Press release from the RPCC: It’s Time for a Transition Government

Editor’s note:  This press release was issued on 8/10/2010 by the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County.  Last year, the voters of Cuyahoga County voted to change the structure of county government.  In most other Ohio counties, the county auditor and one county commissioner are the only non-judicial county election races on the ballot this year.  Cuyahoga County is electing a County Executive and members of a County Council.  There is hope that the new government structure in Cuyahoga County will be an aid to battling the corruption of those occupying county offices.  Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo are the most infamous of the county officials spotlighted by corruption investigations, yet they’re still in office, still pulling strings, still thumbing their noses at the public, and, apparently, intending to continue doing so right up until the new County Council and County Executive are sworn into office next January.  That amounts to several more months of potential mischief afforded to Dimora and Russo.  The RPCC is thus issuing the invitation (or is it issuing a challenge?) to their Democrat Party counterparts to join in leveraging whatever influence they can muster to obtain the immediate resignations of Dimora and Russo.

Its Time For A Transition Government

Voters from every Cuyahoga community, incensed with corruption and disgusted by the continued reporting of back room bargaining, bribes and patronage laden offices, overwhelmingly passed Issue 6 last year, and in doing so laid the groundwork for true government reform in Cuyahoga County. It is now time for the leaders from all political parties to demonstrate a commitment to work together in this process of transition to a new government, and there can be no better steps than by coming together to call on those who have abused the public trust to immediately resign their office and for the formation of a transition government.

Said RPCC Chairman Rob Frost “I am asking that Ed Fitzgerald, the endorsed Democratic candidate for County Executive, along with his Primary opponent Terri Hamilton Brown, to join me and Democratic Party Chair Stuart Garson along with County Treasurer Jim Rokakis and Matt Dolan, the Republican endorsed candidate for County Executive, in calling for the immediate resignations of Frank Russo and Jimmy Dimora.”

Under Ohio law, there is no provision to recall county officials and were Dimora or Russo to resign, the Central Committee of the political party which nominated them, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, would have the power to name their replacements.  Frost further called upon Chairman Garson to commit that he will lead the Democratic Party, when and if Dimora or Russo resign, in appointing someone not running for the new County Executive or Council positions.  “This can be an opportunity for the community to come together and rise above partisan politics to form a transition government with qualified, experienced individuals as interim office-holders.”

This county has already witnessed the upside of replacement appointments, with the stellar service of interim Sheriff Frank Bova and the continuing distinguished service of Sheriff Bob Reid.  Unfortunately, we have also seen the downside of political replacements, with County Recorder Lillian Greene apparently feeling entitled to the office to which she was appointed and was subsequently retained.  “It is crucial that we get this transition right – we cannot afford any more missed chances or lost time,” stated Frost, “It is only by joining together to notify Russo and Dimora that it is time to go, and then finding qualified, neutral replacements to serve until January, that we can begin to wipe the slate clean of the stain of corruption.”

Press release from Ohio House Republicans: Legislation urged for performance audits after Taylor’s audit of Cuyahoga County

Editor’s note:  This press release was issued on 8/3/2010.  Note the link at the end of the press release.  By clicking on it, one can see the report issued by State Auditor Mary Taylor’s office of the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s office audit.  The Cuyahoga County cronyism is duly noted (though it isn’t called “cronyism” in this press release–“overstaffed” is the operative word).  Cuyahoga County voters approved a new home-rule style of government in an effort to get a handle on the corruption, but the new government structure, by itself, isn’t enough to turn the tide.  As I wrote two years ago about the county’s corruption when endorsing Annette Butler for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, ” . . . there is a political dimension to the corruption that grips Cuyahoga County.  It has everything to do with the Democrat Party.”  Voters won’t see the hoped for turnaround in any significant way if the Democrat machine pulls off a clean sweep of a new round of elections in the county.  Voters need to elect some sensible Republicans who have vowed to bring an end to business-as-usual–not just the cronyism, but the shakedowns of businesses and other organizations brokered by Democrat operatives over the years that have made the region less economically competitive than other regions.  As I wrote following the 2008 elections, ” . . . corruption exists among northern Ohio Democrat politicians, it’s taking its toll on the region’s economy, and that re-electing those Democrats won’t solve the problem.”  In the case of the impending Cuyahoga County elections, “those” Democrats doesn’t literally mean the electing the exact same Democrat individuals that held office before, as new names of Democrat individuals on the ballots mean diddly-squat if it so happens to be that they are linked with the same Democrat machine that the county needs to break free of.  Elect Republicans, for it will be easier to clean house that way.  But I digress, as this press release is to promote legislation that will improve government transparency through the audit process.  HB 65 was introduced more than a year ago by state reps Todd Snitchler of the 50th Ohio House district and Peter Stautberg of the 34th Ohio House district.

