Kasich budget plan gets mixed reviews, poll finds

Published: Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 3:40 PM
Updated: Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 3:40 PM

Gov. John Kasich’s biggest plans in his two-year state budget proposal are getting mixed reviews from Ohio voters, according to a poll released Friday by Quinnipiac University.

Voters say 48 percent to 42 percent that cutting the income tax and collecting more revenue from the sales tax is a bad idea. But the same percentages agree with the idea of opening up Ohio Medicaid to more people.

“Gov. John Kasich is popular, but voters don’t like his view that the income tax should be cut and the sales tax broadened as a preferable way to raise state revenue,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “When it is explained to them that Kasich wants to cut the income tax from 5.5 to 5 percent and increase the services that would be subject to the sales tax, they like that idea even less, 51 percent to 40 percent.”

Kasich is asking lawmakers to approve expanding Ohio Medicaid to add another 265,000 Ohioans. Currently, 2.2 million poor and disabled people are enrolled in the program, which costs $19 billion a year in state and federal funds. The federal government promises to pick up 100 percent of the cost of expanding the program for the first three years and then dial it back to cover 90 percent of the cost in outlying years. The expansion is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The poll found that Obamacare is unpopular: 48 percent of Ohio voters disapprove of it, 39 percent approve of it, 39 percent say the health law will hurt rather than help them and 39 percent say it won’t affect them.

Expanding Medicaid appears to be a partisan issue with 71 percent of Democrats supporting it, 65 percent of Republicans opposing it and 48 percent of independents supporting it, the poll found.

Although not part of Kasich’s budget proposal, the poll asked Ohioans about gun control and found:

* 90 percent favor background checks for all gun purchases;

* 86 percent of households where there is a gun favor background checks for all gun purchases;

* 53 percent favor a nationwide ban on assault weapons;

* 60 percent of gun owners oppose an assault weapon ban;

* 57 percent say gun ownership makes people safer.

The poll also found that 49 percent to 40 percent say the National Rifle Association rather than President Obama best reflect their own views on guns.

“On gun policy public opinion might be seen as a paradox,” said Brown. “Voters overwhelming favor background checks for those buying guns and want to ban assault weapons and ammunition clips with more than 10 bullets - positions that are in opposition to those espoused by the NRA. Yet, they see the NRA more in tune with their views on gun policy than President Barack Obama, who favors background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Moreover, on the key question of whether guns make society safer or less safe, by almost 2-1 voters see them as making society safer. Asked whether they would favor stricter gun control laws, 41 percent say yes, while 11 percent say they should be made less strict and 44 percent say existing laws are about right.”

Meanwhile, Ohio voters are split in their opinion of Barack Obama’s performance, giving him a 48 percent - 47 percent job approval rating.

The poll surveyed 1,011 registered voters from Feb. 21 to Feb. 26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

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
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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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