Military Recruiting Vans at Schools Draw Fire

November 28, 2007
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by Pat Elder

A ninth grader in a suburban Washington DC classroom is delighted to be excused from Algebra class to spend a half hour shooting a life-like 9 MM pistol and lobbing explosive ordinance from an M1A2 Abrams tank simulator. At the same time 3,000 miles away in La Habra, California, a 15 year-old girl is released from English class to squeeze off rounds from a very real looking M-16 rifle. The kids thoroughly enjoy the experience, especially the part about getting out of class.

The two students have experienced the Army’s Adventure Van, a 60-foot, 30-ton 18-wheeler with several interactive exhibits that bring an adrenaline rush and glorify weaponry and combat. The Army’s 19 vans frequent various community events and two thousand schools a year, generating more than 63,000 recruiter leads. In addition to the Adventure Van, the Army has three other 18-wheelers for recruiting purposes. The Aviation Recruiting Van contains an AH 64 Helicopter flight simulator and an interactive air warrior and weapons display.

The American Soldier Adventure Van has an interactive air/land warrior display and a future warrior display. The Army Marksmanship Trainer has an interactive rifle range. (more…)

University Board Votes to Keep Antioch College Open

November 3, 2007
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The Antioch University Board of Trustees announced that a decision had been made to keep the Antioch College campus in Yellow Springs open.

Key elements of the agreement include:

Returning to the Ohio Board of Regents to certify remaining open

A change in the role of the Chancellor, making it a collaborative position with the Alumni Board and with no veto powers.

A new president will be selected jointly by University and Alumni Boards.


A commitment by the Alumni Board to raise and disburse directly to the College for use as it and the Board saw fit, the sum of $62.6 million dollars over the next 3 fiscal years. Those monies to arrive as follows:

  1. 2$2 million within 10 days
  2. $4.6 million by December 15, 2007
  3. $12 million by May 31, 2008
  4. $25 million by June 30, 2009
  5. $19 million for fiscal year 2010

Expect some celebrating to be taking place today and tonight in the village of Yellow Springs and on the Antioch campus.

11/04 update//A friend sent me  a link to an article about Antioch that appears  in the notorious Wingnut journal, the Weakly Standard [helmed by the grand puba of Wingnuts himself, William Kristol].  Granting its Wingnut bias as a given, this chronicling of one version of the schools long downward slide is fascinating in its detail. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/306jqecg.asp?pg=1


Why I Support Nancy Nerny for Dayton School Board

October 31, 2007
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As previously noted by this writer, my direct contact with school board politix is, at best, marginal. Don’t go to meetings, semi – knowledgeable about current issues [got a kid at Stivers, I don’t want to see Jullienne School on Old Orchard torn down etc]. Like a lot of other people. When I think about the schools I believe in a public education system that meets the needs of its community as visualized and implemented by a community based and controlled school board.

The people on that Board need to be the best we as a community can elect to serve us. I had a great conversation with Nancy Nerny the other day, and I came away even more convinced that this was someone who would fulfill that role. Ms Nerny is a woman who is deeply involved with the learning/teaching community of Dayton. As a teacher, she has legions of students who can recall being in her classroom as one of the high points of s school day. My youngest son, now nearly 20, was in here when Nancy was. He had her as a student years ago, but the embrace both for and by the former student was still warm and spontaneous. And it’s not the 1st time I’ve seen her greeted by former students in a similar fashion.

Nancy Nerny will translate that connection into action on the board. Her goal is to be a uniter, focused on resolving contentious financial issues surrounding the current Boards spending on multi million dollar administration buildings instead of focusing on the needs of the students. Nancy doesn’t fancy herself a “politician”, but, if by politics you mean the art and science of getting people to get along in a manner that is mutually beneficial for as many as possible while respecting the rights of those who disagree, then I think she will do fine. Thats the kind of “non-politician” we need running our schools. Nancy Nerny is already doing some of this. She serves on several School Board advisory committees and is communication with current and past Board members for their views.

