April 16, 2010

Denial Is a River That Runs Through ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only)

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:25 am

From Mark Niquette at the Columbus Dispatch, in the only press report I have found in a Google News search on “Ohio Elections Commission” (in quotes):

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.



  1. “Many have gone on record favoring his primary opponent Sandy O’Brien.”

    Omigawd! Among many other political sins this contentious self-interested women took an active part in breaking up Ashtabula County’s South County Republican Club, a generally conservative organization. The technique used was to flood the annual meeting with “members” many of whom paid their $5 dues that night, in order to force another ambitious RINO in as President.

    The club soon disintegrated, and the RINO lost his run for office, so all was for naught. But O’Brien, her husband and her son continue chameleon-like to attempt to politically advance themselves. It amazes me that casual observers fail to see through her.

    Comment by Dai Alanye — April 17, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  2. #1, One Word: Evidence …. please provide some.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 17, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  3. Are you asking for documents?! Since the club has been gone for awhile I can supply only the name of a few formerly active members: Marty Quirke, Jim Nizen, and Richard Donley.

    Among the conspirators were Richard Hornstein, probably still head of the county central committee, and Bob Shultz, outgoing president of the club as well as former mayor of Rock Creek and unsuccessful candidate for various state and county offices. The person they wanted (and got) as new president was David Brown, former mayor of Andover. Brown wished to use the post as an aid to getting the County Treasurer’s office. He failed.

    For information on O’Brien’s shenanigans as County Auditor you might contact the former longtime Treasurer Robert Harvey, a good Republican. While in office Harvey was always cautious in his remarks about other office-holders unless he knew you. Whether he’ll open up now to someone he doesn’t know I can’t be sure. If he wishes he can also tell you something of Brown, who worked for him. O’Brien’s attitude in county office was belligerent and uncooperative, avoiding meetings of boards on which she was supposed to serve, and picking unnecessary fights. The local newspapers of that time have stories on this. But Harvey is the guy for direct information.

    As you probably know, O’Brien became a Right-to-Lifer in her primary race for Treasurer of Ohio against Jennette Bradley. In my previous involvement with Ashtabula Right-to-Life I never heard her name. Never heard her mentioned as a conservative as well, not that either of these are absolute proof of her inclinations. But you’d expect a political candidate to be active in friendly organizations. My impression, gained over many years, is that this is an ambitious family who will say or do whatever they think will assist in reaching office. You know, similar to Romney. As to O’Brien believing a sincere member of the Tea Party, I scoff. During her sunset years as auditor this great anti-tax crusader brought in the usual outside experts to re-assess properties. By what arcane method this was accomplished I can’t say, but the effect seemed to be a general increase in home valuations of about 26%. While my experience might not be typical, I paid for an independent evaluation and appealed to the appropriate committee. My official evaluation was reduced by approximately 50%. Next year, amazingly enough, it rose by ~20% with no reason given, but I was still well ahead of the original situation and made no further appeal.

    I know nothing of Jon Husted, who might conceivably be a worse villain than Snidely Whiplash. But if ever given a chance to vote AGAINST Sandy O’Brien I’ll take advantage of it.

    Finally, my suspicious TBlumer, be it known that I generally blog under my pen-name. But if for some reason you need my true identify to arrange for mug shots, fingerprints or subpoena, send me an email and I’ll see if the head psychiatrist will give me permission to correspond further. ;~}


    Comment by Dai Alanye — April 18, 2010 @ 12:25 am

  4. #3, thanks for the info. I omitted info you previously had in the first paragraph about the people named to protect their privacy. I’m assuming that you are otherwise OK with publishing the comment. If I am wrong, let me know.

    I will be asking O’Brien for a comment.

    As to Husted, I encourage you to learn more, but unfortunately it may be difficult, given Ohio media’s poor coverage of anything and everything.

    The most obvious problem with the guy is that he lives with his real estate agent wife and kids in a northwestern suburb of Columbus and represents a Dayton-area Senate district. His (and the ORP’s/ORPINO’s) handling of this situation has been arrogant and pathetic ever since it became known.

    Husted first pretended that he really lives in a house in Kettering that he still owns and doesn’t live in. I have visited that house, and from all appearances, no one lives there regularly. He uses that house as his campaign mailing address.

    After that defense was shown to be pathetic, his situation went all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled that Husted can claim residency, essentially relying on the idea that Husted “intends” to move back to Kettering after his time in politics is over. What BS, based on his wife’s occupation and his kids’ roots.

    Now a guy who has spent years playing games with something as fundamental as where he lives is supposed to be entrusted with enforcing our election laws with integrity. I don’t think so. What I’ve just described is an automatic DNQ for anyone with Tea Party Values, yet this snake of a man is perfectly fine with a mailer going out under his name paid for by ORPINO claiming that he has those values.

    When the Senate OK’d Ted Strickland’s tax increase earlier this year (packaged as a delay of an on-the-books tax cut), instead of fighting and demanding spending cuts, OH Republicans decided who they would have vote for and against the measure based on political survivability, not on principle. Husted’s “no” vote was a matter of convenience. Many of those who voted “yes” did so purely because they are lame ducks, are in very safe districts, etc.

    You have your impression of O’Brien, which is that “…. this is an ambitious family who will say or do whatever they think will assist in reaching office.” Fair enough, I guess, though the usual complaint against her is that she doesn’t seem to be trying hard enough (at least by traditional measurements).

    With Husted, the easily discernible record of his career is that “…. this is an ambitious family who will say or do whatever they think will assist in reaching office.”

    You don’t like Sandy O’Brien; fair enough. But at least based on what you’ve presented, Husted is a far, far worse alternative.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 18, 2010 @ 7:55 am

  5. Several years back I and other conservatives worked against Bob Gardner, a pro-abort RINO from Lake County who was a Dem until being offered a Repub job. We managed to get our charges published. When the papers asked Gardner to respond he said that we were a splinter group, our charges were false, old news, etc. Samey-same as Slick Willy or any other corrupt pol. I just kinda sorta have a feeling Sandy O’Brien will do the same rather than say, “Oh! How did you find out all this?”

    So I’ll withhold my vote for that office. The sad thing is that if she’s successful we might have another DeWine or similar on our hands for some time. There is no good answer, it appears, beyond getting involved in the selection process very early, or managing to get control of the party apparatus.These problems have been around, of course, since the days of Ray Bliss if not earlier.

    Politics attracts many a skilled liar. Indeed, sad thoguh it is, the voting public often turns away from completely candid men and women.

    Comment by Dai Alanye — April 18, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

  6. [...] endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party” in violation of Ohio law. Thursday, an OEC panel found probable cause to bring the matter before the entire Commission, but deferred the full hearing until after the May [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — April 24, 2010 @ 8:21 am

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