Tag Archives: tea party

We Need Jan Brewer

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are joining forces and telling President Barack Obama to do his job and secure our borders. Check out their new ad:

See also the statement on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. Money quote: “We’re all Arizonans now and we say with clear unity: ‘Mr. President, do your job. Secure our border.'”

Jan Brewer succeeded Janet Napolitano to become the 22nd governor of Arizona when Napolitano was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security in 2009. Prior to her service as governor, Brewer served a term and a half as Arizona Secretary of State. She served for thirteen years in the Arizona State Legislature, three years as a state representative and ten years as a state senator. She served as chairwoman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for six years, steering Maricopa County through a serious fiscal crisis and earning the county the reputation of being “one of the two best managed large counties in the nation,” according to Governing Magazine.

Gov. Brewer already has more experience in government than Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Sarah Palin had in 2008. She has more executive experience than any of the candidates on either of the 2008 presidential tickets. Gov. Brewer will have recently turned 68 years old on November 6, 2012. I think you know where I’m going with this.

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Dave Yost for Ohio Auditor of State

From the Rust Belt endorses Delaware County prosecutor Dave Yost for Ohio Auditor of State.

It is no secret that this blog viewed Mr. Yost as a weaker candidate for Auditor of State than his primary opponent, State Representative and Certified Public Accountant Seth Morgan. It would be disingenuous to try to brush aside all of the many words that have been written here in support of Rep. Morgan and in opposition to Mr. Yost. I do not regret my support for Seth Morgan in this primary campaign, nor do I regret that I aggressively challenged Mr. Yost on both qualifications and issues.

But the primary is over. Voters in Ohio now face a clear choice. They can choose a true conservative who has spent his time as both a county auditor and a county prosecutor holding government accountable. Or they can choose his Democrat opponent, David Pepper, whose only qualification for the job is that he has a lot of his family’s money to throw around.

Sure, this blog has raised questions about whether a one term county auditor and current county prosecutor was more qualified than a CPA to be our Auditor of State. But isn’t someone with the experience of a county auditor and prosecutor more qualified than a man whose only experience is that of a county commissioner? It is time for the Ohio Democratic Party and David Pepper to tell Ohio voters just what it is, besides his family money, that makes Mr. Pepper a serious candidate for Auditor of State. Mr. Redfern, Mr. Pepper, we’re waiting.

Meanwhile, I plan to spend from now until November explaining to the voters of Ohio why I believe Dave Yost is a vastly superior candidate to David Pepper. I’ll start by saying that the citizens of Athens County have seen his passion for fighting corruption and holding government accountable first hand. Mr. Yost served as the special prosecutor in the case against former Athens County Democratic Chairwoman Susan Gwinn. Yost worked hard to ensure that she was held accountable for her violation of campaign finance law. She was found guilty of two first-degree misdemeanors and had to resign her position as chairwoman of the Athens County Democratic Party.

Dave Yost did that. That’s the kind of Auditor of State we can all be sure that Mr. Yost will be. He will root out corruption, hold government accountable, and protect Ohio taxpayers. What kind of experience does David Pepper have to prove that he will do the same?

Now that primary season is over, it is important for the center-right majority in this state to remember what this election is really about. This election is about getting Ohio back on track. It’s about creating jobs and lowering taxes to help Ohio families and create an atmosphere that is friendly to businesses that will get Ohioans working again. As our next Auditor of State, Dave Yost will hold government accountable and make sure that your tax dollars are spent wisely.

We need someone with Dave Yost’s experience in standing up to corruption and holding government accountable in the Auditor of State’s office. David Pepper doesn’t have that experience. We need someone like Dave Yost, with his commitment to conservative principles, sitting on the Apportionment Board responsible for legislative redistricting. The primary is over. It is time for both Yost and Morgan supporters to unite behind this truly conservative candidate to keep the Auditor of State’s office and its seat on the Apportionment Board.

Catholic Social Teaching and the 10th Amendment vs. ObamaCare

From the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of the lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

This is an unusual topic for me to blog about; I don’t normally cover religious topics for a variety of reasons. Still, as I have watched the debate over ObamaCare unfold, I have noted with interest that the Catholic bishops in the United States have opposed socialized medicine only insofar as it would expand federal funding to abortion coverage. Their single issue opposition to ObamaCare has led to the perception that its funding of abortion is the only way it contradicts Catholic social teaching.

