Friday, April 25, 2014

Ohioan Appalachia-- Jennifer Garrison vs Greg Howard… The Republican Wing vs The Democratic Wing Of The Democratic Party


Who has a worse makeup job? 

Ohio's 6th congressional district is redder than the state of Ohio. It's whiter, poorer and less educated. The state is 82.9% white and OH-06 is 95.3% white, the whitest in the state. Ohio's medium household income is $45,749 and the district's is $41,355. Only 11.7% of Ohioans didn't graduate from high school. In OH-o6 that number is 14%. Obama won Ohio in 2008 (52-47%) and 2012 (51-48%) while Obama lost both time (53-45% in 2008 band 55-43% in 2012). The closest the district has to an actual city is Steubenville (population- 18,659) and Obama lost 17 of the district's 18 counties, Athens County (of which only a small strip is part of OH-06), being the exception. OH-06, with the loss of the liberal city of Athens and some Youngstown adjacent areas after the 2010 GOP gerrymander, has been turned into a culturally Republican, backward-looking stronghold, with more in common with West Virginia than with bustling Ohio cities like Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron or Dayton.

OH-06 is represented by a dull, ineffectual conservative Republican backbencher, Bill Johnson. He's among the least influential Members of Congress. Neither the DCCC nor the Ohio Democratic Party has worked to create any grassroots enthusiasm for a progressive vision of governance. and the people are left to rot with Hate Talk Radio, Fox "News" and religious bigots painting them a sordid, paranoid picture of reality.

There are two Democratic Party candidates running, one, Jennifer Garrison, recruited by Steve Israel and backed by the DCCC, and the other, Greg Howard, a grassroots activist with no support from the party above the county level. Garrison is from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. She's virulently homophobic and built her career on demonizing the LGBT community. She's also vehemently anti-Choice, pro-NRA, pro-fracking and has the backing of the reactionary Blue Dog caucus. Howard is from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt school of progressive Democrats. The reporter covering their race most closely, The Vindicator's David Skolnick, pointed out yesterday that neither Garrison nor Howard are "big fans of their political party or President Barack Obama." Their reasons, however, are polar opposites and point out the difference in the two candidates. Howard is disappointed that Obama hash;'t been progressive enough and Garrison takes her talking points straight from the GOP, her spiritual home.
“I’ll be representing a district; I won’t be representing a party, though I am a Democrat,” said Jennifer Garrison, a three-term former Ohio House representative who works as an attorney representing landowners who sell mineral rights to oil and gas companies.

As for President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, Garrison said, “There are a lot of things he could have done better, like communicating with Congress.”

Garrison of Marietta said she is a Democrat because the party, like she, believes “in lifting up the middle class,” but added, “I’ve met very few people [who] agreed completely with the platform of their party. That is true of me.”

…Garrison also said she wouldn’t have voted for Obamacare if she was in the House in 2009 because “it’s hard for me to vote for anything that cuts Medicare.”

But Garrison said she supports a number of Obamacare’s provisions such as allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, no lifetime caps and requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

 Garrison doesn’t support repealing Obamacare-- “this train has left the station”-- but wants a more open dialogue between Democrats and Republicans to make improvements to the law.

“The parts of it that aren’t working we should be spending time working together to resolve,” she said.
Garrison has more in common with the Republican incumbent-- lots in common in fact-- than she does with Howard, who supports Obamacare but would have preferred Medicare for all. He differs with Obama where he's gone off the rails in favor of corporate interests (like in the case of the Trans-Pacific Partnership).

When Howard talks about why he's running for Congress, you get the picture of a man who wants to serve his neighbors and his country, very much the opposite of the grasping and craven Garrison. He's fueled by love, wisdom and respect. She's fueled by ugly petty hatreds and personal avarice. He says he wants to "stop or reverse the privatization of the many government functions that government does best: Social Security, Medicare, Post Office, Military functions, National Security." She wants to trick Ohioans out of their land on behalf of facking interests, which is what her disgraceful law practice is all about.

"When elected," writes Howard, "I will fight to reverse the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission, by working to get the two thirds vote necessary to pass the 'We the People' amendment to the Constitution thus returning corporations to entities not persons… I will fight to reverse NAFTA, reducing the incentives for corporations to take jobs out of the United States and once again creating jobs for the working people… I will seek out the solutions for income inequality and job creation." He lives in a very different world from the one Garrison, Johnson and the stinkenly corrupt Beltway elites inhabit. He's on the Blue America ActBlue page


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