Posts by: Joseph

The ever growing list of problems with recently-privatized food service at Ohio’s prisons should come as no surprise to anyone.  Back in 2001 the same vendor, Aramark, was tasked with feeding inmates at the Noble Correctional Institution.  An audit conducted by then-State Auditor Jim Petro revealed that Aramark failed multiple sanitary inspections and was unable to provide acceptable portion sizes as agreed upon in the contract.  Aramark ended up billing the state for millions of meals it never actually served resulting in $2 Million in over payments being made to the company.  Food service was eventually turned back over [...]

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Yesterday we wrote about the BWC settlement and how David Brennan’s law firm, Brennan, Manna & Diamond, had been paid over $4.5 Million so far to handle the case.   The unbid contract was awarded to Brennan by Mike DeWine, who went to controlling board multiple times to get approval for  the 11 payments ranging from $65,000 to $700,000 over a three year period.

And if we’ve learned anything from the ever-growing pay to play scandal involving AG’s office, law firms don’t get huge unbid contracts from DeWine unless they are huge campaign donors.   Brennan, Manna & Diamond are no [...]

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Mike Gonidakis is the head of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life.  He’s also a lobbyist for at least three law firms actively seeking business with the Ohio Attorney General’s office.   He’s also, thanks to John Kasich, a member of the Ohio Medical Board.

As we recently reported, Gonidakis was one of the special few granted special access by Mike DeWine.  “We need to meet in re gonadakis,” wrote AG DeWine in an email to his staff a few months after taking office.  “He says security firm does have extensive experience.  Please schedule time next week to look at all [...]

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Kasich has not been a friend to Ohio’s public safety workers over the past four years, fire fighters especially.  In 2011, he championed Senate Bill 5, which would have stripped fire fighters of the ability to bargain for salary, safety equipment and staffing levels.   And in his two biennium budgets, Kasich cut over $1.8 Billion to local governments.

These drastic funding cuts have forced many cities and towns to raise local taxes through EMS and fire levies.  Bucyrus, Canton Township, Defiance, Mansfield, Violet Township, Sheffield Lake, Bath Township, Conneuat, Delphos and Moraine all passed new fire levies.  Others weren’t so lucky, like Franklin [...]

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More incriminating evidence surfaced this weekend in Mike DeWine’s ever-growing pay to play scandal when the Dayton Daily News published the results of their investigation into how AG’s office awards lucrative contracts for collections work.   The article provides the most convincing evidence yet that DeWine is personally handing out state work to his friends and donors.

In the most shocking example, “Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine passed over more experienced vendors in favor of a friend’s new collections agency,”  said the paper.   The experienced firm, Value Recovery Group (VRG), had done work for the past five attorneys general and had extensive experience [...]

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By all real measures used by actual economists, Ohio’s job growth stalled two years ago - right about the time that JobOhio, Kasich’s non-transparent and unconstitutional money hole, started handling economic development for the state.

While the U.S. has regained all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, economists calculate that Ohio is still down 139,900 jobs from our pre-recession peak.   Not surprising since Ohio’s job growth has lagged the U.S. average for almost 20 months in a row.

But Kasich isn’t going to let facts get in the way of him continuing to push his Ohio Miracle story.   Especially not [...]

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A new xenophobic petition by Ohio Tea Party groups urges Governor Kasich to fight any attempts by the federal government to use Ohio “as a dumping ground” for “illegals.”

The petition appears to be a response to recent news stories that tens of thousands of children from countries like Honduras and Guatemala are stuck in the US awaiting deportation thanks to a 2008 law signed by George W. Bush.

The Tea Party petition declares that “illegal aliens are being admitted into the United States with contagions” without providing any details or evidence to support the claim. It continues to insist that Ohioans would [...]

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As Mike DeWine’s pay to play scandal continues to unfold, we are seeing new evidence and new stories about the widening scope each week.  This week was no exception…

Back in January we found out that law firms seeking work with the AG’s office have donated $1.3 million to DeWine, the ORP and Mike DeWine’s son, Hamilton County Appellate Court Judge Pat DeWine.    And recently it was revealed that lawyers from firms seeking special counsel work with DeWine have donated over $359,000 to his campaign.

DeWine and his team continue to claim that the contracts are awarded to the best firms, and [...]

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It seems Mike DeWine’s unfolding pay to play scandal hasn’t stopped his closest friends and political allies from holding big dollar fundraisers for his campaign.  Just recently Mike Kiggen, a friend of DeWine’s from his law school days, held a fundraiser that featured some exotic guests.

According to ProgressOhio, Kiggen lobbies on behalf of law firms seeking special counsel work with the AG’s office.  And Kiggen’s fundraiser comes just days after it was revealed that DeWine has no formal process in place for choosing who is awarded lucrative special counsel contracts from his office.  Instead, [...]

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New polling from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows one Democratic statewide candidate leading, and most within a few points of the incumbent Republicans they are trying to oust.

In a PPP poll released today by the Ohio Democratic Party, Connie Pillich leads Josh Mandel in the race for Ohio Treasurer 46% to 43%, with 11% undecided.   Pillich holds decisive leads with women and across all age groups except those 65 and older.   The other races show similar demographic preferences, with Republicans securing the old white male vote, and Democrats winning with younger, female and African American voters.

In the [...]

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John Kasich took to Twitter this afternoon in an attempt to capitalize on the announcement that LeBron James would be returning to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.   Never one to sweat the details, Kasich’s Twitter jockeys didn’t bother to check how LeBron (with a capital B) spells his name or take the time to verify that they were referencing his actual Twitter account.   Instead, they ended up referencing a LeBron James “parody page”.   (James’ real Twitter name is @KingJames).

Here’s the Tweet:

 

 

Then again, John Kasich has never been much of a LeBron James fan.    “I’m [...]

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