The Criteria for State Funding of Education in Ohio: A future state free of Parkinson’s Law

Just as a preview to the upcoming debate at Lakota schools, and the post Trump election of 2020 where Betsy DeVos will unleash her education reforms I think its only fair to give a sneak peak into my position model for state funding problems in Ohio. One thing that became very clear to me while fighting the Lakota levies during the early part of the last decade was that everything pointed to problems with state funding, where the state was having a terrible time of constitutionally providing money to schools due to two major character flaws in the foundation assumptions of the public education debate. First the cost for schools were filled with what I call in this case Parkinson’s Law, which is a business term to describe typical problems in schedules, where allotted time fills to whatever dates are provided, the work fills the time provided, and secondly, the attachment of money to real estate instead of the students provided by the tax payers. Those two elements have made it impossible to come up with a proper funding model and must be solved before the state can do anything, so to answer the questions from the past, how can the pro levy people and the anti-levy people get together to focus their efforts in Columbus toward real education funding change, those two questions must first be solved. Anything that does not deal with those two issues, is off track and a useless gesture, and that will be my position on the upcoming levy fights no matter what frontier we find ourselves fighting them.

Parkinson’s Law occurs when building things like Gantt charts in business where all the parties of a process are allowed to give their perceived dates for the completion of their given task. When looking at a total project and the critical path needed for its completion, it will be quick to note that all the participants in a schedule will give themselves a comfortable amount of safety in case they have runovers and problems in their task. Taken as a whole, this takes the completion date for a project well past the usual funding requirements and must be worked out by taking away all the fluff that finds itself into the assumptions. In public schools where collective bargaining agreements take up 80 to 90% of a $200 million budget at a school like Lakota, the desire to have tax increases is only to fund this out of control filling of a budget with Parkinson’s Law where the money in the budget always fills to satisfy the supply. It has nothing at all to do with the quality of education, but everything to do in order to satisfy the comfort level of the government school in recruiting, and labor management among a hostile organization that is bound to socialist desires, the government labor unions that are embedded and cannot be removed without destroying education as we know it and the free babysitting service that it has become for so many busy, working parents.

Knowing all that, the per pupil cost of education is excessively high and no state law maker can hope to sign their name next to such an inflated figure until the schools themselves work out the true need of their paid staffs, and are getting the most out of those they do have. If a school wants to pay a teacher six figures to do a job, that’s fine. But the teacher better be worth it. However, through collective bargaining, some teachers may be worth it, some may not, but all get it because of the nature of the union agreement which goes well above and beyond what taxpayers should be funding with their property taxes. It’s the same rule that applies to private businesses, if a company has a unionized workforce, that’s fine if they can operate with it. But don’t ask the customer to pay more for those services because the union is present. That is not the fault of the customer, it’s a non-value-added experience for the taxpayer to fund on the top end for mismanaged services passed down to them through the government school looking to appease the radical elements of their labor force. To keep the labor happy and justify all the advanced degrees and other elements, Parkinson’s Law says that the budget will grow to satisfy the demands placed on it by the comfort level of the participants.

How many teachers does it take to teach a classroom in this fast moving world where video games have more influence over students than a stagnant employee teaching things in the front of the room that are already two or three years too old by the time they are trained to teach it, and how much is that teacher worth for 7 or 8 hours of their day, 5 days a week and summers off? Is it worth $70K per year, or $100k, because a lot of teachers at Lakota are making averages of that amount of money and the report cards for the school show that it hasn’t helped them get “A”s on their state report cards. Questions like that have to be asked before state funding can be acquired because those are contributors to the Parkinson’s Law I am proposing must be answered before any model can be created legally. In this day and age couldn’t a government school operate with a lot less teachers and more interactive media, even larger classrooms? Given the state of the results of our current way of doing things, its clear our education system is not doing a very good job as compared to other countries, so why would we stick with the same old same old, its too expensive and its not very effective. Education needs to be faster, and more engaging, and up to date, with the rate that computer processers increase in memory and efficiency. Things kids learn today are almost outdated before they even leave high school, so we need better ways that are much less bureaucratic to keep up. All these considerations are part of the state funding crises that must be solved before anything happens. Just lobbying the state government for more money isn’t going to solve a thing because we haven’t dealt with how that money would be spent.

Of course the answer nobody wants to talk about that thinks of public education as a crowning experience for youth, where football games and dances are centerpieces of culture young people depend on, and parents who need someone to watch their kids while they are busy at work. But the future of public education is to get government out of it, out of the regulations, out of the report cards, out of the business as much as possible and to turn over that effort to private enterprise, which the labor unions are completely against because it would take away all their emotional leverage. But that is where education is headed whether it takes 10 years to get their or 100. The inevitability is fast approaching and it won’t take long for everyone to see it. The need for more personal freedom and faster rates of learning that are not so top heavy in costs demand such a thought and that is ultimately where the state funding will reside. Any discussion besides these things is a useless one.

