Wenstrup, state reps. speak at GOP dinner

Ohio Attorney General and unofficial candidate for Ohio governor Mike DeWine headlined the Brown County Republican Lincoln/Reagan celebration on March 31.  A crowd of about 200 turned out at Southern Hills Career and Technical Center to hear from DeWine and other GOP leaders.
“I’m running for governor.  There’s no secret about that.  One of the things I’m going to commit to you is that I’m a pretty good listener.  I understand the challenges that are faced in rural areas.  And my commitment to you is that I’m not going to forget you.  I know where Brown County is,” DeWine said.
“I think the number one job of the governor…is to focus on one thing.  Jobs.  There is nothing more important than jobs.  I will be the strongest advocate for this state that you have ever seen. We have to create a climate in the state that is conducive for small businesses to stay here, to grow, to have confidence and be optimistic that they can expand.”
DeWine also spoke about the drug problems facing Ohio and Brown County, praising local officials in the process.
“I think you have a great criminal justice team in this county.  The prosecutor, sheriff, judges, chiefs of police.  We work with all of them and they do a really great job,” DeWine said.
He added that there are no easy answers to solve the problem of addiction to heroin and other drugs.
“We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem.  We have got to do more with treatment and we’ve got to do more with prevention.”
Ohio Second District Congressman Brad Wenstrup also addressed the group, talking about the current controversey in Washington regarding alleged Russian interference in the last presidential election.
“What we have heard is hearsay.  What we have heard is newspaper articles from unnamed sources.  But we are going to get to the facts.  It’s become a political game and that’s unfortunate.  But we are going to drive on, be respectful and do the job we are supposed to do.”
Wenstrup is on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the issue.  He also talked about another big news out of Washington.
“We had a little bump in the road not getting enough votes for repealing the Affordable Care Act and moving on.  It’s a very complicated process, but we are not done.  We are going to try to get his done in the time frame we still have,” Wenstrup said.
“The Affordable Care Act took freedom away from the American people.  It said that you are going to be forced to buy something whether you want it or not and if you don’t buy it, you are penalized.  How does that speak to freedom?  If for no other reason, we must do this to give Americans their freedom back.”
Ohio State Senator Joe Uecker also spoke at the dinner.  “It is a very busy time for us in Columbus.  We just wrapped up the details of the transportation budget while the house is continuing to work on the main operating budget.  I have every reason to believe that we meet the constitutional deadline by the end of June before we recess for the summer,” Uecker said.
“We continue to have this budget focused on jobs, economic development, local governments and education funding.  And most importantly, focused on the drug addiction epidemic.  Focused on prevention and education.  With all of your continued support and prayers, we will win these battles.”
State Representative Doug Green also spoke about some interesting things coming out of the House Transportation Committee, of which he is a member.
“One of the areas identified for experimentation with variable speed limits is 275 around Cincinnati.  And the concept behind that is in bad weather or in heavy traffic, it’s been shown that if the speed limit is reduced, there is a smoother more continuous flow of traffic which in turn allows for safer travel and quicker elimination of congestion,” Green said.  He also spoke about what motivates him to keep making those long trips to Columbus.
“I’m grateful to be placed in a position to be able to represent people with common sense in an atmosphere where that is sometimes hard to find.  We have to take a hard look at what we are doing (in the legislature) and make sure that it doesn’t have a negative impact on people when we come back home…At the end of the day what we’ve tried to do in Columbus is to make life better for everyone who lives in this great state.”