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Seriously – why would anyone drive six hours roundtrip from Columbus to Steubenville for a one hour speech when you can watch it on the Internet? Want efficientgov? Watch it livestreamed and tweet it for those who will have to check in later. Not sure what the hashtag is for it yet but I suspect it won’t be hard to figure out once it starts.

Here’s the link.  Read more about what might be said here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:08 am February 7th, 2012 in John Kasich, Ohio | Comments Off 

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In response to a request I made today of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services’ communications department, I received the following information regarding the nine Ohio women who are, as I type this, about to be inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. I want to be clear: the people who helped me to get this information (three individuals in different offices) were lovely and very congenial and helpful.  However, the fact that I had to take the steps I did to even get this information and the complete and total failure on the part of the Kasich administration to more widely acknowledge the individuals being honored today is shameful, embarrassing and should be reversed 100% in the future.  This honor is now in its fifth decade of existence. It is nonpartisan.  The diversity fail pattern of the current administration – intentional or unintentional – continues unabated. You can watch the induction here at The Ohio Channel.

Nine women will be inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

The nine women inducted will join more than 400 members of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. The 2011 inductees are:

Cheryl A. Boyce of Franklin County for her contributions to health services. Boyce was born in East St. Louis, Ill. Her interest in public health was the result of the premature death of her father. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health education from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in health planning and administration for the University of Cincinnati. She has made Columbus her home for more than 40 years and recently retired as the executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.

Elizabeth H. Flick of Franklin County for her contributions to community and military service. Flick was born and raised in England but has made her home in Columbus for more than 50 years. In 1972, she put on the POW/MIA bracelet of an American veteran missing in Vietnam, but she decided that was not enough. Thus began a lifelong dedication to the veteran community.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) for her contributions to cultural activism and the arts. Watkins was born a free African American in Baltimore, Md., in 1825. The 1982 Smithsonian exhibit of 20 panels celebrating African-American women highlighted her as a pioneer for civil rights. She taught at Union Seminary in western Ohio, which later merged with Wilberforce University. She was also married and gave birth to her only child while living on a farm in central Ohio.

Brenda J. Hollis of Henry County for contributions in the military service and law. Hollis is an international criminal prosecutor based at The Hague in the Netherlands. She served on the first international criminal tribunals related to crimes against humanity since World War II. She attended elementary and high school in Henry County and earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). While at BGSU she was also an outstanding athlete in several sports. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:06 pm August 25th, 2011 in Gender, Government, John Kasich, leadership, Ohio, Transparency, Women | Comments Off 

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My take-down of the “50% of Americans don’t pay taxes” rhetoric should have sounded more like this. Frankly, I was surprised that either of my co-panelists would use that talking point, given how easy it is to pull apart. It’s simply not the best defense against Warren Buffett’s tax the wealthy suggestion, but maybe that’s the point – there are not any great defenses against his plan.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:32 pm August 23rd, 2011 in Government, Jill Miller Zimon, John Kasich, Ohio, Politics, Taxes | 1 Comment 

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Thank you thank you thank you.  We will remember this (we remember everything else, too – okay – let’s be honest, but this gets remembered in there also).

Read more from the Dayton Daily News and the Plain Dealer.

Hattip to none other than Jim Trakas, sincerely one of my favorite former electeds and Ohio political arena mainstays.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:38 pm July 15th, 2011 in Environment, John Kasich, Law, leadership, Ohio | Comments Off 

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Call 614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357. Read the Plain Dealer’s editorials here for more information

I have called and I also sent a “Share Your Idea” stating the same request. Here’s what I wrote:

Dear Governor,

I’m writing as a resident of Ohio but I also happen to be an elected official (Pepper Pike City Council Member). I appreciate that you are considering Ohioan’s concerns regarding HB 231 and cannot urge you strongly enough to VETO the bill. Everyone knows and many underestimate the extreme value of the tremendous asset we call Lake Erie. Likewise, we know that the states which belong to the Great Lakes Compact trust, rely and depend upon Ohio to make sound, long-term and wise decisions that protect and do not endanger the stability of future generations who will live and need this unique natural resource. Speaking of which, you should consider adding “Natural Resources” to the list of issues at the top of this “Share Your Idea” module. There is no such category right now, and yet don’t we both know how blessed Ohio is with natural resources which we are all charged with protecting, not destroying, abusing or otherwise taking for granted. Thank you for your attention and again, please veto HB 231.

