Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his political blog, his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with news director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 14 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Donald Trump's claims that the election is "rigged' and how Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is answering Trump. Also, Wilkinson, a serious baseball fan, says he's rooting for the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. 

It's become clear that most Republican Party leaders at all levels, local and national, are really, really tired of hearing Donald Trump going on about this election being rigged.

This election which, in fact, hasn't happened yet.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Madisonville got its start in 1809 as Madison, named after the fourth president of the United States, James Madison. 

Jim Nolan/WVXU


Each Friday on Cincinnati Edition, we present an in-depth look at the developments behind the headlines. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the impact Donald Trump's lewd and vulgar remarks about women in 2005 is already damaging his campaign in Ohio. 

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Ohio's junior U.S. senator, Rob Portman announced late Saturday he is rescinding his previous endorsement of Republican president nominee Donald Trump.

Portman was one of dozens of GOP leaders from around the country who have announced they can no longer support Trump, after the disclosure Friday of a 2005 video in which Trump makes lewd, vulgar comments about a married woman he said he wanted to have sex with.

Poor old Ohio. Once the bellwether of the nation; once the ultimate swing state in presidential elections.

Now, if you pay attention to some recent national news reports, Ohio is watching its bellwether status slip away. It is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of American Politics, shifting its necktie and whining that it gets no respect.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

A federal judge ruled Thursday that suspended  juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter should be allowed to vote in the November election.

The Hamilton County board of elections had removed her from the voting rolls because of her 2014 felony conviction. She faces a six-month jail term for unlawful interest in a public contract.

Hunter voted in 2015, after her conviction, but was removed from the voting rolls in March of this year because of her felony conviction.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about whether or not Hillary Clinton can win the White House without winning the key battleground state of Ohio. She is trailing in the polls by a small margin in the Buckeye State. Also, Wilkinson talked about potential cyber-security threats to the voting system. 

The Russians may be good at computer hacking, but they are not good enough to hack into Ohio's voting system, mainly because it is not connected to the internet.

And, as local election officials and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted say, there are paper records of every vote cast, to be used as a back-up.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

Suspended juvenile court  judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony in October 2014, has sued the Hamilton County Board of Elections for revoking her right to vote.

Hunter's lawyer, David Singleton, filed a 19-page motion for a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court to have her voting rights restored.

"Our argument is very simple,'' Singleton told WVXU. "The law in Ohio only prevents people who are convicted of a felony or felonies and who are incarcerated from voting. Tracie Hunter is not incarcerated."

Pete Rightmire/WVXU


Monday night's match-up between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most-watched presidential debate in history, with more than 84 million viewers. 

Provided by Glenn Hartong

While watching all the political attack commercials on TV, did you ever wonder how it all started?

Glenn Hartong -- a local video producer, director, photojournalist, editor and teacher -- will explain the history of negative political campaign advertising 7 p.m. Wednesday at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester Township.

Campaign web site

Update Sept. 2​6, 2016: The Ohio Democratic Party has taken the unusual step of endorsing a write-in candidate in the Second Congressional District race. 

Saturday, party leaders met in Columbus and gave their endorsement to Janet Everhard, a retired physician from New Richmond over the man who won the March Democratic primary, truck driver William R. Smith of Pike County.

WVXU reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about expectations for the first presidential debate tonight; and about last week's ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals saying the purge of Ohio voter rolls is unconstitutional.