Compare with Monte Carlo . . .

In November, Ohioans will be asked if they wish to amend the Ohio Constitution to allow 4 casinos, owned and operated by out-of-state entities, to do business on Ohio soil.

As one can determine upon reading my correspondence with spokespersons for the casino proponents, the major thrust of their marketing efforts is to portray casinos as an economic booster.  I will have much to say about this portrayal beyond what is contained in this blog entry, so stay tuned . . .

Last year, in the days preceding the vote on another casino issue, Issue 6, I made a fuss over who gets the privilege of owning and operating a casino in at least a couple of posts (like this one, and this one).  With this latest casino proposal, I’ve already made this same fuss over special Constitutional rights to own and operate a casino granted to out-of-state tycoons that won’t be extended to the 11 million residents of Ohio.

Why is it that I concern myself so much with the right to own a casino and not so much with the right to gamble at a casino?  One obvious reason would be that adults already have the mobility to get to a casino, and if they can get there, they have the right to gamble there.  Therefore, the rights to gamble are not, in reality, curtailed.  However, the rights to own and operate a casino are very much curtailed.  If a casino happens to be publicly traded (and not all of them are) the average person might be able to own a few shares of stock, but a controlling interest in the corporation would clearly be out of reach.  Meanwhile, the average person, if they felt entrepreneurial enough, might manage to open a restaurant, a fitness center, a retail shop, a trucking service, a dry cleaners, a laundromat, an automotive repair shop, a mortgage brokerage, a realty, a manufacturing facility, a marina, a hotel, a software company, and so on and so forth . . . except a casino.

The clear economic advantage of having a casino in your city would accrue to the casino’s owners, not the casino’s gamblers . . . and since the casino’s owners aren’t even from your city, or even your state . . .

So, can you name an example of a casino that actually boosted an economy?  How about the famous Monte Carlo casino in the Mediterranean principality of Monaco?

OK, let’s look into the history of the Monte Carlo casino.  We can then compare it with what’s being proposed now.

The land area of Monaco amounts to less than a square mile.  It has a population of between 30 and 35 thousand people.  It lies on the shores of the Mediterranean, and beyond its land boundaries lies the nation of France.

The terrain of Monaco is sharply sloping, and it’s soil is relatively rocky.  Nevertheless, through much of Monaco’s early history, much of it’s economic lifeblood came from agriculture.  Lemons, oranges, olives, and grapes were cultivated in Monaco, once upon a time.

There was a sudden drastic change that left Monaco bereft of its agriculture.   Suddenly, Monaco was the poorest state in Europe.  What happened?

Monaco’s territory used to be bigger.  The Grimaldi dynasty that ruled Monaco imposed high taxes.  Grumblings over taxes led to a separatist movement.  The royal family didn’t have the power to hold Monaco together intact, especially with the behemoth of France breathing down its neck.  So, in order to remain a family of privilege with at least a tiny parcel of territory to rule, the Prince of Monaco arranged a treaty with France that recognized the Grimaldi family’s self-rule over the tiny parcel of land that constitutes present-day Monaco, but the Grimaldi family was forced to relinquish claims on the agricultural lands inhabited by the separatists.  In the year 1861, Monaco lost 90% of its territory, including all of its arable land.

What’s a Prince to do?  If the Prince allows Monaco to wallow in poverty, all its remaining residents will also revolt, and there will be no territory or people left to rule over.

In 1863, the first phase of the Monte Carlo casino was built.  Prince Charles III had been to a luxurious combo spa and gambling resort in Germany, and decided to give it a try in Monaco.  His resort would cater to the very wealthy, and he’d use the balmy Mediterranean seaside climate as an additional marketing tool to attract the upper crust.

The Prince knew that the casino would fail to enrich Monaco if its residents gambled there. Therefore, from its inception, the Monte Carlo casino was off-limits to Monaco’s citizens, including the royal family, itself.  Monaco’s citizens were not even to enter the casino.  To make sure that the casino was catering to an upscale clientele, guests had to dress up in order to gain entry.  No shorts or blue jeans or t-shirts.  Tuxedos and evening gowns, however, were quite acceptable attire.

In less than a decade, Monaco’s income tax was scrapped.  The royal family had managed to solidify its rule within its principality.

But that’s not the end of the story . . .

