Bipartisanship on the Lakota School Board is a Fantasy: Why being a Republican matters when managing money is the objective

One thing that is very obvious, especially this time around within the Lakota school district, and specifically Butler County, Ohio is this complete falsehood that any school board is a non-partisan entity sacrificing their time and energy for children. Wrong! School boards, especially the one at Lakota, are extremely partisan and they want to appear that way so they can get elected in Butler County to anything, due to the conservative electorate demographics that are required. When board members past and present like Ray Murray, Julie Shaffer and many others declare that there should never be an “R” or a “D” next to the name of a school board member they are wearing a mask of falsehood meant to deceive us all. They want to project that school boards giving children an education is “bigger” than politics and that people like me are trying to divide our community with partisan bickering. They are liars, and thieves, and no better. I would go on to say that they are scum of the earth because of their deceitful nature. School boards are nothing but partisan because of the liberal element that comes with every government school due to labor union membership. You can’t accept as an endorsement the school labor union but not the endorsement of the local political party and expect to make a case for neutrality on it, which is precisely what those two idiots have been doing.

Think about it, during this election season which ends on Tuesday November 5th 2019 we have continued hearing about this big budget surplus from Lakota of over $100 million, and rising. Ray Murray and Julie Shafer have been critical of the Republican endorsements of both Lynda O’Connor and James Hahn because in their view the school board is a non-partisan collection of community members, yet they were proud to get the endorsement of the LEA labor union. Julie will even say that she is a registered Republican. Well, all those statements are is a trick or treat mask. The labor union wants those two losers (Julie and Ray) on the board to make contract negotiations easier for them as Lakota blows a ton of money on a $200 million long term facilities plan entailing rehab, renovation, and replacements of buildings and much more which is not in that 5 year forecast that everyone has been beating on their chest in regards to that $100 million surplus. Believe me, the liberals on the board, wither or not they call themselves Republicans or Democrats already have that money spent, which is the cause of this emergency prior to the election for proper school board members.

Finally we have a choice to get a three vote majority. If either Ray or Julie get elected, that $200 million project is getting greenlit and that $100 million surplus is gone. If voters stay home that night and don’t vote, the endorsed labor union candidates will get elected and this chance to safeguard the budget will fly right out the window and it won’t take but a short time for us to go into another levy fight. While its true, I’d rather think about other things than this stupid Lakota school issue, because honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of the work government schools do with children. If we are going to have a big, giant black hole of a government taxation agency programming our children into liberal propaganda, then at least we can elect a school board to manage the money with true Republicans who are fiscal conservatives, or at least can read a balance sheet and understand what the treasurer tells them.

I’d rather not dig into the lives of these people, and I call them losers for a good reason. Especially the more I learn about them. Between Ray and Julie, I’ve heard enough. I didn’t have a very high impression of them before this election, and now that we’ve been through a few months of campaigning, I’ve learned enough to be disgusted by them. I have no question that they are liars and completely inadequate in managing any sum of money. Julie Shaffer may be a registered Republican, but she doesn’t vote like one. She is clearly one in name only, and she want’s to keep that mask on to even have a shot at winning anything in Butler County, just like her predecessor Joan Powell and the many others following in her wake who have pretended to be Republicans only to turn into big, sloppy liberals. You bet it matters what political party they are affiliated with, that’s how we measure their basic values and getting the respect of a political party enough to get an endorsement means a lot.

As I’ve said before, school board members are our representatives to protect our interests. How can they do that if it is the enemy of our interests who endorse them? And yes, the teacher’s union is the enemy of our interests. When they negotiate for the next union contract in a few short years the leaders of the teacher’s union aren’t thinking about the kids, they are only thinking of making more money and if they don’t get it, they will threaten to strike. They won’t care one bit if the kids don’t have a classroom to go to or if they are serving a good example as adults while they negotiate with the school board. The teacher’s union want weak people to negotiate with which is why they are endorsing Julie Shaffer and Ray Murray. None of them want Lynda and Jim on a board together, you can bet that because they will vote no against a lot of liberal ideas the teacher’s union wants to do with our tax money, such as implement transgender bathrooms while they blow through that $100 million surplus like gambling addicts at a casino.

