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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New political column to debut this Sunday

After 44 years, my friend, colleague and mentor David W. Jones retired last Friday from The News-Herald.

Dave’s unique Sunday column was a must read each week for political insiders and others curious about the ongoings of the political machines in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Read his final column by clicking here.

His column was an entertaining and unique blend that included gossip, speculation and listing of political events for readers to peruse each Sunday.

He had a great sense of the political pulse of the county and we’ll miss his institutional knowledge — something that cannot be replaced.

But to help fill this void, we’ve decided to offer our readers something new each Sunday as I will author a political notes column to run in our Comment section in print and in the Opinion section on our website.

It will be different in nature, of course, because no one can fully step into the shoes of someone like Dave Jones.

However, many elements such as fundraisers, endorsements and other items will continue.

So if you have any political tips that would be appropriate to pass along for my column, please feel free to send them to me.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How your senators and representatives voted in Congress (1/28/11)

See how U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township; U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, voted in Congress in the week ending Jan. 28, 2011:

Ohio in Congress, 20110128

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Steve Madewell still in running for top Dayton are parks job

First there were five finalists but now there are only two.

And count Steve Madewell as one of the pair still be considered for the executive director's job with the Dayton area Five River Metroparks system.

Madewell is currently the head of Lake Metroparks, an agency that has an annual budget of $16.6 million and 128 full-time employees.

By contrast, Five Rivers has a budget of $27 million with 160 employees.

The land mass managed by Five Rivers is also close to twice that of Lake Metroparks: About 16,000 acres for the former.

A decision on whether Madewell gets the job should be made shortly into February.

However, Madewell previously has told The News-Herald that his current job is not at risk should the Five Rivers Metroparks three-member board of park commissioners select someone else.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How your senators and representatives voted in Congress (1/21/11)

See how U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township; U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, voted in Congress in the week ending Jan. 21, 2011:

Ohio in Congress, 20110121

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Judge not, lest ye--

In Geauga County, Chardon Municipal Court Judge Mark Hassett, who’s a Republican, one day filed candidacy nominating petitions to seek re-election. And then on Monday (Jan. 17) he announces he won’t run at all this fall.

Meanwhile, attorney Dennis M. Coyne, a Republican, bears petitions for the same bench. Also with petitions is attorney Terri Stupica, now undeclared by party; she voted Democrat in the last election.

But what about Dan Bond, the Muny Court magistrate who’s sat in as acting judge for Hassett? What if GOP fans and allies want to urge him to run for the bench?

--David W. Jones

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rank and file: Young, Fende, Yuko, Hollington

State Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, and his committee assignments in the Ohio House of Representatives, which is now a Republican majority in Columbus?
GOP House majority leaders gave Young exactly the three committee seats he said he hoped for in a story that ran Dec. 30.
Now outnumbered by Republicans, seats of Ranking Minority Democrats s were nevertheless given to state Reps. Kenny Yuko, Richmond Heights, and Lorraine Fende, D-Willowick.
n Young got Commerce & Labor on which he is majority vice chair.
Democrat Yuko? He’s ranking Minority member on Commerce & Labor, plus a regular member on Veterans Affairs. Young also got on Criminal Justice, plus State Government & Elections.
n Fende had hoped to sit with the Minority on the Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee. Nope.
But such a committee seat in the GOP Majority did go to reappointed state Rep. Dick Hollington, R-Hunting Valley. Hollington also sits on Finance.
Fende did get the Ranking Minority seat on Health & Aging, plus a seat on Insurance.

--David W. Jones

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ohio governor trivia

Last week the Ohio Historical Society compiled some fun facts about Ohio governors in advance of Gov. John Kasich's inauguration. There are some pretty neat facts about the people who have served as the leader of Ohio, how long they served, where they lived and more. It's interesting to learn information about the namesakes for Ohio buildings, cities, landmarks and more.

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Ohio gun owners name 2011's political obstacles

The always relevant and pro-gun Ohio Firearms Association's latest on-line newsletter has several interesting Second Amendment-related talking points.

Chief among them being the group's take on the 10 most serious obstacles to pro-firearms issues and legislation, especially in Ohio. Among them are some of the usual suspects such as billionaire George Soros and anti-gun legislators.

Also included, however, is John Born, recently name by newly installed as head of the Ohio Highway Patrol. It was Born who - during the Taft Administration - adamantly opposed the concealed carry bill which became law in spite of his opposition.

The gun rights group likewise fingers a leader in Ohio's anti-gun movement by exposing the required IRS returns for the group during 2008 and 2009.

Maybe best of all is how the Association recycles a Fox News clip that tells how one of the men who tackled the deranged Arizona assassin was also a concealed carry permit holder who was ready to use his weapon.

To see the Association's web site visit

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How your senators and representatives voted in Congress (1/7/11)

See how U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township; U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, voted in Congress in the week ending Jan. 7, 2011:

Ohio in Congress, 20110107

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Ohio Agriculture Department shakeup

Life's going to be a little more difficult for reporters looking for information from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

And that could mean lesser quality information or a delay in getting agriculture news to the public.

