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Editorials from around Ohio

April 9, 2018

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The Akron Beacon Journal, April 8

John Kelly showed the right instinct. According to news accounts, the White House chief of staff advised President Trump that Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, needed to step down in view of his ethical misdeeds and spending excesses.

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For his part, Pruitt has plunged deep into the swamp. He arrived with a long record as Oklahoma attorney general of challenging the agency he now leads. Recall the New York Times story in 2014 about a letter he sent to the EPA that parroted the language of oil and gas interests. The expectation was, he would stand with industry and pare back regulations to its liking.

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Instead, Pruitt jumped into a favorable living arrangement in which he rented a room in a Capitol Hill condominium from the wife of an energy industry lobbyist.

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On Friday, the Times reported that five EPA officials, including a Trump political appointee, voiced concerns to Pruitt about these and other spending excesses and management failings. They subsequently were reassigned, demoted or asked for new jobs.

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So John Kelly has it right. Scott Pruitt should go. This isn’t about policymaking, dismaying and damaging as the direction of the agency has been. The problem is his conduct in office. Pruitt has abused the public trust, in the way he has spent taxpayer dollars, in the perception he invites.

Online: https://bit.ly/2v2e4Sx

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The Lima News, April 7

State Issue 1 is good for Republicans.

It’s also good for Democrats.

But most of all, it’s good for Ohio.

You don’t get to say such a thing very often nowadays — especially about redistricting plans. But it is possible today thanks to a historic compromise pulled off by a bipartisan group led by Republican state Sen. Matt Huffman of Lima and Democrat Vernon Sykes, of Summit County.

The passage of State Issue 1 in the May 8 election would make Ohio the first state to require a certain level of support from the two major parties to approve a congressional redistricting plan in the state legislature.

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The proposed Constitutional Amendment would end the partisan process for drawing congressional districts, and replace it with one whose goals are promoting bipartisanship, keeping local communities together, and having district boundaries that are more compact.

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Ohioans will look at an Issue 1 that clearly says the state legislature should not be in the business of redrawing district boundaries in order to ensure their opponents would lose seats in the next election cycle.

Those who agree should vote in favor of Issue 1 on May 8.

Online: https://bit.ly/2ql3NLt

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The Blade, April 8

Everyone seems to want in on the Pentagon’s budget bonanza, the most recent being a group that believes our skies are being penetrated by aircraft that can only be called alien.

A Toledo-born naval fighter pilot who saw an unidentifiable object that looked like a Tic Tac in the sky over the Pacific Ocean is telling his story now, 14 years later.

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Some think that what Commander Fravor saw was a high-tech invention of the Russians or Chinese. By now, one would think the existence of such a fantastic machine would be known.

Commander Fravor thinks it came from another world.

Though he has a commendable sense of humor on this subject, Commander Fravor, a decorated 24-year naval aviator, is dead serious about what he saw. And his career compels us to treat his observations with respect.

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Yet Pentagon leaders should not dismiss sightings of unexplained objects by members of the military. People like Mr. Mellon are primarily calling for the sharing of information from various services and agencies, in order to avoid the “stovepiping” that afflicts government bureaucracies. The level of funding required would be a flyspeck in the military budget, not an endless boondoggle.

Online: https://bit.ly/2Jzf3ge

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The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, April 8

Ohio lawmakers need to push forward on a house bill that would establish $100 million in grants over the next two fiscal years to help spur broadband internet development in rural and underserved locations. The program, which would be called the Ohio Broadband Development Grant Program, would provide up to $5 million per project for broadband connectivity research, testing and planning in underserved areas.

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We have previously argued that in today’s world, the internet is not a luxury item but a necessary utility, and it should be governed and regulated as such — and that means providing access in places where it might not make the most bottom line sense to serve. Having access to high speed Wi-Fi isn’t something that would be “nice to have” — it is a requirement in today’s modern era to do almost anything from school work to paying bills to farming.

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This can’t be a bill that stalls out or continues to get pushed back because, far too soon, state representatives and senators will start campaigning for re-election and the legislative agenda will slow to a crawl.

Online: https://bit.ly/2GKXdJo

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