But that’s not the case. Tea Party activists have opposed ObamaCare on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment, which plainly says that the powers not reserved to the federal government or prohibited to the states should be reserved to the states or to the people. Catholic social teaching is similar in that it invokes the principle of subsidiarity, explained by the Catechism in the quote above. In essence, both the Tenth Amendment and the Catholic principle of subsidiarity are identical. Both make the case that a massive collectivist takeover of health care is not only unnecessary, but improper insofar as it “can threaten personal freedom and initiative.”

You’re reading that right: Both the United States Constitution and the Catechism of the Catholic Church repudiate collectivism and demand subsidiarity to preserve human freedom. On this issue, our founding fathers who wrote of our God-given liberty would be in lockstep with every pope since at least Pope Leo XIII.

Why point this out? It’s not just a “fun fact.” The bishops have opposed ObamaCare because it does, in fact, expand federal funding of abortion. But what if it hadn’t? Had the Stupak amendment been preserved, the U.S. bishops were prepared to support the bill — despite its clear violation of the principle of subsidiarity. Certainly the right to life and the preservation of human dignity are the paramount concerns, the very foundation, of Catholic social teaching. But the principle of subsidiarity has again and again been expounded upon by the papal teaching authority. It is no small matter.

The U.S. bishops were in a unique position, as both Americans and Catholic bishops, to connect the Catholic principle of subsidiarity to our constitutional principles. They had an opportunity to tell American Catholics that opposing ObamaCare is both a patriotic and religious duty. They utterly failed to do so. They missed an opportunity to boldly reaffirm a mostly forgotten principle of Catholic social teaching, to affirm the link between the Catholic and American commitments to human freedom, and to once again take up the Catholic Church’s historic leadership in the fight against global socialism.

Only the bishops can know why they have chosen not to take this opportunity. All we can do, as ordinary Catholics, is encourage them to elucidate this principle and its connection to American constitutional principles. In the meantime, as ordinary Catholics we can tell our fellow American Catholics, and all of our fellow Americans, what the Church teaches about God’s model of governance versus the collectivist model proposed by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

If You’re Reading This, You Are the Resistance

ObamaCare has passed, to the sound of thunderous applause from the socialists who are trampling upon the principles that have been the foundation of our country since its inception. This monstrosity, deemed “health care reform” by its statist champions, is the largest government takeover of the American economy in our history and the first time that government has ever tried to unconstitutionally force Americans to buy goods and services.

Our next step must be to rally in support of the courageous state attorneys general throughout this country who will challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate. We everyday Americans must also fight, through the Republican Party, to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with constitutional, market-based solutions to Americans’ health care problems. If we hope to roll back this blow to our constitutional republic, it is imperative that we elect Republicans to the House and Senate this November, and that we start working now to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.

It is also imperative that we recognize that this fight for our country is far from over. They will not stop at ObamaCare. They will fight for their so-called “climate change” legislation, which is really an ecosocialist plot to pass the biggest tax increase in American history and plunge our economy into the worst crisis it has ever faced. They will fight for amnesty for illegal aliens, so that their dreams of a permanent majority — now jeopardized by their overt radicalism — can finally be realized in the only way possible, through theft and fraud. They will fight for countless changes, great and small, that will undermine the liberal democratic principles upon which our republic was built.

We must fight them every step of the way. And the only way we can fight them is to elect common sense conservative Republicans to the House and Senate this year, and to work to find the right candidate to make Barack Obama a one term president.

In pursuit of these goals, in the coming days From the Rust Belt will welcome new contributors. These contributors are individuals who believe in the mission of this blog, to advance conservative principles — that is, constitutional principles — and to promote political leaders within the Republican Party who adhere to those principles. They will work with me, and with you, to fight to take back the Republican Party, to take back Ohio, and to take back America for the people of this country and the fundamental principles of our republic. We know that we are the resistance. We also know that we cannot win this fight alone.

