OH-13: Sutton (D) Speaks in Support of Iraq Resolution
Just Can't Get Enough
Ohio Daily Blog is closed for renovations.
Redhorse at Psychobilly Democrat breaks the story -- former Congressman and current Ohio Board of Education member Tom Sawyer (D-Akron) will be appointed to replace State Sen. Kimberly Zurz (D-Green).
Starting on Saturday, freshman member of Congress Zack Space (D-Dover) will travel to seven locations throughout the 18th District, to hear from farmers what they have to say about the new Farm Bill.
New member of Congress Betty Sutton (D-Akron) laid out the case for the Iraq resolution clearly and compellingly at a meeting of the Rules Committee last night. She's at her best when she talks about Iraq casualties in her district, including a letter written by Paul Schroeder, the father of a fallen soldier. Here's the speech:
The Finance Committee of the Cincinnati City Council voted 5-3 today in favor of a resolution introduced by Councilman David Crowley to oppose George Bush's "surge" strategy in Iraq. Congressional candidate John Cranley, Jim Tarbell, Cecil Thomas, and Laketa Cole joined Crowley in voting for the measure. Jeff Berding, Chris Bortz, and Leslie Ghiiz voted against, saying that it is inappropriate for a city council to address the issue.
There's a good read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today - a lengthy front-page profile of Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island), Ohio's brash and energetic state Democratic party leader. One thing that caught my attention was that Redfern recruited a slate of about ten candidates to run for intra-party offices last May against established party insiders, many of whom opposed Redfern's election as state party chair. Most of them lost. The incident reveals a strikingly aggressive dimension to Redfern's political ambition, but also the practical limits to his ability to consolidate power in the notoriously fragmented state party apparatus.
Labels: Chris Redfern
A hair-raising column by Thomas Suddes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today suggests that Ohio's big GOP names are "down but not out." Among other possibilities, he invokes the following:
Popular second-term State Rep. William Healy II (D-Canton) has announced his candidacy for Mayor of Canton, taking on incumbent Carol Weir Creighton (R-Canton). ODP Chair Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) was on hand to lend his support.
This is a significant development in the Ohio political blogosphere. The Cleveland Plain Dealer blog "Openers" has posted the first entry in a new feature -- weekly audio podcasts. This one is an interview by online editor Jean Dubail of political reporter Mark Naymik about Ohio Democratic Party boss Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island).
A reader suggested I look into the question of whether State Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coschocton), an unsuccessful primary candidate for Lieutenant Governor last spring and unsuccessful again in her general election campaign for convicted former Congressman Bob Ney's seat last fall, will seek re-election to the Ohio Senate in 2008.
State Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) is organizing an 8:00 am breakfast fundraising event for presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) at the downtown Westin Hotel in Cincinnati on February 26th. Tickets are $100, $500, $1000 or $2,300, with the latter amount being the limit for individual contributions during the primary phase of the presidential campaign.
I suppose I should have known that the authoritative IPCC report on global warming, detailing the rock-solid scientific consensus that the phenomenon is real and is caused by mankind, would not put an end to the quibbling by politically motivated doubters.
Labels: global warming
After scrutinizing Bush's proposed budget, public TV officials and congressional staffers report that at least $114 million of the $460 million Corporation for Public Broadcasting budget for FY 2008 would be cut.
Checking in on today's news:
Sen. George Voinovich (R) is the target of an email campaign and a TV ad, all orchestrated by MoveOn.org, ProgressOhio.com, and other groups, intended to put pressure on him to vote for the Warner/Levin nonbinding resolution against Bush's surge strategy in Iraq.
We strongly believe the Senate should be allowed to work its will on our resolution as well as the concepts brought forward by other Senators.Those "concepts" include a resolution introduced by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), stating opposition to cutting off funding for U.S. troops in the field. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has so far refused to bring that resolution up for consideration, thus triggering the GOP opposition to debating the Warner/Levin resolution against the surge.
The bug man speaks!
Congratulations to Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) for winning a significant victory today in his effort to bring economic development funding to his district.
