Rep. Jim Jordan interviewed in doctor sex abuse inquiry
By KANTELE FRANKO
Wednesday, July 18
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, who used to coach wrestling at Ohio State University, was interviewed by a law firm investigating allegations that a now-dead team doctor sexually abused male athletes there decades ago, his spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
The Ohio Republican spoke Monday morning with the firm looking into allegations against Dr. Richard Strauss and how the school responded to any complaints about Strauss, said spokesman Ian Fury, who declined to discuss details of the conversation.
“He told them the same things he’s told everybody in the press,” Fury said. “You know, the story stays the same because the truth doesn’t change.”
Jordan has publicly said he was never aware of abuse when he was an assistant coach from 1987 to 1995, and he has repeatedly denied some former wrestlers’ claims that he knew they were inappropriately groped by Strauss.
A watchdog group and a former special counsel to President Barack Obama have sought an ethics review of the congressman, who is a founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus and potential contender for House speaker.
A string of former coaching colleagues and ex-athletes have spoken up in defense of Jordan, with some of them also saying they never knew of abuse while at Ohio State. House Speaker Paul Ryan also defended Jordan, calling him “a man of integrity.”
Jordan had said he would cooperate with investigators and that victims deserve justice if abuse occurred.
The university announced the independent investigation months ago and has said the allegations against Strauss now involve male athletes from 14 sports, as well as Strauss’ work at the student health center and his off-campus medical office.
Former wrestlers this week have filed two federal lawsuits against Ohio State alleging that it ignored concerns raised about sexual abuse by a now-dead team doctor during the two decades he worked there. The lawsuits were brought by a total of five former wrestlers who allege they were victims of sexual misconduct by Strauss.
Both lawsuits seek unspecified monetary damages and propose to represent all Ohio State students mistreated by Strauss.
Ohio State has said the university response to concerns about Strauss is a key focus of the independent investigation.
Former wrestling team captain Dave Mulvin has said he raised concerns to another doctor at the student health center back in the late 1970s after Strauss fondled him during an exam. Mulvin said the other doctor shrugged it off.
Strauss was employed by the university for two decades until he retired in 1998. He killed himself in 2005.
His family has said they were “shocked and saddened” to learn of the allegations and want to know the truth.
Ohio State has said more than 150 former athletes and witnesses have been interviewed so far, and the school has urged anyone with information to contact the investigators from the Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.
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City attorney criticizes law used to arrest Stormy Daniels
By ANGIE WANG and ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Thursday, July 19
CINCINNATI (AP) — The state law that police cited in porn star Stormy Daniels’ arrest at a strip club should not be enforced, an Ohio city attorney said.
Future charges filed under that law will not be prosecuted, Columbus city attorney Zach Klein wrote on Wednesday in a memo to the city’s police chief. Klein also dismissed charges brought against two employees arrested with Daniels.
The 10-year-old law states dancers at “sexually oriented” businesses are prohibited from touching customers and vice versa.
Klein called the law “glaringly inequitable” because its applicability depends on how regularly the employee performs. He also said employees who touch police are not in violation because on-duty public officials are not legally considered patrons.
Daniels was arrested last week and was accused of illegally rubbing undercover police officers’ faces against her bare breasts during a strip club performance. Prosecutors dropped charges hours later, saying the law applied only to those who regularly performed at the club. This was Daniels’ debut at Sirens in Columbus.
Last week, Columbus police Chief Kim Jacobs said that she took full responsibility for the mistake made in Daniels’ arrest and that the undercover officers’ motivations will be reviewed internally.
Without providing details, Jacobs said unsubstantiated allegations about the officers’ motivations were circulating on social media.
Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said some of the officers had what appeared to be “very Pro-Trump” social media pages. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims to have had sex with Donald Trump before he became president, something Trump has denied.
Avenatti said Wednesday he applauds Klein’s decision.
The lawyer representing the two employees arrested with Daniels said he was glad the situation was promptly addressed. But his clients’ arrests still caused them lasting harm, including harassment and damage to their reputations, attorney Ed Hastie said.
Hastie added the undercover operation was a poor use of police resources.
“Vice teams should be stopping drug use instead of concerning themselves with the technicalities of what my clients were wearing,” he said.
Messages seeking comment were left Wednesday for Columbus police.
Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus. Mike Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation Recommends Innovation Hubs, Investments in Workforce and Risk Capital
COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 18, 2018) — The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, Inc. today released Ohio Bold: A Blueprint for Accelerating the Innovation Economy. Based on research completed with TEConomy Partners LLC, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, which serves to provide nonpartisan research to public policymakers, recommends a statewide organizational approach to accelerate the innovation economy in Ohio around four innovation opportunity platforms: Next Gen Manufacturing, Future Health, Smart Infrastructure and Data Analytics. These platforms would be represented by four statewide Innovation Hubs focused on addressing the needs of the innovation ecosystem. Each hub will support a single platform with statewide impact, bringing together industry, research institutions and the public sector through intentional partnerships to advance product development, process improvements and the commercialization of new technologies.
“Innovation initiatives are not just an important endeavor, but an absolute necessity for our state’s economic competitiveness,” said Brian K. Hicks, president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation. “Through these statewide Innovation Hubs and the other strategic initiatives outlined in Ohio Bold, we believe Ohio’s government and business leaders can provide increased focus to specific areas of innovation that are of growing relevance to large sectors of Ohio’s economy.”
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation developed its recommendations with the input of numerous economic development partners throughout Ohio. Project partners included local chamber of commerce officials from Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown and Zanesville.
While the creation of four statewide Innovation Hubs is the anchor recommendation, it is not the only strategy outlined in the report. The report also recommends expansion of several tax credits and other incentive programs, a new Serial Entrepreneur Attraction Program, creation of new venture capital investments funds, seeking voter renewal of Ohio’s Research and Development Bond fund, incentives to retain Ohio graduates with skill sets related to the four Innovation Hub topics, and a new Ohio Alumni Outreach Program to attract senior and mid-level professionals back to the state.
Earlier this week, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation met with the gubernatorial campaigns of Democratic nominee Richard Cordray and Republican nominee Mike DeWine to share this vision for expanding Ohio’s economy.
Ohio has made progress in advancing its innovation economy in recent years. Programs offered though JobsOhio, the Ohio Third Frontier project and Edison Technology Centers have helped Ohio stay competitive and remain a home of economic innovation. Yet, there are areas of concern, including a private sector average annual GDP growth rate that has remained below the national average since 1991. Ohio workers have also seen slower growth in real wages, and lower median household income and per capita income than U.S. averages. Current investments – both private and public – in entrepreneurial initiatives have resulted in several pockets of economic success, but entrepreneurship and growth still lag behind overall, as does the amount of risk capital available to innovative companies and entrepreneurs.
Although state-sponsored economic investments have traditionally focused on specific sectors of the economy, Ohio Bold recommends a realignment of Ohio’s innovation investments on areas of convergence, where innovation and disruptive technologies can cross over to impact many of those traditional industry clusters. Moreover, the blueprint and strategic recommendations seek to further elevate the entrepreneurial and risk capital ecosystem in Ohio and develop and attract the talent needed for these specific investment areas.
“Through our research, we found that Ohio is well positioned to greatly advance its economy with smart and innovative investments in cutting-edge innovation,” said Deborah Cummings, principal and senior director for TEConomy Partners, which performed the research for Ohio Bold. “Each platform and Innovation Hub, as well as these other strategic initiatives, could have a profound impact on the future of the state’s economy and quality of life for Ohio’s workers.”
For more information about these recommendations and the full report from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, visit ohiochamberfoundation.com/ohio-bold/
About the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) organization that serves to provide scholarly research to public policymakers. Its nonpartisan research serves as a resource to Ohio lawmakers and provides an in-depth look as to what policy will have an impact on Ohio’s economy, economic competitiveness and job creation. Although an affiliate of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Research Foundation operates under separate bylaws and a separate board of directors.
