Good morning friends! Campaign filings have been submitted for the first quarter of 2018, and it has been a time of uncertainty being the first campaign where I have had to go to supporters for contributions. That nervousness aside, I am proud to announce that #Team Helle raised almost three times as much as our opponent in personal contributions.
So far this year we have raised $3,743 in personal contributions, to our opponent's $1,320. Our average personal contribution was $47.99, and we had 47 contributions under $50. This is a great show of our message getting out to people, and the support we have so far this year. And we are only getting started!
I was in attendance at the Statehouse when Steve Arndt and his Republican colleagues voted for House Bill 294, which defunded services like Planned Parenthood. I remember being absolutely shocked seeing my "representative" vote for legislation to steal the funding of services for family planning, cancer screenings, health and reproductive care, and more for 55,000 women in Ohio. Services that are typically provided in communities of socioeconomic disadvantage and communities of color. (Note that government dollars cannot be used for abortion or abortion services).
I remember asking Arndt how in the world he could vote against these services, and he said that our county health department would receive funding instead. What he failed to say is that the state earmarked only $250,000 in total for county health departments across the entire state (that's not $250,000 per health department, but all 88 together). These funds provided education about tobacco cessation, safe sleep of infants, and other ways to prevent early infant death.
This is the same typical explanation we generally receive from him when he toes the line to his party, and not the People. $250,000 doesn't go very far in a single health department, what alone 88 of them that serve 11 million people.
Well, the rooster has come home to roost. Today a federal court found Arndt and his toe the line colleagues in violation of the Constitution with the legislation that they passed. The Court ruled that you cannot hold hostage federal funding for healthcare due to that facility also offering Constitutionally protected healthcare. I'm tired of watching our "representative" continue to be a pawn of #PayToPlay, doing the bidding of the Columbus establishment.
How much longer can we sit by and watch the failure of our Legislature to act? You can't wait until the 11th hour during campaign season to decide to take action on Lake Erie, like Steve Arndt has. He's been in office nearly three years, and has been a part of the failure by Ohio to reduce and prevent toxic algae blooms. The proof is in the science available, which shows there has been no improvement in curbing toxic algae blooms.
As State Representative, on DAY ONE I'll propose legislation to use Rainy Day Fund dollars to provide farmers much needed funding to help prevent the runoff of phosphorus and other harmful chemicals. We cannot expect small farmers who have a hard time making ends meet to make changes to practices that will cost them tens of thousands of dollars. If we want this problem fixed, we need to throw the full weight of the state behind it. Arndt and the Columbus establishment have had long enough to push this issue aside, and this issue deserved a solution on his Day One. He's had his chance.
The time for change is now. It's time to move over.
Last week our "representative" Steve Arndt provided proponent testimony in support of a bill to require schools to resume after Labor Day.
It's clearly lopsided representation like this that has driven me to run for State Representative. "Representative" Arndt can provide proponent testimony on a bill to extend summer break until after Labor Day, but REFUSED to provide proponent testimony to support and defend the 700 jobs at Davis Besse, and the hundreds of jobs at Perry Nuclear Plant.
The hundreds of people that are going to begin losing their jobs in 2020 will not benefit from this at all. They want to provide a living for their families. Those people deserved your support and testimony. Instead they were abandoned. Politics aside, those are 700 people who were depending on their "representatives" to do the right thing and protect their employment. Two years from now they'll begin hitting the unemployment line.
Legislation like this will do nothing to help them. This is another failure on behalf of the people of this district.
For Immediate Release
April 13th, 2018 – Mayor Joe Helle strongly condemns the pattern of political disenfranchisement and corruption evident in the Ohio General Assembly. Nothing has been more evident than this week, where now ex-Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned due to an investigation by the FBI. Political dark money has continued to find its way in to Ohio’s political arena, through lackluster laws allowing travel expenses paid for by lobbyists, mega donors providing living quarters for elected officials, and more. State Representative Steve Arndt has received tens of thousands of dollars from one such individual, GOP super donor Ginni Ragan. In the past Ragan has provided questionably unethical living arrangements for the previous House Speaker, and Arndt-endorsed candidate for Speaker, Representative Ryan Smith.
