Miami U. grad picked as Romney's running mate

Published: Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 8:17 AM
Updated: Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 6:21 PM


            House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. introduces Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before Romney spoke at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, in this April 3, 2012 file photo. Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, according to a Republican with knowledge of the development. They will appear together Saturday Aug. 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Va., at the start of a four-state bus tour to introduce the newly minted GOP ticket to the nation.

Mitt Romney’s decision to select Republican congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate is a bold stroke designed to convince skeptical conservatives that as president he will crusade for lower taxes and curbing federal spending.

Analysts acknowledge that Romney’s choice Saturday could prod voters to focus on the federal deficit and the sluggish economy as opposed to Romney’s career with a Boston investment firm.

But some GOP officials privately fear that the Republican ticket could hurt itself in the crucial state of Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, by emphasizing restraints on the rapidly growing entitlement programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Ryan, a Wisconsin lawmaker who chairs the House budget committee, has pressed for a sweeping overhaul of Medicare’s current fee-for-service plan into a system in which the federal government would subsidize private insurance plans so seniors could buy their own policies. Although Ryan has stressed his Medicare plan would not into effect for a decade, it could prove toxic with many seniors.

In addition, even though Ryan graduated from Miami University in Oxford, many Republicans were convinced that Sen. Rob Portman had a better chance than Ryan to tip Ohio toward Romney.

“It was a bold choice and it will virtually guarantee that the issues of the role of the government and fiscal responsibility will be a top priority in the general election,’’ said David Walker, former comptroller of the United States and founder of Comeback America Initiative, a nonpartisan organization that champions lower deficits.

“It increases the likelihood that the debates will be more substantive and the American people will be provided with a real choice,’’ Walker said. “And whoever wins the election will be able to claim they have a mandate for action.’’

But even as many Republicans praised Ryan as smart and possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of the federal budget, they know that Obama and Democrats will hammer the GOP ticket on the type of Medicare changes that Ryan has championed as chairman of the House budget committee.

“Paul Ryan is a great guy,’’ said Barry Bennett, a Republican consultant in Washington with close ties to Portman. “My heart’s 100 percent with Paul Ryan.’’

“But my head says we need to talk about how people are hurting (economically), not how to end Medicare. I just hope it doesn’t turn into a debate on how much to cut entitlement programs. If it does, we’re going to lose.’’

Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said that by picking Ryan, Romney’s “chances have been irreparably harmed in Florida. The majority of Floridians understand the importance of Social Security and Medicare.’’

As he introduced Ryan to an enthusiastic rally in Virginia on Saturday, Romney praised Ryan as “an intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt – and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t change course.”

Neither Romney nor Ryan has much international experience.

“Who would have thought that only a decade after 9/11, the Republicans would have so little foreign policy experience on the Presidential ticket?” asked University of Dayton political science lecturer Dan Birdsong. “This underscores a simple ‘truth’ about presidential elections: domestic policy trumps foreign policy.”

Ryan signaled an aggressive course when he said that Obama and many others in Washington “have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We’re in a different, and dangerous, moment. We’re running out of time — and we can’t afford four more years of this.’’

Yet Romney appears to understand the potential danger with Ryan’s Medicare plans. The Romney campaign has advised its surrogate speakers that are differences between Romney and Ryan on some of the major issues, including Medicare revisions and reforming entitlements.

Federal spending on Medicare, which pays for health coverage for seniors, is projected to nearly double from $560 billion this year to $1 trillion in 2022. By 2022, Washington will spend almost as much on the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as it spends today for the entire federal budget.

Without restraining the growth of the entitlement programs, the only way the government can eventually balance the budget is through either large tax increases on all Americans or politically unpopular reductions in spending for national defense and domestic programs.

While the Ryan choice will thrill economic conservatives, particularly those who write for the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Weekly Standard, many analysts doubt whether he can broaden the appeal of the ticket to the handful of swing voters in a dozen states who will decide the election.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,’’ said one political strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity. “You don’t win elections with your base vote and this guy doesn’t get you anything beyond the base. What’s the No.1 rule? Don’t pick anybody who can hurt you? Do you think swing voters in Ohio are going to like this guy’s message?’’

Naturally, local Democrats and Republicans had different opinions on how Ryan would affect the local vote. Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Rob Scott said having Ryan on the ticket will make his job easier because so many voters are looking for a real plan with specifics.

“There’s been a huge push for good fiscal management in our government, from Washington D.C. to Columbus to here locally,” Scott said. “And Congressman Ryan’s plan speaks directly to that.”

But county Democratic Chairman Mark Owens said he was looking forward to spelling out pieces of Ryan’s plan to voters, saying it would help the Obama campaign.

“Raising the tax burden on the middle class, cutting education through Head Start programs and Pell Grants that allow middle income families to go to college, all that’s going to have an effect on everybody in the Miami Valley,” Owens said.

Ryan, who was born, raised and still lives in Janesville, Wis., has an interesting parallel to the Miami Valley in the auto industry. General Motors closed its Janesville Assembly plant on Dec. 23, 2008, the same day as GM’s Moraine Assembly plant closed here. Janesville made trucks and SUVs, as did the Moraine plant.

Ryan voted in favor of the auto industry bailout, but later explained to The Daily Caller newspaper that he was told the industry was going to get government money no matter what, and he voted for what he thought was the better of two options.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich hailed the choice of Ryan, saying “he’s got a keen intellect and the kind of courage to think big on solutions that America needs from its leaders. That he’s a graduate of one of Ohio’s great universities – Miami University – doesn’t hurt either.’’

