As I listened to the speakers at the Ohio Democratic Party convention yesterday I heard a consistent positive message of opportunity and excellent education for all, job and wealth creation for the middle class, and concern about climate change and the big money that has corrupted our political system. It struck me that the Eisenhower Republicans who raised me as a child would and should embrace this message today. It is a message of kindness, tolerance, concern over the stewardship of the planet, a sincere belief that we're all in this together and that each of us needs to see the same open doors and have a safety net to catch us if we fall down.
Talking to voters in the 2nd Congressional District I hear many concerns about problems caused by Republican legislators or the corporations that support them.
The citizens of Blue Ash, Reading, Deer Park, Silverton, Golf Manor, Madeira, Amberley, and Fairfax are focused on the high pressure natural gas transmission line (and a huge blast zone that accompanies it) that Duke Energy is proposing to run through their neighborhoods. Considering Duke Energy has contributed $12,000 to the Tea Party Republican incumbent Brad Wenstrup and also to state Rep Republican Jonathon Dever, citizens are turning to Democrats like P.G. Sittenfeld for assistance. State Rep Democratic candidate Jessica Miranda is involved as well.
The citizens of the historic Ohio River towns—New Richmond, Ripley, Manchester, Portsmouth—are concerned about the depression of their property values and their high flood insurance premiums caused by Republican legislation that shares their risk with hurricane flood zones. I would be very interested in reversing legislation that has encumbered river town residents unfairly.
Farmers of the eastern rural counties are concerned about Republican CAUV legislation that could hugely increase the property taxes on their farm land forcing many small farmers to sell their land for real estate purposes. Farmers may be interested that State Rep Democratic candidate Ken McNeely and State senate Democratic candidate Charlie Carlier are on their side.
Citizens throughout District 2 are concerned about large reductions to the budgets of their schools and public works from Republican legislation designed to rapidly restore Ohio's “rainy day” fund. They feel Governor Kasich is highjacking federal funds and wish money to be released to mount a fight against a deadly heroin epidemic. Democratic State Rep candidates are all working on mitigating this raid on local budgets and figuring out the best cure for an epidemic killing their constituents.
Many of these issues are local or State problems, solved at that level. But the U.S. Representative who represents the entire region should still be listening and helping to solve those problems whenever possible. Accepting large campaign donations from the entities creating the concern, as Tea Party Brad Wenstrup has done, should not be the first step. (For the list of Wenstrup's corporate donors please see
Whether its gridlock, passing bills that legislate discrimination, sending our jobs to the rest of the world through poorly-crafted trade agreements, supporting the rich and well-connected at the expense of the rest, or cutting vital services, the Republican-dominated Congress has not served the country well. The Republican Party has taken a sharp right turn and left many moderate voters with no Republican choice to represent their interests.
Perhaps its time for Eisenhower Republicans to take a closer look at the Democratic candidates. They are intelligent, hard-working, and watching out for YOUR interests. If nothing else, your Democratic vote this election could send a clear message to your party ravaged by special interests and haters. Tell them you are unhappy with their sharp right turn and bad behavior. Tell them you want to be heard. Vote Democrat and please Write-in Everhard in the third position on your District 2 ballot!