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Why I’m running?

America is a great country, but career politicians have brought us dangerously close to the abyss that threatens the American Dream for future generations, not to mention threatening our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To be sure, the Constitution never guaranteed happiness to any individual, group or class; only the right of individuals to pursue it as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. In effect, elected officials and unelected bureaucrats have established themselves as the protected political class, feeding off the hard work, creativity and initiative of others. I am running for Congress to remove that burden and restore a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but I need your help.

Public corruption

A good friend and mentor once characterized The Golden Rule of Politics as, “He Who has the Gold Makes the Rules.” From my experience as a volunteer investigative reporter, I’ve added a corollary to The Golden Rule of Politics, which reads, “He Who has the Gold Enforces the Rules. To put it bluntly, with few exceptions, we cannot count on law enforcement or the courts to reign in the ambitions of career politicians. The fastest and surest way to accomplish that is to vote them out of office at the earliest opportunity.

“Mitch fighting corruption in Greene County, Ohio” 

Term limits

Term limits was one of ten promises in the 1994 Republican Contract With America. The GOP used the Contract to gain majority control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Unfortunately, most of those who promised self-imposed term limits backed away, putting their own self-interest above service to the people. Gen. Bill Creech, who many consider the father of the modern Air Force, believed training new leaders was critical to keeping our military strong. Surely you’d get another story from career politicians, whose last agenda item is even thinking about their replacement. If elected, I would take Gen. Creech’s approach, and from day one reach out to potential Constitution-minded candidates who would then compete to serve as District 7’s next Representative to the U.S. Congress. I would serve no longer than four years from when I begin my first term in January, 2011. “Citizens for Term Limits” 

Tax reform

Tax reform is another promise broken after the 1994 Contract With America. As U.S. Senator Sam Brownback often said, “we need to take the income tax code behind the shed, kill it with a dull ax, and bury it.” It’s time for a new tax code that rewards, not punishes saving, initiative and productivity. And the FairTax will do much more – it will return jobs and investment to the U.S. lost by NAFTA and other one-sided trade deals; it will make Social Security and Medicare solvent forever; and it will be an engine of small business job creation, to name just a few outcomes.  FairTax 

Balancing the budget 

I will never consider voting for a budget deficit unless it follows a declaration of war by the U.S. Congress. National defense against a declared enemy is the only justification to even think about a budget deficit, period, and that decision should be made only after drastic cuts to both discretionary and non-discretionary spending. If declared war is chosen as an instrument of foreign policy, each and every American is a stakeholder and each and every American has to sacrifice something.  Debt to the Penny 


By any measure, Ohio’s economy has been decimated by self-interested Democrats and Republicans. We have lost five U.S. House seats since 1980, and will lose two more after the 2010 Census. While elected officials, appointed bureaucrats and their special interest sponsors have flourished, Main Street Ohioans are struggling to get by. It’s time to pay much more attention to free market practices, not those centrally managed in Columbus and Washington. The federal government has no business involving itself with economic development other than to coin money, protect our borders, enforce criminal law and legal contracts, regulate interstate trade and negotiate international trade treaties that advance win-win strategies for America and our trading partners.

Cap and trade

Cap and trade equates to E-check on steroids. Remember the emissions testing program here in Ohio where individuals paid $19.50 to test their vehicles? Steve Austria did the right thing to oppose “Cap and Trade,” but that’s a flip flop from his position on E-Check. Mr. Austria was first elected to the Ohio General Assembly in 1998, three years into the program; then sat on his hands for seven years until the 10-year E-check contract died a natural death here in south-central Ohio. However, the program is still alive in northern Ohio, and every Ohioan pays the bill to purchase “carbon credits” that are then sold, traded or given to polluters so they can continue to pollute. 

National defense

I believe in a strong national defense, but a strong national defense depends on a balanced, efficient investment strategy. Over-investing in the private sector can leave our military undercapitalized. Conversely, wasteful military spending robs capital investment from the private sector which undermines the tax base necessary to fund national defense. For decades Congress and the Executive Branch have been tinkering with defense acquisition reform at the margins. From my experience in defense acquisition, I have learned that our most serious problems are prioritizing defense requirements, and then reprioritizing when requirements change. We have also over-extended the U.S. military as a world police force. For example, in 2004 the U.S. defense budget was $522 billion, by far the highest of any country on the planet. Number two was China at about $63 billion. China plus numbers 3 – 28 equaled the defense spending of the U.S, and 26 of those top 28 countries in defense spending are our allies. This makes it clear that Americans are doing much more than our share, not to mention the blood, sweat, and tears shed by our best and brightest. We are mortgaging our future to finance weapon systems we don’t need, and in many cases weapon systems the Pentagon does not want or ask for. It’s time we bring leaders to Congress who understand the problem and how to fix it, and then have the courage not to cave in to the self-serving agendas of the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex. 