The assumption among education activists is to lobby for money to feed the old broken system that has not been effective, as is evidence in our present society. The current system is too expensive and does not teach the right things at the rate that kids need the information. I would offer that the cost of an average teacher should be about half what it is now and that many of them should not just do teaching as a career, but as one thing in their lives. The structure of teaching should not need a stagnant employee present to hold down the speed of learning, but should only be present to provide an interface to knowledge. That is a part time job at best in the schools of tomorrow. Certainly not worth 80K per year for hundreds and hundreds of employees only working a fraction of the day in a fraction of the year. I measure a day in 24-hour intervals, so if a job only requires 8 to 9 hours of dedication from an employee asset, it’s a part time job to my eyes. And that is how things will look as we get into the future state of government school funding models. To me, they are already extinct. Its taking other people too long to realize it, because that’s the way we’ve always done it, but once Trump is elected for his second term and his sons or even Candice Owens takes over the future of the White House going into 2030, the word “government” is coming out from in front of schools which must be privately managed. Just like health care is headed, and just about every other utility of economic expenditure. That is the wave of a fast-moving future and government schools are way behind in recognizing it. But soon, they won’t have a choice. Their entire reality will be taken away with the Parkinson’s Law that has built their budgets with so much fluff over the years that people are tired of it. And will vote accordingly.

Rich Hoffman

Kathy Wyenandt the Democrat Lakota Tax Supporter: Apparently they want a rematch

I think its very interesting that Kathy Wyenandt is still celebrating the passage of the Lakota levy of 2013 as her calling card to get into the Ohio Senate. At a recent debate some of the things I heard her say about her role in passing that levy stirred me the wrong way. In ways that I’ve written plenty on, that levy was personal and had evolved well beyond just a healthy debate between opposing sides. When she talks about No Lakota Levy as the organized resistance to the tax increases that were proposed three other times prior and went down to defeat, it was my face that was in the front of it, and it was my reputation that they attacked when they couldn’t win any other way, so I disagree with Kathy Wyenandt who became the fourth campaign attempt at passing that ridiculous tax increase at Lakota schools. After listening to her I think we need to set the record straight because there was some really bad action going on with that effort for which Kathy was in the middle of and we need to talk about it.

Kathy Wyenandt is taking credit for her role in passing that tax increase so let’s review what happened. After three levy attempts for which I was the spokesman of the No Lakota Levy group the school board targeted me personally to get me out of the way of their opposition for another attempt which they were talking about doing in the following spring. I had two problems with that, the voters had spoken on three previous attempts, a resounding no, and Lakota wasn’t listening. Instead they made it personal and went after my character directly, siding with the Cincinnati Enquirer in bringing great harm to my reputation in an effort to smoke out all the No Lakota Levy supporters whom I represented often on WLW radio. The organized labor efforts of the teacher’s union and the levy supporting moms of Lakota went on quite a campaign against me, because they couldn’t beat the arguments I poised at them in live debates on the radio, on stage at various forums, and anywhere else they wanted to fight. Because their premise on the whole thing was wrong. So they lobbied WLW to stop supporting the No Lakota Levy campaign, which led to the firing of my radio friend Doc Thompson while on his honeymoon, which was a very low blow to him.  He and I talked about the situation and he spilled the beans to me as to what went on behind the scenes at WLW in conjunction with Lakota lobbyists, all which occurred at the same time in a coordinated fashion.  No school system should have that kind of power against the tax payers who pay their bills and hire them to manage their district. There were other elements, but the Lakota position was certainly a corporate decision on behalf of Clear Channel that wasn’t there in the 2013 election.

I had my much publicized fight with the core levy supporters when I called them all “latte sipping prostitutes” essentially as I was outraged that those people did not respect the previous 3 elections and kept scheming and plotting until they got their property tax increase, and it caused a separation of No Lakota Levy from my representation. I wanted out in a lot of ways because I was sick of talking about education issues. I wanted to publish a book I had been working on that wasn’t related at all to public education, yet my actions with the Lakota levy was setting me up on all kinds of television, radio, and other public formats that wanted me to be their education spokesman, so the longer the Lakota levy issue went on, the more trapped in it I became. I was hoping that after that third attempt they would stop and listen. But they didn’t, instead they spent more tax money on more consensus building efforts and showed they intended to try for a fourth wasting more of my time, so I blew up and the rest is history. We agreed to a cease fire, I moved on to other things and Lakota started plotting for that fourth attempt a year and a half later for which Kathy Wyenandt was brought in to help. And even with all that, they only won by 1% of the vote, not at all a stout and convincing victory. No Lakota Levy was there to organize a resistance but in looking back, I think we all agree we should have stuck together and if we had, there is no way that Lakota would have won. If Lakota tries again, we are talking about getting the band back together again.

The big turn in the vote was Sheriff Jones, the popular Republican who thought it was time to support Lakota because they had promised to use some of the money for increased security. Many of the No Lakota Levy people were willing to join with Jones to give Lakota a chance and some voters followed, enough to give Lakota a very small victory. After the win, Lakota did with the money exactly what I said they would do, they gave raises to the teachers even though they should have been laying off due to declining enrollment. They had been operating as a surplus for several years due to that declining enrollment but now they find themselves in the same trajectory of surplus spending and are talking about yet another levy. I just had a talk with several No Lakota Levy people the other day and we are seriously considering to meet that levy attempt in the same way we did on the previous three attempts that defeated the tax increase. Playing nice like many of them wanted to in that 2013 attempt stung in the end and the taste has been bad for everyone because many feel like they were lied to by Lakota. We have all been focused in getting a third conservative vote on the school board, but that has been not nearly as effective as just voting no on school levies. But the status quo of just passing more property tax increases every so many years is just not an acceptable option. If Kathy Wyenandt wants to take credit for that tax increase, which she clearly does, then have at it. But the truth of the matter was that Sheriff Jones changed the numbers, and we had split our efforts within No Lakota Levy. Only by dividing and conquering did the levy pass. It wasn’t that Kathy reached across the aisle to Republicans and Democrats to build a coalition. It was simply that Jones and his followers wanted to give Lakota a chance, which they have squandered.

