Open Letter to the Findlay Rotary Club: Political Preference

September 25, 2012

In May of this year, after reading that Rep. Sprague had addressed the Findlay Rotary Club, I contacted the Rotary to see if there would be interest in letting John Kostyo, who was a declared candidate running against Rep. Sprague for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, also address their membership.

I received a call from Lynn Child, the program director for the Rotary Club. Ms. Child informed me that it was the policy of the club not to permit political candidates to promote their campaigns and issues.  Guest speakers are to provide educational presentations like pending legislation.  I replied that Mr. Kostyo was more than able to play by their ground rules.  I was then informed that Mr. Kostyo was welcome to address the membership, but the earliest date open for a speaker was in December.

After reading the story in today’s (Sept 25th) Findlay Courier “Latta Unsure if Tax Cuts Will Continue”, I feel the campaign for John Kostyo and the public deserves some clarification of the policies of the Findlay Rotary Club in regard to political speakers.  It would seem to me that any talk by any politician, officeholder or candidate is inherently political.  I would also call into question the timing of Rep. Latta address given that we are in the heart of the campaign season.

Let me be clear, the Findlay Rotary Club is a private club and it is well within their rights to invite any speaker at their discretion.  But if the Findlay Rotary Club wishes to present themselves as a public forum for the benefit of the City of Findlay and if the Findlay Courier is going to cover their meetings as a public forum, then it is my belief that the Findlay Rotary Club needs to provide the public and the press with a clear statement of policy in regard to political guest speakers.  It is my perception that the current policy, as expressed and executed, is being manipulated to give a political preference.

See Story in The Findlay Courier: http://www.thecourier.com/Issues/2012/Sep/25/ar_news_092512_story2.asp?d=092512_story2,2012,Sep,25&c=n


Rep. Spraue’s Constitutional Craziness

May 23, 2012

At last week’s Findlay Rotary club, Rep. Robert Sprague put forward a proposed constitutional amendment that makes one question his fitness to represent the people for the 83rd district.  The National Debt Relief Amendment would give state legislatures the power to set our national debt limit.  How any legislator could believe for a second that this proposed amendment is in any way workable is beyond imagination.  This amendment would tear to shreds large sections of the United States Constitution.

Rep. Sprague also suggested that his constitutional amendment be put forward at a Constitutional Convention which might lead one to question his basic powers of reason.  Given our current level of political discourse, a constitutional convention could easily go off the rails, taking our nation spinning off into areas that are better left to a more reasoned political process.  Even Rep. Sprague seems to acknowledge these problems with his own proposal, yet he made it anyway.

It may make you feel better to know that Mr. Sprague did not dream up this nutty idea all on his own.    The National Debt Relief Amendment is the brainchild of the far right wing group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) funded by the mega rich like the Koch brothers.  ALEC is intent on making the US a tax free paradise for the one percent.  Rep. Sprague’s support for this harebrained idea raises the question: does Rep Sprague have the independent mind that we want from our representative?

Luckily for the voters of Findlay and the 83rd district, we do not need to put up with Rep. Sprague and his screwball ideas.  In this election, we have a real choice.  We can vote for a legislator who will put the needs and concerns of his constituents; the working families of Ohio, before the desires of a far rightwing special interest group bent on serving the one percent.

John Kostyo will work for you, to build an Ohio that works for you.  Robert Cole Sprague voted against firefighters, law enforcement officers and teachers.  Next time he will vote against you.  Don’t let that happen.  Vote John Kostyo this November!


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