Updating blog roll

It has been a long time since I last checked the links on my blogroll.  I have made changes.  Deletions from the blogroll were based on links that stopped working, links that redirected to a totally unrelated page, blogs that were blank, blogs that were password protected, or blogs that hadn’t added content in years.

If you own a website that was deleted and you would like it reinstated, you should probably include an explanation of why I found what I found when I clicked on your link.  If for example, your link was dead because you changed your URL, then I’d be happy to revisit my decision to delete.

After those deletions, I am looking to add to the blogroll.  I will be on the lookout for blogs that are Ohio-based and/or politics-based.  North central Ohio, like the counties along the Lake Erie shoreline between Cleveland and Toledo and a little further inland, is what I consider my home territory, for I have resided in Erie, Seneca, and Lorain counties (Franklin County, too, but plenty of blogs cover Columbus).  Huron, Sandusky, and Ottawa counties are of interest, too.  If you would like your blog added to my blogroll, give me a holler (my profile with email appears on the About page). As you know, I identify myself politically as being right-of-center (even though there are those who disbelieve my self-assessment).

On another note, I was stunned to see that WordPress had begun to place ads on my site.  I paid WordPress extra money just to keep my blog advertisement-free.  If you see ads crop up on Buckeye RINO, I’d appreciate it if you would let me know so that I can investigate.

For social networking, I have been using just Twitter, as I find it least annoying among social networking sites.  I once had Facebook and a few others, but I hated them, so I pulled the plug on them.  However, if readers have a social networking site that they want to recommend, let me know, and if you really think I should return to Facebook, I will entertain your arguments (but make them good, since I’ll be difficult to persuade).

A few county Lincoln Day Dinners in 2014

Looking at search terms that have guided readers to this page in the past 30 days, I can see that some of you are trying to mark dates on your calendar for annually-held Republican Lincoln Day Dinners in Ohio this year.  Unfortunately, Buckeye RINO has not posted such events in a long time, so readers have been disappointed, upon arriving at this website, that the events posted here were held on dates long since passed.  In order to partially satisfy your curiosity on what events are occurring when, I have taken a look around to see what information I could put together.

Thursday, February 13, 2014–Cuyahoga County

  • Guest Speaker: Gov. John Kasich
  • @ the Holiday Inn, 6001 Rockside Rd, Independence OH
  • VIP reception, $750 per person, at 5:30 pm
  • Dinner, $60 per person, at 6:00 pm
  • still seeking event sponsors
  • Contact Julie Kirk (216) 621-5415 or rsvp@cuyahogacountygop.com

Saturday, February 22, 2014–Knox County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner

  • Guest Speaker: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
  • @ Station Break Senior Citizen Center, 160 Howard St., Mount Vernon OH
  • Social Hour at 6pm
  • Dinner, $45 per person, at 7 pm
  • seeking event sponsors up until Wednesday, February 12th–contact Don Divelbiss (740) 392-3873 or ddivelbiss@hotmail.com
  • contact Cindy Higgs (740) 398-5385 or chiggs@embarqmail.com

Thursday, February 27, 2014–Licking County

  • Guest Speaker: Gov. John Kasich
  • @ Reese Center, COTC/OSU-N Campus, 1179 University Dr, Newark OH
  • Private Pre-reception, $50 per person, at 5:30 pm
  • Dinner, $60 per person, at 6:30 pm
  • RSVP by February 20, Registration card to complete, front and back, then mailed to Licking County Republican Party, PO Box 431, Newark, OH  43058
  • contact Licking County Republican Facebook page,  (740) 345-0500, or LCRepublicanHQ@gmail.com

Friday, February 28, 2014–Clermont County

  • Guest Speaker: U.S. Senator Rob Portman
  • @ Holiday Inn Eastgate, 4501 Eastgate Blvd, Cincinnati OH
  • Social Hour at 6 pm
  • Dinner, $50 per person, at 7 pm
  • For reservations, send check to Clermont County Republican Party, PO Box 740, Batavia, OH  45103

Thursday, March 6, 2014–Wayne County

  • Guest Speaker: Gov. John Kasich
  • @Greenbriar Conference & Party Center, 50 Riffel Rd, Wooster OH
  • “meet and greet” wine and cheese reception, $25 per person, at 5:30 pm
  • dinner, $25 per person, at 6:30 pm
  • Contact Julie Leathers, 118 Kirk Ave. Orrville OH  44667 or purchase tickets online

