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Tags: gop | ohio | eminent domain | property value

Wilford: Has the GOP Ceased Being Local Voter Advocates?

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By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2023 02:22 PM EST

OPINION

Washington pundits continue to marvel at Donald Trump's continued success with working class Republicans. It's extremely simple — the current system does not work for us, and we are tired of it.

We all know about the lies the government and medical community told us during COVID. We all know about the way higher education and its leadership hold us in disdain. And we all know about how Congress gives us lip service when we talk about the real issues we have.

But for many of us, the political party we have defended for years continues to let us down. And not just in far-away Washington, D.C., but at the local level, where they theoretically are supposed to be closest to us. Too often, Republicans fight for the elites rather than their voters.

Here in Ohio, my neighbors have been fighting our own party for the right to keep our homes.

For years, there has been a committee process in the Buckeye State to carefully examine where new interchanges and roads need to be built before recommendations are made. In this manner, the politics have largely been taken out of decisions like these, and we have had an open and transparent process weighing the public good versus the potential downsides of new highway infrastructure.

The community of Strongsville, which for years had overbuilt in their city, was experiencing traffic problems and got tired of waiting for the proven process to work. Their government wanted to build an interchange in the neighboring bedroom community of Brunswick and convinced state Rep. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville to actually write this project into the state's transportation budget.

When it is built, dozens of homes will be razed, and property values for the homes remaining will have been decimated.

This issue also has implications in the Republican primary for Democrat Sherrod Brown's U.S. Senate seat. State GOP Sen. Matt Dolan represents Strongsville and has been asked to weigh in against the unprecedented overreach. He has punted, infuriating many of his constituents. His inaction leaves him on the side of eminent domain, which will likely be an issue as he takes on more conservative opponents.

Let me be clear — the issue of this forced interchange in my community is largely a nonpartisan one. But my gripe is that I'm infuriated at the tactics of my own party, of which I have been a longstanding and proud member.

Strongsville leadership is all Republicans. They all once earned my vote — before they pulled this stunt. But I voted for them because I once believed that they represented my values.

And I had real convictions that since these were my neighbors — not national figures we elect to Congress and never see — that they would represent me and my family well. But no, they are nothing more than the sell-outs we see in Washington. I'm still a puppet on a string for their own personal, politically motivated prospects.

Republicans used to be the party of local government. But everywhere we turn, Republicans act like typical self-interested politicians, rather than advocates for their voters. We desperately want something different. We had that when Donald Trump was president. It's why he will likely win again.

Buckley Wilford, an Ohioan, is a former Green Beret in the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. He is currently leading the charge against a forced interchange on one of Ohio's largest highway systems that would cause the eminent domain of the homes of several of his neighbors. Buckley resides in Strongsville.

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Politics
Too often, Republicans fight for the elites rather than their voters. Here in Ohio, my neighbors have been fighting our own party for the right to keep our homes.
gop, ohio, eminent domain, property value
584
2023-22-20
Wednesday, 20 December 2023 02:22 PM
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