According to the media narrative that Fox 19 in Cincinnati has tried to establish, and many of the liberal losers within the Rinos for Lakota group, they think the revelation of the bad things that Lakota superintendent Matt Miller has done, which Vanessa Wells revealed, was out of revenge because she was not elected to the school board during the last election. Such a suggestion is really ridiculous, especially when the real story is known. I speak with Vanessa Wells a lot, sometimes every few hours during a day, so I have a pretty good understanding of what she is doing and why she does it. I also understand why people didn’t want me to work with her and tried to convince me that she was dangerous and out of control. I wasn’t born yesterday. Usually, people don’t like someone because they don’t want to live up to the measure that a harder-working person applies to others. Or, their value systems just aren’t compatible. In Vanessa’s case, it’s likely both; she has a high moral value for how things should work, making political people very upset. And she is sharp as a tack, more intelligent than many lawyers that I know. It is not surprising that she has so many lawyers in her orbit right now because they are attracted to her intelligence and sense of justice. And I said to Vanessa recently what I thought about those election results last year where she fell short of winning.
There is a story to that, which I’ll get into shortly, but I’m glad she isn’t on the school board. She is far more influential behind the scenes than she ever would have been in an “official” role. I think Darbi Boddy has done a great job on the school board. I’d love to have more people like her on the school board. But you also need people like Vanessa Wells to work in the trenches, crawl through the mud where all the bad stuff is hidden and where the radical union elements conduct all their malice. I’m a big fan of Vanessa Wells, and I’m glad she is doing what she’s doing. Lakota is far better off because of her.
I remember when Lynda O’Conner introduced me to Vanessa Wells as a proposed school board member. Lynda is now the Lakota school board president, and I wanted to help her get more conservative votes on the school board that more adequately represented the actual residents of Butler County, Ohio. Vanessa was sharp and willing to learn all she could. But as we got closer to the election, and we had to do fundraising for the candidates, and she had to appear at events to get on the Republican Party slate card, Vanessa’s people were not happy with her. They were worried she would go from a rag-tag freedom fighter and concerned mom to a sell-out politician from their perspective, just like all the other sell-outs in the world. I assured Vanessa that wouldn’t be the case, but she was having doubts as the election drew near. And after she won a lawsuit against Lakota schools, Lynda started pushing Vanessa away, so things were getting rough for everyone to be in the same room together. We gave Vanessa a campaign manager to help her with the tasks of winning an election, Bruce Jones, the outstanding fiscal officer of West Chester, and the guy Sheriff Jones wanted to replace Roger Reynolds with as the Butler County Auditor, but the more structure we gave Vanessa, the less authentic she felt her ambitions for the job were, and she was becoming miserable.
Vanessa approached me several weeks before the November election because she wanted out and to drop off the slate card for the Republican Party of Butler County. She was worried that I would be very angry. But I understood. She worried that if she dropped off, it would make me look bad to the eyes of all the movers and shakers. I told her I understood, that everyone involved had seen more than a few rough elections and that I didn’t care. I told her I wanted her to feel good about what she was doing and that, ultimately, she had to do what she thought was right. So, she dropped off the Republican slate card and ran independently. Of course, I heard about it from just about everyone, but I didn’t try to talk Vanessa out of her decision. Without the slate card inclusion, Vanessa won 5000 votes when the election came around. Darby Boddy and Isaac Adi, who stayed on the card, were the top vote-getters, and if Vanessa had stayed with it, she would have easily have beaten Kelly Casper. The radical union element just didn’t have enough gas to get much more than 7000 votes, so many of our thoughts about voter engagement and turnout, if given conservative options, turned out to be true. Vanessa, without party identification on election day, did exceptionally well. So, there is no shame in what she did or her performance. And there certainly isn’t any desire for revenge. We were all surprised she did as well as she did without the Republican endorsement. Without endorsements, she might have won anyway because she performed so strongly. Any thoughts anybody might have about Vanessa Wells wanting to get revenge on Lakota schools because she didn’t win the school board race simply don’t understand the situation.
Yet, I’ve always said there needs to be leadership behind the scenes and on the board. It takes a lot more than a few public statements to manage a district full of radical left-winged loons and the union money extracted from property owners with essential threats to their children as the means to get it at play. And I told Vanessa recently that she has been far better for Lakota in the role she is in now than if she was in a straitjacket on the board where all the crazy union rules and the Ohio School Board Association creates methods to regulate the management, not the employees of the far-left political faction who want unencumbered access to our children. With Vanessa on the outside, she is free to act as she needs to, and she has managed to rally lots of good people to the cause, far better than if she was just another nameplate sitting at a desk talking into a microphone. And when she first told me she didn’t want the Republican endorsement, I thought about these possibilities, which have turned out to be very beneficial. I would go on to say that if there were no Vanessa Wells, then when a public employee did get caught doing bad stuff, there would have been nowhere to go with the information. Vanessa did what needed to be done with that information and handled it correctly and legally. And without her, nobody would know anything about this Matt Miller story. It would have been covered up and swept away like so many other issues are, right in front of our faces because the rules control the conduct of the school board. And there never are the kind of good people working in the mud to discover what they’ve been hiding. And the truth is, if Vanessa Wells had won that school board seat, it’s quite clear that many of the good things that are happening now wouldn’t have happened at all.