The only reason anybody would say school boards should be non-partisan is because they want to wear a mask to hide their true intentions behind. Julie is no conservative and Ray Murray is even less of one than she is, and they don’t want to talk about it because they want a chance to get elected. By making politics a non-issue they can continue to deceive voters into thinking it doesn’t matter, or placate them to stay home on election night while the vermin of the teacher’s union go out in droves and vote for losers so that their next contract negotiation is in the bag along with those $200 million facility improvements that nobody is talking about yet, quite on purpose. Are those harsh words, is it fair to talk about the character flaws of Julie and Ray during an election for a silly school that sticks its nose in our lives in very intrusive ways, all the time? You bet your ass it is. These are nothing but robbers who want to steal money from the rest of us and I get tired of them lying to my face, and to the rest of us. Where is Julie going to find $200 million for those facility plans if she can’t even find her pants? I can promise that the endorsed Republicans on the board, especially Lynda O’Connor and James Hahn would never be involved in such embarrassing situations, you know why? Because they are Republicans, real ones. That’s not to say that they are made of the robes of Jesus, but they are pretty much what they say they are, even in social situations. The politics of any candidate matters and there is a reason the LEA wants people to wear the masks of bi-partisanship—it’s so that they can rob the bank of Lakota and hold our kid’s hostage while they steal from all of us. And if that sounds harsh, I would argue that its not harsh enough.

Rich Hoffman

Shakedowns at Lakota: The trolls robbing openly the business community

It’s not often easy to understand the many veiled ways that a school system, any school system, extorts the business community for extra cash in the pay to play scheme that is what has become of government schools. When anybody talks about the teacher unions as a negative radical force, it goes far beyond the wages that destroy budgets that school boards are constantly having to deal with. It actually seeps into the management of the school system itself flowing over into zoning and finance. When we see these radicals in action they usually present themselves as nice cordial people, perhaps with too much jewelry and perfume–even the guys. Their pant suits would make Hillary Clinton proud as they profess to be “all about the children,” which nobody would argue with because they don’t understand the details. But when the lights are dimmed a bit, or these union radicals are sipping their lattés at Starbucks, their true intentions become much clearer and a hatred for the rich and industrious comes sharply into focus, even as they make plans to strike against a school system over more money such as what seems always to be happening in Chicago. And from the letter presented below, this practice of harassing businesses isn’t just happening in my home district of Lakota, it’s pretty much everywhere that labor unions operate with taxpayer funds.

What makes stories like this hard for people to understand is that its not the direct action that progressive teacher unions create themselves, it’s the results that they instigate as a radicalized political entity. Anybody who has the endorsement of a labor union and is running for school board is playing the game and do the bidding of that radical element. This example is within Lakota, but the same story could be told in Mason, Monroe, or any government school. The foundation for this particular practice at Lakota goes back to the severe mismanagement of the school board that went on when Joan Powell was running things. To a large degree Julie Shaffer has carried on the tradition along with Ray Murray and Brad Lovell. Ray lost his seat a few years ago to Todd Parnell. Lynda O’Connor and Todd have been two votes toward solutions and are both business friendly. For this upcoming election, Jim Hahn is poised to join the school board and like Todd and Lynda, is a pro-business candidate and would be part of the solution. But before we can talk about that we must define the problem that is expressed in the letter presented.

The names were blacked out to protect the innocent on the letter shown here. Even though I have permission to use the letter in its raw form it’s not really necessary for the story. The story is that a real-estate investment by an enterprising opportunity has been trying to gather up the funds to initiate the endeavor and they are being told in this letter that the common practice in public schools operating in this region are demanding even more money to leverage control over the project before a shovel ever hits the ground. And that threat will continue until the owner or prospector of the property makes a payment to the school for the increased value assessed by the legal entity who is also part of the game. Essentially that means that any investment coming into an area doesn’t just have to look at the costs of the project itself, but the amount of extortion money that the local school system applies to them. Of course, if they don’t play then as the letter says, they will be “blacklisted” and will have trouble elsewhere.

Such as in the case of Lakota, this is why incoming projects, shopping centers, home developments either move to some friendlier district without the kind of leverage that Lakota has or they just buck up and shut up so they can do business in our community. The teacher’s union create the false narrative that their employment makes a great school which attracts investment by developers. They have the media platform to get a sympathetic ear from both print and television news because the kids are used as a shield to advance the topic. But the chaos is driven by the insatiable need for ever more money that is always increased by the labor demand for unreasonably high wages, which must be paid for by the “rich,” property owners. Those property owners are of course the general taxpayers who own real estate—they are all looked at as soft targets by the teacher’s union out for progressive changes to society in general. But it is the business owners who take the biggest hit, just as this letter explains. If they want to do business in Lakota, or any school district through Ohio and Pennsylvania, they will have to pay the troll living under the bridge between finance and the local school system.

The worst part of all this is that it is the crazy labor costs that are driving the activism. Business owners typically don’t want to get involved in contentious disputes because the teacher’s union will threaten quite openly to boycott their work, which to any business could mean complete destruction. Its hard enough to come into a community with a business plan to get funding for the project, but then to survive a shakedown by the local school that might put 7% to 10% extra cost into the project. Then to have it all threatened with bad press and a bunch of angry latté sippers from the teacher’s union is often a “not worth it” decision. People may look around Lakota’s district and declare that everything is great, there are lots of businesses and lots of residents. But what isn’t talked about is that there could be more if the school system wasn’t such a negative impact on potential investors. When it is wondered why Lakota has had declining enrollment, this is one of the contributing factors. Or why young people move out of the area once they graduate. Or why Liberty Center still hasn’t leased out all its available space in spite of all the wonderful things it has to offer to the community, the cost of doing business is too high for most, so it limits our opportunities as a community.

