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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Close races in next week's elections

Art credit: eastbayri.com

From Jenny Beth Martin at Tea Party Patriots:

The situation:

In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis is tied with Barack Obama's ally, Kay Hagan, 44-44.
In New Hampshire, Scott Brown is leading liberal Jeanne Shaheen by just 1 point, 48-47.
In Arkansas, Republican Tom Cotton is leading by just a few points, but still hasn't hit 50 percent.
In Iowa, Joni Ernst is leading by a razor-thin 2-point margin, 47-45, but victory is far from guaranteed.

The verdict:

Grassroots action will make or break every single one of these races.
If we can't move conservative voters to the polls on Election Day, Barack Obama will keep the Senate.We can't let that happen.

We must continue supplying our grassroots volunteers with the palm cards, door hangers, voter canvassing software, training, signs, and transportation they need to get the job done. And we need your help to make it happen.

Patriots can go to the Tea Party Patriots website here for more information.

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Ohio School Board Member on Common Core Standards: "Follow the Money"

We recently posted an op-ed by Marianne Gasiecki of the Mansfield Tea Party on how Common Core is more about the money than it is about educating our children.  

In the below post with Breitbart, Marianne expands on the money trail and on the resistance she has faced as a Ontario, Ohio school board member....

From Breitbart --
An Ontario, Ohio school board member urges all American parents to “follow the money” on Common Core. 

Richland County's Marianne Gasiecki warns that state departments of education are intent on undermining “local control” laws when it comes to opting out of the new standards.

“It’s all about the money,” Gasiecki told Breitbart News during an interview.

As a Republican who founded the Mansfield Tea Party and serves as state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, Gasiecki helped organize the student opt-out from the Common Core-aligned tests a year ago. This January, she was elected to the Ontario school board. 

“And I have been a thorn in their side,” she said. “But what I’m experiencing is being experienced across the country.”

According to Ohioans Against Common Core (OACC), the Ontario public school district recently received a letter “in response to inquiring what repercussions may result if the district acted upon their ‘local control’ and opted out of the ‘voluntary’ Common Core standards.”

“As you’ll read, the reform game is rigged with punitive penalties – for every player at every level – thus preventing any real or practical defection from the State and Federal regime,” writes OACC.

According to the letter, signed by Brian Roget, associate director of the Office of Curriculum and Assessment of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE):

Because of the alignment of the academic content standards to assessments and to the end of course examinations, the most obvious concern is that a district decision to not adopt a curriculum based upon the new learning standards will affect student scores on assessments. Poor performance on these assessments will impact building and district rankings on the report card, the ability of students to master the end of course examinations and graduate, and teacher performance under the teacher evaluation system.

At the student level, poor performance on certain assessments can result in a child being retained in the third grade or being unable to meet graduation requirements. At the teacher level, poor performance by students will affect a teacher’s evaluation and could result in consequences for the teacher.

At the district level, a poor performing school building (depending upon whether the performance falls below standards set by the specific statutes) could end up being an EdChoice eligible building, or could be required to conduct school improvement activities. To the extent that students cannot meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, a district will have to bear the cost of providing the required remediation. If a district’s overall performance is low enough, the district may end up subject to the supervision of an Academic Distress Commission.

Before making a decision about whether or not to adopt curricula based on Ohio’s new learning standards, your district should carefully compare the new learning standards to the existing academic standards and to review the model curricula. The department can provide you with comparison documents if that would be helpful. The greater the extent to which your district reflects the new learning standards, the more aligned your district will be to the assessments administered to your students, which will lessen the potential for any negative impact.

In a recent editorial at Richland Source, Gasiecki dismissed latest threat: Schools will lose funding if students opt out of the Common Core-aligned testing.

“False,” she said. “There is nothing in the Ohio Revised Code tying a child’s test to funding... All this coercion makes sense when you learn that the ODE received $4.5 million, and the National Assoc. of State School Boards received $3.3 million from the Gates Foundation, for implementation of CC.”

