Today’s Wheeling Intelligencer had its usual Monday editorial on Ohio state government – this one dealt with that state’s budget for the next year. (Not to be undone, the afternoon paper had a similar editorial.) (Look for a Jefferson County garbage dump editorial later this week.) The paper also featured a story that (with picture) took-up over half of page 7. The headline:
Just a Friendly Wager
With the subheading:
Men Remain Chums Despite Political Differences
And what did we learn from this 700-word Onion-like article? That two Belmont, Ohio residents remain friends after an election in which they voted for different presidential candidates. Yes, that's quite a story.
The Intelligencer does ignore some Ohio stories, however. Here, from late last week, is an AP story about the Ohio legislature that the Wheeling papers did not carry:
Legislator who questioned Black hygiene to lead health panel
A Republican lawmaker and doctor who questioned whether members of “the colored population” were disproportionately contracting the coronavirus because of their hygiene is drawing new criticism from Black lawmakers after his appointment to lead the state Senate Health Committee.
“Could it just be that African Americans – or the colored population — do not wash their hands as well as other groups? Or wear masks? Or do not socially distance themselves?” state Sen. Stephen Huffman asked a Black health expert in June 11 testimony. “Could that just be the explanation of why there’s a higher incidence?”
This happened in June but as the AP article reports, Huffman, despite complaints from African Americans, Democrats, and the ACLU, remained in the Ohio senate and last week was appointed chair of the Ohio senate's health committee by his cousin:
Huffman, of Tipp City, was appointed last week by Senate President Matt Huffman, his cousin, to chair the committee even after he was fired from his job as a Dayton-area emergency room physician for his comments.
In a defense of the doctor, a spokesman blamed “cancel culture” which is now the official Republican excuse whenever they are accused of racism, sexism, or nativism.
Finally, should we get ready for Senator Jim Jordan? News sources, like the Cincinnati Enquirer, reported this morning that Ohio Senator Rob Portman will not seek reelection in 2022:
Ohio's U.S. Sen. Rob Portman won't run for re-election; Republican cites 'partisan gridlock'
Portman cites “partisan gridlock” as his reason? Portman, a senator who voted Trump’s way 88% of the time overall and 94% in Trump’s first two years in office is criticizing the U.S. Senate for partisan gridlock? Portman’s record is very close to WV’s Capito (96% and 92% overall). It seems to me that when he gets closer to Joe Manchin’s record (61% and 50%), he has the credibility to use “partisan gridlock” as his reason for leaving.
Which Republicans might run to replace him? The Enquirer speculated:
Potential GOP candidates for Portman's seat include: Congressman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, former state treasurer Josh Mandel and "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance.