Trump says Ohio workers ‘better love me,’ renews McCain feud
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER
Thursday, March 21
LIMA, Ohio (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday brought his re-election campaign to Ohio — a state essential to his 2020 strategy — touring a military tank plant and telling many of its cheering workers: “You better love me. I kept this place open.”
Trump also used the visit to criticize John McCain, saying the late senator “didn’t get the job done for our great vets.” He complained that McCain’s family didn’t thank him for giving the senator “the kind of funeral that he wanted.” McCain died last year of brain cancer.
Trump’s visit to Ohio was his first since last year’s midterm election campaign, when the state was a rare bright spot for Republicans in the upper Midwest. But with Trump’s path to another four years in the White House relying on a victory here, his nascent campaign is mindful of warning signs that Ohio can hardly be taken for granted in 2020.
Perhaps no state has better illustrated the re-aligning effects of Trump’s candidacy and presidency than Ohio, where traditionally Democratic-leaning working-class voters have swung heavily toward the GOP, and moderate Republicans in populous suburban counties have shifted away from Trump. It’s for that reason, administration officials said, that Trump keeps returning to Ohio — this week’s visit marks his 10th to the state since taking office.
The visit is part of a 2020 Trump strategy to appear in battleground states in his official White House capacity as much as possible this year, said a person with knowledge of the plans who was not authorized to speak publicly. Trump is expected to make similar trips throughout the year as he seeks to boost enthusiasm to counter an energized Democratic base. It’s a strategy employed by previous presidents, both to leverage the prestige of office for political purposes and to offset the steep costs of presidential campaign travel with corresponding taxpayer-funded events.
Trump visited the Lima Army Tank Plant, which had been at risk for closure but is now benefiting from his administration’s investments in defense spending. He also attended a re-election campaign fundraiser in Canton.
In this heavy manufacturing state, Trump cited his efforts to negotiate new trade agreements and enact tariffs to protect steel manufacturers. He described how his administration has confronted China over its trading practices and the “stealing” of American jobs and ideas.
For both parties, the results of the 2018 midterms have become a sort of “choose-your-own-adventure” moment for 2020 prognosticators. Republicans contend that the election of the state’s GOP governor, Mike DeWine, largely mirrored Trump’s 2016 path to victory and proves the strength of his coalition. They believe Trump’s coattails in the state are long, as incumbent Republican congressional candidates in suburban counties — like Reps. Steve Chabot and Troy Balderson — won re-election last year in no small part because of the president’s frequent visits.
“He’s a fighter,” said Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken, “and that’s one of the reasons why if you look at the Mahoning Valley, that’s become a Republican portion of the state.”
Democrats, for their part, highlight the re-election of Sen. Sherrod Brown, viewing his victory on a populist appeal as a signpost for their 2020 ticket. “A lot was driven by a realignment occurring among former Republican strongholds in the suburbs,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “With the right candidates, with the right message, 2020 could look a lot like Sherrod Brown’s victory.”
Nationally, Democrats have placed less of an emphasis on the traditional battleground state. Ohio was conspicuously absent from the list of key 2020 states — Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida — that are receiving a share of a $100 million investment by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA. The state doesn’t even make the PAC’s “phase two” roster, which includes Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and New Hampshire.
The Republican National Committee, in laying the groundwork for the Trump campaign’s field program, has maintained a constant presence in Ohio since 2012. Former RNC co-chair Bob Paduchik, who ran Trump’s 2016 effort in the state, is repeating his role.
Trump visited days after he railed against the closure of a General Motors plant in Lordstown, a significant contributor to the economy in the eastern part of the state. The plant, which produced Chevy Cruze sedans, closed this month despite bipartisan pressure on the automaker, which claimed it was responding to consumer demand for larger vehicle types.
Trump said GM should re-open the plant or sell it to somebody who wants it. “Get it open now, don’t wait,” he said Wednesday.
Allies acknowledge he may be limited in what he can accomplish for the Lordstown plant, but said his vocal advocacy signaled to his supporters in the area that he is fighting on their behalf.
