Friday, January 05, 2018

Meet Ohio Congressional Candidate Rick Neal-- A Guest Post By Former Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy


Before the Republicans in the Ohio state legislature gerrymandered Mary Jo Kilroy out of a congressional seat, she was a Blue America-backed progressive in the 15th district. Recently she introduced us to the incredible video above and to the Rick Neal for Congress campaign. By design, the district-- which has a PVI of R+7-- is no piece of cake for a Democrat. It’s one of those districts where, in 2016, Trump did better than Romney and Hillary did worse than Obama. Trump beat her 55.3% to 39.9% there and the DCCC is ignoring the district entirely. Mary Jo doesn’t think the district should be ignored and we asked her to write a guest post telling DWT readers about Rick, who seems to us like an extraordinary candidate.

Rick Neal For OH-15
-by Mary Jo Kilroy

I used to represent Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, so I want to introduce you to a candidate for the seat that I once held.  I am taking a proprietary interest in this seat, which even in the face of a “blue wave” will be a tough battle, so I want someone who is progressive, smart, and who will put in the necessary hard work to win.  I think Rick Neal fills that description.

Rick is new to electoral politics, in his first run for office, but he is not new to taking action. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer and international aid worker. In 2014, when the ebola virus was claiming lives, Rick was compelled to travel to Liberia with the International Rescue Committee to build clinics to take care of people. Before going, he and his husband discussed his plan with family and friends, and met with the parents and teachers at the school their daughters attended, answering their questions and addressing their possible fears by letting them know that on his return, he would voluntarily go into isolation for 21 days.

What compelled him to do this? He saw a crisis, he knew he could help people in need, and so he did.

Now he sees a crisis affecting this country, and believes he can help as a Member of Congress. One huge issue affecting our state of Ohio is the scourge of opiate addiction that is claiming lives here at home. As a graduate of a public health program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Rick brings a community-based health perspective to the fight. “our representatives in Washington are more interested in protecting drug companies than putting an end to the opioid epidemic. We need to work together to find real solutions to this problem— starting with treatment programs proven to save lives and get people back their feet. Addiction doesn’t discriminate against young or old, rich or poor.”

Rick has a lot to say on health care as well, believing that the next step after the Affordable Care Act is to move to a “Medicare for All” type of system. “Our health care system is not working the way it is supposed to” he said. “Too many people rely on the Emergency Room for care, or face bankruptcy to pay for a serious health care issue. We have to expand Medicare as a way of ensuring everyone has the health care they need.”

He also wants families to have the resources they need to provide for themselves, supporting an increase in the current federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour), something that was last done in 2009, and vowing to “end the threats to unionized labor championed by Republicans.” “We have to tackle inequality and the insufficient value of work head on.”

He sees investments in infrastructure, including infrastructure that moves us to greater use of renewable energy, as well as investments in our youth, as a priority. “We can create an economic environment to encourage job creation,” but doesn’t see the recent “trillion-dollar tax scam, paid for by the middle class,” as the way to do so. To improve our economy and job growth, he said, “we need representative in Congress willing to put in the hard work” and “serve the people not the special interests.”

“I have always tried to live my politics,” Rick said. “When I joined the Peace Corps, I quickly realized that my role was to take the resources available to me as Westerner-- my education and training, my connections with financial resources and technical expertise-- and put those at the service of the people I was working with, to facilitate change at the speed and in the direction that they felt was right for them and their communities. I gained more experience and got a chance to practice this, every day in my community public health program at UNC-Chapel Hill, and then tried to apply it in some very tough circumstances back overseas working with displaced communities in humanitarian crises.”

Rick has learned a lot from his humanitarian work, including that it is “easy to talk about what you want to do, and talk about what the issues are, or talk about what the priorities are. In the humanitarian field, all that matters is that you save lives and that you get people back on the path to recovery. The action is what matters.”

Steve Stivers, Rick’s opponent, is well-known for telling people what they want to hear, but when you pay attention to how he acts, you find he is the epitome of a congressman who serves corporate special interests. Stivers is a top fundraiser for  Congressional Republicans, and the policies he supports are those that his donors-- Wall St. and the oil industry-- support. Getting big money out of politics means we need to take this seat back from Members of Congress like Steve Stivers.

Rick Neal, someone who tackled a crisis like ebola is the candidate to take on this job as well. Check out this video-- and let Rick now what you think.

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At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's Rick gonna do about OH voter fraud that has been around for 2 decades at least? How's he gonna beat all the democraps, all the republicans and the OH sec state who determines who counts the votes and how?

And if the OH sec state screws the pooch and Rick "wins", how is he gonna make 180 more senior house democraps die so someone who is any good can float up to take the gavel and actually, you know, do shit?

At 12:09 AM, Blogger boonmee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just love these fake Russian trolls who think they are accomplishing anything with their "input". So juvenile, and so worthy of the abuse they deserve.


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