Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, August 4

Cong. OH-14: Blogger Chats with Katz (D)

On Tuesday I attended the annual Dog & Suds Fundraiser at the Cleveland headquarters of AFSCME Ohio Council 8, where I was pleased to meet 14th Ohio Congressional District candidate Lewis Katz (D-Pepper Pike). I have written about the Katz campaign before (for example, here and here), but I had not met the candidate in person.

Katz is a highly respected law professor at Case Western University School of Law and co-author of the authoritative treatise on Ohio Criminal Law. He's a 40 year resident of Northeast Ohio, a grandfather of three, and a veteran of the Army Reserve (1963-67) and Navy Reserve (1967-70). He seeks to unseat incumbent Rep. Steve LaTourette (D-Painesville) because, as it says on the palm piece I'm holding in the photograph, "LaTourette and the GOP controlled Congress have run out of ideas. It's time for a change, it's time for new leadership." He emphasizes jobs, Iraq, healthcare, energy, and education as campaign issues.

I asked him how his campaign is going and he said, "Great! So great I'm trying hard not to believe it!" He marched in the Solon Home Days parade last weekend and people were very supportive and ready for change. Moderates and "purples" are very excited about Katz' candidacy, said campaign aide Rafael Brown. Going door-to-door, Katz finds that the top issues on the minds of district residents are corruption, Iraq, the job situation (particularly outsourcing, and voters bring up LaTourette's vote for CAFTA), and healthcare ("every time," Katz said). Katz says that the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is an issue because of the way that the Republicans "tried to privatize it," with "prices skyrocketing" and seniors "hitting the doughnut hole." Katz has been collecting signatures for the popular initiative to raise the Ohio minimum wage. He said that the Republican bill tying an increase in the federal minimum wage to eliminating the estate tax was ridiculous and he wouldn't have voted for it. "There should be an up or down vote," he said, "the House has given itself six pay raises since they last raised the minimum wage." He credited senate candidate Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) for the statistic that 200,000 Ohio children live in households where the wage earner works for the miminum wage.

Katz brought up LaTourette's proposed ID theft law (HR 3997) as an example of an absolutely terrible idea. It would have the disastrous effect of preempting existing state credit freeze statutes and, instead, place the credit bureaus in charge. Only victims who produce a police report after their personal information is stolen would be able to put a credit freeze on their accounts. This proposed law is opposed by personal finance guru Suze Orman (subscription required), among others.

Katz says that the City Club of Cleveland has proposed a Katz-LaTourette debate for a week before the election, and other debates are under discussion as well.


At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny -- He said back in February over at Twinsburg High School before a whopping crowd of 9 people "I DON"T EVEN WANT TO GO TO WASHINGTON!"

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd rather have a person in office who really seems to be answering the call for their country. Too many politicians.


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