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Consultant says challenger Jocelyn Smith out to ‘ruin’ Rep. Perales

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 @ 5:29 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 @ 5:29 PM

Perales says he's staying in House race

A consultant who advised Republican state House candidate Jocelyn Smith last year as she geared up her campaign against state Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, said that Smith told him she had a consensual sexting relationship with Perales that included no violence.

“He never choked her, according to her,” said Michael Talev, a Cleveland consultant who worked for Smith for about six months before quitting about five or six months ago.

Smith told Talev that she and Perales had exchanged sexually oriented texts and she wanted to use it against Perales in her campaign so she could “make it public and ruin him,” Talev said.

“I said, ‘Did he threaten you, did he abuse you, did he assault you in any way? She said, ‘no,” said Talev. “The reason why I asked that is if there was a crime committed I was going to advise her to file a police report immediately.”

RELATED: Ohio House Rep. denies opponent’s claim he kissed and choked her

Talev said he resigned as Smith’s career consultant in 2017 after she said she wanted to send Perales’ wife, children and grandchildren the sexually oriented texts Smith said the two of them exchanged.

Jocelyn Smith

“I’m not going to involve family members in campaigns, period. It’s mudslinging.” said Talev. “I told her, look Jocelyn, I can’t do this any more. I’m resigning. The money you owe me, forget about it.”

Talev said those texts included a topless one of Smith that “she had blocked the chest out” and which Smith portrayed as one she exchanged with Perales. He advised her to run a clean campaign and not use the texts.

“Number one, the public doesn’t like mudslinging and number two you are going to look as bad as he is because you were doing something with a married man,” Talev said he told Smith.

Smith, 36, of Fairborn denies Talev’s allegations, saying that she fired him after a month or two and did not show him any texts or threaten to send them to Perales’ family.

“I did not trust him. He did not deliver,” Smith said on Wednesday. “This is someone getting even with me because he’s bitter because I fired him. This is a mouthpiece for Perales for character assassination.”

Rick Perales

Smith made her allegations against Perales public earlier this week, saying that she continued texting and communicating with him after the alleged choking incident because she wanted to accomplish some political objectives. She said he sent her unwanted sexually-oriented texts and tried to kiss her another time before she told him to leave her alone in late spring 2015.

Smith held a news conference on Tuesday where she labeled Perales a “sexual predator” and said she would release more of his texts if he didn’t resign and drop out of the race.

RELATED: ‘Don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages,’ local candidate tells lawmaker

Perales, who is married, said he had a brief “inappropriate” sexting relationship that was consensual with Smith, who is divorced, but quickly moved to end it. He denies choking her, kissing her or having any sexual contact with her.

“I am not stepping down. I’ve admitted to my part in this situation that occurred more than three years ago, and I am willing to accept the consequences of my poor judgment in texting and befriending this person,” Perales said. “However, I will not continue to entertain my opponent’s threats and allegations, my focus needs to be on my family, and service to the constituents of the 73rd District.”

The district includes most of western Greene County including Beavercreek, Fairborn, Yellow Springs and Bellbrook.

The two face off May 8 in the Republican primary and the winner will run in the Nov. 6 election against Democrat Kim McCarthy of Sugarcreek Twp.

Talev said he doesn’t know Perales but called him after he quit the campaign to warn him that Smith was planning to send the texts to his family. Talev said he decided to go public to “speak the truth” on Wednesday after hearing that Smith accused Perales of forcefully kissing and choking her.

“They both did wrong, actually. Let’s be honest about it. But let’s not invent things to get elected,” Talev said. “If we elect people who lie our countries or states are going to be wrecked. We are going to live in a mess.”

