Saturday, July 30, 2011


Republican Gov. John Kasich just lost a large manufacturer for the state.  Kasich blames the unions but there could be other reasons why a potential job creator decided to go to Mississippi.  Is it possible that Kasich's toxic personality and his reluctance to work with a company that had shown interest in the state under Gov. Ted Strickland, derailed the jobs?


Gov. John Kasich said Friday that Calisolar was moving to Mississippi because of a friendlier economic climate.
"We just lost Calisolar," Kasich said. "Calisolar's going to Mississippi, right to work, did you know that? Eight hundred jobs in Mansfield. Forget it, we're not interested."

.....Weidemyre also referred to the close relationship between Calisolar's chairman, John Correnti, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.....

Ontario Councilman Mark Weidemyre is correct at pointing to the relationship between Correnti and Gov. Barbour.   Correnti has strong ties with Mississippi because of his association with other companies that manufacture in Mississippi (see Entrepreneur Magazine), such as, NuCor, SeverCorr, and Birmingham Steel. In an article in the Bucyrus Telegraph, Correnti's ties to Mississippi and Barbour are also. explained.

Was Kasich perhaps working with a chip on his shoulder on this job deal?  If a project with Correnti and Calisolar had originally been started by former Gov. Strickland, is it possible that Kasich purposely derailed it so as not to give Strickland any credit for job creation?????? 

Now back to the "wackadoodles" comment by Gov. Kasich.  In the Mansfield News Journal, Kasich says this:

....In the last 10 years, we lost 600,000 jobs," Kasich said. "Only two states in America, California, which is filled with wackadoodles, and Michigan, which has got this tremendous challenge with automobiles, lost more jobs than we did."

Wait.  Isn't Kasich's genius friend, Mark Kvamme, from California?  Does that make Kvamme a "wackadoodle" too????  With Kasich calling Californians "wackadoodles" how many companies from California will decide to locate to another state?

More Layoffs Coming....

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is at it again------  he is single-handedly raising the unemployment rate in the state.

Plunderbund has the details on more massive layoffs in the state government:

According to information received by Plunderbund, the newly appointed leadership team at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is working on a plan that will likely result in a 40% staff reduction at the department’s central office.

The new ODOT Strategic Plan is slated for release on Monday, August 8th and while they are still working out some of the details, we have been told that the “planning, construction, engineering” divisions “have been told to plan for 40% staff reduction over an as-yet unknown period of time.” An internal ODOT memo describes likely changes:
· This should not hit core areas
· Won’t dump on districts
· Outsourcing may be used
· Lay-offs have not been mentioned
· Every section will take a hit....

Gee.  I wonder who will replace the current unionized employees?  I'm betting on Republican cronies, contributors' sons /daughters, old party faithful's relatives, kool-aid drinking GOPers, untrained/unqualified seat warmers who work on puzzles all day, and those that will follow directions without asking questions if something is legal or ethical.  This should be a real boost for corruption and inefficiency! 

For complete information, check Plunderbund.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Boehner Doesn't Deliver

*  Considering the problems that some members of the Ohio Republican Party have been having recently, it might be a good idea not to put a bar inside the Statehouse. Why make liquor available to people already having problems with it?

*  Do you remember when Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner was sworn into his office in January with the exceptionally large gavel? (See picture by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters at Salon)

Despite the boasting, arrogant, bragging by the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, their legislative accomplishments can be summed up in just a few words:  failure, unfulfilled, and extreme.

Once again the Republicans in the House have demonstrated that they might be able to get elected, but they certainly cannot govern.  Unable to garner enough support for his debt ceiling bill, Boehner had to continue to push back on the roll call vote.

The Tea Party Republicans and their extreme conservative buddies seem to wish to eviscerate every known federal program like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Pell grants, help for the poor, aid to education, etc., but they refuse to cut a penny off of the tax cuts/loopholes that enable oil, and corporations to pay little/no taxes.  While the Republicans in the House of Representatives support tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and purchasers of private jets, our nation is hanging on the brink of a total disaster.

To illustrate that these Te Party Republicans and their ilk don't understand the problems facing the American people, especially those who are out of work, I present uncaring, clueless, far right, arrogant Republican, Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia.

The Hill captured this MSNBC video:

Who can afford a f&@#ing country club membership when you can't afford to put food on the table and pay your monthly expenses.  Even families where everyone is working cannot afford to join a country club!!!!!! Paul Broun and the rest of the Republican need to stop thinking about their own problems.  Where are the jobs?


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Steve Stivers: A Parrot?????

*  Other people have noticed the lack of initiative being shown by right wing, former bank lobbyist, Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15).

Desertabba blogspot noted that our district is represented by a "parrot."  LOL. When will Stivers write a bill to increase jobs in the state???  So far, a lot of his sponsored legislation has been about rolling back consumer protections offered in the Dodd-Frank bill.

Tofochido has a list of "....Republicans who are holding the debt ceiling hostage..."  Steve Stivers is on the list (and so are lots, and lots of familiar names).

The Obama Diary has a comment about Stivers, under this video.

I get the strange feeling that if President Barack Obama had been a white guy named John Smith, these Republicans would not be creating such chaos.  There has to be something in these Republicans that makes them oppose President Obama, not for his programs, but because of his race. 

***  If you take a look at the WARN Notices posted at the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, you'll see some big layoffs coming soon at DB Schenker (39), BAX Global (652), Nexergy (120), and Franklin Boxboard (81).  The list of layoffs on this page does not seem to include those that have happened or will occur  at the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Education, Transportation, Ohio Consumer's Council, etc.  Is this all part of Gov. Kasich's JobsOhio plan? Is Kasich trying to run the state into the ground on purpose??????

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kasich Helping 84 Counties Increase Unemployment

>>>  Gov. John Kasich's JobsOhio program is helping more people lose jobs while cronies get tax cuts.


