It’s true; when I was with No Lakota Levy we did approach Patti Alderson at the Community Foundation to partnership with them to attempt to heal the community. We had a plan to give substantial amounts of money to help kids and the community as a whole, but within a week of making the announcement public, Patti decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea and pulled away from the community unifying idea. Disappointed our guys went to work to begin our own foundation to be able to help the community in some way.
(To review this story as it personaly affected me CLICK HERE.)
The maneuver to me appeared to be completely motivated by community politics. Word from within the Lakota front who inform me of many things, let me know that a group that fights tax levies cannot be seen helping children, because to their minds the only thing that can help children was passing tax increases. Now, my opinion of Patti is that she does a lot of good in the community for what I see, but she stuck her name on my personal situation, and since her name appeared in probably the most salacious article the Cincinnati Enquirer has ever produced, I have to address her involvement and what led up to the demise of something that was intended to be very good. (You can review that article here)
Shortly after this collapse of the No Lakota Levy reaching out to help heal the community while the levy fights continue I attended one of the large school board meetings at Lakota East and was shocked at the amount of parents who urged the board to attempt to pass yet another levy for the fourth time, instead of asking the union to take a 5% wage cut to balance the budget. I reported my findings at this article, CLICK HERE.
The more I thought about the situation, the refusal of the pro levy people to work with the anti levy people for the good of the community, and the push by a handful of parents to advance another tax increase on a community that already has high taxes, the short sightedness of it all stirred me into a rage. While all this was going on I was getting comments and messages along with information from my “feelers” within the school that I was anti child, anti education, and bad for the community in an effort to paint me negatively in front of their next campaign. Yet it was the group I was associated with that was reaching across the aisle to bring peace. And that peace was refused because the pro levy factions needed to maintain the public image that No Lakota Levy was a group bad for the community. Because their message was that if you want to do “good” for the community then a new levy needed to be passed.
This blog site of Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom has become over time to be something like a newspaper that many people come to for information. Its numbers compete with small press newspapers daily, so I decided to take advantage of my site to stir the pot a bit and paint the picture of the situation as I saw it using a graphic metaphor. I didn’t hold back, for one, a blog site has an expectation to be a different news source than a traditional newspaper. So my readers like to see passion when I exhibit it, which was genuine. But I also wanted to see if I could smoke out some of these pro levy people who worked behind the scenes to make it so good things couldn’t happen, so the illusion that it was Lakota Schools who held all the cards in doing good things for the community could be exposed.
When I put up the controversial articles, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get much reaction from the pro levy people. I shrugged it off and moved on. Approximately two weeks later the No Lakota Levy group had our press conference announcing the new foundation to help kids and it felt good to do something positive. The press enjoyed it. But ironically, the pro levy people seemed to become infuriated in a way that I wouldn’t have guessed. You can see some of their comments about me personally here upon this announcement. (CLICK HERE) And as you can see when reading those things, people used far worse language than I did in the bit I wrote and it was personalized where my wasn’t.
Within three days of our big press conference, Julie Shaffer went to my articles and took out sections of them and put them on her Facebook as seen below. Keep in mind that Julie has worked on previous levy attempts and she is now a school board member. Her intention here is to fan the flames of her supporters obviously against me. I wanted to see her do this, but what is most telling is that she waited until I was involved in something very good to take the shot.
I didn’t get all the screen shots from the posting, but down the page a bit was Pam Parino urging Julie to send this information to her “friends” at WLW, which she apparently did. Pam is a long time levy activist; you can see how she attempted to extort WLW a few years ago at this link. Now I still get along with people at WLW, but I was surprised at how they turned on me during the broadcasts of March 15th 2012, especially considering how they chose to broadcast. But I was told by Scott Sloan that I am a public figure and that I couldn’t say these kinds of things even if similar statements were made on their very shows. I disagree. I may be a public figure, but I am not a public servant. I can say whatever I want and it’s up to me to decide if voters will reject or embrace it. Not any social standard. It’s my risk to take.
My feelers at Lakota told me that the superintendent was personally sending out links to Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom to “community leaders.” My initial response was, “good, maybe they’ll learn something.” Then some of my friends asked me to take out some of the things I said which might affect the good work they were trying to do, which was fair enough, so I put the articles that might cause such trouble on password protect not to protect me, but to protect them. The entire time I saw no reason to not stand by my statements.
