KEVIN DEWINE AND THE OHIO GOP GIVE OUTSIDERS THE PROVERBIAL MIDDLE FINGER, ONCE AGAIN!
Before you read the following review of Friday’s GOP State Central Committee meeting in Columbus, take a look at the attachment and see how DeWine and other Committee members are abusing the insignia “Tea Party Values” on their mailers for the primary. They are at it again, the same old tricks they used in the 2010 primary that should infuriate every Independent and Tea Party voter across the state. Keep in mind that these mailers were sent out before Friday’s meeting and accompanied by early robo-calls by the same players. Also notice DeWine’s mailer omits the essential “Paid for by…” endorsement, thereby posing a legal issue for those of you legal nit pickers.
The GOP State Central Committee meeting in Columbus on Friday, February 3rd presented in action the ultimate protection racket machine that is now more than ever determined to keep outsiders in their place, on the outside. Tea Party candidates and other non-incumbents on the Republican primary ticket have been told by DeWine & Company, “Outsiders need not apply.” While this has always been their modus operandi, historically, they have never laid down the gauntlet with such ferocity as witnessed on Friday.
Basically, they accomplished these items on their agenda:
• They voted to endorse Josh Mandel for US Senate, thereby snubbing the other 4 non-incumbent Senate candidates on the Republican primary ballot.
• They voted to endorse all Congressional incumbent candidates, thereby snubbing approximately 15 non-incumbent candidates on Republican primary ballots.
• They voted to add an illegal amendment to their by-laws that no Republican State Central Committee member be “seated” who has not voted Republican in the last 3 primary elections, with qualifiers that active duty military service and people new to Ohio be excluded; thereby snubbing State Central Committee candidates who are already on the ballot and do not meet these new requirements while disenfranchising voters who may have already voted for these candidates through early absentee voting. Take note that this new amendment does not apply to the incumbent State Central Committee members because DeWine stated so at the meeting.
• They voted to endorse themselves!
Has Anybody Seen the Republican Big Tent Lately?
The first part of the meeting focused on Josh Mandel (who gave a stump speech), followed by Bob Bennett’s hearty endorsement of Mandel and all incumbent Republican Congressional candidates. There was a motion to by-pass the by- laws, which passed by an “Aye” vote, thereby rubber stamping the endorsements. Then there was a short interlude with a speech by the vice-chairwoman followed by the real meat and potatoes; DeWine’s proposed amendment of the new disqualifying requirements introduced by Charles Knight. Lengthy presentations in opposition to the amendment followed. This lasted about an hour and a half and each opponent was cheered on by the others. There were very few (about 3) proponents of the amendment and their presentations were met with stone cold silence. This dog and pony show (thanks RK!), gave the appearance that the Committee diametrically opposed this amendment and that there was no way it would pass. A really good smoke and mirrors show.
A member pointed out that Article 8 of the by-laws requires a majority of the membership to amend the by-laws, in other words 34 votes. Parliamentarian, Chris Slade, DeWine appointee, defied the by-laws and insisted a simple majority of those present was sufficient to pass the amendment. An additional amendment to the amendment was then proposed that would delay the motion until 2014. Member John Becker reported that a concerned constituent told him that the Tea Party would be very upset and might even threaten legal action, should the amendment pass, and that his constituent also requested a roll call of the vote. A legal brief prepared by attorney David Langdon was distributed in which he defined the Ohio Republican State Central Committee as a private organization and not a public organization. According to his brief, there is no legal problem in altering the Committee by-laws even though such alteration would be in conflict with existing state voting regulations. However, upon the clarion call for a roll call vote, there was a demand from the floor for a secret ballot and Voila! the electronic voting machines complete with privacy screens were rolled out by DeWine’s staff quicker than the national debt is rising. Both the amendment to the amendment and the original amendment were to be voted on not by roll call, but in secret, overseen by DeWine’s staff.
Therefore, 2 electronic votes were taken with 45 members present and approximately 11 via telephone. The first vote was for the amendment to the amendment that would delay the original amendment until 2014. This failed by 35 against to 22 for. This vote was tallied in the same meeting room, in front of everyone, at the lightning speed of 5 minutes. Because of its failure, the second vote, on the original amendment proposing the disqualifying criteria, was then taken. However, after this vote was taken, the electronic voting machines were whisked off to another room, along with DeWine’s staff, and disappeared for 25 minutes. Nearly a half hour later, DeWine’s staff magically re-appeared and the announcement was made that the amendment passed by 29 for to 28 against with 1 abstaining; all to the applause of the Committee, thereby confirming that they were simply “posturing” in their previous verbal opposition. This vote does not meet the by-laws’ requirement of 34 votes from the entire membership, so one must wonder how DeWine is considering it binding, despite the efforts of his lackey lawyer to convince the Committee of its legality. And, golly gee, what they were doing with those voting machines for a half hour?
The Committee wrapped up their meeting with an endearing vote to endorse themselves, the incumbent State Central Committee, and affirmed that the new amendment would not apply to them! Like the first vote to endorse the incumbents, this one was a simple “Aye” vote.
In conclusion, there appears to have been a combination of posturing on behalf of the Committee members to make it look as though they were really against this abominable amendment, when in fact most of them were not; in combination with some very obvious voting machine manipulation, to have resulted in Friday’s vote. The contradictory nature of wholeheartedly endorsing themselves and the Other Republican incumbents in order to keep “Meddlesome” challengers out of the public’s sight and mind (yes, non-incumbents were called meddlesome!) in comparison to vehemently opposing the disqualification of “Outsiders,” does not add up.
Also in question is why, if the members were so vocally opposed to the amendment, did they not call for proper parliamentarian procedure, which was weakly followed, and demand an honest roll call vote? It is obvious to the most casual observer that this whole affair was nothing but the Ohio GOP putting on a “really good show” while giving the proverbial middle finger, once again, to the Independents and the Tea Party who they love to pretend to represent, as evidenced by their primary election direct mailers carrying “Tea Party Values” insignia. Lest we forget, this is a repeat of their behavior before the 2010 primary election. When will the Tea Party stop being the “battered wife” and finally divorce itself from this abusive relationship with a party who pretends to be its friend while in reality is its most loathsome enemy? At this crucial election time, we must remember that we must first beat the Republicans before we can beat the Democrats!
Laura Rosenberger, Springfield, Ohio