Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:50
For Immediate Release: Friday, March 7, 2014
Ohio Citizens PAC demands investigation
by Secretary of State of Delaware BOE "Staple Gate"
Akron, OH - Today, the Ohio Citizens PAC released a letter to Ohio Secretary of State John Husted demanding an investigation of the Delaware County Board of Elections into the removal of a candidate for Republican State Central Committee because his ballot petitions were not stapled together. In his letter, Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Citizens PAC said "I am writing to express my outrage, and to protest the actions of the Board of Elections in Delaware County, concerning the the totally unwarranted removal from the ballot of Mr. Dan Offeneer who wished to run for Republican State Central Committee. For Mr. Offeneer to be removed from the ballot because the front and back of his ballot petitions were not stapled together is outrageous on its face. If the pages needed to be stapled, then why did the clerk at the Delaware Board of Elections not staple them when they were handed to her? It is my understanding the the Board of Elections job is to HELP people get on the ballot and run for office, not go out of their way to keep them off the ballot."
Zawistowski claimed that his organization believes that the actions by the BOE may have been politically motivate. He said in his letter "That lack of common sense and common courtesy is bad enough. However, we have reason to believe the actions of the Deleware County Board of Elections are purely politically motivated and orchestrated by Steve Cuckler, Republican County Chairman and BOE Board Member based on comments Mr. Cuckler has made about “keeping TEA Party Candidates” from taking over the party."
He concluded by saying "Mr. Offeneer, with the assistance of Attorney Robert Owens, none the less asked the BOE to reconsider their previous decision based on the fact that they had ruled in a recent situation, that was exactly the same, that a Republican Candidate could be on the ballot after providing affidavits from his signees that their were in fact two sheet of paper when they signed his petitions. Attorney Owens was prepared to provide the Board with similar affidavits at the hearing Wednesday. However, the Board Refused to accept them and instead provided a statement that they had made a “mistake” when they had let the Republican establishment candidate be on the ballot previously and therefore they were not going to let the Republican TEA Party candidate on the ballot this time! This is totally unacceptable behavior."
The letter concludes by demanding a full investigation and the re-storing of Mr. Offineers name to the ballot. This is just another example of a pattern of Rebublican Party efforts to keep citizens off the ballot who are not choosen by the Party elite and efforts to demean any candidate that does manage to get ballot access. The Ohio Citizen's PAC is endorsing dozens of canidates in primary races this spring. Candidates currently supported by the Ohio Citizens PAC include:
For Ohio Senate: Corey Shankleton (SD 1), Kevin Solveson (SD 3), Julie Busby (SD 5), Kelly Kohls (SD 7), Kris Jordan (SD 19), Caleb Davenport (SD 27), Dennis Harbert (SD 29). For Ohio House: Meta Hahn (HD 19), Jim Burgess (HD 25), Tom Brinkman (HD 27), Kristina Roegner (HD 37),Scott Allegrini (HD 47), Ron Young (HD 61), John Becker (HD 65), Chris Swawicki (HD 69), Linda O'Brien (HD 76), Ron Hood (HD 78), Kyle Koehler (HD 79), Nino Vitale (HD 85), Dan Fogt (86)Richard Geyer (HD 88), Barb Cole (HD 91), Nancy McArthur (HD 99). As well as over 30 Republican State Central Committee Candidates, over 700 Republican County Central Committee Candidates, and over 100 local and county candidates.
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 April 2014 09:55
April 14, 2014
New Poll Shows Decline in Support for Same-Sex Marriage
A new independent poll of 405 registered Ohio voters confirms a decline in support for same-sex marriage in Ohio. The poll was commissioned by Citizens for Community Values Action (CCVA) and conducted during the week of March 31 - April 3.
Highlights of the poll show:
1) Only 33% of respondents are certain they would vote to allow marriage between two people of the same sex. Correspondingly, 52% of people are certain to vote to keep marriage as only between one man and one woman.