In my estimation though, it is the community connection and her focus on building the communication with the parents and on connecting the schools and parents with the larger community. She sees the necessity of looking into the future to continuously refine and develop curriculum that is ahead of the community needs curve That’s a one two punch that pretty much says it all for me.

btw: Nancy is part of a slate that is associated with current Board member Joe Lacey. In part of an interview with Mike Robinnette, on the DaytonOs website, Lacey elaborates in more detail about why he supports the slate Ms Nerny is part of. It’s an interesting slice of both Board and Democratic Party internal goings on… http://daytonos.com/

Nancy Nerny for Dayton School Board

October 29, 2007
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What I’m For

1) What are your reasons for becoming a candidate for this office?
-As a retired teacher and volunteer in the schools, I’ve seen from the inside the poor working and learning conditions of teachers and students. As such, I would like to: -To increase community involvement in the Dayton Public Schools -To find ways to cut school costs but not quality before asking for a levy. -To better communicate school problems and issues to the community.
2) What do you consider your greatest asset to be as a candidate or elected official?
-Having worked in the Dayton Schools for 32 years as a teacher, and then volunteering there for 10 more years, I understand how they serve the community and our children. Also I have extensive service to and knowledge of community nonprofits and how they use their resources to serve our community—experience I can apply to serving on the School Board.
3) What resources do you have for your candidacy? (money, time, volunteers)
-I am retired, so have lots of time, yet little money and a few volunteers.
4) What do you feel will be the major issue(s) in your campaign and what is your position on it (them)?
-I and many community members feel they have made incompetent financial decisions, yet the present Board members disagree. As an example, I believe they have purchased administration buildings for management instead of committing those funds to support children’s instructional needs. The Board has also asked the community for an outlandishly high levy without a clearly stated austerity plan, without exploring other funding options, and without enlisting broad community support. I plan to do the latter three, making sure the essentials of the classroom are present before public money is spent on other things.
5) Do you support the rights of all workers to organize and bargain collectively? Please list specific involvement with or support of organized labor.
-Yes, I have been a building representative and a member of the Dayton Education Association, and am now lifetime member of the DEA-retired group.
6) Minorities, women, organized labor, and the poor have always been important citizens. Please indicate any programs or initiatives you will propose regarding these groups if you are elected.
-Most of the DPS students are poor and in a minority group. I plan to 1) strengthen pre-school programs with more parent participation that will help students become more ready for kindergarten and further education; 2)work with the district to be more fiscally responsible; and 3) encourage more community partnerships that will increase the academic success of its students (for example, an Adopt-a-School plan, school-community advisory groups).

My Qualifications

OCCUPATION: Retired teacher and community volunteer

PREVIOUS ELECTIVE EXPERIENCE: noneMy Qualifications - Nerny for Dayton School Board


WEB SITE ADDRESS: http://nernyfortheboard.wetpaint.com


  • University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio: B.S. in Educ

  • Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio: M.S. in Educ. Majored in Curriculum and Supervision of Teachers.


  • Teaching
    • Dayton Public Schools (32 years): grade levels 2-6; includes 2 yrs. as a Fulbright scholar exchange teacher in London, England, 1 yr. as an exchange teacher in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Social Work
    • Dakota Street Center (2 years): full time work organizing neighborhood self-help projects (e.g., teen club, recreation, tutoring, fund-raising)


  • Teaching poetry at Juvenile Detention Center, Dayton
  • Organizing, managing, and counseling informally at center for teenaged drug users
  • Organizing social events for an adult singles club
  • Teaching summer and winter workshops to teachers and students at Aullwood and Boonshoft
  • Organizing & accompanying DPS students for annual residential environmental camp, 20 years
  • Administering annual science fair for Loos Elementary students, including community volunteer judges, 15 years
  • Participating in curriculum planning teams, both city-wide and within my school; also in school district’s city-wide problem-solving task force
  • Attending countless in-service sessions on environmental education, storytelling, consumer education, marine biology, energy, technology, etc.
  • Serving as board member and secretary of Glen Helen Ecology Institute, 2 years
  • Visiting British Primary Schools for a summer study tour
  • Chairperson/founder of 100-member club, Gem City Birders, 19 years
  • Organizing Stillwater RiverFest for Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 2007
  • Serving on the FROC Land Use Committee, 2 years






  • Read about my views on my website!

