers” and “connect job seekers – employers.”

Dating jokes aside, it’s clear this account is not personal since his Tweets are almost always related to senate business, and his profile provides a link to his official Ohio Senate webpage.

Oddly, according to Twitter, Plunderbund has been “blocked from following @ChrisWidenerOH and viewing @ChrisWidenerOH’s Tweets.”

It’s true that we’ve written about State Senator […]

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The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the largest charter school in the state of Ohio.  The online school is easily the largest charter school in Ohio, is larger than the vast majority of Ohio’s traditional school districts, and received over $88 million in state funding last school year.  This year that amount is expected to jump to over $92 million.

On the latest report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education, ECOT continues to rank below all of the 8 large urban schools that are often-criticized by legislators and in the media for their “sub-par” performance.

For […]

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This weekend we posted about Ohio’s largest charter school, ECOT, being recommended to receive a “bonus” check of $2.9 million that would be quickly rerouted into ECOT owner William Lager’s other private businesses.  This is not the first raise that ECOT has received this year.  Through the Kasich budget passed this summer, ECOT received the largest increase in state funding for any charter school in Ohio at $4.8 million.  This far surpassed the second largest increase of $1.35 million given to Ohio Virtual Academy.

It’s good to buy friends in high places…

Since 2004, Lager, the […]

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In late 2004 Republicans in the Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 80, putting a cap on noneconomic damages in civil cases.   Under the law, juries are not able to award more than $500,000 to victims for things like severe pain or physical and emotional distress.

The bill was sponsored by now-Congressman Steve Stivers.  The co-sponsors included many familiar names from today’s General Assembly including Jay Hottinger, Lynn Wachtmann, Chris Widener, Ron Amstutz, Keith Faber and Kirk Schuring.   All have since switched from the Senate to the House or vice versa.

“Senate Bill 80 is now law. Woo-hoo!”1 yelled then-Governor Taft when […]

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A legislative panel made an odd request of the Ohio Lottery last week: Come prepared with a presentation this week (MONDAY) that would explain just how the Lottery plans to maximize its profits.

The request comes 13 months after the Kasich administration paid a New York firm , Moelis & Co., more than $15 million to produce a plan to maximize profits from all of the state’s gambling endeavors: Horse racing,  racinos, casinos and Lottery.

The Moelis deal was astonishing for two main reasons:

The unusually high, multi-million dollar fee it received. The Plain Dealer’s Brent Larkin said Moelis’ […]

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The Dispatch released the findings of an investigation into Internet Sweepstakes Cafes this weekend.  One of the big revelations: 58 percent of the identifiable cafe owners had “financial histories that probably would bar them from working at a casino, according to the state’s gambling laws. Those red flags include state, federal or local tax liens and bankruptcies.”

Funny story: at least five of the Republican legislators that will have to vote on the bill to regulate cafes also have “financial histories that probably would bar them from working at a casino”.

State Rep. Andrew Brenner […]

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GOP lobbyist Neil Clark tends to tell anyone willing to listen, and some or don’t care to, that he and Gov. Kasich are tight.  Clark even claims he worked extra hard elect to Kasich, mainly to settle scores with enemies in the Strickland camp. Everyone, it seems, is “out to get” Clark,  according to Clark. So he tries to even scores. Scores  of scores.

So why the sudden attacks on the Governor?

Clark seems to be using his Facebook page in an attempt to send messages to Kasich appointees.

Recently, he commented on a note Vorys editors added to their […]

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