State Representative Christina Hagan, one of President Donald Trump’s most enthusiastic Ohio supporters during the campaign, has announced her intention to run for Congress in Ohio’s 16th Congressional District. The current Representative from the 16th, Jim Renacci, has announced his run for Governor which has created a flurry of speculation for who will be the next Congressman from the area.
Representative Hagan has made a name for herself not only in Northeast Ohio, but around the state. Hagan’s resume is full of notes that make her one of the more notable Representatives in Columbus. Hagan was appointed to her current seat in 2012, making her one of the youngest to serve in Ohio’s history. Hagan has also been on of the most prolific pro-life public servants in Ohio, as well as one of then Candidate Trump’s most energetic spokespeople on the Ohio campaign trail.
State Representative Christina Hagan
Hagan’s entrance in the 16th district’s race will soon be crowded by other contenders. Several other names have already been discussed, with each having as much, if not more name recognition than Hagan. Lt Governor Mary Taylor, although now currently in the beginnings of a gubernatorial race, is a popular name for the seat. Other names include State Representative Tom Patton, State Senator Frank LaRose (although LaRose is now campaigning for Secretary of State), Senate President Larry Obhof, Wayne County Commissioner and former State Representative Ron Amstutz, and even Cuyahoga County Chairman Rob Frost (the district runs clear into Cuyahoga county). At this point, it may be easier to discuss which politicians from in and around the district are not considering running for the seat.
2018 will have several competitive races, for Republicans at least. At this moment the Democrats’ shallow Ohio bench is embarrassingly apparent; no legitimate name has emerged as a contender for the 16th race. Beyond Northeast Ohio, the Democrats’s bench for statewide offices is just as poor; the best that has been able to step up for the Democrats include a recently defeated Congresswoman and a State Senator.
Ohio tea party leader and clown Tom Zawistowski is still at it. He still writes open letters to politicians as if he matters. He publishes them as if he has an iota of influence. He doesn’t.
He once promised that Governor John Kasich would lose reelection in 2014. He proceeded to recruit a number of laughable candidates to run against the governor. He said he had the organization to propel them to victory in the primary against Kasich. He couldn’t even get them on the ballot.
That year he also aimed to knock off a couple dozen other incumbents in that year’s primary. Once again, he bragged about the strength of his “organization”.
Can you feel the Panic in the Political Establishment???
Can you feel the change coming? Can you feel the power of the people surging? Can you sense the panic from the political establishment? Have you heard about Shannon Jones begging RINO Senate Leader Keith Faber for more money for mailings this week because she is afraid of Kelly Kohl’s? Have you heard about the poll in the 8th Congressional district that shows John Boehner below 50% in his race against J.D. Winteregg? Do you know that Union backed RINO Dave Joyce in NEOhio is only at 35% in the polls and fighting for his life against Matt Lynch?
Our “sweat equity” will beat their money…
He failed in spectacular fashion. He always does. No one in politics “panics” when Tom Z. opens his big mouth. They just laugh.
He promoted Lynch against Dave Joyce again in 2016. I’ll let you guess what the result was.
So here we are now, and just as I suspected would happen, President Donald Trump has stabbed conservatives in the back. The repeal of Obamacare couldn’t get enough votes. Instead of taking some of the responsibility for this failure (he said it would be easy and fast, remember?), he blamed everyone around him except himself. It’s what Trump does.
But then today, he actually called out the House Freedom Caucus by name in another one of his ill-advised tweets.
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
Poor Tom. He jumped on the Trump train during the primary and now Trump is stabbing him in the back.
So he penned one of his open letters to Trump. It’s pathetic.
Dear Mr. President,
We, the undersigned conservative leaders in the swing state of Ohio, voted for you and worked hard to bring others to the polls to elect you last November. We want to see you succeed in Making America Great Again! We appreciate much of what you have already done in the first few months of your administration.
