Buckeye RINO’s 2010 primary election endorsement recap

No matter which ballot you request at the polls, an issues-only ballot, or a political party ballot (and, in addition to independent candidates that will have no party affiliation listed by their names, there are any one of six political parties that will be listed alongside candidate names on your November ballot this year), please vote “NO” on Issue 1.

For Republican voters living in the 13th Ohio Senate District, covering Lorain County, Huron County, and the eastern one-third of Seneca County, I’ve endorsed Bob Rousseau and Marilyn Jacobcik for Republican state central committee seats.

For all Ohio Republican voters, I’ve endorsed Sandy O’Brien for Ohio Secretary of State and Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor.

For Lorain County voters requesting Democrat ballots, I’ve endorsed Ronnie Rimbert for the nomination for the Lorain County Commissioner seat being vacated by Betty Blair.

For Lorain County voters residing in the 56th Ohio House District that are requesting Democrat ballots, I’ve endorsed Richard Williams for the nomination for that state rep office.

Sandy O’Brien for Ohio Secretary of State; Husted lies and, maybe, other agendas

In the Republican primary, Buckeye RINO endorses Sandy O’Brien for Ohio Secretary of State.

Sandy O’Brien won a statewide Republican primary in 2006 in the Ohio Treasurer race.  She lost in the general election.  She was not endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party in 2006, and thus the party barely lifted a finger to help her, even though she was the nominee.

She is not endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party this year, either.  If she wins the primary, she can win this November, anyway, even if the ORP doesn’t back its own nominee

For independent voters, they want a less partisan Secretary of State overseeing Ohio elections.  Independent voters are really flexing their political clout this year, as evidenced in Massachusetts when Scott Brown was elected.  Scott Brown doesn’t pass purity litmus tests that Southern conservatives would measure Republicans by, but independent voters wanted a more independent candidate, and they didn’t see Martha Coakley as that individual. Anointed candidates aren’t guaranteed victories this year.

Sandy O’Brien won’t be hyperpartisan, like ACORN ally Jennifer Brunner.  The Democrats had an opportunity to field a more centrist candidate, Jen Garrison, that would likely have been appealing to independent voters, but the left wing of that party torpedoed Garrison in favor of an SoS candidate that would be as hyperpartisan as Brunner has been.  Finally, Sandy O’Brien won’t owe the Ohio Republican Party any favors because they haven’t done her any favors, so she is not beholden to cater to their every whim.

She can be independent.  Those who attend 9-12 group meetings and Tea Party rallies throughout the state, who tend to be less partisan, can certainly embrace O’Brien.

Cleveland’s Plain Dealer printed an article with a video clip of a Husted primary campaign advertisement, quoted an individual who pointed out the lies contained therein, referenced the ORP’s attempt to co-opt the Tea Party movement for their own gain, and Kevin DeWine’s (they don’t name DeWine, but we know what’s going on, don’t we?) heavy-handed endorsement tactics in contested primary races.

The Husted advertisement attempts to make these points:  1) the image of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag associates Jon Husted with the Tea Party movement; 2) Jon Husted is a conservative; 3) Jon Husted stood up to liberal ACORN to stop electoral fraud; and 4) Husted wants to stop immoral government debt to protect our children’s liberty.  These four points are lies.

Point number one:  Jon Husted has resisted a number of invitations to appear before 9-12 groups to be vetted.  He is not active in, takes no leadership role in, and does not want to be held to the standards set by the Tea Party movement.  Tea Party activists are among the most outspoken against Husted’s candidacy.

Point number two: Jon Husted is not fiscally conservative.  The biennial budgets he passed as Speaker of the House would not be sustainable in Ohio’s current economy.  Expenditures still increased over what had been spent by his predecessors.  He played a shell game on taxes, decreasing some, but implementing others, like the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT).  Wouldn’t we like to see more commercial activity in Ohio?  In essence, he’s been criticized by rank-and-file Republicans for governing like a Democrat.  He’s been criticized by the Tea Party movement for making government bigger, less sustainable, less accountable to the people, and less accessible during the decision-making process.

Point number three:  Ill-conceived changes to election laws enabled ACORN to game the system in the first place.  “No-fault” absentee voting that changed Election Day into Election Month Plus was enacted by Husted while he was Speaker of the House.  A window that still hasn’t been closed is the one between the start of the early voting period and the end of voter registration, allowing persons to vote at the same time as they registered at the Board of Elections.  That window gave rise to a number of suspicions that ACORN was attempting to game the system.  There is still no action to allow election observers to monitor early voting polling places even though we now have Election Month Plus instead of Election Day.  The only mandate in that regard is to allow election observers at polling places on Election Day.  To think that, of all things, he’s running for Secretary of State this year.  This, in and of itself, is enough to disqualify Husted for the position.

Point number four:  Husted supports Ohio’s debts.  Ohio is required to balance its budget, which means budget deficits are not permitted.  But Ohio does incur debts.  The debts are called bonds.  In the past, Husted has supported Ohio’s bond issues, like this one as recently as last November.  Not only that, but he currently favors a bond issue that’s on the Ohio ballot right now: Issue 1.  Repaying the bonds with interest absorbs a chunk of the general fund, the same fund that must be tapped for qualified children’s Medicaid, the same fund that must be tapped to sustain Ohio’s public universities that lead to better employment opportunities for our children, and, most obviously, the same fund that must be tapped for our children’s voucher-subsidized education, charter school education, and public school education.

Husted is lying about the 4 points he raised in that advertisement.  Period.

Husted is not principled, though his propaganda is designed to advance the facade that he is principled.  He was one of the most prolific fundraisers in the Ohio House when Larry Householder was Speaker of the House, and that had something to do with why Husted was tapped to be Householder’s successor.  In order to raise funds like that, Husted engages in pay-to-play politics, so he’s squishy on issues (even squishy on his residency–Kettering, or Upper Arlington?) according to what can elicit donations.  Legislation can be fast-tracked or sitting on a back burner based on campaign donations, regardless of the merits of any particular piece of legislation.  Picking winners and losers in the marketplace can be driven by donations.  Want an example?  Payday lenders had a field day for a while without a lot of regulations while they were ponying up donations.  Republicans in the Ohio House resisted, for several years, making any changes, though Democrats were making a stink over the issue.  The Republicans, when they finally did make changes, even went beyond the changes proposed by Democrats.  Banks, who wanted to curtail competition from payday lenders, ponied up more donations to Republicans to pave the way for those changes.  In the end, Ohio voters were asked to decide Issue 5 back in the fall of 2008.  There really wasn’t neutral ground.  Neither side was for a free marketplace.  Your vote on Issue 5 was either awarding an advantage to payday lenders, or awarding an advantage to banks.  Such are the marketplace distortions driven by politicians and their need for campaign donations.

