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David Skolnick

Court opening widens divide

As if there weren’t enough issues dividing the country, Republican senators will have confirmation hearings to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. The decision isn’t surprising as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done remarkable work keeping his caucus in ...

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

There’s a saying in politics that signs don’t vote. I don’t necessarily agree with that. Sure, signs in ditches or on vacant properties don’t mean anything. But if you’ve got a Donald Trump or a Joe Biden sign in your yard, there’s a very strong chance you’re voting for ...

Not rushing to repeal tainted HB6

It shouldn’t be that complicated to overturn House Bill 6. There are three bills in the Ohio House and one in the state Senate to repeal the legislation that bailed out two failing nuclear power plants. The $60 million that allegedly changed hands — to former House Speaker Larry ...

If voting by mail, don’t delay

A record number of mail-in votes are expected for this election. The most pressing questions in Ohio, which could be a key state in the presidential election, deal with the preparedness of county boards of elections to process ballot requests, and the ability of the U.S. Postal Service to get ...

Trump, media, COVID-19 mix at Valley GOP event

Support for President Donald Trump was strong, and speeches were often colorful at my first political fundraising event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, a staunch Trump supporter, was the headliner at the Mahoning County Republican Party event at Waypoint 4180 ...

Plea deals smart move for all

The latest chapter in a voluminous collection of books on political corruption in the Mahoning Valley will be written Sept. 3 when a judge sentences ex-Youngstown Finance Director David Bozanich and downtown developer Dominic Marchionda. The two took plea deals late last week to avoid trials ...

Presidential race tightens

We’ve got a competitive presidential race in Ohio — and that can’t be good news for President Donald Trump, who would be in serious jeopardy of losing re-election if he can’t capture this state in November. The election is less than three months away, and the COVID-19 pandemic will ...

Ryan rebounds in fundraising

Raising money for elected office really hasn’t been U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s thing. Some politicians have no problem asking for money while others just aren’t that good at it. Ryan, D-Howland, hasn’t really needed to raise a lot of money over the years as he’s rarely had serious ...

Valley corruption seems puny

One lesson I’ve learned covering politics is when something leaves you wondering why, follow the money. That’s what federal prosecutors did in uncovering what they said could be the largest public bribery scheme in Ohio history. When the state Legislature chose last year to bail out two ...

Cheerleading won’t save Ohioans

Those who were expecting Gov. Mike DeWine to make a major pronouncement — such as mandatory face masks or rolling back some of the business reopenings — as Ohio faces record numbers of COVID-19 cases were likely disappointed at his pep talk Wednesday, urging people to be careful. But with ...

My brief time in the jury pool

I’ve long wanted to serve on a jury, and the idea of being part of secret grand jury proceedings is even more intriguing. But to do it during a health crisis didn’t sound good. So when a letter arrived in late May stating I was chosen for grand jury selection with the Mahoning County ...

Adventures with Mike Pence

It’s always exciting covering presidential or vice presidential visits, and my time as pool reporter for Mike Pence’s recent stop in the Mahoning Valley fit the bill. I’ve been selected as “pool reporter” about a dozen times and have never been a fan of it. The pool reporter’s ...

Police reform likely a nonstarter

Just as he did with his gun reform plan last year, Gov. Mike DeWine isn’t going to get a warm welcome from the state Legislature to his proposed changes to law-enforcement policies. It appears the latest proposals aren’t being embraced by his fellow Republicans, who have super majorities ...

Backlash, pressure led to Acton’s exit

Shortly after COVID-19 hit Ohio, part of my work routine was to cover then-daily news conferences of Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton on the number of cases and related deaths. It’s been difficult at times as the pandemic has killed thousands of people and greatly impacted daily routines ...

Campaign reports give insight

There were several interesting developments from the post-primary campaign finance reports of state Legislature incumbents and candidates from the Mahoning Valley. State Rep. Gil Blair, D-Weathersfield, in the Ohio House’s 63rd District was the only incumbent in the area to face challengers ...

Independents draw controversy

For most independent candidates, getting on the ballot largely consists of two things: getting enough valid signatures and not voting in the partisan primary held after they file. But in the Mahoning Valley things are rarely simple, and there’s a case in each of Trumbull and Mahoning ...

Study highlights bipartisanship

Bipartisanship is such a rarity in national politics that when it occurs, it’s news. We live in an era when many people see things as black and white, even though most things are shades of gray. It’s common to criticize the mainstream media, yet plenty of people believe the most ...

Ohio capital budget in jeopardy

The state’s capital budget, which provides money for numerous projects, is in jeopardy of not being approved this year. The $2.6 billion biennial capital budget was expected to be introduced in March, with about $150 million in it for community projects, and passed well before now. But ...

Plan now for November election

We hope life gets back to normal by the November general election, but plans need to be in place now in case it doesn’t. Regardless of what happens, the reality is a lot of people will be hesitant to stand in line to vote. That means there’s going to be a greater dependence on mail votes ...

No upsets, but interesting results

While there weren’t any upsets in Tuesday’s primary election, there were some interesting results. I must mention that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we shouldn’t take these results as indicators of what will happen in the general election. Turnout was extraordinarily low as expected ...