Taking back their party
Editors note: Buckeye Firearms is a non-partisan PAC focused on the sole issue of firearms rights. We are aware that most people have many issues that are important to them. The same political principles that apply to firearms, apply to other issues of importance, and the lessons apply equally to both political parties and all Ohio counties. We urge you to contact your local party and get involved. Don’t just vote for a candidate on the ballot; help decide which candidate will be on the ballot.
By Jim Irvine
Republican gun owners have spent the better part of two decades frustrated by a party that has talked pro-gun while campaigning, but time and again acted anti-gun once in office. Until the veto override of Republican Governor Bob Taft on HB347 last year, Republicans have done almost nothing for law abiding gun owners since taking control of the state legislature, other than passing a poison-pill laden concealed carry bill. That veto override followed an election where the Republicans lost seats in the Ohio House and four of five statewide positions, including the Governor’s office to pro-gun Ted Strickland (D). Many Republicans are upset with their party and want to return it to the values they hold dear, and they are having success.
Most people are familiar with the national parties. They are nationwide and presumed to be powerful. We also have the state parties and on a lower level county parties. Too few people pay attention to the local parties. They are rarely in the news, but can be very influential, in large part because the national party does not know the local landscape.
County parties are sometimes controlled by a few people who do not represent the voters, but wield the power because no one takes them to task. In Summit County, people have expressed concerns of being a political outcast for speaking out against their party leadership. State Senator Kevin Coughlin, a strong friend to gun owners, is heading up a group called “The New Summit County Republicans” who want to oust sitting chairman Alex Arshinkoff and replace him with someone who represents the party’s base and return it to its principles. This is a ground-up plan that pits the grassroots against the big money establishment. The goal is to include the grassroots people who are the engine behind any political movement, and this presents a great opportunity for pro-gun grassroots activists to get involved and make a difference.
The plan starts with electing a new Central Committee. If you live in Summit County and are a Republican, or an Independent interested in becoming a Republican, you can be part of the Solution. The New Summit County Republicans will guide you through the process of getting your name on the ballot. You only need five signatures of registered voters who are Republican, or independent of any party affiliation. Many of these positions are vacant because no one takes an hour to get their name on the ballot. Don’t let that happen in your precinct.
The Central Committee is not a paid position; however it does give you the power of 475 voters in Summit County. There is also an “Executive Committee” which is authorized by the Central Committee and charged with determining how the party operates, such as circulating petitions for candidates. This is a job that matters to gun owners. For proof, see the stories regarding Cuyahoga County at the end of this story.
Chairman Arshinkoff made thousands of dollars in personal donations to anti-gun Betty Montgomery and influenced others to donate much more. He also gave $4,900 to anti-gun Senator Mike DeWine and his wife and family donated at least another $4,000. When he was a lobbyist for First Energy, they donated over $10,000 more to Mike DeWine.
Most troubling is that Arshinkoff called Mayor Don Plusquellic (D) the right leader for the right time while he joined anti-gun champion Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun coalition of mayors seeking to deprive law abiding citizens from owning guns. That alone should be cause for any gun owner to rally against him!
If you are a pro-liberty individual living in Summit County, and find this unacceptable, now is your chance to put an end to this outlandish behavior.
Describing how he thinks the party should run, Coughlin noted:
I think the party should work for the candidates and the officeholders, not the other way around. It should offer the services, expertise, and support needed for our candidates to win elections, build an organization, raise money, and navigate the minefield of the public arena. The party should also encourage and develop new talent. Talented people are viewed as a threat by this chairman and are all too often sidelined.
Developing new talent is something every organization needs to do, but it seems to have been lacking in the Ohio Republican party over the past decade, particularly in Summit County.
With Kevin DeWine now the State party’s Deputy Chairman, there are strong signals that Ohio Republicans who are demanding a change are being heard. There have been some needed changes at the top of the party. Now it’s time for changes at the local level.
If you are a pro-gunner living in Summit County and are a Republican or interested in becoming one, please step up and contact the New Summit County Republicans. They will guide you through this simple process and help you return your party to the ideals that you hold dear.
You can get involved by clicking here:
Join New Summit County Republicans
or by calling 330-940-3260
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