Navigating the Blog

For any tab across the top that you click on, scroll down past "Hello and Welcome" to see the results. To view blog postings click on the Index tab at the top. Scroll down past "Hello and Welcome". Find the topic that you are interested in, and date posted . Begin to scroll down. On the right hand margin you will see Archives. Select the month in which the topic was posted. Then click on the posting. It will appear below "Hello and Welcome" in the center.

Contact Me:


Hello and Welcome:

Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homeless in America

I have been laid off from jobs three times during my lifetime. The first time was during the recession of 1980. I was the single mother of two young children and I had to pack up, uproot my children and leave my beloved hills of southern Ohio to find work in Columbus. The second time my company laid me off two weeks before Christmas. Some of you know what that's like. Try to remain calm and upbeat so your kids can have a happy holiday, while you're drowning inside. Fortunately I was rehired soon after. The third time was awful. I was ill and afraid that I might lose the home I had purchased. Thank goodness the kids were grown and I had only myself to worry about.

During that dark period, on a day I will always remember, I rode the bus downtown early one morning. I was depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I walked across the Statehouse grounds to meet a friend when suddenly I came upon a homeless man asleep on the lawn. I stopped in my tracks and thought, "there, but for the grace of God, go I". That day stuck with me, even after I found work, and though I am not a poet, I felt compelled to be a witness to the tragedy of homelessness in America.  I would like to share it with you :
Jacquelyn K. Thompson

Homeless stranger lying on the lawn
wrapped in your tattered coat,
covered by the morning dew.

I can not say that I understand
what you are going through, because
 never have I walked in your shoes.

But I have walked along
my own life line
one step over...then draw back.

Walking a tightrope throughout the years...
stumble here, live with the fear.
No home now? My children, my children.

Then righting myself, just in time
a balancing act to walk that line
over and over...quickly draw back!

Another stranger sitting on the grass,
hand held out to share his bread
with God's small creature come to ask.

Turning full circle I looked about.
There lay all the strangers, homeless
on the Statehouse grounds.

While overhead steel monuments shadows cast
their pall...silently brooding
giving testimony to man's indifference.

Shadows falling down upon the flow of man
anxiously awaits the end of day, fleeing
to sheltered homes in sterile fortresses.

Ghostly shadows, passersby...preferred secrets
hidden in the recesses of their minds
rejects your existence with downturned eyes.

With silent tears I walked on by
cowardly determined to toe the line.
For willingly taken just two short steps...

Two steps over and I won't go back.   

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Budget Straight Talk

Last Friday (October 8th) I participated in the Franklin County Cosortium for Good Government's Candidates Forum at the Jewish Center. As it is for everyone during these difficult times, the state budget deficit was of concern to attendees. Unlike my opponents, I told the people what no one wants to admit to, we are going to have to raise taxes to get out of the hole we are in. The question for all of us is, how are we going to do it? We should put everything on the table and look for a permanent solution, not quick fixes:

1.)You cannot solve the budget deficit without tackling State employee wages and benefits. They are outpacing private industry by an ever-widening margin. Contrary to a widely held notion, the extra government (employee) benefits aren't compensation for lower pay.
2.)Raise State employee retirement age.
3.)Reduce various business tax breaks and close tax loopholes.
4.)Cut government waste.
5.)Levy the sales tax at a higher rate on luxury items.
6.)Review tax exemptions for certain businesses.
7.)Add new income tax brackets at the upper income level.
8.)We should not attempt to solve the budget crisis by increasing taxes on those who can least afford it, nor should we cut programs for those in need.
9.)We have ceded our moral authority by relying on what I call the "addiction" taxes on cigarettes, liquor, and, soon on gambling to balance the budget. Where is the incentive to help cure the addiction if we rely on the revenue to balance the budget?