The reason for the expected hard times is because the department's media relations people are gone after today. They will be replaced Monday by hand-picked people awarded the jobs by in-coming governor John Kasich.

It happens with every administration change but it never made any sense. Not when such other agencies as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency retains all but the Number One (or maybe, Number Two as well) spokesman or spokeswoman.

Come Monday the media will have to hope that whoever fills the public information slots will know a thing or two about emerald ash borers, gypsy moths, chronic wasting disease and the price of a bushel of corn along with how to apply for various agency grants.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

LaTourette to hold gavel today in U.S. House of Reps.

U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette is slated to hold the gavel this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in the U.S. House of Representatives.

LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township, will preside over the rules package changes.
Here are some of the new rules:

n Members will not be able to introduce a bill or joint resolution without a “statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact” it. This will serve to refocus members of Congress, with every bill they introduce, on the Constitution that they take an oath to support and defend.

n No bill will be voted upon without being available online for at least three calendar days. This will ensure members, the media, and the American people have an opportunity to read the bill before any vote.

n For the first time under the House rules, “in electronic format” will be the standard by which are made bills available. Placing bills and other texts online for the American people to see will increase public scrutiny and accountability and yield a better legislative process.

Committees must:

n Post online their committee rules

n Provide 3 days notice for all markups

n Circulate the text of legislation to be marked-up no less than 24 hours before the markup

n Post online all votes in the committee 48 hours after a markup

n Make available online the text of any amendments adopted in a markup

n Post online “truth in testimony” information, “with appropriate redactions to protect the privacy of the witness” so that any conflicts of interest with hearing witnesses are made public

n Make available online the member attendance record for each hearing and markup within 24 hours

n Webcast and make available online their hearings and markups

The House rules package preserves the Office of Congressional Ethics with no changes made to its structure. The language included in the rules package is identical to that included in the rules for the 111th Congress.

Cut-as-you-go will be included in the House rules.

n The new rule states that if mandatory spending is increased, spending must be cut by an equal or greater amount elsewhere.

n Tax increases cannot be used to pay for new mandatory spending.

n This rule will, in practice, replace the Democrats’ “pay-go” rule.

Under new House rules, each appropriations bill will be required to have a “spending reduction account.”

The rules package reinstates a six-year term limit on committee chairmen, one of the central congressional reforms of the 1994 Contract with America. The term limit on committee chairmen was under Democratic control of the House.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Musical chairs time before administraion change

At least one current Gov. Ted Strickland staff member has secured employment.

And Mike Shelton hardly has to walk very far from his old job to his new one. All that is required of Shelton is a short hop, skip and jump from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' headquarters at Fountain Square to a sister building within the same Columbus campus.

Shelton has left his post as the Natural Resources Department's top communications - a politically vulnerable post if ever there was one - to a more secure position as a press spokesman for the agency's Division of Parks and Recreation.

Shelton replaced long-time Parks spokeswoman Sandy Chiaramonte who retired at the conclusion of 2010.

While Shelton is not entirely immune from the potential of his head going on the political chopping block his position is likely beneath the radar.

And in his previous non-political life Shelton was a well-respected natural resources expert with an Ohio non-profit conservation organization.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cuyahoga calling

The voter-created new Cuyahoga County form of government starts this week under new Executive Ed FitzGerald, who started today (Monday).

In a county with Prosecutor Bill Mason as the last elected non-judicial official standing, some say FitzGerald wants the county government to have its own law director for non-criminal cases. Replacing Mason’s office?

Meanwhile, the five-county Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency works with the votes of elected county commissioners and elected county engineers in four counties.

With such no such elected commissioners or engineers existing in Cuyahoga, who now gets to vote on NOACA issues, and when?

--David W. Jones

House is not a home?

In Ohio’s capital city of Columbus on Monday, many of its newly elected officials were sworn into office.

As of this writing, was anybody announced and/or sworn in to fill that Ohio House of Representatives seat in a district of all Geauga County and part of eastern Cuyahoga County?

You know, that seat from former incumbent Matt Dolan resigned, for which appointed Rep. Dick Hollington didn’t seek re-election and which Tim Grendell, a Republican like the first two, didn’t accept when he was elected on Nov. 3 to fill the vacancy?

Or is all this old news by this reading?

--David W. Jones

Commissioner Troy, Judge Wright sworn-in

Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy and 11th District Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Wright were sworn-in Thursday in Painesville.

The ceremony took place inside the County Administration Building in the city’s downtown.

Troy, a Willowick Democrat, defeated Wickliffe Republican Bob Murphy in November.

Meanwhile, Wright, a Trumbull County Democrat, defeated Lake County Common Pleas Court Judge Eugene Lucci, a Concord Township Republican.

Troy begins his fourth four-year term, while Wright begins his first six-year term. He replaced former Judge Colleen O’Toole, a Concord Township Republican, who lost a May primary to Lucci.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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