GOP, Tea Party rift headed to hearing
The Ohio Elections Commission will hear a complaint that one side says is part of the Ohio Republican Party’s “war” against Tea Party candidates for the state GOP’s governing body.
A commission panel found probable cause yesterday to have a full hearing on a complaint that mailings from the Ohio GOP and Chairman Kevin DeWine in state central committee races improperly say candidates are endorsed by the party when they are not. A hearing date has not been set.
Thea Shoemake, who is running for the state committee in the 14th District, thinks the party mailings are meant to keep candidates aligned with the Tea Party movement off the GOP’s 66-member governing body. (1)
“They’ve declared war on the Tea Party candidates,” said Shoemake, of Cincinnati (6), who is vice chairwoman of the Clermont County Republican Party’s central committee.
Jason Mauk, executive director of the Ohio Republican Party, called that “laugable,” (sic) noting that the party is actively backing some incumbent committee members who also are supported by Tea Party groups. (2)
But Shoemake said she and other Tea Party candidates are upset that state GOP mailers include the Tea Party logo and references to “Tea Party values.” (3) (4) (5)
“It’s clear that if the Ohio Republican Party can’t co-opt the Tea Party and get their votes, they’ll try to destroy it,” she said. “No one wants to leave the party; we want to strengthen it. But that said, how long do you stay in an abusive relationship before you leave?”
At the end of Niquette’s piece, Mauk claims that this is all just “a family feud that gets hashed out and then put aside.” I would contend that hashing out this feud will require Kevin DeWine and others who have orchestrated this scam on Ohio’s GOP voters to step aside.
(1) – ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) has not met to endorse the Central Committee incumbents named in its “endorsed candidates” mailing. It is “laughable” to claim they are endorsed when they are not. It will be more “laughable” to claim “we were going to do it anyway” after an ex post facto endorsement, which I understand may be in the works.
(2) – According to the list circulated by Steve Christopher posted here (corroborated at the “Candidates” page at the Medina County Friends and Neighbors web site) earlier this week, “some” really means “roughly 10 incumbents out of 66 available slots.”
(3) – This means that ORPINO, one of whose alleged bedrock values is a respect for property rights, used what it doesn’t own to make roughly 56 of its State Central Committee’s 66 incumbents appear to be supported by the Tea Party movement when they are not (roughly 40 of the 56 are in contested races). This is every bit as clear a case of premeditated deception as when a former congressman who hadn’t been in office for 12 years ran for Congress in 2005 in Ohio’s Second District district calling himself “Congressman McEwen.” The Ohio Elections Commission handed him a well-deserved reprimand, and should have done more. The OEC should do the same, and more, to ORPINO and Kevin DeWine in early May.
(4) – Additionally, in the case of Jon Husted, ORPINO has made it appear that its Secretary of State candidate has significant Tea Party activist support, when in reality most Tea Partiers bitterly oppose him. Many have gone on record favoring his primary opponent Sandy O’Brien.
(5) – Further, in the case of Dave Yost, ORPINO has made it appear that its Auditor candidate has Tea Party activist support, when in reality at least 55 Tea Party groups and Tea Party-sympathetic organizations holding REAL “Tea Party Values” have formally endorsed his primary opponent Seth Morgan.
(6) – Memo to Mark Niquette — Shoemake lives in a township in Clermont County that is not part of “Cincinnati,” which is in Hamilton County, even though the address has a Cincinnati zip code.