Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Economic Problem for Ohio on the Horizon?

 -----  Vote NO on Issue 2. -----

* Gov. Kasich has put Ohio further in the hole by not following up with a federal deadline.

In August, Gov. John Kasich and Republicans in charge of the state legislature let pass an opportunity to collect $176 million from the federal government. There were strings attached, the state required to modernize its unemployment compensation system, say, by extending benefits to part-time workers or to those in approved job training programs. Almost three dozen other states met the test. Many did so in view of borrowing heavily from the feds during the recession to keep their jobless funds in operation.

Take the money, and Ohio would have modestly reduced the cost of its borrowing, the state now with a $2.3 billion debt to the federal government.

On Thursday, Policy Matters Ohio, a Cleveland-based think tank, released an analysis that offers helpful context. It persuasively establishes how the state has neglected to manage effectively its unemployment compensation fund — beyond the challenges of the harsh recession....

Once again we see the arrogance of Gov. Kasich and the Republicans on full display.  Ohio voters must remember this line from the editorial:  

"...the state has neglected to manage effectively its unemployment compensation fund..."

What other economic disasters could be on the horizon because Gov. Kasich and the majority Republicans ignored the need to update legislation? 


*** We are still dealing with the aftermath of the death of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio.  Although citizens are demanding legislation, the current governor appears to be dragging his feet in pushing for a permanent fix.  Born Free is urging Ohioans to push their elected officials to vote for the bill sponsored by Rep. Debbie Phillips and her legislation HB 352:

In the wake of the exotic animals tragedy near Zanesville, OH, there is a ray of hope: Ohio state Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) has introduced House Bill 352 to finally prohibit individuals from possessing dangerous exotic animals and to place stringent restrictions on current "owners." Please take a moment to urge your state representative to support HB 352 today....

In a letter to the editor of the AthensNews, Tracy Coppola of the organization, Born Free, suggests that what is currently in force in Ohio is not good:

Born Free USA appreciates that Ohio Gov. Kasich has spoken to the issue of wild animal ownership in Ohio. However, we are disappointed that his Executive Order did not definitively prohibit ownership of potentially dangerous exotic wild animals. 

Unlike the proactive legislation recently introduced by Ohio Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Athens, Gov. Kasich still has not committed to the root of the problem — the need to finally prohibit individuals from possessing dangerous exotic animals, and place stringent restrictions on current "owners." In order to prevent yet another exotic animal tragedy from occurring in Ohio, Gov. Kasich must stand firm on safeguarding communities from individuals who currently possess exotics and those who plan on possessing exotics in the future.

Apart from H.B. 352's firm stance on banning future "ownership" of these animals, the bill is designed specifically to prevent another Terry Thompson from possessing exotics by disallowing persons previously convicted of animal abuse or who have had their licensure previously revoked or suspended by local, state or federal authorities from possessing exotics.....

We need to push the Governor and the elected members of the Ohio General Assembly to vote for HB 352.

False and Inaccurate?

**** Did you know that there are inaccuracies on the salary list that was posted by the Ohio Treasurer?

Visitors to the Ohio treasurer's new search engine for public worker salaries have complained the site is riddled with errors and omissions, leading the office to repair existing data and change the way it presents wage information. 

Some constituents accuse Republican Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, in records obtained by The Associated Press, of using the search tool to fuel antipathy toward government workers ahead of a Nov. 8 vote on Ohio's divisive new collective bargaining law.....

.....Records reflect anger over privacy, politics, and a host of individual inaccuracies — a retiree listed as a current worker, a misstated job title, and inflated salary figures by including overtime, summer pay for teachers or sick time payouts. One complainant said the site listed his daughter's stipend for graduate school as if it were state worker pay.... 

Even I noticed that some people who were fired, were not listed properly.  As we've seen demonstrated in the last election, Josh Mandel appears to like to smear people.


Politifact took up Mandel's claim that he alone has raised Ohio's financial rating, but the truth comes out:

...Given his Senate candidacy and the consistent accusations he is an absent officeholder, PolitiFact Ohio decided to check Mandel’s claim about his performance as treasurer....

.....Although Mandel has simply maintained the high rating, a public finance expert said the treasurer deserves some credit. The highest praise, however, should be reserved for the fund managers who maintained the rating during the financial crisis in 2008, said Kevin O’Brien, executive director at the Center for Public Management in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University....  

Mandel couldn't say that he just maintained what those before him had done.  He had to take credit for himself, even though we all know he is out running for office again.

* People are talking about the latest political ad that says that Ohio's public employees
earn  43% more than workers in the private sector.  What a bunch of b******t.
Hunter over at DailyKos shows how the right wing "think tanks" came up with these bizarre, inaccurate figures.  Here is a peek from DailyKos:

This month, a group called the Ohio Business Roundtable released another in a long line of conservative-promoted "reports" purporting to show that public workers are dramatically overpaid compared to their private sector equivalents. This one was authored by a fellow from the American Enterprise Institute and another fellow from the Heritage foundation, and through various machinations they put the supposed overpayment at "43 percent" [PDF], which is a shocking and outrageous number. It also, lo and behold, turns out to be false. And the methodology of the conservative authors turns out to be quite instructive...

....So basically what we have here is the AEI and Heritage version of "research." If the plain numbers show one thing, but you're funded to prove another, then just start changing numbers around until you get the conclusion you want.....

That 43% figure is just some conservatives playing with numbers until they come up with a number that they like.  No matter how you look at it---the 43% is wrong, wrong, wrong.

