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.

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Abortion rights advocates in Ohio are worried about the effect of what they call a “gag rule” that would ban family planning clinics that get federal funds from referring women for abortions or from sharing space with abortion providers.

Karen Kasler

Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped again, to a level not seen in 16 years.

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Lawmakers are considering the state’s options in the wake of a US Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for legalized sports betting throughout the country.

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Gov. John Kasich found himself in some hot water after saying in a recent speech that he doesn’t believe Lake Erie is impaired, contradicting a declaration from his own Environmental Protection Agency in March. Now Kasich is clarifying those comments.

Karen Kasler

Saying he’s frustrated with federal inaction on immigration, Gov. John Kasich has signed an executive order that he says will assist legal immigrants in getting work, finding help and integrating into Ohio.

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Tuesday’s primary didn’t offer a lot of support for the theory that a Democratic “blue wave” is sweeping through Ohio this year. But there also didn’t seem to be a whole lot of evidence that Republicans have to be on the “Trump train” to win elections.

Karen Kasler

Republican candidates on this fall’s ballot are moving to distance themselves from the founder of what was the state’s largest online charter schoo, following a state audit that could result in criminal charges and reports of an FBI investigation for illegal campaign contributions.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich had a message for both his fellow Republican and the Democrat who were winners in yesterday’s primary for governor.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has signed an executive order opening up any public road around the state for testing for driverless vehicles.

Karen Kasler

While there may have been a lot of interest in yesterday’s primary among political junkies, turnout among Ohio voters was just under 21 percent.

Karen Kasler

Voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1, which changes the way the state’s Congressional district map will be drawn in 2021 and beyond. It sets up new rules on splitting counties and increasing minority party input.

Daniel Konik

More than 260,000 Ohioans voted early by mail or in person - before primary election day. There are nearly 8 million registered voters in Ohio. And historically, turnout for primaries in Ohio is just under 30 percent.

"The State of Ohio"

Tomorrow’s primary results will determine the people who will represent the major political parties in this fall’s races for governor, Congress, the state legislature and for the Republicans – US Senate. But they could also hint at what will happen later this year.

Karen Kasler

Personal income tax revenue is back up again in the latest round of monthly reports from the state budget office.

Karen Kasler

The only statewide issue on the May primary ballot nearly didn’t make it – though it’s been talked about for decades. There's a long history of the complicated Issue 1, which some activists call a historic effort to change the way the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts is created.

Daniel Konik

The state has submitted its application to the federal government for permission to impose work requirements on 36,000 Ohio Medicaid recipients.

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With a week to go before the primary, a supporter of Republican frontrunner for governor Mike DeWine is claiming that a $3 million loan to the campaign of DeWine’s opponent was an illegal contribution.

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The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that cities have the right to operate traffic cameras. Now the court is deciding whether a lower court can block a plan to cut state funding to certain communities using those cameras. 

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The state is moving mental health and addiction services for low income Ohioans into Medicaid managed care by July 1, and it’s the biggest and most complicated change the behavioral health system in Ohio has ever seen. But a survey of more than a hundred of those providers shows the redesign is straining their finances and could shut them down.

Karen Kasler

A bill to crack down on payday lending passed an Ohio House committee without any changes – a week after the House Speaker resigned and a vote on it was halted.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s death penalty law.

Ohio House

Another state representative has confirmed he’s interested in the job of House Speaker, now that Cliff Rosenberger has resigned following reports that the FBI is asking questions about his travel alongside lobbyists connected to payday lending.

Karen Kasler

What was once the state’s largest online charter school has been shut down since January – after saying it couldn’t pay the bill the state says it owes for overcounting students. But the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is still trying to win at least one battle in its ongoing legal war with the state.

Ohio House

The sudden resignation of Speaker Cliff Rosenberger – after reports the FBI is looking into his travel records – has left the top leadership role in the Ohio House up for grabs. And those who would like the job are lining up.

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With a little over three weeks till the primary, the Republican candidates for governor and their supporters are spending millions on advertising. The ad war is heating up, with lawyers now getting involved.

Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies' "State of Poverty 2017" report

A group that advocates for low-income people has issued its annual report on the state of poverty in Ohio. 

Karen Kasler

Though Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger announced on Tuesday that he would leave May 1, his resignation is now effective immediately. But Rosenberger is still maintaining his innocence in the face of an FBI inquiry.

Karen Kasler

It’s not uncommon to see a tent on the Statehouse grounds – but the beginnings of a full-sized house right outside the west stairs of the building was unusual.

Karen Kasler

The Speaker of the Ohio House has resigned, days after he hired a lawyer and admitted he’d learned  the FBI was asking questions about him.

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Lawmakers are returning to Columbus after spring break amid mounting questions about the House Speaker and an FBI inquiry into activities he may be involved in. 

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