Ohio GOP State Representatives Plan to Introduce Recreational Marijuana Bill

Ohio Republican Representatives Jamie Callender (R-Concord) and Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) said Tuesday they will introduce a bill that allows Ohioans to use marijuana for personal use.

In the bill, any Ohio resident who is 21 or older to “buy, possess and grow” marijuana in the state. Also, people would only be allowed to have up to five ounces of marijuana and grow six plants, according to cincinnati.com.

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Ohio House Speaker Shuts Down Planned Hearing on Vaccine Mandates

Ohio Speaker of the House Bob Cupp has left little doubt about the future of bills that would give most Ohio workers and students the ability to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine by ordering a committee chair to cancel an upcoming meeting.

House Bill 435 failed to get a full vote Wednesday in the House for the second time in two weeks, with Cupp, R-Lima, saying the House was moving on to different things. He reiterated that message Thursday in a letter to Health Committee Chair Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, shutting down a seventh hearing on House Bill 248, the Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act, a separate bill dealing with the same subjects.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost, 19 Other Attorney Generals Fire Off Letter Opposing Planned ‘Invasive’ IRS Bank Data Grab

Dave Yost

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and 19 other state attorneys general have asked President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to withdraw a plan to allow require banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to report massive amounts of personal financial data to the Internal Revenue Services in a stated effort to track down tax cheats.
The proposal within the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation package would require financial institutions to supply data on accounts of $600 or more with $600 or more in annual transactions.

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Congressional Redistricting in Ohio Stalls as Committee Risks Clock Running Out Again

The Ohio Redistricting Commission faces yet another deadline regarding the redrawing new congressional districts as members wait on Ohio House Speaker Robert Cupp bides his time on moving forward on a process that could have ended Sept. 30.

The commission has not met since the Ohio General Assembly failed to consider, let along pass, options for redistricas the state prepares to lose one congressional district following the reapportionment of congressional representation among the states sparked by the 2020 U.S. census.

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Ohio House Bill 435 Does Not Go Far Enough to Protect Against COVID Mandates, Argues GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci

Former congressman and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Thursday argued that Ohio House Bill 435 does not go far enough to protect individuals from COVID-19 mandates.

The legislation, which stalled in the House on Wednesday, would allow workers to receive religious, medical, or natural immunity exemptions for coronavirus vaccine mandates.

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U.S. Senate Candidate JD Vance Hauls in $1.75 Million in First Fundraising Quarter, Notes Key Grassroots Support

U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance announced on Thursday that his campaign hauled in approximately $1.75 million in the first fundraising quarter as a declared contender.

Of the donations, Vance’s campaign celebrated “grassroots” support, with more than half of donors contributing $50 or less.

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Ohio Board of Education Drops Critical Race Theory Resolution

The Ohio Board of Education (BOE) this week dropped its Critical Race Theory (CRT) resolution that activists described as “anti-racist,” and critics described as “divisive.”

According to The Columbus Dispatch, it has been replaced with a new resolution that condemns any curricula that “seeks to divide.”  

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Ohio GOP Cites Justice Brunner Statements, Affiliations in Call to Recuse Herself in Redistricting Cases

The Ohio Republican Party has asked Ohio Justice Jennifer Brunner to step aside in hearing cases tied to redistricting Ohio’s state legislative district boundaries because of public stands she and her political supporters have taken on the issue.

Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Paduchik cited several instances where Brunner, who is now running for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, acknowledged the potential for redistricting litigation and role the state’s high court might play during her campaign.

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Ohio Law Banning Mandatory Vaccination in Schools Now in Effect

An Ohio law banning schools from forcing students to take vaccinations that haven’t been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took effect Wednesday. 

HB 244 says that primary and secondary schools, along with public universities, may not “Discriminate against an individual who has not received a [non-fully approved vaccine], including by requiring the individual to engage in or refrain from engaging in activities or precautions that differ from the activities or precautions of an individual who has received such a vaccine.” 

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Amazon to Build 1 Million-Square-Foot Distribution Center, Create 1,000 Jobs in Canton

The e-commerce division of Amazon.com Inc. has committed to building a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in northeast Canton that will employ 1,000 full- and part-time workers when it opens in next year.

In choosing Canton, the company cited an exisiting trained workforce and a welcoming community.