What other Husted agenda could be lurking in the shadows?

What if a pact was made between close buddies, Kevin DeWine and Jon Husted, while they both served in the Ohio House of Representatives, that if  they played their cards right, DeWine would chair the ORP and Husted would be governor by 2014?  When Strickland was first elected in 2006, it appeared he was quite popular, and envisioning a gubernatorial challenge to Strickland’s re-election bid might have seemed a tall hill to climb.  Getting elected to some other statewide office might be an effective springboard to gun for an open governor’s race in 2014.

OK, let’s test the hypothesis that there was such a pact made that would get Husted elected to governor in 2014, shall we?  Let’s make a checklist and see if all the ducks line up in a row for a Husted gubernatorial run in 2014, and if Kevin DeWine is the tool for that agenda.

First, it’s assumed that Strickland would run for re-election in 2010.  He is.  Check.

If Strickland wins in 2010, then term limits mean that the seat is open in 2014.  Check.

Get Kevin DeWine in as GOP Chair. Check.

In case of competition in the primaries, change GOP state central committee bylaws to allow endorsements in contested primaries.  Check.

Be very selective in who sits on the state central committee all the way up to 2014.  Blackball anyone who might make even the slightest attempt to derail the Husted express.  The ORP chair himself, if necessary, will put up his own slate of state central committee candidates and issue his own endorsements to make that happen.  Check.

Get Husted a springboard for governor in 2014 by electing him to a statewide race.  He’s chosen the Secretary of State race.  As an Apportionment Board seat in a census year, the SoS race is one that should receive heavy donations (donations!  extremely important!) because in the other Apportionment Board races, the only other race aside from Gov. is the Auditor’s race, and Mary Taylor appeared to lock that down back in 2006.  The Secretary of State race would allow Husted to build a statewide campaign that can be used again in 2014, drive up name recognition, and milk donors for everything you can get because of the Apportionment Board seat.  Check.

He can’t control what happens on the Democrat side (but he’s probably glad Garrison isn’t in it, nor is Brunner seeking re-election), but on the Republican side, there is a wrinkle with the previous item on the checklist: Sandy O’Brien is running, too.  How to deal with O’Brien?  Smother her so she can’t make a peep.  Get all the mainstream media to shut up about O’Brien.  Get the county party chairs to shut up about O’Brien.  Don’t let O’Brien raise money to get the word out on her own.  Silence bloggers from writing about O’Brien. Use the endorsement authority of the state central committee to nip O’Brien’s challenge in the bud and settle the matter in Husted’s favor ASAP.  If not everyone will keep silent then put out the word that O’Brien couldn’t win in the general elections of 2006, and therefore she is not viable in 2010.  Ordain Husted as the only electable Republican in the 2010 Secretary of State general election.  Check.

Or maybe not quite.  It looks like the Tea Party has taken up the cause of O’Brien.  Then co-opt the Tea Party.  Create an image of Husted as being one with the Tea-Party.  Put Tea Party symbols in ads as much as possible.  In ads and venues where Tea Party symbols are not authorized for use by the Husted campaign, mimic Tea Party rhetoric and counterfeit the Tea Party logo. Check.

If Strickland wins,or loses, then who would be the Democrat nominee in 2014?  Richard Cordray?  If it’s Cordray, and he’s got a sizable campaign fund this year against a less-funded Republican, then it would be hard to neutralize Cordray’s funding advantage in 2014.  Initially, a strategy might have envisioned a challenge to Cordray in the Treasurer’s race for 2010, since that’s the office he was elected to in 2006.  The Republicans weren’t ready for the special election for Attorney General when Marc Dann vacated the office under immense pressure, so no one with high name recognition was fielded by the Republicans for that special election, and Republicans still had to get someone in the pipeline for 2010, which turned out to be Yost.  Cordray won that special election, so now the Cordray funding advantage that has to be neutralized is in the AG race.  Cordray has two choices to make in 2010 against a less-funded Republican:  either he can donate from his largesse to other Democrat candidates, currying favors that are owed to him in 2014; or he can bank his excess funds for the race in 2014.  If Yost couldn’t match funds with Cordray and couldn’t make Cordray spend the lion’s share of his funds in 2010, then someone with bigger funds than Cordray had to be recruited for the AG race.  Enter Mike DeWine.  At Kyle Sisk’s blog, Sisk has asserted, multiple times, while Yost was still in the picture, that Republicans should support Mike DeWine for AG simply to draw down Cordray’s war chest and weaken a Cordray bid for governor in 2014.  Sisk said DeWine could win the election and Yost wouldn’t.  The big thing is, if DeWine is in the race, and he loses, he still forced Cordray to spend money in 2010 that won’t be banked and won’t be used to owe favors in 2014.  DeWine for AG in 2010 to neutralize Cordray funding advantage in 2014. Check.

The only problem for that prior checklist item was that Mike DeWine couldn’t gain traction against Yost.  Yost was garnering support and endorsements left and right in the AG race.  Yost winning a primary would probably not cause Cordray to spend down as much.  Yost was so formidable to DeWine in the primary that Yost had to be cleared from the AG race.  Clearing DeWine from the AG race was never an option if the whole intent of fielding a candidate for the AG race is to weaken Cordray’s pocketbook for a 2014 gubernatorial race.  Yost was cleared from the AG race.  Check.

In 2014, Husted might have had to face Portman for gov.  Voinovich helped Husted out of that jam, whether he intended to or not, because Portman is running for Senate in 2010, and, if elected, won’t be interested in gov. race in 2014. Check.

