Author

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.

COMMENTARY

Giving thanks for vaccines, investments in American people, and those fighting gerrymandering

By: - November 24, 2021

“Unfurrow your brow.” My mom’s frequent admonition to her easily impassioned daughter. I need a lot of reminding. I feel like I’ve been furrowing my forehead nonstop for almost two years straight. But on Turkey Day, I will take a moment, if not the whole day, to unknit that brow and give thanks for small […]

COMMENTARY

Ohio voters who care about democracy must challenge Statehouse autocracy

By: - November 9, 2021

“Once you accept that you have undemocratic statehouses attacking democracy every week and all you do is play defense on some of those attacks, you have literally set yourself up for guaranteed failure.” David Pepper, former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, has an urgent message for every pro-democracy Ohioan: Go on the offense with […]

COMMENTARY

Ohio government panders to hard-right at expense of fair-minded majority

By: - October 21, 2021

State government has taken a hard right turn down a dangerous road in Ohio. It’s not where most Ohioans want to go, but that doesn’t matter. The legislature doesn’t answer to us. An extreme minority is calling the shots with GOP lawmakers. Same thing is happening in other states where Republicans, with an absolute lock […]

COMMENTARY

In reelection mode, DeWine panders to base, ignores will of most Ohioans

By: - October 4, 2021

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is in trouble. He’s in full reelection mode, and nothing is going as planned. He figured he’d coast to a second term on his brand image as a “moderate” Republican ably leading the state. But the curtain has dropped on that façade. Sure, DeWine may still fool some in the national […]

COMMENTARY

Gerrymandering is cheating: Don’t let them get away with it

By: - September 21, 2021

Missouri Republicans thought they could get away with it. “Democracy will cease to exist in Missouri,” declared one newspaper editorial, if state Republicans ignore the will of the people on Medicaid expansion. They tried. For over a year. GOP lawmakers turned their backs on a majority of Missouri voters who amended the Missouri Constitution to […]

COMMENTARY

Think Texas politics is extreme? Ohio right-wing radicalism has taken over the state

By: - September 14, 2021

Don’t kid yourself. Texas radicalism isn’t just coming to a state near you. It’s been in Ohio for a long while and getting worse. Understand that the abhorrent politics being practiced against Texans by the GOP is being mimicked by Republican copycats in Columbus. Hold that thought. Jaws dropped when Texas got away with enacting […]

COMMENTARY

Anger is only making trauma of pandemic worse: We should all try being more constructive

By: - August 30, 2021

Why is everyone so angry about everything? I mean, why does the least provocation, real or imagined, seem to ignite instant rage between friends, complete strangers, in stores, restaurants, on airplanes, while driving, at what used to be civil community events, anywhere? Doesn’t take much to set us off these days. Someone not wearing a […]

COMMENTARY

Candidate version of J.D. Vance using same dog whistles he once derided as a ‘moral disaster’

By: - August 18, 2021

The last time I spoke with J.D. Vance, he was living the good life as an elite West Coast venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. He was a baby-faced investor from southern Ohio who was basking in the unexpected sensation of his newly published bestseller. Everybody had to get their hands on his memoir for what […]

COMMENTARY

Leaders can’t support the American Republic while also supporting efforts to destroy it

By: - July 30, 2021

We used to assume that Democrats and Republicans, all differences aside, at least shared allegiance to the small-d-democratic values that have sustained our republic for over two centuries. We used to assume that the two major political parties in the United States were both committed to a common democracy, including free and fair and accessible […]

COMMENTARY

DeWine using state resources for political stunt in sending troopers to border

By: - July 12, 2021

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is cozying up to the people cozying up to a twice-impeached insurrectionist. That’s bad enough. But he’s doing it at our expense in state resources, tax dollars and community safety. He hoped you wouldn’t notice. That’s why news about the governor sending Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to the Texas-Mexico border […]

COMMENTARY

Right-wing ‘critical race theory’ political charade has people in an uproar over a nonexistent threat

By: - July 7, 2021

The trending outrage of conservative media outlets, think tanks, law firms, political PACs, far right activists and grievance-peddling Republicans, raises the question: “What are they so afraid of?” Clearly, the well-orchestrated crusade to demonize “critical race theory” is about scaring the bejesus out of the GOP base. Fox News made critical race theory its No. […]

COMMENTARY

Denying a financial lifeline to the poorest Ohioans is not the ‘Christian thing to do,’ Gov. DeWine

By: - June 15, 2021

“It’s not a Christian thing to do, it’s not in the Judeo-Christian tradition to hurt people.” That was Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine a year ago, chastising churches who insisted on holding large services during severe outbreaks of Covid-19. Now it’s DeWine who deserves to be castigated for his unchristian-like choice to hurt the most vulnerable […]