Category Archives: Ohio Legislature

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 from Lorain’s State Rep Candidates

Ohio State Capitol BuildingTotally Engaged Americans greatly appreciated the three candidates who were involved in our Candidate’s Forum last month. Lorain County has three districts within it’s area: the 55th which covers portions of northeast and central Lorain County, the 56th which covers northern and western Lorain County, and the 57th covering southern and eastern Lorain County. The three Democrat candidates were not in attendance but we were happy to hear from the three Republicans in each race.

The State Representatives go to Columbus and work on key state issues such as the state taxes and the budget, as well as state-directed education, transportation, and environmental policy. We hope you can learn and share this information to your Lorain County family, friends and colleagues.

55th, Nathan Manning – Manning is the incumbent and was represented this day by Tyler Yalpe. He helped bring the business tax down to 0% for the first $250K and also helped keep personal income taxes the low. He passed a bill that allows wineries to sell in farmer’s markets and also to help insulin recipients with their prescriptions.

56th, Jessie Tower – Tower is a Lorain resident and has been an attorney and CPA since 1995. She had worked at the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services as a chief auditor and then assistant deputy director in the office of Children and Families. She is currently the director of the Tower Education Center getting children ready for kindergarten and coordinating after-school programs for school-age students.

57th, Dick Stein – Stein became involved with the tea party movement in Norwalk since 2009 when it began. He is a small business owner and has received endorsements from the NFIB, the CPA Society, and two right-to-life groups. His focus is on keeping job taxes and energy costs low as well limiting burdensome regulations to help spur economic growth, and to study the costs of healthcare to better manage price.

Again, we thank these candidates for giving their time on a Saturday morning to speak to our group. 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.

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

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

Kasich vs. the Statehouse

John Kasich profile picture

Last Saturday, we heard from Rep. Terry Boose on the state of the Republican agenda in the Ohio legislature and how it differs with the priorities and programs advocated by the governor. Putting Boose’s information together with an earlier talk by former Ohio Rep. Matt Lynch, we see how Governor Kasich has handled (or mishandled) the issues of education and health care in this state. And it’s no spoiler alert for those who have followed these issues to say that John Kasich has taken sides AGAINST conservatives when it comes to Common Core and Medicaid Expansion.

Fight Against Common Core

Without getting too much into the history of Common Core, it essentially grew from a desire of many state governors to have a common set of academic standards from which they can assess their students. To achieve this, they needed common assessments, i.e., testing companies to compose these tests. The education system being what it is, lesson plans and text books needed to be created to “teach to the test,” and this is where the rubber hit the road. In the classroom, the elementary math was confusing to many students and parents, and other English and science standards seemed to be well below common expectations. And behind it all was the Department of Education giving money to the testing companies, the textbook companies, the states, the school districts, and so on.

Ohio began Common Core testing last year and many districts had trouble scheduling for the volume of testing needed to satisfy the new requirements. The vice president of Firelands Local Schools made national news last February when his letter to Gov. Kasich went public excoriating him on his misrepresentations and lack of understanding when it came to Common Core.  Continue reading

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.

 

HCC is a State-Based Alternative to Obamacare in Ohio

HCC LogoBelow is a great article explaining the Health Care Compact – HCC – (HB 34) introduced in Ohio by State Rep. Wes Retherford & State Rep. Terry Boose.
Please call or email your State Rep (Click Here) and ask them to support true healthcare freedom in Ohio by supporting HB 34 – the Health Care Compact.

From The Sidney Post —

If Ohio likes its Obamacare, it can keep its Obamacare – but it won’t have to if a group of state lawmakers have their way.

State Rep. Wes Retherford, Hamilton – House District 51, and Rep. Terry Boose, Norwalk – House District 57, have introduced legislation that would give Ohio greater control over federal health care programs. It’s called the Health Care Compact, and it would allow Columbus to regulate health care and provide an alternative to Obamacare.

“We’ve begun to see with Obamacare and the Veterans Administration debacles that a centralized health care system run out of Washington is destined to fail. States should be free to come up with the approach that best reflects the needs and wants of its citizens,” Retherford said. “By transferring decision-making authority, responsibility and control of federal health care funding from Washington, D.C. to Columbus, the Health Care Compact gives Ohio the option to choose a different health insurance system than Obamacare, one that actually works to meet our families’ needs.

“The Health Care Compact will shield Ohio citizens and businesses from the burdensome regulations of Obamacare, and protect our seniors from the $700 billion dollars that Obamacare cuts from Medicare to pay for Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies,” he said.

The move to give states more say-so over health care policy is gaining momentum. The Health Care Compact has been approved by nine states — Indiana, Continue reading

Ohio House Unanimous AGAINST Common Core

On February 11, the Ohio House of Representatives voted unanimously for HB7, a bill that makes a student’s PARCC score independent from his or her pass/fail consideration. PARCC is a college readiness test that is utilizing Common Core standards, and is being implemented in this month of February to Ohio students. Parents and students have the choice to “opt-out” of the testing, and more have been making this choice as people have become increasingly frustrated with the over-testing of our students. Cleveland.com recently posted an article on the increasing number of opt-outs, and more information on the “opt-out” procedure can be found on the Ohioans Against Common Core website.

In case you missed it, Elyria High School teacher Stacie Starr won a Top Teacher Award and then promptly announced her resignation due to Common Core.  Continue reading