I have spoken to Kathy on several occasions now and everyone seems surprised that I am not some raving lunatic on that matter. In fact during the three previous levy attempts I was very friendly with everyone, including the pro levy people. I was always happy to argue the facts. But I have a very bad temper, I can handle it just fine, but when someone punches at me or even thinks to, it doesn’t go well for the perpetrator.  I have never taken an attack on me lightly and when Joan Powell and Julie Shaffer on the school board decided to attack me personally, that was the end of the cordial activity. It was they who weren’t listening to what the voters said, and insisted on continuing to make levy attempts until they wore voters out into just saying yes. It was one of the most crooked schemes I have ever seen and it ruined my thoughts on public education forever. I don’t think those people should be anywhere near educating the next generation and I could tell stories all day for the record, and if this extortion scheme wasn’t so wide spread in virtually every government school, there would be serious legal issues.  I have not told all the stories I know about these people because honestly, I have wanted Lakota to improve its image, for or community’s sake.  But since its government, it gets overlooked and we are all supposed to take it smiling.  It was with each levy attempt that Lakota made that caused me to think that the John Dewey system of education was a ridiculous failure that needed to be completely reinvented, which is where I am on all education topics these days. Most of the No Lakota Levy supporters do not feel as strongly as I do on the matter, they just don’t want to get ripped off by the school that harms their projects. I however think public education as a concept needs a complete re-invention, so I don’t want to spend a further dime on any of it until we have that discussion. If not for my experiences with the Lakota levy attempts, I might not feel that way, but the more I learned, the more I despised the process.

It certainly helped that when Kathy Wyenandt came along, she didn’t look like the bottom of someone’s shoe the way previous pro school advocates presented themselves. That certainly helped take the edge off all the hatred that had been brewing between the various groups in the process. But that hatred was created by Lakota not listening to the voters and insisting that they just keep going to the voters until an election went their way. They cut busing as an extortion tactic, they took away sports programs, they played lots of games when the real meat of their problem was their excessive payroll. Kathy made it easy for Sheriff Jones and some other local leaders to give Lakota a chance, which they have blown, of course. And if Kathy wants a rematch, let’s have it. I bet Lakota wouldn’t get 1% of the vote today. And I think she knows that which is why she wants this senate job, because everyone knows Lakota is going to try for another tax increase because they do not have control of their budget. And when that happens, Kathy wants to be in Columbus so she doesn’t have to face the fact that the levy win in 2013 was a falsehood of smoke and mirrors, and once people realize that, she won’t be able to use it for an opportunity for higher office.

I am always happy to have a professional debate and discussion about everything. I am used to dealing with people who do not agree 100% with my view of the world and I can talk to a person like Kathy and many of these other pro tax advocates without getting mad at them. But when they take a shot at me and make it personal, then my policy is worse than Donald Trump’s policy of hitting back twice as hard. I tend to hit back until there is nothing left of the other side and I do that in everything in my life. So any past that we have had where Lakota used people like Kathy Wyenandt to advance a tax position they shouldn’t even have been asking for is on them, and all the anger that came from that attempt which is still as strong today, if not stronger, than it was prior to 2013. The problem was and always has been that after the first levy attempt that was defeated way back in 2010, Lakota should have managed their labor contracts differently. But instead they chose to pass their mismanagement off onto the community to cover the insane expenses of their collective bargaining agreements to the taxpayer, most of which do not have children in the school system. And today there are more of those people voting than there were in 2010, so a rematch to set the record straight would be a welcomed occasion. Whether or not its No Lakota Levy or some update of that concept, I’ll be there to meet it with those also interested, and the truth will be obvious.

Rich Hoffman

The Debate for the 4th District Senate Seat in Ohio: George Lang was the clear winner

Prior to the primary election for the 4th District Ohio Senate Seat where George Lang, Kathy Wyenandt, and Lee Wong debated for that seat, the video included was done by TvHamilton at the Benison Event Center. For those seeking to understand the candidates prior to casting a vote, here they are. One notable mention is the disgraced GOP candidate Candice Keller who did not come to participate. It appears that this was the last of the candidate forums before the primary and she had not been participating anyway, so she was represented here by an empty seat off to the side of Lee Wong. Feel free to share these contents with a friend, neighbor, or curious onlooker intending to vote on March 17th along with the brief summation that is included.

Without question to my eyes George Lang won this debate easily, and he should be the next senator for the 4th District. But ultimately its in the hands of the voters. George’s answers were very polished, as we’d expect, and was the obvious choice deserving a vote. As is clear in the debate George can hit all the notes and appeal to the voter base that has various degrees of passion about the topics that are important to us all. Few people but George could have talked about Agenda 21—something that few established politicians could ever get away with, and he appealed to moderates by stating that he was friends with Kathy Wyenandt and was willing to work with anybody over anything. He is very Donald Trumpish in that he has quite a range of abilities in communication that just about anybody can relate to, yet with his core beliefs, he believes in helping businesses which obviously help voters with good jobs and secure futures. He is also a big Second Amendment guy who is every bit as committed as the most staunch supporter without the drama of a crazed radical.

