Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kasich-Taylor Plan to Sell Off Parts of Ohio

* Mary Taylor, Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, has some new ideas on the Ohio Lottery.  Can you guess what it is?  I'll give you a hint---- the Kasich-Taylor campaign hates regulations.

Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor says the Ohio Lottery Commission is well managed but could be improved if it trimmed some staff and offices and were free of some legislative oversight...

In the 131-page performance audit, Taylor also recommends that the governor and legislature try to reorganize the lottery to give it "at least a modicum of exemption" from state administrative rule-making requirements. 

By becoming a quasi-public corporation, the lottery would better be able to "react to changing market and implement legislatively-authorized on-line and instant games in a more timely fashion," Taylor said...

Do you like that phrase "quasi-public corporation" that Taylor mentions?  That means that some private company, preferably a Republican pal of Kasich's, can help run the Ohio Lottery and steal take some of the profits that go to schools.

I've got to hand it to Kasich and Taylor.  They continue to roll out their "plans" to privatize, sell off, re-organize, and remove people and regulations.  Why do they hate Ohio?

I can see the newspaper ad now:

Buy a piece of Ohio's government.
Contact Kasich-Taylor.  {Preferential treatment given to Republican contributors and pals from Kasich's Lehman 
Brothers days.}

(clipart: Cityblock.biz)

The Kasich-Taylor team have already presented us with ideas that (1) mirror Strickland's regulation reforms already in place, (2) turn governmental departments over to a private group with members handpicked by Kasich and with the ability to give themselves bonuses, (3) create a "quasi-public" lottery entity and remove governmental oversight (that means that the profits would have to be split with the corporation/company that partners with the state.), (4) layoff tens of thousands of state workers.

Give these Republicans a few more days and they'll come up plans to sell the Ohio Turnpike, the Ohio State Fair, parts of the state park system, an idea to cut all state funding for schools, an idea to cut public school teachers' salaries, and a proposal to privatize all the state pension plans to some old pals from Lehman.

Everybody is Talking....

****  I was just wondering when Republican Steve Stivers, a former bank lobbyist, will start talking about his ties to big banks, cutting Social Security, his protests against raising the Ohio minimum wage, his work against consumer protection, his vote against stem cell research, and his views on abortion (Is Stivers for or against reproductive freedom? --- sometimes he is - sometimes he isn't).  Has John Boehner taken him under his wing since so many people are saying that he is Boehner's protege????  Has Boehner introduced him to all his lobbyist buddies?


*On the Today Show this morning, they did a report of scams.  I immediately thought of Republican candidate for governor, John Kasich.  Why?  Kasich used his familiarity with people in Ohio to arrange introductions to get Ohio pension funds to invest in Lehman Brothers.  This schmoozing by Kasich cost the Ohio pension funds the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Those within the pension plans that defend Kasich today are holdovers from the Taft administration.  (Speaking of holdovers from the Taft administration:  Why are there so many unqualified Republicans in managerial jobs within the Ohio Department of Transportation?????)

Kasich wants you to believe that he will bring jobs back to Ohio, even though his primary purpose is to get his rich Republican friends on his cockamamie "private" Development Board, of which only he would control.  His proposal is not even within the boundaries of the Ohio Constitution. As Kasich continues to defend his plan to eliminate the Ohio Department of Development, he even hinted that members of his personally picked board could get bonuses. (Do you remember when Republican Secretary of State illegally gave his staff bonuses? See resource #1, #2, #3 )

Time and time again, while Kasich was in Congress, he voted for tax cuts and tax loopholes that benefited the wealthy Republican supporters. Kasich repeatedly pushed for cuts to programs that he thought were irrelevant: cuts in programs designed to help low and middle income families/individuals, cuts in job training, elimination of the departments of health/energy/education, etc.  (For more on Kasich's previous budget cutting plans see cbpp.org and their second report cbpp.org#2 for details.)

In the Beacon Journal, Kasich is taken to task for duplicating and perhaps even copying what Gov. Strickland has already done.  Stickland's plan was called ''Common Sense Business Regulation.''  Kasich calls his plan on cutting regulations "The Common Sense Initiative."  Is Kasich capable of thinking on his own????

The Beacon Journal goes on and says:
...In 2006, Ted Strickland campaigned making the same pledge. (What recent candidate for governor, or almost any other statewide office, hasn't promised to pare back the bureaucracy?) Almost from the start of his term, Strickland launched Advantage Ohio, part of a broader effort to improve the performance of government. In February 2008, Advantage Ohio resulted in an executive order setting in motion a comprehensive review of state regulations, especially those affecting business....

....Which raises a telling point: If Strickland identified the problem, and now Kasich wants to take his shot, what did Republicans do for the 14 years they commanded the Statehouse? In view of the regular Republican cudgeling of big government, you would think every last wicked rule had been axed or repaired. Finally, when lawmakers took aim at codifying the Strickland plan, their effort collapsed, the Democratic House and Republican Senate unable to reach agreement on legislation. Which left Ted Strickland alone to fight this good fight....

I wonder how many individual retirees and investors lost money in Lehman Brothers???? By the way, how many former Taft employees work on the pension fund boards are covering up for Kasich and his Lehman Brothers investment disaster????????