The wrinkle with that is that Mary Taylor might also jump into the Senate race.  NOoooooo!  Need. To. Get. Portman. In. Senate. So, make calls to potential donors, warn them that Taylor might go rogue if they donate to her in order to sour her fundraising, and keep her put.  She’s not in the Senate race.  Check.

The other wrinkle with that is that Tom Ganley jumped into the Senate race.  He can self-fund, so cutting off donations won’t work.  Need.To.Get.Portman.In.Senate.  Redirect Ganley to 13th District Congressional race against Betty Sutton.  Ganley not in Senate race.  All clear for Portman.  Check.

In 2014, John Kasich might want to run for Governor.  If Strickland wins this year, no problem, Kasich is toast in 2014. Path cleared for Husted in 2014. Check.

But if Kasich wins in 2010, stoke his ego into running for U.S. President in 2012 to get him out of office before his term is up so that he won’t be running for re-election in 2014.  Path still clear for Husted in 2014. Check.

If Kasich stays for full term and intends to run for another . . . well, if it comes right down to it,  . . . there’s the option of last resort . . . manufacture a scandal and take him down.

In 2014, Mary Taylor might want to run for Governor.  She’d be very popular after serving two terms as Auditor.  Hmm . . . Maybe she’ll still be thinking about the Senate, and this time, we’ll loosen up the donors, butter them up so they get behind a Taylor bid for Senate in 2012 against Sherrod Brown.  If she’s in the Senate, she won’t be seeking the gov. office. Path clear for Husted.  Check.

If she loses the Senate race, she might be too damaged or not have enough campaign money for a credible 2014 bid for gov.  Rely on Kevin DeWine, use ORP endorsement early on to do to Taylor what was done against O’Brien.  Path clear or mostly clear for Husted.  Check.

Uh-oh.  Problem with the previous item on the checklist.  Taylor was added to Kasich ticket as Lt. Gov. candidate, so won’t be two-term auditor.  Actually, a blessing and a curse.  If Taylor stays as Lt. Gov. for a full term under Kasich, she won’t be the candidate in 2014.  Either Kasich runs again (manufacture scandal to take him down), or Taylor has too weak of a springboard from the Lt. Gov. position . . . much weaker than if she were the two-term auditor, so that’s the blessing.  Path clear for Husted.  Check.

One more blessing . . . Yost doesn’t have to be forced to withdraw from statewide races entirely, so getting him out of the AG race doesn’t have to be so acrimonious for Mike DeWine’s bid to drain Cordray of cash.  Check.

Yet one more blessing:  If Kasich loses, so does Taylor.  Path clear for Husted.  Check.

The potential curse from Taylor’s move:  Ordinarily, Lt. Gov. is invisible, and no threat for run for gov.  Even if Kasich stepped down as gov. to run for Prez, and a no-name Lt. Gov. filled the remainder of term, short-term no-name gov. would be unlikely to gain any traction.  Taylor as Lt. Gov. becoming Gov. to serve out Kasich term is more problematic.  OK, just as it was important to get Portman into the Senate this year, it’ll be important to get Taylor into Senate in 2012, so make sure the primary field is clear for her, maybe manufacture a scandal against Sherrod, make sure she’s well funded for that race, whatever it takes.  If it works, path clear for Husted. Check.

Umm . . . Problem for switching Yost is that Seth Morgan absolutely refuses to drop out “for the good of the party.”  Yes, that’s the way it will be phrased.  Morgan is not a team player, will not drop out for the good of the party, the ORP will endorse Yost, and arms will be twisted to make sure county chairs follow suit.  Yost was promised this in exchange for Mike DeWine’s clear shot at Cordray’s war chest.  Not good.  But if Morgan wins the primary, ORP can leave Morgan on his own, with funds depleted by the primary, much like the ORP left O’Brien on her own in 2006.  Apportionment Board takes a hit, but that’s not as important as Husted for Governor in 2014.  The important thing about the Apportionment Board is that Husted can get donations for running for it, and winning the Apportionment Board would be nice, but as clearly shown, better to forfeit the Apportionment Board and the Auditor seat than to let anyone get away with not doing what’s best for the party (i.e. Husted).  If Yost wins primary, full ORP support.  If Morgan wins . . . you get the idea.  Send a message loud and clear to other Republicans:  Helpful to Husted means the ORP is at your disposal.  Try to cross Husted, life will be made miserable for you.  Check.

If Taylor fills the remainder of the term as Governor if Kasich steps down, and won’t do what’s good for her and the party (i.e. Husted) by running for the Senate, and she announces that she’s seeking a full term as governor in 2014, her life will be made miserable.  Rely on Kevin DeWine to railroad the state central committee. Treat her like O’Brien and Morgan.  She’ll be forced to withdraw for “family reasons,” or, if it comes right down to it,  . . . it didn’t have to come to this if Taylor did the “right” thing, but . . . manufacture a scandal and take her down.

Husted will be made of Teflon.  No allegations against him will stick.  Kevin DeWine’s got his back in order to insure that.  Check.

I think what’s telling is that the ORP isn’t treating the 2010 Auditor and Governor races as though they were priority races, when, as Apportionment Board seats, they ought to be priorities.  If Morgan wins the primary and the ORP doesn’t support him in the fall, then it’s not about the Apportionment Board.  It’s all about Husted, and all other Republicans are secondary, because we might end up with districts drawn by Democrats for the next 10 years.  If the Kasich-Taylor ticket gets in serious trouble, and Kevin DeWine doesn’t pitch in to help, then we really, really know this is all about Husted.  Husted has already been talking about a redistricting plan that would replace the current Apportionment Board (even though Husted is using it for a fundraising cash cow right now) if elected SoS.  That’s telling, too, because it’s paving the way toward making the Auditor and Governor races expendable, so there’s leeway for the Auditor nominee to lose and for Kasich to lose.  Instead, what appear to be the priority races are Husted for SoS, Mike DeWine for AG (even though it’s not an Apportionment Board seat), Rob Portman for U.S. Senate, and ORP-endorsed candidates for Republican state central committee.  If these are, indeed, the priorities, then, for certain, it is all about Husted for Governor in 2014, and Kasich or Taylor better watch their backs if either one plans to run as the incumbent for gov. that year.

