GOP Suppression Highlights
- Attendees were told they could not wear shirts with their candidate’s name in the main event area
- Attendees were told they could not campaign for their candidates
- One campaign was victimized by security summoned by another congressional campaign manager
- A volunteer was told that he would be behind the scenes as a rally volunteer but upon arrival was instructed to hand out campaign material for Jane Timken
- GOP Gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone had been told he would be seated with the other candidates, but upon arrival was seated elsewhere
- On previous occasions GOP officials have politically threatened US Senate candidate Mark Pukita
Saturday, June 26, Donald J. Trump held what he called his “first rally back” in Wellington, Ohio. Though only advertised for a few weeks, the event drew tens of thousands of people. Conservative estimates put the total at 25-30,000 while some locals estimated as high as 100,000 people.
It was the perfect day—not too hot, a light breeze, and clouds just whimsy enough to make the blue sky bright in evening sun. There were people everywhere—the stream kept pouring in and going through the scanners, even after Trump had been speaking for an hour.
“We arrived late. Gave up on trying to get free parking. Paid $13 at some concrete place [to park]….walked 1.5 miles. But made it,” was the way one attendee described his experience.
The crowd was wild with the excitement at seeing Trump and being together. Chants of “Audit the vote,” “Four more years,” and “We love you!” rang through the evening air. People danced to the music, booed at the fake media, and held up signs of support for Trump and our Country. It was a good place to be on a Saturday evening.
But unknown to most of the crowd, the GOP was in firm control of what candidates and their supporters did at the event.
Citizen Candidates Are Sidelined by GOP
Citizen candidate campaign workers showed up early to promote their candidates. Along the drive to the parking area, their signs and volunteers were everywhere. But as soon as one entered the rally area, it was like these candidates didn’t exist. These conservative candidates and their supporters were faced with unexpected opposition by the Ohio GOP. They were told they could not enter the main area with their candidate’s name on their shirts.
Meanwhile, the rules seemed different for other GOP candidates. Not all candidate clothing was disallowed. Max Miller shirts were tossed to whoever would take one. “Seriously?!” Jason Miller exclaimed in frustration, “How much do you want to bet the GOP is paying for those shirts? We have to sell shirts to our supporters to help raise funds.” Meanwhile, a plane flew overhead pulling a banner reading, “Ohio is Trump Country” followed by the information for Jane Timken’s senate campaign. “Isn’t this a fly-free zone?” frustrated rally goers muttered to each other. A little while later, a gaggle walked in sporting matching Jane Timken shirts.
People took to social media to express their frustration. “Lady in red shirt with a RALLY STAFF button said if we wanted to come in, we had to turn our shirts inside out. We asked why, she said NO CAMPAIGNING. There was a Timken plane and campaigning galore!!!”
Previous GOP chair, Jane Timken, seemed close to receiving Trump’s endorsement several months ago, but it didn’t happen. Widely unpopular in Ohio, Timken is making desperate attempts to pull ahead.
Another post said, “You won’t believe this…everyone is having to turn their shirts inside out…Blystone, Schulz, no campaigning!!! Censorship at a Trump Rally?!?!” Another group member replied, “What!? Who has the right to even make that rule?”
People who worked the rally as volunteers were given Max Miller shirts to wear but were not forced to wear them.
The sidelining did not stop with blatant censorship. Tim, a rally volunteer, messaged a colleague in frustration, “Well I signed up to volunteer at the rally. Was supposed to get a skip the line ticket. They lied to me. Was told you will be doing general work around the fairgrounds. Like taking out garbage and moving boxes and stuff. Nope. It’s passing out flyers for Jane Timken. So got up and walked out.”
Joe Blystone, GOP Citizen Candidate for Governor, broadcasted the following on his telegram channel Sunday morning:
Dear Bob Paduchik and the Ohio GOP,
Joanna Swallen and I would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the tickets you provided us for the Trump rally yesterday. Although we were not seated with other candidates, like you had told me we would be, it worked out to our benefit to be around common Ohioans-just like us.
The GOP establishment continues to value their hand picked candidates over a candidate that may very well be THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE.
It was amazing to see the thousands of Blystone supporters that showed up at the rally to enjoy the day with us.
Thank you supporters, thank you Blystone team!
Congressional candidate Jonah Schultz’s supporters also made a strong showing at the event. But the results were similar. Schultz said, “They singled us out in one area. Max’s campaign manager sicked the security on us. Saw Renacci [GOP Gubernatorial candidate] stuff everywhere and other candidates.”
Mark Pukita, citizen candidate for US Senate who is running on Trump policies, has been having his own problems with GOP officials. On June 9, 2021 he posted to his campaign Facebook page,
I just realized that I’ve been…politically threatened by two sitting county GOP central committee chairs. That makes only 86 to go.
They both threatened me by telling me they have a lot of people who are either their supporters or who trust their judgment, and they would tell those people not to support me or vote for me. Unless, of course, I lightened up on them. As if that’s going to happen.
Conservatives Are Fighting for Change
Conservatives have decided that if they want different results, they must play the game differently. That difference is coming in the form of “Conservative Citizen Candidates.” Citizen Candidates are “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and are running as Republicans. All over the state, volunteers are stepping up, sacrificing money, resources, and donating thousands of hours to help these men and women win their elections. The excitement around these candidates and their campaigns is spreading and contagious. But the tension is growing as the GOP pushes back against these grass roots campaigns.
Jason Miller summed up the mounting frustration amongst Ohio conservatives supporting grass root campaigns, “You guys have asked us conservatives to take back our country at a local level and start grassroots movements, but when we do—when we pick our candidates, you want to push us out with the establishment picks and that has to stop! Stop giving money to the GOP! Support your Citizen Candidates directly.”
The time of blind faith in one’s party is over. It’s time to step up, get involved and find out what your GOP is doing. It time to stop funding their control machine, find Citizen Candidates and become the voice in the room.
It’s time conservatives wake up to the dangers of the establishment GOP and take our Country back before it’s too late.