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

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.

Hear from the Lorain County Judicial Candidates

judge's gavelWherever 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

Last month at our Candidate’s Forum, we were very pleased to have all four candidates for the two competitive judicial positions on the November ballot. It is always our goal to provide as much information as possible to the voters of Lorain County so that engaged citizens can make the most sound decision possible.

Many voters come out in presidential election years to vote for the top of the ticket, but then begin leaving other races blank because they feel uninformed. in 2012, the judicial candidates received about 70% of the votes given to the presidential candidates. We hope that YOU can become better informed with this series of videos and that you will share this information with other Lorain County family and friends. Here are their videos and a summary of their speeches.

Chris Cook, Common Pleas – Cook has pent all his life working as a prosecutor and defense attorney as well as being a magistrate in the courtroom. His proudest accomplishment is being chosen among the 500 judges and lawyers in Lorain County to be the lawyer for the Lorain County Bar Association.

Will Spiegelberg, Common Pleas – Spiegelberg is new to Lorain County although he has been a referee for many sports games across the county. He has a strong door-to-door campaign and wants to see judges work more closely with the Commissioners and also work more often to reduce the extra costs needed for a magistrate. Finally he believes that we need to return God back to the courtrooms and the classrooms.

Sherry Glass, Domestic Relations – Glass is a lifelong Lorain County resident, a mother, and has spent 18 years as a county prosecutor. She’s worked with each city in Lorain County in cases that include rapes and unsolved murders, and has been endorsed by many unions, police, and fire departments in the area.

Krista Marinaro, Domestic Relations – Marinaro stressed the point that the Domestic Relations court focuses on the kids and has an $11 million budget which she wants to make sure the office is being fiscally responsible. She has been a prosecuting and defense attorney as well as a Guardian ad Litem where she judges what is best for the child.

We greatly appreciate these candidates for giving their time to us last month and wish them the best for the remaining campaign. And again… if you have read this far and have watched the videos, then you are more engaged then many of your Lorain County neighbors. Please discuss these candidates with your friends and families and help to increase our civic involvement as a county.


Totally Engaged Americans of Lorain County, Ohio, hosted a CANDIDATE FORUM on Saturday, September 10, 2016.  There were also three issues coming up on the ballot that were covered, as well.

You can view the entire event or just the individual issue/candidate videos below this listing: 

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Kirsten Hill, Chairman of Totally Engaged Americans of Lorain County

Michael Moats, Marketing Chair, Totally Engaged Americans.

Michael Moats, Marketing Chair, Totally Engaged Americans.





Ohio Tea Parties for Trump

It was certainly a tough primary where some very sharp elbows divided many good conservatives. Thanks to Ohio Conservatives United, we see that Ohio Tea Parties clearly preferred Ted Cruz over any other candidate. We can also see that Cruz did not reach a 50% threshold, a problem also experienced by Donald Trump in the actual vote tallies. Maybe that number was unattainable when you had 17 total candidates competing for attention, but it remains true that more people voted for somebody other than Donald Trump and fewer people voted for Donald Trump.

But that doesn’t matter any more. Election Day is two months away and early voting is one month away and Donald Trump is the nominee. Leaders from Ohio Tea Parties and the liberty movement have created Tea Party for Trump, a website designed to get Trump supporters involved in Ohio as well as Pennsylvania. The graph below (click to enlarge) is the “Polls-plus” path to 269 electoral votes from the website FiveThirtyEight.com, and we can see that Ohio and other states in the Great Lakes area are all around the middle tipping point. Ohio should be the next domino to fall in Trump’s path to victory, and while Pennsylvania has been on the Republicans’ wish list for some time, it seems that it is now more attainable than it has in the past. It is important for all Trump supporters to get involved, and Tea Party for Trump might be a great place to start.

