small town belt tightening…

The other night, I attended a Public Hearing on a new budget for fiscal 2021 for a small town in the area. The overall amount the village has to work with is $6.9 million. (There’s a population of about 4,000 people.) The village fiscal officer did a power point presentation, explaining the various budget categories. She said for the past two months she has been meeting with village department heads to go over projected expenditures with a fine tooth comb, so to speak, to cut what can be cut and stretch what can be stretched. I’ve gotten to know her over the last year through my reporting, and she, indeed, has an eye for detail and is tremendously prudent. What’s more, there’s a good bet the village won’t spend more than it has… Now, we’re currently over $20 trillion with the National Debt. One, most likely, that our kids are going to inherit. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have one of these small town, prudent fiscal officers in D.C. going over the budget? I think so. And our administration would bring one in. For more on our campaign’s take on this…

Amy Coney Barrett …a local perspective

Amy Coney Barrett ….Catholic News Agency photo

I interviewed a local college law professor for a newspaper article that, in part, dealt with the recent Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings. She teaches Research & Writing classes, Legal Problem Solving & Analysis classes, and so on. She said she was not only ultra-impressed with Ms. Coney Barrett’s knowledge of legal cases across a broad spectrum, but she was just as impressed at her “poise” in dealing with the barrage of questioning. What’s more, when this local law professor was asked about the Democrats threat to “…pack the court,” she said that would be fraught with problems. The most obvious being that each time partisan power shifted on a federal level, the party in power would then be tempted to “…pack the court” some more. This, of course, could get quickly out of hand.

Veterans Day 2020

photo by Joe

For Veterans Day, I went to a local assisted living facility to cover a ceremony there for the newspaper. A number of guys from the American Legion Post here had come out to the facility where they did a Flag Raising Ceremony, said a prayer around the flag pole, and then met with some of the veterans staying at the facility. We owe these veterans so much. And a section in our position paper on the military (*See section #11) outlines exactly what our administration would do for these veterans as a show of gratitude.

the ultimate ‘family separation’

A predominant mainstream presidential candidate debate topic this time revolved around family separation issues at our southern border. I did several Southern Border Research Tours, and know the desperation of many people trying to cross over to our country. And our administration would stop the Family Separation Policy immediately. Here’s the rub for Democrats on one level. While they have their hackles up about this issue, the Obama administration deported more immigrants than Trump, by far, and the Obama administration initially built the cages to put immigrants in at the detention centers, and so on. But, and here’s the ultimate irony for Democrats: They’re now against family separation at the border, yet they’re all for ‘separating’ living babies, by the millions, from their mothers’ wombs — permanently. The ultimate in “family separation.’ What’s more, they are all for ‘separating’ baby’s limbs, one-by-one, in the most gruesome way possible, during a normal abortion procedure. I mean, the dichotomy with this whole thing would be laughable — if it wasn’t so tragic. For a look at our take on immigration issues, and on life issues…

family separation… not

photo by Joe of Joe’s campaign camper

A main debate topic the other night between Biden and Trump was “…family separation at the border.” The Obama Administration built the cages to house immigrants at the border. And the Trump Administration has done this “Zero Tolerance – Family Separation” thing. While in El Paso, Texas, doing a Border Tour to research Hispanic immigration a number of years ago, I met a young mother and her three year old child at a “Safe House.” She had just crossed the desert for four days with the child to flee poverty and oppression. I can’t even imagine them then being separated on this side of the border, maybe for good. Our administration would approach this WAY differently, as our position paper on Hispanic immigration indicates.

backroad stumping… final push

selfie by Joe

While Trump and Biden barnstorm the swing state, I headed to downtown Tiffin, Ohio, as part of my Buckeye Backroads Campaign travels. It was Saturday morning, and I passed out campaign cards in front of this bustling coffee shop. (*Who needs the million dollar ads, huh.) It’s my ‘bailiwick’ (pun intended) to do these corner whistle-stop stumpings. And I’ve done them in hundreds and hundreds of towns over the years. Also… Notice the mask. Full transparency: I’m not a Cincinnati fan (Cleveland, actually), but there are a lot of Cincinnati fans in these parts. Now if I could just remember to wear the mask right side up! I need a staff.

