Why Newspapers Have Lost Credibility, and Increasing Property Taxes on Seniors

So Tuesday I get this email that Cuyahoga county executive/Democratic candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald and Columbus-area state representatives Lou Gentile and Nick Barborak were doing a telephone press conference later that day about a provision in the new state budget that limited the property tax discount for seniors 65 and older to only those making $30,000 or less. (Currently, there is no income cap).

I had nothing going on at that time so I decided to jump on the call and see what they had to say.

This means-testing of the property tax relief at such a low income level is one of a number of travesties in the recent state budget process that increases taxes on ordinary working people while providing lavish breaks to the wealthiest Ohioans.

And that was what FitzGerald focused on — appropriately. As a still largely unknown challenger, he is working on getting out his ideas and policies in ways that are clear and easily for people to understand.

"The budget is a statement of priorities, what you really value," he said. "One of what I thought was most egregious and regressive portions was what amounts to a tax increase on seniors that are trying to stay in their own homes and happen to make more than $30,000 a year. I think eliminating a policy that helps senior citizens stay in their homes is not humanitarian."

Then came the Q&A portion. And both Henry Gomez of the Plain Dealer and Joe Vardon of the Columbus Dispatch appeared to be playing “gotcha” with FitzGerald, pushing a predetermined narrative and agenda.

They pressed him on the issue of whether, if elected, he would roll back the income tax cut, which primarily benefits the wealthy, and roll back the sales tax increase, which falls heaviest on the poorest people.

When he responded that his overall philosophy is to target tax relief to middle- and lower-income Ohioans, not the wealthy, Vardon accused him of being evasive, of refusing to respond to the question.

The Chickens Come Home to Roost for Josh Mandel & Jim Renacci

Anyone remember THIS story from the last election cycle:


"Canton Firm's Workers Making Unusual Donations"

It was about Canton-based Suarez Corporation, a direct marketing firm owned by Ben Suarez. It seemed that many of his employees were giving maxxed out donations to certain candidates Suarez supported — specifically Congressman Jim Renacci and U.S. Senate candidate Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel. Sometimes their wives maxxed out too.

The Blade calculated, based on their job titles and home values, that these weren't people who could afford to be giving $5,000 or $10,000 or even $20,000 to political candidates. And something else interesting: these big donors, pitching in for their boss' favorite candidates, had never made ANY political donations before.

Since it is illegal to pass donations through others, Suarez of course denied that these employees were reimbursed in any manner.

That claim, alas for Suarez, was not shared by a federal grand jury. Today the Canton Repository is reporting,

A federal grand jury has indicted local businessman Benjamin Suarez on charges accusing him of conspiring to violate campaign finance laws and interfering with a subsequent FBI investigation. ... Prosecutors say Suarez, Giorgio and others funneled almost $200,000 to campaigns during the 2012 election.


According to the indictment, Suarez agreed to raise $100,000 for an Ohio candidate for the U.S. Senate and $100,000 for an Ohio candidate for the U.S. House. ...
Giorgio, under the direction of Suarez, told potential contributors the money would be reimbursed by the company, according to the indictment.

The Worst DCCC Fundraising Letter Possible to Send to a Democratic Woman in Ohio

Hey, Steve Israel! (chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

Do you want to see Ohio Democratic checkbooks remain tightly closed? Just keep sending out stuff like this. Maybe you want to explain to us why on EARTH, after several years of relentless attacks on women's reproductive rights, you seriously think women (and most Democratic men as well) would want to contribute to an anti-choice candidate?

No, no and NO.

I really wish, instead of pissing in the wind on this one, the DCCC would get solidly behind the electable PRO-CHOICE Michael Wager, who is in swing district Ohio 14 and COULD beat freshman David Joyce with a little muscle behind him.

Since Steve Israel and the DCCC are off on some little cloud of unreality, I ask YOU to look at sending contributions to Michael instead.