Meanwhile the demand for such high cost appropriations does come from the teacher’s unions who are always threatening the school district with increased costs which pushes not so bright school board members like Ray Murray, Brad Lovell and Julie Shaffer into participating in these shakedowns to keep from having to go to the voters every couple of years to get more levy money to pay the unending appetites of the radical Lakota teacher’s union. The businesspeople are easy targets because they often can’t afford to defend themselves once they have sunk a lot of money into a project, then are stuck holding to it once the bleeding starts. Sure, the labor radicals are nice to them and are not shy to ask for more shakedown money any way they can get it with cordial conversation at public events, but make no mistake about it, the practice is vile and is just as criminal as any thief looking to rob a bank. It’s the same thing, only the school districts wait for some investor to come along with bright ideas to do all the work, then once they are too far along to turn back, find they have to secure more revenue to appease the trolls in the school district. And that is just disgusting. It is certainly happening at Lakota in abundance, but to be honest, it is happening everywhere. The reality is that nobody has the guts to cover it which is why it continues to happen on and on and on.

Rich Hoffman

Pot Smoking and Ray Murray: The school board candidate who wants to shoot teachers if they have a gun

The Ray Murray I knew back in 2011 was nowhere to be found at the VOA Miami University debate on October 22, 2019 for potential school board candidates. I always thought Ray was a nice guy, but the person speaking at that event sounded like a drug induced lunatic. Suspicious of the things he said that night it became clear thereafter that there was a good reason. Under Case Number 0000477720 Ray looks to have been convicted of possession of marijuana and had to serve a year of probation. After seeing that, I would normally doubt that such a report would be accurate. So I checked it with two different sources and, after watching him in action and looking scraggly and worn out in ways I wouldn’t normally associate with him, there is good reason to believe it and then some. He sounded like a guy on drugs as he opened the door to scrutiny by talking about his years as a Chicago police officer and a champion for transgender politics. He painted himself for an election to be a virtuous person, but reality has something else to say.

Here is the problem with electing people with serious issues into a budgetary position, once they are compromised, whether it is in several broken marriages, drug use, being a cop and being scared of being shot at, people like that tend to side with the worst that our society produces. While its fine to feel sorry for them, and if they find meaning in life in a church by becoming some definition of a pastor, we should cheer them on for recovery. But we should not sit them down and ask them to control a budget of nearly $200 million while sitting on a cash surplus of over $100 million. If we did, we should expect all that money to go up in smoke just like any other pot smoking loser. Compassion is one thing, endorsing failure with elections however is something else.

I would go further and say that anybody who does drugs of any kind, even drinking is a cause to not vote for someone onto a school board. And Ray isn’t the only one guilty of this kind of scandalous behavior. I would say that his partners of liberalism on the school board have done far, far worse. Should we talk about it, well let’s just say, we don’t want to embarrass their children, although I would argue that honesty dictate that we should. When we vote for someone to represent us on a school board, or a trustee, commissioner, representative, senator, anything, we need to know what we are voting for. If we decide we want to vote for flawed people, then that’s fine. We shouldn’t be surprised when those flawed people get bad results, but at least we know what we are voting for. If Ray needs help with drugs, lets get him help. But that doesn’t mean we should put him in charge of millions of dollars.

Compromised people tend to look for redemption in public acts, which is why a lot of liberals are dangerous. People like Ray Murray and Julie Shaffer are so compromised with embarrassing things that they have done in their lives that they are looking for redemption with elected office, and they are using taxpayer funded resources to cover their weaknesses. Because they want compassion for the ways they have lived their lives, they are quick to support topics like transgender policies so that they can hide in the crowd and get redemption. They vote in favor of the teacher’s union because they need a cover story of friends to hide their own weaknesses behind with a big banner above their heads stating that nobody is perfect, lets show some compassion for the downtrodden. That sounds fine coming from a church pew on Sunday, but in the world of money, finance and education, it has no place. People who live their lives clean and don’t drink themselves into oblivion or smoke a bunch of dope to forget about all their problems in life, should be in charge of things and have the public trust. And if they get caught doing bad things, we may not blast them out of a cannon and forget about them. We may give them a second chance at life, but certainly we wouldn’t elect them to a board to handle a multimillion-dollar budget.

