Chairman’s Thoughts, September 2008

By Tim Rudd
Clermont County Republican Party Chairperson

There has been a lot of loose talk about “one party rule” and “corruption”. To listen to some you would believe that all members of a party should be judged by the actions of one or a few members. Individual members may be corrupt or unethical but it would be unthinkable that all members would be corrupt.

If you wish to judge all by actions of a few then a quick review may be relevant. Former Democrat Attorney General Marc Dann’s misdeeds in office are still good for headlines alleging misspent funds, sexual harassment suits, and various forms of cronyism. Dann ran on a mantra of “change” but later admitted publicly that he was not ready to serve in office. Democrat Cuyahoga County Recorder Patrick O’Malley was forced to resign after a federal obscenity charge while his fellow Democrat County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and County Auditor Frank Russo face possible federal grand jury corruption charges after raids by the FBI and IRS. I could elaborate further but my point is you can’t judge all by the actions of a few.

Any perceived or real problem at the countywide level was handled by the Republican primary voters . Taking the lead of the party they overwhelmingly rejected the incumbent in question and placed Ed Humphrey, a man of integrity with years of business and civic experience, on the ballot for county commissioner. The Republican voters showed they were attentive and we are confident that they will handle any future real or perceived problems at any level of government at the appropriate election.

What seems to get lost in the discussion is how the problems came to light. Republican State Auditor Mary Taylor made the findings in a state audit and referred them to the Ohio Ethics Commission. You could argue “well that’s her job” as surely as it is. Consider Mary Taylor came into an overwhelmingly Republican county, a county that provided her winning margin in 2006, and had the guts to issue findings against an entrenched incumbent and issue such findings to the Ohio Ethics Commission. Courageous Republican women seem to be coming to the forefront these days, a phenomenon that we look forward to being repeated. Between the Republican primary voters and Mary Taylor’s action it should totally deny the notion that we won’t clean our own house.

Did you hear about the 2007county audit completed by the Auditor of State – no big headlines blaring “Good News”. In the audit conducted this year there were no “findings” made against the county – an outcome not unusual for Clermont County. There is another outcome which was highly unusual. There were no recommendations or suggestions from the State Auditor on how your county office holders could improve. Highly unusual but highly indicative of the county government that the overwhelming majority of your county officeholders provide. From the top of our ticket, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, to the bottom we are providing candidates with experience you can trust – no rookies here.