Category Archives: government


The Division of Unclaimed Funds is reuniting Ohioans with their lost treasure. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Division paid 58,953 claims, a 27.5% increase over the prior fiscal year.

The Division returned $61.1 million in FY 2012, a .3% increase over the prior fiscal year. The average paid claim was $1,037.

“Through aggressive outreach, the Division of Unclaimed Funds is working to reunite even more Ohioans with their hard-earned money,” said David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. “These funds boost our economy as Ohioans use the funds to buy a tank of gas, pay off some bills, make needed home repairs, enjoy a vacation or expand a business.”

Unclaimed funds consist of monies or the right to monies that have been dormant or forgotten. These funds are reported to the State of Ohio for safekeeping until the rightful owners can be found. Some common examples include: dormant checking and savings accounts, forgotten rent and utility deposits, uncashed checks, undelivered stock certificates, and uncashed insurance policies.

The Division marked its 30th anniversary in January and encouraged Ohioans to step forward and claim their unclaimed treasure. Since the Division was created in January 1982 through June 30, 2012, it has paid more than 857,000 claims worth $862 million.

In FY 2012, the Division expanded its outreach focus to Ohio’s schools as part of Governor John R. Kasich request to every department in his administration to find ways to help local governments without further burdening taxpayers. During the fiscal year, the Division returned approximately $111,000 to 69 schools.

The Division’s Online Treasure Hunt at continues to be a popular means for Ohioans to search for unclaimed funds and to initiate the claims process. Approximately 84% of all claims initiated in FY 2012 were through the search function on the Division’s website.

The Division added a new customer service feature to its website this year that allows claimants to check on their claim’s status while it is being reviewed.

Whatever Happened to Justice? Supreme Court OKs Police Tasering Pregnant Women

By John W. Whitehead

Once again, the United States Supreme Court has proven Clarence Darrow, a civil liberties attorney and long-time advocate for the Constitution, correct in his assertion that “there is no such thing as justice—in or out of court.” In meting out this particular miscarriage of justice, the Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of a pregnant woman who was repeatedly tasered by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop simply because she refused to sign a speeding ticket.

Malaika Brooks, 33 years old and seven months pregnant, was driving her 11-year-old son to school on a November morning in 2004, when she was pulled over for driving 32 mph in a 20 mph school zone. Instructing her son to walk the rest of the way to school, Malaika handed over her driver’s license to Officer Juan Ornelas for processing. However, when instructed to sign the speeding ticket—which the state inexplicably requires, Malaika declared that she wished to contest the charge, insisting that she had not done anything wrong and fearing that signing the ticket would signify an admission of guilt.

What happened next is a cautionary tale for anyone who still thinks that they can defy a police officer, even if it’s simply to disagree about a speeding ticket. Rather than issuing a verbal warning to the clearly pregnant (and understandably emotional) woman, Officer Ornelas called for backup. Officer Donald Jones subsequently arrived and told Brooks to sign the ticket. Again she refused. The conversation became heated. The cops called in more backup. The next to arrive was Sergeant Steven Daman, who directed Brooks to sign the ticket, pointing out that if she failed to do so, she would be arrested and taken to jail. Again, Malaika refused.

On orders from Sgt. Daman, Ornelas ordered a distraught Brooks to get out of the car, telling her she was “going to jail.” Malaika refused, and the second cop, Jones, responded by pulling out his taser electro-shock weapon, asking her if she knew what it was and warning her it would be used on her if she continued to resist. Brooks told him “No,” and then said, “I have to go to the bathroom, I am pregnant, I’m less than 60 days from having my baby.”

Jones and Ornelas then proceeded to discuss how best to taser the pregnant woman and forcibly remove her from the car. One officer said, “Well, don’t do it in her stomach; do it in her thigh.” Opening the car door, Ornelas twisted Malaika’s arm behind her back. Desperate, Brooks held on tightly to the steering wheel, while Jones cycled the taser as a demonstration of its capacity to cause pain.

