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GOP convention, Public records training

It remains to be seen if Cleveland will win back LeBron James, but it got a feather in its cap Tuesday when it beat out Dallas for the 2016 Republican National Convention. That’s good not only for Cleveland, but the state.
Political conventions, while seen by some as a dog-and-pony show, bring national attention to the host city and can give a boost to the hosting political party come election time. The week-long convention can also have a major impact on the economy.
Cleveland’s selection, it would seem, was far from a conservative pick.
While Ohio has long been an epicenter of politics and is a swing state during presidential elections, the pick means the GOP will be leaning heavily on the state to help it win back the White House.
The state is almost equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, but no Republican has captured the White House without Ohio since Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The last candidate to win without Ohio was John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, in 1960.
Cuyahoga County, though, is heavily Democratic, which means the GOP has chosen to invade enemy territory by picking Cleveland. Perhaps one strategy is try to convince some Democrats to change their allegiance.
The GOP could have used some help in the last presidential election.
In 2012, 69.4 percent of Cuyahoga County voted for Barack Obama, and the 256,000-vote margin there was enough to surpass GOP votes in Ohio’s 87 other counties.
Tuesday’s announcement brought applause not only from Republicans, including Gov. John Kasich, who is sometimes mentioned as a presidential candidate, but from Democrats, including Kasich’s gubernatorial challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Both said the convention will be good for Ohio, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, because it will put a spotlight on the state.
We agree. Though the selection won’t become final until next month, Cleveland is the right call, regardless of one’s politics. It will provide for great drama two years from now.
But it could get even better for political observers in Ohio. The site of the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be announced later this month. Columbus is still in the running.
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Are you in the mood for a little summer camp? It’s free, it’s only three hours, and you will learn or brush-up on something critical to our democracy.
You can be trained in “Ohio’s Public Records Laws & Open Government (Sunshine) Laws” at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, in the Winebrenner Auditorium on the University of Findlay campus.
Elected officials: You must attend this training during each term in office, and your attendance must be certified by the attorney general.
Findlay Auditor Jim Staschiak helped organize the session by the state Attorney General’s Office, which says it will be among the last in northwestern Ohio this year.
It’s good that state law requires elected officials to know how to conduct the people’s business in the open, and how to keep the people’s documents available for anyone to see, just for the asking.
It can be a beautiful, all-American thing. But here’s the real beauty of it: Any Ohioan can take the training.
Just sign up by going to http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Legal/Sunshine-Laws/Sunshine-Law-Training. If you don’t use computers, call Staschiak’s office at 419-424-7101.
All Ohioans should take this training, if only so that they know that we know.

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