Apparently, Matt Borges the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (and convicted criminal), is doing op-eds for the Columbus Dispatch. That's the only thing that can be deduced in reading their latest op-ed.
[..I removed the link to the op-ed, because it hooks up with the Dispatch's premium content. One way to screw over the financially challenged Dispatch is by not signing up for, or ever bother using, their premium content. They're collecting information to try to sell precisely targeted ads. Again, if you never use the service, or never sign in, they can't do this and it hurts their business model. Suffice it to say I did offer a pretty good summary of the op-ed in the next paragraph. Seriously. I could have written that it was kindergartner scribble and that would've been accurate.]
The op-ed continues a tired call that Ed FitzGerald should release information that John Kasich doesn't release, but it leaves that fact out. It offers zero balance and it's not even logically correct.
If I were the Ohio Democrats, I'd have Bill Clinton rip the shit out this editorial and the Columbus Dispatch tonight at their statewide dinner. If possible, I'd also have him pen a response calling them on their bias.
The Wolfe school of journalism in full effect ensuring the pubic will never know anything.
— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) June 12, 2014
If I saw these guys on the street I'd feel pretty bad for them. I'd also wonder what they did wrong to be treated treated that way.
Is this the new marketing campaign for the Young Republicans? Join the YRs, we have plenty of opportunities for you to humiliate yourself.
Brian Bull a reporter for Ideastream in northeast Ohio was recently recognized for an excellent series he did on the working poor. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for his work - - certainly well deserved.
The series was broadcast on WCPN an NPR affiliate in the Cleveland area. It can be found here: http://www.ideastream.org/news/workingpoor. It's not too long and well worth the listen. To give a taste, here's an excerpt where Bull is interviewing David K. Shipler, author of "The Working Poor: Invisible in America."
"Bull: It seems that among some politicians, and parts of society too, that there is almost a judgment against the poor, even sort of a backlash to the point where programs that support the poor are cut, or heavily criticized. Is there perhaps a sense that such people need to be punished, that they’re perceived as lazy, inept, or dishonest?
Shipler: “I’ve seen a resentment of the larger society toward the poor, and it’s a feature of the United States that may be unique in the world. I haven’t studied this in other places, but because of the American dream - or the American myth - which says that everyone who works hard can prosper, and because work is considered a moral virtue in the United States, there’s another side to that American myth, another side to the coin which says, ‘Well, if you don’t prosper, then you must not be working hard.’
“And therefore you must be somehow lacking morality and willing to benefit from the larger society without doing your share.
“I remember asking a woman in Cleveland, who was getting up at 3 or 4 in the morning to go to work on a bakery assembly line, how it was that she found herself in poverty.
“And her answer was one word: ‘Lazy,’ she said. ‘I’m lazy.’
Jon Husted, after losing a federal court case today concerning a policy he created to restrict early voting hours issued a statement that said he was pleased with it. Essentially what he did was say his policy was wrong and then thanked the federal court for straightening him out. The entire statement is re-posted below.
"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Statement From Secretary of State Jon Husted
Columbus – Regarding today’s federal court decision in Obama v. Husted, all of the following may be attributed to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
“I am pleased that the federal court has affirmed what I have long advocated -- that all voters, no matter where they live, should have the same opportunity to vote. Thankfully, uniformity and equality won the day.
“When it comes to voting days and hours, I have urged uniformity, bipartisanship and certainty – so that all Ohioans can know the rules for voting well in advance of the election.
“Absent legislative action to set hours, I had adopted by directive the only bipartisan schedule that has been offered. Now that the court has ruled, I will follow the decision.”
Columbus Dispatch prints article that seems to advocate John Kasich should release his daily schedule...Submitted by Derek K on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 11:38am.
John Kasich does not release his daily schedule. Ted Strickland his predecessor did. John Kasich has been so secretive about his schedule that a lawsuit was filed to try to obtain more information. The Columbus Dispatch has condoned this behavior, but in a hypocritical way, has published an article about citizens' rights to public records. Randy Ludlow of the Dispatch writes...