2) 55% do not think it is necessary to have another vote this year on homosexual marriage.
3) On the question, "Do you personally agree or disagree that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?" 56% agreed and 34% disagreed, with 9% don't know/no response.
4) 89% of those polled are either absolutely (66%) or very likely (23%) to vote.
"These are the kind of numbers we saw prior to the 2004 vote when Ohioans passed Issue 1, the Marriage Amendment, with nearly 62% of the vote," said Phil Burress, CCVA Chairman. "I believe this return to pre-2004 polling numbers is a direct result of the open hostility and bullying being experienced by citizens and people of faith who hold a natural or traditional view of marriage."
"Like Ohio, voters in 31 out of 34 states have voted with margins as high as 60-80% to recognize marriage as only between one man and one woman," Burress stated. "The shockingly intolerant decision by Federal Judge Timothy Black to invalidate the Ohio Constitution's Marriage Amendment and the clear will of more than 3.3 million Ohio voters is egregious. It's another example of homosexual activists using sympathetic judges and the courts as a blunt instrument to force a redefinition of marriage and family on the people of Ohio. It seems clear that when advocates of'marriage equality' cannot convince the people and win at the ballot box, they resort to the courts and judicial fiat. But it's also clear that most Ohioans still understand that natural marriage has no equal."
"We believe Judge Timothy Black's decision will be overturned - as it should be - by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit," Burress concluded.
The survey, attached here, was conducted by QEV Analytics among registered Ohio voters with at least nominal voting history
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 August 2013 19:09
Open Letter to Ohio Legislators
I write to you as an Ohioan and conservative. Because of Governor John Kasich’s relentless push to expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, you face a momentous decision in the next sixty days: do you give in to Governor Kasich and Democrats by expanding Medicaid, or do you resist the pressure and keep greater control over Ohio’s future finances? Make no mistake, given the forty-four year history noted in Figure 7 below, expanding Medicaid is akin to writing a blank check
because no one has any real idea about (1) how many new enrollees will show up and (2) how much each of those new enrollees will cost. Estimates of expansion range from Governor Kasich’s low-ball estimate of 275,000 new enrollees to the Kaiser Commission’s estimate of nearly 900,000 new enrollees.
Keep in mind, back when President Lyndon Johnson launched the Great Society and Medicaid in 1966, the federal government claimed it would cost $35.3 million in Ohio in 1967. In fact, it cost $67.4 million – nearly twice as much as promised. What began as a $1 billion national entitlement is projected to hit $900 billion by 2020. In 2012, Ohio Medicaid spending hit $17 billion—a 25,123% increase in 45 years!
In terms of future costs, Matt Salo, the Executive Director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors noted in testimony: “More people show up than you think will show up, and the people that show up are sicker than you expected.” If—and that “if” is a big one—the debt-ridden federal government keeps its commitment to fund expansion at 90 percent, the 10 percent Ohioans will have to pay is 10 percent of an unknown number. That unknown number is a blank check you will not be able to control or predict no matter what expansionists say. Please don’t fall prey to the temptation that you can cut deals for expansion—whatever “reforms” you try to get will barely impact the unknown costs associated with adding hundreds of thousands of able-bodied Ohioans to the entitlement rolls. And, no politician will kick people off the rolls should Washington break its funding promise.
Every future state tax dollar spent on Medicaid expansion is a dollar that must be taken from Ohioans and that cannot be spent on other priorities like educating our kids. As Figure 9 above shows, Americans now spend more on Medicaid than on making sure our children can compete in the 21st century. Expanding Medicaid will expand that spending differential even more and swallow other spending priorities, as well.
