Guest blog: Joyce Early, Libertarian candidate, Lorain 3rd Ward

Editor’s note:  Joyce Early is the Libertarian candidate for Lorain City Council’s 3rd Ward seat.  If you would like to make a donation to her campaign, you may do so at the bottom of this page at the Joyce Early website. The early voting period for the general election has already begun.  Election day is November 3rd.  Buckeye RINO endorses Joyce Early.


Joyce Early

I’m running in a city known for Democratic Party majorities but I’m not running as a Democrat or Republican, I’m running as a Libertarian.  I can’t in my right mind identify with either of the big two so I chose the third party option.  It’s strange to be a Libertarian because only four years ago I didn’t even know the party existed, but then 4 years ago I was in a voter coma over politics so I wouldn’t have noticed anyway.  I was always unaffiliated as a voter never declaring a party and then in the same two year span declared both parties for candidates on the ballot.  In America we can switch back and forth every year if we choose.  I explain my actions by saying the two existing parties are not that much different in ideology.  But today I find myself able to identify with the “L” party because of their ideology.

My voter coma was induced by watching the nightly news.  I took their word and chose my candidate on their recommendation not really thinking about the direction that party was going.  Just three years ago I found myself with an insatiable appetite for politics.  I wanted to know history and how our government operated.  I was a victim of a public school education and knew very little about my government.  My self education was intense and enlightening.  For the first time in my life I was able to look at publications from the right, the left and the fringe and objectively hypothesize what really occurred.  Most people only read and listen to information from the side they identify with and so begins the voter coma.

The government we have is a wonderful meld of two sides of every issue.  We see a sprinkling of both sides in the House and Senate.  The check and balance style of government is an important one.  If only one side was represented we would see even more corruption than we do today.  Even a majority sometimes closes the discussion and still hurts America and the political process.

In our original Constitution, the President of the United States was the candidate with the most votes and the Vice President was the person who came in second.  This was a really clever idea because it forced two seemingly different philosophies to watch over each other and work together.  Imagine Obama and McCain having to run the country together?

The check and balance approach keeps communication open and honest.  Both sides have to defend their position and work together.  In Lorain, we have almost every elected position representing one party.  I feel this opens our city up to corruption because nobody at the table is asking questions and keeping the predominant side honest.  I’m not suggesting Libertarians should run our city or Republicans; I’m suggesting voters take an honest logical approach to how they would best be represented.  Even in a labor situation, labor and management have to work together and compromise.

For example, in the recent filing issue at the board of elections, would the voters have known a candidate hadn’t met the requirements if only one party worked at the board?  If we had a mixture of parties on city council, would the illegal borrowing (documentation p1, p2, p3) from the water department have ever taken place?  If we had a Republican law director rather than a Democrat would the CRA debacle ever have happened?  The city in all of these cases was a victim of corruption in a predominate party power structure.

I think voters need to look at the power structure of city government.  Certain positions can provide a check and balance.  A few city council members representing different parties would keep that arm of city government honest.  A law director could and would keep the cities dealings honest if they represented a different party.  And these positions aren’t powerful enough to change things, only influence and expose potential corruption and ultimately protect the citizen’s and save them from embarrassment when the truth comes to light like the CRA disaster.

If voters exercised their power to enforce a check and balance approach there would be less frustration and heartache.  Voters could be assured the two apposing sides were balancing things out so the best solution was arrived at.  Many of the challenges we have faced as a city were a direct result of absolute power. And everyone knows absolute power corrupts absolutely.

So my challenge to the voters of Lorain is to sprinkle in some checks and balances so you finally get the government you can be proud of.  A few players from the opposing team will only strengthen your government and make sure all players are following the rules with your tax dollars.

Joyce Early

Candidate for 3rd Ward City Council in Lorain, Ohio

Absenteeism

Please remember to vote NO on Issue 3.  We shouldn’t amend Ohio’s Constitution to give a few out-of-state people special rights that are denied to all Ohioans.

Ohio’s absentee voting has begun.  Or should I call it the early voting?  After all, any registered Ohio voter can use the absentee voting method, even if you don’t plan to be absent on Election Day, November 3, 2009.  Here’s what the Ohio Secretary of State’s website has to say about absentee voting, FYI.

Twittering

To keep up with politics and the blogosphere, I’ve decided to give Twitter a try.  I once (briefly) tried Facebook, but there was too much drama on there for my taste, and it took up too much of my time to maintain my page, so I pulled the plug on it many months ago.  I’m hoping that Twitter will be much easier to manage.  I’ve added my Twitter feed at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

Police don’t have the tools to hold casinos accountable

As a follow-up to my prior story that asks questions about Cleveland cops, their ability to fight corruption, and the FOP endorsement of Issue 3, I see anecdotal evidence in the Sandusky Register that casinos will run circles around law enforcement.

