Editor’s note: In preparation for the May 8 Primary, the Urbana Daily Citizen is profiling each candidate seeking the Republican nomination for the Ohio House of Representatives 85th District. Each candidate was queried on topics that affect the residents of the district. Candidates profiled are Rochiel Foulk on April 4; Justin Griffis on April 5; Joe Ratermann on April 6; and Nino Vitale on April 7.
URBANA – Current Ohio House Rep. Nino Vitale is seeking another term in office and will be challenged by three other candidates for the Republican nomination.
Vitale has over 25 years of private business experience and says he is not a career politician.
When he ran the first time, Vitale said it was because he wanted Ohio to be a great place to live for his five boys, along with citizens’ kids and their grandchildren.
Vitale said he is 100 percent pro-life and believes in the right to keep and bear arms, which is why he is a National Rifle Association concealed carry weapon instructor.
How should school security be addressed with the rising tide of gun incidents in public schools? Does the state have a role in this?
“I trust the local schools and parents to decide how to best protect their children. The state cannot make a one-size-fits-all decision about the 600-plus school districts in Ohio. If they want to arm their staff, that’s their decision, but the decision should ultimately be local. I don’t like the state meddling in schools in any way.
“We live in an awful time where people think they can go bomb, kill, and knife other people, and in schools no less. I believe there is a rising tide of violence in society in general. Why? The problem is not guns. We have taken the 10 commandments out of our schools and replaced them with and ‘anything goes’ code of conduct. Restrictions on guns only serves to reduce the rights of law abiding citizens when criminals don’t follow the law. That’s what makes them criminals. Any increase in gun law only serves to arm the criminals more.”
Do you think the current concerns of mayors and other local officials regarding the reductions to Local Government Funds are valid ones?
“Yes. I am one of very few who have voted against the bloated state budgets that Kasich keeps proposing. The best government is small and local and should stay off of our pay checks as much as possible.
“No one has a better record in the state house of reducing spending and protecting your paychecks than I do. Sadly, the liberals in both parties love to spend your money while I personally trust you with your own money.”
What can lawmakers at the state level do to help combat the opioid crisis? Is this a problem of over-prescribing physicians or a problem with foreign-sourced contraband (fentanyl) from south of the border and from China? Do you favor using less-dangerous drugs in rehab settings to help wean addicts? And to what extent should the state government help fund any of this?
“First, build the wall! One of the main reasons we elected President Trump was controlling our borders. We have drugs that pour in from Mexico, through Texas and up into Ohio and along the I-75 corridor. Drugs entering the United States through the postal service is a huge issue and we need to start scanning those packages coming from overseas.
“Over-prescription has been a problem, but the medical community is really doing a lot to make sure these aren’t over prescribed. I have seen this first hand. The opioid overdose and death rate has actually gone down in the district but heroin is making a comeback. The question is WHY are people choosing to do drugs? If people would stop taking drugs, there would be no market and no drug dealers.
“We have to fortify our families, teach our kids right from wrong, and teach them that all life is sacred, including their own. Drugs have always been around in human history. What we need is a moral code that teaches it is wrong for someone to use and wrong to expect society to keep paying for you to use and save you when you overdose multiple times. Many call my office in Columbus from the districts stating they are tired of paying millions of taxpayer dollars because of someone’s repeat drug use.”
Do you favor completely outlawing surgical abortion access in Ohio? Why? What about access to pharmaceutical/chemical abortions?
“I have always believed that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Why? Because God said so, our US Constitution says so, and our Ohio Constitution says so. Thou shall not kill. This is why I am the author of the Life at Conception Act in Ohio which would treat all life from conception as a human person.”
How can the state work with locals to retain college graduates in Ohio with new businesses, jobs and entertainment opportunities? And how do we attract people from outside Ohio to settle here to fill the vacancies at industries that currently go unfilled?
“The very best thing the state can do is to stay out of the way. By lowering taxes, reducing regulations, and stop infringing on our freedoms and our paychecks. Make Ohio a limited government state and you will see companies and people flock to Ohio. We have too many restrictions, regulations, high taxes and over spending. Creating more government programs to ‘attract college graduates’ would only serve to make government larger and more expensive. Businesses and jobs grow in low tax, low regulation states.”
“Government is best when its impact is limited on our lives and mostly out of our way. I continue to fight to keep government off our back and paychecks.”
Do you favor work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients?
“Yes. If you are going to be on any government program. We should keep track of this and pay the taxpayer back. The government doesn’t make money; it takes it from those of us working and redistributes it to others. I’m OK with a hand up to help people in their time of need, but we have people on programs not only for their entire life but for several generations.
“We need programs where if you get on the taxpayers’ dime, we start keeping a tab, and you are expected to get back on your feet and pay the taxpayer back for your loan over time. It’s a hand up, not a hand out. It’s a loan, not a give-away. This would help reduce the amount of time people are on these programs and the amount of money the taxpayer has to work to support them. It would also reduce fraud, which is a significant issue in many of these programs, particularly food stamps.”
Do you support expanding Ohio’s renewable energy favorability to companies like wind and solar developers, or do you think such projects are an unnecessary threat to property values of nearby uncompensated residents?
“The government continues to pick winners and losers. This needs to stop. While it is true that coal and nuclear companies receive subsidies, the problem is, on a per kilowatt basis, wind and solar are so inefficient, they are extremely expensive and unreliable, especially in Ohio. The free market is the BEST place for industry to innovate and grow. Government intervention and using taxpayer subsidies should be used at a very low level if at all.
“We should not use taxpayer money in private business to any great degree. I also believe in proper setbacks from property lines. I’m a strong supporter of property rights, but when you start to affect how your neighbor can enjoy and use their property, it becomes a public matter and not a private one.”
What is your position on the latest redistricting proposal? Is it fair or unfair compared to the current system? Why or why not?
“I am totally against it. They are selling this as a bi-partisan effort. I assure you, there is nothing bi-partisan about it. This is about protecting government and thwarting the will of the citizens to elect people they want in office. One of the key negative features of this is that people may have a new representative every 4 years.
“It is also backed by liberal Republicans like John Kasich and Arnold Schwarzenegger, which should tell us all something. The government will redraw the district to serve themselves and the representatives they like. If you are one that bucks the system, which is usually conservatives, they will simply draw those people out or make it impossible for them to get elected. This entire proposal is designed to serve government and government cronyism, not the people. This is the opposite of draining the swamp; this is protecting the swamp. Vote no and leave it the way it is. It’s not perfect now, but it’s a lot better than this ‘solution.’”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.