"Government at all levels merely is the custodian of the people’s records — not the owner. The law states that the records belong to all Ohioans."
You're absolutely right Randy, so John Kasich should get to releasing his daily schedule. Mary Taylor, too. And how about Josh Mandel? And I can't wait for the op-ed from the Columbus Dispatch that takes these public servants to task for hiding this information. Oh wait, that's not going to happen, because the Dispatch doesn't want citizens to ask questions about what Republicans are doing. They specifically direct people to look into things like local school districts. Don't mind the statewide offices that are denying people the right to vote or changing laws that could potentially allow some fracking company to dump their waste in your backyard. Fucking propaganda.
Link to the propaganda can be found here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/06/11/public-records-...
Wow - Joseph at Plunderbund definitely has the scoop into the developing scandal in the Lt. Governor's and Governor's office. He actually looked further into the "hostile working environment" quote and found...
"Brandt cited an “unhealthy hostile work environment” as her reason for leaving. Which certainly may explain the high turnover rate for Taylor staffers – especially those who followed Taylor from the Ohio Auditor’s Office where she served prior to taking over at Lieutenant Governor."
Link to complete story: http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/06/10/is-high-turnover-in-lt-governors-o...
If it was up to Henry and Joe, Ohioans would know none of this. It's really getting to the point where Henry and Joe are starting to look like the bloggers and Plunderbund is looking like the real news source.
Sunday evening, David Pepper and NIna Turner, "your voter protection team," spoke to a packed room at Zanzibar on Shaker Square in Cleveland at an event sponsored by the Shaker Heights Dems.
Most active Democrats are familiar with the sad story of how Ohio's Republican officeholder have chipped away at voting opportunities, taking away those we once had. And whatever arguments you might make about how we still have sufficient voting opportunities, that's just the wrong direction.
But David Pepper said something else that ALL Democrats should be thinking about — especially those who are not "excited" or "motivated" or are even still grumbling about our candidates for this or that little picayune reason.
He pointed out that when Kasich was first elected, voters were voting on his promises — but this time, they are voting on his record. And if he wins, he will say he has a mandate to double down — and he would.
As Pepper said, re-electing Kasich would send a message to him and everyone else that Ohioans LIKE what he has done in the last four years.
They were fine with SB 5 in the long run and won't mind future attacks on labor.
They're fine with the restriction of women's reproductive freedom, with erecting obstacles to voting primarily for urban voters, with slashing local government and public school funding and giant local tax increases to make up the difference. They're OK with his attacks on public education and teachers in general.
They think it's peachy that Ohio shamefully repeals its clean energy standards and faces environmental degradation and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs just to please wealthy GOP donors in the coal and gas industries.
I appreciate your response on Twitter to my story...
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) June 9, 2014
But as much you "agree with call for more reporting", you know what's not happening - more reporting.
Here's Joe Vardon's "more reporting"...
Taylor's got a replacement for her COS who resigned over time sheet flap...at $50k cheaper, too http://t.co/6JoqjAUUnE
How do you know when reporters are biased? When they can write things like the following in their stories and not bother to ask any follow up questions.
"Heather Brandt, 30, executive assistant to Johnson, also resigned, citing an “unhealthy hostile work environment” in her resignation letter."
For background: the quote is from a story Joe Vardon did on the resignation of two staffers to Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. The other person referenced in the quote was the Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff.
I did not major in journalism and mass communications, but I did take a couple of classes while I was in college. Just based on the entry level classes I took, a quote like "citing an unhealthy hostile work environment” would probably tip you to ask some follow-up questions. Both Joe and Henry have included in the quote in stories they wrote. But they don't seem interested in finding out any more. I don't know where Joe went to school. I do know Henry attended Youngstown State. These must be pretty crappy schools of journalism based on some of the crappy work these two do. Do they offer courses like "Biased Journalism 101"? Apparently so.
This is the kind of story that would be intolerable if these people were Democrats. Their pictures would be on the front page of both the Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch. There'd be no excuse for Mary Taylor not to know where her chief of staff was.
