I’ve been voting in Ohio for 35 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.
At the second of the two polling locations I have visited thus far today, an operative from ORPINO (that would be the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) was there. “Joe,” who looked to be in his mid-20s, was so proud of what he was doing that he wouldn’t tell me his last name, though I told him mine. “Joe” was handing out shiny slate cards promoting ORPINO’s endorsed candidates, as well as the incumbent State Central Committee member they claim to have endorsed but didn’t, at least when such literature and mailings were first created a few weeks ago (they may have endorsed since).
My mission was to hand out literature promoting the candidacies of Thea Shoemake for State Central Committee and Seth Morgan, CPA for State Auditor. I dutifully promoted Morgan as the only CPA on the ballot to voters passing by on their way into the polling place. Apparently this got good ‘ol “Joe’s” goat, as at one point he responded with, “Well, let me tell you about the real Republicans.” ORPINO apparatchik “Joe” appeared to be continually reporting his take on whether a given voter or voters appeared likely to support the party’s candidates over a cell phone or similar data device. This would seem to indicate a heavy and highly coordinated effort involving lots and lots of ORPINO’s peeps (some of whom may have been imported from out of state).
I seriously doubt that “Joe” was working for free, or is taking a day of unpaid vacation.
This ORPINO presence at the polls during a primary is probably unprecedented. I certainly can’t recall anything like it in the 35 years I’ve been voting. The expenditure of financial resources continues to be breathtakingly irresponsible, and should further infuriate John Kasich, Mary Taylor, and Josh Mandel.
The group at this particular location also included Jennifer Black, twin sister of Jean Schmidt, who went on and on with arriving voters as to how wonderful Dave Yost is, and how he has put lots of criminals away. That would be nice if Yost were still running for Attorney General, Jen, but he’s not.
“Joe” figured out that yours truly is the proprietor of this humble little blog, and revealed such when there was a discussion in the group. As I left, I suggested that he avoid using the term “real Republican” in describing his candidates, thereby inferring that Morgan, O’Brien and Shoemake are not. I know ORPINO isn’t big on social conservative things, “Joe,” but there is a Commandment that has to do with telling the truth.
Related: Current reports are that turnout has been very light. My theory is that traditional Republicans might be a bit more likely to vote earlier in the day, and that Tea Party-sympathetic voters are a bit more likely to turn out in the afternoon and early evening after work. In other words, I think this is working to the advantage of Morgan and SOS candidate Sandy O’Brien.