Vote Todd Minniear for Liberty Township Trustee: Getting to know the candidates in Liberty and West Chester Townships.

Vote for Todd Minniear for Liberty Township Trustee

Like I did for the school board candidates at Lakota for the 2021 election, I have clips of the various candidates to help make decisions.  Like the school board candidates, I support some and recommend changing some of the incumbents in Liberty Township.  These clips deal with trustee candidates in Liberty Township and West Chester, two of the most affluent and great places to live in the United States.  And they are examples of just how great a small government is when you have just three trustees managing things.  So, of course, for this next election, the goal is to keep the government small, effective, and accountable.  I say all that because we do have some significant government types who are running.  Trent Emeneker calls himself a fiscal conservative but had a “meet and greet” at Liberty Center with a known Democrat.  You can see by the video clips that he’s not worth a vote so that I won’t waste much time on him.  In West Chester, the choice is clear.  Mark Welch is a personal friend of mine not because he’s a politician, but because over time, and common ways of looking at things, it just evolved that way. He’s many reasons West Chester has been so successful, and we certainly want to keep things that way.  There are two seats open, so the second should be Lee Wong.  Lee and I have not gotten along over the years, but in this case, he’s working well with Mark and Ann Becker as a trustee, and we want to keep that going.  So the trustee race in West Chester is easy.

However, Liberty Township is more complex; it’s far more complicated.  I live in Liberty Township.  I have lived in Liberty Township for about 45 years of my life.  I spent nearly a decade living in other places worldwide, but my wife and I returned to Liberty Township after the 1990s and loved it very much.  Yet, I have paid a lot more attention to West Chester than Liberty for a good reason.  In West Chester, I was involved in the Tea Party there; Ann Becker was the president of the Cincinnati Tea Party, a pretty big position.  George Lang, a senator now, was a trustee who was getting voted against during every meeting.  We worked hard to put Mark Welch in the second spot to help George get the votes he needed, and it worked very well.  And we went to work to fill the West Chester trustees with all those Tea Party types of candidates.  History will show how smart that was.

Tea Party people are not crazy radicals.  They are fiscal conservatives, small government-minded, and rooted in American traditions.  So I enjoyed the experiment in a small government that was going on in West Chester that has produced magnificent results.  Because of the population density of West Chester, there have been lots of Democrats who have tried to push for a city designation.  The latest is Trent Emeneker.  They want to be a city because it creates more jobs for the government, which drives up costs, bureaucracy, and the overall feel of the community.  Between those three names, George Lang, Mark Welch, and Ann Becker, West Chester has managed to stay lean and sharp, making for a wonderful place to live and work.  Better than just about any other place in the country. 

In Liberty Township, there have always been these Agenda 21 Comprehensive Plans that liberals write and conservative trustees have then followed which has been highly unsatisfying for a guy like me, a long term resident who knows what Liberty Township was like before all the tag-alongs moved in from other places and brought all their big government ideas with them.  And now there is the Agenda 2030 plan that the United Nations has put out, and if you read it and also read the 2020 Comprehensive Plan for Liberty Township, you’ll see that the same person might have as well written them.  Of course, they weren’t, but the ideas are the same.  This is what you get when you hire many kids trained in good, liberal colleges who have been taught that the United Nations would rule the world and that any interpretation of sustainable development must come from those socialists and communists on the world stage.  When any trustees commission a plan like the Comprehensive Plan for 2020 or any previous revisions, you essentially get a bunch of liberals who decide what your community will look like.  I can say that George Lang had quite a challenge when he pushed back against this trend in West Chester.  I know some of the personal stories, and thank goodness George did push back in constructive ways.  But in Liberty Township, even though the trustees are usually what everyone considers “rock-ribbed Republicans,” they get pulled into the Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 game of serving the United Nations instead of the real history of Liberty Township and the reasons people moved to the area, to begin with.

Every time I have to navigate one of the many dumb roundabouts in Liberty Township, it reminds me what suckers our local government has been toward this United Nations strategy.  I know all of them and have over the years.  They consider themselves conservatives and don’t think of the United Nations game.  Only people who do some research into the matter would know the strategy of how the United Nations embedded itself into all local zoning to lay the groundwork for a future of sidewalks, roundabouts, electric energy, and an eventual carless society.  It was a plan from the United Nations that sought to turn capitalism on its head to implement its objectives. They got away with it because people generally don’t look for the United Nations fingerprints on these kinds of Comprehensive Plans that the trustees follow in their decision-making processes.  Because of this adherence to a United Nations comprehensive plan, I have not been interested in Liberty Township politics at the same level as West Chester.  The frustration with them is just too much a pain in the ass.  They are good people; I like my trustees, two running for November, Tom Ferrall and Buck Rumpke.  But they are big government guys who have philosophies that lean towards development and not personal freedom.  For instance, many local developers want to know that someone is following some comprehensive plan to understand what property to buy and how to invest in the future.  But, to make a good community, there are many more factors to consider, and in Liberty Township, they often don’t come to light. 

To make matters worse, one outstanding trustee that Liberty Township had was David Kern, who recently died.  He was a Tea Party guy, and an influential Republican before the world fell into a tailspin.  But he was old when I was a little kid in Liberty Township, and my brother used to play with their kid at their nursery off Millikan Road.  Once David Kern was no longer a trustee, the government of Liberty Township moved much more toward the United Nations than the personal liberty and sovereignty of the United States.  David used to like to poke sticks in these kinds of comprehensive plans.  He might eventually vote on them, but he at least would argue the matter to see how strong they were.  It was a good balance to have someone like David Kern on the Liberty Township Trustees for many years.  Yet since his death, a guy like him has been missed. 

So when it comes to this election, I was pretty bored with it until I met Todd Minniear at the West Chester Tea Party forum recorded in these videos.  I like Buck Rumpke as a candidate and Republican, but he’s coming over from zoning. As I said, most zoning people have been saturated over the years through their educations with this massive United Nations plot to “Make Europe Great Again.” I have written voluminously that one of the great insecurities of America is the lack of history and culture that we have as a young country, compared to Europe.  So we assume that Europe, the mother country, is the way to emulate, and many of the Liberty Township residents have evolved into thinking the same way.  A wine purchased from Europe has a much higher value than a wine purchased from a vineyard by the Rumpke landfill.  They may be just as good, but it’s the stigma that people care about.  When I hear Buck talk, it’s evident that he’s been saturated with this global way of thinking. He’s a small-town guy who worked hard all his life at the family garbage business, and he wants to show how cultured he is by adopting all these woke, globalists’ points of view. He’s a super nice guy, but he thinks wrong about the big things.  And I would put Tom Ferrall into that same category.  Big government guy who wants to show how cultured he is by supporting all these dumb roundabouts and other European features. I’ll end up voting for one or the other, but my first pick will undoubtedly be Todd Minniear in a two-seat race. 

So Todd and I have met each other on several occasions.  I didn’t know it at the time, but Todd was on the front line protesting against what DeWine was doing during the Covid lockdowns. He’s smart, and he gets it. He’s a Tea Party type which excites me because of the success that we have seen in West Chester.  To have a guy like Todd in Liberty Township might help take things in a more successful direction.  Todd Minniear challenged the DeWine administration in court and won over the Covid lockdowns, and he is extremely intelligent.  Talking to him reminded me of David Kern.  What an excellent opportunity to get a great trustee onto the Liberty board.  People like Todd Minniear do not come along often.  Clearly, by watching the videos included here, you can see my two picks by how well they spoke.   Todd was by far the most articulate of the evening, and he’s willing to do that extra work that is often necessary.  When we talk about “liberty” in Liberty Township, we are not talking about blind compliance to some United Nations Comprehensive Plan or other dumb rules that hold us back.  Sometimes we need people we put into such positions to push back against the rules because the people making the rules may not have our best interests in mind.  That is the case with the United Nations.  They want Liberty Township to look like Europe, not America, and if you follow their ideas, that’s exactly what we’ll get.  Todd has a history of challenging the rules, which is precisely what we need in Liberty Township.