Here: http://www.michaelwagerforohio.com/

Maybe Steve Israel should read this:

And stop sending emails like this:

Anastasia --

As Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, it’s my job to find the best candidates to run for Congress.[Then please do so and dump this one]

One of our top races is Jennifer Garrison in Ohio’s 6th district -- this seat is CRITICAL to winning a Democratic majority.[If this is your "top race," you have insulted the women of Ohio. What good is a Democratic majority if we start to beef up the decimated Blue Dog Caucus again?]

National Republicans know it too. That’s why shady special interest groups will be targeting Jennifer, ready to spend HUGE amounts of cash to buy this seat.[Yeah yeah, they target everybody. Jennifer's main problem is that Democrats know she's anti-choice and don't need shady special interest groups to tell them]

Jon Husted: A Rising Star of Sabotaging Democracy


*"Is Jon Husted sincere when he says he's just trying to prevent 'voter fraud'? Let me think about that. No."

So our secretary of voter suppres ... I mean STATE .... Jon Husted is out and about, trying to raise his profile, undoubtedly preparing for a run for governor in 2018 after getting himself elected to another term in his current office.

He was featured this week on Fox "News," which dubbed him a "rising political star," and gave him a platform for his mendacity in pretending he is an advocate for fair elections.

Yup, the same Jon Husted who was ready to allow Republican counties longer early voting hours than Democratic ones across the state, until it was exposed and he started getting tons of bad publicity. The same Jon Husted who went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to shut down voting the weekend before the election.

And the same Jon Husted who publicly said Ohio's voter I.D. laws need to be more "onerous," and the legislature is now following up on his recommendation, introducing a bill that greatly narrows the acceptable forms of I.D. even though not ONE SINGLE CASE of voter fraud in Ohio has been identified that could have been stopped with tighter I.D. laws. NOT.ONE. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

(Husted says it wouldn't have mattered in a majority of cases, but he hasn't produced any where it would have mattered, so obviously he has no such cases).


This is all about slashing the number of people who vote, who are able to vote, a shameful goal for an elected official in a democracy.

NOW Is the Time to Stop Whimpering and Get Serious

I imagine that you, like me, have seen people shake their heads when a Republican advocates for something that's going to hurt a majority of his constituents and ask "Why do people vote against their self interest?"

That's an interesting question, but I have another: why do WE so often WORK against our self interest by pre-assuming defeat?"

I know you've heard me talk about this before, because nothing on our side annoys me more than the tendency to impute unstoppable power and brilliant strategy to their side and hopeless ineptitude to OUR side.

Yes, someone else told me the other day that Kasich was 100% sure to be reelected.

I asked why, pointing out that he has at least a dozen negatives that should be an anchor o his reelection campaign, only one of which Ted Strickland shared when Kasich beat him by a hair in 2010: a struggling economy that was recovering too slowly for most people to feel.

IN 2010, when Strickland pointed out that Ohio wasn't immune o the problems of the national economy, Kasich's campaign pooh-poohed him, dismissing that as an excuse.

Now that Ohio's economy is back on the ropes — despite the improvements it made thanks to Srickland's final days in office — with rising unemployment and poverty and stagnating wages, Kasich's administration is, of course, making exactly the same excuse.

Instead of assuming somehow it'll work his time, we should be grinding his face in it and yelling "No excuses!"

Find some fight, people.

I address this not only to the defeatists but those who feel they're not "excited" by our very solid roster of excellent candidates. How excited are you about right to work for less, more tax increases on working people and more tax breaks for the wealthiest Ohioans, more attacks on education, and more restrictions on women's lives?

Sounds great, eh?

Jennifer Brunner to Speak at Geauga Dems HQ This Sunday

Jennifer Brunner with Ted Kennedy

Hey you Northeast Ohioans who appreciated the work Jennifer Brunner did as secretary or state and/or supported her campaign for U.S. Senate.

