David DeWitt

David DeWitt

OCJ Editor-in-Chief and Columnist David DeWitt has been covering government, politics, and policy in Ohio since 2007, including education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, state and local government, business, labor, energy, environment, and social issues. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS, and He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and is a board member of the E.W. Scripps Society of Alumni and Friends. He can be found on Twitter @DC_DeWitt


Householder and Borges felony convictions just a start in stopping Ohio pay-to-play corruption

By: - March 10, 2023

The fact that former Ohio Republican House Speaker Larry Householder and former Ohio Republican Chair Matt Borges are now convicted felons in a $61 million political bribery, $1.3 billion utility bailout scandal is just a beginning. Ohio still has a long way to go in cleaning up a rampant culture of pay-to-play corruption that has […]


Frank LaRose’s Ohio model: Illegal gerrymandering and ruthlessly attacking voters at every turn

By: - March 2, 2023

Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose is slated to appear Saturday at the ultra-right wing, back-slapping Washington D.C. CPAC conference on an election panel titled, “They Stole it From Us Legally.” LaRose is there to promote what he likes to call the “Ohio Model” for elections, which Ohioans now know from first-hand experience includes […]


Vance a shameless apologist for insurrection in America and war crime assaults on democracy abroad

By: - February 23, 2023

The horror stories of civilian massacres coming out of Ukraine apparently carry no weight with Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance. Vance continues to push against any American role in defending the assaulted democratic ally a full year after Russia’s invasion. Meanwhile, as the anniversary comes Feb. 24, Ukrainian civilians are suffering a shocking level […]


Ohio’s billion-dollar bailout bribery trial showcasing rampant arrogance, corruption, and enabling

By: - February 16, 2023

Every day more details emerge from Ohio’s billion-dollar bailout bribery trial showcasing gargantuan levels of arrogance, corruption, and enabling among energy executives and Ohio’s most powerful Republican politicians. Yesterday in federal court, prosecutors played recordings of late Ohio right-wing lobbyist Neil Clark that showed in extravagant detail how dirty Ohio politicians and power players really […]


Notable Black history abounds in Ohio’s past

By: - February 9, 2023

As we celebrate Black History Month, with Black history under political attack in America’s classrooms, now is probably a good time to take a look back at significant Black history that happened right here in Ohio. In many ways, Ohio’s contribution to Black history began with its very founding. Considered one of the most important […]


Ohio cheats taxpayers and public schools by funneling money to unaccountable private interests

By: - February 2, 2023

Many Ohioans pay taxes for schools but don’t have school-age children. Their taxes are meant to fund quality public schools because having educated citizens is a public good. Sending their money to unaccountable for-profit, private, and religious schools is a terrible abuse. Compelling taxpayers to support private interests at the expense of public ones is […]


Rampant ‘good old boys’ corruption is robbing Ohioans blind

By: - January 26, 2023

The first couple days of the Larry Householder/Matt Borges/FirstEnergy political bribery, billion dollar bailout corruption scandal conjured up stereotypical scenes from a poorly written movie: Fat cat politicians and lobbyists jet-setting on private corporate planes to D.C. to wine and dine at expensive steakhouses with other fat cat corporate executives. I imagine glasses of Scotch […]


LGBTQ kids need protection from bullies and violence, not adults targeting and bullying them too

By: - January 19, 2023

I grew up in a struggling, post-industrial Ohio town in the 1990s where ignorance and intolerance often reigned. I stood up to bullies my whole life, and when put under physical threat, I fought them. No bully can intimidate me, and so even though I was definitely a weird kid, I was also funnier, smarter, […]


Ohio’s new Republican crybaby caucus another consequence of gerrymandering

By: - January 12, 2023

After a weeklong meltdown of moaning, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, a new faction of Ohio House Republicans capped off their temper tantrum Wednesday by revitalizing plans to subject the Ohio Constitution and all Ohioans to extremist minority rule. Last week, 54 adults in the Ohio House came together in a bipartisan vote to elect […]


The Ghost of an Idea: A reflection on Charles Dickens and the history and meaning of the season

By: - December 24, 2022

Since the stone age, winter festivals have bestowed their warming glow of fire and light and bountiful feast in nearly every culture of human civilization drudging through the cold, dark, biting months surrounding the solstice. Using the stars and sun as a guide for monitoring the seasons, humans through history sowed their crops, stocked food […]


Ohio Rep. Stewart gives amendment game away on extremist abortion bans and illegal gerrymandering

By: - December 15, 2022

There’s an old saying that a journalist’s job is to always search for the truth, and a politician’s job is to never give the game away. Ashville Republican state Rep. Brian Stewart made every Ohio journalist’s job a little easier Wednesday after giving the game away regarding his attack on Ohio voters’ power to amend […]


A point-by-point refutation of LaRose and Stewart’s arguments for attacking Ohio voters

By: - December 8, 2022

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose seems to be big mad at being called out for attacking Ohio voters’ democratic power at the ballot box, after leading a proposal to raise the threshold for amendments from 50% to 60%. State Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, has become the legislative sponsor for the scheme. Because their arguments […]