I know I can’t compete with the campaign funding from the Hospital Industrial Complex, the emotional appeal of liberal-progressives, the bully pulpit of Governor Kasich, and the collective lobbying by and adoration of the major newspapers to expand Medicaid. I can only appeal to your fiscal prudence and principles. I am confident you did not run for elected office so you could expand one of the largest federal entitlement programs in existence that already costs too much and gets mediocre to poor results for current recipients. I know you did not throw your hat into the arena of politics to expand one of the core components of the Great Society. I firmly believe you did not ask for the campaign contributions, votes, and volunteer efforts of Main Street Ohioans so you could begin or end your political career leaving a legacy of an expanded Medicaid program that will require ever higher levels of government spending and taxes.
Voting to expand Medicaid – when you have a chance for once to say “Enough!” to Washington – would be wholly inconsistent with the core philosophies of limited government, fiscal restraint, and good government. That is why 65 percent of Republican voters and 62 percent of independent voters in Ohio oppose Medicaid expansion (at p. 182). More specifically, Republican and independent voters oppose Medicaid for two overarching, common sense reasons: (1) Medicaid already is so riddled with waste, fraud, abuse, and bureaucracy, that expanding it would be reckless (at p. 214) and (2) the huge level of uncertainty on the future costs of expanding Medicaid renders expansion fiscally irresponsible (at p. 246).
That is also why more than twenty other states have rejected Medicaid expansion, thereby preventing half a trillion dollars in deficit spending that our kids and grandkids would have had to pay. The only Ohio voters who support expanding Medicaid are Democratic voters who will not vote for you no matter what you do (at p. 182). With your enormous fundraising advantage, the Hospital Industrial Complex won’t dare fund the Democratic House and Senate Caucuses given the realities of redistricting.
And you should ignore the threat of the Hospital Industrial Complex to put a ballot initiative to voters in 2014—a midterm election experts believe will be a referendum on ObamaCare. Between the lack of support for expansion by Republicans and independents and the month-by-month deterioration of support for ObamaCare plus the 2011 supermajority vote by Ohioans for the Healthcare Freedom Act, no amount of spending will convince a majority of Ohioans to expand a federal entitlement program that costs too much, gets weak results, and requires a blank check by Ohioans. Let them waste money trying.
So whether you are a first term legislator just starting out or a conservative caveman in your 35th year, stick with your base and the persuadable middle, your conservative principles, and your common sense knowledge that expanding Medicaid will cost more than they say and not truly help those they claim to be helping. We’ll never get the power and money out of Washington if we keep expanding its power over our lives and pocketbooks.
You have a fundamental choice to make. Make the right one.
Matt A. Mayer (Dublin, Ohio)
Mr. Mayer is the former President of the Buckeye Institute and the current President of the Opportunity Ohio www.OpportunityOhio.org
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:50
TEA PARTY LEADER REFUTES ORP ALLEGATION
OF CONNECTIONS TO DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Akron, OH - Today, the Ohio Citizens PAC issued a statement refuting the unfounded allegations by Republican Party employees and officials, concerning cooperation between the "TEA Party" supported Republican candidates running for Ohio Senate, House and Republican State Central Committee and the Democratic Party or its operatives. These allegations against the TEA Party have come to light as recent news reports are indicating that Libertarian candidate for Governor, Charlie Earl, may have had Democratic Party help to get the petition signatures required for him to be on the ballot in November.
Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Citizens PAC, said "We are disturbed by the first hand reports that we are getting that Republican Party employees and officials are telling Republican voters that the TEA Party supported Republican candidates are "Controlled by the Democrats and their goal is to destroy the Republican Party." I have sent messages to Chairman Borgess cautioning him about the ORP making false accusations to try and discredit the honorable citizens challenging Republican incumbents. Any suggestion that our efforts to provide choice to voters in the Republican Party primary are anything but honorable, are baseless and nothing more than yet another dirty political trick orchestrated by the ORP against anyone that would dare challenge them."