Monday, August 30, 2010

Republicans: Proposing Disaster

* I cannot believe that Republican Mike DeWine is running for office again.  I guess he didn't get the message the last time he ran for the U.S. Senate when he was soundly defeated. (There was lots of talk about how Mike DeWine got to run for this statewide office.  Some say that Mike DeWine only got the Republican nod because his relative, Kevin DeWine, is the Chair of the Ohio GOP.  Looks like some good old fashioned Republican nepotism.)  Mike DeWine was a big supporter of President George W. Bush's policies. Here is a picture from the DeWine political album:

Mike DeWine and best friend, President George W. Bush. Are they laughing about all their free trade agreements that sent tens of thousands of Ohio jobs to China? 

 Mike DeWine gave our jobs away because of his support of free trade policy.  Mike DeWine voted for all the free trade bills that came his way (see OnTheIssues), and he voted with Bush over 92% of the time.  There was a lot of controversy over DeWine's poor attendance on the Senate Intelligence Committee when he served in the Senate (see C &L).  You'd think that a Senator would jump at the chance to serve on such an important committee and be interested in participating in the discussions involving our national security. Others have accused Mike DeWine of  being a "rubber stamper" for Bush policies and of being lazy.

**** Did you ever hear Kasich say he worked in a "two man office in Columbus" when he worked for the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers?  Would you like to see a picture of Kasich sitting in his Lehman office in New York City?  Check this link .

>>>>  Here is a very scary thought:  Dick Morris, according to TPM, gives a suggestion to Republicans:

Republican pollster Dick Morris told conservative political activists that newly elected Republicans should shut down the government next year. Morris said the party must elect lawmakers who will stand up and say "No" to President Obama's requests for more government spending and predicted a repeat of how Republicans forced a shutdown under President Clinton after they won control of Congress.

"There's going to be a government shutdown, just like in '95 and '96 but we're going to win it this time and I'll be fightin' on your side," Morris said at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation Conference on Friday in Washington.

Now, that's not exactly campaign trail material, but it's a fascinating glimpse into what Republicans may put into action should they win back control of Congress....

Now you have it---- The do-nothing, Republican Party will no doubt close down government again, if they follow the suggestion of  Dick "Toes" Morris.

(TalkingPointsMemo explains what happened when the GOP shut down the federal government in the '90's.)

***  This was just talked about on the Rachel Maddow Show: NJ Gov. Chris Christie and the "Race to the Top" Disaster

It looks like Christie screwed up on the application for the federal government's "Race to the Top" grant project for education.

...But on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education released a video of that presentation that showed neither Schundler nor the other four people from New Jersey's delegation were able to come up with the information for the correct budget years.

Before the video was released, Christie had said he would not fire anyone over a paperwork mistake made by a "midlevel" staffer.

It's still unclear how the error was made. The New Jersey Teachers Association produced a version as of May 27 of the bungled answer — from a draft including compromises later jettisoned — that included information for the correct budget years. The NJEA said the paper proved the administration had changed it in the process of re-writing the application to take out the compromises with the state's largest teachers union, which has been Christie's most vocal combatant during his first year as governor. The application was submitted June 1....

Here is a link to the video that shows that New Jersey had an opportunity to adjust/fix their application mistakes: video

*****  TheHuffingtonPost:

While many House Republicans in leadership positions have shied away from embracing Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) controversial budget proposal, a handful of GOP congressional candidates are doing so while campaigning in their districts to the party faithful.
Ryan is the top Republican on the House Budget Committee and set to become chairman if his party wins back control of Congress in November. Ryan claims that his Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2010 would eliminate the long-term budget deficit. It includes sharp cuts in just about all government spending -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, education, the FBI, etc.

With so many top Republicans reluctant to name any painful spending cuts they would push in order to reduce America's deficit, it's not surprising that they have therefore been reluctant to endorse Ryan's "Roadmap." So far, there are just 13 co-sponsors to his plan....

Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress has more on Ryan's plan, which is described this way---

 Paul Ryan has gone where I thought no Republican would dare to tread and put out an alternative budget proposal that would, in fact, balance the budget over the long term. Part of the program is draconian real cuts in all domestic programs—less money for Pell Grants, less money for local schools, less money for the FBI, less money for job training, less money for National Institutes of Health research, less money for food stamps, etc. And part of the program is cuts in Social Security...
..In other words, Ryan is proposing to ration care for seniors.... 

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan wants to throw Grandma and Grandpa out on the street, and cut everything that helps improve our lives ---  college grants, job training, education, health and safety protection, etc., etc. 

Don't say I didn't warn you!!!!!!

Stivers On the Issues

> Some anti-abortion voters are confused about Republican congressional candidate, Steve Stivers, a former bank lobbyist, and his support for abortion.  Stivers is for abortions, but only sometimes.  Most anti-abortion voters want a hard line against all abortions.

Dispatch :

...Stivers has described his position on abortion as "middle ground": supporting the basic right, while outlawing late-term abortions and strengthening parental-notification requirements....

This kind of position on abortion will make some of those supporting the Right to Life platform question if Stivers should get their vote.  David Ryon is the only candidate running for Ohio's 15th district that is against all abortions.

> What kind of lobbying did Stivers do when he worked for Bank One as a lobbyist?  Time has the answer:

....Stivers spent seven years advocating looser bank regulation as a lobbyist for the former Bank One, a longtime corporate powerhouse in Columbus that is now part of banking giant JPMorgan Chase....

