PRESS RELEASE


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 13, 2017

RENACCI WINS FIRST CONSERVATIVE COALITION STATE TRACKING POLL WITH 61.74% OF THE VOTE

 

Akron, OH - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention, today announced the result of the first Conservative Coalition Tracking Poll which measures the current position of the four announced Republican Governor candidates among TEA Party and Liberty Group Activist, Social Conservatives, Gun Owners, Fiscal Conservatives, and Trump Democrats who formed the coalition that carried Ohio for Donald Trump in last year’s Presidential Election. The We the People Convention held a “Meet the Republican Governor Candidates” event outside of Columbus on June 24th where all four candidates were given the opportunity to address nearly 300 top activist in the state for an hour each. Mary Taylor was the only candidate that did not attend due to personal family issues. The poll results show that US Congressman Jim Renacci was the overwhelming winner among the WTPC attendees, with 61.74% of those voting saying that if the primary election were held today he would get their vote. Secretary of State Jon Husted was second with 23.48% of the vote, while Attorney General Mike DeWine receive support from 14.78% of the voters.

Commenting on the poll, Zawistowski said “I would not have predicted that Congressman Renacci would win by such a large margin, since many if not most of the attendees were meeting him for the first time. He obviously made a strong first impression. (You can see a complete video of Renacci's presentation here. The other candidates opted not to release the video of their presentation.) All three candidates made excellent presentations and the question and answer part of the program was very insightful for both the candidates and the activists as the poll results also show. I would point out that we did ask in the poll if those voting were open to changing their vote between now and the primary election in 2018 and nearly 50% said they were - with only 31% saying they would not change their vote. Most importantly, 91% of the activist said that they intended to work in their community for their candidate and 95% said that they would likely support the Republican Primary winner, even if their candidate were not the nominee, depend on who wins the primary. I think that is why the candidates felt that it was important to speak at this event because the people who attended are the people who got out the vote last year and will get out the vote again in 2018.”

Zawistowski concluded by saying, “This is a tracking poll like we did last year with so many people in the Republican Presidential Primary. We will continue to poll at least once per month until the Lieutenant Governor candidates are announced later this year. Then I would expect that we would start to see a consensus that would lead to an endorsement of one of the four. This gives the candidates time to speak to individual groups around the state to make their case and we are actively working with all the campaigns to book them with our groups in the coming months.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 29, 2017
POLL SHOWS OHIOANS - ESPECIALLY REPUBLICANS - DEMAND MEDICAID EXPANSION FREEZE
Akron, OH - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention announced the results of a statewide Ohio poll tonight concerning the Medicaid Expansion Freeze that was included in the Budget just passed on Wednesday by the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate. Contrary to polls put out by medical groups and others who benefit financially from Medicaid Expansion, the We the People Convention Poll shows that 60.6% of all Ohioans do NOT want Governor Kasich to line-item veto the Medicaid Expansion Freeze in the budget, which does not cut anyone's Medicaid benefits, but simply stops growing the program that is already $7 Billion over budget. Furthermore, the survey showed that if Governor Kasich does line-item veto the Medicaid Expansion Freeze, a plurality of all Ohioans, 51.7% to 49.3%, said that they would want the Ohio House and Ohio Senate to reconvene next week and override the Governor's veto.
Since the state is controlled by Republicans and the Budget was pass with only Republican votes, all of them from Governor Kasich, to Speaker Rosenberger and Senate President Obhof, and every Republican in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, will get a very strong message from the poll results from their Republican voters. A total of 81% of Republican voters do NOT want Governor Kasich to line-item veto the Medicaid Expansion Freeze. Then an equally strong 68.5% of Republican voters want Republicans in the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate to Override the Governor's Veto if required.
Commenting on the poll, Zawistowski said, "Ohioans understand that Governor Kasich's Medicaid Expansion is simply unsustainable. We credit the Republican members of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, and their leadership, for recognizing that someone has to stop Kasich before he bankrupts Ohio. While we in the TEA Party/Liberty movement believe that Medicaid Expansion should be ended - its not Medicaid it is welfare expansion - we were convinced that a first step of just stopping the growth of the program, without cutting anyone's benefits, was a "caring way" to take a first step as our Governor likes to say. We fully expect him to line-item veto the Medicaid Expansion Freeze because John Kasich sees no reason to ever stop giving other people's money away while pretending he cares so much about people - but never mentioning the tax payers who pay for all his misguided spending. Therefore, we also fully expect, and all Republicans should expect, all 59 House Members who voted for the budget with the Freeze in it on Wednesday, and ALL 7 members who did not vote for the budget, to join all 23 members of the Senate next Thursday, July 6th and impose some financial sanity on the Governor by overriding his veto and representing their constituents - particularly the tax payers in their districts who are paying the bill for this irresponsible and unnecessary spending."
This Ohio poll was conducted for the We the People Convention, Inc. by TRZ Communications Services, Inc. of Akron, Ohio which was the polling company that first predicted the Trump Ohio landslide victory in last year's Presidential election. This automated poll was conducted on Thursday, June 29, 2017 between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. The poll was designed to gather public opinion on the issue of Freezing Medicaid Expansion in Ohio. Calls were placed to 45,105 randomly selected voters from our data base of 4.5 million current land line phone numbers in Ohio. Of the 9,901 who answered our call, 625 respondents completed our automated poll, a 6.3% response rate. The poll has a margin of error of ± 4.0% at the 95% confidence level. Demographically 26.99% of respondents vote Democrat, 29.6% vote Republican and 43% do not affiliate with any party. The gender breakdown was 57.68% women and 42.32% men. Results were gathered from 80 of the 88 Counties in Ohio. Every age group from 24 year olds to 90 year olds were surveyed.
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PRESS RELEASE


