Monday, December 30, 2013

Ohio's Economy in the Pits

Business First:

..Ohio's lagging job market is highlighted in starker relief in the latest monthly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The bank's coincident index of four economic indicators found only three states failing to make progress from September to November – Alaska, Wyoming and Ohio...

Gov. John Kasich has created a real economic mess in Ohio. There are no jobs, small businesses are failing, large businesses are laying off, and JobsOhio has proven to be an example of the failure of "trickle down" economics. Giving millions of dollars to corporations and CEO's has resulted in nothing for the people of Ohio. Ohio's economy is in the pits.

  Here is a graph from the Philadelphia Fed:

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ohio's Fat Cats Doing Well for Themselves

The following is an example of some of the Ohio Republicans who've been elected in the state legislature.




Ohio's religious leaders are voicing their opposition to Gov. Kasich's cuts in food stamps.


Some leaders of Ohio’s faith communities are urging Gov. Kasich and state leaders not to stiffen work requirements and make other changes to Ohio’s food stamp program. The Rev. Tim Ahrens of Columbus says veterans are among those who will be hurt the most if the changes take effect in January.....

......The average family in Ohio got $287 a month in food stamps in 2012.

With all of these cuts, food pantries, soup kitchens, and programs that help the poor are being overwhelmed with requests from the needy. A hungry child cannot learn, but the fat cats in Ohio just don't care.

Monday, December 23, 2013

No miracles here in Ohio!

Not that long ago I wrote that Ohio was 44th in job creation. Now Ohio is 46th in job creation!

Ohio is 46th in job creation!!!!!!

W.P. Carey School of Business has the details.

What is going on in Ohio? How is it that Kasich is giving away millions of dollars, and tax incentives to corporations to create jobs, but no jobs are being created???  Not that long ago, Gov. John Kasich said that Ohio's economy was a "miracle."  Kasich is wrong. Ohio's economy under the Gov. Kasich is a major, catastrophic economic disaster.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kasich's Job Losses

Ohio has not had a robust economy under Gov. John Kasich's leadership. Despite his own claims, the existence of the corporate give away program (known as JobsOhio), the people in the state have not seen any increase in jobs.


Ohio lost more jobs than any other state last month and is on track this year to post its weakest job growth since the recession ended in 2009.

The state lost 12,000 jobs last month, nearly twice the 6,500 jobs cut in second-to-last North Carolina, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data released yesterday.

A separate report by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services showed the losses were across several sectors: leisure and hospitality, construction, and professional and business services, even as the unemployment rate dipped to 7.4 percent in November from 7.5 percent in October.....

If someone is making out with the millions of dollars flowing out in incentives to businesses, and corporations, it is not the unemployed and underemployed in Ohio. Every week you hear about tax incentives and grants being awarded to companies, but there are no new jobs. Every person in Ohio knows of people that have been looking for jobs for months, and years, but haven't found employment in the Kasich economy. When Kasich turned his back on the 1,000 Ormet workers and allowed their job losses, Ohioans learned that Kasich just doesn't care about working people.

It is time for Ohio voters to wake up and deny Kasich, the former Lehman Brothers vice president, a second term. This will also end his goal of running for President.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ohio GOP Planning Assault on Unions- Again

If you live in Ohio you are well aware that the voters overturned SB5. Unfortunately, you might not know that Gov. Kasich, the Republicans, the Tea Party Republicans, and far right Koch-supported organizations are waiting to bring up right to work legislation again.

This past summer, organizations were in Ohio talking up putting an end to unions. 

ToledoBlade reports that ALEC supported groups, and Vincent Vernuccio of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, have been touring Ohio and organizing their next anti-union campaign. Teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, state workers, and their families and friends should be prepared for the next legislation to curb workers' rights.  If Kasich is re-elected, we can be certain that he and his minions will try an SB5 type move again.

* * *

Channel 4 in Columbus has and update on marriage equality in Ohio:

A new poll commissioned by an organization that promotes the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ohio shows that Ohio voters are split down the middle on the issue.

In 2004, Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage.

Freedom to Marry – Ohio, the group gathering signatures on petitions to repeal and replace the ban, says a new poll indicates Ohioans have changed their stance....

 This is an active, ongoing campaign in Ohio, with many people supporting marriage equality.
Most state right-to-work laws were enacted in the 1940s and 1950s. But businesses and conservative lawmakers, working through groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, have mounted a new push as union membership has dwindled and the competition for jobs has intensified among states.

