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on June 03, 2015 at 8:58 AM
In this April 7, 2014 file photo, then-State Rep. Pete Beck, center, stands in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati with his lawyers Chad Ziepfel, left, and Ralph Kohnen during a hearing. (Amanda Myers, The Associated Press)
A prison sentence looms for Pete Beck. A presidential campaign looms for John Kasich. And Steubenville remembers a visit from Beau Biden. Read on in today’s Ohio Politics Roundup.
Pete Beck faces more than 50 years in prison: A judge found the former Mason mayor and ex-state representative “guilty Tuesday for his part in defrauding investors in a technology company out of millions of dollars,” reports Keith BieryGolick of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Republican was convicted on 13 of 38 felony charges – “seven counts of perjury, three counts of theft and three securities-related counts.”
Scene at the courthouse: “Beck displayed little emotion and declined to answer questions on his way out of the courtroom,” BieryGolick writes. “During a brief recess after the verdict was read, Beck looked straight ahead. The only movement came from his feet under the table, which constantly tapped up and down.”
Beck, 62, will be sentenced Aug. 20. The maximum is more than 50 years behind bars.He resigned last December, after losing a re-election bid to Paul Zeltwanger.
The John Kasich game plan: My analysis on the Ohio governor’s not-yet-official bid for president focuses on “the last seven weeks [that] have shown just how serious Kasich is about 2016. Beginning with the April formation of a national political organization, his inner circle … has been working to turn the governor into a legitimate contender.”
If it’s Sunday … “There have been seven Sundays since New Day for America filed its incorporation papers with the Ohio secretary of state. Kasich has appeared on a Sunday morning news program on all but two of them. And since Fox News announced its debate plan May 20, Kasich is two-for-two, including this week’s turn on ‘Meet the Press.'”
Kasich on mental illness: The Republican’s talk of helping those “in the shadows” is nothing new to Ohioans. Now others are taking notice. BuzzFeed’s Christopher Massie keys in on a speech last week in Georgia, where Kasich recalled how, “when questioned by his daughter, he could not justify the practice of imprisoning the mentally ill.”
Said Kasich: “Reese and I were watching ’60 Minutes’ one Sunday and they were having this story of them locking the mentally ill up in the prisons and she looked at me and she said, ‘Daddy, why are those people being locked up?’ I couldn’t answer her satisfactorily, other than to say, ‘We seem to ignore these people.’ Now I don’t know how many of you know people who struggle with these illnesses but if you’ve got a problem with schizophrenia and you find yourself in a prison? It’s a disgrace in this country.”
Legislature takes on drug abuse: “State lawmakers rolled out new proposals on Tuesday … including requiring insurers to pay for more costly abuse-resistant formulas for narcotic painkillers and tightening rules for doctors who prescribe opioids to Medicaid patients,” Alan Johnson reports for the Columbus Dispatch.
Rep. Robert Sprague, a Findlay Republican, has joined with Rep. Denise Driehaus, a Democrat from Cincinnati, to call for an extension of Ohio’s “Good Samaritan” laws,writes Jim Provance of the Toledo Blade. Their effort, Provance notes, is rooted in the belief that “promising some immunity from prosecution will convince drug users not to fear calling 911 when someone overdoses before their eyes.”
All politics is local: Dave Gossett of the Steubenville Herald-Star looks back on a 2012 campaign visit by Beau Biden, the former Delaware attorney general and son of Vice President Joe Biden who died Saturday after a fight with brain cancer.
“Speaking at an afternoon press conference at the Obama re-election campaign headquarters on South Fourth Street, Biden urged military veterans to support the president because he had made a commitment to them,” Gossett writes.
Said State Sen. Lou Gentile, a Democrat who represents Steubenville: “I really enjoyed the time I spent with him. I felt he had a bright future ahead of him.”
On hiatus: Ohio Politics Roundup is taking a brief vacation. We’ll return Tuesday, June 9. In the meantime, keep up with our political coverage at cleveland.com/open.
Source @ http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2015/06/pete_beck_awaits_prison_senten.html