New Member Profile: Brinkman Encouraged By ‘Hardcore Conservatives’ In His Return To The House

Tom Brinkman often cast the only dissenting vote during his first eight years in the House, but now, at the outset of his second stint, the arch-conservative feels like he has more in common with the GOP caucus.Rep. Brinkman

“I think we do have some hardcore conservatives – not wimpy conserves – in this caucus,” he said in a recent interview.

His comments in an interview followed House Republicans’ biennial retreat, redubbed as an “advance” by former Speaker Bill Batchelder, marking the start of each session. It was the fifth such event for Rep. Brinkman.

“I’m much more optimistic than I’ve ever been at any of the others,” he said. “I think that the competition for leadership positions was a good thing, and certainly the group that won is trying to reach out and bring folks together and is listening.”

Nevertheless, the Cincinnati Republican said he’s reserving judgment to see whether his conservative colleagues’ actions follow their words. “A lot of people call themselves conservative, but they’re not,” he said.

Rep. Brinkman

“Dr. No” frequently irked GOP leadership when he served in the House from 2001-2008, but his steadfast adherence to conservative ideology and his blunt opposition to “wimpy conservatives” made him a hero to some in the far right wing of Ohio politics.

But eventually term limits ended his first House career and Mr. Brinkman had to find a job in one of the worst labor markets in U.S. history, he recalled. With prior experience as a salesman for printing companies, he started selling life insurance, an occupation that offers an intimate glimpse in to people’s personal financial circumstances.

“It certainly puts you in front of a lot of people, some who have been very frugal and saving and doing the right thing, and others who just let the situation grab a hold of them and strangle them. I’ve seen it all,” he said.

Tom Brinkman

Age: 57

Hometown: Mt. Lookout neighborhood of Cincinnati

Party: Republican

Education: George Washington University, B.A. in History and Political Science, 1979

Family: Married, six adult children

Prior Political Experience: House, 2001-2008

Becoming a licensed insurance agent also gave him personal experience in navigating the state’s regulatory process, he said. “I now know the ridiculous stuff they put up for people to do the job, and the reality is I don’t know who we’re saving. We’re basically just keeping people out of doing the job.”

Mr. Brinkman also stayed active in local politics and last year defeated former Rep. Peter Stautberg in the primary election. He said he was the first candidate to beat a caucusing Republican incumbent since 1996 and attributes his victory to a groundswell of intensely focused local opposition to the Common Core education standards.

“It was bizarre. I would actually try to develop additional issues on the campaign and I found out nobody wanted to talk about anything except Common Core,” he said. “I spent thousands of dollars trying to make an issue out of the House’s vote to give out free needles to heroin addicts. No one cared. All they cared about was Common Core.”

As such, repealing the Common Core is now the freshman lawmaker’s number one priority, he said, noting that the issue initially spurred a small group of women in the district to recruit him to challenge Mr. Stautberg.

“You got to dance with the ones that brung you and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the ladies that are against Common Core. I’m against taxes, I’m pro-life and things like that, and I’m still that way. But those are number two and three now compared to opposition to Common Core,” he said.

In addition to his opposition to replacing local educational control with national standards, the Republican said he’s disturbed that the tests associated with Common Core could allow private companies to access to students’ personal data, which could serve as a marketing tool for the rest of their lives. “They’re using our kids as a commodity,” he said.

Rep. Brinkman said he viewed Superintendent of Public Instruction Dick Ross’s move to reduce the amount of time that students spend taking standardized tests each year (see Gongwer Ohio Report, January 15, 2014) as a “ploy” to alleviate opposition to the Common Core.

People often confuse the Common Core with the explosion of standardized testing in recent years, but the two are really separate issues, he said. “I don’t think the state legislators are going to fall for that, but they’re going to try to make us.”

Rep. Brinkman said he believes Common Core opponents will ultimately be successful. Even if Ohio doesn’t reject the nationwide curriculum standards, enough other states are moving that direction to make implementation all but impossible, he said. “Common Core is a monolith. It needs full compliance by virtually all the states.”

As for his broader goal of shrinking government involvement in citizens’ lives, Rep. Brinkman said he was encouraged by the state’s budget surplus and recalled that the state was usually experiencing tough economic times during most of the other budget cycles he experienced as a lawmaker.

“Whereas leadership’s always grubbing for more money because they’re going to cure all the ills of world with it, members who represent their districts realize that doesn’t really happen. So they’ll be reluctant to spend more,” he said. “Maybe this time we cut back on some of these things and not expand the role of government in people’s lives.”

Aside from politics and business, Rep. Brinkman said he spends his free time building relationships with his six adult children, who still live in the Cincinnati region.

“Somehow when they grow up they get minds of their own and they leave the nest and you can’t treat them like little kids anymore. So you have to have relationships with them. And that’s a little bit different than when they’re six years old,” he said.

While his daughter has some interest in politics, Mr. Brinkman said his five sons “could care less about any of it.”

From Gongwer News Services


From Anderson Tea Party,  “Thank You” to Rep. Brinkman for listening to your constituents.

