Yesterday, Governor Kasich signed a bill restoring four “calamity days” to schools while surrounded by school kids. Kasich made a very big deal to point out to the kids that, thanks to him, they wouldn’t have to do extra homework or miss out on vacations. But, in actual fact, that is not at all the case.

While the headlines claim the bill gives districts “four more” calamity days (the law already excuses up to five snow days per year), there’s a catch:

to use the extra calamity days, schools must first make up four other snow days, such as by [...]

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The comfort zones of Fox News host Neil Cavuto and John Kasich overlapped this week with one more installment of the network’s ongoing effort  to launch the Ohio governor as its presidential candidate of choice.

Although Kasich has coyly dismissed talk  of a national candidacy at the top of the Republican ticket, it has not discouraged Cavuto and other foxy talking heads from celebrating  the network’s former news host as the GOP’s compelling go-to guy in the already heaviliy forested field of presidential candidates.  Besides, the governor is is hardly a Gen. Sherman when it comes to presidential ambition.

Fox has [...]

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has never met a dubious legal argument he won’t commit Ohio to defend. He even goes out of his way to join in cases where Ohio has no compelling interest to go.

The most recent example is the amicus brief he wrote on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga. In fact he’s listed as lead attorney for the 19 other GOP-led states that have joined to protect the conservative religious liberty of persecuted corporations.

Like his fight to prevent a married gay couple from having a spouse listed on a death certificate, DeWine [...]

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Last week State Rep Andrew Brenner published an article titled “Public education in America is socialism, what is the solution?” on his wife’s Brenner Brief blog.   Brenner opened his article quoting the definition of socialism from Wikipedia, explained how this applies to public schools, and then went on to offer his solution to “the problem.” ”We need to do something that was done about 25 years ago in the former Soviet Union and eastern bloc,” Brenner wrote.  ”Sell off the existing buildings, equipment and real estate to those in the private sector. ”

Brenner argued that we need to “privatize everything”. [...]

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Senate Bill 229, the bill designed to provide reasonable changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES), passed unanimously through the Ohio Senate back in December.  Today, a substitute version of the bill was introduced in the House Education Committee that completely overhauled the existing version of the legislation.  The version of SB 229 that we have been reporting on is no longer recognizable in the new House version.

The full text of the new SB229 isn’t available in its entirety, but we have obtained a document from the Legislative Service Commission that details the many modifications introduced [...]

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Now that first-tier dead-ender  Donald Rumsfeld   has expressed his preference for a “trained ape” over President Obama on foreign policy (read: everything with Obama’s name on it), there’s word that Republican planners  with wide experience as GOP congressional zookeepers have moved into Dick Cheney’s old underground  cave in Pennsylvania to train an ape to give the keynote speech at the next  presidential  convention.  As one trainer put it: “After much discussion on how to electrify the crowd with a Palin-type Mama Grizzly, we decided to go with upgrading someone from  the army of trained apes that we do [...]

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In an earlier Cookbook story we discussed howMike Gonadakis, head of Ohio Right to Life, used the influence of his anti-abortion organization to support Mike DeWine in his campaign for AG.   Once DeWine was elected, DeWine granted Gonadakis special access to himself and his top staff, enabling Gonadakis to grow his lobbying business.

Last week, ProgressOhio revealed that a similar arrangement seems to exist between DeWine and Phil Burress, head of the anti-LGBT group Citizens for Community Values (CCV).

After spending years criticizing DeWine for being too liberal, Burress and CCV suddenly changed their tune and publicly endorsed [...]

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Ohio Senate Bill 229, a bill designed to modify the new teacher evaluation system in Ohio, has finally made it back to the agenda of the House Education Committee. Despite passing 33-0 in the Ohio Senate in early December and being assigned to the House Education Committee on December 10, Chairman Gerald Stebelton delayed bringing it to his committee for consideration until February 12.

Now, six weeks later, the bill has slowly crept back on the agenda for the March 26 committee meeting.  According to the Education Committee notice, the bill will still not be up for a vote [...]

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Mitch McConnell’s Alley Oop Act

On March 22, 2014 By

Did you happen to see the campaign  photo of a befuddled  Mitch McConnell brandishing a gun?  It had the chilling appearance of a modern-day Alley Oop ambling out of a cave with his life-threatening  cudgel. But the Senate minority leader isn’t trying to sell tourism for this  state’s Mammoth Cave. No sirree.  He’s hoping to sell himself to the gun lobby and its well-stocked bluegrass militia.  Besides,  he’s in his sixth year of fulfilling his sorehead  pledge to destroy Barack Obama.

Mitch is the poster pol for blemished but still unfinished business.

McConnell is in a tough race  that could cost the [...]

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Since the early days of the Kasich administration, the governor’s office has maintained a secret contact list containing the private phone numbers and email addresses of Kasich’s staff.  Everyone from mail clerks to Kasich’s chief-of-staff are included.  The governor’s office has refused to release the latest, unredacted copy of the document.

Back in December we asked for the latest version of the internal contact list and we were provided with a heavily redacted pdf file that was stamped CONFIDENTIAL and DO NOT DISTRIBUTE.    The redactions included all of the personal phone numbers and email addresses.  No reason was given [...]

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Our public schools are under vicious attack – oddly, by the state representative elected from Delaware County. In two recent Dispatch columns, Rep. Andrew Brenner is quoted condemning public education as “socialism,” and advocating that all public schools be sold off to for-profit investors. He went on to state that Ohio should model this privatization on the example of the sale of government assets following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Brenner’s statements are both ridiculous and ignorant, and especially dangerous because he is empowered to make laws and policies concerning our children’s schools. Working their anti-school agenda, he and [...]

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