***  It is the last day of October.  On September 20, 2011, an article at the website Cleveland had this about Josh Mandel's missing personal financial disclosure that was due on May 15, 2011:

"Our staff is working with the Senate compliance staff to determine which of those spousal assets must be filed and in what format," Aquilino said. "As soon as the Senate compliance staff has answered all of these questions and the information is compiled, we will file a full and accurate report." 

The Senate Ethics Committee, which addresses all questions on what must be included in a filing, will not discuss specific cases such as Mandel's. Until Mandel files his form, which is expected to be next month, the questions of critics may go unanswered.....

Have you seen evidence that Mandel's personal financial disclosure was filed?  Anyone?

Vote NO on Issue 2.

Vote NO on Issues 1, 2, 3.

* Don't you think it amazing that Gov. Kasich has managed to rally some supporters, but only those he invited to support his anti-SB5 legislation?  Yes, folks, it is a rally by invitation only.

....Building a Better Ohio sent email invitations to the event Saturday. Doors open at 4 p.m. for the event. The Spread Eagle Tavern is located at 10150 Plymouth St.; it is owned by the family of Summitville Tile's CEO, David Johnson, the chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Party......

Instead of having an open to the general public rally, Kasich and company decide that it is better to keep their "rally" closed.  By allowing only those the Republicans know, trust, and can depend on, Kasich and the GOP can -
(a) get their sheeple to not record any additional lies, outlandish claims, or fake statistics, 
(b) eliminate having to deal with people opposed to their anti-middle class agenda, 
(c) make it easier for Kasich, so that he only has to deal with people that admire (?) him, 
(d) keep other prying eyes out (TV, radio, newspapers, bloggers).

Once again our beliefs about the Republican Party are confirmed--- They are all about exclusion.
Vote No on Issue 2.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kasich didn't "anticipate"

Ohioans heard this earlier this week from Gov. John Kasich:

That explains a lot about Kasich, especially this week's developments regarding the exotic wild animals.

Marian Thompson is weighing her options when it comes to her six animals being kept at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, her attorney said.

Marian, who is the widow of Terry Thompson, informed the zoo through her attorneys Thursday she intended to retrieve the animals. When she arrived at the zoo Thursday, she learned the Ohio Department of Agriculture had issued a quarantine order that prevented her from taking them......

...Gov. John Kasich's spokesman Rob Nichols said Thursday the order wasn't given sooner because no one anticipated Marian hiring counsel to fight for custody....

What does he mean by " one anticipated..."?  Mrs. Thompson had a legal right to try to get the animals, even though we all hoped she wouldn't.  The fact that Nichols said his boss did not anticipate Mrs. Thompson's actions confirms many people's views that our governor is not forward-thinking or able to prepare for other outcomes. Is it possible that Kasich simply didn't care to prepare?

Is is possible that John Kasich did not "anticipate" that ---

- the federal government would prevent the use of federal money to subsidize a plan to sell off the Ohio Turnpike to a private owner?

- teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, public workers, and veterans would stand up for their rights, families, and communities? Did he not anticipate that citizens would fight to keep fire/police protection, high quality teachers, etc.?

- that few private prison owners would meet the real worth of Ohio's prisons in bids?

If Kasich and the Republicans didn't "anticipate" an alternate outcome in this case, what other areas of our state do not have contingency/emergency plans?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Republicans Trying to Hurt Vets and College Students

*  The American Independent has information about another bad thing about SB 5/Issue 2:

While Ohio’s Senate Bill 5, legislation approved in March that curbs collective-bargaining rights for public employees, has been viewed largely as an attack on teachers, firefighters and police officers, the legislation could also have major implications for Ohio’s veteran community.

The bill, which voters will have the chance to repeal on Nov. 8 via the veto referendum Issue 2, ends the long-running practice of allowing service members going into teaching to count some of their active-duty service towards classroom tenure. It could limit the ability of unions to negotiate for additional protections for their members that serve in the National Guard and Reserve....

Somehow I'm just not surprised that Gov. Kasich and Ohio's Republicans are willing to hurt so many people, but not willing to cut their own salaries and benefits.  They continue to reward and protect their corporate buddies while Ohio's middle class struggles to survive.

>>>> OMG!  More layoffs have been posted at the Warn notice page of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family ServicesAT&T Business Solutions (ABS) Global Customer Service: 61 people to lose their jobs.  Kasich and Kvamme are just not getting the jobs done.

***  This should be of interest to every college student in the country.  If you support a Republican for President, you might change your mind.


Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul wants to eliminate the federal student loan program. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich believes student loans are a “Ponzi scheme,” which really doesn’t make any sense at all.

And Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain added his name to the list of GOP leaders who no longer want the federal government to help young people pay for higher education....

....It’s not just presidential candidates. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week told voters the Pell Grant program is “unsustainable” (it’s actually sustainable with some sensible reforms, making Paul’s drive to gut the program unnecessary*) and that he was outraged that the Obama administration “confiscated the private student loan industry” (that never happened).....

If you are a college student or the parent of one, you should stay away from these Republicans.  The Republicans apparently want all college students to borrow money from banks.

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who wants to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, now proposes ending Pell grants.  This all goes back to the Republican philosophy--- I got mine, and tough luck getting yours.