And as the current Ohio 52nd District representative in the Ohio House, a seat that Kathy lost to him in her attempt to enter a political seat as something other than a school levy supporter for the Lakota schools, George specified what he has been doing and wishes to continue to do to bring more business opportunities to Ohio. As he pointed out there are several problems that are facing our state, for one, we are bleeding young people. Our youth are leaving for destinations they perceive have more opportunities leaving us in a bad state for attracting workers for more industry wanting to move into the area. As he said, that is leaving a recruiting problem for less imaginative industry that is looking for fertile recruiting grounds for their businesses and with so many youth leaving the state after they attend college, the numbers just haven’t been there. Personally, I think this is a problem of human resource departments and not the actual demographics, but George wants to overcome that problem with incentives to have a booming population that can attract the best that the world has to offer by way of jobs. For instance, he used Butler County as the example of how the rest of the state should look, which currently has a population of around 400,000 people of good income and plenty of opportunity.

One issue that was talked about in somewhat agreement by all the candidates was Ed Choice which is currently bringing great stress to public schools all across the state with report cards that they think are unfair as vouchers are now traveling from students to the private school of their choice leaving the broken funding model that schools use exacerbated beyond repair with worry in how to maintain their exploding budgets. As George pointed out correctly, the government schools are strapped with regulatory burdens that make it hard for them to compete with private schools and he is looking for options to make it more fair for them to attract customers as the trend is to send money to the students and not the school real estate that the schools reside within. Kathy had articulate answers but unfortunately she has a long way to go to fully understand the true problem. The state of Ohio cannot come up with a proper funding model for their schools so long as the budgets that they are asking for is filled with entirely too much Parkinson’s Law, where school levies get passed and the labor unions lobby for more increases to consume the total amount of surplus that is gained in property taxes. George’s ideas are moving more to deregulating the impositions that public schools have to live up to with report card needs mandated by the state, whereas Kathy’s thoughts were to protect the system that we have in place that has all the inflated funding in it. Lee Wong didn’t know what to say, he hardly seemed to understand what the question was.

Speaking of Lee, the West Chester Trustee who is running as a Republican, he stated during this debate that he thought of healthcare as a right. I’ve been saying about him that he is a Democrat that is only running as a Republican because Butler County is full of members of the GOP, which is why things tend to be so good. He has no other path to office other than to try to sell himself as a Republican whereas he is clearly a Democrat, even a socialist in many cases with positions like his on healthcare. Of course, George’s answer is to have more competition and to bring down the costs with more options. Kathy as the only stated Democrat on the stage was looking for more of a centralized committee approach that is aligned with other Democrats on the matter. But clearly she wasn’t very interested in the topic as her primary concern resides on education issues which constitutes her only real political achievement, the passage of the Lakota levy of 2013 which instantly gave raises to teachers, some of which were making six figures, and placing those inflated wages on the backs of Lakota residents who weren’t very happy once they learned what Lakota really wanted to do with the money they extracted from the public.

Essentially the summary of the debate was that Kathy Wyenandt agreed with George on most every issue except for school funding, because that’s her only real experience going into this election. She’s essentially an education lobbyist who thinks she has enough juice to deal with multirange needs as a senator, and compared to George, she has a lot to learn. Lee Wong is an old rival of George’s from West Chester and he really didn’t seem to care if he won or not. His hope seems to be to help Candice Keller with a split West Chester vote that might hurt George and give a radical rival a chance to knock George down in the primary. He was unprepared for this debate and obviously aloof. Only George Lang showed any real promise as a state senator in the kind of capacity that is expected out of the job. And that really isn’t a surprise, but it is good for everyone to see for themselves, for those who couldn’t attend that night. The proof is here, you don’t have to take anybody’s word for it, watch it for yourself and be sure to vote on March 17th, 2020.

Rich Hoffman

Bill Kristol was Always a Democrat: Understanding the political spectrum that doesn’t change, only the relativity of a person within it

It came up a bunch this past week, and why recently I have been talking about the political spectrum more than the label of Republican or Democrat. For review, it has been my offering that the more intelligent and worldly a person is, the further along that political spectrum to the right that they are. For instance, I have known a lot of Democrats and went to many, many social events where there were lots of Democrats, and “arty” people and they think of themselves as smart academics. They can tell you all about the names of wines and what they should be paired with, they will talk about sail boats in Nantucket and tell you all about their second homes in Florida, but they aren’t very wise in matters of life. The more they learn however, the further to the right they might be said to be. And that is why there is all this business of some people swapping back and forth between Republican and Democrats, such as Bill Kristol going from the bastion of conservatives with his now bankrupt magazine to looking like a clone of Karl Marx as an anti-Trumper, anti-capitalist. Kristol never moved ideologically, but the party of Republicans under Trump’s White House leadership has moved further to the right leaving Kristol behind.

