Posts by: ModernEsquire

When P.G. Sittenfeld all but admitted that he lied to multiple senior Ohio Democratic Party leaders, elected officials, and activists that he would support Ted Strickland and drop out of the race if Strickland got in, some dismissed it as such “inside baseball” that it wouldn’t really hurt Sittenfeld to backtrack on his word with so many high profile Democrats (including Governor Strickland himself.)  When Sittenfeld’s publicly touted hire of a campaign manager walked off the job after only two months,  Sittenfeld’s campaign initially tried to play it off as all part of the plan (despite […]

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When Jim Ruvolo became the Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, Ohio Democrats had long held the majority in the Ohio House and a monopoly in all the Statewide offices, except Governor, since the early 1970s.  Dick Celeste had already defeated Jim Rhodes’ attempt to seek a third consecutive term in the midst of a recession that sent Ohio’s unemployment rate skyrocketing (he was elected while Paul Tipps was Chair, not Ruvolo).  Ohio had two well-established Democratic incumbents in the U.S Senate.   Celeste would win re-election in 1986 and the party was well situated with statewide officers to hold […]

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In August 2013, the Kasich Administration announced it was hiring David Hansen for the newly created position in the Ohio Department of Education to be  the “state’s first executive director for the office of quality school choice and funding. The position comes with an annual salary of $105,000.”  The position was intended to improve the Ohio Department of Education’s oversight of charter schools and make them more accountable after a decade of nationally embarrassing headlines that Republican Administrations routinely ignored in favor of large campaign donations from executives of White Hat Management.

If Hansen’s name rings a bell, […]

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It’s kind of crazy to think that the 2016 election is already a year away, and we’re already seeing multiple polls in the U.S. Senate race before the second campaign finance deadline (and six months before the candidates can even file petitions to get on the ballot).  Two days ago, Public Policy Polling (D) released a poll showing incumbent freshman Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman with a narrow, two-point lead against former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland (43%/41%).  Unlike an earlier Quinnipiac Poll, which showed Strickland attracting more Republican crossover votes than Portman attracting Democrats, PPP showed the opposite with […]

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This is the true story of how John Kasich and JobsOhio got one of its own inaugural board members fired and left Ohio taxpayers with giving the company an $8 million subsidy to boast the stock price to benefit a Swedish billionaire.

In 2011, first term Governor John Kasich was desperate to change the subject.  In the first year of his term, Kasich already had approval ratings in the mid-30s after picking a fight he couldn’t win against working families with SB 5, a bill that would have essentially eliminated the right of police officers, firefighters, teachers, and government workers […]

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In the last forty years, you cannot name a candidate with as thin of a resume to run for U.S. Senate in Ohio as P.G. Sittenfeld.  Even Josh Mandel had served several terms in the Ohio House of Representatives and was elected (the year before) State Treasurer before running.  Even George Voinovich had served as Mayor of Cleveland for 8 years before his ill-fated bid in 1988.

Sittenfeld recently gave a speech at the Ohio Statehouse, an august Greek Revival building designed to give gravitas to someone… who has never served a second in the Statehouse, to declare, yet again, that […]

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P.G. Sittenfeld had a promising career ahead of him in the Ohio Democratic Party.  But Sittenfeld is running an inept and directionless campaign that is quickly racking up more problems at a faster rate than Ed FitzGerald did.  If Sittenfeld wanted to raise his profile with this Senate primary bid, he’s clearly started to burn under the glare of the spotlight.

Sittenfeld’s week began with an admission that his much-touted hire of a campaign manager had already left the campaign weeks ago.  The campaign tried to play it off as if the manager had never truly intended to […]

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On Monday, we covered (as apparently several national outlets did) how the claim that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is the same as the federal and state versions in 18 other states was grossly inaccurate because Indiana’s statute includes an expansive provision that allows it to be used in private lawsuits (where the government is not a party) without exempting the statute from applying to civil rights/anti-discrimination laws (like in Texas). In short, the oft-cited claim by defenders of Indiana law was that it was no different than what President Clinton signed is simply a lie.

Another claim, […]

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Two Oregon men belonging to a Native American church were terminated from their jobs in violation of the employer’s drug policies because they had consumed peyote, a hallucinogenic substance that is consumed in accordance with Native American spiritual practices. The men took the case to the United States Supreme Court to argue that their termination and subsequent denial of unemployment compensation violated their First Amendment freedom of religion rights as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. In what was essentially a 6-3 judgment against the men, the Court held the prohibition against consuming peyote was generally applied […]

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[Disclosure:  I worked for then-Congressman Ted Strickland and lived down the street from the Stricklands growing up and I make no bones about supporting Ted Strickland’s Senate bid.]

As it relates to a possible Senate primary between former Congressman and Governor Ted Strickland and two-term Cincinnati councilperson P.G. Sittenfeld, I’ve heard a vocal minority of Democrats wave the 2014 elections as evidence of why we must have a primary.  Here’s why this thinking is completely wrong, and if anything, the opposite is true.  At least, once it became clear Strickland entered the race.  The argument is based on the notion that the […]

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Today, Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Warren County Commissioners (all Republicans) filed suit in federal court in Columbus in yet-another constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act.  Specifically, the suit challenges a fee on State and local governments (and most private companies) health insurance benefit plans authorized by the ACA to fund the reinsurance pool which stabilizes health insurance premiums on the exchange in case insurers projections of health claims is off as a result of those who had been denied insurance for pre-existing conditions become insured.

Stephen Koff, the Washington Bureau Chief of the Northeast Ohio […]

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