After leaving office in January 2011, Brunner returned to private practice as an attorney, and wrote a book about her campaign experiences called Cupcakes and Courage. She hasn't been out and about on the political circuit much.

But she will be at Geauga County Democratic Headquarters (12420 Kinsman Rd., Newbury) at 2 pm this Sunday September 22.

She'll talk about her book and her work since leaving office. Maybe she'll even offer some thoughts on the voter suppression bills being proposed in our legislature to try to legally stop more people from voting. She'll have her book available for sale, and I'm sure she'd be glad to autograph it.

Go here for complete info and to RSVP:


Depraved Congressional Ghouls Vote to Starve Americans

In case you hadn't heard, this evening the House of Representatives voted to slash food assistance to poor Americans by $40 billion over the next decade. Previously their heartless, mean-spirited proposal was to cut $20 billion, but apparently they felt that not enough children, elderly, and disabled people would go hungry as a result (a huge majority of household receiving food assistance have an individual in those categories).

Can you tell I'm angry?

I don't understand how we got to a place where more than maybe a dozen extremely fringe members of Congress think this is OK. But 217 members of this Congress so morally bankrupt they would support this?

I don't want to hear the feeble excuses about "fraud and waste" in a program that has less than most government programs. Who was proposing to cut off Blackwater and Halliburton and Kellogg Root Brown due to the MASSIVE fraud in defense contracts? Nobody.

Just as empty is the claim that people are "lazy" and should be working. First of all — a huge number of these people are — as I said — children, elderly or disabled. Second, there are no jobs! Third, many of the recipients ARE working and their wages are too low to provide for their families.

Both of these "reasons" are nothing but sops to guilty consciences for people who can't admit they hate poor people and think it's OK that in a country as rich as ours, millions go hungry.

I also do not want to hear EVER again that there is "no difference" between Republicans and Democrats. Sure, there are some Democrats I am not enthusiastic about but not a SINGLE ONE voted to starve fellow Americans. 217 Republicans did. Only 15 Republicans did not. Sadly none of those 15 was from Ohio. All 12 of Ohio's Republicans made it clear that their cruelty and lack of compassion knows no bounds.

Kasich Sneaking More Charter Schools for his Buddies

This sad story is from early last month, but it illustrates the danger of trusting Taxin' John Kasich and believing he's sincere when he says he wants to help out big urban schools filled with poor minority kids.

Who would have guessed his real goal was helping out his buddy, major Ohio GOP donor, David Brennan, of the mostly terrible for-profit White Hat charter schools?

Well, me, for one.


Mayor Frank Jackson says he feels betrayed that the Ohio Department of Education is allowing two new charter schools to open in Cleveland this fall without any review by a new panel he fought last summer to create.

Oh come on, mayor. I think many of us saw this coming when funding charter schools out of local property tax money was slipped into the enormous property tax increase passed by Cleveland taxpayers last year.

"Right plan, right now," they were told. Transformation!

It sure was the right plan for somebody. Just not the schoolchildren of Cleveland.

Five new charter schools - schools that are funded with state tax dollars but are privately-run - will open in Cleveland this fall. Of the five, four are new versions of Hope Academies run by the controversial White Hat Management. The fifth is a spinoff from one of the academies.

If a school is called Hope Academy or Lifeskills Academy (also Brennan/White Hat schools), it probably should be considered child abuse to enroll your kid. These schools do not exist to educate. They exist to make David Brennan richer.

Connie Pillich Shares: Today Is the 66th Birthday of the Air Force


Which of course Connie was in. That's Air Force Captain Connie Pillich above.

She says,

Today marks the 66th birthday of the United States Air Force, in which I had the great honor and privilege to serve. To this day I strive to uphold the Air Force's core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do. Thank you to all the men and women of the Air Force for your hard work and sacrifice over the past 66 years!


"Service before self," hmmm? Would that be like showing up for work at the treasurers office instead of heading out of state for high-dollar fundraisers on a weekday? I guess we should ask incumbent treasurer Josh Mandel, if we can find him.

