Ohio

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Ohio voters Tuesday soundly rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have legalized marijuana in Ohio and opened the door to a multi-million dollar industry growing and selling the plant.

With 97 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, 64 percent of Ohio voters were saying no to the plan, while 36 percent were saying they supported it.

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Recent polls suggest that a majority of Ohioans back the legalization of marijuana.

But the question for Ohio voters on Nov. 3 is not whether they think marijuana should be legal. It is whether  they think Issue 3, a state constitutional amendment that would set up a large and profitable pot-producing industry owned by a handful of individuals, is the right way to do it.

  Last Monday, at the beginning of what turned out to be a not-so-hot week for Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, he said something at the opening of his New Hampshire presidential campaign headquarters that was very revealing; and very frank.

“We’ve got about 128 days to go until the New Hampshire primary,’’ the Boston Globe reported Kasich as saying. “We do well here; we’re moving on. We do terrible here; it’s over. No confusion about that. This is very, very important to us.”

Legalizing marijuana in Ohio. A new governor in Kentucky. A fiercely debated park levy in Cincinnati. And literally hundreds of other candidate races and ballot issues.

All are to be decided Nov. 3, in an “off-year” election.

  Hillary Clinton brought her presidential campaign into Ohio for the second time Thursday, holding a “Women for Hillary” rally in Columbus and two private fundraisers, one in Ohio’s capital city and another here in Cincinnati.

It was really not a very good day for the former secretary of state and U.S. Senator who remains (we guess) the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Kasich, Back In Columbus, Jokes With The Press, Does Some State Business

Sep 4, 2015
Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was in a jovial mood when he met with reporters Thursday at the Statehouse, as he took a break from the presidential campaign trail to conduct some Ohio business.

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President Obama’s announcement that Mount McKinley in Alaska will now be called Denali piqued a lot of interest in Ohio – the home state of the president for whom the summit was named nearly a century ago.

Opponents Not Amused By Mascot For Marijuana Amendment

Aug 28, 2015
Jo Ingles/Ohio Public Radio

The group behind this fall’s proposed amendment to legalize marijuana has a controversial new mascot; and opponents of the ballot issue are not amused.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

  The panel working on police and community relations has come up with draft standards on the use of force, police recruitment and hiring; and expects to deliver them to Gov. John Kasich by Sept. 3.

The draft standards say police will only be able to use deadly force to defend themselves or another person from serious injury or death; and that law enforcement agencies should hire qualified individuals and create diverse work forces.

Some Still Skeptical About Increased Use of Police Body Cams

Aug 5, 2015
BodyWorn

Body cameras have been back in the news following a recent police shooting in Cincinnati.

Police departments across the state are either testing or wearing the devices and Dayton and Beavercreek are considering getting them. Equipping officers with cameras also is one of the recommendations from Governor John Kasich’s Task Force on Community-Police Relations.

Voters in Clermont County's village of Bethel rejected an additional tax levy for police protection Tuesday, while voters in Mount Healthy and Saint Bernard approved tax levy renewals.

Tuesday was a special election day in Ohio, but there were only three issues on the ballot in southwest Ohio.

Nearly 64 percent of the voters who showed up at polling places in Bethel voted against the 8 mill levy.

Tuesday’s an election day in Ohio, but very few voters in southwest Ohio will find that their polling places are open.

Ohio has 88 counties, but there are only 12 issues on the ballot in 11 of those counties.

OK, so what is John Kasich’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination all about?

Well, two-time Heisman Trophy winner and Buckeye legend Archie Griffin had it right Tuesday morning when he welcomed about 2,000 Kasich supporters to the student union on the Ohio State University campus for Kasich’s formal announcement speech.

He led them in the famous Buckeye chant, not once but twice:

“O-H,’’ Griffin hollered at the crowd. They responded accordingly, the way any good Buckeye fan would: “I-O!”

O-H-I-O.

Kasich Becomes 16th GOP Presidential Candidate, Touting Economic Record

Jul 21, 2015
Andy Chow/Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich became the 16th Republican running for the 2016 presidential nomination Tuesday, after months of campaigning in early primary and caucus states as an undeclared candidate.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Ann Thompson Monday morning about Ohio Gov. John Kasich jumping into the fight for the Republican presidential nomination and his chances of coming out on top. 

