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Bret Thompson

  • Posted Swing District Ohio Republicans Vote with Tea Party 80% of the Time to ProgressOhio
    Bill Johnson Leads the Pack With 85 Percent, Mike Turner Voted 79 Percent of the Time with the Tea Party and David Joyce Has a 77 Percent Tea Party Loyalty Score TeaPartyScorecard.com The Tea Party has a firm grip on Ohio Republican Reps. Bill Johnson, Mike Turner and David Joyce, who voted with the Tea Party an average of 80...
  • Posted Ohio politician laughs off incredibly racist email to ProgressOhio
    Bob Carleton, a councilman in the city of Norwalk, Ohio, sent out an incredibly offensive, bigoted email to dozens of friends, colleagues, and the city law director in December, according to Salon. The email, titled "Spelling Bee Champ", has apparently been circulating for years. The body of the email contained the following: "My name be Eboneesha Hernandez, a African-Hispanic-American Girl...
  • Posted Federal Judge Blocks Ohio's Harmful Election Law to ProgressOhio
    On Tuesday, a U.S. judge blocked a law in Ohio that would make it considerably more difficult for minor party candidates to appear on the ballot. The legislation, signed by Kasich in November, voided all minor party candidates' petitions and stipulated they collect 28,000 new signatures by February 5--an impossible deadline--for the 2014 gubernatorial race. A lawsuit was brought...
  • Posted Eighty percent of jobless Ohioans don't receive unemployment to ProgressOhio
    According to federal labor data and a recent report from Policy Matters Ohio, fewer than just one fifth of unemployed Ohioans are receiving unemployment benefits. This is an historic low for Ohio; the state currently ranks near the bottom nationally in unemployment compensation. "Ohio's economy continues to struggle to create new jobs, and it is disappointing that few jobless residents...
  • Posted John Kasich Named One of the Worst Governors in America to ProgressOhio
    In a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Governor John Kasich of Ohio was named, along with 17 others, as one of the worst governors in the nation. The report cites Kasich's creation of the controversial and secretive JobsOhio as the main reason for landing him on the list; also mentioned is his continued attack on...
  • Posted Charter Schools Closing to ProgressOhio
    Seventeen charter schools closed its doors in 2013, an unprecedented number for Ohio, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Most of them had just opened their doors the same year. Ohio spent $1.6 million keeping nine failing charter schools open for just two months in the fall, and when they closed, 250 students were forced to find a new school....
  • Posted What's Behind the Bloodbath at the Ohio EPA? to ProgressOhio
    Two top officials have recently left the Ohio EPA under mysterious circumstance. The Ohio chapter of the Sierra Club has written Gov. John Kasich asking for answers, particularly in light of the highly unusual move of Director Scott Nally resigning and leaving the very same day without providing any reason why. Here's their letter: January 10, 2014Dear Gov. Kasich, I...
  • Posted The Unemployment Grinch to ProgressOhio
    Just three days after Christmas 1.3 million families lost a critical lifeline. The GOP refused to extend unemployment insurance, making life that much harder during this bitterly cold week. The good news is the Senate took the lead yesterday on helping those families. The bad news is their fate now rests with John Boehner and House Republicans. Tell Congress to...
  • Posted Critical Unemployment Insurance Vote in House Upcoming to ProgressOhio
    The Senate is steps from passing a bill to restore unemployment benefits for another three months for those who qualify. The vote comes after the December budget agreement in which lawmakers did not extend the program, cutting benefits for 1.3 million people. Another 1.9 million are set to lose their benefits in the first half of 2014 if no agreement...
  • Posted Gun Journalist Fired for 'Questioning The Gospel of Guns' to ProgressOhio
    Dick Metcalf (pictured to the right) was a journalist for Guns & Ammo magazine when he wrote a column titled "Let's Talk Limits." He argued that the 16 hour training requirement for a concealed carry license was not an infringement on the Second Amendment. The magazine's readers were outraged, and, though the column had been previously approved by his editors,...
  • Posted Voting Rights Face Uphill Battle in 2014 to ProgressOhio
    The right to vote took a major hit in the past year, and faces many tough fights in the years ahead, according to MSNBC. With restrictive voting laws such as voter ID sweeping Republican-dominated state legislatures, along with a controversial Supreme Court ruling in Ohio, voting rights have been moving steadily backwards. The Supreme Court ruling, Shelby v. Holder, gutted...
  • Posted More Background on Medicaid Expansion Ballot Campaign Troubles to ProgressOhio
    Here's some more background on the news that the Medicaid Expansion ballot effort has come to an end for now, courtesy of a press release from SEIU 1199: In response to the majority petitioners, namely Jon Allison and Sean McGlone, choosing to withdraw the initiated statute petition for the expansion of Medicaid (commonly known as Healthy Ohioans Work), Service Employees...
  • Posted Boehner's Office Sends Capitol Police After ProgressOhio to ProgressOhio
    Please read this important guest post from ProgressOhio staffer Denise Gastesi: On a bitter cold Ohio day yesterday, a small delegation (5 people dressed up like Santa) from ProgressOhio, members of AFGE and Ohio Alliance of Retired Americans attempted to deliver a message and a lump of coal to Speaker Boehner. Unfortunately, the office staff did not have the holiday...
  • Posted 3 Laws to Create 143k Jobs in Ohio to ProgressOhio
    Courtesy of AFSCME Ohio, here is a new report on three laws that could create over 143,000 jobs in Ohio. Perfect Match Ohio - EPI Report...
