Ohio Political News Briefs

Staff Reports


DAYTON, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement after reports that U.S. military officials identified the bodies of four Marines killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday. The men, including Gunnery Sgt. Derik Richard Holley of Dayton, Ohio, were killed during a training mission in the California desert. Holley was a CH-53 helicopter crew chief.

“Gunnery Sgt. Holley’s passing is heartbreaking news for Ohio and for our nation,” said Brown. “Connie and I join the Montgomery County community in prayers of peace and comfort for Holley’s friends and family, as we commit to honor his memory and the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country.”

Craig speaks at state’s MLK Memorial Event

Event memorialized MLK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) spoke at the state’s Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Memorial Event. The speech reflected on MLK’s legacy on the 50th anniversary of his tragic death.

“As we reflect on what was happening then, what is happening now and what happened in between, it is clear he [MLK] displayed an immense amount of love for his country through his courage to fight for justice during difficult times,” Craig remarked in his speech. “The new generations are expecting better, wanting better and are demanding better. Dr. King’s lasting legacy serves as a guide for us in the continuing fight for freedom and justice for all.”

On April 4, 1968, MLK was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was advocating for equal work conditions for Black sanitation workers in that city. Events commemorating MLK’s legacy took place nation-wide today.

The memorial event in the Ohio Statehouse, sponsored by the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission (Commission), also featured Rev. Joel L. King, Jr., first cousin to MLK and David Jehnsen, leader of a Chicago delegation to the 1963 March on Washington and member of the commission.

The event was livestreamed by the Ohio Channel.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will have tough questions for Dr. Ronny Jackson as the Veterans Affairs Committee considers his nomination to replace Dr. David Shulkin as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin had broad support from the veteran’s community and Brown said he served honorably. Brown is troubled by reports that Shulkin was fired because he opposed efforts to privatize the VA. Brown will fight any effort to privatize the VA, and says Jackson must commit to oppose privatization to earn Senate approval.

“Privatization means putting profits ahead of those who served our country, and I will fight any effort to use America’s veterans to line the pockets of wealthy corporations,” Brown said. “We have a responsibility to work every day to strengthen and improve the VA for our veterans, and any nominee to head the VA must oppose efforts to abandon that responsibility by privatizing the VA.”

Brown is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Ohio on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

DeWine Husted for Ohio Campaign Releases 60-second TV ad, “Best Friends”

COLUMBUS- The DeWine Husted for Ohio campaign announced its latest TV ad titled “Best Friends.” The 60-second spot is narrated by Fran DeWine and tells the story of how they met, their family, and what drives Mike DeWine to make a difference every day.

“Mike and Fran DeWine are a true Ohio story,” Campaign Manager Dave Luketic said. “This ad allows us to show Ohioans what truly drives Mike DeWine to make Ohio’s future brighter for all of us.”

DeWine and Husted announce endorsement from Ohio Restaurant Association, vow to cut regulations

Mike DeWine and Jon Husted Announce Endorsement from Ohio Restaurant Association, Pledge to Eliminate Two Regulations for Every One New Regulation

CINCINNATI – Speaking to a crowded room of supporters at the world famous Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati, Mike DeWine and Jon Husted accepted the endorsement of the Ohio Restaurant Association. At the event, both DeWine and Husted referenced the need for a smarter approach to regulations that burden business in Ohio.

“Ohio can’t lead the country in regulations and lead in job creation at the same time,” Husted said. “If we want to create more jobs, we need fewer regulations that stand in the way of creating those jobs.”

Husted referenced a recent report from George Mason University that found Ohio has about 100,000 more regulations than the average state and the 3rd most regulations of any state.

“If we want Ohio to be the center of the 21-st century economy, we need a regulatory climate that’s not built on needless red tape,” said DeWine. “The DeWine Husted administration will require every agency to eliminate two existing regulations for every new regulation that is proposed.”