Zawistowski continued by saying, "I can state unequivocally that I, the Ohio Citizens PAC, and the candidates we support have had no involvement whatsoever with officials or operatives of the Democratic Party. Our goal is to restore the Ohio Republican Party to conservative Republican values, policies and principles. If Chairman Borges sees that as a threat to an organization that today, by it's own admission, has no platform, not policies, no principles and labels the National Republican Party platform as "to controversial" to vote to adopt - then so be it. The "citizen representatives" we recruited for office are not politicians, will not sell their votes to corporate interests, will always represent the best interests of the people in their district, will stay true to the Republican Party platform and will vote to adopt it. The ORP has made clear where it stands by not endorsing three of the most conservative Republican House members in John Becker, Ron Hood and Ron Maag, but continuing its self serving policy of only endorsing incumbents in all other races. We are confident that primary voters will be greatful to finally have a true conservative choice this election."
Candidates currently supported by the Ohio Citizens PAC include:
For Ohio Senate: Corey Shankleton (SD 1), Kevin Solveson (SD 3), Julie Busby (SD 5), Kelly Kohls (SD 7), Kris Jordan (SD 19), Caleb Davenport (SD 27), Dennis Harbert (SD 29). For Ohio House: Meta Hahn (HD 19), Jim Burgess (HD 25), Tom Brinkman (HD 27), Kristina Roegner (HD 37),Scott Allegrini (HD 47), Ron Young (HD 61), John Becker (HD 65), Chris Swawicki (HD 69), Linda O'Brien (HD 76), Jason Dover (HD 77), Ron Hood (HD 78), Kyle Koehler (HD 79), Nino Vitale (HD 85), Richard Geyer (HD 88), Barb Cole (HD 91), Nancy McArthur (HD 99). As well as over 30 Republican State Central Committee Candidates, over 700 Republican County Central Committee Candidates, and over 100 local and county candidates.
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:50
Governor Kasich Bypasses Will of the People
to Ram Medicaid Expansion Through Backdoor
Cleveland, Ohio, October 13th 2013
Showing complete contempt for an estimated 75% of his Republican base who oppose Medicaid Expansion, Governor Kasich is set to bypass the Legislature and force Obamacare/ Medicaid Expansion on Ohioans. A whopping 66% of Ohioans voted to reject Obamacare in 2011 with a majority against the system in all 88 counties.
Governor Kasich is set to ignore his own Legislators by requesting that the Ohio Controlling Board appropriate Obamacare funds after the Legislature refused to support his plan. By using this ruse the Governor hopes to get his hands on Obamacare dollars which effectively backdoors Obamacare into Ohio. Mediatrakers Ohio
reports that the broad coalition of groups who support Kasich's move are the usual suspects whose addiction to government hand out has resulted in the current US governments $16Trillion debt crisis.
"This arrogant action by the Governor needs swift and assertive counteraction by every prolife/ pro-family person in Ohio. Obamacare is anti-life - plain and simple. Most Right to Life groups in Ohio are unified in their opposition to this train wreck approach including major metropolitan groups such asToledo
" said Molly Smith, President of Cleveland Right to Life, one of the largest prolife groups in Ohio.
"Make no mistake, Medicaid Expansion will fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry providers" said Smith. "So while the governor is asking us to congratulate him and his administration for defunding Planned Parenthood on the one hand, he is at the same time refunding this death-selling industry through Medicaid Expansion!"
"As an organization that takes no government funding and yet successfully helps the underprivileged, we see no need to trap able-bodied working citizens into a lifestyle that grows the welfare state and helps so many lose their dignity by forcing them onto welfare just so as the Governor can get his hands on Obamacare dollars" continued Smith.
Smith pointed out that "....Planned Parenthood and Ohio hospital systems will benefit greatly from this expansion. Hospitals such as University Hospitals who provide abortionists to PreTerm and Planned Parenthood will be funded with these dollars. When we permanently remove Planned Parenthood from neighborhoods we see a huge reduction in teen pregnancy and chastity returns to our youth".