  • Tell your Dayton friends about my candidacy!
  • Place a sign in your yard (send me your address)!
  • Walk your neighborhood giving out flyers!

  • Come with me to walk another neighborhood giving out flyers!

  • Drive a zip code to place my signs along roads or on lawns!

  • Contribute to my campaign to defray mailing & poster costs. Make check out to and send to:

Committee for Nancy Nerny for Dayton School Board


482 Shiloh Dr.

Dayton, OH 45415

Thanks for whatever you can do. Let me know what you decide soon.


Posted in Schools


October 15, 2007
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Ann Coulter , Acid Queen of the far far far Right was a guest on the Big Idea, hosted by one Ronnie Deutsch, last night… a re-run from Oct 8, but seriously scary nonetheless. All the time Coulter has been on the media stage I have assiduously avoided her, figuring my blood pressure medicine might not be enough to save me from the stroke I was sure viewing her vituperations would give me. Channel surfing last night, I saw her blond head bobbing earnestly as she spit her venom and parried with Deutsch… Omigawd…!!! She is, in fact, the embodiment of all the evil that one could pack into one person and not have it explode in a puss filled mess. According to Coulter, Jews are “un-perfected Christians”, her “perfect world” would look like NYC during the last Republican Convention…and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Switching off the TV after the show, I quickly ran upstairs and took a shower…

Media Matters has the transcript and a link to a YouTube clip of Coulter on the Big Idea at http://mediamatters.org/items/200710100008


Yesterday’s Dayton Daily carried their endorsements for the Dayton School Board and in doing so eviscerated the slate backed by current Board member Joe Lacey. I have not been following the Board, as perhaps I should,  so I don’t know the rationale behind their hatred of Lacey, but it must be something deep. I only know Lacey as a Democratic Party activist who seems to have party support. Nancy Nerny, on the other hand, is a teacher I have known for many years. She taught several of my kids and they really liked her. Very community involved, Nancy has a solid background with Dayton Public Schools and, from my personal experience, would be a solid community oriented addition to the Board. Look for an update on her campaign perspective here in the next few days.


As a long time loyal member of the Red Sox Nation I was seriously depressed after Saturdays defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. Here’s hoping Manny and crew pull it together for game 3 tonight in Cleveland…and boo hoo to all you Indian’s fans!! Sox Rule!!


Voting on the S-Chip children’s health bill will be taking place soon in Congress as Democrats, with the help of some Republican legislators, try to overcome Bush’s recent veto of the legislation. Local US Reps Turner, Hobson and Chabot voted for it, John Boehner and Jeanne Schmidt against. It is doubtful Boehner or Schmidt will ever change their view, but it is important to keep the pressure on the other three not to change their vote.

Representative Steve Chabot (R – 01) 202-225-2216   http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Representative David L. Hobson (R – 07) 202-225-4324   http://www.house.gov/hobson/formmail.htm
Representative Mike Turner (R – 03) 202-225-6465   http://www.house.gov/miketurner/IMA/contact.shtml


September 29, 2007
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It’s been almost two months since joining the internet world of “blogging”. I did not start this discourse with much of a plan in mind, just some vague ideas about runnin’ my mouth about things I’m interested and, in the process, do both some enlightening and enraging, some informing, some dissembling and posting of some provocative opinions.

Inspired [?] one day by the umpteenth prostitute struttin’ past my storefront, eyes flickering from car to car, trying to catch a look-an acknowledgment for an assignation, I grabbed the keyboard and started peckin’ . You can call the Man, but the Man has other priorities in a city where crimes far more “serious” than some hooker trying to make a 20 spot demand their response. Not that there isn’t enforcement of laws, it is just that the laws don’t really work…and talking about that got me started on this blog, a place to holler about hookers…[!}. You can read more about that subject in the archives.

I’m cribbin, compiling and copying, plus adding my own commentary. I don’t have very many answers. The cliche is that the more you know the more you know how really very little you DO know { a tip of the hat the GWBush on that one…]. So you come up with more questions & I like sharing what I think are answers, and or, discussion points., that may or may not develop into answers. Some of you have already joined the conversation, there is plenty of room for other voices. My focus is The War in Iraq/Afghanistan, the First Amendment, Educational issues, Blue Dog Democrats, city living and it’s too early to tell what else . The blog title says it all.