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, said that “the selection of Paul Ryan shows that we are serious about putting this country back on the path to prosperity. Unfortunately, the President has failed to offer a plan to put Ohioans back to work or to end the largest federal deficits since World War II. Governor Romney has a plan, and our country is in desperate need of leadership.”

Asked how Ryan was different from other possible Romney running mates, Turner said Ryan is “young, dynamic, intelligent, well-studied and very well-spoken.” He said the fact that Ryan has been overwhelmingly re-elected six times in an otherwise Democratic district is proof that he can appeal across party lines.

Romney will be back in Ohio on Tuesday as part of a four-state bus tour. He will stop in Chillicothe and eastern Ohio, but the campaign has not yet said whether Ryan will be with him.

Coroner called to scene of fatal crash in Sidney

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:30 PM

UPDATE @ 1:02 a.m.

One person is dead following a crash in Sidney Saturday night, according to a release from Sidney police. 

Police and medics were sent to the 900 block of West Court Street after two cars collided at the intersection of Royan Avenue and West Court Street. 

According to the release, multiple people were is both cars and all have been taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital. 

The coroner has been contacted for one person dead at the scene, according to police. 

Crews remain in the area and a traffic reconstructionist is currently investigating.

EARLIER REPORT (June 24)

Crews were called tonight to a report of a serious injury crash in Sidney.

The two-vehicle crash was reported around 11:15 p.m. in the 900 block of West Court Street.

According to initial reports, there were multiple injuries with CPR performed on one person. A crash reconstructionist was called to the scene.

We’re working to learn the severity of injuries, and what led to the crash.

Texas mother left children in hot car to teach them 'lesson,' police say

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 7:53 PM

Cynthia Maria Randolph. (Photo: Parker County Sheriff's Office)

A woman from Parker County, Texas, who previously claimed the deaths of her two young children in a hot car in May as an accident, admitted that she left them in the vehicle to teach them “a lesson,” police said.

Cynthia Marie Randolph, 25, told “several variations of the events” during police interviews, and later said she broke the car window to make it look like an accident according to WFAA.

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What really happened on May 26, police said, is that Randolph’s 2-year-old daughter refused to get out of the car. The mother responded by shutting the door to teach her “a lesson,” assuming “she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.”

Randolph proceeded to go inside the house where she smoked marijuana then fell asleep for two or three hours.

Randolph initially told authorities she was folding laundry and watching TV and realized within an hour that her kids were “gone.” She said they took off. She found them in the car, where they had locked themselves inside. She broke the car window in an attempt to save them, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

Randolph is being held without bail.

VIDEO: Cruiser rolls away from Miami County deputy during traffic stop

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:04 PM

An iWitness7 viewer shared a video taken around 11 a.m. Saturday near Troy.

The video shot by Brenden Besecker shows the cruiser of a Miami County Sheriff’s deputy rolling away during a traffic stop on Ohio 718 in Concord Twp. The cruiser traveled backward on the state route and into the intersection with South Dorset Road.

The deputy made a quick run and was able to hop into the moving vehicle and stop the cruiser before it hit anyone or anything.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office said they were aware of the incident, but we’re still working to learn the deputy’s name and whether he will face any disciplinary action.

Grieving father buries wrong man after coroner error 

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:55 PM

A California dad got a call on May 6 that no parent ever wants to receive: it was news that his son had passed away. The problem is that just wasn’t the case.

Frank Kerrigan, 82, got a phone call that day from the Orange County coroner saying that his 57-year-old son, also named Frank, had died next to a Verizon store in Fountain Valley.

Kerrigan told the Orange County Register that authorities said his son was identified through fingerprints and that he died from an enlarged heart and fluid in his lungs. The father also said that he only saw the body days before a $20,000 funeral ceremony and burial and that between his grief and what he’d been told by authorities that he believed he was really looking at his son.

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 “I took a little look and touched his hair. I didn’t know what my dead son was going to look like,” he said. “When somebody tells me my son is dead, when they have fingerprints, I believe them.”

Kerrigan said that he asked if he had to go down to the coroner’s office to identify his son, but was told that fingerprints had already confirmed who he was.

“If he wasn’t identified by fingerprints I would been there [to identify him] in a heartbeat,” he added.

Six days after getting that call, a funeral and a burial took place for someone who wasn’t actually Kerrigan’s son, a fact that he would learn on another phone 17 days after the whole ordeal began.

A family friend named Bill Shinker, who was a pallbearer at the funeral, called up Kerrigan on May 23 and revealed that Frank Kerrigan the younger was alive.

“Bill put my son on the phone,” Kerrigan said. “He said, ‘Hi Dad.’”

The Kerrigan family is demanding answers as to how this egregious error occurred and they retained legal representation. Attorneys from Easton & Easton, LLP are filing a claim on behalf of the family due to the coroner’s negligence with the allegation attached that the younger Kerrigan was treated differently because he is homeless and mentally ill.

“The people that we put in place to handle things, when they make these kind of mistakes, they have to be held accountable,” W. Douglas Easton said.

Frank Kerrigan’s sister Carol Meikle believes her brother was treated differently because he’s homeless.

“He was not given the dignity and the due-diligence in the process that a normal citizen of Orange County would get,” she said. “We lived through our worst fear. He was dead on the sidewalk. We buried him. Those feelings don’t go away.”

KABC reported that the coroner has not responded for comment The coroner would not comment and the county has six months to respond to the claim.