Republicans: Little Effort

* While you are out busting your behind to put food on the table, let it be known that the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has published their "work(?)" schedule for 2012.  If you think that the Republicans haven't helped you in 2011, you can count on even less effort from them.  DailyKos has the GOP work schedule for 2012 and a comparison that shows that working Americans will have 258 workdays but the Republican controlled House of Representative has scheduled 109 days of work. 
Here is the math: 
your work days 258 > 109 work days in Republican controlled U.S. House

What do Republican House members have against work?
House GOP work calendar


* I guess the way to get an unbid contract with the state is to have some ties with the Republican Party   The State of Ohio Controlling Board granted an unbid contract 
to McDonald Hopkins for $891,000 this week due to the request of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.  What is the big deal? A news release from McDonald Hopkins reveals the ties:

Cleveland, Ohio (March 9, 2011) – Matthew R. Cox has joined the Government Affairs Practice as Of Counsel at McDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm. He is based in the firm’s Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio offices. With an extensive background in state government and politics, Cox advises business clients, public entities and nonprofits on a wide range of governmental matters, including issue lobbying, project management and economic development incentives. Before joining McDonald Hopkins, Cox was an attorney and registered lobbyist at the Tucker, Ellis & West law firm. 
    In the government arena, Cox served as Senior Deputy Attorney General with the Office of Attorney General Jim Petro, as well as a position with the Ohio Auditor of State. In 2010, he managed the successful State Issue 1 campaign, which renewed and extended the Ohio Third Frontier program through 2014. In politics, Cox has managed county and state campaigns and has served in significant roles in major campaigns since 1996.....

How convenient that an unbid contract goes to a company that has someone with ties to the Ohio GOP!  If you'd like to explore this week's controlling board actions, visit here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Update#2: Wow!  It is possible that all those phone calls made by Jack Hanna to the Governor's office have paid off today.

Gov. John Kasich's office has halted the release of six exotic animals captured from a Zanesville farm last week......

....The animal care experts at the Columbus Zoo have been caring for the three leopards, two Celebes macaques and a young grizzly bear since rescuing them after law enforcement personnel were forced to shoot 49 other animals that had been released by Terry Thompson and were a threat to public safety.....

......"You know, if the attorneys want to take me to jail -- whatever they want to do to me they can do because I'm not going to allow the animals, and I hope the zoo -- I'm talking to the zoo right now. I've talked to the governor's office. You know, they might be her animals, but they're not going back in those conditions. Of course, if I'm overruled by everybody then it's fine but my stance is they don't go back to where they came from," Hanna said....

Thanks, Jack Hanna, for protecting the animals from going back to that farm.

Update:  Gov. John Kasich's weak executive order will not stop Marian Thompson from claiming the remaining exotic animals that were take to the Columbus Zoo after Terry Thompson let his wild animal outside his farm.  Mrs. Thompson, the widow of the man from Zanesville, Ohio, that released the exotic animals and caused a national outcry, is headed to the Columbus Zoo to take the animals home.  See CNN.

>  No matter what kind of message Gov. John Kasich puts out about his "success" in bringing and saving jobs in Ohio, you just need to look at the reality. A quick glance at the warn notices at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, reveals the truth: the layoff are still occurring, even this week.
ODJFS has posted new layoffs at:

Management & Training Corp. and MTC Medical (MTC) in Conneaut and Grafton, Ohio, will layoff 446 people.
Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. in Hamilton, Ohio, will layoff 137 people.

Despite the rhetoric, the job losses are piling up under Kasich.

* Taxpayers are concerned about the Ohio GOP's plan to have two primaries next spring.
Athens News:

A Republican plan for Ohio to hold two primaries next year has raised some concerns about costs here in Athens County but also confidence that the task can be pulled off if that's the final plan.

The double primary – one for presidential and congressional candidates, and the other for all other candidates – was created by GOP state legislators and signed by Gov. John Kasich Friday night. The impetus for the plan was a ruling by the Republican-controlled Ohio Supreme Court giving Democrats the opportunity to petition for the recently drawn redistricting maps to be put to Ohio voters on next year's November ballot.

....The extra primary is expected to cost Ohio $15 million.....

That $15 million could be used to help schools, the elderly, or update safety equipment for first responders. If the Ohio budget is so tight, where are the Republicans able to get this money?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Never Forget!

CityBeat has rated State Rep. Louis Blessing for his search for government employment:

LOU BLESSING: Having held one state elective office or another for the past 28 years, State Rep. Louis Blessing (R-Colerain Township) wants to find yet another job paid for by taxpayers. Facing term limits on his seat in the Ohio House, just as he did with his Ohio Senate seat in 2004, Blessing has told reporters he wants to remain employed in state government, perhaps by managing the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. In the past, the arch-conservative has backed legislation that restricted collective bargaining rights for public sector labor unions and required photo IDs to be able to vote, both measures pushed by the secretive ALEC group in multiple states. Thus, Blessing’s desire to to run the Consumers’ Counsel, which advocates for residents against utility companies, is both laughable and absurd. Hey, Mr. Conservative: Go into the private sector already.....

Do you remember Louis Blessing's comment that "Republicans earn their money.." that is available on YouTube?

Really?  Republicans work harder than everyone else?  How many burning buildings has Mr. Blessing walked into in his lifetime?


****  How do other people view Gov. Kasich and his attacks on public employees? Here is a clipping about Kasich from an article at MSNBC:

....He seemed to aim his fire especially at teachers’ unions. “We need more school choice, we need to break the back of organized labor in the schools, and we need to turn our schools into institutions that excite our kids and teach them,” he said during the campaign. 

The Quinnipiac survey suggests Kasich and his allies in the Legislature might have pushed beyond what most voters are willing to accept in curbing union power.....

In the future, middle class families who support public education, our firefighters, police, teachers, nurses, and public workers need to remember what the Republicans tried to do in Ohio and never forget - never forget - never forget.

