Fire Dog Lake ponders endorsing Dennis Spisak (OH Governor, Green)

Emailed to by Vaughn Stull:

Fire Dog Lake ponders endorsing Dennis Spisak (OH Governor, Green)

FDL, Please Support Dennis Spisak for Ohio Governor
By: El Duderino

I am asking FDL to formally endorse Green Party candidate Dennis Spisak for governor of Ohio. This is not something I write lightly. I am deadly serious about this. We on the left continually complain about how corrupt and ineffectual Democrats are, and we speak of strong primary challenges from the left, but in the end, the primaries fail or worse, never materialize in the first place. And we end up repeating the same old song and dance every election cycle.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Democrats will continue to take the left for granted as long as they are confident that come November, we will always cave in and support the "lesser" of two evils (which has rightly been called the evil of two lessers). They will not deviate from taking us for granted until we make it clear that they can no longer do so.

I live in the Buckeye State, and it is usually the first to be hit whenever economic disaster strikes and the last to recover. We went from having a disastrously mediocre Republican governor to a disastrously milquetoast Democrat governor, and we have yet to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Ted Strickland made some good decisions early in his tenure, such as fighting the so-called "peanut butter" policy of applying state funding to various agencies and programs. But he has since then destroyed what little progress he has managed to achieve in four years by, among other things, planning to cut services to vital areas of public interest including libraries, and playing the usual game of "balancing" Ohio’s budget on the backs of the working poor. And he has failed at creating green jobs from coming to Ohio, according to The Toledo Blade.

In separate interviews, Mr. Strickland and Ms. Patt-McDaniel agreed with a Blade investigation that shows solar companies are creating manufacturing jobs in other states because Ohio’s incentives and tax structure are not competitive. But they also insisted that changes are in place to correct that problem.

But some industry insiders – including a local executive – say the governor and his staff have not done enough to create an attractive market for solar companies to move to Ohio, thus costing laid-off factory workers jobs that will end up elsewhere.

Mr. Johnston, chairman of the nonprofit group Ohio Advanced Energy, vice chairman of Germany’s Calyxo GmbH, and chief executive of its North American subsidiary, said Mr. Strickland is to blame for Ohioans not having thousands more jobs in the solar industry right now.

He said the governor hasn’t moved quickly enough to create a market for solar panels in Ohio and has left the door open for German and Chinese companies to sell their products here once more customers begin buying solar panels.

"While our industry has received excellent help from [U.S. Rep.] Marcy Kaptur, we’ve received mediocre help from Ted Strickland," Mr. Johnston said.

His primary complaint is the Strickland administration’s rejection of his $750 million proposal to build 30 solar fields – each capable of producing at least 10 megawatts of electricity – on cleaned-up industrial sites throughout the state.

The plan, put forth by Ohio Advanced Energy, included an estimate of 1,500 jobs immediately and called for the project to be funded by federal stimulus dollars, state-issued bonds, and other methods.

Mark Shanahan, Mr. Strickland’s chief energy adviser, said Mr. Johnston’s proposal didn’t move forward because it asked for too much buy-in from the state and didn’t include enough private investment.

So more than one thousand badly needed jobs have gone uncreated because our milquetoast governor thinks that the private industry wasn’t offered enough of a share in proposals to create those jobs. Now Ted Strickland is asking for another four years in which to preside over one of the worst economies in the nation. Why should any top-tier blog waste its time, money, and activism campaigning for such incompetence? No one should.

I am asking FDL to formally support and endorse Green Party candidate Dennis Spisak for governor. (You can read his blog here.) His positions on the issues include:

HEALTH CARE FOR ALL OHIOANS ACT: It’s time we establish single-payer healthcare in Ohio. The only 4 NOS you will hear:
No Co-payments, No Deductibles, No Premiums, No One Excluded.

You go to your personal physician for a visit. You pay nothing. The doctor bills the Ohio Health Care Fund (OHCF)

You have prescriptions filled by the pharmacist. You pay nothing. the pharmacist bills OHCF.

You need hospitalization. You pay nothing. The hispotal is paid by the OHCF.

You go to the emregency room. You do not wait for hours and hours. Since everyone has health care coverage, people can see their own doctors for routine care and don’t have to use the emergency room as a doctor’s office.

Your care is better. You choose your own doctor, who knows you personally and understands your needs. The doctor is part of a system that encourages phtsicians to practice medicine of the highest quality.

You sleep better. Your health care is secure. You no longer have to worry about losing your health care coverage if you lose or change your job. Your employer no longer has to worry about the ever-increating costs of health care. You no longer have to worry about ever-increaing deductibles and co-payments.