Being likeable isn’t the same thing as being logical and cool headed when tough decisions need to be made. One thing that must be considered when we are talking about school board candidates that have shown mental instability, and drunkenness and smoking pot or elements of both conditions, is that upon election we give them a badge to get into any building within Lakota. If they are depressed about something who is to say that some drug dealer selling them a bag of pot won’t get a hold of that badge and use it to get into any school building on a rampage of violence, the kind of potential tragedy that we have all been talking about. What was it that Ray said at the debate, that if a teacher had a gun, he would want the police officer to shoot the teacher? Yes, that’s what he said, does that sound like a person who has it all together? Yet his only answer to the problem is to trust the system, yet what if one of these loose cannon school board members ends up drunk and passed out somewhere and someone gets a hold of their badge so they can get into any school? No matter how much we spend on security, you can’t prepare a school to defend stupid and reckless behavior on behalf of the school board members.

Many think its hip and cool to have pot smokers and drunks on the school board. But its no wonder that they always seek institutional support because if something goes wrong, its likely going to be their fault and they want to always reserve the right to hide their faults behind good intentions, such as transgender support and spending that $100 million surplus on give-a-ways to keep anybody from looking too deeply at them. Of course, the teacher’s union wants compromised people on the board of education, because it makes it easier for them to defeat the board upon contract negotiations. When we elect school board members, we are electing our representatives. The teacher’s union has their representatives and they stick together. We elect ours with these elections, so why would we want to vote for anybody who has a union endorsement? We shouldn’t. Then we must ask why the union is endorsing them. Well, the answer to that is that they think they are easy to beat in contract negotiations. If you are the teacher’s union, would you rather go up against a tough business person like James Hahn and Lynda O’Connor, or some dude caught with pot or a person who can’t hold their liquor in public and ends up in compromising positions, all too often. The answer is obvious.

Its not wrong to want to help someone like Ray who no matter what has gone on in his life is at least getting up and trying to do better each day. But when there are problems managing marriages, money in his personal finances, and with substance abuse, then why should we think he can protect his badge from some malicious personality, and to protect our budget surplus. He’s ready to spend all of that $100 million over a 38-year period and to shoot teachers when cops come to a school during a mass incident if they have a gun. Ray might be a good neighbor and a nice guy to go to church with, but he clearly has trouble understanding money and cannot take a strong position on ethical decisions. Being one of the misfit toys out in the world does not make him a good representative of our school board. And feeling sorry for someone is not a qualification to make management decisions.

Rich Hoffman

Julie Shaffer and Ray Murray Want Transgender Bathrooms at Lakota: Lynda O’Connor and Jim Hahn could stop them if elected

Another thing that voters need to understand in the Lakota school district as they vote on November 5th 2019 to cast a ballot for new school board members, is where they stand on the transgender bathroom policy. Clearly by the video below, and on many other issues there are two right thinking candidates, and two who are out of their minds. The two good ones are Lynda O’Connor and James Hahn. The two bad ones are Ray Murray and Julie Shaffer. What makes Ray and Julie bad are several things, but for this particular circumstance its their policy of allowing sex to determine the focus of a taxpayer funded education that makes them such villains. Lynda and Jim are against the proposal of taking away parental rights from their children by allowing transgender kids in locker rooms and in the general bathrooms. Transgender politics is a dangerous progressive platform that is driven by government schools and is meant to erode away family value so that children are raised under the umbrella of an all intrusive government. The issue is not about fairness, its about family destruction. Listening to Ray and Julie below I would say they are not savvy enough to understand the politics behind the movement. And that makes them even more dangerous to the Lakota school board, because they are pawns to a progressive policy without even knowing it. But if left to them, if Julie and Ray are on a board together, you can bet they will be voting for transgender bathrooms and locker rooms. Listen to them for yourself:

In many ways Lakota dealt with this years ago, and Lynda O’Connor was part of the leadership in creating an option for transgender kids with a separate bathroom. The continuation of this issue proves that the agenda is not about keeping kids from committing suicide because boys want to be girls, and vice versa. It’s about eroding away the values of students into instruments of progressive thought and turning them into activists for change into a liberal, anti-traditional family direction. To be clear, Jim and Lynda working together on the school board would prevent further transgender issues from becoming a distraction. Ray and Julie would perpetuate the issue and vote to allow mixing boys and girls into general bathrooms and locker rooms. They are weak people who are not very smart making them easy victims of the aggressive teacher’s union. The union has supported both of them because they know that Julie and Ray are easy targets for their agenda of progressive considerations. To prevent this issue both Lynda and Ray would need to be elected because currently Lynda is outvoted on the board two votes to three for approval. The only thing stopping it currently is this upcoming election.