For more information, please visit www.ohiochamberfoundation.com.
About TEConomy Partners
TEConomy Partners, LLC is a global leader in research, analysis, and strategy for innovation-based economic development.
For more information, please visit www.teconomypartners.com.
MORPC Seeks Public Comment on Draft Regional Transportation Goals – Comments due August 31, 2018
(Columbus – July 19, 2018) The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) announces the draft goals for the 2020-2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for public review and comment. The draft goals are:
• Reduce per capita energy consumption and promote alternative fuel resources to increase affordability and resilience of regional energy supplies
• Protect natural resources and mitigate infrastructure vulnerabilities to maintain a healthy ecosystem and community
• Position Central Ohio to attract and retain economic opportunity to prosper as a region and compete globally
• Create sustainable neighborhoods to improve residents’ quality of life
• Increase regional collaboration and employ innovative transportation solutions to maximize the return on public expenditures
• Use public investments to benefit the health, safety, and welfare of people
The goals will direct actions and strategies used to measure our progress over time with respect to transportation in the Central Ohio area. Next steps include defining measurable outcomes with indicators to track success. The plan is scheduled for completion in 2020. This plan is being conducted by MORPC in concert with other activities in the region such as insight2050.
Presentations on the draft goals can be requested by calling Bernice Cage at (614) 233-4157 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The draft goals can also be viewed on MORPC’s website at www.morpc.org/mtp.
Comments on the proposed goals are being accepted through August 31, 2018 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to MORPC, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, OH, 43215, Attn: MTP. For more information on the MTP, visit www.morpc.org/mtp.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is a voluntary association of local governments and regional organizations that envisions and embraces innovative directions in economic prosperity, energy, the environment, housing, land use, and transportation. Our transformative programming, services and innovative public policy are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region. For more information, please visit www.morpc.org.
Secretary Husted Continues Efforts to Engage Eligible Voters and Maintain Accurate Voter Rolls
Nearly 320,000 recent mailings sent to eligible but unregistered Ohioans
COLUMBUS – As part of continuing efforts to encourage voter participation and keep voter rolls accurate, the Office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted mailed over 855,000 informational notices to potential voters throughout the month of July. This latest round of outreach was made possible through Ohio’s partnership with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
“Advanced technology and a series of innovative partnerships, like the one made possible through ERIC, are helping us to ensure it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat across the state,” Secretary Husted said. “Not only are we making sure the voter rolls are accurate, but we’re proactively reaching out to eligible Ohioans who are not yet registered to vote.”
In total, the Secretary of State’s Office contacted 319,425 Ohio residents who are eligible to vote but unregistered, 430,106 voters who have changed residences within Ohio, and 105,914 Ohio voters who have moved out-of-state. To date, these efforts have resulted in more than 2.2 million Ohioans having been contacted to get registered to vote, and over 2.3 million current and former Buckeye State residents contacted to encourage them to update their registration.
In June 2016, Secretary Husted announced a new collaboration between Ohio and ERIC that leverages public and private data to engage voters and more accurately maintain voter rolls. The system helps to identify individuals who are eligible to vote but not yet registered, so they can be contacted and encouraged to register and participate in future elections. ERIC also assists in identifying people who have moved or died, so that their registration can be appropriately managed.
As of today, 24 states have partnered with ERIC.
Under Secretary Husted’s leadership, Ohio has removed more than 662,000 deceased voters from the rolls and resolved more than 1.86 million duplicate registrations. More than 528,000 Ohioans have taken advantage of the online change of address tool and nearly 30,000 Ohioans have registered to vote online since online voter registration was launched in January 2017.
Individuals receiving notifications have plenty of time to act prior to the 2018 General Election. The election will be held on Tuesday, November 6.
Tuesday, October 9 is the deadline to register for the November 6 General Election, and early voting will begin on Wednesday, October 10.
Registered and prospective voters can change their address or register to vote at MyOhioVote.com. Ohio voters can visit MyOhioVote.com/VoterToolkit to check their voter registration status, find their polling location, view their sample ballot and track their absentee ballot.