Election Profile | Michael Schnipper
Name: Michael Schnipper
Occupation: Self-employed air conditioning repairman; communications officer of Oxford Tea Party
Hometown: Oxford, OH
Party affiliation: Republican/Tea Party
Choice for president: Romney
Whether residents agree or disagree with his opinions, Michael Schnipper is well known throughout the city of Oxford.
Full-time air conditioning repair man. Full-time political activist. Schnipper's passion for community involvement makes an impact on every facet of his life.
A long day of running his own business is nothing new for Schnipper. Neither is sitting down with a fellow community member, discussing life in Oxford and how it can be improved.
Self-employed through various endeavors for 31 years, Schnipper now operates Maintenance Services Company, an air conditioning repair company, while serving as the Communications Officer for the Oxford Tea Party.
Schnipper, 57, graduated from Miami University in 1981 with a degree in political science.
"Mike is a political science major and he can really get deep into the details," Paul Brady, member of the Board of Zoning Appeals in Oxford, said with a laugh.
Although college sparked the flame, the fuel can be traced back to his childhood. While politics were not of the highest importance, it was definitely a topic of the household in West Lafayette, Indiana.
"My mother is conservative," said Schnipper. "My sister is a raging liberal."
Schnipper's curiosity toward policy began early, as he recalls eavesdropping on the conversations of his father, a corporate climber.
"My father played the game to whatever corporate or business advantage there was," said Schnipper.
Before moving to Oxford, Schnipper was an all-American adventure seeker, involved in rodeo and even a member of Bob Mayer's professional drag racing team.
"I rode bare-back for two years and that's why I'm in PT now," Schnipper said.
Upon attending Miami University, Schnipper began a track of self-employment that has continued on and off until present day. Taking time off from school after his first year, Schnipper conducted his own business of buying and selling raw fur. Through this first experience of self-employment, Schnipper learned the value of fiscal responsibility just in order to pay his bills.
A registered Republican, Schnipper places himself just right of the center on the political spectrum.
"It is hard to align yourself with people who just want to tax and spend," Schnipper said.
After running for city council unsuccessfully in 1993, Schnipper's political interest has only grown.
"I've been involved in politics for so long, it is second nature," Schnipper said.
In April 2011, Schnipper helped begin a tea party in Oxford. The group meets 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month at LNCB Bank.
"This tea party was a bottoms-up movement," Larry Rankin, retired Miami accounting professor and recent Oxford Tea Party member, said. "He encourages us to get involved."
A culmination of life lessons influenced Schnipper's recent motion to limit the Oxford Tea Party to the three core beliefs of the national tea party: fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets, according to the local group's website.
Although Schnipper remains conservative on most fiscal matters, libertarian views surface in regards to social issues. For example, Schnipper is pro-choice and remains confused as to why abortion is even an issue in the upcoming election.
"Don't want one, don't get one," Schnipper said. "I think people should have the choice. Why are you going to keep beating that horse?"
On the other hand, Schnipper is against legalizing gay marriage. For reasons such as these, the Oxford Tea Party avoids discussing social issues that could splinter the group and impede their ultimate goal of promoting fiscal responsibility.
"We have one gentleman who is Catholic," said Schnipper. "If he knew my view on abortion, he would probably drop his teeth."
Nevertheless, Schnipper's primary concern for the upcoming election is lowering the national debt and creating jobs.
Schnipper expressed his frustration towards pundits on both sides of the environmental policy spectrum.
"There needs to be more interest from the GOP in environmental issues," said Schnipper. "If anything, it has put me at odds with the GOP."
Through the encouragement of his wife, Schnipper recently joined forces with the Miami College Republicans. Besides partnering with the student organization for their Josh Mandel Kick-Off night on Sept. 6, the Oxford Tea Party united with the students for door-to-door grassroots campaigning around the city.
Although Schnipper sees the majority of Oxford as liberal, he finds his hope in the young republicans of Miami University.
"In terms of Miami, the staff is still very liberal," Schnipper said. "The change is in the students."
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