From the monthly archives: May 2018

Some Ohioans believe nothing has changed due to the Ohio Supreme Court decisions in DeRolph v. State. That is far from fact. A lot has changed. There are more than 1,200 new school buildings in school districts across Ohio in response to the DeRolph decisions. The percentage of the State General Revenue Fund (GRF) budget allotted to public K-12 education has increased from 34.5 in the fiscal year 1992 to 43.9 this fiscal year following 42.8% in FY 2017 and 42.9% in FY 2016. That is quite significant; HOWEVER, part of that which the state gave, the state took away and the current […]

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If pageantry and pretense rely on fantasy to achieve their fullest effect, you should prepare for the longest star-spangled parade in America’s history – led by Donald Trump, who boasts of being the brightest and boldest star in the firmament.

As the exalted ruler of the Kingdom of Base, the president loves patriotic displays of empty loyalties. This mighty procession from the White Guy House schedule has already given us his ceremonial plans to celebrate his vast accomplishments to make America great again as he crusades as the parade marshal on a long journey through the Old South to the […]

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Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost detailed ECOT’s financial records as a part of his investigation into potential illegal activities of the online charter school as a part of its closing.  Among Yost’s findings is nearly $2.3 million in payments in 2017 and 2018 to a company called Third Wave Communications.

In August 2016, we wrote about Third Wave Communications as ECOT was doing business with them back then, too.  Missing from Yost’s January 18, 2018 letter is any mention that Third Wave Communications is operated by Jessica Harris […]

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As the ECOT debacle plays out, it becomes evident that politics gave it life, but now politics is exposing its corruption and thus its shame and destruction.

While the ECOT Man was on the rags-to-riches trajectory, certain state officials, who were immersed in ECOT campaign funds, protected the ECOT business enterprise. ECOT has never been focused on education. Profit has been the objective and when ECOT was caught cheating taxpayers, it went out-of-business not because it was among the worst performing “schools” in the history of the United States, but because it was no longer a profitable business. Now that […]

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As part of the Ohio GOP’s ongoing civil war and the attendant primary mudslinging, some candidates have turned to lawsuits to stop their rivals from airing attack ads.

One such lawsuit, brought by Larry Householder,  has (accidentally!) pierced Ohio Dark Money’s carefully tended veil of secrecy. The lawsuit revealed the identities of the Washington power brokers pumping money into Ohio’s elections. The revealed persons are all top brass at the American Conservative Union (ACU), with strong ties to the Trump Administration and the NRA at highest echelons. Furthermore, some of the people involved are mixed up in the years-long […]

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Not Fake News, Jim!

On May 10, 2018 By

When President Trump blew into Cleveland the past weekend, the Plain Dealer reported with a prominent front-page headline,”Trump uses visit to boost Renacci”.

That’s Rep. Jim  Renacci. He’s the former Wadsworth mayor and wealthy businessman who is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate after first announcing that he would run for Ohio governor and do whatever necessary to win. That was until political temptation induced him to change his mind and challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown.

My first tepid response to the Trump-Renacci tandem was to wonder which of these two guys would be hurt the most by their meeting […]

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Remember all the stories about “pink slime” in ground beef several years ago? Though the topic of pink slime lurking in that cellophane container in your shopping cart might have disappeared for the moment, slime of a non-pink variety hasn’t. In fact, today’s Republican Party has perfected the art of soiling or, more accurately, sliming many things in our country, including some of our revered national institutions.

Like the FBI. And its parent, the U.S. Department of Justice.

Let’s examine two prominent Republicans at work today who are masters of the art of sliming.


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A prominent Cleveland Republican is behind a new attack ad, airing on Cleveland TV, that attempts to hit Democratic candidate Rich Cordray from his left. Its creator is closely aligned with one of two leading Republicans seeking to become the next Speaker of the Ohio House.

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Democrats are now arguing whether Richard Cordray or Dennis Kucinich will be a better candidate. That’s a worthwhile argument as long as Democrats don’t become so divided that the supporters of the loser in the May primary refuse to vote for the winner in November. Democrats should not make Mike DeWine the next governor of Ohio through infighting, a possibility more plausible than it should be.

The question is whether the primary will become so rancorous that it causes a lower Democratic turnout in November. If so, the Democratic ticket from top to bottom will be in trouble. Ohio history tells an important […]

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An April 17 Fordham Institute review of the Governor’s education legacy shows Fordham and the Governor seem to be on the same page regarding education issues.


The Governor established the A-F Report Card. Fordham laments that it is now in jeopardy. The Governor provided passionate support for the Third Grade Guarantee. Fordham says the jury is still out on the effects of it. The Governor’s early efforts focused on lifting limitations on the creation of new charters and providing facility assistance but then supported charter sponsor evaluations and additional charter school accountability. Fordham says charter accountability could be […]

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I happened to watch some of Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Washington Twp.,  Mich., with the sound muted, and it did appear that he was a symphonic conductor with flopping arms and commanding presence leading the score.  But, alas, when I later turned up the sound, it was orchestral nonsense, much like a noisy Spike Jones performance engaging in the hysteria of his audience.

So, another chapter of making America great with the added flourishes of an orchestrated crowd chanting “ No-BEL, No-BEL.”

Chris Cillizza of CNN listed online 57 of Trump’s “most outrageous and offensive lines” at the rally […]

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