Tag Archives: ohio democratic party

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.

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.

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.

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…

Continue reading

Bipartisan Opposition to HSUS Ballot Initiative

From Feedstuffs (h/t Invincible Armor), we learn that Republicans and Democrats are united in their opposition to an Ohio ballot initiative being sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that would force the newly created Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) to implement certain standards for the treatment of animals. From the article:

Both Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, and his opponent, John Kasich, this week said they are opposed to a ballot initiative that The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) plans to bring to the Ohio ballot this fall. . . .

Strickland said the HSUS measure would limit Ohioans’ access to an abundant and affordable supply of Ohio-produced food, adding that HSUS simply does not “fully appreciate the value of what happens on our farms.”

Kasich said “no outsiders ought to come in here and try to destroy our farms.” . . .

Their views mirror those of the chairs of the state’s two political parties, Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern and Ohio Republican Party chair Kevin DeWine.

Both said HSUS is seeking to undermine the authority of the livestock board, DeWine saying that HSUS is an “extreme, out-of-state” group with a “political angle,” and Redfern saying HSUS “is clearly out of touch with Ohioans.”

The extreme toll the HSUS initiative would take on Ohio’s economy has provided a rare opportunity for liberals, conservatives, and whatever the hell Kevin DeWine is to come together for the good of the state. I’m glad to see Kasich, Strickland, DeWine, and Redfern are united in their opposition to the HSUS proposal.

Of course, it should be pointed out that Ohioans were told they needed to vote for Issue 2 to prevent HSUS from doing exactly what it is now doing. The OLCSB, it was argued, would keep HSUS away. Well, here they are anyway, but now we also have a new and unnecessary government bureaucracy controlling Ohio agriculture for no good reason. Fantastic.

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?

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.

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.