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The great debate debate

Election 2022 Senate Ohio
Joshua A. Bickel/AP
Pool The Columbus Dispatch
U.S. Senate Republican candidate J.D. Vance, left, makes a point as fellow candidate Mike Gibbons listens during Ohio's U.S. Senate Republican Primary debate, Monday, March 28, 2022, at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

All around the country candidates are refusing to participate in the age-old tradition of a live political debate. Most of those refusing to debate or throwing up roadblocks to debates are Republicans.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss why Republicans in the top Ohio races are refusing to debate. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler joins the show.

It's debatable

This week Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. Senate Candidate J.D. Vance rejected invitations from the Ohio Debate Commission to appear at debates hosted by the independent organization.

One reason Republicans give is that the debate commission is not neutral. Vance’s campaign points to the commission’s executive director who has run for office as a Democrat and contributed to Democratic candidates, including Vance's opponent Tim Ryan, eight years ago.

They also complain that the Republican primary debate the commission hosted this spring was unfair because the moderator fact-checked candidates' false statements.

There is still a chance J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan will debate. They have each thrown out different dates, venues and possible sponsors. But they won’t take part in a debate sponsored by the Ohio Debate Commission.

LGBTQ discrimination in schools

The Ohio Board of Education is considering a resolution to officially oppose a move by the Biden administration.

The White House wants to expand Title IX protections to cover LGBTQ students. So they’re going to force schools to investigate claims of discrimination or risk losing USDA funding for school meal programs. That’s a lot of money that many families depend on.

The resolution also said the state board of education supports a lawsuit that includes Ohio’s attorney general and several others who oppose the new federal rules. Some other members called the resolution embarrassing. Some local schools like Columbus City Schools have announced their opposition to the state resolution.

Snollygoster of the week

Mike DeWine’s granddaughters had a cross-county meet on Saturday giving their grandfather a pretty good excuse to skip yet another Donald Trump rally.

If you have a suggestion for our Snollygoster of the Week award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.

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