Friday, May 28, 2010

Laketran Begging for More Tax Pay Money: Gen. Mgr. Jurkowski, Board Pres. Malecek, and Union Boss Degraff want more money

Over at today we learn that the Laketran Director, its Board President, and a Union thug are sticking their hands out to ask for more money, which would sink this Country into DEEPer debt.

Laketran General Manager Raymond Jurkowski, Board President Kevin Malecek, and Union Boss Richard Degraff all signed a letter written to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in support of the Public Transportation Act of 2010. This legislation would plunge America $2 billion more into debt so that public transit systems can avoid more cut backs.

It's no surprise that Willoughby Hills Council President, a democrat, Kevin Malecek and United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agriculture Implement Workers of America Local 1834 Chairman Richard Degraff would support increased deficit spending. Sickening.

All three men signing this letter have a vested interest in getting this law passed...paychecks, union support, etc.

This begging is just irresponsible and shameful.  The United States is heavily in debt--yet, Malecek, Jurkowski, and Degraff ask us to go further in debt to help a heavily publicly subsidized entity.  Disgusting.

Latourette: Disappointment--Co-sponsors union bailout

U.S. Rep Steve Latourette has become an bigger disappointment.  Rep. Latourette is co-sponsoring a bill to "bail out" pension funds for unions--read "bail out" unions.

See the summary of H.R. 3936 here.

Preserve Benefits and Jobs Act of 2009 - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow a sponsor of a single-employer defined benefit pension plan to elect in 2009 or 2010 extended amortization periods (9 or 15 years) for investment losses incurred in prior years; (2) allow an increase in the valuation range of plan assets; (3) use the funded status of a plan in 2008 to determine benefit restrictions in 2009 and 2010 and prohibit the use of credit balances by pension plans that are under 80% funded in the prior year; (4) exclude plan-related administrative expenses (including investment expenses) from normal cost targets; (5) delay until 2012 the application of certain benefit restrictions to collectively bargained plans; and (6) require a 120% funding target for plans adopting ad hoc amendments that allow lump sum benefits payments and increased plan liabilities. Revises rules relating to information reporting and reportable events. Calculates the amount of any pension plan guarantee by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) using the date of plan termination rather than the date of a plan bankruptcy filing. Amends ERISA provisions relating to multiemployer pension plans to: (1) allow such plans to elect alternative amortization plans and valuation methods in 2009 and 2010 for investment losses; (2) extend by five years the funding improvement period for plans in endangered or critical status; (3) permit multiemployer plans to merge or form alliances with other plans; and (4) increase PBGC guarantees for insolvent plans to increase participant benefits.

Although not specifically mentioned, unions, make no mistake H.R. 3696 is aimed at saving union pension funds.

The Employee Retirment Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is explained here.  Again, no specific mention of unions for full disclosure.

Watch Rep. Latourette cry and moan about being criticized.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grendell and Schneider?

According to the News-Herald, there was a censure of State Sen. Tim Grendell by the Lake County Republican Party.  Read the details here.

According to the linked article State Sen. Tim Grendell issued a "supportive statement" about then candidate Mark Schneider.

Could this lend credence to rumors that Grendell "supported" Schneider?

But, why oh why?

Commisioner Ray Sines was quoted as saying that he did not think the censure was a great idea.  This comes as no surprise given many of Sines' stances on many issues.


Mark Schneider introduced H.B. 427 which would be used to funnel money from the families of deceased class action law suit defendants to local charities.

It's funny that the very well compensated Executive Director of the United Way of Lake County, Deborah Foley, traveled to Columbus to speak in support of the bill.  Funny?  Yes.  It's not surprising.  Foley, sister of Lake County Metropark Board of Commissioner President Ellen Foley Kessler, needs to raise a lot of money to pay the agencies expenses.  These expenses include her $117, 000 base salary.

What's even more interesting about this story is that State Sen Tim Grendell sponsored a companion bill, S.B. 157 in the Ohio Senate.

Grendell working close with Schnieder?  Hmmmmmm.

Wasn't there a controversy over Grendell's sort of endorsment of Mark Schneider in the race versus Carol Anne Schindell?  Ooooooops, Tim!  Are you giving everyone a little peak at your cards?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poor Euclid

Found a great blog today!  Dead Euclid shows the effects of high taxes, oppressive regimes, stringent regulation, ....

