Ohio Republican Party Calls for Justice Brunner’s Recusal

Justice Brunner has significant conflicts to hearing Ohio redistricting cases

COLUMBUS, OH—Chairman Bob Paduchik issued the following statement on Justice Brunner’s flagrant partisan actions and statements that necessitate her recusal from redistricting cases:

“We take Justice Brunner at her word. Based on her actions and statements it’s clear her decision on redistricting litigation is predetermined, and therefore she is subject to recusal. Ohio residents deserve an impartial constitutional review of the newly drawn legislative districts, and Justice Brunner is incapable of providing a fair opinion.”

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Background:

Ohio ethics rules for judges strictly prohibit a candidate or sitting judge from making a pledge, promise or commitment to rule on a case. In accordance with this standard, we strongly request Justice Jennifer Brunner recuse herself from any court case involving redistricting.

There are four serious conflicts to Justice Brunner hearing a redistricting case:

  • she vocally campaigned for the Ohio Supreme Court as a candidate that would side with Democrats on future redistricting litigation.
  • she has close relationships with several litigants in the redistricting suits.
  • she has been a redistricting reform advocate for decades.
  • she has a reputation of seeing all issues through the lens of partisan politics.

Brunner took every opportunity to highlight her candidacy as decisive to future redistricting lawsuits. In her campaign announcement she highlighted a quote from then Democrat National Committee Chairman Tom Perez: “As Ohio implements a new way to draw its district lines after the 2020 election I can think of no one better than Judge Jennifer Brunner to ensure Ohio’s districts are fair.”

There are many other documented instances where then-candidate Brunner promoted her candidacy through future redistricting litigation, including an awkward attempt to solicit the artist Cher for a campaign event. Another is a Tweet from Brunner stating, “Let’s elect an Ohio Supreme Court that will fight to end partisan gerrymandering. Donate $10 today!”

Justice Brunner is also conflicted because of her close relationships with several plaintiffs and Democrat-aligned advocacy groups that supported her campaign for Ohio Supreme Court. These individuals and organizations have endorsed and helped fund her 2020 campaign.

  • Eric Holder, chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, was special guest at a 2020 fundraiser for Jennifer Brunner’s campaign for Ohio Supreme Court. Holder and the NDRC are a plaintiff in the second lawsuit suit.
  • In 2010, Brunner launched the Ohio Redistricting Competition with League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio. League of Women Voters is a plaintiff in the first lawsuit, while Common Cause did the bidding of Democrats throughout the redistricting process. Additionally, Brunner has recruited volunteers to support League of Women Voters activities.
  • The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund in a 2020 endorsement of Brunner, stated “Judge Brunner is committed to defending our democracy and upholding a fair redistricting process when new legislative and political boundaries are drawn.” The OECAF parent organization, Ohio Environmental Council, is plaintiff in the third lawsuit.

Justice Brunner is a longtime redistricting reform advocate and has many public statements demonstrating her opinions on redistricting that disqualify her ability to be impartial. Including a Tweet in August of 2021 where Justice Brunner encouraged her followers to participate in Ohio Redistricting Commission public hearings.

Justice Brunner has a prolific history of making decisions based on partisan consideration to the point that she has been labelled by columnist Peter Bronson as ‘the most partisan state official in Ohio.’ As Secretary of State, Brunner disenfranchised thousands of absentee ballots and sought to remove several Republican county officials without cause.

 

Statement from Ohio Republican Party Chairman Paduchik on the Democrat Advocacy Group, Ohio Citizens’ Redistricting Commission

COLUMBUS, OH— Chairman Bob Paduchik issued the following statement on Ohio Citizens’ Redistricting Commission:

“The biggest lie in Ohio politics today is the notion that the Ohio Citizens’ Redistricting Commission is a group of voting rights activists instead of a Democrat advocacy organization.

“The next biggest lie is the idea their ‘unity map’ is anything other than a Democrat gerrymander of Ohio legislative districts.”

