December 8, 2005

Anderson Township Meeting Notes

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:31 pm

I would estimate that 150 people were in attendance. The candidates who spoke were generally very impressive.

Emcee Russ Jackson gets the Adjust-To-Reality award for having the group say The Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag pin he was wearing, as the meeting place apparently did not carry out his request to have a flag present.

Roughly a dozen candidates spoke. Each spoke for roughly 8-10 minutes. All were competent. Consistent with the 11th Commandment, I will concentrate on who I thought did especially well. Special notice goes to the following:

  • Auditor candidate Mary Taylor did a great job, and of course deserves your vote because she’s a CPA. :-)
  • Secretary of State candidate Jim Trakas from Cuyahoga County was especially outstanding and passionate.
  • Bill Pierce made the best speech of the three US Senate challengers to Mike DeWine who spoke.
  • Attorney General candidate Tim Grendell did a very good job of succinctly and thoroughly stating his positions.

These folks were originally scheduled speak did not, and as far as I could tell were not there:
- Phil Heimlich, Jim Petro’s assumed running mate as Lt. Governor.
- John Hritz, who originally intended to run for US Senate against DeWine, then changed his mind to run for Treasurer. The word (mentioned out loud at the lectern, so it’s beyond rumor) is that he may withdraw soon.

Answers to some of BizzyBlog’s questions before the meeting were found, and some remain elusive:

  • No outbreaks of SDS (Schmidt Derangement Syndrome) or BCC (Brinkman COASTal Complex) were in evidence, due in large part to Hamilton County GOP Chairman George Vincent’s passionate call for civility near the beginning of the meeting. This perhaps explains why the idea Mr. Jackson suggested in the meeting press release of “allowing (Tom) Brinkman and (Bob) McEwen time during the program to refute (Jean Schmidt Chief of Staff Barry) Bennett’s statements” was not carried out.
  • No one that I asked could tell me where the documented support for Congresswoman Jean Schmidt’s claim of 80,000 terrorists killed comes from. For what it’s worth, I believe the claim is accurate (based on Brookings’ documented belief that it’s at least 50,000–that’s terrorists, folks, and does not include civilians), but verification work continues.
  • No one named a 2005 tax increase voted for by Jean Schmidt, making the “Let Them Eat Cake” award a bit of a “she’d have done it if she’d had the chance” designation.
  • No answers to who Bob McEwen would be representing if he announces, runs, and wins the Second District congressional race were forthcoming, though Mr. McEwen did express a desire to have a meeting with me (and was less receptive to the idea of meeting at the same time with other members of the S.O.B. Alliance). I have reviewed the entire record of my posts on former congressman McEwen. Based on that review, I have to wonder what he would tell me in private that he shouldn’t be telling the voters of The Second District if he decides to run, or the voters in the entire state if Ken Blackwell chooses him as his running mate, and therefore do not understand what could possibly be gained from such a meeting.

(Italicized words in last sentence added in the evening of Dec. 8 for clarity.)



  1. BizzyBlog in Anderson Township

    BizzyBlog has a report from the Anderson Township Meeting. He says nobody could cite a single vote in 2005 to justify the “Let Them Eat Cake” award Schmidt received. Imagine that.

    Trackback by Project LOGIC — December 8, 2005 @ 2:16 pm

  2. I was there myself and agreed with much of your remarks.

    Auditor – I too, was impressed by Mary Taylor. It’s amazing that we’ve never had a CPA as Auditor. For once we’ll have an Auditor who is qualified to hold the job. Her CPA is far from her only attractive attribute – she’s a well-rounded conservative and public servant who I hope goes places. She voted against the Taft/Schmidt tax hikes and hit all the key conservative issues. She has the potential to be a rising star in the party.

    Attorney General – I’m very impressed by both Tim Grendell and Ron O’Brien. I wish one of them would run in another race, because we need both of them on the ballot. Grendell is a solid conservative, and has the qualifications to run for AG. He’s taken the lead in opposing the abuse of Eminent Domain and voted against the Taft/Schmidt tax increases, among other conservative issues.

    I also think highly of Ron O’Brien. Unlike the blatently political Prosecutors we have in Hamilton County, O’Brien ran the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office in a strictly professional manner. He stayed above the fray of the poisonous politics in Franklin County. When I asked him why there haven’t been prosecutions for the legislators including Jean Schmidt who broke the law like Taft did, he took the time to explain exactly how the law worked in those cases. In short, he has the authority to prosecute Taft and his staff, but for legislators the matter has to be referred to him by JLEC. He admitted this provision was about legislators protecting themselves. I’m going to feel really, really bad about having to vote against one of these two folks.

    Governor – Zzzzzzz. Pete Draganic couldn’t adequately pitch his own ideas. Like John Kerry, Betty Montgomery had precious little to say about her accomplishments in public life. She didn’t say much about what she’d do as Governor either. It was clear we had heard from our 3rd and 4th best candidates for Governor.

    Sec. of State – Trakas indeed gave a great speech. I first met him during my Ohio State years in the 90′s and can say he’s a very personable, friendly guy. He has his positives. If he didn’t vote for Bob Taft’s tax increases I’d already be behind him. But he cast his lot in the tax-and-spend camp, so I’d prefer someone else. Also, he’s been a member of the House leadership for years, which will haunt him in a general election. We can’t run people who can be tied to Taft or the status quo.

    Senate – All 3 of DeWine’s opposition candidates spoke, but none was particularly impressive. For starters, you can’t run against an incumbent and not say exactly what you’d be doing differently.

