The state budget for Ohio should have been approved before July 1 but this year there was an impasse and it got delayed while the legislature and the governor tried to arrive at a compromise. A deal was finally agreed upon and the budget was due to be sent to the governor for his signature. But today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer (no link unfortunately) has a story about how at the last minute, a new provision was secretly introduced into the 3,000 page budget document without debate that would have reduced the taxes paid by the wealthiest suburb of Cleveland (called Hunting Valley) to the schools.
The amendment was introduced without debate on Tuesday during a conference- committee meeting. It as a result of advocacy by the affluent village, which hired a prominent Columbus lobbying firm to seek the law change. Hunting Valley is influential in another way — it’s home to some of Ohio’s top political donors, one of whom hosted President Donald Trump for a fundraiser on July 12, a few days before Dolan introduced the amendment.
It appears the language was narrowly written so it would only affect Hunting Valley.
Among the Hunting Valley’s residents are a who’s-who of Ohio political donors.Even though the village has just 700 people, it’s donated at least $1.4 million to state and federal candidates, committees and political parties — largely Republican — since 2016, according to campaign finance records.
Some of village residents include businessman Mal Mixon and his family, who have given $198,250 to state and federal politicians (including $2,500 to Dolan and $1,000 to DeWine), former Sherwin-Williams CEO Chris Conor and his family ($110,000) and businessman Jon Lindseth ($62,200.) Nursing home owner Brian Colleran hosted President Donald Trump at a fundraiser at his Hunting Valley home last Friday. He and his family have given $568,425 since 2016 to state and federal candidates, including $42,700 to DeWine’s campaign for governor last year and a maximum $12,700 donation to Dolan.
The provision was specifically targeted to benefit this one city. So this one tiny community of 700 extremely wealthy people can donate millions of dollars to mostly Republican politicians but want to cut their contribution to the public schools, likely because their own children mostly go to exclusive private schools.
When people got wind of this provision, they started an intense lobbying campaign against it and managed to persuade the governor (also a Republican) to veto this measure.
These people are utterly shameless.