Wednesday, December 31, 2008
How about this guy? Guts--he has.
Yesterday, Governor Blagojevich shocked everyone and did what he is legally entitled to do: he named a replacement to the United States Senate seat formerly held by President-elect Obama. He called a press conference and named former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill the seat. The Governor was flip, arrogant, and bold. He looked bad at the press conference, though. He rocked back and forth while he was talking. He has that phony politician look about him. He just could not look more crooked and corrupt.
And, he has created a legitimate constitutional crisis. The Governor has not been formally indicted and the charges against him are only allegations made by a prosecutor. He was arrested on these allegations, but he is out on bail. No grand jury has yet to return formal charges. He is innocent until proven guilty. Legally, he has the authority to appoint the replacement for Sen. Obama and there is no actual, real, legal impediment to him doing so. He retains the powers of the Governor regardless of the evidence against him. Now, the Democrats are talking about not seating his choice.
Blagojevich also played the race card. With the departure of Sen. Obama, the Senate is without an African American member. Roland Burris is African American. Governor Blagojevich had longtime African American representative and former black panther, Bobby Rush, at the press conference to highlight the importance of seating an African American to that seat.
The Democrats in the Senate reacted negatively to the Governor's action and indicated that they are unlikely to seat him. Their authority to do so is unclear and it is very rare for Senators to block such an appointment. President-elect Obama also sided with the leadership of the Senate and called on Blagojevich to resign.
In making this choice in the way that he did and with a cloud over everything he does, Blagojevich has put the nation and the Democratic party in a real pinch. Do the Democrats who oppose him reject the presumption of innocence? Will they reject this choice leaving the Senate of the United States without an African American member?
Let's applaud the Democrats for trying to rid themselves of this scourge. And, let's not forget that the last Governor of Illinois is in federal prison and he was a Republican. Neither party is above scandal.
But, it is a little fun to watch Blagojevich stir-it-up in the way that he has...
Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve.
Monday, December 29, 2008
We spent the entire fall campaign watching Sarah Palin get destroyed by the national media and by the skeptics who said she wasn't ready for the national stage. Now, the Democrats want to give us Caroline Kennedy as a U.S. Senator. That---is a joke.
Sarah Palin needs more work before she can succeed on the national stage. Caroline Kennedy needs to do SOME work before she does anything in politics.
Sarah Palin is the Governor of a large state, has held public office, and is totally self-made. Caroline Kennedy seems to be a very nice person, but she has NO experience to make the critical decisions that face the country.
Will Katie Couric interview Caroline Kennedy in the same way that she interviewed Sarah Palin? Will Charlie Gibson stare down his nose at Ms. Kennedy in the same condescending way that he spoke to Gov. Palin? Doubtful.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I'll resume blogging today by shining the Sunday Spotlight on Steve Chabot. Steve Chabot has a long history of public service to the city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and the nation.
Is there a more decent, honorable, committed and hard-working public servant anywhere? I doubt it. I can not say enough good things about what Steve Chabot has meant to my beloved west side community. Although his votes sometimes went astray of the "party line", they never swayed from his true conservative principles. Steve stood against tax increases and against spending--even when our party went hog-wild with spending. Steve stood with working people when he opposed corporate welfare just as he opposed government hand-outs to individuals. Steve stood for traditional American values and for life. Every person in politics ought to strive to be as honorable and decent as Steve Chabot. We should all be grateful for his service.
Steve was featured in a nice article in the Enquirer today. Read it by clicking here.
It is my greatest hope that Steve Chabot's career in public service is not over. I will work with Steve Chabot to further his goals in public service wherever he feels he can do the most good.
As I said in the article, if I have anything to do with it, Steve's work in public service is not finished.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Hamilton County GOP does not just consist of me, Maggie, and Debbie camped out at 700 Walnut Street. It is much, much more. It is a network of ward chairs, precinct executives, central committee members, and our Republican clubs. This group of people act as volunteers and rarely ask for or expect anything from our party. These volunteers show up to support candidates and to support our great Republican cause.
In today's Cincinnati Enquirer, I was asked about something "good" that came out of 2008. After careful thought, it was clear: the volunteers are as enthusiastic and supportive of our efforts as ever before. Check out the small blurb by clicking here.
To every volunteer that has given their time for a cause we all believe in so dearly, I say a very heart-felt THANK YOU!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
California voters approved Proposition 8 in the November election. Proposition 8 was a somewhat controversial proposal that sought to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The voters approved the measure by a strong majority of the vote. Apparently, the liberals don't like democracy. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is now suing to overturn the voters (click here to read the story). Do the voters matter here? Or, are the liberal-elite smarter and more sensitive than regular, ordinary people that went to the polls. For anyone confused, I'm not talking about gay rights or even about the merits of Proposition 8 in this paragraph. I'm talking about democracy and freedom and respecting the will of the people. I'm talking about liberals seeking to overturn the will of the people because they believe they are more enlightened, more sensitive, and have a better sense of fairness than an overwhelming number of voters in California. "Marriage" is a legal status created in state legislation and the people of California can define marriage any way that they please. The people chose to define it one way in California and the liberals are not happy. So what. Would I have the same position if Proposition 8 had failed? Yes. The people decide in America. This is not about gay rights, it is about freedom and democracy. The voters spoke. Let it stand.
I am still amazed at the negativity that exists in the blogosphere (not to be confused with the negativity surrounding Blogojevich). I posted a very nice, warm, sensitive YouTube video about Cincinnati yesterday only to have it criticized for not having enough African Americans represented. First, I didn't make the video. Second, I don't see race in something like that. Third, there is at least one African American in the piece because I know him and he's a great guy. The negativity doesn't just come from the left, it comes from my side, too. I am more worried about the negativity on our side because being against everything never won an election. As conservatives, we need a positive vision for our county and our nation. I will call-out the Democrats and big spenders when necessary, but we also need a positive vision for how to solve problems. Stop the negativity.
I met with three great potential candidates this week: one for Mayor, one for City Council, and one for Cincinnati School Board. This is the best part of my job. Meeting great new faces with a passion for public service who are Republican makes all the negativity worthwhile. I hope to be unveiling some of these candidates as the calendar turns to 2009.