    Bob McEwen was in attendance. From the chatter around the room it’s even more clear that he’s running for Congress. As for the COAST award, her record is deserving. Saying she didn’t vote to raise taxes *in 2005* is like saying Bob Taft doesn’t deserve a Criminal of the Year award because he didn’t break any laws in 2005.

    Comment by CincyJeff — December 8, 2005 @ 5:39 pm

  3. I wonder why McEwen wouldn’t want to meet with the whole group…

    Comment by Eric Kephas — December 8, 2005 @ 6:15 pm

  4. #3 CJ–Taylor for guv in 2016. Trakas can be Lt. Gov. for his taxes, and after he does his penance he can run in 2024. Seriously, Trakas can’t pass any taxes as SOS so I’m not that concerned.

    I think Pierce of the 3 senate candidates got closest to saying something specific and was better than the other 2, but all could use improvement.

    Montgomery’s remark that we can’t afford to be gloom-doom was fine, except, based on the thrashings given to Issues 2-5, I’m not sure that gloom-doom is the mood in the trenches.

    Bob Taft went to court and was convicted in 2005. Schmidt didn’t pass a tax increase in 2005. If the nominating committee wanted to hand out a Lifetime Achievement Award as a gag, it would have at least had some accuracy to it. As it is, Chabot got a free pass from the Cakesters for the egregious highway bill, and he doesn’t deserve it.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 8, 2005 @ 7:14 pm

  5. All this talk about taxes and CPA’s and speeches. Did I miss the part where Bizzy admits that Mary Taylor is smokin’ hot? That’s certainly something everyone can agree on. Wow!

    Comment by Murtha's Ghost — December 8, 2005 @ 9:02 pm

  6. #5, that goes without saying. All women CPAs are like that. They do it by the numbers, so to speak.

    You didn’t know?

    Comment by TBlumer — December 8, 2005 @ 9:11 pm

  7. What’s not to like about Mary Taylor? She’s hot AND conservative, which already puts her 2 up on Betty Montgomery.

    Comment by CincyJeff — December 8, 2005 @ 10:09 pm

  8. I beg to differ with CincyJeff and his statement that I did not suggest what I would do differently than Mike DeWine. In the brief 6 to 8 minutes each candidate was afforded by the “rules of engagement” it is difficult to present a brief background, qualifications, and a detailed delineation between the speaker’s philosophy and the incumbent’s.

    I chose to focus my limited time on three specific issues and a glance at two others. I spoke of the promulgation of federal regulations and how they stifle and destroy small business (quickly eluding to my personal experience), and that if it is allowed to continue entrepreneurs will say “it simply is not worth the risk” which will result in the decline of small business and the creation of new jobs. I said that oversight, a Congressional responsibility which has been abdicated, must be brought back and that I will walk the defensive path with any business owner attacked by federal bureaucrats for two reasons – first, I will enjoy battling federal bureaucrats on a level playing field; and secondly, I know how lonely that battle is and I will not let any business owner travel that path alone as I was forced to do.

    I spoke of the burgeoning federal debt and the horrible legacy we are leaving to our children and our children’s children. At this point I will bow to your observation in that I did not say that I would specifically fight back against wasteful spending, earmarks, and revenue spent on issues unrelated to the role of a central government as defined by the Constitution. While I thought that was understood, and certainly it represents a discord with Mike DeWine’s actions, I will make a point in future talks to be more specific on this issue.

    Finally, I focused on the No Child Left Behind mandate and that it was good in principle but terribly flawed in execution because we no longer teach to learn or teach for the future, rather we are merely teaching to a test.. I even went further and said that the Department of Education was “unconstitutional” and should be disbanded, and education must be returned to the States and local school boards. Certainly that represents a different position than Mike DeWine who continues to support NCLB.

    I touched on the fact that two significant issues – illegal immigration and social security – were on the Senate calendar at the beginning of the year, were swept off, and now have been reassigned for the next year. I stated that the situation was unacceptable, while Mike DeWine’s silence suggests he is fine with the Senate’s refusal to address issues of major importance – another major difference between the two of us.

    In short, I feel that a number of distinctions were made in the short 6 to 8 minutes we were afforded. The deliver may have been off (and I might add I was not pleased with that aspect either), but a distinction was made. I do thank you for your comments, because it indicates that the distinction I felt I was making was not heard by the audience – and, that will change.


    Bill Pierce

    Comment by Bill Pierce — December 9, 2005 @ 9:51 am

  9. Bill:

    Smile more too. We know you got the shaft. But people still like smiles.

    Murtha’s Ghost

    Comment by Murtha's Ghost — December 9, 2005 @ 10:46 am

  10. Good to hear from you Bill. I’m very displeased with Mike DeWine and want to see one of you beat him. You’ve got to remember that when you’re running against an incumbent in a primary, the vote is a referendum on them, not the challengers. That’s why you have to focus on how you’d be an improvement from him. Your own background barely comes into play.

    Spend less time on introductions and more on the issues that you want to define the race. I had told Tom Brinkman the same thing after I heard his first speech in his Congressional run. Good luck in your campaign.

    Comment by CincyJeff — December 9, 2005 @ 11:26 am

  11. [...] otox, laughed a bit, and left. Heh.  This is the not the first McEwen-Blogger encounter. though Mr. McEwen did express a desire to have a meeting with me (and was less re [...]

    Pingback by » McEwen Encounter — March 16, 2006 @ 8:57 am

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