As you may recall from an earlier post, Erie County has been investigating fraudulent signatures from Issue 3 petitions, including signatures of dead people.

The county prosecutors want to enforce the law against the perpetrators of the fraud, but so far, they haven’t been able to make heads or tails of the evidence at their disposal.  In a second hearing on the matter, Ian James, CEO and founder of Professional Petition Management (the **cough**cough** astroturf**cough** company that circulated the petitions in Erie County) was as snarky as ever, offering whimsical fantasies about how everything was done according to the letter of the law, no fraud occurred, and that there are innocent explanations for how more than 60% of the signatures gathered were invalid.

If law enforcement officials don’t even possess the abilities to police the petitions for the casinos, how are they going to sift through the web of money laundering, kick backs, organized crime, bribes, contract steering, dope dealing, and prostitute pimping that will escalate once we allow casinos to begin operating?  I don’t think law enforcement is able to keep up in other states, either, and politicians don’t frankly care.

It’s up to us, the voters, to stop this madness, because no one else will.  Don’t sit at home this election.  Get out to the polls and vote NO on Issue 3.

Perplexing questions about Cleveland cops

In the unfolding drama of political corruption in Cuyahoga County, where do the local forces of law enforcement fit into the picture?

The scandals we are learning about in 2009 have been going on for years and years.

Newspaper reports tell of FBI investigators cracking the case and federal prosecutors lining all the ducks in a row.

Without the FBI, would local law enforcement have ever brought the scandals to light?  The scandals have been under the noses of local cops for a long, long time.  Due to proximity to and familiarity with the prime suspects implicated in these scandals, local law enforcement officials should have pounced on the tell-tale warning signs a long time ago.  What happened?  Why isn’t this unfolding saga a tale of the heroism of local cops doing the right thing amidst a backdrop of graft?  Were they looking the other way?  Were key law enforcement officials complicit in covering things up?  Are they, themselves, active participants in the scandalous behavior?  Do they merely lack the tools to police these kinds of crimes?

Or, are local police organizations the unsung heroes of this purging of corruption?  Are local police officers the ones who initiated the process that’s culminating in Federal prosecutions, but they aren’t getting any credit for it?  Were they the ones who tipped off the FBI, realizing that the FBI could bring more resources to bear, and invited the FBI to widen a probe already begun by local police?  In the ongoing FBI investigations, has the FBI continuously been furnished with crucial help from local police, without which, the FBI probe would have been doomed and gone nowhere?  Have local police forces served as irreplaceable foot soldiers in this epic battle to beat back corruption?  Has the FBI been absorbing the lion’s share of the credit for this crackdown when the local police are chiefly responsible for bringing the corruptocrats to justice?

Which, of these two competing pictures, is the true portrayal of the various police forces within Cuyahoga County?

Or is it messier than that?  Is there a dichotomy of both heroic cops and dirty cops that, taken together, convey a murky picture of their overall role in breaking the case wide open?

How soon can we find out the answers to the questions I’m posing?

Why is it important to know the answers to the questions I’m posing?  I can at least attempt to answer the immediately preceding question from looking at just one facet (though there are countless other facets to look at).  Issue 3 will appear on Ohio’s election ballots this November, a proposal that would amend the Ohio Constitution to allow out-of-state entities to own and operate casinos in Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Columbus.  Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police, a labor union for police officers, has gone on the public record urging passage of Issue 3.  Police officers in those four cities constitute a huge chunk of the overall membership of Ohio’s FOP.  Cops from Cleveland and its suburbs have an enormous amount of say in whatever endorsement decisions are made by Ohio’s FOP.

Considering the opacity of the casino industry, an opacity that makes casinos the preferred venue for money laundering, and considering the demonstrated proficiency that the gambling industry has for buying politicians, are local police forces up to the task of policing the casinos?

Can we trust the local police to enforce the transparency, accountability, and compliance with the laws that are needed to keep casinos honest and above-board?

UNLESS (that’s a big “unless”) the local cops are the true, unmitigated heroes in reining in the corruption of Cuyahoga County, I place no faith whatsoever in their endorsement of Issue 3.

The managed economy

The managed economy.  Not to be confused with the free market economy.

I could provide dozens of examples, but this one, concerning University Hospitals in Cleveland, as reported in the Plain Dealer, works about as well as any.

