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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, December 1, 2012

Will bipartisanship re-emerge in Congress?

When thinking back to this past presidential election, it was one of the most intense and longest in terms of covering an election cycle.

The state of Ohio and the Cleveland media market were flooded with television commercials, radio advertisements, direct mailings, and dozens of visits to the region by the two major party presidential candidates. There was a lot of negativity overall, and it seemed like the spirit of bipartisanship had died.

Well, the election is over and the country has moved on but the real question is whether anything will change.
The country’s next national challenge for federal lawmakers and a re-elected President Barack Obama is how to deal with the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

If you’re not sure what that is, it’s basically trillions of dollars of mandatory spending cuts and tax increases that will go into effect after the end of this year if nothing is changed.

Many economists seem to think if that happens, the nation’s economy will be in peril and the country could fall back into a recession.

The concern is whether the current political climate in Washington, D.C., will make it difficult for anything to get done.

Sure, some congressman and senators won’t be back in January when the next session of Congress begins.
The U.S. House of Representatives is still controlled by the Republican Party, and the U.S. Senate is still controlled by the Democratic Party.

During the next few weeks, there will be lots of political posturing by both parties on exactly what to do to avert the cliff.

There already are lots of arguments by Republicans lawmakers about whether letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the top 2 percent would be a tax increase causing some to violate their pledge not to raise taxes to Grover Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Republicans also want entitlement program reform to be part of any discussion when it comes to tax hikes and spending reductions.

Will the Democrats overreach after feeling they have political capital to spend with Obama’s re-election?
The economy was a prime topic during the election, so let’s hope that Congress and the president can come to some sort of agreement and find a way to move the country along.

Election-weary Americans are tired of the bickering.

Mentor-on-the-Lake shakeup

Now that Mentor-on-the-Lake Mayor John Rogers has been elected to serve as the state representative for Ohio House of Representatives District 60, he soon will need to resign as his city’s mayor.
This means there will be some turnover involving the city’s elected leadership.

Mentor-on-the-Lake’s city charter states that the city council president shall serve as mayor until the next municipal election if there is a vacancy for the mayor’s position.

Currently the council president is David Eva. The city charter then states that council by majority vote will then need to appoint someone else to serve on council. If council fails to fill the vacancy within 30 days, the mayor will fill the vacancy.

Swearing in

A public bipartisan swearing in ceremony for all the recently elected public officials in Geauga County will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 26 at Park Elementary School Auditorium in Chardon, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor will preside at the ceremony. 

Inaugural ceremonies of newly elected Ohio Supreme Court Justice William Michael O’Neill, a South Russell Village Democrat, will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 27 at the Eighth District Court of Appeals Of Ohio in Cleveland.

Bolton Republican Women’s Club

Group holds its next meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at Lake County Republican Party headquarters in Painesville. See Heidi Callender.

LaTourette farewell roast

A retirement party for U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette will be held at the Croatian Lodge in Eastlake from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 8. Cost is $45 per person. Contact the Lake County Republican Party for reservations.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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