Statewide Bipartisan Legislation Idle While County-Level Audits Reveal Cost-Savings

Taylor: Cuyahoga Auditor’s Office Overstaffed, Inefficient

Columbus—The Ohio House of Representatives minority caucus today commended Ohio Auditor of State Mary Taylor, who released a performance audit of the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office and reminded the House majority that the bipartisan cosponsored, House Bill 65—which would increase state efficiency through similar audits—has only received one committee hearing.

Taylor provided the county’s new charter government with nearly two dozen recommendations that could save county taxpayers $2,289,000 annually if fully implemented. “Cuyahoga County taxpayers deserve well-organized and efficient government services,” she said. “This report can serve as a guide to charter government officials as they organize the county’s new fiscal office following their election this November.”

“Today’s report identifies further faults in what has been revealed over the past two years as a corrupt local government,” said House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina).  “A close examination of the report identifies avoidable costly burdens to the taxpayers, such as overpaid, excessive staffing and a less efficient operation than in comparable-sized county offices.”

At the state level, Representatives Todd Snitchler (R-Uniontown) and Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Township) worked to implement performance audits of state agencies through HB 65, which was introduced in March 2009.  When enacted, this legislative measure would require performance budgeting by most state agencies and ensure efficient state spending. However, to date, the proposal has only received sponsor testimony in the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Performance audits are a smart, effective way to estimate the effectiveness of government operations and are a practice that is frequently used in the private sector,” said Snitchler. “My legislative colleagues and I applaud Auditor Taylor on this valuable tool she has conducted to improve operations, identify cost savings and utilize existing resources in the most efficient manner possible.”

Last year, Cuyahoga County Commissioners and the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office passed a joint resolution authorizing the Auditor of State to conduct a performance audit of the County Auditor’s Office.  A copy of the complete audit is available here.

Press release: Peter J. Corrigan gaining ground in competitive race for Ohio’s 10th Congressional district

Editor’s note:  This press release was issued on 7/23/2010 by the Cuyahoga County Republican Party.  In even-numbered years, all 435 seats in U.S. House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, are up for election.  The general election this year will be held on November 2nd.  Those who are elected will take office in January 2011.  Ohio’s 10th Congressional district, wholly contained within Cuyahoga County, stretches along the lakefront from the west side of Cleveland over to Bay Village and extends inland as far south as Olmsted Falls and Parma.

10th Congressional Candidate Peter Corrigan Proves Tough Test For Kucinich

Seven-term incumbent Congressman Dennis Kucinich faces the toughest challenge of his Congressional career in 2010 against Peter Corrigan. Corrigan, the Republican candidate for Ohio’s 10th Congressional District has been on the move and experts in Ohio and the national stage have begun to take notice. A conservative Republican, Corrigan is running against ultra-liberal Dennis Kucinich in a seat that was previously thought of as “un-poachable” by mainstream political pundits. However the Weekly Standard recently published an article suggesting that if Dennis Kucinich can be defeated, Corrigan is the candidate to do it. To review the article please click on the following link http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/can-dennis-kucinich-be-defeated

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has officially announced Peter Corrigan as an ‘On the Radar’ candidate, an important first step in its Young Guns program. Founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program is a member-driven organization dedicated to electing open-seat and challenger candidates nationwide.

NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions stated “Peter is an accomplished, independent leader who will fight to create jobs and rein in government spending. I am confident that we will be successful in our efforts to win this seat and add it to the Republican column in November.”

Recent polling by Scott Brown’s pollster, Neil Newhouse at Public Opinion Strategies, shows that Kucinich has lost a portion of his base support after abandoning his stated positions on key issues such as healthcare and the budget crisis by caving to political pressure from the Obama Administration. Voters in the District are evenly split (47%-47%) on whether Kucinich should be re-elected; very weak numbers for a 14-year incumbent Congressman, but not surprising given his – and the Democratic Congressional leaders’ – plummeting approval ratings.