Trump continued his criticism of union leaders in his speech, saying, “They’re not honest, and they ought to lower your dues, by the way.” Last weekend he criticized a local union leader’s handling of the GM plant closure.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, called Trump’s attacks “disgraceful” and “beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
Miller reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.
Pentagon to probe if Shanahan used office to help Boeing
By LOLITA C. BALDOR
Wednesday, March 20
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon’s inspector general has formally opened an investigation into a watchdog group’s allegations that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has used his office to promote his former employer, Boeing Co.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an ethics complaint with the Pentagon’s inspector general a week ago, alleging that Shanahan has appeared to make statements promoting Boeing and disparaging competitors, such as Lockheed Martin.
Shanahan, who was traveling with President Donald Trump to Ohio on Wednesday, spent more than 30 years at Boeing, leading programs for commercial planes and missile defense systems. He has been serving as acting Pentagon chief since the beginning of the year, after James Mattis stepped down.
The probe comes as Boeing struggles to deal with a public firestorm over two deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner within the last five months. And it focuses attention on whether Trump will nominate Shanahan as his formal pick for defense chief, rather than letting him languish as an acting leader of a major federal agency.
Dwrena Allen, spokeswoman for the inspector general, said Shanahan has been informed of the investigation. And, in a statement, Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson said Shanahan welcomes the review.
“Acting Secretary Shanahan has at all times remained committed to upholding his ethics agreement filed with the DoD,” said Crosson. “This agreement ensures any matters pertaining to Boeing are handled by appropriate officials within the Pentagon to eliminate any perceived or actual conflict of interest issue(s) with Boeing.”
During a Senate hearing last week, Shanahan was asked by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., about the 737 Max issue. Shanahan said he had not spoken to anyone in the administration about it and had not been briefed on it. Asked whether he favored an investigation into the matter, Shanahan said it was for regulators to investigate.
On Wednesday, Blumenthal said that scrutiny of Shanahan’s Boeing ties is necessary. “In fact, it’s overdue. Boeing is a behemoth 800-pound gorilla — raising possible questions of undue influence at DOD, FAA and elsewhere,” said Blumenthal.
Shanahan signed an ethics agreement in June 2017, when he was being nominated for the job of deputy defense secretary, a job he held during Mattis’ tenure. It outlined the steps he would take to avoid “any actual or apparent conflict of interest,” and said he would not participate in any matter involving Boeing.
The CREW ethics complaint, based to a large part on published reports, including one by Politico in January, said Shanahan has made comments praising Boeing in meetings about government contracts, raising concerns about “whether Shanahan, intentionally or not, is putting his finger on the scale when it comes to Pentagon priorities.”
One example raised by the complaint is the Pentagon’s decision to request funding for Boeing 15EX fighter jets in the 2020 proposed budget. The Pentagon is requesting about $1 billion to buy eight of the aircraft.
Shanahan, 56, joined Boeing in 1986, rose through its ranks and is credited with rescuing a troubled Dreamliner 787 program. He also led the company’s missile defense and military helicopter programs.
Trump has seemed attracted to Shanahan partially for his work on one of the president’s pet projects — creating a Space Force. He also has publicly lauded Shanahan’s former employer, Boeing, builder of many of the military’s most prominent aircraft, including the Apache and Chinook helicopters, the C-17 cargo plane and the B-52 bomber, as well as the iconic presidential aircraft, Air Force One.
This is only the third time in history that the Pentagon has been led by an acting chief, and Shanahan has served in that capacity for longer than any of the others.
Presidents typically take pains to ensure the Pentagon is being run by a Senate-confirmed official, given the grave responsibilities that include sending young Americans into battle, ensuring the military is ready for extreme emergencies like nuclear war and managing overseas alliances that are central to U.S. security.