 "...looser bank regulation...."   Oh.  Now I see why we had all the bank failures and other banking problems!!!!!  Stivers has said he would have voted against the recent bank reform bill. This is important to know because without reform, the banks would have just continued to rip off the public.

> Stivers has not come out against Social Security privatization.  In fact, he has refused to sign a statement that he would protect Social Security. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

>  Stivers has really come out against the environment.  For many voters, especially younger voters, the environment is a top issue.  Firedoglake has the dirty details about Stivers:

.....Stivers doesn’t just stop at opposing clean energy and climate legislation, he also “disagree[s]” with the statement, “Man-made global warming is a scientific fact and immediate action to lower CO2 emissions is necessary to prevent an environmental catastrophe.” And, if denying the unassailable science behind climate change wasn’t enough, Stivers also opposes our right to hold the government accountable in court for protecting our public health and environment. 

Stivers’ strong anti-environmental views are not so surprising when you consider the sources of his campaign cash, such as oil and coal services giant Koch Industries, Murray Energy and Rep. Joe Barton’s Texas Freedom PAC. What’s wrong with these companies and PACs? 

Koch Industries is privately owned by Charles and David Koch, who, according to Greenpeace, have “quietly funneled [$50 million] to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming.” Robert Murray, the head of Murray Energy, is an outspoken climate denier, who said in testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee that global warming is “one of the biggest con jobs in the history of the Republic.” Murray continued to criticize the legacy of Rachel Carson, saying that “She and her environmental followers killed millions of human beings around the World with the ban on DDT.” Murray concluded by claiming that climate change legislation will “result in no environmental benefit.” Finally, the Texas Freedom PAC is headed by Joe Barton, who infamously apologized to BP, and who also called the BP escrow fund that will pay businesses that lost money because of the Gulf disaster a “$20 billion shakedown.”

OMG! Stivers has really attracted the donations of major polluters.  Has he promised them that he'd work against clean energy and environmental regulations????  I'm just asking.


Protect the Environment?????

Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15th) has been recognized by several organizations that support pro-environment issues. Here are just a couple of recent news pieces about Kilroy's exemplary work on environmental concerns:

Rachelsactionnetwork.orgOn Environmental Issues
Mary Jo believes Ohio should be a leader in renewable energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to create jobs. In her first term, she earned a 100 percent environmental voting record from the League of Conservation Voters and has been endorsed by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. 

Even with the challenges in Washington there can be some progress on the Green Building front.  In that regard, on February 24th the US Green Building Council released its “Top 10 List”of legislation and pending legislation in an effort to highlight areas of agreement (and potential agreement) that can positively impact the real estate community – buildings – and their impact on the environment...
  • The Energy Efficiency Modernization Act of 2009 – Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio)...

Those people that care about the environment continue to support Kilroy over her opponent, Stivers, a former bank lobbyist.  There is an ad in today's Dispatch sponsored by the NRDC and the Blue Green Alliance which points out that Stivers wants to block clean energy jobs, which will result in those jobs being shipped to China.

****  By now you know of Republican John Kasich's ideas about trickle down economics (give tax cuts to the rich and the middle class might get a drop of relief), and his "free trade" support.  Here is an ad that shows how Kasich's support of "free trade" legislation cost us jobs: (YouTube)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why do Republicans push the Rasmussen Polls?

....Reliability of Rasmussen Polls

* If you had only the Rasmussen Polls to go on, you'd think that the Republicans were going to win every single election in Ohio and the country.  However, it is important that voters disregard the results of these polls and the significance that the Republicans put on them.  Every single time that a Rasmussen Poll is released, the Republicans do a victory dance, and hope that the results will discourage Democrats to vote.  The truth is that many pollsters and statistical experts consider the Rasmussen method of polling as unreliable, and biased toward Republican and conservative candidates.

Here are some examples of what others say about the reliability of this particular pollster's polls---


...Rasmussen’s not credible for a couple of reasons. Most notably, he worked for George W. Bush and the Republican National Committee.post-election cruise in November.  So, it’s not surprising that after a thorough analysis of a number of Rasmussen’s polls, Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.comsubstantially more favorable results for Republican candidates" than other surveys.   He’ll also be joining Karl Rove and other conservative big shots as a featured speaker for a National Review finds that Rasmussen’s "polls have tended to show substantially more favorable results for Republican candidates" than other surveys.  

Here’s how it works…In order to publish as many “polls” as possible that show Republicans in the lead, and therefore convince the electorate that the Democrat doesn’t stand a chance (credit to the Daily Kos for that analysis), Rasmussen does them on the cheap. Rasmussen uses robo-calls, and not live human beings like legitimate polling firms, to conduct his “polls.”  That’s why we’ve seen four polls from him in South Dakota and nobody else. Real polls are expensive, and those who truly want to sample public opinion will wait until the race has taken shape before investing in a poll.  ABC News, the Washington Post, and the New York Times avoid using results from polls conducted using robo-calls, like Rasmussen’s, not wanting to discredit their organization with results that have been proven unreliable.

In addition, White House correspondent Chuck Todd has said that Rasmussen is “not a serious polling firm.”
Whoa!!! That is pretty harsh stuff from Chuck Todd. If Chuck Todd concluded that about Rasmussen, then why do Republicans, particularly in Ohio, put so much stock in those polls?