If Mary Taylor's chief of staff wasn't in the office and neither was the assistant to the chief of staff, how on earth could Mary Taylor have known what was really going on in that office? Does this go on in the Department of Insurance? What other offices are managed this way? These are question you'd think a person with a journalism degree would ask. But when you've graduated from Youngstown State and wherever Joe Vardon "graduated" from - - apparently you don't.
Henry Gomez, a "reporter" employed by the Plain Dealer (or NEOMG), but an obvious campaigner for the Republican ticket of John Kasich/Mary Taylor for governor, has already begun counter-spinning the negative press they received late Friday. The negative news concerned the resignation of Mary Taylor's chief of staff and an administrative assistant for fudging time records. The story was not released by any major news outlet, but by a left-leaning blog, Plunderbund.com. (link: www.plunderbund.com) Within hours Henry Gomez set out to soften the blow of the story. Let's have a look at Henry's spin shall we...
Henry starts his article off with this...
"CLEVELAND, Ohio – It's an election year, so the resignation of Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor's chief of staff – announced Friday afternoon in a time slot often reserved for the dumping of less-than-favorable news – will stir political consequences."
Translation: let's not get too worked up about this people. It's an election year and these things happen. If Henry wasn't biased, he'd be able to understand that it is a bit odd the chief of staff to the Lt. Governor had to resign for fudging time sheets. It doesn't happen that often. I'm sure if this was a Democrat Henry would write that the person was "stealing the public's money", or something like that.
Henry then writes...
"Republicans will argue that Taylor acted decisively and transparently. She discovered irregularities between Laura Johnson's time sheets and parking records as Taylor's office was gathering documents in response to a public-records request from the left-leaning blog Plunderbund."
Once again two of Ohio's most prominent political "reporters" fail to break another story. The reason why they failed? Because the story involved Republicans, and they love Republicans.
The story involved the resignations of Ohio Lt. Governor's chief of staff and an administrative assistant. It was broken by Plunderbund. (www.plunderbund.com). The reason for the resignations was because the two were billing state time while working on the Lt. Governor/Governor's re-election campaign. The complete story can be found here: http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/06/06/plunderbund-record-request-results...
There have been whispers for years that staff members of the Kasich/Taylor administration campaign while on state time. When Kasich overthrew the Ohio GOP chairmanship by getting state committee people loyal to him elected. there were several complaints that his staff campaigned on state time. Was that ever investigated? Nope.
Gomez and Vardon will no doubt take this story to not look further into Republicans, but to attack Democrats. You can mark those words. So we'll never really know how wide-spread this is in the administration. It's another story that won't get reported, because there is a fix in by the Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch to get Kasich/Taylor re-elected. And those two couldn't be happier that Gomez and Vardon are at the helm for reporting.
That's a message that many on the right just haven't gotten yet — you know, the ones that want "their" country "back," meaning the one that belonged to straight, white, affluent males and not much of anyone else.
Unfortunately, in some ways we still ARE that country, and in the ways that we are, we are weaker. While Republicans have grasped onto the latest fake "scandal" like someone dying of thirst in a desert — seriously, can you believe that these "worship the military" types have decided to destroy the reputation of a POW just to hurt Obama? They really do not care about this country — the desperate needs of working people, especially women, are going unheard or worse, scoffed at by them.
That's why Nancy Pelosi and some other Democratic congresswomen are doing their "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds" bus tour, which hit Cleveland Tuesday. A stage was set up in the back parking lot of the SEIU building downtown where about 200 women (and some men) of all ages waited for the bus to arrive, carrying minority leader Pelosi, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and Columbus Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. Cuyahoga County's two congresswomen, Marcia Fudge and Marcy Kaptur, were waiting to great them (Marcia even led a little line dancing to keep the group entertained).
To block shit like this:
Ohio might make it illegal for insurance to cover abortions, even in cases of rape, incest and when pregnancy threatens a mother’s life.
The first hearing for House Bill 351 was held yesterday.
