Whatever Happened to Rich Hoffman: The demands of the moment shadow the heroics of the past

A good friend of mine was in one of those online chat areas when a discussion about me came up, so he shared the contents. Below is a bit of that conversation where a couple of people were doing some remember when’s in regard to my activity with the No Lakota Levy effort. What struck me was that there is a belief that I left the Lakota area so for those who wonder about such things I am writing this to correct the record.  To answer the question that lingers for many people I still do radio and television from time to time.  For instance here is a CNN bit I did for Trump just a few weeks ago.  I am still very active in many efforts and I lend myself where needed, often,  Here is what they said:

Jon Kennedy at one time there was a guy that had all the info on the schools and what they did with a lot of money that was in the bank he showed that the school broad loaned money for road projects to be done or paid for them I cant remember all of it but they spent a lot of money on roads and I think they did not get the money back and then they were in the hole and that’s when they start asking for more from the people in tax’s I sure wish I could find all that info you would not believe what they did

Lynda Zammit I think the person you may be looking for is Rich Hoffman. He brought all kinds of nasties forward about the district administration between 2005 and 2013 and they did everything they could to shut him up and lock him up. He left the area right after the November 2013 levy passed (by 241 votes!) and right before April 2014 when they did exactly what he said they were going to do – give themselves $2,000,000 in raises while cuts remaine

Jon Kennedy wow they locked him up

Lynda Zammit Jon Kennedy No – but they tried to. He left the area in 2014. They were also doing crazy things like hiring people to take signs down encouraging people to vote no on levies. Crazy times. His blog is still going though, he’s very vocal about a lot of things

Jon Kennedy ye I look all over I can not find that info but the guy lead the vote no on are schools for years and if I remember right they funded the 747 deal and union center over pass if I remember right

In all honesty, if they could have locked me up they would have but because of our good efforts with No Lakota Levy we forced the teacher’s union to behave in ways they weren’t used to. Also to their credit the school board did listen to our issues and have made attempts to manage their budget—only in the vacuum of a weakened teacher’s union that knew if they went on strike that I would personally eviscerate them in both the media and in any other form they chose. They did pass their levy in 2013 when some of our No Lakota Levy people broke ranks falling for the same kind of stuff that is being thrown at Donald Trump now—and Sheriff Jones did the very un-Republican thing to do and that was come out in favor of the tax increase so that he could put his cops in more buildings as fear of mass shootings in schools was a hot progressive topic at the time, so that pushed their vote count over the threshold. And as the commentators remembered, Lakota did exactly what I said they’d do.

After that vote I went back to work since I knew it would be a while before Lakota would try another levy. People have to remember that I’m a person who is in my prime income making years so it was quite a sacrifice to take the period from 2005 to 2013 to fight public school levies because that’s not a very popular thing to do. When people meet you it doesn’t paint a picture of solidarity—they tend to think of you as a radical so there is a cost that most people don’t feel they can shoulder. But I have a great reputation and can stand quite a lot so I offered myself to the cause. When it was over I went to work on the next big thing, a big international project that I’ve been working on for the last four years that involves many countries, travel and long work days—a minimum of 12 hours per day. It’s not uncommon for me to work 20-hour days because that’s what it takes to be successful at things—especially hard things. But for the record I never left the area of Lakota. I’m just busy on my next project. When I get involved in something I jump all in and it becomes most of my life. There will come a time when I will move on to the next thing and when that happens I’ll do it gladly.

I did get to speak to the Lakota school board leadership over the winter and we had a nice talk under pleasant circumstances. They don’t plan to go for another tax increase until after 2020 and I let them know that I’d fight them on it when they did. They didn’t listen to me on their new superintendent, they paid him more than the governor of Ohio instead of the $80K I suggested. They will say that’s market value. I say it’s an artificially inflated cost, and we’ll fight that out next time. So long as they aren’t asking for more money, I have better things to worry about—and I do. I would have liked to see more challengers for the school board elections this fall but most people don’t want to get involved, just like they were more than happy to fall in behind me during the Lakota levy fights. So long as I lent my reputation for everyone to throw darts at, people were very courageous. But the moment they had the slightest exposure or had to show courage in standing behind me, they buckled, and that’s why nobody wanted to go on the school board. Lots of people want to talk, but nobody wants to stand for anything. I knew that going in and I know that going forward and I’ll do it again when needed. But I’m not going to joust windmills just for the attention of doing so. When there’s a fight—I’ll be there. When there’s not a fight—I’ll do something productive elsewhere.

I suppose that’s why people think I left the area, even though I do get out and about often and I’m not shy about it. Fighting levies is not my calling card to being remembered which I suppose a lot of people might be prone to become seduced by. They may even use it to acquire public office which a lot of people thought I was after. No, there is a lot more money to be made in the private sector. I hate the slowness of government. Right now actually I am dealing with the patent office in Washington D.C. and several attorneys in between and it’s a miserable experience, much like dealing with government as a member of the school board or some other position. It is hard and takes a lot out of you to deal with mundane—boring people who are entrenched government employees. But I expect to be paid for these kinds of things. I certainly don’t do them for fun, and public office to me would be miserable because you are dealing with people like that every day. Maybe when I’m older and retired I’d do it to stay sharp, but I don’t have the time to give to it now because there is money to be made and I have an obligation to myself and my family to do it. So I’m still around. But when there’s a fight to fight—I’ll be right there. In the meantime, there are many other things to do.

Rich Hoffman

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2 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Rich Hoffman: The demands of the moment shadow the heroics of the past

  1. Glad to know you are still with us. For some reason back in 2013 when you said you wanted a divorce from Lakota I thought you got it and left! My bad! In 2004 it seemed like I was still so young and not paying much attention to what was happening around me. You opened my eyes and they’ve been open since and I thank you for that.

    Joan Powell is running for West Chester Board of Trustees this Fall. I can’t devote my whole life to it but I hope I can get vocal enough to open some eyes myself. What a disaster that poison would be injected into our local government.

    Take care, and I wish you success with your current project. 12-20 hours a day is a lot of work. Safe travels.

    Lynda Zammit


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