EXCLUSIVE: Mike Gibbons Tells The Ohio Star Why He’s the Best Candidate for the U.S. Senate Job

Mike Gibbons announced Tuesday that he will run for the Ohio seat in the U.S. Senate up for grabs in 2022. A Cleveland Republican, Gibbons is an investment banker, entrepreneur and real estate investor who made his first bid for U.S Senate in 2018 when he competed in the Republican primary.
The Ohio Star talked with Gibbons Tuesday morning shortly after he announced his candidacy. His full press release can be viewed below.
“I’ve got five kids and five grandkids. I’ve never been more frightened for their future in my life,” Gibbons responded when asked why he’s running. “When I started, I didn’t know I’d do as well as I have. We were able to send our kids through college and grad school without loans – I started with nothing.”

Read More

Former ODH Director Acton Will Not Run for U.S. Senate in 2022

Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton released a statement Tuesday revealing that she will not seek the 2022 Ohio Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

“It has been a tremendous honor to be asked to consider a run for the U.S. Senate. Like many of you, I have a profound reverence for the office, and for those who have answered the calling to public service,” wrote Acton

Read More

DeWine Announces U.S. Atty Who Secured Indictments in $60 Million Bribery Case Has New Job with State of Ohio

David DeVillers is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio who secured an indictment against then-Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder and four others in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.

While Mike DeWine was Attorney General in 2018, he awarded DeVillers the Mark Losey Distinguished Law Enforcement Service Award.

This week the Republican Governor announced DeVillers will be joining a public-private partnership between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and a select group of talent on loan from a few of Ohio’s largest businesses.

Read More

Republican Lawmakers Override DeWine Just One Day After SB22 Veto

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Just one day following Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22 (SB 22) – legislation aimed at rebalancing power by giving the Ohio Legislature oversight of government rules and orders – the Senate and House both took up the bill and both chambers voted to override the veto.

SB22 will become law in 90 days.

The Senate was first and voted 23-10.  Minutes later the House began floor debate and then voted to override 62-37.

Read More

DeWine Will Veto Bill Tuesday that Limits his Unchecked Power, State Senator Says They Will Override Wednesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio – During a Monday COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine said he will veto Senate Bill 22 (SB22) on Tuesday – a proposed law that provides scope and duration to government power during public health emergencies.  After the veto, the bill would then go where it originated, the Ohio Senate. There it could be brought to a veto-override vote.

Ohio Senator Andrew Brenner (R-District 19) told The Ohio Star he believes the upper chamber will consider and override the bill as early as Wednesday – an override would require 20 “yes” votes. It passed the Senate 25-8 the first time.

Read More

Ohio State Offers Prize Incentives for COVID-19 Testing at Branch Campus

LIMA, Ohio – The Ohio State University-Lima is recruiting students to voluntarily submit COVID tests by entering them into a raffle for prizes each time a student tests.

“The more often you test, the better odds to win!”  That is the statement sent to Ohio State University-Lima Students March 17 when the Spring COVID-19 testing protocols were announced.

Airpod Pros, a MacBook, gift cards, and more prizes are promised in a raffle style drawing, as well as a free Ohio State shirt the first time a student tests.

Read More

Commentary: After a Year DeWine Sets Goal to Lift COVID Restrictions but It’s Based on Inaccurate Tests

When Governor Mike DeWine announced March 4 that Ohio’s COVID related restrictions would be lifted based on a specific case rate, it didn’t take long to get people talking.

The announcement came on the same day that Connecticut set a date to lift capacity requirements on most businesses and organizations.  Two days prior, Texas and Mississippi had announced an ending plan to mask mandates, as well as opening businesses without capacity restrictions. And the Friday after DeWine’s announcement, West Virginia and Arizona declared they are reopening all businesses. 

Read More

Ohio Bill Giving Lawmakers Oversight of Emergency Declarations and Orders Sent to Gov. DeWine

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wednesday afternoon Senate Bill 22 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 57 to 37.  Five Republicans did not cast a vote – Paul Zeltwanger (Mason), Tracy Richardson (Marysville), Mike Loychik (Bazetta), Jeff LaRe (Violet Twp.), and Ron Ferguson (Wintersville).

One Republican, Nino Vitale, voted against the bill despite being an outspoken opponent to the DeWine Administration’s pandemic health orders. Vitale was also one of a handful of lawmakers who supported articles of impeachment based on alleged executive overreach during the state’s handling of COVID.

