Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter switches political party

Likely to face a tough Republican Party primary against a more conservative opponent, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania will now be known as a Democrat.

What impact will it have? How unique is this? Are there examples of this happening in Lake or Geauga counties?

Click here to find the answers and leave your comments.


Friday, April 24, 2009

The rest of the (loge) story

Unfortunately, the length of an article is limited by the space available in that day’s newspaper.

As a result, not everything that was said or discussed at the marathon finance committee meeting Monday night in Eastlake was printed.

One item picked up on by some readers was the city's potential acquisition of a loge should council approve the lease agreement amendment proposed by the Lake County Captains and negotiated with the Eastlake administration.

Some expressed concern over whether the loge would be used only by the mayor and/or council to entertain friends and family.

So, in an effort to clarify, here's a bit more of what was discussed Monday night:

It was made clear by Mayor Ted Andrzejewski that the loge's primary use would be for economic development.

One form of that could be to host businesses considering whether to locate in Eastlake, as Captain General Manager Brad Seymour said he's seen done in other markets over his career.

A second form of that could be coordinating with businesses already in Eastlake to allow them to either reward employees or host their own customers, Andrzejewski said.

Yet a third idea tossed around Monday night was setting up some kind of raffle to allow Eastlake residents the chance to win the 16-person loge for a night.

"It's more of a (public relations) thing than it is a money maker for us," City Councilman Dennis Morley said.

The loge has a market value of $15,000, according to Captains officials.

-- Michael C. Butz

Monday, April 20, 2009

Delaware County prosecutor to run for Ohio AG in 2010

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Republican Dave Yost will seek election as Ohio Attorney General in 2010.

If successful in winning the Republican Party's nomination, Yost who is Delaware County's prosecutor, would likely face incumbent Attorney General Richard Cordray, a Democrat.

Yost is the first Republican to drop his name into the ring. State Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township, sought the Republican nomination in 2006, but was unsuccessful. Grendell was then re-elected to his seat in the Ohio Senate last November.

Another Republican name likely to be brought up and who is mentioned by the Dispatch as a possible candidate is former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine of Cedarville.

I believe this race will have a Republican primary with at least two candidates because it doesn't appear, at least for now, that there is one name that would create enough party unity for someone to run unopposed.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Are elections really special to voters?

With Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy recently bringing up discussion about the costs for special elections, it made me think about why some elections are called special.

Literally, it's because a special election isn't regularly scheduled like a primary in May or in November when they are called a general election. With no candidates on the ballot in Lake County on May 5, there would be no election without entities calling for a special election for issues. Four did, so 108 of 215 precincts will have one issue on which to vote.

While it is special that our society gives people the right to vote, it don't always appear that voters believe that privilege is special.

Many times, you'll see some elections with voter turnouts of 20 percent or fewer. Why is that? People love to complain about how terrible things are or how bad politicians may be or how they disagree with how their community government or schools are run.

But what do so many people do? Nothing. I think many people just like to complain about things as a way to converse. For example, "It's too cold today" or "I hate winter" or "Traffic was terrible this morning". These are things we cannot change.

But for things we can change, it is far too often that people are apathetic toward making their voice heard. To me, that is strange in a state where people can now cast an absentee ballot by mail if they don't have time to go vote.

Those involved in the recent 2008 presidential election were pleased in some areas where voter turnout reached 80 percent.

Why isn't it at least that high at every election?

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Double, double, toil and trouble

Politics and the coincidental calendar can get confusing between state Sen. Tim Grendell R-Chester Township, and fellow Republicans.

On one day, as reported, the Lake County Republican Party Exec Committee said it censures Grendell. GOP statements said he supposedly got too close to a Democrat who ousted a Republican last year.

On the same day, by the sheerest happenstance, was a scheduled Ohio Supreme Court hearing in a case involving a lawsuit filed against Grendell by a consultant for Republicans.

This was a third appeal in a case which Republican Grendell had won twice in lower courts in what legal jargon calls "double dismissal."

