LFC Comments by Brian Massie, Executive Director
Here is the complete video taken at the Lake County Republican Roundtable held on March 18th at the Riders Inn in Painesville, Ohio. I thought about editing the video into smaller segments, but I wanted to eliminate any possibility of either side accusing me of being partial in my reporting.
Starting at the 25:30 minute mark, Mr. Eklund is grilled by a couple of members in the audience about his past performances on a variety of topics.
Starting at ~35:25 minute mark Faith Andrews, Lake County Clerk of Courts, compliments Mr. Eklund for being available to his constituents when he was a State Senator.
Starting at ~52:11 minute mark John Hamercheck, Lake County Commissioner, extols the personal virtues of Mr. Eklund.
Starting at ~55:12 minute mark John Plecnik, Lake County Commissioner, defends Mr. Eklund’s position as a judicial candidate, and not being able to state publicly his position on issues that may come before him as a judge.
Editorial Opinion by Brian Massie, average citizen
We do not endorse any candidate, and merely provide a platform for candidates to get their message across to the voters. However, that does not mean that we cannot express our opinion.
Mr. Eklund received glowing recommendations from three influential, elected Lake County officials. I know each elected official and value their judgment.
There were two people in the audience, both of whom I know and respect, that caught my attention, and I can also understand their concerns.
- Why did Mr. Eklund’s campaign accept the $23,000 in contributions from First Energy. Remember they were involved in the HB 6 scandal that still is an ongoing investigation. At least the new State Senator, Jerry Cirino, returned the $5,000 that his campaign received from First Energy when he heard of the HB 6 scandal. In full disclosure, the person mentioning the $23,000 campaign contribution is the Lake County campaign manager for Eklund’s opponent, Sarah Kovoor. The $23,000 contribution issue is a concern for this writer.
- Mr. Eklund received the endorsements from the Right to Life group and the Gun Lobby, but still voted against the “Heartbeat” and the “Stand Your Ground” bills. Eklund can be clearly heard saying on the video that he discerned that the majority of his constituents wanted him to vote against the bills. There was no comment on the legality of the legislation, just that he perceived the will of the voters.
We cannot find any polling that refutes or agrees with Eklund’s claim of support from the majority of voters. These issues are a concern for this writer.
- I was told by a meeting attendee that Mr. Eklund is a “Conservative by Association”. Quite frankly, I have no idea what that means, and it sounds like every candidate that wants to get elected feels that he or she must be tagged with the “Conservative” label. It is abused so much by candidates that I now just chuckle when a candidate gets on his/her soapbox and professes that they are true Conservatives. All the while they support abortion and taking away our 2nd amendment rights.
- When I asked what is a citizen to consider when voting for a judge because we cannot hear their position on any issues. I was told that the only real thing we can consider is their voting record, assuming that they even have one. So if you believe in abortion and removing guns from society, Mr. Eklund is your man!
- It seems that the Lake County Republican Party is “out of step” with many of the Ohio voters that do not support Governor DeWine. The local Party seems to be marching in lockstep with their unfailing devotion with DeWine and Eklund, who was appointed by DeWine to fill the open seat in the 11th District Court of Appeals.
- It was suggested at the meeting by Mr. Hal Werner, leader of the Lake County Heritage Club, that Mr. Eklund agree to a debate against his challenger, Ms. Sarah Kovoor. Although, Mr. Eklund did not squash the idea, I do not see that happening in Lake County. Since he is the favorite candidate by the local Republican establishment, there is no “upside” for Eklund to agree to a debate. He would never allow his opponent to shine when he already has the local endorsement. It would be great if Eklund would prove me to be wrong on this issue.
- As always, the losers are the voters because they are only supposed to follow what the party says on their slate card. No discernment is permitted, thinking for yourself is so 1960’s!
- We suggest that you choose wisely.