Obama in campaign mode: Former President Barack Obama came to Cleveland Thursday night to pound home a message to an enthusiastic crowd: vote, vote, vote. Obama, who spoke in a hot gymnasium at a rally on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray and running mate Betty Sutton, also used the event to lay down a direct challenge to Republican President Donald Trump, writes cleveland.com’s Seth Richardson in an analysis. Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias covered the event live and has a recap.
Medical marijuana audit: Ohio Auditor Dave Yost released a long-anticipated audit of the process for awarding medical marijuana grow licenses. Cleveland.com’s Jackie Borchardt writes that in addition to identifying scoring errors and inconsistencies, the audit concluded the Ohio Department of Commerce violated state law when it awarded two additional licenses to rectify scoring mistakes. The agency disagrees with Yost’s conclusion.
Hemp carpet in Cleveland? Ty Williams, a financial and business consultant, shared his plan Thursday for a facility to manufacture hemp building products, clothing and even CBD Oil in a struggling neighborhood in Cleveland. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock has details of his business proposal.
Counsel’s argument: Ohio State Bar Association President Robin Weaver said in a Thursday statement the organization opposes Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that reduces criminal penalties for some drug crimes if the accused participates in treatment. Weaver said the proposal would take away power from judges.
On the other side: The ACLU of Ohio threw its support behind Issue 1 on Thursday, arguing the measure would redirect dollars from prison to drug addiction treatment for individuals convicted of low-level drug crimes. “Ohio has a bad habit of relying on mass incarceration to attempt to solve every issue in our society, and Issue 1 will divert thousands of people back into community-based programs where they belong,” Jocelyn Rosnick, policy director for the ACLU of Ohio, said in a news release.
Fact check: U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot’s latest attack against Democratic rival Aftab Pureval doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, PolitiFact’s Stephen Koff finds. Chabot’s TV ad asserts that “Aftab’s lying about his office’s $400,000 projected deficit.” Koff explains why he rates that claim as false.
CLF renews Aftab attacks: The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House GOP leaders, has launched two more TV attack ads against Pureval. The ads, part of an ongoing $1.2 million ad buy, go after Pureval for working for a D.C. lobbying firm and a report suggesting his congressional campaign illegally used $30,000 from his clerk of courts campaign account. One of the ads, “Smooth Operator,” features Pureval showing off his moves on the dance floor.
AG TV: Ohio TV viewers are about to see a lot of the two nominees for Ohio attorney general in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Democratic nominee Steve Dettelbach’s campaign has reserved more than $2.5 million in TV ads between Oct. 16 and Nov. 5, according to campaign manager Ian Moskowitz. So far, GOP nominee Dave Yost’s campaign hasn’t reserved any ad time, though campaign spokesman Carlo LoParo said to expect a similarly-sized TV buy in the final weeks of the race. The Republican Attorneys General Association has also reserved $1.4 million worth of ad time on Yost’s behalf.
Statehouse favorites: Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT rights group, released its full list of Ohio legislative endorsements on Thursday. The list, which consists entirely of Democratic candidates, includes Louise Valentine in Senate District 19, Mary Lightbody in House District 19, Beth Liston in House District 21, Allison Russo in House District 24, Casey Weinstein in House District 37, Jeremy Blake in House District 71, and Taylor Sappington in House District 94. HRC previously endorsed Senate District 23 Democratic nominee Nickie Antonio.
Paula Hicks-Hudson’s husband dies: Freeman Hudson, the husband of the ex-Toledo Mayor and Ohio House District 44 Democratic nominee, passed away following a months-long illness, the Toledo Blade reports. Hudson, who married Hicks-Hudson in 1973, “stayed out of the political spotlight that shone on his wife,” according to the Blade.
Award of the court: Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor on Thursday was named the 2018 recipient of the Thomas J. Moyer Award for Judicial Excellence.
Allegations resurface: “A new political website has sprung up, appropriating the ‘Me Too’ movement to attack Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown over allegations stemming from his 1986 divorce,” cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias reports. Brown’s ex-wife called the website “disgusting,” while his opponent, Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, said, “Ohioans deserve to know all the facts.” The website has the hallmarks of a “dark money” political group, Tobias reports.
Dems feeling confident: Democrats are predicting that they could flip as many as seven seats in Ohio on their way to retaking the U.S. House, cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton reports. The lofty prediction came from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Lujan, who said Democrats will talk to voters about health care and other “kitchen table and pocketbook issues” rather than focus on President Donald Trump.
Learn all you can: Patrick O’Donnell of The Plain Dealer and Rich Exner, cleveland.com’s data expert, have everything you need to know about Ohio’s 2018 school report cards, which were released Thursday. O’Donnell also has a look at the school districts that scored best and worst in Ohio.
Politics and government: The Associated Press reports that an ad firm that did work for Richard Cordray when he was the top federal consumer watchdog is now doing work for the Democrat’s gubernatorial campaign.
The opioid epidemic and the labor force: “The opioid crisis poses major challenges to small businesses in Ohio as employers in rural and urban areas alike have trouble finding workers who can pass drug tests, the director of Cleveland State University’s Ohio Small Business Development center on Thursday told a congressional committee,” Eaton writes for cleveland.com. The committee, chaired by Cincinnati-area Republican Steve Chabot, will explore how to help small businesses help their workers.
Five things we learned from Philip Robinson’s April 9 ethics disclosure statement. Robinson, a Democrat from Solon in Cuyahoga County, is running for House District 6 against Republican Jim Trakas, a former lawmaker.
1. Robinson reported working for City Year Inc., an education nonprofit, last year. Candidates who are not serving in the General Assembly are not required to report income.
2. He’s on the boards of Gilmour Academy, his alma mater, the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland and Teach for America – Greater Cleveland.
3. He had an IRA and a Roth IRA with Equity Trust Co., a retirement fund with Thrift Savings Plan and a 401(k) with Fidelity Investments, He has savings accounts with Key Bank and Fifth Third Bank.
4. At some point in 2017, he owed at least $1,000 each to American Express, Fifth Third Bank, Discover Student Loans and FedLoan Student Servicing.
5. He didn’t report receiving any food, beverages or travel from lobbyists.
Saturday, Sept. 15: State Rep. Michael Ashford; Ex-President William Howard Taft (1857-1930)
Sunday, Sept. 16: Lisa Gates, Buckeye Institute VP communications; Asa S. Bushnell, Ohio’s 40th governor (1834-1904)
Straight From The Source
-Tweet from Innovation Ohio, a liberal think tank, commenting on “Innovate Ohio,” a technology initiative unveiled Thursday by Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike DeWine and his running mate, Jon Husted.
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