Monthly Archives: April 2010

Yost, ORP, and Supporters in Fit of Utter Desperation

This morning, I picked up on a post that made some very serious claims about last night’s Darke County T.E.A. Patriots endorsement of Dave Yost for Auditor of State. This comes courtesy of a blogger named Henry Hill from Think Real. Excerpt:

Dave was not at the meeting however his opposition was out in full force. Seth and his family as well as members of his staff. Along with his staff his Darke County Chair was present. From what I hear, after the vote Seth’s chair lost it. Yelling about voter fraud and yelling insults at the counter, she really showed her fringe side.

Seth was in the room, he nor his staff made any attempt to end the situation or calm the woman down. Any normal person who has there (sic) name on the line would probably do something, or maybe leave the room. Seth morgan (sic) just watched.

All emphasis is mine. What you see above is the original from Think Real, which has since been somewhat scrubbed — but not completely. You’ll note that some of the italicized segments are now missing, but “nor his staff” was overlooked. The reason? Henry got it wrong. Morgan’s staff was not present at the meeting; it was only Seth Morgan and his family, along with his volunteer county chair, who were in attendance at the meeting. Henry didn’t bother to get the facts before posting, and he even did a poor job of scrubbing the post when his error became apparent. Clearly a blogger not ready for primetime.

But that isn’t even the best part. The most egregious error is to be found in the premise of the post, that it was the Morgan campaign’s Darke County chair who flipped out. Apparently the Tea Partiers of Darke County saw things a little differently. From the Darke Journal:

When it came time for the vote, it was announced at some point (or it became apparent) that Dori Howdieshell would tally the ballots – see press release below. Seth Morgan’s local representative objected on the basis that Ms. Howdieshell was affiliated with the Yost campaign. This caused a verbal argument between the (sic) Morgan’s representative and Mr. [Al] Bliss in which Mr. Bliss yelled out the f-word in the presence of Seth Morgan’s young children. Although nobody could provide a direct quote, the context consistently referenced was that Mr. Bliss didn’t “f****** care” what Morgan’s representative thought.

Emphasis is again mine. As you can see, eyewitnesses thought it was Mr. Bliss who lost it — by dropping the f-bomb right there in front of Rep. Morgan’s children. By the way, did I mention that this meeting was held in a church? The Lighthouse Christian Center, to be exact. That’s right, Al Bliss dropped the f-bomb, in front of children, inside a church. And we’re supposed to believe it was Seth Morgan’s county chair who lost her cool?

So just who is Mr. Al Bliss? Well, he’s the “leader” of the Darke County T.E.A. Patriots, according to this article. My own sources have referred to him as the “president.” I would prefer to think of him as the chairman or the fuhrer. But that’s not the most interesting part. Al Bliss is married to Lyn Bliss, who apparently spoke on behalf of Dave Yost, who was not in attendance. Why on earth would she do a thing like that, you ask? Well, because she’s Yost’s Darke County campaign chair!

You heard that right. Al Bliss, the president of the Darke County T.E.A. Patriots that endorsed Dave Yost last night, is married to Yost’s county chair. Now, believe me, it took me a while to confirm that Lyn Bliss is in fact Yost’s county chair.

I tried calling the Yost campaign initially for confirmation. I asked them a simple question: Who is the Yost campaign’s chair for Darke County? And what did they ask me? Well, they asked for my name. I told them it was Nate Nelson. They then asked my reason for inquiring. I told them I wanted to contact her about the Darke County T.E.A. Patriots’ endorsement of Dave Yost last night (and, believe me, I did). They then asked who I was with. I told them I was a blogger. Finally, they asked for my phone number so they could call me back. They never did call me back. My guess is they realized that I’m that Nate Nelson, the senior editor of From the Rust Belt, the guy who has been a thorn in Dave Yost’s side since he became an ORP man and announced his switch from the Attorney General’s race to the Auditor of State’s race.

But I digress. The point is that Al Bliss is married to Lyn Bliss, and Lyn Bliss is Dave Yost’s county chair for Darke County. Could there be just a small conflict of interest there? I’m just sayin’.

But there’s more:

The upset attendees cited the friendship of Mr. Bliss, Mrs. Bliss, and Ms. Howdieshell [who counted the votes], and their perceived support of the Yost and Robinson campaigns. Several spoke of quitting the current Tea Party or forming a new Tea Party.

