Posts Tagged ‘Larry Householder’

Imagine

July 26, 2020

“Systemic”, “structural” these are two words increasingly used today, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and racism. Most people don’t “see” it. Recent news reporting by Kent Mallett for the Newark Advocate (7-25-20) gives a thumbnail totality of the terms, almost like a little snow globe – a complete environment. Entitled “Fraizer says he’d won Ohio House seat without Householder’s money”, it is accompanied by a photo of Mark Fraizer (and family) being sworn in by Larry Householder as the new 71stDistrict House Representative (why, there’s Bill Seitz in the background!). Householder (and others) are now caught up in Federal charges of a huge bribery scheme with regards to HB6 and the nuclear/coal energy bailout; an involved scheme complicated by money being moved around through PACs and lobbies to fund primary races of candidates who would ultimately support Householder as chair of the Ohio House and thereby insure passage of HB6, et al. Hence Fraizer’s pontificating on eschewing Householder’s monetary support as well as claiming the need for a repeal of HB6 in a separate op ed (7-26-20, Newark Advocate). But that’s the whole point, Mark. The money was spent on getting you elected, which you barely managed to do. Analysis finds context is needed to realize the entire snow globe environment (when you shake it, money appears to float down on the appropriate candidates). Fraizer can self righteously point out that little Licking County Republican funding propelled his candidacy. It was, after all, a GOP primary. But as the convoluted bribery scheme manifests through performance, that’s not the way the system works. The structure of “party funding”, for both parties, involves marginal local funding expenditure with the bulk of money contributed to the local party being forwarded to the central Ohio party. In turn this central party can match the funds with private interests (or PACs, undisclosed “dark money”, etc.) to cherry pick which races and candidates are vital to furthering the party’s interest (and which should be denied for being uppity populists). In turn these enhanced funds can be used to purchase negative ads, directly or indirectly assaulting the favored candidate’s primary opponent. All of which Mark Fraizer can sanctimoniously deny, the negative ads, as being funded by his candidacy. “They come from outside the district.” (hand washing optional) Which ultimately leads up to being sworn in by the House Speaker, who’s bidding the newly elected candidate won’t bother to challenge. That’s the legitimate version which ultimately corrupts into the pay to play scheme Larry Householder is accused of benefitting from. It is systemic, structural in the way it displaces ownership (accountability) of funding and power in order to manage who and what represents citizens through party control. Troy Balderson’s election would be another snow globe structure of displaced power and campaign financing. Now imagine all this as a system or structure to maintain racial supremacy…

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Oh How Time Does Tell

June 7, 2019

This past week’s news witnessed the 75thanniversary commemoration of the D-Day invasion of Europe which precipitated the end of WWII. Along with the speeches by world leaders, and the interviews and stories of the dwindling number of surviving participants, were the archival records of the beach carnage and the iconic image of the landing craft overcrowded with GI’s opening its doors unto the gates of hell. Flying under the radar was the announcement by cleveland.com: New Ohio bill takes shot at employers who want workers vaccinated (Laura Hancock, 6-3-19). “House Bill 268 allows people to sue employers if their employment is affected by their lack of vaccinations. It’s the latest bill in the Ohio General Assembly that gives deference to the theories that immunizations are harmful, amidst a measles outbreak that is in part blamed on people believing misinformation about vaccinations. HB 268 is sponsored by Reps. Ron Hood, a Pickaway County Republican, and Bernadine Kennedy Kent, a Columbus Democrat. “It’s a freedom bill for people who are being coerced into having a vaccination, as a condition of employment,” Hood said. A similar bill has been introduced in the past, but it was only directed at people who refused to get the flu vaccination. HB 268 is for all vaccinations.” For context Hancock later includes: “In March, Ohio Rep. Don Manning, a Mahoning County Republican, introduced a bill that would require school districts to notify parents of how they can keep their child from receiving required vaccinations.” Buried deep in the article is the somewhat provocative, yet insightful: “A George Washington University study found Russian bots exploited the rifts in the American vaccination debate on Twitter – including sending out anti-vax misinformation, according to CBS News.” Also this week, Newark’s Gay Pride event met the authoritarian “keeper of the purse”, Larry Householder, resulting in the cancellation of one of its events by the risk-averse beneficiary of that purse – the Newark Public Library. The Newark Advocate devoted its weekly comment on this news in an editorial entitled Our view: We should be proud of PRIDE in Licking County (6-7-19). The editorial board cements its reasoning with the final lines: “Newark and Licking County should want to be viewed as a community that is welcoming to all. We want businesses to invest here and young professionals to see our area as a desirable place to live. Making it look like our community is intolerant to diversity will not help those efforts.” Excepting the existential alibi – “It was where I found myself at the time” – Analysis can’t help but wonder if those with the slightest ideological reasoning for their participation exited the landing crafts for the definitions of liberty, freedom and responsibility we employ today. Was the “freedom” they were willing to die for “a freedom bill for people who are being coerced into having a vaccination”, or one that was meant to help ensure the overall public good? Entering the gates of hell, did that diverse group of young people “want businesses to invest here and young professionals to see our area as a desirable place to live” or did they risk all because it was the right thing to do?