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 


On-line Publishers, Authors File Suit to Contest Constitutionality Of Ohio Law Criminalizing Expressions Of Protected Political Speech On The Internet

 

Cleveland, Ohio -- In a federal lawsuit brought by the UCLA School of Law and an Ohio attorney, three Ohio-based Plaintiffs are challenging a recently enacted Ohio law (HB 151) that purports to criminalize constitutionally protected political and other expression on the Internet on First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds.

Raymond V. Vasvari, Jr. of Cleveland has teamed up with Eugene Volokh of the Scott & Cyan Banister First Amendment Clinic UCLA School of Law to represent Tom Zawistowski, on behalf on the The Portage County TEA Party, Inc., Joseph Mismas, on behalf of Plunderbund LLC, and John Michael Spinelli, an freelance author who reports on politics in Ohio and beyond.

The three Plaintiffs and their counsel are suing, in their official capacity, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Portage County Prosecuting Attorney Victor Vigluicci and Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien, to contest the constitutionality only of the prohibitions in HB 151 [O.R.C. § 2917.21(B)(2)], which became effective August 16, 2016.

Filed in The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division, the lawsuit does not contest the prohibition in the law on threatening expression, just that part of the law against abusing and harassing speech.

The three Plaintiffs, who routinely engage in constitutionally protected speech that may be considered provocative by some, are concerned with the following clause in HB 151 as it relates to opinions they may express online about politicians and/or elected officials: “ No person shall knowingly post a text or audio statement or an image on an internet web site or web page for the purpose of abusing, threatening or harassing another person.”

In their capacity as authors and publishers who write, or whose members write and disseminate through the Internet, articles and opinion pieces regarding politics generally and Ohio politics specifically, including articles that from time to time include invective, ridicule and strong language intended to mock, lampoon or call into question the actions, motives and public policy positions of various figures – including without limitation politicians, and the incumbents in and contenders for various public offices. Plaintiffs fear these articles and opinions put them at a credible risk of criminal prosecution under Section 2917.21(B)(2) as when they condemn, sharply criticize or mock government officials and other public figures - should police or prosecutors “believe” their posts were written with the purpose of abuse or harassment.

