Chairman’s Update 2-09-2020

Good Evening,
It has been a great week for President Trump and Republicans across the country. The president gave a unifying State of the Union Address that he began by saying, “The only victories that matter in Washington are the victories that deliver for our people.” Throughout his first term, and even in 2020 alone, President Trump has delivered massive results for Americans. Under his administration, drug overdose deaths have declined for the first time in nearly 30 years, with Ohio recognized specifically. The president signed two trade deals last month that will enormously benefit Ohioans. He also recognized a veteran from Cincinnati who has benefitted from Opportunity Zones. Nancy Pelosi’s childish behavior only proves what we already know: the Do-Nothing Democrats would rather put politics ahead of celebrating achievements that benefit their own constituents.
On Monday night, President Trump even set a turnout record for an incumbent president in the Iowa Caucus. As the Democrats fought over who won the caucus due to delayed results and a faulty app, the Republican party remained firmly united behind President Trump, ready for his re-election. With the impeachment sham finally behind us, we can work more diligently toward another victory in November.
Jane M. Timken
Chairman, Ohio Republican Party
Portman Keynotes Fairfield County Lincoln Day Dinner and Attends Judge McFarland’s Investiture Ceremony
On Friday, Senator Rob Portman delivered the keynote address at the annual Fairfield County Republican Party Lincoln Dinner in Pickerington. Portman spoke about his work over the past few years to deliver results for the people of Ohio on issues ranging from tax reform to confirming a record number of federal judges to fighting the addiction epidemic. He also outlined a stark contrast between President Trump and the Republicans’ vision for the future versus the Socialist policies being proposed by Democrats running for president.
Portman also spoke Friday at the investiture ceremony in Portsmouth for Matt McFarland, a new federal judge on the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Recommended by Portman, nominated by President Trump, and confirmed by the Senate in December, McFarland is the first federal judge from Southeast Ohio in over 100 years.
Governor DeWine Highlights Jobs Announcements at Facebook, Sherwin-Williams
On Thursday, Governor DeWine gave remarks at the grand opening of the Facebook-New Albany Data Center. Sherwin-Williams also announced on Thursday that it will build a new headquarters in downtown Cleveland and R&D Center in Brecksville, building on its 154-year history in the region. The state of Ohio and its regional and local economic development partners worked together to keep one of Ohio’s leading companies in the Ohio.
Husted Visits White House, Attends National Prayer Breakfast
Last week, Lt. Governor Jon Husted traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Prayer Breakfast with President Donald J. Trump. Following the event, the Lt. Governor also went to the White House to discuss Ohio’s efforts toward reforming and reducing regulations in order to pave the way for investment and job creation. As Lt. Governor, Husted oversees Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI), which looks at new and continuing regulations through the eyes of Ohio’s businesses in order to cut down barriers to job creation.
AG Dave Yost Announces Homes Improvement Contractor Indicted on 70 Charges
Attorney General Dave Yost announced his office is prosecuting a case against a home improvement contractor in southeast Ohio accused of stealing more than $400,000 from homeowners, including four elderly victims. Patrick Wilson was indicted on 70 criminal charges last week, including 68 counts of theft, and one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and telecommunications fraud.
Wilson allegedly accepted large downpayments from clients to buy building materials, but never delivered the supplies of services. A total of 34 people from Ohio and West Virginia say they lost a combined $412,000 to Wilson.
Yost’s office is prosecuting the case. Yost urged consumers who suspect deceptive or unfair sales practices to contact his office at or 800-282-0515.
New Security Upgrades Make Ohio a National Model for Election Security
This week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that virtually every Ohio county has met the requirements of the Security Directive Ohio issued in June 2019. These important cyber and physical protections make Ohio the national leader in election security.
“There will inevitably be attacks on our election system,” said LaRose. “We have to be vigilant, and this successful implementation of our security directive leaves no doubt that Ohio is the best prepared state in the nation.”
