Luckie, prosecutor confirm investigation; 2 Democrats say he won't seek re-election

Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 7:27 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 7:27 PM

State Rep. Clayton Luckie and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien both issued statements Thursday confirming that the Dayton Democrat is under investigation but not for bribery. But the statements didn’t answer questions about what charges, if any, Luckie may face.

Earlier this year, O’Brien brought a criminal case against Columbus-area state lawmaker W. Carlton Weddington that led to Weddington resigning, cooperating with authorities and pleading guilty to bribery and other charges.

Luckie said in a written statement: “I assure my constituents that I have not been involved in any of that conduct, nor am I the target of said investigation. We have, however, discovered errors on some reports that are currently being addressed. I take these matters very seriously and have instructed my team to conduct a full review of the reports in question. Out of respect for the process, I will not be addressing any questions until my team has completed their analysis.”

It is unclear whether Luckie is referring to ethics statements, campaign finance reports or something else. He did not return messages seeking clarification.

Meanwhile, two Democratic sources said Luckie may agree to withdraw from the November ballot as early as today, giving the Montgomery County Democratic Party just enough time to run a substitute candidate. Former Dayton mayor Rhine McLin and former state senator Fred Strahorn are being considered as possible replacements, sources said. Monday is the deadline for political parties to replace candidates who withdraw from a race.

Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens said Luckie did not return his messages on Thursday and top party officials researched state law governing replacing candidates on the ballot. “There are some people that have expressed interest (in replacing Luckie in the race) if that were to happen but I’m not prepared to identify those people,” Owens said.

Initially appointed to the Ohio House, Luckie is seeking his fourth two-year term and is running against Republican Jeff Wellbaum this November.

Wellbaum’s campaign manager Paul Harris said, “We are certainly shocked and surprised by the allegations levied toward Rep. Luckie. Our response is to stick to a positive campaign about what Mr. Wellbaum will do for the citizens of the 39th District. Lower taxes, better veterans’ benefits, protecting the unborn and working with Gov. Kasich to bring people and jobs back to Ohio.”

The 39th District includes most of the city of Dayton.

Before going to the Ohio House, Luckie served on the Dayton School Board from 1996 to 2006. He lives in the Wright-Dunbar Historic District and works part-time for JEC Paper & Related Products where he made less than $10,000 last year, according to his financial disclosure statement filed with the state. His state representative job pays $68,000 a year.

In June 2010, Luckie and his wife Lisa Beth Willis filed for divorce just three months after the birth of their daughter. In the May 2011 divorce agreement, Luckie got a 2005 Cadillac Escalade, half of his wife’s 401(k) account and a house in Wright-Dunbar and one in Springboro. The couple agreed to joint parenting and they split up their $56,000 in consumer credit card debt: $36,000 for him, $20,000 for her.

In January 2012, Luckie got into a verbal altercation with his neighbor, Joseph W. Shaw, who is dating his ex-wife, according to a Dayton police report. Lisa Beth Willis said, “I have no comment on that.”

Mandel ran state-funded ads in months before launching Senate run

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

Mandel ran state-funded ads in months before launching Senate run

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has led the charge for publicizing a new investment program for families with special needs programs, and launched a $1.84 million TV ad campaign featuring himself and Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer to promote the program.

But a watchdog group says the ads, which have run statewide, may have a hidden motive: promoting Mandel’s political ambitions. He launched the ad campaign months before announcing his second run against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

To learn more about the ads and how Mandel used state money to pay for them, click here.

Sen Portman plans to back Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 6:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 6:54 PM

By Jessica Wehrman

Washington Bureau

Sen. Rob Portman says he will back Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The two met Wednesday in Portman’s office in what the Ohio Republican called “an engaging and productive meeting.”

“I expressed my belief that the job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law, and to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to legislate from the bench,” he said. “I believe that is exactly what he will do should he be confirmed to this important position. Judge Gorsuch has an outstanding record as a fair-minded, independent, and universally-respected judge, and, after today’s meeting, I join others in offering him my support.”

Portman previously met with then-President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court – Merrick Garland – but joined other Republicans in blocking that nomination. Portman argued at the time it would be better to wait until after the presidential election to pick a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died more than a year ago in Texas.

Cursive handwriting could be required for Ohio students again
Right-to-work push under way in Ohio

New executive director of the Ohio Republicans a former Turner aide

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 8:56 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 8:58 AM

New executive director of the Ohio Republicans a former Turner aide

A former aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, has been named executive director of the Ohio Republican Party.

Party Chairman Jane Timken named Rob Secaur of Columbus to the post.

“Ohio Republicans will be well served by Rob’s invaluable campaign and political experience,” Timken said. “With critical election cycles ahead of us, I am confident that our new executive director will play a key role in maintaining record Republican majorities in the Buckeye State.”

In January Timken won the party chairmanship after a battle with then-chairman Matt Borges.

After two rounds of secret voting resulted in a deadlock, Timken emerged as the winner after a deal was struck in a backroom to make Timken chairman and name Borges chairman emeritus, which is a new post.

Trump backed Timken while Ohio Gov. John Kasich supported Borges for re-election.

Related: Donald Trump defeats John Kasich in fight for Ohio Republican Party leadership

Related: Trump/Kasich sides in showdown over Ohio GOP chairman

Secaur oversaw the Republican National Committee’s grassroots campaign efforts for the presidential campaign as state director in Ohio. In 2011 he was Turner’s campaign manager and served as a state party field director in 2010. He was Warren County Victory director for the state party in 2010-2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Secaur previously worked in Michigan and Kentucky on political campaigns and in the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

Secaur has a master’s degree in Professional Studies in Political Management from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville.

Secaur replaces Katie Eagan as state party executive director.

                         

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Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of Michael Flynn

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 6:58 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 6:58 PM


            Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of Michael Flynn

Sen. Sherrod Brown said former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn made the right decision to resign his post, saying his apparent discussions with a Russian official about U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia “were wrong.”

RELATED: Michael Flynn resigns: 5 things to know

In a statement today, Brown, D-Ohio, said Flynn was “unqualified from day one” because of his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia Today, a TV network controlled by the Russian government. In 2015, Flynn was paid to attend a Russia Today gala in Moscow.

Before Donald Trump was sworn in as president last month, Flynn spoke to Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn originally said he did not discuss the U.S. sanctions with Kislyak, but acknowledged Monday he provided Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump officials with “incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a conference call with Ohio reporters today that “it was appropriate for” Flynn “to step down.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said he is concerned about what he sees are continuing attacks on the new administration.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton reacts to Flynn resignation

“I’m very concerned. Obviously, this is an issue where unnamed sources continue to attack people in the administration. Their names are never known, there positions are never known, and we never get to bottom of what the information is and where it’s coming from,” Turner said.

“In this, I think Gen. Flynn has made his own personal decision. He certainly has a very strong and illustrious career. I think the administration is now going to have to undertake a search for someone who has both national stature and an ability to advise the president.”

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