A Good Time At The Ohio Secular Summit 4.0


On February 10th I attended Secular Summit 4.0 at the Ohio State House in Columbus. It was hosted by CFI NE Ohio. It was the second lobby day I attended and this time I tried to as prepared as I could be to speak to my representatives. As luck would have it, I got to speak to my state Senator and he seemed positive toward the secular issues I presented to him. Seculars need to do more in person lobbying of our elected officials in addition to phone calls and written messages.

The Secular Summit is a chance for secular people around Ohio to get together for a morning meeting then in the afternoon we have appointments with our state representatives and senators. 

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Local GOP Candidates Forum Turns Into Bible Debate And Attack On Education

screencap of Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite and challenger Corey Shankleton explaining what other rights they would like to restrict in the 1st Senate District.
Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite and challenger Corey Shankleton explaining what other rights they would like to restrict in the 1st Senate District.

A news story concerning a Ohio state senate primary race for Republicans caught my eye the other day. I didn’t attend the luncheon hosted by the Hancock County (Ohio) GOP, but from the news reports it turned into a bible debate, conservative purity check, and an attack on public education.

The attack on education was kind of ironic because two of the candidates, current State Sen. Cliff Hite and Corey Shankleton, are former teachers. Of course Senator Hite got appointed to the Ohio Senate by promising to sell out his teaching colleagues by voting for SB 5 back in 2011. SB 5 attempted to take away public employee’s rights to collective bargaining. So, I wasn’t surprised at Hite jumping on the bash public education bandwagon.

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Hite against delay in tax cut even with $900 million state budget hole

State Rep. Cliff Hite (R-76th District) was in the news today for a couple of state issues. While I didn’t agree with his overall comments I do give the man credit for acknowledging that alternatives for the budget issues facing Ohio would not be painless.

In an interview on WFIN’s morning show Hite said that the Republicans had ideas to help fill in the approx $900 million budget gap after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that allowing video slot machines had to be voted on by the public. He said that one was restructuring state government by reducing the number of departments. The example he gave was eliminating the Department of Agriculture and absorbing the work into multiple departments. Such a change would lead to the loss of many state worker jobs.

Another suggestion was reducing Medicaid benefits which would hurt those who get those benefits.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has said he wants to postpone the 4.2% tax reduction scheduled to take place in 2009 for two years. Some Republicans are against the delay because they feel the tax cut was meant to make “Ohio more competitive for jobs.” Hite is also against a delay.

I will credit Rep. Hite, that unlike the previous guy to hold his seat, he at least acknowledges the Republican alternatives aren’t perfect.

I disagree with Hite’s view on postponing the tax cut and changing state government.

It makes no sense, when one is losing revenue, to cut your revenue further. Ohio has made massive spending cuts in the past so any more cuts will be hitting bone.

The fact is that Ohio isn’t even in the top 10 for personal income tax and the corporate tax rate is only 5.1% for those that actually pay it. The argument that our taxes are too high is not supported by the evidence. The tax cut that Strickland wants to delay was passed in 2005 before the economy tanked and was to be phased in 4% a year with this year being the last of the 21% cut.

It is good to know that Hite isn’t a plain Jane Republican ideologue. Picture Robbie the Robot waving arms and saying “Must cut spending must cut spending must cut spending must cut spending…” and ignoring reality like Mike Gilb and Lynn Wachtmann use to do.

In an article in The Findlay Courier Rep. Hite said he favored State Issue 2 which supposedly creates yet another state board to prevent groups like the Humane Society from getting laws passed in the state to protect farm animals from cruel treatment.

So smaller government is good for business unless you can use it to protect business, then it needs to be larger.

It doesn’t make sense to me either.

A Bit of Local News

Finally some local news:

Coach Hite resigns

The big news is that FHS Head Football coach Cliff Hite stepped down as coach on 12/1/2005. He became the winningest coach in school history, chalking up a 68-40 record in 10 seasons. Since 1998 his teams have six out seven league titles and appeared in the state playoffs in 1999, 2002, and this season.

His scheme was a version of the run and gun spread offense that allowed quarterbacks to put up some impressive yardage and touchdown stats. His most famous student is current Pittsburgh Steelers starting QB Ben Roethlisberger.

A replacement probably won’t be named until the spring when coaching changes are usually decided, but the local paper, The Courier, speculated that current offensive coordinator Mark Ritzler might be in line for the job.

Being a classmate of Ritz back in 1980’s at FHS, I hope he gets the job if he wants it.

Hite steps down as Trojans coach

David Cryer to play Broadway

Actor David Cryer, Findlay High ’54, who has been with the touring company of the musical “Phantom of the Opera” for the past 13 years, will be playing “Monsieur Firmin” in the Broadway production starting in January.

The touring company is performing in Cincinnati through January 1st.

Cryer is the father of actor Jon Cryer who stars on the show “Two and Half Men” on CBS.

Phantom’s foe: 10 questions with actor David Cryer

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”