So what is a plunderbund? Something you do at kindergarten? The result of too much beer on Oktoberfest?
Plunderbund is a colloquial term stumbled upon by the site founder Eric Vessels in a dictionary word of the day email. It means “political corruption“:
plunderbund – [U.S. colloq.] A corrupt alliance of
political, commercial, and financial interests engaged
in exploiting the public
1914 Voice of People (New Orleans) 8 Jan. 1/1 The
whole force of the Texan plunderbund..are howling at
the heels of the dauntless army of workers.
Liking the sound of it, he checked to see if the domain was available (it was) and plunderbund.com was born! The rest, as they say, is history.
Plunderbund is a political blog focusing on Ohio and national politics. Loyal readers can tell you that we often use humor to make our points, but also do intense research and break news stories as well.
Beginnings – Plunderbund was started by Eric Vessels in November of 2005. In September of 2006, Brian Guilfoos joined Eric. Brian was blogging at another Ohio blog in the 12th Congressional District and decided to join Plunderbund instead of duplicate efforts. Also joining the site in September of 2006 was Joseph Mismas, another Columbus area blogger who met Eric at a Drinking Liberally meet-up.
Transitions – Eric left the blog in September of 2006 to form Progress Ohio with Brian Rothenberg, former Communications Director for the Ohio Democratic Party. After successfully starting up the non-profit, Eric left the organization in January of 2007 due to some business commitments and returned to blog at Plunderbund with Joseph and Brian.
Plunderbund 2.0 – On October 9, 2009, Plunderbund was re-launched with a new WordPress theme and site design. The site also added two of the strongest political voices in Ohio political blogging history. Tim Russo joined the site from Blogger Interrupted and Brian Hester (ModernEsquire) came on board from Buckeye State Blog.
I grew up in Kentucky, just south of Louisville. My political leanings were acquired by observing my grandparents who were jailer and matron of the Brandenburg, KY jail from 1960-1975. Mammy and Pappy were figures in the community and were never shy about voicing political views, arguing with my right leaning step-father for years.? Good natured of course!
Pappy would always watch Meet The Press on Sundays and I would have some idea that it was on and that it was incredibly boring. Once I commented to Mammy that it was boring and that I didn’t “get” politics. She then said something that has stuck with me since: “You better get politics or politics will get you“. I’m sure at the time I blew that off like any 8 year old would. But for some reason I have never forgotten it. Her words became prophetic as in 2004 I observed a 35 year old man whom politics had “got”. That is when I made the decision to get politics.
I debated on a highly ranked two man debate team in high school, went to West Point for a year and a half where I also debated – mostly with myself over whether or not I should be there. After leaving I ended up in a career in the OEM automotive paint industry (big paint shops that paint cars), first as an expert in technical cleaning, then filtration management, and eventually as an independent consultant specializing in paint defect analysis. I am now a part owner and COO of an industry specific online news portal focusing on the commercial printing business.
Joseph has absolutely no background in politics. None whatsoever. He has never volunteered for a campaign, never consulted on a campaign and never done any meaningful work for any political candidate…except that he once helped a friend hang stuff on doors for Barack Obama but spent most of the time looking for a pair of glasses that one of his fellow door hangers lost along the way.
He’s still not sure about his decision to vote for Ross Perot but he is absolutely certain that EVERY American deserves quality health care, a quality education and has the right to love anyone they damn well please.
Educated at The Ohio State University with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2000) from the College of Engineering, and a MA in Public Policy and Management (2014) from the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Brian has a strong interest in civics and public service. As the country has tumbled to the right politically, he has tumbled even further left. A strong believer in “positive liberty” and egalitarianism, if you had to apply a political label to his belief set, “libertarian socialism” might be the most accurate. He’s not afraid to admit a certain attraction to the romanticism of Henry David Thoreau’s brand of anarcho-primitivism – perhaps a bit eccentric for a guy who uses supercomputers daily.
But as long as we live in a world with strong property rights and corporate personhood, he thinks we should have a government strong enough to counter those kinds of powerful interests and look after the commons for The People.
He believes that you can’t change the past, and you have limited influence on the future, so you should largely focus on the present. That’s when everything is happening anyway. He thinks this image is a pretty good summary of the state of things.
He’s kind of a fan of beer.
Greg Mild was claimed by Plunderbund off of waivers in April 2011 in the midst of the Senate Bill 5 debate. Despite some early injuries, Greg has been able to stick with the blog and crank out a post every once in a while, usually about education and containing statistics 93.2% of the time. While it is rumored that Greg was born with a spreadsheet in his right hand and with sarcasm in his blood, the lack of photographic evidence and a definitive DNA test for his sharp tongue prevent him from speculating on the true origins of his personality. Strangers who encounter Greg for the first time are often heard asking, “Are you THE Greg Mild?” But those who know Greg well simply call him “You ass.”
Brian Hester (aka ModernEsquire) – retired
Brian R. Hester, Esq. practices law in SWO Ohio focusing on business litigation. A former district aide to then Congressman Ted Strickland, Brian has also worked for a SEO daily newspaper, and was a former aide in both the Ohio House and Senate leadership offices in the late 90s.
Brian has written as “Modern Esquire” for his self-named blog and also at Buckeye State Blog from 2005 until Nov. 2009.
Brian left Plunderbund to avoid conflicts with a new job in Feb. 2012. He considers himself retired from political blogging.