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Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Slams Ohio Gov. DeWine for ‘Refusing to Protect Ohioans’ from COVID Mandates

GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Tuesday slammed Governor Mike DeWine for his lack of action against COVID-19 mandates imposed by the federal government.

In the statement, Renacci argued that DeWine, a Republican, has governed the state in a manner that is close to prominent Democratic leaders.

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Bill That Would Allow Cameras in Nursing Homes Making Progress in Ohio Legislature

A bill that would allow loved ones and legal guardians to put cameras in nursing home rooms, allowing them to monitor the treatment of the resident, is making significant progress in the Ohio legislature. 

SB 58 provides that as long as the resident’s guardian or attorney fills out a form notifying the nursing facility they will be placing a camera in the resident’s room, and as long as the resident’s guardian or attorney installs and pays for the camera out-of-pocket, they may proceed with monitoring the resident’s room. 

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules the State’s Redistricting Commission Members Can Be Deposed

Republican members of Ohio’s redistricting commission will have to answer questions as part of three lawsuits challenging new state legislative district maps, the Ohio Supreme Court said.

Groups such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed lawsuits, claiming the legislative maps are unconstitutional and gerrymandered. The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over lawsuits that challenge redistricting.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Announces Sentencing of School Administrator Who Stole $150,000

After being convicted for stealing $150,000 from P.A.T.H. School for Autism, Inc. and the P.A.T.H. Academy for Autism, Ltd., the former executive director of those nonprofit organizations, which are partly responsible for administering Ohio’s curricula for children with autism, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. 

“Bonnie Kimpling, 53, of Chicago, was sentenced for one count of Aggravated Theft, a third-degree felony, in Williams County Common Pleas Court. In addition to jail time, she was sentenced to five years of community control, fined $2,500 and ordered to pay approx. $32,269 in restitution,” Attorney General Dave Yost’s office said in press release. 

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COVID Vaccination Mandate Bill in Front of New Ohio Committee

An Ohio bill that would end COVID-19 vaccination mandates and nearly passed the House last week is back in front of another committee with health care groups from around the state lined up in opposition.

House Bill 435, the Vaccine Fairness Act, received hearings in front of the House Labor and Commerce Committee on Wednesday and Thursday.

The legislation would provide broad exemptions for COVID-19 vaccination mandates from public and private employers and schools. It also would stop any entity from mandating a COVID-19 vaccine that has not been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and prohibit government-ordered vaccine passports.

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Ohio Northern University Denies College Republicans’ ‘Back the Blue’ Apparel Design

The Ohio Northern University College Republicans chapter was denied approval recently for “Back the Blue” apparel by the university due to other schools having had to “retract and apologize” for similar initiatives.

ONU College Republicans designed shirts with “Back the Blue” printed on the sleeve and a Thin Blue Line flag printed on the back. The shirt design does not include ONU lettering and shows no affiliation with the university.

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Indiana Coal Plant Keeps Getting Money from Ohio Energy Customers

Clifty Creek Power Plant

 An Indiana coal plant continues to receive subsidies from Ohio energy ratepayers despite efforts from lawmakers to whittle away at the scandal-ridden House Bill 6 passed more than two years ago.

Ohio state Reps. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, and Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma, toured the Clifty Creek Coal Plant, owned by Ohio Valley Electric Coop, this week. Clifty Creek is in Madison, Indiana, an hour from the Ohio border.

Ohio Valley Electric receives $232,000 in ratepayer subsidies per day, Crossman and Weinstein said, part of which goes to Clifty Creek.

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U.S. Senate Candidates Timken, Ryan Unveil Third Quarter U.S. Senate Fundraising Ahead of October 15 Deadline

U.S. Senate candidates Jane Timken and U.S. Representative Tim Ryan offered a peak into their third quarter fundraising efforts this week ahead of the formal Oct. 15 deadline.

Jane Timken, the former Ohio Republican Party chairwoman, announced raising $1.7 million from about 1,200 donors during the quarter ended Sept. 30, leaving her with $3.1 million cash on hand in the race against six other announced candidates for the GOP nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Senator Rob Portman, R-OH.

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U.S. Senate Hopeful J.D. Vance of Ohio Calls for AG Garland’s Resignation Amid Directive Against Protesting Parents

The campaign of U.S. Senate hopeful J.D. Vance of Ohio has called for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to resign after the nation’s top law enforcement official issued a directive targeting hostile  parents nationwide who protest progressive education policies at school board meetings.

