From the monthly archives: July 2012

For nearly a year now, Jim Renacci has been defending $100,000 in “tainted” campaign contributions he received from Benjamin Suarez and his employees.

The FBI opened an investigation after the Toledo Blade revealed a set of extremely large – often maxed-out – donations was made to Republicans Renacci and Josh Mandel by 17 employees at Suarez, many of whom never made contributions to candidates in the past.

While the FBI investigation is still ongoing, and results have yet to be released, Benjamin Suarez has defended himself and his employees by claiming the entire investigation is nothing more than […]

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Earlier this month, we fact-checked claims by Governor Kasich and Lt. Governor Taylor that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will cost Ohio money.  The Original Fact Check is here and a Follow-Up Post is here.

Our Fact-Check focused on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Ohio’s Budget.  But what about the Federal budget?

Today, the Non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office issued a very important report.  After the Supreme Court’s decision, the CBO took a new look at the projected costs of the ACA.  The conclusion:

The insurance coverage provisions of the ACA […]

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Last month, the “fact-checking” team at PolitiFact Ohio, rated as “half-true” claims by the Ohio Democratic Party that Kasich’s budget cuts had forced local cuts, layoffs and tax increases.

While they admitted there was anecdotal evidence for local impacts of state cuts, they ultimately gave it a half-true thanks in part to pushback from Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols that the number of tax issues on the ballot were not particularly high.

But now we learn in today’s Columbus Dispatch: “More school districts than usual go to the ballot,” which reports that Central Ohio school issues will be […]

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As this year’s presidential election heats up, we fully expect Governor John Kasich to take on more responsibilities as a surrogate for Romney in Ohio.  We expect he will continue complaining about President Obama’s job performance while repeating his comments about some kind of “headwind” blowing from the Obama administration that is supposedly keeping Ohio from achieving its true economic potential.

But every time you hear Kasich criticize the President, remember this: In the 2008 General election, John Kasich didn’t cast a ballot.

According to voter data available from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, John’s wife Karen voted in […]

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Our last post previewed tomorrow’s roll-out of Ohio Women for Mitt, an effort aimed at shoring up the candidate’s flagging support among Ohio’s female voters.

But here’s an interesting fact: one of Romney’s co-chairs, Longaberger Company CEO Tamala (“Tami”) Longaberger didn’t vote for Romney when she had the chance.

According to voter history data from the Muskingum County Board of Elections, Longaberger consistently votes in general elections — showing up at the polls every November dating back to 2005. And she votes in important primary elections, casting a ballot […]

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The Plain Dealer‘s Henry Gomez reported today via Twitter that the Romney campaign would be launching Ohio Women for Mitt tomorrow.

Recent polling of the race in Ohio, in particular the gender gap, quickly reveals why.

According to the latest Purple Strategies poll, Romney leads among Ohio men by 8%. But Obama is up by 12% among women. In other words, Romney faces a whopping twenty-point gender gap in Ohio.

Unfortunately for Romney, women make up 52% of the state’s electorate, so any gender gap is going to create huge problems for him on […]

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Publisher’s Note:  We’d like to welcome Abe (aka Grumpy Abe) to the site.  After following his site for some time now we finally convinced him to contribute some original pieces to Plunderbund while maintaining his personal blog.  Welcome Abe!

The Republican plan to shrink the number of voters in November has spun off a bristling side show at the Summit County Board of Elections.  The two GOP board members headed by County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff have added to their growing list of nasty deadlocks by turning down a Democratic proposal to move early voting to a larger venue  […]

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Have you signed a Voters First petition yet?  It’s crunch time and while supporters of the effort to reform the way in which Ohio determines its voting districts fully expect to have enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot they need to have a big enough cushion to dissuade the GOP from legal challenges.

We’ve previously covered the importance of this effort along with the efforts to maintain the status quo of GOP entrenchment.  We’ve also pointed out that independent conservatives aren’t lining up behind the GOP in fighting fair redistricting along with ridiculous […]

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We’ve come to expect that the editorial boards of major newspapers will have a political bias, and the Columbus Dispatch is no exception. We all know the Dispatch owners and editors lean right. They support Republican candidates and attack Democrats. We expect that. It’s not a new story. We don’t, however, expect an editorial board to twist the truth and to intentionally deceive its readers just to support a political agenda, but that’s exactly what the Dispatch decided to do yesterday.

Because of the pay wall Dispatch.com recently added to their website (more on that soon), you may not be […]

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In a story released by the Toledo Blade today, the Toledo Public Schools revealed that they had been engaged in the practice of “scrubbing” student attendance — the practice of withdrawing and re-enrolling students who are chronically absent and miss long stretches of school.  The TPS superintendent ordered a review of their district practices after Columbus was attacked by the Columbus Dispatch after the school district voluntarily requested assistance from the Ohio Auditor.  After being blindsided by the accusations, the Ohio Department of Education also became involved.

As the Dispatch was continually unable to articulate what laws, exactly, had been […]

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The Ohio Inspector General’s Office, under the direction of IG Randy Meyer, must be pretty busy these days.  The Office exists to “investigate alleged wrongful acts or omissions committed by state officers or employees, as well as those doing or seeking to do business with the State of Ohio.” And as casual or recent readers of Plunderbund should be fully aware, that there are is a lot of ethically funky stuff going on within Ohio state government worth investigating. 

For example:

In May, we reported that the interim Schools Superintendent, Stan W. Heffner, used his […]

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