Pro-Obamacare Ohio GOP Campaigns On Standing Up to Obamacare

ORP state central committee mailer
An excerpt from an Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee mailer sent this month

Party-endorsed Ohio Republican Party (ORP) State Central Committee candidates are being promoted with inadvertently hilarious ORP flyers asserting, “It Takes a STRONG Republican Party to Stand Up to Obamacare.”

ORP supports the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, a major component of President Obama’s unpopular insurance law. Several of the Obamacare expansion’s most vocal Republican critics have been denied ORP’s endorsement in the May 6 primary.

Endorsing candidates is one of the Party’s key functions, and backing candidates based on their policy positions would be the only meaningful way any central committee member could “stand up to” Obamacare or anything else.

Nonetheless, ORP is instructing primary voters to elect ORP’s favored state central committee candidates “to STOP Obamacare.” Sources throughout the state have reported receipt of the same mail piece with only candidate names and photos changed.

With ORP working to keep both the legislature and central committee loaded with Republicans eager to do whatever Governor John Kasich wants, the mailers are part of ORP’s ongoing efforts to knock out limited-government challengers.

“When the Republican Party has to mislead their voters to gain voter support, it is time for new leadership,” 15th District ORP State Central Committee candidate Jim Burgess told Media Trackers.

“Let’s focus on the real problem with the Ohio Republican Party and elect Central Committee members, like myself, who will vote to adopt a party platform, something we Republicans don’t have today, that all Ohio Republicans can be proud of,” he added.

Burgess, who is also seeking the Republican nomination for the 25th District in the Ohio House, is a leader of Taxpayers for Westerville Schools and Westerville Tea Party.

In the case of the 10th District mailer shown above, Steve Austria is running against conservative activist Bruce Hull for an open committee seat.

My race is an open seat race and there is no way they should be putting their foot on the scale in these races as well as throughout Ohio,” Hull told Media Trackers.

Austria, a former congressman, was not included on an ORP endorsement list provided to the Youngstown Vindicator in early March, but he is listed on an ORP Greene County slate card released this month.

ORP recognizes criticism of Obamacare as a campaign tool, but don’t ask Party officials about the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Last August when Media Trackers reached out to more than 30 county Republican Party chairs to gauge local support for Medicaid expansion, orders went out from Columbus to “beware of enemy blogger trying to rope Republican leaders into an anti-Kasich blog-fest.”

In a “RepublicanResponseToDemocratBlogger” document, ORP parroted Gov. Kasich’s talking points on Medicaid expansion, touting the policy as “the pragmatic and logical approach for Ohio to lessen the negative impact of Obamacare.”

Not including billions in new federal spending, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is projected to cost Ohio taxpayers more than $600,000,000 per year by 2022.

Kasich embraced Obamacare by including its optional Medicaid expansion in his budget proposal last February. Republicans in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate stripped the expansion from the budget — but no matter the gulf between stated principles and supported policy, ORP leadership serves Gov. Kasich.

Even when Kasich vetoed the Republican-dominated General Assembly’s ban on Medicaid expansion, ORP backed the governor. ORP did nothing “to STOP Obamacare” as Kasich circumvented the legislature, unilaterally expanding Medicaid and turning to the pseudo-legislative Ohio Controlling Board for appropriation of Obamacare funds.

President Obama has cited Kasich’s Medicaid expansion as a major Obamacare success story, and Kasich’s “compassionate conservative” rhetoric has helped Democrats and big-government Republicans in other states push the Obamacare expansion.

While Gov. Kasich continues to lie about how billions in new entitlement benefits will be paid for, ORP remains supportive of using promised Obamacare money to put hundreds of thousands of able-bodied childless adults on Medicaid.