According to Richard G. Sheridan, Financial Consultant, The Center for Community Solutions,"The state's problems are not only a result of the bad national and state economic conditions. It is also the result of actions taken by the state in 2005, to reduce the rate of the state's individual income tax by 21%, eliminate the corporate income tax and tangible personal property tax for the general businesses and telecommunications companies and enact a new commercial activity tax, the overall result of which was to reduce taxes on certain businesses by an average of 50%."

A cautionary note: Overruling precedent on the First Amendment rights of corporations, the Conservative Justices on the Supreme Court recently ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. Dissenting, Justice Stevens said the majority on the Court had "committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings". There is a reason that the Chamber of Commerce is contributing millions to promote the pro-business candidates in this election. I guarantee that it is not for the benefit of the people.

Lastly, however we balance the budget we must ensure that the money will be there to invest in the future of Ohio. I support free education all the way through college for our children, because that makes us competitive with the rest of the world; I support high-speed train systems and metro rail systems because our roads will continue to become more congested and gas prices will continue to rise; I support investment in innovative new companies that will grow and provide jobs for the future; I support practices that will protect the environment, because that is what sustains us.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vicious Dogs

Dog breeds commonly known as pit bulls are: the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Bulldog. In addition each of these fighting breeds is either a pit bull derivative or was derived from ancestors similar to pit bull ancestors: dogo argentino, canary dog (presa canario), cane corso, tosa (tosa inu), fila brasileiro (Brazilian mastiff) and presa mallorquin. 

Yesterday, October 5, 2010, A 67-year-old Delaware man was viciously attacked by 4 Cane Corsos.

How many attacks, how much suffering must there be before our legislators finally act and ban these vicious animals?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) "supports such laws because they have the potential to prevent an enormous amount of suffering. In the United States, pit bulls stand out as the most abused of all dog breeds. Are some pit bulls loving companions? Absolutely. But it is imprtant to bear in mind that nice families rarely come to a shelter seeking pit bulls. The vast majority of people who want pit bulls are attracted to the "macho" image of the breed as a living weapon and seek to play up this image by putting the animals in heavy chains, kicking, beating and otherwise abusing them into aggression."                                                                              
Did you know that the Ohio House has passed legislation that would remove the "vicious dog" designation from the pit bull breeds, further exposing the public to danger? Currently dogs commonly known as a Pit Bull must be confined on the owner's property by means of a locked fenced yard, a locked dog pen that has a top, or some other locked enclosure that has a top (such as a house). This law applies not only to pure bred American Pit Bull dogs, but also to other pure bred and mixed breed dogs that have similar physical and/or behavioral characteristics. Owners of these dogs must also maintain at least $100,000 of liability insurance coverage. The maximum penalty for any violation is a $1,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment. These minimal protections offered up by the State are soon to be eliminated.
Records in Delaware County Municipal Court show that the owner of the 4 Cane Corso dogs, involved in yesterday's attack, has been charged six times since 2001 with allowing his dogs to run free. It's time for the Courts to take vicious animals seriously and quit giving owners a slap on the wrist when charged.

Where are our heroes? Is there no one who will stand up to special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy? Then there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats. Shame on all of them.                                   

Friday, October 1, 2010

Elder Care

The Columbus Dispatch recently reported (7-23-10) that "not only is nursing-home care more expensive than in-home care and community-based alternatives, but most elderly people want to stay in their homes as long as possible. In Ohio, however, many are forced to give up their homes and move into nursing homes because formulas written into law at the behest of the nursing-home lobby have made seemingly endless funds available to fill the excess of nursing-home beds but have been stingy with funding for assisted living and other less-expensive care."

According to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, the state spends an average of $22,000 per year for senior citizens older than 65 or disabled, while the national average is $15,000.

More than 80 percent of Americans 45 and older say they want to stay home as long as possible. If seniors prefer staying in their homes and it is cost effective to do so, why are we directing tax dollars to the nursing home industry?

There is a song, based on words in the Book of Ecclesiastes:
"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose, under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die."