Contributing to Connie's campaign would be a great favor for the state of Ohio.


I actually just ran this post because I like the photo and bashing the weasel Mandel never gets old

Another Country Heard From

Missed him?


We Have a 2014 Ticket!


Tuesday morning, state rep. John Patrick Carney from the Columbus area announced, to no one's surprise, that he will be running to take on state auditor Dave Yost.


This means we now have a complete ticket — nearly 14 months before the election.

That is a virtually unprecedented gift, and we should be making maximum use of it, not wasting a day of those 14 months.

While Carney was announcing, voters around the state were flocking to the polls to vote in local primaries.

Well, actually, they weren't FLOCKING. More like dribbling. Here in Cleveland, city council primaries were attracting barely 1,000 votes for all candidates combined.

Over in Toledo, sadly, their awful, conservative, anti-union, Kasich-cozying-up-to mayor Michael Bell, finished in first place — with only 27% of the vote. Another "independent" finished second with 24.5% and will take him on in November, giving Toledans little chance to oust him. Both Democrats finished out of the running with less than 23% apiece. A very sad outcome for Toledo.

But only 15% of registered voters turned out. Bell got only 6340 votes in a city with almost 165,000 voters. That is just pathetic.

We have heard it said endlessly that turnout was the reason we lost in 2010 — that Democrats are less motivated to turn out in non-presidential years.

That cannot happen again. Women's rights, voter rights, labor rights, the health of our public schools and local governments, the very economy of our state, depend on tossing out Taxin' John Kasich and his buddies.

Governor Kasich: Spinnin' and Lyin'

Our governor, Taxin’ John Kasich, sure love to pat himself on the back.

He loves to do this so much he’ll pat himself on the back for things he didn’t do — like cutting your taxes.

He sent out an email to his subscriber list the day before Labor Day — and you can bet it wasn’t about the role of labor in building the state of Ohio.

Nope, he was proudly announcing that his tax cuts had just kicked in.

What tax cuts, you say?

Well, the miniscule ones to our state income taxes that most of us won’t even notice unless we have a six-figure income.

Of course, he failed to mention that his INCREASE in the state sales tax, which also kicked in, will just about wipe out the tiny cut in the income tax for most of us.

He also didn’t mention the glut of levies on the ballot in November — each a tax increase driven by his policies and state cuts to local governments and schools — and the fact that they would cost more than in the past because he repealed the 12.5% contribution the state has made for the past four decades.

Democratic candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald has put up a calculator so you can input your income and figure out how much Kasich’s tax “cut” is going to net you — or cost you. For instance, if you make $35,000, Kasich’s cut will save you $9 — but his sales tax increase will likely take that $9 away.


Meanwhile, let’s say you own a house in Cleveland Heights worth $100,000. You are already paying a property tax increase of over $200 due to a school levy passed in November 2011. And the city has ANOTHER school levy on the ballot this November for a similar amount.

Meanwhile, the county wants an increase in its Health & Human Services levy that will cost you another $100. So if they both pass, you will have seen a Kasich property tax increase of well over $500 in two years.

Good luck offsetting THAT with that lavish $9.

Pressure Getting to Kasich Spokesman Rob Nichols Too

If you are a public official, or represent one, and you are hit with questions to which you have no good answer, what do you do?

Well, if you are Governor Kasich's spokesman Rob Nichols, you resort to childish, unprofessional, condescending ad hominem attacks — and fail to respond convincingly to the subject of the questions.


State rep. Debbie Phillips inquired about a recent situation in the Kasich administration that had evoked suspicions among Ohioans concerned about the safety of our water supply. The administration had apparently forced the resignation of the state Environmental Protection Agency person charged with overseeing the Division of Surface Water. It appeared this employee had gotten on the bad side of Big Coal, a Big Donor to Ohio Republicans.

Uh oh.

