$20 million local heroin treatment shortfall begins today

Ohio Republican Party spokesman:

Drug treatment funding is nothing more than “more money for government”

Columbus – Today, a $20 million shortfall in local government substance abuse treatment takes affect under a new Kasich Administration policy in how it handles federal grant money for treatment.  [Source: Toledo Blade, (5/30/2014)]  In addition, recent budgetary changes by the Kasich Administration will redirect funding ordinarily given to local mental health and drug treatment boards and reallocate it for State spending.  [Source: Toledo Blade (6/30/2014), “Risky Budget.”]

As Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald and Democratic Attorney General nominee David Pepper have traveled the State raising awareness of these treatment funding shortfalls, the Ohio Republican Party accused those who criticized the cuts in local funding as nothing more than people “want[ing] more money for government.” [Source: Mansfield News Journal (6/5/2014)]

While Ohio Republicans call treatment dollars wasteful spending, officials on the frontline of the crisis say these cuts will have a real impact on struggling families and communities:

Executive Director of Lorain County’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board:  “People understand why families need support and treatment now more than ever. With this reduction, we’re going to have to tell them again services aren’t available unless you’re Medicaid eligible.” [AP, 5/23/2014]

Executive Director of the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board: “It’s going to reduce our available funds for community services that will be replaced by local levy dollars. Once again it’s an over-reliance on local funding to shore up what the state has started. We’re willing to do this because there are necessary services embedded with those dollars that are critical. Clients receiving those services should not be unduly impacted because of this funding change.” [Toledo Blade, 5/30/2014]

Executive Director of Butler County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board: “As more people come into residential services, Medicaid only pays for part of the bill, he said. It does not pay for room and board and supervision — ‘and those costs have increased,’ Bohley said. ‘(Medicaid expansion) is creating new demand for residential services and other services for childcare.'” [Journal News, 5/30/2014]

“The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, which represents local boards, suggested a one-year delay in the funding change to see if the recent Medicaid expansion could help.” [Plain Dealer, 5/30/2014]

BACKGROUND

Kasich & DeWine response to heroin is largely a State-driven program of community town halls that ignores local drug enforcement agencies.“Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine are spearheading a new “Start Talking” program to reduce heroin use in the state, especially for school-aged children. But, local drug enforcement agencies said they have not been included in the new statewide program.” [WKBN,4/29/2014]

Lack of Treatment Is “A Statewide Embarrassment,” State Officials Have Only Given a “Pep Talk”: The Plain Dealer has called the lack of treatment capacity a “statewide embarrassment.” [Plain Dealer, 2/18/14]. The Coshocton Tribune said that with few resources from the state, it is “disparaging when an elected official travels around the state giving what amounts to nothing more than a pep talk.” [Coshocton Tribune2/1/2014]

Ed Fitzgerald’s county heroin program called a “national model” by U.S. Attorney.  Steven M. Dettlebach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District Ohio praised the efforts of Cuyahoga County to tackle the heroin epidemic in Cuyahoga County as a protocol that “needs to be a national model.”  [Source: Cuyahoga County Government Press Conference (4/22/2014)]

Ohio Democratic Party Response to Suarez Verdict

Trial evidence shines light on Mandel’s continued misuse of public office

COLUMBUS- This afternoon, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court-Northern District of Ohio convicted Josh Mandel donor Benjamin Suarez on one count of obstruction of justice.

In response to today’s verdict, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Today’s verdict confirms what we have said for the past three years.  Josh Mandel used his official office to benefit a donor to his failed Senate campaign and that donor then took steps to cover up Josh’s efforts to protect the donor’s business.  From this trial, we learned that Josh Mandel was more personally involved to protect his donor than he has publicly acknowledged.  It’s yet another example of how Mandel has repeatedly failed to tell the truth and has abused the office for his political gain.”

BACKGROUND

“Illegal campaign cash scheme began after donor met with Mandel” [The Columbus Dispatch, (06/05/14)]

“[Assistant U.S. district attorney Carole] Rendon also said that in a private meeting on May 13, 2011—right at the time Suarez and the fundraiser for Mandel’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign were working on a letter to the California state treasurer—Mandel asked Suarez to raise him $100,000.  A stack of checks was collected by Mandel’s fundraiser from Suarez right after that letter was mailed, Rendon said.”