Garland issued the directive on Oct. 4 telling the U.S. Attorneys  and Federal Bureau of Investigation offices to coordinate with federal, state and local law enforcement on what he called an increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and school staff.

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Ohio Lawmakers Propose School Choice for All Students

Two Ohio lawmakers want to give all Ohio students the option of school choice and create K-12 education competition, which they say would raise the level of public and private education throughout the state.

The Ohio Backpack Bill, originally introduced in May and updated with a sub-bill to House Bill 290, would allow all parents to send their children to public school or establish an education savings account. The state would send the money earmarked for that student to the public school or into the parent’s account, allowing it to be used for private school tuition or other education expenses.

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Cleveland Residents to Vote on Measure to Give Citizens Power over the Police

Residents of Cleveland will vote in November on Issue 24, an amendment to the city’s charter that would give citizens the power of oversight of the police force.

The amendment, which has been endorsed by several progressive groups, would establish an “independent” council of community members to review “everything from disciplinary oversight to recruiting and training.”

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Report: Gov. DeWine Selling Out to Democrats in Ohio Redistricting Battle

According to a report in Breitbart News, sources familiar with Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine plans for the state’s redistricting battle include DeWine supporting a map that would help Democrats gain U.S. House seats in 2022.

That report also says that Republican state auditor Keith Faber and Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose are supportive of the new left-leaning map. 

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Other GOP Governors to Gather at Border to Pressure Biden on Illegal Immigration

Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona are hosting nine governors in Mission, Texas, Wednesday to denounce President Joe Biden’s policies leading to a surge in illegal immigration at the southern border.

“Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your state a chance to stand strong with us,” Ducey and Abbott said in a joint statement this summer. Both governors issued disaster and emergency declarations in their states earlier this year, citing increased crime and financial strains on county governments and law enforcement because of the surge in illegal immigration due to Biden’s policies.

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Nearly 2,500 New Ohio Jobs Expected from Development Projects

Gabriel Brother's store with a woman holding Gabe's bags

A dozen new economic development projects are expected to create nearly 2,500 new jobs across Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday.

The largest is a new distribution center in Springfield for West Virginia-based Gabriel Brothers. The company expects to start construction later this month on 114 acres of land. The facility should create 833 new jobs and mean $27.8 million in annual payroll.

Gabe’s is a discount department store chain that sells clothes, shoes, home décor, kitchen items and other goods.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Announces New Statewide Grant Program to Address Violent Crime

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced a new grant program meant to help local law enforcement agencies implement violent crime reduction strategies in their communities.

The funds, totaling $4 million, will be dispensed to law enforcement agencies with the goal of reducing a concerning increase in violent crime throughout the state.

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Ohio Taxpayers Owe $5,400 Each to Pay State’s Bills, Report Finds

Ohio again found itself receiving a near-failing grade in an annual report by Truth in Accounting that reviews financial information for all 50 states.

The 2021 Financial State of the States report, released earlier this week, showed the state finished the 2020 fiscal year needing $20.7 billion to cover all of its obligations. That represented a taxpayer burden of $5,400, a representation of what the state owes per taxpayer.

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Ohio GOP Committee’s Bainbridge Charges Ex-Chair Timken with Mismanagement, Conflict Amid ‘Financial Trainwreck’

A leader of the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee’s reform caucus has offered more details regarding the poor integrity of the state GOP’s financial records and practices as well as a warning to fellow members in a recent letter sent to the Committee’s 66 members.

The latest salvo from Mark Bainbridge, a District 16 SCC member from suburban Columbus, specifically calls out U.S. Senate candidate and former ORP Chairwoman Jane Timken for failing to put in place internal financial controls and practices necessary during her tenure and what he considers a conflict of interest in the selection of an auditor for the party books earlier this year.

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New Ohio Vaccine Incentive Program Expands Prizes, Age Group

Young girl getting COVID vaccination

Ohio’s newest COVID-19 vaccination incentive program doubled in size Friday when state officials announced a total of $2 million in scholarships will be given way and age ranges will expand.

The program that originally targeted 12- to 25-year-olds now will include those age 5-11 once the vaccine is authorized for their use. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said authorization should come by the end of the month.

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Ohio Judge Allows Municipal-Income-Tax Challenge to Go Forward

Dr. Manal Morsy

A judge has ruled a lawsuit challenging the city of Cleveland’s ability to collect income tax from a doctor who had not worked in the city during the pandemic can go forward.