We all deserve a life of dignity and dignity in death. Forcing our elders into nursing homes, when they are better off at home, is wrong. I will work to overcome the influence of lobbyists in State government.


This is from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio website at

[If you get worn out trying to decipher this, skip to the bottom at any time]

"Columbia Gas of Ohio Apples to Apples Chart
Publication Date: September 21, 2010

The PUCO produces the Apples to Apples charts to provide consumers with a snapshot comparison of current natural gas supplier price options and contract terms for individual customers. You may also want to check with your local government to see if your community has grouped together citizens into a buying pool to purchase gas. The PUCO updates the charts on a weekly basis and verifies each supplier offer to ensure accuracy. As with all contracts, consumers should carefully read and understand all terms and conditions before signing any forms or agreeing to enroll with a supplier for natural gas service. For a description of Apples to Apples chart-related terms, please refer to Chart Definitions .

The PUCO provides the tools you need to calculate your estimated cost. The Self-Calculation Worksheet that is available on the PDF version of the Apples to Apples Charts, walks you through the steps needed to manually calculate your own estimated cost. Or, you can access the Apples to Apples Interactive Calculator to automatically calculate your estimated costs.

Columbia Gas of Ohio's Rate
The Standard Service Offer (SSO) rate is based on the New York Mercantile Exchange month-end settlement price, plus a Retail Price Adjustment of $0.193. The SSO is a monthly variable rate and represents cost associated with the securing natural gas for CGO customers.

Columbia Gas of Ohio's (CGO) current total rate is $0.69919 per hundred cubic feet (ccf)
Effective from August 27, 2010 to September 27, 2010

This total rate includes: A Standard Service Offer (SSO) rate of $0.55810 per ccf
A Regulatory Assessment Rider rate of $0.00177 per ccf
A Gross Receipts Tax amount of $ 0.02792 per ccf
Transportation costs of $0.11140 per ccf (gross receipts tax included)

Contact information for Columbia Gas of Ohio: 200 Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215, (800) 344-4077, .

PUCO-Certified Retail Natural Gas Suppliers Actively Soliciting New Customers
Supplier Name Web Page Address Telephone
Border Energy, Inc. (888) 479-4427
Columbia Retail Energy (888) 493-6790
Direct Energy Services, LLC (888) 566-9988
Dominion East Ohio Energy (800) 990-4090
Energy Cooperative of Ohio (877) 439-3706
Gateway Energy Services, Corp. (800) 313-8333
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. (866) 336-5547
Just Energy (877) 226-5371
MxEnergy, Inc. (888) 898-4323
Ohio Natural Gas (888) 466-4427
Vectren Source (800) 516-6740
Volunteer Energy Services, Inc. (800) 977-8374

Supplier Plans, Rates, Terms and Descriptions
Listed below are the natural gas plan offers of PUCO-certified suppliers, per Ccf. Published offers are subject to change without prior notice. The Supplier Total Rate , which is the price to compare, includes the Supplier Base Rate and CGO's current transportation charge . If comparing Supplier Total Rate to CGO's total SSO rate, which is currently set at $ 0.69919 /Ccf, keep in mind that the Supplier Base Rate is exclusive of applicable state and county sales tax, whereas CGO's total SSO rate is tax inclusive.

As CGO's transportation rate historically changes quarterly, the Supplier Total Rate is subject to change post publication; therefore, this information should be used only as a guide. Consumers should verify offers with the supplier before signing a contract. The PUCO is not responsible for selections you make based on the information contained herein.

