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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill and his declared candidacy for Ohio governor. Can O'Neill continue to sit on the bench and be a partisan political candidate? Many are saying no, but O'Neill, the only Democrat on the court, says he won't resign until Jan. 26. 

Until recently former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray had been stuck in political limbo for what seemed like an eternity, unable, by federal law, to even hint at his ambition to be Ohio's next governor.

The Grove City Democrat was serving as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), with a six-year term that was to have expired in June 2018.

The Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal employees from engaging in partisan politics, kept Cordray quiet about his ambitions, even though everyone in Ohio knew he had them burning inside him.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

I'm writing this for those of you who may be just out of college and looking for a job; or those who a bit older but who are looking for a change of scenery in the workplace.

It is the story of how you can do something incredibly stupid in the middle of a job interview and still get the job.

Not that I recommend this method, mind you. But I am proof positive that it can be done.

Allow me to explain:

Howard Wilkinson

The late Bobbie Sterne's legacy as a Cincinnati council member and mayor was remembered by hundreds of her friends Wednesday at Memorial Hall.

Ohioans elect a new governor in 2018. The four official Democratic candidates vying to become Ohio's next governor are participating in a live debate from Cleveland.

The following candidates are participating in this hour-long debate: Connie Pillich, Joe Schiavoni, Betty Sutton, Nan Whaley. The debate is moderated by Karen Kasler, bureau chief, Ohio Public Radio Television Statehouse News Bureau and Russ Mitchell, anchor WKYC Channel 3 News.

It's not quite time to break out the noisemakers and drop the balloons in celebration, but Hamilton County Democrats could do something in 2018 that hasn't been done in the lifetime of anyone reading this column.

They could end up holding all three seats on the Hamilton County Board of County commissioners.

Todd Portune's not going away anytime soon; Denise Driehaus just arrived earlier this year; and neither of them are up for re-election until 2020.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

If you are what we euphemistically like to call a "veteran" Reds fan, you no doubt remember watching the sixth game of the 1975 World Series between the Big Red Machine and the Boston Red Sox.

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North Korea claims it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, able to strike anywhere in the United States. Congress works to extend government funding before a December 8 deadline to avoid a shutdown as Republicans push their tax plan to passage. A fight over the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau goes to the courts. 

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the life of a Cincinnati political icon, former council member and mayor Bobbie Sterne, who died last week at the age of 97. She was a kind and gracious person who was passionate about the issues she cared about. She had been an Army nurse on the beaches of Normandy during World War II, so there was nothing that could happen at Cincinnati City Hall that could rattle her. 

Jim Nolan / WVXU

At noon today, two contiguous states – Ohio and Michigan – will be at a near standstill because of a football game in Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

The Ohio State Buckeyes versus the Michigan Wolverines. Quite possibly, the greatest rivalry in college football history.

Republican Jeff Pastor is hanging on to a slim 223 vote lead over Democrat Michelle Dillingham in the official count of the November 7 Cincinnati City Council election. The contest for that ninth seat on is heading for a recount.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about all the news generated by Ohio Democrats last week: Former Ohio Attorney General Rich Cordray announcing he will quit his federal job, presumably to run for Ohio governor; and a bizarre Facebook post from Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill in which he detailed his sex life, creating a firestorm of criticism from fellow Democrats. 

It was becoming something like a Samuel Beckett play: Waiting for Cordray.

Nearly a year of waiting for Richard Cordray, the former state treasurer and Ohio attorney general, to make up his mind to leave as the first and only director the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), ended Wednesday when Cordray sent a letter to his staff saying he would leave office by the end of the month.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

I am a great fan of Thanksgiving. I love the feast; I love the fellowship of being with family and friends; I love the idea of a holiday all about giving thanks for our blessings in life.

I love the fact that I don’t have to cook; my sister Barbara in Dayton is the principal chef.

Not that I don't contribute to the family feast. I put together a relish tray. That's right – a relish tray. It's not exactly slaving over a hot stove, but, hey, those Spanish olives don't jump out of the jar by themselves, you know.

Here are some random observations on Tuesday's election – but by no means the last word on the subject.

You may think it is done, but it's not quite time to stick a fork in this election. There's a Cincinnati city council seat where 321 votes separate Republican Jeff Pastor and Democrat Michelle Dillingham for the ninth and final seat; and the fourth available seat on the Cincinnati Board of Education (100 votes separate incumbent Melanie Bates and challenger Rene Hevia).

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Pool reporter.

Most people outside of journalism don't know what that term means; and could not possibly care less.

I know, because I have been the local pool reporter on a countless number of visits to Cincinnati or environs by presidents, first ladies, vice presidents and others who have Secret Service protection.

And I consider it the worst job in journalism.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

John Cranley won another term as Cincinnati 's mayor, defeating Council Member Yvette Simpson by a wide margin. All six Cincinnati City Council incumbents were re-elected Tuesday. They will be joined by two new Democrats and one new Republican on council. 

Two incumbents and two newcomers were elected to the Cincinnati Board of Education Tuesday night.

All six incumbents were re-elected to Cincinnati City Council Tuesday night, but the battle for the ninth and final spot went right down to the wire. And it may not be over yet.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

John Cranley has won another four years as Cincinnati's mayor in a romp over Council Member Yvette Simpson.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Tuesday's election. Will it be a long night when the votes are counted? Depends on where you live. If you are in the city of Cincinnati, it may well be. 

Hamilton County election officials expect that state Issue 2  - not the mayoral or council races - will account for a possible spike in Cincinnati's election turnout Tuesday.

Some final, very random, thoughts on Tuesday's election:

Mega-bucks mayoral race: Does it really take something in the neighborhood of $3 million to get re-elected mayor, in little old Cincinnati, the 65th largest city in the United States?

Jim Nolan / WVXU

When you are on the road with a presidential candidate, campaign press aides will promise you the moon and stars to make you happy.

They promise to make sure you are fed, that you have plenty of time to file your stories, that you will have dependable transportation to get from one event to another.

They may even promise you some quality time with the candidate.

After a while, though, you learn to take these promises with a grain of salt.

John Cranley

Nov 2, 2017
john cranley
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For nearly four years now, John Cranley has held the mayor's office – pursuing his own agenda for the city, shaping the city bureaucracy to his liking, presiding over sometimes raucous council meetings and butting heads frequently with his political foes.

Yvette Simpson

Nov 2, 2017
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When Yvette Simpson talks about the struggles of young Cincinnatians to escape lives of poverty, drugs and violence, she knows what she is talking about.

It is the story of her life as a child and a teenager.

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Next Tuesday voters will decide who will lead the City of Cincinnati over the next four years, Yvette Simpson or John Cranley.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik  Monday morning about the Cincinnati City Council election. It's the second the city has held where candidates are elected to four-year terms instead of two-year terms. Is it working; or should it be be changed? 

Jim Nolan / WVXU

I've done a lot of traveling in my years as a reporter, from one end of this country to the other. Lots of airports; lots of airport hassles; lots of long cab rides from airport to hotel.

And I've learned a thing or two about travel.

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This week President Trump engaged in Twitter battles with two members of Congress, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona called the President's actions "a danger to democracy" from the floor of the Senate, and a congressional committee announced it would investigate a uranium deal with Russia under President Obama.

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