Sep 15

Huber Heights Liberty Group Meeting September 20: “Developing a Family Emergency Communications Plan”

emergency-informationSeptember is National Emergency Preparedness Month. If an emergency/disaster occurred, and your family were in different locations, how would you get in touch with your loved ones if the phone lines were overloaded or down? How could you …

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Sep 14

Ohio, online schools battle over documenting attendance

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow finds itself at the center of a dispute regarding online charter school attendance, but the Columbus Dispatch reports the group’s situation is hardly unique.

ECOT stands to lose at least $80 million in funding if it is unsuccessful in its fight against the use of log-in durations as a measure of “learning opportunities,” even though schools were not made aware of the Ohio Department of Education’s new login standards until midway through the last school year.

“These review letters make clear that there is no way for e-schools to meet the retroactive demands of a department that is set to destroy school choices for Ohio families,” said ECOT lobbyist Neil Clark. “It is impossible for schools to comply with the arbitrary demands of (the department) after a school year had already passed. This is proof that (the department) is simply out of control.”

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Sep 11

Hillary Clinton has Apparent Health Issue, Forced to Leave 9/11 Memorial Service Early

hillary-clintonMany people have been questioning the state of Hillary Clinton’s health based on her history of concussion, falls, blood clots in her leg and head, and sometimes needing help on stairs. Another incident occurred today, as she was forced …

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Sep 11

Hillary Clinton Calls Millions of Americans “Deplorables”

Standing with TrumpAt a fundraiser in New York Friday night, Hillary Clinton made a comment that many consider very insulting to millions of Americans. “You know to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I …

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Sep 04

Donald Trump Addresses Enthusiastic Crowd in Wilmington, Ohio

Trump in WilmingtonDonald Trump gave a powerful, well received speech at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington last Thursday, September 1. The crowd was large and enthusiastic. Mr. Trump offered a number of solutions to the nation’s problems, including the following:…

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Sep 04

MVCI Meeting Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 7-8:30 PM

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It is not difficult to see that our nation is being divided along many lines including the ongoing debate of Capitalism vs. Socialism. Many college students leave University convinced that socialism is the preferred form of government. Capitalism …

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Sep 01

Donald Trump Gives Powerful Address on Immigration Policy

trump_thumbs_up_low_res__previewIn a major speech in Arizona this Wednesday, August 31, Donald Trump gave a powerful argument for his ten point plan to address the illegal immigration nightmare in our country. Together with him on the stage were a number

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Aug 31

MVCI Meeting Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 7-8:30 PM

MVCI logo

It is not difficult to see that our nation is being divided along many lines including the ongoing debate of Capitalism vs. Socialism. Many college students leave University convinced that socialism is the preferred form of government. Capitalism …

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Aug 30

Donald Trump Event Coming to Wilmington this Thursday at Noon

Standing with TrumpMost TEA Party members and conservatives are supporting Donald J. Trump to be the next President of the United States. Therefore, we would like everyone to be aware of the campaign rally to be held this Thursday at noon …

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Aug 28

Donald Trump Offers Common-Sense Solutions to Massive Illegal Immigration

TrumpYoungstown August 2016Donald Trump in a strong speech on Saturday, August 27, presented good common-sense solutions to the outrageous illegal immigration situation in the US, including “On Day One, I am going to begin swiftly removing criminal illegal immigrants from

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Aug 26

Bill Bennett calls a Trump Victory Critical to the Future of the Supreme Court and Nation

Bennett imageMany conservatives are strongly supporting Donald Trump for President for a number of reasons, including the economy, the continuing massive illegal immigration, and the crisis with ISIS which has arisen under polices of President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

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Aug 24

Donald Trump Speaks Boldly on Today’s African-American Advancement Issues

trump_thumbs_up_low_res__previewMany conservatives are giving much credit to Presidential candidate Donald Trump for addressing the core issues which concern many African-Americans in a recent speech, pointing out how Democratic policies have brought misery, poverty, and despair to African-Americans and many

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Aug 24

New Evidence of Corruption in Hillary Clinton State Department

Mike_Pence,_official_portrait,_112th_CongressAfter the latest revelations from previously hidden emails involving Hillary Clinton, many are calling for an independent investigation of links between foreign and corporate donors to the Clinton Foundation and the actions of the Hillary Clinton State Department. Vice

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Aug 24

What crime victims think about criminal justice reform

Policy wonks and policymakers have a lot of opinions on criminal justice reform. And as Ohio pursues changes to its criminal code, both should listen to an important group of stakeholders not often heard: the victims of crime.

Intuitively, one might think that crime victims would want courts to lock up perpetrators and throw away the keys. In the minds of many, incarceration deters criminals from reoffending. However, a new study flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

A new, first-of-its-kind national survey by the Alliance for Safety and Justice unveiled surprising results regarding the views of crime victims on incarceration.

For example, 61 percent of crime victims prefer shorter prison sentences and want policymakers to focus on shifting resources away from incarceration toward prevention programs and rehabilitation.

Indeed, criminals with a history of addiction do not get sufficient rehabilitation services while incarcerated, making them more likely to recidivate. Focusing on rehabilitation and prevention programs will increase the safety of neighborhoods and reduce recidivism rates.

Perhaps more surprising, those who have fallen victim to a crime are four times more likely to be victims again at some point in their lives. That means those who are most likely to be crime victims would prefer society treat the underlying problem rather than lock people up and forget about them.

Victims know that offenders will one day reenter their communities and, without treatment and rehabilitation, the problems they bring won’t go away. In fact, according to the Alliance’s survey, 52 percent of victims of violent crimes believe prison makes offenders more likely to commit crime.

Crime victims don’t want revenge—they want safer communities.

Ohioans recognize that criminal justice reform is necessary to promote safety in our communities. That is why the Ohio Justice Recodification Committee was established: to spearhead criminal justice reform. The committee will make its recommendations for changes to Ohio law this fall.

Until then, members—and, in fact, all Ohioans—should read the Alliance’s survey to see where crime victims stand on public safety issues. Just like criminal justice reforms’ effects, their opinions are encouragingly surprising.

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Aug 20

Donald Trump Visits Flood-Devastated Louisiana

Standing with TrumpPresidential candidate Donald Trump, along with running mate Mike Pence, visited communities in Louisiana Friday that have been devastated by flood waters. He made a sincere effort to console the suffering and do what he could to help, …

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Aug 19

Conservative Leader Rep. Jim Jordan Strongly Endorses Donald Trump

Congressman Jim JordanOhio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the most respected conservative Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, called for Republicans to get strongly behind the campaign of Donald Trump for President to reverse the declines in the pocketbooks

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Aug 18

10 things the National Education Association supports that have nothing to do with education

The NEA doesn’t stand for Nuclear Education Association. And yet, supporting a nuclear freeze is one of many issues backed by the national union that has nothing to do with the betterment of teachers professionally. Its members should have the freedom to choose otherwise.

Some issues supported by the National Education Association (NEA) undoubtedly will receive different reactions from union members. Moreover, these issues often have little to nothing to do with education itself. Below are 10 resolutions passed by the NEA, the national affiliate for the Ohio Education Association, that should raise more than a few eyebrows:

  1. urging all nations to work toward disarmament (see page 84),
  2. urging participation by the United States in deliberations before the International Court of Justice, (see page 85),
  3. supporting the nuclear freeze (see page 85),
  4. opining on covert and counterintelligence operations (see page 85),
  5. promoting statehood for Washington, D.C. (see page 84),
  6. opposing efforts to legislate English as the official language (see page 95),
  7. supporting efforts to abate climate change (see page 86),
  8. supporting “reproductive freedom” (see page 88),
  9. supporting the mandated use of helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists (see page 92), and
  10. urging that no current government employee should be displaced due to efforts that shift people off welfare and toward work (see page 92).

People can have reasonable disagreements about the above-mentioned list. And certainly there will be teacher union members that fall on both sides of those policies. But should all union members really be compelled to support their organization’s stance on those issues, even if they have a deeply felt objection?

That is what National Employee Freedom Week, taking place this August 14-20, is all about. Giving all union members a choice about whether or not to support those causes through their own money irrespective of their own views—on nuclear policy or any other hot-button issue.

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Aug 17

Donald Trump Gives Strong Speech in Wisconsin August 16, 2016

trump_thumbs_up_low_res__previewDonald Trump gave a powerful speech in Wisconsin yesterday, August 16! He made a strong case for the need for law and order, especially to benefit the minority community. And he argued persuasively that the terrible state of …

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Aug 16

Cleveland Teachers Union calls for strike

The Cleveland Teachers Union has voted to go on strike beginning Sept. 1.  Schools opened Monday. “It is unfortunate that after 11 months of negotiating that we do not have a [contract],” Teachers Union President David J. Quolke said in a news release.

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Aug 16

Donald Trump gives Strong Speech on Foreign Policy, Fighting ISIS

TrumpYoungstown August 2016Presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a major foreign policy speech on Monday August 15 in Youngstown, Ohio. A number of powerful points were made by Mr. Trump, including many which are largely ignored by the liberal media as they

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Aug 16

What National Employee Freedom Week means for Ohio workers

Should people be forced, against their will, to reach into their own pockets and give money to a cause with which they disagree? This is a question that thousands of union members in Ohio are confronted with every year. And their ability to make this decision is severely restricted.

That is why The Buckeye Institute is again partnering with the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) and more than 100 other groups in 42 states to raise awareness for National Employee Freedom Week, which runs August 14-20.

The goal of National Employee Freedom Week is to inform union members of their legal rights concerning membership as well as how their member funds are being used for purposes other than collective bargaining.

Of course, many union members are pleased with their representation, and that’s fine. However, there are also many who feel compelled to pay dues to an organization that spends their hard-earned dollars on issues with no connection to their union’s stated purpose of collectively bargaining on behalf of its members.

In Ohio, union members can block their money from being used for political activities by becoming what is referred to as an “agency fee payer.” This means that they are paying only for the direct representation offered by the union in collective bargaining. To learn more about this option, click here. One can also become a “religious or conscientious objector” where the dues are deducted but made payable to a charity.

Despite these options, there is only one way that current and prospective union members can assure themselves of complete employee freedom, and this is for Ohio to become a right-to-work state.

The Buckeye Institute has published numerous reports showcasing the economic benefits Ohio can reap from becoming a right-to-work state, including our 2012 report, Ohio Right-to-Work: How the Economic Freedom of Workers Enhances Prosperity.

However, this issue is about more than economics: No one should be forced to pay to join an association against their free will. This is the message of National Employee Freedom Week, and it is a message The Buckeye Institute has spoken in the past and will continue to give a voice to in the future.

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Aug 14

American Family Association Urges Boycott of Target Stores – Update

AFA Boycott Target imageThe American Family Association continues to call for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women’s restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores, if they say they are a woman …

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Aug 12

Occupational licensing restrictions getting federal attention

Cumbersome barriers and bureaucracy associated with occupational licensing are now being scrutinized at the federal level.

The recent introduction of The Alternatives to Licensing that Lower Obstacles to Work (ALLOW Act) by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (UT) would relieve the barriers many low-income Americans face when trying to secure a job. The measure starts small—affecting just military spouses, District of Columbia workers, and tour guides in certain national parks—but would start a much-needed conversation in Congress and state legislatures about licensing requirements in many professions.

Legal obstacles to employment hinder one of the most important qualities of the American economic system—the equality of opportunity. Alarmingly, the number of Americans participating in the labor force is nearing its lowest point since 1977. Because licensing requirements can deter people from pursuing a career or moving forward in their job, states are looking to reform such laws.

Ohio has been ahead of the curve in addressing occupational licensing. The Buckeye Institute’s Tom Lampman recognized the growing burden of occupational licensing laws well before the introduction of Sen. Lee’s proposal.

Sen. Lee’s measure enables Congress to exercise its jurisdiction in the District and on military bases to design several models for licensing reform. State governments can follow these models immediately.

The ALLOW Act also limits the creation of occupational license requirements in Washington, D.C. and promotes less restrictive requirements, like public and private certification. Certifications are favorable because they permit people to demonstrate their qualifications without spending excessive amounts of money on education and experience to qualify for a specific license.

In addition, the ALLOW Act creates a new office of supervision in Washington, D.C. for licensed occupations. That office will ensure minimal and reasonable occupational standards among the District’s licensing boards, which sometimes set ambiguous standards. That problem can be remedied with an office that promotes reasonable occupational benchmarks.

Workforce mobility and labor market efficiency will increase as a result of those changes. Occupational license entry requirements will be more unified since individuals will be certified for specific credentials. Public certification issued in any state on military bases for military spouses will also unify requirements.

Buckeye’s Lampman, too, favored voluntary certification because it “keeps the market open and competitive. Workers can choose whether to invest in the certification process and customers can choose whether certified workers are worth a higher price.”

License requirements vary from state to state, and workers are negatively affected by those differing requirements. The uniformity created in Sen. Lee’s proposal enables more workers to enter the economy and thus encourages greater competition, which leads to lower prices, new products, and more options for customers.

Reconsidering the approach to occupational licensing laws will permit the restoration of economic opportunity, and it will ALLOW – pun intended – more people to earn a living without having to conquer unnecessary obstacles to be considered “qualified” for an occupation.

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Aug 11

Powerful Economic Speech Made by Donald Trump


trump_thumbs_up_low_res__previewDonald Trump presented a powerful speech last Monday outlining his economic plan to make America grow again. The speech was well received and packed with ideas that may bring about major new economic growth. The current recovery has …

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Aug 11

Taxpayers wronged by Wright State

The Buckeye Institute believes in accountable government. That includes spending tax dollars on their specified purpose. Along those lines, recent actions – or inactions for that matter – by Wright State are wrong.

As described in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Wright State received $220,000 from state taxpayers to prepare security for the first presidential debate later this fall. Last month, however, Wright State canceled the event for a number of reasons, including needed security upgrades and their accompanied cost.

Of course, there is nothing wrong about that decision if university officials believed they really could not afford to host the debate. In fact, it was a good decision not to ask taxpayers for more money as a bailout.

So then Wright State returned the $220,000 to the state, right? Wrong.

Despite the university saying the money was spent on infrastructure that will benefit students, the money was earmarked specifically for the presidential debate, which is no longer taking place. Therefore, it makes little sense for them to hold on to the money for something they did not do.

Just consider if a contractor was paid to do a job that he or she subsequently backed out of for any number of reasons. Assuming the two parties didn’t build in a specific contractual arrangement for the contractor to keep the money, he or she would have to give it back. The same basic principle should apply to Wright State.

If Wright State needs money for other, non-debate expenses, it can ask for it and justify it on the merits of what those other expenses might be. (Important note: The Buckeye Institute is not a fan of earmarks in general. For more on this issue, see our pork report from earlier this year.)

But even if the state of Ohio isn’t asking for the money back, the university should return it anyway. To respect taxpayers and normal contractual agreements, that would be the Wright thing to do.

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Aug 09

GCTP Meeting August 23, 2016: “Socialism versus Capitalism”


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Special speaker: Bert Wheeler, PhD, Cedarville University Professor of Economics
Featuring video by D. James Kennedy Ministries
When: Tuesday August 23, 2016 6:30pm Where: Xenia Community Center, 1219 W. Second St, Xenia Ohio
Open and …

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Aug 09

Dr. James Dobson Strongly Endorses Donald Trump

james-dobson-2Renowned Christian leader Dr. James Dobson has announced his strong endorsement of Donald Trump for President. Dr. Dobson stated “I have decided to endorse Donald J. Trump for President of the United States, not only because of my great …

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Aug 01

Let customers choose their energy provider, not government

When renewable energy is fully ready for primetime, it should not be artificially kept off the electrical grid just to prop up older technology. However, neither should it be forced on the grid to displace more reliable, cost-effective technology.

The problems with government intervention in support of favored energy resources are becoming obvious in Europe, as documented recently by the The New York Times:

Germany, Europe’s champion for renewable energy, seems to be having second thoughts about its ambitious push to ramp up its use of renewable fuels for power generation.

Hoping to slow the burst of new renewable energy on its grid, the country eliminated an open-ended subsidy for solar and wind power and put a ceiling on additional renewable capacity.

Germany may also drop a timetable to end coal-fired generation, which still accounts for over 40 percent of its electricity, according to a report leaked from the country’s environment ministry. Instead, the government will pay billions to keep coal generators in reserve, to provide emergency power at times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

Renewables have hit a snag beyond Germany, too. Renewable sources are producing temporary power gluts from Australia to California, driving out other energy sources that are still necessary to maintain a stable supply of power.

Ohio has a similar renewable energy standard. In light of such reports from Europe and even the United States, Ohio’s mandate deserves serious scrutiny. For more on this issue check out our own Joe Nichols’ report and my testimony to Ohio’s Energy Mandates Study Committee last year.

Of course, renewable energy does have a future in Ohio’s energy mix. If and when storage becomes cost effective, renewables may even fully displace fossil fuels and nuclear power. But that day is not today.

The two main sources of renewable energy, wind and solar, are intermittent. That is, they don’t always produce electricity. Further, excess energy produced at non-peak demand can’t be stored cost effectively for use at a time when demand is most needed. In turn, the storage of renewables displaces resources that provide more stable energy, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

This means consumers take it on the chin twice: the first time with the cost of subsidies to renewables and the second for subsidizing other sources to stay online.

Ohio’s electrical grid should be reserved first and foremost for energy resources that provide the most reliable, cost-effective service to consumers. If that’s coal today and wind tomorrow, fine. But our free economic environment should decide—not government.

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Jul 29

Buckeye to U.S. Supreme Court: Why are Europe’s skies freer than America’s skies?

COLUMBUS — Pilots have more freedom to “Uber up in the air” in Europe than they do in America because of a 2015 order by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Today, The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center urged the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse the FAA’s backward interpretation of the law and unleash the potential of the sharing economy.

For decades, the FAA’s “Expense-Sharing Rule” allowed private airplane pilots to post their flight plans on bulletin boards, enabling passengers to join their flights by sharing fuel costs. When Flytenow, Inc. put that practice online, the FAA deemed it illegal, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld by deferring to the agency. Buckeye’s legal brief challenges that ruling.

“Being home to the Wright brothers, we’re proud to represent Ohio at the U.S. Supreme Court and bring American flight into the 21st century,” Robert Alt, president and CEO of The Buckeye Institute, said. “If Europeans can have ‘Uber up in the air’ so, too, should Americans benefit from such cost-sharing services.”

In Flytenow, Inc. v. Federal Aviation Administration, The Buckeye Institute’s brief argues that the FAA’s order is arbitrary, antiquated, and inconsistent with its longstanding “Expense-Sharing Rule” for non-commercial flights.

“Why should pilots be able to speak on index cards but not on the internet?” Alt asked. “The only place this kind of rule makes sense is in a federal agency.”

Flytenow, Inc. has discontinued its operations since the Court of Appeals’ ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to take the case after it reconvenes in October.

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Jul 29

Political hangover: Conventions are over, bill goes to taxpayers

PHILADELPHIA – The major parties’ political pep rallies may be over, but the costs live on for American taxpayers.

While the 113th Congress in 2014 eliminated the 40-year-old Presidential Election Campaign Fund – and the $18-plus million that went to each party committee for its convention, the 114th Congress passed a law giving a combined $100 million – $50 million to each committee – to cover security costs.

Undisclosed is the money the Secret Service spends to protect the nominees and their families and President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and the first and second ladies.

Photo by

ON GUARD: An army of police provided tight security in and around the Wells Fargo Center at this week’s Democratic convention. Here, police move media and others through a security checkpoint with metal detectors.

Several blocks surrounding the Wells Fargo Center, site of this week’s Democratic National Convention, looked like a militarized zone. Black metal fencing lined the sidewalks and streets, with some law enforcement in battle armor, some patrolling in Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles, thousands more securing the area. A similar situation prevailed in Cleveland last week.

Taxpayers from the host cities and counties of the Republican and Democratic Party conventions paid millions of dollars preparing for and putting on the partisan shows.

RELATED: Sanders’ supporters ‘Fart-In’ may be all hot air, but delegates won’t be silenced has estimated the total cost of the Democratic convention at $85 million, with much of that price tag going to cover the hefty costs of equipment, lighting, food and the hundreds of employees needed to make it all happen. Labor costs, of course, could be higher if the organizing Democrats would have supplemented the hourly wages up to the $15 or more they have called for in their “most progressive platform ever.”

The GOP’s Cleveland Host Committee set a goal of raising $64 million to pay for the Republican Party convention, according to Yahoo Finance.

The parties’ committees raise millions of dollars to help pay for the conventions, bolstered by expanded federal contribution limits for individual and political action committees.

The Cleveland and Philadelphia metropolitan areas project hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact, a pretty decent return on investment. But taxpayers from most everywhere else in the country are left paying much of the bill for these partisan parties.

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Jul 27

“Hillary’s America” is a Must-See Movie!

Hillarys america-web-resA special message from Greene County TEA Party President Dennis Crouch:

My wife and I just returned from seeing “Hillary’s America” on the big screen. An excellent, wonderfully produced and directed movie about history, a history that starts much …

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Jul 27

Free flow of information undercuts need for many regulations

A recent story articulates exactly why we need less, not more, government regulation.

In particular, the author notes how taxicab regulations once made sense when consumers did not have adequate information about the quality and safety of prospective drivers. In today’s “Uberized” world, however, where information is available at the tips of your fingers, the need for this kind of government paternalism is far less. In many cases, it’s non-existent.

As the author wrote:

Common models for taxi regulation can be traced back to the 1930s. During that time, regulations were promoted to combat what economists refer to as “asymmetric information” problems. These arose from passengers’ relative inability to know about the quality of various for-hire vehicle drivers. Additionally, passengers could not easily compare the costs of for-hire transportation options since taxis were usually found by waiting on the side of a road. These limitations led to regulations such as driver licensing requirements (an attempt to ensure universal quality) and common prices (so that consumers knew what they would end up paying).

While stringent taxi regulation may have made some sense in an earlier era, its justification does not apply to today’s ridesharing market.

Ridesharing services, similar to other sharing-economy companies, use dual-feedback systems. These features, which allow riders and drivers to publicly rate each other after trips, give passengers the ability to vet potential drivers. Ridesharing companies also have the option to cut ties with drivers who do not meet certain customer-service standards. Since ridesharing prices are advertised ahead of time before a ride is prearranged (with leading firms even offering fare estimates), set price regulations no longer make sense.

To create more jobs and more opportunity, we need to move away from 20th-century regulatory frameworks. This applies not only to taxis versus Uber and Lyft, but across the board—in Ohio and other states.

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Jul 22

Hillary’s America Opens in Theaters

Hillarys america-web-resIf you have any doubts about the importance of the election this November, or if you have friends or family who believe elections don’t matter, the new movie Hillary’s America could open your eyes concerning what is really at …

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Jul 20

RNC: Protesters keep protesting, GOP yells back

Photo by Heather Kays

Several groups showed up to protest at the 2016 Republican National Convention held in Cleveland this week.

CLEVELAND — It’s a scene so chaotic that at some points it’s difficult to guess which person is protesting what cause.

Some are more obvious: many protesters from better-known groups such as Black Lives Matter and Code Pink are peacefully assembling outside the perimeter of the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Others hold signs emblazoned with sayings like, “The Pope is an Anarchist” and “Free Hugs.”

A man dressed in casual clothing screamed “liar” at an MSNBC anchor during a live broadcast. When asked by why he was so angry, he exclaimed, “Don’t you know that MSNBC lies to you?”

Actor and rapper Nick Cannon led a Black Lives Matter protest outside the convention Monday. He said black people feel unsafe and disrespected living in their own communities because of the way police monitor their neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, the day Donald Trump received the nod as the GOP nominee for president, Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans repeatedly attempted to hold up a sign that read “No Racism. No Hatred.” Several people attempted to rip the sign from her hands and to cover her face and the sign with American flags during a Ben Carson speech.

See the C-SPAN video here.

Photo by Heather Kays

Chelsea Byers, 26, of Los Angeles protested on behalf of Code Pink on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.

Chelsea Byers, 26, of Los Angeles, went shirtless, but definitely not braless, on Tuesday with several extra bras draped from her arm. She carried a pink sign shaped like a woman’s silhouette that read “BUST UP THE MILITARY BUDGET.”

Byers protested Tuesday on behalf of Code Pink, a group that aims to end war and U.S. militarization, and said she didn’t want to miss this historic event.

Byers says she is not a Trump supporter because his demeanor makes her nervous about how he will handle foreign and domestic policy.

“He’s espoused a hateful rhetoric, which will lead to violence,” said Byers, who has been protesting with Code Pink for five years. About 20 members of the group took shifts marching in different locations near Quicken Loans Arena.

“We have more money in the U.S. military than we’ve ever spent before, but what we do know is education spending keeps getting cut, public health is less of a concern,” said Byers. “It’s a matter of resources. We are setting our national priorities.”

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Jul 13

Study: Ohio vouchers study shows need for more study

Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarhip Program has provided vouchers to nearly 20,000 students in Ohio who would otherwise attend low-performing schools. A new study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute examined the program to determine how it is working by analyzing data from the 2003-2004 through 2012-13 school years. The study looked to answer the questions Which children are using EdChoice when given the opportunity? Is the initiative faithfully working as its founders intended? Are participating students blossoming academically in their private schools of choice? Does the increased competition associated with EdChoice lead to improvements in the public schools that these kids left?”

“Taken together, the results of this report present a mixed bag of findings regarding the EdChoice voucher program,” the report reads, saying that there are still variables which require further study.

The study had three key findings, the first of which had to do with student selection. The Options Just ahead signstudents benefiting from EdChoice are mostly low-income or minority children but, the study says, “relative to pupils who are eligible for vouchers but choose not to use them, the participants in EdChoice are somewhat higher-achieving and less economically disadvantaged.”

The study’s authors believe that the competition vouchers provide helped improved all schools.

However, the last key finding was that voucher students saw lower results on state exams compared to public school peers. “Only voucher students assigned to relatively high-performing EdChoice eligible public schools could be credibly studied,” the report concluded, because that was the best apples-to-apples comparison available. Private schools that barely met the criteria for vouchers, for example, were not included in the research. However, the report cautions, while this selection is “not without its problems,” it was determined to be the best data to use.

“Though EdChoice eligibility apparently improves student test scores in general,” the study concludes, “this is not the case for those who actually use their vouchers to attend private schools, having previously attended relatively high-performing public schools among the EdChoice eligible schools. Those eligible students (coming from these relatively high-performing public schools) who attend private schools appear to fare considerably worse than we predict that they would have performed had they remained in the public schools.”

The authors recommend more research into school quality, test-curriculum alignment, and other factors that could affect performance data.

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Jul 11

Protect the Fourth Amendment!

WarrantThe United States House of Representatives is, once again trying to take away your freedom. They are planning a vote today on House Resolution 5606, which will expand our government’s surveillance powers. You must call your Congressman today. This bill with crush the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Madison put a ‘shall not’ in the amendment for a reason…
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In the wake of the tragic Orlando shootings, this is a ‘never let a good emergency go to waste’ situation.
From Kevin Boyd at, “In the wake of recent mass shootings, Monday night the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on an expansion of the Patriot Act, which significantly broadened government surveillance powers after 9/11. The proposed bill, H.R. 5606, expands Section 314 of the Patriot Act to cover non-terrorism or money laundering related investigations. Critics claim that the bill is a threat to the privacy of innocent Americans and is being rammed through Congress without debate.
Section 314 encourages law enforcement to share information with financial institutions on money laundering and terrorism. It also encourages financial institutions to share information with each other.”
From Congressman Justin Amash from Michigan,
Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the government may not conduct unreasonable searches and seizures. With limited exception, a search or seizure is unreasonable if it occurs without probable cause and a warrant. Section 314 of the Patriot Act attempts to sidestep this constitutional protection by treating a domestic criminal investigation like a foreign terrorism investigation, and H.R. 5606 extends the applicability to a much wider range of criminal investigations.
Call your Congressman and tell them ‘No’ on House Resolution 5606. We must protect the Constitution.
District Name   Phone
1 Chabot, Steve 202-225-2216
2 Wenstrup, Brad 202-225-3164
3 Beatty, Joyce 202-225-4324
4 Jordan, Jim 202-225-2676
5 Latta, Robert E. 202-225-6405
6 Johnson, Bill 202-225-5705
7 Gibbs, Bob 202-225-6265
8 Davidson, Warren 202-225-6205
9 Kaptur, Marcy 202-225-4146
10 Turner, Michael 202-225-6465
11 Fudge, Marcia L. 202-225-7032
12 Tiberi, Pat 202-225-5355
13 Ryan, Tim 202-225-5261
14 Joyce, David 202-225-5731
15 Stivers, Steve 202-225-2015
16 Renacci, Jim 202-225-3876

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Jul 05

Action Alert: House Resolution Violates the Second Amendment

SHALL-NOT-BE-INFRINGED-WHAT-PART-DONT-YOU-UNDERSTAND_modelThe United States House of Representatives is putting our Second Amendment at risk in a vote that could happen as early as today.

The vote is on HR5611.  This resolution will restrict the rights of US citizens to own firearms if they are on the Department of Homeland Security’s no fly list. The resolution will impact an American citizen that has committed no crime, has not been charged with a crime and has received no due process under the law – their rights are simply taken away.

You need to call your member of Congress and tell them to vote no.

The Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Amendment doesn’t say ‘Shall not be infringed’ unless a government worker puts your name on some list.

This Resolution violates the Constitution and must be stopped. There is a good chance that it will pass, with Republican votes.

Call your Representative today. Comment on their Facebook and Twitter too, if you are active on social media.

District Name   Phone
1 Chabot, Steve 202-225-2216
2 Wenstrup, Brad 202-225-3164
3 Beatty, Joyce 202-225-4324
4 Jordan, Jim 202-225-2676
5 Latta, Robert E. 202-225-6405
6 Johnson, Bill 202-225-5705
7 Gibbs, Bob 202-225-6265
8 Davidson, Warren 202-225-6205
9 Kaptur, Marcy 202-225-4146
10 Turner, Michael 202-225-6465
11 Fudge, Marcia L. 202-225-7032
12 Tiberi, Pat 202-225-5355
13 Ryan, Tim 202-225-5261
14 Joyce, David 202-225-5731
15 Stivers, Steve 202-225-2015
16 Renacci, Jim 202-225-3876

Two members of the House are leading the charge to ask members of Congress to vote no – Justin Amash from Michigan and Thomas Massie from Northern Kentucky.


House Republicans are pushing a horrendous bill this week. The gun section alone infringes the First, Second, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. We’re expecting a vote on #HR5611 in the House on Wednesday. More information here over the next couple days. You also can follow me on Twitter (@justinamash) for additional updates. #StopHR5611


“We interrupt your Independence Day for this important message from my friend Justin Amash.”  Republican leaders in the House are bringing a gun control bill to the floor this week, and unlike the votes in the Senate that frankly were designed to fail, Republican leaders WANT this bill to pass.  I agree with Justin that this House bill violates several elements of the Bill of Rights, so I will be voting No.  A law to prevent you from purchasing a gun if you are guilty of any aspect of terrorism would make sense.  In fact that hypothetical law should require you also to go to jail.  Instead, we’re voting on a law that gives the executive and judicial branches broad authority to try and predict if you might one day become guilty, and if you fall into this category, your right to keep and bear arms will be denied.  #StopHR5611 #minorityreport

Thomas Massie and Justin Amash are working to defeat this massive DHS over reach which will give them, even more, power to take our freedoms under the guise of fighting terrorism. This resolution comes up for a vote on Wednesday. Please call your Congressman RIGHT AWAY and urge them to vote NO on this resolution.

Tell them “Vote No on HR5611, No more encroachment on our freedom!”