With the taser in a “drive-stun” mode, Officer Jones then pressed the taser against Brooks’ thigh while Ornelas held her hand behind her back. Brooks, in obvious pain, began to cry and honk her car horn—hoping someone would help. Thirty-six seconds later, Ornelas pressed it into her left arm. Six seconds later, he again stunned her, this time on the neck. After being tasered numerous times, Brooks’ pregnant body eventually gave way. As Malaika fell over and out of the car, the officers dragged her onto the street, placing the pregnant woman face down on the pavement, handcuffing her and transporting her to jail.

Unfortunately, this is where what happened to Malaika Brooks at the hands of the police—behavior that should be roundly condemned and prohibited—becomes yet another example of the cowardice of our justice system and the corrupt nature of life in a police state. Even though the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals recognized that Malaika posed no threat to anyone, nor did she pose a physical threat to the officers, that none of her offenses were serious, and that officers clearly used “excessive force” against her, the justices granted qualified immunity to the officers—a ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court ostensibly upheld when it refused to hear the case. In doing so, the courts have essentially given police carte blanche authority when it comes to using tasers against American citizens.

Indeed, this case highlights a growing trend in which police officers use tasers to force individuals into compliance in relatively non-threatening situations. Originally designed to restrain violent criminals, tasers are now used with impunity against individuals who pose no bodily harm to the police. Rowdy schoolchildren, the elderly, and mentally ill individuals are increasingly finding themselves on the receiving end of these sometimes lethal electroshock devices. Cops who have been shocked in the course of their training have described being tased as “the most profound pain,” and “like getting punched 100 times in a row.”

While law enforcement advocates may suggest otherwise, these incongruous and excessive uses of force by the police are quickly becoming the rule, not the exception. A 2011 New York Civil Liberties Union report showed that of the eight police departments surveyed across the state, over 85 percent of taser uses occurred in cases where suspects were not armed. Incredibly, 40 percent of taser uses were aimed at the elderly, children, the mentally ill, or the severely intoxicated.

As John Lennon once remarked, “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.” Indeed, the varied expressions of the government’s growing power—the excessive use of tasers by police on non-threatening individuals, allowing drones to take to the skies domestically for purposes of surveillance, the government’s monitoring of our emails and phone calls, and on and on—which get more troubling by the day, are merely the outward manifestations of an inner, philosophical shift underway in how the government views not only the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but “we the people,” as well.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at Information about the Institute is available at

The Criminalization of America’s Schoolchildren

John W. Whitehead, Constitutional attorney, author and president of The Rutherford Institute, explains how American schools are the tool of government by which children are made compliant citizens of an American police state.


Also, you can read the print version at

Pastor, Who Are You Voting For?

By Dallas Henry

Have you been asked the question yet? The questions are coming from members of the church I serve. “Pastor, who are you voting for?” Of course, by law, we are not permitted to endorse candidates from the pulpit, but when people ask us, we can legally share our opinions with them and why we have them.

There was a talk show that included a discussion of candidates for president and their faith. The host remarked, “What a person believes really shouldn’t matter because religion and politics don’t mix.”

That is a well known phrase. In any group of people there will be varying political opinions, but it incorrect to say that religion and politics do not mix. In fact, the Bible addresses many political issues. Government was an issue that Biblical writers frequently addressed. Scriptures talk about the role of government, how we should respond to government and, in besides, much of our laws are taken from the Bible. It is fair to say that Christians should be concerned about politics because God seems to be concerned about politics. I Peter 2:13 tells us that we are to submit to the governing authorities and I Timothy 2:1 urges us to pray for those who lead us. Saying that religion and politics do not mix is often an excuse for people who are not involved. It’s interesting that it is okay to sing patriotic hymns in church and politics and religion can mix on that realm, but they cannot mix when we talk about elections and the issues.