I haven’t listened much to WLW for many years as I lost respect for the audience they are trying to attract. I’m much, much more of a 55 KRC guy than someone who likes to hear hours and hours of sports broadcasting and middle of the road political commentary. But in my office, professionally, which is surrounded by lots of very intense machinery only WLW comes in on my radio. I don’t live stream it on the internet, I still use a broadcast radio that I’ve had for thirty years more for sentiment than practicality, but I like having it since its not dependent on a computer system, it only needs electric to receive a signal, so I let it play all hours of the day 7 days a week and is always there to give me news at the top and bottom of every hour. So I put up with WLW’s soft side because I want the news. It’s the same arrangement at my home, in my workshop/shooting range I have WLW on for the same time slot depending on where I am, I still get the news at the top and bottom of every hour and can track stories as they develop. So it didn’t go without my notice that they have a new slogan, “explained not shouted” which is meant to aim their programming at those further down the political spectrum where the not so smart people are, the Democrats. Because they think that is their future.

I’d say it’s a miscalculation on their part. The future is further to the right not the left of our political spectrum. Even though our public schools and colleges are clearly teaching socialism and have been for quite a long time, life experiences push people to the right. I was thinking of this very issue as I was speaking to Kathy Wyenandt at a recent event. She is listed as a Democrat currently because she lives near me in Liberty Township, Ohio and all the Republican seats are taken pretty much. She can easily dominate on the Democrat side because she is very smart and talented. As she was talking to me I kept thinking, its too bad the Republicans didn’t have her running against Sherrod Brown during the last election for the Senator from Ohio. Or why she wasn’t on the Cincinnati City Council running for Mayor of the City, because she could beat those people like a killer whale having a snack on a beach of baby seals, as a Republican. If she lived Hamilton County she could have her way with anybody because as a person she is pretty far down the political spectrum and would fit a nice spot somewhere prominent in the Trump administration’s Republican Party which is the trend of the country now that the news is fun and people are learning more about how things work. They aren’t moving to the left, they are going to the right and the center of the political spectrum is not where Bill Kristol always was, or Mitt Romney for that matter, or the current Bill Cunningham of WLW radio, its much further to the right.

If you’ve ever wondered how people who are Democrats and Republicans can hug and go out to dinner together its because in all honesty, they are most of the time at the same place on the political spectrum. They may call themselves by the “D” if they are in Hamilton County or an “R” if they are in Butler County depending on where that area’s political spectrum of educated voters are, but by personal belief, they are pretty close to agreeing on most things until someone like a Trump comes along and moves the bar in a particular direction that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. When I’m in those kinds of meetings I never meet anybody to the right of myself, everyone is always to the left, so I get used to being alone in that discussion. But that doesn’t make me a radical right winger, rather something that is often misplaced, I would say that the more that someone knows about the ways of the world, the further to the right that they will be on that spectrum. Some people are born into that by regional influence, but in general, the more educated you are as a person, the more life experience we can draw wisdom from, the more conservative you become.

A couple of people I admire a lot is Thomas Edison and his friend Teddy Roosevelt. Both men were conservatives who found themselves experimenting with progressivism around the 1912 period and its easy to see why they allowed themselves to get caught up in all the robber baron syndrome that appealed to the public at that time as Marxism was rushing into our country from Europe to influence all of civilized society. It was the equivalent to WLW announcing that they are “explaining, not shouting” the news, early American progressivism was rocking the Republican Party to its very core, and both Edison and Roosevelt were brilliant people who were not very good with money, so their value systems put them on the edge of the political spectrum at the time that leaned to the left on issues, but left them to the right on many others. However, if in their lifetimes they had mastered elements of personal wealth, they would likely not found themselves consumed with the temptations of progressivism, and would always had been committed to the Republican Party as it was defined by Abraham Lincoln.

The point of the matter is that while I say that Democrats are garbage and should be defeated everywhere that they reside, that is the old talk radio side of me who understands that points need to be made quickly so that people don’t change the dial over to some other program. And while I do believe that, the real answer is much deeper than just making that statement. I don’t like Democrats because I like intelligence and the beauty of wisdom that people further down the political spectrum exhibit, and I want that for the world honestly. But I am not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I understand many people have their own journey to make and that not all of them are as far along the political spectrum as I am. I have worked hard over the years reading one to two books every week for all of my adult life and learning everything I can along the way in a multitude of professional opportunities. I don’t have the problems of Roosevelt and Edison in having weak points in my own thoughts that keep me bound to a centrist position on that political spectrum. But most people I know are nowhere near as ambitious toward true wisdom as I might be. They enjoy primetime television shows, they like sports, and they are still learning about the ways of the universe, and they might still call themselves Democrats even though I can clearly see the budding flower of a grand Republican. Things are never quite what they appear, but what is clear if you know what to look for, is what they might become.

Rich Hoffman

Candice Keller, Locked in a Vault, Yet Nobody can Find Her: A campaign doomed from beginning to end

I had hoped that the rumors were not true and that Candice Keller would in fact be at the Butler County Chamber Coalition debate for the 4th Ohio Senate District at the Benison Event Center in downtown Hamilton. But like the giant bank vault of that old building that has stories to tell going back to the gangsters of prohibition, not even Candice was inside. All of her that made it was her name tag at a table where she should have been if ever she hoped to be a real candidate for the upcoming primary election on March 17th. I had hoped to talk to her, to salvage her political career somewhat by getting behind George Lang and living for another day, but she didn’t even show up to have that conversation. Instead, it appears that her phobia of public speaking was true and that her weak speeches at the State House were more than just a rookie learning her way in a new office, Candice has a real problem getting her thoughts across to the public in events like this one, which is crucial to any viable candidate.

