Tag Archives: mike dewine

Redfern, ODP Are Running Scared

Chris Redfern and the Ohio Democratic Party are scared. How else to explain Redfern’s focus on the Republican primary for Auditor of State?

Redfern, on January 20:

Are Republicans so desperate in looking for anyone to run for State Auditor that they have settled on someone whose home county soundly rejected him as a candidate for County Auditor? Rep. Morgan’s one big accomplishment is slamming the Governor’s office with a massive and frivolous public records request that was a waste of taxpayer dollars. And now, after wasting the state’s money, he wants to be Ohio’s next Auditor. Rep. Morgan says he wants to continue in Mary Taylor’s CPA tradition, which, given his record, we assume will be her tradition of Conservative Partisan Attacks.

Redfern, on January 25:

Dave Yost was strong-armed out of the Attorney General’s race by the Ohio Republican Party, despite having endorsements from many county Republican parties throughout the state. Yost clearly wanted to be Attorney General, but was forced to play second fiddle to Kevin DeWine’s second cousin and the second choice of the Republican base. Meanwhile, two self-proclaimed Tea Party candidates are now pitted against one another in the race for the Republican nomination for Auditor, which has infuriated the right-wing of the Republican Party.

Running for the Auditor’s office should not be a consolation prize. David Pepper has been traveling across the state for eight months, talking to Ohioans about what they want out of a State Auditor and speaking about his passion for improving the Auditor’s office. He will build on his record of protecting Ohio tax dollars by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, while expanding transparency and accountability in local government.

Most recently, Redfern on March 3:

Does Congressman Kasich stand with Kevin DeWine, or does he stand with Mary Taylor’s longtime mentor Alex Arshinkoff? Does Kasich stand with the Ohio Republican Party, or does he stand with county Republican parties throughout the state? Does he agree with his running mate that Ohio’s Auditor should be a CPA, or does he agree with Kevin DeWine that Ohio must have a former county auditor in the position?

Redfern is scared, and he should be. No matter who wins the Republican primary for Auditor of State, our candidate will still be a stronger candidate with better qualifications to be Ohio’s next Auditor than their candidate.

It is ironic that Redfern would ask whether John Kasich thinks that Ohio’s Auditor of State should be a CPA like Mary Taylor and Seth Morgan or a former county auditor like Dave Yost. Their candidate, David Pepper, is neither. In fact, it seems that Pepper’s chief qualification when Redfern thought he would be running against Mary Taylor was his ability to self-fund his own campaign (in other words, his well known status as the “spoiled little brat” candidate for Auditor). Pepper and Redfern seem to think that money is the only qualification a candidate needs to be our next Auditor of State.

And how desperate is Chris Redfern, that he doesn’t even notice the hypocrisy of criticizing the way our party does business as the Ohio Democratic Party, under his leadership, has been working hard to limit Democrat voters’ choices to the establishment’s preferred candidates?

Take, for example, the Democrat primary for U.S. Senate. There can be no question that Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is the more liberal candidate who would be more appealing to the Democrat nutroots, yet it’s clear that the establishment is supporting Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher. What gives?

But the ODP’s treatment of Brunner is nothing compared to their treatment of the woman who once sought to replace Brunner as Secretary of State, Jennifer Garrison. OhioDaily, a Democrat blog, reported at the end of January that “donors and party insiders” (read: the ODP and its minions) were seeking “to push their original hand-picked choice out as fast as they rushed her in.” They succeeded, and their efforts to deny Democrat primary voters a choice between moderate Garrison versus an ultra-liberal candidate like Maryellen O’Shaughnessy left some wondering if Garrison would switch to the Republican Party.

And Redfern wants to talk about candidates being “strong-armed” out of primary races? Apparently he is so irrationally afraid of Seth Morgan and Dave Yost that it slipped his mind that his own party, under his own leadership, successfully “strong-armed” Jennifer Garrison out of the Secretary of State race and is trying to do the same thing to Jennifer Brunner and her flailing campaign for U.S. Senate.

But hey, Redfern can be forgiven for being a little scared. I have long maintained that, as a CPA, Seth Morgan is the most qualified candidate in the Auditor of State race. I believe he can and will win the primary and be our nominee for Auditor. But let’s face it, even if Morgan loses the primary and Dave Yost is our nominee, our candidate will still be leaps and bounds more qualified than David Pepper. Whether our candidate is a CPA or a former county auditor, at least he will have better qualifications for the job than his family’s money.

Corruption: Coming to an Auditor’s Office Near You?