However, we respectfully ask you to stand with our conservative heroes in the Freedom Caucus, along with other conservatives in the House and Senate. These patriots are working to keep the campaign promises that you–and they–made to us.
Please work with members of the Freedom Caucus, not against them, to ensure you are all successful in keeping your campaign promises and “draining the swamp.” Mr. President, we are praying for your success as you work to rebuild our nation.
Yes, Tom. That should do it. I’m sure Trump is reading your letter over and over again, undecided on what to do next. I bet he read your letter and is racked with guilt over his tweet.
Well, Trump did tweet later after Tom published his letter. Let’s see what he said.
Voters have given Republicans control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and now the White House. Frustration with Obamacare has helped propel Republicans into office as they promise to repeal the monstrosity of a bill that is burdensome on small businesses and the middle class.
Although Blackwell was a Domestic Policy Advisor for the Trump Transition Team, he is not in favor of the current bill as he doesn’t believe it addresses the biggest problems of Obamacare.
“Obamacare is falling apart on its own, thanks largely to the 10 essential benefits mandates that must be included in all insurance packages or face large penalties. These requirements range from maternity care to sex-change operations, regardless what the health care customer needs or wants. These mandates limit options and make insurance vastly more expensive, which is compounded by rules that mandate coverage for those currently sick or with preexisting conditions. Obamacare requires that these unhealthy people cannot be treated differently than anyone else, which results in healthier and younger people paying even higher premiums.
These bad issues with Obamacare are only compounded, as it incentives people to not buy insurance until they are sick, as the insurance companies have to sell them coverage at the same rate as if they were healthy. Imagine what the result would be if people could buy fire insurance while their house is on fire or extra car insurance after a serious crash. For insurance companies, that is not a sustainable business model.”
Blackwell praises the bill for removing the mandate for employers with more than 50 employees and the expansion of HSAs, but there is much more that should be done to revamp this very flawed system.
Blackwell believes true reform includes a full repeal of Obamacare and free market reform that focus more on individual choices rather than employer based insurance options.
“This is a reminder of what happens when government gets in the way of market solutions. If insurance companies had flexibility, people could buy coverage across state lines and only for the coverage they need. Those living in poverty could buy private insurance through vouchers, and high-risk pools could provide care for those with pre-existing conditions.
These types of market-based changes would accelerate improvements if employees could control insurance options, instead of their employers. The insurance tax deduction should shift away from businesses and instead be directed at individuals who can carefully decide what type of coverage they want and how much they wish to contribute to tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs).
Free-market reforms would put the individual healthcare consumer in a position where more options are available at a lower price. By making health care pricing more transparent and encouraging the expanded use HSAs, health care consumers can make better choices while competitive market mechanism drive prices down.”
Congressional Republicans voted for a full repeal of Obamacare more than once, but now they appear to be balking at doing the same under a Republican President.
I spoke at the most recent County Council meeting about my concerns regarding the Q renovation project. I wanted to follow up my comments to clarify the points I spoke to so there is a written record that every County Council member was made aware of this factual information so it can’t be dismissed.
I began my public comments addressing the absurdity of the belief that the Q is comparatively old and outdated and at 23 years old is at tail end of the life expectancy of an arena. This is illogical and ridiculous when you realize that the Q is one of 16 arenas in the NBA built in the 1990s, in addition to 20 NHL arenas built that decade. Besides a rare outlier, all of them expect to have a useful life of 50 years or more.
I then pointed out that almost all of these arenas built in the 1990s have recently or are in the planning stages of an extensive upgrade/renovation similar to the proposed Q renovation plan. However, the main purpose of my comments was to dispel this myth that the public contribution/financing aspect of this plan is a much better for the City and County taxpayers compared to the deals other cities have given their sports teams to renovate similarly aged arenas. This will show this is simply not true and in fact the opposite.