Dr. Manal Morsy’s lawsuit, one of several filed against Ohio cities by The Buckeye Institute, tests a state law that was altered during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to allow cities to collect taxes from workers who did not work in those cities.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose denied Cleveland’s motion to dismiss Wednesday.

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Ohio Landlords Could Receive Help with Unpaid Utility Bills

Ohio landlords burdened with unpaid water and sewer bills assessed to tenants could get relief from legislation recently introduced in the Ohio House.

Ohio law puts the responsibility for debts accrued on property owners rather than tenants who actually contracted for the services but default. Municipalities can place a property tax lien on those properties.

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Ohio GOP Candidates for U.S. Senate Pan $3.5 Trillion Budget Reconciliation Plan

Republican candidates running for the party nomination for the U.S. Senate race in 2022 have formed a solid wall of opposition to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill stuck in congressional negotiations this last week.

But Ohio Senator Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, breaks with pack with his support of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act backed by U.S.  Senator Rob Portman, R-OH, who has led negotiations on what is billed as a bipartisan effort to fix crumbling roads and bridges across the U.S.

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Ohio House Hits Brakes on Bill to End COVID Vaccination Mandates

An Ohio bill that would give most Ohio workers and students the ability to refuse COVID-19 vaccination mandates was poised to pass the House on Wednesday before Republicans sent it back to the House Rules and Reference Committee.

House Bill 435, The Vaccine Fairness Act, would stop any entity from mandating a COVID-19 vaccine that has not been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and would prohibit government-ordered vaccine passports.

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Third Lawsuit Filed to Stop Ohio’s New Legislative District Map

Two more lawsuits have been filed with the Ohio Supreme Court challenging Republican drawn legislative district maps, claiming they are unconstitutional and gerrymandered.

The most-recent challenge came Monday from the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and was filed by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law and the law firm Reed Smith.

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Renacci Launches Sixth Digital Attack Ad Against Ohio Governor DeWine as Broadcast Strategy Simmers

GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci has launched his sixth digital campaign ad as advisers contemplate when to move the media strategy to television.

Renacci’s latest social media ad continues the campaign’s central theme of state government corruption as it focuses on the Sept. 24 resignation of Dan McCarthy, the legislative affairs director of incumbent Governor Mike DeWine who also will seek the Republican nomination in the May 3 primary.

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Ohio Bill Calling Gun Sales Essential Gets First Hearing

A bill that declares some firearms businesses and services life-sustaining and essential during a public emergency got its first hearing Tuesday in front of the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee.

House Bill 325, introduced by Rep. Scott Wiggam, R-Wooster, would not allow the state to stop the sale of firearms during a state of emergency, similar to what happened when certain businesses were declared essential when Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay-at-home order at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Josh Mandel Campaign Releases Ohio Senate Poll with Him Still Heading GOP Pack

Josh Mandel

Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s polling has him remaining at the head of the pack among Republicans vying for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.

The poll also shows venture capitalist and “Hillbilly Elogy” author J.D. Vance still well behind in second place and Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons edging out former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken.

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Former State Rep. Nina Turner Files FEC Paperwork Setting up a Possible Second Congressional Run

Democrat Nina Turner filed paperwork Monday with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that would allow her to run for Congress again, according to cleveland.com.

Turner filed FEC paperwork – called a “statement of candidacy” – that does not oblige her to run for office after Ohio redraws its district maps, the news outlet reported.

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Bill Would Put All Potential Ohio Sales Tax Increases Before Voters

A Dayton area Ohio senator wants voters to have the final say on county sales tax increases, introducing a bill that would require a vote on tax hikes.

Senate Bill 93 would require any county commission to get voter approval before raising the county rate of sales and use tax. Two statutes currently allow for counties to raise sales taxes, but voter approval is not always required.

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California Bans State-Funded Travel to Ohio After Passage of ‘Anti-LGBT’ Law

The state of California will no longer sponsor trips to Ohio after the Buckeye State passed what California describes as a discriminatory law against the LGBT community. 

A clause in the recently-passed Ohio budget allows medical professionals to opt-out of performing procedures that violate their own moral beliefs. Under the new law, a doctor could, for example, refuse to perform a gender reassignment surgery on moral grounds. 

