Bribery, Corruption, Fraud, Treason against the Party, Mismanagement, Dysfunctional Leadership, and the Clermont County Republican Party
Who or what is the Clermont County Republican Party?
The Clermont County Republican Party is also known as the Clermont County Republican Central Committee. They are a group of about 160 or so members who are tasked with the responsibility of representing the 40,000 or so Clermont County Republican voters. I’ve been part of the group since 1993.
I’m willing to testify under oath and under penalty of perjury regarding my first-hand knowledge of a $50,000 bribe offered by a high-ranking Clermont County Republican Party official in exchange for an endorsement in 2019. After a moment of shock and disgust, the person offering the bribe was asked if he was wearing an FBI wire. (Apparently not. But regardless, the bribe was immediately refused.)
In 2018, Clermont County Republican Party leadership allowed a candidate, who was rejected for endorsement by the full central committee, to buy her way onto the endorsement slate card along with the other endorsed candidates. This was a pay-to-play scheme to rig the electioneering process. All subsequent central committee meetings were cancelled until after the election to buy time to figure out how to justify the corruption. (Just for the record here, I openly supported that candidate but objected to the Party’s corruption in the strongest terms.)
The endorsement card was a fraud casting doubt on all future endorsement cards.
But frankly, it’s worse than that. Much worse. This was the beginning of the end of the respect and moral authority that the Clermont County Republican Party once had. Consider this story from 2018: Trouble in Trump land: In one red Ohio county, the Republican party finds itself torn apart. In the story is an example of honor, integrity, and ethics: Former Chairman, Tim Rudd “called the inclusion of an unendorsed candidate on the sample ballot a violation of the public trust and resigned from the party’s executive committee.” “‘My concern here is for the party,’ Rudd said. ‘If we can bend and interpret the rules to fit the outcomes they want at whim, then the rules don’t mean anything. So basically, we’re breaking the public’s trust. If the executive committee can, at will and at a whim, bend and twist the rules, what does the endorsement mean in the future? With the executive committee ruling by whim, the sample ballot,’ Rudd said, ‘is no better than a peddler’s table at a flea market.'”
The story continues with: “Longtime party stalwart and former U.S. Representative Jean Schmidt expressed concern about the process. ‘We have never had a meeting to discuss this,’ she said. ‘The Executive Committee did this on their own and canceled the March and April meetings.'”
The news story ended with this prophetic statement: “With no end in sight for internal discord, the next election cycle looks to be tumultuous within the Clermont County Republican party.” Yep. Spot on. That was two years ago and here we are today.
Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud
As if the fraudulent endorsement card wasn’t bad enough, the Clermont County Republican Party Central Committee voted 35 to 18 at their January 22, 2020 meeting to violate ORC 2913.01 (K) (4) by affirmatively voting to commit Identity Fraud per ORC 2913.49 (B) (1). This conspiracy to commit identity fraud was manifested when they affirmatively voted to mass mail individual letters under the names of each central committee member without regard to that member’s objection. The forged letters will be listing the alleged endorsed candidates. (I suppose that since the endorsement cards can no longer be trusted, they’d try sending out endorsement letters instead.)
It has since come to my attention that, under threat of criminal prosecution, leadership might not send out the letters. Leadership does not have the authority to ignore an affirmative vote of the central committee. Only the central committee can repeal a previous action. This is yet another example of leadership disrespecting the members of the central committee, disrespecting rules, disrespecting process, and disrespecting past practice. The list goes on…
But wait; there’s more! After pressure from some of the good members of the central committee, a notice went out announcing a special meeting on February 4, 2020 “for the purpose of rescinding adopted motion(s) from our January 22nd meeting.”
That’s good news. However, there is no indication that a quorum will be present or that a whip (vote) count has occurred to ascertain if the motion to commit identity fraud can be repealed. And if not, what will leadership do then? We’ll see.
Treason Against the Party
During the 2018 primary election, the Clermont County Republican Party Chairman committed treason against the Party by funding an opponent to the Party’s endorsed candidate.
In that same year, the Central Committee Chairman committed treason against the Party by aiding and abetting an opponent to the Party’s endorsed candidate by placing that opponent’s signage in his front yard.
Mismanagement and Dysfunctional Leadership
During my 27 years as a member of the Clermont County Republican Party, we had great leaders such as Rose Vesper, Jean Schmidt, and Tim Rudd. After Chairman Rudd left the helm, the wheels came off. Leadership has been dysfunctional and corrupt.
Today’s Clermont County Republican Party is no longer the Party of great leadership. It has lost its way and no longer deserves the respect it once had.
Additionally, consider this from The Cincinnati Enquirer: ‘Wild West’ Clermont County GOP snubs ex-Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, backs disgraced former commissioner David Uible. And this: Time for Politico to ‘man up,’ be transparent.
Past and Present Endorsements of Corrupt and/or Controversial Candidates
Two of the Clermont County Republican Party’s currently endorsed controversial candidates have been in the news lately. One of them is currently on probation after pleading down a felony offense to a first degree misdemeanor. It is interesting to note that the Party had full knowledge of the conviction and sentencing prior to the endorsement vote.
