Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted won't run for Portman's US Senate seat
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Cross Lt. Gov. Jon Husted off the lengthy list of Ohio figures considering a run at the seat U.S. Sen. Rob Portman will vacate early in 2023.
In a Wednesday afternoon statement, Husted confirmed that he would not be pursuing the open seat in 2022. Instead, he is focused on a reelection campaign alongside Gov. Mike DeWine and someday running for the state's top job.
"The primary reason to run for public office is to have the opportunity to use the authority of that office to improve the lives of the people you represent," he said in the statement released on Twitter. "Being Lt. Governor provides me that fulfilling opportunity and I intend to keep doing this job, run for re-election, and one day in the future, I intend to run for governor."
Portman announced Monday that he would not be pursuing another Senate term in 2022, citing partisan gridlock in Congress. Husted, a Republican, is one of only a few public figures and politicians in Ohio who have taken themselves out of the race.
Former U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, now president of the Ohio Business Roundtable, also said on Wednesday that he wasn't interested in the job.
“My current role as President & CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable has allowed me to help improve the lives of Ohioans through championing pro-growth policies to grow our state, and that remains my primary focus going forward," Tiberi said in a prepared statement. "It is my hope that Senator Portman’s successor follow in his footsteps of prioritizing good policies over politics, and learn to seek common ground with those across the aisle to help heal and move the country forward.”
Republicans have speculated that U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana, an ally of former President Donald Trump in Congress, might make a play for the seat, and former Treasurer Josh Mandel, a one-time Senate candidate, is sitting on $4.3 million in a federal campaign account. - The Columbus Dispatch
Report: Biden’s brother promotes tie to president in ad for South Florida law firm
President Joe Biden’s younger brother, Frank Biden, promoted his relationship with the president in an ad for a South Florida law firm, CNBC reported Wednesday.
Frank Biden isn’t a lawyer. But the Berman Law Group, based in Boca Raton, lists him as a “senior adviser” on its website.
The business news channel reported that the Berman Law Group ad featuring him was published in the Daily Business Review on Jan. 20, the day Joe Biden was inaugurated president.
CNBC reported that the ad “features a photo of Frank Biden, along with quotes regarding his relationship with the incoming president and the family name” as a reason to work with the Berman group.
Frank Biden’s response: “I have never used my brother to obtain clients for my firm. Our firm has long been involved (with) this lawsuit. Social justice is something I have been involved in for years,” Frank Biden said. “I will never be employed by any lobbyist or lobbying firm.”
The focus of the ad is to promote the firm’s work on a class action lawsuit against a group of South Florida sugarcane growers, CNBC said. - South Florida Sun Sentinel
Upstate New York man who bragged about smoking in Capitol charged in Jan. 6 siege
An upstate New York man who bragged in a Facebook video that he was in the “Capitol building smoking with all my people!” has been charged in the Jan. 6 siege, federal court documents show.
James Bonet, of Glens Falls, New York, was “smoking what appears to be a marijuana cigarette inside the U.S. Capitol” in the now-deleted video, according to the criminal complaint.
One of Bonet’s co-workers sent the video to colleagues on the evening of Jan. 6 before tipping off the FBI about Bonet’s involvement in the insurrection, the complaint said.
Another video posted on social media showed Bonet calling out to other Trump-supporters inside the halls of Congress.
“We made it in the building b-----s!” he said, according to court papers. “We’re taking it back! We are taking it back, we made it in the building!”
Bonet also uploaded a photo of a Trump flag as supporters marched toward the Capitol with the caption, “Right in the doorsteps this is our house we will take it back.”
Bonet was charged with disorderly conduct on U.S. Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building. - New York Daily News
Russia's parliament approves extension of New START nuclear treaty
MOSCOW - The Russian parliament has approved the extension of the last remaining nuclear arms control pact on Wednesday, days before it had been due to expire, according to the Kremlin.
The lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, voted unanimously to extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) treaty for five years. The upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, followed suit later in the day.
After being passed by parliament, the law introduced by Russian President Vladimir Putin comes into force upon publication.
The Trump administration had negotiated with Russia on the issue, but had been unable to reach a deal.
The New START agreement went into effect in 2011 and establishes a deal between the United States and Russia setting controls on weapons stockpiles and allowing inspections.
The two countries control about 90% of the world's nuclear weapons stockpile. New START limits the two countries to 1,550 ready-to-launch nuclear warheads and 800 launch systems each.
According to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, the U.S. and Russia have mainly bought themselves more time to negotiate a new agreement that could involve other nuclear powers as well as other types of weapons. - dpa, Berlin