Friday, October 02, 2015

Forkin The Road Report on Boehner, ORP, and the Tea Party


Most interesting tidbit:

When the Tea Party first arrived on the scene in 2009, I was given the un-glorious task of identifying exactly what the Tea Party was, who they were, what they wanted and then devising a recommended plan of action on the best way to handle the new group. 
I was told, and rightly so, that political leaders in other states and in D.C. were watching Ohio in particular to see how the GOP was handling this new group. 
I put together a nice report outlining who the group was, what they wanted and then made recommendations on the best way to handle the Tea Party. 
Many party leaders, and consequently then members of the media, wanted to incorrectly label the movement as just born-again members of the John Birch Society, or a vast uprising of only social conservatives, or the born-again version of the Know-Nothings, or paid puppets of Dick Armey. 
I tried to explain that there was no reference point in history that could be used to define the Tea Party – it was a unique mix of solidly principled people that consisted of not just Republicans, but Democrats and Independents as well. 
My advice was to make them feel as though they had a seat at the table, make them feel welcomed and that they had a voice that was not only listened to, but considered and sometimes acted upon. 
I advised against the eventual tactic, which was to not only defeat the Republican Tea Partiers, but utterly destroy any future hopes of political success by absolutely crushing them in the 2010 primaries. 
The term used by people on the inside to describe the eventual plan was ‘scorched-earth tactics’

The last sentence was emphasized by me because it is just that important.

Read the whole thing to find out what happened next because this guy called it...just as I did.

Boehner Circus Update


  • Sheriff Richard "Spotlight" Jones - Out
  • Bill Coley - Out
  • Tim Derickson - Term limited in Ohio House - "I in no way could have anticipated this possibility, but now that it is an open seat, I'm seriously considering a run for that seat."
  • Ross MacGregor - "Some people label me 'liberal.' I prefer 'moderate."
  • Kieth Faber - Lives outside the district - "A spokesman for Faber declined to comment."
  • Wes Retherford - "I really haven't had a chance to collect my thoughts."
  • Seth Morgan - "I don't know if I'm ready to say one way or the other."
  • Chris Widener
  • Steve Austria

Spotlight is Out

Just caught this on Facebook:

A message from Sheriff Jones...
With the sudden resignation of the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, I was asked by a number of people to run for his seat in Congress. Over the last week I’ve discussed this proposition with many of my trusted friends and family. I’ve been fortunate to receive an enormous amount of support from citizens in and around Butler County. With Congress having an overall approval rating of about 15% they could use someone like me who’s willing to speak their mind and stir things up.
My passion has always been serving my County and Country. I’ve decided that, right now, the best way to do that is to remain Sheriff. Someday my future may take a different path, but I’m extremely proud to be Sheriff of Butler County and I truly appreciate the outpouring of support I’ve received over the years and specifically the last few weeks.
Richard K. Jones
Sheriff, Butler County, Ohio

I guess there wasn't enough publicity in it...

Roger Reynolds is the best candidate anyway...

Thursday, October 01, 2015

STATEMENT: Senate President Faber on College Affordability and Efficiency

COLUMBUS - Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) issued the following statement in response to the report released today by the Governor's Task Force on College Affordability and Efficiency: 

"I'm encouraged by the work this task force was able to accomplish in identifying opportunities for our universities and colleges to reduce costs for students.

"College affordability continues to be a major priority of the Ohio Senate, and these recommendations today reflect the commitment of both university and legislative leadership to relieve the financial burden of a college tuition through increased efficiency and productivity in our institutions.

"I appreciate the time, expertise and focus that my fellow task force members devoted to this study. I look forward to working with our colleges and universities as we review and implement changes to help our students obtain an affordable, quality education and be successful as they enter the workforce."

RELEASE: AFP Applauds OH on RPS Freeze Recommendation

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio chapter of Americans for Prosperity is applauding state officials for announcing today that they recommend extending the freeze of its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) indefinitely. The organization has consistently opposed these mandates at the state level that require utilities to buy certain amounts of their electricity from economically unviable electricity sources that are unaffordable and unreliable. The result for Ohio and other states has been higher electricity prices, which squeeze family budgets and kill jobs. 