Another one of the Party’s currently endorsed controversial candidates has had public calls for his withdrawal from the race by Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken and others, because that candidate previously had an Ashley Madison account. Some media reports are referring to Ashley Madison as a dating site as if they are on par with ChristianMingle.com. No, Ashley Madison specializes in adulterous affairs: “Ashley Madison, or The Ashley Madison Agency, is a Canadian online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are married or in relationships. It was founded in 2002 by Darren Morgenstern, with the slogan: ‘Life is short. Have an affair.'”
I’m not saying that this controversial candidate is corrupt, but his endorsement speaks to the lack of vetting by the Clermont County Republican Party of its candidates. It further begs the question of what else is out there on him and/or other endorsed candidates? It also begs the question of why this candidate is considered toxic by the Ohio Republican Party but not the Clermont County Republican Party? You can decide what values that speaks to.
Additionally, Clermont County has a long and storied history of endorsed corrupt office holders resigning in disgrace:
Pat Manger, Clermont County Engineer, resigned in disgrace for “soliciting or receiving improper compensation.” – 2019
Archie Wilson, Clermont County Commissioner, resigned in disgrace after a “sex for drugs scandal.” – 2012
Mary Walker, Clermont County Commissioner, resigned in disgrace after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges stemming from an Ohio Ethics Commissioner investigation. – 2008
Nico Capurro, Clermont County Coroner, resigned in disgrace upon a federal investigation for illegally dispensing controlled substances. – 2002
Lies, Damn Lies, and the Clermont County Republican Party
Regarding the above mentioned 2018 pay-to-play scheme where a candidate, who was rejected for endorsement, bought her way onto the endorsement card; the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) was also victimized by the scandal. The ORP typically mails out endorsement cards that include local Party endorsements. The Clermont County Republican Party leadership lied to the ORP about who was and wasn’t endorsed. Therefore, the ORP unknowingly doubled-down on the fraudulent “endorsement” making them look corrupt as well.
Just for the record here, I’ve never blamed the candidate for having her name fraudulently appear on the endorsement card. I blame Party leadership for engineering the fraud and inviting her to purchase her way onto the list of “endorsed” candidates.
Boycott? How Widespread will the Slate Card Boycott be?
For the reasons outlined above, there is much talk amongst the many good members of the Clermont County Republican Central Committee to not participate in the distribution process of the slate cards. I am in solidarity with those members and WILL NOT participate in the distribution of any slate cards.
It seems like in every election cycle, fake endorsement cards get distributed in the mail and on election day. The most egregious, of course, was the 2018 primary election when the Clermont County Republican Party and (inadvertently) the Ohio Republican Party distributed their own fake slate cards.
Warning: The “slate cards,” also known as “sample ballots” or “endorsement cards,” can’t be trusted!!!
Another Boycott? Clermont County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner Boycott?
Like the slate card boycott, many good members of the Clermont County Republican Central Committee will be boycotting the 2020 Clermont County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner. I WILL NOT attend nor pass out slate cards this year.
It is also interesting to note that the dinner venue will be in a so-called “gun free zone.” That’s especially interesting since Clermont County is a Second Amendment sanctuary county. It is also interesting that the keynote speaker is promoting the governor’s controversial gun plan.
Hope and Fear
I am continuing to be a voice for honesty, integrity, and ethics within the Clermont County Republican Party. In internal communications and multiple private conversations, I’ve been pushing back on the faulty logic used to justify issuing the fake slate cards in 2018. It has become clear that Party leadership has no regrets for what they’ve done. They continue to justify the corruption and therefore could always do it again. Who will be the mystery candidate(s) that shows up on the slate card this year? There is no way to know and that is the problem. I’m hoping that going public with the corruption will be a kick in the teeth to leadership, hence prompting reform for the sake of the Party.
I’ve become frustrated and desponded by leadership’s overt corruption and abject incompetence. My fear is that if the Party is successful in this election cycle, there will be no motivation to clean house and the corruption will continue to worsen like a bad apple in a pit of worms. That would remove any hope of the Clermont County Republican Party returning to the glory days. That was when the highly respected Rose Vesper, Jean Schmidt, and Tim Rudd ran the Party with honor, integrity, ethics, respect, and moral authority. That was all in the past.
Becker Wins Endorsement of the Ohio Liberty PAC for the office of Clermont County Commissioner.
(This is the seat being vacated by the highly respected and retiring Ed Humphrey.)
I am pleased to accept the endorsement of the Ohio Citizens PAC for the office of Clermont County Commissioner. (This is the seat being vacated by the highly respected and retiring Ed Humphrey.) They sent me the following:
I am pleased to inform you that our organization is endorsing you in your race for Clermont County Commissioner. The Ohio Citizens PAC is dedicated to helping to elect conservative, liberty minded “Citizen Representatives” to public and party offices. As you know, we, like you, believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and less government regulation in order to protect individual freedom, liberty, and prosperity for all citizens.