Monday, March 17, 2014–Trumbull County McKinley Dinner

Wednesday, March 26, 2014–Marion County Harding Day Dinner

  • Guest Speaker: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor
  • @ All Occasions Banquet Facility, 6989 Waldo-Delaware Rd, Waldo OH
  • Dinner, $25 per person, at 5:30 pm
  • RSVP by March 20 via email: MarionGOPJohn@hotmail.com

RPCC press release: Judge Sara Harper, one of Cleveland’s own, to be honored by the Republican National Committee in DC

Editor’s note:  This event, the 2nd Annual Black Republican Trailblazer Award Luncheon, is to be held today, Feb. 4th, in Washington DC.  I just received this press release yesterday, Feb. 3rd, from Doug Magill, doug@magillmedia.net or (216) 536-1564, of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County (RPCC).  Despite the lateness of the press release in relation to the timing of the event, I thought this recognition was important enough to announce to as wide an audience as possible.–DJW

Judge Sara Harper to be Honored at the Black Republican
Trailblazer Award Luncheon
 

CLEVELAND – The Republican National Committee (RNC) is pleased to announce that Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame member Judge Sara Harper is to be honored at the 2nd Annual Black Republican Trailblazer Award Luncheon.

Growing up in public housing on Cleveland’s East Side, she was the first black woman to graduate from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.  Judge Harper subsequently became Cleveland city prosecutor under Mayor Carl B. Stokes, and later a Municipal Court Judge as well as President of the Cleveland NAACP. One of the first black women to serve on the Ohio Court of Appeals, she also was the first black woman to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge Harper was the first woman to serve on the judiciary of the Marine Corps Reserve, and was a co-founder of the first victims’ rights organization in the country. A staunch believer in childhood education, she founded the Sara J. Harper Children’s Library on Cleveland’s East Side, in the housing project where she grew up.

The theme of this year’s award ceremony is “Honoring Our Past and Building the Future.”  The event will also honor Dr. Louis Sullivan of Georgia, and Michigan businessman William “Bill” Brooks.  Honorees are chosen for their significant contributions to the Party, their communities, and the country.  It will be hosted by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, and will be held on Tuesday, February 4th at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, D.C.

For further information on the event please contact Brian Barnes with the Ohio Republican Party, bbarnes@ohiogop.org.

Press release: Unfairly dealt with when your vehicle was towed? Testify before a committee of the Ohio House regarding HB 382!

Editor’s note:  This press release, dated 1/24/2014, follows on the heels of the press release referenced in my prior post here at Buckeye RINO.  The Ohio House is looking for Ohioans to testify.  I’m unavailable, but I wish I could be there.  Please read the prior post for additional background, including links to the bill’s sponsors.  Additional contact info can be found in the concluding paragraph of this press release. –DJW

Reps. Mike Duffey, Heather Bishoff Encourage Ohioans to Testify on Predatory Towing Bill

Requesting personal experiences and stories about unreasonable towing incidents

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) are teaming up to take action against predatory tow truck abuse, a bipartisan effort intended to protect Ohio drivers from being victimized by unlawful towing practices.

From unfair charges and payment procedures, to a lack of evidence of illegal parking, predatory towing can cost Ohioans money and time they can’t afford. In a media call with reporters, the representatives discussed the importance of addressing this issue through House Bill 382 as well as the important role that Ohioans will play in the process.

“Essentially what we’re trying to do is modernize the towing structure in Ohio and protect vehicle owners from predatory towing practices,” said Rep. Duffey. “The ‘wild wild West’ of towing should be regulated more thoroughly than it is right now. This is a consumer protections bill. We want to legitimize the hardworking, honest operators and we want to increase penalties and be a little bit more regulatory on the bad actors that are out there. We think that it protects the industry, and it will protect the taxpayers and public safety.”

“We’re excited to be working on this and we think it echoes the sentiments of a lot of different folks in Ohio,” said Rep. Bishoff. “We’re striving, through this piece of legislation, to provide continuity and understanding of the law no matter where you are in Ohio—continuity in the cost of the tow, and better understanding of how much and how you can pay.”

The House Commerce, Labor, and Technology Committee is slated to hear public testimony on House Bill 382 on Wednesday. Reps. Duffey and Bishoff hope that Ohioans will share with the committee members their personal experiences regarding predatory, unlawful towing practices and help make the bill as comprehensive and effective as possible.

