From the daily archives: Friday, December 7, 2012

Governor John Kasich claims he’s waiting for the results of the KPMG study before making a decision about whether to lease or bond against the Ohio Turnpike, but documents obtained by Plunderbund indicate the decision was made long before KPMG ever started work.

According to an email sent March 25, 2012, Spencer Wood, CIO of the Ohio Department of Transportation, told a consultant that ODOT was planning a “hostile takeover” of the Ohio Turnpike and unionized employees would “be laid off and replaced”.

Portions of the email, sent by a Gartner consultant, are shown below.  The email summarizes a discussion she had with Wood over lunch.

 

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The latest attempt at redistricting reform – a constitutional amendment by Voters First on the recent ballot — failed.

We know this loss was disappointing to a lot of Progressives, but maybe not totally surprising.  The proposal was open to criticism (both fair and unfair) that it was complicated and difficult to understand.  Voters may also have been sympathetic to concerns about placing redistricting powers in the hands of judges.

The problem is easy to understand.  Both parties have gerrymandered congressional and legislative districts designed to help win future.  The last election illustrates the problem.  Nationally, Democrats seemingly won […]

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AFSCME, SEIU and the NEA launched a new ad in Ohio today targeting Congressman Pat Tiberi.   The humorous TV spot focuses on possible cuts to federal healthcare programs.  Viewers are urged to call Tiberi’s office to ask him not to cut “hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid” that “will short change the people who need it the most.”

“Cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would put the security and well being of Ohio families at risk. While Rep. Tiberi might be open to asking the wealthiest 2% to pay more, he needs to also stand firm and not […]

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Yesterday, the Ohio House passed HB 613, representing another step by the Kasich administration to implement Obamacare.

The bill establishes requirements for “navigators” who will help consumers shop for health insurance on the state’s healthcare exchange, a key component of the President’s plan. As Gongwer puts it, the bill:

“establishes that navigators would be allowed to conduct public education activities related to exchange health plans. It would also give them the authority to distribute impartial information regarding enrollment in an exchange, available tax credits and cost sharing reductions.”

Notably, the bill enshrines the name of the controversial […]

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According to his resume, KPMG employee Tim Wilschetz was paid to advise the “private consortia” bidding on the Indiana Toll Road in 2005.   The following year the road was leased to foreign investors who, after doubling tolls for Indiana’s drivers, are now on track to default on their loans to finance the deal.

The project didn’t work out too well for Indiana either.  By early 2012, six years after the lease was signed, the state had already allocated all of the money it received from the deal.  Since they gave away control of the road, and all of its revenue, […]

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Last week we jokingly pointed out a potential mistake in a New York Review of Books article about Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.  The article seemed to imply Husted would be challenging Kasich in a primary for Governor.  While it’s hard to argue that Husted does, as the author points out, have “ambitions to run for governor in 2014”, our satirical piece about a primary challenge was never intended to be taken seriously.

Still, a number of our readers commented on the potential challenge.  And it seems members of the press also came along for the ride.

Today Husted […]

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Over the next few day, hundreds of Ohioans will be mobilizing outside the offices of key members of Congress to encourage them to reach a solution to the fiscal cliff that preserves the tax cuts on the middle class, defends against draconian cuts to important programs and does so by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more.

The more people that can participate the better. Members of Congress tend to wet their pants when they are confronted by more than six pissed off constituents at a time, so a healthy turnout at these events will help demonstrate that […]

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