Category Archives: City/Township

Trump Takes Lorain County *UPDATED: Almost…

Lorain County City map for election

UPDATE: This was written before the official count, and when Lorain County added all of the provisional and absentee ballots, Hillary Clinton emerged the winner by 131 votes! Lorain County is still the type of county across the rust belt where voters flipped. In 2012, Barack Obama won by 20,000 votes and with a 56-42 margin. In 2016, Donald Trump eliminated that margin.

ORIGINAL: In the closest county race in Ohio, Donald Trump got about 400 more Lorain County votes, a difference of 0.28%, than did Hillary Clinton. Sen. Rob Portman also won the county, as did Rep. Bob Gibbs, not Rep. Jim Jordan (although he won his OH-04 district), State Rep. Nathan Manning and incoming State Rep. Dick Stein. Pat DeWine won the county on his way to the Ohio Supreme Court, and Stephen Evans was unopposed as Coroner.

Looking at the Lorain County map, first of all we have to understand that we are looking at a tie. Despite how red the county looks, we need to acknowledge the intense split between the rural and urban areas. This is not unlike state maps that we saw across the Upper Midwest states including Michigan and Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton only won seven of the 88 counties in Ohio, and they included some of the most populous. Similarly, Hillary Clinton won Oberlin by about 80% and and city of Lorain by near 70%. Elyria, another more populous area of Lorain County also saw a Clinton win although by a smaller margin.

Lorain County may have flipped in this particular election because of Trump victories in some swing areas like North Ridgeville, Sheffield Lake and Village, Amherst, and Vermillion. Additionally, there was an intensity not always seen with Republican victories in the villages and townships south of the turnpike (except for Oberlin, of course).

Unfortunately, the Trump coattails were not strong enough to carry other Lorain Republicans to a win. Connie Carr lost the County Commissioner’s race by about 3000 votes, a much closer race than has been seen during presidential election years. Krista Marinaro also came up short, as did Jessie Tower and Don Larson who were trying to win in districts which leaned heavily Democrat.

Many people within Totally Engaged Americans were quite active in their support for these candidates, and are looking forward to applying what we’ve learned to the next elections. Please join us for upcoming meetings and learn about conservatism and founding philosophies that make this country uniquely designed to protect – not grant – our liberties.

Hear About The County Commissioner & Issues

dollars and cents

Tax Forgiveness Stopping IRS Tax Levies

Wherever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Thomas Jefferson, 1789

Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process.” Mike Rowe, 2016

We were happy to hear from Connie Carr’s representative, DesAnn Collins, about her candidacy as well as from Commissioner Ted Kalo and others on some of the issues on the ballot in Lorain County. While Ted Kalo is on the ballot for County Commissioner, he has no opposition. Lori Kokowski was not able to attend, but Carr’s representative spoke on her behalf. Additionally we had speakers advocating for the Drug & Alcohol Addiction levy and the Euclid City Schools building levy.

Carr’s spokesperson first noted the volume of tax issues on the ballot, and declared that there must be a different way to manage our finances. Her experience as an attorney gives her the experience to be a tough negotiator, and she respects the vast diversity and opportunities that already exist within Lorain County.

Commissioner Ted Kalo discussed the three county tax issues on the ballot. There are other countywide or local tax issues as well, but these three were directed from the County Commissioners. Issue 34 is the TB Clinic renewal, a tax which actually was cut a few years ago. Issue 33 deals with the Coroner’s Office and Crime Lab which has been burdened by the recent heroin and opioid epidemic. Lorain spends about half as much on this office as the similarly-sized Lake County. Finally, Issue 32 is the sales tax addition of 0.25%. Lorain County has a low sales tax compared to other counties and hasn’t had a permanent increase since 1985. Half of this increase will go to public transportation initiatives.

Peggy Baron of the Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County spoke on behalf of Issue 35. This increase will help provide additional treatment and recovery support by reducing wait time and providing detoxification residences for those wanting help. The Services Board also provides education to families and children as well.

Finally for voters in the Euclid City School District, Superintendent Tom Jama spoke on behalf of Issue 23. This bond issue for Elyria City Schools could bring $125-135 million to replace all of their elementary and middle schools with only five schools, and to rebuild Elyria stadium as well. The state, which will help with the funding upon passage of the bond issue, said that none of the schools were worth renovating, which is why the complete replacement is necessary.