Calls from Suarez to Mandel days before SCI workers donated” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, (06/23/2014)]

 “On Sept. 29, 2011, FBI agents went to the homes of the SCI donors. Then between Oct. 1, 2011 and Oct. 12, 2011, there were phone calls between Suarez’s phone line and Mandel’s.” [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (6/23/2014), “Ben Suarez trial: Calls from Suarez to Mandel days before SCI workers donated.”]

The same testimony also showed a number of phone calls between Suarez and Mandel as Mandel’s office worked on a letter to the California State Treasurer on behalf of Benjamin Suarez—a letter that was nearly verbatim of a draft Suarez suggested Mandel’s campaign that Mandel should send.

“Government’s case against Suarez at odds with statements by Mandel and staff” [Columbus Dispatch, (06/06/14)]

“When these letters first came to light through court records in the fall of 2013, Chris Berry, a spokesman for the treasurer’s office, told The Dispatch that Mandel ‘does not recall being personally involved with these constituent letters.’”

“Most manufacturers where workers earned treasurer’s new ‘Ohio Strong’ award give to GOP” [Associated Press, (05/29/14)]

“Campaign finance filings reviewed by the AP show Mandel’s re-election campaign received donations from executives at three of the firms within weeks of their skilled-trades employees being recognized. One executive said his contribution was solicited.”

“The findings raise questions about whether Mandel is using the nonmonetary Ohio Strong Award he launched in March to reward and attract political contributors as he faces Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich this fall.”

“Mandel’s tax-funded phone chats raise questions” [The Dayton Daily News, 06/08/14]

“The calls have the effect of introducing Mandel to tens of thousands of voters—invaluable to someone who is running for re-election”

“‘It sounds very much like electioneering to me,’ Ohio State University political scientist Paul Beck said.  ‘To spend treasurer’s office money on that when the topics range so far and wide from what the treasurer’s office does makes it more electioneering-like.’”

Timeline: Kasich’s Story Changes On Assisting Benjamin Suarez

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, Governor Kasich’s office changed their story again on their involvement with Benjamin Suarez and his political corruption scheme. While originally they claimed Kasich’s Chief Legal Counsel acted of his own volition, they now claim Kasich’s office was simply sending a “perfunctory” letter. However, they have still yet to answer what happened between March 29th and April 25th that caused their office to change their mind about intervening on Suarez’s behalf.

Timeline of Kasich’s evolving story on his involvement in the Suarez political corruption scandal:

March 29, 2011: Kasich’s chief counsel sends Suarez a letter saying it “would not be appropriate for the Governor of Ohio to attempt or intervene” in the investigation. [Source: Plain Dealer, (11/6/2013)]

April 25, 2011: One month later, Kasich’s chief counsel sends letter to California AG requesting their involvement, calling the investigation of Suarez “unjust”. [Source:Plain Dealer, (11/7/2013)]

November 6, 2013: Kasich’s spokesman denies the Governor’s involvement in Suarez pay-to-play scandal.  “Kasich’s office said the governor did not contact Brown, as Renacci requested. Suarez also contacted Kasich’s office directly to seek help with his legal disputes and was told ‘we can’t help you,’ said Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols.” [Source:Plain Dealer, (11/6/2013)] 

November 7, 2013: The next day Kasich’s spokesman denied that his chief legal counsel knew Kasich received a donation from Suarez:  “Nichols said Grodhaus did not know Suarez gave money to Kasich’s campaign. Campaign finance records show that Suarez’s donations to Kasich occurred before his requests for help. Kasich’s campaign did not get any money from Suarez afterward.” [Source:Plain Dealer, (11/7/2013)]

June 16-22, 2014: Kasich’s spokesman tells The Plain Dealer the governor had nothing to do with the letter and the chief legal counsel acted of his own volition: “The governor never asked Grodhaus to do that, and they never had a discussion about it,” Nichols said. “Grodhaus did that on his own.” [Source: Plain Dealer, (6/24/2014)]

June 24, 2014: Nichols changes explanation of the chief legal counsel’s actions: “When asked about Grodhaus’ letter to the California official, Nichols said Tuesday that it was ‘perfunctory, garden-variety casework.’” [Source: Canton Repository, (6/24/2014)]

 

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Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman
340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

 

 

 

Ohio Drops Down to 38th in Job Growth under Kasich

Since Kasich was elected, Ohio’s job growth has fallen from nearly twice the national average to less than half 

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, the Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business updated its nonpartisan job growth rate to include the May jobs report for Ohio.  Ohio dropped down to 38th in the country, falling behind most neighboring states. West Virginia is growing jobs at over three times the rate as Ohio.  Pennsylvania gained 24,700 jobs in May, nearly ten times more than Ohio.