Smith quotes the findings of American Life League
in a recent analysis of Planned Parenthood's effectiveness in the Texas Panhandle counties where in 16 years Planned Parenthood facilities went from 19 to zero according to government data, and teen pregnancy was slashed by more than half.
Smith urged all prolife citizens to contact the Governor's office
to insist that he accepts the will of the people, and once and for all put to rest the ludicrous idea of expanding Medicaid in the state. She concluded with this request "Please also contact your state Representative
and ask that they demand that the Governor withdraw his request to the Ohio Controlling Board to appropriate Obamacare funds."
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 February 2014 16:55
By now most political observers have heard the major finding from the recently released CBO report on Obamacare – the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will reduce the hours worked in the U.S. economy by 1.5-2.0 percent between 2017-24 resulting in a decline in full time workers of 2.5 million by 2024. The CBO explains why,
“In CBO’s view, the ACA’s effects on labor supply will stem mainly from the following provisions, roughly in order of importance:
The subsidies for health insurance purchased through exchanges;
The expansion of eligibility for Medicaid;
The penalties on employers that decline to offer insurance; and
The new taxes imposed on labor income.” (Emphasis added.)
The President, elected Democrats, and the mainstream media are spinning furiously to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. They tell us that the disincentives in the labor market caused by the ACA are a positive development making it possible now for Americans to choose not to work. It turns out that with Obamacare, we have the opportunity to focus on our families and our passions instead of work. Congressman Keith Ellison even claims it’s hard to be an American and we deserve a break,
“You know, if you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more than an average of industrialized countries around the world. And you know, we might want to look at our work - our work-life balance and this is something that gives us a great opportunity.” (Real Clear Politics transcript of ABC’s “This Week,” Feb. 9, 2014)
Governor Kasich has a little spinning to do himself. He spent 2013 telling Ohioans that Medicaid expansion was not about the ACA, but about getting the most vulnerable “out of the shadows” and into the workforce. Speaking with Joel Riley of 610 WTVN Governor Kasich said,
“Well, the Medicaid expansion is different than Obamacare. Basically, what we wanna do is to be able to bring back $14 billion of our money, Ohio taxpayer money, to distribute to people who treat folks who are addicted, the alcohol and drug community organizations. We want to give people a chance to get rehabbed and get back to work.” (Freedomworks’ transcript of WTVN’s Kasich interview, August 26, 2013)
The CBO report, however, states the opposite – not only is Medicaid expansion about Obamacare, but it is one of the primary components of Obamacare that is bringing about a declining labor market.
There are a few other tidbits buried in the CBO report as well:
By 2018, the CBO projects that approximately 80% of those eligible for Medicaid expansion will live in states that have expanded Medicaid.
It’s only fair to ask, then, how big will the influx be in Ohio of people looking to take advantage of Governor Kasich’s largesse? And, how will these new Ohioans vote?
The CBO predicts the ACA will reduce aggregate labor compensation in the economy by about 1 percent between 2017-24. According to the CBO, this decrease in earnings will be borne primarily by lower-wage workers who are most affected by the disincentives inherent in Obamacare such as Medicaid expansion.
Governor Kasich often speaks of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion as a helping hand to those on the lower end of the income scale. Now we learn from the CBO that the effects of the ACA actually take money away from low-income workers in the form of lost wages, effectively widening the income gap.
The CBO estimates that slower economic growth over the period 2014-2023 will add another $1 trillion to the nation’s deficit. Smaller wages, salaries and corporate profits will lead to lower federal tax revenues thus increasing the deficit.
Voters were told the ACA would be a boon to the economy and bring the deficit down. The American people will bear the consequences of these false promises.
Starting in 2017, the CBO expects 24-25 million people each year will gain insurance through the ACA’s exchanges. The CBO estimates that about 80% of these new participants will receive premium subsidies.
Between 2015-24, the CBO expects enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) to increase by 12-13 million people each year.
Together, the ACA’s premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion will lead to a staggering growth in government dependency.
