Steve Salvi (pictured) is the intrepid founder of Ohio Jobs and Justice PAC. He agreed to an interview with TCC.
Tell us about OJJPAC.
OJJPAC is a non-partisan educational civil rights and advocacy organization focusing primarily on the effects of illegal immigration on the rights of American citizens, the economy, U.S. sovereignty, and post 9-11 national security.
Excellent! Now tell us a little about yourself.
I was raised in a small Cleveland suburb and got involved in community activities and politics while a teenager. Highlights of my political experience include over 20 years of grassroots campaigning, including campaign management. I’ve done everything from distributing literature door-to-door to managing a statewide political campaign.
After managing a successful state legislative campaign, I moved to Columbus and worked for the Ohio Legislature, including a brief stint as Secretary to the Ohio House Ethics Committee. I was later appointed by the late Speaker Vern Riffe to serve as an aide to the House Democratic Caucus.
My other political party experience includes serving numerous terms as an appointed or elected member of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Central and Executive Committees and as elected Ward Leader in Columbus, Ohio, prior to returning to northern Ohio.
My formal education includes degrees are in political science, and I also have a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies.
Does Ohio need an Arizona-style law?
Yes, as long as the federal government fails to do its constitutional duty and fully enforce U.S. immigration laws. I believe that when the federal government fails to perform one of its most essential duties, the states have the right and obligation to perform those duties, especially when it involves public safety. Although the U.S. Constitution does not allow the states themselves to deport illegal aliens, Ohio and other states have the existing authority to detain and arrest illegal aliens, certainly if they have violated a local or state law.
As long as Ohio passes a bill that mirrors existing federal law, my expectation is that it would (should) be found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Most critics of Arizona’s law have used hysterics and misinformation to build public opposition to the law. Opponents paint a picture of images of Nazi Germany — where law enforcement indiscriminately asks people for their “papers.” That is not true. Critics also fail to point out that all aliens visiting the U.S. are already required by federal law to carry a valid passport for the purpose of identification.
In the world of politics, who is getting the job done in Ohio (either by protecting jobs or reforming immigration)?
I don’t think any public official is getting the job done — at least effectively. A lot of public attention has been going to a couple public officials in Ohio but their success seems to be primarily making news headlines. Anyone can introduce a bill — or grab a headline — actually getting bills passed is another issue. Now that Republicans control the governor’s office TCC note: Former GOP congressman and Fox News personality, John Kasich, was just elected governor of the Buckeye State. and the Ohio House and Senate, we’ll see which public officials are really interested in immigration enforcement. There will be no acceptable excuses.
What media outlets do you trust (or get your news from)?
I don’t completely trust any media outlet. I think anyone who blindly believes what they hear or read on television, the radio, or the internet is foolish. The truth is that we really don’t know how accurate much of the information we’re being fed is true. We must do our best to verify what we can and question news sources on the most critical issues. I believe there has always been some level of journalistic activism but it seems that activism has become a primary mission of many media organizations — including writers, editors, and publishers.
Most of my research is performed via the internet — which relies heavily on online content from traditional media stories. However, there is a growing number of what I call “push back” non-profit organizations that conduct and publish their own research, serving as a check to journalistic activism or so-called media bias. As traditional media continues to lose market share, the fight for public opinion will gravitate even more to the web — where non-traditional media and issue oriented profits and non-profits will have growing influence.
Thank you, Steve, for your hard work as a volunteer for a just cause!