From the monthly archives: March 2013

As reported by Joseph, Cincinnati is set to lay off 344 employees, all from police and fire.  This comes as a result of a ruling by a Republican judge that the city’s parking plan*, passed as an emergency measure, is subject to November referendum.

The referendum kills the plan because the city needs a balanced operating budget on July 1, and the vote won’t be held until November.  The city lost $25M in revenue from the 2013 budget due to Kasich’s budget.

To cut to the chase, the judge’s ruling says […]

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Kaiser released their Obamacare tracking poll last week (topline here).  It said that Obamacare is going to be overwhelmingly popular.  Well, the poll said that it’s currently unpopular, and only 15% of people think Obamacare will make their health care more affordable.

Like it or not, in a year it’s going to make health care more affordable for around 3/4 of the population, in very noticeable ways.  According to this poll, the households who benefit will then support the law.

Ezra Klein wrote a good post titled Obamacare’s most popular provisions are its least […]

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According to, Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. blamed a loss of $22.2 million in revenues in the City’s 2013 budget on Kasich’s local government cuts. Policy Matters estimates the City lost $40.7 million in state funding in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The city had planned to fill the hole by privatizing city parking, but a judge ruled today that the plan would need to be delayed so a referendum could be put on the ballot.

Other plans have been proposed, including raising taxes and fees on services.  The budget needs to go into effect on July […]

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What did we learn from the arguments at the United States Supreme Court yesterday on same sex marriage?  We thought we would check in with our favorite Supreme Court attorney for some insights.  The attorney has handled hundreds of appeals, including cases in the United States Supreme Courts, state Supreme Courts (including the Ohio Supreme Court), and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.

First, just as he did with the Obama care arguments, he warned us against reading too much into oral arguments.  “I think a lot of pundits and court observers looked really stupid when they declared Obamacare to […]

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A million years ago, maybe a little longer, Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett (then in his earlier  term) and Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff  insisted to me that their party would expand its base to include you-know-whos. It would be a magisterial commitment by two GOP draft horses to make the party whole for generations to come.

Didn’t happen quite that way.  Not even close.  So after its  Comeback Team Romney/Ryan debacle in November –  a presidential election that even Karl Rove and Peggy Noonan decided was in their party’s victory column for the asking –  the Republican brass […]

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Some Republicans have expressed inclinations to save the federal government money by denying Medicaid to Ohioans, even though it would cost Ohio $1 billion.

Insuring through Medicaid, though, is more than a third less expensive than private insurance.

The table below compares spending on Community Adults in Ohio Medicaid to exchange premiums in Ohio.

* if Ohio doesn’t expand Medicaid

As you see, the federal government would be spending $1300 more per enrollee to put them into the Exchange.

It’s not until we get to 218% of poverty (or $25,090) that the federal subsidy for […]

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When it comes to the power and sway Ohio’s social conservatives hold in our state, especially the homophobic ones, a lot has changed in Ohio in the past nine years.   The story of Phil Burress provides a good example.

Mr. Burress is a self-professed porn addict turned head of Citizens for Community Values, an organization that has crusaded against LGBT rights, pornography, and adult-oriented businesses in Cincinnati.

Remember when Ohio revised its laws regarding strip clubs a few years ago?  That was Burress.

In 1993, during the apex of his political influence, Burress was part of the campaign to enact Article 12 […]

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The Dispatch commissioned a poll on marriage equality.  Short version:  we’re soon going to get marriage equality, and the year that we do, every Republican will lose.

Overall, there’s 54-40 support, and it’s 7 points more popular among whites than African-Americans.  It’s equally popular in suburbs as cities, and only down 45-50 in rural areas.  It’s above water in every region except Northeast Ohio, and those are minds that we can change.

The group with the most support is independent white women under 35 in suburban Cincinnati. Who wants to run on an anti-equality, anti-birth control […]

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Rep. Amstutz, the chair of the House Finance Committee, announced on Thursday that the House would be making drastic changes to Kasich’s budget.  This will be interesting, to say the least.

His big hint is that they’ll be removing tax, education, and health care changes from the budget.

Let’s look at the state fiscal impact of various proposals to figure out the impact of removing portions of the proposal.

Note that Medicaid expansion saves $1 billion in the state budget over the next biennium.  We’ll have to pay an extra $1 billion in taxes if Rep. Amstutz […]

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When Republican Senator Rob Portman announced that he’d had a “change of heart” about same-sex marriage after finding out his own son was gay, we expected a backlash from Ohio’s anti-gay conservatives.

Sadly, that’s just what we got.

First up was anti-gay activist and former porn addict Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values who posted about Portman on his website the same morning Rob made his announcement.

According the post, Portman called Burress the evening before to explain the situation.  Burress responded by telling the sitting United States Senator that he was wrong to support his son.

Burress then offered […]

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Attorney General Mike DeWine is talking tough and playing an active role in prosecuting those who have broken the law in Steubenville.  That is, of course, his job.

We should expect nothing less from our AG than to prosecute those who intimidate victims and witnesses just like we should expect him to prosecute anyone whose abuses of authority helped contribute to Steubenville’s “rape culture”.

But there’s a cognitive dissonance between DeWine’s media appearances and his legislative history.  Compared to Rob Portman–for whom new evidence led to a reevaluation of his policy preferences–Mike DeWine is being suspiciously narrow in his revolt […]

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