In response to Ohio’s drop in ASU’s non-partisan job creation ranking, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Since John Kasich was elected, Ohio’s job creation rate has dropped significantly. Our economy is growing less now than it was four years ago, and our incomes are falling. Each month, we see more evidence that Kasich’s policies of shifting the tax burden onto working families while gutting our schools and communities do not work for middle class Ohioans.”

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OHIO’S LATEST ECONOMIC NEWS:

“Everybody in Ohio, employed or not, is suffering from Ohio’s sub-par recovery from the 2007 recession.”—Economic Research Analyst George Zeller.  [Source:Cleveland Plain Dealer (6/19/2014), “Wages flat in Ohio, decline locally; state job growth below national average, Labor Department says.”]

“Ohio hasn’t had the big rebound like other states.”—Michael Wolf, an economist with Wells Fargo & Co.[Source: Columbus Dispatch (6/21/2014), “Ohio's jobless rate of 5.5% lowest since April 2007.”]

“The Republicans’ relative silence on today’s report is telling. It speaks to the overall meh-ness of the numbers…” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (6/20/2014), “BLS Hysteria, June edition.”]

BACKGROUND

Nationally, the country now has more jobs than it did at its pre-recession level.  With today’s national jobs report for May, the country now has more jobs than it did before the 2008 recession.  [Source: New York Times (6/6/2014), “In Jobs Report, Two Milestones.”]

Ohio still has nearly 140,000 jobs to regain to return to its pre-recession levels—the fifth highest deficit in the nation.  Ohio has 139,900 jobs left to regain before returning to its pre-recession number of jobs it had in June 2007.  Alaska, Colorado, D.C., Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah all have regained all the jobs lost recession roughly a year ago, yet Ohio has the fifth largest amount of jobs left to regain to reach its pre-recession numbers.   Neighboring West Virginia reached its pre-recession jobs number back in February.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics, seasonally adjusted (accessed 6/19/2014.)]

When Kasich was elected Governor, Ohio’s job creation rate was nearly twice that of the national rate.  Now, Ohio’s ranked 38th in job creation.  In November 2010, Ohio’s job creation rate was 1.02% compared to the national average of  .54%.  Now, Ohio is ranked 38th in the nation with a job growth rate  (.83%) lower than it was in 2010. [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, “Job Growth USA” website (accessed 6/23/2014)]

In 2010, Ohio created over 55,000 new jobs — more than it did in 2013 under Kasich.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio created 55,100 jobs in 2010, a year before Kasich took office, while only creating 50,400 jobs last year.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)].

When adjusted for inflation, Ohio incomes fell the last three quarters of 2013.  According to a U.S. Department of Labor report, the “average wage fell by more than one percentage point” in the fourth quarter of 2013 after falling the second and third quarter.  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (6/19/2014), “Wages flat in Ohio, decline locally; state job growth below national average, Labor Department says.”]

For the 19th straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to the May jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “Ohio has now gone 19 consecutive months with Ohio’s job growth below the U.S.A. national average.”  [Source: Columbus Dispatch (6/21/2014), “Ohio's jobless rate of 5.5% lowest since April 2007.”]

Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by 79,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, 79,000 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In May alone, over 14,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market after shrinking 13,500 in April and 11k in March for a total drop of 38,500 for the last three months. [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

Economist: “A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank noted that recent drops in the unemployment rate “wasn’t entirely for the right reasons” noting that “[a] declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.” [Source: Youngstown Vindicator(4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

Ohio’s economy grew less in 2013 than it did in 2010. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ohio’s GDP grew 2.5% in 2010 compared to the initial projected 1.8% in 2013.  [Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Press Release (6/11/2014).]

Last year, thirty other states had stronger personal income growth than Ohio.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ohio ranked 31st in the nation, trailing the national average, in personal income growth.  Ohio also ranked 30th in the nation in per capita personal income.  [U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Press Release (3/25/2014).]

ConAgra Foods announces its closing two plants, laying off 170 employees.  This morning, ConAgra Foods announced that it would close two Ohio plants in a cost-saving operations consolidation move.  In 2012, 25 positions were eliminated at the ConAgra plant in Marion, resulting in a reduction of shifts.  [Source:  Marion Star (6/6/2014), “ConAgra Foods closing plants.”]