Kucinich currently has twice the money on hand as Corrigan for this campaign; a gap Corrigan intends to eliminate and surpass in the next 30 days. For more information, to volunteer or make a donation please visit the Peter Corrigan for Congress Campaign website at www.corriganforcongress.com or call the campaign office directly at 216-579-9487.

Corrigan comes from a long line of public servants to Ohio and enters the 10th Congressional District race this fall with his family’s legacy in mind. The grandson of a Chief of the Cleveland Fire Department, the nephew of a Cleveland city councilman and of a judge on the Ohio Court of Appeals, as well as the son of a well renowned Cleveland physician, Corrigan knows Ohio’s 10th Congressional District well and plans on representing it accurately and passionately. He was a high school Honors student, as well as a lettered Track and Field star who later attended Wake Forest University. After earning his Bachelors in Physics, Corrigan attended Case Western Reserve University to receive his Masters and afterwards, Harvard Business School. After many years of working as a tradesman, physicist, and business leader, Corrigan currently works as the Chief Operating Officer of Prestolite Electric in Cleveland where he resides with his wife and three children.  For more information, please visit Peter’s site www.corriganforcongress.com

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.

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 »

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).

WHY VOTE REPUBLICAN

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.”

STIMULUS, HEALTH CARE, & DEFICITS

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.

JOB CREATION

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.

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.

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.

YOU SHOULD VOTE

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.

Guest blog: David Arredondo says, “I voted this morning!”

Editor’s note:  It’s hard to believe, but the early voting period for Ohio’s primary elections has already begun.  Ohio’s Republicans need to look at election “day” in a whole new light.  My thanks to David Arredondo, a Lorain resident and Vice Chair of the Lorain County Republican Party, for offering this insight.

“I voted this morning.”

Yesterday was the first day for Early, and Absentee Voting. Today I went to the LoCo BOE and voted. Took 5 minutes or less; no lines. Only me.

Republicans need to change the culture of how we vote; no longer do we use election day as the target and ask voters to support us then; we need to seal the deal now and ask our supporters to VOTE NOW, VOTE TODAY.

Given the current climate that has most Independents and Republicans agittated, we need to push them into action now by casting their primary ballot for the Republican ticket. Republicans are motivated now more than ever, push them into action NOW.

If your kids are away at college, remind them to go to the BOE web site and complete an absentee form to mail in for a primary ballot.

For those whose parents or loved ones are incapacitated, take the responsibility to take them an absentee ballot request. Leave no eligible Republican voter behind.

Please vote Early or Absentee and send me a note that you have.

2010 Lincoln Day Dinner in Fremont with John Kasich

For the 2nd year in a row, John Kasich, candidate for Ohio Governor, was the keynote speaker at a Lincoln Day Dinner for the assembled GOP’s of Sandusky County, Seneca County, and Ottawa County.  The speech he delivered last night, Feb. 18th, was significantly retooled from last year’s speech.  His opening remarks still need further retooling, but the rest of his speech showed a marked improvement over last year’s speech.

Among the others also addressing the assembled crowd were 5th Congressional District Representative Bob Latta, State Senator Karen Gillmor, Ohio Supreme Court Justices Judith Lanzinger, Paul Pfeifer, and Terrence O’Donnell.  About 350 people attended the event, overflowing the venue’s parking lot capacity, and stuffing the venue itself like sardines in a can.

During Kasich’s opening remarks, the gubernatorial candidate clumsily announced his campaign had a gender gap problem, dropping the names of women who were running his campaign, mentioning his running mate, Mary Taylor, and afterward, referring to his wife and twin 10-year-old daughters.  He quipped that he didn’t have any men in his inner circle, thus he had a gender gap problem.  I don’t believe the audience was very amused, and I think the spiel came off as being very condescending.  To further retool his opening remarks, I recommend that Kasich drop the “gender gap problem” quip.  Instead he should say something like “At the outset, I wish to express my profound appreciation for . . .” and then, when stating each woman’s name, add some resume bullet-points for what each has accomplished on behalf of the Kasich campaign and the strengths that each bring to the table.  Working on a campaign is a temporary job.  At some point, when Kasich’s campaign has wrapped up at the end of the year, these women will be looking for work again.  There were people in the room who might possibly be in a position to hire these women in the future, so Kasich had an opportunity to advance their careers by publicizing their accomplishments and strengths.  He didn’t do that.  If Kasich is going to bring his family into the political arena by mentioning his wife and daughters in a public speech, it wouldn’t hurt to point out their strengths as well, much like newly elected U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, proudly touted the strengths of his wife and daughters.  Kasich didn’t do that either.  Instead, without pointing out the strengths of the women who form the backbone of his campaign effort, but merely rattling off names and job titles, Kasich almost seems to be invoking the image of a sheik surrounding himself with a harem.  The lack of a mention of men’s names in Kasich’s acknowledgments would have spoken for itself without having to try to be cutesy and coming across as condescending with the “gender gap problem” quip.  After expressing his appreciation for each woman and touting their accomplishments and strengths, Kasich could have led the crowd in a round of applause in honor of the important contributions of these women.  Retooling the message in a manner similar to what I’ve recommended here might lead to a warmer reception from Kasich’s audiences.

