We Ohioans face a stark choice in our senatorial campaign: incumbent Republican Rob Portman, who has an anti-worker, anti-women record or Ted Strickland who as our governor, proved himself to be a friend of working people.
According to what Joe Scarborough said on MSNBC last week, Portman leads Strickland in the polls by a formidable margin of 56 percent to 40 percent.
It’s no wonder. The Koch brothers and other billionaire right wingers have been pouring millions of dollars into Portman’s campaign while Strickland has received too little support from the national Democratic Party, strapping him for the necessary cash needed to mount a viable campaign.
But this may be changing. Hillary Clinton has just this week made campaign appearances in Ohio on behalf of Strickland, and President Obama appeared with him a couple of weeks ago.
Supporting Strickland to join Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown in Washington should be a no-brainer for voters who care about Ohio’s women, children, education, decent jobs, workers, etc. Portman has a miserable record favoring the moneyed interests (especially healthcare profiteers) against Ohio’s citizens. Below are a few examples, taken from Portman’s own campaign literature.
Portman has a high rating from the NRA for consistently voting against attempts to “take away our Second Amendments rights.” In other words, he’s opposed passing sensible laws regulating the sale of firearms.
He has a 100 percent rating from the National (so-called) Right to Life organization because of his interference with the reproductive rights of women. Portman’s website boasts that he has “voted on numerous occasions to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion,“ never mind that the Hyde Amendment already prohibits federal funding of abortion.
Portman piously boasts of his efforts to protect “religious freedom” but, from what we can gather on the Senator’s website, his efforts seem limited to denying or infringing on a woman’s reproductive rights and to denying coverage of workers’ contraceptive benefits under employee group health insurance. Portman’s fight for “religious freedom” seems to be focused on areas that, coincidentally, stand to help big employer and healthcare contributors save money.
Ted Strickland, however, has a progressive vision for the Future.
Workers: Ted’s roots are working class while Portman‘s are in and for business. Ted knows what it’s like to work to eek-out a living. He is the son of a steelworker and he knows where he comes from. He also knows what it’s like to be put in the street by a bank foreclosure.
In the Senate, Strickland will fight to increase the minimum wage, as well as to protect and strengthen overtime wages laws. Ted stands with labor in supporting a worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively for better pay and benefits. He will steadfastly oppose weakening unions through so-called “Right to Work” legislation.
Women: Ted will fight for women to receive equal pay for equal work. Furthermore, he believes a “woman’s healthcare choices are between a woman and her doctor, not between a woman and her boss” and advocates that women should be provided with preventative services, including contraception, at no additional cost.
Retirement Security: As a U.S. Senator, Strickland will stand with retirees to protect Social Security and Medicare “from those who would transform it into something less” by cutting benefits, increasing the retirement age, and privatizing its funds.
Healthcare: Strickland will fight against repealing the Affordable Care Act; which, among many other things, provides affordable health insurance for millions of Americans, stopped denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, ended premium discrimination against women and eliminated lifetime limits.
To me, the choice is clear: Ohioans can either follow Portman down the rat hole to the bad old days or work hard to elect Strickland, who has a progressive vision of the future.