Around Ohio: GOP seeks records from FitzGerald; Ohio man's online potato salad effort takes off

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GOP seeks records from FitzGerald

Columbus -- The Ohio Republican Party is taking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald to court, trying to force him to release key-card data showing when he enters and leaves county buildings and parking facilities as the Cuyahoga County executive.

The filing July 9 asks the Ohio Supreme Court to compel the data's release as public record.

A FitzGerald campaign spokeswoman calls it a political stunt and says Republicans and Gov. John Kasich should focus on real issues that matter to residents.

Democrats have suggested FitzGerald's refusal to provide the records is similar to the Kasich administration's decision to block release of records detailing threats against the governor, because both involve a government leader's security.

The Supreme Court is weighing a challenge brought by a Democratic-leaning political blog over the threat records.

-- Associated Press

Online potato salad effort takes off

Columbus -- An Ohio man who turned to a crowd-sourcing Internet site to help him pay for a batch of potato salad has raised at least $35,000 from the effort and says he's now considering a huge public potato-salad party.

Zack "Danger" Brown of Columbus says he turned to Kickstarter to help him finance the initial $10 effort. But six days into the campaign, he's raised money from at least 3,000 backers worldwide, and the whole thing has taken on a viral life of its own on the Internet.

All the attention has the 31-year-old co-owner of a software company with minimal sleep during the past 48 hours.

Brown tells The Columbus Dispatch that he did it for the "pure enjoyment and silliness of life."

-- Associated Press

Teens go door to door to license dogs

Akron -- Summit County, which has struggled for years to get more dog owners to license their pets, is taking that effort door to door using a dozen teens in a summer work program.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the teenagers are distributing fliers warning Summit County residents to license dogs as legally required. The fliers include an application on one side.

The county is estimated to have more than 133,000 dogs but lately has logged less than 43,000 individual licenses. The county's previous efforts to increase license sales included amnesty periods and special promotions, but the numbers didn't jump.

A spokeswoman says the county is spending under $2,000 on the door-to-door effort and could break even on the cost if it sells about 115 more licenses.

-- Associated Press

State wants suit over execution

dismissed

Columbus-- The state is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of a condemned inmate who repeatedly gasped and snorted during his January execution.

The lawsuit alleges executed prisoner Dennis McGuire endured needless pain and suffering during his 26-minute execution on Jan. 16.

The state argued in a court filing July 8 that the lawsuit was improperly filed since McGuire's son isn't arguing any violations of his own constitutional rights.

The state also says the lawsuit failed to list specific acts that members of the execution team committed that amounted to constitutional violations.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has denied McGuire suffered but has also changed its policy to boost the dosages of execution drugs used in the future.

-- Associated Press

Arguments detailed in gay marriage fight

Cincinnati-- Attorneys for same-sex couples fighting to have their marriages recognized in Ohio are urging a federal appeals court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban, arguing that it's unconstitutional and demeaning.

The arguments were filed July 8 in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

They are a preview of what's to come on Aug. 6, when the court hears oral arguments in Ohio's case and gay marriage fights from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has vowed to uphold the state's gay marriage ban, saying it was passed by voters in 2004.

In response, attorneys for the same-sex couples say their clients have a constitutional right to marry, and courts have a duty to protect that -- even in the face of the majority.

-- Associated Press

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