The only exception allowed in the bill, which would affect all insurance policies that cover Ohioans, is in cases of ectopic, or tubal, pregnancies.
Sponsored by a loathsome sociopath out of suburban Cincinnati (Clermont County, of COURSE) named John Becker, this bill would prohibit Ohio women from spending their OWN money to purchase insurance coverage for a LEGAL medical procedure that in many cases is necessary to save their lives and in almost all cases is essential for them to maintain any decent quality of life. Way to get government out of people’s lives!
The naked hatred of women in this legislature is off the charts. There’s no way they can credibly punt to “preborn babies” anymore, because this same crew has done everything it can to destroy quality of life for Ohio’s children.
And while Becker included a provision stating that the bill doesn’t ban birth control pills, he is VERY clear that it bans IUDs because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg which he thinks is equivalent to abortion.
“This is just a personal view. I’m not a medical doctor,” Becker said.
Isn’t it nice to have women’s medical choices decided by the “personal view” of a raging misogynist without a medical background who pretends to have such deep reverence for a fertilized egg (we’re not even talking about a FETUS here) while abandoning too many of Ohio’s actual born children to a life of poverty and hopelessness?
While the obnoxious cheerleading goes on from the Plain Dealer and Henry Gomez to host the RNC in Cleveland, it's leading to some pretty ridiculous quotes. Take the following from an example...
— Cleveland 2016 RNC (@CLErnc) June 4, 2014
No, all of Ohio would not be behind them. In a state that has gone twice for the Democratic Presidential nominee and where John Kasich barely won in 2010, it's a pretty big mis-statement to say all of Ohio is behind them or wants this convention.
It's estimated that the area has to raise about $50 to $60 million to host the convention. Of that, most of the money will come from private sources. So how much is coming from public money? If this was the Democratic National Convention the Plain Dealer would probably report it down to the penny in an article designed to create outrage.
The Rah Rah that's currently going on for the Republicans is just a small taste of what it would be like if their convention was held in Cleveland. I wrote it before and I'll re-state it, people should oppose holding this convention. Blind support of it would be oxymoronic.
Not that it's a surprise. They were hardly going to endorse Kasich. But their endorsement helps bring the race to the attention of people around the country and maybe even bring in a few donations. Getting people to donate to these winnable races is one of their major goals.
And make no mistake — this race is winnable. So cease your whining and groaning. It's not going to be an EASY win. It's going to hinge on turnout. And our Republican legislature and our secretary of voter suppress ... I mean STATE ... Jon Husted have done everything in their power to discourage voting among groups most likely to vote for Democrats.
The endorsement says of Ed,
He's good on our issues, down the line. Incumbent Republican Gov. John Kasich is not. Down the line. On abortion, on worker's rights, on marriage equality, on voter suppression, these candidates are literally polar opposites.
...It looks that way. Plunderbund has the scoop starting with...
"The Cleveland School District is in the news this week as they are working to remove teachers who have received good evaluations while simultaneously expanding their contract with Teach For America. This contract expansion will replace these experienced and qualified teachers with untested, under-trained TFA corps members (who each come with a “finders fee” paid out to Teach For America which will total $400,000 in additional spending).
At the Cleveland School District Board of Education meeting this past Tuesday, hundreds of teachers gathered to protest these changes that caught these successful teachers off-guard."
The post also has remarks from the president of the Cleveland Teachers Union - - a very important read. Please click on the link for the entire story: http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/05/29/cleveland-schools-to-fire-quality-...
...The article doesn't have a "gotcha" headline either. From Cleveland.com...
"COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A cloak of secrecy surrounding JobsOhio makes it impossible to determine how effective it really is at job creation and whether it offers Ohioans a good return on their dollar, a new report argues."
Check the article out. It's actually an informative read.
Chris Schrimpf and other Ohio Republicans are trying to create a dust-up over a misstatement Ed FitzGerald made. The misstatement was line-item vetoing parts of legislation that can't be done. Ok...