The suer alleges Grendell didn't pay up on bonuses for the consultant's campaign help that left other Republicans unhappy. Or something.

After the double dismissal defeats in lower courts, the suer went to SUPCO for his third try. Is it reported yet who won the trifecta, or does everybody keep waiting and waiting and waiting?

Either way, maybe what comes around can go around in either direction for maverick Grendell.

But some eyebrows might be raised after Republicans last year lost all those offices nationally and in Ohio.

That included now-ousted state Rep. Carol-Ann Schindel, R-Leroy Township. She lost to the Ohio Democratic Party, Lake County Democratic Party and now-incumbent state Rep. Mark Schneider, D-Mentor.

(Hmm. Just as the local Republican Party goes intraparty venting, so did the local Democratic Party wherein up-risers earlier tried and failed to oust party leadership).

But is the Grendell/GOP stir a free gift to--


What if the Ohio Republican Party tries to make a second comeback in the next election and risks a double dismissal defeat of GOP candidates in Lake County?

--David W. Jones

Monday, April 6, 2009

Michelle Earley appointed to Cleveland Municipal Court

Announcement today from the governor's office ...

Gov. Ted Strickland has appointed Michelle D. Earley to the Cleveland Municipal Court.

“Michelle will be a tireless advocate for the citizens of Cleveland,” Strickland said in a news release. “I am confident that Michelle will bring the innovative thinking that she demonstrated in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to the Municipal Court, and make the court more accessible and efficient.”

Michelle D. Earley, 35, of Cleveland, fills the seat vacated by the election of Judge Larry Jones to the 8th District Court.

Earley will take the bench on April 20. To retain the seat, she must run in the November 2009 judicial election.

Earley has served as the grand jury supervisor for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office since 2006. She had previously served the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office as an assistant prosecuting attorney from 2000-2007.

“I am grateful to the Governor for granting me the opportunity to serve and I look forward to administering justice in a fair and thoughtful way on behalf of the citizens of Cleveland,” Earley said.

Earley received a bachelor of science degree in Information Systems from the Ohio State University in 1996 and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1999.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Husted announces Ohio Secretary of State candidacy

State Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, announced he's running for Ohio Secretary of State.

Husted is a former Ohio House Speaker, who wants to be in charge of handling the state's election process and administering election laws.

The position also oversees corporate filings, including articles of incorporation and various business documents, and serves as a member on Ohio's apportionment board.

"Every candidate for Secretary of State says they are going to ensure fair and impartial elections, but my promises don't end there," Husted said in a statement. "I am going to change the system. We can do this by changing the oversight of our elections system to be one based on successful models working in other states with the input from local elections officials. It will be a bipartisan, decision-making process - leading to nonpartisan outcomes."

Husted said the position would give him an opportunity to change the state apportionment board process from what he believes is a partisan, politically-charged environment to one that places more power in the hands of Ohio voters.

"As Speaker of the House, I worked to change the partisan process of gerrymandering districts," Husted said. "Our current system allows the politicians to pick their voters, rather than allowing the voters to pick their public officials."

Husted represents Ohio's 6th Senate district and he works at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, as the Director of Workforce Education and Employer Services.

He is married to his wife Tina and has two children, Alex and Katie.

For more information about Husted's campaign visit:

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beat the drum lightly

What about U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township, and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, which grades members of Congress on what they do for the middle class?

LaTourette got his shares of Ds and Fs in 2006-07, then Bs by 2007.

Now he gets an A-plus (100 percent) as the highest Drum Major grade for any Republican in Congress.

That was for his working “above average” on such bipartisan issues as improving toy safety, increased access to higher education and some economic respite to struggling Americans.

LaTourette did vote no on stimulus proposals. But, sitting on the House Appropriations Committee, he’s supported other federal revenue brought back home.

In the House, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, succeeded the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Fudge got an “incomplete” Drum Major grade in her interim role. But Fudge stil got a 100 percent for efforts so far.

In the U.S. Senate, it was a “D” for Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and a “B” for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

--David W. Jones