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Montgomery County GOP endorses Husted for governor

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 12:34 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 12:34 AM

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a Republican candidate for Ohio governor. LYNN HULSEY/Staff
Lynn Hulsey
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a Republican candidate for Ohio governor. LYNN HULSEY/Staff(Lynn Hulsey)

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was endorsed in the Ohio governor’s race by the Montgomery County Republican Party’s central committee Wednesday night in a vote one of his opponent’s advisors denounced as “rigged.”

“As a UD Football Flyer and a state representative, I enjoyed a lot of victories in Montgomery County, but being endorsed to serve as governor is a special honor,” Husted said in a news release issued after the vote. “This is just another example of the energy and momentum behind our campaign and I am grateful for this support.”

The other Republicans vying for the nomination in the May 8 primary are Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine of Cedarville, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

Rob Scott, a senior adviser to Renacci, said the central committee should have followed regular order and interviewed all four candidates before endorsing anyone. Neither Renacci nor Taylor have spoken to the committee since becoming candidates and an endorsement vote was not on the night’s agenda.

RELATED: Renacci jumps into governor’s race with ‘Ohio First’ campaign

“I think this is just another example of insider politics, and why people have a distaste for party politics,” said Scott, a central committee member and former state director for Donald Trump’s Ohio presidential campaign in 2016.

“(It’s) a rigged system, exactly why Donald Trump became president last year. And that’s why Jim Renacci is running this year,” Scott said. “Renacci’s running for the Trump vote and systems like this encourages the Trump vote and encourages somebody like Trump to get elected, and that is exactly who Jim Renacci is.”

RELATED: Some in Montgomery County GOP angry over possible endorsement vote

In a statement issued after the vote, Renacci called Husted a “liberal career politician” and congratulated him for his “hard fought victory against no one tonight.”

Husted is one of two candidates with strong local ties. The other is DeWine, a lifelong area resident who also served in the Ohio Legislature and as a U.S. senator and representative in Congress.

RELATED: Mike DeWine running for governor

Interviewed outside the meeting before the vote, DeWine said he anticipated he wouldn’t get the county party’s endorsement in his race for governor. He said it was clear the room was full of Husted supporters.

“We’ll win some endorsements. We’ll lose others, but ultimately it’s going to be the people in the primary, the actual voters who are making the decision,” said DeWine, who has been endorsed by the Lucas County Republican Party.

“If the election were held today in the Dayton media market I win by better than 2 to 1. Our polling and other people’s polling. So we want every endorsement. But we’re not going to get all of them. We know that,” said DeWine, who had spoken to the central committee last summer but did not go inside for Wednesday’s meeting.

Taylor spokesman, Michael Duchesne, also questioned the way the endorsement was handled.

“We are concerned about any effort to shortchange voters of a true choice,” Duchesne said. “Despite tonight’s irregularities, Lt. Governor Taylor feels confident that GOP primary voters will select her as the most conservative, substantive candidate in May’s primary.”

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor makes run for Ohio governor official

Husted supporter, State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, made the motion to endorse Husted and defended the endorsement vote, saying support for Husted was “overwhelming.” Husted spoke to the committee just prior to the vote.

“The party is excited and unified behind Jon Husted,” Antani said.

Husted got his start in politics in Montgomery County after graduating from the University of Dayton in the early 1990s. He worked as a party volunteer and at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce before being elected to the Ohio House, and later the Ohio Senate. Husted said he’s gratified for all the help he had from the local party over the years.

“The idea I would be standing in front of these same people and asking for support for being governor is a dream, is quite a journey,” said Husted, who has also been endorsed by the Williams County Republican Party.

RELATED: Jon Husted running for Ohio governor

Candidates often use endorsements to help solicit support and raise money.

Candidates for the Democratic nomination include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron.

The winner will replace Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who is term-limited.

Ohioans who lose driver’s license get help from lawmakers

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 6:09 PM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 6:09 PM

Ohioans who lose driver’s license get help from Ohio lawmakers. Getty Image
Staff Writer
Ohioans who lose driver’s license get help from Ohio lawmakers. Getty Image(Staff Writer)

A bill that would temporily allow some Ohioans who have lost their driver’s license to regain it without paying a reinstatement fee passed the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, was the only member to vote no on the House Bill 336, which was jointly sponsored by Rep. John Barnes, Jr., D-Cleveland, and State Rep. Dave Greenspan, R-Westlake.

“Amnesty is a bad idea, especially for those convicted of street racing or theft of gasoline,” Antani said. “While I understand there are some people who fall into an insurmountable debt due to minor traffic violations, street racing and theft of gasoline should not have been included as eligible offenses for this relief program.”