Yesterday, Matt Naugle (Right Ohio) noted that Matt Borges is working as spokesman for Dave Yost’s campaign for Ohio Auditor of State. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Borges, he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of improper use of public office in 2004. Borges, who previously worked for former Ohio Treasurer Joseph Deters, was alleged to have given “preferential treatment to certain brokers who made contributions to Deters’ re-election campaign,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Naugle ponders whether Borges’ work on the Yost campaign has more to do with the Ohio GOP establishment than it does with Dave Yost:

The rumor is that this job was arranged by Jo Ann Davidson and the Franklin County GOP Chairman as a way to attempt to control Yost’s office if he is successful in November against the spoiled brat rich boy David Pepper. Other party insiders think that is a huge stretch to assume.

In this case, I don’t think we can blame the establishment. I think the blame needs to be placed squarely at the feet of Dave Yost. Borges has been working for the Yost campaign since October, when he was still running for Attorney General. According to a Dayton Daily News article from October, Borges said that he and Yost have been friends for 20 years.

So let’s recap, shall we? Dave Yost once argued that he was more a prosecutor than a politician. Now, running for Auditor of State, Yost is emphasizing his brief tenure as Delaware County auditor and is distributing misleading literature to the public which says that he’s “the only [candidate] who’s been an auditor.” You would almost forget that this politician was ever a prosecutor! Once the grassroots hope to defeat Mike “RINO” DeWine for Attorney General, he is now the establishment hope to defeat grassroots candidate Seth Morgan for Auditor of State.

But it just gets worse for Mr. Yost. On more than one occasion, Yost has boasted about his (admittedly impressive) record for going after public corruption. That’s all well and good, but what about the corrupt former public servant on his own campaign staff? Matt Borges pleaded guilty to improper use of public office. What is he doing on the campaign staff of a man who prides himself on his aggressive prosecution of public corruption? More importantly, will Mr. Borges be working in the Auditor of State’s office if Yost is elected?

Dave Yost — politician before prosecutor, the establishment’s best hope against a conservative grassroots candidate, and a proud opponent of public corruption unless the corrupt former public servant in question happens to work on Yost’s campaign. This man is not the leader that conservatives across this state thought he was. And judging by his early employment of Mr. Borges, he never was.

But hey, if the establishment succeeds in winning Yost the primary for Auditor of State, at least we’ll all have something to look forward to. We can look forward to David Pepper dredging all of this up again, only this time it will be splashed across the pages and airwaves of Ohio’s liberal media (not to mention Pepper’s own campaign ads). And then, best of all, we can look forward to potentially losing the Apportionment Board. Won’t that be a blast?

Morgan Endorsed By Family First PAC

State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights), the Tea Party Republican candidate for Ohio Auditor of State, was endorsed today by the Family First PAC. From the Morgan campaign’s e-mailed press release:

“Family First is honored to endorse Representative Seth Morgan CPA for Auditor of State. Seth Morgan has a proven record on the issues of limited government, school choice, pro-life, the sanctity of marriage, and responsible spending and taxation,” said Lori Viars, Executive Director of Family First.

“Seth has proven himself as a solid fiscal conservative and social conservative, as well as a man of integrity. With his credentials and experience as a CPA, Ohioans could not ask for a more qualified watchdog for our tax dollars,” Viars said.

What does this endorsement mean? Three things.

First, the conventional wisdom has now been shot to hell and back. The Ohio GOP establishment, including establishment bloggers, have insisted since before this primary even began that a) Yost was inevitable because he could build a better network than Morgan; and b) we needed Yost because he was the only one capable of building the kind of network it would take to beat David Pepper in November. Two county central committee and one PAC endorsement later, and I have one question for the establishment: Where’s the beef? Where is Dave Yost’s supposedly superior network?

Second, the Family First endorsement indicates that conservatives aren’t willing to take Dave Yost’s word for it anymore. As a county prosecutor, Yost doesn’t have much of a record to back up his supposed conservative bona fides. How do we know for sure that he is a staunch fiscal conservative? How do we know that he stands with us on an array of issues that are important to us and to all Ohioans? Frankly, on a lot of the issues, we don’t know. But as Family First points out, Seth Morgan already has “a proven record” on the issues that matter most to the conservative grassroots.

Third, this endorsement is laying to rest another piece of conventional wisdom. Since Yost entered the race for Auditor, the lamentation has gone up that we are pitting two equally conservative candidates against each other here. But it seems that the conservative grassroots are starting to stand up and say: Wait a minute, one of these candidates is actually more conservative than the other. Why?