Within days the anger mounted and I was getting very heated messages like, “Rich Hoffman, you’re going down!” I knew the pro levy people were mounting an offensive, which I anticipated two weeks prior, so I wasn’t surprised. But once the Enquirer article came out, I was a bit surprised. It was way over the top and made me realize I should have just kept the article up so people could have seen the context of the metaphors I was using to describe the situation. Because the way that Mike Clark assembled his article painted me in such a bad way that there was no way to explain it without a tremendous back-story, which there wasn’t time for. I agreed to do the Scott Sloan show and I didn’t have a problem with the hard nature of that interview, but I was surprised at how he inflamed the situation after our interview, which again was fair play. Their ratings at my expense. When WLW called me later in the day to see if I would do a spot on Eddie and Tracy’s show I said no, because they had put me in a really bad position. Eddie and Tracy tried to call me out on the air knowing I almost said yes to the interview, so they attempted to push me over the edge to get me to come on. But they only had a piece of the story, and openly calling me a sexist all day long broke friendships that I felt for some of those guys, who have used worse language than I did on many occasions. So I elected not to blow my top on the air for 200,000 people to hear, and to calm down. Yet the blood was in the water, and I put it there to learn the lay of the battlefield. When I wrote that quote I wanted to see if Julie would take the bait, I wanted to see how Mantia would react, and who was in the pro levy network so I could figure out how to fight them. Because taking a passive approach wasn’t working. After three levy failures, it was still the minority who sought to impose on the majority their intentions for a levy increase and they had a network that was vast enough to prevent our work with an independent foundation headed by a powerful local personality in Patti Alderson. So I needed to see how these people were connected. When they thought they had me on the fence they emerged with bold words. Patty felt strongly enough about me to speak before the Lakota school board. She wanted to clarify that her group, which also raises money for needy Lakota students, has no affiliation with Yes to Lakota Kids. Alderson told the board audience of more than 200 people, that No Lakota officials had approached the foundation last month but that “we refused to accept their funds.” She said that with a pride that I found fascinating. She also said, “We refuse to accept funds where political statements are attached.” What she should have said is that she refuses to accept funds that had political statements that she didn’t agree with, because by endorsing the pro levy faction she is supporting the political position of the school, and not the entire community.
Out of all the terrible news that came from the Enquirer article the parts that actually made me laugh that day were from West Chester Township Trustee Catherine Stoker who said “the language used by Mr. Hoffman is not only egregiously offensive, but reflects badly on the No Lakota group that Mr. Hoffman supports.” So does that mean the No Lakota group had a good name before all this? If so, then why was our help turned down? And who in the world is Catherine Stoker? She’s a public servant. She should have shut her mouth and done some work instead of trying to grandstand on my head, which is what she was doing as a favor to Superintendent Mantia and the pro levy people. And who decides what’s egregiously offensive? Her? The pro levy people? Or these next two pretentious specimens.
Lakota school mother Kim Hesselgesser said “I was very disgusted by the blog Rich Hoffman posted.” I was also very saddened for this extremely disturbed man. To me it is evident that he has some agenda that goes far beyond increased school taxes. Although I hate the fact that he is getting exactly what he wants – a lot of media attention. I feel it is worthwhile to make the public aware of who they are truly supporting when placing No Lakota signs in their yards. Pro levy or no levy…is that the type of person you want leading a group in our community?” Well, Kim, if you don’t like my blog postings—don’t read them. You refuse to see what’s right in front of your face. You have no right to say that I’m an extremely disturbed man. You have no authority to speak from. You read one thing I said because Julie Shaffer put it in front of your face and you cast a judgment without any thought, just like you do when you support a school levy. If someone like Julie, or Catherine tells you to pass a levy because it’s for the kids, then you do what they tell you without further consideration. And that’s the problem. We will still be paying off the debts your type of people bring to our community decades in the future because you can’t get your mind around the truth. You just listen to what people tell you to do, and you make statements about which you know nothing. I’d respect your opinion if it was yours, but it’s not. You have no right to tell all of Cincinnati that I’m an extremely disturbed man. Based on what? Because I don’t agree with you? You made that comment as a fact, not an opinion, and I’m considering in the back of my mind of what to about it next. I’m waiting to calm down before acting. I can see such things being said in online forums, blogs, blog comments, but it surprised me that The Enquirer printed that quote. That’s very dangerous stuff and yes, I am deeply pissed off about it. If that’s what you wanted, then you succeeded.
