Lima, Ohio, has been struggling for decades – and the GOP’s radical policies are making it even worse
Dewey Chaffins was 19 years old when he left Appalachia for northwestern Ohio in 1958. The youngest of 10, he’d grown up in Garrett, Kentucky, a hardscrabble coal town where his family had lived and mined for generations. During the 1950s, when the coal industry in eastern Kentucky fell into a steep decline, scores of young men packed up all they had and headed north toward the industrial Midwest. Chaffins found opportunity in the city of Lima, a manufacturing boomtown where there were so many factories, as one retired autoworker recently told me, ”you could walk into a place, get a job without even a high school diploma, and if you didn’t like it, you could quit, walk across the street and have another job that afternoon.” By the time Dewey and his 18-year-old wife, Linda, settled in Lima, seven of his siblings, their spouses and some of their in-laws were living in and around the city, where they quickly found work in the automotive plants or tire factories or steel mills, joined the UAW or other unions, and set about raising their children in a manner none of them had ever dreamed possible.
Progressive groups in Ohio have consistently challenged the legality of private organizations accepting public money, and in 2010, the left-leaning ProgressOhio accused JobsOhio of violating the state’s constitution by accepting public funds – a challenge that was taken to the Supreme Court. In June 2014, the court dismissed the claim by ProgressOhio, stating that it didn’t have sufficient standing to sue. But even Tea Party activists agreed with the leftist group, says Brian Rothenberg, executive director of ProgressOhio. ”It’s not just privatization that is problematic in Ohio, it is the transfer of public dollars into private coffers with little accountability or transparency,” says Rothenberg. Kasich, who once described Rothenberg as a ”nihilist” for objecting to his agenda, has shut down all state audits of private contractors until the end of his second term. ”So now, prisoners have maggots in food served by private vendors, and home-health-care aides making minimum wage have to wait months for their pay because the state privatized the Medicaid–Medicare billing system,” Rothenberg continues. ”But then again, when you elect a Lehman Brothers executive as governor, you just bring in the same intricate Wall Street shell games that bog down our economy nationally.”
Read the full article: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/where-the-tea-party-rules-20141014#ixzz3GETXwJMO