Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There they go again...

Have you heard about City Councilman David Crowley's new "plan" for "Environmental Justice"? Read all about it in the Enquirer by clicking here. Read the 13-page ordinance by clicking here.

This plan would add yet one more unnecessary and costly layer of bureacracy to those who wish to build and develop in the City of Cincinnati. David Crowley's plan would require an "extra review" in addition to the usual zoning, building, and health reviews that any building needs to undergo before construction occurs. We have a federal and state EPA already in place.

Councilman Crowley admits that this idea is a new one and is unprecedented in any major American city. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that, "Crowley said he looked for others to model his after, but couldn't find any."

Five Democratic council members have already signed onto this ordinance. They are David Crowley, Cecil Thomas, Roxanne Qualls, Laketa Cole and John Cranley.

This ordinance is about politics--plain and simple. An additional, unprecedented environmental review by the city is both unnecessary and wasteful for government. The Ohio and Federal EPA are funded to protect our environment and assure compliance with a host of regulations that are rightfully put in place to protect all of us from the excesses of polluting companies or individuals. They are legally bound to carry out that responsibility. The city of Cincinnati does not need to get itself into the business of "reviewing" businesses based on their environmental impact when that responsiblity properly lies with other governmental entities.

To their credit, council has not yet passed this ordinance. Make your voice heard on this ordinance by contacting city council or the Mayor.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Charles E. Mitchell

I was disappointed to hear that longtime Green Township Republican Chairman and Trustee Chuck Mitchell will resign his post as a Green Township Trustee effective June 1, 2008. Chuck cited "personal, professional, and political" reasons for his departure.

Chuck Mitchell has been an outspoken and effective leader for the issues affecting MY neighborhood for many, many years. Chuck is responsible for pushing CMHA to limit Section 8 housing on the west-side. He has fought hard to raze blighted properties including the recent tear-down of the Tri-Star motel on North Bend Road. Chuck brought a keen legal mind and years of experience with land-use issues to that position. His perspective will be missed.

Chuck has also been a loyal Republican having chaired the Green Township Republican Party for many years. With the help of his very able assistant, Ellen, he regularly organized the Party to cover the polls and do the grassroots work that is so crucial to winning elections. Time and again, the Republican machine in Green Township put up yard signs, passed out literature, and covered the polls. Chuck volunteered his time for these important endeavors and for that, all Republicans should be grateful.

We wish Chuck the best and hope to see Chuck staying active as a Republican.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Matt Maupin

Much has been said and written about Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin, so I can add very little to the discussion here and to do so in a political blog would be inappropriate. His sacrifice has nothing to do with politics.

However, this blog gives me an opportunity to share some of what is happening in our community and nothing is more important this weekend than honoring this fallen hero. I hope everyone will take a minute and remember Matt Maupin and his family in your prayers.

For full coverage of the funeral and ceremony honoring Matt's commitment, go here. To offer support for a cause in Matt's name, visit the Yellow Ribbon Support Center.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Plan

I attended a regional meeting of Republican Chairmen last night. I walked away very excited about our prospects for the fall election. Honest.

We have work to do. Of that, there is no doubt. Much of what I learned from that meeting I will not put in this space. After all, some Democrats read this blog. But, I can tell you that there is a highly coordinated, organized get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort that will be implemented in Ohio and specifically in Hamilton County. Our party honed our GOTV skills in 2004 and I fully expect that we will execute a winning formula in 2008.

I am further convinced that John McCain will beat Barack Obama in Ohio. The "swing" parts of our state will vote McCain and if the election were held today, McCain would beat Obama with a comfortable margin in Ohio. The map for Barack is tough if he can't win places like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Watch for Obama to select a southern moderate Democrat (i.e. Sam Nunn) as his running mate to give himself a chance. It will not be enough.

A word of caution: Barack Obama still makes our life difficult in Hamilton County. Our challenge will be to drive out the Republican votes in Hamilton County to offset the "Barack effect." We'll be ready to do that.

