It’s time: As Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden prepare to take the stage in Cleveland Tuesday, Seth Richardson takes stock of the race in Ohio, which has shifted firmly into toss-up territory. Richardson also put together a comprehensive viewer guide for what to expect. And Robert Higgs has Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s take on the debate and his hope for a peaceful event.
Here we go again: This isn’t Cleveland’s first rodeo with being the center of the political world. Joshua Gunter has a story and photo gallery showing we’re well-accustomed to it up here in Northeast Ohio, which has been the site of presidential and vice-presidential debates and, of course, the Republican National Convention in 2016.
Trump endurance: The day before traveling to Cleveland, Trump showed off the new “Endurance” electric pickup truck from Ohio’s Lordstown Motors outside the White House, claiming success for boosting the region’s economy after General Motors shuttered its plant that made the Chevrolet Cruze, Sabrina Eaton reports. Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown disputed that claim, accusing Trump of abandoning workers at Lordstown and not lifting “a finger to bring those jobs back” after telling workers in the area in 2016 not to sell their homes because he’d improve their economic fortunes if he became president.
Speaking of GM: The automaker has been ordered to repay $28 million of the $60.3 million in tax credits the company received in 2008, after the company failed to keep its end of the deal by continuing to employ thousands of workers at the Lordstown plant. Per Andrew Tobias, GM also agreed to invest $12 million in the Mahoning Valley, in the form of infrastructure, jobs training or other community programs.
No deal: The Greater Cleveland Partnership, an economic development group, called for state lawmakers to repeal and replace House Bill 6, the now-tainted nuclear bailout legislation at the center of the federal investigation into FirstEnergy and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. GCP President and CEO Joe Roman said the group leaned that way to “remove the alleged stain of corruption on the law and to enable the restoration of the energy efficiency programs supported by our members.”
Oops: The Ohio Republican Party launched a short-lived (and false) attack ad against state Rep. Phil Robinson on social media Friday. The ad linked to a 1999 lawsuit filed against someone named Phil Robinson. It turns out it was the wrong Phil Robinson. After Robinson noticed, and protested, ORP took the ad down, telling Tobias a third-party vendor had performed faulty research.
Monday report: The state reported nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases. However, newly reported deaths were just five, Laura Hancock reports.
COVID patient count up: Monday marked the fourth consecutive day for an increase in Ohio hospital beds being used by patients with coronavirus, the longest such streak since July 18-23, reports Rich Exner. Even when case trends went up from time to time over the last several weeks, hospitalizations continued to go down, until now. On average over the last week, there have been 617 coronavirus patients in Ohio hospitals.
LOLocal control: A spokesman for Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said he is “inclined” to sign a bill banning municipalities from enacting bans on single-use plastic bags, saying that the coronavirus pandemic makes any changes to commerce too difficult, the Columbus Dispatch’s Marc Kovac and Randy Ludlow report. Spokesman Dan Tierney said DeWine would normally respect home rule, but with the ongoing pandemic, plastic bag bans raise health concerns about the role of reusables.
Our lips are sealed: Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken still won’t say whether she supports Republican President Donald Trump’s call for a boycott on Akron-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. “I think the president was pointing out the hypocrisy of Goodyear’s policy, which they have since retracted,” Timken said during a call with reporters. “The president has always been fighting for the American worker and the Ohio worker. I find it ironic that the Democrats are seeking to side with the corporate executives versus the workers.” Asked for her or ORP’s stance on a boycott, Timken said she answered the question.
Five things we learned from the May 30 financial disclosure form of state Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, a Richmond Heights Democrat.
1. Aside from his legislative salary, Yuko received $1,000 to $9,999 from pensions with the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System and Laborers Local 310 in Cleveland, $25,000 to $49,999 from a pension with the Laborers District Council in Columbus and Social Security, and $50,000 to $99,999 from a pension with the Laborers International Union in Washington, D.C.
2. Aside from his pensions, Yuko’s lone investment was a 401(k) with Edward Jones.
3. At some point in 2019, Yuko owed more than $1,000 to Chase Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cardinal Community Credit Union and GM Financial.
4. The Ohio Senate reimbursed Yuko $7,332 for mileage. Yuko also received $283 worth of travel expenses from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
5. Youngstown State University gave Yuko two football tickets and meals worth $86 on Sept. 9, 2019 (a 54-28 victory over the Howard Bison). Ohio University gave Yuko $136.25 worth of football tickets, parking and food and beverage on Oct. 19, 2019 (a 45-38 victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes).
Jo Ann Davidson, former Ohio House speaker
“If this were serious, I would have a comment. Because it is patently absurd, I do not.”
-Dan Tierney, spokesman for Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, on state Rep. John Becker’s affidavit seeking to charge DeWine with a slew of crimes. Shortly after Becker announced his affidavit, the local prosecutor declined to pursue the case, saying the matter was for the legislature, not the courts, Laura Hancock reports.
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