It looks like Innovation Ohio’s latest “Taxpayer Rip-Off of the Week” Award has ruffled some feathers over at the House Republican Caucus.

According to IO, the Ohio Workers’ Comp Council (WCC) does “virtually no work” and “the Council pays its sole employee—Director Virginia McInerney—over $100,000 annually.” The council, with a budget of nearly $1 Million in the biennium budget, used to have 3 additional employees, but Virginia (who authors Christian books in her spare time) fired them all at once. The former employees sued claiming, among other things, religious discrimination. According to the staff members:

McInerney declared to the staff that she was sent by God to her job, she wanted God to permeate the workplace, and Satan was to blame for obstacles the staff encountered in their jobs. She inquired about their religious beliefs, called them in to pray aloud, cited scripture in her reprimands and asked Irwin to listen to CDs of sermons and take notes on them.

The case for all three former employees was settled almost immediately after it was filed at a cost of $70,000 to the state.

The WCC has been, to speak politely, a complete and total clusterfuck. Mismanaged, over-funded and under delivering. Exactly the kind of Government waste that Republicans always promise to cut.

So you would expect House Republicans to come out in full force against this wasteful government spending.

That’s what you’d expect, but you’d be wrong.

Mike Ditto, Director of Communications at Ohio House of Representatives, has been sending around this press release titled “Rep. Wachtmann Calls Allegations by Innovation Ohio a “Baseless Distraction””

In the release, Rep. Lynn Wachtmann accuses innovation ohio of “distracting” from the important business of balancing the budget- which is makes me laugh as much as it makes me angry. This is the guy who had a FUCKING FETUS TESTIFY IN COMMITTEE on his anti-abortion “heartbeat bill”. This guy is a walking, talking distraction.

Wachtmann goes on to claim “the allegations made by Innovation Ohio are outright lies” and then proceeds to claim that “Virginia McInerney is no longer the director of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Council.”

But a quick check with DAS shows that Virgina McInerney was paid $3,935.01 on March 26, 2011, the last month salary data is available. So either she IS still the director – and Wachtmann is lying – or she’s not the director but still getting paid. I’m not sure which one is worse.

Wachtmann also makes a big deal out of correcting IO’s statement that the WCC only produced one report since 2008. According to Lynn, the WCC has actually completed 4 reports.

A quick calculation: $1,000,000 budget divided by 4 reports. That’s… hmm…. a HUGE waste of taxpayer dollars if you ask me.

According to IO this is “a golden opportunity” for Kasich and GOP legislators “to show that they’ll be as tough on conservative political appointees as they are on police, firefighters and teachers.”

Wachtmann’s response seems to prove Ohio’s Republicans are more interested in busting unions and punishing Ohio’s workers than they are in actually saving the state money.

Click Here for the press release from Ohio House Republicans.

 

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