If you’re reading this, you are the resistance. Every single man, woman, and child in this country must wake up and recognize what Barack Obama and his socialists in Congress are doing and fight them every step of the way. Every American must engage in a second Velvet Revolution to halt the forward march of Karl Marx’s ghost. You, and I, and every other American must take to the streets in peaceful protest. You, and I, and every other American must pound the pavement for candidates who will restore our republic. You, and I, and every other American must vote in primary and general elections at every level of government for candidates who will fight this fight with us every step of the way.

You are the resistance. America is depending on you. Look at everything she has done for you. Do what you can now for her, so that your children and grandchildren don’t wake up in an America in which the American Dream is nothing more than a dream, buried deep in the minds of enslaved and asleep citizens lulled into their slumber by the empty promises of big government.

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.

Prediction: Palin Will Endorse Seth Morgan

Right Ohio brings us the news that Seth Morgan, the Tea Party Republican candidate for Auditor of State, was excluded from the private Ohio Right to Life reception featuring Sarah Palin. The angle I’m going with on this story isn’t so much that Morgan was excluded (his primary opponent, Dave Yost, couldn’t get in either), but rather the reported reaction of Palin’s people to Morgan’s exclusion:

Seth Morgan did not buy a ticket in advance to the reception, Sarah Palin’s people and major Ohio Right to Life donors invited him in- repeatedly. . . .

While the Morgan campaign has absolutely no interest in commenting on thus (sic), his supporters are speaking up. And I’m hearing through the grapevine that Tom Norris, Lara (Mastin) Norris, Tim Crawford (who works closely with Palin’s team… The event wouldn’t of happened without him.), and many others were royally pissed because of this situation.

Emphasis mine. Reading the tea leaves a bit, I think this reaction and the fact that Morgan has supporters who work closely with the Palin team indicates that Palin will eventually endorse Seth Morgan for Auditor of State.

I know, I know — this race is too small for Sarah Palin. But follow my reasoning for a minute…

As a Politico piece from February makes clear, Palin is intensely interested in Ohio and has been since 2008. As John McCain’s running mate, she held more campaign events in Ohio than in any other state. She has been back to Ohio on numerous occasions since then, the most recent being her ORTL event. Her political action committee, SarahPAC, has donated a combined total of $10,500 to John Kasich, Mary Taylor, Rob Portman, and Jean Schmidt — and her involvement in these races clearly has Ohio Democrats running scared.

Reading the tea leaves a bit more, this is incredibly smart if she intends to run for president in 2012 (and I believe she does). Shoring up support with and building enthusiasm among Ohio’s conservatives would be important for the primaries, but even moreso for the general election given Ohio’s perpetual status as a key battleground state.

That’s where Seth Morgan comes in. As far as primaries go, no other race has energized Tea Partiers more than Morgan’s contest with Delaware County prosecutor Dave Yost. Others, like Tom Ganley and Sandra O’Brien, have certainly tried but none have been as successful as Morgan in capturing and maintaining active Tea Party support. For a lot of conservatives, the Auditor of State race has become a referendum on how the Ohio Republican Party does business and is a struggle for the people’s right to decide who will lead us in the future.

Translation? Normally the Auditor of State race would be too insignificant to attract the attention of a national figure like Palin, but these aren’t normal circumstances. At the moment, this primary race matters more to Tea Partiers than any other race.

Given her interest in Ohio, and given that there is overlap between Team Seth and Team Sarah, it seems increasingly likely to me that there will be a Palin endorsement for Morgan. If she has presidential ambitions in 2012, an endorsement just makes sense. The growing Tea Party movement in this state will certainly remember her involvement in this important primary, which will give her an enthusiasm edge that other candidates will lack. It will help her build a base that will be grateful to her for intervening on behalf of the people’s candidate to counterbalance the support of Ohio’s Republican establishment for Dave Yost.

One open question is what form such an endorsement might take. It’s possible that she will actually make some sort of statement, but I think it’s more likely that SarahPAC will simply contribute to Morgan’s campaign and not to Yost’s. Even such a tacit endorsement would make her support for Morgan clear, further energize the Tea Party movement for Morgan, and indicate to donors which way the political wind is blowing.