It’s because Dave Yost has become the establishment candidate, and Ohio conservatives know that the GOP establishment in this state isn’t friendly to true conservatives. Sure, when Yost was running against Mike DeWine, the grassroots trusted that he was as conservative as he claimed. Now that he is running against Seth Morgan, the anti-establishment candidate, with the enthusiastic endorsement of Kevin DeWine and the state central committee — it’s a different story. By jumping ship on the Attorney General race and doing Kevin DeWine’s bidding by jumping into the Auditor race, Yost has connected himself to the DeWines. Conservatives don’t trust the DeWines, and now they don’t trust Dave Yost.

So, congratulations Dave! By bowing to the establishment, you have proven that you do not have the network necessary to beat either Seth Morgan or David Pepper. You have made conservatives stand up and take notice that you do not have the record to prove that you will walk the walk after talking the talk. And you have shown that you do not any longer have the trust or support of the conservative grassroots.

But how is that establishment support treating you?

UPDATE: Complete Morgan campaign press release beneath the fold…

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Yost Campaign, ORP Misleading the Public

Dave Yost and the Ohio Republican Party must be feeling the heat. Turns out that little Kev-Kev DeWine’s plan to clear the Attorney General primary for (second) cousin Mikey by asking Yost to switch to the Auditor of State race isn’t going so well. Yost’s primary opponent, State Rep. Seth Morgan, has now received the endorsement of the Brown and Greene County Republican Central Committees. Oh, and in case you haven’t been paying attention, Kevin DeWine is from Greene County and actually has a seat on its central committee.

Yeah, they must be feeling the heat, because they’re feeling the need to mislead the public. According to the Morgan campaign (h/t Right Ohio), Yost is still distributing literature making the claim that he is “the only one who’s been an auditor.” The ORP website is making the same claim:

Click to enlarge

The problem? While Yost is the only candidate in the race who has served as an auditor in political office, Morgan points out that as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certified to perform financial audits he has in fact audited in the private sector. In fact, one could argue — and the Morgan campaign certainly is arguing — that Morgan’s work in the private sector means that he is actually more qualified for the job than Dave Yost. While Yost has served as a county auditor, he has no professional training for financial auditing. He could not, for example, do any financial auditing in the private sector.

This isn’t just a case of splitting hairs. Dave Yost and Kevin DeWine are trying to make Ohio voters think that Yost is the only candidate with the experience necessary to be Auditor of State. Meanwhile, outgoing Auditor and Kasich running mate Mary Taylor argued quite successfully when she was the only statewide Republican elected in 2006 that one really needs to be a CPA to be qualified for Auditor of State. Yes, Dave Yost did serve as a county auditor; but Seth Morgan’s private sector experience actually makes him more qualified to be Auditor of State. At least if you believe Mary Taylor, circa 2006.

Who do you trust to be your next Auditor of State? On the one hand, you have Seth Morgan with his proven record of standing up for government transparency and accountability to taxpayers. As a CPA he, like Mary Taylor before him, also has the professional skills necessary to do the job. Then you have Dave Yost. Sure, as a career politician he served as county auditor as a stepping stone to his next gig as Delaware County prosecutor. But does that really give him the skills necessary to do the job effectively? Is he really more qualified than Seth Morgan, or do he and the ORP just want you to think he is?

There’s still time for the Kasich camp to clean up the DeWine mess and deliver on their promise of a new day and a new way within their own party. They could do it tomorrow, as a matter of fact. Mary Taylor, our current Auditor and a CPA, should endorse the most qualified candidate in this race. Based on her own 2006 campaign argument, that candidate is Seth Morgan, CPA. John, Mary, we’re waiting for you to stand up to the back room deals and misleading rhetoric of your party leadership and their favorite, albeit less qualified candidate.

Mr. Christopher, We Still Have a Problem

On Tuesday, I took a step I had been reluctant to take in endorsing former U.S. Sen. Mike “RINO” DeWine for Ohio Attorney General. The reasoning behind my endorsement was that Sen. DeWine will still in the long run be better for Ohio than reelecting Democrat Richard Cordray. In making this endorsement, I dismissed the candidacy of DeWine’s new primary challenger, alleged Tea Party activist Steve Christopher.

I referenced a post at Right Ohio in which it was revealed that Christopher had donated thousands of dollars to DeWine’s past campaigns, including primary campaigns. I wondered why Christopher had found DeWine conservative enough to be our U.S. senator as recently as June 2004 (the date of his last donation), but doesn’t think he’s conservative enough for us now. I wrote: “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.”

