Five former Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) employees filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against Brown County Prosecutor Jessica Little and Former Inspector General Tom Charles. The lawsuit stems from an IG investigation initiated by Charles, and charges brought by Little, both of which were politically motivated and eventually dismissed.
The story starts back in 2006 with wildlife officer Allan Wright helping his friend, a wildlife office from another state, get an in-state Ohio hunting license. In the past, this type of reciprocity was common and encouraged. The officer had asked, and received permission from his supervisor [...]Full Story... →
Below is the full prepared text of tonight’s State of the Union Address
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.
An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.
An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars [...]Full Story... →
Dayton Daily News reporters Laura Bischoff and Jackie Borchardt dropped a bombshell about a brewing pay-to-play scandal in Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office in yesterday’s paper.
You can read the full story here if you are a subscriber. If not, here are the bulletpoints:
Mike DeWine loaned his campaign $2 Million dollars in 2010. While many politicians forgive this type of loan, DeWine seems to insist on being paid back. His campaign has returned $1.65 million so far. Meanwhile, 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 [...]Full Story... →
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released data today showing that Ohio’s unemployment rate is now 7.2%. This Dispatch ran this Kasich campaign-approved headline: ”Ohio unemployment drops for second straight month”.
While technically true, it fails to capture the important context, which is that Ohio continues to seriously lag the country in job growth.
While it’s true Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped two points, from 7.4% in November to 7.2% in December, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped three points, from 7.0% to 6.7%, meaning Ohio’s unemployment rate has continued to steadily get worse compared to the national average.
[...]Full Story... →
First Eric Kearney dropped out as Ed FitzGerald’s running mate over tax issues. Then Tea Party Republican Ted Stevenot dropped his bid to challenge Kasich in a primary because his running mate, Brenda Mack, had tax issues. Third Base Politics is now reporting that the Tea Party has another ticket gearing up to face Kasich in a primary, with Dr. Donald Allen of Youngstown as their candidate for Governor and our old friend Kelly Kohls as their Lt. Governor candidate. Would it surprise you at all if I told you Kohls also has financial issues? While Kearney and Mack both have tax [...]Full Story... →
Today the Columbus Dispatch reported that nearly 30% of Ohio’s charter schools have closed or been shut down since Ohio started its charter school experiment in 1997.
The City of Columbus saw a record-breaking 17 charter schools shut down last year for financial mismanagement as well as “health and safety problems — students weren’t getting nutritious lunches, or the buildings were unsanitary.”
Last week we also read two eye-opening letters from former charter school teachers that shine some much-needed light on K12 virtual charter schools and on a chain of charter schools run by a religious group out of Turkey.
The [...]Full Story... →
West Virginia just declared a State of Emergency after up-to 5,000 gallons of a poisonous chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, used for processing coal, was leaked into the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians. According to Reuters, over 700 people have called poison control lines with symptoms, and 70 have showed up at emergency rooms. Residents have been warned against using the water for drinking, bathing or anything short of flushing the toilet.
Back here in Ohio, John Kasich continues to purge Ohio EPA officials who oversee water quality in Ohio, likely at the behest of the coal industry.
First it [...]Full Story... →
We found out earlier this week that Scott Nally, Kasich’s director of the Ohio EPA, resigned abruptly without any explanation.
Kasich appointed Nally in January 2011 and immediately tasked him with making it easier for businesses to get pollution permits from the EPA.
Later that month, Kasich and Nally forced all EPA employees to drive to Columbus to hear Kasich berate them for their lack of commitment and lack of vision. A clip from that event in which Kasich repeatedly called a Columbus Police Officer “an idiot” brought national attention to the new Governor.
By November 2011, [...]Full Story... →
Last month we broke the story about an investigation into Joe Rutherford, Kasich’s ODOT Deputy Director for District 5, that likely lead to his firing. Documents obtained by Plunderbund now confirm that the investigation, conducted by ODOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity, found Rutherford retaliated against a female ODOT employee because of an earlier sexual harassment claim she made against a coworker. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 strictly forbids this type of retaliation.
According to the investigation report, Faith Yarger, a 12 year ODOT employee, made multiple requests to transfer to an ODOT office closer to an ailing family [...]Full Story... →
The New York Times is running a series of video “Retro Reports” where they cover stories from the past, including this one from 1992 in which a 79 year old woman spilled hot coffee on herself and was awarded a large award from a jury.
The first nine minutes of the twelve minute segment discuss how the media misinterpreted and made a joke of the story, even though the women was seriously injured in the incident, receiving burns on 16% of her body, 6% of which were third degree burns. Some were so severe she needed skin grafts to repair [...]Full Story... →
In a year-end appearance hosted by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Republican State Senate President Keith Faber and Governor John Kasich continued to blame Washington for Ohio’s unfortunate economic condition. According to Karen Kasler, Faber told the group that he blamed the “dysfunction in DC for a lot of Ohio’s bad economic headlines”; a rather hilarious statement considering the U.S. economy continues to show strong improvement, while Ohio continues to fall behind.
A report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that Ohio continued to fall behind the other states in November.
[...]Full Story... →