What can you do now? Lots. We're forming our coalitions for McCain and we're looking to fill 5 key spots in the local campaign. We'll be calling on our Republican Machine to get that done.

Remember, the Republican message is a winning message because we stand for what is right about America.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Obama

The question of which ultra-liberal the Democrats select as their nominee for President is largely decided. It's Barack.

For further convincing, read Dick Morris' colum here.

Let 'em fight, I suppose. But, we should be ready for Barack.

Barack Obama is not ready to lead America. Good speeches and feel good rhetoric about "change" do not amount to Presidential leadership. The change he seeks is a radical shift of America to the left that would lead to a disgusting increase in the capital gains tax (resulting in a violent redistribution of wealth), a massive government run health care program that promises to be as wasteful and bloated as most government programs, and a scary social shift to the left that will make abortion easier, the death penalty harder, and shake the very moral foundation of America. He will surrender our gains in Iraq and naively coddle our enemies.

We'll beat Barack Obama. John McCain is the right man at this time in our history.

McCain Update

It seems things are starting to move on the local effort to elect John McCain our next President.

I expect we'll have a plan in the near term to help identify and get out the vote in Hamilton County for John McCain.

This evening, I will attend a regional meeting of chairman where I hope to get more specific information on what is expected from southwest Ohio and Hamilton County. Stay tuned for updates.

Can we count on your support? Please e-mail Pat Maloney @ and get on our McCain email list. Better yet, ask Pat about our coalition leadership positions and be a leader for John McCain.

What else can you do RIGHT NOW to make a difference? Click on these sentences for suggestions.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Deal Remains

Despite the push by a few radicals, the Hamilton County Democratic Party Central Committee voted overwhelmingly to support "the deal" entered into by Chairman Burke. Read the Enquirer story here.

I found it curious that Tom Luken, a longtime political figure in this community, lead this fight to undermine party leadership. Tom Luken has made more than a few deals to benefit his political career. In fact, he was instrumental in a deal in the early 1970s with the charterites to "trade" the mayorship of Cincinnati. It seems odd that Mr. Luken would be so adamant about this.

Let's put the issue of "the deal" behind us now. It's time for us to face off with the Democrats from the White House to the Courthouse.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Allen-Winburn Purge Plan

As many of you may have read recently, Judge Nadine Allen and Charlie Winburn are proposing a plan to "purge" certain old criminal cases from the court record. The plan calls for certain old or stale warrants to be eliminated therefore, allegedly, saving taxpayer money. Read more here.

I have carefully reviewed the plan that was sent to some of our Judges and the plan posted on the internet here.

As many of you know, I served as a Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge (the same Court as Judge Nadine Allen). I believe that Judge Allen and our own Charlie Winburn are well-intentioned in this situation. But, I reject the plan and believe it to undermine our justice system in a very substantive way.

After carefully reviewing this plan, I find no connection between excusing criminal behavior and saving money. In fact, I think that excusing criminal behavior and providing amnesty to those that have thumbed their nose at the justice system for 7 years may have the opposite impact. I think it may have the effect of promoting criminal behavior because people can escape prosecution by simply avoiding the courts for 7 years.

Even if 80%-85% of "stale" cases are ultimately dismissed by the court--so what! Under this plan, we will not successfully prosecute 20% of criminal offenders that DESERVE TO BE PROSECUTED. That is not a good plan and it sends the wrong message.

Time and again, I watched victims of crime come to my courtroom and patiently wait for lawyers and defendants to appear in court. The victim took time away from work, waited in a security line at 8:00 a.m. in downtown, paid to park and waited patiently in a crowded courtroom. Often times, the Defendant did not appear. Victims left frustrated--and rightfully so. This plan tells that victim that 7 years later, that Defendant will be excused on a case like theft or criminal damaging. It is wrong and unjust.

The plan certainly amounts to amnesty. I reject it and urge all Republicans to do so.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


On Friday, I appeared opposite Democrat Chairman Tim Burke at the Western Economic Council meeting.