Biggest Endorsement Yet for Melanie Leneghan for Congress


House Freedom Fund represents most-principled conservatives in Congress

POWELL – Conservative Congressional candidate Melanie Leneghan received the endorsement of House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and the House Freedom Fund. This marks the eighth key group in the past few weeks to announce backing Leneghan for the 12th Congressional district primary to be held May 8th.

“Change in Washington begins by changing the kind of people we send there,” Rep. Meadows said. “It starts with electing real conservative leaders like Melanie Leneghan. Melanie is a Christian Conservative, a Constitutional Conservative, and Trump Conservative. She is a fighter who won’t back down. As a Liberty Township Trustee, Melanie has a proven record of saving taxpayers millions of dollars and successfully stopping every left-wing liberal initiative the failed, corrupt establishment tried to force through. Melanie is exactly what we need more of in Congress.”

The House Freedom Fund is the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus who ONLY endorses candidates “who are dedicated to open, accountable, and limited government – candidates who will fight to defend the Constitution and advance policies that promote liberty, safety, and prosperity for all Americans.”

“Even with the election of President Trump, more change is needed in Washington and the House Freedom Caucus is leading the way to stand up for Conservatives,” Leneghan said. “The endorsement of Chairman Meadows and the House Freedom Fund along with our many other Conservative supporters is a clear indication of the momentum our campaign has as we fight for our shared Conservative values.”

The Leneghan campaign’s commitment to conservative voters is earning praise. In the past few weeks, she has earned endorsements of many key conservatives, including:

Congressman Jim Jordan; Ohio Right to Life PAC; First Freedom Ohio; We the People Convention; National Association for Gun Rights PAC; Ohio Value Voters; Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio

“I am honored to be on Melanie’s team,” Rep. Meadows said. “We can count on her to stand with us to defend freedom and Drain the Swamp!”

Leneghan’s commitment to families is rooted in her Christian faith. She stepped away from a successful business career to stay at home and raise her two daughters. Currently, Leneghan serves as a Liberty Township Trustee. She and her husband Patrick have been married for more than 20 years.

DeWine Statement

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued the following statement regarding the death of Mary Regula:

“Fran and I were sad to learn of the death of Mary Regula, but know she has been reunited with the love of her life, former Congressman Ralph Regula. Mary and Ralph were a formidable duo and served the citizens of Northeast Ohio throughout his long career in public service. We owe a debt of gratitude to Mary for recognizing the many important contributions of America’s First Ladies. It was because of Mary Regula’s determination and vision that the National First Ladies Library is located in Canton. Fran and I send our sympathy to the Regula family.”

American Legion names Craig 2017 Legislator of the Year

Honored for his dedication to helping Ohio veterans

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) earlier this month was presented with a 2017 Legislator of the Year award at the American Legion’s Inaugural Legislative Breakfast in the Ohio Statehouse. The lawmaker was honored for his dedication to helping Ohio veterans through a variety of legislative initiatives during his time in the state legislature.

“I am extremely proud to have been recognized by the American Legion as a legislator of the year,” said Craig. “Having the opportunity to use my perspective and experience to ensure veterans have a voice in the legislative process has been an absolute honor, and I will continue to hold Ohio veterans near to my heart as I serve.”

Craig’s work in the legislature includes serving as the Ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and National Security committee, where bills affecting Ohio veterans are studied and discussed. In addition to his attention to veteran’s issues during his time on Columbus City Council and in the state legislature, Craig is a Vietnam Era Veteran who served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972.

Easter Bunny Makes a Pit Stop At Local Swim School in Westerville!

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, the worldwide leader in swimming instruction, drowning prevention and water safety courses, hosted a fun-filled Easter Egg Hunt in the Westerville area! The event took place on Sunday, March 24th from 4pm-6pm at 714 N State St, Westerville, OH 43082. Aqua-Tots welcomed guests of all ages to enjoy snacks, crafts, face painting, contests, swim games and were even treated to an appearance by the Easter Bunny himself! The event definitely made a splash in the Westerville community!

