Articles in the Politics Category
You may have wondered, why is Ohio so screwed up?
Why are all its cities, Columbus excepted, dying?
Well one answer is manufacturing losses. The other answer is terrible, backward-looking, utterly embarrassing and depraved politics. It’s sort of a tough one to call.
Let’s examine the state’s nauseating “redistricting” process as evidence. Boring stuff! Except when told by Cleveland’s own Mike Polk, who you will remember from the infamous “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video.”
Hey why don’t they teach this stuff in senior civics classes?
Horse race journalism! Not even non-journalist bloggers without advertisers can resist it!
All kidding aside though, if I was a national political observer I would be watching Issues 2 and 3 in Ohio’s election tomorrow with interest.
Issue 2 seeks to repeal Governor Kasich’s Senate Bill 5, which restricts the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers.
I am going to go out on a limb here but I would bet my Netflix subscription that this one is going down in flames. Governor Kasich and his henchmen in Columbus could write a law …
Rust Wire is honored to have been given permission to reprint this article by Cleveland’s foremost muckracker, Roldo Bartimole, a former Plain Dealer reporter and local folk hero with encyclopedic knowledge of the region and the guts to tell it like it is.
He has written this piece about how Cleveland’s elites have enriched themselves at the expense of the Cleveland Public Schools as a matter of course for decades. He was inspired by a recent Plain Dealer article that reported 300 CMSD teachers have been given a stay from layoffs.
Civic corruption comes in many forms. We have been hearing a lot about corruption these days. However, the focus is very narrow. Unnecessarily so.
Architecture, Art, Editorial, Featured, Politics, Real Estate, Urban Planning »
Missouri, I know you’ve been walloped by decades of deindustrialization and now the Great Recession. You’re being forced to make some terrible choices when it comes to your state budget. On the chopping block is your historic preservation tax credit. It may seem trite to cry for the potential loss of this program. I mean, shouldn’t you be spending taxpayer money on schools and roads and bridges? Yes, but hold on a second. You need to think this through. Where are your historic structures? In the middle of your cities! For the last 50 years, people have been abandoning your cities for the suburbs. In the meantime, you’ve had to build new roads, install new water and sewer lines, build new schools, and take care of this more spread-out infrastructure. Those buildings in the middle of your cities are worth keeping around. Worth investing in. They’re your history. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore and it’s not going to be cheap to fix them. But it’s worth it. Here’s why:
New York-based blogger Alon Levy shared this interesting insight in his latest post:
Urban politics in what’s now the US Rust Belt has been dominated by the same battle between the machine and the reformists since the machines first came into existence in the 19th century. Since the national partisan battles weren’t too applicable, especially after the cities became dominant-party Democratic, the battle lines cemented based on this reform vs. machine issue, creating the same intense partisanship as at the national level.
I have to say …
It’s no secret that Scott Walker is basically running for president of the Tea Party from the governor’s seat in Wisconsin. But the fact is when you examine his policies, they’re not conservative at all. In fact, they’re wasteful. On transportation in particular, Walker is a consummate borrow-and-spender (particularly if that spending benefits his buddies in the highway construction industry).
Case in point, last month we reported Walker was putting forward $400 million in new highway projects, despite his state’s apparent “broke”ness. To balance things out, this week we learn he has cut all funding for bike and pedestrian projects in the state, for a paltry $5.7 million in savings. He also cut $7 million from transit.
Fiscal problems, solved!
Across the nation, there’s a lot of hand wringing going on about how state budget crises will affect local communities. Will trash pickup be less frequent? Will senior services be cut? How will the schools be affected?
All of this obscures, to a certain extent, one of the major ways we got ourselves into this mess in the first place. For roughly 50 years, states have allowed and encouraged their metro areas to grow outward, building countless miles of new roads, sewers, and other infrastructure with little regard for the sustainability and efficiency of the new communities.
This trend is particularly disastrous in places that have had stagnant or declining populations, as Aaron Renn from the Urbanophile explains:
Of all the anti-transit zealots in office right now, Ohio Governor John Kasich really stands out from the rest.
His first notable action as governor was to return $400 million in federal dollars for passenger rail between Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. But as we all know, he wasn’t the only governor to take the opportunity to make a political statement at his constituents’ expense.
Kasich took it further. In what Jon Stewart has referred to as Kasich’s “special blend of dickishness,” he dismissed project supporters as being part of a “train cult.” Then he appointed a former asphalt industry lobbyist to run the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Even given all that, however, his latest move is pretty brazen.
Great Lakes, Politics, The Environment »
And we’re not talking about the state’s recent labor showdown.
What hasn’t gotten as much attention, is the new governor’s “assault on environmental regulations,” writes Gary Wilson in a commentary on Great Lakes Echo. Wilson cites several examples, among them: a proposal to weaken regulation around phosphorous. (More on why you should care about that and how it impacts the Great Lakes here.)
Wilson sees this as especially unfortunate, as the state was long considered a leader on environmental issues.
He tells Echo readers:
“National labor leaders rallied behind Wisconsin workers as …
Editorial, Good Ideas, Politics, The Media »
I know this isn’t strictly Rust Belt-related, but I’m sure many readers of this site are fans of The Wire as much as I am.
So here’s a link to an excerpt of an interview creator David Simon did with The Progressive magazine. The entire piece is not available online, only in the print version of the magazine.
I think my favorite part is when Simon says:
“This show, if we do it right, is an argument for the city. For the idea of American urbanity, for the melting pot, for the idea …