Vote NO on Issue 2.

No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.
No on Issue 1.   No on Issue 2.   No on Issue 3.

Be Vigilant

*  Despite the large number of people opposing SB 5/Issue 2, everyone must remember to vote. If you have voted already, see if you can help get people to the polls.  This will not be over after the election.  Gov. Kasich, Shannon Jones, the Republicans, and their big corporate supporters will try pushing a similar bill like SB 5 if they lose on this one.

Here is what was reported on a private meeting Gov. Kasich had with Republicans:


In a speech to about 200 mostly Republican supporters on Sept. 1, Gov. John Kasich told them that "we are at war with these people," meaning public employees. He said that he wished that they would just accept Senate Bill 5 because, if it is defeated as Issue 2 in November, he plans to "ram it through" anyway via other legislation. This was reported by the superintendent of the Southeast Local School District, near Dayton, who perhaps inexplicably had been invited to attend Kasich's talk.....

We must be vigilant on what happens after election day. Since Kasich indicated the would "ram it through" some other way, we've got to maintain our focus on the language used in  any future legislation. Check out the kinds of bills being worked on in the Ohio General Assembly, as well as those proposals being pushed by Gov. Kasich and Republicans.

*** Are you trying to understand why the Ohio Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives haven't created any jobs?  Here is a sampling of the kind of legislation they are sponsoring----

Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-1st-R) has sponsored 6 bills:
  1. H.R.1345 : Stop Wasting American Tax Dollars Act
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 4/4/2011)      Cosponsors (None) 

  2. H.R.1346 : No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 4/4/2011)      Cosponsors (None)  

  3. H.R.1347 : Oil Price Reduction Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 4/4/2011)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Foreign Affairs
Latest Major Action: 5/13/2011 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

  4. H.R.2802 : To provide for media coverage of Federal court proceedings.
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 8/5/2011)      Cosponsors (3)  

  5. H.R.3219 : Small Business Investment Company Modernization Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 10/14/2011)      Cosponsors (None) 

  6. H.RES.297 : Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Secretary of State should withhold United States contributions to the regularly assessed biennial budget of the United Nations for purposes of the General Assembly of the United Nations if the General Assembly adopts a resolution in favor of recognizing a state of Palestine outside of or prior to a final status agreement negotiated between, and acceptable to, the State of Israel and the Palestinians.
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 6/3/2011)      Cosponsors (None) 

Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15-R) has sponsored 4 bills:
  1. H.R.1539 : Asset-Backed Market Stabilization Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] (introduced 4/14/2011) 

  2. H.R.2214 : Debt Elimination By Tax-Deductible Contribution Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] (introduced 6/16/2011)

 3. H.R.2439 : Removing GSEs Charters During Receivership Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] (introduced 7/7/2011)  

 4. H.R.2779 : To exempt inter-affiliate swaps from certain regulatory requirements put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Sponsor: Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] (introduced 8/1/2011)...

Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16-R) has sponsored 2 bills:
   1. H.R.2081 : To amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to replace the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection with the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Sponsor: Rep Renacci, James B. [OH-16] (introduced 6/1/2011)...
   2. H.R.2137 : Empowering More Productive and Lasting Opportunity Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Renacci, James B. [OH-16] (introduced 6/3/2011)      Cosponsors (8)... 

Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-18-R) has sponsored 2 bills:
  1. H.R.872 : Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011
 Sponsor: Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-18] (introduced 3/2/2011....

  2. H.R.1865 : Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-18] (introduced 5/12/2011)....

The bills sponsored by the above mentioned Republicans do not include one bill that creates one job.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kasich Disapproval Increasing

A new Quinnipiac Poll has some very interesting numbers on the upcoming Ohio election and voter ratings of Gov. John Kasich. Here are some highlights from the Quinnipiac Poll:

10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling his job as Governor?

                                                               UNION HSHLD
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No

Approve              36%    71%    14%    30%    41%    31%    23%    40%
Disapprove           52     23     75     54     50     54     67     47
DK/NA                12      7     10     16     10     15     10     13
...18. As you may know there is a proposed referendum to repeal this new law.  Do 
you think this new law which limits collective bargaining for public employees 
should be kept or repealed?

                                                               UNION HSHLD
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No

Kept                 32%    59%    13%    32%    38%    27%    24%    35%
Repealed             57     32     77     56     54     58     70     52
DK/NA                11      9      9     12      7     15      7     13
19. Do you think limiting collective bargaining for public employees is necessary 
to help balance the state budget or not?

                                                               UNION HSHLD
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No

Yes                  34%    59%    18%    31%    38%    30%    21%    38%
No                   57     32     75     59     56     58     73     52
DK/NA                 9      9      7     10      6     13      6     11

My view:   Let me point out something very important in these questions and how women responded.  In questions #10, #18, and #19, women voters voiced their opposition to Kasich and SB 5 in higher numbers than male voters. As a woman myself and in my conversations with other women, I can honestly say that women do not like the bullying, disrespect, and arrogance that Gov. Kasich has displayed in his dealings with people. Several women said that they couldn't stand hearing his voice. Another factor could be Kasich's budget which had major cuts to public education and nursing homes, issues that are very important to women.

* I'll be skipping this event. >>>  Mr. Mitt "Corporations are people" Romney is going to be in Cincinnati. Romney recently suggested that banks should speed up foreclosures (see RawStory).  Doesn't it figure that Romney, who sold off companies, fired American workers, and outsourced jobs, would find a friend in Kasich, a former Vice President at Lehman Brothers?


