Politics & Policy

Ohio Thursday Evening Roundup

Gubernatorial Race

The Kasich administration would create a training voucher to help workers before they lose their jobs, using revenue from casino license fees to boost training programs and help businesses identify and provide the training they need before crises or job losses occur.

The Ohio governor’s race is shaping up as a bellwether for the 2012 presidential election and a high-stakes referendum on which party can be trusted on the economy in a state that has lost 400,000 jobs in the last three years.

When President Obama came to the Cleveland area on Wednesday to tout a new set of economic proposals, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland did not think twice about appearing at the event, even as other Democrats locked in tight races have sought to distance themselves physically from the president.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” Strickland said in an interview with RealClearPolitics on Thursday. “I have a fairly good memory, and I can remember the state of the economy when the president took office. We were in an economic free fall which many feared, including me, that we were heading toward some economic Armageddon, and I think we were, if it had not been for the strong action from our Democratic friends in the Congress and the president.”

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman have announced the startup of a southern Ohio plant the governor says is critical to preparing a former nuclear weapons site for future use.

  • The Democratic Governors’ Association certainly seems to think Strickland’s radioactive, according to Third Base Politics:

This week the DGA rolled out their strategy for the midterms in these last nearly two months. No surprisingly, it focused on attacks and painting the GOP as “extremist” rather than focusing on the positive. But it’s what wasn’t said that was most interesting. Their executive director and a panel of their advisors were asked which races to watch out for in November…[and] didn’t bring up Ohio. Nor did the entire panel of advisors. Not one.

Senatorial Race

Other appearances on tap are: September 28 in Madison, Wisconsin, where Sen. Russ Feingold is up for re-election; October 10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak is facing Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey for Senate; and October 17 in Ohio, where Democrat Lee Fisher is facing Republican Rob Portman for Senate.

  • And Politifact doesn’t think Lee Fisher’s being completely fair to Rob Portman:

The ad overstated how big the jump in both statistics was, but in both cases, the numbers did increase significantly on Portman’s watch. And while we acknowledge that Portman isn’t the only factor — nor, perhaps, even the primary factor — in the course of both economic trends, we do think that in the middle of a campaign, challenging an opponent on his record in office is fair game. On balance, we rate the item Half True.

“The commencement of these operations is a long overdue ray of hope for a region of Ohio that has been extremely hard-hit economically. The Piketon facility is a job creator for Southeast Ohio, and I’m pleased to see the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion facility come on-line. I was proud to work side by side with area elected officials, union leaders and economic development professionals, Democrats and Republicans alike, to help bring about this critical facility. This is an achievement that so many people have worked toward.”

The Portman for Senate campaign is pleased to announce Women for Portman Coalition, led by former Attorney General Betty Montgomery and Ohio Republican Party Vice Chair Kay Ayres.

House Races

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) had sharp words today for Ohio GOP congressional candidate Jim Renacci, who recently said the federal government should get “out of the way” on civil rights issues, saying that such a position suggests he may be unfit to hold public office.[…]

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