From the monthly archives: January 2018

Ray Bliss, Mr. Chairman

On January 30, 2018 By

In the midst of so many references to Richard Nixon’s rebirth as Donald Trump,  it seemed altogether  more fitting to revive the late Ray Bliss’ memory in the newly  published biography, “Mr. Chairman” by political specialists William Hershey and John  Green. Hershey covered politics in Washington and Columbus for the Beacon Journal. Green is the director of the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron. Both are well-grounded in Bliss’s long career in the political whirlpool that eventually landed him in the chair of the Republican National Committee. They introduced the book at a program at the Tangier.

Bliss held […]

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Last night, Senate Republicans went back on a promise to move forward on a Congressional redistricting plan if they couldn’t get buy in from the Fair Districts coalition. The next big development could come this morning.

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A beloved Youngstown businessman is sitting in jail, awaiting deportation, as the Trump administration exerts new enforcement powers. On Tuesday, Ohioans will rally to denounce the Trump administration’s year of actions against families and the lack of progress toward policies to protect immigrants.

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This is a guest post by Lori Crook of Nelsonville

Our Congressman, Steve Stivers, came to Nelsonville yesterday, and we were ready for him.

The meeting was organized by city council as a public meeting to which he was invited, but was quickly taken over by Stivers’ office and turned into an exclusive, invite-only meeting, and…they controlled the guest list. Most of the elected officials and runners of agencies in Athens County were there, but no member of the public was allowed in.

As a result, many stood outside where every entering car had to drive by, holding a […]

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The one statewide Republican candidate in Ohio who didn’t take campaign cash from ECOT and its disgraced founder Bill Lager — state Rep. Robert Sprague, who is running for Ohio Treasurer — stepped into a big pile of ECOT mess Tuesday, standing alongside one of Ohio’s worst ECOT stooges, state Rep. Andrew Brenner, and calling for less accountability for online schools.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Sprague joined Brenner and others at the statehouse to defend ECOT as it shuts down in the middle of the school year.

Ohio Democrats were quick to pounce […]

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The non-partisan, citizen-driven, grassroots organization We Are Ohio on Tuesday condemned a package of anti-worker proposals from state Reps. John Becker (R-Union Township) and Craig Riedel (R-Defiance), known as the “Dirty Half Dozen.”

Becker outlined his plan in a co-sponsor letter at the end of 2017, describing six constitutional amendments that he would like to put in front of Ohio voters. The amendments read like a wish list for the anti-union crowd:

implement so-called “right-to-work” laws for the private and public sector repeal prevailing wage laws prohibit government employers from withholding union dues prohibit unions from […]

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The Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com Editorial Board on Sunday went off on ECOT and the politicians who let the e-charter school bilk taxpayers out of $80 million.

“All of this could have been avoided if the state had been watchful and responsive from the start, when ECOT opened in 2000. Unfortunately, the state waited until 2016. And when it finally got serious about looking behind the curtain? It found more than the school’s already evident record of poor academic performance. It discovered nothing less than financial fraud,” the board wrote in the scathing editorial.

More […]

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Counting Trump’s Blessings

On January 23, 2018 By

Did you enjoy your fun-filled government shutdown that cost Donald Trump a weekend on his golf course and royal sit-down dinner with friends? He was back in his Washington office sporting his white cap while he presidentially called people. Hard at work, his staffers told us, as Trump Americana was being rejected around the world.

Veep Mike Pence, a white force field at the rostrum, was greeted by a stone-cold audience led by Jordan and Palestine, which were stunned by  Trump’s decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem.

Back to the Oval Office. The Rev. Franklin Graham, annual $622,000 varsity […]

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It looks like the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is in fact yesterday’s school.

A long nightmare lasting nearly two decades appears to be over. ECOT, the notorious online charter school, has been suspended by its sponsor and is shutting down, although the appointment of a special master will delay the liquidation of its assets in the short term.

When the official last rites for ECOT are concluded, the online school’s remnants will be piled on top of the rest of the other charter school rubble, a junkyard contained in a swamp filled with the […]

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The woman’s voice distracted me from viewing the coming attractions on the big screen in the darkened movie theater. She spoke while sitting down in the soft, red leather recliner, the last seat to be filled in the next-to-last row of the crowded film venue.

“I wonder what the average age of the audience is here?” she asked, while looking closely at the group eagerly awaiting the start of the feature. “At least sixty,” I replied. “You’ve been reading my mind.” We both enjoyed a good laugh as we settled in to see this long-anticipated and very timely film, knowing […]

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The Ohio Democratic Party issued a press release Thursday evening slamming Ohio Republican politicians who enabled the ECOT scandal to get out of hand, and calling on politicians who received donations from the private, for-profit charter school while failing to hold ECOT accountable to donate those donations to public schools.

The release is shared below:

The news tonight that the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow is likely shutting down Friday marks a shameful end for the corrupt e-charter whose schoolchildren and families will now face chaos and uncertainty mid-year as a result of ECOT’s […]

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