The closing days of the election madness concluded with a stark reminder that those who play for your votes may be too busy to answer a few important questons. The Republican state ticket, from Gov. Kasich down, waved off any effort to bring them into the consciousness of the voter (excluding the Betty Crocker type TV ads fashioned to sweeten your palate).
A survey by NewsOutlet/Beacon Journal, a collaborative operation, on whether charter school assets belong to the private owners or to the public that paid for them, enjoyed only partial success. .
Rep. Marilyn Slaby, a Summit County Republican challenged by Democrat Tim Crawford, was among the majority of Republicans who didn't respond. She said she was too busy to answer the question. She said what?
The reluctance of some politicians to step up on a question about charter schools can be traced to the fact that they are well maintained in the White Hat Management charter kingdom of its founder, David Brennan. As we all know, he's a major GOP political financier who leaves no legislative vote that would affect his enterprises unguarded.
And it works! The state has channeled more than $900 million into charter schools, nearly $775 million to the Brennan domain. The Plain Dealer reported that Brennan has "poured more than $4 million into the coffers of Republican candidates in Ohio during the last decade."
You won't need a calculator to see that $775 million for a $4 million investment is a damn good return.
Not that these schools have served as a White Hat cure for the ills of the public school system. There are loads of dropouts from the charters - more than the number of students who showed up on a average day. Indeed, there is nothing in any of the studies that would confirm charter success.
And, of course, the state's generous charter funding has to come from somewhere. Yep. Stretched-out public education, which could stand a few more dollars in its budgets.
But for now, the prophetic words of Simon Cameron, Abe Lincoln's Secretary of War, are very much current today:
"An honest politician is one who , when he is bought, will stay bought.".