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Jul 04

Donald Trump is Coming to Cincinnati Wednesday, July 6, at 7 PM


Republicanlogo 553 wideDonald Trump is coming to the Sharonville Convention Center for a rally this Wednesday. Although many Conservatives have disagreements with some of the positions of Donald Trump, he has stood strong for securing our borders and stopping …

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Jul 03

GCTP Meeting July 26: Do We Need an Article V Constitutional Convention? (A Important Discussion of the Pros & Cons)

Ellen HortonMuch is being discussed on the need for an Article V Constitutional Convention. Have you made up your mind on this critically important subject? Do you need more information?  Is it prudent, will it correct the injustices we

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Jun 17

Cleveland’s first union-charter contract agreed upon

Teachers at Cleveland’s I Can charter schools now have a union contract for three years, the first in the city. The contract sets teacher pay to start at $37,000 with a maximum of about $62,000.

“This contract is historic for the state of Ohio, and these teachers deserve a round of congratulations for wanting the voice to help their students succeed,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “What we’ve seen at I Can and across the country is teachers forming unions and negotiating contracts to have a real voice in the education of their students.”

Read more here.

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Jun 08

Ohio students get welding certification

Fourteen Ohio high school students and recent graduates took part in a “welding boot camp” to earn their certification last month. “This is an opportunity high school students rarely have,” said Arlette Robinson, career and technical education supervisor for Bradley County Schools. “No one in Bradley County has ever offered this. It’s really a big thing.”

Read more here.

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Jun 04

MVCI Meeting June 6 Features Jake MacAulay from Institute On The Constitution (IOTC)

MVCI logoMiami Valley Citizens Informed (MVCI) is hosting Jake MacAulay from the Institute On The Constitution (IOTC) on Monday, June 6, form 7 to 8:30 PM at Washington Heights Baptist Church, 5650 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, Ohio!

Jake MacAulay will …

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Jun 04

Constitution Boot Camp Coming to Xenia on June 18, 2016!

Constitution banner 1548 wideThe Constitution Boot Camp presented by Building Blocks for Liberty is coming to Greene County on Saturday, June 18. The Constitution has been critical to maintaining our freedoms throughout our country’s history, and it important for us to …

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May 30

Nanny State of the Week: FDA fries family’s potato chip business with new cooking oil mandates

Part 81 of 81 in the series Nanny State of the Week

Back in 1940, Frederick Jones of Mansfield, Ohio, was facing a serious problem. He ran a small company that distributed potato chips, but his suppliers couldn’t keep up with demand.

Jones solved the problem the entrepreneurial way: he bought potatoes and oil, along with some basic equipment, and starting making his own chips to sell. He kept right on doing it, making his signature wavy cut chips for more than 40 years before turning the company over to his kids in 1986, when he retired.

Photo from Wiki Commons

JONES’ CHIPS: A staple in Mansfield, Ohio, since 1945, Jones’ potato chips will take on a different flavor because the Food and Drug Administration has banned the kind of cooking oil the company has used for 70 years.

Not much has changed in potato chip technology over the years. It’s still as simple as peeling, slicing, frying, salting and packaging.

At least, it was, until the federal government got involved.

By the end of this year, Jones’ will stop making their wavy chips because new rules from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it impossible to get the type of cooking oil that gives the chips their distinctive flavor.  That oil, partially hydrogenated cooking oil, is no longer considered safe for consumption, according to rules the FDA published last June.

“It is disappointing that we will have to change a product that we have been making for seventy years; however, we are optimistic that many of our local customers will enjoy our new products and continue to support us,” Bob Jones, president of the company, said in a statement announcing the changes to their products.

Jones says they will experiment with different kinds of legal cooking oil and will continue producing chips with soybean oil for now, but the flavor won’t be the same.  For a small business that doesn’t have the same market reach as big chip makers like Lays or Wise, losing that distinct flavor could mean losing customers.

“That’s what all, or many, of our local customers have grown to love, and it’s what they expect,” Jones told local television station WMFD. “We’re doing it because the government is telling us to stop doing it.”

The FDA says the new rules for cooking oil are intended to protect Americans from making potentially dangerous decisions about what we eat and “demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans.”

But those decisions have real consequences — and the ban isn’t necessary to make people healthier.

For starters, if you don’t want to eat unhealthy food, maybe just stay away from the potato chip aisle.

And if you still want to eat chips, good news, the market has provided for you, too!  Jones’ had already started making other varieties of chips using healthier oils — the company has had a line of potato chips with zero grams of trans-fat for about eight years.  That’s a sensible thing to do in an age when many consumers are more conscious about their health.

But the federal government decided to decide for everyone, and that means Jones’ and their customers don’t get to decide for themselves anymore.

“We don’t really have a choice. Some people say ‘don’t do it, change back, fight the government,'” Jones said. “Those are things I can’t do.”

Few people can. The Nanny State wins again.

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May 20

Ohio scraps ‘archaic and unnecessary’ limitation on alcohol content in beer

Raise a cold one, Ohio!

We get a lot of mileage out of poking and prodding the scolds, meddlers and nannies in government who think they know what people should want and whether they should get it. Today, though, it’s a rare opportunity to cheer a victory for consumer choice and free markets in Ohio, where a bill to scrap decades-old regulations on beer sales has landed on Gov. John Kasich’s desk.

Shutterstock image

CHEERS: The Ohio House voted 88-9 this week to remove Ohio’s prohibition on beer with more than 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), freeing craft brewers to sell a wider range of products.

The state House voted 88-9 this week to remove Ohio’s prohibition on beer with more than 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), freeing craft brewers to sell a wider range of products to Ohioans.

The so-called ABV cap was set at 6 percent after the repeal of federal prohibition in 1933. For decades, it didn’t really matter, because the beer market mostly consisted of watery regional brews and a few big national brands with tame levels of alcohol.

In recent years, though, the nation has seen an explosion of craft beers – with bolder use of hops, deeper malts and higher levels of alcohol. Except in places like Ohio, where those beers have been off-limits.

In 2002, the state raised the cap to 12 percent. This time around, they removed it entirely.

“That is where a lot of the innovation and creativity comes from, with the high-ABV stuff,” Jason Davis, a vice president for BrewDog craft brewery told the Columbus Dispatch.

Davis had a direct interest in the outcome of the vote. BrewDog, a Scottish craft brewer, is building a $30 million brewery and distribution center in Columbus. Some of the brewery’s most popular beers are high alcohol content, like the Tokyo imperial stout, which boasts an ABV of more than 18 percent.

Following last week’s unanimous approval by the state Senate, Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, said the limitation was “archaic and unnecessary” because the state doesn’t have limitations on other forms of alcohol.

The lawmakers who sponsored the bill framed the change as a jobs issue, arguing it will make Ohio more attractive to craft breweries – an industry that grew by 13 percent last year and has been booming across the entire country for the past decade.

READ MORE: Obamacare regulations could be bad news for craft beer

But not everyone is cheering the change – there’s always someone who thinks the government should be in charge of consumers’ decisions, and found him.

“There’s all kinds of spirits out there. I’ve never tasted high-alcohol beer; I like beer. I want three, four — not just one,” Dan Gates told the website. “In the alcohol world, we have plenty of alcohol with high percentage. Can they make a beer that’s 100 percent alcohol? What is that — grain alcohol?”

First of all: it’s impossible to make beer that’s 100 percent alcohol. That would, as Gates suggests, be grain alcohol, which isn’t beer – and also is legal in Ohio already because the state doesn’t regulate the alcohol content of spirits.

It might be hard to believe, but Gates is the former head of Ohio Brew Week, an annual celebration of beer in Athens.

Gates might want to have three or four beers at a time, and wisely chooses to consume lower-ABV beers when he does that. Does that mean all Ohioans should have to do what he does?

Thankfully that’s no longer the case.

The change won’t be official until 90 days after Kasich signs the bill, which means the stronger beers probably won’t be available in time for July’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where delegates who aren’t backing Donald Trump might wish they had access to stiffer drinks.

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May 19

Columbus charter producing results

Students at Columbus Collegiate Academy are outperforming other students across the state. The school “takes sixth-graders from all over the city who are behind, and in three short years they best state averages,” said Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which sponsors CCA. “It is unusual for anybody. It would be nice to capture and bottle what they’re doing.”

Read more here.

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May 16

Ohio’s adult diploma program

The Ohio Department of Education is now offering a program for adults aged 22 or older to earn their high school diploma rather than a GED. Eighty students have completed the program, which also includes an industry certification, and another 700 are enrolled across the state.

“As a former teacher, building principal and district superintendent, I feel that even one student missing the chance to earn a diploma is unacceptable,” writes Lonny Rivera, interim state superintendent of public instruction, “Until now, adults 22 years of age or older have had no way to earn diplomas. Few options were available to them for pursuing the skills and credentials they needed to support themselves and their families.”

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May 16

Ohio lawmaker wants to free workers, unions from forced representation

Photo credit: Ohio House of Representatives

PLANNING AHEAD: Ohio Rep. Jim Butler (R) sees the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case as a chance for reform

An Ohio lawmaker wants to solve unions’ biggest complaint about the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association lawsuit in case the petitioners win.

Rebecca Friedrichs and several other California teachers received a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court in January, and it appeared likely they would prevail in their attempt to end mandatory union “fair share” fees for public employees.

But after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away unexpectedly, the Court issued a split 4-4 decision. Lawyers for the petitioners have asked for a new hearing once a replacement for Scalia is confirmed.

If the Court rules in favor of Friedrichs, public employees in Ohio and other states would gain the ability to opt out of union membership without being forced to pay fair-share fees. This would result in unions being required to provide representation to nonpaying workers.

State Rep. Jim Butler wants to change state law so Ohio’s public employee unions don’t have to represent nonmembers who don’t pay fair share fees. He thinks now is the time to act, before a Friedrichs decision sets new precedent.

“The time to do this is now, because once there’s a Supreme Court decision one way or another, the winning side will get a lot more entrenched,” he said.

“Most people would agree that you shouldn’t be forced to provide a service you aren’t paid for,” Butler added.

The idea is similar to Worker’s Choice, a labor reform package developed by F. Vincent Vernuccio, labor policy director for the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Butler’s proposal would have no impact on unions’ ability to take mandatory fair share fees — but the Friedrichs petitioners argue such fees violate the First Amendment because public employee unions are inherently political.

A win for the Friedrichs petitioners “would be, essentially, national right-to-work” for public employees, Butler said. Although private-sector union laws are determined at the federal level, states are largely free to define their own public-sector union laws.

Ohio is not one of the nation’s 26 right-to-work states, and current state law allows forced dues and forced representation for public employees. Neighboring Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia have all enacted right-to-work since Republican Gov. John Kasich took office in 2011.

RELATED: Across Ohio, public employees are forced to pay labor unions

In Ohio, Butler said, the Friedrichs case threatens to put public employee unions in a position where they “would still have to represent every worker in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether they pay a fair-share fee or not.”

Unwanted representation is a problem for workers and unions alike; union officials contesting right-to-work laws often argue that ending mandatory fees creates “free riders” who get union representation without paying for it.

As a result, Butler’s idea has broader support than proposed changes to labor union laws typically do.

“I’ve talked to members on both sides of the aisle and I’ve talked to union representatives,” he said. “This is something that could receive bipartisan support.”

Butler, a Republican, hopes Republican leadership in the Ohio General Assembly will take action on his proposal in the near future.

Butler has been considering an amendment to end forced representation in the absence of fair-share fees since last year’s budget negotiations, and has submitted the idea to Ohio House leadership for further discussion.

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May 12

Cleveland teachers consider strike

The Cleveland Teacher’s Union is considering a strike in the fall over teacher evaluations and pay. The union is asking teachers to vote this week on calling a strike and also asking members to reject the contract recommended by a federal fact-finder last week. The median pay for Cleveland’s teachers is $76,652.

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May 11

Ohio’s budget-busting Medicaid expansion trend continues

Part 27 of 27 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

If Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign had taken off the way his Medicaid expansion did, he would have won more than one primary.

Kasich’s decision to put working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities on Medicaid cost federal taxpayers nearly $4 billion in the past 10 months, and remains on track to double his 2014-20 cost projection of $14 billion.

Based on Ohio Department of Medicaid expenditure reports, expanding Medicaid under the 2010 federal health law has cost $3.9 billion since last July and $7.9 billion since January 2014. Ohio’s Obamacare expansion cost $397 million in April alone.

RELATED: Ohio Medicaid expansion costs top $7.5 billion

Kasich’s Obamacare expansion has already had a staggering impact on Ohio General Revenue Fund spending, and will crowd out other priorities as the state share of benefit costs increases from zero to 10 percent in the next few years.

“April GRF disbursements, across all uses, totaled $3,315.7 million and were $300.1 million (9.9%) above estimate,” the Ohio Office of Budget and Management reported. Obamacare expansion costs were more than 10 percent of GRF spending for the month.

April enrollment, at 672,000, will be revised higher if previous Ohio Department of Medicaid caseload reports are any indicator. Because of backdated and retroactive eligibility, March Obamacare expansion enrollment was initially reported as 673,000 before being revised to 686,000.

From January 2014 through March, Obamacare expansion enrollment increased every month and was over budget every month.

ODM initially reported 609,000 Ohioans were enrolled in Obamacare expansion in July 2015, the first month of the state’s 2016 fiscal year. In the latest caseload report, July enrollment was listed as 643,000 — almost 5 percent higher than projected in the budget signed in June.

Obamacare expansion estimates in the 2016-17 state budget are falling short of actual costs and enrollment despite being increased dramatically from Kasich administration projections just two years earlier.

Relative to the cost estimate Kasich used during his months-long failed attempt to pressure the Ohio General Assembly into expanding Medicaid in 2013, Obamacare expansion is fast approaching $4 billion over budget.


Enrollment in Kasich’s Obamacare expansion is nearly 300,000 greater than Kasich said it would be. As a result of enrollment overruns in the welfare expansion for able-bodied, working-age, childless adults,  one in four Ohioans is now dependent on Medicaid.


The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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May 09

Brigitte Gabriel to Speak on Dangers of Sharia Law

 Brigitte Gabriel pictureBrigitte Gabriel, one of the most prominent speakers in America is coming to Ohio. She will speak in Columbus, OH on May 15, Middletown, OH on May 16, and in Cleveland (Roadview Hts.) on May 17.…

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May 06

Construction course creates options for Ohio students

Toledo Public Schools are looking to prepare their students for post-secondary life, whether that means college or career. Tom Dimitrew, the system’s director of agriculture, construction, and engineering technologies,  is working to create a construction program demonstrating that trade jobs are not a “consolation prize.”

“We are trying to do a better job of aligning students with their skill set and their career interest, so the emphasis on education is on career development now,” he said. “We’ve sort of blindly sent students down a college-only path as a marker of success and that … is not a guarantee.”

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May 04

West Virginia activists see hope for more right-to-work states

Photo credit: West Virginia Legislature

RIGHT-TO-WORK WINS: West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole (R) successfully enacted a right-to-work bill this year

Activists who fought to make West Virginia a right-to-work state see opportunity for other states in their success.

In February, West Virginia became the 26th state to enact a right-to-work law protecting each worker’s freedom to choose whether to pay a labor union. Before, West Virginians could be required to pay union fees to have a job.

The state chapter of free-market activist group Americans for Prosperity was among the organizations pulling for right-to-work, a policy AFP has prioritized and helped several states pass in recent years.

AFP-West Virginia state director Jason Huffman told that right-to-work supporters elsewhere could learn from victories in his state, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin since 2011. West Virginia border states Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky still permit forced union dues.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich downplayed the need for right-to-work during a February 2015 campaign visit to West Virginia, but right-to-work could be on the horizon in Kentucky and is being seriously discussed in Pennsylvania.

Huffman noted that several Kentucky counties have implemented local right-to-work laws, and Gov. Matt Bevin’s campaign platform last year included right-to-work. Huffman said Pennsylvania lawmakers pointed to West Virginia at a right-to-work press conference he attended.

“Their message was simple: Our neighbor, West Virginia, has taken a huge step towards being significantly more economically competitive, and we had better follow suit before we are behind the curve,” he said.

West Virginia’s passage of right-to-work “has definitely spurred conversation in neighboring states who are assessing the new regional competition,” Huffman added.

RELATED: Here’s why unions hate right-to-work

Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed West Virginia’s Republican-backed right-to-work bill, but lawmakers led by West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole voted to override Tomblin’s veto in the face of a union campaign defending forced union dues.

Repeating talking points used in other states, unions and their Democratic allies warned that right-to-work would weaken West Virginia’s economy and reduce workers’ pay and safety.

Federal data show that right-to-work states typically see greater job growth and faster income growth than forced-unionism states, and debunk suggestions that workplace safety is reduced by letting workers choose whether to pay unions.

Huffman said unions complain about having to represent “free riders” who opt out of paying dues in right-to-work states, but he said, “if a union is representing everyone in the workplace, it’s because labor officials chose to do so.”

To counter union rhetoric, AFP-West Virginia spoke directly with state legislators and also made sure supportive activists understood what right-to-work does and does not do.

“It was imperative that we get the facts into the hands of the public and policy makers before opponents of right-to-work were able to poison the well with often inaccurate talking points from Big Labor bosses in D.C.,” Huffman said.

A new AFP-West Virginia state legislative scorecard tracks votes on the right-to-work bill and the override of Tomblin’s veto as key votes. Polling shows broad public support for right-to-work, and Huffman does not expect lawmakers to be punished at the ballot box for voting in favor of it.

Unions in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan threatened to unseat Republican legislators who supported right-to-work, but failed to do so in subsequent elections.

Huffman agreed with Cole and others who have made it clear right-to-work “is not a silver bullet,” but he said economic data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reinforce AFP’s support for letting workers choose whether to pay unions.

“With less than half of West Virginians working, lawmakers knew they had to get our state back on a path to prosperity and that right-to-work was a critical component of that long-term plan,” Huffman said.

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May 02

Embracing Obamacare still no recipe for Republican success

Photo credit: State of Ohio

RUNNING LEFT: Ohio Gov. John Kasich campaigned against Obamacare in 2010, but now defends major parts of the unpopular law.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich bills himself as the most electable Republican presidential candidate, and he has some polling to support that contention. But, like 2012 nominee Mitt Romney before him, Kasich is strangling the party’s strongest health care message.

Of the Republicans still in the race, only Sen. Ted Cruz can credibly campaign against Obamacare, the 2010 health care overhaul enacted against unanimous Republican opposition. Reality TV star Donald Trump funded Obamacare’s sponsors and has said nice things about single-payer socialized medicine. Kasich is devoted to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid.

The law as a whole remains unpopular, with 54 percent opposed and 44 percent in favor. Only 9 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of independents support Obamacare, while 78 percent of Democrats support it.

Obamacare increases health insurance coverage by requiring employers to provide it or individuals to buy it, and adding working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities to Medicaid rolls that were already swamping state budgets before President Barack Obama took office.

“We can’t eliminate this and have tens of millions of Americans without health insurance,” Kasich said when defending Obamacare expansion during a CNN town hall in February. Kasich has traveled the country scolding lawmakers who oppose Medicaid expansion.

Kasich presumes that in a general election, independents and some Democrats would vote for him — and the press would cheer for him — instead of Hillary Clinton, a firm Obamacare supporter who says she won’t allow Republicans to “kick 16 million people off their health coverage.”

Clinton’s health policy message is simple: Obamacare is working and she’ll stop Republicans from ruining it.

Kasich’s message? Not so simple: He’ll repeal Obamacare but won’t take away the Medicaid expansion that is responsible for most Obamacare enrollment. Kasich also supports Obamacare’s requirement that insurers provide coverage regardless of any preexisting health conditions, an economically dubious proposition in the absence of a coverage mandate, which Kasich says he opposes.

“John Kasich is out of step with every congressional Republican and GOP voter,” Michael Cannon, health policy director at the libertarian Cato Institute, told Cannon noted that campaigning against Obamacare helped Republicans win big victories in 2010 and 2014.

“Congressional Republicans passed a bill repealing all of ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies, including Kasich’s beloved Medicaid expansion,” he added. “The likelihood that Republicans will suffer at the polls for it is approximately nil.”

Meanwhile, Kasich — who expanded Medicaid unilaterally to bring Obamacare money to Ohio — warns Republicans not to talk too much about repealing Obamacare, echoing Democrats’ spurious claims that Republicans haven’t proposed serious alternatives.

“When Congress repeals Obamacare for good, it can and should enact reforms that make health care better and more affordable for everyone,” Cannon said. “Kasich evidently wants to save Obamacare, because he is echoing the Obama administration’s nonsensical scare tactics.”

RELATED: If Kasich is on the Republican ticket, Obamacare repeal is off the table

To preserve the Medicaid expansion that he and Clinton both support, Kasich says he would “take some of the federal resources” being spent through Obamacare to keep childless, working-age, able-bodied adults on Medicaid.

In Ohio, more than 673,000 people have enrolled in Kasich’s Obamacare expansion, costing federal taxpayers $7.5 billion. Costs are on track to double Kasich administration projections by 2020.

Kasich’s embrace of Obamacare has always been his presidential campaign’s biggest weakness, as CNN’s Jake Tapper demonstrated last May in an interview when the governor, visibly flustered, misrepresented Obamacare expansion spending as “Ohio money” three separate times.

In 2010, Kasich benefited from an anti-Obamacare wave election, warning that Medicaid expansion would “stick states with large and unsustainable costs.”

This year, Kasich is asking his party to repeat one of its 2012 blunders by picking a nominee who cannot credibly run against the opposition’s least popular program.

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Apr 29

MVCI Meeting with Publius Huldah Monday May 2, 2016

MVCI logo

Come to the Miami Valley Citizens Informed (MVCI) meeting this coming Monday evening, with special guest speaker, Publius Huldah, U.S. Constitutional expert. She will be speaking on “Why Are Europe & the USA Permitting Islam To Take Over Their …

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Apr 24

American Family Association Urges Boycott of Target Stores



AFA Boycott Target imageThe American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women’s restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores, if they say they are a …

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Apr 20

Kasich carries Obamacare dichotomy to Maryland

Part 19 of 19 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow
Photo credit: C-SPAN

WEARING THIN: Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he wants to repeal Obamacare while keeping the largest part of the unpopular law in place.

John Kasich’s presidential campaign arrived in Maryland minus the pretense that he would fully repeal the 2010 health care overhaul popularly known as Obamacare.

The Ohio governor, a Republican, says he opposes the law despite embracing its optional expansion of Medicaid to working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities.

His message went largely unchallenged by oppontents and the campaign press corps early on, but as other candidates have dropped out Kasich has faced more questions about how he would repeal Obamacare after putting 670,000 Ohioans on welfare under the law’s Medicaid expansion.

BACKGROUND: Ohio Medicaid expansion sign-ups keep crushing projections

His answer?

“I would take some of the federal resources, combine it with Medicaid, which I would send back to the states, let the states create their own way of covering the working poor so millions of Americans don’t lose health insurance,” Kasich said during an April 14 MSNBC appearance.

And at a Tuesday town hall in Annapolis, Kasich gave his most strident defense yet of preserving the Medicaid expansion — which is responsible for roughly 75 percent of Obamacare enrollment — in place permanently.

Replying to a question about how he would provide health care to the poor, Kasich told a story  about a trip to Maine, where he talked with a resident who said she hated Republican Gov. Paul LePage because he wanted to take away her health care. LePage opposes Obamacare, and Maine has not expanded Medicaid.

Kasich also made it clear he supports Obamacare’s requirement that insurers cover preexisting health conditions.

In Ohio alone, Obamacare expansion has already cost federal taxpayers $7.5 billion. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Congressional Research Service have both confirmed that federal deficit spending goes up with each state that expands Medicaid.

Before he was asked at the Annapolis campaign stop about his stance on subsidized health insurance for the poor, Kasich volunteered several of his standard Obamacare expansion talking points while lauding his own economic record in Ohio.

“We’re now up 420,000 private-sector jobs, we went from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black, our credit is great, and then the mentally ill, the drug-addicted, the working poor — all given a chance,” Kasich said.

“Just like if a mom and dad do better, kids do better: When the economy does better we can help a lot of people who we traditionally don’t help,” Kasich added.

Year-over-year, Ohio’s private-sector job growth has trailed the national average since November 2012.


Regardless of Ohio’s economic performance, Obamacare expansion is paid for with new federal deficit spending. The welfare program has no work requirements, and is not targeted at drug addicts or the mentally ill, as Kasich implies.

Through March, Ohio’s Obamacare expansion cost 78 percent more than Kasich said it would. Before Kasich unilaterally expanded Medicaid, critics warned expansion would cost more than expected and would be politically difficult to roll back.

The governor has treated his presidential campaign as an Obamacare expansion promo tour, telling Republican primary voters it’s a life-saving moral and fiscal imperative to put able-bodied, working-age, childless adults on Medicaid.

Kasich — still fourth in the delegate count with only three candidates still in the race — is polling at 26.3 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of polls for Maryland’s April 26 Republican primary, almost 15 points behind reality TV star and real estate developer Donald Trump and in a virtual dead-heat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

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Apr 19

Ohio Medicaid expansion costs top $7.5 billion

Part 26 of 26 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

Ohio Medicaid expansion costs sailed farther past Gov. John Kasich’s projections in March, as total spending on the program topped the $7.5 billion mark.

Expansion cost $411 million last month, making March the most expensive month yet. For the past six months, expansion costs reported by the Ohio Department of Medicaid averaged $394 million — dwarfing other state programs.

Kasich’s budget office reported $312 million in primary and secondary education expenditures, $186 million in higher education expenditures, and $170 million in justice and public protection expenditures in March.

The governor predicted that adding working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities to the Medicaid rolls under the 2010 federal health law would cost $14 billion from 2014-20. Actual spending puts Kasich’s Obamacare expansion on track to cost $28.5 billion by 2020.


Kasich relied on a February 2013 study from the consulting firm Mercer for the Obamacare expansion cost projections he shared with legislators and the media in the months before he unilaterally expanded Medicaid.

Expansion costs continue to outpace Kasich’s expectations primarily because Mercer underestimated how many Ohioans would sign up. Enrollment was 673,000 in March; Mercer estimated 447,000 would enroll by 2020.


Mercer estimated that more than 80,000 expansion enrollees would move to Medicaid from private health insurance by 2016, but the Kasich administration does not know how many enrollees previously had insurance. The Kasich administration also does not know how many enrollees have jobs.

With three months left in the state’s fiscal 2016, average monthly expansion enrollment is 4.2 percent higher than budget projections the Ohio Department of Medicaid revised less than a year ago. Expansion costs are over budget by 7.5 percent, relative to last spring’s ODM projections.

Medicaid expansion is likely to cost twice as much as @JohnKasich said it would by 2020
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Even though Kasich’s Medicaid expansion is likely to cost twice as much as Kasich said it would by 2020, the Republican governor is running a presidential campaign built around the policy’s supposed success.

Three years to the day after Mercer’s estimates were published, Kasich told the national audience of a Feb. 13 CBS News debate that his Obamacare expansion was “coming in below cost estimates.”

“This has worked out great for us, and we’re saving money,” Kasich said when asked about Obamacare expansion at a CNN town hall several days later. Expanding Medicaid has helped Ohio’s balance sheet in the short-term, at the expense of current and future federal taxpayers.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Kasich’s Obamacare Roadshow

Despite the $19 trillion national debt, Obamacare promises funding for 100 percent of Medicaid expansion benefit costs through the end of this year. Federal funding will decline to 95 percent in 2017 and gradually drop to 90 percent by 2020.

Under current law,  Ohio taxpayers will be stuck with at least $20 million in additional monthly Obamacare expansion costs starting next January.

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Apr 15

How many Ohio Medicaid expansion enrollees have jobs?

Part 25 of 25 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

Critics of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s push to expand Medicaid to childless, able-bodied, working-age adults warned the policy would be a disincentive to work.

A little over two years later, how many enrollees in Kasich’s Medicaid expansion under the 2010 federal health law are unemployed? No one — not even the Ohio Department of Medicaid — knows.

During budget negotiations last spring, ODM told Ohio Senate members that 43 percent of the enrollees in the Obamacare expansion referred to internally as “Group VIII” were employed.


Mary Gerlach, a member of ODM’s legal staff, provided more current enrollment information to — but she could not say how many of the state’s 673,000 Obamacare expansion enrollees have jobs.

“ODM does not track how many Group VIII enrollees are unemployed,” Gerlach said. She shared an August presentation from ODM director John McCarthy indicating that 55 percent of Obamacare expansion enrollees had a job or was married to someone who did.

Obamacare expansion enrollees’ employment status is not the only pertinent data the most expensive arm of the state government doesn’t track.

“ODM does not maintain records detailing how many Group VIII enrollees had private or employer-sponsored health insurance prior to enrolling in Medicaid, and how many enrollees are incarcerated,” Gerlach told

Before Obamacare, Medicaid was restricted to the disabled, the elderly, children, pregnant women and impoverished families. Obamacare expansion makes anyone with income at or below 138 percent of poverty eligible for the welfare program.

Jonathan Ingram, vice president of research at the free-market Foundation for Government Accountability, said Medicaid expansion is “a massive new welfare cliff” that will discourage enrollees from seeking employment.

“ObamaCare supporters promised that Medicaid expansion would serve the ‘working poor,’ but the Ohio Department of Medicaid reported last year that nearly 60 percent of expansion enrollees don’t work at all,” Ingram told “Now, the administration says they don’t even know how many able-bodied adults receiving this Medicaid welfare are working.”

“We’ve seen evidence from several states that expanded Medicaid to able-bodied adults in the past that those expansions caused more able-bodied adults to work fewer hours or drop out of the labor force altogether,” Ingram added.

Medicaid coverage comes with no work requirements, and the Obama administration has rejected other states’ requests to impose work requirements on Obamacare expansion enrollees.

In 2013, before Kasich vetoed an Ohio General Assembly ban on Obamacare expansion and expanded Medicaid unilaterally, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper suggesting Medicaid expansion would shrink the labor force.

The NBER paper’s authors found “an immediate increase in job search behavior and a steady rise in both employment and health insurance coverage” in Tennessee when the state removed working-age, able-bodied adults from its Medicaid rolls.

Ingram noted the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has pointed to the NBER paper as evidence the nation’s labor force is likely to shrink with each state that implements the Obamacare expansion.

Since Kasich’s Medicaid expansion took effect in January 2014, more than 20,000 Ohioans have left the labor force. Kasich projected 447,000 would enroll in the expansion by 2020 — that estimate was eclipsed by the end of 2015.

RELATED: Ohio Medicaid expansion sign-ups keep crushing projections

Roughly a third of the Ohioans receiving welfare benefits under Kasich’s Obamacare expansion are men between the ages of 19 and 44. Fewer than 100,000 have dependent children.

Kasich portrays Obamacare expansion as a program for drug addicts, the mentally ill and the working poor. As of October, 398,561 expansion enrollees had received some form of mental health or drug addiction treatment.

ODM spokesman Sam Rossi failed to respond to a series of requests for comment.

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Apr 13

Robotics competition spans school-choice options

A team of Dayton, Ohio, students has qualified for a robotics world championship after designing, building, and operating a robot. The team spans educational options in the Dayton area, with two students from a charter school, one each from two local district high schools, and a home-school student. They now move on to the world championships in St Louis later this month.

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Apr 08

Gov. Kasich talks up Obamacare during State of the State speech

Part 18 of 18 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow
Photo credit: The Ohio Channel

SAME OLD SONG: Ohio Gov. John Kasich repeated his usual Obamacare rhetoric during his State of the State speech

Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid expansion promotional tour made a pit stop in Ohio when Kasich visited for his annual State of the State speech Wednesday.

Kasich, a Republican, unilaterally expanded Medicaid after vetoing a legislative ban on doing so. He says he would repeal the 2010 federal health law that created and funds the expansion, but his presidential campaign is built around its success.

Since announcing his support for Obamacare expansion in February 2013, Kasich has stuck with a short list of easily refuted pro-expansion talking points. Wednesday’s speech in Marietta was no exception.

“The formula is working: fiscal responsibility, commonsense regulations, and of course always looking to cut taxes,” Kasich said. “And with the prosperity that comes from job creation and economic growth, we have the resources to go further and reach out to those who might otherwise be ignored.”