During the Great Depression, revenues at the casino dropped substantially.  The royal family realized they had to diversify Monaco’s economy.  From that time to this, Monaco has been working toward minimizing its dependence on casino revenue.  Nowadays, there’s competition from casinos in France, so there’s even more reason to diversify the economy.  When casino revenues fell, instead of pouring larger investments into casino expansion, the Grimaldi family invested in other  diverse ventures. The tourism industry is the largest economic sector of Monaco, even today, constituting roughly 50% of GDP.  The casino’s share of today’s economy?  Less than 5%.  The famous casino, while it endures, is not an economic necessity for Monaco.  The economy of Monaco today could survive quite well without it.  Many of the biggest investments the Grimaldi family made weren’t even in the tourism sector of the economy.  A chunk of land was filled in and reclaimed from the sea, and light, non-polluting, industry was attracted to the new stretch of land by the siren call of low taxes.

At one point, Monaco had to modify its stance on taxes.  The neighboring behemoth of France noticed too much of its tax revenue was being drained by wealthy people taking up residence and setting up business in  tiny little Monaco.  Therefore, French citizens must reside in Monaco for at least 5 years before they become exempt from French taxes.  With its scarce land, Monaco is a pricey location when it comes to renting an apartment, but, depending on a person’s tax bracket elsewhere, moving to Monaco could make your net income grow by 50%.  Wouldn’t that be worth something to you?  As a result, only 16% of Monaco’s population is comprised of native citizens.  The rest have been lured there from elsewhere, and they have a very high standard of living.  The Grimaldi family doesn’t have to worry about separatist movements any more.  Wouldn’t it be nice if Ohio aspired to be a tax haven?

OK, so let’s compare the Ohio casino proposals with the Monte Carlo model.  The royal family of Monaco has a controlling interest in the casino, and they, in fact, reside in Monaco.  Ohio’s casino moguls would not be based in Ohio.  Monaco’s citizens have not been permitted to gamble at Monte Carlo.  Ohio’s citizens would be be incessantly entreated to gamble at the casinos.  Monte Carlo’s marketing targeted only wealthy clientele.  Casinos in the USA, including the current casino proponents, have no such qualms over who they entice to gamble.  Monte Carlo pumps money into Monaco from elsewhere.  Ohio casinos would pump money in the outward direction.  During an economic downturn, Monaco did not ramp up its investment in casino expansion to shore up lagging revenues, while the casino tycoons seeking entry into Ohio are doing exactly the opposite.  Instead, Monaco sought to diversify it’s economy, while Ohio is seeking to put all its eggs in one basket: gambling.  Monaco realized that a casino is not an economic cure-all, but Ohio hasn’t caught on to that yet.  Monaco learned that high taxation will only cause power to slip through your fingers, and that low taxes can spur economic growth and diversification.  Ohio’s government?  They don’t seem to know squat about that.

To sum it all up, Monte Carlo was an economic boost for Monaco in the short run when they were in dire straits, but the proposal in front of Ohio voters is not at all like the Monte Carlo model.  The Ohio proposal, as structured, cannot possibly duplicate the results that Monte Carlo achieved.  In the end, the real lesson that Monaco learned was that tax policy is among the fundamental building blocks to obtaining and maintaining economic and political power.

Town Hall meetings with State Rep Terry Boose

Mark your calendars!  Willard–August 18.  Amherst–August 19.  New London–August 25.  LaGrange–August 26.  Grafton–September 3.  State Rep Terry Boose (R-58) will be conducting town hall meetings in these communities on these dates.

Plan to attend!  There needs to be dialogue between voters and elected officials, and this is a prime opportunity.  Boose’s 58th District includes much of southern and western Lorain County, all of Huron County, and the eastern portion of Seneca County.  I hope these town halls are well attended, because Ohio is facing a very rough road ahead.  Voters, we can’t afford to stick our heads in the sand and wait till trouble is over.  Government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, so I’m hoping that you’ll show up and participate.  Even if you live in Koziura’s 56th district, or Lundy’s 57th district, if you have concerns about the state of Ohio (and you should), you may want to take advantage of these opportunities to meet a state legislator, Terry Boose, face to face.

Ohio’s biennial budget is not done.  Sure, the General Assembly passed a budget, and the Governor signed it into law, but that budget relied heavily on revenue forecasts that cannot be relied upon.  There will have to be more budget slashing, you can count on it.  Which programs should get the ax?  Which programs should be spared the ax?  What do you think are the state’s funding priorities?  Terry Boose has shared a few thoughts, in writing, about what should have been done with the state budget.  I recommend reading through it, and showing up at these town halls prepared to grapple with these issues.