...Eighty-four of the state's 88 counties saw an increase in the unemployment rate last month....

......The rate for the eight-county region and Franklin County jumped to 8.2 percent in June from 7.4 percent in May, according to figures released yesterday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The rate for Columbus was 8.3 percent compared with 7.5 percent in May.....

The article then explains that a special Ohio Jobs and Family Services booth will be set up at the Ohio State Fair today with applications being accepted by......... Wal-Mart.   Can you believe it????  In Ohio, the rich and politically connected get tax cuts, and the rest of us get sent to Wal-Mart?

>>>>  Speaking of the Ohio State Fair-------  Gov. John Kasich will NOT be sleeping in a barn as former governors have done in the past.  See NorwalkReflector.  Are you keeping a list of all the groups Kasich has disrespected?  The list includes teachers, fire fighters, police officers, state workers, and farmers.......  Which group is next???


****  I don't know about you, but it sounds like Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi's staff is very dismissive about the people calling his office about the debt ceiling bill.  Tiberi, Boehner's puppy dog, has clearly moved more to the right during this congressional term.  The Republican Tea Party is holding our country hostage to their extreme views in hopes to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and other programs that help every citizen in our country.


....But Breann Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, said many of the calls to his office clearly were organized by liberal groups.

"When liberal activist organizations organize call-in campaigns, they have their callers read off scripts, and these past few days have been no different," she said. Still, she said the office typically has received about 100 calls and emails a night. Last night, that number increased to about 600. Most, she said, were left-leaning....

...Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Columbus, received about 200 calls to his district and Washington offices during the past days. At one point, Stivers tweeted that "my Web site has been down today due to high traffic on the House servers. We are working on correcting the issue."

Since a caller sounds more "liberal" on the phone, these kool-aid drinking staff members are unconcerned about the content of the phone call?????  How does one sound "liberal" on the phone?  As far as those emails go, many people say that a lot of them just go in the trash folder.

The office staff of Steve Stivers did not even know that their website was not functioning for many hours.  Yet his office claimed it only got about 200 calls.

It is clear that both of these arrogant members of Congress, who are friends of the banking industry, are ready, willing, and able to overlook your phone calls and e-mails because they don't sound like the people who are their major contributors.

I am not a "liberal group" like Tiberi's staffer claimed.  I'm just a regular, resident of central Ohio.  Obviously, Tiberi, Stivers, and the rest of the Republican Tea Party leaning members of the House have yet to get a message.  As a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and American, I am asking you to call these hard-headed Republicans. Tell them, respectfully, that as a resident of their district, they better work on a fair, long term approach to fixing the debt ceiling, because you don't have the stomach to go through this again.

Here are some telephone numbers and fax numbers for some of these Paul Ryan budget followers who still desire to cut your Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, college aid programs, and anything that helps you survive.

U.S. House of Representatives & Senate Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Local office for Tiberi in Columbus:  (614) 523-2555........ Fax:  (614) 818-0887
Local office for Stivers in Columbus: (614) 771-4968........ Fax:  (614)  771-3900
Local office for Renacci in Canton:  (330) 489-4414 ......... Fax:  (330)  493-9265
 Office number for Eric Cantor:  (202) 225-4000

(The following list is from

Residents of Ohio are represented in Congress by 2 Senators and 18 Representatives.
Member NameDC PhoneDC FAXContact Form
Senator Sherrod Brown (D- OH) 202-224-2315 202-228-6321
Senator Rob Portman (R- OH) 202-224-3353 202-224-9075
Representative Steve Chabot (R - 01) 202-225-2216 202-225-3012
Representative Jean Schmidt (R - 02) 202-225-3164 202-225-1992
Representative Michael R. Turner (R - 03) 202-225-6465 202-225-6754
Representative Jim Jordan (R - 04) 202-225-2676 202-226-0577
Representative Bob Latta (R - 05) 202-225-6405 202-225-1985
Representative Bill Johnson (R - 06) 202-225-5705 202-225-5907
Representative Steve Austria (R - 07) 202-225-4324 202-225-1984§io …
Representative John A. Boehner (R - 08) 202-225-6205 202-225-0704
Representative Marcy Kaptur (D - 09) 202-225-4146 202-225-7711 …
Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D - 10) 202-225-5871 202-225-5745
Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D - 11) 202-225-7032 202-225-1339§ …
Representative Patrick J. Tiberi (R - 12) 202-225-5355 202-226-4523
Representative Betty Sutton (D - 13) 202-225-3401 202-225-2266
Representative Steven C. LaTourette (R - 14) 202-225-5731 202-225-3307
Representative Steve Stivers (R - 15) 202-225-2015 202-225-3529
Representative James B. Renacci (R - 16) 202-225-3876 202-225-3059 …
Representative Tim Ryan (D - 17) 202-225-5261 202-225-3719 …
Representative Bob Gibbs (R - 18) 202-225-6265 202-225-3394

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Republicans Still Trying to Ruin Your Life

>>>>   If you are trying to send an email to your Republican member of the House of Representatives, you might find his/her website down.  Contact the member's office
telephone or contact their local office or try the House of Representatives switchboard:
(202) 224-3121.

With word that Republican John Boehner's proposal on the debt ceiling would hurt today's retirees (see posting below and visit  Center on Budget Policy Priorities), people are worried that their Social Security will be cut, and that Medicare will also be wiped out. I think that senior citizens need to take an active role on beating back these attempts by the Republicans to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

Our senior citizens do the best they can with their small Social Security checks.  They pay the monthly premium for the Medicare Part D, pay for medicines not covered, purchase food, pay rent & utilities, put gas in the car, pay car insurance, and try to survive.  How do the Republicans expect that people can survive on just a few hundred dollars per month?  This has a bigger impact on women since they usually outlive their spouses.

We should suggest a new reality show that has Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (the "architect" of the budget that kills Social Security and Medicare) trying to live on a Social Security check!  I guess he wouldn't be ordering any $350 bottles of wine as he has done in the past.  Go ask your grandparents if they can afford a $350 bottle of wine on their Social Security.