An overwhelming majority of Ohio voters favor repealing a new anti-union law backed by Gov. John Kasich and opposition to the measure has increased sharply in the last month, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The survey comes as Mitt Romney is set to travel to Cincinnati on Tuesday to support upholding the law in a key 2012 battleground state....

It really doesn't matter which Republican personality Kasich brings to Ohio because it is very clear that Ohio's voters are sick of the Republican agenda. We need to vote out all those that supported SB 5 and vote out Kasich.

Vote NO on Issue 2.


Gov. John Kasich has done a real disservice to Ohio's teachers over the past year by insulting, demeaning, and disrespecting their accomplishments and dedication to their students. Now, according to TheLantern, a group has been invited to Ohio State to help push education reform in Ohio, StudentsFirst and------Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the public schools of Washington, D.C.

It is not enough that Gov. Kasich has pushed through legislation to end collective bargaining in Ohio, dismantle seniority status, and eliminate the right of teachers to have a voice in class size and safety, now we are going to be instructed by someone with very little classroom experience and has created controversy concerning test scores, her resume, firing of staff, pushing charters, creating division in staffs, etc..

Here are some reminders about Rhee's background:

NY Times (7/24/10):
Michelle Rhee, the reform-minded chancellor who took over the District of Columbia public schools three years ago, on Friday fired 241 teachers, or 5 percent of the district’s total. All but a few of those dismissed had received the lowest rating under a new evaluation system that for the first time held them accountable for their students’ standardized test scores....

USA Today (3/30/11) investigated "Erasuregate" at Noyes School:

...Michelle Rhee, then chancellor of D.C. schools, took a special interest in Noyes. She touted the school, which now serves preschoolers through eighth-graders, as an example of how the sweeping changes she championed could transform even the lowest-performing Washington schools. Twice in three years, she rewarded Noyes' staff for boosting scores: In 2008 and again in 2010, each teacher won an $8,000 bonus, and the principal won $10,000.

A closer look at Noyes, however, raises questions about its test scores from 2006 to 2010. Its proficiency rates rose at a much faster rate than the average for D.C. schools. Then, in 2010, when scores dipped for most of the district's elementary schools, Noyes' proficiency rates fell further than average.

A USA TODAY investigation, based on documents and data secured under D.C.'s Freedom of Information Act, found that for the past three school years most of Noyes' classrooms had extraordinarily high numbers of erasures on standardized tests. The consistent pattern was that wrong answers were erased and changed to right ones.....

Michelle Rhee, tool of corporate edu-privatizers, is using Care2 to astroturf her anti-teacher, anti-union, Students First Foundation with a petition entitled "Save Great Teachers". (The foundation title itself is propaganda. For someone who is all about accountability, she should change the name to, it would be more accurate.) is well financed by the Billionaires Boys Club, Diane Ravitch's apt descriptor of the wealthy edu-privatizers who are crawling all over DoE, congress and state legislatures to lobby for laws to break teachers unions and teachers employment safeguards.

According to Ken Libby at  Rhee intends to raise $1billion through her Students First Foundation. Her sugar daddies are putting serious money behind initiatives to sell public schools to Wall Street.

   Rhee said grants from foundations -- including several that sponsored the teacher    merit  pay plan Rhee introduced in the District -- will fund Students First, alongside membership  dues and individual donations. Her goal is 1 million members and 
           $1 billion.....

Contact the Dean of the Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology to encourage her to keep Michelle Rhee out of any position of power and influence:  Contact the Dean here.

Vote NO on Issue 2.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kasich's Numbers

***  Gov. John Kasich doesn't appear to be able to keep his numbers straight.  His speeches and conversations about the pensions and health care of public workers just are so inconsistent.  Some people might even accuse him of distorting the facts, and just downright lying.  You can judge for yourself in this video put together by Plunderbund:


It almost seems as though every single time Kasich opens his mouth that his nose is growing longer, longer, and longer.  Has Kasich just lied so much that he cannot even remember the truth?

How does Kasich feel that his idol, his god, Ronald Reagan was for collective bargaining and unions (see YouTube)?

In my own unscientific poll, the No on Issue 2 people clearly outnumber the other side. Those of us voting NO on Issue 2 can gather some information from front yard signs and bumper stickers - - - We know our friends.

Vote NO on Issue 2.

Vote NO on Issues 1, 2, 3.

****  Those of us living in Ohio's 15th congressional district have Republican Rep. Steve Stivers who still has not sponsored a bill that relates to job creation.  Stivers has sponsored 4 bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and not one has created a job, but they are making his banking and stockbroker friends happy. Even as Stivers says on his website that job creation is one of his priorities, the numbers just don't add up.

If you visit the OpenSecrets page on the campaign funds raised by Steve Stivers, you'll discover this about the Stivers campaign committee--- his PAC contributions outnumber those made by humans:


Cycle Source of Funds, 2011-2012, Campaign Cmte only

Individual Contributions
 - Small Individual Contributions
 - Large Individual Contributions
$12,071     (1%)
$520,174  (44%)
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Sunday, October 23, 2011


*  Gov. John Kasich's response to the wild animal release in Muskingum County, Ohio, has already been called insufficient.


...Unlike an order signed by his predecessor, Gov. Ted Strickland, which Kasich allowed to expire, the new order does not ban ownership or sale of wild animals, or require registration. Kasich said that would require changes in state law to be proposed later this year....

...Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, called Kasich’s order “inadequate” and “far too conservative, given the severity of the crisis.”

....Tim Harrison of Outreach for Animals, a Dayton organization that does wild-animal rescues, called Kasich’s order “absolutely toothless. This is like putting a Band-Aid on a bleeding artery."

