Marilou Johanek

Marilou Johanek

Marilou Johanek is a veteran Ohio print and broadcast journalist who has covered state and national politics as a longtime newspaper editorial writer and columnist.


Ohio Republican attack on higher ed will devastate our widely respected colleges and universities

By: - May 23, 2023

Bad news, Buckeyes. Ohio has officially gone down the Florida rabbit hole on Ohio State University and every other public college and university in the state. The new abnormal of legislative extremism in Columbus hit a whole new level of atrocious last week with passage of a bill “to rescue higher education in Ohio from […]


Save the date: Ohio’s Aug. 8 election puts nearly 175 years of majority voter authority on the line

By: - May 16, 2023

Save the date. Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. Put it in your phone. Circle it on your calendar. Tack it to your fridge. Make sure everyone you know does the same. It’s an election day you can’t miss — if a  lawsuit before the Ohio Supreme Court doesn’t stop it first as an illegal maneuver by […]

People visit a memorial in the Oregon District, where a mass shooting left nine dead and 27 wounded, on August 07, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall in El Paso killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Ohio needs more action than lowered flags in gun tragedies

By: - May 9, 2023

“In remembrance of the victims.”  That’s the template phrase routinely inserted in statements from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine whenever he orders flags flown at half-staff after a mass shooting. He did the same Sunday after the latest slaughter in Texas over the weekend – the second deadliest shooting in a year already filled with victims […]


Illinois billionaire attacking Ohio voters also funded Jan. 6 and election deniers

By: - May 2, 2023

Why is a fat cat in Illinois trying to influence lawmaking in Ohio that attempts to destroy the ability of citizens to amend their constitution? Good question. Kind of goes right to the heart of the phony Republican argument for making it near-impossible to pass citizen initiatives in the state: To protect the Ohio Constitution […]


Ohio Republicans attacking voters seem to believe citizens are stupid, ignorant, and over-emotional

By: - April 25, 2023

You should know how little Ohio Statehouse politicians think of you, the constituents they were ostensibly elected to represent in Columbus. Hate to break it to you, but the pols running the legislature dismiss you as stupid, confused, and prone to emotion. We simpleminded citizens are incompetent to govern ourselves. We can’t be trusted to […]


Jordan using ‘majority muscle’ for conspiracy theories

By: - April 11, 2023

“Weaponization.” It’s the latest buzzword deployed by the “anti-woke” geniuses to describe what the phantom “deep state” is doing to us. I think. It’s hard to make sense of stupidity. But on Capitol Hill, the conspiracy-under-every-rock caucus is throwing a spectacle over the term. MAGA publicity hounds are issuing a flood of subpoenas to stop […]


Vance and other Republicans pounce on Trump indictment as “fundraising gold” from MAGA zealots

By: - April 4, 2023

Bonus day for indictment grifters came early last week! Among the first to cash in on the judicial comeuppance of a gilded conman holed up in Florida was none other than Ohio’s own snake in the grass, Republican J.D. Vance. The poser playing U.S. Senator and MAGA prince — thanks to billionaire coastal elitists and […]


Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman attacking voters to uphold state GOP’s patriarchy

By: - March 28, 2023

“This is not what democracy looks like,” said state Rep. Anita Somani, D-Dublin. The new lawmaker, a practicing Ob-Gyn, had just listened to testimony on a proposed resolution to change the constitutional amendment process in Ohio. The reaction of the Columbus Democrat, shared by many in the packed hearing room, was spot on.  The Ohio […]


LaRose bends to election denying extremists again by pulling Ohio out of database integrity program

By: - March 21, 2023

Watch what the “election integrity” scammers do, not what they say. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says a lot these days about voter fraud because he’s posturing for a U.S. Senate run. LaRose, like every other MAGA-snowing Republican, knows the GOP base believes the myth of massive voting fraud so he talks as though […]

Getty Images photo of concealed carry.

Ohio Republican gun law proposal is unconstitutional, performative, and needlessly dangerous

By: - March 14, 2023

Ohio leaders have bent over backward to give powerful gun lobbyists everything they wanted and more. The National Rifle Association owns our Statehouse lock, stock, and barrel. Republican lawmakers can’t introduce and pass enough pro-gun, industry-written legislation to legalize unlimited gun access in Ohio and allow unrestricted freedom to strap on a Glock anytime, anywhere […]


Ohio Republicans hellbent on turning state’s public education system into political rubber stamp

By: - March 7, 2023

Dishonest and dangerous. No other way to describe Matt Huffman’s fever dream to wrest control of educational policymaking from educators at the Ohio Department of Education and the state school board. The Ohio Senate president is hellbent on turning the state’s independent public education system into a political entity that he and other Republican lawmakers […]


Opportunists exploiting East Palestine’s suffering population with politics and race-baiting

By: - February 28, 2023

Poor East Palestine. It’s bad enough that the northeast Ohio village is living through the nightmare of a toxic train wreck. Apprehension and uncertainty grip the town. Nobody knows what the long-term health effects of air and water contamination will be after the controlled burning of cancer-causing chemicals from derailed tanker cars. Official reassurances that […]