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Congressman Gonzalez?


Before Congressman Tom Patton or Congresswoman Christina Hagan can measure the drapes in the Longworth Building, a Saint Ignautius-Ohio State-Indianapolis Colt has a few design ideas for a scarlet and gray drapes.  


Anthony Gonzalez of the Cleveland suburb of Westlake, is considering running for the 2018 GOP nod for the 16th Congressional District.  Gonzalez retired from the NFL in 2012 and has been engaged in business activities in Ohio and across the country. He served as COO of Chalk Schools in San Francisco until recently, leaving presumably to plan a run for the busy Republican Primary in May of 2018.


Gonzalez is a known figure in the area, but has never sought office before.  Of Cuban descent, Gonzalez's parents fled Communist Dictator Fidel Castro's oppression and have been Greater Cleveland residents.  Gee, will the Russians get involved with this one?  They don't take too kindly to refuseniks like the Gonzalezes running for office. 


Local Government Relief from State Government


While sounding like an oxymoron, home rule may be making a very modest comeback at The Statehouse. The recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling that set aside part of Ohio's virtual ban on traffic cameras was hailed as a one of the few victories that local governments get these days from Columbus.  


Page 3 hears that State Rep. David Greenspan (R-Westlake) is working on legislation to be considered in 2018, which happens to be an election year, that may make local township trustees, mayors, and commissioners a little happier.  Greenspan has been soliciting ideas to redefine the State of Ohio's relationship with local government and provide a more stable (and generous) pool of monies with specific purposes (think law enforcement and infrastructure) for local governments to use since the State and Local Government fund has been greatly diminished to balance the state budget since 2011.


Greenspan served two terms as a Cuyahoga County Councilman, so would have felt the fiscal effects of that dwindling relationship at the local level. The era of term limits has not ushered in a new age of local elected officials seeking state office, as in prior days. The zeal for allocating money to other governments for them to spend has diminished since the days of the 1970's when the fund was established based on the new income tax revenues. 


Husted Gets Support from Trump?


Well, not that kind of support.....


Jon Husted likes to win. As a college football star who won a Division III National Championship at the University of Dayton and his penchant for aggressive dribbling shall we say, at the Athletic Club of Columbus, Husted plays to win.  His bid to win The State of Ohio's case before the United States Supreme Court just picked up a major boost from the Trump Administration.


Before the 2016 elections, Husted and the good people of Ohio, were sued by the Phillip A. Randolph Institute, a liberal advocacy group named for the famous African-American who fought the Pullman Sleeping Car Company and established a labor union for African-American railroad porters during the early 20th Century. 


At issue is the bipartisan voter "purge," an elections tools that allows Boards of Elections to clean up the voters rolls occasionally and clear them of people who no longer participate in the elections process.  If a voter has not voted in four years - that includes two general elections, a Board of Elections can send a communication to that voter asking them to communicate back to them their intent to vote. If the voter does not vote in the next election or does not communicate back to the Board of Elections, the Board may vote to remove those voters from the rolls due to lack of interest, a "purge" of people no longer voting.


No voter purge can happen without bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats on the bipartisan board.  Election officials point out that having people who do not vote on the rolls clogs up the elections process on Election Day in the voting locations as well as adds undo cost and inefficiency to elections.  The process has been going on since Sherrod Brown was Ohio Secretary of State. 


But last year, the Obama Administration Justice Department weighed in with the Randolph Institute and claimed that the process was illegal, urging the Courts to overturn it.  With Jeff Sessions in charge at Justice, things have changed, and the Federal Government reversed itself, submitting a brief that sided with Husted and Ohio and urging the Court to uphold Ohio's practices as a simple tool to increase efficiency in government. 


SCOTUS is expected to rule on the case sometime this year when it returns for its October session. 


Wait we have more on Jon Husted ....


Sources tell 3rd Rail that Jon Husted's Super Pac raised $1.3 million from just four donors: Karen Wright and Tom Rastin of Ariel Corporation at $125,000 each, Medical Mutual pitched in $50,000, and Dayton power broker Clay Mathile donated a whopping $1 million dollars. 


It is good to have friends with deep pockets.