Reps. Duffey and Bishoff have continued to reach out to the press and to the public in the hope of spreading awareness about the issue and encouraging interested parties across Ohio to participate in the committee process.

“House Bill 382 has been given sponsor testimony earlier this week, and we are moving into proponent testimony next week, where we hope to have a lot of Ohio citizens coming in and talking about their stories, having been predatorily towed, unfair practices, etc.,” said Rep. Duffey.

House Bill 382 is scheduled for proponent testimony on Wednesday, January 29th at 4 p.m. (or following the conclusion of House session) in Ohio Statehouse hearing room 114. Per committee rules, witnesses are asked to provide electronic or 40 copies of their testimony to Chairman Ron Young’s office by 5 p.m. the day prior to committee. For more information about Wednesday’s committee hearing, please contact Rep. Young’s office at Rep61@ohiohouse.gov or (614) 644-6074.

Press release: HB 382 would grant more consumer protection from predatory tow truck operations

Editor’s note: Two state reps from the Columbus area have introduced HB 382 to curb unethical practices among tow truck companies. For more information about this press release dated 12/12/2013, one may contact the offices of the bill’s sponsors, Democrat Rep. Heather Bishoff at (614) 644-6002 or Republican Rep. Mike Duffey at (614) 644-6030. IMHO, this bill is long overdue. Back in the mid-1990′s, I remember taking a bathroom break while moving furniture into a Columbus-area apartment only to find the vehicle missing from the parking lot when I re-emerged from the apartment. The van was blocking no one in, for it was in a space designated for the tenants of our apartment. I did not have a parking tag for the van, as I was only borrowing it because it was big enough to haul furniture in while my own vehicle was too small for that. I called the property manager’s office to figure out what happened. They gave me the towing facility’s phone number, but no one, to the property manager’s knowledge, had requested the van be towed, let alone complained about the van being parked where it was. Apparently, tow truck companies cooperated with each other to boost revenues. The towing facility I called, “Company A,” was not even the company that was hauling the van. Tow truck companies would patrol parking lots close to each other, whether they were the enforcing tow truck entity designated on the parking facility signs, or not. If Company A found vehicles to tow from its own lots, or from Company B lots, or from Company C lots, it would get the vehicles on the hook and tow them to the facility designated on the sign. In my case, Company B found the van and was hauling it to Company A. It is easy, under this scenario, to see why a tow truck operator would not unhook a vehicle even if caught in the act by a vehicle owner if Company B was grabbing a vehicle from a Company A lot. Company A expects to get paid for anything taken from a Company A lot. Company B expects to get paid for anything hauled by a Company B truck. If Company B were to accept a payment to unhook a vehicle prior to towing it from a Company A lot, then where is the Company A payday? When 2 companies cooperate to boost revenue, they both expect paydays. When we finally picked up the van from Company A, we paid the towing fee that reimbursed Company A for Company B’s payday and we paid the storage fee, which was Company A’s payday. The average consumer would suppose that Company A would only patrol and tow from Company A lots, but this was not the case in the mid-1990′s in the Columbus area. This bill, in calling for a 24-hour “grace period” for supplemental storage fees, would make cooperation between companies less lucrative, for Company A would have only been able to split a payday for hauling with Company B and would not be able to corner its own big storage fee payday. Moving apartments was expensive enough as it was without having to pay overzealous towing companies on top of that. The purpose for the parking policy at the apartment complex was so tenants would not have their allocated spaces taken by someone else. I was only using the space allocated to me. As unfair as it all was, I had no other recourse but to pay Company A whatever they demanded. I can only hope HB 382 moves quickly toward passage into law. –DJW

House Bill Introduced to End Predatory Towing Abuse in Ohio

Columbus, Ohio – State Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) yesterday introduced legislation to boost Ohioans’ protections against predatory tow truck abuse.

“For decades, vehicle owners in Ohio, especially college students, have been victimized by predatory towing practices such as bogus charges, no evidence of improper parking, unfair payment practices, and outright lies about Ohio’s existing right to stop tows already in progress,” said Duffey. “Now is the time to pass legislation to establish consumer protections for Ohio vehicle owners against predatory towing.”