The bill, which passed 78-1, would provide a six-month “amnesty” period and eligibility requirements for people to get a fee reduction or waiver of driver license reinstatement fees.

It is one of at least three bills pending in the state legislature that attempt to address the problem of driver license suspensions that leave some people unable to get to work and so unable to pay the reinstatement fees required to get their licenses back.

RELATED: Changes sought as driver suspensions pile up

Drivers in Ohio can lose their license for a variety of driving offenses, such as driving under the influence and driving without insurance, as well as actions that have nothing to do with driving, including non-payment of child support, dropping out of high school, and skipping a court date.

“It defies logic that you would take away their means of getting to work so they can earn money to pay their child support or their court fines, said Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, who is co-sponsoring a separate bill that would would automatically allow limited driving privileges to necessary places like work and school for those whose driver’s license is suspended for issues unrelated to driving or using a vehicle for criminal purposes.

Butler said he supported the bill that passed Wednesday because it begins a needed process of looking at the state’s charges for license reinstatement, which he said are taxes disguised as a fee.

“Whenever you have a fee that is more than the cost to run the service, it’s a tax. It’s generating money. And in this case it has a disproportionate impact on certain individuals,” Butler said.

Under the bill passed Wednesday eligibility for license reinstatement fee reduction or waiver would be limited to those who have had their license suspended for at least 18 months, can demonstrate proof of indigence, have paid all other fees and penalties and completed court sanctions, said Carly McCain, legislative aide to Barnes.

Those eligible cannot have lost their license due to non-payment of child support, or offenses involving drugs, alcohol, violence or crimes of a sexual nature, she said.

RELATED: Butler County child support offering amnesty program

“It is our goal to create a reasonable, practical, and measured attempt to make sure that Ohioans are legal to drive with a valid driver’s license and insurance while driving through our neighborhoods and on our interstates,” said Greenspan in a news release issued after the vote.

The state Senate has not yet considered the bill.

Last year 1.1 million Ohioans had their driver’s license suspended for one or more reasons. That total is nearly 12 percent of those old enough to drive in the state.

Ohio law allows for multiple suspensions of a license and the average number of suspensions per driver was 2.96 in 2016, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. All but three types of suspension come with a reinstatement fee, ranging from $40 to $650, and people who get multiple suspensions can wind up with reinstatement fees in the thousands of dollars.

In the Senate a bill introduced by State Sen. Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland, would permit judges to impose community service in lieu of paying reinstatement fees. The only Republican co-sponsor of that bill is State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima.

“There’s this permanent underclass we’ve created,” Huffman said in an earlier interview. “If you’re $4,000 or $5,000 down and that’s what it takes to get your driver’s license, you just don’t do it.”

Other stories by Lynn Hulsey

Ohio’s Kasich, Brown react to Alabama election

GOP governor candidate Jim Renacci picks Cincinnati councilwoman as his running mate

Controversial Ohio Justice O’Neill to step down from bench on Jan. 26 and run for governor

Ohio congresswoman says some women’s clothes are ‘invitation’ for sexual harassment

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 4:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 4:03 PM

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said that some members of Congress and aides invite sexual harassment because of the way they dress, according to a report in Politico.

Kaptur, D-Toledo,  made the comments during a caucus meeting with Democrats where the subject came up.

“I saw a member yesterday with her cleavage so deep it was down to the floor,” Kaptur said, according to the sources present. “And what I’ve seen … it’s really an invitation.” The comments left many others in the room stunned, the sources said.

Here is Kaptur’s response to Politico:

“When I was first elected to Congress my office and I became a refuge for female staffers who had been mistreated by their bosses. Some of them in tears many days. It is something I carry with me to this day and something I brought up during our Caucus meeting," she said. "Under no circumstances is it the victim's fault if they are harassed in any way. I shared the stories from my time here in the context of the ‘Me Too’ legislation and how we can elevate the decorum 

Here is a statement from Kaptur to this news organization:

“When I was first elected to Congress my office and I became a refuge for female staffers who had been mistreated by their bosses. Some of them in tears many days. It is something I carry with me to this day and something I brought up during our Caucus meeting," she said. "Under no circumstances is it the victim's fault if they are harassed in any way. I shared the stories from my time here in the context of the ‘Me Too’ legislation and how we can elevate the decorum and the dress code to protect women from what is a pervasive problem here and in society at large.”

Ohio’s Kasich, Brown react to Alabama election

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:31 AM

Ohio Governor John Kasich. Getty Images
Ohio Governor John Kasich. Getty Images

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says Republicans in Alabama “chose country over party,” in Tuesday’s Senate election.

Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a narrow win to become the first Democrat in more than 20 years to hold a Senate seat there.

Sexual assault allegations against Moore caused many Republicans, including Kasich, to distance themselves from the GOP candidate.

“Tomorrow we must redouble our efforts to support candidates worthy of the office they seek.” Kasich tweeted.

RELATED: Latest on the Alabama race

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown tweeted that “I am grateful to the women who had the courage to come forward. Because of them and so many others like them, we are seeing meaningful change. I look forward to finding opportunities to work with Doug Jones in the Senate to support middle-class families.”

As we get more reaction, we will update this story.


Doug Jones wins Alabama Senate race

Omarosa Manigault Newman, a CSU grad, leaving White House

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:03 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Who is Omarosa Manigault Newman

Omarosa Manigault Newman was not only one of the high-profile faces at the Trump White House — a reality TV star who became a celebrity on “The Apprentice,” — she was also one of the administration’s most prominent Ohioans.

But now she’s gone.

Her resignation was announced Wednesday by the White House, effective Jan. 20. Reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks and CNN reported that she was escorted off the White House grounds screaming and cursing late Tuesday.

The Central State University graduate and Youngstown native served as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison. That office is charged with garnering support for Trump’s agenda as well as organizing events within the White House.

RELATED: Omarosa Manigault hired at White House

RELATED:’s Amelia Robinson talks with Omarosa Manigault

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Manigault Newman resigned “to pursue other opportunities.”

At the White House, Manigault Newman was tasked with outreach to veterans’ groups, on women’s issues, African American engagement, business and faith–based community outreach. Before her departure, she told this newspaper that she reviews between 15 and 20 presidential communications a day. She works with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Huckabee Sanders and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.

In an interview last week, she said she also viewed herself as a resource for President Donald Trump.

“I have known the president for almost 15 years, he knows me, he trusts me, and he knows what I bring to the table,” she said, citing her experience in business, media entertainment, academia and in the Bill Clinton White House.

RELATED: Omarosa says Trump is keeping list of enemies

But speaking on CNN, Ryan said one of the frustrations by White House chiefs of staff Reince Priebus and John Kelly were that both were unclear what her job duties were.

“No one knew what she was doing,” she said.

Her almost-year in the Trump White House was not without the drama that has been a constant thread of her time in public life.

Archived video: Omarosa Manigault explains why she loves her alma mater Central State. She was in town May 8, 2015 to get the baccalaureate address for her cousin Shatasia Walker 's graduation from the university. Video by Amelia Robinson and Andrew Smith.

In August, she sparred with the moderator of a panel discussion at the conference of the National Association of Black Journalists in New Orleans and was heckled by audience members for supporting Trump. She irritated some members of the Congressional Black Caucus in June when she sent a letter to members signed “The Honorable Omarosa Manigault.” And she got in an argument with Ryan, a former friend, during her first few weeks on the job.

But in her Dec. 5 interview, Manigault Newman said her focus was on her work.

“You can’t take things personally,” she said. “I don’t now and I never did on the show. I’ve never done it in my professional life.”

“In this role you have to understand the intricacies of the political process, of the contributions to the process. We do this for the good of the country,” she said. “I don’t internalize what I do here. I just put my head down and do the work.”

Manigault Newman became famous for being a villain during the first season of “The Apprentice,” but, talking to C-SPAN in March, she made it clear that that was part of her plan. She was entering a field driven by ratings, she said, “and you know what drives ratings? Conflict.”

“I understood what drove that business, and what drives that business was ratings,” she said. “No one wants to tune into a boring television show.”

Some of life’s turmoil was sprung upon her. When she was seven, her father was shot in Youngstown, an experience, she told C-SPAN, that “shattered” the family.

Manigault Newman, 43, grew up in Westlake Terrace, one of the first housing projects to be built in the country.

“Everyone in my family was either in the military or worked in the steel mills or worked in the factories,” she said. “Some worked in the car plant. Everyone in my family worked hard. Hard work is a central part of who we are as a family.”

Her drive sent her to Central State University on a full volleyball scholarship. She graduated in 1996 with a degree in broadcast journalism. On the volleyball team, she was the setter.

“The setter really sets the tone and the pace of the game and the strategy for how to win,” she said on C-SPAN. “and that’s why I love that position.”

From there she went to Howard University and from there, her first stint at the White House. That experience, she told C-SPAN, prepared her for her current role.

“It helped me to understand that no one thing is greater than the incredible agenda we have and stay focused on that,” she said.