Over the past year, job growth has nearly ground to a halt here in Ohio.  From January through August 2014, Ohio gained only 5,289 jobs according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .  Ohio ranks near the bottom in job growth nationwide.  And while the U.S. has recovered all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, Ohio, under the leadership of John Kasich, is still down over 213,000 jobs.

And whose fault is it?  John Kasich?  Mark Kvamme? JobsOhio?

Well, if you believe a new mailer being circulated by the Kasich campaign, then the blame falls solely [...]

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When you go to the polls this year, I suggest you ask yourself—-which side is a candidate on?

Educating our students is the most important investment we can make in our future.  We need to elect leaders who will make public education a priority.  The election is happening now!  Early and absentee voting has already started.  As educators, we are keenly aware that we are electing our bosses—officials influence what happens in our schools and classrooms, so the midterm elections are very important for education voters.

When education voters  do not participate in elections, we do not get pro-public education [...]

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The plucky group of weatherization advocates who spoke with reporters Tuesday morning said that Ohio homes that can benefit from weatherization savings far outnumber the federal and utility dollars in the pipeline to help low-income households keep their combined housing and utility costs under 30 percent, a key standard of housing affordability.

Energy experts representing a progressive economic think tank, a service group that caters to low-income households and an environmental advocacy group made their case that Ohio’s Home Weatherization Assistance Program results in home energy cost savings of over 20 percent on average, making it one of the [...]

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The Pillars of Democracy Are Not Subject To Debate
by Tom Letson


“We the People,” that’s the way the United States Constitution Preamble starts. Since the founding of this great country we have been defining and broadening just who “We the People” are. While we have expanded the circle of “We the People” we have also expanded the protections that our Constitution guarantees.

The hallmark of our constitutional protections is the Fourteenth Amendment. Contained in that is the Equal Protection Clause. That short statement allows our citizens to rely on our courts to treat each one of us as [...]

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Wall Street can pay for the Bridge

by Marek Tyszkiewicz

Elections are job interviews and one of the best interview questions I’ve heard so far in this election is “How would you fund the bankrupt Highway Trust Fund?”

The Highway Trust Fund is a critical source of financing for infrastructure projections across the country. The Association of Civil Engineers gave our nation’s infrastructure a grade of D+. We know it’s bad when pieces of the Brent Spence Bridge fall off and crush cars parked for Bengals games like happened in Cincinnati last month. Money to fix the bridge will likely [...]

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Over the past few years, conservative activists have been quietly and diligently working to take control of local and state school boards around the country.  Ohio is no exception.  John Kasich used his position as Governor to pack Ohio’s State Board of Education with social conservatives and pro-charter activists.    Board member Cathye Smith Flory, for example, believes all kids in public schools should be taught about creationism.  Debe Terhar, the outgoing board president, compared Obama to Hitler on her Facebook page.  And Mark Smith, who also serves as president of Ohio Christian University, claimed Ohio-born novelist Toni Morrison should be banned for her [...]

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It’s been a dreary election season, folks. No debates that invited the public to see the contestants going at it eye-to-eye. No gubernatorial contest. Gov. Kasich shoveling soil in his confident high definition mode as though he were needlessly digging up more campaign cash. The media in Cleveland, Akron and Columbus tacking, as always, to Republican candidates. Inventive endorsements that pardon their choices for glaring flaws. Not a good election season all around.

A prime exhibit was the odd word salad in which the Beacon Journal endorsed Republican Ohio House member Anthony DeVitis over his Democratic opponent, Paula Prentice, a [...]

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When the Ohio General Assembly passes legislation regarding education-related policies, most of the components direct the State School Board to interpret and implement the changes.  As a result, electing members that truly support public education is an important and often overlooked step that Ohioans can take to help to ensure that public schools have the best advocates making these decisions.

This year, there are seven seats up for election that have pro-public education advocates that we recommend.  State Board races are “non-partisan”, so those who vote based on party affiliation can’t simply tell who supports their ideals by simply looking at the ballot.

Here [...]

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VIDEO: John Kasich – Teamwork?

On October 11, 2014 By

John Kasich’s latest campaign ad is titled “Teamwork“.  This November, Ohio’s workers have a chance to show the Governor what REAL Teamwork looks like in Ohio . . . again.



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When somebody mentions that John Kasich wants to cut the income tax rate, let’s try to remember that a more forthright governor, Democrat Jack Gilligan, daringly laid a new income tax at the wallet of every Ohio voter.

“If you don’t want an income tax,” Gilligan warned during his 1970 campaign, “vote for the other guy.” He won anyway, defeating Roger Cloud, and forcefully promoted the 1971 measure that earned him the title of “Father of the Ohio Income Tax”. The voters upheld the tax in a 1972 referendum, proving there are things that concern them more than Republican guff [...]

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The Reynoldsburg Education Association (REA) agreed to contract terms with the school board yesterday after conceding significant amounts in compensation, but breaking through on getting class size “caps” into the contract.  The “caps” aren’t exactly great, but they now exist and can be bargained more in the future.  The inclusion of these “soft caps” also puts the onus on Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning to put “her money where her mouth is” and ensure that class sizes are managed appropriately and parents’ concerns are heard.

Speaking of money . . . Thomas-Manning got in one final shot at the teachers today [...]

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