Monday, January 31, 2011


Ohio Republican, Gov. John Kasich, let it be known that he is thinking about privatizing or selling off some assets of the state of Ohio.  Besides the Ohio Turnpike, Kasich is also considering selling Ohio prisons to private companies. Wait!  There is more!


State lobbyist registration documents show a long-time adviser and political ally to Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) has lined up a stable of clients he'll pitch to the new administration that specialize in energy, education, technology and private prisons.

One of Don Thibaut's (TEE'-bohz) clients, Corrections Corporation of America, could stand to gain if Kasich pursues expanded prison privatization to help close an estimated $8 billion budget gap. The company retained Thibaut's new lobbying firm in mid-December.

Thibaut spent nearly 20 years as Kasich's chief of staff in Congress and received compensation through political committees associated with Kasich for a decade.....

There is even more information about Kasich's relationship with Thibaut------

DaytonDailyNews (August 18, 2010) and Plunderbund confirmed that when Kasich had that cushy job at Ohio State ($50,000/year for a couple of hours of work per month for twelve years), the special assistant to Kasich who received $20,000/yr. from OSU was.....
Don Thibaut!


I wrote the following information on Ohio15thblog 8/19/2010:

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.

We are all waiting to see what happens. Will Thibaut's client, Corrections Corporation of America, get a contract with the state?

Getting Tired?

Did you ever feel as though you are getting tired of the same old litany from the Republicans?  Republicans continue to repeat their mantra that includes -  lower taxes, government should work like a business, eliminate Social Security, cut Medicare and Medicaid, union workers are bad, etc., etc., etc.  They just repeat the same words over and over again hoping that the public will believe them.  We have to remember that just because the Republicans say something, doesn't make it a fact.

In the response to President Obama's State of the Union, Rep. Paul Ryan made some outrageous statements concerning Ireland and the United States.  According to Ryan, the U.S. was heading down the path of financial ruin like Ireland.  However, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is wrong, very wrong.

Here is what Paul Krugman (Denver Post) had to say about Rep. Paul Ryan's statements following the State of the Union speech:

.....Ryan made highly dubious assertions about employment, health care and more. But what caught my eye was what he said about other countries: "Just take a look at what's happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn't act soon enough, and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody."

.....The lesson of the Irish debacle, then, is very nearly the opposite of what Ryan would have us believe. It doesn't say "cut spending now, or bad things will happen"; it says that balanced budgets won't protect you from crisis if you don't effectively regulate your banks.....

....Ryan is widely portrayed as an intellectual leader within the GOP, with special expertise on matters of debt and deficits. So the revelation that he literally doesn't know the first thing about the debt crises currently in progress is, as I said, interesting — and not in a good way.

Rep. Paul Ryan failed to mention that his so called "Road Map" is really a road map to ruin for the middle class -- privatizing Medicare and handing out vouchers- would clearly hurt the elderly, the ill, and struggling working families.  Paul Ryan and his self-absorbed life just doesn't seem to have much contact with reality when it comes to the needs of the American people.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You Know You're In Trouble....

You know you're in trouble when an editorial in a conservative newspaper takes you to task.  Once again, Republican Gov. John Kasich has been criticized for the composition of his administrative and personal staff.


...Jeers to a cabinet that takes Ohio back to the 1960s. For the first time since 1962, Gov. John Kasich has chosen a cabinet with no minorities on it. Diversity is one of Ohio's many strengths, and the cabinet should reflect that diversity. While Kasich had two African-Americans turn him down for positions, it's important that many divergent views are represented with quality people of color.....

Do we have the names of the two African-American individuals that turned Kasich's job offers down????  If he did have two African-American job candidates turn him down, why did he stop looking for others to fill positions?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kasich, "I don't need your people."

Gov. John Kasich, Republican, has the first all white cabinet since 1962.  Apparently, that doesn't bother him.  Today, according to 10TV,  Gov. Kasich said something to the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, that caught everyone by surprise.  The Legislative Black Caucus met with Kasich to discuss his lack of diversity in his hires.

...State Sen. Nina Turner said Kasich told her "I don't need your people" when she complained about the lack of diversity in his administration. That prompted the Cleveland Democrat to unleash this scathing attack.

"Through his actions and deeds, Gov. Kasich has declared that Ohio is open for business, but if you are African-American you need not apply," said Turner.....

"We want 100 percent transparency as to who has applied for these positions, what they have applied for and reasons as to why these people have not been qualified to work in his administration," said Turner.....

Kasich said in his inaugural speech that he wanted people to work together.  Unfortunately, we've discovered that Kasich only wants to work together with certain people.

Stivers Wants You to Lose Health Benefits

Republican Rep. Steve Stivers has not delivered any new jobs to Ohio's 15th district.  If you'd like to talk to him, go visit at the Madison County Courthouse, 1 N. Main Street, London, Ohio on Monday, January 31st, from 10am-12noon. This is according to his Madison County Facebook page.  Does he have a Franklin County Facebook page?

Stivers voted to repeal the health care law even though the impact on people in Ohio's 15th district would be devastating.  According to a report, the repeal of health care would impact men, women, and children in Ohio's 15th in the following ways:

  • Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 111,000 to 299,000 individuals, including 8,000 to 38,000 children, with pre-existing conditions.
  • Rescinding consumer protections for 453,000 individuals who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance.
  • Eliminating health care tax credits for up to 13,300 small businesses and 165,000 families.
  • Increasing prescription drug costs for 6,100 seniors who hit the Part D drug “donut hole” and denying new preventive care benefits to 77,000 seniors.
  • Increasing the costs of early retiree coverage for up to 8,400 early retirees.
  • Eliminating new health care coverage options for 2,600 uninsured young adults.
  • Increasing the number of people without health insurance by 30,000 individuals.
  • Increasing the costs to hospitals of providing uncompensated care by $121 million annually....
Of course, Stivers got his super, incredible health insurance coverage as a member of Congress.  He doesn't want you to have access to affordable medical care.  Repeal of the health care law would also make those people and PACs happy that are associated with insurance companies that helped bankroll his campaign.

