Politics

Political news

election 2018 graphic
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Tuesday May 8, voters in Ohio and Indiana head to the polls to vote on a host of issues and candidates to represent their state. Here's everything you need to know before heading to the polls. 

Ohio lawmakers will consider whether to increase oversight of carnival rides, including hiring more inspectors, following a deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair that flung riders onto the midway.

The only statewide issue on the May primary ballot nearly didn’t make it – though it’s been talked about for decades. There's a long history of the complicated Issue 1, which some activists call a historic effort to change the way the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts is created.

Early voting wraps up Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. at boards of elections throughout the state. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the number of early ballots requested and cast is surging over 2014’s primary. 

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson told News Director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning that, while the Ohio governor's race is the big ticket item on Tuesday's primary election ballot, there are many ballot issues to draw voters to the polls. A look at where things stand less than 24 hours before the polls open in Ohio. 

george w bush inauguration
WhiteHouse.gov / Wikimedia Commons

I always enjoyed covering presidential inaugurations.

Except for the time I came within an eyelash of getting arrested at one.

Less than a week before Election Day, four in 10 Democratic voters remain uncertain who they want to be their nominee for governor. Here's more on the latest Baldwin Wallace poll on the statewide primary election.

The poll shows nearly a third of likely Democratic primary voters think Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be their nominee. Fifteen percent pick former Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Redistricting In Ohio: A History

May 3, 2018
ohio gerrymandering
Ohio Secretary of State

In Ohio, as in most states, the legislature has the power to create congressional voting district maps, which usually means the party in power makes the decisions. This frequently results in districts being drawn in favor of that party, often all but guaranteeing its candidates win in future elections.

Which Ohio Candidates Will Take All May 8?

May 3, 2018
Pixabay

Ohio Republican and Democratic voters will choose their party's candidates for governor in the May 8 primary elections next week. The winners in the primary races will run in November to replace Governor John Kasich, who is term-limited.

richard cordray dennis kucinich
Wikimedia Commons

Next Tuesday's race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination between Richard Cordray and Dennis Kucinich has the potential to keep a lot of Ohio Democrats up until the wee hours next Wednesday morning.

Depending on who you talk to, it's either going to be an incredibly close race, or it will be a relatively easy win for Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general who spent the past seven years as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington.

But with one major poll suggesting that, as of mid-April, more than half of the likely Democratic primary voters were undecided, you can throw all predictions out the window.

They mean nothing.

mitch mcconnell
Lisa Gillespie / WFPL

Kentucky employers and addiction treatment providers are throwing their weight behind Senator Mitch McConnell’s opioid bill introduced last week in the U.S. Senate.

internet cable
Pixabay

The leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives is calling for an investigation into the deal that created the Kentucky Wired high-speed internet project, a public-private partnership that has cost the state tens of millions of dollars in delays in recent years.

The May 8 Primary Election is fast approaching. Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office reports more than 63,000 Ohioans have already cast early ballots.

Absentee voting in person and by mail began April 10, and ballots can either be returned by mail, or in person at county board of elections offices until the polls close on election night.

Wikipedia.org

Separating parents will get joint custody of their children by default under a bill signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin last week, unless a parent has a recent history of domestic violence.

Kentucky is the first state in the country to create a “legal presumption” for joint custody in divorce proceedings.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the GOP race for the Ohio gubernatorial nomination. Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor have spent nearly $10 million bashing each other with TV ads. 

ohio house chambers
Ohio Statehouse Photos

Editor's note: Faithful readers of Howard Wilkinson's weekly "Politically Speaking" column will want to know that this feature will be published on Wednesdays beginning May 1. 

We have a primary election coming up in nine days in Ohio, and it doesn't seem to have stirred the souls of most voters.

ronald reagan jimmy carter
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Editor's note: Faithful readers of Howard Wilkinson's weekly "Tales from the Trail" column will want to know that this feature will be published on Fridays beginning May 4.

Thursday, May 29, 1980, was a day of revelation to me as a young political reporter.

That was the day I learned that Ohio was, in fact, the center of the universe when it came to American presidential politics.

Dennis Kucinich
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is returning a $20,000 speaking fee he received last year from a group sympathetic to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has introduced a bill aimed at addressing the impact the opioid epidemic is having on the nation’s workforce.

The Comprehensive Addiction Recovery through Effective Employment and Reentry, or CAREER Act, creates a pilot program focused on the states most devastated by substance abuse. The legislation encourages local businesses and treatment groups to form partnerships. McConnell said having stable employment is about more than a paycheck and supporting a family.

mitch mcconnell
United States Congress/Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

A poll released this month by Western Kentucky University suggests that Mitch McConnell is the least popular among the state’s two Republican U.S. Senators.

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WVXU politics reporter  Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the drama over Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley's push to get rid of City Manager Harry Black; and Black's decision Saturday morning to resign before five members of city council fired him. 

Dennis Kucinich
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Editor's note: Faithful readers of Howard Wilkinson's weekly "Politically Speaking" column will want to know that this feature will be published on Wednesdays beginning May 1. 

OK, Ohio gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich, you may have your hands full explaining this to Democratic primary voters.

You've reported receiving $20,000 for a speech last year from the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees.

That would be a group which clearly is sympathetic to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as it is the parent organization of the pro-Assad Syrian Solidarity Movement.

Howard Wilkinson
Howard Wilkinson

Most people who know me know that I quit smoking over three years ago, after puffing away like a house afire for decades.

I did it because I finally came to the point where I really wanted to. And, frankly, it wasn't that hard.

So, bully for me.

barbara bush
Wikimedia Commons

Editor's note, updated April 17, 8:03 p.m.: In light of the news that Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92, WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson reflects on a time he met the former first lady. 

When you meet someone in politics who really cares about something, you take notice.

Not just the surface "caring" of political rhetoric written by a campaign speechwriter and delivered in fake sincerity, but someone who cares about certain things deeply, passionately and with every fiber of his or her being. 

Former first lady Barbara Bush is one of those rare people in politics. 

kentucky state capitol building
Peter Fitzgerald / Wikimedia

This year’s Kentucky General Assembly was book-ended by turmoil, but over the course of nearly four months the Republican-led legislature was still able to wrangle the votes to approve politically volatile policies like changing pension benefits for public workers and overhauling Kentucky’s tax code amid intense protests from public workers, especially teachers.

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Former congressman and Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich picked up a major endorsement Sunday from the Plain Dealer newspaper and cleveland.com. Kucinich has some establishment Democrats worried he might win the Democratic gubernatorial primary. They think former Attorney General Richard Cordray would be a stronger candidate against Mike DeWine, the likely Republican candidate for governor. 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Update, Monday, April 16: Bevin has now apologized for his remarks

As one of its final acts of this year’s legislative session, the Republican-led Kentucky House of Representatives passed a resolution formally condemning Gov. Matt Bevin for saying that teachers neglected students by attending protests in Frankfort on Friday, leading to child abuse.

Here's a truism in politics:

More often than not, one politician's ugly mess is another politician's dream come true.

Same goes for political parties. One political party spirals down the drain in scandal and another political party rises to the top. (See: "Watergate;" "Resignation;" "Richard Nixon.")

Kentucky state capitol
Alix Mattingly / WFPL, Kentucky Public Radio

On the final day of this year’s Kentucky General Assembly, state lawmakers passed “clean-up” bills that would make changes to the two-year budget and revenue bills that passed into law on Friday.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Last June, you might have read a short story about it in the local newspaper, heard a snippet on the radio, or vaguely recognized a face that flashed on a TV screen.

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