Tag Archives: ohio senate

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.

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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