Saturday, October 30, 2004

Budget key in 30th District


Newcomer Thompson challenges Seitz

By Kevin Aldridge
Enquirer staff writer

Democrat Ann Thompson will take her first crack at political office Tuesday by trying to unseat Republican incumbent Bill Seitz in a race for a statehouse seat from Ohio's 30th District.

Thompson, 68, of White Oak, said fixing the state's budget and revising the way public schools are funded would be her top priorities.

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(The Enquirer/MICHAEL E. KEATING)
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Election 2004 section

Thompson said she would find ways to solve the problems without raising taxes, and said legislators need to explore ways to reduce spending.

"With the current one-party rule (Republican) in the statehouse, we have the fox watching the hen house," Thompson said. "They are getting away with all kinds of things that the people don't know about and it's our money they are wasting."

Thompson said she wants to create a new system of performance budgeting and performance audits for each state agency. She also said legislators should close "corporate and jet-set" loopholes. Thompson said she would like to prohibit state government from contracting with or offering assistance to corporations that move offshore in order to avoid their fair share of state tax.

Seitz, 49, of Green Township, is serving his second two-year term as state representative. Seitz agrees that the state's budget woes are a priority; that's why he's pushing for a ballot measure that would allow video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven horse tracks, including River Downs in Anderson Township and the Lebanon Raceway.

"We have to work very hard to try to avoid extending the temporary sales tax," Seitz said. "Except for Kentucky, we are surrounded by states that allow some form of casino gambling. This could stem the outflow of that money."

Seitz said legislators need to wring savings from departmental consolidation, privatization where appropriate, and civil service/collective bargaining law changes. He also said the state should promote group purchasing plans for government employees to buy long-term care insurance.

Thompson said public school funding remains a key issue. She said legislators should invest money in the state, creating a steady stream of income for schools rather than "begging for bond issues."

"I believe school funding should be a given in the state budget," Thompson said. "The greatest country in the world should not have to beg for money for schools."

Seitz said his opponent has been critical of giving tax break to corporations, but noted sometimes they are needed. Seitz said he was proud of the tax incentive package he supported that kept DHL Airlines and 5,000 jobs in Wilmington rather than relocating to Northern Kentucky.

"That is an example of where they can serve a very valuable purpose," Seitz said

The 30th district includes the city of Harrison and Delhi, Green, Harrison, Miami and Whitewater townships.

E-mail kaldridge@enquirer.com




ELECTION 2004
It may be trick, not treat, for Bush
Drowning in TV political ads?
Election protests thwarted
10 states that could swing it
Clermont district makes third try
Clermont County challenger derides 'club' atmosphere
What's in a name? Most often, victory
Campaign watchers complain
Budget key in 30th District
Union activist big underdog
Scandal tinges judge race
Schools say new levies are crucial
Northeastern faces deficit
Edgewood and Franklin schools put taxes to vote
Election turnout could be at 70%
'Limp wrist' charge angers Mongiardo
Fletcher name chafes brother
Facts to help Kentucky voters with Tuesday's election
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Election 2004 section

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