And more:

A number of people attended the meeting with the expectation of voting, but at some point it was announced that only those people who had attended a prior Tea Party meeting would be eligible to vote. As a result, only 43 ballots were cast. Many people were disappointed at not being able to vote.

And even more:

Ms. Howdieshell proceeded with the tally of the votes in private, and unlike the press release below, several attendees commented on the vote taking “a long time,” or as much as a half hour.

The best part — or worst, depending on your perspective — is that this information has been independently corroborated by my own sources. In fact, my sources claimed that Ms. Howdieshell counted the votes behind a counter, out of sight of the attendees.

Why do I emphasize “behind a counter”? Well, only because Henry Hill at Think Real — no doubt inadvertently — confirms this piece of information himself. Remember his statement that Morgan’s county chair was “yelling insults at the counter”? When I first read this, before any investigation, I had no idea why anyone would be yelling at the counter. Apparently, even Mr. Henry Hill knows that these ballots were counted behind a counter and out of sight of the attendees. Thank you, Mr. Hill, for what may be the only actual fact to be found in your post.

This is a lot of information to digest. What does it all mean? It reads like a script from “Days of Our Tea Party.” Let me see if I can boil it down for you.

Dave Yost, the Ohio Republican Party, and their supporters are desperate. Seth Morgan has built grassroots momentum that has left them quaking in their boots. He has received numerous county party endorsements while Yost has received relatively few. He has received the endorsement of the Ohio Liberty Council, which represents most of the Tea Parties and 9/12 groups in Ohio (by the way, the Darke County T.E.A. Patriots have distanced themselves from the Ohio Liberty Council — h/t Right Ohio). Seth Morgan is clearly the grassroots, Tea Party candidate for Auditor of State. Dave Yost and Kevin DeWine are afraid they can’t stand in the way of that kind of momentum anymore.

Dave Yost badly needed a Tea Party endorsement. He finally got one.

Yes, Dave Yost got his Tea Party endorsement. He got that endorsement by a Tea Party formed only within the past couple of months, led by a man who is married to Yost’s Darke County campaign chair. He got that endorsement via an extremely fishy voting procedure, concealed by all accounts — even that of one of his supporters — under the cover of a counter. He got that endorsement despite questions raised, questions that were dismissed with bellicose profanity spewed by Al Bliss, in the presence of children, inside a church.

Dave Yost got his Tea Party endorsement. He got it through gangster tactics employed by his supporters in Darke County, and by a reckless disregard for truth and journalistic integrity on the part of his blogging supporter, Mr. Henry Hill. These are the same gangster tactics that the Ohio Republican Party has employed on behalf of Dave Yost all along. These tactics are sickening. They are an affront to our democratic republican values. These tactics, those who make use of them, and the candidate who turns a blind eye to it all should be utterly repudiated by conservative Republicans throughout the state.

Darke County Tea Party patriots now find themselves in the strange position of being forced to stand up not only to government, but to the leaders of their own Tea Party. They should do so for the preservation of their movement and the values it represents. Dave Yost should step aside from the Auditor of State race, or else prepare to face the full momentum of the grassroots tidal wave that is headed his way on May 4. Henry Hill should entirely retract his recklessly false post and leave blogging to those who prefer facts over hackery. And Kevin DeWine should prepare to resign his chairmanship of the Ohio Republican Party in disgrace immediately following the elections this November.

In the meantime, you and I should keep doing what we’ve been doing. We should keep supporting Seth Morgan, CPA for Ohio Auditor of State — the Tea Party candidate, the grassroots candidate, our candidate, and the most qualified candidate to serve as our next Auditor. Let them keep up their petty games and old politics. We’ll show them in May. We’ll show David Pepper in November. And we’ll have Kevin DeWine’s job by December, at the latest.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the Darke County T.E.A. Patriots also endorsed Jon Husted for Secretary of State and Mike DeWine for Attorney General last night. When was the last time you heard of a legitimate Tea Party group endorsing either Husted or DeWine? I rest my case.

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Why Don’t Yost and DeWine Want to Take Back the Ohio House?

Last week, the Yost campaign decided it would be a good idea to attack Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives. Here’s the money quote (h/t Weapons of Mass Discussion):

Dave’s opponent is a member of the state legislature, the very place responsible for the out-of-control spending of Columbus. With tax day upon us, let’s rise up and say “no more!”. Let’s get to work fixing the mess in Columbus and holding government officials accountable.

