Posts by: Joseph

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) recently announced its list of invited speakers for this year’s Defending the American Dream Summit.  The event will be held right here in Columbus, Ohio.

Interestingly, no one from Ohio made the list.

The Koch brother-founded organization (AFP)  always gets the cream of the conservative crop to speak at its events.  Last year they had Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

This year’s list is even more impressive.

According to its website, AFP has secured a bunch of well-known Republicans as speakers for the 2015 conference, many of whom are seeking the […]

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Another charter school scandal is in the news. And once again, GOP leaders who collect millions in campaign cash from failing charter schools are suspicious of the allegations but eager to go after the unidentified whistleblower who brought the matter to their attention.

In case you missed it, this scandal involves the Ohio Virtual Academy, a chronically poor performing online school.

The top Republican and top Democrat on the House Education Committee received the whistleblower’s tip that the school failed to dis-enroll hundreds of chronically truant students in order to pad its rolls. The amount of state money the […]

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A few years ago I was in the Lincoln Theatre for a community meeting to discuss racial disparities in issues like infant mortality. I asked to go early on the agenda because it was also my daughter’s 3rd birthday.

As I left the Lincoln Theatre, I realized that 150 moms and dads in Columbus would never get to celebrate their son or daughter’s first birthday, let alone their 3rd.  I decided right then that his was an issue the City would address immediately and aggressively.

I believe our city’s infant mortality rate is not consistent with our values as a […]

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Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a new, two-year budget today that would increase state spending to record levels, potentially violating a state law implemented by other Republicans nine years ago.   According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, five Republicans voted against it and three “Democrats” voted for it. (More on that soon)

Ohio’s (Republican-driven) State Appropriation Limit (SAL) law, passed in 2006, was supposed to put a cap on General Revenue Fund (GRF) spending increases in Ohio at 3.5%.  Under Governor Strickland this wasn’t an issue.  Faced with a global economic crisis, Ohio’s last Democratic governor confronted the problem head-on: reducing state […]

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Back in September of 2013, John Kasich finally revealed the “secret” to his political success in an interview with the NYT:  God told him to run for governor of Ohio.   With a holy wind at his back, Kasich went on to win a second term the following year.  But “God” seems to be much less vocal this year regarding predictions for the 2016 presidential race.

Kasich’s convenient 2013  confession may have come across as a cheap political stunt to many of Times readers.  But make no mistake: Kasich isn’t just making cocktail chatter when he expresses disbelief in whether important things […]

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You may remember State Rep. Ron Maag from such extreme, right-wing legislative efforts as SB5 in 2011 (supporter), the anti-union 2013 bill aimed at killing public sector unions (sponsor), the 2014 third-grade reading guarantee (supporter), the “heartbeat bill” (supporter) and the 2013 bill to put so-called right-to-work on the ballot (sponsor). And let’s not forget the anti-Obamacare bill and the anti-Planned Parenthood stuff.

Yesterday Maag hit a new, all-time low.

In a letter sent to other legislators, Maag revealed that he plans to introduce a bill to allow “any individual who is licensed to […]

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John Kasich was in New Hampshire this weekend on his pre-presidential campaign tour and he landed himself a spot on a local political talk show where he was asked some softball questions about world events.  Kasich used the opportunity to show New Hampshire and the world just how unprepared he is for any serious discussion on foreign policy.

When asked about the threat from Russia, Kasich replied that the situation with “the Soviet Union and Putin” is “very concerning” and that we “have to convince our European friends like the Germans, the French… that we need tough sanctions.”

A couple of […]

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Tbe Ohio Republican Party did a decent job of reining in their extreme anti-abortion wing during the last election cycle.   But with the election long over, and the new (Republican-controlled) legislative session fully underway, Ohio’s Republican activist legislators are now back to proudly playing the old “I’m More Extreme Than You Are” game….

You want a”fetal pain” bill based on thoroughly debunked “science”?  They have that!

How about another version of the unconstitutional Heartbeat Bill?  Sure!  Why not?

But if you are a brand new state representative and you really want to make a name for yourself in Ohio’s extreme right wing […]

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John Michael Spinelli has been covering Ohio politics for a very long time.  The former credentialed Ohio statehouse journalist worked for the Hannah News Service, but now bills himself as “one of Ohio’s leading independent reporters,” recently contributing to the Columbus Government Examiner and AllVoices.  He also happens to write for Plunderbund, and it seems this fact has not only gotten Spinelli removed from Governor Kasich’s press list but also banned from covering Kasich’s latest State of the State speech in Wilmington, Ohio tomorrow.

Kasich Spokesman Rob Nichols contacted Spinelli earlier today to let him know that he was being denied credentials to tomorrow’s speech.  When […]

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Earlier this week John Kasich told a reporter from the Washington Post that the U.S. needs “boots on the ground” to defeat ISIS in the Middle East.

Fair enough.

There’s no question that ISIS is a threat to global security and the economic well-being of the U.S. and the world.

However, Kasich’s comments were made during an interview about his signature 2016 presidential campaign theme: a federal balanced budget amendment that would cap federal spending at levels of expected federal revenue.

Here’s the obvious follow up question WaPo didn’t ask wannabe president Kasich: “If the U.S. did pass a federal […]

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John Kasich just appointed another Republican to the five-member Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), even though state law requires no more than three members of the commission can belong to same political party.  In his quest to control the commission and crush Ohio’s renewable energy standards, Kasich has shown just how easy it is to circumvent this law and use the PUCO to promote his highly-partisan agenda.    State Rep. David Leland of Columbus has proposed new legislation that could help fix the problem.

Besides appointing Republican climate change deniers like Todd Snitchler to the PUCO, Kasich has also appointed Republicans posing as Independents. […]

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