President Trump urges boycott of Goodyear over political attire policy: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

The rubber hits the road: President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged his Twitter followers to boycott Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber for not allowing employees to wear political attire – namely MAGA hats, Robin Goist reports. Goodyear says it asks associates to “refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”

Who said it? Ohio Democrats including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown condemned Trump for attacking an American company that employs thousands of Ohioans. Republicans were much more tight-lipped, with Rep. Anthony Gonzalez the only one to address Trump’s boycott call directly. In an interview with WSPD-AM in Toledo, Gov. Mike DeWine said he did not expect Trump to say it again – which the president did only several hours later. Sen. Rob Portman’s and Rep. Dave Joyce’s statements mentioned respecting free speech but didn’t criticize anyone.

Attack mode: As a woman of color, Democrat Kamala Harris will face gender- and race-based attacks as she seeks the vice presidency. Laura Hancock spoke to Ohio Black female politicians who shared their stories of how they’re treated compared to white men.

It’s all business: The third night of the Democratic National Convention featured a pre-recorded video of Sen. Sherrod Brown interviewing three small business owners in Ohio, Seth Richardson reports. Kevin and Molly Johnson of Mentor and Gurneé Green of Mentor told Brown that since the coronavirus hit, they’ve faced a daily struggle trying to keep their businesses open, blaming Republican President Donald Trump’s economic policies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The scenic route: Among the most notable changes to the Democratic National Convention was its much-praised roll call for the delegates, featuring different scenes from around the country. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump ranked all the states and territories on their presentation, with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s scene outside the Lordstown plant receiving some pretty high marks.

More Kasich analysis: Gary Abernathy, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post from Hillsboro, Ohio, took a look at the reasons behind Republican former Gov. John Kasich’s speech supporting Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention. “I can’t imagine Kasich’s remarks Monday changing any minds here in this Trump-supporting section of Ohio, a state the Biden campaign badly wants to put into play,” Abernathy writes.

And yet more Kasich analysis: “Kasich, say strategists and campaign staff …isn’t proof the Buckeye State could turn blue, but more symbolic of the exodus of affluent and educated national Republicans who are testing the NeverTrump waters and may be persuaded to support Biden,” writes the Post’s Jacqueline Alemany.

Wednesday in coronavirus: The outbreak in Ohio showed yet another sign of slowing down, with new cases coming in at less than 1,000 for the fourth consecutive day, Hancock reports.

Good trend: For the 17th time in the last 19 days, the number of newly reported coronavirus cases for Ohio was below the 21-day average. This was unheard of when cases were spiking in late June and much of July, reports Rich Exner.

Nursing homes: At least 2,564 patients of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died with coronavirus, accounting for about two-thirds of the COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, according to updated information released Wednesday. This is up 67 deaths from 2,497 a week ago. Sixty-six percent of the 3,907 reported coronavirus-related deaths in Ohio have involved long-term care facility patients, Exner reports.

Combating coronavirus: The Governor’s Minority Health Strike Force launched the “More Than A Mask” campaign to provide specific messaging and resources to Ohio communities of color in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. The communities are disproportionately affected by the virus. The campaign was developed with a number of diverse communications and consulting groups. Expect to see the campaign on cable, over-the-top TV services such as Hulu, in print advertising, on the radio, in social media and in transit advertising.

Rally time: State Rep. Mark Romanchuk hosted a “MAGA meetup” at his Richland County manufacturing facility Tuesday night, hosting about 60 people – including Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof. As Monroe Trombly of the Mansfield News Journal reports, Obhof said during a speech that Trump “kept his promises to us” and that the country will have a “manufacturing renaissance” if the president wins re-election.

No explanation necessary: The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously voted to deny state Rep. Tom Brinkman’s request for the court to explain why it upheld the DeWine administration’s order delaying the March 17 primary just hours before the election was set to start. Attorney General Dave Yost’s office previously filed a motion opposing Brinkman’s suit, arguing the Cincinnati Republican didn’t have standing to sue.

Full Disclosure

Here are five things we learned from the Feb. 10, 2020 financial disclosure form filed by Richard Dana, this year’s Democratic nominee for House District 99:

1. Dana reported receiving income last year from serving as an attorney, an adjunct instructor for justice studies, business law and ethics at Kent State University at Ashtabula, and a Geneva Area City Schools board member. He also reported income from a General Electric stock dividend, as well as interest from five savings accounts. He didn’t specify in the form exactly how much he received from any of those sources.

2. Dana’s family runs Eddie’s Grill, a longtime fast-food diner in Geneva-on-the-Lake.

3. Besides being a school board member, Dana serves on the boards of Geneva Area Seniors, the Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum, the Ashtabula County Law Library Resource Board, and University Hospitals, Geneva and Conneaut Medical Centers (the last of which he chairs). He also is a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

4. His investments include stakes in several retirement funds and money market accounts, as well as stock in General Electric, Aqua America, and VirnetX – the last of which has been described as a “patent troll.”

5. At some point in 2019, Dana owed at least $1,000 to Ford Motor Company, Fidelity Visa, IHG Rewards Visa, and Bonvoy Chase Visa.

Birthdays

Randy Gardner, Ohio Department of Higher Education chancellor

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States (1833-1901)

Straight from the Source

“In this Ohio diner, everyone is boycotting Goodyear”

– Twitter account “New York Times Pitchbot” poking fun at both Republican President Donald Trump’s tweet about boycotting Goodyear and the New York Times’ penchant for telling stories about Ohio.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.

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©2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

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