538plus_sept6We also have to acknowledge the few NeverTrump conservatives out there. The Tea Party began with people who were willing to put principle over party as we saw national Republicans supporting or at least allowing progressive policies to take hold. It shouldn’t be surprising that some activists are continuing to follow their principles which lead them away from the Republican ticket.

Many more people in the Tea Party, however, have decided that Donald Trump will have a team of people who will move this country in a more conservative direction. This includes enhancing our national safety with increased border security, and creating a more business-friendly and individual-friendly environment by turning back laws and regulations which restrict economic growth. Many in the Tea Party will vote for Donald Trump and work on his behalf.

The 2nd Amendment Arguments

Obama on a stockpile of guns yelling at a hunter "Guns are bad!"David Conte was one of our speakers last Saturday morning at our monthly meeting, and he shared with us his experiences and discussions he’s had with recruiting for the NRA with debating the gun question. For the last number of years, any incident with a gun has been grouped into a category of “gun violence” to which the only solution is gun restrictions. Of course, this is the argument by those on the left and mindlessly repeated on the mainstream news. Last week’s sit-in by Democrat members of the House of Representatives is only the latest effort by those on the left to force this issue into debate. So let’s debate it.

The 2nd Amendment IS NOT About The Gun

The terms assault rifle and assault weapon have been thrown around so often that it’s become the language of anything bad. Even the intermediate-level gun user could tell you specific differences between the different rifles and guns, but we have Congressmen and advocates who carelessly use these terms incorrectly and they go unchallenged. There is an Orwellian manipulation of language where if you make an association often enough, it will become true.

When the left decide to wade into the language of the Constitution, they usually state that the Founders couldn’t have been thinking of an AR-15 when they wrote the 2nd Amendment. They may also go into a hunting argument and ask why a person needs a semi-automatic weapon to shoot a turkey.

At this point, we need to stop the argument and state that the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting and it’s not even about the guns. Is the 1st Amendment about the internet? People use the internet to express their thoughts and ideas, and are utilizing their protected right to free speech. Is the 4th Amendment about text messages? If I wrote a note with paper and pencil and gave it to a person, the police would need a warrant to search the person’s personal property. If I send that person a text message, that message is not considered the property of either my friend or myself but property of my phone carrier. Is that what the Founders had in mind?

The 2nd Amendment IS About People

Remembering the history of the Bill of Rights, the Federalists didn’t even want a Bill of Rights because they thought it would be redundant. The danger of putting down our Natural Rights on paper, some thought, is that they could be misconstrued at a later time. By writing down our Natural Rights as a way of preventing the government from infringing on those rights, we may also be giving permission to future Congresses, Presidents, and Supreme Courts to alter the language and the meanings these ideas.

So even before the 2nd Amendment, the original Federalists might point to the Declaration of Independence and say that we have a right to life and property. Therefore, we have a right to protect our life and property. And finally therefore, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The thing about Natural Rights is that they do not change with time or with technology. If we are to live in relative freedom, then the police and law enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times. If there is a crime being done against my person or my property, I have a right to protect myself.

When the left sees a gun crime like a mass shooting, they think that stopping the gun will stop the crime. People on the right aren’t for simple vigilante justice, but we do recognize that a good person with a gun can stop a bad person with a gun even though it doesn’t make the 24/7 news cycle.


Feds dump on Amherst (Video)

Amherst (Ohio) School Board Meeting, Monday, June 20, 2016.  About 150 Amherst citizens came out to share their concerns about who should be using which bathrooms and locker rooms in the schools.  The impetus for these concerns originate from the federal government’s reinterpretation of Title IX.

Rex Engle, board president, makes an opening statement at the beginning of video Part 1 and a closing statement (minute 26:30) in Part 4.

To get a quick background on the bathroom / locker room issue that has unfolded in Amherst since the federal government sent their “Dear Colleague” letter last month, check out other recent posts:  Being PolicyFluid in Amherst SchoolsThe firestorm begins in Amherst, Ohio, and cis vs trans or policy.