Counter Points

When Amanda Gorman was asked to write a poem for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, she didn't know where to begin. The nation has just been through a bitter election. Americans are as divided as ever. And the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.

"It was really daunting to begin the poem because you don't even really know the entry point in which to step into the murk," she said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

The "armed march" that was expected in all 50 state capitals and brought out heavy security resulted in just a few dozen protestors in Columbus Sunday.

capitol riot
Jose Luis Magana / AP

A Wilmington man has been charged in connection with the violent overrunning of the U.S. Capitol building last week. Forty-year-old Justin Stoll was arrested by the FBI and appeared in District Court in Cincinnati Friday.

trump portman dewine
John Minchillo / AP

Donald Trump, impeached twice and soon to be gone from the White House, will likely always have his corps of MAGA hat-wearing fans who believe he can do no wrong, that he is the be-all and end-all of their world. But there are signs that Trump's grip on Republican voters who are less fanatical in their devotion to him is starting to slip.

city hall
Wikimedia Commons

In many circles, Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was a lock for the 2021 mayoral race. That all changed Nov. 19.

john cranley budget
Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The year 2020 was historic in Cincinnati with the pandemic leading to shutdowns and fiscal crisis, historic protests of racial injustice, and the arrest of three City Council members. Now 2021 brings the arrival of a new COVID-19 vaccine.

The year 2021 will bring a new mapmaking process for Ohio's state legislative and congressional districts. Voters approved reforms in the past five years to avoid gerrymandering, where districts are drawn to favor one party over another. And voter advocates say the time has come to make sure the process works.

nan whaley
Darron Cummings / AP

If you are going to take on an incumbent elected official, it helps to have a fire in your belly and a score to settle with your opponent.

david pepper
John Minchillo / AP

Rarely is there anything that happens in the Ohio Democratic Party that takes place as smooth as silk.

Take the choice of a new state party chair, which is scheduled to take place when the party's executive committee meets in Columbus on Jan. 14.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a "Stand Your Ground" bill into law on Monday, backing off his threat to veto the measure after Ohio lawmakers declined to pass his recommended gun control proposals.

hamilton county boe
Aaron Doster / AP

This column is a look-ahead at politics in this corner of the world. It is not by any means a prediction of the future.

I am not Carnac the Magnificent. (Younger readers, just Google it.)

2020 year in review politics
Jacquelyn Martin, Tony Dejak, Jay LaPrete / AP

You really don't need me to tell you what a stinking mess 2020 was.

politics year in review
Clockwise from top left: Tony Dejak, Carolyn Kaster, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Alex Brandon, Gene J. Puskar / AP

We will all, I'm sure, be glad to the see the backside of the year 2020 as it disappears from view in a week or so.

And we will all, I'm equally sure, hope and pray for a return to normalcy – or something approaching normalcy – in the year 2021.

A Franklin County judge has granted a preliminary injunction that blocks the owner of Ohio's two nuclear power plants from collecting fees as part of HB6, the controversial bailout law at the center of a federal racketeering investigation.

mike dewine
Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

Many feared Ohio's cases of coronavirus would "surge" post-Thanksgiving if families gathered as normal, but data show many in fact heeded the call, leading Gov. Mike DeWine to again urge Ohioans to hunker down for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Amid Pandemic, Ohio State Agency Posts Job Listings With No Medical Benefits

Dec 20, 2020

Amid a raging pandemic, Ohio’s agency responsible for looking out for workers’ welfare has started posting full-time temporary jobs with no benefits for its own workforce. 

christmas pickle
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

It usually starts around Thanksgiving.

My Facebook page and Twitter account light up with friends, near and far, demanding an answer to a single question.

Updated: 4:29 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020

Cleveland Indians ownership on Monday afternoon confirmed that the process of changing the team name has officially begun.

The New York Times first reported the team’s intent Sunday night, using anonymous sources.

Ohio's two U.S. Senators are among the congressional leaders calling for passage of a new economic relief package. The senators say the bipartisan proposal can target areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

boxing
Pixabay

The older I get, the more likely it is that I wake up in the morning with aches and pains. I guess that's part of the deal.

Updated 11:00 a.m., Dec. 10, 2020

Housing and neighborhood advocates in Northeast Ohio and beyond reacted with optimism Wednesday to news that Cleveland Congresswoman Marcia Fudge would be President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Provided

Attorney Steve Goodin was sworn into Cincinnati City Council last week. He temporarily replaces suspended Republican Council Member Jeff Pastor, who faces federal bribery charges.

sherrod brown
Andy Chow / Ohio Statehouse News Bureau

We are expected to learn more about the next COVID-19 relief legislation to be considered at the U.S. Congress on Monday.


city hall
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The ever-dwindling band of Republicans in the city of Cincinnati haven't had much reason for hope in city politics for two generations now.

But the turmoil and "culture of corruption" at City Hall that has landed three council members in some very hot water – federal charges of bribery and abusing their offices – somehow is giving them a feeling there may be better days to come.

tim ryan rob portman
Charlie Neibergall, J. Scott Applewhite / AP

It seems like forever since Democrat Tim Ryan of Trumbull County was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002, and ever since politics reporters around the state (me included) have written more than our fair share of stories and tweets speculating about Ryan's political future.

After an election where polls showed Democrats would do well in Ohio but largely didn’t, the leader of Ohio’s Democratic Party is resigning. David Pepper says he’ll step down from his post at the end of this year. 

Three Cincinnati City Council members have been accused of taking bribes from developers this year. City Council Member David Mann says an independent commission could help put a stopper in local corruption when it comes to development.

Provided / Graydon Law

Attorney Steve Goodin will serve in place of suspended Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor. Pastor was suspended last week, after being indicted on federal bribery charges. Hamilton County Probate Judge Ralph Winkler named Goodin to the position Monday morning.

The results of the 2020 vote in Ohio have been officially certified as the highest turnout ever. Nearly three quarters of all registered voters cast ballots.

Pastor Suspended From Cincinnati City Council

Nov 23, 2020
jeff pastor
Eric Clajus / WCPO

Jeff Pastor has been suspended from Cincinnati City Council. Pastor was arrested earlier this month on corruption charges. 

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