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 […]Full Story... →
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.
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 […]Full Story... →
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. […]Full Story... →
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.
It’s true that we’ve written about State Senator […]Full Story... →
In 2013 Salon ran a piece titled “Fetal pain is a lie: How phony science took over the abortion debate.” That same phony science will be coming to Ohio soon.
“Close to a dozen state legislatures across the country have passed laws banning abortion at 20 weeks,” wrote Salon’s Katie McDonough two years ago. “Most of these restrictions are given grave-sounding titles like the ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
The article went on to thoroughly debunk the whole concept. “The fetus at 20 weeks can’t actually feel anything at all. Which is to say, the fundamental justification for these laws is a […]Full Story... →
In June, 2014, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor’s Chief of Staff and her assistant were forced to resign after a public record request from Plunderbund revealed both staffers were likely billing the state for hours that they were not actually in the office working. A tip received by Plunderbund suggested the women were working on the Kasich/Taylor reelection campaign while being paid by the LG’s office.
Mary Taylor, not exactly a workaholic herself, vowed to get to the bottom of the issue. In a memo to the Ohio Inspector General and the Ohio Highway Patrol, she asked both offices to pursue an […]Full Story... →
Ohio Senator Rob Portman is up for reelection next year and the latest poll by Quinnipiac University shows he has some problems. “Ohio voters approve 40 – 21 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is doing and say 37 – 28 percent that he deserves reelection in 2016,” according to Quinnipiac‘s February 10th release..
But have no fear Portman supporters, the junior senator from Ohio appears to have enlisted the help of failed-senate candidate Josh Mandel to help him claw his way back from his current 37% approval rating. What could possibly go wrong?Full Story... →
Policy Matters Ohio put out a report today confirming what nearly everyone in Ohio already knew: John Kasich’s proposed tax reform plan is a total piece of garbage that is bad for most Ohioans.
According to Policy Matters, “Tax cuts would average $11,906 a year for the top 1 percent” of Ohio’s tax payers under Kasich’s proposed tax “reform” plan. “The bottom 60 percent, on average, would see increases” of up $116 a year. In total, 80% of Ohioans would see zero change or a tax increase under Kasich’s proposed plan.
This budget, like all of Kasich’s other budgets, […]Full Story... →
John Kasich released his proposed 2016-17 biennium budget early last week. It includes a “tax reform” plan that would greatly increase Ohio’s sales and cigarette taxes to help fund a decrease in Ohio’s income tax, shifting a greater portion of the state’s tax burden to low and middle income Ohioans. The plan has received negative reviews from nearly all of Ohio’s papers, pundits and special interest groups on the left and the right – with one exception: The Columbus Dispatch.
The Columbus Dispatch editorial board wrote in favor of Kasich’s tax-shifting plan calling it a “plan for growth” and dismissing the idea that Ohio’s poor would be negatively […]Full Story... →
Plunderbund enters its tenth year of covering Ohio politics in 2015 and make no mistake: we are just getting started!
With a diverse staff of expert contributors like Greg Mild and Leonidas, history buffs like Thomas Givens, a cadre of guest writers and a team of current and former professional reporters like John Michael Spinelli, Abe Zaidan and David DeWitt, we rocked 2014 with a steady stream of exclusive interviews, original reporting, creative commentary, in-depth research and lots of breaking political news.
Here’s a sampling of our big news…
Kasich’s New Health Director
Plunderbund was the first to report that John Kasich’s new director at the […]Full Story... →
“Job creation, of course, has been and always continues to be our greatest moral purpose,” said John Kasich during his second inaugural speech on January 12, 2015.
That same day, Macy’s reported it would be laying off over 100 employees in Ohio. And that was just the beginning. So far this month, Ohio has received WARN notices from five large companies announcing they would be laying off a total of 989 employees in Ohio over the next few months. U.S. Steel plans to layoff the most: 636 USW union workers at its Lorain tubular plant.
“We created the most innovative, economic development approach […]Full Story... →