JOBS: It’s time Ohio’s Governor becomes an active participant in seeking new blue-green reneweable energy manufacturing jobs for the buckeye state.

The city of Saginaw,Michigan is bidding to become home to a branch of the San Jose-based solar company GlobalWatt. If the Saginaw City Council approves a brownfield redevelopment plan, the company could receive ten million dollars in tax credits.

A city in Texas has already offered an incentive package to the company should they decide to locate their new facility there. The Texas city could be Corpus Christi, but some sources also state the location is still undisclosed. GlobalWatt already works with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on photovoltaics research.

The company produces solar modules, photovoltaic laminators, semi-automatic production lines, and conducts research. Their new plant will cost about $177 million to create and will manufacture solar modules for commercial, military and residential installations.

An estimated 100 jobs will be created annually each year for five years, beginning in 2010.

Ohio could use 500 new jobs in the next five years. It’s time for Ohio to have a Governor to lead the job searches for new renewable jobs.

TAXES: Ohio Must Return to a Progressive Fair Tax System!

Low-and middle-income Ohioans pay a much greater share of their income in state and local taxes than the state’s most affluent do, according to a study by Policy Matters Ohio.

The top 1 percent of non-elderly Ohio families by income, who earned at least $352,000 in 2007, on average pay 7.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes. By contrast, the lowest fifth, who make less than $17,000, on average pay 12.0 percent. Families in the middle fifth of the income spectrum, who make between $32,000 and $50,000, on average pay 11.0 percent.

Recent changes in Ohio’s state and local tax system have increased the disparity. The report found that Ohio ranks 28th among states in the fairness of its tax system, based on the share of their income affluent Ohioans are paying in state and local taxes compared to that of lower- and middle-income Ohioans. Last time the study was done, which covered the law as of 2002, Ohio ranked 14th by this measure.

The national report, Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, was produced by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and released in Ohio by Policy Matters Ohio and The Center for Community Solutions. It reviews every state’s tax system based on permanent changes in law enacted through October 2009 and income levels from 2007 (the most recent year that necessary data is available across states).

“No one would ever design an income tax with lower tax rates for the best-off taxpayers,” noted Matthew Gardner, ITEP’s executive director and lead author of the study. “But that is exactly what Ohio’s tax system overall does: It allows the very wealthiest individuals to contribute less of their income, on average, than middle- and lower-income families must pay. In other words, Ohio has an unfair, regressive tax system.”


Nine Basic Principles to

Guide School Finance Reform

1.) Each student has a fundamental right to a high quality public education.

2.) There must be a process established to define thecomponents of a high quality education. The components must be updated on a regular basis.

3.) Phantom revenue must be eliminated.

4.) An objective process to determine cost must be established.

5.) School funding is a state responsibility.

6.) Educational opportunities must extend from Pre-K through grade 12.

7.) Enforceability of the right of students high quality educational opportunities must be included in the package.

8.) The over-reliance on property tax must be reduced. Property tax relief must be achieved.

9.) The quality of education must not be a function of school district property valuation or district income.


Foreclosures and their impacts on homeowners and communities can be reduced by requiring that lenders and borrowers go through mandatory mediation, by creating a disincentive to foreclosure by requiring banks to pay to properly maintain homes they foreclose on, and by giving foreclosed homeowners the right to rent their homes for some years after foreclosure. Strengthening state enforcement against fraud and other abuses, while giving whistleblower protections to employees at lending institutions, will further help deter predatory and fraudulent practices.

Although record foreclosures are currently wreaking havoc in communities across the nation, the federal response has been weak and has so far failed to stem the rising tide of foreclosures. Many borrowers have little or no contact with their creditor prior to foreclosure, not to mention attempts to modify the mortgage. Mandating foreclosure mediation brings the parties together, which will lower the number of foreclosures without allocating scarce resources. Requiring lenders foreclosing on homes to maintain those properties and giving foreclosed homeowners the right to remain in their homes as renters for a specific amount of time (5-10 years) will keep vacant homes from contributing to blight, and help prevent homeowners from having their families’ lives disrupted. By cracking down on illegal practices by predatory lenders, states can stop the exploitation of moderate- and low-income communities.

Average Americans are absolutely incensed about what appears to be a rigged financial system where businesses destroy jobs and wealth, only to be rewarded with government bailouts. Additionally, homeowners who thought themselves financially secure are now vulnerable in a way most never even contemplated. State leaders have a political opening to take strong action to address these concerns. Indeed much of the voter discontent that has recently been recorded is the result of anxiety from economic problems, and voters should respond favorably to actions that are low cost, but effective in reducing foreclosures and bankruptcies. The current economic turmoil has also sparked a significant increase in populist sentiment, which continues to grow as major bad actors in the financial industry swing quickly to profitability and reinstate obscene pay structures. A direct push against these institutions by empowering their workers through whistleblower protections will bring predatory practices to light, reinforcing sentiment in favor of reform.