It is vital that Christians be involved in the process. We should be concerned about all elections. We should be concerned about who is leading us because they decide what freedoms we have and don’t have and what rights we have and don’t have. But, just how do Christians interact with government? What does the Bible say about issues that relate to this? In this critical time in the history of our country, it is important to be informed and to see what our Biblical responsibility is with government and not to simply withdraw and avoid it all. Remember government is; “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

All citizens have been given the freedom and the responsibility to vote. This freedom is our only chance to voice our opinion. We are all influenced to vote the way that we do for different reasons, but Christians, especially, must guard against the false notion that voting and religion do not mix. A Christian’s faith does come into play in the decision making while voting.

It is important to remember that God, His Word and His Son Jesus Christ are foundational parts of our government and that should never be forgotten. There’s a good reason that In God We Trust is on our currency and a good reason our Pledge of Allegiance contains the phrase “One nation Under God” and there is a good reason that The Declaration of Independence speaks of the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and of certain unalienable Rights endowed on them by their Creator. We hear a lot today about the separation of Church and state, which is not in our constitution, no matter who many claim that it is.

In a few months the primaries will be over and the various candidates for each political party will have been chosen, on the national, state and local levels. The campaign ads will be over, the commercials will stop airing, for the time being, and then it’s time for Christians to do their homework.

It is important for us to take time and look into the Scriptures and see, first of all, what the Bible has to say regarding the purpose of government, secondly our responsibility as Christians, and thirdly how the church is called to Biblically interact with government.

Romans 13:1-7
“Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority but of God; the authorities that exist are ordained by God. So that the one resisting the authority resists the ordinance of God; and the ones who resist will receive judgment to themselves. For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. And do you desire to be not afraid of the authority? Do the good, and you shall have praise from it. For it is a servant of God to you for good. For if you practice evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword in vain; for it is a servant of God, a revenger for wrath on him who does evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes. For they are God’s servants, always giving attention to this very thing. Therefore give to all their dues; to the one due tax, the tax; tribute to whom tribute is due, fear to whom fear is due, and honor to whom honor is due.”

Christians should not have an anti-government mindset because God has established governments that exist. God had a reason for appointing government. Continue reading

Perales, Reid Stonewall BRAC records

By John Mitchel

This reporter recently requested records related to the 2003 BRAC Initiative Agreement (October, 2003 to September, 2006) where Greene County Commissioner Marilyn Reid and two retired commissioners signed a contract for $1.9 million with the Dayton Development Commission to lobby for Wright Patterson Air Force Base. It appears that part of that money was used as a loan for $900,000, with interest paid by Greene County taxpayers, to provide matching funds to qualify for a State grant. Greene County taxpayers and others around Ohio should be outraged to learn where and to whom those tax dollars went.

Although Ms. Reid and Mr. Perales have not produced the requested public records, including the Ohio grant application and Ohio Department of Development’s response, there is sufficient information available in the public domain to give Greene County voters good reason not to vote for Reid or Perales in the March 6th primary. Ms. Reid is running for reelection as Greene County Commissioner and Mr. Perales left his County Commissioner seat to run for District 70 State Representative.

For starters, in a display of corporate cronyism at its worst, the Dayton Development Coalition paid their President and CEO over $285,000 in salary and benefits in 2005, the last full year of the Agreement (Source: Dayton Development Coalition 2005 IRS Form 990). But that’s not the worst of it. The Coalition also paid $560,000 to the Paul Magliocchetti & Associates (PMA) Group, a Washington lobbyist, between 2003 and 2006 (Source: ). Magliocchetti, PMA’s founder and president, is currently serving 27 months in federal prison for illegally bundling campaign contributions to dozens of congressmen, including former Congressman Dave Hobson and his successor, Steve Austria (Source: ).

