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On The Record

The Views the News Excludes
A Day of Gratitude
"Memorial Day allows us to honor our fallen and show them the reverence they deserve"
By Sandra O'Brien
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Each May every American welcomes Memorial Day. Backyard barbecues, parades, and the first signs of summer are all on the forefront of our minds. But the real reason for this day must be recognized.

Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to remember the brave men and women who sacrificed everything for our country. Without our military, our nation and freedoms would not be safe and secure. We all should thank these courageous servicemembers daily, but Memorial Day allows us to honor our fallen and show them the reverence they deserve.

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Red Pilling the Media's "Poison Pill" Biden Ballot Narrative
The President's Podcast with Senate President Matt Huffman
By John Fortney
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Facts matter.

But when you read today's left-leaning agenda-driven legacy media, it seems the facts get lost in favor of feelings. You know, feelings from progressive leftists who believe in their free speech, just not your free speech. The same people who condemn election deniers, dark money and foreign election interference, unless it is tied to their issue or candidate.

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Senate GOP Protecting Ohio's Elections Despite Biden's Blunder
Democrats More Interested in Protecting Dark Money than Getting Presidential Candidate on the Ballot
By The Editors
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Ohioans have the right to vote for whom they please. The Senate GOP fought for that this week by attempting to add Joe Biden to the ballot. 

That may sound strange: Republicans making sure a Democrat can be a candidate for president, especially following the Democratic National Convention's scheduling error that prevents Biden from making the ballot in Ohio in the first place. (Read more about the Democrats’ latest fail in Senator Terry Johnson’s latest column in On the Record.)

But the Senate is focused on preserving the fundamental right every Ohioan has to vote for their candidate.

That’s one of our topics this week on the President’s Podcast with our guest Senator Rob McColley.

Unlike the liberal elites throughout the country trying to keep Trump off the ballot, Ohio Republicans do not believe in using lawfare to keep any nominee off the ticket. We believe in our democracy and the right every American citizen has to participate in it.

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Meet the Far-Left Carpetbagger Running Citizens not Politicians
Democrats' dark-money puppeteers bankroll effort to gerrymander Ohio
By Garth Kant
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When President Biden says something typically preposterous like "the border is secure" or "inflation is under control," you know what that means -- just the opposite is true.

So, when Democrats say they are trying to stop gerrymandering in Ohio, you know exactly what that means, too.

Abetted by the usual progressive suspects (ACLU, Common Cause, League of Women Voters, etc.), Democrats are currently trying to gather enough signatures to qualify a proposed constitutional amendment, dubbed “Citizens Not Politicians,” for the November ballot.

The proposal is actually a Trojan Horse plan to “fix” our redistricting laws for drawing Congressional and Statehouse maps by replacing an amendment voters overwhelmingly approved in 2015 with an exceedingly complex, harebrained, and radical scheme.

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New OSU President Calls For Diversity of Thought on Campus
Seeks an "open dialogue" between students and faculty
By The Editors
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“I want Ohio State to value diversity of thought, protect freedom of expression, and foster a welcoming environment for Ohioans from every community in the state,” the new president of The Ohio State University testified before a state senate committee this week.

OSU President Walter “Ted” Carter spoke candidly and comprehensively on a variety of hot-button issues. 

He is one of the 14 presidents of Ohio’s four-year public institutions of higher education to testify recently before the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee at the invitation of Chairman Jerry Cirino.

The purpose was to discuss the presidents’ funding requests in the Capital Budget for the upcoming budget biennium for fiscal years 2025 and 2026. But it was also an opportunity to explore a number of issues.

Click on the links inside this article to see videos of Carter’s remarks.

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"It is our moral obligation and our sacred duty to never forget"
Senate President Huffman Observes Holocaust Commemoration
By Matt Huffman
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Senate President Matt Huffman made the following remarks on video in observance of the Governor's Holocaust Commemoration on Wednesday at the Statehouse:

I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Ohio Jewish Communities for inviting me to address this year’s Holocaust Commemoration.

I am sorry senate business prevents me from attending in person, but I can explain why this event is so crucially important to me, in just two words:

Never forget.

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Shawnee State University - A Hidden Gem Providing a 21st Century Technology Education
Graduates Tell Ohio Senators About Their Remarkable Careers that Launched from Shawnee State
By John Fortney
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Shawnee State University is a hidden gem of higher education located along the Ohio River in Portsmouth.

Shawnee State is a global leader of plastics manufacturing and engineering technology, including gaming technology.

The quiet campus in Scioto County is making lots of noise for technology companies looking for the best and brightest young minds who are qualified, competent and ready to go to work immediatlely.

Join us as Shawnee State University graduates talk to Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, Senator Jerry Cirino, Senator George Lang, and Senator Terry Johnson, whose district includes the University,  about their remarkable careers that launched from the Southern Ohio campus.

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New OSU President Passes First Test with Flying Colors
Free Speech and Student Safety Both Preserved in an Example Every Other College Should Study
By Jerry C. Cirino
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It’s a perfect example of the radical left’s upside-down view of reality.

An Ohio State University professor actually referred to campus police as “armed invaders.”

That’s like calling Hamas “peacekeepers.”

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Senate President Matt Huffman and Ohio Auditor Keith Faber Join the President's Podcast
Hard Hitting Conversation Covering Campus Protests, the Left's Redistricting Lie and a Billion Dollar Medicaid Fraud
By John Fortney
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Two Senate Presidents bring some hard hitting straight talk to the President’s Podcast this week.

State Auditor and former Senate President Keith Faber joins Senate President Matt Huffman to talk about the shocking student protests on college campuses across the country this week, and why they support the way Ohio State University protected both the 1st Amendment and student safety by enforcing the rules regarding demonstrations.

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Cannon Fire Shakes the Statehouse
Civil War Encampment Provides Living History Lesson to Students
By The Editors
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Elementary students had a blast at the Ohio Statehouse this week.

Literally.

Civil War Reenactors set up camp on the Statehouse lawn complete with Civil War era cannons firing throughout the afternoon.

The boom shook the statehouse much the way, President Lincoln’s death shook the nation.

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Biden vs. Democracy
Who is really trying to keep who off the ballot?
By Terry Johnson
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It’s the same old story.

Democrats routinely make an absolute mess then scream at Republicans, “Why haven’t you fixed this?”

That’s true whether it's the border crisis, rampant inflation, the crime pandemic...or anything else.

That’s also the Biden ballot brouhaha in a nutshell.

Democrats apparently didn’t bother to check state deadlines for putting their presidential nominee on the ballot when scheduling their national convention. 

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The General Assembly's Business First Caucus Welcomes Workers from Merit Shop Alliance
The Hands that Build Gather in Statehouse Atrium
By John Fortney
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The Business First Caucus of the Ohio General Assembly welcomed workers from the Merit Shop Alliance this week.

Hundreds of workers from the trades filled the Atrium in the Ohio Statehouse for a special presentation about what the MSA does for young men and women looking for a career in the trades.

Hundreds of workers from the trades filled the Atrium in the Ohio Statehouse for a special presentation about what the MSA does for young men and women looking for a career in the trades.

Merit Shop is based on exactly that — merit. It is the base for growth, for promotion, and for the next level of a career in the trades.

Experience, competence and results make a difference.

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Senate's Adoption Grant Program is a Stunning Success
By The Editors
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The Ohio Senate is proud of its mission to support pro-family policies, including helping our children find loving homes through adoption.

That’s why we spearheaded the creation of the Ohio Adoption Grant program and have prioritized it as a resource for Ohio’s newest families. 

This program has immediately proved to be successful beyond our wildest expectations. It is so exceptionally popular that we have run out of funding twice as fast as anticipated.

This is amazing for the families who have utilized it, but now there is not enough left for more Ohioans aspiring to adopt, leaving many prospective parents and children waiting.

That is why the Senate made a critical $38 million investment into the Ohio Adoption Grant program this week – to keep uniting more families.

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President's Podcast Introduces Senator Bill Reineke
Tiffin Republican Highlights Manufacturing, Education and Rail Safety
By John Fortney
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The Senate conducted a busy week of committees, complete with a full voting session Wednesday.