WILLARD–August 18, 2009

The Town Hall meeting will be at the Willard City Hall in the Council Chambers from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The City Hall is located at 651 S. Myrtle Ave. Willard, OH 44890.

AMHERST–August 19, 2009

The Town Hall meeting will be at the Trinity Evangelical Free Church from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The Church is located at 46485 Middle Ridge Road Amherst, OH 44001.

NEW LONDON–August 25, 2009

The Town Hall meeting will be at the New London Public Library from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The library is located at 67 S. Main St., New London, OH 44851.

LA GRANGE–August 26, 2009

The Town Hall meeting will be at the Village of LaGrange Administration Building from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The building is located at 355 South Center Street, LaGrange, Ohio 44050.

GRAFTON–September 3, 2009

The Town Hall meeting will be at the Grafton Midview Public Library from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The building is located at 983 Main St. Grafton, OH 44044.

Casino operators: Special rights for special people

There are so many illuminating tidbits of information to cull from my correspondence with the backers of the casino issue.  Thus, this will not be the only blog entry written about what’s revealed in that correspondence, so stay tuned . . .

If voters were to approve this casino issue in the November election, casinos would be legal in Ohio by an amendment of the Ohio Constitution.

So, are you, Ohio residents, ready to open up your casinos?  Oops!  Wait a minute.  Who do you think you are?  Dan Gilbert?  If you aren’t Dan Gilbert, and you open a casino, you will be raided by the police, your gambling equipment and revenues will be confiscated, you will be thrown in jail, and you will be charged with a crime and prosecuted.  PERIOD! But if you ARE Dan Gilbert . . . CHA-CHING!

Think that’s unfair?  Think it’s so unfair that it should be unconstitutional?  Guess again . . . it’ll be TOTALLY constitutional, because we will have amended Ohio’s constitution to make casino operation permissable for Dan Gilbert, and out-of-state casino operators (like Penn National Gaming Inc.), but IMPERMISSABLE for other Ohio residents.  Isn’t it interesting that an out of state casino corporation will be granted more constitutional rights by Ohio than Ohioans, themselves, will be granted?

And just who is Dan Gilbert, anyway?  He’s the loan-shark-in-chief of Quicken Loans.  He’s the special Ohioan who gets to own and operate a casino in Cleveland.  OOOPS!  Did I say Ohioan?  Duh!  I meant to say Wolverine (or, at least Spartan, as he’s a Michigan State alum)!  His hometown is Livonia, Michigan!  My oh my!  Do ANY Ohioans, any at all, get a crack at opening an Ohio casino if we approve this amendment to our state’s constitution?

So, all this agitating over neighboring states having casinos, but not Ohio, would result in allowing the entities from the neighboring states to be the ones to operate Ohio’s casinos.  So, after the taxes are paid by the casinos, where will the casino profits go that the casino owners get to keep?  Outside of Ohio?  WAIT A MINUTE!  I thought that the whole idea behind voting for this constitutional amendment was to KEEP THE GAMBLING MONEY INSIDE OHIO!!!!!  BUT IT WON”T BE THAT WAY AT ALL!!  MONEY THAT COMES FROM INSIDE OHIO WILL STILL BE PUMPED OUTSIDE OHIO!!!! The people who will be enriched by casinos will be non-Ohioans, and the people who will be impoverished by casinos will be Ohioans.  Sound like a wonderful state constitutional amendment to you?

And why won’t Ohioans be allowed to open casinos?  That’s the question I asked to the spokespersons of the casino proponents.  It’s because it’s “impractical.”  Our economy can’t sustain a free marketplace filled with casinos (and THAT’S A WHOLE OTHER ISSUE TO EXPLORE IN FUTURE BLOG ENTRIES!).  Expect any expansion beyond the original four casinos to be jealously fought over if they would allow new casino ownership groups to compete with the original mix of casino owners.

E-mail correspondence with casino issue spokesmen

From: David Kormanik <dkormanik@ohiojobsandgrowth.org>
To: williamsonworks@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 1:36:54 PM
Subject: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Daniel,

Hello, my name is David Kormanik and I represent the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan.

Over the coming weeks and months, I will keep you informed on our activities and make sure you have the latest information on our plan to bring four first-class casinos to Ohio —one in Cleveland , Columbus , Cincinnati , and Toledo .

In the meantime, feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, endorsements and campaign updates.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have!

Thanks,

David Kormanik

Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

614-370-2363

__________________________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [mailto:williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:14 PM
To: David Kormanik
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Question:  If the casino proposal represents a plan for Ohio ‘s jobs and growth, why just cherry pick 4 locations?