Ohio’s legislators in DC are already naming the price at which their votes can be bought for the Obamacare bill:  earmarks for University Hospitals.

Apparently, this is not a move that all hospitals in Ohio would agree upon.  Cleveland Clinic decried the move as favoritism.

Many voters are catching on to this trend of political manipulation of the marketplace since Obama took office, but, unfortunately, our pay-to-play legislators have been picking winners and losers in the marketplace for years.  It happens at the state level, too, so there’s not a level playing field, and we’ve seen up close how that drives business away from Ohio.

In a free market economy, consumers do the picking and choosing.

If we want to return to a free market economy, government will have to relinquish the reins and stop trying to micromanage it.  That’s partly why I feel a campaign slogan of “DO LESS! would appeal to me, as a voter.

DO LESS!

Want my vote for Congress next year?  Want my vote for state elections in 2010?  Then let “DO LESS!” be your campaign slogan.

One caveat would be that our nation needs to retain its leadership role internationally, but on the domestic front, the people of our nation are highly literate and highly technologically advanced compared with earlier eras in our nation’s history.  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can be maintained more readily through decentralized government in this era than through any prior era in our history.  Paradoxically, the centralization of government, the consolidation of power, continues to flow away from the people, away from the communities, and toward the state capitals, and especially toward DC.  We, the People, are better equipped than ever before to take responsibility for ourselves.  Stop trying to baby us.

Even if you politicians lack confidence in We, the People, you need to rein in government spending, anyway.  The economy can’t sustain the government’s growth.  We, taxpayers, can’t sustain your growth.  By fiscal necessity, you must shrink, whether you think it’s prudent or not.

Don’t try to do more with less.  DO LESS with less.

I want my government to do less.  I want bureaucracies merged or eradicated.  Non-profit organizations that depend on big government to award them funding as if our national and state treasuries are Santa Claus?  Sorry, but non-profits, like the for-profit sector, will have to downsize in this economy, too.

Pay raises in government?  Don’t even think about it.  What’s the justification you always try to hoodwink us with?  Doesn’t it go something like this?  “We need the best people, and the private sector could lure them away if we don’t offer competitive compensation.”  Well, I tell you, in this economic environment, such justification is PHONEY!  Let them go to where the compensation is more to their liking.  We need the most selfless people, not the most selfish people, in our government.  Don’t kid yourselves that you had the best people to begin with, anyway.  Can’t you see that those “best” people have created a mess?

The government’s social safety net?  Make it a smaller net.  The most important net should be private-sector employment.  If employment opportunities are curtailed because of the safety net, guess what?  Employment gets higher priority.  Apparently, you aren’t listening, because unemployment is on the rise.

Politicos in Columbus, stop issuing bonds.  They have to be repaid with interest.  If the objectives that we financed with bonds are important enough, then we can budget them out of current expenditures.  If they aren’t important enough that we’d budget for them out of current expenditures, then they aren’t important enough to issue bonds for, since we must pay interest on on them.

Stop fretting that eliminating programs will hurt the most vulnerable members of society.  Under the current regime that you’ve concocted, we’re all being hurt, we’re all vulnerable, and the members of society most capable of sustaining the rest of society are being penalized the most.  If private sector employment rises, it not only benefits the most fit, it also increases opportunities for those who are less so.

There are too many government agendas.  They must be streamlined and prioritized.

Case in point:  Merge the ORSC, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, with ODJFS.  Right now, the ORSC has separate offices from ODJFS, but I have no idea why.  Merge the Department of Aging with ODJFS, as well.  Merge all the social service delivery systems into one to eradicate duplication.

Eliminate the Department of Development.  You already have a Department of Commerce.  In fact the Department of Commerce could absorb the Department of Transportation, the Department of Insurance, the Department of Travel and Tourism, among others.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety could absorb the Department of Corrections, the Ohio EPA, and the Department of Youth Services, among others.  Why do we need these additional line items in our budget?

We don’t need a Department of Education as it is currently structured.  We don’t need a state superintendent.  School districts can handle this at the local level.  For collecting data from the school districts across the state, all you need are clerical workers.  You don’t need a think tank staffed with expensive consultants.  If local school districts need some help along that vein, they can consult with the education faculties at our state universities.

When you incumbent politicians campaign, don’t brag to me about what funding you secured for whatever lofty noble goal or whatever down-on-their-luck constituency.  I don’t think your worth to us taxpayers is measured by the $$$$ you spent.  I think the $$$$ you saved us is more worth our while.

The more you politicians do, and the more you spend to do it, the more burdened We, the People are.  Not only are you costing us money, you are costing us liberty.

Want my vote?

DO LESS!