Your thoughts, comments, ideas, are most welcome. Please share them.

A listing of other Dayton area blogs can be found at:



September 24, 2007
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The shift in political direction at the state level becomes ever more evident with each passing day. Charter schools [a category in which Dayton leads/bleeds the state] are notoriously UNACCOUNTABLE for the millions of dollars they siphon off from the city school system. This loss of funds is a major factor in the overall performance of and support for the City’s school system. The failure of the last School levy, which I believe was at least partially racially motivated, has exacerbated this difficult situation. Public Money that could be going to improve our schools, teacher pay etc has been going to fund privately operated “schools” which have consistently [with exceptions] been shown to under perform their public counterparts. Accountability has to trump hype. I am glad to see the Attorney General taking such an aggressive stance. Following is the press release from Mr Dann’s office:


September 21, 2007

DAYTON ~ Citing a continued failure to educate children, Attorney General Marc Dann asked the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to declare the Moraine Community School to be a failed charitable trust and to enjoin its governing body from further operating a charter school.

The Attorney General filed similar suits against two other Dayton-area community schools, Colin Powell Leadership Academy, and New Choices Community School last week in a drive to hold the state’s publicly funded charter schools accountable for their performance.

In the complaint filed today, the Attorney General states that Moraine Community School, which has received $5,879,111 in public funds since opening five years ago, has failed to achieve its stated purpose of establishing a “high quality program” in which “all children will achieve success.” As evidence of that failure the complaint notes that over the past five years Moraine Community School has:

  • Met only three of the 32 applicable indicators for school performance;
  • Amassed persistently dismal Performance Index Scores, averaging 66.1 our a possible 120, giving it an institutional GPA or “F”;
  • Failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards for the past four school years;
  • Consistently lagged behind the performance of the West Carrollton City School District on State tests.

“By any measure, this school, like those we filed suit against last week, is an utter failure,” Attorney General Dann said. “I am using my authority to regulate charitable trusts to protect the kids MCS is not educating and to protect the taxpayers whose money is being wasted. Hopefully, as a result of this suit and the others we’ve filed and may file in the future, that money will now be redirected to traditional public schools and community schools that will use it to prepare Ohio’s children to compete and succeed in the 21st Century.”

Ohio report cards use muRiple measures to determine each school’s designation. To earr
one of the 30 indicators for 2006-07, at least 75% of students tested must score proficient
or higher on a given assessment. Any resutt at or above the state standard is
shown in bold.

TO view details of the suit,  which outlines the schools failures  in specific detail,  visit :  http://www.ag.state.oh.us/press/07/09/pr070921_case.pdf

Antioch College President Was Ousted

September 5, 2007
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Last week’s announcement that Antioch University’s board was open to considering a plan to avoid suspending the operations of Antioch College brought uncharacteristic peace to a campus where many students, professors and alumni distrust the central university administration and board. The distrust is back

On Friday, Sept 1, the university’s chancellor, Toni Murdock, announced that Steven W. Lawry was stepping down immediately as president of Antioch College. Lawry had earlier announced plans to leave at the end of year. No reason was given for his immediate departure, nor did the announcement indicate who made the decision that he would leave immediately.

While several press accounts and statements from Antioch officials over the weekend implied that the decision was Lawry’s, multiple knowledgeable sources said that Murdock forced Lawry to leave because she was angry over his public calls for reform of the college’s governance. Relations have so deteriorated that Lawry — the Antioch official who has the trust of alumni, student and faculty leaders — has been barred from campus or from contacting alumni. (The latter ban will apparently be discussed at meetings this week because it conflicts with statements from university leaders that Lawry would be working with alumni leaders to come up with a plan to keep the college operating.)

Antioch University’s board announced in June that it would suspend operations of Antioch College, the liberal arts institution based in Yellow Springs, Ohio, that was founded by Horace Mann, at the end of the coming academic year. Since then, supporters of keeping the college operating have been deeply critical of the university’s board and administration. That anger subsided a bit with last week’s news about the board being willing to consider plans for keeping the college open, but the anger appears to be returning in force.