After the forum, I spoke to Todd a bit, along with other very smart people in the room, and had questions for the bright young mind.  I noticed that Todd had the great book that I value quite a lot, The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates.  That is a book that describes the moral obligation of leadership lower in the pecking order of life to push back against authoritarian rule.  The book proposes several instances where it is the moral obligation to lash back at a higher authority for corrupt regulations and edicts.  For example, in this case, we should have had more trustees, state reps, and senators who openly fought the unconstitutional vaccine mandate.  For Joe Biden to issue an executive order demanding that all federal employees take medicine or lose their jobs, we needed more local officials to reject the premise.  Instead, most everyone has caved from lawyers to human resource departments for fear of drawing attention to themselves.  When Governor DeWine issued the mask mandates of last year, Butler County’s Sheriff Jones was one of the first in the country to say no, we’re not going to do that.  We need many more politicians in prominent positions who will behave this way when pressed, and Buck Rumpke and Tom Farrell are certainly not those guys.  They will be the first to put on the mask and follow the rules, like good Republicans who care more about adherence to the law than whether the laws are correct and just.  Todd Minniear cares about what’s truly right or wrong, and for me that sets him into a stratosphere all his own. He’s a lot better than the other two guys, and I will be voting for him. 

Like most of them, this election season proposes good things for those with the guts to say yes to them.  It takes courage to try something different, but sometimes it takes courage to stick to what’s working.  In West Chester, it takes guts to keep things solid as they have been.   To resist the tide of corruption that wants to open the door to a bigger government, to loot off the efforts of what made West Chester great, to begin with.  Yet, in Liberty Township, it would take guts to vote for Todd Minniear and take a great community and make it noticeably better.  Liberty Township has enjoyed a cascade effect from West Chester for years.  But now, there is an opportunity to make Liberty Township its unique kind of good truly.  That won’t happen with Buck Rumpke or Tom Farrell by themselves.  It would take a truly smart intellect and a person willing to do the extra work in Todd Minniear to pull it off, which is a fascinating prospect. 

Rich Hoffman

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Issac Adi: The Superstar of Lakota

Issac Adi for Lakota School Board

I’ve been a fan of Issac Adi, the very bright star within the Lakota school district running for the school board. He’s talented, smart, hardworking, extremely likable. He’s just a beautiful person in all the ways anybody could hope.  But I was wondering if it was just me who thought that way.  After all, I’ve been hoping for good conservative candidates to run for the Lakota school board for years.  And when we did get them on the school board, the current board would assassinate them in radical ways to get rid of them.  However, I learned just how well-liked Issac Adi was at a recent GOP event where many top-level office holders attended to speak and celebrate the fall ahead of the upcoming election.  Usually, when these kinds of big GOP events start, current officeholders are announced for recognition, and when they called out Issac’s name, the whole crowd erupted into applause.  People knew Issac and were cheering him on for a position that may be one of the most demanding offices to penetrate with Republican representatives in the state, the Lakota school board.  Issac was doing well, and people see that he is one of the brightest hopes yet of properly managing Lakota’s school board that we’ve had in years. 

Issac Adi with Jim Jordan

The GOP has endorsed candidates before, but mainly in the past, school boards were considered non-partisan as schools were supposed to be above and beyond politics.  Schools were always supposed to be for the children, and the school board members ideally would always put kids first and their family’s needs as priorities.  I know many administrative roles in public schools, and they aren’t blatant Marxists looking to overthrow America.  But the teacher’s unions are, and they run the schools, all public schools.  And by default, when one side tries to play nice, and the other side wants to play with every dirty trick in the book to win, guess who has the advantage?  I was at a recent school board meeting with Lakota’s board, and I listened with great pain at the excuses for Covid quarantines causing work stoppages and how intrusive the masks were.  The superintendent at Lakota isn’t a crazy radical. Still, he does try to make everyone happy, and there is no other way to make anybody happy because of the teacher’s union’s demands.  They want progressive causes like mask mandates implemented, and if they don’t get their way, they will make life miserable for everyone. 

A Grand GOP Event in Monroe, Ohio

I was thinking of what a positive person Issac is after watching him getting his picture taken with Jim Jordan of Ohio.  Jordan is an international celebrity because of some of the disputes he has been involved in over the years, and oddly as it might seem for a school board candidate, but Issac looked very much at home with Jim Jordan.  It was easy to see Issac in a dispute with the LEA union without things getting to the point where everyone left that evening angry at each other.  Jordan has a skill where he is a likable person even when he’s arguing with someone.  That is a skill missing on the Lakota school board since I started paying attention to it decades ago.  Issac has the presence of a superstar, and his likability personally rubs off on everyone.  Issac would be uniquely qualified to ease tensions instead of exacerbating them when dealing with some of these problematic school business issues.  It was apparent when Issac was around high-profile politicians that he had the same skills, which is something to get excited about.

A Very Large Crowd Cheering on Isaac and other Big Names

As ugly as politics can sometimes get, that event where Issac Adi and Jim Jordan were both at was a friendly reminder of what is possible in politics.  Regarding Lakota, the teacher’s union has made doing any business with the public school such a miserable experience.  But when you take a break from the arena and take some time to have a nice meal together and enjoy a sunset, the GOP in Butler County is such a tremendous asset to the community.  Most of Butler County, where Lakota schools are located, is populated with Republicans.  The goal of the teacher’s union is to take all they can for their members and to turn more children of Republicans into Democrats, which is why they want to mask mandates, same-sex bathrooms, and start sex education in the 3rd grade.  Then they want infinite amounts of money spent on their unionized employees and impose more tax on properties to pay for it.  Only the best of any person could have the will to deal with them.  Yet it is because of events like the GOP gathering we had recently in Monroe, Ohio, that puts in place so many good officeholders, and it’s exciting to see that Issac Adi will be one of them. 

When I talk about politicians, I often talk about their shelf life, the amount of time it takes the system to grind people down from hopeful managers into spit out garbage.  Then, term limits should remove them from office, but all too often, we will get another two decades out of officeholders that stay in those positions.  But in Butler County, we’ve managed to get many good officeholders through a lot of community engagement. I’ve watched them come into the office and do great work for a long time while still having shelf life left in their lives.  Issac has quickly found a home among the GOP and has embraced it so authentically that it will only continue the great reputation that the Butler County GOP already has for a track record.  People like Jim Jordan don’t and can’t come to every event they are invited to.  Neither can Frank LaRose.  But that they come to Butler County often says so much about how important the region is on the stage of national politics.  People like Issac Adi keep that prospect fresh on everyone’s minds as the GOP grows into the future. 

Best of all, Issac is not a phony, and there isn’t any temptation of him becoming one.  That is another trait of Butler County office holders that is a recent trend.  I wouldn’t have been able to say the same thing ten years ago, but I can say it today.  I can’t think of many politicians in Butler County who are phonies, and I would attribute that top to bottom to the structure of the Republican Party.  From the donors to the ground walkers.  When everyone gets together as we did on that night Issac Adi and Jim Jordan took a picture together, the world is easy to see that it’s worth fighting for.  And when so many good people get together in one place, the problems are much easier to see in all their purity.  Once the conflict with a teacher’s union starts making things murky, at least we can know that people like Issac won’t be pushed off by themselves to be ridiculed by the union activists.  He has a support system that is a relatively new thing and combined with his great personality; he will help make that Lakota school board something special instead of the monstrosity it is today.  But it all starts with a rising new star, and for all our benefit, Issac Adi is there, shooting across the sky, and I look forward to what the future that comes from him shows to the world. 

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfigher’s Guide to Business
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The LEA Union at Lakota Goes Too Far: Trying to screen school board candidates to protect their stranglehold on the district

Labor Unions think they are Management, they aren’t

It’s safe to say it now; it’s no longer a conspiracy theory, as it used to be when I first started talking about it years ago.  Teacher unions formed under the John Dewey public education system have been communist recruitment centers meant to re-shape the minds of our children into diabolical menaces against American values, life, liberty, and capitalism.  In my school district of Lakota, the LEA labor union has been a treacherous disaster for decades, imposing on the community, which tends to be conservative, a lot of liberal ideology that people aren’t comfortable with.  Many of the kids who have been through the Lakota school system and are now adults can easily see the damage.  Parents tell me all the time the sad stories of their precious little kids who were so sweet and wonderful, who turned into delectable losers through their high school and college years.   By the time the kids get into their 20s and 30s, they end up as unrecognizable communists of anti-American sentiment.  And where did it all start?  Well, in Lakota, there is a group of mad moms led by Sandy Wheatley, an old name to me but likely new to unsuspecting parents new to the school district.  She used to lead the local teacher’s union at Lakota and still has been one of the “sweat bees” always aggravating Lakota school business in the ways you can see in this article.  All the trouble starts with people like her.  In truth, all labor unions were born out of the push for communism during the mid-1800s when Marx published his destructive concepts that have stifled the world in many ways we see today.  But it’s one thing to look at it happening and have feelings about it, but quite another for it to happen in our backyards and not be expected to do anything about it.  I’ve never felt compelled not to do something about it.  I think we should fight these losers everywhere they show themselves because now many can see what I’ve been saying for years.  Teacher unions have not just been bad for our public education system, wasting millions of our taxpayer dollars over the years as an actual imposition. They are additionally harmful to our flag and country and must once and for all be considered domestic terrorists and threats to our children’s very lives.  Because they are.