“And we should also take into account the fact that because of the prosperity and the additional resources, we’ve been helping the mentally ill, giving hope to the drug-addicted, the disabled and the working poor, and we should all be proud of that,” he continued.

Kasich’s Obamacare expansion is in no way a product of Ohio’s economic growth: benefits are 100 percent funded by the feds until the end of this year, and expansion enrollment has grown four times faster than private-sector employment.


The governor didn’t mention his $14 billion 2014-20 cost projection during his State of the State speech, but Obamacare expansion is on track to double that estimate by 2020. Through February, Kasich’s Obamacare expansion cost federal taxpayers more than $7 billion.

Asserting that Medicaid expansion is “making a difference,” Kasich said “more than 330,000 more women in Ohio now have access to health care” because he accepted federal deficit spending to put working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities on welfare.

“This means they can get healthy, stay healthy and better participate in the workforce, and expansion has also delivered new resources to help our communities address mental health issues and addiction,” Kasich said. “It is working for our people.”

Last spring, Kasich tried to cut Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and women seeking tests or treatment for breast or cervical cancer. The governor’s attempt to cut the pre-Obamacare programs to match Obamacare expansion’s eligibility limit was blocked by state legislators.

Kasich uses drug addicts and the mentally ill to justify his embrace of Obamacare, but Medicaid expansion is not in any way targeted at drug addiction or mental illness — and an Oregon study of Medicaid expansion found that expansion did not improve health outcomes.

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Apr 04

Ohio STEM school sees record number of applications

The Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield has seen incredible success its first three years, leading to high demand. The school has received 188 applications for next year, including 165 for freshman seats, of which there are only 100 available, so students were admitted via a lottery.

“The buy-in from the staff, the parents and the students is really what has driven this,” said Joshua Jennings, founding director. “The number one reason students want to attend is not so much the programming as it is the culture that we’ve created in our school and that’s really exciting to see.”

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Apr 02

Supreme Court Signals Support in Little Sisters Case in Support of the U.S. Constitution


Catholic stainglassEvery since the passing of the “Affordable Care Act” in 2010 by the Obama Administration, the issue of mandating that religious organizations, against their religious convictions, must comply with providing contraceptives and abortifacient coverage, among many other mandates, …

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Mar 30

Charter schools are closing the achievement gap

The achievement gap between students of different economic backgrounds has long been an issue the educational sector has tried to address through legislation and other reforms. School choice has allowed for significant progress to be made in closing the achievement gap naturally, without intervention. A new study, The Education Equality Index, takes a look at how this is demonstrated in districts around the country.

In the Columbus, Ohio, area, 10 schools are doing especially well at closing the achievement gap, five of which are charters. These are the Arts & College Preparatory Academy, Columbus Collegiate Academy, Columbus Preparatory Academy, Horizon Science Academy Columbus and Noble Academy, Columbus.

School Choice SmallWith only 76 charter schools in the Columbus region, to have half of the top performers as charters is quite a feat. “This is why we exist,” said Andy Boy, founder and CEO of United Schools Network, which operates the Columbus Collegiate Academy on the Near East Side. Nearly all its students, who are in the sixth to eighth grades, are from low-income households. “We are achieving our mission.”

In Memphis, Tennessee, the overall achievement gap closed by 19 percent from 2011 to 2014. “The one thing we’re seeing in Memphis, is that the diversity of options you’re providing are really evident on this list,” said Carrie McPherson Douglass, a managing partner at Education Cities, the organization that undertook the study. Charter schools have done incredible things in the city, including a school that has achieved a  100 percent graduation rate since 2012.

This can be compared with another city in Tennessee, Nashville, which finds the achievement gap growing under a school board that is hostile to charter schools. While six of their top 10 performing schools are charters, “We have three or four board members in Nashville that vote on denying every charter,” said Ravi Gupta, who runs a Nashville-based charter network.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Photo by: Shutterstock

“Charters, percentage-wise, are a very small group of schools in Nashville, yet they make up six out of 10 schools on that list,” he said. “I think that’s pretty remarkable.” While Memphis’s gap was closing by 19 percentage points, Nashville’s grew by 11 percent.

The picture is similar in Washington, D.C. Seven charter schools in the district, spread between grade levels from elementary through high school and populations from traditional students to special education and majority low-income, were found to have a narrow achievement gap where one existed at all. This is a smaller achievement gap than 90 percent of cities in the United States, and it is no coincidence that this happened in a city that has been ranked the second friendliest for school choice.

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Mar 30

Town hall voters challenge Kasich’s Medicaid expansion story

Part 17 of 17 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow

Wisconsin voters were treated to a live look at Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid expansion spin during a March 29 CNN town hall in Milwaukee.

Kasich bristled when a town hall attendee challenged the governor’s expansion of Medicaid under the 2010 federal health law.

“Why did you choose Obamacare?  Why did you choose the Washington-based solution?” the man asked. “And why can’t you guys ever look at some other source other than Washington for these solutions?”

Kasich said he expanded Medicaid only after slowing Ohio’s Medicaid spending growth from 10.5 percent to 2.5 percent. During Kasich’s first term, Ohio Medicaid spending grew by 33 percent.


“Now that my program was under control, I then had a choice,” Kasich said. “Could I bring money back, which is frankly our money, Ohio money, back to Ohio to solve some of our problems.”

This is a talking point Kasich has used since 2013, but Medicaid expansion is not paid for with “Ohio money.” Medicaid expansion is paid for with billions in new deficit spending from a federal government $19 trillion in debt.

Both the Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Research Service have affirmed that Medicaid expansion’s total cost increases with each state that signs on. There’s no Obamacare lockbox of “Ohio money” for Kasich to bring “back to Ohio.”

Kasich’s spirited defense of Medicaid expansion didn’t stop there.

“Where we are in Ohio, is we are now treating the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor, they’re in a better position, they’re not in our prisons, and at the same time, they’re getting on their feet, they’re becoming taxpayers and our Medicaid program is completely under control,” Kasich said.

Obamacare expansion makes anyone with income at or below 138 percent of the poverty line eligible for Medicaid. The program is not in any sense restricted to drug addicts or the mentally ill, and includes no work requirements.

“I reject Obamacare,” Kasich insisted. The optional Medicaid expansion he forced onto Ohio is responsible for three-fourths of the Buckeye State’s Obamacare enrollment.

Expanding Medicaid, Kasich added, “was not only compassionate, but it also made good economic sense for our state and it’s working out quite well.”

The Kasich administration projected 447,000 Ohioans would enroll in Medicaid expansion by 2020. Actual enrollment is already 670,000.


Kasich projected his Medicaid expansion would cost $14 billion by 2020, but it’s on track to double that.


Later during the Milwaukee town hall, another audience member asked Kasich to discuss a time he has “shown moral courage in the face of public opposition.”

Pointing to Obamacare expansion — a policy supported by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, hospital lobbyists, labor unions, and every major newspaper — as an example, Kasich said, “I knew it wasn’t going to be all that popular.”

Democrats supported Medicaid expansion because they knew it was a central pillar of Obamacare. The Ohio Republican Party supported Medicaid expansion because the party is run by Kasich loyalists.

Despite intense pressure from the governor and other Obamacare supporters, Republicans in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate passed a ban on Medicaid expansion in 2013. Kasich vetoed the ban and expanded Medicaid unilaterally.

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Mar 24

Career tech training expanding in Ohio

Some school districts in Ohio are expanding vocational and technical training into middle school grades, an expansion that is growing in part thanks to a measure enacted a couple years ago.

“That legislation is going to be historical because it really began to change and evolve the way career and technical education was going to expand,” said Nash, who was involved with development of the middle school expansion plan when working at the Ohio Department of Education. “There was like 20 different initiatives with just career technical education, and that’s kind of where the push began to take place.”

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Mar 23

Arkansas governor calls rolling back Medicaid expansion ‘unbiblical’

Part 16 of 16 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow
Photo credit: State of Arkansas

CUES FROM KASICH: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is borrowing Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s rhetoric to promote Medicaid expansion

Ending Medicaid expansion in Arkansas would be “unbiblical,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a March 17 radio interview.

Hutchinson officially opposes the 2010 federal health law. But, like Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Hutchinson supports the law’s new federal spending to put working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities on Medicaid.

Hutchinson echoed Kasich’s faith-based Obamacare rhetoric in an interview with Doc Washburn on Newsradio 102.9 KARN, insisting his Arkansas Works plan would use Medicaid expansion funding to help the poor.

Without Medicaid expansion, Hutchinson said, “we’re ending any type of coverage for that waitress in the diner that’s struggling to make a living, that for the first time has some health insurance. But we’d be continuing to subsidize that middle-income person who goes on the exchange to get their insurance that the government helps pay for.”

Under Obamacare, Arkansans with incomes ranging from 100-400 percent of the poverty line can purchase subsidized health insurance through Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion covers anyone with income at or below 138 percent of the poverty line.

“That is fundamentally unfair,” Hutchinson continued, “and I think it’s quite frankly unbiblical that we would forget the least of these and say we’re going to continue to provide taxpayers’ money to help the more wealthy or those that have more income.”

Kasich — a fellow Republican — frequently uses the Bible to threaten Obamacare critics as he travels the country promoting Medicaid expansion.

“When ya get to see St. Peter he’s not gonna ask, ‘Did you balance the budget?’” Kasich said during an October 2014 campaign stop. “He’s going to say, whether he’s Peter or whether he’s Jacob, ‘What’d you do for the least of those?’”

RELATED: Kasich says the Bible supports Obamacare

Hutchinson also told Washburn that rejecting Medicaid expansion would mean “sending our money to Washington, we’re getting nothing for [it],” a common refrain from Kasich as he pushed for Medicaid expansion in Ohio.

Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat, borrowed a similar Kasich talking point to pressure Republican lawmakers into expanding Medicaid in Montana last year.

In Ohio, Kasich ultimately circumvented the General Assembly for his Medicaid expansion after failing to persuade legislators to support it. Hutchinson’s Arkansas Works plan centers on waivers meant to make the proposal more palatable to Republican legislators.

Arkansas Works would replace the state’s Private Option, a budget-busting Medicaid expansion program Hutchinson agreed to end this year. Any waivers for enrollee work requirements or cost-sharing would require approval from the Obama administration, which has rejected similar requests from other states.

State Rep. Josh Miller, a Republican from Heber Springs, has been fighting the Private Option since before its launch in 2014. Miller thinks Hutchinson’s recent comments prove his Arkansas Works waiver requests are primarily for show.

“You can never negotiate a deal that works well for you when you show up with your hat in your hand,” Miller told

“When I ran a bill to eliminate waiting lists for 3,000 Arkansans who have severe developmental disabilities, the governor came out in opposition to that,” Miller said. “I wish he’d had his same dedication to the scriptures in regard to those 3,000 Arkansans who are truly our most vulnerable population.”

“What the governor said smells a lot like dedication to line the pockets of big insurance companies, and it also smells a lot like bovine defecation,” Miller said.

Citing the bill to resolve Medicaid waiting lists for the disabled, Miller’s opponent in the March 1 primary — who was endorsed and funded by Hutchinson — ran a radio ad painting Miller as an Obamacare supporter. Miller won the primary by 50 points.

It’s “ridiculous,” Miller said, “to call into question members of the legislature’s faith who think we don’t need to put our state and our nation into more of a tailspin of unmanageable debt.”

“I don’t think the governor did himself any favors with the legislature,” he added.

To win lawmakers’ support for Arkansas Works, Hutchinson has sought to distinguish his plan from the Private Option, and the Private Option from Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Before Hutchinson declared rolling back Medicaid expansion “unbiblical,” Arkansas radio host Paul Harrell noted in February that the governor — a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives — said Medicaid expansion wasn’t part of Obamacare only days before conceding it was a key component of Obamacare.

The governor has a receptive audience for Arkansas Works in the State Senate, where Private Option supporters Jane English, Lance Eads, and Eddie Joe Williams won contested primaries this month with Hutchinson’s help.

Hutchinson’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Mar 21

Cleveland charter votes to unionize

I Can Charter School in Cleveland, Ohio, has become the first in the city to unionize teachers and staff after a vote of 18-4. Unlike traditional public schools, it is extremely rare for charter schools to unionize.

“I Can Schools supports the teachers in their decision, and we are committed 100% to assuring they receive the tools that are required to excel in the classroom, develop professionally, and fulfill our mission statement,” the I Can network said in a written statement.

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Mar 21

Ohio Medicaid expansion sign-ups keep crushing projections

Part 24 of 24 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

Enrollment in Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid expansion remains on track to double projections in the next few years.

When opting to expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Kasich estimated that 447,000 Ohioans would sign up by 2020. Actual enrollment was 661,725 in February, based on the latest caseload report from the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

If ODM capped Obamacare expansion enrollment at its current level, the two-year-old program would already be 48 percent larger than the Kasich administration said it would be after seven years.

Before Kasich expanded Medicaid eligibility, a study from Tennessee suggested the expansion — which adds working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities to the welfare rolls — would shrink Ohio’s labor force.

The Republican governor paid no heed to the Tennessee study, and also disregarded an Oregon study published in The New England Journal of Medicine concluding Medicaid expansion had no measurable impact on health outcomes.

Ohio’s Obamacare expansion added far more people to Medicaid than expected in its first year, and enrollment continues to top expectations. February enrollment was 0.1 percent below revised projections from last spring, but the February number will increase in future caseload reports.

ODM initially reported 648,088 Obamacare expansion enrollees in December; because of retroactive and backdated enrollment, the latest report showed 670,773 enrollees in December.

RELATED: Ohio Obamacare expansion keeps getting bigger

Average monthly enrollment for the 2015 fiscal year was 159,000 higher than the Kasich administration projected, based on ODM figures that are likely to increase in coming months. At 662,575, average 2016 enrollment is 3.8 percent higher than last spring’s revised projections.

Kasich portrays Medicaid expansion as a moral obligation that’s affordable because of Ohio’s economic recovery. But since his Medicaid expansion took effect in 2014, enrollment in the welfare program has outstripped job growth by a wide margin.


From December 2013 to December 2015, Ohio’s private-sector job growth rate was 3.6 percent — lower than the national rate of 4.8 percent. Ohio’s labor force growth during the same period ranked 42nd of the 50 states.

Greg Lawson, a policy analyst for the free-market Buckeye Institute, called Ohio’s economic performance in the wake of Kasich’s Medicaid expansion “a mixed bag.”

“On the bad side, as research has shown, Medicaid often reduces the number of hours worked by enrollees,” Lawson told “This means that the Medicaid expansion will be a drag on Ohio’s long-term economic performance.”

Lawson said recent labor force growth is a sign of positive momentum for Ohio’s economy, likely triggered by Kasich administration tax cuts. But state lawmakers “will have to either increase taxes or shift spending” to pay the state share of Medicaid expansion costs starting next year.

With Obamacare expansion consistently over budget, state money meant for traditional Medicaid recipients — the disabled, the elderly, children, and pregnant women — will likely be spent on the expansion population next spring.

Last year, when ODM blew through its initial appropriation for the Medicaid expansion, the Kasich administration used spending authority the Ohio General Assembly intended for the traditional Medicaid program to avoid seeking legislative approval to spend more Obamacare funds.

Ohio’s Medicaid expansion has cost federal taxpayers $7.1 billion since January 2014. The expansion’s federal match rate drops to 95 percent next year and is scheduled to decrease gradually to 90 percent by 2020.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Mar 18

Watchdog Podcast: John Kasich won Ohio — now what?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the primary election in his home state on Tuesday night.  That’s the bare minimum that can be asked of a presidential candidate — ask U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio about that — but Kasich is hoping that his first win might be the start of something special for him.

Jason Hart, a national reporter for Watchdog who lives in Ohio, says it would indeed take something special for Kasich to have a chance at catching Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for the GOP nomination. It’s almost mathematically impossible for him to finish with the most delegates, but with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Kasich might be hoping for a little more home cooking in August.

But Kasich’s whole campaign has been a Cinderella run.  He entered as one of many governors running for president, and has unexpectedly outlasted Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and Scott Walker.

Also this week: A look at Sunshine Week, and the always-important issue of government accountability and transparency. Matt Kittle sits down to discuss an open records victory in Wisconsin.

All that, plus our Nanny State of the Week and a Sunshine Week edition of Picks of the Litter, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

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Mar 18

Kasich’s Medicaid expansion has cost taxpayers $7 billion

Part 23 of 23 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid under the 2010 federal health law has cost taxpayers $7 billion in a little more than two years.

The federal government — which is $19 trillion in debt — paid $390 million for Ohio Medicaid expansion benefits in February, bringing the program’s total cost since January 2014 to $7.1 billion.

Kasich frames his Obamacare expansion as a fiscally responsible way to keep drug addicts and the mentally ill out of prison, even as costs zoom past his projections. The expansion was $1.5 billion over budget after 18 months.


“Ohio’s Obamacare expansion has already run $3.1 billion over budget and is on track to run nearly $8 billion over budget by the end of next year,” Jonathan Ingram, research director at the free-market Foundation for Government Accountability, told

“Finding the funding to pay for those overruns will mean fewer resources for education, public safety, and care for the most vulnerable,” Ingram said.

Obamacare expansion spending already dwarfs the monthly budgets of many state programs; disbursements for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, for example, totaled $100 million in February.

Ingram noted that changes to the state’s Medicaid eligibility determination process will soon bump thousands of disabled Ohioans from the Medicaid rolls, while 670,000 able-bodied, working-age adults are enrolled under Kasich’s Obamacare expansion.

Kasich says the expansion let him “bring 14 billion of our dollars home,” but it’s paid for with new federal deficit spending.

And the costs are only going to go up for the state. Five percent of benefit costs will fall to state taxpayers starting in 2017, with the state share increasing to 10 percent by 2020.

The Republican governor and presidential candidate’s $14 billion estimate for 2014-20 is nowhere near what his Medicaid expansion will actually cost state and federal taxpayers, based on the latest Ohio Department of Medicaid data.

Kasich’s Obamacare expansion will cost $27.5 billion by June 2020.
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Kasich’s Obamacare expansion cost an average of $391 million per month — more than $1.5 billion per quarter — during the past six months. At this rate, expansion will cost $14.1 billion by August 2017 and $27.5 billion by June 2020.

Revised cost projections for the 2016-17 state budget were optimistically low, too. With four months left in the 2016 fiscal year, Obamacare expansion has cost $2.5 billion — 9 percent more than lawmakers estimated last spring.

Propelled by Obamacare expansion, Ohio’s Medicaid program cost $1 billion more through February than at the same point in 2015, a 6.6 percent increase.

Contrary to Kasich’s campaign trail claims, Obamacare expansion makes anyone with income at or below 138 percent of the poverty line eligible for Medicaid, regardless of whether they have a job or need treatment for drug addiction or mental illness.

Before Obamacare, Medicaid coverage in Ohio was restricted to pregnant women, children, the elderly, the disabled, impoverished families, and women seeking tests or treatment for breast or cervical cancer.

Ohio receives federal money for 62 percent of traditional Medicaid costs. A much larger share of Obamacare expansion is federally funded, giving state lawmakers an incentive to cut services for the truly needy while putting working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities on welfare.

In addition to his administration’s pending eligibility changes for Ohioans with disabilities, last spring Kasich proposed cutting the income limit for pregnant women and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project from 200 percent to 138 percent of poverty.

Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly rejected Kasich’s eligibility cuts for pregnant women and the BCCP.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Obamacare expansion costs.

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Mar 13

CCV Action PAC Endorses Senator Ted Cruz for President

Senator Ted CruzCitizens for Community Values Action PAC (CCVA PAC) is endorsing Senator Ted Cruz for United States President in the 2016 Ohio Primary Election taking place this Tuesday, March 15.

CCVA PAC is a pro-family organization that supports candidates with …

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Mar 11

Ted Cruz wins Ohio and Florida Conservatives United Preference Poll

Senator Ted Cruz

Six months of polling among Ohio and Florida Conservatives have produced the same winner in their Presidential Preference Polls.  Read here to see how this poll can affect the respective Primary Elections on March 15, 2016.


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Mar 03

FRC Action Prepares a Values Voter Presidential Voter Guide



FRC Action gop-voter_guide_pic

FRC Action, the legislative affiliate of Family Research Council has prepared a 2016 Values Voter Presidential Voter Guide, where they list their evaluation of the positions of the remaining presidential candidates. (Note that Gov. Jeb …

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Feb 29

Common Core must go – Primary votes needed on State Central Committee

Ohio Republican State Central CommitteeCommon Core is a problem that has plagued Ohio’s education system since 2010. Parents and teachers all over the Buckeye State have been fighting to remove the Common Core State Standards from our children’s schools. The Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate and Governor Kasich have refused to address Common Core. In the case of Governor Kasich, he has defended it.

This is a frustrating issue that must be addressed. Republicans are supposed to be for a Constitutional government with the control of education in the hands of local school districts, not supporting a top-down education model.

The Ohio Republican Party has not addressed Common Core – they could address it, but they have refused. The Republican National Committee addressed Common Core in a well-written resolution in 2013. See the text below.

It’s time for the Ohio Republican Party to stand on Principle. We need to replace the current members of the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee with people that will stand up against Common Core – people that will pass the RNC resolution and expect politicians to act to remove Common Core.

To achieve this goal, we need a change at the ballot box. We need new members of the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee. Everyone in Ohio has the chance to vote on their State Central Committee man and woman during the March 15 primary.

It will take some research – these are the challengers. You are starting to get mail from the incumbents. They have the money to do a lot of mailings, but this will only work if you don’t do your research.

Common Core is too big of an issue to stand for the status quo. Find the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee members for your district on the map below. It’s time to find the leadership needed to stand against Common Core. Find your candidates now.

Republican National Committee Resolution on Common Core Spring 2013

“Resolved, the Republican National Committee, as stated in the 2012 Republican Party Platform, “does not believe in a one size fits all approach to education and supports providing broad education choices to parents and children at the State and local level,” (Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods, p.35), which is best based on a free market approach to education for students to achieve individual excellence; and be it further

Resolved, the Republican National Committee recognizes the CCSS for what it is– an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children so they will conform to a preconceived “normal;” and be it further

Resolved, that the Republican National Committee rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state; and be it finally

Resolved, that the 2012 Republican Party Platform specifically states the need to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools, (Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods, p. 36); and therefore, the Republican National Committee rejects this CCSS plan which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.”

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Feb 23

Kasich’s Obamacare roadshow reaches Virginia

Part 15 of 15 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow

Ohio Gov. John Kasich spent several minutes of a Virginia campaign stop on Monday promoting Medicaid expansion.

Virginia is one of 19 states where lawmakers have rejected the funding the 2010 health insurance law promises for expanding Medicaid to working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities.

Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe supports Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and has borrowed many of Kasich’s talking points to pressure Virginia legislators to enact it.

In his Monday speech, Kasich suggested — as he has in Florida, Georgia, TennesseeNorth CarolinaSouth Carolina, South Dakota, and Montana — his fellow Republicans in the Old Dominion are fighting Obamacare because they are heartless politicians.

The Republican governor called Obamacare “bad medicine,” but he said the law’s Medicaid expansion gave him an opportunity to “bring 14 billion of our dollars home to deal with some serious problems.”

Kasich’s Obamacare expansion — paid for with new federal deficit spending — is on track to double his $14 billion cost estimate for 2014-20. Medicaid expansion is responsible for three-fourths of Ohio’s total Obamacare enrollment.

BACKGROUND: Gov. Kasich has a $14 billion Obamacare problem

Kasich framed Obamacare expansion as a program for the mentally ill, drug-addicted, and working poor, but it’s not targeted at any of those groups. Having income at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line is the only requirement for Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare expansion.

Kasich noted, as he regularly does, that President Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid; former Reagan chief of staff Ed Meese refuted Kasich’s insinuation that Reagan would support Obamacare in a 2013 National Review column.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who suspended his presidential campaign after finishing fourth in South Carolina, began to sharply criticize Kasich’s embrace of Obamacare following Kasich’s second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary earlier this month.

Kasich, who came in fifth in South Carolina, alluded to Bush’s complaints while talking up Medicaid expansion in his Virginia stump speech.

“I knew I would take criticism. Did I care? Not really,” Kasich said, insisting mentally ill Ohioans are “living out their God-given purpose because of the resources we’ve been able to apply.”

“You know what I think? Our state grows, and as our state grows, we have an obligation — a responsibility as human beings all made in the image of the Lord — to help our fellow neighbors rise and be able to accomplish their purpose as well,” Kasich continued.

Kasich said on Feb. 3 that he doesn’t “go out and try to win a vote using God,” but he has persistently invoked God’s name to defend Obamacare expansion.

The governor has likewise been persistent in framing Obamacare expansion as a product of Ohio’s growing economy, part of his effort to convince voters the expansion isn’t paid for with new federal deficit spending.

BACKGROUND: Who’s paying for Kasich’s Medicaid expansion?

“But let me tell you this: if people want to attack me for that, great, because I wear it as a badge of honor in doing the right thing when everybody yells, ‘don’t do it, it’s bad politics,'” Kasich said. “We’ve had enough of politics in the United States of America. It’s time we had leadership and not politics.”

Back home in Ohio, Kasich’s Obamacare expansion is supported by the Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and every major newspaper. Like Kasich himself, the Ohio Republican Party supports the  expansion while claiming to be against the overall program.

When Kasich failed to lead the Ohio General Assembly to expand Medicaid in 2013, he vetoed a legislative ban on expansion, expanded Medicaid unilaterally, and threatened to bankrupt Ohio’s entire Medicaid program if a pseudo-legislative seven-member board didn’t appropriate Obamacare funding.

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Feb 18

State Central Committee – Most important vote in the primary

State Central Committee

Click on the map to find the State Central Committee candidates in your district

The most important vote you will make in the primary is not for President, it is for State Central Committee. State Central Committee is the Governing body of the political parties.  If you are a Republican, this group of people are the standard-bearers of Republican principles – or lack of principles.  In recent years, Republicans in Ohio have stood for Common Core, Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, tax increases and increased spending.

The State Central Committee, instead of censuring these Republicans for not standing for Republican principles, they endorsed them. This group of people also endorsed Governor Kasich for President of the United States.

This March you have the opportunity to replace the members of the State Central Committee with conservatives that will stand for the principles of the Constitution. Candidates all over the state have stepped forward and put their name on the ballot – the rest is up to you, you need to vote.

Click on the map below to find your candidates.  You get to vote for a man and a woman in your district. Make sure you know your candidates and please share this map with everyone you know.

This election will not just determine the next Presidential candidate, it will also determine Ohio’s future.

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Feb 06

Republican Debate #7: Winnowing

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Feb 06

Republican Debate #6 Recap: Narrowing

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Jan 30

Meet the Candidates Nights: In Montgomery Co Monday February 1 & In Greene Co Thursday February 18

MVCI logo

MVCI will sponsor a Meet the Candidates Night on this Monday, February 1, for candidates running for election in Mongomery County in the March 15 Ohio primary election. The candidates forum will take place from 7 to 8:30

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Jan 28

A Two-Way Republican Race By the March 15 Ohio Primary?


Republicanlogo 553 wideThis article describes the “Proportional” and “Winner Take All” primary process of the Republican Party. Dick Morris also explains his rationale why the Republican list of candidates could be down to “two” by 15 March. Since the …

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Jan 26

Appeals Judge Slaps Her Party with a Challenge



O’Toole runs against GOP-endorsed candidate for Ohio Supreme Court
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Jan 17

On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

Senator Ted CruzAn article published in the Harvard Law Review, March 2015, long before the current distraction regarding Ted Cruz’s citizenship clearly shows that he indeed is an American Citizen and therefore is eligible to run for President of the United …

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Jan 14

GOP Debate #5 Recap: The Top 9

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Jan 12

Come to the CVA Defend Freedom Tour at the Hope Hotel January 23, 2016!

Defend Freedom Tour Slider

Concerned Veterans for America is excited to bring the 2016 Defend Freedom Tour to the Hope Hotel in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday evening, January 23, 2016. This event will bring together veterans, military family members, and patriotic Americans to …

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Jan 09

Out of Touch State Central Committee wants you to support John Kasich for President

Ohio GOP State Central Committee

Ohio GOP State Central Central Committee Meeting.

The Ohio Republican Party wants you to support John Kasich as President of the United States. Friday, the Ohio Republican Party’s leadership, the State Central Committee endorsed John Kasich for President of the United States. If you are Republican, the State Central Committee who represents you as your connection to the state party – said that you support Kasich.

Is it any wonder why people are so angry? The State Central Committee is made up of 66 people, one man and one woman from each State Senate District. The purpose of the State Central Committee is to run the day to day affairs of the political party, elect the Chairman, fundraising and endorse candidates to support with money and coordination. They are up for reelection every two years. This March 15th is when they are next up for election.

In addition to the nuts and bolts of politics, a political party is supposed to be the standard bearer of principles the party represents.

Four years ago there was a big inter-party fight within the State Central Committee. In 2012, the Chairman at the time – Kevin DeWine – was forced out as Chairman by a group of people that were elected to the State Central Committee on Governor Kasich’s encouragement. Governor Kasich actively recruited people for State Central Committee that would support him and his political position in every way – and he achieved that goal. In 2012, enough of the State Central Committeemen that Governor Kasich supported won that they took over the party to elect our current Chairman Matt Borges.

Every office in Ohio is held by a Republican – they have super majorities in the Senate, a large majority in the House, all executive branch offices and a majority on the Supreme Court. Ohio should be in Republican nirvana, but it’s not.
Chairman Borges and the Republicans on the State Central Committee had stood by when Governor Kasich and the General Assembly supported Common Core, implemented and funded Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion, failed to defund Planned Parenthood, have not voted on making Ohio a Right to Work state, have not simplified the tax code, have raised taxes and have increased the spending in Ohio by 30% since Governor Strickland left office.

At the State Central Committee meeting Friday, 41 of the over 50 members in attendance voted to endorse Kasich – 80% of those on State Central Committee support Governor Kasich. In the last poll done in Ohio by Quinnipiac, only 13% of Ohioans supported Governor Kasich for President.

The State Central Committee want you to support John Kasich, and they are going to spend Republican Party money, that could go to other in-state candidates, to support John Kasich.

Principles are what make a party, not a person. It is understandable to have loyalty to Governor Kasich; he got many of the members of the State Central Committee elected – but is he the best representative of Republican values, should he be the Republican nominee for President of the United States? Some may think so, but it should be left to the voters.

The ‘I got you elected, you get me elected’ nonsense has to stop. We must have a State Central Committee that votes to support candidates that are the best representatives of Republican principles – the days of crony politics needs to come to an end.
At the end of the meeting, just to put a final stamp of approval on the endorsement, the State Central Committee voted to show the vote as unanimous.

Most disagree with you Ohio Republican State Central Committee – it is not unanimous to the rest of Ohio. Let the best Republican candidate win.

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Dec 21

Tell us about good candidates in your area

Now that the filing deadline has passed for March 15, 2016, primary, we need to organize our collective efforts to help the candidates who share our values to win their primary races. To help the candidates YOU support, we need to know who they are and what offices they are trying to win. Even if they don’t have a primary, we still need to know who they are so that we can help prepare them for the general or what to do once they are on the county central committee.

Therefore, we NEED YOU to go to this link TODAY:

Tell us about EVERY Candidate you think deserves our support in March and the General. We particularly need to know about county races where we have good chances to win, but often we do not know who to support. Once we have a handle on how many and which candidates are out there, we will organize regional and state meetings to train and organize their campaign staffs and help them win their race.

ALL Candidates and Campaign Volunteers need to go to this link IMMEDIATELY to get vital information that will help them win: Training Videos for Candidates and Campaign Staff

I cannot tell you how important it is that each of you who receive this email in Ohio tells us the names of the candidates you think we should support . Then go to the Training videos and watch the ones that interest you so that you can decide how you can help those candidates locally. Please do it Today and get all your friends and family who believe as we do, to do the same!

