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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose plans ad campaign to promote unusual second primary election: Capitol Letter


Primary expenses: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose plans to spend $244,500 on public-service announcements to increase public awareness of the Aug. 2 special primary election, when voters will pick Republican and Democratic candidates for state legislative races. Per Andrew Tobias, that’s three times what the state spent on a similar campaign for the primary election in May. State officials are predicting a low voter turnout in August, and hope to counteract it. The new PSA campaign ads to the mounting expenses it will cost to hold a second primary, a byproduct of redistricting delays.

Personhood bill: A new bill in the Ohio House would require the state to recognize the “personhood” of all humans from conception and protect their constitutional rights. Laura Hancock reports that the bill, which comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled abortion isn’t protected in the U.S. Constitution, raises plenty of questions.

PACed coffers: Protect Ohio Values, the Super PAC that functionally under wrote J.D. Vance’s effort to win Ohio’s Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate earlier this year, filed a campaign-finance disclosure on Monday. Per Tobias, the new details in the report include $675,800 the group has raised since Vance won the May 3 primary. None of that money came from Peter Thiel, who gave $15 million of the roughly $17 million the group raised overall. The filing also shows the group’s post-primary expenditures are limited, although POV PAC’s leader said in an interview that the group plans to be active in the November election.

Supreme influencers: A rich evangelical Christian couple from Dayton, Don and Gayle Wright, were major funders of a group called Faith and Action provided meals and entertainment to U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia to influence them, Politico reports. Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister who headed the organization from 1995 to 2018, said the Wrights financed numerous expensive dinners with Thomas, Alito, Scalia and their wives at Washington, D.C., hotspots, including the Capital Grille. Don Wright died in 2020, and Gayle Wright did not respond to a request for comment.

Fox & Friends: A new television ad from Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan is courting Fox News viewers by highlighting positive things that Fox News personalities have said about Ryan over the years, NBC News reports. The ad will begin airing this week exclusively on Fox News, although its reach could eventually expand.

Chips on their shoulders: The fate of the CHIPS Act, which would funnel billions of dollars into U.S. semiconductor production and facilitate construction of a massive new Intel plant outside Columbus, has become a factor in the Senate race between Ryan and GOP Senate nominee J.D. Vance, Axios writes As both candidates try to position themselves as champions for Ohio’s working-class, Ryan is making Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell’s threat to block the CHIPS Act a top campaign issue, while Vance issued a statement that said: “The death of the CHIPS Act is a terrible indictment of our do-nothing leadership.”

Fall from grace: The bribery and extortion verdict against a rising star in Ohio’s Democratic Party marked another “dark moment” for the city of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Sharon Coolidge Kevin Grasha Bebe Hodgeslook at the fall of PG Sittenfeld, the former Cincinnati councilman who was poised to become the city’s mayor who is now forbidden from ever holding public office again.

Tough crowd: U.S. Senate hopeful Tim Ryan found a skeptical audience of farmers during a roundtable in Portage County. The meeting is part of a series of meetings Ryan said he is having to get more acquainted with issues farmers are currently facing. As Diane Smith of the Record-Courier reports, most of the discussion centered around energy policies, with some farmers expressing a lack of faith in the rise of electric cars and green technology and saying they’d like to see corn-based ethanol used more.

Story skeptic: Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler took a closer look at The Indianapolis Star’s report that a 10-year-old Ohio girl traveled to Indiana for an abortion after the fall of Roe. The single-source line went viral and even featured in a comment made by President Joe Biden while signing an executive order protecting some abortion access.

Five things we learned from the May 1, 2022 financial disclosure of Ohio Auditor Keith Faber, a Republican:

1. He holds an active law license, and his business interests include his legal and mediation practices.

2. He reported receiving event tickets unsolicited from the Ohio Wine Producers Association he said went unused.

3. He is the legal agent for Statehouse Properties LLC, which owns a townhome in Columbus.

4. He is owed at least $1,000 by JMKA Properties LLC, another business for which he serves as a legal agent.

5. Among the six financial entities for which he owes at least $1,000 includes Cabela’s, the sporting-goods store where he holds a credit card.

Ben Coyle, Ohio House help desk supervisor; Josh Ferdelman, legislative aide to state Rep. Jennifer Gross; Ohio Second Lady Tina Husted

“The average cost of giving birth in our state is over $15,000, and can rise substantially if there are complications. Too often, this cost is solely the mother’s to bear, especially in the case of an unintended pregnancy. However, the father shares equal responsibility for the pregnancy and it is only right that he pays equally for it.”

– Columbus Democratic state Senator Tina Maharath on her proposed legislation that would allow Ohioans to sue over unintended pregnancy.

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