Thursday, August 5, 2010

Richard Murray should be fired.

Back in June I pondered the following about Richard Murray:
With word yesterday that Strickland's head of the Ohio School Facilities Commission is pushing unions to exclusively score contracts, one has to wonder when all of these dirty tactics will catch up with them. It has to only be a matter of time, right?
Not a week went by when we discovered Murray was being investigated by the Ohio Inspector General.

And today his findings were released.

Without question, Ted Strickland must fire Richard Murray.

After a quick scan of the report, here are a few lowlights:
Our investigation found that the administration removed its previous OSFC director and appointed Murray in September 2009, in part, to improve relations with unions and ensure that unions were regarded as constituents or stakeholders at the OSFC. Murray had been a longtime union leader when he was appointed OSFC director. Rather than put unions on equal footing, we found that Murray provided them with undue access and accommodations. In ways large and small, Murray repeatedly failed in his responsibility to remain neutral on union matters.


He never similarly reached out to non-union organizations. Encouraging union workers, regardless of whether they worked on a job site, to snoop on non-union contractors was an abuse of Murrays authority on several levels. Not only was Murray inappropriately making plain his preference for union construction, he literally mobilized union labor against non-union contractors. These two factions compete for OSFC work and sometimes work side-by-side on projects. Promoting discord and taking sides demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment on Murrays part.


As director, Murray has repeatedly allowed his union ties to undermine the credibility of his position and that of the OSFC. Murray was instructed upon his appointment to treat unions as constituents or stakeholders. Instead, Murray conferred upon unions a favored status, at the expense of non-union competitors, local school districts, and the OSFCs own guidelines. In 2007, for the first time, the OSFC introduced prevailing wage and PLA provisions as options for OSFC-funded projects, but left the decision up to local school districts. Murray, who oversees $2.8 million a day in construction spending, abused his authority by repeatedly acting as a go-between for union representatives and participating in PLA arm-twisting sessions with local school districts.
Will Strickland fire Richard Murray?

Well, I've got 178,520 reasons why he won't.

$178,520. That's how much Governor Strickland received from unions just in the past reporting period. That doesn't even include the eight other campaign finance reports he has submitted since becoming Governor.

Of course, if political pressure gets to a boiling point, anything is possible.

But let there be no doubt, Strickland knew what he was getting into when he fired the well-respected Michael Shoemaker back in 2009 and replaced him with Murray:

Back in August of 2009, Dennis Willard explained why the firing happened:

Sources told the Beacon Journal that Shoemaker angered unions and construction companies that hire union workers because the executive director would not bend the rules to ensure prevailing-wage clauses were part of every awarded contract. Minutes from commission meetings support this assertion.

Sounds familiar, eh?

Willard continued...

The unions and the construction companies that employ them contribute large sums of money to candidates, and there has been considerable speculation that Strickland canned Shoemaker to appease big-money men.

The governor and Haseley might not appreciate this connection, but they must expect that the void created by silence will be filled with innuendo and rumor.

And now we no longer have innuendo and rumor. We have hard evidence provided by the Inspector General and the school districts effected by Strickland's overwhelming desire to "appease big-money men".

This is politics at its worst.


  1. *Yawn*

    Yep, that's some scandal...No theft of money, no crime, just a union official appearing to side with unions. Stunning really.

    Of course, John Kasich has NEVER, EVER, been influenced by his donors. LOL.

    Give my best to White Hat Management.

  2. Speaking of never doing political favors, how did you get your gig at the U.S. Department of Education again??

  3. Yeah. Yawn. Just a Strickland appointee providing "undue access and accomodations" to a faction that gives hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Yeah. You're right. Nothing to see here.

    As for your awfully weird effort to make this about me, I don't necessarily have a problem with Murray being appointed. It's instead about why Shoemaker was fired. The reasons for his firing and the actions of Murray while in office show a clear desire to abuse the office for political gain. If that's ok by you, fine. I find it reprehensible.

    And know why I know this isn't a "yawn"? Two comments by you, someone who regularly communicates with the ODP and Strickland campaign, within 15 minutes of this post going up.

    Good luck minimizing this one. You'll need it.

  4. For a guy who hasn't posted in over a year on his own blog, Modern Esquire is pretty snarky.

    Also, and surprising because his bio lists him as an attorney, "bending the rules" and "abusing one's authority" are at best color of law violations and at worst breaking the law. For PUBLIC officials, both, methinks, are scandals.

    Taft was canned because his subordinates were grossly incompetent. You've provided evidence of the same at this site more times than I can count. I'm not one to give a free pass based on party affiliation - tribalism is less important to me than good governance. It shocks me that more people don't feel the same way.

  5. Hey Modern, will you explain Stricklands plan to deal with the $8,000,000,000 budget problem today?

    Does such a plan exist?

    (here's where you respond and tell me this has nothing to do with this topic. Of course when I've asked this in posts dealing with the problem you just ignore it.)