Follow the money, and you will learn as I did that Reid, Perales, Hobson, Austria and others are not the limited government conservatives they claim to be. Contrary to their rhetoric, they are more than happy to shovel our tax dollars to public-private partnerships like the Dayton Development Coalition that tragically draws support from so many leaders in academia, the private sector, local governments and even Wright Patterson AFB. Remember, when you hear the buzz phrase, “public private partnership,” invariably you can follow the money from taxpayers to private pockets and then back to the politicians through campaign contributions. Enough is enough; on March 6th let’s send a message to the career politicians that we want our government back. Sending Marilyn Reid and Rick Perales back to the private sector would be a good start.

Pro-Life Congressman Steve Austria Questions Army Chief of Chaplains’ Religious Censorship

(COLUMBUS) – Today Congressman Steve Austria (R – Beavercreek) sent a letter to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army questioning the Army Chief of Chaplains’ recent decision to disregard a letter sent to them by Archbishop Timothy Broglio on behalf of the Catholic Church. Bishop Broglio’s letter expresses concern
over the Department of Health and Human Services’ rule requiring coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortifacient services.

“The Obama administration has entirely overstepped its boundaries once again by outwardly censoring the voice of a religious institution,” said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis. “This is an attack on American freedom unlike any we have seen in recent years. Ohio Right to Life is grateful to Congressman Austria for
taking a stand against this blatant and direct threat to religious liberty.”

The rule announced last month by the Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services requires health plans to cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception which include both Plan B and Ella, forms of “emergency contraception” or the morning-after pill. There is significant evidence that these drugs can act as abortifacients by preventing a human embryo from implanting in the womb.

Ohio Right to Life thanks Congressman Austria for his immediate action in response to such injustices as those related to the Obama rule. To read Congressman Austria’s letter, click here.

Just This Side of Hell (Video Commentary)


Clash of Competing Rights Claims Raises Free Speech Concerns: Analysis

By Piero Tozzi, J.D.

(NEW YORK C-FAM) Tension between free speech advocacy and efforts to curb “hate speech” has arisen over the past year as the result of recent initiatives at the United Nations (UN) and by the Obama administration.

Freedom of opinion and expression have long been recognized as fundamental, and a recent UN Human Rights Committee “General Comment” affirmed these twin liberties as “the foundation stone for every free and democratic society.”

Yet while heralding these bedrock rights, others are seeking to curtail criticism of homosexual behavior and shelter certain religions from “defamation.” Such efforts also butt against religious liberty and conscience rights, two other bright constellations in the firmament of fundamental rights.

The tension became evident in a 2010 initiative by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which sought to reconcile broad free speech protections found in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) with article 20, which calls upon governments to limit “advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

Though the ICCPR is largely a charter of “negative rights” protecting liberties from government intrusion, article 20 is anomalous, calling for affirmative governmental action. Concern over Article 20’s compatibility with domestic constitutional guarantees caused the United States (US) and other western governments to opt out from this particular article at the time of the ICCPR’s ratification.

Critics noted that in calling for dialogue on the interplay between free speech and “hate speech”, the OCHCR conspicuously misquoted the text of Article 20, stating that it banned “incitement of hatred” – a lowered standard that could cause provocative speech which did not incite violence to be banned. Such concern is not merely theoretical, as a number of Western nations once tolerant of the free exchange of ideas have enacted strictures curbing non-violent speech deemed critical of certain groups and individuals.

For example, Germany’s criminal code punishes “insults” – defined as “an illegal attack on the honor of another person by intentionally showing disrespect or no respect at all” – with up to one year’s imprisonment.

Fortunately, free-speech stalwarts such as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, pushed back, and the General Comment on ICCPR article 19 issued last September is largely protective of free expression while giving short shrift to article 20.

How such interpretations work in practice is another matter, however. “Workshops” on the interplay of the two articles have taken place in a number of cities around the world, including Vienna and Santiago de Chile. At the latter, most panelists sought to import “sexual orientation,” a concept absent from the ICCPR, as a category equivalent to the specified categories of nationality, race, and religion.