Not Mr. Popular

Ohio Republican and former Vice President at Lehman Brothers, Gov. John Kasich, hasn't been in office a full month, but he has done so much to anger and insult many Ohioans.  Kasich called union workers "thugs," mentioned he wanted to "break the back of organized labor in schools," signed a proclamation declaring March 17th as Dr. Martin Luther King Day, hired all white members as department heads in his cabinet, and now removed employment protections for transgender state employees.


Gov. John Kasich doesn’t appear to be backing off of a strange decision to exclude transgender Ohioans from an anti-discrimination executive order issued last week.

Activists in the LGBT community were angered when Kasich temporarily allowed a 2007 executive order by former Gov. Ted Strickland to expire, despite a campaign promise to the contrary. The 2007 order declared that no state employee could be fired from or denied a state job on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Kasich’s revised order, issued last week, however, did not appease activists. He inexplicably failed to include any protections for the transgender population.....

The article goes on and lists the names of well-known Ohio companies that offer protections for transgender individuals, including  ".....AEP, Battelle, Huntington, Donatos, Limited Brands, Worthington Industries and Nationwide....." and "....conservative companies like Bob Evans Farms, Inc....."

In only a few weeks, Gov. Kasich has managed to disappoint, offend, and outrage a large majority of Ohioans. According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, Kasich has a 30% approval rating (see NewsRecord).  With his proposed budget cuts, Kasich's approval rating might not see 50% for a very long time, if ever.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

JobsOhio Might Not Fly

The fallout continues over Gov. John Kasich's desire to set up a private entity with public money.  Ohioans still remember the last Republican Governor's culture of corruption that cost our state millions of dollars.  Are we ready for round two?

ACLU Ohio:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio expressed disappointment today regarding the lack of transparency and accountability measures in Ohio House Bill 1, which would privatize the state’s Department of Development. Under the legislation, JobsOhio would be allowed to operate secretly, with only quarterly public meetings. The legislation also exempts the organization from parts of state public records laws. The limited records it is required to disclose would only be released annually and not subject to immediate records requests.

“Government should be run efficiently, but not at the expense of the public’s right to know,” said ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link. “The state’s work on business development is unquestionably significant, and deserves to be scrutinized by government watchdogs, the media, and others.”

In addition to transparency concerns, the bill would also provide exceptions to parts of state ethics and lobbying laws. It would also prevent the state Inspector General from investigating potential wrongdoing by members of JobsOhio....

What???? The Inspector General could not investigate corruption, law breaking, or any shenanigans by these JobsOhio members?????   This is outrageous!  Kasich and the Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for trying to hide their backroom deals and possible lapses of ethics.  Is this what Kasich learned on Wall Street?  While Kasich has plans to cut funds for education, some fat cat business leaders could possibly be steering work to their own company or a friend/relative's firm.  Students would be robbed of educational materials while Kasich's good old boys benefit.

In today's Dispatch, Randy Ludlow discusses the legislation in House Bill 1, which is Kasich's plan to privatize job creation:

...The bill may seek to proclaim that JobsOhio is not a public office subject to Sunshine Laws, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.

In its 2006 Oriana House decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that private entities are subject to the Public Records Act if they function as the equivalent of a public office.....

...If Kasich and Republican lawmakers ignore the court’s legal precedent, they seemingly are begging some smart lawyers with a do-good group to file a lawsuit challenging the premise that JobsOhio need not turn over records upon request.....

Which organization or private citizen will file the first lawsuit?

This Doesn't Pass the Smell Test

I realize that the Ohio Republicans are trying their best to repress every hardworking man and woman in the state.  This latest proposal by members of the Ohio GOP just stinks.


A bill to permit private employers to award compensatory time off instead of monetary overtime compensation is expected to be introduced in the Ohio House today.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Jarrod Martin, R-Beavercreek, would apply mainly to small “mom and pop” businesses, Martin said. Most larger employers probably would be exempt because of federal and state wage and hour laws, he said. The compensatory time would be subject to employee approval and other conditions....

Can you imagine the abuses that this would set up?  A worker could be forced to work overtime, and later be denied the comp time because it isn't feasible for the owner. This might also be a ploy for a business owner to refuse to hire additional help and continue to pile work and responsibilities on current employees, and still refuse to give time off for time worked.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SOTU and stuff

* Did you notice that John Boehner did not clap when the President was talking about expanding opportunities for students to attend college? Boehner also did not applaud when President Obama talked about the benefits of the health care law.

Interesting tweets during the State of the Union Speech:

ClipsandComment‎ Obama says become a teacher, Kasich says f*#! teachers.
Twitter - 41 minutes ago

freshenergy‎ RT @NobleIdeas: Give 80% of Americans access to high speed rail? Can Govs. Kasich (OH) and Walker (WI) rethink this? #SOTU
Twitter - 5 minutes ago

App-store-icon_normal 9newsdotcom Obama: Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. #SOTU #9NEWS
What was Boehner trying to get out of his teeth? 

Here is a tweet from right wing Republican, Rep. Paul Broun:

RepPaulBrounMD Mr. President, give them the tools they need to defend our country. Not just lip service.  

The interesting thing is that both as a Senator and as President, Barack Obama has supported our troops.  On the other hand, Rep. Paul Broun has not.  As a matter of fact, Rep. Paul BrounMD received a "D" from the IAVA on his votes supporting the troops:

Below you will find a complete list of Representatives who earned a D or lower from IAVA Action during the 111th Congress. These legislators must improve their voting records if they are to legitimately claim that they support new veterans.
Broun Paul GA  

Broun is on the list of those who have not demonstrated their support for veterans.


Rep. Paul Ryan is giving the Republican response.  Although he won't mention it, Paul Ryan wants to privatize Social Security. (Why are Paul Ryan's eyes so bloodshot? Did Ryan get acting tips from the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal? Rep. Ryan is too animated when he is speaking.  He is not reading a book to third graders!)