Related stories:

Ohio House Rep. denies opponent’s claim he kissed and choked her

‘Don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages,’ local candidate tells lawmaker

 Consultant says challenger Jocelyn Smith out to ‘ruin’ Rep. Perales

Credibility, #MeToo could be factors in local House race

 Candidate now accusing local lawmaker of ‘fondling’ her

Latest twist: Candidate says she will take polygraph test Thursday

 Polygraph test for local statehouse candidate canceled

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Brown takes shot at Renacci in negative ad

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(Susan Walsh)

THE AD: A 30-second television commercial for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

WHERE TO SEE IT: State broadcast television and here 

VIDEO: Unflattering images of Renacci. Then it concludes with Sherrod Brown chatting with industrial workers.

SCRIPT: Voice of a narrator: The U.S. Congress. There’s 68 teachers, 15 farmers, four pilots, but only one lobbyist. That’s right. Jim Renacci’s been a lobbyist even while in Congress. And what’s he done? He voted to make it easier for lobbyists to hold key government positions and harder to investigate conflicts of interest. And now he’s running for Senate? Jim Renacci. He’s always looked out for himself.”

VOICE OF SHERROD BROWN: “I’m Sherrod Brown and I approved this message.”

RELATED: Brown launches multi-city TV ad campaign

ANALYSIS: The commercial is technically accurate, but the implication that Renacci lobbied Congress is not accurate. After first being elected to the House in the 2010, Renacci filed to terminate his status as a registered lobbyist for Smokerise International Group Limited, an Ohio company Renacci controlled. According to an Associated Press story on March 28 of this year, Renacci’s attorney did not file the de-activation papers until May of 2011, four months into Renacci’s first term. AP also reported “Renacci continued to file and digitally sign lobbyist disclosure reports … through mid-2011, as an active lobbyist would. His campaign refused to specify why he filed the reports if, as it contended, they were not required or to address the inaccurate reporting of his contributions.” But Renacci’s staff has consistently asserted the congressman never lobbied anyone at any time during his career in Congress although anyone viewing the commercial would assume Renacci has been a registered lobbyist through his congressional career.

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Brown’s commercial is an effort to define Renacci as an untrustworthy lobbyist. But it is something of surprise for a two-term incumbent senator to open his campaign with such a negative commercial against his opponent. The commercial does not mention any of Brown’s accomplishments during his two terms. And it is a sign that the Brown/Renacci race will be unusually negative.

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Ohio drivers will licenses will get a new look, and come in the mail starting this summer

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 9:47 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 9:47 AM

Ohio drivers will get license by mail starting July 2

Ohio is ending the same-day issuing of Ohio driver's licenses and will mail them instead to save money and increase security.

Licenses will arrive about 10 days after they're issued once the change takes effect July 2, the Department of Public Safety said. Drivers will be issued temporary licenses and ID cards in the meantime.

RELATED: Driver’s license suspensions soaring

The agency says the temporary cards will be valid for proof of identity and residence when voting.

Drivers can also request driver's licenses or ID cards that meet federal regulations for travel. Travel restrictions taking effect in October 2020 will require federally compliant driver's licenses to pass through airport security. There's no extra cost for these licenses.

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A star in the upper right-hand corner of licenses will designate those compliant with federal regulations. Obtaining that credential will require documents such as birth certificates or passports, copies of social security cards and utility bills showing people's address.

Ohio joins 41 other states that provide licenses and ID cards through the mail.
The change announced Wednesday will prevent loss and theft of secure material from motor vehicle bureaus, provide a centralized and more secure printing facility and save money in the form of the cost of upgrading security measures at individual bureaus, the Public Safety department said.

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New restrictions may be coming for some drivers

Ohio lawmakers seem ready to relax some restrictions on the driving privileges of those who have lost their licenses and have little means to pay the reinstatement fees.  

At least three bills related to license suspensions are pending in the Ohio legislature.  In one, co-sponsored by Jim Butler, R-Ohio, limited driving privileges would be restored for those whose driver’s licenses were suspended for issues unrelated to driving or using a vehicle for criminal purposes.  

In Ohio, there are at least 32 ways people can lose their driver’s license, including dropping out of high school.  

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In another measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, judges would be allowed to impose community service in lieu of paying reinstatement fees.

