Libertarian candidate shares ideas in Centerville

Published: Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
Updated: Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson addressed a packed theater at Centerville High School on Friday, presenting a mix of policy positions from across the political spectrum.

Johnson was a two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, and he calls for dramatic cuts to immediately balance the federal budget. He says Medicare is going broke, Social Security’s retirement age should be increased and federal government departments like education should be abolished and given back to state control.

But Johnson, speaking in a sport coat, jeans and a “peace symbol” T-shirt, also called for the immediate end of American military intervention abroad; repeal of the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security; the legalization, regulation and taxing of some drugs; and support for gay marriage.

“I think most people in this country are fiscally responsible and socially accepting,” Johnson said, adding he avoids the word tolerant. “I think actually we don’t really care at all as long as that behavior doesn’t negatively impact our lives.”

Johnson is one of seven presidential candidates listed on the Ohio ballot this fall, joining Socialist Stewart Alexander, Independent Richard Duncan, the Constitution Party’s Virgil Goode, Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

But Johnson pointed out that most “third party” candidates are on the ballot in half or fewer of the 50 states. Johnson is currently on the ballot in 47 states and is fighting in court to be listed in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

Third-party candidates have rarely garnered much support in presidential elections, as some voters fear “wasting their vote” on someone they believe can’t win.

“A wasted vote is voting for somebody that you don’t believe in,” Johnson said Friday. “You should vote for who you believe in. That’s how you change things in this country. … I’m making a request of everybody, to waste their vote on me. And if everybody will do that, I’m the next president of the United States.”

With this election focused so heavily on jobs and the economy, Johnson aims to restore America’s “industrial might” by replacing corporate, personal and other income taxes with the FairTax plan, which places a flat consumption tax on all retail sales. Johnson believes that move would cause corporations and jobs to flock back to the United States, creating “an explosion of growth” in the tax base.

Johnson admitted that adopting some of his plans would cause short-term pain. He said cutting the federal government as quickly as he proposes could cause “a short-term contraction, and yes, you have a whole bunch of people who are basically unemployed who would have been employed by the government.”

He said turning education back over to the states would likely lead to some “fabulous successes” and “horrible failures,” but innovation and competition would eventually elevate the system as a whole, adding that the current system of federal involvement has been far from perfect.

Kevin Fick, a Centerville High School senior, said Johnson’s ideas about ending the war on drugs and completely changing the system of health insurance in America stood out.

“(He) struck me as very down to earth, but also very different, because I’ve never heard a stance taken that far away from the median,” Fick said.

South Carolinian wants to grow medical marijuana in Warren County

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 9:41 AM


            A South Carolina man is seeking permission to grow medical marijuana between Lebanon and Mason in Warren County.

A South Carolina man plans to grow medical marijuana in Warren County.

RELATED: Warren County anticipates medical marijuana cultivation action

Anil Bhatara of Anderson, S.C., applied for a zoning permit to grow marijuana for medical use in a 3,500 square foot pole barn at 4258 Cox Smith Road, between Lebanon and Mason in Union Twp.

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Bhatara is not the person identified last week as having inquired about the county permit. Yetter indicated he had received multiple inquiries before Bhatara’s application.

Warren County Zoning Inspector Mike Yetter said the application, submitted Thursday, would be reviewed by county prosecutors.

Yetter briefed the county commissioners last week about inquiries about obtaining a permit from the county for the agricultural use in hopes of being selected by the state as one of 24 locations where medical marijuana cultivation would be permitted.

MORE: Butler County businessman fears legal fight over medical marijuana cultivation plans

In June, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a law legalizing marijuana for use by patients with one of 21 conditions, such as cancer, traumatic brain injury or chronic pain. It also allows medical marijuana edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing, but not smoking or home growing, to supply the patients.

RELATED: Ohio to license medical marijuana growers

The permit would be used to qualify for one of up to 24 medical marijuana cultivator licenses the Ohio Department of Commerce can issue “prior to” Sept. 9, 2018, according to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Warren County grandstands demolished after 70 years of use

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 8:21 AM

The grandstands at Warren County Fairgrounds have been reduced to rubble.

On Thursday, contractors were working on piles of building materials left after more than week of demolition work on the facilities used by decades of horse racing fans and county fairgoers.

The building will be replaced by a $3 million event center described by an architect as a “”Swiss Army knife kind of building,” easily modified for activities ranging from annual fair activities to weddings to races on the adjoining track.

RELATED: Event center to replace grandstands at Warren County Fairgrounds

For 70 years, the grandstands and track were used principally for harness racing, except during the weeks it was devoted to the county fair. Beneath the enclosed seats, the late Corwin Nixon, a long-time state representative, maintained an office.

RELATED: Grandstands were centerpiece of Lebanon Raceway

They fell into disrepair after live racing and off-track betting were sold to the operators of the Miami Valley Gaming & Racing, the racino just off Interstate 75, west of Lebanon.

