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Legislators Exempted 9/28/11

The e-mail I got from “Building a Better Ohio” had more lies; I just wrote about the worst one in my previous post. The e-mail clamed there were three myths about SB5. The first “myth” they mentioned was: “MYTH #1: Issue 2 doesn't allow public safety forces to ask for safety gear or staff support.” Their reply was that safety services can demand safety equipment. This is an enormous lie. All the relevant amendment (put into SB5 at the last minute) permitted was for the employees to collectively bargain for safety equipment—not demand it.

More Lies by Issue 2 Proponents 9/28/11

I just got an e-mail from the "Building a Better Ohio" panders. In it they claimed a "recent study" showed public workers got 43% better pay and benefits than private workers. Since I knew that in fact public workers in Ohio get 3.5% less than their private counterparts, I wondered where they got this study. So I Googled it. The study was reported in the Daily Mail and compared public and private workers in Great Britain! Further it ignored education and experience differences, when those were taken into account the difference sank to single digits and even that was disputed.

Lucente’s fact challeged editorial 9/20/11

I just sent this to the Lima News, we'll see if they print it. Thomas Lucente in his editorial on Sunday accused We Are Ohio of lying. His big point was that the legislators had specifically excluded themselves and their staff from SB5 right there in the law therefore handing out big raises wasn’t exploiting a “loophole” as We Are Ohio had claimed. Someone at the paper should explain to the dear boy that if a loophole isn’t in the law, then it isn’t a loophole—it’s a crime. He then goes on to claim that firefighters, police, and nurses don’t make sacrifices.

More Lies on Issue 2 9/15/11

The Buckeye Institute put out a report claiming that Ohio's state contribution to the State Teachers Retirement System is the ninth highest of the 34 states with such systems. What they leave out is that 22 of those state also contribute to the Social Security System while Ohio does not. If you add in the 6.2% of salary which those states contribute in addition to the contribution to the state system, Ohio ranks 20th well below the median contribution. If you hear someone claiming that Ohio is contributing above the average to the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) set then straight.

Sign the HB194 Repeal 9/13/11

House Bill 194 is an attack on voting. It significantly reduces the number of days for mailing absentee votes and for in-person absentee voting. Instead of requiring election officials to direct a voter to the right precinct, it places the obligation on the voter to find his correct precinct. We need to get enough signatures to get this bill on the ballot so it can be repealed. If someone asks you to sign a petition to repeal it, please sign. If you are not asked, please get down to the "We Are Ohio" office on the Square in Lima. They have petitions there to sign.

Kasich Casino Deal A Huge Loss 9/12/11

This is an analysis of Kasich's deal which I found on Ohio Budget Watch, a blog well worth reading. "Well, the results are in. Rock Gaming (operator of 2 of 4 of Ohio’s casinos) will cough up $110 million more in fees, over a decade, to the state of Ohio. That’s $10 million per year for 5 years and $12 million per year after that. What does Ohio get in exchange for this $10 million annual windfall?

Green Jobs Work 9/10/11

Lately the right wing press has been pushing a line that green jobs don’t work—that they cost more jobs than they create. As usual this is a lie which is buttressed by bad research and distortion of good research. The bad research was a discredited Spanish study. The good research was done by the Brookings Institute. That report was distorted by the New York Times, which said that in California the environmental sector has actually lost jobs.

Redistricting 8/30/11

The Republicans are redistricting the state in secret. Armand Budish, House minority leader, is the only Democrat on the Apportionment Board. He has been pushing the board to make their maps public and to rank their maps for compliance with the Ohio Constitution and federal law. They have stonewalled him. Meanwhile the Campaign for Accountable Redistricting has held a contest to produce an equitable redistricting map. The good news is that the winner of the contest is a Republican legislator. The bad news is that he is a legislator in Illinois.

No on Issue Two 8/29/11

We need to talk to our friends and neighbors to make sure they vote no on Issue 2. Some may just remember SB5 and be looking for an Issue 5. It’s simple: No on Issue Two. There is going to be a lot of money spent on TV ads trying to get a yes vote and we need to counter their lies. Lie One: SB5 just gives local officials more flexibility. Answer: In fact it takes power away from local officials. Under SB5 they are limited in what they can offer in health insurance and retirement. In the past public employees were offered better insurance and retirement if they would accept lower salaries.

S&P Downgrade 8/26/11

On August 6th I sent my thoughts on the Standard & Poor's downgrade of America's credit rating to the editor to The Lima News. They apparently couldn't find room for it, so I thought I would share it with you. Why did Standard & Poor’s downgrade the debt rating of the United States? In their release they say: “Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place.

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