Part 1: DeWine, Whaley Go on the Record | News, Sports, Jobs
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley both agreed to answer a series of questions from the Sandusky Register and Ogden Newspapers, but efforts to bring the two candidates together for a joint appearance with editors failed.
DeWine, a Republican who is running for re-election, declined previously to participate in debates sponsored by the Ohio Debate Commission, quashing the prospect the two would meet in any debate format during Ohio’s gubernatorial race.
His campaign initially expressed interest in a joint appearance at an Ogden Newspapers editorial board meeting, however, and has been reviewing potential dates and locations for the last two weeks.
Whaley, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, agreed to a joint meeting on Oct. 5, and she provided several potential times and dates when she would be available.
But on Friday, the DeWine campaign pulled the plug on any joint appearance with Whaley, after nearly two weeks of negotiating a mutually acceptable time and date.
“With just 25 days to Election Day, our campaign schedule is prioritizing meeting with and hearing directly from Ohio voters across the state on the campaign trail,” DeWine’s campaign communications director Tricia McLaughlin said, announcing the decision.
Whaley, who agreed to have a meeting with editors next week without DeWine, ripped the governor for backing out.
“Governor DeWine knows he can’t defend his extreme record on abortion, his role in the largest corruption scandal in state history, or his weakness in standing up to the extremists in the legislature on gun safety,” Whaley said after learning about the decision .
“Given all that, it’s no wonder he’s refusing to debate, meet with editorial boards, or even answer questions from reporters. If he is afraid to defend his record, why is he even running for reelection?”
The questions both candidates answered were prepared by a panel of journalists and are focused on information readers expressed interest in asking about. The Q&A with the gubernatorial candidates is being presented in two parts, with five questions in today’s newspaper and five more that will be published in Tuesday’s paper.
DeWine and Whaley were provided the questions on Oct. 3 and had until Oct. 13 to provide their answers, which are being presented here without editing.
Question: Public health officials across the state have expressed growing concern that lawmakers are gutting public health regulations, including striking down the ability of the governor’s office to issue public health mandates, loosening vaccine requirements and other restrictions they say lessens the state’s ability to respond to a public health crisis. Do you agree with this assessment and what will you do, if you’re elected, to reverse this trend?
DeWine: I vetoed Senate Bill 22, which reduced the state’s ability to issue public health orders. As I said in my veto message, it handcuffs Ohio’s ability to confront crises.
I am committed to ensuring every Ohioan has the resources they need to lead a healthy, productive life. Ohio and the nation have long under-invested in our public health systems. Because of that, we have too many Ohioans who are needlessly suffering from preventable diseases.
My administration is investing millions of dollars into Health Opportunity Zones, where hospital systems and community providers can collaborate to develop best practices and models to improve public and community health.
Further, wellness and education go hand-in-hand, which is why my administration has invested $1.2 billion to continue support for Student Wellness and Success programs. This funds partnerships between schools and community organizations to develop programs that meet the physical and behavioral needs of students.
Whaley: One of the clearest examples of Gov. DeWine’s weakness in the face of extremists in his own party is on the issue of public health. No matter how it started, at some point in time, DeWine betrayed the public trust and started worrying more about getting reelected than he did about keeping Ohioans safe. he allowed dr Amy Acton, a respected doctor and leader, to get pushed out. He folded to pressure on public health regulations. He caved when members of his own party stripped away his powers.
The COVID-19 crisis exposed holes in our public health system and Gov. DeWine only allowed them to worsen. As governor, I’ll stand up to the extremists and listen to the experts when it comes to our public health, even if that means vetoing dangerous bills or taking the case directly to Ohioans. I’ll always put people’s health first, not politics.
Roe v. calf
Question: Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill, which Gov. DeWine signed into law, bans all abortions after six weeks and has no exceptions for cases of rape and incest. Medical experts and health care advocates among many others oppose this ban and argue that it is too restrictive and denies women the right to bodily autonomy. Surveys show that most Americans support a woman’s right to choose. Why is this law right for Ohio, if you believe it is, despite that opposition, and should it be changed or modified in any way? If you believe it should be repeated, how will you seek to accomplish that appeal if you are elected?
Whaley: We have already seen the awful, cruel impacts of this government mandate: a ten-year-old rape victim forced to leave Ohio to terminate her pregnancy, a cancer patient unable to get an abortion in order to begin chemotherapy, a woman with life threatening complications refused care. If Mike DeWine is re-elected, it will only get worse: he has pledged to go as far as possible to ban abortion. That will mean doctors facing prosecution, people’s medical records subpoenaed and women dying. This is also an economic issue: why would young women want to move to or stay in Ohio when they can’t get the full range of care they need?
When I’m governor, I’ll lead a statewide ballot initiative to put the protection of Roe v. Wade in the Ohio Constitution so that we can stop these government mandates and protect women’s rights.
