Friday, October 22, 2004

Four endorsements for Congress

Southwest Ohio is blessed with four incumbent members of Congress in leadership positions who can help shape legislation that most affects the lives of this region's families.

Rob Portman

In Ohio's 2nd District, Republican Rob Portman faces Democratic challenger Charles Sanders for the fourth time. Sanders, a former Waynesville mayor, has never pulled more than 26 percent of the vote. Portman chairs the House Republican Leadership and also is Assistant Majority Whip. As one of highest ranking leaders in Congress and a member of the Ways and Means Committee, he helped deliver the recent corporate tax bill that should "level the playing field" for U.S. multinationals such as Procter & Gamble and General Electric. Portman took the lead in pushing for Medicare reform, including Health Savings Accounts that could give families more control over health care costs and savings. Portman has secured federal funding for major Cincinnati-area projects including $26 million for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. He worked to correct the unfair quirk in federal highway funding that penalizes "tax donor" states such as Ohio that most use ethanol fuel. The Terrace Park Republican is part of the regional delegation trying to get the I-75 Brent Spence Bridge replacement deemed a nationally significant project for federal funding. As a long-time tax reformer, he plans to push ahead next year with the initiative to simplify personal taxes.

Portman is a huge asset for this region. He should be returned to Congress.

Steve Chabot

In the 1st District, Rep. Steve Chabot again faces Democratic challenger Greg Harris, who directed Citizens for Civic Renewal, a non-profit founded by former Ohio Gov. John Gilligan. Harris is bright, talented and brimming with good ideas. He could be a can't-miss candidate for some other area office, but ever since Chabot's first win in 1994 he has solidified his hold on the 1st District seat. Redistricting has helped. Chabot has led in passing legislation against partial-birth abortion and protecting privacy rights. Citizens Against Government Waste ranks him as the top waste-fighter in Congress. Harris slams Chabot for voting for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts without a way of paying for them and argues they are actually deferred tax increases on our children or grandchildren. Chabot voted for middle-class tax relief in extending the child tax credit, death tax and marriage penalty relief. He believes economic growth, coupled with reduced spending, could get us back toward balancing the federal budget.

Steve Chabot serves on the Judiciary Committee, chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution and also has a seat on the Small Business Committee. We endorse Steve Chabot for another term in Congress.

John Boehner

In the 8th District, Republican John Boehner is seeking his eighth term in the House against Democratic challenger Jeff Hardenbrook of Dayton. Boehner beat Hardenbrook last time 71 percent to 29 percent. The West Chester Republican is the architect of the "No Child Left Behind" education reform law passed in 2002. Hardenbrook, a substitute teacher, mocks the law as "No Child Left Fully Funded" and "No Child Left Untested" and says he would impeach President Bush for leading the country astray in Iraq. Bush showed his appreciation Boehner's work on education reform that he even came to Boehner's district to sign the law at Hamilton High School.

Boehner chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee. The president's budget called for significant new funding in 2005, including more than $600 million for Ohio. "Every time we've shrunk from the fight over the last 20 years," Boehner said, "the same people lost every single time - poor kids in America."

We endorse John Boehner for the 8th District.

Mike Turner

Voters should send Republican Congressman Mike Turner back to Washington for a second term to represent the 3rd District, which encompasses half of Warren County. Turner's experience as the former mayor of Dayton is an asset inside the beltway, where urban issues can get lost.

Turner has quickly made a name in Washington. He recently was appointed to the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Government Reform, in which he is vice chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. The Armed Services appointment is especially important for Turner and for Dayton, home of Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Turner can help protect some 40,000 jobs in the region linked to the base, many of which involve technological research.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert also named him chairman of a new Republican Saving America's Cities Working Group, which is finding ways to help revitalize cities. Turner is pushing "brownfields" legislation that will offer tax incentives for business to develop land in urban areas that are environmental sites or vacated by industry.

His opponent, 55-year-old Jane Mitakides of Dayton, is a conservative Democrat, and has criticized Turner and the Republican party for a lack of fiscal restraint. She is passionate on issues such as helping veterans receive benefits and investing in small business, but she lacks the experience of Turner, who has earned a second term.

Letters to the editor
Four endorsements for Congress
A Christian perspective on Issue 3