For the remainder of the speech, Kasich deftly shed the perception of being a Washington insider, talking about his Congressional battles to curb government spending even in defiance of prominent politicians in his own party.  He recounted an experience when he was not satisfied with either the Democrat version of a budget bill or the Republican version of a budget bill, so he gathered his staff together to craft their own budget bill.  He said his budget bill crafting team included just 7 other people in addition to Kasich, himself, in contrast to the huge cadre of White House staffers that drew up President George Herbert Walker Bush’s budget, or the plethora of lobbyists that handed a budget proposal to the Democrats.  Kasich stated that he sought accountability and savings from every government agency, including Republican establishment sacred cows like the Pentagon budget that procured such ordinary items like nuts and bolts at grotesquely overinflated prices.  In response to his renegade budget bill draft, a loud and clear message was delivered to Kasich that the President, from his own political party, George H. W. Bush, was angry with Kasich.  With dogged determination, Kasich continued his advocacy for a balanced budget, in line with his core principles of limited government, limited taxes, limited spending, and a private economy poised for growth, and eventually the unrelenting advocacy paid off with a balanced budget during the Clinton administration that was muscled through in the wake of a series of government shutdowns.  His highlighting of experiences wherein he took on the insiders within his own party was Palinesque, and possessed the same appeal to the audience that Sarah Palin might invoke during a similar recounting of taking on entrenched interests within her own party.

Kasich further distanced himself from Washington by pointing out that it will soon be 10 years since he has served in public office, touting all the things he learned about the real world outside of Washington in the private sector economy that he will reference to aid Ohio’s recovery if he is elected as Ohio’s governor.  He acknowledged that those whose careers consist entirely of politics are too far removed from the conditions that the rest of the nation’s population experiences.  He vowed to reverse the conditions that have chased corporations, investors, and entrepreneurs away from Ohio.  He also sounded a note of inclusiveness in his campaign and approach to governing, letting audience members know that he was as frustrated as other Ohioans and that he was eager to band together with other Ohioans to make a collective effort to reform our state government and turn around Ohio’s economy.  As evidence of his inclusiveness, he pointed to his 88-county house party, where, with the aid of modern technology, he and Mary Taylor were able to communicate simultaneously with gatherings of Kasich-Taylor supporters in every county of Ohio.

His frequent repetition of his commitment to creating the necessary conditions to expand the private sector economy of Ohio through limiting government’s scope, increased efficiency and accountability of state government, a drop in state spending and state taxes, and balancing state budgets without punishing Ohio households and businesses by imposing fee increases appealed to audience members sympathetic to the Tea Party movement.  Kasich didn’t have to invoke the quip of “I was the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party” to drive his point home.  He let the audience members connect those dots themselves, thus avoiding a condescending tone,  . . . and he can do the same in in his opening remarks (hint, hint).

Crunch time for candidate petitions

I just want to remind potential candidates that time is running out to get signatures gathered before the petition deadline.

February 18th is the cutoff.  That’s a little over a week away.

I’m certainly hoping that we won’t have uncontested races this year.  Voters need choices on the ballot in order to effectively check and balance government.

I’ve mentioned the mechanics of gathering signatures in past blog articles here and here.  For more campaign tips, let me plug the Killer Campaigning website one more time.

For an official resource, please make use of the Ohio Secretary of State webpage.

County Lincoln Day Dinners starting to appear on the calendar

The Republican Party, at the county level, being closer to the grassroots, is not always as dysfunctional, out-of-touch, and misguided as the GOP at the state level.  Many county parties host annual fundraisers often known as Lincoln Day Dinners (not always, though–for example, Ashtabula County will have a Lincoln Day Breakfast, and Marion County will have a Harding Day Dinner) where attendees enjoy a catered meal, meet Republican candidates (especially helpful during primary season if there are contested nomination races) and elected officials, and listen to featured speakers.

If you consider yourself a Republican but haven’t ever attended a Republican function or event but figure it’s about time you started getting yourself involved before the GOP self-destructs without your input, a county-level Lincoln Day Dinner might be an excellent venue to make acquaintances that can propel you into a greater level of involvement.  If you do manage to become more involved in the GOP, perhaps you can have a positive impact on the party’s future.

ORP has a directory of county parties throughout Ohio.  Some counties haven’t announced Lincoln Day Dinner plans yet on the web, but the calendar is starting to take shape.  Some counties will band together to have a multi-county Lincoln Day Dinner.  I’ve copied and pasted the ones I can pinpoint so far, but I must urge caution that times and places for these events are subject to change (I’ve known them to change with relatively short notice), so it’s best if you use this information and take the next step of actually contacting somebody (using the directory) in the county organization to verify all the details of the event when reserving a seat (yes, please reserve in advance) and obtain a promise to notify you promptly should any of the details change.

Clermont County Lincoln Day Dinner
Friday, February 5, 2010
Holiday Inn Eastgate
Social 6:00 PM
Dinner 7:00 PM

Columbiana County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Salem Elks Lodge
824 East State Street
Salem, Ohio
5:00pm Early Bird Reception
6:30pm Dinner
Guest Speaker Rob Portman
To RSVP or for more information please contact Tara Canestraro at (330) 223-1511

Clinton County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
Monday, February 8, 2010
6:30pm
Clinton County Fairgrounds Expo Center
958 W. Main St
Wilmington, Ohio
Guest Speaker Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor
To RSVP or for more information please contact the Clinton County Republican Party

Hancock County Lincoln Day Dinner
Monday, February 8, 2010
6:00pm
Lincoln Day Dinner at Riverbend Lodge.
Speakers will be the two candidates for Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine and Dave Yost.

Holmes County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 8, 2010
6:00 PM
Carlisle Village Inn
4949 Walnut St, Walnut Creek, OH

Licking County Republican Party’s Annual Lincoln Day Dinner
Friday, February 12, 2010
Location: Longaberger Golf Course
Event Chair Beth Yocum—details to follow

Lake County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
Thursday February 18, 2010
Croatian Party Lodge Center
34900 Lake Shore Blvd
Eastlake, OH (Just west of Route 91)
Keynote speaker will be Rob Portman
VIP – $150 (includes private reception beginning at 5:30 PM)
Patron – $75 (including general reception and dinner at 6:00 PM)
Dinner Only – $40 (beginning at 7:00 PM)
For information or to RSVP call 440-357-1200 or visit www.lakegop.com
Reservations needed by February 12

Seneca, Ottawa and Wyandot Counties Joint Lincoln Day Dinner
February 18, 2010
Crystal Arbors, 2270 W. Hayes Ave., Fremont, OH
Social Time – 6:00 PM
Program – 6:30 PM
Cost is $35 per person
Guest Speaker will be John Kasich

Wayne County Lincoln Day Dinner
February 18, 2010
Greenbriar Conference Center
50 Riffel Road
Wooster, OH 44691

Portage County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 19, 2010
Kent American Legion
1945 Mogadore Rd
Kent OH,44240?
Guest Speaker will be Rob Portman

Ashtabula County Republican Party Lincoln Day Breakfast
Saturday, February 20, 2010
9:00am
Casa Capelli Restaurant
4641 Main Ave.
Ashtabula, Ohio
$25 for a reserved floor seat
$20 for a balcony seat
To RSVP or for more information please contact Bill Pikor at (440) 812-5704

Medina County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 20, 2010
Weymouth Country Club
3946 Weymouth Road
Medina, OH 44256
Cost is $35 per person (RSVP by 2/16)
Guest Speaker will be Rob Portman
Cash bar starts at 6:00 PM
Dinner at 7:00 PM
For more information and to RSVP please visit:
http://medinagop.org/
or contact Sandy Calvert
330-241-2128
cscal81@zoominternet.net

Brown County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 20, 2010
Guest Speaker will be John Kasich

Fayette County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 22, 2010
Details to Follow
Guest Speaker will be Jon Husted

Tuscarawas County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 24, 2010
5:30 PM Sponsor Social and
6:30 PM Dinner
Dutch Valley Restaurant
1343 Old Route 39 Northeast
Sugarcreek, OH 44681
Guest Speaker will be Dave Yost

Muskingum County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 25, 2010
Details and location yet to be determined

Clark County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
February 25, 2010
Details coming soon…

Hamilton County Republican Party Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner
Friday, February 26, 2010
5:30pm – 10:30pm
Paul Brown Stadium
Speaker: Rep. Michelle Bachmann
Cocktails: 5 p.m. Dinner: 7 p.m.
$75/person
Parking under Paul Brown Stadium in garage for $4/car
For more information, please contact HQ at 381-5454

Coshocton County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
March 2, 2010
Ravens Glenn Winery
56183 U.S. 36
West Lafayette, OH 43845
Social 6:30 PM
Dinner 7:00 PM
Guest Speaker will be Josh Mandel

Meigs County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
March 2, 2010
6:00 PM
Meigs High School
42091 Pomeroy Pike
Pomeroy, OH 45769
Guest Speaker will be John Kasich

Madison County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
Thursday, March 4, 2010
First United Methodist Church
52 North Main Street
London, Ohio
6:00pm Social
7:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Program
Guest Speaker John Kasich
$25 per person
To RSVP or for more information please contact Pete Kitchen (614) 879-7044 or Steve Saltsman (740) 852-3115

Darke County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Guest Speaker Rob Portman
More details soon….

Washington County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
March 11, 2010
Social 5:30 PM
Dinner 6:30 PM
Location yet to be determined
Guest Speaker will be Dave Yost

Gallia County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
Saturday March 13, 2010
Time is 6:00 pm
Rio Grande University
Rio Grande, Ohio.
Speaker for the event is Josh Mandel

Lorain County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
March 20, 2009
DeLuca’s Place in the Park
6075 Middle Ridge Road
Lorain, Ohio 44053
Guest Speaker will be Mike DeWine

Knox County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
March 20, 2010
Dan Emmett Conference Center
160 Howard Street
Mt Vernon, OH 43050
Guest Speaker will be Auditor Mary Taylor

Geauga County Lincoln Day Dinner
March 27, 2010
Guest Speaker will be Rob Portman
Contact Chairman Ed Ryder for more information

Crawford County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
April 5, 2010
Keynote speaker will be John Kasich
Woodlawn United Methodist Church
1675 Hopley Avenue, Bucyrus
Location is subject to change
Ticket price is yet to be determined

Marion County Republican Party Harding Day Dinner
April 19, 2010
All Occasions Catering & Banquet Facility
6989 Waldo-Delaware Rd, Waldo, OH, 43356
Social Hour 5:30 PM
Dinner 6:30 PM
$25 per person/$45 per couple
Guest Speaker will be Rob Portman
RSVP to MarionGOPJohn@hotmail.com by 4/13/10
For more information please visit
www.MarionRepublicanPart.com

Butler County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
April 23, 2010
Savannah Center
5533 Chappell Crossing Blvd
West Chester, OH 45069

Democrat corruption: It’s not just a Cuyahoga County thing

Athens County, Ohio, home of Ohio University, is on a much smaller scale than Cuyahoga County.  Nonetheless, they’ve had to do some corruption-purging among Athens County Democrats.  Don’t make too much noise about it though, because they might charge you with defaming their character in a lawsuit, as former Athens County Democrat Party chair Susan Gwinn has threatened against Nate Nelson, an OU student.

Nate Nelson is blogging about this at From the Rust Belt:

http://fromtherustbelt.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/gwinn-threatens-ou-student-with-libel-suit/

Back in November 2009, he ran a story about  Susan Gwinn at Nate Uncensored that was linked by Michelle Malkin, highly esteemed conservative blogger with a national following.

For more of the back story, Southeastern Ohio Conservative Thoughts has an archive about Gwinn.

There’s even more complete Susan Gwinn coverage at Athens Runaway.

Smackdown on women at Ford

During the Question and Answer session that was sandwiched between an Obama speech on jobs and an Obama speech on health care reform, a woman who grew up in a family where Ford put the food on the table asked about redress of sexist issues in the workplace.

President Obama’s response had to do with equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, which, I don’t believe was at the heart of the woman’s concerns.  President Obama had already addressed gender equity in the workplace during his jobs speech, I’m sure the woman heard that message, and I don’t think she was asking to have the President repeat himself.  The union contract would ensure equal pay for equal work, too, so I doubt that’s what the questioner was driving at.

I have a couple of things in common with the woman who posed the question, as I grew up in a UAW household where Ford put food on the table.  Like her, there was a season when I was a Ford worker, too.  I can’t know exactly what the woman’s concerns are, but I know what I observed at Ford, and perhaps some of it may apply to what that woman and her mother experienced.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for some time, you may have read my post titled, “Smackdown on women in Sandusky.”  To be sure, I doubt this woman’s family hails from Sandusky, so I can’t be sure that the same conditions apply, but let me just repeat just what kind of environment I was talking about in that post:

In Sandusky, Ohio, one doesn’t have to sift through nuance and subltety to find instances of sexism.  No.  In Sandusky, the Good Old Boys’ tastes in misogyny trend more toward sexism that’s blatant and overt.  Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t discern the nuances that JMZ expounded upon, because I was raised in an environment of stark contrasts.

When I make mention of a smackdown on women in Sandusky in the title of this blog entry, I’m not talking about a one-time event.  The “S” in “Smackdown” in the title is capitalized only because it is the first word in the title, not because it’s a proper noun signifying a singular event.  No . . . smackdown of women by the Good Old Boys happens in Sandusky every day of every year.  It is commonplace.  So, it is “smackdown” with a lower-case “s” that I’m writing about here.  Though I hope someday to illustrate the point with my own Sandusky workplace observations, this blog entry will be lengthy enough just to tell the tale of the woman who was once Sandusky’s police chief, Kim Nuesse.

I’ve worked at many, many places for many, many employers at many, many jobs during my adult life.  How many?  I think I counted 30 different jobs.  It seems every little dip in the economy affects me and sends me scrambling to latch on to something else.  But of all those workplaces, I believe the most rampant, blatant, overt sexism I ever witnessed was at Ford.

In other workplaces, people get fired for sexual harassment, and they draw a very clear line.  You can get fired, maybe, at Ford for sexual harassment, and no clear line was drawn.  Men, even married men, chase skirts and sometimes impregnate female co-workers, sometimes even married ones.  Those men on the most solid footing with union officials are the ones most likely to not fear any consequences.

In the woman’s question to Obama about what to do about workplace sexism, she said that attorneys wouldn’t take up the matter.  This, to me, is a clue that the union is complicit.  The union is supposed to represent the worker’s interests in relation to working conditions at Ford.  Her first attempt to redress of wrongs would be through negotiations with her union reps.  That she’s consulted attorneys means that she’s not getting results through the union.  If, for example, she were to lodge a complaint about sexual harassment, and a man who was prominent in the union was involved, the union would most likely neglect to follow through.  Lawyers would probably say that if the woman wants to sue Ford, she’d also have to sue the union as well, because both have a responsibility, and it has to be proven, with evidence, that both have failed in their respective responsibilities in order to make a case in court.  If you lodge a complaint, and the union rep logs the complaint, and documents that the matter was brought before management, how do you prove that they didn’t do their job to redress the wrong?  The union might say, “We’re still working on it.  Management is dragging their feet.”  So proof can be hard to come by, especially if there have been backroom deals between the union and management where favors are owed for covering each others’ hind ends.

But sexual harassment is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are other complaints that I’ve also seen women’s job opportunities curtailed by concerted efforts by male management and male union officials.  Certain departments within a factory may be clubhouses of “boys only–no girls allowed.”  The hiring of women in Ford factories was just a trickle before the late 70’s.  This means that it’s likely that a bunch of men have more seniority than even the most senior woman in the factory.  If an opening occurs in a “boys only” department, and a woman bids on it, there may be a concerted effort to recruit a man with more seniority than that woman to sign the bid sheet.  If a man with more seniority can’t be found, that doesn’t mean gender integration is inevitable, because all of a sudden, management might say “Oops, that was a mistake to put a bid sheet out.  There really isn’t an opening in that department.  The department is fully staffed.”  (Ooh, goody, overtime is available in the short run).  So that bid sheet was useless.  A number of days may then be allowed to elapse so that the bid rights of those that signed that particular bid sheet have expired, and, voila, an opening has mysteriously appeared in that department again, and the bidding restarts back at square one.  Since all of this is according to contract, there’s really no way for attorneys to tackle such a dilemma, even though sexist discrimination may have been a motive for all that maneuvering.   For the men who have nothing to fear from the union or management, outright intimidation may be used to discourage women from bidding into certain departments.

