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Mary Taylor throws her hat in the ring, ready to formally announce gubernatorial candidacy

By Seth A. Richardson • Jul 5, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Today’s roundup includes these topics: Gov. John Kasich on fighting his own party. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor sets an announcement date for her gubernatorial candidacy. Plus, a look at Donald Trump's ongoing Twitter feuds.

Read more below.

Kasich continues criticism: Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been at the forefront of criticizing his party's plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. Martha Raddatz of ABC's This Week sat down with the governor on Sunday to dig a little deeper into why he's bucking the party.

"One party doesn't want to concede anything to the other party because maybe it'll make the bill less, you know, less conservative," Kasich said. "The other party wants the other party to kind of, you know, put their face down in the dirt and say, we failed. I mean, it's silly."

Kasich also wasn't sold on the increase to opioid addiction funding, pointing out that while it might increase by $45 billion over the next 10 years, that only leaves about $1 billion for Ohioans to fight the drug epidemic.

"Look, do you think that I like to have to fight the leaders in my own party over this? Of course not," Kasich said. "There's no joy in that. But John Kennedy may have said it best - sometimes my party asks too much."

Taylor readies for governor race: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Kasich's preferred candidate to replace him, is set to officially announce her candidacy Friday in Cleveland.

As I wrote, Taylor faces an uphill battle with a crowded GOP primary. Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted are the two heavyweights with U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth taking on the Trump mantle.

But Taylor does have a couple of chips to play, chief among those being the governor's backing and a personal connection to the opioid crisis.

Voter fraud: After declining to give some information to President Donald Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Husted appeared on WNYC's The Takeaway and had some thoughts on voter fraud.

"I say this about voter fraud in Ohio: It exists, it's rare and we catch people. We hold them accountable," Husted said.

Husted, who was joined by Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, added that Ohio's system is "pretty good" at catching people, but he would provide the commission with recommendations for the future. One thing he wants is federal funding for new election machines.

He also hypothesized on the likelihood of finding 3 million cases of ineligible votes being cast around the nation, which the Trump administration has claimed.

"When you ask for people to look into something like this, sometimes you might not like the answer that you get," Husted said.

Kasich and schools: Kasich recently line-item vetoed 47 provisions of the Republican budget sent his way, most notably blocking his party's plan to freeze the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion program in the state.

Jeremy P. Kelley of the Dayton Daily News took a look at 11 of the vetoes that affect schools in the state.

Included in those are provisions that would allow schools to give state tests on paper instead of computers and require students to receive a "C" grade on College Credit Plus courses.

Batchelder's back: Former Republican Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder earned himself an appointment from Kasich this week. The governor tapped Batchelder for a spot on the JobsOhio board of directors for a term lasting until 2021.

Batchelder was speaker for the early portion of Kasich's tenure. He left office in 2014.

It's the economy, stupid: Trump campaigned largely on a jobs platform during the election. It's one of the reasons he's credited with winning Ohio by an 8-point margin.

Olivera Perkins of The Plain Dealer examined how Trump's job numbers stack up so far in his administration and found some interesting figures.

Ohio gained 11,700 jobs between January and May, Perkins writes. That's on pace to be lower than 2016, the worst year for job growth since the 2008 financial crisis, according to one critic quoted in the story.

"It is unrealistic to expect a turnaround so early in Trump's presidency, say workers and experts," Perkins writes. "However, they say Trump should be much farther along on making his campaign promises good."

Trump's Twitter: Trump is pretty busy with his Twitter right now. A string of tweets over the past week has devoured any of the empty national political discussion left by the health care debate.

Just as the conflict between Trump and MSNBC's Mika Brzezinksi was cooling down, Trump tweeted a video of himself beating down a man whose face is obscured by the CNN logo.

Joey Morona of cleveland.com rounded up some of the celebrity reaction, which mostly skewed negative.

Though maybe that doesn't matter since it is now Trump's most popular tweet ever, according to NME.

A thought: Trump's tweet comes from his appearance at WrestleMania 23 in what was promoted as the "Battle of the Billionaires."

Without getting too far in the weeds (as much as that can be done for professional wrestling), Trump and WWE owner Vince McMahon - who is a close, personal friend of Trump's — were in a feud onstage. Wrestlers in the ring represented Trump and McMahon and the "loser" would have to shave his head.

The match was guest refereed by none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin. Trump won and shaved McMahon bald.

No, this isn't a pro wrestling newsletter now, but professional wrestling can give some insight into Trump's ascension to the presidency. After all, there is an anti-Trump heel in Appalachian Mountain Wrestling known as the Progressive Liberal who dons Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party apparel.

Trump's a showman at heart and is prone to camera gimmicks to get his name in the headlines. Even as far back as the '80s, Trump was pretending to be his own spokesman named John Barron/John Miller to plant stories.

While a slew of criticism came from both sides of the aisle calling on him to cease the tweeting, Trump loves the limelight so much — even if he's playing the heel — it's unlikely to happen any time in the near future.

During the same match featured in Trump's tweet, he ends up getting a stunner from Stone Cold. Jesse McLaren of Buzzfeed posted a response video that proved quite popular in which Stone Cold's face is obscured by the Department of Justice logo, referencing the ongoing investigation into Trump and his campaign.

This form of political discourse isn't going away any time soon, people.


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