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Everyone knows Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland got stuck with a clunker of sorts when he was elected in 2006 in a surge for Democrats, who voters turned to after Republicans spawned one scandal after another involving insider dealing that came to be known as "pay to play" politics.

The former Congressman from Ohio's poor Appalachian counties, promised to turn things around, but his hopes and wishes have been tempered by the Great Recession that has T-Boned Ohio on nearly all fronts.

Forbes Magazine's listing of best business states doesn't do Strickland any favors. If job creation is the key to restoring prosperity to Ohio, Buckeyes have big reasons to be worried big time. Job losses in the last year of 160,000 is grim and true, and no one, even the good governor's economic advisers, expect the sun to shine any time soon.

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As if nothing happened to him on Monday or Tuesday, State Senator Jon A. Husted (R-Kettering) had a victory of sorts Wednesday, when the Ohio Senate, voting along party lines, passed his resolution to create a better redistricting commission than now exists.

Husted, coming off a week that has seen him lose his residency in Kettering near Dayton for purposes of voting, offered what some will say is a constructive effort supported by two Ohio watchdog groups on voting and voting-rights issues, while others will claim the man who would be Ohio's next secretary of state has violated elections laws he would be responsible for if he wins the seat next year.

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Everyone knew it would happen, and it did. On the day after Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner ruled State Senator Jon A. Husted is not a resident of Kettering and is therefore ineligible to vote there, the former Speaker of the Ohio House who is the GOP's endorsed candidate to win her job next year, appealed the ruling to the all-Republican supreme court, which came to his aide last week by forcing Brunner to make a call she had been delaying on but which may not be in the tank for him this time.

Time will tell, but if they rule against him, his run for secretary of state will have ended before it even got started.

Read more here.

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Waiting until late in the evening on Monday to release a ruling that will surely ignite a political firestorm, the consequences of which may not be known for some time, Ohio's chief election officer, Ohio Secretary of State (SOS) Jennifer Brunner, broke a tie vote by the Montgomery County Board of Elections (MCBOE) by ruling that State Sen. Jon Husted of Kettering, the candidate the Ohio GOP recently endorsed to run for her office next year, is not a resident for purposes of voting of his district, and therefore is not a qualified elector for his senate seat.

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Last week was a bad week or Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a first term Democrat. His budget is under attack, principally from declining state revenues. His plan to place video slot machines at Ohio horse racing tracks is a long way from the finish line, as was demonstrated last week when only two race track owners of the seven who want VLTs to offset sagging customer traffic actually sent their licensing and application funds to The Ohio Lottery, which falls under the administrative umbrella of the governor and is saying VLTs are another kind of lottery game.

Strickland can only hope that this week passes quickly, too, as the news he received Monday will only monkey wrench his budget even further and may give his political opponents more headlines to use against him in next year's race for governor.

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Opponents to Health Care Are Punching Themselves Out

As I watched the episode recently about Muhammad Ali from VH1's Lords of the Revolution, a five-part series that chronicles cultural game-changers from the 60s and 70s, I was transported back to the night in 1964 when, as a 16-year old living in Columbus, Ohio, I listened alone one night to the radio broadcast of the great fight in Miami, where a 22-year old Cassius Clay surprised the world by busting up the then-heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston to win the the fight despite nearly every one's predictions that the "Louisville Lip" would lose.

Forty-five years later, at age 61, I'm reminded of that night and others in Ali's great career as I watch Obama being pummeled by his partisan opponents and pronounced DOA by the media.

Poll

Will Obama Come Off the Ropes and Win the Fight for Health Care Reform?

74%155 votes
1%3 votes
20%43 votes
3%7 votes

| 208 votes | Vote | Results

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Columbus, Ohio: During the Age of Dinosaurs, the most feared of the giant lizards was the Tyrannosaurus Rex, whose vertical posture, swift and strong legs and powerful jaws stacked with tearing teeth made it the dominant hunter of its time. But those days of devastating dominance are over. T-Rex's genes have drifted downward over the millennium to the point where the once mighty carnivore is so small, toothless and tasty that local grocery stores routinely offer them roasted for about $6 bucks.

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OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: The Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association Thursday declined to comment further on the important points raised in letter of rebuttal from the OhioNews Bureau of ePluribus Media to the insider group's rejection of three of our seasoned journalists to become credentialed, voting members of the Ohio Statehouse press corps.

Our media release on this important but under the radar issue is posted below the fold.

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OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: After nearly four months of engaging the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association (OLCA) to review and rule on a request by ePluribus Media to secure Statehouse press corps credentials for three of its journalists, a rejection of those candidates was received Tuesday citing "the appearance of political bias and a lack of adherence to professional journalism standards as referenced in the OLCA constitution," as reasons arrived at by the group’s board of officers.

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OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Just when you thought the confab and controversy over Ohio’s problem-plagued system of voting was over, a new stew is brewing pitting election-law experts and voting-rights advocates against Ohio’s chief elections officer, who recently decided to scrap expensive, hackable touch-screen machines in favor of expensive, temperamental optical scanners in the hotspot of Ohio election failures just a few short months before the Buckeye State’s March primary.

In a fortnight after Ohio’s new Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner released her much-awaited – and now much criticized – review of Ohio’s system of voting that detailed a stunning array of voting-machine vulnerabilities , and less than a week following her tie-breaking vote to force the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (CCBOE) to scrap its $21 million Diebold-made touch-screen machines in favor of optical scanners made by another vendor, teams are forming to challenge the wisdom and efficacy of Brunner’s rush to reform voting.

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OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: The best Republican Supreme Court money can buy delivered another blow to Ohioans Thursday, when it upheld as constitutional a punitive bill rammed through a strongly led Republican General Assembly in 2004 that arbitrarily imposed low limits on damages in personal injury lawsuits.

Two dissenting judges said the ill-considered ruling substituted the judgment of the legislature for the judgment by a jury, and upholds the prerogative of the legislature, through its power to cap noneconomic damages, to effectively eliminate them.

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OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner broke a 2-2 tie vote between Republicans and Democrats on the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (CCBOE) over whether to stick with its $21 million dollar touch-screen voting system or spend millions more to switch to optical scanners in preparation for next year’s presidential race, which will kickoff with Ohio’s primary on March 4th now less than 75 days away.

Brunner’s decision, which came one week after she announced the findings of her $1.8 million federally funded study on the state’s voting system that revealed the numerous vulnerabilities it posed, will mean Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s most populous county and the scene of previous Election Day train wrecks, has little room for error as it prepares to replace one machine with another, counting votes in a central location instead of in individual precincts and training poll workers for the task ahead.

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