GOP Declares War on the Tea Party Movement
In a short amount of time, I have been thrilled to witness the Ohio Liberty Council mature into an organization which focuses like a laser on where it can be most effective: Pushing the Republican Party to the right.
Below is a very good open op ed by Chris Littleton, President of the Ohio Liberty Council, about how far the Ohio GOP has gone in annoying the Tea Party movement.
In recent weeks the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) begged primary votes for candidates of their choosing, sending postcards and mailers which contain a logo of, “Support Tea Party Values.” This new logo was used for Jon Husted (GOP endorsed Secretary of State candidate) and others. What’s wrong with this? Nothing, except leaders in the Tea Party movement, like myself, would hardly consider him or the Ohio Republican Party supportive of “Tea Party Values.”
The ORP also paid for direct mail in State Central Committee races (basically races for 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 to incumbents only since the ORP only funded candidates not associated with an actual Tea Party group. Yes, they are only funding candidates who will protect them, not Tea Party people.
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 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, and at what cost to others?
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, 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.
Over the last 20 years (mostly GOP controlled), they insured that Ohio become 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 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 – two new complaints have been filed as well.
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, Republican Party, 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.
President, Ohio Liberty Council