Its hard for many people to admit, including school board members, but education is much less about teaching kids anything, but is more about changing them into progressive activists. In many ways, no discussion about sex should be going on with taxpayer funded efforts. Liberals have been pushing for years to continue lowering sex education among student populations into younger and younger ages. In many cases students aren’t even thinking about sex as public schools are proposing teaching about it in the fourth and fifth grade. Progressive planners at the state level who make up these curriculums know that most children are home alone and bored out of their minds as both parents work these days. And when kids are thinking about sex, they are easy to control especially at school because the teachers become the adoptive parents. Julie isn’t thinking in such conspiratorial terms and Ray is too busy smoking pot and digging his hands into the pavement of Chicago streets to think very deeply about anything. But those are stories for other articles. For this, they just do what they are told by the union. And believe me, the leadership within the unions are all about advancing the progressive anti-family national position of their liberal organization.

Transgender issues are a minority and to provide them with a bathroom to use is fair. Anything beyond that is disruptive to the other students. I could go back to my school days and tell lots of stories as these issues were just becoming part of the narrative. I was a very good athlete and obviously all the school coaches wanted me to play on their programs whether it was basketball or football. I liked playing the games, but I hated, HATED undressing and dressing in the locker rooms. I hated it with kids of the same sex. I can’t imagine it with people who were openly gay and girls who were claiming to be boys. Nudity for me was always a very vulnerable position. I grew up going to church every week. My mom was a housewife and we had a very traditional family structure so I had clear definitions of right and wrong and not being vulnerable around strangers.

We have learned over the last decade or so however that sexual manipulation is actually very common among coaches and students and creating conditions where kids are getting nude is meant to teach them to lower their defenses. With me, I never did. I just didn’t play the sports, because I didn’t want to be stripped of my clothing and assimilated into a Borg Continuum that they called a “team.” I would say that most people reading this are at least my age or older, so they likely had similar experiences and all this modern talk about transgender locker rooms and bathrooms is beyond their understanding. But its quite an obvious attack on our lifestyles in America and its on purpose. It is happening at Lakota. But it is happening everywhere that the teacher unions touch taxpayer money.

When Julie Shaffer says that over 70% of students are thinking about committing suicide, she is talking about 70% of something like 2% of the student population, overstated on purpose to exacerbate the issue for overly emotional people. Rather than deal with the exceptions the progressive position is to use the exceptions to change the standard and drag more and more kids into the confusing condition of sexual identity when most of them can’t even read a book or do basic math. And that is the real crime. Even if nobody wants to believe that progressives at the state and federal level are attempting to destroy the American family with these transgender policies, the truth of the matter is that while we are talking about these issues, kids aren’t learning what they should be, so a change is desperately needed if we are to save them at all from these dangerous educations. What is absolutely certain is that if either Julie or Ray are elected to the Lakota school board, then they will have the votes to advance this agenda. They both support it, you heard it from their own mouths. But if Jim and Lynda are elected, then the issue will be held off and parents will retain their rights to at least manage their children’s sexuality as they should have the responsibility for. Its not the school’s place to stick their noses into such a small topic of the human experience and anybody who says otherwise is looking to limit the intellect of young people with such a trivial topic to consider. Which to my mind should be a crime. But for now, its at least subject to a vote and with an election, we can stop the continued damage.

Rich Hoffman

Everything You Need to Know about the Lakota School Board Candidates of 2019: The Teacher’s Union is ready to steal $100 million

It’s not my favorite topic in the world, but locally, the school board race for Lakota in Butler County, Ohio is a great opportunity for improvement, or a projected, unmitigated failure. And in a lot of ways, how goes things in the Lakota school district, the rest of the country follows, due to the amount of money that is involved and the situation involving government employee unions and the overall position of the Trump administration during a second term not yet resolved. There is over $100 million of surplus in the Lakota budget that the teacher’s union is licking its chops to get a hold of, and they are up for a contract renewal in 2021, and they have picked their candidates in this one. They want the budget novices Julie Shaffer and Ray Murray to be the winning votes during those negotiations and have supported them during this election. So, I have provided the full video of the recent Miami University VOA Meet the Candidates debate which was very well done I might add, so that voters can make up their own minds about this upcoming election. The differences between the candidates couldn’t be more obvious as presented here in the format totality.

Obviously from that video Lynda O’Connor has a lot of experience and is business friendly. I’ve known her for a long time and after sifting through the smoke of political theater have come to trust her with millions and millions of dollars of budget. So much so that I have felt I didn’t have to cover everything little thing that Lakota has been doing, instead looking more at national and international issues involving the Trump administration. But local issues will always be the core of what we do in our republic. The quality of who we vote for regionally has a direct impact on the national elements so we should never take our eye off the importance of local elections. And for that, Lynda certainly has my vote. And so does James Hahn. This is his first time running for the school board of any kind and he was obviously a little nervous in the video. I know him as well and can say that he’s a lot more comfortable with a balance sheet involving vast sums of money than either Julie or Ray is. I actually know all of them well at this point and without question Lynda and Mr. Hahn are the far better choices, especially for the many millions of dollars that are at stake.