Question: If America is, by its nature, is intended to be a land of opportunity and free enterprise, and if Ohio voters favor legalization of casinos, why limit competition by creating a casino cartel, as your proposal intends, instead of allowing anyone to open up, own, and operate casinos wherever the zoning of Ohio’s communities permit them?

–Daniel Williamson

__________________________________________________

From: David Kormanik <dkormanik@ohiojobsandgrowth.org>
To: Daniel Williamson <williamsonworks@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 11:36:32 AM
Subject: RE: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Daniel,

Please contact our spokesperson, Bob Tenenbaum (news@ohiojobsandgrowth.org). He will be able to answer the questions below, as well as address any other concerns you may have.

I have also attached a document containing information on our proposal.

Thanks,

David Kormanik

Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

614-370-2363

_________________________________________________________
From: Daniel Williamson <williamsonworks@yahoo.com>
To: news@ohiojobsandgrowth.org
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 1:25:31 PM
Subject: Fw: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Question:  If the casino proposal represents a plan for Ohio ‘s jobs and growth, why just cherry pick 4 locations?

Question: If America is, by its nature, intended to be a land of opportunity and free enterprise, and if Ohio voters favor legalization of casinos, why limit competition by creating a casino cartel, as your proposal intends, instead of allowing anyone to open up, own, and operate casinos wherever the zoning of Ohio’s communities permit them?

–Daniel Williamson

______________________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [williamsonworks@yahoo.com] Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 3:49 PM
To: news@ohiojobsandgrowth.org
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Question: Didn’t you pledge to answer questions?

–Daniel Jack Williamson

______________________________________________________

From: ” Tenenbaum, Bob ” <BTenenbaum@themilenthalgroup.com>
To: Daniel Williamson <williamsonworks@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 12:50:24 PM
Subject: RE: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Is this for a publication, or are these just personal questions? (We will answer either way, I’m just curious.)

______________________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 4:09 PM
To: Tenenbaum, Bob
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

I definitely intend to blog about the casino issue multiple times this year.  I’m surprised that you have a two-track answering system, one for on the record, and one for off the record.

Consider this “on the record.”

–Daniel Jack Williamson


From: ” Tenenbaum, Bob ” <BTenenbaum@themilenthalgroup.com>
To: Daniel Williamson <williamsonworks@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 1:13:02 PM
Subject: RE: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

We don’t ever answer “off the record,” and there is no two-track system. As I said, I was just personally interested.

_______________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 4:31 PM
To: Tenenbaum, Bob
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

I recant.  I’m so sorry, I apologize.  I shouldn’t be flippant like that, especially when the information is offered to me so graciously.

But, yes, I’ll be blogging about the casino issue.

–Daniel Jack Williamson

____________________________________________

From: David Kormanik <dkormanik@ohiojobsandgrowth.org>
To: williamsonworks@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2009 4:18 PM
Subject: YouTube Petition Filing Video

Dear Daniel,

The Ohio Jobs & Growth Committee released a video today on Facebook and YouTube highlighting last Thursday’s petition filing.

It includes footage of the 200+ petition boxes containing over 850,000 signatures (double what is necessary to qualify) being submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.

I invite you to watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DINbOCW6JxA.

Please let me know if you need any additional information about the campaign! Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

David Kormanik

Ohio Jobs and Growth Plan

www.ohiojobsandgrowth.org

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

___________________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [mailto:williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 11:53 PM
To: Tenenbaum, Bob
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

I’ve been waiting for your answer to the two questions I asked.  Plenty of time has elapsed.  I do intend to blog about the casino gambling issue.  I will include your answers in my blog if I can receive those answers in the next 48 hours.  If I do not receive answers, I will compose a blog entry, anyway, even without answers.

Daniel Jack Williamson
Buckeye RINO

_____________________________________________________

From: ” Tenenbaum, Bob ” <BTenenbaum@themilenthalgroup.com>
To: Daniel Williamson <williamsonworks@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:34:02 AM
Subject: RE: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Here you go:

Question:  If the casino proposal represents a plan for Ohio ‘s jobs and growth, why just cherry pick 4 locations?

Casino gaming is a business, and as such needs to be looked at in terms of what is practical. It is clear Ohio can support four casinos in the state’s four largest cities, where they will create jobs, contribute to the revitalization of our largest urban areas, and generate tax revenues to help support local governments and schools throughout the state. Every state that allows casino gaming limits the number of licenses available. The supporters of this issue believe that the most practical solution for Ohio is to place casinos in the state’s four largest cities, while making sure that every county and every school district in Ohio benefits from the tax revenue the casinos will generate.