Gasiecki traced how taxpayer funding is being spent on Microsoft products, and questioned the motives of textbook publishers such as McGraw Hill and Pearson, who reportedly profit from taxpayer funding of new textbooks aligned with the Common Core standards.

“Pearson has purchased a bio-behavioral testing company so they can do more behavioral testing in the schools,” wrote Gasiecki. “Why is a textbook company getting into the bio-behavioral testing business? Think about it.”

A mother of two – one is a senior in the local public school and the other is homeschooled – Gasiecki has a four-year accounting degree and a background in finance.

“I had always gone to school board meetings. I was never rude, but I started pressing them on the Common Core,” she explained. “I asked, ‘What did you do to vet this Common Core?’ All I got was a ‘deer in the headlights’ look.”

Gasiecki said she continued to become more vocal, “hammering” the board of education, and urging more people to attend meetings and get involved.

“The board was clueless,” she stated. “The superintendent and the state board of education were running the show.”

Gasiecki said, however, that, gradually, more people began to listen to what she had to say.

“I come from a conservative-leaning community,” she continued. “I knew a lot of teachers and had volunteered in the schools for years. When teachers started to hear how vocal I was against the Common Core, they began to get behind me.”

On October 14, the Ontario local school board meeting had a packed house, said Gasiecki, who added she could hear grumbling going on throughout the meeting.

“We went from an A-rated school district to a C-rated district over a couple of years,” she elaborated. “When I asked the superintendent nine months ago why this was happening, he replied, ‘It’s not.’ Yet, the day before the October 14 meeting, he issued a report showing the decline to a C-rated district.”

Gasiecki said at school board meetings she found that other board members couldn’t answer questions about the Common Core standards.

“They hadn’t done their homework,” she said. “They didn’t really know what it was about.”

Gasiecki has also found that she has been targeted for her outspokenness on the controversial education initiative.

On October 9 – Constitution Day – she reported that she went into the elementary school in her district to bring activity books about the Constitution for the kids.

“The superintendent went ballistic over this, and listed eight grievances she had with me,” Gasiecki explained. “She called a special board meeting to address the grievances against me, that I’m too involved from day to day.”

Gasiecki stated she suggested the board address the specific issues about the fact that she went into the schools, so that the people attending the meeting could hear about them.

“The people in the chairs were furious, and I ended up getting more support,” she said.

Gasiecki views the current struggle with the Common Core as the latest stage of a “snowball effect” of progressive education policy that began a century ago.

“When you follow the money, you see that state departments of education have received millions of dollars, and now they have to push Common Core in any way they can,” she said.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Today's Time for Choosing

Art credit: www.yaf.org

Here’s a message from Tea Party Patriots National Support Team:

It’s easy to listen to Ronald Reagan’s A Time for Choosing speech, delivered October 27, 1964, and marvel at how prescient he was.  What Reagan said half a century ago is just as true today as it was then.  Certainly, his remarks were dated; they were delivered in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign against Lyndon Johnson.  But replace Kruschev with Putin and warnings of Big Government with Obamacare or amnesty for those who break the law to enter our nation and that speech could just as easily be delivered today as it was 50 years ago.
But the remarkable clarity of Reagan’s speech lies not in his ability to see into the future. It is because he fully understood the destructive nature of modern statist liberalism; its demands on society and the people within it are no different today than they were in earlier times.

Ronald Reagan knew at his core that the precepts of statism are anathema to American constitutional liberty; that personal freedom must be sacrificed in order for it to take hold and that its price is “chains and slavery.”  He understood that statist liberalism, “must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose,” and that without force, no free people would choose to live under it.

This is what Reagan understood. Times have changed as well as the men and women who live in them but statism has not.  As a political dogma, it remains unchanged in its pursuit of subjugating people to the state.  It was this understanding of statist government that guided Reagan a generation after his speech to rightly call the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” and demand that Mikhail Gorbachev “tear down this wall,” which separated East Berliners from liberty.

