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. 

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will meet with supporters to talk about jobs and the economy Thursday morning at a machining and milling plant in Bond Hill.

Romney will appear at Jet Machine on Steger Drive in Bond Hill, a high-tech machinist plant that does work for the military, the aerospace industry and the oil and gas industry.

It is a ticketed event; and tickets are available at or by calling (614) 547-2290.

Tomorrow afternoon, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, wil be making an appearance at Cleveland State University.

This week WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about the tight Presidential Race in Ohio, the Vice President and President coming to Dayton and tonight's debate.

President Obama leads GOP challenger Mitt Romney by five percentage points in the critical swing state of Ohio, according to a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released Monday morning.

Former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche will be tail-gating with the Romney-Ryan "Commit to Mitt Early Vote Express" bus outside Paul Brown Stadium before tonight's nationally-televised Bengals-Steelers game.

Wyche is expected to join the Romney-Ryan bus, which is traveling the state promoting early voting for the GOP presidential tickets, at 5:30 p.m. in parking lot D near Paul Brown Stadium.

Wyche coached the Bengals from 1984 until 1991. He held the record for most wins by a head coach (64) until he was overtaken by Marvin Lewis, the current head coach, in 2011.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has settled the hash and allowed in-person voting at Ohio boards of Elections on the final three days before the Nov. 6 election to go forward, there is only one question worth asking.

Was it worth the fight the Obama-Biden campaign put up to stop Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, from doing away with those three days?

Depends on who you ask.

If you ask the Obama-Biden campaign and its Democratic allies, the answer is an unqualified “yes.”

photo by Michael Keating

Hamilton County Republicans have a raft of get-out-the-vote events scheduled over the next week, involving everything from visits from high-profile GOP senators to a night of Greek cuisine at a Republican volunteer call center.

On Saturday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte – who was considered a contender for the GOP vice presidential nomination this year – will headline a “Republicans Top to Bottom” rally at the Sharonville Convention Center.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), is kicking off a multi-state bus tour in Finneytown Friday - a tour aimed in Ohio at touting the re-election of President Obama and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The AFT - which represents about 1.5 million teachers nationwide - is one of the most active labor unions supporting the re-election of President Obama.

In the pantheon of campaign surrogates for the Obama-Biden campaign, few can claim more star power than former president Bill Clinton.

But, Thursday in Parma, a Cleveland suburb, the 42nd President of the United States may have met his match and then some in the "star power" category when he attends a get-out-the-vote rally at Cuyahoga Community College with rock legend Bruce Springsteen.

Ohio voters will be able to cast ballots at their county boards of election on the final three days before the election, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s appeal of a federal court ruling.

Immediately after the decision was rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court, Husted, the Republican who is Ohio’s chief elections officer, issued a directive to all 88 county boards of elections setting uniform hours for voting in-person at the boards on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the Tuesday, Nov. 6 election.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted asked county boards of elections to tell him what they want to do about in-person voting the final three days before the election, while Husted waits for a decision on whether the U.S. Supreme Court would hear his appeal of his ban on voting during that period.

In southwest Ohio, the answers Husted is getting are all over the map – with Democratic board members wanting more hours and Republicans generally wanting less.