  6. Yet another response from Modern within mere minutes of the post.

    Obsess much? Shouldn't you be working harder on Ted's campaign than on monitoring TBP on a minute by minute basis? Ted's got some serious ground to make up, after all.

  7. M.E. is an unapologetic partisan hack. Once you accept that, you will understand his wobbly moral compass and questionable logic. It will always be party over principle with him.

  8. LOL. FIVE people responding to lil' ol ME? I'm flaterred.

    Keeling, you of course, are making yet another mountain out a molehill. Guess what, a Kasich-Taylor Administration will give "undue access and accommodation" to its political supporters because the campaign already has.

    You can't even talk or see Kasich unless you've been pre-screened as a loyal supporter. Heck, not even the media can access him half the time. They have to wait for pronouncements from YouTube.

    Taft wasn't canned. He served his entire term and was term-limited. The GOP controlled House didn't find that his criminal conduct in office warranted legislative action.

    As for making up ground, Strickland is ahead or tied in most polling. He's gained even in Rasmussen which now shows the race at a statistical dead heat.

    Yeah, Mary Taylor's "performance audit" of the Ohio Lottery, whose release was delayed because top officials weren't happy with the lack of dirt it found, isn't political at all.

    Be prepared to blast your own house, once Keeling, before you engaged in feigned outrage.

    And for the rest of you, there's plenty of posts in which I was the first (Democratic or Republican) to call for a Democratic official to either resign or be fired (or impeached) included folks within the Strickland Administration.

    It's not like Keeling doesn't have a history of overhyping "scandals." Remember how Kent Marcus was going to prison, still waiting for Cathy Collins Taylor to be prosecuted (Keeling know that the Prosecutor has already said he has no intention to do so, but that didn't stop him from hyping some e-mails that were already a month old when he wrote about them.)

    Have fun, guys. My reaction is what the average voter will have to this. If you think people don't expect the same from Kasich, then nobody can help you.

  9. You mean Strickland's record the past for years of making the hard choices and working with a bipartisan legislature to balance the budget at a time revenues shrunk during a recession while cutting taxes 17% isn't enough? Of course it isn't.

    Look Strickland has his record, Kasich has none. Kasich also has no plan for either the structural deficit or the one his own tax plan would create.

    You can't really get much mileage attacking Strickland over the budget when your candidate has no plan for it or his own tax plan which will make it work.

    The fact of the matter is we'll make cuts because that's what Strickland has done in the past.

    John Kasich? He's never cut overall spending. Strickland has.

  10. "Anonymous said...
    Hey Modern, will you explain Stricklands plan to deal with the $8,000,000,000 budget problem today?

    Does such a plan exist?

    (here's where you respond and tell me this has nothing to do with this topic. Of course when I've asked this in posts dealing with the problem you just ignore it.) "

    And you've ignored the question again. Shocking.

    How will Super Strickland fix this?

    If he has no plan, just say so.

  11. If Strickland had a record and a plan he would run on it. However, he is running attack ads on Kasich's former employer. That should tell you everything you need to know about Strickland's "record" and his "plan."

  12. Look Strickland has his record, Kasich has none.

    LOL!! Yeah, that's why Ted's entire campaign is built around LEHMAN BROTHERS. Because he's running on his own record!

  13. Still waiting on Kasich's plan, Nick.... Strickland mentions his record in every speech. It's on his website.

    Kasich's plan? Nowhere.

    If you think Strickand's entire campaign is based on Lehman Brothers then you aren't paying attention.

    But you keep telling yourself that.

    Still no talking points from Kasich HQ on Rasmussen, Keeling? You're slipping.

  14. SCarlet>Fire

    The ONLY ad the Strickland campaign has ran attacked Kasich over NAFTA, not Lehman Brothers.

    Geez, pay attention.

  15. Loads of #fail from Modern again.

    He asked for Ted's plan to solve the upcoming deficit, not about his record. Past and future are two very different things and these two budgets are as different as night and day. Neither candidate has announced a plan yet.

    As for no posts about Rasmussen, you suck at reading.

    As for your comment to Scarlet, the point is that he has refused to run on his record. His TV ad and his major press events have all centered on attacks on Kasich. Why? Because he knows Ohioans aren't happy with the results of his term as Governor.

  16. Um, his last speech was a comparison of HIS RECORD AS GOVERNOR and Kasich's in Congress.

    Wow. You're getting desparate.

  17. LOL! Ok, next time you talk to a reporter, ask them what you think about Ted running so hard on his record. I'd LOVE to hear that laugh.

  18. Next time you attack Strickland for not firing someone, make sure he hadn't already fired them already.

    Did I say running so hard on his record? No. Yet again you respond to something I didn't actually say.

    Next time you talk to a reporter, tell them how Rasmussen oversamples Democrats...

  19. Ted cannot run on his record. Prove me wrong. Please.


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