Other than the initial story from the Enquirer, not a single news entity or editorial said a word about the scandalous last-minute budget passed at city hall this week. That is disappointing. What the five Democrats on council did this week was wrong and not for partisan reasons. They shut down debate, spent unwisely, and refused to allow transparency in a budget that spends over $1 billion of your dollars. Can you imagine if five Republicans had shut-down debate on a party-line vote and passed out money to their cronies? Mayhem.
Are you on Facebook, yet? If not, you should be.
Xavier in an upset today against Duke, 78-77. Go Muskies!
Have a nice weekend.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The Democrats that control the city budget "bamboozled" the sensible members of Cincinnati City Council and voted on a budget that ultimately wastes your hard earned tax dollars. The beleaguered taxpayers of Cincinnati should have enough of these tax-and-spenders and make a change this November.
Who did this? First, credit to Democrat Jeff Berding for not acting like the rest of his tax-and-spend party brethren. But, Democrats John Cranley, Laketa Cole, David Crowley, Cecil Thomas, and Roxanne Qualls wasted your money yesterday!
How did they do this? While cops get laid off in the County, workers everywhere suffer, and the economy is in the dumper, these five Democrats spent your money on this:
1. Raises for their own personal staffs: $5,300 for each council office and $18,000 for the mayor's office, all for cost-of-living increases that had been cut.
2. Wasteful, unnecessary environmental programs: $161,900 for environmental programming, including a climate protection coordinator to implement ways to reduce the city's carbon dioxide emissions.
3. Paying for trash collection by inmates: $140,000 to pay the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office for inmates to clean up trash.
4. Raises that were not part of the originally negotiated budget: $434,500 to restore half of non-union employees' 4 percent cost-of-living adjustments.
$75,000 for poison control.
5. My personal favorite, neighborhood gardens: $40,000 for neighborhood gardens, a topic that drew a lot of supporters to Tuesday's budget public hearing. Supporters said the 27-year-old program is one of the oldest in the country.
(Quoting The Cincinnati Enquirer, click here for the full story)
Special credit goes to our two great Republicans, Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel for standing up for the beleagured taxpayers of Cincinnati and fighting this nonsense. They need help at City Hall!
The Democrat(ic) Money Burn continues with your valuable tax dollars...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sen. Seitz is considered by many to be the "smartest man in Columbus" and--kidding aside--he very likely is that person. Sen. Seitz is a smart, tough, and results-oriented politician and has served western Hamilton County in both the House and the Senate. His leadership and wisdom are critical to leading the Republican cause in the state capital (and it's not "capitol"--check here).
During my few months as Chairman, I have frequently called upon Sen. Seitz to gather his insights on events in Columbus. Bashful and reserved, he is sometimes shy about sharing what he thinks.
Joking aside...Bill Seitz is a force in Cincinnati and Columbus and we are glad to have him serving us.
To read more about Sen. Seitz, visit his official website here.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In an effort to improve this blog, I welcome your input and any comments about what we can do to better communicate our message and to reach beyond our normal constituency.
Thanks for participating.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I have blogged about Dave Yost before (click here to read that). Dave is the Prosecuting Attorney of Delaware County, Ohio and a great guy. To read Dave's bio, click here.
Dave's blog is insightful, witty, and well-written. Since you're not getting that here, you ought to check out Dave's blog.
Have a great Monday!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Our Sunday Spotlight shines on my friend Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Weidman (pronounced WEED-men).
Tom is a successful business owner, proud father, and a strong common-sense conservative township trustee that has a bright future in Republican politics.
Tom was elected as a Trustee in 2006, but is not new to public service having served the Township voluntarily on the Township Land Use Plan Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission. As a Trustee, Tom has set himself apart with his business sense and leadership ability.
Tom is also active with the Hamilton County Republican Party's Township, Cities, and Villages Committee. He also serves on the Executive Committee and is an active volunteer for all candidates.
To learn more about Tom and his background, click here.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The level of activity has picked up a little bit on this blog. It is kinda fun! I try to maintain some good humor and never make it personal. I appreciate the Democrats (Nathan Wissman, Greg Harris, etc.) that do the same. I'll keep posting your comments and hope that eventually you will see the light! Unfortunately, the same is not true for everyone who posts. I have been called names, told to "shove it up my a**", and lots of other not-so-nice things. The anonymity of the Internet has made people angry, but mostly cowardly. I will post comments that challenge our ideas, but I'm not going to post comments that hurt our candidates. This is, after all, a Republican blog designed to help Republicans. Thanks to those that participate respectfully.
There is a certain gloom in the mood of the country. I feel it everywhere I go. It feels like the period just after 9/11. The seriously slumping economy and the many job losses have really depressed America. Let's hope it turns around soon.
Speaking of gloom and doom....1-11-1.
I've become addicted to Facebook. If you haven't tried it, do it today. I started out wanting to use it as a youth outreach/networking effort for the GOP, but it has now turned into a hobby. It can be a little voyeuristic and dorky, but overall it is fun.
We have a few people interested in running for Mayor of Cincinnati. We're open to input on this point and urge you to e-mail Maggie directly about ideas: email@example.com.
I have spent the month after the election meeting and talking with a wide array of people who have good ideas about the GOP and its future. That dialogue will continue.
Our Lincoln/Reagan dinner is scheduled for February 13, 2009. For more information or to attend, contact HQ at 513-381-5454 or e-mail Debbie Flammer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am particularly excited about or city council slate of candidates this year. We have two great incumbents, Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel. They will be joined by several other great Republican candidates.
I will recommend a great book: "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear" by Frank Luntz.
I have to comment on Sheriff Rick Jones' and his intention to possibly refuse following court orders in Butler County. Read the story here. Sheriff Leis is spot-on. It is not the Sheriff's responsibility to determine the validity of the order or to evaluate its effect. That is the job of the Judge issuing the order. There are legal remedies that do not involve the Sheriff's failure to follow a properly issued court order. I hope Sheriff Jones changes his mind and avoids a legal conflict that should not exist when the law is so clear.