From the questions asked by Council Members, it seems the prevailing attitude is most don’t like that this renovation plan calls requires at least $121m in public funds on top of the $23m that was given to the Cavs in 2014 as part of the Sin Tax extension. However, it seemed that many on Council are resigned to support it because they haven’t questioned two of the following premises they have been told to believe…
This level of public subsidy is the price all cities pay to have the benefits of an NBA or NHL team and we should be thankful because the Q renovation deal currently in front of Council is a much more public friendly deal than most cities agree to for renovating similar aged arenas.
Without this renovation the Q cannot compete against newer arenas to land events costing us job, spending and tax revenue and if we don’t agree to this deal we risk the Cavs moving just like the Browns did in 1995.
Both of these statements are untrue, misleading and are easily discredited with the slightest of scrutiny, a little research and a few tough questions. This will provide objective facts and data to dispel “statement A” and a follow up in the next few days will dispel “statement B”. Once these two statements are dispelled and discredited, if anyone on Council still believes this plan deserves his vote and support I hope he has the courage to explain in writing to the public why he thinks this deal is in the best interests of the constituents.
Dispelling statement A
In an attempt to convince Council to approve this deal and justify its high dollar cost, all of you have been told that this level of public subsidy is the price all cities pay to have the benefits of an NBA or NHL team and we should be thankful because the Q renovation deal currently in front of Council is a much more public friendly deal than most cities agree to for renovating similar aged arenas. The following 7 examples show that this is simply not true.
The United Center in Chicago opened in 1994 which is the same year the Q opened. In the next few months they will complete a $100m six story 190,000 square foot addition adding new office space for both the Bulls and Blackhawks, a team shop and 15 bars and restaurants (Click here to read about this project). On top of that they are also spending another $100m to build a Bulls practice facility across the street and around the corner, a practice facilities for the Blackhawks with two ice rinks and will be used by the public 91% of the time (Click here to read about this project). Inside the arena area itself, they have made massive upgrades this decade with the addition and creation of the “300 level” which is a “renovated concourse with 144 flat screen televisions, new food and beverage stations above select seating sections and two new bars that open up to panoramic views of the arena”. All of these renovations, additions, upgrades and new practice facilities add up to an investment over $300m that has been completely privately funded by the team owners. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
When asked why there are many examples recently were a new arena or renovation went forward with little or no public funding, Cavs CEO Len Komoroski said that this only happens in larger markets and smaller markets require public funding for these projects. The following 6 examples show this is simply not true.
The NBA arena in Salt Lake City Utah opened in 1991 three year before the Q. Just a few months ago the owners of the Utah Jazz unveiled their $125m massive renovation which will begin at the end of this season. Click here to see the plans for this massive renovation. This renovation will provide a new glass exterior, larger entrances shield from weather, and larger concourses with more dining options like the proposed Q renovation. However, if you look at the plans you will see that this renovation provides much more including a massive outdoor large screen and stage for watch parties and concerts, completely renovating the private suites enlarging them by 30%, solar panels on the roof and a new $15m jumbotron.
Salt Lake City is the 33rd largest media market in the US compared to Cleveland which ranks at 18th. This seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
In total, $60m in public funds were provided for pay for the major upgrades to this arena in New Orleans. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
New Orleans is the 51st largest media market in the US compared to Cleveland which ranks at 18th. Once again this seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
It is important to note that this arena was originally owned by a public entity similar to Gateway but that entity went into bankruptcy in 2004. In 2007, the owner of the Portland Trailblazers eventually bought the arena out of bankruptcy in 2007 and has privately funded all upgrades, renovations and operation costs. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
Portland is a smaller market than Cleveland so once again, this seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
Since 2011 only $12.5m of $85m in arena upgrades came from public subsidies. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
Of the $60m in upgrades to Bridgestone Arena only $8m came from public subsidies. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
Nashville is the 29th largest media market in the US compared to Cleveland which ranks at 18th. Once again this seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
The only city committing near the amount of public subsidy to an arena renovation as the Cavs are asking for is the $142.5m Atlanta area taxpayers are providing the Atlanta Hawks to renovate Phillips Arena which opened in 1999. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
While I believe this is a terrible deal for the City of Atlanta, at least as part of the deal they negotiated an 18 year extension of the lease prohibiting the team from leaving Atlanta until 2046 vs the 7 year lease extension of the Cavs to 2034 in the current terms of the plan. Also, $110m of the $142m of public funds comes from an extension of a rental car tax and the rest is slated to come from the sale of Turner Field and no money comes from the general fund or a tax increase.
