Cincinnati Tea Party founder Mike Wilson is a patriot. He left a successful IT career to try and make a difference in Ohio... and is running for Ohio House District 28.
Unsurprisingly, he won the Republican nomination through name recognition alone (getting good coverage on Instapundit never hurts).
But the general election will be considerably tougher. As was the case in 2008, the radical Marxist crackpot Connie Pillich (I hear that's the phraseology she prefers) will be his opponent. Supported by union bosses and willing to spend taxpayers' money until the next seven or eight generations are broke, Pillich is about as radical a leftist as Ohio has ever seen from a major political party.
To give you an example, Ohio's budget deficit will soon approach $10 billion. So what's The Pillich Plan™?
Why, spend billions more, of course! She favors the incredibly practical Ohio light rail system that will cost taxpayers heaven knows how much -- say a billion or more before it's all said and done -- and, by golly, it could attract well over two dozen riders!
Say, but doesn't Shelbyville have a monorail system? Well, dammit, we need one too!.
But I digress. Tonight Wilson held a fundraiser at Doctor Jay's house, one in a series of events to face off on TV with the unions who are backing Pillich (if you've got a few spare bucks, click here to help get the message out).
His speech was a great one and, while this is not a perfect transcript, should reflect his words pretty well. Note: I did not see any teleprompters in the room.
I can't overstate the importance of this race... this time, we're really at a crossroad. I honestly believe it's one of the most important elections in our lifetime. We are standing at the edge of a cliff and the consequences of stepping off are dire. Do we want to be like lemmings?
We have a clear choice this time, and we can't always say that. At the federal level, the legacy of debt we're leaving is truly immoral. At the state leve, it's the same. We have enormous deficits... roughly an $8 billion budget deficit.
The good news is that our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. Unlike the federal government, we can't print money.
You know what the business climate is like at the state level. In 1970, Ohio was 5th in business climate. In 2010, Ohio is at 47th. We've lost 410,000 jobs under Governor Strickland.
We have a choice as to how we fix this. We can embrace the free market and reject socialism, or we can continue on the path of high taxes and millions of pages of regulations.
Unlike my opponent, I've signed the Americans for Tax Reform tax pledge. I will not vote for a tax increase in the legislature. My opponent [Connie Pillich] and Gov. Strickland have already voted to increase taxes.
The $8 billion deficit was not unanticipated. We took $6 billion from stimulus funds... we stole the rainy day fund... and added a retroactive tax increase going back to the first of the year. My opponent [Pillich] already said we don't have control over what we spend. Then why are we electing you? Leave office and we can save your salary!
Ohio needs a 4% sales tax increase to close the budget.
Bottom line: we're going to drop from 47th, because New Jersey elected Chris Christie. Christie rejected calls for more spending and cut spending instead. He fought the unions. He stuck to his principles. It's common sense. It's not that hard.
...We have some tough decisions to make to get the state budget back under control. We need worker's comp reform. As for right-to-work legislation, I am not an anti-union guy. But at the same time, some unions are out defending the indefensible. Throughout our history, they've protected workers. But workers have the right to join... so why should we live in a state where you're forced to join a union?
...Consider that Oklahoma has 4% unemployment, low taxes, lower regulation... Nebraska's unemployment is 5%, Utah 6%, Texas 7.5%.
The high-tax, high-regulation states are dying: Ohio with high unemployment, Michigan 17%, California 15%, New York 13%. We know what works and what doesn't.
In my race, we have an opportunity to take back my seat as a conservative Republican. The most important vote I'll cast is for House Speaker. In Congress, Steve Driehaus voted for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Connie Pillich voted for the most liberal Speaker in Ohio history.
If we get Kasich elected along with a few conservatives, we can make a difference. Rahm Emanuel said, "Never let a crisis go to waste". We can change the momentum in Ohio. All of you being here recognize that and together we can make a difference.
My opponent will spend half a million on this race. She has the unions' money. I have you. And I'm telling you right now that we're going to win this race [applause].
They've got half a million dollars to spend saying that I'm a racist extremist. I have you to tell people the truth about me.
But, as you're well aware, this isn't about me. I've got three kids: 10, 8 and one about to turn 6. This is about their future. I've got a great career in IT. But although I don't need this, they need this...
...We have a chance to course-correct from socialism to the free-market. It's important that we do this now. Thank you for your support, both financial and in terms of getting the word out.
As the founder of one of the first and strongest Tea Party activist groups in the U.S., Wilson is a grass-roots organizer of the first order and one who deserves conservatives' support.