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Ohio attorneys with experience in FBI investigations of politicians shed light on Trump Mar-a-Lago search: Capitol Letter

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 8/10/2022 Laura Hancock, cleveland.com
Country music superstar Dolly Parton greets the audience during a private luncheon at the Ohio Union on Tuesday. The event, held by Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine (left) and her charitable foundation, celebrated the success of Parton's Imagination Library in Ohio, which DeWine said now sends free books to 48% of all Ohio children under the age of five. "The DeWines -- I love that name, don't you? 'Please pass de wine!'" she joked to laughter from the crowd. © Jeremy Pelzer/cleveland.com/TNS Country music superstar Dolly Parton greets the audience during a private luncheon at the Ohio Union on Tuesday. The event, held by Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine (left) and her charitable foundation, celebrated the success of Parton's Imagination Library in Ohio, which DeWine said now sends free books to 48% of all Ohio children under the age of five. "The DeWines -- I love that name, don't you? 'Please pass de wine!'" she joked to laughter from the crowd.

Rotunda Rumblings

Not so fast: News that the FBI searched ex-President Donald Trump’s Florida home on Monday quickly sent political shockwaves nationwide. But details about the investigation are scant. And as Andrew Tobias writes, recent cases involving high-profile public figures in Ohio show these types of federal investigations can take years to develop, and sometimes have inconclusive results, like in the instance of Cliff Rosenberger, the former Ohio House speaker.

GOPs want answers: Ohio Republican members of Congress expressed outrage over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Monday search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, and said they want U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray to brief Congress on why it occurred, Eaton writes. “Why not talk to President Trump and have him give the information you’re after?” U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan told FoxNews. “This is unbelievable .... We deserve answers now.”

OneOhio, two lawsuits: A pair of court cases accuse the OneOhio Recovery Foundation Board, set up to decide how distribute more than $400 million in opioid settlement money, of violating state open-meetings and public-records law. As Jeremy Pelzer reports, the suits by the drug-policy reform group Harm Reduction Ohio claim their records requests have been ignored and that the group’s president wasn’t allowed to attend a OneOhio board meeting in May. OneOhio claims it’s exempt from open-meetings and public-records laws because it’s a nonprofit, not a government agency.

A recipe for appeals: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Oberlin College doesn’t have to pay a $36 million judgement to a bakery in a defamation case just yet. Both the liberal arts school and Gibson’s Bakery are appealing the case to the Ohio Supreme Court, and no payments will be required until after the appeals process plays out. Laura Hancock writes the case has been a cultural flashpoint among conservatives nationwide against the college.

Piece of the pie: As President Joe Biden signed legislation that would provide $52 billion in semiconductor subsidies and facilitate construction of a massive Intel plant outside of Columbus, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb was on hand to pitch bringing some of those resources to the Cleveland area, Sabrina Eaton reports. “I want to make sure that as Intel makes their investment in Columbus, that Cleveland is at the table, that we get our fair share of resources,” Bibb said.

Hello, Dolly! Pelzer wrote about the visit of country music superstar and philanthropist to the Buckeye State, promoting the Imagination Library with Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. Ohio now has more children than any other state enrolled in the program, in which they receive free monthly books in the mail.

Air cover: A political non-profit with close ties to Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has launched its ads roughing up Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race. The ads from One Nation blame Ryan and other Democrats for national high inflation. But they don’t mention the Senate race, since they’re technically issue-based advocacy, not political ads. The ads are notable because they represent the influx of major national GOP cash that’s meant to try to help Republican J.D. Vance in the face of lagging fundraising.

Harsh spotlight: The Ohio General Assembly got some unfavorable national media attention over the weekend, with the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer publishing a story asserting that the Republican supermajority has made the legislature “a center of extremist legislation” that is “radically out of synch with its constituents” thanks to gerrymandering. As Pelzer writes, an Ohio Senate GOP spokesman responded by calling the New Yorker a “far-left shallow rag of self-congratulatory elitists.” Others noted that Ohio as a whole has moved right in recent years, noting Donald Trump won the state twice and Republicans have held every statewide executive office for more than a decade.

Don’t forget your groceries: Sean McDonnell reports that 42 Kroger stores throughout the state and a Acme Fresh Market in Parma have been preapproved by the state to offer sports betting on kiosks. With sports gaming to begin Jan. 1, the state has awarded licenses to brick-and-mortar sports gambling facilities, web apps and about 1,100 preapproved kiosks.

Attorneys on standby: Kaiser Health News’ Harris Meyer reports that at University Hospitals in Cleveland, an administrator and legal team are on call for OB-GYNs who have questions over whether they can legally perform an abortion, thanks to the so-called fetal “heartbeat” law passed by the Ohio General Assembly. If a woman comes in bleeding, and the fetus has no chance of progressing, a fetal heart tone can continue for hours or days after the complications begin. Contradicting state law is the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986, which requires patients to receive screening and stabilizing treatments, including abortion when necessary, during emergencies. The Biden administration claims this trumps state law.

Semi-educated: Colleges in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana have announced the formation of the Midwest Regional Network to prepare students for jobs in the semiconductor field, WVXU’s Ann Thompson reports. The schools range from Notre Dame to Ohio’s Sinclair Community College to the University of Michigan.

Keep it covered: Kent State University has imposed an indoor mask mandate, due to high COVID-19 transmission levels. This includes its campuses in Trumbull and Salem, according to the Vindicator.

TANF lines: Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order Tuesday divvying up more than $13 million in federal and state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families among 95 programs and organizations around the state.

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned about Michael Lamb of Westlake from his May 16, 2022 financial disclosure statement. Lamb is a Republican who is facing state Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney on Nov. 8 to serve Ohio House District 16, which was newly drawn after redistricting.

1. Lamb reported working in private security and receiving a pension last year. The state doesn’t require candidates to list their salaries unless they are incumbents.

2. His pension is from the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund. He also has an IRA from TDAmeritrade and a 403B annuity with Empower Retirement.

3. At some point in 2021, he owed at least $1,000 to American Express and Capital One.

4. No one owed him any money over $1,000 last year.

5. He holds a license with the state as a security guard.

Straight From The Source

“Ohio is like Kevin Bacon. Everyone has a connection.”

- Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo after attending the White House event where Joe Biden signed legislation to subsidize the semiconductor industry.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit cleveland.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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