March 18, 2024: This week’s editorials from Ohio newspapers


By The Associated Press

Toledo Blade. March 13, 2024.

Editorial: Dolan over MAGA

Ohio should avoid getting sucked down into the mire of baseless conspiracy theories and retribution rhetoric associated with former President Donald Trump and elect Republicans who believe in responsible governance.

A vote for Matt Dolan for the Republican senatorial nomination does that. Mr. Dolan is a state senator from Cuyahoga County, who has conservative opinions on cultural issues, the U.S. southern border, abortion, and federal spending.

What he doesn’t have is a record of endorsing claims of the 2020 election being stolen from Mr. Trump.

Both of Mr. Dolan’s opponents for the GOP nomination have given some level of support to Mr. Trump’s lie about the 2020 election.

There is no credible evidence of votes being changed, moved, stolen, created fraudulently, dragged out from under counters, converted by Chinese hackers, switched by dishonest voting machine makers, or harvested from fake mail-in ballots by election boards.

All such claims, including 61 of them that went to courts, have been found to be without merit.

Ohio does not need a U.S. senator who can so blatantly cast aspersions on the honesty of elections in the United States against evidence that is so massively to the contrary.

Ohio is no longer a bellwether or swing state. Fine. But a primary election in which Bernie Moreno is nominated and a general election that he wins will label Ohio as a MAGA state.

We encourage Republicans to reject the Trumpism of Mr. Moreno and Frank LaRose and nominate a Republican who will bring independent thinking to the U.S. Senate.

Primary elections in Ohio can be voted in by anyone who is willing to be identified, at least until the next federal election, as a Republican.

Lucas County has only one significant Democratic primary to be concerned with — that of Lucas County commission. The choice between state Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson and newly appointed interim Commissioner Anita Lopez is not nearly as important as the choice between Mr. Dolan and the other two would-be U.S. Senators. We have endorsed Ms. Lopez but either would make a good commissioner.

In particular, we urge Republicans to turn out and support Mr. Dolan, but even Democrats should consider the math here. They may think that Mr. Moreno as the nominee would be easier for incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown to defeat.

The reality is that Ohio is decidedly Republican now, and no matter who wins the Republican nomination will be difficult to beat in November with Mr. Trump again on the ballot for president.

Bottom line: Ohio can’t go back to being a swing state. But it can establish itself as the home of independent-minded conservatives, rather than slavish Trump election-deniers.

Get out and cast your vote for Mr. Dolan.


Youngstown Vindicator. March 13, 2024.

Editorial: Fulfill your responsibility and go vote

A week from today, Ohioans will vote in what is being called the 2024 Presidential Primary Election. But many of the other decisions made that day will be far more important on the local level than choosing who will battle it out for their spot in the Oval Office.

March 19 will feature votes for local law enforcement leaders, judges, races for representatives in Columbus and Washington, D.C., levies and other issues (we’re talking schools, fire departments … vital parts of our community).

Absentee ballot applications had to be received by Tuesday. Early in-person voting runs through 5 p.m. Sunday. After that, the polls open for voting in precincts at 6:30 a.m. March 19. Absentee ballots must be received by the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on the day of the election as well.

If you are voting in-person, be certain you know where you will be voting. Check for polling places online or by calling your board of elections.

Do not sit out this election thinking it is “only” a primary. There is too much at stake to leave important decisions to a fraction of the eligible voting population.

In the Nov. 7, 2023, election, statewide voter turnout in Ohio was 49.63%. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, that means 3,964,530 people decided matters for a state with a population of 11,785,935.

If you are a registered voter, fulfill your responsibility to your community, your state and your country. Do not let the few decide the fate of the many. Vote.


Sandusky Register. March 12, 2024.

Editorial: Public access to public records

Open records: It’s a fundamental right in our republic and a key to rooting out government corruption.

This week, March 10-16, is Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide effort to celebrate public record access and educate about the importance of maintaining open government and records access.

It’s a message we wholeheartedly support, as transparency in government agencies — which receive funding from taxpayers — requires public oversight to ensure that public money is not being misused or wasted and to ensure that these agencies are following the letter of the law. Easy access to public records seems an obvious necessity to us.

But do U.S. states seem to get that message? Apparently, most don’t.

A review by the Associated Press and CNHI News found that less than one-third of U.S. states do not have agencies to resolve public records disputes and issue rulings, including rulings to compel the release of records. Ohio is among the two-thirds that lack such an agency; On the contrary, neighboring Pennsylvania is one of the few that does.

A recent AP article highlights one such example out of Alabama, where a nurse filed a records request to learn how much money the executives at her hospital were earning annually. The not-for-profit hospital, in Huntsville, which has a public board, argued that its top officials’ salaries were confidential and not subject to a records request.

“(The nurse’s) predicament represents what experts say is a fundamental breakdown of American democracy: the fact that, in most states, the most effective — and often only — option for residents to resolve open government disputes is to sue,” the article states.

Litigating to compel public agencies to follow the law is not in the spirit of open records and transparency in government.

This example is not unique. We too, at the Register, have had similar simple public records requests denied, or ignored, by public agencies and officials.

We encourage the heads of all local and state government agencies to take the time to review Ohio’s public records law — ORC 149.43 — and understand their responsibilities to provide records under it.

When questions of public interest and involving public money are at hand, government agencies must follow the law and show their hand. There is no space to keep secrets.

Know your records access rights

All Ohioans are permitted to request public records, with certain exceptions, under Ohio Revised Code Section 149.41 — “Availability of public records for inspection and copying.”

We encourage all to know that this is their right, and they should exercise it whenever they wish to do so.

The law applies to all public offices — that includes police departments, municipal governments, state offices, etc.

Examples of requestable records include:

• Initial police reports

• Payroll records

• Written/email correspondence

• Government contracts

• And many more

If you want to know more about Ohio’s public records law, visit this website:


Marietta Times. March 14, 2024.

Editorial: Funding must help all Ohio children

Given the degree to which many Ohio politicians strain to show their desire to protect and support children and families, it is encouraging to see at least some money being put where their mouths are.

Ohio’s Departments of Health and Children and Youth have awarded $5 million to 19 community- and faith-based organizations that support pregnant women and “newly-parenting families.”

It is worth noting that none of that money is going to organizations in the Mid-Ohio Valley, though perhaps we will see some benefit from the nearly $350,000 going to the statewide Baby’s 1st Network to “Provide safe sleep and breastfeeding information, and convene birthing professionals, community-based home visitors, early childcare providers, and representatives from community-based organizations.”

In 2021, Ohio had an infant mortality rate of 6.9 per 1,000 live births. That is equivalent to Lebanon, and HIGHER than countries such as Sri Lanka, Russia, China, Malaysia, Romania or Slovakia, to name a few. It’s higher than the U.S. average of 5.1 (which is, itself, pathetic when compared with the 1.5 deaths per 1,000 births recorded by Singapore and Slovenia, which stand at the top of the list).

“Giving all Ohioans the best possible start in life truly begins before a child is even born, and that means ensuring the child’s family has access to the resources and support they need,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

“These grant funds are much needed and will go a long way in supporting and advancing maternal and infant health throughout Ohio,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff. “These funds will expand the reach of important programs, information, and guidance in areas critical to the health and well-being of our youngest Ohioans, including prenatal care, breastfeeding and nutrition, and stress management, as well as connect families to other health and social resources vital to their success.”

It is a wonderful start. The challenge now is to ensure funding is spread throughout the state so such support is available to all.

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