Ray and Julie both will say in interviews and in those latte sipping formats with other voters that they don’t care about endorsements from either political party. Yet they are endorsed by the teacher’s union at Lakota and those members are very active on Facebook and other social media networks pushing for these two big spenders to be on the board so they can have easy access to that $100 million. Its like a bank robbery being planned through an election. The money is sitting there in the vault and the union plans to break into that safe to take it by electing union insiders onto the board and taking away fiscal conservatives like Lynda out of their way with a simple vote. It’s an off-year election so voter turnout will be typically low. The union members and their families will show up to vote for the pillaging of that surplus so that is what is at stake in this election, theft, or protection of that $100 million surplus.

It was in that video which I referred to earlier in another article that Ray Murray had said that it would take 38 years to spend that much surplus money, so to his mind, why not spend it and give it to people who need it. He was speaking just like a bank robber in the Old West preparing to loot a town for the plights of the poor and downtrodden. Only I’m not so sure that Ray Murray is the good pastor of a church that he says he is. Without question Ray is a likeable guy full of charisma, but so are a lot of bank robbers and other types of villains. If they can get something out of you without things getting messy, of course its better for them, and I would contend that is precisely what Ray is up to. I don’t think he’s as stupid as he’s acting in that video. If he and Julie get on the school board together, they will give that surplus money to the teacher’s union that has endorsed them and we’ll have another very contentious school levy in 2022 which is not that far off.

Of course, we have a choice at this point, we could elect James Hahn and Lynda O’Connor, (both of them) to get a third conservative vote on the school board to protect that money. It would be like hiring extra security at the bank so that looters couldn’t rob the money. Jim doesn’t need to know much as a first-time board member, he just needs to understand money, which he does. The debate itself didn’t go too far into these issues because it wasn’t meant to. It was a nice surface community thing that was meant to be a softball game so to be in the realm of Ray and Julie’s comfort zone. Conservatives never look as good in those types of debates because they tend to talk over the heads of common voters. The details of such large budgets require smart people and both Lynda and James are, but such a debate format doesn’t want to show how smart people are, only how compassionate, giving, and likeable they can be which feeds straight into the union narrative for their looting scheme.

It was a nice event, the debate, but I did notice something that was unusual about those types of events, before the narrative went down the rabbit hole on transgender bathrooms, guns on teachers—or rather the lack of them, and how we would never spend that $100 million surplus in 38 years. At the beginning of the debate there was no pledge of allegiance to the flag. I’ve been going to these kinds of events for many years and there is always some sort of acknowledgment to the flag of the United States. But not this time. Lynda and Jim are trying to bring to the board of education a conservative presence to protect the budget surplus that we currently have at Lakota. And they are also trying to create a friendlier business climate to steer away from the extortion tactics of the past by Lakota against potential investors. And they are both flag waving Americans. But as the board is now, Lynda is outvoted 3 to 2 and Lakota like all public schools is controlled by the very progressive America hating teacher unions. And the evidence was clear in that debate by the absence of the pledge of allegiance. Thieves don’t honor the structure of the bank of the investors. They just want to rob it and to use the money for their own efforts. And that is what the teacher’s union at Lakota wants to do with Ray and Julie, elect them so that the surplus will fall into the hands of the robbers. And to hell with the American flag, and the conservatives of Butler County who live in the Lakota district. They are counting on everyone staying home on election night so that they can sneak into that bank and take that $100 million without firing a metaphorical shot and enriching themselves in the process at all of our expense.

The question is, will you let them?

Rich Hoffman

The Timid Lakota School Board Candidates, Julie Shaffer and Ray Murray: Being a cop doesn’t automatically make a person an expert on courage

With a big school board candidate election coming up this year at Lakota in southwest Ohio the differences are quite obvious between them. Of the topics most talked about at a recent Meet the Candidates evening at the VOA Miami University Lecture Hall on October 22nd 2018 the topic of arming the teachers to prevent another mass shooting, especially at a large, affluent school like Lakota, and the various ways of looking at that problem was very well defined. Lynda O’Connor and James Hahn had the obvious conservative approach to things, self-reliance, and solution-based results at the point of danger whereas Ray Murray and Julie Shaffer were obvious liberals who believe in big government, passivity, and some kind of prayer to avert danger. Of them Ray had the most ridiculous answer to the question of arming teachers in the classroom, although Julie Shaffer wasn’t far behind with her 22% of shooters hit their targets under duress. Well, that’s 22% better than not having a gun. What a lunatic. But her thinking was very much captured in Ray’s statement which can be seen below, and it took everything I had to sit there and listen respectfully.