(pic from

Actual Audio: John Boehner from scottbateman on Vimeo.

(video above reposted from Comics by Tom Tomorrow)

***  While Republican Gov. John Kasich continues on his quest to sell off state assets, the Examiner has some bad news for Kasich and his supporters who are hoping for cash from an Ohio Turnpike deal.


....In fact, Ohio's director of the Department of Transportation, Jerry Wray, told media present at the meeting that there would be significant interest in the private sector to lease the turnpike. Wray, who did the same job under former Republican Gov. George Voinovich and was one of Kasich's first hires following his win last fall, said the state is preparing for a 30 percent dip in federal transportation project funds, and would welcome the cash.

Wray said his department would hire a financial adviser to help determine market value for leasing the turnpike, sources reported.....
.....The lesson of Indiana for investors and states is that Turnpikes may not be worth what governors want for them, given they may lose huge amounts of money year after year. Such demonstrations show the market may be cooling off for states like Ohio, with governors like Kasich who think selling state assets like roads or prisons nets cash while transferring liability to the private sector....
Gee. Which politically linked financial adviser will the Republicans hire to come up a predictable response while they pay him (Kasich & company historically stays away from women advisers and appointees) an obscene amount of money per hour?


From the good people at Plunderbund:

The Dayton Daily News beat us to it, but yet ANOTHER Republican state legislator has had a brush with the law.  Second-term State Representative Jerrod Martin (R-Beavercreek) was cited for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVI) in Jackson County on Friday....
......He had kids in the car.   Martin, like most of the House GOP caucus, supported soon-to-be former State Representive  Robert Mecklenborg’s bill that would eliminate the alternative forms of identification other than a government-issued photo identification card as proof of identity to cast a ballot. 

Martin not only refused to submit to any chemical tests, but he refused field sobriety tests as well, but admitted to having drunk a “few beers” earlier in the day.  As a result of his refusal, State Representative Martin presently has a suspended drivers’ license.....

OMG.  What the ?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boehner Proposal Would Hurt Current Retirees

I just saw Lawrence O'Donnell speak about this statement from Robert Greenstein, President on Budget and Policy Priorities, on Boehner's New Budget Proposal.

House Speaker John Boehner’s new budget proposal would require deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, the repeal of health reform’s coverage expansions, or wholesale evisceration of basic assistance programs for vulnerable Americans.

The plan is, thus, tantamount to a form of “class warfare.” If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.
This may sound hyperbolic, but it is not. The mathematics are inexorable.....

.....In short, the Boehner plan would force policymakers to choose among cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor. It would do so even as it shielded all tax breaks, including the many lucrative tax breaks for the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations.....

I suggest you read the entire report by Greenstein which outlines the catastrophic disaster that the Boehner plan creates----->

Shame on Boehner and the Republicans. 

Republicans Are Taking Us Down the Toilet

I like the way the writer phrased the paragraph in the Clevescene article about the campaign to repeal SB 5:

....In early polling by Quinnipiac, SB5 is just about as unpopular as the unpopular Mr. Kasich who pushed the unpopular bill on Ohio. According to the PD, when asked "Do you think this new law [Senate Bill 5] which limits collective bargaining for public employees should be kept or repealed?" 56% of voters said repeal and 32% of voters said keep it....

*  The Republicans like gridlock sooooooooooooo much that they want only a short term solution to the debt ceiling crisis. 


If you're sick and tired of this debt-limit B.S. and want it to go away until 2013, then Harry Reid has got a plan for you:
Mr. Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, was trying on Sunday to cobble together a plan to raise the government’s debt limit by $2.4 trillion through the 2012 elections, with spending cuts of about $2.7 trillion that would not touch any of the entitlement programs that are dear to Democrats or raise taxes, which is anathema to Republicans.

....On the other hand, if you just love these kinds of knock-out, drag-down political fights, and want to do it all over again six months from now (with a fight over the FY12 spending bill sandwiched in between), then John Boehner is your best friend....

It sounds to me like John Boehner is not leading his party but instead is being controlled like a puppet by the extremist Tea Party Republicans.  Boehner and his party are taking the country down the toilet.

If you look at an article in the Hill, Grover Norquist proposed raising the debt ceiling every two months to get more concessions and cuts from the administration.  The article and idea came from Norquist in April of this year.  We've witnessed some incredibly stupid ideas and drama coming from the Republicans over the last few months.  Anyone that puts a debt ceiling deal on the table that has to be negotiated every two months should have their sanity questioned.

When the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate, we got things done.  Now with the Republicans pushing their ideological, right wing extremist legislation hatched by their Tea Party buddies, there has not been one job creation bill.  Where are the f#*@ing jobs, Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor? 

Trying to Destroy Public Education in Ohio

Ohio teachers are aware that Gov. John Kasich is no fan of public school teachers.  In fact, John Kasich has spoken very highly of Michelle Rhee, the former head of schools in Washington, DC.  In the last few months, Kasich, acting like a zealot, appeared in various locations around the state promoting the movie, Waiting for Superman, often with Rhee.  Kasich called Rhee a "great reformer" in a Dispatch article dated March 3, 2011. (My view-- We should be suspicious if Kasich calls anything a "reform" or anyone a "reformer."  It probably means average Ohioans get the short end of the stick.)  Michelle Rhee is a registered lobbyist according to the OLAC.

Kasich's ties to Rhee might have something to do with his former boss, Rupert Murdoch.  Murdoch is a huge supporter of Michelle Rhee and all that she represents.  The Washington Post has a quote from Murdoch that sounds vaguely similar to what Kasich has said:

....In a speech at the annual awards banquet for the Media Institute, Murdoch addressed a crowd of communication regulators, lobbyists and executives. He said more people like Rhee need to stay in place to overhaul an educational system that overspends to protect ineffective teachers through their unions and the politicians who support them. He said no business could ever operate like the monopolies that school districts have become, without performance goals or consequences when those goals weren't met.....

