The Becker Report – March 2020


Coronavirus or COVID-19

This is what I support…

We know that COVID-19 is more contagious and more deadly than the seasonal flu. The evidence bears that out. That is why I support people taking common sense precautions to stay safe. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions would be wise to practice social distancing to whatever extent they are comfortable with. And the rest of us should respect their space.
I support the healthcare workers, first responders, members of the military and the others who have chosen careers that put themselves at risk for the benefit of others. All of you are to be commended!
Additionally, I support hospitals setting up tents, trailers, dormitories, etc. to expand their capacity where needed. Stepping up testing for people with symptoms or those who have been in contact with others who tested positive is prudent. Healthcare professionals talk about “flattening the curve” to avoid overwhelming the medical system. That makes sense to me and I accept that theory. Furthermore, I support the private sector voluntarily deciding common sense precautions and changes in their business models. I also support government taking a reasonable and balanced approach to keeping people safe. (That might include shutting down certain executive branch agencies.) And I support the rule of law, civil liberties, and making whole the businesses and individuals who have been adversely impacted by The State of Ohio’s lockdown policies.

This is what I don’t support…

I don’t support martial law, the suspension of civil liberties, or shutting down the state’s economy. The governor has cited ORC 3701.13 as the health department’s authority to assume unprecedented and dictatorial powers.
The first sentence in the second paragraph is what they’ve been invoking: “The department may make special or standing orders or rules for preventing the use of fluoroscopes for nonmedical purposes that emit doses of radiation likely to be harmful to any person, for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases, for governing the receipt and conveyance of remains of deceased persons, and for such other sanitary matters as are best controlled by a general rule.”
Yep. There it is. That’s what they are claiming gives them the authority to suspend civil liberties, reschedule an election, order the closure of all k-12 schools, and multiple private businesses.
I do not support a “cure” that is worse than the disease and I do not support government “ordering” the destruction of the economy.

Causes of Death in the United States

According to the most recent data (2017) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the leading causes of death* are as follows:

  1. Heart disease: 647,457
  2. Cancer: 599,108
  3. Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
  5. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
  6. Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
  7. Diabetes: 83,564
  8. Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
  9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,633
  10. Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

* At 862,320, abortion is the leading cause of death in the US but is not listed by the CDC.
As you can see, a lot of people die every year for a lot of different reasons. (I’m not discounting any of that. I’m just trying to put things in perspective.) From the above, we can expect to see more that 55,000 deaths just from influenza and pneumonia. I don’t recall any hysteria or shutting down the economy in an attempt to save those lives.
As of this writing, 2,864 people have died in the US from COVID-19. According to the CDC, 34,200 US deaths occurred during the 2018–2019 influenza season. so far, national COVID-19 deaths are only 8.37 percent of last year’s influenza deaths (.0837=2,864/34,200). Of course the number of deaths will rise, but it has a long way to go to compete with the seasonal flu deaths of 34,200. So far, the worldwide COVID-19 deaths have reached 36,924.
Ohio has closed the schools and shut down much of the economy to save lives.
What about those 169,936 accidental deaths? Drilling down on the data finds that 64,795 deaths are from accidental poisonings, 40,231 are from motor vehicle accidents, and 36,338 are from accidental falls.

ALERT: Sarcastic, snarky, and/or tongue-in-cheek comments are to follow:
I fully support the dictatorial powers that the State of Ohio has assumed in order to save lives. The suspension of civil liberties and the blatant disregard for the rule of law are completely necessary and justified. But the administration hasn’t gone far enough:
Abortion is America’s leading cause of death. If shutting down the economy is all about “saving lives,” then why weren’t the abortuaries the first to be “ordered” closed? Worse that that, why are they still open?
Heart disease and cancer are among our nation’s top killers. Ohio needs to consider outlawing all tobacco and alcohol products, require diet and exercise, mandatory cholesterol and triglycerides testing, and send people to “fat farms” who require special “reeducation.” Lives will be saved.
Poisonings are the leading cause of accidental deaths. According to the CDC, “While the majority of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States are attributable to misuse and abuse of drugs, environmental substances, such as carbon monoxide and pesticides, also contribute to the poisoning illnesses and deaths occurring in the United States each year.”
In addition to limiting medications and pesticides, Ohio needs to consider taking steps to eliminate carbon monoxide poisonings. All appliances burning oil, gas, wood and other creators of carbon monoxide could be eliminated and replaced by electric appliances. These efforts will save lives.
Motor vehicles are America’s second largest cause of accidental deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 36,560 motor vehicle deaths occured in the US in 2018. Ohio should consider reducing the speed limit to as low as 5 MPH to save lives. Additionally, checkpoints could be established to ensure that people have a legitimate reason to travel: “Your papers, please.”
Falls are the third highest cause of accidental deaths. Ohio should consider eliminating structures more than, say, 10 feet tall. Access to ladders and step stools should also be curtailed in order to save lives.
Accidental drownings kill an average of 3,868 annually in this country. If Ohio were to outlaw boats, swimming pools, and bathtubs, lives will be saved.
The seasonal flu killed 34,200 people in the US last season. Many lives will be saved by continuing to keep the economy on lockdown.