Whether any of this supposed Husted for Governor agenda is real or not, if Republican primary voters nominate Sandy O’Brien for SoS, then Husted is out of our hair, and rank-and-file Republicans are on their way to taking back their party.

Seth Morgan, CPA, for Ohio Auditor

Buckeye RINO endorses Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor.  The winning credentials that Mary Taylor brought to the table to win the prior Ohio Auditor’s race are the credentials that Seth Morgan brings to the table.

Mary Taylor, perhaps, has set the bar, a new standard, for how we size up Ohio Auditor candidates.  In the workforce in general, auditors are accountants with a specialization.  Before Mary Taylor, the Ohio Auditor wasn’t an accountant with a CPA, let alone an accountant who made a career as an auditor.  There’s been a revolution in how the Ohio Auditor’s office works since the inauguration of Mary Taylor, and it’s a good one.  The office is more professional and less political.  She’ll investigate any use of public funds, any bureaucracy, and she’s let the chips fall where they may, regardless of political leanings.  She’s made the office more independent, letting accountants and auditors do honest work unfettered by political expediencies.

David Yost, Morgan’s opponent, would seek to erode that independence.  Check out this article, from the Columbus Dispatch, about a Yost proposal that would, in Mary Taylor’s view, create conflicts of interest and allow an Ohio Auditor to engage in self-dealing.

Pay no attention to the endorsement for Yost that was issued by the Ohio Republican Party.  The shenanigans used to switch Yost from AG candidate to ORP-endorsed Auditor candidate don’t pass the smell test, as noted here, here, and here.

On May 4th, vote “no” on Issue 1

Last November, there was an Issue 1.  It was a bond issue.  Bond issues put the state in debt.  Bond repayment with interest eats up too much of the state’s general fund.  How bond money is spent is hidden behind a curtain–it’s not as visible as line items in the biennial budget bills.  Bond money is a clandestine method of political patronage and pay-to-play politics.

Please note that politicians on both sides of the aisle are for this May’s Issue 1, a “Third Frontier” project ostensibly to jumpstart innovative high-tech industry entrepreneurial endeavors.  The high-tech research may take place at our universities, and start-ups in these research park incubators may be given tax breaks, but once these enterprises are commercially viable, they inevitably must leave our state because of the poor business climate.  The Third Frontier, it should be noted, is part of the legacy of Bob Taft.

I opposed last year’s Issue 1, and wrote a lengthier explanation how I felt about bond issues in general, so refer to that if you want more detail.  I am likewise opposed to the Issue 1 being presented in this primary election.

This year’s Issue 1 also is one of those unholy public-private partnerships, like the quasi-governmental Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the federal level, wherein the money making feature of a business . . ., you know, what makes a business sustainable . . ., is compromised by also being expected to achieve political ends.

Issue 1 is a marketplace intervention by government that adds to the distortion of free markets.  The government picks the winners and losers in the marketplace by deciding where Third Frontier venture capital will go.

Issue 1 is a redistribution of wealth.  Though advertised as not being a confiscation of your money by way of a tax hike, it incurs indebtedness that must be paid back with interest using tax revenues.  This Third Frontier money is thus shifted away from you and granted to some other entities.

For these reasons, and more, please vote “No” on May’s Third Frontier bond renewal, Issue 1.

15th Annual Hispanic Leadership Conference

Hosted by the Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues and Progress (CHIP), one of the County’s oldest Hispanic advocacy organizations the conference invites expert speakers and professionals to inform attendees on the major issues affecting Latinos and the at-large community throughout the United States and beyond. It serves as a forum where civic leaders, educators, students, social workers, non-profit organizations, Union and corporate representatives, Hispanic-Latino advocacy groups and concerned citizens, can exchange views, network, and review information provided by national, state, and local presenters, enabling us all to better address the major issues facing the Hispanic-Latino and greater community. Additionally, we promise all an atmosphere of friendship, rejuvenation, and inspiration through out the Friday Speaker /Media/Sponsor reception, Saturday conference and Saturday Evening Formal Gala.

Editor’s note:  The date of the event is May 1st.  Please act quickly if you wish to register (by Friday of this week).  I received a registration form by email, but don’t have the tools to post it here. $70 for all the activities of the conference, $35 for just the Gala (fiesta!), or $35 for just the daytime speeches and workshop presentations.  For registration, you may contact Michael or Dina Ferrer by email (mf777df@msn.com) or by phone (440-989-1178).  I have attended some of these conferences in the past, whenever my calendar permits.  I highly recommend it.  For those of Hispanic-Latino heritage, this is tailored to you.  For those not of Hispanic-Latino heritage, like myself, this is fun, highly informative, and an is excellent chance to mingle & network.  From my own experience, I would estimate that 98% to 99% of what is spoken by the presenters is in English, so there is no reason for anxiety if you don’t know the Spanish language.  There’s nothing else like this in all of Ohio! More information continued below:

15th Annual Hispanic Leadership Conference

Scheduled for May 1, 2010

The 15th Annual Hispanic Leadership Conference hosted by the Coalition for Hispanic Issues & Progress (CHIP) will be held at Lorain County Community College’s Spitzer Conference Center and Stocker Theater on May 1, 2010 from 8:00am-4:00pm followed by the Saturday Evening Formal Gala, a celebration of culture, entertainment, fellowship and dancing from 6:00pm to midnight at the Lorain Party Center. Tickets are $70 for Conference and Gala, $35 each for the conference or Gala Only tickets, and $15 for dance only tickets after 9:00pm on Saturday. College students are ½ priced and limited scholarships are available for high school students. Conference and Gala tickets include a continental breakfast, lunch and dinner. Read the rest of this entry »

Jacobcik for 13th District GOP state cental committee

The women running for the Republican state central committee for the 13th District are: Incumbent (and ORP-endorsed, meaning endorsed by the ORP staff, not the committee) Joyce Houck of Huron County, and Marilyn Jacobcik former director and deputy director of the Lorain County Board of Elections.

This one is a no-brainer.  Marilyn Jacobcik.