The proposed reforms come as license suspensions soar in Ohio. Last year, 1.1 million Ohioans had their driver’s license suspended for one or more reasons — nearly 12 percent of those old enough to drive in the state.

“There’s this permanent underclass that we’ve created,” Huffman said. “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.”

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Should people work for Medicaid? Here’s how to weigh in.

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 9:16 AM


The clock has started for the next round of public comment on Ohio’s proposal to create the state’s first ever work requirements associated with Medicaid.

The new rules would add requirements to work or go to school at least 20 hours per week to remain eligible for benefits under the health insurance program for low-income Ohioans, which is jointly funded by the state and federal government.

The request needs to be approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which opened a 30-day public comment period on May 15.

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On May 1 the Ohio Department of Medicaid officially submitted the request to create the work requirements.

The Republican-majority Ohio General Assembly put the language into the budget last year that required the Ohio Department of Medicaid to seek permission to add the job requirements for those covered through Medicaid expansion.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, has said the work requirements exempt the neediest while driving those with the ability to work toward self sufficiency.

But opponents, including dozens of health care lobbying groups, have pushed back against the proposed rules, saying the changes will make health outcomes worse and the state will waste money on the administration costs of the new program rules.

RELATED: Kasich vs. lawmakers in Medicaid fight: ‘If you break it, you own it’

The state’s request for work requirements states that the majority of Ohioans covered by Medicaid expansion will be exempted. The proposal estimates about 36,000 will not meet the work requirements and won’t be exempt, and out of those enrollees about 18,000 will ultimately lose their Medicaid eligibility.

But some opponents to the proposal, including Cleveland-based Center for Community Solutions, have questioned that math because the state also underestimated how many people would lose SNAP benefits when Ohio added work requirements for the food assistance program.

Public comment on the work requirement can be submitted online.

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Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 3:03 PM

            A marijuana user attempts to light an oversized joint during a 420 Day celebration on “Hippie Hill” in Golden Gate Park on April 20, 2018 in San Francisco, California. In the first year that marijuana is legal for recreational use in California, thousands of marijuana enthusiasts gathered in Golden Gate Park to celebrate 420 day, the de facto holiday for marijuana advocates, with large gatherings and “smoke outs” in many parts of the United States. JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES
A marijuana user attempts to light an oversized joint during a 420 Day celebration on “Hippie Hill” in Golden Gate Park on April 20, 2018 in San Francisco, California. In the first year that marijuana is legal for recreational use in California, thousands of marijuana enthusiasts gathered in Golden Gate Park to celebrate 420 day, the de facto holiday for marijuana advocates, with large gatherings and “smoke outs” in many parts of the United States. JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES

Legalized recreational marijuana is one small step closer to appearing on Ohio ballots in 2019.

The Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office. The amendment was previously certified earlier this month by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Ohio Families for Change is behind the effort to bring the matter to Ohio’s 2019 ballot.

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The group now faces the large task of collecting 305,591 valid signatures — equal to 10 percent of the total vote cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election in 2014. Signatures from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties must be collected, and within each county the group must collect enough signatures equal to five percent of the vote total cast for governor.

The group’s proposal:

• Would allow Ohioans older than 21 to possess, grow, use, sell and share marijuana;

• Would not change the already approved medical marijuana program starting this year;

• Has a residency requirement for business licences;

• Calls for protections for landlords and employers who want to prohibit marijuana activities on their property.

The Ohio General Assembly would have authority to write laws governing impairment, uses in public and restrictions for minors.

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Getting on the statewide ballot is a heavy lift, requiring organizational skills and millions of dollars. Eight petitions to legalize marijuana have been certified over the past five years but only one — ResponsibleOhio’s November 2015 effort — made it to the ballot. That year, Ohio voters soundly rejected a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use.

In June 2016, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a plan to legalize and regulate medical marijuana. State officials are writing regulations, reviewing applications and inspecting operations for the new industry, which is expected to kick off Sept. 8.

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