Marc Kovac - Crazy political predictions

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COLUMBUS -- If you had asked an average person four years ago the chances of Ohio landing both a major political convention and LeBron James, they probably would have said somewhere between zilch and nada.

Yet in the past month or so, both have come to fruition, with the Republican National Convention headed to Cleveland in 2016 and the King's return to the Cavaliers next season.

Pretty crazy, huh?

That prompted me to wonder what other wild predictions could be made about Ohio's coming political landscape.

And that resulted in the following list.

Take them for what they are -- crazy predictions that couldn't happen in a million years.

Or could they?

• GOP Sweep: Republicans will again sweep the state in November, winning all five statewide offices and retaining their majorities in the Ohio House and Senate.

In fact, the latter will continue to secure super majorities in the chambers, but a split among moderate conservative and ultra-conservative members will make it difficult to move hot button legislation.

• High Court: There will be one silver lining for Democrats in the November GOP tsunami: Another judge named O'Donnell will win a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, adding a second minority party member to the bench.

• The Peacemaker: Gov. John Kasich will bring Republicans and Democrats to the table to hash out a compromise package of election law changes, including setting early voting hours, to satisfy voters from both sides of the political aisle.

Kasich and Republican leadership also will refrain from moving a revamped Heartbeat Bill, right to work and other controversial measures, focusing their attention instead on eliminating Ohio's income tax.

• Presidential Aspirations: With a recovering economy and a handful of bipartisan bills on major issues, Kasich will dip his toe into the presidential pool, vowing to take his "Ohio Model" to the nation to cut spending, eliminate bureaucracy and provide for the needy, all while reducing tax rates.

• Ballot Issues: Advocates for gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana will finally qualify for the ballot, and the issues will both pass. Lawmakers will figure out ways to institute additional fees for marriage licenses and additional taxes on pot, further stuffing the states coffers in the process.

• Dann's Return: Former Attorney General Marc Dann, who resigned following a scandal that involved Hawaiian pizza and home security systems, will win the foreclosure case he argued before the Ohio Supreme Court, prompting some upheaval in the housing market and making him a champion of the downtrodden. He'll use that momentum to polish his tarnished image and return to public office in some capacity within the next decade.

• Mandel's Future: Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel will overcome the messy campaigns of the past and move on from his current post into another elected office, where he will continue to frustrate and irritate his political rivals.

• Champions: The Cleveland Browns and Cavaliers will win championships in their respective sports, returning a measure of respect to the beleaguered sports town.

OK, maybe that last one is a bit too crazy.

(Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.)

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