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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, February 16, 2013

State of the Union speech interesting, questions remain

One of the two major speeches I’ve anticipated hearing this month was finished Tuesday when President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union Address.

The other comes this Tuesday in Lima, when Gov. John Kasich will give his State of the State Address.

Initially, I thought a few of Obama’s proposals were interesting, but I also was left with questions.
The president wants high-quality preschool available to every child in America.

Obama said that every dollar spent on children for that purpose can save $7 down the road.

The president didn’t exactly specify how — no matter how much merit the idea might have — it would be funded initially.

Obama also called for an increase in the minimum wage and for Congress to put gun-control legislation up for a vote.

Critics often argue that increases in minimum wage lead to inflation and prompt businesses to raise prices or cut employee hours or jobs to offset the added wages.

Minimum wage proponents frequently say people should be able to earn enough to make a living and the added income gives minimum wage recipients more money to purchase goods and services.

Obama said gun violence victims deserve a vote, and he shared the story of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl from Chicago who was killed recently in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from Obama’s house.

Obama said people including Pendelton’s family, the people of Newtown, Conn., and other victims such as former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords deserve a vote on gun control measures, whether it be a yes or no.

Emotion aside, my question is what would that legislation look like and how effective might it be?

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, gave the Republican rebuttal speech and provided a sharp contrast to the president in terms of policies moving forward.

He also shared a little bit of his family’s roots and was encouraged by a renewed effort by Congress to take up immigration reform.

Unfortunately, Rubio’s speech will likely be remembered as much, if not more, for his awkward attempt to grab a drink from a bottle of water.

But the appearance did raise Rubio’s profile on the national stage and may position him to be thought more as a presidential candidate in 2016.

United Solutions
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Russell Township, has joined the United Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group of freshman Members of Congress committed to working together to find common ground on issues.
The caucus was founded by U.S. Reps. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., and Patrick Murphy, D-Fla. Nearly 30 members of the freshman class have joined.

Picked up petitions

Recently taking out petitions with the Lake County Elections Board was Lori Lipton for Concord Township trustee. The deadline to file for the position is Aug. 7.

Hear ye, hear ye

The Ohio Supreme Court has approved the nomination of Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell as a member of the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts representing the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges. The term ends Dec. 31, 2015.


The weekly deadline for information to appear in this column is Wednesday at 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.


n Concord Township Trustees Paul Malchesky and Christopher Galloway re-election fundraiser is 5 to 7 p.m. March 4 at Harry Buffalo in Painesville Township. See Malchesky, Galloway or Connie Luhta.

n Re-election kickoff party for Mentor Municipal Court Judge John Trebets, 5 to 8 p.m. March 7 at Holiday Inn Express LaMalfa Centre in Mentor. See Ed or Cindy Hughes.

n Re-election kickoff for Eastlake Mayor Ted Andrzejewski, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 at Patrician Party, Eastlake. See Ted or Patricia Andrzejewski.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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