(HAMILTON)- On June 20th, House Bill 297 was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. State Representative Candice Keller (R-Middletown) was among its list of co-sponsors, even though the sole purpose of the legislation is to create state funding via a refundable tax credit for donations to organizations of which State Rep. Keller currently serves as an Executive Director and draws a salary.
According to every financial disclosure Keller has filed since first being a candidate for State Representative in 2015 with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, Keller has reported receiving a salary somewhere between $50,000 and $99,000 a year as the Executive Director of a community crisis pregnancy center. This salary would be in the same range as what she also already collects as a State legislator. The median household income in Middletown is $39,116 a year.
“Apparently, Republicans in Butler County learned nothing from the Dynus scandal about politicians using their office to enrich themselves. Given her contradictory public statement over her unethical misconduct, I am officially calling on the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee to open an investigation of State Representative Keller’s obvious self-dealing in this matter. After she voted against tax relief for the lowest income workers in her district, Keller used her office to support efforts to financially benefit private donors to her organization in order to enrich those donors, her organization and, through it, herself. It is clear Keller viewed HB 297 as a way to help repair the finances of her organization and prevent any further loss of her personal income from it. If Ohio’s ethics laws truly do allow such a publicly brazen act of self-dealing, then Ohio needs better ethics laws and better legislators to push for them,” said Brian R. Hester, Butler County Democratic Party Executive Committee Chair.
(HAMILTON)- The Butler County Democratic Party will hold four regional debate watch parties throughout the county for the first round of official Democratic presidential candidate debates this week. All events ar
(HAMILTON)- Tomorrow, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to attend Butler Tech’s “Signing Day” in which soon-to-graduates will announce which employers they will be working for upon graduation much like college sports prospects do. Before we respond to Devos’ visit, it’s important to straight the record straight so any coverage of this event does not mislead voters.
In each federal budget they have proposed, Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration has sought to cut Career and Technical Education (“CTE”) funding to provide more funding for vouchers for private schools and to otherwise reduce the U.S. Department of Education’s budget to address the rising deficits caused by the Trump Administration’s massive tax cuts predominantly benefitting corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Had DeVos and Trump had their way last year, Ohio would have lost over $3 million in federal grant funding for CTE right now, funding that has helped Butler Tech grow and help Butler County adapt to a changing labor market.
“It’s great that we’re recognizing the valuable skills Butler Tech students have learned. Butler County believes in hiring qualified people, even if the President apparently doesn’t when it comes to his Cabinet. It’s shameful that after years of unsuccessfully pushing to cut funding for education programs and worker retraining while protecting shady, for-profit schools that compete with Butler Tech, Secretary DeVos would come here. But maybe by doing so she’ll finally recognize why both parties in Congress have rejected her policies. I hope when she returns to Washington she’ll reverse course and stop pushing to cut worker training programs, cutting Butler Tech’s funding and stop advocating for policies that makes college less affordable for Butler County families,” said Brian Hester, Butler County Democratic Party Executive Committee.