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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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

National spotlight shined on Lake County

Lake County was in the national spotlight again last week when the CBS Evening News came to the area to do a story about how the county traditionally has been a bellwether for Ohio’s vote for the presidential election.

The segment was timed to go along with the release of a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll.

Prior to the poll’s release on Wednesday most national polls showed the race for president in Ohio between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was tight, with no front runner.

With Ohio still in play as a swing state, the CBS Evening News crew called and later stopped by The News-Herald to interview me to gauge what I believe are some of the issues important to Lake County voters and how the presidential race was playing out locally.

I spent a good 20 to 25 minutes doing an on-camera interview with CBS Correspondent Dean Reynolds, who peppered me with all kinds of questions that I did my best to answer.

We talked about how the county is a blend of urban, suburban and rural lifestyles and beliefs; how population represents a lot of what makes up Ohio and has been noted by other news organizations as the county that most closely reflects how the state as a whole votes.

Obama won Lake County in 2008, while President George W. Bush carried the county in 2004 and 2000.

As a journalist, it was a great experience to see how a national news crew operated. I was both excited and nervous as I waited for the segment to air Wednesday.

Of course, when I finally watched the program I wasn’t included, much to my disappointment. Those are the breaks.

The segment revealed the poll showed Obama with a 10-point lead over Romney in Ohio. So I’m guessing a lot of what we talked about during the interview probably became irrelevant and the show’s producers took the segment into a different direction, leaving me out.

I can understand that. Hey, I’m in the news business, and I know stories can change very quickly.

Of course, it’s only one poll and people are welcome to cast doubt over its validity.

But I will say that a lot can change during the next five weeks or so, such as country’s and state’s unemployment rates could dramatically change. Plus, the candidates will have a chance to make a final impression during a series of debates.

So with voting for the Nov. 6 election starting Tuesday, make sure you take the time to discover which candidates reflect what you believe and then cast your ballot. Don’t let others make these decisions for you when you fail to vote.
State Bar Association releases ratings

The Ohio State Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Candidates released its ratings for Ohio Supreme Court candidates.

Receiving ratings of highly recommended were Justices Yvette McGee Brown and Robert R. Cupp. Justices Terrence O’Donnell, William O’Neill and Michael J. Skindell received ratings of recommended. Judge Sharon Kennedy received a rating of not recommended.

The Bar Association’s evaluation process rated each candidate individually according to the Commission’s eight criteria. A rating of highly recommended was awarded to any candidate who received favorable votes from at least 70 percent of the 25-member panel. Sixty percent of favorable votes from the panel earned a rating of recommended, while anything below 60 percent received the not recommended rating.
Candidate forum
A Meet The Candidates forum for Lake County candidates will be held today at 1 p.m. in the Father Kline Social Center of Saint John Vianney Parish and will be moderated by a League of Women’s Voters representative.
n  Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy hosts his Fall Classic and Clam Bake, 12:30 p.m. shotgun start, 5 p.m. dinner Monday at Lost Nation Municipal Golf Course in Willoughby. See Troy or Kip Molenaar.

n Werner Barthol, candidate for Lake County prosecutor, hosting Oktoberfest 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at Lake Metroparks Painesville Township Park Community Center/Ballroom. See Kelly Barthol or James Falvey.

n Ron Young, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 61, hosts wine tasting from Wine Sommelier and Spirit Expert Gene Segal of South River Vinyards, 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at Quail Hollow Country Club. See Young.

n Fall clambake for John Rogers, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 60, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Mentor Beach Park in Mentor-on-the-Lake. See Rogers or John Crocker.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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