From the monthly archives: June 2011

It is impossible for me to accept that the process of collective bargaining and union membership has changed from actually being inserted into legislation to being reviled in a mere four years.  Senate Bill 5 has set out to demonize organized labor in Ohio, with the target squarely on the backs of public sector workers.  And those knives keep getting shoved in deeper and deeper, especially when we learn that the very same legislators that are throwing unions under the bus voted to support collective bargaining and unions in the 2007 State Budget bill (HB119) with a near unanimous vote […]

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What happens when you spend much of your first year in office waging war against public employee’s retirement benefits?  Well, anecdotally, the Columbus Dispatch reports this morning you see a massive spike in retirements in the public sector as employees who were already eligible for retirement decide its better to retire now and get the benefits you were promised than risk what Governor Kasich and the GOP legislature is considering taking away.

So, instead of taking pressure off the state pension funds who had been battered by the collapse on Wall Street that start with Lehman Brothers’ […]

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If I had any doubt about the current state of Ohio’s Democrats – thinking even for a minute that they aren’t fired up, motivated and looking forward to killing SB5 in November and kicking ass in 2012 – tonight’s ODP State Dinner removed them.

Early in his speech Vice President Joe Biden clearly articulated the important take-away from tonight’s event: 2012 WILL NOT be like 2010.

Biden started his speech praising Governor Strickland, calling him “one of the finest men or women I have ever met” and noting that Ted’s loss was the one that personally disappointed him the most […]

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Back in February, the conventional wisdom of the traditional media was that Senate Bill 5 showed a political reality in Ohio in which organized labor was politically powerless to stop, especially in this budgetary political environment.  (Of course, they said this even after public opinion polling showed Ohioans were already not conceptually supportive of Kasich’s plan to pursue collective bargaining “reform.”)  Sure, they might be able to put it to a referendum, but that was viewed as a jump ball.  Fast forward to the present week.

Months after John Kasich signed the bill, and as expectations grow that the We […]

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Senator Shannon Jones (R) was the sole sponsor for Senate Bill 5 when it was introduced to Ohio on February 1, 2011.  Introducing a bill as the sole sponsor is nothing unusual, as most bills start out that way.  Through the process of winding their way in and out of committees and floor votes in both the House and Senate, bills typically pick up a litany of co-sponsors along the way, mostly from supportive caucus members and many who have had little or nothing to do with the creation of the legislation.

A recent example that illustrates this practice can […]

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The budget conference committee continues to push back the date on which they plan to release the revised budget bill. We hope one of the sticking points is the bizarre inclusion of anti-abortion language. We hope they have the sense to remove these devisive, misplaced and down-right dangerous provisions from the bill.

Abortion restrictions impacting public hospitals and private insurance plans available to local governments have no place in the budget. And the lack of any kind of health exception puts women in Ohio in serious danger and ties the hands of the doctors that treat them.

Republicans love […]

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You think I’m kidding?

Republican leaders in the legislature have set their schedule for the rest of the year and it only includes 9 actual session days plus an additional ten days when they may, or may not, meet.

July 2 if-needed days August 0 days September 5 if-needed days October 3 if-needed days November 5 days December 4 days

 

That’s 9 days for sure. 10 possible days. 19 total days in session. In six months.

Base salary for lawmakers in the House is $60,584 a year, but most earn more for leadership positions and many state […]

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Here’s Governor Kasich during his State of the State address:

Republicans and Democrats have long favored sentencing reform. Oh, we didn’t get to this because we were afraid also. Forty-seven percent of our inmates sit in our state prisons for less than a year and they sometimes sit next to hardened criminals. It raises the recidivism rate, costs taxpayers a fortune. Again, to everyone who’s here, 47 percent of people are in that prison for less than a year and we’re sticking them in there next to somebody who’s been a hardened criminal, a murderer, or God knows what […]

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I almost feel sorry for poor little Senate Bill 5, a victim of grotesque political scientific experiments by its own creator.  First, they considered cloning parts of Senate Bill 5 into the State budget bill.  Now, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Governor Kasich and other SB 5 supporters are putting pressure on Secretary of State Jon Husted and other members of the Ohio Ballot Board to divide the SB 5 referendum into multiple issues, as opposed to a straight up or down vote on Senate Bill 5.   The […]

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Venture capitalist Mark Kvamme was Kasich’s original choice for Director of Ohio’s Department of Development – the cabinet agency responsible for business development activities for the state.

His appointment was never approved by the Senate. Instead, Kasich removed him and gave him a new, made up role as director of job creation for the State of Ohio when it became clear that Kvamme was not constitutionally eligible to serve because he’s a resident of California.

Today Kvamme confirmed a long-running rumor that Kasich has all but promised him the role as head of JobsOhio.

The important take-away […]

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Modern and I both wrote posts this week about the health care repeal amendment that the Tea Party has been trying to get on the ballot for over a year now.

A few months ago Republicans decided to co-opt the movement hoping that a Tea Party-supported amendment might bring out pro-SB5 voters in the fall.

After getting some much needed help from the Ohio Republican Party – most likely in the form of paid signature gatherers- the The Ohio Project (and the ORP) have finally announced they have gathered the exact number of signatures needed by […]

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