Brown touts record to local business leaders

Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 @ 8:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 @ 8:00 PM

Complete coverage

The U.S. Senate race in Ohio is one of the most expensive in the nation and key to which party controls the Senate. We’re following this race closely and covering both sides. Here’s a look at some of our coverage:

* On Sept. 11, Republican candidate Josh Mandel addressed the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and we had full coverage in last Wednesday’s paper.

* On Sept. 30: We will have profiles of both Josh Mandel and Sherrod Brown in the newspaper.

* In October: Brown and Mandel will have three debates and we will cover all of them. The debates are Oct. 15, 18, 25. Our Columbus Bureau reporter Laura A. Bischoff will be one of the journalists questioning the candidates on Oct. 18.

* Online: Last month, we took an in-depth look at where Brown and Mandel stand on issues such as the debt and health care. Read those stories at

Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown discussed manufacturing, health care and the federal budget Tuesday, as he addressed the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce seven weeks before the November election.

Brown, finishing his first Senate term after 14 years in the U.S. House, is running against Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who addressed the Dayton Chamber last week. Most recent polls show Brown with a single-digit lead.

Brown said America needs a cohesive manufacturing strategy, including better workforce training, after losing 5 million manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010.

“Since early 2010, we’ve gained about 500,000 manufacturing jobs nationally – nothing like the 5 million we lost – but it was the first time … we had job growth in manufacturing since something like 1999,” Brown said.

Brown repeatedly pointed out Ohio companies and Miami Valley business leaders he has worked with. He pointed to his efforts to help expand the Ohio supply chain for Airbus, and spotlighted his continuing fight against China’s trade policies, listing Harco Manufacturing Group of Moraine as a local business that is hurt by currency manipulation.

During a question-and-answer session, two business owners quizzed him on his support for health care reform, with one of them blaming the Affordable Care Act for a recent surge in health care costs for his company. Brown said he was proud to have voted for the bill.

“Costs (to employers and employees) are not going up as sharply, partly because of this health care law,” Brown said after Tuesday’s event.

Brown called the federal sequestration budget process “a bipartisan creation of Congress.”

“I can’t imagine we can deal with sequestration without some defense cuts, some non-defense discretionary cuts, some work on Medicare … something about Medicaid and something with taxes,” Brown said. “I can’t imagine that we won’t do all of the above. Because you can’t get to the numbers you’ve gotta get just by cutting Head Start, just cutting National Institutes of Health and EPA enforcement.”

Travis Considine, spokesman for Mandel’s campaign, said Mandel “supports a budget that protects defense from sequestration by switching the scheduled cuts to non-defense discretionary spending this year and going forward.” He also argued that the health care bill Brown supported would kill Ohio jobs and said 66 percent of Ohio voters “symbolically rejected” health care reform when they voted for a 2011 state issue on freedom to choose health care coverage.

Ohio set to resume executions tomorrow, child killer awaits appeals

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 3:46 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

Ronald Phillips
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction
Ronald Phillips(Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction)

Ohio is moving toward carrying out its first execution in more than three years.

The last time that happened was January 2014 when a condemned inmate repeatedly gasped and snorted during a 26-minute procedure with a never-before-tried drug combo.

Executions have been on hold since because the state had trouble finding new supplies of drugs, and death row inmates challenged Ohio’s plans for a new three-drug execution method.

A look at the case of death row inmate Ronald Phillips who is awaiting decisions on his final appeals ahead of his scheduled execution Wednesday:


Phillips stayed behind at his girlfriend’s Akron apartment with her two young daughters while she took her son to the doctor in January 1993. When she got back, her 3-year-old was motionless on a bed. The toddler, Sheila Marie Evans, died hours later at a hospital.

RELATED: Gov. Kasich delays 9 executions in Ohio

The little girl had bruises all over her body, an autopsy found, and had been beaten on the head, face, lower torso, arms, legs and genitalia.

Phillips, then 19, first denied hurting the girl but then told a police detective he threw the girl against a wall and beat her after she didn’t come to breakfast, a parole board document said. He also admitted to raping the girl that morning and two previous times, the document said.

He was convicted and sentenced to death later that year.



Phillips has had several delays to scheduled executions, most notably in 2013 when he made a last-minute plea to donate his organs.

He wanted to give a kidney to his mother, who was on dialysis, and possibly his heart to his sister. His request was denied and his mother has since died.



Phillips went up before the Ohio Parole Board in 2013 to ask for clemency but they rejected him, calling the killing “among the worst of the worst.”

RELATED: Ohio man kills himself on death row

“Words cannot convey the barbarity of the crime. It is simply unconscionable,” the board said.

They also noted that in his first interviews with police that Phillips tried to shift blame onto the girl’s mother.

The parole board last year voted against mercy again, rejecting arguments that Phillips had a terrible childhood and that there were legal mistakes at his trial.



Phillips still has two appeals pending.

Last week, he asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay based on his age at the time of the killing. He was 19 — older than the Supreme Court’s cutoff of 18 for purposes of barring executions of juveniles — and argues the cutoff age should be 21.

He also wants a delay based on an execution method he and other inmates have challenged. Phillips’ attorneys say they need time to appeal a lower court decision allowing Ohio to use the new method.

Would having Sherrod Brown as VP have won Clinton the election?

Published: Monday, July 24, 2017 @ 12:20 PM
Updated: Monday, July 24, 2017 @ 12:23 PM

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on June 13, 2016 in Cleveland.(Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on June 13, 2016 in Cleveland.(Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown was on the shortlist to run with Hillary Clinton in 2016 and he thinks he would have helped the ticket win the key states that cost her the election.

