Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

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Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his political blog, his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with news director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 14 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time. 

tim burke
Manley Burke LPA / Provided

Saturday, the Hamilton County Democratic Central Committee will meet at a union hall in Evendale to choose a successor (or successors) to Tim Burke, who is retiring after 24 years as county party chair. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Burke's departure and what the future of the party may look like. 

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Pixabay

Many of my younger colleagues in journalism – which amounts to almost all my colleagues in journalism these days – have no memory of a time before smartphones, emails, Facebook, Storify, Twitter, Reddit or even the Internet.

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Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Raise your hand if you ever, for a second, believed that FC Cincinnati really wanted to put a soccer stadium in the cramped quarters of Oakley.

OK, now raise your hand if you believed in the fairytale of sticking a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Newport. FC Kentucky, anyone?

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Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Senator Sherrod Brown told WVXU today he hopes President Trump's on-again, off-again summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un takes place next month.

Brown, a Democrat running for re-election this year, says he hopes his bill to levy more sanctions on North Korea if they do not cooperate will be part of the leverage Trump can use if he sits down with the North Korean leader next month in Singapore.

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Howard Wilkinson / Personal Collection

I don't hesitate to tell you that of all the countless political figures I have written about since the mid-1970s, my favorite, by far, is John H. Glenn Jr.

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Connie Pillich, Gwen McFarlin / Provided

Connie Pillich and Gwen McFarlin, two women with experience in elective office, are running as a "co-chair" team to take over the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

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Jim Nolan / WVXU

Northern Kentucky voter turnout in Tuesday's primary election was abysmally low, despite the presence of some significant contests in all of the counties.

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Manley Burke LPA / Provided

For those who follow Cincinnati politics, from either side of the aisle, it is really rather hard to imagine: Very soon, Tim Burke will no longer carry the title of chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about whether Ohio Democrats have a chance this year to end a long drought in statewide elections; and about Kentucky's primary election on Tuesday. 

Official Pete Rose Baseball Card Set

You would be hard pressed to find a bigger Cincinnati Reds fan than yours truly.

Don't cry to me about their present record; that's irrelevant to my love for the team I have rooted for since I was a child, through good times and bad.

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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. 

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WhiteHouse.gov / Wikimedia Commons

I always enjoyed covering presidential inaugurations.

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

WVXU-FM

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. 

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