Again, we thank these speakers for giving their time on a Saturday morning to speak to our group about these important issues for the citizens of our county. And to the reader… if you have read this far and watched the videos then you are one of the more engaged citizens in Lorain County. Please share this information and your thoughts with other voters and help our county become a more civic-minded community.

Being PolicyFluid in Amherst Schools

Transgender LogoAmherst Schools are walking a fine line by promoting the transgender agenda with regard to bathroom rights, while at the same time never voting on an actual policy change to codify those rights. This issue became front and center when President Obama and the Department of Education posted a “Dear Colleague” letter informing schools that students must be allowed to self-report their gender. It claims that if a school does not treat the student by their self-reported gender, then they may be in violation of Title IX, the 1972 law that generally prohibited certain discrimination between males and females.

It is clear that the 1972 law is speaking only of a person’s biological sex. Any transgender awareness at the time certainly did not reach the halls of Congress. Yet as progressives frequently do when it suits them, they have removed  chromosomes from the definition of “sex” and inserted the term gender identity. So who made this decision? How do they have authority to make this change? And wouldn’t it be better to have citizens buy in to any change through the democratic process? Voting and public discussions are the way to change people’s hearts and minds, not by issuing edicts from on high.

Returning to Amherst, questions were raised about their school policy regarding the transgender issue as defined in the Dear Colleague letter. Those questions went unanswered, though, until Superintendent Steve Sayers announced his support of the edict in the Amherst News on May 23. (And note that Oberlin and Wellington schools have responded as well.) He said the school’s job is to create a safe environment for its students and that this includes allowing students to go to the bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender of their choice. Missing in Sayers’ equation, of course, are the students who feel UNSAFE by sharing a bathroom or locker room with a student of the opposite biological sex. These students are likely being told to get over their transphobia and to stop being a bigot. Quite a lesson from a school alleging a safe environment for all of its students.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wrote a letter to the Departments of Justice and Education asserting that the Dear Colleague letter was simply a threat and was sent without the force of law. And again he reiterates the political truth that we have known for generations but is antithetical to the philosophies on the left: “There are many, many questions that, consistent with constitutional guarantees, are best left to the decent, common sense judgment of individuals and communities at the state and local level.”

Please watch the Steele News Live video from May 19 on the transgender issue.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mBhb0Pu0xg

And finally, please attend the Amherst School Board meeting at Amherst Junior High School,  548 Milan Ave, Amherst, OH on Monday, June 20 at 4:30 for an evening of public discourse on the matter. As DeWine stated, there can be common sense responses to this issue that should be agreeable to students, parents, and school personnel.

Become An Informed Voter!

Lorain County Board of ElectionsOhio’s primary is only six weeks away on Tuesday, March 15, and it should prove to be a very important and decisive day for the leading presidential candidates. But there are many other races on the ballot on both the Democrat and the Republican side, and many of us usually feel more and more disconnected as we moved down the ballot. Well, this is the OPPOSITE of how it should be! Those people further down the ballot are the ones who live closest to you and over whom you can have most influence. For this reason, let’s look at the Lorain County races (candidates list here) moving up-ballot!

Political Party

Many cities have wards which are the smallest political unit, but not everybody lives in a ward. Everybody in Lorain County does, however, live in one of 188 precincts.

Precinct Committee Chairmen are elected to office on the primary ballot as they only reflect the opinions of those who choose a political party. Some actually go unfilled, and many are unopposed. Primary challenges do exist this year, especially in Amherst and Elyria and then scattered throughout the county. These individuals make up the committee for the Lorain County Democrat or Republican Party.  It is their job to make sure the party is acting as a positive force within the county, and in a direction that correlates with the views of most voters. The split within the Republican Party has been well-documented can be characterized as conservative vs. establishment.

State Central Committee members make up the committee that directs and leads the statewide party. The Democrats don’t have seats up for election this year, but the Republican party (and Green Party) does. There is one male and one female from the 13th State Senate district, covering Lorain and Huron counties, who represent the party on the state level.

The female candidates are incumbent Joyce Houck and challenger Kirsten Penton Hill. The male candidates include incumbent Matt Cox and challengers David Moore and Michael Witte. Kirsten Penton Hill is the director of Totally Engaged Americans of Lorain County, and Michael Witte is a longtime member and is active with the Convention of States project. All three challengers, Kirsten, Michael, and David Moore, spoke at our candidate’s forum last month. Continue reading

Meet Mayoral Candidate at Lorain’s Labor Day Picnic

Jessie TowerJessie Tower is a Republican running in a three-way race for mayor of the city of Lorain. A CPA, former auditor at the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and current executive director of the Tower Educational Consulting Group, she and her team are running a true grassroots campaign. Going door-to-door, she has garnered a lot of support from voters all over the city.