We all know that 2016 is going to be just brutal. I am not wishing anyone a Happy New Year this year, because I see little chance that 2016 will be happy for working Americans and lovers of Liberty. Our Liberty will be attacked more this year than at any time in our lives and in the six year history of our movement. We MUST prepare to fight back by defeating them everywhere we can in 2016 – be they Democrats or Establishment Republicans. That is what this email is about. The time to prepare is BEFORE the battle begins, not after the battle begins. Enjoy the holidays, but take this two weeks to educate yourself, do your research, develop a personal strategy, decide where you can make the most impact, and to build your physical and emotional strength. For I assure you that, come January, our nation is going to need all you’ve got to give in order to save it.

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Dec 19

Women in Combat: Venus Ascending into the House of Mars

On December 3, 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that all combat jobs will be open to women with no exceptions. He was quick to add, “…as long as they qualify and meet the standards.”

His announcement received little attention. Probably because women have already an increased military presence and the idea of restricting any jobs to women is now so archaic as to be nonsensical. But if that were completely true, why did Carter feel he had to make a qualifying statement?

Before looking into Carter’s (actually President Obama’s) policy change, it’s important to acknowledge that since the dawn of time, women have fought, when necessary, in traditional male military roles. And today, military women are put in harm’s way when assigned to combat areas while in support roles.

What is different in the new policy is that women will now participate in all combat roles as a matter of policy versus as a matter of necessity. A turn of events with many potential consequences; of which I will limit myself to three.     

Mars versus Venus

Many traditionalists would argue women typically don’t have the physical strength and the male-warrior persona necessary to perform combat duties. This line of argument is often popularly put in terms of the differences in Mars and Venus (DMV).

However, feminists often point out that any gender differences are minor or are conditions of upbringing. Nevertheless, when convenient, feminists love to point out the violent nature of men and the nurturing disposition of women; the very characteristics of Mars and Venus. In fact, the subtle effect of Venus in the house of Mars has not gone unnoticed.  Over the past several decades, the influx of women into the military has led to the expression “the feminization of the military.”   

[RELATED on OCR: “Turn In Your Man Card (Happy Father’s Day!)”]

Part of the problem with the DMV argument, from both the Left and Right, is that warfare has changed drastically since when the primary requirement was to drive a 50 pound ax into your enemy’s skull. Today, you can kill your enemy from an air conditioned room in Virginia while being eight months pregnant.

But we can’t leave the argument there, because what we’re really talking about are not women piloting drones but being grunts. Drones have a purpose, but it’s the grunts, the boots on the ground, that win wars; that is, if their political leaders allowed them to win.

Therefore, the DMV argument really gets down to, given some objective standards; can women be grunts, let alone members of Special Forces? The short answer is, yes. But now we get into Carter’s qualification conditions.

If we could discuss this topic rationally, the problem would be put in terms of an equality of opportunity. Let’s set X much greater than Y and say at this time X% of males are capable of meeting combat standards but only Y% of women are. Then we should be satisfied to see those “natural” ratios in combat ranks. (Special Forces numbers might differ.) These ratios may naturally adjust over time if in nature versus nurture, nurture has an edge.

However, we cannot discuss this rationally, because the new policy will quickly devolve to sexism and equality of outcome. And thus, over time, politics will require a quota system to ensure the ratio of men and women in combat roles is the same as in society. And with that quota system come the lawyers, the changes in standards, and the potentially dangerous outcomes for both the men and women in the trenches.

There are indications, discussed here, that this is already happening.

Mars and Venus share foxholes; Mars bridled

If it was just a case of DMV, we could wrap up the discussion now. But then there is the second issue that deals with male/female sexual tension and its negative consequences to combat readiness. If you argue that men and women serving together as grunts sharing a foxhole is different than men and women writing software sharing a cubicle, your words would fall on national leaders who see, hear, and speak no evil.  

In all cultures, human sexual norms are a complex set of rules that are sometimes dictated down by a ruling class as opposed to being allowed to evolve organically. Progressives view historical western sexual norms as patriarchally driven. Therefore, if there is a sexuality problem with men and women working as closely as sometimes is required for grunts in combat, it is a male problem and must be suppressed and replaced; something which is rigorously occurring in the military today.

This issue is cousin to the transgender locker room problem. Here the Left would also argue that opposition is the result of conditioning and must also be suppressed and replaced; something which is rigorously occurring in society today.  

But my aim here is not to solve problems of human sexuality. My only comment is, “If life were only that simple.”  

Venus’ Motherhood Devalued

The new policy can thank society’s devaluation of motherhood for partial support. Patriarchalism aside, a primary reason why societies protected women from combat was because of their value in the reproductive process; a process where men were mostly a fungible commodity. A tribe could easily afford to lose a substantial number of young male warriors, but no tribe could survive with an equivalent loss of young women; in battle or in changing cultural norms.

The Left has successfully detached men from their traditional parental and gender roles and Liberals are fighting aggressively to do the same for women. This is why Carter’s qualification statement was really meant to cut off criticism from traditionalists. As discussed above, it has no real meaning under equality of outcome.

It’s difficult to say where all this will go or what unforeseen problems this new policy will create. On the other hand, it may work with no major detrimental consequences! But the military is just a reflection of the society it serves. So one thing is certain; we have seen great changes in our society over the past few decades and will see many more in the future as we leap blindly into our brave new world.

[RELATED on OCR: “Wandering in the American Cultural Desert Like a Stranger in a Strange Land”]



Tony Corvo is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with a Ph.D. in physics. He is active in local Beavercreek, Ohio politics and is the author of All Politics is Loco: Musings from the Conservative Next Door. He and his wife have two grown daughters. He writes extensively on local issues. Many of his recent articles can be found at

Permission to reprint or otherwise distribute, in whole or in part, with express attribution to Ohio Conservative Review or is granted.

All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.

Photo: By Spc. William Hatton ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Dec 15

Recapping Republican Debate #4: “Elite Eight” and the Economy

The fourth Republican debate’s “main event” was held on November 10, 2015 at the Milwaukee Theater in Milwaukee, WI and was hosted by Fox Business and The Wall Street Journal. Moderators were Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo, and Gerard Baker. The winnowing process continued as Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) were moved to the earlier session, which had dropped former Gov. George Pataki (NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) from its group. The standings were from data of four more recent national polls.

From left to right on the television screen, we had Gov. John Kasich (Ohio since 2011), Gov. Jeb Bush (Florida 1999-2007), Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida since 2011), Donald Trump (real estate developer), Dr. Ben Carson ( Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 1984-2013), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas since 2013), Carly Fiorina (CEO of Hewlett-Packard 1999-2005), and Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky since 2011).

Debate questions will be listed in the order they were given with a commentary and analysis at the end of this article.


[Cavuto to Trump: Many protestors are asking for $15/ hour minimum wage. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the first to propose it to his state workers. As Trump’s tax plan exempts couples making up to $50,000 from federal taxation, are you sympathetic to the call for a $15 minimum wage?]

Trump: He is not. Recalling his belief that the U.S. doesn’t win anymore, too high wages is part of the problem causing our inability to compete globally. “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out. They have to work really hard and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this (increase in the min. wage) if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”

[Cavuto to Carson: He was asked to comment on the difference between his position that one minimum wage doesn’t fit all and that, perhaps, there should be a lower starter wage vs. the protestors who want nothing less than $15/ hour.]

Carson: “People need to be educated on the minimum wage. Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. It’s particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8% of black teenagers have a job… If you lower those wages, that comes down.”

He recalled is first job working as a lab assistant and others, he would not have been hired if he was required to be paid “a large amount of money.”   However, it gave him the various experiences to “become a responsible individual.” All of this allowed him “to ascend the ladder of opportunity in this country. That’s what we need to be thinking about… rather than how do we give them everything and keep them dependent.” (loud applause)


[Cavuto to Rubio: Since the senator called the Democratic debate a “night of giveaways”, what does he feel should be taken back?]

Rubio: He began that despite the fact that his parents were not rich (his father was a bartender and his mother was a maid), they were successful. They were able to buy a home in a stable neighborhood and ensured their children were better off than they were. They also retired with dignity. This is the “American dream,” but it’s really a universal dream held throughout the world.

“It is a reminder—that every country in the world has rich people. What makes America special, is that we have millions and millions of people who are not rich, but through hard work and perseverance are able to be successful. The problem is that today people are not successful working as hard as ever because the economy is not providing jobs that pay enough. If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people to increase their pay, I would be all for it, but it isn’t. In the 21st century, it’s a disaster. If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that’s replacing jobs and people right now, is only going to be accelerated.”

“Here ‘s the best way to raise wages: make America the best place in the world to start a business or to expand an existing business. Tax reform and regulatory reform, bringing our debt under control, fully utilizing our energy sources so we can reinvigorate manufacturing. Repeal and replace Obamacare and make higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training. And for the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers. (cheering) And if we do that (cheering) and if we do this, if we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans and we will be able to leave everyone better off without making anyone worse off.”


[Bartiromo: A Facebook question concerning what the candidates will do to address our nearly $20 trillion in federal debt. To Kasich: Since he helped balance the federal budget under President Clinton, what steps does he offer now (especially in view of others’ tax plans which would raise the deficit) with the deficit’s interest payments schedule to triple over the next few years and Social Security heading toward insolvency?]

Kasich: First of all, in his state of Ohio, the minimum wage has increased slightly. Secondly, he understands difficult times. His father was a mailman and his grandfather was a coal miner who died from black lung disease. It took very little for his town to turn toward desperate financial times. His tax plan would cut taxes without adding to our children’s’ debt. It would also lower taxes for businesses so that they would be more likely to stay here. And only his budget would get to a balanced budget by the end of a second term.

“We hear a lot of promises in this debate, a lot of promises about these tax cuts, or tax schemes that sometimes I call them. Hillary and the Democrats promise everything on the spending side, we’ve got to be responsible about what we propose on the tax side. Yes, lower taxes, lower spending. My web site: will show exactly how we balance the budget. I balanced the budget in Washington as the chief architect and I balanced in Ohio for one reason: when you balance the budget and cut taxes, people get work. And our most important moral purpose, as leaders in the political system is to make sure we create an environment for job creation so people can live their dreams and realize their God-given potential. That’s why it’s so important. And for those at the bottom, we’ve got to do what we can to train them so they can move up. But to just the other way is not acceptable.”

[Bartiromo to Kasich: “Did you want to name any specific steps, sir?]

Kasich: Reduce growth of Medicare from 7% to a 5% growth and he has several ways to do that. In Ohio, the Medicaid growth went from 10% to 2.5% without cutting benefits or dropping anyone. He’s an innovator and doesn’t care about what special interest groups or lobbyists want. In addition, “we freeze non-defense discretionary spending for eight years. We also put an increase in defense spending. Our tax cuts balance out and at the end of the day we get to a balanced budget.”


[Bartiromo to Cruz: The International Monetary Fund1,2 has lowered its expectations for growth in the U.S. and a likely recession again next year. What other elements are needed besides his 10% income tax and 16% business tax to actually create jobs?]

Cruz: “Economic growth is foundational to every to every other challenge we have.” In the last seven years. Our economy has averaged only 1.2% growth annually, “and the IMF is telling us that this is the normal. But it doesn’t have to be.”

There are three ways the government can assist the economy. The first is tax reform and he has a “bold and simple flat tax, 10% for every American that would produce booming growth and 4.9 million new jobs within a decade. The second is regulatory reform… and the third element is sound money. Every time we’ve pursued all three of those, whether in the 1920’s with Calvin Coolidge or the 1960’s with JFK or the 1980’s with Ronald Reagan, the result has been incredible economic growth. We have done it before, and with leadership, we can do it again.”

(Bartiromo: “Thank you, sir.”)
“Excuse me.”
(Bartiromo: “Governor Bush”)
Bush: “Yeah.”
Kasich: “I’d like to make a comment.”
Bush: “You’ve already made two comments, John. It’s my turn.”
(Bartiromo: “We have more questions for you Gov. Kasich coming up.”)
Bush: “I got about four minutes in last debate and I’m going to get my questions now.”
Kasich: “I appreciate that, Jeb, and I’m all for ya. But at some point I want to talk about a value added tax and an eleven twelve trillion dollar tax cuts that will put our kids way deeper in the hole than they’ve been…”

[Bartiromo, regains order with this question to Bush: According to the participation rates3, 40% of Americans are without a job or have given up looking for one. He has promised a return to 4% growth which we haven’t seen since 2000. What specific regulations would he change and how they lead us to the 4%?]

Bush: Lack of growth makes more reliant on government which adds to the deficit. Tax reform is needed and he claimed The Wall Street Journal called his the most pro-growth tax proposal of all the candidates. He would eliminate a lot of deduction and cut the corporate rate to 20% and “allow full expensing of investing, which would create higher wage jobs.”

“On the regulatory side, I think we need to repeal every rule that Barack Obama has in terms of work-in-progress. Every one of them! (cheering) And start over. For those that are already in existence, the regulation of the internet, we have to start over, but we ought to do that. Clean Power Act, we ought to repeal that, and start over on that. The Waters of the United States Act, which is going to be devastating to agriculture and many industries, we should repeal that.” Why? Because the “economic costs far exceed the social benefit.”Small businesses are closing faster than are being started. Hillary Clinton hives Obama’s economic policies an “A” — astounding in the light of the fact that 10% of people either aren’t working or have given up. “One in seven are living in poverty, that’s not an ‘A.’ On e in five children are on food stamps. That’s not an ‘A’. It may be the best that Hillary Clinton can do, but it’s not the best America can do.” (applause)

[Baker to Fiorina: How will she respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans, based on the fact that monthly job creation for the Obama years has been around 110,000; 240,000 for the Clinton years and only 13,000 during George W. Bush’s years?]

Fiorina: She met a fortyish woman recently who expressed fear for her children’s future. While it’s true that problems from our government have increased under the Democrats, “but the truth is this government has been growing bigger and bigger, more corrupt, less effective, crushing the engine of economic growth for a very long time. This isn’t just about replacing a Democrat with a Republican now. It’s about actually challenging the status quo of big government. Big government has created a big business called politics. And there are lots of people invested in that big business called politics. Specifically, we need to actually do five things to really get this economy going again.

  • We need to go to zero-based budgetting4 so that we know where every dollar is being spent. We can challenge any dollar, cut any dollar, move any dollar. (applause)
  • We need to actually reform the tax code. Go to a three-page tax code. Yes, there are plans which will reform our tax code to three pages.
  • In addition to rolling back what President Obama has done, we need to do a top-to-bottom review of every single regulation on the books. That hasn’t been done in fifty years.
  • We need to pass the REIGNS Act5 so Congress is in charge of regulation, not nameless faces bureaucrats accountable to no one. We’ve become a nation of rules, not a nation of laws.
  • And finally, we actually, yes, have to hold government officials accountable for their performance.

All of this has to be done and the citizens of this nation must help a President Fiorina, get it done. We must take our government back.” (to increasing applause)


[Baker to Paul: Fifty years ago, the average CEO salary was twenty times that of the average worker. Now, it’s about three hundred times. Does this gap matter?]

Paul: “Absolutely…It seems to be worse in cities run by Democrats. Governors – . (applause) States run by Democrats and the country is currently run by Democrats. So, the thing is, let’s look for root causes.”

But the Federal Reserve is also responsible by artificially keeping interest rates below market rates, which has made it more difficult for average Americans to earn interest. It’s almost to the point of negative interest. Created money has first gone to the large banks in New York, but has not filtered into the economy. Income inequality is couple with a devaluation of the currency which hurts the poor the most. Do we really want the Federal Reserve to have such control over interest rates and we also need root causes determined for events like the housing crisis. “But the bottom line is if you want les income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor or a state with a Republican governor.” (applause)


[Cavuto to Carson: As his campaign is being scrutinized more than Sen. Barack Obama’s in 2008, does he feel his campaign is being hurt by it, especially since his brand is one of trust?]

Carson: “Well, first of all, thank you for not asking me what I said in the tenth grade, I appreciate that. (laughter) But uh, (Cavuto: (I’ll just forget that follow-up!”) The fact of the matter is, you know, we should vet all candidates. I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with, is being lied about. And then ,putting that out there (applause) the truth. And, I don’t even mind that so much if they do it about everybody like people on the other side. But, when I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton, who, who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official that, no, this was a terrorist attack and tells everybody else that it was video. Where I came from, they call that a lie. And, uh – (cheering applause) I, I think that’s very different from, you know, someone misinterpreting when I said I was offered a scholarship to West Point, that’s the words that they used. But, I’ve had many people come and they’ve said the same thing to me. That’s what people do in those situations. We have to start treating people the same and find out what they really think and what they’re made of. People who know me, know that I’m an honest person.”


[Bartiromo to Trump: The Obama Administration is appealing to the Supreme Court, a recent court decision striking down his plan to prevent deportation of five million immigrants living here illegally. These immigrants have a great impact on our economy. What would he do about it?]

Trump: He was thrilled with that decision “and we don’t have enough of those decisions” against Obama’s tendency to write executive orders at will. Illegal immigration is hurting us economically and from many standpoints. Drug problems in the inner city are related to this. “The courts have not been ruling in our favor. And it was a 2-1 decision and it was a terrific thing… We are a country of laws. We need borders. We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful. And if you think walls don’t work, all you have to is ask Israel. The wall works, believe me, properly done. Believe me.” (applause)

[Bartiromo to Trump: “Can you just send five million people back with no affect on the economy?”] — then Trump vs. Kasich

Trump: “You have to bring people, you have to send people out. Look, we are, Maria, we are a country of laws. We either have a country or we don’t have a country. We are a country of laws. Going to have to go out, and they’ll come back, but they’ll have to go out, and hopefully, they get back. We have no choice if we’re going to run our country properly and if we’re going to be a country.”

Kasich: “Maria, can we comment on that?… Can we comment on that?” (Baker: “Yes, one quick comment, yes sir.”) He recounted that 1986, President Reagan said law-abiding immigrants could stay, but we didn’t build the wall effectively. “We need to control our border just like people have to control who goes in and out of their house. But, if people think we are going to ship eleven million people, who are law-abiding, who are in this country and somehow pick them up at their house and ship them out of Mexico, to Mexico? Think about the families. Think about the children. So, you know what the answer really is: if they’ve been law-abiding, they pay a penalty, they get to stay. We protect the wall. Anybody else comes over, they go back. But for the eleven million people – come on folks, you know we can’t pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It’s a silly argument. (applause) It’s not an adult argument. It makes no sense.”

Trump: “All I can say is, you’re lucky in Ohio that you struck oil, that’s for one thing. Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower, good President, great President, people liked him. “I Like Ike,” right? The expression: “I Like Ike,” moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border, they came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them waaay south, they never came back. (laughter) Dwight Eisenhower. You don’t get nicer. You don’t get friendlier. They moved a million and a half people out. We have no choice. We have no choice. (followed by a little chaos)

Kasich: “He mentioned my name …(more chaos)… You’re not going to have my back. I’m going to have my back. I want to say a couple things here. First of all—“
Trump: “You should let Jeb speak.”
Kasich: “We have grown—we have grown in the state of Ohio (more undecipherable Trump comments evoking laughter) Hold on, in the state of Ohio, in the state of Ohio, we have grown 347,000 jobs. Our unemployment is half of what it was. Our fracking industry, energy industry, MAY have contributed 20,000, but if Mr. Trump understood the real jobs come in the downstream not in the upstream, but in the downstream. And that’s where we’re going to get our jobs. But Ohio is diversified and little false little things, sir, they really don’t work when they come o the truth. So, the fact is that I’m suggesting, we can’t ship eleven million people out of this country. Children would be terrified and it will not work… And someone’s …. (talked over)”

(talking over Kasich after the governor’s buzzer) “…built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. I don’t have to hear from this man. Believe me, I don’t have to hear from him.” (laughter, then boos)

[Baker: “Mr. Trump, you yourself said let Gov. Bush speak.”]

Bush: “Thank you, Donald, for letting me speak at the debate. That’s really nice of you. (laughter) What a generous man you are.” The governor said it’s impractical and against our American values to attempt to deport twelve million immigrants at a rate of 500,000 per month.

“It would tear communities apart. (cheering) And It would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is. And even having this conversation sends a powerful signal. They’re doing high fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this. (quiet) That’s the problem with this. We have to win the presidency. And the way you win the presidency is to have practical plans.” He said that we need to provide for a plan to earn legal status: they must pay a fine, work, not commit crimes, learn English and do all of this in an extended period of time. (cheering and applause)

As Baker tried to ask Rubio— Trump: “We have millions of people online, right now, trying to come into this country. Very, very unfair to the people who want to come into our country legally. They’ve gone through the process. They’re online. They’re waiting. Very, very unfair to them. That I can tell you. (scattered cheering)


[Baker to Rubio: The transformation of economy creates anxiety. Many fear that innovators and investors will reap most of the rewards. With more machines on the job and more purchasing online, “many traditional jobs are just going away. How do you reassure American workers that their jobs are not being steadily taken by machines?]

Rubio: We’re not experiencing just an economic downturn, “but a massive transformation.” The difference is seen even just over the last five years, not to mention 15-20. “It took the telephone seventy-five years to reach a hundred million users. It took Candy Crush one year to reach 100 million users.6 (laughter)  The world is changing faster than ever and it is disruptive.” We are in competition with dozens of developed economies and we’re losing “because we have the highest business tax rate in the industrialized world, because we have regulations that grow by the billions every single week. Because we have a crazy health care law that discourages companies from hiring people, but because we’re not fully using our energy resources, because if we did, it would bring back all kinds of growth, especially in manufacturing. And because we have an outdated higher education system. Our higher education system is completely outdated. (gradual applause from stark silence) It’s too expensive. Too hard to access and it doesn’t teach 21st century skills.”

“If we do what needs to be done: tax reform, regulatory reform, fully utilize our energy resources, repeal and replace Obamacare and modernize higher education, then we can grasp the potential and the promise of this new economy. And we just won’t save the American dream, we will expand it to reach more people and change and change more lives than ever before. And truly, this new century will be a new American century.” (cheering and applause)


[Baker to Cruz: He has proposed delaying the retirement age and lowering Social Security benefits. How is this different from the Paul Ryan plan to move to federally funded private plans, and the infamous “pushing Granny over the cliff” commercials of the Left?]

Cruz: “Well, my mom is here, so I don’t think we should be pushing any grannies off cliffs.” His plan has been misstated. For seniors, he proposes no changes now. It’s for the younger workers that he’s proposing a gradual raise in the retirement age and slower increases in benefits and allow them to keep some of their money in a personal retirement account, which can later be given to their children, instead of sending it to the federal government.

Going back to the previous discussion, “the Democrats are laughing. Because if the Republicans join the Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose. (applause) And, you know, I understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration, it doesn’t often see it as an economic issue, but I can tell you for millions of Americans at home watching this, it is a very personal economic issue. And I say the politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande. Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving sown the wages in the press! (laughter and applause) Then, we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation! And I would say that for those of us who say that people ought to come to this country legally and we should enforce the law, we’re tired of being told that it is anti-immigrant. It’s offensive. I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba to seek the American dream. And we can embrace legal immigration while believing in the rule of law. And I would note, try going illegally to another country. Try going to China, or Japan. Try going to Mexico. See what they do! Every sovereign nation secures its borders and it’s not compassionate to say we’re not going to enforce the laws and we’re going to drive down the wages for millions of hard-working men and women. That is abandoning the working people.” (applause and cheering)


[Bartiromo: Going to a Facebook question from Dewayne Wesley Cato, “How do we get rid of the regulations that are choking our businesses?” Some companies are more willing to pay the fines than to offer Obamacare, others are lowering working hours to avoid being required to do so. To Fiorina: “What specific ways will you alleviate the pressure on small businesses?”]

Fiorina: Obamacare must be repealed because it’s failing those it was supposed to help and “it’s crony capitalism at its worst.” It was the drug, insurance and pharmaceutical companies which helped to write this bill and they are the ones benefitting from it. Because big government has been growing for the last fifty years, and under the leadership of both parties, companies have to bulk up to deal with this. Only the large companies who have all of the lawyers and accountants can figure out this massive bill. Then the states have o deal with this “high risk pool.”

“Health insurance has always been a cozy little game between regulators and health insurance companies. We need to try the free market. The free market, (applause) where people actually have to compete. And, we ought to have the government insure that you must, and I don’t use that term often ‘the government ought to do something,’ that every health care provider ought to publish its costs, its prices, its outcomes because as patients we don’t know what we’re buying.” Our key to success is our innovation and willingness to be entrepreneurs which is why need to cut down the size of our government. Our strengths are being crushed by a 73,000 page tax code, by a “regulatory thicket,” and by politicians who aren’t accountable for the poor jobs they do. And, “we need to get to a 3-page tax code and, yes, that plan exists.”

[Bartiromo: If Obamacare is repealed, what is the alternative?]

Fiorina: “The alternative is to allow the states to manage the high risk pools for those who really need help. Look, I am a cancer survivor.   Okay? I understand that you cannot who’s battled cancer just become known as a pre-existing condition. I understand that you cannot allow families to go bankrupt if they truly need help, but I also understand that Obamacare isn’t helping anyone. We’re throwing more and more people into Medicaid. Fewer doctors are taking those payments. The point is, Obamacare is crushing small businesses. It is not helping the families it was intended to help.” So we need to try something different: the free market.


[Cavuto: Carson is in favor of a system similar to tithing, up to 15% while Trump says wealthier people should pay a higher rate. “So, whose plan would God endorse, doctor?” to Carson]

Carson: His use of tithing refers to proportionality. Regardless of the amount paid everyone still receives the same benefits. However, deductions and loopholes must go, too. He disagrees to those who say not having the deduction for mortgage payments would discourage home ownership. [note: but he likened it to pre-1913 when there was no such deduction— but there was no income tax either!] He did have a point in that pre-1913 people were generous to charitable organizations, and that with more income through lower taxation, they will be more generous. (applause) His plan also has a rebate for people at the poverty level. As his system helps to get the economy moving, “there will be a lot more opportunities for poor people not to be poor people.”

[Cavuto to Paul: Doesn’t his 14.5% flat tax cause a “near term budget crisis?”]

Paul: Money is best spent in the private sector, so he wants to shrink the federal so “that’s it’s so small you can barely see it.” (strong applause) His tax plan is the only one that is part of a balanced budget plan. He has three separate plans, each of whom would reach a balanced budget within five years. The key is cuts – which no one wants to discuss. He would also eliminate the payroll tax. While especially Democrats would complain that it would therefore give wealthier people more back, it is the proportionality concept which Carson has explained. In this way, everyone gets a tax break. The same 14.5% tax for individuals and businesses and the business tax would pay for Social Security. Deductions for home mortgage and charity would remain in place.

[Bartiromo to Cruz: While everyone would like tax cuts, how can he cut them so much without running up the deficit?]

Cruz: For a family of four, no taxes on the first $36,000, including payroll. Above that, a 10% on everyone so that billionaire hedge fund executives would not pay less than their secretaries do. His business tax of 16% for all companies would mean that big corporations would no longer pay little to no tax. His site gives the details. His plan eliminates the payroll tax, the death tax, the corporate income tax and abolishes the IRS. (applause) “Incredible economic growth” results, impacting all income levels. Exports would not be subject to the tax, but imports would be. It would allow the U.S. to compete on a level playing field.

[Bartiromo:  How is this paid for?]

Cruz: According to the Tax Foundation, the static cost of the plan is $3.6 trillion over ten years, but when factoring in the growth, it is around $768 billion, far less than the other proposals. It produces more growth and abolishes the IRS. His $500 billion in cuts include elimination of the IRS, the Dept. of Commerce, the Dept. of Energy and HUD. His web site lists the twenty-five specific programs to be cut.

[Bartiromo to Bush: Tax reform is important to Republican primary voters. Would he guarantee it in the first year of his term?]

Bush: He wants to shift power away from Washington and simplify the tax code to spur economic activity. It must be the highest priority “or we’re stuck with the new normal of 2% growth… which means declining income for the middle class. It means more than six million people are stuck in poverty than the day Barack Obama was inaugurated. It means, it means more demands on government… In this economy, the disposable income of the great middle is down twenty-three hundred bucks… Jobs are being created, but they’re lower income jobs than the ones that were lost.” He recalled some supporters who, if they had that $2,300, would got to South Carolina to start a business.

“Hillary Clinton’s approach to this is more top-down, more regulation, more taxes, more government and it will destroy our economy.”

[Baker to Rubio: His plan has large child tax credits for low income families. A similar plan he proposed in the Senate would have cost $170 billion per year. Doesn’t this add another burden to the federal budget?]… then Paul vs. Rubio

Rubio: The most important job which any of us will ever have is being a parent, not president, because the most important unit in society is the family. “If the family breaks down, society breaks down.. and no one is born with values. They have to be taught to you in strong families.” That’s why a pro-family tax code is so important. “Families that are raising children are raising future tax payers… In thirty-five out of fifty states, child care costs more than college… and if that can’t make that payment (child-care) every month, they can’ work… I am proud that I have a pro-family tax code.”

Paul: “Neil, there’s a point I’d like to make here. Neil, a point that I’d like to make about the tax credits. We have to decide what is conservative and what isn’t conservative. Is it conservative to have a trillion dollar expenditure? We’re not talking about giving people back their tax money. He’s talking about giving people money they didn’t pay. It’s a welfare transfer payment. So, here is what we have: is it conservative to have a trillion dollars in transfer payments, a new welfare program that’s a refundable tax credit. Add that to Marco’s plan for a trillion dollars in new military spending, you get something that looks to me not very conservative.”

Rubio: “No, I get my sixty seconds to respond. He was talking about my tax plan. So, let me begin with this: I actually believe, first of all, this is their money. They do pay it. It is refundable, not just against the taxes they paid to the government, but also on their federal income tax, it’s refundable against the payroll tax. Everyone pays payroll tax. This is their money, it is not our money. And here’s what I don’t understand. If you invest that money in a piece of equipment, if you invest that money in a business, you get to write it off your taxes. But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America, and strengthening your family, we’re not going to recognize that in our tax code. The family is the most important institution in society [talked over by Paul: “It’s important, but nevertheless, it’s not very conservative, Marco, how is it conservative?”] And, yes, I do want to rebuild the military. I know that Rand is a committed isolationist, I’m not. I believe that the world is [as Paul laughs] stringer and a better place when the United States (enthusiastic applause) is the strongest military power in the world.”                         

Paul: “Marco, Marco, how is it conservative, how is it conservative to add a trillion expenditure for the federal government that you’re not paying for? How is it conservative [Rubio: “Are you talking about the military, Rand?”] to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures. You cannot be a conservative if you’re going to keep promoting programs that you’re not going to pay for.” (applause)

Rubio: “We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe. There are radical jihadists beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon. (growing applause) The Chinese taking over the South China Sea. Yes, I believe the world is a safer – no, no, I don’t believe, I know that the world is a safer and better place when America is the strongest military power on the– in the world! (near standing ovation)

Paul: “No, I don’t think we’re any safer. I do not think we are any safer from bankruptcy court. As we go further and further into debt, we become less and less safe. This is the most important thing we’re going to talk about tonight. Can you be a conservative and a liberal about military spending? Can you be for unlimited military spending and say, ‘Oh, I’m going to make the country safe/’ No, we need a safe country. But, you know we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined? I want a strong national defense, but I don’t want us to be bankrupt.”

(Fiorina and Cruz attempted to speak next, Cruz prevails)

Cruz: “This is the middle ground that brings both of these together. (both talking) This exactly right. We have to defend this nation. You think defending this nation is expensive, try not defending it. (applause) That’s a lot more expensive, BUT you can do that and pay for it. You can do that and also be fiscally responsible. You know I mentioned the twenty-five programs I put out today that I would eliminate them. Among them are corporate welfare like sugar subsidies, let’s take that as an example. Sugar subsidies. Sugar farmers farm on roughly 0.2% of the farmland in America. And yet, they give 40% of the lobbying money. That sort of corporate welfare is why we’re bankrupting our kids and grandkids. I would end those subsidies to pay for defending this nation.”