Other bloggers have already discussed this, but I think there are still a few layers to this awfulness that have yet to be peeled back. For example, does Dave Yost think that slapping an “out-of-control spending” label on Ohio House Republicans is going to help bring about the change that Ohio needs? Does he think that pinning the “out-of-control spending” on the legislature is going to do anything to help John Kasich pin the blame for spending where it really belongs — namely, on Ted Strickland? Does Dave Yost really care about Ohio, or does he just care about winning this election by whatever means necessary?

But I think the point that has really been missed is the sheer hypocrisy here. Ohio House Republicans — including Seth Morgan — have, contrary to the Yost campaign’s reckless disregard for the truth, again and again stood against Ted Strickland’s big spending.

But here’s the question: Can Dave Yost say the same thing about his own supporters among Ohio Senate Republicans?

We already know the answer to that question.

He can’t.

If you’ll recall, dear reader, I noted in March that Yost had received some rather unsavory endorsements from Republicans in the Ohio Senate. The most glaring was the inclusion of the infamous “Gang of 5” in these endorsements. The Gang of 5 — Ohio Senate President Bill Harris, John Carey, David Goodman, Tom Niehaus, and Mark Wagoner — was the group of five Republican state senators who did Ted Strickland’s bidding and voted to raise taxes to the tune of $900 million.

I prefer to pin the blame for Ohio’s big spending primarily on Strickland. But Yost is right that there are those to blame in the legislature. We can blame Ohio House Democrats. We can also blame the Gang of 5. They made a terrible decision for the people of this state. They demonstrated profoundly poor judgment. And they have done so again in endorsing Dave Yost, who would prefer to blame courageous Ohio House Republicans for the state’s spending rather than blaming Strickland, Democrats in the legislature, and five of the state senators who have given him their endorsements.

But we’re not done. Ladies and gents, we’re just getting started.

This is not the first time that the ORP-Kevin DeWine-Dave Yost axis has attacked Ohio House Republicans. As Matt Naugle (Right Ohio) is again pointing out, the Ohio Republican Party decided to take seemingly punitive action against Ohio House Republicans who are supporting Morgan’s candidacy for Auditor of State. Naugle broke the story that certain Morgan supporters in the Ohio House “were not being allowed to use the Ohio GOP’s bulk mail permit if they dared to support Seth Morgan.”

Republicans in the Ohio House and across the state could well ask at this point: Why don’t Dave Yost and Kevin DeWine want to take back the Ohio House?

One final note in closing. It’s not just the Ohio House that Yost and DeWine are gambling with their words and actions; it’s potentially the Apportionment Board as well. The five member board — comprised of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Auditor of State, a member selected by the Ohio House Speaker, and a member selected by the Ohio House minority party — will be responsible for redistricting following this year’s census. The Apportionment Board’s role in redistricting promises to give the party controlling the board a tremendous decade-long advantage.

Think about that for a minute and think about what Yost and DeWine are doing. By falsely pinning the blame for big spending on Ohio House Republicans, Dave Yost is risking our chances of taking back the Ohio House. There’s one Apportionment Board seat. He is simultaneously deflecting criticism about spending away from Gov. Strickland, making John Kasich’s job more difficult. There’s another Apportionment Board seat.

Throw into the equation Yost’s candidacy for Auditor of State and the deflating impact it is having on the conservative base, and presto, you have a situation in which Yost may lose the Auditor of State’s office to David Pepper. There’s another Apportionment Board seat. That’s three, and three would give the Democrats control of the Apportionment Board.

DeWine and Yost already decided to risk the Apportionment Board by playing games with the Auditor of State primary. If they felt that was necessary, maybe they should refrain from hurting Republican chances for taking back the Ohio House and John Kasich’s chances of becoming our next governor. Then again, given the shenanigans with Jon Husted versus Sandy O’Brien for Secretary of State, maybe Kevin DeWine is trying to go all out and lose four Apportionment Board seats to the Democrats. That would be quite an accomplishment for any chairman — of the Ohio Democratic Party, that is.

Senate Republicans Should Not Filibuster Next SCOTUS Nominee

It has been reported recently that Justice John Paul Stevens will likely retire from the Supreme Court this year, paving the way for a second Obama appointment. This has prompted the question: Will Republicans filibuster Obama’s next nominee? The answer should be an emphatic no, no matter how liberal the nominee may turn out to be.

