Disputes between lawmakers and Tea Party zealots is leading to a potential split within the Ohio GOP. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as these types of fights are going on all over the country between true believers and more pragmatic Republicans who would like to win another presidential election some day, but recent events have made the battle particularly intense here in Ohio.
But as Republicans look to take back the White House in 2016, the Buckeye State does not appear to be cooperating. Instead, Republicans in Ohio have slipped into an all out civil war, with a Tea Party faction threatening to break away from the GOP machinery.
Their complaints? A Republican senator, Rob Portman, after campaigning last year on his support for marriage being defined as between a man and a woman, abruptly reversed course once his son came out as gay. A Republican governor, John Kasich, pushed to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, despite remaining a vocal supporter of repealing the entire bill. An executive director of the Ohio Republican Party, elected after a bitter intraparty dispute, once worked as a lobbyist for Equality Ohio, a gay-rights group formed after the state voted to outlaw same-sex marriage. And never mind that House Speaker John Boehner, long a scourge of Tea Party types, is also an Ohioan, representing a southwest slice of the state.
It remains to be seen just how far the Tea Party types will go and whether this can hurt Kasich in 2014, but the signs right now point to some serious trouble.
Still, the GOP needs to wake up and start catering to the majority rather than the lunatic fringe, so this is a battle that needs to be fought.
This is pretty big news on the national level, as many GP governors have resisted the Medicaid funds. John Kasich will be running for re-election soon, so it’s not too surprising that he went in this direction.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Monday that he will accept the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, becoming the fifth Republican governor to embrace the provision of the health care reform law that the Supreme Court made optional.
The governor unveiled the decision as part of his budget proposal.
“We are going to extend Medicaid for the working poor and for those who are jobless trying to find work,” Kasich said at a press conference in Columbus. “It makes great sense for the state of Ohio because it will allow us to provide greater care with our own dollars.”
This makes sense, and only those politicians who are obsessed with partisan politics are resisting these dollars.
Brent Larkin asks the tough questions in the wake of Josh Mandel’s loss to Sherrod Brown despite million of outside campaign money spent on his behalf.
In 40 years of paying attention to these things, I have never seen a candidate as universally vilified in the mainstream media. By constantly running afoul of campaign fact-checkers, Mandel did immeasurable harm to his image.
Mandel inability to answer simple questions was epic.
The Mitt Romney campaign is arguing that they will win Ohio despite the polls, but it’s hard to believe them given the desperate Jeep ads Romney has been running. The Toledo Blade is one of many news organizations slamming the ads, and they offered up a scathing editorial.
In the final few days of the presidential contest, Mitt Romney evidently recognizes that his opposition to the federal rescue of General Motors and Chrysler is costing him voter support he needs in Ohio and Michigan. So the Republican nominee is conducting an exercise in deception about auto-industry issues that is remarkable even by the standards of his campaign.
At an appearance last week in Defiance, Mr. Romney announced that “Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China.” That assertion was based on an ambiguously worded news report.
Chrysler, which owns Jeep and in which the Italian automaker Fiat has a majority stake, quickly denied the report. A company spokesman said Mr. Romney’s rhetorical leap “would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.” But the Romney campaign launched an ad in Ohio that claimed that President Obama, who presided over the auto bailout, “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.”
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne removed all doubt about his company’s intentions this week in an email to employees: “Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” he said. “Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”
The ads seem to be backfiring. Voters in Ohio aren’t stupid. They follow the auto industry and they know a lie when they hear one.
The presidential race is super close. Mitt Romney was gaining, but then President Obama had two very good debates performances. The clip above from the foreign policy debate got a ton of play as Obama hit Romney hard for his silly comments about the size of the Navy.
Of course, Ohio is the ultimate swing state again, and Obama is holding on to a small but stable lead. If that happens, there’s almost no way Romney can win.
The economy is doing much better in Ohio as compared to the rest of the nation, as unemployment is substantially lower at 7%. This is the result of many factors, but the success of the auto bailout is definitely one of the reasons, and that is helping President Obama’s campaign in this important state. But another important factor has to do with fracking, as natural gas drilling is booming in Ohio, and that’s driving a ton of economic activity in industries like steel.
