Clarence Mingo is the newest person to throw his hat in the ring for the 2018 election.

Currently the Franklin County Auditor, Mingo will run for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer. He currently has one opponent in the GOP field, State Rep. Robert Sprague of Findlay. No Democrats have announced bids.

Mingo joined Jasen to introduce himself to Akron area voters and talk about his ideas for the office if he's elected.

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A bill passed by the Ohio Senate this week would lead to harsher sentences for fentanyl traffickers.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), lowers the amount of fentanyl for which someone can be charged with felony trafficking. Under current law, LaRose says a trafficker has to have enough heroin to kill 10,000 people before they can be charged with a felony. Fentanyl is frequently being mixed with heroin, creating a much more deadly concoction than straight heroin. The bill now moves to the General Assembly.

LaRose joined Jasen to talk about the bill and his proposal for congressional redistricting reform.

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The Democratic gubernatorial field grew again Monday as former State Rep. Connie Pillich announced that she is entering the race. Pillich, who also ran for State Treasurer in 2014, joined Jasen to discuss why she's running for Governor and give her thoughts on health care reform and the heroin epidemic.

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President Donald Trump struck a different, much softer tone as he laid out an outline of his policy agenda Tuesday night in a joint address to Congress. Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) and Dave Joyce (R-Russell Twp.) joined Jasen to react to the speech and discuss how Trump's proposals will be viewed in Congress.

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Monday, 30 January 2017 18:38

AUDIO: Mandel, Walters React to Travel Ban

Reaction to President Donald Trump's executive order pausing the refugee process and suspending visas for citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries has been swift and loud on both sides. Protesters gathered at airports across the country over the weekend while Trump surrogates took to the Sunday shows to defend the order. Liz Walters of the International Institute joined Jasen to express her concerns and talk about the travel ban's impact on Akron, while Ohio Treasurer and 2018 Senate candidate Josh Mandel expressed his support for Trump's action.

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The political discourse has been heated lately, but we didn't expect anyone to lose an ear in the process.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports a debate over President Donald Trump's immigration policies ended when Salatiel Marcos Ortiz's roommate bit a part of his ear off. The Mike Tyson-esque incident occurred early Monday morning. Ortiz also suffered a broken finger. Police are still searching for the roommate.

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Monday, 19 December 2016 20:34

AUDIO: Renacci Lays Out 2017 Priorities

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) is looking ahead to next year and the beginning of the Trump administration with several bills he plans to propose in the new session of Congress, including bills on infrastructure and the budget. He joined Jasen to talk about those bills, his thoughts on a congressional investigation into alleged Russian hacking, and the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016 19:07

AUDIO: Could Renacci Be Treasury Secretary?

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) was one of President Elect Donald Trump's earliest supporters in Ohio, and now his name is in the national discussion for a cabinet post.

A Forbes column last week made the case as to why Renacci should receive an appointment. Renacci joined Jasen and said while he has had discussions with Trump's transition team, he has not talked with Trump specifically about a cabinet post.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016 18:38

AUDIO: Tim Ryan Talks Minority Leader Bid

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) believes it's time for change in the House Democratic leadership. Last week, he officially launched a bid to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the House Minority Leader. He joined Jasen to talk about his candidacy and the change in approach he would like to see in the Democratic Party.

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Monday, 07 November 2016 17:52

Presidential Race Hits Home Stretch

It's Election Eve, and the presidential candidates are criss-crossing key swing states in search of the votes they need to put them in the White House. Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, and Dave Cohen of the Bliss Institute at The University of Akron joined Jasen with a look at what to expect on Election Day.

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Monday, 03 October 2016 18:21

Clinton Touts LeBron Endorsement In Akron

A candidate for President was in Akron Monday, but the King of the Rubber City was in the spotlight.

At an event at the newly-renovated Goodyear Hall, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton touted the endorsement he received from LeBron James in Monday's Akron Beacon Journal.

"I'm obviously delighted to be endorsed by someone who has demonstrated such leadership and such extraordinary ability," Clinton said. "He is someone who uses the platform he has earned, because he has worked so hard over so many years, to speak up and speak out for those who do not have a voice."

Clinton also blasted Republican candidate Donald Trump over The New York Times' reporting that he wrote off $916 million of losses on his tax returns in 1995. She responded to the assertion made by some Trump supporters, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Fox News Sunday, that Trump is a genius for working the tax system to his advantage.

