The text message confirmed how hard the DeWine administration was lobbying for two nuclear bailouts at the center of Ohio’s biggest public corruption scandal. New numbers show mental health problems in children are on the rise, and US Congressman Tim Ryan is trying to get somewhere in between.
We break down what that means in this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained.
This is a podcast from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau that catches up on state political news in 15 minutes or less. This week, host Anna Staber is joined by reporter Laura Bischoff.
1) Support for First Energy
A new text message released this week confirmed that Gov. Mike DeWine is “State Official 1” in FirstEnergy’s deferred prosecution agreement, and “State Official 2” is Lt. Gov. John Husted.
The Akron-based utility company announced in July 2020 that federal agents arrested former House Speaker Larry Householder on corruption and racketeering charges, and that he and others would pass a nuclear bailout bill instead. was accused of accepting multi-million dollar bribes from the company.
The message claims Husted was in the corner of First Energy and “fighting to the end” when the 2019 repealed bailout passed Congress.
2) Ryan on the way?
US Congressman Tim Ryan wants to be the next US Senator from Ohio. In a state where former President Donald Trump won his 8% in 2020, it’s a tough job for Democrats.
The Mahoning Valley native is running hard for the middle class, or what he calls the “tired majority.” Who is sick of candidates running far left and far right.
Ryan’s Republican opponent, J.D. Vance, says Democrats are “gaslighting” voters over his record, and progressive voters say lawmakers are courting the centrist at their own expense. I am worried that there may be
3) Children may not be okay
The annual KIDS COUNT data book released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that rates of depression and anxiety among children in Ohio increased 42% from 2016 to 2020.
There was also a “surge” in chronic absenteeism from 2019 to 2021, with 1 in 4 children missing 10% or more of the school year. Also, the statistics for children of color and Appalachian children were significantly worse than for white suburban children.
4) Response to attack
Republicans in Ohio largely agreed that the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was a political ploy.
The former president claimed Monday night’s raid by federal agents was a “weaponization of the justice system” organized to prevent him from running for re-election in 2024.
Vance said “negotiations over some documents” did not warrant an investigation, but Ryan said “no one is above the rule of law.”
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USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal, and 18 affiliated news organizations in Ohio.