Probable Cause Found in Blystone Financial-Reporting Probe; Election Commission Books Expedited Hearing One Day Before Election

Joe Blystone

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) found probable cause to further investigate and decide two complaints filed against Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone’s campaign and booked a full-panel hearing for May 2, one day before the primary election.

Thursday, a Probable Cause panel comprised of commissioners D. Michael Crites (R), Charleta B. Tavares (D) and Ernest C. Knight (I) voted unanimously on an expedited investigation into cases that allege the Canal Winchester farmer and restauranteur improperly reported campaign contributions and expenditures and spent campaign funds for personal use.

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OH-9 Incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur Facing Uphill Battle for Re-election

OH-9 incumbent Democrat U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur is facing an uphill battle in her campaign for reelection.

Prior to redistricting, Ohio’s Ninth Congressional district was considered a safe seat for the current Democrat occupant. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight gave OH-9 a partisan rating of D+16. It now gives the district a R+6 rating.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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Analysis: Wisconsin Among the Top Governor’s Races to Watch This Year

Democrats four years ago rode a blue wave to governors’ mansions across the country, flipping Republican-held seats in the Midwest, Northeast and West alike.

Now, however, many of those governors face Republican challengers amid a political environment that looks potentially promising for the GOP, meaning that contentious races may lie ahead in some of the nation’s most pivotal battleground states. Republicans have already had two strong showings in states that lean Democratic, flipping the governor’s seat in Virginia and coming surprisingly close in New Jersey, a state that voted for President Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020.

Governors in less competitive states are also facing primary challengers from the left and right, making for multiple bitter, closely-followed primaries between candidates from different wings of the same party.

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In Fallout over National School Board Group’s Letter to Biden About Parents, Ohio, Missouri Depart

Man standing in front of a room, giving a lecture with a presentation

The backlash from the incendiary language in a recent letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking for federal law enforcement to intervene on outspoken parents at school board meetings escalated this week when the group’s Ohio and Missouri chapters withdrew their respective memberships.

The Missouri School Boards Association in announcing its departure said the national group “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance.”

The Ohio chapter was more direct, saying in its letter Monday that its departure was a “direct result” of the Sept. 29 letter to Biden.

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Trump Won’t Commit to 2024 Run, Says He’ll Decide ‘in the Not Too Distant Future’

Former President Donald Trump did not commit to running for president in 2024 while on Fox News on Thursday, but said he’d make a decision “in the not too distant future.”

“I think you’ll be very happy,” Trump told host Greg Gutfeld. “I’ll make a decision in the not too distant future, but I love our country.”

Trump contradicted his previous statement to Sean Hannity in June, according to which he had already made a decision on whether he would run for president again.

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Amazon Plans to Open Department Stores

Amazon is planning to open department stores where consumers can purchase a variety of goods like clothing and electronics, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The planned expansion of Amazon brick-and-mortar stores is the online retail giant’s latest attempt to disrupt the industry, according to a WSJ report Thursday. The Seattle-based company has recently expanded its brick-and-mortar grocery store footprint, opening 17 Amazon Fresh stores nationwide, and is developing at least 20 more, Bloomberg reported.

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