Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Backroom Deals? Where is the transparency?????

*  Don't you wonder why the Kasich administration seems to bristle every single time ProgressOhio levies a charge at them?  If the Kasich administration is doing nothing wrong, why is there always a negative reaction from them?  The Kasich administration appears to be completely uncomfortable with the idea that government should be totally transparent.  Instead of having a website devoted to providing transparency (http://transparency.ohio.gov), they should rename it http://onlywhatwewanttotellyou.ohio.gov.

Ohioans should worry about the lack of transparency and the resumption of the backroom deals, and "pay-to-play" agreements that seem to have taken hold of the state government.  Although some business leaders and Gov. Kasich might not like the scrutiny, as taxpayers we have every right to know how our tax money is being spent. This is public government supported by a state constitution. It is not Wall Street.  As we all know, Wall Street is where backroom transactions take place all the time, and that is what brought us to the failures of Lehman Brothers and Wall Street, not so long ago.

Here is what ProgressOhio has on this:

"JobsOhio is starting to look like a slush fund to pay off supporters,'' ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg said at a Columbus news conference. "Explain to me why this is not a new pay-to-play scheme."

....He especially took issue with Kasich's companion announcement that he has set aside a $24 million pool of Third Frontier funds for distribution to local chambers of commerce and other private, regional economic development agencies. The announcement came after most of the agencies or their partners endorsed SB5, a Kasich-backed law to limit the collective bargaining rights of police, firefighters, teachers and other public employees.....

...Specifically, supporters of SB5 and Republican committees received contributions from board members of Team NEO, Dayton Development Coalition, Cincinnati USA Partnership, Greater Cleveland Partnership and the businesses associated with board members who were CEOs or presidents....  

Are groups getting paid to publicly endorse the SB 5? 

Then we have a pro-Kasich publication's take on the issue----Businessweek:

A liberal policy group is raising questions about political ties between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and groups receiving high-tech grants through the state's new semi-private job creation board.

ProgressOhio on Monday said that Kasich and other Republicans received donations from affiliates of three of six groups handling state economic development grants on behalf of the JobsOhio board. The six local economic development groups have been tapped to share $24 million.

ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg disseminated state records that show affiliates of the groups contributed more than $60,000 to Kasich and legislative Republicans since 2007. The money came through executives, member businesses or their Political Action Committees......

Kasich & Co. should be reminded that the public still remembers the scandals associated with "Coingate" and the number of trials and convictions associated with it.  Backroom, secret deals, stink.  (If you need a refresher on Coingate, you can check out these links:
Republicansoffenders, Commoncause, LATimes, RawStory, WashingtonPost, TalkingPointsMemograndoledocket, etc.)


***** Now others are starting to notice something about Republican Josh Mandel and it isn't pretty!  Mandel broke promises to finish his term, the dirty campaign he ran against his Democratic opponent, his jet setter travel, his lack of legislative experience (only 3 co-sponsored bills), and his reluctance to file his financial disclosure statement on time, have raised questions. 


...Democrats pounced on a recent newspaper report that the owner of an Ohio direct marketing firm, his employees and their spouses gave $100,000 to Mandel’s campaign. Some donors listed their occupation as “writer,” ‘’copywriter” or merely “marketing,” according to the report in the Toledo Blade.

A spokesman for the marketing company told the Blade the firm did not reimburse employees or provide money for the contributions.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said the contributions raise questions.

“Those contributions don’t make sense,” she said.....

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*  Where in the world is Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15)?????  Except for his job fair and his super secret town hall in a remote area of his district, constituents are wondering where he is and when he'll come up with a job creation bill.  We're waiting.