Check out Dead Euclid.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Willoughby mayor says cities still have to provide in down economy - The News-Herald News : Breaking news coverage for Northern Ohio

Willoughby mayor says cities still have to provide in down economy - The News-Herald News : Breaking news coverage for Northern Ohio

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More on this tonight.  It's ironic that the two local Mayors, Anderson and Weger, that supported the MR/DD levy are featured in stories about funds, costs, etc.

Below is a table taken from Willoughby's FY 2008 budget.  This is the most recent information available online on Willoughby's website.  Look at FY 2008 and see if there isn't a whole category that can be cut.

Willoughby Budget Table 2008

A cursory inspection of the table in the above PDF document will reveal that in the Fiscal Year 2008 the City of Willoughby spent $2.3 million on what the Finance Director labeled "leisure time activities."

Bet your bottom dollar the City of Willoughby did not come close to making up that $2.3 million in green's fees at the Golf Course, pool passes, etc.  That's means the City of Willoughby spent the lion's share of $2.3 million on "liesure time activities."

A City spent $2.3 million on leisure time activities?  So let's get this straight.  Dave Anderson says that Cities still have to supply the same services despite the recession and funds drying up.  But, he spent $2.3 million on leisure time activities?

At least Willoughby Hills cut the whole recreation budget.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tax Levies Steal Disposable Income

The News-Herald ran a telling article over at today.  Brandon C. Baker lamented in "Down Economy Means Fewer Jobs" there are fewer jobs for the kiddies at small businesses and local municipalities.

It's ironic that Baker included quotes from Mayor Bob Weger.  Ironic?  Yes.  Mayor Weger endorsed the MR/DD levy that just passed.  That levy will gobble more of our disposable income.  That's less money for us to spend at Scooter's World Famous Hotdog (a business in the story) meaning that the owner has less money to hire people.  We had to chuckle when Mayor Weger pointed out that Willoughby Hills has such a low income tax at 1.5%.  Chuckle?  Yep.  Mayor Weger had supported an income tax increase proposed by Willoughby Hills Council earlier this year.  Following the logic here Mayor Weger probably supported the Willoughby-Eastlake School and Library Levies.

So, Mr. Mayor--with all these levies passing and our disposable income being stolen--do you really think we are going to have the cash to go out and spend at small businesses like Scooter's Dawg Shop?

It was good to see that Mayor Weger pointed out that spending stopped six months ago and that the unions had to agree to wage freezes.  Also, he pointed out that looks like wage freezes will be in order for next year.  Sounds like a plan!!!!

It's also good to see that the the recreation department was cut from Willoughby Hills budget, according to the article. Good move Willoughby Hills!  Recreation is not an essential function of government.  Recreation departments could probably be cut from every budget.

Let's summarize a few things here.  First, the tax levies supported by Mayor Weger are BAD BAD BAD for the economy.  These tax levies steal disposable income that could be better spent by us.  Second, it looks like Willoughby Hills started to make appropriate cuts: no wage increases, cut the recreation department, etc.

However, we have to believe that this may be being used to set the stage for another attempt at raising the income tax.  Let's hope not!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Talk About a Waste of Money: Aufuldish and Moran Fund Raisers

Hat tip to Dave Jones of the News-Herald for the information below.  We know, most of you out there roll your eyes at Jones' speculating.  We, on the other hand, think any info is good info.

Talk about a waste of money:
* “Friends of Judy Moran Ladies Luncheon and Tea” for the Willowick City Council president: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 16 at Regovich’s Catering in Eastlake. Speaker: Susan Mikolic, registered nurse consultant and coach. See Moran or Kathy Russo.

* Lake County Commissioner Bob Aufuldish: 11 a.m. opener May 28 at the Powderhorn Country Club in Madison Township. See Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour or Ernie Koenig.
Hmmmmm.  What could Bob Aufuldish and Judy Moran be raising money for?  Commissioner races.   We are going to have to wheel Aufuldish out of that Commissioner's Office.  And for Judy Moran?  Ray Sines might not be so lucky this time around.  Sines better start raising BIG money.

Getting to Lorraine Fende (better): Political Courage Test

Project Vote Smart does a pretty good job compiling all kinds of information about office holders, candidates, etc.  We thought it would be helpful to share what Project Vote Smart knows about Lorraine Fende.  We stumbled across something called a "political courage test."  Apparently, this test was given for Lorraine Fende to fill out.  Its unclear which election this form was filled out for, but a new one was sent to her or 2008.

Very, very interesting.  One might conclude that Lorraine Fende is sort of a Social Conservative.  For instance, she only believes abortion should be legal in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman's life is in danger.  Also, according to this she does not believe in "abortion on demand." Interesting.