John Kasich during his first few months in office arbitrarily gave away $2 million of the people's money on a whim. While he might have been trying to do a good thing, it's far from the protocol of how you're supposed to allocate money. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported:
"Gov. John Kasich Thursday out of nowhere offered state childrens’ hospitals $2 million – money that was not in the state budget he recently signed."
Talk about an amateur hour. Did John Kasich think he got elected king and he could give away money to whoever he wanted? Ed FitzGerald, since being elected to the second most powerful post in Ohio hasn't made a screw up like that.
Everyone's favorite Ohio ex-gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has done it again.
Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell on Tuesday linked the Isla Vista mass killings to marriage equality laws, which he claimed are destroying the culture.
Speaking with FRC president Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch,” Blackwell blamed the shooting on “the crumbling of the moral foundation of the country” and “the attack on natural marriage and the family.”
According to Blackwell, people are unfairly attacking the Second Amendment (the only one that exists in GOPland) and not addressing the root cause of such shootings: the moral decay caused by gay people.
Now, we know that the Family Research Council has been declared a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, primarily for their constant spreading of lies about LGBT people in order to "prove" what a menace to society they are.
The really menace to society? People like Ken Blackwell and Tony Perkins who are so obsessed with gay people they just won't shut up about them.
And you know what that means.
Ordinary straight guys don't get this worked up. They just go on their straight-guy way, checking out the women or hanging with their girlfriend. They don't seem to pop up on TV every week going on and on and on about the EVILS of The Gay.
It's always interesting to read the Plain Dealer staff subtly try to justify their biased actions.
Robert Higgs wrote an article yesterday about Plunderbund's (www.plunderbund.com) lawsuit to get a public records request filled. The suit was filed against the Kasich Administration. The lawsuit has gone all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. Robert Higgs' write up can be found here...
What I figured would happen when I first started reading the article would be a subtle transition to a public records request that the Plain Dealer made but has not been fulfilled by Ed FitzGerald's adminstration. I was not disappointed. Robert Higgs ends his article with the strange claim...
"FitzGerald's insistence on secrecy also comes as the Democrat is running for governor and frequently criticizing Kasich for the lack of transparency at JobsOhio, the state's privatized economic development agency."
Ed FitzGerald has frequently criticized Kasich for the lack of transparency at JobsOhio? When?
I've seen and heard Ed FitzGerald far more than Robert Higgs. I've never heard Ed, mention JobsOhio. I wish he would, because it's an abysmal agency that hasn't done anything it was promised it would. But I've never heard him mention it or have I read anything where he mentions it.
It's telling that Robert Higgs provides no links to any stories and no evidence to his claim. He just wants people to believe it, because it sounds about right. It's an odd twist that he seems to want people to naturally comport with. But really, is that what a "reporter" is supposed to be doing?
Henry. Henry, Henry; while I appreciated your responses on Twitter about the post on keycard data they completely miss the point. Not only that, but they seem to confirm that you're biased and looking to do a hit piece. Let's have a look shall we? Your response...
@OhioDaily I've been consistent on raising a fuss about unfulfilled records requests. See my OSU/Kvamme stories last year.
The people who brought Cuyahoga County Issue 7 a sin-tax renewal to maintain sports facilities in Cleveland, now want to bring them the Republican National Conventiion (RNC). That alone should give anyone living in the area pause. But perspective...
There's a calculus to where political parties hold their conventions. Surprise: they don't choose to hold their conventions in cities, because they think they're so cool. They pick the cities and areas where they don't expect to win, but want to make inroads. The cities are in states that parties feel are crucial for electoral votes. It's why the past the RNC has been held in New York City (2004), Minneapolis (2008), and Tampa Bay (2012). What they get by holding their conventions in these places is a three to four day commercial for themselves - none stop media buzz. There's always a positive spike for the party's candidate after a convention.
Seeing as to how Cuyahoga County with Cleveland has helped win the state for Democrats in the last two presidential election cycles, it's no wonder why Republicans want to hold their convention there. If they can just get a few more votes, a few more people to flip, it might be enough to finally win the state.