AFP-Ohio State Director Baylor Myers released the following statement: 

"We're thrilled that Ohio is continuing to lead the way in rethinking these harmful energy mandates, and that state officials have recognized the relief this freeze is bringing to the families and businesses living in our state. This is an important step toward restoring free markets in the energy sector, and I hope Ohio's actions inspire other states to push back against misguided attempts to pick winners and losers among energy sources." 

In 2014, Governor John Kasich signed the freeze of the 2008 RPS mandate into law, giving officials a two-year window to study its effect on utility prices. Yesterday, Kasich backtracked and said that extending the freeze is ‘unacceptable,’ despite his administration characterizing the original freeze as “firmly in the sensible center.” 
A spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity said the group will continue to advocate for a free market in the energy sector, allowing for affordable, abundant energy solutions in Ohio and across the country.

RELEASE: State Representative Mike Dovilla Announces Candidacy for Ohio Senate

COLUMBUS, OHIO—State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today announced his candidacy to serve as state senator for the 24th Ohio Senate District, comprised of 28 suburban communities in Cuyahoga County, during the 132nd General Assembly.

“For nearly five years, I have been honored to serve the people of Cuyahoga County in the Legislature,” said Dovilla.  “Throughout the summer numerous community leaders and constituents have asked if I would consider continuing to work on their behalf by seeking our district’s Senate seat.  I am humbled by their strong support and enter this race with great confidence we will earn that opportunity.”
Rep. Dovilla, a lifelong Republican and the House Majority Whip, is currently serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives.  As a state legislator who has authored more than a dozen laws and quickly risen through the ranks since arriving in the Legislature, he possesses a wealth of policy experience and a proven record of results as a public servant.  Dovilla has previously served as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a senior advisor to U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich, and a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State.
Additionally, Dovilla has a distinguished military career and is an officer in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Navy.  A lieutenant commander with more than 13 years of commissioned service, he served on active duty on a 12-month deployment in Iraq in 2007-2008.  He currently serves as a department head with a unit supporting U.S. European Command.  As a qualified Information Dominance Warfare Officer, his awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.

“My top five priorities in the Legislature remain those on which I first ran for office in 2010, areas where we continue to make measurable progress,” said Dovilla.  “If given the opportunity to continue my public service in the Ohio Senate, I will stay focused on strengthening our state’s business-friendly environment for job creation, promoting strong public education, protecting our senior citizens, advocating for veterans, and reforming state government.”
In the current legislative session, Rep. Dovilla is sponsoring several additional pieces of common sense legislation, including the following measures:
  • House Bill 2 substantially reforms Ohio’s charter school framework by clarifying roles and responsibilities, improving transparency, and increasing accountability.  The bill passed the House by a supermajority in March and is slated for final passage in the near future.
  • House Bill 24, the “Ohio Elder Justice Act,” strengthens Adult Protective Service statutes for the first time in over two decades, helping to protect some of the most vulnerable members of society from abuse, exploitation, and neglect.  The bill unanimously passed the House in March.
  • House Bill 46, “Open Ohio,” which increases transparency by requiring the Ohio Treasurer of State to establish the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database that includes information about expenditures state entities make.  The bill unanimously passed the House in April.
Since arriving in the Legislature in January 2011, Rep. Dovilla has helped lead Ohio’s comeback, voting for three fiscally conservative, balanced budgets that have cut working Ohioans’ taxes by $5 billion, supporting major reforms to the state’s economic development structure, and streamlining the regulatory environment to help promote private sector job creation.  These pro-growth public policy initiatives have helped reduce Ohio’s unemployment rate from 9.6 percent to 4.7 percent, spur the creation of over 350,000 net new private sector jobs, and replenish the state’s budget stabilization fund from 89 cents to $2 billion.
The 24th Ohio Senate District is comprised of 28 communities in Cuyahoga County – Bay Village, Bentleyville, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Chagrin Falls Township, Fairview Park, Gates Mills, Glenwillow, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Independence, Lyndhurst, Mayfield, Moreland Hills, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Oakwood, Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township, Rocky River, Seven Hills, Solon, Strongsville, Valley View, Walton Hills, Westlake, and Berea – Rep. Dovilla’s hometown.

