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Race for Ohio Gov: Tim Ryan Stays Put, Joe Schiavoni Jumps In, Betty Sutton Signals She’s In, Mary Taylor Ramps Up
Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni became the first Democrat to officially enter the race for governor, telling the press that he’s “in it to win it.” The Youngstown native touted his experience and desire to work in all 88 counties to win in 2018. Schiavoni announced soon after fellow Youngstown-area resident Congressman Tim Ryan announced he will not run for governor. Former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, best known for helping the auto industry during its darkest days with her Cash For Clunkers program, is expected to officially enter the race soon. Other Democrats interested are former state legislator Connie Pillich and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has officially announced. Also eying the GOP nomination: Ohio AG Mike DeWine, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Congressman Jim Renacci.
In a key down ballot race, likely GOP nominee for Secretary of State Frank LaRose now has a primary challenger. Rep. Dorothy Pelanda announced her intention to seek the GOP nomination to be Secretary of State, saying that she “was born to be the custodian of Ohio’s democracy.”
LaRose received recent media attention for announcing that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would headline a DC fundraiser for him. Soon after, Spicer said he would not attend, and it was unclear if Spicer’s change of plans had anything to do with LaRose’s previous remarks calling then-candidate Donald Trump “disgusting.”
What’s worse, inviting Spicey, or being dropped by him?
Keep Up the #Resistance: Gov. Kasich Says Pro-Obamacare Protesters Are Winning
Governor John Kasich called on fellow Republicans to do something pretty basic: work across party lines to craft a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that works to protect the nearly 1 million Ohioans who have benefitted from its coverage. Much to the ire of his party, he also acknowledged that the lively town hall meetings across the country are working.
Meanwhile, just outside of Cleveland, nearly 300 residents at Menorah Park held a “Senior Revolt,” against possible cuts to healthcare and against repealing the ACA. Showing that everyone can participate, regardless of age, the residents, ranging in age from 55-104, share their stories with the Cleveland Plain Dealer here.
Also in Cleveland, City Council unanimously supported a resolution in opposition of repealing the ACA. Cincinnati passed a similar resolution last month.
Trump Hands Private Prisons a Big Gift After Private Prison Brass Donate to His Campaign
The Department of Justice officially rescinded its policy barring the use of private prisons—an order that had been put in place by the Obama administration last year, after releasing data that showed that many private prisons do not maintain the same level of “safety and security” as government-run prisons. The move came after private prisons bankrolled a pro-Trump Super PAC.
Voting Rights Groups Shoot Down Secretary of State Jon Husted’s Inflammatory Report on Voter Fraud
Ohio’s top elections official, Secretary of State Jon Husted, sounded alarm bells with a news release announcing that he found 385 “non-citizens’’ who were registered to vote and 82 of them actually voted. His findings follow President Trump’s false assertion of widespread voter fraud.
Project Vote explains why no alarm bells are needed, and quotes Carrie Davis, Executive Director of the Ohio League of Women Voters, putting Husted’s numbers in the proper context:
“In November 2016, Ohio had 7,861,025 registered voters and, of those, 5,607,641 cast ballots in the November election. Husted’s 385 registered amounts to 0.004898% of total registered voters, and his alleged 82 votes cast amount to 0.001462% of the 5,607,641 total votes cast in November 2016.”
Low Expectations Lead to High Marks For Trump’s Congressional Address Packed with #AlternativeFacts
Because of Trump’s bombast and affection for alternative facts, the bar was set low for his first address to Congress. So by simply reading well, and not having a melt-down followed by a twitter war, he was able to look like our new definition of ‘presidential.’ But there is great danger in having low expectations for the leader of the free world. Read more here.
While there were too many inaccuracies in Trump’s address to list each one, this one is particularly bothersome:
“Since my election, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, SoftBank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart and many others have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.”
Trump is taking credit for business decisions made before his election. In fact, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told The Washington Post that his plans to invest $1 billion for a factory in Michigan had been in the works for more than a year and had nothing to do with Trump. Marchionne credited instead talks with the United Auto Workers.
Read a point-by-point take down of Trump’s address here.
Koch-Backed Group Launches Secret Takeover of Campus Student Groups “Without Them Knowing What’s Coming”
Ohio State’s student-run newspaper, The Lantern, uses secretly recorded phone messages and text messages to nail down a story about a conservative group’s efforts to help finance student government elections nationwide. Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit group, boasts that it’s won “campaigns across the country” and helps finance campus campaigns to elect conservatives
“Liberals consistently dominate campus student government and our goal is to secretly take them out without them knowing what’s coming,” according to a text message from Kennedy Copeland, Turning Point USA leadership director.
FROM THE SWAMP
Scientists Say Trump’s EPA Director, Environmental Policies Pose Threat to Lake Erie
Concerns about how to will protect Lake Erie, Ohio’s largest water source, were discussed after HR 861, was introduced, seeking to eliminate the U.S. EPA. The pollution of Lake Erie (and the Cuyahoga River) led to “an increased social awareness of environmental decline and our human impact, which in turn led to things like the creation of the U.S. EPA and the Clean Water Act of 1972”.
Jeff Reutter, special adviser for the Ohio Sea Grant program, told Eric Sandy for clevelandscene.com, “If we lose the EPA, we lose Lake Erie.”
Considering Trump’s tenor on environmental issues, what was once thought of as an unrealistic notion (dismantling the EPA), now seems possible.
Members of Congress Call For AG Jeff Sessions To Resign After Lying About Russia
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from U.S. probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election, following a backlash spurred by revelations surrounding his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions denied any talks with Russians.
For some in Congress, recusal isn’t enough. A growing list wants him to resign.
According to Rolling Stone, Sessions’ violation of his ethical obligations as a lawyer make him unfit to serve as attorney general. Some commentators are accusing Sessions of perjury.
In Ohio, Democrats Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Joyce Beatty and Rep. Marcy Kaptur all called for his resignation. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Cincinnati, called for Sessions to simply recuse himself from any investigations into Russian interference in the election.