No Government Is Politics By Other Means

May 22, 2018

Well, this is actually quite old, only now it is so much more overt than covert. How so? News blackout in Newark, The Advocate has definitely NOT been covering the Payday lender news in its editions. As pointed out in this blog’s Buried Lead posting (4-18-18), the resignation of House Speaker Cliff Rosenbeger had beaucoup to do with the definitely weird and unaccountable primary reelection campaign ads by Larry Householder (whose win was, to use the liberal term for a conservative cause celebre, “inevitable”, aside from also being within The Advocate’s coverage area. As mentioned in previous posts, The Advocate’s customer base is its paying advertisers, not readers). Those ads positioned Householder (and the various other state rep candidates he backed so they would back him) for election as Speaker of the House in 2019. Though a bit odd, he is not one of the candidates to replace Rosenberger who resigned, to run out the rest of the Speaker’s term in 2018. Most voters will find this strange as there were two separate lists of primary candidates for the 12thUS Congressional district – one to fill out Pat Tiberi’s recent term, and one to run for the next term. These two lists included the same names. Ditto for Ohio House Speaker? Emphatic nyet! Yet Householder’s “inevitable” campaigning was all about the speaker’s job. Confused? Following all this for the Dayton Daily news, Laura Bischoff headlined Payday lender made 3 international trips with ex-Ohio House speaker (4-25-18). In it she reports on various overseas trips to China, Great Britain and France by Rosenberger accompanied by Advance America exec Carol Stewart. “Advance America, which has 2,000 stores across the nation, employs lobbyists to influence legislation, including House Bill 123, a payday lending reform measure that had been stalled in the Ohio House for months.” Since then, other lobbyist for various umbrella groups of the Payday Lending industry have been named as being involved in financing other such trips (as well as accompanying Mr. Rosenberger). For Cleveland.com Jackie Borchardt headlined Payday loan ballot measure advances while Ohio lawmakers debate bill (5-21-18). After originally refusing to allow a citizen initiative petition, Ohio Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine eventually certified the Short Term Loan Consumer Protection Amendment. “The effort now goes to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will decide whether the proposal is one or multiple ballot issues. After it clears the Ballot Board, supporters can begin collecting the 305,591 signatures of Ohio registered voters to put the measure on a statewide ballot. The deadline for the November ballot is July 4.” The citizen Amendment initiative is in response to the constipated effort of the Ohio House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to move HB 123. As mentioned in this blog’s posting “Buried Lead”, the committee moved the bill along immediately following Speaker Rosenberger’s resignation. Committee member and House Speaker candidate Ryan Smith supports and promotes the bill as is. Smith is running for filling out the unexpired speaker’s term as well as opposing Householder for the next session. What does this have to do with The Advocate and all the trips to China, etc.? The House Speaker’s position is one of the most powerful in the legislature, determining not only what legislation moves along (and what never sees the light of day) but also what is funded, etc. For the unfulfilled speakership term the GOP caucus is currently deadlocked which means no special sessions of the house can be assembled. Though a vote on HB 123 is on tap for the regular scheduled session later this summer, the bill still needs to pass the Senate in the fall (an election year) before seeking Governor Kasich’s lame duck approval. With a new session (and speaker) in 2019, HB 123 would need to start all over again from scratch. Rosenberger’s trysts with the Payday lenders association, along with Mike DeWine’s footdragging and now the failure of the GOP to fill out Rosenberger’s unexpired term have effectively killed the possibility of any meaningful short term loan regulation. None of which is newsworthy for The Advocate. It is often said that “war is politics by other means.” In the US today it is more like “No government is politics by other means.”

