Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Thursday, August 3

Cong. OH-14: Katz (D) Slams Bush and LaTourette (R) for Fundraising Instead of Meeting Flood Victims


Law Professor Lewis Katz (D-Pepper Pike), running for Congress against incumbent Rep. Stephen LaTourette (R-Painesville), is skewering LaTourette and George Bush for their misplaced priorities as demonstrated by devoting time to fundraising during yesterday's visit to Lake County rather than spending time with victims of the recent flood.

As reported by the AP (published in the Akron Beacon Journal here), flood victims in Painesville appreciated Bush's disaster area declaration, making them eligible for federal aid, but "wished the president had toured their streets instead of meeting with politicians in Mentor, not nearly as damaged as Painesville and elsewhere in the area." Resident Stacey Kovalchuk said:
I'm sure [President Bush] understands, [but] I'd like him to smell the smell we have down here and I'd like to ask him if he'd like to have to move back in here. This was a very nice place. It was nice, quiet and beautiful, and now look at it.
Bush "stopped by an emergency management bunker on his way to a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell, who greeted Bush at the Cleveland airport with former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar. Blackwell's campaign said about 650 people attended the fundraiser, which was expected to raise about $1.5 million."

LaTourette's excuse for scheduling Bush to meet county officials and first responders but not victims of the flood sounds really lame and callous:
Quite frankly, the president's been through 11 hurricanes and he knows what a disaster looks like. I thought it was better that the president come here and express his gratitude to the people who made things go really well.
Katz has jumped all over it today. "The President has already declared parts of Northeastern Ohio as a disaster area eligible for federal aid. His time would have been better spent meeting with the flood victims rather than local officials," said Katz.

Rejecting LaTourette's excuse, Katz said "[e]very natural disaster is different and the needs of victims are different. The people affected by the flooding should have been able to see their President and their Congressman showing support together." As to the $1,000 per plate fundraiser, Katz said that "[w]ealthy donors like these are the president's and the Republican party's true base. Their policies, from tax cuts to prescription drugs, have showered additional riches on already wealthy individuals and corporations. My opponent, Steve LaTourette, has endorsed those policies. He, and the Republicans, must be removed from power so that government can work again on behalf of ordinary Americans."

Go get 'em, Lew!

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