A lot of people have such phobias of public speaking and being judged by so many people, but anybody running for a big office must understand that these expectations come with the territory. In her case she managed to offer something fresh to her district and people gave her a chance largely through church networks and Facebook. But people expect their political representatives to learn as they go and events like the one at the Benison Event Center are part of the job, and winning those debates are expected. The job for the 4th District Senate Seat is bigger than a Facebook campaign, these types of things are how politicians communicate to their constituents, not just through quips to the media, but in presenting herself to a crowd that isn’t always happy to see her and to win them over. That’s part of the game. Instead, Candice had an empty chair with her name on it, and her son showed up to video the other candidates to see how the professionals did it. But her empty seat was quite a statement, it said a lot more than if she had come and made a fool of herself. At least if she had, people might sympathize, but instead all she gave the audience was the impression that she didn’t even care enough to arrive.

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The Vault in Hamilton Ohio. #travel #life #family

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What her son was able to record was a very polished George Lang who is the obvious front runner deliver very well on all the questions that were asked of him. George is the real deal at every level, he is good with people, honest, understands the needs of donors, and he can reach across the aisle to work with anybody on anything. Candice’s son also saw a very sharp Kathy Wyenandt who will be the Democrat nominee after the primary. All evening she and George spoke well together in a polite way without surrendering their integrity, but in the manner that both of them could go to Columbus and get bills passed by members of the various influencers. Even if Candice did luck out and Moses came to separate the Red Sea for a freakish win at the Republican primary, for which the entire GOP is asking her to resign due to her reckless commentary about Nazis and gay people, Candice doesn’t have the horsepower to beat Kathy Wyenandt in a head to head race. Currently, the way things are, Kathy has a numbers problem, she’s running as a Democrat so no matter how good she is, she’s on the wrong side. But with the GOP not behind Candice, and Keller looking to be terrified of public debates, she would have no hope of winning a major election against Wyenandt.

That is why I wanted to talk to Candice, to help her see the light before it was too late. Instead, she is off on a fantasy that she can avoid these kinds of things and still win with a Tea Party like activism. Only I was there when the Tea Party was young, and so was George Lang. Many of the best conservatives today in the GOP are from that movement. What Candice and what’s left of the Tea Party are those who have not found an identity in the new focus of leadership that has emerged under President Trump. They haven’t made the transition from rock chucker to leader. George Lang certainly has; he is very much the Trump Republican in the race. When Trump comes to town, its George that he would seek, certainly never Candice, especially in the wake of her media troubles. She’s toxic poison right now with no future in sight once she steps out of her House seat and that would be a real tragedy to the election that she did win.

Keller’s son was also able to record the bumbling lunacy of Ding Dong Lee Wong who had a terrible debate. An absolute disaster. I would say about it, at least he had the guts to come. However, afterwards when everyone was talking during a social hour Lee disappeared rather quickly. The group I was talking to figured that it was because East Avenue was nearby, and he was likely going on shopping visits for his old friend Robin McDaniel—the “working girl.” Of course, before going Ding Dong Lee Wong said that the solution to the employment challenges were to just let in more Chinese people, or something to that effect, which left the audience baffled and looking for more to come. But at least Lee was there to make a statement, which was more than Candice. All jokes aside about the brevity of Lee’s post-debate networking, the obvious front runner of the debate was George Lang as expected, and Lee looked to understand that after this season of debates, this one in Hamilton being likely one of the last before the primary. Any hopes Lee had of landing a blow against Lang that could damage his frontrunner status was gone and so was Lee’s spirit. I almost felt sorry for Ding Dong Lee, but because I know the history of how much he hates George Lang, I won’t go so far to reach out an olive branch. He can wallow in it for plenty as far as I’m concerned.

Once the room had cleared and everyone went home, I did ask the caretakers of the place if I could look in the vault to see if Candice was back there somewhere. To humor me, they actually looked with me holding that name tag to identify Candice.  Nobody was in the vault, but it was impressive to look at such an antiquated structure from the years long gone. It reminded me a lot of the campaign of Candice Keller, confined, locked up, and even looted beyond comprehension. Her perceived path to victory was to lock herself in such a vault to the outside world and hope that some miracle might happen to get her elected into a high office by just throwing rocks outside those confines at a genuinely good person in George Lang. She should know with all her supposed Christian values that lying about people as she has been disparaging the character of Lang to such a degree won’t get her any keys to heaven. I’d love to help her with her problem, but all she gave me to work with was a nametag and an empty seat and the perception of an audience that already thought of her as a loser.