Preacher John (Kasich) the Green Opposes Republicans on Energy

Hours after the Ohio legislature published their recommendations about renewable energy mandates,  new "grassroots" organization called the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum launched, calling for "a genuine 'all of the above' approach to Ohio’s energy policy – one that recognizes our history while also committing to advancing clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency."

Its chairman? Kasich for Ohio state director and former Columbus Chamber of Commerce lobbyist and former Kasich staffer Michael Hartley.

Its "state energy director"? Former Kasich office and campaign intern Tyler Duvelius.

Their "
regulatory affairs, public policy, federal and state politics, and grassroots organization advisor? Kasich appointee and campaigner Mike Gonidakis.

Who's Terry McClure? Just the president of Northwest Ohio Wind LLC, a company that directly benefits from green-energy power mandates. And a Kasich campaigner.

Tom Moe? Another Kasich state appointee and ex-campaign surrogate.

Now, why is Team Kasich opposing the green-energy freeze recommendation?

“A continued freeze of Ohio’s energy standards is unacceptable and we stand willing to work with the Ohio General Assembly to craft a bill that supports a diverse mix of reliable, low-cost energy sources while preserving the gains we have made in the state’s economy,” Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said in an email.
“Ohio needs more renewable and alternative-energy sources and it needs a strong system to support them as they get started,” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in an email.

The website,, is registered to Steiner Public Relations, owned by Ohio GOP PR guy and Kasich backer Curt Steiner.

Lots of things bother me about this.

First of all, the "all of the above" approach wasn't designed to be employed as a way to save "green" energy.  It was thought of as a way to protect the coal, natural gas and oil industries FROM the green lobby.

Second, the name of the organization implies that in order to be "conservative" you have to agree with John Kasich's position on energy.  I don't.  But I'm FAR more conservative than he is on a good many issues, including this one.

Lastly, why not just be honest with people.  This is a Team Kasich front.  If Preacher John wanted to make this an issue, why doesn't he just come out and say so?  We all know that the Speaker (and his three "unnamed" state representatives who vetoed me) will fall right in line with whatever he wants, so let's just skip the cloak and dagger and get on with it already.

RELEASE: Ohio House Passes Bill to Designate “Blue Star Mothers and Families Day”

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation honoring military families and their loved ones for the sacrifices they make for our nation. House Bill 242, sponsored by Reps. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) and Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira), designates the fourth Sunday of July as “Blue Star Mothers and Families Day.”

The legislation was derived from the Blue Star Mothers of America organization, which has more than 6,000 members and 200 chapters across the country, with 15 chapters in Ohio alone. The non-profit is known for supporting patriotism and providing outreach to the mothers, stepmothers, and other maternal figures who have children serving in the military.

"I am honored to pass this bill on behalf of every Blue Star Mother and Family in House District 50. It is a special honor to recognize and celebrate the endless dedication and sacrifice that these mothers, families and active military servants make on behalf of all Ohioans and Americans,” said Rep. Hagan. “It is only fitting that we should take a day each year, specifically named in this bill to be the fourth Sunday of every July, to appreciate the history and contributions of such selfless servants, giving all to advance our freedoms and to allow us to raise our families without fear due to the time spent away from their own families."

Through the committee process, House Bill 242 was changed to include entire families of those who serve in the military rather than just mothers and other female guardians. Thus, under the legislation, the fourth Sunday of July would recognize all family members who sacrifice time with their loved ones while they serve our nation.

“Blue Star Mothers and families have gone above and beyond to honor our brave service men and women and they deserve our collective thanks and recognition,” said Rep. Dever.

House Bill 242 was passed unanimously by the House and will now head to the Senate for consideration.