In Summary…

We can see from the above that emergency orders from Ohio’s department of health could save the lives of tens of thousands of Ohioans.
Every life matters and there are no acceptable number of deaths. However, there are a tolerable number of deaths that society recognizes as the realities of our lifestyles.
With a population of 330 million, causes of death in the US can be ranked and quantified as follows:

  • Intentional abortion killed 862,320 human beings in 2017. That’s 0.26 percent of the 326 million US population in 2017.
  • Heart disease annual deaths are 647,457 or 0.20 percent of the US population.
  • Cancer annual deaths are 599,108 or 0.18 percent of the US population.
  • Accidental poisoning annual deaths are 64,795 or 0.0196 percent of the US population.
  • Motor vehicle annual deaths are 40,231 or 0.0122 percent of the US population.
  • Seasonal flu annual deaths are 34,200 or 0.0104 percent of the US population.
  • Drownings annual deaths average 3,868 or 0.0012 percent of the US population.
  • COVID-19 deaths as of this writing are 2,864 or 0.0009 percent of the US population. (42.5 percent of those deaths are in New York.)

Liberty vs. Tyranny

Based on polling and anecdotal data, the unprecedented powers currently being exercised by our governor has received widespread public approval. Ohioans continue to give him a thunderous applause.
Consider this scene from a Star Wars movie: Sheev Palpatine proclaimed, “In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society.”
Padmé Amidala responded, “So this is how liberty dies; with thunderous applause.”
Two quotes from our nation’s founding fathers also comes to mind: Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
I’ve never been known as the go along to get along type. (I’m not a purist and I’m practical when prudent.) That being said, I recognize that my viewpoint is contrary to current public opinion and therefore is politically perilous.
I’m no Patrick Henry, but if my contrarian view of standing on the principle of liberty and the rule of law costs me this election, then so be it. I’d rather lose because I maintained my conservative principles and liberties than win as a charlatan and with a “thunderous applause.”

What about the Economy?

The State of Ohio’s response to COVID-19 has been an epic overreaction. The virus is a natural disaster. The economic impact from public policy is a man-made disaster and our government is fully responsible for it.
Depending on the extent of the federal $2.2 trillion bailout that augments Ohio’s budget, I expect massive spending cuts beginning later this year and well into 2021. Btw, $2.2 trillion is 13 digits: $2,200,000,000,000
I expect multiple federal and state class action lawsuits against the State of Ohio for lost revenues, lost wages, and the suspension of civil liberties. I will support the efforts of businesses and the people to be made whole.
Update: It appears that Ohio will receive $4.533 billion from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package with 45 percent of it allocated to cities with populations greater than 500,000. In Ohio, that’s only the City of Columbus. If all of that is correct, then the City of Columbus would get $2.04 billion and the State of Ohio would receive $2.49 billion. For perspective, consider that Ohio’s Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) stands at $2.7 billion and Ohio’s current biennium operating budget is $69 billion.

Toilet Paper Economics

The basic economics of price, supply, and demand has been demonstrated by the TP shortage.
As we know from economics, price, supply, and demand will balance out in a free economy. This is why shortages exist in command economies where the government sets prices and controls distribution.
So, why the shortage of TP? Lack of price gouging is the short answer. Had the price of TP kept up with its demand, hoarding would not have occurred and plenty of TP would be on the shelves. In the short term, TP would be unaffordable for some. But eventually, resupply will outpace demand and lower the price. All three elements stay in equilibrium. (To be clear, I’m not advocating for price gouging. I’m just explaining the economics of the shortage.)
Consider nationalized “free” healthcare. Need I explain? Check out Canadian “free” healthcare.

What About the Election?