In remarkable fashion, the bills passed unanimously.

The Senate passed Senate Resolution 121, sponsored by Senator Michael Rulli, urging the Biden Administration to invest in natural gas infrastructure and generation. As more coal plants are decommissioned and razed, the power supply available is reduced.  

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Housing Reimagined - Building a Strong Foundation for Ohio's Future
Senate Select Committee Presents Comprehensive Findings in New Housing Report
By John Fortney
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Housing Reimagined. Building a Solid Foundation for Ohio's Future. Following months of hearings around the state, the Ohio Senate's Select Committee on Housing released a comprehenisive report detailing the challenges facing Ohio's diverse housing markets.

Within the report's 94 pages, findings from hearings held in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Lima and Marietta combined with hearings from the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus painted a unique set of challenges facing Ohio's current inventory of homes that are available for sale, to hurdles facing new construction and affordable rental units.

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Facing the Statehouse Press Corps: Senate President Responds to Key Headlines This Week
Joe Biden and the Ohio Ballot- Judge Stays Law Protecting Children -Updating Marijuana Law
By John Fortney
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Springtime in Ohio wouldn't be complete without getting into the weeds with Ohio's statehouse press corps.  There are always headlines blooming, many of them national.

Folowing the rollout of the Senate's Select Committee's Housing Report, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman took tough questions this week from statehouse media.

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President's Podcast: Finding a Place to Call Home and Finding a Place on the Ballot for Biden
Senate President Matt Huffman and Senator Michele Reynolds on Ohio's New Housing Report
By John Fortney
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{Editor's Note: We had an audio glitch on one of our microphones this week. My apologies. Fortunately the audio for President Huffman and Senator Reynolds is crystal clear. So as we used to say in the golden age of television, don't adjust your set.}

Following several months of hearings around the state, the Senate’s Select Committee on Housing released its findings and recommendations for a path forward in a 94-page report.

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Joe Biden and the November Ballot to Banning Smart Phones in the Classroom - State of the State Q and A
An Inside Look at President Huffman Answering Questions from Statehouse Reporters
By John Fortney
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It is always easier to ask questions than answer them.

Join us for an inside look at what it is like to face the legacy media, in this case, the statehouse press corp. 

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Solar Eclipse Wows at Indian Lake
Ohio Senators Join Community for Rare Solar Event
By John Fortney
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Totality Awesome!

Watch our story from Indian Lake in Logan County where we captured an amazing photo of the “Ring of Fire” as the solar eclipse reached totality.

Senator Steve Huffman, Senator Rob McColley and their families watched as the moon’s shadow turned daytime into nighttime.

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Totality Awesome! Ohio Wows with the Eclipse and State of the State
President's Podcast Reviews State of the State
By John Fortney
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Ohio was "The Heart of It All" for political science and the science of astronomy this week.

The total solar eclipse delivered a once in lifetime event for many, as totality crossed a large part of Ohio on Monday.

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This is why newspapers are dying
Cranky retired editor blames GOP for the demise of fake news
By Sandra O'Brien
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While attending a political event a few months ago, I ran into an old friend. She asked me if I knew Brent Larkin, former Executive Editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

Yes,  I knew him. Not very well mind you, but I did have contact with him when I was the Ashtabula County Auditor. I also sat before him several times at candidate endorsement interviews.  

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Border Security Forum Ignored by State Media
Top Issue in Country Doesn't Interest Television or Newspaper Journalists
By Jerry C. Cirino
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The wide open southern border is a growing threat to Ohio. The mainstream media won’t discuss it. But I will.

I hosted a Border INsecurity Forum last week with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and numerous law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and local officials. We spent time learning about how the porous Southern Border is creating dangerous criminal activity in our Northeastern Ohio communities.

We invited the media to attend.

There was zero coverage. Just another taste of The Views the News Excludes.

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Indian Lake Community Reeling from Tornado Damage
State Developing Response for Housing
By John Fortney
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More than 200 homes were demolished or seriously damaged by the March EF-3 tornado that blasted Lakeview, Ohio, and the surrounding communities near Indian Lake. Senate President Matt Huffman joined local leaders to craft an immediate plan for a state response to help people who lost their homes, or whose homes aren't safe live in. 

The effort to provide funding for temporary housing is underway and is being coordinated through the Governor's Office.  A plan to provide RV's for people to live-in and park on their property was proposed, which would provide a fastser and more economical response than waiting for the federal goverment to act, if at all.

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Anti-Censorship Bill Called "Extreme" and "Dangerous"
State Media Scares Students With Fake News on Higher Education Reform Bill
By Jerry C. Cirino
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I would like to commend OSU graduate student Christine Fite on the guest column she wrote for Columbus Dispatch titled, “Integrity of Ohio’s universities in jeopardy. Extreme bill a dangerous (sic) to future.”

She writes well and seems bright, caring, and well-intentioned. I applaud Ms. Fite for her civic-mindedness and concern for the state of higher education in Ohio, even though I disagree with her conclusions.

I would like to take the opportunity to set the record straight, so that she and her fellow students across Ohio can rest at ease, knowing this bill will, in fact, improve our state’s higher education system.

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Entire Border Security Forum Available For Viewing
See For Yourself Why State and Local Officials Are So Concerned
By The Editors
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The crisis at our Southern Border is causing unprecedented chaos and threats to the quality of life in nearly every state, including Ohio.

State Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland) hosted the Border INsecurity forum in Independence, Ohio, on March 27. The forum was a search for solutions that included law enforcement officers, mayors, prosecutors, and other local leaders. These men and women discussed the dire consequences the wide open Southern Border has on our neighborhoods here in Ohio.

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Fraud, Flowcharts and Frequent Lawsuits
This Week's President's Podcast with Senate President Matt Huffman
By John Fortney
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Fraud, flowcharts and frequent lawsuits.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman delivers a hard-hitting interview on a recent report from the State Auditor's Office detailing a billion dollar fraud regarding Medicaid recipients double enrolled with another state.

Plus, we show you the confusing road map to nowhere the progressive left wants to use to gerrymander the state on their behalf. And why the ACLU's recent lawsuit against an Ohio law protecting children, is yet another example of politics over public safety.

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Senator Cirino Hosts Border Security Forum
Human Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, and Violent Crime Hitting Ohio Neighborhoods
By John Fortney
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The crisis at the Southern Border of the United States threatens every state in the nation. Drug trafficking, human trafficking, and violent crime threatens the public safety of Ohioans across the state.

This week, Ohio State Senator Jerry Cirino hosted police chiefs, prosecutors, mayors, and elected officials at a forum on border security.

Attorney General Dave Yost delivered the keynote address, sharing what his team has learned about the very real danger that has arrived here at home, and what can be done.

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God and Government
One of them has changed a lot since the nation's first Easter
By Garth Kant
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Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article that ran on Christmas. We thought it would serve as a timely reminder this Easter.

President Thomas Jefferson penned his letter to the Danbury Baptists describing a wall of separation between church and state on January 1, 1802.

Two days later he attended church inside the U.S. Capitol.

In the House of Representatives.

No heads exploded because there was no ACLU yet.

How times have changed.

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Deadly Tornado Tears Through Auglaize and Logan Counties
President Huffman and Senator McColley Join Governor to Assess Damage and Talk with Neighbors
By John Fortney
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Thursday night brought a deadly EF-3 tornado to Auglaize and Logan counties, creating a debris field several miles long that destroyed many homes and businesses in the Indian Lake Neighborhood. Three people died. The damage assessment is underway.

There was a tremendous outpouring of support with tons of donated food and clothes made avaialble at Indian Lake High School. Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman and Senator Rob McColley represent the area and joined Governor Mike DeWine for an aerial and ground level view of the devastation. 

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Elections, Tax Season, and New Hope for Foster Care and Adoptions in Ohio
This Week's President's Podcast Covers a Range of Crucial Issues in the Buckeye State
By The Editors
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It's your money first, not the government's. That's our firm belief and that's why President Huffman is talking tax relief this tax season on this week's President's Podcast.

