Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ted Strickland Spent A Lot Of Time In Congress Voting WITH Rob Portman And Against Sherrod Brown


Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has been very careful to not do any debates with his progressive Democratic opponent, P.G. Sittenfeld. Watching the video of the two of them above, a very rare instance of them sharing a podium-- at a Hamilton County Democratic Party fundraiser Strickland couldn't worm his way out of-- it's pretty easy to understand why Strickland is so scared to debate Sittenfeld. Will He be too scared to debate Rob Portman too? Of course with those two, they agree on so much, what would they debate anyway?

Sittenfeld's energy and youth-- and his skill as a speaker and a debater-- stand in stark contrast to the doddering Strickland, who would be, if elected, the oldest Senate freshman ever, anywhere. He stumbles again and again and can barely express himself. Sittenfeld will be able to make a much better case against Portman-- as he did in the clip above. New York already has two very Establishment senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand but Schumer recruited Strickland and is trying to force him down Ohio Democrats' throats even though Strickland is way too conservative for most Democrats in the state. Strickland's now-shadowy position on gun control is horrific as we've mentioned before-- and there are reasons why the NRA gave him an A+ and endorsed him over John Kasich in their last gubernatorial race (in which Kasich ousted him from the office, 49-47%). Brent Larkin, probably the most respected political reporter in Ohio, wrote about it Friday for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Strickland, he explained, "has been firing blanks in the gun war for decades."
On Nov. 8 of next year, there's a significant likelihood Democrats will ask Ohioans to elect Clinton president and Strickland senator. Clinton and Strickland will peddle their partnership as a marriage for the ages... [but] the marriage will be rooted in hypocrisy.

...During a career in elected office that spanned nearly 20 years, Strickland opposed every single measure that would reasonably restrict access to guns. So effectively did Strickland kowtow to the gun lobby that the NRA awarded Strickland an "A" grade in every election between 1994 and 2010.

..."What is wrong is us that we can't stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers?" Clinton asked at a rally earlier this month in south Florida. "This is not just tragic. We don't just need to pray for people. We need to act."

Strickland has now tweaked his campaign message to say he now supports "common-sense background checks," including closing the gun show loophole. A campaign spokeswoman said the governor's view began to change in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings. A more likely explanation might be that the flip-flop came after it became clear Portman would win the NRA endorsement.

Whatever the reason, the facts are not Strickland's friend on the gun show issue.

In both his 2006 and 2010 campaigns for governor, Strickland categorically and repeatedly ruled out any support for background checks of weapons purchased at gun shows.

  ...In his 2010 campaign against John Kasich, Strickland ran an ad excoriating Kasich for wanting to close the loophole. And a nauseating 2010 flyer entitled "Kasich's Dirty Dozen"-- paid for by that bastion of progressive government, the Ohio Democratic Party-- said Kasich should not be elected governor because he supported some eminently reasonable laws designed to curb gun deaths.

That same state party has endorsed Strickland in next year's Senate primary against Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld. Like Clinton, Sittenfeld supports sweeping changes to gun laws... [H]e's a far better fit for Clinton.

Especially when she lashes out at politicians who "put the NRA ahead of American families."
Of course, gun safety isn't the only issue on which Sittenfeld disagrees with Strickland and Portman. His platform goes heavy on doing what's necessary to protect Ohio and the U.S. from climate change, a subject Strickland doesn't seem to understand or have any interest in and Sittenfeld's interest in retirement security-- expanding Social Security and Medicare in the ways Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are proposing-- also seem to go over Strickland's head. He may come around; he has on many issues-- but he's a laggard at a time when Ohio needs a leader. In Congress he voted against child safety locks on guns and now he seems to be OK with them. He voted for banning gays and lesbians from serving in the military but now he's changed his mind on that. He opposed an assault weapons ban but now he says he's on board. In 2003 NARAL Pro-Choice America rated him at 30%, and two years later 50%, a disgrace for a Democrat, but now he says he's pro-choice. In 2000, Strickland voted with the Republicans in favor of an amendment that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from using funds to protect us from polluted air. It wasn't just House progressives like Nancy Pelosi, Sherrod Brown, Dennis Kucinich, Nancy Kaptur, and Bernie Sanders opposing this attack on the EPA. There were 49 environmentally-oriented Republicans voting with the Democrats! But it passed because of Strickland and the usual corporate whores from the Blue Dog wing of the Democratic Party crossing the aisle-- almost all of whom have since been defeated, either in primaries or in general elections that Democrats decided not to vote in. Where is he now on clean air? Who knows? He won't debate Sittenfeld and it's another issue where he and Portman have the same horrible record.

And the year before, he voted in favor of an Interior Department appropriations bill that included two dozen anti-environmental riders, including one that allowed oil companies to underpay the royalties owed for drilling on public lands. Again, 179 Democrats opposed it (along with 20 mainstream Republicans) but both Portman and Strickland voted for it-- as did all the treacherous corporately-owned Blue Dogs. In vote after vote after vote, Strickland lined up against Sherrod Brown and with Rob Portman. That just be a big fat warning bell to Democratic primary voters in Ohio-- regardless of what New York's Chuck Schumer demand they do!

Blue America has only endorsed 4 candidates for the U.S. Senate this year: Russ Feingold (D-WI), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Donna Edwards (D-MD) and P.G. Sittenfeld (D-OH), 4 progressives running against 4 tools of the establishment. Please consider helping get these 4 tribunes of working families elected to the Senate on this Blue America ActBlue page.

This morning the NationalJournal published an in-depth, personal look at who P.G. Sittenfeld is. It's very much worth reading-- and I'd suggest clueless party bosses like Chuck Schumer and John Tester be the first to try. P.G. wants to change the Democratic Party from inside. Even as simple a question as "do you have a mortgage?" and the response, "no. My fiancée and I rent an apart­ment" makes him stand out from the politicians who have become a breed apart from the people they seek to represent. And you get a sense of it from the very first exchange he has with reporter Alex Roarty, who asked him what the difference is between a millennial Democrat-- he's 31-- and the rest of the Democratic Party.
Our gen­er­a­tion grew up as di­git­al nat­ives. So the use of tech­no­logy and use of these plat­forms and a sense that dis­rup­tion is a help­ful thing and in­nov­a­tion—that’s nor­mal, that’s reg­u­lar.

I think there’s also a sense that di­versity is nor­mal and a good thing, and that life is bor­ing and tal­ent is lack­ing if it’s all the same people around us.

There are cer­tain battles that we have put to bed. On bal­ance … if you’ve got a bunch of Re­pub­lic­ans my age, they’d be like, “Yes, cli­mate change is real, and two people who love each oth­er de­serve to be mar­ried.”

I don’t think mil­len­ni­als are “grudgy.” It’s more like, what can we make hap­pen? I think so much of people’s frus­tra­tion with polit­ics is it feels so grudge-ori­ented and grudge-mo­tiv­ated, and that’s not how things get done... Did I act like a col­lege stu­dent in col­lege? Yes. I don’t think any voter would ever mind that. Ac­tu­ally, on the con­trary, I think voters want lead­ers and elec­ted of­fi­cials and can­did­ates who em­brace be­ing a real per­son and aren’t afraid to be au­then­t­ic.
Read the whole interview here. And then, if you like what you see, consider contributing to P.G.'s campaign here.

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