Recently I have told many stories about a group of school board challengers endorsed by the Republican Party of Butler County, Ohio, running this year to replace three seats on the Lakota school board.  They are great candidates functioning on their own for good reasons which they have determined for themselves.  But I’ve been around for a while and understand the impediments that get in the way of good people intending to do a good job where good jobs are needed, and old labor union presidents like Sandy Wheatley don’t want to see a good job done in public schools.  They function from a different idea of what “good” is.  You and I, dear reader, might call “good” a well-balanced kid who can read, write, think, and grow up to get married, have good kids, a job, run a good household, and come over to a happy family gathering on Christmas for some quality exchanges.  For the communist labor union types, “good” is to turn the kids into servants of the state, do drugs, experiment sexually, collect unemployment, and vote Democrat.  And when it comes time for Christmas dinner, to send those children into those nice American homes filled with nice American families and to torpedo them all from the inside out with disappointment, anxiety, and malice.  Yet many people have always thought that my statements about the teacher’s union were overstated and purely political.  Because I have been more involved in these school board candidates this time around, I have seen how the labor union at Lakota behaves from a different point of view, and that view has been ugly.

One of these school board challengers asked me the other day about the questionnaire shown in this article, along with correspondence showing some Facebook postings from old Sandy Wheatley herself disparaging members of the current school board and the challengers in ways meant to impact the vote the way labor unions all over America intend.  These documents show the intent of the LEA teacher’s union at Lakota in a very honest way that voters should know about.  I found the questionnaire sent to this particular school board challenger to be reprehensible.  As I explained to them, they want to do a nice job for the district, and all this labor union radicalism can be a bit scary, that as a member of the school board, they are the management.  The labor does not get to interview the management. The other way around is the first problem with managing all public schools, especially at Lakota.  These labor union types felt it was appropriate to gather information on incoming school board members at Lakota.  Just read the questions for yourself.  What is being proposed by this questionnaire is that the labor union wants to know how progressive the candidates are.  Will they support the current progressive political agenda such as gay rights in the schools or uncontrollable spending with perpetual tax increases on private property through school levies.  How the candidates’ answer will determine the level of activism the union will perform against those candidates.  The LEA wants people like what they have molded on the current school board, lapdogs of union appeasement from Julie Shaffer, Kelly Casper, Michael Pearl, and the Brad Lovell replacement, Douglas Horton.  As you can see from Sandy’s direct comments on Facebook, they hate Lynda O’Conner because Lynda has tried to do the job a school board is always supposed to do, represent the community who elected her into place.  While the rest want to get along with the communist teacher’s union so bad things won’t be said about them.

People never wanted to face the facts of the origin of the labor movement, especially when it came to their kids.  Parents wanted to like their teachers; many of them started with good intentions.  Everyone always does, including Sandy Wheatley and the union thugs sucking the life out of the Lakota school system.  Even in the human body, viruses want to live.  Cancer wants to live by being a parasite of the host.  Everyone from their perspective wants to live.  But good is determined by logic, and that is why we elect school board members to insert reason into the management of children in a school and the millions of dollars it takes to teach them with free education.  But the quality of that education has always been under attack by teacher unions who want far more than just a job in a school district.  They want to act as parasites to our children and the property we own and maintain to fund their menace.  Attacking private property is one of the communist goals as they were adopted directly from Karl Marx and John Dewey was quite aware of it from the beginning.  It was a mountain of corruption from the start, and it shows in the products of public education, most of us, our children, and the state of our nation now.  And based on these documents shown here, you can see what is going on in your local teacher’s union.  These aren’t unique to Lakota.  But they do require action from voters who have a mind to fix the situation.  In Lakota, during 2021, voters will finally have a chance to do something about all this nonsense.  But really, this is a nationwide problem, and it needs to be addressed in America once and for all.  Otherwise, we won’t have a country, making all teacher union members very, very happy.

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
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Ohio is Number One in Corruption: Jim Renacci wants to be the Ron DeSantis of the state to fix that

Wind Turbans in Ohio, part of the progressive push to change the state into Green Energy

It’s not murky for me at all.  Mike DeWine screwed up as governor of Ohio. He must go. He needs to be primaried, and the Republican brand in Ohio restored to honor before a general election where a Democrat will have to be defeated at the ballot box for control over our state.  The behavior of Democrats in the House and Senate indicates that they have a plan.  That plan is to exploit Ohio as the number one state in the category of corruption and to use that to implement their changes toward even more progressive agenda desires, which ironically has caused most of the problems so far.  DeWine has been hiding his vast incompetence behind the Covid crises, like many in government have, and now it’s gotten Ohio Republicans in trouble, and that situation needs a fast solution.  And one of the first Republicans to offer that solution and throw his hat in the ring has been Jim Renacci.  I was happy to have a chance to talk to Jim Renacci a bit this past week one on one. It’s the first time I’ve had that chance since his run for Senate against Sherrod Brown a few years prior.  Renacci has an exciting story which I touch on in the video above, and I had thought for a while, well before he announced that he would officially run for governor, that Jim would be suitable for it.  His pitch is essentially to be the Ron DeSantis of Ohio, open up markets and opportunities, and bring to the state good management that is no-nonsense and productive.  But more than anything, he wants to clean up the corruption and repair the Republican brand tainted by Mike DeWine and John Kasich, both progressives who opened the door to all this corruption, to begin with. 

I thought Jim was joking when he told me that Ohio was the number one state out of all 50 states in corruption.  That didn’t seem possible to me, but sure enough, I went home and looked it up, and that is the case as of 2021.  When DeWine was running for governor, many Tea Party groups were already saying that DeWine would be a corrupt governor, but people were willing to give him a chance.  As it turned out, they were right, and DeWine has essentially run as a Democrat most of the years that he’s been in office.  To hide his many missteps, he has turned to Covid to rescue him as many blue-state governors have, and that was, of course, to conceal the underlying corruption.  That is the obvious problem when a governor who is supposed to drive on the right side ends up on the left.  A collision with oncoming traffic is inevitable, and that’s what happened with the FirstEnergy debacle in Ohio that Mike DeWine has his hands all over.  The net result is that Democrats are currently planning to exploit these collisions and take seats in the House and Senate because of the corruption and capture the governor race with a damaged DeWine.  So Democrats currently aren’t willing to make any deals with Republicans as they wait out the next election because they can smell the blood in the water. 

I’ve said it before, House Speaker Larry Householder and other Republicans did wrong when they allowed FirstEnergy to pour a lot of money into the Republican Party.  That allowed the FBI to make a bribery case out of the tragedy involving a few nuclear power plants being pushed to shut down.  But things are not always the way they seem.  FirstEnergy was fighting for its life as the Obama administration targeted traditional forms of energy such as coal and nuclear in favor of solar and wind.  I found a few of those ridiculous wind power turbans in Greenville, Ohio, in the video above.  I had seen them all over the United States this year, and it was insulting to see them in Ohio.   A more significant push is going on that is far more corrupt than FirstEnergy trying to buy off politicians like Larry Householder for their survival.  Jim Renacci understands that kind of corruption because he’s been a victim of it himself.  He got into politics as a businessman who had lost his Chevy dealership by that same administration who tampered with the markets to create a change state at GM.  The collapse of General Motors into bankruptcy meant that the government could help restructure them into producing eco-friendly cars, which is what they are presently doing.  The bailout they received from the government was just as corrupt as anything FirstEnergy was involved in.  The difference was that the Obama administration controlled the DOJ.  And when Trump was president, the same radicals were still running the DOJ because he refused to act in such a corrupt way and call them out on their activism.   So now the FBI, run by those prominent government activists, wants to destroy companies like FirstEnergy unless they embrace these new wind and solar Obama initiatives.  They are picking winners and losers, which led to the corruption that eventually involved the many Republicans caught taking money from FirstEnergy so that they could keep their nuclear power plants open. 