Many again doubt the commitment of the board to keeping the college open. Rumors also were flying around the campus and alumni networks over the weekend that the central administration was taking over the college’s fund raising operations. Locks were reportedly changed on some offices and e-mail access changed. One of the major points of dispute between alumni and the university administration is who will control fund raising. Many fear that the college will not be able to raise money if potential donors feel the funds could end up helping other parts of the university.

Mary Lou LaPierre, vice chancellor and chief spokeswoman for the university administration, is usually quick to rebut various rumors about the university. But on Lawry’s reported dismissal, she said she didn’t know. She added, though, that “given our current situation and the need to provide our new and continuing students with a rich academic residential year, the chancellor has put in place a team to achieve that goal.” On fund raising, she said that the board and administration “intend to collaborate in an unprecedented way” with alumni leaders.

Lawry declined to comment on his departure, except to say: “I’ve had a wonderful experience at Antioch. We’ve strengthened the college’s academic offerings. Our intellectual and social environment better embraces a diversity of perspectives. I leave feeling very supported by the Antioch College communty.”

Rick Daily, treasurer of the Antioch College Alumni Board of Directors, said in an interview Monday that Lawry’s dismissal was “unnecessary” and “counterproductive.” At a time that the university needs to build the confidence of college supporters, he said “this didn’t help build confidence.”

“Steve was a very valuable guy for us,” Daily said. “He’s passionate about the college, about the need for a revised governance structure, where Antioch College will be self-governing within the university. We need that passion.”

Daily, who will be on campus this week negotiating with university officials, said he did not understand why Lawry was barred from campus. Daily said he was still hopeful that the board would agree to keep the college running, but he stressed that he didn’t think the board had moved away from its original take on the issues. “They are committed to shutting the college down. That’s their plan, and all they’ve agreed to do is talk to us.”

Scott Jaschik

Charter School Traffic Wreaks Havoc on North and Richmond Ave’s

August 18, 2007
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If you have had the unfortunate experience of trying to make use of the US Post Office parking lot at the DaytonView Station at 550 Salem ave at the same time parents of students at the Richard Allen Charter School located just north of the PO are either dropping off or picking up their kids you know the true meaning of chaos. Every parking space in the Post Office lot is taken; there is a stream of cars from Salem , up North Ave and onto Richmond ave, completely paralyzing any movement. And this happens twice a day fro 45 to 60 minutes at a time.

I am not a fan of Charter Schools and the location of this one, with virtually no school parking and the resulting chaotic condition makes absolutely no sense to me. According to workers at the Salem Post office this situation has been going on since the school opened nearly two years ago. Repeated requests by clerks and management at the Post Office for the school to correct the problem have been basically ignored. My call to the school today received the response that ” it was the parents, not us who are parking there. We’ve told them not to park there but they do it any way.” Wow, talk about not taking responsibility… Now the Post Office is apparently going to erect a fence between the parking lot and the school, which will solve part of the problem, parking for Postal patrons, but end up creating more chaos on the street as parents will now have to stay in the cars and inch through the tiny parking lot to pick up and drop off their kids.

How the zoning board let this get by them is completely beyond me. Didn’t anyone think through how students were going to get to and be picked up at the school? Why give a use permit for a situation that is guaranteed chaos? To top things off there does not appear to be any easy solution. There are homes that are in the rear of the school, facing Richmond ave, that could possibly be bought and razed to create a larger parking lot, but that may or may not be feasible. It does not seem reasonable that neighborhood residents and Postal patrons should have to suffer the consequence of poor planning. What does seem reasonable to me is to relocate the school somewhere where this chaotic situation will not be re-created.

Charter Schoools, Dayton Public Schools, Vouchers & the Battle Over Who Pays…

August 10, 2007

As the parent of present and past Dayton Public School students I have watched with dismay as the Charter School movement has grown and, in the process, has helped decimate the Public School system. The way our schools are currently funded has been declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Courts but the Republican led legislature has totally dragged its feet on solving the problem. School Board elections in the DaytonDistrict this fall make this discussion all the more relevant.