Anchor Hocking’s flagship plant in Lancaster reportedly may close for good.  “Anchor Hocking has given notice to employees that its Lancaster plant could permanently close as soon as August if the parent company does not find a long-term solution to its financial crisis.  The glassmaker, with more than 1,100 workers in the city, has been idle since mid-May.” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (6/8/2014), “Anchor Hocking could close for good.”]

U.S. has more jobs before the recession, but Ohio lags under Kasich’s failed policies

Ohio has fifth largest jobs deficit, has not returned to pre-recession levels like other states

COLUMBUSThis morning, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released the May jobs report figures for Ohio.  Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped in May, but only because 14,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market.  The survey of Ohio households in May actually showed the number of employed Ohioans actually dropped by 4,000.

In response to today’s May jobs report for Ohio, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Nationally, we’re seeing a better job rate than before the recession began, but not in Ohio, where we still have over 140,000 jobs to regain—the fifth largest jobs deficit in the country.   Ohio’s labor force has been shrinking for the past three months because over 38,000 frustrated Ohioans gave up hope of finding a job.  Each month we see more evidence that under John Kasich, our economy, our job growth, and our paychecks continue to lag behind the rest of the nation. Kasich’s policies of shifting the tax burden onto working families while gutting our schools and communities do not work for middle class Ohioans.”

BACKGROUND

Nationally, the country now has more jobs than it did at its pre-recession level.  With today’s national jobs report for May, the country now has more jobs than it did before the 2008 recession.  [Source: New York Times (6/6/2014), “In Jobs Report, Two Milestones.”]

Ohio still has nearly 140,000 jobs to regain to return to its pre-recession levels—the fifth highest deficit in the nation.  Ohio has 139,900 jobs left to regain before returning to its pre-recession number of jobs it had in June 2007.  Alaska, Colorado, D.C., Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah all have regained all the jobs lost recession roughly a year ago, yet Ohio has the fifth largest amount of jobs left to regain to reach its pre-recession numbers.   Neighboring West Virginia reached its pre-recession jobs number back in February.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics, seasonally adjusted (accessed 6/19/2014.)]

Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by 79,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, 79,000 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In May alone, over 14,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market after shrinking 13,500 in April and 11k in March for a total drop of 38,500 for the last three months. [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

Economist: “A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank noted that recent drops in the unemployment rate “wasn’t entirely for the right reasons” noting that “[a] declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.” [Source: Youngstown Vindicator (4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

Ohio’s economy grew less in 2013 than it did in 2010.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ohio’s GDP grew 2.5% in 2010 compared to the initial projected 1.8% in 2013.  [Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Press Release (6/11/2014).]

Last year, thirty other States had stronger personal income growth than Ohio.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ohio ranked 31st in the nation, trailing the national average, in personal income growth.  Ohio also ranked 30th in the nation in per capita personal income.  [U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Press Release (3/25/2014).]

When Kasich was elected Governor, Ohio’s job creation rate was nearly twice that of the national rate.  Now, Ohio’s ranked 36th in job creation.  In November 2010, Ohio’s job creation rate was 1.02% compared to the national average of  .54%.  Now, Ohio is ranked 36th in the nation with a job growth rate  (.83%) lower than it was in 2010. [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, “Job Growth USA” website (accessed 6/6/2014)]

In 2010, Ohio created over 55,000 new jobs — more than it did in 2013 under Kasich.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio created 55,100 jobs in 2010, a year before Kasich took office, while only creating 50,400 jobs last year.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)].

For the 18th straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to today’s jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “”This is the 18th consecutive month that Ohio’s job growth rate was below the national average.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/16/2014), “Ohio's unemployment rate down to 5.7% because of job gains, but also shrinking labor force.”]

ConAgra Foods announces its closing two plants, laying off 170 employees.  This morning, ConAgra Foods announced that it would close two Ohio plants in a cost-saving operations consolidation move.  In 2012, 25 positions were eliminated at the ConAgra plant in Marion, resulting in a reduction of shifts.  [Source:  Marion Star (6/6/2014), “ConAgra Foods closing plants.”]

Anchor Hocking’s flagship plant in Lancaster reportedly may close for good.  “Anchor Hocking has given notice to employees that its Lancaster plant could permanently close as soon as August if the parent company does not find a long-term solution to its financial crisis.  The glassmaker, with more than 1,100 workers in the city, has been idle since mid-May.” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (6/8/2014), “Anchor Hocking could close for good.”]