The cheerleading at the Santiago meeting in favor of “sexual orientation” speech restrictions by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Heiner Bielfeldt, was especially disconcerting. It indicated lack of awareness or concern over heavy-handed state restrictions on legitimate religion-based criticism of homosexual behavior by the rapporteur tasked with speaking out in defense of religious liberties.

Attempts to punish religious speech include Sweden’s criminal prosecution of a Pentecostal pastor for a sermon he gave in church critical of homosexual behavior and human rights proceedings in Canada against a pastor who had written a letter to a newspaper critical of the “homosexual agenda” and its threat to “innocent children and youth.” A human rights panel held the cleric to have violated a provincial statute that prohibited speech “likely to expose a person or class of persons to hatred or contempt” due to the “sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”

Global concern over the issue has been heightened by the Obama administration’s initiative, announced last month, that would make promotion of the rights of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender” persons a high US foreign policy priority. US embassies across the globe are now tasked with advocating repeal of anti-sodomy laws in nations which have them and with monitoring groups, including religious groups, deemed opposed to this agenda.

Piero A. Tozzi is a Senior Fellow at the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). This article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute ( This article appears with permission.

UN Agencies Sitting on Billions in Cash Reserves, Refuse Full Compliance with Auditors

By Wendy Wright

(NEW YORK C-FAM) A confidential audit of UNICEF and UNFPA found “gross” failures in transparency and surprisingly billions of dollars of unspent cash. Both agencies refused to disclose information on staff costs and travel. The auditor found that donors have “little knowledge regarding the ultimate destiny” of funds.

Fox News editor George Russell studied the yet-to-be-disclosed two-volume draft report written by the consulting firm IDC at the request of the government of Norway. UNFPA and UNICEF refused to answer Fox News’ questions, other than claiming the cash reserves were earmarked for future work on programs.

The audit of five UN agencies sought to discover “where does the money go.” The report found UNFPA and UNICEF had $3.2 billion in cash in 2009. UNICEF, which is free to spend money where it wants despite the project that earned it, gained $109 million in interest income in 2008. The United Nations Development Program had $5 billion in cash reserves, invested large amounts on bonds, and increased personnel costs 80% in the last decade. These together with the World Food Program (which alone was judged transparent and its performance “impressive”) had $12.2 billion in unspent cash. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees did not have a cash stockpile but refused to disclose spending, particularly on staff costs.

The report found UNFPA was unable, or unwilling, to account for $200 million a year funneled to governments and non-governmental groups. It refused to disclose details of wages, salaries, travel, consultant costs, and other items. The report declared, “UNFPA fails grossly” in its official commitment to transparency.

Details on UNICEF’s overhead were lacking, and scraps of information on expenditures make “it difficult to track use of funds from headquarters down to the ultimate beneficiaries on the ground.” It, too, could not account for expenditures within countries, which is the majority of its spending, earning a designation of “gross failure.”

Several UN agencies are increasingly focusing on giving policy advice and advocacy, and relying on others to deliver goods and services. They form vague strategic plans at headquarters that defy tracking outcomes or progress within countries. The UN refugee agency delegates most of its program activities to “implementing partners” that do the work on the ground.

The study warned that the hoard of money “implies that substantial donor funding is not being used for development purposes.” Donors may be reluctant to fund the UN until the “reserves are utilized.”

For years UN agencies have resisted divulging their finances. Government officials have suspected the lack of transparency hides lavish salaries and expensive travel. Diverting funds to non-governmental groups provides a coterie of accomplices who defend the UN agencies.

Shadowy accounting often signals systemic waste, fraud and abuse. In a moment of candor in 2007, a UNFPA executive boasted at a conference that, though the agency was barred from directly funding abortion, it disburses money to abortion providers.