Mayor Helle, a lifelong fighter for our people, had this to say. “It comes as absolutely no surprise at all that my opponent has casually brushed aside the controversy circling now ex-House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Nor is it surprising that he has chosen to do what he has continued to do, which is Toe the Line, supporting Rosenberger's handpicked successor, Ryan Smith, as next Speaker.
Even worse is that my opponent has received SIGNIFICANT contributions from GOP super donor, Ginni Ragan. Ragan is a Columbus area big business heiress worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Ragan is a long-time donor of Smith and Rosenberger, as well as being their property owner throughout the years. Also, soon after receiving $10,000 from Ragan, Arndt was appointed as Chairperson of the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee. It should be noted that Ragan is the Chairperson of the Department of Aging’s Advisory Council, causing clear conflicts of interest between her governmental responsibilities and the ability to conduct business with what should be impartial legislators.
This is a significant issue for our District, not only because he has aligned himself with the ex-Speaker, but because he has received significant political contributions from a member of a one party ruled Ohio governmental institution. We are TIRED of the same political disenfranchisement that we have come to expect from our "representatives." I call on Steve Arndt to condemn in the greatest manner the atmosphere of corruption that clearly exists in Columbus, pull his support for Ryan Smith, and return the money given to him by Ragan and any other donors or organizations that associated with Rosenberger.”
Questions should be directed to Nico Samaniego, Campaign Chairman, at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hate politics. That may sound counter-intuitive coming from an elected Mayor, but it is true. I hate politics because I watched my state legislators refuse to sponsor, co-sponsor, or meaningfully support Zero Emission Nuclear Credit legislation that would have protected Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station. I hate politics because by failing to do so, the future of the community I represent is in peril. My school district is in such dire need of funding that they have placed two levies on the ballot. The recent “B-C-S Bridge” is nothing more than a band-aid during campaign season meant to save face to a community who is used to inaction.
I hate politics because our legislators waited until March of this year to announce action on Lake Erie, as if the lake wasn’t green enough the last several years. Toxic algae blooms have been an issue for many years, yet this is the year that our elected legislators decide to act. Why not last year when there were no political opponents to face? To us regular folks this is just another political maneuver because lifelong politicians know nothing else and will do whatever they must to stay in power and employed.
People are upset, disenfranchised and plain tired of government. I’m upset and disenfranchised. Had clear and obvious support been offered to Davis Besse last year when legislation was withering and dying without our elected representative’s support I wouldn’t be running. Had we seen a Lake Erie funding bill last year when it was needed, I wouldn’t be running. If we saw our representatives hold district hours while our General Assembly is on one of its’ recesses (like right now), I wouldn’t be running. And let’s be clear, I do not want to do this forever. Politics was never meant to be a career, and when we look at our current representation it is clear why.
Oak Harbor and Port Clinton, OH 3/14/2018 – Mayor Joe Helle attended student walk outs at Port Clinton High School (10 am) and Oak Harbor High School (held at 12 pm). Both locations were well attended by students at both schools. At Port Clinton High School Mayor Helle joined the 17 minutes of silence, alongside the School Resource Officer and two staff members. At Oak Harbor High School Mayor Helle was invited to join the group of students by organizer Jackie Witt (15) to read off several names of those lost in the tragic shooting in Florida.
Mayor Helle believes that our youth have been failed by our state and federal elected officials for far too long, and that action should have been taken years ago. Mayor Helle said, “Our youth need to know that we are hearing them. And what better way than to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them. As Mayor I have always taken to heart their need to be safe and have worked with my Police Chief and Superintendent to arrange a more significant police presence in the schools. It’s unfortunate that our current state and local elected representatives chose not to take part, as they are the people who most need to hear these concerns.”
Questions and comments can be made direct to Joe Helle at email@example.com, or phone at 419-707-4379.