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Our political team covers the goings on from the White House to the Statehouse.
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Portman secures money for Piketon plant cleanup

  • 1:37 pm Monday, February 26th, 2018 by Staff Writer

By Jessica Wehrman } Washington Bureau

Sen. Rob Portman late last week said he has secured a commitment from the Department of Energy to clean up existing landfills and plumes at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The plant, which enriched uranium during the Cold War and later enriched uranium for nuclear power plants through 2001, has awaited cleanup for years, with Portman, R–Ohio, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D–Ohio, among those fighting annually for cleanup money. Last September, Energy Secretary Rick Perry toured the site.

“I believe his visit here made a difference in securing today’s commitment form DOE,” Portman said.

Portman, citing a [More]

Gov. Kasich orders flags at half-staff to honor slain officers

  • 2:36 pm Monday, February 12th, 2018 by Staff Writer

Ohio’s governor on Monday ordered flags flown at half-staff around the state to honor two police officers killed over the weekend in suburban Columbus.
The order from Republican Gov. John Kasich applies to flags at public properties and will be in place until the officers are interred.
The order came hours before police in suburban Westerville were slated to escort the bodies of 39-year-old Eric Joering and 54-year-old Anthony Morelli from a coroner’s office to separate funeral homes. Officials invited the public to line the route.
Westerville police haven’t announced funeral details.
The officers were shot Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call [More]

Ohio Sen. Portman to donate money received from Wynn

  • 10:33 am Monday, January 29th, 2018 by Staff Writer

By Jessica Wehrman Washington Bureau

Sen. Rob Portman, who received $2,700 from embattled casino owner Steve Wynn and $2,700 from Wynn’s wife in 2016, will give that money to charities that combat human trafficking, his spokeswoman said today.

The charities are in Ohio, the Ohio Republican’s spokeswoman said.

Wynn stepped down as the Republican National Committee’s Finance Chair after the Wall Street Journal last week published a story accusing him of decades of abuse and harassement of women who worked for him. The paper reprted that Wynn, among other things, paid $7.5 million to a manicurist he coerced into sex in 2005. Wynn [More]

Democratic governor candidate Bill O’Neill to announce running mate

  • 1:06 pm Monday, January 8th, 2018 by Staff Writer

Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill says he’s going to name his running mate in the governor’s race on Tuesday.

That will make him the second of the six Democratic candidates to announce who he is running with.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni announced last week he is running with Ohio Board of Education member Stephanie Dodd.

The other Democrats running for governor include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former Attorney General Richard Cordray, and former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, former State Rep. Connie Pillich

Republicans running for governor include Attorney General Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Congressman Jim Renacci.

RELATED: Who is running [More]

POLITICO: Ohio Senate race ranks as one to watch in 2018

  • 12:04 pm Sunday, December 24th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Politico put out a list of U.S. Senate races to watch next year and Ohio’s made the list.

Our neighbors in Indiana made the list too.

The Ohio race ranked at #7 on the list.

Here’s what Politico said about Ohio’s race between Democrat Sherrod Brown and either Republican Josh Mandel or Republican Mike Gibbons:

7. Ohio — Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown running for reelection

A likely rematch of Brown’s 2012 victory over state Treasurer Josh Mandel will be fought on altered terrain. That year, Brown appealed to the same blue-collar voters that embraced Trump in 2016. Mandel, meanwhile, has spent the past six years [More]

Portman named to conference committee on tax bill

  • 1:59 pm Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Jessica Wehrman and Michael Dulman in our Washington Bureau report that Sen. Rob Portman’s influence over the tax legislation racing through Congress will continue.

Portman, R-Ohio, was named last week as one of the senators to be part of a conference committee with the House to forge a final compromise of the GOP-backed plan to overhaul the tax code and reduce tax rates for corporations, small companies, and individuals.

The House and Senate approved slightly different versions of the tax bill, meaning the conferees have to reconcile those differences. Once they do, the House and Senate will have to pass the bill [More]

Former Ohio Senate president Bill Harris dies at 83

  • 11:45 am Monday, November 27th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Former Ohio Senate President Bill Harris has died at 83. He served as president from 2004-10.

Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, issued a statement Monday morning.

“Former Senate President Bill Harris was a beloved and respected member of our Senate family. A humble public servant, Bill represented the best of Ohio. He served his country first on the battlefields as a Marine before coming home to build a business and invest in the people and the communities he later represented in the Ohio House and Senate. His devotion to his family, his authentic faith and his genuine interest in his fellow Ohioans [More]

Supreme Court to hear arguments on Ohio voter purge

  • 10:02 am Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

By Jack Torry { Washington Bureau

The U.S. Supreme Court has re-scheduled oral arguments on Jan. 10 on whether Ohio officials violated federal law when they removed tens of thousands of people from the voting rolls simply because they had not cast ballots in recent elections.

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati in 2016 struck down Ohio’s purge of the voter rolls. The justices originally were scheduled to hear oral arguments earlier this month, but delayed them because one of the attorneys was on medical leave.

The justices will have to determine whether Ohio devised a system aimed at circumventing federal law by [More]

Portman says tax code changes are ‘doable’

  • 2:48 pm Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 by Staff Writer

By Jack Torry

Washington Bureau

Sen. Rob Portman said it was “doable” for the Senate to push through a major overhaul of the U.S. tax code designed to reduce income tax rates on individuals and companies in exchange for scrubbing scores of deductions from the code.

In an interview Tuesday on Fox News, Portman, R-Ohio, said revising the code is “doable because we spent years on this. We’re long overdue in reforming a broken tax code.”

“I think there is a consensus now that there is a way to fix this code to bring back more jobs and investment and to help middle class [More]

Ohio Congressman giving money back to NRA

  • 1:56 pm Sunday, October 8th, 2017 by Staff Writer

By Michael Dulman, Jack Torry
Washington Bureau

Rep. Tim Ryan is giving the campaign money — $20,000 — he’s received from the National Rifle Association to gun control groups.

Ryan, D-Niles, who began his career in Congress with an “A” rating from the NRA, decided to donate his NRA money to Sandy Hook Promise, Americans for Responsible Solutions and Everytown for Gun Safety.

The announcement came after a similar one from fellow Democrat Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota, who said he would donate $18,950 of his past NRA contributions to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Ryan, said a spokesman, “has no interest in taking guns [More]

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