  • Posted Rise in Healthcare Spending Lowest on Record, Ohio R's Still Not Happy to ProgressOhio
    USA Today, 11/20/13: Report: Rise in health care spending lowest on record: Health care costs rose by only 1.3% a year from 2010 to 2013. That's the lowest increase in a three-year period on record. In Ohio, Family Health Insurance Premiums Increased By An Average Of 84.1 Percent From 2000 Through 2009 - 7.2 Times Faster Than Median Earnings Washington, DC - As...
  • Posted Are a Quarter Million Guns a Year Being Sold Illegally on a Single Site? to ProgressOhio
    This new report, which examines gun sellers, concludes that nearly one-in-three gun ads on a single website - Armslist.com - are posted by high-volume sellers, who are selling more than 34 firearms a year without a license, despite the fact that federal law requires anyone "engaged in the business" of selling guns to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL). At...
  • Posted ProgressOhio Elves Visiting John Boehner to ProgressOhio
    ProgressOhio members braved the weather to visit Speaker John Boehner's office today.  After being naughty all year, right before Christmas the House seems to be getting their act together. We are pleased that a bipartisan budget seems to be on the horizon that doesn't touch Social Security or Medicare.  However, we are disappointed that corporate tax loopholes remain in place...
  • Posted 10 Things ALEC Wishes Didn't Happened Last Weekend to ProgressOhio
    The bad news keeps pouring in for ALEC after the blockbuster series by The Guardian last week: 1.    Local Newspapers Hold Their Local Legislators Accountable. The editorial boards of The Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA) and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch helps expose ALEC and its proposed oath for state lawmakers. ·       The Patriot News, Controversial ALEC is a group legislators should think twice about joining ·       St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lawmakers should...
  • Posted Problems with the proposed Columbus campaign finance reform to ProgressOhio
    A movement is afoot to change the way Columbus does elections. Unfortunately, there are some serious issues with the proposal. Under the plan, those that agree to a voluntary fundraising cap for their council or mayoral campaign would have access to a $300,000 public fund. The amendment however does not set any real thresholds or limitations on who could gain...
  • Posted Newly Uncensored Docs Show Kvamme's $9 Million Haul from OSU Deal to ProgressOhio
    Columbus - Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen stand to make an estimated $9 million in management fees from Ohio State University's $50 million investment in their Drive Capital fund, according to documents obtained by ProgressOhio. Fully funded, Drive could make Kvamme and Olsen approximately $4.5 million a year in management fees, plus 20% to 30% of any profits their investments...
  • Posted Killing the Death Penalty to ProgressOhio
    In a news conference at the statehouse on Tuesday, state Representatives Nickie J. Antonio and Dan Ramos made a proposal to end capital punishment in Ohio, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The proposal comes just after the scheduled execution of an Ohio death row inmate was delayed in November, due to the inmate requesting to donate his organs. "It...
  • Posted When Money Does (And Doesn't) Buy Happiness to ProgressOhio
    Here are some interesting thoughts on money, for the biggest shopping day of the year:...
  • Posted 151 Things Ohio Charter Schools Don't Have to Do [updated] to ProgressOhio
    Courtesy of William Phillis and the Legislative Services Commission, here is a list of 151 things, some of them quite costly, that public schools are required to do that charter schools are exempted from. [Update]This post has generated a lot interest and perhaps too much traffic for our webserver. You can still view a PDF version of the list here....
  • Posted Female GOP Chair Requests Equal Pay, Is Accused of "Souring The Mood" to ProgressOhio
    Susan Hutchinson, chair of the Washington state Republican party, was recently elected to be the party's chair. Hutchinson is reportedly making $20,000 less than her male predecessor, cutting the salary from $95,000 to $75,000. When confronted about the drastic pay difference, Washington Republicans said there was a "budget shortfall." Hutchinson, however, sees it as a direct advancement in the War...
  • Posted Celebrating with Paul Tipps to ProgressOhio
    ProgressOhio's event honoring Paul Tipps was a great success. During Paul's long career he held nine elected political offices and was involved in international diplomacy, including state sponsored trips to China during the 70s, representing the president at a 1980 event in Israel, and chairing a task force to oversee Puerto Rican elections. He eventually began one of the most...
  • Posted ProgressOhio Statement on JobsOhio Audit to ProgressOhio
    ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg made the following statement regarding the release by the state auditor of the JobsOhio audit: It is no surprise that the toxic mix of public money in a private corporation has lead to serious lack of ethical concerns raised in the state audit report. This is why the constitution specifically prohibits public money in private...
  • Posted Proposed Legislation Would Suppress Ohio Voters to ProgressOhio
    Legislation being considered by the Ohio Senate would limit early voting by cutting "Golden Week", the week during which Ohio voters can both register and vote. The change would shorten early voting to only 29 days, instead of the current 35. Proposed by Republican Senator Frank LaRose, Senate Bill 238 is eerily similar to 2011's House Bill 194, a bill...
  • Posted This is what poor roads cost Ohio consumers to ProgressOhio
    From February 10th to the 11th next year the annual conference Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference will take place in Washington, DC. The conference is about how jobs and the environment meet and features keynote speakers, informative workshops, and the opportunity to network with people from around the country. This year the focus is on fixing America's infrastructure and highlighting...
  • Posted Walmart Encourages Its Employees To Donate--To Its Own Employees to ProgressOhio
    How do you know the wages in America are too low? When a multi-billion dollar company like Wal-Mart has to have a charity drive to feed its own employees. A Wal-Mart near Canton, Ohio is encouraging donations from employees, to employees--a situation that could be avoided entirely if they actually paid them a living wage.  According to thinkprogress.org, most Wal-Mart...
  • Posted Boehner Beating Around the Bush on Immigration Reform to ProgressOhio
    Though an immigration reform bill passed the Senate in June, Speaker John Boehner is still strongly opposed to allowing it to come up for a vote in the House. "The idea that we're going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House,"...
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