The Senate concurred on the House changes so now SB22 will be sent to Governor DeWine where he has the choice to approve, veto or do nothing – in the event of the latter, the bill would become a law after 10 days.

Read More

Gov DeWine One Year Ago: I Wouldn’t Read Too Much into the State of Emergency

COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 9 was the one-year anniversary of Executive Order 2020-01D, the state of emergency “to protect the well-being of the citizens of Ohio from the dangerous effects of COVID-19.”

During a briefing the same day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the emergency as a tool to allow the State of Ohio to purchase health-related items.

Read More

Report: Energy Company at Center of FBI Case Funneled $1 Million to DeWine Election Efforts

It’s been over seven months since the FBI announced a criminal complaint stemming from Ohio House Bill 6 (HB6). Arrests were made for what feds call a bribery and racketeering plan bankrolled by First Energy Solutions to elect state representatives and a House Speaker that would ensure the bill passed (and stopped efforts to repeal it) – giving a $1.3 billion bailout to two Ohio nuclear energy plants.
A new report lays out the $1M relationship between First Energy companies and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s campaign.

Read More

DeWine Calls Late Press Conference to Announce ‘New Deal’ for COVID Restrictions

Republican Governor Mike DeWine offered Ohioans a new “deal” late Thursday, saying, “When Ohio gets down to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders in the state will come off.”

The announcement came in a specially called press briefing that started at 5:30 p.m., during which DeWine encouraged Ohioans to take the of the COVID vaccine and to stay the course with nonpharmacological interventions: masks, distancing, state orders that limit crowds and limits on long personal contact.

Read More

EXCLUSIVE: Three Friends Form New Venture to Tell Story of Central Ohio Businesses Battered by COVID Restrictions

It was spring of 2020 and three friends were sitting in their regular gathering place in the Short North – the district just north of downtown Columbus.

“We were looking around at all these businesses downtown; boarded up, closed or empty – more employees than customers,” said Lad Dilgard, a management consultant and real estate investor.

He continued “behind every one of those is a story; the story of an entrepreneur, manager, supplier, landlord, employees and customers. There are horror stories going on. COVID-craziness with all the lockdowns.  We wanted to give businesses some visibility. What they’re going through and the collateral damage they are suffering.”

Fast forward to March 2021 – after weekly Saturday morning sessions during which one of the three buddies would bring breakfast and another lunch, the trio released a short film under the banner of their own production company, Fire Owl – Behind the Mandates: Untold stories of local businesses.

Read More

U.S. Senate Candidate Josh Mandel Demands Ohio Gov DeWine Drop COVID Restrictions

Wednesday, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R) called on Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine to remove all COVID mandates and re-open businesses 100 percent.
“Mike DeWine and Amy Acton have done a horrible job handling the COVID response and completely trampled on the freedoms, liberties, and livelihoods of everyday Ohioans. Today I call for Ohio to fully re-open and allow Ohioans to get back to work, get their kids back to school, and remove our statewide mask mandate,” Mandel said.

Read More

Ohio Dept of Health Amends Orders Related to Sports, Entertainment Venues and Mass Gatherings

Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud endorsed two mandates – one related to sporting events and the other to mass gatherings.

Read More

The Ohio Republican Party Chooses Its Next Leader Friday

The Ohio Republican Party (ORP) will select its next leader Friday when the State Central Committee (SCC) members cast their votes for chairman.

SCC members will meet in person at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center or join the meeting virtually. The SCC currently has 65 members who are eligible to vote as opposed to their traditional roster of 66 – one seat is vacant. The Ohio GOP leader will be decided by a simple majority vote.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Orders Flags to be Lowered Until Friday at Sunset

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine ordered all United States and State of Ohio flags to be lowered Tuesday to half-staff on all buildings and public grounds throughout the state until sunset on Friday. The proclamation is in lockstep with the president of the United States who…

Read More

Following Full Republican Support, Senate Bill to Establish Legislative Oversight of Governor’s and Agency Orders Now in Ohio House

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senate Bill to Establish Legislative Oversite of Governor’s and Agency Orders Now in Ohio House

Last Wednesday Ohio Senate Bill 22 (SB22) passed the upper chamber 25-8 – all Republicans were in favor, all Democrats opposed.