The threats of statist liberalism have ebbed and flowed in the half century since Reagan gave his speech but today, it is at a high-water mark in America.  The federal government is forcing Obamacare on an unwilling public.  The president is seeking the effective destruction of American sovereignty by erasing our borders through executive amnesty for illegal immigrants. The most prosperous free-market economy in the history of man suffers under the yoke of government regulations and our growing debt poses an existential threat to the republic.  
Ronald Reagan articulated a choice for America 50 years ago; whether its citizens would embrace, “the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order,” or succumb to the attractive lies of statism that lead to totalitarianism.

In Liberty,

Tea Party Patriots National Support Team

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Learn from an expert on Common Core: Jane Robbins on Nov. 1

Art credit: parentsacrossri.org

Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project, will be in Middleburg Heights on Saturday to discuss the many aspects of and deep concerns about Common Core.
We are very fortunate to have someone of this caliber to speak at a nearby event. If you have not yet had the opportunity to hear Jane Robbins speak, then Ohio patriots strongly suggest you take a few hours out of your day to attend this FREE event.  It will be eye-opening, to say the least.
If you are unfamiliar with Ms. Robbins, Click here to watch a short video.
Event Details
Common Core Information Forum
Understanding Common Core: 
The Standards, Testing and Data Mining
Saturday, November 1  ~  10:00 a.m. – 12 noon
Grace Church
7393 Pearl Rd
Middleburg Hts., OH 44130
Map here.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

IRS beats tea party in court: Jim Jordan calls out the decision

From Politico:  IRS Beats Tea Party in Court

By RACHAEL BADE | 10/23/14 3:23 PM EDT Updated: 10/23/14 6:39 PM EDT

The IRS may have inadvertently figured out how to win its legal battles against aggrieved tea party groups: Give them what they wanted in the first place — tax-exempt status.

That was a major reason a Republican-appointed federal judge on Thursday threw out two lawsuits brought by more than 40 conservative groups seeking remedies for being singled out in the tea party targeting scandal, a victory for the IRS.

Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia dismissed almost all counts brought against the tax-collecting agency in two cases, ruling that both were essentially moot now that the IRS granted the groups their tax-exempt status that had been held up for years.

Walton, a President George W. Bush-appointee, also said individual IRS officials could not be fined in their individual capacity for allowing such treatment because it could hurt future tax enforcement.

The ruling, which the groups could appeal, has serious implications for tea party groups suing the IRS, suggesting they may never receive compensation for the long waits they endured for a ruling on their status.

The inspector general report that ignited the targeting controversy last year found that applications sat in limbo for as long as several years and that the groups were asked inappropriate questions about their donors, political affiliations and random things like social media posts.

Republicans said they were outraged at Walton’s decision.

 “You get targeted and harassed for three years but, oh, because you finally get [tax-exempt status], the three years of harassment doesn’t mean anything?” asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who heads a congressional subpanel investigating the controversy. “I find that argument lacking tremendously in light of what these people went through.”

But others said the agency needs to do more — not less — to scrutinize nonprofit groups that don’t follow the rules and over-engage in political activities. To obtain the status in question, political activity must not be the groups’ primary activity — a vague and difficult-to-administer test.

“Judge Walton got it right — there is no ongoing injury to these groups,” said Paul S. Ryan [not the Rep.], senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, which backs tighter rules on political nonprofits. “The IRS needs to enforce tax law with respect to nonprofit political groups more aggressively.”

A furor erupted in May 2013, after a Treasury inspector general report blasted the IRS for using discriminatory labels to sort through applicants seeking tax-exempt status using terms like “tea party ” and “patriots."

Soon after a raft of right-leaning organizations that applied for tax-exempt status sued the government. Some had had their applications put on hold for years; others were asked what were later ruled inappropriate questions about donors and political views during the application process.

The groups in their suits alleged that the IRS violated their First and Fifth Amendment rights with the inappropriate “be on the lookout” list that used words like tea party to hold up their applications. They sought monetary relief for their trouble as well as injunctive relief barring the IRS from discriminating against conservative groups ever again.