Bearcats in an upset over that little progr'm on Victory Parkway tomorrow night, 74-71.
Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Did we hear the first big lie from the Obama team today?
These are facts:
On 11/23/08, President-elect Obama's top advisor and spokesman, David Axelrod, stated that the President-elect talked with Governor Blagojevich about his replacement. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxW3C_-Vpys)
On 12/9/08, President-elect Obama claimed he had NO conversations with the Governor. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioro_yzZ8vw)
The second statement is very likely a lie.
If it is not a lie, then it is highly irresponsible for President-elect Obama to have NOT had a conversation about his successor. That's right, Obama should have had a talk with the Governor about his successor and if he failed to have a conversation with him that tells us alot about him. It would be irresponsible for a man recently elected President to not offer his insights to the decision-maker on his replacement.
Personally, I have changed jobs often in the last few years. Although the decision about my successor was not always mine, I always had discussions with the decision-maker about my successor. Who better to make a fair recommendation and to exert political pressure than the President-elect about this important appointment? It would be irresponsible for that not to occur.
Let's be fair, though. If President-elect Obama discussed this with Gov. Blagojevich it would be entirely appropriate so long as there was no discussion of the type that the Governor was taped having. There is no evidence that the President-elect did anything wrong and I certainly wouldn't say that here. The President-elect would be wise to discuss his successor with the Governor and to offer his thoughts. The Governor should not make that critical decision in a vacuum. The President-elect spoke with the Governor!
The Obama team, with the help of the media and a large sum of money, ran a nearly flawless campaign. On this one, though, they are rookies. It is nearly impossible for anyone involved in politics at any advanced level to believe that the President-elect wouldn't have had a conversation with the Governor about his potential successor over the last month. His successor would possess a key vote in the U.S. Senate for the Obama Administration's policies. A U.S. Senator is very important to the President and Obama surely has an interest in who takes that seat.
David Axelrod's statement on 11/23/08 was true. The 12/9/08 statement is likely a lie.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
In reviewing the proposed budget for 2009, I found this item: "[t]he 2009 recommended budget for County Personnel is $2.9 million, a slight increase over the 2008 budget." (click here and go to p. 29 (7 of 38 on the .pdf)). "County Personnel" is the line item in the budget for spending under the direct control of these commissioners in their operation. This increase in spending for county personnel is justified by the Democrats alleging a need for more staff to handle HR responsibilities during staff reductions. Really? We need to spend more on HR staff so that the county can more effectively fire police officers? Are these our priorities?
What else are they proposing spending your money on? Consultants. The final sentence used to justify an increase in spending on county personnel says, "[a]lso included in the 2009 recommended budget is funding for a consultant study of employee benefits." (Again, (click here and go to p. 29 (7 of 38 on the .pdf)). Should the county really be hiring consultants right now? Is that a responsible use of the scarce tax dollars we have? Should cops be fired why the county hires consultants to study anything?
These are budget realities with the supporting documentation available to any citizen. You can click here to read the proposed budget yourself. They are the sad reality of a Democrat budget nightmare.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
As Chairman of the Green Township Trustees, Tracy Winkler is a Republican leader in one of the most important townships in the state of Ohio. Tracy continues and amplifies the tradition of fine public service exuded by the Winkler family.
Time and again, Tracy has governed in a manner consistent with our core principles and has worked hard to make Green Township one of the best places to live and work in Hamilton County.
To learn more about Tracy and her background, click here.
Thank you to Tracy Winkler for her dedication to her community, her church, and to her party.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Today's culprit: Mayor Mark Mallory.
In a story entitled "Deficit? Mayor wants more staff," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Mayor Mark Mallory is asking for an additional staff person in his already bloated Mayor's office. His quote: "There is an absolute need for additional staff in my office."
While Americans everywhere are losing their jobs, America tumbles toward recession and the city tries to cut $14.5 million from its budget, the Mayor wants to add a staffer to an already bloated city bureaucracy.
The Democrat Mayor needs to do with less. Almost every American is. The beleaguered taxpayers of Cincinnati have had enough.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Barack Obama and his campaign spent so much money that it made it nearly impossible for John McCain to compete in the 2008 presidential election. President-elect Obama outspent McCain by the biggest margin in the history of politics.
Can you imagine if the Republican candidate had so outspent the Democrat? The "fat cat" Republicans would be vilified as having "bought" the election. In this year's election, not a peep from anyone. Where is the outrage at the possibility that money has so perverted the political process so as to make the playing field unfair for the Republicans? Can you imagine that story ever being written?
Time and again in this election cycle, we saw the differences on the ground in Hamilton County. Obama had more offices, paid staff, signs, buttons, t-shirts, and more of everything else. More importantly, we saw the Obama message on TV, the Internet, video games, radio, and everywhere else. That is what happens when you are outspent 2 to 1 in Ohio.
I am stealing much of the information for this blog post from Karl Rove's recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Read it here.
Why do I write this today? Sour grapes? No.
There are a few lessons here. First, we should never be at a disadvantage financially in the most crucial election for the biggest political job in the universe. Second, I believe it demonstrates one more way that Obama "got a pass" from the mainstream media. This story was covered, but not nearly as negatively as it would have been had McCain outspent Obama by a quarter-of-a-billion dollars and McCain had broken a pledge to take federal funding for his campaign. Third, we can't underestimate the importance of money in politics and we do so at our own peril.
None of this should stop us from looking carefully at what we stand for as a party. None of this should be viewed as Republicans shifting blame for what we have done as a party when we controlled government.
It should be seen as a reality check on what actually happened in this last election cycle. Obama's "post-partisan" rhetoric and new wave campaigning deserves some credit. But, he did it the old fashioned way: he raised and spent the most money ever spent by a politician in the history of the United States. The rock star marketing campaign he waged costs lots of money. He had money to spare.
Rove said it best in his article: "Rather than showing the success of a new style of post-partisan politics, Mr. Obama's victory may show the enduring truth of the old Chicago Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules."
