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Kasich confidant takes next job mixing public policy and private business

By Doug Livingston Published: May 20, 2016

A longtime John Kasich confidant and driving force behind JobsOhio has taken a managing director position with one of the world’s largest public strategy firms.
Jay Chabria stepped down as senior advisor to Gov. Kasich in February. Chabria handled personnel issues and was integral in the governor’s role in shaping leadership across Ohio by appointing university trustees, state school board members and other governing board members.

Public strategy firm Mercury, a subsidiary of Omnicom Group, announced Friday that Chabria will come on board. The company, boasting 300 clients, supports a wide range of public and private firms, from nonprofits foundations and think tanks — like the free-market minded Manhattan Institute and the social-justice, grant-making Ford Foundation — to emerging tech firms like UBER and AirBNB or the mainstays of Silicon Valley like Ebay and Microsoft.

“There is no doubt that Jai’s public and private sector experience will be a tremendous asset for our clients and help us hit the ground running as we build our business in Ohio,” said Mike DuHaime, one of the many partners at Mercury.
Chabria, a resident of the Columbus suburb of Powell, will remain close to the state capitol.

Chabria followed Kasich for two decades bouncing between public office and private practice, whether in banking or consultancy.

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GOP taking applications for endorsement to judicial vacancy

By Doug Livingston Published: April 15, 2016

With county Democrats selecting Joy Oldfield as their party's candidate to run for common pleas judge in November, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has yet to fill the open county seat.

The Republican governor likely will pick from his party to fill the vacancy, created when Judge Thomas Parker left for a federal magistrate position in Cleveland.

The Summit County Republican Party is planning to send three names of potential appointees to Kasich's office. Conservatives seeking the endorsement of the Summit County Republican Party may apply in writing (resume included) to local party chair Alex Arshinkoff at 1755 Merriman Road, Suite 250, Akron, OH 44313. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. April 28. For more details, contact local GOP executive director Wayne Darlington at 330-434-9151 or wdarlington@summitcountygop.org.

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Teacher survey attributes increased school bullying, bad behavior to presidential election

By Doug Livingston Published: April 13, 2016

If standardized tests and teenage romances weren’t enough to worry about in school, more than 1,000 teachers say off-color comments overheard on the presidential campaign trail are seeding hate, bullying and concern in the classroom.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an advocacy group, surveyed 2,000 teachers in the past month. The organization determined that the tone of the presidential election has set classroom behavior on a troubling trajectory.

Teachers most often attributed heightened bullying and teasing to the nativist comments of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who in 5,000 recorded comments was mentioned 1,000 times. (The other candidates were mentioned 200 times in the survey, which avoided using Trump or any other candidate’s name in questions.)

Minority students, teachers said, are being disparaged disproportionately.

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Voting lawsuit draws ire of political opponents

By Doug Livingston Published: April 6, 2016

Secretary of State Jon Husted and Rep. Kathleen Clyde, a Kent Democrat and law clerk under former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, issued dueling statements Wednesday following a civil suit filed by Demos, a New York-based voting rights group, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The suit challenges the purging, or removal, of voters from registries based on participation in elections rather than whether they have moved out of state or died.

“This suit is not about the proper removal of deceased voters or voters who have moved out of the state. This is about people being purged simply for not voting in every election,” said Clyde. “This shamelessly bad treatment of Ohio voters must stop. The lawsuit seeks to stop the purging and restore to the rolls hundreds of thousands of voters who have been illegally purged.”

Husted said his office is following federal law, which mandates current and accurate voter rolls and safeguards Ohio’s election system.

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Poll: Republicans oppose, Democrats support GOP attempt to block Trump

By Doug Livingston Published: March 15, 2016

In a poll released by the college hosting his election night watch party, less than half of Ohioans say their governor should stay in the hunt for the White House.

Ahead of his visit to Baldwin Wallace to watch the results of Tuesday’s primary election, the college’s Community Research Institute surveyed 495 likely voters from Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit counties.

The Northeast Ohio poll found that, after being reminded that Kasich trails the other candidates, 48 percent of all respondents said he should stay in the race.

Support for Kasich to stay in the race was highest among Republicans (53 percent said he should stay in) men, those earning above $50,000, older respondents and white voters.

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Awaited poll shows Trump further ahead in Ohio

By Doug Livingston Published: February 23, 2016

The first major Ohio presidential poll in five months shows Gov. John Kasich surging, but not by enough to overtake billionaire Donald Trump in the Buckeye State’s coveted winner-take-all primary.