The article I have reprinted below is a very insightful and devastating critique of how our kid’s education and future has been sacrificed on the Neo-con/republican altar of “privatization”.

SHADOWS ON HIGH: Are Our Kids For Sale?

Bill Todd and Bob Shaffer live far away from each other but share the same goal: Putting a price tag on every child’s head.

They are both politicians running for office. Each has ties to the big-money school choice movement. Each has ties to Dave Brennan and White Hat Management.

The ultimate goal of the Ohio and Colorado voucher crowd is to put a dollar on the head of every student wherever they may go. They think of it as an educational free market. But the market has more to do with money in the pocket than education in the classroom.

Vouchers were born in an emergency caucus during the Voinovich years. David Brennan in his big, white cowboy hat held court in a recently renovated Statehouse Rotunda. A balking and then moderate State Senate (even under Dick “Cement Head’’) got a rare personal visit from an impassioned Gov. Voinovich. Brennan’s largess to GOP coffers is legendary and oft written. And White Hat schools became the McD’s of for-profit Ohio educatin’ – with Dave Brennan in the role of Ray Kroc – or to many of his foes, just a crock.

And so sayeth the White-Hatted man’s wallet that vouchers became the law. More lucrative charters followed shortly after. And television stations grinned with glee as they discovered endless taxpayer stories of voucher and charter misadventures. Missing money. Kids who tested poorly. Books the auditor couldn’t peek inside.

Colorado recently got a taste of politics Ohio style. Colorado Senate candidate Bob Schaffer was the deciding vote at the Colorado Board of Education on rewarding Brennan’s White Hat Management with a contract to provide programs for charter schools. The vote came after his Senate campaign accepted $3,600 in contributions from Brennan.

ProgressOhio’s sister organization, ProgressNowAction, called for Shaffer to disclose his ties. Given our Ohio experience, $3,600 is either being bought cheap by Brennan or the largess down the line will be much greater than expected.

Why do we say cheap. Well Shadows research discovered a hidden $870,000 slush fund under investigation in Ohio that was created for the twisted “every-child-counts-for-profit” crowd to what else – influence politicians. What Shadows discovered was a well-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to profit from kids by siphoning even more money away from public schools and into vouchers.

This group has ties to a candidate for Columbus Mayor who, guess what – wants to take over Columbus schools.

The non-profit is called “All Children Matter.” A quick Google search for “All Children Matter’’ provides a link to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch and with a few clicks, readers can read all about it.

Its purpose is to recruit, train and fund candidates who support school vouchers.

“With its base of wealthy funders and ability to stealthily intervene in local, state and federal political races, the ACM network is an effective tool for the movement to privatize public education,’’ PFAW contends.

Its stealth efforts in Ohio aren’t so invisible any more, thanks to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Last February, her office notified the Ohio lawyer for All Children Matter that it failed to file a complete and accurate campaign finance report and violated Ohio’s campaign limits by accepting a whopping $870,000 from All Children Matter’s Virginia state PAC. The Virginia PAC “is not permitted to make contributions in Ohio, as it has not registered with or otherwise become established as a PAC in Ohio,’’ Brunner’s office wrote.

Then the letter goes on to state that the Ohio group “expended over $800,000 of contributions to influence the 2006 Ohio Primary and General elections.’’ That’s no chump change.

While the shenanigans of this group are new, the Ohio players and tactics aligned with it are old. Once again, the lawyer for the group is Bill “Transparent’’ Todd, who is running for Columbus mayor.

He incorporated ACM’s Ohio affiliate and is representing the group in a pending case before the Ohio Elections Commission that challenges AMC’s ability to move the money from Virginia to Ohio. (This is the same Bill Todd whose other client, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, was found guilty of operating an illegal PAC when it savaged Justice Alice Robie Resnick in the infamous Lady Justice TV campaign.)

The commission has scheduled a hearing on the case August 24.

Don’t get too excited. This is the same nearly toothless elections panel with a history of looking the other way. Still, the case is pending and while Todd is haranguing Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman and Democrats on city council for noodling over things in private, he’s working for yet another non-profit that attempts to influence elections and public policy in the dark.