New Rapid Test for Preeclampsia Can Provide Life-Saving Diagnosis
Pregnant women may receive critical treatment sooner with help of fast and easy test
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – About one in 20 women develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, which can be life-threatening to both moms and babies. However, it is difficult to diagnose because symptoms often mimic those of a normal pregnancy, such as swelling and headaches. Managing the condition early is critical to keeping mother and child safe, and now a new innovation may help start treatment sooner by quickly identifying preeclampsia with a simple urine test. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tested a fast and easy test to accurately diagnose the condition in just three minutes.
“Giving birth is the only cure for preeclampsia, but it can develop as early as the second trimester,” said Dr. Kara Rood, lead author of the study and maternal-fetal medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “The quicker we identify women with the condition, the better chance they have of carrying their babies to full term and having a healthy delivery.”
The test uses a special red dye that reacts to unique proteins in the urine of pregnant women with preeclampsia. It can be given easily during a prenatal visit, providing an immediate diagnosis. “Without the certainty of this test, providers tend to be overcautious because this is definitely a condition that we can’t allow to go untreated,” said Rood. “This test helps us to quickly provide care to women with preeclampsia, while avoiding unnecessary admissions or even early deliveries.”
Researchers expect the new rapid test to be FDA approved in the next few years so that OB/GYNs nationwide can use it to identify cases of preeclampsia. Dr. Rood hopes it will also be available for women to use at home to monitor complications during pregnancy.
Mercy Health Announces Official Health Care Partnership with the Ohio High School Athletic Association
(COLUMBUS, OH; March 20, 2019) –Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky (part of Bon Secours Mercy Health), announces that it will serve as the exclusive Official Health Care Partner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) for three years. OHSAA promotes the values of participation in interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student’s educational experience.
As OHSAA’s Official Health Care Partner, Mercy Health will have a presence at state championships and tournament events. It will serve as a thought leader and education provider of orthopedic, sports medicine and general health information for administrators, coaches, athletic trainers, student athletes and parents. Available educational resources include content that coaches, parents and students can use to:
Prevent the most common injuries
Recognize and treat concussion
Understand the role that proper stretching, hydration and nutrition play in keeping student athletes healthy
Determine when a student has fully recovered and is safe to return to play
In addition, Mercy Health is collaborating with the Governor’s office and OHSAA to develop an initiative that will offer school engagement programs addressing youth addiction prevention as well as resiliency.
“Mercy Health is pleased to partner with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to share the expertise we’ve developed as the state’s leading sports and general medicine partner to 85 schools and counting,” said Don Kline, President, Great Lakes Group, Mercy Health. “Our goal is to keep kids safe on and off the field and we’re excited to partner with Governor DeWine’s office and OHSAA to provide proven resources that address addiction with kids, families, communities and schools that need support.”
“This new partnership between Mercy Health and the Ohio High School Athletic Association is focused on ensuring our students are healthy,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “We know that many who battle substance use disorder become addicted to opioids after taking prescription medication following an injury. Raising awareness about alternative injury treatments, injury prevention and responsible recovery from an injury can help prevent addiction.”
“At OHSAA, we believe that participation in interscholastic athletics programs complements a student’s school experience and teaches lifelong lessons of hard work, teamwork and self-discipline, in addition to promoting citizenship and sporting behavior, instilling a sense of community and fostering a lifetime appreciation for sports and healthy lifestyles,” said Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director, Ohio High School Athletic Association. “We’re adding to the resources available to our more than 1,600 member schools by partnering with Mercy Health to provide vital health information and develop and make available proven addiction prevention resources across the state.”
Mercy Health, OHSAA and the Governor’s office will work collectively to identify and deploy science-based best practices with the aim of connecting students, parents, faculty and administration to much needed addiction prevention and resilience resources.