Fiorina: “Gentlemen, this why, this is why we must combine, actually, zero-based budgeting with tax reform. Because unless we can examine and cut and move every single dollar of discretionary spending in the federal government, we cannot reform taxes and reduce spending at the same time. Ask yourself this question: How is it possible that the federal government gets more money each and every year which the federal government has been doing, receiving more money every year for fifty years under Republicans and Democrats alike and yet, never has enough money to do the important things? The answer: all the money is always spoken for, all the money is spoken for. So we have to go to zero-based budgeting which is a simple idea. By the way, there’s been a bill for zer0-based budgeting. It exists. It can be voted on. Every dollar must be examined. Any dollar can be cut. Any dollar can be moved. We have to go to a three-page tax code. You lower every rate, you close every loophole. Why? Because the government uses the tax code to decide winners and losers. You have to strip the corruption out of the tax code t pay for it. You have to know where every single dollar is being spent. You can cut where you need to. You can invest where you need to. The two go hand-in-hand.” (applause)

Before Baker could ask Trump—Trump: “We have to make our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before so that nobody messes with us. And in the long run, it’s going to save us. I agree with Marco, I agree with Ted, we have no choice. And I can tell you this, with certainty, we all have a different tax plan, some I don’t totally agree with. But one thing we understand, each one of those tax plans is better than the mess that we have right now.” (applause)

[Baker to Trump, then Kasich broke in]

Kasich: “…I think you were coming to me. I hate to crash the party, Mr. Baker, but you know it’s fair.” (but to no avail)


[Baker to Trump: You have said that you would rather have no deal than the one just signed involving eleven countries. Economists says that trade brings growth and several presidents, including the last three Republican presidents have been for international trade. Why are you against this?]

Trump: The recent decent is one “that is going to lead to nothing but trouble.” It gives China a terrific advantage. It’s so complicated, “5,600 pages long,” that nobody has read it much like Obamacare. This trade deal is such a bad deal as it gives all these other countries a huge edge. He prefers individual deals with each separate country because we lose so much on international trade. He mentioned the great trade imbalances we have with China, Japan and Mexico. “I’m a free-trader 100%, but we need smart people making the deals and we don’t have smart people making the deals.”

[Baker: Tariffs only cover 20% of our trade. Which parts would he change?]    

Trump: Currency manipulation is the most popular means by which India, and especially China, take advantage of the U.S., yet it was not even mentioned in the trade agreement. “So I say it’s a very bad deal, should not be approved. If it is approved, it’ll just be more bad trade deals, more loss of jobs for our country. We are losing jobs like nobody has ever lost jobs before. I want to bring jobs back into this country.”

Paul: “Hey, Gerard, we might want to point out China is not part of this deal.” (laughter)

[Baker: The point is that if this deal is not approved, it would give China another opportunity to grow its trade leadership by replacing the U.S.]

Paul: True, China doesn’t like the deal since it involves its competitors. But the point, and he agrees with Trump, “we should negotiate from a position of strength, and we should also negotiate using the full force and the constitutional power that was given to us. I think it’s a mistake that we give up power to the presidency on these trade deals. We give up the power to filibuster, and I’m kind of fond of that power, (laughter) we give up the power to amend. And I think one of the big problems we have in our country over the last century really, so much power has gravitated to the executive branch. Really Congress is sort of a bystander. We don’t write the rules, we don’t make the laws. The executive branch does. So, even in trade, and I am for trade, I think we should be careful about giving so much power to the presidency.” (applause)


[Bartiromo: Last year, terrorist attacks rose 61% according to the Institute for Economics and Peace. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria had the majority of the deaths. To Carson: You were against having troops in Iraq and a large presence in Afghanistan, “do you support the President’s decision to now put fifty special ops forces in Syria and leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan?]

Carson: Having the special ops there is better than nothing. This Putin’s base for spreading his influence and e must oppose him. It’s a complex situation, even China is there. We have been ineffectual, but cannot “give up ground there.” We need a global perspective. Jihadists want to destroy our way of life. We have to make them look like losers because their perceived success is helping their recruiting. We must destroy their caliphate. Iraq’s oil fields would be a good place to start. However, containing them won’t be enough. “Our goal is not to contain them, but to destroy them before they destroy us.”

HOMELAND SECURITY (and a little Trump vs. Bush and Fiorina)

[Bartiromo to Bush: Homeland security is the biggest area of concern on Facebook during this debate. “What is the biggest threat facing America today?]

Bush: Islamic terrorism. We have also found that when we pull back from an area, something bad fills the void. Because Obama doesn’t believe in American leadership, we have a caliphate the size of Indiana in the Middle East. In addition, they are recruiting here in America. “We should have a no-fly zone in Syria” and create safe zones there for the four million Syrians fleeing instead of having them go to Europe. Lack of American leadership has resulted in Iraq speaking to Russia where, not long ago, Russia had no influence. Obama and Hillary Clinton do not believe we have a role to play over there and, in addition to the physical threats, it will negatively impact our economy.

[Bartiromo to Trump: In a 2012 debate, Obama called Mitt Romney a “Cold War dinosaur” for saying that Russia is our biggest threat. Events since then show that Romney had a valid point. Trump has said he would have a good relationship with Putin to fix things. “So what does President Trump do I response to Russia’s aggression?]

Trump: The problem is not only Russia. North Korea already has nuclear weapons. We are also having to face the Iran deal, one of the worst deals of any type anywhere, “and it’s a disgrace.” China is also a major problem which doesn’t get the attention it deserves. He knows Putin from their time together on an episode of “60 Minutes.” “But, if Putin wants to go in and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%. And I can’t understand how anybody would be against it. (Bush said, “They’re not doing it.”) Hold it! They blew up – wait a minute, he blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He’s going in and we can go in (as Bush shakes his head on the split screen) and everybody should go in. And as far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people and a group of countries, including Germany- tremendous economic behemoth. Why are we always doing all the work? We are – I’m all for protecting Ukraine and working, but we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren’t doing anything. They say ‘keep going, keep going you dummies, keep going protecting us.’ And we have to get smart, we can’t continue to be the policeman of the world. We owe 19 trillion dollars. We have a country that’s going to hell. We have an infrastructure that’s falling apart, our roads, our bridges, our schools, our airports. And we have to start investing money in our country.” (some applause)

Bush: “Donald, Donald is wrong on this. He’s absolutely wrong on this. We’re not going to be the world’s policeman, but we should sure as heck better be the world’s leader. That’s, there’s a huge difference. Without us leading (rising applause), voids are filled. And the idea, that it’s a good idea for Putin to be in Syria, let ISIS take out Assad and then Putin will take out ISIS. And that’s a board game. That’s like playing Monopoly or something. That’s not how the real world works. We have to lead. We have to be involved. We should have a no-fly zone in Syria. They are barrel bombing the innocents in that country. If you’re a Christian increasingly in Lebanon or Iraq or Syria, you’re going to be beheaded. And if you’re a moderate Islamic, you’re not going to be able to survive either. We have to play a role in this to be able to bring the rest of the world to this, to this issue before it’s too late.

Trump: “Assad is a bad guy. But we have no idea who the so-called rebels, I read about the rebels, nobody even knows who they are. I spoke to a general two weeks ago, he said, he was very up on exactly what we’re talking about. He said, ‘You know, Mr. Trump, we’re giving hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment to these people. We have no idea who they are.’ So, I don’t like Assad. Who’s going to like Assad? But we have no idea who these people and what they’re going to be and what they’re going to represent. They may be far worse than Assad. Look at Libya! Look at Iraq! Look at the mess we have after spending two trillion dollars, thousands of lives, wounded warriors all over the place who I love. Okay? All over. We have nothing! And I said keep the oil. And we should have kept the oil, believe me. We should have kept the oil. And you know what?! We should have given the oil, we should have given big chunks to the people that lost their arms, their legs and their families, their sons and daughters, because right now, do you know who has a lot of that oil? Iran and ISIS!

Fiorina: “You know, Mr. Trump fancies himself a very good negotiator. And I accept that he’s done a lot of good deals. So, Mr. Trump ought to know we should not speak to people from a position of weakness. Senator Paul should know that as well. One of the reasons that I’ve said that I would not be talking to Vladimir Putin right now, although I have met him as well, not in a green room for a show, but in a private meeting. (scattered laughter then cheering) One of the reasons I’ve said I wouldn’t be talking to Vladimir Putin right now is because we are speaking to him from a position of weakness, brought on by this Administration. So I wouldn’t talk to him for a while, but I would do this: I would start rebuilding the sixth fleet right under his nose, rebuilding the military, ah, missile defense program in Poland – right under his nose. I would conduct very aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states so that he understood we would protect our NATO allies and (unintelligible—time bell) allies. And I might also put in a few thousand troops into Germany, not to start a war, but to make sure Putin understands that the United States of America will stand our allies.”

“That is why Governor Bush is correct. We must have a no-fly zone in Syria, because Russia cannot tell the United States of America where and when to fly our planes. (as Bush smiles and nods on the split screen) We also have a set of allies (amidst rousing cheers) we have a set of allies in the Arab Middle East who know that ISIS is their fight. They have asked us specifically over and over again to support them. King Abdullah of Jordan, a man whom I’ve known for a very long time, has asked us for bombs and materiel and we have not provided it. The Egyptians are asking us to share intelligence, we are not, I will. The Kurds have asked us to arm them for three years, we are not, I would. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Bahrainis, the Kuwaitis, the Emiratis, the Kurds, all of these, people I know by the way, understand ISIS is their fight, but they must see leadership, support and resolve from the United States of America. And we must have the strongest military on the face of the planet and everyone has to know it.” (rising cheers)


[Cavuto to Paul (as the audience continued to cheer for Fiorina): You have said that it would be a mistake to exclude Putin from discussions. Do you believe that the Iranians should be included in any talks about Syria?]

Paul: It would be “naïve and foolish” not to talk to Russia. Hillary Clinton as well as some Republican candidates support a no-fly zone over Syria, “where Russia already flies.” They are there at the invitation of Iraq. While he doesn’t suggest that this is a good thing, “you need to know what you’re getting into.” A no-fly zone means that “you are going to shoot down Russian planes. If you are ready for that, be ready to send your sons and daughters to another war in Iraq. I don’t want to see that happen… You can be strong without being involved in every civil war around the world.” As he brought up that Ronald Reagan was strong but (Fiorina interrupted with “Ronald Reagan walked away from Reykjavik” Paul: “Could I finish with my time?” and Trump chided her for doing so “Why does she keep interrupting everybody, terrible.”) “I’d like to finish, I’d like to finish my response basically—“ (Rubio: “If I may respond.”) This is an incredibly important question and the question goes to be: Who do we want to be our Commander-in-Chief? Do we want a Commander-in-Chief who says something we never did throughout our entire Cold War? To discontinue having conversations with the Russians. I’m not happy about them flying over there. But I’m not naive enough to say ‘Well, Iraq has them flying over their air space,’ we’re just going to announce that we’re shooting them down. That is naïve to the point that it’s something you might hear in junior high.”

[Cavuto to Paul: Without a no-fly zone, what would his strategy be?]

Paul: He would not arm our enemies or ISIS (some cheering). Many who want the no-fly zone were also in favor of arming Al-Qaeda which became ISIS. “… the dumbest and most foolhardy notion. Most of the people up here supported it… some of them still do. That’s how ISIS grew. We pushed back Assad and ISIS was allowed to grow in the vacuum. So the first thing to do is don’t arm your enemies.”

Rubio: “I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he’s a gangster.” Despite his $3 trillion economy is a disaster, he’s building up his military “in a rapid way.” He understands strength. Everywhere he has attacked, it’s because he’s testing a weakness. He sees that Obama has no strategy and our allies don’t trust us. There is just one country in the Middle East which is pro-American free enterprise democracy – Israel. “And we have a President that treats the prime minister of Israel with less respect than what he gives the ayatollah in Iran. And so our allies in the region don’t trust us.” (cheering) Putin is edging us out of our influence there and we do have a vested interest in the Middle East. ISIS is everywhere in that region. They are recruiting our own people. “And they don’t hate us simply because we support Israel, they hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They win or we win. We had better take this seriously. It’s not going away on its own.” (applause and cheering)


[Baker to Kasich: Hundreds of U.S. companies have been cyber-attacked by the Chinese military while Chinese investments grow here. The WSJ reports that China is planning to take over a major hotel chain in the U.S. Would you stop them?]

Kasich: We have the ability to destroy the mechanisms of these foreign cyber-attacks. We should arm the Ukrainians. Ensure that Eastern Europe and the Baltics know that “if the Russians move, we move.” There should no-fly zones in both the northern and southern Syrian borders. A first fly-in might be allowed, but not a second time. “Saudi Arabia, cut off the funding for the radical clerics, the ones that preach against us. But they’re fundamentally our friends. Jordan, we want the king to reign for a thousand years. Egypt, they’ve been our ally and a moderating force in the Middle East throughout their history.” The Cleveland Clinic is opening an operation in the Gulf states, indicating a peaceful relationship. Regarding Israel, “we have no better ally in the world.” We should not criticize them in public. Kasich gave the President credit for moving a naval force into the South China Sea to remind them that they don’t own it. He supports the TPP7 because it not only represents economic ties which help many of our citizens, but opens the possibility for strategic alliances against the Chinese. “They’re not our enemy. But they’re certainly not our friend.” To beat Hillary Clinton, we need to be sure that our economic and military programs are solid. He has the governmental CEO abilities, proven in D.C. and in Ohio, to ensure that our “number add up” and the proposals we make to voters are solid.


[Baker to Bush: Hillary Clinton said she would not bail out the banks if we had another financial crisis like the one in 2008. Would you?]

Bush: We shouldn’t have a repeat if we would raise the capital requirements for the banks, and it would also lessen the load on community banks. The result of Dodd-Frank8 is that banks have a higher concentration of risk. The problem with this Act is exemplified in an Iowa bank. It has four branches and $125 million in assets. Its compliance costs went from $100,000 to $600,000 in a two-year period even though it did not have one loan go bad during that crisis. The real economy has been hurt by the vast overreach of the Obama Administration. Hillary Clinton is opposed “to all of the things that would sustain economic growth” because she is captive to the Left as evidenced by her change from approval to disapproval of the TPP and the Keystone Pipeline.

[Baker to Bush: You can’t seriously guarantee that there won’t be another financial crisis, can you?]

Bush: No, he can’t, but it could be prevented. The large banks have even more control of assets now “and that is the wrong approach to take.”

[Baker to Carson: Despite the efforts of legislators, the big banks are bigger than ever. J.P.Morgan Chase has had its assets increase by 40% to $2,3 trillion. Should banks like Chase be broken up?]

Carson: We need policies which don’t make it easier for the big banks to become bigger. Overall, big corporations gain advantage with current laws and policies such as low interest rates which promote stock buy-backs, thus increasing stock prices artificially. Our regulatory situation creates these issues of concern.

It took less than one hundred years for our new nation to become the number one economic power in the world. We did that because of an atmosphere which encouraged entrepreneurs and investment. Our “creep of regulations has turned into a stampede which is involved in every aspect of our lives… and it hurts the poor and middle class much more than it does the rich… Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton won’t tell you that that’s the thing that’s really hurting the middle class and the poor. They’ll say it’s the rich. Take their money, but that won’t help. You can take all of the rich’s money and it won’t make a dent in the problem that we’re having. We have to return to the principles that made America great. ” (applause)

[Baker to Carson: “Just to be clear, just to be clear, you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t favor breaking up the big banks. Do you think they’re big enough, they’re OK as they are?”]

Carson: He doesn’t want to tear any companies down, but we need to fix the real problems and “not tinker around the edges.”

Rubio: “He’s right on point there. Do you know why these banks are so big? The government made them big. The government made them big by adding thousands and thousands of pages of regulations. So, the big banks, they have an army of lawyers, an army of compliance officers. They can deal with all of these things.” The small banks, however, can’t hire the staff necessary to handle these requirements. Thus, the big banks get bigger and the small banks struggle and sometimes don’t survive. Dodd-Frank has actually codified the “too big to fail” institutions, what it was supposed to prevent. And the big banks seem to know that they are indispensible. “This is an outrage. We need to repeal Dodd-Frank as soon as possible.”

Kasich: He said that Bush was trying to say that it should be that he people invested in the banks are at risk, not the taxpayers. Regarding Wall Street, greed is the problem. While the free enterprise system has produced the greatest wealth for the world, its good points are shot down when good, solids values are absent. Wall Street needs a good lesson in ethics.

[after a little confusion, Cavuto to Cruz: Facebook indicates that almost one million people had listed Wall Street as their concern and that not enough people have been punished. “Would you go after the crooks that Bernie Sanders said have gotten away with a financial murder?]

Cruz: Absolutely. And with regard to the question which the others avoided, he would “absolutely not” bail out the banks if the same crisis hit again. (applause) “The biggest lie in all of Washington and in all of politics is that the Republican Party is the party of the rich. The truth is the rich do great with big government.” The net result of the big banks getting bigger is that small businesses can’t get loans. Six of the ten wealthiest counties in the U.S. surround Washington D.C. That says a lot about who benefits from big government.

A recent case showed the unfairness of regulations when a Chicago woman, Sabina Loving, testified before a Senate hearing that Cruz held. She started a small tax preparing firm in the South Side. The IRS used an old statute known as “The Dead Horse Act” to promulgate new rules for tax preparers. The regulations exempted those with fantastic means, but she, as a small business, would have had to pay $1000 per employee – and go out of business. She sued the IRS and won. The IRS which was “picking the big guys over the little guys” lost in this case, but not all can win justice in these matters.

[Cavuto to Cruz: So, are you saying you would let a big bank fail?] and Kasich vs. Cruz

Cruz: Yes, he would, but the Federal Reserve has a role to play, too. Those in charge seem to be guessing which way the economy is going. Loose money led to a great rise in real estate and commodity prices. “In the third quarter of 2008, the Fed tightened the money and crashed those asset prices which caused a cascading collapse. That’s why I am supporting getting back to rules-based monetary system, not with a bunch of philosophers kings deciding but tied ideally –” (Cavuto: For whatever reason, you would let a Bank of America fail.”) He would not bail them out. The Fed should tie our currency to a stable level of gold and be the lender of last resort. “It’s not a bail-out, but a loan at higher interest rates, that’s how central banks have worked.” We had a gold system and a good system for 170 years. “We need to get back to sound money which helps in particular, working men and women.” Those with power and influence are the winners in this government.

Kasich: “When a bank is ready to go under and depositors are getting ready to lose their life’s savings, you say we believe in philosophical concerns. You know what an executive has to decide… when there’s a financial crisis or a crisis with Ebola, go there and try to fix it. Philosophy doesn’t work when you run something.” On-the-job training for the presidency doesn’t work. The last eight years prove that. He may not be pleased with what the Fed is doing, but turning it over to the Congress “so they can print the money. That would be a very bad approach.”

Cruz: “Why would you then bail out rich Wall Street banks (Kasich: “I wouldn’t.”), but not mom-and-pop, not Sabina Loving (Kasich: “No, I didn’t say that.”) Well you just said an executive knows when to step in and bail out a bank.”

Kasich: “They were talking about what you would do with depositors, would you let these banks shut down. My argument is going forward, the banks have to reserve the capital so that the capital, the people who own the capital start pressuring the banks to not take these risky approaches, Ted. But at the end of the day – (Cruz: “So you said you’d abandon the philosophy, abandon the principle, but what would you do if the bank was failing?) If during, if during (as Cruz talked over) Because if during, I’ll tell you what, I would not let the people who put their money in there all go down. (Cruz: “So you would bail them out.”) As an executive I would figure out how to separate those people who can afford it versus those people, the hard-working folks, who put their money in those institutions (some boos). No, no, let me say another thing. Here’s what I mean by that. Here’s what I mean by hat. When you are faced, when you are faced in the last financial crisis with banks going under, with banks going under and people, people who put their life’s savings in there, you gotta deal with it. You can’t turn a blinds [sic] eye to it. Now going forward, that’s one thing. If you had another financial crisis perhaps there would be (talked over).”

Fiorina: “Could I just say as a chief executive who’s had to make tough calls to save jobs and to grow jobs. I think what’s interesting about Dodd-Frank, is that it’s a great example of how socialism starts. Socialism starts when government creates a problem and then government steps in to solve the problem. Government created the problem. (applause) Government created the problem of a real estate boom. How did we create it? Republicans and Democrats alike, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, everybody gathered together. Republicans and Democrats said home ownership is part of the American dream. Let’s create a bubble, then government stepped in, by the way under President George W. Bush, banks were told, encouraged, told really to buy other banks, to take money. And now what do we have with Dodd-Frank: the classic of crony capitalism. The bigger have gotten bigger. Fifteen hundred and ninety community banks have gone out of business. And on top of all that, we’ve created something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a vast bureaucracy with no Congressional oversight that’s digging through hundreds of millions of your credit records to “detect” fraud. This is how socialism starts, ladies and gentlemen. We must take our government back.” (applause and cheering)

[Bartiromo to Rubio: If Hillary Clinton does become the Democratic candidate, you will be facing someone with an impressive resume. (laughter) Why should people vote for you instead of someone “who has been much closer to the office?”]

Rubio: (stifling his laugh and amidst the laughter of the crowd) “This election is about the future, about what kind of country this nation is going to be in the 21st century. This election is actually a generational choice… For over 2-1/2 centuries, America has been a special country. The one place on earth where anyone from anywhere can achieve anything. A nation that’s been a force for good on this planet. But now, a growing number of Americans feel out of place in their own country. We have a society that stigmatizes those who hold cultural values that are traditional. We have a society where people, millions of people, are living paycheck to paycheck… because the economy has changed underneath their feet. We have young Americans who owe thousands of dollars of student loans for a degree that doesn’t lead to a job. For the first time in thirty-five years, we have more businesses dying than starting. And around the world, every day brings a new humiliation for America. Many, the direct consequence of decisions made when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of the United– State.” [note: I get choked up, too, when I think about what she and the President have done to our country and the world.]

“This election is about the future and the Democratic Party and the political Left have no ideas about the future. All of their ideas are about the same, tired ideas of the past: more government, more spending for every issue before America their answer is a new tax on someone and a new government program. This nation is going to turn the page and that’s what this election should be about. And as I said on the first debate, if I am our nominee, they will be the party of the past. We will be the party of the 21st century.” (cheering applause)

Cruz: “And, Maria, I will note, she’s got a lot of experience, but her policies have proven disastrous. If you look at foreign policy, every region on the world has gotten worse. Under her leadership, we abandoned the nation of Israel. Under her leadership, radical Islamic terrorism has been on the rise. Under her leadership and Obama’s leadership, Iran is getting $100 billion and on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon… Hillary Clinton embodies the cronyism of Washington.” (cheering applause) If elected, he’ll veto any law which exempts Congress. “The law should apply evenly to every American.” (applause)

[Cavuto to Trump: As one of the most successful capitalists, he has disapproved of some who have given it a bad name by sending money overseas to avoid taxes. His plan gives what might amount to a one-time bounty to bring some of that money back, “so they still keep the loot and only pay a small price to bring it back.”]

Trump: Except for Carly Fiorina, no one on the stage talks about a “corporate inversion.” Companies instead of moving to other states are moving to other countries. Getting that money back into the U.S. is about the only thing Republicans and Democrats agree on. After 3-1/2 years, nothing has been accomplished. It’s probably about $2.5 trillion, but he believes it’s much more than that. That money could be used to rebuild and invest in our nation. His plan of a 10% tax rate would accomplished this and a lot of people think it’s a great idea. He would get rid of some “bureaucratic problems and roadblocks.” It would rebuild the country and jobs. (some cheers)

[Bartiromo to Paul: He was one of fifteen Republicans to vote for an amendment that “human activity contributed to climate change.” The President has announced aggressive plans to cut carbon emissions. Is it possible to continue our path toward energy self-sufficiency and still pursue “a meaningful climate change program?”]

Paul: He would first repeal the Obama regulations on our energy. (cheering) “including the Clean Power Act” Man has a role in the climate, but so does Nature. “The planet s 4-1/2 billion years old.” The various geologic ages have produced hotter and colder times than we have now. There have been higher levels of carbon in the air than we have today. “We need to look before we leap. The President’s often fond of saying he wants a balanced solution.” We have to balance cleaner air with the economy. “He’s devastated my state. I say the President’s not only destroying Kentucky, he’s destroying the Democrat party down there because nobody wants to associate with him.” We need all forms of energy: solar, wind, hydro, but will still have coal and natural gas. Shutting down all of the coal plants will either make some of our cities very cold or very hot. We need an “all of the above” policy.

Bush: Our nation’s reduction of carbon emissions is not because of Solyndra.9, 10 It’s not because of the Washington bureaucrats, but because two existing technologies coupled with innovation has made natural gas an American success story as well as an environmental one. Fifty per cent of the economic activity during the Obama years has been because of the energy sector and Hilary Clinton wants to suppress it. In Florida, they were to make land purchases and clean-ups because they had a growing economy, 4.4%.

CLOSING STATEMENTS (applause and cheering assumed)

Paul: “We’re the richest, freest, most humanitarian nation in the history of mankind. But we also borrow a million dollars a minute. And the question I have for all Americans is: think about it. Can you be a fiscal conservative if you don’t conserve all of the money? If you’re a profligate spender, you spend money in an unlimited fashion for the military, is that a conservative notion? We have to be conservative with all spending, domestic spending and welfare spending. I’m the only fiscal conservative on the stage.

Kasich: “Well, ladies and gentlemen, if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders were to win this election my 16-year old, I, I worry about what their life is going to be like. You know the conservative movement is all about opportunity. It is about lower taxes. It’s about balanced budgets. It’s about less regulation. And it’s about sending power, money and influence back to where we live, so we can run America from the bottom up. In addition to that, once we have the power, the money and the influence with programs we shift out, each of us have a responsibility to reach out and rebuild our families, to make them stronger and connect our neighborhoods. All of that together: wealth, connection, family, America’s greatest days are ahead. We must win this election.

Fiorina: “Imagine a Clinton presidency. Our military will continue to deteriorate, our veterans will not be cared for, and no, Mrs. Clinton, that situation is not exaggerated. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer. The middle class will continue to get crushed. As bad as that picture is, what’s even worse is that a Clinton presidency will corrode the character of this nation. Why? Because of the Clinton Way: say whatever you have to, lie as long as you can get away with it. We must beat Hillary Clinton. Carly Fiorina can beat Hillary Clinton. I will beat Hillary Clinton and under a President Fiorina, we will restore the character of this nation, the security of this nation, the prosperity of this nation, because as citizens we will take our government back.”

Bush: “Jane Horton is sitting with my wife today. Her husband, Chris, was killed in action in Afghanistan. And Jane spends her time defending and fighting for military families. They’re both heroes. I don’t think we need an agitator-in-chief or a divider-in-chief. We need a commander-in-chief who will rebuild our military and restore respect to our veterans by revamping and fixing a broken Veterans Administration. That’s my pledge to you. I ask for your support. Thank you.

Cruz: “Fifty-eight years ago, my father fled Cuba. As he stood on the deck of the ferry boat with the wind and salt air blowing, he looked back at the oppression and torture he was escaping. And yet, he looked forward to the promise of America. His story is our story. What ties Americans together is we are all the children who risked everything for freedom. America is in crisis now. I believe in America and if we get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country, we can turn this country around. I believe that 2016 will be an election like 1980, that we will win by following Reagan’s admonition to paint in bold colors, not pale pastels. We’re building a grass-roots army. I ask you to join us at and we the people can turn this nation around.”

Rubio: “Ours is, the story of America is an extraordinary story. It is the story of a nation that for over two centuries each generation has left the next generation better off than themselves. But now, because Washington is out of touch, through the fault of both political parties, for the first time in our history, that is in doubt. And that is what this election must be about, because if the next four years are anything like the last eight years, our children will be the first Americans ever left worse off by their parents. This election is about making a different choice: about applying our principles of limited government and free enterprise to the unique issues of our time. And if we do, will not just save the American dream, we will expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And the 21st century can be a new American century. So tonight, I ask you for your vote. And I ask you to join us at my web site,”

Carson: “In the two hours of this debate, five people have died from drug related deaths. A hundred million dollars has been added to our national debt. Two hundred babies have been killed by abortionists. And two veterans have taken their lives out of despair. This is a narrative that we can change, not we the Democrats, not we the Republicans, but we the people of America because there is something special about this nation. And we must embrace it and be proud of it and never give it away for the sake of political correctness.”

Trump: “Thank you. Over the years, I’ve created tens of thousands of jobs and a great company. It’s a company I’m very proud of, some of the mist iconic assets anywhere in the world. And I will tell you and I don’t have to give you a web site because I’m self-funding my campaign. I’m putting up my own money. I want to do something really special. I want to make our country greater than it’s ever been. I think we have that potential. We cannot lose this election. We can-not let Hillary Clinton, who is the worst Secretary of State in the history of our country, win this election. We will fight. We will win. And we truly will make this even more special. We have to make it better than ever before and, I will tell you, the United States can actually be better than ever before. Thank you.”


All of us interested in this election process have our favorites. Even though no candidate is perfect, it is reassuring to know that every Republican candidate is superior to whatever the other side will offer next year. What needs to be done is to choose the most electable candidate.

If it were merely about issues and integrity, a Republican win would be a certainty. Unfortunately, we live in a world where many on the Left feel compelled to vote for someone simply because that candidate has two “X” chromosomes – even when that individual is not viewed as trustworthy! The Republicans have a woman candidate of their own; unlike Secretary Clinton, she does not lack competency, honesty, and integrity. Carly Fiorina has travelled just as extensively as Hillary Clinton. Unlike the former Secretary of State, Fiorina has working relationships with key foreign leaders and has a track record of accomplishments. Also, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, “She can say things about Hillary Clinton that no man can. And she knows it.”11

Speaking about those who can go toe-to-toe with Mrs. Clinton in a debate, Chris Christie (who was just announced as a member of the Dec. 15 “main event”) has the street smarts. While he is a little too much to the middle or even a shade to the left of center for some Republicans, there is no doubt he could deal with the innuendos and downright false attacks which the Democrats served up to Mitt Romney and will likely volley again. (see footnote #12 on Harry Reid)     

Dr. Ben Carson’s presence on the ticket would bring the Left’s veiled racist attacks to full bloom. Already, we’re seeing frivolous questions concerning the accuracy of his statements about his youth. His integrity is impeccable, so the Democrats need to do something/ anything to take the heat off lengthy list of Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds both on her own in the federal government as well as when she was pulling strings during Bill Clinton’s administration.

Dr. Carson is also attractive for being an “outsider” who does not allow politically correctness to cloud his decision-making process. He is not an expert in all areas facing a President—no one has or will ever be.   He will bring a surgeon’s leadership to the White House, one that can make decisions without micromanaging or having to carry out every part of the procedure by himself. He also should win the confidence of those voters who are looking for someone they can trust to handle those myriads of issues that spring up post-inauguration for which no one could have predicted during the campaign.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz neutralize the Democrats’ attempt to own the minority card as each are first generation sons of immigrants. They prove that rising from humble non-American beginnings is not an exclusively Democratic trait. It is very annoying to the Clinton Party that these two Hispanics along with a woman and an African American are running for the Republic nomination. Rubio and Cruz have the intelligence and compassion to be virtuous leaders.

Rubio also specializes in pro-family issues which are essential if we are to rebuild the society the United States used to represent. Cruz is strong on the Constitution. We would never see Obama-like executive orders in his presidency. For many aging generations, the Democratic Party has billed itself as the party of youth. Those days are over and these two gentlemen are poised to grab the baton from them.

John Kasich has accomplished more in state and federal government than Hillary Clinton could in three lifetimes. Kasich’s electability problem stems as much from his lecturing and “self-righteous”11 style as it from his occasional tendency to answer the question he wants to and avoid the issue presented to him. Just like all of the other Republicans in the hunt, he would do a better job than H.Clinton/Sanders, but would not likely catch the fancy of those voters who go for style and pizzazz over what is truly necessary: substance.