RELATED: For Democrats, Brown is key voice in President Trump era

In an interview with The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, Brown said he may have had an impact in the Midwest states that made the difference in the Electoral College.

Clinton ended up running with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who may have helped the ticket hold the state of Virginia. However, four key states changed to Republican - Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

RELATED: Sherrod Brown says he doesn’t want to be VP

Sherrod Brown thinks he could have helped Democrats win in 2016. But what about 2020? - The Washington Post                                                   

“I don’t pretend that my being on the ticket would have made her win. I don’t know. I mean, if I had gone to Wisconsin and Michigan a lot, anything would have changed those two states,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “My wife thinks we would have won. She thinks we would have won Ohio.”

The article says that Brown and his wife, Connie Schultz, were questioned for three hours as Clinton was considering running mates last year.

“By the end, I really wanted it ” Brown said. “Because that’s human nature.”

Brown said he would have campaigned heavily in the Midwest and focused on Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio - all states Barack Obama won in 2012 that Donald Trump won in 2016.

The article also says that Clinton chose Brown as her running mate, but changed her mind because Ohio Gov. John Kasich would have been allowed to choose Brown’s Senate replacement. A move that likely would have given up the Democratic seat to a Republican.

Review of $9B in Ohio tax breaks launched under pressure

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 4:34 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 4:36 PM

            Review of $9B in Ohio tax breaks launched under pressure
Review of $9B in Ohio tax breaks launched under pressure

State legislative leaders acted under pressure recently to launch a panel of their own making that’s supposed to investigate the $9 billion-plus in tax credits, deductions and exemptions Ohio doles out each year.

Senate President Larry Obhof named his appointees Tuesday to the Tax Expenditure Review Committee lawmakers, and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger named his Wednesday, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

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Both Republicans had blown past deadlines for naming the panel’s members and getting its work started; the first meeting was supposed to happen by June 19.

Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal think tank in Cleveland, brought their oversight to light. The group’s research director issued a release Monday spotlighting the delay.

“It’s past time for the General Assembly to get serious about limiting or eliminating unneeded tax breaks,” said Zach Schiller, the group’s research director. “A first step is for legislative leaders to name members to the committee and for it to start work.”

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Schiller’s announcement was followed up by media inquiries into the matter, the newspaper reported, and soon thereafter the appointments were made.

The committee was created under legislation approved unanimously in December. Its charge is to review state tax expenditures to determine, at least once every eight years, whether they are meeting policy objectives and how they affect economic development. The committee now has 11 months to produce its first report.

The panel was intended to study the expenditures outside the state budget process, but Rosenberger’s spokesman said writing the two-year spending blueprint took priority over the past six months.

“This was a challenging budget cycle,” he said. “Where all areas of the state’s tax structure would be a significant part of any budget cycle, it was especially true this year.”

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Besides Policy Matters Ohio, the Center for Community Solutions and the Ohio Society of CPAs also have advocated a tax expenditure examination. From 2016 to 2019, it’s estimated that Ohio’s income tax expenditures will grow nearly 22 percent to $2.4 billion.

Two-thirds of the state’s tax expenditures are in the sales tax, and Republican Gov. John Kasich has tried more than once to expand the sales tax onto exempted products and services, such as lobbying. The GOP-led Legislature has rejected those efforts.

Some of the biggest sales tax exemptions include sales to churches and certain nonprofits, property used in manufacturing, prescription drugs and equipment purchased by electricity providers, farmers and mining companies, the Dispatch reported.

Those appointed to the tax committee are: Sens. John Eklund, R-Chardon, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Scott Oelslager, R-Canton, chairman of the Finance Committee and Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, the longest-serving Senate Democrat; and Reps. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, a CPA and vice-chairman of Ways and Means, and John Rogers, D-Mentor-on-the-Lake, top-ranking Democrat on Ways and Means.

Lawmakers: Medicaid should cover pediatric drug addiction services

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 12:04 PM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

            Lawmakers: Medicaid should cover pediatric drug addiction services. Photo by Chris Stewart
Lawmakers: Medicaid should cover pediatric drug addiction services. Photo by Chris Stewart

Ohio’s two senators are introducing a bill aimed at helping newborns born addicted recover in a supportive setting.

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rob Portman, R-Ohio along with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. and Angus King, I-Maine, have reintroduced a bill that would recognize allow Medicaid to cover pediatric drug addiction recovery services in both hospitals and residential pediatric recovery facilities.

SPECIAL PROJECT: Addicted at birth

The bill - which costs taxpayers nothing - would allow babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome - or withdrawal - to receive quality care in residential facilities. The syndrome is a withdrawal condition often caused by use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women.

In the House, Reps. Tim Ryan, Niles, Mike Turner, R-Dayton and Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., have introduced a companion bill.

Among the facilities currently treating babies born with withdrawal is Brigid’s Path, in Dayton.

Traditionally, babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome have been treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, where treatment costs are more than five times the cost of treating other newborns. The lawmakers say that the NICU - with its bright lights and loud noises - is not the ideal place for babies suffering from withdrawal. Residential pediatric recovery facilities, they argue, offer an alternative more conducive to treating newborns with the syndrome.

Portman said the Ohio Department of Health estimates roughly 84 babies are being treated for drug withdrawal in Ohio hospitals every day.

RELATED: More help aimed at helping babies, mothers

“We must ensure that Ohio moms and babies have access to residential treatment facilities that specialize in giving them the specific kind of care they need and at a lower cost to taxpayers,” said Brown.

In 2015, the Ohio Department of Health released data that there had been 2,174 hospital admissions for neonatal abstinence syndrome, and reported that an average of 84 infants were being treated for drug withdrawal by Ohio hospitals every day.