SB22 was introduced by primary sponsors Terry Johnson (R-District 14) and Rob McColley (R-District 1) and establishes legislative oversight to the Governor’s and health orders.  

In its original form, the bill granted the General Assembly authority to immediately rescind a public health state of emergency declaration along with rules and orders the Governor and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued related to a public a health state of emergency.

Read More

Former State Rep Who Brought Impeachment Against DeWine Announces Run for Ohio GOP Chair

Friday, former Ohio lawmaker John Becker, who represented Ohioans from House District 65 between 2013-2020, announced his candidacy for Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP).

The top spot in the Ohio GOP is open after former Chairwoman Jane Timken announced her resignation on February 5 to run for the U.S. Senate.

The Southwestern Ohio Republican declared his candidacy in a letter to the ORP State Central Committee that contained his resume.

Read More

In Announcement for U.S. Senate Bid Timken Untangles from Kasich, Binds to Trump

Jane Timken, former chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP), announced Thursday she will seek the 2022 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that is currently occupied by Republican Rob Portman who announced last month he will retire from federal politics at the end of his current term.

Read More

State of Ohio May Have Paid Fake COVID Claims Well in Excess of $330 Million

Scammers took nearly all of the $330 million in reported improper payments the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services made with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds, Director Kimberly Henderson said earlier this month.  That amount was funneled, in part, through 56,000 fake claims which were identified in December.  There were also overpayments on legitimate claims.

But there may be more fraud – much more – that is not yet reported.

Whether the $330 million is from misappropriation that happened in December alone, or is a pile of results spanning several months, is unknown. Henderson said total losses will likely be pinpointed at the end of February.

“They should be able to pinpoint the amount weekly, or monthly,” said Ohio State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova). He continued, “we need to get checks and balances in place to ensure money isn’t stolen in the first place.”

One Ohio State Senator told The Ohio Star the Director has signaled to him that the amount of money lost in ODJFS processing is likely in the ballpark of $1B. 

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Lifts Curfew and Last Call Order

During his COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the statewide curfew – which had been amended to begin at 11:00 p.m. from its original 10 o’clock start – expired Thursday and that he would not extend the order.

Read More

Ohio Statewide Curfew and Service Industry Revenue May Lift Thursday

During a COVID briefing last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced the statewide curfew could be lifted as early as this week if COVID hospitalizations stayed below 2,500 for seven consecutive days.

Over the last week, inpatient beds filled with COVID confirmed and probable patients numbered as follows:

February 2:         2,486

February 3:         2,380

February 4:         2,251

February 5:         2,172

February 6:         2,026

February 7:         1,969

February 8:         2,012

Read More

Judge Throws Out Cincinnati Teachers Union Lawsuit to Halt In-Person Learning in Cincinnati Public Schools

The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers (CFT) filed an injunction in Hamilton County Municipal Court last Friday to stop Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) from conducting in-person learning.

The union, which represents 3,000 teachers, claims classroom learning is unsafe until all teachers have received both rounds of the COVID vaccine.  

Read More

Ohio Ranked 43rd out of 50 in COVID Vaccination Distribution

Ohio is the seventh most populated state in America, but according to CDC COVID data on January 28 the Buckeye State ranked 43RD in vaccine doses distributed per 100,000 people.

Ohio ranked 47th out of 51 (including the District of Columbia) for the number of people who had received a second dose of the COVID mRNA antidote.

Read More

Gov. DeWine Releases First-Round Shot Schedule for Ohio Schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced on Friday the vaccination schedule for Ohio K-12 schools – public, private and career-tech.

DeWine’s administration identified school personnel required for in-person learning and laid out a four-week schedule for those eligible to receive their first jab containing one of the vaccines the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted authorization for emergency use – Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Read More

New Ohio Senate Bill Would Provide Oversight of Governor and ODH During Public Health Emergencies

State Senators Terry Johnson (R-District 14) and Rob McColley (R-District 1) introduced Senate Bill 22 Tuesday, a proposed law aimed at providing oversight to the emergency declarations made by the governor, as well as the governor’s and health orders that flow from the state of emergency.

SB22 gives the legislature the authority, by passing a joint resolution, to immediately rescind a public health state of emergency declaration, as well as related rules and orders.