- Pollster.com discussed reliability:
...The pollsters receiving the lowest scores are Zogby International, the American Research Group and Rasmussen Reports. In the case of Zogby, four out of five pollsters rated their surveys as not very (28%) or not at all reliable (52%)....
- A little closer to home, Ohio's own Plunderbund, takes a look at Rasmussen's methods and results in our state:

...There are fundamental questions about Rasmussen’s methodology that calls into question the reliability of their polling data:
  1. According to Nate Silver, Rasmussen does not call cell phone users (who tend to trend younger and more progressive).  The recent Ohio Poll did poll cell phone users...
 7. In fact, Silver has noted that this year, Rasmussen has the most pronounced “House effect” (favoring candidates of a particular party consistently in race after race) more so than any other polling outfit in the nation (Democratic or Republican alike)...

If Rasmussen isn't polling cell phone owners, they are missing a lot of people.  How many people do you know who have only cell phones and no landlines in their residences?

....Purposes of Republican Promotion of Rasmussen Polls

When you see the campaigns of Republican candidates like John Kasich, Rob Portman, Steve Stivers, and other GOPers bragging about their numbers in a recently released Rasmussen Poll, keep in mind that they have several goals. Since Rasmusssen leans heavily toward Republicans, the GOPers hope that it influences voters in several ways:

1. Republicans willingly push the skewed results to get free publicity from news outlets.
2. Republicans talk about the poll results to encourage their base.
3. Republicans hope that the biased polls will convince Democrats not to vote.  Since Democrats outnumber Republicans, Republicans want to discourage Democrats and Independents from even going to the polls.

Even though Republicans may seem to be ahead in the polls, you have to say,
Who cares? 
What if the polls are completely wrong? 
Why are the Republicans trying to discourage me from voting? 

Think of it this way---- Vote like your life depends on it.


I'm Just Asking!!!!
If John Kasich wins as Governor, how will Ohio be changed?
Will the Ohio Department of Development be privatized and filled with Kasich's cronies?
Will the Ohio Department of Transportation be turned over and run by the entire Burgett family, owners of road/construction company Corna/Kokosing, and major, major, major contributors to the Republican Party and Republican candidates?

Will libraries be cut back to pay for the tax cuts for the rich?

Will counties, townships, cities, and villages be forced to layoff police and fire personnel, and cut off basic services because state funding has been reduced so that tax cuts can be given to the rich?

Will public schools be forced to increase class sizes because of a loss of funding from the state?

Will Kasich take the millions from the 3-C rail projects that was intended to provide 10,000 construction jobs and turn it over to the major contributors of the Republican Party who build roads?

Will charter schools be given more tax money so that they can continue to rip off tax payers? (Take a look at the testing results from the charter schools at the Ohio Dept. of Education: Community Schools. Randomly choose a school and click on "What percentages of our students are proficient?" and compare the numbers to state results. You have to ask yourself, why are giving tax dollars to charter schools and funding failure.)

Will Kasich's views on abortion be pushed into state law?
Will Kasich force his religious views into public schools?

How many various state agencies will be privatized and turned over to Kasich's business cronies?

Will Kasich push to privatize the public employee pensions?

Will teachers have their pay cut? (Why does Kasich hate teachers?)

Will the Ohio Turnpike, state parks, and state prisons be sold and privatized?  What are the risks to citizens if prisons are sold to private companies? 
Will the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation be axed and turned over to a private insurance company owned by Kasich cronies?
I'm just asking!  Since Kasich has given us little in the way of specifics, I'm just speculating.  He hasn't even released all his income tax returns!!!!  Kasich wants to change everything, but you have to question why and how he'd do it.  Kasich still hasn't voiced any regrets about leading the Ohio public pension funds down a path that caused them to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. 

***The real question is this---  
Do you trust Kasich to do what is right and fair for all the people in Ohio? (not just the rich)  I don't. Kasich will not get my vote.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Telling the Truth

Most candidates meet with various groups during their campaigns. So far, John Kasich has refused to meet with Ohio's teachers. What is his problem?  Is he afraid of them?  I wonder which other groups have been shunned by Kasich. 

*  Shame on Mississippi.


The school board in Nettleton, Miss., voted Friday to reverse its policy under which race determined whether a candidate could run for class positions, including president.
According to a memo sent home with students last week, African-American students could not run for class president in Nettleton Middle School this school year. However, the board voted at an emergency session Friday to drop that policy, according to Craig Ford, a reporter with the NBC News affiliate WTVA, who attended the meeting.
According to the district's statement, the practice had been in use for more than 30 years with whites and blacks rotating among offices annually... 

It took 30 years for someone to speak against this racist school policy.

*  Here is a new ad put up by the Democratic Governors after the Republican Governors went after Gov. Ted Strickland's congressional votes on trade (h/t Plunderbund):

Lehman and Job Losses

Here is an interesting video about the collapse of Lehman Brothers (video mentioned at NotKasich):

Seekingalpha has a chart that shows how the collapse of Lehman Brothers caused massive unemployment. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers was the beginning of the economic crisis that was felt around the world.

(chart from Seekingalpha)

chart of the day, weekly unemployment claims, 2008-2010

This is how Ohio lost so many jobs.

