Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 9
Given that a majority of Americans dislike the two major-party candidates for president, the Commission on Presidential Debates should open up the first presidential debate to one or more third-party candidates.
The likeliest contender is Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, now running as the nominee of the Libertarian Party, on a ticket with Libertarian vice presidential nominee William Weld, former two-term governor of Massachusetts.
At present, Johnson is barred from the debates because of rules set by the presidential-debate commission. It requires that candidates draw an average of at least 15 percent in five national polls in order to take part. Of all the third-party candidates, Johnson has come closest, achieving 10 percent support in a Quinnipiac University poll pitting him against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. The RealClearPolitics website, which averages a variety of recent national polls, shows Johnson drawing 8.4 percent support and Stein 3.2 percent.
Those are anemic numbers, but it’s important to remember how disadvantaged third-party candidates are in the American electoral system. Start with the fact that politics in the United States often is described as a “two-party system.” This, despite the fact that there is no limit on the number of political parties that can contend for political office…
The (Findlay) Courier, Sept. 9
Building a violent offender registry, similar to one Ohio already has for convicted sex offenders, would seem to be an easy task.
Lawmakers could create a database with public information on those convicted of murder, attempted murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery and, perhaps, certain other serious crimes.
The registry could include where the person lives, works and frequents, the kind of vehicle they drive, the crime they committed, and how long they’ve been out of prison.
But the job may not be that simple.
How long should an offender be kept in such a database? For 10 years? 25? Forever?
What about those who have served their time and have rehabilitated themselves? How long is long enough to be publicly branded for a crime?
Finding the right balance between public safety and offenders’ rights is ahead for Sens. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, and Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, and other lawmakers who are expected to explore creation of such a registry this fall.
The idea arose shortly after University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin, 20, was found murdered in a Fulton County cornfield not far from where she had been riding her bike. The man charged with her death, James Worley, lives in the area, and had served three years in prison after being convicted of abduction in 1990…
The Marietta Times, Sept. 7
Politics has made stranger bedfellows under President Barack Obama than at any other time during recent memory.
He insists he trusts Iran to put its nuclear weapons plan on hold, despite evidence Tehran already is cheating on its promise to do so.
Obama has normalized relations with Cuba, even though that country’s leaders continue to condemn this country and have shown no sign of relaxing their iron grip on the island nation.
Even Islamic terrorists are getting a break through Obama’s campaign to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, despite bipartisan opposition in Congress.
And now, Obama plans to continue devastating U.S. industries, particularly mining and electric utilities, by pushing ahead with a climate change deal with the Chinese. He sealed the deal two weeks ago with an accord calling for both countries to reduce carbon emissions.
This is the same China that has launched cyberattacks on U.S. businesses, is building illegal military bases in the South China Sea and continues to use unfair business practices to damage American companies…
The Toledo Blade, Sept. 11
There are probably few better examples of bouncing back from life’s difficulties than the athletes competing at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro until Sept. 18.
There is U.S. swimmer Brad Snyder, who lost his vision when an IED exploded near him as he patrolled with a Navy SEAL unit in Afghanistan in 2011. A former captain of the Naval Academy swimming team, he found solace in the pool and won two gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
“I didn’t like that everyone was so distraught and so messed up (after his injury). I’m used to having a positive impact on people. I didn’t like that so many people were upset. Swimming, in the beginning, was a way to turn that on its head,” Snyder told the Washington Post.
Australian rower Erik Horrie was 7 years old when his parents dropped him off at an orphanage. At 21, he was involved in a head-on accident and was told he would never walk again. He hasn’t, but he became an elite wheelchair basketball player, a silver medalist in 2012 in the single sculls, and, most importantly, a youth counselor…