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Media frenzy fingers Pence for Trump's VP pick

By Doug Livingston Published: July 14, 2016
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Ahead of Donald Trump’s anticipated vice presidential pick on Friday, partisan organizations and the media have whipped themselves into a guessing-game frenzy.

With the short list down to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, it’s the last in the line up that’s getting the most attention.

Between 8 a.m. and noon Thursday, 1,905 additional news articles referencing "Mike Pence" appeared online as Google searches for the name jumped nearly eight-fold, according to Google Trends, the company's public data tracking report.

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Trump campaign faces funding challenge in Ohio

By Doug Livingston Published: July 14, 2016
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CLEVELAND: A John Kasich delegate and longtime Republican supporter has been charged with financing Donald Trump’s campaign in Ohio.

In a show of solidarity ahead of the 2016 Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland, the Trump campaign joined leaders of the national, state and Cuyahoga County Republican parties to name Edward Crawford the 2016 State Finance Director for Trump in Ohio.

The CEO and chairman of Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. is a delegate bound to a first-round vote for Kasich at the nominating convention. The Mentor man has donated twice to put Kasich in the White House — once this election and in 1999 when Kasich explored but never launched his candidacy.

If Crawford is to squeeze any Trump money from Ohio donors, he’ll need the state’s most prolific fundraisers at his side. But he won’t have Kasich or former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to lean on, at least not publicly. The two, with high name appeal and strong donor networks, have not endorsed Trump.

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Faith leaders go to Cleveland to demand morality in federal elections

By Doug Livingston Published: July 6, 2016

National faith leaders plan to deliver a petition signed by 6,000 faithful, including 1,100 clergy who demand that the Republican Party and conventioneers in Cleveland take higher moral ground than their presumptive nominee.

Specifically addressing Donald Trump and GOP leaders while admonishing bad behavior in a bipartisan fashion, the clergy single out divisive, xenophobic, war-mongering and racist remarks in their call for senatorial, presidential and gubernatorial candidates to advance and “embrace a Higher Ground Moral Agenda.”

“The Higher Ground Moral Declaration calls on our political system to rise above hatred, fear, and left and right politics, in order to reach our highest values of love and justice,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, architect of the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church and the North Carolina NAACP president.

Barber also criticized Christians who flout the teachings of Jesus Christ.

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Yes, there's an app for the RNC

By Doug Livingston Published: July 6, 2016

Going to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention? There’s an app for that.

Convention planners launched Wednesday the RNC 2016: Official App. The program is downloadable for mobile devices through the Apple Store or Google Play store.

Those attending the convention can get turn-by-turn directions inside and around Quicken Loans Arena, where the bulk of the convention will be held from July 18-21. Those who can’t make it downtown can watch GOP speeches and get a 360-degree view of the festivities in real time.

The app promises “gavel to gavel” live streaming of the convention proceedings. Signage encouraging visitors to download the app will be placed at the Convention Center, Quicken Loans Arena and the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.

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Kasich to campaign for presidential primary rivals, not Trump

By Doug Livingston Published: June 29, 2016

Since dropping out of the presidential race, Gov. John Kasich has raised money for his former rivals, critical congressional races and a past Republican presidential nominee.
But he has not raised a dime for Donald Trump. And the billionaire, who trails presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in fundraising and campaign staff, hasn’t asked him to.
Kasich spokesman Chris Schrimpf said Wednesday that the governor is filling empty slots in his schedule with fundraising appearances for GOP leaders who hope to hold majorities in both chambers of Congress.
And with the Republican National Convention three weeks away, Kasich still has no plans to speak there, a custom of sitting governors in states that have held past conventions.
With the exception of a tropical storm sidetracking Florida Gov. Rick Scott from attending the 2012 RNC in Tampa Bay, every host governor this millennium has spoken, usually on the last day.
Kasich, refusing Trump’s demand that convention-headliners must endorse him, said this week that he has no plans step onto stage, though he will be “in and around Cleveland” during the coronation of the party’s standard bearer.
Since Trump emerged the primary victor in early May, Kasich has raised money for Sen. John McCain (the 2008 GOP presidential nominee), Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio (fellow GOP presidential candidates this election), House Speaker Paul Ryan (who has rejected pleas to run against Trump) and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is coordinating with Ryan to support candidates in key races.
But Kasich will not have to leave Ohio to help his primary beneficiary.
“The most important race to the governor this year is [Sen.] Rob Portman,” Schrimpf said. “So he will be doing everything he can here in Ohio to make sure Rob Portman wins.”
Portman’s prolific fundraising, which began five years ago, puts Democratic challenger and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland at a disadvantage. Portman has spent nearly $2 for every $1 Strickland has expended. Attacks by outside groups follow the same trend, favoring Portman. And the incumbent Republican has million in ad buys reserved over the coming months.
Meanwhile, three polls this month have the Senate race tied or Portman ahead by no more than a percentage point.
Portman will be in Cleveland for the convention from July 18-21. But like the governor, he has not yet agreed to participate in Trump-approved activities inside Quicken Loans Arena. The first-term senator instead has made yet-to-be-announced plans to hold his own program outside the arena.
Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @ABJDoug.

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Cleveland lawmaker qoutes LeBron on U.S. House floor

By Doug Livingston Published: June 22, 2016

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Cleveland, took time during regular session Tuesday to praise the Cleveland Cavaliers victory.

Borrowing a minute of speaking time from the Speaker of the House, Fudge quoted LeBron James: "In Cleveland, nothing is given. Everything is earned."

"Facing a 3-1 series deficit, the Cavaliers beat all odds," Fudge said.

See Fudge's speech here: https://youtu.be/qpXgFqAHkdg.

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Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor to administer oath to local attorney appointed judge

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: June 22, 2016

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor will administer the oath of office for local attorney Scot Stevenson as a Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The event will be in the atrium of the Summit County Courthouse, 209 S. High St. A reception with refreshments will follow.

Stevenson was appointed by Gov. John Kasich to fill the vacancy created when former judge Tom Parker became a federal magistrate in March. Retired Judge Judy Hunter has been handling Parker's docket since he left.

Stevenson, a Republican, will run in the November election to retain the seat for the remainder of Parker's term, which ends in 2021. His Democratic challenger will be Akron Municipal Court Judge Joy Oldfield.

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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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