While I’m hearing that a statement from the Governor on this bill may be forthcoming this afternoon, do not rely on others to voice their opinion if you have one to share as well.  Critical mass makes a difference.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:17 pm July 15th, 2011 in Environment, Government, John Kasich, Ohio, Politics | 1 Comment 

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I don’t know.  That’s what it sounds like to me: it’s okay to make a woman the head of something so long as the something is winding itself down into non-existence?

I’d also like to know if Christiane Schmenk will receive the same salary as the outgoing James Leftwich, who was making $127,400 as the head of the Ohio Department of Development.

Most curious to me though is this statement in the Dayton Daily News from Kasich spokesman Scott Milburn:

Milburn said that Schmenk is the natural person to take over as director as the transition is made to JobsOhio, with the development department no longer playing the out front role in job development efforts. [emphasis added]

So…let me just be sure I’m reading this right: The person taking over, is a good person to take over, because the entity which she’s taking over will no longer be playing a front role in job development efforts.  So, you know, she can handle that. She just wouldn’t be so well-suited if ODOD were still “playing the out front role in job development efforts”??? Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:40 pm July 12th, 2011 in Gender, Government, John Kasich, Ohio, Sexism, Social Issues, Transparency, Women | 3 Comments 

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One woman out of eight appointees. From the Columbus Dispatch:

The board, appointed by Kasich, consists of Kvamme, Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, former Ernst & Young and Cleveland Cavaliers executive James Boland, Bob Evans executive Steven A. Davis, the Cleveland Clinic’s C. Martin Harris, Marathon Petroleum’s Gary Heminger, Procter & Gamble’s Bob McDonald, and Pamela Springer of Manta Media.

Kvamme said a ninth board member would be appointed within 60 days. Board members will serve staggered terms and without pay.

And if you’re curious, there are two non-white males out of the eight appointees.  While this is a better diversity percentage than in the Kasich cabinet, for women, who contribute 4.6 million individuals to the Ohio workforce, just one voice.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:05 pm July 11th, 2011 in employment, Gender, John Kasich, Politics, Women | 1 Comment 

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UPDATE: Via Plunderbund, here’s an excellent editorial from today that chastises the Ohio House Republicans’ latest shenanigans with charters and demands that someone in elected office step up and stop it.

Original post:

And he’s not saying this in a good way, at all. And he is not fringe and he is not alone.

Read the entire article in the Dispatch today, “GOP bill reduces charter schools’ accountability.”

And then be sure to refresh your memory of how White Hat Management, the most notorious for-profit charter school operator in Ohio, received $17 million of your money for ghost students.

Oh, and before you go on, recall the editorial from the Cincy Enquirer in 2009 about how money and charters don’t mix.

On what planet in what universe do some of these people elected by Ohioans, charged with spending Ohioans’ tax dollars, LIVE ON? (And Josh Mandel – you support charters, who clearly support you – what do you have to say to this evisceration of accountability with our money, given that you are the Ohio Treasurer? Fascinating note – the news article that reported on Mandel’s appearance at Ashland Univ. where he reportedly mentions support for school choice, charters and the elimination of the estate tax is now available only in its cached form.)

This quote from the lobbyist for White Hat and its chief, David Brennan, is textbook rhetoric, obfuscation and scamming:

[Tom] Needles said the charter-school concept is to allow greater flexibility and fewer restrictions so schools can be innovative and improve student learning.

Letting the Ohio Department of Education grant permission for charter schools to open and eliminating sponsors will direct more money into the classroom and remove another layer of bureaucracy, he said.

