Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gov. John Kasich embraces turnpike politics -- and Cleveland Democrats -- in race against Ed FitzGerald: Analysis

Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn’t need an empty chair Monday to channel Clint Eastwood.

Eastwood hammily used the prop to spar with an invisible President Barack Obama at last summer’s Republican National Convention. Kasich was a bit subtler while shadowboxing with Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat challenging his re-election in 2014.

Kasich, a Republican, had traveled to Cleveland – the heart of the Cuyahoga County executive’s political base – to announce fast-tracked funding for Opportunity Corridor. The long-awaited boulevard will link Interstate 490 with University Circle.

The announcement was well-orchestrated to the point where FitzGerald was not invited and where there were more of his fellow Democrats on hand to sing Kasich’s praises than there were Republicans. And unquestionably it was a preview of next year’s campaign.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

With Richard Cordray's future now set, Ed FitzGerald controls his own destiny in Ohio governor's race: Analysis

Richard Cordray’s confirmation as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opens a new phase in Ed FitzGerald’s campaign for governor of Ohio.

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, is the only Democrat to launch a challenge to Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich. But Cordray had always been the wild card.

As long as the Senate Republicans kept his Washington future in limbo, there always would be Democratic activists and donors who preferred to wait. Even with FitzGerald’s head start, these holdouts argued, there was plenty of time for Cordray to lose his confirmation battle, return home and give the party a higher-profile candidate.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rachel Maddow says Ohio budget includes requirement for transvaginal ultrasound: PolitiFact Ohio

Ohio budget item later signed into law by Gov. John Kasich requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a "mandatory vaginal probe."

-- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

Ohio’s new operating budget calls for $62 billion in spending over two years and several abortion restrictions, including one that requires patients seeking one to first undergo an ultrasound.
And while Democrats are plenty upset about the economics of the plan that Republican Gov. John Kasich ratified on June 30, they sense a political opening on the women’s issues.

Viewers of MSNBC’s "The Rachel Maddow Show" recently got a preview of the heated rhetoric that will typify this debate over the next 16 months as Kasich seeks a second term. Maddow, the cable news program’s liberal host, noted on her June 28 broadcast the anti-abortion measures the GOP-controlled General Assembly had added to the budget, which Kasich had yet to sign.

In interpreting some of the budget’s more-ambiguous abortion language, Maddow contended that the new regulations included a "mandatory vaginal probe at the insistence of the state."

Maddow was referring to a new requirement that women seeking abortions first receive ultrasounds to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present. Her provocative words quickly went viral and sent PolitiFact Ohio in search of a full copy of the massive state budget.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Nina Turner announces bid for Ohio secretary of state; Democrat hopes to unseat Jon Husted

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- State Sen. Nina Turner has spent months wooing Democratic activists at chicken dinners and raising her profile on national cable news.

Now Turner is prepared to take her message directly to Ohio voters.

On Monday the Cleveland lawmaker declared herself a candidate for secretary of state. Barring the unlikelihood of a successful primary challenge next spring, Turner will face Republican incumbent Jon Husted in the November 2014 election.

"I am running for secretary of state because I believe Ohio needs to be the gold standard for elections," Turner said during an event at the Harvard Community Services Center, which sits in her southeast side neighborhood.

"I believe everyone that should have fair access to the ballot," added Turner, 45. "And I believe that we should expand the franchise, not try to depress it."

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