About those amendments to the budget bill: They would permit White Hat to operate as sort-of absentee landlords of their charter system without any accountability of how they spend the state money. Brennan's lawyer, Rocky Saxbe, explained that odd arrangement by saying that once public money goes into the private pot, it becomes private money that is beyond accountability.
Nice try - and I'm not a lawyer.
So in the simplest terms, what we are seeing is a one-way street in state expenditures: Give White Hat the money and don't ask what it does with it. The issue is so nettlesome that some local charter school operators have now taken White Hat to court to question what the company is doing with the princely sums from the taxpayers. The Brennans - David and wife Ann - also have their personal PACs and are the sole contributors to them, which serve as additional conduits to provide room and board for their favorite pols.
It's no secret where some of the profits have gone: Brennan has contributed $4 million to his Republican political allies over the past 10 years. Among the recipients of the maximum of $10,000 from each of the Brennans are Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, former gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell (in case he would win, which is known as planning ahead ) and House
speaker Bill Batchelder of Medina. And, of course, Kasich wasn't overlooked.
Batchelder, who is a seasoned pol on the glide path with his eccentric right-wing leadership in the General Assembly, has raspishly denied to the media that there is one iota of a connection between his gift from Brennan and the upward course of charter schools in the new year. Still, we would feel more comfortable if someone, including Batchelder , could flat us tell us how the anonymous amendments were wedged into the budget bill that moves to the senate. He says he doesn't know, but we can guess.
All the while, Kasich has been been standing by, if needed, to keep the charter money flowing. He's already told the world what a great thing charters are in the lifeblood of education. And he's made sure they will grow exponentially without Big Brother watching over them.
The guv promised that he would make Ohio No. 1, and with the current proposed legislation, he and his buddies will have succeeded in making the state unique in its lack of accountability for these schools. For the average Ohioan who isn't in the loop, it will be no more than an awful spectator sport for business as usual down in Columbus.