Words Columbus Media Insider with the M looking like broken glass

After a year of sweetheart coverage, the Columbus Dispatch proclaimed that "Ohio is better" under Gov. Mike DeWine. Not exactly.

I give DeWine credit for being accessible and responding to crises, such as the shootings in Dayton. He possesses a hundred times more empathy than his predecessor

His biggest test was to "do something," as Daytonians implored, about guns, but his watered-down proposal was dead on arrival at the Ohio legislature. Mikey is afraid of the gun lobby.

He is equally afraid of the hard-right crowd that wants to strip Ohio women of their reproductive rights, signing a likely unconstitutional abortion ban.

The governor and Ohio legislative leaders, all Republicans, acted like they wanted to reform and improve the way the state funds its public schools (currently unconstitutional), but turned around and minimally improved funding while greasing the skids for more vouchers and charter school support. ECOT was "forgot."

And who cannot remember the high-handed massive sales tax increase that Mikey and the two Larrys (Householder and Obhof, who lead the House and Senate, respectively) imposed without a vote of the people?

So far, DeWine has failed to pardon Tom Noe, who has spent more than a decade behind bars in Ohio for white collar political crime. As a non-violent offender and model prisoner, Noe should have been released years ago. Say a prayer that DeWine will do the right thing and free Noe before 2020 dawns.

Meanwhile, The Dispatch slobbered over DeWine's predecessor John Kasich. Johnny Nobody's portrait was unveiled at the Statehouse and the Dispatch responded with a half-page publicity release masked as a news story. His catering to prominent donors was omitted as was his failed attempt to strip public employees of their rights.

Now a cinch for re-election as Franklin County recorder, Danny O'Connor took Johnny Nobody to the woodshed via Twitter. Danny excoriated Kasich for once backing supporters of President Trump and for running ads against Danny in the 12th District Congressional race the week Trump came to Delaware County to campaign for Troy Balderson, who beat Danny in a close race in 2018.

I expect the charismatic O'Connor will be one of a handful of Democrats leading the statewide Democratic Party ticket in 2022.

One of his 2022 running mates should be Connie Pillich. The former state legislator and unsuccessful statewide candidate is on track to be elected county commissioner of Hamilton County. The highly disciplined and articulate Pillich is ready for prime time.

I would be remiss if I did not include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley on the list of 2022 hopefuls. She skillfully led her city through the horribleness of the mass murders and merits statewide attention.

Pelosi Should Take Her Time, Investigate Pence and Barr

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump, but at this writing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding up delivering the articles to the U.S. Senate apparently until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decides whether he will allow a full trial with witnesses or grease through a sham overnight acquittal.

The longer she waits the better because the closer Moscow Mitch gets to his difficult re-election race in Kentucky on Nov. 3, 2020, the more pressure he will feel to not offend the home folks by running a sham trial.

Meanwhile, Trump twists in the wind. He faces the twin fears of being removed from office by the Senate or of being discredited and voted out office on Nov. 3.

My advice to Pelosi is to keep holding the articles in abeyance while her lieutenants in the House conduct additional investigations of Trump and of potential wrong-doing by Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General William Barr.

The House might approve an additional article regarding Trump and new articles of impeachment regarding Pence and Barr. Then Pelosi should send it all over to the Senate, say, around Memorial Day.

Let McConnell and fellow Trump apologists like Sen. Lindsay Graham chew on all in the summer of 2020.


  • Ohio lawmakers face a dilemma over whether to put sports betting under the Ohio Casino Control Commission or the Ohio Lottery Commission. One expert, Bill Phillis, believes that the lottery agency is the right choice because the profits would go to public education. Who knows where they would go if the underperforming casinos get them?
  • There is a new journalistic sheriff in the state, the Ohio Capital Journal. Edited by veteran journalist Dave DeWitt, it will focus on investigative and explanatory journalism about the state government. Operated as a public charity, it will be free of bias, free of advertising and free to readers. Check it out at ohiocapitaljournal.com
  • As cleveland.com's eminent columnist Brent Larkin recently wrote, Republican  U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, Trump's most ardent defender,  is "unfit." His 4th District includes Union County in central Ohio. Running against him is Democrat Mike Larsen of rural Dublin. Larsen is an accomplished comedian and writer. Maybe a "comic" can take out a "joker."

(Please send your comments and suggestions for future columns to John K. Hartman, ColumbusMediaInsider@gmail.com)

(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2020, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved) 

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