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Platform of the America First Party of Ohio

In recent years, the great state of Ohio has run into significant challenges to which our public officials have failed to respond. Ohio’s once powerful manufacturing sector has been shipped outside of the United States. Ohio’s job growth has been mostly in the lower paying service sector, and no real plan exists to make Ohio economically independent and strong.

Ohio has also seen record levels of home foreclosures in the last three years. As working Ohio families feel the middle-class crunch, it is disappointing that Ohio’s elected officials have offered nothing new outside of the traditional two-party rhetoric. Our schools still underperform despite new schemes and tax money being thrown at them. With an influx of illegal aliens into our state, with mismanagement of the state budget at all levels, and with the federal government failing to adhere to its constitutional mandates, it has never been more necessary that Ohio return its state and local governments back into the hands of common sense and traditional virtues espoused by our founding fathers.

The America First Party of Ohio (AFPOH) offers the following platform, in conjunction with the national America First Party platform, as a viable option to the corrupt two-party system in Ohio. Our citizens need action and responsible government. They also require leaders of virtue with respect for liberty and the courage to operate under the rights permitted to the states by the U.S. Constitution.

Constitutional & Civil Rights & Individual Liberty

1) The America First Party of Ohio proclaims, and AFPOH candidates who will be elected to state and local offices pledge to adhere to, the principle that the Constitutions of the United States of America and of the State of Ohio, especially those articles or amendments written concerning the protection of the rights of individual citizens, shall always supersede any or all other concerns. No "emergency" or declaration of one by any federal or state official can ever justify the suspension of either the State or US Constitution or of any article, amendment or provision thereof which is intended to safeguard any right of any individual citizen. The AFPOH will oppose suspending either the US or the Ohio Constitution, or any section thereof, and further proclaims that, without the Ohio or US Constitution, government, state or federal, ceases to have any lawful or legitimate justification to exist or to demand the continued loyalty or support of individual citizens.

2) The America First Party of Ohio pledges to repeal Ohio’s "Patriot Act," and calls upon the State of Ohio to join with numerous state, county and local governments around the country which have already done so to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the federal "Patriot Act." The AFPOH furthermore intends, when our candidates are elected to state legislative offices, to have Ohio join other states and local governments which have already done so, to enact legislation prohibiting any state or local law enforcement officer from enforcing, or assisting federal or other state law enforcement officers in enforcing, any provision or section of the federal "Patriot Act."

3) The AFPOH is committed to protecting the liberties of all citizens and declares our opposition to all legislation or policies designed to gather or collect personal information on private citizens. Ohio along with a few other states currently is part of a super data base called the “Matrix System,” which has been set up to spy upon and collect into one central data base all personal information of private citizens, without the consent or even the knowledge of average Ohioans. The AFPOH pledges to withdraw Ohio from the "Matrix System" and to enact legislation prohibiting state and local law enforcement officials from participating in collecting and sharing information on citizens of this state with any centralized data base shared with other state, local or federal agencies, and from otherwise spying upon any of the citizens of this state. The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation which will prohibit state and local law enforcement officials from spying upon, infiltrating, disrupting or harassing any group or individual engaged in First Amendment or other constitutionally protected activities and from cooperating with or aiding any other state, local or federal law enforcement official or private entity or group engaging or attempting to spy upon, infiltrate, disrupt or harass any group or individual engaged in First Amendment or other constitutionally protected activities. It is not the business of law enforcement agencies to "monitor" or otherwise target groups or individuals who express views they, their politician employers, or private groups that set themselves up as some sort of thought police agency, may dislike, but who are engaging in lawful, constitutionally protected activities.

4) The AFPOH declares adherence to the principle that individual citizens have an inviolable constitutional and civil right to obtain, own and possess property and, to protect that right, pledges to abolish eminent domain outside of the strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

5) The AFPOH declares commitment to the principle that the right to own, obtain and possess firearms is a personal, individual constitutional and civil right of every citizen of Ohio, and to protect that right, pledges to repeal any and all state and local laws and ordinances that infringe upon or interfere with that right.

6) The AFPOH declares that the right to free, open and honest elections is an inviolable constitutional and civil right of every citizen of this state. To protect that right, the AFPOH pledges to compel state and local boards of election to obtain and use voting machines and methods which have an independently verifiable "paper trail" for recounts or for other challenges to the validity of any election result. The necessity may exist to return to paper ballots. A verifiable photo ID should be required to prove citizenship at the voting polls.

