I suppose my political beliefs were framed within the context of three men over a four-month period long ago. Prior to the presidential election of 1992 I was in Dallas, Texas spending time with Ross Perot and his family. I learned a lot from these experiences. I had always had a fascination with the Revolutionary War and Ross Perot had a style that brought that sentiment into focus. Then just a few months later I spent a considerable amount of time with Rob Portman as he began to run for the Second Congressional seat that was coming up during a special election. I liked Rob and my opinion leaned in his direction. At a special on-air debate on 700 WLW hosted by Mike McConnell during a Sunday night in Mt Adams, Portman’s challengers attended and I was there to witness the whole extravaganza. That was when I met Bob McEwen whom I initially disliked because of a House banking scandal that hovered over him like an ominous cloud. But for three crucial hours in my life I watched McEwen and Portman have it out with skill and debate that I admired spectacularly. Portman would go on to win, and would be the kind of prominent debater that Mitt Romney would use to prepare for his prime time debates against President Obama. Ross Perot would go down in history as one of the founders of the current Tea Party as his Reform Party essentially began during that Dallas event mentioned—where he would lose his run for president against Billy Clinton. And Bob McEwen hit the lecture circuit being paid $10,000 per speech because of his vast knowledge of history, economics and insider politics. Some of these speeches can be seen below and should be watched entirely. They are real treasures—he is a very good public speaker. In spite of the check bouncing scandal he was a staunch anti-communist, a religious supporter, and an economic scholar with a deep knowledge of history. Out of the three mentioned men, I learned more from Bob McEwen once I forgave him for the congressional scandal and realized why he was targeted—because Washington D.C. wanted him out-of-town. Political insiders wanted Bob McEwen out of their “beltway.” Watch all these videos carefully—preferably many times. And send them to a friend.
McEwen was caught up in the House banking scandal, which had been seized upon by Newt Gingrich, a like-minded conservative House Republican, as an example of the corruption of Congress; members of the House had been allowed to write checks on their accounts, which were paid despite insufficient funds and without penalty. Martin Gottlieb of the Dayton Daily News said “McEwen was collateral damage” to Gingrich’s crusade. McEwen initially denied bouncing any checks. Later, he admitted he had bounced a few. Then when the full totals were released by Ethics Committee investigators, the number was revealed to have been 166 over thirty-nine months. McEwen said that he always had funds available to cover the alleged overdrafts, pointing to the policy of the House sergeant-at-arms, who ran the House bank, paying checks on an overdrawn account if it would not exceed the sum of the Representative’s next paycheck. In 1991, McEwen had also been criticized for his use of the franking privilege and his frequent trips overseas at taxpayer expense, but McEwen defended the trips as part of his work on the Intelligence Committee and in building relationships with legislatures overseas.
Robert D. “Bob” McEwen (born January 12, 1950) is a lobbyist and American politician of the Republican Party, who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from southern Ohio‘s Sixth District, from January 3, 1981 to January 3, 1993. Tom Deimer of Cleveland‘s Plain Dealer described him as a “textbook Republican” who is “opposed to abortion, gun control, high taxes, and costly government programs.” In the House, he criticized government incompetence and charged corruption by the Democratic majority that ran the House in the 1980s. McEwen, who had easily won three terms in the Ohio House, was elected to Congress at the age of thirty to replace a retiring representative in 1980 and easily won re-election five times.
After a bruising primary battle with another incumbent whose district was combined with his, in which McEwen faced charges of bouncing checks on the House bank, he narrowly lost the 1992 general election to Democrat Ted Strickland. Following an unsuccessful run in the adjacent Second District in 1993, McEwen was largely absent from the Ohio political scene for a decade, until in 2005 he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Congress in the Second District special election to replace Rob Portman, who beat him in 1993, and finished second to the winner in the general election, Jean Schmidt. McEwen’s 2005 platform was familiar from his past campaigns, advocating a pro-life stance, defending Second Amendment rights, and promising to limit taxes and government spending. In 2006, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the Second District.
In Congress, McEwen, who “had a reputation as a man who thinks about politics every waking moment,” claimed Congressional Quarterly, was a staunch conservative, advocating a strong military. In addition, he was a strong advocate for government works in his district — dams, roads, locks and the like much as Harsha had been — as McEwen was on the House’s Public Works and Transportation Committee. The Chillicothe Gazette would salute him for his work on funding for U.S. Route 35, a limited access highway linking Chillicothe to Dayton. In general, however, McEwen advocated reduced government spending.
A vehement anti-Communist, he visited Tbilisi in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in 1991 to help tear down the hammer-and-sickle iconography of the Communist regime. That year he also called for the House to establish a select committee to investigate the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue – whether any soldiers declared “missing in action” in the Vietnam War and other American wars were still alive – by sponsoring H. Res. 207.
McEwen was not a man to mince words. In the heated debate in 1985 over a Congressional seat in Indiana between Republican Richard D. McIntyre, whom the Indiana Secretary of State had certified as winning a seat in the 99th Congress, and Democrat Frank McCloskey, in which the House declined to seat McIntyre, McEwen declared on the House floor, “Mr. Speaker, you know how to win votes the old-fashioned way — you steal them.” When McEwen was late in 1990 to the House because of a massive traffic jam on the I-495 beltway around Washington, D.C., he said on the House floor on February 21 that the District of Columbia’s government should be replaced:
The total incompetence of the D.C. government in Washington, DC, has become an embarrassment to our entire Nation. This experiment in home rule is a disaster. All of us who serve in this Chamber, well over 95% of us, have held other positions in government. We have been mayors. We have been township trustees, State legislators, and the rest. I am convinced, Mr. Speaker, that there are well over 2,000 township trustees in my congressional district who with one arm tied behind their backs, could blindfolded do a better job of directing this city than the city council of D.C. It is high time that this experiment in home rule that has proven to be a disaster for our nation be terminated, that we return to some sort of logical government whereby the rest of us can function in this city.
