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Rapid Response

Shooting Down Media's Absurdity Du Jour
By The Editors
October 12, 2023
On The Record


Who's the Real Fascist?

This cleveland.com podcast "Today in Ohio" featured the following quotes from the paper’s editor yesterday.

“Typical Jerry Cirino. Trying to grab headlines and not really doing the work.”

Translation: Typical of the paper’s editor who just likes to hear the sound of his own voice, and puts zero work into learning what the facts are.

“You know he’s got the bill that ... would turn college campuses into almost fascist states.”
Translation: The editor wouldn’t know the difference between fascism and freedom if he was educated in a gulag.

The truth is Senate Bill 83 addresses the silencing of opinions by campus organizations or faculty and truly provides for a freedom of thought on campuses, regardless of what the editor of a newspaper tries to censor.

Here's another gem: “Matt Huffman and the Senate are out of control. These guys in the Senate just keep doing things in the Senate that are counter to the interest of Ohioans.”
Translation: President Huffman gets results. Results like sweeping tax reform, education options for Ohio families with universal scholarships, and accountability brought to the Department of Education and State School Board.

All things the editor of cleveland.com is against. Against parents, against lower taxes and against accountability for the Department of Education, all while supporting the radically out of touch members of the State School Board.


John Fortney
Director of Communications


Editor's Note: This is a response by Senator Jerry Cirino to an editorial this morning in the Plain Dealer. 

                                                           SHAME ON THE PLAIN DEALER AND CLEVELAND.COM

The Plain Dealer’s editorial board loves to call “shame” on elected officials almost as though they think it is their obligation. They called “shame” on me today as the sponsor of Senate Bill 158, which would protect the City of Cleveland  (and other Ohio cities in the future) from fringe groups who wish to seize control of their operating budget to support the pet projects of a few. 

The editorial failed to remind readers that $14 million is at stake and that, if passed, Issue 38 on Cleveland’s ballot this November would cut a hole in their budget so large that city services would suffer greatly and public safety would be in serious jeopardy. Additionally, thousands of city workers and contractors could lose their jobs. The editorial board doesn’t care about this or the fact that the vote in the Senate was bipartisan.

 I have always respected home rule. I believe that SB 158 actually supports home rule by protecting our local governments and protecting the taxpaying citizens from having millions of their tax dollars siphoned off to fringe groups who are neither elected nor monitored for ethics. When one reads the actual ballot language one will see how frivolously it was written. A special board would be appointed with no vetting, potentially including members as young as 16, with preference given to members at least younger than 30. They do not have to be registered voters or even citizens to be on this committee or to vote on a project. Even worse, the proposal allows people as young as 13 to ultimately vote on how these taxpayers dollars will be used. The editorial board should be waving their finger at the morons who wrote this proposal and saying, “shame on you for trying to bilk the hard working taxpayers of Cleveland.”

 This “People’s Budget” concept must be stopped or it will be coming to a city near you. I was proud to sponsor this bill and many officials are happy I did so. The Plain Dealer is in such a rush to criticize me that they forgot about the people of Cleveland, who buy fewer papers every day. I haven’t forgot about them.


Fake News:  Plain Dealer editor dismisses claim they censor GOP opinion pieces.
Real Story:  They do. He even admitted it, but doesn’t seem to realize it.

Here’s the case editor Chris Quinn made on his podcast this morning about an editorial by one of our Republican State Senators:

“They submitted an op-ed that had a falsehood in it that said that the Democrats are the party that says men can get pregnant. And Elizabeth Sullivan enforces our standards in the forum section rigorously. And one of them is you got to be accurate. So we said take that line out or we’re not running it. And they refused to take it out.”

First of all, that was our opinion.  Fact checking an opinion is called censorship. 

Secondly, it’s actually more than an opinion. Democrats really are the party that believes men can have babies. Here’s proof.

Every Democrat in the U.S. Senate voted against an amendment on August 7, 2022, that declared only women can get pregnant.

Every Republican voted for it.

Vice President Kamala D. Harris cast the tie-breaking vote that defeated the amendment.

Our assertion wasn’t just an opinion – it was factually correct.

Yet, you still censored us. 

That’s a fact.


Fake News:  Ohio can’t afford school voucher program.
Real Story:  Every voucher saves taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The top story in the Opinion section of the Columbus Dispatch on Monday is titled, “Ohio can’t handle expense of voucher program.”

That claim is dead wrong.

The article has it exactly backwards – vouchers actually save taxpayers money. A lot of money.

It costs about $14,000 to educate a student in a public school in the state of Ohio — some districts spend far more. Vouchers cost significantly less, up to $6,165 for K-8 students or $8,407 for high school students. 

This saves taxpayers thousands of dollars per student for every voucher used.

The article also mistakenly claims, “universal private school voucher expansion...will bankrupt local property taxpayers and bleed Ohio's public-school districts dry.” 

The fact is the state budget we passed earlier this year includes record funding for public K-12 schools, a nearly $2 billion increase over the next two years.  

That is why it is extraordinarily shameful for public schools to oppose voucher expansion. As the article notes, “Local public-school districts, including Worthington, Columbus, Bexley, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Gahanna Jefferson and South-Western City Schools are joining 250 public school districts in the Vouchers Hurt Ohio lawsuit against the state of Ohio.”

The truth is that vouchers both help our students and save money.

Taxpayers expect their money to be used for instruction rather than expensive, anti-parent lawsuits filed by special interests and the big bureaucracy of school districts.  

Why should your tax dollars be used to attack parents who simply want the best educational opportunity available for their child? Liberals love to attack parents and families for challenging the deep state.

Schools have plenty of money and are only looking to protect the deep state bureaucracy that protected them from accountability for decades.

That’s about to change, because we are putting parents and students first.