Rep. Paul Ryan has his statistics wrong.  Health care reform will save us money and lower our debt.  Rep. Paul Ryan wants to reward his friends in the individuals associated with insurance companies and insurance PACs who have contributed over $660,000 to his campaigns (see OpenSecrets).  He wants to have a free market for insurance.  As Rachel Maddow said, Paul Ryan can't even get support from mainstream Republicans for his radical ideas.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Plunderbund has more news about how the Kasich administration is re-opening the Ohio Republican office of the Culture of Corruption:

JobsOhio employees can lobby JobsOhio legally while they work (and be lobbied secretly.)
Section 187.03(B)(2) of the bill explicitly states that the Governor’s ethics reporting requirements do not change, but the rest of JobsOhio’s directors, executives, and staff have different requirements.  The bill specifically states that they do not need to report:

(Kasich's handpicked members) ....they only need to report income or gifts over $500 (R.C. 102.022.) But it gets better.  Remember how I said that the bill would exempt JobsOhio from Ohio’s “revolving door” lobbying ethics statute?  Yeah, the directors of JobsOhio and its employee aren’t subject to that statute.  That not only means that they can lobby the rest of JobsOhio immediate after they leave instead of waiting for a year under Ohio’s “revolving door” statute, but they can lobby JobsOhio while they’re employed as a director or employee.  (See, R.C. 102.03(A)(1) which Sec. 187.03(A)(4-5) exempts JobsOhio’s employees and directors from having to comply....

Oh, my. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kasich Called Union Workers "thugs"

Republican Gov. John Kasich has made a reputation disrespecting teachers, unionized state workers, unionized firefighters and police officers.  Kasich has called them names and blamed the state's ills on union workers and binding arbitration.  Teachers, state workers, firefighters, and police officers don't need this deserve this type of treatment.

How do you think that Kasich will be received when he visits Lordstown and addresses the union workers there?  I hope that when he speaks that those union auto workers refuse to applaud for Kasich.  If they sat there silently while Kasich talks, that would really let him know that they have just as much respect for him as he does for them.

As the Ohiodailyblog (10/26/10) reported during the campaign, Kasich called union workers "union thugs."

....Well, yesterday we learned there's another group John Kasich disdains. Union families. In a frantic, stumbling stump speech in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Kasich stopped talking about jobs and instead, turned his eye to what he believes is really wrong with Ohio. "Union thugs."

.....Characterizing union workers, the backbone of our manufacturing and service economies, as "thugs" is one of the most mean-spirited, divisive smears this season. It sends the message that the guy working the third shift to put three kids through college is, in fact, a criminal....

I hope the UAW gives Kasich a polite but quiet welcome.

Republican Cuts to Education

College students who voted for Republican candidates in the last election will be upset with the latest Republican budget proposals.  Some of the Republican cuts would hit college students and their parents right where it hurts.


U.S. House Republicans’ pledge to cut $100 billion from the federal budget next year would slash spending for education, cancer research and aid to local police and firefighters.....

....President Barack Obama has requested $73.4 billion for the Department of EducationPell Grants to help low-income students afford college, a 32 percent increase from this year....  next year. That request includes $23 billion for

....A 21 percent cut across the board would take about $15 billion from education. A 21 percent cut in Pell Grants would take almost $5 billion from student tuition..... 

The article also notes that other cuts to education would target special education, and federal money to schools.

The Republicans tried these type of drastic cuts before when they had their Contract on America  Contract with America.  Don't think for a minute that the Republicans have come up with any new ideas.  They just recycle the old ones hoping that something, anything, will work this time.

If you are a college student, particularly those in Ohio (Ohio State, Ohio University, Bowling Green, Kent, UC, UD, Toledo, etc.), I'd suggest you run/call/contact through Facebook, your local College Democrats on campus.  Find out how you can get involved to try to stop these cuts that will hurt your ability to finish your college education.  You might also want to make your parents aware of the Republican planned cuts to education.

(Note to Ohioans:  In the state of Ohio, it should be noted that former Gov. Ted Strickland was able to hold down tuition increases.  Experts believe that Gov. Kasich will force state universities to raise tuition because of his planned cuts to state funding for education.)

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and his plan to cut spending has repeatedly gone after Social Security.  Ryan continues to push cutting benefits for Social Security, continue to raise the retirement age, and privatizing Social Security (see Washington Post, Common Dreams, Huffington Post).  Thank goodness the previous Republican plan to privatize Social Security was unsuccessful because everyone would have lost their retirement funds when Wall Street collapsed during the Bush administration.

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Can't Make Up This Stuff.....

This just in............

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has just hired another white male - Jim Trakas.

Who is Jim Trakas?  Here are a few pieces of information about him.
....Trakas has less agency experience than his predecessor, Kevin Miller, whom Kasich just tapped to be director of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. Miller was chief of staff at the Ohio Department of Youth Services before he was appointed as the cosmetology board's executive director in 2005. He earned $91,000 a year at the board. 

Trakas' last two non-political jobs listed on his resume: commercial sales representative for Nature Stone Floors of Bedford and public policy coordinator at Lorain County Community College, which he left so he could run for Congress in 2008. 

Kasich has said he will not base hiring on politics, but rather on qualifications....


Jim Trakas ran against Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Jim Trakas is the jerk that famously said at a McCain-Palin rally that (see Bloggerinterrupted)....Barack Obama supporters are "sinners"....

Of course, we can't forget that when Jim Trakas was a GOP chairman, he initially wanted to challenge voters who were disabled during the 2004 presidential election (see Washington Post).

Kasich's Privatizing Jobs a "Boondoggle"

In this morning's Dispatch, Brian Rothenberg, the executive director of ProgressOhio, called Gov. Kasich's plan to privatize job development a "boondoggle":

...Brian Rothenberg, executive director of ProgressOhio, a Columbus-based liberal advocacy group, also questioned whether Kasich's JobsOhio plan would incorporate assurances that businesses receiving taxpayer-funded incentives actually create the jobs they promise....

...Rothenberg said: "Until Ohio stops viewing job-creation dollars as corporate welfare and demands accountability in jobs created for dollars spent to create jobs, this is just a boondoggle with another name."

I agree.  Besides, why are Kasich and the Republicans in such a hurry to privatize the Department of Development without much input from the public?  Are they rushing this legislation and new private entity so that we don't have a chance to see the plans, and research how other states have done similar moves?  What about the proposal that those on Kasich super, special development board will only be paid for expenses?  Shouldn't there be a limit or a per diem as to a limit they can charge the state for reimbursement?  Will they be able to charge champagne, expensive dinners, and fancy hotel stays to the state?  Somehow this entire idea needs to be on firmer footing with specific guidelines. 