Read More

Ohio Moves to 11 p.m. Curfew for Two Weeks

Ohio’s statewide curfew will be extended after COVID-related hospitalizations dipped below 3,500 for the seventh consecutive day on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) recommended altering the statewide curfew to 11:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. when COVID-related hospitalizations fall below 3,500 for seven consecutive days. Tuesday was the sixth consecutive day, Wednesday the seventh.

Read More

Ohio Gives Tax Assistance to Six Projects, Including One for the Cleveland Clinic Which Has $11.8B in Reserve

The day after Ohio Governor Richard Michael DeWine (R) ordered hundreds of millions in spending cuts  to state government, he and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced six projects set to receive tax assistance approved by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (OTCA).

The six businesses are Jo-Ann Stores LLC, Kalera Inc., Cross Country Mortgage LLC, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, CBTS Technology Solutions, LLC and High Road Holdings LLC.

Read More

Rob Portman Will Not Seek a Re-Election to the U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) will not seek a third term representing Ohio in Washington. “Today, I am announcing that I have made a decision not to run again in 2022,” said the institutional Republican in a Monday morning press statement.

“This doesn’t mean I’m leaving now – I still have two more years in my term and I intend to use that time to get a lot done.” He said he looks forward to being able to focus all his energy during the remainder of his term on legislation and challenges facing America instead of dividing his efforts to raise money and campaign.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Rejects Utility Commission Candidates

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine wrote a letter to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Nominating Commission Wednesday telling them to offer new candidates for the vacancy left by the resignation of former PUCO Chairman Samuel Randazzo. DeWine rejected the slate of four finalists screened by…

Read More

COVID Hospital Utilizations Fall but Concerns over Virus Mutations Fuel Ongoing Guidelines

Inpatient hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases dropped again on Tuesday – brining the overall decrease to 30 percent over the past month, according to the state COVID website.  Despite acknowledging the dip during the Tuesday press briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) shied away from calling it a trend.

Read More

Three Weeks After Christmas, Ohio COVID Hospitalizations Trend Down

January 15 marked three weeks since Christmas – two from New Year’s celebrations. Statewide hospitalizations have trended downward since Christmas and deaths more so, according to the Ohio COVID dashboard.

Read More

Gov. DeWine Quintuples Number of Ohio National Guard Troops Sent to D.C. for Presidential Inauguration

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) authorized 1,000 active Ohio National Guard (ONG) members Friday to assist federal authorities in Washington, D.C.  Earlier in the week DeWine signed an executive order to activate ONG troops – estimating 200 would go to America’s capital city.

“The activation of additional Guard members follows a request from the U.S. National Guard Bureau Thursday evening for extra support,” read a statement released by the Governor’s communications team.

Read More

Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez Discusses Why He Voted to Impeach President Trump

A Buckeye football legend known for “The Catch” against rival Michigan, dropped the ball according to Trump Republicans when he and nine other GOP representatives voted with 222 Democrats in the U.S. House to approve a second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) released a statement on Wednesday explaining his support of a Democrat initiated impeachment – a single article alleging incitement of insurrection.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Says the Capitol Will be Closed for Four Days Next Week for the Inauguration

Gov. Mike DeWine held a briefing Thursday morning where he announced the Ohio Statehouse and government buildings in Columbus will be closed between January 17 and January 20. Next Wednesday, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president.

Also, the governor signed a proclamation mobilizing hundreds of Ohio National Guard members to be utilized as needed in Columbus and around Ohio. To assist federal authorities in D.C. DeWine, ordered 580 ONG members active earlier in the week.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Two Bills – One Regulating Motor Scooters, Second Modifying Workplace Laws

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed two bills on Tuesday – one establishing requirements for low-speed electronic scooters, the second modifying employment laws.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Activates 580 Members of Ohio National Guard to Keep Peace in D.C. and Columbus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order Tuesday to activate for duty 580 members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG).

During the COVID press conference, DeWine said he talked with Major General John C. Harris and based on that communication anticipates that 380 of the activated guard will remain in Ohio, while 200 will be sent to Washington, D.C to assist in the January 20 Presidential Inauguration.

Read More

New Ohio Website Makes Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports More Transparent

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced he fulfilled his pledge to bring more transparency to the Secretary of State’s office.