Mercy Health is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMHealth.org,) one of the top 20 health systems in the United States and part of the top performing quartile of Catholic health systems for lowest cost per case for patient care. Mercy Health is the largest health system in Ohio and among the top five employers in the state, with more than 33,500 employees serving communities throughout Ohio and in Kentucky. Mercy Health provided care for patients more than 6.8 million times in 2017. The system includes assets of $6.8 billion and nearly 500 care facilities including 23 hospitals and 26 post-acute care facilities including senior living communities, hospice programs and home health agencies. Its clinically integrated network of more than 2,700 health care providers coordinates more effective and efficient care for more than 350,000 patients, saving money for taxpayers through the Medicare Shared Savings Program. As part of Bon Secours Mercy Health, the ministry provides nearly $2 million per day in community benefit.
About the OHSAA
The Ohio High School Athletic Association is a private, non-profit association of high schools and 7th-8th grade schools, which are volunteer members. The OHSAA conducts postseason tournaments in 26 sports, including 13 for boys and 13 for girls, which involve more than 400,000 student-athletes, 65,000 coaches and 15,000 licensed officials. The OHSAA’s mission is to regulate and administer interscholastic athletic competition in a fair and equitable manner while promoting the values of participation in interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student’s educational experience. The OHSAA represents its member schools by recognizing and promoting academics, the safety of participants, good citizenship and lifelong values as the foundation of interscholastic athletics.
Classes begin this weekend at The Mid-Ohio School
Over 150 driving and motorcycle riding course dates planned for 2019
LEXINGTON, Ohio (March 20, 2019) – The Mid-Ohio School begins its 27th season of operation this Saturday, March 23, with two classes of its popular Teen Defensive Driving Program scheduled over the weekend. The entire 2019 schedule is available at midohioschool.com, and customers can register online or by calling 419-884-4000.
The Mid-Ohio School offers professional driving and riding instruction to drivers and motorcyclists of wide-ranging skill, from teaching teenage drivers life-saving defensive driving techniques to giving professional racers tips for an extra edge in competition at speed on track. The high performance driving and racing courses and performance track riding for sportbike owners begin with the opening of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course track in April. The Mid-Ohio School also offers Open Test & Tune twilight events on select late afternoons and evenings for drivers to take their personal street-legal cars or race cars on track.
“Every driver or rider attending The Mid-Ohio School gets an exceptional experience and individual instruction. Each course provides a lasting and memorable experience with skills learned for a lifetime of driving or riding,” said Sonny Gee, director of The Mid-Ohio School. “We can’t wait to get another season started again this weekend teaching young drivers in our Teen Defensive Driving Program.”
In addition to the Teen Defensive Driving Programs offered each weekend in March and four other dates in April, additional schedule highlights include the 3-Day High Performance Course offered first on April 8-10, then Open Test & Tune sessions for race cars and street cars on April 5th and April 25th, respectively. Motorcycles take to the 2.4-mile, 15-turn road course for the first time on April 22 with an afternoon riding session for Performance Track Riding.
The Mid-Ohio School uses a fleet of Acura ILXs, Honda Civics, and Honda S2000s all custom-fitted with Cooper Tires to maximize the driving experience. Two of the vehicles are also equipped with skid systems to practice car control techniques for oversteer and understeer situations often encountered in inclement weather conditions.
Additional sponsors of The Mid-Ohio School include Coca-Cola, Comfort Inn, Malco, Sunoco, Quality Inn & Suites, Summit Racing, and Total Oil.
ABOUT THE MID-OHIO SCHOOL
Based at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio, The Mid-Ohio School provides professional driving and riding instruction to drivers and motorcyclists of all skill levels. The school’s 16 automobile courses include the renowned Teen Defensive Driving program, as well as High Performance and Racing programs. The motorcycle side features two Performance Track Riding formats. Students enjoy classroom sessions, skill drills, expert private instruction and lapping on the same track that challenges the world’s top racers. The school is a past recipient of the prestigious Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Partners for Safety Award and partners with Maria’s Message each year to teach young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. In 26 seasons, The Mid-Ohio School boasts 74,968 all-time graduates, including almost 22,000 teenage drivers and 19,000 motorcyclists.
For more information, visit midohioschool.com, ‘like’ its Facebook page @TheMidOhioSchool or follow updates on Twitter @MidOhioSchool.