State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) named State Board of Education member Stephanie Dodd (D) as his running mate Tuesday. Dodd “represents over one million constituents” in “all or part of 13 counties in Central, Southeastern and Appalachian Ohio.” (release)
PLATFORMS. Democratic candidates, with the exception of former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray (D), filled out a questionnaire for the Columbus Dispatch regarding their platforms. Former state Rep. Connie Pillich “wouldn’t state her position on whether Ohio schools should be required to allow transgender or gender-fluid students to choose the restroom and shower facility they wish to use.” Schiavoni and former Rep. Betty Sutton (D) said abortion is a matter between women and their doctors. State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D) “responded to the fewest among the Democrats” since “the court still has pending cases on topics such as abortion and school funding.” (Columbus Dispatch)
FRENEMIES. When asked by the Columbus Dispatch whom their favorite Republicans were, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) said former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R); Schiavoni said state Senate President Larry Obhof (R); Pillich said state Sen. William Coley (R); and O’Neill said former President George H. W. Bush (R). (Columbus Dispatch)
DEWINE OPINES. On his questionnaire, state Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) “did not respond to a question about how willing he would be to raise taxes,” refrained from providing “a direct answer on which items he would like to change in Ohio’s current tax structure,” and “did not answer a question about whether Ohio’s current school-funding setup is constitutional.” Otherwise, he said he would not “support a state tax increase if 100 percent of the revenue went to Ohio public schools,” said that ” Ohio’s current conceal-carry laws are too restrictive,” and said he does not “support legalizing recreational marijuana in Ohio,” among other answers. (Columbus Dispatch)
SCHIAVONI. On his questionnaire, Schiavoni said that Ohio is not “meeting the state constitutional requirement to provide a ‘thorough and efficient’ education to schoolchildren”; that he would not “support a state tax increase if 100 percent of the revenue went to Ohio public schools”; and that parents should not “be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school in Ohio,” among other answers. (Columbus Dispatch)
PILLICH. On her questionnaire, Pillich also said that Ohio is not “meeting the state constitutional requirement to provide a ‘thorough and efficient’ education to schoolchildren”; that she supports “Ohio’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act”; and that Ohio doesn’t need a “right-to-work” law, among other answers. (Columbus Dispatch)
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The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the November 14 testimony of Glenn Simpson, the man at Fusion GPS who oversaw the creation of the now infamous Trump-Russia dossier. Simpson's testimony includes a number of startling claims, including that Russia infiltrated conservative political groups prior to the election, and that Trump had "long time associations" with the Italian Mafia," and that he "gradually during the nineties became associated with Russian mafia figures." Simpson also testified that Trump called off a post-election meeting with Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank and a longtime member of the NRA, currently under investigation by the FBI for money laundering. Simpson said that the discoveries were so alarming that he felt compelled to go to the authorities. The full text of the transcript can be read here.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says he has the votes to pass a short-term spending bill tonight, but "Senate Democrats said they're confident they have the votes to block the stop-gap spending bill that the House is taking up, according to two Democratic senators and a senior party aide. And top Senate Republicans are openly worried about the situation as they struggle to keep their own members in the fold."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."