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Monday, August 20, 2007

News and Notes: Ohio

What's happening out there?

Clancy Out; Seitz to Run - The Columbus Dispatch blog Daily Briefing reported Friday evening that State Sen. Patricia Clancy (R-Cincinnati) will step down from her 8th Ohio Senate District seat, and term-limited State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) of the 30th Ohio House District will run for the open seat. Clancy will become assistant chief probation office for Hamilton County in October, a job apparently arranged for her in order to avoid a Clancy-Seitz primary next year.

Sykes Replaces Donaldson at OCRC - Former State Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) has been appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) to replace Jeanine Donaldson, who served only four months, as chair of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Since her narrow loss to then-State Rep. Mary Taylor (R-Green) in the 2006 race for State Auditor, Sykes has been CEO of Ohio United Way. (I saw Sykes and her husband, State Rep. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron), at the 20th Annual Urban League of Greater Cleveland banquet on July 13th, where retiring chief Myron Robinson was honored. I told them then how much I admire and appreciate their leadership, and I'm thrilled to see her back in government service.)

Blackwell Out and About - Former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati), looking for ways to revive his political career after his dismal showing in the 2006 gubernatorial race, is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Indianapolis on August 24-26. GOP presidential contenders will be showcased at the conference.

Brown Denounces SCHIP Veto - Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) is making public appearances today in Cincinnati to oppose President Bush's threat to veto legislation to continue and expand the Children's Health Insurance Program. He was at the Children's Hospital Medical Center this morning and will attend a discussion on covering the uninsured at the Lincoln Heights Health Care Center at 2:30 this afternoon. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a good story today on what's at stake for Ohio, i.e., the expansion of Medicaid coverage for children proposed by the governor and adopted by the General Assembly in the state budget.

Party at New Wulsin Headquarters
- Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill), challenger to Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) in the 2nd Ohio Congressional District, will hold a party at her new campaign headquarters in Anderson Township at 5:30 pm on August 29th to thank volunteers and supporters from her last campaign, and to lay out her vision for the country and her plan to take back the district from the GOP.

Space Secures Federal Funding for Southeast Ohio - One of the key items on the re-election "to do" list of freshman Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) is securing federal funding for projects in his district, and it looks like he has done a good job of it. His office recently announced that he has secured more than $7 million for projects in Southeastern Ohio. Moreover, Space says, “These projects are good, they’re worthy of federal funding, and they make sense for our region." The biggest items listed in the press release are $1,000,000 each for "Biorefining for Energy Security" in Athens and training equipment for the Ohio National Guard, $800,000 for airport improvement for Ohio University, $750,000 for Country Road 29 upgrades in Harrison County, and $500,000 for West Pike Sanitary Sewer upgrades in Muskingum County. No "Bridges to Nowhere" in that lineup. UPDATE: After posting this item, I received a notice that Space announced today he will introduce legislation after the August recess to provide a federal tax break to rural commuters to help them defray the cost of gasoline used in connection with employment. Rural residents are especially hard hit by high fuel prices because they typically drive longer distances than urban dwellers.

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