I almost hesitate to read the news in the morning because I worry that Kasich has come up with another ridiculous idea that we will have to pay for out of our tax dollars!

*****  Did you know that Gov. Kasich not only is paying his staffer higher salaries than former Gov. Ted Strickland, but most of his cabinet is also being paid more?

Columbus Dispatch:

***  How many jobs have the Republicans, John Boehner, and Steve Stivers created?  I've looked over the recent legislation list and there are no job bills?  Where are the jobs???

***  Rep. Jay Hottinger, another Republican, is in the news for two stories today:

Politifact rates a recent statement by Hottinger as FALSE:

"Ben Franklin once quipped that only two things in life were certain: death and taxes," said Rep. Jay Hottinger, a Republican from Newark. "I think even he didn't envision that the tax man would visit on the day of your death -- and that's something that needs to end here in the state of Ohio."

...We sought further guidance from Franklin authority Dr. Michael Zuckerman, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, which Franklin founded. There is "nothing whatever in that quote pertinent to estate taxes," he responded.

But Franklin, he told us, did not view taxes negatively. Rather, Zuckerman said, he was "mistrustful of great wealth, and quite supportive of inheritance taxes."

Why do Republicans think they can just make up their own facts?

>>>  The second article in the Dispatch, recounts the sophomoric behavior of some Ohio Republicans.  While at a "retreat" at the Cherry Valley Lodge, some Ohio Senate Republicans "toilet-papered" the home and property of State Rep. Jay Hottinger.

I sincerely hope that our tax dollars did not pay for the "retreat" or the toilet paper.  I guess this is what you get from a bunch of overzealous, arrogant, bragadocious, unfeeling Republicans.  Instead of meeting and discussing the plight of children, the poor, disabled, and elderly in Ohio, these adolescents are wasting time instead of solving problems.  I guess they might not need to do any thinking on their own since apparently they just follow orders from Gov. Kasich and his highly paid staff and cabinet.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

$3 million?????

*  A story about Gov. Kasich made it to Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

*  Ohio is experiencing a budget crisis, but.... 

The state's law-enforcement agency will ask lawmakers for an extra $3 million to pay for additional security, including measures to protect Gov. John Kasich and his family....

...The Ohio Department of Public Safety is asking the Controlling Board -- a panel of lawmakers that approves spending requests -- to green-light an additional $2.9 million for staffing and $100,000 for equipment from the fund that pays for security for dignitaries including the governor.

The fund currently is allowed up to $6.4 million, but only has $1.4 million in the bank, according to the Department of Public Safety. Its revenue comes from fines on tickets issued by state troopers...

When Kasich refused to live in the Governor's Mansion, the Department of Public Safety  was forced to provide security for the family at their private home and the Governor's Mansion.

I think that the public is owed the details on why the request for staff and equipment is so tremendously high. 

The Huffington Post has a great article about Republicans and Gov. John Kasich:

...Kasich has proved himself neither better or worse than the rest of the GOP. 

In naming the 20 full-time agency directors who so far constitute his cabinet, all of Kasich's selections have been white. (Four have been female.) Responding to criticisms for these selections, Kasich has argued -- reasonably enough -- that he has a right to appoint whomever he feels will be the most helpful to these important executive posts... strains credulity to believe that not one of the 20 most qualified individuals to assist the governor in his cabinet is a person of color. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, non-white citizens (including Hispanics) make up approximately 17 percent of the state. The last Ohio governor whose entire senior Cabinet did not feature a single non-white secretary was Michael DiSalle, a Democrat, who last served in 1962....

The Republicans and Kasich seem unwilling and unable to bring anyone other than whites into their party.

New Developments?

* is reporting on Kasich's plans for the Ohio Department of Development:

...Kasich wants to replace the Ohio Department of Development with a 9-member, nonprofit board of business leaders appointed by the governor. Kasich would serve as its chair.

He said Thursday the JobsOhio board would have four public meetings a year, but could have closed-doors talks about its negotiations with businesses. He says the members won't be compensated.....

You just have to wonder what those "business leaders" would look like.  Would there be more whites? Would the appointees be people who are contributors to the Republican Party and GOP candidates?

If public funds are used, all meetings must be open to the public.  Someone needs to remind Gov. Kasich that he is no longer working for Lehman Brothers where secret deals were made behind closed doors.  We all know how well that went.

* Students at the University of Cincinnati are upset about Ohio Gov. John Kasich's plans for education in the state.

...Our newly elected governor has proposed shortening the school year and putting more students in each classroom so we can cut down on teachers' salaries, completely disregarding how this will play into the efficiency of our school system....

....Why should we be swayed by Gov. Kasich's calls for education cuts as a means of "fiscal responsibility" when, just last Friday, he announced huge pay raises for his cabinet positions, some by nearly $50,000?

If we are left in a society where education is only offered to those wealthy enough to afford it, not only will the middle- and working-class Ohioans suffer, this state will suffer, and our democracy will suffer....

Even as a member of Congress, John Kasich wanted to cut cut college grants and support for education. Here is a little history for the younger people who don't know much about Kasich....

* From the Dayton Daily News, Sunday, February 19, 1995 (retrieved from Newsbank):

Eight Antioch College students were arrested in Columbus after being sprayed with pepper gas Saturday at a protest against Republican-proposed cuts in student financial aid. About 75 Antioch students, members of a campus group called Student Aid Action, took part in what began as an informational protest outside the offices of U.S. Rep. John Kasich , said student Karali Pitzele, who was answering the SAA hotline at the school. Kasich , R-Columbus, is chairman of the House Budget Committee.... 

 ....students are trying to educate the public about proposed cuts in the
Republican-backed Contract With America.