Says the Athens News,

Rep. Phillips specifically requested that correspondence between the Gov. Kasich's office, the Ohio EPA and coal industry officials regarding Mr. Elmaraghy be made available under Ohio's public records law. ...The release further provided information showing that Ohio coal companies have given Kasich nearly $130,000 in campaign contributions. The Dispatch reported that, based on an analysis of data from the Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio coal interests have given over $1 million in campaign donations to statewide and legislative candidates since 2009. The majority of them have been Republicans.

So, did Nichols deny the charges in a straightforward, professional and respectful manner?

Nope. He responded like an arrogant frat boy who thinks everyone else is beneath him.

In an email to the Columbus Dispatch, he wrote,

The Pressure is Getting to Kasich

The following video shows a bit of a testy moment when a reporter asked John Kasich about a recent poll. The poll showed John Kasich losing to Ed FitzGerald by three points in the race for governor. John Kasich, clearly irritated snaps back an answer to him. It looks like the pressure is getting to Kasich.

(Video is courtesy of Marc Kovac, of Ohio Capital Blog, https://twitter.com/ohiocapitalblog)

JobsOhio a Dazzling Success — NOT

Our governor Taxin' John Kasich is out there making his case for re-election based on the piles and piles of jobs he claims to have created, even though he hasn't

Will you look at this?


"Bank of America lays off 1,000 in Beachwood; bank closes 3 mortgage offices in Ohio."

And it doesn't stop with those 1,000 either. There's another 55 laid-off people in Independence, another hundred in CIncinnati.

Now, of course, these job losses are due to national changes in mortgage servicing — but you will recall that Kasich refused to buy that from Ted Strickland and insisted that no matter what the national picture, he, John Kasich, would be a job-creating miracle worker.


State senator Nina Turner, who spends her time being productive despite being in a tiny minority, issued a statement that said,

"I am extremely disappointed by Bank of America's announcement to eliminate more than 1,000 jobs in Cuyahoga County. This decision is incredibly unfortunate, and will have a ripple effect in these workers' families, their neighborhoods, and the community at large.

"I am committed to working with Bank of America and leaders across the region to keep good jobs in Ohio. It is critical that we come together and ensure that these families, our communities, and our state remain strong."

It's looking increasingly like Kasich will have to find something to run on beside the amazing work JobsOhio is doing to bring back the economy.

Maybe expanding women's reproductive choice and making sure they have prenatal and pregnancy care to give birth to healthy babies?


Protecting voter rights?


Making government, including JobsOhio, more transparent?


Supporting workers right to join unions and negotiate better working conditions?


Gee, this is getting tough!

But supporting Ed FitzGerald for governor gets easier every day.


Oh Joshie, We Can't Leave You Alone For a Minute Can We?


Republican Josh Mandel has kept two traffic accidents quiet since becoming Ohio treasurer in 2011 - including one that raises a potential violation of federal campaign finance law.

Oh no! Really????

During the late-night March accident, Mandel was riding in a vehicle owned by his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign, months after he'd lost his high-profile bid against Democrat Sherrod Brown. Under federal campaign finance law, Senate campaign property can't be used for personal use or to campaign for a different office, such as treasurer.

Mandel's state treasurer campaign says it rented the vehicle from the federal campaign. The rental check cleared June 30, more than seven months after Mandel had lost the Senate race and almost four months after the accident, which totaled the vehicle.

Well, we know he has a track record for playing fast and loose with campaign finance regulations, which seem to bore him to the point of ignoring them. After all, he's Josh Mandel! He's special.

Perhaps you remember this from November 2011:

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s long-waited federal disclosure statement shows that he and his wife have as much as $7.4 million in assets. Mandel, a first-term Republican and former state legislator, filed the report today, nearly six months after its due date, May 15.


This guy cannot shake his reputation as a weasel. When I Googled this story, I saw that it had gotten coverage as far away as Anchorage Alaska, where they are certainly familiar with weasels (weaselettes?) in public office.