Well, Steve Christopher has responded to Right Ohio’s questions about his past donations:

Like a lot of conservatives, I misjudged the man. I also contributed and worked on campaigns for other guys. Some stayed true and some didn’t. You quit supporting the ones that sell out. Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils. You can get involved and try to influence the system or just sit back and watch as it gets worse.

Emphasis mine. We still have a problem, Mr. Christopher. You were still donating to DeWine’s 2006 failed reelection bid, even as most Ohio conservatives had come to the conclusion that DeWine was one of “the ones that sell out.” In fact, you donated a total of $1,105 to his primary campaign and another $10 to his general election campaign.

In your response to Right Ohio, you also fail to explain your $1,800 donation to the American Association for Justice PAC. We will need some explanation for why a conservative Tea Party candidate voted for a PAC that opposes badly needed tort reform.

This response doesn’t cut it. Mike DeWine is still the devil we know and Steve Christopher is still the devil we don’t. Representing one’s self as a Tea Party candidate doesn’t make one a Tea Party candidate, and donating to Mike DeWine as recently as his last failed election bid while also donating to a PAC opposed to tort reform certainly calls any alleged Tea Party credentials into question.

A Tale of Two Counties

On Thursday, supporters of State Rep. Seth Morgan’s campaign for Ohio Auditor of State received some good news. The Brown County Republican Central Committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse Morgan for Auditor, with 75% voting for Morgan and only 13% voting for Delaware County prosecutor and former Attorney General candidate Dave Yost.

This should put to rest the establishment meme that Seth Morgan is unable to build the kind of organization he will need to beat David Pepper in November. It should also seriously call into question Yost’s viability. We were told that once he switched from Attorney General to Auditor it would all be gravy. But where is the grassroots enthusiasm that conventional wisdom told us would follow him from AG to Auditor? Obviously the momentum is behind Morgan, and Yost’s astonishing Brown County defeat should be making everyone question whether he can actually beat David Pepper.

Matt Hurley (Weapons of Mass Discussion) points out that the Brown County GOP declined to endorse former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General, even though DeWine’s name was the only one under consideration. I endorsed DeWine’s candidacy on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for him to capture grassroots support — if it’s possible at all. This is another case of the conventional wisdom going right down the tubes.

But as this post’s headline makes clear, this is really a tale of two counties. We’ve heard about Brown County; now we will turn to Belmont County, where I grew up, and the shenanigans of Belmont County Republican Party chairman Kent Moore.

Moore’s attack on Seth Morgan and his inadequacy as chairman of the Belmont County GOP beneath the fold…

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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.

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.

Ohio Rages Against the Machine

Matt Hurley (Weapons of Mass Discussion) writes:

We keep fighting the last election instead of looking ahead. Sure, there have been some technological advancements made by our team; but we still haven’t embraced the message that goes along with social media. People should be making decisions, not parties. When politicians have the power to shut out another candidate, that disenfranchises all of us. When the Party engages in thuggish behavior and condones these tactics, the rank and file loses their right to decide. These things matter.

I am a big fan of Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor of State, and of Dave Yost for Ohio Attorney General. But in a sense these races and who remains in them have transcended individual candidates at this point. As Matt writes, this is a “fight for the very soul of the Ohio Republican Party” — and in a broader sense, for the Republican Party nationwide. This is about whether ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine and his cousin Mike DeWine get to decide who will lead our party forward during the next election, or whether we the people get to decide.

If Chairman DeWine gets to decide, then by all means Dave Yost should drop out of the Attorney General race and go the path of least resistance for Auditor of State. If the DeWines get to decide, then certainly Seth Morgan should drop out of the race right now and be content with his seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. But I don’t believe that Kevin and Mike DeWine should decide who will be on our statewide ticket, and moreover I don’t believe that either of them have proven that they are capable of making competent decisions for the good of Ohioans. I didn’t become a Republican to follow marching orders given to me by Kevin DeWine or establishment bloggers who live closer to D.C. than they do to Columbus. I became a Republican to take back this state and this country with candidates I believe can do the job.

Those candidates, among others, are Dave Yost for Attorney General and Seth Morgan for Auditor of State. I absolutely will not compromise for any scenario in which Mike DeWine runs uncontested for this party’s, my party’s nomination for Ohio Attorney General. Dave Yost and Seth Morgan shouldn’t compromise either. They are the future of our party and more importantly our state; Mike DeWine is our regrettable past.