The AFPOH further pledges to enact legislation to make it easier for citizens to place issues on state and local ballots, and further pledges that in enacting such legislation, no issue, tax or otherwise, shall be excluded from being able to be placed upon any local, county or state ballot. The AFPOH further pledges to amend current law that requires candidates elected to office to take an oath of office with provisions to penalize those who may violate their oaths of office.

7) The AFPOH declares that the taxpayers and citizens of Ohio should not be required to pay for damages or injuries caused by wrongful actions taken or committed by state officials or employees against any citizen, and pledges to amend Section 109.36.1 of the Ohio Revised Code, the provision which stipulates that the Ohio Attorney General’s office shall defend any state employee named as a defendant in any civil rights or other civil action, to mandate that, should any state official or employee named as a defendant in a civil rights or other civil action be found guilty or liable, after the case is finalized, the State Attorney General shall be required to initiate action to recover from the named defendants costs for defending them in court and for any damages or other costs which the state or insurance agencies contracted by the state have been required to pay.

8) The AFPOH hereby declares and affirms that the right of any individual citizen to the free exercise of religion is an inviolable constitutional and civil right. Indeed, it is the first fundament right upon which our republic is founded. The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation which will prohibit any state, county or local department, agency, official or employee, for any reason, under any guise or circumstance, from denying, suppressing, repressing, interfering with or infringing the right of any citizen to the right to the free exercise of the religion of his or her choice. Every state, county or local department, agency, official or employee shall be prohibited from adopting or enforcing any policy or rule, or to take any action, which denies, suppresses, interferes with or infringes upon the right of any citizen to the free exercise of the religion of his or her choice. No state or local department, agency, official or employee shall be permitted to take it upon himself to define what may or may not be an "approved" or "recognized" religion, but this right shall be left solely to individual religious groups and their officials, clergy and members according to the tenets of their faith and the dictates of their conscience. The AFPOH declares that the principle of "separation of church and state" originally meant that the government shall not impose any religion upon individual citizens, nor favor one religion over another, while at the same time recognizing the right of individuals citizens, whether on private or public property, to the free exercise of the religion of their choice. This principle never meant that any religion, or religion in general, may be suppressed, hindered or infringed. This is what the Founding Fathers understood this principle to mean when the First Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted, and this understanding of this principle is more clearly articulated in Article 1, Section 7 of the Ohio Constitution, and it is this original meaning to which we shall return in Ohio.

Taxes & Government Spending

9) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation to abolish property taxes for residential and agricultural property.

10) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that will reduce the sales taxes to 2%, and make it mandatory that any proposed increases in sales taxes be approved by the voters. Any proposed increases in sales taxes will be for only a limited period of time. There shall be no increase in income taxes without the approval of the voters, and any increases shall be for limited periods of time.

11) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that will mandate audits of each department and agency of state government to maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness, and determine whether there is an actual, legitimate need for any policy, program, job or position, or agency or department. Programs, policies, jobs or positions, or agencies, which fail to achieve 75% of their stated goal or purpose, or seem to serve no legitimate or useful function or purpose, for more than two consecutive years shall be reviewed for serious consideration of eliminating them. The findings of each audit shall be made available to the public. Those performing such audits shall be independently elected citizens who have neither previously held any public office nor been employed by any state or local government agency or department, for a period of a least three years, shall not be able to be re-elected as an independent auditor, and who, at the conclusion of their terms of office, shall be prohibited from holding any public office or employment by any state or local government agency or department.

12) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that shall prohibit any "special election" for the purpose of passing any levy or other tax. If a proposed levy or tax proposal shall fail, the public official or agency responsible for placing that issue on the ballot shall be prohibited from placing that or a similar issue on the ballot for a period of no less than one year. The AFPOH also pledges to amend appropriate sections of the Ohio Revised Code which currently prohibit citizens from doing so, and enable citizens to petition to place on the ballot calls for the reduction or repeal of any state or local tax.

Restoring Job Security, Immigration, "Outsourcing" & Preserving Cultural Heritage & Identity

13) The AFPOH pledges to amend the Ohio Constitution to mandate that English shall be the official language for the State of Ohio, and the only recognized language in which official business shall be done.

14) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation to make it illegal for any employer, public or private, to hire or promote, or for any educational institution, public or private, to admit or enroll students, or for any state, county or local governmental department or agency to award any contracts or to grant any benefits, with a set percentage, ratio, portion or segment, set aside only for those defined on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or sexual preference.

15) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation making it a felony for an illegal alien to be found within the borders of the State of Ohio.

16) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation to make it a felony for anyone in the State of Ohio to hire or employ an illegal alien. The AFPOH will also enact legislation mandating that civil penalties, fines and other sanctions be imposed upon any corporation, company or business that hires or employs an illegal alien, and to prohibit any state, county or local government department or agency from ever doing business with any corporation, company or business which has hired or employed an illegal alien.

17) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation enabling and mandating that the state attorney general and county prosecutors file civil actions against any corporation, company, business, or individual, who hires or employs an illegal alien, to recover the costs to the state and to county and local government agencies or departments, of medical care or benefits, welfare payments, incarceration costs, or other costs caused by illegal aliens who are enticed to come into this state and into affected counties because of those who hire or employ illegal aliens.

18) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation to penalize corporations, companies or businesses that operate within the State of Ohio or have offices in the State of Ohio, or seek to sell products or services within the State of Ohio, which engage in what is called "outsourcing," or which more accurately is the exporting of American jobs outside the United States. Penalties could include imposition of a taxes for each job formerly held by a resident of this state but which is filled by someone residing outside of the United States, or rescinding previously allowed tax breaks, revoking licenses to operate or conduct business within the state, as well as prohibiting any state, county or local department or agency from doing business or awarding contracts to any corporation, company, business or individual which employs those residing outside the United States in jobs which were previously done or can still be done by those residing within this state.

Family & Privacy Rights

19) The AFPOH declares our recognition of the principle that the family is the foundation and core of our country, our state, and our local communities, and, unlike those with the other "major" parties, pledges to do more than merely spout nice sounding rhetoric about it, but to do all that is necessary, whether through administrative action or legislation, to strengthen and maintain the family and to eliminate all governmental intrusions, interference, or policies, which undermine the family.

20) The AFPOH pledges to substantially reduce the ability of "Children’s Services" and similar agencies or entities, to investigate or otherwise meddle into the affairs of individual families or to interfere with the right of parents to the custody of their children. Such agencies shall be limited to becoming involved only in situations in which there is actual verifiable physical abuse. Reliance on criminal statute is vital in such situations and such statutes and regulations should not be left up to unreasonable interpretations by case workers.

21) The AFPOH pledges to enact pro-life legislation capable of withstanding challenges in court. The AFPOH also pledges to simultaneously enact legislation and to establish policies which will provide practical medical and other assistance for unwed women who become pregnant but are unable to meet medical and related costs and who have often felt compelled to undergo an abortion as their only viable choice. We will make it far less difficult for couples to adopt children, and for couples wanting to adopt children to be legally able to help unwed expectant mothers who will opt for such aid rather than for an abortion, with the expectation of being able to adopt the child once the child is born.

22) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that will unequivocally protect the right of privacy of individual citizens, and recognize that what an individual citizen does or says in his own home, on his own property, which neither harms nor threatens the safety or property of others, is his own business and not the business of government or of any government department, agency, official or employee.

Education

23) The AFPOH declares that we stand firm on the principle that parents have the main right, and main responsibility, for the education of their children and in making decisions on how their children are to be educated, and pledges to enact legislation and policies that protect that right and mandate that public school officials defer to that right.

24) The AFPOH declares that it is the purpose of the state’s public education system to educate students in such matters as what used to be referred to as "the three Rs," and not to teach or indoctrinate students with political, social, religious or other ideology or dogma nor to indulge in social engineering experiments. So-called "politically correct" ideology has no place in Ohio’s public school rooms. The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that will effectively reverse the "dumbing down" of Ohio school students by mandating a return to an emphasis on teaching literacy skills, the sciences, geography and similar subjects which used to be given higher priority, with the same high academic standards which used to be the norm in previous generations, and is still the norm in countries whose students consistently outscore American students.

25) The AFPOH declares that parents and students have a right to alternatives to the state’s public education system, and pledges to enact legislation that recognizes, encourages and makes easier home schooling, providing parents who wish to home school their children with assistance when necessary or desirable, and to eliminate restrictions or impediments for parents to establish or enroll their children in private schools, correspondence schools or other alternatives to the state’s public education systems.

26) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that will mandate that the state’s school systems finally comply with state Supreme Court rulings to find an alternative means other than relying upon property taxes to finance public schools.

27) The AFPOH declares that it is not the function of public schools to diagnose students with such alleged ailments as "attention deficit disorder," "hyperactivity," "depression" or other alleged similar maladies, nor does any public school official or employee have the legitimate authority or right to pressure or coerce students into taking mind altering drugs such a Ritalin, Paxil, Prozac or other such drugs, nor to coerce or pressure parents into allowing their children to be medicated with such drugs, and pledges to enact legislation that will prohibit this practice. Such a diagnosis belongs safely only to medical doctors and trained and experienced health care professionals.