CBS News (September 15, 2009):

Among the most pervasive and long-lasting effects of the Lehman Brothers failure — and the economic collapse it exemplified — has been the pain felt by the American labor force. When the firm failed on September 15, 2008, and the credit markets slammed shut, a wave of sheer panic swept across businesses big and small as they scrambled to shore up lines of credit and gird for what most believed would be a significant economic downturn. The result: What had been a relatively predictable and gradual rise in unemployment since the beginning of the recession in December 2007 became a hemorrhage as the unemployment rate jumped from 6.2 percent that September to 9.7 percent a year later. Over the past year, about 6 million Americans have lost their jobs. Another 9 million find themselves in the category of involuntary part-time workers, a jump of 3.7 million in just over 12 months. The economy must create 125,000 jobs a month just to stay even with population growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and clearly, it's not....

....As the numbers suggest, it is male-dominated professions that have been hit hardest — manufacturing has lost 1.2 million jobs in the year since Lehman vanished, and since the start of the recession, construction has given up 1.4 million and the financial industry dropped 537,000.....

Kasich brags about his "business" experience. However, his business experience involved his work as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers.  Is this the type of experience Ohioans want?  With a bankrupt company? The failure of Lehman Brothers caused the loss of jobs, but also the loss of retirement funds, investments, and a sense of security for millions of people. What were the ethics practiced at Lehman that resulted in the company's collapse, and the economic disaster that followed?

:) Did you know that Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15-Democrat) was a co-sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?  Here is Kilroy's statement about the passage of the bill:

Ending pay discrimination is an issue of fairness and an issue for our families. I am proud to stand with Lilly Ledbetter and thousands of women that were victims of a wage gap only because they were women. Restoring the legal remedies for those affected by this injustice helps break down the disparities between men and women in the workplace that continue to exist, but this Congress has made the rights of all workers a priority...."

Do you know which Ohio Republicans voted against this bill that will help "...thousands of women that were victims of a wage gap only because they were women. Restoring the legal remedies for those affected by this injustice helps break down the disparities between men and women in the workplace..."---(they voted against women having the right to equal pay and their right to sue to get it)????

These are the Ohio Republicans who voted against legal remedies for women who had been paid less than men, just because they were women:

Steve Austria, John Boehner, Jim Jordan, Steve Latourette, Bob Latta, Jean Schmidt, Pat Tiberi, and Michael Turner

They should all be ashamed of themselves.  Why should a woman be paid less than a man for the same job, and then lack the legal recourse to do anything about it?  I guess these 8 Republicans are just against equality for women. (A double dose of shame should be put on  
Jean Schmidt and any woman in the House of Representatives that voted against the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay" bill.)

-> Sen. Scott Brown, Republican/Tea Party darling, was in town to appear with candidate, Steve Stivers, a former "top"* bank lobbyist and protege of John Boehner. Brown and Stivers both were against Wall Street reform. Do they support predatory lending, investment firms selling toxic assets, and the rip off of retirees and pension funds?  Why do these two politicians stand against consumer protection?????

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pile of Regulations--- Not Really

* Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15) has a long history here in Franklin County in service to her community. Kilroy has served central Ohio as a member of the Columbus Board of Education and a Franklin County Commissioner.  Now as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kilroy has worked hard to fix Wall Street, the banking industry, health reform, helping veterans, college students, and protecting consumers.

Kilroy's Republican't opponent, has aligned himself with the tea party extremists, bankers, lobbyists, oil companies, Grover Norquist, and insurance companies. A former bank lobbyist, Stivers has even voiced his opposition to Wall Street reform and an agency to protect consumers! I still can't figure out why Stivers voted against a scholarship for disabled students when he was in the state senate.

* Yesterday, Republican candidate for Ohio governor, John Kasich, participated in a farce. Kasich, using a pile of books that had nothing to do with the state's regulations of business, tried to sell voters on streamlining business regulations.  Unfortunately, for the Kasich campaign, they are too late. Gov. Ted Strickland has already fixed the same regulations.

The Kasich campaign seems a little unorganized, and uninformed.  If the Kasich campaign had used the search engine Google, they would have found that many of their proposals for cutting business regulations have occurred during the Strickland term.

**** Speaking of Kasich: In 1995, Kasich tried to eliminate an agency that conducts research on work hazards, and tracks worker safety and health. Kasich targeted NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), as part of his plan to cut the budget of unnecessary programs.

...The Heritage Foundation contends NIOSH offers nothing to the American worker that private companies or other agencies could not do as well. 

Based on its arguments, House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, last month recommended that NIOSH be eliminated by 2000, with any vital research given to OSHA. His plan would save $339 million over five years.... 

Luckily for everyone, Kasich was not successful.

Here is NIOSH's mission statement: 

The mission of NIOSH is to generate new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice for the betterment of workers. To accomplish this mission, NIOSH conducts scientific research, develops guidance and authoritative recommendations, disseminates information, and responds to requests for workplace health hazard evaluations.

NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services, including scientific information products, training videos, and recommendations for improving safety and health in the workplace....

Kasich thought this agency was a waste of tax payers' dollars????  This is an example of how Kasich tried to cut worker safety in the 90's, and how he'd work in the future.  Kasich has always tried to sacrifice worker safety and domestic programs in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and greedy profit-hungry corporations.  

Kasich has a long history of going after cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, the college student loan program, and safety programs to fund tax cuts for the rich.  If Kasich's roll back of the state income tax would become a reality, which income group do you think would benefit the most?  Hint:  It would not be the middle class.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The good people at Plunderbund discovered that someone associated with the Kasich campaign has personally attacked Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a cancer survivor.

