Capital Blog

Author Archive for mkovac

I am the Capital Bureau chief at the Ohio Statehouse for the Dix newspaper chain and The Youngstown Vindicator. I cover Ohio politics, legislation, etc., for newspapers in Wooster, Ashland, Defiance, Ravenna, Alliance and Cambridge. I've been a full-time, professional newspaper reporter and/or editor since 1993. I spent my first seven years working as a staff writer, business editor and (for a very short stint) interim managing editor at The Tribune in Ames, Iowa, a little paper that was co-owned by Pulitzer-winner Michael Gartner. I worked another seven years as business editor, farm editor, county government reporter and special projects editor at The Daily Record in Wooster (part of the Dix chain). I have covered the Statehouse since late January 2007. I hold a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism from Ball State University in lovely Muncie, Ind. I grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago (graduated from H.L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn). My wife and I have three children.

Voter Photo ID

State Rep. Matt Lynch (R-Geauga County) announces a discharge petition to force a floor vote on legislation requiring a photo ID to vote. Press conference at the Ohio Statehouse included comments from GOP Reps. Becker, Adams and Brenner and the Ohio Christian Alliance’s Chris Long. And here, Gary Daniels from the ACLU of Ohio and…

Trumbull County Democrats

Attorneys Jeffrey Goodman and H. Gilson Blair and Trumbull County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Polivka speak to reporters after the party’s state executive committee voted to investigate whether the Trumbull board and Polivka broke state and national bylaws by taking secret ballots on an interim county commissioner. And here’s Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern…

Common Core Support

William McCallum, a distinguished professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona who was involved in development Common Core standards in math, testifies in support of the Common Core during a hearing before the Ohio House’s Rules and Reference Committee, which is considering a repeal of the standards. Paul Imhoff, superintendent of the Upper Arlington…

Statehouse Prayer

Clergy representing different faiths speak during a press conference at the Statehouse kicking off a week of prayer meetings and rallies “to oppose the flood of divisive legislation enacted by the Ohio state legislature.” Speakers included Rev. Tim Ahrens, First Congregational Church; Rev. Mark Diemer, Grace of God Lutheran Church; Rabbi Michael Ungar, Congregation Tifereth…

More Common Core Testimony

(More shaky clips to comeā€¦.) Michael Donnelly, staff attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association, known by the acronym HSLDA, offers testimony in support of HB 597, which would repeal Common Core standards in Ohio. James Stergios, from the Pioneer Institute in Boston, offers testimony in support of HB 597, which would repeal Common…

Common Core Repeal

Republican Reps. Matt Huffman, from Lima, and Andy Thompson, from Marietta, offer sponsor testimony on HB 597, legislation that would repeal Common Core standards in Ohio, replacing them with new standards to be developed over the next couple of years. Rose Stechschulte, a third-grade teacher from Fort Jennings in Putnam County, voices support for repealing…

Common Core Proponents

Representatives of union groups, school superintendents and a school board member voice their support of the Common Core during a press conference prior to committee hearings on a bill to repeal the standards. Speakers include Kirk Hamilton, executive director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators; Stephen Thompson, superintendent of Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools; Robert Hill,…