Unanimously passed at the end of 2020,  Senate Bill 107 (SB107) is an act to “allow certain entities to file campaign finance statements electronically, to require the Secretary of State to make the information in those electronic statements available online.”

Read More

Ohio Governor DeWine Delivers Update on State Response to COVID

Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.

The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session.

Read More

Gov. DeWine Signs Five Ohio Legislative Acts into Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a video conference ceremony on Wednesday where he signed five Ohio legislative acts into law.  

Read More

DeWine Backs Down on Stand-Your-Ground Opposition, Signs Ohio Gun Bill into Law

Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 175 despite hubbub he may veto the act.

“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation. While campaigning for Governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. That is why I have signed this bill today.”

Read More

Ohio Governor DeWine Issues Executive Order and Signs Several Bills Including One Bill Requiring Fetal Remains Be Buried or Cremated

This week Governor DeWine added several new laws to the books and required the state to pony up money for grandparents and extended family members raising their related children.

Read More

Ohio Governor DeWine Rescinds Quarantine Guidance for Classrooms and Schools, Not Sports and Extracurriculars

During a COVID briefing on Wednesday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine rescinded the State of Ohio guidance suggesting students quarantine after being in close contact with other COVID-positive students in school and the classroom.

“Today we are changing our guidance,” said DeWine, who continued “I know that there’s been a great deal of pain – students not being able to do things because they are in quarantine. I fully understand that and I’m sorry that happened, but we had to follow the CDC guidance.”

The Governor said the decision was based on an evaluation of Ohio students, a CDC report involving students in Mississippi, and priority the Governor has given to teachers and staff to receive the COVID vaccine.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Announces Health Dept Curfew Order Which Contains Several Exceptions

Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.

Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.

Read More

Fewer COVID Patients in Hospitals, ICUs and on Vents in Almost Every Region in Ohio

  Governor DeWine or Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff spend a portion of press briefings discussing the issue of hospital capacity, often warning Ohioans that if cases continue to climb, hospitals around the state will be overrun and care for other non-COVID patients may be crowded out. Consequently, The…

Read More

Obhof Backs Down from Early Threat to Override Veto on SB311 but Bill May Not Be Dead

It was Tuesday, December 22, the day many in favor of a veto override on Senate Bill 311 (SB311) believed to be the last day for the Ohio Senate to consider and vote on the bill that would restore power to the legislature and check the authority of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and its director to quarantine and isolate healthy people.

A group assembled atop the steps leading into the Senate Chamber.  Senate President Larry Obhof (R-22) stepped into the space between doors just outside the entrance to the Senate Chamber and was peppered with shouts. “Get 311 on the floor!”  “Hold the override vote Obhof!”

The Senate President looked at the citizens and repeated the talking point Ohioans had heard from the Senate for over a week – “the House doesn’t have the votes.”

Read More

One-on-One with Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro

Last week The Ohio Star reported on the Ohio Education Association (OEA) Position Statement, which called for schools to suspend in-person learning immediately until January 11. The document outlined four steps the union urges government leaders and schools to follow – reset, restart, reprioritize and resource.
OEA President Scott DiMauro accepted the invitation to talk with The Star in a one-on-one interview.
The Star asked questions submitted from Ohioans around the Buckeye State.

Read More

Ohio AG Yost Argued for SCOTUS to Reject Texas and Rule on Electors Clause

On Wednesday The Ohio Star reported that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was taking a “deep dive into the legal theories” of the lawsuit Texas filed in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Read More

Governor Mike DeWine Warns Ohioans to Watch Hospital Capacity as Health Director Mulls Outpatient Treatments for COVID-19

During the Thursday COVID briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he “took an oath to do everything to protect the lives and wellbeing of fellow Ohioans” and that the next three weeks will be the most critical in battling COVID.

DeWine then stressed the importance of Ohioans understanding and keeping an eye on hospital capacity in their respective communities.

Read More

Ohio’s Biggest Teachers Union Calls for Immediate Closure with Four-Phase Position Statement

On December 3 the Board of Directors of the Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union for educators, voted unanimously to adopt the position to immediately suspend all in-person learning in the state until January 11.

The OEA released the statement on December 7.

The position statement calls for state leaders and educational institutions to “reset”, “restart”, “re-prioritize” and “resource” in order to “ensure that the needs of Ohio’s students, educators and communities are met,” according to the union’s statement.

Read More