I get tired of people like Ray, people who are obviously timid peaceful people lecture the rest of us how society should be constructed to their sensibilities, then selling it as if being a police officer at some point in time gives him the right to say such a thing. As he told his story about wanting to dig into the concrete to get away from a firefight when he was a cop in Chicago all I could think of was the word “wimp.” Now that’s not a politically correct term, but lets face it, that’s what we all thought of it and if we didn’t, we would call ourselves liberals, people who count on some institutional system to avert our fears about the things in life that scare us. Just because Ray was a cop doesn’t make him some magical man of authority on the subject. Lots of people become cops for all the right reasons, and when they get shot at, they learn perhaps that the job is not for them. It can be scary, but for some people, being shot at is exhilarating and they are the best that they can be when danger is presented. I’m sure we have those types of people working at Lakota and it is they who should be carrying a gun. If Ray is too scared, well that’s fine. We don’t want him digging into the hallways of Lakota if there is a firefight. We want someone to engage the target, so I get it, Ray and Julie are not the people we want armed. But when a bad guy shows up, somebody needs to meet them while we wait for the police to arrive, because the body count will be measured in seconds of engagement, not minutes.

Speaking for myself I am an adrenaline junkie. I have been shot at and had guns pointed at me, many, many times. I am a little too crazy for the structure of the military or the police force but unlike the institutional perspective of Ray Murray and Julie Shaffer there are other ways that people get shot at in life. For a time, I was a repo man during the years that a lot of people go to the military repossessing cars from deadbeat owners who often become violent when they learned you were there to take their property away. I volunteered for every assignment I could because I thought it was exciting and when gunfire did break out, I thought it was pure heaven. Being that close to a dangerous situation was fun to me and I couldn’t get enough of it. I was also a bouncer at a night spot I worked at around the same period of my life. I wasn’t yet 21 years of age, yet I was throwing out drunks, breaking up fights, and taking fights to safe places with people much older and bigger than me. And in those fights guns came out all the time and I never thought twice about crying about it or digging into the pavement while bullets flew around. I’ve seen people get shot, and I’ve seen people die. And all that occurred in the private sector. I once knew a judge of very high rank in the city of Sharonville and when I got into trouble, he helped me out. It was a good arrangement and I learned a lot from it. But why did he help me, well, people who love danger as much as I did, and still do are hard to find. And he appreciated that trait and thought it valuable enough to cut me some slack when things did go wrong. Let’s just say that.

I tell that little bit of the story to say that some people love danger and they want to help others get away from it. And we need to empower those people to stop crimes before they happen. It’s better to have someone smashed up and in the hospital sometimes than to play everything safe and leave the problem to the institutions where some pot smoking loser kid who knows they are going nowhere in life decides to go shoot up a school. By the time Ray and Julie’s police arrive, 5 to 20 kids could be killed, because that is the kind of world we are living in. And you’d be surprised at the kind of people who hear a gun shot and will run straight through the bullets to stop the carnage because they have a natural inclination to do well while in danger.

I thought hard about becoming a cop, or joining the special forces in the military, but honestly, I was never a yes sir no sir kind of guy. I don’t like the structure of those organizations, so I didn’t join, even for the ability to carry a gun and shoot down bad guys. It was tempting, but it wasn’t worth enduring all the silly rules. But don’t assume that being a cop makes someone an expert on gunfights. Personally, I’d love to be in a gun fight, every day if I could. So, Ray is speaking from an experience of a guy naturally timid, and that’s OK. But don’t assume you speak for everyone.

Just a rough bet, but I would say that at least 5% of the employees at Lakota have some bit of the adrenaline addiction that I described about myself. When danger happens, they only think of one thing, engaging it and stopping it. They don’t pay attention to the sounds of the gun fire; they are instead inspired like a fine symphony to conduct their lives to the beat of danger. And if not for those types of people, we would have a much more dangerous type of world in America. I would argue that suppressing those types of people with institutional constrictions has led to far more death than in allowing adrenaline junkies who love justice for all to carry open firearms to engage any potential targets in fractions of seconds than the time it takes to make a 911 call. And that again is proof of how ridiculous Julie Shaffer and Ray Murray have been as school board members. They make decisions based on their timid perspectives while the real solutions are handcuffed behind institutional virtue. To assume that everyone in the world is just as timid as they are is more dangerous than arming teachers. And that is what nobody is putting into perspective, that is, perhaps until now.

Rich Hoffman

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Vote for O’Connor and Hahn to Lakota School Board: It isn’t about being nice, its about being effective

The value to a person like me of the Lakota school system is in how little they take from the community to offer their free baby-sitting service. I think we are in a time where the college myth is no longer relevant, that we understand the cost of a liberalized education is very detrimental to young minds. But a lot of parents could care less, they just need somewhere to park their kids for the day while they do whatever they do. And if there are sports programs, they can play the lottery with their children by hoping that they may get a scholarship to a college and save them some money. That’s my opinion of the public education system which might be bleak to many, but its my observation that, that is the essence of it, so in my view, it needs to cost the least possible. The real figures that make up a good community are the businesses that create the desire to move into an area. The school that happens to be there benefits from the quality of people who are drawn to the businesses of a region. It’s a really broken system that measures all the wrong values, so while we all figure out the future of public education, we need a bridge from here to there that has smart people managing the resources so we don’t end up with the kind of mess that we have had at Lakota during the last decade.

