Discounting Guns, Abortion, Redistricting and HB6, Cleveland.com and Crain's Endorse Mike DeWine for Governor

But get a load of Ohio's bond rating!

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine - State of Ohio
State of Ohio
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

The editorial boards of both The Plain Dealer / Cleveland.com and Crain's Cleveland Business have endorsed Republican incumbent Mike DeWine for Governor, evidently wooed by his grandfatherly mien and his steady stewardship of the state's economy during the dark early days of the Coronavirus. 

DeWine will face Democratic challenger Nan Whaley in the Nov. 8 election, and polls have consistently shown a substantial advantage for the 75-year-old pro-lifer, despite the supposed groundswell of female voter registration in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson, the June Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

The endorsements from both publications are hard to justify and even harder to explain. Cleveland.com, for example, spent the majority of its editorial articulating how it disagreed with DeWine on virtually everything that matters.

DeWine claimed to support gun reform, but promptly caved to the barbarians in the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law bills authorizing concealed carry without a permit and arming teachers with only 24 hours of training. Cleveland.com didn't like that one bit!

DeWine is a religious, pro-life Republican, but is utterly delusional about the grim prospects for women in the state. He told the editorial board in an interview that in his opinion, the 10-year-old who was raped and had to seek abortion care in Indiana could have received an abortion in Ohio.  In Cleveland.com's opinion, (and in Nan Whaley's, naturally), he's out to lunch.

We mustn't forget DeWine's intimate involvement in HB6, only the biggest racketeering scandal in the state of Ohio's history, on which — let the record reflect — Cleveland.com has reported assiduously for two-plus years. DeWine appointed as Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Sam Randazzo, whose interpretation of the job was to accept $4.3 million in bribes from FirstEnergy and make decisions as directed by his benefactors. Cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn has been howling about the naked corruption of the appointment on the Today in Ohio podcast since news of the scandal first broke. (He talks about "overlords in Columbus" so often that the phraseology made its way to our Today in Ohio Bingo Card!)

"No charges have been filed against Randazzo or DeWine," reads the Cleveland.com endorsement. A slogan for the ages.
 
Crain's, for its part, glossed over. (i.e. didn't mention at all), DeWine's position on guns and abortion, but did concede that as Governor his record was "not perfect."

"His involvement as a commission member in Ohio's botched redistricting effort undercuts his get-it-done image," they wrote. "He also has been cagey about discussing the FirstEnergy/House Bill 6 bribery scandal, which underscores an unfortunate reality of Ohio politics: one party (the Republican Party) has controlled virtually everything at the state level for years, and that's a strong contributing factor to a culture of corruption."

Crain's also said they were "bothered" by the Governor's refusal to debate.

It sure sounds like this guy sucks!

And yet, both publications shrugged and regurgitated generic plaudits about DeWine's competent management during Covid and his role in helping Ohio land major economic development projects. (It's not like DeWine and the Republicans have successfully legislated their way to success, by the way. It's not like they've created a vibrant state where companies and their employees want to relocate. The major reason Intel and Honda and Ford and others have chosen Ohio over other possible relocation sites is because JobsOhio, the quasi-public statewide economic development agency, has thrown millions of dollars at them. Look no further than Aer Lingus, the Irish airline to which JobsOhio contributed more than $9 million, on top of local public subsidies, to secure a direct flight from Cleveland Hopkins to Dublin.)

You know the endorsements are grasping at straws when they  both mention the state's bond rating in its opening paragraphs. Woof.

Endorsements are the products of votes by a publication's editorial board, and a politically "balanced" board should, in theory, result in occasional endorsements on both sides of the political aisle. But what cowardice on display here! Ohio has been ravaged and politically headlocked  by the brazen criminal cabal of Republicans in Columbus, and these publications have reported on their brazen criminality for two years! It's honestly striking to see them ignore or discount the vast portfolio of their own  work and encourage readers to submit to four more years of abuse.

Nan Whaley's campaign has, for the record, been a sad and incoherent dumpster dive. (She recently came out in favor of Issues 1 and 2. wtf?) And it's not as if a Democratic governor would magically fix the Republican stranglehold on the legislature. But it could certainly be a countervailing force.

The overwhelming likelihood is that Whaley will get trounced on Tuesday.  Backing a wicked horse like DeWine is no less shameful because he's liable to win. 

Crain's editor Elizabeth McIntyre announced at a Press Club of Cleveland event last week that the DeWine endorsement would be the publication's last. And in its most recent edition, it published a letter to the editor that criticized them for their position, calling the DeWine endorsement "shockingly dismissive" of the governor's role in statehouse corruption scandals, (HB6, redistricting), and his assent to legislative extremism.

"Not surprisingly, Ohio's brain drain has accelerated and young people are leaving in droves," the letter read. "Much of the responsibility for this lies at DeWine's feet."

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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