Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Senate Dist. 14 Central Committeeman Stands Up to Bob Bennett and Squish ORP

From the Notice:
The appointment of Matt Borges
to the position of executive director of the ORP by Chairman Bennett cannot stand.

It is outrageous that a person with such a checkered past and working as a lobbyist for a Gay and Lesbian Organization promoting same sex marriage is not what the ORP needs to present to voters going into this falls election.

At the last SCC meeting I voted against Kevin Dewine being appointed to any position outside of his newly elected one on the committee itself. I felt his actions as Chairman harmed the ORP and he should simply step away quietly. I felt it was a matter of ethics. When you bend the rules and then break them publicly you must be shamed and pay the price. You are not to be given public praise and gifts and then awarded a position of influence.

It was for the fear of what is coming next that I voted "nay".

Now, since the SCC stood for nothing regarding ethical behavior before, we get this.

Will you join me on Friday, and request that Chairman Bennett withdraws the appointment of Mr. Borges? If you will not then I only ask you this.....what will come next?


Scott A. Nichols
Senate District 14

**If you are not part of SCC, but a precinct committee person in Senate District 14, I ask you to contact Chairman Bennett and join me in asking for Matt Borges appointment to be withdrawn.

Chairman Bennett contact info:

Mr. Nichols is the gentleman who took over for my Senate District, formerly occupied by Dr. No himself, John Becker. Mr. Becker is running for a statehouse seat, so he could no longer serve on the Central Committee.

Matt Borges is a lobbyist based in Columbus. The Dispatch has more:
Matt Borges is a lobbyist for Equality Ohio, founded in 2005 by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists after Ohio voters’ passage of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

He’s also the new executive director of the Ohio Republican Party.

Borges, recently named to his role by Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett, said he will take a leave of absence from the Columbus lobbying firm Roetzel & Andress through the end of the year and will resign as a lobbyist registered with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.

His leave will begin soon — there’s one little-known bill in the legislature of interest to a client he’d like to see through — and will include a hiatus from lobbying for his 16 clients currently registered with the state. They include the MetroHealth System of Cleveland and Akron public schools.

As the executive director for Gov. John Kasich’s inauguration committee, Borges said he’s a member of the “Kasich gang” and is aware of Kasich’s repeated, public denunciations of the influence lobbyists have on state government.

“I understand the appearance part of that, and I am a guy who has to be very concerned about appearances,” said Borges, also referring in part to a 2004 misdemeanor conviction related to soliciting illicit campaign contributions that was later expunged from his record.

“I don’t want to leave anybody with a wrong impression.”

Bennett, who returned to his longtime post as GOP chairman in April after the Kasich camp’s victory over then-Chairman Kevin DeWine in a bitter fight for party control, said he’s already resigned as a lobbyist. It’s not illegal for someone to be a registered lobbyist and work for the state party.

This is stupid all the way around. First, the gay and lesbian issue is a non starter in Ohio. We have that whole defense of marriage thing. Also, it is a non-starter nationally. Once again, Bob Bennett has put his fingers to the political winds only to find them stuck to focusing on squish moderates. Ohio has spoken on the issue of gay marriage. Having someone who was hired to change that does not speak well of the Republican image for respecting law and order, especailly since it was Republicans who put that law into place. Also, we have seen how just making a move to get a splash for political correctness has fared: Obama has lost points not necessarily because he supports gay marriage but because most people view his little quip for what it is: taking advantage of an issue for political gain.

A second reason this appointment is stupid is that it rails against everything Kasich is griping about when it comes to lobbyists. The Dispatch story talks about Kasich's position about not liking lobbyists jumping into government or having influence. What the hell do you think this is? It makes Kasich and the Republicans look as hypocritical as Obama when Obama said he wouldn't have a White House filled with lobbyists and then went out and, well...hired a bunch of lobbyists.

A third reason this appointment is a bad idea is that Borges comes not only with the homosexuality lobbying tag, but also with scandal. Even though, as the Dispatch pointed out, the offense was expunged from his record, he still has the smell of scandal.

So we are in effect pulling an Obama. Obama told religious people to screw off with the contraception mandate and the gay marriage thing. We are telling CCV we don't need your vast organization efforts anymore, essentially. Also, we are telling people that past offenses don't mean anything. What next? We welcome Tom Noe and others back to the fold with open arms?

I thought Kevin DeWine was bad and needed to go. However, Bob Bennett is worse. He is an old crook from the past who, despite letting Tom Noe and others run wild with party money, was let back into the castle after being thrown out. Bad idea all around. If Obama didn't suck so bad, I would daresay this Bennett regime and this whole Borges appointment might be a game changer. It certainly doesn't bode well for "unity" or "having the grassroots fired up" unless you mean p**sed off at leadership.

I stand with Scott Nichols and the majority of not just Ohio Republicans, but Ohioans. Matt Borges needs to go.