Your conservative voting record in the Ohio House gives us real confidence that you will bring strong fiscal management and smaller government values to the position of Clermont County Commissioner. You have always worked to cut taxes and to pass policies that make government more efficient and more accountable to the citizens. More than anything, citizens want to know that they are getting good value for the services they need for the tax dollars they contribute. No elected official we know has a greater respect for the hard earned dollars of the taxpayer than John Becker. Therefore, the Ohio Citizens PAC encourages all Liberty minded citizens in Clermont County to vote for John Becker for County Commissioner in the 2020 Republican Primary! Citizens can learn more about our organization at www.OhioCitizensPAC.org.
Becker Bills in the Ohio House of Representatives
HR 55 – Build the Wall. This resolution urging congress to fund a physical barrier across the southern border has been assigned to the Transportation Committee and has had one hearing.
HB 39 – Replica Vehicles. John Patterson asked me to do this bipartisan bill with him. It creates a special category for these unique vehicles. It is in the Transportation Committee.
HB 153 – Working Officials Requirements Key (WORK) Act. This bill requires county elected officials to show up at their office at least five times every 30 days. It is in the State and Local Government Committee and has had two hearings.
HB 176 – Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus. This is a bill I’m doing with Tom Brinkman. It requires open records.
HB 182 – Abortion Insurance Coverage. The bill stops insurance companies from paying for abortions. It does not apply to self-insured private companies nor does it prevent any company from directly contracting with an abortionist. It has been assigned to the Insurance Committee and has had its first hearing.
HB 219 – Sunday Alcohol, Liquor, and Especially Spirits Act (SALES). I’m doing this bill with Representative Jim Hoops. In short, HB 219 removes the Sunday option. All businesses currently allowed to sell alcohol during the week will also be allowed Sunday sales. Voters retain the option to vote their precinct dry. It has been assigned to the Commerce & Labor Committee and has had multiple hearings.
HB 389 – Allows nonprofit organizations to give away alcohol for fundraising purposes. John Rogers reached out to me to do this bipartisan bill. It simply legalizes the common practice of churches raffling off booze at fundraisers.
What Was the Enlightenment? (5 minutes)
Stop Climate Change Alarmism (6 minutes)
What is “fair”? (5 minutes)
How To End White Privilege (5 minutes)
Women Rejoice as ERA Passes! Virginia is 38th to Ratify Constitutional Amendment (22 minutes)
How do we make society better? (8 minutes)
Is The National Anthem Racist? (5 minutes)
Friends of NRA event at Loveland Receptions. Doors open at 5 PM.
Union Township GOP meeting at the Civic Center at 7 PM.
Goshen Chamber Community Awards Banquet at Goshen United Methodist Church beginning at 6 PM.
Trump 2020 meeting at GOP HQ in Batavia at 7 PM.
Clermont Chamber Small Business Awards at the Eastgate Holiday Inn at 11:30 AM.
Meet the Candidates Night (sponsored by the Union Township Republican Party at RJ Cinema from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.
Voter registration deadline.
Early voting begins.
Candidates Forum at the Miami Twp Civic Center at 7 PM. The emcee will be Jason Williams.
Becker for Clermont County Commissioner – Vetted, Tested, and Proven!
“Clermont County State Rep. John Becker, one of the most conservative members of the Ohio House…” according to Cleveland.com (August 2019).
Becker wins “Sponsor of Liberty” award by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Ohio (October 2018).
“Becker has a legitimate claim as the state’s most conservative legislator,” according to The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer (September 2017).
“Rep. John Becker, suburban Cincinnati Republican… [holds] the unofficial title as the General Assembly’s most conservative lawmaker,” proclaimed the Columbus Dispatch (September 2015).
Becker wins prestigious William Wilberforce Leadership Award (April 2015). “GOP Ohio House freshman Becker is no shrinking violet,” headlined the Columbus Dispatch (December 2014).
“Becker…is arguably the most conservative member of the Ohio House,” said The Cincinnati Enquirer (January 2014).
Ranked as a top tier “most archconservative” by the Columbus Dispatch (September 2013).
If you prefer to donate online, please click this link or one of my donate buttons at www.BeckerGOP.com.
|Introduction (38 seconds)
|Second Amendment (36 seconds)
|Taxes (49 seconds)
|Energy (55 seconds)
|Pro-Life (42 seconds)
|Creation Science and Evolution (42 sec.)
|State Government Spending (45 sec.)
|State Government (37 seconds)
Did this newsletter get sent to you by someone other than me? If so, please let me know at John@BeckerGOP.com and I will add you to my distribution list. That will ensure that you get it in a timelier manner. You may also forward this to your friends.
Let me know if you would like to unsubscribe. This issue and back issues are available at: www.BeckerGOP.com.
Nothing in this newsletter constitutes legal advice. I am not an attorney and do not play one on TV. This newsletter is not sanctioned by the GOP, ORP, or any organization, or affiliation. Much of it is simply my opinion. I am fully and solely responsible for my opinion. Although I strive for accuracy, this is not “The Gospel according to John.” Additionally, I don’t necessarily try to be “fair and balanced.” After all, I didn’t get into politics to be a news reporter. My agenda is to influence public policy consistent with Southern Ohio conservative values. For more information on my motivations or how to get involved, see: What is a Central Committee?