Ann Becker Sworn in as a West Chester Trustee: Everyone loves a winner

I thought it was ironic that the same day Donald Trump won his case in court for his appointment to head the CFPD that my friend Ann Becker was sworn in as the new West Chester Township Trustee. What they had in common was they were both ushered in on the backs of victory where opposing forces had once been hard lined against them.  The key wins in elected offices had solidified sentiment toward a productive outcome. Former political adversaries had been united under the banner of victory and that is truly something wonderful. I sat in the back of Ann’s swearing ceremony, which made the video below a little hard to hear, because I wanted a nice panoramic of the packed audience. There were many there to show their support for Ann who were certainly no fans of her just three years ago. But Ann had shown wonderful leadership in helping get people elected into key Central Committee positions and she was a paramount figure in helping Donald Trump get elected in southern Ohio with Sheriff Jones. From there the rest of the Republican Party put their differences aside to rally behind Ann when she ran for George Lang’s vacant seat as he went on to become a congressman for the State of Ohio. For this moment to arrive it took a lot of effort and careful politics, and for all that tenacity I am extremely proud of Ann Becker.

Yes, the tide is changing and even people who reluctantly put their finger to the wind just months ago and thought that John Kasich’s brand of GOP would win out in Ohio now see that Trump is setting the agenda at the top and local politics is building that infrastructure at the ground level and people can now see the results. The victory for Trump at the CFPD represented a major blow to the kind of politics we are all used to. And as Ann Becker took her oath many of the people in the room who were there to welcome her into that new level of politics, had plans for her they hoped to shape. Whether those plans might be easy passage of the next police budget, or some favorable vote to use tax payer money on some private venture—Ann was the President of the Cincinnati Tea Party—so politics as usual was something that would be difficult for them to adjust to. Reform is in her every drop of blood. She is savvy enough to be nice about it, and to listen to all sides, but when the rubber hits the road, Ann is a major part of the countrywide revolution that took place over the last 10 years and now she’s on a career path as a powerful politician.

After the ceremony many of us went over to RJ’s Sports Pub to celebrate and I was surprised by how many people showed up. The waitress confided to me that they were nowhere near prepared for the onslaught of people who arrived. I don’t think Ann even thought so many people would show up to see her sworn in, let alone go to RJ’s after to celebrate with her. Winning has a unique way of unifying people. Everyone loves a winner. I remember a few years ago when secret tapes came out of the Republican Party of Butler County where the old guard was laminating against Ann Becker’s Tea Party oriented philosophy because back then conventional wisdom mandated that the Tea Party would fizzle out after the IRS crackdowns, and establishment Republicans all the way to the top were part of that conspiracy—they were part of the Swamp, part of the world that created government divisions like the CFPD to embed itself into our capitalist system and run everything from a centralized authority of Republicans and Democrats bringing to life FDR’s “Middle Way.” Ann didn’t appear to have a chance at ever being a formal candidate for anything—because her political outlook was just too pure for many establishment types to consider. But after her win to the State Central Committee and her gradual work from within, people began to see the light and like everything in life, once she proved herself to be a winner—they wanted to be near her.

We can see this phenomenon when a winning sports team is doing well, the community usually jumps on the bandwagon at the end and supports them with jersey purchases and an increase in ticket sales. Losing does not bring this kind of behavior about in people. Only winning. Winning can convert the most adversarial enemy over to your way of thinking by track record alone, and is the key to a strong negotiating position. Respect always accompanies winning, by the nature of human beings. After a year in office and all the powers of the press and politics to derail President Trump, he is a winner and is steamrolling right over everyone, friends and enemies alike. Because he’s a winner he can do things that nobody else can, which is why he is now the leader of the Republican Party. Ten years ago the Butler County Republican Party was much different from the one of today. No longer are the John Boehners and John Kasichs running things it’s people like Ann Becker and Mark Welch who are challenging their peers to the north in Liberty Township and to the west in Fairfield with a level of competency that has not been expected before—but is now. In that way the politics of Butler County changed quite a lot with the swearing-in of Ann Becker.

I’ve certainly not been a fan of Lee Wong, but even he was wearing the colors of change in his demeanor as he welcomed Ann to the board during the swearing-in. I don’t think Lee is a conservative at all by the way he legislates, but in the politics of Butler County there really isn’t a choice. The philosophy of Ann Becker has pulled the party much more to the right just as Donald Trump has at the federal level just by standing her ground and being authentic. That is a trait all winners possess, an unmistakable tenacity that brings people to you rather than you to them.

When Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer refused to come to the White House on the same day to talk budgets and taxes with Trump that was a first for the Democrats—it was something we hadn’t seen before. What it essentially amounts to is that they are losing the game and are refusing to finish. It is obvious now that the special prosecutor investigation is going nowhere, and momentum is completely on Trump’s side. Tax cuts are happening without their involvement or ability to stop it. Trump is appointing conservative judges, without their ability to stop him. Christmas has returned to the White House, without anybody in the media being able to stop it through ankle biting criticism. And good luck beating Trump on a government shutdown. Yes, times have changed a lot.

And that change was obvious with the election of Ann Becker as the newest member of the West Chester Trustees. By winning the winds of reform are at her back and all she needs to do to continue winning, is just to be herself. Everything else will take care of itself. For a young woman who just a few years ago had so many enemies she suddenly has lots of friends, and that is how real change is implemented. Change that Ann has fought hard for over a long period of time. And now she has an opportunity to really make a difference, and I’m very happy for her.

Rich Hoffman
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