Ohio

The controversial bill that would ban abortion after the first detectable fetal heartbeat passed the Ohio House, largely on a party line vote. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the emotion was no surprise, but one revelation was.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
State of Ohio

Secretary of State Jon Husted has said several times that voter fraud is rare but it exists – and that’s why he says he reviews the voting rolls in Ohio’s 88 counties.

Husted has found hundreds who shouldn’t be registered to vote, and wants the federal government to help him find more.

Some of them are in southwest Ohio.

Husted’s latest review found 145 non-citizens registered to vote, with 27 of them actually casting ballots. This brings the total number of non-citizens registered in Ohio to 436, out of about 7.7 million registered voters.

Activists offer stats and stories of effect of Ohio abortion laws

Mar 11, 2015

During the past four years, Ohio lawmakers have passed several laws restricting abortion in Ohio. But the questions about the effect those laws are having on women in the Buckeye State depends on who you ask.

If you talk to opponents of Ohio’s new restrictions on abortion, they’ll tell you those laws are forcing Ohio’s women into going out of state for abortions and care for difficult pregnancies.

It is not hard to understand why most folks in these parts might have been distracted this week from following the daily comings and goings of the nascent campaign for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.

The election which, for the record, is still a little over 20 months away.

First there was the distraction of the record-breaking cold and its running mate, record-breaking snow.

The group that’s behind a proposed marijuana legalization amendment has released more details about its plan; and it includes growing facilities in Hamilton, Clermont and Butler counties.

The proposed constitutional amendment would legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 and over and for medical use with permission of a doctor.

Backers of the plan wold have to gather the valid signatures of about 306,000 Ohio voters by the beginning of July to place the issue on the November ballot.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU

A new independent poll shows that, among Ohio voters, Hillary Clinton would easily defeat some of the best-known potential Republican presidential contenders – except for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

The Quinnipiac University poll showed a virtual dead heat between the Democratic front-runner and Kasich among registered Ohio voters – 44 percent for Clinton and 43 percent for Kasich.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld's bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2016. Does Sittenfeld have a chance win the nomination and unseat GOP incumbent Rob Portman?

To almost no one’s surprise, Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld announced this week that he is running for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, with the hopes of knocking off incumbent Republican Rob Portman in November 2016.

Sittenfeld is an ambitious young man; and, especially in politics, there is nothing wrong with that. He had been dropping hints that he was considering jumping into the Senate race for weeks; and people on both sides of the aisle were taking him seriously.

Spot checks discover students missing from some Ohio charter schools

Jan 23, 2015
Andy Chow/Ohio Public Radio

Investigators in Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office swept through 30 charter schools and found a big difference between the number of students officials reported to the Ohio Department of Education and the actual headcount in half of those schools.

“I frankly was shocked to find that 50% seems to be the average,’’ Yost said. “I think most of the folks in the legislature if you asked them without any backing they would be surprised by 50% attendance rate.”  

A national group that pushes for more traffic safety laws says Ohio is among 31 states getting a “caution” or “yellow” rating in its latest annual report.

But Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says Ohio has only passed seven of 15 laws it considers necessary. President Jackie Gillan said Ohio needs a primary seat belt law and a law requiring helmets for all motorcycle riders, among others.

Nick Castele

CLEVELAND - A state task force on police-community relations held its first meeting here Tuesday night and heard from about 20 citizens on their treatment by police.

Some speakers recommended collecting data on racial profiling in Ohio, training officers to respond to people with mental illness, and setting up an independent panel to review police shootings. Many speakers urged the task force to consider race in its final proposals.

The task force is slated to deliver a report to Gov. John Kasich by the end of April.

Don’t be jealous, Cincinnati, but our neighbor to the north, Columbus, may be on the verge of landing its first presidential nominating convention

And, if the Democratic National Committee decides to land its 2016 convention in Ohio’s capital city, it will mean the Buckeye State will be hosting both major party presidential nominating conventions next year. The Republicans have already chosen Cleveland, after passing over Cincinnati and a number of other cities.

Kasich sworn in for second term at midnight

Jan 12, 2015
Andy Chow/Ohio Public Radio

COLUMBUS - At midnight today, Gov. John Kasich renewed his pledge as Ohio’s top executive with his cabinet and a bevy of supporters looking on.

Kasich kept his comments brief - he plans a much bigger ceremonial inauguration later in the day. But Kasich, who’s a possible presidential candidate—repeated his call for Ohio to be a state where people unite—to take care of each other.