RELEASE: Ohio House Passes Health Care Compact

COLUMBUS—During today’s session, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that, with approval from Congress, would give Ohio more freedom and flexibility over its healthcare policies.
House Bill 34, sponsored by Reps. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) and Terry Boose (R-Norwalk), ratifies the Health Care Compact., through which Ohio would enter a multi-state contract that would secure more rights to the states for healthcare policy decisions. The measure is a response to rising costs and deficits, as well as the increased federal overreach into health care. If signed into law by Governor Kasich and approved by the US Congress, the Compact allows Ohio to suspend the operation of all federal laws and regulations that are inconsistent with Ohio laws adopted through the Compact. Should Congress approve the Compact, however, it would still be up to the state legislature whether to change Ohio’s healthcare policy, as well as what those specific changes would be.
“This bill is a great first step to get  healthcare decisions back in the hands of state government, and we will continue to work to make sure Ohioans will have control over their healthcare decisions,” Boose said.
Under the legislation, Ohio would receive federal funding to support health coverage each fiscal year. The amount of funding would be determined based on the estimated level of federal funding used for health care, which would be updated periodically based on population and inflation.
“For years, we have heard the complaints about the ACA,” Retherford said. “We have also seen attempt after attempt to repeal the ACA, but with no back up plan. Ohio, along with several other states, has taken the lead on finding a suitable replacement to the Federal control of our healthcare system.  By returning these dollars to the states, we can start working on state-by-state reform that will best serve our constituents. I want to thank my colleagues in supporting my efforts to find a solution to our healthcare crisis. Ohioans are demanding actions, not just words, and today the Ohio House took that step.”
The Health Care Compact included a set of core principles, inspired by the goals of personal freedom and federalism. The principles include:
  • The separation of powers, both between the branches of the federal government and between federal and state authority, is essential to the preservation of individual liberty
  • The Constitution creates a federal government of limited and enumerated powers, and reserves to the states or to the people those powers not granted to the federal government
  • The member states seek to protect individual liberty and personal control over healthcare decisions, and believe the best method to achieve these ends is by vesting regulatory authority over health care in the states
House Bill 34 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

BUCKEYE INSTITUTE: Energy Mandates Study Committee Recommends Indefinite Freeze

COLUMBUS, OHIO--The Buckeye Institute's energy policy expert today praised a special legislative committee's recommendation that the General Assembly indefinitely freeze Ohio's renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates.
However, the free market think tank expressed serious concern about Gov. John Kasich's statement that he might not support the recommended freeze on the alternative energy mandates, also known as Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.
"Ohioans would experience higher energy prices and weaker economic growth if these mandates remain," said Joe Nichols, the Institute's William & Helen Diehl Energy and Transparency Fellow.  "The government should not be picking winners and losers, which hurts Ohioans who can afford it the least -- poor and middle class families, minorities, and those who live on fixed incomes.  Reintroducing mandates also makes it more difficult for companies to create jobs in Ohio."
On the governor's indication that he may not support the committee's recommended indefinite freeze, Robert Alt, President and CEO of The Buckeye Institute, said: "We shouldn't return to the policy mistakes of the Strickland administration by embracing another costly government mandate."
The energy mandates force Ohio utilities to buy increasing amounts of renewable energy and implement energy efficiency programs.  The bipartisan, bicameral Energy Mandates Study Committee heard testimony from The Buckeye Institute about how these mandates negatively impact the state's economy and energy production.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today in the Ohio Senate

Today in the Ohio Senate
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Senate will consider the following during today’s session (1:30 p.m.): 
  • Protecting Kids with Asthma: Substitute House Bill 39, sponsored by Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Anthony DeVitis (R-Green), prepares staff to respond in the event that a child has an asthma attack by permitting schools to stock inhalers and allows trained personnel to respond.
  • Safeguarding Victims of Domestic Violence: Following an Ohio Supreme Court decision, SB 76 was introduced by Senators Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), to better protect victims of domestic violence by clarifying Ohio law to permit the prosecution of offenders who had actual notice of a protection order and recklessly violated the terms of the order. 
  • Raising Awareness about Asthma: Sponsored by Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) Senate Bill 124 designates May as "Asthma Awareness Month" and May 5 as "Childhood Asthma Awareness Day". According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma affects 20 million Americans. Asthma is a chronic, incurable disease that can be serious—even life-threatening.
  • Raising Awareness about Bartter Syndrome: Senate Bill 128, sponsored by Senators Capri Cafaro (D-Hubbard) and Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), designates May 30 as "Bartter Syndrome Awareness Day". Bartter Syndrome is a rare disorder that affects the kidneys, causing an imbalance of potassium, sodium, chloride and other substances in the body. The incurable disease can result in premature birth and other life-threatening circumstances.

