Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

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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-FM

Here's a confession about my old friend Howard Wilkinson: Many of his best stories never made the radio, newspaper or web.

Yes, he has reported the news for 43 years, and has been the leader in breaking news about politics – but his best stories were about how he got the story, the crazy, weird and always funny stuff that happened in pursuit of the news. Until now.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

Howard Wilkinson has been reporting on local, regional and national politics for more than 40 years. He's covered every Ohio governor's race since 1974 as well as 16 presidential conventions, and interviewed hundreds of politicians, from city council candidates to sitting presidents.

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Note: This segment originally aired on March 14, 2017.

Since he's been in office, President Trump has continued his running battle with reporters and increased his allegations that media outlets are generating fake news. He reiterated his accusations during his recent trip to Europe for the G-20 Summit.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked Monday morning with Jay Hanselman about the field of candidates for Ohio governor in 2018, and how the popularity (or unpopularity) of Gov. John Kasich and President Trump might play into the GOP gubernatorial primary. 

It's too early to tell if this is an advantage or a disadvantage, but it is a fact:

The field of Republican candidates for the 2018 Ohio gubernatorial election are generally better known than their Democratic counterparts.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about President Trump's Elections Integrity Commission and its demand that all 50 states turn over personal information on voters. 

If you are a baseball hitter and you have a game where you go 0-4 – no base hits in four at-bats – you're not a happy camper.

But you are not totally despondent. In baseball, there is usually a game tomorrow and you have a chance to go 4-4.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

This week the Cincinnati community reacted to the second mistrial in the case against Ray Tensing, and waits to hear if he will be put on trial a third time. And the Ohio legislature passed a $65 billion state budget. Governor John Kasich has until midnight Friday to sign the budget and make any vetoes.

Provided

The Republican party divides over the senate's version of a healthcare bill, the White House bans cameras and recording devices from press briefings, Democrats go 0 - 4 in special congressional elections, which is causing division in their party, and President Trump continues his claims about fake news.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Friday's mistrial in the case of Ray Tensing, accused in the shooting death of Sam DuBose two years ago. 

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the four likely Republican candidates for Ohio governor and the impact that President Trump could have on the race. 

If you are a Republican who wants to be elected the next governor of Ohio in 2018, you may be scratching your head over what to do about the man sitting in the White House, President Trump.

Do you run and cling to his side through next Spring's primary election, hoping that enough of those 2,841,005 Ohioans who voted for Trump for president last November will fall into your lap?

Former Enquirer editor Dennis Hetzel has combined his love of politics and sports in his new novel. 

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik  Monday morning about rampant speculation that  former Cincinnati mayor and talk show host Jerry Springer might run against incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup in Ohio's Second Congressional District. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Standing on the banks of the Ohio River, with a barge full of West Virginia coal in the background, President Donald Trump outlined a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

There just seems to be something inherently unfair about how Ohio draws its congressional district lines, a process that, in 2011, was controlled by Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly.

It's not surprising that, in Cincinnati, people who follow politics closely are fixated between the mayoral race between two Democrats – incumbent John Cranley and council member Yvette Simpson.

WVXU/Pete Rightmire

It's been a busy week for President Trump, who has visited Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, Rome and is now in Brussels for a NATO summit. Meanwhile, members of congress on both sides of the aisle are rejecting the president's budget proposal. And a former CIA director's testimony increases concern over contacts between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign staff last year.

WVXU

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the challenges the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee would face in taking on Republican incumbent Steve Chabot in Ohio's First Congressional District. 

Does the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) seriously think that Republican incumbent Steve Chabot is vulnerable next year in southwest Ohio's First Congressional District?

Apparently so.

Eight Hamilton County Municipal Court seats are up for re-election this fall, but only three of them are contested races.

Alex Driehaus

Former congressman Steve Driehaus tells WVXU he returns home next month after spending six years leading the Peace Corps' efforts in two African nations.

But Driehaus, in a phone interview Monday from Rabat, the capital of Morocco, says he has no plans to jump back into elective politics.

John Kiesewetter

It's official: Howard Wilkinson will be honored in Columbus as one of the best Ohio politics reporters today -- which I've known since we worked together on The Post student newspaper at Ohio University 40+ years ago.

But he's much more than that. He's one of the best storytellers I've ever read -- on practically any subject.  

It's quite the challenge to draw conclusions from an election where only 11 percent of the eligible voters bothered to cast a ballot.

Such was the case Tuesday in that sizzling hot three-way primary for Cincinnati mayor.

Tuesday turned out to be a good day for area school districts asking property owners for money.

Bill Rinehart

It's not particularly surprising that Council Member Yvette Simpson and incumbent Mayor John Cranley came out of Tuesday's primary election as the two candidates who will battle in November.

Voters in Cincinnati will go the polls Tuesday to choose this fall's contenders for the mayor's job; and voters in several other southwest Ohio communities will decide ballot issue and tax levies.

Tuesday, Cincinnatians will do it again.

They will go to the polls and take the first step in a two-tiered process of selecting a mayor – a direct election system that has only been in place since 2001.

WVXU/Jim Nolan

Each Friday on Cincinnati Edition, we discuss and analyze the week's top stories taking place in the Tri-state, the people and events that are affecting our region. The Cincinnati mayoral primary is next Tuesday, the Ohio budget is beginning to take shape, and Ohio Governor John Kasich is making the rounds with his recently-published book. 

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This Saturday marks President Donald Trump's one hundredth day in office. While that 100th day is an arbitrary benchmark, it is the milestone we have come to use in measuring a president's performance.

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