Between 2016-24, the CBO projects 6-7 million fewer people each year will have employer based health insurance.
The CBO’s projected decline in employer provided health insurance stands in stark contrast to President Obama’s statement on June 28, 2012 after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Obamacare ruling. President Obama said,
“First, if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance — this law will only make it more secure and more affordable.”
Between 2015-24, the CBO projects the ACA will cost taxpayers $2 trillion dollars in the form of Medicaid expansion, CHIP, premium subsidies, and tax credits. Another $517 billion is projected to be spent by the private sector on excise taxes and on penalties incurred by non compliant individuals and employers.
Despite the country’s $2.5 trillion investment in “affordable care,” the CBO projects that approximately 30 million U.S. residents will still be without health insurance in 2024.
Hmm, 30 million sounds familiar. Referring again to his June 28, 2012 remarks concerning the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling, President Obama said,
“Now, if you are one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.”
Feels like the movie, “Groundhog Day.”
The ACA is certainly not what it was cracked up to be. Ohioans were sold a bill of goods when Governor Kasich advocated for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and then rammed it through the Controlling Board.
In light of Obamacare’s disastrous roll-out, the findings in the CBO report, and Governor Kasich’s fallacious statements on the nature and the effects of Medicaid expansion, now is the time for the General Assembly to step in and roll back the Obamacare-directed Medicaid expansion that was foisted upon Ohio through questionable means. Statehouse Republicans can do so by passing a veto-proof repeal of Governor Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid.
It’s time Ohio’s elected representatives heed the ACA warning signs that come daily from Washington. Between Congressional hearings on an insecure website, the endless Executive Orders delaying portions of the bill, and a CBO report that confirms the worst, there is plenty of evidence that the ACA is harming the economy, weakening the labor market, drastically increasing government dependency, and making it more difficult for Americans to carry affordable, high quality health insurance.
It is incumbent upon Statehouse Republicans to protect Ohioans from the destructive effects of the ACA by repealing Medicaid expansion before they are voted out of office by a disgusted Republican base and the one million new Medicaid enrollees in Ohio not interested in a Republican platform.
The CBO report can be found here.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:49
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 21, 2013
Zawistowski to be Keynote Speaker at
Constitution Party of Ohio State Meeting Saturday
AKRON, OH - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, announced today that he will be the keynote luncheon speaker at the Constitution Party of Ohio State Meeting. The event will be held at the Cherry Valley Lodge, in Newark, Ohio, on Saturday, October 26th at noon. Details abouth the full two day event and how to order tickets, can be found at the Ohio Constitution Party website at www.cpofohio.org.
In making the announcement, Zawistowski said "In light of the recent events in Columubus and in Washington, DC, I think it is appropriate that I would have the opportunity to address a group of hard working, dedicted Ohioans who are trying to create an alternative to the current failed and flawed two party system. Something that national polls have recently shown Americans are hungry to see. I thank Constitution Party of Ohio Chairman, Don Schader, for whom I have a great deal of respect, for offering me this opportunity. I am looking forward to meeting their officers and members, and those who are considering joining them, at Saturday's luncheon."
Zawistowski's comments reflect a recent Gallop poll which indicated 60% of all Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. This includes 52% of Repubulicans and 49% of Democrats. That is the highest number Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of only 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.
The mission of the We the People Convention shall be: to recruit, educate, and motivate Ohio citizens at the grassroots level to perform their constitutionally defined role in the governance of their townships, municipalities, counties, as well as in our state and nation, by providing opportunities, knowledge, and training to ensure limited constitutional governance.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 January 2014 13:45
Ruling opens path for Libertarian challenger to Kasich
By Joe Vardon, Columbus Dispatch
A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against a Republican-backed bill that would have made it harder for minor-party candidates to make the ballot, meaning Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl is more likely to face GOP Gov. John Kasich and a Democratic challenger in November.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson in Columbus ruled in favor of the Libertarian Party and Earl, who along with two others filed suit in November to block Senate Bill 193, dubbed by critics as the John Kasich Re-election Protection Act. The bill, which Kasich signed hours after it was passed by GOP lawmakers, would have blocked minor parties from holding a primary election this year, changed the rules for gathering signatures, and significantly increased the number of signatures required for minor parties to be recognized in 2014 - thus making it more difficult for Earl to qualify.
