Defending Main Street PAC has entered the campaign to oppose Matt Lynch’s primary challenge to incumbent U.S. House Representative Dave Joyce of Ohio’s 14th district. The Republican super PAC was founded by former U.S. Representative Steve LaTourette who served the 14th district prior to Joyce. Through his PAC, LaTourette is working to oppose conservative challengers to office.
An investment of nearly $28,000 was made by the PAC to send flyers to voters in an attempt to mischaracterize the history of the 2013 biennial budget battle in Ohio. The flyers paint Lynch as opposing Kasich’s effort to balance the budget and lower taxes.
In his capacity as State Representative, Matt Lynch was one of only six House Republicans who voted against Governor Kasich’s biennial budget, but he did so because the budget bill increased state spending and taxes. The budget increased spending by more than $8 billion, and while Kasich proudly claims to have reduced income taxes, this reduction was paid for through a hike in the sales tax, the elimination of the property tax “rollback,” and changes to the homestead exemption.
Many feel the attacks on Lynch are not just a result of his opposition to the Governor’s budget. Lynch was also a steadfast advocate of health care freedom and fiscal conservatism as he fought Kasich’s push for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion from day one. Lynch and five other House Reps took that battle all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court to challenge Governor Kasich’s highly questionable use of the Controlling Board to finally expand Medicaid.
While the super PAC’s flyer does not refer to Lynch’s opposition of Kasich’s implementation of Obamacare in Ohio, it has been a sore subject for the Kasich administration and for the Ohio Republican Party. In fact, in what appears to be retaliation, an ORP field director’s wife launched a primary challenge to Lynch’s Ohio House seat, prompting Lynch to enter the Congressional race in the 14th district.
So it is fair to say that Rep. Lynch did find himself opposing Governor Kasich’s policies for much of 2013, but he did so in the name of the very principles that Kasich campaigned on when he ran for governor – opposition to Obamacare and an unwavering commitment to budgetary discipline.
Lynch’s devotion to these principles and to his oath of office, led him to a fight that he never anticipated – the fight to preserve our constitutional form of government in Ohio. Lynch and the five other members of the Ohio House that joined in the lawsuit against the Controlling Board’s decision on Medicaid expansion never expected that they would have to fight their own governor to preserve the separation of powers and the checks and balances which the Ohio Constitution affords.
Lynch summed up the dilemma best when he spoke in November 2013 at a Portage County Tea Party meeting.
“The fight now is no longer over simply Medicaid expansion. It’s actually over our constitutional form of government. We have separation of powers. The legislature does one thing. The judiciary does another. The executive does another. And it is simply improper for one branch to go beyond its authority – its constitutional authority – which in my mind is exactly what happened. And so this is no longer just Medicaid expansion. It’s about upholding basic constitutional principles.”
“But once again, the pressure was incredible. Who wants to sue the Governor — of your own party?? (Emphasis intended). What would happen to a politician that would actually do that? Would you ever get help from the Republican Party again? Would the Governor actually campaign against you? Would you become the target not only of the Democrats, but the Republicans. That was a risk most were not willing to take.”
“We politicians we love to make promises to people, but we only take one oath. And we take that oath to Almighty God. And we say I will defend the Constitution of the State of Ohio and of the United States. And I take that oath seriously.” (See 22:30 minute mark.)
Representative Matt Lynch has paid a political price for fighting to protect our constitutional republic. He has been targeted and attacked by his own party and the retribution that he has received is as damaging to the separation of powers as is using the Controlling Board to make policy.
The attacks and the ostracism to which Lynch has been subjected are not meant simply for him. The abuse is meant to send a message to every Republican lawmaker that they should think twice before crossing Governor Kasich. This environment of intimidation and fear negates our system of checks and balances by pressuring the state legislature to place the priorities of the executive above those of the people.