Posts by: Joseph

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 […]

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“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 […]

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Ohio Republicans made a big stink about Cuyahoga County not releasing key-card data that would show when Executive Ed FitzGerald entered and left county property and the county parking garage.   Officials denied the request by the Cleveland Plain Dealer citing security concerns.   Those records were released yesterday by new County Executive Armond Budish to a collective yawn.

Now it’s time for John Kasich to do the same.

Last year both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Plunderbund asked for records of John Kasich’s key-card swipes and garage access, and we were told that the records “don’t exist” by both the Department of Administrative […]

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From Leader To Loser: How Ohio Became The First State To Rollback Clean Energy Progress, And How It’S Already Hurting Us
By Trish Demeter

Few stories are as exciting and frustrating as the story about Ohio’s Clean Energy Law. This story begins in 2008, when the bipartisan framers of Ohio’s Clean Energy Law very consciously set a course for a cleaner electric sector that used energy generation and management as an economic development tool.

The vision of Ohio Senate Bill 221 was to gradually grow the diversity of our energy mix, reduce energy waste and inefficiencies, clean up the […]

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Throughout Plunderbund’s nearly decade-long run, we’ve been proud of our ability to break the news, make the news and, when necessary, correct or criticize the “news” being generated by Ohio’s large, legacy media outlets.

This year was no exception…

 

First Some Good News Coverage From Around Ohio

We don’t always get credit for breaking stories, being first out of the gate or influencing media coverage and the stories of other reporters, even though we make an extra effort in our coverage to ensure we are giving credit where credit it due. Still, there were a number of exceptions this year…

The Canton […]

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Of all the 2014 races, the contest for Ohio Attorney General, AKA: DeWine vs Pepper, ended up generating the most original reporting on Plunderbund.

We unveiled copies of emails showing that DeWine gave unparalleled and likely unethical/possibly illegal access to big donors.   We posted exclusive video from a DeWine fundraiser featuring a lemur wearing a diaper.  And we revealed new information about pay-to-play scandals, fake police officer photos and sexual harassment cover-ups.

Richard Michael “Mike” DeWine may have won the general election for Ohio Attorney General, but Plunderbund readers with an eye for original reporting and snarky commentary were clearly the big winners in the Ohio […]

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It’s time to kickoff our series of year-in-review posts for 2014, and this year we have a lot to cover.  In the past 12 months millions of PB readers have viewed thousands of posts thanks to some wonderful new talent we added to our roster.  Together we broke national news stories, uncovered corruption and ethical violations in government, lead the charge against attacks on labor, kept Ohio’s mainstream media in check and influenced state and local policy discussions.

2014 kept our team of regular writers busy conducting exclusive interviews, reporting on important political events, doing in-depth analysis, providing snarky commentary and fighting with […]

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Below you will find the answers to the Thanksgiving political puzzle. Congrats to Bethe, Robert, Fred and Kathy, the first four readers to submit correct answers for the puzzle.

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Two years ago we broke the story about Jim Leftwich, John Kasich’s third development director, illegally running a private consulting company while working as an “economic development adviser to Governor John Kasich.”    Records showed that Leftwich was consulting for Wright State University while receiving a state salary and also that he was using his connections at the state to secure and maintain those consulting contracts.

On October 24, 2014, Leftwich cut a deal with the Ohio Ethics Commission, admitting to the ethics violation and paying a large fine “in lieu of a referral of this matter to the local prosecuting attorney.” According to the settlement […]

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We just found out that Shannon Jones, chair of the Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee, is refusing to hear testimony on confirmation hearings for Rick Hodges, John Kasich’s unqualified appointee for director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Kasich made the announcement back in August and we quickly pointed out that Hodges, the former head of the Ohio Turnpike, was statutorily unqualified for the position.  Ohio law requires the director be a medical doctor or have extensive public health experience.  Hodges has neither.  He then tried to cover for the lack of experience by updating his LinkedIn profile to include the word […]

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Today the Columbia Journalism Review joined MSNBC, Talking Points Memo and a dozen other news outlets in criticizing the NEO Media Group/Plain Dealer for removing a video of John Kasich acting like a spoiled child during an editorial interview.  NEO Media Group later sent us a nasty letter threatening to sue us for posting clips from the interview after they removed it.  You can still watch those clips here.

Interestingly, this is not the first time a major news outlet in Ohio has bowed to pressure from an incumbent Republican office holder to remove some previously published […]

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