Let’s get something straight: The layer that needs to be removed is the FOR-PROFIT layer that sends my money into David Brennan’s profit coffer that then ends up back in the millions of dollars he gives to the very elected officials who are championing his garbage legislative proposals to help him earn more profit, not direct money to classrooms. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:37 am May 3rd, 2011 in Courage, Crime, democracy, Education, Government, John Kasich, Josh Mandel, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Republicans, Transparency, treasurer, Youth | Comments Off 

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From the  Ohio Association of Gifted Education Action Alert, 3/17/11 (in part, but please – read it all):

I should note that in the governor’s town hall meeting on the budget on Tuesday, a father of a gifted child asked why the gifted funding was eliminated.  The governor’s education policy director, Bob Sommers indicated that gifted education remains a high priority and that gifted funding was maintained. Tim Keen, the director of the Office of Budget and Management, then said that districts all gifted funding in the basic aid funding for gifted children and will have to make the local decision about how to serve these students.  Governor Kasich then took the microphone and said that Ohio is in the bottom ten of all states for having money in the classroom and the in the top ten for having bureaucracy. He recommended that if a parent has a gifted child that the parent should go into the local superintendent’s office and stand up for their child by demanding services.  The interesting response seems to indicate that perhaps the unintended consequences for the gifted budget recommendation may not be fully understood by the governor and his staff. As gifted education is a small and unusual part of the education budget, that isn’t too surprising. But it does need to be fixed if gifted services are to be maintained in the majority of districts in the state.

Sigh – I’m not even going to respond to Kasich’s recommendation – thank goodness Ann addressed it very, very diplomatically (I would not have).

I’d been watching the action alert page anxiously last week and am glad that I’ve gone back to the twitter feed of OAGC’s Ann Sheldon (on Twitter, @anngift) to see that an alert has now been posted.

Here’s what you can do (and what you know I’ll be doing), also from the Action Alert: Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:23 pm March 20th, 2011 in Civil Rights, democracy, Education, John Kasich, Ohio, Parenting, Politics, Statehouse, Youth | 2 Comments 

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Plunderbund extrapolates from Governor-elect John Kasich’s appointment of Gary Mohr, whom PB says:

…has been a managing director of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the first, for-profit private prison company in American and has his own prison consulting business operated out of Chillicothe.

But when I google “for-profit private prisons,” here’s one of the first returns I found in the Google News, from the very excellent Idaho-based The Spokesman-Review, just over a month ago:

Violence behind bars and misconduct by guards is common, regardless of whether prisons are run by the government or private companies. CCA, which oversees some 75,000 inmates in more than 60 facilities under contracts with the federal government, 19 states and the District of Columbia, is no exception.

A year ago, CCA and another company, Dominion Correctional Services LLC, agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit in which the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission claimed male officers at a prison in Colorado forced female workers to perform sex acts to keep their jobs.

In January, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear ordered some 400 female inmates transferred to a state-run prison after more than a dozen reports of sexual misconduct by male guards employed by CCA. Similar accusations were made in March at a CCA-run prison in Hawaii, and in May, agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed CCA on probation and launched an investigation of whether a guard at a central Texas detention facility sexually assaulted women on their way to being deported.

Not to mention:

State officials have long been aware of allegations of mistreatment and poor management at the Idaho Correctional Center, the state’s largest prison. A review of hundreds of public records found in 2008 that ICC had a violence rate three times as high as other Idaho prisons.

State auditors have also found widespread problems keeping medical charts updated, excessive wait times for medical care and other problems with treatment.

Even though Idaho Department of Correction officials have increased oversight and top department leaders have spoken out about their concern over the medical issues, state lawmakers have renewed the company’s multimillion-dollar contract with Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA and added 600 beds to the prison.

When you make profitability and shareholders your top priorities, over and above the work you’re supposed to be doing and for which you’re receiving taxpayer dollars, no one should be surprised that this happens (think White Hat and all its legal problems in for-profit charter schools).

Bad bad juju.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:57 pm January 4th, 2011 in John Kasich, Law, Ohio | Comments Off 

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Two sisters are released from prison but only if one will give a kidney to the other, even though neither one has been considered dangerous for how long?

A U.S. Supreme Court Justice argues against the 14th Amendment giving equal protection to women and supports the notion that discrimination can in fact be permissibly legislated against women without violating the U.S. Constitution.

The never-ending issue about the failure of women to be adequately represented in so many industries is at least positively and roundly addressed here.

