Ohio Democrats launch candidate bus tour: Capitol Letter

October 3, 2018

Ohio Democrats launch candidate bus tour: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Cruising toward Election Day: The Ohio Democratic Party showed off a new bus Tuesday morning – 35 days before the Nov. 6 election. The bus will be on the road 12 hours a day, stopping at events where people are gathered – such as college campuses and apple and pumpkin festivals – to promote its candidates for all levels of state government.  

Sessions visits Columbus: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a Columbus news conference Tuesday to announce the indictment of 19 members of a Columbus gang on murder and other changes. The AG also touted new Justice Department statistics showing an increase in the number of people charged with violent crimes and firearms-related offenses. Cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer has more. 

Tax facts: Cities and other local governments are granting business tax reductions that cost Ohio schools at least $125 million during the 2017 fiscal year, according to a Policy Matters Ohio review of school district accounting records. The tax abatements are typically given to businesses for economic development, but that money could fill education funding gaps such as rehiring 662 librarians who have been cut over the past 12 years, the left-leaning think tank said.  

Praise be: The Cleveland-headquartered United Church of Christ endorsed Ohio Issue 1 in a Tuesday statement. The constitutional amendment would lessen some drug crime penalties in favor of treatment. Cincinnati leaders - including state Sen. Cecil Thomas, Councilman Wendell Young, Nuns on the Bus Sister Mary Wendeln – were expected to announce support Wednesday for the amendment.  

Jordan on the midterms: Urbana Rep. Jim Jordan had an interesting quote in a Tuesday story by Politico’s Rachel Bade. The article dealt with the “double lives” Republican candidates must live to excite ardent Trump supporters while courting other voters who might be skeptical of the president. “I would argue it’s best in the vast majority of congressional seats to nationalize the election,” Jordan said at a Sept. 7 fundraiser for Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, according to the story. “And even in those swing districts you still have to embrace the president. Maybe not as much in Dave’s as in ours but I think it’s important we run toward the president.” 

Appealing to the base: Republican Dayton Rep. Mike Turner on his Twitter account launched a new attack ad on Tuesday against his Democratic challenger, small business owner Theresa Gasper. It takes aim at Gapser for accusing Turner of focusing too narrowly on Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the biggest employer in the Republican-leaning district. The attack is most notable in that Turner is bothering to do it at all, which suggests he feels the race is competitive. Under the current congressional lines, Turner has never lost by fewer than 23 points. 

Checking the numbers: FiveThirtyEight.com has handicapped every House race in the country, using a mix of polling data, demographic data and analysis from political experts. As of Tuesday, the site gave Turner a 95 percent chance of winning. FiveThirtyEight’s view of other competitive races in Ohio include the 12th District’s Troy Balderson over Danny O’Connor (69 percent chance of winning) and Steve Chabot over Aftab Pureval (64 percent.)  

Thanks Obama (again): President Barack Obama’s latest round of 260 candidate endorsements around the country include Democratic treasurer candidate Rob Richardson, as well as congressional candidates Betsy Rader and Susan Moran Palmer, writes cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton. His state legislative picks include Rachel Crooks, who said President Donald Trump forcibly kissed her in 2006. Trump has denied the allegation.  

Budding business: Cleveland.com’s Robin Goist has a look inside Buckeye Relief in Eastlake, which has been growing plants for the state’s medical marijuana program since July 31 and caring for them by hand. Buckeye Relief also has a lab ready to go in case the state grants its request for a processing license. 

Doubling down: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, speaking with reporters Tuesday, reaffirmed his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Eaton reports. Portman said Kavanaugh, under questioning by Senate Democrats last week, showed “understandable” anger at being “unjustly accused of horrendous behavior.” 

Biden in Columbus: Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, will appear in Columbus on Wednesday afternoon with Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Betty Sutton and Peggy Cordray, wife of Democratic governor candidate Rich Cordray. The three will discuss issues related to women in the workforce, according to Cordray’s campaign. 

Have a drink with a Libertarian: Libertarian governor candidate Travis Irvine is holding a Thursday meet and greet in Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland. He will be at Forage Public House, 14600 Detroit Ave. starting at 7 p.m.  

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from Dave Yost’s April 9 financial disclosure. Yost is the Republican state auditor and candidate for Ohio attorney general.  

1. Yost reported earning $109,564.56 as state auditor in 2017. 

2. At some point last year, he owed over $1,000 each to Ford Motor Credit, American Express and Sears Mastercard.  

3. Yost has a 457(b) plan with Ohio Deferred Compensation and a mutual fund with MFS Investments.  

4. He reported receiving gifts from the Ohio Republican Party, senior staff in the auditor’s office, the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Joseph Deters, the Friends of Israel Defense Services, Capital University and the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.  

5. He reported traveling three times in association with his state auditor duties, which cost $311.53. 


Edward F. Noyes, Ohio’s 30th governor (1832-1890) 

Straight From The Source

“Looks like @KathleenClyde drew the short straw on name placement.”

- The Ohio House Republican Caucus’ Twitter account (@OhioHouseGOP), commenting on Clyde’s less-than-optimal position on the back of the Ohio Democratic Party’s candidate bus (pictured above).

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.


Update hourly