Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Governor Blagojevich

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

Another Sen. Kennedy?

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

Sunday Spotlight: Steve Chabot

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

Merry Christmas

I'll be taking a short break from this blog and from politics to celebrate this Christmas season. I'm sure I won't stay away from the blog for long, but I expect to be back next week. To all of you who read and comment and participate: THANK YOU.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Spotlight: The Volunteers

Our Sunday Spotlight shines on the thousands of volunteers that make up the fabric of the Hamilton County Republican Party.

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

This and That on Saturday...

This serious economic downturn hit home for many people working for the Hamilton County Clerk of Court's office yesterday. This is an office lead by great Republican Greg Hartmann and a place where I worked for over 2 years. The county's budget woes hit hard yesterday with layoffs and office closings. Our thoughts are with the people in that office who will suffer the real-life effects of this budget mess. Greg Hartmann gets credit for leading a cut in government in these difficult times--but the decision to lay people off is real and gut-wrenching. On this Saturday, my thoughts are with those people.


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

Cincinnati is Great!

Cincinnati is a great place to live, raise a family, and work.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Democrat(ic) Money Burn: City Council Style

There they go again...

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

Election Reform

Despite his quiet, introverted, and shy personality, State Senator Bill Seitz is quite the legislator in Columbus. Yesterday, the Ohio House passed a measure largely lead by Sen. Seitz to make some much needed election reforms including a measure that would eliminate the "golden week" that is in Ohio law that allows same day registration and voting for a week-long period in late September and early October. The Seitz-lead bill will now go to the Governor. Read the Enquirer story here.

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

Vote in Our New Poll

Did you notice our new poll to the right of this posting? Check it out.

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

The Yost Post

Want to read more about what is happening in Columbus and the political scene there? My friend Dave Yost writes a blog called the "Yost Post" at Dave writes about Columbus and about Republican politics everywhere.

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

Sunday Spotlight: Tom Weidman

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

My Friday Rant...

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:


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


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

The First Lie?

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. (

On 12/9/08, President-elect Obama claimed he had NO conversations with the Governor. (

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

Democrat Money Burn: County Personnel

As the Democrat county budget mess continues, the Democrats who control the county continue to force cuts on public safety while spending increases in their own operation.

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

Sunday Spotlight: Tracy Winkler

Our Sunday spotlight shines on Green Township Trustee Tracy Winkler today.

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

Democrat Money Burn: Mayor Mark Mallory

Starting today, I will occasionally use this space to highlight the wasteful spending of the Democrats. I'm afraid I will have plenty to write about.

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

For Sale: The Presidency?

Here is a story the mainstream national media will not write...

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

The Democrat County Budget Mess

It seems the two Democrat county commissionners have managed the public's funds and managed our county operations in such a way as to deliver a "Get Out of Jail Free" card to several hundred dangerous criminals.

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

Air Force One

Want to see a great inside look at Air Force One? Click here to watch the story on Fox News.

Online Networking and Youth Outreach

Time and again, I have heard the young and old alike in our Party talk about the Internet and what it meant to the Obama campaign. I have received quite a bit of advice in the last few weeks and youth outreach using the Internet seems to be a consistent thread among every well-meaning advisor. This blog was a move in that direction when it was started in March of 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.