AP NEWS

Donald Trump confuses Ohio candidates on Twitter: Capitol Letter

August 3, 2018

Donald Trump confuses Ohio candidates on Twitter: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Vote for, you know, that guy: President Donald Trump is coming to campaign for the 12th Congressional District Republican nominee on Saturday, but it appears he’s confused about who he’s campaigning for. In a tweet Thursday (which was soon deleted), the president urged voters to back U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, who represents the neighboring 15th District, on Aug. 7. State Sen. Troy Balderson is the GOP nominee for the 12th District special election. He faces Democrat Danny O’Connor.

Change of plan: The president’s OH-12 rally on Saturday afternoon has been moved from the Delaware County fairgrounds to Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center “to accommodate more Ohioans,” according to a Trump press release.

Balderson bashing: Balderson has been an “unsteady campaigner” who has “struggled to raise money and is failing to motivate GOP voters,” writes Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal. Stivers, the National Republican Congressional Committee chair who represents the neighboring 15th District, urged Balderson last month to spend more time fundraising and less time on his Ohio Senate duties. Balderson “said he isn’t aware of Washington angst about his fundraising,” Epstein reports.

On the other hand: This low opinion of Balderson is hardly universal. “Compared to Rick Saccone, he’s Abraham Lincoln,” one unnamed GOP operative told Roll Call’s Simone Pathe, referring to the Republican who lost a recent special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. And Leah Askarinam, a reporter/analyst with the nonpartisan Inside Elections newsletter, told cleveland.com that “Most Republicans who I’ve been talking to have said that Balderson’s done a pretty good job consolidating Republican support.”

A little help from his friends: A number of Balderson’s legislative GOP colleagues have been pitching in to help his campaign, including state Sen. Frank LaRose and state Reps. Robert Sprague, Jonathan Dever and Rick Carfagna.

Making it count: Ohio voters who were purged between 2011 and 2015 and cast ballots for Tuesday’s 12th Congressional District special election will have their votes counted, per a new directive from Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted had rescinded a previous directive mandating such ballots be counted after the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the state in a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s process for canceling voter registrations. But the two sides in the case agreed through mediation to reinstate the policy for the special election. About 7,500 purged voters had their ballots counted under such an order in the November 2016 presidential election. 

Dog date:  More dogs will be on restaurant and bar patios across the state soon, thanks to a new law. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock has the details and asks readers whether they would patronize establishments that allow them. 

Relieving aches and pains: Townships don’t have authority to regulate massage businesses, and that rubs Rep. Andy Brenner the wrong way. The Powell Republican on Thursday introduced House Bill 717 to give townships optional authority to require massage businesses to register with them, and to ensure the businesses are licensed with the state. Brenner is concerned that some businesses may be involved in human trafficking, he said. 

The timing: Brenner said he doesn’t expect HB 717 to pass this legislative session since there are not a lot of sessions planned between now and the end of the year. He hopes a House committee will hold a few hearings to draw attention to the issue, and he plans to introduce it next year if he’s elected to the Senate, he said. 

Joe the Entrepreneur: Cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton catches up with Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, who rocketed to brief fame after confronting Barack Obama during a presidential campaign swing through Wurzelbacher’s Toledo neighborhood. Wurzelbacher, a gun-rights advocate who unsuccessfully ran for Congress, is now marketing a metal device that can be slipped on classroom doors to block school shooters, Eaton reports.

This could be a problem: Democratic congressional hopeful Aftab Pureval appears to have spent money from his local campaign account on his federal race, which might have violated election laws, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Sharon Coolidge reports. Pureval, the Hamilton County clerk of courts, spent $30,000 from his county campaign fund this year, “even though a potential run for re-election wouldn’t come for another two years when Pureval’s term is up,” Coolidge writes.

Coached? A former Ohio State University wrestling coach urged two ex-wrestlers to recant accusations that Rep. Jim Jordan turned a blind eye to sexual abuse by a team doctor more than 20 years ago when Jordan was an assistant coach, NBC News reports. “The former wrestlers said their ex-coach made it clear to them he was under pressure from Jordan to get statements of support from members of the team,” the NBC News report said.

Dismissed: The Ohio Supreme Court begrudgingly dismissed ethics charges against a Cleveland lawyer who pursued an appeal for a client he never met. Two justices, however, said the case raised questions about whether some disciplinary rules need to be changed. Cleveland.com’s Cory Shaffer explains.

Hands off my Obamacare: Columbus and Cincinnati are among the cities that filed a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, Rick Rouan of the Columbus Dispatch reports. “When you look at his actions with his tweets, there’s a clear painted picture that he hates Obamacare and he’s going to do everything in his power to dismantle it,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein told Rouan. “We have an opportunity to stop criticizing and start holding him accountable under the law.”

Multi-dimensional debate: Republican governor nominee Mike DeWine and his Democratic opponent Richard Cordray have different views on whether the 3-D printing of firearms should be restricted, Laura A. Bischoff of the Dayton Daily News reports. DeWine is not among the attorneys general pushing the Trump administration to prevent the online posting of instructions for such printing, Bischoff reports. 

Full Disclosure 

Five things we learned from the April 6 financial disclosure statement of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Mary DeGenaro, a Republican who was recently appointed to the high court and faces Eighth District Appeals Court Judge Melody Stewart, a Democrat, in November. 

1. She lists her first name as “Mavoreen Mary.”

2. She’s active in her Northeast Ohio community, having served last year on the boards of the Public Library of Mahoning County and Youngstown, the Italian Education Foundation, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society and the Poland Forest Foundation. 

3. She was appointed in late January to the Supreme Court. Last year she was a judge on the Seventh District Court of Appeals. The ethics form doesn’t require her to list her salary but the Ohio Treasurer says she earned $145,550 on the appellate court. 

4. She listed five travel expenses last year in association with her duties as a judge. She isn’t required to list who paid for the travel. She received $1,650.74 for travel associated with the Mahoning County auditor, $1,149.45 for an event associated with the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence, $1,134.35 for an event associated with legal think tank the Pound Civil Justice Institute, $744.72 for the Ohio Judicial Conference and $356.67 for an event associated with the Ohio Supreme Court. 

5. At some point in 2017, she owed over $1,000 each to USAA, JP Morgan Chase and the Department of Education. She didn’t specify whether it was the U.S. or Ohio education department.

Birthdays

Friday 8/3: Sen. Bob Hackett

Sunday 8/5: Sen. Peggy Lehner

Straight From The Source

“This is probably going to be ... the most pro-black president I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

- Cleveland-area pastor Darrell Scott, speaking about President Donald Trump at a White House gathering of faith leaders.

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.

AP RADIO
Update hourly