All “three Republican National Committee members from the state sent letters Friday to the RNC waiving the national party’s rule against supporting Republican candidates in contested primaries, approving ‘any and all pre-primary financial assistance and in-kind aid the RNC may choose to provide’ for” state Attorney General Mike DeWine (R). (National Journal)
WHEN YOU COME AT THE PRINCE … At a debate on Wednesday, former state Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D) called former CFPB Director Richard Cordray (D) “Prince Richard of the Ohio Democratic Party” and later added “that the process has been rigged in Cordray’s favor. … But O’Neill might have landed a bigger punch when he told Cordray, ‘You’ve got an ‘A’ rating from the NRA.’ Opponents have been circulating a video of a 2010 speech that Cordray gave to a pro-gun rally at the Statehouse. And on the debate stage Wednesday, he didn’t repudiate the group.”
Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) “was asked about his history of meeting with [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad, including conducting a Fox News interview with the dictator. … Kucinich responded by saying he’s traveled the world trying to prevent wars, but he didn’t address meeting Assad. And with reporters after the debate, he refused to condemn the Syrian strongman, saying it’s up to Syrians to pick their leaders.” (Columbus Dispatch)
“The candidates agreed on opposing right to work laws, and the need for some sort of tighter gun control laws, though each had a different response to gun violence in schools and cities across the country.” (Toledo Blade)
“Kucinich wants to fully legalize marijuana, a move he said would have positive implications for criminal justice, agriculture and even the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.” (Cleveland.com)
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"The Supreme Court on Monday passed up its two opportunities this term to rule on when and whether states violate the Constitution by drawing electoral maps that sharply favor one political party." In a dispute over Maryland's congressional map, the Supreme Court "upheld a district court judge’s decision not to grant a preliminary injunction" blocking the map. In the Wisconsin case Gill v. Whitford, the justices ruled that Democratic voters lacked standing to challenge the redrawn electoral boundaries at the Supreme Court. Seven justices
"agreed to give the challengers another shot at making their case in the lower courts."
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to keep his promise to divest from his company holdings upon entering government, a Forbes investigation has found. Ross reportedly kept his stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a firm linked to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and a Cyprus bank caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation. Forbes reports that Ross’s family continued to have an interest in these holdings while he dealt with China and Russia in his official role, even while knowing that his family’s fortunes were linked to the countries. Although the arrangements appear to be legal, Forbes says Ross may have broken the law by submitting a sworn statement to officials in November saying he divested of everything he promised he would. His spokesperson said Ross did not lie and has filed amended paperwork.
"The Pentagon has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign states that sponsor malicious hacking groups." The policy change empowers the command to conduct cyberattacks against adversaries, including "nearly daily raids" against enemy networks and "non-kinetic" attacks against military targets. The purpose of the change, according to policy documents, is to “contest dangerous adversary activity before it impairs our national power" and to impel adversaries to "shift resources to defense and reduce attacks.”
Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol chief for the Rio Grande Valley, expressed his desire to CBS News for action to be taken to address family separation at the border. Separations have spiked under the Trump Administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. "We created this situation by not doing anything," Padilla said, arguing that previous immigration policy had created a "vacuum" for other families to attempt to cross the border.
"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.