Nan Whaley’s gubernatorial campaign vows to stop fundraising tactic: Ohio Politics Roundup

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Nan Whaley’s gubernatorial campaign says it will stop soliciting unlimited contributions through her mayoral campaign. GOP activists float “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance for U.S. Senate. And Rob Portman wants the U.S. Postal Service to stamp out opioid shipments, though postal officials say they aren’t able to deliver. Today’s Ohio Politics Roundup is brought to you by Jeremy Pelzer.

Whaley campaign to stop fundraising tactic: A notice on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley’s campaign website informing potential donors that her mayoral fund is able to accept unlimited contributions was removed Thursday . Whaley’s campaign says it plans to remedy the potentially confusing situation voluntarily, limiting donations from individuals and political action committees to the annual state limit of $12,000. A campaign spokeswoman called the website notice “a small oversight.”

Fundraising conundrum: As Whaley is running again for mayor of Dayton this year, she’s not allowed to raise money directly for her gubernatorial campaign until after the fall election. Even after that, state law only allows her to transfer $200,000 from her mayoral fund to her gubernatorial account, according to the Ohio secretary of state’s office. The upshot: Whaley will emerge from this year’s November election with — at best — $200,000 in her gubernatorial account.

This has (sort of) happened before: In 2010, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jennifer Brunner used $15,000 from her defunct secretary of state campaign account to buy equipment for her Senate campaign. The Federal Election Commission ultimately found the transaction was too confusing to render a legal opinion. But the case isn’t entirely applicable to Whaley’s situation because 1) the FEC only oversees federal races, and 2) the question in Brunner’s case was whether she could transfer money from a state campaign to a federal one.

GOP activists float “Hillbilly Elegy” author for Senate: Some Republican activists and donors who are “wishy-washy” about Josh Mandel’s chances in next year’s U.S. Senate race are looking at a possible alternative: “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, .

Gomez: “Conversations about the Senate race are in an early stage, but one GOP operative said that donors have expressed enthusiasm about backing Vance. There also has been more casual talk about him running for governor, but the Republican primary in that race is crowded with known quantities.”

Portman hits postal service on opioid shipments: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, during a Senate hearing on Thursday, took aim at the U.S. Postal Service for allowing the shipment of opioids such as fentanyl into the country, . “How many more people have to die before our government gets its act together?” Portman asked.

The postal service hits back: But officials with the postal service and U.S. State Department pushed back Thursday against Portman’s proposal to require advanced electronic tracking of all packages and large envelopes mailed to the United States, . The officials said the global postal system isn’t able to adapt electronic shipping data systems and that Portman’s proposal would cost billions and require the U.S. to refuse all mail from several countries.

Stivers stands by Montana candidate: Republicans mostly stayed silent Thursday about Montana GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte’s reported assault on a journalist. One exception: U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, the Columbus-area chair of the National Republican Congressional Campaign, who is standing by Gianforte.

“From what I know of Greg Gianforte, this was totally out of character, but we all make mistakes,” Stivers said in a statement, . “We need to let the facts surrounding this incident unfold. Today’s special election is bigger than any one person; it’s about the views of all Montanans. They deserve to have their voices heard in Washington.”

Gibbs bill swats away pesticide paperwork: The U.S. House on Tuesday passed a bill by U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs no longer requiring farmers, landowners, and local governments who spray for bugs near waterways to fill out paperwork under the Clean Water Act, . Gibbs’ reasoning is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already regulates pesticide spraying, and added paperwork raises the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus. All Ohio Republicans backed Gibbs’ bill, which passed the House in previous years; all the state’s Democrats voted against it.

Student loans official resigns: “The U.S. Department of Education official responsible for student loans  to avoid facing a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee inquiry into billions of dollars in loan overpayments and underpayments made on his watch,” . During Thursday’s committee hearing, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and other Republicans lambasted ex-Office of Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer James Runcie for accepting $432,814 in performance bonuses over six years despite his office’s failure to correct improper payment problems.

AHCA could stop vets’ Medicaid coverage: If the American Health Care Act passes, many of Ohio’s 71,000 military veterans could lose access to Medicaid coverage, according to a report by the left-leaning group Families USA, . About a third of Ohio veterans enrolled in Medicaid became eligible for the program through Medicaid expansion.

Finding a more perfect redistricting plan: In our latest look at what would happen if northern Ohio (hypothetically) became its own state called “Western Reserve,” how political lines would be drawn, and if separation would bring an end to gerrymandering. Borchardt explores Western Reserve’s options and finds a few tips on how a new state should set up its redistricting rules.

Game on: The Ohio House on Wednesday passed a bill to ensure the legality of “fantasy sports” in the state, . The measure hands licensing and oversight of the games to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, though it specifically exempts the games from state gambling law.

E-check reject: House members also passed a resolution asking President Donald Trump and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to to eliminate the “E-check” program, which requires regular emissions checks for older cars, . The non-binding resolution, advanced by conservative lawmakers, also urges an end to other “burdensome” federal air-quality rules.

Ohioans weigh in on lead bill: The Ohio Senate Finance subcommittee on Health and Medicaid heard Wednesday from opponents of a state budget amendment to erase local governments’ ability to set up local efforts against childhood lead poisoning. , doctors, parents, city leaders and healthy home advocates asserted the change would make it more difficult for cities like Cleveland to address lead exposure. Supporters, meanwhile, say the Ohio Department of Health should have exclusive jurisdiction over lead-based paint regulation.

Anti-‘Pink tax’ bill passes in Florida, stalls in Ohio: While the Ohio House has done little to advance a Democratic-sponsored bill to eliminate state sales taxes on tampons, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a similar measure into law Thursday, .

Kris Jordan divorce case unsealed: “A judge has unsealed the divorce case of state Sen. Kris Jordan and Delaware County Recorder Melissa Jordan in response to a public records request by the Dispatch,” . The case shows the two had been separated since Dec. 8, 2015 when Melissa Jordan filed for divorce on June 20, 2016, alleging extreme cruelty, gross neglect of duty and fraudulent disposition of marital assets. Her husband of nine years then filed a counter claim alleging extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty.

Enjoy your holiday: The Ohio Politics Roundup will return Tuesday. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

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