I would say that this kind of corruption is going on in all states, and all their legislators are involved in some way or another.  But in Ohio, it’s a Trump state, and it has a target on its back for progressives that go way beyond reasonability.  That means we have to take a stand with this governor race and clean things before the general election vote for governor takes place.  Republicans have to take that step with a governor prospect that can rebuild the party behind an anti-corruption platform, and for me, Jim Renacci is just the right kind of guy for the job.  President Trump likes Jim quite a lot, and a Jim Renacci ticket that is pro-business, anti-corruption, and knows how to stand up to progressive tricks is just the ticket for the current challenges. I’m against corruption of any kind.  I don’t want my state tarnished with any corruption, let alone being number one in the entire country.  That is just embarrassing.  Not acceptable.  So when Jim Renacci sat across the table from me and looked me straight in the eye and told me what he wanted to do with being the Ron DeSantis of Ohio, I was just a little encouraged.  Ron DeSantis is the new gold standard for which all Republican governors should aspire, and if Renacci has that kind of scope for the governor job in mind, well, then that’s something I can get excited about.  So far, other candidates haven’t announced themselves for the governor race, but I don’t think this is something we need to fool around with.  Republicans need to understand the battle plan.  We need to retake the House at the Federal level, and we need a leader to do that.  We need to unite behind that cause and the people who can make that happen.  And we have to repair the corruption problem left in DeWine’s wake.  That will take someone like Renacci, who is dedicated to the cause, can get Trump behind the effort, and is willing to do the job in two steps, repairing the Republican Party, then defeating the Democrat challenger.   It helps when you can talk to someone like Jim to see if they are up for such a big job, and based on my experience, he is. 

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
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Just Another Bobblehead is Running for Lakota School Board: Douglas Horton and two other progressive incumbents seek to bring CRT to our community

Just a little school board news for the local crowd.  It’s relevant to the larger audience due to its importance in the scheme of things.  All school boards are essential, so I hope that by watching what goes on in my local school district of Lakota, other communities will learn a few things for their sakes.  A short time ago, I reported that Brad Lovell, an activist toward Critical Race Theory on the Lakota school board, took a significant six-figure job at Sycamore schools across town. His wife is still a teacher belonging to the teacher’s union at Lakota.  It was always a problem for Brad in this upcoming election as his seat was up this fall because he was double-dipping in many ways.  The wife, as an employee of the school he has managed, was a conflict of interest.  Then his Critical Race Theory activism was a real problem that had stirred up quite a hornet’s nest of angry, high-heeled moms recently activated to all this Lakota progressive activism by staying home with their kids due to Covid.  Before the Covid shutdowns, many people didn’t know about the massive radicalism penetrating all public schools from the state school board that had put their arms around the Marxist Black Lives Matters movement.  They were looking to impose it on all students, everywhere.  So with all that to consider, it was brilliant for Brad to take his big administrative job using the Lakota school board as a springboard and stay out of the upcoming election.  But of course, the other progressive activists on the Lakota school board would want a Brad replacement.  The currently liberal activists voting for all progressive causes like transgender rights and BLM are Julie Schaffer, Kelly Casper, and the newest member Michael Pearl. They had been in lockstep with Brad toward the BLM movement, putting Michael Pearl in front as a kind of shield from reality.  They needed another Brad to keep things going on the board, so they picked a bobblehead candidate who would surely rubberstamp every vote the three activists came up with by the name of Douglas Horton. 

Just another Bobblehead on School Board

Like I said in the video above, I’m not the one who made a bobblehead of myself and put it on a Facebook page.  And that says a lot about who Douglas Horton is as a person.  I have committed hundreds of thousands of words toward the psychology of school board members, and there is no question that the roles typically inspire the more liberal activists in any community.  I also talk a lot about the nonpartisan nature of school boards, which is dangerous because it hides liberal activism.   For instance, a candidate like Horton will likely claim to be a Republican by voting record, just as Brad claimed to be. Still, in reality, they know that they’d have no chance in a Republican stronghold like Butler County unless they did claim to be conservative.  The problem is always in how left or right-center on a political scale is measured.  Modern media and the soccer mom sentiment think that being right of center politically measures socialism and communism.  Not free-market capitalism and regulated commerce.  When media people talk about candidates being hard right or hard left, their scale is measured with the center of those indications already being in the world of communism.  So everything is on the left, and that is where we start with people like Brad Lovell and his school board replacement, Douglas Horton.  As long as nobody digs too deep into their minds, nobody, including themselves, knows what the hell they are, which is why sports is always a good distraction for them.  It allows them to hide their liberalism from even themselves because sports is generally an excellent neutral ground in the world, except for the recent politics of wokeness, which is changing rapidly.

The candidates I am supporting for the three seats coming up this fall on the Lakota school board are Vanessa Wells, Issac Adi, Karine Causse, and Darbi Boddy.  I know all those names very well, just as I know the needs of the Lakota school board, and am excited at the prospect of any three of them replacing the incumbents.  Another thing I say all the time, especially these days, is if you don’t like the management of your government, then replace them.  And that certainly holds on school boards.  Instead of crying and whining about how evil Critical Race Theory is and being a victim of transgender progressive values, replace the school board, and this year, voters will have that chance.  One thing that concerns me is that there are many candidates and voter engagement in school board elections is generally 5% to 10%.  That makes it hard to beat incumbents, and they will always get the standard teacher’s union activist vote to protect the high wages that unionized teachers always get.  These elections work because the top three vote-getters will be the new board members, so any challengers to the incumbents will have a steep hill to climb in voter engagement. But that problem can be solved with increased voter engagement. I think these school board challengers I mentioned that I liked are all outstanding, very articulate, and genuinely have their hearts into what is best for Lakota.  We’ve had a mismanaged mess of liberalism and progressive sentiment loaded with problems, so it will be interesting to see how things flush out.

But as an example of everything we don’t want in one of these school board positions is Douglas Horton, who is tone-death that he thought it wise to display a bobblehead of himself and use it as a Facebook profile picture.  It might be a cute thing to do for someone’s mancave or as some joke at a fraternity party.  People might giggle over it at a drinking party of young thirty-somethings who are new in life and have kids just going to Lakota who have no idea what they are doing in the world.  But Lakota is made up of a lot of older people who are staunch Trump supporters.  Their kids have long ago left the house, and they are stuck paying all the extraordinary taxes that this current school board has imposed on them, and they aren’t happy about it one bit.  And they are not pleased about the Critical Race Theory commitment that this current board has allowed infecting their community.  I don’t want to pick on Doug, but a quick check on his name brought up that bobblehead which is more than just a metaphor.  Knowing that Brad wasn’t going to file for another term because he needed to move on before the brand damage of this upcoming election smeared him for good says everything about how Douglas Horton ended up on the list.  He thinks he has a chance based on the types of people he associates with.  But the rest of the school board members do too, and they think that’s the world we live in, where bobbleheads rubberstamp whatever comes out of the Ohio School Board, and ultimately, the crooked Biden White House.   Yet, I have news for those who think that way, it will take more than a bobblehead to run Lakota, and I don’t think anybody in that camp understands to what degree.

Rich Hoffman

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‘No Lakota Levy’ Hosts a “Community Conversation”: Results from Jefferey Stec

Who wants to tell me I’m being an “extremist” for calling teachers of public education socialists, which I have been doing for years now?  The video below shows the teachers from the Chicago Teachers Union celebrating their money grabbing victory after their recent strike.  Watch carefully.  These are the kinds of employees who are asking for a tax increase off of property values in our communities.  The time has come to ask if we really want socialist public workers teaching our children at all, let alone at the expensive sum of money they are demanding to do it.

 

A week ago some of the members of No Lakota Levy hosted a “Community Conversation” which is the $40,000 program pushed by Lakota Superintendent Karen Mantia and conducted by the progressive Cincinnati activist Jeffery Stec. Below are the results of that meeting so it can be seen what Jeffery is trying to do and how the meetings are to be conducted. I thought it was odd that they put the name of the host on their mass mailings to the entire district. I would think it would discourage people from volunteering in the future. So for the sake of this article I took the homeowner’s name off the letterhead out of courtesy. To see my comments about the “community conversation” program CLICK HERE.

