From the daily archives: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Didn’t get into the Arshinkoff/Spitalieri/DeWine Bermuda Triangle in the preceding post.  Saving the best for last. In assessing the Ohio attorney general’s magical powers of choosing the ablest private firms for his collections agency, legal experience can be trumped by political contributions.

As the Dayton Daily News reported, a veteran debt collections agency that had worked with five previous attorneys general was bypassed in the awarding of lucrative work to a company that was formed only two days before DeWine set out to take care of his contributors. He chose, instead, CELCO, bossed by Pete Spitalieri, the Hudson guy […]

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The Dayton Daily News investigative report on Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine’s elaborate campaign fund-raising scheme widened the narrative of the AG’s money machine by mentioning Summit County Republican chairman and lobbyist Alex Arshinkoff as one of the varsity enablers. Who knew?

Still, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Arshinkoff has long – and I mean long – prided himself in his ability to lay piles of campaign money at the doorstep of this GOP pol or that one. The rule of politics Alex once breezily said, “is all about money.” He so impressed DeWine that he once served as the AG’s […]

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Vice President Joe Biden was in Cincinnati Thursday morning to deliver remarks to the National Urban League’s Annual Conference held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati through Sunday. The vice president arrived Wednesday evening following a speech he delivered in Las Vegas, Nevada, the day before to the NACCP National Convention and at a rally for Congressional candidate Erin Bilbray .

Vice President Biden delivered remarks to an audience hungry for his message: Let’s invest in infrastructure and a skilled workforce. Always a little quirky and maybe a little unscripted. the silver-haired former Senator […]

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Mike Gonidakis is the head of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life.  He’s also a lobbyist for at least three law firms actively seeking business with the Ohio Attorney General’s office.   He’s also, thanks to John Kasich, a member of the Ohio Medical Board.

As we recently reported, Gonidakis was one of the special few granted special access by Mike DeWine.  “We need to meet in re gonadakis,” wrote AG DeWine in an email to his staff a few months after taking office.  “He says security firm does have extensive experience.  Please schedule time next week to look at all […]

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Two Democrats, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), applauded a ruling by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that would help protect hundreds of Mahoning Valley jobs. According to Brown’s Senate Office, PUCO agreed to a “Reasonable Arrangement” that will reduce energy costs for the Warren Steel Holdings company and enable it to remain competitive. Brown and Ryan had advised utility regulators to consider the well-being of the Valley and its workers and act now.

“This is excellent news for Mahoning Valley workers and the local economy,” Brown said in prepared remarks. “A plant closure […]

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In a new report released in July by the Violence Policy Center, the gun death rate outpaced deaths from cars in 14 states, including 10th place Ohio and the District of Columbia, with Alaska leading with the highest gun death rate state and the State of Washington with the lowest.

In 2011, the most recent year for which state-level data is available for both products from the federal Centers for Disease Control Prevention, VPC reports there were 32,351 gun deaths nationwide for a rate of 10.38 per 100,000 and 35,543 motor vehicle deaths (both occupant and pedestrian) nationwide for a […]

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Kasich has not been a friend to Ohio’s public safety workers over the past four years, fire fighters especially.  In 2011, he championed Senate Bill 5, which would have stripped fire fighters of the ability to bargain for salary, safety equipment and staffing levels.   And in his two biennium budgets, Kasich cut over $1.8 Billion to local governments.

These drastic funding cuts have forced many cities and towns to raise local taxes through EMS and fire levies.  Bucyrus, Canton Township, Defiance, Mansfield, Violet Township, Sheffield Lake, Bath Township, Conneuat, Delphos and Moraine all passed new fire levies.  Others weren’t so lucky, like Franklin […]

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Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard J. McMonagle still needs to approve a settlement agreement announced Wednesday evening between plaintiff lawyers and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation that would return $420 million in overcharged premium payments to approximately 230,000 businesses.

Tonight’s agreement stems from a lawsuit filed in January of 2008 by businesses who asserted a claim for common law “unjust enrichment” based on violations of Section e, Article 1 and Section 35, Article II if the Ohio Constitution. Later that year in August, a trial court conducted a multiple day trial on the plaintiff’s claims and granted […]

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In his latest unscripted conversation that must drive his advisers crazy, Governor Kasich vehemently defended the actions of his friend and appointee, State Superintendent Dick Ross, and the Ohio Department of Education as he spoke about the scandal involving the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton.

According to Joe Vardon of the Columbus Dispatch, when asked about the scandal and ODE’s response, Kasich said, “As soon as the department (of education) found out (about the Horizon controversy — which stems from sexual acts between students that were not reported to parents by the school) it referred them to the authorities, which is the […]

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Ohio’s Senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown was joined Wednesday by Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), an Iraq War veteran, to explain reasoning behind a bill already introduced in the Senate, that Duckworth will soon introduce in the U.S. House of Representatives, that would make it easier for veterans with war-related injuries to claim benefits.

In a conference call with reporters, Sen. Brown said “invisible injuries,” like Post Traumatic Stress that nearly 300,000 vets nationwide struggle with and the 25,000 who combat mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, are often hard to document. The bill—The Significant Event Tracker (SET) Act of 2014—will help […]

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