RELEASE: Energy Mandates Study Committee Releases Report

COLUMBUS—State Representative Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), co-chair of the Energy Mandates Study Committee, today released the report on the committee, which outlines its findings and recommendations.

Rep. Roegner released the following statement regarding the report:

“I’m happy today to present the report on the findings and recommendations from the Energy Mandates Study Committee, which is the result of testimony from experts and Ohio citizens, in-depth research on the topic of government energy mandates, and thorough discussion regarding best practices for energy policy.

The findings indicate various recommendations for how the legislature can assist in continuing on the most cost-effective pathway for Ohio ratepayers, and I look forward to furthering the conversation with my colleagues in the House and Senate to see what legislation could be possible as a result of these findings.”

The committee was created through Substitute Senate Bill 310 of the 130th General Assembly. Consisting of a bipartisan panel of members from both the House and Senate, and the chairperson of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), the study committee was tasked with studying Ohio’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction mandates enacted into law by Amended Substitute Senate Bill 221 of the 127th General Assembly.

Cincinnayton: Regionalism in My Backyard

I'm not sure what to make of this WDTN report about "merging" Cincinnati with Dayton.  I guess I'd have to actually hear more about what is actually being proposed; but generally speaking, I'm opposed to mergers of cities of this size.

Government, at all levels, is about the consolidation of power.  When concentrated, power of this magnitude can be corrupted much more easily.  Accountability becomes a quick victim of bureaucracy.  Incompetence and graft becomes commonplace.  And the ordinary citizen just becomes a number, a statistic in a game of politics.

In smaller municipalities, mergers like this can be of benefit.  If services are improved while cost is maintained or lowered, then a move like this makes sense.

None of that is likely in this scenario.

I'm not sure what Dayton is trying to do.  They have also been pushing county-wide regionalism efforts.  The message I take from this is that Dayton government is desperate to find a way to divert attention from something.  Whatever it is, it's bad.

Put me down in the "Against It" column until we learn more...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Boehner Circus

The List (via Cincinnati Enquirer) is long and getting longer...

  • Sheriff Richard "Spotlight" Jones - Get serious...
  • Bill Coley - The former state representative topped insiders' lists for who might run...He didn't respond Friday to requests for comment."
  • Tim Derickson - Term limited in Ohio House - "I in no way could have anticipated this possibility, but now that it is an open seat, I'm seriously considering a run for that seat."
  • Ross MacGregor - "Some people label me 'liberal.' I prefer 'moderate."
  • Kieth Faber - Lives outside the district - "A spokesman for Faber declined to comment."
  • J.D. Winteregg - "I'm not afraid to confront people on different issues, and that's what the Republican Party needs."
  • Wes Retherford - "I really haven't had a chance to collect my thoughts."
  • Seth Morgan - "I don't know if I'm ready to say one way or the other."
  • Chris Widener
  • Bill Beagle - Just announced he's in today.
  • Roger Reynolds - "At this point, that's not something I'm prepared to talk about." - 9/30 UPDATE: He's in.  Everybody else should drop out.  This is the guy!
  • Joe Deters - Lives outside the district - "No chance"
  • Not in the Enquirer article, but heard elsewhere: Steve Austria
Even though it is not a requirement for Congressman to live in the districts they represent,. I --and many people who still live in the district-- prefer that they do.  That will eliminate a few from the list.

Keep an eye on Coley.  Once he makes his decision, that will determine who stays and who goes.

I fully expect the Ohio Republican Party to try and push Faber on to the scene.  Expect the people in the district to tell the party to get bent.  Pound sand.  Go away.  But they'll try it anyway.

Derickson should get in because after having developed so far as a legislator, it would be a shame to waste the talent.

Spotlight and Winteregg will provide all of the comedy...

I picked a fabulous time to return to blogging......

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Downside to DeWine's War on Prescription Pills

There is an article in the Washington Post in which Attorney General Mike DeWine says,
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R), whose office has focused on the heroin epidemic, said he was astonished at how easily pill addicts made the switch.“There used to be some psychological barrier to heroin,” DeWine said. “That barrier is gone today.”
I don't know what the number is, but I suspect the number is a lot higher than the AG's office would care to admit; there are people who had to switch to heroin because of efforts to hamper illegal distribution of prescription drugs that effected and affected patients with legitimate need to control their pain.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud the AG for dealing with an out of control problem, but I fear that in the zealousness and righteousness of taking prescription drugs off the streets we may have gone too far and pushed people who would otherwise have stayed with their doctor's planned prescriptions on to illegal narcotics.

