Sincerely yours: The Ohio School Boards Association is leaving the National School Board Association, after the national group sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal law enforcement help on threats to school board members. That has state associations, including Ohio’s, riled up, saying the letter called protesting parents domestic terrorists. Laura Hancock reports this comes after recent heated local school board meetings in which parents and community members have become upset at mask mandates, vaccine quarantine requirements and critical race theory, which is becoming a flashpoint for conservatives but which education officials say is not studied in K-12 schools.
Light workload: House Speaker Bob Cupp finally has agreed to hold an Ohio Redistricting Commission meeting scheduling one for Thursday, Andrew Tobias writes. But at the hearing, the commission is only scheduled to consider previously introduced plans, and Republicans don’t plan to submit a plan of their own by an Oct. 31 deadline. That means the process now will head back to the Republican-controlled state legislature, with focus turning to a final Nov. 30 deadline, and cutting three statewide elected Republicans – Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Auditor Keith Faber, out of the process.
Rest In Power: The 61-year-old W.H. Sammis coal power plant along the Ohio River will permanently close at the end of 2028, owner Energy Harbor notified state officials. As Jeremy Pelzer reports, Energy Harbor previously planned to close the plant by 2022, but the company reversed those plans after the passage of House Bill 6 in 2019, which gave a $1 billion-plus bailout to the company’s two nuclear power plants. The nuclear bailout was rescinded last year after the HB6 bribery scandal broke.
Money talks: During the lobbying blitz to pass House Bill 6, FirstEnergy Solutions (Energy Harbor’s name when it was a FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary) contributed $500,000 to Republican Governors Association and donated money to the Democratic Governors Association and other groups affiliated with 2018 gubernatorial candidates Mike DeWine and Rich Cordray, lobbyists for the company told federal bankruptcy judge Alan Koschik on Tuesday. The lobbyists work for Washington, D.C.-based law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which is asking the court to give final approval to $68 million in fees and expenses it charged to FirstEnergy Solutions for work performed as the company emerged from bankruptcy (including about $2.8 million for lobbying work). Koschik asked whether the lobbyists thought the $500,000 contribution should have first been approved by the court; Akin Gump partner Abid Qureshi replied that it was OK because the company’s creditors were told (and helped plan) the contributions. Koschik said he’ll announce Nov. 16 whether to approve payment to Akin Gump, though he said “it’s a little irksome” that the corruption scandal took place during the bankruptcy proceedings.
A closer look: Of the 175 victims of human trafficking the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office has taken credit for rescuing, a verified 142 were arrested by police as part of the operation, according to WYSO’s Leila Goldstein. Goldstein’s investigation also found instances in which Yost took credit for rescuing a human trafficking victim but in which the records from police were much less definitive.
Ms. Rice goes to Washington – Cleveland mom Samaria Rice led several dozen supporters in a rally outside the White House on Tuesday, where she urged the Biden administration to reopen its probe of her 12-year-old son’s killing by police almost seven years ago, Sabrina Eaton reports. Rice said she wants the Justice Department to reopen a probe of Tamir Rice’s death that was closed during the waning days of the Trump administration. She plans to meet with several Justice Department officials on Wednesday.
Morgan Harper’s Bazaar: A Harper’s Bazaar profile of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Morgan Harper says her 2019 challenge to “establishment-backed, four-term incumbent Representative Joyce Beatty,” established her as “a progressive challenger to watch.” “People ask me what the difference between a grassroots candidate and a more mainstream ‘politician-type’ of candidate is,” Harper told her namesake publication. “The work doesn’t stop right after an election or campaign. Our goal is justice, and that is a daily push.”
Local control: Mason has become the second Ohio city to pass an ordinance criminalizing abortion, writes Erin Glynn for the Cincinnati Enquirer. City Council approved the ordinance by a 4-3 vote, joining nearby Lebanon, which passed a similar ban in May. There are no abortion clinics in Mason, but the ordinance also makes it illegal to possess or distribute abortion-inducing drugs. Two senate candidates — Republican Josh Mandel and Harper made appearances at city hall.
Trial run: NBC News’s Henry Gomez offers his take on Ohio’s 15th Congressional District race, which pits Democratic state Rep. Allison Russo against Republican Mike Carey, a former coal lobbyist who’s running with the backing of former President Donald Trump. Depending on how the election goes – Carey is heavily favored — it could offer national clues on how Trump’s support will factor into the midterms.
Extra coverage: A bipartisan Ohio House bill would require medical plans to cover advanced cancer screenings that could more accurately screen for cancer among women with dense breasts. As Titus Wu writes for the Columbus Dispatch, House Bill 371, sponsored by state Reps. Jean Schmidt and Sedrick Denson, also would modify an existing state requirement so that women with dense breasts are notified that the characteristic can it harder for traditional mammograms to detect cancer.
Five things we learned from the May 15, 2021 financial disclosure of state Rep. Scott Wiggam, a Wooster Republican:
1. His legislative salary is his only major source of income. He also reported making less than $1,000 in interest from a personal bank account.
2. He or a member of his immediate family does business through a company called Lulu Wayne, LLC.
3. He disclosed owning at least $1,000 in a variety of mutual funds and in college savings accounts. The individual stocks he reported owning are Tesla, CVS Health and Live Nation.
4. He disclosed owning at least $1,000 to Citibank and Apple Creek Bank.
5. He received $2,933.76 in House reimbursements for his mileage.
On The Move
State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney has been named ranking Democratic member of the Ohio House Finance Committee. She replaces former Rep. Erica Crawley, who was appointed to a vacant position on the Franklin County commission.
Thomas Hayworth, former legislative aide to state Rep. Kris Jordan Jacob Cox, Ohio’s 28th governor, U.S. interior secretary (1828-1900)
Straight From The Source
“Frank does things he knows are wrong when shiftless staffers convince him not to stand up. He’s far from the only one who’s lost his way.”
Former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges, who’s under indictment in the House Bill 6 corruption case, in a tweet Tuesday. He was responding to text messages, introduced as evidence in state redistricting lawsuits, showing Frank LaRose’s chief of staff advising him to vote for a mandatory legal statement explaining Republican state legislative maps after LaRose called the legal rationalization “asinine.”
Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up i">>here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ohio-school-board-association-leaves-national-affiliate-amid-furor-capitol-letter/ar-AAQ0H9n1420