So, you heard it here first: I think Sarah Palin will endorse Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor of State. I’m on record. Prepare to be in awe of my mad tea leaf reading skills when my prediction comes true.

Morgan Campaign Urges Yost to Fire Spokesman [UPDATED]

On February 25, I noted that Yost campaign spokesman Matt Borges has a little public corruption in his past. In 2004, Borges pleaded guilty to improper use of public office amidst a scandal involving his time working for former Ohio Treasurer Joseph Deters. It seemed to me that someone aspiring to be Auditor of State, our government watchdog, shouldn’t have any trace of corruption on his campaign. I wrote:

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 the aggressive prosecution of public corruption? More importantly, will Mr. Borges be working in the Auditor of State’s office if Yost is elected?

Now the Morgan campaign has written a letter to Dave Yost urging him to fire Mr. Borges. From the Morgan campaign’s press release, which I received by e-mail:

Dear Dave,

It has been brought to my attention through past media reports in the Dayton Daily News, the Cincinnati Enquirer, other media outlets, and recent news blogs that you have associated on both of your campaigns, running for Ohio Attorney General and now Auditor of State, an individual that admitted to public corruption charges.

The public insists the Auditor of State to be above reproach and demands the Auditor to have high ethical standards due to the sensitive nature of the cases the office handles. Even the hint of impropriety would be damaging to the reputation and the public trust of the Auditor’s office. That is the reason why the ethical standards for professional auditors such as Seth Morgan, CPA are some of the highest found among any professional group.

Mr. Matt Borges, your campaign spokesman and member of your campaign leadership team, admitted to public corruption charges in July 2004 when he was Chief of Staff to State Treasurer Joe Deters. Borges pleaded guilty to one count of improper use of public office. Court documents indicate he gave preferential treatment to certain brokers who made contributions to Deters’ re-election campaign.

Mr. Borges may be a very skilled professional and I don’t claim to have any special knowledge of what did or didn’t happen in the Treasurer’s office at the time he chose to plead guilty to these charges. However, the fact that Mr. Borges did plead guilty to corruption charges and you still have seen fit to allow him to play a very visible role in your campaign could raise very serious questions in the public’s mind regarding the standards you would use should you prevail and succeed in being elected Ohio’s next State Auditor.

I urge you to disassociate your campaign from Mr. Borges and to exercise greater care in the future regarding those who become part of your team.

Respectfully,

Emery Phipps
Political Director
Friends of Seth Morgan

Given the very nature of the Auditor of State’s office, this is not an unreasonable request. You can bet, though, that Yost supporters will once again howl about the purported “scorched earth” campaign that they say Morgan and his supporters are running. To that, I would point out to them as I pointed out in February that it is far better to air this now, during the primaries, than to let David Pepper get his hands on it in the fall.

As Yost supporters are so fond of pointing out, it’s not just the Auditor’s office that is at stake here. It’s the Apportionment Board. By employing someone who has admitted to public corruption in the past, Dave Yost is not only jeopardizing the integrity of the Auditor’s office should he win, he is also jeopardizing Republican chances to maintain control of the Apportionment Board should David Pepper hammer him day in and day out about his association with Mr. Borges.

UPDATE: I have been reminded that this incident has since been expunged from Mr. Borges’ record, which in no way changes the fact that he still pleaded guilty to one count of improper use of public office in 2004. But yes, for the record, that has since been expunged.

A Statement on State Sen. Jimmy Stewart

When I wrote my previous post, I knew that it would ruffle some feathers and I knew exactly why it would ruffle some feathers. What I did not count on was a complete plucking of those feathers so that I could subsequently be tarred and feathered with them.

The controversy surrounds my inclusion of State Sen. Jimmy Stewart, who represents Athens County (my home county), in my post. I knew that including Stewart in the post would be controversial, but I also knew that excluding him while going after the other nine state senators with questionable voting records would be playing favorites. In hindsight, I should have come up with a better choice of words for the title of the post since I do not believe Sen. Stewart is a RINO. Let me say that again: I do not believe Sen. Stewart is a RINO.