Only the general assembly has the power to set or change the date of an election. We set the date to be March 17, 2020. That date is in the Ohio Revised Code. It is the law of the land. According to Article I, Section 4 of the US Constitution: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof…”
According to Article II, Section 27 of the Ohio Constitution: “The election and appointment of all officers, and the filling of all vacancies, not otherwise provided for by this constitution, or the constitution of the United States, shall be made in such manner as may be directed by law…”
It was in HB 166 that we set the date as March 17, 2020. It is found in ORC 3501.01(E)(2) “…shall be held on the third Tuesday after the first Monday in March…” None of that has changed.
Without regard to the US Constitution, the Ohio Constitution, and 3501.01(E)(2) of the Ohio Revised Code, the administration used ORC 3701.13 to change the date of the election to June 2, 2020. When two sections of the ORC are in conflict, the most recent rules. HB 166 is from June 2019. The health department citation is not from this century.
The results of this election have been irreversibly compromised. We will never know which candidates or issues benefited or lost because of the chaos and the 11th hour closing of all voting locations. When the votes are unofficially tallied on April 28, 2020, I expect multiple lawsuits challenging the integrity of the election and delaying the final results.

How to Vote

As you know, the polling locations were “ordered” closed by the Ohio Department of Health a few hours prior to the March 17, 2020 election day. The General Assembly has decided to reopen mail-in voting until April 28, 2020. Mail-in is the only way to vote in the current election. With few exceptions (homeless, blind, etc.) there will be no in-person voting in this election. If you previously voted in-person at the Board of Elections or by mail, your ballot will be tabulated. You cannot change it or vote again. The process is as follows:
If you wish to vote, you must obtain an Absentee Ballot Application. There is no standard form, but you can click this link to download an application. In Clermont County, call 513-732-7275 for more information. Or call me at 513-753-6440 (voice only).
Other than section four, all sections must be completed. In section 6:
The “Date of Election” is March 17, 2020.
You must check the box for “Primary Election.”
You must check the box for “Political Party Ballot” or “Issues only Ballot.”
If you check the box for “Political Party Ballot,” you must write in which party. Most people will write “Republican” or “Democrat.” For example, if you request a Republican ballot, all of the names on that ballot are the Republicans competing in the primary election.
After you receive and complete your application. Mail it to your local board of elections.
In Clermont County, mail to: Clermont County Board of Elections, 76 S. Riverside Dr., Batavia, OH 45103
Primary election absentee ballot applications must be received not later than noon on April 25, 2020.
After you’ve received and completed your ballot, it must be postmarked by April 27, 2020 and returned to your county’s Board of Elections.

John Becker for Clermont County Commissioner

I’m asking for your vote to be your full-time Clermont County Commissioner. I’m in my eighth year as a State Representative and it’s time to move on. It has been an honor for me to represent you in the Ohio General Assembly.
I’m running for the Clermont County Commissioner seat being vacated by the retiring and highly respected Ed Humphrey.
I’m the most qualified for the position because of my resume. The most important role of a commissioner is the budgeting and financial analysis for the county’s agencies and departments.

  • Thirty years private sector financial analysis and reporting; including eight years of corporate level budgeting, reporting, and analysis for Provident Bank’s holding company, all of its branches, and subsidiaries.
  • Xavier University MBA with emphasis in Taxation; Certified Treasury Professional (CTP); School District Treasurer’s License.

Also consider:

  • I’m the only Trump Republican in this race.
  • One of my opponents had been a Democrat during the Reagan and Clinton years and got caught lying about it. (What else is she lying about?) She flipped to Republican in 2000.
  • My other opponent had been a Democrat and flipped to Republican in 2012.
  • My first presidential election was in 1980. I was a Reagan Republican, have always been a Republican, and am now a Trump Republican.
  • One of the most conservative legislators in the Ohio General Assembly.

Six Endorsements

  • Cincinnati Right to Life PAC
  • Ohio Right to Life PAC
  • Family First PAC
  • Buckeye Firearms PAC and A+ rated
    Also rated A+ by the NRA and a Life Member (The NRA does not endorse in local races.)
  • Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC)
  • Ohio Citizens PAC

Top Commissioner issues:

  • Economic crisis. (My financial background and Xavier University MBA, make me uniquely qualified to shepard Clermont County through this crisis.)
  • Ethics, integrity, and anti-corruption
  • Public safety (police, courts, incarceration)
  • Infrastructure and economic development

I’m a Trump Republican asking for your vote to be your full-time Clermont County Commissioner.
Vetted, Tested, and Proven.
If you have any questions, please call me at home at 513-753-6440 (voice only).

Bonnie Batchler – In Her Own Words:

It’s pretty sad when an opponent resorts to outright lies in order to win an election. Sadly, Mr. John Becker has decided to levy false attacks at me. In his most recent “Becker Report” he claims that I was a Democrat until 2008 – what a complete and utter joke. I have attached my full voter history pulled from the Clermont County Board of Elections. As I have always said, I am a loyal, lifelong Republican. And as you can see from as far back as the records exist I have been voting in Republican primaries.
I thought we could expect more from Mr. Becker. Integrity matters. Lying in order to win an election is not only disrespectful to the election process, but it’s disrespectful to the voters. John, you need to correct the record and apologize for this kind of slanderous behavior.

