The word Plexus refers to a “complex structure containing an intricate network of parts.”  That’s a pretty apt description for the loose web of Republican-affiliated secret donors, nonprofit groups and Super PACS that are injecting millions of untraceable dollars into campaigns in Ohio and beyond. The Ohio Dark Money Plexus (ODMP) serves as one of the foremost conduits for dead end disclosure, a way to mask the identity of a political donor by passing their money through a progression of shell entities.

One pattern is for an individual donor to first transfer funds to a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  […]

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I’m sure that by now you’ve heard or seen President Trump’s epic assertion that he is a “stable genius”.  In a split second he vaulted himself into the rarified ranks of Einstein, Mozart   and Leonardo, to name a few in a very special group of human beings who were too occupied with their remarkable work to think of themselves that way.

But wait.  While genius has become a commonplace  identity for an  extraordinary mind, body or spirit,  there’s another, less tidy,  definition  going all the way back to ancient Rome.  For some,  at least , genius could betray a person  […]

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In journalist Michael Wolff’s scathing new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Donald Trump is portrayed by many of his closest aides in the most derisive of terms. Prior to this book’s appearance, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s use of the word moron had received the most coverage of non-flattering words used to describe the nation’s chief executive. This book takes 45 POTUS invective to a new level.

In a way, the moron term might prove to be one the kindest descriptors for Trump. Then there is this:

A number of the president’s key staff […]

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I’m thrilled to be contributing to Plunderbund in 2018. For my first post I would like to share a few thoughts about approaching the public health crises that face Ohio. My hope is that such thoughts might help sharpen our political strategizing just a bit. I hope that this perspective is not only helpful in this important mid-term and gubernatorial election year, but the beginning of an ongoing conversation among Ohio’s progressives interested in health care activism.

Bluntly put, progressives tend to reduce health care to a set of policy positions that, while important, do not get to the heart […]

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Onward Into 2018?

On January 7, 2018 By

As we begin  a new year  of Trumpism, will we witness a greater acceptance of reality and honesty under the gathering clouds?

Or remain frozen in the wake of Donald’s rigid success with his “base”?

It seems the right time to again quote a passage from Orwell’s “1984”  as the measure of American democracy:

In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully  on people incapable of understanding it.  They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity  of what was demanded of them, and were not […]

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Wayne Wlodarski, a labor relations consultant for OEA, is asking teachers and all other citizens to make a New Year’s resolution in support of public education.

He, with permission, turned a Network for Public Education (NPE) statement into the attached resolution:

I BELIEVE that public education is the pillar of our democracy. I believe in the common school envisioned by Horace Mann. A common school is a public institution, which nurtures and teaches all who live within its boundaries, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation or learning ability. All may enroll – regardless of when they seek to enter the school or where they were […]

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Ode to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon

The gingham hog and the calico bat
side by side in the White House sat;
’Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Not one nor the other
had slept a wink!

The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.

(I was n’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate,)

The gingham hog tweeted “Drat! Drat! Drat!”

And the calico bat flapped its wings like […]

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The Un-Golf Of Trump Golf

On January 3, 2018 By

I should begin by admitting that I know very little about golf. I once spent no more than an hour in training with a hometown neighbor who said golf was so important to a full life. But after I drove a ball out of sight with my first swing I realized there was something missing in a sports activity that had forced you to spend so much time walking and so little time with a club in hand.

That awful thought arose as the TV news transported me to the seven-day marathon glimpsing President Trump ambling on his own custom-tailored […]

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Senator Joe Schiavoni became the first Democratic candidate for governor this cycle to announce a running mate.   His choice:  Stephanie Dodd, Ohio Board of Education member.

According to the campaign’s press release: Dodd has served two terms on the Ohio Board of Education, representing all or parts of 13 counties in Central, Southeastern and Appalachian Ohio. During her tenure, she has voted to return $60 million in taxpayer dollars from ECOT for inaccurate student enrollment. She also stands for less standardized testing to be required by the state, and in support of increased spending for early childhood education.

Dodd […]

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Ohio has some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country and it’s time to put an end to it, 2018 Democratic Ohio Secretary of State Candidate Kathleen Clyde said in an interview last month.

“This is a serious problem that we need to address in our state,” she said. “I’m a die-hard fan of fair districts for Ohio and I hope my record speaks for that.”

Clyde’s record includes an entire career of standing up for voter rights, election integrity and fair district maps.

Clyde supported the state legislative redistricting reform passed by Ohio voters in 2015 with 71 […]

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Try to envision the lifestyle and culture of America without the benefit of the public common school.

Would the U.S. have been the leader of the free world had the various states not adopted constitutional provisions for free, universal common school education? An all-private education arrangement would have left multitudes of unserved or underserved students, and divided the nation into tribal communities.

Some in our nation do not comprehend or value the symbiotic relationship between the common school and democracy. The common good is just not a priority for them.

Thomas Ultican provides a more in depth look in a […]

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