Tag: George Voinovich

Seeking Republican Patriots: How Reining in Anonymous Attack Ads Can Help Save Our Democracy

Does Olympia Snowe really want to be the target of waves of anonymous attack ads in support of some conservative primary challenger? Wouldn’t a retiring George Voinovich prefer to leave some shards of our democracy off-limits to being sold to the highest bidder? Could John McCain remember why McCain-Feingold was once of his proudest legacies and acknowledge how profoundly the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision damaged everything he was trying to do to safeguard American democracy?  

Is Voinovich just the first brick to Fall from GOP’s Stonewalling Rhetoric?

There is a crack daylight, that may topple the Republican’s Wall of Inaction.

Voinovich breaks with GOP to push for small-business incentives

Lori Montgomery, Washington Post Staff — Sept 10, 2010

Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he plans to help push a package of small-business incentives through the Senate next week, a move that would give President Obama and congressional Democrats a key victory on the economy in the final weeks before the November midterm elections.

In an interview, Voinovich said he could no longer support Republican efforts to delay the measure in hopes of winning the right to offer additional amendments. Most of the proposed GOP amendments “didn’t have anything to do with the bill” anyway, Voinovich said, and amounted merely to partisan “messaging.”

“We don’t have time for messaging,” Voinovich said. “We don’t have time anymore. This country is really hurting.”

Finally a Republican Senator with some Integrity, who is willing work for the folks, that Voted him into Office  (instead of working against their interests, for his own gain …)

Third Party candidates for U.S. Senate in Ohio

You wouldn’t know it to read to blogs and major media sources, but there are non-Democrat and non-Republicans running to replace retiring U.S. senator George Voinovich in Ohio this year.  They are (as listed on www.USelections.com):

Eric Deaton (Independent)
– An apparent teabagger, Deaton’s profile uses populist rhetoric to try to fool voters into thinking he’s not a hardcore Republican-turned-independent.  According to his web site’s positions page, Deaton opposes affirmative action, gun control laws, “government-run healthcare,” and other things supported by progressives and most Ohioans.  This one can be dismissed as being a disaffected GOPer who is a card-carrying member of the teabagger movement.

Eric LaMont Gregory (Independent) – A scientist by trade, Gregory is running on a platform of ending poverty, providing full employment, protecting Social Security, universal health care for people (free if over 62), and fair taxation, though his web site does not appear to have a solid positions page laying out more specific positions.  Chalk this one up for the “maybe” category.

Stephen Lahanas (Independent) – The only link USelections.com had for who it described simply as a businessman is his blog.  (He does offer some insightful political perspectives — among them an analysis of the two major parties, however, it’s obvious that Lahanas doesn’t even have a campaign web site to explain his positions.)  He expresses some food-for-thought opinions, but I’m not sure he’s even really running.

Adam Shaffer (Independent) – Described as an IT consultant, Shaffer appears to be running more to educate and involve people in the political process than for anything else.  He doesn’t seem to state any positions on the issues, and he probably won’t even get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Jeremy Swartz (Independent)
– Described as a ” FEMA Disaster Specialist, Ex-Police Officer & ’06 State Rep. Candidate” on the USelections.com web site, the link to his campaign site appears to be dead.

Information gotten from here for the next round of candidates.)

Dan La Botz (Socialist Party) – Socialist and proud enough to say so, La Botz is running on a democratic socialist platform.

Dave Meyers (Independent) – His “About” page doesn’t state his positions other than telling readers he will represent our wishes.

William G. Pierce (Independent) – Former Republican who unsuccessfully challenged then-incumbent Mike DeWine in 2006 for U.S. Senate — from the right!  Forget him.

Michael Pryce (Independent) – A Ron Paul-esque Libertarian type, if his issues page is any indication of where he stands.  Another one to dismiss.

Those are the independent candidates vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Voinovich.  Of them all, Dan La Botz seems best suited to represent Ohioans in the Senate.

Things I’d like to see, Part 2: Kucinich as U.S. Senator

You may or may not remember him, or even heard of the man, but former Ohio senator Howard Metzenbaum passed away last week at the age of ninety.  CNN.com reports of his eighteen-year tenure as the United States senator from Ohio:

During 18 years on Capitol Hill, from 1977 to 1995, Metzenbaum came to be known as “Senator No” and “Headline Howard” for his abilities to block legislation and get publicity for himself.

He was a cantankerous firebrand who didn’t need a microphone to hold a full auditorium spellbound while dropping rhetorical bombs on big oil companies, the insurance industry, savings and loans, and the National Rifle Association, to name just a few favorite targets.

Unabashedly liberal, the former labor lawyer and union lobbyist considered himself a champion of workers and was a driving force behind the law requiring 60-day notice of plant closings.

When other liberals shied away from that label, Metzenbaum embraced it, winning re-election in 1988 from Ohio voters who chose Republicans for governor and president, and by wider margins than either George Voinovich or George H.W. Bush.

And the New York Times reports:

Mr. Metzenbaum’s success in passing social legislation on issues like workers rights and adoption policy, in blocking pork-barrel excess and tax loopholes, and in inventing new ways to use the filibuster – long the tool of Southern segregationists – were unquestioned.

Finally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes:

He once filibustered for two weeks against a bill to lift price controls on natural gas. When debate was cut off, Metzenbaum, who was to prove himself a master of Senate rules, invented a new stalling tactic. He introduced hundreds of amendments and called for a time-consuming roll call vote on each one.

Metzenbaum built a reputation as a Horatio at the bridge. He was credited with saving taxpayers millions of dollars by standing in the way of “Christmas tree bills,” adorned with costly favors for a given state or corporation. Metzenbaum was often at the forefront of Democratic opposition to Reagan administration cabinet and Supreme Court nominees.

This is precisely the sort of leadership we so desperately need in the U.S. Senate.  Since Metzenbaum and former senator John Glenn retired, we’ve been saddled with corrupt Republicans who are beholden not to their constituents, but corporations and the rigid GOP system of discipline that keeps any member from breaking ranks without incurring harsh consequences.  To be sure, in 2006 we were able to oust Mike DeWine from office in favor of Democrat Sherrod Brown.  But even Brown has not exactly been a leader in the Senate.

So why not make a concerted effort to convince Dennis Kucinich, currently representing Ohio’s 10th Congressional District, to run against incumbent George Voinovich in 2010?  Can you imagine the brand of leadership he would bring?  I can, and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

There is, to be sure, great risk for Kucinich in making such a run; this year he faced a surprisingly stiff primary battle, mostly from moneyed opponents who think he shouldn’t be running for any higher political office.  And considering how vicious an opponent Voinovich — who ran a nasty campaign for mayor against him in 1979 — is, the battle would most certainly be a tough one.  But I think it’s worth consideration.