March 2, 2020 Facebook Post – Bonnie Batchler

Let’s examine her quote line-by-line:

Mrs. Batchler said: “It’s pretty sad when an opponent resorts to outright lies in order to win an election.”
I agree with Mrs. Batchler on that. It is sad that my opponent has resorted to outright lies in order to win this election.

Mrs. Batchler said: “Sadly, Mr. John Becker has decided to levy false attacks at me. In his most recent “Becker Report” he claims that I was a Democrat until 2008 – what a complete and utter joke.”
My exact quote from The Becker Report is, “The former Democrat that the corrupt Clermont County Republican Party endorsed didn’t flip to Republican until 2008.”
Mrs. Batchler’s official voting record, obtained from the Clermont County Board of Elections, shows that she was a registered Democrat throughout the Reagan and Clinton years. Their additional documentation shows that she flipped to Republican in 2000. The Ohio Secretary of State’s voter database shows that Mrs. Batchler flipped to Republican in 2008. That data is wrong and I apologize for posting the wrong date that she flipped to Republican.

Mrs. Batchler said: “I have attached my full voter history pulled from the Clermont County Board of Elections.”
No, she didn’t attach her “full voter history.” She only attached back to 2000 and hoped that nobody would look back further.

Mrs. Batchler said: “As I have always said, I am a loyal, lifelong Republican. And as you can see from as far back as the records exist I have been voting in Republican primaries.”
Wrong again. Mrs. Batchler had hoped that the Clermont County Board of Elections didn’t have her records prior to 2000. And that her Democrat voting record from the Reagan and Clinton years would not be found. Mrs. Batchler is not “a loyal, lifelong Republican” as she has repeatedly claimed.

Mrs. Batchler said: “I thought we could expect more from Mr. Becker. Integrity matters. Lying in order to win an election is not only disrespectful to the election process, but it’s disrespectful to the voters.”
Regarding her first sentence, I am embarrassed that the Ohio Secretary of State’s voter database is wrong and that I posted the wrong date that she flipped to Republican. I agree that integrity matters. That is why I don’t lie and seek to correct the record when I am wrong. I also agree that “lying in order to win an election is not only disrespectful to the election process, but it’s disrespectful to the voters.”

Mrs. Batchler concluded with: “John, you need to correct the record and apologize for this kind of slanderous behavior.”
No, Mrs. Batchler. The Clermont County Board of Elections has confirmed with certainty that you are the one who is lying about being “a loyal, lifelong Republican.”

Mrs. Batchler has failed to explain why she has repeatedly lied about her voting record. She has failed to explain why she stood with the Democrats against Ronald Reagan. She has failed to explain why she stood with the Democrats during the decadent Clinton years. And she has failed to explain why she stood with the Democrats against the Gingrich revolution and the “Contract with America.”
Mrs. Batchler has failed to explain her audacity to attack my integrity when it was she who got caught and proven, with absolute certainty, to be the liar!
My issue with Mrs Batchler isn’t so much with what she did in the 1980s and 1990s. My issue with Mrs Batchler is her lies, the attempted coverup (posting records back to 2000), and her audacity to question my integrity over the issue. What else is she lying about?
Conversely, I’m running on a platform of ethics, integrity, and anti-corruption. That’s the antithesis of Mrs. Batchler.

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.
HB 505 – Restores local control for zoning authority of halfway houses. This is a bipartisan bill. Representative Crossman asked to be part of it.
HB 538 – Human Life Protection Act – Upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Ohio becomes a pro-life state.

Video Central

Now That You Know (18 minutes) This is a documentary of Christians serving in Columbus and Washington. My portion begins at 2:17.
Alone (18 minutes) This is a documentary of Christians serving in Columbus and Washington. My portion begins at 3:12 and again at 12:24.
Why Are so Many Young People Unhappy? (6 minutes)
The Truth About Canadian Healthcare (6 minutes)
Dr. Amy Acton (1 minute)
Call To Action: Janet Porter Is Stopping Abortion NOW as Amidst COVID God Works All Things For Good (24 minutes)
Dr. Birx Video (3 minutes)
Dr. Birx: Coronavirus Data Doesn’t Match The Doomsday Media Predictions (5 minutes)
Wuhan Coronavirus: The Mainstream Media’s Inconsistencies (2 minutes)

Event Calendar

Ohio is closed for business until further notice.

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 (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).

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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)

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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?