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Your Tax Dollars and Ohio's Constitutional School Funding System
Record Funds for Ohio's Public Schools
By John Fortney
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The left just doesn't seem to care about facts. One wonders if they truly think that if they say something enough that people will start believing them, or if they are just blinded by their own ill-conceived far-left zealotry?

Regardless, here is a painful fact for them.  The Ohio General Assembly approved record funding for public schools in the current budget. 

Another painful fact is that today's school funding system is constitutional. 

If you missed Senator Andrew Brenner's column on school funding, make sure you read it by clicking the link inside this story.

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Remembering the Legacy of Senator Ted Gray
Senator Gray Served Longer Than Any Member of the the Ohio General Assembly
By John Fortney
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Senator Ted Gray passed away this week. His legacy is unlike any other member of the Ohio General Assembly.

Senator Gray served 43 years in the Ohio Senate. 

His first term began in 1951 and his final term ended in 1994.

Originally from Piqua, Ohio, Senator Gray later became President Pro Tempore, and in the 1990's served as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

His colleagues honored him at the Ohio Senate Reunion, which was held in the Statehouse Atrium in 2022.

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Left's New Scheme to Overturn Second Amendment by Stealth
My bill will prevent them from making your legal gun purchases "suspicious"
By Terry Johnson
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What would you think if the government began keeping track of every Big Mac you buy? Or every Big Gulp. Bottled water. Red meat. Gasoline. Or anything else the busybody woke left does not like?

And then, what if the government said you could not buy any more because the number of your purchases was “suspicious?”

Does that sound like America to you?

But that’s exactly what the radical left is now trying to do with firearms. It’s a backdoor attempt to steal your Constitutional right to self-defense.

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Protecting Ohio's Elections from Campaign Contributions Coming from Outside the United States
Foreign Funders with Infinite Resources Targeting Ohio's Constitution
By John Fortney
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Ohio's Constitution remains an easy value-added target for far-left groups funded by foreign dark money.

As we learn more about political organizations like the Sixteen Thirty Fund, it becomes more clear that billionaires from outside our country's borders are targeting Ohio's Constitution by funding a revolving door of far left issue camapaigns aimed at changing the law, without a single committee hearing at the Ohio Statehouse.

This week, Senator Rob McColley joins us for the President's Podcast to explain why the passage of Senate Bill 215 is a huge step in protecting the integrity of Ohio's Election System and our state's founding document, the Ohio Constitution.

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Democrats Are Not Telling the Truth About School Spending
We are providing record funding and innovative change
By Andrew O. Brenner
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Editor's note: We prefer to publish exclusively in On The Record because we developed this platform to speak directly to you without the spin and censorship of the state media. We felt an exception was necessary in this case. 
An abbreviated version of this piece was published in the Columbus Dispatch on February 19 in response to an editorial by one of our Democratic colleagues. It was filled with so many untruths we felt it was necessary to set the record straight and to make sure Dispatch readers were aware of the real facts. 
The Dispatch limits all submissions to a certain number of words. This is an expanded version for those eager to learn more of the truth.

Senator Bill DeMora, a Columbus Democrat, did not tell the truth in the column he penned for the Dispatch on February 13 on state spending for public schools.

DeMora claims Republican lawmakers are “diverting precious funds away from our public schools” by expanding school choice for K-12 students.

That is false. 

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Key Testimony About Danger of Foreign Dark Money in Ohio's Elections
Senators Gavarone and McColley Defend Their Bill Protecting Ohio's Elections
By John Fortney
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Dark money campaign donations from outside the United States continue to infiltrate far-left issue campaigns targeting Ohio's Constitution. Senators Theresa Gavarone and Rob McColley sponsored Senate Bill 215 to ban campaign dollars contributed by foreign donors.

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Early Voting, Election Security, Voter ID, and New Bipartisan Maps
This week on the President's Podcast
By The Editors
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Early voting began Wednesday in Ohio.

Nearly a month of early voting is available to registered voters.

Tuesday, March 19th, is Election Day in Ohio.

This week on the President’s Podcast, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman talks about election security, voter ID, and the first election using Ohio’s new bipartisan maps for the General Assembly that were passed unanimously by the Redistricting Commission.

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Smoking Laws, Property Taxes, and Record Funding for Public Schools
Senate President Matt Huffman Goes In Depth on President's Podcast
By John Fortney
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Is smoking bad for your health?

Yes.

Should local municipalities be permitted to ban certain flavored tobacco from being sold to adults?

No.

In this week’s President’s Podcast, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman responds to criticism from the healthcare community following the Senate’s recent veto override that reinstated the law prohibiting local governments from passing their own tobacco laws.

The General Assembly made a record investment in Ohio public schools in 2023.

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Media Meltdown over Asking Higher Ed to Open its Books
President Huffman and Senator Cirino explain why it is more than reasonable to review higher education's administrative costs
By John Fortney
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Senate President Matt Huffman, and Senator Jerry Cirino make the case for asking Ohio’s public universities to review and disclose their administrative costs as part of the process to apply for billions of dollars available as part of the 2024 Capital Budget process.

This caused a meltdown by the editorial side of Cleveland.com, which has reveled in name calling and launched tirades of vitriolic nonsense.

Don’t miss our response in this week's President's Podcast.

Get an update on Senate Bill 83, Ohio’s Higher Education Enhancement Act and why it is vital to protecting independent thought on today’s campuses and how it empowers trustees to truly act in the best interest of their university.

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Foreign campaign contributions attacking Ohio elections
European billionaire funneling millions into leftist causes
By The Editors
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Foreign campaign contributions are now targeting Ohio’s elections.

It might sound like a movie script based on espionage tradecraft, but it is the reality we are facing here in the heartland.

This week we learned that contributions from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a far-left advocacy group led by a Swiss billionaire, are helping fund the attack on Ohio’s redistricting process.

That’s a process endorsed by 70% of the voters in 2015, which also produced a bipartisan and unanimous vote by the Redistricting Commission approving Ohio’s new House and Senate maps last fall.

Senator Theresa Gavarone joins us this week on the President’s Podcast.

She is leading the way in protecting Ohio’s elections from foreign interference and contributions.

Get her unique perspective about why bills she is sponsoring in the Senate are vital to Ohio’s election integrity, especially in a presidential election year.

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My Legislation Will Keep Foreign Money Out of Ohio Elections
Another bill will preserve the integrity of our ballots
By Theresa Gavarone
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Foreign money doesn’t belong in Ohio’s elections.

And the convoluted and confusing ranked choice voting concept doesn’t either. 

That’s why I am working on two bills to prohibit both in the Buckeye State.

Last week, Senator McColley and I introduced Senate Bill 215, which prohibits foreign entities from funding ballot issue campaigns and closes the loophole on foreign dark money. 

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the case for protecting children
Senators detail facts behind override of governor's veto of HB 68
By The Editors
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The Ohio Constitution requires a three-fifths vote of each chamber of the Ohio General Assembly to overturn a governor’s veto. In the Senate that equals 20 votes. Senate Republicans cast 24 votes on Wednesday to override the governor's veto of House Bill 68.

Click on this story to listen to their moving floor speeches.

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Fighting Dark Money Campaign Targeting Ohio
By The Editors
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In case you missed our in depth discussion with Senate President Matt Huffman last week, he challenged the upcoming campaign led by former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to overturn Ohio’s redistricting process. That process was passed by more than 70% of the voters as a Constitutional Amendment.

Her campaign, funded with dark money from at least one foreign organization, now has one goal in mind:  Gerrymander wins for Democrats by dividing communities that are now represented in compact districts as directed by the Constitution.

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huffman explains importance of overriding governor's veto
Countering the fake news narrative and ensuring the safety of Ohio's most precious natural resource
By The Editors
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This was a historic week in the Ohio Senate.

Lawmakers voted to protect our most precious natural resource – our children.

Senate Republicans cast 24 votes on Wednesday to complete the final phase of the legislature’s override of the governor's veto of House Bill 68.

This legislation protects women’s sports in Ohio. By maintaining the integrity of Title IX, the bill ensures that our daughters’ courts, playing fields, and locker rooms are safe, competitive, and for women and girls only. 