Below is the outcome of the meeting as Jeffery sent it out to the residents of the Lakota School District. For my readers here I have hot linked each item with an article I have written in the past regarding Lakota and their failures to balance their budget. So feel free to click on each item to see what I’ve said leading up to this meeting.  As to what’s wrong with public education the Chicago Teacher’s Union tells the whole story.  Any public school that has a union like the one shown in the video below should be replaced with a competitive alternative. 

Defining a Good School District
A Community Conversation 9-13-2012

1. Non-curricular goals
a. Kids have transportation to school (differing opinions about bus transit)
b. Buildings look nice, well maintained
2. Outcomes
a. Kids can compete globally
b. Kids are motivated
3. Taught values
a. Honor
b. Integrity
c. Kids speak well of teachers
d. Kids have a good social culture with peers
4. Taught skills
a. Technology
5. Educational process
a. Much one-on-one time between teachers and children
i. Address specific needs of individual kids
ii. Maximize potential of each child at their pace
iii. Get optimum classroom size
b. Kids are engaged
i. With the educational material
ii. With other kids socially
iii. They compete for grades
c. Teachers
i. Are proud of their jobs and the district
ii. They have integrity
iii. Care for students
iv. Involved in community outside of teaching
v. Willing to do more
vi. Creative
vii. Honorable, professional, integrity
viii. Fulfilled
6. Administration
a. Proactive to address issues before problems arise
b. District listens to community needs—it’s a two-way, respectful conversation
c. Fight for right answer, not what is easy (e.g. giving in to union)
d. Financial issues
i. Be efficient, disciplined, and creative with finances
1. But “to a point”—don’t overly compromise effective teaching
ii. Be a resourceful district—find a way to make it work
iii. Balanced budget—live within its means
iv. Community needs have priority over union demands
1. Fight the union
2. Lower teacher costs by 5%
v. District tightens belt as community does
vi. Don’t use cuts to scare parents into supporting levy
e. Employees
i. Competent employees
ii. Frugal employees
iii. Accountable employees—they care about district outcomes and resources
f. Kids not involved in levy debate

Rich Hoffman

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The “Ayn Rand Cult”: Designations from undeveloped intellects

One thing must be cleared up in regard to Ayn Rand since tensions are rising due to the new Atlas Shrugged movie about to be released in the fall of 2012. But first I must declare my position on Rand’s writing and her philosophy of Objectivism. I came to Ayn Rand’s work only a few years ago, well after my foundation beliefs had been formed. My thoughts about things are not due to any teaching of Objectivism or any book Ayn Rand wrote. But what a relief it was to read Atlas Shrugged for the first time, and see that Ayn Rand over half a century ago had many of the same thoughts that I did. When the truth is pursued on any matter and reality is witnessed with its true value witnessed without any evasion tactics to distort the data, the results are not subject to opinion. The facts are the facts and no encounter group in pursuit of a consensus of opinion can negate the truth for the sake of other people’s feelings. Feelings do not equate to truth.

But there are many who insist on living their lives with shrouded facts and hazy logic. They evade truth at every turn and use their feelings to guide them through existence. They were taught and accepted at face value what instruction they received from the education system they grew up with, and adopted the tendencies of their parents without question. Their life is the sum of the many lives that played a part in molding their core beliefs which is fine for an infinite. But these types of people never take those foundations and apply their own unique individuality to their observations to pursue a truth as it is, not as they wish it to be as small children or puberty stricken teenagers yearning for their first kiss. These types of weak, sensitive beings are attracted to the practices of collectivism and they despise any work by Ayn Rand and her thoughts on individualism. These are the types of people who call Ayn Rand a cult in an attempt to discredit publicly people who enjoy Ayn Rand’s books. This trend can clearly be seen in this movie review of Atlas Shrugged Part One.

A cult is something to the effect that Jim Jones participated in, or what labor unions enjoy. They are collectivist by their very nature, and this is not what Ayn Rand was all about. CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. In an effort to paint Ayn Rand as socially dangerous the word “cult” is used so to discourage any further investigation into the kind of work that Ayn Rand produced. What is really behind such a designation is the attempt by collectivist leaning people to evade reality, and they do not want to even be aware that Ayn Rand ever existed and that she wrote anything at all. They wish to maintain the illusion that the ideas they have built their lives around are the ones that will lead them to success and they don’t want to know otherwise.

I have read many books over the years, and watched many, many movies. I have read books by very left leaning people and there are movies and actors who are extremely progressive on the severely liberal side that I like to this day—Sean Penn comes to mind. I have seen all of Michael Moore’s films and actually enjoyed Roger and Me way back when he was first getting started. I can report that I have never felt anger at someone for something they believed in. I have never felt anger at people who enjoy Michael Moore films or read books by the liberal activist Stephen King. My thoughts are that people who adhere to such beliefs are like children who yet have to learn the rules of the universe, and they have not developed the intellect to comprehend those truths. So I watch films and read books by such progressive minds like I might watch children playing at a park—with mild amusement. The anger comes when collectivists expect my buy-in to something I know to be wrong, because the majority ruled in favor of it. I am not okay with that, and anger erupts often with me under these conditions.

As people get older and more mature, they tend to become wiser—and more conservative. This is why there are so many older people who are in the Tea Party movement. With age comes wisdom, and the gradual acceptance of varying degrees of reality. The reason President Obama panders to young people is because they do not have developed intellects yet to understand what a con artist he is. They are easily seduced into believing in the Obamanation of America. This is why so many young people find themselves wanting to protest whatever their college professors or high school teachers tell them to adhere to, because they have not developed critical thinking to the level of individual thought as of yet, and until they do, they are most likely not qualified to vote, because they are simply too immature to think with reason.

I became interested in Ayn Rand during my well documented levy fights with public education. I always knew my position was correct, but when dealing with people who support public education I quickly realized that the people who supported blindly tax increase after tax increase for a public education system corrupted with collectivist oriented labor unions I needed to check my premise. So I went and read books about education from the pro side and found them dancing around some fundamental flaw in their thinking—since everything centered on collectivism which I have always rejected. In fact there was never a time in my life where I adhered to anything resembling collectivism. So it was a great relief during all this reading about education that I ran into Ayn Rand. Once I read Atlas Shrugged and saw that she predicted much about the world that was happening currently, I realized that Rand had done the hard work of adding up all the facts of an observed life to their logical conclusions.

Ayn Rand was not a mystic who looked into a crystal ball and saw the future even down to the detail of the Obama Presidency, which has been an absolute train wreck rooted deeply in collectivist thought. She simply observed reality and added things up based on the laws that govern everything. I knew she was correct because I had arrived at many of the same conclusions completely independent. Reading her was like meeting one intelligent person in an ocean of fools who actually understood the meaning of things, and it was refreshing. This is why people who work in book stores whisper under their breaths that they enjoy Rand’s work. This is why Ayn Rand is so beloved. It is not a “cult,” it’s a relief to read someone from the past who knew what anyone who is even partially awake knows now. Rand’s books provide the confirmation of truth as it is observed in reality by intelligent individuals. If people don’t understand Ayn Rand or have strong feelings against her, it’s probably because the critics are too stupid to comprehend her basic thoughts, since they have not yet observed such things in their own realities.

People who think individually do not pick up an Ayn Rand book and suddenly start following everything she says like some mindless drone. This falsehood was created by collectivists because they assume all people are like them, and are so easily programmed. Any Rand fans tend to be deep thinkers who have made general observations about reality, and find her work a relief that they are not alone and crazy in their thoughts. The masses that lean toward collectivism can through democracy appear to be in charge through mass threat and intimidation. But what they are is essentially undeveloped mentalities who are either in denial of reality through evasion or they are too immature to be exposed to enough truth so that they can arrive at a conclusion.

The anger at Ayn Rand and the derogatory claim that she has a “cult” of followers are intended to use evasion to hide the world from Ayn Rand’s truth. Socially, these maniacal collectivists have done such a good job of hiding her, and forcing her books underground that I didn’t read one of her novels until I was in my forties. This is quite extraordinary since I do read a lot and know people who are excessive readers and she never came up in conversations until a few years ago. Some people are lucky enough to have a renegade literary teacher or college professor who exposes them to Ayn Rand and those young people become hooked for life, because they recognize the truth in Rand’s work that they can’t find anywhere else, because collectivism has infected much of humanity as it has for the entire duration of civilization. Ayn Rand uniquely has a background that began when communism destroyed her life in the Soviet Union yet she had the intellect to question what was happening around her. She found in America the relief valve to her collectivist frustrations and a very small window to warn, through her books, The United States of what it would become if it did not stop adopting collectivism from Europe and yearn for the merits of Karl Marx and the Bolsheviks who overthrew Russia ushering in communism.