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McCarthy Resignations Sparks Reaction from Committee for Better Ohio, DeWine Opponent Renacci

A former lobbyist for the FirstEnergy Corp. electric utility at the center of an ongoing federal public corruption scandal has suddenly resigned his post as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s director of legislative affairs.

Dan McCarthy, who has held the high-profile post since early 2019, submitted his letter of resignation on Sept. 24 effective immediately to the jeers of rival GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci and the Committee for a Better Ohio, a reform-minded conservative grassroots education organization..

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Parents and Students Welcome Increased Security Measures at Ohio State University Following Spike in Violent Crime

Parents and students at Ohio State University (OSU) welcomed additional security measures announced by Ohio State President Kristina Johnson.

The added security actions will provide $20 million over the next 10 years to improve safety for students on and around the university’s campus.

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Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s New State Legislative Maps

Calling Ohio’s new state legislative district maps a flagrant violation of the Ohio Constitution and extreme partisan gerrymandering, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging maps it says give Republicans an unfair advantage.

The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU of Ohio, the ACLU and Burling LLP, was brought on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and several individuals.

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Ohio AG’s Office Freezes $3 Million in Sam Randazzo’s Assets in Case Related to House Bill 6 Probe

Sam Randazzo and Dave Yost

The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has frozen more than $3 million in assets of former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo as part of a state civil lawsuit tied to the ongoing federal criminal probe of a Statehouse corruption scheme.
Yost’s office also has sought a court order to appoint a receiver to go after another $3 million in assets Randazzo allegedly had transferred to accounts his attorneys control immediately after Yost had announced he had a court order to seize up to $8 million in assets in a mid-August.

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Critical Race Theory Debate Heating Up in Ohio General Assembly

School districts, teachers unions, student groups and parents lined up at the Ohio House to testify against two bills that would stop schools from teaching what sponsors called “divisive concepts” in the classroom.

The House State and Local Government Committee heard more than three hours of testimony Wednesday during the third hearing for both House Bill 322 and House Bill 327. Each prohibits teaching concepts that are part of the nationwide critical race theory movement critics say purports the U.S. is a fundamentally racist country.

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Shawn Parker Commentary: Capitalism Gives People More Options Than Socialism

The Columbus Dispatch published a number of Letters to the Editor Thursday that were referencing the cost of crackers at the local grocery store in response to the question of the week “is capitalism or socialism responsible for a box of crackers costing $4.29 at the shelf? Every letter the paper published was from a writer (as far away as Cleveland- which in itself is surprising) lauding the merit of socialism as being able to offer everyone a box of crackers at the rate of $1.29.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Primary Challenger Jim Renacci Slams New ‘Vax-to-School’ Initiative

Former GOP congressman Jim Renacci, who is challenging Governor Mike DeWine in 2022, on Thursday slammed a new vaccine initiative announced by DeWine, dubbed “Ohio Vax-to-School.”

The new program will award dozens of scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 in a lottery-style giveaway to individuals aged 12-25 who receive the coronavirus vaccine.

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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Condemns DeWine’s ‘Silence’ on Critical Race Theory

Former U.S. Representative Jim Renacci, a contender for the Ohio GOP Gubernatorial nomination, condemned current Governor Mike DeWine for “silence” on critical race theory.

The contentious issue, which has led multiple states to ban the teaching of the topic, has been the subject of widespread criticism from elected leaders.

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Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk Endorses J.D. Vance in GOP’s U.S. Senate Race in Ohio

The founder and president of the Turning Point Action conservative political advocacy nonprofit has endorsed businessman and tech industry investor J.D. Vance in the Ohio GOP’s nomination contest for the U.S. Senate.

Charlie Kirk, whose affiliated Turning Point USA organization educates and organizes high school and college students in the principles of freedom, cited Vance’s commitment to “defeating the institutional left” in the endorsement statement.

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Ohio Rep. Wenstrup Rips Woke Bureaucrats for Slapping ‘Harmful Content’ Warning on U.S. Constitution

Wednesday, after signing on to a letter sent by 44 Republican lawmakers to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which recently placed “harmful content” labels on historical documents including the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) blasted the federal government organization.

“We must stand together against those who wish to destroy the foundation of our American values with their ‘woke’ agenda,” he told The Ohio Star. “We must educate future generations on all aspects of our past – celebrating the good and acknowledging our failures. Those who seek to weaken the timeless truths and foundational texts seek only to erase our shared history. We cannot stand by silently.”

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