A moment of spiritual sanity

It happened the other night after one of my son’s soccer matches. The game was over. Fans, including myself, were filing toward the exits, when I felt this nudge to turn around. I did. And I was met with the above sight. My son’s team had won, but nevertheless, the opposing coach had gathered the boys (all who wanted to, of course) from both teams for a brief prayer time. I found out afterward that the coach had thanked God for the match, prayed for my son’s team going forward, and prayed that all the boys could remain healthy in the midst of the pandemic, and so on. Yeah, in the midst of this world wide pandemic, extreme social unrest, increasing natural disasters… there was this moment of spiritual sanity in the Midwest. Quite refreshing, actually. Note: I talked to the coach afterward, and he said he tries to do this after every match.

voyeurs’ to (football) violence?


I just wrote a newspaper column on the heels of a tremendously violent helmet-to-helmet hit on Texas Cowboy QB Andy Dalton Sunday. While he got a severe concussion from it, it could have snapped his neck. I note in the column that in 1978, New England Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley had his neck broken on a play, and he was paralyzed for the rest of his life. What’s more, virtually every year at a pro/college/high school level, players are killed, paralyzed, physically maimed in other ways, and mentally afflicted with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), (CTE) results from the repeated hits to the head that football players take.  In fact, according to a recent article, 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, had signs of CTE. (This is a neurodegenerative brain disease that leads to memory loss, confusion, impaired judgement…) In some circles, we tacitly bemoan the extreme violence on the one hand, while with the other hand, we’re buying tickets, turning on the TV to football, buying the football team clothes… that all keeps it going. Note: While I’m a huge Cleveland Browns fan (and given their play most of the past 20 years, that’s been hard, LOL), the sport needs to change. In Philadelphia, for instance, they play what’s called “rough-touch” football (shown, for instance, in the movie Invincible). Whether it’s this, or other ways to tone football down some notches violence-wise, we owe it to the players now, and our kids coming up in the next generation, to do this differently. Note 2: I, personally, love football and played quarterback in high school. What’s more, given how the Browns have been playing overall, I’m surprised they haven’t called me. For a look at someone (me) who, with a little work, could be a franchise quarterback for some team, see…

bombs away… NOT! photo

I was just interviewing a history professor at Ohio Northern University. He teaches a class on Public History and said that, more and more, contemporary America is developing a marked protest climate. He said, for an amalgam of reasons, that more and more people are speaking their mind demonstrably. He said that in class, one of the examples he uses, is that of the Enola Gay. That is, to mark the 50th year anniversary of the ending of World War II, the Smithsonian was doing an installation of World War II memorabilia, and wanted to include the Enola Gay airplane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima to help end the war. However, pacifists, Japanese Americans, even some veterans groups… protested. And under pressure, the Smithsonian nixed the Enola Gay idea. Note: In our travels, we stopped at a once secret Wendover Air Force Base in the Utah desert where the Enola Gay had been stationed before going overseas. It had been housed in “Hanger 5.” And although the hanger is empty and rusting now, the gravity of seeing the sight was stirring, even eerie. Our military position paper reflects a paradigm intended to tremendously minimize the possibility another Hiroshima (or Nagasaki) ever happened again.

debate topic: climate change

joe’s home

It’s important to get this… During the debate the other night, the topic of climate change came up. Biden, who calls it the biggest “existential threat” of our times, lives in a $1.2 million “beach house” with, I’m sure, central heat, central air-conditioning for the five bathrooms, six bedrooms (including three master bedrooms), and so on. And with Trump: Mar-a-Lago. Need I say more? Meanwhile, in the heart of middle America, I’m typing this with the thermostat turned back to 65 in a modest three-bedroom (no “master bedrooms”), and one bathroom, home. We, primarily, use fans in the summer, dry clothes on a clothesline, bicycle/walk a lot of places around town — all to reduce our carbon footprint. Think about it: Biden’s lavish beach house. Trump’s lavish Mar-a-Lago digs. Is there something wrong with this (climate change) picture? Note: For a look at our energy policy, see…