Kasich’s campaign, as it did in New Hampshire, is counting on a second place or better finish in Michigan, where the Ohio governor is spending much of his time. But anything other than first in Ohio, a purple state where second place yields zero delegates, could be the end of the road for the two-term governor’s bid for the presidency.

“A Kasich Ohio win is crucial to the Republicans trying to stop the New York businessman’s nomination.  If Trump can defeat Kasich in his home state, that would be an impressive demonstration of his strength in a state that is just now getting attention.  But Trump’s lead is just 5 points, certainly not large enough for him to breathe easy,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, which released the most recent poll Tuesday.

The Quinnipiac poll shows Trump adding to his lead in Ohio, from 23 percent in October to 31 percent this month. Kasich doubled his share of support, coming in a close second with 26 percent, then Cruz at 21 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 13 percent and retired brain surgeon Ben Carson, who has fallen to the back of the thinned out Republican field after a momentary surge placed him second in Ohio back in October.

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U.S. senator to lecture law students on free trade, labor

By Doug Livingston Published: February 16, 2016

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown will speak about labor, trade and the middle class during a free public event at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (1801 Euclid Ave.) on Feb. 29 at noon.

The senior senator, serving nearly two decades in Washington, D. C., has been a staunch advocate for Ohio’s organized labor. The middle class, Brown has argued, has suffered by pro-business trade deals with Canada and Mexico.

The free lecture, entitled "Assault on Workers’ Rights: Labor Law and the Erosion of Worker Protections", will take place in the law school’s Moot Court Room.

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Clinton's Ohio team lined with local leadership

By Doug Livingston Published: February 16, 2016

Following visits this month by her husband and daughter, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled Tuesday a leadership team to help her repeat 2008 with an Ohio primary victory.

The leadership team represents Clinton’s campaign on the ground in Ohio, a pivotal swing state in the upcoming presidential primary and general elections. Members include a who’s who of the Democratic political establishment in Northeast Ohio: U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan of Niles and Marcia Fudge of Cleveland, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Summit County Executive Russ Pry, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, minority Senate leader Joe Schiavoni, state Reps. Kathleen Clyde of Kent and Greta Johnson of Akron,

The team also includes U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty current and former mayors of Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo and Warrensville Heights, union presidents representing Ohio teachers and laborers, and slew of elected officials.

"I am proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President because I know she has what it takes to stand up for Ohio's working families,” Sen. Sherrod Brown said in an email from the Clinton campaign. “From opposing unfair trade deals, to pushing for a fair financial system, Hillary has proven she will be a President who fights for middle-class values and puts working people and small businesses ahead of Wall Street profits."

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Democratic candidates to attend Akron forum

By Doug Livingston Published: February 15, 2016

The 2016 Democratic Primary Candidates and Issues Forum luncheon will be held at the First Congregational Church of Akron (292 E. Market St.) from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5. 

The event, hosted by the Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, is free to the public. Lunch is optional for $14.

Local, state and federal office holders and candidates have been invited to speak during the luncheon. Other representatives will be on hand to discuss upcoming ballot issues, including tax levies and charter amendments in Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton and Akron.

Seating is limited. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by Feb. 29 to Renee’ Greene, president of the Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, by calling 330-867-4329.

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Tea Party favorites get Valentine's Day endorsements

By Doug Livingston Published: February 15, 2016

Ohio’s Tea Party leaders have released their Valentine’s Day endorsements for conservative federal candidates in the upcoming Republican Party primary on March 15.

In supporting candidates who prefer limited government and lean taxation, the We the People Convention, a politically active nonprofit organization, has endorsed religious rights activist Don Eckhart over incumbent Rob Portman in the statewide race for U.S. Senate, realtor Terry Robertson over incumbent Bob Gibbs in Ohio’s 7th congressional district race and former state Rep. Matt Lynch over incumbent Dave Joyce in the 14th District.

“Our main criteria for endorsement is to select conservative citizen representatives who will put the interests of the people before their own interests and those of any special interests,” Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County TEA Party, said in releasing the endorsements Sunday. “We believe that the candidates we have endorsed for federal office are of high moral character, have the fortitude to resist the temptations of Washington, and are committed to selflessly serve the people of Ohio.”

We the People formed in 2011 on the heels of a national conservative movement that catapulted several Tea Party conservatives into office. The not-for-profit group, which coalesces the TEA Party, Liberty Group, Libertarians and other social conservatives, is allowed to make endorsements under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Zawistowski noted that not unlike some presidential candidates, this year’s slate of endorsements includes several outside candidates.

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