Monday, August 31, 2015

Will Ohio Democrats Allow Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street) To Pick Their Senate Nominee For Them?


Portman, Sittenfeld, Strickland

Chuck Schumer and the reviled Beltway Democratic Establishment have mandated that conservative and failed fossil Ted Strickland-- DINO darling of the NRA-- must be the Democratic candidate against GOP incumbent Rob Portman in next year's Senate race. Schumer believes that the way to beat a Republican is by running a candidate who espouses Republican values and ideas, even though this strategy has been discredited time and time again. Republican-lite candidates sometimes win, but then disappoint the Democratic base and fail to be reelected.

This is especially ironic because Democrats in Ohio have been largely craving "new blood" to lead the charge against  destructive GOP dominance in their state. And progressives in Ohio have put forward a young and dynamic candidate, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who offers an independent, forward-thinking, values-oriented perspective that Ohioans say they want-- but that scare the hell out of unimaginative Stalinists like Boss Schumer.

When asked a few days ago if he would take a stand on the Keystone XL Pipeline, Strickland punted: "The Keystone pipeline doesn’t involve Ohio. So I’m staying out of it. It’s too divisive." Who needs to get rid of Portman if all there is as an alternative is Portman II? Sittenfeld said that by refusing to take a position on the dangerous pipeline-- meant to transport filthy Canadian coal tar to Texas refineries and ports so it can be shipped to China because Canadian ports have banned it-- Strickland "isn’t showing the kind of leadership Democrats need to beat Rob Portman," and renewed his call for a series of six debates before the March primary so "rank-and-file Democratic voters can compare us side by side before they decide who their U.S. Senate nominee should be." Strickland is ducking the debates. And on the substance of the issue, Strickland/Portman and Sittenfeld couldn't be further apart:
This is another issue on which Gov. Strickland and I strongly disagree-- and I believe he’s wrong on a number of levels. First, the pipeline-- which would carry some of the dirtiest oil on the planet-- would exacerbate climate change, and that most certainly would impact Ohio and Ohioans.

Climate change is a real and present danger to the lives of Ohio families. It contributes to the algae problem in Lake Erie, threatening Toledo’s supply of drinking water, which impacts hundreds of thousands of people. And by contributing to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, the carbon pollution that results from the burning and production of filthy tar sands oil is especially harmful to Ohio’s children.

Second, even if the Keystone XL didn’t affect Ohio, serving in the United States Senate demands a level of leadership that focuses on the national interest. We can't afford Senators who want to 'stay out' of an issue as fundamental to the survival of the planet as climate change.

Third, since when did it become acceptable for Senate candidates to avoid dealing with issues because they are controversial and ‘divisive’? Isn’t that the kind of cover-your-behind politics that voters say they’re sick of? Leaders lead-- they don’t bob, weave, evade and equivocate.

Let me be crystal clear. I oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and I would vote against it. I have outlined aggressive measures to deal with climate change. And I once again call on Gov. Strickland to stop stalling and agree to a series of six debates with me, just like our Democratic candidates for President are having. We should stand toe to toe and let the voters compare us side by side. After all, if Ted’s afraid to debate me, how can he possibly beat Rob Portman, let alone protect Ohio’s interests in the Senate?
In its coverage, the influential Columbus Dispatch got to the point of why wishy-washy conservaDems like Strickland are fatally flawed champions for working families. "A political battle erupted on Thursday as U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland was attacked on opposite fronts after saying this week he did not have a position on building a controversial oil pipeline linking Canada to Texas." Sittenfeld's contrast with Strickland was immediately followed with an attack from the Portman camp.
Corry Bliss, a Portman spokesman, said the Ohio Republican "is proud to support" the pipeline because "it is good for our economy, energy production and national security... Given his record as governor, when Ohio lost over 350,000 jobs, it is clear that Gov. Strickland not only lacks the ability to lead, but he also lacks the ability to even answer yes or no questions," Bliss said. By the end of the day, Strickland aides declined to say whether he has a position on the pipeline.
So instead if a debate on the merits of Keystone XL-- with Sittenfeld opposing it and Portman pushing it-- you get Strickland looking confused and incapable, which may be attractive to someone like Schumer and his ilk but is far from what Ohio voters are looking for. Blue America has endorsed Sittenfeld, and if you'd like to make sure a progressive from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, as Howard Dean put it (or to update it slightly, a Democrat from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party), wins the nomination and goes head-to-head with Portman in 2016, please consider contributing what you can here. None of the candidates on that page are the Schumer puppets and Wall Street shills the DSCC is pushing.

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