Jeb Bush has a similar predicament as Kasich does, and it’s aggravated by the fact that his father and father and brother have already lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. While he has far more accomplishments than Mrs. Clinton, some fear a “Bush dynasty” more than a “Clinton dynasty.” Besides, since the election of Obama checked off the need for a minority as Commander-in-Chief, the next box to fill is that of a woman in the White house, so this Bush is running at the wrong time. (Remember, Carly Fiorina is disqualified because a “real” woman would not align with the Republican Party.)                         

Rand Paul passionately wants to defend the Constitution as President. His willingness to fight the good fight despite the odds is both rare and admirable. Unfortunately, he believes that being a “true” conservative is the ultimate goal. He is correct in that recent Republicans have squandered the opportunity to fix some major problems by caving in instead of pushing their weight around a little. His fellow Kentucky senator, Mitch McConnell has saddled himself with that label. But stubbornness can be a vice, too. Paul’s hero, President Reagan, proved progress can be made even in the most contentious of situations if you “take what the defense will give you” as they say in football. His desire for a balanced budget amendment exemplifies his inability to discern between outcomes desired most of the time and those that are truly non-negotiable, such as inalienable rights.

Then we have Donald Trump. His success in business has few equals in our history – imagine what he could have accomplished in the less-restrictive era of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, etc. He promotes himself well and is asking us to believe that he would do the same for the United States. Perhaps, yes, or perhaps so long as he gains much, too.

Part of his following is due to his willingness to say what bothers him and it resonates with many who are fed up with Washington nonsense. Often, however, he also says things that encourage women and minorities to look for someone else. In some ways, he appears to be the Republican version of what the Democrats have been throwing at an unsuspecting public and getting away with: speak loud and don’t worry if what you are saying has any merit or is even accurate.

Couple these traits with his friendship with the Clintons and others on the Left and he could just be a plant by the Democrats to derail the Republicans. It would be the perfect storm. While Democratic supporters often fall for that stuff, the Left knows that enough voters on the other side would see through it, not pick Trump, tempting him to break as a third party, thus assuring the presidency doesn’t change hands.

The Republican Party has way too much talent this time. It would be a shame if its message is not conveyed sufficiently bring us back to an Age of Faith, or at least Reason, instead of our accelerating Age of Feeling.13


Oscar A. (Tony) Rubio is a writer who merges the lessons of history with current events to suggest a better path. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and believes that our national mood would be improved if we listened to more Big Band and Jazz as we look forward to the White House changing occupants on January 20, 2017. Tony blogs at and

All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.


1 – “The IMF, also known as the Fund, was conceived at a UN conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944. The 44 countries at that conference sought to build a framework for economic cooperation to avoid a repetition of the competitive devaluations that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s.”

The IMF’s responsibilities: The IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund’s mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.”

2 – “The IMF advises its 188 member countries, encouraging policies that foster economic stability, reduce vulnerability to economic and financial crises, and raise living standards. It provides regular assessment of global prospects in its World Economic Outlook, of financial markets in its Global Financial Stability Report, and of public finance developments in its Fiscal Monitor, and publishes a series of regional economic outlooks.”

3 – “ The country’s labor force participation rate – which measures the share of Americans at least 16 years old who are either employed or actively looking for work – dipped last month to a 38-year low, clocking in at an underwhelming 62.6 percent.”

4 – “A method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base” and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one.”
“ZBB allows top-level strategic goals to be implemented into the budgeting process by tying them to specific functional areas of the organization, where costs can be first grouped, then measured against previous results and current expectations.” from

5 – “Last Tuesday, by a vote of 243 to 165, the House passed H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, known as the REINS Act. Introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the bill “would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more — designated by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a ‘major rule’ — to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced the companion legislation, S. 226, in the Senate.”

“The Judiciary Committee’s report on the bill explains that back in 1996, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) was implemented as an attempt to get control over the large number of regulations coming from the federal government. But only one regulation has been undone using CRA, while 60,000 regulations have come into being.” From “The REINS Act will keep regulations and their costs in check,” by Neil Siefring,, 8/4/2015

6 – “Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game released by King on April 12, 2012 for Facebook, on November 14, 2012 for iOS, on December 14, 2012 for Android, on December 11, 2014 for Fire OS, on September 6, 2012 for Windows Phone, and July 29, 2015, for Windows 10 and Tizen. It is a variation on their browser game Candy Crush.”

7 – Trans-Pacific Partnership,

8The five best aspects of this Act according to “consumer and reform advocates” and the five worst aspects in the opinion of “financial firms and their allies” are described in “The 5 Best and 5 Worst Regulations in Dodd-Frank,” by Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Fiscal Times, 7/19/2011, Five best: 1) Mortgage market reform 2) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 3) Oversight of derivatives 4) Power to address systemic threats 5) Investor protections. Five worst: 1) New capital standards and derivative rules 2) Interchange fees 3) The Volcker rule 4) Overlapping rules of the road 5) No housing reform.

9 – “Solyndra misled government to get $535M solar project loan: report,” by Kellan Howell and Stephen Dinan,, 8/26/2015.

10 – “Hillary Clinton’s billionaire fundraiser got sweet deal in Solyndra collapse,” by Ben Wolfgang,, 12/10/2015.

11 – “Kasich fading at stage left, Paul drifting off stage right,” by Charles Krauthammer,, Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/15/2015

12 – “Harry Reid is proud he lied about Mitt Romney’s taxes,” by Ashe Schow,, 3/31/2015.

13—A paraphrase of Bishop Sheen’s “The reason why chastity is on the decline is that we live in a sensate culture. In the Middle Ages, here was an Age of Faith, then came the Age of Reason in the eighteenth century; now we are living in the Age of Feeling.” From The Quotable Fulton Sheen, edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin and John L. Swan, an image book by Doubleday, New York, 1989, taken from Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1980.










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Dec 13

Hillary at the Bat: A Ballad for the Republican Party Sung in the Year 2016

When a weapon or a tactic provides an army an advantage, it is referred to as a “force multiplier.” One of clearest benefits of a force multiplier is it allows an army to have fewer troops or weapons than its enemy. For example, a general can have a million soldiers but it would mean nothing against a nuclear weapons armed enemy willing to use them.  

However, force multipliers do not have to be as devastating as nuclear weapons. It is sometimes claimed that William the Conqueror defeated Harold the Great at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 because William’s French cavalry used stirrups, allowing them greater stability on their horses against the Anglo-Saxons. And the rest is history.

This is something the Right has to understand when we cite polls showing the ratio of people claiming to be conservative versus liberal to be about two to one. Even if this ratio is accurate, when you have the media, academia, Hollywood, and a number of other institutions on your side, you have quite a number of force multipliers to convince the independents to join your side.

In regards to Hillary’s campaign, in addition to Hillary’s force multipliers providing her cover for her alleged transgressions, there is the infighting within the Republican Party between the party’s “Establishment” and “Rebels.” The former associated with candidates such as John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie, and the latter associated with candidates such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina.

This schism is real; with many on both sides claiming they will not support the GOP primary winner if he or she is from the other camp. Therefore, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency look pretty good, with the likelihood of her scandals and alleged legal problems getting the better of her bordering on wishful thinking.

Yet, sometimes wishful thinking provides the emotional lift needed to get through an ordeal. Thus, the Right also has a force multiplier in dealing with Hillary’s indiscretions. That force multiplier is the FBI.  

With that in mind, and with all due respect to Ernest Thayer’s great 1888 baseball poem, “Casey at the Bat,” I offer to the Right, Hillary at the Bat.


The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Hillary C that day;
Campaigns had run their course and had nothing left to say.
Democrats have always counted on voters giving them a pass;
But this time an eerie silence fell upon the progressive class.

A straggling few saw their faith go into deep despair;
The rest clung to a hope that today seems oh so rare.
But Hillary said she’d be the country’s first female boss;
And some put up even money that Hillary would avoid the loss.

There was the server problem and that whole Benghazi deal;
But she said the former was a farce and the latter wasn’t real.
So upon their stricken membership, grim melancholy we did see;
For some believed Hillary might not keep the White House a big D.

But the server problem seemed to crash, to the wonderment of all;
And Benghazi, to no one’s surprise, off the radar it did fall.
And when the dust had lifted, it was very plain to see;
There was her foundation getting cash, and Hillary on MSNBC.

Then from countless liberal throats there rose a lusty scream;
It rumbled through faculty lounges, it curled their vegan coffee cream;
It rattled Planned Parenthood, and threw “the reverends” for a toss;
For Hillary, mighty Hillary, was saying the campaign was not a loss.

There was ease in Hillary’s manner as she stepped onto the stage;
There was fight in her bearing, like a tiger freed from her cage.
And when, responding to the cheers, she cackled with bursting glee;
No member of the DNC could doubt ’twas Hillary to the T.

Millions of eyes watched her as she prepared to deliver her tome;
And countless tongues hung low from the Hamptons down to every home.
Then while the mainstream media nervously shifted their hips;
Defiance gleamed in Hillary’s eye, a sneer curled Hillary’s lips.

And now one by one the election results came hurtling through the air;
And Hillary stood a-watching them in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy future president, the results unheeded sped;
“We got this in the bag,” said Hillary, “Strike one,” the Fox host said.

From conference rooms, full with people, there went up a muffled roar;
Like the beating of storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“How dare they vote Red?” shouted a democrat as room to room he ran;
And it’s likely they would have revolted had not Hillary raised her hand.

With a smile of Liberal charity, Hillary’s visage shouted “Yes we can;”
As she stilled the rising tumult by saying not every state can be a fan.
She winked and smiled to her loyal staff, as more election results flew;
But Hillary still ignored them, and the Fox host said, “Strike two!”

“Sexists!” cried the maddened liberals, and echo answered same;
But one sneerful look from Hillary and the audience turned tame.
They saw her face grow stern and cold, they saw her hairspray strain,
And they knew that Hillary wouldn’t let another state go Red again.

The sneer is gone from her lips, her teeth are clenched real tight;
She adjusts her pastel pants suit a little to the right.
And now the Fox host opens his mouth, and now his words did report;
And now the air is shattered by the force of Hillary’s retort.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
Somewhere folks are laughing with a loud and vigorous roar;
But there’s no joy on the Left – Hillary lost the race and the FBI is at her door.



Tony Corvo is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with a Ph.D. in physics. He is active in local Beavercreek, Ohio politics and is the author of All Politics is Loco: Musings from the Conservative Next Door. He and his wife have two grown daughters. He writes extensively on local issues. Many of his recent articles can be found at

Permission to reprint or otherwise distribute, in whole or in part, with express attribution to Ohio Conservative Review or is granted.

All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.

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Dec 10

Ted Cruz continues to Lead in Statewide Ohio Conservatives United Polling



For the eighth month in a row, Ted Cruz leads other Republican Presidential Candidates in the statewide monthly polls of local conservative groups.  Ben Carson holds on to his second place position in November for the second month …

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Dec 07

Why the Stakes in 2016 are so High.



The Presidential Election outcome in 2016 will have lasting profound effects on our Country.  Read this penetrating article by Fred Barnes written for the Wall Street Journal in March 2015 HERE.

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Dec 07

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University !


See what one College President* had to say when a student complained that he felt “victimized” by a sermon delivered during chapel service. Click HERE to read the open letter what the College President said in response.

Dr. Everett …

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Dec 07

Meet the candidates to replace Speaker Boehner

Meet the CandidatesVoters in the 8th district of Ohio will decide on a replacement for Speaker Boehner in Congress in March.

To educate voters on the candidates, Ohio Rising interviewed a few of the leading candidates for the seat; Bill Beagle, JD Winteregg and Roger Reynolds.  Tim Derickson was asked to participate and declined.

Questions include the enumerated powers of Congress, immigration reform, Obamacare, global warming, ISIS and the War on Terror, Common Core and spending.

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Dec 04

Ohio filing deadline is December 16th

OPP_LogoCentral Committee is the way we can change politics. The filing deadline to run is December 16th. Is your seat open?

  • Are you tired of politicians telling you one thing when running for office and then doing the opposite once elected?
  • Are you frustrated with begging politicians to do the right thing and getting no results?
  • Are you unhappy with seeing the same establishment candidates on the ballot every election?

There is a solution…

By taking back local political parties, regular citizens can have a more powerful say in the political process, help restore the integrity of the parties, and put more liberty-minded candidates on future ballots.

The key is learning more about something called party central committee. Central committee members are the real party establishment. These individuals elect the party leadership, approve the party bylaws, and vote to select and endorse the party’s candidates.

Now is the time to get involved!

Join others all over Ohio already making a major difference in this area. Central committee positions are elected in the primary. For counties with central committee elections in 2016, the filing deadline to run is December 16th. After December, depending on where you live, the next opportunity to get involved won’t come again for another two to four years.

Three steps to making a difference,

  1. Learn more about central committee at this link; how it works, how much time it takes to serve, its immense power to decide who gets elected, and how to become a member.
  2. Call your local Board of Elections today (directory) and ask when the next central committee elections occur in your county and how to put your name on the ballot.
  3. Click here to connect with others running for central committee in your area.

Please learn more and do your part! 

By taking back local parties, and putting more liberty-minded candidates on the ballot, ‘We the People’ truly can restore America.

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Nov 30

Great Pro-life, Pro-family Speaker Janet Folger Porter to Speak at MVCI Meeting Monday, December 7

MVCI logo

Come out to the Miami Valley Citizens Informed (MVCI) meeting next Monday, December 7, to hear Janet Folger Porter, founder and president of Faith2Action, and find out the latest pro-family, pro-life news and actions that we can

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Nov 23

Refugee Crisis: A Time for Choosing

America is faced with a controversial decision on whether or not to let Syrian refugees enter its borders. You will hear both sides of the argument claim that their position on the issue is axiomatic, but is it really so black and white? We must be open-minded and open-hearted to the full issue that we are facing.

Fleeing for their lives, Syrian refugees are searching for countries without the horror of the Islamic State. On the opposite side of the world, America looks promising to them. A new life without oppression would be miraculous. The United States is a compassionate country that looks to aid those in troubled times. Our citizens know this, refugees know this, but most importantly, ISIS knows this. ISIS will seek to infiltrate the US through its empathy for Syrian refugees, and this is a picture-perfect opportunity. What better time than now to cause terror in America?

Through President Obama’s administration, 10,000 refugees are being let into the United States. Do we know who these refugees are? No, and it will be extremely difficult to vet people who we know nothing about. One of the Paris attackers was a refugee who fled to Greece, so we have seen the downsides of welcoming refugees into other European countries. Most refugees are moral people who are trying to flee their country for safety, but it is impossible to tell a difference. Those moral refugees deserve compassion, but so do the citizens of the United States. It is intellectually dishonest to believe that not a single refugee is directly linked to the Islamic State. Our overall decision to accept refugees must be made off of intellect and not emotion, we have an obligation to be cautious.

ISIS does not play by the rules, they will attack the United States at its weakest because they know we follow moral guidelines. Although it is encouraging to see love coming from the American people, love may end up putting us in a worse situation than when we started. For America, it is a time for choosing. A decision that we may regret in years to come or one we may rejoice in. Our choice must be based on intellect and compassion, but if they conflict with each other, which one is correct?

Milton Friedman famously stated, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Is our love for the damaged people in the world going to cause more damaged people in the end? Are our refugee policies based off of intention and emotion rather than truth and intellect? So far 33 out of 50 governors have spoken that they do not think refugee settlement is a good idea.  There is no good or evil answer to the Syrian refugee crisis, but for right now there is an intellectual answer and an emotional one.

Corey Black Headshot

Corey Black is a sophomore at Ohio Christian University studying Government & Business. He is the sitting chair for Young Americans for Freedom on campus. Corey enjoys speaking on political affairs and Ohio State football.

All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.

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Nov 22

Right to Work in Ohio – Action Needed Now

Cincinnati legislator Tom Brinkman introduced House Bill 377, Right to Work for the private sector in Ohio.  Right to Work gives workers the right to choose if they want to be a member of a union.  Everyone should be able to choose the groups they associate with, it shouldn’t be mandatory to join a group to have a job.  Workers should have a choice.  House Bill 377 gives Ohio workers that choice.  Support the Bill today.  Call your State Rep and tell them you support Right to Work in Ohio.

Right to Work has been a hot-button issue in Ohio since Senate Bill 5 in 2011.  While SB5 didn’t have anything to do with giving workers the right to choose if they were a member of a union, many people thought that was a step in that direction.  SB5 attempted to limit a union’s ability to collectively bargain for health care and pensions.   SB5 also attempted to eliminate ‘fair share’.

From Jason Hart: In Ohio and other states without right-to-work laws, workers can be forced to pay fair share fees to a labor  union and may dispute the “chargeable” portion of the mandatory fees by submitting a written complaint.

“We often find that, whether deliberately or unintentionally, union officials tend to cut corners a lot when it comes to deciding how much to charge nonmembers,” Semmens said.

“It’s an argument, we think, for Right to Work, because Right to Work makes it very simple. You have a right-to-work law, the choice is: pay the full amount if you want, pay nothing if you don’t want to support the union. You don’t have to go through the often complicated and cumbersome process of Hudson notice, ability to object, and all that sort of thing.”

In the past three years, three Midwestern states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana have given their workers the choice of whether or not they want to be a member of a union. West Virginia and Kentucky are currently considering Right to Work legislation.  With the election of Matt Bevin in Kentucky, Right to Work seems to be likely.  Learn more about the race between West Virginia and Kentucky to become the next Right to Work state in a report from Jason Hart.  Twenty-five of our fifty states are Right to Work.  It is a race to see which state will become twenty-sixth.

With House Bill 377,  Ohio is in the race. The bill gives workers the choice to be a member of a union if they choose to become a member.  No fees can be taken from a worker who is not a member. This bill only affects private sector unions.

From House Bill 377 – “(B) The policy of this state is that the negotiation of terms and conditions of private sector employment should result from voluntary agreement between an employer and the employer’s employees. Therefore, each employee must be fully free to associate, organize, and designate a representative, as the employee chooses, for the negotiation of the terms and conditions of employment in the private sector and must be free from coercion, interference, or restraint by the employee’s employer or an agent of the employee’s employer in designating a representative, self-organizing, or other concerted activity for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. (C) The policy of this state is that each employee must be fully free to decide whether to associate, organize, designate a representative, or join or assist an employee organization.”

If Right to Work is an issue that you think needs to be advanced in Ohio, a call to your State Rep is in order.  The Reps need to hear from you to tell them that you support House Bill 377, Right to Work. A bill that gets five or six calls is a big deal to them.  You may think someone else is calling, you don’t have time to call, but your voice needs to be heard.

Find your State Rep and give them a call today.  Click here to search for your State Rep. If you want to email them the House email addresses  The XX being the number of your district; 01, 10, 20, 30, etc.

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Nov 22

Trouble on the Right for Governor Kasich

Ohio will begin running deficits in 2016The following was recently obtained by Ohio Conservative Review and is published with the author’s permission as an open letter to Bret Baier of Fox News.

Mike Snead, President Dayton TEA Party

Special Report

Subject: Refuting Mr. Baier’s assertion that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a conservative Republican

Dear Mr. Baier,

I am writing to address and correct your perception that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is viewed by the TEA Party citizenry in Ohio as a center-right Republican politician. That you personally have this impression was made clear by your remarks on Fox News’ The Hannity Show on Friday, January 30, 2015. While commenting on Mitt Romney’s apparent decision not to run for president in 2016, you mentioned Gov. Kasich as a potential unity candidate within the Republican Party because of his center-right political positions. For reasons listed below, I do not believe such an opinion is supported by either his rhetoric or his record as governor.

Contrasted with the straight-forward and consistently conservative rhetoric and actions of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has made himself into a complex politician in terms of his evolving rhetoric and his unpredictable actions as governor. While he campaigned for governor in 2010 as a TEA Party conservative — himself noting that he was TEA Party before there was a TEA Party[1] — he has since governed and increasingly spoken on important political issues as a progressive Republican. He now favors larger government, increased taxes, and increased federal debt, while favoring social policies more aligned with traditional progressive Democratic goals such as forced unionization, social equality, and unending government entitlements. Although he barely won election in 2010 against an ultra-progressive Democratic governor running an $8 billion hole in the state budget[2] — winning largely due to the willing and strong grassroots support from many in the TEA Party movement in Ohio — he has since been quick to criticize, falsely label, and politically act harshly and unfairly against conservatives opposing his increasingly progressive political agenda.[3] While Gov. Kasich and his inside-Columbus supporters may portray him as a “conservative,” it is my opinion that this view is not mirrored within the state’s TEA Party/grassroots Republican citizenry.

Here is a partial list of his actions since becoming governor — those readily coming to mind — that I believe dispute any reasonable perception that Governor Kasich should be labeled as a center-right/conservative Republican.

  •        Right-to-work. Gov. Kasich opposes legislation making Ohio a right-to-work state and has not supported the grassroots petition drive to put this issue on the state ballot. He has adopted this opposition despite the clear worker economic freedom arising from having the liberty to join or not join a union in a right-to-work state.[4][5][6] What has made his opposition surprising is the fact that the adjoining states of Michigan and Indiana have already made this change against strong Democratic and union opposition. In 2012, Michigan became a right-to-work state through legislation signed by its governor. In 2014, that incumbent Republican Michigan governor was reelected.[7] In Indiana, with another Republican governor, the recent state legislation making Indiana a right-to-work state was upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court as well as a federal appeals court.[8] In the bordering state of Kentucky, individual counties are seeking the ability to become right-to-work states.[9] On this issue Gov. Kasich is firmly a progressive, not a conservative by any standard here in the Midwest.
  •        Conservative legislation. Gov. Kasich, as leader of the Republican Party in Ohio, has failed to support legislation implementing improved voter photo ID to protect the integrity of our elections; reinstating paycheck protection for public employees to protect them from being forced to pay for union political activities through automatic deductions[10]; enacting the heartbeat bill to help protect the readily detectable human life of the yet unborn; and preventing the use of foreign law (e.g., Sharia Law) in Ohio legal proceedings. (Note that the Republican Party has a majority in both chambers of the state legislature, meaning that any conservative bill he favors would most likely be passed.) One may conclude only that his failure to support prominent conservative public policies clearly illustrates his progressive stance and willingness to block legislation opposed by large unions and organizations typically supporting Democratic candidates. As noted below, Gov. Kasich is increasingly hesitant to be clear about his values and public policy positions — a typical “establishment” Republican stance.
  •        Common Core. To the surprise of grassroots voters, Gov. Kasich champions the ultra-progressive Common Core educational standards despite these having been adopted “sight-unseen” by his ultra-liberal Democratic predecessor. He has come to label opposition as “hysteria” and argues falsely that despite the legal mandate of these Common Core educational standards, local school boards are still in control.[11] If this is the case, why then are even home-schooled children being forced to adopt Common Core?[12] My examination of the standards, their implementation, and expert testimony all clearly show that he is not speaking accurately on this topic.[13] Further, he opposed legislation last year that would have replaced the Common Core standards with superior, proven standards.[14]  This refutes his assertion that he wants “better” standards as he is refusing to adopt proven better standards. On this issue he is marching in lockstep with progressives of both parties wishing to assert unquestioned top-down control of our children’s education as a means of social and political engineering. In no way can his support for Common Core be viewed as conservative.
  •        Illegal alien legalization/amnesty. Despite the growing grassroots concern about the impact of illegal aliens and amid growing opposition to their legalization/amnesty, Gov. Kasich recently reversed his position and now favors a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens resident in this country.[15] This is a progressive position on an issue of substantial political and legal/constitutional importance. Clearly, his is not a center-right policy position and is, in fact, just the opposite of what virtually every Republican congressional candidate campaigned on last fall.
  •        Medicaid expansion. Although Gov. Kasich campaigned in 2010 in opposition to Obamacare, he quickly became a progressive Republican champion of a key provision of Obamacare to expand Medicaid to cover single, work-able adults without children. However, reflecting strong grassroots Republican opposition, the Republican-led state legislature specifically prohibited the adoption of his proposed Medicaid expansion in the last state budget bill. Not accepting the will of the people’s representatives, Gov. Kasich line-item vetoed this provision in the budget bill and then took it to the next step to have this provision adopted through the obscure Controlling Board, ordinarily used to make minor corrections to the execution of the state budget.[16][17] Even to accomplish this, he had to have two Republican legislators on this board, opposing his action, replaced in order to achieve the needed majority vote.[18] This is an example of the “Chicago-style” progressive political arm-twisting that has taken over the functioning of the state government in Columbus under Gov. Kasich. Acting against the clear wishes of the majority of the state’s Republican representatives and forcing legislators off of a typically noncontroversial board in order to implement his desired policy is not a conservative approach to governing. Further, it should be noted that Ohioans, with a strong majority of 66% in favor, passed a state constitutional amendment in 2011 opposing Obamacare’s implementation in Ohio.[19][20] This makes Gov. Kasich’s back-door, arm-twisting behavior even more troublesome to grassroots Republican voters.
  •        Balanced Budget Amendment and federal debt growth. Recently, Gov. Kasich has started to travel the nation championing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution while promoting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. It appears he is trying to raise his presidential candidate name recognition and draw attention to his House Budget Committee leadership in the 1990s, when the federal budget was briefly balanced. However, as governor he is accepting billions in federal funds each year — all paid for by new federal debt — to cover the cost of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Ohio, forced through by Gov. Kasich. Originally this was projected to bring 270,000 new enrollees with a cost to the federal government of $13 billion through 2020 for just Ohio. By this coming June, nearly 500,000 will have joined with their cost total exceeding the $2.5 billion budgeted for 2013-2014.[21] Obviously, the original projected cost of $13 billion for Ohio through 2020 will be far exceeded, creating the need for more government spending and more federal debt. Gov. Kasich argues that this is “free” money just sitting unused in Washington DC while ignoring the obvious that it is really new federal debt being placed on the backs of responsible, hard-working Americans and their children and grandchildren.[22] He also argues that this debt, portrayed by him as “charity,” is the Christian thing to do.[23] How could a conservative Republican argue that it is okay to put our children into debt to pay for the needs of single, work-able adults? This is not charity but economic servitude being forced on our children over the majority vote of their parents’ elected representatives. His argument of “free money” is typical progressive political rhetoric while his policies of end-running the clear will of the people’s representatives are also typical of progressives — reminding many of President Obama’s approach to governance. Gov. Kasich past zeal for not adding to the federal debt has vanished as he seeks higher office and the liberal voters to make this happen.
  •        Ohio Republican Party. The Republican Party in Ohio is formed through voter-elected representatives to county-level Central Committees and a State Central Committee. Most voters don’t even know that these committees exist or that they govern the actions of the party at the county and state levels. After his election in 2010, and again in 2012, Gov. Kasich won a fight within the State Central Committee to have his “guy” named executive director.[24] In 2014, grassroots Republicans made efforts to reassert grassroots control of the State Central Committee by putting candidates up for election. We seek to make the party responsive to its voters. The response to this challenge was that the existing State Central Committee members, who appoint the executive director, voted to endorse themselves for reelection in 2014. The executive director then spent substantial party funds sending mailers to Republican primary voters urging support for these state committee candidates. These mailers said that these candidates were endorsed by the Republican Party — meaning that they had endorsed themselves.[25] Obviously, this was a self-serving action to preserve Gov. Kasich’s control of the Ohio Republican Party. Also, many of the endorsement mailers sent to voters, paid for by the Ohio Republican Party, urged support under the banner “Stop Obamacare” — the very same Obamacare Gov. Kasich has used to pay for his Medicaid expansion.[26] This Kasich-led Ohio Republican Party campaign promise was quickly forgotten. Does any of this reflect the integrity and honesty of a true conservative Republican?
  •        Romney’s 2012 loss in Ohio. Of particular concern to grassroots Republican Ohio voters is that under Gov. Kasich’s leadership, the Ohio Republican Party was unable to achieve a victory for Mitt Romney in the critical battleground state of Ohio despite everything going wrong under President Obama’s administration.[27] My impression is that the general observation within the grassroots community is that the Republican Party in Ohio did not wage an aggressive, effective campaign in the closing weeks of the 2012 campaign. Romney lost by less than 2% in Ohio. The impression of a lack of an effective statewide campaign also comes from the fact that Mitt Romney got 84,000 fewer votes in Ohio than John McCain did in 2008.[28][29] It’s now intriguing to note that, with Gov. Kasich’s presidential aspirations becoming increasingly apparent, Romney’s loss in 2012 has certainly “opened the door” for Kasich to run for president in 2016 — an opportunity that would not exist had Romney won in 2012.
  •        Ohio U.S. Senator election in 2012. During the same 2012 November general election, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown was up for reelection. He is one of the most progressive Democrats in Congress. He was opposed by the state treasurer Josh Mandel — a young veteran and a member of the new younger conservative wing of the Republican Party in Ohio. Senator Brown won by 6%.[30] As with the circumstances of support for Romney’s campaign, the general impression is that the Ohio Republican Party’s support for Mandel’s campaign was far less substantial than would be expected in a strong fight to win a U.S. Senate seat for Republicans — especially compared to the hard fought Republican Senatorial campaigns of last fall. Thus, in two key national-level battles against ultra-progressive Democratic candidates, the Ohio Republican Party did not do well. What does this hold for 2016 in must-win Ohio against the expected candidacy of Hillary Clinton or a similar strong and well-supported Democratic candidate? Is this the demonstrated campaign fortitude needed to win in 2016 on a conservative campaign platform? Grassroots Ohio Republican voters are, I believe, very concerned that the attitude and skills needed to win Ohio in 2016 are not evident in the Ohio Republican Party. For this reason, grassroots Republican voters need to, in my opinion, assert greater influence in how the 2016 campaigns are undertaken. After two failed elections and the resulting terrible consequences for our nation and our liberty, we can’t afford a third failure.
  •        Kasich’s 2014 reelection. Gov. Kasich was up for reelection in 2014. In many comparable Republican-led states, Democrats strongly contested the reelection — Wisconsin, Michigan, South Carolina, etc.[31] Surprisingly, such strong opposition did not also happen in the key Republican must-win state of Ohio. Here the Democratic challenger was a largely unknown local politician from Cleveland. During the campaign it was found out that this challenger had apparently driven for years on an expired driver’s license and had been found by the police in a car at 4:30 AM with a woman not his wife.[32, 33] This challenger’s campaign had virtually no funding and no traditional Democratic get-out-the-vote support. Contrast this with the significant and well-funded Democratic challenge that conservative Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defeated in his hard-fought reelection last year. The disparity is obvious. Grassroots Republicans in Ohio wonder why Gov. Kasich got off so easy in a key 2016 presidential battleground state. Perhaps the fact that he is proposing, supporting, and defending public policies attuned to the political goals of the Democratic Party explains this. It should also be noted that it appears the Ohio Republican Party took steps to prevent the Libertarian candidate from being on either the primary or the November general election ballots.[34][35] This prevented Ohio voters from being able to cast a protest vote against Kasich in either the primary or general elections. These “unusual” circumstances contributed to Gov. Kasich’s 64% victory he now crows about.[36]
  •        Kasich and the Republican Party Platform. Grassroots Republican voters generally share strong support for the U.S. Constitution, the Rule of Law, a balanced budget, smaller and more effective government, and integrity and accountability in our government officials. We also generally support the preservation of life and the protection of personal liberty and private property. We also believe in adult responsibility. The Republican Party captures such views in its platform. Thus, this platform broadly defines what it means to be a “Republican.” Gov. Kasich stated that he hasn’t even read the 2012 Republican Platform and does not see it as being important.[37] Also, the Ohio Republican Party has not adopted the Republican Platform and has put off efforts to have it do so.[38] All of this indicates that Gov. Kasich is his own person, advocating his own personal political agenda. Hence, to label him as a conservative Republican has no basis in fact. Rather, Gov. Kasich can only be defined by his rhetoric and, most importantly, his public policy and political actions — all of which, as discussed above, are clearly progressive and not conservative as grassroots Republicans understand the term “conservative” to mean.