The very opening sentence of the Permanent Rules of the Republican State Central and Executive Committee of Ohio, on file with the Ohio Secretary of State reads:

“The controlling committee of the Ohio Republican Party, the Republican State Central Committee, shall consist of two members, one man and one woman, representing each senatorial district in the state.”

What’s the second word of the sentence (I’ll give you a hint for all those Kevin DeWine rubber-stamps: it’s immediately after the word “The,” written with a capital “T”)? The word is “controlling,” as in the committee controlling the Ohio Republican Party, not the Ohio Republican Party controlling the committee.

And if the Ohio Republican Party didn’t need any control, there would be no need for the committee.  But there is a need for the committee, because there is a need for control.  We just need committee members who will exert the control.

Joyce Houck has been on that committee, but has been controlled by the ORP instead of controlling it.  For that reason, her name and image appear on mailers paid for, printed on behalf of, and distributed by the Ohio Republican Committee with the designation of “endorsed” in this contested primary.  These are staff endorsements.  These are not endorsements decided by a vote of her peers on the committee.  Kevin DeWine wants to be very selective in who gets to be part of the state central committee, and who does not.  Voter input is required, according to the permanent rules which have the force of law, but voter input won’t be welcome if it contradicts DeWine’s wishes.

Make no mistake, if you are voting for Joyce Houck, you are on the side of Kevin DeWine.  If you are troubled by Kevin DeWine’s leadership, you should not strengthen DeWine’s hand by voting for Houck.  You should vote for Marilyn Jacobcik.

But that’s not all.

One of the things that gets my dander up is when the Republican Party, at any level, takes sides, and steers party resources accordingly, in a contested primary.  I have no problem with an individual who happens to be in a party leadership role making a personal endorsement or donating or raising funds that aren’t the party’s funds.  Joyce Houck has helped steer the Huron County Republican Party, and now the Ohio Republican Party, toward her favored picks in contested primaries for years.  Marilyn Jacobcik has not done that.

Joyce Houck enjoys the perceived prestige from being announced as a dignitary at Republican functions where she is recognized as being a member on the state central committee.  But her involvement on the committee hasn’t opened up the floor to greater discussion and healthier debate concerning proposals on the agendas.  Marilyn Jacobcik won’t just sit there, occupy a chair, and vote 100% the way Kevin DeWine tells her to.

One of the things that I believe the Ohio Republican Party should prioritize is the GOTV (get out the vote) effort.  Ever since the time when former Speaker of the House, Jon Husted, presided over passage of a bill that changed absentee voting to early voting, the Republican Party has lost a lot of ground to the Democrats in elections.  We need to make up for lost ground.  The ORP is working on this, and is getting a chance to use this primary as a practice run for November.  But you know who would be an insightful person to add to the state central committee to offer some guidance on the GOTV efforts?  Marilyn Jacobcik, who managed the day-to-day operations of a busy county Board of Elections.  Believe me, she knows some things, and she’s seen some things.  Her experience, expertise, and point-of-view could be very useful.

And if the ORP lets go of micromanaging and intervening in contested primaries, and keeps its eyes trained on the GOTV effort, Republicans can start winning elections again.

And for those who are wondering, yes, Marilyn Jacobcik is very much involved in local 9-12 groups.

Marilyn Jacobcik.

And for the other seat, Robert Rousseau.

The men contesting the 13th district state central committee seat

In this year’s Republican primaries, I’m as fired up about the contests at the bottom of the ticket as I am about the top of the ticket (on the top end, I endorse Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor and Sandy O’Brien for Ohio Secretary of State) .  At the bottom of the ticket are the races for state central committee.   A man and a woman are elected from each Ohio Senate district, 33 districts in all, for a total of 66 men and women on the GOP state central committee. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest blog: Andrew Winemiller on the role of the ORP

Editor’s note: Andrew Winemiller has twice been a Republican candidate for Lorain City Council, served as Lorain Safety/Service Director under an interim mayor finishing out a remainder of a term, is secretary of the Lorain Area Republican Club, is active in Lorain County politics by virtue of being a Lorain resident, and active in Seneca County politics by virtue of attending college there.  He is a candidate for state central committee from the 13th District, along with Robert Rousseau (an incumbent that the ORP won’t endorse–which is not a bad thing, in my book) of Lorain County, and Robert Duncan, chair of the Huron County Republican Party.  The 13th District includes Lorain County, Huron County, and the eastern portion of Seneca County.  I invited Mr. Winemiller to summarize his platform as a candidate for GOP state central committee, and he has graciously accepted the invitation, but this should not be construed to be my endorsement in this race.  I’ll have more to post in the near future about this race and the other candidates, including the women contesting the 13th District seat, Marilyn Jacobcik of Lorain county, and Joyce Houck (an incumbent the ORP DID endorse–and I’m not enthused about that) of Huron county.  By the way, the ORP’s state central committee endorsements were initially issued by the ORP paid staff, without the committee’s say so.

Andrew Winemiller, Republican state central committee candidate

In my opinion, a member of our state central committee carries out three vital tasks.  The first of these tasks is to provide adaquate representation for the Republican constituancy within his or her district.  This starts with showing up at meetings.  Our current member has a less than stellar record on this note.  In addition to showing up for meetings, a member must be able to gain the respect of his or her colleagues in order to properly represent his or her district.  The second of these tasks is to support candidates and Republican groups throughout his or her district.  Being at events throughout the entire district is a must.  Again, my opponent’s record of reaching out to every corner of the district leaves much to be desired.  Finally, the last task is to be a leader, a face, and a voice for our party.  This means being a cheerleader for our party and its candidates.

The simple reason I am running is that the tasks above are not carried out under our current leadership.  The person who fills this role must be somebody willing to travel a Senate district representing our party.  These people are not only accountable to party leadership.  Rather, they are accountable to each and every Republican within their respective district.  An open ended discussion must take polace on a normal basis.  This person must make every attempt to reach out to every demographic and every corner of his or her district.  They should be active listeners for the people and motivated cheerleaders for our party and its candidates.