There's a lot happening in the White House derby today:
Thanks to a reader for alerting me that attorney and state central committee member Michael Todd (D-Medina Township), who had previously announced his candidacy for the 16th Ohio Congressional District seat of Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Navarre), has apparently transferred his sights to the open 22nd Ohio Senate District seat of term-limited State Sen. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster), in which race he is likely to face term-limited State Rep. Jim Carmichael (R-Wooster). This report is based on the fact that Todd's Congressional campaign site is down and he has filed a form with the Secretary of State designating a campaign treasurer for the Ohio Senate race.
It's amazing how out-of-step are party activists versus the general population of party voters on presidential nomination preferences. Take a look at this new CNN/WMUR poll of New Hampshire voters, conducted by the University of New Hampshire:
It was quite a coup when Rep. Betty Sutton (Copley Township), newly elected in the 13th Ohio Congressional District to replace Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon), was named to the powerful House Budget Committee last month. She's not wasting the opportunity. Yesterday her office issued a stinging press release about the proposed budget for FY 2008 released by the White House on Monday:
"The budget represents backwards priorities at odds with the needs of Ohioans and Americans. . . . [It] is a clear demonstration of how the President has chosen to ignore America's domestic needs for investment in education, energy, healthcare, veterans, and economic development in favor of protecting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. . . .She is not alone in this assessment. The $2.9 trillion budget is very generous to the military (11% increase) and to wealthy Americans (the Bush tax cuts would be made permanent), but sharply cuts domestic spending. Although the Bush administration claims that its budget will restore fiscal discipline, that claim is dubious at best when judged by past performance. "They have consistently understated the effect on deficits and debt of their budget, and unfortunately America is going being to be in deep hock after this administration leaves town," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-NE) yesterday.
"The budget released by the President yesterday is fiscally irresponsible and ignores the needs of the American people. The President's misleading accounting and his rosy projections do nothing more than create the illusion of a balanced budget. Unfortunately, what it adds up to is bad policy and red ink. This is the same reckless spending plan that has turned the $5.6 trillion surplus the President inherited into a $2.8 trillion dollar deficit. Enough is enough.
"The effects that the President's proposed budget would have on healthcare are unacceptable. This proposal would add to the already 242,000 uninsured kids in Ohio by not providing the sufficient funding to maintain coverage for the children already enrolled in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)."Cuts to veterans' benefits and to block grants for fire departments and community development are also big targets for the Democratic lawmaker:
"The President provides no real solutions for our health care crisis in the budget. No solution to the 87% increase in healthcare premiums that we have seen in Ohio since 2000, no initiative to help the 1.3 million uninsured Ohioans, and no mention of how skyrocketing premiums will endanger access to affordable healthcare for Ohio's 1.7 million Medicare beneficiaries."
"This budget neglects our veterans in failing to provide adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and will make it difficult for Ohio's 982,000 veterans and troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the accessible, affordable, and quality care they deserve.She also objects strongly to the continued spending on Iraq (included in a budget proposal for the first time), citing "the advice of military experts and the will of the American people to bring an end" to that conflict, and to the incorporation of Bush's privatization scheme for social security. She concludes by recognizing that "the fiscal disaster the Republicans left us with is going to force some tough budget choices" and "we can't fund everything," but she pledges to "align our priorities with the needs of the American people - the need to insure our children, protect our seniors and veterans, and put the middle class ahead of tax cuts for the wealthy."
"The President's budget cuts Assistance for firefighters by 54% of their funding, falling from $662 million to $300 million. Last year this vital program awarded over $14 million to Ohio fire departments. This funding is critical to help fire departments secure the equipment and training they need to keep our communities safe. Other grant programs suffered significant cuts. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were cut by $1.2 billion. These programs are essential to help small communities and Americans address the challenges of providing affordable housing and economic development for their citizens."
The Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus has just announced that the meeting at which they were to vote on a replacement for Sen. Kimberly Zurz (D-Akron), who is leaving to head up the Ohio Department of Commerce for Gov. Ted. Strickland (D-Lisbon), has been postponed due to inclement weather. No rescheduled date was annnounced.