Rich Hoffman

To Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Roger Stone is the Most Dangerous Man in the World: It all comes down to sex

I am surprised that with all the talk about the Roger Stone sentencing case and the mysterious reason people seem so alarmed that President Trump has weighed in on the issue, that the true cause of the ruckus has not been discussed. It’s not that Stone lied to congress, a congress that tried to impeach President Trump on nothing charges only to overthrow the 2016 election, its not that Harvard Law graduate and Obama appointee Amy Berman Jackson judge in the case is a political activist using her bench to dispense political ideology against voters sentiments. It’s not even in how the FBI has evolved into a political police force arresting Stone on charges in the early morning with CNN cameras tipped off and rolling as the former Director of the FBI and many under his command sip wine into the many sunsets of the Beltway and laugh at the rest of us who are clearly at a disadvantage to their government paid rule. It’s not about any of that, although those are all by-products of the situation. What its really about, and usually traces back to this central, primal point, its about sex.

For most of our human evolution contriteness has been the means to interact in social conditions. As everyone instinctively knows the first need of all males is to find their way within some pecking order where the top males are known and understood while most everyone finds some happy place of contriteness somewhere under the top male. Most males learn their place by the time that they get into their 20s and it is purely the aim of academia to make the most out of those who fall in that realm of being in the middle of the male dominated pecking order that is at the core of our species. And as all males learn who are not the top males, that the way to move up in that pecking order is with contriteness, so not to threaten the top males with a challenge, but to appeal to their egos in hopes for some table scraps that might come their way. That is the point of most institutional systems. Of course, the purpose of understanding who the top males are is to have the right to mate with the top females, the best looking, the best specimens of supernormal sign stimuli that is on the market. In nature this is how the best-looking kids find the right DNA to procreate the species.

Women of course flower and bloom into specimens for pollination and it is up to these men along the pecking order of society to find a good female and to mate with them and have babies. The great crises for most women is during that period in their lives where as beautiful flowers of puberty they wilt into carriers for the next generation only to be discarded as wrinkled up flowers later in their lives once the children had been raised and there was no longer a social need for them. This is why progressivism was such an attractive aspect for women, because they grew tired of becoming wilted in life and being left behind by husbands looking to clime the pecking order ladder just a bit higher and to trade them in for another young flower that might be at a less declining stage of wilt. Careers then became the new family and specifically government became a new refuge where some level of protection from the more dominate aspects of the species could not make everyone under them feel so inferior.

Less exciting people in life found a home in government where they were somewhat protected by the alphas and so long as everyone followed the rules of English society contriteness, everyone could get along to some degree or another. And those rules were to seek a certification to show that you knew something because someone said you did, and that the way up the ladders of society were to be contrite, to follow the rules, and to be happy with what you ended up with to the degree that you were allowed to have it. For people not at the top of their species, which was most people, this was a good arrangement, until we entered the period of western expansion and the gunfighter on the open plains ignited in American society the idea that anybody could be the top male, or female of their species if they could shoot a gun, or show fearlessness on the open horizons where the sun disappeared away each night. This whole American experiment redefined what being a top male, or top female was, it was no longer the best looking person, the tallest person, or the strongest, but it was the one who was most fearless, or who learned to be fastest, or more cunning which opened the door to a whole lot of new entrepreneurs who suddenly filled American society with a new breed of “top” people.

Of course President Trump with his flashy suits and gold buildings, and long list of beautiful women embodied this divorce from contriteness that the government bound career seekers were looking to hide from so the established pecking order subsidiaries would be angry at for changing the rules on them. And then there are people like Roger Stone, and Alex Jones who are obvious alpha males who are comfortable with the Trump America who wear gaudy suits and show no willingness to bow down to the established order of things, and it enrages people like judge Amy Berman Jackson who spent her whole life preparing for her wilted flower phase in order to still find a life of happiness in the contriteness of academia, as they had promised her would always be the case. When a Roger Stone stands before her, her ruling powers want to throw him in jail for life because they want to slap down this trend, which is now well beyond their control. Yet they still wish to act out against them. If they can’t get to Trump, they can get to Stone, to Manafort, and to Flynn, and those people are not permitted to be “top” anything if people like Jackson has anything to say about it, and that is why this case is so unfair. The legal system was never meant to be fair, it was meant to protect people from the judgement of their pecking order placement in life, where most people aren’t the best looking, or even the smartest. And with the newfound power of the personal gun, they were too lazy to become proficient with such an empowering device. So they have retreated to the rules of European contriteness in hopes that they might find some happiness as the inevitability of old age burdens them more each day with the realities of wilting flowers.

So the case isn’t about justice, the Stone case is a rebellion against the new found freedoms of our modern age where the concerns of pecking order madness can no longer be stuffed into a civilized box of rules and parameters meant to keep the contrite protected from the realities of mediocrity. Under the Trump administration America has been free to sore if only the people of the country dare to go there, and if they are not the best looking, or most skilled, they can still step out of their pecking order station and seek a life of unlimited potential. And that is why Amy Berman Jackson and her Obama era supporters want to throw Roger Stone in jail for as long as possible even as real criminals walk the streets raping, pillaging, and robbing everyone blind minute by minute. To the world of Amy Berman Jackson, Roger Stone is much more of a threat because he refuses the rules of contriteness and instead insists that he is free of such pecking order demands on his life, which is why he is one of the greatest threats to civilization that has yet arrived to human eyes.