In the end, it is and should be all about beating the other side of the aisle in November.  However, these little-known, volunteer positions have real implications.  I want to play an active role in moving our party toward a brighter future.  I’m excited to be the voice of every Republican in Ohio’s 13th Senate District, and the way I’m going to do that is by constantly reaching out to all Republican voters.  I’ve been traveling the entire 13th District for two years now.  I’ve seen the triumphs and troubles of our district.  I’ve shook countless hands, and now I want to represent each and every one of those good people.  If we work together, as a united party, we will win in November, and that is my ultimate goal.

Guest blog: David Arredondo, “Why vote GOP?”

Editor’s note: David Arredondo is vice chair of Lorain County Republican Party.  This is the text of a speech he delivered at a Candidates Night in Lorain, Ohio, on 4/14/2010 that was hosted by Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues & Progress (CHIP).


David Arredondo

April 14, 2010

Abraham Lincoln, the first elected Republican president, celebrated what the founders of this nation had achieved: a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  Lincoln, like the abolitionist who constituted the majority of the party back in his day, championed the emancipation and empowerment of the people.

Now, more than ever, the Republican Party has renewed its commitment to these principles that Lincoln championed.

Individuals who seek personal empowerment and control over their own lives, instead of an increase of government control over their lives, turn to the Republican Party, which embraces these ideals.  Our founders intended the people to check and balance the government, not the other way around.  President Ronald Reagan stated that, “Government isn’t the solution to our problems.  Government IS the problem.”


And so it is that we see that in less than 15 short months, the Obama Administration and Congress, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, have driven up the deficit to unprecedented levels by passing a stimulus bill that has not worked.  Let me remind you, that overwhelming majorities of Democrats in the House and Senate allow them to pass any legislation they wish, including amnesty for illegal immigrants.

In December 2008, unemployment stood at 6.5 percent.  Then newly-elected President Obama vowed that if the stimulus bill passed, it would not rise above 8.5%.  Months later, it hit 10%, where it has been for almost one year with no sign of improving.  All of us have family, neighbors, and friends who are unemployed and have little prospect of employment soon. Health care legislation was passed in a brutal fashion by only three votes; in fact, the only bi-partisanship on the part of the President and the Democratic Majority we have seen has come from 30 or more courageous Democrats who have voted with Republicans to oppose both the Stimulus and health care.  These two measures have added trillions, not billions, to the deficit.  What is happening to Greece, Europe, and California, is coming to a city or state like yours soon.  We cannot sustain this debt now and we certainly cannot look to the taxpayer to bail us out.  As it is now, more than 50% pay no taxes.


Republicans understand that the only jobs that government creates are those in the public sector, and expansion of these is what is causing our federal, state, and local budget problems.  We know that the private sector is the engine of growth and prosperity which must be freed of over-regulation, higher taxation, and unreasonable mandates.  No investor will invest, no business owner will expand as long as these conditions persist.Fiscal sustainability is what Republicans promise.  Everybody has to keep some kind of budget, and everybody knows that they can’t get away with spending more than twice what they take in. Combine the billions of new taxes in the health care bill with the $1 trillion from letting the Bush tax cuts expire, the $940 billion price tag of health care, and the $789 billion stimulus . . . and you have a simple reality: This is the biggest tax and spend government in American history.

The Republican Party expects accountability of its government.  With unprecedented budget shortfalls, this year, vote Republican.  At the top of the Ohio ticket, the party has fielded a candidate, John Kasich, who was the architect of a balanced Federal budget.  The Republicans on your ballot this year are determined to reassert the people’s sovereignty.

By an 8-1 margin, Democrats and independents are switching to the Republican Party in Ohio. Today, and through May 4, I ask you to go to the Board of Elections and ask for the Republican ballot.  On May 4th, go to the polls and ask for the Republican ballot.  Vote Republican, now, so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this Earth.

The tiny nano-tent of Kevin DeWine

This February, I attended a Lincoln Day Dinner for the Erie County Republican Party held in Huron.  The featured speaker was Ohio House Minority Leader Bill Batchelder.  State rep Batchelder always gives rousing and provocative speeches, and this was no different.  He ticked off a long list of the failings of the Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Governor’s office.  One would think that it’s time for a Republican rebound.  Four years ago, when Ohioans went to the polls and repudiated Republican leadership, voters thought they had probably hit rock bottom.  It seems, under Democrat leadership, Ohio has bored through the rocks at the bottom and is now in free-fall as we seem to have tumbled into a bottomless abyss.

It would seem that the stars are aligning for a Republican resurgence.

But there’s still a reasonable chance that Republicans will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

How so?

Consider that though Ohioans, as a whole, repudiated Republican leadership, the Republican party, itself, still has to repudiate it’s 2006-era leaders.  We’ve got Mike DeWine and Jon Husted on our statewide ballots?  What’s up with that?  Husted was Speaker of the House back in the day, and Republicans were trying their level best to do the very things that they chastise Democrats for doing right now–spending and taxing at unsustainable levels.  DeWine was unceremoniously drubbed from his cushy Senate office in DC in 2006.  It’s 2010, and they’re still here.  Make them go away. Please.

Beyond the candidates that are the face of the party, though, there’s also the employed staff of the ORP.  Think some of those operatives are still hanging around that powered the Republican defeat back in 2006?  Absolutely.  It’s more because of the Jason Mauks that still linger at the ORP headquarters that I still believe that the state party is still capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (why I hold up Jason Mauk as an example will be explained later).

ORP financial resources are dwindling, so perhaps its getting to be cutthroat time down at ORP headquarters.  When Republicans only control one statewide executive branch office, and even she’s on her way out since she’s the Lt. Gov. candidate, potential donors might not be inclined to think that giving to the ORP is a very good risk when there’s so little clout that can be obtained.  The economy is brutal, dampening donations further, and less wealthy rank-and-file Republicans inclined to donate smaller sums are becoming too savvy to donate to a state or national party–for they understand that they have no way of knowing whether or not their money is doing any good if they donate anything beyond the individual candidate or local party level. So, the stragglers still employed by the ORP have to soldier on somehow, and they do it by becoming more parochial.

Welcome to the nano-tent.  Oh, sorry, it’s too small to welcome you.  You aren’t welcome anyway.  You have to be invited in order to enter.