Clean up Ohio’s water and air! Lessen our dependence on dirty coal plants.
Bring in renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy.

# Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy is key to sustainability. Just as ecological materials management is governed by the concept of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" (in priority order), ecological energy management must be governed by the principle of Conservation, Efficiency, and clean renewables. Of highest importance is to use less, then to use wisely, and to have clean production of what is used.

# We call for the development of state energy policies that include taxes and/or fines on energy "waste," and the funding of energy research, including credits for alternative and sustainable energy use such as solar, wind, hydrogen and biomass or energy derived from industrial grade hemp or organic waste.

# The Green Party calls for the retirement of the aging nuclear power reactors in Ohio, as soon as possible, since they are currently deteriorating, unsafe and not economical as a source of power for Ohio.

# The Green Party recognizes that there is no such thing as nuclear waste "disposal." All six of the "low-level" nuclear waste dumps in the United States have leaked. There are no technological quick fixes which can effectively isolate nuclear waste from the biosphere for the duration of its hazardous life. Therefore, it is essential that generation of additional nuclear wastes be stopped. Current methods of underground storage are a danger to present and future generations. Any nuclear waste management strategies must be above ground, continuously monitored, retrievable and repackageable.

# The Green Party strongly opposes any shipment of high-level nuclear waste across Ohio to the proposed Nevada waste "repository" at Yucca Mountain or any other centralized facility. The Green Party believes that this proposal is part of a move to re-fire on a fast-track, the commercial nuclear industry, if they can get their unsafe waste product “safely disposed of.”

# We call for independent, public-access radiation, safety and maintenance monitoring at all nuclear facilities in Ohio. We will require a neutral team of scientists and engineers to appraise the Davis-Besse and Perry plants.

# In addition to aggressive energy conservation and efficiency measures, The Green Party of Ohio advocates the rapid and mandatory conversion to the best available clean technology in all existing and new power plants located in Ohio.

# The Green Party of Ohio advocates the reduction of solid waste creation in the state. A "bottle bill" and "litter tax" are both elements of public policy, which are supported by the Green Party. A Green Party endorsed "bottle bill" would require a small deposit on all containers, including jars, cans, jugs, glass and plastic bottles to be paid at the time of purchase and to be refunded through source-based refund centers. Packaging, including wrappers, bags, boxes, etc., would be required to bear the name of the producer or marketer of the product, and remain the property of the producer or marketer.Waste in general needs to be reduced. Wastes, which are hazardous or toxic, need to be eliminated or minimized. The producers of waste must bear the responsibility for the ultimate conversion, recycling or ultimate disposal of these wastes.

# The Green Party of Ohio opposes the disposal within the state of Ohio, wastes which are generated outside the state of Ohio. The challenge to any interpretation of US constitutional law, which would require Ohio to take possession of out-of-state-generated wastes is supported by the Green Party of Ohio and should be in the program of the Secretary of State, Governor and Attorney General. Aggressive measures need to be taken to end the use of Ohio as a dumping ground for solid and liquid wastes.

Most if not all of these positions are shared by progressives. And unlike Democrat politicians, Spisak isn’t triangulating or offering lip service when he declares where he stands. His is definitely an uphill battle for the governor’s office, but we do ourselves a disservice if we fail to give him all the help we can. The point we must make is that progressives, liberals, will no longer be taken for granted. We have other places to go when the Democrats fail to represent us. It’s time we went there.

Imagine the boost that candidates such as Dennis Spisak would receive once prominent blogs begin endorsing them publicly, fundraise for them, promote them whenever and wherever possible. This year is the left’s chance to really start making itself not only heard, but heeded. We pass it up not only to our detriment, but to the detriment of the public whose interest we presume to share.

Let’s send the message, in Ohio and elsewhere. Let’s support and endorse independent candidates, starting with Ohio’s Dennis Spisak.

5 thoughts on “Fire Dog Lake ponders endorsing Dennis Spisak (OH Governor, Green)

  1. paulie Post author

    One of the biggest blogs on the left.

    Whether you should care is up to you.

    I’m trying to make IPR appeal to a variety of different kinds of alt-politics perspectives as best I can.

    So, please expect that there will be some stories here that you don’t care about. I hope that’s OK.

  2. Vaughn

    Unfortunately the comments on that blog broke done into a off-topic flame fest. Sigh…

    There is debate on FDL in general about being progressive first and Democrat second…or voting for the less of two evils. In this case it is center-right Strickland, though. I really hope these questions get raised again on FDL.

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