Governor-elect John Kasich’s women appointees? So far – just one, and I’m not talking Mary Taylor (can you name who it is without looking it up? or at least which position she’ll take?).

Even Republican women on Capitol Hill are fearing that John Boehner will shutdown the very frequented and used lactation suites set up by Nancy Pelosi, after being told that the rumored shutdown won’t happen.

Oh – and let’s not forget that all five of the RNC’s candidates for Chair did not hesitate one nanosecond in saying that they would defund Planned Parenthood.

2011, huh?  Not so much, yet.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:47 pm January 3rd, 2011 in democracy, Ethics, Gender, John Kasich, Law, leadership, Ohio, Politics | Comments Off 

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I think public servants should, well, be…public and not behind paywalls.  But here it is, “Mandel plans to use ‘bully pulpit’ of treasurer’s office to help state.”

That would be from the most current issue of Columbus Business First. What’s even more bothersome to me is that we don’t have some equivalent offering of information from the only NE Ohio statewide elected in an NE Ohio publication – first.

Between Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich’s declarations to “exploit” Ohio’s natural resources (his word, not mine) and the Treasurer-elect suggesting that the overseer of the state’s coffers is actually in line with Theodore Roosevelt’s view of elected office as being an excellent place from which to push an agenda, I’m really looking forward to 2011.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:04 pm December 31st, 2010 in Government, John Kasich, Josh Mandel, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Transparency, treasurer | Comments Off 

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1. A group in Canada, the Women’s Executive Network, posts a list of the 100 most powerful women in that country.

2. Pew research on “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families.”

3. Not sure where this bi-partisan bill in the US Senate to allow states to opt-out of the health care reform law passed earlier this year is, but something to keep in the back of our minds regardless of what happens with the individual mandate.

4. While many in NE Ohio are fixated on how bad a gaffe the meeting between six not yet sworn in County Council members, all of whom are Democrats, was, don’t you think we should be talking more about the condescending ‘tude coming down from our newly elected Governor, John Kasich, and openness? He doesn’t even come around to seeing anything wrong with the secrecy he desires – he considers the fact that he’ll have to follow the law to be a loss – for him that is.

5.  From the all you had to do was ask department: 95 per cent of aggressive behaviour, harassment, abusive language and degrading images in online spaces are aimed at women.  Read more here for the study.

6. From the reality check department, and a few months ago, taxes are at near historic lows:

William Gale, head of the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution, tells CBS News that federal taxes are actually “at their lowest levels in 60 years.”

7. Over at In The Arena, my blog related to being on Pepper Pike City Council, I’ve got a new untabbed post too.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:02 am December 15th, 2010 in Government, John Kasich, Ohio, Politics, Sexism, Social Issues, Tech, Transparency, Voting, Women | Comments Off 

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This image is from the three articles you can find at this morning when searching on “rail kasich lahood” for articles in the last 24 hours:

This is how the first article, titled at as, “Feds to Ohio: Your high-speed rail project is officially dead (and New York thanks you)” is headlined on the front page of this morning’s print version of the PD, above the fold:

That’s right – “US Taking $400M in rail funds from Ohio.”

That’s what we get from the neutral, has filters, just the facts ma’am traditional media. A news story that exists SOLEY because of Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich’s repetitiously stated policy preference for no rail is headlined, in a print version of the paper, as the U.S. “taking” funds “from” Ohio.


By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:25 am December 10th, 2010 in John Kasich, Media, Ohio, Politics | 8 Comments 

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Dave Lange, Editor of the Chagrin Valley Times (Pepper Pike is included in its coverage area), wrote and published this scathing critique, “Government no longer of people,” related to recent behavior by Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich and State Senator Tim Grendell.

About Kasich:

The governor-elect, conveniently forgetting that he and his political appointees soon will be employed by the government and paid by the people of Ohio, attempted to keep the selection process of filling jobs in his administration a secret. He was dumbfounded to learn that the resumes submitted by those seeking to work for the state government must be open to their would-be employers, who happen to be the people.

Ignorance of the Ohio Open Records Law being a sad reflection on Mr. Kasich’s preparation for the highest office in the state and contempt for the people’s right to know being a poor excuse, he rationalized, “When a person applies for another job, it doesn’t make their current employer happy.”