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

Now that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has announced he will officially launch his presidential campaign in a few weeks, there may be new attention on another Republican statewide officeholder.

  Yes, the Quinnipiac University Poll that came out this week – known in political circles as the Q-Poll – showed Ohio Gov. John Kasich leading Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton by seven percentage points in Ohio, a key battleground state.

Well, that’s interesting, but it was not the worst news for Clinton in the Q-Poll of three key swing states – Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich would defeat Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton in Ohio if the election were held today, according to a new independent poll.

And Clinton runs dead even with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in the Buckeye State, according to the poll released Wednesday morning by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

  Once again, an increase in the state’s tax on oil and natural gas drillers will not be a part of the budget.

But Republican lawmakers are talking up what they say is a new step forward for the discussion – a method that’s has been used time and again in state government.

It looked like it was going to be a big deal.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

  Two state lawmakers are banding together to present something they are suggesting is an encore to the state’s film industry tax credit, which has brought $119 million to Ohio in its first two years.

Giving a 25 percent tax credit to musicians, producers and others in Ohio is a key way to create a major number of jobs with a minor investment, says Republican Sarah LaTourette of northeast Ohio.

And her co-sponsor, Democrat Rep. Kent Smith of Euclid, says the OhioSounds tax credit is similar to ones in Louisiana and New York.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik morning about the historic and unique role Ohio has played in choosing the nation's presidents. 

  Ha! We knew it all along!

Now we have the numbers to prove it! Real, live numbers – and, in politics, you’re best off not arguing with numbers.

At last we can prove what we knew intuitively all along – that there is no better state to look at than Ohio as the predictor of who the next president will be.  And it is the state where the vote in presidential elections most closely mirrors the nation’s vote as a whole.

Ohio is, in fact, the ultimate bellwether state.

Report Calls for Fewer Regulations on Schools

Jun 12, 2015
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  An education think tank has issued a new paper calling on a reduction in state regulations of schools.

The Dayton-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute proposes fewer rules over who can teach a class in Ohio. It also suggest changes to the way teachers are paid. 

The report is titled “Getting out of the Way” and that’s what the school-choice advocacy group wants state regulators to do. 

The presidential candidate who isn’t a presidential candidate but will probably soon be a presidential candidate spent part of the past week in New Hampshire, the place where presidential candidacies go to either be born or die on the vine.

We’re talking John Kasich, the 69th governor of Ohio here.

The governor of a key swing state who has been racing around from one early primary or caucus state for months now, dropping big hints about wanting to be president, but always stopping short of announcing his candidacy.

The leadership of the Democratic Party, both here in Ohio and in Washington, really doesn’t know what to make of Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld.

Is this guy just dense?, they must be thinking. Doesn’t he get the picture?

Can the Republicans win the White House without winning Ohio next year?

Conventional wisdom (not to mention history, which is a better guide) says, no, they can’t. No Republican president – and we’re going back to the very first, Abraham Lincoln – has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

In fact, the way the electoral college map skews toward Democratic presidential candidates, most political analysts see the Republican nominee coming up short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win without taking both Ohio and Florida.

The late Jim Rhodes, who managed to be elected Ohio governor four times and was about the most pragmatic politician we’ve known in over 40 years of covering politics, had a saying about Ohio voters.

Actually, he had many sayings. But this one rang true back in Rhodes’ day and till holds some power today.

Ohio voters, Rhodes would say, care the most about three things – “jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

To many Ohio workers, the debate over “free trade” and “fair trade” is very real.

There’s an old saw that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Some people are applying that to the Ohio Democratic Party executive committee’s decision a week ago to endorse former governor Ted Strickland over Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld in the 2016 Democratic primary for Republican incumbent Rob Portman’s U.S. Senate seat.

As Ohio House leaders put forward a budget that they say will help people out of poverty, the directors of the state’s job and family services agencies say they have some answers as to why people need public assistance.

Substance abuse problems, lack of transportation and high school diplomas are the issues that people on welfare or public assistance face.

That’s the conclusion of a survey done by a task force with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors Association.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Jay Hanselman about the possibility that both Ohio and Kentucky will have contenders for the GOP presidential nomination - Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul.

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