Features of HB 382 include:

· Making explicitly illegal any and all bogus “administrative” charges or other fees not explicitly authorized in the Ohio Revised Code;

· Requiring signage at tow-away zones to clearly explain what qualifies as an “authorized vehicle”, including the purpose and hours for which vehicles may park;

· Providing a 24-hour “grace period” for supplemental storage fees, also known as overnight fees;

· Requiring that towed vehicles travel no further than 15 miles if possible or 25 miles maximum;

· Requiring tow trucks to accept major credit cards for payment, both onsite at the towing spot if caught in progress and at the storage facility once the tow has been completed;

· Prior to towing, a tow truck service must take at least one photograph of the vehicle showing it is parked illegally, and shall record the time and date of the photograph;

· “Stop, Drop and Pay Half” – Requiring the tow truck operator to actively notify the vehicle owner of their existing legal right to pay half of the normal tow charge for release if caught in progress;

· Tow trucks will be required to display business phone numbers on both sides of their trucks

· The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will be provided rule-making authority to aid in the enforcement and implementation of the provisions in this bill.

“Great tow truck operators exist in Ohio, but they cannot compete with the unfair practices of predatory companies,” said Bishoff. “It is time to ensure Ohioans receive fair treatment as vehicle owners and to ensure that good operators are not put at a disadvantage compared to those who operate illegally.”

HB 382 will now be referred to a standing House committee for further consideration.

James Williamson guest blog: Federal shutdown? Who cares?

Editor’s note: James Williamson is a former Ohio resident (currently residing in Nevada) who has written other guest blog pieces for Buckeye RINO. I am grateful for his contribution, especially as I am desperately trying to finish writing a thesis to obtain a masters degree. (Once I complete my degree, I hope to blog frequently.)

Guest bloggers at Buckeye RINO express their own opinions which may or may not represent my own opinions. That being said, I take issue with the following assertion that appears within this article: “Remember the Wisconsin fight over collective bargaining rights? Um, neither does anyone else.” I think Ohioans remember that fight, for they fought over public union collective bargaining rights, too, and the outcome of that fight in Ohio was markedly different than the outcome in Wisconsin.–DJW

Federal shutdown? Who cares?

With everything that has been going on for the last few months it’s hard to even pin down a topic to blog about. White house scandals, Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, unrest in Egypt, our (non) involvement in Syria, the list goes on. With this smorgasbord of juicy discussion topics I am going to pick something that is not getting much press…. yet….

The government’s fiscal year ends September 30th which means there are a little more than 60 days for Congress to pass some sort of budget or continuing resolutions to fund the government starting October 1st. Already liberal pundits are salivating over the possibility because of what happened in 1995-1996. This idea that things turned out badly for the Republicans in 1995 so it will be turn out the same again is a fallacy of logic. While I’m not sure what the fallout would be if a shutdown does take place I can be certain of a few things:

1. Economic growth was much higher in 1995.
2. None of the sticking points of the budget (education, environment, Medicare, etc.) were as unpopular as Obamacare is.
3. John Boehner is not Newt Gingrich.
4. The senate was not controlled by Democrats in 1995.
5. Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton.
6. There is not a presidential election in 2014.
7. Unemployment was much lower in 1995.
8. Unemployment was much lower in 1995.
9. Unemployment was much lower in 1995…

Obviously, I think the unemployment rate will have an outsized impact on public reaction. I believe (based on personal observations) that there is much less sympathy (if there ever was any) for federal workers now than there was in 1995. Not only are private sector workers envious of the near impossibility of getting fired or laid off if you work for the federal government, the wages and benefits have now eclipsed that of the private sector. The Government will quickly discover that there is as much or more voter apathy toward their worker’s plight as there is toward the unions. Remember the Wisconsin fight over collective bargaining rights? Um, neither does anyone else.

Since the federal government does not provide services that affect everyday lives of average Americans immediately (like utility services, vehicle licensing, education) I doubt many people would be upset over the government shutting down for a few months. In fact, after the IRS scandal they may even cheer. Unfortunately this means that the people that would be the most upset by a shutdown would be government employees and federal contractors. So who will this constituency blame? The party that controls 1/2 of congress or the party that controls 1/2 of congress and the white house? Will that affect Senate and House elections in 2014?

Personally I think as long as the department of defense doesn’t shut down the majority of the public won’t miss much. They certainly won’t miss having the IRS pester them. They probably won’t miss the Department of Energy, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, TSA, GSA, or any other of the myriads of federal bureaucracies. Oh and the entitlement programs that liberal constituencies love so much? They don’t stop if there is a shutdown. They won’t get roused one way or another and this won’t be a major draw for them to go to the ballot box next November. Remember that last time the Democrats failed to gain control of the House of Representatives and lost two seats in the Senate. This time there is no presidential election in 2014 and in 2016 the incumbent is ineligible to run.

