GOV. TED STRICKLAND: A poll last week found Strickland regaining the lead over Republican challenger John Kasich. The Quinnipiac University poll showed the incumbent Democrat back on top by five points, 44-39 percent. Also, the poll showed most voters favoring the job Strickland was doing as governor, 48-40 percent. That’s good news because the last thing Ohio needs in a time of financial distress is to be led by Kasich, who was a managing director in Lehman Brothers’ investment banking division for eight years. Lehman’s failure, which occurred after Kasich had left, helped trigger the 2008 economic meltdown. Still, with 15 percent of voters undecided, ol’ Teddy still has more work to do before November.
TOM BRINKMAN: Let Ohio Votehas asked the Ohio Supreme Court to stop Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s probe into who’s exactly donating to the group. LOV is collecting signatures to force a referendum on Gov. Strickland’s budget provision calling for video slot machines at horse racetracks without a public vote. Many have speculated a casino company that doesn’t want competition from slots funded the effort through a shady Virginia-based firm with extensive GOP ties. Brinkman, the conservative ex-state rep from Mount Lookout who is one of the group’s leaders, claims he doesn’t know where the money is coming from. That sounds as unbelievable as Brinkman’s claims a few years ago he didn’t know it was wrong to alter addresses on petitions seeking to revive Article 12, Cincinnati’s anti-gay law. Why do you fear transparency, Tom?
DAVID KRINGS: The man who served as Hamilton County’s top administrator for 14 years, from 1991-2005, was selected last week to serve on a panel to study and recommend changes to make county government operate more efficiently and effectively. It makes sense. After all, Krings navigated the county’s ship through good times and bad, and had to deal with a wide range of politicians as his bosses, ranging from Bob Bedinghaus to David Pepper. If anyone knows where county bureaucracy can be improved, it’s Krings. Now that he no longer has to worry about public relations, we’re hoping Krings will offer his unvarnished opinions on what works and what doesn’t.
U.S. SENATE: If there’s one thing many liberals and conservative voters can agree on, it’s probably that banks need more regulation and consumers need more protection in financial matters. In light of the 2008 economic meltdown caused by the reckless behavior of large banks, you’d expect this to be a no-brainer. But nope, the Senate Banking Committee has scuttled President Obama’s proposal for an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency, based on opposition from the banking industry. Instead, senators are negotiating placing the function in an existing structure like the Treasury Department or the FDIC, with diminished powers. Spearheading the effort is Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). This is the latest example of why a complete purge in this fall’s Congressional elections might be a good idea.