It's ridiculous to hear anyone in the area, especially Democrats, say they are excited about the prospects of hosting a convention. They'll cite all the money that could flow into the area as a reason for their support, but that is such a short-sighted view. And the economic benefit is grossly overrated. If Republicans actually do get one of their nutjobs into office those four days of hosting could turn into four years (or more) of total grief. Republicans, with their brilliant ideas like the Ryan Budget and wonderful comments along the lines that people in the big cities don't work, could really screw Clevelanders. You've already seen how great the Republican Party has been to cities at the state level - - starving them for cash.
There's an ongoing question in politics as to if campaign contributions are actually buying influence on politicians. In the case of Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci, it's looking like the answer is yes. Multiple news sources began detailing a federal lawsuit where a campaign contributor orchestrated giving over $100,000 in return for political favors from the two. From the Akron Beacon Journal...
"Prosecutors in the upcoming federal trial of Stark County businessman Benjamin Suarez are seeking to introduce evidence that, if allowed, could lead to the issuing of subpoenas to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel.
In a pretrial motion filed this week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, prosecutors say the evidence will show that Suarez had access to and sought favorable treatment from two “powerful elected officials” leading up to the 2012 general election.
The government’s motion specifically names Renacci, a Republican from Wadsworth, and left no doubt that the other public official is Mandel, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate two years ago."
Link to full article: http://www.ohio.com/news/local/renacci-mandel-could-be-called-to-testify...
And from Cleveland.com...
"New documents filed in federal court this week accuse North Canton businessman Ben Suarez of enlisting Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to help him end an expensive legal battle in California, and of orchestrating a cover-up of illegal campaign contributions to the U.S. Senate candidate."
Link to full article: http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2014/05/north_canton_di...
Both Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci are up for re-election this year. One would think the public should have this information to help them decide if they want to re-elect them or not.
Henry Gomez supposedly a politics "report" for the Cleveland Plain Dealer has been on a bit of a nutty rant. He's been obsessed with obtaining keycard data for Ed FitzGerald. It's presumed he wants this information, because he believes it will tell him when Ed FitzGerald is in county offices and when he is not. This presumption is not necessarily true.
When I got out of college I worked for a major company in the area. The top executives were all over the place. They travelled nationally and internationally. There were many times their cars were parked in the parking deck for two or three days straight. They were technically swiped in, but they weren't in the offices. Other times they'd get to the offices by a personal driver service so they were never swiped in.
Ed FitzGerald holds the second most powerful elected office in Ohio. It would be appropriate to believe he has to be a lot of different places. I'm sure there are many days he doesn't start by driving into the office. I'm sure there are many days John Kasich doesn't start by being driven into the governor's office by his security detail. Throwing out a hypothetical, Ed FitzGerald might drive into the county offices one day, leave them later on for meetings in another car, get picked up by campaign staff after hours for events and be dropped off at home. This happens with political officials. It's reality. Do you really think Ed FitzGerald drives himself everywhere? Do you really think Frank Jackson drives himself around? Do any of the statewide office holders drive themselves anywhere? Do any of our Federal Representatives?
Maybe they're waiting for a thank you call from Josh Mandel for not reporting the following. Or maybe they'll get a letter. Other news sources seemed to think it is important. The following was covered in morning political talk shows. But it's not covered by Henry of Joe. It's strange, because these two have a history of breaking stories like this and staying on top of them. Oh wait, no they don't.
"Renacci, Mandel could be called to testify at federal trial of Suarez
Prosecutors in the upcoming federal trial of Stark County businessman Benjamin Suarez are seeking to introduce evidence that, if allowed, could lead to the issuing of subpoenas to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel.
In a pretrial motion filed this week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, prosecutors say the evidence will show that Suarez had access to and sought favorable treatment from two “powerful elected officials” leading up to the 2012 general election."
Click here for the complete story from the Akron Beacon Journal: http://www.ohio.com/news/local/renacci-mandel-could-be-called-to-testify...