Education "Reform" Dishonesty Keeps Getting Worse

I'd like to say the assaults on public education in Ohio have reached rock bottom. Unfortunately I don't think we're even close yet.

There's been a lot of talk about the new state "report cards" for schools and how badly many schools that seem to be excellent in many respects based on their results are getting dismal grades, thanks to some tricky formulas that seem intended just to make the schools look bad and in need of "reform."

But on the other hand, the "reformers" and some of our office holders in Columbus are real, real invested in seeing charter schools — pretty much a failed experiment that drains public school money — appear to be successful.

Even to the point of this:


"Dropout Recovery charter schools exempt from state report card"

As Innovation Ohio explains, this would be like eliminating the 25% worst performing schools in a district — yet charter schools STILL perform worse than the public schools which are being besieged. Why anyone thinks for-profit charter schools in particular — which fail at a much higher rate than other schools and which divert a huge chunk of our tax dollars away from education into private profit — should exist is baffling, isn't it?

Well, no, it's not.

Innovation Ohio reminds us,

This special treatment of dropout recovery schools was the result of intense lobbying by political financier David Brennan, whose chain of dropout recovery schools – Life Skills Centers — form the bulk of his considerable taxpayer funded Charter School operation. Brennan’s received over $800 million in taxpayer money since 1999 without ever testifying before a legislative committee. That’s apparently what $3 million in campaign contributions buys you these days.

Republicans Can't Stay Away From the Crazy Stash

There's been a lot of talk in the last several years about how today's Republicans are their own worst enemies.

If you'd looked at the Senate map for 2012 a few years earlier, there was every reason for Democrats to be anxious. Many more Democrats were up for re-election than Republicans, and many were in challenging states. Democrats should have lost control of the Senate.

Yet — thank you, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock! — they didn't. Not having learned 2010's lesson when the GOP gave away potential (in one case, guaranteed) pickups by going with Sharron Angle and Christine O"Donnell as their candidates, they surged right ahead with Akin and Mourdock, who gave away a couple more assured pickups.

You'd think they'd manage to put up more pleasant, bland candidates like Rob Portman who hide the extent of their extremism and don't say a lot of offensively wacky things. But apparently, if you're a Republican, you can't help yourself.

Congressman David Joyce got elected last year in Ohio's only real swing district, 14, because he inexplicably popular Steve LaTourette unexpectedly retired. And due to LaTourette's popularity and the need to put resources into other races, the Democrats didn't have a real candidate. So Joyce, LaTourette's replacement on the ballot, waltzed to victory.

Now you would think, given the moderate balance of the district and the way LaTourette always stayed 10 feet from The Crazy, that the infinitely weaker Joyce would do the same.



Last week, Joyce told the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce,

"There's 3 million jobs every month in this country that go unfilled. ...And the trouble is, it's because they either can't find people to come to work sober, daily, drug-free and want to learn the necessary skills going forward to be able to do those jobs."

Kasich Approval Takes a Hit — Sorry, Doomsters

Well, I guess I've got to wreck the day of all the Democratic doomsters who have been clinging to a poll from last spring showing that Governor Taxin' John Kasich's approval rating hate risen to its highest point since he was elected.

Oh woe, woe, they have been crying. His popularity is etching in stone now. He'll win re-election in a landslide, 100% guaranteed. Let's give up now!


"Kasich approval down, OH-Gov looks like toss up"

PPP's newest Ohio Governor poll finds a toss up race, with Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald holding a slight lead over John Kasich at 38/35. The closeness of the race is more of a reflection on Kasich than FitzGerald. He has a negative approval rating with 42% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapprove.

Just like I have been saying.

A. No way he maintains high approval after attacking women's rights, trying to destroy labor, raising taxes, starving public schools and local governments, increasing government secrecy and lack of accountability, failing to create the jobs he promised to create at a much faster rate than former governor Ted Strickland, and presiding over a breaking scandal at JobsOhio aka RobsOhio, the agency that was supposedly going to do that but is now attracting unfavorable attention even from the right-wing Columbus Dispatch.