This directive provided local boards of elections with a comprehensive, multi-faceted security strategy that provides the redundancy required of a strong election system infrastructure. It includes requirements for upgrading physical security, securing websites and email domains, installing cyber-attack detection, security training and more.
Auditor of State Keith Faber Looks to Audit More Ohio Colleges and Universities
Last week the Legislature approved a bill that will allow Auditor of State Keith Faber to conduct more performance audits of institutions of higher education in Ohio. Previously, the Auditor’s office has conducted only one performance audit of this nature on Ohio State, finding over $6 million in savings for Ohio’s taxpayers. Last year alone, the Auditor’s performance team found $71 million in savings for Ohio’s state and local governments. Auditor Faber has made efficient and effective government a priority and looks forward to using this new authority to deliver more results for Ohioans.
To read more about Auditor Faber’s plans, click here.
Sprague Announces $35 million Israel Bond Investment
On Monday, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the purchase of $35 million in five-year fixed Israel Bonds. The bonds are set to mature in 2025, and $28 million of the purchase will yield 2.28% while the remaining $7 million will yield 2.43%.  As a result of the purchase, the Ohio Treasury now holds a total of $175 million in Israel Bonds, continuing Ohio’s standing as the largest state holder of these bonds in the United States.
“Over the past three decades, Israel Bonds have proven to be a strong financial investment for Ohio’s taxpayers,” said Treasurer Sprague. “The highly competitive interest rates of these bonds make them a valuable investment and we’re proud to be continuing this practice in 2020.”
Sprague’s announcement continues a long-held tradition for the Ohio Treasury. Since 1993, every Ohio Treasurer has invested in Israel Bonds, joining more than 95 other state and municipal public employee pension and treasury funds.
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy Tours Medina County
Earlier this week, Justice Kennedy spent a full day in Medina County. Speaking at the Medina Chamber of Commerce luncheon, she discussed the relationship between the rule of law and economic growth. “To look at us one would think that we have nothing in common, but just below the surface we are inextricably connected,” she said. Sharon then discussed the breadth of legal issues that come before the Supreme Court of Ohio – from interpreting constitutional and statutory provisions, to construing the terms of a contract, and deciding whether utility rates are reasonable and lawful. She emphasized how the rule of law plays a significant role in economic growth and discussed numerous annual reports written on the topic.
The luncheon was followed by a meeting hosted by the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce, with chamber members, senior citizens, and students from Wadsworth High School. Her conversation touched upon her journey and pathway to becoming a justice. Crediting many mentors along the way, she credited a high school teacher for planting the seed that there were no limitations on her potential.
“In life there are no ceilings,” said Sharon. “There are only floors to walk across and stairs to climb to achieve your dream. Do not let anyone tell you can’t, and always believe you can.”
Her next stop was at MedinaTV’s studio where she participated in the “Know Your Government” segment, which educates viewers on the role and function of the different branches of the government. Sharon discussed the work of Ohio’s highest court and described how our tripartite system of government balances power between three separate, but co-equal branches.
“We elect our legislators to create our laws and we are granted the opportunity to pick up the phone and direct their action by telling them what bills they should or should not pass,” she said. “We elect our justices to interpret those laws as written, not to rewrite them or legislate from the bench. When justices do not abide by that fundamental principle it jeopardizes our republic. Our republic is dependent upon our elected officials respecting their limited role in government,” she concluded.
Justice French spent this past week speaking to students throughout Ohio about the importance of the Ohio Supreme Court
She met with students at the Cleveland Marshall School of Law and talked to them about their careers and answered their questions.
Justice French also had an opportunity to meet with students from two schools in Gallia County this past week; River Valley High School in Bidwell and Gallia Academy in Gallipolis. At each stop she was able to discuss and educate the students about the work and importance of the Ohio Supreme Court.
She also spoke to a group of Fourth Grade students from Worthington Christian during their tour of the Ohio Supreme Court.