I believe that this is a Tea Party campaign if ever there was one. Sure, up until now the Tea Party movement — or at least the publicity it has received — has focused on national candidates. Dave Yost and Seth Morgan may not, in the grand scheme of things, seem as important as Doug Hoffman or Scott Brown. But the Tea Party movement is about taking back America from the bottom up. That means that an obscure state representative running for Ohio Auditor of State is, or should be, just as important to this movement as a superstar insurgent Republican taking back the People’s Seat in Massachusetts.

Dave Yost is the People’s Attorney General and Seth Morgan is the People’s Auditor of State. Tamper with that and you open the door to Mike DeWine, the Establishment’s Attorney General — if, big if, he can beat Richard Cordray. Certainly, Yost and Morgan should remain in the races they are in because they are the right men for their respective jobs. But in a broader sense, Yost and Morgan should stay where they are to show the Ohio Republican Party and the national Republican Party one more time that we, not they, are the ones in charge.

My message to Dave Yost: Please, Mr. Yost, don’t let Kevin DeWine convince you that you can’t beat his unpopular, has-been cousin. We stand behind you and we will make those donations roll in the moment you announce you are going to take down DeWine, and you will be our next nominee for Attorney General. My message to Seth Morgan: Don’t you dare drop out of this race for Auditor, no matter what happens. You have stood for transparency and accountability since you started your term in the Ohio House. Hold your party accountable to the people now by staying in this race no matter what.

My message to the Tea Partiers of Ohio and across the country? We need your help, just like Doug Hoffman needed your help in New York and Scott Brown needed your help in Massachusetts. The only way to tell Mike DeWine not to let the door hit him in his RINO rump on the way out and to keep Dave Yost for Attorney General and Seth Morgan for Auditor of State is for you to raise your voices and demand it. And right now we need you to speak up with your wallets, because the DeWines are making this all about money. Little Kev-Kev and Mikey think they can buy the Attorney General’s office. Prove them wrong.

DONATE NOW TO SETH MORGAN FOR OHIO AUDITOR OF STATE

DONATE NOW TO DAVE YOST FOR OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL

[UPDATE: For the time being, please refrain from donating to the Yost campaign. Explanation to come this weekend. Thank you.]

It is vitally important that we help these candidates beat the establishment. The only reason that Dave Yost is even considering switching to the Auditor’s race is because DeWine has far more money and far more name recognition than Yost. Yost is afraid of and DeWine is counting on Ohio voters going with the devil they know, and that devil certainly is Mike DeWine.

You can make the difference in these races. You can show the Ohio Republican Party that we’re in charge, and you can show Mike DeWine the door. You can help Dave Yost and Seth Morgan take back Ohio, and they — along with our entire statewide ticket, and our next U.S. Senator Rob Portman — can help all of us take back America.

Other Coverage:

State Rep. Seth Morgan Exploring Run for Ohio Auditor: Run, Seth, Run!
Morgan Circulating Petitions — Announcement Soon?
Morgan Announces Run for Auditor: Win, Seth, Win!
Kevin DeWine: Let’s Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
An Establishment Blog Sides With . . . the Establishment

An Establishment Blog Sides With . . . the Establishment

Third Base Politics has a post up arguing that Dave Yost for Auditor of State is the best thing for Ohio. The rationale is that State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) will have to build a statewide organization and raise money quickly, in 3BP’s opinion more quickly than he can. Meanwhile, Dave Yost already has a statewide organization that can raise money quickly — just not for the Attorney General’s race, because donors are too afraid of Kevin and Mike DeWine to donate to Yost for that race.

So 3BP is arguing that DeWine should run uncontested for Attorney General and Yost should run for Auditor of State. What about Seth Morgan? Well, he should just drop out. It’s not good for Ohio if we have a primary for this race right now, don’tchaknow?

My favorite part is when we’re told that this won’t really matter to 99% of Ohio voters:

Ultimately, Ohio Republicans shouldn’t get too worked up about how this process works itself out. Fortunately, about 1% of the electorate, and that’s an optimistic number, pays attention to the mess we make when building a good sausage. And unlike previous years, Ohio does have a solid slate of Republican and conservative candidates to choose from.

Several problems here. First of all, we’re not building a sausage here. Kevin DeWine is building the sausage. Let’s be clear on that. What the people want has now become completely irrelevant for DeWine and the Ohio Republican Party. As long as Mike DeWine gets his nomination for Attorney General, it’s all gravy. Otherwise Kev-Kev would be encouraging Mikey to drop out of the Attorney General’s race.

