From the monthly archives: April 2016

To laugh or to cry, dear Buckeyes, that is the question. In recent years, state lawmakers in Ohio have set about the business of underfunding education, undermining teachers unions, improperly tying student test scores to teacher evaluations, and rigging the game to prop up a for-profit charter school industry that has become the laughingstock of the nation.

If you know public school teachers around Ohio, and talk to them, you’ll find morale is low, stress is high and the joy of learning is being robbed from students while the joy of instruction exists now only as a fond memory. Quotas, scores, standards, […]

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More than 2,000 suspected terrorists attempted to legally buy guns in the United States between 2004 and 2014, and over 91 percent of them succeeded, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Active shooter terrorism is a growing threat in America, as illustrated prominently by the San Bernadino shooting this past December. In fact, since September 11, 2001, nearly every terror attack in the United States has involved firearms.

But a loophole in federal law – known as the “terror gap” – allows known and suspected terrorists to pass a criminal background check and legally buy a gun.

Does that sound absurd […]

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Did “the little engine than can” just get derailed in Cleveland? “This apparently closes the door on any chance that Kasich ever had to be nominated at the convention,” The Washington Times reported James Bopp Jr., special counsel to the RNC Rules Committee, said Thursday in Hollywood, Florida, to the Republican National Convention panel on the impact of a proposal to simplify the rules for the presidential nomination.

At issue was whether a mere majority was needed to reopen nominations, per the proposed adoption of Robert’s Rules of Order, or whether the current rules used by the U.S. House of Representatives that […]

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Poor John Kasich, nobody pays attention to him. His positive conservative message of rising above partisan politics to bring people together to fix problems, something he says he’s done in Ohio and can do nationally if given a chance, just isn’t winning the hearts and minds of voters in 32 states so far who have gone with other candidates, namely Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

And that’s just one of Mr. Kasich’s big problems. But in Kasich world, where outside voices with different opinions are soon shown the door or run over, his aging ego interprets his long odds going […]

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It may be the most reliable thing in Buckeye politics: Ohio state Rep. John Becker’s chief concern at any given time is how other people are using their genitals. He’s obsessed by it. It’s not just a hobby; it’s a passion.

The man is severely repressed, and he probably needs to talk to a professional about it, but until then our General Assembly shall be plagued by Becker’s preoccupation with our collective private parts.


Republican Rep. John Becker says he’s hearing from constituents who tell him they think the state needs a law against unisex bathrooms in public […]

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In 2011, Ohio Governor John Kasich’s first year in office, Bob Sommers (pictured) was appointed as Kasich’s director of 21st Century Education.  Sommers took the lead on crafting education reform policy for the Governor, and dumped many proposed reforms into Kasich’s first budget while the Senate Bill 5 (Issue 2) repeal effort was under way.  One of the more significant proposals that Sommers crafted in the budget was a change in legislation that would have required thousands of Ohio’s public school teachers to retake content-based tests, the same tests that the teachers had already taken and passed to initially […]

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In his weekly conference call with reporters Wednesday, Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator wants Ohioans to weigh-in on “Healthy Ohio,” Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to force people poor enough to qualify for Medicaid to pay monthly premiums for health care coverage that would have strings attached to it if the federal government allows Ohio officials to follow through on his proposal.

For a fiscal and social conservative like Gov. Kasich, it’s par for the course to dispense some bitter pills mixed in with his so-called curative prescriptions. Of great concern to Sen. Sherrod Brown, twice elected statewide in 2006 […]

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To play the role of Mr. Nice Guy as long as he has this election year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich—whose biographical narrative emphasizes his leadership style that enjoys stepping on toes to get his way—relies on others doing the dirty work for him.

From the first GOP debate last year to the last this year, while Trump fought with Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, among others, the Pennsylvania-born guy who once aspired to be a Catholic priest but found his fame and fortune in elected politics instead, can assume the persona of reasonableness when compared to the […]

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Protecting Affordable Health Care In Ohio
by David Balto

Make no mistake, companies always merge to benefit their shareholders. Often consumers end up suffering through higher prices, less service and less choice. Consumers’ pocketbooks feel the pain from recent airline, media and healthcare mergers.

That’s why we have laws for the government to block harmful mergers. Four of the five largest health insurers plan to merger – Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana. In Ohio the mergers will be reviewed by the State Attorney General and the Insurance Commissioner. They should just say no and block these deals.

The Ohio Department of […]

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Rob Portman, The Un-Trump

On April 20, 2016 By

When Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman stepped up to the podium at the Akron Press Club luncheon, the well-behaved partisan audience got a closeup of the prototypical Un-Trump.

Casual open collar, lean, unthreatening, a sweep of gray hair betraying his boyish manner, a regular guy – all of it Un-Trump evidence of his selfie as a “Common Sense Conservative”.

As it happened, even his speech as the candidate for reelection against former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland followed the safest route, narrowly content to tell us what everyone in the room already knew: Good grief. There’s a drug crises in the […]

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Donald Trump showed again Tuesday that he can take a licking and keep on ticking, as he crushed his two remaining Republican presidential rivals, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, by lopsided margins in the closed New York State Republican primary.

With 95 delegates up for grabs, Trump, the Big Apple billionaire and folk hero, scooped up nearly all of them, leaving Cruz with zero for his efforts and John Kasich with only a couple after eating his weight in NYC deli fare.

By the wee hours of Wednesday morning with nearly all the vote in, […]

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