With expectations that as many as 30,000 athletes and fans would attend the 2014 Gay Games 9 held in Cleveland and Akron, The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County seized on the chance to reach out to the LBGT community, a population that has yet to find a comfortable seat in the GOP’s so-called “Big Tent” party despite its dynamic growth as an important electorate.

At its booth in the Gay Games’ Festival Village, local Republicans personally welcomed participants to Cleveland and talked to them about their new campaign to reach the LGBT community with the conservative message of [...]

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Just when first-term incumbent Republican Governor John R. Kasich thought his reelection this year would be a cake walk to and through Election Day this November, news from the latest Ohio Poll, by Public Policy Polling, shows the all-but certain victory for the Buckeye State’s go-go, CEO-style governor is anything but a foregone conclusion.

Public Policy Polling, surely one of the most accurate and reliable polling outfits in the nation, released the latest poll of Ohio statewide races Tuesday, showing competitive races across the board. Party ticket toppers Gov. Kasich and his little known but greatly outraised Democratic challenger, Ed [...]

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David Pepper hits his talking points, leaning forward, fingers crossed, arms on the meeting room table at Ohio Democratic Party headquarters in downtown Columbus. He’s dressed in campaign casual: Blue blazer, khakis, light-blue checkered button down.

He deploys his argument tightly, expertly. He knows construction. A former managing editor of the Yale Daily News, Pepper understands concision and the economy of words. He’ll wax on, but only when he feels like it or when his passion is stoked. That’s when the flames leap.

“It’s a foundational issue: You cannot have an attorney general of a state who is the worst [...]

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Senior Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a proud and uncompromising champion of time-tested progressive policies and causes, opened the ninth annual Gay Games this week with his wife  and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schulz.

The Gay Games are an international sporting and cultural event held every four years that provide a safe and affirming environment for LGBT competitors, information sent by the senator’s office said. Even though the event is called the Gay Games, athletes of all sexual orientations and gender identities are invited to participate. As part of GG9, Cleveland and Akron will host 9,000 participants in 36 sporting events and an estimated 20,000 [...]

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Ohio Headline Highlights is a new PBSunday roundup of select news from last week about people, politics and government in Ohio.

 

Kasich, Faber Prepare Pharmacy Board For New Anti-Choice Director - This past weekend we broke the story of John Kasich’s questionable appointment of Richard Hodges as director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio may establish poet laureate - Ohio is one of six states that don’t have an official state poet — but a bill in the Ohio Legislature could change that.

2nd FitzGerald TV Ad Draws Contrast With Kasich On Priorities, Rich Versus Working [...]

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According to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Ohio had 40,516 bargaining unit employees working for the state in January, 2011 ,when John Kasich first took office.   As of July, 2014, three and a half years later, we are down to 35,868.  That’s a loss of 4,648 union jobs – or 8.6%!  Nearly half – 2,318 in total – were corrections/prison-related positions.

Some of these losses came when the Kasich administration privatized Ohio’s prison food service.  Kasich pitched the idea as a way to save the state money, but the contract with Aramark to provide meals to Ohio’s inmates has ended up causing nothing but [...]

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In view of the fuss over another questionable appointment by Gov. Kasich – to wit, Rick Hodges as state health director – it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the governor’s creative writers will come up with a new category for guys like Hodges who are absent of qualifying credentials under state law. The statute requires the director to have “significant experience” in the profession. Oh? Hodges was the director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission. Unless your job is remedying potholes, not even close.

But as Plunderbund pointed out, when the kitchen became hot from criticism, his application was altered [...]

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Before you do anything else, go follow Central Ohioans Countering Kasich on Twitter and Facebook. These guys are more than just an Ohio PAC whose sole purpose is “stopping the reelection of Governor John Kasich.”  They also make some of the best Kasich-mocking videos we’ve ever seen!

 

Their latest online ad shows “John Kasucks” reacting to the recent Ohio FOP endorsements.  “I don’t want your idiot endorsement anyway you bunch of idiots,” says the button down shirt, khaki pants wearing “Kasucks” – a clear reference to the speech Kasich gave to a bunch of EPA employees back in 2011 [...]

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It wasn’t necessarily the big news of the day Thursday, but when the current head of the State Board of Education, Debe Terhar, said she won’t seek re-election to that panel, it likely elicited cheers of joy from a group of education advocates who rallied at the Statehouse today to hold charter schools—and the powerful politicians pushing them like Gov. John Kasich, Department of Education chief Dr. Richard Ross and Terhar—accountable for spending upwards of $1 billion on charter schools whose performance is generally poor compared to public schools, and largely exempted from hundreds of standards public schools [...]

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Earlier this week Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine continued his fight against a Federal Judge’s decision to grant John Arthur the right to have his husband’s name appear on his death certificate.  Arthur and  Jim Obergefell, a Cincinnati couple, were legally married in Maryland.   John recently passed away from ALS, but Mike DeWine continues to battle his dying wish in court.

In response,  Freedom to Marry Ohio and other groups held a rally in Cincinnati with Ted Strickland and David Pepper, Mike DeWine’s Democratic opponent for Attorney General.

“Mike DeWine continues to waste his time and our taxpayer dollars on his crusade [...]

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Earlier this week over 400,000 people in the Toledo area were left without water when toxins from an algae bloom in Lake Erie poisoned their public water supply.  Yesterday Ohio Attorney General  Mike DeWine vowed to fight a rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intended to protect lakes like Erie from the agricultural runoff that likely caused the problem.

According to Gongwer Ohio, DeWine signed a letter with 14 other state Attorneys General intended to fight the U.S. EPA on a rule that would restore Clean Water Act protections to 60% of Ohio’s waterways that were left without protections [...]

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