Moving on.  Lorraine Fende said that marriage should be restricted to be between one man and one woman, but was undecided on Civil Unions.

Moving along.  Some of the most surprising stuff has to do with her stances on taxes, which does not seem to jive with her recent votes.  According to this test she believes property taxes need to be greatly decreased, and taxes on income less than $75, 000 per year need to be slightly decreased.  Also, she noted that sales taxes need to be slightly decreased.

Is this the same Lorraine Fende?
Fende 2004 Political Courage Test

Monday, May 10, 2010

Political Expression: Geauga Constitutional Council

As any of the readers of this site can tell WE believe that freedom of speech is important.  Individuals, groups, companies, etc. need to be able to express themselves freely without fear of repercussion.

This Country was founded on a sharp political dialogue.  In fact, anonymous pamphleteering, and publication of thought in news papers was an important part in the birth of this Country's founding documents.  The Federalist Papers, for instance, were written anonymously.  It took careful study and many decades to figure out who wrote the Federalist Papers.

Anyhow, over the week-end the News-Herald ran a story about the Geauga Constitutional Council.  The article details how the group says it is dedicated to educating citizens about constitutional rights and personal responsibility via publications, ads, websites, etc. according to founder/director Ed Corsi.  However, the Geauga County Board of Elections has a different view.  According to Ed Ryder, a Geauga County Board of Elections Member, the group seeks to influence elections and is doing so in an illegal fashion.  Specifically, the group has allegedly been engaged in electioneering without properly disclosing details about its finances, organization, etc.

Visit the Geauga Consitutional Council's website here.  The group clearly endorses candidates.  Take a look at the group's endorsements here. At the top of the link discussing the May 2010 primary the group very, very strongly endorses Judge Eugene Lucci.  The group's website says with regard to the May 2010 primary between Judge Lucci and Judge O'toole
It's a no brainer...Judge Lucci is the one.
Take a look at this link, it goes on to engage in name calling about Judge O'toole referring to her as a liar (via comparison to Pinocchio) and "cry baby."  These are the words of the the author of the Geauga Constitutional Council's website.  Not ours.

Not to bore you guys, but the Geauga Constitutional Council wrote at least 11 items that seek to influence the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Race.

Moving along...The Geauga Constitutional Council made endorsements in Lake County for candidate Ron Young as well and many more in Geauga County. The group seem infatuated with State Sen. Tim Grendell and his quest to win OH-98's House Seat.

Please understand we cherish free speech, especially the ability to comment on news and politics.

If this group does in fact get found to be violating election law we wonder how it could influence the elections this fall.  How could it affect Judge Lucci's race this fall given that he said to be a long time close and personal friend of Ed Corsi, and has spoken at this group's events?  We think it would affect Tim Grendell less given how entrenched he is in Geauga County.

Some serious charges are being bandied about regarding Ed Corsi as well.  Stay Tuned.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Great Video of Dimora Revealing what We All know about News Media

We know, we know.  This video is about Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora's feud with Plain Dealer reporter Henry Gomez, but it's too funny.  And, it's revealing.

Watch it a second time and pay close attention to what Dimora says about the Plain Dealer slanted coverage of issues.  Dimora is right on target when it comes to the Plain Dealer being in bed with certain special interests and carrying their water.  The same can be said about the News-Herald.  The News-Herald  "endorses" and acts as a public relations firm for various Boards, businesses (e.g. MR/DD, Libraries, Park systems, Classic Auto group, etc.).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lucci Campaign Committee Filing

Some would say that this is the "cost" of the primary Judge Lucci just won.  The "cost" only began with this filing.

Gene Lucci Report 042210

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Judge Lucci Wins Lake County BIG!

Congratulations Judge Lucci!  We mean that.  Your campaign worked hard, and wanted it...more than Judge O'toole's campaign.  You had a strong presence in Lake County.

Its unfortunate that your campaign has been called one of the dirtiest in local history, but you won none the less.

Guess you get what you pay for (the dirty campaign that is)!

The problem is that your General Election opponent enjoyed every minute of your primary.  Word has it Union support in Trumbull County could not be happier!

Real time results for all five counties here.

Issue 5 passes in Lake County

The voters spoke: Issue 5 passed overwhelmingly.  

The puff pieces in the News-Herald, deceitful literature, and endorsements worked!

It was disappointing to see Mayors Wegar and Anderson and Rep. Latourette root for a tax increase.