At the recent VOA Miami University Meet the Candidate night which took place on October 22nd, 2019 I attended to provide coverage for those who couldn’t be there, and video of the event is provided here. I see this work as a kind of public service. Feel free to watch the videos and make your decisions on the candidates. For me the unquestionable choice for school board in this upcoming election is James Hahn and Lynda O’Connor. Lynda has been around for a while and knows how to manage the board and keep Lakota in a win column so that they don’t scare off potential investors into real estate as a deal breaker. I don’t think Lakota is a lure, not in the way public school used to be. Other factors certainly are a greater part of the decision-making process. And that’s where James Hahn comes into play. He’s a business guy and would provide Lynda and the current board member Todd Parnell with that critical third vote to keep the district running well with the massive amount of money that we do give them.

Much of the talk from that debate night was what to do with the massive $100 million surplus that Lakota is operating under. I filmed many of the questions and answers but was out of the room away from the camera when Ray Murray proclaimed that it would take Lakota 37 years to spend all that money, which was astonishing. I’m sure somebody in the room filmed that comment. But the gist of the night was that Ray and Julie Shaffer were nice people who just didn’t have a clue how to operate in this tightly controlled Lakota district where business owners have actually stood up for themselves against the extortion tactics that public schools often use to get more money in their pockets so they can throw it at the teacher’s union. Looming in the room around that event were many of them from Liberty Township and West Chester. Sure, everyone shakes hands at the end of those things and gets along, professionally. But the resentment of the game is a clear dividing line and since much has been said over the last decade about the negative ways Lakota has interacted with that part of the community, it is clear that the skills needed are well beyond Ray and Julie.

What’s different now as opposed to even a few years ago is that “just pay more money for the kids” isn’t enough any more for public schools, and at Lakota that is especially true. There are lots of psychological problems that make people do what they do, and as I often refer to strong supporters of government schools as rapid animals with their minds soaked into delusion as to what the school can actually do for their children, what everything eventually comes down to is money. Lakota has plenty of money that they are taking in. The question is, what happens to it? Without a pro-business school board who knows how to read a balance sheet, that $100 million surplus will be wasted on everything and the board will come back to the community asking for more money in a few short years.

Nobody wanted to talk about a school levy, obviously I was there for everyone to see, and many members of the old No Lakota Levy campaign were in the audience also very visible. Without question that changed the course of the dialogue a lot from pro levy discussions which of course the teachers and administrators always want to hear and centered on more fiscal responsibility which seemed like an oblivious concept to Ray. I am still astonished about some of the things he said during the debate. He may be a nice guy that is very likable but being likable isn’t a qualification unless the job is a Wal-Mart greeter. When we are talking about budgets ranging in the millions and millions of dollars, many times you want someone managing it who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about being liked. Quite the opposite.

Lynda O’Connor has come a long way in her years on the school board. I’ve always liked her but, in the beginning, I thought of her as another idealist who was pro education and would work the Republican ranks because of the regional consequences. But she has certainly proven to me that she is sincerely conservative. She also has a lot of hope in what can be done with public education and so long as we have that as the means of educating kids, she is the right kind of person for a job like the school board. James Hahn is new to all this, and that is great too. So long as he can learn from Lynda, his business experience will be a big help in keeping the business community close and part of solutions. The other two, experienced board members and part of what was the problem originally would be a disastrous pick.

Let’s face it, without opposition Lakota would not have that $100 million surplus. It wasn’t some miracle trick in accounting. Lakota has a good treasurer, much better than who was there before her. And I think the new superintendent is a good one. I’m sure he’d like more freedom to promote the brand of Lakota as more the center of the community than what it is. I don’t think its bad at all to be part of that anger. I see it as healthy. Nobody wants to read one more boring newspaper article about these topics from boring, fossilized reporters. They enjoy my work for sure, and I think giving it to them with an animated zeal is good for the decision-making process. Public school is a boring topic for those who have their kids all grown up and have moved away. They certainly don’t want their taxes to go up. They just want to enjoy their community, their jobs and a nice place to shop and go out to dinner on a Friday night. They don’t want to hear that Lakota has blown their $100 million surplus and is asking for more money because the school board mismanaged it. To avoid that fate, vote for O’Connor and Hahn. And make sure Lakota knows you are watching them. Because the moment you don’t, that money and much more will be spent, and we’ll have another levy. You can bet on that.

Rich Hoffman

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