From the monthly archives: December 2014

It’s time to kickoff our series of year-in-review posts for 2014, and this year we have a lot to cover.  In the past 12 months millions of PB readers have viewed thousands of posts thanks to some wonderful new talent we added to our roster.  Together we broke national news stories, uncovered corruption and ethical violations in government, lead the charge against attacks on labor, kept Ohio’s mainstream media in check and influenced state and local policy discussions.

2014 kept our team of regular writers busy conducting exclusive interviews, reporting on important political events, doing in-depth analysis, providing snarky commentary and fighting with […]

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The Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced yesterday that they are seeking to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against an investment “trust” based out of New York City who misled investors and overstated earnings, resulting in a loss of over $7.5 million to Ohio’s public retirement funds.

American Realty Capital Properties, Inc., (ARCP) is alleged to have understated losses at the end of June.  When the accounting fraud was revealed in October, their stock suffered losses of over $3 billion dollars, causing the massive hit to OPERS and STRS.  These retirement funds are essentially the property of Ohio public […]

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This midterm election year saw Republicans vanquish Democrats nationally as they did in Ohio, where they swept all statewide seats and added to their padding in the Ohio House, winning 65 out of 99 seats.  Nationally, GOP candidates won back the U.S. Senate and improved their majority caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, where long-time Ohio GOP Congressman John Boehner will continue as speaker, a constitutional position third in line to the presidency he’s held since the rise of the Tea Party in 2010.

Facing an electoral map that dramatically favored Republicans, Democrats got shellacked again with help from national and state […]

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Writing in Salon, Frank Schaeffer describes himself as a “white, privileged, well-off, 61-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago.” Schaeffer is the son of Evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer, who helped birth the religious right movement in the 1970s that harnessed as one of its apostles former GOP congressman Jack Kemp, an admired political icon to Ohio Gov. John Kasich.  Schaeffer the son wonders, “With the Republicans in control of the House and Senate the question arises — again — Where does the American far right find the energy to oppose […]

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A battle-hardened veteran of the anti-poverty effort in Ohio, Jack Frech maintains a genial disposition. He speaks with the soft, compassionate tones of a person used to helping people who may feel embarrassed to find themselves in desperate need.

In the 1980s, Frech transformed the concept of the local county welfare department in Ohio, turning the agency he was hired to oversee in Athens County into one that actively sought to help poor people, and to advocate on their behalf. No longer would the agency stigmatize poverty or begrudgingly hand out benefits. Under Frech’s stewardship, it would take the poverty […]

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Many of Ohio’s newspapers show every day just why they are shrinking as trusted sources to readers who want to be informed but who are regularly disappointed by editors and reporters whose political alliances are anything but neutral and objective.

Gallup reports that fewer than one in four Americans express confidence in newspapers, TV news. Some news folks still pretend that Fifth Estate outfits like Plunderbund are not legitimate news sources, even though the intrepid crew behind the site have broken one big story after another, all to little avail since PB isn’t part of the established but […]

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Despite a concerted effort by Republicans in Washington to oppose, derail or kill programs and policies put forward by President Barack Obama, the nation has moved forward to new heights following the worst economic downturn since the Great Recession of the 1930s. In fact, the economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in over a decade, according to the White House.

“The strong GDP growth is consistent with a broad range of other indicators showing improvement in the labor market, increasing domestic energy security, and continued low health cost growth,” President Obama said Tuesday in a […]

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The Columbus Dispatch has never been subtle about its choices for running the government. Firmly lodged in its menacing redoubt across the street from the Statehouse, it has dared Democrats, particularly the liberal sort, to violate the paper’s sanctity as an unelected voice of the state’s destiny. With a plantation mentality, it has served to protect the family’s banks, broadcasting studios and vast other properties in its swollen portfolio.

A Wolfe family enterprise for more than a century, the city’s sole surviving daily newspaper has swallowed two other dailies whole and worked its influence all over town, including Ohio State […]

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The Columbus Dispatch and Its “Commitment to Watchdog, Investigative Reporting”

By Denis Smith

After reading the first paragraph of Editor Ben Marrison’s piece in the December 21 edition of The Columbus Dispatch, it reminded me of one of my mother’s favorite expressions. “That would make a cat laugh,” she would say when reading a hilarious item in the newspaper. Indeed, if I had a cat, he would have laughed with me as I read the editor’s standard, self-congratulatory Sunday column.

“One of the things readers tell us they value most about The Dispatch is our commitment to watchdog, investigative reporting,” […]

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FreedomOhio got some good news Tuesday, when it learned the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case from Ohio in which the Court could require the state to recognize legal same-gender marriages performed in other states.

“This is big news,” said FreedomOhio co-founder and Executive Director Ian James.  “FreedomOhio is excited that the Court will consider offering Ohioans the same legal protections that all couples and their families deserve.  We will continue to energize and encourage Ohioans in pursuit of this goal, and we hope that 2015 will be a monumental year for equality.”

In the case, Obergefell et […]

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When school resumes on January 5 for Dayton Public Schools (DPS), an out-of-state company will be in charge of placing substitute teachers (called “reserve teachers” in Dayton) in classrooms.  For Wisconsin-based Parallel Employment Group, the one million dollar contract they scored in Dayton is their first foray into Ohio and, sadly, does not appear to be their last.

This situation didn’t happen overnight, and it appears as though the strategy that Dayton is using to privatize services at the expense of union employees is self-created.  For years, the DPS administration has been under-hiring reserve teachers, keeping the pool of teachers too […]

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