RELATED: Racing moves to racino, although horses still stabled in Lebanon 

The event center is envisioned as the centerpiece of the redeveloped fairgrounds. The county plans to use funds set aside by state law and donated to the county by the racino operators.

RELATED: $12 million set aside for four Ohio cities

The property is owned by the Warren County Board of Commissioners, although Ohio law puts the agricultural society, better known as the fair board, in charge of the facilities.

The fair board and county commissioners reached agreement on the event center, but much of the parking lot next to the new facility is still owned by the Carlos family, with the Nixons the two families that controlled racing seasons before the move.

RELATED: Commissioners want control of private parcel within fairgrounds complex

However, the commissioners continued to discuss how much to spend on the facility.

Commissioner Shannon Jones suggested the Track Kitchen, a restaurant on the fairgrounds, could use some reinvestment.

The architecture firm McGill Smith Punshon has been hired to design the event center.

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Commissioner Tom Grossmann suggested the facility could be enlarged for $300,000 to serve larger and a more diverse array of events.

“Wy wouldn’t we do that?” Grossmann said.

Democrat files to challenge Congressman Mike Turner

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 3:38 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

Congressman Michael Turner (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATE: The name of a first possible challenger for U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, in 2018 has surfaced. Democrat Michael J. Milisits of Riverside filed a statement of candidacy  for the 2018 10th Congressional District race.

“I want the average person to have a voice in Washington,” Milisits said.

His filing with the Federal Elections Commission sets up his campaign committee, but Milisits has not started gathering signatures on nominating petitions necessary to get his name on the ballot.

He also has raised no money for the race.

Turner, who has held the seat since 2003, has $302,202 on hand, according to the FEC website.

5/22/17

For the first time in more than a dozen years, the congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, is being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has named 79 seats of more than 130 it plans to focus on in 2018.

Turner was one of 20 new targets the DCCC announced Monday. He is one of only two that voted against the recent Republican legislation to replace Obamacare.

Mark Owens, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party says the DCCC sees the 10th District as winnable for a Democrat in part because of the district makeup and also because of the current political climate.

RELATED: Look back at Turner’ 2016 race

The district includes all of Montgomery, Greene and part of Fayette County.

Turner’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

“I think it’s because even though it is a gerrymandered district it is less gerrymandered than some others around the country,” Owens said.

Owens said two potential candidates are already interested in challenging Turner in 2018 but he would not name them as he did not have their permission to do so.

RELATED: With protesters outside Republicans at local GOP dinner stress unity

“One is a West Point grad, Afghan/Iraq vet” and the other is a a local businesswoman, Owens said. He said one of the two “has some wealth and is going to put some money into” the race, which Owens expects will require $1 million to $1.5 million to be competitive.

Blaine Kelly, spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party, said Turner won by a large margin in the Nov. 2016 over teacher Robert Klepinger, a Democrat, and Huber Heights Mayor Thomas McMasters, an independent.

“The only explanation for the Democrats’ decision to target Congressman Turner, or any Republican seats in Ohio, is that they are gluttons for punishment. Congressman Turner’s constituents gave him a giant stamp of approval last November by reelecting him with sixty-four percent of the vote,” Kelly said. “Democrats can manufacture outrage when Republicans keep campaign promises, but they can’t fake votes.”

Turner’s seat is one of four in Ohio the DCCC believes can be taken from Republican incumbents in 2018. The others are U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, Bob Gibbs, R-Avon, and Dave Joyce, R-Russell Twp. Nearly all the targeted seats are held by the GOP and the others are open.

RELATED: Groups hold town hall without Rep. Mike Turner

Owens said a Democratic candidate can get logistical and fund-raising support from the DCCC in a targeted race. He thinks the last time Turner’s district was targeted was the year he won it in a 2002 battle against Democrat Rick Carne to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Tony Hall, D-Dayton.

“We’re incredibly excited that our national partners are expanding the map and targeting races like Ohio’s 10th Congressional District,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper.

The DCCC raised more than $9 million in April, beating previous records for the month, according to The Hill. However that’s about $1 million less than what was raised last month by Republicans.

City to make $130,000 purchase to create Wilmington Pike parking lot

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 10:14 AM


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The city of Kettering passed a resolution Tuesday that will allow them to purchase the building at 3813 Wilmington Pike for $130,000.

City Economic Development Manager Gregg Gorsuch said the city’s primary plan is to demolish the existing building in favor of creating a parking lot for the adjacent office building at 3809 Wilmington Pike, though other options could be considered.

“Once we get control of the property we will definitely look at all the options to make sure that is the best one,” Gorsuch said.

Gorsuch said the building is currently occupied by American Family Insurance but that the tenant is looking to relocate.

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