The Western Economic Council is a group of business and community members from the west side of Hamilton County that meet monthly to promote economic development on the west side of Cincinnati. Check out their website at

We had an interesting exchange and a series of questions from the group. Chairman Burke made many interesting observations. Tim believes Barack Obama will help them win seats in Hamilton County that he otherwise thinks would be difficult to win for the Ds. He supported that opinion with some startling statistics about the number of people that voted in the Democrat primary making the number of "registered Democrats" outnumber the "registered Republicans" by a dramatic margin. Of course, we know those numbers as well.

Are these numbers a cause for concern? Yes. Are we dead if Barack is the candidate? No.

We have to ask ourselves, IN APRIL: what can we do NOW to win? I've answered that question in this blog before. Click here for an answer to what you can do now!

Get involved!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake & Politics

I sat down to do my blog entry this morning about something in politics...and everything started shaking. I'm not sure about you, but I felt the earthquake that hit our region in a big way this morning. The bed shook and I heard glasses rattling. It is the first one of these I've ever actually felt.

We just concluded an interesting week at Republican HQ. The bulk of our time was spent working to make our Judicial Salute fundraiser a success. It's fair to say the event was a booming success far surpassing previous events in both attendance and funds raised. We were quite pleased with the turnout and specifically appreciated the appearance of Justices Stratton, O'Connor, and Cupp from the Ohio Supreme Court. Our Executive Director, Margaret Nafziger deserves tremendous credit for her work on this event. The Hamilton County Republican Party has a history of supporting and promoting outstanding Judges. The funds we raise in an event like this one allow us to continue that tradition.

The next few weeks promise to be interesting as we start to put together the first real pieces of the McCain campaign. I expect things will be getting quite busy.

Contact Pat Maloney at or 513-381-5454 to get involved in a coalition group to support Senator McCain.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Judge Russell J. Mock

The Hamilton County Republican Party Executive Committee has officially selected Municipal Court Judge Russell J. Mock to replace me on the ballot for the November election.

Judge Mock is an experienced, knowledgeable, and no-nonsense Judge.

For more information on his background, check out

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Deal is a Deal

Since becoming your party chairman, I have received significant feedback about the "deal" made with the Democrats on the County Commission race. I have heard the message from our party loud and clear.

However, a deal is a deal.

I believe what is happening in the Hamilton County Democratic Party is dishonorable and inappropriate. Let me be clear: Tim Burke is an honorable person and a good man. It's unfortunate that his party is acting dishonorably and undermining his leadership. If they have a problem with his leadership, there are other alternatives. To undercut Mr. Burke and force him to break this commitment is wrong.

Am I surprised? Not one bit. After all, they're Democrats.

What will our party do if they endorse a candidate despite their commitment not to? I expect we'll look at an endorsement process as well. I would NEVER leave us at a disadvantage.

We need to stand united.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Green Township and Blue Ash

What do these two areas have in common? They both have their respective Republican Club meetings tonight.

Why do I blog about that? Because I want every person who reads this blog and cares about Republican politics to get out to your local or neighborhood club. If there isn't one in your exact neighborhood, try the closest one.

Our local clubs provide a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and to hear interesting speakers. For instance, Green Township has heard from Tom Streicher, Simon Leis, John Allen (former CEO of the Reds) and other notable citizens of this area. The 25th Ward has hosted Paul Daugherty, Enquirer columnist and SportsTalk host.

Most importantly, the clubs are a great place to get information about candidates, races, and issues affecting our party.

To see a list of clubs, click here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

City Council 2009?

Is it too early to think about city council 2009? I don't think so. As your chairman, I think it's important that we deal with the present and have a vision for the future.

Last evening, I met with an influential party activist who feels strongly that our council candidates need to start early. I agree.