Government shutdown imminent? I say, “Bring it on!”

James Williamson guest blog: Imminent rebellion: Rhetoric or forewarning?

Editor’s note:  Ohio native (and current Nevada resident) James Williamson (one of my younger brothers) is back with another in his “Imminent Rebellion” series, which exams the power struggle between states and the U.S. federal government.  This blog article zeros in on the secession petitions forewarded from several states to the U.S. government, but James has been writing about the alienation between states and the federal government for quite some time.  The other guest blog articles in the “Imminent Rebellion” series, starting with the oldest one and progressing to the one just prior to this, can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.–DJW

Imminent Rebellion:  Rhetoric or Forewarning?

There has been a surge of news regarding the secession petitions filed on the White House’s We the People website.  Since I was talking about it over a year ago (you can see my previous blogs on the subject) I’m going to weigh in on the action now that it is coming much closer to front and center.

The latest information that I have is that someone has filed a petition for secession in all 50 states.  I will be the first to admit that many of these petitions have insignificant amounts of support and probably do not reflect popular opinion.  But is it all just talk?  So far.  Talk always precedes actions in the political world.  Is there enough talk that we should be worried?  Worried? Not yet. Concerned? Yes.

There are a few signs that this is no longer just chatter from the fringe elements of society.  One of the signs is the fact that the media is responding to it.  Another is that there are counter petitions being signed.  Another is the fact that several of the states have exceeded the 25,000 signers required to trigger a response from the White House.  As of this writing Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana all exceeded the 25,000 signature threshold.  Texas, of course, is leading the way with just over 105,000 signers and Louisiana a distant second with just under 35,000 petitioners.  What is also significant is that the Texas secession petition has more support than any other issue on the “We the People” site.  Perhaps the most significant signal that this idea is not as laughable as the pundits would have you believe is the fact that both the governor of Texas and the governor of Alabama have made statements about secession (not in favor of) already.

Support for secession will only grow with time, and it’s not really about Obama.  Obama (along with congress) is the symptom not the disease.  The cankerous disease that will rip this country in half is the lust for entitlements.  What do I mean by that? Everyone wants something without having to pay for it.  It can’t continue.  When a business gets bloated and can’t pay its bills what does it do?  It contracts, gets back to its core lines of business, and sheds unprofitable business activity.  When a government gets bloated and can’t pay its bills, what does it do?   It spends even more of course.  That’s because entitlements are more addicting than drugs.  If you don’t believe me look at the news coming out of Greece, Spain, and Italy.  Once you are hooked on them you can’t stop . . . mostly because you forget how to get things like food, clothing, and shelter on your own.  It spreads like the plague too because once your neighbor figures out you are getting stuff for free they want some too.  Eventually the consumers outnumber the producers and the producers get crushed.  It’s happened many times already, just not here in the United States.  Most people who argue against me on this point out that we haven’t gone bankrupt after nearly 100 years of ever increasing entitlement spending.  Study your history.  It took hundreds of years for Rome to collapse financially.  Rome had “progressed” nearly as far as we have.  They didn’t recognize gay marriage but homosexuality was commonplace and so were abortions.  Toward the end of the Roman period nearly 1/3 of the empire was on the government payroll and the regulations were so plentiful, they regulated how much weight you could pack on a horse.  I wish I could resurrect a few of the Romans from that time so they could warn us.  Would we listen?

I digress.  Secession:  Most of the pundits in the media point out that there is no legal mechanism for secession.  Some suggest and some directly say that secession is illegal.  That, in and of itself, is a pretty silly observation to make.  Of course it’s not legal!  Why would the government allow itself to be dissolved? That’s committing suicide.  Government will always protect itself. Challenging the authority of any government is the fastest way to get persecuted by it.  I would also point out that our declaring independence from Great Britain was not legal either. Secession and revolution are not a matter of law.  They are highly extra-legal activities by nature, so declaring them illegal and therefore insisting that such won’t happen is about as naive as it gets.

I don’t know what will happen.  I don’t know if Texas will secede.  What I do know is this:  We don’t live in 1860.  Just because it turned out one way the last time doesn’t mean it will end the same a second time.

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