Portman Co-Sponsors Bill to Prohibit Federal Education Mandates

imgresA few high profile Republican U.S. Senators introduced S. 182, Learning Opportunities Created at the Local (LOCAL) Level Act, on January 16th, which would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (EASA) to prohibit federal education mandates. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Sponsored by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ohio’s Rob Portman, S. 182 […]

Garaway, OH School District Resolution Against Common Core

Please read this resolution from the Garaway School District in Ohio.


This may be duplicated and revised for your school board members and taken to them at the next school board meeting.

Retaliation begins…

The revenge on the Congressmen who voted for new leadership in the House of Representatives has begun.  There are several reports of members being taken off committees and being removed as sponsors of legislation. From the Politico, ” John Boehner is getting … Continue reading

The Speaker Vote

Congressman Boehner remains Speaker of the House. The reason that is important may surprise you. Continue reading

Rep. Wenstrup to Support John Boehner for Speaker…Why did we work so hard to remove Jean Schmidt?

It is official.  Rep. Wenstrup (RINO-OH02) drank the cool-aid. Jean Wenstrup OH 02 001Read more in link below as he tries to explain, in “My Vote For Speaker”.  It is fascinating to read through such contorted jibberish that eloquently avoids the fact that John Boehner has not articulated a thoughtful, conservative plan of action for our new Congress, the very reason that Wenstrup gives for not supporting a viable, articulate and principled Speaker candidate with a proven conservative voting record.

If you worked hard to remove Jean Schmidt from office, that was just round one.  But, we now know how it is done.

You may need to cut and past his to your browser ~ http://wenstrup.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398544








CALL TO ACTION: Contact Rep. Wenstrup and Chabot, defend the Constitution, vote “NO” on Boehner for Speaker

rinoJohn Boehner was elected to Speaker of the House after the 2010 landslide Republican victory-a clear mandate for reining in a runaway government.   Since then, government growth and lawlessness have prevailed.  It is time to stop this insanity of doing the same thing and expecting different results in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, January 6,  the new Congress Members will make their first and most important vote, that for the Speaker of the House. It only takes 30 Republicans to vote against John Boehner in order to vote in a limited-government proponent and more fiscally responsible Speaker, a step in the right direction.  There are viable alternatives who have stepped up!

ACTION ITEM:   Call the re-elected Representatives Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot and Jim Jordan and tell them their constituents who sent them to D.C. do not want them to vote for John Boehner for Speaker, but want them to vote for a more fiscally responsible Speaker of the House. Ask them to join the other courageous Republicans (see below) who have already committed NOT to vote for John Boehner.

Contact these US Representatives serving OH:

Congressman Brad Wenstrup

DC Office: 202-225-3164 Local Office: (513) 474-7777

Congressman Steve Chabot DC Office: 202-225-2216 Local Office: (513) 684-2723

Congressman Jim Jordan DC Office: (202) 225-2676 Local Office: (419) 999-6455

Twitter and FB information:

Rep. Steve Chabot, OH-1

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/RepSteveChabot

Twitter:   http://twitter.com/#!/repstevechabot


Rep. Brad Wenstrup, OH -2

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RepBradWenstrup Twitter:  https://twitter.com/@RepBradWenstrup

Rep. Jim Jordan, OH-4 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/repjimjordan Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jim_jordan

Rep. Bob Latta, OH-5 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/boblatta Twitter:  https://twitter.com/boblatta

Rep. Bill Johnson, OH-6  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RepBillJohnson

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/RepBillJohnson 

Rep. Bob Gibbs, OH-7 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RepBobGibbs

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/repbobgibbs


Rep. Mike Turner, OH-10

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RepMikeTurner

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RepMikeTurner

Rep. Pat Tiberi, OH-12 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RepPatTiberi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tiberipress

Rep. Dave Joyce, OH-14

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepDaveJoyce

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RepDaveJoyce


Rep. Steve Stivers, OH-15

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rep-Steve-Stivers/116058275133542

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RepSteveStivers


Rep. Jim Renacci, OH-16

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/repjimrenacci

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/repjimrenacci

Find Phone numbers here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Thank you for your perseverance!!

Should John Boehner be Speaker of the House?

Let your Congressman know what you think about John Boehner being Speaker of the House. Call Congressman Chabot and Wenstrup and let them know. The vote is Tuesday! Continue reading

Kasich Administration Reduces Medicaid Services for Developmentally Disabled

imagesWhile Governor Kasich talks of renewing Medicaid expansion for abled bodied adults, his Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is quietly reducing Medicaid services for Ohio’s developmentally disabled population. The DODD released its Final Report of the Strategic Planning Leadership Group in late December which calls for a 50 percent reduction in beds for Intermediate Care Facility homes that provide skilled nursing and personal care as well as community access to school, day services, and recreation […]

Republican Lawmakers Appear Leery of Renewing Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

imagesThe time is fast approaching when Governor Kasich will release his proposed budget for the 2016-2017 biennium. When he does, he is expected to include a two year renewal of Obamacare Medicaid expansion – the expansion you will remember which Kasich forced through the Controlling Board against the wishes of the state legislature. Kasich has been beating the drum for the renewal of expansion for some months talking again about his faith driving him to […]