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Ohio Issue 1 savings disputed: Capitol Letter

October 12, 2018

Ohio Issue 1 savings disputed: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Money problems? A state fiscal analysis of Ohio Issue 1 concluded the amendment at best, will deliver just a portion of the savings that supporters have promised by keeping people convicted of drug crimes out of prison, cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock writes. At worst, it’ll cost the state and local governments money. Supporters pushed back on the analysis, performed by Gov. John Kasich’s Office of Budget and Management, calling it a political document designed to sink the issue. 

Support from Cleveland: During a Thursday press conference in Cleveland, Rep. Stephanie Howse, president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus said the group endorses Issue 1 because addiction should be addressed as a health issue. Howse was joined by several local leaders, including Cleveland City Council members Blaine Griffin and Jasmin Santana and James Hardiman of the NAACP Cleveland Chapter. 

Keep an eye on these: Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch has identified 22 state House and Senate races to watch in the November election. Republicans are now dominant in the legislature, but Democrats hope to cut into their strong majorities in both chambers. 

Senate race escalates: GOP Rep. Jim Renacci will launch his second general election ad today, cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias writes. Renacci’s ad calls attention to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, and then ties the issue to allegations from Brown’s ex-wife stemming from their 1986 divorce. In response, Brown’s campaign released a YouTube video of his ex-wife, Larke Recchie, denouncing the ad. 

There’s much more to the race: Tobias has a report on everything you need to know on the Brown-Renacci contest.

Meanwhile: Brown released his campaign finance numbers early to Jessica Wehrman, of the Columbus Dispatch and the Dayton Daily News. Brown reported raising $3.75 million and spending $6.6 million between July 1 and Sept. 31, good for $8.2 million in cash on hand. The federal campaign-finance deadline is Monday. Renacci has not yet released his totals. 

Cordray in Cleveland: Richard Cordray spoke briefly to a group of Hispanic voters Thursday night in Cleveland, saying he wants Ohio to be “a welcoming, diverse, inclusive, tolerant state,” cleveland.com’s Seth Richardson reports. The Democratic nominee for governor was asked about topics central to his campaign, including wages, higher education and health care.

On message: E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post has a piece called “Will Democrats out-populist Trump in Ohio?” Dionne writes about Brown and Cordray, noting their “pro-worker evangelism” that could appeal to Ohioans who gave President Donald Trump a victory in the state in 2016. “Ohio is ground zero this year in testing the durability of Trump’s coalition,” Dionne writes. 

Joyce in the WSJ: The Wall Street Journal’s Reid Epstein profiled GOP Rep. Dave Joyce’s race to get re-elected to represent Ohio’s 16th Congressional District. Citing a recent ad in which Joyce touted “standing up to President Trump,” the article calls him “an outlier in a party that is in near-lockstep with the president.” Joyce’s opponent is Democrat Betsy Rader, an attorney. 

Partial dismissal: The Ohio Elections Commission on Thursday dismissed part of a complaint against 1st Congressional District Democratic nominee Aftab Pureval claiming he improperly reported contributions made by his mother to his Hamilton County clerk of courts campaign. But the commission decided to move ahead with a Nov. 1 hearing on whether Pureval wrongly used money from his clerk of courts campaign account on his congressional campaign. 

Debate set: The two candidates for Renacci’s old congressional seat — Ohio’s 16th District — will debate on Oct. 29 in Cleveland, Tobias writes. Former Ohio State University football star Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican will face off with Susan Moran Palmer, a Democrat who quit her job in medical-device sales to focus on the race this year. Gonzalez, who is heavily favored to win, has been cautious about appearing with Palmer. 

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from Rep. Nick Celebrezze’s April 9 financial disclosure statement. Celebrezze, a Parma Democrat, decided after the May primary to withdraw his bid for re-election. 

1.Celebrezze listed two sources of income for 2017. He made $60,584 as a state representative. As an attorney for McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal, & Liffman Co. LPA, he earned $25,000 to $49,999.   


2. He listed three investments: common stock in First Energy, a retirement fund in the Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio, and a mutual fund in the Public Employees Deferred Compensation.  


3. He owns one piece of property in Parma.  


4. Celebrezze reported receiving no gifts in 2017.  


5. The state reimbursed him $5,992.48 for mileage between Parma and Columbus. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce paid $133.09 for his lodging at a policy conference at Salt Fork State Park. 


Birthdays

Friday, Oct. 12: State Rep. Thomas West

Sunday, Oct. 14: State Sen. Rob McColley

Straight From The Source

“Believe me, I know more behind the scenes than ‘Serial’ is telling you. I live it. I don’t need to see somebody’s reenactment or reporting.”  

-- Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor’s response when asked if she has heard this season’s “Serial” podcast, which looks at the criminal justice system by following Cuyahoga County court cases.

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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