Howard Wilkinson

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the debate among the four announced Democratic candidates for Ohio governor Tuesday night; and how the possible entry of Richard Cordray and/or Jerry Springer might upset the apple cart. 

Nothing is ever certain in politics – we found that out in a bigly way in last year's presidential election – but it is highly likely that the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Ohio will be rematch of 2012.

We eschew betting in general – especially on baseball – but we would bet a dollar to a donut that, as in 2012, incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown will be facing Republican challenger Josh Mandel, the state treasurer.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

Charles P. Taft II – better known to generations of Cincinnati voters as "Charlie" – is a Cincinnati politician I never knew; he passed away in 1983, the year after I arrived in Cincinnati as an Enquirer reporter. I was one of two Enquirer reporters assigned to write his obituary. 

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The Ohio Democratic Party is waiting to see if either Richard Cordray or Jerry Springer will enter the race for governor. A study finds the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation has not properly maintained many of the 700 properties it owns.

If you live on Cincinnati's East Side, you might wonder why some of your fellow Cincinnatians on the West Side feel they need their own political action committee to influence this year's mayoral and city council races.

But they do feel the need; and what they have is POWR PAC (Partnership of Westside Residents), which has come back after an eight-year absence and is still headed by Pete Witte, the Price Hill community activist and small business owner.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

For Ohio Gov. John J. Gilligan, the Cincinnati Democrat, 1974 was supposed to be a very good year.

He was a candidate for re-election to a second term as governor, facing the former Republican governor James A. Rhodes.

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Congress returns from its August recess next Tuesday. Lawmakers will debate raising the debt ceiling. They also need to pass a funding bill by September 30 to avoid a government shutdown. And they may have to take up a funding bill to provide billions in relief aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey. President Trump traveled to Texas to view the storm's destruction Tuesday and plans to return again this week.

Cincinnati voters will choose from among 23 candidates for nine seats on Cincinnati City Council in the November election.

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WVXU politics  reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the upcoming Cincinnati City Council election, which rivals the mayor's race in importance. There are three open seats and a strong field of challengers competing for those three seats and possibly more. 

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

This is about the time I didn't interview Bob Dole.

Sounds like a rather odd thing to write about, but stick with me; there's a pretty good story behind it.

It was the early fall of 1996. Dole, a Kansas senator,  had just stepped down as majority leader to campaign full-time for president.

There is hardly a significant campaign for high office that goes by without a fight over debates.

Will we have them? How many will have? Where will they be? What will the ground rules be?

And, in some cases, those questions never get answered – usually because of the intransigence of one candidate or another – and no debate ever happens.

But the 2018 gubernatorial race in Ohio will most certainly have debates.

In fact, there is one already scheduled.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

There aren't a whole lot of perks to being a politics reporter.

Not complaining, mind you. But it's not usually very glamorous work.

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It started with a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in 1972, and ended with the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. White House Counsel John Dean soon found himself embroiled in the Watergate scandal and eventually testified against Nixon in Congressional hearings.  Dean is in Ohio this week speaking to the Ohio State Bar Association about the lessons learned from Watergate and the parallels to the Trump White House.

City of Loveland website

Facing a recall election in November, Mark Fitzgerald resigned as Loveland's mayor at a special meeting of city council Monday night.

Once a citizens' group called Loveland Community Heartbeat, a political action committee, filed petitions last week with more than enough signatures to place the recall on the ballot, Fitzgerald had five days under Ohio election to resign or face recall in the November election.

Not to be morbid, but let's say you are an Ohioan who has passed away and is no longer with us. Should your name be removed from the voting rolls?

Yes, absolutely. This is not Chicago, after all.

Now let's say you are a registered Ohio voter and you have moved, permanently, to another state. Should your name be removed from the voting rolls in Ohio?

Yes, certainly, because you can't vote in a state where you no longer live.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

I am a recovering smoker. A recovering heavy smoker.

I smoked day and night; and nearly everything I did during the course of a day triggered the urge to light up – getting up in the morning, having my first cup of coffee, driving to work, taking a break from writing.

Everything.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Tana Weingartner Monday about the Republicans' fundraising advantage over the Democrats in the 2018 gubernatorial race; and whether or not the field on both sides will shrink before the end of the year. 

We hope you are sitting down while reading this, because this is astounding news:

Republicans running for governor in Ohio have more money than Democrats running for governor. Way more.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Having been one of millions of little kids in this country who worshipped John H. Glenn Jr. when, as a Mercury astronaut, he became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, it still boggles my mind that as an adult, I got to know him so well.

But it never really occurred to me that, in 1988, I would be sitting on the couch with Glenn in his hotel suite at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, trading political buttons with him.

But I did.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the state of Cincinnati's mayoral contest between John Cranley and Yvette Simpson, 99 days before the election.  

That Cincinnati mayoral primary in which the incumbent, John Cranley, lost by 10 percentage points to Council Member Yvette Simpson is now in the rear-view mirror.

Immediately after it was over, Cranley and his campaign vowed to mend their ways and spend more time and effort engaging voters one-on-one and ramping up their grassroots efforts, instead of depending solely on dumping a small fortune into 30-second TV ads which, frankly, many voters tune out as background noise.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

I cut my teeth as a young reporter on one of the toughest nuts to crack in Ohio political history – the late James A. Rhodes, four-term governor of the Buckeye State.

Provided

Senator John McCain is diagnosed with brain cancer but still travels to Washington for a health care vote, President Trump continues to publicly demean his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner testifies about meetings with Russians, and Sean Spicer is out and Anthony Scaramucci is in.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked Monday morning with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik about what the possible entry of Democrat Richard Cordray could mean to an already crowded field; and why this race to replace lame-duck governor John Kasich is already in full-swing. 

For a guy who refuses to talk about the subject, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has nearly everybody in Ohio Democratic Party politics expecting him to jump into the 2018 race for governor.

We've always thought Cordray had some extraordinary politics skills, but to create the kind of buzz we have seen in the past week while steadfastly refusing to talk about it is quite a neat trick.

It's not as if the Democrats don't already have some credible candidates for governor in the 2018.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

There are an awful lot of people who knew Morris K. Udall – better known as "Mo" ­– who believe he would have made a great president of the United States.

The Arizona Democrat served in the U.S. House for 30 years until the effects of Parkinson's Disease forced him into retirement in 1991.

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WVXU reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the phenomenon of Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. Wilkinson also talked about a new column which will appear on Saturdays at wvxu.org - Tales from the Trail, a light-hearted behind-the-scenes look at over 40 years of covering politics. 

Let's be honest here.

Unless you are a practicing attorney or a judge, had you ever spent more than 10 seconds thinking about the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts office until a 34-year-old Democrat named Aftab Pureval seemingly appeared out of nowhere and won that office last November?

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ed. note: Tales from the Trail is a column that will take you behind the scenes of politics to see some of the funny, and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen on the campaign trail, based on Howard Wilkinson's recollections of 43 years of covering politics. 

When you are traveling with a candidate – particularly a candidate for president – there are all sorts of obstacles you must overcome.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

Cincinnati City Council strikes a compromise on human services funding, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts offers employees wage hikes and paid family leave and Ohio begins its next fiscal year with a $65 billion budget.

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