With the judge's ruling, Earl would only need to file 500 signatures by Feb. 5 to qualify for the May 6 primary; he would likely then proceed to the general election. Some pundits, Democrats, and conservatives have argued the presence of Earl on the Nov. 4 ballot could siphon votes away from Kasich, who will likely also be facing Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald.
"It was intentional and it was ludicrous and the court saw through it," Earl said in a phone interview with The Dispatch .
Central to the Libertarians' filing and Watson's ruling was the issue of retroactivity. The bill would have gone into effect on Feb. 5 — the filing deadline for all Ohio primaries this year. Watson that signature gathering for the upcoming elections was under way without a law in effect governing minor parties' access, so implementing new guidelines on Feb. 5 would be a violation of their constitutional rights.
It is believed that under Watson's ruling, the law would go into effect in January of 2015.
"The Ohio legislature moved the proverbial goalpost in the midst of the game," Watson wrote.
The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, said I "continue to be amazed that the federal judiciary continues to intervene in every piece of election law we pass and wonder when it will ever end.
"They have argued themselves into a trap," said Seitz, of Libertarians. "All they have done is postponed the day of reckoning."
In 2015, the signature requirement for minority party ballot would be equal to 1 percent of the vote in the prior presidential or governor's race, Seitz said. To remain recognized for four years, a minor party must get at least 3 percent of the vote. The thresholds would have been lower for both in 2014 had the law stood this year.
A spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, who was ordered by Watson to grant some minor parties automatic ballot access (consistent with Husted's own directive from last year), said it was not immediately known if Husted would fight the ruling.
"From a political standpoint, we were always prepared to have multiple parties on the ballot, so from that perspective this ruling doesn't really matter," said Ohio Republican spokesman Chris Schrimpf, de facto spokesman for Kasich's campaign.
Schrimpf also questioned the impact Earl would have on Kasich's vote total, given Earl's support of gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana. Libertarians commonly share more liberal views on social issues, but the suggestion that Earl's presence on the ballot could cause problems for Kasich stems from a perceived anger toward the governor from tea party-conservatives.
Watson, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004, was chief counsel to GOP Gov. George V. Voinovich in the mid-1990s.
Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 08:58
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Ohio Political Establishment Facing
Unprecedented Challenges from Conservatives in Primaries
Akron, OH: The Ohio Citizens PAC announced today that a coalition of TEA Party, pro-life and pro-marriage advocates, home schoolers and other conservative groups worked together to place an unprecedented number of challenges to incumbents on the ballot during Wednesday and Thurday's filing deadline. Highlighting this effort are primary challenges to seven of the eight Ohio Republican Senators, challenges to Republican Congressman John Boehner and Dave Joyce, dozens of challenges to both Republican and Democrat incumbents in the Ohio House, plus over 20 challenges to incumbents on the Republican State Central Committee, hundreds of conservatives filing for county central committee seats in both the Democratic and Republican parties and a yet to be counted number running in local races against incumbents.
Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Citizens PAC, said "The past two days conservatives once again demostrated to the political establishment that, despite their wishful thinking to the contrary, our movement is in fact growing in size and strength and is willing and able to challenge them in unprecedented ways. We understand that we will never get the governance we seek until the people voting on policy are there to represent the people and not special interest. The two establishment parties have hijacked not only our government but also our political process. Through bribes, intimidation and suspect legal tactics they work to make sure that the only choice citizens have on the ballot is to choose between the candidates the elites choose for us - which is no choice at all. By recruiting common citizens to run for office, and by other citizens committing to work to elect and hold accountable those elected to serve, we seek to resort our representative form of government. That is why today in Ohio you are seeing all of these challenges to incumbents. Citizens are simply sick and tired of being lied to and taken advantage of and they are willing to do something about it."
