Tea Party

Governor John Kasich made a campaign stop in Beavercreek Tuesday.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

There aren’t many undecided voters in this election, especially when it comes to the candidates for governor, but that doesn’t mean all voters are happy with the options they have.

The polls haven’t been good to Democratic candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald. He’s trailing Republican incumbent John Kasich in overall likely voters, and in the latest Quinnipiac poll, 16 percent of Democrats say they have an unfavorable opinion of him, along with 44 percent of Republicans.

A challenge to Republican Governor John Kasich by the Tea Party was over before it even began. Southwest Ohio Tea Party activist Ted Stevenot decided not to run after it was discovered that his potential running mate, Brenda Mack, had tax issues, debt and other financial problems. The Tea Party says it still plans to put up another candidate to challenge Kasich, but Jo Ingles with the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau says the situation underscores the loss of political clout for the Tea Party.

As the federal government shutdown drags on, polls are showing that voters are definitely assigning blame to one party or another. And some are already looking ahead to how the shutdown will play in next year’s big election.

Most credible nationwide polls are showing that overall, respondents blame Republicans more than Democrats or President Obama for the shutdown, and most surveys are also showing a strong streak of anger toward both parties for the situation. But a majority of those who identify as Tea Party members have responded that they support it.

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 they also are being told they have a lot of work to do.

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.

Tea party activists in Ohio want to use a unique weapon to fight continued efforts to expand Medicaid: the Internal Revenue Service.

In a confidential email sent to fellow Ohio tea party leaders and obtained by The Associated Press, Tom Zawistowski lays out a strategy for invoking a little-known IRS provision that allows citizens to challenge executive salaries and the nonprofit statuses of charitable hospitals.

In a phone interview, Zawistowski calls it "hilarious" that tea party groups that came under extra scrutiny by the IRS are now using an IRS law to target others.

The holiday week continues for lawmakers in Washington – which means no more hearings on the IRS scandal. But there's no break for Ohio groups who say they were targeted - and are angry.

So-called social welfare groups don’t have to apply to the IRS, but donors often want to see IRS recognition before giving. Maurice Thompson is preparing a lawsuit on behalf of Ohio Tea Party groups, and says it would also seek to stop the IRS from targeting groups or individuals, as has happened in previous administrations.

Tea Party Rallies in Cincinnati Against IRS

May 22, 2013
Tana Weingartner/WVXU

Tea Party members from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana converged in Cincinnati today/yesterday to protest the recent IRS scandal. 

Several hundred people gathered on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square before marching to the John Weld Peck Federal Building. That’s where employees with the Cincinnati IRS office admittedly applied extra scrutiny to conservative and other groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. Dee Cohen from Cincinnati calls the IRS and White House administration’s actions abusive.

Tea party activists want to show their unhappiness over extra IRS scrutiny with protest rallies.

Members of the Cincinnati tea party will gather at noon today in the city, then march to the nearby federal building. The building houses Internal Revenue Service offices that handled group applications for tax-exempt status. IRS officials have acknowledged that some conservative groups received inappropriate attention and questioning.

Other tea party groups also want activists in other cities to protest Tuesday at their local IRS offices.

Tea Party Upset GOP Is Capitalizing on IRS Flap

May 16, 2013

Reaction to the IRS targeting several conservative groups is dividing some Ohio conservatives.

Tom Zawitowski is a Tea Party activist in Portgage County and was among those wrongly investigated by the IRS. The Ohio Republican Party this week sent out a email asking supporters to donate money to help fight the IRS. Speaking on All Sides with Ann Fisher today, Zawitowski called the email, “an example of how unconnected the Ohio Republican Party is with their base.”

The rift among Republicans over the Ohio GOP's stance on major issues and its support of Gov. John Kasich is starting to look like a serious split. And some Republicans say they're ready to run away.

Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski says he met this past weekend with the Ohio Constitution Party and is talking with others about finding a new political home for activists he calls “the force of the party”. And he says he doesn’t worry that this split is making conservatives look divided going into next year’s campaigns.

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