Election 2018: Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni officially launched his campaign to become Ohio governor on Wednesday. Schiavoni told cleveland.com’s Henry J. Gomez of his plans to run for governor on Tuesday.
“After seven years of Republican control, we still don’t have the high-paying jobs that places like Youngstown, Toledo and the Ohio Valley so desperately need,” Schiavoni, a Democrat from Boardman, said. “Our roads and bridges are falling apart. Our public education system is woefully underfunded. Ohio’s opioid epidemic continues to plague our communities. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans give hundreds of millions of dollars to failing charter schools and billions in income tax cuts to the very rich.
“That’s why I am running for Governor — to provide the new generation of leadership we need to move Ohio forward,” Schiavoni, 37, said.
“Schiavoni, whose district includes the Youngstown area, is the first Democrat to formally declare his candidacy for governor,” Gomez writes. “He entered the race after a fellow Youngstown-area Democrat, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, announced he would not run for governor. Another possible candidate, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Copley, said Tuesday that she will reveal her decision next week.”
More announcements: Dorothy Pelanda, a state representative from Central Ohio, plans to run for state Secretary of State next year, Gomez writes.
“The best [piece of] advice that I ever received and one that I often give when speaking before groups is to dream big and take chances,” Pelanda says in an introductory video. The video also emphasized “her small-town roots on a ‘farm on the outskirts of Marysville’ and as the daughter of a ‘country lawyer’ who accepted sides of beef and venison as payment from clients,” Gomez writes.
Coming together: Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and President Donald Trump, a Republican, don’t agree on much.
But the two share a similar viewpoint on one particular issue: both believe the United States is treated unfairly by the World Trade Organization, cleveland.com reporter Stephen Koff writes. “Brown and the Trump administration both believe that the WTO repeatedly sides with foreign competitors. And that forces the United States to scale back its own trade protections.”
“Brown’s general criticism about an uneven playing field is not unusual. He is a leading critic of this country’s trade deals. But Trump’s agreement with the general thesis, announced separately from a news conference call Brown scheduled Wednesday, signals a shift in national policy,” Koff writes. “The United States intends to enforce its own rules and laws, said a White House ‘2017 Trade Policy Agenda’ released Wednesday by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The country will ‘defend its national sovereignty over trade policy,’ said the document, obtained by Bloomberg News and others. In the new document, Trump’s trade office said it won’t be bound by WTO decisions if they conflict with this country’s lawful practices.”
Fighting for Planned Parenthood: Ohioans who support Planned Parenthood gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday to try to stop Republican plans that would keep the organization from serving Medicaid patients, cleveland.com reporter Sabrina Eaton writes. “A leaked draft of a Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act shows plans to block Planned Parenthood from getting reimbursed for treating Medicaid patients,” Eaton writes. “About 60 percent of Planned Parenthood clients use Medicaid or other public insurance programs, an organization spokeswoman said, and the agency receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year in Medicaid reimbursements.”
“The threat to Planned Parenthood’s federal money prompted the family planning and reproductive health organization to invite more than 150 of its supporters to lobby Congress for continued funding by describing ways they were helped,” Eaton writes.
“If it wasn’t for Planned Parenthood, I could have lost my ability to have children,” Dorothy Caspi of Cincinnati said at a Planned Parenthood rally outside the Capitol.
Jobs numbers: Jobs Ohio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s privatized job creation nonprofit, had an off year in 2016, Columbus Dispatch reporter Randy Ludlow writes.
The organization created the fewest number of jobs in the state since 2013. It “reported its work last year attracted 284 projects with 20,603 jobs to Ohio, a decrease of 2,999 positions or 13 percent from the record mark set in 2015.”
“In a letter, Jobs Ohio President John F. Minor Jr. and board Chairman James C. Boland characterized the results as a ‘modest decline,'” Ludlow writes.
“We are disappointed that we did not continue the string of higher results, but the U.S. experienced a slowdown in economic development project activity last year,” Minor and Boland wrote.
No new money: A new executive order signed by President Donald Trump provides support to historically black colleges, but no money, cleveland.com reporter Karen Farkas writes.
“The executive order creates an advisory board and requires some federal agencies to prepare an annual plan describing efforts to help the colleges participate in federal programs and initiatives,” Farkas writes. “But the order provides no additional federal funding to the colleges, including private Wilberforce University and public Central State University in Ohio. Those colleges and other historically black colleges face financial issues,” Farkas writes. “There are more than 100 historically black colleges and universities, designated by the U.S. Department of Education to schools established before 1964 intending to serve the black community. Today they serve students of all races.”
Carry on: “A record 158,982 concealed carry handgun permits were issued in Ohio last year,” cleveland.com reporter Jackie Borchardt writes. “County sheriffs issued 117,953 new concealed carry permits and 40,982 renewal permits in 2016, according to the annual report from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. That’s the most permits issued in a single year since the program was created in 2004, according to the report.”
Man with a plan: “State Sen. Frank LaRose, a Hudson Republican, says he has a plan to improve how the state draws congressional districts that will make the process fairer and satisfy Republicans who have been reluctant to make reforms,” Borchardt reports.
“LaRose proposes keeping [the redistricting process] in the hands of lawmakers but requiring approval of a majority of each party’s lawmakers or a two-thirds majority in each chamber.”