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.




Cis vs Trans or the Bathroom Policy Can of Worms?


Rex Engle, Amherst OH Board of Education president, at 6-20-16 meeting in the junior high gymnasium.

The Amherst Board of Education met this past Monday evening at 4:30 in the Junior High School gymnasium, a venue sized to hold the crowd of interested parties expected there to voice their concerns over the new federally “mandated” bathroom policy.

Board President, Rex Engle, opened the BOE’s meeting in their standard way with the Pledge of Allegiance and included a tiny amount of housekeeping items before he dove straight into Agenda Item 6, the “transgender bathroom policy.”


Amherst resident and parent, Markos Athineos

One-by-one, those citizens who signed up to speak to the Board stepped up to the podium and shared their concerns. Engle did have to change plans slightly when a few audience members complained loudly that they were being prohibited from speaking; it turned out that those folks were late to the meeting and didn’t sign up to speak.  Engle acquiesced and assured the audience that everyone who wanted to speak would be granted the opportunity.  They were still limited to five minutes, no matter what their own timing pieces indicated.   (It took nearly two hours to complete the roster of speakers.)


Kirsten Penton Hill, one of the Amherst residents who spoke at the BOE meeting Monday, 6-20-16

There was only one real surprise that came out during the meeting, something that even the Board might not have picked up on, and it was that “transgender” people felt debased and insulted when they are called “transgender.” Who knew?  They want to be called merely “Trans.”  Again, who knew? 

If you’ve been living under a rock – or in outer space, perhaps – and don’t know what the uproar is about, in a nutshell it is this:

People with boy “parts” shouldn’t be allowed
in the bathrooms where there are

People with girl “parts,” and, of course, vice versa.

But it’s the sexualization of the transgender issue that has nearly obliterated the emotional needs of both Cis and Trans children. (Cis and trans are latin for “on the side of” versus “on the other side of.”)  Cisgenders identify with the male or female anatomies they were born with, while Transgenders identify with the opposite of their naturally-occurring anatomies.

Most of the fear expressed at the podium Monday night was all about those people who are neither Cis nor Trans, but rather the “perverts” who prey on young, unsuspecting children and adolescents who enter bathrooms with the intent to practice their perversity. The other expressions were from folks sympathetic to the emotional needs or disposition of the people who feel they were given the wrong body at birth.

The Amherst Board of Education appeared to be sympathetic to both sides of the argument and even claimed to have been considerate of trans needs right along. It remains to be seen, though, if the Board puts its dollars where its mouth is, and how long they can fend off the Federal government in its quest to insinuate itself into each and every aspect of our lives.  It’s probably not at all about the children, rather it’s about imposing the Federal will on each and every one of us – whether we need it or not.

The Firestorm Begins in Amherst, Ohio (Video)

Just slightly west of Cleveland, OH, is the city of Amherst, an unlikely hot spot for a confrontation between the parents of school-aged children and the federal government.  But that’s where Markos Athineos, Amherst resident and father, finds himself at the moment.

From  the May 23, 2016 edition of the “Amherst News Times” we read:

Federal transgender bathroom policy supported locally

School officials in Amherst, Oberlin, and Wellington say they’ll comply with a new federal bathroom and locker room policy for transgender students.

The policy directive reminds school officials that they must treat transgender students as the sex they identify with including when it applies to bathrooms and locker rooms.”

Athineos was invited to talk about the locally “mandated” bathroom policy at last Saturday’s Totally Engaged Americans meeting in Amherst.  Athineos went into detail about the back-and-forth discussions he had with district superintendent Steven Sayers, which included the written intervention of Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine.

It was clear that Athineos is sympathetic to the plight of the transgender students and pleaded with the superintendent for a reasonable solution.

Below is an excerpt of Athineos’ talk:

Athineos hopes that everyone concerned about the transgender bathroom policy issue – and how it’s being handled in Amherst – will attend an upcoming meeting:

“Please attend the Amherst Board meeting, June 20, at 4:30PM, Amherst Junior High Media Center, 548 Milan Avenue, Amherst OH

Don’t let the safety, modesty and privacy of your kids be violated.”

June 17, 2016 Update to post  –  Markos on the RADIO.

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Markos Athineos was on WHK radio AM1420 on Friday, June 17, 2016.  Listen to the interview here starting at minute 15:20.  Again he explains the up to date situation on bathrooms & locker rooms in Amherst Schools.