Latest Million Mom attack on Jim Trakas (R-17)
The Million Mommies just won't let up on Jim Trakas (R-17). After enduring a littany of televised attack ads, and the staging of a poorly attended and politically unsuccessful election eve opposition rally, Rep. Jim Trakas probably thought the Mommies were silenced on election day, when he soared to a convincing victory, taking votes nearly 2 to 1.
Little did he know, his anti-CCW foes would wait less than 1 month into the start of the 125th General Assembly to launch a new salvo. Only this time, it appears their strategy is to lie about Trakas' position in public, in effort to force his hand.
An Ohioans for Concealed Carry supporter notified us Friday of a published letter to the editor of the Solon Herald Sun*, which suggested that Trakas had changed his position on CCW reform.
The letter, written by Million Mommy organizer Lori O'Neill of Bainbridge Township, attempts to make something of the fact that Trakas has not (yet) signed on as a co-sponsor of HB12. According to the reader, the letter also implies that O'Neill has succeeded in turning Trakas against CCW reform.
A quick call to Trakas' legislative aide, Diane Jaquish, put any such notion to rest. Jaquish stated that "Lori O'Neill does not speak for Rep. Trakas." She explained that Rep. Trakas has a well-known policy against sponsoring ANYTHING until it reaches the House floor, for precisely the reason we at OFCC PAC haven't endorsed HB12 - the language in bills can change too much in committee (as we all saw too vividly with HB274 in the Senate last fall).
Jaquish went on to say that he "has a long-standing belief on this issue that is not likely to change. But if they added a bunch of gun control stuff into the bill," she
"can't say he wouldn't oppose it on the floor."
This letter to the editor is just the latest attack against Trakas. O'Neill is well aware that Trakas' position has not changed, so she is trying a tactic that has been made popular by inside-the-Washington-beltway-types - attempt to change the legislator's position for him, by lying about it in public, and then accusing them of flip-flopping if they "change" back.
Ms. O'Neill is an active member in the "Million" Mom March movement. This organization has, in the past, indicated that it is willing to do whatever it takes to villify those that support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I Section 4 of the Ohio State Constitution.
If you live in Representative Trakas's district, please call his office (614) 644-6041 and thank him for his continued support for constitutional self-defense via passage of concealed carry reform.
*The Solon Herald Sun does not publish their letters to the editor online, and is "unequipped" to provide a fax copy of the letter in question. A request on this website for a copy of the letter proved fruitful. Our thanks to Mr. Phil Greer for sending a copy along. Text of the letter follows:
(Printed in Feb. 6, 2003 Solon Herald Sun:)
"Trakas hit bulls' eye on concealed carry issue"
"To the editor:
Every now and then, when we least expect it, someone exceeds our expectations and demonstrates a degree of integrity and thoughtfullness not often seen in our cosiety anymore, and more rarely, among our elected officials. I want to thank and recognize state Rep. James P. Trakas, R-15, for doing just that.
Following the November elections, I wrote a letter to Sun Newspapers expressing outrage at Trakas' co-sponsorship of House Bill 274, a bill that would have permotted the carrying of hidden, loaded guns by citizens of Ohio. My letter was written in response to the results of a poll of voters in his district that reveled (sp) that 86 percent of his constituents were opposed to lifting the ban on carrying concealed weapons. My letter criticized Trakas' campaign for attempting to derail a pre-election press conference held in his district by the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Million Mom March, of which I am a member, to highlight the discrepancy between Trakas' pro-gun stance and his constituents' opposition to it.
To his credit, especially in light of the scathing tone of my letter, Trakas met with members of our group to discussthe issue of gun violence and our belief that putting more hidden, loaded guns on the streets would not decrease the incidence of violent crime in our state. Trakas was attentive, open-minded and sincere in his pledge to study the issue in more detail before taking any further action on this issue.
He has kept that promise. On Jan. 28, Rep. James Aslanides (R-Coshocton), introduced HB12, a new concealed-carry weapons bill in the House. The bill has 55 co-sponsors, but Trakas is not one of them. When I spoke to Trakas, he stated that the information we had given him and his constituents' opposition to it had caused him to rethink his position on concealed-carry and declined to co-sponor the bill.
Make no mistake, Trakas will take a lot of heat for this from the NRA, pro-gun groups in Ohio and from his Republican colleagues. In the face of this imminent pressure, I hope he will stand strong knowing he has the support of the majority of his constituents and the respect of many others in our state. I salute his courage and convictions and his dedication to his job. He is proving to be a responsible legislator and for that he deserves the respect of his constituents.
Lori A. O'Neill