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Background

The Ohio Citizens’ Redistricting Commission promotes itself as an “independent, nonpartisan commission,” however all but two of its 16 members are registered Democrat voters, and those two individuals have social media presence and posts that advocate for Democrat causes and candidates. There is not a single Republican or Independent member of the commission. OCRC’s claim to be nonpartisan is as hollow as the fairness behind its “unity map.”
The Democrat party has a geography problem because most Democrat voters live in seven of Ohio’s 88 counties; the 2020 Presidential election demonstrates this fact. To make a map Democrats believe is fair would require legislative districts that are extremely gerrymandered.

The so-called unity maps from the OCRC appear to divide 60 county boundaries, and there is no way to tell how many smaller political subdivisions it divides in the House and Senate maps. The “unity map” is nothing more than the Democrat’s best-case scenario under the new redistricting law. It will also be the predicate for an OCRC lawsuit, as stated in public testimony by board member Mr. Sam Gresham.

In addition to drawing Democrat maps, the OCRC has served as an AstroTurf clearing house for pro-Democrat public testimony. Democrat activists can use the OCRC website to submit testimony and draw maps, and the OCRC has done an effective job in driving their activists to public hearings.

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ORP Statement on Democrat John Cranley’s Gubernatorial Announcement

COLUMBUS, OH— Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Justin Bis issued the following statement on Democrat Mayor John Cranley’s gubernatorial bid:

“Ohioans need look no further than John Cranley’s mayoral record to know what kind of governor he would be—Cincinnatians face the third highest homicide rate per capita in the nation and suffer from sky high poverty rates, double Ohio’s.

“Like fellow Democrat Nan Whaley, John Cranley failed the very people and city he was elected to serve in pursuit of a bigger job.”

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Vivek Ramaswamy: Dear Jon Husted—Don’t Apologize

Modified Version of Op-Ed as Published in the April 4, 2021, Plain Dealer

Last week, in response to former CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield’s statement that he believed that the COVID-19 virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted tweeted: “So it appears it was the Wuhan Virus after all?” Dr. Tara Smith of Kent State University declared: “Asian-Americans are getting killed because of rhetoric like this. You represent my state. Do better.” The online mob swiftly piled on. Interestingly, most of these critics were not Asian-American themselves.

I worked with the Lieutenant Governor as an advisor on COVID-19 last year. He is no racist. This I shared perhaps the most important advice I’ve given him to date: be empathetic, but don’t apologize.

Why? Because he did nothing wrong. Apologizing would reinforce the false and offensive idea that Asian-Americans are connected to the actions of the Chinese Communist Party. Standing up for Asian-Americans does not require covering up the crimes of a government on the other side of the world.

Whether or not the virus escaped from a lab – an increasingly plausible theory worthy of investigation – we should recall that the viral outbreak spread fastest in its early days because of the CCP’s decision to silence its own people. Studies estimate that the total number of coronavirus cases globally could have been reduced by 95% if the original local outbreak had been recognized and addressed more quickly in Wuhan. Unfortunately, this was directly impeded by the Chinese government, which tried to conceal the existence of the virus and reprimanded physicians who alerted colleagues, ordering them to cease testing and destroy samples.

Even after videos leaked online and it became impossible for China to keep the outbreak a secret, China still denied the existence of human-to-human transmission as late as January and withheld viral genetic sequences from the global community beyond internationally mandated timelines, delaying the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Brave Chinese citizens who criticized their government for its mistakes have been jailed, silenced, or “disappeared.” While we often ignore the behavior of dictators when our own lives are unaffected, in this case the consequences were all too real: an injustice somewhere became a pandemic everywhere.

To wit, the very same thing happened almost exactly two decades ago. Communist authorities tried to cover up the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic too. It was only after several high-profile deaths in Hong Kong that outspoken scientists there uncovered the existence of the SARS virus and reported it to the World Health Organization in March 2003. It was not until April 2003, when a Chinese whistle blower revealed the true numbers of SARS infections in Beijing, that Communist authorities owned up to the full extent of the outbreak and mobilized resources to quell it. SARS ended up infecting thousands of people from 29 countries before it was stopped. This time we were less lucky. Turning this topic into a taboo makes it more likely that history will repeat itself.

