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Voter registration ends, early voting in Ohio begins this week: Capitol Letter

October 8, 2018

Voter registration ends, early voting in Ohio begins this week: Capitol Letter

Rotunda rumblings 

Don’t forget: The deadline to register for the Nov. 6 election is Tuesday, and early voting begins on Wednesday. The election is 29 days away. 

Also: The third debate of the Ohio governor’s race is tonight. Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine will face off at 7 p.m. in Cleveland. Go to cleveland.com to watch live and for analysis throughout the evening. 

2020 watch: U.S. Sen Kamala Harris of California came to Columbus to address Ohio Democrats Sunday, the day after Brett Kavanaugh’s controversial confirmation as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. “Let’s speak the truth that it was a denial of justice for the women of this country and sexual assault survivors, men and women,” said Harris, the keynote speaker at the Ohio Democratic Party’s annual state dinner. Cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer reports that Harris, a potential presidential contender in 2020, also used her speech to praise Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, whose name has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for 2020.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane: Wadsworth Rep. Jim Renacci, the Republican Senate candidate, on Friday defended flying in a strip-club owner’s single-engine plane across the state, cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias reports. While trying to deflect questions on the topic, he seemed to confirm he flew on the plane to an Oct. 2 meeting with Scioto County faith leaders, while criticizing a reporter’s interest in the subject. Renacci is challenging Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. 

Kasich on CNN: Ohio Gov. John Kasich made his regular appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. He fielded questions from Dana Bash on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, among other topics. He also predicted Democrats will have a good election, but maybe not a “big wave.” 

Brown criticizes FBI investigation: In a floor speech, Brown said the FBI was “straightjacketed” in its investigation into allegations involving Kavanaugh’s conduct when he was younger, and criticized Kavanaugh’s record, cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton writes. 

Portman defends Kavanaugh: In his own floor speech, Republican Sen. Rob Portman decried the “poisonous” process surrounding Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and said the Kavanaugh he’s known for 15 years “has always treated women with decency and respect,” according to Eaton. 

Jordan huddles with evangelicals: As Kavanaugh was confirmed, Urbana Rep. Jim Jordan was among the conservatives who appeared at a weekend summit in Virginia with prominent evangelical leaders to plot out the conservative movement’s path forward, writes The Intercept’s Lee Fang. 

2020 watch: Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti continues to make the rounds in Ohio Democratic circles, appearing Friday at the Hamilton County Democratic Party’s fall fundraiser, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Scott Wartman. “Some of you may be asking, what is some porn lawyer doing here in Cincinnati talking to us about our republic?” Avenatti told the crowd of 300, according to Wartman. “Well, in normal times, I’d be at home in L.A. enjoying my life. But these are not normal times.” 

A view from the inside: Agri-Grow Ohio LLC showed video of medical marijuana being harvested at its cultivation facility in Meigs County. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock explains the harvesting and the company’s estimated timeline to have product ready.  

Dettelbach nabs PD/cleveland.com endorsement: In its endorsement article, our editorial board wrote that Democratic state attorney general candidate Steve Dettelbach was the best of “two compelling options.” The ECOT scandal was the tiebreaker that helped him edge out the win over Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, the Republican candidate.  

Four Pinocchios: Republicans have blasted myriad Democratic congressional candidates — including Ohio’s Aftab Pureval in OH-1, and Betsy Rader in OH-14 — for backing Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All,” even if those candidates support a relatively moderate public option instead. Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler gave that broad-brush attack a “four Pinocchios” rating in a Saturday column. 

ICYMI: Cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton wrote about Joyce’s ad’s claims about Rader’s views last month. 

Discuss: Pureval has an unusual new campaign ad. Featuring him standing in a doorway with an impossibly thick stack of cue cards, it pays homage to Love Actually, the 2003 romantic comedy. Good idea? Bad idea? Great idea? 

Price check: Ohio State University’s investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving deceased former university physician Richard Straus has cost the state nearly $1.5 million so far, writes the Columbus Dispatch’s Jennifer Smola. 

Full disclosure 

Five things we learned from the April 7 financial disclosure of Aziz Ahmad. Ahmad, a Democrat from Strongsville, is running for Ohio House District 7 against Republican Rep. Tom Patton.   1. Ahmad reported earning $44,000 for teaching in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. 

2. Ahmad didn’t report any investments.  

3. At some time in 2017, Ahmad owed over $1,000 each to Capital One USA, Discover Financial Services, Ally Financial, Huntington National Bank, Department of Education/Nelnet and Baldwin Wallace College. 

4. He didn’t report receiving any gifts from lobbyists valued at over $75. 

5. He didn’t report receiving any meals, food or beverages totaling over $100 last year from lobbyists. 

Birthdays 

Ex-U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich  Straight from the source 

“Look, it’s both sides.  A pox on both houses for the way this was conducted.”  -Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in a Sunday appearance on CNN, describing the process surrounding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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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