Ohio 12 to close to call, NY Congressman Indicted, and Russian Sanctions

The 12th district in the state of Ohio held a special election yesterday. Back in October 2017, Ohio Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi announced he was going to become the president of the Ohio Business Roundtable, and resigning from the  the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats put up Franklin County Recorder, Danny O’Connor as their nominee and Republicans choose State Sen. Troy Balderson as their nominee. As of 3:30 this afternoon the polls show Troy Balderson with 101,566 votes and Danny O’Connor with 99,800 votes. Although this seems to be a significant amount of votes counted, there is still 0.8% difference between the two candidates and the district still need to count the 8,483 provisional and absentee ballots. Ohio state law dictates that these ballots cannot be counted until August 18th, 11 days after the election. Even with this close election and the 8,000 plus ballots that need to be counted and no official networks have called the election, Balderson has claimed victory, he tweeted; “THANK YOU #OH12! I am honored for the opportunity to represent Ohio's 12th Congressional District. I will work relentlessly for everyone in this district. Congratulations to Danny O'Connor on running a hard-fought race." President Trump followed with a tweet of his own; “When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.” O’Connor has not yet conceded to losing the election.  

Christopher Collins, a New York Congressman was indicted today for accusations of insider trading. Collins is accused of using insider knowledge of a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades. At the arraignment this morning, Collins, his son, and the father of his soon to be daughter-in-law plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts and were released on a $500,000 bond. U.S. attorney, Geoffrey Berman outlined the case simply; “Congressman Collins, who by virtue of his office helps to write the laws of our nation, acted as if the law did not apply to him." The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to prohibit Collins from serving an officer or director of a public company and after the indictment was publicly announced, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan temporarily removed Collins from the Energy and Commerce Committee. Ryan stated; While his guilt or innocence is a question for the courts to settle, the allegations against Rep. Collins demand a prompt and thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee..."Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.”

Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman from the State Department announced that the United States would be placing sanctions on Russia as a result of the country violating international law. President Trump is blaming Russia for the poisoning of former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal last March. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any involvement on the poisoning Trump maintains it looks like there was involvement.