Labor Day 2014 in Lorain County

Labor Day 2014 finds me back in Lorain County, the home of Ohio’s largest annual festival (actually, it is always held in Lorain on the Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day) devoted to labor unions.  After reading through Elyria’s Chronicle-Telegram and Lorain’s Morning Journal, I have felt the urge to respond to some of the political speechifying at Sunday’s Labor Fest (officially titled “20th annual Lorain County Organized Labor Day Family Celebration”) as reported by these two newspapers.

As I have written before, I am a Republican who has run for public office who supports organized labor.  I know many other Republicans, locally, who support organized labor even though local union leaders have often been antagonistic toward said Republicans.

Thus, let me begin with a criticism of  the remarks offered by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Lorain), as quoted in this Chronicle-Telegram story:

“You’re getting Republicans that have supported Mitt Romney, that are supporting John Kasich, that are supporting anti-labor, anti-women’s health, anti-voting rights agenda that national Republicans have.”  Brown is supposedly talking about Republicans in elected office here, Lorain County, at the local level.  Wait a minute . . . who the heck is he talking about?  I can name names of anti-labor Republican office holders at the state level, but I’m scratching my head trying to think of who, possibly, Brown is talking about at the local level.  For one thing, there are very few Republicans in office at the local level.  The CT reporter, Evan Goodenow, indicated that Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams–the sole Republican county commissioner–shook his head at Brown’s remarks.  Evidently, if Brown was referring to Williams, then Brown was lying.  Williams would be the expert on where Williams stands, not Brown.  It stands to reason that Williams would not even have been in attendance if what Brown had said was absolutely true.  Being there, and being visible there as a public figure, is a choice Williams made.  He didn’t have to be there.  That he chose to be there is evidence that Williams does not consider himself to be an enemy of the labor unions.  Reportedly, Williams spoke personally with Brown after the speech and assured him that he supported labor.  Brown said he didn’t know who Williams was.  Brown must not have been referring to Williams.  It is clear, by this revelation, Brown didn’t know what he was talking about.  Brown was apparently just shooting his mouth off.  Such reckless remarks and a clear disregard of the truth . . . umm, wait . . . no a total lack of concern for even educating oneself about the truth . . . do not inspire me with confidence in this person who holds the lofty position of U.S. Senator.

State Rep. Dan Ramos urged voters to scrutinize candidates’ records.  I wonder if Ramos supposes that such scrutiny would lead to the conclusion that every Republican is unworthy of support.  Of course, those who are the most likely to avoid scrutiny are those who run unopposed.  Ramos is running unopposed.  Such a shame.  We need to do something about that.  Maybe I, myself, need to do something about that.

But in a related CT story, I don’t have to wonder where local Democrat Party boss Anthony Giardini stands on who is worthy and unworthy of support.  Whoever Giardini handpicks is worthy of support and no one else.  Two members of Lorain City Council ran for election as independents, and that sticks in Giardini’s craw.  Tim Carrion publicly revealed that, next year, he will challenge the Giardini-supported incumbent Democrat mayor of Lorain.  Carrion has not firmly decided whether he will run as a Democrat or as an independent.  Giardini, who would prefer that every Lorain officeholder be his pawn, strongly expressed that Carrion should mount his mayoral challenge within the Democrat primary.  While expressing this, Giardini does not have an open mind about Carrion as a candidate, for he already backs the incumbent.  With the party boss already choosing sides, why would Carrion feel it’s in his best interests to run in the primary as a Democrat rather than as an independent in the general election?  Giardini offered that if Carrion beat the incumbent in the primary that he would support him in the general election.  If Carrion chooses to challenge in the primary, then, purely statistically–like a coin toss–without taking any other factors into consideration, Carrion only has half a chance of advancing to the general election.  As an independent, Carrion guarantees that he advances to the general election.  As an independent, yes, Carrion would definitely not have Giardini’s blessing, whereas he has some chance of securing Giardini’s blessing if he won a Democrat primary, but is a primary contest really worth it when Giardini is clearly not going to remain neutral in the primary?  If Giardini would vow strict neutrality in the primary, and not try to tip the scales, I think, if Carrion views Giardini as trustworthy, then running in the primary would make total sense.  Absent that, Carrion should go independent all the way.

I have to admit to some measure of delight that a couple of union-backed independent members of city council have ripped a page out of Giardini’s playbook of machine politics to beat a couple of Giardini’s handpicked candidates.  Giardini’s Democrat political machine has always relied heavily on union members’ contributions to make it work, and those wins serve as reminders to political bosses to not take those key contributors for granted or turn them into pawns.

The MJ story by Richard Payerchin offers some hope that local union leadership will be more open to forging alliances with Republicans sympathetic to worker interests.  Jim Slone’s (Lorain County CAP Council of the UAW) declaration that he is a unionist before he is a Democrat doesn’t exactly translate into a willingness to ally with Republicans, but it seems to leave the door open to that.  Similarly, Harry Williamson’s (Lorain County AFL-CIO) observation that, “I’ve emphasized that specifically here in Lorain County, history’s always shown that labor has been a D-type (Democratic) organization.  As workers, we have to get away from that mindset,” is even more encouraging since it was coupled by an example of an actual former Republican officeholder that was a friend to labor.  Keith Hocevar’s (Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 16) assurance that, “In the building trades, we talk to both sides; we talk to Democrats and Republicans in races. For us, we look at individual races and talk to the candidates and talk to the candidates who support our issues,” is the most comforting.  I hope that Dan Ramos and Sherrod Brown carefully read those statements, as they paint the GOP with such broad brushes as to suggest Republicans are monolithic in their political views.  They should campaign on their own virtues vis-a-vis the candidates they face.  Voters need to know that while some candidates are willing to be party pawns, others are too principled to allow themselves to be treated as pawns.  It is the voters’ responsibility to determine which is which, and when they find a principled candidate, it behooves voters to demand to know just what those principles are before they cast their votes.  I have always maintained that one should vote for the person, not the party.  Voting for a party slate assembled by political insiders is why nations governed by parliaments are inferior to the elections conducted within America’s system of government.

In both the CT and MJ articles, John Kasich was held up as an object of scorn.  In closing, let me offer this head’s up.  When it comes to opposition to unions, John Kasich is nothing compared to Jon Husted.  I sure hope Husted is not the “anointed” GOP candidate for Ohio Governor in 2018.  If he is, I sure hope he is vigorously contested in the GOP primary.  Husted is a prime example of pay-to-play politics.  I would not cast a vote  for Husted even if he ran unopposed, whether in a primary or in a general election.

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