B. Of course, it's a toss-up. The idea that Ed FitzGerald is doomed to lose is stupid. He was locked in as our candidate over six months before Strickland was in 2006. It's EARLY. I don't get the doomster Democrat thing where things negative to us are eternal and unchanging, while things positive to us elicit "A month is a lifetime in politics." PPP's poll shows 61% of respondents don't have an opinion about Ed one way or the other.

Anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-life Ohio legislators tip their hand

As I mentioned previously, Republican members of the Ohio legislature, apparently feeling they hadn't angered the state's women enough, were planning to re-introduce the "Heartbeat" Bill, as well as their ultra-extreme, lie-filled, woman-killing HB 200.

Thursday, they had their little dog-and-pony show. And they brought the "20 is not enough" Duggar family, whose radical ideas about family and reproduction have made the reality TV show freaks, to be the showcase act.


It's easy to dismiss this as just more pandering to the right, but when you drill down it's a lot more sinister than that — and a lot more dangerous for Ohio's women.

By tying the Duggars into the introduction of these anti-choice measures, the Republicans are clearly stating that this is their desired outcome, the ultimate goal of these measures: that women are reduced to breeding machines. By putting the Duggars on display while touting these measures, they are saying this is what ALL Ohio's women should aspire to – and if you don't, we will try to force you.

It's been clear for a while that everything these people say about "murdering babies" and the "preborn" is a calculated lie. It's inflammatory language intended to emotionalize the discussion and stampede people into destroying women's rights. It's the kind of language used by demagogues. It was once found in the most extreme outposts of the anti-choice movement, but now it's moved to the mainstream and coming out of the mouths of elected officials.

Secrecy Breeds Corruption

In the last session of the legislature, it rammed through a bill, quickly signed by our governor, Taxin' John Kasich, to put the books of JobsOhio (aka RobsOhio) the governor's privatized version of the department of development, off limits to the state auditor. Never mind that it's funded with public tax dollars.

If you want to see where the next government scandal is going to erupt, look for secrecy and non-transparency. Even the most well-intentioned office holder — and yes, we have many; I refuse to be cynical about ALL our elected officials — could be tempted if they knew no one was watching and their actions were shrouded in secrecy.

We're already seeing the first glimmers of what is almost certain to become JobsOhioGate.



Information is starting to bubble up that state money and tax credits are flowing to cronies and donors of Kasich. Thestate.com says, "Ohio Ethics Commission Chairman Merom Brachman said he saw no reason for the panel to investigate the relationship between Kasich and Worthington Industries."

The company's subsidiaries received JobsOhio-broked tax breaks. And,

The company's founder and late chairman, the powerful John H. McConnell, was an architect of Kasich's political rise from state legislator to congressman to governor — joining family members and employees in giving hundreds of thousands to his campaigns and political committees over the years.

Kasich's spokespeople are of course dismissing this as a partisan attack — just as Republicans tried to dismiss Coingate in its early days. And "That is not an issue before us. It's a red herring," said Brachman, a generous Kasich campaign contributor...


More Anti-Woman Crap Coming to the Ohio Legislature

The level of hatred for women in our legislature has reached nearly psychotic proportions.

it wasn't enough for some of our misogynistic legislators to stuff extremely stringent anti-choice measures into the budget bill at the last minute without any public discussion, or for our governor Taxin' John Kasich to arrogantly sign them into law surrounded by six other middle-aged white men.

No. Despite enflaming women (and many pro-choice men) and energizing them to a degree not seen in decades, their arrogance knows no bounds, and they have upped the ante almost immediately:


"Ohio Lawmakers Revive Radical ‘Heartbeat’ Bill To Ban Abortion After Just Six Weeks"

State Senator NIna Turner and Kellie Copeland of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio spoke about this Monday night at the meeting at Cleveland Preterm that I previously wrote about.