Everyone on Council has been told how public friendly the terms of this deal is compared to other City’s deals to help renovate an arena. These examples show this just isn’t true. However, in these public meetings you have been told that County Exec Budish, Mayor Jackson and Fred Nance spent months vigorously negotiating with the Cavs and their shrewd negotiations looking out for the public’s best interest yielded many large concessions and savings for the public from the Cavs.
Call me a skeptic but I have hard time believing that anyone was negotiating in the public’s interest when two years ago on February 26, 2015, Andrew Tobias posted an article with basically the exact same deal terms that are in the current deal, a spokeswoman for County Executive Armond Budish, said: “We are aware of a proposal from the Cavaliers organization, but it is only conceptual at this point. There have been no negotiations or decisions.” How can they claim they negotiated hard and how much are we paying Mr. Nance an hour to negotiate on our behalf when the result is no changes to the terms from two years ago before any negotiations began?
Dan Gilbert is a very smart guy, great businessman and a good owner. I am sure he is well aware of every public subsidies every NBA team has ever received for a renovation and knows the current terms are laughable compared to others. Like any good businessman he probably intentionally include some absurd terms at the negotiation starting point so that there will be a bunch of built in painless concessions he can easily agree to during negotiations. I can only imagine his disbelief when he realized there was no pushback.
We can also use objective facts and examples to dispel the myth you have been sold that without this renovation the Q cannot compete against newer arenas to land events and if we don’t agree to this deal we risk the Cavs moving just like the Browns did in 1995.
Third Base Politics first reported on the story about the Democrat Mayor of Stow Sara Kline and her husband, Robert Kline’s social media problems. Prior to our own story the disgusting tweets had been circulating through Stow and the surrounding communities for several days with no media outlet willing to report on the matter. Within hours of our story publishing, local news sources finally took notice. First the Akron Beacon-Journal ran a story on Thursday which was followed by a Channel 19 story on Friday night.
In the time since our original piece was published both Mayor Kline and Robert have made changes to their social media accounts. At first both changed their twitters to private, but then by Friday morning Robert’s twitter account had been deleted while the Mayor’s was still up but remained set to private. Mayor Kline has also deactivated her facebook account.
The Mayor originally defended her husband in a facebook post by stating that he had a right to his views because of the 1st amendment. Kline was forced to backtrack on these statements after other outlets began picking up the article; in a video message she then stated that she did not condone such rude language and that her family was working through how they would be using social media in the future. Mayor Kline has said that her husband apologized to their family for the hateful and vulgar tweets.
The Mayor’s words are all well and good, but it seems like both Klines have forgotten one thing: an apology to the community for this hateful language. The misogyny, vulgarity, and racism displayed in these tweets are not the sort of behavior that a public servant like Kline, who is a role model to young people in her community, should let standing. It is possible to very strongly disagree with President Trump without “R” rated language.
Less than a month into Donald Trump’s first term as President not a day goes by where he does not face some sort of criticism. Trump faces criticism on TV, Newspapers, and most abundantly on Twitter due to his own large presence on the social media website. It is no surprise that many of the critical tweets directed toward President Trump lean towards the vulgar side, but when a twitter account belonging to a politician’s spouse is one of the most vulgar, people take note.
Robert Kline is married to Sara Kline, the two-term Mayor of Stow. Both Robert and Sara are staunch Democrats and active Democrat donors. Stow is a more prominent community in Summit County, and a popular suburb of Akron.