I used to feel that I had to concede my firm beliefs that reality was subjective to democratic opinion, but that was not working when it came to public education and I couldn’t understand why. I knew I wasn’t wrong, but I gave people the freedom to do their own thinking and to disagree with me. I saw that Ayn Rand had pondered the same thoughts and went through the same process I was and a pattern was forming which was very clear to me. Collectivism does not work and to the extent to which it is embedded into public education, politics in general, labor unions, even home owners associations, is truly shocking. I don’t care to spend one more minute of my life negotiating with those who are clearly in the wrong. Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged based on her observations of the way the Bolsheviks overthrew the largest country on the face of the planet, and she was able to apply those truths to the American experience, and that truth has great reverence to those awake enough to understand the message.

Those who call Ayn Rand and her books a—“cult” are practicing evasion, and wish to use peer pressure to prevent others from reading one of the greatest literary achievements ever created by a human mind. I have read Shakespeare, I have read Hemmingway, I have read Plato, I have read Sir James Frazer, I love and appreciate James Joyce and the poetry of T.S. Elliot and Ayn Rand is one of mankind’s greatest authors. She’s great because she was able to devise stories that reflected a hidden truth projected right in front of our faces, but the multi millennium trend to follow after collectivist pursuits kept us from seeing it. Ayn Rand is a uniquely American writer with a viewpoint that was born in Russia and sought The United States in order to flourish. Her work is unusual and fresh even after half a century has passed because few authors have had the guts to follow the truth as far as she did. Sadly, even supporters of Ayn Rand find themselves reading her books in secret and proclaiming their enjoyment of it under hushed voices because they are afraid of the ridicule by the collective.

The collective fears Ayn Rand because they are aware that they are suppressing the facts of existence from their own minds and this is the source of their emotions. If they were so sure of their version of the truth, they would not fear a book or its author. But they do, which is why they have attempted to paint politicians like Paul Ryan as an extreme because he happens to adore Ayn Rand. Even in my fights with the public education labor unions I receive emails and little notes declaring me as a “Randian” as to insinuate that such a term has a negative connotation. These names come from collectivists who follow Saul Alinsky like he’s the second coming of Christ, or Karl Marx the way most of the Obama White House does. The collectivist knows that their edited facts cannot hold up to reality so they hate Ayn Rand for the power of her books to shine light on what they are hiding. It is this trend which states the whole story. Behind the hatred of Ayn Rand is the fear that she’s right and her detractors are every bit the villains of her novels, that she saw through them before they were even born. And that same collectivist hope that if they can rid the earth of Ayn Rand that others will never discover what terrors to the human race the collectivists really are. Through evasion they hope that others who can see as Ayn Rand does and are fully living life awake, alert, and possess the ability to add up the facts will continue to chase their tails in isolation—and keep their crazy conspiracy theories to themselves for the sake of the collective built upon the preservation of evasion.

Ayn Rand is at the center of a war of ideas in modern America. Those who like and enjoy her books whether or not they agree with everything she believed are on one side. Those who hate her with every fiber of their being are on the other. In the middle is a lot of mushy confusion which represents the “undecided” voters. Ayn Rand is as far away from a cult that the definition can conger up. The reality is that people who don’t like her most likely have not yet evolved far enough along in their own minds to grapple with her concepts which are rooted in basic truths. So beware of those who call her a “cult leader” or any other diabolical term. The real villains are those who say such things off their forked tongues disguising through evasion the merits of their ignorance. Such enemies can be crushed with the truth, so wield it at them without mercy and don’t fret when their silly feelings are damaged, because in so doing, you may actually save them from the ignorance of themselves and their grand illusions.

Read my review of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead for more info, CLICK HERE.

Rich Hoffman

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“Community Conversations” at Lakota: Why a “NO” vote is the taxpayer’s STRIKE

Do you want to know what spending $160,000 tax payer dollars buys you? Well, at the Lakota School System which is in my home district, it buys a lot. I have sent dozens and dozens of Letters to the Editor over the years to The Pulse Journal, which is my hometown paper, and I have never received so much grief as I did when I submitted the letter below in direct response to Karen Mantia’s announcement of her “Community Conversations” program, which is essentially a new way to spin the old Delphi Technique, which has been covered at this site extensively. You can read about Mantia’s announcement of this new program which is starting to hit Lakota neighborhood streets as this posting is going up on Thursday, September 13, 2012.  CLICK HERE to review that article. 

The letter I submitted this past week came back at me and the reporters tried to explain my figure of $160,000 spent on “Community Conversations” was wrong and that if I wanted to revise my statement I could try again in the future. Further, they let me know that the real number for how much Lakota is spending on their “Community Conversations” program was only $40,000, which is true if one only looks at that small piece of the pie. But I explained to them that I considered all the money spent on public relations to be direct factors into how much the school district was willing to spend on passing another levy, and that number was $160,000 as outlined by their own article on the matter seen at the below link.

http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/school-dedicates-160k-to-community-relations/nQC4W/

I told them that if they didn’t want to publish my letter that I’d find another way. From my view point, my letter will be seen by more people if I publish it here on Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom than in The Pulse Journal, but I wanted to give the paper the opportunity to show that they were not lap dogs for the Lakota School System. But their response showed that they are clearly in line with the public relations strategy that the school has formulated for the 2012 school year, which is to clean up their image, and lay the foundations for a levy increase when the LEA contract expires in 2014. By then, they hope that the public has forgotten all this levy failure mess, and they can begin to inject more money into their unmanaged budget with tax increases and smiling faces convincing everyone that it’s “all for the children.”

To get an idea of the kind of lap dog reporting I’m referring to, that hiring public relations specialists will purchase, have a look at the latest Michael Clark article from The Cincinnati Enquirer as seen below. This is what I wanted to give The Pulse Journal the opportunity to dispute, but they obviously showed their leanings, which is perfectly fair. But they cannot wonder why people will seek out other sources to get their news, if the newspapers simply become purchased advocates for the union controlled education system.

http://westchesterbuzz.com/2012/09/10/lakota-high-schools-welcome-two-new-principals/

My article as I wrote it appears below. I had originally thought the real public relations number was between $165K to $167K but I was willing to concede to the $160K number reported by The Pulse Journal. However, the spirit of the letter was to convey the disrespect the district was showing by refusing to listen to the vote of the tax payers in the previous three levy attempts. The district was instructed in face to face conversations how to manage their finances, which is reflected in the letter below and they have ignored those instructions. Instead, they have elected to purchase advocats for higher taxes to build consensus among just enough voters to turn the numbers in their favor on the next levy attempt which they plan before the 2014 LEA contract is up. As Karen Mantia said, Lakota does not have a levy on the ballot this year, but it soon will, which make no mistake about it, the “Community Conversations” is directly attempting to ease community tensions enough to pass a future levy. That is why my letter below is worded the way that it is:

I find it arrogant that Karen Mantia from Lakota made mentioned she was seeking hosts for the “community conversations” program that Lakota is spending $160,000 tax payer dollars on in order to find out what the community wants. After three failed levies I would have thought they would have figured everything out by now. So let me reiterate what Lakota should have already been doing all along, but need to implement before the LEA contract is up in 2014, where the union employees will expect a restoration of their pay increases, wrecking the budget and dictating another levy attempt.

Lakota is expected to provide an excellent school system that is one of the best in Ohio. Lakota is expected also to lessen its tax footprint on the community for which it resides. Lakota is expected to acknowledge that it has declining enrollment and should have no problem balancing its budget now that fewer students are attending school in a community with fewer households in the district with children in them. Lakota is expected to force its employees to take a 5% pay reduction before it ever considers another levy. Tax increases impact businesses at a much higher rate than the residents will have to pay. And Lakota is expected to push its high dollar employees off the payroll in exchange for younger, cheaper employees to keep its budget under control.

Very easy—and Lakota could have saved $160,000 to learn it. All they had to do was read this paper.

