Posts by: BudgetWatcher

The Ohio Senate today tweaked Governor Kasich’s turnpike proposal, requiring any funds generated by turnpike bonds to be spent in Northern Ohio while freezing toll rates in statute. The move could lead to a Kasich veto and could be a further sign of what appears to be an increasingly chilly relationship between the Governor and leaders of his own party.

The Senate Transportation Committee adopted amendments to House Bill 51 that would require 90 percent of the proceeds of borrowing against future turnpike tolls to be spent within 75 miles of the Ohio Turnpike.  Another amendment locks in current toll [...]

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We recently reported that one of the state’s top tax law firms analyzed the Kasich plan to expand Ohio’s sales tax to most services, declaring it to be a “nightmare.” Our reporting may have gotten folks at Vorys in hot water with the Kasich administration, as the analysis now carries the following note:

Funny, we never realized that “nightmare” was a technical term, but our apologies to whomever at Vorys we got in trouble.

The fact is, Vorys is not alone. To [...]

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14 votes.

That’s how close Democrats are to avoiding something just shy of the worst-case-scenario in the Ohio statehouse.

Republicans currently control the 99-member Ohio House of Representatives with a 59 member majority. That’s plenty to pass legislation into law, as we’ve seen since 2010. But if the GOP had 60 votes, their powers increase.

With a 60-vote “super majority,” legislative Republicans add to their powers in two key ways:

1. With 60 votes, the GOP can unilaterally put measures on the ballot. Typically, because of the 60-vote requirement, measures placed on the ballot legislatively are popular, bipartisan proposals like [...]

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Today, at the Impact Ohio conference, Jon Husted said something incredibly newsworthy that we haven’t seen reported anywhere.

Defending his performance managing Ohio’s election, Husted argued that because of the high stakes involved with being an electoral vote-rich swing state, Ohio’s elections chief is always scrutinized and criticized. (Funny, we don’t remember that happening in 2008, but that’s beside the point).

Husted’s solution to this perceived problem of Democrats and the national media picking on him? He says we should make Ohio less important in the election by dividing up our electoral votes by Congressional district.

This is huge [...]

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Wondering when you need to be at that big election-watching party tonight and not miss the national networks calling the election for Obama? Here’s what you need to know:

First, let’s assume that there are 12 battleground states — and that is being rather generous to Mitt Romney. Let’s say the others go as expected (e.g. Idaho for Romney and California for Obama). That gives Obama and Romney a baseline of 191 electoral votes each. Here’s the states and the number of electoral votes at stake throughout the evening tonight:

7 p.m. (all times Eastern)

Virginia – 13 electoral votes [...]

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In the closing days of the race and desperate for a win, Mitt Romney tried to throw a long pass, aiming at undercutting Obama’s advantage among Ohio’s white working class voters.

In poll after poll, Romney is failing to close the gap in Ohio, in part because the President is polling better among white, non-college educated men in Ohio than in other battleground states. That white, working class support for is attributed to his work to save the auto industry, tied to 1 in 8 Ohio jobs. Polls show Ohio voters overwhelmingly support the auto rescue.

[...]

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Last year, in the GOP primary debates, Mitt Romney was asked if he supported getting rid of FEMA and leaving responsibility for disaster response and recovery in the hands of individual states. Mitt agreed enthusiastically:

KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people [...]

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After he was elected, Governor Kasich said that the state’s teachers unions should take out a full page ad to apologize to him. He also told unions and other interest groups to “get on the bus” or he would run them over.

It didn’t take long. In the state budget, Kasich and the GOP-controlled legislature drained nearly $2 billion from public education, resulting in new levies and drastic cuts at schools across the state. The budget also accelerated the transfer of public money to private and for-profit charter schools and implanted the same controversial scheme to tie teacher pay to [...]

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One of the most hotly contested races in Ohio this fall is the battle between incumbent Mike Duffey and challenger Donna O’Connor for Ohio’s 21st House District, representing the northern suburbs of Franklin County.

In 2010, Republican Mike Duffey narrowly won after both sides spent nearly $1 million in the old district, which was much more favorable to Democrats.

This election cycle, with districts redrawn to include a wider Republican margin, Duffey thought he could coast to victory without much effort. On October 7, the Dispatch reported:

At the beginning of the week, state Rep. Mike Duffey was talking [...]

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Is Romney giving up on Ohio?

On September 27, 2012 By

Today’s New York Times reports that Mitt Romney, in an attempt to repair the damage done by his “47 percent” comments, is running a new ad in key swing states in which he tries to relate to the unemployed and underpayed among us.

Interesting thing about the ad, according to the Times. It’s not running in Ohio:

On Wednesday, the Romney campaign reserved $3.4 million worth of advertising time in eight swing states. Nearly half of that — more than $1.5 million — was for Virginia. The rest was spread across Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North [...]

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We’ve all seen the response from progressives and pundits to Mitt Romney’s comment that 47 percent of the electorate are victims who want handouts, don’t pay their fair share in taxes, and who won’t take responsibility for their lives. But what are the conservatives saying?

We thought we’d take a look.

As it turns out, very, very few conservatives that we can tell are defending Romney.

Here’s one surrogate’s attempt, explaining the comments as aimed at business people:

During an appearance on MSNBC, Ehrlich explained that the inarticulate comments as remarks “to a bunch of business people [...]

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