Kasich is too busy reorganizing the state government, destroying our public schools, picking on first responders/nurses/teacher/public employees, and giving away hundreds of millions of our dollars to his corporate cronies to invest time in pushing for legislation that bans ownership of exotic animals and protects the public.  Instead of taking responsibility  and pushing for immediate legislation, Kasich has put the blame on everyone but himself.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

News Roundup....

*  Good news is spreading rapidly. ---CNN:

President Barack Obama on Friday announced that virtually all U.S. troops will come home from Iraq by the end of the year -- at which point he can declare an end to America's long and costly war in that Middle Eastern nation.

"After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," Obama said. "The coming months will be a season of homecomings. Our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays."

Of the 39,000 troops in Iraq, about 150, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales, a U.S. official told CNN. The rest will be out of Iraq by December 31....

President Obama kept his promise.  Now will the rest of our elected officials, especially the Republicans wake up? With about 40,000 military men and women coming home, they'll need jobs.  The Republicans need to stop blocking President Obama's job creation legislation so that we can get everyone back to work.  The "do-nothing" Republicans at least should honor our vets and all Americans by creating jobs as the President has demanded.

>>>  Uh-oh. Could this be true? Politico is reporting that Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's staff up in New Hampshire quit en masse today and " of the staffers told ABC News that they hadn't been paid for a month....."

* Bad news for Sarah Palin---- Her book is in the discount section at Barnes and Noble, on sale for $5.98.  

****  ROFLOL:  Eric Cantor

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, scrapped a speech on income inequality scheduled for Friday afternoon at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School after his office learned the event would be open to the public....

.....Cantor's office said they understood that the Wharton event was only open to the media and an audience of about 250 members of the school community. But in a statement Friday afternoon, the school said that was not the case.

"The Wharton speaker series is typically open to the general public, and that is how the event with Majority Leader Cantor was billed," the university said. "We very much regret if there was any misunderstanding with the majority leader's office on the staging of his presentation."

Now I remember---Republicans are allergic to meeting the public and only like "invited guests" that they choose.  Heaven forbid that they should actually rub elbows with us common folk!!!!   Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.  

* * * * * * *
>>>  There is even more idiocy from Ohio's Republicans.  The "fiscally conservative" Republicans have found another way to spend more money.

Ohians will go to the polls twice next spring to vote.

Governor Kasich signed a bill Friday night calling for a separate primary for the Congressional and Presidential primary June 12th. State and local races would be voted on in March.

The two primaries will cost the cash strapped state an extra $15 million.....

The Republicans are ruining this state:  high unemployment, wild animals escaping and killed because the governor let an executive order expire, hundreds of millions of dollars given away to corporations in tax breaks yet there are still no jobs, public schools losing funding so that failing charter schools get more money, teachers/firefighters/police/nurses and public employees demonized by Republicans, funding cuts to nursing homes, etc., etc., etc.  What a mess!

Don't forget -------  Vote NO! on Issues 1, 2, + 3.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vote by Absentee Ballot

****  We keep getting political material through the mail.  Yesterday we got another mailer from the dark side (those for Issue 2), but it was too late.  We have already voted by absentee ballot and we voted no on Issue 2.  According to an item in the Dispatch, requests for absentee ballots are up again this year because of the ballot issues.  I believe that people are just suspicious of the Republicans being in charge of voting machines.  Here is a reminder:  

Vote NO on  Issue 2.

No on Issue 1.
No on Issue 2.
No on Issue 3.

* Update to story below:


....Kasich signed an executive order Friday and said the state has agreed to work with zoos to house any confiscated animals found in substandard conditions. He also has requested the Ohio Department of Natural Resources set up a hot line for citizens to report animal abuse.....
I wonder if the full court press of Jack Hanna, animal rights advocates, Ohioans, and even Ted Nugent forced Kasich to do something.  

Do you need to see an example of just what type of person Gov. Kasich is?  Kasich issued an executive order for horse racing tracks, but he refused to sign an executive order to outlaw the sale and ownership of exotic animals.

Ohio's horse-racing tracks can apply for relocation thanks to an executive order signed by Gov. John Kasich and an emergency rule adopted by the Ohio Racing Commission, The Vindicator in Youngstown reported.....

This is just further proof that the Kasich administration cares more about pleasing his corporate friends than the people in Ohio.

>>>> Ohio's unemployment rate remains at 9.1% for September 2011 (DaytonDailyNews).


**Daily Kos has Jon Stewart's reaction to the news out of Libya:

Thursday, October 20, 2011


*  People all over the world are reacting to the events at the wild animal farm in Zanesville, Ohio.  Even the Times of India carried the news, and invited comments.

*  It looks like Gov. John Kasich is on the hot seat for allowing the executive order on exotic animal ownership to expire.  Kasich detests regulations, but he really made a big mistake that resulted in a complete disaster in Zanesville. His arrogance caused this mess.


...Now Gov. John Kasich is coming under fire from some animal groups Wednesday night, ONN's affiliate WEWS reported.

A ban on exotic pets expired in April and Kasich didn't renew it. Now some groups are criticizing the governor for not doing enough fast enough.

Before leaving office, former Gov. Ted Strickland issued a ban barring people from bringing exotic animals into Ohio.

It also prohibited people convicted of animal cruelty, like Terry Thompson, from owning exotic animals.....

Even Republican friendly Ted Nugent was upset with Kasich.
Detroit News:

Ted Nugent has a bone to pick with Ohio Gov. John Kasich over an exotic animal escape near Zanesville that captivated the nation Wednesday. 

