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"It is time to tear down the monuments to bureaucratic failure, and in their place build a smaller, more efficient federal government that puts the American People first. The Washington Insiders won’t address Beltway decay, they won’t try a totally new way, because they like things as they are. The lobbyists make their living on protecting corporate loopholes, and securing earmarks for the special interests they represent. The status quo is good to the Washington Insiders. It’s good to the overpaid bureaucrats. It’s good for the power-players who can trade favors to build fiefdoms of influence. While the rest of America remains mired in the ruin caused by Washington’s out-of–touch, big government economic policies, Washington is doing fine. In fact, the Washington metro area is now the most affluent metropolitan area in the country. That’s because all the lobbyists, contractors and over-paid czars and bureaucrats haven’t suffered one bit in the worst economy in 70 years. While Main Street’s windows have been boarded up, the cash continues to flow to Wall Street financiers and Beltway profiteers."[Ouch...this is probably very awkward for Newt]
"The issue this election is not whether Washington is broken, but how we go about fixing it. There are two approaches, and even my own party is split. There are some who want to tinker with the status quo. They want to work within the current system to achieve marginal change. Then there are those who believe, as I do, that Washington is too broken to be fixed by tinkering on the margins. I do not believe Washington needs a new coat of paint, it needs a complete overhaul. We need to uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C. and our federal institutions."
"If you're looking for a slick politician or a guy with great teleprompter skills, we already have that--and he's destroying our economy. I'm a doer, not a talker. In Texas, we created 40% of the new jobs in the entire country since June of 2009, and we cut a record $15 billion from our state budget. Now they say we can't do that in Washington. Well, they're wrong, and they need to go."It's running up to ten times a day and, combined with the populist message of the ad calling Obama's laziness comment "pathetic" and saying his policies are "socialist," it's a very effective campaign. There's another ad in the series, this one focusing on Congressional insider trading:
"Maintaining our leadership in research and development is critical to winning the future and deploying innovative technologies that will create quality jobs and move towards clean energy economy that reduces our reliance on oil. But as we aspire to achieve new breakthroughs – a battery that will take a car 300 miles on a single charge or a way to turn sunlight into fuel like gasoline, we area already beginning to see how our investments in the future are changing the game today. Through the Recovery Act, the Administration has invested in a host of clean energy programs and ultimately supported thousands of projects across the country targeted at the demonstration of clean energy projects in every state."Newt's 21st Century Contract with America:
"Today, we are on the cusp of an explosion of new science that will create new opportunities in health, agriculture, energy, and materials technology.Breakthroughs in brain science, in particular, will open up enormous opportunities for cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, mental illness and learning disabilities. The question in the twenty-first century is whether we reform our system so we can educate, regulate, and invest in a way that allows us to continue to be at the forefront of innovation....
"...Furthermore, government agencies such as the National Institutes for Heath have the opportunity to use scientific research funding today in a way that will avert massive costs and human suffering in the future.
"As Americans now live longer than ever, one of the greatest fiscal threats in health is the rising cost of treating Alzheimer’s patients. The current estimate is that the combined public and private cost of Alzheimer’s between today to 2050 will be $20 trillion. That is one and a half times the current total federal debt. But a smart emphasis on brain science and innovation today can change this projection for the better..
"...While this topic may initially seem unusual in a proposed 21st Century Contract with America, I look forward to laying out my case of why I believe that brain science will soon be a major part of planning for better health and longer lives with greater independence and lower costs to the federal and state governments. It will also be an area in which American leadership could lead to an enormous number of new American jobs providing services for the entire world."Stimulus for green jobs to solve the energy crisis, stimulus for healthcare jobs to solve the Alzheimer's crisis. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
"Unfortunately, the problems in Speaker Gingrich’s record are frequent enough and serious enough to give pause. On two of the most important recent issues that confronted limited government conservatives (creating the new budget busting Medicare drug entitlement, and the Wall Street bailout), Gingrich was on the wrong side. His advocacy of an individual health care mandate is problematic. His penchant for tinkering with rewards for favored industries and outcomes shows a troubling willingness to use federal power to coerce taxpayers into his preferred direction. And his occasional hostility toward conservatives who do not share his desire to support liberal Republicans or to compromise on matters of principle is worrisome."While Newt has apparently repented of his romp on the couch with Princess Nancy, there are plenty of other issues he's been on the wrong side of, some of them recently. Though he's not the flip-flopper Romney is, Gingrich is not exactly the model of consistency. He preaches smaller government while promoting big government programs that he personally approves up. He talks a good game and debates well, but we must understand that his inconsistency points to a philosophy rooted in compromise and political expediency.
"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." Lord Acton - The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877Much ink and bandwith has been spilled analyzing the reasons Ohio's collective bargaining reform law, Issue 2, failed to survive Tuesday's referendum. Many suspect it was the millions of dollars poured into the anti-Issue 2 campaign by the out-of-state Big Labor groups and the blatantly deceptive ads that ran constantly on radio and TV stations across the state. Those were certainly major factors in the outcome. Some say that Governor Kasich and the Republican legislature overreached by including police and firefighters - that they should have been exempted from the reforms because they gave opponents ammunition for the aforementioned despicable ads that implied that police and firefighters would be in danger as would everyone else in Ohio. Again, that was a factor in the outcome.