The article is about trafficking, but DeWine's point was important enough that I felt compelled to speak about.  Maybe I'm wrong about this entirely or not at all, I don't know; but it sure would be reassuring to hear from our government that they are at least aware of the problem of their own causing.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform in Ohio

Those of you who have been following my "Blogging for Dollars" exploits for the Heartland Institute know that I have written about this topic quite a bit.

This just in: "State Representative Robert McColley (R-Napoleon) will be holding a press conference tomorrow to discuss legislation he is introducing that will work to reform the process known as Civil Asset Forfeiture. Supported by various organizations such as FreedomWorks and the Justice Action Network, the bill would strengthen and clarify Ohio law to protect due process and individual property rights."

I look forward to learning more about this bill as the subject came up several times when I was trying to get in at the Ohio House before three "unnamed" state representatives told the Speaker that wasn't a good idea. 

This blog firmly stands with proper application of the law.  Due process is a vital protection against the tyranny of government. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Speaker of the House, My (Former) Congressman, and a Great American to Retire in October

By now, just about everybody has had the BREAKING NEWS that the Speaker of the House, my (former) Congressman, and a Great American, John Boehner, will be retiring at the end of October.

I choose to remember Boehner as the energetic guy with the drive to advance a conservative agenda to stop the Obama-Reid-Pelosi onslaught rather than the exhausted man he has become.

Boehner was the vanguard of the Republican comeback in Washington DC.  Before his selection as Speaker, Republicans (and conservatives) had NOTHING.  No place in government beyond being the minority in all three branches of government (because let's face it, conservatives don't even have the Supreme Court).

A lot of people gave him grief, even early on when Republicans controlled only one-half or one-third of government.  But I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  We needed the Senate to really get things done.  That's what the professional Republicans told us.  And a lot of us believed it.

Well, we got the Senate and still nothing happened.  And then those same professional Republicans said, "Now we need the White House to get stuff done."

I remember the last time Republicans ran the table.  We got higher taxes, more government, and the Big Tent.  A lot of us aren't buying what the professional Republicans are selling.

About this time is when I started noticing that Speaker Boehner seemed a bit tired.  Like, even he wasn't buying this stuff anymore. 

This is a good man who has had to deal with some of the worst American politics -- on both sides of the aisle -- has had to offer.  And for the most part, Boehner handled his duties with grace and humility.  Occasionally, a bad word or two.

In the end, for me, Boehner's legacy is best summed up in this video clip that I took before he became Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, thank you for your service to your nation, the great state of Ohio, and the Eighth District and may you enjoy your retirement.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

RELEASE: Rep. Brenner Applauds ODE's Adopting Changes As Suggested in His HB 74

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- State Representative Andrew O. Brenner (R-Powell) commends the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) today for their reduction of testing time for state assessments. Representative Brenner previously introduced House Bill 74, which called for the reduction of state tests and limiting the time to three hours per year per subject. Fortunately, the ODE has made adjustments that are very similar to those recommended by Representative Brenner in HB 74. Brenner has continued to push for the changes outlined in HB 74. 
Representative Brenner said he was "ecstatic" when he learned that the ODE was making changes that would mean testing lengths will be close to what he sought in HB 74. He noted that the ODE “is doing what they need to be doing” in order to remedy the problems with testing lengths. 

HB 74 was introduced on February 19, 2015, well before the testing hour reduction announcement recently made by the ODE. Representative Brenner has been on record urging the administration and the ODE to remedy the issues with PARCC, the length of state assessments, and other policy issues. 
ODE announced in July the elimination of the PARCC assessments, another policy Representative Brenner has been supporting through legislation. He welcomes "the positive policy changes at ODE" and looks forward to continuing to work with the leaders at ODE to encourage necessary adjustments.

"Unnammed" St. Rep Brinkman Drags Out Right to Work Again

Right to Work legislation is something that would actually be good for Ohio; so yes, I agree in principle with "Unnamed" State Representative Tom Brinkman on the need for it.