While Mayor Kline’s twitter is generally filled with professional messages regarding her status as mayor, her husbands is a polar opposite. Robert fills his days sending nasty and oftentimes vulgar replies to President Trump’s tweets, with the most offensive shared below. Mr. Kline has found it appropriate to call Ivanka Trump “a whore”, encourage Donald Trump to commit suicide, and also suggest that Mr. Trump perform sexual acts on other men. With behavior like this on social media, his real-world actions are probably not far away. Bullying and vitriol like this does not end at the keyboard.
Three weeks ago, before the vote for ORP Chairman, we told you that Lt. Governor Mary Taylor had actually not endorsed Matt Borges, even though she had been listed as one of his endorsers.
Borges ended up losing that vote and the chairmanship. Now, the governor’s staff and close supporters want to take it out on Mary Taylor. WOIO’s Paul Orlousky has obtained a leaked strategy memo which details a plan to ruin Taylor’s possible run for the governorship in 2018.
Its not known who the author is, but he accuses Taylor of “double-crossing Kasich in his most vulnerable moment” and says “she is no friend of John Kasich’s”.
Unfortunately, this episode fits a pattern of bullying from the governor’s office. After sticking up for John Kasich for years and defending him at every turn, she actually chose to make her own decision for once. That’s all that was needed for them to put her on their enemies list.
Team Kasich’s hatred for Secretary of State Jon Husted is also on display in this memo. It appears that their biggest fear is that Husted could be Ohio’s next governor, somehow threatening Kasich’s legacy.
They need to realize that Kasich has already written his legacy. What will people remember him for? Forcing Medicaid expansion on Ohio, declaring that anyone who opposed him was destined for Hell, a failed presidential campaign that he wouldn’t quit, being absent at the GOP Convention being held in his home state and trying to convince a new Republican Congress to keep his precious Medicaid expansion.
The most ironic part of the memo states that “they are already using the party as a weapon”. This is from the team who engineered a bully campaign to take over the party shortly after Kasich’s first election, for the sole purpose of turning it into a campaign organization for his secretly planned presidential run.
It will be interesting to see if Governor Kasich follows through on his allies’ recommendations for retribution.
It’s no secret that the Democrats’ bench in Ohio is on the light side going into the 2018 election cycle. Beyond Congressman Tim Ryan (a long shot due to his comfortable district) one of the only other big-name Democrats being discussed as a Gubernatorial candidate is Richard Cordray. In 2010 Cordray lost his re-election bid for Ohio Attorney General to Mike DeWine, after which he was appointed Director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by President Obama. With 2018 fast approaching, its not surprising that Cordray’s name would be on the list: a weak bench in addition to his current tenuous position with a new Presidential Administration makes Cordray an attractive candidate.
How ironic it is that Cordray’s candidacy might end before it even begins due to problems oddly reminiscent of failed Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. The Daily Caller recently uncovered unusual facts about Cordray’s work devices. The usual fact being that, when a Freedom of Information Act request was submitted to the CFPB, no records of text messages for Richard Cordray were found to exist. Partial records were shown but only in communications received by CFPB employees from Cordray’s private number, while any records from Cordray’s number and device itself were not present. In a later communication the CFPB acknowledges that no records exists due to the fact that Cordray used a private device and did not turn over such communication records (as required by law).
Voters in Ohio already dealt with Hillary Clinton, a Democrat candidate who did not follow electronic record and security laws correctly. In a Politico Poll prior to the 2016 election 61% of respondents viewed Clinton’s handling of her email scandal as an important indicator of her character. In a similar situation, how will Ohioans view Cordray’s apparent similar lack of transparency and respect for public record laws?
While the Democrats are scrambling to find one legitimate Governor Candidate, the Republican field is already full. So far rumors hold Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt Governor Mary Taylor, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Congressman Jim Renacci as exploring runs for the Governorship. Each of these candidates bring strong accomplishments, great name recognition, and fundraising abilities. Is Cordray the answer to stopping any of these candidates from running away with the election and allowing GOP domination of Ohio politics for another 4 years?