You can be sure that our party resources are focused on electing John McCain and winning our countywide seats that are up THIS November. However, beginning a dialogue about potential council candidates and urging those people to start early is not a drain on our party resources.

I plan on aggressively pursuing seats in every part of this county and we simply can not walk away from the city core.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Judicial Screening Committee To Meet

The Hamilton County Judicial Screening Committee will meet on Tuesday, 4/8/08 at 4:15 to screen for candidates to replace me on the ballot for the Court of Common Pleas. The chosen candidate will run this fall for the open seat. The candidate opposing this seat is not known at this time.

The qualified candidate will have practiced law for the requisite period of time under Ohio law and possess superior courtroom skill and qualifications to serve in the Ohio judiciary.

If you wish to appear before the screening committee, contact Executive Director Maggie Nafziger at (513) 381-5454.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fallen Firefighters

A fund has been set up to assist the families of the two firefighters who were killed while in the line of duty on Friday morning. Kemba Credit Union will be accepting donations in the names of Brian Schira and Robin Broxterman at any location, at the Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Credit Union office, and also at any Colerain or Delhi Township fire department.

Donations can also be sent to:

Colerain Township Firefighters Memorial Fund
Kemba Credit Union
P.O. Box 14090
Cincinnati, Ohio 45250

For a list of office locations, click here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

What Can You Do Right Now?

Election Day 2008 is 212 days from today.

In 212 days, this nation will decide the following:

1. Will Barack Obama appoint up to 4 Supreme Court Justices? Justice John Paul Stevens is 87 years old. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 75. There are 2 other justices in their 70s and one justice in his late 60s that is rumored to be tiring of the job. Four ultra-liberal Supreme Court justices will change America for a generation. You can be sure that abortion will be expanded, the death penalty will be abolished, criminals will be coddled, and business will be hurt.

2. Will Barack Obama be Commander-in-Chief of the United States military? Can one imagine this? This man simply is not qualified.

3. Will we return to the liberal tax-and-spend policies that kill economic growth and prosperity?

4. Will Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama really be in charge of the greatest country on earth?

5. Will we see a major expansion in government in the form of socialized medicine?

I want the answer to be: NO!

So, what can YOU do right now?

1. Visit and contribute money. Yes, make a financial commmitment to Senator McCain. Even $25 can go a long way on the internet.

2. E-mail Pat Maloney, political director of the Hamilton County Republican Party at and tell him you want to lead a coalition for Senator McCain's election as President. Tell Pat you want to be on the volunteer recruitment list and that you want to be kept up-to-date on campaign activities in your area.

3. Go to your local Republican Club meeting. Click here for a list of local Republican Clubs. Local clubs are a great way to meet other like-minded people and you can learn about Republican events in your neighborhood where your time and energy can be best used.

4. Make a contribution to us at the Hamilton County Republican Party. Yes, we need your help. Your local party is the main hub of activity for Republicans in this region providing a large headquarters with phone banks, conference rooms, computers, and support for grassroots efforts. The local party recruits and endorses candidates. We help candidates connect with a large donor base and we dedicate ourselves to helping candidates. You can donate here.

5. Commit yourself to working at the grassroots level to elect Republicans!

These are all things YOU can do right now to help us win!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Todd Portune Is Wrong

Todd Portune has reacted to the so-called “million dollar bond setting” in a $27 theft and called for a “tracking” of Judge’s bonds without all the facts. As a responsible public official, Commissioner Portune should do his homework before spending costly county resources to build new programs to monitor what Judge’s do.

Unfortunately, our local media and the national media have reacted to Judge Bernat’s keeping a $1 million bond previously set by another judge on a small theft case WITHOUT ALL THE INFORMATION. Members of the media do not work for the taxpayers and are free to report as they wish within the bounds of the First Amendment. However, we should expect more from public officials.