Todd maintains that the Secretary of State has it all wrong – or in lawyer lingo “the transfers you reference clearly fall with the ambit of R.C. 3517.102(B)(2)(a)(vi),’’ Todd wrote in a January 11 letter to Brunner’s office. Uh huh.

What he’s saying is Ohio law allows unlimited transfers between “affiliated PACS’’ and the Virginia and Ohio PAC are clearly affiliated.

Then he goes on to say that his client can’t comply with the order to “refund’’ the $870,000 “because it does not have the resources available to make a refund of that magnitude.’’ (Keep in mind PFAW’s characterization that it has “a base of wealthy funders.’’

All this is even more interesting in light of a recent Columbus Dispatch article that included these nuggets:

“Democrats pointed out that Todd’s biggest individual donor — at $20,000 — was David L. Brennan, president of Akron-based White Hat Management, a for-profit operator of charter schools in Ohio and six other states.

Todd has called for a mayoral takeover of Columbus Public Schools and the creation of city-sponsored charter schools as a way to improve the district’s performance.

In February, he helped incorporate a nonprofit called School Choice Ohio, which shares a lobbyist and Downtown address with White Hat.

Todd said yesterday that Brennan’s support came because of his proposals for Columbus schools, not the other way around.’’

Word that Todd has close ties to Brennan – and another shady non-profit, School Choice Ohio – were news to a lot of people. But why, when Transparent Todd called for the mayoral takeover of the Columbus Public Schools did he fail to even mention that he’s tied to two groups created to shift money away from public schools? Didn’t he at least have an obligation to get that out in the open?

Both Bill Todd and Bob Shaffer seem to be following the same political script – and their nexus appears to be David Brennan’s political donations and White Hats’ for-profit expansion.

And if rumors are true, these money games are only a part of the shadowy future of Ohio taxpayer funded education.

Advocates of public education hope to go to the ballot next year and ask voters to support a new, hopefully constitutional, system of paying for public schools. Opponents of public education want to fight it – and make money for their friends who help them fight it.

While advocates for school districts — “Getting It Right” — are trying to determine and fund the Constitutional requirement for a thorough and efficient level of education funding, Brennan and the “every child counts for profit crowd” see a rather twisted opportunity.

Rather than put a dollar figure on each student and send it through your local school district, they would like to mandate that the money flow with your child wherever they go. The result – our Ohio kid’s education becomes more about packing the classroom to make a profit from your property tax dollars, than a thorough and efficient education.

Are the two remaining GOP leaders Bill Harris and Jon Husted part of the effort? After all, we know that Husted and his joined-at-the-hip GOP attack-dog and Crown Prince Kevin DeWine are constantly trying to butter up attacks on Governor Ted Strickland to “solve” the school funding problem. Harris, ever the true-believer, and Husted – lover of charters — would be keys to raising the support level for such an effort.

It’s doubtful that Brennan could succeed without the involvement of these legislative leaders, and given Brennan’s track record of donations and politicians, he’s probably already promised money to defeat the pro-public school effort. But if rumors are true, he may be finding a way to make even more profit for his White Hat schools by linking dollars to each child’s body.

It is a sad reality in modern politics, that some businessmen seem more interested in finding out ways to use our tax dollars to make a business profit – and education funding is a big, fat, juicy pot of relatively untapped money.

Whether it’s the questionable $870,000 siphoned to influence Ohio election campaigns, or just using a position of power to help along the White Hat’s of the world as Todd and Shaffer appear to have done– the purity of an ideological debate of alternative education models clearly has given way to a money grab for a large untapped pocket of tax dollars.

But there will be no subtlety of campaign finance games and influence peddling if rumors are true and leaders like Harris and Husted push a tax dollar bounty to be placed on every child’s head. Ohio kids will represent dollars per classroom desk – and profit pressures will dictate educational pressures more than Ohio’s job starved need for an education outcome focus.

So just remember, beneath the ever growing shadows of a big white cowboy hat, rumor has it – your kids may be for sale soon.

And no matter how you slice it someone else will be getting the benefits.

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