What Being A Winner Requires: A cautionary tale of refocusing the Tea Party movement

I received the following letter shown below, which I have reproduced in its entirety for reference, from the Warren County Tea Party. They think it illustrates massive corruption in Columbus, Ohio regarding the speaker of the house race and the FBI investigation of Cliff Rosenberger. The letter is written by a person who calls themselves a Republican by the name of Nino Vitale. After reading it carefully I have determined that the letter and the writer are simply ankle biters clawing their way for a piece of scrap meat waiting to fall from the table—which is where the real corruption often starts. But taking this letter along with observations I made during this past week at the West Chester Tea Party meeting where I learned that the organization that I’ve been with virtually from its inception did not fully support the arming of teachers in Lakota schools, and that other members were very suspicious of the intentions of politicians who had long been a part of the West Chester Tea Party I think some perspective is in order. But first, let’s read this letter:

Representative Nino Vitale (District 85), a conservative representing Champaign, Logan and Shelby Counties, had this to report this morning about what took place in the State House yesterday.

Un-Friggin Believable! – I’d Rather Have a Government Pause Than This Corruption.

As you know, the former speaker, Cliff Rosenberger, resigned in disgrace and under a cloud of an FBI investigation. This has embarrassed the Ohio State House and our members. This is a time when government officials are not well liked and we need to be above reproach.

Then it was found out that one mega-donor, Ginni Ragan, had been giving millions to ‘select’ house members that would then ensure the legislation she wants is brought to the floor and they vote the way she wants, even if that conflicts with their district. One of many examples of this is Medicaid Expansion, which Ohio cannot afford but the hospitals love it because it’s a direct line of cash from the taxpayer to the bottom line of the hospital. It would probably be no surprise for you to learn that Ragan has a large financial interest in the hospitals around Ohio.

We were all called into town yesterday [May 15] to vote on a new speaker. Many asked me, who will you be voting for? I was aware of a few candidates but heard there could be a few more as well. Instead of locking in on a specific person, I decided to go to Columbus with a set of principles on who would be best for a speaker. I decided on the following;

1 – The person should be removed from the current cronyism and FBI investigation.
2 – The person should be distanced from the former speaker, Cliff.
3 – The person should not be a member of the current or past leadership team that Cliff had set up in case they too could be under investigation and we elect someone who then has to resign themselves.

I felt these were ‘common sense’ principles. Given all that is going on, someone who is removed from this process is good. And why elect someone that very well could be next on the FBI’s most wanted list in the Ohio House? Elect someone clean.

Three people were nominated. Dorothy Pelanda, who was a member of Cliff’s leadership team in the last session. Ryan Smith, who is currently the finance chair and was Cliff’s roommate, in a high rise, expensive apartment, all financed by Ragan herself who owns the apartment. And Andy Thompson, an outsider who is not in leadership and not part of the current or past teams that Cliff had put together. I know all three of these people and while this is not about personalities, in looking at my three (3) principles and listening to all three (3) candidates give their speeches, Rep. Andy Thompson was clearly my choice. This was not personal, just simply about the principles I had laid out.

The speaker pro tem informed us that a new speaker would need to get to 50 votes on the floor in order to secure the speaker’s gavel. That is where the election is official. Everything we were doing in yesterday was not official.

When the vote was taken, Smith had 42, Pelanda had 3 and Thompson had 20. I was frankly shocked that 42 of my colleagues in the house felt comfortable voting for someone like Smith who was Cliff’s roommate and righthand man and was on the take from Ragan, the mega donor, living in her high-class apartment with Cliff. Why elect someone so close to all this scandal who very well could be the next person to drop and resign? Wow!

42 votes were not enough to meet the threshold of the 50 needed to vote on the floor. So a standing vote was taken of those who refused to vote for Smith on the floor in public. This standing vote was intended to embarrass us and make us targets to other members could start beating on us to change our vote and ‘get in line.’ I’m proud to say I was one of 18 members who held strong and stood up to say NO to swamp politics and corruption.

I simply do not understand how 42 members could vote for someone like this. I learned yesterday that Smith used his money to try and get a Democrat elected in Franklin County, who was running as a Republican. This person never voted Republican in his life, but yet Smith, because he wanted him for his speaker vote, agreed to fund a Democrat to the tune of thousands of dollars, and tried to defeat the Republican. This is swamp politics at its best. Without 8 of us 18, they did not have the votes and had to suspend session for today [May 16]. I had many reps tell me we need to get to the ‘people’s business’ and there were ‘important bills’ that needed to get passed. Well, why didn’t you pass those bills the last 18 months when you had the chance? We are only talking about 1 or 2 session days left for voting until the fall. I say let’s let these investigations play out over the summer and see who might be next. There are potentially other members of the House and bills that could be under investigation. Should we really be voting on bills that could be illegal or improper? I think the people are better served by a government ‘pause’ to sort this out rather than pay to play government where megadonors are funding select members who then get their bills on the floor and passed and the FBI has to step in. That’s not government of, by and for the people! One rep actually told me, people don’t know what’s going on back home in my district and they don’t know about FBI investigations and don’t know the name Cliff Rosenberger. You need to get in line and not shut the House down and vote for Smith. Well, maybe my district is more informed as people ask me about this all the time. See most of the Reps like it when you aren’t informed, because you can’t beat on us for things you don’t like. I don’t mind at all. That’s why I ran for office, to represent YOU!