Here is the story from Eric at Plunderbund:
...While watching primary election coverage last night on TV I noticed Debbie Wasserman-Schultz doing commentary from the left. The Hinch Group twitterer must have noticed this as well as they posted this on Twitter:

For the uninitiated, Wasserman-Schultz is a cancer survivor and she suffered through seven operations including a double mastectomy. Questioning the sex of a woman who had to have both breasts removed to save her life is one of the most disgusting political attacks I’ve seen in some time. Especially for someone representing the campaign of someone who wants to be the Governor of Ohio....

Why did someone associated with the Kasich campaign attack Wasserman-Schultz?  Do they dislike women?  Is this attack on a female member of Congress part of the third grade atmosphere of the Kasich campaign and those associated with it?


People are wondering why they've not seen or heard about Steve Stivers for several weeks.  Stivers, a former bank lobbyist and Republican darling of all bankers in the country, seems to be out of the Columbus limelight.  Are those banking fundraisers taking up a lot of his time?  Does Stivers believe that his election is a sure thing and now he is house hunting in Washington, DC?????? Is he hiding out because he does not want to discuss his plans to push for privatization of Social Security????  What is the deal?

Someone needs to start rolling out the bumper stickers!!!!


John Kasich: Friend to the wealthy since 1983 

Dayton: Husted Doesn't Live There

Kasich: Still Defending the Rich

* When have you ever heard a candidate say the following:

"...we need to break the back of organized labor in the schools..."

Actually, John Kasich, said it when he appeared in Ashtabula, Ohio, according to the Star Beacon.

Here is another statement from Kasich as stated in the Star Beacon:

...Eliminate the state’s death tax. Kasich said the tax punishes the rich and is driving them and their capital to other states....

Boo hoo.  Take out the kleenex and weep for the rich.

Why does Kasich hate public school teachers and regular, average hardworking Ohioans?  I guess if you are rich, you'll get Kasich's attention. (The other reason that Kasich's rich friends are fleeing Ohio is because his running mate, Mary Taylor, advised them to leave the state. (see Dispatch Politics)

Here is a perfect Kasich bumper sticker:


> Republican congressional candidate, a former "top"* bank lobbyist, Steve Stivers continues to receive massive contributions from insurance companies, banks, financial companies, their PACs, and employees. Ourcampaigns lists many of the top contributors, including-

JPMorgan Chase & Co. PAC 15000.00
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Federal PAC 12000.00
Citizens United Political Victory Fund 11000.00
Ashland Inc. Political Action Committee for Employees (PACE) 11000.00
Huntington BancShares Inc. Political Action Committee (HBI-PAC) 10000.00
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Political Action Committee 10000.00
WellPoint, Inc. WELLPAC 9500.00

Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) 8500.00
Murray Energy Corporation Political Action Committee 8000.00
FirstEnergy Corp. Political Action Committee 8000.00
Grange Mutual Casualty Company PAC 7900.00
 Aetna Inc. Political Action Committee 7000.00

 (I did not include all of the bank PACs.  There are many, many, many more.)

Of course, Stivers is getting lots of support from his mentor, John Boehner:

Friends of John Boehner 6000.00

This is only a partial list.

* Link: Dispatch


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Portman: "burdensome regulations"

Did you know that Republican Rob Portman, friend of the Bush family and member of both Bush administrations, has received campaign money (see Open Secrets) from Don Blankenship?  Don Blankenship is the CEO of Massey Ferguson.  Let me refresh your memory about Blankenship and Massey Ferguson----

The Washington Post (7/25/10):

...As CEO of Massey Energy, he has presided over a coal company that had thousands of violations in recent years, leading up to the April explosion that killed 29 of his miners. The company now faces a federal criminal investigation into what the government has called negligent and reckless practices

But Blankenship must have no sense of shame, because he visited the National Press Club last week to complain about "knee-jerk political reactions" to mine deaths and to demand that the Obama administration lighten regulations on his dirty and dangerous company. "We need to let businesses function as businesses," an indignant Blankenship proclaimed. "Corporate business is what built America, in my opinion, and we need to let it thrive by, in a sense, leaving it alone." 

Oh, that Blankenship! Why would Blankenship support Portman? Portman wants to cut back on federal regulations and even says it in his position paper on jobs (Link) when he calls them "burdensome regulations."  Those "burdensome regulations" cover things like worker safety, labor laws, child labor laws, equal pay, minimum wage, etc., etc., etc. Does the fact that Portman wants to reduce federal regulations mean he wants to eliminate things like rules for worker safety, labor laws, child labor laws, equal pay for equal work, and the federal minimum wage? Is Portman against the federal government demanding that mine workers have safety equipment, equal pay, and a safe environment free of poisonous gas?

Portman, nicknamed "Robby Bobby" by President George W. Bush, exercised with the former President and often traveled to the Texas White House.

Here is a reminder: 

* The Wall Street Journal has this about President Obama's Stimulus Legislation:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday the Obama administration's economic-stimulus plan has increased the number of employed Americans by between 1.4 million to 3.3 million during the second quarter. 

The CBO, in a report released Tuesday, said the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has lowered the unemployment rate by up to 1.8% and raised the level of gross domestic product by up to 4.5%....

Jonathan Alter said on the Rachel Maddow Show, that Americans have to decide whether to spend millions of dollars on tax cuts for the rich or millions of dollars to get people back to work.  If you want tax cuts for the rich, you'll support Boehner.  If you want job creation for everyone, you'll support President Obama and Democrats.


Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has great reservations about Republican John Kasich's plan to privatize the Ohio Department of Development. In an article in today's Dispatch, Cordray notes that such a move to privatize the department would eliminate transparency.

The other issue is if such a move is even constitutional. If Kasich won, challenges to privatizing the Ohio Department of Development, could be tied up in the courts for a long time.

There are real concerns with Kasich's proposal. The Ohio Department of Development is responsible for millions and millions of dollars from the federal and state governments. Are you willing to turn that over to Kasich's cronies and let them dole it out to their buddies?

**** Do you know why Republican congressional candidate, Steve Stivers, a former bank lobbyist, was so upset about the banking reform bill?  It stops banks from raising your interest rates on credit cards whenever they damn well please.  Stivers, the best friend bankers ever had in politics, continues to pull in political contributions from nearly every banking PAC, bank executive, and finance companies in the country.  Bankers want and need Stivers to be their defender against regulations.

I find it very troubling that Steve Stivers has refused to sign a pledge to protect Social Security.

*  How has Republican Rob Portman subsidized his income after leaving the Bush White House?  Rob Portman works as a motivational speaker with Leading Authorities, a speakers bureau.  Here is an excerpt from Portman's bio from the Leading Authorities page:

On April 18, 2006, President George W. Bush nominated Rob Portman to be the 35th Director of the Office of Management and Budget....

....Portman speaks with wisdom and clarity about his experience working on tax and social security reform...

(Note: Speaks with wisdom? Did Portman write his own bio?)

Look at that phrase "social security reform" and try to guess what that means. You've got it!  "Social Security reform" = privatize Social Security. "Social Security reform" is just part of the vocabulary of the Republican thesaurus.

Sampling from the Republican thesaurus:

Social Security reform means privatize Social Security.

Too many federal regulations means cut safety laws, lower wages, let banks do whatever they please.

Too many taxes means give more tax cuts to the rich.

Tort reform means that businesses should not be able to be sued by private citizens, no matter what a business did.

The Republicans are providing more of the same old plans with different labels and words.

GOP Targeting Social Security and Medicare Cuts

On Countdown tonight (without Keith), a guest, David Kay Johnston said that the Republicans are still fighting for their tax cuts for the rich. The Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has proposed paying for the tax cuts for the wealthy by "cutting other spending." Johnston said that the "other spending" Republicans want to cut includes Social Security and Medicare benefits. Johnston, the author of "Free Lunch," called the planned cuts by Republicans "bad economic policy."

Do you know anyone completely dependent on Social Security? What would happen to them if they lost 50% or 75% of their Social Security check? What would they eat? Where would they live? Not everyone has that extra savings put aside for retirement. McConnell, Boehner, Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Joe Barton, and other wealthy Republican members of Congress won't need to rely on Social Security to survive. Like it or not, there are millions of Americans that cannot live without the benefits of Social Security and Medicare.

Here is an excerpt from Social Security Works for Ohio (Link):
* 53 million beneficiaries – around one in four households—receive Social Security.
* 1 out of 3 Social Security beneficiaries is not a senior citizen.
* Almost two out of three seniors rely on Social Security for half or more of their income.
* The average Social Security benefit is less than $13,000 a year ($14,000 for retirees)....

**** Kasich still hasn't come up with any firm plans on how he'll fix Ohio's economic problems.  Kasich's long winded speeches are getting old fast.  
...when asked how much his tax plan would cost the state in terms of lost revenue, Kasich admitted that he has absolutely no idea, as the Toledo Blade reported...

Isn't that comforting?  When will Kasich unveil his masterplan? December?

Monday, August 23, 2010

We need answers!!!!

* Why has Republican congressional candidate Steve Stivers refused to discuss privatizing Social Security? He has not said he would oppose it. Could he be talked into supporting radical right wing Rep. Paul Ryan's phase out of Social Security?

*  Ohio voters are waiting for a few things from Kasich:

a. his previous tax returns.  Is he hiding those huge bonuses he made on Wall Street while retirees lost everything?

b. a specific agenda.  So far, the only things we've heard from Kasich is a bunch of baloney. 

c. Is the state income tax roll back on or off?  

d. Will he cut teachers' salaries?  

e. What other departments will he privatize? Which of his rich   friends will get jobs?

f. Will Kasich try to privatize the public employees' retirement funds?

* College students are talking about John Kasich hypocrisy: he said (1) he'd demand cuts in colleges and universities in Ohio,
(2) eliminate duplicate majors at competing colleges,
(3) demand larger workloads for college professors. 

However, Kasich willingly received $4000 for an hour lecture session at Ohio State for close to eight years, and hauled in $50,000/yearly.

The Coshocton County GOP will have a family "fun day" later this week, according to the Coschocton Tribune.  Republican Jon Husted will be there.  You might want to ask him how often he returns to his Kettering house. Husted, known to have a bad temper, might be a good catch on video.


*New York Daily News Columnist, Mike Lupica, puts the blame about the World Trade Center Mosque hysteria at the feet of serial divorcer, Newt Gingrich.

New York Daily News:

...Even before the demonstrations, so much of this debate had turned stupid, dumb and mean and loud, because all public debate eventually does these days....

...This time it wasn't Sarah Palin leading the charge, the same yammering Palin who can dumb things down in ways that should be measured the way we measure fast times in the Olympics....
....So somehow Gingrich, who is obsessed with what he calls the "secular socialism" of Barack Obama, was now good and geeked up, high on religion and what he believes is his higher calling to lead the whole country....