The bill also prevents gender reassignment surgeries and the use of cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers on children, protecting youth from procedures and drugs that have life-long consequences, while also ensuring access to mental health care. It also preserves the right of parents to consent to any such mental health treatment.

However, the media coverage (as usual) came with a fixed and false narrative. That included the Ohio Associated Press, which wrote that “Ohio has banned gender-affirming care for minors.”

In this week’s President’s Podcast, Senate President Matt Huffman responds to the misleading coverage.

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East Palestine, One-Year Later
By The Editors
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One year ago, on February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train derailed and caught fire in the village of East Palestine in Columbiana County. The horrific crash and aftermath caused widespread destruction, toxified the air, and turned the lives of the community upside down. Members of the Ohio Senate set out to find answers as to why this catastrophic derailment happened and how to best support the members of East Palestine.

Senator Michael Rulli, who represents the community, reflected on the past year saying the following:

"This was a devastating accident that uprooted and changed the lives of an entire community forever. Myself and many others from the state visited and helped the people of East Palestine but the Biden Administration failed to do its job."

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McColley and Gavarone bill will keep foreign money out of issue elections in ohio
Buckeye State is under attack by campaign dollars from overseas
By The Editors
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Make no mistake, Ohio is under attack by foreign campaign dollars.

Undisclosed donors from foreign countries are spending millions to change Ohio’s Constitution.

This week, Senator Rob McColley and Seantor Theresa Gavarone introduced SB 215 that will ban those contributions.

It is the next step in their efforts to protect the integrity of Ohio’s elections and make sure your vote is secure.

Click on this story to hear to them explain exactly what’s at stake for Ohioans.

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democrats want to "fix" imaginary gerrymandering with real gerrymandering
Voters approved process by 70% but Donkeys demand more fixed wins
By John Fortney
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Gerrymandering.

It’s the Democrats new answer for everything.

Traffic was bad. Gerrymandering.
The pancakes were cold. Gerrymandering.
We didn’t win the election. Gerrymandering.

It’s the new breakfast cereal for today’s Democratic party. They wish it was Lucky Charms, but unluckily for them, candidates, campaigns, and issues matter. 

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Ohio: First in Flight and Leader in Space
Homegrown astronauts honored in statehouse painting
By The Editors
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Ohio has sent dozens of its own into space, leading the way in exploration beyond our world. Some of these heroes will be part of the Ohio Statehouse forever.

Ohioans in Space, a painting by Bill Hinsch, was unveiled in the Statehouse Rotunda this week. This masterful piece is the first commissioned painting to be installed in the seat of state government in 66 years.

The painting features astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Judith Resnick with the notable addition of Gene Kranz, representing the engineers and scientists in the laboratories and control rooms of NASA.

These legendary Ohioans embody decades of American dominance in space, showing us all that anything is possible.

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Attention Focused On Ohio This Week
By John Fortney
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This week the Ohio Senate will vote to override the Governor’s veto on House Bill 68.

The bill simply protects children from sex change surgery, also known as gender reassignment surgery, while maintaining access to counseling and some prescriptive treatments. It also protects girls’ and women’s sports by not forcing females to compete against boys and men on school and college teams.

If you haven’t read our column responding to the media’s temper tantrum following the House’s convincing vote to override the governor’s veto, it is worth your time. How can editorial pages be so out of touch with today’s audience? No wonder their businesses so many newspapers are folding.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman delivers some straight talk on the President’s Podcast regarding the vote to override. It’s worth listening to his thoughts, as a grandfather of seven grandkids, about why we have a duty to protect Ohio’s children.

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Senate Poised to Protect Children
State media stoops to nasty lies and fake facts after House overrides HB 68 veto
By John Fortney
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Protecting kids. That’s what House Bill 68 is all about.

Saving girls’ sports and protecting all children from the life-long consequences of highly experimental, unproven, and inherently dangerous chemical treatments and surgical procedures.

The Governor’s veto of the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act was a truly puzzling and remarkably poor decision for parents, children, and families.

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Senate's top 10 hot items in a freezing January
An update on issues, bills, and moments that matter to Ohioans
By The Editors
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Work in the Ohio Senate has been heating up even as temperatures have dropped below freezing. Senators have been busy in Columbus, and across the state, introducing new legislation, meeting with constituents, and ensuring that all Ohioans are supported, protected, and have their voices heard. Here’s a brief update on the top 10 items in Jnauary, so far. 

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From Availability to Affordability
Ohio's Select Committee on Housing Holds Hearing in Cleveland
By John Fortney
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From availability to affordability. Renters, homeowners and future homeowners face significant challenges looking for a place to call home.

The Senate’s Select Committee on Housing, chaired by Senator Michele Reynolds, R-Canal Winchester believed that it was important for hearings to be held outside of the Ohio Statehouse, in different communities around Ohio.

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Protecting Your Right to Freedom
Legislature Passes Bill Banning the Californication of Cars in Ohio
By Rob McColley
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The car is a ticket to freedom. That’s why in Ohio we protect your ability to choose the vehicle best for you.

Since its dawn in Detroit, the American car revolution has changed our country for the better. Transportation keeps us connected and our economy strong. Ohio’s economy is even leading in the automotive industry, including the second largest workforce in the nation in motor vehicle and parts manufacturing. 

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Bill Johnson Begins YSU Presidency with Impressive Credentials
Plain Dealer ignores response by senator refuting character assassination
By Jerry C. Cirino
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Editor’s note: We submitted Senator Cirino’s column to the Plain Dealer more than two weeks ago. Crickets.

Senate Bill 83 is intended to reform Ohio’s higher education system to make it the best in the nation. In the years of research and consultations I spent designing this legislation it became clear that top leaders are essential to the success of this endeavor. 

So I was puzzled to read the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Brent Larkin make such malicious accusations against the new president of Youngstown State University, a man of true character with a remarkable résumé.

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AP headline screams "New Conservative Weapon Against Colleges: Plagiarism"
DEI and MSM take another hit after national ridicule forces woke news agency to correct major blunder
By John Fortney
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"Harvard president’s resignation highlights new conservative weapon against colleges: plagiarism." 

That was the actual headline from the outraged, woke minds of mush at the Associated Press. 

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to spot the woke spin – it was the size of an EF-5 tornado. 

Of course, the real story was Professor Claudine Gay had to resign as Harvard president after nearly 50 credible accusations of plagiarism in her work surfaced. 

That was after she stunned lawmakers by refusing to say in her testimony before Congress whether calls for the genocide of Jews violated Harvard’s code of conduct.

The headline accusing conservatives of “weaponizing” plagiarism was so ludicrous that AP was subjected to a barrage of ridicule as soon as it posted the story on X.

Comments in community notes quickly illustrated how far AP had strayed from reality.  Elon Musk accurately observed that AP had a bad case of woke mind virus.

The AP was shamed into changing the headline a day later (Plagiarism charges downed Harvard’s president. A conservative attack helped to fan the outrage) but without issuing a correction notice or posting any explanation.   

A spokesperson for AP merely said, “The story doesn’t meet our standards,” without bothering to explain or apologize. 

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Bold 2024 Predictions from State Media
A woke paradise, edible bugs, cannibalism, the end of world hunger, your duty to vote for better weather, and a chat with your dog
By Garth Kant
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A veiled prediction that Ohio will turn from red to blue.

Or bluer. 

Bluish, maybe.

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A Statehouse Christmas Story
By John Fortney
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Charles Dickens, Governor Thomas Corwin. and former U.S. Chief Justice Salmon Chase star in our President’s Podcast Christmas story.

Join us for a ghosts of Christmas past stagecoach ride of a Christmas tale told by Chris Matheney, the Historic Site Manager for the Ohio Statehouse. 

Charles Dickens originally had an Ebenezer Scrooge opinion of Ohio in the mid-1800’s, but like his main character in “A Christmas Carol,” his thoughts softened over time.

Today’s live streamed holiday choirs, and LED adorned tree lighting ceremonies of Christmas present, make us thankful for the Christmas spirit that was covered softly by the gas lighting, no pun nor pudding intended, of the 19th Century.

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SAVE WOMEN'S SPORTS ACT IS ABOUT PROTECTING EQUAL RIGHTS
Guaranteeing fairness, safety, and dignity for all girls and women
By Kristina D. Roegner
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The Save Women’s Sports Act is about something much bigger than sports.