Ohio’s junior senator, Republican Rob Portman, fired a shot across the bow last week – a warning shot for anyone thinking about running against him in 2016.

His campaign committee put out a long statement saying that, as of the end of 2014, Portman had $5.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign – a pretty incredible amount for 23 months before the election.

And the unspoken message was that he can get plenty more where that came from.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik, looking at what is coming in politics in the new year and beyond.

Sen. Rob Portman threw a bucket of cold water on those who were hot to see him run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination when he announced Monday that he would be running for re-election to a second term in the Senate instead.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, has put an end to speculation that he might run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination by saying he will run for a second term in the Senate.

Portman, the 59-year-old first term senator from Terrace Park, had been mulling over the possibility of a 2016 run for the presidency for months, encouraged by political advisers and major GOP campaign contributors.

Portman told WVXU Tuesday that he is looking forward to being part of the new Republican majority in the Senate - a majority he helped create as the Senate GOP's chief fundraiser in 2014.

WVXU politics reporter talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Tuesday's election - one which saw the Republicans sweep all of Ohio's statewide offices, as they did four years ago.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about prospects for voter turnout Tuesday and the races to watch.

Ohio voters may be about to make history.

But not the kind of history you’ll want to brag about.

It looks increasing likely that, on Tuesday, Ohio will have the lowest turnout in a gubernatorial election since the Ohio secretary of state began tracking voter turnout in 1978.

And, at least in Northern Kentucky, the turnout may be pretty low too – even with one of the noisiest, most expensive and most important U.S. Senate races in the country, pitting Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell against Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Registered Ohio voters can begin in-person early voting at their county boards of elections beginning 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Ohio is back to the hours set earlier by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, with 28 days to vote by absentee ballot or in-person at the boards of elections.

Early voting might have started on Sept. 30, but the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 29 granted an emergency plea from state officials to block a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling expanding early voting days and times.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Maryanne Zeleznik about the legal battle over early voting in Ohio.

Ohio’s “Golden Week” of early voting is back.

So too are the 35 day early voting period and extended evening and weekend hours for in-person early voting.

All thanks to a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus of Cleveland; and a refusal by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to put a stay on Economus’ decision.

Ohio Republicans are furious. Ohio Democrats are jubilant.

But, in the end, does it really matter?

Both sides think so, for different reasons, of course.

Book review: Ohio Photographers: 1839-1900

Aug 22, 2014

Our Jane Durrell reviews a fascinating new book, Ohio Photographers: 1839-1900, by Diane VanSkiver Gagel. It shares the stories of hundreds of early photographers and how the art of photography grew in Ohio in the late 19th century.

Michael Keating

Taxpayers will pick up the tab for an $8 million study of the impact of a reconstructed Brent Spence bridge on traffic, noise and the effect tolls will have on minorities and low-income persons.

The Ohio Controlling Board released the money Monday at the request of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham said the state of Ohio is in the process of working out a “memorandum of understanding” with the state of Kentucky. Once that is finished, Cunningham said, Kentucky will reimburse Ohio for half of the $8 million.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald trails incumbent Republican John Kasich by 12 percentage points and is still not well known to about two-third of Ohio voters, according to an independent poll released this morning.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which polls voters in key states, has Kasich with 48 percent to FitzGerald’s 36 percent.

In May, Kasich led FitzGerald by 15 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac Poll.

There will be no hot-button ballot issues to draw Ohio voters to the polls this November. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about it.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Jay Hanselman about the odd nature of judicial elections in Ohio.

Candidates for judgeships in Ohio are in a unique and somewhat odd position.

They run in primary elections as Democrats or Republicans. But, when the general election rolls around, their names appear on the ballot without party designation.

So, unless you are a person who pays close attention to politics or somebody – usually the judicial candidate’s political party – tells you whether or not he or she is a Democrat or a Republican, you may go to the polls totally in the dark about which is which.

And the judicial races are usually stuck at the bottom of the ballot.

It is primary election day in Ohio, and although county election officials expect a relatively low turnout, there are dozens of contested candidates races and ballot issues for voters to decide.

The polls in Ohio are open until 7:30 p.m.

You can follow the results from Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties through links at wvxu.org.

And I’ll be live-tweeting and updating the website throughout the night. Follow me on Twitter: @howardwilkinson.

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