Rich Hoffman

Currently in Chicago the teachers are on strike turning down a 16% increase in wages. They are demanding a 30% raise and are presently marching around the streets of Chicago leaving the children high and dry, proving that the unions do not give a damn about any children. In 2008 Lakota had their union threaten a strike which forced the school board to cave under the pressure and give all the teachers a pay increase, which caused a budget deficit forcing Lakota to attempt to pass three school levies to balance their budget. People like me, fought those tax increases because we don’t like what the union did, and I refuse to give them more of my money for their despicable acts against my community. My argument from day one was not against the Lakota School Board or even the administrators, it was with the unions that control public education and I decided a few years ago that I would not support them any longer. I will not support a system that feeds them even indirectly, and I want their hooks out of my community. My anger comes when the school superintendent and school board members apologize for their lack of management by siding with the unions because they fear the kind of strikes that Chicago is currently going through, and Lakota went through just four years ago more than they do the voters.

When I organized a tax resistance against Lakota’s levy attempt I did it as a citizen strike against the union demands. A “NO” vote is the only voice a tax payer has, and it is the job of the school management to listen. At Lakota when they decided to hire public relations personnel to attack the NO voters, which is what they are doing, they are telling people like me that they fear the teachers union more than they fear my ability to organize against their school levy, and that is an insult.

When after three votes to decline tax increase proposals, the school district elected to spend $160,000 to attack the position of the NO vote, that action is a declaration of support in favor of the Lakota teacher’s union, which is the cause of all the financial trouble. If the school spent $160,000 of tax payer money trying to undo the position of the teacher’s union I would consider the money well spent, but instead they are attacking those who are refusing to pay additional taxes to support a greedy labor union.

In essence, a NO vote isn’t any different than what the teachers union in Chicago is doing when they failed to report to work, or Lakota attempted the same in protest over their pay and insurance contributions, only the NO voters have a right, and obligation to say NO. The unions do not have a right to the money they are asking for and if they refuse to work due to a strike, then the job of management in the school system in question has an obligation to find employees who will do the work, because the tax payers paid for that work, and not for public employees to march around in the street holding signs and demanding infinite amounts of money. When a voter casts a NO vote, they are also on strike against the unions themselves, and for that the newspapers, the television stations and the schools owe those people the same respect they give to the pro union supporters, and if they don’t, they are guilty of supporting one side, and not the other.

That’s when the crime of using tax payer money, like what Lakota did, and The Pulse Journal debated with me over in my Letter to the Editor to attempt to erode away the NO vote, (THE TAXPAYERS STRIKE) becomes a serious matter. All supporters who pick the side of the union have declared that they respect the taxpayers who voted NO less than they do the teachers union who will threaten a strike on a whim to get what they want whenever they want it. And that is a mistake.

Without the taxpayer, there is no union. Without the taxpayer, there is no school. Without the taxpayer, there are no people to read the newspapers, or watch the news. Without the taxpayer there is nothing. It would be thought that there would be more respect given to the tax payer by all the parties above, but they don’t because in history the unions are far more radical and nasty to deal with, where the tax payer has been peaceful and shown themselves to be willing to be shoved around and bullied.

That is, until now…………………….

 

When Lakota tries their fourth levy attempt, they will learn that they had far less to fear from the unions than the taxpayer, and they will wish they did what I stated in my Letter to the Editor. They chose poorly in fearing the strike of the unions over the strike of the taxpayers.

Rich Hoffman

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Monroe Superintendent is Stepping Down: Being between a rock and a hard place

Right on queue Monroe Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli has indicated that she will be resigning from her position after the levy failure in August ahead of a November attempt. She says that the levy failure has nothing to do with her decision to give up an annual salary of $116,000 so she can work as a consultant for Butler County Educational Services, but the pattern is all too reminiscent of the behavior of the school districts’ immediate neighbor Lakota.

Two months after the levy defeat at Lakota in November of 2010 Mike Taylor retired stepping out of the heat that was brewing as it was revealed that the cause of the tax increase was due to excessively high teacher salaries, and that the superintendent had not even made an effort to manage his costs. In a video Taylor filmed before the 2010 levy attempt Taylor declared that teachers did not make enough for their intense 7.5 hour day 9 months out of the year, and that he thought teachers should be paid more!

Well it is that type of mismanagement of tax payer resources that have caused school districts all over Ohio to effectively go bankrupt, including Monroe which is now in a state fiscal emergency. If a superintendent who makes six figures isn’t going to manage the costs of their employees, then they are failures. Mike was smart to jump off the ship at Lakota because the game had been exposed, and he knew it. So he did the smart thing and retired.

Lakota actually improved their performance over the next 6 months without a superintendent which proved that the superintendent positions are just token occupations designed to shield school boards from direct responsibility when things go wrong. The superintendent is simply a spokesman for the schools and are more comparable to a public relations consultant whose sole propose is to pass tax increases than a CEO who runs a major company. Lakota prior to another levy attempt in the fall of 2011 hired the quarter million dollar double dipping delegator, the former retiree from Sycamore Schools Karen Mantia. Since bringing her on to exclusively pass a school levy Lakota has spent well over $250,000 in compensation on Mantia, plus another $160,000 dollars on public relations in just over a year’s time. Nearly half a million dollars alone has been spent on creating a positive public image for a school that is supposed to be teaching children. But the obvious function of the education jobs are to create government jobs with tax payer dollars and the superintendent is the guardian of that creation, not the regulation of cost. Superintendents are sold to the community as CEO’s, but their actual function is simply public relations. Mantia did nothing after Lakota’s levy failures to present to the education union a 5% reduction in their inflated wages and benefits in order to balance their budget; instead she participated in cutting electives, increasing sports fees, and aggressive busing reductions. The purpose of these measures were not to cut costs, but to punish the public for not passing a levy. (How do I know that? Because I am personal friends with several former and current school board members who have given me their notes from Levy University taught at their yearly OSBA conference in Columbus. Bet you won’t read about that in your local newspaper.)

The same type of extortion is going on at Monroe. Voters just turned down a vote in August yet the school board put another attempt on the ballot for November. Their intention is to keep putting a tax increase on the ballot until the public gives up resisting it. This is radical politics in the extreme and is a popular union tactic that is responsible for how the wages through collective bargaining drove up the labor costs of Lakota, and Monroe in the first place to average salaries of over $60K per year. Collective bargaining is the villain, since it is the “collective” body of the school employees who make demands through threats of strike to get short work days, extremely low health insurance costs, and 2% to 3% increases for all their years of employment. Teachers all through the previous decade would threaten to strike at the slightest mention of health insurance increases sending a strong message to school boards to not even attempt to regulate the wages, so nobody did.

The result is out-of-control budgets in all of Ohio’s 614 school districts and the only way they have to balance their budget is to increase taxes. This is the fault of the unions, and they are hiding in the backgrounds leaving school superintendents to take the bullets for them, people like Elizabeth Lolli who was paid six figures to put up and shut up. Monroe hopes that they can get a levy passed by parting ways with Lolli and blaming all their financial problems on their previous treasurer whom they are currently suing. But the fault is actually on all of them who constantly yielded to the union demands avoiding conflict like truck drivers avoid driving on an icy road.

What nobody has figured out is that these levy failures are the public’s way of striking back at the unions for their constant terrorism invoked through fear of work stoppages over the years, driving up their labor costs. When the public votes down a levy, they are saying, “NO” to the cost increases imposed on a school district, which is their way of managing the costs. The school board has an obligation to act on that vote, not cheerlead on behalf of the union who caused the problem in the first place. A “NO” vote is looked upon by the radical tax grabbers as a greedy, child hating enterprise, but where were the cares for the children when the teachers threatened to walk off the job because their health care was going up by .5%, or they demanded at 3% increase in pay instead of a 2%. Teachers who participated in those strikes are hypocrites and they are the cause of the current financial instability. When the public says “NO” to a school levy, they mean it. And when a public official at the local school board, or the state decide they are going to be arrogant enough to put another levy on the ballot the day after the public voted the tax increase down, they are proclaiming to the world that they are too spineless, and arrogant to listen to the public mandate, and that they will ram the issue down the throat of the public until the “NO” votes becomes a “YES” vote. And every person who participates in that process should lose their job.