The Defendant who was held on that bond, Gary Weaver, had been cutting himself and was suicidal just hours before appearing in front of Judge Bernat. His bond was set by Judge Rosen over 17 years ago and Judge Bernat simply left the bond alone to keep the man in custody for his very own protection. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s story properly reported that Mr. Weaver was charged with “cutting himself.” The photograph of Mr. Weaver in that Enquirer story shows him wearing a yellow jail uniform. To the informed, this yellow uniform is used for prisoners who are experiencing psychological problems or are a danger to themselves. Judge Bernat was right to hold this man! This is what a responsible public official should do.

Unfortunately, Commissioner Portune listened only to the reactionary media stories on this topic and likely did NO investigation before calling on the taxpayers to pay for a new program to “track” what Judge’s do. Would Commissioner Portune have wanted this suicidal person to leave jail so soon after cutting himself? Is that responsible?

The Commissioners should focus on their own responsibilities. Twice in his tenure, Commissioner Portune has failed to convince the taxpayers to support a much needed new jail because his proposals have been bloated with large government programs that had little to do with more jail space. For pure political gain, Commissioner Portune reacted to the ridiculous reporting of guys like Keith Olberman to get his name in the paper. Did he call Judge Bernat to determine what happened in that case? Did he talk to pre-trial services before reacting publicly? Does he know that the yellow jail uniform so prominent in the photograph of the Defendant signals a serious psychological problem with that Defendant? Of course not. Had he made these simple calls, he would’ve had all the facts. We should expect more from our public officials.

Take a look at what the police officer said in his complaint on this case at:

Take a look at the Defendant in his yellow jail uniform and the Enquirer story reporting that the Defendant was "cutting himself" at:

As a former Judge, I've been exactly where Judge Bernat was when he reviewed Judge Rosen's bond. There are over 150 cases in one day in Room A. A Judge's responsibility in that venue is to quickly review cases and set appropriate bonds with very limited information. When a prisoner has on a yellow jail uniform and is charged with hurting himself, the obviously prudent and responsible thing to do is to assure his incarceration until more information can be obtained.

Certainly, a $1 million bond seems excessive until you realize this man was "cutting himself" and the $1 million assured that he would remain in custody until he could be stabilized and processed through the system to assure he was not going to harm himself. Republican endorsed Judge Bernat did the right thing.

Democrat Todd Portune did the wrong thing. He called for a new government program to "track" judge's behavior. One more government program is not the solution to every problem.

Todd Portune is wrong.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rebecca Prem Groppe

Our County Recorder, Rebecca Prem Groppe held an outstanding breakfast fundraiser yesterday morning. Great work Rebecca!

When I became your chairman, I vowed to look for candidates that were in public service to best serve the public interest. We are fortunate to have Rebecca in public service. She is an outstanding recorder and has greatly improved the delivery of services to citizens from her office.

In addition to her fine service to the public, she has been a loyal Republican. She supports our party, our candidates, and headquarters. Have you ever called Republican HQ only to find Rebecca answering the phone? Well, you just might! Rebecca will occasionally take time from her busy schedule to come and spell our staff from answering the phone at HQ. That kind of selfless behavior is just a small glimpse into the kind of team-player that Rebecca can be. I'm thrilled to have her among our "stable of stars" in the local Republican Party.

Please remember Rebecca with your time, money, and vote as she campaigns throughout the summer an fall.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Judicial Salute

I want to occasionally use this space to let you know what we are working on at Republican Headquarters.

Right now, we are working diligently on a fundraiser known as the Judicial Salute. This event is set for April 17, 2008 at 7:30 a.m. at the Queen City Club. For the past several years, our party has honored our outgoing or retiring judges at the judicial salute. It is an event that is typically attended by a great majority of judges and we are usually joined by a few of our Supreme Court justices. This year is no exception. We expect Justices Stratton, O'Connor, and Cupp to be in attendance as well as most of our Judges from the Hamilton County courts. This year, Judges Burlew and Davis will be honored. A special tribute to former Chairman Ralph Kohnen is also expected.

The Hamilton County Republican Party has a long tradition of supporting great conservative judges. This event is designed to honor those judges while helping us raise the money we need to help our current candidates. It has become a great success and this year is no different.

