Posts by: D.C. DeWitt

In this new feature, every Monday morning, we will do a round-up of some of the biggest political stories on the front pages of papers around Ohio. This will be coupled with a Finally Friday feature, where we will take a look back at the week that was.

Will public-employee pensions be the next to face cuts?

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Public-employee pension funds are big business in Ohio, providing a safety net for 1.75 million people. There’s a lot riding on them.

Collectively, Ohio’s five public pension funds have $192 billion in assets and last year paid out […]

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A report in The Hill Thursday indicated that Ohio’s junior U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has indicated to his colleagues he will support a seven-year phase out of the Medicaid expansion that has brought health insurance to 682,000 Ohioans who could not previously afford it under the Affordable Care Act.

From The Hill:

(U.S.) Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, a key GOP senator on healthcare who is up for reelection next year, said Thursday that he supports a seven-year phase-out of funding for ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid.

“I support seven, I support seven,” Heller told reporters […]

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Husted v. Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, which challenged Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s purging of lawfully registered voters from the rolls.

The case was filed in April 2016, in opposition to Husted’s decision to purge hundreds of thousands of lawfully registered voters from the rolls in Ohio, the swingingest of swing states, during a critical election year.

Some background from Sabrina Eaton at Cleveland.com:

An appeals court ruled in September that the state’s way of weeding out ineligible voters violates the National Voting Rights […]

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What does Vice President Mike Pence and the rest of the Trump Administration require to start prioritizing the needs of the American people over more guns and bombs? Do people need to be dying of starvation in the streets – I mean, more than they already are? What is the point of all this violent madness?

From the Dayton Daily News:

Vice President Mike Pence vowed the Trump administration would “rebuild the military” and seek the biggest increases in defense spending since the Reagan era…

Pence cited a $21 billion boost in military spending President Donald Trump […]

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Ohio’s move to expand Medicaid has been a critical factor in helping local efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness, according to a new report released today by the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio’s (COHHIO).

The COHHIO report found that Medicaid covered only 36 percent of single adults accessing homeless services in 2013 in 83 of Ohio’s 88 counties. By 2016, two years after the state expanded Medicaid eligibility to adults with no dependent children, that percentage had increased to 80.2 percent.

Increased Medicaid coverage coincided with a significant decrease in the rate of homelessness in Ohio. […]

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President Donald Trump promised over and over he would not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. He even boldly told the conservative Heritage Foundation, “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

President Trump, as a candidate, mocked fellow Republican primary candidate Mike Huckabee for echoing his promise not to cut these programs. “I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid,” he tweeted. “Huckabee copied me.”

This past Thursday, President Trump held a party […]

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ATHENS – Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space didn’t go full Bulworth last week speaking to Athens County Democrats, but he did deliver one of the most candid assessments of the major threats facing American democracy I’ve seen in a public speech.

The two biggest threats to democracy, Space said, are gerrymandered U.S. congressional districts and the undue influence of campaign donations and moneyed interests.

He said that these things have combined to undermine citizens’ faith in the institutions and systems behind the American constitutional republic.

“People have lost faith. They have lost faith in the Democratic Party. They have lost […]

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Author J.D. Vance has made the most of his memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” and it’s tale of his family’s struggle in Appalachian Kentucky and Ohio.

Most recently, Vance was the keynote speaker at the Lucas County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner.

From the Toledo Blade:

Mr. Vance urged the Republican Party to promote policies that will restore upward mobility to the working class.

“Stories like mine are less and less common today. The prospects of a kid growing up at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder and rising to the top is less and less frequent,” Mr. Vance […]

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ATHENS – The timing couldn’t have been worse. A group of open-carry advocates came to Athens last weekend to exercise their rights by sauntering around uptown with firearms slung over their shoulders and strapped to their hips.

OK. So it goes. This is well within the law. If somebody wants to play at Wyatt Earp and walk around with six-shooters on each hip for all the world to see, well, he can.

Personally, I think it’d be fun to do so with bandoliers criss-crossing the chest, Pancho Villa-style, the absurdity of the action thus nicely highlighted.

But here’s the thing: These open-carry […]

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As Ohio Gov. John Kasich greases up for a one-hour CNN Town Hall event at 10 p.m. next Monday evening, I think of Dr. Israel Shahak, to whom we shall return momentarily.

Kasich is out to promote his new book, “Two Paths, America Divided or United.”

From Cleveland.com:

In addition to talking about the book, Kasich intends to give his take on primary rival Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president, offer his reflections on the presidential campaign, and discuss his hopes for the future, the CNN release stated.

Kasich has repeatedly waved off suggestions about running for president in […]

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ATHENS – What’s it like to spend eight years in close company with the President of the United States, in the Oval Office, in the Situation Room, on helicopters in the dead of night secretly flying in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Pete Souza provided exactly that insight during his first public speech about his work since serving as the chief White House photographer during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office.

Souza spoke Tuesday afternoon at Ohio University’s Schuneman Symposium for Photojournalism & News Media. The Baker Center Theater was so full for his talk that organizers set […]

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