Posts by: Joseph

Last week the Taliban released Bowe Bergdahl, an Idaho native and sergeant in the United State Army.  He had been their prisoner for five years.  The release was negotiated by the Obama Administration in exchange for the transfer of five Taliban-associated prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar, where they will be held in custody for at least another year.

Initial responses from politicians on both sides of the aisle were very positive.  Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci, for example, tweeted: “So glad to hear that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is coming home safely. He’s a true American hero”.

But it didn’t take long for [...]

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Last month the Cincinnati Enquirer highlighted the growing tension between local law enforcement officials and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office over the AG’s plan to replace the local crime lab in Hamilton County with a new, state-run crime lab in Butler County.

Local law enforcement leaders and the county coroner complained that Mike DeWine had not included them in these discussions.  Emails obtained by Plunderbund confirm this account.

The emails show that county administrators and the AG’s office spent months discussing plans for a regional crime lab in Southwest Ohio without ever consulting local law enforcement, who use the crime lab every day, or the county [...]

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During oral arguments in front of the Ohio Supreme Court last week, lawyers for the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) claimed they couldn’t release the records we requested in 2012 from ODPS Director Tom Charles because terrorists might be able to review the documents and somehow piece together security procedures used to protect Governor Kasich.   But a review of investigation records from 2010 shows that then-Inspector General Tom Charles released many documents detailing actual procedures used by troopers protecting Governor Strickland.   This, we believe, is even more evidence that Kasich’s ODPS team is refusing to honor our request for purely political reasons.

Our Supreme [...]

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Earlier this week I received a mailer from School Choice Ohio, a non-profit that promotes charter schools and private school vouchers.  The mailer discusses Kasich’s new private school voucher program which lets any student in kindergarten or first grade get a voucher to a private school if their family meets certain financial requirements.  The mailer was targeted at me, but used my kid’s name on the mailers.   This freaked me out a little bit.

According to Columbus City Schools, anyone can request information about CCS students from their student directory, this include includes name, address, phone number and even date and place of birth. [...]

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Plunderbund’s public records case against the Kasich Administration took another step forward today when our lawyer, Victoria Ullmann, and lawyers representing the Ohio Department of Public Safety presented oral arguments in front of the Ohio Supreme Court.  Media outlets around the state picked up the story including WOSU , WKSU, the Plain Dealer and even the Dispatch.

The case stems from a record request we made back in 2012 after Kasich’s office refused to release his schedules claiming the governor was receiving “daily” threats.    To verify Kasich’s claims, we requested incident reports from the Ohio Highway Patrol related to [...]

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During one of his taxpayer-funded telephone town halls last night, State Treasurer Josh Mandel told listeners that that when he got elected, he put the salaries of all of his employees online. Like most of Mandel’s claims about transparency in his office, this one is absolutely not true.

A few months after taking office in 2011, Mandel launched his so-called “transparency” website using state salary employee data from the ultra-conservative Buckeye Institute.  For some mysterious reason, information about the salaries of his closest advisers was left off of the site.    As the AP reported, salary data for both Joel Ritter and Scott [...]

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Bruce Nottke, an Athens City School Board member, sent the following letter to nearly every public school superintendent in Ohio. We thought it was worth sharing!

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Fellow Educators,

My name is Bruce Nottke and I am a board member for the Athens City Schools. I am writing to you in regards to my growing concerns about charter schools. My concerns rest not only with the loss of dollars to public schools, but more importantly with the poor quality of education our students receive from many of the charter schools currently operating in Ohio. The businesses that operate most of [...]

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If you still have any doubts about the seriousness and intensity of this year’s batch of statewide Democratic candidates, then you clearly were not at tonight’s Ohio Democratic Party Primary Night celebration with all of Ohio’s statewide candidates (except David Pepper, who was home caring for his new baby).

 

The night was topped off by Ed FitzGerald with the speech we are reprinting below.  As Ed mentioned, we have 181 days to go.  So let’s get to work people!

 

*****REMARKS AS PREPARED*****

First, I want to acknowledge my family and this strong team of Democrats who are running [...]

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On February 25th, 2014 Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released information about voting hours for the November 2014 election.   Husted said would not be allowing any early in-person voting during the evenings or on the two days before the election, and he would not be allowing any early voting on Sundays, the day typically used by African-American churches for their Souls to the Polls GOTV efforts.

Two weeks later, in a clear attempt to quiet the ever-growing chorus of critics accusing Husted of intentionally trying to disenfranchise African-American voters, a number of publications around the state published a guest column by Secretary of [...]

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We just received the audio recording of a GOTV call from Michelle Rhee’s anti-union, anti-teacher, pro-charter school group StudentsFirst.  It appears as though they have a copy of the Ohio voter file, and they are calling voters in Ohio’s 12th State House District in a last-minute push to support State Rep. John Barnes, Jr.

Rhee’s StudentsFirst organization is based in Sacramento, California, but the mailers list a PO Box in Amelia, OH.  According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, StudentsFirst is not an organization registered in Ohio.  Either way, Sacramento and Amelia are both very far from Ohio’s 12th House [...]

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A reader just sent us pictures of three more mailers sent out by Michelle Rhee’s anti-union, anti-teacher, pro-charter school group StudentsFirst.  The mailers support Bill Patmon in tomorrow’s Democratic Primary for Ohio House District 10.

We wrote about the first mailer a few days ago, but this round contains much more nasty content – including one that attacks Patmon’s opponent for an apparent DUI arrest in 2012 because… School Choice… or something.

 

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