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.

Don Drumm Studios

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Cedar Point


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

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Churches come together to welcome and include Gay Games athletes
Nicely done!!! A little known fact about the El Salvadoran and Columbian scholarships.. A big thank you to the Faith Community for their support of Gay Games 9....

What do Ohio farmers need to do to control Lake Erie problems?
This was a great article, thank you, Karen Schaefer. There was an error- Roger Wise is the past president of the Ohio Farmer's Union; not the Ohio Farm Bureau ...

Registration for the 2014 Gay Games ends Monday at midnight
Judy Benson and Sally Tatnall are loved and appreciated by all in our community and throughout the US for their untiring work for OLOC and for educating the com...

Like any family, the Gay Games has its generation gaps
Great article ... important perspective.

Gay Games rodeo: Changing stereotypes
Robin, Thank you for a fine piece of recorded history. This is history in the making; a gay, Asian man, one of the last bronc riders in IGRA, and Rodeo at Gay G...

Ohio lawmakers hold hearing on prison food problems
So you fine them..this has been going onand the law makers are aware of this issue.I have been told by many about the maggots and rotten food not fit for a dog ...

Interview with early Beatle Pete Best
"the Leshdu (?) Quartet.." Actually that's the Les Stewart Quartet. George Harrison was in that band at the same time as the Quarry Men.

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