What I question is the timing.

We have a governor who won't sign it and claims we don't need.

The Ohio Senate might as well be run by Democrats that's how liberal and under the influence of unions they are.

What possible outcome could Brinkman expect to come of this?

Could it be ego?

Speaker Boehner on Pope Francis’ Address to Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – Speaker John Boehner (R-West Chester) today welcomed Pope Francis to the United States Capitol, where he became the first Pope to ever address a joint meeting of Congress.  After the Pope’s visit, Boehner issued the following statement:

“What a day.  What a moment for our country.  I’m so proud that so many came to greet the Pope here at our Capitol, the world’s greatest symbol of democracy.  The Holy Father’s visit is surely a blessing for all of us.  With great blessings, of course, come great responsibility.  Let us all go forth with gratitude and reflect on how we can better serve one another.  Let us all go forth and live up to the words, God bless America.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WIDENER: Wright State University to Host First 2016 Presidential Debate

COLUMBUS - State Senator Chris Widener (R-Springfield) today applauded the Commission on Presidential Debates for selecting Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio as the host for the first 2016 presidential debate. The debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26, 2016 at the Wright State Nutter Center.

"The road to the White House runs through Ohio and there is no better place than Wright State to kick off the presidential debate," said Widener.
Senator Widener delivered the news during a special point of privilege on the floor of the Ohio Senate today. 
The Dayton area is home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, which is one of the largest bases in the nation, making the Dayton area home to countless veterans. Wright State recently opened the Veterans and Military Center which houses the newly created Aerospace Professional Development Center. 
"We are extremely proud that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has chosen Ohio and Wright State as the location for the first presidential debate," added Widener. "Congratulations to Dr. Hopkins and his team at Wright State University on sharing Ohio's story and providing a great venue."
The CPD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation. They have sponsored all general election presidential debates since 1988.

RELEASE: Ohio Republican Party Statement on Wright State Hosting First Presidential Debate

Following the reports that Wright State University will host the first general election presidential debate next September, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges released the following statement:

"Every President elected since 1964 has won Ohio.  There is no question that our state is the bellwether for presidential elections.  Our state was proud to host the first republican presidential primary debate and we're excited to hear that Ohio will also be hosting the first general election debate.  As Ohio goes, so goes the nation."

RELEASE: Faber Announces Effort to Redirect Taxpayer Dollars Away from Abortion Providers

COLUMBUS - Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) announced today the introduction of legislation that would divert public funding away from any entity associated with performing non-therapeutic abortions in Ohio.

This legislation follows recently released videos that show officials at Planned Parenthood seeking to profit off of the sale of body parts of unborn children. The investigation, initiated by the Center for Medical Progress, displayed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of body parts from unborn babies as well as describing the process in which body parts could be harvested once a deal was agreed upon.

"The recent developments regarding Planned Parenthood are disturbing and quite frankly inexcusable," said Faber. "The practices outlined in these videos are not only reprehensible but also illegal under Ohio law, and this bill will ensure that public money is not funding such activities."

The proposed legislation would divert public funds in Ohio away from entities that:
  1. Perform non-therapeutic abortions
  2. Promote non-therapeutic abortions
  3. Have a contract with any entity that performs or promotes non-therapeutic abortions
  4. Become or continue to be an affiliate of any entity that performs or promotes non-therapeutic abortions
The state of Ohio gave $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood alone in 2014. Pending passage of this legislation, this funding could be diverted to the more than 300 alternative health care providers in Ohio as well as the 50 Community Action Agencies across the state.

"It is our intention to use these public funds to provide family planning services and comprehensive healthcare to women and children in Ohio," said Faber.

The FY 2016-17 state budget sustained funding to vital women's health services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings at alternative clinics that to do not provide abortions. Currently, none of the twenty-five Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio provide prenatal care or mammograms. According to Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report, 94% of their services to pregnant women are abortions.

Michigan Defeats Ohio and Other Job News

At, Jason Hart points out that Ohio is now lagging behind Michigan in job growth.