HYPOCRISY ALERT: The Ohio Republican Party’s Record on Transparency

COLUMBUS – This morning, the Ohio Republican Party held a publicity stunt in Cleveland announcing an election-year lawsuit seeking records of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald that Governor Kasich’s security detail does not release to the public, citing security concerns.

In response to the Ohio Republican Party’s press conference (reportedly attended by one reporter and two sandwich-board toting ORP interns), Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said:

“Since before he even took office,  John Kasich has repeatedly chipped away at public accountability and transparency.  The Ohio Republican Party has said and done nothing to stop it.  The Republicans suing for security documents that Governor Kasich’s detail won’t keep and release is hypocritical. These partisan, election-year publicity stunts over a public official and his family’s personal safety is deplorable.”

BACKGROUND

Governor Kasich’s security detail does not keep, let alone release, key card swiping data for Governor Kasich for security reasons.   When asked if the State would release Governor Kasich’s key card swipe data showing the Governor’s comings and goings in the Vern Riffe Building or the Statehouse, it was reported that “kind of data doesn’t exist simply because of security arrangements.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/1/2014), “Nature of John Kasich's security team means key-card data showing his comings and goings doesn't exist.”]

For your information, here are just some of the examples in which the Kasich Administration and Ohio Republican officials have failed to act in a transparent manner in which the Ohio Republican Party either stood silent or actually defended the lack of transparency in State government:

  • Governor-elect John Kasich denied request for transition documents, including resumes of applicants to his Administration during the transition.  Eventually, Kasich relented and agreed to release the records after he took office… because his chief legal counsel informed he legally could no longer refuse to do so at that point.  [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (12/17/10), “Kasich no fan of transparency.”]
  • Governor-elect Kasich claimed rules requiring transparency affect his ability to hire who he wanted: “We have so many stupid rules and regulations that prevent us from getting the best people to come in here. You just can’t believe it.”Now I blame it on all of you, all this transparency and conflicts and all this other stuff,” he told reporters.  [Source: Toledo Blade (12/17/10), “Kasich says rules prevent hiring Ohio's best.”]
  • Kasich’s transition team also tried closing out a number of “public” inaugural events to the press. [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (1/4/11), “Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich to limit media access to some inaugural events.”]
  • Kasich even tried to keep the press out from observing him take the oath of office.  [Source: Toledo Blade (1/5/2011), “Incoming Ohio governor Kasich won't let media attend oath in private.”]
  • JobsOhio. [Source: 129th General Assembly HB 1; Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/29/2014), “New report from JobsOhio critic says lack of transparency leaves Ohio wondering.”]
  • When Republicans rushed legislation to prevent JobsOhio from being publicly audited by the Office of the State Auditor ever again.  [Source: 130th General Assembly SB 67; Columbus Dispatch (6/5/2013), “Kasich signs bill to close JobsOhio’s books.”]
  • When a reporter was barred from recording a State Budget Hearing. [Source: Streetsboro Gateway News (3/13/2014), “Dix Statehouse Reporter Blocked From Recording Ohio Budget Hearing.”]  Although the Chair did reverse the policy after it became public.  [Source: Crescent News (3/14/2014), “McClain Changes Mind On Media Access To Committee Meeting.”]

EARLY VOTE WINS IN OHIO

COLUMBUS—Today the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled in favor of the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party’s motion for summary judgment to permanently maintain the final three days of early voting leading up to Election Day.  In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“All along, we believed the actions of the Republican-controlled legislature, Secretary of State Husted and Governor Kasich were unconstitutional; and yet again, a federal judge has agreed. This ruling shows how important these last three days are to ensure equal access to the ballot, and the hours set by Secretary Husted should reflect that.

“The Ohio Democratic Party has never lost one of these cases in our fight to protect voting rights for all Ohioans. It’s time Jon Husted and John Kasich set aside their partisan loyalties and embrace voting rights.”

Ohio’s GDP growth weaker than 2010

Growing number of signs show Ohio’s economy is stalling

COLUMBUS – This morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis released revised State GDP figures from 2010 through 2013.  Ohio’s GDP in 2013 grew only 1.8% after growing 2.5% in 2010.  Also, Ohio trailed 30 other states in personal income growth in 2013 with income growth trailing the national average.