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
When the Democrats took control of county operations two years ago, I knew it would be bad. It is far worse. Public safety is not a Democrat priority because so much of their liberal base is hostile to those who provide it. We're seeing the results of that now.
Check out our new poll -->
Monday, December 01, 2008
The Hamilton County Republican Party now has an official group on Facebook. Facebook is the hottest social networking site on the web today. I have found it addicting and very worthwhile. Check it out.
Did you also know that we are on Twitter? I'll be updating on Twitter from Washington, D.C. later this week. To read a great article about Twitter and politics, click here.
Have a great Monday.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Starting this Sunday, I will occasionally write a "Sunday Spotlight" blog entry to shine the light on a great Republican. I'm happy to make our inaugural "Sunday Spotlight" shine on my friend Chris Monzel.
Is there any politician in elected office locally that "walks the walk" the way that Chris does? No way.
Chris Monzel has been on city council on two separate occasions with his most recent stint starting in 2005. Chris has been a consistent conservative voice lost in a sea of liberal tax-and-spenders at City Hall. Chris has also focused on constituent service and has done an outstanding job of serving the citizens of the city.
Recently, Chris was the first voice of reason on the ridiculous trash tax proposed by the Democrat appointed city manager. Chris's position ultimately prevailed as city voters spoke out loud and clear in agreement with Chris. The Mayor ultimately followed Chris's lead and threw out the ridiculous notion that the beleaguered taxpayers of the city of Cincinnati should be forced to pay an extra fee for the basic services of city government.
Chris is the proud father of three wonderful children and a great husband to wife Jana. He resides in Spring Grove Village. Chris is a graduate of Moeller High School, Purdue University, the University of Cincinnati, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
A little known fact about Chris? He is actually a rocket scientist at GE.
Cincinnati is lucky to have a man of Chris's intellect and stature on the city council and as Republicans, we should be proud to have Chris serving us and staying committed to our core principles as a member of the city council.
To learn more about Chris, check out his website by clicking here.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The Hamilton County Republican Party is currently forming Committee 2010. As I have previously blogged, this committee will look toward the future and work toward identifying good candidates who are not necessarily on the city council. The committee will be asked these questions:
1. What can we do to boost the notoriety and electability of township, city, and village candidates for higher office?
2. What specific strategies can we put in place to make these people viable candidates?
3. What specific candidates can we identify as a party right now to make them viable for 2010 and beyond?
4. What reasonable resources can the Hamilton County Republican Party provide to make this happen?
Today, I ask you to consider specific candidates that you have identified as great leaders in your township, city or village. Who are our future leaders?
This blog is regularly reviewed by members of the local media who cover politics. Comment with the names of those people that ought to be leading our party into the next decade!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Democrat appointed city manager Milton Dohoney has proposed a new fee for trash collection in the city of Cincinnati. Typical.
When Democrats need money, they raise taxes. Instead of cutting non-essential services or liberal pet projects, they raise taxes. Outrageous.
Our very own Chris Monzel has stood against this tax saying, “it is ridiculous to charge residents for services their tax dollars are already supposed to be paying for. Time and time again the city seems to be able to find money for various pet projects and programs but when it comes to crunch time, they put the burden on our city residents and small businesses.. This nonsense has to stop. We have to start focusing on our core services and move away from partisan giveaways.”
Leslie Ghiz agrees.
Want to stand against this nonsense? Join COAST in a rally on Wednesday, November 26 at 1:00 p.m. at City Hall (steps on Plum St. side) and stand up to the liberals at city hall!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Our blog battle continues today as we try and help the Freestore Foodbank. Click here to read yesterday's post and to participate.
Our three Republican Committees are coming along very nicely. I expect we'll have them working in a few weeks time to help move this party forward. Thank you to the many who have asked to participate. If you're interested, read about the committees here and then e-mail Margaret Nafziger at email@example.com.
We expect to certify the results of the election this week. It should be an interesting week.
President-elect Obama continues to name longtime Democratic operatives into important positions in his administration. One thing is clear: CHANGE is not part of what is happening. In fact, it is mostly a series of Clinton re-treads that are back into power in the federal government.
Do you watch Meet the Press anymore? I do--but reluctantly. That show is simply not the same without Tim Russert. NBC needs to retool, re-brand, and relaunch that show with a different theme and a new host. Is Katie Couric available?
One of my next initiatives as Chairman is to develop a youth outreach program. I have received several e-mails with ideas and I am mulling over the best way to proceed. We need to reach out to young voters in a way we have not done before. We will. Stay tuned.
Cincinnati city council races are right around the corner. We'll be meeting soon to begin evaluating candidates and to field our slate for 2009. There are two incumbent council members dropping off of council this year and we have some strong candidates. Stay tuned.
Have a great Sunday.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
WE HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED! Local bloggers have come together in the "Battle of the Blogs" food drive to help needy families. There is a contest of local bloggers to make donations to the Freestore Foodbank at their Virtual Food Drive. The Virtual Food Drive is a fun way to help because it allows you to actually purchase food into a cart, buy it, and donate it to the Freestore Foodbank to help those in need. The Freestore Foodsank will help feed over 35,000 people this holiday season (click on the Freestore Foodbank logo to learn more about that organization).
Here is what I am asking everyone to do:
1. Visit the Virtual Food Drive.
3. Pay for them.
A few years ago, John Stossell of 20/20 did an investigative report on charitable giving (click the link to read the story). He debunked the myth that liberals are more likely to help the needy by proving that, in fact, self-identified conservatives and conservative groups were much more likely to give charitably than liberals. LET'S PROVE HIM RIGHT by helping the FreeStore FoodBank and show these local bloggers what we are all about!
Thank you in advance for your participation in this worthwhile endeavor!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This morning, the Enquirer reports that "Ciafardini Takes Seat, Dems Grumble." In that article, local Democrats and Connie Pillich, the representative-elect, raise a completely illegitimate argument about Andrew Ciafardini's residency status. Ms. Pillich, a lawyer known to many of us, simply does not understand the law. Not much of a surprise.