Elizabeth Lolli knows she’s caught between a rock and a hard place just as Lakota’s Mike Taylor knew it, and the best thing to do these days is to take the money and run, because the money tree isn’t shaking any more. Tax payers have realized that they are being scammed and they don’t like it. And the unions wouldn’t dare attempt to threaten a strike now that people are on to their game, so the “NO” votes are getting bolder—finally. People for the first time in over a decade are openly voicing their opinion about these money scams coming from public education and they resent having their children wrapped up in the ordeal. There is a real and growing anger at the entire public education funding process. I’m so fed up with it that I think all parents should home school their children, because I don’t like the product public schools are producing. It certainly isn’t worth the massive amounts of money we throw at it. For the $2000 to $3000 I spend per year on property taxes, I’d rather save the money and take my family to Disney World than provide a baby sitting service for the young busy parents who live in my school district and more people are beginning to feel as I do, which is very bad for the public school unions—who I don’t think have a legal right to even exist.

So it’s no mystery that Monroe’s Superintendent Lolli is stepping down, because the writing is on the wall. She knows it and the school board knows it, and the union knows the mud is on their hands. If I were a superintendent I wouldn’t want to be in the situation either, even for a six figure income to simply be a public relations mouthpiece. Because before too long, the guilt overtakes the comfort that the money brings, and the heat in the kitchen is just too great. And the heat is very hot in the kitchen right now, and it’s about to get a lot hotter. Believe me, I know first hand. The only adults in the room on this whole education issue are the people who vote “NO” and deep down inside all the school board members know it, and the superintendents do as well. Because logic is on the side of the people who are declaring that the spending increases on salaries and benefits in public education have to be pulled down to reality, but the unions won’t budge leaving the school superintendent to be squashed in the middle. Superintendents like Lakota’s Mantia puts herself in that difficult situation willingly accepting she couldn’t get a job anywhere else as easy as a school superintendent and make so much money. So the public pressure is worth the financial return for her. But for people like Lolli, and Taylor, who can see where this funding road is going, they have logically and wisely decided to remove themselves from the debate which will be a loss for them no matter which way a vote in November dictates.

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Allen High School Spends $60 Million on a New Stadium: The truth about school sports

Keep in mind before I say what will surely infuriate many that I spent much of my previous Friday evening listening to the pre-season football game between my favorite NFL team The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Miami Dolphins. I enjoy the combat of a football game. I understand the drama of sporting events. I have known, and currently know many people who memorize sports stats and pour a lot of personal time and energy into sports as their premier entertainment. I know many people who spend their Friday nights going to football games for their local high school in the fall; have block parties in their cul-de-sacs on Saturdays when Ohio State plays Michigan, then tail gate on Sunday down at Paul Brown Stadium for The Cincinnati Bengals. These same people will rattle off statistics of sport players with great conviction, but couldn’t begin to tell you who Rob Portman is–the State of Ohio Senator who has been a potential candidate for Vice-President of The United States. They drink a lot, and take great pride in losing their senses to drunkenness, and in spite of those human faults, I still enjoy the fanfare of sports.

In Texas, as displayed to the outside world quite wonderfully in the film Friday Night Lights, high school football is the centerpiece of small town entertainment, and it does bond the community together in ways that defy logic. I could write books on why this is destructive in that it shows a tendency toward collectivism that is ultimately disparaging, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that small town politics in the state of Texas loves their Friday night football. It’s an obsession really, so much so that tax payers in Allen, Texas passed a bond package with 63.66 percent of the vote from the booming suburb of north Dallas worth $119.4 million dollars, $60 million of which was designated to building a state-of-the-art stadium for their high school football team.

For the kids who play football in Allen they will play under the Friday Night Lights for their community in a stadium that rivals what many of the stadiums for professional teams play in. 8,252 people signed up for season tickets ranging in price from $40 dollars a game to $8 and they plan to sell out several of their games in the 18,000 seat arena in a town that has a population of 84,236, which is smaller than the Lakota School District in Cincinnati. The demand for football in Allen is so intense that 1 out of every 4 people plan to attend football games at the new stadium.

The residents of Allen have a median household income of $100,843, which is about $10,000 more than the wealthy area of Lakota due in large part to all the businesses that are locating to the area because of Texas pro-business attitudes. Many of the jobs that aren’t in your town because of intense regulation and high taxes are probably in Texas or thinking about it currently. And when people have plenty of money in their pocket they tend to be generous by passing tax increases on themselves without a thought of future sustainability. The people of Allen have the money and they wish to spend it on a football stadium for their local high school, and that’s that. This has led to severe criticism from people outside of Allen who don’t understand why the people of that Texas town will spend so much money on a football stadium when the state of education is so poor in America. Well, the answer is rather harsh, but must be understood in order to be truthful about the real nature of support a community has for their local schools when discussions of tax increases arise. People like to watch violence and mayhem. They love to see gladiators on the battlefield punishing other players in a quest to score a point. Those same audiences do not show up to watch some kid take a math test.

All public schools and all large college campuses use their sports programs to drive their funding models for their education institutions. “Jocks” are treated as special in schools because the school acknowledges the gladiators as the life blood of their existence. Without the Friday Night Lights, without football, schools are boring places of history, art, math and science. Only a few kids in each grade class excel in those categories and go on to become esteemed world-wide scientists or mathematicians. Most parents would rather give birth to the next Payton Manning rather than Albert Einstein and it shows in schools by what parents support. In Allen, Taxes they are just being honest about their priorities. They are not functioning from illusion. When it comes down to it, people do not care about educating a bunch of inner city kids on how to bake a cake in home economics. They don’t care if a 1000 nerds score a perfect 2400 on their SAT scores. But they do care if a kid is 6-4 and weighs 280 pounds in his junior year and can play as a guard on the offensive line protecting the team quarterback. In essence, they care about their own entertainment on a Friday Night, because once the game is over, they are back to their own lives looking forward to the next game.

On a typical Saturday during football season most men will sift through the political section of a newspaper and read intently the sports stats from the game on Friday. On Monday morning he will be able to go into his workplace and impress his co-workers with his vast knowledge about the tackles that 6’, 4” 280 pound kid had in Friday’s football game. He might even claim to know the boy’s father hoping that such a revelation will impress his co-workers with is access to celebrity. But nobody sits around the water cooler talking about how a kid from their public school won a spelling competition, or won an academic scholarship to Yale due to academic excellence in high school physics.

Schools are very aware of this leverage they have over the community. Locally, around the Cincinnati area the closest thing we have to the Texas Friday Night Lights experience is Colerain Football. Already, the band leaders in that town are letting it be known that if residents don’t pass a school levy this November that there will be cuts to the football program, and the band that plays for them. They know as school officials that the community cares about sports, but not about the positions of assistant art teachers, so the threat is directed and quite intentional. At Lakota in my home district, after three failed levies, the district cut off its nose to spite its face threatening to hurt the parents of the district by charging players $550 per sport for each player in order to force levy passage which has ended up backfiring. Lakota isn’t Allen, Texas; people are more indifferent to their Friday Night Football. If it’s there, fine, if not, they’ll go to a movie and out to dinner instead. The only parents who really feel passionate about football like they do in Texas are the parents who are hoping their kid wins a scholarship to college which will save them tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition. Lakota took bad advice from the classes the school board attended at Levy University in Columbus, Ohio that the OSBA puts on every year. In that class they learned that to pass tax increases that public transportation and sports are what motivate voters to throw more money at a public school. If those things don’t work, then nothing will. At Lakota, to make up for picking the wrong strategy in winning the hearts of the community, they have had to spend $160,000 on public relations to attempt to win back community support, which they won’t get as long as 1500 kids are being charged $550 to play sports.

Penn State covered up the sex crimes they all knew about because they understood that it was Penn State Football that drove new enrollment, and therefore revenue to their university. It is sports that drive education, not academics. In Allen, Texas at least they aren’t trying to deceive themselves in being so high-brow to not wish for the blood lust of violent impacts under the Friday Night Lights of their new $60 million dollar stadium. Nobody really cares about “education.” This is well-known, it’s just not publicly acknowledged. The people of Allen are not going to pour $60 million dollars into a program to help the poor and needy. They are not going to give it to a bunch of fools who want to build solar panels and wind mills. They are not going to give it to a bunch of socialist teachers who want to save the world with world peace. In polite conversation the tax payers will utter support for such things, but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, they spend it on blood, broken bones, and drama on a fourth and goal. Everything else is a waste of time and that is the key to the education funding structure. Without the Friday Night Lights, public education is just another stale experience that could easily be replaced with online classes.

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