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Why are the wives of so many County Republican Party members – who also happen to hold paying government jobs – hosting a fundraiser for a Liberal Democrat?

Jonathan Broadbent is the elected GOP Central Committee representative for the Newbury A precinct in Geauga County, Ohio. The following is shared with permission from his substack, My2Cents.


What do we have here?

Why are the wives of so many County Republican Party members – who also happen to hold paying government jobs – hosting a fundraiser for a Liberal Democrat?

If we live in a “2-party system” shouldn’t we have at least 2 parties?

  • Tiffany Antenucci’s husband is in the County Republican Party and is also a paid County employee;
  • Luanne Dvorak’s husband is in the County Republican Party and is also a paid County office holder;
  • Laura Flaiz’s husband is in the County Republican Party and is also a paid County office holder;
  • Martha Hitchcock’s husband is in the County Republican Party and is also a paid County office holder;
  • Karen Walder’s husband is in the County Republican Party and is also a paid County office holder.

Remember these last names, they’ll come in handy a little further into this article…

The question of motive is incomplete if we don’t also pause to wonder why the County Chair of the Republican Party recently endorsed a life-long Democrat for Central Committee (referring to her, falsely, as a “life-long Republican” and then shouting down at least eight elected members who sought to object to the nomination), and why she routinely solicits Democrats to pull Republican ballots in order to vote in/influence local elections.

The general, working theory is that Democrats long ago recognized that it’s nearly impossible to run in Geauga as Democrat and win, but that by running on a Republican ticket, they can win. Personally, I absolutely believe this to be the case. Whatever the combination of causes, Geauga is a heavily Conservative, Patriotic, Republican county that is skewing Left and people are left wondering why.

Assuming it is true that many of Geauga County’s Republican Party and elected/appointed office-holders are truly Democrats who’ve achieved their positions via deception, there are certain things we should expect to see, like a Republican Party giving tacit approval to far-Left agendas, bloated local government with sky-high salaries for government workers, expanding government programs, tax-and-spend philosophies, and endorsements of other recent-Democrats-turned-Republican, and the obstruction of any Republican objectives. All of these are prevalent in Geauga County.

It’s an open secret that many in Geauga’s Republican party were very recently Democrats. What’s less understood is their behaviors once in Republican seats. For example, it’s routinely discussed that at least one Central Committeeman’s lawn is full of Democrat candidate’s yard signs in each election season. When asked about it, he’s said to answer, “oh, that’s just my wife…” yet we never see any Republican signs or indications of such values from this person.

Adding to the swirling confusion around this matter, it’s understood that County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz, husband of Laura Flaiz, crafted the Bylaws for the County GOP which govern how the County Republican Party is to operate. These bylaws give exclusive nominating authority to the Chair of the party (as opposed to all of us who’ve been elected having the ability to nominate people we believe might be suited to fill vacant positions).

I object to such consolidation of power because 1) our Chair lied to us in the abovementioned nomination, then blocked discussion, and 2) we were all elected and are all equals, so we should be collaborative in filling such important seats. In an effort to correct this, in a recent meeting I attempted to create a Privileged Motion, asserting that the ability to nominate should be returned to the group. I was blocked from making this motion by Frank Antenucci and Chris Hitchcock. (Remember these names from above? They’re both paid government employees/office holders who stopped me from giving nominating authority back to the Central Committee.)

That marked my only opportunity so far in my 2 years as elected Representative to speak.

Put another way, during my first two years of a four year term, roughly nobody has spoken or taken any action. In fact, there are people within the Republican Party who work VERY hard to make sure that nothing can be discussed or get done. The fact that many of them are connected to paying government jobs, which are connected to being elected and promoted (ostensibly by the very Republican Party for which they are involved) does not sit well with me.

Interestingly, also in that meeting, eight (8) new members of our County Executive Committee were being nominated. Several of them work for the County Auditor’s office… an office that has roughly doubled their spending in the last few years and boasts quite a few high-salaried government employees. I’m told that this office asked for a 20% across-the-board raise for employees in the last budget cycle.
(Due to the interference in my ability to speak, I was unsuccessful in giving nominating authority back to the Central Committee. The matter was not permitted to be heard or discussed.)

Connected to transparency and accountability issues is my certainty that more people must get involved in local politics. Anyone who suggests otherwise, I suggest, has something to hide.

I continue to comment on alarming trends that should concern all Americans who’ve ever uttered the words “two-party system” or understand the perils of a single-party system. And, yes, to be clear, I am suggesting that Geauga County, like many others, effectively operates as a single-party system – clearly, the Party Chair openly requesting that Democrats get involved in Republican elections is a strong indication. I believe that an array of paid County Republican households getting involved in and encouraging the election of a Democrat is yet another tell.


Here’s a partial list of the things that become possible if/when the Geauga Count Republican Party reforms with better leadership (source: FortifyGeauga.org):

  • Open meetings where the public is welcome to attend.
  • Meetings scheduled in advance to help increase attendance. The Geauga GOP leadership schedules last-minute meetings, often with only the minimum notice required by law. The sad result is very low attendance. For example, the October 2023 meeting where the GOP was set to approve expenditures for Issue 1 was announced at the last minute and so poorly attended that there was not a quorum; hence our county GOP could not approve expenditures to fight Issue 1.
  • Roll-call votes so constituents know how their elected representatives are voting. How can we evaluate and support our representatives if we don’t know how they vote?
  • Meeting minutes and attendance published for public view.
  • Newsletter. Many other Ohio counties create and distribute a newsletter to help their communities understand the issues and become aware of important dates, rolls, and schedules.
  • Updated platform. The platform for our Geauga County GOP was last ratified in 2015. We elect new Central Committee members every four years. Shouldn’t they evaluate and ratify the platform with each new term?
  • Welcoming, functional physical headquarters. The Geauga GOP currently has no physical headquarters, and the last office space they occupied was unkept and infrequently used. While the Democrat party in Geauga county has a busy, functioning office, our party has no home.
  • Subcommittees. Other county GOPs have subcommittees to evaluate and address issues of concern in their communities. Examples include constituent outreach, education, economic, or fundraising committees.
  • Effective constituent outreach. Most Geauga County Republicans aren’t even aware of the purpose of our Central & Executive Committees and are rarely invited to participate. The GOP website lists only home addresses for elected Central Committee members. How can citizens be engaged if they don’t have an easy way to contact their representatives?
  • Training for committee members. We the People elect Central Committee members to be our voice in the party. The Central Committee ostensibly follows Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct their meetings, although the rules set forth are routinely violated. Leadership should provide orientation and training in Robert’s Rules of Order so our representatives can effectively participate in the business of the party.


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