Gov. Kasich certainly has the right to pursue the presidency and to define his values and public policy positions. All candidates for this office must be able to do so. What many grassroots Republicans object to, I believe, is redefining the traditional language of “center-right” and “conservative” to mask a candidate’s actual center-left or progressive values and policy positions. Today, being seen as “conservative” is good. However, being an honest conservative, having the integrity to speak clearly about one’s values and policy positions, is held with high esteem by grassroots Republican voters.

If there is one lesson that the American public has learned, it is that honesty and integrity are paramount in the office of president and, by inference, are necessary from the serious Republican candidates for this office in their 2016 campaigns. I believe that the American news media — including Fox News — must respect the integrity of the words used to describe the candidates. Otherwise, they are engaging in “gruberizing” American voters by not speaking plainly and truthfully about the candidates but allowing their own personal or corporate desires to taint their reporting.

In closing, I wish to return to the central point of your remarks on The Hannity Show — that the Republican Party needs unity in order to have a chance at winning the White House in 2016. I am confident that almost all grassroots Republicans want to see the Republican nominee win. The path forward to achieve this does not, at this time, come from focusing on any particular candidate. Rather our party’s focus now must be on providing the primary voters a clear understanding of the candidates’ values and policy positions, on providing choice on the primary ballot to enable voters to best vote their values, and on yielding a nominee seen by grassroots Republicans as having won the nomination “fair and square.”  This is how the unity in the general election, needed for victory by the Republican Party, will best be achieved.



Mike Snead

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Nov 10

“Top Ten” Debate #3: Republicans vs. Each Other… and the Media

The third Republican debate was hosted by CNN and held at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado on October 28, 2015.  Moderators were John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla.  Jim Cramer, Rick Santelli and Sharon Epperson joined the questioning later.

The candidates, from left to right on the televised screen:  Gov. John Kasich (Ohio since 2011), Gov. Mike Huckabee (Arkansas 1996-2007), Gov. Jeb Bush (Florida 1999-2007), Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida since 2011), Donald Trump (real estate developer), Dr. Ben Carson ( Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 1984-2013), Carly Fiorina (CEO of Hewlett-Packard 1999-2005), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas since 2013), Gov. Chris Christie (New Jersey since 2009) and Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky since 2011).

The format will be in the sequence of the way the questions were posed.  The last section will summarize the candidates’ qualifications for President and suggestions for fulfilling other federal positions.

Quintanilla:  “What’s  Your  Biggest  Weakness?”

Note: This may be a job interview for President as Quintanilla said, but why not ask about strengths instead of embarrassing everyone right off the bat?

Kasich:  Is more concerned about electing someone not qualified for the job.  Anyone who suggests we dismantle Medicare and Medicaid doesn’t care about seniors.  Wanting to deport eleven million illegal immigrants which will split families or proposing “tax schemes that don’t add up” are sign of a candidate’s incompetence.

Huckabee:  He exposed the absurdity of the question with “Well, John, I don’t really have any weaknesses that I can think of.  (laughter)  But my wife is down here in the front and I’m sure if you’d like to talk to her later she can give you more than you’ll ever be able to take care of.  If I have a weakness is that I try to live by the rules.  I try to live by the rules no matter what they are and I was brought up  that way as a kid… And I’ll tell you what a weakness is in this country .  There a lot of people who are sick and tired because Washington does not play by the same rules that the American people have to play by.”

Bush:  He says he’s impatient and that “this endeavor doesn’t reward that.”  He can’t fake anger.  Many express this in tearing down this country, for which they are unfairly rewarded.  “I just don’t believe that this country’s days are going to be deeply, you know, going down.  I believe we are on the verge of the greatest time and I want to fix the things to let people rise up.”

Rubio:    It’s not a weakness that he “shares an optimism for America’s future that today is eroding from too many of our people.”  It does not have to be true that our best days are behind us.  “If we’re willing to do what it takes now, the 21st century is going to be the new American century.”

Trump:  His greatest weakness is that he trusts people too much.  But if he’s let down by them, he finds it “very, very hard to forgive people that deceived me.”

Carson:   He had trouble seeing himself as President until “hundreds of thousands of people” told him he needed to run.  He also believes in Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment” about not criticizing fellow Republicans.  This election is so important “because we’re talking about America for the people versus America for the government.”

Fiorina:   “Well, gee, after the last debate I was told I didn’t smile enough.  (laughter as she gave her classic and truly fantastic smile – editorial comments permitted!)  But I also think that these are very serious times.  Seventy-five per cent of the American people think the government is corrupt, I agree with them.  And this big, powerful corrupt bureaucracy works now only for the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected.  Mean time, wages have stagnated for forty years.  We have more Americans out of work, or just more Americans who quit looking for work for forty years.  Ours was intended to be a citizen government… We need a leader who will take our government back.”

Cruz:  “I’m too agreeable, easy going.”  (laughter)  He said he has been passionate his entire life about the Constitution.  “For six and a half years, we’ve had a gigantic party.  If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy.  But if you want someone to drive you home, I will get the job done and I will get you home”

Christie:  He said he didn’t see much weakness on this stage, but he sees it with the three on the Democratic stage.  “You know, I see a socialist, and isolationist and a pessimist.  And, for the sake of me, I can’t figure out which one is which.  (laughter)

But I will tell you this:  the socialist says they’re going to pay for everything and give you everything for free, except they don’t say they’re going to raise your taxes to 90% to do it.  The isolationist is the one who wants to continue to follow a foreign policy that has fewer democracies today than when Barack Obama came into office around the world.  But I know who the pessimist is: it’s Hillary Clinton.  And you put me on that stage against her next September and she won’t get within ten miles of the White House.  Take it to the bank.”

Paul:  He left his medical practice to do something about our federal government which borrows $1 million per minute.  Now we have both parties putting a bill on the floor of the Congress which will “explode the deficit… It will allow President to borrow unlimited amounts of money.  I will stand firm.  I will spend every ounce of energy to stop it.  I will begin tomorrow to filibuster it and I ask everyone in America to call Congress tomorrow and say, ‘enough’s enough, no more debt.’”

[Harwood to Trump:  He quoted several of Trump’s promises that have made him popular so far, and that it will make Americans better off because his “greatness will replace the stupidity and incompetence of others.  Let’s be honest, is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?”]

Note: —  such a dignified question designed to enlighten the voters

Trump:  “No, it’s not a comic book and it’s not a very nicely asked question the way you say it.”  Larry Kudlow like his tax plan which lowers the rate to 15%, bring back the $2.5 trillion which is outside of the U.S., etc.  “As far as the wall is concerned, we’re going to build the wall.  We’re going to create a border.  We’re going to let people in, but they’re going to come in legally… And I get questioned about that.  They built the Great Wall of China that 13,000 miles.  Here we actually need 1,000 because we have natural barriers… We’re going to have people come in, but they’re coming in legally.”

He said Mexico will pay for the wall.  A politician can’t get them to do it (because their leaders are smarter than ours), but he could.  Harwood tried to end Trump’s time, but the candidate was able to insert that the price for such a wall is “peanuts” compared to the $50 billion trade imbalance advantage hey have over us.


Taxes  and  the  Deficit

[Harwood claimed that Trump’s tax plan of cutting $10 trillion would not jump start economy according to economic advisors from previous president of both parties.  Harwood

continued the earlier indignities by saying, “They said you have as much chance of cutting taxes that much without increasing the deficit as you would of flying away from that podium by flapping your arms.”]

Trump:  Then you have to get rid of Larry Kudlow, who sits on your panel, who’s a great guy, who came out the other day and said, ‘I love Trump’s tax plan.’

Bush:  “Did you look at all of our plans?  And Trump’s creates, even with the dynamic effect, $8 trillion in debt.”

[Becky Quick to Carson:  She has reviewed his 10% tax plan.  While it has significant appeal among voters, she is “having trouble with the math.”  Income in is still “leaving us with a $2 trillion hole. What analysis got you to the point where you think it will work?”]

Carson:  The rate is not 10%, he was just using the tithing analogy.  It will be closer to 15% which Quick said would still leave a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit.  His plan also eliminates all of the deductions and loopholes.  Also, strategic cutting is called for because we have 645 federal agencies and sub-agencies. “Anybody who tells me we need every penny in every one of those is in a fantasy world.  An invigorated economy not bogged down by regulations is key as well.  (Quick commented that a 40% reduction in government is needed to erase the deficit caused by his plan.)  “It’s not true.”  (Quick:  “It is true.  I looked at the numbers.”)  “When we put all of the facts down, you’ll be able to see that it’s not true, it works out very well.”

[Harwood to Kasich:  Kasich has had some criticisms of Trump and Carson for their plans.  His response?]

Kasich:  He reiterated that he’s the only one on the stage who has real experience balancing a federal budget.  “These plans would put us trillions and trillions of dollars in debt.”  His plan would create jobs, cut taxes and balance the budget.  He said his plans are realistic.  “Why don’t we just give a chicken in every pot while we’re coming up with these fantasy tax schemes… You have to deal with entitlements.  You have to be in a position to control discretionary spending… I went into Ohio where we had an eight billion dollar hole, now we have a two billion dollar surplus.  We’re up 347,000 jobs.  When I was in Washington I fought to get the budget balanced… We cut taxes and we had a $5 trillion projected surplus… This stuff is fantasy just like getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid.”

[Harwood:  Would Kasich be specific about whose “crazy” proposals he was talking about, which led to a lively Kasich-Trump exchange.]

Kasich:  He alluded to Carson’s plan and dismissed it as attempting to “tithe” for the federal budget.  (Note: Kasich must not have heard Carson’s correction of Quick’s same characterization of his plan.)  He also mentioned those plans which claim to fix everything by elimination of “waste, fraud and abuse.”  Or we’ll simply be “great… or we’re going to ship ten million people out of this country leaving their children here in this country and dividing families.  Folks, we gotta wake up.  We cannot elect somebody who doesn’t know how to do the job.”

Trump:  “First of all, John got lucky with a thing called ‘fracking.’  Okay?  He hit oil.  He got lucky with fracking.  Believe me, that’s why Ohio is doing well.  And that’s important for you to know.  Number two, this is the man that was a managing general partner  at Lehman Brothers1 when it went down the tubes and almost took every one of us with us [sic] including Ben and myself because I was there and I watched happened.  And Lehman Brothers started it all.  He was on the board and he was a managing general partner.  And just thirdly, he was not so nice, he was such a nice guy.  And he said ‘Oh, I’m never going to attack.’  But his polls numbers tanked.  That’s why he’s on the end.  And he got nasty, he got nasty.  So, you know what, you can have him.

Kasich:  “Let me respond.  First of all, Ohio does have an energy industry, but we’re diversified.  We’re one of the fastest growing states in the country.  We came back from the dead.  And you know what?  It works very, very well.  And secondly, when you talk about me being on the board of Lehman Brothers—I wasn’t on the board of Lehman Brothers.  I was a banker and I was proud of that and I travelled the country and learned how people make jobs.  We ought to have politicians who not only have government experience, but know how the CEO’s and job creators work.  My state is doing great across the board.  And guess what?  In 2011, (whereupon Trump talked over him so that neither could be understood)…”

Carson:  “Since I was attacked, too, let me just say.  If you talk about an $18 trillion economy and you’re talking about a 15% tax on your gross domestic product, you’re talking about 2.7 trillion.  We have a budget closer to 3.5 trillion.  But if you also apply that same 15% to several other things including corporate taxes, ah, and including, ah, the capital gains taxes you make up that amount pretty quickly.  So, that’s not by any stretch pie-in-the-sky.”

Cruz:  On his tax plan which is available online, a family of four pays no tax on the first $36,000 and, after that, 10% the rest of the way.  “On top of that, there’s a business flat tax of 16%.  It applies universally to giant corporations, that would lobby us now and are not paying taxes, and the small businesses.  And you wanted to know the numbers:  the Tax Foundation which has scored every one of our plans, shows that this plan will allow the economy to generate 4.9 million jobs, to raise wages over 12% and to generate 14% growth and it costs with dynamic scoring2 less than a trillion dollars.  Those are the hard numbers and every single income decile sees a double-digit increase in after-tax income.  (and as Quick tried to interrupt.) Growth is the answer and as Reagan demonstrated, if we cut taxes, we can bring back growth.”        

Fiorina:  Despite the talk about tax reform for decades, “we now have a 73,000 page tax code.  There have been more than 4,000 changes to the tax plan since 2001 alone.”  And despite all of the terrific ideas from various conservative think tanks, “we never get it done… And politicians say it’s so complicated, nobody but a politician can figure it out… The big problem is:  we need a leader in Washington who understands how to get something done. (said over attempts to interrupt by Quintanilla, who eventually said: “You want to bring the 70,000 pages to three?”) That’s right.  You know why three?  (“is that using really small type?”)  No, you know why three?  Only when it’s about three pages are you leveling the playing field between the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected who can hire the army of lawyers and accountants and, yes lobbyists, to help them navigate their way through 73,000 pages.  Three pages, is about the maximum the business owner, or a farmer or a couple can understand without hiring somebody.  Almost 60% of the American people now need to hire an expert to understand their taxes.”


Rubio’s  Work  Ethic  in  the  Senate

[Quintanilla to Rubio: While being in such a hurry and missing some bills in the Senate, “why not slow down, get some things done first or at least finish what you start.]

Rubio:  He said Quintanilla sounds like the rest of the Republican establishment who wants him “to wait in line.”  He countered that this country can’t wait any longer.  Everyday Americans are struggling more than ever and “for the first time in 35 years, we have more small businesses closing than starting.  We have a world that is out of control and has grown dangerous and a President that is weakening our military, and our foreign policy unstable and unreliable in the eyes of our allies.  And our adversaries continue to grow stronger.  They say there’s no bi-partisanship in Washington?  We have a $19 trillion bipartisan debt  and it continues to grow as we borrow from countries that do not like us to pay for government we cannot afford.  The time to act is now.  The time to turn the page is now.  If we don’t act now, we will be the first generation in American history that leaves our children worse off  than ourselves.”

[Quintanilla:  How does he respond to the Sun Sentinel’s suggestion that he resign while running for President so that “he doesn’t rip us off”?]

Rubio:  It’s amusing to him that this paper would comment on his attendance when the same paper endorsed John Kerry and Barack Obama when they missed over half of their Senate votes when they ran for President.  He said this was “another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and conservative movement.”  (applause)

[now for Bush’s ill-advised attempt at a personality transformation at the expense of a fellow Floridian]

Bush:  “… because I’m a constituent of the senator, and I helped him, and I expected he would do constituents’ service which means he shows up to work.  He got endorsed by the Sun Sentinel because he was the most talented guy in the field.  He’s a gifted politician.”

“But Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work.  I mean, literally, the Senate, what is it, like a French work week? [the governor extended his troubles internationally, too3]  You get like three days you have to show up?  You can campaign.  Or just resign and let someone else take the job.  There are a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck in Florida as well.  [a jab at Rubio’s theme of those he wants to defend]  They’re looking for a senator who will fight for them each and every day.”

Rubio:  “I get to respond, right? [“You have thirty seconds.”]  Well, it’s interesting over the last few weeks I’ve listened to Jeb as he walked around the country and said you’re modeling your campaign after John McCain.  That you’re going to launch a furious comeback the way he did by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that, carrying your own bag at the airport.  You know how many votes John McCain missed while he was carrying out that furious comeback that you’re modeling after? [Bush: “He wasn’t my senator.”]  Jeb, I don’t remember, well, let me tell you, I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record.  The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.  Here’s the bottom line, (applause) I’m not, my campaign is about the future of America , it’s not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage.  I will continue to have tremendous respect and admiration for Gov. Bush.  I’m not running against Gov. Bush.  I’m not running against anyone on this stage.  I’m running for President because there is no way we can elect Hillary Clinton to continue the policies of Barack Obama.  (applause and a little confusion which the moderators tried to corral, with little success at first)


Why  Has  Bush  Fallen  in  the  Polls?

[Harwood:  Gov. Bush’s place at the fifth spot signifies his drop in the polls despite much financial support.   After cutting payroll, he said he “had better things to do than be demonized—“]

Bush:  No, he said that, if elected President, he would not maintain the current dysfunctional situation in Washington.  He has a proven record as governor that he makes changes where necessary.

[Harwood continued:  Former Fed. Reserve chairman, appointed by Bush’s brother, said he no longer could consider himself a Republican because the party has fallen to a “know nothingism” philosophy.  Is this is what’s hurting Jeb Bush’s campaign?]

Bush:  The American people “believe in a hopeful future” that is not exemplified by building a wall, etc.  However, these aspirations have a lid as shown by the numbers of part-time workers and our current worker participation percentages lower than what we had in 1977, also “six million more people living in poverty than the day when Barack Obama got elected President.  And  the Left just wants more of the same.  We have to offer a compelling alternative that is based on hope and optimism and grounded in serious policy which I’ve laid out.  And you can go get it at”


Why  Should  America  Hire  Fiorina  with  Her  Record  at Hewlett-Packard?

[momentary confusion again until Quick to Fiorina:  The stock market is usually a good indication of a CEO’s performance.  Investors lost half of their stock value during her years leading Hewlett-Packard.  While it was a tough time for technology companies, still, Fiorina’s board fired her.  “I just wondered why you think we should hire you now.”]

Fiorina:  The NASDAQ lost 80% and took fifteen years to recover.  She was hired to help a company with a bureaucracy which “cost too much and delivered too little to shareholders.”  H-P had  missed expectations for nine consecutive quarters.  She cut the excess, “reintroduced accountability, focused on service, on innovation, on leading in every market and every segment… We saved 80,000 jobs and grew to 160,000” while many competitors, like Gateway, failed costing many jobs.  She was able to make difficult decisions in a difficult time and “people are looking for that in Washington.”  She was fired over a disagreement in the board room, which are not immune to politics.  “And yet, the man who led my firing, Tom Perkins an icon of Silicon Valley, has come out publicly and said, ‘You know what?  We were wrong, she was right.  She was a great CEO.  She’d make a great President of the United States because the leadership she brought to H-P is exactly the leadership we need in Washington, D.C.’”

[Quick:  But Perkins “has said questionable things like ‘wealthy people should get more votes.’  Is this the type of person you want to defend you?”]

Fiorina:  “Well, this is one of the reasons Tom Perkins and I had disagreements in the board room, Becky.” (laughter)   People don’t realize the level of accountability which besets CEO’s.  She “had to answer every single question about every single result and every single projection, in public, until there were no more questions.  And if I misrepresented those projections or those results in any way, I was held criminally liable.  Imagine, imagine, if a politician were held to that standard of account.  I will run on my record all day long.  And I believe people need a leader who is prepared to make tough calls in tough times and stand up and be held accountable.”  (applause)      


Cruz  Defends  the  Group  on  Stage  at  the  Expense  of  Answering  His  Question

[Quintanilla to Cruz:  Congress is on the verge of an agreement which will raise the debt ceiling, but prevent a government shutdown and jittery markets.  Does Cruz’s opposition to this indicate that he is not a problem solver?]

Cruz:  “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media.  (applause)  This is not a cage match.  And you look at the questions, Donald Trump are you a comic book villain?, Ben Carson can you do math?, John Kasich will you insult two people over here?, Marco Rubio why don’t you resign?, Jeb Bush why have your numbers fallen?  How about the substantive issues people care about?  (raucous applause)  Carl, I’m not finished yet.  The contrast with the Democratic debate where every fawning question from the media was, ‘Which of you is more handsome and wise.’  And let me be clear (Quintanilla:  “You have thirty seconds left to answer should you choose to do so.”)  Let me be clear.  The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate.  That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.”4  (applause)

“And nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators has any intention of voting in a Republican primary.  The questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other.  It should be substantive solutions to (unintelligible amid moderator speaking over each other).”  Repeated “you don’t want to hear the answer” from Cruz as Harwood attempted to move on to the next question and candidate and “you used your time on something else” from Harwood followed by “You’re not interested in an answer” by Cruz.


Budget  Cuts  in  Some  Areas,  But  the  Debt  Rises

[Harwood to Paul:  The recent budget bill crafted by Speaker Boehner and passed makes cuts in some social programs.  Does Paul believes the cuts weren’t sufficient?}

Paul:  He’s opposed because it’s taking from entitlements “and spending t immediately on other items.”  Money taken from Social Security will, instead, go to the military and social spending. The sequester was passed four years ago in an attempt to slow government spending.  Instead, the Washington establishment raised both (money from entitlements went to military and domestic spending.) and “the deficit will explode under this… Right and Left are spending us into oblivion.  We should use the debt ceiling as precisely designed to force upon them budgetary reform.”

[Harwood:  So why did both Boehner and Ryan (the latter known for fiscal discipline) do this?]

Paul:  There appears to be little change in the House despite new leadership.  Paul is more concerned about bankrupting the country than keeping the government open.


Social  Security

[Quick to Christie:   Huckabee and others say his proposals to change Social Security amount to stealing the benefits seniors have earned.  “When is it acceptable to break a social compact?”]

Christie:  The government has lied when it said Social Security money is in a trust fund.  Only IOU’s are there now.  The money was spent elsewhere and now, Social Security will be insolvent in 7-8 years.  “Seventy-one per cent of what is spent today is on entitlements and debt service.”5  He is the only one who has made a proposal dealing with entitlements and it will save $1 trillion over ten years.

Hillary Clinton’s solution is to raise Social Security taxes.  To which he responds, “If somebody’s already stolen money from you, are going to give him more?”  (laughter)  Or are you going to deal with the problem by saying I’m going to give people who have done well in this country less benefits on the back end.  We need to get realistic about this.  We’re not.”

[Quintanilla to Huckabee:  60 seconds on this]

Huckabee:  It’s true that we’ve lied and stolen from people regarding Social Security.  “But there’s one thing we haven’t told them:  it’s their money… it’s not entitlement, it’s not welfare!  This  is money that people had confiscated out of their paychecks… Now, we’re going to blame the people.  Today, Congress took another $150 billion away from Social Security so they can borrow more money!..  And they always say they’re going to fix this one day.  No they’re not.  It’s like a 400-pound man saying ‘I’m going to go on a diet, but I’m going to eat a sack of Krispy Kremes before I do… Let’s quit blaming the people on Social Security.  Let’s quit making it a problem for them.  It’s like them getting mugged, and then us saying we’re going to mug you some more, to get over it, get used to it.  No, sir.  We need to honor our promises . (moderator attempted to end his answer)  – Let me finish, it’s the only time I’ve had a chance.  Let me finish.  This a matter, not of math.  This is a matter of morality.  If this country does not keep its promise to seniors, then what promise can this country hope to be trusted to keep? ”

Christie:  The only moral thing we can do is tell them the truth.  “It isn’t their money any more, Mike, it’s stolen.  It got stolen from them.  It’s not theirs anymore.  The government stole it and spent it a long time ago.  (Huckabee:  “But, Chris –“)  So let’s stop fooling around about this.  Let’s tell people the truth.  For once let’s do that and stop trying to give them some kind of fantasy that’s never going to come true.”  (writer’s question:  Does that mean if a person steals from someone and spend it before prosecution, then no judge may require reparation?)

Cruz:  This recent bill passage illustrates the dysfunction in Washington.  Republicans joined with “every single Democrat to add $80 trillion to our debt.”  Yet, no problems were solved.  Regarding Social Security, he believes both Huckabee and Christie are right.  We must honor our commitments.

But for Cruz, who’s 44-years old, finds few of his generation who believe Social Security will be there for them.  The right thing to do: make no changes for current seniors and slowly change the retirement age for younger workers, “changing the rate of growth so that it matches inflation and critically allowing younger workers to keep a portion of our tax payments in a personal account that we own, we control and we can pass on to our kids.  We can do both.

Huckabee:  For one-third of those on Social Security, it represents 90% of their income.  The government has no business stealing more” through “means-testing.”  People paid into it and should receive it.  “… then tell what’s different between Bernie Madoff6 who sits in prison today for doing less than what the government has done to people on Social Security and Medicare in this country.”  (applause)    


Trump’s  Company  Bankruptcies

[Quick to Trump:  Although he has done well in Atlantic City, four bankruptcies have occurred under his lead hurting many.  Since a bankruptcy is a broken promise, why should Americans believe his on the campaign?”]

Trump:  All of the biggest people in businesses have used the chapter laws to their benefit.  Atlantic City “has gone bad” with virtually all hotels and even Caesar’s are in bankruptcy.  This “is disgraceful.”  He, however, has never filed it personally.  Of the hundreds of companies he has opened, three perhaps four have gone bankrupt.  Things came out great and he can do the same for the U.S. “We owe $19 trillion.  Boy, am I good at solving debt problems.  Nobody can solve it like me.  But I will tell you this: Atlantic City, you’re using that, hundreds of companies I’ve opened have thrived.  I built a net worth of way over $10 billion and I’ve done it four times out of hundreds.  Am I’m glad I did it.  I used the laws of the country to my benefit.  I’m sorry.”


Some  Pharmaceuticals  Have  Had  Excessive  Price  Increases

[Cramer to Carson:  Should the government be involved with some of the huge price increases brought on by pharmaceutical companies?]

Carson:  It’s true that some have realized excessive profits.  As a starting point, what can government do for the average American?  The problems begin with small manufacturers of anything, not just pharmaceuticals.  For companies with fewer than fifty employees, the cost of regulations is about $34,000 per employee.  “Instead of picking on this group or this group, we’re going to have to have a major reduction in the regulatory influence going on.  The government is not supposed to be in every part of our lives and that’s what’s causing the problem.”


GM’s  Faulty  Ignition  Switch:  Because  Many  died,  Should  There  Have  Been  Jail  Time?

[Cramer to Christie:   Some have suggested that some bank executives should have gone to jail for the 2008 financial crisis.  Meanwhile, General Motors paid $1+ billion in fines and settlements for their faulty ignition switches for which 124 people died.  No one went to jail.  Since Christie was a former prosecutor, does he believe some should have gone including those involved in the cover-up?]

Christie:  “You bet they do.  And if I were the prosecutor that’s exactly where they’d be.”  Our current justice department is a political one which “wants to choose who the winners and losers are.  They like General Motors, so they give them a pass.  They don’t like somebody else, like David Petraeus, they prosecute and send the decorated general to disgrace.7”  (applause)

In his seven years as U.S. attorney, they “went after pharmaceutical company, we went after companies that were ripping off shareholders, we went after companies that were doing things against the law.  And to expand on Mr. Carson’s – Dr. Carson’s question, let’s face it, we have laws already.  We don’t need more laws.  We don’t need Hillary Clinton’s price controls.  For again – does anybody out there think that giving Washington D.C. the opportunity to run the pharmaceutical industry is a good idea.”  (laughter)      


Accept  Tax  Increase  If  Spending  Was  Cut  Ten  Times  More?

[Harwood to Bush:  Four years ago, every Republican candidate promised to oppose any tax increase even if accompanied by larger spending cuts.  “A few months later, you told Congress ‘put me in coach’ you’d take that deal.  Still feel that way?]

Bush:  Obama got his massive spending deal with no cuts.  With more regulations, now we have to accept 2% annual growth.  Since Obama took over, middle class Americans have $2,300 less than they did before he took office.  With Hillary Clinton, we’ll get a third term of the same.  He cut taxes $19 billion in Florida and created 1.3 million jobs and they were one of two states to have a AAA bond rating.

[Harwood:  If you were President, would you accept a bi-partisan deal with a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases?]

Bush:  We couldn’t find a Republican that would do that, much less a Democrat.  (Harwood:  So you don’t want the coach to put you in anymore?]  “Look, the deal was already done, the biggest tax increase has come under the watch of Barack Obama and spending has gone up.  You find a Democrat that’s for cutting taxes or spending ten dollars and I’ll give them a warm kiss.”  (laughter)


Should  Internet  Businesses  Be  Taxed?

[Quintanilla to Fiorina:  In 2010, when running for the Senate, she said a tax on the internet would be a bad deal, something traditional stores disagreed with.  Now that the internet has matured, is there a fair plan to even that playing field?]

Fiorina:  Crony capitalism, which is where only the big and powerful can handle it, is alive and well in D.C.  So why have pharmaceutical companies and banks consolidating?  Because as government gets bigger, companies feel they must do the same to cope.  Meanwhile 1590 community banks went under.  “You see, folks, this is how socialism starts.  Government causes a problem.  Then, government steps in to solve the problem.  This why we fundamentally take our government back.  The student loan problem has been created by government.  Government trying to level the playing field between internet and brick and mortar creates a problem.  The FCC jumping in now and say we’re going to put four hundred pages of regulation over the internet is going to create massive problems.  Guess who pushed for that regulation?  The big internet companies.  This is what’s going on.  Big and powerful use big and powerful government to their advantage.  It’s why you see Walgreen’s buying Rite-Aid… It’s why you see the banks consolidating.  And meanwhile, small businesses are getting crushed, community based businesses and farms are getting crushed, community banks are going out of business.  Big government favors the big, the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected and crushes the small and the powerless.”


Rubio’s  Finances

[Quick to Rubio:  Due to self-admitted lack of bookkeeping skills, he inadvertently mingled campaign money with personal, faced foreclosure on a second home8 and liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund costing him thousands in taxes and penalties.  “It raises the question, do you have the maturity and wisdom to lead this $17 trillion dollar economy.  What do you say?]

Rubio:  He wasn’t going to give sixty seconds to charges aimed to discredit him.  First of all, he didn’t inherit any money.  He had to work his way through school as well as borrow money.  He had to explain early in his marriage “why someone named Sallie Mae was taking a thousand dollars every month out of (their) bank account?”  (laughter)

“I know what it’s like to owe that money and we worked hard.  We worked hard.  We’ve worked hard all our life to provide a better life for our family.  We own a home four blocks away from the place I grew up in.  Our four children have been able to receive a good Christian education and I’ve been able to save for them to go to college so they never have to have the loans that I did.”  But he’s more worried about the finances of others who are struggling in an economy that doesn’t produce enough good paying jobs.    

[Quick:  She understands as she had loans, too.  But he had a “windfall” of $1 million from the sale of his book, and after the fact, lost $24,000 in that liquidation of a retirement fund.]

Rubio:  That’s why his tax plan increases the per child tax credit.  He knows firsthand how expensive it is to raise a family, and he makes more than the average family.  If we elect Hillary Clinton, it will be more of the same slow growth.


Export  Import  Bank  vs.  Business  Incentives

[Harwood to Kasich:  How does he reconcile his opposition To the ExIm Bank, he described as “corporate welfare,” while at the same time offering incentive to companies as part of his Jobs Ohio program?  In other words, why is it OK for Ohio companies, but not for those who compete overseas?]

Kasich:  We’re reforming welfare for poor people, the same should go for rich.  Ohio has gone from losing 350,000 jobs to a gain of 347,000.  The state’s wages are rising faster than the national average and he has cut taxes significantly including “no taxes on small businesses and killing the death tax.” The recent spending bill is typical of what has happened since he left Washington.  “You spend the money today and you hope you save the money tomorrow.”  He has a plan to get the nation back to a balanced budget.  To do this, we need to cut expenses and grow the economy. Regarding business incentives: “Our incentives are tight and we make sure that we gain more from the creation of jobs than we lose.”  He’s also in favor of a Constitutional amendment for a balanced budget.


Gender  Wage  Inequality

[Quick to Cruz:   Working women still make only 77% of what men make.  He’s criticized Democratic ideas as “political showboat.”  What would he do as President?]

Cruz:  The Democratic solution is more government control of wages and more empowering trial lawyers to fight lawsuits.  His family has several single moms, so he’s aware of the problems.  The Democrats seem to overlook that 3.7 million women have entered poverty during the Obama years.  His big government has lowered women’s median wages by $733.  “Big government benefits the wealthy, the lobbyist, the giant corporations.  And the people getting hammered are small businesses, single moms and Hispanics.  That is whom I’m fighting for, the people that Washington leaves behind.”