The interim appointment of Andrew Ciafardini is completely within the bounds of the law as he is finishing the term of the previously elected Republican that held that seat. Rep. Ciafardini was doing the people's business in Washington, D.C. and he is, therefore, exempt from the residency requirements under law.
The citizens of the 28th House District deserve representation during this critical final few weeks of the year as the Ohio House of Representatives finishes its business. I'm pleased that Rep. Ciafardini has taken on this challenge.
(Check out our new poll question --->)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
What does the future of the Republican Party look like? That is what we must all think about as we move forward as Republicans.
Unfortunately, we have seen some infighting. That is to be expected. It might be healthy to have a few debates about the future that are respectful and productive. But, we can not let these natural divisions do to us what the centrist/left fights did to the Democrats for years. We need to recognize our problems and solve them within the family. I am confident that we will do that as Republicans.
Since November 4, I have been doing what I said: I've been listening as best I can. That process has just begun. On Monday night, I had a conference call with the Ward Chairs of this party. This morning, I will have breakfast with key leaders in the pro-life/pro-family conservative movement. This afternoon, I will meet with most of our judges to discuss the future of the party and the Democrat budget mess that has been foisted upon us. Next week, I will have a conference call with the central committee. I am arranging meetings with key leaders across the county that care about the party and our efforts.
These conversations will start with me pointing out some of our successes in Hamilton County in the face of a Democratic tsunami. If we're going to discuss the future, we ought to have a clear, honest, and accurate picture of where we are and what we have done.
I do, however, want to ask for the help of many in our Party that care about the future. Right now, I am forming three key committees to look over a few critical aspects of party operations and to offer insights, suggestions, and specific proposals for the future.
Here are the committees and what they will be asked to do:
1. Committee 2010
For too long, our Republican Party has drawn on city council for candidates for office in the county and elsewhere. Ths is because these candidates tend to have higher name identification and can more easily win races because people have heard their names. There is little dispute that the candidate who is "known" is much more likely to be elected than the one who is "unknown." This is an ongoing problem for our party as our strength is in the townships, cities, and villages across the county and these great Republicans govern their communities without much outside publicity that could raise their name identification. Unfortunately, it is axiomatic in politics that voters will almost always vote for the name they know over the one they do not--even if the one they know is not fit for public office.
I will ask Committee 2010 to evaluate this problem. What can we do to boost the notoriety and electability of township, city, and village candidates for higher office? What specific strategies can we put in place to make these people viable candidates? What specific candidates can we identify as a party right now to make them viable for 2010 and beyond? What reasonable resources can the Hamilton County Republican Party provide to make this happen?
It is these questions and others that I will ask this committee of committed Republicans to consider.
2. Election Month Operations Committee
Our elections day operations have always been better than the Democratic Party. We have covered our polls, passed out our sample ballots, and done the grassroots work that needs to be done on Election Day. However, Election Day is now Election Month.
I will ask this committee to evaluate several things. Are inside pollworkers more important than outside pollworkers passing out our sample ballot? Are poll observers the right way to go? Should we be doing a Hamilton County poll flushing operation? If so, what resources do we need to accomplish this poll flushing operation? What resources can the Hamilton County Republican Party provide to accomplish these things?
This committee will be asked to do more than offer suggestions. I want us to implement a poll flushing operation in key strategic areas of the county that can get out the vote on election day. I want this committee to oversee and manage our absentee/early voting program. This will be a working committee of the party that can assist us at HQ in developing strategies and implementing operational changes to our election month operations.
3. Cincinnati School Board Search and Screening Committee
On this one, I expect criticism. Naive to run Republicans in these races, you say? I reject that. Our apparatus and organization as a party can be a big help to any candidate running in these non-partisan races.
We should not walk away from the city of Cincinnati. We can offer reasonable alternatives to how the city is governed and it can happen at the school board.
Will we elect Republicans? I can't guarantee it. We need to try.
I have met with several strong, intelligent leaders in this city that understand public education in an urban environment--and they are Republicans. In fact, a few of our recent school board superintendents were Republicans. The Republican message on education is better than the liberal Democrat view. We could make a difference in how the public schools are managed. We should try.
The work of this committee will be relatively brief. I will ask this committee to recruit, review, and educate our candidates for school board. We have several people who have expressed an interest and we will explore their interest further and get them launched.
After all, our great Bill Seitz got started in his public career on the school board. We need the next Bill Seitz!
Do you want to participate in this committee work? Let us know at 513.381.5454 or e-mail Maggie Nafziger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 17, 2008
In these meetings, I hope to listen more than I talk. I will listen to every constructive and responsible voice that can help our Party into the future.
Watch your mailbox for specific information about these calls.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
We had a busier than expected week at HQ this week as we are doing several things. First, we are analyzing election results to get a better handle on what happened in Hamilton County. Second, we are planning for the future by coordinating meetings with Judges, the TCV committee, and donors. We are also planning a series of conference calls to hear from every person associated with this party. Watch your mailbox for information about our "Future of the Party" conference calls.
Are you interested in running for school board in Cincinnati? We're interested in having you as one of our candidates. We're not walking away from city races and 2009 poses a great opportunity for us to pick-up seats on the dysfunctional Cincinnati school board. If we want a government that does more-with-less and does not raise your taxes, it ought to start with the school board. If you are interested in being a candidate, call Maggie Nafziger at 513-381-5454.
President-elect Obama continues to get a honeymoon from the mainstream media. I've pointed this out twice already on this blog. Obama is likely to get this free-pass for most of his presidency. I don't often quote Ann Coulter, but I thought this passage from her latest article was worth repeating: "For now, we have a new president-elect. In the spirit of reaching across the aisle, we owe it to the Democrats to show their president the exact same kind of respect and loyalty that they have shown our recent Republican president." How true.
This county budget mess continues to dominate local politics. The two Democrats that run the county budget on the County Commission have a real mess. We'll be watching.
Have you seen the interview with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers on ABC News? That guy is a piece of work. He stands by his statement that, "I don't think we did enough" when referring to his group's bombings. Unbelievable. If Democrats and mainstream Americans start to believe that kind of nonsense, we are in serious trouble as a nation and as a people.
