Karen Kasler

Bureau Chief

Credit Kristen Kasler Peters

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan. She grew up in Lancaster, attended Otterbein College in Westerville, and found her first professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After earning her Master's Degree in that program, she worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus and then moved north to become the afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor for WTAM-AM, Cleveland. Karen followed the demolition and rebuilding of Cleveland Browns Stadium, produced award-winning series on identity theft and the Y2K panic, covered the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the blackout of 2003, and reported annually from the Cleveland National Air Show each year, often going upside down in an aerobatic plane to do it. In 1999, she was a media witness to the execution of Wilford Berry, at the time the first man put to death since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and also co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, which featured her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus, she's covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a moderator for US Senate debates in 2012 and 2010, participated in several debates in 2010, and has led debates over statewide issues. She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and several local and regional stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on WCPN/ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas", a frequent guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and has appeared on WBNS-TV's "Face the State".

She's been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the Ohio Educational Telecommunications Commission, and holds a National Headliner Award. She's won several awards from the Ohio AP, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She's a three-time Emmy nominee for "The State of Ohio". She's a past president of the Ohio Associated Press, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Karen is also a former adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus.

Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

Screenshot/youtube

The same day that Republican Mike DeWine aired his first ad of this fall’s governor’s race, a group of Democratic governors launched their ad against him.

Karen Kasler

Experts say the decentralized, tamperproof digital ledger system known as blockchain has the potential to completely change commerce, culture, and communication – as the internet and smartphones have. And Republican state lawmakers say they want in on it.

Mike DeWine, Facebook

Republican Mike DeWine has put out his first ad for this fall’s race for governor – and it’s a reminder that the two leading contenders in this contest have faced each other before.

Karen Kasler

The panel that decides the wording of statewide ballot issues has agreed on the language for the only one voters will see this fall.  It’s a resolution to a dispute over Issue 1, which supporters say will prioritize treatment over prison for drug offenders, but opponents say will make communities more dangerous.

Andy Chow

Gov. John Kasich says he won’t be at the Ohio Republican Party’s biggest annual fundraising event, which this year will feature President Trump – who is both a Kasich critic and a frequent target of Kasich’s criticism.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich continues to be concerned about the future of Medicaid expansion after he’s out of office in five months.  He's defending the program he pushed past skeptical state lawmakers in 2013 through a new study and through people who are in it.

Karen Kasler

Groups representing low-income people are calling on state regulators to reject AT&T’s plan to drop out of a federal program that helps over 10,000 of its Ohio customers afford telephone service.

Karen Kasler

The state auditor is urging lawmakers to tell Ohio Medicaid to halt its plan to change its contracts with two pharmacy benefits managers over the way those prescription drug middlemen price their services.

Ohio Education Policy Institute

A report commissioned by Ohio’s three major public school groups shows that state funding for K-12 education hasn’t bridged the gap between rich and poor districts, and hasn't kept pace with inflation.  It’s the first comprehensive look at state and local aid for schools since a landmark Ohio Supreme Court ruling declaring the property tax based funding system unconstitutional.

Ohio Medicaid

Ohio Medicaid is telling its five managed care plans to sever their contracts with two pharmacy benefits managers, and to work up new deals by the beginning of the year.

Karen Kasler

The Republican candidate for governor has rolled out a workforce development and economic investment plan that he describes as cutting edge – focusing on public-private partnerships but also shutting down what he says are regulations that hurt businesses.

Daniel Konik

Ohioans won’t vote this fall on a ballot issue capping how much clinics can charge for kidney dialysis. The Ohio Supreme Court says signatures were gathered for the Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Amendment without the proper paperwork.

Karen Kasler

County commissioners are firing back at a proposal coming next week from a Republican state lawmaker that would restrict their legal power to raise county sales taxes.

Karen Kasler

Victims of sexual assault may soon have a new way to find out the status and location of a key piece of evidence in their cases instantly and anonymously.

Jo Ingles

The close contest in the 12th Congressional district and this fall’s battle for governor have gotten the attention of many political watchers in Ohio. But after regaining minor party status last month, the Libertarian Party of Ohio says it’s ready to be noticed. 

Twitter

Republican candidate for governor Mike DeWine says he supports Medicaid expansion for all 700,000 Ohioans covered under it, but with work requirements. He says the program must be changed to be financially sustainable. But while those work requirements have strong support from Republican voters,  they might not have a huge effect on the overall cost of the program.

Karen Kasler

A year ago this week, an 18-year-old Columbus man was killed on a thrill ride on the first day of the Ohio State Fair. There’s been legislation proposed to strengthen ride safety since then, but the law named for Tyler Jarrell hasn’t passed.

Karen Kasler

The debate over how the major party candidates for governor feel about Medicaid expansion has launched into an examination of exactly who are the 700,000 Ohioans in that expansion population – and who are not included.

pharmacy.ohio.gov/

There have been court challenges by rejected applicants, inspections issues and other problems in putting the state’s medical marijuana program into effect. And now there’s yet another delay in the program, which was supposed to be up and running in less than two months.

Ohio Chamber Foundation

A research arm of the state’s leading business lobby has put together a set of recommendations to improve the economy by growing innovation. That proposal has been presented to the candidates for governor.

Twitter

A county Republican Party leader is getting a lot of state and national attention for his decision to resign after watching President Trump’s press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. But unlike Trump, he’s not walking back or changing what he said.

CVS Caremark

It’ll be at least a week before the state will release a full report it commissioned on how much it’s paying its pharmacy benefit managers compared to how much those PBMs are paying out to pharmacies for drugs for Medicaid recipients.

Karen Kasler

Republican Gov. John Kasich and the Democrat who wants to replace him have said Ohio needs to fight efforts to overturn the pre-existing conditions requirement for health insurers in the Affordable Care Act. Nearly five million Ohioans could be affected if that requirement were tossed out. The Republican running for governor has addressed the issue as well.

Twitter

The Republican candidate for governor says he’s had a plan to keep Medicaid expansion for all 700,000 Ohioans covered under it. His Democratic opponent calls that a major about-face. And it shows there’s been a lot of confusion surrounding this key state policy, and what either candidate will do with Medicaid expansion if he is elected.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich is sounding off on the lack of movement on gun regulations that he’d proposed earlier this year, commenting on it in two separate public events.

Karen Kasler

For the first time, the Republican candidate for governor is stating clearly that he would keep Medicaid expansion for all 700,000 Ohioans covered under it.  Mike DeWine says he’s been supportive all along, but his opponent says that’s not true.

Earthobservatory.NASA.gov

Gov. John Kasich has signed an executive order that could end up creating new regulations on fertilizer used by farms in the western basin of Lake Erie, which he says it will help stop toxic algae blooms from developing.

Karen Kasler

The candidates for governor appear to have different approaches on how they’d pay for infrastructure, with construction costs going up and gas tax revenue declining.

Karen Kasler

Even though the US Supreme Court has ruled that Ohio’s disputed six-year voter roll maintenance process is constitutional, no voters will be removed from the rolls till after the November election. But there’s now a plan on how to go forward with voter removal after that.

Twitter: @ocsea

A national group that advocates for so-called “right to work” policies is threatening to sue Ohio if it doesn’t stop collecting dues from state workers who are not union members, following last month’s US Supreme Court decision on the issue. But the state’s largest public employee union says the threat is unnecessary – and went to the wrong agency anyway.

Pages