Fiorina:  “Becky, it is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to talk about being the first woman President when every single policy she espouses, and every single policy of Obama has been demonstrably bad for women.  Ninety-two per cent (applause)  Ninety-two per cent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women.  Senator Cruz is precisely right.  Three million women have fallen into poverty under this Administration.  The number of women living in extreme poverty is the highest level on record.  I am a conservative because I know our values, our principles and policies work better to lift everyone up – men and women.”


Carson  and  His  Involvement  With  the  Corporate  World

[Quintanilla to Carson:   Concerning his involvement on corporate boards:  Costco was recently called the most gay-friendly brand in a recent marketing survey partly because its domestic partner benefits.  Why would he serve on a company whose policies seem to be contrary to his views on homosexuality?]

Carson:  Apparently, his views on homosexuality are misunderstood.  The Constitution protects everybody.  “I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.  And there is no reason that you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community.  They shouldn’t automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe.  And this one of the myths that the Left perpetrates on our society.  And this is how they frighten people and get people to shut up.  You know that is what the PC culture is all about and it’s destroying our nation.  The fact of the matter is, we the American people are not each other’s enemies.  It’s those people who are trying to divide us who are the enemies and we need to make that very clear to everybody.”  (applause)

[Quintanilla to Carson:  Mannatech makes nutritional supplements and he had a ten-year relationship with them.  “They paid $7 million to settle a deceptive lawsuit.” Why did he continue his involvement with them?]

Carson:  Easy answer, he did not have any involvement with them.9  “That’s total propaganda.”  He made some paid speeches for them, but “it is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them.  Do I take the product?  Yes.  I think it’s a good product.”

[Quintanilla:  To be fair, his photo with their logo behind them was on their home page.]

Carson:  “If somebody put me on their home page, they did it without my permission.”

[Quintanilla:  “Does that not speak to your vetting process or judgment in any way?]

Carson:  “No, it speaks to the fact that I didn’t know what was going on.”  (as crowd boos the moderator)  “See, they know.”  (laughter and cheering)


Immigration  and  Segue  to  Super  PAC’s

[Harwood to Rubio:  He has been a promoter of the “H1B” immigration visas (for workers with special skills) which are helping the tech industry.  Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) said these are being used to undercut wages of qualified workers already here.  “Why is he wrong?”]

Rubio:  If a company is caught doing that, they should never be able to use it again.  We need new laws, e.g. before hiring foreigners, the job should be advertised for 180 days.  Should also have to prove that these workers will receive more, thus, removing the “undercutting” suspicion.  The best solution is to train our own people for 21st century jobs.  He can’t understand why we stopped vocational training… There abuses and companies need to be barred from the program and we also need strict standards to ensure it is not abused.

[Quick to Trump:  You have been critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who wants an increase in these visas –]

Trump:  “I was not at all critical of him, not at all.  In fact, frankly, he’s complaining about the fact that we are losing some of the most talented people.”  They come from all countries to our best universities and when they graduate, they are sent out.

[Quick:  “Where did I read this or come up with this?”]

Trump:  “Probably, I don’t know, you people write this stuff.”  (laughter)  “And I’d like to say just one thing.  I am the only one in either campaign that’s self-funding… So far, I’ve put up less than anybody and have the best results… Super PAC’s are a disaster.  They’re a scam.  They cause dishonesty and you’d better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people.  And I’m not blaming these folks, but, I guess I could… And if anything come from this whole thing with some of these nasty and ridiculous questions, I tell you, you’d better get rid of the super PAC’s.”

[Quick to Trump:  You called Rubio “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator” because he was in favor of the H1B.]

Trump:  “I’ve never said this.”  Followed by repeated quizzical comments from Quick and Trump denying the report including “somebody really doing some bad fact-checking”.

Rubio:  “The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC.  It’s called the mainstream media.  (Vocal laughter)  ”And I’ll tell you why.  Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee.  She admitted she had sent emails to her family saying, ‘Hey, this attack at Benghazi was caused by Al-Qaeda like elements.  She went over a week telling the families of those victims, and the American people, because it was over a video.  And yet, the mainstream media’s going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  It was the week she got exposed as a liar.  (cheering) But she has her super PAC helping her out.”


What  Should  be  Done  with  the  Federal  Reserve?

[Rick Santelli to Cruz:  With your criticism of the Federal Reserve Bank, should Congress be involved in monetary policy, or even downsize it completely?]

Cruz:  First, there should be an audit of the Fed.  And he was an original sponsor of Ron (Rand) Paul’s audit the Fed legislation.  Secondly, we need a bi-partisan commission to return to rules-based monetary policy.  The “quantitative easing” experiment needs to be eliminated.10   The Fed is doing great on Wall Street, rising stock prices have given the top 1% the highest percentage of worth since 1928.  But, for the average person, rising prices are harmful.  Too much loose money caused by the “fed trying to juice our economy” is the culprit.  The Fed should be focused on sound money and monetary stability, preferably tied to gold.

[Santelli posed the same question to Paul}

Paul:   Former Fed chairman Bernanke’s labeling the Republicans as “know nothings” is precisely why the Fed needs auditing.  It’s a problem when something as powerful as the Fed lobbies against being audited.  The Fed has caused income inequality.  And let’s “ask them how they caused the housing boom and the crisis.  Need to free up interest rates, which are the price of money, because “we shouldn’t have price controls on the price of money.”


Oil  Subsidies  Used  for  Ethanol  Processing

[Santelli to Carson:  Carson is opposed to government subsidies “because they interfere with the free market.  Yet, he supports oil subsidies be applied to ethanol processing.  “Isn’t that just swapping one subsidy for another, Doctor?]

Carson:  Since that statement, he realizes he was wrong.  He has studied the issue and now believes that “the best policy is to get rid of all subsidies and get the government out of lives and let the people rise and fall based on how good they are.  And, you know, all this ‘too big to fail’ stuff and picking and choosing winners and losers, this is a bunch of crap. And it is really causing (laughter) a great deal of problems for our society right now… The reason I hate them (regulations) so much is because every single regulation costs in terms of goods and services.  That cost gets passed on to the people. ”  It only hurts the poor and middle class.  While Bernie Sanders says it’s all because of the rich, however, we take everything from the top 1% rich and it wouldn’t make a dent in our deficit.


Income  Inequality  and  Focus  on  Treating  Diseases

[Quick to Huckabee:  He has been a proponent hat those responsible for the housing crash should have gone to jail.  Besides his tax plan, does he have other ways to address income inequality?]

Huckabee:  “I don’t think it’s so much when the government orders a corporation to do something.  In fact, that’s part of the problem.  If you saw that blimp that cut loose from Maryland today, it’s a perfect example of government.  What we had was something the government made, basically a bag of gas, that cut loose, destroyed everything in its path, left thousands of people powerless.  But they couldn’t get rid of it because we had too much money invested in it, so we had to keep it.11  That is our government today.  We saw it in the blimp.  (laughter)

Corporations must act responsibly.  Current CEO pay is often excessive.  “The bottom 90% of the economy has had stagnant wages for forty years.  Somebody is taking it in the teeth…  I’m not anti-Wall Street, but I don’t believe the government ought to wear a team jersey and pick winners and losers.  The government ought to wear a striped shirt and make sure the game is played fairly.” (He then pursued and received extra time as others have.)  “We ought to be focused on what fixes this country… Why aren’t we talking about, instead of cutting benefits for old people, cutting benefits for sick people, why don’t’ we say ‘let’s cure the four cost-driving diseases: diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.  If you do that, you just don’t change the economy, you transform the lives of millions of hurting Americans.”      



[Harwood to Bush:  Why does his tax plan tax labor (income at 28%) higher than investment (20%)?]

Bush:  His plan gives middle America the biggest break.  A family of four pays no tax at $40,000 income.  We must simplify the code as well lower rates.  Regulatory weight in cost is why small businesses are failing.  We need radical changes in the various fiscal policies.  The current Democratic philosophy has been tried and it just doesn’t work.

[Harwood to Rubio:  The Tax Foundation concluded that his tax plan gave twice as much to the top earners vs. the middle income people.  Since he is the champion of the “paycheck-to-paycheck” isn’t his plan “backward”?]

Rubio:  No, the larger after-tax gain goes to the lower brackets.  (A Harwood-Rubio debate ensued.  Harwood said the top 1% would receive 27.9% while the middle gets 15%.)  Rubio said the greatest percentage gains would be at the lower incomes.  He would increase the per child tax credit for working families and lower taxes on small businesses.  No business would pay more than a 25% flat rate on business income.  It also doesn’t tax investments at all making it a pro-growth plan “because the more you tax something, the less of it you get.”

[Sen. Paul was denied a chance to follow-up so he asked what the rules were.  Quick: “at the moderator’s discretion.”  Light laughter in support of the senator.  Eventually, he was given time.]

Paul:  Not helping middle Americans is the chief argument against many of the flat tax proposals.  His tax plan is unique in that it eliminates the payroll tax, by shifting it to the business.  Cutting personal income tax isn’t enough.  By spreading the tax over all economic levels, it’s more likely to be supported.

Cruz:  Paul’s plan is a good one and Cruz’s 10% plan also eliminates: the payroll tax, the death tax and the business income tax.  It’s also the lowest personal rate of any candidate.  Taxes could be filed on a postcard, thus eliminating the IRS.


Marijuana… Then  Income  Inequality  Again

[Quintanilla to Kasich:  The Colorado governor had not been in favor of legalizing it in his state, but he has come to say that, since legalization, those who were smoking still smoke but are now contributing to the state’s revenue.  Is that attractive for Ohio?]

Kasich:  Firstly, Ohio has a $2 billion surplus.  “Sending mixed signals to kids about drugs is a disaster.  Drugs is one of the greatest scourge (sic) in this country.  I’ve spent five in my administration working with my team to do a whole sort of things to try and rein in the problem of overdoses.”

Regarding income inequality, “my program would move the 104 programs of the federal Department of Education into four block grants and send them back to the states because income inequality is driven by a lack of skills.  When kids don’t get what they to be able to compete and win in this country.”  To get the U.S. growing again, he would freeze regulations, except for public safety, cut taxes, balance the budget and “we need to send power, money and influence… out of Washington and back to the states… not a one-size-fits-all mentality that they have.”


Returning  to  Rubio,  Zuckerberg  and  H1B  Visas

[Quick to Trump:  Regarding the issue of H1B visas, she found on his web site where it says that Rubio is Zuckerberg’s personal senator because his bill would triple these visas and “that would decimate women and minorities.”  Are you in favor of H1B’s?]

Trump:  He is in favor of legal immigration.  “You can have it any way you want.”  Visas, work permits, whatever the name.  He has created tens of thousands of jobs and he will make that millions if elected.

Rubio:  In addition, our current process for permanent residents is based on having a relative here.  That’s how his parents came here in 1956.  “But in 2015, we have a very different economy.”  Now, we need to have a system based on merit and whether the person wants to become a citizen.  “Not just live in America, but be an American.”


Guns  in  the  Workplace

[Quintanilla to Trump:  Based on his statements that schools with adults carrying guns would be safer than gun-free zones, would he be comfortable with his employees carrying them to work?]       

Trump:   He would be comfortable, after all, he carries one, but not all of the time.  It helps to be unpredictable.  (laughter)  Unfortunately, we as a nation are predictable to our enemies, which is dangerous “because they know exactly what we’re doing.”

“Gun-free zones… that’s target practice for the sicko’s and the mentally ill.. They look around for gun-free zones.”  He recalled the killings on a military base where even decorated soldiers weren’t allow to carry guns.


Does  Leading  Candidate  Trump  Have  the  Moral  Authority  to  Lead?  Plus  Hucakabee  vs.  Clinton  Machine

[Harwood to Huckabee, question asked with consideration of Huckabee’s religious background]

Huckabee:  (crowd displeasure)  “You know, as few questions I’ve got, the last one I need is to give him some more time.  I love Donald Trump.  (laughter)  He’s a good man.  I’m wearing a Trump tie.  (Trump grins)  Get over that one, okay?  After fellow candidates asked if it was made in China or Mexico, Trump said, “Such a nasty question, but thank you, governor.”  

Huckabee:  “You’re welcome.  Donald Trump would be a better President every day of the week and twice on Sunday rather than Hilary.  I’ve spent a lifetime in politics fighting the Clinton machine.  You want to talk about what we’re going to be up against next year?  I’m the only guy on this stage… the only guy that has consistently fought the Clinton machine every election I was ever in for the past twenty-six years.  And not only did I fight them, I beat them… And not only did I fight them and win, but I lived to tell about it.  (crowd approval)  … And I think that ought to be worth something.”

Christie:  “John, you want to talk about moral authority, let’s talk about what happened this week in the news.  You know, the FBI director, the President’s appointed FBI director has said this week, that because of a lack of support for politicians like the President of the United States, the police are afraid to get out of their cars.  They’re afraid to enforce the law.  He says, the President’s appointee, that crime is going up because of this.  When the President of the united States gets out to speak about it, does he support police officers.  Does he stand up for law enforcement?  No, he doesn’t.  I’ll tell you this:  the number one job of the President of the United States is to protect the safety and security of the American people.”  If he’s President, the police will know that they have his support.  “That’s real moral authority that we need in the Oval Office.”  (vocal applause)


Federal  Government  and 401(K)’s

[Sharon Epperson to Fiorina:  Her former company offered a 401(K) for her employees, but half of all workers don’t have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.  Should the federal government be more involved with this?}

Fiorina:  “No, the federal government should play a larger role.”  The more government becomes involves, the problems increase, then the government steps in to fix it and we are closer to Hillary Clinton’s progressive vision.  Companies should offer benefits if they wish to attract the best employees.  Trouble is, “if you’re a small businesses owner today, you are being crushed.  We have 400,000 small businesses forming every year in this country.  How great is that?… The bad news is that we have 470,000 going out of business every year.  Why?  They cite Obamacare.  (Epperson:  “You wouldn’t agree with a starter 401(K) for businesses like that?)  It’s great that companies choose to set up a 401(K), but there’s no Constitutional basis for the federal government setting up retirement plans or minimum wages.

[Epperson to Kasich:  The nation has $100 billion in student loan defaults.  What would he do about is so that the effects don’t impact future generations?]

Kasich:  Changes in Ohio: no payments to the university unless a student graduates or complete a course.  High school students have the opportunity to complete nearly a full first year of college before leaving high school.  Schools often have non-academic assets.  For example, Ohio Sate sold its parking lot and garage because school should not be in that business.  Also, “they shouldn’t be in the dining business, they shouldn’t be in the dorm business.”  On-line education helps with student costs, too.  Legitimate public service could be used as a way of paying off education loans.

Bush:  “We don’t need the federal government to get involved with at all.”  Florida has the lowest in-state tuition because of accountability as Kasich was saying.  The states can improve graduation rates and lower costs, thus preventing future generations from being burdened.  (Kasich mentioned Bush’s father’s “1,000 points of life.”12


Should  Fantasy  Sports  Be  Regulated?  …  And  Watch  Christie Question  the  Obvious  Lack  of  Priorities

[Quintanilla to Bush:  Fantasy sports have the elements of gambling.  Therefore, should the federal government treat it as such?]

Bush:  “Well, first of all, I’m 7-0 in my fantasy football league.  (laughter)  Grankowski is still going strong.  I have Ryan Tannehill, Marco, as my quarterback and he was 18 for 19 last week, so I’m doing great.  But we’re not gambling and I think this has become something that needs to be looked at in terms of regulation.  Effectively, it’s day trading without any regulation at all.  And when you have insider information which apparently has been the case, where people use that information…  If they can’t regulate themselves, then the NFL needs to look at moving away from them a little bit and there should be some regulation.”  But the federal government?  Probably not the best way.

Christie:  “Carl, are we really talking about getting the government involved  in fantasy football?  We have—wait a second, we have $19 trillion in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacking us and we’re fantasy football?  Can we stop?  (raucous cheering)  Can we just stop?  I mean, seriously.  No, how about this?  How about we get the government to do what they’re supposed to be doing:  secure our borders, protect our people and support American values and American families.  Enough of fantasy football.   Let people play!  WHO CARES.”


Climate  Change

[Fiorina was unable to break in, so Harwood to Christie:  He is at odds with many in his party that climate change is real and human activity contributes to it.  What should be done?]

Christie:  First, we don’t follow the wishes of the Democrats which is to put more taxes on it, thus sending more money to Washington because “there’s no evidence that they can fix anything in Washington, D.C. (Harwood:  “What should we do?”)  What we should do is be investing in all types of energy, John.  All types of energy.  (Harwood:  “You mean government?)  No, John, you want me to answer or do you want to answer? … Because I got tell you the truth, even in New Jersey is what you’re doing called rude. (crowd approval)  A good question to ask in a gathering is what are the top three states in producing solar energy.  “California and Arizona are easy.  But number three is New Jersey.  Why?  Because we work with the private sector to make solar energy affordable and available to businesses and individuals in our state.”  Natural gas and oil are still important.  Wind power has become important in Iowa.  But, “not through government intervention, not through government taxes and for God’s sake, don’t send Washington another dime until they stop wasting the money they are already sending there.”  (applause)


Medicare:  Good  or  Bad?

[Quick to Paul:  Reagan opposed Medicare in its formation in the 1960’s because he said it would lead to socialism.  Was he correct?]

Paul:  The question of whether the private sector or the government does better in all things usually comes to the conclusion that the government does an inferior job.  Medicare’s problem is the average person has contributed $100,000 but eventually receives $350,000 (Note: that’s not an apples to apples comparison as early money contributed is worth more in today’s dollars and Paul is disregarding earnings on those contributions.)  Changes in demographics have had us go from sixteen workers to retired recipient to three.  His plans will fix Medicare and Social Security but no solution works unless people are willing to gradually raise the retirement age.

Huckabee:  Because 85% of Medicare costs are from chronic diseases, “we need to declare war on the four big cost drivers because 80% of all medical costs in this country are chronic disease.  We don’t have a health care crisis in America, we have a health crisis.  And until we deal with the health of Americans and do what we did with polio when I was a little kid, we eradicated it… focus on the diseases which are costing us trillions of dollars: Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, cancer.”

Bush:  Major reductions in benefits in Medicare and Social Security are inevitable if we do nothing.  His plan includes health savings accounts to encourage saving and a minimum of Social Security benefits at 125% of the poverty level, appropriate for a generous country.

[Harwood to Trump:  You have said that you will grow this economy so much that Medicare and Social Security won’t even be touched.}

Trump:  He will bring jobs and manufacturing back from Japan, China, Mexico, etc.  “We’re going to cut costs.  We’re going to save Social Security and we’re going to save Medicare.

Bush:  Social Security has to be reformed so that “the wealthiest don’t receive the same benefits as lower income.”  Private savings need to be encouraged through a simplification of what it takes for a small employer to set up a 401(K).  “But the idea, you can’t grow your way out of this.”

Kasich:   Ohio took a 10% growth rate in Medicare to 2.5% “without taking one person off the rolls or cutting one single benefit.  In so much of what we did to force competition, to use technology, to stand down the special interest groups… But I agree with Jeb, you can’t just do this by growing the economy… why don’t we start giving people incentives to keep people healthy.”

Paul:  We can’t do nothing.  “The age will have to rise… You will also to means test the benefits and declare there’s not enough money.  It isn’t ‘Oh, I put money in, I’m getting it back.  There is no money… There’s only a promise to pay by the next generation and the next generation’s not big enough to pay it.”

[Harwood to Carson:  His proposal to replace Medicare with family savings accounts is controversial.  How would it work?]

Carson:  Plan gives the option of opting out, it is not required.  The Medicare budget averages $12,500 for each person on it.  There many private sector which will give more than that same amount spent by the government.  “It was never intended that the government should be in every aspect of our lives.  This is a country that is for and by the people.”

Christie:  Ben Carson is right and Hillary Clinton is wrong.  Hillary wants more money sent to Washington and will solve the problem.  We’re living longer which is a blessing “and we need to increase the retirement age to reflect that blessing.”

[Harwood:  So, Dr. Carson is right about replacing Medicare with individual savings accounts?”]

Christie:   No, he said Carson’s ideas are good ideas, but they are not his.  While he doesn’t agree with all of Carson’s ideas, what we are seeing the Republican debate was not present in the Democrats’:  Ideas being exchanged in an attempt to help the voters.  “Let me tell you everybody.  When they (Democratic candidates) tell you they want to give you everything for free, keep your hands on your wallet because they’re coming to you pay for it.  And that’s why I think these ideas are great and that’s why we should have more discussions like this and less ‘gotcha’.”

Rubio:  “The Republican party is blessed to have ten good candidates.  The Democrats can’t even come up with one… We’re all talking about reform for future generations, nothing has to change for current beneficiaries.  My mother is on Medicare and Social Security. I’m against anything that’s bad for my mother.  (laughter)  So, we’re talking about reforms for people like me, and people like Senator Cruz, as he talked about earlier, who are years away from retirement that have a way to plan for these changes in a way that’s very reasonable.  And it’s not too much to ask of our generation after everything our parents and our grandparents did for us.”

Fiorina:  “John, a lot of people have jumped in. I’d like to jump in. A lot of people have jumped in.  I understand, but… (Harwood: “You wanted us to limit, but all right, go ahead.”)   She agrees that a lot of great ideas are present.  We’ve talked about Medicare and Social Security in every election, but nothing ever happens.  “Let us actually go to zero-based budgeting, so we know where the money is being spent.  It’s kind of basic.  There’s a bill sitting in the House that would actually pass and have us go to zero-based budgeting13 so we know where every dime of your money is being spent instead of only talking about how much more we’re going to spend year after year… We need to tackle the basics in order to cut this government down to size.”


Closing  Statements  (in  the  actual  order  they  spoke)

Paul:  “Liberty thrives when government is small.  I want a government so small I can barely see it.  I want a government so small the individual has a chance to thrive and prosper.  I think the government is too big now.  What you’re going to see in Washington this week is establishment Republicans have made an agreement with the President to raise the debt ceiling in an unlimited fashion.  No limit to the debt ceiling raise.  This is extraordinary.  It’s extraordinarily wrong and you’ll see me on the floor of the Senate tomorrow filibustering this and saying ‘enough is enough, no more debt.’’

Christie:  “I want to talk to the folks at home.  I want to ask you: are fed up with how Washington taxes you?  Are you fed up with how Washington wastes your money?  Are you concerned like I am that the debt and deficits of Washington D.C. are endangering America’s future?  I’ve got one more question for you then:  Are you serious about this election?  Because if you are, you need to elect someone who’s deadly serious about changing thisculture.  I am deadly serious about changing this culture.  I changed it in New Jersey.  I’m deadly serious about doing this job the right way.  I’m prepared, I’m tested, I’m ready and I want to make this our government.  For the people who say we can’t do it, I say ‘hell no.’  We can do it together.”

Cruz:  “You know everyone here talks about the need to take on Washington.  The next natural question is:  Who actually has done so?  Who has stood up, not just to Democrats, but to leaders in our own party.  When millions of Americans rose up against Obamacare, I was proud to lead that fight.  When millions of Americans rose up against amnesty, I was proud to lead that fight.  When millions of Americans rose up against Planned Parenthood, I was proud to lead that fight.  If people are promising they’re going to take on Washington cronyism, you need to look to who’s doing it.  In my family, my dad fled oppression in Cuba to come to America.  Freedom is personal for me and I will always keep my word and fight for freedom.”

Fiorina:  “You know every election we hear a lot of talk, we hear a lot of good plans, we hear actually a lot of good intentions, but somehow, for decades, nothing has really changed.  What we need now is a proven leader who has produced results.  That’s how you go from secretary to CEO, you lead and produce results.  I will cut this government down to size and will hold it accountable, simplify the tax code, roll back the regulations that have been spewing out of Washington D.C. for fifty years.  I may not be your dream candidate just yet, but I can assure you I’m Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare.  And in your heart of hearts, you cannot wait to see the debate between Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.  (laughter)  I will tell you this: I will beat Hillary Clinton and with your vote and your support and your prayers, I will lead with the citizens of this great nation the resurgence of this great nation.”

Carson:  “I just want to thank all my colleagues here for being civil, not falling for the traps.  And I just want to thank the audience for being attentive and noticing the questions and noticing the answers.  This is what I’m finding throughout America.  People are waking up because it is going to be us who will determine the direction of our country.  And, it was made for ‘we the people’ we are the ones who decide who we are.  We should never give away the values and principles That made America into a great nation for the sake of political correctness.”  

Trump:  “Our country doesn’t win anymore.  We used to win, we don’t win anymore.  We lose on trade, we lose on ISIS, we lose with one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated of any kind.  That’s our recent catastrophe with Iran.  We don’t win.  Let me give you one quick example.  These folks, CNBC, they had it down at three, three and a half hours.  I just read today in the New York Times $250,000 for a 30-second ad.  I went out and said it’s ridiculous.  Nobody, I could stand up here all night, nobody wants to watch 3-1/2 or three hours.  It was a big sacrifice and I have to hand it to Ben.  We called Ben , he was with me 100%.  We called in, that’s it’s, we’re not doing it.  They lost a lot of money.  Everybody said it couldn’t be done.  Everybody said it was going to be three hours, 3-1/2, including them.  And in about two minutes I renegotiated it down to two hours so we can get the hell outta here. Not bad.  Not bad. (raucous applause)  And I’ll do that with the country.  We will make, we will make America great again.  And thank you everybody.”  [Harwood: “Just for the record.  Just for the record, the debate was always two hours.”]  Trump:  “That’s not right.  That’s absolutely not right.”  (crowd disapproval)  “You know that that is not right.”   Note:  Even the media seems unsure about this.14,15

Rubio:  Thank you.  America doesn’t owe me anything.  I have a debt to America I’ll never repay.  This isn’t just a country I was born in.  This is a country which literally changed the history of my family.  My parents in this country were able to give me the chance to do all the things they never did.  We call that the American Dream, although it’s built on the universal dream of a better life.  The fact that it’s happened here for so many people throughout our history, that’s what makes us special.  But now for millions of Americans it’s slipping away.  And we have a government and leaders in government that are completely out of touch, and that’s why I’m running for President.  Because we can’t just save the American dream, we can expand it to reach more people and to change more lives than ever before.  And that’s why tonight I’m asking you for your vote.”       

Bush:  “America is at a crossroads.  The D.C. politicians continue to make things worse.  I have a proven record of success, thirty-two years in business and eight years as governor of the state of Florida.  I will change the culture in Washington just as I changed the culture in Tallahassee.  And I will do so in a way that will bring people together.  We need a unifier, not a cynical divider-in-chief, and that’s exactly what I will do.  Imagine a country where people are lifted out of poverty again.  Imagine where the middle class can get rising income again.  I know we can do this because we’re still the most extraordinary country on the face of the earth.  Thank you.”

Huckabee:  You know to a lot of people in the media this is just a great big game and we’re the players, and we come out here and do our thing.  And sometimes we’re held up in contempt by people who write columns, but I guarantee you every person on this stage, there’s something deep inside of us that would cause us to give up our livelihoods and step out on this stage and fight for the people of America.  I’ve got five grandkids.  I do not want to walk my five grandkids through the charred remains of a once great country called America and say, ‘Here you do.  Twenty trillion dollars of debt.  Good luck making something out of this mess.’  And for those of us who are serious enough to run for President, think long and hard why we’re here and hopefully you’ll know:  we’re not here for ourselves.  We, honest to God, are here to get this country back on track.  I know this, I certainly am.  Thank you.”           

Kasich:  “I was on Morning Joe at a town hall and a young student stood up and said, ‘Can I still be idealistic?’, I said ‘Absolutely, you can still change the world.’  And the old inscription: ‘If you save one life, you’ve changed the world.’  Folks, we have a problem with the leadership in Washington, but I’ll tell you another problem.  We need to rebuild our families.  We

need to have stronger families.  We need to know who our neighbors are.  We need to come together as a country because we have to realize that America is great, not from the top down.  Oh, yeah, we want to elect a good President.  America is great from the bottom up, and the ‘bottom up’ is us.  In our families, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, we will renew America if we work together.  And I am totally confident that we will.  And God bless America.”


Evaluation  (from left to right on the television screen)

Kasich:  His understanding that we can’t “grow our way out of demographics” is supported by his good work to balance the federal budget before he was governor of Ohio.  Some would be wise to acquire his realistic approach.  Also, he appreciates the problems which will arise with a legalization of marijuana from his work as governor dealing with drug addiction in his state.  

Despite his success in dropping Ohio’s Medicare increase from 10% to 2.5%, there remains that lingering concern that beneath the smart moves to increase competition and cut costs, he would lean to the federal government for solutions regardless of the strings attached.  He would be an adequate President if he could fix his “preaching” demeanor, somewhat out of the 1950’s,when he wants to make a valid point.

Alternatives:  Secretary of Commerce,  Director of OMB (Office of Management and Budget), head of EPA

Huckabee:  There is no candidate with more integrity than the governor.  It was exemplified by his relentless contention that lawmakers can’t simply write off the pain to seniors cause by them and their predecessors over decades to essentially defund Social Security.  Christie and Paul let the reality of “the money is gone” override their sense of justice which Huckabee maintains.  His wisdom extends to getting at the root cause of the Medicare budget (“We don’t have a health care crisis, we have a health crisis.”)  Addressing the four main diseases he mentioned would cause less to be spent on treating diseases.  He would be a good President, but would not win enough appeal in this post-Christian and essentially pagan U.S.

Alternatives:  Secretary of Defense or State, Attorney General, head of Social Security Administration or the VA, Supreme Court justice (the Court needs more of his respect for the dignity of human beings), Director of FBI or CIA (he admits to being loyal to “following the rules”)

Bush:  He has done a great job in Florida with Medicare and education (even  though he wants it back to the states, there’s this sympathy for Common Core he must still shed).  A good, sincere man attempting to win in a way no longer effective (see:  His attempt at reinventing himself has backfired.  He seems to have “just blended into the second tier of the Republican pack.”16

Alternatives:  Vice-President (not his heart’s desire, but he could step in quickly), Director of OMB, Secretary of Commerce or State

Rubio:  Intelligent, articulate, confident without being arrogant and the ability to not be intimidated.  A 21st century version of John F. Kennedy?  He has a sincere love for country over personal gain.  He will not allow his pragmatic solutions to trample on the Constitution.

Alternatives:   Secretary of Homeland Security, head the VA, Medicare or Social Security Administration, Head of USCIS (United States Citizens and Immigration Services)

Trump:  He’s trying to tone himself down to be more palatable across all demographics.  His confidence is admirable.  In the unlikely event that he could salvage enough support from women and some minorities to win the election, insurance rate for china closets would skyrocket.

Alternatives:   Lead a super PAC or the Border Patrol, Secretary of Commerce, head a project to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure

Carson:  He’s one of our best chances to unify the nation by destroying political correctness and just perhaps, scale back our growing acceptance of entitlements (the bad type).  Could replace the disaster called “Obamacare” and bring common sense to fiscal spending.

Alternatives:  Vice-President, Secretary of HHS, Education, State, Interior (because he most likely believes in out stewardship of God-given natural resources) or Defense, lead the FBI or IRS

Fiorina:  A Hillary Clinton-Carly Fiorina presidential debate would make millions on pay per view.  Fiorina can neutralize all of Hillary’s perceived strengths with her direct approach, knowledge of foreign leaders, her non-self serving approach, respect for facts plus the scarce qualities of honesty and integrity.  Her introduction of zero-based budgeting would expose the absurdities of the Left’s “give’em everything” policies.

Alternatives:  a strong Vice-President, Secretary of State, HHS or Commerce, head of EPA or “energy czar”

Cruz:  A second great member of this “40-something” class.  His willingness to stand and be counted despite the odds creates a strong leadership charisma.  Terriifc knowledge of the Constitution and economics.  That he hasn’t forgotten his roots makes him a potential unifier.

Alternatives:  Secretary of Homeland Security or Interior, Supreme Court justice, Director of OMB, Head of BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and any other federal job requiring a personality that can’t be intimidat