November 3, 2015 •

Gov. Kasich Sets Special Election to Fill Boehner’s Seat

Ohio Gov. John Kasich set a special election for June 7, 2016, to fill the seat of former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. A primary will be held March 15, the same day as the state’s presidential primary. Interested individuals […]

Ohio flagOhio Gov. John Kasich set a special election for June 7, 2016, to fill the seat of former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. A primary will be held March 15, the same day as the state’s presidential primary.

Interested individuals have until Dec. 16 to file candidacy petitions with the Butler County Board of Elections.

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October 12, 2015 •

Columbus Mayoral Candidate Proposes New Ethics Plan

Columbus mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther recently proposed a plan for new ethics rules for lobbyists and elected officials. His plan would amend the definition of lobbyist and expand lobbyist reporting requirements. Elected officials would be required to report all gifts […]

Columbus OH skylineColumbus mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther recently proposed a plan for new ethics rules for lobbyists and elected officials. His plan would amend the definition of lobbyist and expand lobbyist reporting requirements. Elected officials would be required to report all gifts received as well as participate in annual ethics training. The plan would also require additional disclosure in city campaign finance filings beyond the requirements already set by state law.

Ginther, president of Columbus City Council, faces Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott in the November election; Scott also has a plan for tightening restrictions on lobbyists and proposing gift rules.

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September 25, 2015 •

United States Sixth Circuit Upholds District Court Ruling Regarding Contributions to Ohio Judicial Candidates

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ohio Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Toole’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of an Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 4.4(E). This rule imposes restrictions on when a judicial campaign committee […]

Sixth Circuit and OhioThe Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ohio Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Toole’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of an Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 4.4(E). This rule imposes restrictions on when a judicial campaign committee may solicit and receive campaign contributions. Judicial candidate committees for 2016 may begin soliciting and receiving contributions no earlier than 120 days before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and may continue to accept contributions until 120 days after the general election.

O’Toole’s campaign committee claims the rule violates the First Amendment by restricting political speech and it violates the Fourteenth Amendment by treating judicial campaign committees differently than other political organizations. The committee failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of any claim.

While the contribution restrictions may not be the least restrictive means of maintaining public confidence in judicial integrity, the court found the regulation need only be narrowly tailored, not perfectly tailored. Moreover, perfect tailoring would be impossible given the intangible nature of public confidence.

The court also found it permissible to treat judicial campaign committees differently than political action committees and other political organizations because of the unique nature of judicial elections. Interests in maintaining the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the judiciary are inherently different from those implicated by other political campaigns. More simply, judicial elections may be regulated differently than political elections because the role of judges differs from that of politicians.

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September 25, 2015 •

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner Resigning in October

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will resign and give up his seat in Congress at the end of October, according to his aides. He is currently under intense pressure from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood as he attempts to keep […]

John_Boehner_official_portraitU.S. House Speaker John Boehner will resign and give up his seat in Congress at the end of October, according to his aides. He is currently under intense pressure from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood as he attempts to keep the government open through the end of the year. Several members of the conservative base vowed not to vote for a bill if it did not defund the organization, and some are on a path to remove him as speaker.

Since becoming speaker in 2011, Boehner has struggled to navigate politically with a polarized Congress and its increasingly conservative Republican members. Boehner’s announcement comes just a day after he had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Capitol. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to serve as the next speaker.

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August 27, 2015 •

Cleveland Councilman Being Investigated by State Ethics Commission

City Councilman Joe Cimperman is being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission about his involvement in city contracts awarded to LAND Studio, a design firm where his wife works. Records indicate Cimperman has sponsored and voted in favor of ordinances […]

Joe_CimpermanCity Councilman Joe Cimperman is being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission about his involvement in city contracts awarded to LAND Studio, a design firm where his wife works.

Records indicate Cimperman has sponsored and voted in favor of ordinances awarding city contracts to LAND Studio, as well as sponsoring resolutions supporting applications by the firm for state grant money to buy land for the Lake Link Trail project.

Under state law, it is a fourth-degree felony if an official uses his or her authority or influence to obtain a contract in which the official, a family member, or a business associate has an interest.

Cimperman has stated he either abstained from votes related to LAND Studio or only voted on such legislation following clearance by the city law department.

Photo of Joe Cimperman courtesy of theciviccommons on Wikimedia Commons.

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August 19, 2015 •

Michelle Mills Replaced on Columbus, Ohio City Council Ballot

Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Sen. Sherrod Brown, will replace Michelle Mills on the November ballot in the race for Columbus City Council. Mills recently announced her resignation from council effective September 4, 2015. Though no reason was given for her […]

Columbus Ohio City HallElizabeth Brown, daughter of Sen. Sherrod Brown, will replace Michelle Mills on the November ballot in the race for Columbus City Council. Mills recently announced her resignation from council effective September 4, 2015.

Though no reason was given for her resignation, Mills was one of four members of council who attended the Big Ten Championship football game with lobbyist John Raphael. Raphael is part of a federal bribery investigation involving the city’s former red light camera vendor.

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August 12, 2015 •

Rep. Resigns Seat Following Campaign Finance Investigation

Ohio state Rep. Ron Gerberry is resigning from his House seat effective August 21. His resignation comes after reports he was facing charges of campaign finance law violations. Gerberry allegedly had false information on his campaign finance filings. According to […]

Ron GerberryOhio state Rep. Ron Gerberry is resigning from his House seat effective August 21.

