Here are some stories from over the weekend that you may have missed:
The “bipartisanship” bullshit tour continues
This has got to be up there among the most bogus justifications ever given:
Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich had been scheduled to lambaste President Obama in a telephone conference call with reporters, but he canceled because it would have undermined the tone he had set earlier in the day in a speech to the state Senate on bipartisanship.
Paired with Kasich’s notable absence from Romney’s bus tour around Ohio this weekend, perhaps the distance between the two has more to do with the fact that Kasich can’t stick to Romney’s “the economy is terrible” message, as evidenced by the Otterbein fiasco?
Court: Ohioans cannot sue to stop unconstitutional laws
ProgressOhio’s lawsuit against the Kasich administration alleging that its plans to set up a private corporation to pursue economic development deals using taxpayer money on the state’s behalf violated Ohio’s constitution was thrown out last week. The appeals panel sided with a lower court that the plantiffs did not have standing because they could not show direct harm. If our leaders can pass laws that violate the Constitution but nobody has standing to stop them, what good is the Constitution anyway? Tom Suddes does a great job of explaining why this matters in his weekend Plain Dealer editorial.
In case it wasn’t clear, Ohio’s natural resources are for sale
Last week, we told you that the Department of Natural Resources is reviewing all state-owned land to see if they own the mineral rights and can therefore lease it for fracking. Now the Dispatch’s Spencer Hunt reports that ODNR also has plans to sell water in state parks to frackers.
Irony: Kasich’s Lottery agency profiting from same racetrack slots his team fought to stop in 2009
The state’s first “racino” brings in $4 million in nine days and is on track to bring in $36 million per year for education, since the slot machines are authorized by the state lottery. If Governor Kasich tries to claim credit for this brilliant idea, let’s remember. It was actually first proposed under Strickland as a way to close a 2009 budget gap. The plan was halted when a group called Let Ohio Vote collected petitions to take it to the ballot. Let Ohio Vote, as we’ve reported before, was a group led by the spouse of Kasich’s Chief of Staff.
So, if you’re Team Kasich, slots at racetracks was a bad idea then, but a great idea now.
Dispatch credits GOP, not teachers, for recent concessions made by teachers, not GOP
Without talking to any, you know, teachers, the Dispatch credits the looming threat of SB5 as the reason local teachers agreed to make concessions when districts faced funding shortfalls. This fails to explain why teachers have done the same thing for several years, before SB5 was ever introduced.
ODOT threatens to take federal funds away from local transportation groups
As part of their program to alienate local government however possible, the Kasich administration, through ODOT, tells regional planning agencies to spend their federal funds (rather than save it for future projects), or they’ll take them away.
Josh Mandel’s reliance on shadowy outside groups goes national
Apparently Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has the distinction of having more attack ads run against him by outside groups than any other Senate candidate in the country. Politico has the story.
What are you reading today?