Maggie Nafziger and our entire staff are working diligently to assure the success of this great event. If you are interested in participating, please call HQ at 381-5454 and speak with Maggie.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

John McCain

Tested Over Time

Published: March 28, 2008 in The New York Times
Barack Obama says: “John McCain is determined to carry out four more years of George Bush’s failed policies.” Obama is a politician, so it’s normal that he’d choose to repeat the lines that some of his followers want to hear. But before people buy that argument, I’d ask them to read three speeches.
The first was delivered by McCain on Sept. 28, 1983. The Reagan administration was seeking Congressional authorization to support the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon. McCain, a freshman legislator, decided to oppose his president and party.
McCain argued that Lebanese society, as it existed then, could not be stabilized and unified by American troops. He made a series of concrete observations about the facts on the ground. Lebanon was in a state of de facto partition. The Lebanese Army would not soon be strong enough to drive out the Syrians. The American presence would not intimidate the Syrians into negotiating.
“I do not foresee obtainable objectives in Lebanon.” He concluded. “I believe the longer we stay, the more difficult it will be to leave, and I am prepared to accept the consequences of our withdrawal.”
This was not the speech of a man who thinks military force is the answer to every problem. It was the speech of one who conforms policies to facts. And it came a month before a terrorist attack that killed 241 Americans.
The second speech was delivered on Nov. 5, 2003. This was not a grand strategy speech. It was a critique of the execution of existing U.S. policy.
First, McCain wondered about the Pentagon’s publicity campaign in Iraq: “When, in the course of days, we increase by thousands our estimate of the numbers of Iraqis trained, it sounds like somebody is cooking the books.”
He then pointed out that the U.S. had not committed sufficient troops. He called for a counterinsurgency strategy in which U.S. forces would actually hold secure territory. “Simply put,” he said, “there does not appear to be a strategy behind our current force levels in Iraq, other than to preserve the illusion that we have sufficient forces in place to meet our objectives.”
He excoriated the arrogance of Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority: “The C.P.A. seems to think that all wisdom is made in America, and that the Iraqi people were defeated, not liberated.”
This was the speech of a man, adjusting to changing circumstances, who was calling on the administration to adjust quickly as well.
The third McCain speech was delivered on Wednesday. It is as personal, nuanced and ambitious a speech as any made by a presidential candidate this year.
McCain noted that we are not only fighting a war on terror. The world is seeing a growing split between liberal democracies and growing autocracies. We are seeing a world in which great power rivalries — with China, Russia and Iran — have to be managed and soothed.
Moreover, the U.S. is not the sole hegemon. Power is widely distributed among many rising nations. McCain’s core purpose in the speech was to revive the foreign policy tradition that has jumped parties but that has been associated with people like Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Stimson, Dean Acheson, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
In this tradition, a strong America is the key to world peace, but America’s role is as a leading player in an international system. America didn’t defeat communism, McCain said Wednesday, the American-led global community did. This is the tradition that Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment has been describing for a decade.
McCain offered to build new pillars for that system — a League of Democracies, a new nuclear nonproliferation regime and a successor to the Kyoto treaty. In stabilizing Asia and the Middle East, he would rely more on democracies like Turkey, India, Israel and Iraq, and less on Mubarak and Musharraf.
Unlike the realists, McCain believes other nations have to be judged according to how they treat their own citizens. Unlike the Bush administration in its first few years, he believes global treaties cannot solely be evaluated according to a narrow definition of the American interest. The U.S. also has to protect the fabric of the international system.
McCain opened his speech with a description of his father leaving home on the day of Pearl Harbor, and then being gone for much of the next four years. He harkened back repeatedly to the accomplishments of the Truman administration.
In so doing, he signaled that the foreign policy debate of the coming months will be very different from the one of the past six years. Anybody who thinks McCain is merely continuing the Bush agenda is not paying attention.