According to articles in the Dispatch (Saturday, April 3, 1999-retrieved from Newsbank) and
the Dayton Daily News (Tuesday, April 6, 1999-Newsbank), the city of Columbus had to pay 
to settle a lawsuit with the arrested students because they were sprayed with mace and arrested 
during a peaceful protest.  It took four years for the case to make it to the settlement table.
John Kasich has never been a friend to students or public education.  Here is another piece of 
evidence- - -
NY Times:  (2/15/95)
....Students must repay the principal when they graduate, but the Federal Government now spends about $9 billion a year subsidizing the Federal Family Education Loan program, including some Stafford loans, Supplemental Loans for Students and Parent Loans for UndergraduateStudents). The Government pays the interest while borrowers are still in college. 
But Representative John R. Kasich, Republican of Ohio, the chairman of the House Budget
Committee, has proposed ending the subsidy by adding the interest to the loan balance. 

(President) Clinton said yesterday that removing the interest subsidy would amount to "the biggest cut in student financial aid in the history of the United States."

According to the article, Kasich also wanted to cut other grants, loans, student aid, and work
study programs.  If not for President Clinton stopping it, Kasich's proposal would have doubled or tripled student college debt.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Now what?

Now that the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the health care reform law, what is next on their agenda or was this the only thing they planned to do? Isn't it amazing that these Republicans want to take away your access to health care, but they willingly accepted the health care offered to them as a member of Congress.

Even though the health care reform law would save federal money, increase jobs, and provide assistance for those who needed most, the greedy, insurance PAC-loving Republican elected officials will go out of their way to follow the orders of the big executives at insurance companies.  When the Republicans follow the orders from insurance companies, campaign contributions get funneled to Republicans who support the wants and desires of those insurance executives. 

Who voted to repeal health care?  According to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, every Republican supported the repeal including Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15), a former bank lobbyist. Stivers received $97,700 in campaign contributions from insurance PACs and those employed by insurance companies (see Open Secrets).

* * * * * * *
The Detroit News detailed the financial problems that Detroit Public Schools are facing and the proposals to increase class size:

Detroit Public Schools would close nearly half of its schools in the next two years, and increase high school class sizes to 62 by the following year, under a deficit-reduction plan filed with the state....

....Starting this fall, the district plans to boost class sizes in grades 4-12 and at all grade levels by fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, to save $16.8 million. The plan would hike class sizes for: 
Grades K-3 from 17-25 students to 29 in 2012-13 and 31 in 2013-14. Grades 4-5 from 30 students to 37 in 2012-13 and 39 in 2013-14.
Grades 6-8 from 35 students to 45 in 2012-13 and 47 in 2013-14.
Grades 9-12 from 35 students to 60 in 2012-13 and 62 in 2013-14....

Can you imagine trying to teach, individualize, and monitor classes of those sizes? 

I guess we'd better be careful.  With the lack of respect that Gov. Kasich has displayed toward teachers and the Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly willing to go along with his proposed cuts to education, the Ohio Republicans might think that this Detroit proposal sounds like a good idea to them.  Then again, they've never had the experience of teaching real children in a real public school. Most of them couldn't do it but they are quite willing to make decisions that will hurt Ohio's children.

Only Whites Welcomed?

The "white" streak continues in the appointments made by Republican Gov. John Kasich.  The Dispatch reports that Kasich made five appointments to the State Board of Education. A picture on the Dispatch website reveals that all five appointees are white.  Of course, Kasich will once again say that these are the "best qualified people" in the state.  Really?


Kasich's appointments include a lawyer who served in the U.S. Department of Education during the George W. Bush administration, a former board member, a former schools superintendent and two local school-board members.

They are:
• C. Todd Jones of New Albany, who formerly served in the federal education agency and is now president and general counsel for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio.
• Tess Elshoff of New Knoxville, who until recently served on the New Knoxville Local Board of Education.
• Joseph L. Farmer of Baltimore, a member of the Liberty Union-Thurston Local Board of Education since 1992 and a Columbus-based manager for Delta Airlines.
• Thomas W. Gunlock of Centerville, who was appointed to the board in 2006 by then-Gov. Bob Taft, but later lost election to keep the seat.
• Dennis Shelton of Delaware, a consultant to Springfield City Schools who earlier was superintendent of Triad Local Schools and Caldwell Exempted Village Schools.
Joining them will be three new members elected in November: Kathleen McGervey of Avon, Jeffrey Mims of Dayton and Debe Terhar of Cincinnati.
All eight were sworn into office yesterday by state Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown.....

 Who are these people?  Here is a sampling----

- C. Todd Jones worked in the Bush administration.

- Tess Elshoff has been active member of the Republican Party of Auglaize County and served as that county's central Republican chairperson, according to the Evening Leader.

- Thomas Gunlock is part of the RG Properties company.  The Gunlock family are major, major contributors to the Ohio Republican Party and candidates (see Ohio Secretary of State campaign finance).

Seems as though their two main qualifications for these jobs were their allegiance to the Ohio Republican Party and being a member of the white race.  If 15% of Ohio's population is non-white, why hasn't Kasich reflected that in his appointments.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


****  Even though Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15), a former bank lobbyist, hasn't created one job in his district, he has learned how to collect money from the movers and shakers in DC. 

.....Since Election Day, first-term members of Congress have held more than 40 events on K Street, Capitol Hill and around town to schmooze and raise money from lobbyists, political action committees and other representatives of Washington interest groups eager to establish relationships with the new class....

.....The result: In just the first three weeks after Election Day — traditionally a slow time in the fundraising world — PACs contributed more than $444,000 to dozens of the 96 incoming members of Congress, according to Federal Election Commission filings analyzed by POLITICO.....

.....The Ohio Five — a joint fundraising committee established to benefit the Buckeye State’s newly elected Republicans, Reps. Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Renacci and Steve Stivers — held an event in Washington at the prompting of the state’s veteran House members, all of whom helped to headline the event..... 

We may have missed this fundraiser for Steve Stivers (information provided by Sunlight Foundation's Party Time): 

Nov. 18th, 2010 (7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.)
  • For: Sen. Steve Stivers (R, OH)
  • When: Nov. 18th, 2010 (7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.)
  • Where: Capitol Hill Club - 300 First Street SE
  • Type of Event: Reception
  • Contribution Information: $5,000 PAC Gold Level; $2,500 PAC Silver Level; $1,000 Individual Silver Level; $1,000 PAC Bronze Level; $500 Individual Bronze Level
  • Make Checks Payable To: Stivers for Congress.....
Then again, we can't forget that Stivers has another fundraiser next week, according to the Sunlight Foundation's Party Time


According to Open Secrets, the Tuesday Group PAC contributes only to Republicans.  Besides some individual contributors, Open Secrets provides the names of other PAC donors, including PACs for bankers, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc.  