And Laura Sanders who has personally emailed me with what I consider to be messages way outside her level of expertise and who I personally addressed at this link (CLICK HERE) said “Mr. Hoffman uses misogynistic and vile language when addressing women and mothers because most teachers are in fact, women and mothers. He wants the public to think that he is merely attempting to rein in public school spending, but his underlying mission is really one of hatred and fear of women earning decent salaries. He alone is the destructive force behind the last three levy failures, and I hope this … convinces the women in our community that he is not a rational or credible source for the counterpoint argument.” Laura—you are out of your mind to paint me in such a fashion. While I am certainly not one who supports feminism, mainly because I think it has destroyed the modern family, it does not give you the right to paint me with the broad brush of stating what I think and making the high salary issue all about hating women. That is a pathetic argument and I can’t believe you said it. Just like Kim you used generalities to explain aspects of me that you know nothing about. If you did just a little research you would know what my number 1 Rule is on my Ten Rules to Live By. You can see those rules for yourself at the bottom of every signature at the end of every post I make. The number one rule is to honor women, because they are the pillars of our society. I believe in it so much that I wrote a book about it, and I made boys who dated my daughters read that book so they’d know my position. Those Ten Rules to Live By are in the back of that book published in 2004! Everyone and I mean EVERYONE who knows me, particularly women, knows how much I love them. I have daughters, I have been married for over24 years to the same person, and I have a lot of women friends. I help women carry heavy objects—always! I hold the door for them when they come in behind me—always! In fact I do a lot every day that doesn’t even begin to articulate the kind of person you and your pro levy friends have attempted to paint me as. And for what, so you could try to destroy me, and get me out-of-the-way so you could have your money!!!!!!! IS THAT WHAT YOU THOUGHT GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO MAKE STUFF UP AND PUT IT IN THE PAPER ABOUT ME WHEN I’VE WENT TO GREAT TROUBLE TO BE OPEN HERE AND SHOW EXACTLY WHAT I AM! That’s what you have told the world through your actions!!!!!! You spoke about nothing of which you had an understanding. You smelled my blood in the water and you crossed the line with made up assumptions!
I had a conversation about you with a man the other day who attends your church. He told me you are just the sweetest girl there is and he tried to calm me down after that email that you sent me which I was still mad over a week after you sent it. I listened to him and took your actions as just political rhetoric and blew it off. But what you said in the paper was not just inflammatory, it was personal, and your type of people believe you have a right to step all over me to get what you want. My comments might have been audacious, but they were left obscure on purpose. I wanted badly to reveal the names I was thinking of when I wrote the salacious blog posting, but I didn’t because that would make it personal, and even if I want to bring my enemies down, that is not the way to do it. There is a difference between political rhetoric and personal attacks and what you, and your pro levy friends did to me on Thursday was a personal attack designed to hurt me in every single way possible, and I had planned for you to do it. But I was disappointed to be right once again. I will tell all of you something. There will be payment given to me in one fashion or another for what happened on Thursday. You can decide for yourselves what that is and I expect at a bare minimum a public apology. Failure to act will dictate action on my part.
This isn’t just about name calling anymore. I am happy to argue back and forth, and even debate on the radio as we have in the past in friendly competition. And when you make yourself a public official you make yourself prone to attacks. And when you work in a government job, you are prone to tax payer scrutiny. But I have made a choice to never be involved in an elected position because I want the freedom to be able to speak my thoughts, even when they are outlandish to get my point across, because sometimes that’s what it takes. But what the people mentioned in this article attempted to do was destroy me for standing in their way, and that WILL not be tolerated or left unresolved!