Working in the administration of the governor in one of the nation’s largest states isn’t just another job, and it’s hard to imagine those applicants’ bosses holding grudges against them. Furthermore, by what sense of fairness should employers be denied the right to know when their employees are looking elsewhere? And why should employers be surprised by people’s desire for career advancement?

And about Grendell:

The people of the 98th Ohio District, which makes up one-third of Mr. Grendell’s 18th Ohio Senate District, had a right to know when they voted on Nov. 2 that he had no intention of honoring their decision. They could understand him abandoning his Senate seat because of the term limit that would force him out of that office in two years. But he took their trust and played it like a diabolical fiddle. He didn’t steal the election. He stole the democratic process.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:17 pm December 9th, 2010 in Cleveland+, Council, CuyahogaCounty, democracy, Government, John Kasich, Law, leadership, Media, Ohio, Politics, Statehouse, Transparency | Comments Off 

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[Update: great long comment thread here about this same topic]

Tell me why I should not be scared. Tell me why I should not worry. Tell me why I should not get a little nauseous every time I read a new sound bite or idea promoted by the newly elected Ohio public servants.  Because when I open the paper, I find a lot about these folks that scares me – and they scared me before.

I’m not looking to defend why I find what they say they want to do as being scary. And I’m not interested in attacking why I can’t buy what it is you’re buying.  My request – sincere – comes from knowing that I know people whom I believe have reasonable heads on their shoulders.  I want to understand why those whom I do believe are smart and compassionate but prefer different methods for getting at problems than I might, and with that, have different priorities that inform how they prefer to solve problems, find what appears to be happiness and comfort in this changing of the guard. Because I’m totally not getting that. I’m not sure I ever will – I’ll say that from the start.  But I absolutely want to understand what it is that you see that I don’t see or that I’m rejecting – if in fact I do.  I totally do not want to move back East but I’m a blue girl in a red state now and stepping out of the cave and into the political sphere as I have, I’m really, really not happy with what I’m seeing in the Ohio future.  Those who supported Kasich et al – clearly you see something different.

I want to understand that. So I’m asking, and listening.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:13 am November 10th, 2010 in conservatives, Government, John Kasich, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Republicans | Comments Off 

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This morning’s Plain Dealer editorial about how John Kasich should start his term:

In the campaign, Kasich talked about getting more dollars into elementary and secondary-school classrooms; he needs to deliver. Strickland’s initiatives to expand green-energy jobs and investment in Ohio are paying off; Kasich should give them a chance to prove themselves. Likewise, it would be foolhardy to turn back $400 million in federal rail money that other states would snap up to increase their relative economic advantage.

John Kasich in a press conference yesterday:

Barely twelve hours after winning office, Gov.-elect John Kasich said Wednesday that creating jobs, halting the statewide passenger rail project and reining in labor unions are his top priorities.

“Passenger rail is not in Ohio’s future,” the Republican said at his first news conference after Tuesday’s win over Gov. Ted Strickland. “That train is dead.”

Did the PD just call Kasich’s pronouncement foolhardy? Well, here’s what they thought of him just a month ago, in their own endorsement of him:

His Republican challenger, John Kasich, is a former congressman from suburban Columbus given to Reagan-style optimism and bold, sometimes questionable, ideas. He is just as clearly the wild card, eager to shake up the status quo and even challenge his own party, but also capable of talking himself right off a cliff.

But here’s what’s scary about Kasich: With his Red Bull style, it is sometimes hard to tell what’s core belief, what’s hot air and whether even he knows the difference. When Kasich praises Ohio’s innovative Third Frontier effort, he still says things that suggest he doesn’t understand or care how it works. Or listen to him talk about phasing out Ohio’s income tax, reducing the state’s commitment to public schools or even making university professors work harder. Does he understand that being a Fox News provocateur is not the same as being the leader of a diverse, complex state?

So we recommend John Richard Kasich for governor. With trepidation to be sure, but also with a belief that Ohio must take a risk to reap the rewards its citizens sorely need.

I wonder how much trepidation the editorial board is feeling right now.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:53 pm November 4th, 2010 in John Kasich, Ohio, Politics | 1 Comment