Most state right-to-work laws were enacted in the 1940s and 1950s. But businesses and conservative lawmakers, working through groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, have mounted a new push as union membership has dwindled and the competition for jobs has intensified among states.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Once again we see that layoffs in Ohio are becoming part of everyday life here:  There is no miracle in Ohio.

* Do you want to hear something frightening? Rumor has it that Republican Gov. John Kasich intends to run for President. Plunderbund has all the details.

Monday, December 16, 2013

GOP vs. Public Schools

Plunderbund has noticed that Gov. John Kasich and the elected Republicans in the Ohio legislature are busy creating laws for everyone else.

As we’ve pointed out over the last couple of days, Ohio’s private schools are exempt from the same level of standardized testing requirements that are stressing out teachers, students, and parents in the public schools.  These exemptions occur because of the ways the laws are written by Ohio’s elected state officials — they simply make the laws apply only to the public school children, omitting nonpublic (i.e., private) schools from the vast majority of the testing requirements.

Currently, students in Ohio’s public schools are required to test a minimum of 20 times throughout their 13 years (K-12).  Meanwhile, students in the private schools (including Catholic schools) are only required to take the Ohio Graduation Tests when they are in high school.  The public schools have the burden of engaging children when they are 8 or 9 years old in third grade in the process of high-stakes testing when they take the 3rd grade reading test in October and again in April along with the math assessment.  These children then take the reading and math tests again every year through 8th grade in addition to science tests in grades 5 and 8....

These laws also demonstrate the disdain that Kasich and Republicans have for public schools and public school teachers. When Kasich, with the approval of the legislature, cuts education, they still expect students and teachers to perform at higher numbers. They'll be ready to criticize public school students and teachers when grades and testing scores go down. They just hope that voters forget of that the GOP and Kasich cut funding, teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, and specialists from the schools.

What else have these Ohio Republicans done? They've passed the most restrictive laws on women's health, birth control, and access to safe, legal emergency abortion. The Republicans are doing their best to cut, restrict, and block voters from exercising their rights at the polls.


*** How many jobs has Rep. Steve Stivers created for the people of Ohio's 15th district? Anyone? I'm still looking for them!  It appears that most of the legislation Stivers supported had to do with protecting bankers, maximizing profits for traders, and repealing the health care law, again, and again, and again. He did not create any jobs. Yes, he did sponsor a "job fair" in his district, but those jobs offered were minimum wage positions.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fixing the numbers????

* Ohioans should thank the good people of Plunderbund for their good work in documenting the backroom deals being made at JobsOhio (renamed RobsOhio by Plunderbund).  Two recent posts should make every Ohioan stand up and question what is being done with our money.

1. Plunderbund noticed some odd expenses at JobsOhio:

....According to that audit,  JobsOhio billed the Development Services Agency $860,000 for “economic development and marketing services” but included no information about how those amounts were.    DSA just paid JobsOhio and didn’t ask any questions.

The audit also found $165,245  in public money went to the the JobsOhio Beverage System.  Again, those payments “were not supported by an invoice or other detailed documentation.”

Together the two audit reports identify over one million dollars in undocumented spending involving JobsOhio, yet Yost makes no recommendations for recovering that money like he has in other audits....

Kasich's JobsOhio is spending your tax dollars on "beverage services" in this report. Is that for the imported coffee and drinks at the coffee bar (see pic provided by IO) in the JobsOhio office or is it something else? How can JobsOhio have "...over one million dollars in undocumented spending..." and get away with it? I smell a repeat of another Ohio Republican scandal.


2.  Plunderbund has a big story on how JobsOhio has altered their recent report:

If you recently tried to read our story about JobsOhio’s disappointing third quarter report you may have noticed that the link to the report no longer works.   That because JobsOhio removed the original report and replaced it with a new, modified version of the document.

The first file had a create date of 11/21/2013 at 3:18:08 AM and a modified date of 11/22/2013 at 3:29:08 PM.   It was quietly released on JobsOhio’s website sometime over the weekend of November 29th......

......Based on an automated comparison of the two documents, we determined that the document had been altered by modifying the text describing the number of job commitments made by companies in the quarter.....

