Friday, April 23, 2010

Austria wins Endorsement!

The following is an Endorsement by the Dayton Daily News editorial board, published at

Editorial: Austria better for Republicans in Greene, Clark
By the Dayton Daily News | Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 03:18 PM

2010 Election

It wouldn’t be an election without John Mitchel on the ballot.

The retired Air Force officer from Beavercreek has been running for something almost every two years since his first major bid for office in 1998, when he ran for governor as a Reform Party candidate.

(Remember third- party presidential candidate Ross Perot? That was his party.)

Since then, he has run, as a Republican, for the U.S. Senate, and also against former U.S. Rep. David Hobson — twice. Now this year will be his second run against Congressman Steve Austria, who represents Greene and Clark counties.

Give the guy credit for persistence.

But he’s still the neophyte that he was in 1998, when he had 20,000 copies of his school funding plan printed.

In 2004, when asked what he wanted to do in the Senate, he said:

“My first act if elected to the Senate would be to lobby the president to sign an executive order to declare the unborn innocent ‘persons,’ thus giving them the full protection of the Fifth Amendment.”

Mr. Mitchel, 62, opposes the Obama health care initiative, the Obama stimulus, the bank bailout under former President George W. Bush, and he supports the (unworkable) FairTax plan, which would eliminate the federal income tax, substituting a sales tax.

He also charges that Greene and Clark counties are steeped in cronyism that results in sweetheart deals for Republican insiders.

Congressman Austria is completing his first term in Washington. He was effectively handpicked by Rep. Hobson to replace him when he retired; Rep. Austria’s wife was on the congressman’s staff.

Previously, Rep. Austria served 10 years in the Ohio Senate.

As a freshman in the minority party, Rep. Austria could hardly be expected to make a big impact. In fact, though, he did get national attention for telling the Columbus Dispatch, in a discussion about his opposition to the Obama stimulus, that Franklin Roosevelt caused the Great Depression (which, of course, began way before the president was elected).

In talking about his job, Rep. Austria emphasizes constituent service, which, of course, does come with the position. But it is the most routine part of it.

He’s much less comfortable taking tough positions. He rarely diverges from his party, although he did vote for the administration’s Cash for Clunkers program.

He said he was persuaded by auto dealers that some of them would go out of business without this incentive.

On the other hand, Rep. Austria opposed the $787 billion stimulus program, without which unemployment would be immeasurably higher, and he is critical of the Bush bank bailout (that occurred before Mr. Austria went to Congress).

(Many economists believe that the bank and insurance failures that surely would have ensued without the Bush administration’s intervention could have pushed the country toward a Depression.)

Rep. Austria has refused to support earmarks, even though that was one way former Rep. Hobson made sure that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base got some of the improvements and commitments it needed sooner rather than later.

Rep. Austria was, for a while, reconsidering that position; then all the Republicans in the House said they wanted a moratorium.

It’ll be too bad if important advocacy for the base falls to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner and Ohio’s U.S. senators alone. That would be copping out, for political convenience.

Rep. Austria doesn’t face a serious challenge this year and is unlikely to any time soon unless he really fumbles. He’s cautious, so he’s not a disaster waiting to happen.

For the privilege of that job security, he really does need to seize the important platform he has. He has work to do to grow into an aggressive advocate for the region and for the issues he cares most about.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alan Anderson wins endorsement!!

Below is an Endorsement of Alan Anderson by the Dayton Daily News. The article was published April 12th 2010 and can be found here,

By the Dayton Daily News | Monday, April 12, 2010, 05:48 PM

Virgil Vaduva has some ideas that are beyond the fringe. As pertinent, he’s running for the wrong office.

He’s challenging Alan Anderson in the Republican primary for Greene County commissioner.

However, his complaints, he said, are not with Mr. Anderson, but with Commissioners Marilyn Reid and Rick Perales. He suggests they have a special relationship with the Dayton Development Coalition that results in their campaigns benefitting, but he can’t explain what he means.

Mr. Vaduva’s views, which he characterizes as more Libertarian than Republican, are most intense about national and state politics. He says taxes are a “violent means” of taking people’s property.

The immigrant from Romania says he has been involved with some Tea Party activists and that he helped start the Xenia Liberty Group.

Specifically, he complains that property taxes in Greene County are too high, though the county commission gets little in the way of property tax proceeds; most of that tax money goes to schools. In an interview with the Dayton Daily News, it wasn’t clear whether Mr. Vaduva understands that.

Considering the issues he’s hottest about, you’d think a legislative office or even a school board seat would fit the Cedarville resident who works in information technology better.