Stivers and those banking PACs are just too, too cozy and I fear for us consumers.

*  John Boehner and the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have called the new health care reform law a "job-killer."  However, they are wrong.  The Republicans are also altering the facts and doing some creating editing.

In the article by McClatchy, Republicans use old data as their supporting evidence:

-- The report says that a study by the National Federation of Independent Business, "the nation's largest small business association, found that an employer mandate alone could lead to the elimination of 1.6 million jobs between 2009 and 2014, with 66 percent of those coming from small businesses."

But that study was released on Jan. 28, 2009, well before the law was written. It studied a model, not the law that was enacted eventually, and it was based on a different set of assumptions....

Even using some editing by Republicans changes the meaning of a sentence, according to McClatchy:
...The GOP report says: "Economic theory suggests the penalty should ultimately be passed through (as) lower wages (to an employee)," quoting a Congressional Research Service report....

But the Republicans leave out the rest of the information ----
....the CRS version goes on to say that the penalty for not offering coverage "would not be a burden on small business owners."

The Republicans just can't handle the truth so they edit it out of their report. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Monday, January 17, 2011

As we pause to honor Dr. King.....

As we pause to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work for peace and diversity, let us remember that his work continues today.

Unfortunately, in Ohio, Gov. John Kasich, the newly elected Republican that won by only 2% points, is very confused.  Gov. Kasich signed a proclamation stating that March 17, 2011 will be Dr. King Day.  Don't believe me?  Check out this image from Plunderbund and the Governor's office:

Kasich declares MARCH 17th, Martin Luther King, Jr. day in Ohio

by ModernEsquire on January 17, 2011 · View Comments
From the Governor’s Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day proclamation:

Don't they proofread in the Governor's office or are they just too good to review and revise their work?

>>>>>  People who knew him in Cleveland Heights, remember him well.  Rep. Darrell Issa's background is discussed in detail in the NewYorker.  It is definitely worth a read.

"....Kasich is upset..."

* It seems that someone doesn't like criticism.
Ken Hanson, a Republican candidate for Delaware County Prosecutor, is getting some heat from other Republicans who don't like what he said about John Kasich. What did Ken Hanson write?


....He wrote the phrase “Fast forward to late October, when the race is in a statistical dead heat, and all of a sudden Kasich is finding religion like a nervous whore in church on Sunday,” to criticize what he sees as Kasich’s record on gun issues. The phrase was part of an Oct. 28 blog post Hanson wrote for the Buckeye Firearms Association, where Hanson holds an official position.

....The post in question referred to Kasich’s campaign for governor. In it, Hanson accuses Kasich of avoiding discussion on his views on Second Amendment issues until the race was nearly over.

Hanson said Republican State Representative Andrew Brenner called him Thursday to say that Kasich is upset with the post....

Once again we see that Kasich just can't handle the criticism.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hurting Students

My many years in education have taught me that when you lose something, it is very difficult to get it back.  When schools cut music, physical education, teachers, art, nurses, counselors, or other classes/programs, it is nearly impossible to restore those cuts.  In the end, students suffer because they are denied a well-rounded education.

The Republicans who control the governor's office and the Ohio House and Senate, have big plans for education.  In an article in today's Dispatch, we can see that the Republican agenda for destroying public education has just started.  The Republicans have voiced their opposition to smaller class sizes, which had been promoted by former Gov. Ted Strickland.  Do the Ohio Republicans dislike Strickland's proposals because he was a Democrat, and they want to wipe out any evidence of his reforms? Are the Republicans and Kasich so anti-public schools and their teachers, that they want to dismantle schools to boost up the charter schools? (Boosting charter schools helps make the Republican's big contributor and charter school mogul, David Brennan, a wealthier man.)  Are these bill being pushed by the Republicans their way of removing control of the public schools from community control?  

If you are a parent, a teacher, or a student, you should start worrying now.  Public education is an important part of our democracy. Education provides opportunities for children from every economic background to succeed and reach their goals.  Cuts to public education are dangerous and hurtful.  Why are Republicans against smaller class sizes?  Are these Republican elected officials thinking about the students in public schools or the campaign cash they'll get from their campaign contributors who favor Republican candidates and just happen to own charter schools? (According to the Ohio Secretary of State's website for campaign finance, Randy Gardner has received $7500 from the Ohio charter school king David Brennan, and his wife.)


....The bill's sponsor, Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said he hopes the legislation to undo much of former Gov. Ted Strickland's evidence-based model will "send a strong message from Columbus that there is mandate relief and cost savings on the way as (district officials) plan for the next school year."

Gardner's measure also would wipe out a plan to fund smaller class sizes throughout Ohio schools.....

Keep an eye on the workings of the Kasich administration and the Republican controlled legislators who are trying to dismantle improvements that have been made to Ohio's public schools.

***  Gov. John Kasich is in hot water over his recent comments.  He and his representative have been un-invited to the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Cleveland.

....The civil rights group said it would refuse a proclamation from the governor and told his minority representative, Lynn Stevens, not to attend its Martin Luther King Jr. Gala in Cleveland on Friday.....

In an article the previous day, Kasich told The Plain Dealer he wants to put together "the best possible team" and doesn't focus on such "metrics" as race or age. The newspaper reports the 20 Cabinet appointees Kasich has made so far are white.

"I want the best possible team I can get, and hopefully we will be in a position that we are fully diverse as we go forward," Kasich said. "But I can't say I need to find somebody to fit this metric, not when I am trying to get a state that is in deep trouble out of trouble."
New Ohio Gov. John Kasich's comments to a newspaper about the lack of racial diversity in his Cabinet are not sitting well with the Cleveland chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference....

By having only whites as managers and administrators, Kasich will not get the perspectives of other ethnic groups on problems and solutions that are confronting the state.  The horrible parts about this lack of diversity are Kasich's complete ignorance and proof that he just doesn't care.