It’s about protecting the most fundamental right in America – equality under the law.

It’s about ensuring equality and fairness for every girl and woman in Ohio. 

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"Courage is Contagious"
Riley Gaines encourages girls to be brave and testifies in support of the Save Women's Sports Act
By The Editors
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Editor's note: Following the Senate's passage of House Bill 68 the bill now awaits the signature of the governor. Watch Senate President Huffman and Riley Gaines discuss the importance of this critical issue in the President's Podcast.
 

Riley Gaines has a message for girls and women in Ohio and across America. 

“Understand that courage is contagious. One person speaking up can inspire so many.”

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False Headlines on Bill Protecting Children and Women's Sports
Our State Media Gets It All Wrong...Again
By John Fortney
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This week the Ohio Senate passed House Bill 68, which does two things.

It protects women’s sports, by making sure women compete against women. And it protects children from radical sex change procedures.

That’s it.

But if you just read the headlines from Ohio’s newsrooms and didn’t know anything about the bill you’d think the legislation banned athletes from sports and banned treatment for children suffering from behavioral disorders. 

That would be a lie.

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REYNOLDS HOSTS LIMA HEARING ON INCREASING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN OHIO
Select Committee on Housing Holds Hearings Around the State
By The Editors
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If you’ve been looking to buy a house you’ve seen some of the challenges in Ohio’s housing market from a very personal level.

Those challenges range from limited homes for sale, condition, and the climbing cost of home ownership.

If you’re renting, you’ve probably seen many of the same issues.

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Making Ohio the Best Place to Live in the World
Historically improving quality of life while turning our state into a world class economic powerhouse
By The Editors
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“The Ohio General Assembly could be in for its least productive year, in terms of passing bills into law, since at least 1955, state records show.” –  Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 10, 2023 

And now for the real news. 

The last two General Assemblies under Senate President Matt Huffman have been extraordinarily productive by any objective standard. 

More than seven out of ten bills passed with bipartisan support last General Assembly – that’s risen to 85% this term.

The current General Assembly is investing an unprecedented $86.1B to build an extraordinary foundation for the state's bright future.

There is a wealth of beneficial but unpublicized features in House Bill 33, the FY24-25 Main Operating Budget, passed by both chambers.

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My Bill to Reform Higher Education is One Big Step Closer to Becoming Law
Senate Bill 83 Defies Media Predictions and is Approved by Key Committee
By Jerry C. Cirino
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The widespread media reports of the death of Senate Bill 83 were greatly exaggerated.

In fact, the Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act took a major step toward becoming law on Tuesday when it was approved by the House Higher Education Committee. 

We now look forward to Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens bringing SB 83 up for a floor vote so it can be approved by a majority of representatives and become law as soon as possible.

I sponsored this legislation to meet an urgent need to restore basic freedoms and education fundamentals at Ohio’s 14 public universities and colleges.

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Brian Chavez fills Vacant 30th District Senate Seat
By The Editors
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The Ohio Senate enthusiastically welcomed Brian Chavez as the new senator for Ohio's 30th District on Wednesday. Chavez is an extremely accomplished executive in the energy industry who lives in Reno, Ohio.

Chavez will serve the remainder of former Senator Frank Hoagland's term and then run for a full four-year term in November of 2024. Senator Hoagland retired December 1st.

“I’m humbled and honored to have been selected to serve the hardworking people of Ohio’s 30th Senate District," said Chavez. "I’ve long admired Senator Frank Hoagland, and I hope to build upon his successes. Our area of the state has unique challenges and opportunities."

"I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Ohio Legislature to focus on the job of representing this region, and I’m ready to get to work!”

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Increasing Affordable Housing in Ohio
Reynolds to Hold Series of Meetings Around the State
By The Editors
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Ohio's Republican Senators understand the affordable housing challenges facing people who live in the country are far different than those experienced by people in our cities.

That’s why Senator Michele Reynolds, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Housing, decided to hold a series of meetings around Ohio. 

Committee members are traveling across the state to hear directly from the people living in the countryside to the cityscape about the particular housing issues and challenges they face.

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A Time for Leadership
Passing the Higher Education Enhancement Act Will Help Secure the American Dream for Generations
By Jerry C. Cirino
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We have an extraordinary opportunity right now to help secure a great future for our children and untold generations of Ohioans to come. 

It is right in our hands. All we have to do is turn the key.

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Why DEI Must Go
Professors and Higher Education Experts Detail how Ideology is Sabotaging Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity on Campus
By John Fortney
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In October, Senator Cirino and Senate President Matt Huffman welcomed trustees from all 14 of Ohio’s public universities to the first Ohio Public University Trustee Governance Symposium at the Ohio Statehouse. 

Watch our series of stories featuring professors and experts in higher education talk about the danger of DEI mandates in faculty hiring.

Diversity has all but disappeared in the form of intellectual diversity on campus as group think has turned into discriminatory practices of alienating and cancelling those with opposing viewpoints as outcasts and racists.

Watch respected Ohio University Professor Richard Vedder highlight the need for trustees to utilize a professional outside of the president’s office to help make independent and objective decisions for the future of their universities. 

Hear from Senator Cirino and President Huffman about the mission of the General Assembly is helping reform higher education to make sure it is truly working for the people of Ohio.

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The Growing Danger of Kristallnacht on Campus
Chilling Displays of Hate Show Why We Need Senate Bill 83
By Jerry C. Cirino
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We are witnessing a major reason Senate Bill 83 is needed in Ohio now. 

Kristallnacht on campus is dangerously close to becoming a reality.

The nationwide support for Hamas on campus and in the streets after the attack on Israel has been a shocking wakeup call for liberals.

They are especially stunned to find so many fellow leftists supporting the attackers. 
 
Liberals ask themselves, how did such a virulent antisemitism become so widespread within the ranks of the left?

DEI is a prime reason.

The practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has become gospel on campus. It is more like a cancer, according to someone who should know.

Tabia Lee wrote, “As a black woman, I was the perfect person for the job” as director of the DEI department at Silicon Valley’s De Anza College. 

But Lee ran into a brick wall when she tried to address rampant antisemitism on campus. She was called a “dirty Zionist.”

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Honoring Those Who Passed Too Soon
Senator Landis Expresses Heartfelt Support for Community after Deadly Bus Crash
By The Editors
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The Tusky Valley community is suffering immense grief after a horrific accident killed six people.

Traveling to Columbus so that band members could perform at the Ohio School Boards Association Conference, three students from Tuscarawas Valley High School in a charter bus were killed in the crash on Interstate 70 in Licking County on Tuesday, as were three adult chaperones affiliated with the school. 15 students were hospitalized.

Investigators believe a tractor-trailer struck a vehicle, causing a chain reaction accident involving the bus carrying more than 50 people, an SUV carrying chaperones, and other vehicles. The crash and resulting fire were so horrendous that nearly two dozen fire crews and numerous police agencies responded.

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Making Sure You Know Who You are Voting For
Senate Bill 80 Will Bring Clarity to Elections for Judges
By Theresa Gavarone
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Ohio’s statewide judicial elections needed a change: clarity for voters.

I sponsored Senate Bill 80 with Senator Cirino last General Assembly because Ohio Supreme Court and district courts of appeals races lacked basic transparency. The bill ensures a candidate’s party affiliation is next to their name on the ballot, whether they be a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. 

Before SB 80 took effect, Ohio was the one of the only states in the country that ran partisan primary elections for judicial races but “non-partisan” general elections.

That old system was dishonest and deceptive to Ohio voters. 

Judicial races are partisan. Candidates must win partisan primaries, and parties endorse candidates and give them resources to win. These candidates go to Republican or Democrat dinners and knock on doors alongside other party members.

Ohioans care about these facts. The average voter is aided at the ballot box by knowing the party affiliation of a potential Ohio Supreme Court justice or appellate court judge. 

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A Must Watch President's Podcast
Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman discusses the implications of the passage of Issue 1 and Issue 2
By John Fortney
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When the legacy media narrative becomes the story.