Reforming the State’s Criminal Justice System

28) Insofar as man was granted by his Creator certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the duty of those who have been given consent to govern over us to exercise the utmost effort and diligence in firstly constructing a judicial system that imparts the absolute fairest justice to avoid falsely imprisoning or fining any citizen.

Secondly, having meted out the fairest justice humanly possible, we should strive to enact legislation that fits the crime in the most realistic measure possible. To wit: Why would someone who takes another’s life get less time than someone who vandalizes public property or commits a non-violent robbery?

29) Understanding that our criminal justice system is an enormous cost on our lawful citizens, it is the obligation of elected officials to administer justice in the most cost-effective way and to curb the constantly increasing crime rate across Ohio. Ohioans deserve the safety and security that they are paying for in the high taxes being levied on them across the state.

30) The AFPOH proclaims our commitment to the principle that every citizen in Ohio has the right to self defense, and pledges to enact legislation to protect every citizen from prosecution or imprisonment for defending himself, his family, his property or others from someone who may be committing a criminal offense against them. Anyone who is or has been subjected to criminal prosecution, imprisonment, or other sanction or penalty, or to any civil action, because they defended themselves, their family, their property or others from anyone who was committing a criminal offense against them, shall be compensated for the costs of defense in court, lost time due to imprisonment, or for other losses which may have been inflicted upon him.

31) The AFPOH opposes and rejects notions that government officials or agencies should micromanage the lives of individual citizens or should be some sort of "nanny government" which penalizes private citizens for allegedly violating laws enacted "for their own good" or "for their own welfare" or "for their own protection," through action that neither harms nor jeopardizes anyone or anyone’s property.

32) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation making it mandatory for county prosecutors, or the Ohio Attorney General, to prosecute any prisoner who commits a felony while confined in a state prison, and to make it a felony, with mandatory prosecution, for any employee of any state correctional institution or county or local jail to impede the prosecution or the reporting any felony that may be committed by a prisoner.

33) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation to restore all rights and privileges to, and to remove all restrictions, liabilities, or disabilities from, any ex-felon who has been out of prison, or free of probation or other sanction imposed by a court of law instead of imprisonment, for a period of at least five years without having been convicted of committing another felony.

34) The AFPOH declares that the principle that everyone should be equal before the law is subverted by the notion that criminal offenses against the lives, safety or property, or "sensibilities," of those some view as special people more equal than the rest of us deserves greater punishment than for criminal offenses committed against the rest of us or our property, and pledges to enact legislation which will repeal so-called "hate crime enhancement" laws.

35) The AFPOH declares our recognition that the present criminal justice system, with its reliance upon imprisonment, with its lengthy sentences and warehousing of individuals, has been a costly and expensive failure which will continue to fail and which benefits no one with the exception of those with financial interests in the prison industrial complex, and is committed to seriously exploring viable and innovative alternatives to imprisonment, including genuine restorative justice in which victims may obtain closure and compensation for losses, with an opportunity for mediation with those convicted of having committed offenses against them, and with convicted offenders also being able to face their victims for genuine restorative justice purposes, in a non-adversarial proceeding independent of the control of the state prison system.

36) The AFPOH pledges to enact legislation that will end Ohio’s current dual disparate sentencing system and mandate total parity between those prisoners who were sentenced under the criminal sentencing code in effect prior to July 1, 1996, with those who were or are sentenced under the current criminal sentencing code. Because Ohio’s current criminal sentencing code merely made the minimums of the indefinite sentences of the former code the total definite sentences of the current code, based upon the presumption that the minimum of the indefinite sentence of the former code was what a prisoner was expected to actually serve at the time he or she was sentenced, parity shall mean that when a prisoner sentenced under the former code has served the minimum of the indefinite sentence imposed upon then, it shall be presumed and expected that that prisoner shall be released.

37) The AFPOH declares that it is a waste of taxpayer money to maintain a bloated bureaucracy to duplicate or attempt to circumvent decisions already made by judges as to how much time a convicted defendant is to serve in prison or what alternative sanction shall be imposed, and pledges to enact legislation to abolish the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and the Ohio Parole Board. Prisoners who have been sentenced to life sentences shall be reviewed by the sentencing courts to determine when that prisoner shall be released. Supervision of anyone convicted of an offense when a court imposes probation or some other sanction rather than imprisonment, shall be returned to the authority and control of the sentencing court and of the county in which an offender is convicted, and personnel hired to oversee such supervision shall be under the authority and control of the sentencing court and of the county in which the court is located.