The Motor City Madman and conservation activist monitored the situation from a hunting cabin on his 1,200-acre Jackson County farm, and said Kasich was to blame for failing to ban exotic animal ownership. 

"I'm going to make a call to Gov. Kasich because he (ended) an executive order by the previous governor that did prohibit and control wild animal ownership," Nugent told The Detroit News on Wednesday. "These are real, wild, dangerous, capable and dangerous animals and they belong in the wild."

I agree with Ted Nugent, and trust me, I never agree with Ted Nugent on anything.
***  The PPP poll has Gov. John Kasich's approval rating at 37%.

* The TV ads which detail how Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15th) is working to overturn the Clean Air Act, are attracting a lot of attention from voters.  Students at Ohio State are probably as mortified as I am.

>>>>>  Gov. John Kasich's Development guru is being accused of some ethics violations.

Four Democratic state lawmakers want an ethics review of Ohio's economic development chief, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.
The challenge to Mark Kvamme was referred Wednesday to the Ohio Ethics Commission by Reps. Teresa Fedor and Michael Ashford, of Toledo, Mike Foley, of Cleveland, and Robert Hagan, of Youngstown.

They say some of Kvamme's private business dealings pose a conflict of interest with his state government work.....

And  The Examiner has more on this----

....According to their statement, the complaint asserts that some of Mark Kvamme's private business dealings conflict with his public duties. Among the potential conflicts raised, the group said, is his role as a “special limited partner” in Sequoia Capital, a California-based venture capital firm.
The lawmakers, who are in the minority in the Ohio, said Sequoia has a significant stake in VanceInfo, a leading China-based software development firm. VanceInfo’s clients include IBM and Microsoft, both of which have operations in Ohio. Kvamme has a personal stake in VanceInfo and Sequoia Capital’s website lists him as a member of the “Outsourcing Team.”
We'll see what happens with that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wild Animals Loose? Blame Kasich!

****Update:  On a press conference (going on now) on channel 4 Columbus, the Sheriff said that when his officers responded, there were wild animals outside their cruisers.  The sheriff said there were tigers, leopards, lions, 2 species of bears, and one wild animal got loose on the interstate and was hit by a car.

As the first responders have risked their lives to protect the public, someone with ties to the Kasich administration criticized them.


...Unfortunately that’s exactly what the wife of Kasich’s closest advisor, Jai Chabria, did this evening.

As the story of the animals’ escape unfolded, and news that Sheriff’s deputies had been forced to shoot at least one of the animals was made public, Jai’s wife Tammy took the opportunity to publicly attack the police officers and public employees in general on Twitter.

Chabria called the officers “inhumane morons who have no idea what they’re doing and shouldn’t be permitted to do this job”. And called the Sheriff’s “shoot to kill” order “Incompetence.”

Would she have wanted to go out there herself and take care of the animals?

*  The first responders have been endangering their lives in trying to round up wild animals that were kept on private property. Lions, cheetahs, bears, and other wild animals have been on the loose in Muskingum County, Ohio, after they were released from a private owner. This is the latest example of why we need regulations.  If SB 5 would have been in place, would the first responders have been able to get to the location as quickly as they did?  By the way, did you see the governor out there helping?  No.  Did you see House Speaker Batchelder helping? No. Where was Ohio House member Louis Blessing (who said that Republicans work harder)??????


Dozens of wild animals — from bears to lions to wolves — were running loose in Muskingum County yesterday, apparently set free from their cages.....

....Ohio has no rules regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals.

Former Gov. Ted Strickland had attempted to enforce such a law, but Gov. John Kasich allowed an executive order to expire....

Of course, Kasich allowed it to expire.  Isn't Gov. Kasich always saying about how regulations are bad?

In a story at, a plea from the U.S. Humane Society was issued:

As local authorities respond to the escape or release of exotic animals in Muskingum County  the Humane Society of the United States is calling on Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to issue emergency regulations restricting the sale and possession of dangerous wild animals.

The Humane Society said in a press release that the Kasich Administration allowed emergency rules put in place by former Governor Ted Strickland to expire in April. It also said that Ohio Department of Natural Resources has convened a working group to develop standards which it recommend to the Legislature for action at some undetermined time frame.....

What other regulations have been allowed to expire by Gov. Kasich? What kinds of dangers do we face because of Kasich's lack of insight into why we need regulations?

Those voters in Muskingum County should do two things:

1.  Support your local sheriff and the first responders who've been out all night responding to this emergency and Vote NO on Issue 2.

2.  Send a message to your local responders and say "Thank you" for your protection.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nothing Positive from SB 5- Vote NO

**  Isn't it curious that State Rep. Nan A. Baker (Republican) supports and voted for SB 5 but has not suggested that members of the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives take pay cuts?  Isn't she interested in "shared sacrifice" or does that only pertain to other people? In her opinion piece in the Westlakebayvillageobserver, Baker said that passing SB 5 will have a "....positive impact it will have on public employees...."

Really?  Is Baker is trying to convince voters that firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses, and public employees will feel good about no longer having a voice in their workplaces?  Does it make Baker feel better to be responsible for pushing forward a bill that takes away the rights of workers to discuss their own safety and staffing?  Shame. Shame. Shame.

* What do you know?  CBS MoneyWatch has a report about Ohio's public employees:

Opponents of Ohio's embattled new collective bargaining law rolled out evidence on Tuesday that they say shows public employees already have saved taxpayers more than $1 billion since 2008 by giving up raises and some benefits.