This week, a must watch President’s Podcast focusing on election night.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman talks about the passage of Issue 1 and Issue 2.

His statement on Issue 1 caused quite a social media meltdown as the legacy media read meaning into the statement that simply wasn’t there.

Plus, what he thinks will happen at some point that’ll change hearts and minds about abortion in Ohio.

Then, what changes are coming to Issue 2, Ohio’s new recreational marijuana law.

President Huffman talks about some of the big changes the Senate may make to the newly passed statute that big marijuana won’t like, from removing sweetheart deals on tax rates to defining a poorly written section of the statue requiring a minimum amount of THC of 35%  rather than a cap of 35%.

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Hoagland to Retire from the Senate
"In addition to his expertise, he brought a genuine caring and sense of humor that we will miss"
By The Editors
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Ohio Senator Frank Hoagland announced his retirement from the Senate with his resignation to take effect December 1st.
 
“It has been an honor to serve with my colleagues in the Ohio Senate,” said Senator Hoagland. “From serving my country as a SEAL in the United States Navy, to serving my neighbors in the 30th Senate District, my heart will always be loyal to my country and to my state.”
 
Senator Hoagland spent a career in the U.S. Navy and continued to fight for his fellow veterans by securing funding for key mental health and rehabilitation programs in the state budget.

“I’m honored to call Senator Hoagland a colleague and a friend,” said Senate President Matt Huffman. “Frank brought a unique understanding to the job which was very helpful and enlightening to our caucus on a range of topics. In addition to his expertise, he brought a genuine caring and sense of humor that we will miss," said President Huffman. "He is a true hero in every sense of the word."

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President Huffman Honored as a Defender of Limited Government
"It is very rare for leadership to get awards from us"
By The Editors
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Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman has been named a Defender of Limited Government by the Institute for Legislative Analysis (ILA).

A spokesperson for the Institute says "it is very rare for leadership to get awards from us" and calls this the "the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted on the Ohio legislature."

"I've stood for limited government and have fought to defend our Constitution my entire career," said President Huffman.

"Ohioans are reaping the rewards of the legislature cutting regulations, supporting educational choice, and promoting and protecting individual liberties,” he added. “This award demonstrates these successes, and we look forward to many more here in the Buckeye State."

Limiting government by cutting bureaucratic red tape has helped President Huffman and his GOP colleagues in the Ohio Senate pursue their goal of making Ohio the best place to do business.

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How Our College Campuses Became Hotbeds of Antisemitism
DEI bureaucrats are horrifically misleading students into supporting terrorists like Hamas
By The Editors
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While most Americans grieve and reel in horror after the brutal massacre of Israelis, a shocking number of students and faculty on our college campuses are cheering on Hamas – while oppressing, alienating, and verbally assaulting Jewish students.

These are the fruits of DEI indoctrination on campus. The far left’s hateful bigotry is becoming clear for all to see, and it is stunning many who had no idea how bad it has become.  

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) have coordinated multiple protests across dozens of American university campuses. SJP’s national chapter called Hamas’ terror attack a “historic win” for the “Palestinian resistance.” 

These students have the absolute right to speak freely. But the rest of us are free to judge them based on their words and deeds. These protests and other actions at our colleges show that anti-Semitism is a growing threat on campus. Many of our Jewish college students are alarmed. 

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Protecting Intellectual Diversity on college campuses
Public University Trustee Symposium believed to be the first-ever event of its kind in Ohio
By The Editors
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The Ohio Senate held the first Ohio Public University Trustee Governance Symposium this week at the Ohio Statehouse. University trustees from around the state were reacquainted with the idea that the faculty and president of a university works for the trustees and not the other way around.

Watch our two stories highlighting an eye opening panel of respected leaders and professors who talk about the censorship of those who dare disagree with accepted liberal orthodoxy, and what the Senate wants to do to make sure trustees have the resources needed to truly make their universities accountable to the people of Ohio.

Click on this story to see the links to the videos.

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Ohio Public University Trustee Governance Symposium
Empowering Ohio's Public University Boards of Trustees to Lead their Campuses into the Future
By John Fortney
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The Ohio Senate hosted the very first Ohio Public University Trustee Governance Symposium at the Ohio Statehouse in October. Trustees from all 14 of Ohio’s Public Universities attended and listened to important panel discussions and debates ranging from protecting intellectual diversity on campus, hiring practices and what needs to change to make sure trustees are actually making the best decisions for their universities that serve the people of Ohio.

Watch our new video with Professor Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Ohio University as he reinforces the idea of why policies and procedures need to be updated to make sure trustees are getting all of the relevant information needed to make vital decisions for the future of their campuses.

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The Effort to Censor and Deplatform Political Speech
By John Fortney
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I know we must be doing something right when coastal elitists, statehouse liberals, and the billion-dollar abortion industry generate a national media hit piece attacking our little online newsroom, On The Record – The Views the News Excludes.

It took just five editions of OTR to generate a national story by the Associated Press hinging on three transparently far-left sources accusing us of “unprecedented” misinformation.

What stories could possibly generate this type of meteoric meltdown of breathless indignation?

Abortion. Specifically, the radical attempt to enshrine abortion on demand in Ohio’s Constitution, driven by the real misinformation of the Issue 1 campaign supporting the ballot initiative.

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Our Response to the Associated Press on the Abortion Amendment
Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: AP knowingly published fake news about Issue 1
By Michele Reynolds
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Editor’s Note:  Even though the vote on this issue did not go our way, we are keeping this piece posted on OTR so readers can see for themselves whether the author's predictions following the vote come true.

We have a professional duty and a moral obligation as members of the Ohio State Senate to explain our ideas, actions, and policies to voters.

We can’t do that effectively if the state media censors us.

The newspapers claim they don’t censor us – but they don’t tell you about the editorials they refuse to run. Critics say the papers won’t run our editorials because they have “misinformation.” 

Really?  The Columbus Dispatch refused to run an editorial that expressed our belief that men can’t have babies. Does that sound like misinformation to you?

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Abortion is Killing the Black Community 
This is not healthcare - this is extermination
By Michele Reynolds
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Editor’s Note:  Even though the vote on this issue did not go our way, we are keeping this piece posted on OTR so readers can see for themselves whether the author's predictions following the vote are coming true.

Abortion is killing the black community.

The abortion industry has nefarious roots in hatred and racism. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a eugenicist who systematically targeted “inferior races” for decades. She opened her first clinic in a black neighborhood in Brooklyn.

This horrific moment was just the beginning. Abortion is still a lucrative business scheme in America.

Since 1973, this predatory industry has claimed the lives of 20 million black children in the nation.

Ohio’s black women and babies have felt this evil year after year. And it continues today.

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ISSUE 1 WOULD BE THE MOST RADICAL PRO-ABORTION LAW, EVER
Abortion on demand at any time for any reason...no matter what
By Kristina D. Roegner
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Editor’s Note:  Even though the vote on this issue did not go our way, we are keeping this piece posted on OTR so readers can see for themselves whether the author's predictions following the vote are coming true.

The proposed constitutional amendment Issue 1 on the November ballot would give Ohio the most radical pro-abortion law in the nation.

This is why I rose to speak on the Senate floor last week in support of Resolution 215, which opposes Issue 1 on the November ballot.

If Issue 1 becomes a constitutional amendment it would permanently:

  • Remove virtually all limits on abortions.
  • Legalize abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Give Planned Parenthood the power to make life and death decisions.

That’s because this proposal has a catastrophic defect:  it is not specific enough to identify what will actually happen if it becomes law. 

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Abortion Amendment is too Radical for the Mainstream Media
By Michele Reynolds
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Editor’s Note:  Even though the vote on this issue did not go our way, we are keeping this piece posted on OTR so readers can see for themselves whether the author's predictions following the vote are coming true.

Issue 1 is not only the most radical pro-abortion proposal in our nation’s history – it has hidden dangers permitting atrocities that would make it the most gruesome law we have ever seen.

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SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION PROTECTING LIFE
By The Editors
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The Senate approved Senate Resolution 215 this week, expressing the chamber’s opposition to Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot this November that would remove the current laws protecting children, women, and families. 

