April 23, 2010

Verbatim: An Open Tea Party Editorial

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:22 am

TeaPartyValues_LogoI received an e-mail this morning from Chris Littleton, President of the Ohio Liberty Council.

A slightly revised version is posted here at OLC’s web site, so I’ll go with that (bolds are same as at that post; the logo at the right is the one concocted by ORPINO, the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only; footnotes are mine, and are explained at the end of this post):

GOP Declares War on the Tea Party Movement

In recent weeks the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) begged primary votes for candidates of their choosing, sending mailers which contain a logo of, “Support Tea Party Values.” This new logo was used for Jon Husted and others. What’s wrong with this? Nothing, except leaders in the Tea Party movement, like myself, would hardly consider him or the ORP supportive of “Tea Party Values.”

The ORP also paid for mailers in State Central Committee races (basically the ORP Board of Directors). Why is this suspicious? Because the ORP broke its own rules by endorsing and funding candidates where an endorsement vote never happened. Equally suspicious, this loophole doesn’t apply only to incumbents since the ORP only funded candidates not associated with an actual Tea Party group.

In short, the ORP strategy is – use “Tea Party Values” when helpful in a race, but don’t let “Tea Party” people into the mix when it inhibits the ORP agenda.

Husted and the ORP have declared war on the Tea Party movement by stealing the brand of the Tea Party, leading voters to believe they have always supported “Tea Party Values.”

They are trying to make “R” synonymous with Tea Party. Well, it isn’t! The Bush administration proved it. Bob Taft proved it, and Jon Husted proves it. Spare me and every other Tea Partier the lip service. Character is defined by decisions made when no one is looking, and when the Ohio voter wasn’t watching, the GOP did just what the left does – tax, spend, increase government and destroy personal liberty.

Welcome to the new Ohio Republican Party. You’ve just been punked.

The Tea Party movement revolves around a focus on free markets, fiscal responsibility and limited government. And if this definition is correct, then Husted and the ORP linking themselves to “Tea Party” values is a laughable summation of their record.

Husted voting yes, as late as 2010, for the corporate welfare program called Third Frontier is clearly anti-Tea Party. I’ve heard it said that Third Frontier creates jobs in Ohio. Yes, under that reasoning a massive re-distribution of tax payer money in an attempt to engineer the economy can create jobs. Under what justification?

Or how about Husted’s other fiscally irresponsible or market inhibiting votes: increased regulation in the Mortgage Lending Bill, Short Term Loans, vote for Commercial Activity Tax (1), ridiculous budgets, etc, etc.

To clarify, look at some numbers from the Buckeye Institute:

From 2001-2009, while Husted was in the house, Ohio spending increased from $74.6 billion to $105.4 billion. During his time as speaker of the house, 2005 to 2009, spending increased an average of $3 billion per year – all this while the Ohio population decreased. (2) (3)

Over the last 20 years (mostly GOP controlled), they insured that Ohio became the 4th worst business friendly climate in America. Clearly the ORP was an unequivocal disaster when it comes to “Tea Party” values. To put this in perspective, over 20 years, Ohio has only created about 176,000 non-government jobs.

This is government expansion, spending and influence at an unprecedented rate while the only solutions offered have been more Keynesian style spend your way out-of-the problem policies.

This is the very thing that the, born again conservative, rhetoric only, GOP is now condemning in the Obama and Strickland administrations. Is this some kind of cruel joke? The GOP assumes the Ohio voter is an idiot. This isn’t just political positioning. It’s deceit of the worst kind.

With regards to funding of non-endorsed candidates, I hope the recently filed Ohio Election Commission complaint, Shoemake v. ORP (approved for probable cause), will shed light on this process. If true that organizational rules were ignored, it means this declaration of war came directly from ORP leadership.

Credibility? Principles? Those involved will need a dictionary to decipher these words. As one State Central Committee member told me – this has nothing to do with principles. It’s just politics.

Yes, ORP, that’s the problem.

I call on all Ohioans to investigate this process for yourself. I can’t imagine those voters who care about integrity in the campaign process will approve of these strategies.

As the Ohio Republican Party tries to get off its death bed by stealing an infusion of blood from the Tea Party movement, it will soon learn our blood types aren’t compatible. Only people who will stand on principles are worthy of Tea Party support. We don’t care about party anymore. I’d suggest learning this lesson sooner than later.

The Ohio Liberty Council is a coalition of liberty minded grass roots organizations in Ohio including Tea Parties, 9/12 Groups the Ohio Freedom Alliance and many others.

You go guy.

_____________________________________________________

Footnotes:

(1) - One underappreciated aspect of the Commercial Activities Tax (CAT), even beyond the fact that it encourages businesses to locate or expand elsewhere (e.g., in my opinion influencing Honda’s decision to build its next plant in Greensburg, Indiana instead of Ohio several years ago) is that the taxes the CAT replaced were shared with localities based on the presence of business equipment and inventories. CAT tax proceeds are meant to “reimburse school districts and local governments for the phase out of the tangible personal property tax,” but receipts are running about 10%, or $106 million, behind the state’s original estimates for the first nine months of the current fiscal year (from Page 12 of the state’s latest budget report; web page with link to report is currently here).

CAT tax collections are NOT included in receipts in Ohio budget reports (see Page 13 of the state’s latest budget report), nor are CAT tax payouts are included in disbursements in those reports. This treatment serves to understate the true size of Ohio government.

The CAT tax is nothing to be proud of, and Jon Husted should be ashamed of himself for effectively considering that among his “accomplishments.”

(2) – Census Bureau figures say that Ohio’s population during that period actually went from 11.475 million to 11.542 million in the four years ended July 1, 2009, an increase of less than 0.6%, while the nation’s population as a whole increased by 3.8%. Ohio’s out-migration, otherwise known as people “voting with their feet,” is clearly very significant, and it’s quite possible that the state’s population has gone down in the nine-plus months since the Bureau’s latest reported figure.

(3) – 2009 spending and the increase in spending since 2001 are both slightly understated because of how the CAT tax is presented in state budget reports as explained in Item (1).

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2 Comments

  1. [...] personal favorites: BizzyBlog. Today’s featured article is involves a review of this piece: GOP Declares War on the Tea Party Movement. If you are a Tea Party participant, please take the time to read Tom’s great pieces and pass [...]

    Pingback by BOOB-QUAKE: The perfect blend of SCIENCE and true FEMINIST ACTIVISM! « Temple of Mut — April 23, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  2. The turning of the Ohio GOP away from the Husteds and the DeWines and the Pfeiffers and the Tafts will happen, all too slowly I grant you, only from the grassroots up. We have to keep plugging away and making it happen. Let’s help each other do just that. Meanwhile, we have to make certain that our intraparty struggle doesn’t adversely affect our victory march against the dem/libs. And frankly, even though I know what Chris means, I don’t think it’s helpful in general to state flat-out “We don’t care about party anymore.” We do, indeed, care about party, but we are determined to return the GOP to its conservative roots…and keep it there. There is no home at all for TEA Party folks in the Democrat party, and everyone knows that. h

    Comment by Excelsior — April 23, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

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