Ohio casino revenue not measuring up

Many of us supported the casinos in Ohio, but it’s important to acknowledge that all of the revenue projections used to sell the casino measure to Ohio voters are not being met. Basically, around $1.9 billion per year was projected, while the governor’s new budget has revenues at just around $1.0 billion.

One factor is that the Cleveland casino, which is doing very well, was projected to be much bigger. There will be a phase II, however, so that could definitely help the numbers.

Does Josh Mandel have a future in Ohio politics?

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.

Will Romney’s dishonest Jeep ads backfire?

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.

It all comes down to Ohio

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.

Ohio unemployment rate is at 7%

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.