Thank you, Plunderbund, for your hard work exposing Kasich's shenanigans.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


No one could be happy about Gov. John Kasich's record on job creation and retention. More companies in Ohio are involved in layoffs as indicated by the 569 people laid off since Thanksgiving. Here is a link to Ohio's Current Warn Law List.

>>> With the massive cuts made by Gov. Kasich to primary and secondary education, and colleges,  it is no surprise that students are failing to achieve reading goals.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, 58% of Ohio's 3rd graders have not passed the 3rd grade reading test. If they are unable to pass, the failing 3rd graders will be forced to attend summer school, and face the possibility of repeating the 3rd grade.  Of course, it doesn't help that Kasich's school budgets have resulted to layoffs of teachers across the state.

We might want to explain to Kasich that cuts to education, the layoffs of teachers, tutors, and specialists result in lower quality results.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

There Goes Our Money

Ohioans are worried about the money going out to friends of Gov. John Kasich. Kasich's buddy, Mark Kvamme, served as the director of JobsOhio, but then resigned to return to his investment firm. Kvamme was able to secure $50 million in investments from the Ohio State University with the help of then University President Gordon Gee. After Gee resigned, he continued to push OSU to get involved with Kvamme's investment, even though some thought it was too much of an outlay of money. 

Today, Ohioans are asking lots of questions about the details of this investment. 


...Progress Ohio is questioning whether OSU agreed to comparable terms in its $50 million investment in Mark Kvamme's Drive Capital as were offered to at least one other public agency approached by the firm for funds....

....Rothenberg said OSU's investment in the latter should prompt an examination of state ethics laws to block officials leaving JobsOhio or other appointed positions from benefitting financially from their former positions.

"We have somebody who'd never been to Ohio or hadn't spent much time in Ohio, did not have a whole lot of contacts, came in for a dollar a year, made many contacts through JobsOhio with the business community and other wealthy folks in Ohio and turned around and resigned and three years later was able to get a contract which we know was a sweetheart contract...," he said. "That's a pretty big return for anybody anywhere in the country. I think he definitely cashed in on the relationships that he was able to develop in Ohio, better than most Ohioans could."

The ToledoBlade notes that Kvamme could make $9 million from the agreement.

This whole investment thing is just disgusting. Ohio taxpayers have their money being funneled to JobsOhio, but we are not allowed to see the details of what is happening.  Ohio State makes an agreement with Kasich's buddy, but taxpayers, students, parents that foot the bill for tuition, and OSU donors are not permitted to see the facts of the financial arrangement. In the past, Ohio State has not given money of this size to an individual for investment. Some within the university suggested a much smaller amount of investment, but were shot down by Gordon Gee and others.  If Ohio State loses money on this deal, will Gordon Gee cover the losses?

The article in the ToledoBlade reminds Ohioans that the last Ohio Republican administration also went down the private investment route. Former Gov. Bob Taft brought us "Coingate" and the loss of hundreds of millions of state dollars that were invested in coins, Beanie Babies, and art. Why are we allowing Kasich, his friends, and the GOP to travel to the secret, backroom money deals as they did with Tom Noe?

>>>>  Is John Kasich rewarding failing charter schools? Plunderbund has the info:

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the largest charter school in the state of Ohio.  The online school is larger than the vast majority of Ohio’s traditional school districts and received over $88 million in state funding last school year.  This year that amount is expected to jump to over $92 million....

....For graduation rate, a key indicator for the long-term success of a school/district, ECOT’s 5-year graduation rate of 37.8% was over 25 points worse than the lowest urban, Cleveland, who checked in at 63.3%.....

....As was the case in 2011, that money is STILL not going to educate the students enrolled at ECOT, but instead is lining the pockets of owner/operator William Lager, massive donor to the Ohio Republican Party.  In 2010, Lager donated $220,795 to Ohio’s lawmakers.  In 2011, the yearly donations dropped to $83,500.00, but he rebounded in 2012 with $201,537.40 in donations and $196,878.06 in only the first half of 2013.  While much of this money was directed toward specific candidates, $64,000 was donated to the Republican House and Senate Campaign committees (file that away for later)....

It appears that if you own a charter school, contribute to Ohio Republicans, you can get more money for your failing charter.
The venture capital firm co-founded by Mark Kvamme, Gov. John Kasich’s former jobs czar, stands to make at least $9 million in management fees on a $50 million, 10-year investment made by Ohio State University.