The 2nd Democrat that ran against Jean Schmidt, David Krikorian, regularly e-mails me and Enquirer editor Ray Cooklis attacking us for betraying our Greek heritage by not supporting his candidacy or speaking out about his ONLY issue, the Armenian Genocide Resolution. His e-mails have become a thing of humor for me and my friends because of his tone, his tenor and his Keith-Olberman-like rants. This man is one A.N.G.R.Y. Democrat! Not so sure why. The Democrats did well this year. To make it even better, Krikorian's rants are sent TO MY PRIEST as a cc: in the e-mails!! To my priest! I've been around campaigns and politics for awhile and this would be the first time the party chairman's priest was brought into it--not by the party chairman! Some people are simply not cut out for public office and this man has simply come unglued. But, it makes for a good laugh.
Have a nice fall weekend.
Friday, November 14, 2008
At a time where our Party is searching for its soul and for our next generation of leadership, we should all be so pleased to have a man of Andrew's intelligence and character as the future of this Party. Since returning from Washington, DC less than a year ago, Andrew has distinguished himself with his hard work and dedication to our Republican Party.
On a personal note, it certainly is nice for this Triantafilou to see that Ciafardini rise to high political office.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ANDREW!
The press release is re-printed here:
Columbus – Under the leadership of Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted (R- Kettering) Andrew D. Ciafardini (R – Sycamore Township) was today sworn in as the state representative for the 28th Ohio House District.
“As we finish the work of the 127th General Assembly, Andrew will be a good addition to our caucus,” Husted said. “I know he will serve the citizens of the 28th House District well and I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”
Ciafardini's work in both the executive and legislative branches of government provides him a unique set of experience to represent the citizens of the 28th District.
Previously, Ciafardini served as the chief federal liaison to state legislators throughout the country at The White House. Earlier in his career, Ciafardini was appointed to positions at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Department of State, and served as a Congressional District Aide to former Congressman Rob Portman. Most recently, Ciafardini served as Executive Director of Ohio's Future, an organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to Ohio’s economic challenges and ensuring they remain at the forefront of Ohio’s political agenda.
“I am honored to be selected by Speaker Husted and the caucus to represent the citizens of the 28th House District during this session,” Ciafardini said. “There is important work to finish, and I look forward to working with the families of our community to ensure they are properly represented.”
A graduate of Sycamore High School, Ciafardini was born and raised in the 28th House District and currently lives in Sycamore Township. He holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in management from George Mason University.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There is speculation in Washington that President-elect Obama will keep Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Defense Department as part of the Obama administration. That speculation has been fueled by Obama's team. For the latest article on this subject, click here. The article states, "[The] Wall Street Journal cited two unnamed Obama advisers Tuesday as saying the president-elect was leaning towards keeping Gates."
Robert Gates was an excellent choice to be Secretary of Defense. He was director of the CIA under the first President Bush and has dedicated his career to intelligence and defense issues. He has won great praise as the Secretary of Defense since taking the job from Secretary Rumsfeld. President-elect Obama should keep him in place because he is a highly qualified leader of the Defense Department during a time of war.
I am absolutely astounded at his possibly doing so. And, most importantly, the liberal media that is so in love with President-elect Obama has given Obama a free pass on this!
Let me explain.
Obama won the primary fight with Sen. Clinton riding a wave of anti-war sentiment. Before the economy and energy took center stage, Obama had the "correct" Democratic view on the war because he had come out against it. His entire campaign was centered around criticizing the Bush administration and this war. He was critical of every aspect of Bush's foreign policy and his defense policy. Now, he is thinking about keeping Republican Bush appointee Secretary Gates at the most powerful cabinet position in the world? Really?
I wonder how Barack Obama would have fared with his core constituency had he said, "Once elected, I will leave President Bush's choice for Secretary of Defense in place." Can you imagine? What would the liberals have done with that? President-elect Obama ran a campaign against everything George W. Bush did.
The media is giving President-elect Obama an absolute free pass on this and that comes as no surprise to those of us that watched them root Obama all the way to the Presidency.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have reviewed several documents relating to the Hamilton County budget and the real crisis we face. For anyone interested in this process, consider reading the Administrator's Transmittal Letter. This letter is a 22 page summary of the budget situation and can give citizens a good summary of where we are. To view all the budget documents, click here.
Where are we? We are in the midst of a budget nightmare. It is real.
The county is calling for a $31 million reduction in the budget from 2008. This represents an 11% reduction in expenditures by county government.
The Democrats control the county budget. Have they been frugal and watched spending? We'll be watching.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Earlier this year, I blogged several times on the county budget mess. In my first blog posting (read it here), I showed how the courts have been frugal . In a second posting (read it here), I urged calm and cooperation.
The 2009 budget will force a dramatic change in how county government operates. Every single department of government will need to make cuts in a dramatic way. It is a difficult time for our county employees and their families.
As Republicans, we face a daunting challenge. Our officeholders control a large portion of the county budget.
Over the coming days, I intend to reach out to every Republican leader in this county to discuss these financial problems. It has never been more important to remember our principles as Republicans. We have an opportunity to lead and to do so in a responsible way that shows voters and taxpayers why we are the party of fiscal discipline.
I will keep you posted.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Hamilton County went from red to blue, yet the Hamilton County Republicans did remarkably well. That is a fact.
We are not in the wildnerness in this county. Republicans hold 15 of 18 judgeships in the Court of Common Pleas, 9 of 14 in Municipal Court, all 6 (well, maybe just 5) Court of Appeals spots, the Probate Court, both Juvenile Court jobs, the Clerk's office, the Recorder's office, and the Treasurer's office. I wrote that in my blog and I wrote it in my e-mail. The reporter missed that part--I suppose.
We are not "in the wildnerness" in this County. In fact, we fought off the greatest Democrat onslaught in a generation. We defied the "Obama effect" in large measure and held some critical seats.
NONE of this means that we're "ok." We need to assess our situation and make changes. But, we should assess our situation in a fair way.
To the many that have e-mailed or commented to this, I say THANK YOU. The e-mails have run the gamut from "not conservative enough" to "too conservative." This battle will rage for a period and it is probably a healthy debate.
Stay involved and help us make the changes we need to win.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
When I became Chairman of this Party in March of 2008, I spoke across the County about 2006. I said the following: "We took it on the chin in 2006...and we deserved it." I believed those words. I believed those words because we had strayed from the core principles of the Republican Party. We talked about lower taxes--and we raised them. We talked about smaller government--and we grew it. We talked about limited government--and we used government more than ever. It has been hard to watch.
As the leader of the local Party, I recognize the limitations that our organization has in changing the image of a Party that gets its image on a national level. However, there is a role locally and I intend to lead us to a return to our principles as a Party on a local level by finding, supporting, and promoting candidates who can do two important things: (1) be committed to principled, conservative, common-sense governance, and (2) show a dedicated commitment and ability to WIN races.
Tuesday was bad. But, it could have been worse. Much worse. The Hamilton County Republican Party scored some successes in the face of a Democratic tsunami like we've never seen before. We are not satisfied with the result. But, we should recognize a few of our accomplishments:
1. The Clerk of Court's office will stay with a Republican. Patti Clancy ran an impressive and overwhelming campaign and received every resource available from the Hamilton County Republican Party to hold this important seat. Many thought this race was an automatic win for us. The polls told us otherwise. I have no doubt that the campaign run by Patti Clancy and the efforts of the local Party made the difference. A win in that race was the highest priority of the Party and we accomplished this goal.
2. The Recorder's office will likely stay with a Republican. Rebecca Prem Groppe is an award winning Recorder and she worked as hard as anyone in this County to keep this seat. Although there are still votes to be counted, we are optimistic of a win in that race.
3. The Treasurer's office will stay with a Republican. Rob Goering recognized the changing environment in this County and staved off a serious challenge from a strong opponent. Rob's opponent ran a steady campaign and was running county-wide for the 2nd time. We will hold this critical seat for four more years.
4. Our only Republican seat on the County Commission will stay Republican. Greg Hartmann won by over 30 percentage points over a motivated opponent that worked across the County. Although many may see this win as part of "the deal," that does not tell the full story. In an environment as poisonous for Republicans as this was, nobody was "automatic." This was a good win for our Party and for Greg.
5. We suffered one net loss in the Courthouse and held onto Judge Dave Davis' seat with an overwhelming win by Commissioner Pat DeWine.
In scoring these victories, the Hamilton County Republicans outperformed Sen. McCain in this County. President-elect Obama ran one of the great races of all time. He is a unique figure in American history and is an inspirational leader to many. His ideas and ideology are misguided and I suspect the American people will ultimately see this. But, his political impact is a singular moment in American history. We held on to several key offices in the face of this onslaught. In fact, if Recorder Groppe wins, we will have held every single county wide non-judicial office (something we did not do in 2004 with a loss in the Coronor's race).
We had some success on other fronts:
1. Bob Mecklenborg, Bill Seitz, and Peter Stautberg all won races and will represent us in Columbus. These are three highly intelligent, motivated people that are strong Republicans.
2. We were on the right side of the onerous Red Light Cameras. Our local Party urged a "no" vote on Issue 7 and the voters agreed.
3. We took a position on Issue 8--Proportional Representation. The voters agreed with our endorsement of a "no" vote on this issue.
I intend to push forward and continue to fight for our candidates and for our principles. The demographics of this County have made it more difficult for Republicans. But, we are not done. Not even close. This County will be more competitive because of changing demographics. We need to change to accomodate the voters. We will do that.
In the coming weeks and months, I intend to listen to every constructive and respectful voice that wishes to be heard about the future of this Party. I intend to visit every Club, every group, and every candidate that I can to discuss the future and to listen. While listening, I intend to lead. I intend to lead us in a direction that makes us more principled, more open, and more organized. And I intend to continue winning races.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Rahm Emanuel is a highly partisan, tough-as-nails, Democrat. His reputation is one of being a partisan hammer. He is considered a highly skilled political operative who is brilliant and hard edged. Political junkies everywhere know this and we knew it long before he was named Chief of Staff.
I respect Emanuel. Most political professionals respect his acumen and political skill. He is a partisan warrior.
Here is something you will not hear from the media: Rahm Emanuel = Tom Delay. Tom Delay was the Republican hammer--the highly partisan Republican warrior that helped the Republicans rule the House. Of course, the media will never paint such a picture of a Democrat political operative.
President-elect Obama's first presidential pick is a disappointment to me. He is well within his authority to make any choice he wants. But, like so many Americans, I was hopeful that he would actually live up to his "post partisan" rhetoric. By making Washington insider Emanuel his first pick, he missed a chance to prove that he would actually bring change to Washington.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Some of the vulgar, classless, gloating that has been displayed by the Democrats in comments to this blog is embarrasing for them. Guys--ya had a good night--show a little class.
We are still assessing the results of last night's election returns. There are many votes left to be counted and we still have a few races that are close enough to be affected. We will be monitoring all of this very closely.
My overall assessment is not great--but there is a silver lining.
I expect that Patti Clancy will win the Clerk of Courts race. This is an important office to us and one that needs to stay with a Republican. In a year where the Democrats brought a tsunami, I believe we will hold onto that seat. I'm encouraged by that.
County Recorder Rebecca Groppe has a lead in the unofficial vote count and we hope she will be re-elected to this important post.
Party leader Greg Hartmann won an overwhelming 30% point victory over an opponent that actually was out campaigning. Greg is a real leader in our GOP and the strength he showed at the polls last night was encouraging.
Pat DeWine won a great victory to hold onto a judgeship against a well-known opponent that we might expect might benefit greatly from the Obama coattails.
We did suffer some disappointments. Tops among those are Congressman Steve Chabot. There is no finer man and public servant to this area than Steve Chabot. He got caught in a wave that had little to do with him or his opponent, but more to do with the national mood. I spoke with Steve Chabot today and he displayed his usual class, dignity, and good humor. I am honored to call him a friend.
Judge Russell Mock is a rising star on the bench and we have not heard the last of him.