It would also permanently enshrine in our state’s constitution abortion-on-demand through all nine months.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Michele Reynolds. 

"Human life is precious – at all stages – and must be protected," said Roegner. "Issue 1 is dangerous and irresponsible. It would undermine the current rights and protections of unborn children, women and parents." 

"The abortion industry has dark roots in hatred and racism, resulting in 20 million black children’s lives being taken since 1973. The black community accounts for just over 13% of Ohio’s population, yet according to the Ohio Department of Health, 48.4% of abortions in Ohio were performed on Black women," Reynolds said. "This issue has a profound impact on black children and families. We must remember protecting life is about equal protection under the law and the right to live."   Watch Senator Reynolds' moving floor speech.

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Protecting Ohio's Future
The Case Against Recreational Marijuana Legalization
By Mark Romanchuk
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Editor’s Note:  Even though the vote on this issue did not go our way, we are keeping this piece posted on OTR so readers can see for themselves whether the author's predictions following the vote are coming true.

The $30 billion-dollar commercial marijuana industry is following Big Tobacco’s model of maximizing profits by getting more and more people addicted to its products. Ohioans now find themselves in the marijuana industry’s crosshairs—with a choice to make. 

After the marijuana industry wrote its own law to legalize marijuana for recreational use, then paid to get it on the state’s Nov. 7 statewide ballot, Ohioans will be the ones who decide if casual, non-medical marijuana use should become legal and if new marijuana farms and stores should be allowed to open across the state. 

Do we go the way of states like Colorado and Washington that legalized recreational marijuana almost a decade ago and are now suffering the consequences or join the recent wave of states that have rejected it, after learning the lessons of the earlier states’ failed experiments? 

My 22 colleagues in the Ohio Senate and I believe this blatant cash grab should be rejected. That is why we voted for Senate Resolution 216, urging citizens to join us in rejecting this sweetheart deal for the marijuana industry.

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Standing With Our Jewish Neighbors
Here at Home and in Israel
By John Fortney
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There are moments in our lives when we will always remember exactly where we were and how we felt when the unthinkable happened.

The Greatest Generation will always remember Pearl Harbor.

Years later, 9-11 burned an image into our hearts and rallied every neighborhood from coast to coast to fly the American Flag from their homes as the Global War on Terror began.

Saturday’s ambush terror attack by Hamas on Israeli families was truly evil. Imagine armed terrorists storming your neighborhood, executing your neighbors, killing moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and defenseless babies.

If you’re furious you should be. This week the Ohio Senate condemned the attacks conducted by Hamas and supported by Iran in the strongest terms by unanimously passing Senate Resolution 214.

The message was sent to the United States Congress and to the President of The United States expressing our steadfast support of Israel.

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Ohio and Israel
Allies for Life
By Theresa Gavarone
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My heart is broken for our friends in Israel. The terror launched upon the innocent families, mothers, fathers, children, and defenseless babies is pure evil. I’m proud that my colleagues in the Ohio Senate passed a resolution standing firm with the sovereign nation of Israel and with our Jewish neighbors here at home.

Just last year I joined a trip with members of the Ohio General Assembly to Israel. I learned so much, as our hosts revealed to us the latest in Israeli ingenuity in everything from medical technology to defense systems, and how they educate their youth.

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OHIO SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING ISRAEL
By The Editors
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On Saturday, October 7th 2023, Hamas carried out an unprovoked attack on the state of Israel.  

Terrified Israelis awoke that morning to terrorists executing an intricately planned, coordinated attack by land, sea, and air. 

The Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 214 this week, condemning the unprovoked attack on Israel by Hamas and those supporting their invasion and atrocities.

This resolution declares our unwavering and unequivocal support for the Israeli people as they defend themselves against this unjustifiable and atrocious attack.

The stunning reports of atrocities, including the kidnapping of civilians, the rape of girls and women, and beheading of babies has revolted the entire civilized world.

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Sorry, It's Not Cancel Culture When People Supporting Mass Murder Get Fired
Republished with Permission of the Author
By Mark Weaver
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Editor's Note from John Fortney: The following column is republished with permission of the author and was originally published online by Newsweek. Mark R. Weaver is an attorney and communications consultant who previously served as the Deputy Attorney General of Ohio. 

Most law students like to argue. But there are some who, after cheering recent atrocities by Hamas terrorists, argued themselves out of a job. As proof that irony is taught in law school even though it's not a listed course, one law student claimed that Israel "bears the full responsibility" for the butchery of Israeli women and children but now seems unwilling to take responsibility for her own statement. So a law firm did it for her and revoked her job offer.

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SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION OPPOSING BALLOT INITIATIVE LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
By The Editors
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The Senate passed Senate Resolution 216 this week detailing our opposition to Issue 2, the proposed initiated statute on the November ballot that would legalize the use and retail sale of recreational marijuana.

Issue 2 was written by the commercial marijuana industry to put their profits over people. Ohio already leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death by injury in Ohio, and 33,000 Ohioans have died of drug overdoses since 2011. 

Issue 2 will allow the marijuana industry to capitalize on addiction and turn it into profit.

"This statute was written by the marijuana industry to line their pockets, not help Ohioans," Romanchuk said. "This proposal adds fuel to the fire of our current addiction crisis, and we know from other states that have legalized marijuana use that traffic deaths, crime, and workplace accidents rise. Issue 2 is a bad deal for Ohio." 

"They must've been smoking dope when they wrote it," said Senator Johnson who is a doctor and former county coroner.  

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Voter Registration Fix Moves Ohio into the 21st Century
By Michele Reynolds
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As the primary sponsor of SB 147, effectively known as The Voter Registration Modernization Act, I am committed to delivering results for my constituents. This voter friendly bill was inspired by new American voters in my district who raised the question of how to declare party affiliation in Ohio. Many of them, who are excited to participate in free and fair elections, didn’t understand why the only way to become a Democrat or Republican in Ohio is to choose a partisan ballot in a primary election in even numbered years. 

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Rapid Response
Shooting Down Media's Absurdity Du Jour
By The Editors
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10/12/2023

Who's the Real Fascist?

This cleveland.com podcast "Today in Ohio" featured the following quotes from the paper’s editor yesterday.

“Typical Jerry Cirino. Trying to grab headlines and not really doing the work.” Translation: Typical of the paper’s editor who just likes to hear the sound of his own voice, and puts zero work into learning what the facts are.

“You know he’s got the bill that ... would turn college campuses into almost fascist states.” Translation: The editor wouldn’t know the difference between fascism and freedom if he was educated in a gulag.

The truth is Senate Bill 83 addresses the silencing of opinions by campus organizations or faculty and truly provides for a freedom of thought on campuses, regardless of what the editor of a newspaper tries to censor.

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Tracing the Fake News Money Trail
How Billionaire Globalists are paying to put far-left propaganda in Ohio's Mainstream Newsrooms
By Garth Kant
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You might be surprised to learn that woke billionaires George Soros and Bill Gates, and other rich leftists, are paying journalists to write fake news about Ohio politics. 

And this fake news can end up on a Cleveland television news website and in the biggest newspaper in the state.

Communications Director John Fortney introduced us to some of these tentacles of the Soros-Gates octopus last week in his story, “Legacy Loss.”

Here's how it works – the fake news money trail in 5 steps:

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Legacy Loss
Slow Death of Legacy Newsrooms Feeds Rise of Privately Funded Operations Disguised as News
By John Fortney
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The vacuum left by the loss and downsizing of legacy print and broadcast newsrooms has emboldened privately funded far left groups to fill the void with newsrooms in name only.

These are nothing more than on-line attack blogs aimed directly at conservative legislatures and elected officials.

In Ohio, that operation is called the Ohio Capital Journal.

Influence Watch pointed out the online publication’s self-described “left leaning” slant that offers “principled progressive commentary.”

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When a Large Newspaper Embraces a Race-Based Agenda
Cleveland Plain Dealer goes all in on identity politics as foundation of coverage
By John Fortney
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If you, like so many others, question whether your local newspaper is relevant to your neighborhood and your life, look no further than what the Cleveland Plain Dealer and its online arm cleveland.com announced this week.