An examination of UNFPA annual reports finds its budget ballooned from $249.9 million in 1999 to $870 million in 2010. Despite its vast resources and audit failure, in November it urged leaders to “galvanize greater political, financial support for family planning.”

Wendy Wright is Interim Director of C-FAM whose article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute ( This article appears with permission.

Why Vote Yes on Issue 2? Here Are Some Facts to Consider

Issue 2 is a referendum on the newly passed collective bargaining and other public employment contracts reform bill titled SB 5. The bill was passed in order to enable state government to reduce labor costs, balance the state budget, make public jobs more competitive and performance oriented, and attract as well maintain good workers.

One of the ways the governor, legislators, and many local officials agreed would enable them to accomplish these goals was reform the standards and practices of public workers.

Two organizations are leading grass root campaigns with regards to the passage of Issue 2. The union backed organization “We Are Ohio” lead the ballot referendum, wrote ballot argument opposing the SB 5, and produced most of the media ads seeking to persuade a no vote on November 8. “Building a Better Ohio” is the organization promoting the new law. “A Better Ohio” is behind the media ads, telephone calls, and literature campaign in favor of SB 5. It also has written the ballot argument for making it public law.

When in it comes to truth-in-advertising, “A Better Ohio” gets an “A” but “We Are Ohio” has earned an “F”. That is, statements and arguments made by “A Better Ohio” tend to be true while statement by “We Are Ohio” often have been shown to be false. The Plain Dealer’s PolitiFact Ohio is the source of these observations.

A number of other news, public policy think tanks, and other organizations have been focusing on this issue. They include Buckeye Institute (see links in right column above), Principled Policy Institute, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Dayton Chamber of Commerce, and others.

The ballot text voters will see presents two arguments. The “Vote No on Issue 2, Repeal SB 5” arguments make the following claims. SB 5 puts our families at risk by making it harder for fire and police to negotiate for needed safety equipment. Issue 2 also makes the nursing shortage worse by making it illegal for nurses, hospital and clinic workers to demand reasonable staffing levels. PolitiFact Ohio proves these arguments are clearly false. SB 5 specifically states safety employees DO have bargaining rights over equip and related issues (in section 4417.08 of the bill), and only about 10% of all nurse work for the state. What administrator is going to deny a real need for more nurses if a genuine health and safety issue can be proven? The state has monitoring mechanism to deal with such issues.

Another argument is that Columbus politicians exploited a loophole, giving a special exception to the same standards. As PolitiFact Ohio shows, politicians have always been exempt. The politicians already pay 15% into their healthcare and 10% to their pensions. And, they never can give themselves raises. Current politicians can only increase pay for future elected officials.

What is unfair about Issue 2 is the unions attempt to deceive voters into opposing the savings SB 5 will produce by making government more efficient.

A careful reading of the final argument against SB 5 is that Columbus politicians giving corporation tax-break incentives to moving businesses to Ohio, start new businesses, expand business operations, and keep them in Ohio is reason for Ohio economic problems. Union members should not be penalized for problems created by big business. Yet, politicians like Kasich are creating policies to curb corporate lobbyist influence peddling. Politicians like Kasich are not attempting to reduce pay but rather make public compensation, especially benefits, as fair as those creating profits that grow the economy. No public employee produces profits. As necessary as fire fighters, police, teachers, and support personnel are, public employee pay reduces available income or pay of all profit-makers, from the low-wage earner to the over-paid CEO.

Voting Yes on Issue 2 will NOT hurt us all. Ohio government made more efficient and public employee benefit package comparable the private-sector will not hurt us all either. It provides the necessary incentive for improving the quality of local education as well as all other sectors of government by making teaching and all other jobs based on results rather than mere tenure.

Yes on Issue 2 will provide more equality in union bargaining. Local communities and their representatives will be in a better position to handle economic down-turns when increasing taxes is reasonable. Taxpayers, in other words, will gain better legal standing regarding local government, schools, unions power, and taxation.