Friday, January 14, 2011


There he goes again!  Republican Rep. Steve Stivers, a former bank lobbyist, is already proposing legislation that will help businesses, and not people. Stivers, who has always been a champion for banks, business, predatory lenders, and polluters, is cosponsoring a bill that, according to GOVTRACK, seeks " repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, and for other purposes...."  Gee.  Why would Stivers not want to require corporations to provide information to the government?????  Hmmmmm.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Even more white people........

Bizjournal listed some of Kasich's new picks for his administration.  Included in the list was Greg Moody. 
Greg Moody as director of the newly created Governor’s Office of Health Transformation. Moody worked with Kasich during his time as a U.S. congressman and was a Health and Human Services staffer for Gov. Bob Taft. He most recently worked as a private-sector consultant. In the new agency, Kasich’s office said Moody will “lead the effort to modernize the state’s fragmented Medicaid program and implement cost-containment strategies.”

Back in November, an article posted at the OSLHA (Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association) speculated about which people would get positions within the Kasich administration.  Included in that post was the name of Greg Moody.

....many are speculating that Greg Moody, former ODJFS direction and current consultant for Health Management Associates, will be named ODJFS or Medicaid Director in the Kasich Administration.  Recently, Mr. Moody commented that there are three basic options for controlling Medicaid spending:  1) fifteen states recently eliminated certain benefits in the program; 2) twenty-three states froze or cut provider rates; and 3) nine states have expanded Medicaid managed care....

When Kasich said he would "modernize" Medicaid, he gave no real explanation.

If most of these appointees are from the Taft and/or the Voinovich administration, how can Kasich claim his "new day" approach when these people are the same old white people we've seen in past Republican administrations.

Nota bene!

>>>>>>>>>  Seems as though lots of people are examining the job-killing move by Republican Gov. John Kasich to cancel the rail project in Ohio. By refusing the federal money, Kasich has reduced the chances for an immediate economic recovery.


......As for Ohio, time has already spoken to new governor John Kasich — and it said that people don’t like him as much as they once did. Kasich’s approval rating plunged 7 points 
before he even took office, and part of the dissatisfaction seems to be all the jobs he cost the state by killing the bullet train.  A $15 million US Railcar Co. facility that would have employed up to 200 Ohioans is kaput, and massive development plans around proposed rail stations in Cleveland, Dayton, and Columbus — as well as the jobs that would have come with them — are also no more.

At least a few people have found work since Kasich took office, however. He has decided not to live in the well-guarded governor’s mansion, which means the state taxpayers he canceled the rail to protect will now pay around-the-clock salaries for additional security guards at his own residence. (They’ll also keep paying for the mansion security, which for some reason will continue.)

Not sure that’s the kind of job-creation Ohioans thought they were getting during the election — but hey, it’s a start.

Rail project:  gone.
Federal money: gone.
Increase in construction jobs: gone.
Rapid economic development along rail line: gone.
Manufacturing jobs: gone.

The only economic development that is occurring is happening to the Kasich cronies who are receiving outrageous salaries, while some within the state government are having their salaries reduced to poverty levels (see Plunderbund and ProgressOhio.)

****  I didn't see Rep. John Boehner at the memorial last night.  Apparently, Boehner had to attend a fundraiser for Republicans and said he couldn't cancel it.  Really?  He couldn't cancel it?  Once again we see that some people need to examine their priorities.

*  The OhioDailyBlog has some news about Rep. Marcia Fudge and her recently co-sponsored legislation:
...For instance, congressional Republicans are referring to their repeal bill as repealing the "job-killing health care bill." The title is a lie. The attempt to repeal the health-care bill s a partisan act of breathtaking cruelty and destructiveness, a we-want-it-all tantrum that's not satisfied with the fact that the bill is a watered-down over-compromise that gave opponents 90 percent and supporters of reform 10 percent — and the opponents want to snatch away that meager 10 percent.....

WASHINGTON, DC-- Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH11) today co-sponsored four- amendments which are designed to protect from repeal key provisions of the Patient Bill of Rights and tax cuts for middle class families and seniors in the Affordable Care Act. In its current form, the bill known as H.R. 2 would repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010 in its entirety. Congresswoman Fudge opposes efforts by House Republicans to eliminate access to coverage for 32 million Americans while increasing the Nation's deficit.....

Thank you, Rep. Fudge for reporting the truth.  With the new Affordable Care Act of 2010, hospitals, businesses, and insurance firms will need to hire additional staff to manage the new requirements. That in itself will increase employment.

*  Did you know that Honda employs over 40,000 people in Ohio?  Has Kasich met with them yet since he became governor?

Told You So......

*  I told you this would happen.

Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee stopped into The Lantern newsroom Wednesday evening to discuss a number of issues that fuel the university, ranging from a likely tuition increase next year to his quick trip to the Sugar Bowl.....

"There's a high probability we will increase tuition next year."

Gee said he believes higher education will see a reduction in government funding under Gov. John Kasich....

I wonder what other surprises Kasich has for us.

*  Did you know that Walmart is costing Ohio taxpayers money? 

In addition to its reputation for low prices, Walmart is recognized by some as a company that puts profits ahead of its workers’ well-being. State Rep. Robert Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat, capitalized on that distinction last month when he publicly chastised the megastore for all the public assistance its workers in Ohio receive.....

.....Ohio taxpayers spent more than $67 million "for the year" on food stamps and Medicaid for Walmart workers, Hagan said.

Hagan made clear he does not wish to reduce public assistance to those who need it. But he questioned why so many workers at Walmart — which boasted $405 billion in sales last year — live in poverty and need Medicaid and food stamps....

If Walmart would provide their workers a decent wage, Ohio taxpayers would not have to supplement their income.

*** Politico has some info Kasich's fundraising campaign:

Online fundraising is now a critical component to any campaign and a consultant for John Kasich's gubernatorial run in Ohio dug up an intriguing data point after mining through the fundraising numbers:  The gifts of donors who gave through a mobile device were almost twice as large as those who contributed through a computer.

According to online consultant Emotive, the average gift of mobile visitors' was $339 while desktop visitors' was $172....

....In a 17-page post-election analysis provided to POLITICO, Emotive also found that text messaging was not effective, dubbing it "expensive and redundant."