"What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in the first place?" Clinton quipped.

While Clinton benefitted from a bump in the national polls in the days after last week's presidential debate, the first post-debate Ohio poll tells a different story. The Quinnipiac University poll shows Trump leading by three points in head-to-head polling against Clinton, and five points when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included.

The event was billed as a voter registration event with just over a week until the registration deadline, but it was every bit a traditional campaign rally. The more than 2,500 people in attendance cheered loudly, waved signs, and applauded when asked if they were registered to vote.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Reps. Marcia Fudge and Tim Ryan spoke ahead of Clinton. A handful of protesters held pro-Trump signs outside.

Published in Local
Monday, 05 September 2016 08:47

Clinton, Trump Labor Day Campaigning In NEO

With Labor Day typically marking the kickoff to the Fall campaign, both major party candidates for president will be laboring on the campaign trail with stops in Northeast Ohio on Monday. 

First, Donald Trump's campaign is set for a morning meeting with Labor Union leaders in Cleveland, followed by a campaign stop at the Canfield Fair in Youngstown at some point in the afternoon. Trump will be joined by his running mate Mike Pence at both events.  

Hillary Clinton's Campaign, meanwhile, is scheduled for a Labor Day afternoon event in Cleveland. The 11th Congressional District Community Caucus kicks off at 10 a.m., and she is expected to speak with her Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine, at about 2 p.m. at the Kids Village and Senior Pavillion at Luke Easter Park on Kinsman Rd. 

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Aetna announced this week that it would no longer offer health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act exchange in Ohio and several other states, leaving around 20,000 Ohioans to find new health care plans during the open enrollment period this fall. Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, who is also the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, joined Jasen to talk about what the move means for people who currently have Aetna insurance and what she thinks needs to change about the Affordable Care Act.

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Thursday, 11 August 2016 19:43

AUDIO: Mary Taylor Talks Heroin Epidemic

With the heroin epidemic seemingly spinning out of control, many people are asking what the government is doing to address it. Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor joined Jasen to talk about what the state is doing and what more it can do to address the quickly growing problem.

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Ohio Democratic Party chairman David Pepper joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about whether the Democratic Party is unifying in Philadelphia and preview the speeches by Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

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With the Republican National Convention winding down, how does it stack up with past conventions?

Bob Schieffer would know. The veteran CBS newsman has been covering conventions since 1968. While he says he hasn't seen anything quite like the violence of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, he referred to this year's RNC as "the most unusual." He talked to Jasen Sokol Thursday afternoon about the RNC and next week's Democratic National Convention.

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CBS Evening News anchorman Scott Pelley talks to WAKR's Jasen Sokol about the challenges of covering the Trump campaign, why he believes Ohio is critical in winning the presidential race, and how well he thinks Cleveland has done hosting the Republican National Convention.

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John Dickerson, host of CBS News' Face The Nation, joined Jasen on Media Row at the Republican National Convention to talk about the importance of Ohio in the presidential race, how presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump affects Senate candidate Rob Portman, and how political experts can better study Trump voters.

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Monday, 18 July 2016 15:02

Jasen at the RNC: Day 1

It was a busy day on The Jasen Sokol Show on Day 1 of The Republican National Convention. Here's the rundown of everyone who stopped by Media Row today:

Rep. Jim Renacci on whether Ohio Republicans are coalescing around Donald Trump

Tim Dimoff of SACS Consulting, Security, and Investigations on security measures around Cleveland

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan on the RNC's impact on Akron

Analysis from Tom Sutton of Baldwin Wallace University

Analysis from David Cohen of the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at The University of Akron

Mark "Oz" Geist shares his stories of fighting in Benghazi

Former Akron City Council candidate Cynthia Blake on why she's a Republican

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After recently announcing that he was diagnosed with colon cancer, Summit County Executive Russ Pry underwent successful surgery to remove a tumor. 

Pry's Chief of Staff announced on Friday that Tuesday's surgery at Cleveland Clinic Akron General went well and Pry is recovering. He added that the cancer had not spread beyond his colon and had not reached an advanced stage. Pry will take the next 6 weeks to recover and is expected to return to work August 1st, when Summit County Council returns from their summer recess. 

Pry, 58, was diagnosed with colon cancer after a routine exam. He is using his diagnosis to stress the importance of continuing routine check-ups and exams. 