The editor wrote a column outlining a new directive requiring reporters to retrieve race-based research on the people they interview.  I’m not kidding. Read all about it here.

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Why I Sponsored Bill to Restructure Ohio's K-12 School System
By Bill Reineke
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Editor's Note: We submitted this column to the Toledo Blade three weeks ago. We never heard back from them. 

When I first became a state representative 7 years ago, I preemptively met with my local school officials to discuss their issues and concerns for our children, including getting our kids active and engaged in their futures by investigating career options. 

Consequently, I became involved in education, never thinking that severe problems existed within the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). I was wrong.

I next sat down at ODE to learn how our education system works. There, I was stunned to discover Ohio’s abysmal remediation rate. 1 in 5 Ohio students need math or English remediation when they head to college, meaning these new adults do not have the skills they need to succeed in college or life. 

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Who Appointed All the State Media's Experts?
By Sandra O'Brien
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The media’s so-called experts were wrong. Again. Defying their predictions of gloom and doom, the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed new state legislative maps unanimously with a bipartisan vote on September 26.

Prior to that, the media had trotted out its panel of self-appointed “experts” from its unanimously liberal corner to weigh in on the subject. God save us from self-appointed experts. Who are these paragons of virtue always ready with an opinion on all things political? What makes them experts, other than self-acclaim? Let's look at three of the loudest voices in the liberal corner regarding redistricting.

First, we have former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor. O'Connor, who finds herself suddenly on the fast track to canonization by the Democrats, is suddenly an expert on redistricting. She has even proposed a remedy and I would urge everyone to read it. It is what those of us with an agricultural background would call a "pig's breakfast."  The more you know what's in it, the less you like it. 

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My Bill Could Make College Much More Affordable
Three-Year Degrees Should be a Realistic Option for Ohioans
By Jerry C. Cirino
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As a proud grandfather, it’s been my pleasure to witness some of my 37 grandkids begin attending Ohio’s best universities. Higher education can bestow countless rewards for the next generation—including critical thinking skills, pathways to fulfilling employment, and an overall better quality of life. 

But the cost of college can put a nearly unbearable burden on our students. Enormous student loans have become the new norm because of an egregiously expensive four years. Ohio is the 11th state in the nation for student loan debt load. We need to look at the root of the problem: what factors are driving the exorbitant cost of a modern education?

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THE EDITORAL THE MEDIA DID NOT WANT YOU TO READ
By Jerry C. Cirino
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It was beneath the dignity of the New Yorker Magazine to spend 6,800+ words on the half-truths and blatant falsehoods in a hit-piece on Ohio’s political leadership in the article “State Legislatures Are Torching Democracy.” 

Making matters worse, the Plain Dealer (owned by the same company as the New Yorker) thought it wise to promote the magazine’s misrepresentations by doing its own story on the article, titled, “Ohio’s gerrymandered legislature draws unfavorable national media attention.” 

Even more egregious, Editor Chris Quinn offered a full-throated endorsement of the New Yorker article in the Plain Dealer’s podcast on August 10, claiming, “This is a good piece,” and, “Everything in the article is true.” That is demonstrably false.  

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Cancel Culture Cancer on Campus
Students Feel Ostracized and Attacked at Ohio Universities
By The Editors
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Ohio, we have a problem.

Our public universities have become hotbeds of censorship and bastions of cancel culture. 

Too many of our students are living in fear of retaliation if they dare speak their minds.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression recently released their 2024 College Free Speech Rankings. This yearly study uncovers how open students are to expressing their thoughts on campus.

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Who Are The Real Extremists?
By Sen. Theresa Gavarone
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The left loves to call the right extremists. Radicals. Outside the mainstream. Just one problem with that in Ohio. Voters keep electing Republicans. Does that make Ohio voters extremists, too? Don't laugh —  that's exactly what leftists think.

In his column after another GOP landslide victory last November, the Plain Dealer's Brent Larkin bitterly lectured voters, "Ohio's legislature is one of the nation's most extremist." But, who are the real extremists?

The vast majority of Americans who embrace traditional values or the party that thinks men can have babies?

  • The party that thinks boys should compete with girls in sports?
  • That babies are born racist?
  • That concerned parents are domestic terrorists?
  • The party that teaches sexual politics to kindergartners?

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Why We Are Launching On The Record
Pushing Back on a Troubling Trend in Today's Newsrooms
By John Fortney
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Narratives instead of news. That's the headline that best describes most of today's mainstream media.

They will not tell you the real story.

So, we will.

Everyone knows the reporting in Ohio's major newspapers has a left-wing bias. Their editorials read like Democratic Party press releases attacking and smearing Republicans in the General Assembly.

Worse yet, we now find it increasingly difficult  – nearly impossible  – to get those papers to publish editorials by Republican state senators representing our side of policy debates. The editorial boards' woke gatekeepers make conservatives face additional and ever-changing standards designed to keep us quiet.

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Mainstream Media vs. Mainstream America
"An unregistered lobbying firm for far left politicians"
By Garth Kant
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The editor of the largest newspaper in Ohio has called for the arrest and imprisonment of the President of the Ohio State Senate.

Repeatedly.

His alleged crime? Doing his job. As defined by the state Constitution. Our media finds that intolerable.

While this would strike any reasonable person as absurd, it is the inevitable result of the delusions that have increasingly infected much of the so-called mainstream media for decades. It was only a matter of time until they called for the criminalization of conservatism. They are taking their war nuclear. It's time to fight back.

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How Our State Media Went Mad
They Bought Their Own Big Lie
By Garth Kant
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You expect criticism in politics. It comes with the turf. But this is something new. Something disturbing. Something dark.

Criticism of politicians was mostly confined to the issues back when journalists valued objectivity and generally stuck to facts. Politicians made their case and critics made their rebuttal, all based on the issues. Not anymore. Now it’s personal. Even here in Ohio, the heart of it all. 

The state media’s penchant for character assassination has been growing for some while but their strident opposition to Issue 1 caused them to really lose their marbles. Our woke media mavens ripped off the mask and began screaming in your face. Leftists used to say the personal is political. Now the political is personal.

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Why We Need a Bill to Restore Free Speech on Campus
By Jerry C. Cirino
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Editor’s Note: The Cleveland Plain Dealer refused to publish this editorial because it was too critical of their reporting and commentary. Senate Bill 83 was passed in the Senate and awaits approval in the House.

We sure touched a sore nerve when I introduced my Higher Education Enhancement Act designed to protect academic integrity and free speech on campus at Ohio's public universities and colleges.

Ohio Senate Bill 83 immediately became the target of hysterical and hyperbolic screams of anguish in the form of editorials in the Columbus Dispatch and Youngstown Vindicator, and a thinly disguised opinion piece masquerading as a news story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Let's set the facts straight.

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HOT PODCAST WITH VERY SPECIAL GUEST
The man, the myth, the legend that is Rep. Bill Seitz
By The Editors
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Don’t miss this week’s President’s Podcast.

Senate President Matt Huffman is joined by Representative Bill Seitz, whose floor speeches and service to the people of Cincinnati have reached legendary status.

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Reflections on the Election
Commentary on the Fallout From Issue 1 and Issue 2
By John Fortney
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Early reporting shows 25 counties decided Issue 1. The turnout in metropolitan counties trumped the no votes in the other 63. Ohio's Constitution is an easy target for special interest groups. 

The Issue 1 campaign spent $35 million and counting, funded by wealthy out of state special interests to saturate the airwaves and social media channels with its narrative to sell a very broadly written constitutional amendment that, according to analysis from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, will make abortion available at any stage of pregnancy.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman said on election night, "Life is worth fighting for. As a grandparent of eight, the life of a baby is always worth the fight. The national abortion industry funded by wealthy out-of-state special interests spent millions to pass this radical language that goes far past abortion on demand.  This isn't the end. It is really just the beginning of a revolving door of ballot campaigns to repeal or replace Issue 1."

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Thank You!
By John Fortney
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Thank you for the great response to our debut of On The Record.
A special thanks goes to the legacy media for their meltdown and hit pieces.
You did exactly what we expected.
Thank you for the promotion.
Hugs.
Now on to our second edition.