News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Genie of Fairview Door Company

Knight Foundation

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Politics


Ohio's tea party convention draws a sellout crowd
The statewide meeting of tea party groups spent the weekend discussing religion in politics, a federal balanced budget, Medicaid expansion and next year’s statewide ballot
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Tom Zawistowski, Portage County Tea Party executive director, says conservatives aren't wild about Kasich, but know the odds.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Tea party activists are being told they have a lot of opportunity in next year’s elections, as they continue to oppose Republicans on several issues. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, they also are being told they have a lot of work to do.
LISTEN: Ohio tea partiers look at the odds

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:16)


The tea party’s annual statewide We The People Convention was a sellout. More than 300 activists gathered in a ballroom at the Columbus Convention Center to talk about religion in politics, the economy, a Constitutional amendment for a federal balanced budget, Medicaid expansion and a preview of next year’s statewide ballot.

Former Republican state Rep. Bryan Williams, who’s now on the Ohio Board of Education, offered some perspective on the statewide races. 

Dismissing the chances of Nina Turner
“Even Democrats quietly say we don’t have a candidate yet,” Williams said of the race for governor. He also spoke about the auditor's race, where incumbent Republican Dave Yost is being challenged by Rep. John Carney.

“If there is a rising star in the Democratic Party, this is probably who they’re pinning their hopes on,” Williams said.
 
And when it comes to the contest pitting current Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted against Democratic state Sen. Nina Turner, Williams is not expecting a tight race.  “I think this race has the potential to be the most lopsided," Williams said.

'Bite-sized' races
Former Republican state Rep. Seth Morgan said tea party activists are already hoping to field candidates to run against more than a dozen House Republicans, though he won’t name those lawmakers. 

“I don’t think it’s wise for us to stand up and say, we’ve got these 15 individuals targeted,” Williams said.

One of the tea party leaders, Chris Littleton, said the data shows that local primaries are winnable by a few thousand votes. 

“These are bite-sized races," Littleton said. "If you guys want to take them on, you can absolutely win these with just a handful of volunteers.”

The executive director of the Portage County Tea Party, Tom Zawistowki, disputed reports that activists are having trouble finding candidates to run in those races.

John Kasich is no favorite son
Perhaps the most interesting prediction for 2014 – and the most visible evidence of a split between Tea Partiers and Republicans – came when Zawistowski asked the crowd about supporting Ohio's current governor.

“How many in this room are going to vote for John Kasich for governor?" Zawistowski asked. "One, two, three. How many in this room are going to work for John Kasich in this coming election? One.”

That one was Republican Repr. John Becker of Cincinnati, one of a handful of state lawmakers who stopped by the tea party gathering. Becker recently proposed legislation to roll back Medicaid to federal minimums, to expand the number of places where guns can legally be carried and to cut by half the number of days for early voting in Ohio. And he did note that was the lone person who appears to publicly back Kasich. 

”Does that worry you at all?” OPR's Karen Kasler asked Becker.

“Well, you know, there’s probably more people in this room who’s willing to stand up for Kasich. But who wants to be standing alone in a crowd?" Becker said. "Well, I’ve done it before, and I did it again today.”

Zawistowski says though the tea party is angry with Kasich over his support for Medicaid expansion and overall state spending, it doesn’t have the millions needed to put up a candidate against Kasich in the GOP primary, nor against and Democratic contender Ed FitzGerald. But he says activists are looking at Libertarian Charlie Earl. Zawistowski says if his supporters desert Kasich and FitzGerald is elected, they’re comfortable that the Democrat wouldn’t have enough support in the Legislature to make big changes.

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University