Conservative Leaders reject direction of Ohio Republican Party

On March 21, 2013, a statewide coalition of 83 social and fiscal conservative leaders from across Ohio announced a rejection of the current directions of the state Republican leadership.


While signers of the statement put emphases on different policies, all signers believe Ohio is best served with limited government and low taxation, affirm the definition of marriage as one man and one woman as specified in Ohio’s Constitution, stand for the right to life for unborn children, and believe that the State Republican Party Chairman should reflect and fight for these values. 

In recent months, Ohio has seen Governor John Kasich propose a “tax shift” unfairly targeting certain landowners and creating a drag on energy exploration, recommend the expansion of a failing Medicaid program, and propose an increasing budget. 

Senator Rob Portman has reversed course, defying a key plank of the Republican Party Platform to support same-sex marriage. This dismisses the views of roughly 3.3 million Ohioans who in 2004 voted for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman. 

Finally, this week, the elected statewide Republican officials declared their support for Matt Borges to replace Bob Bennett as Ohio Republican Party Chairman. Dismissing other potential candidates, these statewide Republican officials endorsed Borges, a man who plead guilty to a misdemeanor for improper use of public office in a bribery investigation and served as a lobbyist for the liberal homosexual activist group, Equality Ohio. 

This statement of rejection is not personal – the individuals above have reasons and explanations for their actions. Nor is this statement designed to elicit a specific response. This statement is to inform the public that we have not moved on these issues and we will not accept leadership which is inconsistent with the principles of the Republican Party. 

Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, said, “The leaders of the Republican Party in Ohio have chosen to separate themselves and the party from the wishes and values of their support base. Not just liberty group members and social conservative voters, but rank and file registered Republican voters who overwhelmingly voted for the Ohio Healthcare Amendment. With this letter we put the party bosses on notice that we reject their betrayal of the party platform and our conservative values. We will not support them going forward but will instead support those who are true to our cause.” 

“With sadness I put my name on this statement,” said Seth Morgan, former State Representative and Conservative Coalition Leader. “Never have I been more concerned for the direction of our state and country – largely due to a failure in leadership. Why would the Republican leaders put themselves at odds with sound public policy and the platform of their own party?” 

“Some of our Republican officials seem hell-bent on alienating conservative voters and volunteers, which reduces voter turnout. They ignore the GOP platform, choosing to put themselves outside the mainstream of our party base,” said Lori Viars, Vice President of Warren County Right To Life, who also serves as Vice Chair of Warren County Republican Party. 

The signers below agree with this statement and call on like-minded conservative Ohioans to organize and prepare for the challenges we are facing. 

***Titles / organizations for identification purposes only.

Seth Morgan,Former State Representative and Conservative Coalition Leader

Tom Zawistowski, President, We the People Convention; Executive Director, Portage County TEA Party

Lori Viars, Vice President, Warren County Right To Life

Bobbi Radeck, State Director, Concerned Women for America

Linda HarveyRadio Host andPresident, Mission America

Don Birdsall, President, Dayton TEA Party

Joseph Platt, Esq., Board Member, Family First

Andrew Pappas, Leader, Anderson Tea Party

Pastor Andy Douglas, Director, Christians for Constitutional Awareness

Linda Reidelbach, Former State Representative; Delaware County Republican Central Committee member

Tom Brinkman, Jr., Former State Representative; Chairman of C.O.A.S.T. (Coalition Opposed To Additional Spending & Taxes)

Mark Stevenson, Founder,Ohioans For Educational Freedom

Sue Hardenbergh, Hamilton Co. Republican Central Committee Member

John McAvoy, Board of Directors, NW Ohio Conservative Coalition

Janet (Folger) Porter, President, Faith2Action; Former Republican State Central Committee Member

Ryan Bolyard, Wayne County, Ohio; President, Hillsdale College Republicans

Paula Bolyard, Doylestown, Ohio; Conservative Blogger

Roseann Siderits, Board Member, Family First

Pastor J.C. Church, President of 3 Cord Alliance, Crawford County, Ohio

Marianne Gasiecki, State Co-Coordinator (OH), Tea Party Patriots

Wendy Sizemore, Leader, Pickaway County 9-12 Project Liberty Group

Glenn Newman, Founder, Marietta 9-12 Project

Randy Wilson, National Director, Watchmen on the Wall

Thea Shoemake, Homeschool Leader; Former Vice Chair of Clermont Co. Republican Central Committee

Ralph Spampanato, Director, Stark - Tusc 9-12

Pastor Norman R. Perkins, Reaching for Success, Dayton, Ohio

Dana R. Adams, President, Akron Tea Party

Jim Green, President, North Central Ohio Conservatives, Inc.

Amy Brighton, Co-Founder & Co-Coordinator, Medina Tea Party Patriots

George & Darla Lee, Steering Committee Member, Auglaize County Patriots

Linda S. Barry, Steering Committee Member, Auglaize County Patriots

William E. Barry, Steering Committee Member, Auglaize County Patriots

Nelson Hack, Founder & Coordinator, Morrow County Tea Party

John Rhoad, Fayette County Coordinator, Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom

Connie Thompson, Athens, Ohio 9-12 Project

Margaret W. Hunt, Secretary, Geauga County Tea Party

Duane A. Plessinger, Director, Wayne County TEA Party; Member, Wayne Co. Republican Executive Committee

Anna Rehl, Founder, Licking County Organizing for Freedom

Patricia Eshleman, Leadership Team, Preble County Liberty Group

James W. Hellyer, Chairman, Licking County Tea Party

Judith L. Guju, Hamilton County Republican Central Committee

Mike Snead, President, Beavercreek Liberty Group

Andrew E. Russ, Esq., Counsel for Ohio TEA Party & Patriot Groups

Sharon Blocher, Stark - Tusc 9-12 Patriots

Van Pratt, President, Clinton County Tea Party

Mark Haverkos, Butler County Republican Central Committee

Beth Cox, Preble County Liberty Group

Richard Geyer, President, Society of Conservatives, United for Independence, Representative Republic, Equality & Liberty (SCUIRREL)

George Momirov, Director, Upper Arlington 9-12 Group

Ethlyn Kennedy, Treasurer, Lorain County 9-12 Tea Party

Jeff Malek, Founder, Wadsworth 9-12 Group

Bonnie Arnold, Marietta 9-12 Project

All 83 original signers can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/OhioConservatives

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Conservative Leaders in Ohio

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Complete list of all 83 original signers on Press Statement can be viewed here:   



Press Coverage:

***10 TV News   

***Toledo Blade   






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