Today’s economic news reinforces multiple other indicators that show Ohio’s economy is stalling.  Last week, Ohio had the second largest increase in initial unemployment compensation claims.  For the second month in a row, the state reported revenues coming in below estimates.  Just last week, ConAgra announced it was closing two plants in Ohio, and the Anchor Hocking flagship plant in Lancaster has been reported at high risk of closing for good.

“Under John Kasich, our economy, our job growth, and our paychecks continue to lag behind the rest of the nation’s economic growth.   It just proves that John Kasich’s policies don’t work for middle class Ohioans,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.

BACKGROUND

Ohio’s economy grew less in 2013 than it did in 2010.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ohio’s GDP grew 2.5% in 2010 compared to the initial projected 1.8% in 2013.  [Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Press Release (6/11/2014).]

Last year, thirty other states had stronger personal income growth than Ohio.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ohio ranked 31st in the nation, trailing the national average, in personal income growth.  Ohio also ranked 30th in the nation in per capita personal income.  [U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Press Release (3/25/2014).]

Nationally, the country now has more jobs than it did at its pre-recession level.  With today’s national jobs report for May, the country now has more jobs than it did before the 2008 recession.  [Source: New York Times (6/6/2014), “In Jobs Report, Two Milestones.”]

Last week, Ohio had the second largest increase in initially filed weekly claims in the United States.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (6/5/2014).]

Ohio revenues fall below estimates for second month in a row due to falling revenues largely across the board.  Due to the personal income, financial institutions, commercial activity and sales taxes all coming below estimates in May, the State collected over $100 million less than projected.  [Source: Gongwer (6/5/2014), “State Tax Revenue Drops Against Estimates For Second Month In A Row.”]

ConAgra Foods announces its Marion and Morral plants, laying off 170 employees.  This morning, ConAgra Foods announced that it would close two Ohio plants in a cost-saving operations consolidation move.  In 2012, 25 positions were eliminated at the ConAgra plant in Marion, resulting in a reduction of shifts.  [Source:  Marion Star (6/6/2014), “ConAgra Foods closing plants.”]

Anchor Hocking’s flagship plant in Lancaster reportedly may close for good.  “Anchor Hocking has given notice to employees that its Lancaster plant could permanently close as soon as August if the parent company does not find a long-term solution to its financial crisis.  The glassmaker, with more than 1,100 workers in the city, has been idle since mid-May.” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (6/8/2014), “Anchor Hocking could close for good.”]

In early 2010, Ohio’s unemployment rate was in freefall.  In 2010, a year before Kasich took office, Ohio’s unemployment rate began a year-long streak of constantly dropping every month, a streak broken under John Kasich that has not been duplication or surpassed.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

In 2010, Ohio created over 55,000 new jobs more than it did in 2013 under Kasich.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio created 55,100 jobs in 2010, a year before Kasich took office, while only creating 50,400 jobs last year.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)].

For the 18th straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to today’s jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “”This is the 18th consecutive month that Ohio’s job growth rate was below the national average.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/16/2014), “Ohio's unemployment rate down to 5.7% because of job gains, but also shrinking labor force.”]

Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  In 2010, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by over 85,000.  In 2013, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by less than 10,000.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by over 51,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, 51,609 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In March 2014 alone, over 11,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market.U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

Economist: “A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank noted that recent drops in the unemployment rate “wasn’t entirely for the right reasons” noting that “[a] declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.” [Source: Youngstown Vindicator (4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

When Kasich was elected Governor, Ohio’s job creation rate was nearly twice that of the national rate.  Now, Ohio ranks 36th in job creation.  In November 2010, Ohio’s job creation rate was 1.02% compared to the national average of  .54%.  Now, Ohio is ranked 36th in the nation with a job growth rate  (.83%) lower than it was in 2010. [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, “Job Growth USA” website (accessed 6/6/2014)]

Josh Mandel Continues To Use Treasurer’s Office For Personal Political Benefit

New revelations on Ohio Strong, Benjamin Suarez, and Tele-Town Halls once again show Mandel’s use of Treasurer’s office for his personal political benefit

COLUMBUS – Since May 29th, members of the Ohio press corps have shown us how far Josh Mandel is willing to go to use his office—and taxpayer money—for his own personal political benefit.

Strike One: Ohio Strong

“Most manufacturers where workers earned treasurer’s new ‘Ohio Strong’ award give to GOP” [The Associated Press, 05/29/14]

“Campaign finance filings reviewed by the AP show Mandel’s re-election campaign received donations from executives at three of the firms within weeks of their skilled-trades employees being recognized. One executive said his contribution was solicited.”