Ohio lawmakers will reintroduce a six-week abortion ban to criminalize the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can occur before some women even realize they’re pregnant. The legislature considered an identical measure last year, but it was so controversial that Republican leaders in the state decided to drop it.

These legislators — led by Lynne Wachtmann — apparently feel so invulnerable that they can get away with things that will damage women, damage the state, and are opposed by a vast majority of the state's citizens. As Nina said, we are a pro-choice state with an anti-choice government We are nor being fairly represented.

Oh, and this is just charming:

Wachtmann and some of his fellow Republicans will announce the legislation at a banquet sponsored by the anti-choice group Faith2Action. At the same event, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar — the stars of TLC’s reality show “19 Kids and Counting” — will also appear as speakers.


Nina Turner Rocked Preterm Cleveland Last Night


We have GOT to get this woman elected secretary of state.


No, not just because she's wearing an amazing dress in these photos, although she is. Rather, because she is not afraid to boldly speak out on behalf of the rights of all Ohioans — including and especially voters and women.

Nina was the featured guest speaker at an event at Cleveland Preterm abortion clinic yesterday evening, and there was a packed house of women (and men) who are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.

While a handful of fanatics "prayed" out on the tree lawn, Nina pointed out what we all know now since they've expanded their fight to attacks on contraception and sex education: "They are not pro-life, they're pro-birth." She added that she's "pro-quality of life," which includes every child's access to a quality education "regardless of zip code."

She said accurately that the new abortion restrictions are "meant to demean and humiliate women and make them second-class citizens. It's about control."

Of course, she spoke about voter rights since she's running for secretary of state, and she made the connection between an unfairly tilted field in elections and the extreme abortion measures, saying that when legislators have districts drawn to favor them, they don't have to listen to constituents, let alone statewide voters who overwhelmingly oppose extreme abortion restrictions.

"It's going against the will of the people, but facts don't matter to them," she said."I wish there were moderate Republicans but in Ohio, there are not. So it becomes a partisan issue."

And with gerrymandered districts, the likelihood of electing moderate Republicans is slim.

Nice RobsOhio Graphic From John Carney


Keep this close at hand for reference.

And maybe you want to thank state rep. John Carney, Democratic for state auditor against incumbent Teabaggin' Dave Yost (He hasn't officially announced yet but come on — he's traveling around the state telling people how Yost is falling down on the job).

Go here: http://www.votecarney.com/

Ohio Voting Rights Decree Extended to 2106

Over the protests of Ohio Secretary of Voter Suppr ... I mean STATE ... Jon Husted who says it wasn't necessary because of course he is doing everything in his power to help people vote easily, Judge Algenon Marbley extended at 2010 court order on voter ID and provisional ballot voting that was set to expire this year through 2016.


It allows provisional ballots to be counted if the voter provides the last four digits of his or her Social Security number. This is important to help homeless people vote — not that we'd want them to, right Mr. Husted?

It also expanded the definition of what is acceptable I.D. We know Husted doesn't like that because he's on record expressing a desire for Ohio's voter ID regulations to be more "onerous." Never mind that there has not been one single case of voter fraud that could have been prevented with more "onerous" I.D. rules.


Secretary of State Jon Husted said there was no evidence that a single Ohioan would be denied the right to vote if the order expired. Husted’s attorneys argued that the decree wasn’t necessary, and Husted was committed to following the rules it sets out.

Oh yeah, he'll just do the right thing on his own. And I have a solid gold cat turd I'd like to sell you.

Husted's spokesperson said he "hasn't determined" whether he is going to squander more tax money appealing something he says he would do anyway out of the goodness of his heart.

To his credit,

Marbley noted that secretaries of state change frequently, and there’s no guarantee a Husted successor would make the same commitment.

“A citizen’s right to vote, however, cannot be at the mercy of the shifting legal interpretations of a single state officer, no matter how well intentioned he or she is,” he wrote.

Preferably "she." As in Nina Turner.

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