Rich Hoffman

Voters have a lot to be angry about with Kathy Wyenandt: Remembering Todd Portune and his “people over politics” theatrics

Of course George Lang still needs to win the Republican primary in March before looking ahead to the Democrat challenger for the 4th District Seat for Senate in Ohio Kathy Wyenandt, but there are a few things about her campaign already that is disturbing, and they’ve come up before. One of the reasons Lang had to raise so much money for that 4th District Seat is because he needs to beat two Republican primary challengers then a very likeable Democrat in Kathy in a county that liberals would love to turn more purple than the hard red that it has been. Liberals hope to do that with women candidates who can cross over invisible political boundaries for voters earned and unearned and Kathy will be there with some money left from her previous attempt at the 52nd District House seat which she lost to Lang and a check from the now deceased Todd Portune that was sizable for the task of purple rain in Southern Ohio. Since he just died and its not fashionable to disparage the dead, I’ll save many harsh comments I have for Commissioner Portune for some other day but I do find it interesting that he thought enough of Kathy to give her a $2,500 check. Portune and I go back a long way and it was not pleasant. He was better late in life, but vicious political theater in the days of Dwight Tillery as the Mayor and Foxy Roxy as the Vice Mayor are stories I could tell that could dwarf the Bible many times over, but to put it mildly, I do not share with Rob Portman and many other conservatives any kind words. Yet it was the passing of Portune and of learning of his contribution connection to Kathy Wyenandt that reminded me of her campaign and the message she has for politics in general that I am very much opposed to.

Wyenandt and I have talked about this several times, her belief that politics has become so toxic that her campaign slogan is “people over politics,” as if to say, she is not a partisan and will listen to people over any other influence. Well, ironically Todd Portune told me something almost exactly to the same effect almost 30 years ago while I was in his office and we were discussing a solution to a nighclub incident where a bunch of drunk kids had died in a car crash coming home from the Cooters night club after the place had closed. I was proposing to him to solicit help from the city to get approval through the CBC a non-alcoholic nightclub that would operate in Coryville right next to the freshman dorms on the University of Cincinnati’s campus and give kids somewhere else to go once all the bars closed for the night and poured a bunch of drunk kids into the world as dangerous toxins. I was weary of the Democrat Portune who had pictures of prominent politicians in his office and I wasn’t sure if I could trust him with the intentions of the group I was representing. But he said to me much of what Kathy has said recently about the common good and people over politics, so I trusted Todd Portune with my idea.

Well, and there is much political theater that fills the book ends as mentioned but the gist of it was that I found myself in a lot of political trouble every which way you can imagine and as it turned out Todd Portune, as a member of Cincinnati City Council at the time was also the attorney for the nightclub Cooters and he had ratted out all my plans to all the wrong people which killed the financial aspects of the deal and left me hanging in a very bad way. I was young, so it was a good learning experience and it only took me 10 years to dig out from that mess, but to say the least, I learned what it means when politicians tell you that they put people over politics. What they really mean is quite the opposite. When it comes to Todd Portune, I figure fate sort of played out for him. While Rob Portman, whom I knew pretty well in those days of my dealings with Portune has lots of nice things to say about Todd, I’ll just state that I’ll leave the dead to rest and let whatever version of God the readers hear have sort out the details. The lessons of those experiences are more valuable than any other element and it reminds me a lot of Kathy Wyenandt’s campaign.

Each time I’ve spoke to Kathy she is always quick to tell me that she doesn’t read this blog site, yet she knows an awful lot about it, and she always pulls the conversation around to how divisive politics is and how she thinks we can all agree to taking some of the toxic relationship out of it. She is a nice approachable person so it would take a while to dig into the details so usually those types of conversations never get into the weeds too far, but as I’ve thought about it over time, and have learned that she has even enough of a relationship with an old political rival of mine, Todd Portune, I have much more severe opinions about Kathy’s “people over politics” platform. As a school levy supporter for Lakota on the last attempt, a political point she has choosen to capitalize on, it is clear what she represents and that makes the premise revolting of what she is asking people to accept. The toxic relationship people now have in politics is because they have learned too much about the bad dealings of people like Todd Portune and the double dealing that often goes on especially among Democrats when they say to your face, “people over politics.” What that usually means is “see you in court while you spend a fortune defending yourself from some political incursion.” Democrats for years have tried to put us to sleep while they’ve literally tried to screw our eyeballs out and the toxicity of modern politics is that enough people have woken up to the fact and people like Kathy want to ease people back to sleep to that reality.

It is OK to be angry that Lakota has wasted all the money Kathy helped spend through that last levy passage and is now looking to tax homeowners even more. Of course she doesn’t want people to fight or be angry, she wants to put them back to sleep—to the good ol’ days where Democrats could talk out of both sides of their mouth and get away with it. Of course the Democrats which Wyenandt is a member want everyone to suddenly get along now that the many evils that we have discovered from politics gone wrong in the past are clear to us now. If people are thinking of those things, no Democrat will get elected for anything ever. So Kathy’s only real strategy is to try to kill everyone with kindness and put everyone back to sleep so she can have a chance at a higher office. But to answer the question that she asked me, which I know she’ll read about here on my blog, and we’ll talk about the next time we see each other out and about, is that its good to be pissed off and angry at politics and that it is people who elect representatives that can recover their interests who are waking up and that they should be angry at how they have been treated. And because of the Lakota levy of 2013 voters have a lot of reason to be angry with Kathy—and then some.

Rich Hoffman