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Gov. John Kasich likes parts of Issue 1, but will vote ‘no’: Capitol Letter

September 21, 2018

Gov. John Kasich likes parts of Issue 1, but will vote ‘no’: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

A nuanced ‘no:’ Gov. John Kasich will not vote for Issue 1, which would lessen penalties for low-level drug offenses and emphasize treatment for addiction. However, he thinks the proposal contains some good ideas and wishes the General Assembly would adopt them, cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock writes.

Back and forth: Supporters and opponents of Ohio Issue 1 sparred during a debate Wednesday hosted by the Youngstown Vindicator. Watch the debate here. 

No joint endorsement: In the aftermath of Richard Cordray’s announcement that he would vote for a statewide issue legalizing recreational marijuana, cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias asked Sen. Sherrod Brown whether he felt the same way. Brown said he’d want to see how things play out in a state like Colorado before deciding. “I support medical marijuana,” he said. “I don’t like how the justice system’s done this. But I think we need to go into this with eyes wide open.”

Renacci doubles down: Rep. Jim Renacci has gone all-in on calling attention to disputed details from Brown’s decades-old divorce records, writes Tobias. While other Republicans have been more cautious in broaching the issue in the past, Renacci has brought up Brown’s divorce repeatedly over the past week, including on national TV and at the Thursday Politico event in Columbus. Brown’s ex-wife has denounced Renacci’s efforts, and Brown said that Renacci’s tactic was tantamount to “attacking his family.”

Poor grades? Cleveland.com data expert Rich Exner took a deeper dive into the school report cards released last week and has an interesting analysis comparing report card data to median household income. 

Stop the ‘softcore’ ads: Adam VanHo, the Democratic nominee for Senate District 27, called Thursday for restrictions on elected officials using public money for election-time ads. In a release, VanHo said politicians from both parties have made “softcore” political ads (as he called them), though he pointed in particular to two Republicans -- Treasurer Josh Mandel and Attorney General Mike DeWine. VanHo proposed not allowing candidates to send out publicly financed videos or mailers with their name or picture for 120 days before an election.

Aftab investigation proceeds: The Ohio Elections Commission on Thursday agreed to investigate whether 1st Congressional District Democratic nominee Aftab Pureval improperly spent $30,000 earmarked for his clerk of courts campaign on his congressional race. The commission hasn’t set a date for a hearing, though elections commission executive director Philip Richter said the hope is to hold it before the Nov. 6 general election.

Don’t bet on it: Richter said the elections commission also dismissed a complaint filed against Democratic attorney general nominee Steve Dettelbach claiming his campaign held an illegal campaign raffle that offered donors a chance to meet ex-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The commission agreed with Dettelbach’s side that the offer wasn’t an illegal raffle because every donor got to meet Holder.

McChrystal clear: Ken Harbaugh, the Democratic former Navy pilot running in Ohio’s 7th Congressional District, is getting some air support from high command. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan, will be in the district Saturday to endorse Harbaugh at a veterans town hall. District bling: You might remember our Wednesday item about OMG WTF, the new PAC aiming to elect Democrats in six states that promised to do “non-boring events.” Well, they’re certainly living up to their creative side on fundraising, too. The group launched a jewelry line called Gerrymander Jewelry, 14k gold necklaces featuring six of the oddest shaped districts in the country, including OH-1, accompanied by a DeBeers-esque commercial to boot.

Fall TV season ramps up in OH-10: Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Turner has made his first TV buy in more than a month, purchasing $61,500 worth of broadcast ads starting Friday, according to political ad tracker Medium Buying (it wasn’t clear Thursday whether he bought cable TV time as well). Theresa Gasper, Turner’s Democratic rival for the 10th Congressional District, has been on the airwaves since Sept. 5 and plans to remain on the air through Election Day, according to campaign manager Shu-Yen Wei.

Millennials for LaRose: State Sen. Frank LaRose, the Republican nominee for secretary of state, is one of two recipients of the Millennial Action Project’s first Rising Star award, his campaign announced. LaRose, 39, is on the bipartisan Democracy Reform Task Force and Ohio Future Caucus run by the D.C.-based group, the largest nonpartisan organization of under-40 policymakers in the country.

Is Ryan tryin’ again? Ohioans Tim Ryan and Marcia Fudge are in a group of Democrats who want their party to revise its process for selecting a U.S. House Speaker. According to CBS News, the pair signed a letter that would require votes from at least 218 Democrats for the party to select a Speaker, rather than a majority. The move is “a direct shot at Nancy Pelosi,” reports the Atlantic. Ryan – who unsuccessfully sought Pelosi’s leadership job in 2016 – says through a spokesman he is leaving the door open on another run, “but any decisions would come after the election.”

Return to sender: The Akron Beacon Journal reports “a couple of hiccups” involving absentee ballot requests for the November election. A small number of voters who returned forms requesting ballots had them rejected by the postal service, writes Doug Livingston. Voters are being advised to try again.

Sitting in judgment: Lawyers tangled Wednesday over the question of whether it’s appropriate Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine to hear cases involving the state attorney general’s office, which is run by DeWine’s father, Mike, the Columbus Dispatch’s Marty Schladen reports. A disciplinary counsel argues that “people can’t be sure that the justice isn’t biased in favor of his dad — a Republican who is seeking to be Ohio’s next governor,” Schladen writes. 

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from Timothy Barhorst’s April 9 financial disclosure statement. Barhorst, a Westerville Republican, is running against Democrat Mary Lightbody in House District 19.

1. Barhorst reported that he worked for himself and for Business Partners Inc. Candidates who are not incumbents do not have to report income. He describes himself as a small business owner and insurance agent.

2. Barhorst also received income from four rental properties. 

3. He owns all of Business Partners Inc., half of one of his rentals – 56 Dorchester Square LLC – and 33.33 percent of Chickasaw Point LLC, another rental. 

4. At some point last year, he owed more than $1,000 each to Huntington Bank, Chase Bank, Citi Bank, Barclays Bank, First City Bank, First Financial Bank, Nationstar Mortgage and Samuel and Patricia Barhorst. 

5. He holds an Ohio Insurance license for life and health policies and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 6 license.

Birthdays

Friday, Sept. 21: State Sen. Joe Schaivoni

Straight From The Source

“Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and change in Ohio education policy.”

- Dayton Daily News political reporter Laura Bischoff, tweeting in response to news that Ohio education officials are considering changes to state graduation requirements.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.

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