One year prior to the Erie County Lincoln Day Dinner where Batchelder was the featured speaker, Erie County hosted a Lincoln Day Dinner where Kevin DeWine was the featured speaker.  I chatted with Kevin DeWine for a few minutes during a reception prior to that dinner.  During the conversation, DeWine talked a good game cultivating a GOP that is a big-tent party.  He didn’t believe in purging the party down to a tiny base of purists who passed every litmus test.  A political party can’t function that way.  I wholly agree.  I, myself, while advocating for adherence to the principles I hold most dear, would not seek to drum someone out of the party because their ideology didn’t match the accepted norm.  As far as I’m concerned, in Ohio, if you request a Republican ballot during the primaries, you’re a Republican.  That’s that.  I make fun of the way the term “RINO” is bandied about.  Can’t you tell?

Actually having a big tent party, with a commitment toward greater inclusiveness and involvement, might help the ORP’s fundraising.  But Kevin DeWine just talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

Don’t get me wrong.  Kevin DeWine doesn’t weed anybody out on the basis of ideology, but the rank-and-file Republican has limits placed on just how much one can be included and involved.

Want to know why the Tea Party movement is still going?  People can be as included and involved as they want to be.  That’s a big tent.  The ORP, hoping to capture some of that magic in a bottle, has been trying in many, many ways to co-opt the Tea Party–but they can’t as long as they keep Republicans at arm’s length without allowing them any decision=making power.

Kevin DeWine has pitched a nano-tent because he and the other ORP employees don’t want any power to extend beyond the confines of the nano-tent.

Who employs the ORP staff?  Who hires the ORP Chair?  The Republican state central committee does.  Who is on the state central committee?  A man and woman from each Ohio Senate district.  How are these men and women chosen?  By election during Republican primaries in even numbered years.

There’s an election for state central committee going on right now, and it doesn’t end until May 4th.  Don’t vote for ORP-endorsed candidates for its own committee. (Talk about self-serving rather than constituent-serving  . . . ugh!)

Tea Party attendees have been able to make their voices heard among lawmakers and other elected officeholders, but they’d probably like it if the political parties heard them too.  The ORP wants to superficially resemble the Tea Party in rhetoric and logo (hattip Bizzyblog), but the ORP does not want to resemble the Tea Party in terms of empowering its members with decision-making powers and in terms of being transparently accountable to its members.

It’s been a while since Ohio has seen this many candidates running for the unpaid position of state central committee member.  Do you think that the ORP Chair and the ORP staff might be nervous about the election outcome?  They are.  In fact, the ORP is using its money to promote many of the state central committee incumbents in literature mailings to voters.  Forget about winning in November against Democrats, the ORP staff wants to burn through all of its money right now in the primaries to preserve itself and perpetuate its dysfunction.

Did the state central committee have an endorsement vote for each of the incumbents that it included on the printed literature the ORP paid for as stipulated in party bylaws?  No.  According to ORP staffer Jason Mauk (there’s that name!), “incumbents are considered automatically endorsed by the ORP.”  Except, of course, when an incumbent state central committee member is not automatically endorsed, or when a challenger for state central committee member is, in fact, endorsed without endorsement votes ever having been conducted.  OOPS!!!  That last little bit of info is the substance of a complaint filed by Thea Shoemake against the ORP (hattip Bizzyblog) that’s due to be heard by the Ohio Elections Commission on April 29th (hattip Right Ohio).  It seems that the ORP staff’s survival instincts are in such a state of overdrive that they’ve overlooked such legal requirements.  As for the snafu where pro-DeWine non-incumbents appeared on ORP literature as endorsed for the state central committee, Jason Mauk said, “Some non-incumbents were put on some cards by mistake.”  Umm, Mr. Mauk, you left out the word “intentional,” as in “Some non-incumbents were put on some cards by intentional mistake.”

My family resides in the 13th District.  ORP literature mailed to Republican households in that district shows an incumbent woman endorsed by the ORP.  The mailing even arrived at the household of Marilyn Jacobcik, the woman challenging the incumbent. The incumbent man, Bob Rousseau, is running to retain his seat, but, though he’s an incumbent, which, according to Mr. Mauk, means that Mr. Rousseau is  automatically endorsed, Rousseau does not appear on the ORP mailings.  Is Mr. Rousseau endorsed, or not, Mr. Mauk?  Which, out of 3, is the man endorsed by the ORP?  Perhaps Kevin DeWine would like to clarify?

You see, entry to the tiny nano-tent of Kevin DeWine, also known as the ORP, is granted only by invitation, an invitation extended only by Kevin DeWine himself.

It’s a very, very, very tiny tent.

Dem primary: Williams for 56th Ohio House; Rimbert for Lorain County Commissioner

I’ve been remiss in not posting original content during this primary season.  There are only a few primary races I wish to weigh in on.

On the Democrat side of the ledger, first let me note that, so far, the current Lorain County Auditor has no opposition.  This is a big, big mistake.  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping an independent files by May 3rd to challenge the auditor this fall.

For the 56th Ohio House District, a seat that I twice ran for on the Republican side, I favor former New Russia Township Trustee Richard Williams for the Democrat nomination.  He is considered an underdog in this 4-way race for the nomination, but he is both knowledgeable about the issues facing the whole state of Ohio and the priorities of local constituents.  I believe Jose Candelario to be too divisive and the choice of the Lorain “machine,” Dan Ramos to be too much of a Capitol insider and not fully in touch with the local residents (and too closely tied to Joe Koziura for my liking), and Maria Zampieri Vitale too narrowly focused to address the full range of issues facing Ohio.  If I were forced to pick a second preference, I would grudgingly favor Candelario.

Dick Williams was highly regarded as a township trustee, as he served well in office.  Mr. Williams also is past president of the Ohio Township Association, demonstrating how well he was esteemed by his peers, and acquainting him with issues facing all of Ohio.