The World Health Organization has tried its best to please Beijing, inventing nomenclature to purposefully obfuscate the origin of these viruses. MERS, an older corona virus, stands for “Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome.” Ebola is the name of a river in the Congo where it originated. The Zika virus was named after a forest in Uganda. Marburg virus is named after a town in Germany. Scientists routinely refer to the “UK variant” or “South African variant” of COVID-19 itself. But curiously, Wuhan and China are off limits. But to reference either China or Wuhan in connection with this virus has somehow become verboten: the sensitivities of an autocratic regime have taken precedence over an honest accounting of what went wrong.

Here’s why: the CCP has successfully weaponized the parallel pandemic of wokeness by using the threat of “racism” against the United States to evade accountability for its own actions. In recent years, the Chinese government has detained more than a million Uighurs in concentration camps and has reached its long arms to violate basic freedoms in previously autonomous territories like Hong Kong. Two years ago, when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted from his personal account in support of Hong Kong, saying “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” the Chinese consulate denounced Morey. More surprisingly and disgracefully, fellow Ohioan LeBron James threw his weight behind the effort to demonize Morey, even as Mr. James vocally continued to criticize alleged racial injustices in America while lavishing praise on movements like Black Lives Matter.

Wittingly or not, public figures like Mr. James have become mere pawns in the CCP’s geopolitical game. Last year, when European officials criticized Xi Jinping for China’s treatment of the Uighurs, Mr. Jinping smoothly pivoted to pointing out how the BLM movement shows the U.S. is no better. Last month in Alaska, Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, falsely claimed that black Americans were being “slaughtered,” and disingenuously stated “we hope that the United States will do better on human rights.” By drawing a false moral equivalence with the United States, the CCP uses wokeness as a tool to erode our greatest geopolitical asset of all: America’s moral standing on the global stage. Now they’re using that same tool to deflect accountability for the origin of COVID-19.

Speaking as an Asian-American, I find it more racist is to conflate the feelings of all Japanese-Americans, Korean-Americans, and Chinese-Americans by claiming that any criticism of the CCP is harmful to that entire polyglot group of diverse immigrants than it is to simply hold the CCP accountable for its actions. Of course, rising anti-Asian violence is a problem and must be addressed. But our ability to tell the difference between innocent Asian-American citizens and a corrupt foreign government is part of what defines us as Americans.

During World War II, we wrongly conflated the allegiance of patriotic Japanese-Americans at home with the actions of the Japanese emperor. We should avoid making the same mistake twice: criticizing the CCP should be entirely separate from our attitudes towards our fellow Asian-Americans.

The spread of woke culture is no longer just a cultural nuisance. It’s a societal infection that even the best of science won’t be able to cure. It’s a dangerous geopolitical weapon used by foreign powers against America in a broader conflict on the global stage. The battle lines of that war reached Ohio this week. It will take leaders like Mr. Husted to make sure that we hold the line, rather than to meekly apologize for no wrong at all. No doubt that will involve some personal sacrifice for leaders like him, but if he holds his ground then he will have earned his stripes as a true public servant.

Vivek Ramaswamy is an entrepreneur and author of the forthcoming book “Woke, Inc.” He is a native of Cincinnati and the son of Indian immigrants.

Chairman Paduchik Statement on President Biden’s First Press Conference

COLUMBUS, OH— Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik released the following statement on Joe Biden’s first press conference:

“On his 65th day in office, President Biden finally held a press conference. Sadly, the President was not the ‘healer’ in chief that the American people were promised.

“Instead, the President doubled down on far left policies that are so radical they can only pass the Senate by gutting the filibuster.

“The American people deserve transparency and accountability. So far, our southern border has been more open than media access in the Biden-Harris White House.”

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