He also criticizes the Greene County Children’s Services Board as an example of a government agency that spends too much employing people as opposed to providing direct services. That characterization is bewildering because, of course, the bulk of that agency’s budget is going to go toward people — those who investigate abuse complaints, those who monitor children in foster care, those who screen and recruit foster parents.

Though he’s pleasant, Mr. Vaduva is the wrong person for this important job.

Mr. Anderson is completing his first four-year term. He is earnest, but unlikely to ever grow into the most knowledgeable commissioner. Nonetheless, he has carved out some interests.

For instance, he’s especially focused on the fact that much of Greene County — he says half of the county’s land mass — doesn’t have fast, reliable Internet service and is instead dependent on dial-up.

That’s horribly frustrating for those trying to work at home, for children trying to do school work and for anyone who wants to be part of the 21st century.

Whether Mr. Anderson is bringing together the right people or has found the solution isn’t clear. But he is paying attention to a vexing problem.

Mr. Anderson came into office after he knocked off Marilyn Reid in the primary four years ago. Ms. Reid had long been involved in the Greene County Republican Party and also represented the area in the legislature, though not without controversy. She has a long line of critics for her style and on substance; Mr. Anderson was seen as a more go-along-get-along kind of person.

With a term under his belt, no one would suggest he is going to be the person who leads any bold transformation of Greene County’s ways of doing business, and he isn’t politically courageous.

(Though he should have been defending the Dayton Development Coalition and what it does for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and especially for Greene County, Mr. Anderson was on the side of whacking the money the coalition gets to advocate for the region.)

Mr. Vaduva, who has never attended a county commission meeting, isn’t interested in the work of county government. Sticking with Mr. Anderson is the better choice.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jarrod Martin wins Endorsement!

The following is an article from the Dayton Daily News that appeared on the website on April 5th 2010.

Editorial: Freshman Martin best for 70th Ohio district
By the Dayton Daily News
| Monday, April 5, 2010, 03:55 AM

There are some unusual doings this year in the contest to represent voters in Beavercreek, Fairborn and Xenia in the Ohio House of Representatives in Columbus. Freshman Rep. Jarrod Martin, of the 70th District, is being challenged in the Republican primary by a candidate who shouldn’t be written off.

Xenia City Council member Bill Miller is not drawing any particular philosophical distinction between himself and the incumbent. He grants that they are the same kind of conservative.

He does complain that his opponent has not initiated legislation on the major problems of the day: jobs and the economy. But freshman members of the minority party in the House are not typically the ones who drive major legislation.

Basically what we have here is a challenger who has long wanted to be in the legislature and was disappointed to lose in a crowded primary in 2008. Mr. Miller also didn’t come in second.

Now he hopes that public anger at incumbents — plus a one-on-one contest — might be enough to pull him in, against a first-term representative who, like most first-termers, is not exactly a household name.

All that is fair enough. But voters lack any compelling reason to change horses, to put a new freshman in and start over on the learning curve that all freshmen face.

The two candidates appear to be of roughly equal ability. They had similar political backgrounds before the 2008 primary. Mr. Martin was a member of the Beavercreek City Council.

Rep. Martin wants to allow local school districts to opt out of the requirement for all-day kindergarten, though he was, in an interview with the Dayton Daily News editorial board, fuzzy about how that would work, as on the details of other subjects.

Neither candidate is brimming over with ideas for dealing with the state’s looming budget crisis, though Rep. Martin suggests looking at sentencing rules, a proposal made by other Republicans last year.

Mr. Miller insists that spending is “out of control,” but offers little to support that, in the face of repeated and steep budget cuts. He does say that $1 million in federal stimulus money is slated for signs labeling various projects as stimulus projects, which he opposes.

Mr. Miller has the support of some local elected officials. He specifically touts the support of the mayors of Beavercreek, Fairborn and Xenia.

Rep. Martin cites a good many more endorsements, which is to be expected.

That there is some support for each reflects a certain tribalism in Greene County Republican politics, a matter of little relevance to voters.

The incumbent hasn’t shown signs of playing a major role in Columbus, that he will stand out as a party leader, or as a facilitator of inventive bipartisan solutions, or as a policy expert in some area. But he is only 30 and has time to develop. He has been a diligent and earnest lawmaker.

The challenger also has not demonstrated that he would be an exceptional choice, though, he, too, would presumably be responsible about the work.

The 70th District has legitimate reason for wondering if it is represented as well as it might be. But, in the choice it faces, it would do best to stick with the young incumbent.