DeWine: As a longtime pro-life advocate, I am in favor of saving the lives of as many unborn children as I can. I also recognize Ohio is a state that allows for a public vote via referendum or constitutional amendment, and I will work with the legislators on finding a sustainable policy.
Question: Manufacturing is back in Ohio, some argue, pointing to successes with Intel Corp. and with the automotive plants in Lorain County and in Toledo. What, in your view, are the reasons for this success, what will it mean for the state’s future, and how can the manufacturing sector be sustained over the long term in Ohio?
DeWine: The Intel project is a major win for Ohio and is a game changer for our state’s economic future. This victory builds on our history as a great manufacturing state. Intel joins a growing list of manufacturing companies that have recently chosen to come to Ohio or to expand in Ohio because of our pro-business economic environment, low tax rate and smart and stable regulatory policies.
Further, we are making historic investments in career, technical education for Ohio students and workers. Our focus on programs, such as Tech Cred and IMAP, is helping thousands more Ohioans get free education that leads to quality, higher-paying jobs. We are already seeing Ohio companies embrace these programs to upskill their workforce.
Whaley: While the Intel investment is an important one, we need this type of opportunity all across our state, not just in Central Ohio. Where is Sandusky’s Intel? Where is Steubenville’s or Marietta’s?
Our state led the last manufacturing revolution, and there is no reason we can’t lead the next one. Our neighboring states are eating our lunch when it comes to building new technologies because our state government has actively discouraged investment in clean energy manufacturing. When I’m governor this will change—we need those new opportunities here in Ohio.
But we also have to make sure these new jobs are good ones. For too long, Ohio has subsidized businesses that don’t treat their workers well. My Ohio Business Compact pledges to help businesses grow if those businesses help workers grow. I will instruct JobsOhio to only invest in businesses that pay a fair wage and treat workers with respect.
Question: Do you support legislation that would allow teachers to be armed in classrooms? Why or why not? Please explain.
Whaley: This is a dangerous law that I strongly oppose. Teachers and law enforcement were opposed to this bill, too, but Gov. DeWine signed it anyway. The law’s result will be more guns in our schools, with little oversight and training. An educator will need 180 hours of training to renew their license to teach your kids, but only up to 24 hours of training to carry a gun around them. That is unacceptable and makes our schools and kids less safe. As governor, I will work with law enforcement and teachers to repeal this dangerous law and instead pass common sense solutions that actually make our schools safer.
DeWine: A one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work in a state as diverse as Ohio. We are providing school safety funding for and assistance to every school, allowing communities to determine what options best meet their individual needs.
House Bill 99, which I signed into law, appropriates $6 million to expand the Ohio School Safety Center we created and is the first statewide office focused solely on the safety of school children and staff. This funding will expand school safety personnel and will create a new Safety & Crisis Division, primarily focused on school safety training for educators. This legislation also adds 28 new staff members to the School Safety Center — 28 more people who will work every single day solely on the safety of our schools.
House Bill 99 does not require that schools poor teachers or any other staff members. Many rural communities, for example, are not close in proximity to law enforcement and have longer response times. This legislation allows each school district to make a local decision based on what is best for their students, their staff, and their community.
Enacting gun restrictions
Question: The state has not been immune from mass shootings and gun violence yet there has been little or no progress toward a consensus about what can be done to protect the public. What, in your view, are common sense gun restrictions that should be enacted to address this crisis, and how will you convince lawmakers to enact those reforms? Please explain.
DeWine: We must strengthen our laws to deal with violent offenders who have lost their legal right to possess a firearm, but still carry and use weapons to commit violent crimes. We recently invested $274 million to address, in part, violent crime in our communities. But money alone is not enough.
We know that it is a small group of dangerous offenders who commit the majority of violent crimes. If we can remove them from our streets, the violent crime in our neighborhoods will be reduced dramatically, citizens and families will be safer, and lives will be saved.
The facts and data show improving and expanding the input of warrants and protection orders into state and national databases is paramount in protecting the public, getting guns out of the hands of criminals, and helping prevent horrific crimes. Since we took office, warrants entered into the database have increased 1,120%.
Whaley: Regardless of where they live in our state, Ohioans deserve to feel safe in their communities when they go to the grocery store, attend school, or go out to eat. After the mass shooting in my community of Dayton, Gov. DeWine promised my neighbors and I that he’d work to make our communities safe from gun violence. hey song Since then he’s done the opposite, caving to the extremists in his party and his gun lobby donors by signing legislation like permitless concealed carry, stand your ground, and the arming of teachers with very little training. Law enforcement was against these bills, but DeWine didn’t care. As governor, I’ll work to repeal these dangerous laws and will implement common-sense legislation that the vast majority of Ohioans support, like universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders.
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