His resignation comes after reports he was facing charges of campaign finance law violations. Gerberry allegedly had false information on his campaign finance filings. According to The Vindicator, he will plead guilty to the charge of “unlawful compensation.”

Gerberry has served in the Ohio Legislature for 27 years.

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July 28, 2015 •

Ohio State Representative Convicted of Theft, Removed from Office

On July 27, 2015, a jury found state Rep. Steve Kraus guilty of fifth-degree felony theft. Under Ohio law, Kraus was automatically removed from his seat in the Ohio House upon his conviction. Kraus, who also works as an auctioneer […]

Steve KrausOn July 27, 2015, a jury found state Rep. Steve Kraus guilty of fifth-degree felony theft. Under Ohio law, Kraus was automatically removed from his seat in the Ohio House upon his conviction.

Kraus, who also works as an auctioneer and real estate agent, was accused of removing items from the home of an elderly woman. He asserted he had been granted permission to enter the home and it was his fiduciary duty to remove the items.

However, the woman’s real estate agent stated Kraus was only given permission to enter the garage to photograph an antique car.

Kraus faces up to 12 months in prison. The sentencing will be held on August 21.

Photo of Steve Kraus courtesy of the Ohio House of Representatives website.

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July 20, 2015 •

Group, Summit County Council Have Competing Redistricting Commission Plans

The group Fair Districts for Summit County has proposed a charter amendment to create an independent commission responsible for the approval of redistricting plans. Should the amendment gain enough signatures to get on the November ballot and be passed by […]

Summit County, OhioThe group Fair Districts for Summit County has proposed a charter amendment to create an independent commission responsible for the approval of redistricting plans. Should the amendment gain enough signatures to get on the November ballot and be passed by voters, the redistricting would take effect in 2016.

Ten Democratic council members have sponsored legislation opposing the amendment, claiming the changes are attempts to gerrymander districts to benefit Republicans and weaken the importance of Akron in county council districts.

The council is introducing its own charter amendment to create a redistricting commission, but any redistricting changes would take place after the 2020 U.S. Census.

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July 13, 2015 •

Ohio Budget Bill Includes Changes to Ethics and Campaign Finance Law

Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 64, the biennial budget, on June 30. In addition to making $71 billion in appropriations, the bill modifies existing ethics and campaign finance laws. The bill authorizes the creation of a “Teacher of the […]

OhioGov. John Kasich signed House Bill 64, the biennial budget, on June 30. In addition to making $71 billion in appropriations, the bill modifies existing ethics and campaign finance laws. The bill authorizes the creation of a “Teacher of the Year” designation and allows a recipient of the award to receive gifts or privileges as part of the recognition program. In addition, the bill allows a person or entity to make contributions to the program without violating ethics laws.

House Bill 64 also permits nonprofit corporations designated as tax-exempt business organizations (i.e., 501(c)(6) organizations) to transfer portions of dues payments from its unincorporated member businesses to the organization’s political action committee (PAC). Prior to House Bill 64, campaign finance law banned a corporation from using its own funds, even those raised by dues, to aid any PAC, including its own.

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June 17, 2015 •

We Support the Annual Ohio Summer Social!

State and Federal Communications is proud to be a sponsor of The Ohio Society of Washington D.C. Summer Social this evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event will be held at Tortilla Coast (Capitol Hill Location) on First Street […]

OhioState and Federal Communications is proud to be a sponsor of The Ohio Society of Washington D.C. Summer Social this evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The event will be held at Tortilla Coast (Capitol Hill Location) on First Street SE.

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December 23, 2014 •

Ohio House Adjourns Sine Die

Today, the Ohio House of Representatives adjourned sine die, having concluded it regular floor session on December 17. The Senate had previously adjourned sine die on December 18. Among the bills passed by both chambers of the Legislature is a […]

Ohio StatehouseToday, the Ohio House of Representatives adjourned sine die, having concluded it regular floor session on December 17. The Senate had previously adjourned sine die on December 18. Among the bills passed by both chambers of the Legislature is a redistricting plan to be voted on by Ohioans in November of 2015.

Photo of the Ohio Statehouse by Urban on Wikimedia Commons.

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December 17, 2014 •

Akron City Council Increases Campaign Contribution Limits

On Monday, December 15, Akron City Council voted 8-4 to raise campaign contribution limits for mayoral and council candidates. All limits will increase by $100. Candidates for mayor and at-large council will be permitted to accept $750 per election and […]

Seal of AkronOn Monday, December 15, Akron City Council voted 8-4 to raise campaign contribution limits for mayoral and council candidates. All limits will increase by $100.

Candidates for mayor and at-large council will be permitted to accept $750 per election and ward council candidates will be permitted to accept $500 per election. The city charter requires council to review the contribution limits every two years.

The new limits come just in time for next year’s election as all council seats as well as the mayoral seat will be on the ballot.

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November 18, 2014 •

No Changes Made to Campaign Contribution Limits in Akron

On Monday, the Akron City Council rules committee voted to wait to make changes to the city’s campaign contribution limits. Council President Gary Moneypenny’s proposal would have increased the limits for mayoral and council candidates by $100. Former Councilman Warner […]

Seal of AkronOn Monday, the Akron City Council rules committee voted to wait to make changes to the city’s campaign contribution limits.

Council President Gary Moneypenny’s proposal would have increased the limits for mayoral and council candidates by $100.

Former Councilman Warner Mendenhall, who promoted a petition for the original contribution limits in 1998, protested the proposed changes during the afternoon committee meeting.

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