Plunderbund Podcast

Plunderbund is Ohio's Most Influential Political Blog. The Plunderbund Podcast presents National and Ohio politics from our on the ground perspective. Loyal readers can tell you that we often use humor to make our points, but also do intense research and break news stories as well.
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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

The Plunderbund Podcast focuses on education in Ohio with special guest Denis Smith. Denis is an educational consultant who worked for the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Community Schools from 2007 to 2011.

This week we answer the question: does John Kasich’s rhetoric on education match what is happening in Ohio?

John Kasich touts his educational record on his presidential campaign website. He says, “For American students to be prepared for success in an increasingly competitive global economy, they must receive strong education support from parents and educators, including high expectations—especially in math and English. John Kasich has put this priority to work in Ohio.” The discussion covers teacher evaluations, Common Core, and the union busing politics of the Kasich Administration.

We also take a deep dive into the Charter Schools scandal. Ohio ranks among the top five states in the number of charter schools. The state has, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, more than 370 charter schools that enroll 132,000 students. But the charter schools have faced financial and educational quality problems. This all came to a head last year when David Hansen, Kasich’s former charter school chief and husband of Kasich’s chief of staff, Beth Hansen, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he didn’t include the grades of online charter schools in a $71 million grant application to the federal Education Department.


John Kasich Website on Education

Politico: Charter School Scandal Haunts John Quash

Education Week’s Annual Quality Counts rankings

White House Report on Education Gap

Denis Smith Testimony on Charter Schools, July 15, 2014

Follow the Plunderbund Podcast Team on Twitter: @plunderbund and @joshuaadamengel


Mar 17, 2016

This week on the Plunderbund Podcast we discuss the results of the hard fought Presidential Primaries in Ohio.  Hillary Clinton and John Kasich were able to beat back tough challenges -- what does this mean for Ohio in November.  Our second topic is some of the other notable races in Ohio that were decided on primary day, including the ouster of the Cleveland Prosecuting Attorney.  Finally, we end as we do every week with Predictions.

Joe Mismas and Joshua Engel are joined this week by lawyer and political consultant Gena Shelton.  




The NYT Results feature the the map of GOP results we reference in the podcast. 

Bernie Sanders Speech at Democratic Legacy Dinner

Hillary Clinton Speech at Democratic Legacy Dinner

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Follow Joshua Engel: @joshuaadamengel

Follow Gena on Twitter:@genamshelton

Mar 14, 2016

Plunderbund is trying out something new this election cycle: an Ohio Politics-themed podcast.

The pilot episode of our Plundercast, recorded Tuesday, March 9th, 2016, features Sandy Theis, Executuve Director of ProgressOhio and former Plain Dealer Statehouse Bureau Chief, Josh Engel former prosecutor and current civil rights attorney and legal author, and Joe Mismas, a managing editor at

The topics covered on this pilot episode include Ohio’s presidential primary, the push by Ohio Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as predictions for the coming week.

We’re still working through some technical and connectivity challenges but our guests this week provided some valuable insight into the quickly changing political landscape in Ohio so take a listen and let us know what you think.