This report will definitely be analyzed by other candidates.

> > > Plunderbund demonstrates that in order to give big money to his pals, Kasich is cutting the salaries of other people in his office:

....Not surprisingly, the people who had their salaries cut to help pay for the new Cabinet Secretary were not Jai Chabria or Beth Hansen or any of Kasich’s pals. They were the people at the bottom of the pay scale.

So while Jai Chabria continues to make $145K for a made up position of Special Assistant, Cassandra Cartier, an administrative assistant, had her salary cut from $35K to $30K a year. Ann Brubaker, the receptionist, had her salary cut from $33K to $32K per year.

And Maggie Toal, an administrative assistant whose name showed up on our original list making $35K/year has had her salary cut down to $23K! That’s a THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT PAY CUT in one week. Jai would never have noticed the missing $12K but this woman just lost over a third of her already meager salary....

Can you imagine having your salary go from $35,000/yr to $23,000/yr. so that some Kasich crony can get more money?  People have homes, cars, child care costs, but that doesn't matter because Kasich's buddy needs $145,000/yr.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Privatization = Power Grab??????

Gov. John Kasich's desire to privatize most state departments, agencies, and services might not be a good idea on many levels, according to a report in Bizjournals:

....The Public-Private Power Grab report from Good Jobs First said transferring state business recruitment functions to private agencies, as Michigan has done, is not the panacea its proponents claim. Instead, the report said the track record of states that have privatized their economic development functions are filled with examples of misuse of taxpayer funds, excessive executive bonuses, political interference, questionable subsidy awards and conflicts of interest.

“Rather than making economic development activities more effective, privatization is often little more than a power grab by governors and politically connected business interests,” Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First, said in release.....

.....Kasich made privatizing the Ohio Department of Development a cornerstone of his successful gubernatorial campaign last year. Critical of the department’s efforts to attract and retain jobs in Ohio, he wants to replace it with a private-sector board of directors, comprised of industry experts and current or former executives, and a staff focused solely on bringing new businesses to Ohio and strengthening ones already here......

What if Kasich decides to sell off state buildings and then lease them back from companies?
What if Kasich decides that all the maintenance in the state owned buildings would be done by private companies, who would pay workers at the state minimum wage?  
What if Kasich decides that all state retirement systems must be managed by a certain private company instead of the current retirement boards?  
Would these contracts go to Republican campaign contributors?
Have we heard yet how much was raised and spent on the inaugural festivities?  How much was actually donated to charity???  When will we get that information?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ohio Republicans Anxious for Higher Office?

*** Update>>>>>> 
This morning on the TV news, Governor Kasich said he wanted us all " be a family...."  (See Dispatch for text article.)
After his attacks on public school teachers, unionized state workers, unionized first responders (firefighters, police, and EMS), are we to believe that he wants us " be a family....."???????  Is his plan for us to be a family, but exclude those teachers, state workers, first responders, and those who've been stripped of protection under former Gov. Strickland's anti-discrimination order?

---->>>>> The Republican controlled Ohio House of Representatives has been working hard to help get Kasich's agenda moving.  When Strickland was governor, these same people could barely work more that two days/week.  Today, a list of 18 bills are listed on the website for the Ohio House.
--H.B. 11 seems to be trying to stop the implementation of the new federal health care law- - -
To enact section 3901.711 of the Revised Code to prohibit state departments and agencies from implementing or enforcing a provision of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act without meeting certain conditions.

Section 1.  That section 3901.711 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3901.711.  (A) A department or agency of this state shall not implement or enforce a provision of the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (2010) unless both of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The department or agency submits a report to the general assembly containing the information described in division (B) of this section.
(2) The Revised Code specifically authorizes the department or agency to implement or enforce the provision or, if such authorization does not exist, the general assembly enacts such authorization.
(B) The report submitted by a department or agency under division (A)(1) of this section shall include all of the following:
(1) The section of the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (2010) that requires the department or agency to implement or enforce the provision;
(2) The waivers or options, if any, that are available to the state under the provision;
(3) The steps that the department or agency would be required to take to implement or enforce the provision;
(4) The individuals in the state who would be impacted if the department or agency implemented or enforced, or did not implement or enforce, the provision;
(5) The cost to the state or to the citizens of the state of implementing or enforcing the provision;
(6) The consequences to the state if the department or agency does not implement or enforce the provision.
Another bill, H.B. 7, has to do with abortion.  Why do these Republicans want to take control of a woman's uterus?  Don't women have the right to control their own bodies or is that a right that only applies to white Republican men?

There are names for these Republican members who will do anything to prevent health care for people.  Not everyone is as rich as they are.  These Republican just don't care about average, hardworking Ohioans.  They just want to satisfy their campaign contributors from insurance companies and right wing PACs.

***  Don't fall off your chair when you read this next news from Real Clear Politics:

Before being sworn in as Ohio's new treasurer Monday, Republican Josh Mandel traveled to Washington last week to celebrate Sen. Rob Portman's swearing in and Ohio Republican John Boehner's ascension to the speakership of the House.

A handful of sources with backgrounds in Buckeye State Republican politics said Mandel was actively working the circuit of influential Ohioans who were in the Beltway for Boehner's and Portman's events. Now, he's getting talked up as a potential challenger to Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012....

....In addition to Mandel and Taylor, there's also Secretary of State Jon Husted, 43, who also was sworn into his new post after serving a decade in the state legislature. His tenure included a stint as speaker of the Ohio House.

They've just been sworn into office yesterday, and yet, the greedy, power hungry, ambitious Ohio Republicans are anxious to control everything. They haven't proven that they're competent at their new position, but the GOPers want to run for office again.

* By doing nothing, Gov. John Kasich has let some protections expire.
LGBT state employees are no longer protected from discrimination by sexual orientation or gender identity.

Governor John Kasich, who took office on January 10, allowed his predecessor’s executive order barring such discrimination to expire.... order signed four years ago by former governor Ted Strickland prohibited such discrimination against all 60,000 state employees in hiring, layoff, termination, transfer, promotion, demotion, rate of compensation and eligibility for training programs....
 Is this just the beginning of Kasich's plan to turn back the clock?