Sec. 3317.13 (B) Each teacher shall be paid a salary based upon performance as described in this section:
(C) For purposes of this section, a board shall measure a teacher's performance by considering all of the following:
(1) The level of license issued under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code that the teacher holds;
(2) Whether the teacher is a "highly qualified teacher" as defined in section 3319.074 of the Revised Code;
(3) The value-added measure the board uses to determine the performance of the students assigned to the teacher's classroom;
(4) The results of the teacher's performance evaluations conducted under section 3319.111 of the Revised Code or any peer review program created by an agreement entered into by a board of education and representatives of teachers employed by that board;
(5) Any other criteria established by the boardHere's a video that describes how such a multi-faceted system works in the D.C. school system:
(1) Is evidence-based and uses multiple measures of a teacher's use of knowledge and skills and of students' academic progress;
(2) Is aligned with the standards for teachers adopted under section 3319.61 of the Revised Code;
(3) Provides statements of expectation for professional performance and establishes specific criteria of expected job performance in the areas of responsibility assigned to the teacher.
(4) Requires observation of the teacher being evaluated by the person conducting the evaluation on at least two occasions for not less than thirty minutes on each occasion;
(5) Requires that each teacher be provided with a written report of the results of the teacher's evaluation that includes specific recommendationsEach teacher will be evaluated on the following, once each year in April:
The framework shall require at least fifty per cent of each evaluation to be based on measures of student academic growth specified by the department of education. When applicable to a teacher, those measures shall include student performance on the assessments prescribed under sections 3301.0710 and 3301.0712 of the Revised Code and the value-added progress dimension prescribed by section 3302.021 of the Revised Code.
(1) Quality of instructional practice, which may be determined by announced and unannounced classroom observations and examinations of samples of work, such as lesson plans or assessments designed by theteacher;
(2) Communication and professionalism, including how well the teacher interacts with students, parents, other school employees, and members of thecommunity.
(3) Parent and student satisfaction, which may be measured by surveys,questionnaires, or other forms of soliciting feedback.Those of you who work in the private sector will likely read these requirements and find them familiar; this is how the majority of workers in Ohio are evaluated for raises and promotions. They certainly don't seem unreasonable. Those of us with children in the public schools would like to know our children's teachers are on the job because they are competent teachers, not merely because they have a degree and a teaching license.
"I never expected to have to fight our own government… to have a voice in my own safety and work conditions."
“We didn’t expect this kind of homecoming when we came back,” says Columbus fire fighter David Jarvis, who served in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and served in Operation Desert Storm during the first Gulf War."The claim that public employees will not have a "voice in their own safety and work conditions" has been repeated throughout the campaign and I suspect it will convince a lot of people to vote to strike down the reforms in SB5. We've been told that not only will police and firefighters be in danger, but our own families will be as well. One radio ad featured a 911 call with the dispatcher telling a frightened family with a robber in their home that the police wouldn't arrive for 20 minutes because they were short staffed. Listeners were told this is what we should expect if Issue 2 passes.
"AN ACT To amend sections [then it lists dozens of sections] of the Revised Code to make various changes to laws concerning public employees, including collective bargaining, salary schedules and compensation, layoff procedures, and leave."The vast majority of the 300 pages of this Act, which became a Bill (SB 5) and then became a law (remember School House Rock? I'm Just a Bill?), are sections of the Revised Code that have remained unchanged. The entire text of each section that has even one word changed must be included, which means that a LOT of ink is spilled when ever there is a new law passed! Here's an example:
Wherever something is crossed out, it means something has been removed from existing law. When something is underlined, it has been added. Text with no markings is current law that remains unchanged. If you take a minute to skim through the new law, you'll see that the majority of it remains unchanged. Opponents of SB 5 would have us believe that the Republicans add 300 pages of new laws. That's simply not true.(C) Unless a public employer specifically agrees otherwise in an express written provision of a collective bargaining agreement, nothing in Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code impairs the right and responsibility of each public employer to:
(1) Determine matters of inherent managerial policy which include, but are not limited to areas of discretion or policy such as the functions and programs of the public employer, standards of services, its overall budget, utilization of technology, and organizational structure; (2) Direct, supervise, evaluate, or hire employees; (3) Maintain and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of governmental operations; (4) Determine the overall methods, process, means, or personnel by which governmental operations are to be conducted; (5) Suspend, discipline, demote, or discharge for just cause, or lay off, transfer, assign, schedule, promote, or retain employees; (6) Determine the adequacy of the work force; (7) Determine the overall mission of the employer as a unit of government; (8) Effectively manage the work force; (9) Take actions to carry out the mission of the public employer as a governmental unit Hire, discharge, transfer, suspend, or discipline employees; (2) Determine the number of persons required to be employed or laid off; (3) Determine the qualifications of employees; (4) Determine the starting and quitting time and the number of hours to be worked by its employees; (5) Make any and all reasonable rules and regulations; (6) Determine the work assignments of its employees; (7) Determine the basis for selection, retention, and promotion of employees;
(B) The following subjects are not appropriate subjects for collective
(5) The number of employees required to be on duty or employed in any
department, division, or facility of a public employer
(F) Notwithstanding division (C) of this section, equipment issuesIf you've been following along, you noted that this is underlined, so it's been added to existing law. So it's true that public employees will not be allowed to collectively bargain for staffing levels. However, claims that it would be "illegal" for public employees to talk to their employers about staffing levels are merely hyperbole. No firefighters or teachers will be thrown in jail for expressing their opinions about staffing levels and exercising their First Amendment rights. The new law just says that it can't be a subject of the "official" collective bargaining process.
directly related to personal safety are subject to collective bargaining.
"Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?..."
"...A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
"I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way."Bold Colors. Reasserting the principles of conservatism. And hopefully, unmistakably clear!