Labels: OH Sen-28
CQPolitics has an analysis by senior reporter Greg Giroux of campaign cash held by all 435 members of the House of Representatives heading into the next election cycle. The accompanying story notes that the two Congressional campaign committees (DCCC and NRCC) will be pressuring those who don't face tough re-election fights to turn over cash to retire national party debt from 2006, and there is plenty enough around for that purpose if the individual representatives cooperate:
The 435 winners of last year’s House elections began 2007 with their cumulative campaign accounts totaling $159.1 million, which is nearly seven times the $23.7 in cumulative debts reported by the DCCC and NRCC.However, members of Congress don't like to give up the money. Few of them ever really feel "safe" and the 2008 election is really not that far off. A healthy cash balance helps to deter challengers in the next election. Also, those with ambitions of running for the Senate will want to start hoarding cash for that purpose.
The 233 House Democrats had a total of $87.3 million banked, an average of $375,000 per House Democrat; a total nearly 10 times the DCCC’s debt of $9.3 million.
The 202 House Republicans had banked $71.9 million overall, an average of $356,000; the cumulative sum is almost exactly five times the NRCC’s debt of $14.4 million.
Kevin Drum makes an excellent point in his "Political Animal" blog for Washington Monthly today. First he quotes a chilling outline by Zbigniew Brzezhinski of the likely scenario for military conflict with Iran, then he makes a compelling argument that Democratic leaders cannot wait until hostilites are imminent to figure out how to respond:
Pretty speeches about how you regret voting for the Iraq war are all very fine, but the real test is how you react to the next big marketing campaign for war. It's coming, it's going to seem plausible, and it's going to whip a lot of people into the usual frenzy. Any Democratic politician who hasn't thought about how they're going to deal with this is being willfully delusional.He absolutely right. Opposition to the spread of U.S. military involvement to Iran must keep ahead of the groundwork for conflict we now see being laid (additional carrier force to the Gulf, new policy of shooting Iranian operatives in Iraq, seizing an Iranian diplomatic facility in Iran). Once the frenzied buildup to war is in full swing, it will be politically impossible to catch up.
Joe Scarborough, conservative host of "Scarborouh Country" on MSNBC and one of the "Contract with America" Republican Congressmen, has written a startling commentary in which he deplores Bush and his remaining supporters for taking the GOP "over a cliff." Titled "Demise of GOP just took turn for the worse," the piece pulls few punches:
The message from the Bush administration seems to be this: “Thanks for carrying our water on this miserable war for four years. Now we’re going accuse you of helping terrorists.”
. . .
The president is prepared to take his administration and his party over the cliff to prove that he right about Iraq—even if most of his generals and the majority of Americans disagree.
The question now is how long will Republicans stand by this war that has cost over 3,000 lives? Is it worth the $1 trillion dollars that will be added to our national debt? Is it worth undercutting our ability to strike at Iran and North Korea? I would say “yes” to all three questions if there were the slightest chance victory was around the corner. But it is not.
. . .
At some point, GOP senators and congressmen need to understand that this war is no longer a battle between Republican war heroes and Democratic 60s hippie freaks. The lines have now been blurred by Bush’s bungling war strategy. Now we find ourselves in a fight between war heroes and war heroes. Former secretaries of Navy and former Vietnam POWs. Conservative Republicans and protectors of the president.
That may not be so bad for George W. Bush in the short run, but it is a disaster for Republicans in 2008 and beyond.
Conservatives had better wake up before all the gains made by Ronald Reagan and the 1994 Revolution are lost. The clock is ticking.
The AP is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has signalled "flexibility" in the matter of saddling the increase in the federal minimum wage with tax breaks. The House bill has no tax breaks, the Senate bill does, and the conflict may or may not get hashed out in a House-Senate conference.
The tax breaks contained in this bill are significantly smaller than what Republicans demanded last year, when they combined a minimum wage increase with a reduction in estate taxes that could have reduced tax revenue by $268 billion over 10 years. The current Senate bill would cost $8.3 billion in lost revenue over 10 years, but that amount is paid for in part by closing some tax loopholes and by capping deferred-compensation for top executives.Still, are the Republicans correct in their premise that businesses need tax breaks in order to accomodate the increase in the minimum wage?
Labels: minimum wage
My readership is understandably down since I took a hiatus in December and relocated to a new URL, but nevertheless I had a healthy number of visitors yesterday and quite a few already today.
Labels: off topic
Looking through the cross tabs in the second part of the Quinnipiac Poll, a few things jump out at me:
Shake, rattle and roll: