Tag Archives: constitution

We’re Here, We’re Queer… We’re Conservative

I have had to come out twice in my life. The first time I came out, I told friends and family that I’m gay — that I’m attracted to other men, and that eventually I want to find the right man and spend the rest of my life with him. My second coming out has been more recent, as I have told the very friends and family who were supportive and accepting of my sexual orientation that I am a conservative Republican. Some have been just as supportive and accepting as they were before; others, less so.

The new challenge facing me is to be a conservative and a member of the Republican Party as an openly gay American. So far, the handful of College Republicans I’ve come out to, the faces of conservatism for me on a day to day basis, have been accepting. But events at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) demonstrate that there is, unfortunately, another side to the story. There are those who think gay conservatives should be excluded from the effort to take back America. Enter the now infamous Ryan Sorba:

It should be noted, although it rarely has been by the mainstream media, that Sorba’s anti-gay rant was preceded by a very different speech by Alexander McCobin, co-founder and president of Students for Liberty:

I prefer to believe that McCobin speaks for the majority of today’s young conservatives. Ryan Sorba’s ignorant hatred aside, last weekend was a good weekend to be a gay conservative. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, came out in favor of repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy banning gays and lesbians from serving in the military. GOProud had a booth at CPAC. Alexander McCobin spoke in favor of gay participation at CPAC, and when Ryan Sorba stood up to have his Kanye West moment he was booed off stage. All good news.

I think for me, though, the best news was maybe a little less significant. It was seeing several of my fellow College Republicans who attended CPAC speaking out against Sorba through Facebook and other social networking and new media. It was seeing, for example, fellow Ohio University College Republican and blogging colleague Jesse Hathaway (Athens Runaway) take on Sorba’s idiocy via his blog. The Cheneys opposing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Great. But the people I’ll be working with at the grassroots level to get conservatives elected this November speaking out to say there’s a place for me in this movement? Far better.

Now that we’ve got the touchy-feely fluffy goodness out of the way, a message to Ryan Sorba and all who think like him:

We’re here. We’re queer. We’re conservative. Get used to it.

I believe in a government that respects the limitations upon its power set by our Constitution. I believe that men like George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of our founding fathers knew better how government should work than a leftist law professor and community organizer who lied, manipulated, and intimidated his way into the presidency. I believe in a liberal democracy in which people live freely to pursue their own happiness, not the brave new world being foisted on us by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

I believe that the best way to grow our economy is to shrink our government. Those taxes they want to collect to dole out pork projects to their benefactors certainly haven’t done the job. Taking even more of the American worker’s money to take over health care and energy certainly aren’t good answers to our problems either. If we want to stimulate our economy, the best way to do that is to put our citizens’ own money back in their own hands. Cut taxes. Cut spending. Reduce the deficit. Let the market reward the responsible and punish the irresponsible.

I also believe that we are at war with an enemy that hates us because we love liberty, an enemy that knows no borders and has from time to time infiltrated our own. As a gay American, I know the very real threat posed by Islamic terrorists. Just look at the terrorism perpetrated against gays and lesbians by the Islamic “Republic” of Iran. I believe we need leadership that recognizes this war as a war, rather than a president who wants to bury his head in the sand and pretend we can go back to those heady times when the last Democrat president treated terrorists as common criminals.

My message to Ryan Sorba and his ilk? Like it or not, I’m here — and so are other gay conservatives just like me. We’re here because, frankly, where else would we go? Over to the Democrats, who give gays and lesbians a wink and a nod during campaign season and forget all about us — or actively work against us — when it comes time to actually govern? Should we go to the Democrats, even though we believe their policies are destroying the fabric of our constitutional government, wrecking our economy, and endangering our national security?

Maybe Ryan Sorba would like us to head over to the Democrat Party. I believe most conservatives, especially most younger conservatives, would strongly disagree with him. But more importantly, I believe that the path to freedom, prosperity, and security for gays and lesbians lies within the conservative movement and the Republican Party. How could I go anywhere else? So, Mr. Sorba, I’m sticking around. Should we cross paths at any point in the future, I guess there’s only one thing left for me to say to you: Bring it. I love it.

Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General

From the Rust Belt endorses former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General.

My objections to DeWine’s candidacy are many and are now well-known. I believe that Mike DeWine is a huge player in our insufficiently conservative Republican establishment here in Ohio. I believe that Kevin DeWine, Mike DeWine’s second cousin and chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, tried to clear a path for his cousin’s uncontested nomination for Attorney General. Mike DeWine has serious Second Amendment issues. And to top it all off, former Sen. DeWine hasn’t practiced law in any form since before I was born.

Dave Yost, a well-regarded conservative county prosecutor, would have been a better Attorney General than Mike DeWine, but Yost has bowed to the establishment and entered the primary race for Auditor of State instead. From the Rust Belt continues to endorse State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) in that race because Morgan is both the authentic Tea Party candidate in that race and is, as a CPA, more qualified for the job than Yost.

Yesterday we learned that the Republican primary race for Attorney General is once again contested. According to the Dayton Daily News, Hardin County attorney Steve Christopher has entered the race saying that “the moderates and conservatives need to have a candidate for attorney general who’s not a professional politician and a liberal, which DeWine and Cordray both are.” The article even points out that Christopher is “part of the Tea Party movement.” Perfect, right?

Well, there’s a problem, as Right Ohio points out. Turns out Steve Christopher has donated thousands of dollars to DeWine’s past campaigns, including primary campaigns, as recently as DeWine’s last failed run for reelection in 2004. Christopher needs to explain to us why DeWine was conservative enough for Christopher to spend thousands keeping him in office before, but magically isn’t conservative enough for Steve Christopher today. Putting it another way, I would rather have the devil I know for Attorney General than the devil I don’t. Why launch the career of another RINO politician? We’ve already got one.

When we put Steve Christopher’s non-starter candidacy aside, this leaves us with only one alternative to Mike DeWine: his Democrat opponent, Richard Cordray. This is true whether we’re talking about actually voting for Cordray, voting for a third party candidate, or just not voting in the Attorney General race at all. Any vote that is not for Mike DeWine or any vote not cast is a vote for Rich Cordray. Bottom line.

It has been noted here and elsewhere that Cordray is better on the Second Amendment than DeWine, and that’s certainly true. But the Attorney General’s office is important for reasons beyond the Second Amendment.

Should ObamaCare pass, we will need an Attorney General who’s going to fight its unconstitutional mandate and other elements of the bill that may be constitutionally questionable. We all know Rich Cordray has his eyes on the governor’s office. Do you think he’s going to inflame his party’s liberal establishment by putting up a fight against ObamaCare? We are living in a time when the Constitution is ignored and states’ rights are the laughing stock of Washington. Maybe we can’t fully trust Mike DeWine, but we certainly can’t trust Rich Cordray — looking to work his way up in his party, the very party that is ripping our Constitution to pieces.

I wish we had a more conservative candidate than Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General. I hate the way that the party machine worked to clear the primary of serious candidates so he could win the nomination, now pitting two conservatives against each other for Auditor and jeopardizing that important Apportionment Board seat.

But at the end of the day, I am a Republican. As a Republican, I believe that Mike DeWine with all of his flaws is still going to be better for this state. At least he is committed to some of our values. And Rich Cordray? Well, he’s okay on the Second Amendment. But just wait and watch that go up in smoke the minute he thinks it hurts his “inevitability” for governor in 2014. Rich Cordray is a Democrat and, at the end of the day, will demonstrate the same disregard for the rule of law that his party has again and again demonstrated.

That’s why, for the sake of Ohio and its commitment to the rule of law, From the Rust Belt endorses former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General.

UPDATE: By the way, this endorsement has nothing to do with the recent poll that shows DeWine ahead of Cordray. I decided to make this endorsement after a lot of thought, and the more immediate catalyst was Steve Christopher jumping into the race.

Gwinn Threatens OU Student With Libel Suit

According to The Post, former Athens County Democratic Party chairwoman Susan Gwinn has threatened an Ohio University student with the possibility of a libel lawsuit. Her beef? A letter to the editor published in the Athens NEWS on Jan. 18, in which that student wrote the following:

Certainly the cleanup has begun with Gwinn, but Susan Gwinn has been mucking up the Athens County government and spreading the corruption around for a long time.

In her letter demanding a notarized correction, Gwinn declares that the above statement is “untrue and libelous.” For those who are not familiar with the back story, Gwinn was recently convicted of two misdemeanor charges related to falsifying campaign finance reports in her failed 2008 bid for Athens County prosecutor. Gwinn subsequently resigned as chairwoman of the Athens County Democratic Party, but is now seeking reelection to the county party’s central committee.

Now that the back story’s out of the way, here’s the upshot: I am the student that Gwinn has threatened with a libel lawsuit.

As I told The Post, I have absolutely no intention of retracting or “correcting” anything I said in my Jan. 18 letter to the editor published in the Athens NEWS. I don’t know why Susan Gwinn has chosen to single me out, of all the many people who have written and spoken about her. What I can tell you is that she picked the wrong person.

I believe that I have a First Amendment right to speak my mind about the job that my supposed public servants are doing. As a former county party chairwoman and current announced candidate for the county party’s central committee, Gwinn certainly falls into that category. I will not be silenced by her or any other politician because they don’t like what I have to say. If Gwinn didn’t know that about me before she sent me a letter demanding a notarized correction, she should have done her Google homework a little better. This blog would have been a good start.

I write because I believe that the written word makes a difference. I believe that it can change minds, move hearts, and, when necessary, cause the political equivalent of earthquakes and tsunamis to bring change to our government for the sake of the people of this country and, in this case, the people of this county. I believe I have a talent for this, however small compared to that of others, and I will never stop writing to take back this country — from an obscure, heavily Democrat county in Southeastern Ohio all the way up to the White House.

I will fight for my First Amendment right to use my God-given talent for the written word to make a difference in the world. Although I would prefer not to, I will take that fight to court if Ms. Gwinn decides that’s necessary. But I will not retract, I will not “correct,” and I will not be intimidated into silence. I will not back down.

But I do think I touched a nerve. Don’t you?

On Eve of Yost Betrayal, a Not So Surprising Endorsement

The Dayton Daily News has finally confirmed the buzz that I’ve been hearing all weekend, that Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost had already decided to exit the GOP primary race for Ohio Attorney General and enter the primary for Auditor of State, and that an announcement was imminent. Yost will announce tomorrow from Ohio Republican Party headquarters that he will challenge State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) for the Auditor nomination. The Morgan campaign has announced that Seth Morgan will remain in the race.

I want to preface my endorsement for the Auditor of State race by reminding readers of From the Rust Belt’s mission statement, which has been the same since this blog was launched. From the Rust Belt is a political blog dedicated to advancing conservative and right-libertarian principles and to promoting political leaders within the Republican Party who adhere to those principles.

While I once promoted Dave Yost as a politician whom I believed adhered to conservative principles, I see now that he is an establishment politician willing to do whatever it takes to advance his own career. I cannot and will not endorse such a candidate because Yost, like Mike DeWine, cannot be trusted to stick to any principles when the going gets tough and he believes his incumbency or upward mobility might be jeopardized.

In exiting the Attorney General’s race and entering the Auditor of State’s race, Yost has decided to take the path of least resistance. He has decided to leave a decidedly un-conservative candidate in an uncontested race to become the Republican Party’s candidate for Attorney General while challenging a dyed-in-the-wool conservative for Auditor of State — and let’s face it, all because he believes this race will be easier. Why would any Ohio Republican, or any Ohioan for that matter, trust that kind of candidate to be our next Auditor?

In making this decision, Yost has also proven that this “prosecutor before politician” meme has been utter nonsense. He doesn’t want to be Attorney General because of his years of experience as a prosecutor. What this decision seems to be saying to us is that any statewide office will do because he is a power-hungry politician just like Mike DeWine. If you take a look at Mike DeWine’s career, you see that each office he took on had little to do with his passion for that particular office. They were mere stepping stones to higher office. Now that Yost has switched from running as the most qualified candidate for Attorney General to the least qualified establishment candidate for Auditor of State, does anyone seriously think that Yost isn’t seeking the Auditor’s office as a mere stepping stone to his next gig? Any statewide office will do. Remember that.

My final reason for refusing to endorse Dave Yost is that in making this decision, he has transformed himself into Kevin and Mike DeWine’s man for Auditor of State and he has forced Mike DeWine on us as the only Republican candidate for Attorney General. He has put his own career ambitions ahead of the people of this state, proving that he is certainly not the People’s Candidate for Auditor of State but — as I have already noted — the Establishment Candidate. He is the man who bowed to pressure from Little Kev-Kev DeWine to get out of the way so Cousin Mikey could try (emphasis on try) to beat Richard Cordray for Attorney General.

And this point cannot be dismissed: Dave Yost has forced Mike DeWine upon Ohio Republicans and has allowed him to get even closer to becoming Ohio’s chief legal representation. He has allowed a man who has not practiced law in any form since before I was born to become the uncontested Republican candidate for Attorney General. He has allowed Mike DeWine, with his atrocious Second Amendment record, to become Ohio’s legal representative in any potential case that might involve our right to bear arms. Richard Cordray has a better Second Amendment record!

And let us not forget, even though it appears that ObamaCare is dead in Congress, that we are living in perilous times for the rule of law. Had Scott Brown not won Massachusetts, ObamaCare might have passed. If the Democrats still have something up their sleeves, it might yet pass. If ObamaCare passes, Dave Yost has decided to leave Ohio with the potential of Mike DeWine as our next Attorney General. With his penchant for stabbing the people in the back sorry, reaching across the aisle, how can we trust Mike DeWine to fight the unconstitutional individual mandate or unconstitutional bribes for some states at the expense of others? How can we trust him to fight the next round of unconstitutional trash that finds its way through Congress?

We can’t trust Mike DeWine to fight for us. As DeWine’s former opponent Dave Yost knows that better than anyone, and that’s why we can’t trust him to fight for us either. By entering the Auditor’s race and refusing to fight DeWine for the Attorney General nomination, Yost has demonstrated that he is fighting for his political career — not for the people of Ohio. It can’t be said too much: Dave Yost is the establishment candidate now. Do you really want someone so caught up in the establishment holding government accountable? That is the job of the Auditor of State. Can we really trust Dave Yost to do it?

There is only one candidate in this race for Auditor of State who has ever really fought for us, and that man is Seth Morgan. During his term in the Ohio House of Representatives, Rep. Morgan has worked hard to hold government accountable and shine some light on what others would prefer to see happen behind closed doors — for example, the back room wheeling and dealing that will lead Kevin DeWine to throw open the doors of the Ohio Republican Party HQ tomorrow for Dave Yost to announce his candidacy.

Seth Morgan is the People’s Candidate now. He won’t back down and leave this race just because Kevin DeWine wants him to, or even because Dave Yost will be starting out with a larger network of donors. Unlike Yost, Rep. Morgan trusts the people. He’s prepared to run a grassroots campaign against the establishment candidate because he believes that ordinary folks like you and me will stand behind him and get him across the finish line first. Seth Morgan doesn’t choose the path of least resistance that will lead him to the doors of the Ohio Republican Party HQ to kiss the ring of Kevin DeWine. He chooses to fight for you.

Aside from being the People’s Candidate in this race, Seth Morgan is also the most qualified candidate. Sure, a case will be made for Dave Yost’s supposed qualifications. In the coming days you’ll hear all about those “qualifications” from the Ohio Republican Party, the Yost campaign, and establishment bloggers coming to you from an undisclosed location somewhere in these United States (but probably not Ohio). Yost served as the Delaware County Auditor. That he did. No one is denying it.

Dave Yost’s service as a county auditor is irrelevant. Seth Morgan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and actually knows how to get down to the nitty gritty and hold our government accountable. Dave Yost doesn’t know how to do that, not the way that Seth Morgan does. We should choose Seth Morgan because he is the People’s Candidate, but we should also choose him because he is the qualified candidate. Dave Yost doesn’t seem to think those qualifications matter. He seems to think the support of the establishment and, more importantly, the establishment’s money are what matters.

Fellow Ohio Republicans, you have a clear choice going into this primary campaign. You can support your candidate or you can support the establishment’s candidate. You can support the man with the passion and the skills to be our next Auditor of State, or you can support the man who changes statewide races like he’s changing his socks. You can support the man who has been busy fighting for you, or you can support the man who wouldn’t fight for you and who is handing you Mike DeWine as your only Republican choice for Attorney General. You can support a Certified Public Accountant who is eminently qualified to be Auditor of State, or you can support a guy who isn’t all that qualified but who will likely have plenty of that establishment money to throw around.

I’ve already made my choice. I believe it’s the right choice and I hope that you’ll make the same choice. I am supporting State Rep. Seth Morgan, CPA for Ohio Auditor of State. I am supporting the People’s Candidate and the most qualified candidate in this race. It’s about to be a new day in Ohio with a new way of doing things. Let’s make sure that Seth Morgan is starting out that new day as our next Auditor of State.

REP. SETH MORGAN, CPA — THE PEOPLE’S CANDIDATE — NEEDS YOUR HELP. DON’T LET DAVE YOST AND HIS ESTABLISHMENT MONEY FORCE YOUR CANDIDATE OUT OF THIS RACE. DONATE TO SETH MORGAN TODAY. SHOW KEVIN DEWINE THAT WE, THE PEOPLE, CONTROL THE FUTURE OF OUR STATE.

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