Having been the subject of, and/or witness to, acts of political, financial and personal retribution by politicians, political parties and elected officials simply for disagreeing with the “party line” or taking a public stand against their candidacy or policies, the Plaintiffs have no doubt that the politicians and elected officials will quickly move to abuse the subjective nature of this statute, using the force of law, to “punish” those citizens they view as enemies. Furthermore, the exemption of “media” from this statute is considered by the Plaintiffs to be an outrageous and audacious attempt to place Ohio’s citizens in a second class, a lower class, in regards to their 1st Amendment Rights to free speech and particularly free political speech - which must not be allowed to stand.

As enumerated in HB 151, a violation of the statute constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree upon a first offense, and a felony of the fifth degree upon any subsequent offense. In Ohio, misdemeanors of the first degree are punishable by a fine of up to One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and incarceration of no more than six months. Felonies of the fifth degree are punishable by incarceration of six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven or twelve months, and a fine not to exceed Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,5000.00).

If Plaintiffs succeed, their prayer is for Section 2917.21(B)(2) to be ruled unconstitutionally overbroad and in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Plaintiff Plunderbund Media L.L.C. is an Ohio corporation with its principal place of business in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, that publishes an internet web log under the name of Plunderbund that focuses on Ohio and national politics. Articles are carefully researched and factual and use humor and ridicule to make rhetorical points.

Plaintiff Portage County TEA Party is a not for profit Ohio corporation with members in Portage County, Ohio, who are political activists and commentators and frequently engage in robust online discussion of local, state and national politics.

Plaintiff John Michael Spinelli is currently an author for Plunderbund and publishes articles through the blog which, while factual and carefully researched, also use humor and ridicule to make rhetorical points. Mr. Spinelli has been a journalist and reporter for more than fifteen years and in that time has written thousands of articles about people, politics and government both in Ohio and nationwide.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 6, 2017
CONTACT: Tom Zawistowski, 330-592-1848, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Timken Defeats Borges in Dramatic Upset for Ohio Republican Chair

 

AKRON - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention, today congratulated Jane Timken for her dramatic upset victory over incumbent Matt Borges for the powerful position of Ohio Republican Party Chairperson.  The original vote was 33 for Timken and 32 for Borges with one State Central Committee member not in attendance. A total of 34 votes was required for either of the candidates to win outright. After a second vote, which again ended up 33-32 in favor of Timken, a recess was taken. Before a third vote could be taken, it was clear that Borges could not get the votes to win and a deal was made for Timken to be the new Ohio Republican Party Chairperson while Borges would step down and become "Chairman Emeritus." 

 

Zawistowski said "This is a HUGE victory for those of us in Ohio who voted for Donald Trump in November and who are sick and tired of crony and corrupt politics. Jane Timken promises to end the mafia like tactics of Kasich and Borges and restore the integrity of the Ohio Republican Party by following it's own by-laws, holding fair elections, using the Republican National Party Platform as measuring stick for anyone wanting to run as a Republican, and serving the needs of the County Republican Parties who have been mostly ignored in recent years. The bottom line is the the Ohio Republican Party will act as political party again instead of a tool to serve a few powerful elected officials. That is what American citizens want, a party that represents them and their needs and not just the needs of the rich and powerful. We wish Jane Timken all the best in her new position, but she can be assured that the Ohio TEA Party will hold her accountable for her actions going forward just as we did with Borges."

 

This was a proxy battle between Republican President-Elect Donald Trump who supported Timken and Ohio Governor John Kasich who supported Borges. With the defeat, Kasich's position in Ohio political circles is severely reduced as a lame duck Governor who has now lost control of the Ohio Republican Party.  Neither Kasich nor Borges supported Trump for President and they were accused of actually withholding ORP resources from the Trump campaign in Ohio in order to make him lose. Borges staffers even publicly embarrassed Trump Ohio Chairman Bob Paduchik weeks before the election causing Paduchik to remove Borges from having anything to do with the campaign. Paduchick has since become the Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) which further complicated the issue of Borges remaining ORP Chairman. Timken won in large part because Republican State Central Committee members could not see how the Ohio Republican Party could operate successfully going forward while being at odds not just with the Republican President but also with the Republican National Committee.

 

 

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