After Hillary Clinton’s humiliating defeat in Ohio, Democrats are contemplating running a similarly flawed candidate for Governor. Ohio Democrats: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Current State Auditor Dave Yost is expected to announce today his run for Attorney General in the 2018 election. The current Attorney General, Mike DeWine, will be unable to run again in 2018 due to Ohio term limits. Sources close to Third Base Politics have reported that Yost has already raised over $1 million for the run, which is a very large amount for an Attorney General race in Ohio.
Yost originally planned to seek the AG position in the 2010 election before instead deciding to run for State Auditor. Prior to his run for State Auditor Yost served as County Auditor for Delaware County from 1999 – 2003 and then as Prosecutor until 2011. In the 2010 election for State Auditor Yost beat out now current Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper by a healthy margin and then won re-election in 2014 against Democrat John Patrick Carney by an even larger margin.
During his time as State Auditor Yost’s office has several accomplishments under its belt. Under Yost the Auditor’s office pioneered Share Ohio, a way for public entities in Ohio to share low-use equipment as a way to save money. Yost’s office has also performed over 70 performance audits of state and local entities to the tune of over $150 million saved in tax payer dollars. The office reported a savings of $23 for every dollar spent on performance audits. Beyond this Yost’s office has also found over $17 million in misspent or stolen public funds with each case being turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency with multiple convictions as the result.
Yost has also shown during his time as Auditor a willingness to buck other state officeholders if he believes they are in the wrong. During his first term Yost and Kasich were at odds over Jobs Ohio, with Yost asserting his right to audit the entity and Kasich disagreeing. Yost held that since Jobs Ohio received public funds that it was subject to state audit, while Kasich and the entity disagreeing due to its standing as a partly-private entity.
Several members of the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee sent Third Base Politics an email from Treasurer Tracey Winbush. She is seeking to retain her position at Friday’s meeting.
There is one part of Winbush’s email that made it worth reporting, a crudely constructed balance sheet. Numbers aren’t personal. They are just numbers, but these numbers tell a tale. It shows a party that appears to be operating beyond its means and a Chairman who isn’t a prolific fundraiser.
There are several things that stand out in the numbers below. There are more questions than answers here and that is what members of the committee stated when they forwarded the email. Some of these members have been Borges loyalists but are now questioning their support.
Despite mentioning transparency in her email, Winbush didn’t respond to a message left by Third Base Politics.
There are some interesting things in this balance sheet that are worth pointing out. The party is over a million dollars in debt.
Bob Bennett passed away over two years ago, but the Ohio Republican Party is blaming $65,000 of debt on the former Chairman’s credit card.
An outstanding loan from Mary and Donzell Taylor eleven years ago still hasn’t been repaid. The party also hasn’t paid for $162k in legal and consulting fees from the 2010 election.
Prior Chairman Kevin DeWine paid off the mortgage, but under Chairman Borges’ leadership, there is almost half a million dollar mortgage and line of credit on the building.
Speaking of the building, the Ohio Republican Party has it valued just shy of $1.6 million. According to the Franklin County Auditor’s website, the building is assessed at $900,000.
The Ohio Republican Party still owes Quicken Loans Arena $165k for the first presidential debate in August 2015. This feels like someone who has a big expensive wedding without considering the financial destruction on the marriage.
The party and the Chairman were openly hostile to the Republican presidential nominee. In a letter to the State Central Committee, Member Dave Johnson exposed Borges’ behavior during the RNC. This likely impacted fundraising. Why would donors open their wallets to a party with a Chairman who is combative towards the nominee?
Matt Borges is claiming that rumors are being spread about him, but he can’t say that about this. These are simply numbers. Numbers sent out by his Treasurer. Numbers aren’t rumors. They are numbers. And the numbers likely won’t be on Team Borges’ side in Friday’s vote.