Monday, December 09, 2013

In the news....

There are more businesses leaving Ohio.  Daily Job Cuts found that PendaForm Co. is closing their plant in New Concord, Ohio.  This is just another example of Gov. John Kasich's failing grade in job creation and retention!

>>>  Many people are pushing for an increase for the minimum wage. Republicans are totally against any increases. The GOP likes keeping people poor.  I hope that President Obama pushes the raise in minimum wage. It is only fair.

Friday, December 06, 2013

On the Agenda

• The world mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela. As President Obama said, "....we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages....." (USA Today)

- - - - -

* Ohioans are wondering why the Republicans are working so hard to eliminate voting opportunities in the state. Republican in the Ohio General Assembly have passed voting "reform" legislation that would cut the number of days for voting, throw more people off the voting rolls, and create other restrictions to casting a vote.  Gov. John Kasich is expected to be presented the voting "reform" legislation for his signature, according to the Record-Courier. The Republicans and their anti-women, anti-workers' rights, anti-minorities, anti-public education, anti-young people, and anti-middle class agenda can't win elections without tampering with the vote.

(Note: Anytime the Republicans use the word "reform," it means that they intend to hurt your rights, and your access to a right guaranteed in our country. The GOP education "reform" legislation, for example, gave more money to charter schools while it cut funding to traditional public schools and state universities. The public should be cautious of any bill that the GOP calls a "reform" bill.)


>>> People want to know why Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner refuses to bring forth legislation on immigration. Is he afraid of angering his far right tea party Republicans? Why is Boehner more concerned with his party than with the lives of millions of people?


Here is a piece of advice---  If you think Social Security should be eliminated, you need to vote for Republicans, because that is their goal.  If you want your parents and grandparents living in your basement, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and the rest of the GOP have plans to make that come true with their plan to cut Social Security, Medicaid, education, science research, and the EPA.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

On the List Again?

Gov. John Kasich has distinguished himself again, but..............not in a good way.


Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released their second annual Worst Governors in America report and, for the second year in a row, Ohio’s John Kasich made the cut.

According to CREW “Gov. Kasich will do whatever it takes to keep the public in the dark about the non-profit he created, and played partisan politics with his state’s voting laws.”

That about sums it up. You can read the full list of reasons Kasich made the list here. The full report is available here.

Ohioans have to be embarrassed to have the governor of our state on the list of "worst governors" for the second year in a row!!!!!!!  It is time to vote Kasich out of office.

Monday, December 02, 2013

More Failing Numbers

It is becoming more apparent that Gov. John Kasich's JobsOhio is a catastrophe for Ohio's working people. The only beneficiaries of JobsOhio appear to be corporations and CEOs.

Plunderbund has the latest for JobsOhio:

Here are those results:

Total # of Projects 87 61
New Jobs 5,788 3,835
New Jobs Payroll  $228 million $174 million
Retained Jobs 16,317 6,161
Retained Jobs Payroll  $853 million $309 million
Total Jobs 22,105 9,996
Total Jobs Payroll $1.1 billion $483 million
Capital Investment by Companies $1.0 billion $708 million

...With more bad news, here comes the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia which just released a report showing that Ohio is ranked nearly last on the quality of our economic conditions for the past three months.    Almost every state has shown some recent improvement.   Ohio, like only four other states, is moving backwards....

The longer this continues, the more our state falls behind.  JobsOhio is putting our economic growth down the toilet.

My Rights

Ohio Gov. John Kasich finally signed disaster relief for residents of Putnam County and Wood County. It took nine days for him to get around to it because Kasich had other priorities.  He had to attend the Republican Governors conference in Arizona immediately after the Ohio disaster to promote himself.

>>> Far right wing Republican Rick Santorum believes that an employer's rights are more important a person's individual rights.


Former Republican presidential nominee Rick Santorum told CNN’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that employers have the right to deny women contraception coverage if it's against their religious faith.

The U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear a case brought by Christian-owned Hobby Lobby, which believes the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring healthcare coverage include birth control violates their religious freedom.....

How is it that these Republicans believe that your health insurance should pay for male enhancement drugs like Viagra, but not birth control pills? There is something wrong with the Republican mindset!

Rick Santorum would have been very popular during ancient times because he believes women are property subject to their husbands and their employers. That is a load of baloney!