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!


Rep. Sprague Supports Job Killing Regulation

February 6, 2012

Recently on the WFIN “Good Mornings” show with Chris Oaks, State Representative Robert Sprague-R stated that Ohio would have the world’s best regulation of the oil and natural gas drilling industry.  It would seem that Rep. Sprague did not get the memo from his Republican party that regulations kill jobs.  The GOP is right you know, regulations do kill jobs.

Take the oil and natural gas drilling industry, any regulation to protect the environment, whether to protect the water table or that restricts drilling operations in seismically unstable regions, will kill jobs.  It may make some wells too costly to operate or the added costs could put some marginal drilling companies out of business.  Whole sections of our state could be off limits to drilling because of the risk of seismic activity caused by drilling operations.  In all of these cases, jobs will be killed.

So, why would Rep. Sprague support regulating the oil and gas drilling industry?  Well, slogans like “Job killing regulation” may win votes, but slogans do not make for good public policy.  In the real world, government regulations protect consumers, the environment and regulations protect industry for itself.

The classic example of the government regulation that was at the foundation for a whole new industry is the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).  In 1926, the pioneers of civil aviation came to the federal government asking to be regulated.  They believed that without federal safety standards the public would never perceive flying to be safe enough to support civil aviation as a viable business.  The FAA and business worked together to build public confidence in civil aviation.

This is the lesson that Rep. Robert Sprague is trying to apply to the oil and nature gas drilling industry.  The market cannot regulate itself; the incentives run 180 degrees in the wrong direction.  In the long-term, effective government regulation is essential to a healthy marketplace.  The question for Rep. Sprague is, how can one be an effective legislator when you belong to the party that puts simple minded political slogans before sound public policy?  “GOP slogans kill good government”.


Cronyism in Findlay City Government

November 2, 2011

In Findlay city council chambers last night (Nov. 1, 2011), Mr. Jaffee and Mr. Kostyo exposed the cronyism and unprofessionalism at work in our city government.

It was clear, by the evidence presented by Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Kostyo, that City Council had not done their homework in setting the salaries for the city office holder. It is also clear that the City Law Director has been grossly overpaid for many years and that City Council intended to continue that “tradition”.

I found Councilman Ward’s assertion that the interest in the City Law Director’s salaries was motivated by the “election” telling and galling, Mr. Ward, that is why we have elections, to hold our elected officials accountable. It seems that Mr. Ward and others on City Council are not comfortable having their decision-making processes questioned by the public or the democratic process.

On another subject, when a Council member asked the City Law Director how the negotiations with the county on funding flood studies are moving forward, Mr. Hackenberg replied that the contract was sent over to the county three weeks ago and that nothing had been heard, which begs the question of why Mr. Hackenberg could not have picked up the phone and called somebody at the county. It seems that once again, the communication between the city and county has broken down on the single most important issue facing our community.

Last night’s City Council meeting was a case study on how the good old boy network and one party rule is failing the citizens of Findlay and Hancock County.

See Article in the Findlay Courier: http://www.thecourier.com/Issues/2011/Nov/02/ar_news_110211_story1.asp?d=110211_story1,2011,Nov,02&c=n#__comments


%d bloggers like this: