Sunday, April 01, 2007

Where have all the Republicans gone?

To say that I'm disappointed with my fellow Republicans on City Council is an understatement. Angry, irate, annoyed, irritated, livid, incensed, outraged...these are better words to use.

Our Republican Party used to stand for less government and lower taxes. I realize that, on a national level, many of those elected with our Party's designation have ignored these core principles for a long time. Even on a state level, there are many who've forgotten that standing by these core principles and reflecting them in votes was what those who'd cast ballots expected.

Because of my frustration with these national leaders, I've told the National Republican Party and the National Senatorial Campaign Committee that I was not going to make donations to them until they stopped focusing on incumbency and got back to focusing on the principles that define us and our Party. I would tell the callers that I was going to give my money to local candidates where I'd have more say in how they voted and more opportunities to ensure true conservative principles in government.

And then our four elected Republicans on Toledo City Council decide to vote for a 'trash fee' ... which isn't really a trash fee. It's a tax for the general fund budget, which has grown considerably over that last several years, despite a decrease in population.

Even Joe Birmingham, who'd publicly taken the principled stand and said he wouldn't vote for it, changed his mind and did so.

They've said that there wasn't anywhere else they could cut without impacting police - but I see that they didn't eliminate temps and interns. Their excuse for this was something about three-year contracts for such services. My position? Every contract has an out - and if our city law department was so stupid as to not build an 'out' into the contract, Council still could have reduced the mayor's budget by these line item amounts and told him that he could find the money for these two services elsewhere in his office budget. And Council didn't reduce the marketing or advertising budgets that I could see - so there was still 'fat' to eliminate prior to imposing a new tax.

Perhaps our Republicans are Council aren't knowledgeable enough about budgets to be able to analyze them and find the fat...Perhaps they trusted either the president of council or the finance chairman (both Republicans) when it came to the decision...Perhaps they're more interested in maintaining their positions (as president and on committees), thus continuing their alliance with the mayor and B-Team Dems to the detriment of our Party's core principles...Perhaps they weren't really Republicans to begin with...I don't know.

Regardless of the excuses they may offer for this decision, they missed a wonderful opportunity to stand for less government and lower taxes. We will suffer the consequences of this decision by having higher taxes. My only consolation is the fact that they, too, will suffer the consequences of this decision at election time.


naglen said...


You couldn't be more accurate. As one of the apparent lone Republicans in the City of Toledo, I too, am extremely distressed over the budget vote by our four Carty Republicans (the extreme opposite of a Regan Republican).

Growing up in Toledo I was grasping the slightest hope that our RINO's would have taken the correct approach to the city budget. "The Bland" gave greater emphasis to Joe Birmingham changing his position - however, it is a greater travesty that the two "senior Republicans" and one "Republican convert" led the way in voting to increase taxes.

As I expressed in letters to our four newest Carty lapdogs, they can kiss me goodbye as I am now moving to Wood County so that I can live and be represented by Republicans and not Republican hypocrites

Hooda Thunkit said...

"Regardless of the excuses they may offer for this decision, they missed a wonderful opportunity to stand for less government and lower taxes. We will suffer the consequences of this decision by having higher taxes. My only consolation is the fact that they, too, will suffer the consequences of this decision at election time."

My thoughts exactly!

I identify true conservatives by their actions. In my judgment, the 5 democrats on council who voted against the atrocity also known as the budget are the true conservatives here.

Those calling themselves republicans seem to have forgotten their core republican principles, that is, if they ever held them. . .

Rusty said...

Is it possible that the principles that work at a national level do not apply well at a local level?

What to eliminate - police, fire, sanitation, health?

Given that (after 12 years of GOP rule) Ohio's economy is sinking like the titanic, maybe conventional thinking does not apply.

Too many conservatives are just chattering dittoheads these days - no thinking allowed.

Maggie Thurber said...

Rusty - I'm not sure what you're saying. Conservative values (limited government and low taxes) aren't restricted to just the national stage. In fact, I think they're more pronounced on a local level despite political affiliation....many locals voters who are registered Democrats are rather fiscally conservative - as exhibited by the 'no' votes for this new tax by 5 Dems.

Threatening core mandatory services is the easy way out. It's much easier to get support for tax increases if you threaten these things than it is to suffer the criticism of special interests and stop funding such things as 'homeless studies,' sister cities administration, new showers, easter egg hunts, Toledo Pride pins, etc...

-Sepp said...

Ludeman and Sarantou are fakes. No conservative in on the planet would vote for tax increases and more government in our lives. Even Solozzi has shown a more conservative color than those two.

Maggie Thurber said...

-sepp...I can't help but wonder what might have been accomplished if the 4 Republicans had teamed up the 5 Democrats who voted against a tax 9 veto-proof?

save_the_rustbelt said...


What I am saying is that a model that works on a national level may not work on a local level, especially in a rustbelt area where the private sector economy is sinking fast.

I am not in favor of large government or high taxes, but trying to think through Toledo's problems in the traditional conservative model may not work well.

The entire rustbelt is in a difficult cycle, we need lower taxes to attract business but we need higher taxes to pay for education and infrastructure, which would be necessary to attract business. How do you solve that little dilemma?

This is why the rustbelt, including Toledo, will likely deteriorate for another generation, barring some unknown economic mircale or some federal intervention.

Conservatives who consider tax cuts as the silver bullit for everything are just kidding themselves. This is not 1981, the world is much more complex.

Maggie Thurber said...

Rusty - thanks for the clarification.

You raise a valid point. I would suggest that true Republicans/conservatives would make such items as basic government functions a priority with the limited tax dollars that they have. Such tasks as roads, police, fire, etc..would get their funds first - anything not mandated or required for the basic functioning of government wouldn't be funded.

The philosophy works, but you are right that it's more than just low taxes - it means that any taxes are used properly for the limited government functions - and that's it.

BrianMaxson said...

Joe Birmingham said...
Maggie, I was told by Jerry Denniger council receives a 14% pick-up in addition to 10% we pay. I don't know what the mayor's pick-up is.

I may not be adept at the political game, but I have opposed these tax increases from the start. I just believed if you did the right thing people would notice. I was wrong.

Joe Birmingham

10:53 PM

Yo Joe? Whatcha got to say now? Getting more attention for being a hypocrite than a stand up republican, buddy.

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