As anyone can see from reading my previous post, Sen. Stewart received some of the mildest criticism. I mentioned that he has not taken a position on Third Frontier (he hasn’t), and I mentioned that he is cosponsoring a childhood obesity bill with goals that would be better left to parental and personal responsibility (and, well, he is). But these are not exactly capital offenses. They’re certainly no reason to vote Sen. Stewart out of office, nor are they reason to label him a RINO.

Still, all of this has created some controversy here in Athens County. I think a lot of it has to do with the strong loyalty that many Republicans here feel toward Sen. Stewart, which I share. But I think it also has to do with what this blog has been doing over the past several weeks. I have been an outspoken supporter of Seth Morgan’s candidacy for Auditor of State and a vocal critic of Dave Yost. Meanwhile, many of those who are so outraged over my purported “attack” on Sen. Stewart were overheard just a few weeks ago complaining about anyone who would dare circulate petitions for “non-ORP endorsed candidates.” I think you can connect the dots.

But since so much controversy has been created, let me clear up a few things. I’ll say again that I don’t think Sen. Stewart is a RINO, and using that term in the title of my post to apply to all of the state senators I would subsequently talk about was a poor choice. I regret it and I apologize for it. Given the district that he represents, where elected Republicans are almost as rare as unicorns, Sen. Stewart is as conservative as he can possibly be.

When it counts, when it really counts, Sen. Stewart stands against the intrusion of big government into the lives of his constituents. Yes, maybe he is cosponsoring a childhood obesity bill that I believe is unnecessary; but more importantly, he stood against Gov. Strickland’s $900 million tax increase. For this vote against Strickland’s tax increase, the liberal media of Athens County heaped scorn upon him. He knew that would happen, but he did what was best for his constituents anyway. When it comes right down to it, that is conservative enough for me.

Taking things a step further, were Sen. Stewart to ever receive a primary challenge from his right I would support Sen. Stewart. For one thing, anyone to Sen. Stewart’s right would be a loser in Athens County. But for another thing, I like Sen. Stewart and I believe that, far more often than not, he is looking out for his constituents and adhering to the core values that should guide the Republican Party. Anyone who ever challenged him from his right, anyone who ever called him a RINO, would be persona non grata to me. I sincerely regret the appearance of doing that myself, because I truly do not believe that Sen. Stewart is a RINO. I believe that he is as conservative as he can be in this district and that, somewhat akin to Scott Brown in Massachusetts, he is doing what he feels is best for his constituents.

That’s the kind of leeway that one can afford Republicans who are representing liberal districts or liberal states. In fact, that’s the kind of leeway that we must afford Republicans in liberal districts and liberal states if we want to be competitive in every district and every state.

Republicans who are insufficiently conservative in states that are friendly to conservatives are another matter. Sen. Stewart can be granted some leeway, given that he represents Athens County. As a statewide candidate in a state that is friendly to conservatives, with a political environment in which people are craving conservatism, Dave Yost deserves no such leeway. Dave Yost is the candidate of the Ohio Republican Party establishment, which has been notoriously hostile to conservatives. Unlike Sen. Stewart, Dave Yost does not deserve the support of conservatives.

That was the point I was trying to make in my previous post. Instead, that post has been construed by some of my fellow Republicans in Athens County as an attack on State Sen. Jimmy Stewart. No such attack was intended, and I apologize for offending any of my fellow Athens County Republicans, for offending Sen. Stewart, or for creating unnecessary division within the party.

Yost Endorsed By “Gang of 5,” Other RINOs [UPDATED]

State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) has recently been endorsed by 17 state legislators and the Cuyahoga County Republican Central Committee in his bid for Ohio Auditor of State. Frankly, the Morgan campaign is wracking up so many endorsements that it’s becoming difficult for little ole’ me to keep up with them all!

It’s been a little easier to keep track of Dave Yost’s endorsements. Until recently he had only the endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party and the Delaware County (his home county) Republican Central Committee, both of which were expected, as well as the Muskingum County GOP. His endorsements thus far have been so pathetic that Third Base Politics, an establishment Republican blog out of touch with everyday Ohioans, felt the need to weigh in and say that endorsements don’t matter at all. Of course, if Yost had all the endorsements, they would matter — since, according to our Ohioan-Virginian friend, his endorsements by the Ohio Republican Party and 16 Republican state senators apparently matter a great deal.

But wait, what did I just say? 16 Ohio state senators? Yep, in fairness to Dave Yost, he did finally receive some endorsements from Republicans in the Ohio Senate. But if you do a little digging — and really, I mean only a little — you quickly discover they’re not the kind of endorsements a truly conservative candidate for Auditor of State would actually want.

You see, Dave Yost has been endorsed by the infamous Gang of 5 — yep, all five of them — who voted with outgoing Gov. Ted Strickland and his Democrats to raise taxes to the tune of $900 million. Another five of these senators endorsing Yost have troubling voting records that variously include tax hikes, big spending, and statist paternalism.

So just what exactly do these big government, RINO Republican endorsements say about Dave Yost’s candidacy for Auditor of State? All of that, including a glimpse at these senators’ voting records, beneath the fold…

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Morgan Endorsed by Summit County GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff

Summit County GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff has endorsed State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) for Ohio Auditor of State. Right Ohio and Weapons of Mass Discussion have the full press release. From the release:

“Seth clearly is the most qualified candidate to be Ohio’s next auditor. He espouses many of Mary Taylor’s qualities as a state auditor candidate, and voters made it clear in 2006 having a CPA as their fiscal watchdog is important. Seth is a fresh face with bold ideas, and the excitement his campaign is generating is just what our ticket needs to beat the Democrats in the fall,” said Summit County Republican Party Chairman Alex Arshinkoff.

If Arshinkoff didn’t believe Seth Morgan could beat Dave Yost in May and David Pepper in November, this endorsement wouldn’t have happened. The widely reported rumor is that John Kasich favors Arshinkoff as a potential replacement for current Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine. If you’re Arshinkoff and you want that job, you don’t make an enemy out of the next Republican Auditor of State. Arshinkoff clearly believes Morgan can beat Yost and Pepper, or he wouldn’t have gotten involved.

This is not good news for Dave Yost and Kevin DeWine. Arshinkoff is a brilliant political strategist who gets Republicans elected in an overwhelmingly Democrat county; he’s very good at reading the political tea leaves. He backed Mary Taylor, who is from Summit County, in 2006, and she became the only Republican to win on the statewide ticket. If Arshinkoff thinks Morgan will win — and if he endorsed him, he does — that really calls into question Dave Yost’s supposed inevitability and superiority as a candidate. This may be the biggest endorsement Morgan has received so far.

Exit question: Given Arshinkoff’s connections to Kasich and Taylor, is it possible that we will see Mary Taylor endorse Seth Morgan?

UPDATE: From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, we learn that the Yost campaign is trying to downplay the importance of Arshinkoff’s endorsement:

Matt Borges, spokesman for Yost, said he believes Arshinkoff decided he would support Morgan before Yost entered the auditor’s race in late January.

“Alex told us he committed to Seth before Dave got in the race, and he’s since been very helpful to Dave,” Borges said. “Meanwhile, we picked up support from one of the largest Republican counties in the state last night.”

Maybe it’s true that Arshinkoff decided to support Morgan before Yost entered the race, but it’s also true that we all knew Yost was thinking about jumping into the Auditor’s race immediately after Morgan announced and before Yost officially announced his intentions. If Arshinkoff had any intention of supporting Yost, he would have waited to see if he jumped into the race before committing to Morgan.

The truth is that the Yost campaign knows how important Arshinkoff’s endorsement is, so they’re trying to make it look like it’s only a half-hearted attempt to keep a promise that Arshinkoff made in haste. They’re trying to make you think this endorsement is not that important. Don’t be fooled. Like the rest of us, Arshinkoff knew there was a possibility that Yost would enter the Auditor’s race. He opted to support Seth Morgan instead.

Meanwhile, as Borges points out, Yost did receive the endorsement of the Delaware County Republican Central Committee. Of course, Delaware County is his home county, so no big surprise there. But yeah, congratulations Dave! It’s good to see you can still attract the support of a county central committee somewhere.

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