.....Last July, Rhee fired 241 teachers, including 165 who received poor appraisals under a new evaluation system that for the first time holds some educators accountable for students' standardized test scores. She has not indicated if she will stay on as chancellor after the expected election of Democratic mayoral nominee Vincent Gray......

(Note: Rhee resigned from her Washington, DC post just a week after this article was published.)

USA Today has the details of the Washington, D.C.  Erasergate scandal under Michelle Rhee's watch----

.....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.

....In 2007-08, six classrooms out of the eight taking tests at Noyes were flagged by McGraw-Hill because of high wrong-to-right erasure rates. The pattern was repeated in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, when 80% of Noyes classrooms were flagged by McGraw-Hill.

On the 2009 reading test, for example, seventh-graders in one Noyes classroom averaged 12.7 wrong-to-right erasures per student on answer sheets; the average for seventh-graders in all D.C. schools on that test was less than 1. The odds are better for winning the Powerball grand prize than having that many erasures by chance, according to statisticians consulted by USA TODAY.....

More info on the Rhee/Murdoch/Kasich ties:
*  Michelle Rhee also had some influence in the wording that was inserted in SB 5 concerning teachers (see Huffington Post 5/24/11).  Her lobbyist, Robert Klaffky helped work on the language for SB 5.

The Nation explained how Murdoch wanted to take more control of public schools:

.....But what’s been less well understood is the impact the scandal might have on Murdoch’s attempt to make a profit off the American public sector, most notably through seeking to provide technology services, such as data-tracking systems and video lessons, to public school districts.....

.....scrutiny on Murdoch’s school agenda is growing. Aware of the media titan’s relationship with former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, education reporter Alexander Russo tried to find out if Murdoch had donated to StudentsFirst, Rhee’s PAC. The group’s goal is to act as a political counterweight to teachers’ unions.

“After two days of emails and phone calls—they must have been freaking out behind the scenes trying to figure out what to do—a Rhee spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the Murdoch money,” Russo wrote....

*  Robert Klaffky, lobbyist, and advisor/friend of Kasich's, has been busy lobbying various Ohio government agencies on behalf of StudentsFirst.

Online filing of lobbying activity (

Ohio Department of Education:
Klaffky Robert F United for Children Advocacy dba StudentsFirst 3/29/2011

Here is some additional info on Agents for United for Children Advocacy dba StudentsFirst from JLEC-OLIG:

Click on the agent's name to find all employers of that agent or return to search form. If a check appears in the L(egislative) or E(xecutive) box, it indicates the individual is registered as a lobbying agent for this branch of the government. Additional information is found in the Lobbying Handbook.

Only current engagements are shown. Terminated engagements are not included in the search results.

Agent / Address Phone L E R
Bridget Davis
406 7th St Nw
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20004

Agent / Address Phone L E R
Michelle Rhee
406 7th St Nw
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20004

Michelle Rhee and Bridget Davis are listed as out of state agents (see OutofstateAgents).  With Rhee's appearances with Kasich, why aren't these listed as contacts with lobbyists?

*  Finally, this posting by ProgressOhio shows the supporters of the Michelle Rhee agenda:

This week in the war on workers
Fresh off a cheating scandal and an appearance at a DeVos-funded event with Scott Walker and Tom Corbett, former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee was John Kasich's special guest for a screening of charter school propaganda piece Waiting for Superman.
Note the governors she's making appearances with: Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, Ohio's John Kasich. And to round out her partnerships with the worst of the worst, she's working with Florida's Rick Scott, Nevada's Brian Sandoval, and...well, consult your list of worst governors. They're probably big Rhee supporters.
This isn't incidental. It's about privatizing public education, reducing transparency and accountability in education, and driving down working conditions for teachers and support staff. That has an enormous impact right now on our middle class and an exponentially bigger one in the future as the kids trying to learn under this system grow up.
Hat Tip: Daily Kos

Ohioans have to ask themselves how much influence Rupert Murdoch, Michelle Rhee, Robert Klaffky, and other right wing conservatives have had on SB 5, and changes to the structure, foundation, and funding of education in Ohio. Murdoch, Rhee, Klaffky, and Kasich are not experts in education and we should not listen to their proposals which seek to destroy public education.  You would not go to a plumber to fix a brain tumor, and we should not take advice from right wingers who seek to make money off of educating our children.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Scheduling Conflict? Yeah. Sure.

Ohio's Republicans had their state GOP dinner in Cleveland on Friday. The  Columbus Dispatch (July 22, 2011 edition) revealed a few things about Ohio's Republicans:

...The state party's most recognizable Republican, Gov. John Kasich, was absent from the event, which party insiders say was indicative of the divide between the governor and party Chairman Kevin DeWine.

Kasich, who sources say asked DeWine to step down as chairman following the 2010 election, was in Cincinnati and had meetings scheduled in the afternoon....

....Mandel credited Kasich for having "ice in his veins" and a "backbone" to make tough decisions.....

Don't you find it interesting that King John Kasich wanted to replace Kevin DeWine?  Kasich, not only wanted to control the government, but also wanted to pick his own head of the Ohio GOP?  I'm sure that did not sit well with Kevin DeWine who has always felt that he deserved the leadership position he holds.  

The article also notes that Josh Mandel said Kasich had "ice in his veins" because of the funding cuts he has made.  Mandel might call it "ice" but I would say that Kasich's decisions were based on greed, cronyism, disrespect for the working men and women in the state, and a lack of sympathy for the poor, the elderly, and public school children.

In the Dispatch's Saturday (July 23, 2011) article, the line from Friday that stated, "....Kasich, who sources say asked DeWine to step down as chairman...." was not included in this updated version.  Do you think someone got a call to remove it?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Party While Cutting Funding For Schools?

