From the monthly archives: December 2012

The details of Kasich’s Turnpike Plan are still emerging.  Yet we know enough now to question whether the plan is constitutional.

Two aspects of the plan raise significant issues under the U.S. Constitution.

First, in an effort to placate possible opposition in Northern Ohio, different rates will be charged for those making short, as opposed to longer trips. Second, money from tolls will be used for projects unrelated to the Turnpike.

Hang on tight, because we are going deep into Constitutional Law and the Commerce Clause.  This is a complicated area of law – known as the “Dormant Commerce Clause” […]

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Kasich has promised his plan for the turnpike won’t involve a lease or turning over the Ohio Turnpike to ODOT.   He also promised no turnpike employees would be laid off as part of the plan.

We should all remain skeptical until a final version of the bill to implement these changes is sitting signed on Kasich’s desk.   In the mean time, Kasich, with the help of the legislature, could do two things to help quell the fears of Northern Ohioans and the turnpike workers who support the best maintained road in the state.

1. Open up contracts […]

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Despite a well-choreographed, two-day marketing blitz for his turnpike plan, we still don’t have any details on how or when Kasich’s plan will be implemented.  We only have some nice soundbytes from his press conference and a couple high-level presentations that cover the focus-group tested talking points Kasich claims he would “like” to see in the turnpike plan.

According to the slick website, produced by marketing and PR firm Fahlgren Mortine with your tax dollars, Kasich says he won’t lease the turnpike or layoff any turnpike workers, instead he will begin raising tolls every year on people who […]

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Let me start by saying I’m a gun owner, an Ohio CCW permit holder and the father of three young children.   And the events in Connecticut today DO NOT leave me conflicted.

When I hear that 20 innocent children are slaughtered by some nutjob out east, the first thing that crosses my mind is not: “holy crap!  They are coming for my guns.”  It’s: “what can we do to prevent this from happening ever again.”

The last time we had a serious conversation about guns in our country was the early 90’s when conservative icon Ronald Reagan, who survived […]

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After a day like today, many of us are still trying to process the unthinkable tragedy in a Connecticut elementary school. As a parent, I’m horrified and extremely grateful to be able to tuck my kids into their beds tonight, thinking about those who won’t have that pleasure.

And I’m angry. Angry, mostly because these events keep happening and nothing is ever done. After Virginia Tech and again after Tucson, we had brief national conversations about mental illness and guns, but nothing happened. More recent incidents haven’t even led to a conversation. The NRA and gun advocates have become so […]

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It might not be one of the merrier Christmases for Rick Snyder, Michigan’s Republican governor. Oh, I know.  He is happy enough to  claim that he successfully supported the new right-to-work law in his state. But it came at a price that will stain his record with what the Detroit Free Press described as  “failed”  and “two-faced” leadership.  This, from the same paper that endorsed his candidacy as a moderate in 2010. It’s not the sort of thing you want to brag to your grandchildren about.

There’s more.  Down the road,  the Toledo Blade accused him of a “betrayal” of the […]

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Ohio’s Conservatives are not happy with John Kasich’s plan to raise taxes on oil and gas companies and they might turn out to be the loudest opponents of the governor’s recently released turnpike plans as well.

In a letter to Kasich this week, Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, called the governor’s reasoning for raising the severance tax on oil and gas companies “disingenuous”, “not consistent with conservative values” and “quite offensive to those of us in the conservative movement who supported your election.”

Chris Littleton called the severance tax plan a “wealth redistribution scheme”.

And when […]

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Back in 2009 a group of former Blackwell staffers and Kasich allies started a group called Let Ohio Vote.  They claimed they were concerned with a provision in the newly passed state budget that allowed video lottery terminals at Ohio’s racetracks.  So concerned, in fact, that they felt the provision needed to be put on the ballot so Ohioans could decide if it was good for the state.

The VLT plan was developed with bi-partisan support from the Strickland administration and Republicans in the legislature and was intended to provide a long-term revenue stream for the state that would immediately help compensate for […]

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Kasich is scheduled to make stops in Toledo, Cleveland and Youngstown tomorrow to announce his plans for the turnpike.  He will be speaking at Modern Building Supply in Toledo, the Western Reserve Fire Museum and Education Center in Cleveland and Cerni Motors in Youngstown at 10:15AM, 12:45PM and 3:45PM respectively.

According to Laura Bischoff from the Dayton Daily News, Governor Kasich will be using the state plane for his trip.  Bischoff reported last year that Kasich spent $2,199.50 on a single trip from Columbus to Cleveland.  A three-city tour could easily exceed $5,000 if he flies to all the events.   But hey, that’s nothing […]

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In 1958, Ohio’s corporate and business class managed to plow a  right- to- work issue into the November ballot.  That was hardly what Ohio Republican chairman Ray Bliss, a wily strategist who was always thinking ahead, and Sen. John Bricker, fearful of losing his own seat, had in mind for a  Election Day victory lap.

Instead, Bliss saw the measure as political suicide. And he was right.

I was a young reporter on the Columbus Citizen staff when the now-defunct paper could not resist endorsing the measure to stay on the good side of the establishment.  Reality of their folly […]

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Kasich kicked off the marketing campaign for his turnpike proposal by leaking a key fact to the Dispatch: a long-term lease is off the table.  (note: we predicted Vardon would have the info first after watching him and Kasich share a we-know-something-they-don’t look during a press gaggle yesterday)

Kasich isn’t stupid.  He knows how to play in the political arena.  And a turnpike lease proposal would likely have faced a referendum and driven his already crappy poll numbers further into the ground.   Yet he continued to discuss the option primarily to make the alternatives look much better.

This reminds me […]

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