From the monthly archives: March 2014

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has never met a dubious legal argument he won’t commit Ohio to defend. He even goes out of his way to join in cases where Ohio has no compelling interest to go.

The most recent example is the amicus brief he wrote on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga. In fact he’s listed as lead attorney for the 19 other GOP-led states that have joined to protect the conservative religious liberty of persecuted corporations.

Like his fight to prevent a married gay couple from having a spouse listed on a death certificate, DeWine […]

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Last week State Rep Andrew Brenner published an article titled “Public education in America is socialism, what is the solution?” on his wife’s Brenner Brief blog.   Brenner opened his article quoting the definition of socialism from Wikipedia, explained how this applies to public schools, and then went on to offer his solution to “the problem.” “We need to do something that was done about 25 years ago in the former Soviet Union and eastern bloc,” Brenner wrote.  “Sell off the existing buildings, equipment and real estate to those in the private sector. ”

Brenner argued that we need to “privatize everything”. […]

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Senate Bill 229, the bill designed to provide reasonable changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES), passed unanimously through the Ohio Senate back in December.  Today, a substitute version of the bill was introduced in the House Education Committee that completely overhauled the existing version of the legislation.  The version of SB 229 that we have been reporting on is no longer recognizable in the new House version.

The full text of the new SB229 isn’t available in its entirety, but we have obtained a document from the Legislative Service Commission that details the many modifications introduced […]

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Now that first-tier dead-ender  Donald Rumsfeld   has expressed his preference for a “trained ape” over President Obama on foreign policy (read: everything with Obama’s name on it), there’s word that Republican planners  with wide experience as GOP congressional zookeepers have moved into Dick Cheney’s old underground  cave in Pennsylvania to train an ape to give the keynote speech at the next  presidential  convention.  As one trainer put it: “After much discussion on how to electrify the crowd with a Palin-type Mama Grizzly, we decided to go with upgrading someone from  the army of trained apes that we do […]

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In an earlier Cookbook story we discussed howMike Gonadakis, head of Ohio Right to Life, used the influence of his anti-abortion organization to support Mike DeWine in his campaign for AG.   Once DeWine was elected, DeWine granted Gonadakis special access to himself and his top staff, enabling Gonadakis to grow his lobbying business.

Last week, ProgressOhio revealed that a similar arrangement seems to exist between DeWine and Phil Burress, head of the anti-LGBT group Citizens for Community Values (CCV).

After spending years criticizing DeWine for being too liberal, Burress and CCV suddenly changed their tune and publicly endorsed […]

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Ohio Senate Bill 229, a bill designed to modify the new teacher evaluation system in Ohio, has finally made it back to the agenda of the House Education Committee. Despite passing 33-0 in the Ohio Senate in early December and being assigned to the House Education Committee on December 10, Chairman Gerald Stebelton delayed bringing it to his committee for consideration until February 12.

Now, six weeks later, the bill has slowly crept back on the agenda for the March 26 committee meeting.  According to the Education Committee notice, the bill will still not be up for a vote […]

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Mitch McConnell’s Alley Oop Act

On March 22, 2014 By

Did you happen to see the campaign  photo of a befuddled  Mitch McConnell brandishing a gun?  It had the chilling appearance of a modern-day Alley Oop ambling out of a cave with his life-threatening  cudgel. But the Senate minority leader isn’t trying to sell tourism for this  state’s Mammoth Cave. No sirree.  He’s hoping to sell himself to the gun lobby and its well-stocked bluegrass militia.  Besides,  he’s in his sixth year of fulfilling his sorehead  pledge to destroy Barack Obama.

Mitch is the poster pol for blemished but still unfinished business.

McConnell is in a tough race  that could cost the […]

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Since the early days of the Kasich administration, the governor’s office has maintained a secret contact list containing the private phone numbers and email addresses of Kasich’s staff.  Everyone from mail clerks to Kasich’s chief-of-staff are included.  The governor’s office has refused to release the latest, unredacted copy of the document.

Back in December we asked for the latest version of the internal contact list and we were provided with a heavily redacted pdf file that was stamped CONFIDENTIAL and DO NOT DISTRIBUTE.    The redactions included all of the personal phone numbers and email addresses.  No reason was given […]

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Our public schools are under vicious attack – oddly, by the state representative elected from Delaware County. In two recent Dispatch columns, Rep. Andrew Brenner is quoted condemning public education as “socialism,” and advocating that all public schools be sold off to for-profit investors. He went on to state that Ohio should model this privatization on the example of the sale of government assets following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Brenner’s statements are both ridiculous and ignorant, and especially dangerous because he is empowered to make laws and policies concerning our children’s schools. Working their anti-school agenda, he and […]

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Democratic strategists are said to be jubilant over  Republican guru Karl Rove’s unflinching prediction that the GOP will capture the Senate in November.  Although that would seem to be a disconnect with the Democrats’ goals, one party insider explained the odd reaction by explaining that Rove is the same sage who predicted  a big victory for Mitt Romney as well as sharing other alleged political insights that crashed.  “It’s quite simple,” he said.  “If Rove is going around telling people that the Republicans will win the Senate, history tells us that the opposite will happen. We win!”

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Is your gas bill too high? Gov. Kasich thinks it should be even higher.

Buried in his latest budget bill is a plan to saddle homeowners and businesses with clean-up costs utilities could face for abandoned manufactured-gas plants, according to an editorial in The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

Some background from the PD:

“Before natural gas became widely distributed, utilities manufactured gas. They heated coal or coke, then sold the resulting gas, initially to provide lighting….

“In a 3-2 decision last fall, now under appeal to the state Supreme Court, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio agreed […]

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