This economic activity and the resurgence of manufacturing is also creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, as more jobs lead to a great need for more services. So all sorts of small businesses can thrive if the manufacturing and fracking boom continues. Bars, restaurants, suppliers, drycleaners – the possibilities are endless. There are many factors, however, to consider. Think about location, as not every part of the state is thriving. There are opportunities in older areas of course, but the approach is much different in those areas. In thriving areas you’ll pay more for rent, but in a growing community this is worth it if you have the startup capital. Also, make sure you have an intelligent marketing strategy. Should you be using social media? Should you be printing your marketing materials, and should you be browsing options like brochure printing to save money? Are TV and radio an option? Many entrepreneurs don’t think through their marketing budgets in advance, so don’t make that mistake.
The key is that these are exciting times in Ohio. Hopefully the trends continue.
There’s no way Mitt Romney can win the presidential election without winning Ohio, and the auto bailout is making it very difficult for him in Ohio.
Democratic strategists and independent political observers credit Obama’s advantage to his support for the auto bailout and strategy of appealing to blue-collar workers. They also note that Ohio’s 7.2 percent unemployment rate is a full percentage point lower than the national average.
“Romney is going to have to do something very unusual to take Ohio away from the president,” said Jim Friedman, a Cleveland lawyer whose involvement with the state’s Democratic Party has spanned several decades.
Obama “is not doing great in Ohio, but he’s doing well enough,” said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, who helped conduct the latest poll. “Obviously these numbers are good for him, and if the president wins this state, he’s going to get reelected.”
The auto bailout is perhaps Obama’s trump card in Ohio.
Friedman argued Obama’s support and Romney’s opposition to the bailout are resonating in Ohio, where the car industry “is both historically and psychologically important.”
Romney is trying to fight back, as he just launched a new ad showing a dealer who lost his dealership as a result of the bailout. But this is pure desperation, as that dealership would have gone under with Romney as president as well, since Romney opposed the auto bailout or any help for the industry in the middle of the financial crisis.
The new Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland has gotten off to a very successful start, as local players are flocking to the casino. There are many reports of tables being full most hours during the day as people have to wait to play. In the poker room, they aren’t hosting tournaments as the room is so full with players wanting to play the cash games. There aren’t many novices when it comes to poker rules and casino etiquette as many of these players have played in the regional casinos.
Apparently it’s not just locals jamming into the new casino. One of the selling points to Ohio residents when they finally approved the casino was that so much money was leaving the state to the region’s casinos in Detroit and Pittsburgh. Now that may be reversing, as reports are out that regional casinos are seeing a drop in business after the opening of the Cleveland casino. The numbers for June during the first full month after Ohio casinos opened in Cleveland and Toledo are down 9.4% from April for the eight casinos in Detroit, western Pennsylvania and along the Ohio River in northern West Virginia.
The Cleveland casino is beautiful and located in downtown Cleveland near other attractions like Progressive Field, so it’s no surprise that they are winning some business. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run.
Gerrymandering is one of the biggest problems we have in modern politics, and in Ohio, the past round produced some truly ridiculous outcomes.
Thus, a group called Voters First has gotten enough signatures for a ballot initiative in Ohio to reform the process. The group is backed by Democrats but the notion of redistricting reform also has support from some Republicans, even if they don’t back this effort.
The Voters First proposal would create a 12-member bipartisan citizens commission to draw the congressional and legislative maps every 10 years using criteria such as keeping communities whole, promoting competitiveness and compactness and having the districts lean toward how voters in that area actually vote.
If approved, the commission’s newly drawn maps would become effective in 2014.
Republican lawmakers were heavily criticized for drawing some unusually shaped and meandering districts intended to favor GOP candidates.
Under the Voters First amendment, most citizens — aside from politicians, their family members or donors — would be allowed to apply for the commission. A panel of appeals court judges would whittle that list down to 42 commission candidates.
The House speaker and House minority leader then would each eliminate nine more names. Of the remaining 24 names, nine would be randomly selected for the commission. Those nine selected would then pick the remaining three.
Personally, I think the idea of open primaries, one primary for Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. with the top two in a runoff, is also a great idea. But this one is also intriguing.