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 […]Full Story... →
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 […]Full Story... →
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 […]Full Story... →
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 […]Full Story... →
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 […]Full Story... →
David Pepper’s last ad of the Ohio Attorney General’s race attempts to establish a pattern of misogynistic behavior coming out of DeWine’s office. You can see it at the end of this post. It is pretty hard-hitting and, despite protests from the DeWine campaign, absolutely true.
The ad opens with claims that DeWine improperly failed to prosecute three witnesses to the now-infamous Steubenville rape. DeWine spokesperson Ryan Stubenrauch called the accusation”blatantly false.” But as we reported in January, DeWine came into the Steubenville case with the belief that “observers of a crime aren’t always legally obliged to intervene” – a belief that is, well, blatantly false.
[…]Full Story... →
You never know what you’ll find when you open up your letterbox tomorrow…
Today, for example, we found a letter from the Northeast Ohio Media Group, AKA the Cleveland Plain Dealer, again insisting we take down a short video clip from NEO Media Group’s editorial interview with John Kasich and Ed FitzGerald. The entire video had originally been posted online, but was mysteriously and abruptly taken down. NEO Media Group has so far provided no information as to why the video was removed.
Like the email we received earlier this week, the letter was sent by Chris Quinn, […]Full Story... →
The Northeast Ohio Media Group and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland put together a voter survey this year, sending questionnaires to each campaign and posting the responses for each race on their website. The candidate questionnaires for Ohio Governor covered topics including taxes, same-sex marriage, gun laws, right-to-work and job growth. The FitzGerald campaign used the opportunity to share Ed’s views with the voters. The Kasich campaign refused to answer the questionnaire.
For example, when candidates were asked if Ohio should “become a right-to-work state,” FitzGerald answered “Absolutely not.” “Kasich’s signature “right to work” legislation, SB 5, would have […]Full Story... →
Yesterday the Cleveland Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group removed a video they had previously published online. The video showed the paper’s 40+ minute joint editorial board interview with Kasich, FitzGerald and Green Party Candidate Anita Rios. In the video, we got to see FitzGerald fired-up and on message while Kasich slumped in his chair, refused to acknowledge the other candidates and ignored repeated attempts by PD staff to answer even basic questions about his policies and programs.
We felt the video was important and so, after they removed it, we posted a short clip of it online. Today we […]Full Story... →
The closest thing Ohioans got to a televised debate int this year’s race for Ohio governor was a video posted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The PD recorded their joint editorial board interview with John Kasich, Ed FitzGerald and Green Party Candidate Anita Rios and posted it online.
In the video, we got to see FitzGerald fired-up and on message while Kasich slumped in his chair, refused to acknowledge the other candidates and ignored repeated attempts by PD staff to answer even basic questions about his policies and programs.
If you wondered why Kasich rejected multiple debate offers from FitzGerald this […]Full Story... →