Buried Lead

April 18, 2018

Seen the TV ad of Larry Householder in camo with locked and loaded 12 gauge shooting a television set out in a corn field, ending with “we stick to our guns”? Of course you have. And along with Analysis, you haven’t a clue what all that is about. Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias headlines Ohio State Rep. Larry Householder sues political groups over attack ads (4-18-18). “Householder alleges the TV, radio and printed ads — which make reference to an FBI investigation, which closed without charges in 2006, into Householder’s activities as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives in the 2000s — are false and defamatory, and asks a judge to pull them off the air. The ads were produced by the Honor and Principles PAC and the Conservative Alliance PAC, two Virginia-based groups that are named as defendants in the lawsuit, filed in Householder’s home Perry County on Wednesday.” “The lawsuit is the latest turn in the heated, months-long, behind-the-scenes political battle among Republicans to be the next leader of the Ohio House of Representatives for the session beginning next year. Householder is among the candidates vying for the position, which is chosen by Ohio House members. The position’s future is more uncertain than ever after former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s sudden resignation last week. Rosenberger stepped down eight months before his term was to have expired, appointing a temporary successor, amid an FBI probe into a trip he took to London last summer with lobbyists for the auto title-loan industry.” Same day, same news source, Laura Hancock headlined Payday lending bill advances out of Ohio legislative committee. Analysis found the opening line significant. “A House committee advanced a bill Wednesday morning that would cap fees and interest rates on payday loan businesses – after more than a year of the bill stalling and less than a week after the chamber’s speaker, Cliff Rosenberger, resigned amid a reported FBI inquiry into his ties with the industry. The House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee cleared House Bill 123 with a vote of 9 to 1.” Of equal importance “But Rep. Ryan Smith, who is running for House speaker, said it was time to move the bill. “Quite frankly the idea that we’re making progress in (negotiation) meetings when everything is stalled, stalled, stalled,” he said. “it’s pretty obvious what’s happening.” Later, Smith said his comment wasn’t a critique on Rosenberger but on the payday lenders, who he doesn’t believe want any changes in the law.” What could be more rural than shotguns, camo fatigues, cornfields and TV sets? Still the same day, Columbus Business First’s Robin Smith headlined: Central Ohio’s fastest-growing school districts are largely rural. “Delaware County leads off with the top two districts, with the top five rounded out by districts in Licking, Fairfield and Union counties. Another Delaware County district and four Franklin County districts fill out the top 10.” The rural burbs, not just corn sprouting and growing there! Analysis referenced all that to reference the AP’s Andrew Taylor’s headline House panel moves to curb food stamps, renew farm subsidies (4-18-18). “The hard-fought food stamp provisions would tighten existing work requirements and expand funding for state training programs, though not by enough to cover everybody subject to the new work and training requirements. Agriculture panel chair Michael Conaway said the provisions would offer food stamp beneficiaries “the hope of a job and a skill and a better future for themselves and their families.”” The bulk of the article is about the nuances. Toward the end: “The measure mostly tinkers with those programs, adding provisions aimed at helping rural America obtain high-speed internet access, assist beginning farmers, and ease regulations on producers. “When you step away from the social nutrition policy much of this is a refinement of the 2014 farm bill. So we’re not reinventing the wheel. That makes it dramatically simpler,” said Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., a former chairman of the committee. “Most folks are generally satisfied with the fundamentals of the farm safety net.”” The final lines of the article are “The House measure also would cut funding for land conservation programs long championed by Democrats, prompting criticism from environmental groups. At the same time, it contains a proposal backed by pesticide manufacturers such as the Dow Chemical Company that would streamline the process for approving pesticides by allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to skip reviews required under the Endangered Species Act.” Analysis finds various continuous coverage of the impact of pesticide use, in conjunction with rural gentrification (the 21stcentury’s version of the burbs) on insect population as well as those dependent on insects (like birds, aquatic life, amphibians, etc. and humans!). Just a few (from many available): from The Guardian (Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say, 2-14-18) “Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.” Burb bug zappers and Raid aside, have you seen a lot of bugs around outdoor lights at night? Or on your windshield? And from Wired (Not Just Bees: Controversial Pesticides Linked to Bird Declines, 7-9-14) “As neonicotinoid levels rose in streams, lakes and wetlands, populations of insect-eating birds declined. The pesticides appear to have eliminated the insects on which they rely. … There they can poison aquatic invertebrates or be absorbed by plants, eventually harming plant-eating insects.”  Along with Rachel Carson, the lead of the farm bill story has also been buried.