Ohio Republicans obviously don't see anything wrong with a proposed party bar for inside the Statehouse.  Even though it appeared that all systems were go for adding the bar, there has been a halt to the project.


...The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board decided yesterday to slow down a proposal to allow the sale of alcohol to lawmakers and the public from a Statehouse cafe on weekday evenings....

...The board announced last month that it signed a new contract with Milo's Catering and Banquet Services to take over operation of the Capitol Cafe, located in the lower level of the 150-year-old building. The announcement said that the cafe would include a "full-service" bar with flat-screen televisions that would be open for private functions and the general public at times to be determined.....

Some in the Statehouse just don't get how this bar looks to the public. While the Republican controlled legislature has stripped people of their rights to be involved in collective bargaining, decreased funding for Medicaid patients in nursing homes, cut funding to public schools, fired people in various departments within the state government, given away millions of dollars of tax cuts to business cronies, the Republicans come up with a stupid idea to saunter up to a bar, drink, and be merry.  This all just does not look good to the people of Ohio. 

*  The unemployment rate has increased in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services news release of July 22, 2011.

Ohio's unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in June, up from 8.6 percent in May, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).....

>>>>  Nate Silver, in the NY Times, reports about Republican governors:

....Moderate Republican governors, a thriving species before last year’s elections, are all but extinct.....

...The unsurprising result is that Republicans now have a group of extremely unpopular governors — particularly Mr. Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John R. Kasich of Ohio and Paul R. LePage of Maine, all of whom have disapproval ratings exceeding 50 percent. Other Republican governors in crucial swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania also have below-average ratings....

....It suggests that the party has become uninterested in appealing to swing voters — and that the voters are starting to notice....

Those of us in Ohio are quite aware of the fact that our governor just doesn't care what the people think. As he continues to take away our rights, while he rewards rich buddies with tax breaks, John Kasich has become a pariah, to moderate Republicans, Independents, all Democrats, women, public school children, the elderly, those that work with the poor, and the average worker.  John Kasich and his supporters have one god----money.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot!

*  It is very hot across the nation today.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!  If you don't have it at home or your air isn't working properly, go to a movie or a mall and hang out for a few hours.

* If the Republicans and their Tea Party leaders don't cooperate on the debt ceiling, we all will be hurt.  Even though Tea Party supporters think that nothing will happen if the U.S. goes into default, they are wrong.

Kevin Drum, writing for Mother Jones, provides details on what Americans will lose if there is no debt agreement.  Mother Jones:

  • The doors of federal prisons have been thrown open, because none of the guards will work without being paid, and the vendors will not deliver food, medical supplies, electricity, etc.
  • The border control stations are entirely unmanned, so anyone who can buy a plane ticket, or stroll across the Mexican border, is entering the country. All the illegal immigrants currently in detention are released, since we don't have the money to put them on a plane, and we cannot actually simply leave them in a cell without electricity, sanitation, or food to see what happens....
  • The FDIC and the PBGC suddenly don't have a government backstop for their funds, which has all sorts of interesting implications for your bank account....
***   More information is coming out about the domestic violence problems concerning Ohio Republican Kris Jordan and his wife, Melissa, after a call to the Delaware Co. Sheriff's Department.  Marion Star:

...His 31-year-old wife Melissa called a Delaware County sheriff's dispatcher around 11 p.m. July 11, saying her husband had been drinking.

In a 10-minute discussion with the dispatcher, Melissa Jordan, a law student who was appointed Delaware County recorder earlier this year, told the dispatcher Jordan had a gun in his pocket at one point but put it down.

"He was pushing me around, throwing stuff. Because I called you, he wants ... he says it's over," said said. "This is the first time I've called. He's done this a lot. I can't put up with this anymore."

Now, according to Plunderbund, Kris Jordan is asking for privacy.

State Senator Kris Jordan says that he’s entitled to his privacy, even though he’s still under investigation of a crime.  Robert Mecklenborg said the same thing… a week or two before he resigned....

...There is a common thread between Mecklenborg and Jordan.  Both are pro-life, social conservatives who pride themselves as culture warriors.  Both wear their religion on their sleeves as much as their campaign literature.  Both view women as objects to control and use.  Kris Jordan, who his own wife says threatened to end his marriage if she dared to call the police, if she “made the mistake” of making what he was doing a public matter.  They are beyond conservative.  They are misogynistic and male chauvinists. What’s next, a bill requiring a husband’s consent before a woman can vote?  Sign a contract?

Both have mocked the notion that there exists in the United States Constitution an implicit right to privacy in which cases like Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut rests on the floor of the State legislature.  Both have supported criminally prosecuting people involved in assisting a woman exercise her constitutional right to make her own decisions about her reproductive organs, only to demand privacy when they become a subject of a criminal investigation, public records be damned.  In their world, conservative politicians accused of crimes have more of a right to privacy than private citizens have on deeply personal medical and health issues....

With the Ohio Republicans supporting the new restrictive abortion bill, and Kasich signing it into law, the women of Ohio have to contend with their invasion of privacy by Kasich and the GOP Neanderthals.  Every single time an Ohio woman goes to see her physician, it is important to realize that besides her physician, Kasich and the Ohio Republicans have invaded the examining room. They have decided what can and cannot be done in that examining room.  It is time for the women of Ohio to throw the Republicans out of the most private decisions of our lives.  Their invasion of our privacy is distressing and disgusting.  If Mecklenborg and Kris Jordan want privacy, they'll have to respect our rights first.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kasich Still Tanking


Despite signing a historic budget, Gov. John Kasich's approval rating took a dive among Ohio voters, a new poll released today shows.

Exactly half of Ohioans disapprove of the Republican governor's performance, while 35 percent approve, the Quinnipiac Poll says. Two months ago it was 49 percent approving and 38 percent disapproving.