I’d rather have a government ‘pause’ than a corrupt swamp government passing bills that may be pay to play and rigged by a few megadonors and their financial interests. These swamp creatures actually had the nerve to put the pay day lending bill on the floor schedule for a vote today which is a likely main target of the FBI investigation! You have got to be kidding me! I hope my other 17 colleagues stand firm. No government is better than this corruption. As for now, session has been cancelled for today and no speaker has been elected. Again, I’d rather take care and have a pause then continue on as business as usual, which is defined as pay to play, resignations, mega donors, republicans funding democrats and FBI investigations.

It’s my honor to serve you and I am doing my part to make government honorable and above reproach. I guess Trump would call that, draining the swamp. I’m dealing with 42 out of 65 Republican swamp creatures who voted for more corruption. Un-friggin-believable! Yes, I’m ticked off and I’ll fight this!

Sounds like a person who wants money from Ginni Ragan.  Click here to learn a lot more about this issue in a very educational video by George Lang.

My take on this letter is that the people distributing it are looking for an excuse to rebel against something, anything because they are unsure what to do about the change in narrative for which they are now a part of. Based on what I know about the situation, which is likely more than most people know, is that this FBI investigation of Cliff Rosenberger is a political hit not unlike that of the one that has been leveled at President Trump and the “swamp” creatures who are upset about it are the alligators, snakes, and lizards who are trying to suddenly make themselves appear to be bunny rabbits, field mice, and harmless turtles sunning themselves on an inconspicuous log floating in the waters of a marshland. Things can get pretty tricky if you don’t know what you are looking for, and that’s why its important to have an educational perspective.

What I see happening in these Tea Party organizations is that the world has shifted and people are unsure how to continue. Before Donald Trump was elected and several elected officials that were backed by the various Tea Parties started gaining seats, being a member of the rebellion was a mutual sentiment of kinship that was like a nice warm blanket for the ever-questioning participant who wanted to make needed changes to the world around them. That’s what brought the Tea Party together. It became fashionable to attend Tea Party meetings and gather in the back of the room before and after these events and shake our heads at how corrupt everything was and what a steep hill it was going to be to fix it all. But like there always is in these types of things there were people who secretly prayed in the back of their minds, probably at the unconscious level, that chaos and mayhem would always continue because they believed that those were the elements that gave them new friends within the Tea Party movement.

However, the times have changed, and the Tea Party is on the winning side—and it was because of them that the changes took place. The members of the Tea Party are not the victims of some big government conspiracy any longer, they are not the passivists who were being ignored by Disney and Homeland Security—they are now the target audience struggling to find their own way in a swamp that has the water draining more and more day by day leaving the real villains with fewer places to hide. The battle for the fate of America has shifted from Tea Party meetings into actual legislative centers where Tea Party members are now holding some of those seats and the Trump agenda is cascading down from the Executive Branch and is providing for the first time in American history a truly global approach that is favorable to the Tea Party movement, fiscal responsibility, open markets, and limited government. North Korea is actually considering joining South Korea under a capitalist unification of that entire peninsula. The Deep State has been exposed, taxes have been lowered, unemployment is better than its been in half a century—we are winning, not losing and that requires a shift in approach that many are finding difficult.

This paradox can be seen in other fields of endeavor, everything from business to sports, its fun for people to sit around and plan things, and to talk about how great this or that will be, but they secretly hope that someday never comes and that their plans never arrive to fruition because they are actually lonely people who find friends in rebellion, and the value of those exchanges come from the relationships that they build. That is clearly going on in the Tea Party movement where now that we are all on the winning side of things the pressure to perform is the first concern as the ideology of action now demands reality instead of speculation. The friendships formed in the back of the Tea Party rooms are now the leaders on the battlefield and our champions are people like Donald Trump who are draining that swamp with trade deals, a global conquest of communism, eliminating the Obama agenda, and the Clinton agenda, clearing the way for real reform at the state houses across the country, like the one in Ohio.

Those fights require the best of what we all bring to the table, but many people just aren’t ready to be on the winning team, because there were friends in the gentle rebellion of being a member of the oppressed sector of society—the people who knew better but were powerless to act. Now though, that power has been granted and they have been empowered to act and are expected to act—now is the time to put guns on teachers to save kids from the menaces of our society, now is the time to put together a Tea Party house of representatives at both the local races and at the federal level. Now is the time to put FBI agents in jail, not to follow blindly their weaponized political activism. These are the days when many of us are part of the winning team, not the team standing in the rain feeling the sting of defeat from a scoreboard not in our favor with only a cold shower and the comfort of our friends to keep us from sobbing on the sidelines. We are now the ones winning and its about time to act that way.

You must always be cautious dear reader in separating the need for human companionship from the needs of a functional republic. It is tempting to create problems so that there is a reason to discuss some great tragedy over coffee and doughnuts with a new friend. The loneliness that many bright-eyed people who see the world with too much reality coming at them is often alleviated by the camaraderie of rebellion. But that was never what the Tea Party movement was about, it was not about making friends and being happy with inaction, it was to solve problems and educate more people so that they too could participate in a thriving republic. And that is where we are today. We are winning and this is what winning looks like. Nobody should be afraid of success, of losing friends gained in rebellion, or the warm covers of chaos that provides some story of illicit behavior which lures the ear of a friend over tea—we should always be about striving to win, and to conquer those who wish to oppress us. Whether that oppressor is a young terrorist attacking our schools for one last shot at immortality before they commit suicide, or some state representative trying to use chaos to climb their way into a power position by trying to hide their alligator swamp nature into that of a docile turtle, we must be keenly aware of our surroundings—and always strive to have victory, because winning is what we were always intended to achieve, and now we are. This is what it feels like, and its time to embrace it, not to hold on to the chaos of the past out of fear of what might come next on a path none of us have been on for a destiny being written by us, not some stuffy patrons of our past. History is happening now, and its important that we approach it boldly and without fear.

Rich Hoffman

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