Local Distribution Company SSO Rate
per ccf Total Rate
per ccf Effective Date
Columbia Gas $0.55810 $0.69919 August 27, 2010 to September 27, 2010

Fixed Rate Plan
Supplier Name Plan ID Supplier Base Rate Supplier Total Rate Contract Term Plan Description Contract Early Termination Fee
Border Energy, Inc. 10929 $0.73900 $0.85040 12-Month .739 fixed rate Nov 2010 to May 2011; variable thereafter $75.00
Columbia Retail Energy 10892 $0.75000 $0.86140 Through 09/2011 Billing Cycle $100.00
Direct Energy Services, LLC 10916 $0.69900 $0.81040 12-Month $50.00
Direct Energy Services, LLC 10915 $0.69900 $0.81040 6-Month $0.00
Dominion East Ohio Energy 10887 $0.76500 $0.87640 Through 09/2011 Billing Cycle $50.00
Gateway Energy Services, Corp. 10938 $0.73960 $0.85100 12-Month Special Introductory $50 Prepaid Card. Use promo code OH50V. $12.50
Gateway Energy Services, Corp. 10936 $0.78320 $0.89460 24-Month Special Introductory $50 Prepaid Card. Use promo code OH50V. $12.50
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. 10937 $0.71800 $0.82940 13-Month $75.00
Just Energy 10889 $0.89900 $1.01040 60-Month $100 ETF for Res. & Small Commercial. $100.00
Just Energy 10888 $0.67500 $0.78640 12-Month $50.00
MxEnergy, Inc. 10920 $0.79900 $0.91040 12-Month $150.00
MxEnergy, Inc. 10919 $0.84900 $0.96040 6-Month $150.00
Ohio Natural Gas 10896 $0.67900 $0.79040 12-Month $100.00
Vectren Source 10931 $0.68000 $0.79140 12-Month $25.00

Fixed Summer/Fixed Winter Rate Plan
Supplier Name Plan ID Supplier Base Rate Supplier Total Rate Contract Term Plan Description Contract Early Termination Fee
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. 10942 $0.73600 $0.84740 Through 10/2010 Billing Cycle Summer billing period is May 2010 through October 2010. $75.00

Monthly Variable Rate Plan
Supplier Name Plan ID Supplier Base Rate Supplier Total Rate Contract Term Plan Description Contract Early Termination Fee
Energy Cooperative of Ohio 10932 $0.69900 $0.81040 Monthly $0.00
Gateway Energy Services, Corp. 10940 $0.70000 $0.81140 Monthly Special Introductory $50 Prepaid Card. Use promo code OH50V. $0.00
Gateway Energy Services, Corp. 10939 $0.66500 $0.77640 Monthly Special Introductory $50 Prepaid Card. Use promo code OH50V. $0.00
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. 10934 $0.66500 $0.77640 12-Month EcoVations Renewable Gas w/Carbon Offsets at NO EXTRA COST $0.00
MxEnergy, Inc. 10921 $0.69900 $0.81040 Monthly $0.00
Volunteer Energy Services, Inc. 10906 $0.72000 $0.83140 Monthly $0.00

Quarterly Variable Rate Plan
Supplier Name Plan ID Supplier Base Rate Supplier Total Rate Contract Term Plan Description Contract Early Termination Fee
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. 10941 $0.66500 $0.77640 12-Month EcoVations Renewable Gas w/ Carbon Offsets AT NO EXTRA COST $75.00

Variable Summer/Fixed Winter Rate Plan
Supplier Name Plan ID Supplier Base Rate Supplier Total Rate Contract Term Plan Description Contract Early Termination Fee
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. 10935 $0.66500 $0.77640 12-Month Fixed winter months are November - April $75."

There's more, but I think you get the picture. It is mind-boggling. Heating our homes is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Ohioans should not have to play the lottery in order to get natural gas to heat their homes. If you make the wrong choice your bills could be astronomical. And what if the plan you choose has a contract? More than likely there will be cancellation penalties if you try to switch providers in the middle of the contract. Who can afford that...especially in these times? We need to slay this monster the State has created. And after reading the Apples to Apples comparison charts, I have to ask, "who is the PUCO working for...the gas suppliers or the people"? If elected I will work towards re-regulating the natural gas industry.