And the push to repeal Senate Bill 5, supported strongly by Kasich and most legislative Republicans, grew stronger. Right now the repeal effort would win by 24 points; in May it was up by 18....

Kasich's approval rating is only 35% and his disapproval is at 50%. 

The Quinnipiac Poll reveals more about how Ohioans really feel about the governor, and it isn't pretty.  If you have an opportunity to review the entire poll, you'll notice that John Kasich gets some of the highest ratings from people in west central Ohio.  This might explain why the governor repeatedly travels to Sinclair Community College to talk to "business leaders" because these are his strong supporters.

With apologies to Sally Field, this Quinnipiac poll can be summed up in one way---

To John Kasich:  The people of Ohio just do not like your agenda.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Sunlight Foundation's Political Party Time has obtained an invitation to the next fundraiser for Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15):

Wow. That sounds very expensive for a one hour reception!   Obviously, those going to the fundraisers are not the average people in his district.

>>>   Can you guess which charter school owner has contributed $15,000 to the Ohio Senate Fund which in turn contributed money to the committee for Josh Mandel for Senate?  Did you guess David Brennan?  You can view the information on the Ohio Senate Fund at the FEC.

Stivers Continues to Protect Corporations

*  Once again, Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15) is supporting a bill that threatens consumers and whistleblowers.

POGO (Project on Government Oversight):

...Last week, Rep. Grimm was joined by Representatives Scott Garrett (R-NJ), John Campbell (R-CA), and Steve Stivers (R-OH) in introducing the “Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011” (H.R. 2483). Despite its title, the bill could hardly be more hostile to whistleblowers....

.....Rep. Grimm et al. made one change to the original draft bill, removing a section that would have denied contingency fee representation to whistleblowers. But the bill introduced last week still includes a slew of provisions that would eviscerate the whistleblower programs at the SEC and CFTC, just as key reforms are being finalized.....

....Reps. Grimm, Garrett, Campbell, and Stivers received a combined $2.1 million in campaign contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate industries in the 2010 election cycle, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics....

These four members of the House of Representatives seem to be helping their financial supporters.  Unfortunately, these elected officials are on the side of corporations instead of the voting public.  They are more concerned with guarding the profits of corporations and banks than rewarding individuals who discover illegal/immoral/unhealthy operations within a business.

>>>>> The Republicans in the House of Representatives are trying to distract citizens with a completely worthless move while they continue to delay raising the debt ceiling.  Once again, the Republicans want you to take your eyes off of the deadline date of fixing the debt ceiling.


Two weeks from a threatened default, U.S. House Republicans today plan to defy President Barack Obama’s promised veto by voting to slash spending and condition a $2.4 trillion debt-ceiling increase on passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. 

The measure, demanded by fiscally conservative organizations and Tea Party groups, brings lawmakers no closer to meeting an Aug. 2 deadline for increasing the $14.3 trillion debt limit. The bill stands little chance of being endorsed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and no chance of being signed into law. 

The White House, in a statement conveying Obama’s threat to veto the “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal, called it an “empty political statement” setting out “unrealistic policy goals.” Conservative groups cheered it, pressuring Republicans to back it or risk denting their fiscal credentials with voters....

The Republicans continue to listen to their corporate sponsors and their small base of right wing, Tea Party-elected, self-centered, Ayn Rand believers, who would rather destroy the country than follow the lead of our President.  We have to ask ourselves why the Republicans object to the leadership of President Barack Obama?  Is their opposition only based on his political party?  I doubt it.  In my humble opinion, Cantor, McConnell, DeMint, and others, have demonstrated their deep-seated dislike of the President by their words and actions.  They don't want to give him any political or legislative victories because they do not respect the President, his family history, or his agenda to help all Americans.  The Republicans are digging in their heels to only serve the wealthy.

**** What do people really think about Republican Gov. John Kasich's legislative agenda?  The Toledo Blade allowed citizens to offer their views.  Both sides are represented in the list of comments, but what follows are the ones that I believe that a majority of Ohioans believe:


"I don't want to live in the Ohio envisioned by Governor Kasich. We are in a class war and for now, the wealthy are winning. The voters brought this on themselves, and only they can undo it. I hope Kasich will be a one-term governor and many right-wing legislators will be gone soon too."
-- George Hartman, Wauseon...

"This is an organized national plan to prop up and feed big business, the wealthy, and the powerful. [Republicans] have no soul and not a single inkling of what it is like to live in Middle America. I cannot wait until Kasich's next election comes up. I will campaign as hard I can to rid the state of his dictator-like actions."
-- Jim Buyakie, Toledo...

"How very sad it was for Ohio's electorate to give the nod to this appalling governor. Mr. Kasich has, it seems, decided that the destruction of needed state programs to further the financial interests of the favored takes precedence. He needs to stop his revolutionary war against the ordinary citizens of this state."
-- Wallace L. Pretzer, Bowling Green...

 >  Has anyone else noticed that Kasich continues to meet only with "business leaders" around the state?How many times will Kasich continue to visit the same business leaders, at the same locations, and deliver the same talking points? For example, how many more times can he go to Sinclair Community College to preach to his business supporters? Why does he continue to go there?

Monday, July 18, 2011

What do you get when some people elect a former bank lobbyist and a former vice president at Lehman Brothers to public office?

Answer:  The people in Ohio are experiencing the sad results today when our rights, protections, and our citizen sponsored assets are being sold off.

*     Crain's Cleveland Business is stating this morning that Gov. John Kasich's plan to sell off the Ohio Turnpike might not work out as he had hoped:

“It was the best deal since Manhattan was sold for beads,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told Barron's business weekly in 2009. A multinational joint venture paid $3.8 billion for the 157-mile stretch of road between Ohio and Illinois.
But Gov. John Kasich won't do as well, it appears, if he tries to peddle the Ohio Turnpike. As it is, he only hopes for around $3 billion for the 241-mile road...