It was a tough night. The Republican Party should take a deep breath and then chart a course for the future. I am excited to be part of that in Hamilton County.
To my loyal readers (both of you), I may be taking a few days to rest and I'll be back to blogging in no time. Thanks for reading.
A few quick observations:
1. Congratulations to the Democratic Party and to President-elect Obama. Even as Republicans, we should never lose sight of the historic nature of this moment. The election of an African American man to the highest democratically elected political office in the world is a triumph of our American system. As R's, we may not like that the Democrats won. But, let's pause for a minute to say congratulations.
2. We did well locally despite the landslide. I expect we will keep the Clerk's office and the Recorder's office in a tough year.
3. We continue our domination of the courthouse with Patti Clancy and a large majority of judgeships still in Republican hands.
4. There are still votes to be counted in Rep. Chabot's race. We'll watch that closely.
5. We helped two Republican endorsed Judges retain their seats on the Ohio Supreme Court.
6. It was a tough night. We weathered it and I am committed to making it better in Hamilton County and across the State of Ohio.
To every volunteer and to every Republican, I say this: THANK YOU and keep the faith. This could have been worse. We should "take a breath" and evaluate where we are as a party without pointing fingers. We've had a great run and now is our time to re-evaluate where we are as a Party and to see what we're really about.
In the coming days and weeks, I will implore every Republican to look to a different future with me. More on that later...
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
We live in the greatest country in the history of the world. More people will go to the polls in this election cycle to vote than have ever done so before. In America, the people decide. It is a wonderful thing.
Monday, November 03, 2008
The 11th Hour
by Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine
Four years ago, a CNN-Gallup poll gave John Kerry a four-point lead in Ohio the day before the election. Two days later, he delivered a concession speech acknowledging that "there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio, and, therefore, we cannot win this election.
"The six-point swing between the poll and the final result had a lot to do with the effectiveness of our ground game. On the eve of the 2008 presidential election, we're poised to do it again.
Our voter contact numbers in the past month are 50-75 percent higher at this point than they were at the same time in 2004. We're reaching unprecedented numbers and even outpacing states with double the staff and capacity. NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd wrote yesterday, "One of the better state Republican parties is right here in the Buckeye State; it's why so many of us aren't ready to count McCain out yet in Ohio. The Republican machine is a good one." Our team is generating the extra burst needed to get nearly 900 Republican candidates in Ohio over the finish line to victory on Tuesday. They're fighting night and day against overwhelming media bias, a five-to-one fundraising disparity, a challenging political environment and the partisan maneuvering of a secretary of state hellbent on concealing election fraud.
Despite those obstacles, we're nearly dead even and surpassing every goal. We have the best team of political operatives in the nation, and they're ready to shock the world on Tuesday. Help them do it. Go vote and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
This presidential race is tightening. The map is daunting--no doubt. But, Sen. McCain has always been a fighter and Sen. Obama is still less than 50% in many key states and this is good news for us.
I'll confess that I have not always toed the party line on one issue: media bias. Although I generally believed that the media might be more liberal than your average American, I was not as convinced as most Republicans that the media bias hurt our cause. Until this year. The media coverage of Sen. Obama has been downright irresponsible and the relentless attacks on Gov. Palin and guys like Joe the Plumber have convinced me that the mainstream large media outlets have a bias and that it manifests itself in their coverage. A recent study about the news media proves it. Read the story here. On the other hand, our local media have been mostly fair and I have always felt that we have been treated fairly--save one or two exceptions.
Speaking of media bias, have you seen a story about Sen. Obama's massive financial advantage in this election? I have not. Sen. Obama will likely double Sen. McCain in spending in this election. In some respects, he is buying this election and the playing field is not fair. Can you imagine the media stories if a "fat cat" Republican were outspending the Democrat especially after the Republican broke a pledge to take federal financing? The disdain that would fall upon the "rich" Republican would be overwhelming. Obama gets a free pass from the press on this issue and it is simply unfair.
Another example of media bias? The William Ayers story is a legitimate story. Had Sen. McCain served on a Board with a radical right winger who expressed tacit support for Nazi thinking and had admitted to bombing government buildings, you can be sure the media would have fully investigated. Obama gets a pass.
One more example of media bias? Sen. Biden has been a flake and a blowhard for his entire political career. Political junkies on both sides know it. His moment-of-truth diatribe about Sen. Obama being tested by an international crisis just continues a long career of gaffes. Has the media portrayed him as a goof? No way. Compare the media's portrayal of Sen. Biden and their portrayal of Gov. Palin and any reasonable person can see the bias.
On a more positive note, we need your help this Saturday. Join us! Call 513-381-5454 or e-mail Maggie Nafziger right now!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
We are nearing the finish. This presidential race is NOT over. Let me tell you why.
First, I am privy to some new polling information that I believe to be trustworthy. There is a slow, but significant shift across every battleground state toward McCain. This shift is seen in non-college men, rural voters, and "soft Democrats." The perception by voters, properly, of Sen. Obama as the most liberal nominee in modern times is finally settling in. Undecided voters still don't trust Sen. Obama and althought most are angry about the status quo, their interest in this election very high.
Second, I urge you to read Dick Morris' analysis of this race by clicking here.
Fight to the finish with us! E-mail us by clicking here or call HQ at 513.381.5454 to get involved.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
We need you!
What do we need?
1. Phone Banks. We need an hour, two, three or more of your time working the phones in this final week.
2. Door-to-Door. We will have our final Super Saturday event this coming Saturday. Exact details for this event will be available early this week. Come out and help us contact those voters that can make a difference this Election Day.
3. Poll Observers. We are sending in poll observers to key polling places across the County to assure that the election is conducted fairly.
4. Outside Poll Workers. We need poll workers to be outside passing out our sample ballot and making that final pitch for our candidates.
5. Election Day Operations. We need people to help us drive citizens to the polls and to help us with the glut of phone calls we get helping people on Election Day.
THANKS to all those that have helped!
To get involved to make a difference, call HQ at 513.381.5454 or e-mail Patrick Maloney.