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools offer year-round swim classes at state-of-the-art facilities for children from 4 months to 12 years old. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes are offered for students depending on their age and swim abilities. Additionally, “Swim Club” is offered for advanced students looking to keep their skill sets strong and increase confidence levels. “Swim Team” is offered for advanced students looking for a competitive experience where they can perfect their strokes.

Capital investments key to growing Central Ohio economy, says Rep. Kennedy Kent

Lawmaker announces local projects included in state’s capital budget

COLUMBUS—State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) reported the passage of House Bill (HB) 529, the state’s $2.6 billion biennial capital budget. HB 529 includes $600 million for K-12 school buildings, $514 million for local infrastructure projects, $483 million for public colleges and universities, $234 million for public areas and $350 million for local infrastructure projects funded through the Public Works Commission.

“Cultural institutions like the King Arts Complex, BalletMet and Poindexter Village are integral to the fabric of our communities. Investing in their future means investing in our own,” said Rep. Kennedy Kent. “These institutions are part of the reason so many people, businesses and organizations want to locate, raise their families and create jobs right here in Central Ohio.”

HB 529 contains more than $22 million in capital investments in the 25th House district, including nearly $2 million for the King Arts Complex, BalletMet and Poindexter Village. Other noteworthy district projects include renovations and updates to the Ohio State Fairgrounds, the Ohio Historical Society, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy.

In addition, HB 529 includes more than $88 million for capital projects at The Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College. The state will also invest $112 million to improve and expand mental health and addiction service facilities. Lawmakers included $9.3 million as well for green space and recreation projects through the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Public Safety.

Rep. Kennedy Kent also pushed for funding for the Heinzerling Community, Franklin County’s only 24/7 residential facility serving Central Ohio’s most medically fragile and developmentally disabled people. HB 529 includes capital funds to help the organization keep up with new mandates to better integrate disabled individuals into society.

“Heinzerling is the only organization in the area specializing in the work they do,” said Kennedy Kent. “It’s important that we continue to invest in their long-term success, especially as these new mandates begin to set in.”

HB 529 is the result of months of work alongside local partners to identify community needs and develop targeted proposals for state investment. Projects funded through the capital bill must meet strict eligibility guidelines, which limit the type of projects that qualify.

“I am excited about all the investments being made to create jobs, better educate our children and improve the lives of those living, working and raising their families in the 25th House district,” added Kennedy Kent. “However, there are many community organizations who remain outside the loop when it comes to state funding, and we are working to figure out ways to mitigate that.”

The bill now goes to the governor to be signed into law.

Kennedy Kent documents CPD Chief alleged wrongdoing, calls on city officials to hold Jacobs accountable

Pattern of intimidation, discrimination, bias, retaliation and dereliction of duty ingrained at very top, says Columbus lawmaker

COLUMBUS — After a disturbing pattern of apparent retaliation, neglect and discrimination at the highest level of power within the Columbus Police Department (CPD), State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) is calling on Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Council members to hold Police Chief Kim Jacobs accountable for her blatant insubordination and dereliction of duty.

“When people pick up the phone for help, they need the police to do everything in their power to keep our community safe and bring criminals to justice,” said Kennedy Kent. “Police Chief Jacobs has not only failed to ensure the rights of victims are protected, but public records support her biases opened the door to undeserved intimidation, discrimination, and retaliation of whistleblowers as well as victims. It’s politics at its worst. Taxpayers deserve accountability from the city’s top cop.”

In a letter to Ginther and members of City Council, Kennedy Kent details a cover-up by Jacobs and individual members of her department, that included a detective fabricating call logs to a victim of a violent crime seeking justice. Once the victim, Diona Clark, discovered this fabrication through requesting her cell phone records, she then shared this information with the Public Safety Director to be added to her appeal and new complaint against the detective and his superior.