This Labor Day, Monday, September 7 from 12-5 at Central Park, 2800 Oakdale, you can meet Tower and discuss how to make Lorain a better place to work and a better place to live. Lorain needs to be an inviting place for businesses to bring and create jobs for it’s residents. And issues like transportation and education must be addressed to help people to enjoy living in the city.

Tower would bring a fresh change to a region that has been struggling for much too long. Hope to see you on Labor Day at Central Park in Lorain!

Matt Lynch tells it like it is, not the way we’d like it to be…

The Totally Engaged Americans of Lorain County, OH, invited former Ohio Representative, Matt Lynch, of Geauga County to speak at our monthly breakfast meeting today, April 11, 2015.

Matt_casual_web2We were there to hear Matt tell us what really happens in the Ohio legislature.  Matt was in the Ohio House for just a single term – three years -but it was long enough to learn how the “sausage” is made in today’s legislative bodies.

The 45+ members and visitors in the audience were a mixed bag of experienced politicos, novices and the in-betweeners – those of us who aren’t afraid of politics because we don’t know enough yet.

We are all on the side of the Constitution and expect our elected officials to love and respect the document as much as we do.  That’s what makes us “Conservatives.”  Matt Lynch is a conservative, like Jim Jordan is a conservative, like Ted Cruz is a conservative and maybe even Rand Paul is a conservative (albeit with very Libertarian tendencies).

After Matt ran us through the “school house rock” version of how a bill is created, he soon went deeper into the weeds to explain the committee and caucus systems, where a thoughtful, painstakingly-crafted and public-oriented bill can meet a brutal end without ever seeing the light of day, or coming up for a vote. Matt wanted us to know there’s a big difference between “what appears to happen and then what actually happens.”

As Chairman Kirsten Hill noted, the “Columbus Dispatch” identified Matt Lynch an “arch Conservative;” the word ‘arch’ normally connotes something evil but in our crowd Matt’s considered a hero.  It was, perhaps, political suicide for Matt to take on the GOP establishment…

…no, that’s not right.  It is the G.O.P. itself, the power of PARTY that either pushes a bill through or kills it where it lays.

We T.E.A. members learned more about the legislative – excuse me, the political process, than we expected to, but isn’t that what we wanted?  Absolutely!

Sure, Matt painted a dismal and disappointing picture of how a Republican committee chairman rules his Committee Kingdom, and then how a Republican House Speaker is ultimately controls what legislation gets through, but in the end it’s the Republican Governor who calls the shots.

What?!?!?!

As one audience member asked this morning, “What happened to the separation of powers?”   That’s an excellent question to pose to those very same people who, following their election, SWORE to uphold the Constitution – which has a very clearly marked line drawn between the administrative, the legislative and the judicial branches of our governments – AKA “separation of powers.”

Just in case I’ve left out something important from Matt’s talk this morning, and I have – you can listen to it here.     http://rufusputnam.com/TEA/4-11-15_TEA_Matt_Lynch.mp3

Matt tried not to leave us depressed, rather he wanted us better armed to win these political battles.  We know now who the enemy is and it won’t be as easy to pull the wool over our eyes in the future.

Most importantly, though, We The People owe it to the properly-vetted and upstanding candidates to support them with our time, our $$ as well as our vote.

The Good Ones won’t last, or be able to stand up to the political pressure the matt_lynch_radio_showparty machine puts on them if we don’t stand with them.

Get to know Matt Lynch through his radio program, too. If you can’t listen to his Wednesday 6:30-7:30 PM WHK 1420 Radio program live, all his programs are archived.

 

Public forum on high stakes testing, March 4

From the Wednesday, February 25, 2015, North Ridgeville Press:

“A public forum on standardized testing is slated for March 4 at the North Ridgeville Branch of the Lorain Public Library, 35700 Bainbridge Road.

According to an event posted on Facebook, “Join a growing group of concerned parents, teachers and administrators for an informational forum to discuss the issues facing our schools and our children with the current standardized testing curriculum. Please consider joining us to learn about the high stakes PARCC testing, the 3rd Grade Guarantee and your rights regarding these tests. Speakers will be available to answer your questions.”

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