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Rumors, Rumors and more Rumors


Team Smithberger Parades Their Hopeful House Candidates At State of the State

While it is doubtful there were a lot of voters attending the Governor's last State of the State in Westerville this week, Team Smithberger took advantage of the political media event to bring some of their slate of candidates to the Columbus suburb for a dog and pony show.

Team Smithberger candidate Reggie Stoltzfus who is running against Josh Hagan for House District 50.

Pictured John Plecnick without his dog.  He is running against former Representative Jaime Callender for the 61st House District ​

Others seen in attendance included Denise Martin who is running against Senator Kris Jordan, and Powell Mayor Brian Lorenz for the 67th House District and Beth Ellis who is running against Shane Wilkin for Speaker Rosenberger's 91st House seat.

So did they pick up one single vote?  Was this an intimidation factor?  Were they trying to show off their candidates to lobbyists with deep pockets or was it a perk for the Smitherberger candidates?  One thing we know for sure, they were witness to a painful State of the State by Governor Kasich.

Speaker Rosenberger and His Spending Habits

More on the Speakers spending habits:  An anonymous source pointed out to 3rd Rail that Speaker Rosenberger had video monitors installed in the various House lobbies.  Come to find out that the House subscribes for the content.  The cost is $2,500 for each monitor every year.  $12,500 every year.  The monitors have a directory of which legislators are on each floor.

To add to the cost, there was no power or data connections where the monitor's were mounted.  Workers had to go into the elevator shaft to have them installed.

Another expensive toy for the Speaker!

H.B. 512 Gubernatorial Take Over of Education Meeting Resistance

Legislators are receiving amped up pressure to vote "No" on H.B. 512 (Reineke), with opponents outnumbering foes.  Joining the home schoolers are the Ohio Education Association (OEA), the Ohio Faculty Council (represents higher education interests), the Ohio Coalition for School Choice, and a host of foes who testified this week.

Among the opponents who testified at a House hearing this week, was State School Board Member Sarah Fowler, elected from Northeast Ohio, who was grilled about the current state of education policy in Ohio.  While offering little confidence in ODE's current abilities, Fowler spoke at length about the structure and the need to study the legislation more closely. The bill is being pushed by Governor John R. Kasich and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville).

Ron Adler, of the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education came out against the legislation, reminding Members of Governor Ted Strickland's attempts to defund charter schools, stopped by the Ohio Senate. He argued that more direct control by the Governor does not mean better quality education.

Said Adler, "Ten years ago, former Governor Ted Strickland also called for control over Ohio's education.  Fortunately, the Senate was able to block the governor's attempted takeover. But, his extreme ideology was revealed in his, 'Evidence Based Education Plan' (written by ODE's State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria) that would have stripped funding from Ohio's voucher program and public charter schools.

More recently, ODE upended the education of 12,000 students by forcing an unnecessary mid-year closure of ECOT. No one knows if those actions were the result of Governor Kasich's actions...or inaction. But certainly, assigning more control to governors will only generate greater disruptions to Ohio education."

Ohio Welcomes Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Ohio today pushing Trump Administration priorities and raising a few shekels for Republican Congressional Candidates.  U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R-15) is hosting Pence at a private fundraising reception in Cleveland later today, along with the entire GOP Congressional delegation.

Pence's public events include a talk at Cleveland's Intercontinental Hotel entitled "Tax Cuts To Put America First" which kicks off in the late afternoon as a panel discussion that includes a discussion by U.S. Representative Jim Renacci (R16) and U.S. Representative Bob Gibbs (R-7) about the impact of the tax cuts and tax policy that the GOP and Trump Administration have put forth. A discussion of tariffs to benefit U.S. steel and aluminum makers to reverse the impact of Chinese dumping of those products- dumping is a legal term wherein a nation subsidizes over production of a product with the intent of putting competitor nations out of business is bound to come up as both Congressman represent parts of Stark County, home to Timken Steel, a beneficiary of the Trump tariff proposal.