From the monthly archives: May 2018

Another week of thoughts and prayers.

You would think that after more bloodshed in the classroom the enablers of the gun lobby would find a new way to console the victims’ families. But as we’ve seen, prayers don’t work and the only time the politicians think about kids is when the students are found dead.

The good news is that some of the trigger-friendly deep thinkers are serious about “doing” something, saying the status quo is unacceptable.  Who could argue?

For example, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas, an immovable opponent of gun control, gravely stood before the TV cameras […]

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Today, something unpredictable happened in a House committee: a pro-public education amendment nearly passed.

The House Education committee was scheduled to consider amendments and vote on an education deregulation bill (SB216). That didn’t happen, however, after committee Democrats put forward an amendment that would have prohibited the state from taking over local school districts that score too low on state tests. Under House Bill 70, Youngstown and Lorain local schools have been placed under the control of appointed CEOs with a wide range of latitude to cancel labor contracts, privatize and restructure district operations.

Today’s amendment was offered by Rep […]

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A new group has launched in Southwest Ohio to set the record straight on Ohio Congressman Steve Chabot’s health care record.

At the helm of the group,  Ohioans for Economic Opportunity, is our old friend and seasoned political consultant Cliff Schecter.

“We’re simply looking to educate Ohioans about who’s trying to take away their healthcare, who would impose an age tax on elderly Ohioans and leave those with pre-existing conditions to the wolves,” Schecter said.  “Why? Because they need these funds to create ever more loopholes for their campaign contributors and friends to gorge on. […]

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State Rep Andy Brenner is so desperate not to have to give back his contributions from the scandal-plagued founder of ECOT, he’s claiming he didn’t take them. (He did).

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Every watchdog elected to investigate and stop the fraudulent use of taxpayer money has taken campaign contributions from the originator of the single-largest fraud in state history.

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I know very little about witches. I doubt that I have ever met one, although as a kid I had questions about a shriveled old woman who lived in a shack across the street that I and my friends only knew as Annie Gator. We would sneakily gather at her window at night to watch her in the glow of a candle as she fussed with thread and needle to repair her shawl.

Oh, there was also my arithmetic teacher, Mrs. Lenz, an assertive woman who would come to my desk, aiming an index finger at me and sternly demanded, […]

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Back in January, I argued against the general idea of imposing work requirements for Ohio’s Medicaid program. The details of Ohio’s proposed Medicaid work requirements (PDF link) are now open for public comment. As the proposed language makes clear, Ohio is set to go all in on the mythology that forcing the very small population of people on Medicaid who might be able to work, but do not currently, will make them healthier overall. Most health care experts who have looked at the question agree that though the requirements are likely to move a small fraction of […]

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On May 2, 2018, Politico’s Morning Education reported the following statements by the U.S. Department of Education spokeswoman: “Secretary DeVos has always said education is an investment in students, not in schools or school systems, and public education is any education that serves the public. We should stop defining education by the word that comes before school and instead focus on the students the school serves.” Following is a message Secretary DeVos should receive from concerned citizens of Ohio. Secretary DeVos: Public education in the U.S. is a function of each state, not a function of the federal government. Historically, the […]

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The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) study issued May 1. 2018 provides a mountain of evidence that the online charter industry is bad for taxpayers, students and society. The state policy that permits students to enroll in online charters is abusive to a lot of students. If state lawmakers are bent on continuing the online charter industry, they must provide a screening process that eliminates those students who do not have the capacity to succeed in an online environment. Many, if not most, students don’t have sufficient self-discipline skills at a young age to work independently. Rules for […]

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Let’s see….  It was more than a decade ago back in 2006  that then-congressman Sherrod Brown defied conventional wisdom by running against a securely seated Republican, Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine.

The risk was clear, or so some of Brown’s Democratic political supporters feared, that he would dare give up a safe 13th District House seat to challenge a hard-right social conservative  who, to this day, remains firmly in the grip of the National Rifle Association while assuming a cautious political profile that has been regularly polished by Ohio media.  But it has hardly been a profile in courage in a day […]

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This is the second part of “The Ohio Dark Money Blows Its Cover” series.

A recent lawsuit appears to have disclosed the identities of some of the Washington power brokers behind the dark money that has flooded Ohio elections since Citizens United. The lawsuit, brought by Larry Householder, accuses several defendants of making false and defamatory statements through the medium of political attack ads. The lawsuit names Conservative Alliance PAC, GRP Buying, that company’s owner Nick Everhart as defendants; it also names several individuals associated with the American Conservative Union (ACU). These ACU-affiliated individuals have denied involvement with the […]

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