Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Slate Card Shenangians: Nick Owens, Stand Up Guy, Responds

In a previous post at WMD, I discussed how one of the things that cost Jean Schmidt the election was the printing of slate cards that ticked off the Clermont County Central Committee and brought a fractured committee together with the purpose of defeating Jean and those who were thought to be in collusion with her, like Don White. I intimated that Nick Owens, since his name was on the ballot, was in simpatico with Team Schmidt. This is not the case. Nick Owens, a young man whom I am respecting more and more based on his integrity and frankness, replied to me and gave his side of the story:
I was just reading your post on Weapons about the March 6th elections. First of all I want to make it clear I was not involved in any way regarding the sample ballot fiasco and my name being put on it. I have heard like you have from countless people that Paul Hall was asked to be on the slate card. I was not asked and nor did I ask to be put on it. People don’t have to believe me. But again I state, I was not asked nor did I ask to be placed on the card. (As I was also not asked if I wanted to be in Jean’s last commercial. For the record, my answer would have been no because the footage was old and although I think highly of the Congresswoman – I was running my own race.)

Admittedly, I had heard rumblings of such a slate card from both my former colleagues and friends of Jean’s office and from within the Clermont County Republican Party. Frankly, the first time I heard of a possible alternative slate card was from Chairman Tim Rudd during a Central Committee meeting in January. At that meeting he mentioned that a group might be putting one together and that they were beefing up the design of the current slate card to more adequately reflect the source of the slate card and to differentiate it from any potential knock offs.

It’s unfortunate if anyone because of this is associating me with any type of dirty campaigning. I spoke with Rick Herron about this Friday night at the Clermont Lincoln Day as he mentioned it to me. I hope to have a successful career in politics and I certainly don’t want to be known from the beginning as a dirty campaigner. I have heard from many people who think the slate card hurt me. I don’t know if it did or didn’t. Regardless, slate card or no slate card the results reflect I wasn’t going to beat Doug Green with two people fracturing the Clermont County vote. Frankly, I take solace in finishing second and beating the Clermont Tea Party candidate. The same candidate who was considered well qualified by the Clermont Republican Party.

I believe other candidates many unopposed ones were used unknowingly on the slate card to try and give it more of a authentic look. (For example, all the unopposed races were listed, which included some candidates that supported Vince Faris etc.) Also, Vince Faris was my t-ball coach at Batavia. I have known him for more than 23 years – the most of anyone in politics. On the day of the election, my supporters only handed out my literature or emery boards.

I believe Nick Owens. He did not have to share his intel with me or write back in any way. However, he took the time and did the stand up thing. Nick, indeed, is young in age, but I think he has a good future if we don't throw him out with the bathwater in this mess. The slate card shenanigans was a bad idea by White and Team Schmidt, and I hope that Nick is not a victim of this internecine warfare among factions in Clermont County. Nick is a good young man with strong conservative values. I thank him for taking the time to reply.