I stand by my comments that I posted. I wrote it as a metaphor to the type of woman who just don’t grasp fiscal concepts, and their opinions should therefore be discarded in political theater. I spoke in generalities to protect the real people I was thinking of even though I was very angry with them for desiring to drag our community through a fourth levy attempt. But what the women above did was turn me personally into the poster child for progressive politics to attempt to remove me the way they have for many years any barrier that stood in their path. If I had to guess, 80% of all legislation that gets discussed daily in any governmental body has it’s start with these same radical types who came after me so aggressively, so the same blind pro levy supporters who refuse to look at any facts and vote purely on emotion are the same who lobby members of the house and senate to pass all types of ungodly legislation, and pass more rules of every kind in every neighborhood across America. It’s these pro levy types who have made it so a kid can’t just go out and ride a bicycle anymore, but have to arm themselves from head to toe with padding and helmets. I see these radical progressive agenda driven pro levy supporters as being a huge problem on not just our communities but our human race, and I said what I said to call them out on it, to let them know that they aren’t fooling anyone—maybe themselves. I used a metaphor that was taken literally to use against me as a political maneuver which was fine, but everyone mentioned here took it several steps further and for all different reasons. Some of those reasons were strictly economic. Some were political. But mostly it was pure hatred for anyone who thinks different from the pretentious pro levy supporters. And these people felt they had a right to “destroy” me and everything I have ever been, or will be.
And it all started on Julie Shaffer’s Facebook. See what happens when you elect a levy activist onto your school board. And do you see now what kind of school board we have? She’s the Vice-President. What does that say about how wrong the entire situation is and what we have been fighting against? And since they can’t win the arguments against me with facts, they sought with every gun available to them to destroy the mouth piece.
It’s not Lakota as a school that I am fighting. The school will still be there if every employee were removed, and the kids would still be successful because the parents in general of Lakota, as I’ve said many times, will make sure it stays good. I’m fighting the radicalism that has embedded itself into our tax dollars. And to continue that fight, I have to do it my way using my network of Overmanwarrior’s to help get under the covers. This group has always been the force that supplied No Lakota Levy with information, so the attempt to separate me from No Lakota Levy was a lot of energy spent on nothing. I know there is a lot of disappointment because the assumption was that the members of No Lakota Levy were funding me, and if I were cut off from them, I’d be rudderless. But my funding comes from my professional writing endeavors and exemplified by my The Symposium of Justice where my Ten Rules are published. I wouldn’t bring it up if my integrity had not come into question. It’s my personal projects that allow me to fight like this. That’s also why at the bottom of the book on the front cover it says, “Tyranny has a new enemy.” Did you just think it was silly words on the cover? I meant it literally! So nothing that happened Thursday was unforeseen. I knew what to expect. But my disappointment is in being right and to witness firsthand the destructive nature of my neighbors and the manipulation that can be employed to advance an agenda even if it costs lives.
And if you want to know who I am and what I believe, look at my Ten Rules to Live By. I don’t talk about my books during levy discussions because I don’t want to confuse any messages with the selling of books. So I just put the link out for those interested, and never mention it otherwise. But those are my beliefs and I live by those every single day. I should know them, because in this case—I wrote the book on the subject—so I know the material well. The person that I am and what these reckless characters described in this article tried to paint me as are not even close to the same thing. The words used to describe me by these people mentioned here are as far from the truth as one could get. They took small little bits of information because they didn’t want to work for the truth even though I placed it here for all to see. They did with me what they do with the funding problems at Lakota, saw what they wanted to see and assassinated the characters of anyone who stood in the way of what they wanted.
Here are the rules I live by:
1. To honor women, they are the pillars of society.
2. Stand as an example of the highest moral order.
3. Avoid mental depletion such as intoxication, and ignorance.
4. Pursue learning like a person on fire pursues water.
5. Live with integrity, where values are in line with behavior.
6. Live the given life, not the dreams of others.
7. In a crisis handle everything calmly and without confusion.
8. Be capable of firmness in the heart.
9. Sorrow is everywhere, accept it with a smile.
10. Resist hiding in numbers, stand as an individual contributor.
And to add a bit to that, I consider telling the truth even if the names are ugly to be of the highest moral order. That’s why I stand behind my comments. The truth does not live behind political correctness. It lives in the facts.
To understand the truth it helps to view the world through Hoffman Lenses. To understand what those are CLICK THE LINK. If you can’t handle the truth, then don’t read here.