Second, it might be true that voters don’t pay attention to the internal drama in the process of building a good sausage. The problem with that statement is that when you insert Mike DeWine into the statewide ticket, you insert a giant portion of rotten meat into the very core of the sausage. Voters know Mike DeWine. 3BP argues that this is a problem for Dave Yost, that Mike DeWine is better known among voters than he is. I disagree. Voters know Mike DeWine and they don’t like him. Voters are going to care that Mikey’s cousin Kev-Kev manipulated the ticket to hand DeWine the nomination for Attorney General. Do you really think Rich Cordray won’t bring that up? DeWine will drag down the entire statewide ticket.

Ultimately, this post at 3BP rests on a number of questionable assumptions. The biggest of these assumptions is a pessimistic (I’m sure 3BP would say “realistic”) view of these races. 3BP assumes that Dave Yost cannot beat Mike DeWine, despite clear evidence to the contrary (his five county party endorsements to DeWine’s zero, for example). 3BP also assumes that Seth Morgan cannot build a statewide organization and raise money fast enough to be a strong candidate for Auditor. All of this ignores the current political climate, in which grassroots ordinary folks are willing to work hard and donate to authentically conservative candidates who are running against the establishment.

If we had applied 3BP’s pessimism to Massachusetts, Martha Coakley would be the senator-elect from Massachusetts right now. Think about that before you jump on 3BP’s pessimistic bandwagon. The idea that Dave Yost cannot beat establishment candidate Mike DeWine and that Seth Morgan can’t beat establishment candidate David Pepper are ludicrous in this political environment.

I also think that 3BP is underestimating the effect that Yost’s switch into the Auditor’s race will have on those who have been working for Dave Yost for Attorney General. This is not particularly surprising. 3BP has sided with the establishment here. In fact, 3BP is part of the establishment — “current/former campaign hacks, Hill staff, political appointees, lobbyists and think tank analysts.” An establishment blog like this can be forgiven for not understanding why people might be upset if Yost drops out of the Attorney General’s race and tries to run Seth Morgan, another candidate supported by the conservative grassroots, out of the race for Auditor of State.

But let me remind everyone exactly why folks might be upset. From my previous post on this drama:

While I’m at it, a stern warning to Mr. Yost: Don’t even think about it. According to your spokesman, you’re “very seriously considering” the Auditor’s race. Well, stop. I can tell you right now, Mr. Yost, I will still be casting my ballot for Seth Morgan in the Auditor primary. Sure, you’re qualified. But if you switch to the Auditor’s race now, you say three things about yourself. First, you say that you’re prepared to let a less qualified man run for Attorney General so that you can win what you perceive to be an easier primary. Second, you say that you don’t really care which statewide office you hold, as long as you hold one. And third, you say that you are the man who will hand Ohio voters Mike DeWine as the only Republican choice for Attorney General.

A guy who would switch to the Auditor’s race because it’s easier for him to win. A guy who doesn’t really care which statewide office he gets, as long as he gets one. A guy who will help Kevin DeWine shove Mike DeWine down our throats as the only Republican choice for Attorney General. If that’s the guy that Dave Yost turns out to be, then he’s not the candidate I thought he was, and he’s not a candidate I’m inclined to support. He needs to stay in the Attorney General’s race. I guarantee you that many of those who have been working for him in the race for Attorney General, who are enthusiastic about him now, feel the same. They will not be so enthusiastic if he switches to running for Auditor of State and forces Mike DeWine on us while simultaneously forcing Seth Morgan out.

But, like I said: Third Base Politics is an establishment blog, and its contributors can be forgiven if they don’t understand what’s going on in the grassroots. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you when enthusiasm for the statewide ticket collapses under the weight of Mike DeWine’s giant RINO rump and Dave Yost’s betrayal of the grassroots conservatives who have been working for him.

Call ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine today and let him know that you want him to stop meddling in the statewide ticket. Tell him you want Dave Yost for Attorney General and Seth Morgan for Auditor of State:

Ohio Republican Party
211 South Fifth Street
Columbus, OH  43215
(614) 228-2481

E-mail Dave Yost for Attorney General campaign manager Matt Borges and let him know that we want Yost to stay in the Attorney General’s race and out of the race for Auditor of State.

But most importantly…

DONATE NOW TO SETH MORGAN FOR AUDITOR OF STATE

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