Also at, Maggie Thurber points out that Ohio's unemployment numbers aren't telling the whole story. Apparently, when you take in to account the number of Ohioans who have dropped out of the work force (given up on finding a job here), things aren't looking all that great. There were more people working in Ohio in June than in August. Think about that...

My reaction to all of this is that with a record like this the governor of this great state really ought to seriously consider running for President of the United States......

Today in the Ohio Senate

The Senate will consider the following during today’s session (1:30 p.m.):

Urging Disapproval of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 9 to urge Congress to vote against President Obama's proposed Iranian nuclear agreement. Beyond security concerns, the proposed agreement includes coercive language that may compel state and local officials to change their policies in order to satisfy the new relationship between the United States and Iran.

Administering an Efficient Justice System: House Bill 11, sponsored by Representative Andrew Brenner (R-Powell), seeks to create a judgeship to the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, which currently has two judges. Delaware County has nearly doubled in population over the last 25 years. The growing population requires additional services from the county, including an additional judgeship to focus on domestic relations.

Raising Awareness about Breast Cancer: Sponsored by Representatives Al Landis (R-Dover) and Nan Baker (R-Westlake), House Bill 93 permits motorcycles to apply for a “Breast Cancer Awareness” license plate.

Honoring Astronaut Neil Armstrong: Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) sponsored Senate Bill 131, which designates a stretch of State Route 123 within Warren County as the Neil Armstrong Memorial Highway.

Supporting Baseball for All: Senate Bill 159, sponsored by Senator Jim Hughes (R-Columbus), designates a "Baseball for All" license plate with proceeds from each purchased plate going to the Grove City Little League Dream Field Fund. Dream Field allows people with special needs, including those who use wheelchairs and walkers, to be able to access and use the field.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ohio's Online Checkbook for Local Government

Friend of WMD, Gary Lewis, the Auditor of the City of Hillsboro, has begun participation in a program that State Treasurer Josh Mandel started that posts local government spending online. It's the sort of transparency that government should be scrutinized by the public. Politicians ought to desire this level of openness and the taxpaying public ought to demand it.

Local government can be the worst for corruption and bad fiscal policy. By posting financial transactions, governments -- and politicians -- can be held accountable for their fiscal condition. Mandel's willingness to spearhead such an effort is a testament to his dedication to government reform. More local auditors ought to follow Lewis's lead and hop on board this bandwagon.

Check out Ohio's Online Checkbook to see if your local government is participating. If they aren't, be sure to ask your local elected officials why not.

Monday, September 21, 2015

GUEST COLUMN: LaRose Recognizes National Voter Registration Day

Encouraging Voter Registration and Participation
A Guest Column by State Senator Frank LaRose

St. Sen. Frank LaRose
Tuesday September 22, 2015 marks National Voter Registration Day. In 2008, six million Americans did not vote because they missed the registration deadline or were not familiar with the process of registering to vote. In 2015, we want to ensure that every citizen is able to register and make use of their right to vote. That is why on this day each year volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from across the United States will "hit the streets" for National Voter Registration Day.

The purpose of this day is to coordinate field, technology, and media efforts to create a lasting awareness of voter registration opportunities that allows previously unregistered voters to be reached. A network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters and tens of thousands more online while receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.

Millions of voters need to register and re-register each year and this awareness campaign utilizes new technology to inform more Americans about the voter registration process than ever before.

I have introduced legislation in the Ohio Senate to further these goals by designating the fourth Tuesday in September as "Voter Registration Awareness Day."

A group of community leaders brought this proposal to my attention as a way to encourage voter participation across Ohio. This legislation builds on that concept and emphasizes to all Ohioans the importance of registering to vote. This legislation ensures that Ohio recognizes Voter Registration Awareness Day on the same day established by the National Association of Secretaries of State as National Voter Registration Day.

Senate Bill 169 affirms Ohio's commitment to encouraging voter registration and increasing the ease of access to elections. This effort serves as a complement to Senate Bill 63, a bill I introduced earlier this year to establish online voter registration in Ohio. Senate Bill 63 passed the Ohio Senate with near unanimous support and is awaiting a hearing in the Ohio House of Representatives. By commemorating Voter Registration Awareness Day, we are not only encouraging Ohioans to exercise their right to vote, but to play a pivotal role in the democratic process.