Published in Local
Monday, 13 June 2016 17:54

Mike DeWine Mourns George Voinovich

Former Ohio Governor, U.S. Senator, and Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich is being mourned by political leaders around the Buckeye State, including those who worked with him closely. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine served as Voinovich's lieutenant governor from 1991-1994 and also served alongside Voinovich in the Senate. DeWine joined Jasen to share his memories of Voinovich.

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Summit County Executive Russ Pry has banned all official county government travel to North Carolina in response to the state's controversial "Bathroom Bill."

North Carolina House Bill 2 includes provisions that require people to use the public restroom that corresponds with their biological sex and that supercede non-discrimination laws passed by municipalities. Opponents of the bill, including Pry, contend the bill discriminates against the LGBT community.

Pry joined The Jasen Sokol Show to explain his decision:

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:57

AUDIO: Bernie Sanders Talks To Jasen

It's Election Day, and the presidential candidates are making their final push in what are expected to be close races in both parties. We invited all six candidates from the major parties to come on the show, and only Sen. Bernie Sanders accepted our invitation. He talked to Jasen about his thoughts on the Ohio primary, his plan for free tuition at public universities, how he plans to pay for his policy proposals, and the lack of civility in the presidential campaign.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. although voters in line at the time doors close can still vote their ballot.

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Judith Lynn Lee and Matt Browarek are battling for the Democratic nomination for Ohio House District 38, a seat currently held by Republican incumbent Marilyn Slaby. Both candidates talked to Jasen about their ideas and plans for if they're elected.

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Primary voters in New Hampshire are just hours away from casting their ballots in the first in the nation presidential primary. On the Republican side, it's believed to be a make-or-break primary for several candidates including Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Lindsay McCoy of WFMJ in Youngstown is following Kasich in the final days of his New Hampshire campaign. She joined Jasen to talk about the Kasich campaign and what it will take for him to stay in the race past Tuesday's primary.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 15:18

AUDIO: GOP Debate Recap

In what was considered by many to be among the most substantive debates of the year, the nine highest polling Republican candidates for President squared off in Las Vegas with homeland security and the war on terror as the main focus. John Green from the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at The University of Akron talks about his winners and losers and whether the race will change in the wake of the debate.

While all nine candidates got in their talking points on how to keep America safe, not all of them were true. Washington Post fact checker Michelle Lee ran down some of the most requested fact checks. 

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Tuesday, 15 December 2015 17:56

AUDIO: GOP Debate Preview

The last Republican presidential debate of 2015 is tonight in Las Vegas with nine candidates set to be on the main stage for a debate that is expected to have a heavy focus on homeland security and fighting terrorism. Baldwin Wallace University political science professor Tom Sutton talks about what to expect from the candidates.

 

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015 18:48

AUDIO: Local Reps Address Refugee Crisis

One of the biggest debates in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris has been whether to accept refugees from Syria. The governors of 32 states have asked the federal government to not place Syrian refugees in their states, and there is speculation that Republicans in Congress may insert language into a key spending bill to block Syrian refugees from being accepted into the United States.

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) believes Ohio Gov. John Kasich made the right decision by calling for Syrians to not be placed in Ohio.

"We need to ensure those coming over have no ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations. We need to have a system in place, we need to be screening." Renacci said. "If we can't do that, we shouldn't just be allowing individuals to come in."

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) sees it differently. While he also wants to make sure terrorists don't enter the country, he says there are safeguards in place to ensure the wrong people don't come in.

"If we don't know something... or we don't know who exactly you are, you don't get in the country," Ryan said.

When asked about the "gaps" in the ability to vet Syrian refugees noted last month by FBI director James Comey, Ryan said a refugee whose information falls into one of those gaps would not gain entry into the United States.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that would, among other changes, require FBI background checks for refugees. The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015 14:52

Meet the Candidates: Akron Municipal Court

Dave Lombardi and Jon Oldham are running for the Akron Municipal Court bench currently occupied by Lombardi. Both candidates talked to Jasen about their qualifications and their ideas for the court.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015 14:43

Meet the Candidates: Stow Muni Court Clerk

The race for Stow Municipal Court clerks has been among the most hotly contested local races of the year. Democrat Diana Colavecchio, independent Kevin Coughlin, and Republican Don Robart all sat down with Jasen to talk about their ideas for the court and the highly negative tone of the campaign.

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