OH-Sen: George Voinovich Also Edging Towards Retirement?

Conservative Matt Lewis reports that we may need to add one more name to the list of purple state Republican Senators opting against reelection bids in 2010: George Voinovich.

... In other news, I am hearing rumors coming out of Ohio that Senator Voinovich is seriously considering making an announcement next week that he won't be running for re-election. According to my sources, Rob Portman would likely be the Republican to replace him. This also opens up the GOP gubernatorial nomination for former Republican Congressman John Kasich.

I have been saying for quite some time that Voinovich could be in for a rough time should he decide to try for another term in the Senate, and early polling indicated that either Congressman Tim Ryan or Congresswoman Betty Sutton has the potential to give Voinovich a run for his money. Perhaps, then, Voinovich is seeing the writing on the wall -- much like Mel Martinez of Florida and now Kit Bond of Missouri -- and moving into retirement.

Even if Voinovich doesn't retire, this could be an upper tier race. But with Voinovich out, Ohio becomes one of the premier races of the cycle, with a relatively deep bench for the Democrats to go up against a Rob Portman or a John Kasich on the Republican side. With Voinovich in, this race still probably leans Republican, though with him out it moves right into tossup status.

Update [2009-1-9 8:36:3 by Jonathan Singer]: More from The Columbus Dispatch, which ledes as follows: "Sen. George V. Voinovich reportedly is considering not seeking re-election in 2010, well-placed sources in the Republican Party tell The Dispatch."

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Expanding Discovery in Criminal Cases

Last week a news story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer reveals that resistance to the American Bar Association's recommended open-file discovery laws are still strong in some jurisdictions.  Open-file discovery - or the process in which the prosecution discloses to the defense all relevant information that is known concerning a criminal proceeding, including police reports, witness names, and witness statements - is now being demanded by judges in Cuyohoga County.  Ohio does not have an open-file discovery statute.  

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ENERGIZE Clinton County Update: Help Save an Ohio Town!

On November 21, I introduced you to Mark Rembert and Taylor Stuckert of ENERGIZE Clinton County -- two ambitious recent college graduates with a bold plan to revitalize their hometown's bleak economy by turning it into a Green Enterprise Zone.  Today, I'd like to update you on the most recent developments of this inspirational project.

Before I get to that, though, I'll throw this out there right up front: You can now donate to ENERGIZE Clinton County to help fund their green revitalization campaign.  Please follow the link and give whatever you can spare -- $5, $50, $500, or anything in between.  Help make this a happy holiday season for Clinton County and Wilmington, Ohio residents by showing your support.

More new developments and ways you can help, and a recap of the history of this project, over the flip.

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Lawmakers Target Individual Voters, While Failing to Address Systemic Problems

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Recent analyses of the 2008 general election find that overall participation increased on November 4, with a significant surge in voter participation among historically underrepresented Americans. Yet, while some lawmakers have been inspired by the recent voter turnout to propose election reforms that expand access to voting rights, others continue to focus on creating additional barriers to voting.

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Exit Poll Analysis Suggests Obama Victory Due to Surge in Youth and Minority Voting

The United States saw dramatic increases in voting from traditionally underrepresented groups, including minorities and young voters, according to a new analysis released this week by Project Vote. If borne out by systematic analysis of the voter rolls, this change in the electorate is evidence of the power of successful voter registration drives and an indication of the strong inclination of voters to participate in the process when candidates address their issues.

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