For the Democrat nomination for Lorain County Commissioner, I favor Ronnie Rimbert, former Oberlin City Council member.  My second preference would be Carlisle Township Trustee Berry Taylor.  Joshua Meszes is too closely identified with former county commissioner Mary Jo Vasi, and, I ask you, how did that pan out?  I did not support Victor Stewart for Elyria City Council-at-large last fall, and I do not support him now.  I think Elyria is headed down the wrong road, and Stewart is part of the problem.  Bret Schuster is of no use to Lorain as a city council member, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what he could possibly bring to the table.  I’ve been opposed to Joe Koziura during his mayoral campaigns in the city of Lorain, and I’ve opposed him (literally) in his state rep races.  He is one of the “good old boys,” a key player in the Lorain Democrat Party “machine,” too apt to practice cronyism, too wrongheaded on the issues, and has presided over political and economic disaster in his nearly 40 years in public office.  Another strike against both Schuster and Koziura are that they are from Lorain when two current commissioners are already from Lorain, a city that happens to be the most dysfunctional of any Lorain County community, thus the election of either would severely unbalance the representation of the county as a whole on the county commission.

Ronnie Rimbert served well in office, is not a “machine” candidate, thoughtfully deliberates over decisions facing him, and would bring a proven track record, a level head, and better balance of representation to the county commission.

Press release: Wachtmann says Dems aren’t serious about trimming Ohio budget

Editor’s note:  State rep Lynn R. Wachtmann represents Ohio House District 75.  I, DJW, would personally support stripping funding for the House Faith-Based Initiatives Committee, as I would prune  funding for faith-based initiatives at all levels of government. I think Norma at Collecting My Thoughts wrote a brilliant piece back in January on government funding of faith-based initiatives, particularly when she writes “Once you accept money from the federal government, you must play by their rules . . .,” thus highlighting the risk that the government may exploit such a relationship to begin placing mandates on religion, which would further erode our religious freedom. On that note, I’m glad that a bill has never been assigned to Ohio’s House Faith-Based Initiatives Committee.

House Dems Bloviate While Ohioans Suffer

Rep. Wachtmann Issues Response to Superficial Legislation

COLUMBUS— State Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon), member of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Council, issued the following statement regarding a press conference held this morning by House Democrats that outlined legislation to reduce the number of boards and commissions.

“Representatives Dodd and Book are unfortunately too little and too late with their simplistic solution to Ohio’s looming multi-billion dollar budget deficit. If they want to scrutinize about saving Ohio taxpayers money, I would urge my Democrat colleagues and Governor Strickland to look around the Statehouse at committees.  For example, the House Faith-Based Initiatives Committee, to which a bill has never been assigned, will have spent more than $32,000 in salaries alone to fund that committee throughout the duration of this General Assembly.

This is just another political stunt and shortsighted sound bite by House Democrats during an election year. If my Democrat colleagues were truly interested in reducing the cost burden on Ohio taxpayers, they wouldn’t have quietly raised taxes by nearly $900 million at the eleventh hour of 2009.

I continue to encourage House Democrats to work with myself and Republican colleagues in enacting true cost-savings measures to mitigate the damage of the projected $8 billion shortfall in 2011.”

Guest blog: Brandon Rutherford, ” . . . you should vote.”

Editor’s note:  Brandon Rutherford is an Elyria resident involved in his community by way of a neighborhood block watch, a run for city council, and promotion of Invest Elyria, among other civic pursuits.


The upcoming election in both May and November has huge implications. We are voting for the men and women who will work to represent us on many levels. The different levels include a county level with our county commissioner race, a state race with our state representative seats being up for election and not to mention our governor’s race. We even have a U.S Senate race which will send someone to Washington D.C to do battle with the lobbyists and special interests to better help residents back here in Ohio. No matter how you vote this election you should vote. I personally will be voting in the Democratic Primary. I know that many that read this site on a regular basis besides me are probably Republicans but that doesn’t matter to me. I want to have a good debate and have the best ideas possible presented to others to best have the public’s best interests in mind when they cast votes that make changes to you and your family’s life.

Press Release: Terry Boose questions loss of Lorain County employer

Editor’s note:  TeleTech Holdings, Inc. has only been doing business in Lorain County for roughly 5 years, so it’s surprising to me how quickly after TeleTech’s start-up investment at their Lorain County location that they are shutting down.  State rep Terry Boose represents the 58th Ohio House District, which includes many of the western and southern precincts of Lorain County, as well as all of Huron County and eastern Seneca County.

Boose to Key Policy Makers: Where are the jobs going?

Why Are Nearly 600 More Ohioans Are Out of Work, Governor?

Norwalk, OHIO – Small business controller and State Representative Terry Boose (R-Norwalk) today sent two letters to key policy makers in Columbus inquiring why TeleTech Holdings, Inc., a customer service call center in Lorain County, announced its plans to close in May. The closure of TeleTech will leave 585 more Ohioans jobless, joining the ever-growing list of companies leaving Ohio under the current administration.

In a letter to Governor Strickland, Rep. Boose stated, “Governor, what have you done to make sure these positions were fought for? Unemployment in Lorain County is currently at 11.5 percent, and the closure of TeleTech delivers a severe blow to the families of Lorain County and Northern Ohio. This company has been significant within our community, and the loss of yet another corporation from Ohio’s borders is very problematic. How many businesses need to abandon our state before we provide them with adequate reason to stay?”

In a letter to Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), Rep. Boose requested the following: “In consideration of Ohio’s rampant job loss, I respectfully ask that you present to me the following information:

1.                  The date on which ODOD first learned that TeleTech Holdings, Inc. was looking to relocate;

2.                  The date on which ODOD first proactively reached out to TeleTech Holdings, Inc.; and,

3.                  The specific incentives that were included in the package to TeleTech Holdings, Inc.”

Press release: On the passing of Moyer, by Batchelder

Editor’s note:  Thomas J. Moyer was the sitting Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, who originally hailed from Sandusky.  William Batchelder is the Minority Leader in the Ohio House of Representatives, and represents the 69th District.  This press release was issued yesterday.

Batchelder Statement on the Passing of

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer

COLUMBUS— House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) today released the following statement on the passing of Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer.

“Chief Justice Thomas Moyer was a very fine public servant.  He was an excellent chief justice and his death is a loss to the people of the state of Ohio, whom he served so well.  Furthermore a loss to the system of justice upon which he made many important improvements. He will be sorely missed.”