Sure, it may be tempting to fight a highly publicized Supreme Court battle over an ultraliberal nominee during an election year. But we need to think bigger picture: Justice Stevens is the leader of the liberal faction on the Supreme Court. Replacing him with another liberal, which Obama will most certainly manage to do, will not change the status quo — just as replacing the liberal Souter with the similarly liberal Sotomayor did not change the status quo.

We cannot waste our energy on fighting a liberal replacement for the liberal Stevens because it is within the realm of possibility that we will have to fight an important battle over a Supreme Court nominee who will change the status quo. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, is 74 years old. Justice Clarence Thomas, another conservative, will turn 62 in a couple of months. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is moderate to conservative, will turn 74 this summer.

If any of these three justices retire during Obama’s presidency, it will give President Obama the opportunity to decisively alter the Supreme Court’s direction. Don’t think he won’t try to take that opportunity. Souter’s retirement did not give him that opportunity because Souter was basically liberal. Stevens’ impending retirement is similar. Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy — those are the battles we have to be prepared to fight. Those are the battles that, if lost, will allow President Obama to reshape the Supreme Court in his leftist image.

No matter how hard we fight, we will not deter President Obama and Senate Democrats from eventually securing a liberal appointment to replace the liberal John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If we knock out one liberal nominee, he will just nominate another, and another after that. We must save our energy and the patience of the American public for the Supreme Court battles that will actually matter.

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.

NO NOISE? NO VOTES!

Athens Democrats are at it again. Mayor Paul Wiehl has made his animosity toward students very clear time and time again. Recently, he proposed that students should pay a fee to buy the city a new fire truck — all this while Athens City Council plans to spend $1.75 million to purchase the University Estates property. This purchase will bring what could have been a flourishing private sector project into the public sector, costing taxpayers, depriving residents of jobs, and costing schools badly needed revenue. But while Paul Wiehl and his Democrats on City Council spend frivolously, he wants students — the lifeblood of the Athens economy — to foot the bill for a new fire truck.

Wiehl’s most recent public policy assault on students involves a noise ordinance under consideration by the Athens City Council. Under the proposed ordinance, the Athens Police Department would be granted virtually unlimited power to shut down parties (presumably, in nearly all cases, student parties). This ordinance would represent the greatest expansion of police power in the City of Athens’ history.

According to the Athens NEWS, the ordinance will enable police to shut down parties deemed too noisy without resident complaint. According to The Post, Ohio University’s student-run newspaper, the ordinance will allow police to shut down parties regardless of noise level, time of day, or (if there even is a complaintant) proximity of complaintant to the party. In supporting this ordinance, Wiehl has revealed the magnum opus of his contempt for students. By even considering the ordinance, the Athens City Council joins him as students’ antagonists. Wiehl and his Democrats on Athens City Council will not recognize and will not respect the contribution that students make to this city.

Well, students aren’t just going to sit back and take it. We have a message for Mayor Paul Wiehl and the Athens City Council: NO NOISE? NO VOTES!

Athens Democrats know that students represent the most reliable bloc of voters for the Democrat Party. We know it, too. And we are promising Wiehl and the Democrats on City Council that if they pass the noise ordinance, we will pass them all pink slips. We will vote for any of their political opponents who oppose the noise ordinance. If no such candidates exist, we will run ourselves — as Democrat primary opponents, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and independents — and we will take their City Council seats. We will dump more proverbial tea in the Hocking River than the Boston Tea Party dumped in the harbor, and we will dump their political careers, too.

To show that we mean business, we have launched a multi-partisan Facebook page called NO NOISE? NO VOTES! As of this writing, we are 468 students strong and growing rapidly, after less than 24 hours. We are sending a clear message to Athens Democrats that if they support or vote for the noise ordinance, their individual political careers and the political future of the Athens County Democratic Party will be in jeopardy. We will not vote for supporters of the noise ordinance just because the letter D follows their names.

If you are an Ohio University student or a supportive Athens resident, we encourage you to become a fan of our Facebook page — and to invite other OU students and Athens residents to do the same. Together we can defeat this noise ordinance. City Council will vote down this ordinance if councilmembers believe that we will vote them their pink slips.