Question: If America is, by its nature, intended to be a land of opportunity and free enterprise, and if Ohio voters favor legalization of casinos, why limit competition by creating a casino cartel, as your proposal intends, instead of allowing anyone to open up, own, and operate casinos wherever the zoning of Ohio’s communities permit them?

The notion that “anyone” can “open up, own and operate casinos wherever the zoning of Ohio’s communities permit them” implies that Ohio could support 10, or 20, or maybe 50 casinos spread throughout the state. It’s simply a totally impractical idea. Every state that has permitted casino gaming has limited the number of licenses available. In addition, opening up the state to casino gaming requires an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, and that requires a campaign that someone has to fund. The developers of the casinos proposed in this ballot issue have been very open about the fact that they are supporting the campaign because they want to develop these casinos. They have also committed to investing a minimum of $250 million of private money in each casino . . . a significant contribution to the economy of the state and its four largest cities.

Bob Tenenbaum

Spokesman for the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

250 Civic Center Dr., Suite 440

Columbus OH 43215

(614) 573-1377

_____________________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [mailto:williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2009 9:45 AM
To: Tenenbaum, Bob
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Thank you very much.  This will be posted soon.

Daniel Jack Williamson
Buckeye RINO

_______________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [mailto:williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 10:18 AM
To: Tenenbaum, Bob
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

My initial reaction:  What you refer to as practical and impractical serves to highlight one of the big differences between the casino industry and most other industries in a free market system: Sustainability.  Casinos require a very structured marketplace because they cannot be sustained in a free marketplace.

–Daniel Williamson

________________________________________________________

From: “Tenenbaum, Bob” <BTenenbaum@themilenthalgroup.com>
To: Daniel Williamson <williamsonworks@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 10:20:21 AM
Subject: RE: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

If you’re opposed to allowing the casino industry in Ohio , I respect your viewpoint. But this is for the voters to decide. Independent polls have consistently shown that Ohioans favor allowing casino gaming in concept. It is our belief that they have defeated four previous issues because they did not provide the kind of economic development and tax revenues the voters were looking for. We think this issue does . . . and therefore believe it has a very good chance of gaining passage in November.

_____________________________________________________

From: Daniel Williamson [mailto:williamsonworks@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 10:29 AM
To: Tenenbaum, Bob
Subject: Re: Hello from the Ohio Jobs & Growth Plan

Of course.  I want the voters to decide, also.  I think this dialogue will be instructive.

–Daniel Williamson

_________________________________________________________

Dear readers:  This is raw source material.  I plan to expand on this information in the near future.  Stay tuned . . .

Petition time looming for school board, township trustee, non-partisan municipal races

Fed up with government?  Do you feel you need to step in with common sense solutions?  Well, there’s still time to do that, and get in at the ground level.

This year, there are township races, school board races, and municipal races.

Municipalities that have partisan races already have their ballots set for fall elections.  If you missed that boat, you should have read my post last January about filing for those races.

But some municipalities have non-partisan races.  Please keep in mind that if your municipality has a city charter, it’s likely that you have non-partisan races, but the city charter may list a petition-filing deadline for candidates that differs from deadlines that pertain to other types of candidates.  Please check your city charter.  Unless otherwise specified by city charter, local non-partisan candidate petition filing deadlines are before 4 pm on Thursday, August 20, 2009, at your county’s Board of Elections office.

School board and township races are non-partisan local races.  Again, the deadline for filing petitions to be a candidate for these races is before 4 pm, Thursday, August 20, 2009, at your county’s Board of Elections office.

Perhaps my January post on the subject of launching candidacies might be helpful to you if you are contemplating a run for local office.  Questions?  You can try emailing me, if you like (see my “About” page), but you’re likely to get better answers from the Board of Elections office in your county, and you can always avail yourself of the Ohio Secretary of State webpage, and pose your questions to the SoS office.

At any rate, the deadline for declaring your candidacy for one of these non-partisan local races is right around the corner, so if you’ve been thinking about it, but haven’t taken action, NOW is the time to spring into action.

Voinovich press release about Lee Fisher’s posturing on health care reform

Again, I’m in copy and paste mode.  Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor, Lee Fisher, is a 2010 Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate who has intra-party competition for the 2010 nomination from Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.  I’m not a fan of Brunner, but I’m not a fan of Fisher, either.  In all his years of politics, I’m not sure what Lee Fisher brings to the table other than posturing and keeping a finger in every pie.

