Posts by: Guest Post

SB 5′s Historic Defeat Marked; Will Ohio Voters Remember In November?
by John McNay

Three years ago, on March 31, 2011, the Republican-dominated Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 5 in the face of overwhelming public protests. That evening Gov. John Kasich had a celebratory signing ceremony covered by statewide television. Senate Bill 5, derived mainly from the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, was designed to crush public unions across the state.

Championed by Gov. Kasich, SB 5 was the centerpiece of his legislative agenda­, and was defended as necessary to close a $6 billion budget gap. Proponents inaccurately blamed [...]

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Ohio Republicans have introduced a dangerous new plan to freeze Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standards indefinitely.

GOP leadership is reportedly driving this proposal, with Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) leading the effort and Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zainesville) introducing the legislation, SB 310, Friday morning. SB 310 calls for an immediate freeze on efficiency and renewable energy standards at their current 2014 levels and for the creation of an “Energy Mandates Study Committee” to review existing law.

As a refresher, Governor Strickland signed Substitute Senate Bill 221 (SB 221) into law on May 1, [...]

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The following is an open letter, from an Ohio teacher, to members of Ohio’s House Education Committee regarding the hijacking of SB 229.


Dear Representative,

It was with great concern that I learned of the Ohio House’s decision to make significant, drastic, and educationally unsound changes to SB 229. As an educator I have grave concerns regarding the policies regarding public education that are developed in Columbus.

The evaluative protocol being imposed on local schools from outside the district is an illustration of both the lack of familiarity with a student’s development through their relationship with their teachers as well [...]

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Our public schools are under vicious attack – oddly, by the state representative elected from Delaware County. In two recent Dispatch columns, Rep. Andrew Brenner is quoted condemning public education as “socialism,” and advocating that all public schools be sold off to for-profit investors. He went on to state that Ohio should model this privatization on the example of the sale of government assets following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Brenner’s statements are both ridiculous and ignorant, and especially dangerous because he is empowered to make laws and policies concerning our children’s schools. Working their anti-school agenda, he and [...]

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This last week, Ohio saw the Religious Right get handed a major defeat on it’s “Religious Freedom” bill in Ohio as the prime sponsors of HB376, Cleveland Democratic State Rep. Bill Patmon and Oxford Republican Tim Derickson withdrew their bill. Until this week, the two and their 44 co-sponsors were on a fast track to winning an incredible anti-LGBT battle but something happened along the way.

Their first major speed bump on their journey to gay discrimination was the national attention Arizona had gained for its SB1062 (which mirrored the Ohio bill). So intense was the scrutiny of that legislative [...]

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The following letter was sent by Rich DeColibus, former president of the Cleveland Teachers Union, to Lena Pogrebinsky, a current candidate for CTU President.  It it originally appeared on Kathie Bracy’s Blog and we kindly thank her for giving us permission to reprint it here at Plunderbund.


February 25, 2014

Dear Ms. Pogrebinsky,

I obtained the 14-page summary of the Cleveland Plan and read it through.  A few things seem to stand out.  For example, it reads like it was written by the Koch brothers.  An early quote says, “Public education has been shackled by so much – by legal restrictions, [...]

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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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Environmentalists throughout Ohio have long questioned the willingness of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to adequately and willingly regulate the oil and gas industry. A document from the agency that leaked over the weekend will do nothing to quash those concerns.

The 10-page memo describes ways in which ODNR could work to promote oil and gas drilling in state parks and counter what it calls “zealous resistance” from “skilled propagandists,” including State Reps Nikki Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown), the Ohio Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The draft communications plan, dated August [...]

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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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Kasich in 2016. Really?

On December 18, 2013 By

Kasich in 2016. Really?
by Thomas Givens

I know a guy who works in state government. He got the job because he was very active in GOP politics. We were talking recently and he said, John Kasich was going to be the next President of the United States. He said this with a straight face and a gleam in his eye you only see in true believers. The Manson Family had that look as did the followers of Jim Jones.

I was speechless for a moment and said “Really?” He said John would be the best candidate fielded in years. [...]

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A number of election bills, including one that would reduce early voting hours, have passed or are in process at the Ohio Statehouse. While not every bill is bad, the goal appears to be to shave off a few votes here and there to impact the outcome of statewide elections. The party in power is going for a victory of a hundred cuts rather than a single blow to the head as in last session’s failed HB 194. With the districts gerrymandered for predictable outcomes for nearly a decade, the attention shifts to rigging the voters for predictable statewide election [...]

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