October 5, 2022

Cleveland.com has a new, free text-messaging account only about Ohio politics, from insider anecdotes to breaking-news updates. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, file)
Let’s talk politics: The politics team at cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer is following the biggest stories of the 2022 election and how they affect us all. Now, you can be the first to hear about them – and tell us what you think – through our new Subtext account. You’ll get anywhere from two to four texts a day with breaking news, interesting anecdotes and analysis of the statewide races in the Nov. 8 election. You can subscribe here to hear directly from our reporters through Election Day.
More redistricting: Two top Republican state lawmakers, state Reps. Bill Seitz and Jason Stephens, a leading candidate for Ohio House speaker, are exploring redrawing the state’s appellate court district lines for the first time since 1980. Per Andrew Tobias, the proposal would take Ohio’s three most competitive state appellate court districts – the First District, based in Cincinnati, the Sixth District, based in Toledo and the Ninth District, based in Akron – and make them more Republican, as measured by ex-President Donald Trump’s performance in the 2020 election.
No debate: J.D. Vance and Gov. Mike DeWine, the GOP nominees for U.S. Senate and governor, respectively, have turned down invitations from the Ohio Debate Commission to debate their Democratic rivals next month. As Jeremy Pelzer writes, their decision wasn’t a surprise, as there was already uncertainty about whether there will be any debates in either race ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
Title IX vote teed up: More than 60 people testified at a State Board of Education meeting on Tuesday regarding a proposed resolution to urge schools to defy a proposed U.S. Department of Education rule to extend Title IX protections to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, among other steps. As Pelzer reports, the board is slated to vote on the proposed resolution during its next meeting on Oct. 11-12.
Court commentary: Judge Terri Jamison, the Democrat running against Republican incumbent Pat Fischer for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, criticized Fischer for comments he made to the Delaware City Republican Club comparing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to decisions that upheld slavery and segregation. Adam Ferrise reports Jamison, who sites on the 10th District Court of Appeals, told the editorial board of Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer on Tuesday that the comments raise questions about Fischer’s judgment. Fischer and the other Republicans running for the court declined to participate in endorsement interviews.
Difference of opinion: In her own endorsement interview, Democratic Justice Jennifer Brunner, who’s running against Republican Sharon Kennedy for the court’s chief justice seat, criticized State Issue 1, which would require judges to consider public safety when setting bail for criminal defendants. Per Tobias, Brunner said the measure may be well intentioned, but state law already offers a mechanism for prosecutors to ask to deny bail completely for public-safety reasons. Kennedy didn’t participate, but was one of the Republican justices who dissented in the case that led Republican state lawmakers to put State Issue 1 on the ballot in the first place.
Execution date set…maybe: The Ohio Supreme Court has set July 22, 2026, as the execution date for Danny Lee Hill, a Trumbull County man convicted of murdering a 12-year-old boy in 1985. But as Pelzer reports, it’s unclear whether Hill will be put to death on that date – or at all – given Ohio’s ongoing troubles with finding lethal-injection drugs. Trumbull County prosecutors involved with Hill’s case called on the Supreme Court to launch an investigation into why executions haven’t been held in Ohio since 2018 and how they can resume.
Electoral count reform: The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved bipartisan legislation that aims to thwart future efforts to overturn presidential election results by rejecting frivolous challenges when Congress tallies electoral votes and establishing that its role in the process is purely ministerial, Sabrina Eaton writes. The legislation passed in a 229 to 203 vote, with support from all the legislative body’s Democrats and nine Republicans, including Rocky River’s Anthony Gonzalez. It faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate, where a different bipartisan proposal is under consideration.
Raring to go: The heads of the nation’s largest consumer banks will not get much sympathy from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Thursday when they appear before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee he chairs for his yearly oversight hearing. In a call with reporters before his hearing with the CEOs of Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, PNC, Truist, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo, the Ohio Democrat accused the banks of scamming consumers and overpaying their CEOs. He also released dossiers on their misdeeds. “We will continue to put pressure on them on a whole host of issues,” Brown pledged.
Swing district: CNN spoke to Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur and voters in Ohio’s newly reconfigured 9th Congressional District, where Kaptur faces a challenge from Port Clinton Republican J.R. Majewski, who refused to speak with the network. “As the longtime Ohio lawmaker enters the final weeks of the most competitive race she has had in a while, she honed her Rust Belt pitch for yet another term: ‘I come from the working-class people. I know what it takes. And there so few such voices. So, I stand on the shoulders of people who have sacrificed greatly.’”
False claims: Majewski has portrayed himself as an Air Force combat veteran who served in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but military records obtained by the Associated Press show he never deployed to Afghanistan and instead loaded planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting. The news outlet also examined parts of his post-military career, which it described as “defined by exaggerations, conspiracy theories, talk of violent action against the U.S. government and occasional financial duress.” Majewski did not interview with AP, and the news cooperative said his campaign did not address questions about his claim of deploying to Afghanistan.
Change of tune: Notably, a statement from Majewski that appeared in the Associated Press article says he “deeply regrets” being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which his Democratic opponent, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, has highlighted in numerous ads. But he flatly told Spectrum News’ Taylor Popielarz “no” just last month when he was asked whether he regretted being there.
New puppy mill bill: Two Ohio House Republicans unveiled proposed legislation Wednesday that would prohibit commercial dog breeders from performing procedures such as cutting off puppies’ tails and pulling out their dewclaws. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has allowed breeders to perform tail docking and dewclaw removal even though Ohio law states that only licensed veterinarians can do it, according to a release from the Animal Welfare Institute, which backs the proposed bill.
Health problems: Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Wednesday warned ProMedica that he would sue the health system if it doesn’t pay the University of Toledo at least $3.8 million under a 2015 medical education agreement. As the Toledo Blade’s Luke Ramseth reports, the deal called for ProMedica to pay the university millions of dollars per year in exchange for raising ProMedica hospitals’ academic profile by sending medical students and residents to train. ProMedica stopped paying the money in August; while the company has been dealing with financial issues, a spokeswoman said it skipped the payments to recoup expenses incurred as part of the agreement.
Here are five things we learned from the March 29, 2022, financial disclosure form filed by Anthony Eliopoulos of Lorain, the Democratic nominee for Ohio Senate District 13:
1. Eliopoulos listed his occupation in 2021 as a staff officer for the Ohio Army National Guard. In an addendum filed April 29, he added that he also received income last year from the U.S. Senate for “veterans & military affairs.” Eliopoulos didn’t specify exactly how much he was paid from the National Guard or the Senate.
2. His investments include two Roth IRAs.
3. At some point in 2021, Eliopoulos owed at least $1,000 to TD Auto Finance, a JP Morgan credit card, a Citi credit card, and a federal student-loan servicer.
4. Eliopoulos wasn’t owed more than $1,000 by anyone at any point last year.
5. He reported having no real estate or businesses.
Moriah Lieberman, policy director for Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley
“Our phones are busy eight hours a day, five days a week right now with three to four staff scheduling patients non-stop throughout the day.”
– A spokesperson for the Women’s Med Center in suburban Dayton, quoted in the Journal-News on Wednesday after a judge paused Ohio’s “heartbeat” abortion ban through mid-October.
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