U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) will be retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of his current term.  To his credit, the moniker “lame duck” does not apply to Voinovich.  He still stays in touch with constituents, and he still is very active, engaged, and vocal on Capitol Hill.  Senator Voinovich’s contact information appears here.

On to the press release:

SEN. VOINOVICH STATEMENT ON LEE FISHER POLITICAL GAMES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH) has issued the following statement in response to Lee Fisher’s attempt to play political games when it comes to our nation’s health care debate:

“I am extremely disappointed that Lee Fisher is politicizing our nation’s health care debate.

“I believe we need a bipartisan solution to our nation’s health care crisis and am hopeful that a bipartisan solution can be reached in the Senate Finance Committee. Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Democratic leadership are attempting to steamroll a trillion dollar health care bill through Congress – a bill with which many in the Democratic Party have significant concerns. According to Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the bills being debated will make our current budget situation worse – adding to our deficit and national debt. Our deficit is expected to be more than $2 trillion by the close of 2009, money that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, and debt that is increasingly owned by foreign nations that do not have our country’s best interests at heart.

“Additionally, in some of the proposals, government health care is expanded through increasing the size of Medicaid. This has raised significant concerns with a number of governors. Lee should know that Ohio is having trouble just meeting the state match for Medicaid as it is.

“Lee ought to be encouraging the Democrats to find a solution to the long-term fiscal calamity we face. He should be joining President Obama’s call for the creation of a commission where “…everything is going to have to be on (the) table” when it comes to examining our tax and entitlement systems. My Securing America’s Future Economy (SAFE) Commission Act, which I have been pushing since 2006, will do exactly that. It is not too late to de-politicize the process, find long-term solutions, and put our nation on sound fiscal footing.”

State Rep. Terry Boose op-ed on the state budget

In the past, I haven’t posted press releases at Buckeye RINO.  However, in the heat of summer with no airconditioning, I haven’t felt like spending much time typing away at my keyboard.  So, for once, I think I’ll go ahead and post a press release at Buckeye RINO, as it’s so much quicker to add blog content by copying and pasting.

Plus, I hope my readers will weigh in on the Ohio budget with their state legislators.  The politicians really need to be hearing from all of you.

Terry Boose (R) represents the 58th Ohio House District, which includes all of Huron County and portions of Seneca County and Lorain County.

Cost-Saving Proposals Ignored in State Budget

“Recently, a new two-year state operating passed the General Assembly and was signed by Governor Strickland. The budget is the most comprehensive piece of legislation to pass the Legislature, and this year’s process of drafting, debating and altering the provisions of the budget bill proved to be especially difficult with the state’s $3.2 billion budget deficit. With unemployment in our district being one of the highest rates in the state, it is crucial that the budget accurately reflect the needs of Ohioans, which in this economy means spending tax dollars sensibly.

“My colleagues and I in the House Republican Caucus proposed many bills and amendments to the budget that would have made government operations more efficient and cost-effective. These proposals would have developed long-term solutions to Ohio’s budget crisis by better managing the use of the taxpayers’ money. For example, I co-sponsored a proposal that would streamline state government operations, saving nearly $1 billion annually. House Bill 25 would consolidate government processes to minimize waste and eliminate duplicitous expenditures while maintaining important state services.

“I also co-sponsored House Bill 240, which would implement cost containment measures to fix inefficient spending within Ohio’s Medicaid system. This proposal has been estimated to save the state $122 million a year. These two initiatives had the potential to save taxpayers nearly $3 billion over the next two years, reducing the need to cut vital services to close the large budget gap. However, House Democrats refused to even allow hearings on these bills and rejected them as amendments to the budget.

“Instead, the governor and his colleagues supported funding cuts for important services such as an $84 million cut for Ohio’s libraries, which have already suffered a decrease in funding due to the recession. Our libraries are an important tool for those seeking employment and this reduction will limit this resource. Additionally, the final version of the budget included Governor Strickland’s proposed cuts to services for our senior citizens, and eliminated state aid to career colleges. Like many of my colleagues, I could not support these proposals when there are so many ways that wasted dollars could be saved.

“Creating a balanced, responsible budget should be a sincere effort to reflect the interests of Ohioans. I believe that when families have to tighten their belts, government should as well. As your representative of the 58th Ohio House District I will continue to advocate for financially responsible policies that spur job growth and get more Ohioans back to work.”