“The findings raise questions about whether Mandel is using the nonmonetary Ohio Strong Award he launched in March to reward and attract political contributors as he faces Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich this fall.”

Strike Two: Benjamin Suarez

“Illegal campaign cash scheme began after donor met with Mandel” [The Columbus Dispatch, 06/05/14]

“[Assistant U.S. district attorney Carole] Rendon also said that in a private meeting on May 13, 2011—right at the time Suarez and the fundraiser for Mandel’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign were working on a letter to the California state treasurer—Mandel asked Suarez to raise him $100,000.  A stack of checks was collected by Mandel’s fundraiser from Suarez right after that letter was mailed, Rendon said.”

“Government’s case against Suarez at odds with statements by Mandel and staff” [The Columbus Dispatch, 06/06/14]

“When these letters first came to light through court records in the fall of 2013, Chris Berry, a spokesman for the treasurer’s office, told The Dispatch that Mandel ‘does not recall being personally involved with these constituent letters.’”

Strike Three: Taxpayer-funded Tele-Town Halls

“Mandel’s tax-funded phone chats raise questions” [The Dayton Daily News, 06/08/14]

“The calls have the effect of introducing Mandel to tens of thousands of voters—invaluable to someone who is running for re-election”

“‘It sounds very much like electioneering to me,’ Ohio State University political scientist Paul Beck said.  ‘To spend treasurer’s office money on that when the topics range so far and wide from what the treasurer’s office does makes it more electioneering-like.’”

Multiple Indicators This Week Show Ohio Economy Stalling

Ohio Has Second Highest Increase in Unemployment Claims 

COLUMBUS – This week, multiple indicators have shown that Ohio’s economy is stalling.  Ohio had the second largest increase in initial unemployment compensation claims last week.  For the second month in a row, the state reported revenues coming in below estimates by the Kasich administration.

In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“With ConAgra closing, unemployment claims rising, state revenues worse than expected and 25,000 frustrated unemployed Ohioans giving up their job search, it’s clear that Ohio is falling behind. Before John Kasich was elected, our state’s job growth was better than the national average. Thanks to Kasich’s policies, Ohio now lags behind 35 other states in job growth. It’s just more proof that Kasich’s policies don’t work for middle class Ohioans.”

BACKGROUND

For the 18th straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to today’s jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “This is the 18th consecutive month that Ohio’s job growth rate was below the national average.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/16/2014), “Ohio's unemployment rate down to 5.7% because of job gains, but also shrinking labor force.”]

Last week, Ohio had the second largest increase in initially filed weekly claims in the United States.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (6/5/2014).]

Ohio revenues fall below Kasich Administration’s estimates for second month in a row due to falling revenues largely across the board.  Due to the personal income, financial institutions, commercial activity and sales taxes all coming below estimates in May, the State collected over $100 million less than projected.  [Source: Gongwer (6/5/2014), “State Tax Revenue Drops Against Estimates For Second Month In A Row.”]

ConAgra Foods announces its Marion and Morral plants, laying off 170 employees.  This morning, ConAgra Foods announced that it would close two Ohio plants in a cost-saving operations consolidation move.  In 2012, 25 positions were eliminated at the ConAgra plant in Marion, resulting in a reduction of shifts.  [Source:  Marion Star (6/6/2014), “ConAgra Foods closing plants.”]

Nationally, the country now has more jobs than it did at its pre-recession level.  With today’s national jobs report for May, the country now has more jobs than it did before the 2008 recession.  [Source: New York Times (6/6/2014), “In Jobs Report, Two Milestones.”]

Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  In 2010, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by over 85,000.  In 2013, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by less than 10,000.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by over 51,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, 51,609 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In March 2014 alone, over 11,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

Economist: “A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank noted that recent drops in the unemployment rate “wasn’t entirely for the right reasons” noting that “[a] declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.” [Source: Youngstown Vindicator (4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

When Kasich was elected Governor, Ohio’s job creation rate was nearly twice as high as the national average. Now, Ohio is ranked 36th in job creation.  In November 2010, Ohio’s job creation rate was 1.02% compared to the national average of  .54%.  Now, Ohio is ranked 36th in the nation with a job growth rate  (.83%) lower than it was in 2010. [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, “Job Growth USA” website (accessed 6/6/2014)]

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.