A report commissioned by Protecting Ohio Protectors — a coalition of police and fire unions — says state employees alone saved Ohio $350 million with wage freezes, furlough days and increased health care payments.

"The report shows that collective bargaining works," said Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio president Jay McDonald....

Obviously, the money that was saved is not enough for Ohio's Republicans and the governor. They want to humiliate public workers and use them as the scapegoat for Ohio's economic problems.  The GOP wants Ohio's public employees to take cuts in pay, lose benefits, lose workers' rights, and lose seniority. This is all part of the Republican agenda being pushed by those right wing big contributors.  In taking money away from Ohio's public employees, the governor will be able to give more corporate tax breaks and pay his staff even more.
In fact, the prime reason Ohio is in such a difficult situation is because of the domino effect caused by the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008.  When Lehman collapsed, the banks, and financial firms followed the downward trend.  Wall Street trading on toxic assets and unethical behavior caused people to lose their retirement funds and businesses to lose everything. 
If SB 5 stands, everyone loses.  Your schools will lose the best teachers. Communities will no longer have the superior fire and police protection they now enjoy.  Nurses will be working longer hours and patient care will suffer.  Getting anything done through the state will take even longer.

What else will happen?  Churches will lose income because their members that are public employees will need to reduce their contributions.  Charities will suffer because public employees contribute their time and money to local institutions, charities, and events.  

Are you willing to risk all this just to keep Kasich and his corporate friends happy?

Vote NO on Issue 2.

More Reminders: Get Out and Vote NO on Issue 2

>>>>>  Rep. Steve Stivers, Republican member of the U.S. House for Ohio's 15th district, will be in Groveport to meet constituents this Friday, October 21st, from 9:30am-11:30am Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road, Groveport, OH (telephone number for the Rec Center:  (614) 836-1000 ‎).  I find it absolutely amazing that Stivers continues to hold these town meeting, office hours, and other talks with constituents in areas that are more difficult to get to and out of the campus/Worthington/Arlington/Clintonville areas.  Is he afraid to meet the opposition?

*  Isn't it amazing that suddenly Gov. John Kasich is concerned about the middle class?

>>>> Was he concerned about the middle class when he cut funding to public schools?

>>>> Was he concerned about the middle class when he started closing unemployment offices in the state?

>>>> Was Kasich concerned about the middle class when he said he wanted to eliminate the prevailing wage on construction projects? (see ThinkProgress)

>>>> Did Kasich show his concern for the middle class and the poor when he made cuts to foodbanks, and Children's Hospitals? (see Cleveland Leader)

  I'll let State Sen. Nina Turner explain, from this YouTube video from MSNBC's Ed Show:

Vote NO on Issue 2.

***  Given the Ohio GOP's history with election/voting manipulation (see NY Times), especially in 2004, Ohio's Republicans do not need encouragement or suggestions from Mike Huckabee.

Here is what Huckabee said in Mason, Ohio on Friday (Masonbuzz):

...In addition to personally committing to vote and engaging in prayer, Huckabee advised the crowd of 350 to reach out to their friends and family in support of Issue 2.

“Make a list…  Call them and ask them, ‘Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?’  If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don’t go vote.  Let the air out of their tires on election day.  Tell them the election has been moved to a different date.  That’s up to you how you creatively get the job done.”

What has been the reaction to Huckabee's suggestion to keep people away from the polls?

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s comments in Mason on Friday have gained national attention and are now ‘blowing up’ say Democratic and liberal groups.

As reported by the Enquirer’s Politics Extra blog, the story has been picked up in Politico, which noted:  ’Huckabee didn’t say he was joking, though the laughter suggests his audience knew he was; a similar riff in Virginia in 2009 drew criticism from Democrats.’

The Huffington Post wrote about it today, and quoted We Are Ohio’s Melissa Fazekas: “These comments reflect an entire campaign of deceit from Issue 2 supporters. They are willing to go to any extremes to keep Ohioans from letting their voices be heard…Enough is enough.”

The Ohio GOP has already tried to "fix" the election by adjusting the length of time that voters can register and cast ballots.  Wouldn't this kind of behavior, as suggested by Huckabee, be encouraging criminal behavior, law breaking, and vandalism?

This is what we are up against, Ohioans. The governor of Ohio brings in his friends who suggest ways to stop people from voting, and no one says it was a joke.  I've never listened to Mike Huckabee, and I lost all respect for him when I found out how he released prisoners as Governor in Arkansas, and the former inmates went on to commit more violence and  more crimes

Vote NO on Issue 2. 

** Republican Josh Mandel can brag all he wants about how much money he raised, but he has still not followed the law.  His personal financial disclosure form was due in the U.S. Senate on May 15th.  He has still not filed it.  Will he be bragging about that?

    How we not forget that Josh Mandel signed on for cuts to Medicare and Social Security:

Mandel Signed Cut, Cap, and Kill Medicare Pledge; Plan Will Force Deep Cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Mandel signed a radical Cut, Cap, and Kill Medicare budget pledge. “The measure does not cut Social Security or Medicare in 2012.  And it does not subject them to automatic cuts if its global spending caps are missed.  It is inconceivable, however, that policymakers would meet the bill’s severe annual spending caps through automatic across-the board cuts year after year; if they did, key government functions would be crippled. Policymakers would have little alternative but to institute deep cuts in specific programs. […] Reaching and maintaining a balanced budget in the decade ahead while barring any tax increases would necessitate deep cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”  [Cut Cap Balance signers, accessed 7/19/2011; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11] (h/t dscc)

I wonder if all those little old ladies up in Cleveland would support someone that wants to cut their lifelines.