....The Indiana road has suffered from a decline in traffic and revenue during the recession. According to a 2010 Macquarie prospectus, toll road revenues “are expected to remain insufficient to cover debt service obligations over the medium term.”

>>>>>  An opinion piece in the Zanesville Times Recorder finds problems with Kasich's goals  to sell off Ohio's assets to private companies, a plan to lease the turnpike for 99 years, and thereby forsaking the reported $236 million/year toll income for a one-shot deal.  Zanesville Times Recorder:

....We do not know the terms of the prospective lease, but it is a certainty that the company will be raising the toll fees many times during the life of the lease. The road proceeds will be going to a private company, probably a foreign company, such as Spanish or Australian.

A typical lease prohibits the government from building new roads or improving old roads adjacent to the leased road, with the intention of forcing more motorists to use the private toll road. According to, Orange County, Calif., leased state Route 91 to investors. The website quoted an Oklahoman State Representative as saying, "Seven years later, they were having gridlock and they were prohibited from building new roads. ... The citizens had to buy back that road."

A moral issue also is involved. These roads, prisons and other government property that are being sold or leased to private companies, are actually owned by the residents of the state, who built them with their hard-earned tax dollars. The politicians should not have the right to let private companies earn profits on our property....

Kasich, who famously worked as a vice president at Lehman Brothers (the firm that started the 2008 financial crisis), was accustomed to taking risks with other people's money.  The retirement systems for Ohio's public employees know that the investment funds sold to them by Kasich and Lehman lost them hundreds of millions of dollars. Now Kasich is willing to risk our citizen-owned state assets and those profits in favor of some "deal."

Just like the Kasich/Republican sponsored SB 5, middle class families, tax-paying citizens, teachers/firefighters/police offiecers, and all Ohioans should regard any "deal" sponsored by Kasich with suspicion.   Kasich is helping his rich business supporters thrive while we lose income, rights, and protections.

Anything coming out of the Kasich administration should be viewed by Ohio citizens with this in mind-----

(image from Business Ethics)

***  Leave it to Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15th) to support a bill which slowly destroys the effectiveness of the Dodd-Frank bill, which protects consumers.  The Dodd-Frank bill was passed after the 2008-2009 financial losses consumers experienced by over leveraged firms on Wall Street.


The subcommittee will also mark up the Asset-Backed Market Stabilization Act, HR 1539, which would provide certainty to the issuers of asset-backed securities by repealing Section 939G of Dodd-Frank, which nullified SEC Rule 436(g), thereby imposing Section 11 liability on rating agencies if their ratings were determined to be inaccurate. In the week preceding the effective date of Section 939G, the major rating agencies issued public statements refusing to allow their ratings to be included in registration statements. SEC Regulation AB, however, requires that a prospectus for an asset-backed offering disclose ratings whenever an issuance or sale is conditioned on the assignment of a rating. Thus, the public asset-backed securitization markets froze on July 22, 2010, forcing the SEC to step in and issue a temporary no-action letter on July 22, 2010. On November 23, 2010, the SEC issued a permanent no-action letter. The Act is sponsored by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH).

Gee.  Why does Stivers want to repeal something that would force companies to actually be liable if the information they provided to the public wasn't correct? 

Constituents in Ohio's 15th district must keep in mind several things:

(1) he was a former bank lobbyist
(2) while in the Ohio Senate, Stivers continued to push bills that protected banks and tore away at consumer protection rules/laws
(3) Stivers voted for the Paul Ryan plan which kills Medicare
(4) Stivers refused to sign a pledge that he would protect and support Social Security
(5) Stivers continues to work to protect bank profits, while he continues to receive huge campaign contributions from bankers, financial concerns, etc.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mandel supports SB 5

 Republican Josh Mandel is running for U.S. Senate.  You already knew that. 


Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DELL') has tacitly revealed the worst kept secret in Ohio politics: He's running for the U.S. Senate.....


According to a document that is available at the FEC, Mandel filed a statement of candidacy on 4/6/2011 (see the "Display the Full Report" PDF report on the bottom of the page).  If you do a search at the FEC, look for 2 committees--- Friends of Josh Mandel and Ohio Senate Fund.  The committee reports do not appear to be updated.

The DaytonDailyNews (May 25, 2011) has this line which is the most important line in the article:

...Mandel, a former city councilman, said he supports Senate Bill 5 but has not taken a position on Ryan’s Medicare plan.... 

***  Meanwhile, in the U.S. House of Representatives, it appears that Republican Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15) is wasting his time trying to sell a balanced budget amendment.  Politico:

I think everybody in that room will vote for it,” said Steve Stivers (R-Ohio.) “It’s important. We need structural change,” he said, predicting that structural change “has to be part of the final deal.”

But a balanced budget amendment will be a tough sell. It requires a two-thirds majority to pass the House, and unlike the version passed in 1995, it will require a two-thirds majority to increase tax revenues, a provision Democrats are strongly opposed to......

 Stivers may not know it, but the balance budget amendment has been proposed at least thirteen times (see uspolitics) and has never had enough votes to pass. Besides, making such a proposal at this late time in the debt ceiling talks is just plain worthless. 

Here is some information from uspolitics:

Here is one more tiny tidbit to offer to your Republican friends----
CBS News (September 29, 2008):

With no fanfare and little notice, the national debt has grown by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush's presidency.

It's the biggest increase under any president in U.S history.

On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That's a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush's watch.....


Kasich: "We're winning."


...“We're winning,” Kasich told the crowd of about 60 business and political leaders. “The sun is coming up in Ohio.”

Protesters outside weren't as enthusiastic about a budget championed by Kasich, who one protester said is “killing the middle class right now.” Protesters were railing against local government cuts and privatization efforts in the spending plan, the paper reported.

"We"???????????  Is he referring to right wing, anti-women's rights Republicans, rich fat cats that once worked for Lehman Brothers, politicians supported by the Koch brothers, supporters of fracking, people against worker's rights, governors that give tax breaks to CEO's, those who support failing charter schools, etc., etc., etc.??????

