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.


Vote. The future of democracy in America depends on voters shedding apathy and getting engaged

By: - November 1, 2022

“I think the biggest threat [to democracy] will be if the exhausted majority is too tired to get engaged. I think that’s a threat: Good people doing nothing or good people sitting on the sidelines.”-Tim Ryan, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio.  History is replete with examples of good people doing nothing while bad […]


Portman has betrayed his principles to stand with Vance and Trump

By: - October 25, 2022

Rob Portman is afraid. Even now, with his retirement from the U.S. Senate imminent, the Cincinnati Republican is afraid. Of making waves. Of drawing heat from the treasonous, corrupt  and increasingly unhinged sociopath who controls his party. Of becoming a hounded MAGA enemy of the Dear Leader.  But whenever principle has demanded courage, Portman has […]


Ohio GOP leaders push U.S. Supreme Court to give them free rein to rig elections with gerrymandering

By: - October 18, 2022

All the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling party in Ohio is appealing for absolute power to rig federal elections in the state. Ohio Republicans want the Ohio Supreme Court removed as an arbiter of constitutional compliance for congressional district maps that break all the rules of fairness. They don’t give a damn […]


DeWine can’t compensate for ripping away women’s bodily freedom with handouts

By: - October 11, 2022

And lo, there was great rejoicing among the subjugated sex in Ohio. He who would control their bodies, and thus their liberties, was talking diaper discounts! What a game changer. In exchange for ripping away their reproductive freedom, Mike DeWine was dishing deals to pregnant women and girls (and rape and incest victims) to mitigate […]


No polarization about the heartbreak of letting go and other lessons from a dying dog

By: - October 4, 2022

I knew it was coming. We all did. He was old. In failing health. Emaciated. His body was bony. Arthritic. Standing up was a struggle. So was walking. But he rallied. For us. Showed flashes of his younger self. Gave his family false hope that he had longer to live than he did.  In human […]


Republican big wigs right to chagrin over Ohio’s radical, conspiracy theorist candidates

By: - September 27, 2022

In a rare moment of candor, U.S. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell downplayed expectations of Republicans capturing control of the Senate in the 2022 midterms. “Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” he drawled. Ohio will surely test his theory on Nov. 8 with its spate of low-bar candidates stumbling to the […]


An empowered electorate will face choices in 2022 election, candidates face reckoning

By: - September 20, 2022

After the 2016 election, shellshocked women braced for the worst. A crude misogynist – and direct threat to reproductive, civil and human rights–was poised to make the next four years a living hell. The day after he was inaugurated president, more than four million women (and men) hit the streets in massive marches to decry […]


Trump betrayed America and the Constitution. He shouldn’t be welcomed to Ohio as some kind of hero

By: - September 13, 2022

An ex-president, who should be wearing an orange jumpsuit to match his spray-painted visage, will do Ohio the dishonor of swooping into our great state Saturday. In a bygone era of normal, the twice-impeached disaster, under multiple criminal investigations, who tried to topple his own government — and pilfered highly classified documents at grave risk […]


J.D. Vance can’t hide his radical, extremist agenda with Hallmark-style ads

By: - August 16, 2022

The average snake sheds its skin three to six times a year. The average politician sheds skin throughout the year — as soon as old layers become liabilities. J.D. Vance is in a class all his own. The Republican nominee angling to replace Rob Portman as U.S. Senator sports new epidermis so often snakeskin sightings […]


Republican leaders tax Ohioans with costly second primary for rigged Statehouse districts

By: - August 9, 2022

To market members of the Grand Old Party as money-saving, by-the-book, principled conservatives must be a Herculean task in Ohio. Especially after state Republican officials blew a giant hole in their party brand with an election held for no good reason last Tuesday. Their part deux primary — that nobody knew about — destroyed any […]


Women will not go quietly into a repressive post-Roe world

By: - August 2, 2022

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, goes the famously true idiom. Ohio candidates running for office on an anti-women agenda in 2022 would be well to remember the phrase. Women will not go quietly into a repressive post-Roe world. Campaigners who think they can hide from their rhetoric or records and avoid the […]


Anti-abortion extremist who helped impose gerrymandered maps rewarded by Ohio Gov. DeWine

By: - July 26, 2022

Anti-abortion leader Mike Gonidakis has made quite a name for himself in Ohio Republican circles. The Ohio Right to Life president has strengthened the GOP’s gerrymandered hold on state politics. In return, the party has given Gonidakis enormous power over state abortion policy and state physicians who run afoul of draconian statutes regulating health care […]