From the monthly archives: March 2013

Senate Bill 21 seeks to change provisions relating to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee (TGRG) passed last year.  A key component of this bill has been overlooked, but was highlighted yesterday by Senator Peggy Lehner as she introduced it to the House Education Committee.

According to Lehner in her testimony, the original legislation was never intended to affect teachers in grades K-2, and it was misinterpreted by the Ohio Department of Education after its passage (this is debatable as the original language could be claimed to be faulty and/or ambiguous).  Lehner’s SB21 (passed 30-1 by Ohio Senate) corrects the confusing […]

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CPAC’s Mad March to Be Relevant

On March 20, 2013 By

The arrival of March Madness II so soon after CPAC’s March Madness I is forcing all of us to consider whether the floor games will be a more valid expression of  the soul  of America than the conservative fringe that went to the convention in hopes of a slam dunk.  The distractions for the bounty-hunters couldn’t have come at a worst time  as speaker after speaker tried to convince us that the former Republican Party lacked, um… relevancy and that Barack Obama was at least a socialist..

The delegates were upstaged by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a conservative Republican who conceded that his notions about […]

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We’ve been waiting for weeks to hear what the Ohio Chamber of Commerce thinks of Kasich’s plan to expand Ohio’s sales tax to nearly every business in the state.

Today we found out.

As reported by Gongwer, the Chamber’s Dan Navin called the sales tax expansion “an overall ‘unhealthy shift’ of the tax burden to Ohio’s employers.”

The Chamber has been a staunch supporter of John Kasich since he announced his plan to run for Governor. The group supported Senate Bill 5 and Kasich’s failed private prison experiment.

Not so much with his anti-business sales tax plan.

Representatives of the […]

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After a long battle, JobsOhio has turned over its financial records to the Ohio State Auditor for review.

Yost has been under constant pressure from the Governor and legislative Republican leaders o back down on his request to audit the financial records of JobsOhio.   Joe Hallett recently reported that Matt Borges, Yost’s former campaign manager and soon-to-be Chairman of the Ohio Republican party, was also pressuring the Auditor to stand down.   In 2004 Borges pleaded guilty  to steering state investment business in exchange for campaign donations.

JobsOhio has received millions in state grants in addition to the […]

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2014 is right around the corner and seasoned politician Mike DeWine is looking for any opportunity to get himself in front of a camera.   This week it’s the Steubenville rape trial where Ohio’s Attorney General revealed that he learned something new about Ohio law in the past two months.

After  yesterday’s rape conviction of two Steubenville teens, DeWine held a press conference with the two attorneys from his office who prosecuted the case, using the opportunity to share with national reporters  his opinion on rape (it’s bad) and also to announce his plans to pursue possible charges against others […]

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Last October, we wrote about the exorbitant cost of obtaining a Reading Endorsement to meet the requirements of teaching the primary grades under Ohio’s Third Grade Guarantee law.  At the time, we projected the cost to be over $17,000.  That figure may have dropped a bit as universities have been scrambling to find a way to address the thousands of panicked teachers seeking to obtain the endorsement, but will still cost thousands of unnecessary dollars.

We have a message for those panicked teachers: Stop it.

Senate Bill 21 has moved on to the Ohio House with […]

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In 2012, Ohio Republicans used early voting restrictions to limit turnout among reliably Democratic voting groups.

Now they are continuing their efforts to restrict the voices of their political opposition. Republicans, safely in the majority in both chambers of the legislature, are fast-tracking legislation that would dramatically weaken efforts to overturn the laws that they pass.

Senate Bill 47 contains language that would greatly restrict signature-gathering efforts to put unpopular legislation on the ballot for repeal.

In Ohio, laws take effect 90 days after they are signed. The state constitution offers citizens the opportunity to subject laws to a […]

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This week, Ohio’s Rob Portman became the first Republican Senator to openly support gay marriage.  First in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash and again in an OpEd for a right-leaning traditional news publication based in Central Ohio.

There seem to be two schools of reactions from the left.  One is a genuine embrace of his changed stance as an ally for an issue important to most on the left.  The other is lukewarm acceptance coupled with “yeah, but what about these other issues” criticism.

I’m pretty firmly in the first camp.  I don’t think you can work […]

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During a panel discussion at this year’s Ohio Newspaper Association convention, Mike DeWine provided some guidance on how public record requests should be handled:  “Frankly, we find no way that it’s consistent with the spirit of the law of open records to make a distinction based on who is requesting, for whatever good or bad motives they might have . Everybody has to be treated the same.”

For once, Mr. DeWine is right: all requests for public records need to be handled the same whether they are coming from a political opponent, a reporter or some random guy on the street.

Sadly, some […]

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While Washington is again bedeviled by the kooky return of Paul Ryan’s latest version of a drive-by budget, Gov. Kasich is finding himself bedeviled by of all people,  Republicans,  for his own budget proposals that spread sales taxes while accepting an expansion of Medicaid with  federal dollars.

For a governor girding for a reelection campaign,  a family fight can be the sort of distraction that will test Kasich’s presumed invincibility as the budget fracas betrays  any sense  of solidarity within the GOP ranks. And with the Tea Party managing some of the dissent, it could be a long hot summer. […]

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Reports on JobsOhio and the funding it receives from Ohio’s liquor revenue generally quote a $100 million figure for development activities, but this is not the only money JobsOhio stands to receive.   An analysis by Plunderbund reveals Kasich’s semi-private development organization could be taking in billions more over the lifetime of the lease.

According to the agreement with the state, JobsOhio will receive all of the state’s liquor revenue each year through 2038.  From this, they must first pay an annual fixed amount of debt service on the bond and $43 Million into state’s Clean Ohio fund.   JobsOhio will also […]

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