Zawistowski went on to say that "While we are fully aware that our candidates will be out-spent by millions of dollars, we intend to compete accross the board and expect to win important seats at all levels. The political establishment may have a lot of money, but they are going to have to spread it very thin to cover all the challenges they face, and their money can not buy anything approaching our ground game. This is a win-win for Ohio citizens and a lose-lose for the political establishment and their union and crony capitalist backers. Voters just need to decide one thing, do they want to vote for an elitist incumbent who has already been bought by those controlling the party or do they want to vote for a citizen like themselves who can not be bought and will always represent them? Thomas Paine said "All that is required for good governance is common sense." I would add integrity as well. Those are the kind of poeple we have recruited to run for office and I am extremely proud of them anx everyone who helped put this effort together."
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 February 2014 14:57
Lawsuit settlement may clean up Ohio's elections
By Darrel Rowland The Columbus Dispatch • Monday January 13, 2014 5:02 PM
Ohio’s effort to clean up its voter rolls led to the first of-its-kind federal lawsuit settlement today, amove one of the groups suing called “historic.” “It’s good (for Ohioans) because there is added assurance that their elections are going to be cleaner,” said Tom Litton, president of Judicial Watch. “There are nationwide problems on this issue...To Ohio’s credit they took notice and acted.”
Matthew McClellan, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, said, “Today's settlement simply formalizes current practice. Secretary Husted takes the accuracy of the voter rolls very seriously, as is evident by the work we have already done.”
Judicial Watch and True the Vote sued in U.S. District Court for southern Ohio in August 2012, contending that Husted was not following a provision of the National Voter Registration Act (often dubbed the “Motor Voter” law) requiring updates of voter rolls.
Under the terms of today’s settlement, which goes through November 2018, the state agrees “to take or continue to take” nine actions:
To participate in the State and Territorial Exchange of Vital Events (STEVE) to obtain out-of-state death information.
To participate in the Interstate Voter Registration Cross-Check program administered by the Kansas secretary of state to identify registered voters who have moved out-of-state.
To use Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles data to identify registered voters who move within Ohio, with frequent updates being sent to local officials.
To use an online voter registration change of address website to encourage voters to keep their registration information current. (This requires legislative approval.)
To conduct a special, monthly, duplicate registration elimination program, within defined technical thresholds, for all Ohio county boards of election voter lists.
To keep online, and available for public access, a current voter registration list.
To require the county boards of election to send accurate survey information to the secretary of state’s office, to be compiled and forwarded to the federal Election Assistance Commission for “ motor voter” surveys.
To use reasonable efforts to promote the expanded use by recent college graduates of Ohio’s online voter registration change of address system, including education to remind college graduates to keep their voter registration addresses and information current and to request necessary updates; and to endeavor to coordinate these activities in conjunction with Ohio’s colleges and universities.
To direct boards of election to send confirmation notices annually to voters who may be inactive; and to query boards of election on a regular basis as to whether this direction is being followed.
Although the groups that filed the suit have sometimes been accused of encouraging voter suppression, Litton said the actions should lead to higher voter participation.
“Every eligible voter ought to be able to vote one time in an election,” he said. “If people on the rolls are dead, or they’ve moved away, people’s confidence in the administration of elections is undermined.”
True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a release:“This settlement demonstrates the positive impact citizens can have when they demand better accuracy in voting records. Every person fundamentally understands the problems that come with bloated voter rolls and inefficient maintenance processes. This settlement – under Secretary Jon Husted’s leadership – will bring Ohio much closer to being on the cutting edge of smart voting policy that holds records and officials accountable."