Among the job opportunities in a Ford factory where men exhibit the most territorial behavior are the skilled trades.  Skilled trades require more training.  Skilled trades have a higher degree of risk to a person’s safety.  Skilled trades may require more muscle to accomplish assigned tasks.  Mostly, though, skilled trades pay better that production work.   The better pay and the opportunity to use one’s mind and do work that’s less routine are factors that prompt workers to gravitate toward skilled trades opportunities.

Openings in skilled trades are filled mostly in two ways:  1) Hire someone that’s already a journeyman. 2) Train someone through an apprenticeship until they become a journeyman.

The easiest way to play keep away is to hire someone that’s already a journeyman, because management and the union have the best opportunity to pick and choose without strings attached.  I’ve known instances of men hired off the street who weren’t really journeyman, but connections with union heads and management permitted a farce to be perpetrated where the applicants credentials were fudged.  “Fudged” is putting it mildly.  Because they really weren’t qualified, they really aren’t all that productive, (tasks take longer–ooh! opportunity for overtime!), but at least gender integration was averted.

For apprenticeship programs, there are quite a few requirements that the union and management must meet in selecting apprentices, so it’s a little harder to game the system, but there are still loopholes for gaming it.  It used to be that the highest scores on an aptitude test were the ones accepted into the apprenticeship program.  At first, it was mostly men who worked in the factory, so it would mostly be men who took the test, and it would mostly be men who got the highest scores.  As more women joined the factory workforce, the number of women taking the test started to climb, and the likelihood of a woman getting a high score was increasing.  Often, outright intimidation is used to suppress the number of women taking the test.  Once the tests have been scored, and the candidates for apprenticeship are ranked, apprentices are added as openings become available.  If the top female apprenticeship candidate was ranked 10th on the list, you might see just four or five apprenticeship opportunities open up before eligibility expires and the test has to be administered again.  Or maybe just six or seven apprentices added.  Or maybe just eight or nine.  Ten or eleven?  Nah! Not likely this time around, because a woman ranked 10th.  The dearth of females in the skilled trades does not go unnoticed, however, so it was surmised that perhaps ranking apprenticeship candidates based on test scores, alone, was unfair to women and minorities.  Instead of taking the highest scores, why not take all those with passing scores, and then use seniority to rank the candidates?  That way, as long as a woman or minority can meet the MINIMUM requirements, as evidenced by a passing score, they can get a crack at a skilled trades job.  It should be fairly easy to guess how the new ranking method allowed more gaming of the system than the old:  It’s based on seniority!  Even the most senior women have less seniority than boatloads of men!  The new ranking system provided an escape hatch when the old ranking system, based on high scores, was leading to the inevitability of gender integration in the skilled trades.

But even if a female apprentice is added, her progress in the skilled trades may still be fraught with challenges.  Workers can be dropped from apprenticeships if progress is documented to be unsatisfactory.  Without proper vigilance by someone willing to blow the whistle, documentation of unsatisfactory progress can be manufactured.  Mentors and department heads can try to sabotage her progress during her rotation through the various departments of the plant.  Intimidation is often resorted to in order to pressure the female apprentice to drop out of the apprenticeship program.  Even if she completes the apprenticeship and becomes a journeyman, when she bids to a department that happens to be a clubhouse of the good old boys, she can find herself subjected to the same shenanigans that female production workers can experience when bidding.

Only the intimidation, the false documentation, and the harassment are in violation of the contract.  The rest of the obstacles that women may face are part and parcel of the contract, and a lawyer wouldn’t know where to begin to fight it.

I don’t know what circumstances that woman or her mother faced at Ford because she couldn’t really elaborate within the town hall format, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with what I’ve mentioned in this blog post.

Invest Elyria

The ever-resourceful Brandon Rutherford, involved Elyria resident, endorsed by Buckeye RINO for Elyria City Council last fall, but not victorious on Election Day, is still reaching out to the Elyria community to devise ways to improve the city through ordinary grassroots efforts.  If you’re an Elyrian, you can be involved, too.  Check out the new “Invest Elyria” website, and you’ll learn about its purposes, proposals, and participation.  I have a feeling this is an effort that Buckeye RINO will revisit from time to time.  Best of wishes to all those involved with Invest Elyria from Buckeye RINO.