Don’t ask, don’t tell

On the issue of gays in the military, as a U.S. Congressman my primary focus will be on the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ prohibits gays in the military, openly disclosed or otherwise. It also prohibits adultery, openly disclosed or otherwise. Even before Bill Clinton signed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in 1993, it was widely practiced in regard to both homosexuals and adulterers. With that in mind, consider Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair, reportedly conducted in the Oval Office. What a disappointing message that sent to the troops – the Commander-in-Chief violates the UCMJ and argues his case based on what the meaning of the word “is” is. Who can argue that officers or enlisted troops having extramarital affairs with coworkers or subordinates are not detrimental to morale and good order in the military? The simple truth is, the military has practiced and will continue to practice a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy whether or not the current policy is reversed. 


For decades we ignored immigration law enforcement which is why we're in the fix we're in today. For example, back in the mid-90's one of Congressman Dave Hobson's millionaire campaign donors from Springfield copped a plea for aiding and abetting the illegal entry into the US for more than a dozen teenage boys from a country in the South Pacific. Although the maximum penalty for this crime is a $250,000 fine and five years in prison, this individual’s plea bargain included a $1500 fine with no probation. If all along we had been holding corporations, business owners and boards of directors accountable for breaking the law, we wouldn't have the crisis we have today. And if we started enforcing those laws, we may want to reconsider completing the border fence, as that would forestall the exodus of illegal immigrants who will leave of their own free will when they can't find legal employment. It would be worth your time to watch Immigration by the numbers, a 14-minute video that offers an eye-opening projection of what will happen in America if we don’t address the immigration issue ASAP.    Immigration by the numbers 


Education is the fuel to power the engine to achieve economic recovery. However, other than for broad policy guidance, the federal government has no place in public education. For each dollar in taxes we send to the US Department of Education, only 25 cents gets back to the classroom. In the Beavercreek School District, the federal government provides about 7 percent of public education funding, but federal mandates account for more than 25 percent of the district's budget, which drives property taxes higher. The more control local school districts and caring, responsible parents have in determining how and where their education dollars are spent, the better off we will be.


Almost a decade of war has taken a horrific toll on the U.S. military and their families, especially our deployed enlisted troops who serve for wages that often qualify for food stamps. Thousands of military families are close to the breaking point due to frequent and extended deployments. Suicide rates in the Army are at all-time highs. About 40 percent of the homeless are veterans. Congress can’t prioritize between equipment modernization and morale, readiness and welfare for the troops, so they bust the budget to do both with the understanding they won’t be around when the bills come due. It’s time to put more veterans in Congress that understand there is more to managing the defense budget than putting future generations of Americans in hock to communist China and other creditor nations. 

John Mitchel, Oathkeeper

Right to keep and bear arms

All law abiding citizens should have the right to protect themselves and their families from criminals who do not and will not respect the rights of others, let alone gun control laws. We have made progress in Ohio in returning rights to firearm owners, but we must remain vigilant as there are those who are as strongly committed to taking gun rights as we are to preserving them.

“If guns cause crime, pencils are responsible for misspelled words.”


I believe the Constitution protects individual human life from conception to natural death. However, I understand that others do not. I will never give in to the pro-abortion argument because it is a false argument. It’s also unlikely abortion advocates will change their view unless we confront them with the unvarnished truth – abortion is not a healthy choice for the mother, and of course not for the innocent unborn. Unfortunately both sides use abortion as a wedge issue to divide the voters when they can’t differentiate themselves on issues like taxes, jobs, health care, energy, foreign policy, etc., that we all agree need to be addressed before America falls over the cliff. Let’s lead by truthfully addressing the dire consequences of abortion, but move forward where we can find common ground on other important issues rather than arguing about set-in-stone ideologies.

