Not impressed: All the leading Republican candidates seeking to replace outgoing Sen. Rob Portman said Tuesday that they oppose the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill Portman championed and spent months negotiating. Per Andrew Tobias, most of the Republicans cited Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to hold the bill until the Senate takes up a larger spending bill containing Democratic priorities. Only state Sen. Matt Dolan, who’s not officially in the race, said he would have voted for the bill. Former President Donald Trump had argued the bill would help Democrats in 2022 and 2024 and said it would be “very hard” for him to endorse anyone “foolish enough” to vote for it.
Ohio connection: A group of men who were arrested last year and charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer initially considered targeting Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine too. Per Tobias, federal prosecutors said in a Monday filing in the Michigan case that DeWine’s name came up at a June 2020 planning meeting that matched the date of a meeting they previously said occurred in Ohio. DeWine said last year he learned about the case through the news. A spokesman said something similar on Tuesday, saying DeWine learned about his connection to the case in media reports.
Taxing issue: Two Ohio taxpayers have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to stop a state tax policy that they claim results in thousands of residents being “double-taxed” because they don’t know how much their employers withheld from their paychecks. As Jeremy Pelzer writes, the suit asserts that when taxpayers aren’t able to determine how much their employer withheld, the state considers them to have not paid any income tax – even if their employers did withhold the money.
Leadership changes continue: Another top leader at the Ohio Department of Education is leaving his post. Dr. John Richard, deputy state superintendent, announced that he’s leaving, effective Oct. 8. A spokeswoman at the department said Richard is going to the Stark Education Partnership, a nonprofit that works with the education, business and civic communities to drive improvement and innovation for students’ academic and career success. This announcement comes after Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced he’s retiring on Sept. 24.
Handy tool: The Ohio State Bar Association has launched a civics education website for students and young adults at MyOhioRights.com. There are sections on a person’s rights when stopped by police, tips on the right to record officers during police encounters and how to get involved and change the law.
Kids’ well-being: A new report showed that 18.1% of Ohio children lived in poverty in 2019, which is 1.1% lower than in 2018. The state’s median income in 2019 was $58,704 in 2018, up from $56,115. While these are good signs, the data compiled by the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio for its annual Kids Count report doesn’t include the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which started in 2020 and upended the economy and may have left children more vulnerable.
JD Stance: Rep. Jim Banks, the Indiana congressman who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Tuesday endorsed JD Vance’s Senate bid. Banks issued a statement calling Vance “exactly the type of conservative fighter that we need in the United States Senate to continue fighting for President Trump’s America First agenda.” Earlier this week, Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming endorsed Josh Mandel, calling him ‘the exact person Ohioans need in the Senate.”
Air support: Protect Ohio Values, Vance’s affiliated Super PAC, disclosed on Tuesday it had spent around $240,000, mostly on digital ads, supporting Vance in the race. The PAC was funded by a $10 million donation from Peter Thiel, the prominent Silicon Valley figure.
On the road: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley was in Columbus on Tuesday to tout her jobs plan and accept endorsements from two more Democratic state lawmakers: state Sen. Hearcel Craig and state Rep. Dontavius Jarrells, both of Columbus. When Whaley, Dayton’s mayor, was asked how she differs from her new primary rival, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, she replied they have “different styles,” suggested he’s wealthier than she is, and noted that she’s the only woman in the race for Ohio governor so far.
Tax facts: Ohio brought in more than $1.95 billion in taxes in July, about 1.3% more than expected, according to new figures from the DeWine Administration’s Office of Budget and Management. The number was $482.3 million lower than July 2020, although that number was skewed by different tax deadlines from last year. Adjusted for those differences, OBM said the state’s tax revenues exceeded any July on record.
Five things we learned from the May 16, 2021 financial disclosure of Casey Weinstein, a Hudson Democrat:
1. He made more than $100,000 last year through his job working for Gartner, a professional services company.
2. He is a trustee for a revocable trust named after him.
3. He owns at least $1,000 worth of 96 individual stocks including: Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal and Tesla.
4. He owns a home in Peninsula, Ohio.
5. At some point in 2020, he owed at least $1,000 to USAA Federal Savings Bank, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, Wells Fargo and Cross Country Mortgage.
John Cranley’s gubernatorial campaign team includes Jada Campbell as political director, Eric Adelstein of AL Media handling media efforts, Jaladah Aslam and Jared Kamrass as senior advisers, Angela Woodson as political adviser, Frederick S. Yang as the campaign’s pollster, and Don McTigue as the campaign’s attorney. Mission Control will handle direct mail, while BattleAxe Digital has been hired for digital efforts.
A Cranley release stated Eric Hyers, who most recently ran Steve Beshear’s successful run for Kentucky governor in 2019, will lead the campaign team. However, a Cranley spokeswoman said Hyers’ current title is general consultant, not campaign manager.
Curt Steiner, Republican political consultant and ex-Gov. George Voinovich’s chief of staff
“Presidents and Congresses have talked about truly modernizing our nation’s infrastructure for as long as I can remember. Today, the United States Senate delivered.”
-Republican Sen. Rob Portman, taking one of several victory laps on Tuesday for the bill he helped negotiate. An earlier joint statement Portman issued with Republican and Democratic senators who played key roles on the bill touted it as a “historic” and “landmark piece of legislation.” Portman also issued separate press releases touting the $1 billion the bill would invest in a Great Lakes environmental initiative, and the money it could bring to the Brent Spence bridge in Cincinnati through a new competitive grant program.
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