Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Wednesday, August 16

Cong. OH-13: Sutton (D) Press Conference with Clyburn and Tubbs Jones

Today I drove to Akron to meet with former state representative Vernon Sykes (D-Akron), running to regain his former seat in the 44th Ohio House District, and afterward a press conference with Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland), and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) joining 13th District candidate Betty Sutton (D-Copley). Unfortunately, I lost track of time at the first event and therefore was late for the second event. Ryan had already left for another engagement when I got there.

Clyburn, South Carolina's first African American member of Congress since Reconstruction, is House Democratic Caucus Chair and a member of the Appropriations Committee. According to the press release I received afterward, Clyburn talked about what the Democrats would be able to accomplish if they regain control of Congress in November. "We have an agenda for a new direction in America," Clyburn said. "It is essential that we immediately raise the minimum wage, and work to create economies in states like Ohio that simultaneously create jobs and benefit the budgets of American families. I look forward to working with Betty Sutton on these important issues." When I came in, he was saying that America could achieve energy independence in 10 years, perhaps even 6 or 7 if it is treated as a huge priority and gets enough money from the federal government, "but we need a new administration to do that." He then talked about fair trade laws, denouncing "trade laws that make it attractive for companies to do their business overseas." With Stephanie Tubbs Jones on the House Ways and Means Committee, he continued, the Democratic Party could implement trade laws "that protect jobs, workers, and the environment."

Tubbs Jones said that once Sutton is in Congress, she will support tax credits like a low income housing tax credit, "intended to use the tax code to promote investment in the community." She also would work for programs to help the economy and workers, like trade adjustment assistance programs and research and development tax credits.

Sutton then said that she would support an increase to the federal minimum wage, which "makes good economic sense as well as being the right thing to do." Also, she will work to "revamp trade policies" to eliminate the "incentives that now encourage outsourcing of jobs." She also described health care as a job and economic development issue, saying that "when you see GM investing in Canada because Canada provides health care, you know something needs to be done." Education, she said, must be made more affordable. "Higher education is paramount to the Ohio economy. There was a time when people came to Ohio because of our schools." With schools like the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, and Kent State University, "we have fine educational institutions in the area." Clyburn said that within 200 hours of taking over, the Democrats would pass a permanent tax deduction for college tuition, and cut in half the rates on student loans, which could save $5,000 over the life of the loan.

[NOTE: I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available here.]

At the end, all three speakers addressed the importance of the elections in Ohio this year. This part I managed to record as a video, which I have uploaded to YouTube and linked above.


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