Both filings were filed in accordance with the Division’s written directives. However, Ms. Clark’s November 27, 2017 new complaint, which should have gone to the Division’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) to be entered into their system for investigation; and her appeal, which should have gone to the Division’s Deputy Chief, were never addressed by Jacobs, even though she was repeatedly directed to do so in writing by City Public Safety Director Ned Pettus.

Instead of having Ms. Clark’s complaint and the subsequent fake calls from the detective investigated, Police Chief Jacobs recused herself from any investigation associated with Kent, who advocates for Ms. Clark and who has a history of advocating for child victims of crime within the city. Additionally, Kent maintains her February 2, 2018 complaint also sent to Jacobs from Pettus to be appropriately addressed was never entered into the Internal Affairs system for investigation. Kent says, “People already feel when they file that complaint, they put a target on themselves. We don’t need a Police Chief deciding some complaints are not worthy of even being entered into the Internal Affairs’ system for investigation or tracking.”

Following the recusal, which lacked any documented legal or reasonable basis, Kennedy Kent received an internal investigation report naming her as a “suspect” in an ongoing investigation – something Kent alleges was designed to intimidate her and prevent her from being active in seeking justice for victims of crime. However, as a result of a public records request, Kent came across an email previously unknown to her between a deputy chief and a human resource person in the Public Safety office that said Kent being listed as a criminal suspect on an official police report was an internal software glitch.

“Citizens and victims of crime in this city have the right to be taken seriously and treated with the respect and dignity that all taxpayers deserve. They also have the right to expect the established policies, practices and procedures put in place to be followed,” said Kennedy Kent. “If Chief Jacobs won’t take responsibility for her actions, I believe it is up to the Mayor and city officials to hold her accountable to ensure taxpayers get good government – not bad politics.”

Kent has stated it’s hard for her to hold anyone else accountable in her reported cases but Jacobs at this point. Jacobs’ personal decision to recuse herself from all decision-making in investigations associated with a State Representative, overwhelming elected by the people to represent them, defies logic and is simply intolerable. The misconduct associated with the actions of Jacobs’ subordinates appears reflective of Jacobs’ unashamedly, expressed personal bias.

Either through explicit or implicit orders, subordinates feel obligated to do what they’re told or to do what they believe superiors expect them to do. Too many times for employees in subordinate positions, it’s either do the right thing as the policy dictates or risk their career and then not be able to feed their family. Police Officers must be free to exercise their best judgment and initiate proper action in a reasonable, lawful, impartial manner, without fear of reprisal.

Kennedy Kent sees Jacobs’ unlawful recusal as a reason no investigation has taken place with her office on behalf of Rachel Anderson, who was allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered by Anthony Pardon. Several hours after Anderson’s murder, Pardon gained access to the lawmaker’s Statehouse office, meeting with Kent’s staff to try to obtain an official state ID. To date, Columbus police have failed to interview Kent’s office and other staff about Pardon’s interactions with them following the senseless and brutal murder of Ms. Anderson.

Kent maintains if all her recent allegations and even her previous allegations that Police Chief Jacobs covered up the reported neglect, physical assault and sexual molestation of very young child victims in 2015 are without merit, Jacobs certainly had the power as a law enforcement officer to bring charges against Kent for making false allegations of peace officer misconduct. Kent contends Jacobs did not do so because the allegations are not false.

Ultimately, in the face of Mayor Ginther’s newly created commission meant to evaluate policies and make changes, Kennedy Kent is asking the Mayor and City Council to hold Jacobs accountable by taking action up to, and including, termination. In holding Jacobs accountable, Kent sees an opportunity for her office to work closely with police and city officials on critical legislation such as Kent’s House Bill 137 that passed unanimously through the house and that would make peace officers mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect as they presently are in the other 49 states.

In holding Jacobs’ accountable, Kent also sees hope for victims of crime, especially hope for the reported child victims, for whom she advocated, to have their cases re-examined and/or opened for the first time to determine whether Chief Jacobs’ bias and discriminatory behavior played any role in how their cases were handled or investigated before the victim’s statute of limitation runs out.


Staff Reports