I don't consider myself a Kasich supporter and I'm not pleased with any of his steamroller, arrogant, right wing agenda.  Hopefully, those 1.3 million signatures for the referendum to overturn SB 5 will make Kasich, the Kochs, and the right wingers losers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

People Blame the Republicans

A new poll has Americans blaming the Republicans for the economic debt crisis we're experiencing today.

Los Angeles Times:

...A new Quinnipiac survey released Thursday showed that by a margin of 48%-34%, voters would blame Republicans instead of Obama if the debt limit is not raised and the nation defaults. Voters also support his call for a "balanced package" that includes both new revenues and spending cuts.

The president's approval rating has remained remarkably stable even in the high-profile dispute with Republicans. Quinnipiac found 47% of voters approved of his performance, unchanged from a June survey and up slightly from his pre-Bin Laden showing.

Meanwhile the approval rating for congressional Republicans dropped to 26%, lowest since assuming majority status in January, and now below the similarly poor rating for their Democratic counterparts.....

With Eric Cantor siding with the wacko Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives, he is undermining the Speaker of the House John Boehner's ability to negotiate.  If Boehner cannot get an agreement with the Republicans, will Cantor try to take over Boehner's post?

Not upset yet with the Republicans?   I'm sure that after hearing what Gov. John Kasich did today with your tax money, you'll be shocked.


Gov. John Kasich made an impromptu $2 million pledge of state money today to Nationwide Children's Hospital leaders to be shared with similar institutions throughout the state for a joint research project....

....Kasich pledged the money before he knew where it would come from. While speaking with Allen and Dr. John Barnard, president of the research institute at Nationwide, Kasich had his staff try to reach budget director Tim Keen, to no avail.

Kasich pledged the money anyway, and later told the two physicians: "I may have to get it to you in a couple months." 

If Gov. Kasich wanted to pledge some of his own personal wealth to Nationwide Children's Hospital, that would be great.  However, with the state budget as tight as it is, Kasich's actions are just irresponsible.

>>>>>>  Here is another shocker---- 

There was NEVER  an $8 billion dollar deficit in Ohio!

Innovation Ohio has the details:

On Tuesday, the Office of Budget and Management released the monthly financial report for June. In it, OBM validated what Innovation Ohio reported last month: Governor Kasich’s frequent claim that the state faced an $8 billion dollar deficit was never true. The report indicates that in fiscal year 2011, which ended June 30, the state collected nearly $1 billion ($973 million to be exact) more revenue than was forecast, reducing the gap between actual expenditures in the last two-year budget and available revenue in the upcoming biennium.

The OBM report validates our claim that through increased revenue in fiscal year 2011, better-than-expected revenue growth in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and the availability of new sources of one-time money, the actual gap that budget-writers faced was closer to $5.1 billion, not $8 billion....

Once again the Republicans continue to lie, lie, lie.

****  Has anyone else wondered what kind of work Republican Rep. Steve Stivers is doing for the people in Ohio's 15th district?  Stivers has not created jobs in the district as he promised.

> Guess which Republican Presidential candidate supports SB 5????  Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich, the guy married three times, divorced twice, and involved in a check writing scandal while he was in the House, is giving advice to Ohioans to support SB 5, according to  That should turn a lot of heads. Not.


*  Here is something I wrote about over at Stubbornliberal:

A letter to the editor in today's Columbus Dispatch says the following:

I have one question for Linda Lee Kennedy (letter, July 7) and all other opponents of Ohio Senate Bill 5: What makes them think they represent the middle class? Union workers comprise something like 12 percent of the work force. That means the other 88 percent of us represent the vast majority of middle-class workers in the U.S. 

Unions, pensions and collective bargaining are relics of the past. In today's marketplace, good workers are any company's greatest asset and are compensated as such. Different people perform at different levels; why on earth should a lesser performer be paid as well as a better performer through something such as collective bargaining? It just doesn't make sense in a market economy..... 

The writer of the letter just doesn't understand what constitutes the "middle class" in our country.

According to, the middle class is defined as:

middle class

1. a class of people intermediate between the classes of higher and lower social rank or standing; the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like.
2. the class traditionally intermediate between the aristocratic class and the laboring class....
In an article at marketplace.nationalpublicradio, several economists were asked to define middle class. Below are the names of the economic experts and their quotes from NPR
Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institute:
....He uses the term "middle income" rather than "middle class" and he bases his definition on the median household income -- which last year was $48,200.

Burtless says the middle can range from half of that to twice that number, so $24,000 to $96,000....

Frank Levy MIT economist stated:

I would say a reasonable range is about $30,000 to $90,000. Most of what we mean by middle class, I think, is how easy it is for you to afford the basic building blocks of a good life in America and that means can you afford a single-family house and can you afford a car and can you afford to heat the house and so on and so forth...

  According to, here is the list of average income for those involved in teaching in Ohio:

*Teacher Salary Information For 2008—2009

Average Beginning Teacher Salary:
Average Teacher Salary: $47,602  
Average Administrator Salary: $77,740  
Elementary School Principals: $82,414  
Middle School Principals: $87,866  
High School Principals: $92,965
 (their source is the *BLS:
>>>> has the following income statistics for Ohio firefighters: 
Ohio Labor Market Information reports that average income for police and sheriff's patrol officers in Ohio is---------------------  $53,310
The author of the letter to the editor doesn't understand that teachers, firefighters, and police officers are making incomes far below his own income. Does the author of the letter want the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives protecting his family to make far less?  Does he think that their jobs are worth less than his own?  Does he think that teachers that have educated his children, enabled them to go to college, are not worth their income even though they have bachelors and masters degrees?  
   What do you think?  Do you agree with the writer of the letter to the editor of the Dispatch????  If you'd like to respond to the letter, you can check out the Dispatch's letter policy here.