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Published: 4/25/2011

Get tough on political friends too

The Kasich administration and its allies never tire of telling school districts, local governments, and working families that they must sacrifice, tighten their belts, and curb unnecessary spending. But no such frugality is asked of conservative political appointees and useless government agencies they like.

Take the Workers Compensation Council. Created at the behest of now-House Speaker William Batchelder, the council is supposed to provide legislative analysis and oversight for the Bureau of Workers Compensation.

But as even the agency’s defenders such as Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon) acknowledge, the council has completed only four reports and a handful of analyses since it began operations in 2008. The Columbus Dispatch says all of that work “appears to have been done in 2009.”

That makes sense, since the council’s director, Virginia McInerney, fired her entire staff in February, 2010. The employees sued, claiming religious discrimination and alleging, among other things, that they had been required to pray and read Scripture with the director. The state paid them a cash settlement.

As director, her salary was $102,000 a year. It is still $102,000, even though Rep. Wachtmann now asserts that she is no longer director. When she ceased being director is unclear, as is what she has done to earn her $102,000 salary in 2010 and 2011.

What is clear is that Ms. McInerney is the council’s sole employee and that the Kasich administration and Ms. Wachtmann want no cuts to the council’s two-year, million-dollar budget. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

If you think this boondoggle looks like a scandal, so does Innovation Ohio. last week, we gave the council our Taxpayer Rip-off of the Week Award and called on the state auditor to give the council a thorough review.

Why aren’t Gov. Kasich and Rep. Wachtmann as tough on their political friends as they are on police officers, firefighters, and teachers?

Dale Butland
Communications Director, Innovation Ohio, Columbus

Like politicians? Then re-elect ‘em
Do we really think Americans who are unhappy with our government won’t rise up against this administration? (“Obama unveils framework to pare budget by $4 trillion,” April 14).

Gasoline is at $4 or more a gallon.

If you like what’s happening, re-elect these politicians.

Bernie Ball
Telegraph Road

Let’s pick a better president in 2012
It is obvious that President Obama’s economic policies are not working (“Obama unveils framework to pare budget by $4 trillion,” April 14).

The way to correct his mistakes is by electing an experienced, fiscally responsible administrator to be president in 2012 to implement economic reforms. The mandates will be clear.

Americans then will be able to trumpet the return of exceptionalism.

Gary Stechschulte
Perrysburg



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