The agency has since changed its practices, including scrapping the lists.

When the suits at hand were filed, 22 of the groups had already received their tax-exempt status, five had dropped their applications altogether and just over a dozen were still waiting to hear from the IRS.

Since then, the IRS had approved all but two, rendering much of the arguments moot, the judge said — and preventing him from considering the case.

“After the plaintiff initiated this case, its application to the IRS for tax-exempt status was approved by the IRS. The allegedly unconstitutional governmental conduct, which delayed the processing of the plaintiff’s tax exempt application and brought about this litigation, is no longer impacting the plaintiff,” Walton said in his decision to throw out True the Vote’s lawsuit against the IRS.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Phyllis Schlafly on early voting, especially in Ohio

 Photo credit: dailycaller.com

Phyllis Schlafly on early voting, especially in Ohio, from Townhall:
Although the midterm elections are still two weeks away, about two million Americans have already voted. The circus of early and mail-in voting undermines the federal law, which provides: "The Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every even numbered year, is established as the day for the election."
When our national elections were held on one unifying day, discussions and debates could continue among family, neighbors and the media up until the day that virtually everyone voted. The one and only debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter occurred only a week before Election Day in 1980, with the candidates tied in the polls while a television audience of perhaps 120 million people watched.
Why rampant early voting is even allowed remains a mystery. The Constitution requires that the members of the Electoral College, who elect the president, must cast their votes on the same day throughout the nation, because our founding fathers wisely sought to avoid the mischief caused by early voting.
Yet in this year's race for the U.S. Senate in Iowa, which may decide which party controls the Senate beginning January, some 170,000 Iowans had already cast their votes before the candidates held a key debate. Those votes that are cast before debates are held can hardly be desirable.
In Congress, a representative may change the vote he cast for or against a piece of legislation up until all the votes are cast and the voting period is closed. But the millions who vote early cannot change their vote based on new information, and candidates are wasting time and money campaigning in front of people who have already voted.
Because of the Ebola scandal, some may wish to change their vote, but that is impossible for those who have already voted. Some early voters may die before Election Day, and early voting allows the votes of those dead people to be included. If there is any dispute over whether their votes were valid or fraudulent, they are no longer with us to defend themselves.
Typically, there are no poll watchers during early voting, so the integrity of the casting of the ballots cannot be monitored. Many of the early votes are cast in a coercive environment, such as a union boss driving employees to the polls and watching over the process so there is no guarantee that their votes will be private.
Democrats promote early voting for the same reason they oppose voter ID: because they view early voting as helping their side. In the absurdly long 35-day period of early voting in Ohio in 2012, Democrats racked up perhaps a million-vote advantage over Republicans before Election Day was ever reached.
. . .
Romney lacked a message, too, but he was mainly defeated by the Democrats' superb ground game, which exploited early voting in key states such as Florida and Ohio. By continuously updating their computer-based information about who had not yet voted, Democrats could harass and nag low-information voters until they turned in their ballots.
Read the rest here.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tea Party Patriots: Border States of America Documentary Re-Broadcast (Tonight)

This past Thursday, October 16, Tea Party Patriots released a new documentary, “Border States of America.” Narrated by actor Nick Searcy, the documentary will take viewers for a ride along the U.S-Mexico border and expose the many consequences of rampant illegal immigration.

This hard-hitting documentary features interviews with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX), as well as dozens of law enforcement officials. The point the documentary drives home is this: illegal immigration extends beyond the thousands of minors from Central America, and its consequences are far-reaching and affect every American.

The Border States of America takes viewers from the Rio Grande Valley to towns across the country, telling the story of human smugglers and drug cartels who profit from Obama’s policies; of American citizens whose lives are put at risk; and the social and economic toll on our communities. We cut through the fog to bring you the truth about what is really happening with the border crisis.

Because of the demand and overwhelming support, Tea Party Patriots will be re-broadcasting "Border States of America" tonight Saturday October 18th at 7:30pm EDT

Check out the trailer below....