Lupica concludes that the real "radical" is Newt Gingrich.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ohio's College Students Might Have Another Reason to Oppose Kasich

It has been documented that Republican candidate for Ohio Governor, John Kasich, former managing director of Lehman Brothers, was paid $50,000 year for seven years by Ohio State as a guest lecturer ($4,000/lecture). Here is the math:

$50,000 x 7 = $350,000

Instead of Kasich offering to speak for free, as John Glenn and others have done, Kasich allegedly asked to be paid, and requested payment for his aide. Here is a comparison of the careers of Kasich and John Glenn.

John Kasich: (source:Wikipedia bio)
- member of the Ohio Senate (1978-1982) 
- member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2001)
- TV host on the right wing network, Fox News
- managing director, investment banker, Lehman Brothers (2001-2008)

John Glenn: (source:Wikipedia bio)
- Marine Pilot: World War II, Korean War
- first American astronaut to orbit Earth 1962
- returned to space in 1998 on the space shuttle
- U.S. Senator (1974-1999)
- Awards (source: NASA bio): Glenn has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on six occasions, and holds the Air Medal with 18 Clusters for his service during World War II and Korea. Glenn also holds the Navy Unit Commendation for service in Korea, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the China Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy's Astronaut Wings, the Marine Corps' Astronaut Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Kasich is small potatoes compared to Glenn, and yet Kasich accepted $4000 for each of his one hour lectures over seven years.


Why should Ohio's college students worry about a possible Kasich as Ohio's Governor? 
  Kasich said the following in Brimfield, Ohio: 
...Colleges need to not duplicate programs and should find ways to graduate students in four years, he said...

I think that college students will understand exactly what that means. You'd no longer have a choice on what you want to study at a particular college ----programs would be merged/eliminated. 

Kasich has a long history of going after college students and trying to cut their programs.
Google News Archive (The Victoria Advocate-March 10, 1995):

...Last year, Kasich proposed ending a subsidy for Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Federal Direct Loans. Under the subsidy, the government pays the loan interest for needy students while they are enrolled in college. Under that revision, the student still wouldn't be required to make payments while in school, but the interest would accrue and be repaid after graduation....

...Ending the interest subsidy, which benefits about 6.5 million college students, would save taxpayers about $9.5 billion over five years, Kasich said.

However, tacking on the interest would "increase student debt after graduation by 20 to 50 percent," said Merkowitz. "That would be a barrier for a large number of students" to attend college....

Can you imagine what would have happened if Kasich's idea had passed?  

Kasich needs to keep his hand off of Ohio's colleges and universities. His record shows that he cares little about college students, struggling families, retirees, and the poor.  Kasich's appears to be interested in the rich.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Students Stand Against Kasich

College students respond to the news that Republican John Kasich was grossly overpaid at Ohio State ($4,000/lecture).

YouTube video:

From Columbus.rssible.com we have this bit of news:

OSU Students Ask Kasich for Scholarship

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Students from The Ohio State University gathered at the Main Library calling on Congressman John Kasich to start a scholarship fund.
They say they are upset with the $4,000 per hour that he earned as a presidential fellow at the university......

Other notables, such as John Glenn, a former astronaut and U.S. Senator, have also lectured at Ohio State, but they received NO compensation.

As it has been noted by various newspapers, such as the Journal-News: Kasich has called on colleges and universities to cut costs and force professors to teach more courses....

.....In a 2008 report to a securities industry regulatory group, Kasich said he worked at OSU four hours a month. OSU also paid $20,000 a year to his longtime political ally Don Thibaut....

According to an article at Tobaccodocuments, (scroll down to the end of the page) Thibaut was part of Kasich's staff in 1995. When Kasich served in Congress, Thibaut was his roommate in DC.  In 2008, Kasich announced the formation of his PAC (see Dispatch) at a party at Thibaut's home.

Legistorm has a record of Thibaut's employment as a congressional staff member:

List by:
Employing Office Start date End date Position Amount Notes
Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 04/01/02 05/30/02  Part-time Employee $ 1,000.00
Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 01/03/02 03/31/02  Part-time Employee $ 1,466.67
Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 01/01/02 01/02/02  Part-time Employee $ 33.33

2002 subtotal: $2,500.00  

Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 10/01/01 12/31/01  Part-time Employee $ 1,500.00
Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 07/01/01 09/30/01  Part-time Employee $ 1,500.00
Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 04/01/01 06/30/01  Part-time Employee $ 1,500.00
Rep. Pat Tiberi (-OH) 01/03/01 03/31/01  Part-time Employee $ 1,466.67
House Budget Committee 01/01/01 01/02/01  Administrative Assistant-Kasich $ 176.67
Rep. John R. Kasich (-OH) 01/01/01 01/02/01  Chief of Staff/Legislative Director $ 600.00

2001 subtotal: $6,743.34  

Rep. John R. Kasich (-OH) 11/01/00 12/31/00  Chief of Staff/Legislative Director $ 18,000.00
House Budget Committee 10/01/00 12/31/00  Administrative Assistant-Kasich $ 7,950.00
Rep. John R. Kasich (-OH) 10/01/00 10/31/00  Chief of Staff/Legislative Director $ 9,000.00

           2000 subtotal: $34,950.00    

Thibaut was previously employed by Rep. Pat Tiberi.