The war on terrorism

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest thing. Even worse are those who enjoy the benefits of a free, secure society, and who are able, but not willing to offer up even a minimum sacrifice in a just cause to sustain freedom and liberty. And even worse are those that exploit war and the sacrifice of others for personal gain. The talking heads seem to agree that everything changed after 9/11. They certainly have changed for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, but not for America as a whole. America is at the mall and our defense contractors and their respective lobbyists are at war with each other, fighting for the biggest slice of the defense appropriation pie. It's time to significantly reduce the 250,000 troops deployed in over 100 countries around the world, bring them home to defend our borders, and reconstitute the force to prepare for more dangerous threats to the American way of life, not the least of which is Chinese economic and military adventurism.

Property rights

Property rights go well beyond defending land and real estate seized by the government through eminent domain. When you consider the hundreds of taxes and fees added by local, state and federal governments that didn’t exist less than 100 years ago and taxes embedded in the products we buy from the private sector, most Americans pay more for government than they have left to support their families. We need to end the mindset that our hard-earned income belongs to the government first and our families second. It’s time to reduce the size of government and then force it to live on a budget just as Main Street Americans have to live on a budget. 

Energy and environment

Some of you may remember the "Blackout of August 2005," which occurred about five years after utility deregulation in Ohio. More than 50 million people lost power in the upper Midwest and Northeastern parts of the U.S. It's widely accepted that First Energy and American Electric Power grids were most responsible for the blackout. Both company's PACs and employees donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians, including Steve Austria in Ohio's 7th Congressional District. This is public knowledge, but most folks would be outraged if they followed the money and learned the rest of the story. Not only did American Electric Power write off their capital investment in a joint venture with China, they were subsidized by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In effect, US taxpayers were nicked twice to finance a 250 megawatt coal fired power plant in China's Hainan Province. While our power grid here in the US deteriorates, the US Congress sends tax dollars to China to modernize their electrical power infrastructure.

Free Trade

So called “free trade” deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence. They transfer power from our government to unelected foreign elites. The ICC wants to try our soldiers as war criminals. If we let them, these international organizations would force Americans to get a doctor’s prescription to take herbs and vitamins. Alternative treatments could be banned. The WTO has forced Congress to change our laws, yet we still face trade wars. France threatens to have U.S. goods taxed throughout Europe. If anything, the WTO makes trade relations worse by giving foreign competitors a new way to attack U.S. jobs. NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme. A free America, with limited, constitutional government, would be gone forever. Let’s not forget the UN which wants to impose a direct tax on us. We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States of America.

Privacy and individual freedom

The Privacy Act of 1974 mandates that each US Government Agency have in place an administrative and physical security system to prevent the unauthorized release of personal information. We should extend that protection to require local and state agencies, as well as the private sector to protect our private information. In 2005, the Beavercreek (Ohio) City Manager released to a private developer the names and addresses of over 2,000 citizens who signed a ballot initiative petition. That’s outrageous enough, but at the same time, the City Manager withheld on a technicality those petitions from being validated by the Greene County Board of Elections. I asked Steve Austria to intervene on the side of his constituents, but he refused; instead standing on the sidelines to give his special interest campaign contributors a clear path to $14.8 million in taxpayer funds for a private development in Greene County. 


Obama’s plan for universal healthcare is not the solution, but neither is the current system. Government should focus its attention on enforcing legal contracts between patient’s and their healthcare providers, insurance companies and HMOs, not simply acting as single payer. The only single payer should be the patient or his or her family who should be able to choose from whom and when they purchase healthcare products and services. Expanded Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs) would go a long way to give control back to the patients, and as long as we have an income tax, individuals should be able to deduct 100 percent of their healthcare expenses and insurance premiums just as corporations do for their employees. So the bottom line: we must return control of healthcare decisions to patients, their families and their doctors. 

Legal reform

We hear a lot about “tort reform,” but we really need wholesale legal reform. A long-time friend and Wright State professor accomplished an in-depth study of what drove the outcome in legal proceedings; the truth as it pertained to the law or resources expended on the case. Tragically, his analysis revealed that overall financial resources spent on litigation have more of an impact on the outcome of a legal dispute than the facts and how they apply to the law. Unfortunately the American legal system has lost touch with due process and the rule of law. In March 2009, I sued the Greene County Commission to force them to release public records in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The Greene County Common pleas court dismissed my case on a technicality, then less than 24 hours later released 26 boxes of records to the FBI. Although justice was served in the end, it’s tragic that the FBI has to step in before the average citizen can capture accountability for their elected public servants. 



Paid for by Americans for John Mitchel 2010
3955 Maple Grove Lane, Beavercreek, Ohio 45440

John Mitchel is a Lt. Colonel, U.S.A.F. (Ret.) Use of his military rank, title and photograph in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Air Force or the Department of Defense.