After McEwen was criticized for his remarks, he delivered a thirty-minute speech in the House on March 1, 1990, on “The Worst City Government in America”. Because of the crime problem in the District, McEwen also attempted to pass legislation overturning the District council’s ban on mace, saying people in the District should be able to defend themselves. During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, McEwen introduced legislation to end President Gerald Ford‘s ban on U.S. government employees assassinating foreign leaders (Executive Order 12333) in order to clear the way for Saddam Hussein‘s removal, McEwen objecting to the “cocoon of protection that is placed around him because he holds the position that he holds as leader of his country.”
For people who believe that Cincinnati, Ohio is just a flyover city, they are sadly mistaken. The region of my home town produces very interesting people, life changing ideas, and I am proud of it. Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Nick Clooney, Ted Turner, Annie Oakley, Nick Longworth who married Teddy Roosevelt’s cherished daughter Alice, William Taft, the Voice of America, the Crosely brothers, Kings Island, Rob Portman and of course Bob McEwen along with many others. Not all of those names are good ones, but Cincinnati throughout history has been at the center of the heartbeat of the nation. McEwen is still out there fighting for freedom as a political outsider—pushed out of the beltway by those who didn’t like his message. And behind him is the next generation of freedom fighters. The Cincinnati Tea Party is one of the strongest in the nation and is directly challenging current House Speaker John Boehner and the fraudulent Ohio governor John Kasich who launched and won his campaign against Ted Strickland because of the Cincinnati Tea Party. Cincinnati is where the fight is at. It is the modern version of Trenton, New Jersey in the new Revolution for independence.
Bob McEwen is a product of Cincinnati, a man deeply committed to undoing the kind of progressive underpinnings brought to the city at the turn of the 20th Century by Nick Longworth and his father-in-law Teddy Roosevelt along with William Howard Taft. Before these characters, Cincinnati was where the great Simeon Kenton settled with his sheer will and a hatchet well before any “White Man” braved the wild frontier of Cincinnati. Tecumseh and his Shawnee warriors were from Cincinnati. Tecumseh was born where modern day Xenia is today and fought directly with Simeon Kenton for this holy ground of the Ohio River valley—particularly Cincinnati. Kenton was in the Ohio River Valley because he was running from the “White Men” European decedents for much the same reasons that the Indians did. Tecumseh couldn’t hold off the “White Settlers” as more and more people fled European tyranny in much the same way that Cubans risked life and limb to swim to Miami, Florida to escape communism. The Shawnee would grudgingly flee the Cincinnati area as President Washington had a fort built in his name to defend the region. Another fort to the north along the Great Miami River named Fort Hamilton was built in dedication to Washington’s right hand man—Alexander Hamilton, and just down the road was a town named after James Monroe. In between those places was a township called “Liberty” which was established in direct honor of the Revolutionary War.
I grew up next to the grave of the Revolutionary War veteran John Ayers and his wife Sarah. He fought in Elizabethtown, Van Nest Mill, Piscataway, and Monmouth. Their graves can still be visited; they are in the back yard of the homes off the Butler County Regional Highway at the 747 exit if traveling toward the east. As a kid I discovered this cemetery overrun by dirt and trampled by cows deep in the woods in the middle of nowhere. I brought home Sarah’s tombstone to my mother to prove that the place existed and she was extremely furious. I put the head stone back, and often wondered if the ghost of John Ayers plagued me with images of war, fighting for freedom, and settling an area braving the elements just to run away from European collectivism because I disturbed his wife’s grave. In all reality, it is likely that Cincinnati itself and the region of land projecting out for 75 miles in every direction has a soul that rises up to meet oppression—and the bad guys of the world know it. For decades the Soviet Union had nuclear missiles pointed at the GE plant in Evendale and Hitler wanted desperately to destroy the Voice of America in Mason, Ohio. And the Washington establishment wanted to destroy the man from Cincinnati, Bob McEwen and his crusade against communism, fiscal irresponsibility, and the preservation of Christian values.
I learned a little from everyone mentioned—some of those names were good, some were sinister—but all came from Cincinnati and had something for me to learn from—and I did—including the ghost of John Ayers and his family who I often felt patrolled the haunted woods outside my bedroom window where a highway and many homes now exist. For as long as I can remember I had an affinity for the Revolutionary War and it is likely that John Ayers had something to do with it as I spent most of my time as a kid outside hunting for old cemeteries, and the bodies buried by local politics which I despised for as long as I have memory. Bob McEwen is another of these Cincinnati products, and now that you have heard some of his speeches dear reader, you might understand why I was so taken with him as he debated Rob Portman during a special election at 700 WLW on a spring like Sunday evening. Out of Portman, Perot and McEwen, it is the later that is still as deeply committed to liberty and freedom. The rest of them either sold out, or ran out of gas—but McEwen never really gave up. He has been chipping away at the barriers for freedom for decades and really never let the ominous clouds of politics push him aside—which is why I admire him so much. I am happy to report that like the ghost of John Ayers, the Revolutionary War vet that I grew up with as a ghostly friend, Bob McEwen has been a tremendous influence on how I see the world—and perhaps you will enjoy his work as well.